The year was 1973 and I was in the 8th grade. The physical education teacher at our school thought it would be a good idea to see how many students could qualify for the President’s Physical Fitness Award.
For whatever reason, one of the requirements was to walk half a mile. Two trips around the track, I thought. Piece of cake.
Except that these weren’t to be solo laps. On the contrary, they were to be completed with one student carrying another student on his or her back.
Francis is a good man with plenty to teach us. Economics isn’t one of those things. His latest literary offering wasn’t wrong: “the excluded are still waiting,” especially in his poverty-stricken native Argentina, but his home country is a model of socialism, not “trickle-down” capitalism. How can he not know that?
My humble suggestion: the His Holiness should seriously consider with whom he’s siding on the economic front. He can start by signing up for the email list of U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-Twitter).
“[...] the Supreme Court could decide that for-profit employers can limit access to birth control by constraining insurance options available to their employees,” Booker said in a Saturday morning email blast referring, of course, to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to consider an Obamacare contraception mandate challenge. “Allowing employers to inject themselves into these intensely personal decisions would be a huge step backward.”
It’s not that Booker is invincible, as was widely thought prior to the Special Senate Election last October. He is beatable. Steve Lonegan exposed the fallacies of the Booker myth and Patrick Murray documented that Booker’s support is shallow. Had Washington Republicans not followed Senator Ted Cruz’s lead to shut down the government in October and had State Comptroller Matt Boxer released his audit of Newark’s City Government which exposed millions of wasted taxpayer money and management practices that encourage fraud in September instead of this week, Lonegan might have pulled off the upset that Booker deserved.
There’s nothing wrong with 4 of the 5 Republicans reported to be looking to challenge Booker. Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, Senator Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr, Senator Mike Doherty or Assemblyman Jay Webber would all serve New Jersey well in the U.S. Senate.
HACKED OFF: Hackers or careless bureaucrats could cause private information to be spilled across the Internet. But the federal government, unlike most states, don’t have to tell users when they have been compromised.
Americans who buy health insurance through the federal Obamacare exchange website could have their personal information stolen by hackers and never even know it.
Most of the state-run health exchange websites will be covered by state laws that require notification when government databases are breached by hackers. But there is no law requiring notification when databases run by the federal government are breached, and even though the Department of Health and Human Services was asked to include a notification provision in the rules being drawn up for the new federal exchange, it declined to do so.
Other protections for individuals’ privacy, like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, do not apply to the government-run exchange, only to health providers and insurance companies operating within the exchange.
No, Save Jerseyans, you can’t put a price on life. Ignorance? It comes pretty cheap in America 2013.
The following video isn’t from Saturday Night Live, Comedy Central or The Onion. It’s for realsies. Specifically, the YouTube short emedded below was the winning entry in a HHS-sponsored contest designed to reinforce sagging public confidence in the (Un)affordable Care Act; the featured young lady offers her pro-Obamacare rendition of the popular song “Price Tag.”
Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services this week, Save Jerseyans, as part of a last-ditch effort to rescue the plans of roughly 90,000 New Jersey residents whose Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield B&E plans will be destroyed by ObamaCare come January 1st.
“Time is of the absolute essence. Thousands of New Jersey residents are scrambling this holiday season to ensure continued health coverage for families,” said Lance. “The federal government should ensure that these New Jersey residents who like their health care plans are able to keep them and meet the President’s promise.”
Governor Chris Christie, for his part, refused to require insurance company compliance with President Obama’s executive order permitting the extension of certain B&E plans for one year despite the fact that they no longer comply with Obamacare’s mandates. The President’s gesture was empty; it’s nearly impossible for most companies to reconfigure their insurance products now that rates have been calculated and set for 2014.
Text of Rep. Lance’s letter to Administrator Marilyn Tavenner is below the fold; click here for a pdf copy.
The City of Newark is in the middle of its first post-Booker mayoral race, Save Jerseyans, and on Wednesday evening, candide and councilamn Ras Baraka happily accepted the backing of former Mayor Ken Gibson at a Robert Treat Hotel campaign event.
“Having Ken Gibson on my side is the ultimate reference check,” Baraka told PolitickerNJ. ”It’s the ultimate in street credibility.”
Yes, Mr. Gibson is the first black mayor of a major northeastern city. He also oversaw much of the Brick City’s decline and ended his public career in disgrace. Failures come in all colors, folks. I’m unimpressed by historical auras. Results are what matter.
There are plenty of substantive things we can do to help our cities, and the introduction of school choice reforms should be at the top of everyone’s list. What you and I can’t do, Save Jerseyans, is rescue a dead culture that exalts guys like Sharpe James and Ken Gibson as heroes but denounces folks like Condi Rice and Allen West as “traitors.” America’s cities need real heroes: role models who demonstrate that you can succeed in America by keeping your nose clean, working hard and supporting your family. Newark doesn’t need more base crooks or shallow celebrities to give its children warped views of success; they’re already drowning in them.
There is growing concern about what appear to be recent attacks on free markets and on capitalism itself by Pope Francis.
Mary Anastasia O’Grady has analyzed all this quite objectively in the Wall Street Journal. Here’s part of what she has to say:
In the document released last week he [Pope Francis] admonished those who defend “trickle-down theories, which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.” There is no empirical evidence for this, he wrote. It is instead “a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”