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Will Secretary Sebelius face any consequences as she takes responsibility for Obamacare debacle?

When, just over a year ago, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took responsible for the Benghazi debacle, she suffered no consequences, even as the media claimed the former First Lady had fallen on her sword.

Now another member of President Obama’s cabinet has changed her tune and taken responsibility for the disastrous rollout of Obamacare, asking that Congress hold her “accountable” as she is “responsible.”  And what exactly does that mean to hold her responsible?  Mrs. Clinton kept her job after verbally taking responsibility.  Looks like Mrs. Sebelius will keep hers as well.

Guess maybe she’s going to go to the White House where the president will dispense fifty lashes with a wet noodle.

RELATED: Why Obama Won’t Fire Sebelius

UPDATE:  Jennifer Rubin writes:

Sebelius claimed she was “accountable,” but this means little. She isn’t resigning. She still insists contractors were at fault. It’s a kind of no-consequences accountability, I suppose.

Read the whole thing.

Matthew Shepard Martyrdom Story Gets Snoped

Matthew Shepard was a gay 21 year old college student, who was beaten to death in a terrible hate crime because… homophobia.

Status: False.

Stephen Jiminez – not a right-wing Christian apologist, but a gay investigative journalist who values the truth above ‘The Narrative’ – has published a book: The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard.

Shepard’s tragic and untimely demise may not have been fueled by his sexual orientation, but by drugs. For Shepard had likely agreed to trade methamphetamines for sex. And it killed him.

And for daring to undercut the narrative with inconvenient little things called “facts,” Jiminez has been vilified by those who profit from promoting a narrative of imaginary hate.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog recently accused Jimenez of serving as a lapdog of “right-wing pundits, radio hosts and bloggers.” In Washington, DC, gay activists pestered bookstores to cancel Jimenez’s appearances.

In a world with a properly functioning moral compass, Matt Shepard’s story would be a cautionary tale with the moral: “Don’t leave a bar with strangers to have sex and do drugs.”

But in the twisted world where only ‘The Narrative’ matters, Shepard was a complete innocent whose death is useful in villainizing people who had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Why won’t Mrs. Sebelius follow the example of the man who tapped her to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services?

Gee whiz, Kathleen, didn’t you hear what President Obama said to Jay Leno in March 2009?  Here’s a reminder for those who don’t read this blog that often:

And one of the things that I’m trying to break is a pattern in Washington where everybody is always looking for somebody else to blame. And I think Geithner is doing an outstanding job. I think that we have a big mess on our hands. It’s not going to be solved immediately, but it is going to get solved. And the key thing is for everybody just to stay focused on doing the job instead of trying to figure out who you can pass blame on to.

But, alas, the Secretary of Health and Human Services is passing the blame onto someone else.  In her testimony tomorrow before the House of Representatives, she intends to “blame contractors, not HHS, for Healthcare.gov problems in House testimony“:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will tell a House committee tomorrow the site’s botched rollout was the result of contractors failing to live up to expectations – not bad management at HHS, as the contractors suggested.

Wouldn’t a good executive have recognized well before the rollout date that the contractors were derelict in their duties?

UPDATE (from Jeff): Today Sebelius is doing the opposite and apologizing. Someone must have explained to her, finally, that it’s part of her job to publicly fall on her sword for her boss.

The vengeful greed – and stupidity – of today’s liberals

As Obamacare inflicts serious rate hikes on most consumers, quotes like the following are making the rounds:

In his story, reporter Chad Terhune also quoted a letter sent to a California insurance company executive. “I was all for Obamacare,” wrote a young woman complaining about a 50 percent rate hike related to the health care law, “until I found out I was paying for it.”

At first glance, one may admire the speaker’s sharp tongue. She gets to the heart of the matter.

But what is she really saying? That she wants to be generous with Other People’s Money. Not hers! For her, the key moral and emotional transaction in politics is to make herself feel good by having government take from others; by literally making others pay.

She also reveals that she has no idea how life works. She seriously thought that health care could be made “free” (i.e., sick people heavily subsidized, in inefficient exchanges that the government forces people to be in against their will) without herself having to pay the price for it, sooner or later, in some form.

I propose a politics where people are free to choose, and to keep most of what they earn.

  • If they choose to spend their lives productively, they keep most of the results (and can give to others, if they wish to).
  • If they choose not to spend their lives productively, then they bear most the consequences (although they will probably still find help from family, friends, and pro bono doctors/clinics, not limited to emergency rooms).
  • Life’s transactions are voluntary – requiring both sides to feel they’re gaining in some way, or else the transaction doesn’t happen – and, as such, tend to get cheaper and more efficient over time.

Everyone wins. Except, perhaps, the short-sighted and the vengeful.

So, lying is only a problem when Republicans do it?

MSNBC Contributor Tells Hugh Hewitt Obama Deliberately Lied About Obamacare (Via Instapundit)

Wonder what Mr. Page said about George W. Bush’s alleged dishonesty

Way to Go, Progressive Left, You Are Officially Worse Than the Westboro Baptist Church

GUEST POST from GP Commenter V the K:

I’ll begin by stipulating that the Westboro Baptists are despicable people. I will also stipulate that their stated beliefs are obnoxious and appalling.* But as horrible as the Westboro’s are to all decent people, I grant them one thing: They have never threatened anyone with bodily harm nor wished death on anyone’s children. (If you take them at their word, ‘Turn or Burn’ is merely a warning of the consequences of what they see as sinful behavior.)

Contrast the relative non-violence of the WBC with our friends on the progressive left:

There you have it. Progressive Left – Advocates murdering opponents and their children. WBC – has never advocated murder or violence toward anyone. Moral Advantage – WBC.

(Sidebar: For the record, I don’t believe the WBC is sincere, I think they’re trolling on a massively successful scale, but that’s a topic for another time.)

Update BTW, if this tweet is genuine, the Westboro Baptists hate the Tea Party as much as the Progressive Left does. How does it feel to be on the same side?

Didn’t House Republicans attach this to a “Continuing Resolution”?
(And didn’t Democrats find it unacceptable?)

Just caught this on Yahoo!:

The Obama administration may give Americans extra time to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, postponing when penalties for failing to buy coverage will go into effect, MarketWatch has learned.

The health care law requires most people to have health insurance by Jan. 1, 2014, but allows for “short coverage gaps” of up to three months before imposing the penalty, which is $95 or 1% of an individual’s income (whichever is greater) next year. That means someone must be covered by March 31, an official with the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed, which is the final day that people will be able to purchase health insurance on the public exchanges, or marketplaces, created by the ACA.

Question of the day

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 3:35 pm - October 23, 2013.
Filed under: Pop Culture,Random Thoughts

Why do ghosts wear clothes?

asdf
When die you, forever look you like the outfit you died in.

Krugtron the Laughable

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:12 am - October 23, 2013.
Filed under: Academia,Debt Crisis,Economy,Liberals,Unhinged Liberals

In the last two weeks, Huffington Post (to its credit) has published a 3-part takedown of the noxious New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, by the fetching economic historian, Niall Ferguson:

It’s long, but I found it a pleasure on several levels. Ferguson is a civil human being (see the video at the bottom of part I) and always an engaging and thoughtful writer. And Krugman merits the takedown, as a writer who habitually over-states his own rightness and denies his past mistakes (such as his 2002 call in favor of having a housing bubble). Krugman recently called himself “Krugtron the Invincible”, which Ferguson adopted as the title for his series.

Via Cyniconomics. Victory dance (and summary) from Ralph Benko at Forbes.

For fun, here’s Dilbert from June 3:

Dilbert cartoon about Paul Krugman

Recovery update

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 5:17 pm - October 22, 2013.
Filed under: Economy,Obama Incompetence,Unemployment crisis

From Zero Hedge, an update of that chart that shows where the White House originally said unemployment would be, under President Obama’s brilliant policies:

Unemployment, with and without the 2009 stimulus plan

And remember, to call unemployment 7.2% is to be very generous to Obama; it forgets the millions who have departed from the labor force in despair, on his watch.

Using labor force participation rates from when Obama took office, current unemployment would be somewhere above 11%.

UPDATE (from Dan): As CNN reports, the “labor force participation rate — the percentage of people over 16 who either have a job or are actively searching for one — fell to 63.2% in August. The last time it was that low was in August of 1978.”

Must be that smart diplomacy about which we’ve heard tell

Screen shot 2013-10-22 at 9.42.39 AM

The article, Saudi spy chief says Riyadh to ‘shift away from U.S.’ over Syria, Iran

To be sure, the Saudis have their own problems, but if our diplomats were a bit more, shall we say, deft in the dealings with our allies, we might have been able to avoid this.

UPDATE (from Jeff): Lots of irony here. First, the article sort-of-implies that Saudi Arabia was behind Kerry and Obama’s sudden, urgent push in August for a Syria war. (Once again, the Left *is* what it accuses the Right of.) Second, if the Saudis are shifting ‘away from’ U.S. protection, the article ought to state whose protection they are shifting ‘to’. I’ll say it: either Russia or China. Which is not good. Apart from the implied failure of the U.S. to contain Iran, it brings us a step closer to the world’s eventual rejection of the U.S. dollar as the basis of international trade. Whether through policies of insane spending/deficit/debt at home, or flailing incompetence abroad (no grand scheme), Obama is getting the U.S.’ world position to unravel. “Thanks, Obama!”

The left-wing Apocalypse

City Journal has a wonderful piece from Pascal Bruckner on “climate change” as the left-wing version of the Apocalypse: a dogma, anti-technology, impervious to reason, wherein Gaia (the new left-wing God) rains destruction upon humanity as punishment for its sin of not living by leftism.

Around the turn of the twenty-first century, a paradigm shift in our thinking took place: we decided that the era of revolutions was over and that the era of catastrophes had begun…

How did this change happen? Over the last half-century, leftist intellectuals have identified two great scapegoats for the world’s woes. First, Marxism designated capitalism as responsible for human misery. Second, “Third World” ideology, disappointed by the bourgeois indulgences of the working class, targeted the West… The guilty party that environmentalism now accuses—mankind itself, in its will to dominate the planet—is essentially a composite of the previous two, a capitalism invented by a West that oppresses peoples and destroys the earth…“There are only two solutions,” Bolivian president Evo Morales declared in 2009. “Either capitalism dies, or Mother Earth dies.”

So the planet has become the new proletariat that must be saved from exploitation—if necessary, by reducing the number of human beings…

There’s more.

Via NRO (Stanley Kurtz), who delves into a different angle: how left-wing environmentalism lets rich, white college kids join the ranks of the oppressed. “Global warming allows the upper-middle-class to join the proletariat, cloaking erstwhile oppressors in the mantle of righteous victimhood.”

President Obama’s solution to every problem: Give a speech

Each of us is born with certain gifts. What determines our success in life oftentimes is how we develop those gifts to serve the needs of the world in which we live.

Barack Obama has a mellifluous speaking voice. And he can, on occasion, deliver an inspiring speech. His keynote address to the 2004 Democratic National Convention catapulted the charismatic Chicago politician to national fame. Had he not delivered that speech he would not have been in a position to run for — and win — the White House four years later.

And now, as president, he seems think that he can address the nation’s problems through such speeches. During the month of September, as a government shutdown loomed, instead of reaching out to — and meeting with — congressional leaders, he delivered a number of campaign-style speeches.  And now as his health care overhaul faces myriad glitches, he’s doing it again, as Reason’s Peter Suderman reports:

Three weeks after the deeply troubled launch of Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges, President Obama gave a speech responding to some of the problems that have plagued the government-run online enrollment system. The most revealing thing about it was what he didn’t say.

Obama was somewhat more blunt than he has been about the system’s failures. “There’s no sugarcoating it. The website has been too slow. People have getting stuck during the application process. And I think it’s fair to say that nobody’s more frustrated by that than I am,” he said. “There’s no excuse for the problems.”

No excuse—and no explanation either. Obama acknowledged some problems with the site. But he didn’t say why they happened, when they would be resolved, or what the administration’s specific plan was to get things working.

Read the whole thing.  H/t:  Powerline picks.  So convinced is the president with his rhetorical prowess that he doesn’t need explain, he just needs to talk.

No wonder, Allahpundit sees the speech as a means to buy “time for website repairs and trying to combat ominous polls like this, which show the public’s perceptions of Healthcare.gov bleeding over into their perceptions of the ObamaCare program generally.”

A speech may buy the president time, but it won’t fix the program’s flaws  — nor will it contain its costs.

The Reality of America’s Finances

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 11:26 am - October 21, 2013.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Debt Crisis,Government Shutdown

That’s the title of a nice post recently from Jon Gabriel at FreedomWorks.

America’s fiscal crisis is not that our debt ceiling was too low, the fiscal crisis is that our debt is too high. When I mentioned this to left-leaning folks, they seemed indifferent…So I made this infographic…

RTWT. As a further tease, here is Mr. Gabriel’s graphic:
America's finances: deficit, revenue and debt

ADDENDUM: Gabriel notes one leftie talking point that’s been making the rounds, “Obama lowered the deficit.” Umm, not really!

First, President Obama’s annual deficits are still larger than President Bush’s were. (Count the FY2009 deficit as Obama’s because his signature is on that budget, not Bush’s. In 2008, the Democrat Congress deliberately held back the FY2009 budget from Bush’s signature, so that Obama could sign it in early 2009 with lots of so-called “stimulus” spending added. Not fair to make Bush responsible for that. Also, even aside from that, Obama’s average deficit is still vastly larger than Bush’s average.)

Second: actually, the Tea Party lowered the deficit. In 2011-13, they have dragged Obama reluctantly into the sequester budget cuts – which Democrats officially haaaaaaaate, remember? Don’t mix up your talking points, lefties! 🙂

Will the media hold Mrs. Pelosi to account for her, um, well, her memory lapses?

Caught this on Facebook and thought I would share it with our readers:1378051_10151747415676902_1252865382_n

Can you imagine how the media would treat a Republican leader with such a memory lapse? (They might call it dishonesty.)

*Nick Adds:*

In response to Dan’s rhetorical question:

In fact, we know what the reaction would be:

Wonder if, after her death, one of Nancy Pelosi’s own children will stab her in the back and dishonor her life by saying she was mentally incompetent while in office. Surely if that were to happen the news media will love to pile on as they did after Reagan’s death.

Guess Who actually calls its opponents unpatriotic and wants to jail them?

Item #366,720 in the archives of “The Left is and does, that of which it falsely accuses the Right.”

At MoveOn.org, more than 44,000 have called for the GOP leaders to be arrested for ‘seditious conspiracy’ over the recent government shutdown (and ‘default’ scare). As ZH points out, that’s more people than have signed up for Obamacare.

Needless to say, MoveOn’s petition is a FAIL on several levels: (more…)

Thoughts for the day

“Gaius Gracchus proposed a grain law. The people were delighted with it because it provided an abundance of food without work. The good men, however, fought against it because they thought the masses would be attracted away from hard work and toward idleness, and they saw that the state treasury would be exhausted.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Politicians get up and promise you all sorts of free stuff. They say, I’ll give you more and more stuff, and you won’t have to pay for it…My own view is that we have to tell people the truth, and we’re going to have to demand sacrifice of the American people. The idea of borrowing a trillion dollars more than we take in [each year] is not just bad economics, it’s immoral. I’m not going to do it, and I’m not going to promise what can’t be delivered.” – Mitt Romney

“We had a chance, in 2012, to elect as president a man who built his entire career and fortune on turning around financially troubled enterprises. But the voters rejected him because Obama claimed he was going to give women cancer and outlaw tampons. That is when I knew our country was f—ed.”
V the K

Didn’t someone once call this level of debt “unpatriotic”?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:30 pm - October 19, 2013.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Liberal Hypocrisy

As I caught this headline, U.S. debt jumps a record $328 billion — tops $17 trillion for first time, I recalled hearing a politician once call huge increases in debt unpatriotic.

Just found the clip on Youtube:

Twenty months ago today, CBS News reported that the “national debt has increased more under Obama than under Bush“:

The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office.

The latest posting from the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department shows the National Debt now stands at $15.566 trillion. It was $10.626 trillion on President Bush’s last day in office, which coincided with President Obama’s first day.

The federal government has added an additional $1.509 trillion in debt since the date when the debt accumulated under Obama exceeded than accumulated under Bush.  And the Democrat has not yet completed a full five years in office.  George W. Bush served for eight full years.

ObamaLies – in action

First, the facts.

  • October 16: U.S. national debt is $16,747,370,534,090.62.
  • Then they raise the debt ceiling.
  • October 18, at 3pm: U.S. debt is at $17,075,590,107,963.57.

That’s a $300+ billion increase, in two days. It’ll continue (albeit, at a slower pace). It moves the U.S. mathematically closer to its coming default, and the added interest will cost taxpayers (especially if interest rates rise in the future).

Now, here’s what Obama said during the shutdown. October 3:

I want to spend a little time on this. It’s something called raising the debt ceiling. And it’s got a lousy name, so a lot of people end up thinking, I don’t know, I don’t think we should raise our debt ceiling, because it sounds like we’re raising our debt. But that’s not what this is about.

It doesn’t cost taxpayers a single dime. It doesn’t grow our deficits by a single dime…it’s not something that raises our debt.

Or, October 8:

…it’s called raising the debt ceiling, I think a lot of Americans think it’s raising our debt. It is not raising our debt. This does not add a dime to our debt.

‘Nuff said.

GOP Establishment preferred to lose?

I think the argument could be made, re: the recent confrontation over the debt ceiling and Obamacare. Via Ed Morrissey, Sen. Cruz hints at it in his ABC News interview:

“I will say that the reason this deal, the lousy deal was reached last night, is because, unfortunately, Senate Republicans made the choice not to support House Republicans,” Cruz told ABC News. “I wish Senate Republicans had united, I tried to do everything I could to urge Senate Republicans to come together and stand with House Republicans.”

First, let’s note that eighteen GOP Senators did stand with House Republicans, leaving 27 who didn’t.

But what about the 27? Some seem clueless about the larger issues, as for example, Sen. McCain who said “The real losers [in the shutdown] were the American people,” when the reverse is true: Americans lost when government re-opened under terms of greater debt, and with Obamacare intact.

As Morrissey didn’t support the recent confrontation, he goes on to argue that “The only way to dismantle ObamaCare is to win [future] elections.” I disagree.

Since raising the debt ceiling brings America closer to its coming default, and since Obamacare is bad law that harms our economy: then patriotic lawmakers should use any legal, constitutional means available to obstruct or delay them, with whatever votes they can muster today. Yes, rock the boat!

But 60% of Senate Republicans, it seems, would rather undercut the boat rockers – or even attack them. If their problem isn’t a form of Stockholm Syndrome, then I suspect it’s the GOP’s real civil war, K Street vs. the Tea Party.

K Street, or the GOP’s Washington / Big Government wing, has won a round and now presses the advantage by trashing the boat-rockers in the media. But I say, kudos to Sen. Cruz for at least having tried to do the right thing.

As former Sen. Jim DeMint has just said, of Obamacare:

The reason [we fight] is simple: to protect the American people from the harmful effects of this law…

More and more people have had their work hours cut, their jobs eliminated and their coverage taken away..

We know that premiums are going up due to ObamaCare—Americans are getting notices in their mailboxes every day…

[Americans] shouldn’t have to wait three more years for Congress to give them relief from this law, especially when the president has so frequently given waivers to his friends. Full legislative repeal may not be possible while President Obama remains in office, but delaying implementation by withholding funds from a law that is proven to be unfair, unworkable and unaffordable is a reasonable and necessary fight.

Raising the debt ceiling is equally bad law. Would that more of the GOP had seen clearly on that as well as Obamacare, and stood up to obstruct both.