Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Liberal marketing gurus here in Colorado are masters of Obamacare distraction. While customers struggle to apply through the still-broken health insurance exchange and consumers grapple with cancellation notices, these hipster ad designers are partying it up. Who cares about the insurance market meltdown? They've got keg stands and one-night stands!

The "Got Insurance?" campaign is the lame brainchild of two "progressive" outfits with dubious nonprofit status: ProgressNow and the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative. Their previous claim to fame: a "Thanks, Obamacare" social media movement to propagandize praise and gratitude for the federal mandate.

Modeled after the "Got Milk?" ads, the latest print and web promos pander to young people with pop-culture memes and entitlement-friendly appeals. The dumbed-down website address: Last month, while federal and state Obamacare exchange sites 404'ed, the Colorado marketing buffoons LOL'ed. Their "Brosurance" ads featured frat boys with red solo cups guzzling beer, playing golf and celebrating government with a "Thanks, Obamacare!" smile.

ProgressNow's Alan Franklin boasted about his coverage. Media coverage, that is: "Within the first few weeks, 'Brosurance' has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, CNN, MSNBC, Conan O'Brien, Bill Maher and Roll Call, as well as the front page of Buzzfeed and Jezebel, just to name a few. Just in the first 24 hours of the campaign's launch alone, #Brosurance was mentioned more than six million times on Twitter, and #GotInsurance more than 1.7 million times. Yes. The ads went viral." Priorities.

On Tuesday, the groups launched phase two of their Obamacare bread and circuses. Aimed at young women, the ads show party gals with shot glasses lined up on a ski; "Hey, Girl" gags involving a cutout of actor Ryan Gosling; and the Sandra Fluke-inspired promo featuring birth control-wielding "Susie" and her "hot to trot" date, Nate. The caption reads:

"Let's Get Physical. OMG, he's hot! Let's hope he's as easy to get as this birth control. My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers. I got insurance. Now you can, too."

It's bad enough that these idiocracy-targeted ads reduce young people to perpetually partying boozers and traffic-bait boobs. But what's truly toxic is the ad campaign's cynical feint to draw attention away from Obamacare's undeniable harm to responsible young people. Brosurance and Hosurance are trifling distractions from the federal law's Nosurance consequences. Insurers started dropping child-only plans in Colorado, California, Ohio and Missouri in 2010 thanks to Obamacare-induced premium increases. Colleges across the country have canceled low-cost plans for students because of Obamacare rules. Thanks to the Obamacare mandate, young, healthy Americans face higher insurance premiums, decreased work hours and perverse incentives to enroll in Medicaid instead of remaining independent and off the dole.

Meanwhile back in Colorado, the state Division of Insurance reports that 250,000 people here have lost their insurance policies in the past few months. And while the "bros and hos" circus masters urge young people to sign up "easily" on the state exchange, the overseers of the $200 million program are singing a different tune. Last week, IT expert and Colorado health insurance exchange board member Nathan Wilkes blasted the process as "painful," "odious" and "embarrassing."

That's an apt description of the ruinous policies, clown implementation and moronic marketing of all aspects of Obamacare. Sober up, young America. The "Affordable Care Act" is the progressives' wealth redistribution party from hell -- and you're paying for it.

Crack, Lies And Videotape

by / Personal Liberty Digest
Crack, Lies And Videotape

“Lyndon Johnson is a politician. You know the ethics those guys have. It’s like a notch underneath child molester.” — Woody Allen as Alvy Singer in the 1977 Academy Award-winning film “Annie Hall”

I remember growing up and learning about “Honest Abe” Lincoln and George Washington, who, according to my teacher, said: “I cannot tell a lie; I did it with my little hatchet.”

Times certainly have changed, because lying is all politicians do these days. Finding a successful and truthful politician is like finding a reputable lawyer.

I have no choice but to apologize to President Barack Obama for last week’s column, The Liar King. I said that Obama’s gift for lying had made him a terrible President. This past week, I have had an epiphany:

Obama’s gift at lying has made him the consummate politician and, in time, will make him a beloved former President (not to me or most of you of course, but just wait and see how many schools, bridges and roads get named after him).

I came to my senses last week when it was revealed that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has totally lost his.

It was a Canadian story back in May. It was said that Ford, mayor of the fourth-largest city in North America with an economy equal to the size of Sweden’s, had been caught on video smoking crack cocaine. The popular mayor said it was all made up by the media and that he had never, ever smoked crack.

It became an international story and the centerpiece of late-night comedians when this month the Toronto chief of police announced that his department had come into possession of the video, which clearly showed the mayor was smoking crack cocaine in a glass pipe.

To counter that charge, Ford said he was going to come “clean” and that, yes, in fact, he was smoking crack in the video.

“Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine,” Ford told reporters last week, offering an honest explanation, “probably in one of my drunken stupors.”

You might think the mayor would be pulled down the steps of city hall, tarred, feathered and run out on a rail. To the contrary, his poll numbers actually soared by five points from a 39 percent to a 44 percent approval rating. I wish I were clever enough to make up this kind of story, but I am not.

The inclination is to think that if people like you more because you admit to smoking crack, they, too, are probably all smoking crack. But I can tell you Toronto is a world-class city. Like all big cities, it has a crack problem; it is just that theirs is in the seat of power at City Hall. And people don’t seem to care that not only is the mayor a drunk and a drug user but that he is also a liar. In fact, he is heavily favored to win his re-election bid. Stupid Canadians, hey? I won’t argue that, but just how much smarter are people south of the 49th parallel?

Bill Clinton lied under oath. To this day I cannot believe that he was not removed from office because of that. Republican or Democrat, lying under oath is perjury. (And I’ve checked; there is no fine print in the law that says the law does not apply if it is about sex.)

It is so hard to choose favorites. I mean, there is former Vice-Presidential candidate John Edwards. It is true that he was a special case and not forgiven, but that was mostly because his dying wife did not forgive him. If she had not been ill and she had done a Hillary Clinton, I am sure Edwards would be in political office. Who knows? He might have had a successful presidential run in 2016.

And who can forget Mark Sanford? You might think voters would have told the Governor of South Carolina to take a hike after he lied about his hike and simply disappeared for six days back in June 2009. Instead, he was elected to Congress in a special election six months ago.

What Sanford did was a tad worse than calling in sick. He told his staff that he would be walking along the Appalachian Trail. He ignored 15 phone calls from his chief of staff and did not call his four sons on Father’s Day.

While his security detail was running around looking for the Governor afraid he had fallen off a cliff, Sanford was busy wining and dining his girlfriend in Argentina on a secret trip he took using public funds. As you might imagine, the now former Mrs. Sanford didn’t like being lied to. Yet people of South Carolina seem to have forgiven Sanford given that his girlfriend — Maria Belen Chapur, with a degree in “international relations” — is according to Sanford, his “soul mate.” Maybe it is because the public no longer minds electing cheats and liars that Sanford’s indiscretion has been swept under the rug.

This brings me back to Bill Clinton, a man whose dying ambition is to serve as President or at least co-President for another eight years. Given Hillary’s whirlwind California tour this past weekend, Bill may very well get his wish.

During his 1992 Presidential bid, Hillary told “60 Minutes,” “If you elect Bill, you get me.” It will be vice versa. If Hillary and Bill manage to win the Presidency in four years, it will be upon the back of one lie after another. And who will we have to blame for that? No one but ourselves.

As H.L. Mencken said, “People deserve the government they get, and they deserve to get it good and hard.”

But how could an honest politician — if even one still existed — become President of the United States? It is impossible, because he would have to admit to truths very few people want to consider, such as the truth that the national debt has soared so far out of control that massive spending cuts must be made, the truth that America’s military is stretched beyond its limits and the United States can no longer afford to be the world’s beat cop, or  this whopper of a truth: that the U.S. dollar is in jeopardy of collapsing because paying bills has come down to nothing more than the Federal Reserve’s acting worse than a Latin dictator.

If a potential candidate even hinted at these truths, the Dow Jones industrial average would fall by more than 1,000 points in less than an hour. It’s far better to fill up people with lies and, once caught, deep apologies. It’s far better to smoke the crack and then let people swallow the opiate for the masses — important issues of the day such as whether Bruce Jenner is keeping up with the Kardashians? Or who is the favorite to win the Super Bowl? Or this one, which has the attention of millions of people: What is the true relationship between Miami Dolphin players Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito? Along the way, we will get other stories from the press like how one politician after another lied to us and how they are now truly sorry plus how they are getting help with their problems. What we need to figure out is that it is these politicians that are the problem.

Yours in good times and bad.
Time For Triangulation
Published on 

Polls show that a majority of all voters would like to see every incumbent defeated -- including their own members of the House and Senate.

Sobering news indeed.

The reason, in my view, is that the politicians are out of step with the electorate. While voters are crying for pragmatism, they get only ideology. When the electorate wants negotiation, Washington offers only confrontation. At a time when the public cares less than ever about party labels, they seem to count for more and more inside the Beltway.

Let's revisit my theory of triangulation.

At times in our history, voters want polarization to flesh out alternative solutions to new problems and national challenges. Unlike Japan, we use our political process to ask the right and the left what they think. We are impatient with politicians who embrace the conventional wisdom and don't offer new ideas.

At these times, woe be to the politician who does not stand on his principles.

Some recent examples:

• In 1948, when the voters wanted true liberalism, not Thomas Dewey's warmed over modern Republicanism.

• In 1960, when they voted for change and new challenges.

• In 1968, when voters wanted solutions to the war in Vietnam rather than an endless extension of the slaughter.

• In 1976, when they demanded radical change in post-Watergate Washington.

• In 1980, when voters veered sharply to the right.

• In 1984 and 1988, when they rejected the left.

• In 1992, when they wanted new answers to the recession.

• In 2008 and 2012, when voters opted again for the left and rejected the right.

But, because we are not Italy or France, sometimes the debate has run its course, and the voters, like a jury, are ready for a verdict. When that time comes, they are impatient with continued rhetoric and deadlock. They have read the menu of alternatives and are ready to give their order.

Examples include:

• In 1952, when voters opted for internationalism under Ike.

• In 1964, when they had had enough of the civil rights debate and wanted it resolved.

• In 1968, when they voted for an end to the war (never mind what they actually got).

• In 1996, when they grew tired of the debates on welfare, crime, the deficit and other familiar topics and wanted them resolved.

• In 2004, when the country came together in the wake of 9/11 and wanted the anti-terror consensus to prevail.

Now we are at a point where we again want resolution, an end to debate and a melding of polar alternatives.

We have had enough of debate over ObamaCare. We want its problems to be solved and solved quickly. We want politicians to learn from their mistakes, to skip the social engineering and to compromise on what makes sense. Let's end the search for utopia and settle for what works. From the left, take the desire to expand coverage. From the right, take the need to let people keep their policies, and take the bells and whistles out of the required coverage. They don't want mandates or coercion, but they are OK with incentives.

On the deficit and the budget, we have decided that our national debt is strangling our nation and we want it cut. If that means a combination of taxes, cuts and reforms, voters will be for it. From the left, take cuts in loopholes. From the right, take cuts in spending and entitlement reform.

On the economy, voters want an end to excessive regulation, a tempering of the green enthusiasm and a return to pro-growth policies. From the left, take regulation of Wall Street abuses. From the right, take an end to hobbling business with global warming obsessions.

For entitlement reform, eliminate bold plans for rejiggering Medicare or Social Security. But do enact curbs in benefits, including cuts to those given to wealthy people.

In short, heed the advice of Thomas Jefferson: "We are all Federalists. We are all Republicans."