News of the Week for Nov. 18th, 2012
The U.S. may become energy-independent after all
Preoccupied by the election, Americans may be under the delusion that most major social and economic changes proceed from the ballot box. Not so.
Government in Healthcare
Gov. Jindal’s letter rejecting Obamacare implementation
Gov. Bobby Jindal, continued to endear himself to conservatives across the country yesterday when he told The Huffington Post he had not changed his mind about not implementing Obamacare in Louisiana.
Beware: ObamaCare’s now reality
President Obama’s re-election and Democratic gains in the US Senate end any possibility of repealing the Obama health law. It will roll out as written, imposing major changes soon on you and your family. If you are uninsured because you can’t afford it, help may be on the way. But if you are one of the 250 million Americans with coverage, there are big problems ahead.
Video: Man suspected of being in vegetative state tells doctors he’s not in pain
Miraculous and horrifying. Something’s still going on upstairs, 12 years after his accident, and this is the first technological baby step towards harnessing it. You can imagine in the future how a portable brain-scan device might give people with his condition a chance to communicate day to day, however primitively. It’s like digging through 20 feet of avalanched snow and finding someone who’d been given up for dead still alive. Miraculous. But imagine how he spent those 12 years.
Denny’s to charge 5% ‘Obamacare surcharge’ and cut employee hours to deal with cost of legislation
President Obama’s election victory ensured his Affordable Care Act would remain the centerpiece of his first term in power – but that has left some business owners baulking at the extra cost Obamcare will bring.
Bullying, cowardly doctors left my baby to die like an abandoned animal, says grieving mother
Hayley Fullerton died one month after her first birthday at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Staff failed to update Hayley’s medical charts, arrange x-rays, and question why she still needed oxygen before her death.
Her mother Paula said: ‘Nobody listened to me while Hayley was dying and nobody listened to me when Hayley was dead’.
‘The failures by a number of the staff were serious,’ coroner says.
Management have offered a ‘heartfelt apology for the distress that has been caused’.
Hayley’s mother even tried to bribe a nurse with £100 shopping voucher to get them to care for her daughter better
Doctor Shortage Could Cause Health Care Crash
The United States will require at least 52,000 more family doctors in the year 2025 to keep up with the growing and increasingly older U.S. population, a new study found.
Red Flag Over the Atlantic
China is angling to take over a U.S. airbase in the Azores.
China Pushing Japan into American Trade Bloc
We’ve seen this story before: Chinese belligerence driving a neighbor into America’s friendly embrace.
Japan is set to lend significant support to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an extensive U.S.-led free trade deal that would help integrate the economies of Asia and the Americas.
My quick handicapping of Democratic at-risk Senate races in 2014.
Since Glenn Reynolds asked, here’s my current assessment of at-risk Democratic Senators in 2014*. Bear in mind: while I generally got the House right in 2010 and 2012, I overestimated our Senate performance by a couple of seats in both years and of course got the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections wrong. So, you know, grain of salt and all of that.
Republicans Repudiate 40 Years of Tougher Copyright Laws
As the fight over SOPA wound down, I predicted that SOPA might be turn out to be a watershed, permanently turning Tea Party Republicans into copyright skeptics
Appeals Court Invalidates Michigan’s Affirmative-Action Ban
The majority’s holding in Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action v. Regents of the University of Michigan is a prime example of the abusive activism practiced by too many federal judges today.
Florida professor: Obama an ‘apostle’ sent to create ‘heaven here on earth’
According to a book written by longtime Florida A&M University professor Barbara A. Thompson, Barack Obama is no mere mortal. He is, as she wrote, “Apostle Barack,” sent to create a “heaven here on earth,” a post at PJ Tatler said Monday.
‘Orphan’ Alien Planet Found Nearby Without Parent Star
Astronomers have discovered a potential “rogue” alien planet wandering alone just 100 light-years from Earth, suggesting that such starless worlds may be extremely common across the galaxy.
Poor, Black and still in the dark
Once described as the “nation’s playground” with the world-famous Cyclone Roller Coaster, hot dog eating contests and the beach where everyday New Yorkers gathered for a day in the sun, Coney Island is now the scene of devastation due to Hurricane Sandy.
Nevada Judge Won’t Force Mentally Impaired Woman to Have Abortion
A Washoe County district judge has decided against forcing a mentally impaired Nevada woman to have an abortion after all the parties involved reached a tentative agreement to help her through her high-risk pregnancy.
FEMA sold disaster shelters as ‘Frankenstorm’ gathered strength
Federal officials sold hundreds of emergency trailers for disaster victims at fire-sale prices in the months before Hurricane Sandy churned toward the United States, The Washington Examiner has learned.
Marc Faber: Prepare for a Massive Market Meltdown
The markets are going to go into meltdown soon, so expect stocks to lose 20 percent of their value, Marc Faber, author of the Gloom, Boom and Doom report told CNBC on Tuesday.
China Prefers Made in the USA
It’s no surprise that Americans prefer American-made products, but a new survey reveals something a bit more interesting: so do many Chinese. In a survey conducted by Boston Consulting Group, 47 percent of Chinese respondents “somewhat” or “absolutely” preferred goods from the United States. Furthermore, both the Chinese and Americans surveyed said they would pay slightly more for U.S. products when compared with Chinese counterparts.
Hostess Brands closing for good
Hostess Brands — the maker of such iconic baked goods as Twinkies, Drake’s Devil Dogs and Wonder Bread — announced Friday that it is asking a federal bankruptcy court for permission to close its operations, blaming a strike by bakers protesting a new contract imposed on them.
Bakers’ union releases statement on Hostess demise
After a day of silence, finally word from the union whose strikes last week prompted Hostess to announce it would liquidate the company.
Retail sales fall 0.3% in October
This does come as a bit of a surprise, especially since other economic indicators of late had looked positive
Sunday Reflection: Repeal the Hollywood tax cuts!
There’s an old joke about a boy who complains to his mother that his little sister keeps pulling his hair.
“Oh,” responds the mother, “she doesn’t know that it hurts.”
A few minutes later, the mother hears the girl scream and runs into the other room. “She knows now,” the boy explains.
There’s a lesson for Republicans in that old joke, if they’re smart enough to absorb it.
Surprise! Jobless Claims Up 78,000 Week After Election; PA, OH Worst Hit
The Department of Labor has announced that new jobless claims rose by a staggering 78,000 in the first week after the election, reaching a seasonally-adjusted total of 439,000. Over the past year, and in the weeks leading up to the election, jobless claims were said to be declining, dipping as low as 339,000, with the media proclaiming that they had reached the “lowest level in more than four years.” Now, suddenly, the news seems far less rosy.
Jobless Claims in U.S. Jumped Last Week After Sandy
Applications for jobless benefits surged by 78,000 to 439,000 in the week ended Nov. 10, the most since April 2011, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Indexes of manufacturing in the New York and Philadelphia areas showed contractions this month.
Poverty Rate Spikes, Nearly 50 Million Americans Affected
As President Barack Obama is set to begin his second term, new statistics on America’s poverty rate indicate that nearly 50 million Americans, more than 16 percent of the population, are struggling to survive.
Euro zone falls into second recession since 2009
The euro zone debt crisis dragged the bloc into its second recession since 2009 in the third quarter despite modest growth in Germany and France, data showed on Thursday.
“I, Pencil,” the Movie
If you’ve never read Leonard Read’s classic essay “I, Pencil,” about how the manufacture of a simple (yet not so simple) pencil is coordinated by the marketplace rather than by a central planner, you’ve missed a treat.
2.5 million jobless adults living with their parents
Moody’s Analytics data shows a vast rise in “bundled households” since 2007
Norwegian ‘King’s Medal’ to Go to Radical Anti-Semite
Lately I catch myself saying more and more frequently, “You can’t make this stuff up.”
In Norway there is a royal decoration called the King’s Medal of Merit. The medal is awarded from time to time to individuals who have served Norwegian society in an outstanding and exemplary way.
In Norway there is also a man who was born with the name Trond Linstad. He is a physician with a practice in Oslo. In the 1970s he was a prominent member of the Workers’ Communist Party (AKP), a revolutionary Maoist group. He has long been active on behalf of the Palestinians. He worked as a doctor in Palestinian refugee camps. In 1971 he was expelled from Jordan, from which he had been preparing to cross into Israel in the company of armed Palestinian soldiers. From 1977 to 1986 he led the Palestinian Committee of Norway.
Nigel Farage is surely now a more attractive partner than Nick Clegg
Corby and East Northamptonshire, like many swing seats, is demographically typical. On most metrics – age, income, blend of urban and rural – it is not far off the national average. In one way, it is unusually representative of the United Kingdom as a whole: its steel plant was manned largely by Scots – a patch of the Clydeside deposited in Northamptonshire.
It’s no surprise that Labour should have won such a seat from the Conservatives: that’s the normal pattern at this stage in a parliament. What is surprising is that the UKIP vote was three times as large – three times as large – as that of the Liberal Democrats.
56% of Britons would vote to quit EU in referendum, poll finds
Results of survey will make sobering reading for leaders of three major parties, as PM prepares for crucial meeting on EU budget
Stick it to blue states a/k/a Country First
High state income and property tax states like California, New York, and Illinois are automatic wins for Democrats, giving them a built-in electoral college advantage.
Identity Politics: Yes, Racial Divides Gave Obama the Win
The increased turnout of Hispanics and blacks, and their current support of Obama, made the difference.
The GOP and Revitalizing the ‘Voluntary Community’
The key to conservatives becoming relevant again.
I Think I Owe an Apology to George W. Bush
William F. Buckley once noted that he was 19 when the Cold War began at the Yalta conference. The year the Berlin Wall came down, he became a senior citizen. In other words, he explained, anti-Communism was a defining feature of conservatism his entire adult life.
The consolations of philosophy: Edmund Burke was a prophet without honour in his own time
When I first started reading Edmund Burke, it was for the political wisdom his writings contained. Only many years later did I start to benefit from noticing that the Burke we know – the man proved a prophet by events and with an impressive legacy – differed from the Burke that the man himself knew: the man who was a lifelong target of slander; the one who, on each major issue of his life, gained only rare and partial victories after years or decades of seeing events tragically unfold as he had vainly foretold. Looking back, we see the man revered by both parties as the model of a statesman and thinker in the following century, the hero of Sir Winston Churchill in the century after. But Burke lived his life looking forwards
Barack Obama’s Pyrrhic Victory
For the last nine days, I have wracked my brains in search of a silver lining, and I have to confess that I do not see any. Barack Obama may have won a squeaker on the 6th of November, but what he eked out was nonetheless a victory — which means that Obamacare and Dodd-Frank will be implemented, and which makes it very likely that he will be able to reshape the Supreme Court to his liking. That we lost ground in the Senate on the same day merely adds to my dismay, and I regret to have to report that we were outvoted in the elections to the House of Representatives as well. If the Republicans retain control, it is because of majority minority districting and because of gerrymandering in states where the Republicans controlled the legislatures.
We Will Never Win Unless . . .
All the discussion here and elsewhere dominating GOP/conservative issues is playing small-ball, I fear. Forget elections, the only thing that matters from now on is reclaiming as much of the culture as we can. Immigration, taxes, demographics are important, but in terms of electoral success, they are symptoms, not causes of GOP decline. Without getting too bogged down in esoterica, it seems uncontroversial to say that, at the end of the day, politics is culture (and of course, political systems reflect the cultures from which they grow). If that’s the case, then we will be in ever greater danger at the national level unless we start winning on the cultural battlefield. Losing five of the last six popular votes for the presidency should be a wake-up call.
Tribal Voting Behavior Means The Republican Party Could Go The Way Of the Whigs
When I first moved to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia in 1980 there was a sign on a small office building that said National Headquarters for Veterans of World War I. Driving by that building always left me wondering when this distinguished organization would cease to exist.
Our Malinvestment In President Obama Will Bring Painful Consequences
The choice for the status quo made in last week’s presidential election was an uninformed one—at no fault of the voters—made in the fog of monetary distortion and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s continuous campaign of disinformation.