Saturday, March 15, 2014

Former McCain Adviser Nicolle Wallace Trashes Sarah Palin on 'The View'! ^ | 14 Mar 2014, 3:07 PM PDT | by Tony Lee

Nicolle Wallace, former adviser to the McCain-Palin 2008 presidential campaign who worked with Steve Schmidt, appeared on The View on Thursday and gushed over Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and even Bill Clinton. Predictably, however, she trashed Sarah Palin.

Wallace has tried to blame Palin for the incompetence she and the McCain team displayed during the 2008 campaign against then-Senator Barack Obama. The program played a clip from Game Change, which has been called out for numerous lies and inaccuracies, that allowed Wallace to whack Palin as someone who had a "gap in her knowledge" about issues. She didn't mention that if there were any gaps, it was her responsibility as her chief adviser to fill them. Wallace blamed the McCain campaign's loss on Palin's interview with Katie Couric, leaving out that Wallace is Couric's friend and that the interview--which was heavily edited--took place over multiple days.

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Cash prizes for signing up for Obamacare?

MSN ^ | 3/14/14

With roughly two weeks left in the open enrollment period for health insurance, some groups are trying to sell Obamacare to young people in terms they might actually understand: music, comedy, and cash. Young Invincibles, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. that is focused on the economic issues affecting young adults, launched a sweepstakes last week where it is awarding a cash prize of $1,200 — enough to potentially cover a year's worth of health insurance premiums for a young adult — to people who download their health care app or submit a card in the mail. The contest runs through the fall, but by launching it now, organizers hope young people who download the app can use it to learn more about whether they qualify for financial assistance and where they should go to sign up.

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Obama: ‘Many folks’ will lose their doctors under Obamacare!

The Daily Caller ^ | 3/14/2014 | Vince Coglianese

President Obama now says that his health law will lead the “average person” to switch doctors. “For the average person,” Obama conceded in an interview with WebMD, “many folks who don’t have health insurance initially, they’re going to have to make some choices. And they might end up having to switch doctors, in part because they’re saving money.” Obama’s admission stands in stark contrast to his many assurances that Obamacare would let people keep their doctors if they like them. A 2009 White House document called “Health Insurance Reform Reality Check” insists, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” And in a 2009 speech to the American Medical Association, Obama made this pledge: “[N]o matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what. My view is that health care reform should be guided by a simple principle: fix what’s broken and build on what works.” Politifact already considers Obama’s promise that Americans could keep their preferred health plans under Obamacare to be the “Lie of the Year.”

Delaying Obamacare's Individual Mandate Due to 'Hardship' -- Caused by Obamacare!

Heritage ^ | 3/13/2014 | Amy Payne

It’s getting difficult to take any part of Obamacare seriously. The Obama administration has altered or delayed it so many times—who can be sure what the law is at this point? The individual mandate stating that every American has to purchase government-approved health coverage or pay a fine is supposed to kick in on March 31. That’s the deadline to sign up for coverage, supposedly to avoid this year’s penalty. But Obamacare is never “settled law,” as the president and others have called it, because Health and Human Services (HHS) keeps writing more regulations. Most recently, the administration extended the “hardship exemption” from the individual mandate for those who had their previous policies canceled because of Obamacare until October 2016. To qualify, your plan must have been canceled because it wasn’t compliant with Obamacare, and you just have to tell the government you “believe” that other insurance policies are unaffordable. The exemption means people who meet these criteria are free from the individual mandate. But if they want to buy coverage, they are given the special option to buy a “catastrophic” health insurance plan, which is not eligible for subsidies and typically would be available only to those under age 30. When the exemption was first announced in December, Heritage experts Alyene Senger and Robert Moffit said this “is not going to simplify anything. Rest assured it is going to create even greater confusion for health insurers trying to sell these products. Also, don’t expect the unhappy consumers who’ve just lost their previous coverage to understand clearly which plan they can pick and be legally qualified to pick it.” Due to the utter confusion and the underperforming signups on, reporters asked HHS this week whether the agency would simply extend the deadline for people to buy coverage. An HHS official responded that, “In fact, we don’t actually have the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period in 2014.” This administration hasn’t let a detail like legal authority stop it from overstepping its bounds multiple times. And as Heritage’s Senger and Moffit put it, “issuing more government rules to correct the consequences of their unworkable government rules is the only thing they seem to know how to do.”


Lindsey Graham: Obama Lap Dog! ^ | 3/13/14

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham wants to help the administration of Barack Obama move its preferred version of a Ukrainian aid package through the GOP-controlled House of Representatives. In fact Graham put his subservience to Obama on full display this week when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testified before a Senate panel regarding the Eastern European crisis. After Kerry had concluded his testimony, Graham ambled up to him – offering to lobby House Speaker John Boehner on behalf of the administration’s position. “Hey John, good job!” Graham told Kerry. “Let me know what I can do to help you with Boehner.” Take a look … Neither knew Kerry’s microphone was still on … For those of you keeping score at home, Boehner’s “Republican” House has already passed a $1 billion economic aid package for Ukraine. What more could Obama possibly want, right? A lot, actually … Obama wants the House to approve the Senate’s version of a Ukrainian aid package – which includes language vowing sanctions against Russia as well as authorization for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to use additional U.S. taxpayer resources as part of a massive $15 billion bailout of Ukraine. Ridiculous … America is broke. Worse than broke, actually … our country is $17.4 trillion in debt. In other words, our taxpayers cannot afford to spend one dime on the situation in Ukraine (whether we should or not), nor can we afford to spend one dime on the IMF. Obama, Kerry, Graham and Boehner are all wrong on this issue … although it is instructive to see Graham once again veering further to the left than the rest of the “Republican” establishment in Washington, D.C.

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HHS outlines policy changes to lift insurers (Friday night document dump!)

The Hill ^ | 3/14/2014 | Elise Viebeck

Federal health officials dropped regulations late Friday outlining how they plan to help insurance companies stuck with unanticipated costs due to ObamaCare's botched rollout.

In a 279-page document, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) detailed adjustments to the healthcare law's "risk corridors" program, a means for shifting money from insurers who fare better under the new system to those who fare worse.

Risk corridors have been decried by conservatives as a bailout that could leave taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars. The administration said Friday that it will implement the program in a budget-neutral way.

Under the proposed rules, the administration would tweak the formula that determines how much money insurers pay and receive through the risk corridors.

The change will mean that some companies see higher payments, or higher charges than under previous rules. The calculations will correspond with insurers' administrative costs and on average, "suitably offset" any unexpected spending, according to the administration.

Specifically, HHS would raise the administrative cost ceiling from 20 percent to 22 percent, and increase the risk corridors' profit margin floor from 3 percent to 5 percent.

The notice stated that the change would apply on a national basis in 2015 because "these additional transitional costs and uncertainties will be faced by issuers in all states."

The rulemaking, which carries out previous announcements, is the administration's latest move to ease pressure on insurers from the many delays and changes to ObamaCare's rollout. Officials are hoping the policies will mitigate any substantial premium increases for next year.

HHS also proposed standards for certain consumer notices, quality reporting surveys and people involved in consumer outreach under ObamaCare.

Illegal Immigration Pushed Despite Bleak Jobs Numbers! ^ | March 14, 2014 | Rightwingerpatriot

As anyone with an ounce of sense in their noggin knows that the current unemployment situation in America is quite bleak.

People are desperate for jobs. Companies are not hiring and are cutting back on hours. In fact, there are over fifty million Americans of working age who are officially unemployed or not working. With all this collective economic misery, we're being bombarded with utter nonsense that there's a labor shortage in the country and that we need higher immigration to fix the problem. Americans are out of work and the far left (and Big Business) wants to import foreign workers and turn a blind eye to the illegal immigration chaos? Sheer madness.
The myth of there being a labor shortage is just that, a myth. In a study done by the Center of Immigration Studies, it was found that employment of American workers has been in decline since 2000. In that year, there were 35.8 million Americans who were not working and were between 18 to 65 years old. That number jumped to 40.5 million in 2006 and now stands at 50.5 million in 2013. I would not consider 50.5 million unemployed Americans as a "labor shortage." Still, we get groups like the US Chamber of Commerce and tycoons such as Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg agitating for more foreign workers. We know the real reason is that they want cheap labor that they can exploit and not pay actual decent wages to Americans. We have RINOs such as Carlos Gutierrez, former Commerce Secretary under George W. Bush, telling us that we need more immigration because businesses can't find and hire employees. Gutierrez laments that the Senate "Gang of Eight" immigration bill is still inadequate because it only has a quota for bringing in 112,000 agricultural workers when he says that agriculture needs upwards of a million workers. Gutierrez has also opined that we need more foreign construction workers as the Senate bill has a quota of 15,000 workers, but he says that those workers would be used up in just the city of Miami alone. The facts say otherwise as unemployment for construction workers is at 12.8 percent! I have friends who work in construction and it's brutal. Most of them cannot find a job as contractors hire illegal aliens for half the pay of a normal American worker. Yet if you point out these inconvenient things called facts, you're labeled a racist and a bigot. Laura Ingraham got into a heated debate with Representative Renee Ellmers (R-NC) over immigration. Ellmers was elected on a Tea Party platform but immediately pivoted to big government once she got to Washington. Ellmers trotted out the lie of the labor shortage, and when she was confronted with facts, immediately began to label Laura Ingraham as "small minded" and "ignorant." After she got schooled by Ingraham, Ellmers begged a pro-amnesty group to back her up and asked them to flood the phone lines and tweets of Ingraham's show. Don't expect these jobs numbers to get any better soon. With Obama's policies crippling our economy, things will continue to either limp along or deteriorate. The flood of illegal immigrants is especially damaging to those with lower levels of education as unskilled jobs are snapped up away from them. Obama has stepped up his amnesty game by creating a policy that extends legal status and military benefits to illegal immigrants who are related to active-duty military members and veterans. The usual modus operandi is in place where the Obama administration will trot out the most hard-luck cases to tug at your heartstrings. There is one bit of employment good news. It appears that the unemployment rate for illegal aliens is lower than some other groups. Isn't that grand?

Are the Millennials Reliably Leftist?

American Thinker ^ | Marck 15, 2014 | Janice Shaw Crouse

According to exit polling data, in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, Millennials (young adults 18 to 33) were a reliably leftist demographic, both in their voting and their views. Now, it appears that – even though they remain decidedly liberal on political and social issues – this influential group of Americans is up for grabs in the 2014 and 2016 elections. That is to say that no specific politician or ideology can count on their support.
The Pew Research Center’s just-released survey reveals that as they move into adulthood, the Millennial generation is “at or near the highest levels of political and religious disaffiliation recorded for any generation in the quarter-century that the Pew Research Center has been polling on these topics.” In fact, Pew reports that half of that age group claims to be politically independent, and almost a third see very little difference between the two major political parties. The growth of Millennial independents is disturbing to both parties because only 38 percent were politically independent in 2004, meaning, as NPR puts it, “both parties have lost ground among young people.” So much money spent targeting Millennials by both parties, and yet the voting bloc considered most vulnerable to political advertising and rhetorical manipulation is not falling in line on the issues. The left is losing them on gun control, ObamaCare, and the environment, while the right is losing them on abortion (at least in this Pew survey, in contrast to concessions by the abortion groups and other polls that show Millennials as more pro-life than their parents). One of the troubling findings in the survey is that “about three-in-ten (29%) say they are not affiliated with any religion.” Coupled with their lack of political affiliation, this rootless generation, with little grounding in historical knowledge or moral...

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