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Manipulating Obamacare Stats: The Census Bureau’s Official Plan to Cook the Numbers

obama-census

The Most Transparent Opaque Administration in History

For Town Hall, Guy Benson writes:  In her post this morning, Carol linked to a New York Times story describing the US Census Bureau’s ridiculous decision to change its formula for determining health coverage rates in America. “Ridiculous” not because it’s out of bounds to overhaul methodology on principle, but because after three decades, they’re implementing this shift at the exact moment we need a consistent baseline off of which to measure the impact of Obamacare. The brand new survey questions will unquestionably “reveal” a dramatic decrease in the uninsured population, bureau experts say, which will deliver Democrats a super handy talking point. And oh-by-the-way, the artificially improved numbers will be released…this fall:

The Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades, is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama’s health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said. The changes are intended to improve the accuracy of the survey, being conducted this month in interviews with tens of thousands of households around the country. But the new questions are so different that the findings will not be comparable, the officials said. An internal Census Bureau document said that the new questionnaire included a “total revision to health insurance questions” and, in a test last year, produced lower estimates of the uninsured. Thus, officials said, it will be difficult to say how much of any change is attributable to the Affordable Care Act and how much to the use of a new survey instrument. “We are expecting much lower numbers just because of the questions and how they are asked,” said Brett J. O’Hara, chief of the health statistics branch at the Census Bureau. With the new questions, “it is likely that the Census Bureau will decide that there is a break in series for the health insurance estimates,” says another agency document describing the changes. This “break in trend” will complicate efforts to trace the impact of the Affordable Care Act, it said.

Allow me to paint you a picture: The Census Bureau releases its new figures in September, just a few weeks out from a major election. Per the bureaucrat-in-chief over at Census, the fresh stats on uninsured Americans will be “much lower,” due to the heavily revised question wording. The wonks will make this abundantly clear, admonishing one another that the new and old data are like apples and oranges. Plus, they’ll add, the new numbers don’t even include the post-Obamacare implementation data from early 2014, so any attempt to trumpet the results as a triumph for the Affordable Care Act will be especially inapt. Even some elements of the center-Left smart set have begun grumbling about the indefensible timing of these methodological alterations:

Democrats, famously allergic to nuance when the political moment demands a cudgel, will shout from the rooftops about the “stunning” improvement in uninsured rates. Obamacare is working!  Read the rest of this entry »

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[REWIND] Dr. Ben Carson: White House Wanted Apology for ‘Offending’ Obama

Ben-Carson

“…I received a call from some of the prayer breakfast organizers saying that the White House was upset and requesting that I call the president and apologize for offending him.”

Flashback: The Prayer Breakfast Speech

For The Daily CallerAlex Pappas writes:  Neurosurgeon Ben Carson says the White House wanted him to apologize for “offending” President Obama after he famously delivered a conservative message at the National Prayer Breakfast last year.

Obama-incandescentCarson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, recalls the events surrounding his 2013 speech in his new book, One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future. The Daily Caller obtained an advance copy of the book, which is set for release May 20.

“He did not appear to be hostile or angry,” Carson writes of Obama, “but within a matter of minutes after the conclusion of the program, I received a call from some of the prayer breakfast organizers saying that the White House was upset and requesting that I call the president and apologize for offending him. I said that I did not think that he was offended and that I didn’t think that such a call was warranted.”

[Check out Dr. Ben Carson's upcoming book One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future at Amazon]

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The Obama-Putin Invasion Challenge

obama-putin-invasion-challenge

MrSerialX


Race-Baiting Won’t Save Democrats

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Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House, is guilty of encouraging her members to wage an ugly race war

For The Daily BeastRon Christie writes:  Sadly, it has come down to this. When they assumed power in 2009, Democrats promised that a trillion dollar stimulus package would invigorate the economy and create millions of jobs. It did not happen—all while trillions of dollars were added to the national debt which will become due when these current lawmakers are safely in retirement.The president of the United States and congressional Democrats promised that if they passed Obamacare, you could keep your doctor and your health plan while your premiums would decrease by an average of $2500 a year. All of these claims were assessed and identified by the non-partisan Politifact as the biggest lie of 2013.

The leaders of the Democrat Party will stop at nothing to consolidate their perks and power while they tear the social fabric of our country apart.

Time after time and on issue after issue, Democrats have made promise after promise to the people they were elected to serve which have come up empty. With no record of accomplishment to run on in November, congressional Democrats and President Obama will face a day of reckoning that could very well return control of the Congress to Republicans and neuter the remaining two years of Obama’s tenure in the White House.

“To a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism. And that’s unfortunate.”

– Race-Baiting Representative Steve Israel (D-NY)

Does Israel offer up any facts to fortify his incendiary charge? No. Where then, does he offer any proof to such an inflammatory remark? He doesn’t because he knows he doesn’t have to. Is this how the leader of the body charged with electing Democrats to Congress hopes to win in November—by alleging that the Republican base is animated by racism?

Faced with such an unthinkable reality, the Democrats marked the 50th anniversary of passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 not by hailing the progress we have made as a nation but to resort to the despicable act of accusing their political opponents of racism to preserve their hold on power in Washington, D.C. Late last week in these pages, I discussed how lack of political civility is destroying the ability of the political process to function in our nation’s Capital.

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Daily Caller Asks: Did Sharyl Attkisson Get too Close to the Truth? Attkisson Free from Unethical Environment at CBS News

Jeff Fager (L), chairman CBS News and executive producer '60 Minutes', Scott Pelley, anchor and managing editor CBS Evening News and David Rhodes (R) president CBS News, speak at the CBS Television Network's 2011 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California August 3, 2011.  REUTERS/Fred Prouser    (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS) - RTR2PL1B

Jeff Fager (L), chairman CBS News and executive producer ’60 Minutes’, Scott Pelley, anchor and managing editor CBS Evening News and David Rhodes (R) president CBS News, speak at the CBS Television Network‘s 2011 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour in Beverly Hills, California August 3, 2011. REUTERS/Fred Prouser 

Patrick Howley writes:  Former CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who said Sunday that the network did not want to deal with the “headache” of covering Obama controversies, seems happy to be free from the network.

And why not? CBS News is run by the brother of the Obama official Attkisson was pursuing for one of the very stories that earned her “troublemaker” status in the CBS newsroom.

Attkisson also recently said that she was routinely discouraged from pursuing Obama administration scandals like Fast and Furious and Benghazi.

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[VIDEO] Attkisson: Obama Administration’s “Chilling effect” on Journalism

ATTKISSON: I didn’t run into that same kind of sentiment [at CBS] as I did in the Obama administration when I covered the Bush administration very aggressively, on its secrecy and lack of Freedom of Information responses, and its poor management of the Food and Drug Administration and the national laboratories, the Halliburton-Iraq questions of fraud. I mean, there was one thing after another. The bait-and-switch of TARP, the bank bailout program. All of those stories under Bush were met with a good reception. There were different managers as well, but no one accused me of being a mouthpiece for the liberals at that time.

Attkisson told Kurtz that the White House would pressure her to change or drop her reporting, and when that didn’t work, they worked her bosses instead. Kurtz asked how this differed from the “working the refs” actions that go on all the time in Washington, and Attkisson says that it went too far.

“It’s just a lot of obfuscation, accusations, saying things are ‘phony scandals,’ ‘bogus,’ ‘not real,’ giving misinformation and false information. I mean, that’s provably true in some cases.”

Mediaite‘s transcript captures Attkisson’s complaint about broadcast journalism in the age of Obama:

ATTKISSON:Now there’ve always been tensions, there have always been calls from the White House under any administration I assume, when they don’t like a particular story. But it is particularly aggressive under the Obama administration and I think it’s a campaign that’s very well organized, that’s designed to have sort of a chilling effect and to some degree has been somewhat successful in getting broadcast producers who don’t really want to deal with the headache of it — why put on these controversial stories that we’re going to have to fight people on, when we can fill the broadcast with other perfectly decent stories that don’t ruffle the same feathers?

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Thought Police on Patrol

Thought-Police-on-Patrol

Charles Krauthammer writes: Two months ago, a petition bearing more than 110,000 signatures was delivered to the Washington Post demanding a ban on any article questioning global warming. The petition arrived the day before publication of my column, which consisted of precisely that heresy.

“Long a staple of academia, the totalitarian impulse is spreading.”

The column ran as usual. But I was gratified by the show of intolerance because it perfectly illustrated my argument that the Left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition.

The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced.

“There is no logic. What’s at play is sheer ideological prejudice — and the enforcement of the new totalitarian norm that declares, unilaterally, certain issues to be closed.”

Sometimes the word comes from on high, as when the president of the United States declares the science of global warming to be “settled.” Anyone who disagrees is then branded “anti-science.” And better still, a “denier” — a brilliantly chosen calumny meant to impute to the climate skeptic the opprobrium normally reserved for the hatemongers and crackpots who deny the Holocaust.

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BREAKING NEWS: Bowing to Pressure from punditfromanotherplanet, White House Responds: Health Secretary Resigns

Sebelius-Resigns

No longer able to withstand the increasing pressure from punditfromanotherplanet, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius resigns in disgrace, as Democrats struggle to hold Senate in upcoming mid-term elections

NYTimes.com reports: WASHINGTON — Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, is resigning, ending a stormy five-year tenure marred by the disastrous rollout of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act.

The system is down at the moment. We are experiencing technical difficulties and hope to have them resolved soon.”

– Kathleen Sebelius, struggling to defend the website and the health care law

Mr. Obama accepted Ms. Sebelius’s resignation this week, and on Friday morning he will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace her, officials said.

“If I could take something along with me, it would be “all the animosity. If that could just leave with me, and we could get to a new chapter, that would be terrific.”

– Kathleen Sebelius

The departure comes as the Obama administration tries to move beyond its early stumbles in carrying out the law, persuade a still-skeptical public of its lasting benefits, and help Democratic incumbents, who face blistering attack ads after supporting the legislation, survive the midterm elections this fall.

[See: Kathy, We Knew Ye Too Well: Sebelius Resigns Five Years Too Late]

“President Obama has headed off panic over Sebelius’ departure by reassuring the nation that he has another unqualified failure to take her place.”

Tim Cavanaugh

Officials said Ms. Sebelius, 65, made the decision to resign and was not forced out. But the frustration at the White House over her performance had become increasingly clear, as administration aides worried that the crippling problems at HealthCare.gov, the website set up to enroll Americans in insurance exchanges, would result in lasting damage to the president’s legacy. Read the rest of this entry »


House Republicans Won’t Rule Out Arresting Lois Lerner if Justice Department Doesn’t

arrest-her-drudge

This is one of those days where I think Matt Drudge is imitating my obsessions, rather than the other way around. Wishful thinking, I know. But readers here know, Lois Lerner is our favorite voodoo doll. At punditfromanotherplanet, a day without Lois Lerner is a day without sunshine

For the Washington ExaminerJoel Gehrke reports: House Ways and Means Committee Republicans aren’t ruling out the use of the chamber’s “inherent contempt” authority if Attorney General Eric Holder refuses to act on the panel’s accusations against former IRS official Lois Lerner.

The committee voted Wednesday to seek an investigation of whether Lerner violated federal law by using her power to ensure Right-leaning groups were targeted for extra scrutiny by the agency, giving misleading information during a probe of the matter by the Treasury Department‘s inspector general and using her personal email to conduct official business, which could have resulted in the disclosure of confidential taxpayer information.

“The Ways and Means Committee, led by Chairman [Dave] Camp [R-Mich.], has conducted a serious and thorough investigation of the IRS, uncovering abuses and criminal acts that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said of the referral. “As I’ve said, if Lois Lerner continues to refuse to testify, then the House will hold her in contempt. And we will continue to shine the light on the administration’s abusive actions and use every tool at our disposal to expose the truth and ensure the American people get the answers they deserve.”

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Malkin: The Meltdown of the Obama Genderhawks

genderhawks

They protest male/female imbalances everywhere except in their own workplace.

Go, Michelle, go, you go girl!

At MichelleMalkin.com, and our favorite hangout NRO, Michelle Malkin writes:  I have created a new species designation for female Democrats who play hypocritical gender politics on behalf of Barack Obama. They’re genderhawks.

You remember the term “chickenhawk,” don’t you? During the Bush years, anti-war activists and journalists hurled the ad hominem epithet at anyone who supported military action against our enemies but hadn’t personally served.

[Order Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies from Amazon.com]

I say let’s give ‘em a dose of their own tactical medicine.

Genderhawks are feminist chickenhawks. They demand “equal pay” for women, practice militant identity politics based on chromosomes, and purport to wage an all-out government war on gender inequity. Yet, they personally refuse to hold themselves and their lousy male bosses accountable for their own gender-based failures and delinquencies. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Phony Gender Wage Gap Myth

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“Yes, of course it’s not true. Yes…I know. It’s fiction. It’s complete bullshit, I know. It’s a wedge issue. It’s all we got. Give it time. If we keep repeating the lie, it will….yes, exactly…It’s perfect…”

The wage gap myth, most recently used by President Obama during the State of the Union Address, states that women make only 77 cents to every dollar that men earn. AEI resident scholar Christina Hoff Sommers debunks the bogus statistic…

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White House: The 77 Cents Wage Gap Figure Isn’t Accurate, But They’ll Use It Anyway

Council of Economic Advisers member Betsey Stevenson, accompanied by White House press secretary Jay Carney, speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House in Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Council of Economic Advisers member Betsey Stevenson, accompanied by White House press secretary Jay Carney, speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, March 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Washington Examiner’s Ashe Schow reports: A White House adviser had to walk back the oft-repeated myth that women make 77 cents on the dollar that men make after being questioned about the figure during a conference call Monday.

While detailing executive actions President Obama plans to take Tuesday regarding equal pay for women, Betsey Stevenson, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said very defiantly that despite women contributing 44 percent of their household incomes, they continue to make less than men. Obama has declared Tuesday “Equal Pay Day” to highlight his administration’s focus on that issue.

Bonus: From The Weekly Standard:

CBS: WH ‘Roughed Up By Its Own Pay Equity Rhetoric’

“The White House is getting, as you indicated Norah, roughed up by its own pay equity rhetoric,” reported Major Garrett. “In an analysis of White House salaries, which nobody here disputes, shows that the median income of female staffers is 88 percent of that of male staffers.”

“Now the study also showed that men and women with the same White House jobs earn exactly the same salary. Now the White House said its gender pay gap is tied to job experience, education, and hours worked among other factors. This matters because those explanations, according to the Labor Department, explain a good deal of the gender pay gap nationally…(read more)

“They’re stuck at 77 cents on the dollar, and that gender wage gap is seen very persistently across the income distribution, within occupations, across occupations, and we see it when men and women are working side by side doing identical work.”

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The Broken Window Theory of ObamaCare

boken-windows-obamacare

Read more about it at Breitbart.com – Ted Cruz and the broken window theory of ObamaCare


Hayden Faults Administration, Not CIA, on Benghazi Talking Points

For NRO, Eliana Johnson writes: Former deputy CIA director Michael Morell told the House Intelligence Committee this week that despite reports from the chief of station in Libya that no protests occurred outside the American diplomatic facility in Benghazi prior to the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on it, he edited the administration’s talking points to include references to such protests.

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Jonah Goldberg: Obama’s Stand-up Routine

Obama-joker-Ha

Too bad the joke is on his youthful audience. 

If you’ve seen some of Obama’s speeches in the last week, perhaps you’ve noticed how he’s becoming quite the jokester. Obama’s spiteful sarcasm—disguised as humor, of course—is becoming increasingly hollow, divisive, unseemly. Nobody likes a bully, or a sore winner. I’m surprised he’s not called out more for his overuse of the most un-presidential rhetorical habit: the straw man. It’s one thing for a contender on the campaign trail, trying to climb his way up to an elected job, another for a man already holding the highest office in the land. The way Obama creates an imaginary opponent, then defeats that fictional opponent with zingers, snark, and bluster, is a peculiar thing to watch.

I can imagine a group of actual conservatives watching one of these speeches, finding absolutely nothing they can identify with, then, even agreeing with him about this awful enemy the president is describing. “Wow, who is that guy? He sounds like a real bastard!” “Yeah, let’s go find him and beat the snot out of him!” It’s easy to win an argument when you’re playing both roles in the debate. I’ve been hoping someone smart and entertaining would notice and report on this. Fortunately, Jonah Goldberg is back from vacation, and on the job:

Jonah Goldberg writes:

President Obama was doing his favorite thing this week: talking to crowds of adoring young people who already agree with him while acting like he persuaded them about something.

“…the president is utterly incapable of arguing with anything other than a fictional opponent.”

They also seemed to give Obama the impression that he’s a really funny guy. On Wednesday, he told a crowd of 1,400 at the University of Michigan that he visited a local deli, Zingerman’s. He proceeded to tell a long story about ordering the small Reuben sandwich, which he said was “killer.” That description got a good laugh. Then he explained how he thought the sandwich was too big, so he shared it with his adviser, Valerie Jarrett.

[Jonah's book, The Tyranny of Cliches, is available at Amazon]

“After I finished [my] half, I wanted [her] half back,” Obama said. “But it was too late, all she had was the pickle – so I took the pickle.”

“Took the pickle” was a huge laugh line.

Pickle is a funny word, but still; when an audience thinks this is a knee-slapper, you know it’s not a rough crowd.

But Obama had a serious point to make as well. Zingerman’s “is a business that treats its workers well and rewards honest work with honest wages. And that’s what I’m here to talk about today.” He then segued into a pitch for raising the minimum wage.

National Review’s Andrew Johnson noted that Zingerman’s is pretty expensive. That small Reuben cost $13.99 – pickle included! (Thank you! I’m here all week. Please tip your servers.) The large goes for nearly $17. The irony might have been lost on the president that Zingerman’s “honest wages” also lead to high prices.

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