Nov
24
2014
8

:raised eyebrow: Chuck Hagel stepping down as SecDef.

Well, THAT was quick:

…And the Obama administration’s unstated policy of slavishly (albeit incompetently) imitating the Bush administration continues.

Moe Lane

PS: Oh man but that is going to be an epic confirmation hearing next year.

Nov
24
2014
1

How Terry McAuliffe failed to impose Medicaid expansion on Virginia.

This Washington Post article on Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe’s futile attempt to sneak Medicaid expansion past his own state legislature is fascinating, but it has several flaws in it.  There are things that are not mentioned enough, things that are mentioned too much, and at least one thing that is not mentioned at all.  Unsurprising, given that the WaPo remains a Democratic cheerleader; but still slightly disappointing.

Quick summary of the article: at the beginning of the saga, Terry McAuliffe was faced with a barely Democratic state Senate and a solidly Republican General Assembly.  This meant that if Gov. McAuliffe wanted to get Medicaid expansion through the legislature, he’d need to sweet-talk the Republicans into going along – HAH!  Who am I kidding?  Nah, his team of trained legislation-breakers found a suitable loophole, in classic Democratic party fashion* – and snuck it into the budget.  Alas, Democrat state Senator Phillip Puckett was made a deal (which apparently had nothing to do with any of this) that flipped the state Senate (despite the frantic deal-making efforts of every Virginia Democrat from McAuliffe on down); that, coupled with conservative watchdogs and Eric Cantor’s remarkable primary loss, scuppered the inclusion of language in the Virginia budget that would have permitted said loophole.  Sic transit gloria McAuliffe. (more…)

Nov
23
2014
8

There will be no place in the Republican party for Jim Webb.

I mention this solely because this article (H/T: Hot Air Headlines) seems to think that former Virginia Senator Jim Webb has any option besides running for President, and ultimately losing even the nomination, as a Democrat.  …He does not.  Either party will accept a convert, readily enough: many people have honorably switched political affiliations over the years, including myself.  But to yo-yo between the parties is pretty much considered to at least suggest a basic weakness in one’s character.  Indecision at best; opportunism at worst.  Neither is thought of as being evidence of Presidential material.

Besides, he’ll look better among the Democrats anyway.  Over there the one-term, undistinguished, nonproductive, and generally ineffectual Senators can really shine.  If Webb tried to run in our primaries all the two-term governors and firebrand Senators would eat his liver and lights – and if Jim Webb doesn’t realize that by now, then I heartily encourage him to try to run in my party’s primary.  The sight of his destruction would be pleasing unto all our eyes…

Moe Lane

Nov
23
2014
3

Will Gov-elect Bill Walker (“I”-Alaska) flunk his first test?

Or did Alaskans elect a stealth Democrat after all?  We may be about to find out:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s ascent to the top of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee is likely to reignite the decades-old debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

Alaskans have been fighting for the right to drill in wilderness on their state’s northern shore since 1977, when the government first punted on the question of whether to allow oil exploration.

(more…)

Nov
23
2014
3

There’s actually a pretty big silver lining in that Obamacare cloud.

This AoSHQ piece from a couple of days ago actually makes me a bit chipper.  Why? Because of that Gallup graph.

You see, it’s an interesting thing: since 2000, Gallup has been polling on the question on whether or not Americans think that the federal government has the responsibility to ensure health care coverage. In 2009, the breakdown for that was 54/41; and today the number is… 56/42. Well, more accurately, it’s 42/56. Because back when Barack Obama took office a majority of the American people were happy to have the government involved in ensuring health care access; and now that the government has a majority of the American people would like the government to stop now, please.

…Oops?

Moe Lane

Nov
22
2014
7

Ah, that yearned-for 90% marginal tax rate.

I know that this (via College Insurrection) sounds self-evidently absurd:

Economists at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Bonn argue that the United States would be better off if well-heeled citizens paid the kind of high tax rates not seen since the Eisenhower administration.

According to a working paper by Bonn’s Fabian Kindermann and Penn’s Dirk Krueger published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, going back to the 1950s’ top marginal tax rate of 91 percent could be the elixir to cure the income inequality bug.

Krueger told the Huffington Post a rate “between 85 and 90 percent” makes everybody better off, including people in the 1 percent.

(more…)

Nov
22
2014
5

HHS contemplating rule allowing them to choose your Obamacare plan for you.

At this rate, the 2016 DEMOCRATIC candidate will run on repealing Obamacare:

Here’s a Friday Obamacare news-dump for you: In a 300-page regulatory proposal released late this afternoon, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it is considering changing Obamacare’s auto-renewal rules so that, within the health law’s exchanges, instead of being automatically renewed into your current health plan, you’d be moved into the lowest cost plan from the same service tier.

Essentially, this is insurance-determination-via-bureaucracy: Reason argues that the goal here is to cut down embarrassing premium hikes to policies without having to turn off the imposition of auto-renewal rules… OK, let me back up here.  Obamacare currently has auto-renewal enabled on its policies, because without it the signup and membership rate would probably slow, or even decrease.  The problem here is that auto-renewal also means lots and lots of future stories about people signing up for policies and suddenly discovering that their rates have gone through the roof.  Ostensibly the idea to prevent that is to expect consumers to change policies every year – trust a bureaucrat to think that this would be a thing that people would cheerfully do* – and if they won’t do it on their own, well, let the benevolent hand of HHS do it for them**.  What could possibly go wrong? (more…)

Nov
21
2014
4

Seriously, the DNC needs to fire its social media squad over this ‘ethnic cleansing’ own-goals.

As my readers may remember, yesterday the Democratic party managed to get itself put in a bad place by its own social media squad over ‘ethnic cleansing’ (basically, said squad turned a talk radio caller into the Voice of the Republican Party, because we’ve relentlessly given the Democratic party nothing better to work with this cycle). The Daily Caller covered this as well: it contained the phrase ‘no member of Congress from either party has made that claim or threat.’ When I read that last night, I assumed at first that it was a rhetorical trap, because decided that it wasn’t.  Surely nobody on the Democrats’ side would be stupid enough to try to keep arguing that a call-in comment on a radio talk show was actually a statement made by a federal Representative or Senator.

Well, those social media geniuses over at Team Democrat managed to double down on stupid.  Here’s Derek Hunter’s update to his post:

One flack said of [Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach, “who as you know is a prominent voice in the GOP.” In all honesty, I had to look up who he was, so “prominent voice” is open to interpretation. [*] Finally, the words “no Member of Congress” precede what they’re complaining about. Last time I checked the Secretary of State of Kansas, or any other state, is not a Member of Congress. The DNC asked for an update to this post, so here is their update.

(more…)

Nov
21
2014
15

Amusing thought about how 2014 hurt 2020 for the Democrats.

Let us assume – well, actually, I’m not assuming this; I’m expecting it – that a Republican wins the Presidential election in 2016. Also assume (I am not quite expecting this) that the Senate stays Republican in the process.  Real quick: who is going to be the Democratic nominee in 2020?

This is not actually a facetious question.  The top two contenders for the Democratic nomination (Clinton and Biden) will simply be too old to run in 2020 (they’re also too old in 2016, but never mind that right now). The next obvious step is to look to the governors… but right now there isn’t a viable Democratic candidate in the bunch.  The RGA had a good year, and the DGA a bad one: which becomes relevant because the Presidential crop in 2020 will be heavily dependent on which Democratic candidates won this year.  It takes time to build an executive record in state government; so even if the Democrats have a good year in 2018 it won’t benefit them until 2024. (more…)

Nov
21
2014
14

Something that many of my readers probably don’t want to hear about Chris Christie.

I was listening on CSPAN to yesterday’s speeches at some RGA (Republican Governors Association) meeting, and it struck me: we were all assuming a… somewhat ‘meh’ year for the RGA. And it was realistic to do so: we had had such a great year in 2010 everybody figured that there’d be a reversion to the mean. I mean, we knew about Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania. We figured that Florida was going to be heavy lifting, and many of us figured that Rick Scott wouldn’t make it through. Maine and Paul LePage, likewise. Sam Brownback in Kansas was being treated as a dead man walking. There were even people worried about Rick Snyder in Michigan and Scott Walker in Wisconsin.

…Well. Corbett got eviscerated, on cue. Sean Parnell in Alaska eventually lost, in what can be charitably called a ‘mess’ of an election. But all those other people won – and then we flipped Illinois, Massachusetts, Arkansas, and Maryland.  That’s a solid win for the RGA, which means that it’s a solid win for Chris Christie.  Maryland’s Governor-elect Larry Hogan in particular couldn’t thank Christie enough for the RGA’s help, which was indeed easily the most significant support that the Hogan campaign got from the GOP*.  That will have an effect on donors and organizations. And it’s a legitimate one: being able to win in tough places to win is pretty much the yardstick that we’re using for our Presidential candidates**. (more…)

Nov
20
2014
10

Yeah, back to the video game.

It’s gonna be all immigration, all the time – up to the moment that there’s a riot in Missouri, or a political collapse in Louisiana, or something else. Got nothing really to say…

…but this just showed up in my timeline; and my, but isn’t it interesting.

Based on the polling I wouldn’t imagine that that the Democrats would be all that happy about this.

Nov
20
2014
28

Remember the wisdom of our fathers: “Don’t get mad. Get EVEN.”

If you are extremely upset about tonight’s unexpected (and curiously circumscribed*) immigration speech by Barack Obama, may I suggest doing something practical about it?

(more…)

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