Quotes of the day

posted at 8:01 pm on March 14, 2014 by Allahpundit

Once carried like a conquering hero, President Obama is now pleading with donors for help to push his agenda, having to convince them that his record is something that should wow them.

“Do you still have my back?” Obama asks in a new letter to donors and contributors. “You should be proud of what we have been able to accomplish together,” he argues. “Can I count on you?”…

The fundraising letter for the Democratic National Committee even offers potential members a gift, a half-sized bumper sticker that reads, “I’ve STILL got his back.”

***

The White House has often asserted that the president and his cabinet have flexibility to depart from the letter of the law if the modification or delay is consistent with the spirit of the legislation. The words used to describe these actions are often vague or general in nature, but in testimony Wednesday before the House Ways and Means Committee, Kathleen Sebelius used remarkably candid language to refer to her agency’s rewrites of Obamacare. In an exchange with Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) over why the administration had not sent legislation to Congress to alter problematic portions of the law, Sebelius said…:

“We have implemented a number of changes in the way the law was written to ease the transition into the marketplace” for consumers, insurers and employers.

The secretary seemed to be suggesting that legislative fixes were not necessary because the executive branch already had the power to change “the way the law was written.” The president has affirmed this position in the statement released on Wednesday opposing H.R. 4138 ,which calls on the president to “Faithfully Observe and Respect Congressional Enactments of the Law” or face a possible lawsuit by Congress, arguing that Congress’s complaints over his administration’s rewrites are essentially “political disputes.”

***

The Obama administration has carved out a swath of exemptions for Obamacare’s individual mandate that could conceivably apply to anyone who claims to have a “hardship” in obtaining health insurance…

[T]he open-ended language has baffled even those sympathetic to Obamacare.

“An individual applicant would still need to show that they had suffered a hardship, but the language is awfully open-ended. It is hard to imagine what they were thinking when the threw the door open this wide,” said Tim Jost, a health law professor at Washington & Lee University who supports Obamacare.

Salon columnist Brian Beutler put it more bluntly: “The individual mandate is riddled with loopholes large enough to drive just about every uninsured person in the country through,” he wrote. “It even troubles some of the law’s most steadfast supporters.”

***

Some have speculated that the bulk of the new sign-ups have come from those with previous insurance plans that got cancelled because of Obamacare, which would mean fewer Americans than expected are actually gaining coverage as a result of the law who otherwise wouldn’t have it. HHS hasn’t released data on the prior insurance status of those selecting a plan through one of the exchanges, leaving health care policy analysts to parse various surveys looking for clues.

So I decided to do a little experiment. All else being equal, I postulated, if Obamacare sign-ups were mostly coming from the ranks of the uninsured, then states with the highest percentages of uninsured should be signing up the most people on a population-adjusted basis…

As you can see, Texas, the state with the highest percentage uninsured, ranked 27th in terms of adjusted Obamacare sign-ups. Overall, seven of the states with the top 10 uninsured percentages did not crack the top 10 states for Obamacare sign-ups by percentage, and six of the states didn’t make the top 26. The exceptions were Florida, California and Montana, which were on the top 10 of both lists…

[I]f Obamacare is to make a more significant dent in the number of the uninsured, it’s probably going to need deeper penetration into those states with the highest rates of uninsured residents.

***

That could be one reason why Democrats seem so vexed over how to handle Obamacare in midterm campaigning. Many have adopted the “keep and fix” approach used unsuccessfully by Democrat Alex Sink in this week’s special election to fill the House seat in Florida’s 13th Congressional District. The problem is, they’re strong on the “keep” part but confused on the “fix” part.

When asked how she would fix Obamacare, Sink offered small suggestions that would not have addressed the higher premiums, higher deductibles, and narrower choices the law has imposed on millions of Americans. Other Democrats who have also pledged to fix Obamacare have offered even fewer ways to actually do it.

And they’re not getting any help from the administration

But they have to do something. It’s conventional wisdom that Republicans who advocate getting rid of Obamacare have to offer an alternative. Now, it’s just as true that Democrats who advocate fixing Obamacare have to offer a fix. Soon.

***

The spectacle of the president of the United States turning into a pitchman for multibillion-dollar publicly traded insurance companies is jarring. It also represents quite a journey for Obama, who once described himself as a “proponent” of single-payer health care, which largely eliminates for-profit insurers.

But Obama finds himself in this situation due to a combination of his own choices and political constraints. He rejected market-based reforms of the health care system (such as allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines and ending the discrimination in the tax code against individuals buying insurance on their own) that would have increased competition for insurance and brought down premiums.

At the same time, he wasn’t willing to take on the insurance industry and support a much more disruptive single-payer system. His olive branch to the left — a government-run health insurance option to be sold on the exchanges along with privately administered plans — couldn’t pass through the Senate even with Democrats controlling 60 votes…

Thus far, the program is tracking well below expectations.

***

Trying to pussyfoot around Obamacare was an awkward strategy, and, evidently, it didn’t work. If other Democrats are to avoid meeting Sink’s fate in November, they need something more convincing to say about the Affordable Care Act than “mend it, don’t end it,” which is now their default position. But what could that be?

Here’s a heretical idea. Rather than parsing the individual elements of the law, and trying to persuade voters on an à la carte basis, what about raising the stakes and defending the reform in its entirety as a historic effort to provide affordable health-care coverage to tens of millions of hard-working Americans who otherwise couldn’t afford it? Instead of shying away from the populist and redistributionist essence of the reform, which the White House and many Democrats in Congress have been doing since the start, it’s time to embrace it.

What would that mean? It would involve reaching out to the Democratic Party’s core voters—lower-income people, minorities, highly educated liberals—and portraying Obamacare as the fulfillment of the great human-rights project that began in the nineteen-thirties, under Franklin D. Roosevelt, and was expanded during the nineteen-sixties, under Lyndon Johnson. That message wouldn’t merely be more honest; it would be more effective in getting Democratic voters to turn out in November, which is essential if the Party isn’t to suffer a repeat of 2010.

***

Via Guy Benson.

***

***

Via CNS.


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uh huh

Murphy9 on March 15, 2014 at 4:56 AM

You Made Me Love You – Harry James/Helen Forrest (1942)

thatsafactjack on March 15, 2014 at 4:40 AM

……pure Dream-stuff!

williamg on March 15, 2014 at 5:08 AM

It WAS hijacked: Malaysian official says it’s CONCLUSIVE jet carrying 239 was seized by individual or group ‘with significant flying experience’ as PM admits tracking was ‘deliberately’ disabled

I can’t explain why a horde of people facing mecca bent over on rugs doesn’t exactly say “hope this plane is found safe.”

Murphy9 on March 15, 2014 at 5:33 AM

So Republicans are more knowledgeable than Democrats, contrary to what many would like to believe.

According to whom? None other than the Pew Research Center, a left-of-center organization. Moreover, Pew’s latest survey only reaffirms previous surveys demonstrating the same result.

In fact, the results weren’t even close.

Good morning race fans!

Murphy9 on March 15, 2014 at 5:44 AM

The fundraising letter for the Democratic National Committee even offers potential members a gift, a half-sized bumper sticker that reads, “I’ve STILL got his back.”

Sorry, Mr. Obama……Americans don’t back liars.

Rovin on March 15, 2014 at 5:50 AM

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr

Nothing like takeoffs!

Schadenfreude on March 15, 2014 at 12:52 AM

One of the all time best poems ever. Gives one chills.

crankyoldlady on March 15, 2014 at 5:58 AM

Not only do they have the power to change the statute, but the power to redefine what change is

Brock Robamney on March 15, 2014 at 5:58 AM

So Republicans are more knowledgeable than Democrats, contrary to what many would like to believe.

According to whom? None other than the Pew Research Center, a left-of-center organization. Moreover, Pew’s latest survey only reaffirms previous surveys demonstrating the same result.

In fact, the results weren’t even close.

Good morning race fans!

Murphy9 on March 15, 2014 at 5:44 AM

Hmm, being a NASCAR fan never felt so good.

hawkdriver on March 15, 2014 at 6:04 AM

President Obama highlights push for overtime pay
protections in weekly address: ‘If you have to work more,
you should be able to earn more’ – @WhiteHouse
see original on youtube.com

http://m.youtube.com/watch?list=UUYxRlFDqcWM4y7FfpiAN3KQ&v=HGqFQxEtX5k

Because no one earned overtime before Obama.

Murphy9 on March 15, 2014 at 6:39 AM

hawkdriver on March 15, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Hey Hawk were you a chopper pilot in the Army?

celtic warrior on March 15, 2014 at 7:00 AM

hawkdriver on March 15, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Hey Hawk were you a chopper pilot in the Army?

celtic warrior on March 15, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Still am sort of.

hawkdriver on March 15, 2014 at 7:23 AM

Same band, name change and change of guitarists.

oscarwilde on March 15, 2014 at 1:03 AM

And yet…bad hair is (apparently) forever.

Just reviewed the blather from the late nighters, to the third shift, and now the breakfast bunch. Strange.

Good morning, Hawk.

Jaibones on March 15, 2014 at 7:36 AM

Just reviewed the blather from the late nighters, to the third shift, and now the breakfast bunch. Strange.

Good morning, Hawk.

Jaibones on March 15, 2014 at 7:36 AM

Morning Jaibones. (I have breakfast bunch written all over me. :-) )

Taking a break to get some new glasses today. Waiting for Mrs Hawkdriver (NHRN) to get around to go into town with me.

hawkdriver on March 15, 2014 at 7:45 AM

celtic warrior on March 15, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Why?

hawkdriver on March 15, 2014 at 7:46 AM

Your handle.

celtic warrior on March 15, 2014 at 7:50 AM

Taking a break to get some new glasses today. Waiting for Mrs Hawkdriver (NHRN) to get around to go into town with me.

hawkdriver on March 15, 2014 at 7:45 AM

Going into town has different meanings depending where you live. For me going into town I get to go through one stop light, an antique store, gas station, and the post office. I have to put a little more effort to head over to Kroger, Wal-Mart, Home Depot and such. No malls for 30+ miles.

For glasses I now use Zenni, but you do need your prescription with PD for left eye and right eye. Takes a week and is cheap and I wear progressives 2.25.

HonestLib on March 15, 2014 at 7:57 AM

HonestLib on March 15, 2014 at 7:57 AM

I’ve tried to return your email and it won’t let me. I haven’t ignored it.

hawkdriver on March 15, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Your handle.

celtic warrior on March 15, 2014 at 7:50 AM

Ah. Most think it means I’m a Conservative Cabbie. Which is true sometimes.

hawkdriver on March 15, 2014 at 8:01 AM

For glasses I now use Zenni, but you do need your prescription with PD for left eye and right eye. Takes a week and is cheap and I wear progressives 2.25.

HonestLib on March 15, 2014 at 7:57 AM

Believe it or now, the folks at our local WalMart are the only people I could find to make these “occupational” reading trifocals I use. I need reading fields in the bottom and top of the lens so I can look up in the cockpit and see switches and circuit breakers. My last ones fell out of my hoodie pocket on the tractor the other day and I ran over them and my phone. Phone made it. Glasses, not so much. They were getting old, scratched and I needed a vision test anyway.

hawkdriver on March 15, 2014 at 8:07 AM

I’ve tried to return your email and it won’t let me. I haven’t ignored it.

hawkdriver on March 15, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Ignore me? That would make you my wife! Will shoot you an email.

HonestLib on March 15, 2014 at 8:09 AM

My last ones fell out of my hoodie pocket on the tractor the other day and I ran over them and my phone. Phone made it. Glasses, not so much.

hawkdriver on March 15, 2014 at 8:07 AM

Been there!

Jaibones on March 15, 2014 at 8:20 AM

Take this on the road trip. Don’t forget. Good driving tunes! ; ) Later! See ya Sunday Jaibones! ; )

Bmore on March 15, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Believe it or now, the folks at our local WalMart are the only people I could find to make these “occupational” reading trifocals I use. I need reading fields in the bottom and top of the lens so I can look up in the cockpit and see switches and circuit breakers. My last ones fell out of my hoodie pocket on the tractor the other day and I ran over them and my phone. Phone made it. Glasses, not so much. They were getting old, scratched and I needed a vision test anyway.

hawkdriver on March 15, 2014 at 8:07 AM

No more switches overhead for me anymore. Only two times progressives (tri-focal) gave me in trouble (1) was night landings during the transition from looking for the black marks with the landing lights to looking at the end of the runway waiting to use peripheral to see the runway edge light rise up and then start flair and(2) being ils approaches near minimums (200’) and transitioning from inside the cockpit to outside. Sometimes I would lose depth perception. Other than that no problems. Chuckle!!! Hard/flat landings were the result the first few times.

HonestLib on March 15, 2014 at 8:39 AM

Happy Saturday, Patriots! And, Trolls.

If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.

- President Ronald Wilson Reagan.

My take: Rand Paul Wants GOP Conservative Base to “Agree to Disagree on Social Issues”

kingsjester on March 15, 2014 at 8:41 AM

kingsjester on March 15, 2014 at 8:41 AM

KJ, in my mind you bring up a good point. In your view can a nation not survive if it has a law that makes abortion legal for instance? On a personal level I am against abortion because I feel science has proven it is infanticide. But since I believe in the rule of law, I feel the law should only be changed by changing hearts and minds and then through legislative action. Now, more than a few here have pointed out that by me not being 100% against the law all the time; indicates I am just hiding behind the concept of the rule of law and a coward and part of the problem. I can accept that point.

My real question. Could you work side by side with me on religious first amendment protections as originally written (just one of many examples) knowing that I have accepted abortion as being what is it and accepting the fact folks will have them?

Kind of a serious topic for Saturday morning, but been up since 0400 and stopped posting at night. Also, I stopped asking this question in abortion threads as it is a subject that invokes passion and brings out the trolls. I have read many of your posts and trust your level headed thinking. Not trying to single you out as one poster yesterday (frank) thought I had.

HonestLib on March 15, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Lastly and then I will bug out and stop being a pest.

Last week was That Smell by Lynyrd Skynyrd and this week learning Opus de Funk in the style of the original done by Horace Silver with the Danny Gatton version being the one tabbed. As far as my playing speed….think Danny Gatton on quaaludes.

HonestLib on March 15, 2014 at 9:10 AM

What would that mean? It would involve reaching out to the Democratic Party’s core voters—lower-income people, minorities, highly educated liberals—and portraying Obamacare as the fulfillment of the great human-rights project that began in the nineteen-thirties, under Franklin D. Roosevelt, and was expanded during the nineteen-sixties, under Lyndon Johnson. That message wouldn’t merely be more honest; it would be more effective in getting Democratic voters to turn out in November, which is essential if the Party isn’t to suffer a repeat of 2010.

Yeah. Run on that, Dem’s. Your “lower income peeps and minorities” are already ON PUBLIC ASSISTANCE – MEDICAID -FOOD STAMPS -OBAMA PHONES -OBAMA HOUSING.

You’ve got nobody left to campaign to. It’s over.

Key West Reader on March 15, 2014 at 9:38 AM

It WAS hijacked: Malaysian official says it’s CONCLUSIVE jet carrying 239 was seized by individual or group ‘with significant flying experience’ as PM admits tracking was ‘deliberately’ disabled

I can’t explain why a horde of people facing mecca bent over on rugs doesn’t exactly say “hope this plane is found safe.”

Murphy9 on March 15, 2014 at 5:33 AM

But, but… officials were telling us that it definitely, most assuredly, positively wasn’t terrorism – you know, from like 5 minutes into the whole exercise!

Midas on March 15, 2014 at 11:21 AM

31giddyup on March 15, 2014 at 2:48 AM

Absolute classic of HA – kisses to 31giddyup!

Aka…what the cleaning crew finds, early mornings…musings, at the HA lodge, at weeks’ ends…

Or, A tale of HA…

Axe, you must capture this.

Schadenfreude on March 15, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Schadenfreude on March 15, 2014 at 12:38 PM

freude…..good day mate…..just playing guitar….drinking beer…….reading a book by Randy Wayne White (Bone Deep) and well…..to be honest a bunch of nothing.

Always good to see you and Hawk posting.

HonestLib on March 15, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Howdy, HonestLib

Sounds like a good and mellow Sat. for you.

Sentiment is mutual.

Schadenfreude on March 15, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Thank you, Mr. McDuffie, for sharing the moment. Farewell.

You Made Me Love You – Harry James/Helen Forrest (1942)

thatsafactjack on March 15, 2014 at 4:40 AM

Another good American is no more. RIP, America’s lover.

Thank you for the notice and the music, J. Make sure you read this

31giddyup on March 15, 2014 at 2:48 AM

…in here.

Schadenfreude on March 15, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Wait till all the books get written after that fraud is out of the White House. If you get high profile now it would be like putting a target on your back. I’m thinking of the Clinton body count and the freedom of information applications that are waiting to be turned in.

mixplix on March 15, 2014 at 3:01 PM

“Do you still have my back?” Obama asks in a new letter to donors and contributors. “You should be proud of what we have been able to accomplish together,” he argues. “Can I count on you?”…

I suspect a great many of them are not interested in ‘having his back’. They are investing in their health care to get the knives removed from their own backs. Ones that Obama or his minions put there.

It doesn’t matter whether they are liberal or conservative. People from all political stripes and philosophies bought into the President’s campaign promises about being a centrist and working with everybody the first time. Some wised up quickly, but many failed to learn anything from 4 years of Obama and made the same error in judgment a second time.

By now, regardless of party affiliation or political ideology, he’s back stabbed the lot. I suppose there are some remaining ‘true believers’, but there can’t be that many stupid people even in the Democrat Party, can there?

So I suspect there are too few remaining acolytes to produce a huge groundswell of enthusiasm for backing the Obama agenda (whatever it is this week). For anyone who actually has worked hard and earned their money, it surely would be too painful to voluntarily keep flushing that money down the toilet.

s1im on March 15, 2014 at 3:41 PM

[T]he open-ended language has baffled even those sympathetic to Obamacare.

“An individual applicant would still need to show that they had suffered a hardship, but the language is awfully open-ended. It is hard to imagine what they were thinking when the threw the door open this wide,” said Tim Jost, a health law professor at Washington & Lee University who supports Obamacare.

Salon columnist Brian Beutler put it more bluntly: “The individual mandate is riddled with loopholes large enough to drive just about every uninsured person in the country through,” he wrote. “It even troubles some of the law’s most steadfast supporters.”

Here are some helpful suggestions for the hardships folks can claim they suffered:
- Every time I thought of buying insurance I felt like I might get a headache.
- I needed to take a vacation and blew the money in a Vegas casino instead of paying premiums.
- The colors on the website caused too much eyestrain and I couldn’t sign up.
- My Internet connection was too slow.
- I wanted to sign up using a smartphone but my Obama-phone did not have all the features I needed to sign up.
- The dog ate my insurance application.

s1im on March 15, 2014 at 3:57 PM

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