Sunday, June 25, 2017

ICYMI: Marjorie J. Spruill, Divided We Stand

At Amazon, Marjorie J. Spruill, Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women's Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics.

Austin Ruse, Fake Science

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, available July 17th, Austin Ruse, Fake Science: Exposing the Left's Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data.

Sunday Cartoons

At Flopping Aces, "Sunday Funnies."


Also at Theo's, "Cartoon Roundup..."

Cartoon Credit: Ben Garrison.

Chicago Dyke March Collective Removes Pro-Israel Queers Waving Jewish Pride Flag from Annual LGBT Parade

It's come to this.

At Haaretz, "Chicago ‘Dyke March’ Bans Jewish Pride Flags: ‘They Made People Feel Unsafe’" (via Memeorandum).

Also at Twitchy, "TRIGGERED: Guess the country’s flag banned by tolerant lefties at Pride parade in Chicago."


Trump Derangement Syndrome Has Become the New Plague

From Roger Simon, at Pajamas:

To what can we ascribe the continuing metastasis of Trump Derangement Syndrome, which has come to infect America, and indeed the world, almost to the level of a true plague?

The most recent of the seemingly endless incidents/outbreaks range from the ridiculous (hapless movie star Johnny Depp making a joke about assassinating the president and then recanting it...his agent must have called) to the genuinely creepy (a Democratic Party official declaring he was glad Steve Scalise was shot).

Yes, this last one was about a congressman, not the president. But we know the atmosphere that condoned it — the same atmosphere that enabled thirty GOP congressmen either to have been violently attacked or to have had their lives threatened since the beginning of May. (Such things did not happen BT/Before Trump.)

In the case of Depp, it was not so much his pathetic remarks that horrified — the actor is in the midst of a public nervous breakdown — but the raucous approval of his comments by the Glastonbury Festival audience, as if he had just given a shout-out to the local football team.

This automatic reaction by the rabble is just another example of the reach of Trump Derangement Syndrome, where assassination talk is de rigueur and Trump is regarded as a combination of Daddy Warbucks and Caligula with a little of The Joker thrown in. (Just the other day, author Michael Chabon told an Israel Radio interviewer that he wakes up every morning with the hope that Trump "is going to have a massive stroke, and, you know, be carted out of the White House on a gurney." The surprised Israeli interviewer told Breitbart he naturally thought Chabon was just joking, but then realized he wasn't. )

Of course the Congress, with its astoundingly tedious and extraordinarily phony Russia investigations, has congressmen and senators competing on an infinite loop to see who... mirror, mirror, on the wall... can be the most hypocritical of all. (Winner so far: Senator Mark Warner. Runner-up: Rep. Adam Schiff). They help spread the infection, scratching scabs that were, at best, of the most tangential interest months ago, until they gush blood all over again, keeping the Russia controversy alive and kicking, at least until  Jon Ossoff makes his presidential run of 2032. (Not sure I'm joking.)

And speaking of competitions, the New York Times, Washington Post and CNN are no longer actual news organizations but contestants locked in a non-stop gladiatorial to dethrone Donald Trump via ceaseless leaks, most of which are either disinformation or absurdly trivial, and virtually all of which are illegal in the first place. But they don't care. It doesn't even seem to bother them that their journalistic reputations may be affected. They are infected. By this New Plague.

So they carry the infection on, spewing the bacterium, spreading the TDS Plague as assiduously as did the rats of the Middle Ages, the hated Yersinia pestis, no antidotes allowed, not on their pages anyway. At Blue State cocktail parties from Manhattan to Brentwood, people dare not open their mouths to say a tiny thing in favor of Trump, even to old friends, for fear of eternal ostracism. In our schools, conservatives are not allowed to speak. Patriotic films are only made if Clint Eastwood agrees, or maybe now Mark Wahlberg, on a nice day...

David M. Glantz, Barbarossa Derailed

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, David M. Glantz, Barbarossa Derailed. Volume 1: The German Advance, The Encirclement Battle, and the First and Second Soviet Counteroffensives, 10 July - 24 August 1941.

New Deals. Every Day.

At Amazon, Today's Deals.

See, especially, Marcy NS-716R Magnetic Resistance Recumbent Bike.

Also, Savanna Orchards Gourmet Honey Roasted Nut Mix - Cashews, Almonds, Pecans and Pistachios (30 oz.).

And, Legit Camping - Double Hammock - Lightweight Parachute Portable Hammocks for Hiking, Travel, Backpacking, Beach, Yard - Gear Includes Nylon Straps & Steel Carabiners.

Here, STANLEY FATMAX SL10LEDS Rechargeable 920 Lumen LED Lithium Ion Spotlight.

Still more, LG Electronics 55UJ6300 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2017 Model).

And, 2016 Dell Inspiron 17 5000 Series 17.3" Flagship High Performance Laptop PC, Intel Core i5-6200U Processor, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, DVD+/-RW, Webcam, Bluetooth, HDMI, Windows 7 & 10 Professional.

Even more, AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable - 6 Feet (1.8 Meters) - White.

BONUS: James Jones, From Here to Eternity.

Marisa Miller Rock and Roll Body Paint (VIDEO)

She's as hot as ever.

Also Tori Praver, Daniella Sarahyba, and Ana Paula Araújo.

For Sports Illustrated Swimsuit:



H.G. Adler, Theresienstadt, 1941-1945

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, H.G. Adler, Theresienstadt, 1941-1945: The Face of a Coerced Community.

"Theresienstadt, 1941–1945: The Face of a Coerced Community, is the single most detailed and comprehensive account of any concentration camp."

ICYMI: W. August Mayer, Islamic Jihad, Cultural Marxism, and the Transformation of the West

*BUMPED.*

This is a surprisingly good book. Mr. Mayer deserves a wider audience. I'd never heard of him before and literally came across him by chance, through a random Amazon search that just popped into my head.

He's very well read and makes incisive, original arguments.

At Amazon, W. August Mayer, Islamic Jihad, Cultural Marxism, and the Transformation of the West.

Lakers Draft Lonzo Ball (VIDEO)

At the Los Angeles Times, "Lakers take ex-UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball with No. 2 pick in draft," and "Lonzo Ball is introduced as a Laker with the highest of expectations."

Also, "A look behind the scenes as the Lakers prepared to draft Lonzo Ball."

And, from Bill Plaschke, "Don't bet against Magic Johnson turning the Lakers around":
Four months ago he walked into a conference room at Lakers headquarters, plopped down at the front of a table occupied by several media members, and emptied his emotional pockets.

“I’m putting it all on the line. . . . I’m a risk taker. . . . If I didn’t think we could turn this around, you think I’d be sitting in this room?” Magic Johnson said on that February day after being named the team’s president of basketball operations.

He sounded like an excitable rookie. He had no proof beyond his charisma. He raised as many eyebrows as expectations. Surely this aging former star didn’t think he could rebuild a basketball team in the same daring, audacious way he once led it on the court, did he?

Well, turns out, he did. And the only thing crazier is, he’s doing it.

Four months later, at the end of a wild week that felt like a franchise rebirth, Magic Johnson met again with a few reporters, and again he was filled with the same bravado, only this time it was backed with new point guard Lonzo Ball, enough salary cap space to add two superstars next summer, and a renewed energy that has the town buzzing about the Lakers again.

“Look at my face, do you see that smile, do you see it?” he said Friday afternoon, lighting up his questioners with his giant trademark grin. “OK then! I’ve always bet on myself, right?”

He shook his head and added solemnly, “The tide has turned.”

So far, it has. And despite early skepticism, he’s turned it...





Scott Greer, No Campus for White Men

At Amazon, Scott Greer, No Campus for White Men: The Transformation of Higher Education into Hateful Indoctrination.

America First Policies PAC: 'Shaken' (VIDEO)

Following-up from previously, "Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, Target of America First Policies PAC."

The group's not out with its attack on Senator Heller yet, although I like this one below.

At at A.P, from January, "Trump advisers start ‘America First Policies’ nonprofit":


WASHINGTON (AP) — Six of President Donald Trump’s top campaign aides have banded together to start a nonprofit called “America First Policies” to back the White House agenda.

The group includes Trump’s digital and data director Brad Parscale, onetime deputy campaign manager Rick Gates and two campaign advisers to Vice President Mike Pence, Nick Ayers and Marty Obst.

David Bossie, another Trump deputy campaign manager, and Katrina Pierson, a senior adviser on the campaign communications team, also will be involved, according to a statement announcing the group.

“Some of the same like-minded individuals who put their energy into getting Mr. Trump elected are now going to be part of a grassroots group to go out there and help with the agenda, help the White House be successful,” Parscale said....

*****

America First Policies will conduct research into public policies and promote Trump’s favored causes, such as dismantling and replacing President Barack Obama’s health care law and changing immigration policies.

One of its first tasks is likely to be advocacy for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, whom the president said he would announce Tuesday night. The group doesn’t have yet have a public website, but its founders said to expect digital and television advertising around issues.

“This goes beyond Trump supporters,” Gates said. “We’re trying to capture all people who believe in the Trump agenda.”

Obama also started a nonprofit group, called Organizing for Action, to back his policies. Some Democrats say that group undercut the Democratic Party by siphoning away donors and keeping separate Obama’s contact list for millions of his supporters.

Many of the details of the new Trump-themed initiative have yet to be finalized.

Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, Target of America First Policies PAC

I don't even know this Dean Heller dude. He was the junior senator from Nevada, until Harry Reid retired. Now he's up for reelection in 2018, and extremely vulnerable. A Republican, he's afraid to vote for ObamaCare repeal, as apparently the state's poor have been helped by the law.

Of course, the new Senate-bill is expected to improve healthcare outcomes for lower-income Americans, helping more people afford insurance and get off the decrepit government Medicaid dole. But all the Democrats can do is scream, "PEOPLE WILL FUCKING DIE!"

In any case, at NYT, "Health Law Repeal Leaves Nevada Republican Torn Between Lawmakers" (via Memeorandum):

WASHINGTON — Senator Dean Heller, Republican of Nevada, is the man everyone wants. This has not been a good thing for him.

Brian Sandoval, the governor of Mr. Heller’s home state, is a Republican, but he is counting on Mr. Heller to provide what could be a crucial vote to maintain President Barack Obama’s health care law, which has been a boon for the working poor in Nevada. Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader who this week will be rounding up votes to fulfill his party’s biggest promise of the last decade — repealing the Affordable Care Act — is trying to prevent Mr. Heller from undermining that goal.

Democrats also want Mr. Heller, but in the form of an unemployed senator. As the only Republican who is up for re-election next year in a state that Hillary Clinton won, he may be their only shot at picking up a seat. Democrats and health care interest groups have been unloading on Mr. Heller all spring with no end in sight.

Far-right Republicans in his state — who strongly support President Trump — also have their eyes on Mr. Heller to see if he will abandon the president. Already a group that Vice President Mike Pence has supported is preparing a seven-figure ad campaign against the senator.

On Saturday afternoon, Mr. Trump posted on Twitter, venting about Mr. Heller and other Republicans who are not supporting the Senate bill.

On Friday, Mr. Sandoval acknowledged the obvious. “He’s in the eye of the storm here,” Mr. Sandoval said at a news conference in Nevada as Mr. Heller stood next to him, looking vaguely miserable as Mr. Sandoval announced his opposition to the Senate bill. The legislation could affect 210,000 Nevada residents insured through the health care law’s expansion of Medicaid.

On Friday Mr. Heller said that he, too, was against the bill as it is currently drafted, leaving himself just enough wiggle room to continue his longstanding practice of being the senator in the middle, the man who wants to see the Medicaid program phased out, except when he decides he doesn’t. (Mr. Heller has taken both positions publicly.) He has also voted to take away money from Planned Parenthood, but tells some select audiences that “I have no problems with federal funding for Planned Parenthood.”

Mr. Heller, whose spokeswoman said he was not available for an interview, said at the news conference Friday that “this bill that’s currently in front of the United States Senate is not the answer — it’s simply not the answer.” He said, “It’s going to be very difficult to get me to a yes.”
More.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Daniel Bell, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Daniel Bell, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting.

Eugen Joseph Weber, The Hollow Years

At Amazon, Eugen Joseph Weber, The Hollow Years: France in the 1930s.

Piotr Stefan Wandycz, The Twilight of French Eastern Alliances, 1926-1936

At Amazon, Piotr Stefan Wandycz, The Twilight of French Eastern Alliances, 1926-1936: French-Czechoslovak-Polish Relations from Locarno to the Remilitarization of the Rhineland.
Although France, Poland, and Czechoslovakia were in jeopardy from a recovery of German power after World War I and from a potential German hegemony in Europe, France failed in her efforts to maintain a system of alliances with her two imperiled neighbors. Focusing on the period from 1926 to 1936, Piotr Wandycz seeks to explain how and why these three nations, with so much at risk, neglected to act in concert. Wandycz is the author of a well-known study on the series of alliances constructed by France, Poland, and Czechoslovakia in the years following the Treaty of Versailles. In this current volume he picks up the story after the Locarno Pact (1925) and follows the progressive disintegration of the alliance system until the time of Hitler's remilitarization of the Rhineland.

Through an examination of the political, military, and economic relations among France, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, the author provides valuable insights into an era that contained the seeds of the future war and the collapse of the historic European system. By relying on French, Polish, and more selectively Czechoslovak and Western archives, and thanks to his intimate knowledge of Central and East European published sources, he has filled a large gap in the history of prewar diplomacy. He shows how the divergent aims of Czechoslovakia and Poland combined with a decline of French willpower to prevent a real cohesion among the partners.

Jennifer Delacruz's Sunny and Hot Heat Forecast

I'm behind on my weather reports! I've been watching shows this last couple of evenings before bed. Normally, I read for a while, and do some scheduled blog postings.

No matter, here's the lovely Ms. Jennifer with the hot heat forecast. It's nice along the coasts, but scorching inland.

At ABC News 10 San Diego:



Emily Ratajkowski Thong Bikini on Instragram

At London's Daily Mail, "Emily Ratajkowski showcases her pert derriere in a series of sizzling snaps as she enjoys a scorching getaway to Tuscany."

Also at Maxim, "EMILY RATAJKOWSKI DANCING TOPLESS AT A PHOTO SHOOT IS THE HOTTEST THING YOU'LL SEE TODAY."

British Parliament Hit by Massive Cyber Attack

Hmm...

At the Telegraph U.K., "Blackmail fears after Parliament hit by 'sustained and determined' cyber attack leaving MPs unable to access emails":

Parliament has suffered its biggest ever cyber attack as hackers launched a “sustained and determined” attempt to break into MPs email accounts.

The “brute force” assault lasted for more than 12 hours on Friday as unknown hackers repeatedly targeted “weak” passwords of politicians and aides.

Parliamentary officials were forced to lock MPs out of their own email accounts as they scrambled to minimise the damage from the incident.

The network affected is used by every MP including Theresa May, the Prime Minister, and her cabinet ministers for dealing with constituents.

Experts last night warned that politicians could be exposed to blackmail or face a heightened threat of terrorist attack if emails were successfully accessed.

MPs also apologised to their constituents and expressed concerns that sensitive and private information shared with them may have leaked.

Fears were raised by cyber specialists that “state actors” such as Russia, China or North Korea could be behind the attack - thought Government sources said it was too early for conclusions...
More.

These really are acts of war and it's increasingly apparent that Western states are losing.


Miles Teller's Girlfriend Keleigh Sperry Bikini Pics

Heh, and this is just after last week, "Miles Teller Arrested for Being Drunk and Uncooperative in Public."

The dude needs to get it together or he's going to lose his hot girlfriend, lol.

At London's Daily Mail, "Beach babe! Miles Teller's model girlfriend Keleigh Sperry shows off her impressive body in skimpy blue bikini during Miami getaway."


Instagram Model Rebecca Burger Killed by Exploding Whipped Cream Canister

It's actually not a "freak" accident.

Those lethal whipped cream canisters were taken off the market, but apparently in Ms. Burger's case some rogue containers slipped through the regulatory cracks.

At USA Today below, and at Drunken Stepfather, "DEAD INSTAGRAM MODEL OF THE DAY."


Lookouts and Radar Spotters on the Fitzgerald Should've Seen the Oncoming Cargo Ship

This is good. Click through and RTWT.


Ashley McGuire, Sex Scandal

At Amazon, Ashley McGuire, Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female.

Aftermath of Alexandria Showed Left-Wing Bullying at its Worst

From Mary Katharine Ham, at the Federalist, "Aftermath of Alexandria Shooting Showed the Left’s Cultural Bullying at its Worst":

The behavior of many on the Left this week sent a message that not only do they not 'get' the other half of the country, they don’t want to. That's a recipe for losing elections.

James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois arrived in a D.C. suburb several months ago and lived out of his van next to a small local baseball field, which had recently been reported as the site of Republican congressional baseball practice. He took pictures of this otherwise unremarkable locale, and showed up there last Wednesday with two guns and a list of six elected Republicans on his person. He verified with a member of Congress that they were indeed Republicans on the field before opening fire, attempting to murder a bunch of them.

A week later, one of the victims, Rep. Steve Scalise, had been smeared by one national media figure and told his wound was “self-inflicted” by a nightly news anchor while he was still in the hospital fighting for his life. Republicans had been scolded for not changing their views on the Second Amendment in response to being attacked, and national media had either moved on from the story or moved on to scolding Republicans for their reaction to it.

Rep. Mo Brooks faced the question about his Second Amendment views just minutes after someone literally tried to murder him. Can we take a moment to think about how utterly crass this is? Imagine an abortion bomber blowing up a Planned Parenthood grand opening in Washington DC, injuring members of Congress in attendance. Then imagine most national news coverage including this question for their colleagues who escaped maiming: “Shouldn’t you probably consider changing your views on abortion? Maybe pass some common-sense limits on it?”

Yet Brooks offered a competent, calm civics class on the subject to anyone who was willing to listen.

Media Doesn’t Want to Talk About What Really Happened
National media covered the incident voraciously for several hours, but within a day, most had moved on to another leak in the Russia story. Less than 48 hours after a multiple assassination attempt on members of Congress, there were no media vans or cameras at the Alexandria baseball field where it occurred. Just for perspective, when Republican staffer Elizabeth Lauten committed the offense of writing something critical of President Obama’s daughters on her private Facebook page, news cameras were camped on her parents’ lawn staking her out for the better part of a week.

When the press was covering the shooting, it was mostly a gauzy, imprecise discussion of how “rhetoric” might have caused it, which means we’re in the business of determining whose rhetoric to stifle to prevent further violence. Wouldn’t you know it? The answer was… Donald Trump’s rhetoric, which has the magical power to compel a Bernie volunteer to shoot a long-time Trump-supporting Republican. Way to go on the narrative assist, there, Rep. Mark Sanford.

The New York Times went so far as to repeat a long-debunked lie blaming Sarah Palin’s political speech for the wholly unrelated shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords in an attempt to make Republicans culpable in a scenario in which Republicans were shot. All of its fact-checkers were presumably engaged in checking the statements of Republicans blaming Democratic rhetoric for the shooting, because those are their priorities. (For what it’s worth, I’ve been on record for a long time about how it’s unwise to conflate political speech with violence in a country that values free speech.)

Let’s Talk about How the Victims Responded, Instead
Less than a week after the shooting, there was a high-profile House election in Georgia—the most expensive House race in history. The Republican candidate Karen Handel had been specifically named by Hodgkinson in one of his anti-Republican Facebook rants. When I say named, I mean he called her a “shit” then exhorted his followers to “Vote Blue!” This tidbit got only the briefest of mentions outside local news, as did the threatening letters containing white powder Handel and her neighbors received days before the election. The powder turned out to be non-toxic.

Hodgkinson’s attempted massacre was not part of media coverage of GA-6 despite his act of intimidation having clear implications there. Targeting a specific population for its beliefs usually has a secondary consequence—to cow the members of the community the murderer didn’t succeed in killing. Would Republican voters be intimidated into staying home or emboldened by this attack on elected Republicans? It seems like an interesting question in a special election where turnout is important and unpredictable, yet it was rarely if ever discussed.

Instead, the only time the shooting came up in national media coverage of GA-6 was when an outside group ran a small, ham-handed ad tying Democratic rhetoric to the shooting. The ad was promptly, rightly denounced by Handel, but the scolding coverage of the ad went on for a day. My, how quickly we move in the news cycle from Republicans literally shot to Republican overreach about Republicans being literally shot.

Handel’s win thanks to the turnout of Republicans could and should have been celebrated as a defiant stand by free citizens in the face of an attack meant to scare them out of engaging in democracy. Exercising your right to vote then celebrating an electoral victory are very healthy ways to defy a gunman who tried to kill people who share your beliefs.

Instead, in the wake of Handel’s solid win, which snatched the #Resistance’s longed-for victory, Washington Post writer Dave Weigel scolded Republicans for “dunking” on Democrats despite everyone’s one-day indulgence of “come together” rhetoric, as if four hours of praise-hands emoji and super-hot memes on Twitter is part of the “climate of hate.”

In our hypothetical above about an attack on elected officials at Planned Parenthood, imagine a loudly pro-choice candidate winning an important, high-profile victory less than a week later and the news media tsk-tsking Emily’s List for celebrating that win...
More.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Bruce Bawer, The Victims' Revolution

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Bruce Bawer, The Victims' Revolution: The Rise of Identity Studies and the Closing of the Liberal Mind.

Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism

Robert Stacy McCain regularly cites this book.

At Amazon, Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations.

Public Support for Single-Payer Healthcare

At Pew Research, "Public support for ‘single payer’ health coverage grows, driven by Democrats":

A majority of Americans say it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage. And a growing share now supports a “single payer” approach to health insurance, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center.

Currently, 60% say the federal government is responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans, while 39% say this is not the government’s responsibility. These views are unchanged from January, but the share saying health coverage is a government responsibility remains at its highest level in nearly a decade.

Among those who see a government responsibility to provide health coverage for all, more now say it should be provided through a single health insurance system run by the government, rather than through a mix of private companies and government programs. Overall, 33% of the public now favors such a “single payer” approach to health insurance, up 5 percentage points since January and 12 points since 2014. Democrats – especially liberal Democrats – are much more supportive of this approach than they were even at the start of this year.

Even among those who say the federal government is not responsible for ensuring Americans have health care coverage, there is little public appetite for government withdrawing entirely from involvement in health care coverage. Among the public, 33% say that health care coverage is not the government’s responsibility, but that programs like Medicare and Medicaid should be continued; just 5% of Americans say the government should not be involved at all in providing health insurance.

The issue of the government’s responsibility in ensuring health coverage remains deeply divisive politically, according to the new survey, conducted June 8-18 among 2,504 adults. More than eight-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (85%) say that this responsibility falls to the federal government, while about two-thirds of Republicans and Republican leaners (68%) say it does not.

Still, most Republicans (57%) say the government “should continue programs like Medicare and Medicaid for seniors and the very poor.” Just 9% of Republicans say the government should not be involved in providing health insurance at all...
Democrats are socialists, if we didn't know that by now --- and if they had their way, we'd have much worse healthcare outcomes than we already do. Much more healthcare inequality, especially, with the well-off able to afford private medical care, and those less well-off stuck in substandard government-run Cuba-style "healthcare" hellholes.

And don't forget, Venezuala should be a cautionary tale for leftists, but it's not.

Via Memeorandum.

Nina Skye, 21-Year-Old Preschool Teacher in Los Angeles, Fired After Appearing in Pornography Videos

I don't know?

Maybe she can make more money doing porn. She clearly enjoys it. At London's Daily Mail and Heat Street:


GOP #ObamaCare Repeal Will Transform American Health Care

From Avik Roy, at Forbes, via Memeorandum, "The New Senate Republican Bill Will Transform American Health Care":

The hotly-anticipated Senate Republican health care bill came out on Thursday morning. The airwaves quickly filled up with predictable talking points from both sides. But once the dust settles, it will emerge that the Senate bill will have far-reaching effects on American health care: for the better.

Substantial improvements to the House bill

In March, when House Republicans published their bill to replace Obamacare—the American Health Care Act—I described it in Forbes this way: “GOP’s Obamacare Replacement Will Make Coverage Unaffordable For Millions—Otherwise, It’s Great.” I meant it. There were great things about the House bill, in particular its far-reaching reforms of the Medicaid program.

But Paul Ryan’s bill contained a fatal flaw. Its flat tax credits, which provided identical assistance to the poor and the wealthy, would price millions of near-elderly low-income workers out of the insurance market and trap millions more in poverty.

Fortunately, buried in the House bill was a way out of the morass. Section 202 of the bill contains a transitional schedule of tax credits that was meant to serve as a bridge between the old Obamacare system, ending in 2017, and the new Paul Ryan system, beginning in 2020.

It turns out that if you simply kept that bridge in force, and tossed overboard the Paul Ryan flat tax credit, you’d solve all of these problems with the House bill. By making that change, the near-elderly working poor would be able to afford coverage, and the poverty trap would be eliminated.

And that’s precisely what the Senate bill did! Section 102 of the Senate bill—the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017—closely mirrors Section 202 of the House bill, with age- and means-tested tax credits up to 350 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.

Making this change not only solves the problems I described above. It also makes it easier to reform the Medicaid program.

Real Medicaid reforms

The Senate bill includes and refines the best part of the House bill: its reforms of Medicaid, the dysfunctional government-run health care program for the poor whose enrollees have no better health outcomes than the uninsured.

Because the Senate bill’s tax credits are robustly means-tested and available to those below the poverty line, the bill is able to repeal Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion while offering higher-quality coverage to individuals who signed up for Medicaid under the expansion.

The reason that Medicaid’s health outcomes are so poor is because the outdated 1965 Medicaid law places a laundry list of constraints on states’ ability to manage their Medicaid programs. As a result, the main tool states have to keep Medicaid costs under control is to pay doctors and hospitals less and less each year for the same care. Hence, many doctors don’t take Medicaid, and Medicaid enrollees struggle to gain access to care.

The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 addresses these problems in several ways.

First, the bill repeals Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, and replaces it with tax credits so that low-income Americans can buy the coverage of their choice at an affordable price.

Second, the bill gives states a new set of tools to make their Medicaid programs. For example, under Obamacare, states are only allowed to check if someone is eligible for Medicaid once a year, even if that enrollee has moved to a different state, or becomes no longer eligible, or is no longer alive. Jonathan Ingram of the Foundation for Government Accountability, in a recent report, recommended allowing states to redetermine eligibility more frequently and thereby culling their rolls of ineligible individuals.

Third, the bill puts the legacy Medicaid program on a long-term per-capita cap tied to medical inflation through 2025, and conventional inflation (CPI-U) thereafter. This change is important, because Medicaid per-enrollee spending is growing at a slightly slower rate than Medical inflation; hence, making the program sustainable requires the use of CPI-U. The fiscal sustainability of Medicaid is essential to making sure that those who depend on the program can know it will be there for them in the future...
Keep reading.

Trevor Noah on the Philando Castile Shooting Video

Leftists think they're on some high horse here?

The cops gunned down this dude. The cops murdered him. It's plain as day. It's not, however, a case for the "Black Lives Matter" movement. That's about cop-killing. We're supposed to be a nation of laws. There was no justice in the Philando Castile case, and that's really sad.

Watch, "Trevor Noah on the Philando Castile Shooting: 'Forget race. Are we all watching the same video?'"



PREVIOUSLY: "Minnesota Officer Acquitted in Killing of Philando Castile."

Democrat Party of Hate and Destruction (VIDEO)

Watch, from this morning's Fox & Friends, at Fox News, "Judge Jeanine: Democrats a party of hate and destruction."

April Playmate Nina Daniele (VIDEO)

Here, "Nina Daniele Sexy Pics (10 Pics)."



'Rainbow Armpit Hair for Pride'

Seen on Twitter:


Shop Best Sellers in Grocery and Gourmet Food

*BUMPED.*

At Amazon, Grocery & Gourmet Food.

And, Shop Gourmet Coffee.

BONUS: Cynthia Enloe, Bananas, Bananas, Beaches, and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics.

Total Insanity at Evergreen State College (VIDEO)

There's still a couple of things reassuring about the whole mess at Evergreen: One, the leftist totalitarians are still outnumbered by people who oppose them (and who have powerful ways to get the opposition message out); and two, at some point, the Evergreen students will have to go out and make it in the real world. Most of these students will seek jobs at leftist non-profits and radical progressive interest groups and think tanks (if they indeed seek work at all). But if some of them want employment in regular corporate America, they'll find there's a limit at even the most tolerant and progressive firms to the obscenities of social justice extremism.

In any case, watch the video below, and read the commentary and analysis at the Other McCain, "The Catastrophe at Evergreen State":
As has been pointed out, Professor Weinstein “supported Bernie Sanders, admiringly retweets Glenn Greenwald and was an outspoken supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement” and calls himself “deeply progressive,” but that’s not enough for the thugs at Evergreen.


Out in Paper: Clinton Romesha, Red Platoon

Now available in paperback, at Amazon, Clinton Romesha, Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor.

Out in Paper: J. Kael Weston, The Mirror Test

My copy arrived today.

In paperback, available at Amazon, J. Kael Weston, The Mirror Test: America at War in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Getting an Edge in the Long Afghan Struggle

From David Petraeus and Michael O'Hanlon, at WSJ, "Trump’s early approach holds promise if backed with a sustained, and sustainable, commitment":

Can the U.S. succeed in Afghanistan? Not without a sustained, and sustainable, commitment. President Trump’s decision to give Defense Secretary Jim Mattis the authority to add several thousand more U.S. troops to the 8,400 currently deployed is encouraging—but only if it is a first step in a comprehensive approach.

Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, should also receive greater leeway in the use of U.S. and NATO air power. And officials should remain open to the possibility of reconciliation with some insurgents, probably just those that break off from the central Taliban.

An intensified military effort could arrest the gradual loss of territory held by the government in recent years—now estimated by U.S. Central Command at only 60% of the country—and to regain battlefield momentum. Congress should enable all this by appropriating the $5 billion or so a year above current levels that such a strategy will require.

America’s leaders should not lose sight of why the U.S. went to, and has stayed in, Afghanistan: It is in our national interest to ensure that country is not once again a sanctuary for transnational extremists, as it was when the 9/11 attacks were planned there. We have been accomplishing that mission since the intervention began in October 2001. Although al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan is diminished, it could rebound if given the opportunity. Islamic State could expand its newfound Afghan foothold as well.

The augmented troop levels Mr. Trump has authorized would be only 12% to 15% of the peak U.S. force levels, in 2010-11. The country can sustain that level of commitment. While all casualties are tragic, our losses in Afghanistan would likely remain far fewer than the losses from another major terrorist attack in the U.S.

Today the U.S. and its coalition partners lack the capacity to train and assist Afghan forces adequately in the field. As recently as 2015, the allied forces did not even have a full-time advisory presence for the main Afghan army corps in Helmand province. Largely as a result, the Taliban gained control of much of the province. Nor did the coalition have adequate advisers to help the smaller Afghan formations near Kunduz before that city fell to the Taliban in 2015. It was later liberated only at high cost, especially to Afghan forces and civilians. Restrictions on coalition air power reduced America’s ability to help Afghan partners.

Adding some 3,000 to 5,000 U.S. and allied troops could provide the capacity for several dozen deployable mentoring teams. That is far from enough to assist each Afghan brigade or battalion. But it could support the units that are engaged in the toughest fights and are most intensively involved in rebuilding their capabilities. Supporting those teams logistically and with air power, and providing quick-reaction forces in several parts of the country to help them if they get in trouble, would drive additional requirements for coalition troops into the low thousands.

On the civilian side, President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah need to continue their efforts against corruption, which have shown gradual, modest results to date. With U.S. help, they need to reform the electoral commissions that will oversee parliamentary and presidential elections over the next two years.

Then there is Pakistan, where the U.S. needs a tougher approach...
More.

PHOTO: Above, "Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in a helicopter over Kabul, April 24."