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President Obama Hasn't Addressed the Real Issues That Affect the Black Community 

In light of President Obama’s State of the Union address, Project 21’s Stacy Washington appeared on Newsmax TV’s “The Hard Line” last night to address whether the president is effectively tackling the issues that affect African Americans.

“There’ve been a lot of opportunities for this president to come out and talk about things that really matter to the black community — the jobless rate, the fatherlessness rate, the amount of children who have grown up in homes that are poverty-stricken and receiving food stamps and SNAP benefits,” said Washington.  “And at each opportunity, the President has pivoted to his agenda, preferring to instead focus on immigration, illegal immigration, demonizing Americans for their supposed treatment of Muslims, and his obsession with controlling guns.

“The true issue in inner-city communities is the lack of fathers.  And Barack Obama happens to be an excellent husband and father, and he has not once taken a step into that area and said, ‘Look, we’ve got to stop having children out of wedlock.  We’ve got to start focusing on families.’” 

Watch Stacy’s entire appearance below:



To Media Matters, It Is Still 2008

Media Matters logo

Media Matters is at it again.

Writer Kevin Kalhoefer has "awarded" the National Center's Jeff Stier and Julie Kelley's November 9 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about left-wing efforts to raises taxes on meat for supposed climate change-fighting purposes as the 4th most ridiculous thing the conservative media said about climate change in 2015.

To rebut the piece, Media Matters called it "baseless." Not much of a rebuttal, that.

Media Matters also, once again, misled its lemmings by calling the National Center for Public Policy Research "oil-industry backed." As we documented here in November, we last received a contribution from the oil industry in 2008, so any accurate references to oil industry donations would have to be -- very much -- in the past tense.

Media Matters cited its claim that we are oil-industry by linking to a webpage noting that we last received an oil industry donation in 2008, so it can't claim it doesn't know.

Media Matters, like other leftist groups, appears unwilling to discuss the state of the evidence that the man-made catastrophic global warming theory is true. Instead it plays a game of diversion, discussing (however misleadingly) the sources of funding of those who point out that the models that predicted dramatic global warming have overwhelmingly failed to be accurate, as the years have gone by, and we've had time to evaluate them against actual temperature.

One gets the sense the left doesn't care any more about whether the global warming theory is true than if its statements about the right's funding are true.

What Media Matters says about our funding makes no more sense than claiming George w. Bush is president of the United States. What was true in 2008 is not true today.


Why is Tim Cook Producing Apple Products in China?

Apple CEO Tim Cook says he is moving Apple production to China not because of low wages, but because China invests more in vocational training than the United States does. Fox Business host Neil Cavuto suspects Cook is not being totally truthful with this statement.

Cavuto interviewed Justin Danhof of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project about this issue, and Justin took it a step further:

“It’s very interesting that when Charlie Rose just pointed out a very simple fact of the modern world economy that most Business 101 students know, that Cook got very defensive on this issue,” Danhof said. “And it speaks to a pattern in the Cook administration… where anytime someone criticizes Apple, they get very defensive… And it was interesting his response was to attack American workers.”

Watch Danhof’s entire 12/21/15 appearance on “Cavuto Coast to Coast” below.


The Pro-Discrimination Left Needs to Be Slapped Down in Court, Says Project 21's Joe Hicks

Joe hicks on the Kelly FileJoe Hicks talks race relations on the Kelly File

Leaders of the Project 21 black leadership network are continuing to weigh in on the second appearance of the affirmative action case Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin in front of the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

Here's Joe Hicks with a fresh observation:

Like a tainted meal, race preferences keep coming back up at the Supreme Court. After a tepid ruling from the Court that satisfied almost no one, the Fisher case finds itself back before the Justices for another shot at getting things right.

In her dissenting 2013 opinion, Justice Ginsburg proved prophetic when she wrote "...As for holistic review, if universities cannot explicitly include race as a factor, many may 'resort to camouflage' to maintain enrollment." With a near-religious devotion to the political concept of 'racial diversity,' the University of Texas did exactly that, ramping up their use of race preferences - in essence defying the Court.

Perhaps the strongest voice on the Court against the use of race in College admissions, Justice Thomas, wrote in a separate but concurring opinion in 2013 that "The Constitution abhors classifications based on race because every time the government places citizens on racial registers and makes race relevant to the provision of burdens or benefits, it demeans us all." The pro-discrimination left thinks otherwise, and deserves to be slapped down by this Court.

Other Project 21 comments, and links to the three amici briefs on the case Project 21 has joined, can be found here.


Are Salt Warnings the Best Way to Improve the Way People Eat?

Chain restaurants in New York City will now be adding sodium warnings to their menus.  But is that the best way to improve diners’ health?

Jeff Stier, the director of the Risk Analysis Division at the National Center for Public Policy Research, argued persuasively today on CNBC’s “Power Lunch” that this new policy will not have the results that policymakers are hoping for.

“The policymakers who want more warning labels, calorie counts on menus, all have good intentions.  The question is, Is science driving the policy?” asked Stier.  “Just yesterday, the New York Times - of all sources - said that the menu calorie counts, which started in New York and then went national, AREN’T WORKING. They’re not having the desired effect.”

Stier continued: “If you look at the science, these approaches don’t work.  And they have the effect of crowding out better ideas.  It makes us feel like we’re doing something good by putting more warnings on, but we’re not.  We need to come up with more innovative approaches about improving nutrition, improving the way people eat.  And what we’re learning is that more taxes on soda, warning labels on salt, and banning food ingredients doesn’t help change how people eat.”

Stier also poked a hornet’s nest by challenging the litigation legacy of fellow panelist John Banzhaf of George Washington University: “You talked about how you were successful in suing about trans fats and salt and tobacco. The question is, were you successful in improving consumer health?”

Read more about the exchange betwen Stier and Banzhaf on the CNBC website, or watch the entire appearance below:


Sanctuary Cities Are a Magnet for Criminals, Says Horace Cooper

What happens when local governments refuse to enforce federal immigration laws?  We see “sanctuary cities” develop in places like San Francisco, where illegal immigrants can live without fear of prosecution or deportation.

Horace Cooper of the National Center for Public Policy Research and the Project 21 black leadership network took on the issue of sanctuary cities on a recent edition of Al Jazeera America’s “Inside Story with Ray Suarez.” 


Cooper noted the dangers inherent in sanctuary cities, and challenged federal legislators to allow states like Arizona to be tough on illegal immigration if they so choose.

“Apparently we only can go one direction, only the San Francisco model, only the LA city model, of welcoming, which, by the way, is a magnet for criminals,” said Cooper.  “Why should one criminal come to America and see the sanctuary city as a place of refuge?”

Cooper continued: “On the other hand, a state like Arizona says, ‘We’re going to be the opposite of a sanctuary city.  We want to be aggressive about limiting the cost that we have to bear.’” Cooper believes Arizona should have the right to choose that path for itself without federal interference.

A short excerpt of Horace’s appearance on October 27 is below:


A Partial Solution to the Syrian Refugee Debate

adoptionThe little ones aren't terrorists

Some advocate settling Syrian refugees in the United States, saying, in effect, that the good America does by inviting them to our home outweighs any danger from embedded (or future) terrorists among them.

Others say our government's first responsibility is the safety of American citizens, and as long as it is impossible to vet these refugees to make sure some of them won't blow up innocent Americans, we should not admit them.

A partial compromise: Admit those among the refugees who are young children, on the condition that they go to American citizen families who wish to adopt them. Placement with a family could be required before the child enters the United States.

Most of the refugees are not young orphans, but enough are, and they inarguably are the most vulnerable of all the refugees. They also are the safest. Children who enter the U.S. and grow up in an American family as a son or daughter of the house will be fully assimilated. They are no more likely to become terrorists than any other boy or girl next door.

No nation is and has been more welcoming to its shores than the United States, and no people has adopted more orphans overseas than we have. There are many U.S. families looking to adopt. Why not match them, where a match is possible?

I know adopting -- no pun intended -- this idea will not stop the arguments, but it would help these orphans. I doubt many people would object. Why not give it a try?


President Obama's Sexism Revealed

Nancy Pelosi 2013WNancy Pelosi's, too.

I'm not usually one to cry sexist, but because I haven't seen anyone else noticing, I'll point it out: When President Obama tried to mock certain Republicans by saying they are unnecessarily afraid of "widows and orphans" among the Syrian refugees being or becoming terrorists, he was infantiling adult women by comparing their capacity to act to that of children.

Indeed, the President was clearly saying female refugees are not capable of being dangerous. Unlike males, the president was implying, they cannot be or become terrorists. At least, they can't if their husband dies.

This is obviously stupid, but that's what the President said, and it's revealing of his thought processes that it did not strike him as stupid before he said it. I'm not aware that the White House has offered any clarifications or apologies.

But what do I know? I'm only a woman. Maybe I'm too stupid to realize I'm incapable of committing a terrorist act.

I'm not too stupid to know the President would never have inserted the name of any racial group in place of "widows."

Using the President's thought process, I suppose we can ignore that Nancy Pelosi said something similar today (although she referred to "mothers" being safe, so possibly she believes we only become childlike and/or inept after we breed). She's only a woman, too. With five children.

Note: This post was edited as I wrote "women" in place of "widows" erroneously in one spot. Apparently I AM incompetent!


Should the U.S. Open Its Arms to Syrian Refugees?

Should the United States start freely welcoming Syrian refugees today, or should it wait until more stringent vetting processes are in place?  

Last night, on Al Jazeera America’s “Inside Story with Ray Suarez,” Horace Cooper of the National Center for Public Policy Research noted that it’s not just Republicans demanding increased security measures, but that there are definitely bipartisan objections.

“This resettlement program is being botched by the Administration’s failed Syrian and national security policies,” declared Cooper. “We would never be having this kind of [bipartisan] uprising if the Administration wasn’t engaging in what clearly looks like ‘amateur hour’ and not a serious handling of the national security of the United States of America.”

Watch Horace’s entire appearance below:


Environmentalists Don't Want You to Eat Meat

Those who are concerned about climate change are now also concerned with your meat intake. And it turns out that the recent hype over a perceived meat-cancer link could be a result of environmental scare-mongering.


Food writer Julie Kelly, co-author with the National Center’s Jeff Stier of a recent Wall Street Journal article about this phenomenon, appeared on the Fox Business Network’s “Varney & Co.” this morning to explain why these issues are linked.

Watch the entire interview below:


Left-wing Media Matters Publishes Dubious Report on Our WSJ Op-Ed; We Correct the Worst Stuff

The left-wing spin outfit Media Matters is attempting to undercut an op-ed published today in the Wall Street Journal written by the National Center's Jeff Stier and food writer Julie Kelly.

You can read the Wall Street Journal piece here.

In the interest of accuracy:

  • Media Matters' sub-headline reads: "Co-Author Works For Fossil Fuel-Funded National Center for Public Policy Research." Putting that in the present tense is spin. Media Matters has no idea if we are presently receiving funding from the fossil fuel industry. One reason it does not know is that it did not bother to ask. In fact, we have not received any such funding in years.
  • Media Matters notes that once upon a time we received grants from ExxonMobil. What it does not tell the lemmings who eat and believe every word it spins was that we have not received such funding in years -- George W. Bush was still president -- and that we stopped getting funding because ExxonMobil told us it would not continue funding us unless we switched our position on global warming to the alarmist position (aka, that held by Media Matters). We declined to change our position for a grant. Now is there any sane person who would not consider this fact relevant? But Media Matters left it out, although 1) we've made it public; 2) ExxonMobil makes all its grants public, so Media Matters must know perfectly well we have not received ExxonMobil funding in years, and 3) ExxonMobil's decision to stop funding groups working on climate that the left does not like for that reason is very well known. Anyone competent covering this issue would know this.
  • Media Matters calls Donors Trust, which has contributed to us, "a dark money group." Spin for the lemmings again! Donors Trust is in fact a donor-advised fund, like this one run by Fidelity, this one run by Vanguard, this one run by Schwab, and many others. Note the reasons listed on these pages why donors would use a donor-advised fund, such as the reasons on the Fidelity page. They are practical money-management reasons, and the ability to make one's gift into so-called "dark money" is not one of them. Donor-advised funds are in fact a big thing in the charitable giving world, with $12.49 billion dollars given to qualified charities by donor-advised funds in 2014 alone. Donor advised funds are not new (they've been around for 80 years) and they aren't rare (there are more an a thousand of them). I assure everyone that $12.49 billion did not go to conservative groups and causes. In fact, this money was donated across the board to medical, humanitarian, educational and other charities in addition to those in the public policy field, of all ideological persuasions, which would represent but a very tiny percentage of all gifts. Public policy is important to us, but its not big in philanthropy.
  • Media Matters adds that Donors Trust "receives large donations from groups connected to the oil billionaire Koch brothers." This is just an extraneous effort to connect us to the Koch Brothers without any information actually connecting us to the Koch Brothers. What this says in plain English is that Media Matters believes groups with board members it links to the Koch brothers or Koch organizations, and allegedly the Charles G. Koch Foundation itself, have accounts at Donors Trust or used to (accounts made within are not "donations," by the way; the donations are the gifts made by those accounts to qualified charities). That's all. This says nothing about what donations and to whom have been made from those accounts, if any (donors can leave the funds in the accounts at their discretion). Media Matters has no information that we are receiving Koch funding, and has ignored previously-published information that we aren't, yet seemingly wanted to trick the lemmings into thinking that we are without actually saying so.

    In fact, Media Matters has never asked us about the funds we get from Donors Trust or anything else about our funding. Most of the funds we get from Donors Trust are from accounts of the estates of deceased individuals -- individuals who were not affiliated in their lifetimes with the fossil fuel industry. Zero Donors Trust donations to us have come from corporations in any industry or fossil fuel interests, and we are happy to state right now for the record that none have come from ExxonMobil or affiliated foundations or from the Koch brothers as individuals or their affiliated organizations/corporations (even though we'd be perfectly happy if they did, as we like the Koch Brothers, and we are ExxonMobil shareholders and customers, for Pete's sake). So I guess our Donors Trust "dark money" is dark no longer -- but will Media Matters acknowledge this?

  • Media Matters cites as "false" our reporting, for years and years now, and very, very correct, that limitations on cheaper energy sought by the climate activists would hurt the poor. Really, this is Economics 101. Raising the price of a staple need people have, whether it is energy, food, health care or housing, is going to hurt the poor more than the rich or middle class because the poor have less money. Media Matters is stupid to argue this point. They singled out this quote, from our Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen, speaking on Al Jazeera:

    "Millions of Catholics live in parts of the world which are very vulnerable,” noted Cohen. “What we really don’t want to do, I think, is impose policies that would deny these people access to electricity or make their access to electricity more difficult. That’s where I think the Pope has to be very very careful here, because if he favors policies that will ultimately put some of the good things about the modern life out of the reach of the most vulnerable, he will ultimately wind up perpetuating poverty and putting himself behind policies that will lead to shorter life expectancies, and that’s not something I think any of us want.”

    Seriously, Media Matters disagrees with this? How?

  • Finally, the Media Matters article missed the point on what we were doing at Apple, inasmuch as Tim Cook was fighting a shareholder proposal we submitted trying to get to the bottom of how Apple seemingly evaded the green standards of an electronics rating agency for its laptops. I'm starting to give up on that one. People want to believe Tim Cook and Apple are green, and so they do. But as I wrote at the time, "Tim Cook didn't get paid some $40 million in 2013 because he's an environmentalist, but he is more valuable to Apple when he plays one on TV." We've got perhaps as many as few thousand nasty emails from Apple's fans (an astonishing number with the f-word in them) blasting us for even asking about the laptop ratings, but our shareholder proposal could have been submitted by Greenpeace, it was so green.

    Here's what one writer, Tim Worstall, who got what we were up to (unlike many obtuse ones), wrote at the time about our effort to get Tim Cook to be straightforward:

    Therefore, when Cook is asked by some activist [the National Center's Justin Danhof] why he's wasting money on greenery and not running the company purely for profit Cook cannot tell him the truth. That the company is being run for profit as it only does that amount of greenery that improves the profit margin and it most certainly doesn't do anything that actually costs. For that would be to defeat the objective of doing the little that is being done.

    Yep. So Tim Cook changed the subject to making technology accessible to the blind (not a green issue), lost his temper or pretended to, and fooled those who chose to be fooled, which apparently includes Media Matters. Not us, though.

The Media Matters page does not include an email address for contacting the writer of the piece, Denise Robbins, which is a way to avoid complaints, I suppose. It does include her Twitter address. I noticed with amusement that one of her most recent tweets, posted today, criticizes another party for misspelling a person's name. If only Media Matters' errors were so innocent!



What Can Help the University of Missouri?

What is the next step for the University of Missouri, now that its president and chancellor have resigned? Project 21’s Stacy Washington explained to Newsmax host Ed Berliner why two proposed reforms will NOT help, and suggested one idea that could make a huge difference.

“They want to institute mandatory diversity training for all incoming students,” Stacy said on the November 9 broadcast. “I think that’s a load of malarkey. You understand what kind of training falls under ‘diversity?’ It’s not the kind of stuff a lot of parents here in Missouri and elsewhere, who are sending their kids here for quite a pretty penny, are gonna want their children to undergo.”

Stacy continued:

There’s also the issue of them wanting white people to denounce their privilege. Since when should anyone be ashamed of themselves for being whatever their ethnicity or their race is? Do we all have to apologize for any privilege that we have, if we’ve ever been successful, if we have more than what they say we should have? That is the problem here.

Addressing acts of racism means you have to know who did the act of racism. If they don’t know who yelled the racial epithets out of the truck, if they don’t know who smeared the feces, then they can’t properly adjudicate those things. There’s nothing they can do.

On the other hand, there’s something that those students can do… The thing that beats racism and glass ceilings is excellence. So if you’re a Mizzou football player, you play the best football you can. Make it a winning season. Stop focusing on these incidents.

Watch Stacy’s complete 11/9/15 appearance on NewsmaxTV’s “The Hard Line” below:


Black Lives Matter Movement is No Longer Redeemable, Says Project 21's Nedd 

Despite the good intentions of the initial Black Lives Matter movement, Bishop Council Nedd II of the Project 21 black leadership network says that there’s very little that’s redeemable from the movement in its current form.

“I think it started out as a decent idea, but then got immediately politicized.  Then it got radicalized.  And that radicalization has sort of become the dominant voice in there.  I don’t know if there’s much redeemable,” he told host Ed Berliner on NewsmaxTV’s “The Hard Line.”

Nedd says moderate and reasonable supporters of Black Lives Matter have distanced themselves from the movement as it has become radicalized.

“I’m sure there are some people involved in that movement who have some good intentions.  However, all you hear are the people making the most noise, calling for violence against police officers, calling for the destruction of everything we know in order to promote one group over another, and that’s racist, elitist, and dangerous.  We’ve seen now that, in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, police officers have been shot dead in the streets.”

Nedd’s full appearance from October 30 can be viewed below:


Apple's Rhetoric vs. Reality

“What Tim Cook is putting out is rhetoric, and what the investors are seeing is reality,” says Free Enterprise Project director Justin Danhof about Apple shareholders.

Talking with Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network, Danhof especially mocked Apple’s iPhone 6 ad campaign that promises that everything about the phone has changed. “Well, that’s simply not true,” he laughed.


“When you’re selling to areas like China where there’s an emerging middle class and a lot of folks are buying their first-ever iPhone, everything is new and great and wonderful to them,” notes Danhof. “But when you’re telling folks here in America and some European countries, ‘Everything has changed,’ and then they go buy their new phone, there’s this big disconnect. And you can only have that disconnect between the rhetoric of the CEO, the rhetoric of the ad campaigns, and the reality of the lack of innovation in the products for so long.”

Justin’s October 28 appearance on Fox Business Network’s “Cavuto Coast to Coast” can be viewed in its entirety below.


Black Conservative Kevin Martin Supports Voter ID Requirements

Should the Voting Rights Act be reauthorized in its current form? Should photo identification be required to vote? Project 21’s Kevin Martin was part of a panel on Thom Hartmann’s “Big Picture Rumble” to discuss these and other issues. 

Regarding photo identification requirements for voting, Martin said:

“I’m a veteran. I go to get my benefits from the VA, I gotta show an ID. I go into a bank, I gotta show an ID. I go into my credit union, I gotta show an ID. I give blood, I gotta show an ID. All of a sudden now, magically, if I need an ID to vote, it’s racist.”

Martin also called into question the statistics that liberal host Hartmann used to oppose voter identification requirements.

Watch the excerpt below.


Liberals Play Politics with Government Dietary Standards

NationalReviewNROLogoWjpgThe National Center's Jeff Stier and food writer Julie Kelly took on the politicization of -- of all things -- the federal government's dietary guidelines in an article for National Review this week:
Over the past 30 years, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have become as bloated as the nation’s collective waistline, serving up a thick brew of revolving-door nutrition advice, confusing messages, and perhaps even politically influenced eating recommendations. In 1985, the report — which gives updated nutrition advice to Americans every five years — was just 19 pages long. It resulted in a simple brochure with commonsense advice: “If you are too fat, your chances of developing some chronic disorders are increased. . . . To lose weight, you must take in fewer calories than you burn.” It advised against vomiting or using laxatives to lose weight (back when anorexia, not obesity, was a major concern). Only two charts were included: one with the desired weight for average adults and another with the calorie-burn for exercises such as ballroom dancing and chopping wood... In 2015, the report is a 571-page behemoth and more overwhelming than a Cheesecake Factory menu. It takes on more than it can chew, from sustainability to labor concerns to tax policy... ...And as the liberal culinary elite continues to politicize food, its agenda of sustainable, organic, local, and eco-friendly food production has influenced the dietary-guidelines process. For the first time, the committee highlighted the issue of “food sustainability and safety,” in Chapter Five of its report:
The environmental impact of food production is considerable and if natural resources such as land, water and energy are not conserved and managed optimally, they will be strained and potentially lost. The global production of food is responsible for 80 percent of deforestation, more than 70 percent of fresh water use, and up to 30 percent of human-generated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The pro-sustainability advocates couldn’t have worse timing. Their continued attempts to shun an animal-based diet mostly for political reasons now flies in the face of recent scientific research proving that much of what the government has told us about saturated fat (derived mostly from animals) has been flat wrong. The controversy escalated last year with a major meta-analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine by top researchers; their findings couldn’t confirm a clear link between saturated fats and heart disease. The study concluded that “current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.” Around the same time, Nina Teicholz’s book, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, stunned both the public and the medical community. Teicholz presented a damning case based on nine years of research that indicts the scientific community, government, the media, and food companies for promoting a low-fat, high-carb diet that has wreaked havoc on Americans’ health. Teicholz has since become one of the many independent critics of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. “The report does not review the preponderance of the evidence, nor the ‘best and most current science,’ per its mandate, on important topics, especially on saturated fats and low-carbohydrate diets,” Teicholz wrote in her stinging rebuke to the government report. She counters nearly every pending recommendation, from low red-meat consumption to higher carbohydrate intake. The main risk of giving out more bad advice, according to Teicholz, is creating a wary and weary public...
Read it all here.

More Disturbing News from the Abortion Industry

Stacy Washington

Project 21’s Stacy Washington has commented on yet another disturbing story from the abortion industry:

More sad news on the abortion front here in the U.S. A police raid in tony West Bloomfield Michigan has turned up 14 containers of human fetal remains from an abortionist who apparently did the procedures in his home and the home of his “patients”. The trunk of Dr. Michael Roth’s vehicle contained abortion equipment as well as large amount of Fentanyl a commonly used pain and sedation drug. Dr. Roth was recently evicted from a building where he ran an abortuary. He now works as an OBGYN.

The constant refrain from Planned Parenthood and their supporters that legalized abortion makes killing the unborn safe legal and rare is proven untrue yet again. This gruesome discovery makes Gosnell’s house of horrors appear less like an anomaly and more like a normal part of the business of killing babies. This discovery stands in stark relief against the Center for Medical Progress’s videos showing the illegal sale of baby body parts by the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. When is enough enough? When will we say no not only to funding these horrors but to this barbarism being legal at all?

I note the discovery in this gruesome case was made after a car accident in which a special needs child was struck by a car and critically-injured. I have been unable to find information online as to how the child is doing now, but am praying for him or her and his or her family.


The Significant Affirmative Action Case Before the U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to re-hear an affirmative action case involving university admissions. Project 21 co-chairman Horace Cooper appeared on Newsmax TV’s “The Hard Line” on September 25 to explain why Abigail Noel Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, et al. is such an important case.


First, the case tackles reverse discrimination. “Now, instead of a law that says you can’t come here because of your dark skin color,” said Horace, “we are now looking at rules in the case of the University of Texas which are saying that you can’t come here UNLESS you have dark skin color.”

Second, the case causes us to remember the original intention of affirmative action, and realize how far we have strayed from that ideal. “Affirmative action was a kind of special treatment but it was never supposed to be quotas,” noted Horace. “You know the kind of treatment it was supposed to be? You go to schools and you find really talented and capable people and you sell them on coming to your university. That’s what good football coaches do. That’s what good band coaches do. They recruit exceptionally talented people and they sell them on the advantages of coming to that university.”

Third, the case enlightens us about unintended consequences of affirmative action which threaten to make racial stereotypes even worse. “We’re doing something else that’s also sinister,” pointed out Horace. “When you bring subpar people in and they compete against exceptional people… they learn a bad lesson. You can tell who the poor performer will be based on their skin color. That’s the opposite message that we ought to be trying to get.”

Watch Horace’s entire appearance below.


Four ObamaCare Co-Ops Down, 19 To Go

As “Aleister” puts it at the Legal Insurrection blog, “You can’t even keep your new plan.”  Another ObamaCare Co-Op is going under:

Regulators will shut down Health Republic Insurance of New York, the largest of the nonprofit cooperatives created under the Affordable Care Act, in the latest sign of the financial pressures facing many insurers that participated in the law’s new marketplaces.

The insurer lost about $52.7 million in the first six months of this year, on top of a $77.5 million loss in 2014, according to regulatory filings.

The move to wind down its operations was made jointly by officials from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; New York’s state insurance exchange, known as New York State of Health; and the New York State Department of Financial Services.

Health Republic Insurance is apparently the largest of the Co-Ops, with about 215,000 members. It’s closure drops the number of ObamaCare Co-Ops from 23 to 19, following the closings of Co-Ops in Iowa, Louisiana, and Nevada. Those Co-Ops lost $146 million, $65 million, and $66 million, respectively, in taxpayer loans.  But those three put together don’t total the $356 million in taxpayer startup and emergency solvency loans lost by Health Republic.

Even the Obama Administration acknowledges that the Co-Ops are in trouble.  Sort of:

HHS spokesman Ben Wakana said in a statement that co-ops have played an “important role” in increasing competition in the health law’s marketplaces.

However, he added “as a startup business, we recognize not all will succeed.”

“If a CO-OP has solvency issues, and we cannot rule out that others may this year, we will work with the states so that consumers have affordable options on the Marketplace,” Wakana said.


New Mexico Insurer Does The ObamaCare 3-Step

The ObamaCare Three-Step is a little dance that insurance companies and insurance regulators will partake of more and more in the next few years on the exchanges.  This is how it works:

Step 1. Insurer Takes Big Loss On Exchange And Requests Big Premium Hike For Following Year

Step 2. Insurance Regulator Denies Insurer’s Rate Hike Request

Step 3. Insurer Leaves The Exchange.

In the Land of Enchantment, Blue Cross Blue Shield New Mexico (BCBSNM) and the State Department of Insurance appear to be the first to do the ObamaCare Three-Step.  Earlier this year BCBSNM requested a rate hike of over 50 percent for policies in the individual market, including the exchange, after it lost about $19.2 million.

In early August, the Dept. of Insurance rejected the rate request, offering a 24 percent one instead.  In late August, BCBSNM said it was discontinuing its business on the New Mexico individual market, including the exchange, at the end of 2015.

According to news reports, BCBSNM “covered 35,000 people in [New Mexico] last year. That number amounted to just below one-third of people in New Mexico on individual plans.”  

Not only will thousands of people have to find new insurance, those on the exchange will find a much smaller array of plans to choose from.  For a 27-year-old single person living in Albuquerque, there were 57 plans on the exchange for 2015.  Twenty-five of those are BCBSNM plans, meaning the number will drop to 32 plans for 2016, a decline of 44 percent.

A 57-year-old couple had a choice of 52 plans in Albuquerque in 2015. That will fall to 29 in 2016 thanks to the departure of BCBSNM, also a 44 percent drop.

The head of the New Mexico exchange asserts she has “had conversations with the [four] other carriers to be sure they would be ready to absorb new membership. They’ve assured us that they are.”

But that’s not the real concern.  Rather, the concern should be whether the Dept. of Insurance is willing to approve big rate hikes for those other insurers in the future, as the sicker patients who were enrolled in BCBSNM plans now migrate to the other four insurers.

Or, will more New Mexico insurers be doing the ObamaCare Three-Step?

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