Some useful facts about Obamacare

From an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.
Americans know that ObamaCare requires insurance companies to allow families to keep adult children up to age 26 on their parents' policy. They are less likely to know that the provision increased the average family premium—even for families that didn't add adult dependents—by $150-$450 in 2011.
• The average family's health-insurance premiums are already up $1,300.
• Young workers who buy their own insurance will see a 19%-30% increase in premiums as a result of ObamaCare.
• Remember the 700,000 people whom the Congressional Budget Office predicted would make use of ObamaCare's federal high-risk program? Just 78,000 people have enrolled. As a result, each person in the program costs taxpayers millions of allocated dollars. Americans, when they hear this, know instinctively that there must be a better way to address the problem.
• ObamaCare was sold as the solution to covering the 47 million uninsured in America, but 10 years after the law is implemented, 30 million Americans will still be uninsured. What problem, exactly, is ObamaCare solving again?
• Americans are also generally familiar with Medicaid's problems, among them the refusal by many doctors to accept Medicaid patients. What most people don't know is that approximately 10 million of those who gain insurance under ObamaCare will just be dumped into the already cash-strapped Medicaid system. . . .


Some useful numbers on the economy

The Investors' Business Daily piece regarding these numbers is available here.  Even the Washington Post finds Obama's that the claim that Bush tax cuts led to the economic crisis unbelievable (see the discussion available here).

“Now Governor Romney believes that with even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy, and fewer regulations on Wall Street, all of us will prosper. In other words, he’d double down on the same trickle-down policies that led to the crisis in the first place.”

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How can Obama make claims that directly contradict what 67 million Americans saw during the debate?

This is amazingly brazen.  From Fox News:
. . . At a rally Friday in Fairfax, Va., Obama claimed Romney had outright rejected his proposal to end tax breaks for oil and gas companies.  
"He said there's no way that he'd close the loophole that gives big oil companies billions each year in corporate warfare," Obama said, in the middle of a litany of complaints on Romney's tax positions from Wednesday's debate.  
Just one problem. Romney didn't say that.  
Rather, the Republican nominee said that if tax rates are lowered as his plan calls for, the $2.8 billion in breaks for oil companies should be on the table.  
Here's what Romney said:  
"But, you know, if we get that tax rate from 35 percent down to 25 percent, why that $2.8 billion is on the table. Of course it's on the table. That's probably not going to survive (if) you get that rate down to 25 percent."  . . .


Newest Fox News piece: What the 7.8 percent jobless number really means

This is the way my newest piece starts:
The official unemployment rate of 7.8% means we are finally back to the level when Barack Obama became president, at the height of the recession. That may seem like great news. However, a more serious analysis of the job market numbers indicates continued gloom. 
First of all, full-time employment actually fell last month. Total jobs rose only because part-time employment increased so dramatically. 
Even so, the number of jobs, full-time and part-time, is falling short of the ever-increasing working-age population. Last month there was a net gain of 114,000 jobs. But with an expanded working age population of 206,000 and 63% of those working, 131,000 jobs would have had to be added to keep the fraction employed from falling. 
Unfortunately, even this anemic growth in the total number of jobs only came about because several hundred thousand full-time workers were forced to accept part-time work. While total jobs rose by 114,000, people who are classified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as "part time for economic reasons" soared from about 8 million to 8.6 million, a 581,000 increase. . . .
If I had thought about it when I was writing the piece, I would have noted that since the recovery started most of the reduction in unemployment was due to people giving up looking for work.  The increase of people not in the labor force grew by 2.66 times the growth of the number of people employed.

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You really have to love Megan McArdle's economics

Regarding a fact checker claim in the LA Times she wrote:
The administration line is that they aren't cutting benefits, just payments to providers.  I hope that LA Times fact checkers are not so economically naive as to believe that you can simply decide to pay less for something, without any effect on the quantity or quality of what you are purchasing.  (If they are, memo to the LA Times: you can apparently cut fact checker Noam N. Levey's salary by 2/3, and he'll still keep working for you).  
If you are tempted to believe this, here are some actual facts: Medicaid reimbursements are substantially lower than Medicare's in most cases, and Medicaid patients have a hard time--a very hard time, in many states--finding doctors who will treat them.  The opinion of virtually every health care economist I have ever met is that those two things are causally related.  . . .
Now I have said the same thing several times, but I have to confess that McArdle says it so much better than I did.


Did the Obama administration deliberately hide information on the Libyan Attack?

From Bill Gertz in an article titled "The revolt of the Spooks":
Weeks before the presidential election, President Barack Obama’s administration faces mounting opposition from within the ranks of U.S. intelligence agencies over what careerofficers say is a “cover up” of intelligence information about terrorism in North Africa. 
Intelligence held back from senior officials and the public includes numerous classified reports revealing clear Iranian support for jihadists throughout the tumultuous North Africa and Middle East region, as well as notably widespread al Qaeda penetration into Egypt and Libya in the months before the deadly Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. . . . 
Intelligence officials pointed to the statement issued Sept. 28 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) that raised additional concern about the administration’s apparent mishandling of intelligence. The ODNI statement said that “in the immediate aftermath, there was information that led us to assess that the attack began spontaneously following protests earlier that day at our embassy in Cairo.” 
Officials say the ODNI’s false information was either knowingly disseminated or was directed to be put out by senior policy officials for political reasons, since the statement was contradicted by numerous intelligence reports at the time of the attack indicating it was al Qaeda-related terrorism. . . .
Meanwhile, the Obama administration claims that it was given bad information by the intelligence community.
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice told Republican senators that her televised statements last month on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi were based entirely on information she was given by the intelligence community. 
"In my Sept. 16 Sunday show appearances, I was asked to provide the administration's latest understanding of what happened in Benghazi," Rice wrote in a Thursday letter to Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). "In answering, I relied solely and squarely on the information the intelligence community provided to me and other senior U.S. officials, including through the daily intelligence briefings that present the latest reporting and analysis to policy makers. This information represented the intelligence community's best, current assessment as of the date of my television appearances, and I went out of my way to ensure it was consistent with the information that was being given to Congress." 
Rice was responding to a Sept. 26 letter from the GOP senators in which they accused Rice of jumping the gun and disseminating false information about the attack. The letter quotes Rice's comments selectively, leaving out the context where she cautioned that the information was based on initial assessments. Rice emphasized in her response that she had caveated her remarks in her TV appearances. . . . 
CBS has information that "34 highly-trained security personnel" were removed from the embassy earlier this year.  If you combine that with the Ambassador's diaries and his concern over security, you get a real mess.
Sources critical of what they view as a security drawdown say three Mobile Security Deployment teams left Libya between February and August in addition to the 16-member Site Security Team on loan from the military. That's 34 highly-trained security personnel moved out over a six month period. . . .
Meanwhile more information appears that the Obama administration denied other security requests from the Libyan embassy.
ABC News has obtained an internal State Department email from May 3, 2012, indicating that the State Department denied a request from the security team at the Embassy of Libya to retain a DC-3 airplane in the country to better conduct their duties. 
Copied on the email was U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in a terrorist attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya,  Sept. 11, 2012, along with three other Americans. That attack has prompted questions about whether the diplomatic personnel in that country were provided with adequate security support. . . . 
UPDATE: "U.S. officer got no reply to requests for more security in Benghazi"
A U.S. security officer twice asked his State Department superiors for more security agents for the American mission in Benghazi months before an attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans, but he got no response. 
The officer, Eric Nordstrom, who was based in Tripoli until about two months before the September attack, said a State Department official, Charlene Lamb, wanted to keep the number of U.S. security personnel in Benghazi "artificially low," according to a memo summarizing his comments to a congressional committee that was obtained by Reuters. 
Nordstrom also argued for more U.S. security in Libya by citing a chronology of over 200 security incidents there from militia gunfights to bomb attacks between June 2011 and July 2012. Forty-eight of the incidents were in Benghazi. . . . . 
The Congressional hearings on October 10th are going to be brutal.  Apparently both the Intelligence community and the Dept of State told the WH immediately after the attack that it was a terrorist in origin, but the WH went public saying that wasn't the case.  Based on what?

Jay Carney has a defense of the administration available here.  Great timeline available here.  See here also:

UPDATE: From the Washington Times (Rep. Mike Kelly, "Libya security cut while Vienna embassy gained Chevy Volt," Wednesday, October 10, 2012):
While the security budget for Libya was being cut, the Department of State was spending a lot of money on Chevy Volts. 
In a May 3, 2012, email, the State Department denied a request by a group of Special Forces assigned to protect the U.S. embassy in Libyato continue their use of a DC- 3 airplane for security operations throughout the country. 
The subject line of the email, on which slain Ambassador Chris Stevenswas copied, read: “Termination of Tripoli DC-3 Support.” 
Four days later, on May 7, the State Department authorized the U.S. embassy in Vienna to purchase a $108,000 electric vehicle charging station for the embassy motor pool’s new Chevrolet Volts. The purchase was a part of the State Department’s “Energy Efficiency Sweep of Europe” initiative, which included hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on green program expenditures at various U.S. Embassies. 
In fact, at a May 10 gala held at the U.S. embassy in Vienna, the ambassador showcased his new Volts and other green investments as part of the U.S. government’s commitment to “climate change solutions.” 
The event posting on the embassy website read: “Celebrating the Greening of the Embassy.” 
While the embassy in Vienna was going green, the consulate in Benghazi was getting bombed, and little was done to stop it. 
Before the terrorist attack that took the lives of Ambassador Chris StevensSean SmithGlen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, there were more than 230 security incidents in Libya between June 2011 and July 2012. 
Of those attacks, 48 took place in Benghazi, two at the U.S. diplomatic compound and scene of the September 11, 2012, terrorist attacks. . . .

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So why did Obama lose the debate?

There are numerous theories out there.  Al Gore thinks that it was the altitude and that Obama only had 5 hours to acclimate himself to the thin air (Obama arrived at 2 PM MDT and the debate started at 7 PM MDT), though he doesn't explain why being in a jet traveling there didn't count towards acclimating him.  

The Daily Kos has a theory that Romney use a cheat sheet, though they don't explain why he didn't seem the need during the debate to look down at notes.  You have to love the detail that they go into on this.
Yes it could be a hanky.  But it falls kind of heavy, and stays uniform in it's fold.  Plus it is flat.  I have never seen a man's hanky be so uniform and flat coming from a front pant's pocket.  Back pocket, yes, breast pocket in a jacket, yes.. but not the front pant pocket. . . . 
Obama himself seems to have a different explanation.  Here is part of what Andrew Malcolm wrote up at Investors' Business Day:
Obama offered a manufactured explanation for his poor showing in front of about 50 million people: 
He was completely thrown off-stride for the entire 90 minutes and 17,000 words by the appearance on-stage of a different Mitt Romney than the one Obama has caricatured for so many months. Good thing Russia's Vladimir Putin didn't show up. 
Obama's debate appearance was so unanimously panned that Jay Leno said the only people who thought it was good were the NFL's replacement refs. 
The morning after here's how the U.S. president explained his unpolished performance:
"When I got onto the stage, I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney. But it couldn’t have been Mitt Romney because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. 
The fellow on stage last night said he didn’t know anything about that. 
"In fact, what the real Mitt Romney actually said about that in the debate was:"Let me repeat what I said. I’m not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. That's not my plan. My plan is not to put in place any tax cut that will add to the deficit. That's point one. 
So you may keep referring to the $5 trillion tax cut, but that's not my plan." . . .  

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Exiting polling canceled in 19 states and DC

I am not sure what is meant by this statement:
The aim, he said, “is to still deliver a quality product in the most important states,” in the face of mounting survey costs. . . .
The issue that I have is that the rule doesn't seem to be applied equally across states.  For example, 16 of the 19 states are clearly Republican leaning states, and one could argue that the presidential race won't be close in any of them.  But there are lots of other Democrat states where the race won't be close and that don't have close Senate races (e.g., Vermont, Minnesota, Oregon).  At least one of these Republican excluded states may have a close Senate race (South Dakota).  On the other hand, there is still the chance that the very Democratic state of Hawaii will have a close Senate race though the odds of that are lower.  So what is the rule that determined why so many more of these Republican states were excluded?  Any guesses?
Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming, and the District of Columbia.

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Note on Jim Lehrer as moderator of the debate

As I just blogged, it appears as if Obama got four minutes more to talk during the debate than Romney did. Even so, I have to say that this was the best debate that I have seen (possibly ever) because it let the two candidates go after each other. Apparently Mr. Lehrer planned things that way.

“Based on what the goal was, I saw it as successful,” Lehrer said in an interview with Politico. “I’ve always said this and finally I had a chance to demonstrate it: The moderator should be seen little and heard even less. It is up to the candidates to ask the follow-up questions and challenge one another.” . . .
Notably, Mr. Lehrer's boss at PBS was unwilling to defend the job that Lehrer did. I suspect that is consistent with so many liberals who blame Lehrer for Obama doing such a bad job. If so (and that occurs despite Obama being given much more time), it just shows PBS's liberal bias.

UPDATE:  Sean Hannity interviews Jim Lehrer about the debate here.

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Despite so many liberals being upset with presidential debate moderator Jim Lehrer, it turns out that Obama had four more minutes of time than Romney

Who would have known? Given that Romney was so much more forceful than Obama, I might have even guessed that the opposite was true. Apparently, the Obama campaign has even put together clips of Romney interrupting others during the debate, but it looks like he should have interrupted even more often.
When the debate ended, Obama had used more than four minutes more air time than Romney, another example of how Lehrer was unable to control the debate tempo. . . .
Here is the clip that the Democrats put together on Romney interrupting during the debate.



Newest Fox News piece: Four ways Romney must hold Obama accountable for the economy

My newest Fox News piece starts this way:
Are you better off today than four years ago? Tonight's presidential debate, with its focus on domestic policy, is Mitt Romney’s chance to put President Obama on the defensive, to make him answer for his abysmal economy policies. 
Without a doubt, the economic performance during Obama’s presidency has been sluggish and GDP growth has been getting even slower. The new jobs added to the economy have merely offset the jobs that have been lost, with no increase in total employment. Obama has overseen the weakest economic recovery ever. 
But the media has largely glossed over the continued slump and painted an unjustifiably rosy picture of the economy. It’s Romney’s job tonight to focus on the important economic issues. 
Obama’s strategy is clear: blame Bush and claim the economic problems he inherited were much worse than anyone could have known at the time. But such a line of arguing should be a hard sell if Romney plays his cards right in tonight’s debate. Romney only needs to remind us of Obama’s continuing overly optimistic predictions. . . . .

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National Journal Poll shows race tied despite assuming that there are 7 percentage points more Democrats who are going to vote

I have previously written here about the problems with the presidential election polling.  Does anyone really believe that the Democratic turnout will be similar to what it was relative to Republicans in 2008?  Apparently a lot of the pollsters do.  I don't so that makes me think that Romney is actually ahead right now in this poll.
Obama and Romney each pulled in 47 percent support in the poll among likely voters. It is among the narrowest margins of several presidential surveys published ahead of the debate this week. Other polls have shown the president with a slim lead. In this survey, while the race is tied among likely voters, Obama has a 5-point lead, 49 percent to 44 percent, among registered voters. . . . 
Romney led in the poll among independents, 49 percent to 41 percent, with both candidates winning more than 90 percent support from their respective parties. The survey had Obama winning 81 percent of the nonwhite vote and Romney carrying 55 percent of white voters. 
In estimating the turnout on Nov. 6, the poll projects an electorate that is 74 percent white, 11 percent African-American, and 8 percent Latino. The likely-voter party splits are 36 percent Democratic, 29 percent Republican, and 30 percent independent
The estimates are similar to the 2008 turnout, when, according to CNN exit polling, 74 percent of voters were white, 13 percent black, and 9 percent Latino, with Democratic turnout at 39 percent, Republicans at 32 percent, and independents at 29 percent. . . . .
UPDATE: A new Washington Post-ABC News Poll released on October 15th shows that Obama has a three point lead, but there are nine percentage points more Dems than Republicans in poll.

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Talks on Wednesday and Thursday

Wednesday, October 2nd, at noon at the University of Tulsa Law School in Tusla, OK.
Thursday, October 3rd at noon at the University of Arkansas Law School in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Both talks will be on the impact that Obama's economic policies have had on the economy.  They will be closely related to my recent book "Debacle" that I co-authored with Grover Norquist.


Biden says that middle class has been "buried" during the last four years

From The Hill Newspaper:
. . .  “How they can justify, how they can justify raising taxes on the middle class that has been buried the last four years — how in Lord's name can they justify raising their taxes with these tax cuts,” [Vice President Biden said.] 
Republicans quickly seized on the remarks, accusing the Obama administration of implementing policies that have hurt the middle class. 
“Vice President Biden made a stunning admission today and we couldn’t agree more: the middle class has been ‘buried’ under the last four years of this President’s policies," said Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg. "Under President Obama, the middle class has suffered from crushing unemployment, rising prices and falling incomes. They can’t afford to be ‘buried’ for four more years." 
“We agree, the middle class has been buried the past four years by Obama's failed policies from higher taxes to more debt, which is why he doesn't deserve another term in the White House to make it worse,” said Kirsten Kukowski, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. . . .

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CNNMoney survey of economists has them picking Romney by "3-to-1" margin

This CNN survey is such a small survey so I am not even sure why this story was even written up, but it is interesting at least for the way that it is carried.
A recent CNNMoney story reported that the Republican presidential nominee, despite trailing in a number of swing state polls, is the overwhelming choice among economists surveyed. They picked him, according to CNNMoney, by a 3-to-1 margin. However, CNNMoney made sure to stress in the headline that they did so "reluctantly." . . . .


10 statements that Obama should be embarrassed for making

I would have picked different quotes than Politico did here, such as Obama's constant 2008 promise to cut "net government spending," but here is their list:
-- “Washington is broken. My whole campaign has been premised from the start on the idea that we have to fundamentally change how Washington works.” 
-- “I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.” 
-- “If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.” 
-- “Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not, and a way that Bill Clinton did not.” 
-- “Guantanamo will be closed no later than one year from now.” 
-- “I think that health care, over time, is going to become more popular.” 
-- “It’s here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” 
-- “I fought with you in the Senate for comprehensive immigration reform. And I will make it a top priority in my first year as President.” 
-- “What we have done is kicked this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further. We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else’s.”

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The first product of Obama's working group on the 2008 financial crash is an unjustifiable lawsuit. What do you expect from lawyers?

Well, what did you expect from a bunch of lawyers?  JP Morgan buys Bear Stearns at the request of the  government and now the government repays that effort by suing them.  So much for the claim that Fed was absorbing the risk on Bear Stearns balance sheet.
The New York Attorney General has sued JP Morgan Chase for allegedly defrauding investors who lost more than $20bn (£12bn) on mortgage-backed securities sold by Bear Stearns. 
JP Morgan bought the investment bank Bear Stearns in March 2008. 
It said that it would contest the allegations. 
This is the first action to come out of a working group created by US President Barack Obama looking into the causes of the 2008 financial crash. 
JP Morgan said: "The NYAG civil action relates to Bear Stearns, which we acquired over the course of a weekend at the behest of the US government. This complaint is entirely about historic conduct by that entity." . . . .

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Two-thirds of people in UK support returning death penalty

From Angus Reid:
The views of people in Britain on capital punishment have not changed over the past year, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found. 
In the online survey of a representative national sample of 2,009 British adults, 65 per cent of respondents support reinstating the death penalty for murder in Great Britain, virtually unchanged since 2011
The highest level of support for the return of capital punishment comes from men (68%) and Britons over the age of 55 (69%). 
Most supporters of the death penalty believe it would serve as a deterrent for potential murderers (66%), it would fit the crime because a convicted murderer has taken a life (62%), and would save taxpayers money and the costs associated with having murderers in prison (58%). . . .


"Obama USDA met 30 times with Mexican gov’t to promote food-stamp use among Mexican immigrants"

Possibly Romney was on to something when he talked about people voting their interests in terms of whether they are getting transfers from the federal government.  From the Daily Caller:
Department of Agriculture personnel in the Obama administration have met with Mexican Government officials dozens of times since the president took office to promote nutrition assistance programs — notably food stamps — among Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals and migrant communities in America. 
Writing in response to Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions’ July request for information about the USDA’s little known partnership with the Mexican government to educate citizen and noncitizen immigrants from Mexico about the availability of food stamps and other nutrition assistance programs, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack defended the partnership as a way to curb hunger in America — and the continuation of a program formed under the Bush administration in 2004. . . . 
Roughly 30 of these meetings and activities occurred under the Obama administration, Vilsack’s letter revealed. 
The agriculture secretary added that the list might not be exhaustive as some of the meetings may not have been recorded. . . . 
"we are determined to help people in need make informed decisions about whether or not to seek assistance for which they may be eligible,” Vilsack claimed. . . .  
Vilsack’s letter indicate(s) that the number of legal non-citizens participating in SNAP increased approximately 190 percent from 2001 to 2010, from 425,000 to 1.23 million legal non-citizen participants. That number rose 77 percent since the program’s inception in 2004, when it served 693,000 non-citizen participants. . . .  
Sessions noted. “How can the administration justify trying to increase that number through outreach on the foreign soil of fifty consulates?” 
USDA uses Spanish soap operas to push food stamps among non-citizens, citizens
Each novela, comprising a 10-part series called “PARQUE ALEGRIA,” or “HAPPINESS PARK,” presents a semi-dramatic scenario involving characters convincing others to get on food stamps, or explaining how much healthier it is to be on food stamps. . . .
 USDA suggests food stamp parties, games to increase participation 
“Throw a Great Party. Host social events where people mix and mingle,” the agency advises. “Make it fun by having activities, games, food, and entertainment, and provide information about SNAP. Putting SNAP information in a game format like BINGO, crossword puzzles, or even a ‘true/false’ quiz is fun and helps get your message across in a memorable way.” . . .The agency’s most recent outreach effort targets California, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and the New York metro area with radio ads.
The ads have been running since March and are scheduled to continue through the end of June — at a cost of $2.5 million — $3 million, CNN Money reported Monday. . . .

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What is it with the Obama administration and these extravagant conferences for government bureaucrats?

From The Hill newspaper:
The head of Human Resources for the Veterans Affairs Department resigned after an inspector general’s (IG) report found that the agency spent $6.1 million on two weeklong conferences. 
The 142-page IG report investigated about $762,000 in “unauthorized, unnecessary, and/or wasteful expenses” during two conferences held in Orlando, Fla., that included $49,516 to produce a parody video of the late-Gen. George S. Patton. . . . 

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Doctors overwhelmingly support Romney over Obama

A 19 percentage point lead in any professional group is pretty substantial.  From the Daily Caller:
If the election were held today, 55 percent of physicians reported they would vote for Romney while just 36 percent support Obama, according to a survey released by Jackson & Coker, a division of Jackson Healthcare, the third largest health care staffing company in the United States
Fifteen percent of respondents said they were switching their vote from Obama in 2008 to Romney in 2012. The top reasons cited for this change was the Affordable Care Act and the failure to address tort reform. . . .
Here is a piece that discusses why doctors are so upset with Obamacare.  It also takes issue with claim that cuts to Medicare won't effect the services that people on the program receive.
A new on-line survey by the non-profit The Physicians Foundation, one of the largest doctors surveys ever performed, confirms that over two thirds of physicians are pessimistic about the future of medicine, over 84 percent feel that our profession is in decline, and a majority would not recommend it as a career for their children. (The survey was sent to over 600,000 doctors and over 14,000 responded). . . .  
Perhaps most disturbing, more than half of doctors surveyed by The Physicians Foundation revealed that they will cut back on patients (including Medicare) or reduce patient access to their care over the next three years.  
Doctors are exhausted, and we simple can’t handle all the paperwork or the growing list of medical problems presented to us by the chronically ill. This loss of man hours comes at a time when ObamaCare is expanding the entitlement and we are already faced with a physician shortage which will reach 160,000 by 2025, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. This patient expansion is taking place while we, doctors, are contracting -- it is a perfect storm. 
I may be not one of the 60 percent of doctors (according to the survey) who would retire now if I had the means, but the federal government can’t rely on all of America's doctors having the resources, passion, or wherewithal to soldier on with the heavy burden of ObamaCare. . . .


Obama administration refusing to implement Military Voter Protection Project

Where is the press outrage over this?  Constant stories about requiring a voter ID supposedly stopping people from voting (even though more stringent rules are used in over 100 other countries including Mexico), but nothing in outside of Fox News about the Obama administration's actions regarding the military.
Requests from military voters for absentee ballots have dropped significantly since 2008, according to newly released statistics, prompting claims that the Department of Defense is dragging its feet in enacting a law meant to boost military voting.  
The drop in the battleground states of Virginia and Ohio is among the most pronounced. According to statistics released Monday by The Military Voter Protection Project, the number of absentee ballot requests by both military members and other overseas voters in the two states has dropped 70 percent since 2008.    
Virginia had nearly 42,000 total requests in 2008, compared with a little more than 12,000 this year, according to the MVP Project. Ohio had more than 32,000 in 2008, compared with 9,700 this year. The number of military voters specifically -- as opposed to military and overseas voters -- was not broken down in the latest set of statistics, but military-only numbers released by the MVP Project in August documented a similar drop-off in applications.  
At the time, military ballot requests in Virginia were down 92 percent. Several other states showed a precipitous drop since 2008, including Alabama, North Carolina and Florida.  . . . . 
"This is an unacceptable failure by Pentagon leaders to comply with the law and ensure our service members and their families are able to exercise one of the most fundamental rights for which they sacrifice every day," [Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas] said in a statement. . . . .
UPDATE:  A survey from the Military Times might explain why the Obama administration has been so difficult on this:
The professional core of the U.S. military overwhelmingly favors Mitt Romney over President Obama in the upcoming election — but not because of any particular military issues, according to a new poll of more than 3,100 active and reserve troops. 
Respondents rated the economy and the candidates’ character as their most important considerations and all but ignored the war in Afghanistan as an issue of concern. . . .  
Poll results indicate that about 66 percent of those surveyed support Romney, compared with about 26 percent who say they will vote to re-elect President Obama. 
When asked about the most important issue guiding their vote this year, about 66 percent of respondents cited either “the economy” or “the character of the candidate.” Less than 16 percent of troops surveyed cited “national security.” . . . . 

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Newest Fox News piece: 'Fast & Furious' report leaves Americans with crucial questions

My newest Fox News piece starts this way:
Finally, the media is showing the staggering human cost of Operation Fast & Furious. But the news broadcast wasn’t in English.  
Sunday, Univision, the Spanish language television network, ran a program showing the faces and stories of dozens of people who have been killed in Mexico with guns the Obama administration supplied to Mexican drug gangs. One Mexican interviewed summed up the theme: “Americans aren’t moved by pain beyond their border, only with their own.”  
Americans are now getting some partial answers about Operation Fast & Furious. The recent report by Justice Department's Inspector General identified Jason Weinstein as the highest-ranking DOJ employee to have been in a position to stop the program. He has now resigned from his post as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division.
It sure is about time.  
This is 34 months after Operation Fast and Furious began supplying guns to Mexican drug gangs in October, 2009, and 22 months after one of those guns was involved in the murder of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. . . . .
UPDATE: 'Fast & Furious' guns linked birthday party massacre

This report also mentions operation castaway.  

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The changing sources of where people get their news

The drop in those who obtain news from TV, newspapers and radio is much greater than the increase in those who have gotten their news online.  But that is probably misleading because the sources of news add up to over 100 percent and those who get their news from the internet probably get it from more sources than those who get it from the other sources.  The PEW study claims:
The transformation of the nation’s news landscape has already taken a heavy toll on print news sources, particularly print newspapers. But there are now signs that television news – which so far has held onto its audience through the rise of the internet – also is increasingly vulnerable, as it may be losing its hold on the next generation of news consumers. . . .


Drawing the wrong lesson from the tragedy in Aurora

Why can't people see that these attacks keep taking place where guns are banned?
A new bipartisan ad demanding a plan from the 2012 presidential candidates to stop gun violence features Stephen Barton, who survived the shooting massacre this summer at a Colorado movie theater.
The Demand a Plan ad is set to air nationally during the presidential debate Wednesday in Denver and is led by shooting survivors and the Mayors Against Illegal Guns group.
Barton was shot in the face and neck while attending a midnight screening of "The Dark Night" at a movie theater in Aurora. The shooter, James Holmes, killed 12 people and wounded 58 others.
In the ad, Barton delivers his demand sitting in an empty movie theater.
"So when you watch the presidential debates, ask yourself: Who has a plan to stop gun violence? Let's demand a plan," Barton says.
For debate viewers unfamiliar with Colorado geography, the presidential candidates will be debating about 10 miles from the Cinemark movie theater where the mass shooting occurred in July. . . .

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Great story in a pretty unexpected place: CU Boulder law student defends right to carry gun on campus

Ms. Whitney in this story is balanced off by statements from Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder and Colin Goddard, who now works for the Brady Campaign, but it is still an unusually positive piece.  I wish that the other pieces in this same newspaper would balance off the people on pro-ban side in a similar way.  From the Boulder Daily Camera:
Katherine Whitney is a polished second-year law student at the University of Colorado, with internship experience at the state Court of Appeals.
A Boulder resident, she's a vegetarian and climber, and she holds an elected position as financial officer in the law school student government.
Whitney, 26, is also a concealed-weapon permit holder. It's a label that she would like to help demystify.
The state's highest court recently struck down CU's long-standing gun ban, and now concealed-weapon permit holders -- like Whitney -- are allowed to bring their guns onto the campus. They must be at least 21 and adhere to a set of requirements, including passing a background check and submitting fingerprints.
In her black, structured purse, Whitney reserves a compartment for her enclosed firearm so she doesn't need to fumble for it, like she would her keys or a stick of gum. It's the same size as her smart phone, and it can pack six bullets.
"No one really knows what a student who carries on campus looks like," she said in an interview during a break between class and a job interview. "Everyone is left to create in their minds what they think a student who carries looks like, and I would like to remove that doubt. It very much looks like a young, single 20-something who has a legal right to defend herself against a threat." . . .

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Christie to NBC’s David Gregory: ‘I wish you guys were as tough on the president’

From Fox Nation:
“David, I wish you guys were just as tough on the president,” Christie said. “The president says he’s going to create a million new manufacturing jobs. He doesn’t say how. He says he’s going to reduce the long-term debt and deficit by $4 trillion. Doesn’t say how he’s going to do it. I mean, let’s be fair here. Gov. Romney has laid out a direction and a vision for the direction of this country. He’s not an accountant. He is not going to go line-by-line — as much as you would like him to do — through the budget. But let’s hold the president to the same standard and criticize him as well, because how does he create a million new manufacturing jobs, David? He hasn’t told anybody the specifics of that. How is he going to reduce $4 trillion in debt? We’re still waiting to hear what he thinks about Simpson-Bowles, which he commissioned. I mean, he’s been the president and hasn’t given us specifics. So, let’s be fair, here.” . . .

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The importance of measurement error in polls: Dissecting the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll result on swing states

With a margin of error either way, an 11-point spread isn't anywhere near as big as people might think.
You’ve got to get deep into the weeds to tell what is going on. The Washington Post-ABC pollsters tell us that “52 percent of likely voters across swing states side with Obama and 41 percent with Romney in the new national poll.” But without the proper context, readers may jump to an incorrect conclusion when they see that figure, concluding that Obama is home-free in swing states. As I learned from Post pollster Jon Cohen, that finding is based on the responses of a total of 160 people, and it has a margin of error of 8 percentage points. So yes, there may be a difference between swing-state and national numbers, but the gap might be very small or it might be big.

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Newest Fox News piece: What the media isn't telling you about our economy

My newest Fox News piece starts this way:
Judging from the media coverage, you might think that our economy was improving. You’d be wrong.
The truth is that the slowest recovery on record appears destined to set even more records for slow growth. That’s not good news for President Obama. And more bad economic news hit him this past week. Here's a short list of indicators:
-- Slow GDP growth: GDP rose at an annual rate of just 1.25% during April through June, barely keeping up with the growth in population. The economy has been getting slower and slower since the end of last year. . . .

The piece is number three on the whole Fox News website.

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Distrust of the Media in the US reaches record high

Trend since 1997: In general, how much trust and confidence do you have in the mass media -- such as newspapers, TV, and radio -- when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately, and fairly -- a great deal, a fair amount, not very much, or none at all?
At some point one can only assume that this reduces the ability for the media to influence the outcome of the election. The Gallup poll is available here.



Some of Obama's broken promises on the economy

David Asman at Fox Business has a partial list here:
The stimulus will prevent unemployment from rising above 8%, and will fall to 5.6% by 2012. 
Solyndra, “leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” 
”I’m committed to an all-of-the-above energy program." 
Obamacare, which “…won’t add another dime to the deficit.” 
”Health premiums will go down $2,500 by the end of my first term.” 
Under Obamacare “you will keep your health insurance. This law will only make it more secure and more affordable.” 
"My goal is to strengthen and preserve Medicare.” 
"Since my election…you're starting to see some restoration of America's standing in the world." 
”If I don’t fix the economy in three years, then I’ll be a one-term president."
One should read his explanations for why these are broken promises.

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Rasmussen: "43% Expect Better Economy if Romney Wins; 34% Say Same of Obama"

There seems to be a big disconnect between these numbers and the presidential polls.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 34% of Likely U.S. Voters think the economy is likely to get better if President Obama is reelected and Democrats regain full control of Congress . . . . By comparison, 43% now believe the economy is likely to improve if Romney wins and the GOP is in charge of Congress. That’s up seven points from 36% in the previous survey.
Sixty-two percent (62%) are more pessimistic about the economic impact if the president and his party in Congress win the election, with 41% who expect the economy to get worse and 21% who say it will stay about the same. . . . .
Fifty-two percent (52%) paint a similar picture if the Republican challenger wins and the GOP takes over Congress, including 37% who think the economy is likely to worsen and 15% who feel it will stay about the same. . . .

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was Turned Down by 14 Law Firms

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has this discussion available here.

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Any guess about the relative rate at which juveniles commit murders

16 and 17 year olds can't face the death penalty.  Now they may be on the road to not facing life sentences.  From Fox News:

Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday announced signing a bill that could one day bring the release of some criminals who were sentenced as juveniles to life in prison. 
There are 309 inmates serving life-without-parole sentences in California for murders committed when they were younger than 18. 
Brown signed SB9, by Democratic Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco. It would let the inmates ask judges to reconsider their sentences after they serve at least 15 years in prison. 
Judges could then reduce the no-parole sentence to 25 years-to-life if the inmate shows remorse and is taking steps toward rehabilitation. . . .

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CBO notes that it really doesn't pay to buy a Volt even with the current $7,500 tax credit subsidy

I have had a lot series of posts on GM and the subsidies given to the Volt.  The CBO has a report available here.

Some of the discussions in the report seem incorrect:
Given current prices for vehicles and fuel, in mostcases the existing tax credits do not fully offset thehigher lifetime costs of an electric vehicle comparedwith those of an equivalent conventional vehicle ortraditional hybrid. For example, CBO estimates that a plug-in hybrid with a 16 kWh battery that is comparable in size and performance to an average- fuel-economy conventional vehicle (that is, one with a fuel economy of about 25 miles per gallon) would cost about $19,000 more to buy than the conventional vehicle. That plug-in hybrid would reduce the total discounted present value of fuel costs over an assumed 150,000-mile life by about $7,000 (based on average prices, in 2010 dollars, of $3.60 per gallon for gasoline and 12 cents per kWh for electricity and a discount rate of 10 percent), for a total difference in lifetime costs of about $12,000.10 The $7,500 tax credit that applies to such a vehicle would need to be about 60 percent larger to make up that difference. 
In the case of the Volt, the difference in price is about $21,000. But the other errors are also important.  

$3.60/25 = $0.144 per mile for gas

10.9 kWh = $0.04 per mile

At 12,000 miles per year, that comes to $1,248.  $19,000 - $7,500 = $11,500.  Even without any interest costs, there number implies that it would take 9.2 years to pay off the difference.  If the price difference were $21,000, with the $7,500 tax credit, it would take 10.82 years. 

The report also notes:
However, the tax credits have other, indirect effects: Increased sales of electric vehicles allow automakers to sell more low-fuel-economy vehicles and still comply with the federal standards that govern the average fuel economy of the vehicles they sell (known as CAFE standards). Consequently, the credits will result in little or no reduction in the total gasoline use and greenhouse gas emissions of the nation’s vehicle fleet over the next several years. As a result, the cost per gallon or per metric ton of any such reductions will be much greater than the cost calculated on the basis of the direct effects alone. . . .

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"Still true: 'a discussion with the likes of Brad DeLong is not productive' "

A couple of years ago, Stephen Bainbridge wrote a post entitled "a discussion with the likes of Brad DeLong is not productive".  Now William Jacobson has this post entitled: "Still true: 'a discussion with the likes of Brad DeLong is not productive'”

The class clown of the academic internet is beclowning again; must be he’s upset with my investigation into Elizabeth Warren so he attacks the only way he knows how. Rather than address the merits, he picks a three and one-half year old post of mine and calls me names. Class act. . . .
I know Brad's Dad and sister, and both are extremely nice people.  It is not at all clear what could have turned him into the type of person he is today.


Univision: The Untold Story Behind The "Fast and Furious" Scandal