From July, 2013

The Nanny State Suffers a Setback

Very good news: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial plan to keep large sugary drinks out of restaurants and other eateries was rejected by a state appeals court on Tuesday, which said he had overstepped his authority in trying to impose the ban. The law, which would have prohibited those businesses from selling sodas and other sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces (473 ml), “violated the state principle of separation of powers,” the First Department of the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division said. The decision, upholding a lower court ruling in March that struck down the law, dealt a…

How Obamacare “Works”

$12 billion ain’t exactly chicken feed: President Barack Obama’s decision to delay implementation of part of his healthcare reform law will cost $12 billion and leave a million fewer Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance in 2014, congressional researchers said Tuesday. The report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is the first authoritative estimate of the human and fiscal cost from the administration’s unexpected one-year delay announced July 2 of the employer mandate – a requirement for larger businesses to provide health coverage for their workers or pay a penalty. The analysts said the delay will add to the cost of “Obamacare’s” insurance-coverage provisions over the…

Bergoglio and Branding

Patrick Ruffini on what the Republican party can learn from Pope Francis: Months ago, Catholics and other observers wondered changes would be in store with the election of Cardinal Bergoglio. Most honed in on how he might differ from Benedict XVI on doctrinal grounds, or in reining in the Roman Curia. These are the kinds of substantive matters that Very Serious People, and those who pretend to be like them in the media, are supposed to care about. And they are quite important in the long-term unfolding of history.  But ask the average man on the street what has changed…

Brainbuilding

For those among us who want to make sure that we remain sharp, there is bookreading, chess, Go, crosswords, exercise, and this. I played n-back games for a while a couple of years ago, and have fallen off the wagon. I need to get back on it.

In Some Blog Posts, I Don’t Even Have to Offer Editorial Comments

Link: In order to ensure Americans understand how to access the benefits available to them when many provisions of the Affordable Care Act go online October 1, the Obama administration announced last month that it is setting up a call center that will be accessible to Americans 24 hours a day.  One branch of that call center will be located in California’s Contra Costa County, where, reportedly, 7,000 people applied for the 204 jobs. According to the Contra Costa Times, however, “about half the jobs are part-time, with no health benefits — a stinging disappointment to workers and local politicians who believed the positions would be full-time.”…

Health Care “Reform” and a Revealing Quote

Remember the Obama administration’s decision to delay the implementation of the employer mandate section of Obamacare? Sure you do. Now, check out the following quote from Democratic operative Chris Lehane on why the delay is a good idea for the Obama administration and for Democrats: “You’d have preferred to avoid this. On the other hand, you potentially go into the midterms now in a situation where people are getting savings, and you’re not going to have the potential peril of some small businesses or restaurant owners making people part-time,” Lehane said. (Emphasis mine.) Yeah, let’s not worry about small business…

Your Government at Work

Behold: A new report by the inspector general of the IRS found that a small group of top executives at the IRS ran up “extremely high travel expenses” in recent years, with some basically commuting each week to work in Washington, D.C. by plane from around the nation. “In some cases, the travel days exceeded the number of business days due to employees remaining in travel status during the weekends and holidays,” the report said. An IRS source told me the most frequent travelers were four different officials inside the tax agency who “work” in Washington, at IRS headquarters, but…