Deadlines, Red Lines, & Politics

Today is the former deadline for signing up for Obamacare. Those who think, though, that President Obama is doing something new by changing this deadline have forgotten that this has become pretty much a standard operating procedure for him, as it’s slightly reminiscent of how he conducts foreign policy as well. He gets pretty much the same result in both realms:

Now What

Ostensibly, this alteration in the deadline is to help all those who don’t have insurance and just haven’t had the time to sign up during the past six months. Keep in mind that probably only about 1/30 of the uninsured have decided to go with this “rescue mission” designed especially for them. Why haven’t they jumped at the offer? Could it be that it’s too expensive? Or is Harry Reid right when he says they’re just not smart enough to navigate the Internet and need more time? The words “Harry Reid” and “right” don’t really belong in the same sentence.

Here’s the bottom line: this deadline was moved purely for political reasons. Obamacare is political poison for Democrats this November. If President Obama could get his way on everything, I think I know what he would do at this juncture:

Delay Midterm

Meanwhile, there is a gleam in Republicans’ eyes:

Senate-Man

If the elections were held today, I believe that would be the result. Now, will Republicans be smart with this advantage or find a way to ruin themselves? For the sake of the country, pray that they stand firm on principles and find the proper way to communicate them.

Adventures in Obamacareland

What might be a better name for Obamacare? Adventures in Wonderland? Theater of the Absurd? The New Twilight Zone?

If you are paying attention at all, you ought to be stunned by the ludicrous nature of this legislation: from its false philosophical basis, to its awful rollout, to the many changes made to it by executive fiat, Obamacare is pretty much a laughingstock. Or at least it would be if not for the dismal fact that millions have been forced off their previous healthcare plans and now experience higher deductibles and premiums, along with loss of doctors and hospitals to treat them. Oh, and all those uninsured this was supposed to help? Of the estimated 30 million, only about 1 million now have insurance. And soon the tentacles of this vast government overreach will begin to hit hard on those who have employer-based plans. The millions currently affected will mushroom into the many millions.

The deadline for signing up in this first round always has been March 31. Well, not anymore. We now have Unilateral Change #29. There no longer is a deadline; anyone can get an extension simply by clicking on a box on the website. How much of an extension? Who knows? Probably an indefinite one. Why? Because the administration can’t get enough people to register to make it financially stable.

Countdown

Those who are staying away in droves are the younger people, without whom this law falls flat on its face. Obama and his people have practically been begging them to join, without success:

More Millennials

Maybe the younger generation isn’t quite as clueless as I feared. The measures to pressure them, though, may become extreme over time:

Halt

Remember all those promises about how great the new healthcare law would be for everyone? We have been told incessantly that once we saw it in action, we would be overwhelmed with gratitude. Apparently, that hasn’t been the case:

Grow on You

Democrats in Congress who are running for reelection are practically living in a state of panic, especially since they were complicit in selling Obamacare all along. Senators like Mary Landrieu of Louisiana are particularly vulnerable, no matter how often and how loudly people like Nancy Pelosi tell them it’s a winning strategy to run on Obamacare:

Lovely Necklace

Throughout this ordeal, President Obama can at least be gratified that he’s made one former president quite happy:

Thank You

I have to admit I’m looking forward to November.

Happy [?] Anniversary, Obamacare

Today is an anniversary. Four years ago on this day we were saddled with Obamacare. Life hasn’t been the same since. Passed, ostensibly, to ensure healthcare coverage for those who had no insurance, we’ve seen the opposite happen. Only about 10% of those who didn’t have insurance now have it. Millions more who had insurance they liked were forced off it and thrown into the Obamacare exchanges with higher deductibles, fewer doctors, hospitals, and special care centers to choose from, and generally higher premiums.

This is progress?

The law is so unpopular that the administration is having to go to all lengths to get people to sign up. The president is pulling out all the stops before we reach the end of the initial enrollment period next Monday. If you’re looking for your president, you can find him in all the best places:

Schedule

The goal is to focus on all those low-information voters, particularly young people, who are essential to the program. Without them, it will be a financial disaster. So there’s no limit to what President Obama may do to achieve his aim. Time to set aside whatever dignity the office of the presidency still retains:

Beneath Dignity

If this program were truly based on the free market, there’s no question what would have occurred by now:

No Recall

Unfortunately, the government is going to continue to shove this down our collective throats. It may collapse under its own weight, but we can’t take a wait-and-see approach. Active resistance—repeal and replace—still is necessary.

Russian Belligerence/American Weakness

The Russian Bear is sharpening its claws again. Vladimir Putin is doing his best to resurrect the old Soviet empire. His strategy of “protecting” Russian-speaking peoples has just landed him the Crimean Peninsula that legally belongs to Ukraine. Will he be satisfied with Crimea only? Why not the rest of Ukraine? After all, it used to be in the Soviet orbit. Rumors are now circulating that there are others who need “protection,” such as Russians living in the Baltic countries of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.

The United States used to be seen as the counterbalance to Russian empire-building. Not so much anymore. The Leader of the Free World has more important things on which to concentrate:

Not Taking Seriously

Putin, in fact, is not taking Obama very seriously. Why should he?

March Madness

Threats

Once this president established a track record of being a paper tiger, he made himself inconsequential. Who, on the world stage, is really listening to him anymore?

Mouse that Roared

But never fear, he has his real enemies in his sights, and he’s not going to let them get away with anything:

Weak

Unfortunately, for us and the world, the only “enemy” he recognizes is his political opposition. And the world hurtles toward one disaster after another without the positive input the United States used to give. Things are more out of balance than ever, and they are tipping in the direction of increased belligerence and terrorism. Meanwhile, we just sit and watch.

The Shifting Political Climate

I haven’t yet commented on a special election from last week here in my state of Florida. Many are seeing it as a portent for what awaits Democrats this November. In a race to fill a congressional seat in the Tampa area left vacant by the death of a long-time Republican representative, Democrats thought they had a slam dunk with Alex Sink, a woman who barely lost the governor’s race in 2010. In that race, she had won this congressional district, and the district, despite having the Republican congressman, had gone for Obama in both presidential elections.

David JollySink was running against a largely unknown Republican, David Jolly, who had to battle the image of being a lobbyist. Polls all along predicted a Sink victory, only to find the real poll on election night was more accurate. Jolly won the seat, primarily running against Obamacare. All Sink could do about Obamacare was offer some vague promise to “fix” it, whatever than meant.

The result was somewhat of a shock. Immediately, Democrats said the loss had nothing to do with Obamacare, that this was somehow a stolen election because Jolly got so much funding from groups nationwide. Never mind, of course, that Sink outspent him four-to-one; that fact is inconvenient.

Those who didn’t use the “election stolen” line tried the other old tactic: this race is not an indication of what’s coming; it was simply one insignificant special election in a district that already had a Republican congressman and Obamacare had absolutely nothing to do with the loss. Doubling down, one Democrat consultant, Bob Shrum, has now told Democrats to boldly run on Obamacare in the November elections. Shrum, by the way, is primarily known for running losing campaigns at the federal level.

Well, I would like to echo Shrum’s advice: please run on Obamacare.

Dems Sinking

In case Democrats haven’t noticed, the political climate is shifting:

Then-Now

It’s hard to say whether Obama or Obamacare is more unpopular—they’re running neck-and-neck. Democrats’ great hope now is that they can put forward another “historic” figure for the next presidential cycle. They’re counting on the idea that it’s a woman’s turn and that Hillary Clinton will waltz into the White House. I’m sure they’re already busy working on some winning campaign themes:

Barack Who

They’re also counting on collective amnesia:

Best Possible

The only real question remaining is whether Republicans will put up a challenger who has a strong message and can deliver it in a way that will attract voters. I’m not yet prepared to say who I think that person will be. Watch and pray is a Scriptural admonition; it applies in this situation as well.

Polls, the Media, & Bad Principles

President Obama’s approval ratings are in later George W. Bush territory, still hovering above those of Richard Nixon right before his resignation. It’s doesn’t matter which poll you look at, he’s in the tank. The trust factor is almost gone, at least for an effective presidency. One might hope these numbers would make him rethink his entire philosophy of government, but all he ever does is double-down on his fundamentals:

Disapproval Rating

Ordinarily, I would respect someone who abides by his principles, but not when the principles are as bankrupt as his. They don’t deserve the name “principles”; they are false philosophies.

One might also expect the media to do its own rethinking, since both the news and entertainment segments have been his chief cheerleaders and apologists. That expectation, sad to say, is not to be realized:

Duty to Report

Another indication that the mainstream networks haven’t shifted gears into doing their job honestly is the resignation of CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson. She was determined to get to the bottom of some of the Obama scandals, but was hindered and/or thwarted at almost every step. She finally had enough and left an employer that didn’t really want her to do her job well:

Gold Watch

This is another black eye for CBS news, but there should be an outlet somewhere for Attkisson to continue her investigations.

What we are are seeing is a rather unholy alliance between government and the supposedly free press to advance a common goal. The collusion has led to massive deception and an electorate largely in the dark about this administration’s aims and its reprehensible actions. Although those opinion polls are now beginning to go against Obama, they are five years too late. Only the continuing bad economy and the Obamacare debacle have awakened the people. I wish they had been awakened much earlier simply by the knowledge of our current leader’s overall goals. Thinking about principles, though, is not the norm; people respond more to bad prospects for jobs and healthcare. I’ll take what we can get, but I want to keep pointing to the false foundation on which Obama promised “hope and change.”

A Mess Masquerading As a Masterpiece

How bad is the news for Obamacare? The 7 million signups needed by the end of this month are probably not going to materialize. We’re told there are 4.2 million right now, and no one really knows for sure how many of those have actually paid a premium. The percentage of young people signing up is only about 25% when they need close to 40% for this to be financially workable. This is, as many people have commented over the past months, a train wreck ready to happen, and the president is the one telling the train where to go:

Detour

We’re also told that 90% of the uninsured have not yet taken advantage of the offered insurance. Let’s see, who was this act for, ostensibly? If 90% of the uninsured aren’t taking the bait, what’s the point in having this program anyway? But if you listen to the president and his paid talking heads, and believe what they are saying, you would think everything’s going swimmingly:

Looking Good

You’ve heard of the blind leading the blind? We’re experiencing it daily in America right now.

Then, just yesterday, more news. Another change to Obamacare mandated unilaterally by President Obama. You probably didn’t hear about this yet because it was all rather hush-hush. It seems this plan is so much of a disaster that the vaunted individual mandate is all but gone. One commentator reports,

In a very quiet regulatory shift issued just last week, the individual mandate tax “hardship” exemption was expanded to include pretty much anyone willing to “attest” that they’ve experienced some sort of trouble obtaining insurance.

The trouble can be simply that they cannot afford the high premiums in the Obamacare “marketplace.” This exemption runs through 2016. That’s not suspicious now, is it? Nothing political here; nothing to see; ignore the obvious.

Do Not Open

It’s just another ploy to survive an election. This makes it clear the law is in dire straits. This is actually a happy day for those of us who want to see it go down in flames.

Meanwhile, we’re assured this signature piece of legislation is a masterpiece that just needs a little touch up:

Not Finished Yet

Actually, it’s a mess masquerading as a masterpiece. Why would anyone want to buy it?