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Washington fruitcakes, extra nutty

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Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or

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Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

There's clearly no shortage of arrogance, senselessness and deceitfulness among the current crop of politicians and central planners in D.C.

First, here's Nancy Pelosi, the Queen of Zany, regarding the link between the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) and job creation: “This bill is not only about the health security of America,” she declared. “It's about jobs. In its life, it will create 4 million jobs, 400,000 jobs almost immediately.”

Well, more jobs “almost immediately” is not the way ObamaCare worked out at Orlando-based SeaWorld for those lucky workers.

In September, SeaWorld announced that starting in November, it would cut work hours for an undisclosed portion of its 18,000 part-time and seasonal employees from 32 hours per week to 28 hours per week, thereby keeping the employees under the 30-hour threshold at which companies are required to provide health insurance under ObamaCare.

Beginning in 2015, ObamaCare requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance to all full-time employees, with “full-time” defined as 30 hours per week.

Also in September, the Cleveland Clinic, the second-largest employer in Ohio (Wal-Mart is first) said it would cut its annual $6 billion budget by up to 6 percent because of ObamaCare, an annual budget cut of $360 million.

Translating the budget cut into potential job losses, a 6 percent reduction in the Cleveland Clinic's 44,000-employee workforce is equal to 2,640 job losses.

Firms attempting to dodge the expenses of ObamaCare have cut their workers to less than 30 hours per week while other firms are putting strategies in place to keep their workforces from expanding to 50 full-time workers.

Regarding top-down education, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, employing some racial stereotyping, said the “push back” to the federal government's one-size-fits-all Common Core curriculum is coming from “white suburban moms.”

And the top prize for haughtiness and self-importance can be seen in this passage from Jodi Kantor's book “The Obamas”: “(Barack) Obama had always had a high estimation of his ability to cast and run his operation. When David Plouffe, his campaign manager, first interviewed for a job with him in 2006, the senator gave him a warning: ‘I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I hire to do it,' he said. ‘It's hard to give up control when that's all I've known.' Obama said nearly the same thing to Patrick Gaspard, whom he hired to be the campaign's political director. ‘I think I'm a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,' Obama told him. ‘I know more about politics on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I'll tell you right now that I'm gonna think I'm a better political director than my political director.'”

That's not bad — better than everyone in the room and sufficiently sure-footed in the deliverance role to proclaim to his supporters in 2008, about himself, “We are the ones we've been waiting for.”

With such super-extraordinary talent at so many levels, you'd think Obama would have contacted the dummies who were setting up the ObamaCare website — the doorway to his signature achievement — just to see if they needed his expertise in getting everything on track for an A-1 launch.

Ralph R. Reiland is an associate professor of economics at Robert Morris University and a local restaurateur (

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