Weekly Standard

Study shows ObamaCare makes insurance coverage more expensive

The White House is beginning yet another push to sell ObamaCare to a skeptical American public, Politico reported on Friday, in an effort to try to get the uninsured to take part in the state health insurance exchanges, which are expected to open on October 1st.

Participation in ObamaCare’s state insurance exchanges, especially from young Americans, will be a measure of “success” for the administration amid implementation problems, delays of key provisions, and rising premiums that have been attributed to the law. Polls continue to show that Americans disapprove of the law and want it repealed

The White House is so desperate for good news with ObamaCare that they’re literally trying to put some very odd spin on news stories about the law. The Weekly Standard points to one very odd recent example:

David Simas, a White House staffer, tweets (and the White House retweets) a link to an article and adds, “More good ACA [Obamacare] news. 21% savings on premiums for Ohioans who buy their own health insurance because of the ACA.”

House Democrat: Employer mandate delay was politically motivated

Employer Mandate meme

Nothing gets past Rep. Kurt Schrader. The Oregon Democrat has figured out that the administration’s delay of ObamaCare’s employer mandate was politically motivated.

The Weekly Standard notes that Schrader made the admission in response to a question from a viewer during a local television appearance.

“Why are ‘Obamacare’ employer mandates held off until after the next election?” asked the viewer. “Sounds like they want to retain Congress people before we get clobbered with much higher insurance rates.”

Schrader replied, “Well, I don’t know.”

“I have my suspicions about the political motivations here, too. I’d be less than honest if I [hadn’t] said that,” added Schrader before going onto discuss the concerns he’s heard from the business community.

There’s no question that the employer mandate delay was an attempt to save congressional Democrats in 2014.

Toomey Spokesman: Background Check Measure “Unlikely” to Come Up Again

As noted earlier this week, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), the primary sponsor of the expanded background checks amendment that failed last month in the Senate, told Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday that he would continue to gather votes in hopes to bring the measure up again as a “clean bill.”

Wallace had asked Manchin about comments made by the measure’s co-sponsor, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who said that he thought the issue was done in the chamber and that he would be returning his attention to “economic and fiscal matters.”

“I don’t think he’s done. I really don’t know,” Manchin told Wallace. “I was with Pat last night and Pat’s totally committed to this bill and I believe that with all of my heart and we’re going to work this bill — when people read the bill, just take time to read the bill.”

Via the Weekly Standard, Toomey has reiterated his view that the push for greater gun control measures is done in the Senate, at least for now:

Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the dynamic duo who drafted a gun sale background check compromise bill, find themselves divided now on the future of gun control.

Bill Kristol’s State of Denial about the Conservative Movement

Bill Kristol

During an appearance yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and a prominent neo-conservative, knocked Sen. Rand Paul, who led a 13-hour filibuster over the nomination of John Brennan to the CIA.

Kristol, who endorsed raising taxes on higher-income earners during the “fiscal cliff” because of defense spending cuts, told Chris Wallace that the reason the Republican Party has been so successful is “because it has been the party of strong national security.”

“[Y]ou can say they are moss-covered, but some of us are proud to have come to Washington to work in a very minor role for Ronald Reagan, and some of us are proud to have supported the Bush administration after 9/11, and fighting our enemies,” Kristol continued. “And the problem with the Obama administration is not that it is too assertive in the war on terror. The problem with the Obama administration is that we are retreating all around the world, and unfortunately, emboldening our enemies.”

After the filibuster, Kristol aligned himself with Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, calling Sen. Paul the “spokesman for the Code Pink faction of the Republican party,” a reference to the anti-war group’s praise of the filibuster.

Kristol further added, “So if Rand Paul wants to run to the left of the Obama administration, he’s free to try that in the Republican primary, and maybe there is more support for that than I think, but I’m pretty doubtful that there really is.”

National Review comes out against Newt Gingrich

Despite his rise in the polls, not all conservatives are sold on Newt Gingrich. In recent days, Gingrich’s shortcomings as Speaker, his inconsistencies, and support for a bigger, more intrusive government have been the focal point of many in the right-leaning blogosphere.

In recent days, Gingrich has been rightfully criticized by Fred Barnes and George Will for comments about Mitt Romney’s time in the private sector. While Gingrich passes these off as a “joke,” it’s clear that he doesn’t understand the difference between capitalism (the concept of profit and loss) and corporatism, which he engaged in during his time as a lobbyist for Freddie Mac.

To make his growing problem worse, the editors of the conservative National Review came out strongly against Gingrich’s candidacy yesterday:

Paul Ryan rules out bid for GOP nomination

Despite speculation - largely due to the folks at The Weekly Standard - that he was considering a bid for the GOP nomination for president, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) put the rumors to rest yesterday:

GOP congressman Paul Ryan said Monday he has ruled out running for president in 2012, amid another round of political speculation about his potential interest in the campaign.

“I sincerely appreciate the support from those eager to chart a brighter future for the next generation.  While humbled by the encouragement, I have not changed my mind, and therefore I am not seeking our party’s nomination for President,” Ryan said in a statement.
[…]
The House budget chairman from Janesville has been urged to jump into the race by some GOP insiders dissatisfied with the current field, which is led by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann from Minnesota. Ryan’s fans within the party see him as a skilled, swing-state politician who can make the party’s best case for attacking the federal debt and overhauling entitlement programs. At the same time, some Democrats have argued that the Medicare changes he’s proposing would be a huge liability for a GOP ticket.

“I remain hopeful that our party will nominate a candidate committed to a pro-growth agenda of reform that restores the promise and prosperity of our exceptional nation,” said Ryan in the statement.

In an earlier interview this summer with the Journal Sentinel, Ryan cited at least two reasons for not running: his family (he has three young children) and wanting to see through, in Congress, the debate he started there with his controversial House budget plan, which makes sweeping changes to Medicare and Medicaid.

Did the stimulus work?

All economic discussion here lately really tends to boil down to the question of whether the stimulus programs by Presidents Bush and Obama worked.  For most Americans, they’re willing to forgive a great many sins if they actually worked.  I could sit down and take a look at what is what, but why bother?  Lawrence Lindsey at The Weekly Standard already did it.

Here’s the part that really stuck with me:

Government policies to “stimulate” growth have not done so. Everyone except flacks for the White House knows that the 2009 stimulus package failed miserably to produce the promised results. But even if you buy the White House’s argument that the $800 billion package created 3 million jobs, that works out to $266,000 per job. Taxing or borrowing $266,000 from the private sector to create a single job is simply not a cost effective way of putting America back to work. The long-term debt burden of that $266,000 swamps any benefit that the single job created might provide.

We spent $266,000 – which has to be paid for via taxation – to create a single job.  Unless that job is Warren Buffet’s equivalent in income, I think we all got screwed on the deal.

However, remember the horror stories we were told of what live would be like without the stimulus, and how awesome we would be doing if we passed the stimulus?  Well, without the stimulus, we were told that unemployment could reach as high as 9%, but that if we passed it we would never see unemployment greater than 8%.  Well, we passed it.  The result?

From Economic Policies for the 21st Century:

Election analysts see 50 seat pickup for GOP in the House

With two weeks to go more prognosticators are making their predictions for November 2nd and they’re pretty much saying the same thing…Republicans will take the House, but Democratics will hold majority in the Senate, though it will be much slimmer.

Charlie Cook notes that races for both chambers are tightening, but the momentum is still in Republicans’ corner:

Republicans are still headed for a big year. My hunch is that GOP gains will be roughly comparable to 1994, when the party picked up 52 House seats and eight Senate seats. Over the past two weeks, Democratic performance has improved in some places and deteriorated in others, making any sweeping generalizations difficult.

Dem consultant accused of pushing conservative reporter

When your campaign is faltering the last thing you need is someone associated with you that is caught on tape trying to rough up people trying to ask you a question.

On Tuesday evening while trying to have some questions answered by Martha Coakley, Democratic nominee for United States Senate in Massachusetts, John McCormack of the Weekly Standard was shoved to the ground by Michael Meehan, a Democratic campaign consultant, with Coakley watching.

It may not be that Meehan actually pushed him to the ground, but he definitely tries to physically prevent him from walking down the street. Perception is reality.

A True Nightmare: Obama Catering to Neo-cons

Max Boot, a contributing editor of the fervently neoconservative publication The Weekly Standard and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations has stated what progressives and libertarians dread most, that Obama is warming up nicely to neoconservatives in Washington. Some might contend that his appointments thus far have gained more approval from the statist right than from his own party. Maxx Boot in his own words regarding the matter-

 


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