Monday, February 11, 2013

Last Call

Any questions about what Slugline BuzzFeed’s raison d’ĂȘtre is?

Gosh I’m shocked.  No sirens while you’re at it Ben?  Maybe that’s not in the budget.

President Obama’s enemies often accuse him, in the starkest political terms, of crudely acting to shift resources toward his political base: Green energy donors; single women; Latinos; African-Americans.
But the next 12 months are likely to reveal the opposite. Imminent elements of Obama’s grandest policy move, the health care overhaul known as ObamaCare, are calculated to screw his most passionate supporters and to transfer wealth to his worst enemies.

His worst enemies apparently being “BuzzFeed”, judging by the article.

The passionate supporters are the youth, who voted for him by a margin of 60% to 36%, according to exit poll samples of people 29 and under. His enemies are the elderly: Mitt Romney won 56% of the votes from people 65 and over. And while one of ObamaCare’s earliest provisions was a boon to the young, allowing them to stay on their parents’ insurance through the age of 26, what follows may come as an unpleasant surprise to many of the president’s supporters. The provisions required to make any sort of health insurance plan work — not just ObamaCare, but really any plan of its sort — require healthy young people to pay more in health insurance than they consume in services, while the elderly (saved by Sarah “Death Panels” Palin from any serious attempt to ration expensive and often futile end-of-life care) consume far more than they pay in. There is always a push and pull, however, and this year will be spent laying plans to shift the burden further toward the young.

Holy crap, Ben Smith has discovered ACTUARIAL SCIENCE.  Healthy people paying for premiums and not consuming health care pays for sick people who are consuming health care.  ALERT THE INTERNETS.

State and federal officials and the health care industry are currently preparing to implement two specific ObamaCare provisions taking effect on January 1, 2014, acting on this politically perverse principle of shifting resources from your supporters to your opponents. The first is the individual mandate, which aims to force the young, childless, and healthy — “Young Invincibles,” as they are said to think of themselves — to buy heath insurance, even if they think (and even perhaps make a rational, if risky, bet) that they don’t need it.

2010 Teabagger town halls are on the phone, Ben.  They want their crapass argument back.  Seriously man, are you just now figuring out how Obamacare works, bro?  Why the individual mandate was kind of key to the program?  You can’t possibly be this dense.

The second is a lesser-known policy to limit the practices of charging different premiums to different ages, known as age-rating. Many states currently set a limit on this difference, often mandating that an old person shouldn’t pay a premium more than five times a younger person’s, even if she’s expected to use more than five times as much health care. The ObamaCare provision kicking in next January 1 would reduce that ratio to three-to-one, essentially limiting what the elderly pay in part by forcing young people to carry a larger share of the total cost of national health care.

Once again, this BREAKING NEWS MUST CREDIT SLUGLINE BUZZFEED has been common knowledge to any of the policy wonks that have been involved in this discussion, the list of which apparently never included one Ben Smith.  Skip to the end already, son.

So attack Obama on whatever grounds you want, and accuse him if you like of rewarding his friends and punishing his enemies. But that charge, true to some degree of most politicians, may be less true of this one than any other in recent memory. The central question, as Mahar notes, is, “How do we choose between children and their grandparents?” In any normal political calculation, that answer would be clear: You choose the ones who voted for you.

This isn’t even effective firebagging, frankly.  It’s high school newspaper level nonsense.  In all seriousness, this information has been readily available for years now, and the whole point of doing all this is by invoking th mandate, overall health care costs are pushed downwards based on the other provisions in the law that Slugline BuzzFeed Ben conveniently forgets about.  If you’re just now sitting down to the table on ObamaCare, man, all the seats are taken.

Sit your ass down at the kid’s table with the rest of the cat GIF “journalists” and stop talking.

Tie The President Down, Boys, Tie The President Down

William "The Bloody" Kristol and Peter "Thinkless Tanker" Wehner take to the Wall Street Journal to equate Benghazi to everything bad in the universe.

No, seriously, that's the entire article.

We've both had the honor to work in the White House. We've seen presidents, vice presidents, chiefs of staff and national security advisers during moments of international crisis. We know that in these moments human beings make mistakes. There are failures of communication and errors of judgment. Perfection certainly isn't the standard to which policy makers should be held.

But there are standards. If Americans are under attack, presidential attention must be paid. Due diligence must be demonstrated. A president must take care that his administration does everything it can do. On Sept. 11, 2012, as Americans were under attack in Benghazi, Libya, President Obama failed in his basic responsibility as president and commander in chief. In a crisis, the president went AWOL.

Apparently the article then goes on at some length saying that this is the greatest failure in presidential history, entirely unlike Bush eleven years before on that date, brazenly calling it a "deception" and wanting to know if the President even cares.

All of this would be terribly important if Kristol wasn't one of the key media figures in leading us into a decade long war of choice based on complete lies.  He's about as qualified morally to call President Obama out here as Genghis Khan is to comment on pacifism.

The right at this point has nothing else but Benghazi.  It's a desperate attempt over the last five months now to try to create a "administration-ending scandal" over what was an attack on a us consulate, when under the previous President, our embassies and consulates were hit eleven times.  Not a word about Dubya being AWOL there.

It only applies to Obama, you see.  Funny how that happens to work out.

Pontiff Exit Maximus, Or, It Came With A Pope-Out Window

Pope Benedict "Papa Ratzi" XVI is resigning at the end of the month for health reasons.

Pope Benedict XVI will resign on February 28, his spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CNN Monday.

The 85-year-old pope is resigning "because of advanced age," Benedict told the cardinals of the Catholic Church on Monday.

"Strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me," the pope told the cardinals, according to the Vatican.

The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415. He did so to end a civil war within the church in which more than one man claimed to be pope.

There's no crying in baseball, there's no champagne in the green room, and there's no resigning from Pope.  Well, there is, but it's kind of rare, and always political.  Going to be interesting to see where the Catholic Church goes next, but judging by the Cardinals in America, I'm not holding out much hope for a guy who's going to be very progressive, if you catch my drift.


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