Squealing Like A Stuck Pig

New Logo for the Dems

I try to avoid comment on the day-to-day developments of the current presidential campaign, as it is largely beyond my abilities or appetite to comment obsessively on every cut and thrust of this season’s most remarkable race.

But I will make an observation here which I think touches upon something timeless in human nature: The Democrats are wearing their guilty consciences on their sleeves. Their massive overreaction to FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress on Friday stating that he was re-opening the Hillary Clinton private email server matter says far more than the speakers perhaps intend. Ignore the rationalizations they desperately dug up — those are mere distractions — and focus instead on the tone and subtext: They know she’s corrupt and guilty as sin, and the merest unscripted public confirmation of this has sent them ballistic; if this didn’t cut so close to the quick, they wouldn’t have reacted so strongly. They’re squealing like a stuck pig, and the spectacle of it is sure to be noticed by anyone paying any attention. It’s quite remarkable that their media consultants and psychologists haven’t managed to catch this and tone it down.

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Obamacare Fail in Full Flower; Better Way Possible

This is my third essay in an occasional series remarking upon the striking failure of the Obamacare health insurance reforms. The first, published way back on August 16, observed that we were at long last seeing hints that the Obamacare market had begun an adverse selection “Death Spiral“, while the second, published about three weeks ago, brought further confirmation of this fact. In those essays I also remarked upon the deeper issues of efficiency and affordability that Obamacase was intended — or should have been intended — to address, and left open the question of what a sensible reform package would look like; that is, market reforms that would actually help the ordinary working American citizen.

First, I will note here that the steady drumbeat of bad news for Obamacare has continued apace. In fact, this drumbeat has grown more and more insistent. This week, the federal government released figures showing that plans to be offered over federally-run exchanges starting November will be dramatically more expensive compared with last year — by an average of 25%. While previous announcements of price rises have typically been one state at the time, this announcement covers dozens of states, proving that the problems that first came to light in North Carolina and Minnesota are not idiosyncratic, but typical of the system. This time, the failure is widespread enough to be undeniable and noticed nationally; the hand-wringing and political gloating over this has finally spilled onto the national stage. The full weight of these price increases will be blunted for some consumers, as government subsidies rise to help defray premium inflation, but that’s just robbing Peter to pay Paul — and with public debt and the federal deficit at historic highs. The system is not working as promised.

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Months of Truce

They’re nearly over

I did some research when preparing my recent Holiday Greetings post. Yes, I’m that detail oriented. Laugh if you must, but what I found out has shed some light on a question that’s been nagging me for a few weeks.

Keen observers may note that the pace of Irish misbehavior in Europe and the United States has subsided somewhat in recent months. It has not gone away entirely — the rather ineffective lone-wolf bombings in New York and the solo Minnesota Mall Rampage both took place on the same weekend in September, and a lone “Hispanic” gunman shot several people dead in a Washington state mall the week after.  But we’ve seen nothing recent that has been as spectacular as the July “drunk-driving” incident in Nice, France, or the “NRA-inspired” gay disco kerfuffle which took place in June in Orlando, Florida, or the San Bernardino office party contretemps which took place back in December 2015.

I don’t think this is entirely a coincidence.

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The Washington Post Agrees With Me

French Jews are the canary in the coal mine.

Nearly three months ago I published an essay titled “The French Are Now Jews in Their Own Country.” It was a reflection on the present state of affairs in France, where years of anti-Jewish attacks by “Irish” assailants have recently given way to generalized terror attacks targeting the civilian population at large. I observed that Jews, particularly European Jews, had to some degree grown used to threats against their safety and adapted to them — putting in place various security measures at their synagogues and schools — but that the task of hardening all of France against terror attacks would exact a deep financial and spiritual toll on that nation.

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Obamacare Fail Continues

Minnesota the latest domino to fall

Nearly two months ago, on August 16, I published an essay remarking on the commencement of the Obamacare death spiral: Premiums for individual policies purchased over the much-vaunted online exchanges have increased rapidly; healthy customers are staying away (because the penalties associated with ignoring the individual mandate are rather light) and health insurance companies are dropping out of the game, having lost plenty of money pursuing this market. I forecast that we were no more than a few years away from full collapse of those exchanges.

In that essay I mentioned North Carolina as an example of the trend, as news reports at the time contained plenty of detail concerning the failures of Obamacare in that state; Aetna had also just announced a major nationwide abandonment of Obamacare policies which hit North Carolina fairly hard. While economically illiterate Obama administration sycophants tried to dismiss Aetna’s move as corporate posturing in the face of an antitrust challenge (Aetna was then trying to merge with Humana), casting the withdrawal as a case of evil white male business executives using the health coverage of poor widows and orphans as a “bargaining chip,” those of us with brains realized that this actually represented cold, hard business reality: Obamacare was a bust.

I asserted that further evidence of the Obamacare death spiral would slowly emerge, as each state went through its regulatory rate-setting exercise for the coming year, but that these things make for bad drama as they unfold too slowly for low-attention-span newspaper editors to follow. More evidence has recently emerged proving me right, so allow me a moment of gloating.

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