In mid-November, Americans for Tax Reform compiled a list of federal spending on state Obamacare exchanges totaling a breathtaking $4.5 billion.
One number on the list stands out from the rest — and it's not California's, though its $910 million amout is awful, disproportionate, and surely highly wasteful (before considering scalability concerns, the fixed costs of building a web site should be close to the same regardless of a state's population). The big eye-catcher is tiny Vermont's staggering $208 million. The nation's second-least populous state (626,000 as of 2012) has 0.2 percent of the U.S. population, but has received 4.6 percent of grants from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Though the Green Mountain State's enrollment numbers have been among the country's least embarrassing on percentage of the population, its exchange's rollout has in many ways been as bad, if not worse, than HealthCare.gov's, according to a December 10 Vermont Public Radio report which has garnered very little attention (HT Megan McArdle at Bloomberg News; bolds are mine):
President Barack Obama touted benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in a speech at the White House Thursday, claiming his signature health care bill is “doing what it’s designed to do.” The president also acknowledged the “glitches” that have impacted the implementation of the law, including his announced one-year delay of a so-called “employer mandate” requiring businesses with more than 50 employees to provide health insurance.
Alex Wagner, and most of her Thursday Now panel, came to the defense of the president over ObamaCare and its implementation, while blasting Republicans for being “reluctant to embrace” the unpopular bill. Wagner invited on White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri to tout the legislation’s purported benefits, but included no conservatives on her panel to challenge Palmieri’s claims.
PolitiFact has received a fair share of criticism from conservatives for their spin-heavy fact-checks. The liberal media, for the most part, has accordingly been dismissive of such conservative complaints. But now even The Daily Beast/Newsweek is joining in on the criticism, with contributor Megan McArdle joining conservatives in noting the fact-checker repeated repetition of a falsehood regarding the Lilly Ledbetter Supreme Court case.
Two reports linked by Instapundit earlier today demonstrate at a macro and micro level how weak the claim that Toyota has deliberately jeopardized consumer safety in connection with "sudden acceleration" complaints may ultimately turn out to be.
The macro piece comes from Megan McArdle (pictured at left; "How Real are the Defects in Toyota's Cars?") at her blog at the Atlantic. The magazine's business and economics editor dissected case-by-case detail originally compiled by the Los Angeles Times, which was also analyzed to an extent by Washington Examiner op-ed writer and Overlawyered blogger Ted Frank, to make important points about the likelihood of driver error in many of them.
The micro item comes from Michael Fumento, whose Forbes column takes apart the recent James Sikes "sudden acceleration" incident in California as it rips the establishment media for its total lack of skepticism about the driver's claims and his credibility.
First, to McArdle, who also has nicely done graphs at her post:
Megan McArdle, a blogger for TheAtlantic.com who has said she's voting for Obama, slammed the media in an appearance on Reason.tv's "The Talkshow" for not bringing up Sen. Joseph Biden's past as a "corporate sellout." McArdle said that was quite relevant when the Democratic candidates try to oppose financial deregulation in campaign appearances.
"And here is where I am willing to say the media is giving Obama a pass on a bunch of stuff that they shouldn't be ... It's ridiculous that no one is bringing up every time - every time Obama says anything about financial deregulation, Joe Biden's history should be trotted out and it's not and I'm not sure why," McArdle said to host Nick Gillespie.
Last week's issue of the Village Voice featured Roy Edroso's review of "10 conservative Web scribblers," described therein as "buffoons" and in the article's subhead as "a confederacy of dunces." (Actually, Edroso names twelve bloggers, arriving at his figure of ten by counting the Power Line trio as one person.)
Lefty snark aside, the piece is problematic in part because at least two of the bloggers Edroso scrutinizes, Ann Althouse and Megan McArdle, really aren't conservatives. Moreover, by emphasizing individual bloggers he almost completely ignores lively large-group sites such as the Corner (he examines only Jonah Goldberg's contributions to NRO) and, of course, NewsBusters.