Monday, December 2, 2013
From: Gary L. Bauer
A Thanksgiving Miracle
We are getting reports from all over the country of a possible Thanksgiving miracle. Truly, something appears to have happened once believed to be impossible.
On farms in Iowa and in gritty working class neighborhoods in Pittsburg, from sunny L.A. to windy Chicago, we have seen reports that at Thanksgiving meals across the nation, lost sheep came home. As families gazed in wonder in home after home, former “Obamabots” renounced their indoctrination and admitted they had been wrong when they bought into the doubletalk from our community organizer-in-chief.
Sure, these conversions aren’t quite a “road to Damascus” experience and backsliding is still possible. But from unemployed college graduates to recently insurance-deprived consumers, the “faith” in “O” has collapsed. God bless America!
The White House is hailing the relaunch of the Obamacare website, Healthcare.gov, as a success now that it supposedly remains online 90% of the time. Despite all the hype, all is not well. The site crashed when CNN tested it yesterday.
In a report detailing its efforts to rebuild the site, the administration included this telling line: “While there is more work to be done, the team is operating with private sector velocity and effectiveness, and will continue their work to improve and enhance the website in the weeks and months ahead.”
After three years and hundreds of millions of dollars down the drain, the administration is now attempting to emulate the private sector. As MSNBC’s Chuck Todd put it, “That is an indictment on the whole idea of government as a solution.”
The editors of USA Today were particularly harsh in their assessment. In a scathing editorial, the paper noted, as we have many times, that designing a website should have been the easiest part. They wrote:
Obama and his signature effort are nowhere near out of the woods. The system still doesn’t have enough capacity to handle a rush.
problems that were overshadowed by the website’s catastrophic early failures will loom much larger.
and the almost incomprehensible mismanagement exposed by the website fiasco does not inspire confidence
Major Battles Ahead
As we reported last week, Obamacare will be back before the Supreme Court next year when its mandate forcing Christian business owners and religious institutions to violate their values gets a final hearing.
It’s difficult to predict what the court will do. But last year it ruled unanimously against the administration’s attempt to limit the religious liberty of an employer. While the issues at stake with the contraception mandate are different, last year’s ruling suggests the administration faces a very high bar at the high court when it attempts to restrict religious liberty.
Meanwhile, there is another case moving through the legal system, which, if successful, could prove far more damaging to Obamacare. The state of Oklahoma is suing the Obama Administration to enforce the law as it was written with respect to Obamacare’s subsidies and tax penalties.
When Democrats drafted Obamacare they attempted to use the generous federal subsidies as a carrot to encourage states to run their own exchange programs. So much so, in fact, that the law clearly states that subsidies are only available to individuals enrolled through a state-run exchange. There is no mention of subsidies coming from the federal exchange.
Few states took take the bait, leaving the federal government to run the exchanges in more than 30 states. If Oklahoma prevails in court, individuals signing up on Obama’s glitch-plagued Healthcare.gov may ultimately be ineligible for any subsidies at all. You can read more about the suit here.
But here’s the bottom line: Even with the subsidies, many Americans are facing rate shock from Obamacare. If more than half the country loses access to those subsidies, Obamacare becomes completely unaffordable, far fewer people participate and the entire scheme likely collapses.
Obama Odd Man Out
Perhaps the most frequent criticism of Washington is that Democrats and Republicans in this town just can’t get along and work together. There is one issue that unites the parties: Opposition to Obama’s weakness toward Iran.
As Obama eases sanctions on Iran, most Democrats and Republicans want a new round of sanctions imposed against Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The Washington Post writes, “After a new sanctions bill passed with near-unanimity in the House this summer, 76 senators, including Democratic stalwarts along with conservative Republicans signed a letter urging Obama to take tougher action against Iran.”
Unfortunately, the whole point of the Post story is that the Obama White House is working overtime to prevent the Senate from passing tougher sanctions. Getting tough on Iran is something the two parties agree on, but the odd man out is Barack Obama.
Climate Extremists Wrong Again
When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, Al Gore predicted that global warming would cause such super storms to become the norm. As usual, Gore got it wrong.
The experts predicted that 2013 hurricane season would be “extremely active” with seven to eleven major storms. The season ended this weekend and it produced only two “relatively wimpy, Category 1 storms.” It turns out that 2013 was the least active season in more than 30 years and the climate alarmists are puzzled.
Why does this matter? Because the administration is aggressively pursuing environmental policies that will dramatically affect the economy and your standard of living based on a theory that is increasingly suspect. There are more so-called global warming pollutants in the atmosphere now than there were 30 years ago, yet the facts do not fit the left’s gloom and doom narrative.
The left is using environmental alarmism as one more way to expand the size and scope of big government. And just like Obamacare, it is being sold on a dubious proposition. There hasn’t been any global warming for 17 years, and none of the more than 70 computer models used by the U.N. to predict global warming correctly predicted that.
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