Glorious #Obamacare success story! Alabama widows kicked off their insurance plans!

April 17, 2014
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

The law of unintended consequences (1) strikes again. First widows; are orphans next?

(Transcript via The Weekly Standard)

“More than two dozen widows who were married to retired Madison county employees, lost their health insurance coverage earlier this year. And now one commissioner says it’s time to give it back to them. The change was sparked by the new federal health care law, but whether or not coverage can actually be restored really isn’t clear,” said the anchor.

Says the reporter, “Madison county commissioner Roger Jones says no one realized just how much the new federal health care law would change things, especially for the spouses of some of his former employees.”
 
“A lot of these people are on fixed incomes, low fixed incomes. Some of them are living on Social Security and very little else and health insurance is very important to them,” says the county commissioner.

Essentially, the county had self-insured and provided coverage to the widows of its former employees. It’s a nice benefit, something I gather isn’t all that common.

But things changed when our glorious new healthcare act became law and we started to find out what was in it: Madison county discovered that, thanks to all the new requirements, it would cost them an extra $25,000,000 to cover the widows. They didn’t have the money, so guess who lost their insurance?

Apologists might argue that the county or state could raise taxes and fees to cover the expenses, or, even if they couldn’t, the widows still have Medicare and Medicaid (Oh, joy.) available, thanks to the ACA. So it’s not really a problem, right? Just a few bugs to work out.

But that’s not the point. These people had an insurance plan that met their needs, and the county was honoring its promise to its employees. There was no good reason for government to come in like a bull in a china shop and wreck those arrangements. Now, thanks to Barack Obama and the Democratic Party (2), you literally have widows on fixed incomes left without health insurance. And who knows how many places in America this story or ones similar to it are playing out?

This thing is an anti-constitutional monstrosity and it has got to go.

RELATED: More from Hot Air on the difficulties of restoring coverage to these people.

Footnote:
(1) Also known as: “Things that inevitably happen when a bunch of arrogant fools think they can control by bureaucratic ukase a complex, varied economy composed of millions of individuals with highly varied needs.”
(2) Remember, kids, not a single Republican voted for this mess, and we’ve been warning it would be a train wreck from Day One.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Western Washington University: “Help us be less White!”

April 16, 2014

clueless1

Here’s a thought experiment for you: Imagine a university that, through sheer chance, wound up with a mostly Black or Asian student body. Concerned faculty meet, their brows furrowed gravely. What can be done to fix this problem?

And then, a solution! Solicit advice from students and alumni on how the university can make itself  “more White.”

And now imagine the national furor that would erupt.

That’s what should happen to Western Washington University in Bellingham, which is worried that it is too White:

Western Washington University sent a questionnaire to students asking them for advice on how the administration could succeed at making sure that in future years, “we are not as white as we are today.”

The question notes that WWU’s racial make up does not perfectly reflect the nation at large, and asks students to consider strategies that other universities have used to focus on skin color as the paramount indicator of a student-applicant’s worth.

The president of WWU has stated that his explicit goal is to reduce the white population on campus, according to Campus Reform.

“I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, that we as a faculty and staff and student body, as an administration, if we 10 years from now are as white as we are today, we will have failed as a university,” said Bruce Shepard, president of WWU, in a 2012 address.

Maybe I’m just a parochial, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, supremacist White guy from a middle-class, suburban background, and so I’m too reactionary and by definition racist to comprehend the enlightened attitudes of our academic betters. Evidently I’m too stupid to see that nothing is more important than skin color. And I’m just crazy enough to still take seriously something once said by another noted reactionary:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

WWU President Bruce Shepard probably would like to tell Dr. King he had it backwards: he should have wanted his children judged not for the content of their character, for then they could have earned admittance to Western Washington University based solely on the color of their skin.

This is progressive racialist nonsense laid bare. Instead of looking for real diversity, such as an intellectual diversity ranging from Right to Left and a cultural diversity not inextricably tied to skin tone, the academic Left divides society into group identities, to which everyone is assigned regardless of individual belief (1). You can bet WWU’s struggle to be less White is informed by Critical Race Theory and is meant to battle the Leftist scapegoats, structural racism and White privilege.

The only factors that should ever be considered in admissions decisions are academic performance and, if you want to give aid, economic need. One of the few things California has done right in recent years is to ban “affirmative action” in college admissions, though that battle is never truly over.

If I were a student a WWU, I’d transfer. I wouldn’t want to be associated with such a race-obsessed institution. If I were a donor, I’d cancel my donation. And if I were a citizen of Washington, I’d demand to know why the state legislature is funding an institution that not only discriminates based on race, in contradiction to everything this nation is supposed to stand for, but asks for advice on how to do it better!

This is just bunk. (3)

Footnote:
(1) An example I came across years ago: a man of Black African ancestry, born in Francophone Africa but raised in France, identifies wholly with France — French culture, French history, the French language. His heart stirs when he sings La Marsellaise (2) or sees La Tricolore. Now, is he “French,” or (in American racial-cultural terms) “Black?” The gentleman himself would tell you he is French, and proudly so. The racialist, on the other hand, sees only the melanin in his skin. The rest just makes him a self-hating victim of “cultural imperialism.”
(2) Whatever else I might say about France, they do have the best national anthem on the planet.
(3) I’m sure you know what word I really meant. But, this is a family show.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Well, scratch Mike Huckabee from the 2016 contenders list

April 13, 2014
Foot, meet mouth

Foot, meet mouth

Not that the former Arkansas governor and current FOX host was on my list, anyway (1), but making statements as facile, lazy, and, yes, ignorant as this should give anyone pause:

Fox News personality and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee stunned a New Hampshire crowd on Saturday by likening the federal government’s treatment of airport passengers to the totalitarian regime of Kim Jong-un.

‘My gosh, I’m beginning to think that there’s more freedom in North Korea sometimes than there is in the United States,’ he told a partisan crowd at the inaugural New Hampshire Freedom Summit.

‘When I go to the airport, I have to get into the surrender position, people put hands all over me, and I have to provide photo ID in a couple of different forms to prove that I’m not going to terrorize the airplane,’ he deadpanned.

In a speech filled with jokes, Huckabee seemed deadly serious.

Really, Mike?

Look, the TSA can be infuriating, it’s definitely ineffective, and it should be disbanded, but as if we were in North Korea? Please, spare me the hyperbole.

North Korea is a nightmare realm ruled by an alcoholic man-child whose subjects fear him as a god. It is a bizarre mix of Confucianism and Stalinism in which all bend to the will of the Dear Leader, lest they die by flamethrower. It is a land of starvation and cannibalism, where multiple generations of whole families are consigned to a vast gulag of prison camps. In fact, all of North Korea is a prison masquerading as a nation.

And to compare the United States to that, even if just to get your point across through the shock value?

That’s just stupid, Mike, and I don’t vote for stupid.

via ST’s Hot Headlines

Footnote:
(1) He rubs me the wrong way, giving me the impression he’s a right-wing statist who would keep feeding Leviathan, not much better than the left-wing statists running the show right now. Others, of course, may well see him differently. Big tent, and all that.


Worst Department of State, ever

March 26, 2014

This is someone’s brilliant idea of an effective strategy to deal with Putin over Ukraine:

Word of advice to Secretary Kerry and President Obama: Communitarianism is not a foreign policy and shaming is not an winning tactic when you’re dealing with an ex-KGB officer. Know what I’m saying?

BTW, the person in the photo is Jen Psaki, the official spokeswoman for the United States Department of State. Way to work the gravitas, there, Jen.

PS: I’ve saved a screen cap in case they delete it.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Michael Barone’s last line will leave a mark

March 21, 2014
"Train wreck"

“Train wreck”

Writing in The Washington Examiner on Hispanics and Obamacare, political analyst Michael Barone notes the precipitous decline in support among the group for the ACA (from 61% in favor to 47% since September, 2013). He then wonders if this experience will sour Hispanics on big government overall, thus threatening their majority allegiance to the Democratic Party. His closing is quiet, but brutal:

I think that Obamacare may be discrediting Big Government generally among Hispanic voters. They may have assumed that government in the United States was competent and functional. They have been finding out that Obamacare has been about as competent and functional as government in Mexico.

Ouch! That’s going to leave a mark. smiley black eye

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


CNN’s dumbest news question, evar

March 20, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

And yet CNN wonders why its ratings are in the tank…

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

And we thought this one was bad:  CNN talking empty head (Feyerick) asks Bill Nye if approaching Meteor was a result of global warming….

OK that set the stage, what could be dumber than that? Now study the picture below, and ask yourself, what’s wrong with this picture? Note the plane, a Boeing 777.

black_holes_777_CNN

And here is what was said: 

View original 117 more words


#Obamacare: “You’re going to lose your doctor, but it will cost less!”

March 14, 2014
No way!!

He said what??

Okay, the president is trolling us again. Someone tell him it’s not funny.

Courtesy of Moe Lane:

You know, I honestly cannot figure out if President Obama is a clueless nitwit, or if he thinks we are. Maybe it’s a bit of both.

In the meantime, perhaps the president would like to talk to the owners of the Republique restaurant here in Los Angeles, who had to tack on a surcharge because Obamacare made their employee health plans more expensive? Or how about Steve Duschene of Redondo Beach, who saw his premiums and co-pays skyrocket, the latter tripling in the event of an emergency room visit? And if you figure “he lives in Redondo, so he can afford it,” then what about the family of German Campos and Andrea Redamonti, of working-class Chico, CA, whose new save-money insurance saw the premium increase to $800 per month — with a $15,000 deductible? Maybe Obama should have a beer-summit with Rev. Kathi Rose of Wisconsin, who was forced to give up the insurance she liked and buy a policy that costs $4,000 per year more? And if none of these people impress him, maybe he’ll listen to his allies? People like liberal pundit Kirsten Powers, or Don Taylor, head of the Unite Here union? I’m sure they’d be happy to explain to Obama how they’re saving money…

These are just a very few of the examples of people NOT saving money, thanks to Obamacare, I found with just a few minutes scrolling through the Public Secrets archives.

Maybe the president should take a look, himself.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


John Kerry focuses the State Department like a laser… On climate change

March 10, 2014
We're doomed.

We’re doomed.

Because, as we all know, Man-caused climate change the Dread Demon Carbon Dioxide is the “world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction,” a threat we have to deal with now and with all our efforts. Not nukes in the hands of Iranian mullahs yearning to bring about their version of the Apocalypse. Not jihadist terror groups also jonesing for a few kilotons of their own. Not H-bombs and rockets in the possession of Kim Jong Un, who, when not feeding relatives to the dogs and ordering the execution of Christians, might decide to restart the Korean War. Not Vladimir Putin, who, with thousands of nuclear weapons at his disposal, has decided to start dismembering neighboring states and daring the West to do something, anything about it. Not a rising, hyper-nationalist, aggressive, nuclear-armed China, which is rattling sabers at its island neighbors and looking to challenge American supremacy in the western Pacific.

Nope. Global warming is the greatest threat to America, and so Secretary Kerry has ordered our ambassadors around the world to make that their top priority:

US Secretary of State John Kerry has called on American ambassadors around the world to make the fight against climate change a top priority ahead of new UN talks next year.

In his first department-wide policy guidance statement since taking office a year ago, he told his 70,000 staff: “The environment has been one of the central causes of my life.”

“Protecting our environment and meeting the challenge of global climate change is a critical mission for me as our country’s top diplomat,” Kerry said in the letter issued on Friday to all 275 US embassies and across the State Department.

“It’s also a critical mission for all of you: our brave men and women on the frontlines of direct diplomacy,” he added in the document seen by AFP.

He urged all “chiefs of mission to make climate change a priority for all relevant personnel and to promote concerted action at posts and in host countries to address this problem.”

Note that the environment has been one of the “central causes” of John Kerry’s life, his personal mission. Thus the Department of State, charged with conducting the nation’s diplomacy, is now at the service of John Kerry’s personal tilt at the windmill. Silly me for thinking State’s job is to pursue the nation’s interests, not one dull man’s obsessions.

Of course, Kerry probably thinks his cause is the nation’s. It’s solipsism as foreign policy.

I ask again: Have we ever had a more fatuous, dunderheaded  bore as secretary of state than John Kerry?

Via Doug Powers, who provides illustrative examples of the Kerrys’ “Green lifestyle.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Obamacare Chronicles: To Harry Reid, this man is likely a liar

March 5, 2014
"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

Remember kiddies, it was just a few days ago that the Majority Leader of the United States Senate said that all the Obamacare horror stories were untrue, asserting by implication that the people behind those stories were all liars. Then he softened it to “most.” (How gracious of him.) Many have already come forward to call out his arrant nonsense, but perhaps few stories are as frightening and maddening as that of Fred Rosamilia, who was told after his cancer surgery that his Obamacare “gold plan” would not pay his doctor bills:

The Rosamilia’s told Fred’s doctors that they had enrolled in the new plan. They were met with positive reactions from the doctors. The doctors told them that it was a great plan and that they accepted it.

After his surgery, the Rosamilia’s received their bills and were disappointed to find that their insurance company had only covered lower costing, high co-pay procedures.

Lynne then overheard the nurses saying that they would not be able to treat Fred for the next 60 days, now leaving them with huge medical bills.

Heckuva morale-booster for a guy fighting for his life, no?

Eventually the Rosamilia’s were allowed to switch to a “silver” plan that, it seems, will cover the future treatment (we hope), but they’re still on the hook for two months worth of medical bills. Imagine what that probably adds up to.

This kind of real-life American Horror Story is happening again and again across the nation, or so we’re told. To Harry Reid, a vile, shriveled fool if there ever was one, Mr. Rosamilia and all those like him are probably liars.

I wonder if he kicks puppies, too.

The only liars here are the Democrats and everyone who sold this anti-constitutional monstrosity as an improvement on the prior health-insurance system, that it would lead to wider coverage, lowered costs, and better treatment. That people could keep the plans they liked and the doctors they trusted. Lies, lies, and more lies. One lie after another, from the President on down, meant to sell snake oil to a nation that didn’t even want it — and still don’t.

Sideshow carnies have more integrity.

What the Democrats have done to the nation, what they are doing now to people like Fred Rosamilia, is unforgivable. They deserve nothing less than the electoral version of what Rome did to Carthage.

Bring on November.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Really? They couldn’t pay to have a good model made?

March 3, 2014

Apparently Hillary Clinton’s infamous reset button was swiped from a hotel swimming pool. Couldn’t they at least have ordered from Amazon?

And the woman who headed this team wants to be the next President of the United States.

The monkey speaks for me:

"Even the monkey is embarrassed"

“Even the monkey is embarrassed”


Taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood marketing BDSM to teens?

February 27, 2014
Teach the children

Teach the children

I’m pretty open-minded, but this is a bit much, even for me:

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE)–which received more than $2.75 million in government funding in 2012–has produced and posted online a video specifically aimed at teenagers that promotes bondage and sadomasochism (BDSM) and proposes “rules” to follow when engaging in these activities.

“People sometimes think that those who practice BDSM are emotionally scarred or were once abused—not true, it’s a total myth,” the host of the video, Laci Green, informs its intended audience of teens.

“BDSM relies upon and creates trust,” she says.

Lifestyle choices are, of course, within broad boundaries an adult’s private affair. But through the age of 18, teens are the legal responsibility of their parents; I have to wonder how many would be happy to discover Planned Parenthood encouraging their teens to explore “alternative lifestyles” under the guise of “sexual health.” And why is my (hypothetical) child’s sex life, which I should hope he or she didn’t yet have, the business of an abortion mill, anyway?

The other question I have, one that’s not hypothetical at all, is why my tax money is going to support this?

Video at the first link.

RELATED: This isn’t the first time the Left has been caught showing teens how to have safe, alternative sex. Warning, it’s pretty graphic.

via Doug Powers

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Suicide-bombing instructor blows up his own class

February 10, 2014
Former ISIS faculty member

Former ISIS faculty member

As you can imagine, I’m shedding rivers of tears over this news.

Tears of laughter:

A group of Sunni militants attending a suicide bombing training class at a camp north of Baghdad were killed on Monday when their commander unwittingly conducted a demonstration with a belt that was packed with explosives, army and police officials said.

The militants belonged to a group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, which is fighting the Shiite-dominated army of the Iraqi government, mostly in Anbar Province. But they are also linked to bomb attacks elsewhere and other fighting that has thrown Iraq deeper into sectarian violence.

Twenty-two ISIS members were killed, and 15 were wounded, in the explosion at the camp, which is in a farming area in the northeastern province of Samara, according to the police and army officials. Stores of other explosive devices and heavy weapons were also kept there, the officials said.

I bet that taught them a lesson they’ll never forget.

I wonder if a jihadi qualifies for his 72 virgin goats if he dies in the dumbest way possible?

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Scientific journal shut down for questioning man-caused global warming. Updated

January 18, 2014
"Burn, heretics!"

“In the name of Gaea, burn, heretics!”

This isn’t science; this is the return of Lysenkoism, where all research must conform to the Party line.

Background: The journal Pattern Recognition in Physics was founded ten months ago to research patterns discovered throughout the physical sciences. In a special issue published in 2013, the editors, many of them noted climate change skeptics, opined that the data published in the issue cast doubt on the claims of accelerated anthropogenic global warming put forward by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the “Vatican” of the climate alarmist movement.

And for this heresy, the journal was shut down:

Copernicus Publications started publishing the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics (PRP) in March 2013. The journal idea was brought to Copernicus’ attention and was taken rather critically in the beginning, since the designated Editors-in-Chief were mentioned in the context of the debates of climate skeptics. However, the initiators asserted that the aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines rather than to focus on climate-research-related topics.

Recently, a special issue was compiled entitled “Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts”. Besides papers dealing with the observed patterns in the heliosphere, the special issue editors ultimately submitted their conclusions in which they “doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project” (Pattern Recogn. Phys., 1, 205–206, 2013).

Copernicus Publications published the work and other special issue papers to provide the spectrum of the related papers to the scientists for their individual judgment. Following best practice in scholarly publishing, published articles cannot be removed afterwards.

In addition, the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing and not in accordance with our  publication ethics we expect to be followed by the editors.

Therefore, we at Copernicus Publications wish to distance ourselves from the apparent misuse of the originally agreed aims & scope of the journal as well as the malpractice regarding the review process, and decided on 17 January 2014 to cease the publication of PRP. Of course, scientific dispute is controversial and should allow contradictory opinions which can then be discussed within the scientific community. However, the recent developments including the expressed implications (see above) have led us to this drastic decision.

Interested scientists can reach the online library at: www.pattern-recogn-phys.net

Martin Rasmussen
January 2014

The bolded portion shows the editors’ real crime, whatever else Mr. Rasmussen claims (1): they had the temerity to question the dogma of the IPCC.

I don’t hold a PhD, or any advanced degree in the sciences, but I know enough to know this is not the scientific method, which does not just encourage skepticism and probing questions, but positively demands it. To say now that the IPCC’s hypothesis cannot be tested, that the “science is settled” and that if you dare question the Holy Writ, you will be silenced, is an absolute disgrace. The only question in my mind is whether the publisher, the ironically named “Copernicus Publications” was guilty of “noble cause corruption,” or was simply afraid of the wrath of the Warmists.

Regardless, this inability to accept disagreement as legitimate is a common feature of the progressive mind (2). Having discerned The Truth, all questioning must be stopped. If you doubt the The Truth, you are stupid at best or evil at worst, but you cannot be intellectually honest and have honorable motives. Think about it: do you criticize abortion on demand? Then you must want to enslave women and be some sort of religious fascist. Do you express doubt about the welfare state? You must hate poor people. Do you worry about the integrity of our elections and think requiring identification to vote would be a good idea? RACIST!!!

Express even the mildest doubts about the IPCC’s claims, and you will be silenced.

Whatever this is, it ain’t science.

But MiniTrue would approve.

via Jo Nova

Footnotes:
(1) In her post, Jo notes that the paragraph on “nepotistic bias” seems to have been added after the notice’s initial publication. It’s a darkly funny accusation, given the widespread corruption of the peer-review process, particularly within climate science.
(2) Happens too often on the Right, too, but, in that case, it’s a bug. For progressives, I contend, it’s a feature.

UPDATE 1/20/14: At Watt’s Up With That, perhaps the best known of the AGW-skeptic sites, Anthony Watt’s looks at PRiP‘s shutdown and finds blame on both sides and some validity to the “nepotistic bias” or “pal-review” accusation.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Tea Party is an evil to be fought against. Just like rapists. No, really.

January 13, 2014

Don’t take my word for it; that’s the comparison made in this ad for Jennifer Wexton, a former prosecutor running as a Democrat for an open Virginia state senate seat. As you’ll see, I’m not exaggerating in the headline:

This must be more of that new, more civil tone the Democrats like to preach to Republicans about, in which case I’d hate to learn their definition of “rude.” Not only does she insult the good citizens of this country who have chosen to support the principles of limited government by comparing their activism to one of the worst crimes imaginable, she also insults the victims of those crimes. What a rape victim suffers is horrific; to compare it to the results of constitutionally protected political activity is moronic.

Normally, I wouldn’t take notice of state-level legislative races outside of my own state, but Ms. Wexton’s ad warrants making an exception. Her Republican opponent is John Whitbeck, and control of the Virginia senate might depend on the results of the race.  A vote for him might just send a message that comparing innocent citizens to rapists isn’t a smart thing to do.

via David Freddoso

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#Obamacare: insurance companies have no idea who you are

January 9, 2014

"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

Just a glitch, ya know. A glitch that, so far, has left 13,000 people without the coverage they paid for:

Insurance companies are still trying to sort out cases of so-called health insurance orphans, customers for whom the government has a record that they enrolled, but the insurer does not.

Government officials say the problem is real but under control, with orphan records being among the roughly 13,000 problem cases they are trying to resolve with insurers. But insurance companies are worried the process will grow more cumbersome as they deal with the flood of new customers who signed up in December as enrollment deadlines neared.

More than 1 million people have signed up through the federal insurance market that serves 36 states. Officials contend the error rate for new signups is close to zero.

Insurers, however, are less enthusiastic about the pace of the fixes. The companies also are seeing cases in which the government has assigned the same identification number to more than one person, as well as so-called “ghost” files in which the insurer has an enrollment record but the government does not.

But orphaned files — when the insurer has no record of enrollment — are particularly concerning because the companies have no automated way to identify the presumed policyholder. They say they have to manually compare the lists of enrollees the government sends them with their own records because the government never built an automated system that would do the work much faster.

“It’s an ongoing concern,” said Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for the industry trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans. “Health plans can’t process enrollments they haven’t received from the exchange.”

So, you can’t keep the health plan you liked, and now you can’t get the service you were forced to pay for because the government can’t process the records properly.

As Instapundit likes to say, “We’re in the best of hands.”

via Townhall

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Kim Jong Un may have out-psycho’d his father and grandfather

January 3, 2014
"I've got some bad news, boss..."

“We’re out of dog food? No problem…”

I mean, we’ve heard he was hammered when he ordered the trial and execution of his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, but to carry out the sentence by feeding him alive to the dogs? Dude!

According to the report, unlike previous executions of political prisoners which were carried out by firing squads with machine guns, Jang was stripped naked and thrown into a cage, along with his five closest aides. Then 120 hounds, starved for three days, were allowed to prey on them until they were completely eaten up. This is called “quan jue”, or execution by dogs.

The report said the entire process lasted for an hour, with Mr Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader in North Korea, supervising it along with 300 senior officials.

Keep in mind all the usual caveats: “if this is true,” the difficulty of getting factual information from a paranoid Stalinist dictatorship (almost as hard as getting it from Jay Carney), the possibility that Kim might just be playing us for various reasons only a North Korean dictator could fathom….

Still, this has the air of plausibility about it; it fits a historical pattern in autocracies or near-autocracies when a dynasty decays and an immature or deranged (or both) leader who’s never known any limits comes to the throne. One example that comes to mind is the the Roman Empire: does Augustus to Tiberius to Caligula parallel Kim Il Sung to Kim Jong Il to Kim Jong Un?

Regardless, if these stories are even half true (1), expect Kim III to have a short reign before one of his generals blasts him to save himself.

via Sonny Bunch

Footnote:
(1) I mean, we do know he had one unfortunate executed by mortar fire.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Hospital not paying doctors and staff, blames #Obamacare contractor

January 2, 2014

"Seen over Fordow?"

“Obamacare reveals its true face”

Oh, this is just grand. On top of all the other problems we’ve suffered through so far with Obamacare, now a hospital treating Medicare patients hasn’t been reimbursed by the government and thus hasn’t been able to pay its staff for weeks. Over Christmas. The blame? Apparently it lies with the same contractor hired by the Obama administration to build the back-end payments system for healthcare.gov:

Dozens of employees at a hospital in northeast Houston have had to make it through the holidays without getting paid for weeks. The CEO of Saint Anthony’s Hospital on Little York is blaming a new Medicare payment contractor for his payroll problems.

Nearly 150 employees, ranging from doctors to nurses and administrators, haven’t been paid in nearly a month, and the CEO says it’s not his fault.

(…)

The hospital is strapped for cash not because its not making money, but because Leday says a new Medicare payment facilitator named Novitas Solutions is taking too way long to pay out Medicare claims to the hospital.

Leday says he’s owed nearly $3 million in payments from Medicare and can’t make payroll.

According to the ABC-13 article, the Texas AMA says that other community hospitals in the state are facing similar payment problems with Novitas. So, what happens to Medicare patients when unpaid doctors stop providing services because they haven’t been paid, or the pharmacists stop filling prescriptions? Aren’t these the very people this anti-constitutional monstrosity of a law was supposed to help? Or should we just make physicians serfs of the state, as one Democrat proposed?

Via Jeryl Bier, who adds this about Novitas’ link to healthcare.gov:

Novitas’s direct connection to Healthcare.gov stems from an emergency, no-bid contract for “financial management services” awarded in August and first reported by THE WEEKLY STANDARD in September.  The services required included accounting, tracking of accounts receivable and accounts payable, documenting funds collected by CMS, and data validation, among other things.  CMS justified the no-bid award because the “prospect of a delay in implementing the Marketplace by the operational date of January 1, 2014, even for a few days, would result in severe consequences, financial and other” and that the services required were “beyond what was initially anticipated and beyond CMS’ currently available resources.”

In light of Novitas’ performance in Houston, I can’t wait to see what this government contractor no-bid crony can do for the whole nation.

PS: There’s a video report at the ABC link.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Antarctic ‘research’ fiasco – ‘would you, could you, in a boat’?

December 30, 2013

Phineas Fahrquar:

The climate change movement is falling apart and ending in farce, as this “scientific expedition” shows. BTW, click through for photos of ships sunk in the Antarctic in recent years. Maybe we should worry about the ecological damage incompetent visitors are doing.

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

This will be a top “sticky” post for awhile since interest is high – new stories will appear below this one – Anthony

UPDATE:Josh channels the boat people

UPDATE2: Another irony is discovered, this one doubly deep.  See update 2 below.

UPDATE3: see WUWT and Weatherbell help KUSI-TV with a weather forecasting request from ice-trapped ship in Antarctica Akademik Shokalskiy

UPDATE4:AMSA: Helicopter rescue of Akademik Shokalskiy likely to commence shortly

(It’s off again, then now its on again, with report the helicopter has landed)

UPDATE5: All the passengers (tourists and scientists) are off the ship

UPDATE6:Tough questions need to be asked

UPDATE7: Trouble on the rescue ship – reaching open water not so easy

AIT_Mawson

Former Akademik Shokalskiy has been renamed in Al Gore’s honor. Satirical image by: Ollie Cromwell @TheRedRag on Twitter

As we reported previously on WUWT here and here, the saga of the “climate scientists/tourists trapped…

View original 873 more words


Great Moments in Journalism: “No, really?” division

December 27, 2013
No way!!

The deuce you say!!

horrific crime occurs in Chicago:

An 18-year-old man was charged with first-degree murder Thursday after police found a decapitated man early Christmas morning in the Hermosa neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

Officers responding to a homicide call found the decapitated 41-year-old man about 2 a.m. Wednesday inside a basement apartment in the 2500 block of North Kildare Avenue, police said.

And the local CBS station makes sure to nail down the crucial details:

The man was dead at the scene, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. He was identified as 41-year-old Silvestre Diaz-Hernandez and lived at the apartment.

Good thing they pointed that out; otherwise, I’d have never drawn that conclusion from the word “decapitated.” I can only imagine the look on the ME’s face when asked “And what is the victim’s condition?”

via ST on Facebook


Breaking: Sebelius now says you *can* buy catastrophic insurance

December 19, 2013
Obama foreign policy advisers

Obamacare planning experts

Remember, one of the excuses offered for the massive private insurance cancellations under Obamacare was that the existing policies –the ones you chose of your own free will– just weren’t good enough. So the government had to cancel them in order to encourage force you to buy better ones.

Which is why they are now going to let us buy insurance worse than the policies that they killed. Genius:

The Obama administration said Thursday it would allow millions of Americans whose insurance policies had been canceled to purchase bare-bones plans next year, in another eleventh-hour tweak to the law likely to cause consternation among insurance carriers.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told a group of six senators in a letter viewed by The Wall Street Journal that people whose policies had been canceled because of new requirements under the health law would be allowed to purchase ‘catastrophic’ plans. Those plans had previously been restricted to people under the age of 30 or individuals who qualified for a set of specific hardship exemptions.

Call me a reactionary, right-wing, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing bitter-clinger, but wouldn’t it have been simpler and better to let people keep the blasted plans they already had and liked? I must be missing something that’s obvious to Our Betters in Washington.

I’d call this a clown-car operation, but then I’d have to find a clown to apologize to.

via Allahpundit

UPDATE: Good point from National Journal’s Clara Ritger: this is an exemption to the individual mandate, the core of Obamacare.

The Obama administration will not require the millions of Americans who received health-insurance plan cancellation notices to purchase a new policy next year.

They’re granting those consumers an exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, a Department of Heath and Human Services spokeswoman confirmed. The mandate requires everyone to have health insurance or face a tax penalty, the greater of $95 or 1 percent of income in 2014.

(…)

This change could have a more long-term impact. Catastrophic-coverage plans were priced with a 30-and-under consumer base in mind. And with thousands who were barred from the market due to preexisting conditions expected to purchase the new coverage, allowing people who already had coverage to go without it could upset the balance of the risk pool. The Affordable Care Act exchanges need enough healthy people to balance out the costs of care for the sick or premiums could rise in 2015, creating a “death spiral” and jeopardizing the law’s success altogether.

So… What, pray tell, happens to the mandate, now? Isn’t this one huge crack in the dam?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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