Monday, 11 November 2013


Ken Berwitz

A lot has been written - by me and countless others - about the disastrous ObamaCare rollout, the fact that President Obama lied to us about whether people could keep their insurance plans and their doctors (so egregious a lie that even the Democrat spin machine and its usually-compliant media are not working), and the effect it is having on President Obama's overall standing with the public.

But are Mr. Obama's all-time low poll numbers due to the public decisively telling us it does not want ObamaCare?  Is it that, as President Obama's overall approval ratings have sunk to new lows, so have his approval ratings on individual issues, ObamaCare among them? 

Or is something else driving his approval ratings downward?

  Look at this chart of Pew's findings for individual issues throughout the year, and judge for yourself:

Obama Approval on Economy: 31%, Health Care: 37%

What we see is that President Obama'a approval rating has dropped a staggering 24%:  from +12 (52%-40%) to -12 (41%-53%).

And we also see that Mr. Obama's rating has dropped for every other major issue as well. 

In research, movement like this is often attributed to a "negative halo effect":  that is, when the overall opinion about someone or something drops, the opinion about each of each individual attribute associated with that someone or something drops as well.

But that does not appear to tell the whole story here.  Look at the drop for each individual issue and see the difference:

-Health Care:   From -2 to -22%:  a net drop of 20%

-The Economy:  From -16% to -34%:  a net drop of 18%

-Immigration policy:  +1% to -28%:  a net drop of 29%

-The threat of terrorism:  +37% - +7%:  a net drop of 30%

-Foreign policy:  +1% - -22%:  a net drop of 23%

Interestingly - maybe very significantly - we see that, as badly as ObamaCare (health care) has fared (-20%), it is not even the main event on individual issues. 

At -30%, the threat of terrorism shows the single greatest drop.  But, in my opinion, we should not make a lot over Mr. Obama's numbers for this issue, on the grounds that it probably relates to the public's maddenly short memory regarding terrorist acts.  Our concern about terrorism jumps sky-high when there is an attack, and then drops back down over a relatively short period of time afterwards...until the next attack, when it jumps up again.  Sad, but true.

To me, the main event is immigration policy (read that as amnesty). 

At -29% from just February to the present, that is not just a drop; it is a cliff-dive. 

And, let's remember, this is before we have final amnesty legislation which the house and senate will be voting on.  What happens when the legislation is formulated, and it either offers amnesty outright to millions of illegal aliens, or moves it so far forward that the public understands amnesty is just a step away?

What if, as the Obama halo has worn off, the public has become more willing to rethink his policies on individual issues - immigration very much included?

-What if a great many US citizens - maybe a great many more than just a few months ago - now see amnesty not as the humanitarian effort Mr. Obama told us about, but as giving away citizenship to a ton of Mexican nationals, most of whom will still consider themselves Mexican nationals?

-What if they perceive that these people see the USA as a cash cow to be milked dry - that illegals take jobs, drive down wages, and exploit the social safety nets on the backs of taxpaying legals.  

-And what if they perceive that Democrat politicians could not give a rat's rear about the humanitarian aspect of amnesty or its affect on the country, but see millions of Mexican illegals as potential new voters who will vastly prefer their party over Republicans, thus locking in a Democrat majority for a long time? 

Media have been telling us for the past several months that, post-ObamaCare, amnesty is the major issue for President Obama and his fellow Democrats next year - which also happens to be mid-term election year.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Republicans will look at Pew's poll data and hope they are right.

Zeke .... .... ..... Seems Lincoln was correct : . . . . You can't fool ALL of the people ALL of the time. . . . . . . . . (11/11/13)


Apropos of nothing political:

Here are my two nominations for the world's greatest tombstone.

The first one is Rodney "I don't get no respect" Dangerfield's.  

You have to admit, that's a strong contender - both for originality and honesty.  

But the next one - which memorializes (sort of) One Lester Moore - a Wells Fargo station agent in the border town of Naco, Arizona - may have it beat. 

At some time during the 1880's the exact date is unknown), Mr. Moore had a very brief, very decisive argument with a disgruntled customer named Hank Dunstan.  Mr. Dunstan objected to the condition of a package delivered to the station and handed to him by Moore.  An argument ensued, and both men drew their guns. Dunstan was faster, nailing Moore four times before Moore, now mortally injured, managed one shot of his own, which hit Dunstan in the chest, killing him instantly.

I have no idea what is on Hank Dunstan's tombstone.  But I am certain that the sentiment on Lester Moore's will live forever:


Which of these two is the big winner?  That's for you to decide.  But be assured neither Mr. Dangerfield nor Mr. Moore is particularly concerned with your choice.

Ok, back to politics....where, for congresspeople in competitive districts, saying "I support ObamaCare" may be the same as writing their own epitaphs.


Ken Berwitz

Today's Chicago Tribune has what may well be the single best editorial about ObamaCare I have seen to date.

I will post a few excerpts below.  But, in order to read them, you have to promise that you will use this link and read the rest as well.  It is really that good.

You promise?  Ok, good.  Here's your taste -- and please pay special attention to the last part, which I have put in bold print:

President Barack Obama's signature accomplishment is teetering. The Obamacare website is a national punch line. Millions of Americans, repeatedly reassured by Obama that they could keep their doctors and health plans, are discovering that they can't. Their insurance policies are being canceled. The price of new coverage is substantially higher. The new coverage may force them to choose new doctors. And the law says they have to buy insurance or pay a fine.


No wonder worried Democratic lawmakers are pelting the White House with suggestions for various changes to Obamacare. Among them: Rescind those cancellations and allow consumers to keep their coverage, even if it doesn't meet Obamacare mandates. Extend the coverage enrollment period and delay the law's mandate that everyone obtain insurance or pay a penalty.


The American public is having a credibility-shattering debate about the president: Did he not bother to learn the details of the law before he told us we could keep our doctors and our insurance, or did he know the truth and flat-out lie?


Political consequences from the early failure of Obamacare are likely. But far more important are the personal consequences for American consumers.


There are early indications that many young and healthy people are opting not to buy insurance. There are two likely reasons: It's nearly impossible for anyone to sign up, and the cost is prohibitive for people who have modest incomes but don't qualify for subsidies.


If this continues, you'll hear the phrase "death spiral" more and more. That's the term insurance execs use to describe what will happen if young and relatively healthy people don't pay into the system while older people with greater health care needs sign up. If that happens, increased costs will vastly outstrip increased revenues, putting enormous financial pressure on the whole scheme.


Last week, Obama apologized to people who are losing their health insurance despite his repeated assurances to the contrary. "I am sorry they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me," he told NBC News.


People don't need an apology - heartfelt or, as this one appeared, grudging. They need to know their health coverage isn't in jeopardy.


An essential first step: Accept that government doesn't know what's best for everyone. That people can decide what coverage they need and can afford.

Bullseye.  Right on target. Especially the part about not forcing people to buy what an Obamabot in Washington D.C. thinks is best, but allowing people to make up their own minds about what insurance they need.


The operative term is freedom.  Let me say that a little louder.  FREEDOM.


Sorry for the shouting but, given how little the Obama administration seems to understand about what the word means, I thought it was necessary.


As for the Chicago Tribune?  An excellent editorial.  A necessary, and long-overdue awakening from the whatever possessed it to endorse President Obama for re-election last year. 


Despite that endorsement, the old adage, "better late than never" is still true.  So - keeping in mind that, no matter how bad things are, they can always be worse - let's hope the Trib retains its belatedly discovered good sense through next year's mid-term elections. 

Zeke ....... ....... Obama is an UN-Truther .. . . . . . . (11/11/13)

Zeke ....... ....... Obama is an UN-Truther .. . . . . . . (11/11/13)


Ken Berwitz

As regular readers of this blog know, I have written many times about the non-stop series of foreign policy disasters visited upon us by the woefully inept, incompetent, overmatched Obama administration.

And none has been as inept, incompetent or potentially disastrous as the current "policy" (if you can even call it that) regarding nuclear-bound Iran, in which we make concessions and beg the mullahs to be nice, while they continue, inexorably, toward acquiring the means to achieve their goal of vaporizing Israel...presumably, with us next.

In other words, exactly what the pathetic Obama/Clinton, now Obama/Kerry, tandem have done with Palestinian Arabs:  demand that Israel make more concesssions (evidently 46 years of them, without peace or any hint of it, isn't enough) while expecting nothing tangible from those wonderful folks who, identically to Iran, want Israel gone and every Jew dead.

What does that tell you about Barack Obama's support of Israel?

Yeah, I know he says he supports Israel.  But look at his actions....and remember that this is the same Barack Obama who, for three years, has said that ObamaCare would allow everyone to keep their insurance policy and keep the doctors they like.

(How many lies does it take to recognize you are being lied to?  With Barack Obama, I can only hope you are already well past the point of wondering about that.)

Jed Babbin, writing for American Spectator, has summed up the black hole that is Obama & Co.'s foreign policy, so well that I thought you might want to read his analysis.  Here are just the first three paragraphs - after which I hope you use the link I've provided and read every word:

President Obama's foreign policy record remains intact. Across the world from which he is withdrawing American power and influence, governments are recognizing that where once a superpower resided, now only a shadow remains.

First it was left to the Communist Chinese to admonish us against spending too much. Then they began a campaign to replace the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. The French led us into Libya because they needed to protect their oil interests there. Then Vladimir Putin bamboozled Obama into an agreement on Syria which goes against America interests by enabling Assad to remain in power while Iran flexes its muscles there. And that was after Putin suckered Obama into a new nuclear arms agreement that went against American interests and prior well-thought-out policies.

Now, Obama is eagerly chasing Iran, like a puppy chasing a ball, seeking an agreement that would relieve Iran of economic sanctions without doing anything to slow or stop Irans march to nuclear weapons.

Exactly.  It couldn't have been said better.

I count the days - make that the seconds - until this impossibly incapable administration becomes an asterisk of history....with the fervent hope that its actions don't consign the USA to the same fate beforehand.

Zeke .... ..... ..... Israel has been acknowledged a nuclear power since the 1970's. . . . . . .In four decades since then, they well could have developed HYDROGEN Bombs. . . . . These are 100 times more powerful than Atomic Bombs. . . . . . . Obama's stance of allowing Iran to develop an A-bomb could result in a thermonuclear Armageddon - - - the Iranians were not deterred by massive casualties in the 1980's war with Iraq -- the mullahs will not care if half their population is destroyed. . . ., , , ,, (Mutually Assured Destruction is not a deterrent to Iran) (11/11/13)


Ken Berwitz

Remember the IRS scandal - or, as I call it, the Lie-RS scandal?

Remember lois lerner, who headed the IRS's tax exempt division during the time it was nailing every conservative "tea party" group it could find, while happily handing out tax exemptions to their left wing counterparts?  The one who told us she did nothing wrong, and then pled the fifth, like a common criminal?  The one who abruptly "retired" when the investigations closed in on her complicity in the IRS's politically motivated dirty tricks?

Well, I thought you might be interested in seeing what was going on while this sorry bunch was busy playing Chicago machine-style politics - what they might have been addressing instead:

Excerpted from Katie McHugh's article at

The Internal Revenue Service sent $4 billion to identity thieves filing fraudulent tax returns in 2012, at the same time it was devoting resources to invasive politically targeted audits of not-for-profit groups, according to a recent report released by Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George.

The IRS, which is now overseeing Obamacare's complicated implementation and collecting its tax penalties, sent 343 tax refunds to a single address in Shanghai, and another 655 tax refunds to one in Lithuania, according to CBS News.

A statement detailing a similar report filed by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found 1.1 million fraudulent tax returns were filed with clearly fabricated Social Security numbers that IRS could have detected, costing taxpayers $3.6 billion in 2011.

Wonderful.  Just wonderful.

So the IRS people spent their time denying tax exemptions to groups likely to be critical of Barack Obama - just in time to help prevent them from having an effect on his 2012 re-election campaign - while billions of dollars of taxpayer money were going straight down a rathole, right under their noses.

Oh, did I mention that the head of the tax exempt division when this hugo chavez-like disgrace first started, sarah hall ingram, has been rewarded with a promotion, and now heads the IRS's enforcement division of - what else? - ObamaCare?

Many thanks to Katie McHugh, and especially to CBS News - which has evolved into a network which truly appears to care about presenting both sides of the story*.

How soon (if ever) before the others climb on board the neutrality train?


*I had a very informative discussion with a major news reporter at CBS last year, during which he/she told me that the network seemed to be going in this direction (I promised not to reveal him/her as a source when we spoke, and I honor my promises, so you'll just have to guess who it was  - but, believe me, you know the name).   

I was highly skeptical of his/her assessment at that time.  Happily, however, I am not anymore. 

Zeke .... . .. . Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? . . . . .. -- Who will guard [us] from the guardians [themselves] . . . . Juvenal - 1st century AD Rome (11/11/13)

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