The politics of ObamaCare in South Carolina, Bitcoin and pugnacious Putin

For Weekly SurgeMarch 5, 2014 

This week in the news, the debate over ObamaCare in South Carolina rose to a healthy boil, Bitcoin got even more attention, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is being a real asshole.

The battle over ObamaCare in South Carolina is about to get real weird...

According to Kaiser Permanente, the nation continues to sour. Even among the uninsured, Americans largely disfavor the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare. And, that’s for good reason. The rollout of ObamaCare was a disaster from the very start, as a Web site costing hundreds of millions of (taxpayer) dollars failed to function, and ill-conceived regulations cost millions of consumers their insurance plans – in direct contradiction to the many promises made by President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats. Last week in South Carolina, State Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort), who was featured here last week in this column, filed an “anti-commandeering” bill that would effectively neutralize the ACA’s implementation in the state, though it does not “nullify” any provision.

Opponents may question the legal theory behind the bill, but given ObamaCare exists today because of a controversial Supreme Court ruling (by a Republican-appointed justice, no less), Davis’ bill is well within the rules of play. Regardless of the ACA’s legal future, the overwhelming failure of ObamaCare’s launch is a two-fold tragedy for Democrats. First, when young adults realize the true cost of the ACA’s price tag (yes, my friends, our generation is shouldering the cost), they will turn on Democrats; not just in the 2014 elections, but in 2016 as well. Secondly, Democrats have forever poisoned the concept of “affordable healthcare” in public discourse, all because politics muddled what could have been a watershed moment in American history. And, you better believe the President is to blame. Everything that passed in the bill was his idea, and Democrats who helped him pass it will have to own it as well – a cruel twist of reality from prior Republican impotence of blocking the ACA from implementation.

Then, there is also the shameful matter of threatening Medicaid activists/lobbyists with prosecution under an archaic, assuredly unconstitutional, protest law. The faults of ObamaCare are self-apparent. Using legal thuggery to silence the ACA’s supporters is disgusting, and unnecessary. Friends, this is your cue to pick up the phone and talk to Ali Titus at the ACLU of South Carolina about making a major gift (843-720-1423).

What the hell is Bitcoin, and why should I care?

The emerging digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin is in the news recently, so here’s what you need to know. Bitcoin is not illegal, and is accepted by a growing number of online retail establishments as a form of payment. “The goal of money is to coordinate production, store value, transmit value, divide value, and do it as efficiently as possible, and with as little trust in humans as possible,” says Bitcoin specialist Jay Schmidt. “Bitcoin is better for these tasks than any other money that has preceded it.” The currency is still an emerging system (even the technology behind it, which until 2008, did not even exist), and has plenty of growing pains to experience; however, the idea behind Bitcoin, and what it represents in light of today’s economic woes, is its biggest asset for long-term success.

Putin confuses Earth with game of Risk

The now global crisis in Ukraine first began when the government was overthrown by anti-government activists protesting the country’s corrupt leadership. Shortly after appointing new leadership, the activists were forcibly removed by what appeared to be Russian-backed commandos. A pro-Russian interim president was then installed, with Russia declaring a potential war to protect its new puppet. America’s poorly tarnished standing in the international community, particularly in regards to Russia, is now being acutely felt as Russia appears to be ignoring threats from the international community. However, economic market responses to Russia’s increased aggression may turn this into Russia’s next Afghanistan (they got their asses soundly kicked), rather than any grandstanding in the international political arena.

Andrew Davis is a Myrtle Beach native and former Director of Communications for the national Libertarian Party. Contact him at, or follow on Twitter at @SCPundit.

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