In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Sunday, February 5, 2023

Democrats scramble for damage control

Insurance companies aren’t playing nice any more. Their dire message that health care legislation will drive up premiums for people who already have coverage comes as a warning shot at a crucial point in the debate, and threatens President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.

Democrats and their allies scrambled on Monday to knock down a new industry-funded study forecasting that Senate legislation, over time, will add thousands of dollars to the cost of a typical policy. “Distorted and flawed,” said White House spokeswoman Linda Douglass. “Fundamentally dishonest,” said AARP’s senior policy strategist, John Rother. “A hatchet job,” said a spokesman for Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.

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Ten reasons NOT to read Capitol Hill Blue

1) You’re already depressed enough about things in your personal life that you can’t control.

2) Some of Doug’s titles are such downers that you can’t bring yourself to read the column, “Losing America” for example. Trust me. I read it and now I have all I can do to keep from having a second glass of pinot noir.

3) The other columnists, myself included, seem to have refined kvetching to an internet version of graffiti.

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Losing America

Mountain Lake in Southwestern Virginia substituted for the Catskills in the Patrick Swayze movie, Dirty Dancing, in 1987 but the lake today is little more than a pond, the victim of a draining leak and prolonged dry conditions that leaves the waterline far from the dock and gazebo at the lake’s hotel.

“Kinda like America,” said Ezra Lukins, a West Virginian visiting the lodge on Sunday. “It sure ain’t what it used to be.”

When time and weather permits, I climb aboard my Harley Super Glide to tour the back roads of Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and other Southeastern states, looking for the America that was.

What I usually find is the America that is — empty storefronts, rusting factories and abandoned homes and farms.

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State races could spell trouble for Obama

When President Obama captured the White House nearly a year ago, his victory in Virginia was, for many Democrats, one of the most heartening moments of the night.

He was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win this state since 1964, assembling a coalition — independent voters, economically distressed rural Democrats and blacks — that his party saw as evidence that it could take and hold Republican-leaning areas across the nation.

But things are different today. At a time when Mr. Obama’s national approval ratings have declined, a Democratic candidate for governor, R. Creigh Deeds, is struggling to keep Virginia in the Democratic column.

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A continued U.S. failure in Afghanistan

Even as President Obama leads an intense debate over whether to send more troops to Afghanistan, administration officials say the United States is falling far short of his goals to fight the country’s endemic corruption, create a functioning government and legal system and train a police force currently riddled with incompetence.

Interviews with senior administration and military officials and recent reports assessing Afghanistan’s progress show that nearly seven months after Mr. Obama announced a stepped-up civilian effort to bolster his deployment of 17,000 additional American troops, many civil institutions are deteriorating as much as the country’s security.

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Unemployed grads: A bright, lost generation

Bright, eager—and unwanted. While unemployment is ravaging just about every part of the global workforce, the most enduring harm is being done to young people who can’t grab onto the first rung of the career ladder.

Affected are a range of young people, from high school dropouts, to college grads, to newly minted lawyers and MBAs across the developed world from Britain to Japan. One indication: In the U.S., the unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds has climbed to more than 18%, from 13% a year ago.

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Insurance report undercuts health care claims

A report commissioned by America’s Health Insurance Plans says the Senate Finance Committee legislation will cause health care costs to go up faster than under the current system.

The report, which was conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, has caused some buzz among Hill GOP aides and infuriated the Obama White House.

The report will drop ahead of a crucial vote on the bill Tuesday in the Finance Committee, and could figure into the discussion there. At the very least, expect to hear a lot more about the report from Republicans, who are looking to slow any kind of momentum for the Democratic health care reform proposals after the Congressional Budget Office’s positive analysis last week.

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Hey, what’s with all the cussin’ at 1600 Penn?

President Barack Obama called rap star Kanye West “a jackass.” Vice President Joe Biden told a senator to “Gimme a fucking break!” Economic adviser Christina Romer declared that Americans had yet to have their “holy shit” moment over the economy.

Those who pay attention to political rhetoric say an unusual amount of profanity has emanated from this White House – even without counting famously colorful White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel. But before this statement becomes fodder for yet another partisan debate (with conservatives saying Obama is disgracing the presidency, and liberals that the media are once again being unfair), they quickly add that Team Obama is no crasser than administrations past. It’s just that they are being quoted more accurately.

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Not Like It Wasn’t Obvious

Perhaps it is the mediocrity of the 2008 presidential campaign that stands out most this time around. The two wings of the party have selected candidates that qualify as “Acceptables” – McCain for the Republican wing and either Hillary or Barack for the Democratic wing.

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