From Crafty's link: "The average cost of a hip replacement in the US is $40,364." "The same operation in Spain costs an average of $7371."
"I don't have a good concise answer for that , , , and if I can't be concise, do I really understand?"
There are two aspects to this: Why is healthcare here so expensive, and a specific example is cited of the same procedure performed in two different places.
If the price difference is more than a plane ticket, and the quality, availability, reliability etc. are identical, why would people not just go there? http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/04/health/for-medical-tourists-simple-math.html?_r=0
Prices are not coming down because there is no competitive market to drive them down, before or after Obamacare.
From the NY Time piece: "hospital charges (for hip replacement) run $65,000, not including the surgeon’s fee".
If you asked the surgeon what exactly he needs in a hospital room to perform a hip replacement, I don't see how it comes to $65,000. The surgical time for a hip replacement is 25 to 30 minutes. http://medicine.missouri.edu/ortho/Bal/hip-replacement-basics.html
US heathcare is a cartel, IMHO. State law (MN) requires all hospitals to be "non-profit" which makes it worse. Obamacare continues all those problems and adds a plethora more. Everything we do in terms of public policy and healthcare policy, it seems to me, is designed to make things more expensive.
Our system is flawed, and the Soviet-style, central-planned model is worse.
I'm sure that still did not answer your question. But if you look into the Spanish system, I'm sure you will find they use their single payer clout to drive the cost down to only cover the variable cost to build the hip, like Canadians buying US medicines. That doesn't work for the largest economy in the world because if someone did not pay for the fixed costs and development costs, the products never would be developed.
Thanks for that, Obj. This administration makes Nixon with his enemy list look restrained. D'Souza made a mistake and should pay whatever penalty anyone and everyone else pays for a same or similar mistake. But the mistake was the campaign law violation, not that he dared to exercise unflattering political speech about this President and this administration.
I highly recommend this article, and especially for those thinking about not voting because of lousy, muddled choices. Walker is winning (for Governor) in a state that has not gone Republican since 1984. He won his state by 7.5% just before Obama won it 7%. "What we found is, to win the center, which is the key to winning states like Wisconsin, you don't have to move to the center. That's the misnomer [in Washington] that suddenly you've got to change your core principles and move more to the center. It's just the opposite with voters who are independents or swing voters or undecided, persuadable voters. "They want leadership."
On whether Republicans need a woman on the 2016 ticket: "Susana Martinez has done a wonderful job in a state that's clearly a blue state. Nikki Haley's doing a great job in South Carolina. Mary Fallin is doing a super job out there [in Oklahoma]. So I don't think you have to, but the beauty of any of those three names is that none of them would be token. They'd be three proven reformers and governors."
I think Walker would be a controversial VP pick. Better at the top of the ticket. He has moved recently from dark horse to contender for the Republican Presidential nominee.
S.E. Cupp: Republicans should give Scott Walker a serious look for 2016 He says the candidate needs to build campaign around reform, not austerity Walker says Romney wrongly tried to win by focusing on what's wrong with incumbent Wisconsin governor says voters are looking for leaders who have a plan
(CNN) -- "The reason why Republicans I think sometimes get in trouble is ... they talk about cutting things. Too many people in our party talk about austerity and not about reform. There's a difference."
That was what Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker told me this past weekend when I sat down with him at a Washington hotel restaurant to discuss a broad range of topics, including the path forward for the GOP. Whether talking about entitlement reform, food stamps, unemployment benefits or social programs, his one word mantra? Emphasize "reform."
"The mistake I think we often make is," he continued, "if we're the party of no, and we're the party of austerity, the people of this country want more. The difference is, the left offers them more government, more benefits, more assistance. We should offer them more freedom, more opportunity, more prosperity."
Over the course of our interview, the word "reform" came up dozens of times -- in his assessment of Mitt Romney, his support for Chris Christie, his praise for Paul Ryan and his advice to Republican 2016 contenders. In fact, the advice was free-flowing all around. And why not?
Walker's frequently discussed in conservative circles as a 2016 contender himself, and after winning a bruising collective bargaining dispute and surviving a vicious recall effort in 2012, he's earned a reputation as a fighter -- and the political capital that comes along with it.
According to the most recent polling, 51% approve of his job as governor, in a blue state that hasn't voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1984.
"We are, like most Midwestern battleground states, very evenly divided among parties. I won with 7.5% of the vote in the recall election. A few months later, Barack Obama carried the state by about the same margin, about 7 points."
What he calls the "Walker/Obama" voter might sound like a creature out of political mythology, but he believes it's the key to a Republican winning in 2016.
"What we found is, to win the center, which is the key to winning states like Wisconsin, you don't have to move to the center. That's the misnomer [in Washington] that suddenly you've got to change your core principles and move more to the center. It's just the opposite with voters who are independents or swing voters or undecided, persuadable voters.
"They want leadership. We've shown that the same people who voted for me, there's a significant number of those middle-of-the-road voters who then turned around and voted for Obama." (President Obama is visiting Wisconsin on Thursday as part of his post-State of the Union tour.)
And even though he disagrees with almost all of Obama's policies, he believes Republicans could stand to take a page from his book.
"The one thing I'll give him his due on, he's a committed liberal. He's leading, he's got big, bold ideas, Obamacare being a prime example. I think that's bad policy, but at least I won't fault him for leading." Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says the Republican message should be \ Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says the Republican message should be "reform."
After inheriting a $3.6 billion budget deficit in 2011, Walker now sits comfortably on a gross general fund balance of more than $1 billion, with $279 million in a rainy day fund. He's helped lower the unemployment rate to 6.2% from 7% in 2011, and this year he is proposing to give Wisconsinites $800 million back in income and property tax cuts and withholding changes. Personal income grew 4.4% over the past year.
"If you put more money back in the hands of the people, the hard-working taxpayers of your state, they will fuel the economy. If you put more and more of it in the hands of government, they'll take it in the opposite direction."
Despite his reputation among progressives as a union-busting "bully," who was often greeted by signs comparing him to Hitler during recall protests in Madison, Scott Walker is soft-spoken and unassuming.
In a crowded room, you might not notice the 47-year-old sitting governor, sipping hot tea as he was on Saturday. He's wonky and fluent with figures but speaks affably and quickly with a wide Wisconsin accent. "Get me going on the Packers or motorcycles and I can go all day," he says.
But when he believes a policy is deleterious, he doesn't labor to couch his rhetoric in polite Midwestern niceties.
On raising the minimum wage: "It is a cheap political stunt that may be well-intentioned by some, but it has an incredibly buzz saw type effect on the economy. And it's nothing more than a photo-op to pretend that people are doing something about creating jobs."
On Obamacare: "It's been a huge wet blanket that the federal government's thrown on employers who should otherwise be starting to hire more people."
On food stamps: "Last year, I proposed and have since done a program that says if you're an adult in my state without kids and you want to get food stamps, I'm not going to give you food stamps unless you're employed part time or enrolled in one of my employment training programs." You can't win elections just by being against the other guy. Scott Walker
It's this straight-forward, principled approach to economic issues that makes Walker a darling in many right-wing circles looking for a conservative candidate for 2016 whose vision is clear-eyed and concrete, unlike what some would say was Romney's confused message.
Walker readily admits Romney wasn't clear enough on his principles.
"I'm not telling tales here because I told him this for months. ... I think [Romney's] a good man, would have been a good president. But you can't win elections just by being against the other guy. You can't win elections with the premise that it's a referendum on your opposition.
"You've got to tell people why the country would be better under your leadership. Both my [recall] opponent and Mitt Romney said, 'My opponent's awful, he's a bad guy, you shouldn't vote for him.' The winners were the ones who actually told people where they were going."
But Walker also concedes there's a fine line between no-nonsense straight talk and the kind of undisciplined and undernuanced rhetoric that's gotten some other Republicans in trouble, especially when it comes to social issues.
Walker says he "obsesses" on fiscal issues because that's what voters elected him to do. He's principled and conservative on abortion and marriage, but hey says social issues simply aren't the centerpiece of his agenda. And he blames the media and Democrats for trying to make them the centerpiece of every Republican's agenda.
"The reason the left wants to talk about those other issues and obsess about those issues is because they can't cut it when it comes to the economy and fiscal issues. They want any sort of distraction to get off-topic, off-message to go on some tangent out there to have people be distracted from what the real issues are."
His advice to fellow conservatives is to talk less about social issues and, if forced to, "it's just a simple answer and move on."
"What I try to tell Republicans is, don't take the bait. Don't change your positions -- nobody in the center wants people to flip-flop just based on whatever they think conventional wisdom is at the time. They respect people who have deeply held convictions. But what they don't want is people going off on tangents on things that don't relate to what concerns them."
As for 2016, he not surprisingly prefers two governors on the Republican ticket. What might be surprising is the model for success he thinks Republicans can channel. Why not send two proven reformers to Washington to shake things up and take on the establishment... Scott Walker
"Kind of like Bill Clinton and Al Gore were a little unconventional in '92, but what they said that worked was, we're young, we're dynamic, we're the next generation and we're ready to go. And in this case why not send two proven reformers to Washington to shake things up and take on the establishment that Hillary Clinton's been a part of almost her entire adult life?"
One nongovernor he does like? He's partial to a young congressman from Janesville, Wisconsin.
"Paul Ryan to me is one of the few exceptions out there. I think here in D.C., he's someone that thinks like a governor. He pushes reform, he's bold and aggressive."
If Republicans looking to run in 2014 or 2016 need advice, they may want to listen to Walker, whose message of "reform" certainly has a nicer, smarter ring to it than "blame Obama." And they might want to obsess a little more over fiscal issues, despite the desire of the liberal media to make abortion and same-sex marriage a 24-hour news story.
Similarly, if voters are looking for a candidate in 2016 with proven executive experience, principled leadership and a simple mission to reform unruly and broken bureaucracy, they may just want to pay attention to Walker, too.
Here is Walker on some other key issues that have been making news:
On whether Chris Christie should step down from heading the Republican Governors Association:
"No, I think in the end, he'll be fine. He's going to have his hands full in the next few months. But I talked to him the day that he had his press conference, what two hours almost? Everything that was reported there he had told me privately. So I don't hear a different message.
"And assuming, obviously a qualifier, but I have every reason to believe what he's telling me is accurate, assuming that continues, any of us, not just in a situation like this, but any of us who are pushing big, bold reform, are going to be under attack. I get attacked all the time. Other governors get attacked. I think Chris is perfectly capable of handling that."
On whether Republicans need a woman on the 2016 ticket:
"Susana Martinez has done a wonderful job in a state that's clearly a blue state. Nikki Haley's doing a great job in South Carolina. Mary Fallin is doing a super job out there [in Oklahoma]. So I don't think you have to, but the beauty of any of those three names is that none of them would be token. They'd be three proven reformers and governors."
On legalizing marijuana:
"From my standpoint, I still have concerns about making it legal. I understand from the libertarian standpoint, the argument out there. I still have concerns. I'm not, unlike the President, I still have difficulty visualizing marijuana and alcohol in the same vein.
"I've never experienced this, but I can't imagine people socially smoking the way people have a beer or two at a wedding reception. There's a huge difference out there. So in the end, I understand why people make that argument, but in our state, I don't think we're ready for that."
On an Obamacare alternative:
"The better answer to me is go the reverse direction, to a patient-centered concept, where it's market-driven and patients are the ones in charge and the tax incentives offered by states and the federal government don't discriminate between those who have employer-paid insurance or people who choose to buy it individually or choose to use it for things like health savings accounts.
"Make it the same tax incentive across the board. And in the end, you can make this about controlling cost by people making decisions based on their own health and wellness and not about the mechanical bureaucratic system and trying to reign in costs."
On raising the minimum wage:
"What it really is is dumping a so-called fresh idea off of the heap of 20 or 30 years of bad ideas of the past. And sometimes because a poll here shows people are for it a lot of politicians are afraid to take it on. I say, if you explain it to people it's not hard for people to get. It's not enough to just say 'No, I'm not for the minimum wage.'
"The better answer is to say we should be promoting pro-growth policies that make it easier for employers to not only create more jobs but grow income."
“The more than eight million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years.”
- the number of jobs in the economy still is about 1.2 million lower than when the recession began in December 2007
“A manufacturing sector that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.”
- the number of manufacturing jobs is still 500,000 fewer than when Obama took office
“Our deficits — cut by more than half.”
- The 2009 figure... reflects the impact of decisions, such as the $800 billion stimulus bill, enacted early in the president’s term. The United States still has a deficit higher than it was in nominal terms and as a percentage of gross domestic product than it was in 2008 and a debt much greater as a percentage of the overall economy than it was prior to the recession.
“Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled.”
- Close readers of the president’s speeches might have noticed an interesting shift in the president’s rhetoric. Just in December the president gave a speech on economic mobility in which he three times asserted that it was “declining” in the United States. But earlier this month, renowned economists Raj Chetty, Emmanuel Saez and colleagues published a paper based on tens of millions of tax records showing that upward mobility had not changed significantly over time. The rate essentially is the same now as it was 20 years ago.
“Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.”
- when such differences are accounted for, much of the hourly wage gap dwindled, to about 5 cents on the dollar.
“More than nine million Americans have signed up for private health insurance or Medicaid coverage.”
- no one really knows how many of the 6.3 million are in this expansion pool — or whether they are simply renewing or would have qualified for Medicaid before the new law. Indeed, the number also includes people joining Medicaid in states that chose not accept the expansion. The private insurance numbers — about 3 million — are also open to question. The troubled federal exchange counts people as enrolled if an individual has selected a plan, but it does not know if a person enrolled and paid a premium because that part of the system has yet to be built.
Fact checking Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in her response:
“Last month, more Americans stopped looking for a job than found one. Too many people are falling further and further behind because, right now, the president’s policies are making people’s lives harder.”
- [True] but the decline in the labor participation rate started well before Obama.
I inherited this and I inherited that economic problem from the previous administration, he keeps saying http://www.democrats.org/issues/economy_and_job_creation, yet the White House's own website says the last economic expansion ended exactly as Democrats including Senator Obama took majority control of congress.
obs.rc.fas.harvard.edu/chetty/mobility_trends.pdf NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES IS THE UNITED STATES STILL A LAND OF OPPORTUNITY? RECENT TRENDS IN INTERGENERATIONAL MOBILITY Raj Chetty, Bloomberg Professor of Economics at Harvard University Nathaniel Hendren, Harvard University economist Patrick Kline, Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley Emmanuel Saez, Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley Nicholas Turner, Economist, Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Department of the Treasury http://www.nber.org/papers/w19844 NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH Cambridge, MA January 2014
"We present new evidence on trends in intergenerational mobility in the U.S. using administrative earnings records. We find that percentile rank-based measures of intergenerational mobility have remained extremely stable for the 1971-1993 birth cohorts....[C]hildren entering the labor market today have the same chances of moving up in the income distribution (relative to their parents) as children born in the 1970s."
00.03% of the workforce consist of workers who live in a household below the poverty line and work full time earning minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage will worsen the employment situation, especially for the newest workers in the workforce, but is polls well. So Democrats (always) say, let's make raising it further the centerpiece of the political agenda. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-debbie-wasserman-schultz/federal-minimum-wage-increase_b_4689747.html Meanwhile we have the highest corporate taxes on the planet, the worst business regulatory climate in our nation's history, and a workforce participation rate in free fall.
What Obama Should Have Said John Stossel (2014.01.30 )
President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday wasn’t what I wanted to hear. This is what the president should have said:
“I cannot imagine what I was thinking when I pushed Obamacare. I now see it is folly to entrust government, which cannot balance its books and routinely loses track of billions of dollars, with even greater power over health care.
“If something as simple as a website is too much for government to get right, imagine what government will do to complicated medical pricing and insurance plans.
“Foolishly, my plan destroyed many sensible insurance plans — some offering catastrophic-only coverage for a lower price — exactly the insurance so many people need.
“I see my fellow Democrat, Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia, seated nearby. I take to heart his comments, which he can safely make now that he’s retiring from Congress, about how Obamacare is economically doomed, with few young people signing up but sick old people taking money out. The math doesn’t add up.
“Now that I think about it, it would be better to end government involvement in health care altogether and let people shop around for the best free-market plans, including catastrophe-only plans, depending on individual needs. Let’s try that. In fact, let’s see if I can revise other items in my agenda so they work better for consumers …
“Minimum wage laws, for example. Although a higher minimum is popular with people from both parties, minimums make no sense. The law cannot make an employee who a company values at $5 an hour become worth $10. Minimum wage laws just increase unemployment by eliminating some jobs. They don’t do the poor any favors. Let’s repeal them.
“And let’s get the feds out of the preschool business! Government does a bad job with K-12 education. Why would we think our central planning should expand? My education department funded studies of Head Start, and we were all astounded to learn that they have no effect. It’s insane to do more of something that our own research shows does not work. Education should be left to local governments and parents.
“Immigration: It’s odd that I’m seen as a friend to immigrants, given that I’ve deported more of them than the previous president did. But if we don’t want people breaking immigration laws, the best thing to do is simplify the law. Conservatives worry that people will come here to mooch off the welfare state or commit crimes. So how about letting people in with quick and simple procedures focused on checking for crime and terrorism, but saying no immigrant is eligible for welfare? That compromise makes sense.
“National Security Agency surveillance: After all the outrage over the Patriot Act, you must have been surprised, America, to discover that the NSA does even more snooping under my presidency. I will not abandon the basic governmental duty to keep citizens safe, but we should limit snooping to people whom we have probable cause to suspect might be terrorists.
“Climate: I think the greenhouse effect is real, but the evidence that humanity’s contribution to it will cause dire problems is debatable. Better to reduce Environmental Protection Agency micromanagement and let America get as rich as possible. This will help us cope with environmental side effects and afford the research necessary to find better sources of energy. Global warming is a theoretical problem. We have real problems, like reducing our debt and getting clean water to the world’s poor. (more at link)
On the R side, we keep looking for the right combination of experience. Hillary appears to have that. She was a US Senator. Has foreign policy experience. Worked in the executive branch and was involved in it with her husband.
Recently mentioned was her bald faced lying to the American people as their First Lady, excusing the predator while blaming the opposition. Clever at the moment and proven wrong. For another post, her dismal record as a US Senator. Suffice it to say, they collapsed the US economy. As Secretary of State, we should recall how it began and how it transpired.
It was a reach out to a hated rival that he chose Hillary Clinton and from then on they were such great friends, if you believe that. Pres. Obama chose Hillary Clinton as Sec of State, then he diminished that job by appointing Special Envoys to the key trouble spots in the world, George Mitchell as Special Envoy for Middle East 'peace', and Richard Holbrooke as special representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan. President Obama appointed Rashad Hussain, an Indian-American Muslim, as the United States special envoy to the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_policy_of_the_Barack_Obama_administration
In other words, Hillary held the title but the White House wanted to work through others in what they considered key areas. So Hillary traveled and traveled and traveled - to everywhere else. What did she accomplish?
Radio host Hugh Hewitt asked Politico's Maggie Haberman, who had just written a major fluff piece on Hillary Clinton in Oct 2013, to name her accomplishments as Secretary of State:
"There is not a giant list that I think people can point to".
"The biggest achievements was, and you’ve seen this pointed to a lot, was the amount of travel time she logged...", the communications professional struggled to go any further:
Politico’s Maggie Haberman Struggles To List Any Accomplishments At State By Hillary Clinton Monday, October 28, 2013
HH: Joined now by Maggie Haberman of Politico.com, who had a huge story this morning on Hillary Clinton’s potential 2016 run. Maggie, welcome, it’s good to have you on the Hugh Hewitt Show.
MH: Thanks for having me.
HH: Did the reaction to your column flow in today and raise questions about whether or not she’s actually running? Or does everyone assume she’s running?
MH: I’ve heard a mixture of reactions. I think that most people think the preponderance of evidence is that she is running. I had actually been among those who had thought she wasn’t running, and I no longer think that. It’s hard to think it after some of the speeches she’s given recently. I think most people think that there is a chance that she won’t run, that those would be for, you know, mostly personal reasons, or the unforeseen. But that chance seems pretty small at the moment.
HH: Now this is a process story that turns primarily on the argument that the biggest complaint about Clinton in 2008, and I’m quoting now, was that she ran a campaign of entitlement, showing feistiness and emotion only after Obama had surged when it was already too late. Is that what you consider, or what your sources consider to be her biggest potential problem this time around? Or is it her record as secretary of State?
MH: Well, I think that there are two different issues. And I certainly think that her approach to a campaign will be very significant in terms of how she handles it. I think that her record as secretary of State is obviously her most recent, and it is one of the pieces of her curriculum vitae that have been the least looked at, certainly in terms of repeated, in terms of the crux of a campaign and the crucible of a campaign. And I think that it’s relevant. I think that it’s going to come up a lot. I think that people around her are certainly prepared for that, or at least prepared for it to be an issue. How they handle it remains to be seen.
HH: What is her biggest achievement as secretary of State?
MH: I think that the folks around her believe that among the biggest achievements was, and you’ve seen this pointed to a lot, was the amount of travel time she logged. They felt very good about the Chinese dissident, and how the disposition of that case went in 2012. I think that what they, and what most people are prepared for is a lot of questions about the aftermath of Benghazi, and I think there was a 60 Minutes piece about that, that went out yesterday. I think there’s going to be a lot more of that. I think that this is where the fact that most people believe she is running, but she has not set up a team of any kind in any meaningful way, potentially becomes problematic, because if her folks believe that they have something to say in response to that and they’re not, they’re sort of letting time slip away from them.
HH: But pause for a moment with me on the achievement side.
HH: Articulate further. What is it that people say is her achievement? That she logged a lot of miles? What, is she running for George Clooney’s role in Up In The Air?
MH: (laughing) That has been certainly one of the focuses that her folks have talked about. They’ve also talked about how she ran a functional effort at State. Look, I think that when you hear from her world about what her accomplishments were, I think that they genuinely believe that she had made progress in terms of how America was perceived. People can agree or disagree with that. I think that that is obviously been coming into question now, and this is again something I think she’s going to have to talk about more. She’s clearly aware of that, but she’s not saying much about it so far, on the NSA issue. It’s very, very difficult for a former Obama administration official to run a sort of smoke and mirrors campaign on foreign policy. She’s going to have a very hard time doing that.
HH: Well, I know all the critiques, because I’m a conservative talk show host. So I know what all the vulnerabilities are.
HH: I’m just curious as to what they think her strengths are, other than, you know, frequent flyer miles.
MH: Look, they think that she was an effective diplomat. They think that she was good at helping America’s image globally. They have a couple of cases like the case of the Chinese dissident where they think that State played a very effective role. She was among those who was pressing for more action in Syria of a restricted type earlier on than what you saw the Obama administration ultimately do this year. But you know, look, she was not, she certainly was not part of the team that, say, was dealing with Israel. She was not integral in that way, and so I think for some of the issues that are the hottest right now, globally, she was not a key factor in them.\
HH: So a Chinese dissident? That’s it?
MH: Well, I think we will see what they issue as her biggest strength as secretary of State. That has not been a case they’ve been emphasizing so far. You’ve, I’m sure, read the New York Magazine piece, like everybody else, where they talked about again, her time as secretary of State which was largely mechanical, at least in the focus of that piece, and how they thought she had run an effective effort. Everything with Hillary Clinton gets looked at through the prism of how she manages whatever team she’s running, and that’s been where a lot of the focus has been.
HH: Well, it’s very interesting to me, though, as you report early on, they are going to try, Team Clinton is going to try and give you the talking points, which they hope then enter into the bloodstream, and into the circulatory system of Washington, D.C. that is Politico, and then out through the rest of the country. And what I’m hearing you say is they’ve got a Chinese dissident.
MH: No, I think, but I think that when you’ve asked me off the top of my head what are some of the things that her folks have pointed to over the last two years, that has certainly been one of the cases.
HH: Anything else, Maggie?
MH: Yes, there are others, but I’m just not coming up with them at the moment, but, and I’m not trying to avoid the question.
HH: Oh, I know you’re not. I just don’t think there’s anything there. I think, actually, her biggest problem is that there is no there there. She occupied the State Department, and there’s nothing to show for it. I guess there’s this Chinese dissident, but I’m, that’s not, that’s not a name that’s tripping off of my tongue right now. Do you know his name?
MH: I think that, no, at the moment, I actually cannot think of his name. I think that they’re, I think this is going to be an ongoing problem for her. I think that showing sort of a body of work at State is going to be something that she’s going to be pressed to do increasingly, and I think that running sort of a shadow campaign through paid speeches and free speeches over the course of the next year, I think is going to not cut it eventually, not just for conservative critics, but I think on the left. I think she’s going to have a problem.
HH: But doesn’t this sort of underscore the major problem? Here I am, a conservative critic, and I know the critique. And you’re a mainstream reporter, and as far as I know, you have no ideology. You’re one of the people at Politico that I don’t put on the left or the right, you’re just down the middle.
HH: And neither of us can come up with any claim that she has to having succeeded at anything, and they are not able, they didn’t spin you, because they’ve got nothing to spin you with. It’s like the washing machine’s broke.
MH: Well, we’ll see. I mean, I think we need to see what they ultimately come up, to be fair. I think that since she’s not yet running, I think looking at how they present her and present what she did there is an open question.
HH: They’ll come up with something. What I’m getting at is, how long have you been with Politico, five years?
MH: Four years, three and a half years.
HH: Okay, so almost her entire tenure at State, and I’ve been on the air since 2000. And I can’t think of anything, and I’m giving you the floor. If you can come up with anything for her case, lay it out there. Just from the top of mine, it should be front shelf, right?
MH: It certainly is not, there is not a giant list that I think people can point to.
HH: There is no list.
MH: There are a couple, and I think there’s a couple of reasons for that like I said. With the major issue of dealing with Israel, she was not front and center. And she certainly received criticism early on in terms of how the U.S. dealt with Russia. I think these are all going to be issues that she is going to have to address, and I suspect she is going to get asked about them repeatedly, and by many, many outlets.
HH: I mean, it’s just a big, we’re done, but go around the bullpen at Politico and ask them what did she do, and it’s going to be a giant whiteboard, and there’s not going to be anything on it, Maggie.
MH: I like the invocation of whiteboard, though.
HH: It is a whiteboard. Maggie Haberman, great piece today, great process piece, but boy, she’s got problems if after writing it, you don’t have the list at the tip of the tongue. The Clintonistas had better come up with a list, because there’s nothing on it. Really, nothing.
The empty suit gave an empty speech, widely called "forgettable". It didn't inspire a lot of comment on the board.
I was disappointed that he didn't use the speech as an opportunity to announce approval of the Keystone pipeline. That would be reaching to the middle. It would constructed largely with union construction jobs. Republicans would have applauded. Democrats use oil and gas. Elite liberals like to jet around. Public safety would be enhanced. He probably has to approve it at some point. Maybe he would have energized a second look at his other proposals.
Instead it was just the anti-constitutional rhetoric, if I can't do this with congress, I will do it alone. By 'year of action' he is referring to actions that kill more jobs and make energy less affordable to young people, blacks, Hispanics, women and children.
Remember how shocked people were that Pres. George H.W. Bush had not seen a grocery scanner in 1992?
Prior to Chappaqua house, the Clintons had barely owned a house, much less a car. Like most, typical middle American couples, they lived in government mansions and were driven by government drivers. It was state troopers who took Bill Clinton to his Gennifer Flowers affair.
By George F. Will, Published: January 29 Someone you probably are not familiar with has filed a suit you probably have not heard about concerning a four-word phrase you should know about. The suit could blow to smithereens something everyone has heard altogether too much about, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (hereafter, ACA).
Scott Pruitt and some kindred spirits might accelerate the ACA’s collapse by blocking another of the Obama administration’s lawless uses of the Internal Revenue Service. Pruitt was elected Oklahoma’s attorney general by promising to defend states’ prerogatives against federal encroachment, and today he and some properly litigious people elsewhere are defending a state prerogative that the ACA explicitly created. If they succeed, the ACA’s disintegration will accelerate.
Because under the ACA, insurance companies cannot refuse coverage because of an individual’s preexisting condition. Because many people might therefore wait to purchase insurance after they become sick, the ACA requires a mandate to compel people to buy insurance. And because many people cannot afford the insurance that satisfies the ACA’s criteria, the ACA mandate makes it necessary to provide subsidies for those people.
The four words that threaten disaster for the ACA say the subsidies shall be available to persons who purchase health insurance in an exchange “established by the state.” But 34 states have chosen not to establish exchanges.
So the IRS, which is charged with enforcing the ACA, has ridden to the rescue of Barack Obama’s pride and joy. Taking time off from writing regulations to restrict the political speech of Obama’s critics, the IRS has said, with its breezy indifference to legality, that subsidies shall also be dispensed to those who purchase insurance through federal exchanges the government has established in those 34 states. Pruitt is challenging the IRS in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, and there are similar challenges in Indiana, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
The IRS says its “interpretation” — it actually is a revision — of the law is “consistent with,” and justified by, the “structure of” the ACA. The IRS means that without its rule, the ACA would be unworkable and that Congress could not have meant to allow this. The ACA’s legislative history, however, demonstrates that Congress clearly — and, one might say, with malice aforethought — wanted subsidies available only through state exchanges.
Some have suggested that the language limiting subsidies to state-run exchanges is a drafting error. Well.
Some of the ACA’s myriad defects do reflect its slapdash enactment, which presaged its chaotic implementation. But the four potentially lethal words were carefully considered and express Congress’s intent.
Congress made subsidies available only through state exchanges as a means of coercing states into setting up exchanges.
In Senate Finance Committee deliberations on the ACA, Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), one of the bill’s primary authors, suggested conditioning tax credits on state compliance because only by doing so could the federal government induce state cooperation with the ACA. Then the law’s insurance requirements could be imposed on states without running afoul of constitutional law precedents that prevent the federal government from commandeering state governments. The pertinent language originated in the committee and was clarified in the Senate. (See “Taxation Without Representation: The Illegal IRS Rule To Expand Tax Credits Under The PPACA,” by Jonathan H. Adler and Michael F. Cannon in Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine.)
Also, passage of the ACA required the vote of every Democratic senator. One, Nebraska’s Ben Nelson, admirably opposed a federal exchange lest this become a steppingstone toward a single-payer system.
If courts, perhaps ultimately including the Supreme Court, disallow the IRS’s “interpretation” of the law, the ACA will not function as intended in 34 states with 65 percent of the nation’s population. If courts allow the IRS’s demarche, they will validate this:
By dispensing subsidies through federal exchanges, the IRS will spend tax revenues without congressional authorization. And by enforcing the employer mandate in states that have only federal exchanges, it will collect taxes — remember, Chief Justice John Roberts saved the ACA by declaring that the penalty enforcing the mandate is really just a tax on the act of not purchasing insurance — without congressional authorization.
If the IRS can do neither, it cannot impose penalties on employers who fail to offer ACA-approved insurance to employees.
If the IRS can do both, Congress can disband because it has become peripheral to American governance.
During a recent lunch in a restaurant, someone complimented my wife on the perfume she was wearing. But I was wholly unaware that she was wearing perfume, even though we had been in a car together for about half an hour, driving to the restaurant.
My sense of smell is very poor. But there is one thing I can smell far better than most people -- gas escaping. During my years of living on the Stanford University campus, and walking back and forth to work at my office, I more than once passed a faculty house and smelled gas escaping. When there was nobody home, I would leave a note, warning them.
When walking past the same house again a few days later, I could see where the utility company had been digging in the yard -- and, after that, there was no more smell of gas escaping. But apparently the people who lived in these homes had not smelled anything.
These little episodes have much wider implications. Most of us are much better at some things than at others, and what we are good at can vary enormously from one person to another. Despite the preoccupation -- if not obsession -- of intellectuals with equality, we are all very unequal in what we do well and what we do badly.
It may not be innate, like a sense of smell, but differences in capabilities are inescapable, and they make a big difference in what and how much we can contribute to each other's economic and other well-being. If we all had the same capabilities and the same limitations, one individual's limitations would be the same as the limitations of the entire human species.
We are lucky that we are so different, so that the capabilities of many other people can cover our limitations.
One of the problems with so many discussions of income and wealth is that the intelligentsia are so obsessed with the money that people receive that they give little or no attention to what causes money to be paid to them, in the first place.
The money itself is not wealth. Otherwise the government could make us all rich just by printing more of it. From the standpoint of a society as a whole, money is just an artificial device to give us incentives to produce real things -- goods and services.
Those goods and services are the real "wealth of nations," as Adam Smith titled his treatise on economics in the 18th century.
Yet when the intelligentsia discuss such things as the historic fortunes of people like John D. Rockefeller, they usually pay little -- if any -- attention to what it was that caused so many millions of people to voluntarily turn their individually modest sums of money over to Rockefeller, adding up to his vast fortune.
What Rockefeller did first to earn their money was find ways to bring down the cost of producing and distributing kerosene to a fraction of what it had been before his innovations. This profoundly changed the lives of millions of working people.
Before Rockefeller came along in the 19th century, the ancient saying, "The night cometh when no man can work" still applied. There were not yet electric lights, and burning kerosene for hours every night was not something that ordinary working people could afford. For many millions of people, there was little to do after dark, except go to bed.
Too many discussions of large fortunes attribute them to "greed" -- as if wanting a lot of money is enough to cause other people to hand it over to you. It is a childish idea, when you stop and think about it -- but who stops and thinks these days?
The transfer of money was a zero-sum process. What increased the wealth of society was Rockefeller's cheap kerosene that added hundreds of hours of light to people's lives annually.
Edison, Ford, the Wright brothers, and innumerable others also created unprecedented expansions of the lives of ordinary people. The individual fortunes represented a fraction of the wealth created.
Even those of us who create goods and services in more mundane ways receive income that may be very important to us, but it is what we create for others, with our widely varying capabilities, that is the real wealth of nations.
Intellectuals' obsession with income statistics -- calling envy "social justice" -- ignores vast differences in productivity that are far more fundamental to everyone's well-being. Killing the goose that lays the golden egg has ruined many economies.
Yesterday RP brought up Spermgate in the context of an interview about Hillary. Error in my opinion.
As far as most people are concerned the issue has been presented to the American people and settled and bringing it up now is going to play poorly.
When hit with the "Rep War on Women" meme, a fair rejoinder could certainly include reference to Paula Jones, Juanita Broderick (wasn't she the one Bill groped against her will in the WH when she came to ask for a job? on the very day that her husband, also a loyal Clintonite, was committing suicide? or something like that?) but in this moment RP displayed a serious tin ear on an issue that is usually a seriously weak link politically for Reps.
No, Kathleen Willey was the one groped. Juanita Broaddrick was the one raped and told: " 'You better get some ice for that.' And he put on his sunglasses and walked out the door," she recalled., http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/janedoe022099.htm, if you are inclined to believe a Democrat volunteer victim of serial predator. Paula Jones was the one summoned, intimidated, sexually harassed in the most vulgar way, and then tossed out and called white trash by his surrogates.
Hillary was the enabler - all the way through. Interview of Juanita Broaddrick in which she discloses (alleges) having been threatened by Hillary Clinton 2 weeks after (alleged) rape: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KZ8ICvutc0 (below). A''champions of women's rights' - right.
Rand Paul was bold and right, in my view, to bring the dark side of the Clinton Presidency back to public awareness. As suggested by Crafty, there is plenty more to the story. I doubt if they want to go there.
A good, well-written, and well-reasoned piece, but as best as I can tell it avoids dealing with the obvious rejoinder. Apparently the man IS guilty of breaking the campaign finance laws in a stupid and obvious way. The failure to address this point leaves me hesitant to spread this otherwise good piece forward.
None of us have any way of knowing if he is innocent or guilty. After years of him fighting back, maybe we will discover he is innocent (and that the bundling Ambassador of Norway is guilty of that same charge). The accusation (by Spencer) is enforcement targeting based on D’Souza's exercise of free speech. If true, that offense is far worse, treason IMO, and not directly related to the merits of the D’Souza case.
Targeting of tea party organizations was worse because citizens were prevented from participating in the political process without being accused of doing anything wrong.
At some point, smoking guns will emerge on such widespread targeting abuse, along with the non-enforcement of everything on the other side. The only person breaking this law happen to produce an anti-Obama documentary?
(Unfortunately, the unconstitutionality of the law being enforced on D'Souza is irrelevant.)
Meanwhile, illegal immigration is against federal law. The sale and use of marijuana in Colo and Wash state is a violation of federal law. Black Panther voter intimidation is a violation of federal law. Fast and furious gun running was a violation of federal law. IRS targeting is a violation of federal law. Where is the enforcement? DOMA, as written, was a federal law? The meaning of "the law of the land" depends on your political and/or governmental connection with those in power.
Mundy turns out to want a transformation of the family beyond basic logic. She writes:
[Davis's] the strategy is risky, in part because our notion of a single mother is rigid: Critics have been picking holes in her story, saying that she didn't live in that trailer long enough, or was too ambitious. We seem to have a pretty strict notion of who a single mother is and how she should live. Truth is, the lives of single mothers are multifaceted and hard to categorize.
It's not that hard to categorize Wendy Davis: She was among the category of "single mothers" who are married to rich dudes.
Heck, if you don't have to be single to be a single mother, it stands to reason, or whatever Mundy is substituting for it, that you don't have to be a mother either. That would make your humble columnist a single mother (James Taranto, WSJ). So don't judge us.
Bret Stephens (WSJ) today, Updatuing a story about government-mandated absolute equality, begins with:
The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General. - Kurt Vonnegut, 1961
Stephens goes on to describe America under the equality policies that President Obama will describe tonight.
"Happily, none of this harmed the economy in the slightest. Higher minimum wages have "no discernible effect on employment" ( Schmitt, 2013). High marginal tax rates have no effect on productivity and business creation (Piketty-Saez, 2011). " ... "the average height of NBA players for the 2007-08 season was just under 6 feet 7 inches. The average American male is 5 feet 9 inches. Patently unequal, patently unfair. ... demanded that the NBA establish an average-height rule that would require each team to offset taller players with shorter ones." ... "More controversial was the Grassley-Gowdy De-Ivy Act of 2018, requiring all four-year colleges, public or private, to accept students by lottery."
Bill Clinton: We Democrats think the country works better with a strong middle class, real opportunities for poor people to work their way into it and a relentless focus on the future, with business and government working together to promote growth and broadly shared prosperity. We think "we're all in this together" is a better philosophy than "you're on your own." http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/transcript-bill-clintons-democratic-convention-speech/story?id=17164662 ------------------------
This comparison says it better than I ever could. Run, hide, scream, cringe in fear when you hear about your government wanting to 'partner up' with private businesses. It sounds so nice until you think about the implications. Government picks the winners and losers. In sports, the referee partners up with one of the teams. This is a good idea? Hint: it won't be your team they choose - unless you are the largest entrenched player with the biggest budget and behind-the-scenes operation to pay them off. Business becomes the need to be in bed with the elected officials - or be destroyed. Innovation, productivity gains and meeting the market needs will no longer matter.
Government has a role in business: to enforce a level playing field fair to the participants, and to capture and protect the public from the externalities - as Crafty has pointed out. To regulate as necessary, but not to be a participate in he tcommerce, except, again, as absolutely necessary - such as to buy pens and desks for the government offices. And then only in a fair and completely open and transparent public bidding process.
Remember the uproar over no bid contracts awarded to Haliburton, even when Cheney had no financial ties to their performance, and even though no other American company had the resources to fulfill those contracts. Now Government Motors is the norm. Cash for Clunkers in their industry but not yours. Government managed health insurance companies, Solyndra, Tesla, etc. etc. The President is out there bragging about private products coming out of public investments. Beware! It is such a flagrant violation of equal protection under the law for government to unnecessarily partner up with private participants in the market.
Run, scream, hide when you hear that the government is stepping in to partner with private business. It isn't your business they will choose. And it is the destruction of equal treatment under the law.
BTW, she already had the 3am phone call - Benghazi - and failed the test. The right answer was that she hounded and drove the President for more security prior to the attack and for more assets to help during the attack and she didn't do it. She didn't do anything, even make a return phone call (as far as we know). If she did and has held back on telling us to protect the President, that would begin the separation she needs from this President. She also needs to prove she has consistently opposed government botched healthcare as well. Good luck with that.
I have previously predicted: a) She won't run. b) If she runs, she won't be the nominee. c) If she is the nominee, she won't win. d) When this proves true, it will appear so obvious in that I won't be able to brag about this prediction.
Try to imagine - packed crowds coming out in Iowa and New Hampshire, shrieking like 1963 Beattles fans, exciting for hope and change, like Hyde Park 2008, with thrills running up and down their legs - over a Hillary Rodham Clinton candidacy. I don't see it.
15,000 years ago, where I live was like Antarctica and I would be writing from under a 1/2 mile of glacial ice. We have come so far, now it is sunny here with a high today in terms of wind chill of -31 F (-35 C).
Norway is one of the most prosperous countries in the world. One might think we would send someone there there as our Ambassador who knows quite a bit and wants to learn more. Instead the President picked a Greek American, bumbling bundler. Norway is not impressed. http://www.thelocal.no/20140123/next-us-ambassador
The President, who has pissed off allies far greater than Norway, could not care less.
CRUZ: “My focus is on the abuse of power of this President. Let’s take something like the IRS scandal-“
SCHIEFFER: “Do I take that as a yes or a no?”
CRUZ: “What you can take is that my focus is standing and fighting right now in the Senate to bring back jobs and economic growth. Let me tell you something that is deeply concerning—the abuse of power from this Administration. We’ve seen multiple filmmakers prosecuted and the government’s gone after them. Whether it’s the poor fellow that did the film that the President blamed Benghazi and the terrorist attacks on, turns out that wasn’t the reason for the attack but the Administration went and put that poor fellow in jail on unrelated charges. Just this week it was broken that Dinesh D’Souza, who did a very big movie criticizing the president, is now being prosecuted by this Administration.”
CRUZ: “Can you image the reaction if the Bush Administration had went, gone and prosecuted Michael Moore and Alec Baldwin and Sean Penn?”
Is there something about leftists and lying? Wendy Davis is the latest Hero of The Left and is running for Governor as a Democrat in Texas. Ann Coulter is very much on point and funny all the way through. Read it the end where Davis blames her paraplegic opponent for the news story and complains that he hasn't "walked a day in my shoes."
The Heroism of Wendy Davis
By Ann Coulter - January 23, 2014
Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator running for governor, became a liberal superhero last June when she filibustered a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. (This was the good filibuster, not that awful filibuster three months later by Ted Cruz -- that was just grandstanding.)
Apart from her enthusiasm for abortion (and you have to admit, abortion is really cool), the centerpiece of Davis' campaign is her life story. Also the fact that she's a progressive woman who doesn't look like Betty Friedan.
In a typical formulation, Time magazine said Davis was someone who could give the Democrats "'real people' credibility," based on "her own personal story -- an absent father, a sixth-grade-educated mother, a teen pregnancy, followed by life as a single mom in a mobile home, then community college and, at last, Harvard Law School."
The headlines capture the essence of Wendy-mania:
CNN: Wendy Davis: From Teen Mom to Harvard Law to Famous Filibuster
Bloomberg: Texas Filibuster Star Rose From Teen Mom to Harvard Law
The Independent (UK): Wendy Davis: Single Mother From Trailer Park Who Has Become Heroine of Pro-Choice Movement
Cosmopolitan: Find a Sugar Daddy to Put You Through Law School!
Actually, that last one I made up, but as we now know, it's more accurate than Davis' rags-to-riches life story.
The truth was gently revealed in the Dallas Morning News this week. Far from an attack, this was a puff-piece written by Wayne Slater, rabid partisan Democratic hack and co-author of the book, "Bush's Brain." (He is not an admirer of Bush's brain.) It would be like Sean Hannity breaking a scandal about Ted Cruz.
The first hint that Slater was trying to help Davis get ahead of the story and tilt it her way is his comment that Davis' life story is "more complicated" than her version -- i.e., completely the opposite -- adding, "as often happens when public figures aim to define themselves."
Actually, the truth is much simpler than her story. Also, be sure to look for that "as often happens" excuse the next time a Republican gets caught lying about his resume.
Slater's peculiar obsession with whether Davis was 19 or 21 when she got her first divorce, and exactly how long she lived in a trailer home, is meant to deflect attention from something much more problematic: the huge whoppers Davis told.
Her big lies were about the obstacles she had to overcome and how she overcame them, not about how old she was at the time of her first divorce.
She claims she was raised by a single mother, went to work at age 14 to support her family, became a single mother herself in her teens, and then -- by sheer pluck and determination -- pulled herself out of the trailer park to graduate from Harvard Law School!
The truth is less coal-miner's daughter than gold-digger who found a sugar daddy to raise her kids and pay for her education.
Point No. 1: Davis' family wasn't working-class. Her father owned a sandwich shop and a dinner theater, which puts Davis solidly into middle-class land.
Point No. 2: No one who works at MSNBC would know this, but everyone whose parents run a family business starts work at age 14, if not sooner.
Point No. 3: Her parents were separated, but that is not the commonly accepted meaning of "single mother."
Point No. 4: As for being a single mother at age 19 -- she wasn't a "single mother" in the traditional sense, either. She was married at age 18, had a child at 19 and divorced her first husband, a construction worker, at 21. (He couldn't afford tuition at Harvard.)
So she got married young? That isn't a hard-luck story. Well into the 1950s, nearly half of all first-born children were born to married women under the age of 20.
But Wendy Davis' harrowing nightmare of poverty and sacrifice wasn't over yet.
Just a few years after her first divorce, Wendy was on the make, asking to date Jeff Davis, a rich lawyer 13 years her senior, who frequented her father's dinner club. In short order, they married and had a child together.
The next thing Jeff Davis knew, he was paying off her college tuition, raising their kids by himself and taking out a loan to send her to Harvard Law School.
(Feminists rushed to the stores to buy the shoes Davis wore during her famous filibuster. I'd like the shoes she was wearing when she met her sugar daddy.)
Then Wendy left her kids with the sugar daddy in Texas -- even the daughter from her first marriage -- while she attended Harvard Law.
Slater says Davis' kids lived with Jeff Davis in Texas while she attended law school. Wendy Davis claims her girls lived with her during her first year of law school. Let's say that's true. Why not the other two years? And what was the matter with the University of Texas Law School?
Sorry, MSNBC, I know you want to fixate on how many months Davis spent in the trailer park and her precise age when the first divorce went through. And that would be an incredibly stupid thing for conservatives to obsess on, if they were, in fact, obsessing on it. But I'm still stuck on her leaving her kids behind while she headed off to a law school 1,500 miles away.
The reason Wendy Davis' apocryphal story was impressive is that single mothers have to run a household, take care of kids and provide for a family all by themselves. But Wendy was neither supporting her kids, nor raising them. If someone else is taking care of your kids and paying your tuition, that's not amazing.
Hey -- maybe Jeff Davis should run for governor! He's the one who raised two kids, including a stepdaughter, while holding down a job and paying for his wife's law school. There's a hard-luck story!
Mr. Davis told the Dallas Morning News that Wendy dumped him as soon as he had finished paying off her Harvard Law School loan. "It was ironic," he said. "I made the last payment, and it was the next day she left."
In his defense, a lot of people are confused about the meaning of "ironic." That's not "ironic." Rather, it's what we call: "entirely predictable."
It's ironic -- my car stopped running right after I ran out of gas.
It's ironic -- my house was broken into, and the next thing I knew all my valuables were missing.
It's ironic -- I was punched in the face right before my nose broke.
In his petition for divorce, Mr. Davis accused his wife of adultery. The court made no finding on infidelity, but awarded him full custody of their underage child and ordered Wendy to pay child support.
Wendy boasted to the Dallas Morning News: "I very willingly, as part of my divorce settlement, paid child support." Would a divorced dad get a medal for saying that?
In response to Wayne Slater's faux-"expose," naturally Davis put out a statement denouncing ... her probable Republican opponent, Greg Abbott. Again, Slater wrote the story. But Davis blathered on, blaming Abbott for the Dallas Morning News story and complaining that he hasn't "walked a day in my shoes."
About that she's certainly right. Greg Abbott could never walk a day in her shoes or anyone else's. He's a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair.
I guess Wendy could teach him a lot about suffering.
Davis also said these attacks "won't work, because my story is the story of millions of Texas women ..." Yes, for example, Anna Nicole Smith. Though at least Smith had the decency not to ask for a paid education.
ccp wrote: "I am sick and tired of hearing how women don't get paid the same as men. I can tell you in health care that is simply bogus. Women may make less than men overall but that is by THEIR design. There are NO conspiracies going on to KEEP WOMEN DOWN. They get reimbursed the same from Medicare, Medicaid, insurers the same as the rest of us."
I love Allen West, but he is not of the depth to go further than Congressman. Herman Cain had a moment in the sun, but has done little WORK since then and appears to have been a johhny-one-note Ben Carson has our attention, but has ZERO political experience, and essentially no executive experience, and is a cipher on foreign affairs. Clarence Thomas is a Justice, not a political figure. Condaleeza Rice was not a Secretary of State of note. Other than that she is pure academic; she lacks political experience, executive experience, etc. Of course I agree that all have been treated quite unfairly, but IMHO we need to keep looking.
I agree with the shortcomings presented but predict Ben Carson will be a contender if he runs. He can make a valuable contribution to the debates.
I prefer someone who served at least two terms as governor, a solid congressional record and an extensive foreign policy background. And speaks English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Russian. ) Mostly the job entails communication and decision making and I hope we pick the very best.
My first choice is still Marco Rubio. Given Carson's limited political and foreign policy experience, he may be better suited to start as VP on the ticket, serving ambassador and spokesman for freedom seeking policies and breaking ties in the Senate.
"we need to keep looking" - If the list provided offers no hope, we may be looking at a very narrow list. The candidates with solid Governor-level executive experience mostly have no foreign policy experience. The ones with foreign policy experience have mostly never run anything like state or nation. Yet we will pick one candidate, and that one person will be the last person left to stand up to the Democrats and Candy Crowleys of the final stretch, and to stand up to congress, the federal bureacracy, the tax code, welfare system, Chi-comms, Putins, terror networks and other challenges of leading and governing the USA.
The pains that the administration has gone to differentiate between core al Qaeda and all of these splinter groups:
It's not only an excuse, a way to explain his way out of why he has failed on all these issues; it's also a demonstration, a shocking demonstration of his strategic shallowness. You know, it's the example of, you know, it's not the Lakers. The whole strategy of al Qaeda as explained by al-Zawahiri and Obama bin laden was to establish regional and local insurgencies to attack the Arab states who they saw as acting in the interest of the infidels, starting with Saudi Arabia. The whole idea was local insurgencies with a global perspective. I think Obama still to this day after half a decade doesn't understand at all who we are and who he is up against in the war on terror.
What do young Americans want? Something different from what they've been getting from the president they voted for by such large margins. Evidence comes in from various polls. Voters under 30, the millennial generation, produced numbers for Barack Obama 13 percentage points above the national average in 2008 and 9 points above in 2012.
But in recent polls, Obama approval among those under 30 has been higher than the national average by only 1 percentage point (Quinnipiac), 2 points (ABC/Washington Post) and 3 points (YouGov/Economist). Those differences are statistically significant. And that's politically significant, since a higher percentage of millennials than of the general population are Hispanic or black.
The reasons for Millennials' decreased approval of Obama become clear from a Harvard Institute of Politics poll of 18- to 29-year-olds conducted in November. That poll shows Obama's job approval dipping to 41 percent, down from 52 percent in April 2013 and the lowest rating in any HIOP survey.
One reason for the decline is Obamacare. Only 38 percent approved of Obamacare (39 percent approved of "the Affordable Care Act"). Only 29 percent of those who were uninsured said they would definitely or probably enroll in the health insurance exchanges. Those results were registered five to nine weeks after the Oct. 1 healthcare.gov rollout. Tech-savvy millennials must have been astonished that government produced a website that didn't work. They also perceived, accurately, that Obamacare health insurance would cost them a lot. The law passed by Democrats elected in large part with millennial votes was designed to have people under 30 subsidize the insurance premiums of those older, less healthy people over 50.
The old tend to have significant net worth, and the young -- with credit card and student loan debt -- tend to owe more than they own. Evidently, the Obama Democrats think it's progressive for the young to subsidize the working-age old. That, after all, is the essence of Social Security, whose benefits some left-wing Democrats want to increase.
But millennials, whose penchant for volunteering is admirably high, are not being simply selfish. The Harvard survey also finds that they tend to believe, by a 44- to 17-percent margin, that the quality of their health care will get worse under Obamacare. That's speculation, of course. But it suggests a healthy skepticism about the ability of a government, a government that lied about whether you could keep your insurance and your doctor, and couldn't construct a workable website, to produce a system that will improve service delivery.
That skepticism may owe something to young Americans' experience with student loans. Some 57 percent of the Harvard study millennials say that student loan debt is a major problem for young people. The responses don't vary much by political party identification.
Once again, the millennials have a point. The Obama administration did not initiate government student loans, but it continues to speak of them approvingly. Yet it's obvious that the vast sums government-subsidized student loans have pumped into higher education over the last three decades have been largely captured by colleges and universities and transformed into administrative bloat.
Economics blogger Timothy Taylor notes that if you count prices in 1982-84 as 100, the average cost of all items in the consumer price index increased to 231 in September 2012. Energy, housing and transportation all increased about that much.
But college and tuition fees increased to 706 -- seven times the level when the government started pumping money into higher ed. Medical care increased to more than 400.
Some things that young people buy increased much less -- apparel (127), toys (53) and televisions (5, thanks to quality improvement).
But suddenly, in their early adult years, millennials find themselves socked with the inflated costs of higher education and, thanks to Obamacare, those of older people's health care.
In the meantime, in the Obama new normal economy, they aren't finding jobs -- and may be giving up on looking for them. Labor force participation among those 55 and over has held steady since 2009. But labor force participation among those younger has been declining, as have earnings of college graduates. The combination of higher education and health care costs and the new normal economy amount to what analyst Walter Russell Mead calls "the war on the young."
No wonder they're unhappy with the president who promised hope and change. Maybe they're in the market for an alternative.
Sen. Rubio Proposes Consolidating Poverty Funding January 8, 2014 Sen. Marco Rubio, considered a leading GOP presidential candidate in 2016, called for the federal government to consolidate all of its antipoverty funding into one agency, which would then direct money to states so that its use can be tailored for local needs.
Rubio PAC Jumps In Big to Aid Tom Cotton in Arkansas December 4, 2013 Sen. Marco Rubio plans to come to the aid of a House Republican colleague this week with an oversized TV ad buy in Arkansas supporting the Senate campaign of Rep. Tom Cotton.
Rubio Says He'll Oppose Yellen to Head the Fed November 21, 2013 Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) said he will oppose Janet Yellen, President Obama's nominee to lead the Federal The Florida Republican and potential 2016 presidential candidate criticized the economic effects of the Fed’s recent stimulus efforts, which have been supported by Ms. Yellen, currently the vice chairwoman of its Board of Governors. “Altogether, she has championed policies that have diminished people’s purchasing power by weakening the dollar, made long-term savings less attractive by diminishing returns on this important behavior, and put the U.S. economy at increased risk of higher inflation and another future boom-bust,” Mr. Rubio wrote in a statement Thursday. “I don’t have the confidence that she is the best choice to lead this independent institution in the years to come.”
Marco Rubio: No Bailouts for ObamaCare November 18, 2013 The health-care law's 'risk corridors' could result in a huge taxpayer burden. Rubio: "It is a damning indictment of ObamaCare's viability when the president's only response to people losing their health insurance plans entails putting them on the hook for bailing out insurance companies. The American people are already being directly hurt by ObamaCare's early failures, and it is unconscionable that they be expected to bail out companies when more failures emerge."
During the uproar over his reforms to Wisconsin's labor laws, Republican Gov. Scott Walker got used to shrugging off bad polls. He was jarred out of his complacency one day though when a woman asked him, “Scott, why are you doing this?”
That was because the woman was his wife, Tonette. He had assumed she understood what he was doing, only to learn that she was skeptical, too.
“If my own wife didn’t see why we needed to change collective bargaining, how could I expect the voters of Wisconsin to see it?” he recalled. He then redoubled his efforts to explain his reforms.
The anecdote comes from Walker's recently-published account of his epic 2011 legislative showdown and subsequent recall election, Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge. It isn't the definitive account -- that would be last year's More Than They Bargained For: Scott Walker: Unions, and the Fight for Wisconsin, by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporters Jason Stein and Patrick Marley -- but it is a candid, inside look at Walker's trials.
He draws a lot of lessons from the experience, and not always ones other conservatives will automatically agree with. He is simultaneously a bold, swing-for-the-fences guy and a pragmatic leader mindful that he governs a swing state.
Walker makes clear that he believes public-sector unionism is incompatible with good, effective government. He argues it is inherently corrupt because the unions' political clout makes elected officials indebted to them.
His initial plan was to simply end it in the Badger State altogether. But Republican statehouse leaders nixed this, cautioning that many would see it as an attack on the workers themselves.
Instead, their compromise allowed collective bargaining, but ended automatic dues deduction from workers’ paychecks, required annual union recertification votes and limited bargaining mainly to wages.
“The changes actually improved our bill because they put the unions’ fate in the hands of their own members,” Walker wrote. Many union members apparently appreciated this. Walker won 25 percent of their vote in the 2012 recall.
He warns that “austerity is not the answer.” Simply cutting government is not enough and will actually drive people away in hard times. Walker consistently made the case that his reforms would free up money to prevent government worker layoffs or drastic cuts in services. For example, they enabled Wisconsin schools to competitively bid for health insurance rather than using a union-affiliated company, saving millions.
Picking your battles wisely is another theme. Walker’s reforms were audacious but doable. Republicans had majorities in both statehouse chambers at the time. Even after 14 Democrats fled the state to deprive the GOP of a quorum, all that was needed was a little tweaking to push the bill through.
Turning the other cheek is also advocated. The governor was subjected to a torrent of abuse in 2011-12, but never responded in kind. This enabled him to claim the moral high ground. When he won the recall, he was tempted to use the protester’s chant, “This is what democracy looks like,” in his victory speech — but didn’t. He didn’t want to rub their noses in it.
And finally, Walker was, by his own admission, simply lucky. The state only allowed recall elections after the targeted official had been in office for a year, which gave him time to argue his reforms were working. He would have lost otherwise, he writes. A bitter split between the Democrats and the unions over who would challenge him also helped.
Conservative principles don’t automatically equate to electoral success. To win, he argues, Republicans must present themselves as forward-thinking reformers addressing real problems — and beholden only to the people: “When you set the pace of reform, voters will see you as someone who is constantly trying to make things better. And your opponents will be forced to respond to your agenda rather than setting one for you.”
Someone summarized Barack Obama in three words -- "educated," "smart" and "ignorant." Unfortunately, those same three words would describe all too many of the people who come out of our most prestigious colleges and universities today.
President Obama seems completely unaware of how many of the policies he is trying to impose have been tried before, in many times and places around the world, and have failed time and again. Economic equality?
That was tried in the 19th century, in communities set up by Robert Owen, the man who coined the term "socialism." Those communities all collapsed.
It was tried even earlier, in 18th century Georgia, when that was a British colony. People in Georgia ended up fleeing to other colonies, as many other people would vote with their feet in the 20th century, by fleeing many other societies around the world that were established in the name of economic equality.
But who reads history these days? Moreover, those parts of history that would undermine the vision of the left -- which prevails in our education system from elementary school to postgraduate study -- are not likely to get much attention.
The net results are bright people, with impressive degrees, who have been told for years how brilliant they are, but who are often ignorant of facts that might cause them to question what they have been indoctrinated with in schools and colleges.
Recently Kirsten Powers repeated on Fox News Channel the discredited claim that women are paid only about three-quarters of what a man is paid for doing the same work.
But there have been empirical studies, going back for decades, showing that there is no such gap when the women and men are in the same occupation, with the same skills, experience, education, hours of work and continuous years of full-time work.
Income differences between the sexes reflect the fact that women and men differ in all these things -- and more. Young male doctors earn much more than young female doctors. But young male doctors work over 500 hours a year more than young female doctors.
Then there is the current hysteria which claims that people in the famous "top one percent" have incomes that are rising sharply and absorbing a wholly disproportionate share of all the income in the country.
But check out a Treasury Department study titled "Income Mobility in the U.S. from 1996 to 2005." It uses income tax data, showing that people who were in the top one percent in 1996 had their incomes fall -- repeat, fall -- by 26 percent by 2005.
What about the other studies that seem to say the opposite? Those are studies of income brackets, not studies of the flesh-and-blood human beings who are moving from one bracket to another over time. More than half the people who were in the top one percent in 1996 were no longer there in 2005.
This is hardly surprising when you consider that their incomes were going down while there was widespread hysteria over the belief that their incomes were going up.
Empirical studies that follow income brackets over time repeatedly reach opposite conclusions from studies that follow individuals. But people in the media, in politics and even in academia, cite statistics about income brackets as if they are discussing what happens to actual human beings over time.
All too often when liberals cite statistics, they forget the statisticians' warning that correlation is not causation.
For example the New York Times crusaded for government-provided prenatal care, citing the fact that black mothers had prenatal care less often than white mothers -- and that there were higher rates of infant mortality among blacks.
But was correlation causation? American women of Chinese, Japanese and Filipino ancestry also had less prenatal care than whites -- and lower rates of infant mortality than either blacks or whites.
When statistics showed that black applicants for conventional mortgage loans were turned down at twice the rate for white applicants, the media went ballistic crying racial discrimination. But whites were turned down almost twice as often as Asian Americans -- and no one thinks that is racial discrimination.
No half measures. 100 dollar an hour minimum wage!
Why screw up only the most crucial markets like labor, healthcare, food, energy, transportation. Let's have a really high federal minimum price on everything - and see if that makes us richer! -------------------
http://www.nber.org/papers/w18681 Neumark (University of California at Irvine), Wascher (Federal Reserve Board) We conclude that the evidence still shows that minimum wages pose a tradeoff of higher wages for some against job losses for others, and that policymakers need to bear this tradeoff in mind when making decisions about increasing the minimum wage. -------------------
Regarding the minimum wage, here is some data for Western Europe:
There are nine countries (in Western Europe) with a minimum wage (Belgium, Netherlands, Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Luxembourg). Their unemployment rates range from 5.9% in Luxembourg to 27.6% in Greece. The median country is France with 11.1% unemployment.
There are nine countries with no minimum wage (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland.) Five of the nine have a lower unemployment rate than Luxembourg, the best of the other group. The median country is Iceland, with a 5.5% unemployment rate.
Still want to raise our minimum wage to $10? The biggest country in Europe is Germany. No minimum wage and 5.2% unemployment. Germany used to have really high unemployment. Then they did labor reforms to allow more low wage jobs, combined with subsidies for low wage workers. Now they don’t have high unemployment.
Economists Joseph J. Sabia (San Diego State) and Richard V. Burkhauser (Cornell) examined the effects of state minimum wage increases between 2003 and 2007 and reported that they found no evidence the increases lowered state poverty rates.
Further, they calculated the effects of a proposed increase in the federal minimum wage to $9.50 on workers then earning $5.70 (or 15 cents less than the minimum in March 2008) to $9.49. They found that if the federal minimum wage were increased to $9.50 per hour:
. Only 11.3 percent of workers who would gain from the increase live in households officially defined as poor. . A whopping 63.2 percent of workers who would gain were second or even third earners living in households with incomes equal to twice the poverty line or more. . Some 42.3 percent of workers who would gain were second or even third earners who live in households that have incomes equal to three times the poverty line or more.
It is good to have false claims debunked. Still there are quite a few other questions about his education that weren't asked or answered.
The birth certificate question was always a non-starter. His mom was a US citizen from Kansas. Couldn't she give birth anywhere in the world and her viable fetus becomes a citizen? It was the way they dodged the question that led people to think something else was there.
Maybe he is only flavor of the week, but the sudden media obsession is interesting. This piece, aimed at liberals, mostly sets a tone of ripping him for not only being the anti-Hillary, he is the anti-Obama.
While we were all fighting against fossil fuel pipeline, fracking, refusing to build refineries, making faux-investments in solar and wind and closing down nuclear plants in the name of safety around the world, guess what happened...
Coal was the fastest growing energy source in the world in 2013.
Does someone want to tell me that is cleaner or safer than nuclear, gasoline or natural gas? Good luck.
About the author who hails from the political left; Mondale, Gore, Clinton. The left loves to opine, "what about the poor". I also ask what about the middle class? 70% live from paycheck to paycheck. That is more than just the poor. And what about the remarkable advantages the wealthy have that are not available to others? Some on the right speak we should not even focus on class. America is not about classes. We are not to be divided into such groups. I like Galston's attempt at trying to find some common ground. But he still seems bent on what can the State do about it? For example. Today we know that a fair chance to succeed includes reaching Kindergarten with the ability to read. Is this true? ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Galston
Galston: Where Right and Left Agree on Inequality
I should be happy with half agreement but what he says about poverty is bunk. We don't have widespread real poverty in America. We don't have real have-nots. What we have are earn-nots. Generations of people in many areas grow up in an environment where no one had to go out and earn everything that they have, no matter how much, no matter how little. The nature of the dependency society is that we cannot end it. I know we need a true safety net for people in real need. But we can't even talk about the damage these programs do to millions and millions of recipients. Look at debate over the extension of unemployment benefits to eternity in the new-normal, non-emergency economy. An entrepreneur response is what a trained, skilled, resilient worker who has a family to feed does when he or she can't find someone else to hire them for a conventional job. When we pay you not to do that, you will not do that, for the most part. But politically, today, we can't even discuss it much less fix it.
He looks interesting, but he is running as a Washington outsider. Is this true, given these: Chief of staff at the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy Assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services During the final two years of the Bush administration, Sasse dealt with health policy every day
Close enough to see and know the mess. Not close enough to have caused it.