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Did Jon Stewart Really Speak Truth to Power?

Daily-Show-Stewart

Reminisce with Reason TV the top five ways Jon Stewart was full of shit.

Jon Stewart has been a major cultural and political commentator for the past 16 years. He liked to take down the powerful—at least, when his head wasn’t shoved up Uncle Sam’s ass.

As “The Daily Show” host ends his run, reminisce with Reason TV the top five ways Jon Stewart was full of shit.

Approximately 5 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Simple Cure for ObamaCare: Freedom

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The GOP needs a politically defensible alternative if the Supreme Court overturns federal-exchange subsidies

Phil Gramm writes: On March 4 the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in King v. Burwell, with a decision expected in late June. If the court strikes down the payment of government subsidies to those obamacare-design-250who bought health insurance on the federal exchange, Republicans will at last have a real opportunity to amend ObamaCare. Doing so, however, will be politically perilous.

“Of all potential Republican proposals, the freedom option seems the most likely to garner the six Democratic votes in the Senate needed to break a filibuster, pass the bill and put it on the president’s desk.”

The language of the Affordable Care Act states that subsidies should only be paid through state exchanges. The bill’s authors perhaps believed that pressure from citizens and the health-care providers who would benefit would entice states to set up exchanges. But, faced with mounting technical problems in setting up the exchanges, the Obama administration decided—legally or illegally—to allow subsidies to be paid through a federally run exchange. Therefore, political pressure that might have convinced states to set up exchanges never developed.

“The opposition would come solely from those who understand that ObamaCare is built on coercion—and that unless young, healthy Americans are forced into the program to be exploited with above-market insurance rates, the subsidies will prove unaffordable. That will be an exceedingly difficult case to make to the public.”

The political pressures to set up state exchanges if federal subsidies are now struck down will be enormous. The Kaiser Family Foundation used Congressional Budget Office data to estimate that 13 million people will receive subsidies in 2016 through the federal exchange. If the Supreme Court strikes down these subsidies, 13 million people would lose an average of $4,700 a year, and health-care providers would certainly fight to protect some $60 billion a year in subsidies.

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The president’s most likely response to an adverse court decision would be to refuse to work with Congress to fix ObamaCare. Instead he will likely mount an effort to force the 37 states now using the federal exchange to set up state exchanges to qualify for the subsidies. His administration could make it easy for states to continue to use the federal exchange while nominally taking ownership through a shell state entity. Ten states already have some form of partnership with the federal exchange.

obamacare-signing

Absent a strong Republican alternative, the president’s strategy would unleash powerful political pressure on Republican governors and legislators and force them to establish state exchanges. Such a result would saddle Republicans with a partial ownership of ObamaCare, alienating their political base and producing substantial fallout in the 2016 elections.

Republicans need a strategy that is easy to understand, broadly popular and difficult to oppose. Read the rest of this entry »


Fund: Feds Lifting Statute of Limitations to Seize Tax Refunds for Parents Debt? Not Cool

National Review Online


Generation Opportunity Takes ‘Opt-Out’ of Obamacare Message to College Students

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Francesca Chambers reports: It was only 10:30 a.m., and already, we were too cold to move, let alone get out of our SUV to tailgate. We’d been parked outside Notre Dame’s football stadium in South Bend, Indiana, in the alumni lot for more than two and half hours, ahead of the university’s last home game of the year against Brigham Young. Normally, cars line up in the wee hours of the morning to claim the best tailgate spots, but today, the stadium parking lot was a ghost town, with only one other vehicle in sight.

dontfix“Don’t worry. The students will come. They usually don’t show up until around 11:30,” one of the event’s hosts told me.

“They’re probably still asleep,” Mark Gianfalla, the student who organized the event, said.

Outside our cozy vehicle, it was a chilly 28 degrees. Every so often, 36 mile an hour gusts of wind brought spurts of snow and blew over tents and tables. The DJ quickly abandoned his plan to spin beats outdoors, opting to play a boom box out the back hatch of his truck instead. It wasn’t looking good for Generation Opportunity’s anti-Obamacare tailgate party.optout

But, just as predicted, at 11:15 students started coming to the Generation Opportunity tents. They happily listened to the organization’s staff talk about its “Opt-Out of Obamacare” campaign and signed pledges to do just that on the group’s iPads before leaving with green and yellow Mardi Gras beads (“We try to cater to the area we’re going to,” Patrice Lee, outreach manager for the group, told me) and Opt-Out koozies, sunglasses and bottle openers. Along with the students came cases of Bud Light, bottles of Andre, jugs of Fireball Whiskey and handles of vodka, gin and rum. Generation Opportunity’s beer pong table was swiftly put to use.

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D.C. Area has Exploded Since Kennedy Era

 (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Lawson Bader writes: I’m quite partial to the Potomac River. My mother crossed it on her doctor’s visits in the months leading to my birth. And while I spent my youth in freewheeling California, I knew I’d return to the changing seasons that give the region much of its character. But my, how that character has changed.

This week, reminiscences of where people were when they heard the news of the Kennedy assassination prompted me to ask: What was greater Washington, D.C., like then?

Consider where I live, Fairfax County, Virginia. In 1963, that then-sleepy burg set off on a growth surge that’s ballooned in population to more than a million people today, with new homes and shopping malls spread out across what was farmland not long ago. In fact, when I was a youngster, “going to McLean” meant driving out to the country for a picnic. Today, McLean is considered an inner suburb – albeit a fancy one.

Now, if you don’t live in the national capital area, you might wonder what this has to do with you. The answer is: everything, because you’re paying for it. As the federal government expanded its footprint beyond the District of Columbia’s borders, it’s brought a bonanza to those surrounding areas.

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[VIDEO] ‘Creepy Uncle Sam’ returns! Will Halloween ad scare Millennials off Obamacare?

 writes: Creepy Uncle Sam is back! And this time, he’s starring in a Halloween-themed spooktacular that’s meant to scare young adults away from enrolling in Obamacare.

He debuted in September in two ads: Creepy Uncle Sam appears at a crucial moment in health examinations, scaring the young folk who are about to be subject to that. The point was to emphasize Generation Opportunity’s belief that the Affordable Care Act injects too much government into the health-care marketplace.Oh, you’re not familiar with Creepy Uncle Sam’s body of work? We’ll step back a bit and fill you in: He’s an actor who wears an Uncle Sam suit and an oversize, grinning head that makes him look like a freaky, patriotic garden gnome. The character is a creation of Generation Opportunity, a conservative political activist group aimed at the Millennial Generation.

Critics complained the treatment was so heavy-handed that the ads might have the effect of turning young people away from conservatives. For instance, in one adCreepy Uncle Sam, snapping a speculum, approaches a young woman in an examination room. In another, he approaches a young man under similar circumstances, while snapping a rubber glove.

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Opt Out – The Exam – Creepy Uncle Sam


YouTube


Obama Insults Women With Big Government Paternalism

By Cathy Young

Amidst this campaign’s bickering about which candidate is women’s friend or foe, the Obama camp targets young women in an eye-catching web ad intended as feminist but, in fact, profoundly insulting. Its main effect is to show that, while the Republicans have serious “woman problems” of their own making, the Democrats often peddle a pseudo-feminist paternalism that reeks of condescension.

The one-minute Obama for America spot features Lena Dunham, 26-year-old creator and star of the HBO show Girls, addressing a college-age female audience. “Your first time shouldn’t be with just anybody. You want to do it with a great guy,” Dunham says. “Someone who really cares about and understands women. It should be with a guy who cares whether you get health insurance, and specifically whether you get birth control.” At the end of the video, Dunham reminisces in hushed giddy tones, “My first-time voting was amazing… Before, I was a girl; now, I was a woman.” Then, with a coy suggestive grin, she discloses that she voted for (who else?) Barack Obama.

How to count the ways in which this is wrong? To start with, there’s the innuendo-laced voting-as-sex (or sex-as-voting) metaphor, in which a woman’s exercise of her basic right of citizenship is analogized both to choosing her first lover and to giving her virginity to the man she chooses as leader. It plays like a parody of the sexist clichés that reduce women’s lives to their sexual functions—and women’s politics to eroticized worship for the ultimate alpha male.

This particular alpha male is more sensitive than dominant, but make no mistake: it is still his role to take care of the little woman. It’s almost as if the ad makers wanted to validate conservative claims that the Democrats’ pitch to women is the state as a substitute husband — Uncle Sam taking over the traditional male role of provider and protector.

Many critics saw this theme in the Obama campaign’s famous interactive online ad, “The Life of Julia,” which tracked the Obama-favored government programs that would help a fictional woman through her life, from school to work to motherhood (with no husband in sight) to retirement. But in the “Julia” ad, the “Hubby Sam” theme was only inferred; it could be seen as a more general, albeit female-geared, statement about the benefits of government. In the “First Time” ad, the “let the government be your man” subtext is not even “sub.”

Young female voters, moreover, are portrayed in nakedly stereotypical terms: besides a mention of bringing soldiers home from Iraq and an obscure pay equity reference, they seem to care only about birth control and perfect weddings. Yes, weddings: when Dunham discusses Romney’s opposition to same-sex marriage, she says that he thinks “gay people should never have the kind of beautiful, complicated weddings that we see on Bravo and TLC all the time.”

There’s another cringeworthy twist: The video echoes a Russian campaign ad from earlier this year in which a young cutie consulting a fortuneteller about her “first time” discovered that her “intended” was Vladimir Putin. “I see that it will be for love, and with no cheating,” the psychic told her; “he’ll protect you like a stone wall.” The tagline read, “Putin: The first time, only for (heart).” After watching that, I told a Russian-speaking friend that, however bad American politicking might get, at least we wouldn’t see anything so crass or sexist here. Oops…

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