Tuesday, 5 November 2013

49-State Analysis: Obamacare To Increase Individual-Market Premiums By Average Of 41%

11/04/2013
49-State Analysis: Obamacare To Increase Individual-Market Premiums By Average Of 41%
Avik Roy

One of the fundamental flaws of the Affordable Care Act is that, despite its name, it makes health insurance more expensive. Today, the Manhattan Institute released the most comprehensive analysis yet conducted of premiums under Obamacare for people who shop for coverage on their own. Here's what we learned. In the average state, Obamacare will increase underlying premiums by 41 percent. As we have long expected, the steepest hikes will be imposed on the healthy, the young, and the male. And Obamacare's taxpayer-funded subsidies will primarily benefit those nearing retirement­people who, unlike the young, have had their whole lives to save for their health-care needs.

[]  


41 states, plus D.C., will experience premium hikes

If you've been following this space, you know that I and two of my Manhattan Institute colleagues­Yevgeniy Feyman and Paul Howard­have developed an interactive map where you can see how Obamacare affects premiums in your state. (If you ever need to find it, simply Google "Obamacare cost map.")

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oktYMyaZMB8

In September, we released the first iteration of the map, which included data from 13 states and the District of Columbia. We only had data from a few mostly-blue states because the remainder were mostly participating in the federal exchange, and the federal exchange­for reasons we now understand more fully­hadn't released any premium information at that time. That analysis found that underlying premiums would increase by 24 percent in those 13 states plus D.C.

Obamacare's supporters argue that these rate increases aren't important, because many people will be protected from them by federal subsidies. Those subsidies aren't free­they're paid for by taxpayers–and so it is irresponsible for people to argue that subsidies somehow make irrelevant the underlying cost of health insurance. Nonetheless, it's important to understand the impact of subsidies on Obamacare's exchanges; later in September, we released a second iteration of the map to do just that.

Today's release, with the third iteration of the map, contains both premium and subsidy data for every state except Hawaii. (Believe it or not, we've had success mining data from every exchange website but Hawaii's.) This nearly-complete analysis finds that the average state will face underlying premium increases of 41 percent. Men will face the steepest increases: 77, 37, and 47 percent for 27-year-olds, 40-year-olds, and 64-year-olds, respectively. Women will also face increases, but to a lesser degree: 18%, 28%, and 37% for 27-, 40-, and 64-year-olds.

Biggest winners: NY, CO, OH, MA; Biggest losers: NV, NM, AR, NC

Eight states will enjoy average premium reductions under Obamacare: New York (-40%), Colorado (-22%), Ohio (-21%), Massachusetts (-20%), New Jersey (-19%), New Hampshire (-18%), Rhode Island (-10%), and Indiana (-3%). Most, but not all, of these states had heavily-regulated individual insurance markets prior to Obamacare, and will therefore benefit from Obamacare's subsidies, and especially its requirement that everyone purchase health insurance or pay a fine.

The eight states that will face the biggest increases in underlying premiums are largely southern and western states: Nevada (+179%), New Mexico (+142%), Arkansas (+138%), North Carolina (+136%), Vermont (+117%), Georgia (+92%), South Dakota (+77%), and Nebraska (+74%).

If you're interested in more details about our methodology, you can find them here. As with our past work, we calculated an average of the five least-expensive plans in every county in a state pre-Obamacare, adjusted to take into account those with pre-existing conditions and other health problems. We then did the same calculation with the five least-expensive plans in every county in the Obamacare exchanges. We then used these county-based numbers to come up with a population-weighted state average pre- and post-Obamacare.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Pz3OoKrRnGI


Exchange plans narrow your choice of doctor, despite higher costs

The key thing to understand about our before-and-after comparison is that it is an average. If you're healthy today, you will face steeper rate increases than these figures indicate. If you have a serious medical condition, however, and haven't been able to find affordable health coverage as a result, you will do much better under Obamacare than the average person. Men will face steeper increases than women in most states, because women consume more health care than men do, and Obamacare forbids insurers to charge different prices on the basis of gender.

In addition, our comparison ignores other differences between pre-Obamacare and post-Obamacare plans. For example, in some cases, people looking for comparably-priced coverage on the exchanges will need to accept higher deductibles and other cost-sharing arrangements.

Importantly, post-Obamacare exchange plans will typically have narrow networks of physicians and hospitals, especially excluding those tied to prestigious medical schools. In today's Wall Street Journal, Edie Sundby, who struggles with gallbladder cancer, argues that her pre-Obamacare access to leading academic cancer centers like Stanford has "kept me alive," and notes that the plans available to her on the exchange don't allow her to keep her doctor.

[]

Elderly will receive massive subsidies, thanks to younger people

Thanks to community rating, a key feature of Obamacare, insurers are only allowed to charge their oldest customers three times the amount they charge their youngest customers. Because 64-year-olds consume on average six times as much health care as 19-year-olds, this rule has the effect of driving up the cost of insurance for young people.

But there's a double whammy. Because premiums for those nearing retirement can still be three times higher than those of younger Americans, elderly individuals will disproportionately benefit from Obamacare's subsidies. The subsidies increase in proportion to the percentage of your income that is tied up in health insurance; for elderly people whose premiums are much higher, the subsidies are higher too.

And when I say young people, I particularly mean young men. A young woman of average income in the average state will experience little net change in premium costs, if you take subsidies into account; 40-year-old women will see an average increase of 9 percent, and 27-year-old women will see an average decrease of 5 percent. (However, as I noted above, women in good health will see meaningfully higher increases than these averages reflect.)

Let's take the two extremes. If you're a 27-year-old man, your average premium under our methodology, pre-Obamacare, is $133 a month. Post-Obamacare, that increases to $201. If you add in the subsidies that accrue to someone with the median income of a 27-year-old man, the net cost of Obamacare insurance goes down slightly to $188. That's a 41 percent increase, despite the impact of subsidies.

If you're a 64-year-old woman, on the other hand, your average pre-Obamacare premium was $430 a month. Post-Obamacare, the underlying premium increases to $545 a month. But when you factor in subsidies for the average 64-year-old woman, the net cost of Obamacare insurance drops to $292. That's a 32 percent decrease, inclusive of subsidies, from pre-Obamacare premiums, and a 46 percent discount off of post-Obamacare prices.

The irony is that, in 2012, younger voters overwhelmingly supported President Obama, while older voters backed Mitt Romney. Obamacare, in the average state, is a massive transfer of wealth from the young to the old.

[]

This all assumes, of course, that the exchanges eventually work

Right now, the headlines are dominated with stories about the deep and thorough dysfunction of the federally-built Obamacare insurance exchange. It's a serious problem. If the exchanges aren't fixed soon, the likely outcome is that older, sicker, and poorer people sign up, while everyone else goes without coverage. That, in turn, will imbalance the insurance pool in the exchanges, making its products more expensive and subsidy-dependent. Those facing cancellation of their existing coverage face the greatest risk under the worst-case scenario.

But there is a best-case scenario, especially from the standpoint of the law's supporters. It's that the exchanges eventually get fixed, and turn out to be popular, even among the young men­ the "bros"­who bear the steepest costs under the new system. If they do, not only will Obamacare be here to stay, but the law could end up evolving into an effective replacement for our older, single-payer health-care entitlements, Medicare and Medicaid.

From where we stand today, unfortunately, there is no reason to believe that the Obama administration has a handle on the problems with the federal exchange. Young men seem no more likely to buy a costlier insurance product than they were to buy one, pre-Obamacare, that was more affordable. And so we should remain concerned about the likelihood of the law's ultimate success.

*    *    *

    *    *

METHODOLOGY NOTES: As noted in the text, please refer to our methodology page for a detailed description of how we arrived at these numbers. Notably, there are some quirks with the way the "Your Decision" data is displayed on the interactive map:

A few important notes are also in order. The breakeven point is only available for those states where we found rate increases for a median income household with subsidies. In states with a decrease, the inflection point is labeled with as "0…"
As of this writing, we have been unable to find data for Hawaii for datasets 1 and 2. Additionally, the average of 5 cheapest plans in Alabama ends up being more expensive than the second-cheapest silver plan (which is used to calculate subsidies). Thus, in Alabama, we assume, for the purposes of developing a net cost of insurance for the median individual, that the individual purchases the second-cheapest silver plan.

Thanks to Paul Chung, our Manhattan Institute intern, who helped us develop data-mining software that we used in this analysis. Yevgeniy Feyman led a group of PhD students who helped crunch the numbers. We collaborated with Jonathan Wu and Brian Quinn of ValuePenguin, a consumer finance website, to obtain data from certain states.

INVESTORS' NOTE: The biggest publicly-traded players in Obamacare's health insurance exchanges are Aetna (NYSE:AET), Humana (NYSE:HUM), Cigna (NYSE:CI), Molina (NYSE:MOH), WellPoint (NYSE:WLP), and Centene (NYSE:CNC), in order of the number of uninsured exchange-eligible Americans for whom their plans are available.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/11/04/49-state-analysis-obamacare-to-increase-individual-market-premiums-by-avg-of-41-subsidies-flow-to-elderly/

Who Won the American Revolution?


"The significant victory for the nationalists [wrongly labeled "federalists"] was achieved with the ratification of the Constitution, and the victory has continually been solidified since that day until the present. The narrative was created for the benefit of the victors: the chaos during the Confederation Period needed a strong central government in order to bring order."

Friday, November 1, 2013
Who Won the American Revolution?
bionic mosquito

Seems like a pretty dumb question.  The United States won independence; isn't that clear?

I have often wondered about the meaning of the term "independence" in this context.  Independence for whom?  For the average colonist, what really changed fundamentally?  And as time went on, what was different in life for the average Yankee having a pint in Boston vs. the average Brit having one in London?  Both have been and continue to be victims of inflation and regulation; both have been subject to being duped and dragged into the same wars for empire. 

Who won?  To address this issue I will offer excerpts from Merrill Jensen's book, The New Nation: A History of the United States During the Confederation.  This post will likely be my last in a series of posts covering this book.


Independence: Different Strokes for Different Folks

I offer a reminder of what I have previously written regarding this time in American history and the actors present on the stage:

The story we learn of the American Revolution is one of tea parties, Paul Revere, taxation without representation, all men created equal, Patriots against Loyalists, heroes without self-interest.

The reality, for those interested and willing to dig a little deeper, is a little different – most easily understood if one accepts that the men of the revolutionary generation were not saints.  They were men with different interests, different reasons for desiring independence, and different interpretations of what independence meant for them and for their fellow travelers on the continent.

Believe it or not, many of the key players saw revolution as an opportunity to secure political advantage for themselves in place of the crown.  Shocking, I know….

George Mason of Virginia summarized this conflict amongst revolutionaries well, in 1782:

… "posterity will reflect with indignation that this fatal lust of sovereignty, which lost Great Britain her western world, which covered our country with desolation and blood, should even during the contest against it, be revived among ourselves, and fostered by the very men who were appointed to oppose it!" (Page 409, emphasis added)

Mason is, of course, referring to many of the revered "founders"; as his description is accurate, one can only describe such men as scoundrels.


Confronting the Myth of the Confederation

With that as introduction, let's begin.  Believe it or not, the accepted story of the Confederation Period (economic chaos, confusion, etc.) is myth, designed to give justification to the centralization brought on by the coup at Philadelphia in 1787.


At the time of Independence and military victory over Britain, and amongst a vast majority of the American people, there was a new spirit:

…politicians seldom predicted anything but catastrophe.  The American people, unlike their political leaders, had a spirited faith in the future, a faith that, far more than the rhetoric of the politicians, gives us some conception of the fruits of independence. (Page 87)

Jensen goes on to describe countless ways by which this spirit was manifest.  The vast majority of the people experienced little if any economic chaos or calamity in their daily activities – at least not any that could be attributable to the lack of a coercive central state.  They had a new land to tame, new relationships to build, and new avenues through which to conduct trade.

From Jensen's conclusion:

The foregoing pages indicate that the Confederation Period was one of great significance, but not the kind that tradition has led us to believe.  The "critical period" idea was the result of an uncritical acceptance of the arguments of the victorious party in a long political battle, of a failure to face the fact that partisan propaganda is not history but only historical evidence. (Page 422)

Here Jensen is referring to the "long political battle" between the federalists (wrongly labeled "anti-federalists") that saw in the revolution the independence of the individual states, with state sovereignty and no independent income for a national congress, and the nationalists (wrongly labeled "federalists") who wanted a strong and coercive central government with an independent income.

These nationalists swore that economic recovery was impossible without centralized control, and that chaos was the only result of state legislation. (Page 245)

Of course, the same nationalists also swore during the war that Britain could not be defeated absent the granting by the states of significant coercive power to a central government.  This assertion proved equally false, as the war was won before any such development occurred.

This argument regarding the economy and trade has been generally accepted ever since the 1780s by most writers.  A few facts stand in the way of this myth:

First of all is the fact that such arguments were used to strengthen the central government before the post-war depression began.  Secondly is the fact that recovery was well on the way before any centralized control had been achieved. (Page 246)

Contemporary opinion did not support such a gloomy outlook. (Page 255)

The vast majority of the population was agrarian, and from this group came many of the federalists.  The nationalists came from the merchant and large landowner class.  The nationalist version of the Confederation is well known and exploited: the economy under the Articles was in shambles.  As to the federalists, the small agrarian farmers:

…their needs, wants and problems seldom found their way into the documents from which history is written. (Page 177)

The sources were the product of a minority in society…the dominant note was sounded by American merchants and business men who lived mostly in the seaport towns...They were the middlemen who made fortunes and had influence in the American states out of all proportion to their numbers. (Page 178)

This is true always and everywhere throughout history – those choosing to live in relative anarchy – a state of little if any centralized monopoly control – inherently have little reason to document their own story.  Such records are developed for the benefit of control and to create the desired historical narrative.

To be sure, there were men who veered from one camp to the other; there were also some others supporting some form of monarchy or dictatorship.  In all cases, these were comprised of relatively insignificant minorities.  The primary conflict was between the two above-mentioned groups.

The nationalists were looking for relief from the threat of democracy – they were clearly outnumbered.  This was not because of fear of the tyranny of the majority, but because they wanted to ensure the possibility of a tyranny by the minority.

The significant victory for the nationalists was achieved with the ratification of the Constitution, and the victory has continually been solidified since that day until the present.  The narrative was created for the benefit of the victors: the chaos during the Confederation Period needed a strong central government in order to bring order. 

Yet both the war and the post-war period under the Articles offer a much richer and more diverse history -- and one not at all supportive of the official narrative.

What emerges instead is a much more complex and important story in which several themes are interwoven.  It was a period of what we would call post-war demobilization, of sudden economic change, dislocation, and expansion, and of a fundamental conflict over the nature of the Constitution of the United States. (Page 422)

Under the Articles – including the period before ratification and while the war was ongoing and the risk of losing the war were high – the several states confronted and overcame many problems.

It was not for the sake of resolving problems that in reality were well on the way to being resolved that the nationalists wanted to centralize power, but for the gains afforded to the political class by the actual centralization of power. 


Trade

Regarding trade after Independence -- one of the issues pointed to as requiring a strong central government -- many more avenues were opened to America than were closed.  While trade with and through Britain was obviously impaired, trade with every other economy was no longer impaired due to America being limited by policies favorable to British merchants.  American ship-owners and merchants were free to trade with French, Dutch, Spanish and any other country (even China) without hindrance from Britain.

No one at the time or since then has ever presented an adequate balance sheet of the advantages and disadvantages of membership in the Empire. (Page 156)

The issue was not the lack of opportunities to trade.  The issue then, just as it remains today, was for the corporately connected to be in a position to dictate the rules of trade through government action; this could be accomplished much more efficiently through a central government than through thirteen separate state governments.

Issues of trade with Britain were finally resolved with the conclusion of the war treaties, and certainly by the end of 1783:

Hardest hit by the new rules were the New England ship-owners and fisherman.  Their screams of anguish have shrilled so loudly through the pages of history ever since, that it has not been recorded that the rest of the United States was little harmed by such rules, and that the country as a whole enjoyed the new freedom to trade and sell outside the British Empire. (Page 164)

An interesting point is raised by Jensen, perhaps pointing to a Hamiltonian connection:

West India planters were even more bitter than American ship-owners. (Page 164)

In any case, the remaining portion of British North America could not provide sufficient supplies or markets for the West Indies (and in fact required supplies from the former American colonies), leaving an opening for American ship-owners; further, such ship-owners were well versed in the art of smuggling or otherwise finding ways around British restrictions.

While the British shippers complained bitterly about such actions, the Dutch took a different view.  Smuggling and the like also affected the colonies of the Dutch Indies; instead of fighting this, the Dutch chose to provide financing! (Page 168)

Most of the ports of the world were open, not closed, to American citizens.  Reciprocity and equal treatment of all United States citizens was the rule in the tonnage and tariff acts of the states, not trade barriers. (Page 423)

…the period was one of extraordinary economic growth.  Merchants owned more ships at the end of the 1780s than they had at the beginning of the Revolution and they carried a greater share of American produce.  By 1790 the export of agricultural produce was double what it had been before the war.  (Page 423)

…there is no evidence of stagnation or decay in the 1780s.  Instead the story is one of a newly free people who seized upon every means to improve and enrich themselves in a nation which they believed had a golden destiny. (Page 424)

Further concerns were raised about the regulation of trade between the newly independent states:

No idea is more firmly planted in American history than the idea that one of the most difficult problems during the Confederation was that of barriers to trade between state and state. (Page 337)

There is little factual basis for the ancient tale repeated so faithfully by writers who follow in one another's footsteps without examining the evidence.  The supporters of centralized power used the few discriminatory laws as an argument for a new government, but they ignored the laws which disproved their case…. The adoption of the Constitution of 1787 made no change in the economic relations between New York and her neighbors except that duties were thereafter collected by the national government….  Trade "barriers," contrary to the tradition, were the exception rather than the rule. (Page 339, 340 emphasis added)

Thus the picture by the end of 1787 is not the conventional one of interstate trade barriers, but a novel one of reciprocity between state and state. (Page 342)


National Debt

Nowhere was this debate better illustrated than in regards to the national debt.  Yet, even during the period under Confederation, solutions were developed and implemented.

The debt was fantastically low compared with the national debt of today…and the nation had vast untouched natural resources with which to pay it.  Multitudes of accounts had to be reduced to simple forms so that they could be paid, and this the Confederation government managed to do. …one state after another assumed portions of the national debt owing to its citizens.  Thus the traditional story is so out of context as to be virtually meaningless. (Page 423, emphasis added)

As to the economic condition during the time under the Articles as well as the ability of the various states to service their debts:

The income of state governments is a partial index to economic conditions.  All too few figures are available, but these show that many of the states were working their way out of the financial difficulties resulting from the war. (Page 304)

Further, the available figures of the debt owed by the United States government demonstrate that, under the Articles, substantial progress was made in reducing or otherwise liquidating this debt. (Page 382)

…not only did some of the states assume the national debt owing to their citizens, but others went into the open market and bought up depreciated securities. (Page 398)

For both nationalists and federalists, the issue of control over the debt was the issue of sovereignty in government:

Both the nationalists and federalists believed that national payment of the war debt would mean supremacy of the central government over the states; that state payment would mean the retention of ultimate power in the hands of the states. (Page 400)


General Economy

This is not to say all was peace and harmony – different factions had different desires from government.  But there is nothing new here.  Yet overall, the myth of a decaying economy was only created for the benefit of the history books – one used to justify the co-opting of the revolution from the states.

As one examines the evidence for the expansion of American commerce and business enterprise after the Revolution, the simple picture of economic depression as a cause of the movement for a stronger central government begins to disappear. (Page 194)


Disputes Between States

Additional concerns were raised regarding the effective resolution of disputes between the states:

Before 1776 those afraid of independence predicted that there would be civil war between state and state… (Page 337)

This occurred, of course, four score and seven years later, under the document that was put in place in part to supposedly deal with just this issue.

Jensen indicates that these concerns were not without merit – for example regarding disagreements over borders between Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Yet all these problems were settled during the years that followed.  The Articles of Confederation provided a method for arbitrating such disputes.  (Page 337)

Under the Articles it seems peaceful methods were developed and utilized to resolve such conflicts.  When coercion was not available to the central government, peaceful settlement was possible; when coercion was available to the central government, it was utilized.


Public Creditors

The most vocal group whose interests transcended state boundaries in the new nation were those known as "public creditors." (Page 344)

There was no bigger advocate for this crony class that Robert Morris, falsely described at the financier of the Revolution.  This would be a rather difficult feat for someone who attained power only at the time the war was won, and who left office as the largest debtor to the United States government.  His fellow countrymen were not confused about his character:

No attack on Morris was more extreme than that by William Lee who declared him a most dangerous man in America.  He said that Morris was bankrupt at the beginning of the war, left the country bankrupt at the end of it, but that at the same time "amassed an immense fortune for himself…." (Page 367)

Laurens swore that men like Morris made "patriotism the stalking horse to their private interests" and hid behind Washington as they did so. (Page 368)

For the creditor class, decentralized power was the risk:

The revolutionary constitutions of the states placed final power in the legislatures and made the executive and judicial branches subservient to them.  The members of the colonial aristocracy who became Patriots, and new men who gained economic power during the Revolution deplored this fact…. These men were the nationalists of the 1780s.

On the other hand the men who were the true federalists believed that the greatest gain of the Revolution was the independence of the several states and the creation of a central government subservient to them. …the states could be best governed without the intervention of a powerful central government. (Page 424)

These "true federalists" saw some need to enhance certain powers of the central government, but only within the structure of the Articles of Confederation.  The nationalists had a different scheme in mind.  A critical figure was Washington, shaken out of retirement and into politics due to Shays' Rebellion. (Page 250)


Conclusion

It is not appropriate to examine the period under the Articles only through the lens of the "failures" -- some real, but mostly myth.  There were many successes -- certainly for those who believed in the kind of central government provided for by the Articles -- in other words, for those in favor of a weak central government, one dependent on the states.

The "weakness" of the central government under the Confederation was the weakness of any government that must achieve its ends by persuasion rather than by coercion.  There was a large group of the citizens of the new nation who believed in persuasion; a smaller but equally powerful group believed in a central government with coercive authority.  The triumph of the latter group in the face of the achievements of the Confederation government was a victory of a dynamic minority with a positive program. (Page 348)

This leads to Jensen's conclusion on the fateful years 1787-1789:

The federalists tried to strengthen the Articles of Confederation; the nationalists tried to create a new constitution by means of a convention, and thus avoid the method of change prescribed by the Articles of Confederation.  The movement to strengthen the Articles failed on the verge of success; the movement to call a convention succeeded on the verge of failure. (Page 428)

Unfortunately for us.

http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2013/11/who-won-american-revolution.html

Fwd: Canadian Imam Says Women Should Get Husband’s Permission Before Speaking







 

maxresdefault

It's Mahdi Time? Do you know if your woman is speaking?

 

http://frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/canadian-imam-says-women-should-get-husbands-permission-before-speaking/

Meet Maulana Syed Mohammad Zaki Baqri (you knew there was going to be a Mohammed in there somewhere). According to the Council of Islamic Guidance, he's been providing "aggressive and concerned" leadership and guidance to Toronto Shiites since 1979.

That, incidentally, happens to be the date of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.

Maulana Syed Mohammad Zaki Baqri's turn-ons include long walks on the beach with Ayatollahs, the Ayatollah Khomeini and shouting "Death to Zionism" during speeches.

His turn-offs include women talking without permission, women leaving the house without permission and joining the Israeli army.

From his web site, he offers the following advice on the role of women in marriage from his handy guide – "Marriage is a gift of God" by Maulana Mohammad Syed Zaki Baqri:

"She needs to have the permission of her husband for a number of things, including, leaving the home…communicating and speaking with others…"

That sounds like a real gift from Allah.

Fortunately with immigration, Canadians and Westerners don't need to visit Iran or Saudi Arabia to experience this enlightened attitude toward women speaking or leaving the house.

They can just walk down the block.



__._,_.___





   
__,_._,___


--
--
Thanks for being part of "PoliticalForum" at Google Groups.
For options & help see http://groups.google.com/group/PoliticalForum
 
* Visit our other community at http://www.PoliticalForum.com/
* It's active and moderated. Register and vote in our polls.
* Read the latest breaking news, and more.
 
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "PoliticalForum" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to politicalforum+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

Fwd: So it was written and so it has come to pass.






 

So it was written and so it has come to pass.

H.L. Mencken (born 1880 - died 1956) was a journalist, satirist, critic, and Democrat. He wrote this editorial while working for the Baltimore Evening Sun in 1920:

"As democracy is perfected, the office of the President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron."

- H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920



__._,_.___





   
__,_._,___


--
--
Thanks for being part of "PoliticalForum" at Google Groups.
For options & help see http://groups.google.com/group/PoliticalForum
 
* Visit our other community at http://www.PoliticalForum.com/
* It's active and moderated. Register and vote in our polls.
* Read the latest breaking news, and more.
 
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "PoliticalForum" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to politicalforum+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

Fwd: U.S. Immigration Officers Give Frightening Warning








http://blog.heritage.org/2013/11/01/u-s-immigration-officers-give-frightening-warning/

 

U.S. Immigration Officers Give Frightening Warning

David Inserra

November 1, 2013 at 11:30 am

Bruce Chambers/ZUMApress/Newscom

Chris Crane, president of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council, which represents immigration enforcement officers, recently called on Congress to resist immigration reforms that harm his officers' ability to do their jobs:

ICE officers are being ordered by [Administration] political appointees to ignore the law. Violent criminal aliens are released every day from jails back into American communities. ICE Officers face disciplinary action for engaging in routine law enforcement actions. We are barred from enforcing large sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act, even when public safety is at risk. Officer morale is devastated.

If this were the U.S. Capitol Police, the Secret Service, or the military, Congress would be outraged, the President would react firmly and swiftly, and pundits and groups from across the country would be demanding this problem be fixed. Sadly, though, nothing is being done to fix this broken and dangerous state of affairs.

In fact, the situation is even scarier. As the ICE letter points out, President Obama continues to order ICE officers to ignore ever-growing sections of immigration law and undertake actions that create a risk to public safety. The Senate has passed a gargantuan immigration bill that includes mass amnesty, tons of handouts to special interests, and enough waivers and exemptions to make Obamacare officials jealous.

Notably, the Senate bill does little to actually support the hard-working men and women of ICE and other immigration enforcement agencies. Even worse, amnesty would make the work of ICE even more difficult by encouraging more illegal immigration and adding new classes of provisional immigrants who have special rules that apply to them.

It is sad that it has come to this: "ICE officers are pleading with [Congress] to…stand with American citizens and the immigration officers who put their own personal safety at risk each day to provide for public safety." U.S. law enforcement officers should not have to beg Congress just to enforce existing laws.

Congress should reject amnesty, which would only further harm our immigration officers' effort, and instead use the budget process to give ICE and other immigration agencies the resources they need to do their jobs effectively. Then Congress should demand that President Obama uphold immigration law, not selectively enforce it.

 



__._,_.___





   
__,_._,___


--
--
Thanks for being part of "PoliticalForum" at Google Groups.
For options & help see http://groups.google.com/group/PoliticalForum
 
* Visit our other community at http://www.PoliticalForum.com/
* It's active and moderated. Register and vote in our polls.
* Read the latest breaking news, and more.
 
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "PoliticalForum" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to politicalforum+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

Fwd: [New post] LEARNING THE HARD WAY: Or what it’s like for an American woman to be married to an Arab Muslim in Gaza





BareNakedIslam posted: ""It was the most relieved I have ever felt," she recalled of her escape to Israel. "Four years of hell was finally over." Rogers is not the first Western woman to marry an Arab man and find out how few rights she had once removed to a Middle East country "

New post on BARE NAKED ISLAM

LEARNING THE HARD WAY: Or what it's like for an American woman to be married to an Arab Muslim in Gaza

by BareNakedIslam

"It was the most relieved I have ever felt," she recalled of her escape to Israel. "Four years of hell was finally over." Rogers is not the first Western woman to marry an Arab man and find out how few rights she had once removed to a Middle East country that abides by sharia, or Islamic law. But […]

Read more of this post

BareNakedIslam | November 5, 2013 at 3:34 am | URL: http://wp.me/p276zM-Zcy

Comment    See all comments

Unsubscribe to no longer receive posts from BARE NAKED ISLAM.
Change your email settings at Manage Subscriptions.

Trouble clicking? Copy and paste this URL into your browser:
http://www.barenakedislam.com/2013/11/05/learning-the-hard-way-or-what-its-like-for-an-american-woman-to-be-married-to-an-arab-muslim-in-gaza/




--
--
Thanks for being part of "PoliticalForum" at Google Groups.
For options & help see http://groups.google.com/group/PoliticalForum
 
* Visit our other community at http://www.PoliticalForum.com/
* It's active and moderated. Register and vote in our polls.
* Read the latest breaking news, and more.
 
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "PoliticalForum" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to politicalforum+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

Fwd: [New post] Woman with Stage 4 cancer loses healthplan because of Obamacare





Dr. Eowyn posted: " When he was lobbying Congress to pass his sweeping healthcare "reform" with the Orwellian Newspeak name of the Affordable Healthcare Act, better known as Obamacare, the POS made many grand promises that turn out to be all lies. ______________________"
Respond to this post by replying above this line

New post on Fellowship of the Minds

Woman with Stage 4 cancer loses healthplan because of Obamacare

by Dr. Eowyn

elections have consequences

When he was lobbying Congress to pass his sweeping healthcare "reform" with the Orwellian Newspeak name of the Affordable Healthcare Act, better known as Obamacare, the POS made many grand promises that turn out to be all lies.

____________________________

Note: Americans are discovering Obamacare is anything but affordable. See "Obamacare deductibles a dose of sticker shock," Oct. 14, 2013.

____________________________

One of his promises was that if we like our present healthcare plans, after Obamacare becomes law, we would not lose our plans or our doctors -- which, of course, begs the question of why those Americans must then be subjected to Obamacare.

Now, all those millions of Americans who do like our present healthcare plans and our doctors are discovering that -- SURPRISE! -- Pres. Lucifer had lied. See:

Edie Sundby, who has Stage 4 gallbladder cancer, is among those Americans who found out the truth about her president and his Obamacare: she is among the hundreds of thousands who received a letter from her health insurance (United Healthcare PPO) that her plan will be terminated.

After fighting her gallbladder cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of just 2%, for nearly seven years, Sundby will now lose her team of primary doctors and oncologists who have been crucial to saving her life. She must now either accept the Obamacare plan and lose her world-class doctors, or pay more for private insurance with an unfamiliar company.

I was wondering before I read her op/ed in the Wall Street Journal, whether Sundby, who lives in southern California, had voted for Obama. Right at the beginning of her op/ed is this sentence: "My grievance is not political; all my energies are directed to enjoying life and staying alive, and I have no time for politics."

That sentence tells me Sundby either had voted for Obama or not voted at all.

We all must make time for politics, because politics has to do with literally EVERYTHING in our lives: the air we breathe; the food we eat; the cars and the roads on which we drive; how much money is taken from us, under force of law; the freedom to practice our religion; our healthcare; and more.

Edie Sundby is now discovering that elections have consequences. Too bad those of us who did not vote for the POS and for Democrats, must suffer along with her.

H/t Daily Mail

~Eowyn

Edie and Dale SundbyEdie Sundby and her husband, Dale.

You Also Can't Keep Your Doctor

I had great cancer doctors and health insurance. My plan was cancelled. Now I worry how long I'll live.

By Edie Littlefield Sundby
Nov. 3, 2013
Everyone now is clamoring about Affordable Care Act winners and losers. I am one of the losers.

My grievance is not political; all my energies are directed to enjoying life and staying alive, and I have no time for politics. For almost seven years I have fought and survived stage-4 gallbladder cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than 2% after diagnosis. I am a determined fighter and extremely lucky. But this luck may have just run out: My affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.

My choice is to get coverage through the government health exchange and lose access to my cancer doctors, or pay much more for insurance outside the exchange (the quotes average 40% to 50% more) for the privilege of starting over with an unfamiliar insurance company and impaired benefits.

Countless hours searching for non-exchange plans have uncovered nothing
that compares well with my existing coverage. But the greatest source of
frustration is Covered California, the state's Affordable Care Act
health-insurance exchange and, by some reports, one of the best such
exchanges in the country. After four weeks of researching plans on the
website, talking directly to government exchange counselors, insurance
companies and medical providers, my insurance broker and I are as
confused as ever. Time is running out and we still don't have a clue how
to best proceed.

Two things have been essential in my fight to survive stage-4 cancer. The first are doctors and health teams in California and Texas: at the medical center of the University of California, San Diego, and its Moores Cancer Center; Stanford University's Cancer Institute; and the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

The second element essential to my fight is a United Healthcare PPO (preferred provider organization) health-insurance policy.

Since March 2007 United Healthcare has paid $1.2 million to help keep me alive, and it has never once questioned any treatment or procedure recommended by my medical team. The company pays a fair price to the doctors and hospitals, on time, and is responsive to the emergency treatment requirements of late-stage cancer. Its caring people in the claims office have been readily available to talk to me and my providers.

But in January, United Healthcare sent me a letter announcing that they were pulling out of the individual California market. The company suggested I look to Covered California starting in October.

You would think it would be simple to find a health-exchange plan that allows me, living in San Diego, to continue to see my primary oncologist at Stanford University and my primary care doctors at the University of California, San Diego. Not so. UCSD has agreed to accept only one Covered California plan—a very restrictive Anthem EPO Plan. EPO stands for exclusive provider organization, which means the plan has a small network of doctors and facilities and no out-of-network coverage (as in a preferred-provider organization plan) except for emergencies. Stanford accepts an Anthem PPO plan but it is not available for purchase in San Diego (only Anthem HMO and EPO plans are available in San Diego).

So if I go with a health-exchange plan, I must choose between Stanford and UCSD. Stanford has kept me alive—but UCSD has provided emergency and local treatment support during wretched periods of this disease, and it is where my primary-care doctors are.

Before the Affordable Care Act, health-insurance policies could not be sold across state lines; now policies sold on the Affordable Care Act exchanges may not be offered across county lines.

What happened to the president's promise, "You can keep your health plan"? Or to the promise that "You can keep your doctor"? Thanks to the law, I have been forced to give up a world-class health plan. The exchange would force me to give up a world-class physician.

For a cancer patient, medical coverage is a matter of life and death. Take away people's ability to control their medical-coverage choices and they may die. I guess that's a highly effective way to control medical costs. Perhaps that's the point.

Comment    See all comments

Unsubscribe to no longer receive posts from Fellowship of the Minds.
Change your email settings at Manage Subscriptions.

Trouble clicking? Copy and paste this URL into your browser:
http://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2013/11/05/woman-with-stage-4-cancer-loses-healthplan-because-of-obamacare/

Thanks for flying with WordPress.com



--
--
Thanks for being part of "PoliticalForum" at Google Groups.
For options & help see http://groups.google.com/group/PoliticalForum
 
* Visit our other community at http://www.PoliticalForum.com/
* It's active and moderated. Register and vote in our polls.
* Read the latest breaking news, and more.
 
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "PoliticalForum" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to politicalforum+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

Fwd: AN AIRLINE PILOT'S STORY: "THE PAYOFF"








 

How many of today's autopilot, computer dependent pilots would be able to do this? Professionalism, readiness, and knowledge can never be replaced by all the electronic gadgets in the world.  Whether you drive a truck or a C-17, nothing beats knowing your capabilities and those of your machine, and knowing where you are at all times.  It's hard to come up with options if you don't know what's going on.

 

The Payoff 
 

Dedicated to Frank Crismon (1903-1990)

by Capt. G. C. Kehmeier (United Airlines, Ret.)

 

"I ought to make you buy a ticket to ride this airline!"  The chief pilot's words were scalding.  I had just transferred from San Francisco to Denver.  Frank Crismon, my new boss, was giving me a route check between Denver and Salt Lake City.

"Any man who flies for me will know this route," he continued.  "'Fourteen thousand feet will clear Kings Peak' is not adequate.  You had better know that Kings Peak is exactly 13,498 feet high.  Bitter Creek is not 'about 7,000 feet.'  It is exactly 7,185 feet, and the identifying code for the beacon is dash dot dash.

"I'm putting you on probation for one month, and then I'll ride with you again.  If you want to work for me, you had better start studying!"

Wow!  He wasn't kidding!  For a month, I pored over sectional charts, auto road maps, Jeppesen approach charts, and topographic quadrangle maps.  I learned the elevation and code for every airway beacon between the West Coast and Chicago.  I learned the frequencies, runway lengths, and approach procedures for every airport. From city road maps, I plotted the streets that would funnel me to the various runways at each city.

A month later he was on my trip.

"What is the length of the north-south runway at Milford?"  "Fifty-one fifty."

"How high is Antelope Island?"  "Sixty-seven hundred feet."

"If your radio fails on an Ogden-Salt Lake approach, what should you do?"  "Make a right turn to 290 degrees and climb to 13,000 feet."

"What is the elevation of the Upper Red Butte beacon?"  "Seventy-three hundred."

"How high is the Laramie Field?"  "Seventy-two fifty."

This lasted for the three hours from Denver to Salt Lake City.

"I'm going to turn you loose on your own.  Remember what you have learned.  I don't want to ever have to scrape you off some hillside with a book on your lap!"

Twenty years later, I was the Captain on a Boeing 72
7 from San Francisco to Chicago.  We were cruising in the cold, clear air at 37,000 feet.

South of Grand Junction a deep low-pressure area fed moist air upslope into Denver, causing snow, low ceilings, and restricted visibility.  The forecast for Chicago's O'Hare Field was 200 feet and one-half mile, barely minimums.

Over the Utah-Colorado border, the backbone of the continent showed white in the noonday sun.  I switched on the intercom and gave the passengers the word.

"We are over Grand Junction at the confluence of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers.  On our right and a little ahead is the Switzerland of America--the rugged San Juan Mountains.  In 14 minutes we will cross the Continental Divide west of Denver. We will arrive O'Hare at 3:30 Chicago time."

Over Glenwood Springs, the generator overheat light came on.

"Number 2 won't stay on the bus," the engineer advised.

He placed the essential power selector to number 3.  The power failure light went out for a couple of seconds and then came on again, glowing ominously.

"Smoke is coming out of the main power shield," the engineer yelled.

"Hand me the goggles."

The engineer reached behind the observer's seat, unzipped a small container, and handed the copilot and me each a pair of ski goggles.  The smoke was getting thick.

I slipped the oxygen mask that is stored above the left side of the pilot's seat over my nose and mouth. "Emergency descent!"  I closed the thrust levers.  The engines that had been purring quietly like a giant vacuum cleaner since San Francisco spooled down to a quiet rumble.  I established a turn to the left and pulled the speed brake lever to extend the flight spoilers.

"Gear down. Advise passengers to fasten seat belts and no smoking."

I held the nose forward, and the mountains along the Continental Divide came up rapidly.  The smoke was thinning.

"Bring cabin altitude to 14,000 feet," I ordered.

At 14,000 feet over Fraser, we leveled and retracted the gear and speed brakes.  The engineer opened the ram air switch and the smoke disappeared.  We removed our goggles and masks. 

Fuel is vital to the life of a big jet, and electricity is almost as vital.  The artificial horizon and other electronic instruments, with which I navigated and made approaches through the clouds, were now so much tin and brass.  All I had left was the altimeter, the airspeed, and the magnetic compass--simple instruments that guided airplanes 35 years earlier.

"Advise passengers we are making a Denver stop."

"The last Denver weather was 300 feet with visibility one-half mile in heavy snow.  Wind was northeast at 15 knots with gusts to 20," the copilot volunteered.

"I know.  I heard it."

I dropped the nose and we moved over the red sandstone buildings of the University of Colorado.  We headed southeast and picked up the Denver-Boulder turnpike.

"We will fly the turnpike to the Broomfield turnoff, then east on Broomfield Road to Colorado Boulevard, then south to 26th Avenue, then east to Runway 8."

The copilot, a San Francisco reserve, gave me a doubtful look.  One doesn't scud-run to the end of the runway under a 300-foot ceiling in a big jet.

Coming south on Colorado Boulevard, we were down to 100 feet above the highway.  Lose it and I would have to pull up into the clouds and fly the gauges when I had no gauges.  Hang onto it and I would get into Stapleton Field.  I picked up the golf course and started a turn to the left.

"Gear down and 30 degrees."

The copilot moved a lever with a little wheel on it.  He placed the flap lever in the 30-degree slot.

I shoved the thrust levers forward.

"Don't let me get less than 150 knots.  I'm outside."

I counted the avenues as they slid underneath. . .30th, 29th, and 28th.  I remembered that there was neither a 31st nor a 27th.  I picked up 26th.  The snow was slanting out of the northeast.  The poplar trees and power lines showed starkly through the storm.  With electrical power gone, we had no windshield heat.  Fortunately, the snow was not sticking.

"Let me know when you see a school on your side and hack my time at five-second intervals from the east side of the school yard."

Ten seconds.

"There it is. The yard is full of kids.  Starting time now!"

Good boy.  Smiley faced Holly.  From the east side of the school yard, I counted Kearney, then Krameria, Leydon, Locust.  Remember the double lane for Monaco Parkway.  Then Magnolia, Niagara, Newport.  Time the speed at 130 knots.  Only eight blocks to the end of the runway.  Oneida, Olive, Pontiac, Poplar.  From Quebec to Syracuse, the cross streets disappear; figure eight seconds.  Keep 26th Avenue under the right side of the nose.

"Full flaps."

Dead ahead, glowing dimly in the swirling snow, were the three green lights marking the east end of Runway 8.

We crossed 20 feet above the center green light and touched down in a crab to the left.  I aligned the nose to the runway with the right rudder, dropped the nose wheel, popped the speed brakes, and brought in reverse thrust.

It took us 10 minutes to find the terminal in the swirling whiteout.  We saw the dim, flashing red light atop the building indicating the field was closed to all traffic.

A mechanic materialized out of the snow carrying two wands.  He waved me into the gate.

I set the parking brake.

"We have ground power," the engineer advised.

"Cut the engines."

The bagpipe skirl of sound spiraled down to silence.

"My hat is off to you, skipper.  I don't know how you ever found this airport."

"I used to fly for an ornery old chief pilot who made me learn the route," I replied as I hung up my headset and scratched the top of my head where it itched.

Frank Crismon passed away at his home in Denver on 25 Jan 1990.

Editor's note:  Professionalism, readiness, and knowledge can never be replaced by all the electronic gadgets in the world.  Whether you drive a truck or a C-17, nothing beats knowing your capabilities and those of your machine, and knowing where you are at all times.  It's hard to come up with options if you don't know what's going on.


SOURCE: This is what airline pilots USED to know. - Democratic Underground



__._,_.___






__,_._,___


--
--
Thanks for being part of "PoliticalForum" at Google Groups.
For options & help see http://groups.google.com/group/PoliticalForum
 
* Visit our other community at http://www.PoliticalForum.com/
* It's active and moderated. Register and vote in our polls.
* Read the latest breaking news, and more.
 
---
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "PoliticalForum" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to politicalforum+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.