Category Archives: Obama’s America

Russia begins large-scale militarization of the Arctic

Dr. Eowyn:

While Russia is systematically preparing and positioning itself in the Arctic region by militarizing, the Obama administration has done nothing to implement U.S. National Strategy on the Arctic.

Surprise! Not.

At a House hearing on “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic” in July 2014, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Chair of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, said “The National Strategy calls for a strong U.S presence in the Arctic, but the Implementation Plan that accompanies it fails to identify what specific infrastructure or capabilities are required to meet those goals, or how or when they will be funded.”

Originally posted on Consortium of Defense Analysts:

A new frontier is becoming a center of great power rivalry.

It is the Arctic, believed to have vast untapped natural resources and increasingly is at the center of disputes between the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway and Denmark in recent years, as rising temperatures lead to a reduction in sea ice, opening up access to lucrative offshore oil and gas deposits.

ArcticResourceBasinArctic Resource Basin

Ed Adamczyk reports for UPI, Oct. 21, 2014, that Russia has begun a large-scale militarization of the Arctic Ocean region, after recent discoveries of oil and natural gas reserves under the ocean floor, as well as the possibility that a potential Northern Sea Route — an alternative to the Suez Canal — could soon be established as global climate change causes melting of Arctic ice.

The Russian news agency RIA reports that Russia is planning to build a military command structure in…

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Now There Can Be No Doubt: Obamacare Has Increased Non-Group Premiums In Nearly All States

obamacare

Forbes: Remember this categorical assurance from President Obama?

“We’ll lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year. .  .  . We’ll do it by the end of my first term as president of the United States”

OK, it’s probably a little unfair to take some June 2008 campaign “puffery” literally–even though it was reiterated by candidate Obama’s economic policy advisor, Jason Furman in a sit-down with a New York Times reporter: “‘We think we could get to $2,500 in savings by the end of the first term, or be very close to it.” Moreover, President Obama subsequently doubled-down on his promise in July 2012, assuring small business owners “your premiums will go down.”  Fortunately, the Washington Post fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, honestly awarded the 2012 claim Three Pinocchios (“Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions”).

Unfortunately, this has never settled the debate. When the Society of Actuaries estimated spring 2013 that the ACA would result in increasing claims costs by an average of 32 percent nationally by 2017, such estimates could be dismissed as “projections” since at the time of this study, actual premiums in the Exchanges had not yet been announced.  A subsequent plethora of studies showed there had been double-digit increases in premiums (when comparing actual Exchange premiums to previously-prevailing premiums in the non-group market). However, virtually all of these studies focused only on Exchange premiums rather than premiums in the entire non-group market (only half of which consists of Exchange coverage). As a consequence, Obamacare proponents tended to dismiss these studies either as partisan attacks or methodologically limited, making what amounts to apples-to-oranges comparisons.

However, a new study from the well-respected and non-partisan National Bureau of Economic Research (and published by Brookings Institution), overcomes the limitations of these prior studies by examining what happened to premiums in the entire non-group market. The bottom line? In 2014, premiums in the non-group market grew by 24.4% compared to what they would have been without Obamacare.  Of equal importance, this careful state-by-state assessment showed that premiums rose in all but 6 states (including Washington DC).  It’s worth unpacking this study a bit to understand the ramification of these findings.

Non-Group Premiums Rose in 45 States Due to Obamacare

The non-group market can only be accurately assessed on a state-by-state basis. Obamacare. The law creates a single risk pool in each state for non-group coverage. That is, health insurers can sell policies inside or outside the Exchanges but they all are part of the same risk pool.  Unlike virtually all other studies that have been conducted to date, this new study examined premium data from both Exchange and non-Exchange plans, i.e., providing a picture of the complete non-group market rather than one segment.  This is crucially important since in nearly one third of states (16), Exchange coverage constitutes 40% or less of the entire non-group market (Table 1).

PremiumIncreasesKowalski

Of equal importance, unlike prior studies which simply compared pre-Obamacare premiums in 2013 to actual premiums offered on Exchanges in 2014, this new study isolates the causal impact of Obamacare statistically by using trend data in each state to figure out what non-group premiums in 2014 would have been in the absence of Obamacare. Thus, critics could dismiss many other so-called “pre-/post” studies by effectively saying “Well, premiums in the non-group have always gone up by a large amount, so what’s happening under Obamacare is no different.”  Such criticisms cannot be levied at this study. All of the percentage changes shown in the chart below represent the net change attributable to Obamacare after accounting for all the other factors that would have made premiums go up.[1]

Clearly, the adverse impact of Obamacare on non-group premiums varies sizably across states. The law is estimated to result in lower premiums in only 6 states. However, it should be noted that while the author presented premium estimates for California and New Jersey, the data for these two states is incomplete due to anomalous data reporting requirements. Thus, the large estimated premium decline of 37.5% in New Jersey likely would be different were full data available, but there is no way of telling by how much.

What is disturbing is to see premium increases in excess of 35% in 9 states, including some of the nation’s largest states (Florida and Texas). Remember, these are increases above and beyond normal premium trends.  No one can credibly claim that these massive premium increases would have happened anyway since the study was specifically designed to isolate the law’s impacts from all the other factors that have driven up premiums in recent years.

Taxpayers Will Pay About 24% More for Exchange Subsidies Due to Obamacare-induced Premium Increases

Of course, Obamacare enthusiasts will argue that I’m ignoring all the subsidies provided to Exchange members. It’s certainly true that for those lucky enough to qualify for such subsidies, the typical size of a subsidy in any given state would have been sufficient to protect such individuals from the premium increases shown in the chart above.  But that ignores the fact that out of an estimated 13.2 million people covered in the non-group market in second quarter 2014 (Kowalski’s estimate), only about 7 million qualified for subsidies.[2]  Thus, there were 6.2 million in the non-group market who had to absorb these premium increases without the benefit of any help from Uncle Sam.

Moreover, the fact that federal taxpayers were handed the privilege of having to offset such premium increases using their hard-earned tax dollars should in no way obscure the reality that Obamacare caused premiums to rise in the first place. Higher premiums are not what was promised when the law was enacted. Of equal importance, such subsidies represent a transfer that does not improve the welfare of the nation as a whole. A dollar given to an Exchange member to offset these higher premiums is simply a dollar taken out of the pocket of another American taxpayer. Indeed, had premiums not risen in the first place, the amount of subsidies required on the Exchanges could have been roughly 24% lower.  Increasing the tab that taxpayers had to pay for such subsidies by roughly one fourth certainly in no way increased the nation’s welfare.

In short, it is harder and harder for champions of Obamacare to ignore the plain truth that this misguided law has increased premiums in the non-group market, a burden borne by millions who have to buy coverage in that market without the benefit of taxpayer subsidies and by the taxpayers who must bankroll subsidies for those who qualify.  As I’ve demonstrated repeatedly, this law creates many more losers than winners. The many millions in the non-group market who are having to pay higher premiums due to Obamacare are just one slice of a much larger pool of losers. But until this increasingly incontestable reality are acknowledged by the law’s supporters there is no prospect of changing a law that continues (quite sensibly) to be opposed by the majority of Americans.

obama

DCG

Autopsy of Mike Brown shows he did not have his hands up when shot

Turns out Ferguson cop Darren Wilson is right:

  • Michael Brown did NOT have his hands up when Wilson shot him, as some purported eyewitnesses had claimed.
  • Brown did struggle with Wilson in the cop’s car.
  • Brown was lunging at Wilson.

Color me surprised. Not!

Michael Brown (l); Darren Wilson (r)

Michael Brown (l); Darren Wilson (r)

Christine Byers reports for St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Oct. 22, 2014:

The official autopsy on Michael Brown shows that he was shot in the hand at close range, according to an analysis of the findings by two experts not involved directly in the case.

The accompanying toxicology report shows he had been using marijuana.

Those documents, prepared by the St. Louis County medical examiner and obtained by the Post-Dispatch, provide the most detailed description to date of the wounds Brown sustained in a confrontation Aug. 9 with Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.

A source with knowledge of Wilson’s statements said the officer had told investigators that Brown had struggled for Wilson’s pistol inside a police SUV and that Wilson had fired the gun twice, hitting Brown once in the hand. Later, Wilson fired additional shots that killed Brown and ignited a national controversy.

The St. Louis medical examiner, Dr. Michael Graham, who is not part of the official investigation, reviewed the autopsy report for the newspaper. He said Tuesday that it “does support that there was a significant altercation at the car.

Graham said the examination indicated a shot traveled from the tip of Brown’s right thumb toward his wrist. The official report notes an absence of stippling, powder burns around a wound that indicate a shot fired at relatively short range.

But Graham said, “Sometimes when it’s really close, such as within an inch or so, there is no stipple, just smoke.”

The report on a supplemental microscopic exam of tissue from the thumb wound showed foreign matter “consistent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm.”

Dr. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco, said the autopsy “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.” She added, “If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.

Sources told the Post-Dispatch that Brown’s blood had been found on Wilson’s gun.

Melinek also said the autopsy did not support witnesses who have claimed Brown was shot while running away from Wilson, or with his hands up.

She said Brown was facing Wilson when Brown took a shot to the forehead, two shots to the chest and a shot to the upper right arm. The wound to the top of Brown’s head would indicate he was falling forward or in a lunging position toward the shooter; the shot was instantly fatal.

A sixth shot that hit the forearm traveled from the back of the arm to the inner arm, which means Brown’s palms could not have been facing Wilson, as some witnesses have said, Melinek said. That trajectory shows Brown probably was not taking a standard surrender position with arms above the shoulders and palms out when he was hit, she said.

The county medical examiner, Dr. Mary Case, could not be reached. The assistant who performed the autopsy, Dr. Gershom Norfleet, relayed word that he would not comment. [Both must be terrified of being accused of racism. ~Eowyn]

That post mortem, conducted the morning after Brown’s death, comports in most ways with the findings of a private autopsy arranged by Brown’s family and made public Aug. 18.

In that one, Dr. Michael M. Baden, a nationally known forensic pathologist, said none of Brown’s wounds appeared to have been from shots fired at close range.

Baden noted then that there was no gunshot residue on the body, so it appeared to him that the muzzle of the weapon was at least one or two feet away. He said, “It could have been 30 feet away.”

A third autopsy was ordered by federal officials as part of their separate investigation of the shooting. Results of that one have not been revealed.

The county and private autopsies agree on the number and location of the wounds.

The official autopsy also confirmed that tissue from Brown was found on the exterior of the driver’s side of Wilson’s vehicle.

“Someone got an injury that tore off skin and left it on the car,” Graham said. “That fits with everything else that came out. There’s blood in the car, now skin on the car, that shows something happened right there.

The toxicology test, performed by a St. Louis University laboratory, revealed tetrahydrocannabinol, THC for short, in Brown’s blood and urine.

Alfred Staubus, a consultant in forensic toxicology at the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, said that THC could impair judgment or slow reaction times but that there was no reliable measurement to make those conclusions.

States that have legalized marijuana have struggled with the issue of how to measure impairment.

“The detection of THC in the postmortem blood of Michael Brown really indicates his recent use of marijuana (within a few hours) and that he may or may not have been impaired at the time of his death,” Staubus wrote in an email.

***********

So, with these results from the official autopsy, will blacks in Missouri go on a rampage, as some have threatened?

~Eowyn

“I Could Work If I Wanted to…”

I found the following at http://adrianvance.blogspot.com/?view=classic

A Ford dealer reports: Tom Selkis’ (Latham Ford) Facebook – True story recently at the dealership.

“One of my salesmen had a woman in his office yesterday wanting to lease a brand new Focus. As he was reviewing her credit application with her he noticed she was on social security disability.

He said to her you don’t look like you’re disabled and unable to work. She said, “Well I’m really not. I could work if I wanted to, but I make more now than I did when I was working and got hurt.” (A non-disabling injury).

She said the government sends her $1500.00 a month disability check. And, she gets $700.00 a month on an EBT card (food stamps), plus $800.00 a month for rent.”

In addition a free cell phone and 250 minutes free on her phone, per month
It all adds up to $3500.00 a month.

When she was working, she was taking home about $330.00 per week, $1,320 per month. Do the math and then ask yourself why the Hell should she ever go back to work?

If you multiply that by millions of people, you realize the scope of the real problem we face as a country. Putting people out of work breeds socialists!

When the socialists have 51% of the population in that same scenario, we are finished and they are getting their fast if they have not achieved it already. This is the Obama Plan.

We have 92.6 million people not working from a potential work force of 180 million, 51.4% unemployed. We have crossed the threshold to permanent socialism unless the Republicans convince the people that working offers opportunity for much more. but they seem to only want to imitate Democrats with their versions of the same programs!

When there are not enough people working to support these people what happens? Riots? Civil War for “benefits.” Be prepared to protect your homes and especially any stored food.

She didn’t lease the Focus because the dealer down the road beat our deal by $10.00/month.

Glad to know she is so frugal with our hard earned money.”

Submitted by James and Shirley Howard, Edited by Adrian Vance

Dozens of Obama’s sons & daughters brawl at AZ State Fair

In his brilliant bestseller on evil, People of the Lie, the late psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, M.D., wrote that we can’t hope to cure a disease if we refuse to name it.

Once again, however, America’s pusillanimous media cower from naming the disease by refusing to report the truth.

This time, it is a “brawl” at the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix.

And as in so many similar brawls, flash mobs, knock-out games race riots, the media use the coy euphemism of “teens” in place of “blacks” — a fact that you can see with your own eyes in these screen shots I took from the 3TV news video.

AZ state fair riot1AZ state fair riot2AZ state fair3AZ state fair4AZ state fair5

Karen Brown reports for 3TV that more than two dozen teens were arrested after a large fight on the first night of the Arizona State Fair, Oct. 10, 2014.

Police say as many as 60 “teens” from the same neighborhood were involved in the fight. The “teens” even began fighting with police officers who stepped in.

An adult woman was seen kicking and hitting a police officer. She was one of two adults arrested.

The fight continued several blocks from the fairgrounds, located at 19th Avenue and McDowell Road.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety said that 35 “teens” were arrested and released to their parents.

About 75 officers from multiple agencies were assigned to the state fair.
“To prevent this from happening again, we’re gonna have a stronger presence here, said Maj. Ken Hunter with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. “At the gate, there will be more aggressive searches and we will be very visible throughout the rest of the fair.”

See also:

~Eowyn

U.S. official says Army’s industrial base in “death spiral”

Dr. Eowyn:

The U.S. Army’s assistant secretary for acquisition, logistics and technology is sounding the alarm that our military readiness is severely compromised by sharp reductions in research, development and acquisition spending.

But Obama instead is throwing open America’s doors to illegals from Central America and, reportedly, plans to import foreign Ebola patients.

Does anyone still doubt this president’s agenda is the destruction of America?

Originally posted on Consortium of Defense Analysts:

The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) is a private, non-profit educational organization that represents America’s soldiers and supports the U.S. Army – Active, National Guard, Reserve, civilians, retirees, government civilians, wounded warriors, veterans, and family members.

Stew Magnuson reports for National Defense that on Oct. 15, 2014, the final day of the AUSA’s annual conference in Washington, DC, a panel of officials, industry leaders and academics spelled out all the problems with the U.S. armed services’s research, development and acquisition enterprise.

The panel’s moderator asked at what point will Army readiness be compromised by sharp reductions in research, development and acquisition spending.

Heidi Shyu

Heidi Shyu

Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and TechnologyHeidi Shyu replied, “We are already at that point” and that the Army-owned manufacturing facilities are in a “death spiral.”

Shyu said R&D and acquisition accounts have dropped twice as fast as the Army…

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Voting Guide for 2014-2016 Elections

This is all you need!

2014 election voting guide

H/t Robert K. Wilcox

~Eowyn