Nearly One Million Obamacare ‘enrollees’ Have Never Paid Any Premiums

Ethan A. Huff | Less than half of the sitting government’s projected 7 million Obamacare enrollments have actually materialized.
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Is America facing implosion fiscally & spiritually? Two new polls find nearly 80% of Americans believe U.S. on “wrong track.”

This is the cover of the paperback version of Implosion.

This is the cover of the paperback version of Implosion.

(Washington, D.C.) — Is America heading towards fiscal and spiritual implosion? Two new national polls find the vast majority of Americans believe the U.S. is on the “wrong track.” What’s more, Americans’ anxiety and pessimism about our nation’s future is rising rapidly.

  • The new WSJ/NBC News poll finds 78% say the U.S. is on the “wrong track,” and only 14% say we’re on the “right track.”
  • The new Rasmussen poll finds 76% of Americans believe the U.S. is on the wrong track, and 17% believe we’re on the right track.

The Rasmussen survey notes that “the number of voters who believe the country is heading in the right direction has fallen 11 points over the past week to its lowest level in nearly two years.” The survey also notes that “76% of voters think the country is heading down the wrong track, up 13 points from last week and the highest level of pessimism since November 2011.”

“Nearly eight in 10 Americans say the nation is on the wrong track, the highest number since the worst of the recession in 2008, according to new poll results released on Thursday,” reported Newsmax. “The Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey of 800 adults conducted Oct. 7-9 found that 78 percent said that America was on the wrong track. That compared with 14 percent who responded that the nation was going in the right  direction. Overall, survey respondents gave the Republican Party its lowest marks since the Journal began conducting surveys in 1989….’What is stunning about these results is just how hard and how quickly public attitudes have landed on the shutdown,’ said Peter Hart, a Democratic pollster who worked on the survey, told the Journal. ‘Hart conducted the survey with another Democratic pollster, Fred Yang, and Republican pollster Bill McInturff. Hart noted that the survey underscored ‘a broad disgust for the political system.’”

>> To learn more about the non-fiction book, Implosion: Can America Recover From Its Economic & Spiritual Challenges In Time? – which is now available in paperback – please click here.


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

EPA’s New Restrictions on Coal Plants to Kill Nearly a Million Jobs

Guest post by M.D. Kittle

Leave it to the Environmental Protection Agency to come up with regulatory standards so restrictive that the technology to meet them has yet to be commercially tested.

As expected, the EPA on Friday unveiled its revised proposal to cap greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. And as expected, coal-fired power plants will fail to meet the limits without some very expensive technology to capture and store carbon emissions.

“There’s the rub. No commercial, coal-fired plant worldwide has yet to use this technology,” notes a story in USA Today.

As the piece points out, there are least two such carbon storage power plants under construction — one in Canada’s Saskatchewan Province, and the other in Mississippi’s Kemper County, scheduled to open in May.

But the coal-fired power industry need only look to Mississippi for a cautionary tale. The $ 4.7-billion project has been saddled with at least $ 1 billion in cost overruns, “a stew of legal battles, a revolt by ratepayers and a credit downgrade for the local utility,” according to Bloomberg News story published Thursday.

And, as the story points out, consumers ultimately will foot the bill for the expensive technology in the 582-megawatt plant, the first of its kind to be built on a commercial scale.

“By some measures, it may be one of the most expensive power plants ever built for the watts of energy it will generate,” Bloomberg notes. “The utility got approval to recoup $ 2.88 billion in costs from ratepayers. In addition, the Department of Energy pledged $ 270 million, and the company qualified for a federal tax credit of $ 133 million. The costs of the new lignite mine and carbon dioxide pipelines are additional.”

Coal industry officials earlier this week told Watchdog.org the restrictive limits on CO2 could kill coal, and with it, many of the 800,000 good-paying jobs it supports.

“That is the area that is really going to put this conversation at the forefront,” said Nancy Gravatt, spokeswoman for the National Mining Association, which represents coal and mineral mining companies nationwide. “This puts thousands of middle-class jobs at risk, and it’s akin to an energy tax on consumers. The hardest hit would be those on fixed incomes, like retirees.”

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Americans have a “moral obligation to the next generation” to protect the environment. She said the proposal is a “necessary step to address a public health challenge,” according to the USA Today story. McCarthy, in a speech Friday morning at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., said the proposed standards create a “path forward” for the coal industry, and that the CO2 limits are both achievable and flexible.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in a statement basically said the EPA blew it.

“The EPA had the chance to craft a regulation that recognized the value of the ‘all of the above’ energy strategy endorsed by President Obama, and ensured that standards were achievable and based upon commercially and economically viable technology. Instead, they have released yet another major regulation that will hamper economic growth and job creation, and could lead to higher energy costs for American families and businesses,” said Bruce Josten, the chamber’s vice president for Government Affairs.

“It is clear that the EPA is continuing to move forward with a strategy that will write off our huge, secure, affordable coal resources by essentially outlawing the construction of new coal plants.”

Jo Ann Emerson, former Missouri Republican congresswoman and now CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, earlier this week said the administration is “gambling with the economic well-being of future generations and our nation’s economy.”

“As not-for-profit, consumer-owned utilities, electric co-ops are deeply concerned about maintaining affordable, reliable electricity. It’s worth noting that residents of rural communities already spend more per capita on energy than anywhere else,” Emerson said in a statement.

Environmentalists, of course, rejoiced.

“In the words of our Vice-President, this is a BFD,” celebrated the Sierra Club in a blog post.

“If finalized as written, the draft will make it impossible to build a new, conventional, climate-destroying coal plant in the U.S. With climate-related disasters already landing on the doorsteps of millions of Americans, from Western wildfires to Superstorm Sandy, this new protection comes as welcome news.

Jason Hayes, associate director of the American Coal Council, fully expects the proposal to be challenged in court.

“The same thing that happened with the CSAPR Rule … Everyone was going forward before it was remanded by the D.C. court,” Hayes told Watchdog.org Friday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in 2011 vacated the EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule, often pronounced Casper, and the associated implementation plans and remanded the rule back to the EPA following widespread criticism.

The coal industry and other critics of the EPA’s proposal predict the strict limits will batter a U.S. economy struggling to recover, and stall the strides the industry has made in cutting CO2 output.

“Regulators are setting the bar so high that, even the new plants with the most advanced technologies would not be allowed,” Hal Quinn, CEO and president of the National Mining Association, said in a video released Friday. “Without coal our utility bills will be higher, our industries less competitive, electricity reliability compromised, and of course tens of thousands of jobs lost.”

 

Contact M.D. Kittle at mkittle@watchdog.org.

 

Doug Ross @ Journal

Israelis mark Day of Atonement, reflect on 40 years since surprise attack nearly lost the country.

Thousands of Jewish people gather for prayers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City the night before Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. (photo credit: Dror Garti/Flash90/Times of Israel.)

Thousands of Jewish people gather for prayers at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City the night before Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. (photo credit: Dror Garti/Flash90/Times of Israel.)

(Dallas, Texas) — Today is Yom Kippur, or the “Day of Atonement.” It is a Biblical holiday, the day when God called the children of Israel to repent of their national and individual sins and sacrifice animals to receive atonement, or forgiveness, of their sins. It is the highest holiday in Judaism.

Yom Kippur also marks the day when the modern state of Israel was nearly “wiped off the map” by her enemies. Forty years ago today, the Russian-trained and equipped air forces and armies of Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on the Jewish State, a move that nearly succeeded in destroying Israel.

Today, therefore, many Israelis are fasting and praying and reflecting on their lives and going to synagogue — some because of tradition, and some to follow Old Testament customs (albeit complicated by the lack of a Temple in Jerusalem).

Many Israelis are also taking time to reflect on how the reluctance of their Prime Minister in 1973 to launch a preemptive strike nearly led to a second Holocaust.

The Israeli society shuts down completely on Yom Kippur (see below). But the Friday edition of most Israeli newspapers (published before the temporary but complete shutdown) featured articles looking back at the ’73 war and the flawed leadership and failed intelligence that led to such a grave moment for the Jewish people after the stunning success of the ’67 war.

What follows are some excerpts concerning the religious aspect of this day, and links to some intriguing articles about the October war of 1973.

“Israelis prepared for the holiest day of the Jewish calendar on Friday when the entire country grinds almost to a halt for Yom Kippur, Judaism’s day of atonement,” notes an article in the Friday edition of the Times of Israel. “Jews traditionally spend the solemn day fasting and asking God for forgiveness at intense prayer services in synagogues. It caps a 10-day period of soul-searching that began with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year holiday.”

“In Israel, the country virtually shuts down for Yom Kippur,” notes the Times. “Businesses, restaurants and offices close, and TV and radio stations go silent. Airports close and buses and trains stop running. Highways and roads become eerily quiet, devoid of vehicles. Yom Kippur is unique in Israel because it touches almost the entire country. A high portion of the secular population observes the fast — and even those who don’t fast tend to refrain from eating in public, and quietly watch movies or rest at home. Many secular, mostly younger, Israelis ride bicycles and skateboards through the empty roads in some areas.”

HEADLINES REFLECTING ON THE “YOM KIPPUR” WAR OF 1973


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog