Tagged California

The Anti-Vaccine Movement Meets Reality

In the worst way, of course: In the ongoing skirmishes between public health officials and vaccine skeptics, I’m scoring this one for the pro-immunization forces. A Canadian woman who had declined to have her children immunized against pertussis, better known as whooping cough, has changed her position now that all seven of her children have come down with the disease. Yes, Tara Hills was stuck in isolation at her Ottawa home for more than a week with her sick children and her regrets about refusing to vaccinate them against the highly contagious respiratory disease. Whooping cough, a bacterial infection, causes violent,…

Neel Kashkari Is Something Special

I’ve told you that before, of course, but it is worth telling you again, seeing as how Kashkari trounced Jerry Brown in a debate last week. How do we know that Kashkari won? Well, because of this: When asked after the debate if he will agree to participate in another exchange of issues and ideas with his challenger before election day, Brown said, “I think we’ve exposed the differences.” That’s Jerry Brownese for “I know I lost this debate, and I really don’t want to have to repeat the experience, lest my campaign be thrown into utter chaos.” Brown is still the…

Neel Kashkari on the Jobs Situation in California

Neel Kashkari decided to highlight the bad jobs situation in California by putting “only $40 in my pocket (and no credit cards), a backpack, a change of clothes and a toothbrush,” traveling to Fresno (by Greyhound bus), and seeing whether he could find a job. Any job. It should not have been difficult; as Kashkari points out, “I am an able-bodied 41-year-old. Surely I could find some work.” As it turns out, he wasn’t able to find a single job in the one week during which he carried out his experiment. Not one. Was this something of a publicity stunt…

Neel Kashkari for Governor of California

George Will discusses Kashkari’s appeal, which might well prove to be considerable, given the politics of the state of California. The state would do well to elect a governor who has more than a passing amount of experience with the private sector, of course; hasn’t California had enough of career politicians like Jerry Brown, who have barely (if ever) worked outside of the political/governmental sphere? And to be sure, Will is right to identify Kashkari as representative of a new brand of Republicanism. If there is anything that the past few years have taught us, it is that the GOP…

Kudos to California

It has legalized the sale of cottage food, which means–among other things–that one is no longer breaking the law if one sells bread made in one’s own oven. Since government does have a tendency to keep expanding, it is nice to see that every once in a while, it can contract, and it is important to celebrate when a responsible contraction occurs.

Opportunism Knocks

Over in California, Republicans are trying to get Democratic state senator Rod Wright kicked out of the California legislature for having been convicted of “eight counts of voter fraud and perjury for lying about whether he lived in his district.” Democrats are resisting, claiming “hilariously” that “the judge could overturn the verdict.” Of course, it should surprise precisely no one to find out that the reasons for hesitation on the part of California Democrats has much more to do with politics than it has to do with issues of ethics: If Wright goes and if State Sen. Ron Calderon, recently…

Obamacare and the Setback in Civics

Once again, if a Republican president did this kind of thing, we would be complaining about an imperial presidency: For the second time in a year, the Obama administration is giving certain employers extra time before they must offer health insurance to almost all their full-time workers. Under new rules announced Monday by Treasury Department officials, employers with 50 to 99 workers will be given until 2016 — two years longer than originally envisioned under the Affordable Care Act — before they risk a federal penalty for not complying. Companies with 100 workers or more are getting a different kind…

Obamacare: The Hits Keep On Coming

Obamacare and employment are not a match made in Heaven: A historically high number of people will be locked out of the workforce by 2021, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday. President Barack Obama‘s signature health-care law will contribute to this phenomenon, the CBO said, citing new estimates that the Affordable Care Act will cause a larger-than-expected reduction in working hours—eliminating the equivalent of about 2.3 million workers in 2021. In 2011, the CBO estimated the law would cause a reduction of about 800,000 full-time equivalent workers. “CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of…

The “New and Improved” Obamacare May Be New, But It Is Hardly Improved

Someday, when it comes to the rollout of Obamacare, I will assume that things cannot possibly get worse, and blessedly, I will be right. Today, however, is not that day: Raising concerns about consumer privacy, California’s health exchange has given insurance agents the names and contact information for tens of thousands of people who went online to check out coverage but didn’t ask to be contacted. The Covered California exchange said it started handing out this consumer information this week as part of a pilot program to help people enroll ahead of a Dec. 23 deadline to have health insurance…

Of Persistent Obamacare Gremlins and Other Health Care Policy Failures

I presume that this is the “new and improved” Obamacare that everyone is suddenly supposed to be enthusiastic about: After refusing for weeks to detail the extent of back-end problems with healthcare.gov, the Obama administration on Friday said a technical bug affected approximately 25 percent of enrollments on the federal exchanges in October and November. Those technical bugs, separate from the troubles consumers had experienced accessing information on the website during the first two months, are posing a significant new problem for those who signed up and are expecting insurance coverage come Jan. 1. One in four of those applications either did not…