The Spectacle Blog

Are Obamacare’s 22 Health Insurance Co-ops Near Financial Collapse?

By on 6.18.15 | 12:04PM

Ominous signs are proliferating among 22 Obamacare health insurance co-ops of imminent financial collapses that could leave more than a million Americans without coverage, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group analysis.

All but one of the federally funded co-ops are experiencing accelerating net losses. President Obama’s signature health care reform program established the co-ops to provide non-profit competition to private sector health insurance providers.

Many of the 22 co-ops could soon follow an Obamacare co-op that defaulted earlier this year, suffering $163 million in operating losses in a single year.  That collapse left 120,000 customers without coverage on Christmas Eve.

“We’re certainly going to have fewer co-op’s by the end of the year,” Thomas Miller, a resident health care fellow at the American Enterprise Institute think tank, told DCNF.

New figures compiled by Miller and Marie-Grace Turner, president of the Galen Institute, show that net losses for the co-ops reached a record $614 million in 2014. Both AEI and Galen are Obamacare critics.

ISIS Improves Public Services To Shore Up Support

By on 6.18.15 | 11:57AM

Since the Islamic State overran the Iraqi city of Mosul last June, jihadis have not only imposed strict laws — like cutting off hands for smoking cigarettes — but installed and administered to basic public services.

“Mosul is now cleaner. The IS group wants to be seen as an administration capable of looking after the city and a month ago, the group began a campaign to clean, pave and light the city streets,” reports Niqash. ”The city is now 90 percent safe,” according to source inside Mosul who spoke with Niqash. “The only source of real concern are air bombardments by the international coalition.”

One year after capturing vital territory and 10 months after the U.S. began striking militant strongholds, details have emerged about the group’s extensive bureaucracy.

Sharpton and Dolezal Deserve Each Other

By on 6.18.15 | 11:53AM

I cannot say I’m surprised that Al Sharpton would defend Rachel Dolezal and reserve his indignation for her parents.

It doesn’t surprise me because Sharpton is a con artist and in his eyes Dolezal would have pulled off one of the great cons of the century if it weren’t for her meddling mother and father. Despite this there can be no doubt that Sharpton sees great potential in her. It would not shock me a bit if she landed a job with Sharpton’s National Action Network. Al Sharpton and Rachel Dolezal deserve each other.

That Dolezal was born white is immaterial to Sharpton. That she sees herself as black is good enough for him. After all, Sharpton has made a career of judging people by the color of their skin. Sharpton is incapable of judging people by the content of their character because he has no character to speak of. He is truly skin deep.

Thoughts on the Shooting at the Mother Emanuel AME Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC

By on 6.18.15 | 10:22AM

I just learned about the horrific events last night at the Emanuel AME Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina in which young, white male gunman shot and killed 9 members of the church including its pastor and a member of the State Senate.

What makes this massacre all the more troubling is that the gunman joined the parishioners in prayer before he began shooting.

The Incredible Stupidity of the Washington Post

By on 6.18.15 | 8:23AM

Have you ever wondered about the ignorance displayed by writers for the Washington Post? Millennials who believe, with Barack Obama, that history began the day they were born? Folks who can’t be bothered with facts?

This morning (June 18) we learn, on page 1 of the Post, that “In 2020, a woman will be the face of the ten.” A photo of a ten-dollar bill is shown, and beneath it, in bold-face type, the following description: “The face of Andrew Hamilton, the country’s first treasury secretary, adorns $10 bills for now.” “For now.” The Post can hardly wait for this relic of American history to disappear. After all, what relevance have the Founding Fathers in this age when Obama has re-founded America?

Eleanor Roosevelt is mentioned as a possible candidate. Another, Harriet Tubman, would be a twofer—an African-American woman. “The debate over who should be the face of the new $10 bill could become part of a wider conversation about the social and economic progress of women,” intones the Post.

California Labor Commission: Uber Driver Is Employee

By on 6.17.15 | 3:23PM

According to the California Labor Commission, a San Francisco-based Uber driver who filed a claim against the rideshare company is an employee and not, as Uber argued, an independent contractor. The ruling orders Uber to pay the driver about $4,000 for expenses.

The non-binding ruling could potentially have devastating implications for Uber in California. If similar rulings are issued regarding other rideshare companies like Lyft or sharing economy players such as Airbnb, Instacart, and TaskRabbit, we could see the growth of these popular and innovative companies stifled as they cope with the costs associated with having providers classified as employees.

Rachel Dolezal in 2014: It’s ‘Misrepresentation’ for White Actors to Play Black Characters

By on 6.17.15 | 3:12PM

Last year, in a radio interview, the now ousted NAACP chapter president Rachel Dolezal urged a boycott of the film Exodus because white actors were playing black characters:

Hopefully nobody goes to that film. We need to boycott that film, from my perspective, because it’s miseducation, it’s misrepresentation, it’s highly offensive to the people that actually were living during that time and also to people today.

Well, I suppose if anyone is qualified to talk about misrepresentation it’s Rachel Dolezal.

Tagged by the FEC, Carly for America Becomes CARLY for America

By on 6.17.15 | 12:53PM

When friends of Carly Fiorina launched Carly for America, their team was mildly concerned that the Federal Elections Commission would be hot on their heels for naming their group after their candidate. Since Super PACs are supposed to be "legally unaffiliated" with the candidates they support, so that they can maintain an air of neutrality in their fundraising that doesn't fool anyone. They thought, perhaps naively, that the Federal government would be willing to interpret the rule liberally in the case of certain conservative organizations.

I'm not ashamed to say that I love Carly. But no one, not even the former CEO of Hewlett Packard and affiliates, should assume that the FEC will apply its rules - even its incredibly vague ones - liberally. Accordingly, the FEC issued a warning: change your name or face a fine. In deference to the vaguaries of the rule, Carly for America did change its name. It announced, today, that it's become the fully FEC-compliant, CARLY for America.

The IRS, Obamacare, and the English Language

By on 6.17.15 | 12:47PM

In the days just before the March 4 Supreme Court hearing in King v. Burwell, I got a number of calls from total strangers who had read about the case and who wanted to be plaintiffs in it. I explained to them that it was too late to join the case then, but listened to their stories of cancelled insurance policies and jobs jeopardized by Obamacare. One call stood out in particular. It was from a woman in California who had moved to the U.S. years ago from the Ukrainian city of Donetsk. After explaining her health care predicament, she asked me: Do you understand how crazy this is? I left a totally dysfunctional country to come here, and now I find myself trapped in this insanity!

California University Will Ban Soda Sales On Campus

By on 6.17.15 | 12:43PM

The University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) is halting the sale of soda and other sugary drinks on campus due to health concerns.

Under the new policy, which was decided upon in May and will be implemented in July, campus vendors will be blocked from selling all drinks with added sugar calories to the school’s 4,600 students. That means no Coca-Cola, no Dr. Pepper, and no fruit punch. Diet sodas and 100 percent juice drinks will still be tolerated, and students will be allowed to bring sugary drinks on campus if they buy them elsewhere.

“The average American consumes nearly three times the recommended amount of added sugar every day,” UCSF professor Laura Schmidt said in the school’s initial announcement. “The most common single source is sugar-sweetened beverages.””