Friday, July 26, 2013

McClellan and Herring Suddenly Silent

In an election that is about jobs, and the economy, Democrats realize that their record leaves a lot to be desired. So, they go back to the same old well with the same old talking points about the "War on Women". Well what do Virginia's own Woman Warriors think when their colleagues get caught , harrassing, whoring, or otherwise disrespecting women? The simple answer is that we don't know. They have maintained silence. Do Delegates McClellan and Herring think that sexual harrasment is wrong only when Republicans do it? 

Democratic Party officials have(now) called for the resignation of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner after he was outed for sexually harrassing seven women, all of whom brought the story to light on national television. Del.'s Herring McClellan have been notably silent on this. 

 Bob is not the only example, either, by a long-shot. How about New York Governor Eliot Spitzer or Anthony Weiner? (Still can't get over that name). Weiner is right now embroiled in a sexting scandal, and boldly refusing to drop out of his race for New York Mayor. The 45 year old politico was caught sending the pics of the full package to a 23 year old woman from Indiana. Spitzer is trying to revive his political career as well, running for New York's comptroller after the devastating prostitution scandal that he went through just a few years ago. Do these chauvinists get a free pass because they vote blue? Where is the righteous condemnation now? 

Delegates Herring and McClellan, I look forward to hearing from you about this in the upcoming legislative session. The war on hypocritical talking points is on. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

For Medicaid, Cuccinelli is the Hero not the Villain

I'm not mad, Terry...I'm disappointed.

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa, guy. That's pretty compelling. Does Ken Cuccinelli actually want to do away with Medicaid and Social Security? Much like the other claims that the McAuliffe camp has made, this requires some verification. 

To begin with, admittedly, the commercial is more professionally done than I expected. All of that out-of-state money can really buy some production value. I can't speak much know...if there is even cursory validity in the statement that it makes, but at least Terry didn't misspell anything.

Sadly, though, it took all of two days for even the Washington Post to rate the claims that this article made FALSE, giving it three well-deserved Pinocchios. Along with, the WaPo uncovered that this is the textbook definition of petty cherry picking.

When it comes to Medicaid, Ken Cuccinelli is the only one who has a leg to stand on.
As AG, Ken has led what has been called the "one of the...most effective Medicaid fraud units in the nation" by the Richmond Academy of Medicine(RAM). Cuccinelli's MFCU(Medicaid Fraud Control Unit) makes sure that the Medicaid program is run properly and with integrity. The RAM notes "Medicaid fraud takes place in some surprising venues, and ultimately it‘s the most vulnerable and poorest people who lose out." In 2011 they opened nearly 150 cases in Virginia against those accused of trying to con the system.

As recently as June, pressure from the AG's office on the Federal government got Virginia a well-deserved 115 million dollars to continue protecting Virginia's Medicaid recipients and enforcing the law. Instead of spending his time on attacks, Ken uses the AG's office to help the people of Virginia that honestly rely on Medicaid and other programs for their quality of life.

The unit is about more than just fraud. They employ special nurse investigators that specifically investigate allegations of senior abuse in nursing homes, as well as going after unscrupulous medical employees trying to scam the system with phantom charges and fraudulent billing. They prosecute in civil and criminal court, and they work harder on a smaller budget than any other unit like them in the nation. Let's get that straight, Terry. You can't just go around trying to scare the populous into taking one sentence in a book out of context.

Later in the same book, Cuccinelli clarifies the point that he was originally making. According to himself:
“The Last Line of Defense,” pages 237-238: A simple example of how private-sector spending increases economic growth more than government spending does would be a business that smartly spends $100 and expects to earn that amount back plus a return on its investment, so it turns $100 into, let’s say, $115. That’s economic growth. 
In contrast, despite how many times you may hear politicians talk about “investments” in government programs, government spends very little on what you could call “investments” that result in economic growth. For example, in 2011, the biggest programs in the federal government were Social Security (20 percent of the budget), national defense (20 percent), and Medicare (13.5 percent). There is no monetary return on these investments in any traditional business sense (that is, one invests money with a goal of getting a return in the form of interest, income or appreciation in value), although there are obviously other reasons America spends money on these programs.
I’m not questioning here the existence of these programs nor the wisdom of how much money is spent on them. What I’m trying to illustrate is that most dollars that government spends do not create economic growth but instead take money out of the hands of the people who do create economic growth.
So after lying(again) to Virginians about the true nature of this election, your feeble and false attacks have(again) been proven to be shallow tripe that is not worthy of Virginians' attention. Instead of talking about the jobs we need, the roads that we need, or the education that our children need, you pit one sentence in a book against a career record of standing up for Medicaid recipients.

Lying doesn't cut it, Terry. Misleading the public doesn't cut it. 

When will you start campaigning on your own laurels (what few and rotten they are), rather than tilting at straw men you conjure up and wave in the face of the public?  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The ACA Comes Back to Haunt Unions

Those are the haughtily-spoken, blatantly-incorrect words of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, while the 2,163,744 word Affordable Care Act was being shoe-horned through Congress in late 2009 and 2010. 

Fast forward a few years to 2013, and the date of implementation is right around the corner. What states like California and Ohio are discovering already is that implementing this amount of government apparatus is going to cost the average American time, money, and hassle. Premiums on the individual market could more than double. The IRS, unimpeachably fair institution that it is *cough, cough*, will be given 46 new powers to collect information, levy taxes, and determine eligibility among other things. Now, even the very muscle that pushed Obamacare forward is coming to regret it. 

In an open letter to Congresswoman Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Mr. James Hoffa of the Teamsters' Union (yes, the name caught our eye too), as well as James Hanson of the UFCW and D Taylor of UNITE-HERE delineate the reasons that their organizations can no longer support this law. Many of the promises made about Obamacare during its controversy by the administration are now being proven false when the rubber meets the road. 

The Union bosses now realize that the law incentivizes businesses to cut workers' hours to below the minimum 30-hour line at which Obamacare dictates an employer must cover an employee with a healthcare plan. Less hours AND no healthcare for workers are just the beginning of the consequences of the bill. Past that, the non-profit healthcare plans that were made possible by the Hartley-Taft Act would suffer under the ACA since it subsidizes for-profit plans, but taxes the two at the same level. This will drive non-profit plans under, and funnel employees to the more expensive for-profit plans to which they fought so hard for an alternative. 

This is nothing new, as Mr. Hoffa reminds the two legislators in the letter...
"As you both know first-hand, our persuasive arguments have been disregarded and met with a stone wall by the White House and the pertinent agencies."
The manifold problems with the Affordable Care Act have been constant concerns for the GOP in the last three years. Not in a long time has a law met with this kind of resistance AFTER it has already passed. 

Now that the regulatory ceiling is coming down on the American people, more and more are realizing that that opposition was based on wise principles, and valid predictions. I expect more to come out against the law as the deadline nears. But this is a HUGE blow to what amounts to the crown cubic-zirconium in the Obama Presidency.