The UNAFFORDABLE Care Act…

There are certain immutable ‘laws of nature’, and there are certain well-known and proved laws involving health care plans and their financing.  President Obama is working diligently to assure that his signature achievement is alive and well as he leaves office.  He and his Democrat cohorts have created a veritable monster that you and I have come to know as the Affordable Care Act.

That is a misnomer of the highest order.  This debacle is unaffordable, and it is proving that annually as insurers either bail out of the programs altogether or seek significant, double-digit, rate increases year-over-year to offset their losses.  Many of those insurers have simply sucked up their losses and abandoned this program altogether; the impact of that will become very apparent in the next year or two.  The Act contained provisions for insurers to seek redress if they were hit with untenable losses but there is a finite limit to the funding available unless President Obama finds some ‘magic money’ (i.e. taxpayer dollars) that he can move into the program to at least keep a few more insurers involved for a little longer.

You and I are hit by the Act on several fronts, none of which are pleasant or avoidable.  As insurers drop participation, the choices of insurers and, therefore, of doctors and hospitals, obviously lessens.  Those remaining are hit with needs that simply swamp their abilities to deliver care as they desire if they can deliver at all.  We either are forced to find another provider or we are forced to wait for a longer time to be able to see our physician. They are rushed because of the demand to see more patients daily since they are besieged by requests or they simply find the ACA an untenable program from their perspectives and bail out.

Back to the idea of ‘magic money’.  We are the source of magic money for President Obama to use, in his mind, as he sees fit for his legacy.  This president has issued more Executive Orders than several of his predecessors combined.  These orders have the force of law. These orders bypass the Congress, although Congress could effectively kill an Executive Order by refusing the funding necessary to carry the Order out.  Our Congress seldom does anything like this.

So, we have this legacy program that is foundering in red ink and that is losing insurers and providers.  This is very important to President Obama since it has been given his name, ObamaCare, by ‘we the people’ and he wants this as among his signature legacies.

Where does all this point?  To us as taxpayers and to us as consumers of health care services.  We are, pardon the words, damned if we do and damned if we don’t.  There are, unfortunately, some facets of ObamaCare that are likely irreversible, and that may well have been part of the underlying plan all along.  Once implemented there is a limited set of options remaining in some cases.

There are at least three significant takeaways:

1.  Executive Orders are very dangerous in some hands since those can be used other than originally intended by the founding fathers and congressional edicts that have followed.

2.  Politicians can be enemies of the greater good if and when they work to build their personal historic positions more than they work to accomplish what is right and proper during their time in office.

3.  We the people can be our own worst enemy when we rally behind causes that appeal to our hearts rather than to our minds, and when we ignore warning signs that might’ve prevented some of this abuse of the Executive Order concept, of which we’ll almost certainly learn more in retrospect.

Imagine if this time and effort had been pointed to the re-birthing of the Veteran’s Administration and its healthcare facilities, and its policies and practices.  That was already government-based health care and it sorely needs re-birthing.  We might’ve been able to avoid the castration of our private health care system.

This legacy may not have been that which the current President desired, but it is one that he will carry with him through his remaining years.  It is fitting that we know it as ObamaCare, even if that is the best we can say about the program.

Last Debate…Thankfully (Updated)

I expected better things from Chris Wallace serving as the moderator in the ‘debate’ between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton last evening, but, obviously, I didn’t get what I expected.  If I listen to the other ‘talking heads’ on Fox News this morning, I seem in the minority since they are all heaping great praise on Wallace for the masterful job last evening.  That is to be expected, but it does not support the reality I saw last night.  Wallace had prepared well for the questioning part of the debate, but he failed miserably in providing equitable treatment of the two candidates.  There was a glaring contrast in that category.

He was very permissive of the interruptions by Hillary Clinton but very restrictive of any attempts to interrupt by Donald Trump.  She interrupted by talking over Trump regularly and there were no reprimands.  If and when Trump tried to use the same tactic, he was hammered, figuratively, by Wallace.  I have not seen the tally of minutes talked attributed to each person, but my sense is that Hillary talked at least 20% more than Trump, and I had been led to believe by the ‘mainstream media’ that Trump would bully his way into the lead in the ‘time talked’ category.

Hillary Clinton is so well-prepared by her handlers as to seem unnatural in terms of the give and take of a debate.  She knows her lines but that is about as far as it goes.  If something unexpected pops up, she gets that ‘deer in the headlights’ look about her as she works through the memory bank seeking the canned response she has memorized.  What if that ‘tape’ was to break in a real life situation with her as President?

Trump is not so well prepared, or if he is he seems to discard it occasionally and go off on a tangent.  He is not the well-practiced politician who knows his lines and knows when he is to speak them.  He is instinctive and intuitive and that, in fact, makes him more like you and me than it does to make him seem more the professional politician.  I prefer a non-politician for a change.  I prefer someone who speaks his or her mind rather than a person who simply pulls up the practiced phrase and delivers that like a computer recording, basically without feeling.

Donald Trump is a real person like me.  Hillary Clinton is a pre-programmed zombie, and I worry about who programs her and with what she is programmed.

Beyond this, there is, from my perspective, a very decided leaning by the media in favor of Hillary Clinton.  And that includes Fox News!   I have to believe that is more a dislike for Donald Trump than it is a love affair with Hillary Clinton, but it comes across as solid favoritism of all things Hillary.  If there was any critical questioning of Hillary Clinton, it must’ve occurred when I was dozing off.  It is as if the members of the media know they’ll be pilloried if they are critical of poor little Hillary Clinton who has the evil Trump ogre going up against her.

I come back to the extreme amount of baggage that Hillary drags along behind her and wonder how it is that the baggage is never the subject of any questions or even of any ‘background’ comments.  How can a member of the media with supposed credentials such as Mike Wallace carries manage to avoid any critical questioning about the Clinton family history, about the boondoggle Clinton Foundation which Hillary declared has done major beneficial things around the world.  What about the obvious ‘pay for play’ quid pro quo issues?  What about the vanishing emails?  What about Benghazi? What about her behavior with State Department officials that she disses in her travels?  And on, and on , and on!

Where were all these questions last night?  Where was the Mike Wallace who should’ve reined Hillary in on multiple occasions but instead decided he’d go after Trump mano a’ mano with his questions, and his follow-up questions?

I was very disappointed.  Wallace let me down; in fact, I think Wallace let the country down.  Hillary was Hillary and that should’ve been sufficient to rouse Wallace on occasion.  Trump was not permitted to be Trump, and I do not recall any rebuttals to Hillary’s rants following his statements.  Maybe that happened and I simply had tuned out at that point.

I can just imagine the U.S. Supreme Court in our future with President Hillary.  I can imagine the very liberal slant of our governing bodies with a President Hillary.  I can see the Clinton family’s wealth increasing exponentially with  President Hillary.  I can see my grandchildren and great-grandchildren asking why Grandpa didn’t do something about this when he had the chance.

Maybe there will be a miraculous turn-around that I cannot foresee which will bring enough voters to their senses that we do not elect Hillary Clinton as our President.  Maybe I will awaken and find that this has all been simply a very bad dream.  And maybe pigs will fly, but that isn’t very likely.

# # # # #

Donald Trump is being pilloried for his answer to the question put to him about whether he would accept the results of the election.  He said he’d wait to see what the results were, and then later came back and said he’d accept if he were the victor.

The uproar is significantly greater than it was the last time someone said they might not accept the results of a Presidential election.  That someone was good old Al Gore, obviously a Democrat.  The press didn’t seem to think it needed to make a big deal of that person’s statement but it sure seems that it has to make a big deal when there is a Republican conservative making a similar statement.

But, of course, there is no political bias within the nation’s press corp.

Wasn’t DDT Banned?

I know that DDT, the pesticide, was banned given the ill effects it had on us humans.  It is time for the other DDT to be banned from politics.  That DDT is Democrat Dirty Tricks, and it too causes ill effects to humans…namely the Republicans and other citizens, including innocent Democrats, impacted by it in the United States.

First, we have proof concerning the dirty tricks played by Democrats bringing non-Wisconsin people into our state to picket and, sometimes even to vote knowing full well they were engaging in illegal activities but not caring since they were being paid well to do so.  Scott Foval, one of the perpetrators (a national Democratic operative), had a couple of drinks too many and just had to brag about what he did for the Democrat Party.  Dirty tricks included the disabling of vans that were rented to enable the Republican Party to convey people, real citizens who wanted to cast ballots for Republican candidates, to the polling places to cast their ballots. Dirty tricks included using automobiles bearing Wisconsin license plates to bring people from out-of-state to Wisconsin polling places so as not to raise any red flags.  It is not good to have a lot of cars with Illinois plates lined up outside Wisconsin polling places.

This only scratches the surface, and yet it ought to be enough to make good, honest Democrats recoil over what some in their party will do to rig elections.  This version of DDT is just as pervasive as the insecticide version, if not more so.  This version of DDT perverts the process of legal voting to the benefit of the perpetrators, Democrat operatives who believe this is okay so long as they do it but who abhor the thought that the opposing political party might even think about such actions.

This is bad enough when promoted by lower level Democrats, but it seems the Democrats are absolutely enraged if a Republican would even suggest such this occur.  President Obama told candidate Donald Trump to “stop whining”.  President Obama was evidencing his concern over his disgust that Republicans would even voice basic concern over possible voter fraud.  Imagine his behavior were this tilted playing field actually benefitting Republicans instead of his bosom buddy Democrats.  He might go so far as to have someone try to find some way to use Executive Orders to ban Republicans from casting ballots.  He has used them extensively to avoid any possibility of opposition.

We can carry the DDT effort further and point to the never-ending investigation of things Republican by the Democrat District Attorney of Milwaukee County.  All this flies under the radar but a Republican demand for fair elections is portrayed as an example of Republican mischief in an attempt to manipulate the ballot boxes of the state.  The former Government Accountability Board, GAB, executives were involved in this Democrat effort when they were really charged with ensuring fair elections.

We can carry this to the national level and find the poster girl for Democrat fraud, Hillary Clinton, who dumped e-mails to avoid being branded as having committed a crime related to confidential information flow.

DDT has been alive and well, and the Democratic Party has been fully aware of it since its inception.  Those dirty tricks have gone to the level of the FBI Director deciding no crime had been committed in Hillary Clinton’s use of non-secure email servers, and to the Attorney General standing by and permitting that travesty to occur.

This litany could go on and on, but the point has been made.  DDT, the pesticide, may have been banned but DDT, the Democrat party’s Dirty Tricks, continue to be alive and well, albeit a bit better camouflaged courtesy of an ‘I see nothing’ national press and a squeamish Republican Party fearing to touch the whole sordid mess.

Of course, this diatribe has so far overlooked the biggest voter fraud ever committed:  the enactment vote in the dark of night by a strictly Democratic Party votes (no independents and no Republicans voted for this beast) to create the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare which may well go down in history as the greatest dirty trick ever perpetrated on Americans.

It is way past time to ban the other DDTDemocrat Dirty Tricks!  That requires all Republicans and Independents to go to the polls and turn every Democrat running this time out of office and keep new Democrats from gaining office.

This national house cleaning would have a remarkably beneficial effect on our economy and our outlook.

Were Those Sighs Of Relief?

Julian Assange has lost his internet connection if reports are to be believed.  If you have been in hibernation for a period of time, Julian Assange is credited as the birther of WikiLeaks.  He has also been behind the protective closed doors of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for what seems like a long, long time.

This would explain the sighs of relief from politicians almost worldwide since he has been a masterful leaker of information that is embarrassing to his targets.  Assange being cut off from Internet access is the rough equivalent of you or me being tied hand and foot and tossed into a dark closet cut off from the rest of the world.  He has, whether legally or illegally, been a thorn in the side of nations since none of them know if or when he will have proved to have successfully hacked into their deep, dark political secrets.

He has been doing this for a long time and Ecuador has been his protector vis a vis his being able to live and function inside the walls of the Ecuadorian Embassy for several years.  I wonder what or who got to the Ecuadorian officials to cause this potential and proven source of embarrassing leaks to have been stopped?  Might this have been due to political pressure being brought to bear on Ecuador?  That seems quite likely since that country would’ve been in control of Assange’s access to the Internet, and since it apparently had no problems with Assange’s activities until now.

The next question, then, would be from whom or from where did the pressure that forced Ecuador to change its mind about Assange’s Internet access have possibly come?  What entity would possibly have the clout necessary to force a sovereign nation to change course?  It would have to be a very powerful country.  It would have to be a very powerful country with someone or something so compelling that it would resort to threats of one kind or another to force Ecuador to acquiesce.

It likely would’ve been someone or something so threatened by the continued leaks that it or they felt something simply had to be done before something really devastating occurred.

Might this threat have been delivered surreptitiously by our own State Department accompanied by various and sundry threats of aid being cut off, or of damaging state secrets being divulged or simply of a direct non-specific threat from the most powerful country in the world to a relatively benign little country?

Is it even possible that Hillary Clinton, who has been a very convenient target of Julian Assange’ threats regarding dumps of damning data, would resort to something so heinous as to have an entire country threatened simply to protect her political aspirations?

You will have to answer that question as you see fit.

I obviously have enough doubt so that I question where this Ecuadoran Internet disconnect originated, and why it was triggered at this particular time.  Stranger things have occurred, things that have defied a fairly direct tie-in, but this is simply one of those pieces of low-hanging fruit that are very tantalizing and thought-provoking.

And, one would have to admit, this is something that might’ve been conjured up by a political operative.  Why now if not because of political concern?  The political arena is the only thing that has materially changed since Julian Assange began his WikiLeak dumps.

Voter ID…Much Ado About Virtually Nothing?

An editorial in the morning Milwaukee Journal Sentinel bemoans the issues posed by requiring that Wisconsin’s voters be able to identify themselves and prove they are qualified to cast ballots, and surmises that the best solution to this knotty issue would be “to slay this complicated beast.”

This editorial staff is quite liberal.  This newspaper, as are too many other newspapers in this country, is decidedly liberal in its presentation of ‘news’ for consumption by its readers.  The readership is diminishing and this newspaper is now part of the growing USA Today organization.  Maybe being liberal and losing readership are joined at the hip, but I digress.

The idea that anyone and everyone ought to be able to simply stroll into the polling place on election day, present no identification and vote for the candidates they desire is an invitation for the “complicated beast” cited above to consume democracy versus to protect democracy.

The ‘issue’ of voter identification in this age seems, to me at least, to be vastly over-exaggerated as an ‘issue’ when there are literally, at most, a handful of people for whom all these rules and regulations and educational programs are created.  The voter identification availability as it exists today is designed to be as simple as is possible.  The requirements of information to be presented is simplified in the extreme.  We are now concerned with the voting rights of long-term homeless people,  who may or may not have their wits about them, at the potential expense of all the rest of us.  That is essentially the remaining pool of people who are not able to cast a ballot.

The editorial writers admit that under the current system “voter fraud is almost non-existent”.    They apparently believe that by eliminating the failsafe mechanisms that have created the “almost” nonexistent status achieved today, we would assure perfection. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I have to believe the editorial writers are bright enough to see the fallacy behind their proposition unless they are not as bright as I have credited them with being.

If we did away with the requirements we currently have in place for voters to be verified as accredited voters, we would see an explosion in the number of votes cast.  The editorial writers would attribute that explosion to the elimination of barriers that had previously kept these folks away from the polls.  The reality, unfortunately, would be that these ‘extra’ votes were not suppressed in the earlier situation, but were not being cast due to the fact these voters could not prove they were qualified residents of the voting district and thus didn’t even try to vote knowing they’d be exposed as fraudulent voters and would be turned away from the polls.

Lack of proper identification for voters would lay open the entire system and the results of each election as being suspect…and rightfully so.  The simple truth is this:  there are less-than-scrupulous people who have very strong feelings about their politics.  They know they are right and everyone who disagrees with them is wrong.  Therefore, their logic goes, they are only doing what it is right by encouraging ballots to be cast by unqualified people so long as those ballots are cast for the person they, who know they are right, approve of, versus the other guy or gal.

This argument has devolved to the point that its perpetuation is ridiculous.  The idea of simply doing away with “this complicated beast” is non-sensical to the “n-th” degree.  That this would be proposed as the solution by a newspaper renders that news organization as highly suspect.  But then again, we conservatives have pretty much determined that long ago.

The ‘Maker’ or the ‘Taker’?

We in Wisconsin have a U.S. Senator to either rehire or to replace.  We have a former Senator who is back in Wisconsin to try to regain a seat in the United States Senate.  We have a sitting Senator who is also an employer of Wisconsinites since he owns a manufacturing company in our state.

Former Senator Russ Feingold, a liberal Democrat, wants his old seat back and is trying to defeat current Senator Ron Johnson, a conservative Republican.  Based on polls, Feingold seems to be about two percentage points ahead of Johnson currently.  There is also a Libertarian who has about 4% of the vote.  I have little idea of where that 4% of the vote would scatter if there were only the two major party candidates, but third party candidates bother me in that they induce situations that might otherwise not exist.

Senator Johnson, the employer, is the “maker”, as I see it, in that he has provided solid jobs for his employees for a long time and has contributed to the economy of Wisconsin by so doing.  Former Senator Feingold is the “taker” since he has been involved in public sector employment for so long as I can remember.  Don’t get me wrong, our public sector employees who protect us from crime and fires, and who keep our roads in good shape and plowed and sanded/salted, etc. are great people no matter their political inclination.

Feingold is an attorney, was a State Senator for ten years representing people in Wisconsin’s 27th District.  He was a U.S. Senator from 1993 to 2011.  He co-sponsored the McCain-Feingold Act to reform campaign finance.  He was among the Democrats who voted in favor of what has become known as ObamaCare, officially the Affordable Care Act, which has proved to be one of the great misnomers of all time, and he cast the sole vote against the Patriot Act.

Feingold makes no bones about his liberal persuasion; he wears the badge proudly.

Assurant Health blamed Obamacare on its going out of business.  Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield no longer sells plans on the ObamaCare ‘exchange’ in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties.  UnitedHealth Group is leaving all Affordable Care Act exchanges nationwide.  Like it or not, ObamaCare shows all the signs of an imploding government health program which could actually cause significant damage to the providers of health care services and to those covered in that process.

In a 2015 story by Politico, Feingold was asked if, looking back at it then would he have voted differently on Obamacare.  He replied “Oh no, I stood with my vote on the Affordable Care Act in 2010.  I was one of the only candidates to do that.  I understand people have been lied to repeatedly (apparently referring to Republicans) about what was in the bill.  I regretted that, but it was fairly stated that over time that it would work out.” It seems that time has not helped this abomination.

Sen. Johnson has said that he wants to repeal ObamaCare, and has been quoted as saying,”If we continue on this path, the future of our health care system is rationed, lower quality care, increased medical costs and severe limits on medical innovation.”

So we have a choice between what I call a ‘maker’, current Senator Ron Johnson (R) and a ‘taker’, former Senator Russ Feingold (D).  The only people Feingold has employed are those who worked in his various political offices, with the possible exception of whoever may have worked for him during his educational institution gig in California.  The people Johnson has employed and continues to employ are gainfully employed in the private sector in Wisconsin except for his senatorial office staff members.

There is, I believe, a big difference between the experience of a person who has risked his personal fortune (however big or small that was/is) on a business and who has provided good paying jobs for employees, and a person who has been involved in the public sector for most if not all of his working lifetime.  No matter how intelligent the public sector person might be, he or she simply has not lived on the other side of the ‘fence’ with people dependent upon his or her business decisions.  Unless and until you have had the responsibility of meeting a payroll, and even fulfilling promises to stockholders, you do not have a good understanding of the realities in the world of makers.

Makers put personal welfare and fortune at risk for an idea and for those whom they employ.  Those who simply put taxpayer money at risk, and who make ‘feel good’ decisions have little clue about the realities of being a ‘maker’.  True, they may face being turned out of public office, but somehow even that seems less onerous than running a business into the ground or of having to terminate employees because of a bad decision or failure to take the chances represented by a potentially good decision.

Maybe some would see the use of the ‘maker’ and ‘taker’ labels as being a bit severe; only unless and until you have been a ‘maker’ can you fully appreciate the difference.  Current Senator Ron Johnson (R) has been both and has the quite unique position in the current U.S. Senate of knowing both sides of that coin.

We need to keep Senator Ron Johnson (R) in office for the good of Wisconsin as well as the good of our country.

 

Hillary ‘I Do Not Recall’ Clinton…

Given her inability to remember virtually anything and everything that she has said and/or done based upon her responses to legal interrogatories, is this woman fit to serve as President of the United States?  The latest episode in this ongoing, and mind-boggling, series of legal skirmishes, in which she has simply stood mute by sending her counsel to stand in for her in an action brought by Judicial Watch.  She is apparently above the need to personally respond so her counsel, David Kendall, made the responses for her to save her time and possible/probable embarrassment.  His was simply another layer of obfuscation.  She responded to 25 questions with an “I do not recall” answer to 21 of those questions.  Case closed.

Based on her failures as Secretary of State, is this woman now qualified to serve as President of the United States?

Based on the history she and her hubby have created, does this woman deserve promotion to the Oval office?

As Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton opined yesterday, “Mrs. Clinton’s refusal to answer many of the questions about her e-mails in a clear and straightforward manner further reflects her disdain for the rule of law.”

This is not a display of the ‘new’ Hillary Clinton.  This is the same old Hillary Clinton we have observed in one place or another over years and years.  This is the Hillary Clinton who has felt she was above the law in the past, and who seems to have continued to feel she is above the law; and why not when she has skated every time?

She appears, if the lack of any legal actions is a good indicator, to be above the law just as she has believed for years.  She appears to really be entitled given her lack of qualifications for the many positions she has been accorded over the years.

Hillary Clinton has become the poster-woman for liberal condescension as the National Review labelled her on the cover of its October 10th issue. It is that liberal condescension that provides the frosting on the cake;  she is so far above the rest of us, and is so much smarter than the rest of us, and is so much more privileged than any of us, is so much more entitled, how could we do anything but make her our President?

From Hillary’s perspective, we, the people, are apparently a bit slow and to be pitied if we haven’t already reached the same conclusion she reached years ago.  After all, we have watched her just as she has watched herself, albeit not with the same joy or admiration, so why is there even a question about whether or not she deserves what she wants?

The ‘Clinton Corporation’ which includes its subsidiary, the Clinton Foundation (a great pay for play ploy), provides us with all we should need to know about Hillary and her family and her abilities.  They come as a package.

She and Bill have been ‘entitled’ for years.  They have skated through things that would likely have derailed others’ efforts to continue their upward climb.  Bill’s, to be kind, ‘antics’ should have served to eliminate anything ‘Clinton’ ever again in our lifetimes, but that didn’t occur.  Her rolling over in the face of those ‘antics’ should have served to deny her any further access to increased power.  Her actions and lack of actions in the ‘Benghazi’ episode leading to the deaths of several including an Ambassador should have served to deny her this apparent next step in her climb.  The State Department e-mail bull crap, coupled with the FBI Director’s decision to avoid doing anything that might disrupt her climb to power, coupled with hubby Bill’s visit with the Attorney General on board an official U.S. aircraft sitting on the tarmac in Phoenix which was blatantly a violation by intercession; all this was wiped off the slate so that she could continue her climb.

The almost sophomoric denials of any memories tied to e-mails should have served to take Hillary Clinton off the track for the Oval office.  And yet, she has the backing of the mainstream media, and of all the Democrat bigwigs to whom power and control are obviously more important than honesty and integrity.

I suspect that a significant part of the Donald Trump wave of enthusiasm was the result of him not cowering about telling it like it is so far as Hillary Clinton is concerned.  His impolite ‘scratch the itch’ approach to Hillary was seen as welcome by the millions who knew the fix was in for the next President of the United States.  And the fix was and is in.

This is Hillary’s year.  It is her turn.  She has been a loyal Democrat for years; she has put up with the indiscretions of her husband; and, she has helped hide the evidence of shenanigans over the years.  She can be the first woman President.  It is Hillary’s turn unless enough of us get fed up with her dancing around anything resembling a legality; with the obvious loading of this deck; with the obvious ability by some in power to neglect their sworn duties, and with the obvious rewrite of the ‘history’ we have lived.  It is Hillary’s turn unless we decide differently.

Hillary ‘I Do Not Recall’ Clinton, indeed!