THE INCOMPETENCE VIRUS

In today’s American Spectator I point out that Obama administration bungling on Ebola is part of a five-year pattern that points to a single, unavoidable diagnosis—incompetence.

The folks at Media Matters for America are angry at the press. In a sublimely ironic post, Eric Boehlert fumes, “As Republicans seek to gain a partisan advantage by ginning up fear about the Ebola virus … they’re getting a major assist from the news media.” Boehlert believes that media coverage of Ebola has abetted the GOP’s low designs by creating the “unfair” impression that the Obama administration is somehow incompetent.

Presumably, this indictment includes notorious right wing rags like the New York Times, which recently published an op-ed by Joe Nocera that points out the obvious:

“When you think about it, many of the Obama administration’s ‘scandals’ have been failures of competence.” Unlike Boehlert, Nocera recalls the bungled rollout of Obamacare, the neglect of patients by the Veterans Medical Healthcare System, and sees their connection to the mismanagement of the Ebola mess by the Centers for Disease Control: “The Ebola outbreak is not exactly enhancing the CDC’s reputation for competence.”

Nocera has a gift for understatement. To read the rest of the column, click here:

WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH MILTON WOLF?

In today’s American Spectator I discuss the potentially disastrous effect of a defeated Tea Partier’s refusal to endorse the winner of the Kansas Senate primary and thus focus Sunflower State conservatives on their main task—defeating Democrat-in-disguise Greg Orman:

It has occasionally been claimed that the Civil War began not at Fort Sumter in South Carolina but on the banks of a small creek in Kansas, where John Brown and his sons murdered five men in what later became known as the “Pottawatomie massacre.” Today, a less grisly civil war is being fought throughout that state between disgruntled supporters of Tea Party candidate Milton Wolf and “establishment” Republicans working to reelect Senator Pat Roberts, who defeated Wolf in a hard fought GOP primary.

This internecine conflict may well prevent the Republicans from regaining a majority in the U.S. Senate.

Although Roberts has a 96 percent rating from the American Conservative Union, many of Wolf’s supporters inexplicably claim he’s a RINO and threaten to sit out the election. This wouldn’t be particularly important if Roberts enjoyed a substantial lead over his main rival. However, due to some clever courthouse skullduggery whereby the Democrats forced their original Senate nominee to drop out of the race and threw their support behind ostensible “Independent” Greg Orman, Roberts is in the fight of his political life.

Thus, he needs the support of Tea Partiers as well as party regulars. Wolf, however, refuses to endorse Roberts or encourage his supporters to vote for him. To read the rest of the column, click here.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WINNERS AND WHINERS

In today’s American Spectator, I point out that it would be suicidal for conservatives to sit out the November midterms simply because their favorite candidates lost to “establishment Republicans” in the primaries:

Democrats think conservatives in general, and Tea Partiers in particular, are stupid. Here’s how to reinforce that belief: Sit out the 2014 congressional elections because your favorite candidate lost his primary bid to an establishment Republican.

That’ll show those RINOs! Sit home and whine.

If you live in Kansas, for example, you can suck your thumb while Democrat ringer Greg Orman beats Republican Senator Pat Roberts. If you’re a Kentucky conservative, you can stay home and b***h about Mitch while Alison “Rubberstamp” Grimes heads to Washington. If you’re in Mississippi, you can stay mad at Thad and allow Travis “no repeal” Childers to win.

There is no surer way to keep Harry Reid in power. To read the rest of the column, click here.

OBAMACARE ARCHITECT FINDS CURE FOR OLD AGE

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss Ezekiel Emanuel’s (phony) claim in The Atlantic that he wants to die at 75. This character is a longtime advocate of health care rationing for the elderly, and it’s blindingly obvious that he’s talking about us rather than himself:

In his Atlantic piece, he attempts to convince us that he is willing to make the same sacrifice that he advocates for the rest of us. Oddly enough, though, Emanuel concludes his article with the following caveat: ‘I retain the right to change my mind.’

When rationing begins, however, few seniors will have that choice.

Like most policy ‘experts’ who support rationing, Dr. Emanuel is a man of independent means. If, at age 75, he is diagnosed with some serious disease whose treatment isn’t paid for by his government coverage, he can simply write a check.

Most of America’s seniors are not quite so affluent. They are predominantly retired working people whose earnings were skimmed every payday in order to keep Medicare solvent. This is why the public overwhelmingly rejects rationing.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

BUREAUCRATS HAVE REVIVED END-OF-LIFE COUNSELING

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the latest attempt by the Obama administration to foist “end-of-life counseling” on vulnerable seniors:

Remember the controversial provision of Obamacare that would have paid physicians extra money to provide “end-of-life counseling” to seniors whose conditions required expensive medical care? That feature of “reform” caused such a public outcry that the Democrats had to drop it from the final legislation … Well, they’re at it again.

The NYT reports, “Medicare may begin covering end-of-life discussions … if it approves a recent request from the American Medical Association.”

What we have is an alleged physician association with a transparent conflict of interest providing a convenient pretext for an administration that has long wanted to ration health care to the elderly. And that, if it’s not obvious, is where all this is going.

President Obama and his CMS minions believe they can control Medicare spending by denying health care to the most vulnerable of our citizens.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

OBAMACARE ISN’T GOING AWAY AS A CAMPAIGN ISSUE

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the latest attempt by the “news” media to neutralize the damage Obamacare will do to the Democrats in the November midterms:

The Los Angeles Times assisted in the launch of this propaganda campaign early this month with a piece titled, “Obamacare loses some of its campaign punch for Republicans.” The evidence provided … in support of this claim consists primarily of a July study involving GOP advertising: “The percentage of broadcast television ads focused on Obamacare dipped in the spring, according to a study conducted by Kantar Media/CMAG.”

This unremarkable fact has since been gleefully reported by countless “news” outlets as if it constitutes a tectonic shift in the dynamics of the midterm election cycle.

The Washington Post parroted the party line thus: “Obamacare disappearing as major issue.” Salon breathlessly announced, “GOP surrenders on Obamacare.” Bloomberg chimed in with a piece titled, “Obamacare Losing Power as Campaign Weapon in Ad Battles.” The latter provides a helpful quote from a doubtlessly objective political science professor … who opines that Obamacare “isn’t the kind of issue it was.”

The voters didn’t get that memo. They revile the health care law more than ever. To read the rest of the column, click here.

TAVENNER ORDERED CMS SPOKESPERSON TO DELETE INCRIMINATING EMAILS

Last Monday I wrote a column in the American Spectator about Marilyn Tavenner’s convenient inability to produce some emails that had been subpoenaed by congressional investigators. The story was that she had inadvertently deleted them. Well, it would appear that the lady was lying like a carpet:

House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner regarding a document uncovered by the committee in which Tavenner instructs the top CMS spokesperson to delete an email exchange between CMS, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the White House.

She was actually dumb enough to put it in writing. And, remember, this is the woman who oversees the “Sunshine Act,” a provision of Obamacare that will allegedly keep your doctor honest. But hey, it takes a thief to catch a thief …. Right? As House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton put it:

Right on cue, when the going gets tough, the Obama administration proclaims it can’t find the documents. Time and again, the self proclaimed ‘most transparent administration’ has been anything but. And now we know that when HealthCare.gov was crashing, those in charge were hitting the delete button behind the scenes. What was the Obama administration trying to hide?

Hmm … That they’re incompetent, dishonest, arrogant? You pick your own adjective, but it’s pretty clear that we need to get to the polls in November and get rid of this criminal regime’s enablers in the Senate. The GOP is nothing to write home about, but at least they aren’t out-and-out crooks.

TAVENNER: TRANSPARENCY FOR THEE BUT NOT FOR ME

In today’s American Spectator, I discuss the ironic fact that the latest Obama administration official to delete emails subpoenaed by Congress oversees Obamacare’s physician transparency program:

It has been widely reported that the latest Obama administration official to delete emails requested by congressional investigators is Marilyn Tavenner, who runs the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Far less coverage, however, has been devoted to the ironic fact that Tavenner’s agency administers the Physician Payment Sunshine Act … In other words, the very bureaucrat whose emails have conveniently gone missing oversees the agency tasked with keeping your doctor and his business associates honest.

The Sunshine Act requires manufacturers of drugs and other medical products to report anything worth more than $10.00 that they have given a physician.

If a software vendor takes your doctor out to lunch and buys him a steak, it must be reported on the CMS “Open Payments” website. Failure to do so can result in penalties of up to $1 million. And Tavenner has by no means played a passive role in the implementation of this Byzantine statute. Late last year, ignoring the law’s explicit exemption of medical textbooks and peer-reviewed journals, she issued an imperial decree to the effect that all such materials “must be reported either as ‘education’ or a ‘gift.’”

Tavenner’s high handed behavior regarding the Sunshine Act combined with the deletion of her emails suggests that she applies a different standard of honesty to herself than she imposes on the hoi polloi.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

DID BEN NELSON DOOM OBAMACARE?

In today’s American Spectator I discuss an interesting aspect of Halbig v. Burwell, the lawsuit that may kill Obamacare in 36 states.

During the oral arguments that preceded the recent appeals court ruling against the Obama administration in Halbig v. Burwell, an under-reported yet crucial discussion took place between two of the judges and counsel for the plaintiffs. Judge Harry T. Edwards pronounced himself confused as to why Congress would have concerned itself with what entity ultimately set up Obamacare’s insurance exchanges.

Judge A. Raymond Randolph and attorney Michael A. Carvin did their best to enlighten the befuddled jurist:

JUDGE EDWARDS: I’m trying to understand … who cares who sets up the exchange?

JUDGE RANDOLPH: Ben Nelson …

MR. CARVIN: The enactors of the law …

JUDGE RANDOLPH: Ben Nelson cared.

JUDGE EDWARDS: Who cares?

JUDGE RANDOLPH: Ben Nelson.

MR. CARVIN: They couldn’t get to 60… Ben Nelson said we are not going to have a Federally run exchange, we are going to implement basic principles of federalism and the states are going to run those exchanges or I don’t vote for it and it doesn’t get passed.

Is this the first time you’ve read about Nelson’s misgivings? Well, it would appear that you’re not alone.

To read the rest of the column, click here.

OBAMACARE’S PROGNOSIS WORSENS

In today’s American Spectator I discuss why Obamacare is likely to go the way of the McCain-Feingold “reform” law.

A while back, I suggested in this space that Obamacare might go the way of McCain Feingold. That campaign finance “reform” law was not, you will recall, killed by a single lawsuit or act of Congress. Indeed, the general consensus at the end of 2003 was that McCain Feingold was in perfect health. Less than seven years later it was, for all intents and purposes, dead. It had succumbed to a long series of attacks by determined opponents who were convinced that it was unconstitutional. Much the same thing is obviously happening to PPACA.

It took more than 6 years to kill McCain’s assault on the 1st Amendment. Obamacare may not last that long.

To read the rest of the column, click here.