November 2013


obama1

The disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act website-healthcare.gov has resulted in conservatives and Republicans in Congress to once again call for the repeal of Obamacare and earned the enmity of liberals who are confident that the problems that have occurred will be fixed and that the law will be a success.

What liberals like Chris Matthews rail about on a regular basis is the lack of a Republican alternative as if they need to create one.  The fact of the matter is that they do have an alternative plan.  Go back to what was in effect before Obamacare was passed.

Granted that it wasn’t a perfect system, but based on what has transpired in the last seven weeks, with the government website failing miserably along with many poorly performing state exchanges and millions of people being sent insurance cancellations notices, it is very clear that the old system was far better than Obamacare.

Instead of a free market system where individuals were able to choose the benefits and plans that they wanted and could afford, we now have a system that forces insurers to provide certain benefits- like pregnancy, whether or not a person wants or needs it, covers pre-existing conditions and expands Medicaid in states that opt-in, which drive up the cost of health care for everyone.

And while the Obama administration said that the goal was to insure the 30-40 million Americans who didn’t qualify for insurance due to their medical condition, or couldn’t afford it, the reality is that the law will wind up helping less than half that number, while adding yet to be determined costs to the health care system.

So in effect we have overhauled a system, that while imperfect was working t help maybe 12 million people out of the 315 million people living in this country.

Not only that but while people are being sent cancellation notices and being given more expensive alternatives, the taxpayers will be subsidizing many of the newly insured through tax credits that the government will give them to make insurance more affordable.  So the affordable in the Affordable Care Act needs an asterisk that should say it’s only affordable if you can get a  direct taxpayer subsidy.

Don’t forget that Obama promised that people could keep their plan and their doctor if they wanted to when he was pitching Obamacare even though he knew that it wasn’t the truth.  Even with his edict telling insurance companies to reinstate canceled plans, that doesn’t solve the problem.  For some reason Obama thinks that insurance companies and state insurance commissioners will be able to magically flip a switch and put everything back the way it was.

If you wanted a  good example of a nanny state- Obamacare is a poster child for it.

Maybe we should consider ourselves lucky that we only got stuck with Obamacare and not what the Democrats really wanted- a single payer system.

Talk about the lesser of two evils.

Ken_Cuccinelli

In an exceptionally close race, former DNC Chairman and Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe beat Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to become the next governor of the state.

McAuliffe beat Cuccinelli by just 56,000 votes  or 48% to Cuccinelli’s 45.5%. “Libertarian” Rob Sarvis finished with a surprising 6.6% of the vote and may have cost Cuccinelli the election.

With such a slim margin of victory and winning a plurality, but not  a majority, McAuliffe’s win wasn’t the barometer for 2014 that liberal pundits thought it would be if McAuliffe won. Instead he faces a tough four years with a state legislature dominated by Republicans who will be in no mood to move his agenda forward.

Plus Democrats didn’t get the sweep of offices that they had counted on. Sure they won the Lieutenant Governor’s race- which was n’t really close, but closer than I thought it would be given the Republican candidate E.W. Jackson.  But they didn’t win the other key slot besides the governorship- Attorney General, which is where the next governor is likely to come from.  Would anyone seriously vote for Ralph Northam for governor in 2017?

While the Democrats didn’t get the mandate they were looking for the Republicans will need to think about what type of candidate they want to run in four years.

Cuccinelli was a Tea Party darling and campaigned to the right, which realistically only plays well in the more rural parts of Virginia, but not in the vote-rich liberal areas in Northern Virginia which was a key part of McAuliffe’s win. Other problems for Cuccinelli were his lack of charisma, his running mate who is passionate man, but prone to outrageous statements and a lack of money.  More importantly he was outspent by $15 million and yet nearly won the election, but he couldn’t afford to run ads in the last two weeks to counter McAuliffe and that definitely hurt him. And it’s very hard to win if you don’t have money.  McAuliffe was aided by the Clintons in his fundraising efforts which means they are counting on him to deliver Virginia for Hillary in 2016.

Another thing that didn’t help was the government shutdown.  With so many Virginia voters federal workers, it just served as a reminder of Cuccinelli’s conservative philosophy though he had no role in the shutdown.  If the shutdown had continued until the election, there is no doubt that McAuliffe’s margin of victory would have been far greater.  On the other hand, Cuccinelli did a great job of focusing his campaign on Obamacare and its ills, but it just was too little too late,

The giftgate or whatever you want to call the non-scandal scandal- you can thank the liberal media for this, did deal Cuccinelli a big blow as it removed perhaps his greatest weapon- the popular Republican Governor Bob McDonnell from the campaign.  Instead of having the incumbent governor on the campaign trail, providing endorsements and raising money, McDonnell was forced to sit on the sidelines and that hurt.

So now for the first time since 1977, the party occupying the White House has also won the governors race, but with such a thin margin of victory that measurement is completely meaningless.

Virginia Republicans now have four years to rethink their strategy and hopefully they can find a candidate for governor that can combine conservative principles with a dose of pragmatism so that they can retake the governors mansion in 2017.

 

Hillary

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is widely rumored to be running for president in 2016, may want to work on her media relation strategy after it was announced that the press will be banned from her speech this weekend at the National Association of Realtors convention in San Francisco.

This isn’t the first time the press has been unwelcome at a Clinton speech- last month she banned the media from her speech before the National Association of Convenience Stores in Atlanta, but it is a troubling trend for such a public figure and potential presidential nominee that she finds it necessary to  declare a media blackout when addressing trade associations.

The press ban does lead to speculation that she isn’t comfortable in certain large venues where she might be questioned about her tenure as Secretary of State and what she really knew about the Benghazi attack.

But is this really the best way to handle the situation?  After all the press is likely to be on her side even if the audiences she is addressing isn’t 100% Democrats, but  if she is planning a run for president she needs to get this issue and others out of the way early, rather than let it run into her campaign- if there is to be one and I think there will be.

The media is also unwelcome for a Clinton Foundation fundraiser in San Francisco, so at least she’s being consistent.

A media blackout only ensures that the mainstream media won’t be privy to her speech first hand, but it doesn’t prevent the 22,000 or so attendees from using their cellphone cameras or tweeting about it in real time.   So it’s really not that effective and only alienates the media which is fine with me.