Category Archives: Barack Obama

Employers, employees hit by health care mandates

Howard Rich of Americans for Limited Government takes to the pages of Investors Business Daily to discuss the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, now that the election results means it is here to stay. Along with the mandate on individuals to carry health insurance or be fined, Obamacare also requires employers to provide coverage to employees working thirty hours or more per week.

“Not only will this mandate prevent job growth among small businesses, it will also result in fewer hours and less income for workers at larger companies. These are people struggling to make ends meet on limited income — people who cannot afford to lose these hours.”

Rich notes that Darden Restaurants, which employs 185,000 nationwide in popular chains like Olive Garden, announced last month it was reducing many employees’ schedules to twenty-eight hours a week. Kroger, a grocer with 350,000 employees, is making a similar move and will restrict part-time personnel to twenty-eight hours.

“In other words ObamaCare’s “employer mandate” will wind up hurting the very people Obama claims to be fighting for — reducing their take-home pay at a time when loose monetary policy is already whittling away at the value of every dollar they earn.”

The other possibility here – one that will be harder to detect and report – is that some employers will simply follow the law by providing insurance, but offsetting the cost through lower or stagnant wages. Or prices will simply rise, etc.

There simply is no such thing as a free lunch.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Health Care

Trayvon Martin commentary

Investors Business Daily weighs in on the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman issue, saying the narrative crafted by activists and carried by the media is now falling apart. I’ve been following this issue for a while and will probably offer some thoughts of my own in the coming days.

What I will say now is this: it has been disconcerting to see the way many have jumped to conclusions and spoken and acted with very little apparent knowledge of the facts of the case. Not only that, but the immediate reaction by some was to indict an entire nation as racist. The way the president inserted himself to fan the flames of racial tension in this issue was deplorable, but not exactly shocking.

I want justice to be served in this case. It doesn’t seem that Zimmerman acted wisely, but that doesn’t make him a murderer. The facts must be sorted out and the truth established. Then, if there is a case, charge him.

The media has been willfully culpable in portraying Martin as an innocent victim, and Zimmerman as a bloodthirsty perpetrator. The selective use of images (showing dated pictures of a baby-faced Trayvon and a time-worn mug-shot of a sinister-looking Zimmerman) has been totally unjournalistic. To their credit, somebody from the Poynter Institute, a media ethics group, said the very same thing on TV the other day.

More to follow….

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State polls point to GOP advantage

Gallup polling indicates that Obama‘s approval rating on a state-by-state basis puts him in a difficult position to earn an electoral college victory if the vote were held today. Residents of ten states gave the president a positive job approval rating last year, based on surveys throughout the year.

Here’s the Gallup data. Thanks Washington Examiner & Drudge Report for the links.

While Gallup is one of the top names in polling, and these make for interesting results, it’s still quite a stretch to posit definitive meaning from these ratings.

  • Firstly, it’s still nine months out.
  • Secondly, it looks like U.S. Residents are polled, as opposed to just straight-up voters (i.e. “likely voters”).
  • Thirdly, what’s being reported are approval ratings as measured by the year in aggregate. In other words, how people felt in January and February of 2011 shows up in this report (and that’s ancient history).
  • Fourthly and perhaps mainly, this is a look at job approval, not a look at “who would you vote for?”. Granted, presidential re-election efforts are referendums on a president’s performance. But there’s always a choice on the ballot, and that choice matters.

So what can we take from all this?

President Obama’s support has declined broadly and substantially, and he faces major challenges in getting re-elected. That being said, the Republicans have yet to settle on a candidate, and November is a long way off.

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Filed under 2012 Presidential Election, Barack Obama, General & Miscellaneous

Obama’s war

No. It’s not. And it is. It’s always both. Bush’s war? Sure. Same thing. There’s always a commander-in-chief, and always the nation he serves. We’re in this together. But should we be in this at all? Many are unconvinced.

America has been a nation at war for a decade now, and we’ve had a lot of time and reason to think about why we fight. About when and where. There’s always vigorous debate (well, maybe not always, but often) when wars are waged or about to be waged. The nation would seem very well primed for an urgent and serious discussion of exactly what wars we want to fight.

Here’s a piece by Margaret Went of The Globe and Mail, a Canadian publication. It comes recommended by Real Clear Politics. Went writes that “foreign policy liberals” promote a “responsibility to protect” in such instances as Libya, where human rights are at stake. National security advisor Susan Rice, academic Samantha Power and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have argued along these lines in favor of intervention.

Wente is not a neocon, but she is not a fan of R2P foreign policy liberalism, either. She writes:  “In other words, the war in Libya is a creation of the liberal intellectuals – just as the war in Iraq was a creation of the neo-conservatives. Many of the liberal intellectuals who vigorously opposed the Iraq war have just as vigorously been advocating intervention in Libya”

And this: “R2Pers aren’t just guilty of amnesia. They’re also ignorant. They know less about the tribal politics of Libya than they do about the dark side of the moon.” That’s a good point. Did Barack Obama or anybody else inside the administration ever point to an opposition figure or leader or even a credible political party inside Libya and say: “Here, this is the type of Libyan leadership we envision taking over after this guy is gone?” As far as I’m aware, that hasn’t happened. So, as Obama, et al used to (and still?) say: What’s our exit strategy?

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Obama job approval falls

The other day I wrote that Obama would probably see a dip in his numbers, following his budget presentation and community agitating against the states. (Foreign unrest, which I did not discuss, also surely played a role).

Drudge links to Rasmussen, whose daily tracking poll records President Obama’s job approval rating at 44 percent. It notes that “yesterday and today  mark the president’s lowest ratings since mid-December.”

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If it sounds too good to be true…

The White House, its allies and some in the media have been talking about the “cuts” in President Obama‘s recently proposed “budget” – you know, being hard times and what with the deficit and all. Gee, that must have been tough, but then again doing the right thing isn’t always easy! Thank goodness we’ve got a president willing to lead during these difficult times.

Or not. Obviously (for anyone who has paid attention the last two years or beyond), any suggestion of austerity from this administration is nothing more than political posturing, and cannot be taken at face value. So it really wasn’t credible to be talking about “cuts” in the budget. (To be fair, it rarely is when anybody in DC talks about cuts.)

There’s been discussion of the budget and what to make of it, and as usual Charles Krauthammer cuts through much of the clutter to offer cogent analysis. Read his Washington Post commentary on the budget, and continue to learn about our president.

P.S. Barack Obama had one of the most successful lame duck sessions in recent memory, and got a bounce in the polls to show for it. With this disastrous budget and its phony presentation, along with his small-minded meddling in state politics (see Wisconsin), the president may have stumbled badly enough to lose this momentum.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Economy

Obama playing politics on immigration

Kris Kobach writes in the New York Post that the administration is playing politics with its attack on Arizona’s law enforcement approach to illegal immigration. BTW – I do think this will ultimately hurt Dems in the midterms.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Immigration