Vermont will not push forward with its plan to launch a state-based single payer health care system…
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Citing Costs, Vermont Shelves Single Payer Health System

Vermont will not push forward with its plan to launch a state-based single payer health care system in 2017, reports the Daily Caller.

Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin made the announcement on Wednesday, citing several factors.

Among the most important were changes in financing assumptions. Vermont had been counting on infusions of federal funding to buoy the program, but confirmed that it overshot its estimates by a whopping $311 million. Without the expected seed money of federal tax dollars there’s not enough start-up capital needed to get the project going.

The other blow to Vermont’s single payer scheme – to be called Green Mountain Care – is its lack of financial sustainability. In order to make the enterprise successful, Vermont would need to levy tax hikes like an…[more]

December 18, 2014 • 11:06 am

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Notable Quotes
 
On Obama's Normalizing Relations With Cuba:
 
 

"In recent months, the outlook for the Castro regime in Cuba was growing steadily darker. The modest reforms it adopted in recent years to improve abysmal economic conditions had stalled, due to the regime'€™s refusal to allow Cubans greater freedoms. Worse, the accelerating economic collapse of Venezuela meant that the huge subsidies that have kept the Castros afloat for the past decade were in peril. A growing number of Cubans were demanding basic human rights, such as freedom of speech and assembly. ...

"Mr. Obama says normalizing relations will allow the United States to be more effective in promoting political change in Cuba. That is contrary to U.S. experience with Communist regimes such as Vietnam, where normalization has led to no improvements on human rights in two decades. ...

"The Vietnam outcome is what the Castros are counting on: a flood of U.S. tourists and business investment that will allow the regime to maintain its totalitarian system indefinitely. Mr. Obama may claim that he has dismantled a 50-year-old failed policy; what he has really done is give a 50-year-old failed regime a new lease on life."

 
 
— The Editors, The Washington Post
— The Editors, The Washington Post
Posted December 18, 2014 • 12:59 pm
 
 
On the Consequences of the 2014 Elections on ObamaCare:
 
 

"'Elections have consequences,' President Obama said, setting his new policy agenda just three days after taking office in 2009. Three elections later, the president's party has lost 70 House seats and 14 Senate seats. The job of Republicans now is to govern with the confidence that elections do have consequences, promptly passing the conservative reform the voters have demanded. ...

"No subject was more important in the 2014 elections than healthcare, and Republicans in Congress should waste no time in taking decisive action in response to the voters'€™ demands. Obamacare has escalated costs, disrupted coverage, and introduced bad incentives throughout our healthcare system. Congress must repeal Obamacare and send the president a replacement package of reforms that protects freedom and focuses on the real problem with American healthcare --€” affordability. ...

"It has become fashionable in Washington to argue that Obamacare cannot be reversed. That is nonsense. It's a fight worth waging, and a fight which can be won."

 
 
— Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA)
— Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA)
Posted December 17, 2014 • 13:04 pm
 
 
On the Peshawar Army School Massacre by Pakistan Taliban:
 
 

"At least 126 people, mostly children, have been killed in a Taliban assault on an army-run school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, officials say.

"Five or six militants are said to have entered the building. Five are reported to have been killed, at least one of them in a suicide blast.

"The army says most of the 500 students have been evacuated. It is not clear if any are still inside.

"The attack is being seen as one of the worst-ever in Pakistan.

"The BBC's Shahzeb Jillani in Karachi says the militants appear to have been intent on killing as many students as possible - rather than taking hostages, as initially thought."

 
 
— BBC News
— BBC News
Posted December 16, 2014 • 13:10 pm
 
 
On IRS Sharing of Taxpayer Information with the White House:
 
 

"The White House and IRS are entangled in a sticky court case with major political ramifications. It concerns allegations that the IRS illegally shared private taxpayer information with the White House related to conservative individuals or organizations. The Treasury Department said this month that although it has found a cache of documents that may be pertinent, it is not allowed by law to release them. The question now is who can find out whether the Obama White House has in effect weaponized the IRS, turning it into an agency that targets Americans out of favor with the administration. ...

"A politicized Justice Department cannot be trusted to conduct an impartial investigation or to appoint a reliable outside prosecutor. This means that any serious inquiry is up to Congress.

"Republican leaders are understandably cautious about this approach. When they take control of Congress in January, their overriding goal is to establish a track record for governing, not a pattern of investigating the Obama administration’s past transgressions. But this case should be an exception. Any White House interference with the IRS is a fundamental assault on the rule of law and the disinterested application of the tax code. If allowed to stand, it will serve as a pernicious precedent for future administrations."

 
 
— Charles Lipson, University of Chicago Professor of Political Science
— Charles Lipson, University of Chicago Professor of Political Science
Posted December 15, 2014 • 13:25 pm
 
 
On the Character and Mentality of the Obama Administration:
 
 

"Instead of using this space to pretend the newly released CIA 'torture' report confirms that the United States is the most evil nation in the history of the universe, I'm going to address Jonathan Gruber's confirmation that he believes we're all stupid. ...

"[W]hile people are making a big fuss over Gruber's calling Americans stupid, they ought to be far more outraged that he admitted the administration purposefully lied to us. This is the real story, and it reveals, once again, the character and mentality of this entire administration, for Gruber was speaking not merely for himself but about the entire administration, beginning with Obama. ...

"This is all disgraceful and underscores how imperative it is that Obamacare be fully repealed and that the newly elected GOP Congress get a backbone and stand up to this cadre of scofflaws."


 
 
— David Limbaugh, Author and Syndicated Columnist
— David Limbaugh, Author and Syndicated Columnist
Posted December 12, 2014 • 12:44 pm
 
 
On the Congressional Funding Bill:
 
 

"The federal government'€™s funding authorization expires tonight at midnight, and the Republican plan to renew it bodes poorly for the GOP'€™s leadership of Congress next year.

"The proposal: Pass an omnibus spending resolution that funds most of the federal government into October of next year, while passing a separate resolution to fund the Department of Homeland Security just through the end of February. ...

"Rather than this barnacled bill, Republicans should have offered Senator Harry Reid a short-term funding proposal for all of government besides the federal immigration bureaucracy, and a separate bill to fund the federal immigration bureaucracy that prevents it from implementing the president'€™s amnesty. ...

"Republican members ought to vote against the cromnibus, and many of them surely will. If Democrats defect over their displeasure with some other elements of the bill, the measure could fail. The alternative then may be a short-term funding bill into the next year, which would be better than the current plan.

"In any case, it's important that the nascent GOP majority's first act not be surrender."

 
 
— The Editors, National Review
— The Editors, National Review
Posted December 11, 2014 • 12:49 pm
 
 
On the Senate Intelligence Committee's CIA Report:
 
 

"This investigation marks a new low for congressional oversight of intelligence because of its naked partisanship and refusal to consider all relevant evidence. The report was written entirely by the committee's Democratic staff. The investigation included no interviews -- it is based only on a review of documents. Because the report lacks Republican co-authors or interviews of people who ran the enhanced-interrogation program, it has no credibility and amounts to a five-year, $50 million Democrat cherry-picking exercise to investigate the Bush administration. ...

"There are many former Bush-administration and CIA officials who claim that the enhanced-interrogation program was effective, provided crucial counterterrorism intelligence, and was conducted entirely within the law. These officials also claim that Democratic members of the House and Senate intelligence committees were fully briefed on the program and supported it until it became politically useful to condemn it."

 
 
— Fred Fleitz, Center for Security Policy Senior Fellow and Former CIA Analyst and House Intelligence Committee Senior Staff Member
— Fred Fleitz, Center for Security Policy Senior Fellow and Former CIA Analyst and House Intelligence Committee Senior Staff Member
Posted December 10, 2014 • 12:28 pm
 
 
On the New Congress and ObamaCare:
 
 

"In high-level strategy sessions on Capitol Hill, Republicans are going through reams of historical information and sitting through marathon slide show presentations, trying to figure out how to gut Obamacare through a complicated budget process that requires only a simple majority -- a sign of how seriously they're taking their best shot yet at dealing a long-term blow to the health care law.

"Behind closed doors, Washington's top budget experts have quietly met with Sen. Mitch McConnell, the incoming majority leader, and the Senate Republican Conference to detail options for action next year. ...

"While no one believes repealing the Affordable Care Act is feasible with President Barack Obama still in office, Republicans are eager to use a special procedure that might let them kill at least a large piece of the law --” potentially the Medicaid expansion, subsidies for purchasing health insurance or even the individual mandate --€” with only a simple majority.

"Whether Republicans can navigate the byzantine Senate rules successfully will set a key precedent: It will show voters exactly how they would execute a strategy to gut the health care law should they take back the White House and keep control of Congress in 2016."

 
 
— Jennifer Haberkorn and Manu Raju, Politico
— Jennifer Haberkorn and Manu Raju, Politico
Posted December 09, 2014 • 13:23 pm
 
 
On the House Intelligence Committee Benghazi Report:
 
 

"Although the House Intelligence Committee report claims to be the definitive statement of the House of Representatives on matters of Benghazi and intelligence, interviews over the past week make clear that it's not even the consensus position of Republicans on the committee.

"It's not hard to see why. Although it adds to our overall understanding of Benghazi, even a cursory read reveals sloppy errors of fact and numerous internal contradictions. For instance, on one page, the report has a top intelligence officer sending an email from Benghazi on September 15, before a crucial White House meeting on the Benghazi talking points. ...

"The report begins by asserting that it is a 'comprehensive' look at Benghazi resulting from an intensive investigation of nearly two years. Neither claim is true. Instead, the report is a reflection of a dysfunctional committee and the reluctant, ad hoc approach to Benghazi of its leadership and top staff."

 
 
— Stephen F. Hayes, The Weekly Standard and Thomas Joscelyn, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
— Stephen F. Hayes, The Weekly Standard and Thomas Joscelyn, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Posted December 08, 2014 • 13:49 pm
 
 
On U.S. World Economic Standing:
 
 

"There's no easy way to say this, so I'€™ll just say it: We're no longer No. 1. Today, we're No. 2. Yes, it's official. The Chinese economy just overtook the United States economy to become the largest in the world. For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, America is not the leading economic power on the planet. ...

"This will not change anything tomorrow or next week, but it will change almost everything in the longer term. We have lived in a world dominated by the U.S. since at least 1945 and, in many ways, since the late 19th century. And we have lived for 200 years -- since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 -- in a world dominated by two reasonably democratic, constitutional countries in Great Britain and the U.S.A. For all their flaws, the two countries have been in the vanguard worldwide in terms of civil liberties, democratic processes and constitutional rights."

 
 
— Brett Arends, MarketWatch Columnist
— Brett Arends, MarketWatch Columnist
Posted December 05, 2014 • 12:49 pm
 
Question of the Week   
Which one of the following Americans was the first to successfully fly a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"In recent months, the outlook for the Castro regime in Cuba was growing steadily darker. The modest reforms it adopted in recent years to improve abysmal economic conditions had stalled, due to the regime'€™s refusal to allow Cubans greater freedoms. Worse, the accelerating economic collapse of Venezuela meant that the huge subsidies that have kept the Castros afloat for the past decade were in…[more]
 
 
—The Editors, The Washington Post
— The Editors, The Washington Post
 
Liberty Poll   

Do you approve or disapprove of the so-called “Cromnibus” bill that funds most of the federal government through September 2015, but only funds the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration, through February 2015.