North Carolina is the nation’s second-largest producer of Christmas trees. Sarah Curry offered that fact and many others during a presentation today to the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society about the Christmas tree industry in the Tar Heel State.
In the video clip below, Curry discusses the process that led to the Fraser fir’s emergence as the state’s No. 1 Christmas tree.
1:55 p.m. update: Click play below to watch the full 44:35 event.
You’ll find other John Locke Foundation video presentations here.
Cato Institute publishes each month its worst case of police misconduct and you can (and should!) read about this month’s case in this post.
Obama’s Department of Justice never does a thing about such misconduct.
Back when Obama was first elected, I knew he’d push a statist agenda, but had the notion that he might also prove to be a civil libertarian who’d use the power of the presidency to rein in the abuses of law enforcement power — abuses that terrify and even kill many Americans every year. Was I ever wrong about that.
Within the first month of open enrollment (October 1 – November 2), 1,662 North Carolinians were able to complete the enrollment process through the federal health insurance exchange website, healthcare.gov. While some of these individuals have paid their first month’s premium, others have selected a plan but still have yet to pay. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, an additional 42,000 pending applicants are eligible to enroll in a marketplace plan, and another 15,000 qualify for cost-sharing subsidies or premium assistance tax credits.
Following President Obama’s decree on November 14, up to 230,000 BCBS NC individual policyholders may now cancel any marketplace applications and extend their previously canceled “substandard” policies for an additional year. However, the extension of non-grandfatheredpolicies will come with a rate increase of up to 24%. Because of the Obama administration’s last minute change of plans, it will be interesting to see this month’s start-to-finish enrollment numbers. DHHS plans to release updated website applicant data by mid-December.
The Wall Street Journal provides a map of states that approved the extension of old health plans:
The fact that some individuals are now given the option to renew canceled policies could deal a blow to the exchange’s much-needed balanced risk pool. An array of sources state that the majority of the young and healthy will want to hold on to existing plans, meaning the exchanges will be left with a majority of high-risk individuals. Yikes.
But insurance companies need not worry, for Obamacare’s risk corridor provision will bail them out with taxpayer money.
For many years now, Paul Krugman has been using his NYT platform to act as a propagandist for every sort of “progressive” (that is, authoritarian, redistributive) policy that the Democrats want to shove down our throats. In this piece, a serious economist, John Goodman, calls him out on a blatantly false piece in which he said that Obamacare was causing health care costs to decline.
Krugman has become the Baghdad Bob of the Obama regime.
Many are probably aware that Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas are the lone participants on North Carolina’s federally-facilitated health insurance exchange. While a total of 51 qualified health plans will be offered on the state’s federal marketplace, the number of available plans will vary across the state’s 16 different rating areas. Furthermore, because Blue Cross dominates the individual health insurance market, it will be offering plans in all of the state’s 100 counties. Coventry offers plans in just 39.
The map below shows the 39 counties, in green, where Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas will operate:
You can also view each rating area’s number of qualified health plans along with the cost of age-adjusted premiums for the cheapest metallic plans here.
Obama is going around the country (at our expense) blathering away about the horrible income inequality in the US and, naturally, proposing more statism as the answer. In this piece, columnist Timothy Carney offers some intelligent thoughts on the same subject. He argues that inequality is not a problem when it comes from individual effort, but it is when it stems from political pull.
The old left — right one dimensional approach to political philosophy was terrible, but for a long time it was all that existed. Then David Nolan improved upon it enormously by suggesting that a two dimensional analysis would be far better, evaluating people on their views regarding both personal liberty and economic freedom. (Although I don’t think we can really separate them.) Now, in today’s Freeman article, Richard W. Fulmer suggests adding a third dimension that brings in foreign policy.