Friday, September 26, 2014

Whither the replacement for Eric Holder?

Maybe this is the Democrat's chance to confirm Jeremiah Wright as Attorney General.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Quote of the Day - Sowell

"A successful insurgency often puts leaders of the insurgents into closer contact with knowledge that was either unavailable or not so vivid when the insurgents were outsiders, and thereby forces correction of plausible beliefs that will not stand authentication."
-Thomas Sowell, Knowledge and Decisions

Friday, September 19, 2014

Technology enables leftists to win without courting center

The Democrats and the institutional left have a new political tool that allows them virtually to ignore moderates yet still win elections.
This tool, the Catalist database, was employed in the 2012 election. That election defied conventional wisdom: Mitt Romney sought and won independent voters overwhelmingly, but still lost. If you wondered why the conventional wisdom about independents and moderates didn’t seem so wise in 2012, the answer is Catalist.

Read the complete article at

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Obamacare bulldozes 250,000 health plans in Virginia

Last week roughly 250,000 Virginians began receiving notices that their health insurance was being canceled because it failed to meet all the mandates and other regulatory requirements of Obamacare. They are likely to be just the first in a new wave of Americans who are being thrown off their current insurance plan — even if they like it, to recall President Obama’s now inoperative promise.
...It should be noted that, as with previous cancellations, those Americans who lose their plans because of Obamacare will most likely find new insurance. But a new study from the National Center for Public Policy Research found that, on average, Obamacare plans were worse than the plans they replaced, in terms of both providers covered and cost-sharing.
Read the complete article by Michael Tanner at

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Obama's Health Care Vietnam

Obama's Health Care Vietnam
By Douglas A. Perednia, M.D.
Talk to the average physician about trying to care for patients in the United States today, and you’ll hear exactly the same sorts of sentiments as those expressed by American soldiers faced with the task of “winning the war” in Vietnam some fifty years ago. For those on the front line of fighting illness, it is apparent that the Democrats' war on American medicine is not a path to cheap quality care, but a quagmire of rules and complexity that can make even the most basic care difficult to deliver. Now that ObamaCare has directly or indirectly wormed its way into every aspect of care and payment, many patients are beginning to feel the pain as well. Examples are as close as your nearest clinic or doctor’s office, where medical experts with decades of training are now routinely required to obtain insurance approval for even the most basic tests, procedures, and medications.
Read the complete article at

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Forbes: Overview of Obamacare Provisions

The PPACA contains a number of requirements to which insurers and individuals must adhere. Here is a list of the major changes under Obamacare.
  • Guaranteed Issue
  • Minimum Standards
  • Individual Mandate
  • Health Insurance Exchanges
  • Low Income Subsidies
  • Medicaid Expansion
  • Medicare Payment a Reforms
Read the complete article at

Monday, September 15, 2014

Obamacare: Does Failure to Collapse Constitute Success?

Health insurance premiums rose by double-digit percentages on average from 2013 to 2014, and are estimated to continue rising by 7 to 8 percent in 2015. But because Obamacare hasn't 'collapsed' and because some people are shielded from the rate increases by subsidies, the Left is declaring victory.
Obamacare was supposed to reduce the cost of healthcare to the average family by $2500. Instead those costs have surged, with no reduction in sight. Nice 'victory' if you can move the goalposts at will.

Read the complete article by Avik Roy at

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Obamacare Website Price Tag: $840 million and Counting would have been much easier and cheaper to build if they had simply stitched together the IRS tax filing system with the FBI's criminal background check system.
Read the full story at The Wall Street Journal.

P.S. Some content is still worth paying for, even in our everything-is-free era. The Wall Street Journal is one example (how I wish I could get paid to say that!).

Mission Accomplished, Mr. President?

Barack Obama's January 28, 2014 State of the Union speech is worth re-reading, not least of all for gems like this one:
"Tonight, because of the extraordinary troops and civilians who risk and lay down their lives to keep us free, the United States is more secure. When I took office, nearly 180,000 Americans were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, all our troops are out of Iraq. More than 60,000 of our troops have already come home from Afghanistan. With Afghan forces now in the lead for their own security, our troops have moved to a support role. Together with our allies, we will complete our mission there by the end of this year, and America’s longest war will finally be over."

Right. Sorry you didn't vote for Romney yet?

Read the complete speech at

Or watch the video at:

John C. Goodman M.D. on Obamacare vs. Jobs

John C. Goodman M.D. writes in Townhall on the impact of Obamacare on the job market. A few excerpts:
Why can’t people find a job? Three Federal Reserve Banks – in Philadelphia, New York and Atlanta – have released business surveys that confirm what many of us have been predicting. The new health law is discouraging a significant number of firms from hiring and is also pushing workers into part-time, rather than full time jobs.
Philadelphia Region:
18.2% of employers say they cut workers versus 3.0 percent who hired more.
18.2% say the proportion of part-time workers is higher versus 1.5% who say it is lower.
New York Region:
21% of manufacturers say they are reducing employment, while 3% are increasing their workforce.
Among manufacturers, 19.3% say they are increasing the proportion of part-time work, while 3.5% say they are reducing it.
Almost three-fourths of employers are increasing the employee contribution for health insurance;
84% are increasing the deductible;
79% are increasing copayments; and
40% are reducing the range of covered benefits.
Atlanta Region:
34% of businesses planned to hire more part-time workers than in the past, mostly because of a rise in the relative costs of their full-time colleagues.

Read the complete article at

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Policy, Liberty and Coalitions

[Previously published as the 'President's Message' in the August 2014 newsletter of the Southern California Republican a women and Men]
By Howard Hyde
Politics and public policy are overrated.
So says an author, speaker and activist on political economy and president of a prominent political club.

By that I mean, we put more trust than we should in government and regulation to achieve what we could (and in many cases must) just as well do via voluntary cooperation, mutual initiative and free markets. We despair too much if policy doesn't meet our preferences, forgetting that policy isn't the last word as to what happens and what we may do. And the 'we' I refer to is not limited to any one political party.

For example, regarding the current border crisis, if we implemented a policy of rapidly processing all of the asylum claims and swiftly returning denied claimants back to their parents in Honduras, that would displease people of the Open Borders and 'baby Jesus' persuasion. But it would not prevent any American who wants to, from compassionate liberals to Glenn Beck, from providing whatever support, assistance, adoption or sponsorship they see fit to any of the migrant children, whether here or in their home countries. If all government poverty programs were abolished, that would not prevent any Americans who wanted to from taking care of poor people and organizing charitable activities, job training, rehabilitation or whatever is required. Even though abortion is legal, that fact alone doesn't prevent pro-life conservatives from influencing their own families and communities, to persuade women not to have abortions, and to organize and raise funds to provide support services for women in crisis pregnancies. Even if abortion were made illegal, private voluntary initiatives like this would still be absolutely necessary.
The great difficulty of political choices, as opposed to free-market economic ones, is that the former are by nature categorical, all-or-nothing, take-it-or-leave it. If you like one candidate's position on foreign policy, you can't have it unless you also accept his or her position on taxes, gay marriage, abortion and health care. It's an indivisible package. Moreover, you only get one chance vote every two to four years and can't change your mind a few months later (as many Obama/Obamacare supporters now wish they could).

It is no wonder then that politics, campaigns and elections are so contentious, and in many parts of the world, bloody.

Contrast that with what you observe in any market. Hundreds, or even millions of individuals come together who don't know each other, may not like each other, and yet they exchange freely, with the result (assuming no fraud or coercion) being the greatest all-around satisfaction possible on an imperfect earth. The contents of every individual's or family's shopping basket is unique and distinct from every other individual's or family's. This one contains two gallons of milk, a pound of broccoli and 3 pints of Ben & Jerry's. That one has one gallon of milk, a half dozen eggs and two loaves of bread. The choices are incremental and adjustable from day to day or even minute to minute. It is the most virtuous circle ever invented.

The great challenge of politics then (at least as we conservative libertarians see it) is to minimize conflict by permitting more choices to be made incrementally and fewer needing to be categorical. It is very difficult to reconcile this view with the liberal progressive paradigm of having the government involved comprehensively in every aspect of citizens' lives, from public transportation systems that require massive subsidies to birth control, which apparently according to liberals, also requires massive subsidies. But it ought to be possible to reconcile the warring factions of the Republican movement, from the 'establishment' to social conservatives to Tea Partiers to libertarians. If the size and jackboot print of government were reduced through lower tax rates, lighter regulation and reduced spending, then each segment of our movement should find greater scope of freedom within which to exercise personal and social preferences.

Even the tension between the anti-interventionist libertarians and the defense-hawk conservatives would be relieved by having a smaller state in which Defense occupies a greater relative percentage of the budget, because with fewer distractions, there can be greater citizen oversight over what our military and intelligence agencies are doing.

In any case, the warring factions of the Republican movement need to actively seek what we all have in common in order to do battle with the greatest threat to our constitutional republic in its history. Let us tolerate differences of opinion within our common framework, not be small-minded, and unite to defeat anti-constitutional leftist socialist progressivism.

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A 'Best of' on Jobs and Employment

By Howard Hyde
My November 2013 article 'Where Do Jobs Come From?' asked and explained the fundamental mechanics of job creation and growth, which are not taught in schools or universities today; not even, it seems, in economics degree programs. The article hasn't lost any steam in the 10 months since it was first published.

Here is a sampling of the responses:
"Howard, excellently done. You lay out in simple language that anyone can understand the dynamics of job creation. This essay should be required reading in high schools (and middle schools) throughout the country." - Gary Aminoff

"There are economics and business majors across the USA (and probably Canada too) who will graduate in May or June of next year. And they have not yet read one article like this. It is not in the curriculum. Nor have they had one of their professors (more like Teacher's Assistants these days, I think) lecture the points made here." - Fernando

"Excellent article, Mr. Hyde, it should be required reading and re-reading...each & every year for all youngsters from Jr. High, Sr. High and throughout their college, trade school and / or apprenticeship years of education." - KansasCindy

"This article is an exemplar of clarity, logic, and structure, in its advocacy of literacy in fundamental market economics. It deftly shows how -- with nary a care -- the winds of government caprice or malice can blow down the tenuous structure of businesses large or small, startup or established. If students understood these straightforward concepts -- why would third grade be too early to introduce them? -- we'd be producing better-educated, more self-reliant, capitalism-oriented adults." - Dernan_Ruton

"Mr. Hyde, you get an AAA+ for this article! I cannot tell you how many times I've needed this information." - ATMember

Read the full article at

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Obamacare Reporter Rocks Too

"A one-stop resource for print, web, blogs and videos about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's implementation as covered by media - compiled from hundreds of news sources, news feeds, and searches."
Visit the site at:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Real Clear Policy Rocks for Obamacare News

The Health Care page of the Real Clear Policy website is an excellent resource for news related to health care policy, Obamacare etc. Articles by leading writers on the subject such as Avik Roy, author of How Medicaid Fails the Poor, Michael Cannon of The Cato Institute
and John C. Goodman M.D., author of Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis and Living with Obamacare: A Consumer's Guide and many more are linked there. recommends you bookmark it.

Click to visit: