Krauthammer sums up the incoherent barstool eruptions of Trump

You can probably wait and read it Sunday in the Las Vegas newspaper, but why wait?

Charles Krauthammer’s column in today’s Investor’s Business Daily offers his take on the three-way race for the GOP coming out of the Iowa caucus.

Though the theme of the column is bemoaning the media’s obsession with whether the various candidates are establishment or anti-establishment, his best lines describe the clueless meanderings of Donald Trump:

(Ted) Cruz may be anti-establishment but he’s a principled conservative, while Trump has no coherent political philosophy, no core beliefs, at all. Trump offers barstool eruptions and whatever contradictory “idea” pops into his head at the time, such as “humane” mass deportation, followed by mass amnesty when the immigrants are returned to the United States.

That’s the reason his harebrained ideas — barring all Muslims from entering the country, a 45% tariff on Chinese goods, government-provided universal health care through “a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people” (why didn’t I think of that?) — have received such relatively little scrutiny. No one takes them seriously. His actual platform is all persona — the wonders that will emanate from his own self-proclaimed strength, toughness, brilliance, money, his very yugeness.

I have no idea what yugeness is either but an online search turns up a number of references to the term describing Trump or his crowds of glazed-eyed followers.

Krauthammer concludes that, despite the “establishment” wrangling and mangling, Republicans are picking conservatism over Trump’s brand of populism by 2 to 1 — when you add Marco Rubio and Cruz’s vote tally of 51 percent and compare that to Trump’s 24 percent — which he says bodes well for the GOP’s chances of survival as the party of Reagan

Ben Carson, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz at a recent debate. (Polaris/Newscom photo via IBD)

NY Times endorses Hillary in the middle of her missteps

Timing is everything.

On the same day The New York Times endorses Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, The Associated Press is reporting that 22 of her emails on her unsecured server were top secret and Investor’s Business Daily reveals she also destroyed Whitewater records, just as she has with Benghazi. Irresponsible? Serial destroyer? Indictable?

“Hillary Clinton is the right choice for the Democrats to present a vision for America that is radically different from the one that leading Republican candidates offer — a vision in which middle-class Americans have a real shot at prosperity, women’s rights are enhanced, undocumented immigrants are given a chance at legitimacy, international alliances are nurtured and the country is kept safe,” the Timesmen/women enthuse.

Hillary Clinton (NYT photo)

The AP editorializes in its news story, “Independent experts say it’s unlikely Clinton will be charged with wrongdoing, based on details that have surfaced so far and the lack of indications she intended to break laws.”

Intended? In this case the criteria might be reckless negligence.

IBD reports that Hillary Clinton’s subpoenaed but missing Rose Law firm billing records mysteriously showed up on a hallway table in the White House in January 1996 — after the statute of limitations had expired.

Those records had been in Vince Foster’s office at the time of his suicide, but Hillary Clinton and others hauled the records to a closet in her office, approximately 30 feet from the table where they were found two years later.

Also today the NY Times gave a backhanded endorsement to Ohio Gov. John Kasich for the Republican nomination. Yes, we are sure Republicans everywhere were anxiously awaiting the Times’ pick.

“Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, though a distinct underdog, is the only plausible choice for Republicans tired of the extremism and inexperience on display in this race,” the Times opined.



You never know what part will come flying off the ObamaCare contraption next

Toby Dials cartoon

ObamaCare is a huge Rube Goldberg device with near-infinite springs, levers and cogs that flip, spin and spiral, continually casting off parts and pieces in unanticipated vectors.

The latest iteration of this, as The Washington Post reports, is that about 22,000 people who signed up for ObamaCare on the infamous website have found the computer made errors — charged them too much, steered them into the wrong program or denied coverage entirely.

Lisa Benson cartoon

“For now, the appeals are sitting, untouched, inside a government computer,” WaPo relates. “And an unknown number of consumers who are trying to get help through less formal means — by calling the health-care marketplace directly — are told that’s computer system is not yet allowing federal workers to go into enrollment records and change them, according to individuals inside and outside the government who are familiar with the situation.”

Speaking of computer glitches, today’s Las Vegas newspaper carries an op-ed by an Hispanic activist, Daniel Garza, executive director of something called the LIBRE Initiative, who reports that the “Spanish-language health care website,, is already a laughingstock. Much like its English language counterpart, the site is filled with technical issues. There are mistranslations and links to English-only pages and forms.”

He also attests the Affordable Care Act is unaffordable for Hispanics and they can’t keep their doctors.

Speaking of cost, an Investor’s Business Daily editorial today tells us that one study has found the average deductible for a low-cost “bronze” ObamaCare plan is more than $5,000, which is about 40 percent higher than the average deductible available prior to ObamaCare.

Then there are all those people who are getting insurance coverage at the expense of the taxpayers. Obama told Bill O’Reilly on Superbowl Sunday, “What we’ve ended up doing is we’ve got 3 million people signed up so far.  We’re about a month behind of where we anticipated we wanted to be.  We’ve got over 6 million people who have signed up for Medicaid.”

And, when Congress decides to stop borrowing 40 cents on the dollar from the Chinese to pay for those Medicaid enrollees, the states, which must have balanced budgets, will have to turn to the taxpayers to foot that bill.

That will be a particularly heavy burden for those who have had their workweek shortened to less than 30 hours by the 401 companies trying to dodge ObamaCare penalties, according to an article in IBD.

That cutting of hours is one reason the unions are turning against ObamaCare, but another is the costs imposed on their Cadillac health plans. Union officials in a recent letter to Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi wrote:

“We were bitterly disappointed upon reading the proposed regulations put forward by the Administration. If the Administration honestly thinks that these proposed rules are responsive to our concerns, they were not listening or they simply did not care. We have examined various health exchanges and should members be forced to purchase insurance on an exchange, their out of pocket costs are likely to be significant, reaching into the thousands of dollars even if they are eligible for a subsidy under the act. It would be a sad irony indeed if the signature legislative accomplishment of an Administration committed to reducing income inequality cut living standards for middle-income and low-wage workers.”

That’s got to sting.

Another sting will come when 12 million currently illegal aliens are given amnesty. “Adding these largely poor immigrants to the state health exchanges and Medicaid rolls threatens to explode the $2 trillion cost of ObamaCare by another $210 billion to $300 billion over the next 10 years, according to the Senate Budget Committee,” reports IBD in an editorial, which added that the Congressional Budget Office estimates amnesty will add $112 billion over the next decade to the cost of Medicaid, Medicare and ObamaCare.

And that is just the out-of-pocket cost, because now the CBO is saying ObamaCare will slow economic growth and cost 2.5 million jobs and add $1 trillion to projected deficits, according to The Hill.

And just when you thought there was nothing else in the law that could be delayed comes another delay. The obscure “two midnight” rule for Medicare hospital admissions has been put off till Sept. 30, reports Modern Healthcare. Under this rule hospitals are presumed to have made an error and provided medically unnecessary care if a patient doesn’t spend 24 hours, or two midnights, in a hospital bed. More paperwork.

Too many moving parts mean too many things can and will go wrong.

Glenn McCoy cartoon

ObamaCare deadlines written in smoke

Move the goal posts. Punt. Move the goal posts. Punt. Move the goal posts. Punt. Move the goal posts. Punt.

That is the ObamaCare game plan.

As Investor’s Business Daily reports, the Department of Health and Human Services is now requiring insurers to accept payment on Dec. 31 for insurance coverage beginning Jan. 1. On top of that, HHS is “asking” insurers to accept partial payments and even insure people retroactively. 

HHS is releasing very little about enrollment figures. The only state reporting any real details about enrollment in the exchanges is California, where 156,000 people had selected an exchange plan, though 800,000 have had their individual health plans canceled. There have been an estimated 4 million cancellations nationwide, while only 365,000 have signed up on the federal or a state exchange and 800,000 have qualified for Medicaid.

Wasn’t ObamaCare supposed to cut the number of uninsured?

Additionally, the sign up numbers, at least in California, are enough to make the actuaries wince. Though many may not have yet actually paid a premium, 35 percent so far are 55-64 and 23 percent are 45-54, while the 18-34 group accounts for a mere 21 percent.

Meanwhile, in Nevada, The Associated Press is reporting a tale of Silver State Health Insurance Exchange woe.

Christopher Thompson, a former administrator for the state Division of Health Care Financing and Policy, told the SSHIX board on Thursday that he selected a policy on the exchange but repeatedly had his credit card rejected.

Thompson tried to “live chat” with an exchange representative for help on prescription coverage, but he kept getting a message that “all circuits are busy.”

“Overall, I called the call center about 100 times in the past 10 days,” Thompson said. “I would like to be able to pay my bill today,” he said, adding, “I am totally frustrated at this point.”

About 6,600 people are said to have selected insurance plans on the Nevada exchange but only 1,500 have paid.

Almost 25,000 Nevadans have had their individual health policies canceled.

VA provides an example of how the bureaucrats will handle ObamaCare

Let’s see, Harry Reid and crew hand the Department of Veterans Affairs $300 million in additional funding so it can reduce the backlog of disability claims. Then, Harry praises VA Secretary Eric Shinseki for doing a “wonderful job” when the claims backlog drops more than 2,000 claims per day.

So, how did they manage to become so much more efficient? The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports in the penultimate graph of a story in today’s paper:

“Concerned Veterans for America notes, however, that the VA’s reported progress in reducing the backlog is a mirage because claims processors rushed to deny claims with little review. The result: a backlog in appeals.”

Voila, fewer claims backlogged.

So, how will the bureaucrats respond when too few younger Americans sign up for ObamaCare and the older and sicker people who do begin to drive the costs of the program far beyond what was anticipated?

Death panels!

As Investor’s Business Daily points out in an editorial that Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled a government board, not family or doctors, has the ultimate power to pull the plug:

“Lost in the discussion of defunding ObamaCare and the failed effort in Congress is the fact that failure means the government’s ability to defund your life through the ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) remains. IPAB is regarded by many, starting with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, as a death panel whose decisions based on cost effectiveness would result in health care rationing.”

Howard Dean, a physician, former screaming presidential candidate and head of the Democratic National Committee, wrote in The Wall Street Journal this past summer:

“The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body. By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them.

“There does have to be control of costs in our health-care system. However, rate setting — the essential mechanism of the IPAB — has a 40-year track record of failure. What ends up happening in these schemes (which many states including my home state of Vermont have implemented with virtually no long-term effect on costs) is that patients and physicians get aggravated because bureaucrats in either the private or public sector are making medical decisions without knowing the patients. Most important, once again, these kinds of schemes do not control costs. The medical system simply becomes more bureaucratic.”

Do you think, when the money runs out, the IPAB will do what the bureaucrats at the VA did — deny, deny, deny?

Constitutional power yields to the power of thuggery and threats

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States …

— U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8

Today, the GOP caved in on almost all of its demands.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell claimed the deal preserves a round of spending cuts negotiated two years ago, but time will tell.

The “negotiations” proved the point of an Investor’s Business Daily editorial today that quotes Obama’s mentor Saul Alinsky, “Allow no middle ground. ‘Reconciliation’ means that when one side gets the power and the other side gets reconciled to it, then we have reconciliation.”

Rep. Tom McClintock, a California Republican, made an extraordinary statement on the floor of the House yesterday that reveals the massive shift in power we have just seen:

“House leadership met with the president last week and offered to extend the debt limit until November 22nd with no strings attached. The president refused. Senate Republicans offered a six-month extension, but the Senate Democratic leader refused. What the president threatens to do would be catastrophic and unprecedented. The full faith and credit of the United States is what gives markets the confidence to loan money to the federal government. Even a threat of default, exactly the kind the president is now making, could have dire consequences to a nation that now owes more than its entire economy produces in a year.

Rep. Tom McClintock

“So where do we go from here? Republicans miscalculated on two key assumptions. First, that the Democrats would negotiate the issues that divide our country. They have not. Second, that Democrats would seek to minimize the suffering caused by the impasse. They have not. Given the ruthless and vindictive way the shutdown has been handled, I now believe that this president would willfully act to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States, unless the Congress acquiesces to all of his demands, at least as long as he sees political advantage in doing so.

“If the Republicans acquiesce, the immediate crisis will quickly vanish. Credit markets will calm and public life will return to other matters, but a fundamental element up our Constitution will have been destroyed. The power of the purse will have shifted from the representatives of the people to the Executive. The executive bureaucracies will be freed to turn out ever more outlandish regulations with no affective congressional review or check through the purse.

“A perilous era will have begun in which the president sets spending levels and vetoes any bill falling short of his demands. Whenever a deadline approaches, one house can simply refuse to negotiate with the other until Congress is faced with a Hobson’s choice, of a shut down or a default. The nation’s spending will again dangerously accelerate. The deficit will rapidly widen and economic prosperity of the nation will continue to slowly bleed away.

“This impasse may have started as a dispute over a collapsing health program, but has now taken on the dimensions of a constitutional crisis.”

Why are your tax dollars being doled out to a company that is doing quite well?

Today’s front page of Investor’s Business Daily reports that the firm SolarCity — whose chairman is the fabulously wealthy head of of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk — expects to install between 71 percent and 89 percent more megawatts of solar panels next year than it did this year, which was a banner year. The share price of the company’s stock shot up 23 percent on the news. The price is up 490 percent since December 2012.

The story pointed out that businesses and homeowners who install solar panels, which is SolarCity’s primary function, shift the cost of the grid to those without such panels. “A California Public Utilities Commission study found that net metering will, by 2020, shift $359 million in annual costs from customers with solar panels to other ratepayers in the state,” IBD reports, though that study is disputed by others.

In Nevada those who install solar panels get a rebate from the power company and can apply for federal income tax deductions.

So, tell me again why the Governor’s Office of Economic Development gave SolarCity $1.2 million to open an office in Las Vegas, even though SolarCity already operated in 13 states and more than a dozen Nevada taxpaying companies were already doing the same function and SolarCity would be in competition with them.

Dignitaries celebrate giving your money to SolarCity. (R-J video screen grab)

Tea party members are fair game, but mosques are not?

We now know that tea party affiliated groups and like-minded conservatives who tried to qualify for tax-exempt status with the IRS were singled out for extra scrutiny.

Boston Mosque attended by the Tsarnaev brothers.

And while every phone call in the country and every computer keystroke is being monitored, we now learn that Muslim mosques are being singled out for no scrutiny at all.

According to an Investor’s Business Daily editorial today, mosques are off-limits. No more surveillance. No sting operations.

Since September 2011, such operations must be OK’d by a special secret panel.

IBD reported:

“Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.

“If only they were allowed to continue, perhaps the many victims of the Boston Marathon bombings would not have lost their lives and limbs. The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshipped.”

A recent survey of American mosques found 80 percent preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature.

But we can only profile conservatives and strip search grannies in wheel chairs at the airport. What a country!

Climate change hysteria still overblown

Let’s just say the proponents of immediate construction of industrial-scale renewable energy generation facilities have a solution in search of a problem.

But based an preliminary findings from sketchy data Nevada lawmakers are pushing eight different bills to encourage the use of “green” energy, Harry Reid is threatening the utility company if it doesn’t buy more “green” energy from his cronies, Obama touts it in his State of the Union speech and liberals everywhere are demanding the immediate cessation of the burning of any and all fossil fuels in the United States. Never mind that there are 1,200 coal-fired plants on the drawing board worldwide.

Now, all of you global warming acolytes, stick your fingers in your ears and chant “la, la, la, I can’t hear you,” because I am about to cite an article in Investor’s Business Daily by Paul Knappenberger, an assistant director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, both of which are dripping in oil money and have chunks of coal where their hearts should be.

Harry Reid tours solar farm in 2010. (AP photo)

Knappenberger says new scientific data suggest the threat posed by human-caused climate change is substantially less than previously claimed. He points to recently published research from a team headed by Dr. Peter Stott, a climate expert from the U.K.’s Met Office Hadley Center and previously an author of a United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) study that found greenhouse gases could lead to rapid increases in global temperatures.

But Stout’s most recent study found projections of an alarming rise in temperature are inconsistent with past observations of actual conditions.

Knappenberger writes, “When Stott and his colleagues forced the amount of global warming predicted by climate models to equal the amount of warming that has actually been observed, the future temperature rise projected to accompany human greenhouse gas emissions dropped rather substantially. In other words, the better climate models match the past, the less scary the future looks.

“Big surprise: My colleagues and I published the same thing in the scientific literature more than 10 years ago.”

The man from Cato says seven other recent studies have reached similar conclusions.

Knappenberger further notes the planet’s average temperature largely has remained unchanged in 16 years, despite the fact annual GHG emissions increased nearly 50 percent.

So, why are our “leaders” in Washington and  Carson City in such a helter-skelter rush to cover the Nevada desert and mountains with acres and acres of solar panels and bird-killing windmills that jack up the price of electricity by as much as 30 percent and are so intermittent the power company must keep quick-start (cheaper to run but expensive to build) natural gas-fired generation idling and polluting for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine?