The Spectacle Blog

New York Times and Boston Globe Unload on Obamacare

By on 11.17.15 | 7:06PM

Aside from one necessary clarification (see far below), it would be difficult to improve on what the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the enrollees they interview have to say about Obamacare.

First, from yesterday’s New York Times article, “Many Say High Deductibles Make Their Health Law Insurance All but Useless”:

But for many consumers, the sticker shock is coming not on the front end, when they purchase the plans, but on the back end when they get sick: sky-high deductibles that are leaving some newly insured feeling nearly as vulnerable as they were before they had coverage.

“The deductible, $3,000 a year, makes it impossible to actually go to the doctor,” said David R. Reines, 60, of Jefferson Township, N.J., a former hardware salesman with chronic knee pain. “We have insurance, but can’t afford to use it.”…

Jindal Drops Out of 2016 Race

By on 11.17.15 | 7:00PM

Within the past hour, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced he was suspending his GOP presidential bid.

Jindal's campaign never caught fire and he could not proceed to the main stage of the GOP debates.

A week ago, Jindal made a futile effort in the GOP undercard debate in Milwaukee against New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Jindal drew jeers from the audience when he said that Christie was entitled to "a participation ribbon and a juice box."

The statement would prove a fitting epitaph to an exercise in futility. 


Kerry Claims Legitimacy, er, Rationale to Charlie Hebdo Murders (Or Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie)

By on 11.17.15 | 5:19PM

Emily just drew my attention to this post by Bridget Johnson for PJ Media concerning Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks to U.S. Embassy staff in Paris which pretty much justify January's Charlie Hebdo attacks:

In the last days, obviously, that has been particularly put to the test. There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of — not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people. It was to attack everything that we do stand for. That’s not an exaggeration.

Big Papi to Retire Following 2016 Season

By on 11.17.15 | 3:56PM

"Big Papi" David Ortiz has announced that 2016 will be his 20th and final season of his MLB career. Ortiz will officially make the announcement tomorrow on his 40th birthday.

Outside of Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski, Ortiz is the greatest player in Boston Red Sox franchise history. Most Red Sox fans would not have fathomed such a thing when he signed as a free agent prior to the 2003 season.

Up to that point, Ortiz had a fairly undistinguished six-year tenure with the Minnesota Twins. This after originally being drafted by the Seattle Mariners as a 16-year old when he was known as David Arias.

Big Time Dem Donors Will Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

By on 11.17.15 | 3:56PM

The Obama Administration only has a few more years in which to reward its mega-donors or watch the Barack Obama Presidential library go unfunded. Since they've already bestowed all of their Ambassadorships on mega-bundlers and would have a difficult time explaining why Hollywood stars were serving in Cabinet-level positions, it seems that the Administration has taken to simply rewarding their biggest showbiz supporters with major American honors, typically reserved for those whose contributions to society aren't monetary.

Planned Parenthood Types Most Ironic Tweet of All Time

By on 11.17.15 | 12:28PM

We might have all had better things to do last Saturday night, like eat tacos while watching the news, but some people in this wide world of Internet spent the evening live-Tweeting the Democratic Presidential debate, as though anything important would be said by anyone involved. Interestingly, Hillary Clinton is said to have lost the debate to Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley and reality, claiming that she began taking money from Wall Street because she felt sorry for them after 9/11, and that radical Islam is somehow not responsible for blowing people sky high in select European countries.

Fortunately, the esteemed former Secretary of State had Planned Parenthood's savvy team of Twitterers at her disposal, and they performed swift and tactical rapid response, taking on Bernie Sanders over his stubborn and probably sexist resistance to advancing the cause of "reproductive justice," whatever the heck that means.

Is the Syrian Refugee Process Stacked Against Christian Migrants?

By on 11.17.15 | 11:36AM

As the nation argues about whether or not to accept Syrian refugees - especially now that it appears at least two of the Paris attackers used forged passports to re-enter Europe, using the migrant crisis as a Trojan Horse - some details about who we've already accepted seem to show a "refugee system" that's hopelessly stacked against those who need refuge the most: Arab Christians.

According to a recent count, the US has accepted around two thousand Muslim refugees from Syria but only 53 Syrian Christians, even though Christians seem to be faring the worst against ISIS across the Arab penninsula. The bias seems to be a product of the process itself, being handled by the United Nations, who haven't taken the continued safety of Arab Christians into account as they amass Syrian refugees in processing camps. 

Trump Will “Go To War” With Cruz If He Challenges

By on 11.17.15 | 11:02AM

Is the Donald preparing to go to war with his closest ally in the Presidential nomination process? 

For months, it's seemed like Ted Cruz is just waiting for Donald Trump to drop out of the race so that he can pick up whatever demographic segments Trump has inspired to join in the political process. It's a strategy that, for Cruz, at least, seemed almost immediately doomed to fail. First, there's no proof that the people Trump has "energized" are energized for anyone except Trump, a name they know and recognize in a field of people they've never heard of because they only watch reality television. And second, Donald Trump isn't exactly known for gracious exits. It's more likely that if Cruz challenges him out of the race, he'll burn that bridge and many more, as Trump himself noted in an interview yesterday.

Donald Trump said Monday he is capable of turning on Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in their competition for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Yes, the Senate Can Repeal Obamacare’s Regulations With 51 Votes

By on 11.17.15 | 11:00AM

The Hill reports the Senate GOP is trying to decide how much of ObamaCare to repeal via the budget-reconciliation process: 

[Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell only needs 51 votes instead of the customary 60 because he is moving the repeal measure under a special budgetary process known as reconciliation. The downside of the strategy is that that package can only include provisions designed to impact the budget deficit.

As a result, popular parts of the law, such as the prohibition against discriminating against pre-existing conditions and allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26, cannot be included.

New Hampshire’s Democrat Governor Calls for a Freeze on Syrian Refugees

By on 11.16.15 | 11:23PM

While President Obama says that "slamming the door in the faces" of Syrian refugees "would be a betrayal of our values", nearly half of the country's Governors beg to differ.

This includes New Hampshire Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan whose office issued the following statement:

The Governor believes that the federal government should halt the acceptane of refugees from Syria until intelligence and defense officials can assure that the process for vetting all refugee, including those from Syria, is as strong ass possible to ensure the safety of the American people.

Hassan has served two terms as the Granite State's Governor. She will be challenging Republican Kelly Ayotte for her seat in the Senate in 2016.

I have a feeling there might be more Democrat Governors who join Hassan in calling for a moratorium on accepting Syrian refugees.