In this post I'm continuing the analysis of the final version of the basic application for ObamaCare that I began here. I'm going to look at how ObamaCare "nudges" citizens consumers into "opting" to renew their eligibility automatically for five years, instead of fewer years, or not at all.
(a) In General- In the event that the debt of the United States Government, as defined in section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, reaches the statutory limit, the Secretary of the Treasury shall, in addition to any other authority provided by law, issue obligations under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, to pay with legal tender, and solely for the purpose of paying, the principal and interest on obligations of the United States described in subsection (b) after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(b) Obligations Described- For purposes of this subsection, obligations described in this subsection are obligations which are--
(1) held by the public, or
(2) held by the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and Disability Insurance Trust Fund.
So, in brief, the Bill provides for the Treasury, even when it is about to reach the debt ceiling, to issue additional debt to pay principal and interest on debt instruments issued to the public including foreign nations, and to pay principal and interest on Social Security (SS) “trust fund bonds” in the course of paying SS recipients. Read below the fold...
IRS Kept Shifting Targets in Tax-Exempt Groups Scrutiny: Report
That's the headline. And by "shifting" we mean "expanding."
When tax agents started singling out non-profit groups for extra scrutiny in 2010, they looked at first only for key words such as 'Tea Party,' but later they focused on criticisms by groups of "how the country is being run," according to investigative findings reviewed by Reuters on Sunday.
Over two years, IRS field office agents repeatedly changed their criteria while sifting through thousands of applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status to select ones for possible closer examination, the findings showed.
At one point, the agents chose to screen applications from groups focused on making "America a better place to live."
Yeah, who could want that? Still, I guess as long as you don't put "Occupier" in the Occupation (!) line on your 1040, you should be OK, right? Read below the fold...
This is not some modest pilot program or experimental initiative that we’re debating, after all: It’s a massive reorganization of a hugely important sector of the American economy at a time when our economic and fiscal challenges are not exactly slight. And saying “if you agree there are unfairnesses in the current health care system, then you must agree to try out our $1 trillion program while we continue the debate” is just not a recipe for sound policymaking, no matter how dysfunctional the opposition party is at the moment.
That’s because America rarely just “tries out” major expansions of the welfare state: Rather, our history strongly suggests that programs in motion tend to stay in motion, and that the best time to change a potentially-dysfunctional system is before it gets entrenched — before interest groups organize themselves around perpetuating those dysfunctions, before voters become accustomed to the program’s guarantees, and before the political system learns to take its existence for granted and turns to other debates instead. Whereas once something becomes the Way We Redistribute, it’s both hard to pare back and harder to propose alternatives, no matter what the data ultimately show about the program’s actual effectiveness.
It’s true, as Frakt and Carroll note, that no alternative reform is likely to be implemented as quickly as Obamacare itself. But it’s also true that if you favor a substantially-different alternative, cheering on the law’s full implementation while participating in a “conversation about how to make [it] more efficient and effective” is likely to lead to that alternative being passed sometime around the Fourth of Never. And this reality means, in turn, that for all the dilemmas that the current state of the Republican Party creates for thoughtful opponents of the new health care law, they still have an obligation to oppose.
Clue Stick, Ross: "You can't beat something with nothing." And there's a perfectly sound "substantially-different" alternative proposed by at least conservative, and a doctor: Read below the fold...
You'll never believe what SF Pride CEO Earl Plante tells KTVU-2 News. Plus I love the chants.
Court Martial or Grand Marshal? Why did SF Pride Ban Bradley Manning? 7 May 2013 YouTube posted on May 10, 2013 by MayaMediated
YouTube info: "Well, there's a couple of reasons for that!" What ARE the reasons Bradley Manning was barred from becoming Grand Marshal of San Francisco Pride 2013? You'll be happy to know they're very simple. Read below the fold...
Adapting a comment I made over at NC: Realize that the administration is now in full campaign mode on ObamaCare during the rollout, and will likely be through 2014 at least.
Therefore, you should treat every single statement on ObamaCare -- every single statement -- uttered by administration officials, Democratic think tanks, career "progressives," and Obots generally as carefully engineered and centrally co-ordinated bullshit,* exactly as if we were in the midst of a political campaign. Read below the fold...
Here is the start of my edible forest: One of my three filbert trees in its nano-climate.* I bought them last year at the Fedco tree sale, and they survived the winter!
The problem twigs seem to be dead; I scratch them with my thumbnail, and there's no green. So what to do? Does the tree fix that all on its own? Or do I cut back 'til I find live wood? The leaves on lower branches seem fine, but I have this image that hormones at the tips of the branches lead the tree upward toward the sun, so if the tips of the branches are dead, that could be a problem! Read below the fold...
Over the past decade, a number of major automakers in America have relied on the services of a French-born cultural anthropologist, G. Clotaire Rapaille, whose speciality is getting beyond the rational—what he calls "cortex"—impressions of consumers and tapping into their deeper, "reptilian" responses. And what Rapaille concluded from countless, intensive sessions with car buyers was that when S.U.V. buyers thought about safety they were thinking about something that reached into their deepest unconscious. "The No. 1 feeling is that everything surrounding you should be round and soft, and should give," Rapaille told me. "There should be air bags everywhere. Then there's this notion that you need to be up high. That's a contradiction, because the people who buy these S.U.V.s know at the cortex level that if you are high there is more chance of a rollover. But at the reptilian level they think that if I am bigger and taller I'm safer. You feel secure because you are higher and dominate and look down. That you can look down is psychologically a very powerful notion. And what was the key element of safety when you were a child? It was that your mother fed you, and there was warm liquid. That's why cupholders are absolutely crucial for safety. If there is a car that has no cupholder, it is not safe. If I can put my coffee there, if I can have my food, if everything is round, if it's soft, and if I'm high, then I feel safe. It's amazing that intelligent, educated women will look at a car and the first thing they will look at is how many cupholders it has. " During the design of Chrysler's PT Cruiser, one of the things Rapaille learned was that car buyers felt unsafe when they thought that an outsider could easily see inside their vehicles. So Chrysler made the back window of the PT Cruiser smaller. Of course, making windows smaller—and thereby reducing visibility—makes driving more dangerous, not less so. But that's the puzzle of what has happened to the automobile world: feeling safe has become more important than actually being safe.
A Message from the [current] resident of Cooper Union 5-11-13
There has been a concern on campus that some guards may be armed. Vice President Westcott periodically hires security guards for events or when crowds are expected, because Cooper has only a minimal security staff. These are NYPD-trained security personnel, who have received the best training in safety and legal procedures available in New York City. We were unaware that some carried concealed weapons, and regret the needless apprehension that was caused when a guard was asked if he was armed and responded in the affirmative. It is not uncommon for security guards in New York offices to be armed. Nevertheless, Vice President Westcott assures us that, since becoming aware of this, no guards will carry arms.