” I’m sure none of us tire of reading all the news accounts and editorials that—tragically, for those affected— echo the exact concerns and criticisms we all had of Obamacare before it passed. But this one’s a particularly straightforward and thorough takedown of the administration’s amateur hour performance, in the president’s home state.
First, the technical problems:
If you’ve tried to sign up online for health coverage under the problem-plagued Obamacare exchange, our sympathies. Many people have tried to create accounts and shop for insurance under the new law. Few have succeeded. Those that have enrolled have found that the system is prone to mistakes. Some applications have been sent to the wrong insurance company…
• Illinois officials boasted that insurance premiums here would be lower than expected. But the Tribune reported Sunday that 21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered for Cook County residents have whopping annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage. That’s much more than many families can afford to pay.”
Illustration by Scott Stantis
Mary Katharine Ham on Hurricane Sandy and FEMA’s Lame Performance
“ It took days for FEMA to hit the ground in hard-hit parts of NYC. More than a week after the storm, FEMA representatives were just getting on the ground and opening
temporary offices in New Jersey. When a nor’easter blew in, several of their offices shut down because of— wait for it— severe weather.
An army of FEMA volunteers is now housed in the USTS Kennedy near Staten Island, a 540-foot training ship .
They are well-meaning, no doubt, and yet the State Island FEMA office was one of those closed for inclement weather last
week, in one of the hardest hit parts of the city.
Citizen groups stepped in:
” Victims of an unforgiving one-two punch from superstorm Sandy and a nor’easter that both hit New York’s Staten Island say FEMA has forgotten them…
Punch-drunk residents’ ire is also aimed at the city — which is going door-to-door to order people out of their homes — at the American Red Cross, which some say has not done enough and at police and firefighters.One group of residents, calling themselves the “Brown Cross,” is patrolling the devastated streets,armed with walkie-talkies, and helping residents clear debris and pump water from their flooded homes.
“We’ve done more for our community than FEMA, the Red Cross and the National Guard combined … “
As usual , waiting for the authorities to rescue you is a sure-fire path to misery and even death .
Foreign observers: Why no voter ID?
” The most often noted difference
between American elections among the visitors was that in most U.S. states,voters need no identification.
Voters can also vote by mail, sometimes online , and there’s often no way to know if one person has voted several times under different names, unlike in some Arab countries, where voters ink
their fingers when casting their ballots.”
” Incredible is certainly one word.
Vulnerable also comes to mind. When we demand more ID to buy groceries by check than to choose our government by ballot, we have some priorities out of whack. “
Update: Insta-polls coming in
” Doesn’t matter who won the battle, says Ron Fournier. What matters is who won the war:
Mitt Romney wins. That’s not to say he won Monday night’s debate or the presidential campaign, but it’s safe to say he won an important chapter: The debate season…
There are ample reasons for both Obama and Romney to feel optimistic about their chances Nov. 6. But through his own steady performances and a spectacular first-debate failure by the incumbent, Romney has cleared an important hurdle: A near-decisive number of Americans believe that he is a viable alternative to Obama, an incumbent saddled with a weak economy and a pessimistic national mood.
Another point made more than once in the national tweet scrum tonight was that it sometimes felt like Romney was the incumbent and Obama the angry, occasionally snide challenger. “
” I expected “table-pounding atmospherics” from Biden but I didn’t expect him to act like a total jackhole for fully 90 minutes. Give him credit for knowing his target audience, though: His task tonight was to get the left excited again after Obama fell into a semi-coma in Denver, and evincing utter disdain for Ryan — grimacing, shouting, laughing inappropriately, constantly interrupting, the total jackhole experience — is just what the doctor ordered. He might have irritated independents and undecideds, but probably not so much that it’ll change people’s votes. The Democrats needed someone to go out there and clown for liberals, and if there’s one thing this guy knows, it’s clowning.
Here’s a taste of what I mean via Mediaite, centered around one of Ryan’s more cutting lines of the evening. For what it’s worth, the media lost patience with Biden’s shtick too, but I doubt that’ll cost him anything tomorrow. And yes, needless to say, Raddatz was also terrible. Exit quotation from Greg Gutfeld: “Biden is the drunk at the bar; Martha is the unhappy bartender, and Ryan is the unfortunate salesman caught in the middle.” “
” I understand that gun owners’ rights and the Second Amendment haven’t really been a touchstone in this year’s elections, but that doesn’t mean that the battle isn’t still being waged. One story out this month hits pretty close to home for me, both figuratively and literally. It involves the Remington Arms plant located in Ilion, a village in upstate New York. They are currently battling a pending move by the state government which would force them to put laser etched microstamps on the firing pins of all their weapons, driving costs through the roof.
Microstamping, or ballistic imprinting, is a patented process that uses laser technology to engrave a tiny marking of the make, model and serial number on the tip of a gun’s firing pin to allow an imprint of that information on spent cartridge cases. Supporters of the technology say it will be a “game changer,” allowing authorities to quickly identify the registered guns used in crimes. Opponents claim the process is costly, unreliable and may ultimately impact the local economies that heavily depend on the gun industry, including Ilion, N.Y., where Remington Arms maintains a factory, and Hartford, Conn., where Colt’s manufacturing is headquartered.
“Mandatory microstamping would have an immediate impact of a loss of 50 jobs,” New York State Sen. James Seward, a Republican whose district includes Ilion, said, adding that Remington employs 1,100 workers in the town. “You’re talking about a company that has options in other states. Why should they be in a state that’s hostile to legal gun manufacturing? There could be serious negative economic impact with the passage of microstamping and other gun-control laws.” “
“How high up did the weapons of Operation Fast and Furious go in the cartels? This high:
When Mexican authorities took Juarez drug cartel carnage king Jose Antonio Acosta Hernandez — better known as “El Diego” — into custody, he had weapons from Operation Fast and Furious on his person, the English-language transcript of the Spanish-language television network Univision’s special investigation into the scandal shows.
“According to investigations, ‘El Diego’ forms the link between this massacre and Fast and Furious,” an anchor read on air in Spanish Sunday evening, referring to two different mass killings drug cartel operatives used Fast and Furious weapons to conduct as Univision reported.
“When he [El Diego] was captured in Chihuahua in the summer of 2011, he was found with weapons that the American government had allowed to enter Mexico,” the anchor added.
Supposedly, the point of the ATF/DoJ operation was to track the weapons so that they could find the movers and shakers in the Mexican drug cartels. Imagine what would have happened if the ATF actually had intended totrack the weapons and cooperate with the Mexican government, as the Bush administration did earlier in Operation Wide Receiver. The partnership might have caught El Diego a little sooner “
“Obama administration tries to block sequester layoff notices”
” The latest durable-goods orders report must have the Obama administration — and the Obama campaign — more worried than they publicly let on. According to the National Journal , the White House will press government contractors to hold off on
issuing layoff notices in October in
anticipation of the sequestration cuts, afraid of the political backlash that will ensue. In fact, the Obama administration is offering to indemnify government contractors for losses and fines for delaying
The White House moved to prevent defense and other government contractors from issuing mass layoff notices in anticipation of sequestration, even going so far to say that the contracting agencies would
cover any potential litigation costs or employee compensation costs that could follow.
Some defense companies —including Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and EADS North America—have said they expect to send notices to their employees 60 days before sequestration takes effect to comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which requires companies to give advance
warning to workers deemed
reasonably likely to lose their jobs.
Companies appeared undeterred by a July 30 guidance from the Labor Department, which said issuing such notices would be inappropriate, due to the possibility that sequestration may
be averted. The Labor Department
also said companies do not have
enough information about how the
cuts might be implemented to
determine which workers or specific programs could be affected should Congress fail to reach a compromise to reduce the deficit, triggering $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, half from defense, half non-defense. For 2013, that would amount to $109 billion in
spending cuts. “
“After a week of hesitation, the White House now says it is “self-evident” that a “terrorist attack,” and not just a spontaneous reaction from a furious mob, struck the US Consulate in Benghazi,Libya, last week.
Actually, it wasn’t “hesitation.” The White House insisted that the attack on the consulate in Benghazi was a protest that “spun out of control” — and sent UN Ambassador Susan Rice onto a number of Sunday talk shows last weekend to insist on it. They rolled out a false story even while the Libyan President said there was “no doubt” that the attack was premeditated and well organized.
Why did the Obama administration stick with the false story until it fell apart? The Christian Science Monitor answers that question in the following paragraphs:”
… American People’s Trust in
Pro-bama Media Crumbling
“The American people’s trust in the Obama lapdog media is crumbling, which shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone who reads news from both the right and the left side of the
aisle. The new low of 40% “fair amount/ great deal” of confidence in the media reported by Gallup signals the jig is up for the pretend non-partisan media.
The decline in ratings comes mostly from Republicans and Independents, as Hot Air
reports . Mainstream media trust from Independents has dropped from 50% to 31% since 2004.”
… Yeah, it’s pretty awesome to
belong to the government”
“Revealing Politics asked DNC attendees and delegates in Charlotte what they thought of one
of the themes of the DNC promotional video that played in the arena last night— “The
government is the only thing we all belong to.”
The Obama campaign is backing away from the video, but DNC attendees sure aren’t.”
” B-b-b-but Madeleine Albright says she can’t understand why any woman would vote for Mitt Romney.
Seriously, guys, I want to believe. I do. But … I don’t.
Just 47 percent of registered voters in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll see Obama favorably overall, down 7 percentage points from his recent peak in April, while 49 percent rate him unfavorably. He’s numerically underwater in this group for the first time since February.”
“Feel lucky, punk? When Republicans chose Tampa as the site for the 2012 national
convention, they didn’t do it for the weather, obviously. They saw Florida as a key to their hopes of winning the presidential election and hoped to make an impact on voters with their week-long argument for Republican control of
the White House. According to a snap poll from Survey USA of 754 registered voters who watched the final night of the convention, they
may have switched 10% of the vote with the effort: “
” MSNBC protects the meme any way it can “
“The cast and management at MSNBC really, really want their viewers — all 20 of them now,
I believe — to understand that the Republican Party is raaaaaaaaaaaacist , and that the GOP convention is nothing more than a bunch of white men talking and applauding. They are so
desperate to sell their meme latent Republican racism that they simply averted their eyes every time a speaker that didn’t fit their lone talking point took the stage:
” Mason-Dixon MO poll: Romney up 50/43 over Obama “
” But what many didn’t expect was that the crash-and-burn of Akin would not damage Mitt Romney at all. In the 9th paragraph out of ten, we find out that Romney leads Barack Obama in the critical swing state, and it’s not all that close:
McCaskill’s lead is a testament to the damage caused by Akin’s remarks. She remains less-than-popular, as slightly more voters view her unfavorably (41 percent) than favorably (39 percent). And,
despite worries that Akin’s remarks could also harm the candidacy of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney , the former Massachusetts governor leads President Obama, 50 percent to 43 percent. Obama’s favorable- unfavorable split of 38 percent-48 percent is worse than McCaskill’s.”
“Which candidate is preferred by small business? Survey says…”
“If there’s one thing that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney can most certainly agree upon, it’s that small businesses are a fundamental building block of our nation’s economy. As both candidates are constantly intoning, the vast
majority of businesses in the United States are businesses with fewer than 500 workers, and
these are the major drivers of our economy — creating jobs, creating wealth, and leading the way in innovation and entrepreneurship. Both candidates, however, also claim to possess the proper prescriptions for helping small businesses to succeed and grow; so, according to the people actually running these businesses, who’s
policies would actually help them out the most? WaPo reports: “
“Forbes wonders: Should Biden have a neurological exam?”
“Are Joe Biden’s ever-increasing verbal misstepsthe result of increased media scrutiny after three
years on a back burner, a symptom of just plain old ordinary stupidity — or an indication of organic brain damage? I’m inclined to think it’s
a combination of the first two, but Dr. Henry Miller at Forbes (a physician himself) is worried
about the latter. Should the Obama
administration get Sheriff Joe a neurological exam? “
…. he must be worried .
“It’s come to this: Newly media-shy president turned down an interview with … Chris Matthews”
“I don’t blame him. What if Tingles surprised him
with a tough question about how difficult it is to
deal with Republicans?”
“The fact that they offered Obama an interview with a guy who’s face-first in the tank for him instead of asking him to sit with Todd, like
Romney did, tells you everything you need to know about partisanship on cable news. “
She’s No Dummy … Ha
” Did Hillary Clinton turn down the opportunity to replace Joe Biden as soon as two weeks ago in a
White House lunch with Valerie Jarrett?
Ed Klein, author of “The Amateur,” says his sources in the Hillary camp say it’s true in an appearance last night on CNBC with Larry Kudlow. Not only did she turn Obama down, but according to Klein, Obama’s “socialistic policies” are part of the reason the presumed 2016 frontrunner wants
to maintain her distance from the campaign: “