Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Obama Boondoggle

No sooner does one ethical imbroglio in this administration begin to recede than another rears its ugly head. This time the chicanery has been uncovered by a pair of New York Post reporters named Benjamin Sasse and Charles Hurt.

Sasse and Hurt have a column up at the Post in which they explain how the Obama administration is using over 8 billion taxpayer dollars in a scheme to keep seniors in the dark until after the November election about the administration's plans to trim Medicare Advantage:
Call it President Obama’s Committee for the Re-Election of the President — a political slush fund at the Health and Human Services Department. Only this isn’t some little fund from shadowy private sources; this is taxpayer money, redirected to help Obama win another term. A massive amount of it, too — $8.3 billion. Yes, that’s billion, with a B.

Here is how it works.

The most oppressive aspects of the ObamaCare law don’t kick in until after the 2012 election, when the president will no longer be answerable to voters....

But certain voters would surely notice one highly painful part of the law before then — namely, the way it guts the popular Medicare Advantage program.

For years, 12 million seniors have relied on these policies, a more market-oriented alternative to traditional Medicare, without the aggravating gaps in coverage. But as part of its hundreds of billions in Medicare cuts, the Obama one-size-fits-all plan slashes reimbursement rates for Medicare Advantage starting next year — herding many seniors back into the government-run program.

Nothing is more politically volatile than monkeying with the health insurance of seniors, who aren’t too keen on confusing upheavals in their health care and are the most diligent voters in the land. This could make the Tea Party look like a tea party.

It’s hard to imagine a bigger electoral disaster for a president than seniors in crucial states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio discovering that he’s taken away their beloved Medicare Advantage just weeks before an election. This political ticking time bomb could become the biggest “October Surprise” in US political history.

But the administration’s devised a way to postpone the pain one more year, getting Obama past his last election; it plans to spend $8 billion to temporarily restore Medicare Advantage funds so that seniors in key markets don’t lose their trusted insurance program in the middle of Obama’s re-election bid.
In other words, the administration is using taxpayer money to lull seniors into thinking that their Medicare benefits are not going to be lost when in fact they will be. This is not only devious but also unethical and possibly illegal. The rest of the article explains why.

Mr. Obama promised us a transparent and ethical administration - the most open and honest administration in history - and many voters bought into his assurances, but the reality has proven to be somewhat less than what was promised. From shady deals to Congressmen in order to secure their votes for Obamacare to equally shady loans to big donors in failing green industries like Solyndra, to waivers from the health care law to his union supporters, to the Fast and Furious scandal, to the GSA and Secret Service Scandals, to the various assaults on the First Amendment, to the numerous luxurious vacations on the taxpayer's tab, as well as dozens of lesser malfeasances and instances of poor judgment, the current administration has been rife with ethical lapses and constitutionally dubious maneuvers.

If Obama was Bush the nation would be on fire over the corruption and mismanagement which plagues this presidency, but our media, like a woman in love with a cad, is still in denial. They haven't yet been able to comprehend that a man who gives such marvelous speeches and has such a winning smile could really be just a typical pragmatist politician, willing to do whatever works to keep himself in power.

Romney's Choice

One of the finest wordsmiths in contemporary journalism, Washington Post columnist George Will, penned a meditation last week on who Mitt Romney might select as his running mate and in the process offered logophiles and connoisseurs of fine writing, at least those frustrated by Mr. Obama's unsteady relationship with factual accuracy, quite a treat.

Here's his lede:
Barack Obama’s intellectual sociopathy — his often breezy and sometimes loutish indifference to truth — should no longer startle. It should, however, influence Mitt Romney’s choice of a running mate.

In his 2010 State of the Union address, Obama flagrantly misrepresented the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which did not “open the floodgates” for foreign corporations “to spend without limit in our elections” (the law prohibiting foreign money was untouched by Citizens United) and did not reverse “a century of law.”

Although Obama is not nearly as well educated as many thought, and he thinks, he surely knows he was absurd when he said last Monday, regarding Obamacare, that it would be “unprecedented” for the Supreme Court to overturn a “passed law.”

More important, and particularly pertinent to Romney’s choice, was Obama’s Tuesday speech comprehensively misrepresenting Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget. (For Ryan’s refutation of Obama, go to http://ow.ly/a6hPz.) Remarkably, the 42-year-old congressman is today’s agenda-setting Republican. Admirably, Romney has embraced Ryan’s approach to altering the ruinous trajectory of the entitlement state and forestalling what that trajectory presages, a “government-centered society” (Romney’s phrase in his fine Milwaukee speech Tuesday night).

Obama’s defense of reactionary liberalism — whatever is must ever be, only increased — is not weighed down by the ballast of scruples. His defense will be his campaign because he cannot forever distract the nation and mesmerize the media with such horrors as a 30-year-old law student being unable to make someone else pay for her contraception.

So Romney’s running mate should have intellectual firepower, born of immersion in policy complexities, sufficient to refute Obama’s meretricious claims and derelictions of duty. Here are two excellent choices.
You'll have to read the column to see who Will endorses. Suffice it to say that either would make an excellent pick.