I expected to spend the weekend at the Levitation Music Festival here in Austin, but it got cancelled when it looked like t was going to be rained out. However, I did see a makeup show by Slowdive, which was the biggest reason I was attending anyway.
Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’
The Texas voter ID law will remain in the books, at least for the November election, after the Supreme Court refused to issue an “emergency” request to suspend the law while the court case against it is being considered.
What this means in the short term: Democrats won’t be able to steal some down-ballot Texas races with illegal alien votes this year.
No wonder Democrats hate voter ID…
Hillary Clinton, with her slender elected delegate and huge superdelegates leads over Bernie Sanders, is the presumptive Democratic nominee. She got there in large measure with the fundraising infrastructure her husband built for his successful presidential run, a veritable stranglehold over the DNC apparatus and a naked willingness to pander to just about every faction in the Democratic Party’s coalition.
But there’s also growing evidence that Clinton had another advantage over Sanders: Her willingness to use dirty tricks and outright fraud to secure the nomination.
Here are just a few examples:
The fact that Clinton would resort to dirty tricks, even going in as they heavy favorite, should surprise absolutely no one who has paid attention to career over the years.
I know I just haven’t harped enough on the tremendous, stinking heap of fail that is ObamaCare, but just in case anyone was unclear on that, here’s Marc Thiessen with a solid rundown:
Historian David Maraniss notes, in Sunday’s Post, that President Obama came to office with the goal of changing “the trajectory of America” and leaving “a legacy as a president of consequence, the liberal counter to [Ronald] Reagan.”
On the foreign-policy front, he is the anti-Reagan for certain. Reagan defeated Soviet communism and left us a safer world; Obama presided over the rise and metastasis of the Islamic State and left us a far more dangerous one.
Domestically, Ronald Reagan told the American people: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’ ” Obama wanted to convince Americans that they were not terrifying. And the way he was going to do it was through the only great liberal legislative achievement of his presidency: Obamacare.
He failed. Even before he leaves office, Obamacare has begun unraveling.
The law was passed over the objections of a majority of Americans, it is still opposed by a majority of Americans — and their opposition has been vindicated. Last week, UnitedHealth Group announced that, after estimated losses of more than $1 billion for 2015 and 2016 under Obamacare, the company was pulling out of most of its ill-fated exchanges.
In fact, commercial insurers across the country are hemorrhaging money on Obamacare at alarming rates. Health Care Service Corp. (which owns Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliates in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas) has lost “well north of $2 billion” in its first two years — twice as much as UnitedHealth. Highmark, the nation’s fourth-largest Blue Cross plan, lost nearly $600 million in 2015. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has projected it will lose more than $400 million in the first two years, and the company has said it may leave the exchanges entirely next year.
The president promised these insurers taxpayer bailouts if they lost money, but Congress in its wisdom passed legislation barring the use of taxpayer dollars to prop up the insurers. Without the bailouts, commercial insurers are being forced to eat their losses — while more than half of the Obamacare nonprofit insurance cooperatives created under the law failed.
So what happens now? Because commercial insurers are not going to keep bleeding cash to prop up Obamacare, they have three choices: 1) scale back coverage, 2) raise prices or 3) get out of the exchanges entirely. More and more are going to choose option 3.
Does this mean that Obamacare is finally entering its “death spiral”? Not exactly. As my American Enterprise Institute colleague Scott Gottlieb explains, while commercial insurers are starting to leave Obamacare, they are being replaced by Medicaid health maintenance organizations (HMOs) offering skimpy plans that mirror what they offer in Medicaid — our nation’s emergency health insurance program for the poorest of the poor.
This is a catastrophe for people stuck in Obamacare. According to a 2014 McKinsey survey, about three-quarters of those in the exchanges were previously insured on commercial plans, either through their employers or the individual market. They were doing fine without taxpayer-subsidized insurance but were pushed into Obamacare. They now face rising premiums and smaller provider networks — and as commercial insurers flee, they will increasingly be stuck in horrible, Medicaid-style plans.
This is not what the president promised when he sold Obamacare to the American people.
With Obamacare, Obama wanted to restore America’s faith in big government. Instead, the opposite has happened. Today, 69 percent of Americans say big government is “the biggest threat to the country in the future” (ahead of big business or big labor). That figure, which is slightly down from 72 percent in 2013, is higher under Obama than it has been since Gallup began asking the question about 50 years ago. Obamacare has done more to discredit big government than 1,000 Reagan speeches ever did.
That, in the end, will be Obama’s enduring domestic legacy.
Read the whole thing.
Just because current New York mayor Bill De Blasio is a left-wing loon doesn’t mean he’s not also corrupt up to his eyeballs:
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has his sights set squarely on the political operative turned chief executive.
It’s a sprawling probe, but the main line appears to be following the money trail the Daily News’ Greg B. Smith, NY1’s Grace Rauh and others have extensively tracked since de Blasio ran for mayor in 2013.
That was when a union run by his cousin and a top donor to him both wrote six-figure checks to an anti-carriage horse group run by big developers that days later cut checks for the exact same amount to another group — very ironically named New York City Is Not For Sale — that promptly spent the cash, not disclosed until well after the damage was done, on TV ads that brought down then-frontrunner Christine Quinn.
Wait, Democrats and unions involved in corruption? What are the odds?
That happened just as de Blasio found religion on the carriage-horse issue, repeatedly vowing to end on “day one” of his administration an industry that very few New Yorkers saw as a scourge but that would open up what’s now vastly valuable land where the stables now sit on Manhattan’s Far West Side. The developer behind that push, Steve Nislick, wrote a “Shermanesque” statement to the Voice of the People last year vowing he wouldn’t personally profit from their closing.
And it’s not just ponies: “The feds are also looking at how the city helped turn a nursing home for AIDS patients into luxury condos and at a series of scandals involving hookers for top cops and diamonds for their wives.” Among many other transgressions.
That cops and hookers scandal (which took place on a plane to Las Vegas, a nice plus for a juicy sex and corruption story) involved Jeremy Reichberg and Jona Rechnitz, both of whom are De Blasio donors.
Given that Bharara took down former Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, there’s a good chance he’ll succeed in taking down De Blasio. Then it might finally be Andrew Cuomo’s turn in the barrel…
(Hat tip: Instapundit’s Twitter feed.)
“Dems fear their primary has reached danger zone”
That’s the actual headline on this actual story from the Hill.
This offers me a chance to
cram as many Archer memes into one post as possible do an update on the Democratic Presidential race.
The upshot of the piece is that the Democratic establishment was fine and dandy with Bernie Sanders when he had no chance of winning, but now that he’s kicking Hillary Clinton’s ass and actually threatening to upset her coronation, there’s finger-wagging and pearl-clutching like you wouldn’t believe.
“Anxiety is rising among Democrats ahead of Tuesday’s primary in New York, with some fearing the battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders has reached a danger zone.”
Translation: Sanders attacks are hurting Clinton. And we just can’t let that happen!
“‘While this is the NFL, and everyone understands that it’s a full-contact sport, even in the NFL one gets a yellow flag for a late hit at the knees intended to hurt the other player,’ said Democratic strategist Chris Lehane.”
I know you’ll be shocked, SHOCKED to learn that Lehane “served as a lawyer, spokesperson and expert in opposition research for the Clinton White House.”
The Vermont senator has long drawn contrasts between himself and Clinton, but his attacks have grown more caustic of late, particularly with regard to the former first lady’s links to big financial companies.
At a huge rally in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on Sunday, Sanders said a speech Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs must have been delivered in “Shakespearean prose,” given the $225,000 fee she received.
He was equally scathing during last week’s debate when Clinton insisted that, during her time as a New York senator, she had “called out” banks for poor mortgage practices.
“Secretary Clinton called them out. Oh my goodness, they must have been really crushed by this,” Sanders responded. “And was that before or after you received huge sums of money by giving speaking engagements? So they must have been very, very upset by what you did.”
The left of the Democratic Party has long been uneasy about Clinton’s coziness with the corporate world. But the emphatic, persistent way in which Sanders is attacking her on the topic risks painting her as a cipher of Wall Street — and such a charge could drain liberal grassroots enthusiasm if she locks up the nomination.
Translation: Queen Hillary owns Democratic voters, and that pipsqueak Sanders has no right to “drain liberal grassroots enthusiasm.”
“‘I am worried about the increasingly harsh tone and tenor of this campaign [that could] turn off Sanders supporters in the general [election],” said strategist Jim Manley, a former aide to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has endorsed Clinton. ‘I’m afraid they’re going to stay home.'”
Funny how this piece keeps quoting Clinton toadies and Democratic insiders, isn’t it?
How nice of The Hill to offer Hillary this in-kind donation…
Time for another Texas vs. California roundup, with the top news being California’s hastening their economic demise with a suicidal minimum wage hike:
California’s drive to hike the minimum wage has little to do with average workers and everything to do with the Golden State’s all-powerful government employee unions.
Nationally, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is known for representing lower skilled workers. But, of the SEIU’s 2.1 million dues-paying members, half work for the government. In California, that translates to clout with much of the $50 million SEIU spent in the U.S. on political activities and lobbying spent in California. In fact, out of the 12 “yes” votes for the minimum wage bill in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations on March 30, the SEIU had contributed almost $100,000 out of the three-quarters of a million contributed by public employee unions—yielding a far higher return on investment than anything Wall Street could produce.
Unions represent about 59 percent of all government workers in California. Many union contracts are tied to the minimum wage — boost the minimum wage and government union workers reap a huge windfall, courtesy of the overworked California taxpayer.
“California’s taxes and regulations are crushing businesses, and there are more opportunities in Texas for people to start new companies, get good jobs, and create better lives for their families,” said Nathan Nascimento, the director of state initiatives at Freedom Partners. “When tax and regulatory climates are bad, people will move to better economic environments—this phenomenon isn’t a mystery, it’s how marketplaces work. Not only should other state governments take note of this, but so should the federal government.”
According to Tom Gray of the Manhattan Institute, people may be leaving California for the employment opportunities, tax breaks, or less crowded living arrangements that other states offer.
“States with low unemployment rates, such as Texas, are drawing people from California, whose rate is above the national average,” Gray wrote. “Taxation also appears to be a factor, especially as it contributes to the business climate and, in turn, jobs.”
“Most of the destination states favored by Californians have lower taxes,” Gray wrote. “States that have gained the most at California’s expense are rated as having better business climates. The data suggest that may cost drivers—taxes, regulations, the high price of housing and commercial real estate, costly electricity, union power, and high labor costs—are prompting businesses to locate outside California, thus helping to drive the exodus.”
(Hat tip: Pension Tsunami.)
The Little Sisters of the Poor case, which will decide whether the Obama Administration can force Catholic nuns to pay for abortions by fiat, is before the Supreme Court.
Some interesting developments:
The government’s position in Zubik v. Burwell, the contraceptive mandate case, just got weirder. It is increasingly difficult to understand why the government has been litigating so long and so hard to force the Little Sisters and other religious organizations to perform acts they regard as contrary to their faith, when it now admits (however grudgingly) that it all was unnecessary.
Of course, this ignores the possibility that the entire point of ObamaCare (and the administration’s specific interpretation of same) was to force Catholics and evangelicals to pay for abortion against their will. As Yuval Levin notes: “It is a culture war of choice on the part of the Obama White House.” That’s the reason this administration is willing to violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in order to punish the The Little Sisters of the Poor. As Instapundit noted: “They hate those groups and wanted to punish them.”
Every knee must bend.