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03 January 2014


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William R. Cumming

O'Hanlon says NIE on Afghanistan too pessimistic!



O'Hanlon is a former budget analyst who is unqualified to make such a judgment. pl

Will Reks

"The spin on numbers for ACA enrollments is impressive"

What is the spin? There's no doubt that the ACA rollout was incompetent and troubled. Yet, there's still a chance that the numbers will reach the CBO's initial projections for March 2014.

Per this website 1/3 of expected enrollees for this year have signed up so far for private healthcare after two months of delay with the vast majority coming in December.


Just analysis and not advocacy. I'm for single-payer.


Col. Lang-

Sir, did not GWB gain his reputation as a liar around this point in his tenure? So domestically, BHO is about the same deal as the last time around?

As far as foreign policy goes, something of a bright spot, should it last, a bit more than GWB's refusal to go to war with Iran . . .

Is this the best we can hope for in Cheney's America?


Will reks

The spin consists in minimizing the percentage of people with new coverage who are actually going into Medicaid rather than into new commercial insurance. pl


New medicaid enrollees in Arkansas and Iowa are enrolled in plans administered by private, commercial health insurance companies, under the belief that inserting another profit-seeking middleman into the healthcare equation will somehow lower costs and improve quality.


Sir, respectfully, IMHO 2014 is going to be even worse:

1. ObamaCare is the gift that keeps on giving to the GOP

2. The 2014 Elections are going to be a nightmare for Dems

3. Iran and the Peace Process are going nowhere

4. These factors will make him irrelevant until 2015


The minimum wage is now a middle class issue. Many of the workers at Trader Joes and Whole Foods are college grads who are living with their parents. Hence, both generations will be interested in something like a $15 minimum wage. The kids want to have a life, and the parents want them to move out of the house. Sadly, the Democratic party will most likely not take advantage of this situation.

Bill H

Or, conversely, they will and wage increases will result in price increases. Walmart, Target el at will no longer offer cheap consumer goods, and the Republicans will take advantage of THAT situation.

Edward Amame

I expect more of the same except maybe a little worse. Foreign policy and surveillance state will continue as is (with the help of both parties). On domestic issues, the GOP will remain the Party of No and too many working Americans will continue to not address why we are living paycheck-to-paycheck.

At least we here in NYC have DeBlasio: Viva la revolución!

Don Bacon

Yes, worse, considering those plus Afghan. and Iraq going south, while China, Iran, Syria and Russia rise at US expense and the US military might appears helpless to stop them.

And then there are the unknown-unknowns against a weakening US citizenry. As Bush the Elder might say, the US has lost the Big Mo in regard to influencing other countries to do what it wants, while it loses control of its own people as well. There is a connection.


Obamacare "enrollment" and actual enrollment are two different animals. Its just more spin and obfuscation from the "most transparent administration ever".


" too many working Americans will continue to not address why we are living paycheck-to-paycheck."

And when those American's finally figure ask that they'll realize that the federal government is not responsible for setting their wages or keeping them from looking for a different line of work.

Edward Amame

Fred, the "if the gov't would just get outta the way, we'd be living in a market-based utopia" maxim has gotten stale/hollow. Maybe not to a lot of us oldsters who are stuck in our ways, but the kids today apparently aren't buying it. Some of them are starting to sound like FDR:


As time goes by your argument is going to even get more stale as even more American jobs get shipped overseas and Silicon Vally continues to refine robotics.

It has been decisions made by our elected officials in Washington DC that are the reason that Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck. For the past 40 years, those decisions have benefited the affluent and it now shows to a degree we haven't seen at any time in the past except for a moment in the Gilded Age just before the whole system collapsed. They're not popular with a lot of people nowadays, but back in the day unions were rich and powerful and could make or break politicians, so they had juice in DC. The policies they pushed for their members also tended to benefit non-union middle class Americans. There is nothing for working Americans today to act as a counterweight to the power of industry and it shows.

A lot of soul searching is in order considering the load we're handing kids today.


Looks like Obama is going to rally Congress to his side:


Well, maybe once they sort out whose side he's on.


I would tender with 2014 worse. As pepe notes, he also lost his street cred - red lines in Syria and all the brouhaha hot air that Kerry and POTUS released. IMO once an exposed liar loses credibility (respect), the jackals start circling. Carefully, of course, as wounded animals can still bite, but nipping off bits is the order of the day, usually, by baiting the wounded beast in one direction while dodging in from behind.

Sadly, the worst baiting will arise from congress and a small oil-free ME country.


"if the gov't would just get outta the way, we'd be living in a market-based utopia"

I neither said nor implied what you quote above.

"For the past 40 years, those decisions have benefited the affluent ...." "... but back in the day unions were rich and powerful and could make or break politicians,..."

That 'back in the day' you mention coincides with the same democratically enacted legislation you are decrying now. Which politicians who voted for all that were 'made' by the unions? You should review who held a majority in Congress from '74 to present or the failure of unions to actually provide that 'fair days work' that is the esential part of getting a fair days wage?

Edward Amame

By 1978 (despite having Jimmy Carter as pres) labor couldn't even get the wishy-washy Labor Law Reform bill passed. The unions were so weak that the Dems were feeding at the same trough as the GOP.

To get a feel for how/why that happened, read the letter of resignation after it did from the UAW's President Douglas Fraser to The Labor-Management Group, an advisory panel established to give both sides a forum to discuss solutions to major US economic problems.


I am not making a value judgement about unions, good or bad, just observing that as their power has waned so has the economic welfare of the middle class. Working Americans might want to consider coming up with something to act as a counterweight to the power that industry currently wields in Washington DC. Because govt's everywhere write the rules for how the game is played, the US included.

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