Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category
I wonder what will happen with the Tea Party when Obama leaves office and none of the over the top alarmist warnings come to fruition about impending doom and an American socialist state.
Will they just latch on to some other wild conspiracies or will they disappear into oblivion? I hope for the latter but will bet on the former.
At least Mayor Rob Ford has finally decided to come clean about his apparently insatiable urge for narcotics, alcohol and adventure. How many public servants would confess to such a serious allegation?
Note: The beginning of this post originally read, “At least Mayor Rob Ford is honest about his …” activities. After a comment from a reader and even though this post was more or less tongue in cheek anyway, I realized that describing the man as “honest” in this case was too strong and too laudatory since he has spent the last several months denying claims that he, indeed, smoked crack cocaine in a drunken stupor. I maintain that most politicians would deny such a serious claim to the grave or just resign. I’m guessing Ford’s admission was a calculated political move, and say what you want about his character, it’ll probably pay off. Thanks to Fil Salustri for calling me on this one.
The rollout, especially the website, has been a boondoggle for sure, but people are being dropped from coverage because their old health insurance policies don’t measure up to the standards of Obamacare, which means the people that were dropped had bad policies to begin with, whether they realized it or not.
Obama should be embarrassed that he said time and again, “If you like your coverage you can keep it,” but the fact is, the folks who were dropped had shit policies from the start. America either joins the scores of nations (Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Japan, Sweden, Australia, Denmark, Portugal, Greece, South Korea, Taiwan, the Netherlands and Switzerland) that have instituted some form of universal health care or we become satisfied with the status quo.
If this young lady is any sign, there’s hope for the New South after all.
This whole GOP-led debate about the evils of Obamacare reminds me of Christian apologists. Opponents are desperate to point to any possible deficiency in the law to support a repeal. When all of Christian believers’ stock arguments have long-since been debunked, apologists like Sye Ten Bruggencate, William Lane Craig and scores of others are just relegated to playing word games and rote sophism.
Similarly, the Obamacare legislation was passed by a democratically elected Congress, subsequently vetted and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. While the roll out of the health care bill’s website allowing people to register for the exchanges has been somewhat of a train wreck, people like Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., aren’t just satisfied in pointing out legitimate concerns about the site; they have to make up arguments too in order to continue railing against it.
Blackburn recently claimed that the website will jeopardize people’s medical record privacy, and thus, be in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This argument suffers from two unavoidable problems: First, the only health question on the form is, “Do you smoke?” The rest is just basic information that any insurance company would necessarily gather when signing up a new member. So, essentially, if Blackburn wants to take issue with the information the Obamacare website is gathering, she must also be prepared to take issue with the information nearly every insurance company in this nation requests from potential customers.
Second, and more importantly, HIPPA doesn’t even apply to insurance programs in which customers willingly enter their information. It only applies to health care providers and in some cases, business associates (human resource agents, etc.).
So, whatever personal information Blackburn is attempting to protect regarding the health care website might also apply to hundreds if not thousands of health insurance websites and, indeed, even retail sites across the nation.
Here is the full exchange from CNN, in which Blackburn could not name one question on the site that violates HIPPA:
Marco Rubio’s claim that he “never” supported the government shutdown falls flat, and is, I’m sure, what will be numerous examples of Republicans trying to back pedal on the shutdown and salvage what’s left of their political capital.
Look for this trend to gain momentum come election time — that is, unless the public has forgotten about GOP-led 2013 brinkmanship by that time, which is entirely possible. The GOP leadership is probably hoping beyond all hopes the American public comes under a severe case of amnesia by the next election, but really, that’s about every incumbent’s hope.
One hundred ninety-three or 195 or 200, give or take, and depending on who you ask:
Now that the Republicans have sufficiently embarrassed themselves while managing to embarrass the country with their dangerous game of brinkmanship, it’s safe to say, as does this New York Times blog post, the strategy of using the federal default to win political battles in Washington is probably all but dead in the water, much like the GOP will be if it doesn’t purge itself of the Tea Party and toe a somewhat more moderate line a la Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham.
In addition to appearing not only unprofessional but sophomoric in their attempts to hold the government hostage until their demands were met, Republicans in the House also looked incredibly weak since the strategy, as we all know now, failed and failed miserably. President Obama and the Democrats were not going to flinch on defunding Obamacare, a bill that was considered, vetted and passed by a democratically elected House and Senate and upheld by the Supreme Court.
If the Republican’s aren’t that good at maintaining any level of credibility or even relevancy here in the year 2013, at least members of the House do one thing well: irony.
The same party that touts small government and limited spending proceeded to waste taxpayer dollars on almost 40 symbolic and separate votes against Obamacare the last four years and may also cost government $1 billion or more in the shutdown.
And now, apparently the thinking among some in Washington is that the shutdown is just what the doctor ordered in repairing their sullied image:
… the negative effects of the shutdown, even when felt by constituents, are softened by the idea that the members of Congress are fighting the good fight. And Republicans have been deliberate about shifting the blame for those things that threaten to frustrate their constituencies. The series of small funding bills — passing a measure to fund veterans’ services or to re-open national parks — serves to put the Senate Democrats in the difficult position of saying no. But more immediately it allows Republicans who might be on the hot seat to say to their districts (and the veterans and outdoors enthusiasts therein), hey, we tried, blame the Democrats. — “House Republicans Think This Shutdown Thing Is Going Fine“
GOP proponents might think this move is brilliant. And it would be if not for the glaringly obvious fact that the Democrats were ready to pass a bill that would have continued funding the government, thus saving the paychecks of 788,000 people and possibly $1 billion more in spending, were it not for Republicans’ attempt at extortion to defund what is already the law of the land.
Of course, no one should really be surprised by this current bit of stupidity on The Hill; Americans on the right have kowtowed to the Tea Party for the better part of six years now, and the fringe’s plan all along has been the wholesale breakdown of a strong federal government or most preferably, the evisceration of government altogether. Take a big whiff. Americans who voted firebrands like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul into office are now getting the just fruits of all they deserve and more.
If you are wary of politicians telling you how you should feel about Obamacare and the government shutdown, you are not alone. Republicans in Washington are losing the conversation, and their infighting may signal the death knell if they don’t show some solidarity and move past this most recent debacle toward a more tenable resolution, something more tenable than shutting down the government and defunding a law that’s already on the books.
Happily, as I never tire of pointing out, merely making an assertion doesn’t make said claim true:
In the first hours of the shutdown, the terrain looks very bad for Republicans. It’s amazing how consistent the polls have been about linking a confrontation over the Affordable Care Act to funding of the government. While polls show the public disapproves of the law, it has consistently told pollsters it is not in favor of tying government operations to defunding the health care plan. In addition to theQuinnipiac poll, the polls from CBS, CNN, CNBC, National Journal, and Kaiser show this. As GOP Sen. Jeff Flake said, Republicans have found the one gambit less popular than Obamacare.
Conservatives would interrupt the conversation here. They didn’t shut the government down over Obamacare—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shut the government down because he refused to negotiate. This is true; Reid refused to negotiate. But the American public would have to view this confrontation differently for that fact to give the Republicans any leverage. Right now, the public agrees with Democrats: Funding the government and taking apart Obamacare should not be part of the same conversation. How do Republicans change that dynamic? Asserting that Obamacare is not popular hasn’t made a whit of difference. — “Why the Shutdown Looks So Bad for the GOP,” Slate, Oct. 1, 2013