THELMA AND LOUISE ENDORSE TRUMP

In today’s American Spectator, I ask why Ann Coulter and Sarah Palin are encouraging GOP primary voters to drive their party off a cliff by supporting the braying billionaire:

Four years ago, I called the GOP “The Thelma and Louise Party” because its primary voters were determined to nominate a presidential candidate who couldn’t possibly win the general election. The weirdest thing about Romney’s doomed candidacy was the support he received from people like Ann Coulter, who had spent years vehemently denouncing such transparent RINOs. This year, Coulter supports another RINO who can’t win—Donald Trump. Now, Sarah Palin has endorsed this sure loser.

Coulter and Palin have thus become the Thelma and Louise of the Republican Party.

Why would these erstwhile scourges of RINOs everywhere endorse a candidate who bills himself as an outsider determined shake up the Republican establishment, yet is so desperate to win the Iowa caucuses that he pathetically panders to the state’s ethanol lobby? Even Rush Limbaugh, who has been supportive of Trump, has pointed out that his position on this issue exposes him as a cynical fraud.

To extend the Thelma and Louise metaphor, Trump is the corollary to “JD,” the sociopathic grifter who “has his way” with Thelma and leaves the two women broke and desperate.

Will Coulter and Palin help Trump to do the same thing to the GOP? To read the rest of the column, click here.

OBAMACARE TIGHTENS YOKE ON SMALL BUSINESS

In today’s American Spectator I discuss the latest burden placed on small businesses by the hilariously titled “Affordable Care Act.” This may be the dumbest provision in the law, and that’s a high bar to get over.

One of the worst of Obamacare’s ill-conceived provisions went quietly into effect on January 1. The employer mandate, previously inflicted only on businesses with 100 or more employees, will now be imposed on those with as few as 50. This mandate will prevent countless small employers from hiring workers they would otherwise have hired and incentivize many others to replace full-time employees with part-timers.

It is such an obvious job killer that the Obama administration delayed enforcement until after the 2014 midterms, the liberal Urban Institute has called for its repeal, and it has even been obliquely criticized by Hillary.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

THE DONALD AND THE DAMAGE DONE

In today’s American Spectator I discuss why the “news” media have given Trump more free coverage than all the other GOP candidates combined:

The left has long depicted the typical Republican as a white, racist, misogynist male with a big bank balance and a small brain. This is a caricature, of course, but the current election cycle has produced an ostensible GOP presidential candidate who personifies the parody so closely that he may as well have been constructed in a laboratory by the Democratic National Committee.

Donald Trump is the cartoon Republican that Hillary Clinton and her media lackeys want to run against in 2016 and they are working hard to assure that his florid, frowning visage becomes the face of the GOP.

As Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight notes, “Trump has received 54 percent of the media coverage of the GOP primary.” He has been getting more free press than all the other Republican candidates combined. Trump’s supporters believe this is about his skillful manipulation of the media. In reality, it is they who are being played by a press corps that is giving him 24/7 coverage to bolster his illusory lead in the national polls.

But these polls tell us nothing about the state of the race. Because there’s no such thing as a national primary, they measure little more than name recognition.

To see how this plays into the hands of Hillary Clinton, who is already in general election mode, read the rest of the column here.

OBAMACARE ENDURES LINGCHI

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the economic realities that are catching up with Obamacare. Its morass of perverse incentives are slowly dismembering the thing piece by piece.

Until the 19th century, the Chinese practiced a method of torture called lingchi. Better known as “death by a thousand cuts” it involved slicing small pieces of flesh from a victim’s body, one by one, so that death was both protracted and utterly excruciating. This is what the realities of economics are doing to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The authors of health care “reform” believed they could ignore the dismal science. The laws of economics have rewarded this hubris by ruthlessly inflicting fact after agonizing fact on Obamacare.

Moreover, this is becoming obvious to all but the most obtuse of the law’s apologists. In fact, it has been conceded by strongholds of Obamacare supporters like the Washington Post, the New York Times, and even the Huffington Post. The latter publication, for example, carried a column late last week titled, ‘Why Obamacare Will Fail.’

And, as surprising as it was to find such an article in this notorious purveyor of White House propaganda, it was even more so to discover that its author, Dan Karr, doesn’t blame some dark Republican plot.

Karr writes, “The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will fail for business reasons.” To read the rest of the column, click here.

OCARE GRANT SCANDAL: CONGRESS AWAKES!

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the fact that the House has finally decided to conduct a serious investigation into the billions of unspent Obamacare start-up grants that disappeared into the coffers of Democrat states never to be seen again:

Last April, the HHS Office of Inspector General issued an alert concerning the misuse of Obamacare start-up grants by certain states. Congress yawned. Later, the Obama administration illegally rewrote the law’s limitations on how these funds could be spent. Our elected representatives remained inert. In August, a few Senators bestirred themselves enough to write to the Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning how he planned to recoup grants from failed exchanges. The House still snored.

Even after state skulduggery involving the grants was reported in the Spectator on September 14, and subsequently by other publications, the House slumbered. That body finally received its wake-up call from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

GAO released a report showing that 16 states (all but one secure Democrat strongholds) and the District of Columbia were awarded $4.6 billion in grants to create Obamacare exchanges which cannot account for the vast gulf that exists between the amounts spent on their “marketplaces” and the grant money awarded. Of the $4.6 billion, only about $1.4 billion can be confidently reconciled with specific expenditures. This leaves a gap of $3.2 billion. It gets worse. These 17 exchanges are so far behind in their bookkeeping that every figure reported to the GAO is accompanied by a catalog of caveats.

This finally aroused the House Energy and Commerce Oversight Subcommittee, which has now held a hearing and followed up with document requests to each of the 17 exchanges. To read the rest of the column, click here.

MSM DEPLOYS MEDISCARE AGAINST CARSON

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the latest attempt by the “news” media to take down Ben Carson. This time they’re peddling the preposterous claim that he will “abolish Medicare.”

The partisan press has been desperately seeking some weapon that will destroy the GOP presidential candidate who frightens them the most—Ben Carson. Last month, when they realized Carson had defied expert predictions that he would fade away due to lack of funding and earned coverage, the “news” media went after him with all the racist venom they reserve for black conservatives. That failed. Carson’s rise in the polls has continued unabated and recent surveys suggest that he will beat Donald Trump in the Iowa caucuses.

This has panicked these purported journalists into activating the ultimate Democrat doomsday machine—Mediscare.

Mediscare is, of course, deployed by the Democrat-MSM complex in every election cycle to terrify seniors with the claim that Republicans want to deprive them of health care. It was famously used against Paul Ryan, who proposed a premium support plan to help control Medicare spending. This heresy resulted in a TV ad showing a Ryan-lookalike throwing an old lady off a cliff. It is now being deployed against Carson pursuant to his proposal to gradually transition U.S. health care away from government-run programs.

Carson advocates a system in which every American would have an HSA supplemented by catastrophic coverage, but has never said he would abolish Medicare. To read the rest of the column, click here.

GRANT THEFT OBAMACARE

In the American Spectator I discuss $3.2 billion in Obamacare start-up grants that Democrat-run states never spent and refuse to return to CMS. They have, in effect, stolen this money from the taxpayers.

Between 2010 and 2014, CMS) awarded $4.6 billion in Obamacare start-up grants to 16 Democrat-controlled states and the District of Columbia. $1.4 billion of this taxpayer largesse was spent on exchanges, many of which imploded upon launch or operated so inefficiently that enrollees have been left to the tender mercies of Obamacare.gov. The rest of these states also appear likely to abandon their exchanges in favor of federal ‘marketplaces.’

Yet, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), they have kept all but $1 million of the grants. So, where’s the rest of our money?

What happened to the remaining $3.2 billion in taxpayer-funded grant money remains unknown, despite the valiant efforts of the GAO to solve the mystery. The nonpartisan agency released a report at the end of last month revealing that CMS oversight of the Obamacare grant process has been so inept that it is virtually impossible to gain more than a tenuous grasp on the expenditure amounts, much less where the money actually went.

Have the states been illegally using the money for operations? Have Democrat officials diverted it to their campaign funds? Did state bureaucrats simply steal it and use it buy new houses and cars?

If not, then where the hell is it? To read the rest of the colum, click here.

WHY CARSON SCARES THE MEDIA

c2

In today’s American Spectator I discuss the real reason the “news” media decided to lynch Ben Carson. It has nothing to do with Islam, guns or Nazi analogies:

The media, having failed to stop Ben Carson’s steady rise in popularity by treating him like Ralph Ellison’s “invisible man,” are now going nuclear on him. The number of press attacks launched on Carson has recently increased exponentially. And, significantly, the barrage has been far more vicious than any criticism directed at Donald Trump or the other GOP presidential aspirants. The GQ assault titled “F*ck Ben Carson” is only exceptional for its vulgarity. Countless columns, articles, broadcasts and blog posts have portrayed him as “stupid,” “insane,” and even “racist.”

The media clearly fear Carson more than the other Republicans. Why? The answer is in the latest polls of registered voters.

It’s not just that Carson has closed the gap on DonWhat really scares the media is that, in hypothetical general election match-ups, Carson consistently beats the probable Democrat nominee—Hillary Clinton. According to Real Clear Politics, most surveys of registered voters conducted since the beginning of September show Clinton losing to Carson in the general election. One shows Carson winning by 7 points. The opposite is true for Trump. Most polls covering the same time period show Clinton beating “the Donald” with ease.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

THE CARSON CURE FOR OBAMACARE

c1a

In today’s American Spectator I discuss why Ben Carson is the only leading candidate for the GOP presidential nomination who has the credibility and the commitment to cut this tumor out of the body politic:

Obamacare’s survival is not a given, despite claims by the Democrats and their media allies … Most Americans still disapprove of it, and many of the law’s provisions are unpopular even with important Democrat constituencies … Yet, only one of the three leading candidates for the GOP presidential nomination has both the credibility and a serious commitment to getting rid of Obamacare — Ben Carson.

What about Trump and Fiorina?

Donald Trump, who leads the GOP race according to the RCP polling average, favors single-payer. Until recently, Carly Fiorina supported the hated individual mandate. Only Carson has been consistently and vehemently opposed to the law: In 2013 he compared it to slavery: ‘It was never about health care. It was about control.’

This wasn’t bluster from a career politician. Carson is a neurosurgeon with intimate knowledge of our health care system. To read the rest of the column, click here.

OBAMACARE’S BLUE STATE MONEY LAUNDRY

Slavitt

In the American Spectator, I discuss the apparent intention of the Obama administration to create Democrat slush funds by laundering federal grant money through state-based exchanges.

When Maryland’s Attorney General announced last summer that his office had negotiated a settlement whereby $45 million would be recouped from the IT contractor that botched the state’s Obamacare exchange, it was widely reported as good news for taxpayers. It appeared that their investment in the mismanaged project would not be a dead loss. But the AG’s statement included this curious passage: “The agreement… will lead to the recovery of funds for both Maryland and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS].”

What’s so odd about that? Well, the state didn’t contribute any money to the project.

All of the money used to build the failed exchange, as well as its hastily constructed replacement, came from federal start-up grants. Maryland received more than $179 million in such grants. About $73 million was paid to the original contractor, Noridian Healthcare Solutions, and another $41 million was paid to the firm that cleaned up the mess. Yet, according to the Maryland AG’s office, the state is in negotiations with CMS concerning how the $45 million will be divided.

But why would Maryland receive any part of the settlement if all the money used to build and repair the exchange came from Washington? This very question, as it happens, occurred to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch when he got wind of the Maryland deal.

To read the rest of the column, click here.