AP Claim: Israeli Unity Means Dissent is ‘Silenced’

The Associated Press, noting the overwhelming support among Israelis for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the war effort in Gaza, concludes that the minority of Israelis who dissent are being “silenced.” 

It is a tired, false charge often made by Israeli and Jewish leftists even during peacetime–a canard that confuses losing an argument on the merits with being suppressed, and which is often calculated to damage Israel’s reputation.

The AP quotes–without irony–an op-ed published by a left-wing writer in one of the country’s most widely read newspapers, complaining that those who oppose war are being cast as traitors. 

Publishing an opinion is an odd way of “silencing” it. 

What the Israeli left–and its imitators abroad, such as the factually challenged Peter Beinart–really resent is that they have lost their customary preeminence, because reality has simply changed.

Hamas has pursued the latest war with an unusual degree of brutality, even for a terrorist organization–and not just toward Israeli civilians, but toward Palestinian civilians. 

It used child labor–causing hundreds of deaths–to dig its terror tunnels. It is reportedly seizing UN food coupons from the population to keep its fighters fed. It has rejected and violated even brief humanitarian ceasefires. Its evil is what has united the Israeli population.

The Israeli left still exists. It even held a protest in Rabin Square on Saturday–albeit one cut short when Hamas fired rockets towards Tel Aviv. Israelis are not united on every question regarding the war: they are split, for example, about taking over Gaza. Israel remains a country that celebrates dissent. 

Yet healthy societies also pull together to face danger–and freely set aside faulty, sentimental ideas that are luxuries of safety and distance.

Source: Breitbart Feed

CA Insurance Commissioner Admits ‘Affordable Care’ Costs 55% More

As someone who saw his monthly health insurance premium double from $780 in 2013 to $1,460 this year, I was interested to see how long it would take for California’s Democrat leaders to fess up that there is nothing affordable about their version of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). 

Facing political shock and awe as ten million working Californians are soon to get notices of big insurance premium increases for next year, Democrat Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones admitted July 29th that rates for individuals that enrolled in Covered California jumped by an average of 55% last year.

Patrick Johnston, Chief Executive Officer of the California Association of Health Plans, said last year just before the launch of Covered California, “The arithmetic is inescapable.” Costs must be spread, so while some consumers will see their premiums drop, others will pay more – “no matter what people in Washington say.”

After two years of swearing that Covered California would save money for working state residents, Insurance Commissioner Jones in a news conference said, “The rate increase from 2013 to 2014, on average, was significantly higher than rate increases in the past.” He eventually got around to admitting that “significantly higher” meant average healthcare insurance premium increases of 22% to 88%.

Jones also admitted for the first time that Covered California health insurance premium increases were the most punishing for young people in Los Angeles County age 25. The Commissioner stated rates jumped for the middle-of-road “silver plan” coverage by 52% for the young versus 38% more for the same plan for someone age 55.

The biggest contributor to this cost increase appears to be those paying for health insurance to subsidize the 1.5 million increase in the state’s Medi-Cal enrollment to 8.6 million or 22% of the entire population of the State of California.

The exploding costs of Covered California and other “affordable” regulations help explain why CEOs of America’s largest companies have rated California as the worst state to do business in the nation for the last three years running. This is reflected in the grim detail that California’s unemployment rate for the last three years has been at least 50% higher than the unemployment rate in neighboring Mexico.

However, having already financially pained a couple million Californians, Insurance Commissioner Jones is now lobbying voters to pass Proposition 45 on the November ballot and add another layer of “affordable regulations” Jones claims will:

  • Require that health insurance rate changes must be approved by the California Insurance Commissioner before taking effect.
  • Require a sworn statement by health insurance companies submitting rate change requests certifying the accuracy of the information they submit to the Insurance Commissioner to justify the rate change they are proposing.
  • Provide for public notice, disclosure and hearing on health insurance rate changes and subsequent judicial review.
  • Prohibit health, auto and homeowners insurers from determining policy eligibility or rates based on lack of prior coverage or credit history.

Proposition 45 would expand regulation of California healthcare in a similar way to how Proposition 103 in 1988 supposedly imposed “cost containment” on California automobile insurance rates. Commissioner Jones argued that without passing Prop 45, “We’re going to continue to see rates go up simply because… no one has the ability to stop excessive rates.”

A recent study by Insure.com found the average middle-of-the-road auto insurance coverage for a 40-year-old driver with a 12-mile commute to work in California is the 6th most expensive in the nation, with an annual premium cost of $1,991. The annual premium cost for auto insurance in California was 54% higher than the average of neighboring Oregon at $1,306 and Nevada at $1,300.

Insurance Commissioner Jones would rather try to distract the public from the debilitating costs of Covered California by adding another layer of regulation in Proposition 45 that could lead to even more debilitating costs. Although Jones failed to admit that rate increases are as high as the doubling of cost I am paying, at least he admitted that California health insurance rates may skyrocket next year.

The author welcomes feedback and will respond to reader comments. Chriss Street just returned from teaching “Entrepreneurship and Capitalist Business Strategy” at Ho Chi Minh University in Vietnam.

Source: Breitbart Feed

’43’ Writing Biography on ’41’

Forwarded to me from a friend:

Dear Bush Family and Friends,

Later tonight, Crown Publishers will announce a biography of President George H. W. Bush (“41”) by his son, President George W. Bush (“43”). We wanted you to hear it from us first.

The book will be released this fall, on November 11. As 43 says: plenty of historians will analyze 41’s presidency, and over time some of those books will even be objective. This book is not — it’s a love story about a great man.

Description from  Crown Forum:

Forty-three men have served as President of the United States. Countless books have been written about them. But never before has a President told the story of his father, another President, through his own eyes and in his own words. A unique and intimate biography, the book covers the entire scope of the elder President Bush’s life and career, including his service in the Pacific during World War II, his pioneering work in the Texas oil business, and his political rise as a Congressman, U.S. Representative to China and the United Nations, CIA Director, Vice President, and President. The book shines new light on both the accomplished leader and the warm, decent man known best by his family. In addition, George W. Bush discusses his father’s influence on him throughout his own life, from his childhood in West Texas to his early campaign trips with his father, and from his decision to go into politics to his own two-term Presidency.

“George H. W. Bush is a great servant, statesman, and father,” said President George W. Bush. “I loved writing the story of his life, and I hope others enjoy reading it.”

Said Maya Mavjee, President and Publisher of The Crown Publishing Group: “As the only father and son to each have served as President of the United States since John and John Quincy Adams, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush occupy a unique position in history. In this heartfelt, intimate, and illuminating portrait of his father, George W. Bush brings to vivid life his unique perspective of the personal qualities and principles that have animated George H. W. Bush’s extraordinary life of service to country and family.”

Mr. Bush’s previous book, DECISION POINTS, a memoir focused on the most consequential decisions in his personal and political life, was published by Crown in November 2010 and is the bestselling Presidential memoir of all time, with more than three million units sold to-date in the U.S. alone across all formats.

Since we’re talking books, I must take advantage.  Check out my book, Finding Mr. Righteous!

Source: Breitbart Feed

Dem. Rep: ‘Not a Cost’ if Illegal Children are Turned Over to Families in U.S.

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern argued Wednesday that once unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors are turned over to their family members in the United States, they are no longer a burden on the United States. 

“You talk about the costs of these children, if they are reunited with their families here in the United States, there is not a cost, so,” McGovern said at a House Rules Committee hearing on the emergency supplemental appropriations bill dealing with the border crisis. 

Texas Republican Rep. Kay Granger — who heads House Speaker John Boehner’s border working group — protested McGovern’s assertion. 

“I’m sorry, that’s just not right. Of course there’s a cost. There’s a huge cost,” she said. 

“If you’re saying we’re not trying to unite them with their families — who are also here illegally, in most cases — and so yes, there is a cost, and one of the reasons to speed this up is it is taking a year and a half and five years for these cases to come before a judge, in the situation we’ve got now. And during that time, we’re going to pay for their support where they are,” Granger explained. 

McGovern said that, while most are for expediting the process, they are not for “stripping away people’s rights,” and he further argued that the proposal should go through the committees with jurisdiction over the issues with which the measure deals.

“A fair hearing doesn’t have to mean a five year hearing,” she responded. 

The Congressional Budget Office reported Wednesday that a portion of the supplemental appropriations legislation would allow some of the unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors to voluntarily leave — thereby reducing the cost of means-tested benefits. 

“Among other changes, such children would now have the option to voluntarily depart the United States without appearing before an immigration judge. CBO considers it likely that enacting Division B would reduce the number of children present in the United States receiving means-tested federal benefits, thereby reducing direct spending for such benefits. However, CBO cannot estimate the potential reduction in direct spending at this time,” the CBO report read. 

Both Granger and McGovern agreed that the journey of the more than 57,000 unaccompanied minors who have been detained illegally entering the United States since October is “awful.” 

The vast majority of the unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors are from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. 

Source: Breitbart Feed

UN Secretary General Accuses Israel of ‘Attacking Sleeping Children’

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon spoke Wednesday at a summit in Costa Rica where he placed blame on Israel for an attack at a UN school in Gaza.

Not once mentioning Hamas in his speech, Ban said:

This morning, yet another United Nations school sheltering thousands of Palestinian families suffered a reprehensible attack. All available evidence points to Israeli artillery as the cause.

Nothing is more shameful than attacking sleeping children. At least 16 civilians are dead, and many more are injured. I want to make it clear that the precise location of this Jabalia Elementary Girls School had been communicated to the Israeli military authorities 17 times – as recently ‎as last night, just a few hours before the attack. They were ‎aware of the coordinates and exact locations where these people are being sheltered.

The UN Secretary-General continued:

Families had been instructed to seek sanctuary at UN sites, including the one repeatedly shelled today.

I condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms. It is outrageous. It is unjustifiable. And it demands accountability and justice.

I repeat again my call on Israel and all parties to do vastly more to ensure the safety of these United Nations sites and the security of the women, children and families who have sought protection there.

I call on the parties to stop the fighting and agree on an immediate, unconditional ceasefire.

Earlier Wednesday, three IDF soldiers were killed after finding a UN health clinic in Gaza rigged with explosives. The booby-trapped building detonated shortly thereafter, killing the remaining soldiers inside when the building collapsed onto them.

On three separate occasions, rocket arsenals have been found at UN facilities in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge. The UN has yet to place blame on any actors or organizations for the findings, although most conclude Hamas is the likely perpetrator of the war crime. UN officials reacted by likely handing off the multiple rocket caches to Hamas authorities.

The United Nations had also immediately placed blamed on Israel for a strike on Gaza’s Shifa hospital, resulting in the deaths of over a dozen Palestinians. It was later revealed that in all likelihood, a misfired Hamas Fajr-5 Iranian-made 100kg warhead that was destined for Israel had struck the hospital.

Source: Breitbart Feed