American Elephants


ObamaCare Operator Fired After Taking a Call From Hannity. by The Elephant's Child

When Obama spoke Monday about the catastrophic failure “glitch” in the rollout of the Healthcare.gov website, Obama said that there wasn’t only one way to sign up, you could call this toll-free number and somebody there would help you to sign up. As it turned out, the people at that toll-free number have to use the same program as the one at Healthcare.gov to sign you up, but they can answer questions.

Sean Hannity, on the air, thought he would try out that number to see if it worked. The ObamaCare operator was Earline Davis, who was nice as she could be. Hannity asked her how well it was going, and how well the law was being received by people who were applying, and she revealed that no one liked it. So they fired her from her job.

Hannity interviewed her again, after her dismissal, and that conversation is here.

HANNITY: And what was the specific reason? When they sat you down, did they give you a specific reason?

DAVIS: They said that no contact with the media. No type of media whatsoever. We’re not allowed to do that at that company.

HANNITY: Meaning, in other words, they didn’t tell you before you were hired, they didn’t tell you during your training, but then they told you after the fact that you aren’t allowed to be on the media if somebody called in. It’s not your fault I called.

Hannity is being responsible, and giving her a year’s salary and help to find her a new job. No one is suggesting that Obama himself was involved in the firing, but there is apparently a climate in which the president will not be mocked or criticized, and those who do will be punished.  I remember the rodeo clown who was not only fired for wearing an Obama mask, but told he could never work in the rodeo circuit again.



Would You Vote For This? by The Elephant's Child

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Rand Paul is pushing for a new Constitutional amendment stating:

Congress shall make no law applicable
to a citizen of the United States
that is not equally applicable to Congress
.

The amendment also contains two provisions that apply that same principle to the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch of the federal government, according to a press release put out by the office of the Kentucky senator on Monday.

I suspect the voters would go for this — big time. Getting it through Congress might be something else entirely. Congressmen Salmon and DeSantis proposed a similar idea in the House of Representatives last August.  One would assume that the Founders would be horrified to discover the extent to which our elected officials have exempted themselves from provisions they are happy to stick us with. Might make them think twice about some of the laws they devise.



Harry Reid: No Grand Bargain, No Negotiation, Just Raise Taxes On The Rich. by The Elephant's Child

Harry Reid, the disagreeable Majority Leader of the Senate, wasted no time in informing the public that there will be no cooperation nor attempt to get along in the formal House-Senate budget conference. Well, we should not be surprised, he refused to produce a budget, in defiance of the law, for four long years. And the government has been operating on “continuing resolutions” ever since.  He called the suggestion of a “grand bargain” including an overhaul of entitlement programs “happy talk.”

Well, it’s good to know before the conference even starts that there will be no attempt to negotiate or cooperate from the Democrats. The conference will start October 30. Reid added:

On sequestration, we’ve done one year of sequestration. It has been brutal. The only people who feel there shouldn’t be more coming in to the federal government from the rich people are the Republicans in the Congress. Everybody else, including the rich people, are willing to pay more. They want to pay more.

The Nevada Public Radio host asked what Republicans would have to concede to get Medicare and Social Security cuts on the table.

You keep talking about Medicare and Social Security. Get something else in your brain. Stop talking about that. That is not going to happen this time. There is not going to be a grand bargain. What we need to do is have Murray and her counterpart in the House, Ryan, work together to come up with something to get out of this senseless sequestration and start the budgeting process so that we can do normal appropriation bills.

They have their mind set on doing nothing, nothing more on revenue, and until they get off that kick, there’s not going to be a grand bargain on — there’s not going to be a small bargain,” Reid said. “We’re just going to have to do something to work our way through sequestration.

Apparently the disagreeable Mr. Reid has never heard that it is not advisable to raise taxes in the middle of a recession. You actually want to cut taxes, especially taxes on business— those rich people who file their business taxes as individuals, and who would like to expand their businesses if only there was some certainty out of the government.  And he seems to be unaware that Medicare and Social Security deeply need to be reformed since they are well in the way to going broke, so no one will have any benefits.

The Founders wanted our representatives to argue and fight over principle and ideas, and through the struggle come to an agreement of how to move forward, that doesn’t necessarily satisfy both sides., but that they can live with. It’s called negotiation. Democrats want more money to spend to buy votes and win elections. It would be more helpful if they were interested in doing the right thing for the economy.



“Not One Dime:” ObamaCare Projected to Add $6.2 Trillion to the Deficit by The Elephant's Child

This whole thing is remarkably strange. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that Obama was unaware of problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act — until it actually rolled out. Yet he has been out campaigning for the health care law saying “if you like your insurance you can keep your insurance,” and “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor,” both demonstrably false. And President Obama regularly said his health care law “wouldn’t add one dime to the federal deficit.”

That didn’t work out either. It’s clear that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will add 62 trillion dimes (and probably far more) over the next 75 years. The health care law is projected to add $6.2 trillion to the U.S. Deficit according to the GAO— the official auditor for the U.S. Congress. And such programs always cost more than the estimates, sometimes many times more.

The only federal program known to actually come in costing less than estimates was the much maligned Medicare Drug Program passed in the Bush administration.  It cost less specifically because it contained incentives for seniors to use generic medicines when they could. Democrats removed the incentive because they don’t understand incentives, and because they regard making people dependent on the government as a positive good.

It is all very confusing. On the one hand, we are told the president didn’t know anything about the problems with his healthcare plan until it opened and it didn’t work; on the other hand we are told that he has the tightest, most closely controlled administration where deviation from the party line is not allowed. It’s “the most transparent administration” in history, but Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) demands are met with denial, refusal, cover-ups and um. lies. We cannot believe the evidence of our eyes, we are told.

Well, nevermind, it’s not important. As his eponymous piece of legislation collapses into  catastrophe the president is doing what he likes most— campaigning and fundraising. He’s off to New York in search of 2014 campaign funds, leaving his deputies to deal with the — unpleasantness.

So far, health insurance cancellations have soared far above enrollment rates, if anything we hear about enrollment rates is even true. The cancellations are quite real: Florida Blue sent out 300,000 notices, Kaiser Permanente cancelled 160,000, Blue Shield of California cancelled 119,000 in September alone. 800,000 New Jersey residents’ plans will not exist in 2014. That’s only 3 states, but so it goes.  As the president said:

Again, [the Affordable Care Act] is for people who aren’t happy with their current plan. If you like what you’re getting, keep it. Nobody is forcing you to shift,




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