Tag Archives: regulation

The people directly hurt by Obamacare rises

Finding out what’s in it: A new poll shows that the number of people directly hurt by Obamacare has continued to rise.

Currently, 29% of Americans say Obamacare has hurt them and their family, up from 26% in May, and the highest Gallup has measured to date. Meanwhile, the percentage who say the ACA has helped their family dropped from 22% to 18%. The bulk of Americans, 51%, continue to say the law has “had no effect.” As more provisions of the law have taken effect over the years, the “no effect” percentage has dropped from the first reading of 70%, in early 2012.

Not surprisingly, support for Obamacare, always low, has shrunk as well. As the article at the link notes,

Wait until the next round of open enrollment starts in eight weeks. The number of people who feel the ObamaCare pain is likely to rise even further, especially in places like Tennessee, Minnesota, and other states where premiums will go up 40% or more over 2016.

The fact that in many regions there will be only one or fewer insurance options will help to underline why people increasingly hate Obamacare. Sadly, every one of these failures was predicted by conservatives back in 2010. The Democrats however were too wise and caring to listen. For them, caring is all that matters, even if it means instituting policies that destroy people’s lives.

Update on the Falcon 9 launchpad explosion investigation

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article today describing the investigation into last week’s Falcon 9 launchpad explosion, noting especially how — despite participation by the FAA, NASA, and the Air Force — SpaceX will be entirely in charge of the investigation, in accordance with present law.

The article is clearly lobbying for a change, whereby the government would have more power in these investigations. I personally think a change would be a mistake, that the law as it is now is how it should be. It was their rocket that exploded. Their business model depends on their rockets not exploding. Thus, they have the greatest self-interest in fixing the problem. The other outside players might be helpful, but their presence can only in the long run make things more difficult and slow things down, without making anything better.

The government vs the people of Louisiana

During the recent flooding in Louisiana, it was repeatedly the government vs ordinary citizens as people scrambled to deal with the disaster.

Read it all. The government was repeatedly in the way and working to prevent people from helping themselves. In fact, it often seemed more interested in collecting fees and paperwork than allowing people to be rescued or homes to be rebuilt.

Federal Dept of Ed forces school to close

We’re here to help you: Because of constant regulatory harassment by the federal Department of Education, ITT Technical Institutes, a private college-level school system that has been operating for more than 50 years providing technical vocational training, has been forced to shut down.

The actions of and sanctions from the U.S. Department of Education have forced us to cease operations of the ITT Technical Institutes, and we will not be offering our September quarter. We reached this decision only after having exhausted the exploration of alternatives, including transfer of the schools to a non-profit or public institution.

Effective today, the company has eliminated the positions of the overwhelming majority of our more than 8,000 employees. Our focus and priority with our remaining staff is on helping the tens of thousands of unexpectedly displaced students with their records and future educational options.

This action of our federal regulator to increase our surety requirement to 40 percent of our Title IV federal funding and place our schools under “Heightened Cash Monitoring Level 2,” forced us to conclude that we can no longer continue to operate our ITT Tech campuses and provide our students with the quality education they expect and deserve.

Their press release adds the following:

We have always carefully managed expenses to align with our enrollments. We had no intention prior to the receipt of the most recent sanctions of closing down despite the challenging regulatory environment that now threatens all proprietary higher education. We have also always worked tirelessly to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, and to uphold our ethic of continuous improvement. When we have received inquiries from regulators, we have always been responsive and cooperative. Despite our ongoing service to this nation’s employers, local communities and underserved students, these federal actions will result in the closure of the ITT Technical Institutes without any opportunity to pursue our right to due process.

Any business that has successfully provided services to its customers for fifty years has definitely proven its worth — except to the hardcore leftists in the Democratic Obama administration. Employing 8000 people and providing worthwhile training to thousands more, and doing it privately outside the control and power of the federal government? We can’t have that! Better to destroy it!

Update: In related news, more than 80K coal mining jobs lost during Obama’s tenure. The article also notes this important fact:

And now Hillary Clinton is running to be his successor, essentially promising a third term for Barack Obama’s vision. And what did she tell us during the primary? “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

It’s so nice to know these Democrats support unemployment and bankruptcy.

New EPA toxic spill in Colorado

Government in action: The EPA has once again accidently released toxic waste into the same Colorado river it mistakenly dumped 3 million gallons of toxic waste from an abandoned mine last year.

Local officials said this week’s release was not large enough to warrant a public advisory. Last year’s spill sent nearly 1 million pounds of metals into the waterways of the Animas and San Juan rivers, which traverse three states. The metals include arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel and zinc.

This week’s spill came from the treatment plant that the EPA set up near the mine to filter water coming from the mine before releasing it into the creek and river systems. A large amount of rain in Colorado caused the treatment facility to overflow and some of the untreated water to spill into the waterways. EPA said the water that spilled from he plant was partially treated, and the metals present in it should quickly settle to the bottom of waterways where they are less harmful.

How many of you out there trust the EPA in this? Considering the stonewalling and lying the agency practiced when the original spill occurred, I see no reason to believe anything they say now.

Obamacare in Tennessee near collapse

Finding out what’s in it: Faced with closure of all of its Obamacare health insurance options, officials in Tennessee have been forced to approve rate increases ranging from 44 to 62 percent.

The rate approvals, while a tough decision, were necessary to ensure that consumers around the state had options when open enrollment begins in November, said Julie Mix McPeak, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is the only insurer to sell statewide and there was the possibility that Cigna and Humana would reduce their footprints or leave the market altogether.

I would characterize the exchange market in Tennessee as very near collapse … and that all of our efforts are really focused on making sure we have as many writers in the areas as possible, knowing that might be one. I’m doing everything I can to prevent a situation where that turns to zero,” McPeak said to The Tennessean. [emphasis mine]

Anyone with any brains (such as the conservatives who predicted in 2010 that this would happen) can see that with these ungodly increases, it is very unlikely that those same insurance options will survive through next year. Be prepared for the complete collapse of the health insurance industry.

By 2017 one-third of U.S will have no Obamacare insurance choices

Finding out what’s in it: Due to the collapse of the Obamacare exchanges, by 2017 one-third of U.S will have no health insurance choices.

Seven entire states are projected to have just one carrier in 2017: Alaska, Alabama, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming, according to research by the Avalere consultancy. And more than half of the country, 55 percent, may end up having two or fewer insurers to choose from on those government-run exchanges, Avalere said. “And there may be some sub-region counties where no plans are available,” a report by Avalere on its analysis found.

I must remind people once again that Obamacare was a law written and pushed through entirely by the Democratic Party and President Obama. The Republican Party, even its generally pro-government leadership, refused to have anything to do with it, noting repeatedly that the law, as written, made no sense and was guaranteed to cause the collapse of the health insurance industry. We are now seeing that happen.

Of course, this means we must all vote Democratic, because their desire to fix the problem by turning the health industry into a nationalized government-run operation, not dissimilar to the Motor Vehicle Department of your state, is obviously the only solution. And you are obviously a racist for disagreeing!

EPA never did ethanol studies required by law

The law is such an inconvenient thing: Despite a legal mandate from Congress to conduct studies on the use of ethanol in vehicles the EPA has admitted that it simply ignored the law and never did any.

The Obama administration has failed to study as legally required the impact of requiring ethanol in gasoline and ensuring that new regulations intended to address one problem do not actually make other problems worse, the Environmental Protection Agency inspector general said Thursday. The conclusion in the new audit confirmed findings of an Associated Press investigation in November 2013. The AP said the administration never conducted studies to determine whether air and water quality benefits from adding corn-based ethanol to gasoline. Such reports to Congress were required every three years under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

Instead, they have been pushing to increase the amount of ethanol used in gasoline, even though they have no idea whether this helps or hurts the environment, and have been told by practically every automotive industry expert that increased ethanol will damage car engines.

But then, who cares what the law says? Who cares what other experts say? The EPA is made up of righteous perfect liberal individuals who simply know better. How dare Congress, or anyone for that matter, tell them what to do!

Aetna pulls out of Obamacare

Finding out what’s in it: One of the countries largest health insurance companies, Aetna, announced on Monday that it will stop offering health insurance through Obamacare.

Under Obamacare, Aetna lost $200 million in the second quarter of 2016 alone. Too bad no one predicted this…except for every evil racist homophobic tea party and thoughtful conservative whom the Democrats and Obama preferred slandering instead of listening to what they had to say.

Good thing we are going to vote for those Democrats again. Using their brilliant understanding of economics they will be sure the fix the problem they created!

Obama goes after gunsmiths

The constitution is such an inconvenient thing: A new Obama executive order has redefined the work of gunsmiths to define them as manufacturers so that they can be much more heavily regulated, and likely put out of business.

The president’s executive order, which Obama signed on July 22 — around the beginning of the Democratic National Convention — conveys to the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), which is primarily in charge of managing the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and establishing its rules, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

DDTC now names commercial gunsmiths as “manufacturers” for relatively simple tasks as threading a barrel or duplicating a small custom part for an older firearm.

The law would require gunsmiths to spend thousands to meet the regulations, and would likely put most out of business, or force them underground into a black market.

The worst part of this, beyond the fact that it is a naked attack on law-abiding citizens because they do work Obama and liberals hate, is that if this executive order stands, it will grant the federal government unlimited power to destroy almost anyone in blue collar work that they don’t like Repair a car, install a carpet, fix a home’s air conditioning system, replace some plumbing, and you suddenly can be declared a manufacturer that no longer can afford to be in business.

Posted from the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

3rd largest insurer begins retreat from Obamacare

Finding out what’s in it: Aetna, the nation’s third largest health insurer and faced with $300 million in loses, has decided against expanding its participation in the Obamacare exchanges.

They also announced that they are re-evaluating their entire participation in the remaining exchanges.

In related news, Obamacare rates are likely to go up from 23% to 45% in Illinois, and 17.3% in Michigan.

But don’t worry, we’ve got the situation covered. We’re going to vote for Hillary Clinton and Democrats, the people that gave us this failed law. They’ll surely fix it!

Humana abandoning Obamacare

Finding out what’s in it. Humana, one of the nation’s largest heathcare companies, has decided to leave almost half of its Obamacare markets next year.

Humana, one of the nation’s top health insurers, is pulling out of ObamaCare plans in all but a handful of states after a year of nearly $1 billion in losses. The company plans to exit nearly half of its Obamacare markets next year, the company announced during an earnings report Thursday. It will take part in “no more” than 11 state marketplaces, down from 19 states this year, the company said. [emphasis mine]

Remember, it was the insurance companies that lobbied the hardest for Obamacare, figuring they would clean up once the government forced everyone to buy their product. In looking at the numbers above, $1 billion in loses in one year alone, it sure seems that strategy has backfired big time on the insurance companies.

Then again, how could they have possibly known this would happen? No one anticipated this at all, except for those evil tea partiers and those racist conservatives. And who listens to them?

Trump considers fracking businessman for Energy Secretary

Good news if true: Reuters today reported that presidential candidate Donald Trump is considering nominating Oklahoma businessman Harold Hamm as energy secretary if he wins the election.

In addition to considering Hamm, who has also functioned as Trump’s informal energy adviser in recent months, the article also noted this:

Trump, who has yet to make any announcements about his prospective cabinet, has already surrounded himself with strong advocates of traditional energy sources like oil, gas, and coal and has promised to gut environmental regulations to boost drilling and mining if elected. He tapped U.S. Congressman Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, a climate skeptic and drilling advocate, to help draw up his campaign energy platform, and picked Indiana Governor Mike Pence, also a climate skeptic, as his running mate.

Both moves cheered the energy industry but alarmed environmental activists who say a Trump presidency would set back years of progress on issues like pollution and climate change. “Given that Hamm’s as close as we’ve got to a fracker-in-chief in this country, it would be an apropos pick for a president who thinks global warming is a hoax manufactured by the Chinese,” said leading environmental activist Bill McKibben.

I keep saying it: Should Trump win, the best way we can guarantee that he favors conservative values is if he is surrounded by conservatives. These moves suggest that that Trump is agreeable to this, though there is also possibly a bit of some crony capitalism going on here as well. While these guys will likely advocate for less environmental regulations, I also doubt that they will work to eliminate the gobs of corporate welfare the federal government presently hands out.

EPA’s gasoline efficiency tests are garbage

Our government in action: The tests the EPA uses to establish the fuel efficiency of cars are unreliable, and likely provide no valid information at all about the fuel efficiency of the cars tested.

The law requiring cars to meet these fuel efficiency tests was written in the 1970s, and specifically sets standards based on the technology then. Worse,

[T]he EPA doesn’t know exactly how its CAFE testing correlates with actual results, because it has never done a comprehensive study of real-world fuel economy. Nor does anyone else. The best available data comes from consumers who report it to the DOT—hardly a scientific sampling.

Other than that, everything is fine. Companies are forced to spend billions on this regulation, the costs of which they immediately pass on to consumers, all based on fantasy and a badly-written law. Gee, I’m sure glad we never tried this with healthcare!

Health insurance rates in California to rise

Finding out what’s in it: Health insurance rates on the Obamacare exchange in California will rise 13% next year.

Large increases on Obamacare exchanges have been par for the course throughout the country this year, which is not really a surprise for anyone who was willing to read more than one sentence of a plethora of predictions made by conservatives in 2010 before Obamacare was passed. They predicted then, as this article notes is now happening, that

Fewer people are signing up through the exchanges than anticipated, and they’re using more health care services than anticipated. That’s left insurers with fewer customers to share the overall cost.

Obviously, according to Obama and Clinton and the entire Democratic Party, the solution to this failed government health program is an even bigger government health program! Won’t that just be peachy-keen!

A brief history of the nuclear defence triad

Link here.

The essay is a fascinating look at the origins in the 1950s of the U.S.’s defense triad of ground-launched ICBMs, submarine-launched ICBMS, and bombers. The section on the history of ICBMs describes nicely the roots of the Atlas 5 rocket as well as many of the federal government’s contracting policies for its big government projects like SLS.

You can’t just call up a new weapons system from nothing by sheer will alone. As [Thomas Hughes, in his history of Project Atlas] explains, there were severe doubts about how one might organize such a work. The first instinct of the military was to just order it up the way they would order up a new plane model. But the amount of revolutionary work was too great, and the scientists and advisors running the effort really feared that if you went to a big airplane company like Convair and said, “make me a rocket,” the odds that they’d actually be able to make it work were low. They also didn’t want to assign it to some new laboratory run by the government, which they felt would be unlikely to be able to handle the large-scale production issues. Instead, they sought a different approach: contract out individual “systems” of the missile (guidance, fuel, etc.), and have an overall contractor manage all of the systems. This took some serious effort to get the DOD and Air Force to accept, but in the end they went with it. [emphasis mine]

Sounds remarkable like the way the SLS rocket program is organized, with different contractors building different engines and stages and one contractor (Boeing) acting as top manager. More interestingly, the way the military used to do things — put out a request and let the private sector build it — is similar to the way NASA is doing things in today’s commercial cargo/manned program. What forced the transition from having the private sector design things to having the government entirely in charge? I have highlighted the key phrase, “the scientists and advisors running the effort.” They might have been sincere and they might even have been right, at the time, but nonetheless their approach was still a power grab, taking control of design and construction from the private sector and shifting it to them and the government entities building the rockets.

When construction actually started, the government ended up with six different rocket programs, Redstone, Atlas, Thor, Titan, Polaris, and Minuteman.

The redundancy was a hedge: the goal was to pick the top two of the programs and cancel the rest. Instead, Sputnik happened. In the resulting political environment, Eisenhower felt he had to put into production and deployment all six of them — even though some were demonstrably not as technically sound as others (Thor and Polaris, in their first incarnations, were fraught with major technical problems). This feeling that he was pushed by the times (and by Congress, and the services, and so on) towards an increasingly foolish level of weapons production is part of what is reflected in Eisenhower’s famous 1961 warning about the powerful force of the “military-industrial complex.”

Once again, this history illustrates the power grab that took place in Washington in the 1950s, something that Eisenhower did not like. Sixty years later, the rocket industry is struggling to transition back to the old way of doing things, because it actually works better. Before the 1950s, our innovative, competitive, and fast moving technological private sector made the United States an unbeatable powerhouse. Afterward, we increasingly lost the ability to innovate and compete, because the system created by these scientists and advisors did not encourage competition. Instead, they instituted a top-down centralized command approach, ironically quite similar to the Soviet model, the very philosophy the United States was opposing during the Cold War.

The failures of that top-down approach — illustrated starkly by SLS’s gigantic budget, interminable delays, and little produced — might finally be coming home to roost, allowing a new power grab by a competitive private sector. The change I think will be generally beneficial, not only to the needs of the federal government but to the needs of the general population, as it will generate a lot more wealth, a lot more innovation, and a lot more excitement, as it once again makes the U.S. a powerhouse, this time out among the planets.

Another Obamacare co-op fails

Finding out what’s in it: The third Obamacare co-op in the past two weeks has failed. .

Illinois regulators took steps Tuesday to shut down Land of Lincoln Health, a 3-year-old startup that lost $90 million in 2015 and more than $17 million through May 31. Illinois Department of Insurance officials announced they are seeking a court order allowing the state to take over Land of Lincoln Health and prepare the company for liquidation. The department’s acting director, Anne Melissa Dowling, will work with the federal government to establish a 60-day special enrollment period for Land of Lincoln policyholders to find and purchase new health coverage.

This leaves the count at 16 failures out of 23 Obamacare co-ops. And there will be more. The economics of the co-ops never made sense, dependent as they were on gigantic and unaffordable subsidizes from the government. In fact, none of the economics of any of Obamacare make sense, which is why the whole monstrous law has raised costs for everyone and made being a doctor a far worse bureaucratic nightmare than it was before the law was passed.

It is a good thing the American people have woken up and decided to nominate candidates for President who are avowed conservatives with proven track records for limiting the power of government. Oh wait…

New Mexico insurance company abandoning Obamacare exchange

Finding out what’s in it: A major New Mexico health insurance company has decided to stop selling individual insurance policies through the Obamacare exchange.

Apparently, people who got insurance through the exchange were generally sicker to begin with, and were poorer (80% required subsidies). The company decided the cost was too much.

Meanwhile, Obama has declared that the solution to this very bad government-run health care system is more government!

President Barack Obama, reviewing his signature health law six years into its implementation, is suggesting Congress and his White House successor add a government-run, or public, insurance option to the Affordable Care Act and increase federal financial assistance for people to buy coverage.

The problem with this proposal is this is exactly what the Obamacare exchanges were, except that the health insurance itself was provided by private companies. Obama is suggesting we expand the exchanges (which have failed miserably), but augment that failure with a system kind of like the Veterans Administration, where the government provides the healthcare. That should work just great, assuming we lived in a fantasyland invented by progressive leftists who pay no attention to reality.

But then, I think we do, considering how many people seem willing to vote for Hillary Clinton, a big supporter of Obamacare and a long time proponent of it.

Ban AC for DC

Link here. As Glenn Reynolds notes

I’m inspired by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Tex., who noticed something peculiar recently. It seems that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, who spends a lot of time telling Americans that they need to drive less, fly less, and in general reduce their consumption of fossil fuels, also flies home to see her family in Boston “almost every weekend”; the head of the Clean Air Division, Janet McCabe, does the same, but she heads to Indianapolis. In air mileage alone, the Daily Caller News Foundation estimates that McCarthy surpasses the carbon footprint of an ordinary American. Smith has introduced a bill that wouldn’t target the EPA honchos’ personal travel, though: It provides, simply, that “None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay the cost of any officer or employee of the Environmental Protection Agency for official travel by airplane.”

This makes sense to me. We’re constantly told by the administration that “climate change” is a bigger threat than terrorism. And as even President Obama has noted, there’s a great power in setting an example: “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.”

Likewise, it’s hard to expect Americans to accept changes to their own lifestyles when the very people who are telling them that it’s a crisis aren’t acting like it’s a crisis. So I have a few suggestions to help bring home the importance of reduced carbon footprints at home and abroad:

Reynolds than goes on to suggest further restrictions on the fossil fuel use of the hoi poloi in Washington, including heavy taxes on fuel used by private jets, heavy taxes on coastal regions like liberal cities like New York, Boston, and Washington to prepare for sea rise, and the banning air-conditioning in the District of Columbia.

Obama makes a great point about setting the thermostat at 72 degrees. We should ban air conditioning in federal buildings. We won two world wars without air conditioning our federal employees. Nothing in their performance over the last 50 or 60 years suggests that A/C has improved things. Besides, The Washington Post informs us that A/C is sexist, and that Europeans think it’s stupid.

Makes sense to me!

TMT likely to abandon Hawaii

Officials from the consortium that is building the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) have revealed that they are looking very seriously at alternative locations.

Officials behind the proposed Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) are considering new locations for the $1.4bn facility, and expect to decide whether to opt for a new site early next year. The TMT is due to be built on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea mountain but, following protests from local residents, its building permit was revoked last December by the state’s Supreme Court. New locations that are being considered include Baja California in Mexico, the Canary Islands and Chile, as well as locations in India and China.

They claim that Hawaii is still their first choice, but if they don’t see any progress by summer in the permitting process, I expect them to tell Hawaii to go to hell (though not in those words) and pick somewhere else.

Obama illegally funding Obamacare, stonewalling Congress

The law is such an inconvenient thing: According to a new report, the Obama administration has been illegally funding Obamacare, and stonewalling Congress when it tries to exercise its constitutional required fiscal responsibility.

Among the report’s seemingly endless list of bad behavior by the Obama administration, it noted that multiple federal agencies withheld or redacted documents from Congress, “without any valid legal basis to do so.”

Hey, who cares about the law? That’s just some silly piece of paper that some old white guys wrote some 240 years ago. We are liberal, we are Democrats, and we know best. Now shut up and do as you are told!

VA performance worsens with more money

Government in action! A new report has found that the billions in increased funding given to the Veterans Administration to fix its problems apparently only made things worse.

The report, obtained by CNN but slated for public release Wednesday, highlights a variety of “deficiencies” that contribute to health care issues within the agency, including flawed governance, insufficient staffing, inadequate facilities, antiquated IT systems and inefficient use of employees. The commission also criticized changes that have been implemented since the scandal became known, including the VA’s Choice Program. The system was set up in 2014 to alleviate wait times by enabling veterans experiencing month-long delays or more to seek private care. The report states the program has only “aggravated wait times and frustrated veterans” due to confusing eligibility requirements and conflicting processes for coordinating with private health care providers.

As a solution, the commission recommends establishing a “VHA Care System,” which would function as a network of VA, Department of Defense and VA-approved private healthcare providers available to all enrolled veterans.

First, notice that the solution of this government report is a new layer of bureaucracy. That should fix things, eh? Second, note that the VA is really nothing more than what the left likes to call a “single-payer” system, whereby healthcare is entirely run by the federal government, which is the system the left still sees as the only solution to the failures of Obamacare. That should fix things too, eh?

Finally, the report demonstrates again that giving more money to a failed federal program will not fix it. The real solution is to kill the program entirely and start fresh.

House Freedom Caucus opposes Republican gun control measure

At least someone in Washington wants to defend the Bill of Rights: The House Freedom Caucus has announced that it would oppose the effort by the Republican leadership to pass a gun control law that would allow the federal government to deny citizens their second amendment rights.

The effort will probably kill the Republican proposal, which would have allowed the federal government to block a gun sale to someone on the no-fly list for three days, during which the Attorney General would to go to court to prove that the individual is a suspected terrorist.

Gee, what’s wrong with that? Doesn’t the Attorney General as well as the courts always enforce the law fairly and objectively? Who could imagine them teaming up to squelch a citizen’s rights, merely because that citizen might have opinions these federal officials don’t like?

FAA moves to regulate backyard drone use

The law is only there to crush the little people: The FAA has issued a subpoena against a father and son who posted youtube videos showing off their modifications to a drone, equipping it first with a gun and then with a flame thrower.

They are fighting the subpoena, noting that the FAA lacks any authority to regulate the use of recreational drones.

The Haughwouts’ attorney, Mario Cerame, told CBS News that the decision could potentially set an important precedent about the FAA’s power to regulate recreational drone use. Cerame added, the FAA should not be using airplane regulations to seek information about “a kid playing in his backyard…. They shouldn’t use airplane regulations,” Cerame told CBS News. “They should go get the authority from Congress. It’s about keeping the government in check as to what Congress said they can do.”

Hey, we know they never intended to do anything wrong! And besides, no reasonable prosecutor would ever consider bringing charges, right?

Another Obamacare co-op to fold

Finding out what’s in it: The fourteenth of the original twenty-three Obamacare state health insurance co-ops has announced it is closing shop.

I like this quote from the article:

Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, which advocates for free-market solutions in the health industry, said those who wanted the co-ops to be part of Obamacare believed “if they didn’t have a profit, they could charge less money, provide more service.” But she said the cascade of failures “is an indictment of the idealistic notion that you could put people in charge of billions of dollars who have little or no experience in the insurance industry.”

Across the country, the federal government loaned $2.4 billion to launch the co-ops [emphasis mine]

In other words, Obamacare was written and run by people didn’t have the slightest idea what they were doing, but they not only went ahead with it, but then handed out billions in taxpayer money to their friends, money that will never be returned. Pretty good gig, if you can get it!

The American Revolution, as reported by modern reporters

To better understand how the teaching of American history is being distorted by modern leftist historians, one need only read this description of the beginnings of the American Revolution, written as it almost certainly would be by today’s ignorant and leftwing anti-American journalists:

Boston – National Guard units seeking to confiscate a cache of recently banned assault weapons were ambushed by elements of a Para-military extremist faction. Military and law enforcement sources estimate that 72 were killed and more than 200 injured before government forces were compelled to withdraw.

Speaking after the clash, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage declared that the extremist faction, which was made up of local citizens, has links to the radical right-wing tax protest movement.

Read it all. It will sound sadly very familiar.

Federal court rules a farmer plowing his land violates Clean Water Act

Fascists: A federal court has ruled that a farmer in California is violating the Clean Water Act by plowing his own property.

The court ruled that the company violated the Clean Water Act by plowing its property, even though the Act exempts normal farming practices. And, the implementing regulations state that plowing is never even subject to the Act, so long as it does not convert wetlands to dry land. Since no wetlands were lost or reduced in acreage by the plowing in this case, the court’s decision amounts to a rule that you may not plow in federally regulated wetlands without an Army Corps permit, the clear exemptions to the contrary notwithstanding.

The court also reversed an earlier ruling in the case and held that although the Corps ordered Duarte Nursery to halt all activity in any area of its property that could be considered waters of the U.S. on its property, the company did not suffer any deprivation of its property. On this basis, the court then ruled that Duarte Nursery’s due process rights have not been violated by being ordered not to farm its property for the last three years.

More here. Even though the Supreme Court has twice told the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers that their interpretation of the Clean Water Act is wrong and overreaching, the agencies continue to use their interpretation to fine and restrict the actions of farmers and private property owners. In this case, they are forbidding a farming company from farming their property under Clean Water Act regulations, even though the law specifically exempts farming from Clean Water Act regulations and the Supreme Court has also ruled that interpretation of the law by these agencies is wrong.

What makes this worse is that a California federal court has agreed with the agencies, even though the Supreme Court has previously ruled otherwise. It is as if the lower federal court in California have decided they don’t need to follow the rulings of the higher court.

1.6 million people drop Obamacare in 2016

Finding out what’s in it: Within three months of signing up for Obamacare more than 13%, or 1.6 million people, in 2016 have dropped coverage by not paying their premiums.

The AP story at the link is decidedly partisan in its tone, trying to make excuses for the disaster that is Obamacare. After proudly claiming that “the health law’s online insurance markets are now working smoothly,” it than is forced to note the following:

Enrollment has been lower than hoped for, and customers turned out to be sicker than expected. Some major insurance companies have cut back their participation, and 13 of 23 nonprofit insurance co-ops created under the law have folded. Premiums for 2017 are expected to be significantly higher.

Other than these minor details, Obamacare is wonderful! That’s why more than 1 in 10 quit paying their premiums within three months, probably because they simply can’t afford it. I wonder how many more decide to give up their health insurance as the year progresses. I suspect that by the time the open enrollment period arrives in November, the number who have dropped coverage will rise above 30% or higher.

Let me add one more thing: I also suspect that many of the people who drop Obamacare do so as soon as they’ve paid their taxes. This way, they pay the premium for as little time as possible, can demonstrate to the IRS that they have insurance and thus avoid the Obamacare mandate fine (or tax, depending the day you ask the Obama administration what it is), and then avoid paying the premium for the rest of the year. It’s called gaming the system, something that happens routinely when governments try to impose unwieldy and unaffordable rules to ordinary life.

New evidence that Lois Lerner released confidential taxpayer information illegally

Working for the Democratic Party: In her effort at the IRS to harass conservatives and anyone opposing the Democratic Party, newly released documents now suggest that Lois Lerner broke the law when she provided more than a million pages of confidential taxpayer information in 2010 to the Obama Justice Department.

Hmm. The Democratic Party calls for the nullification of the first, second, and fifth amendments of the Bill of Rights. Its allies in the IRS and Justice Department team up to illegally access confidential tax records of their opponents, for the purpose of possibly prosecuting those opponents. Furthermore, this same party is advocating the prosecution of companies who disagree with them on the subject of global warming.

Seems there might be a pattern here. Seems this political party is hell bent on oppressing those who oppose it. Seems this behavior is kind of like the behavior of the fascists in Europe in the 1930s. Maybe that suggests they might have a lot in common?

Nah, can’t be true. They care about us, and that’s all that matters!

Blue Cross Blue Shield is losing money nationwide because of Obamacare

Finding out what’s in it: Because of Obamacare, Blue Cross Blue Shield is losing money in states across the nation, forcing them to request rate increases of more than 50 to 65 percent.

If the federal government does approve these rate increases, expect most oif their customer base to vanish. If they don’t get these rate increases, expect them to abandon the market in those states.

So much for Obama’s promise that Obamacare would bend the cost curve downward, cutting rates by $2500 per family. Too bad no one told him his numbers were completely bogus and that Obamacare would increase everyone’s cost, and possibly destroy the health insurance industry. Oh wait… that was what those evil tea partiers and conservatives were saying.

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