American Elephants


Fully Functioning Website 0, More False Assurances 100. by The Elephant's Child

The promised deadline of December 1 has come and gone, and the “fully functioning” website is still off glimmering in the far distance, with a lot of burnt-out bulbs. Just another addition to President Obama’s long, long list of broken promises, false assurances and hope and change talk for low-information voters. It’s still all campaigning. He talks a good game, but doesn’t notice that no one believes him anymore, and in case they did his words are recorded for later review.

Ezra Klein, the liberal Washington Post reporter, a true believer, notes that “the site still suffers a disastrous outage rate judged by the standards of major retail Web sites — that’s not counting the time it spends down for scheduled maintenance.” The insurance companies who have to deal  with the mess the administration is creating are in a panic as the system transmits data that is full of errors, fails to transmit at all, and warns that even those few who have managed to sign up for coverage may show up at their doctor’s office in January to learn that they didn’t purchase the insurance they think they purchased.  Oh well, details.

We have learned that at least 30% of the website has never yet been written. It doesn’t exist, including the payment mechanism for subsidies. The effort to fix the website is based on the politics of it — the public, embarrassing part, rather than the serious back-end problems. Subsidies are improperly calculated, consumers are misidentified, relationships are misstated — National Review adds that one customer was surprised to learn that he had three wives instead of one wife and two dependents — and in many cases the information is not being transmitted to the insurers at all. If the information sent from the website to the insurance provider is not accurate or complete — there is no insurance and the website is all a lie as well.

The Washington Post quantifies the enrollment problems — it find that “errors cumulatively have affected roughly one-third of the people who have signed up for health plans since October 1.”

The errors, if not corrected, mean that tens of thousands of consumers are at risk of not having coverage when the insurance goes into effect Jan. 1, because the health plans they picked do not yet have accurate information needed to send them a bill. Under the 2010 law designed to reshape the health-care system, consumers are not considered to have coverage unless they have paid at least the first monthly insurance premium.

The “Tech surge”, “team of experts” according to reports consists of 6 people.

The White House, Barack O’Blameless — blames consumers:

Some of the errors in the past forms were generated by the way people were using the system, another senior official on the project said, such as clicking twice on the confirmation button or moving backward and forward on the site.

The primary promise was universal coverage. President O’Blameless emphasized over and over that the country has a “moral imperative” to cover those who could not find coverage on their own. Somewhere around 30 million to 47 million, depending on the numbers of illegals and those who are eligible for public assistance, but do not partake. The recession increased the uninsured by 6 million,  number that continues to grow. The CBO’s latest estimate says there will be 31 million uncovered Americans in 2019. So much for the universal coverage bit.

The second big promise was to reduce the cost of health care, specifically the cost of premiums. Bwa-ha-ha-ha. Health Care expert Avik Roy has found that costs for a family of four would increase by $7,450 by 2022. In some states costs will be far higher. The ObamaCare people say that the law will provide subsidies to offset the higher cost, but , of course being liberals, have no idea who is going to pay for it. The rich and big corporations?

The incentives are all wrong. Once they fulfill the dream of universal coverage, they have to figure out how to pay for it. The overriding incentive for government becomes controlling costs. The more they move toward “Single Payer”, the more the cost becomes an overriding problem. The ObamaCare people may have copied the mandates from Romney’s plan for Massachusetts, but the overall dream was Britain’s NHS, which Obama’s advisers really admired.

Most of the big cost in health care was for old people in their final years. Limiting their care was the driving force behind Obama’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), unelected, unaccountable, which will decide what the Government will pay for and what they will not. Sarah Palin referred to it accurately as a “Death Panel.” And Obama has frequently suggested that perhaps the old folks should just get a pain pill instead of any expensive medical treatment.

The Daily Telegraph reports that 1,158 NHS care home residents have died of thirst or while suffering severe dehydration over the past decade. Some 318 died from starvation or severe malnutrition, and 2,815 deaths were attributed to bed sores. This does not include those who died in hospital. NHS’s medical director will spell out the failings of 14 hospital trusts in England who have been responsible, between them,  for 13,000 “excess deaths” through poor care, medical errors and failures of management. That’s what you get when the incentives are all about cutting costs, as it is in the liberal dream of Single Payer.

 



Oh This is Fun: 1001 Reasons to Vote Against Obama. by The Elephant's Child

Kyle Becker at Conservative Daily News has put together a list of 1,001 reasons, the complete edition, to vote against Barack Obama and his quest for a second term. The list begins with number 1. The man started his presidency off with a bang by botching his oath of office. and continues for one thousand more reasons. You can have fun with this all day long, but don’t share it with a liberal, who might have apoplexy, but would probably call you racist.



Don’t Make Promises That You Don’t Intend to Keep by The Elephant's Child


   President Obama’s Promises — Under the Presidential Bus

President Obama said “If you misrepresent what is in this [health care] plan, we will call you out.” So we’re calling him out.

PROMISE: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.”
UNDER THE BUS; Research shows that as many as 30 percent of employers will dump their employees out of their existing health care coverage. New coverage mandates are forcing plans to change, even for those who have moral objections.

PROMISE: “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits—either now or in the future.”
UNDER THE BUS: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports that the deficit reduction associated with PPACA is based on budget gimmicks, sleights of hand, accounting tricks, and completely implausible assumptions. The new law is actually a trillion-dollar budget buster.

PROMISE: “I will protect Medicare”
UNDER THE BUS: Medicare costs are to be held down by severe cuts in payments to physicians and other medical suppliers. Taxes on makers of medical equipment will reduce availability, and the Independent Pay Advisory Board will decide what tests will be available. Bureaucrats will decide if operations will be available or only palliative care.

PROMISE: “I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premium by up to $2,500 a year.
UNDER THE BUS: Heritage lists 12 ways that ObamaCare will increase premiums instead of reducing health care costs, like allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ coverage and offer preventive services with no cost sharing.

PROMISE: “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.”
UNDER THE BUS:  A list of new taxes and tax hikes shows an increase of more than $500 billion in 10 years. The 2.3 percent tax on manufacturers and importers of medical devices will raise $20 billion between 2010 and 2019.



The Election is About Ideas. by The Elephant's Child

If you haven’t voted yet, you might want to read these pieces before you do. This election is about far more than the parlous state of the economy and the dismal job situation.  Although those factors alone  should have you running to the polls.

Behind the foolish wasted stimulus, and the regulatory nightmare that has American business sitting on their hands and their potential for hiring and expansion; is a worldview that is founded on the notion that experts in the state can, by rational improvisation and enlightened regulation, improve  human nature and behavior to create a more perfect world.  We’ve seen this brave new world many times before, and seen the destruction it leaves behind. Professor Bruce Thornton writes on “What This Election Is About: The Free Individual versus the Overpowering State.”

Adam Brodsky addresses “An endless string of broken promises.” There’s one big reason Democrats face disaster Tuesday.  They’ve done almost nothing in the last two years to make anyone — left or right — want to vote for them.  In 2008, recall, they made grand promises — to their base and to the center.  They raised hopes through the roof.

Once in power, they kept virtually none of those vows.  Instead, they took a whole different path —one neither side liked.  Now they’re reaping the whirlwind.  So what’s their game plan?  Rinse and repeat.

That’s right.  President Obama and fellow Dems are again promising “change” — after the elections.  They failed the first time.  They will again.



The Passing of the Spatula by American Elephant

Welcome Michelle Malkin and Ed Driscoll Readers!!

Mr. Good Judgment himself, the man in the bunny suit, also known as Senator John “I voted for the war before I voted against it” Kerry, yesterday reassured concerned Americans that he is still a world-class flip-flopper by declaring that the man he repeatedly begged to be his running mate lacks the judgment to be president.

Remember, this is the man whose service John McCain defended in the 2004 campaign.

Nonetheless, shilling for Barack Obama, the former Democrat presidential candidate, and eternal loser (who by the way served in Vietnam and has yet to release his full military records), said that John McCain, “has proven that he has been wrong about every judgment he’s made about the war.”

Oh really?

Back in the 2006 election cycle, when John Kerry, Barack Obama and the Democrat party were calling for an, up to then, undefined “change” in Iraq policy — which later turned out to mean unconditional surrender of Iraq to insurgents, terrorists and Iran — John McCain had long been supporting troop increases. A policy that Obama not only opposed, but insisted would never work. A policy that even the liberal press is being forced to admit, has been tremendously successful, and has turned out to be exactly the right strategic decision.

John McCain had exactly the right judgment. If we had followed Barack Obama’s “judgment,” the United States military would have cut and run, and Iraq today would be aflame with genocide and civil/regional war between insurgents, al Qaeda, former Ba’athists and Iran all vying for control of the world’s second largest oil supply.

It’s no wonder Obama has announced that he is “refining” his position. If he’s smart, he’ll go back to his 2004 position when he said he wouldn’t do anything differently than President Bush is doing — because President Bush, like John McCain, is right.

So, it is fitting that Mr. Kerry should be one of Obama’s biggest campaigners. The spatula has passed from one world-class flip-flopper to another. Indeed, not only does Obama seem absolutely determined to out-flop his political predecessor, but even before he has officially clinched the nomination it appears he has already done so.

It’s not just Iraq, although it is major, since the centerpiece of his campaign has been his supposed judgement on Iraq, opposition to the surge, and promises to immediately withdraw — it’s hard to find find an issue on which Obama hasn’t drastically contradicted himself. Some examples:

  1. Campaign Finance: Obama pledged, verbally and in writing, to take part in the federal campaign financing, that is until it became clear he was rolling in money. Then he claimed that the system, which has not changed since he made the pledge, was broken, and that he was going back on his promise because of as yet non-existent Republican 527 attack ads. In reality, the only attack ads thus far have been waged against McCain by the Democrat 527, MoveOn.org.
  2. NAFTA: During the primary, Obama appealed to his isolationist base by decrying NAFTA and promising, if necessary, unilateral renegotiation. It has since come out that his staff were simultaneously telling Canadian officials not to worry, that Obama was just playing politics and had no intention of following through. Indeed, he admitted as much in an interview, explaining that, “sometimes during campaigns rhetoric gets overheated and amplified.”
  3. Gay Marriage: Obama has claimed that he opposes gay marriage while his wife was simultaneously reassuring gay groups that her husband would repeal DOMA and opposed any federal measures to “discriminate” against gay relationships. Barack has since made clear that he supports the California Supreme Court’s decision, opposes citizen efforts to overturn it, and has come out in favor of full federal recognition of all legally recognized relationships.
  4. Second Amendment: This year Obama praises the Supreme Court’s decision declaring the Washington DC gun ban unconstitutional: last year his campaign assured Democrat voters the Senator believed the ban was entirely constitutional. Just a few months ago he disparaged voters who “cling” to their guns.
  5. Wiretaps: Obama previously assured his deranged base that he would support any filibuster of attempts to protect telephone companies from lawsuits over their cooperation with the government’s warantless wiretaps. Now Obama defends the law congress just passed which does precisely that.
  6. Iran: Obama was widely criticized as naïve for his declaration that America should meet unconditionally with the leaders of Iran, including by Hillary Clinton and other members of his own party. Unsurprizingly, this is another position he has also “refined.” Indeed, the man whose judgment John Kerry extolls can’t even seem to make up his mind whether Iran poses a threat or not.
  7. Patriotism: Again pandering to his America-loathing base, Obama once refused to wear a flag pin on his lapel and disparaged those who did, claiming it was a “substitute for… true patriotism.” Now, not only is Obama not to be seen without his own “substitute” for patriotism prominently displayed on his chest, but routinely wraps himself in up to 40 American flags at once among other purportedly “patriotic” symbols of his own invention.
  8. His Reverend, mentor and spiritual adviser Jeremiah Wright: The Reverend and church he could no more denounce than he could denounce the black community? Obama denounced them.
  9. Special Interests: Obama often criticized both Hillary and John Edwards for taking money from unions which he described as “special interests.” But now that he is accepting union endorsements, and money, “He now refers respectfully to unions as the representatives of ‘working people’ and says he is ‘thrilled’ by their support.
  10. Cuba: Told Democrat voters in 2004 that it was time to end the Cuba embargo, but assured Cuban-Americans in Florida last August that he would not, “take off the embargo” because it is “an important inducement for change.”
  11. Illegal Immigration: Obama, I’m sure you are by now unfazed to hear, has said both that he would and would not “crack down” on employers who hire illegal immigrants.
  12. Marijuana: The candidate for “change” has also changed his position on the criminalization of marijuana, telling college students he would support decriminalizing pot, and opposing the decriminalization of pot when confronted in a Democrat primary debate.
  13. Abortion: Contradicting his own 100% rating from NARAL, and his vote against the ban on partial birth abortion, Obama has softened, if only slightly, his position on abortion, declaring that “mental distress” shouldn’t count as an exception that would allow partial birth abortion. Well, I suppose he can always favor an exception for “severe mental distress,” since it is clear his campaign has become all about weasel words.

It’s becoming clear what Obama means when he promises “change”, its not political change — he is merely promising to change his position depending on what is most politically expedient for Barack Obama.

All this before the primary campaign has even officially begun! It’s no wonder Obama has Kerry out touting his “judgment”, he’s probably one of the few people on planet Earth that could do it with a straight, albeit very long, face.




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