Sunday, November 17, 2013

Protection racket

I don't remember where I found the link to the ThinkProgress post entitled Republicans Reject Obamacare ‘Fix’ Because It Includes Too Many Consumer Protections, and I am certainly not going to risk sending them any traffic by providing it here. Still, the hypocrisy should be noted for its humor. The post castigates House Republicans for rejecting a Democrat bill that allowed insurance companies to provide consumers with the plans Obama promised them they could keep.

The Democrat version differed from the bill the Republicans (along with 39 Democrats) did pass in that the Democrat version:

1- Did not allow new policyholders to buy the plans
2- Mandated that insurers notify policyholders of exchange options
3- Mandated that existing rate review processes apply to renewed plans

In other words, it put further burdens on insurance companies - making it unlikely they could even offer the plans in the new few weeks. Both "fixes" allow the plans to be sold and, therefore, equally violate consumer protection by offering the plans the Democrats call "substandard" "junk."

There is a more humorous aspect, however. The consumer protection laws ThinkProgress finds so important absolutely prohibit false advertising and fraud. Those are crimes the President committed when he repeatedly lied about Obamacare. What consumers need is protection from the President.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Progressive poisoning of liberty

"The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?"
-James Madison The Federalist No. 62

Progressives, of course, reject this. They regard the Constitution as a "living document," whose legal constraints on government may be dispensed with in the fashion of Barack Obama suspending politically inexpedient parts of Obamacare. Progressives may prattle about "the law of the land," but they desire a nation ruled by men, not by law.

Of course, it has to be the right men. A primary tenet of centrally planned economies is that having the "right people" in charge - the best and brightest, the brain-trust, the dollar-a-year men, the "czars" - improves everyone's lives. The right men can direct the economy from their offices in Washington. They know if a sparrow falls, and why. If there is failure, the utopian visions are never at fault: It was the wrong men. The argument is still heard, for example, that Stalin and Mao failed because they were the "wrong" people: Communism would work with the right men in charge. Still, Progressives never come to wonder why the wrong people are always the ones who lead in Communist countries.

So, if the democratically elected head of the richest nation on earth, the brilliant and charismatic Barack Obama, isn't the "right person" to usher in a statist utopia, who ever could be?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The "law of the land" is whatever Obama says it is

president Obama today issued an imperial edict administrative order not to enforce some parts of Obamacare that have recently embarrassed him and his party. When the Congressional Republicans suggested doing this by actually passing legislation, the Democrats said Republicans were a bunch of "hostage takers," "extortionists" and "political terrorists" who wanted to suspend "the law of the land." As if anyone can tell what that is any longer.

The president has routinely abrogated the law: He suspended Obamacare's employer mandate, refused to enforce the defense of marriage act, arbitrarily cancelled contracts held by auto-company bondholders, ordered American citizens killed without due process, conducted war in Libya without even Congressional input and instructed his minions to cease enforcing immigration laws. When this president unconstitutionally seizes the power of the legislature, Democrats don't see any hostages, extortion, or terrorism.

The president's latest arbitrary whim is bad news for insurance companies. Because insurers do not have time to arrange to violate the law he has just waived, the president undoubtedly will blame them for having complied with it.

Update, 5:20PM:

Two Democrat insurance commissioners reject Obama's Obamacare fix:

State [Washington] rebuts Obama plan to allow old health insurance policies

Oregon insurance commissioner says state won't delay 2013 health coverage cancellations

They know the Obama decree can't work. In fact, Oregon's state exchange doesn't work at all, and has enrolled zero people thus far. The president's about face would just make it worse. Everybody except our pathologically narcissist president knows it.

His organizing has gone a community too far.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

This is what happens in third world countries, part 2

In Venezuela, the government thinks electronics retailers have been charging too much, so:
[Venezuela's] President Nicolas Maduro ... sent soldiers to "occupy" one chain of electronics stores and inspectors into scores of others to check for price-gouging.

Thousands of Venezuelans have been flocking to electronics stores, hoping to take advantage of new "fair prices" the government is imposing, sometimes half the previous cost.
If you read the linked article, you'll find "flocking to electronics stores" translates into English as "looting."

In first world countries, like the United States, we don't have these problems. Here, we force people to buy things they don't want and can't use, then we redistribute that money to people so they can buy flat screen TVs and iPhones. For example, all males under age 65 are forced to buy insurance coverage for children's dental and vision care.

Our way of looting is much better organized. For example, we have seen neither "flocking" to the government health insurance website to be disadvantaged by "unfair prices" nor looting of Best Buy.

(Part 1 of "what happens in third world countries" is here.)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Liberty is not inevitable. Freedom isn't free.

In some places, a moment of silence is observed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month because that is when the guns went silent for the armistice that ended World War I. I observe this ritual recognition of the price of peace and freedom. I commend it to you.

This day is Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, Veterans Day. The silence should resound throughout the countries who observe it under those different names.

This pittance of time pays respect to those who gave their lives in our defense. Our remembrance of their gift is not important to them. They don't know they won. Were they with us still, they would minimize their contribution. If they would discuss it at all.

Remembering these heroes' values is vitally important to us, lest we gradually come to think that things had to be the way they are, and not some other way. We could become convinced that our present advantages were owed to us, destined and easy: The "natural order of things."

This is an exceedingly dangerous belief, appropriate to no one: Held only by those who believe the natural order of things guarantees their personal safety and well-being - regardless of their effort, despite their unexamined ideals.

In reality, things are the way they are because some people were - and are - so committed to liberty as to give their own lives in its defense.

They died defending your right to choose to observe a minute of silence.

It is your choice.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Period.

The president apologizes for cancelled insurance policies. Sort of:
"I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me."
Sorry, mr. president, people do not find themselves in this situation based on your "assurances." They find themselves there because of your actions and despite your lies. Period.

In a twisted way, though, you have a point: I'll concede that without those lies (and IRS crimes), you might not be President now, but blaming the assurances is just another way of saying, "It's not my fault."

And, by the way, does this mean the "junk insurance policies" from "bad apple" insurers are NOT the problem you said they were last week? If those things are still true this week, why are you sorry? Isn't everyone still better off?

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Maybe you should have read it first

And maybe Americans should have been told what was in it rather than being told we had to pass it to find out.

From Whitehouse.gov
“We got [Obamacare] done. Now, let’s face it, a lot of us didn’t realize that passing the law was the easy part.”
-Barack Obama
Yep, they supposed deconstructing 1/6 of the American economy would be as easy as convincing Nancy Pelosi to say something stupid. Hell, they assumed she needed convincing to say something stupid. I'm pretty sure she volunteered.

Of course passing the law was the easy part. Unfortunately, just waving your hands and saying, "Make it so." doesn't work when your minions have zero experience in actually building anything and are economically ignorant.

So, Barack, You did build that.

Monday, November 04, 2013

"I am not going to have sex with that woman. Period!"

What "Death Panels" means is - The government decides who delivers care, what care is allowed, where it can be delivered and what you pay for it.

There may not yet be official "Death Panels," but the Obama Administration has no moral or philosophical objection. Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44) Tweeted this:
The Real Reason That The Cancer Patient Writing In Today’s Wall Street Journal Lost Her Insurance thkpr.gs/1hHgZjp via @TPHealth—Dan Pfeiffer (@pfeiffer44) November 04, 2013
Pfeiffer is Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications. The Tweet was from his official White House account.

Already, Democrats are calling for doctors to be forced to deliver the health care the government permits you to have, at the price the government wants to pay. That was the point all along. First, though, individual access to health insurance would have to be destroyed.

The spin is just making it worse, guys. It's as if Bill Clinton had said, "I'm not going to have sex with that woman. Period!" Then, (after having sex with that woman) he would say "And the sex I did not have was better sex and vastly more affordable sex than Hillary any American has ever delivered experienced!"

Then, the Progressives would chant in unison that fellatio is not having sex, and seek to redefine the meaning of "is."

Oh, wait. That's exactly what they are doing, again, just with different nouns and verbs.