On the Obamacare front, WRAL gives us the story of a man who has tried to get insurance through healthcare.gov 14 times. If it wasn’t a law it would be hilarious. Well, it’s still hilarious but sad for the victims at the same time.
Miller says he called Blue Cross Blue Shield and was told that his application has not been forwarded to them. He says he calls the Healthcare.gov helpline about every other day and regularly spends two to three hours on the phone waiting for and then talking with service representatives and their supervisors who are unable to tell him his status or how to proceed.
“It’s extremely frustrating. I can’t imagine that any organization can work treating people like that without having answers, without having anybody you can turn to to get an answer,” Miller said.
Miller, who owns a small roofing business and is Internet savvy, says he does qualify for a federal subsidy, which is why he’s going through Healthcare.gov. Yet, when he calls the help line, he says their default answer is to start a new application, which he has done 14 times.
Miller says he plans to be back on the phone Thursday, trying to get answers about his family’s health insurance coverage.
And we have the results of the lightbulb ban coming in to effect
Government regulations taking effect Wednesday stop businesses in the United States from manufacturing or importing 60- and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs. It’s all part of a 2007 federal law requiring light bulbs to meet higher energy efficiency standards. In the past few years, 75-watt and 100-watt bulbs were phased out.
This is also utterly ridiculous. This is a choice consumers should make, not the government. Incandescent light bulbs dim far better than CFL or LED. Incandescent bulbs also put out more heat (hence their larger energy consumption). In addition to crippling the easy bake ovens of thousands of little girls, it also creates a dilemma for those of us in geographic locations where things occasionally freeze and can be saved by the application of a regular old lamp with a 60 watt light bulb. The bottom line: If CFL’s and LED’s are so great, they will naturally dominate the market, it shouldn’t take a government mandate.
Although I think we can all agree that it’s delightful that these things have heavy metals in them and the government is always telling us how safe those are… oh wait…
And so the State of North Carolina continues to dig their hole. In addition to having a very nice, very expensive stretch of road that nobody drives on, and now they’re raising the rates. Which will further discourage anybody from driving on the blasted thing. When the tolls they’re collecting don’t even cover the cost of running the turnpike authority itself, never mind paying down toll debt.
WRAL tells of of the story of a man who simply forgot to pay a $0.45 cent bill for driving on The Monument to Fiscal Irresponsibility.
The fine consisting of pocket change turned into a $37.45 bill, thanks to monthly fees and civil penalties
$37.00 worth of fines. Fines that can…
The agency has set deadlines between Jan. 31 and March 31 (depending on how much is owed) for residents to pay.
Not doing so will result in their bill being sent to collections, which could affect their credit scores. Their tax refunds will also be garnished starting April 1. In addition, North Carolina drivers will have their vehicle registrations placed on hold until payment is made.
And they’re raising the rates.
The NC-540 Toll Road Experiment has thus far been a complete failure. I see no reason to believe it will not continue to be a complete failure. It’s time to suck it up, end the turnpike authority, and start managing the states resources in a responsible way.
It’s funny how a guy who is famous for making duck calls can stir up such a spectacle simply by providing a Biblical answer to the question of what he considers to be sin.
I’m not a big Duck Dynasty fan, I prefer flannel to camouflage. But this has turned into a major skirmish in the “culture war”. I think that Mark Steyn has pretty well summed it up (he would know, the Canadians tried to throw him in jail for not toeing the politically correct line in an ill fated anti-free speech crusade).
I’m well aware of that, thank you. In the early days of my free-speech battles in Canada, my friend Ezra Levant used a particular word to me: “de-normalize”. Our enemies didn’t particularly care whether they won in court. Whatever the verdict, they’d succeed in “de-normalizing” us — that’s to say, putting us beyond the pale of polite society and mainstream culture. “De-normalizing” is the business GLAAD and the other enforcers are in. You’ll recall Paula Deen’s accuser eventually lost in court — but the verdict came too late for Ms Deen’s book deal, and TV show, and endorsement contracts.
Up north, Ezra and I decided that, if they were going to “de-normalize” us, we’d “de-normalize” them. So we pushed back, and got the entire racket discredited and, eventually, the law repealed. It’s rough stuff, and exhausting, but the alternative is to let the control-freaks shrivel the bounds of public discourse remorselessly so that soon enough you lack even the words to mount an opposing argument. As this commenter to Mr Steorts noted, the point about unearthing two “derogatory” “puerile” yet weirdly prescient gags is that, pace Marx, these days comedy repeats as tragedy.
Marriage is a divinely ordained institution between a man and a woman. The Bible is very explicit regarding homosexuality. It is not an issue that Christians have any room to compromise on.
And more hilarious laughter. Kay Hagan is flipping out after losing a 17 point lead against the generic Republican in next year’s elections. I don’t usually put too much stock in polls against a generic Republican or a generic Democrat because there is a certain amount of the personality contest going on. But seeing that much of a swing against the same generic Republican means that something is going on.
This has been going around a lot, but it’s just too good not to post here (from the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank):
Well, her problem begins with Obamacare, ends with Obamacare and has a whole lot of Obamacare in between.
Hagan hosted a conference call for reporters Tuesday morning to discuss the problems with the health-care law’s rollout, and the Q&A session was so painful that the senator should qualify for trauma coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
So, I am enjoying the Priceless Schadenfreude. With the only caveat being that I can’t help but wonder how much stronger the GOP’s position would be had John McCain and Lindsey Graham managed to keep their mouths shut and obey Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment. Shutting the government down to stop this train wreck doesn’t seem like such a bad move now, huh? Wouldn’t it be nice to hang THAT albatross around Obama’s neck too? But those two idiots had to run out and apologize for the crazy tea partiers every chance they got. At the very least, it’s time for Graham and McCain to face some serious party discipline for their malfeasance in this regard.
And in the blog business category, I have added a Kay Hagan category where I can keep track of little anecdotes about the villainess who is unworthy to sit in the same seat once held by Jesse Helms.
I just saw this on WRAL’s home page:
President Barack Obama’s health care law risks coming unglued because of his administration’s bungles and his own inflated promises. To avoid that fate, Obama needs breakthroughs on three fronts: the cancellations mess, technology troubles and a crisis in confidence among his own supporters.
I can’t help but laugh. That blurb is from an article from the Associated Press. It must have killed them to write that. AP content dissappears from WRAL after a certain amount of time (I don’t remember what the actual amount of time is) so it won’t be there forever, but I will still laugh it up while I can.
“What we found were the (bus) ridership numbers are fairly low,” Clarence Marsella, former general manager and chief executive officer of the Denver Regional Transportation District, told county leaders at a meeting Tuesday.
Adding rail typically increases ridership 30 percent, he said, so 30 percent of an already low number doesn’t justify the high cost of rail.
The experts also said that congestion in Wake County and surrounding areas is not as bad as other places in the country and that the area already has a well-functioning road system.
So, what we have here, is further proof that there was never any good reason to green light a billion dollar light rail program in Wake County. Especially one like what was proposed that didn’t go anywhere useful.
From the same article:
“If we don’t come up with a plan, you might as well look at Atlanta because we’ll have similar congestion as they have,” Raleigh City Planning Director Mitch Silver said.
Yes, we need a plan. But how about we conjure up a plan that actually has a chance of working instead of one that just flushes taxpayer dollars down a hole. Our resources are better utilized at this point making sure the roads are adequate.
Before you spend a massive amount of money on public transit, you need to answer two questions: Where is it going and who is going to ride it? The answer in the case of rail in the triangle appears to be nowhere and almost nobody.
I just want to make a note, for the record, to remember what happened with Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia. Cuccinelli lost to Terry McAuliffe (who has a long history of being one of the most loathsome characters on the other side).
But the real story is that after Tea Party Favorite Ken Cuccinelli won the Republican primary for the governor’s race in Virginia, the establishment Republicans were out. Typically reliable Republican donors wouldn’t give to Cuccinelli’s campaign. Which is fine, they can spend their money however they like. But every time the establishment gets their way and some wishy washy milquetoast Republican wins the nomination, they lecture the Conservative and Libertarian wings of the party that we have to unite around “our” guy. But they have made it abundantly clear that when somebody WE like wins the primary, they’re out. They won’t support a conservative candidate.
We’re just going to file this away so that we can pull it out the next time the establishment tries to foist a McCain on us and tells us we must unite behind him.
I’ll just end this rant with a little snippet from a post on this by Jonah Goldberg:
As for the more moderate Republican donors who stayed away from Cuccinelli, I certainly don’t think they’re obliged to give money to anyone or anything they disagree with. So maybe they’re pro-choice. Maybe they call themselves “socially liberal but fiscally conservative” (don’t get me started). Fine. But on the issues that make them Republican, McAuliffe will still be far more of a disaster than Cuccinelli ever would have been. McAuliffe says his first priority for the legislative session is accepting the expanded Medicare option under ObamaCare. That’s bad enough, but does anyone doubt that another, equally important, priority of his will be to prepare the ground for a Clinton candidacy should she run? Even if she doesn’t, McAuliffe in the statehouse is terrible news for every kind of Republican. McAuliffe is not a policy person. He’s not a “statesman.” He’s a purely political hack moneyman. And he’s going to use his skills as best he can to put Virginia in the Democrats’ column in 2016.
For all the talk about how the base needs to cooperate with the establishment more, it’s worth remembering that the base almost always does its part on Election Day. Its the establishment that is less reliable in returning the favor.
And so, late in the evening last night, the Republicans caved on a joke of a deal to re-open the government and take out a new credit card*. I recall that when Mitt Romney was running for the Presidency last year, the Republican “Moderates” told us that abortion was a losing issue and to keep quiet about the social issues and focus on the economic issues.
For the past 2 weeks, the Congress has been fighting like cats and dogs over fiscal issues and the Republican “Moderates” have slammed the dyed in the wool Conservatives at every opportunity. John McCain and Lindsey Graham both violated Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, and Peter King needs to go change his party affiliation to Democrat.
We have mountains of debt, a “health care bill” that is a complete disaster, a fiscal black hole, nothing ready to go, and the Obama Administration handing out subsidies without verifying that people are even eligible, and the “Moderate” wing of the GOP is more angry at the Tea Party Republicans than it is with the Democrats or Barack Obama, the man who pettily closed down open air memorials and foolishly furloughed a significant part of the national intelligence apparatus:
By Anita Kumar — McClatchy Washington Bureau
Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/10/15/205348/shutdown-misstep-how-obama-administration.html#storylink=cpy
So, which is it? What does the GOP even stand for? I will go back to what I wrote at the beginning of the “Obama Debacle” that I think highlights the split in the GOP. They keep saying that we are united in our goals of fiscal restraint and individual liberty. But anytime somebody tries to stand up for those ideals, it is the “moderates” who shriek for them to sit down and shut up, that they’re ruining years of carefully laid planning.
These Republican Moderates are the Saturday Morning Cartoon villains of the political world.
As an aside, I also want to note for the record that Richard Burr voted for the Senate bill that has passed that increases our debts and does nothing to hold Obama accountable for his blatant disregard for the enforcement of the provisions of his own law, which he lacks the statutory authority to waive without an act of Congress.
*I would like to address the Democrats and Obama’s specific claims that not raising the debt ceiling will end in a default on US sovereign debt. Let us take a moment to speak directly to what Barack Obama said:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Everybody should say one of the most valuable things we have is America’s credit worthiness. This is not something we should even come close to fooling around with. So when I read people saying, no, this wouldn’t be a big deal, we should test it out. Let’s take default out for a spin and see how it rides.
I say, imagine in your private life if you decided that I’m not going to pay my mortgage for a month or two. First of all, you’re not saving money by not saving your mortgage. You’re just a deadbeat. And you can anticipate that will hurt your credit, which means that in addition to debt collectors calling, you’re going to have trouble borrowing in the future. And if you are able to borrow in the future, you’re going to have to borrow at a higher rate. What’s true for individuals is also true for nations, even the most powerful nation on earth.
For Obama, a refusal to raise the debt ceiling is equivalent to a refusal to pay one’s mortgage. This, however, is totally false. The refusal to raise the debt ceiling and the demand to cut spending is more akin to looking at your finances and realizing that you’ve maxed out the credit cards and you can’t pay the light bill, cable bill, car payment, and mortgage with the cash you are bringing in from your job. Obama’s solution is to take out another credit card. The solution proposed by conservatives is to cancel the Cable TV and sell the car and buy one that fits in the budget. Anybody who has ever had to manage their personal finances knows that spending every cent you have, maxing out your credit card, and then taking out another credit card to continue your spending spree is the path to bankruptcy. But I guess wanting to avoid bankruptcy makes you a deadbeat. Up is down, right is wrong, left is right.
Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.