Schwarzenegger Pays Visit to Capitol

From The Sacramento Bee:

With Congress behaving a bit like an unruly classroom lately, it seemed all too appropriate to call in the Kindergarten Cop.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the movie star and former Republican governor of California, paid a visit Wednesday to the Capitol to promote his After-School All Stars program, aimed at keeping kids out of trouble.

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Sebelius: ‘Hold Me Accountable’ for Obamacare Debacle

From Politico:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that America “deserves better” than the botched Obamacare rollout and said she’s accountable for fixing HealthCare.gov problems that were far worse than the administration anticipated.

“You deserve better. I apologize. I’m accountable to you for fixing these problems and I’m committed to earning your confidence back by fixing the site,” Sebelius told a House panel.

(Read Full Article)

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Another Liberal Law Lacking Oversight

From The Sacramento Bee:

Seeking to reduce the number of plastic shopping bags cluttering California’s beaches and landfills, the state Legislature in 2006 passed a law requiringgrocery stores and other large retailers to give consumers an easy way of returning used bags.

Stores handing out plastic bags to customers were directed to collect used bags for recycling and make reusable bags available for purchase.

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White House Not Enforcing Current Immigration Law

From The Daily Caller:

The White House’s enforcement of immigration law against illegal immigrants and foreign criminals has dropped by roughly 11 percent since 2012, according to internal data collected by the Department of Homeland Security.

The revelation knocks a leg out from President Barack Obama’s repeated claims that enforcement has improved enough to allow Congress to pass a new immigration bill

(Read Full Article)

Photo courtesy Seansie, flickr

Photo courtesy Seansie, flickr

Car Dealers Would See New Rules Under CA Ballot Initiative

From The Sacramento Bee:

Add buying a car to the growing list of consumer transactions California voters could be asked to regulate during the 2014 election.

In a Wednesday morning conference call, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson , D-Santa Barbara, and advocates announced the filing of a proposed ballot measure that would impose new restrictions on automotive sales.

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NSA May Have Spied on the Pope

From The Daily Caller:

The National Security Agency may have spied on the Papal conclave, a new report reveals.

According to the Italian magazine, Panorama, the NSA may have intercepted calls before and after the secretive papal conclave at Vatican City. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis, is also believed to have been under surveillance for several years by the agency.

(Read Full Article)

Photo Courtesy of Christus Vincit

Photo Courtesy of Christus Vincit

Insurance Companies Profit from Obamacare

No one can reasonably deny that the major Insurance Companies were the driving force behind the writing of the Affordable Care Act legislation. “The health care industry spent nearly $500 million lobbying for health care issues in 2012, and $243 million so far in 2013.” Obamacare or Corporate-care: The Writing of the Affordable Care Act, sums up the process.

“Essentially, the ACA was designed to write the for-profit health care system into law, increase corporate profits, and to discourage people from demanding a health care system that would actually provide real health care coverage for all. The ACA wasn’t written to fix a broken system – it was written to ensure that the broken system would be kept in place. After all, from the standpoint of the health care industry, the system is working just fine for their profits.”

Since the public insurance providers are enjoying a jump in their stock values and a protected rise in premiums, the normal conclusion is that Obamacare is the big winner in the socialization of medicine. Before going any further, The Health Care Blog raises a curious issues regarding Obamacare in the article, Does Obamacare Limit Profits for Health Insurance Companies in Your State?

“The ACA imposes a minimum medical loss ratio (MLR) on all insurers. The MLR is the amount of money spent on covered person medical care divided by the total revenue received through premiums.

The ACA requires health insurers in the individual and small group market to spend 80 percent of their premiums (after subtracting taxes and regulatory fees) on medical costs. The corresponding figure for large groups is 85 percent.

Even though the MLR is a national law, it may not apply in your state. Why? Because many States are petitioning for a waiver.

Why did these States receive waivers? For a variety of reasons, but one of the reasons is due to the fact that some states have a less competitive medical market. Maine, for instance, requested a MLR of 65%. The reason was that State only has two large commercial insurers, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (with 49% of the market) and MEGA Life and Health Insurance Company (with 33% of the market).”

Now put this argument into a proper perspective. WHY should insurance companies profit at all, and WHY is it necessary for private companies to issue insurance for medical coverage to begin with?

Readers of Negotium know this series advocates free enterprise economics. However, the mandate requirements in Obamacare are nothing more than a guarantee for insurance companies to terminate current catastrophic coverage and offer highly expensive policies that include unnecessary treatment.

With this reality in mind, as the horror reports come in daily, sticker shock is forcing Middle America into untenable decisions. Add the practice of reducing employment to part time status and that train wreck is becoming more like the black plague.

The medical care alternative is not universal Medicaid for an impoverished population. However, the article Rush on Medicaid could spell trouble for ObamaCare’s health, cites “The Democrat and Chronicle newspaper reports that in New York, nearly 24,000 of the 37,000 newly enrolled residents are going into Medicaid, which millions of New Yorkers are already on. Just 13,313 chose private plans.”

Such blowback dooms the failed experiment. When your heart stops pumping, a bypass will not work. It is time to look for a transplant.

One such option outlined in the essay, Could nonprofit health insurance plans be the real reformers?, is a viable alternative would be the fostering of nonprofit health insurance CO-OPs (Consumer Oriented and Operated Plans) throughout the country.

The Affordable Care Act might even facilitate a medical graft.

“They could even hasten the day when the big investor-owned corporations cede the marketplace to nonprofits and move on to other ways of earning a profit.

The reform law provides a total of $3.4 billion in loans for local groups that meet high eligibility criteria, so several more prospective CO-OPs will be selected in the months ahead. We’re not talking about grants here. The start-up money must be repaid to the government — with interest. All of the CO-OPs will have to offer coverage through the Internet-based marketplaces (exchanges) the reform law requires states to establish by January 1, 2014.

If all goes as planned, every state will have at least one CO-OP. And there are reports that at least one plan already has negotiated a good rate with local hospitals by explaining how CO-OPs can help them reduce the amount of uncompensated care they incur every year by treating uninsured patients.”

In the real world, the lobbyists for the mega corporatists own the politicians. In spite of this influence, the uproar of the citizenry is building, by the fallout from the Obamacare weapon of mass destruction. The normal fallout shelters for the careerists “pols” will not protect them from the wrath of a sickly public, who cannot afford medical coverage.

Add to this diagnosis, Obamacare Causes Doctor to Retire.

“The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions survey of more than 600 physicians, which found “Six in 10 physicians (62 percent) said it is likely many of their colleagues will retire earlier than planned in the next one to three years.”

The prescription for a long-term solution is to promote alternative medicine that reduces a damaging dependency on pharmaceutical drugs. The side effect disclaimers need to extend to the practice of medicine itself. Excluding homoeopathy alternatives coverage from patient’s choice only perpetuates the for profit hospital model. Charity medicine, now viewed with the same disdain as bloodletting, by the medical establishment, is a prime causality of the Obamacare. The lobotomy culture never will cure the mental illness of the eugenics cult.

Insurance companies will play divine with their clout of who qualifies for payment of treatment. In an interview, The God Factor Interview, Obama states:  “If there’s a senior citizen in downstate Illinois that’s struggling to pay for their medicine and having to chose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer even if it’s not my grandparent.” Well, your health insurance donors will not suffer, only the rest of us.

(James Hall is a contributor to California Political Review. Originally published on BATR.)

Jefferson, Jackson and Kennedy – Tea Party Members

My column a couple of weeks ago debunking the liberal shibboleth that Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan could not win nomination in today’s “ultra” conservative GOP brought several readers’ comments that Democrats should not be throwing stones on this issue.  A tip of the hat to those correspondents for planting the kernel that led to this week’s musings.

It is not the GOP, but the party whose apt symbol is a jackass that is so deep into ideological fever swamps it would not today nominate its founders or modern icons.  Submitted for your consideration – Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and John Kennedy.

Jefferson and Jackson are considered the founders of the modern Democrat party.  National, state and local Democrat organizations still call their large annual fund raisers “Jefferson-Jackson” dinners. That such labeling doesn’t elicit universal guffaws is a tribute to the historical ignorance among the populace in general and the unique hostility to facts required to be a liberal.

Thomas Jefferson was a states-rights advocate enormously suspicious of concentrating power in a large, central government.  The saying “government governs best which governs least” is usually attributed to him and most certainly sums up his political philosophy. He was unremittingly hostile to big government accumulating power and believed the federal government should not incur debt.

Jefferson was responsible for the first use of American armed forces in a foreign land, sending the Navy and Marines in 1801 to fight the Barbary Pirates located in Tripoli among other garden spots (hence “to the shores of Tripoli” in the Marine Hymn).  The pirates were Muslims who had the nasty habit of seizing ships looking for Christians they could sell as slaves back home. Ah yes, even back then the “religion of peace” was an active one – and they didn’t need American support of Israel as an excuse for their savagery.

Andrew Jackson led the first effective political rebellion of the “common folks” against the governmental elites, sort of a sane Ross Perot. He despised government debt, and as President paid off the national debt completely.  His suspicion of concentrated power led him to veto the bill re-authorizing the Bank of the United States , forerunner of today’s Federal Reserve. When the Supreme Court handed down a controversial decision he opposed, he dismissed it with this comment; “Justice Marshall has made his ruling, now let him enforce it”. The court’s decision never did have any effect.

Can I see the hands of those who think Jefferson or Jackson would stand any chance of winning a Democrat primary today?  Nobody?  Glad to see my readers remain a perspicacious lot.

John Kennedy actually ran to the right of Richard Nixon on several issues in the 1960 campaign, most notably national defense. He accused the Eisenhower administration of allowing a “missile gap” in which the Soviet Union was superior to the U.S. in ICBMs.  He even accused Eisenhower of presiding over a big-spending administration.

The most evocative line in Kennedy’s inaugural address isn’t the “ask not” palaver  but rather this: “We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship,  support any friend and oppose any foe to insure the survival and success of liberty”. Can you imagine any Democrat uttering such sentiments today?

Kennedy cut taxes by a larger percentage than Reagan.  And though he botched the execution of both, he authorized the invasion of Cuba in 1961 and the subsequent naval blockade in the “missile crisis” of 1962. He was a militant anti-Communist, committing the first combat troops to Vietnam. He traveled to Berlin to give a speech very like Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachov, tear down this wall” in sentiment. Even though Kennedy in reality declared himself a jelly doughnut (ich bin ein berliner), the tone of the speech was bitingly anti-Communist, openly mocking the Soviets.

As with Jefferson and Jackson, a candidate with Kennedy’s profile would stand no chance in today’s Democrat party.  Each of them would be vilified as dangerous extremists.  As frankly would Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and even Jimmy Carter.  Truman and Johnson would be labeled war criminals while Carter’s opposition to abortion-on-demand, especially late-term, would cast him as part of the “war on women”.

Jefferson, Jackson and to a lesser but still valid extent Kennedy would feel right at home in today’s Tea Party.  Focused on small government, lower taxes, the primacy of the individual over the state, opposition to domestic and international tyranny and the historical truth of American Exceptionalism, the Tea Party would think members Jefferson, Jackson and Kennedy to be typical, not exceptions.

The difference between the two parties today is stark and telling. The ideas and philosophy of Goldwater and Reagan still echo throughout Republican debate and are enthusiastically embraced by the Tea Party.  The ideas of Jefferson, Jackson and Kennedy are vilified and considered “hate speech” by today’s Democrats. So Tom, Andy and Jack – welcome to the party. Do you take  sugar or lemon with your tea?

(William E. Saracino is a member of the California Political Review editorial board. Originally published on California Political Review.)

Trick or Treat

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San Jose Mayor Reed Extends Hand to State Unions

From The Sacramento Bee:

San Jose Mayor and public pension reform crusader Chuck Reed has asked the heads of state employee unions and the California Teachers Association to give him a call. The reason? To chat about Reed’s 2014 ballot measure to give state and local governments the authority to cut pensions for current state and local government employees.

After laying out his rationale for the measure, which still needs to qualify for the November 2014 ballot, Reed writes, “We understand that many of you may object to the Pension Reform Act of 2014, but I want to assure you that we are simply looking for a common-sense solution to a complex and serious problem.” He closes with, “Please feel free to contact me … if you are amenable to a meeting.”

(Read Full Article)

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