Saturday, December 7, 2013
On December 7, 1869, Frederick Douglass delivered a speech, in Boston, Massachusetts, entitled, "Our Composite Nation."
During the speech he said, "The mission of the United States is unmistakable. Our geographic position, our fundamental principles of government, our vast resources, and our composite population all conspire to one grand end."
"And that is to make us the perfect national illustration of unity and dignity."
Late Friday afternoon, Politico Magazine published an update dismantling White House claims that President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held “dozens” of unrecorded one-on-one working meetings over the last three-and-a-half years leading up to Obamacare's unveiling.
In a telling exchange between Carney and NBC News reporter Peter Alexander and ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl, Carney claimed the GAI report showing one meeting between Obama and Sebelius since Obamacare’s signing was incorrect because it was based on spotty White House visitor logs. The problem, wrote Schweizer in the Politico Magazine update, is that the GAI report was not based on visitor logs; it was based on the White House’s own official calendar and was further verified by Politico’s comprehensive presidential calendar....
As Schweizer pointed out, “Obama’s calendar lists 277 one-on-one meetings between the President and his Cabinet Secretaries, including 73 with former Secretary Clinton and 57 with former Secretary Geithner.” Why not Sebelius? asked Schweizer.
The Politico Magazine update then posed the question at the heart of the controversy: “If Obama and Sebelius worked together closely and regularly, why did the President publicly state he did not know about the problems with Healthcare.gov?”
...The Obama Administration has yet to produce a list of the "dozens" of dates and times it claims Obama and Sebelius spent working on Obamacare.
A recent CNN/ORC poll finds that 53% of Americans now believe Obama is not honest and trustworthy.
There are three requirements for Article III (tort code) standing: (1) demonstrable injury in fact, not in the future, not hypothetical or conjectural; (2) proof of a causal link between the injury and the challenged conduct or specific legislation (when suing the government); and (3) "likelihood that the injury will be redressed by a favorable [Court] decision."
Despite all the weeping and wailing on every media outlet, ObamaCare has not given us "standing" for the obvious reason that it has not actually affected anyone yet. All those insurance cancellations take effect some time in 2014. All those additional costs will be felt starting in 2014 and escalating from there. All that care denied or deferred will happen next year and beyond....
Before ObamaCare, complex medical care was unaffordable out-of-pocket for almost all Americans. Even medical insurance was costly-to-unaffordable for the majority. The legal title of ObamaCare is "Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act." That is what we were promised: affordable insurance that would pay for our medical care needs. We were told we deserved it and that President Obama's reform bill would provide it.
What we got was the opposite. The costs of healthcare itself continue to rise. The cost of insurance is going up anywhere from 30% to as high as 179% (in Nevada) of pre-ObamaCare costs. Paying out of pocket for health care itself remains impossible and insurance is even less affordable than before. This gives you more standing before the Court....
About 3,000 people are expected to gather at Pearl Harbor on Saturday to commemorate the anniversary of the 1941 Japanese attack that launched the U.S. into World War II.
About 70 World War II veterans and survivors of the Dec. 7 bombing plan to attend the morning ceremony on the shore overlooking a memorial to the USS Arizona battleship that sank during the attack.
The event will begin with a traditional Hawaiian blessing. There will be a moment of silence at 7:55 a.m., the minute the bombing began 72 years ago. A guided missile destroyer will pass by and render honors to the USS Arizona and its crew.
◼ The U.S. National Reconnaissance Office launched a new spy satellite Thursday evening on mission NROL-39 -- and the new logo and tagline are quite an eye opener. - FOX
Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist and senior policy analyst with the ACLU, raised a quizzical eyebrow at the new slogan.
“Advice to @ODNIgov: You may want to downplay the massive dragnet spying thing right now. This logo isn't helping,” he wrote.
◼ NROL – Nothing Is Beyond Our Reach - Terresa Monroe-HamiltonNew Zeal
I’m all for a strong U.S. intelligence capability, as long as it is not used against Americans. But after the whole NSA kerfluffle (which by the way, is ridiculous since everyone is spying on everyone else and then screaming over the US doing it), this is a giant ‘F’-you moment to the world. Boy, talk about poking the Russian bear and the Chinese dragon – you might as well flash neon saying: “Please attack me.”
◼ Russia and the ACLU (But I Repeat Myself) Extremely Perturbed by New Spy Agency Logo - Doug Ross
◼ Creepy US spy agency flings WORLD SLURPING OCTOPUS into orbit - The Register
The NRO are totally embracing their menacing Big Brother persona and putting it out there for world+dog to see, having launched a bunch of satellites and a mysterious payload on a spacecraft yesterday - complete with the logo of a creepy octopus sucking the life out of our world.
It does pay to get on Twitter. Every voice counts. And yes, Twitter is a political battlespace. Get on it. - Michelle Malkin
Granny’s Guide to Twitter - Dan Collins at Twitchy
A GREAT Tutorial if you are thinking of getting your feet wet.
Obama's approval has plummeted 13 points among California women, 16 points each among Latinos and independents and a whopping 18 points among union households.
As everyone knows, California is the la-de-dah, laid-back land of liberalism that's been Barack Obama's political ATM for six years. Hollywood stars have loved him, fronted multi-multi-million-dollar fundraisers for him.
The most populous state (home to 12 of every 100 Americans) has a Democrat governor again, two female Democrat senators and a Democrat super-majority in the state legislature that has yet to stumble upon a problem it didn't want government making worse at great cost....
And, of course, Obama easily won the state's 55 electoral votes twice, with 61% in 2008 and 60% last year. He was there again just last week, fundraising naturally, sucking up to movie moguls and, believe it or not, strangely bragging of his ability to racially-profile obvious immigrants walking around....
But now comes a brand-new statewide Field Poll. Guess what, dude? The Illinois guy is sliding. Bad. Especially among his traditional core supporters, such as independents, youths, women and union members.
The young Americans the Obama administration so desperately needs to help make the Affordable Care Act function are the ones most likely to believe the law is endangered, suggesting that sustained House Republican efforts to repeal and undermine the law are bearing some fruit.
More than half of 18-to-29-year-olds who were surveyed in the most recent United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll say it is likely the law will be repealed in 2014, even though the chances of that actually occurring are remote....
That has real-world implications. The administration has relentlessly wooed these so-called young invincibles—young, healthy Americans—to sign up to purchase health insurance through online exchanges. Those consumers, who tend to use health care services less frequently, are needed to subsidize the cost of treating older, sicker ones. Without their participation in large numbers (the target for next year is 40 percent of all new enrollees), premium rates for consumers in the exchanges could rise.
Friday, December 6, 2013
"Lying to Congress is a federal offense, and Clapper ought to be fired and prosecuted for it," the Wisconsin Republican said in an interview with The Hill.
He said the Justice Department should prosecute Clapper for giving false testimony during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in March.
During that hearing, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Clapper whether the National Security Agency (NSA) collects data on millions of Americans. Clapper insisted that the NSA does not — or at least does "not wittingly" — collect information on Americans in bulk.
After documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA collects records on virtually all U.S. phone calls, Clapper apologized for the misleading comment.
The intelligence director said he tried to give the "least untruthful" answer he could without revealing classified information....
Though Common Core supporters claim that the new standards will have the same effect in all states as Massachusetts’ standards did for that state’s achievement levels, opponents say that is not likely.
Last year, Sandra Stotsky, who helped reform Massachusetts’ education system in 1993, and who also resigned from the Common Core review committee, wrote at Heritage that the decreased emphasis on literature in the new standards would diminish the proficiency of students:
[Common Core’s] misplaced stress on informational texts reflects the limited expertise of Common Core’s architects and sponsoring organizations in curriculum and in teacher’s training... A diminished emphasis on literature in secondary grades makes it unlikely that American students will study a meaningful range of culturally and historically significant literary works before graduation.Massachusetts is joining 15 other states that are now reconsidering their participation in Common Core, four of which have stopped implementation of the tests aligned with the new standards or restricted their involvement.
◼ ZoNation has some Common Core questions for you… - The Right Scoop
Americans may be tiring of glimpsing Obama’s journey, but our secretarial media is not. Their fascination and support for modish liberalism is one of the reasons their industry is dying. When Steve Clemons provides content more or less indistinguishable from a reporter’s, why hire the reporter?
Recently, for example, Hillary Clinton has been allowing extremely wealthy people the privilege of paying her $200,000 to ask her questions. Her preferred interlocutor is Democratic heavy lifter David Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group. On Wednesday evening he interviewed Clinton before an audience of VIPs—the full spectrum of American life, from Steve Rattner to Christiane Amanpour to Bill Daley—at a memorial event for the late diplomat Richard Holbrooke.
Maggie Haberman of Politico reports that Rubenstein grilled Clinton for 30 minutes on such pressing topics as “her law school days and why she chose Yale over Harvard … how her family reacted when she moved to Arkansas; her rival Rick Lazio walking to the podium to try to get her to sign a soft-money pledge during their 2000 Senate race debate; a moment when she said she knew she’d won the race; and Obama imploring her to become secretary of state after their hard-fought 2008 contest.” Rubenstein also asked Clinton if she’s ever thought about joining a private equity firm. “Is that an offer?” Clinton replied. Oh, how the audience laughed.
The accommodation with the Iranian regime did not come up during the conversation. Syria does not seem to have come up. Nor does Chinese saber rattling. The bin Laden raid came up, mainly as an opportunity for Clinton to say that she supported it. When Haberman asked Rubenstein why he had no questions on important diplomatic affairs for the woman who has as good a claim as any to be the next president, Rubenstein said Clinton wouldn’t have given him direct answers to such questions, so why ask them in the first place.
...On Wednesday afternoon, White House spokesman Jay Carney changed the administration's official story and admitted that the President briefly lived with Onyango in the 1980s. Will the networks finally follow-up?
◼ Crying Uncle - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
He previously said he knew nothing about his then illegal alien uncle. Now he says he knows something after the uncle gave up the goods at a recent immigration hearing....
At this point, the lies are piling onto lies, the Millennials are fleeing, core Hispanic and Non-White support is cliff diving, and it’s Democrats in Congress who are crying Uncle.
◼ I must say this is by far the best commentary I’ve heard all night on who Nelson Mandela really was and why he was such a transformative figure for South Africa. - The Right Scoop
“We need some recognition that we’re doing a service to the community. But we can’t do it for free. And we can’t do it at a loss. No other business would do that,” he said.
California offers one of the lowest government reimbursement rates in the country -- 30 percent lower than federal Medicare payments. And reimbursement rates for some procedures are even lower.
...Only in September did insurance companies disclose that their rates would be pegged to California’s Medicaid plan, called Medi-Cal. That's driven many doctors to just say no.
They're also pointing out that Covered California's website lists many doctors as participants when they aren't.
“Some physicians have been put in the network and they were included basically without their permission,” Lisa Folberg said. She is a CMA’s vice president of medical and regulatory Policy.
“They may be listed as actually participating, but not of their own volition,” said Donald Waters, executive director of the Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association.
Waters' group represents 3,100 doctors in the East Bay area that includes Oakland, with an estimated 200,000 uninsured individuals.
“This is a dirty little secret that is not really talked about as they promote Covered California,” Waters said. He called the exchange's doctors list a “shell game” because “the vast majority” of his doctors are not participating.
...“Enrollment doesn’t mean access, because there aren’t enough doctors to take the low rates of Medicaid,” (Alex Briscoe, health director for Alameda County Health Care Services Agency) said. “There aren’t enough primary care physicians, period.”
◼ Dr. Kulak Galt Von Wrecker - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
All of this was foreseen.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Sharyl Attkisson embodies everything the media is supposed to be: tireless, tenacious, truth-driven, and utterly fearless. Despite knowing well how the Obama administration treats reporters who get in the way,
Obama Admin. still hasn't provided requested http://t.co/MY8hg4C4JL security test info & enrollment figures under Freedom of Info reqeusts.— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) December 4, 2013
And they still haven't granted our request for access to http://t.co/MY8hg4C4JL fix sites...— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) December 4, 2013
...though the White House did give access last week to hand-picked, private corporate I.T. executives. Just not the public/press.— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) December 4, 2013
Here's the protest letter news organizations sent White House re: unprecedented restrictions on media: http://t.co/LMkSnh8jnt— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) December 4, 2013
The letter is signed by CBS, ABC, NBC, New York Times and many other outlets.— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) December 4, 2013
More at the link.
The order, Number 83, declares that the state, “not the federal government of any other organization, shall determine the content of Iowa’s state academic standards”.
◼ Mandela, in his own words - FOX
Former South African President Nelson Mandela was revered throughout the world for leading the peaceful transition to multiracial democracy after three centuries of white domination in South Africa.
He was jailed for 27 years under white racist rule and released in 1990. He then steered the divided country from the apartheid era to an all-race democracy, becoming South Africa's first black president in 1994.
Mandela has moved people all over the world with his message of tolerance and peace. Here are some of his memorable quotes
Having watched President Obama and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius over the past several months unilaterally alter or outright ignore major portions of the law, I now believe that a future Republican president would have greater latitude to gut Obamacare than I once thought possible.
The changes instituted by the Obama administration in response to implementation snags have ranged from perfectly legal areas of administrative discretion stemming from the vast regulatory powers granted to the HHS secretary under Obamacare, to more creative interpretations of that discretion, to Obama simply choosing to ignore parts of the law that became inconvenient.
Obama has turned his signature legislative accomplishment into a constantly evolving wikilaw, with editing privileges restricted to himself and a few administration officials.
He’s largely been able to get away with it due to the difficulties posed by gaining standing in court for legal challenges....
Though a lot will depend on how implementation goes over the next several years and what the politics of health care looks like in 2017, Obama has provided his potential Republican successor with a path to fight Obamacare through executive action.
If you don’t pay by New Year’s Eve, you’re not enrolled, even if you successfully signed up on the website. If there’s a huge nonpayment rate among new sign-ups, there’ll be a huge number of people who show up to see the doctor next month only to find, to their great confusion and annoyance, that they have no coverage because they haven’t paid yet.
That brings me to this new piece from CNN Money, from which I learned two important things. One: If you sign up but fail to pay by December 31st, it’s not a simple matter of your coverage being suspended until you pony up. Your enrollment is void and you have to re-enroll on the website in January. Imagine how well Healthcare.gov is likely to cope if, next month, there are suddenly hundreds of thousands of people flooding into the site trying to sign up again because they forgot to pay on time before. And two: At least one insurer out there is keeping tabs on its nonpayment rate and sharing that number with the media. And the results are … not good:
While the Obama administration has reported that more than 100,000 Americans picked plans in October, the first month of open enrollment, it’s not known how many of them have paid.
One insurer, Physicians Health Plan of Northern Indiana, has received payments from only about 20% of applicants, nearly all using the firm’s online portal, said Jim Brunnemer, the chief financial officer. It is sending invoices and email reminders to those who haven’t yet sealed the deal. If payment isn’t made by New Year’s Eve, PHP has been told by federal officials that it must void the application.
Another complication is that insurers also don’t have a lot of time to process applications and send out ID cards. The timeline, particularly over the holiday week, will prove “challenging” for some companies, one industry executive said.
...Maybe it’s the temper of the times, however, the incessant presidential lying recently unmasked, but a brief Washington Post article linked on the Drudge Report Tuesday caught me up short. The headline told much of the story — ◼ “Obama’s uncle contradicts White House, says Obama stayed with him in 1980s.”
...Now, as a devotee of the aforementioned William of Ockham (“the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected”), I tend to believe, in fact I almost certainly believe, Obama’s father’s brother and his landlord, not the president. It makes little sense that Obama as a young Harvard grad student would not at least have looked up his father’s brother, when they were living in the same town for three years. Indeed, it makes good sense that he might have crashed on Omar’s couch for a few days or weeks while looking for an apartment. Many, if not most, of us have done something similar....
Around Obama there is an unprecedented silence, almost a media omertà. So much remains unknown about this man...
To put it bluntly, Occam’s Razor has moved. Things that were once possibilities now seem almost certainties to me.
Principal among those is that Obama’s academic records are perpetually unavailable for a reason — and that reason is most likely that they reveal he received financial preferences, scholarships and/or loans, as a foreign student. They probably also reveal academic mediocrity, but that’s par for the course for many of our politicians (except it becomes embarrassing in Obama’s case where he has the reputation of being brilliant).
But that’s only one area of accusation. What if they were all true... What if this were actually demonstrated while he was still in office to the degree that the standard spin that all politician lie no longer applied? What if we could prove that it had gone well beyond that, beyond Nixon and Clinton far into the realm of an invented man? What it would that mean, exactly?
UDATE: ◼ NOW, the truth comes out: President Obama acknowledges having lived with his uncle - Boston Globe
President Obama acknowledged on Thursday that he lived with his Kenyan uncle for a brief period in the 1980s while preparing to attend Harvard Law School, contradicting a statement more than a year ago that the White House had no record of the two ever meeting.
◼ White House admits fabricating story about Obama meeting his uncle - Vince Coglianese/Daily Caller
◼ After denial, White House now says Obama lived with uncle - Aaron Blake & Juliet Eilperin/Washington Post
◼ White House: On second thought, Obama did live with his drunk-driving illegal-immigrant uncle for a few weeks in the 80s - HotAir
The funniest part is that the White House felt nervous enough about it to lie in the first place. What would have happened if they’d come clean a year ago?
Obama found out he lived with his uncle when he read about it in the paper. http://t.co/kjeTVb78oL— James Taranto (@jamestaranto) December 5, 2013
NOW, Obama won't release the names of supposed Obama success stories that stood on stage with him at public event.
◼ Pro-Obamacare group recruits Obama donor to appear as Obamacare success story - Byron York/Washington Examiner @ByronYork
The White House still refuses to reveal the names of the 18 people who stood behind President Obama on Tuesday at the kickoff of a weeks-long campaign to promote Obamacare. In his remarks that day, the president said the people on stage with him represented Americans "all across the country whose lives have been changed for the better by the Affordable Care Act." But when asked who the people were and what their stories were, White House officials declined to provide the information.
Across the country in New Mexico, however, some observers recognized a former Albuquerque city councilman and Democratic politician named Michael Cadigan. (He is the tall white man with salt-and-pepper hair standing behind Obama, in the top left corner of the photo below.) Cadigan, a former Marine, was an early supporter of Obama's 2008 campaign, appearing with then-Sen. Obama at a campaign event and contributing $500 to the Obama effort. He has also been a small donor to the progressive activist groups MoveOn and Act Blue....
◼ Actors’ Equity might want to have a word with @barackobama on his hiring practices. - Moe Lane/RedState
◼ Four Obamacare “Success” Stories Cited By Obama All Had One Thing In Common: None Purchased Health Insurance Through Obamacare - WeaselZippers
...of the four examples cited during the event, two were young people whose medical treatment was covered by the up-til-age-26 provision of Obamacare, one was a woman who benefited from the abolition of lifetime caps, and one was a doctor who advocates more preventive care. None had purchased affordable coverage through healthcare.gov.
◼ They are part of what is now known as the so-called boomerang generation. A new poll shows nearly 40 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 29 still live with their parents. - FOX NY
...Add to this dismal economic reality another poll; this one about starting a family. Gallup polled 5,000 adults across the United States about when is the perfect age for a woman to have a child. Most answered age 25.
The president figures it would be inhumane during the holidays to tell people who might have just lost their health insurance that their unemployment insurance has also run out
That’s been his whole professional life—books, speeches. Say something and it magically exists as something said, and if it’s been said and publicized it must be real. He never had to push a lever, see the machine not respond, puzzle it out and fix it...
...The program he created in 2009-10, ran on in 2012, and whose implantation he delayed until one year after that election—in retrospect, that delay seems meaningful, doesn’t it?—has turned out to be wildly misleading as to its basic facts.
Millions are finding you can’t keep your plan, your premium, your deductible, your doctor. And millions more will discover this when the business mandate kicks in.
All of this—the fraudulent nature of the program—came as a rolling shock to people the past two months.
It’s a shock for most people that it’s a shambles. A fellow very friendly to the administration, a longtime supporter, cornered me at a holiday party recently to ask, with true perplexity: “How could any president put his entire reputation on the line with a program and not be on the phone every day pushing people and making sure it will work? Do you know of any president who wouldn’t do that?”...
The White House is so unformed and chaotic that they probably didn’t ignore the problem, they probably held a million meetings on it. People probably said things like, “We’re experiencing some technological challenges but we’re sure we’ll be up by October,” and other people said, “Yes, it’s important we launch strong,” and others said, “The Republicans will have a field day if we’re not.” And then everyone went to their next meeting. And no one did anything. And the president went off and made speeches.
Because the doing isn’t that important, the talking is....
◼ Peggy Noonan Wants to See ‘Embarrassed’ Obama Show ‘Humility’ Over Obamacare Failures - Noah Rothman/Mediaite
“I look at the White House the past two months, I think the president and those around him perhaps do not understand deep and serious history well enough to understand the size and scope of the debacle they’re in,” Noonan said. “They keep handling it as a problem, so they keep jerking forward with different ideas each day and different approaches.”
“It’s the oddest handling of an authentic crisis I’ve ever seen,” she added.
Obamacare is a pill the American health care system must not swallow. By forcing millions into an already-broken Medicaid system without addressing the severe doctor shortage America faces, Obamacare is set to destroy the best healthcare system in the world.
Shhh....The Obama administration quietly finalized the Health Insurance Tax (HIT), a provision in #Obamacare that will cost nearly $60 billion over the next five years and raise health care premiums by 3%
David R. Burton, a senior fellow in economic policy at the Heritage Foundation, said the tax will disproportionally impact small businesses.
“Most large corporations self-insure,” Burton told the Washington Free Beacon. “They may or may not have stop-loss insurance. Medium-sized businesses will self-insure but then have what’s called stop-loss insurance so that if their claims exceed a certain amount the insurance company will compensate them. The largest corporations are self-insured, period.”
“In contrast, small companies actually buy health insurance and it’s only the actual health insurance that is subject to the tax, self-insured plans are not,” he said....
Burton said estimates for premium increases range from 2.5 to 3 percent. The health insurance tax joins the list of Obamacare tax increases, including the medical device tax, payroll taxes, an excise tax on “Cadillac plans,” and others.
“It’s just one more way they’re raising the cost of employing people,” Burton said. “It’s hidden so people don’t really understand why, that’s probably one of the more insidious aspects of it is that it’s hiding the true effect of it because of the way it’s structured.”
“If people saw that 3 percent tax on their bill every month they would feel differently about it,” he said.
WUWT readers may recall our coverage of Charles Monnett, whose antics with polar bear sitings and attribution led Al Gore to put this famous animated video clip into An Inconvenient Truth and make wild claims about polar bears drowning for lack of sea ice:
Scientist settles legal case over study of polar bear drownings
Becky Bohrer, The Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska — An Alaska scientist whose observations of drowned polar bears helped galvanize the global warming movement has retired as part of a settlement with a federal agency. Charles Monnett was briefly suspended in 2011 from his work with the U.S.
◼ But, Obama Did Not Hold One-on-One Meeting With HHS Secretary Sebelius for Over 3 Years - Gateway Pundit
◼ ONE PRIVATE MEETING BETWEEN PRESIDENT, SEBELIUS IN 3.5 YEARS LEADING UP TO OBAMACARE LAUNCH - Wynton Hall/Breitbart
The startling statistic comes from a new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) analysis of Obama’s own official White House calendar, as well as the Politico presidential calendar, and raises new questions about Obama’s executive leadership and management throughout the implementation of his singular legislative achievement.
More alarming still, the president’s schedule lists 277 private meetings with 16 other Cabinet secretaries in the same time span from Obamacare’s March 23, 2010 signing to November 30, 2013. Why Obama would devote so little face time to the person tasked with implementing what he calls his “most important initiative” is presently unclear....
The lack of in-person meetings between Sebelius and Obama may offer new insight into what the New York Times calls a “deeply dysfunctional relationship” between HHS and Obama’s White House chief of staff. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that White House officials are coming under "mounting pressure from Democrats and close allies to hold senior-level people accountable for the botched rollout of President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement and to determine who should be fired."
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Obama is an incompetent, bungling, corrupt, scandal-plagued leader in absentia. He has failed on domestic and foreign policy, and lacks the ethics necessary to morally lead. Pelosicare (Obamacare) is a failure of epic proportions.
The people already know this. The results are here for all to see. As long as Republicans remind the people that a vote for any Democrat is a vote for a Pelosi speakership, the GOP will clean the left’s clock in 2014.
"The legal arguments in this case are straightforward . . . The 'Senate Health Care Bill,' which is one the largest tax increases in American history, did not originate in the House simply by virtue of keeping a House bill number."
The brief filed by 40 Republican House members points out the Affordable Care Act was crafted by senators who gutted a House bill -- one intended to reduce taxes -- and substituted the wording of the 2,074-page health care bill that became law.
The bill contained 17 revenue-related provisions, including the penalty or tax on individuals who fail to comply with the mandate that they buy health insurance.
"The Senate returned the 'Senate Health Care Bill' with the H.R. 3590 number affixed to it to the House, whereupon it was rushed into passage by the Democratic-controlled House without a single Republican vote," the brief says.
...Ilya Shapiro, a legal policy expert at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, said the Republican lawmakers make a compelling argument.
"If the government wins on this, the origination clause is unenforceable," he said. "We'll have to see how much steel is in the spine of the (appeals court) judges."
Trey Gowdy to liberal law prof: If Obama can ignore parts of ObamaCare, could he ignore election laws too?
◼ Simple question from Gowdy to the legal panel: How far can Obama go? - Allahpundit/HotAir
Now that he’s claimed the royal prerogative to not enforce immigration law against young illegals, not enforce O-Care’s employer mandate against businesses, and not enforce the new rules about “essential benefits” against insurers who un-cancel old plans, what else can he choose not to enforce? If Congress imposes a mandatory minimum sentence for certain offenses, presumably Obama could refuse to enforce that by granting blanket commutations for thousands of people convicted of those offenses. Presumably he could also refuse to enforce election laws. Why not? What’s the limiting principle?
◼ Gowdy: If Obama Chooses Not to Enforce Immigration Laws, Can He Suspend Election Laws Too? - CNS News
...“Why not? If he can suspend mandatory minimum and immigration laws, why not election laws?” Gowdy asked.
“Because we live in a government of laws, and the president is bound to obey them and apply them,” Lazarus answered.
“Well he’s not applying the ACA, and he’s not applying immigration laws, and he’s not applying marijuana laws, and he’s not applying mandatory minimums. What’s the difference with election laws?” Gowdy asked.
◼ Liberal law prof: Obama’s unconstitutional power grabs are creating a “very dangerous and unstable system” - Allahpundit/HotAir
Turley makes two valuable points here. One: Courts tend to give the executive a wide berth in separation-of-powers challenges on the theory that Congress has the power of the purse and can defund any executive agency it likes. But that’s not true anymore, he says. Obama, by defying appropriations, has claimed some of that power for himself. What check does Congress have left? That brings us to point two: Even if Congress can’t stop Obama, the courts can. The problem there, though, says Turley, is that O and the DOJ have argued successfully in many cases that no one has standing to sue him because no one can show an injury from his power grabs that’s concrete enough to justify a federal lawsuit. So the courts can’t check him either.
The only check is to beat him at the polls, and since he’s now term-limited, there’s no real check there apart from his party’s fear that they’ll be punished for his excesses instead. Show of hands: Who thinks Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will keep Obama in line?
◼ Darrell Issa: Health site may top $1 billion - Politico Last month, POLITICO reported that top administration tech officials remained unsure how much the website repairs might cost, in the end, but the total expense for the site by mid-November had already hit $600 million.
◼ Obamacare's architects plugged their ears and misled public - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner @michaelbarone
◼ Winner of HHS YouTube contest for ObamaCare is called “Forget About the Price Tag”
According to the report, the "firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide" rate was 6.6 per 100,000 Americans in 1993. Following the exponential growth in the number of guns, that rate fell to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2000.
...So after after all the pro-gun control grandstanding and the relentless focus on how the so-called easy availability of guns drives up crime, the CRS report shows that more guns—especially more concealable guns—has actually correlated with less crime.
As you may know, CGI Technologies & Solutions is part of the same CGI that served as the lead contractor hired by the federal government to develop healthcare.gov, the now infamous Obamacare website.
Designing a statewide voter database is a delicate and monumental task, and I found it troubling that California was utilizing a company with such a poor track record. Also of great concern was the process through which CGI was awarded the contract.
Accordingly, I've sent a letter to the California Secretary of State demanding answers.
In it, I wrote, "The credibility of a voter database is integral to our entire democratic process; a database unable to operate at the highest standard could cast doubt upon our state’s electoral integrity."
The entire letter is attached below. I look forward to updating everyone on the Secretary's answers once I receive them.
◼ Tim Donnelly
Here's the truth: President Obama and Democrats who supported ObamaCare (like Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu, and every other incumbent Democrat on the ballot in 2014) cut Medicare to help pay for it (they actually double counted). The Ryan budget used those savings (under current law) to help protect and preserve Medicare.
Democrats raided Medicare by more than $700 billion to help pay for ObamaCare. They repeatedly deceived voters about this fact (and continue to do so today). Taking funding from a crucial safety net program to pay for a massive government entitlement (ObamaCare) is nonsensical policy that not only jeopardizes the long term solvency of Medicare for those approaching their sixties, but worsens America's fiscal health by using blatant budget gimmicks to claim that the Affordable Care Act is actually Affordable.
◼ Ya gotta hand it to the guy, at least he took responsibility for the deeply insulting and vulgar comments he made. Of course, the diminutive Brit will probably find some other leftist news outlet to spew forth the demented smatterings of his last firing wit. - Soopermexican/IJ Review
◼ Martin Bashir Resigns from MSNBC, Disappointing Dozens of Viewers - The Other McCain
When you think about all the evil things the liberal media have said about Sarah Palin over the years, you know it took a special kind of stupid for Martin Bashir to say something so grossly offensive he had to resign from MSNBC because of it:
“Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the President of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation. It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments. . . .“Liberals are better than you and me because . . . they’re liberals,” as I observed at the time of Bashir’s fateful comments. Believing that their politics makes them inherently superior, liberals feel no obligation to cultivate ordinary virtues or even simple courtesy.
“I deeply regret what was said, will endeavor to work hard at making constructive contributions in the future and will always have a deep appreciation for our viewers.”
◼ Bashir Too Disgusting For MSNBC -Announces "Resignation" (MSNBC Still Refuses to Condem Remarks) - Yid With Lid
◼ Confirmed: Martin Bashir too nasty even for MSNBC - Allahpundit/HotAir
They’re calling it a resignation to let him save face but Politico heard through the grapevine yesterday that he’d been suspended for what he said about Palin. Essentially he gambled that, on the left’s cable news network of choice, you simply can’t go too far in insulting the right generally and Sarah Palin in particular. Turns out he was wrong — fantasizing on-air about sh*tting in people’s mouths is the red line, it seems. But be fair: Based on MSNBC’s track record, the odds were with him, no?
◼ MRC's Bozell: Which Vile Character Assassin Will MSNBC Hire to Replace Bashir? - Newsbusters
◼ Why Martin Bashir’s Resignation Should Not Be Welcome News - Jay Caruso/Pocket Full Of Liberty
I’m no fan of Bashir. I happen to think he’s an idiot whose accent has carried him further than his brain.... That being said, I don’t welcome this news and I certainly don’t think it’s something to be cheered.
Calling on television or radio personalities to be fired for saying something offensive is what the left does. And they do it well.
The American people work hard, and they have a right to expect their elected representatives to do the same. To date, the House has passed nearly 150 bills this Congress that the United States Senate has failed to act on
In a speech on the House floor today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) took on Senate Democrats for blocking dozens of jobs bills the House has passed this year as part of Republicans' Plan for Economic Growth & Jobs.
◼ As unbelievable as it sounds, word now comes that the beleaguered ObamaCare website doesn’t have a payment mechanism. And Fox’s Megyn Kelly, for one, isn’t happy about it. In fact, she’s downright ticked off. - Michael Miller/IJ Review
◼ MEGYN KELLY LOSES IT OVER HUGE NEW OBAMACARE PROBLEM: ‘THAT’S YOUR MONEY!’ - Jason Howerton/The Blaze
“You’re touting this improved Healthcare.gov,... How does the system work without a payment mechanism? There is no cash register!”
◼ Which liberal pundit’s credibility will be the last to die for the Obamacare mistake? - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
◼ Short-term fix eyed for another problem with U.S. healthcare website - Reuters
President Barack Obama's administration has found a short-term fix to pay insurance companies for plans selected on HealthCare.gov, the not-yet-complete government website used to shop for insurance required under Obama's healthcare program.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has not yet finished building the part of the website that would transfer billions of dollars in subsidies for plan premiums and cost-sharing payments to insurance companies.
It is part of a long technical to-do list that has so far focused on fixing the errors and lag times in the part of the website used by consumers.
◼ Administration to insurance companies: Just guess what your subsidy should be, and the taxpayers will cut you a check. - John Hayward/Human Events @Doc_o
This must be very confusing to the Obama faithful, because just yesterday Dear Leader was telling them how insurance companies are a bunch of crooks who overcharged them for “bad apple” insurance plans, which ObamaCare mercifully destroyed, replacing them with more expensive, higher-deductible plans that provide vitally needed maternity services for men. It was only a few weeks ago that President Obama gave his infamous “Fumble” press conference, in which he pointed fingers of blame at insurance companies for the millions of canceled policies that have sparked public outrage. (As of yesterday, he was back to dismissing those people as irrelevant “anecdotes” whose ruined lives are a small price to pay for the Great Leap Forward.)
...Smaller providers and co-ops will be hit especially hard… and would be much less capable of making do without their subsidy payments for six months, a year, or however long it takes the people who can’t even launch a website to create the subsidy calculation system.
Isn’t Soviet-style central planning wonderful?
◼ Rogers: WH Won’t Even Give Classified Briefings on HealthCare.Gov Security Problems - Andrew Johnson/National Review
The Obama administration has avoided informing lawmakers of HealthCare.gov’s security problems and this is just another incidence of the White House’s incompetence we’ve seen since the health-care law’s rollout, according to House Intelligence chair Mike Rogers
◼ Worse Than Before 'Fix'...
The Obamacare insurance marketplace is even more vulnerable to security breaches since the administration “fixed” Healthcare.gov, according to a cyber security expert.
◼ Bill Whittle: In the first of a three-part Trifecta, Steve Green, Tammy Bruce and I discuss how things like IRS audits show that you don't need to be thrown in a dungeon to have your Freedom of Speech or Religion curtailed.
◼ WAJ Intro: There are huge developments targeting conservatives and Scott Walker supporters in Wisconsin. - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
There’s a secret war being waged in Wisconsin, and the outcome could have national ramifications on free speech and the rule of law.
As first reported by Wisconsin Reporter in late October, a Democrat-led, secret probe now nearly two years in the making has targeted dozens of conservative organizations on the ground in the Badger State.
The so-called John Doe investigation, which one former Federal Elections Commission member said makes the “Alien and Sedition Act mild by comparison,” has raised serious questions of partisanship and prosecutorial abuse.
A Nov. 18 Wall Street Journal opinion piece, headlined “Wisconsin Political Speech Raid,” reported at least three homes had been raided, and more than 100 subpoenas had been handed out – including one that demands “all records of income received, including fundraising information and the identity of persons contributing to the corporation.”
What’s it all about? As Wisconsin Reporter first revealed, the investigation, launched in early 2012 by the Democrat-led Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office, aims to prove conservatives illegally coordinated activities in the historic recalls of Gov. Scott Walker and Republican state senators, multiple sources say.
One source with knowledge of the investigation has told Wisconsin Reporter the ultimate goal is to bring down Walker, the bane of Wisconsin liberals.
◼ Millennials Abandon Obama and Obamacare - Ron Fournier/National Journal
Young Americans are turning against Barack Obama and Obamacare, according to a new survey of millennials, people between the ages of 18 and 29 who are vital to the fortunes of the president and his signature health care law.
The most startling finding of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics: A majority of Americans under age 25–the youngest millennials–would favor throwing Obama out of office.
◼ Harvard Survey: Obama and Obamacare push Millennials support off cliff - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
Havard’s Institute of Politics just released a devastating study showing a massive drop in support among Millennials for Obama and Obamacare.
Bottom line is that Millennials don’t like Republicans, but for the first time they don’t like Obama and Democrats almost as much.
◼ Poll: Young People Abandoning Obama over Obamacare, Also disapprove of his foreign, fiscal policies. - Weekly Standard
◼ Harvard: Students turn on Obama, want him recalled, reject Obamacare - Paul Bedard/Washington Examiner
So how can Californians loosen this union chokehold? By adopting a reform that’s both better for governance and fairer to union workers than the status quo.
The reform, known by the shorthand of “paycheck protection,” typically requires unions to have the permission of individual members before their dues are used for anything but collective bargaining.
Six states have adopted such a reform. Easily the most liberal of the six is Washington, where voters adopted this requirement as part of a popular campaign-reform push in 1992 that was opposed by unions but supported by many union members.
What followed was a relentless 15-year campaign of subterfuge and sabotage by unions and their Democratic allies in Washington’s legislature and court system. But in 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for implementation of the law following its original intent....
◼ Why does President Obama keep saying Obamacare is the ONLY idea out there? That's a ridiculous claim -- here's why. - Heritage
◼ On CNN Sunday evening, liberal ESPN columnist LZ Granderson justified the President's repeated lie about ObamaCare, claiming that Americans knew he did it for their own good.
"And, time and time again, Americans have said we can deal with the lies that President Obama tells us because we believe in his heart, he has the best interest for the American people," Granderson claimed....
However, Granderson said the public can "live with" Obama's lie: "Every president is going to lie to you. Every politician is going to lie to you. The question is, which lies can you live with?"
Barack Obama has launched his new sales pitch for ObamaCare, in an attempt to convince Americans that the exchanges that don’t exchange, the payment systems that don’t pay, and the website security from 1993 are so totally awesome that no one in their right mind could turn it down. If Obama can’t even convince the man who shoved ObamaCare through the Senate by parliamentary chicanery, though, how can anyone else believe him?
◼ DIRTY HARRY EXEMPTS STAFF FROM OBAMACARE - CNN
"I'm sure that regular Americans who just lost their insurance will feel comforted to know that Senator Reid's staff gets to keep their government plan," a senior GOP Senate aide said.
In September, Reid told reporters, "Let's stop these really juvenile political games -- the one dealing with health care for senators and House members and our staff. We are going to be part of exchanges, that's what the law says and we'll be part of that."
That's true. Reid and his personal staff will buy insurance through the exchange.
But it's also true that the law lets lawmakers decide if their committee and leadership staffers hold on to their federal employee insurance plans, an option Reid has exercised.
Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson emphasized, "We are just following the law."
...Former Reid staffer Jim Manley defended his old boss, arguing that "the only people hypocritical here are Republicans, who made this an issue in the first place."
He got the applause he wanted. He got the love he needed. He got MSNBC talk personalities to speak admiringly of him. So by those standards, if by no other, the speech was a roaring success.
Finally, after two months of horror, President Obama heard cheering when he discussed ObamaCare.
OK, so the cheering came from members of his own staff, who were assembled in the White House briefing room to hear him speak Tuesday afternoon. But listen, the guy has had a hard time since Oct. 1; he can use all the cheering he can get.
The speech was promoted as part of an aggressive new effort to promote ObamaCare following the repairs (far from completed) made to the HealthCare.gov Web site. If that was the intent, it was a colossal failure.
The president said nothing — and I mean literally nothing — he hasn’t said before in defense of ObamaCare. He delivered the same tribute to its glories and wonders I’ve heard him give so many times now, I could’ve written it myself.
No, in truth, yesterday wasn’t about ObamaCare. It was about Obama. It was about bucking up the boss. It was about showing him some love.
Now that he’s had his little pep rally, President Obama would be well-advised to go under the radar again for a while. According to Gallup, the more facts people know about ObamaCare, the less likely they are to support it.
It would appear that it’s better for the president if people live in blissful ignorance rather than horrified awareness.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a field hearing in Apache Junction, Arizona on Friday to determine the effect of the Obama administration's broken promise on people retaining their health insurance plans.
An Update on Female Congressional Candidates:
NFRW will be keeping tabs on the women who are running for Congress in 2014. Below are some highlights:
Arizona: Martha McSally, District 2. Martha is an Air Force veteran who ran for Congress and lost in 2012 to Rep. Ron Barber by less than a percentage point. This is Rep. Gabby Gifford's previous seat. Martha will likely win the Republican primary on August 26, 2014 and has a decent chance of snatching the seat from Barber considering how close she came last time.
Arizona: Wendy Rogers, District 9. This district tends Democratic and Wendy will be fighting Democrat incumbent Kyrsten Sinema if she wins the primary. To do this, Wendy would have to win the primary over Vernon Parker, who was the 2012 Republican nominee for Congress in Arizona 9. Former NFL quarterback Andrew Walter is also a contender in the Republican primary.
California: Elizabeth Emken, District 7. Elizabeth is campaigning against Democrat incumbent Ami Bera. Before Bera won this seat in 2012, Republican Congressman Dan Lungren represented this district. Emken is an underdog in a contested primary against former Republican Congressman Doug Ose, and the former Chief of Staff for Rep. Tom McClintock, Igor Birman.
California: Mimi Walters, District 45. Mimi is the front-runner in this race and a current state senator. She has personal wealth and name recognition--she ran for state treasurer a few years ago. Despite these advantages, she may come under scrutiny for an apparent flip-flop on raising taxes.
Georgia: Donna Sheldon, District 10. In the Republican primary, Donna is racing against Jody Hice, a socially conservative Baptist preacher. Donna is seen as the establishment choice.
Georgia: Tricia Pridemore, District 11. Tricia recently lost a race for state party chair, but she enjoys a close relationship with Governor Deal. The runoff to the Republican primary for this seat is where most people are anticipating a fight between Tricia and Bob Barr.
Illinois: Darlene Senger, District 11. Darlene is the likely Republican front-runner in the primary. District 11 is heavily populated with minority communities.
Minnesota: Rhonda Sivarajah, District 6. This is Rep. Bachmann's seat, and the field is crowded to replace her. Tom Emmer, a Republican who won the GOP nomination in the Governor's race, will be Rhonda's top rival in the primary.
New York: Nan Hayworth, District 18. So far former Rep. Hayworth is unchallenged by another Republican for a primary. This district has changed parties three times in the past four elections.
New York: Elise Stefanik, District 21. Elise is a Bush administration alumnus who worked on economic policy, and is Harvard educated.
West Virginia: Charlotte Lane, District 2. Charlotte is running in a crowded GOP field for Rep. Shelley Moore Capito's seat (Capito is running for Sen. Rockefeller's empty Senate seat). It is difficult to tell right now who will emerge the winner in the Republican primary for district 2.
Utah: Mia Love, District 4. So far Mia is the only Republican challenging Rep. Matheson for this seat. Mia lost in 2012 by 768 votes, and Matheson won even though Romney took the district with 65% of the vote.
This is not an exhaustive list. Information on these races came from the Cook Political Report.
Budget Deal Deadline Looming
Yesterday, December 2, was the date by which appropriators wanted a budget deal number from the budget panel headed by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis). No budget number has been agreed upon, although ◼ Politico reported that Sen. Murray proposed $1.058 trillion in spending while Rep. Ryan proposed $967 billion in spending for next year. The budget panel is heading for a December 13th deadline to come up with a budget agreement. As ◼ The Hill reported, appropriators wanted a budget deal number yesterday, however, so that an omnibus bill with 12 parts could be written and voted on before January 16.
In the event that a budget proposal does not emerge from the budget panel, The Hill reports that House Speaker Boehner is "prepared to pass a bill next week that would fund the government past Jan. 15 at $967 billion if no deal is reached between Murray and Ryan."
◼ National Federation of Republican Women
Rusbridger defended the newspaper’s decision to publish the secret material. He said stories published by the Guardian, The Washington Post and others had prompted much-needed debate about the scale of intelligence activities and exposed the limits of regulatory laws drawn up in the pre-Internet era.
“There is no doubt in my mind ... that newspapers have done something that oversight has failed to do,” he said.
◼ Emphasis on “average.” He’s dipped below 40 in individual polls before but never in so many at the same time that the rolling average among them brought him into the thirties.
Since the avalanche of bad press began to entomb the ACA in posterity’s rebuke, the president and his allies have engaged only in short-term thinking and damage mitigation.
On Tuesday, the air raid sirens blared and the president came screaming out of the fog begging for aid. Matthews’ interview with the President of the United States will air on Thursday....
This is just the latest in a recent spate of poorly conceived, ill-timed strategic decisions this White House has made since the end of the government shutdown and the cosmic implosion of the Affordable Care Act. The political identity of Democrats – both in the grassroots and in Congress – is so inexorably tied to the ACA that they cannot abide the level of negative press this law has received continually since mid-October. The party’s left-wing, besieged and disoriented, is dragging the president by the nose into one bad move after the next....
The underlying problems associated with the ACA are fracturing the Democratic Party. So long as the ACA remains unreformed, the Democrats are in a losing position.
This White House’s transparently toothless maneuvering is not coming from a position of strength. Republicans and the public at large see this. When Democrats finally come to the same conclusion, their position will be dramatically weaker than it even is today.
◼ White House ready to go on offense over ObamaCare or something - Allahpundit/HotAir
◼ Obama on ObamaCare: There’s no way we’re repealing this boondoggle while I’m president, America - Allahpundit/HotAir
Is this really the message Democrats wanted him to put out today, when news outlets are filled with stories about rate shock, glitchy enrollments, and catastrophic security lapses? I thought the headline was supposed to be “ObamaCare is wonderful,” not “There’s nothing you can do.” Good lord.
◼ Chris Matthews's Multiple Obamagasms: The Top 10 Most 'Tingling' Quotes (See the videos at the link) - Scott Whitlock/Newsbusters
10. Just So "Cool" and "Great-Looking"UPDATE:
9. Gazing at Obama, The Thinker
8. "We Girls Agree," Obama Is Still "Thrilling"
7. Barack Obama: The "Last Brother" to JFK
6. Barack "Lincoln" Spellbinds With His Speeches
5. The "Thrill" Is Still Surging Up Chris's Leg
4. Chris Matthews, Obama Press Secretary?
3. He's "Perfect"...
2. ...Just Like Jesus
1. If Your Thrill Lasts Longer Than Three Hours...
◼ Mark Levin Unloads on ‘Sick S.O.B.,’ ‘Pathetic’ Matthews: ‘He Is Truly a Deranged Moron!’ - Josh Feldman/Mediaite
Following his lengthy interview with President Obama, Chris Matthews attacked his GOP opponents as less patriotic than Nelson Mandela‘s opponents. Mark Levin took Matthews to the woodshed on Friday for this rather strenuous comparison.
Levin said at the outset that Matthews is most assuredly “off his rocker,” and took a shot at the “conga line of freaks” at MSNBC before playing the audio of Matthews attacking Obama’s opponents. Levin called him “one sick S.O.B.” and a “little puke” for having the gall to attack any critics of the president when he and his “left-wing kooks” did everything in their power to attack Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and other Republican presidents.
But beyond that, it was thoroughly absurd to Levin that Obama is in any way comparable to Mandela, saying that Obama never went through the kind of suffering Mandela did, and it’s not unpatriotic for the minority to check the president’s power. He suggested Matthews read up on how black conservatives like Clarence Thomas have been treated before trying to compare Obama and Mandela....
On its own, it shouldn’t. But in 2006 and 2007, Mangum’s false charges of rape against three lacrosse players at Duke University caused a national tsunami of media sensation, an angry wave of prejudiced coverage that presumed the guilt of rich white college boys when accused by an African-American stripper.
More than any other media outlet, the New York Times trumpeted Mangum’s rape accusations, even after they fell apart....
The coverage ended. Well, there was one small trickle of news. In December 2010, The New York Times ran a tiny wire item in the sports section, that the Duke lacrosse “victim” was found guilty of “misdemeanor child abuse and damaging property. A Durham County jury convicted Crystal Mangum, 32, of contributing to child abuse or neglect, injury to personal property,and resisting a public officer after a February confrontation with her live-in boyfriend.”
Then Mangum was indicted for murdering her boyfriend in 2011. Again, it was a tiny item in the Times -- a brief at the bottom of page B-14 of the sports section, under Lacrosse: “Crystal Mangum, who falsely accused three Duke players of raping her in 2006, was charged with murder in the death of her boyfriend.”
So when Mangum was convicted of murder on November 22, now would it garner serious attention? The Times ran a tiny 98-word AP story.
...Now remember that the entire time Mangum was ruining the reputations of three young men, the media kept her identity a secret. Now that her secret of lying and even murder is out, the secret remains, at least on the media’s radar screen.
There were no Duke-accuser updates at ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, PBS, USA Today, or The Washington Post.
The White House is no longer concerned with the Obamacare website meeting security standards. Experts refer to the lack of care regarding security concerns as "disgraceful."
◼ Rogers: WH wouldn’t brief us on Healthcare.gov security gaps – even in closed session - Ed Morrissey/HotAir
Rep. Mike Rogers provides a cheery thought on personal security as the White House gears up to sell ObamaCare all over again. Last night, he told Greta van Susteren that data security on Healthcare.gov didn’t even meet “minimal standards” for the industry. In terms of the “private-sector velocity and efficiency” claimed by the Obama administration over the last couple of days, Rogers says that experts warned him that they would be sued out of business if they rolled out a website with this many security gaps.
◼ OBAMACARE: HACKERS IN, GARBAGE OUT - John Hayward/Human Events @Doc_o
How bad are things going to get in January? The Washington Post has sources that claim fully one-third of the enrollments processed for ObamaCare to date are invalid. Given how much the Administration has been padding the enrollment number (and mixing Medicaid in with Affordable Care Act purchases) that’s probably north of 10,000 invalid policies, and it’s going to get worse.
...How bad is the Healthcare.gov security situation? So bad that, according to Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, the Administration refuses to brief Congress about it. (Let me put that into context for you, given the general M.O. of this corrupt Administration: there have probably already been serious hacker attacks, but they’re keeping it secret to head off a panic.) In a sane world, that would result in an emergency veto-proof vote to shut down ObamaCare, but no Democrat in this Congress cares more about the security of the American people than they care about the Party’s political fortunes, and the power they have seized by nationalizing an industry the government is clearly unfit to control.
The lawsuit challenges the legality of tax subsidies provided under the law to help people buy health insurance. It's being heard after U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman in October rejected the administration's request to throw out the case.
...Washington and Lee law professor Timothy Jost said a victory for the business group could accomplish something congressional Republicans have failed to achieve after dozens of attempts: It could torpedo Obamacare. Exempting people in the states covered by the lawsuit could undercut Obamacare's financial stability.
"Basically we are now at the first step, on the merits of the case," Jost said. "So this case has gotten through the front door, but I'm confident this court is going to throw this out."...
...Although the media spoke or wrote zillions of words about the ACA, relatively few explained in meaningful ways what the law was all about, who would be affected by it and how—in short, how would it affect peoples’ lives and why they should care. The media, for the most part, fell down on the job when it came to dissecting the promises made by supporters (for example, that people could keep their insurance and their doctors); who would pay for the subsidies; why essential benefits were important; and why there had to be an individual mandate with penalties for not buying insurance. And there’s no question most of us failed to dig into the most basic question of all: Would the darn thing work?
What the press delivered instead was mostly a conversation among policy wonks and Beltway political elites without letting in the people who would be most affected by the nostrums they were prescribing. The public was the victim of a messaging war, with much of the conversation shaped by spin and talking points. And as in all wars, truth is the first casualty. Americans needed clear, direct explanations, honesty, dot connection and a probe of the carefully crafted words that came to define the debate. Yes, there were plenty of fact-checkers keeping watch, but as press critic and political scientist Brendan Nyhan has pointed out, these services can fall short. Their one-the-one hand, on-the-other hand format often confuses more than illuminates. Against this backdrop, the backlash of the last few weeks was probably inevitable....
A new YouGov/Economist poll found Clinton, whose approval ratings have typically been sky high, with an unfavorable rating of 48 percent, more than the 46 percent who have a favorable opinion of her.
◼ Two sociologists have found that parents who have daughters are more inclined to support the GOP and turn a cold shoulder to Democrats. - Pew Research
In newly published findings that challenge earlier research, Dalton Conley of New York University and Emily Rauscher of the University of Kansas found that having more daughters than sons and having a daughter first “significantly reduces the likelihood of Democratic identification and significantly increases the strength of Republican Party identification.”
Not only is the daughter effect statistically significant, it’s substantively large. They found that overall, “compared to those with no daughters, parents with all daughters are 14% less likely to identify as a Democrat….[and] 11% more likely to identify as a Republican than parents with no daughters,” they write in the journal Sociological Forum.
The daughters effect is considerably stronger among better educated and wealthier parents, they find. But among those farther down the socioeconomic ladder, it weakens to statistical insignificance.
Monday, December 2, 2013
"...vulnerabilities remain on "everything from hacking someone's computer so when you visit the website it actually tries to hack your computer back, all the way to being able to extract email addresses, users names—first name, last name—[and] locations"
Another online security expert—who spoke at last week's House hearing and then on CNBC—said the federal Obamacare website needs to be shut down and rebuilt from scratch. Morgan Wright, CEO of Crowd Sourced Investigations said: "There's not a plan to fix this that meets the sniff test of being reasonable."
◼ LATE IT CASH SURGE FORESHADOWED HEALTH-LAW WOES Although the Affordable Care Act has been law for three and a half years, one third of the funds going to the top contractors working on the federal exchanges were awarded in the six months before the new insurance marketplaces opened Oct. 1, a Bloomberg Government Analysis has found.
The torrent of late spending — almost $352 million of $1 billion in awards to the top 10 contractors — indicates the magnitude of the work still to be done as opening day approached, and helps explain the information technology problems that have dogged the exchange system since its launch. In a typical IT project, spending ramps up to a peak, then trails off during the final phase....
...unlike the GAO study, which focused solely on contracting for the exchanges and a related data services hub, BGOV used its federal contracts database to look at all health law-related contract awards to the firms since the ACA was enacted in March 2010.
It included all awards where the acronym “ACA,” or the names or acronyms of programs closely related to the law appeared in the contract descriptors. It excluded all contracts where a direct link could not be made to the law, although it assumed that most recent IT awards by the Department of Health and Human Services are ACA-related because the law’s implementation has consumed an increasing share of the department’s time and resources....
Besides showing the rush to issue contract awards in the months leading up to the opening of exchanges, the BGOV analysis also revealed that the implementation of the health law is costing substantially more than generally is portrayed.
Although the GAO made clear that its study focused solely on the costs of implementing the federal exchanges and the data services hub, its $394 million tally for work through March 31 has been widely cited as the price tag for the entire launch of the law. But in looking at the full range of ACA-related contracts for just 10 firms, the BGOV analysis found more than $1 billion worth of contract awards.