A new IDB/TIPP poll found that by far the #1 issue Americans want the new Congress to tackle is lowering health care costs. Good luck with that, considering the party taking over the House is the same one that gave us Obamacare and that insists it’s popular and working and needs to be preserved. That’s despite the fact that, as the numbers in the linked article show, health care spending as a share of GDP was falling for four years before Obamacare passed, and since then, it’s risen by a full percentage point to 18.2% of GDP.
As the name falsely implies, the “Affordable Care Act” was supposed to lower health insurance premiums (remember Obama’s promise that the average family would save $2500 a year, which proved to be as phony as the promise that you could keep your doctor?) In fact, instead of introducing cost-lowering market-based reforms, Obamacare increased government involvement. Result: since 2013, the rate of cost increase for employer plans has been well above inflation, and for individual plans, premiums have more than doubled.
Of course, some Americans get government subsidies to help pay for it (we all know that government money is free and falls from the skies like rain; it doesn’t actually come from anybody’s pocket.) But even those who got subsidized policies often find that they have deductibles of up to $14,000 a year and pay nothing if they have to go outside a very restrictive provider network.
Americans are now clamoring for relief from rising health care costs, and the House is back in the hands of the same people who poured gasoline on the forest fire last time. Their only solution: vastly increase government intervention. Talk about seeking a cure from a quack!
I fear that the only brake that will be applied to rising health care costs for at least the next two years will the GOP Senate telling the House that it can't apply any more leeches to the problem.
He is out
Sleazy porn star lawyer and accused domestic abuser Michael Avanatti announced that “after consultation with my family and at their request,” he has decided not to run for President in 2020. I’m sure President Trump will be just as disappointed as America’s late night comedians are.
Liberals turn fire on women
The story about MeToo hysteria backfiring on women on Wall Street, and some of the essays contributed by “Huckabee” writer Laura Ainsworth on the monolithic leftism of women’s magazines, brought up an interesting point. The left, having first blamed all the evils of the world on white males and Christians, has recently begun turning its fire on women. They specifically target “white women,” because anti-white racism is an accepted way of virtue-signaling these days, but that’s just to keep from admitting that what they’re really attacking is all women who don’t toe the leftist party line.
They look at the large numbers of women who voted for Trump instead of Hillary, or who voted Republican instead of Democrat in the midterms, and they brand them as traitors to their gender, as if a uterus were the same thing as a DNC membership card.
This is based on the bizarre assumption that “progressive” policies are all pro-woman, so if you don’t vote for them, you’re “anti-woman.” First of all, that’s incredibly sexist. It denies that women are capable of holding a wide range of viewpoints based on personal experience and beliefs, and assumes they are slaves to their biology and have to think a certain way just because they’re women. If a man said something like that, they’d accuse him of having time-traveled here from 1890.
They can’t imagine why any woman wouldn’t wholeheartedly endorse the regressive “progressive” agenda. Yet, the more I examine what they believe, the more I wonder how any woman could support it. There’s hardly a plank in the current leftist platform that isn’t incredibly hostile to women. To name just a few:
The aggressive defense of unfettered abortion for any reason has led to babies being killed in the womb just because their parents don’t want a certain gender. Guess which gender takes the brunt of that genocide worldwide.
Protecting abortion rights at all costs means fighting even the most common sense laws requiring basic clinic-level hygiene and medical care at abortion clinics. The worst-case scenario was Dr. Kermit Gosnell's filthy clinic in Philadelphia, where a patient could die and officials wouldn’t even dare schedule an inspection.
The left wants to do away with the Second Amendment and confiscate guns, even though a gun is the single most effective way that a woman can protect herself against a much larger man or men seeking to attack her.
Speaking of self-defense, how many women, from the late Kate Steinle to the many rape victims both in US cities and in migrant caravans, have been victimized by the left’s open borders and “sanctuary” policies that allow criminal illegal immigrants to circulate among us and that release them back onto the streets after they’re arrested?
How many wedding service businesses owned by Christian women have been harassed by Twitter mobs and hounded into bankruptcy by leftist state and city officials, simply because they asserted their First Amendment right not to participate in same-sex ceremonies that violate their religious beliefs?
The left’s weaponization of the MeToo movement has hampered women’s careers because male executives are now afraid to meet with, socialize with or mentor females. And women now have to live with the worry that their husbands, sons, fathers and brothers are only one false accusation away from financial ruin.
The left’s aggressive pushing of “trans rights” has forced women to endure having their privacy invaded by men in bathrooms, locker rooms and dressing rooms. That’s led to the absurd dichotomy of protesting that looking at a grown woman the wrong way is a “microagression,” but it’s okay for a man to walk into a ladies’ room and expose himself to preteen girls as long as he claims to feel like a woman.
In fact, the left’s embrace of “trans rights” has devolved into an assault on the very existence of womanhood. A prominent liberal feminist was recently banned from Twitter simply for stating the obvious biological fact that “Men aren’t women.” Look at all the women’s sporting events that are now being won by brawny “former men,” while girls who worked hard to win those titles and scholarships are being left in the dust. At least, they’re lucky enough not to be left in the hospital, like some female boxers who’ve had to fight “trans women” who beat them nearly to death.
And those are just issues specific to women. Women and men alike are also harmed by leftist policies that hamstring job creation and economic growth, reduce freedom, undermine national security, make college and health care more expensive, and so on.
I could go on listing more, but the point is the same for all of them. Men and women aren’t two monolithic identity groups. They are millions of individuals, all with different views, beliefs, experiences, goals and skills. For instance, some women might condone abortion, but many others find it to be an abomination. Why should their beliefs render them “non-women?”
The whole point of feminism used to be to recognize and respect the individuality of each person, regardless of gender; just as liberals used to argue for those same ideals regardless of race, religion or national origin. Today, all the left sees are identity groups, divided by gender, ethnicity, culture and religion. And God help any group member who dares to express an individual thought that doesn’t fit the rigid "progressive" definition of what a woman or an African-American or any other identity group is “supposed” to think.
In short, believe it or not, by the standards that prevailed during a saner era, I’m more feminist and liberal than today’s feminists and liberals are!
Comedian kicked off stage
It’s no wonder comedians such as Jerry Seinfeld refuse to perform at college campuses anymore because the students have become such humorless, PC scolds. They’ve gotten so ultra-sensitive that Saturday at Columbia University, at CultureSHOCK, an event celebrating Asian and Pacific Islander culture (and ironically titled, since the participants obviously can’t endure anything remotely shocking), offended social justice warriors even drove a minority member and fellow leftist off the stage.
The comic was Nimesh Patel, the first Indian-American to write for “Saturday Night Live.” The audience mostly sat in silence until, halfway through his act, the organizers jumped on stage, took his mic away, denounced Patel’s jokes, and told him to wrap it up. Patel argued that he was just exposing students to ideas that could be found “in the real world.” So they cut off his mic and made him leave the stage. (Let that be a lesson to you: never try to expose today's college students to the real world!)
This is one of his jokes that they found so offensive: He knows that being a gay black man isn’t a “choice” since “no one looks in the mirror and thinks, ‘this black thing is too easy, let me just add another thing to it.'”
Not exactly a knee-slapper, but I could see it getting some chuckles with the right delivery and enough beer in the audience members. But one young woman said she was offended by Patel’s insinuation that comedy is acceptable “in the real world…When older generations say you need to stop being so sensitive, it’s like undermining what our generation is trying to do in accepting others and making it safer…Obviously, the world is not a safe space but just accepting that it’s not and continuing to perpetuate the un-safeness of it… is saying that it can’t be changed.”
Oh, where to begin unraveling that tangled yarnball of faulty logic? First of all, “older generation?” Patel is 32. Plus you claim your entire life is devoted to accepting others, but you just silenced someone for saying something you disagreed with. And if you think more deeply about that sample joke (admittedly, thinking deeply is not the PC crowd’s strong suit), the butt of the joke is not blacks or gays; it’s prejudice. If you are trying to fix all the problems of the world, but you’re too “sensitive” even to state what the problems are, then how are you ever going to fix them?
I hate to be the one to break this to college students (because their parents should have done it at least 15 years ago), but the world is never going to be completely “safe,” any more than life is ever going to be “fair,” no matter how much power you give the government to micromanage everyone’s lives. The more you try to pressure, bully, scold and silence people into not saying or doing anything that makes you feel “unsafe,” the more they are going to chafe at your obnoxiousness and yearn to say things that make your heads explode.
Want to see the results of power-mad PC leftists trying to force everyone to live and think and talk only in ways that they approve? Then take a visit to the streets of Paris. I have to warn you, though: at the moment, it’s not a very “safe” place to be.
The following link is to an article that explains how years of arrogant, know-it-all leftist bureaucrats pushing around the public finally created the backlash powder keg that’s going off now in Paris, and how it’s already spreading to other European nations where working people have had enough of being “improved” by their self-appointed betters.
Why so many people don’t take climate change alarmism seriously: This week, Patricia Espinosa, the chief UN official on climate, declared, “We require deep transformations of our economies and societies” to combat climate change. Maybe she should start with some deep transformations of the UN.
To plan all that disruption to our lives, the UN just started a giant, 60-day climate summit in Poland called COP24. In a lowball estimate, the summit is expected to generate 55,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, as much CO2 as 8,243 average American households generate in an entire year. It’s also as much CO2 as would be created by 1,700 cars driving for one year, or by burning 728 tanker trucks full of gasoline.
But that’s not all. They had to construct the equivalent of an entire new town to host the tens of thousands of people, so figure up all the pollution and resources required to make, transport and build it. Then add in all the CO2 and pollution created by all the cars, trains, planes and of course, private jets owned by wealthy “environmental activists” from Hollywood and Silicon Valley. It’s hard to put a number on it, but it’s sure to surpass the UN’s 2015 environmental summit, which pumped an estimated 300,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Proving once again that one thing the UN is actually good at is generating hot gas.
I never professed to be a “green activist,” but I have one word to say to the UN, and surprisingly, it’s not “hypocrites.” The word is this: