Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday Posts: A Few "Yikes Stories" to Note

With most of this morning taken up by prayers and a public witness outside the Planned Parenthood abortion mill -- and with another "When Swing Was King" slated for early afternoon, our 6th this week -- time for blogging is really limited today.

However, I did want to at least post titles, links and even a few teasers for articles of interest to culture warriors.

* "An ObamaCare Board Answerable to No One" (Rivkin & Foley, Wall Street Journal) -- "Signs of ObamaCare's failings mount daily, including soaring insurance costs, looming provider shortages and inadequate insurance exchanges. Yet the law's most disturbing feature may be the Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB, sometimes called a "death panel," threatens both the Medicare program and the Constitution's separation of powers. At a time when many Americans have been unsettled by abuses at the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department, the introduction of a powerful and largely unaccountable board into health care merits special scrutiny."

* "When two people of legal age, 18 for a woman and 21 for a man, ‘indulge in sexual gratification’ this should be seen as a 'an act of total commitment' and marriage by law, a judge at Madras High Court said. The court said that the registering of a marriage as well as a wedding ceremony were only formalities to gain society’s approval. (Sara Malm, Daily Mail) That would certainly shake things for the hook-up culture, wouldn't it?

* "The Boston School Committee on Wednesday approved making condoms available in the district’s high schools. The new policy allows students to obtain condoms, and counseling, from school health centers or trained staff members, unless parents opt them out, and makes sexual education a required part of school health curricula." (Jess Bidgood, New York Times)

* "Barack Obama bombs in Berlin: a weak, underwhelming address from a floundering president" (Niles Gardiner, Telegraph)

* Facing a tight withdrawal deadline and tough terrain, the U.S. military has destroyed more than 170 million pounds worth of vehicles and other military equipment as it rushes to wind down its role in the Afghanistan war by the end of 2014…Military planners have determined that they will not ship back more than $7 billion worth of equipment — about 20 percent of what the U.S. military has in Afghanistan — because it is no longer needed or would be too costly to ship back home…“We’re making history doing what we’re doing here,” said Maj. Gen. Kurt J. Stein, head of the 1st Sustainment Command, who is overseeing the drawdown in Afghanistan. “This is the largest retrograde mission in history.” (Ernesto Londonono, Washington Post)

* Planned Parenthood is diving into a new area of education, not without its own controversy: Obamacare. The group’s more than 750 health centers across the country will be promoting the health law and helping women find out about new coverage options for themselves and their families before — and after — enrollment begins Oct. 1. They’re creating everything from refrigerator magnets to online apps that help people enroll in a health plan. Some affiliates will be applying to become official government-funded “navigators” to give people more hands-on help through the signup process. (Kathryn Smith, Politico)

* Sen. Tom Coburn, Congress’s top waste-watcher, sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday saying that since the sequesters, the department has still spent $45,000 to help a West Virginia company market its Bloody Mary mix and sent hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers’ money to help vineyards and wineries rebuild websites or start wine festivals and “wine trails.”

The Oklahoma Republican also asked Mr. Vilsack to justify why the department had threatened to cut off food aid to 600,000 women and children under the sequester, but is still paying for free lunches for even wealthy children in Tulsa, Okla., under a summer program.

“While most Americans would support ensuring every kid has a nutritious meal, it makes little sense to be giving free meals to those not in need while cutting assistance to 600,000 women and children who rely on WIC for food and health care services,” Mr. Coburn said in his letter, referring to the Women, Infants and Children program.
(Stephen Dinan, Washington Times)

* Kaiser's monthly tracking poll found that just 35 percent have a favorable view of ObamaCare. As Lucianne Goldberg quipped, "Wait until pollsters reach those who actually know what's in it."