It’s been a couple months since we last updated readers on the epic disaster that is Obamacare. We now have some details on the average premium increase for non-Obamacare health plans following the implementation of the law, and the results are not pretty. According to a cost report from eHealthInsurance, premiums have increased by between 39%-56%; and furthermore, the demographic issue is a huge ticking time bomb as the 'mix' is not at all what was expected.
Present Obama’s viral interview on Zack Galifianakis “Between Two Ferns” was both funny and informative, thus deserving the buzz it generated. Both the content of the interview, and the fact that the President felt it was needed in the first place, can teach us about the current state of Obamacare and the problems it continues to have. The point here isn’t to nitpick the numbers or get into a semantic argument, but to show one of the key shortcomings of this appearance and the President’s other attempts at getting young people to sign up: if you are promoting something that has shaky credibility, and you use dubious arguments that your target audience will realize might not be true, you end up hurting your cause.
If there is one line that reveals how the Obama administration is perceiving the world, and specifically that it is all through the lens of the manipulated stock market, here it is...
One upon a time everyone got a hearty chuckle when Obama declared, on the very first day of his ascension to the throne, that his administration would be the "most transparent in history." And if they didn't then, they certainly will now following news that it none other than Obama's own administration - made infamous for spying on everyone who uses electronic communication courtesy of one whistleblower - that it has refused a record number of Freedom of Information (don't laugh) requests on the basis of, drumroll, national security. So between the NSA, whose job is to ensure national security, and all those pesky meddlesome investigators, whose only curiosity is to peek behind the secrecy of the Obama administration, there should be precisely zero acts of terrorism on US soil. Like last year's Boston bombing for example. Oh wait...
Despite spending over half-a-billion dollars on increasingly mind-blowing promotions for Obamacare, a new survey released today shows that even the website apparently fixed, over one-third of Americans without insurance say they plan to stay that way, even after being told that the new law requires them to get covered or pay a penalty. As CBS notes, some 46% of those surveyed also were unaware of the March 31 deadline for being insured as it seems "low-income, young families may have been overlooked. They're probably not spending a lot of time watching television, they never read a newspaper and if they listen to radio it's probably music in the car." 41% cited insurance as still too expensive with, oddly, 39% of middle-aged men preferring to stay uninsured.
Putin Strikes Back: Russia's Sanctions List Said To Include US Senators, High Ranking Administration OfficialsSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 03/17/2014 17:12 -0400
Ever since the theatrical announcement of asset freezes and other related sanctions of various Putin aides, Russian military and pro-Russia Ukrainian leaders earlier today by both the US president and the EU, the nagging question was when and how would Vladimir Vladimirovich retaliate, with tomorrow's Putin address to the joint session of Parliament seeming as a probable time and place. It now appears that Putin's personal retaliation has been leaked in advance, and according to the Daily Beast's Josh Rogin, it will involve an in kind response where various US senators and highly placed officials will be banned from visiting Russia, and likely also see their particular assets - if any- in Russian custody promptly frozen.
Russia-Ukraine Agree "Truce" Until March 21st; White House Warns Putin Stop Playing "Russian Roulette"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/16/2014 12:05 -0400
"President Putin has started a game of Russian roulette and I think the United States and the West have to be very clear in their response," states Sen. Foreign Relations Committed Chair Robert Menendez among a slew of Sunday morning talk-show rhetoric from US politicians with the White House's Dan Pfeiffer adding "President Putin has a choice about what he's going to do here. Is he going to continue to further isolate himself, further hurt his economy, further diminish Russian influence in the world, or is he going to do the right thing?" As the "sham referendum" continues, Reuters, however, reports that Ukraine's acting defense minister believes Russia and Ukraine have agree a truce until March 21st.
From March 1: "Obama did not attend the meeting, but he has been briefed about it by his national security adviser, Susan Rice, and his national security team, an official said."
From March 15: "Obama did not attend the meeting but was being briefed about it and other developments involving Ukraine, said Laura Lucas Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council."
In a rather concerning (though not entirely surprising) turn of events, the United Nations (which may well need to be renamed after this) is making headlines:
- *RUSSIA REJECTS U.S. DRAFT RESOLUTION ON UKRAINE, CHURKING SAYS
- *U.S. DRAFT DOES NOT DIRECTLY BLAME RUSSIA FOR CRISIS IN UKRAINE
- *RUSSIA VETOES UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION ON UKRAINE CRISIS
- *CHINA ABSTAINS ON UN RESOLUTION ON UKRAINE
And then the US comes over the top:
- *POWER SAYS UN VOTE SHOWS RUSSIA 'ISOLATED, ALONE, WRONG'
Well "isolated and alone" with China?
Utah state prosecutors have received accusations of wrongdoing and gathered evidence in a wide-ranging corruption scandal involving Majority Leader Harry Reid and rising Republican Senator Mike Lee. However, as The Washinton Times reports, FBI agents have been thwarted in their efforts to launch a full federal investigation by the Justic Department. "DOJ risks creating the perception of a cover-up," warned one senior FBI official.
- Ukraine anxiety triggers flight to safety, stocks tumble (Reuters)
- Woodrow Wilson’s Ukraine Failure Foreshadows West’s Dilemmas (BBG)
- Fortress Executives Join Peers Selling Stock After Rally (BBG)
- 303 Deaths Seen in G.M. Cars With Failed Air Bags (NYT)
- Putin Deports Executives for Speeding as Sanctions Loom (BBG)
- Russia blocks internet sites of Putin critics (Reuters)
- China Bond Risk Exceeds Ireland as Defaults Unavoidable (BBG)
- China H-Shares Post Biggest Weekly Drop Since October (BBG)
- Surge in Rail Shipments of Oil Sidetracks Other Industries (WSJ)
- Blackstone’s Home Buying Binge Ends as Prices Surge (BBG)
The Real Reason Why Ukraine is Key
- Malaysia Says Stolen Passport User Had No Links to Terror Groups (BBG)
- Malaysia military tracked missing plane to west coast (Reuters)
- Freescale loss in Malaysia tragedy leads to travel policy questions (Reuters)
- Top German body calls for QE blitz to avert deflation trap in Europe (Telegraph)
- Firms Suffer 23% Drop in Asia Fees Amid Search for Cash (BBG)
- Putin Dismisses U.S. Proposal on Ukraine (WSJ)
- Lenovo says China strike an IBM matter, but it won't cut wages (Reuters)
- Congress to Investigate GM Recall (WSJ)
- New hedge funds face life or death battle for funding (FT)
- Muni Bond Costs Hit Investors in Wallet (WSJ)
- BOJ keeps stimulus in place, cuts view on exports in warning sign (Reuters)
- ECB Homes In on Risky Assets as Inspectors Fan Out Across Europe (BBG)
- Snowden: "The Constitution was violated" (Reuters)
Officially, US debt stands at more than $17 trillion. In reality, it is many times more. So who in his right mind would think it is a good time to start a war with Russia over Ukraine? And worse, who would commit the United States to bail out a Ukraine that will need at least $35 billion to survive the year? Who? The president and Congress, backed by the neocons and the so-called humanitarian interventionists! Cooler heads in the United States are not currently prevailing. There is a danger of an unimaginable conflict between the US and Russia. We must demand a shift away from a war footing, away from incendiary rhetoric. We are broke and cannot afford to “buy” Ukraine. We certainly cannot afford another war, especially with Russia!