Sunday, April 27, 2014

I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed. – Jonathan Swift

Even Illinoisans are ashamed.

The wickedness has become so obvious, so entrenched and so brazen, that the state that used to take pride in their corruption, because it “worked,” now understands the Faustian bargain they've made.

A Gallup poll reveals that by a wide margin Illinoisans trust their government less than any other state in the union.

According to Gallup only 28% of people from Illinois have a great deal of trust in their government. 

The Land of Lincoln is followed by Rhode Island, Maine, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, California and Maryland-- all of which post numbers from 40% to 49% level of trust by resident.

Residents from small government, pro-market states North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, South Dakota, Nebraska, Texas and Alaska rate their government's highest in terms of trust, posting numbers as high as 79% of residents saying they have a great deal of trust in their government.

And that's not really a coincidence is it?

“Even though Midwesterners are generally more positive about their states,” writes the Chicago Tribune, “Illinois residents are the exception, with 25 percent declaring that it is ‘the worst possible state to live.’ The particularly grim outlook of Illinois residents could be attributed to factors like high-profile scandals and high taxes.”

And it can also be attributed to the fact that the same bozo that is running the country right now, came from Illinois.

Or more succinctly, Chicago. And Chicago is certainly the worst thing that ever happened to Obama, in the same way that Obama is the worst thing that ever happened to Chicago.

So like a lot of stories these days, Chicago works its way in there as a burr buried deep in someone’s hair since the 1960s.

If you are like me, you’re about as tired of my hometown of Chicago as the Detroit Lions are of Soldier Field. You are as tired of being ruled by aging hippies from there—like Hillary Clinton-- as you are of seeing slobbering media try to prop up an administration that deserves no props.

Chicago’s become the punchline behind the joke on the Obama administration in the same way that Monica Lewinsky became the punchline for the joke on Bill Clinton’s administration.

Metaphorically, there’s a great big stain splotching up the frock Chicago’s wearing. And we don’t have to wait for the DNA test to show who the culprits are or what they are up to.

Let me tell you what the history books will say.

The history books will say that these were the days of the last hurrah for the Democrat party machine; they will say that Chicago took a corrupt machine politician, packaged him as the reform candidate, realizing that they either had to export their corruption or die.

"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him," wrote Swift.

And that applies especially to the genius of smaller government.

At a time when technology has given citizens the ability to be better informed, better educated and lead better lives, the dunces are conspiring to take away choices, rather than truly empower citizens.

So far from being truly “progressive”, in any meaningful sense of the word-- as opposed to the ideological sense of the word-- the nation's experiment in Chicago type politics can be seen as reactionary rather than something new, honest and hopeful.

And it’s not just Illinoisans that are paying attention.

Young people are too.

Conservative is becoming counterculture thanks to organic mismanagement, petty opportunism and lies-- the cornerstones on which the liberal freemasonry rests.

We saw that same effect under Jimmy Carter, as counterculture icons like Saturday Night Live helped turn the peanut farmer’s administration into a real life parody of a Saturday Night Live skit.

From there SNL and liberalism had nowhere to go but the mainstream, thereby creating hordes of young people, like me, who looked at liberalism as a swindle, a contrivance and a fraud.

So prepare, my friends, for the next American Century-- a conservative one.

Illinoisans are.

And that says a lot. 
President Obama is doing his victory dance, telling us how his health care plan has become a success because his more than his targeted number (8 million) clicked their desire to have health insurance on a website. We will soon see how many are real policyholders, and later we will see their real costs as everything shakes out with co-pays and renewals next year. What we do know is that Medicaid is a pending disaster waiting to happen.

When the Obamacare registration period started we were regularly hearing about all those new Medicaid sign-ups. Then we did not hear about it. There are a few reasons for that. Some believe it was because some of the sign-ups were actually people who had insurance plans cancelled as part of the Obamacare realignment. Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute told me the Obama Administration had put out a figure (8 million) that was shot down by every source as preposterous. He states the real figure is somewhere between 1.1 million and 1.8 million new sign-ups, and Tanner tells me his source on those numbers is legit. Now the Administration claims the figure is three million new sign-ups, bringing the total Medicaid recipients to 61 million.

So is that a good thing? Since Obamacare was supposedly established to address the now estimated 46 million uninsured Americans and one could presume that some just did not have the resources to pay for their own insurance, the answer would seem to be yes. Until you look at the facts.

Jason Fodeman, a physician and adjunct scholar at The James Madison Institute, did just that. His detailed policy study looked at Medicaid in Florida. Florida may not be a microcosm of the other 49 states, but as the third most populace state it certainly can be perceived as a reasonable indicator. Florida is one of the 21 states that rejected expanding Medicaid with federal tax dollars allegedly picking up 90% of the tab.

Some Governors have been running around stating they are being smart bringing tax dollars back to their states that would be taken by other Governors. There are two problems with their analysis. First, the government is not returning tax dollars to the states to pay for new Medicaid participants. That is because the funds used to cover these transfers are coming from debt financing. It would be different if we had a balanced budget, but anyone taking these additional dollars is helping to build the national debt.

Second, Michael Tanner made a very important point on which we are not focusing. The matching federal dollars at 90% are for new enrollees whose income exceeds the poverty line. Up until the implementation of Obamacare, someone getting Medicaid had to be at or below the poverty line. The new rule is that your income can be up to 138% of the poverty line thus expanding the amount of people eligible for Medicaid. The states have gone out and attracted new enrollees, but many of the new sign-ups are from people who previously were eligible under the old rules. The feds are not picking up 90% of those people and thus the state will get stuck with the tab for those new participants.

As Fodeman points out in his study, Florida is already spending $21 billion a year on Medicaid. The rate of growth in the cost of the program over the last 12 years has been five times faster than general revenues have grown and currently eats up 30% of the Florida budget. What Fodeman does not point out is that it is quite obvious Medicaid is squeezing out other necessary state obligations. To encourage more people to sign up would further squeeze funding for education, prisons, road repair and other basic needs. The national budget for Medicaid was $431 billion with just 58% ($251 billion) coming from the federal budget. That means states are already bearing $180 billion before any new enrollees.

The biggest issue remains who is going to service the medical needs of these new participants.

Obamacare deals only with demand and not supply. With new people availing themselves of health insurance, there needs to be more doctors, nurses, and hospitals. There are currently no more and all indications are the program is driving many doctors into retirement, further worsening supply.

Medicaid is even worse. In 2011, 31% of all doctors refused new Medicaid patients because of poor reimbursement rates. Fodeman states “Given that many of the current patients with Medicaid are struggling to find a provider, it raises the question of where hundreds of thousands of potential new Medicaid patients would find care.” In addition Fodeman cites in a Kaiser study stating "In 2008, Florida’s Medicaid reimbursements averaged 63 percent of Medicare fees for all services, and 55 percent of Medicare fees for primary care." With comparable pay rates like this why would any doctor take on a Medicaid patient?

In the past a vicious cycle has occurred. As more people signed up for Medicaid, politicians decided to squeeze payments to save tax dollars. The lower payments caused more medical providers to stop accepting new patients because they were losing money on each new patient. Adding more participants will just exacerbate the existing methodology.

Medicaid will be a forerunner of what will happen to the rest of Obamacare. Stuffing more people into a medical system with fewer doctors and no additional hospitals or nurses will lower the bar for everyone. Since the people who receive Medicaid are not writing the checks, their complaints may go unheard. But wait until the people who are writing the checks suffer the same consequences. Then you will be able to hear the screaming across the country. That is what happens when you let a bunch of lawyers take over your medical care.
Major Islamic Conference in Paris: “All the evil in the world originates from the Jews and the Zionist barbarism”
Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs

The relentless attacks on Jews by Muslims in France — physical attacks as well as verbal attacks like the ones at this conference — have made life there impossible for Jews. Jews are leaving France in droves, and this is why.

This is happening in every country in Europe, including the Scandinavian countries. Hatred and violence are driving the Jews from the continent again. If this continues, and I see no sign of any meaningful action or reaction, this time Europe will not recover. And if it does, it will be 100 years from now, or more.

Hani Ramadan is the brother of Tariq Ramadan, the slick Muslim Brotherhood operative who has fooled most of the Western “intelligentsia” into thinking he’s a “moderate.”

“Major Islam conference said mired by anti-Semitism,” Times of Israel, April 25, 2014:
A speaker at this week's UOIF conference in Paris, France (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)A speaker at this week’s UOIF conference in Paris, France (photo credit: YouTube screenshot) 
A major conference on Islam in Paris featured anti-Semitic speeches, according to a sociologist who listened to the lectures. 
The speeches were given “a place of honor” at Wednesday’s 31st congress of the Union of Islamic Organizations in France, or UOIF, sociologist Michele Tribalat wrote in the Le Figaro daily Thursday. He singled out a speech by Hani Ramadan, a prominent Muslim leader from Geneva who spoke before thousands of congress participants.
According to the news site, Ramadan said during his address:
“All the evil in the world originates from the Jews and the Zionist barbarism.”
The UOIF congress is one of France’s largest and most prominent Islamic events.
Ramadan also condemned French Prime Minister Manuel Vals for “publicly wearing a kippah” while supporting a ban on the wearing of veils by Muslim women in some public areas.
Hani Ramadan (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)
Hani Ramadan is a brother of Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss professor who is banned from entering the United States because of donations he made to Palestinian groups designated as terrorist by the US government.
“Against these international schemes of Zionist power, there is only one rampart: Islam,” Hani Ramadan reportedly said.
The post Major Islamic Conference in Paris: “All the evil in the world originates from the Jews and the Zionist barbarism” appeared first on Pamela Geller, Atlas Shrugs.
Mahmoud-Abbas_45Once again the mainstream media gets a story wrong, and once again reports falsehoods and half-truths in a way that makes Israel look bad. One might almost think they had a sinister agenda, if everyone didn’t already know that mainstream media reporters were as honest as the day is long.

“Palestinians will not recognise Israel as ‘Jewish’ state,” AGI, April 26, 2014 (thanks to C. Cantoni):
(AGI) Ramallah, April 26 – Palestinians will never recognise Israel as the ‘Jewish’ state, president Mahmud Abbas said on Saturday, when his leadership convened after Israel halted peace talks. Abbas told members of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Central Council that although they had recognised Israel in 1993, the Palestinians should not be forced to go a step further and recognise Israel’s religious identity.
This comes right after “Fatah and Hamas Reconcile, Agree To Recognize Israel (Which Then Walks Out of Peace Talks),” by Sara Morrison, The Atlantic Wire, April 24, 2014 (thanks to Maxwell).

The distinction here is that Abbas is saying that the PLO already recognized Israel in 1993, but will never recognize it as a Jewish State. But this is tantamount to no recognition at all. Abbas is saying that he will accept Israel as a state ruled by “Palestinians,” and perhaps one in which Jews are allowed to live as subjugated dhimmis (although “Palestinian” spokesmen have also said that Jews will not be allowed to live in a “Palestinian” state at all). But that is all he is willing to grant, which is nothing at all. The Atlantic Wire and the other mainstream media outlets that do not explain this are once again severely misleading their readers.