October 30, 2013
— Purple Avenger They're creating a DIY phone kit. Pick your parts and snap them together.
The design for Project Ara consists of what we call an endoskeleton (endo) and modules. The endo is the structural frame that holds all the modules in place. A module can be anything, from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter--or something not yet thought of!..
Looks kinda cool.
— Ace Why is this important?
Well, Cuccinelli is either behind by a little or behind by a lot. I don't want to say it's the Libertarian candidate's "fault" Cuccinelli is behind -- you earn people's votes; you are not owed them -- but there are probably a number of libertarian-minded people who would vote for Cuccinelli if there weren't a Libertarian candidate in the race.
So Ron Paul will actually be rallying such people to not vote for the Libertarian candidate, but rather for the conservative one.
We'll see if this has any impact. Cuccinelli is being pummeled over his cosponsorship of a law that says life begins at fertilization, a premise that sounds innocent enough, until one realizes that many birth control pills, such as the popular "mini-pill," sometimes cause a fertilized egg to not implant, and thus could be construed as illegal.
You can judge for yourself if that is a fair charge, but MacAuliffe is absolutely hammering Cuccinelli with "voted to ban some birth control pills" ads.
— Ace I'm sorry, did I mislead the public with that headline? I meant Timothy P. Carney of the Washington Examiner. I expected you to know I meant that when I said something that would lead you to think I meant someone else.
He writes of the perpetually dishonest campaign for Obamacare, spending a while on Obama's use of regulations to take back the promise that you could keep your insurance supposedly encoded into law.
I know I keep talking about this. But I'm linking this because I'm happy to see that momentum is growing on this meme.
I'll skip the regs-writing part and quote some other lies. Read the whole thing, though.
— Ace The most breathless claim in his speech, I thought, was the lie that only those making $250,000 per year or more are being "asked to pay a little more."
This is a lie. Anyone making over $48,000 or so will get the doubled or tripled premiums (and often doubled deductibles to boot!) and no subsidies.
I would say I'm shocked, but that would be a lie. I think I am too emotionally deadened to Obama's constant lies to even have a reaction. I'm just numb.
One thing I wasn't shocked about but am a little perplexed about: Obama claims that it's Republicans' fault all these bad things are happening because they won't "pitch in" and help him or something.
What actual legislative action is he proposing? I have not heard him request a specific change in Obamacare.
He wouldn't be thinking about a large tax increase on the general public to help defray some costs of Obamacare by any chance, would he?
That's the only thing I can imagine -- and yet that would of course be a New Lie, because he sold this thing as "only" costing a trillion or so in new (admitted) taxes.
Obama is now speaking at
Faniuel Hall Fanueil Hall Boston, to claim that this is all Mitt Romney's and the Heritage Foundation's fault.
— Ace Mary Katharine Ham, who will be doing the podcast this All Hallow's Eve, De Season of De Witch, compiled the best euphemisms used for the simple sentence "Obama lied."
But it's Politico that I think wins the award. Many of MKH's quotes are from Democrats and progressive shills, who can be expected to shamelessly lie for Obama. In fact, they are paid to do so.
What's Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown's excuse for the following?
Some of the highest-profile challenges are the White Houses own making. Obama made sweeping generalizations that can be contradicted by individual experiences. Not everybody will see the deep savings that he promised during the 2008 campaign. A large percentage of people who buy their own insurance wont be able to keep the exact same policy. The website hasnt been nearly as breezy as predicted
Did you just say "sweeping generalizations... can be contradicted by individual experiences"?
Holy Shit, you did. "Certain verbal assurances may be contradicted by known facts," huh?
And, "The website isn't as breezy as predicted"?
Certain representations and warranties about what Obama would or would not be depositing in your mouth may be belied by the presence of genetic jetsam.
— Ace Yeah.
This whole kerfuffle ignores that insurance plans were changing all the time and premiums were skyrocketing pre-Obamacare. Suddenly, a whole range of bad behavior on the part of insurance companies is blamed on the Affordable Care Act. Its just like employers trying to shaft their workers by cutting hours and benefits and blaming it on the Affordable Care Act, even though employer mandate provisions dont take effect for another year.
Trying to blame Obamacare for every problem in the private insurance market is paradoxical: The whole reason for passing the Affordable Care Act was to fix whats broken with private insurance [no period; sic]
Every word of her article is a lie, including the punctuation. But let me take a 10,000 foot view of this.
Here's the reason the "If you like your insurance, you get to keep your insurance" promise was so important: Because it promised people choice. People only agreed to this boondoggle (actually, they never agreed, but let's say they resisted less) because Obama swore up and down that they would have the choice of retaining their old insurance or switching to the new, supposedly "better," insurance.
See, if you have that choice, then you can switch if the new policy is in fact better. You are thus held harmless -- if you think the new policy is in fact worse, you can simply opt-out by not signing up for the new policy.
This is the whole reason this promise was so important. If the new policy was actually worse in terms of cost, deductible, and so forth, people would still have the option of retaining their old policy.
On the other hand, if you are not allowed this choice, the government can force you to accept worse coverage -- or the same coverage at stratospherically-jacked-up premiums -- and you cannot do anything at all about it, except take your punishment.
Obama knows damn well the new policies are not "better." They cover a few things near and dear to progressive hearts (substance abuse, birth control pills, mental treatment), but these new things are rather cheaply covered, and cannot possibly account for the doubling or trebling of premiums -- nor with the doubling of deductibles that usually comes with Obamacare's doubling or trebling of premiums.
These policies are not in fact "better" in any way, which is why Obama must force people into his high-risk polls to subsidize other people.
The "you will have your choice" promise, made repeatedly, reassured people that they would not simply be forced into high-risk pools and be offered catastrophic coverage and comprehensive coverage prices.
But he was always lying.
Sally Kohn can spin that this is "better" insurance. But if it were better, people would sign up for it willingly. If it were actually "better," Obama would not have had to write the HHS rules to un-grandfather supposedly grandfathered policies and dump people into the high-risk pools, thus forcing them to buy the supposedly "better" insurance.
It's not "better" insurance -- it is what conservatives have been saying for five long years: It is stealing some of someone's private insurance in order to pay for someone else's.
Which is precisely what Obama promised it was not. And, in fact, people have been called "racist" for speaking such "lies" for five years.
If it's "better" insurance, Sally Kohn, why does Obama feel required to break his solemn promise that "if you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance"?
If it was really "better," he could afford to keep this promise. What does he care if people choose worse coverage?
No, the whole point is that he wants to force people into subsidizing others, by terminating their supposedly grandfathered policies and dumping them into the high-risk pools.
Insurance that costs three times as much as previous insurance, and double the deductible, is not "better" for the person paying for it. It may be better for the person being subsidized by those jacked-up rates, but not for the person paying for the policy.
This guarantee -- that people could choose themselves -- provided them with an escape hatch to make sure they could personally enforce Obama's promise that they would be held harmless.
Without that, Obama can punish them with higher premiums, and they have no way out -- which is precisely what he's doing.
And that's why Obama promised people that they could keep their insurance -- so that they wouldn't realize they'd now be paying for the insurance of a couple of strangers.
And that's why he must now reveal that promise to have been a lie all along.
— Ace So here is the game: the White House wrote regulations to insure that the maximum number of people were terminated from their old policies, thus intentionally breaking its oft-made promise.
The White House and Democrats now wish to claim it's the insurance companies who are doing this.
The insurance companies would like to say that this isn't true -- that the White House is forcing them to do this, and furthermore, that they warned the White House that Obamacare regulations were forcing huge numbers of terminations -- but the White House demands they be silent and take their scapegoating.
And why are they are afraid? Because with the stroke of a pen, the government has now become the country's biggest insurance customer.
Oh, and this White House is vengeful, vindictive, petty, and Nixonian, of course.
— Purple Avenger Checked: Obamas pledge that no one will take away your health plan
— Open Blogger By now, many of you have read the tweet-saga outlining my experience with Healthcare.gov, but I thought I'd take the opportunity to lay it out in a format more conducive to the story.
Yesterday, I was stoopid.
I ignored the signals, the bright, flashing, red signals, my own instinct, and even Consumer Reports, and I created an account at the new healthcare website.
— DrewM Let me sum up...she's responsible, someone else made all the decisions and actually said "the website never crashed" while it was down.
— DrewM I've argued before in various places that conservatives need candidates who are better liars. Democrats run candidates in red/purple states that talk a reasonable game back home but when they get to DC, they vote the Reid/Pelosi/Obama line without fail. The GOP on the other hand has a nasty habit of running candidates that talk a very conservative game and then vote like moderates when it counts. Conservatives need to find a way to flip that calculus within the GOP if the marriage is to survive.
One reason I think conservative voters want their candidates to stake out the most rightward position possible and try and hold them to it is they often distrust a candidate who sounds moderate to actually be conservative when push comes to shove.
Yesterday Senator Mike Lee gave a speech at Heritage which set a lot of conservative hearts aflutter. Personally I have decidedly mixed feelings about it and I think it has to do with the sound moderate/be conservative challenge for Republicans.
And let me say this as clearly as possible...I know Mike Lee is a conservative. I'm not accusing him of being an establishment squish.
After reading the speech, which if you haven't you should, I wanted to like it but I don't. That's not to say I dislike it. It just feels...off to me. I'm deeply, deeply ambivalent about it.
My biggest problem with it is Lee isn't arguing that government can not and should not try to solve all of the problems he identifies or that the country faces. At least that's not the overriding theme of the speech. He offers policy ideas where I'd personally prefer a candidate to say, "Government can NOT do anything about this! Stop believing people who say it can".
An example from Lee's speech...
The federal government also needs to open up Americas transportation system to diversity and experimentation, so that Americans can spend more time with their families in more affordable homes, and less time stuck in maddening traffic.
What? Are you nuts? The federal government is going to make your commute easier and quicker? Who is giving this speech, a leading conservative or Dennis Kucinich?
But then you look at his policy suggestion.
— Purple Avenger I hope none of you were affected.
OAB: feeling safe
TNH: 7x24x365 perma-paranoia
POLL: VA gov race, McAuliffe 45, Cuccinelli 41, Sarvis 9. OK, Libertarians you proved your point, you're the kingmakers here. Now suck it up and prevent disaster. Hold your nose and break for Cuccinelli and finish it.
And it looks like Krispy Kreme is gonna be a walkover in NJ. 60/70-something'ish. The Dem is getting blown out. more...
— Gabriel Malor Happy Wednesday.
Sen. Lee gave a heckuva speech yesterday at Heritage, which sounds an awful lot like that Ponnuru and Lowry piece from NR I linked yesterday.
If our generation of conservatives wants to enjoy our own defining triumph, our own 1980 we are going to have to deserve it. That means sharpening more pencils than knives. The kind of work it will require is neither glamorous nor fun and sometimes it isnt even noticed. But it is necessary.
To deserve victory, conservatives have to do more than pick a fight. We have to win a debate. And to do that, we need more than just guts. We need an agenda.
Also, Ponnuru put up a response to Erickson's criticism.
ICYMI, Ace put up an open thread last night that's full of Obamacare news and links that really should be clicked. Some crazy stuff in there.
AoSHQ Weekly Podcast: [ RSS] [iTunes] [Download Latest Episode]
Now on Stitcher
October 29, 2013
Because sometimes delays happen at Heathrow...more...
— Ace Leftism is not a politics; it is a psychology. A psychology of resentment, which is then transitioned (like your insurance plan) into a vague politics of opposition against society, which, being sufficiently large, powerful, and vague, can stand in for one's personal anger against God.
Yes, Success is the Evil that must be be overcome, for the Success of one man makes another man feel poorer about himself.
It seems like whenever a minority identifying individual succeeds, he or she is identified as a success story. We will be featuring successful members of different minorities speaking of their own story and success, with a focus on how this idea of success story shouldnt exist. The idea that minority success is outstanding means its not the normwe dont want success stories. We just want stories.
Now that we're talking about what the problem really is and always has been, now maybe we can actually discuss it fruitfully.
Thanks to @benk84.
— Ace Sebelius telegraphed her plan to blame the private contractors for her and her boss' SCOAMF website.
And then comes a memo, likely leaked by CGI, noting that they warned Sebelius that the site wasn't ready but she proceeded to launch anyway, apparently thinking Coding Elves would come in overnight and fix it.
Tomorrow should be fun then.
Niedermeyer's Dead Horse tried to sign up for Obamacare -- and ran into a bureaucratic nightmare. Her tweets on her experience were Storified (put into readable order) by @tsrblke.
It's very short. Click on it, you gooniebirds. I can't excerpt something so brief and to the point.
Also reporting an Obamacare nightmare... David Frum?!?!
And also David Fredoso, who shares his own experiences with the system. His choices: He can either get the same plan he had but pay 3.5 times as much for it, or pay a mere 2.5 times as much for a plan with a deductible twice as high.
Finally, some people who aren't incompetent, for a change. A guy and gal dress up in the best Halloween costumes ever-- as Plastic Army Men.
And man, are they realistic.
Important article: How the Obama Administration Made Sure People Couldnt Keep Their Plans. Worth a read in full, but let me excerpt the bullet point conclusions.
First of all, even the "grandfathered" policies required that they be offered at equal prices to those with pre-existing conditions -- thus jacking up premiums immediately, by law.
How, exactly, were health insurers supposed to comply with these new mandates (and other ways the ACA is raising costs) without raising customers contributions in the way the law says means losing grandfathered status?
In other words, the ACA did make it incredibly hard for insurers to continue plans for the millions of Americans who dont want comprehensive insurance financially, insurers almost certainly had to adjust them in such a way that they would lose grandfathered status. This isnt normal turnover in the insurance market (though there is plenty of that in the individual market); theres a reason why an exceptionally large number of Americans are getting cancellation notices this fall.
One error I made earlier (repeating Lisa Meyers' error): A change in premium alone doesn't un-grandfather a policy. However, the point this article is making is that very often insurance companies will keep premiums down, despite rising costs, by raising deductibles or copayments-- and that's precisely what Obama's regulations say makes a policy automatically un-grandfathered.
The article then notes that while the law did in fact say, essentially, if you like your plan, you can keep your plan, the HHS wrote its regulations in contradiction to the law of the United States and not only "interpreted the provision narrowly," as Lisa Meyer said, but actually changed its meaning to take back the protection the law afforded.
The Affordable Care Act as written and passed would have protected the grandfathered plans for a longer period of time and with more freedom for adjustment, but the Obama administration filled out the Secretary Shalls in such a way as to make that much harder, if not basically impossible, to do. The Obama administrations original, June 2010 rules were actually even stricter, and would have, for example, made it impossible for an insurer or company to change the firms it uses to manage and administer the plan (which neednt affect coverage and is a simple way to lower costs); those ludicrous restrictions were eliminated, but enough rules remain that its, again, near impossible to maintain a grandfathered health-care plan.
And thus, Obama didn't just "know" he wouldn't be able to keep his promise; he actively worked, through his inferior officers, to break that promise himself.
Via @gpollowitz. P-shop via @rdbrewer4.
— Ace Some really thick pro-ObamaCare spin in the preamble -- Serious You Guys, the insurance you had was bad! You need to pay double or triple rates for "Good Insurance" with high deductibles -- but the video is outstanding.
Remember, Obama vowed that you would have your own choice as to keeping your old, supposedly "bad," insurance, or converting to the new, supposedly "good" insurance.
If the new insurance is so good, why does he draft regulations to force people into buying it? Wouldn't "better" insurance entice people to subscribe to it out of their own volition?
— Ace I do appreciate that Jon Stewart notes the obvious -- the large number of things Obama is supposedly "not in the loop" on is alarming. Either he is lying, or he is a Chauncey Gardiner-like figurehead, who gives speeches and plays golf while the real president(s), unelected and unaccountable, do the actual governing.
But his bit is just not funny. The skit that follows is just Pure Silly, and hence not damaging to Obama at all. It's also not funny, partly because it's so intentionally non-damaging.
And here's this past weekend's SNL cold open about ObamaCare. All I can say is that the show is awful. Even when they have a rich target like this, their jokes border on the amateur, and also echo a lot of previous (better) jokes that have been done on the show.
In both cases I think it's pretty clear the comedians' hearts are not in it -- they still think there's nothing at all funny about Obama, but feel compelled to acknowledge some obvious truths.
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