Saturday, December 14, 2013
“(T)hey’re not just lying about politics now. They’re lying about data. They’re lying about everything. All the time. Constantly. It’s what you have to do to prop up an unsustainable government. … You lie and lie and lie and lie and lie and lie and lie.”
◼ What Will It Take? Americans still seem willing to give a pass to the disaster in the White House. - David Solway/PJ Media
...TV personality Monica Crowley concurs. In a recent speech, she spelled out what should have been plain for all to see: “We have a president who…came out of the swamps of Chicago machine politics, who learned at the knee of the communist revolutionary Frank Marshall Davis, who studied under Marxist professors…who trained intensively in the revolutionary tactics of Saul Alinsky, who launched his political career in the living room of Marxist revolutionaries and domestic terrorists… who for two decades sat in the pews of the radical anti-American preacher, who tried desperately to bury that past, who spoke about the fundamental transformation of the nation…who waged war on entire news organizations, Fox News, and who spent his first term slamming into place radical wealth redistribution and socialized medicine….What I’m describing here is the classic tin-pot dictatorship. We never thought it could happen here, and yet, here it is….Those of us in this room knew what was going on from the beginning before he was even elected president, but now it’s starting to dawn on more and more people what is really happening here.” She is right. Even for those who were not “in this room,” there should have been little doubt that Obama was a man without a discernible moral core, inspired by an anti-American political philosophy and utterly devoid of presidential heft.
But American voters were ready to be taken in by a smooth-talking, shape-changing, confidence-man, like the gullible “marks” in Melville’s last novel about the exploits of an adroit charlatan, and to trust the image rather than the substance (or absence of same). This is another way of saying that America elected the results of Obama’s wholly predictable dogmatic fecklessness. America elected not to be America anymore, to fundamentally transform itself from a solvent, powerful, feared and respected nation into a quasi-European basket case. America surrendered to reparation chromatics, as if seeking absolution for a history that no one today is responsible for and that Obama himself never experienced. Admittedly, Obama’s approval ratings have plunged of late, but public opinion is notoriously volatile and will probably rebound at some point. Liberal dogma and white guilt will see to that. One can only hope it will assume the form of a dead cat bounce.
The question remains. What will it take to awaken the tranquilized sector of the public and shake the elite corps of complacent opinion-makers out of their blind and factional torpor?...
In Washington state: Reports of erroneous WA health exchange debits
For the second week in a row, the Washington Healthplanfinder website is down, and it's causing problems for people who are dealing with billing issues. Some of them say the website is mistakenly debiting their accounts.
Shannon Bruner of Indianola logged on to her checking account Monday morning, and found she was almost 800 dollars in the negative.
“The first thing I thought was, ‘I got screwed,’” she said.
The Bruners enrolled for insurance on the Washington Healthplanfinder website, last October. They say they selected the bill pay date to be December 24th. Instead the Washington Healthplanfinder drafted the 835 dollar premium Monday.
...They're not alone.
One viewer emailed KING 5 saying, "They drafted my account this morning for a second time."
Another woman on Facebook with a similar problem commented, "We are all in the same boat."
“We've got to figure out how to get money to pay the bills for the next week or two until we have another check come through,” said Josh Bruner. “It's just crazy.”
We could feed the World's poor with all the $$$ being spent on #ClimageChange agendas. But, that would actually solve problems, not consolidate control over populations.
◼ The Kitchen Cabinet: Surely, it MUST be all that #GlobalWarming Al Gore's been warning US about for what seems like forever! Having blizzards in Israel, too. Would be funny if so much time, effort and money wasn't being spent trying to keep the Earth from doing what the Earth has been doing for billions of years.
◼ Why Humans Don't Have Much To Do With Climate Change - Lawrence Solomon/Huffington Post
The global warming scientists -- with their models defunct and now acting on hope rather than science -- assert that temperatures will soon renew their climb. The global cooling scientists assert the opposite - that temperatures on Earth have peaked, as they have peaked countless times before in following nature's cycles. And that consistent with Earth's history, and with the laws of physics, temperatures on Earth will now be falling.
President Obama's administration has added to its war on coal and its wind-farm eagle-chopping policy and is trying to yank seafood out of America's diet.
◼ Big Green's well-financed death grip on fisheries policy must be broken - Ron Arnold/Washington Examiner
Submerge for a moment in the seething political storm that fishermen live in — examine the overwhelming network diagram above. (MUST SEE INTERACTIVE CHART, AT THE LINK) You’re looking at 552 grants totaling $561,907,154 — over half a billion dollars from six Big Green foundations: Pew, Packard, Walton, Moore, Surdna and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, each a funding octopus with anti-fishing payday tentacles that twine and choke and, for the most part, destroy.
Zoom in on one tentacle: Four Pew foundations gave Earthjustice -- formerly the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund -- 20 grants totaling $25,156,500 in the past decade to sue and stop anything productive....
Nils Stolpe, veteran executive, consultant, and advocate for the commercial fishing community, sorted those numbers from Internal Revenue Service Form 990 reports and posted the result on his FishNet USA website. The Washington Examiner used Stolpe's findings to construct the diagram.
I asked Stolpe what seafood producers can do to defend themselves from that swirling galaxy of enemies. “Good marine fisheries management and government that plays by the rules,” he said, adding, “if we can get it.”
...key items, employment, food supply, and revenue are the very things Big Green has targeted for incremental destruction year after year. They’ve crushed, vilified, and destroyed seafood producers nationwide, fed by money earned in gigantic foundation investment portfolios of corporate common stocks, real estate and other assets.
Big Green is a dangerous, overwhelming power. That power lock must be broken.
NFRW Campaign School!
EXXON MOBIL CEO PRESSURES PA GOVERNOR TO IMPLEMENT COMMON CORE. Why?
More research shows Exxon Mobil is very friendly with President Obama’s administration, which developed Common Core. In 2008, Exxon donated $117,946 to Obama’s campaign as opposed to the $73,326 it donated to Senator John McCain’s campaign. They also donated $250,000 for President Obama’s second term inaugural ceremony. Their attorney, Judith Batty, donated $10,750 to this inaugural ceremony as well.
Despite being writers, lawyers, and even doctors, these people didn’t do their homework about Obamacare before the law was passed. They relied on the MSM and their trusted liberal politicians and pundits to describe it for them instead. Why change their minds now...
Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan…They are part of an unusual, informal health insurance system that has developed in New York, in which independent practitioners were able to get lower insurance rates through group plans, typically set up by their professional associations or chambers of commerce. That allowed them to avoid the sky-high rates in New York’s individual insurance market, historically among the most expensive in the country.
But under the Affordable Care Act, they will be treated as individuals, responsible for their own insurance policies. For many of them, that is likely to mean they will no longer have access to a wide network of doctors and a range of plans tailored to their needs. And many of them are finding that if they want to keep their premiums from rising, they will have to accept higher deductible and co-pay costs or inferior coverage....
◼ NEW YORK'S CULTURAL ELITE BLINDSIDED BY OBAMACARE - John Nolte/Breitbart
◼ With Affordable Care Act, Canceled Policies for New York Professionals - New York Times
It is not lost on many of the professionals that they are exactly the sort of people — liberal, concerned with social justice — who supported the Obama health plan in the first place. Ms. Meinwald, the lawyer, said she was a lifelong Democrat who still supported better health care for all, but had she known what was in store for her, she would have voted for Mitt Romney.
It is an uncomfortable position for many members of the creative classes to be in.
“We are the Obama people,” said Camille Sweeney, a New York writer and member of the Authors Guild. Her insurance is being canceled, and she is dismayed that neither her pediatrician nor her general practitioner appears to be on the exchange plans. What to do has become a hot topic on Facebook and at dinner parties frequented by her fellow writers and artists....
Sixty Days Later, Breast Cancer Survivor Still Can't Sign Up for Obamacare
◼ Breast cancer survivor Lynn Beckler has been trying to enroll since October 10th, a timespan of more than 60 days. After speaking to at least 10 Obamacare navigators and attempting to enroll via the mail, Beckler explained she still couldn’t get into the system. - Sarah Jean Seman/Townhall
EDITORIAL: Here come the Obamacare taxes
◼ First came the compliance burdens. Then came the expensive website woes, millions of policy cancellations and skyrocketing premiums. But if you thought Obamacare couldn’t be less popular, guess again. Here come the taxes. - LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
As reported Sunday by the Review-Journal’s Jennifer Robison, there are a slew of new taxes to help pay for the boondoggle that is the Affordable Care Act, and the Internal Revenue Service will be reaching deep into wallets to collect that money starting next year. Those with high incomes face the biggest increases, but people at all income levels ultimately will feel the costs of the health care law — beyond higher deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses....
Don’t forget the delayed employer mandate, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2015. Businesses that have at least 50 full-time equivalent employees and don’t offer Obamacare-compliant coverage will be taxed between $2,000 and $3,000 per worker....
With each passing day, more Americans are realizing the Affordable Care Act isn’t affordable at all. It makes people and businesses pay more for worse coverage with less choice and it hits them with higher tax bills, all to subsidize insurance for a select few. As Washington Examiner columnist Byron York wrote this week, the Obama administration’s new promotional push to prop up this failing law doesn’t mention what was supposed to be the primary goal: helping Americans buy affordable health insurance....
Despite the law’s myriad other failings — it has actually increased the number of uninsured — its resulting lack of affordability is enough to justify full repeal. This is not a healthy economy. There are not enough jobs. Obamacare and its tax and regulatory burdens are hurting, not helping.
Denver Post Edits “Socialist” Out of Description of Arapahoe School Shooter
Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with the gunman, described him as a very opinionated Socialist. ◼ ORIGINAL ARTICLE
“He was exuberant I guess,” Conrad said. “A lot of people picked on him, but it didn’t seem to bother him.”
It was edited to read: Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with Pierson, described him as very opinionated. ◼ EDITED ARTICLE
◼ In a profile on the shooter in the Denver Post which focused on his “strong political beliefs,” several of Pierson’s classmates offered their impressions of the shooter. One of the shooter’s classmates described him as a “very opinionated socialist.” Shortly after that post was published, however, that description was edited out. The current copy simply describes him as “very opinionated.” - Mediaite
◼ Denver Post reports, then removes Arapahoe shooter's belief in socialism - Examiner
◼ Why? Sheriff wants to know reason for Colorado school shooting - CNN
WHO FUNDS THE FAR LEFT? YOU’LL BE SURPRISED
Think Progress is part of the internet cesspool that modern liberalism has become. Written by hack left-wing bloggers, it is bitterly hostile to free enterprise. It is a low-rent site that traffics in the most absurd smears and conspiracy theories. Many have wondered for some years who finances far-left web sites like Think Progress. As of today, we know at least part of the answer, as CAP released its corporate donor list for the first time.
CAP says that individuals and foundations account for more than 90% of its funding, and corporations only around 6%. It would be interesting to see the individual and foundation donor list; my guess is that left-wing foundations, most of which spend money left by dead conservatives, would loom large. But what corporations fund Think Progress’s anti-free enterprise propaganda? The full list is here ...
...CAP’s disclosure is a timely reminder that large corporations are not, in general, supporters of free enterprise. Many of them love to partner with government to suppress innovation and competition. Koch Industries stands alone, as far as I know, as a relatively large company that actually supports free enterprise as a matter of principle. Which is why corporatist America, through disreputable organizations like the Center for American Progress, has waged unremitting warfare against Koch.
On the 3rd day of ObamaCare, Democrats gave to me…fewer physicians, two times the cost and a nightmare for my family.
◼ WITH SEBELIUS SET TO FACE CONGRESS, AMERICANS ARE FACING ANOTHER BROKEN OBAMACARE PROMISE: THEY CAN’T KEEP THEIR DOCTORS - RNC
SNOW HITS CAIRO, FIRST IN 100 YEARS...
◼ Snow closes roads in Israel, is a source of wonder in Egypt - LA Times Via Drudge
◼ 'Historic' Storm in Israel... - Israel National News
◼ Over 2,000 cold and snow records set in USA this past week... - Watts Up With That?
Compare to 98 high temperature records, and 141 high minimum temperature records
◼ Snowburst: 5 to 6 feet in upstate New York! Lake effect shifting south, Winter Storm Watch for the weekend - Syracuse.com
◼ More Than 110 Million Brace for Weekend Snowstorm - AccuWeather
◼ Severe Weather: Watches/Warnings... - Weather Underground
◼ Current Radar - Intellicast all Via Drudge
Tom McClintock: this budget is another spending spree
"Some of the discussion has focused on how much of the spending spree will be paid with higher taxes. The answer is, 'all of it,'" McClintock said. "Once government spends a dollar, it has already decided to tax that dollar – the only questions that remain are who gets the bill and when."
The deal, which increases spending beyond the sequester levels and raises so-called "fees" on airline travelers, passed the House by a 333-94 vote.
McClintock said the "House Republican leadership pushed through a two-year budget that will allow the federal government to spend an additional $63 billion more than current law allows – money that our country does not have."
He also said that "sixty-three billion dollars of new spending – and therefore new taxes in some form – is not a small amount of money. It averages about $570 of added burdens for every family in America."
McClintock then blasted the deal for its "lie" that requires Americans to believe that "Congress will magically summon the fiscal discipline that has eluded it in the present" before quoting former Reagan budget director David Stockman, who said that the budget deal was a "a joke and betrayal."
"It's the final surrender of the House Republican leadership to Beltway politics and kicking the can and ignoring the budget monster that's hurtling down the road," Stockman had said earlier in the week.
◼ Mr. Ryan’s Dilemma - Roger L Simon/PJMedia
Friday, December 13, 2013
96% OF AMERICANS ARE WRONG ABOUT CONGRESS
Moreover, disliking Congress is basically akin to disliking lawyers or journalists. Sure, they deserve it, but it’s still often perfunctory.If we truly loathed Congress as much as we maintain, we wouldn’t reliably vote for incumbents. We love our member of Congress. Incumbents, in fact, are safer today than they have been in many decades. I’m going to guess there’s a 96 percent chance that your representative has a better approval rating in his or her district than President Barack Obama does nationally.
So there are probably numerous factors driving Congress’ unpopularity. It’s doubtless that some of those factors conflict with one another. So hate Congress if you must. But if, as liberal pundits argue, an overwhelming majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the House because it’s not passing enough laws to hit some arbitrary quota, then the large majority of Americans have absolutely no clue what healthy republican government is supposed to look like.
Does the pre-existing condition program foretell broader problems for Obamacare?
What’s interesting about PCIP is that it ended up attracting much fewer Americans than expected while also costing more than expected. The reason was that those who did enroll ended up being those with extremely high medical costs — even by the standards of a program for those with pre-existing conditions.
By March 2013, HHS suspended enrollment in the program because it couldn't afford to cover any new applicants.
As the New York Times reported in May, “The administration had predicted that up to 400,000 people would enroll in the program, created by the 2010 health care law. In fact, about 135,000 have enrolled, but the cost of their claims has far exceeded White House estimates, exhausting most of the $5 billion provided by Congress.”
The same story explained that HHS announced it “was cutting payments to doctors and hospitals after finding that cost overruns are threatening to use up the money available.”
...given the dismal enrollment numbers to date, it’s worth asking whether the exchanges could end up encountering similar problems to PCIP — only on a much bigger scale.
◼ INSURANCE PROVIDERS ONCE AGAIN INVITED TO IGNORE “THE SETTLED LAW OF THE LAND” - John Hayward/Human Events @Doc_o
There’s nothing funnier than watching an ObamaCare apologist describe it as a “law,” usually in a tone of high dudgeon that any treasonous saboteurs would even dare think of repealing it. It should be obvious to even the dimmest left-wing partisan by now that ObamaCare is not a “law,” but of course that doesn’t bother them, because they don’t think their beloved all-wise all-knowing super-government should be bound by laws. The will of our benevolent aristocracy should not be thwarted by the sort of legal speed bumps, tar pits, and bear traps that routinely impose trillions of dollars in cost upon private industry. Not even the dusty old Constitution should be an obstacle when a duly credentialed Great Man or Woman of the Left has a really swell idea that would benefit society....
It’s a joke to refer to ObamaCare as “central planning.” Very little of it has been “planned” at all, which torpedoes its central premise. The idea behind this, and every other statist scheme, is that the government is better able to manage operations and intelligently allocate resources. Nothing has discredited that foolish notion faster or more thoroughly than ObamaCare, which is not a “law” but a power grab. The difference is that a “law” places equally firm restrictions and obligations upon both the government and its citizens. Raw political power, on the other hand, knows neither responsibility nor restraint. May our children learn that lesson by studying the failure and repeal of ObamaCare.
What a Former Secret Service Agent Has to Say about the Fake Interpreter at the Mandela Service (Audio)
This is what Bongino had to say:
The question I keep getting from everyone….is, as a former Secret Service agent: How did this fake interpreter– as it turns out– get so close to the president? Unfortunately, on overseas trips this is what happens sometimes. I think this was a security debacle, I don’t think the Secret Service would run from that. But in my opinion, I think it’s time to seriously reevaluate our decision-making on sending the president overseas on these last-minute trips, to funerals and things of that sort….◼ Nelson Mandela memorial security scandal: 'There were no checks' - Byron York/Washington Examiner @ByronYork
The Secret Service does a great job, they’re really competent, dedicated individuals. I think there were a lot of political pressures to make this go well. I don’t want this, at all, to appear like I’m throwing them under the bus. Those are my guys, I still talk to them, they all do great work. I just think this was a really bad situation, and they’ll fix it…. I made some mistakes, too, when I worked there, and we fixed them later on.
...And then there was the question of Thamsanqa Jantjie, the fake sign language interpreter who stood next to Obama as the president addressed the crowd. Jantjie has in the past been charged with murder, attempted murder, rape, theft, housebreaking and kidnapping, according to the South Africa-focused news organization eNCA.com. Jantjie also suffers from schizophrenia and told reporters he was hallucinating even as he stood next to Obama.
Allowing a man with Jantjie's record to stand within arm's length of the president of the United States is a huge security concern in itself. In addition, the lack of security checks at entrances raises the question of whether Jantjie had been searched for weapons. It's bad enough to have a violent, crazy man who has been through a body search stand next to the president. It's absolutely unconscionable to allow that man next to the president with no search....
◼ Mandela sign language fake who stood next to President Obama ‘took part in necklace murder of two men who stole a TV’ - Red Alert Politics
Now, days after it was claimed he has faced charges for murder, rape and kidnapping, the four sources said he was part of a vigilante execution squad who placed tyres around their victims’ necks and set them ablaze – a horrific practice known as ‘necklacing’.
Unlike two other suspects who went to trial in 2006 for the killings, the four said on Monday that Jantjie never did because authorities determined he was mentally unfit....
◼ Necklacing: 'Necklacing' is the practice of forcing a tyre filled with petrol over victim's head and shoulders and setting it alight. - Daily Mail
South African news website eNCA reported that Mr Jantjie, who has schizophrenia, has faced charges for rape (1994), theft (1995), housebreaking (1997), malicious damage to property (1998), murder, attempted murder and kidnapping (2003) charges.
VIGILANTE JUSTICE IN SOUTH AFRICA: WHAT IS NECKLACING?
'Necklacing' is the practice of forcing a tyre filled with petrol over victim's head and shoulders and setting it alight.
It can often take a victim more than 20 minutes to die in excruciating agony.
In the violent 1980s and 1990s, necklacing was a common sentence imposed by 'people's courts' on collaborators with the apartheid regime and criminals in South Africa.
It was frequently carried out in the name of the African National Congress and was alleged to have been endorsed by Nelson Mandela's then wife, Winnie. The ANC says it never condoned necklacing.
In 1986 Mrs Mandela, caused controversy when she stated: 'With our boxes of matches and our necklaces we shall liberate this country.'
The statement, which was widely seen as an implicit endorsement of necklacing, caused the ANC to briefly try to distance itself from her.
It is still used in certain, more lawless, parts of Africa, where corrupt police are no longer trusted, to punish thieves and rapists.
Incidents have been reported more recently in Haiti, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and India.
Brazilian drug lords are also known to have 'necklaced' their enemies, most notoriously the journalist Tim Lopes in 2002.
The website said it was unclear if the 2003 murder case was ever concluded as the court file was found to be empty during their investigations.
Crunching the budget deal numbers
◼ CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE
REPORT: Morsi’s wife outs Hillary Clinton
Qaffas: According to Anatolia Press, Mahmoud said, “I have between my fingers, a treasure trove of secrets from the White House and Mrs. Clinton fears my wrath.” She said, “I will not speak about Huma Abedin”. When asked if she had a close relationship with Hillary Clinton, Mahmoud said, “When my husband returns from his kidnapping, the one who led the coup will pay a hefty price.” Of Mrs. Clinton, she said, “We have a long friendship of many years. We lived in the U.S. and my children learned there. This friendship increased further when my husband became the legitimate president of the country.”
◼ Report: Hillary Clinton tied to Terrorism - Walid Shoebat and Ben Barrack
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Lie of the Year: ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it’ — PolitiFact
◼ The reaction from conservative talk shows was withering. On Nov. 11, Sean Hannity put Obama’s statements up there with President Richard Nixon’s "I am not a crook," and President Bill Clinton’s "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."
Boiling down the complicated health care law to a soundbite proved treacherous, even for its promoter-in-chief. Obama and his team made matters worse, suggesting they had been misunderstood all along. The stunning political uproar led to this: a rare presidential apology.
For all of these reasons, PolitiFact has named “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,” the Lie of the Year for 2013. Readers in a separate online poll overwhelmingly agreed with the choice.
◼ Left-Leaning PolitiFact Names Obama’s “If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Can Keep It” The 2013 “Lie of The Year” - Weasel Zippers
◼ Not even PolitiFact can overlook this year’s obvious ‘Lie of the Year’ - Twitchy
Congratulations .@BarackObama and Senate Democrats for winning @PolitiFact #LieOfTheYear. #ObamaCare pic.twitter.com/IXMYRJlg5q— NRSC (@NRSC) December 12, 2013
I feel like this is the first award Obama has truly deserved. #LieOfTheYear— Nathan Wurtzel (@NathanWurtzel) December 12, 2013
◼ Leftwing Hack Site PolitiFact Bends to Reality and Declares "If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan" as the Lie of the Year - ACE OF SPADES (the comments thread is not for the faint of heart)
The Budget Deal -- and Why We're $17 Trillion in Debt
The big budget deal announced this week breaks important promises congressional leaders have made to each other and the American people to cut spending and taxes. It is essentially a tax-and-spend plan, but is being hailed by the political and media establishment as a reasonable and modest accomplishment because it promises to do better in the future.
In their defense, Republicans are in a tough spot. They have two bad options. They can continue to capitulate and go along with the always happy to tax and spend liberals, or they can take a stand for the good of the country and watch the Democrats close the government, change the rules, or issue an executive order—and then listen to liberals and the media blame it all on Republicans. It’s a pattern that’s been developing for a long time. The Democrats know the Republicans are afraid to take a stand, so they keep pushing the “compromises” further to the left.
Many want to return to the “good old days” in Congress when everyone got along, compromised, and worked in a friendly bipartisan way. That’s how America got $17 trillion in debt. You can’t spend, borrow, and waste that much money without bipartisan cooperation....
◼ Crunching the budget deal numbers - Steve Eggleston/HotAir
Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office released its cost esimtate on the current bipartisan budget deal. The topline of a net $16 billion in direct “spending reductions” and $7 billion in brand-new revenues (read – taxes) in exchange for $62 billion in new discretionary spending versus the sequester this fiscal year and next seems impressive.
◼ Americans for Limited Government found a whole lot of DC Math in that... The Ryan budget fraud is even worse after you read it...
Issa Charges Sebelius With “Criminal Obstruction” of Obamacare Investigation
◼ link - next.gov
The dispute centers around a letter the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent to a contractor that worked on the online health insurance marketplace, directing it not to turn over correspondence and other documents to congressional investigators and stating CMS would manage any congressional inquiries.
That letter amounted to “criminal obstruction” of a congressional investigation,” according to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif.
“Obstructing a congressional investigation is a crime,” Issa said in a statement. “The federal obstruction laws reflect the fact that Congress’ right of access to information is constitutionally based and critical to the integrity and effectiveness of our oversight and investigative activities.”
HHS Spokeswoman Joanne Peters responded that the department is attempting to comply with Issa’s investigation while ensuring it doesn’t reveal any private consumer information or technology secrets.
Propaganda as News: Unions Paid MSNBC's Schultz $177,000 in 2012, $75,000 in 2013
A Department of Labor search shows that not only is liberal MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid for his TV show and radio show, but he is getting a hefty amount of money from labor unions. Schultz received at least $177,000 from labor unions in 2012; the average median income for an American family is around $44,000 a year.
Paul Ryan: A Firm Step Forward
When Senator Murray and I started these negotiations, we agreed on some ground rules. We knew if we tried to force each other to violate one of our core principles, we’d never get anywhere. I wasn’t going to raise taxes. She wasn’t going to change major entitlements.
Instead, we looked for common ground. There was some overlap between the budget she proposed in the Senate and the budget I proposed in the House. We knew we wouldn’t resolve all our differences. So we found some commonsense ideas both parties could support.
Here’s what we came up with: The Bipartisan Budget Act will provide $63 billion in sequester relief — split evenly between defense programs and other domestic priorities — in exchange for $85 billion in savings elsewhere in the budget. In other words, this bill will reduce the deficit by an additional $23 billion, without raising taxes. And most important, it will cut spending in a smarter way.
How do we cut spending? First, we eliminate waste. We stop paying Medicaid bills that dead-beat dads should cover. That alone is a $1.4 billion cut. We stop sending unemployment checks to criminals. And we stop sending government checks to dead people. There’s no reason to tolerate fraud....
John Boehner: Over at National Review, Paul Ryan notes the House-Senate budget agreement "will reduce the deficit by $23 billion. It won't raise taxes. And it will cut spending in a smarter way. It doesn't go as far as I'd like. But it's a firm step in the right direction."
He's right. This agreement keeps in tact the strict spending caps at the heart of the Budget Control Act, while replacing one-time spending cuts with permanent reforms that produce real, lasting savings.
◼ Conservatives: We’re ‘under attack’ on Hill - Politico
◼ This Liberal and This Conservative Think the Ryan-Murray Budget Plan Is a Raw Deal for Americans - Heritage
HHS Awards Another $58M for Obamacare "Navigators"
◼ White House Works to Draw Younger Users. Sebelius says social media, celebrities will help get out the message - Wall St. Journal
◼ New Obamacare taxes hike cost of children's braces, prescription eyeglasses - MarketWatch
◼ REPORT: Taxpayers Shell Out $14,000 per 'Enrollee' - $5.2 billion for just 364,682 “enrollees” - ATR
In her testimony before Congress today, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius provided an updated dollar amount for the cost of HealthCare.gov: $677 million. In addition to the $677 million spent on the federal Obamacare website, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has shoveled $4.5 billion of taxpayer money to promote Obamacare on the state level.◼ Admin. continues to manipulate, bury real statistics - Wall St. Journal
Most of Washington seems to have bought the White House claim that the 36 federal exchanges are finally working, and glory, glory, hallelujah. But if that's really true, then what explains the ongoing secrecy and evasion?
The rich do not pay the most taxes, they pay ALL the taxes
Buried inside a Congressional Budget Office report this week was this nugget: when it comes to individual income taxes, the top 40 percent of wage earners in America pay 106 percent of the taxes. The bottom 40 percent...pay negative 9 percent.
You read that right. One group is paying more than 100 percent of individual income taxes, the other is paying less than zero.
‘Remember me?’ Obama mascot Julia joins ranks of those screwed over by O-care [pics]
Remember me?Julia?My life is different than originally portrayed.This is the REAL #LifeofJulia http://t.co/wXr7uPPl9c pic.twitter.com/voVKVbjvbo— REAL Life of Julia (@RealLifeOfJulia) December 11, 2013
◼ It seems like only yesterday that we were introduced to Julia, the creepily faceless face of government dependency. - Twitchy
She thought she had it all, thanks to the shining promise of cradle-to-grave coddling. Unfortunately, poor Julia flew a little too close to the sun on the wings of the government.
She recently turned 26, which means that as far as Obamacare is concerned, she’s on her own. The conservative Independent Women’s Voice, which is responsible for MyCancellation.com, is helping the older, wiser Julia to share her story...
.@RealLifeOfJulia @MyCancellation <-- I want EVERYONE I KNOW to see this— Prairie Stig (@CodeandSnark) December 11, 2013
I just celebrated my 26th #birthday! You know what that means? Under #ObamaCare I'm now on my own and can't be on mom & dads plan #growingup— REAL Life of Julia (@RealLifeOfJulia) December 11, 2013
In 2012 someone in DC told my story that doesn't jibe with reality. So to catch you up to speed I've started a blog ✓ http://t.co/lRwaEZmR4c— REAL Life of Julia (@RealLifeOfJulia) December 11, 2013
Like all folks submitting letters & pictures to @MyCancellation.. #MyHealthPlanDied too. I liked it & could afford it pic.twitter.com/Ejm1EDtRbV— REAL Life of Julia (@RealLifeOfJulia) December 11, 2013
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
POPE NAMED TIME'S 'PERSON OF YEAR'
◼ With a focus on compassion, the leader of the Catholic Church has become a new voice of conscience. Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs explains why Francis is TIME's choice for Person of the Year 2013 - TIME
...These days it is bracing to hear a leader say anything that annoys anyone. Now liberals and conservatives alike face a choice as they listen to a new voice of conscience: Which matters more, that this charismatic leader is saying things they think need to be said or that he is also saying things they’d rather not hear?
The heart is a strong muscle; he’s proposing a rigorous exercise plan. And in a very short time, a vast, global, ecumenical audience has shown a hunger to follow him. For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world’s largest church to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is TIME’s 2013 Person of the Year.
◼ SNOWDEN RUNNER-UP... - TIME
◼ TED CRUZ, RUNNER UP - TIME
◼ Pope Francis beats out Edward Snowden and twerking Miley Cyrus to be named Time's 2013 Person of the Year - JAMES NYE/Daily Mail
Professional groups aren´t spearheading California´s doctor rebellion against Obamacare
As the Washington Examiner has reported in recent days, an estimated 70 percent of California´s physicians -- ranging from general practitioners to specialists -- are "just saying no" to Obamacare´s Covered California health insurance exchange.
Although it appears leaderless, some observers believe that very spontaneity may make the doctor rebellion a formidable force in California’s health-care future.
“Doctors are realizing what is happening and spontaneously they are acting like this. There’s a movement growing,” said Sally Pipes, president of the San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute and an Obamacare critic.
Pipes said an insurrection without leadership sometimes is the most lethal kind to force change.
“It’s not like having someone at the head to say ‘You have to do this, you have to do that.’ This is much much more powerful, in that doctors individually are coming to this realization, and are not by being told,” Pipes said.
GOP SPLIT ON BUDGET DEAL
Rand Paul: 'Shameful'...
Cruz: 'Deeply Concerning'...
REPORT: McConnell to vote against...
Analysis: Majority of sequester replacement comes from new revenue...
STOCKMAN: BUDGET BETRAYAL, FINAL SURRENDER
BOEHNER GOES OFF ON RIGHT...
'This Is Ridiculous!'...
Longtime GOP staffer sacked for leaking...
◼ A Least Bad Budget Deal - Wall Street Journal Editorial
◼ Republican establishment bites back - Yahoo News
◼ Ryan budget deal gets positive review at closed-door Republican conference - The Hill
Yet despite Ryan’s imprimatur, the deal faced opposition from a sizable chunk of the most hardcore conservatives, who criticized the agreement at an event shortly after the GOP meeting.
“I think it is terrible plan,” Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) said. “It makes promises to the American people that are false. Today the Democrats realized they were right all along, that we would never hold the line on the sequester.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), former chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said the agreement violated the agreement struck in January between Boehner and the conservatives, which followed a fiscal cliff deal that deeply divided the party.
“I would argue that this agreement, while it has some positives, is a marked departure from what we all agreed,” he said. “It is not going to put us on the path to balance.”
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said he could not swallow any deal that promises future cuts for near-term spending increases.
But a few members were more positive at the monthly Conversations with Conservatives event.
Rep. Vicki Hartlzer (R-Mo.) said she was leaning yes.
“It replaces sequester cuts to our national defense without raising taxes,” she said.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), who is spearheading opposition to the bill conceded that it will likely get a majority of House Republicans behind it.
"I think it probably will," he said. "This was not a bill designed to get our support...it was designed to get the support of defense hawks and appropriators and Democrats."
◼ Budget Deal Hits Military Retirees with Pension Cuts, Federal Retirees Untouched - Washington Free Beacon
More secret talks with Dictators
...“There has been a string of emissaries, both private citizens and Latin American leaders, who have begun to nudge Obama forward on engaging in talks with Cuba and also carrying a message from Castro that he’s willing to talk,” said Steve Clemons, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation who has exceptionally close ties to the Obama White House and accompanied Vice President Biden on his recent tour of East Asia.
But despite these private signals and messages, the relationship may not be ready for a thaw....
◼ Obama's Handshake With Castro A Deal With The Devil - IBD Editorial
Tom Del Beccaro MSNBC Update:
2. I later offered to come on for a REAL STORY, i.e. 70% of CA doctors boycotting ObamaCare. They have so far declined.
All those shocked, please form a line on the head of a pin.
Community has become the opposite of individualism. It has come to mean the conformity of identity groups and unelected activists who mandate the behavior of entire identity groups. The virtual community is not a legal entity. It holds no elections or referendums. Its leadership is chosen for it from outside.
Liberal Newspeak is the hybrid product of advertising, academia and bureaucracy. It takes ideas from creative leftists, rinses them in conformity, uses techniques from the ad world to make them as safe as possible and then shoves them down everyone's throat....
Liberal Newspeak is concerned with making people safe while telling them absolutely nothing. It's a new language that conveys reassurance rather than meaning. Its totem words are almost pre-verbal in that they mean nothing except "You are safe" and "We are taking care of you."
That is what gibberish like, "We are improving access options for all community interest groups" or "We are striving to innovate while listening to everyone's concerns" means. Daily life has become filled with meaningless pats on the head like that, which dedicated liberal newspeakers spew up like newborns. This empty babble says nothing. It's the hum of the beehive. The signal that keeps all the drones headed in the same direction....
While the implications of Liberal Newspeak are ominous, its tones aren't. It deliberately embraces the feminine side of language. It strives to be comforting, nurturing and soothing. It never tells you anything directly. Instead it makes you read everything between the lines. It rarely answers questions. Instead its answers indirectly explain to you why you shouldn't even be asking the questions.
Half of Uninsured Say Health Law Is Bad Idea
The law’s success depends on a balance of old, sick individuals and young, healthy ones. Should the people who are currently uninsured because they rarely require treatment not enroll in the new health care exchanges, insurers will be left with older, sicker patients who will drive up costs....
Some 42% of the uninsured said the health care law will have a negative impact on themselves and their families, compared to about a third who said the same in September. But the number of uninsured who think the law will have a positive impact has risen, too, from 12% in September to 16% this month. About four in one uninsured Americans said the law will not affect them, compared to half who said the same in September.
Oregon signs up just 44 people for Obamacare despite spending $300 million
The state’s exchange had the fewest sign-ups in the nation, according to a new report today by the Department of Health and Human Services.
...Oregon is a Democratic state that embraced Obamacare early and enthusiastically. Its outreach effort, which included a folk-style music video featuring a singer playing an acoustic guitar against a colorful and scenic backdrop, had been praised among the law's supporters.
And the more than $300 million in federal grant money the state received to build and promote its exchange topped all but two other states - the much more populous New York and California.
◼ Oregon, Population: 3.899 million (2012)
◼ South Carolina Is About To Pass A Law Outlawing Obamacare In the State - John Hawkins/RWN
◼ Connecticut Insurance Exchange Spends $75K on Murals... - National Review
◼ Missouri School District Hit With $150,000 Bill for Obamacare... - Weekly Standard
◼ POLL: 4 in 10 would rather pay fine than buy insurance... - FOX DC
Euphoria of Obamacare becomes nightmare of higher premiums and deductibles
...on signing day 2010, it was all cheering. As the audience applauded, Obama promised the new law would "lower costs for families and for businesses." He cited the case of Natoma Canfield, an Ohio woman whose story he often told during the health care fight. Canfield, divorced and 50 years old, had had cancer but was still able to find what she called "costly, but affordable" coverage on the individual market. Then her insurance company abruptly raised her premium.
"Natoma had to give up her health coverage after her rates were jacked up by more than 40 percent," Obama said.
Now, because of Obamacare, millions of Americans in the individual market, most of whom have not had a major health crisis, are facing abrupt increases of more than 40 percent in their health insurance premiums. On top of that, they are finding deductibles rising far beyond those that troubled Canfield. (In a 2009 letter to the president, Canfield complained of having a $2,500 deductible; on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that under Obamacare "the average individual deductible for what is called a bronze plan on the exchange — the lowest-priced coverage — is $5,081 a year.")
Even the president's personal observations on signing day were not what they appeared. "I'm signing this reform bill into law on behalf of my mother," Obama told the audience, "who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days." Obama often cited his mother's story, suggesting that she had to fight to have her treatment covered. But a year after the signing ceremony, a 2011 biography of Stanley Ann Dunham revealed she had health coverage that covered the costs of her cancer treatment. Her argument was over a disability policy, which she wanted to pay her living -- not medical -- expenses. Obama never said that....
Please Pray for Me… I Am Losing My Insurance
◼ A STORY OF LOST INSURANCE THAT HITS CLOSE TO HOME - John Hayward/Human Events @Doc_o
6-Year old boy suspended for kissing girl on cheek.
◼ When do we finally stop the harassment of little boys by school administrators? - Le-gal In-sur-rec-
...Little children are being punished with suspensions, expulsions, and permanent damage to school records based on standards of conduct carried into elementary schools from the adult world. Typically, but not exclusively, the insanity is directed at little boys for alleged violation of zero tolerance gun and sexual harassment policies....
◼ (A child psychologist said) “That really gives mixed messages, negative messages to the kids,” she said. "This part of development is just as important if not more than their academic subjects." - KRDO
◼ #WaronBoys – the pathologizing of normal boy behavior continues - Protein Wisdom
◼ Free Hunter Yelton - James Taranto/Wall Street Journal
Hunter Yelton of Cañon City, Colo., is accused of sexual harassment. Hunter Yelton is 6 years old and in the first grade. "He has a crush on a girl at school, who likes him back," reports Colorado Springs´ KRDO-TV. "It may sound innocent enough," the station intones. But in Barack Obama´s America, even a small boy can become a sexual suspect. "It was during class yeah," Hunter tells the station. "We were doing reading group and I leaned over and kissed her on the hand. That´s what happened."
...Clearly buffoons are in charge of the school and the district, but what does that have to do with Obama? The answer is that these buffoons are following orders from Washington.
In April 2011 Russlynn Ali, then assistant education secretary for civil rights, issued a directive in which she threatened to withhold federal money from any educational institution that failed to take a hard enough line against sexual misconduct to ensure "that all students feel safe in their school." The directive's preamble declared: "The sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with students' right to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of sexual violence, is a crime."
◼ GOOD NEWS: 6-YEAR-OLD BOY WHO KISSED LITTLE GIRL’S HAND WON’T BE PUNISHED FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT - John Hayward/Human Events @Doc_o
Fortunately, after a “tidal wave of negative publicity,” CNN reports that Hunter Yelton will get to have an education after all:
On Wednesday night, CNN affiliate KRDO reported that Canon City Schools Superintendent Robin Gooldy met with Hunter’s parents. The superintendent then changed Hunter’s disciplinary offense from “sexual harassment” to “misconduct.”
“Senator Cruz very much hopes that Castro learns the lessons of Nelson Mandela... For decades, Castro has wrongly imprisoned and tortured countless innocents. Just as Mandela was released after 27 years in prison, Castro should finally release his political prisoners; he should hold free elections, and once and for all set the Cuban people free.”
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
They will pick Pope Francis.
...Picking Pope Francis also allows Time to claim Serious You Guys We're Not Anti-Religion n Stuff.
Of course the reason they would entertain picking Pope Francis (and not Pope Benedict) is that they are anti-religious. I don't mean Pope Francis isn't religious. I mean Time's interest in Pope Francis is entirely political -- they seem him as an ally in their unending political fight with the Right.
Not saying he is that -- I'm saying how that's how the left perceives him. A Polite Company Pontiff, so to speak....
Poll: Democrats are losing their grip on Colorado
The recalls of two Democratic State Senators in September weren’t an anomaly when it comes to how Colorado voters are feeling about the state legislature. Republicans lead the statewide generic legislative ballot by a 47/42 margin, including a 41/30 advantage with independents. Those numbers are perhaps also indicative of how much trouble Democrats would be in at the top of the ticket next year if the GOP candidate fields were a little bit stronger.The same poll finds Hillary Clinton trailing Republicans Chris Christie and Rand Paul in 2016 matchups. The Democrats’ strength in the state is social issues, specifically gay marriage and raising the minimum wage. They can be expected to focus on those and run away from Obamacare and gun control.
◼ Colorado Miscellany - PPP
AWFUL! Obama Administration Admits Iran Will Get $20 Billion from Sanctions Relief – Not $7 Billion
...according to the Israeli version, the Americans now concede in their talks with Israel that the sanctions relief are worth much more. According to the security sources: “Economics is a matter of expectations. The Iranian stock exchange is already rising significantly and many countries are standing in line to renew economic ties with Iran based on what was already agreed in Geneva.” The sources mentioned China’s desire to renew contracts worth some $9 billion to develop the Iranian oil industry and the interest some German companies are showing for deals with Tehran. “In any case, it’s about 20 or 25 billion dollars. Even the Americans understand this.”
Obama's tanking approval rate pulls down Democrats, Quinnipiac poll finds
“A rousing chorus of Bah! Humbug! for President Barack Obama as American voters head into the holidays with little charitable to say about the president,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said.
This dissatisfaction with the president’s job performance is also reflecting on congressional Democrats, many of whom are up for re-election next year.
For the first time this year the majority of voters, 41 percent, said they would vote for a Republican over a Democrat for the House of Representatives. A 47 percent majority of voters also said they would like to see Republicans take control of both the House and the Senate in 2014.
“President Obama could be pretty lonely during his last two years in office if voters decide they want Republican majorities in the House and Senate,” Malloy said.
◼ Quinnipiac: Obama's Job Approval Drops to Fresh Low - Ace Of Spades
38%, with 57% (!!!) disapproving. Among Independents, he's at... 30%.
On to the personal ratings:
President Obama is not honest and trustworthy, American voters say 52 - 44 percent and is not a strong leader, voters say 51 - 47 percent. Voters are divided 48 - 49 percent on whether Obama cares about their needs and problems.◼ Whoa, MSNBC Probably Didn't Anticipate This Focus Group's Description Of Barack Obama - Michael Miller/IJ Review
Monday, December 9, 2013
(T)he world of surveillance operated by the people we pay to guard us exceeds the fevered dreams of the Stasi.
One of the writers who signed a letter demanding an international bill of digital rights, says 'our masters are in the grip of a delusionary nightmare'
...It is no light matter to put in jeopardy a single life when it is the very singularity of each life which underpins the idea of a just society. But it appears to me that our masters are in the grip of the delusionary nightmare of completeness: the complete annihilation of every rogue bacillus. It's as if there is a belief that in the end the virus has no riposte, that there cannot be and will not be a means to evade blanket security if it is blanket enough.
What is the society we wish to protect? Is it the society of complete surveillance for the commonwealth? Is this the wealth we seek to have in common - optimal security at the cost of maximal surveillance? Not that anybody asked us. It takes a brave newspaper to have forced the question into the open
Snowden does it again: Spies Infiltrate a Fantasy Realm of Online Games
◼ NSA and GCHQ collect gamers' chats and deploy real-life agents into World of Warcraft and Second Life - James Ball/The Guardian vis Drudge
To the National Security Agency analyst writing a briefing to his superiors, the situation was clear: their current surveillance efforts were lacking something. The agency's impressive arsenal of cable taps and sophisticated hacking attacks was not enough. What it really needed was a horde of undercover Orcs.
That vision of spycraft sparked a concerted drive by the NSA and its UK sister agency GCHQ to infiltrate the massive communities playing online games, according to secret documents disclosed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The files were obtained by the Guardian and are being published on Monday in partnership with the New York Times and ProPublica.
The agencies, the documents show, have built mass-collection capabilities against the Xbox Live console network, which has more than 48 million players. Real-life agents have been deployed into virtual realms, from those Orc hordes in World of Warcraft to the human avatars of Second Life. There were attempts, too, to recruit potential informants from the games' tech-friendly users....
If properly exploited, games could produce vast amounts of intelligence, according to the NSA document. They could be used as a window for hacking attacks, to build pictures of people's social networks through "buddylists and interaction", to make approaches by undercover agents, and to obtain target identifiers (such as profile photos), geolocation, and collection of communications....
The California-based producer of World of Warcraft said neither the NSA nor GCHQ had sought its permission to gather intelligence inside the game. "We are unaware of any surveillance taking place," said a spokesman for Blizzard Entertainment. "If it was, it would have been done without our knowledge or permission."
◼ NSA files: games and virtual environments paper
NSA document, written in 2008 and titled Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments - The Guardian
◼ Spies Infiltrate a Fantasy Realm of Online Games - New York Times
◼ World of Spycraft: NSA and CIA Spied in Online Games - Pro Publica
This story has been reported in partnership between The New York Times, the Guardian and ProPublica based on documents obtained by The Guardian.
A 'performance artist' in San Francisco pretended to be a Google employee and shouted insulting language at protesters. Check out who the dude really is...
◼ VIDEO: Why You Gotta Lie, Unions? 'Google Employee' Angrily Yelling At Protesters Actually A Plant - Soopermexican/IJ Review
Unions must be getting very desperate for attention. We’ve already seen the video where a union member admits to being paid to protest, but now there’s video of a completely staged angry argument at the protest line!
The Union Guardian posted the video above of a supposed Google employee angrily yelling at people protesting “gentrification” from the search engine giant, which manages private buses to get their employees to and from work....
But it turned out to be completely false after sharp-eyed social media users identified the man as Max Alper, a Union organizer from Oakland.
New Peter Shih is actually Max Bell Alper. A 'union organizer' plant. Compare pic with video: http://t.co/9RLVL46rJ0 pic.twitter.com/UCNcmaXCMl— Ben Volberding (@CzarVolberding) December 9, 2013
After being caught lying and deceiving the public, these idiots actually claim it was just “impromptu performance art”! How is it that Max looks cleaned up and perfectly fits the mold of Google employee, when in his other pictures he looks like the typical dope-smoking, unbathed, sweaty, mouth-breathing hippy?
They didn’t even let the protesters know they were going to be abused verbally by this so-called “performance artist” and they’re kinda not happy about it!
◼ ‘POLITICAL THEATER’: ‘GOOGLE’ UNION PLANT EXPLAINS HIS MOTIVES - The Blaze
The San Francisco Bay Guardian was the first outlet to incorrectly identify Alper as being a Google employee, starting of a viral chain reaction. The news outlet was quick to correct itself once it became known that Alper was a union activist and not an employee of the tech giant.
◼ "Why'd you do it?" we ask Fake Google employee, Max Bell Alper - The San Francisco Bay Guardian
Alper came to the protest in a backpack and dressed in a button down shirt, which some readers via Twitter and comments rightly pointed out may have been his "tech costume," suggesting he planned the theater beforehand. Indeed, his performance was impeccable, mirroring snarky and shallow comments made by tech luminaries like Peter Shih just a few months ago.
The Guardian noted this, asking him how he came to show up in near perfect costume for his tech theater. "This is what I wear everyday," he said.
Here's another case:
◼ From Zombie at PJ Media: I rarely report on spoken words or conversations which I can’t document with an accompanying video, but in this case I’ll make an exception. As I was standing next to this guy, I overheard him say the following sentence: “I spent a year following Romney around, writing libelous articles about him and Photoshopping pictures to make him look like an idiot.” You ever wonder what hardcore political “operatives” look like? Behold.
Frank Jager recommends Chet Albin for Eureka City Council's 5th ward seat
◼ Mayor Jäger recommends Chet Albin for 5th ward. - John Chiv/Words Worth
The following is the press release from the city of Eureka:
Mayor Frank Jäger announced today that he is recommending Chet Albin for appointment to the Eureka City Council, Fifthth Ward. The appointment will be agendized on the Dec. 17 council meeting for approval by council.
Three Eureka citizens of the Fifth Ward submitted their names to Mayor Jäger for the vacancy created by Councilmember Lance Madsen of the Fifth Ward. A five member sub-committee consisting of Mike Jones, Polly Endert, Neal Latt, Lorene Dunnaway and John Fullerton interviewed each of the applicants and made their recommendation to Mayor Jäger. The three qualified applicants were Chet Albin, Leslie Lolich and Barry Smith who all live within the Fifth Ward. Mr. Albin was ranked as the number one candidate by four of the five sub-committee members.
Chet Albin has been a Eureka resident since 1985 and is a lifelong resident of Humboldt County. He has served on many local organizations including Fortuna Rotary, CASA, Humboldt Independent Insurance Agents Association, Six Rivers Basketball Referees Association, Eureka Hosing Advisory Board, Eureka Parking Place Commission and is currently a member of the Eureka Planning Commission.
Mayor Jäger would like to thank all of the applicants who came forward to apply for the vacancy and volunteer to serve the City of Eureka. Special thanks to the committee for giving up an evening of their time to assist in the process. Mayor Jäger stated, “It was a very tough decision as each of the applicants was very qualified and would do a great job for Eureka. At the end of the day, I relied on the recommendation of the five member committee and their insight into the candidates along with input from Councilmember Lance Madsen.”
◼ With a Two-Carpetbagger Council Nigh, Isn’t it Time for Eureka To Scrap Its Ludicrous Electoral System? - Hank Sims/Lost Coast Outpost
◼ Meet Your Next Eureka Councilmember via Facebook, Vol. 1 - Ryan Burns/North Coast Journal
◼ Chet Albin Will Be Eureka's Next Councilmember - Ryan Burns/North Coast Journal
Looks like Eureka's next councilmember will be the ward-hopping, party-switching, Tea Party-liking, Fox News-watching "Democrat" Chet Albin, who is set to replace ailing 5th Ward representative Lance Madsen.
Why is Ted Cruz the only U.S. senator attending Mandela memorial?
From the United States Congress, House Speaker John Boehner appointed a 23-member delegation, led by Illinois Republican Rep. Aaron Schock and dominated by members of the Congressional Black Caucus, all Democrats. Their plane departed early Monday morning.
But what about the U.S. Senate? Senators could have joined the representatives on the congressional plane. But exactly one -- one -- senator will be at the Mandela memorial: Texas Republican Ted Cruz. No member of the majority Democratic or minority Republican leadership will attend. And not the Senate's only black Democrat, Cory Booker, or the Senate's only black Republican, Tim Scott....
Says a spokesman: "Sen. Cruz believes that once-in-a-generation historical leaders, whatever their strengths/weaknesses, who accomplish extraordinary things, should be recognized and celebrated. And he personally wants to be part of demonstrating the recognition in American of the transforming power of the end of apartheid."
The Legacy Chase
Legacies as a concept are deeply embedded in our legal system. A person with assets writes a will designating which ones will go to which relative, friend, charity, or others.
Not long ago some imaginative news media person decided to call the in-office record of elected officials “legacies.” In monkey-see-monkey-do fashion, the notion was being repeated by reporter after reporter.
The distinction between a legacy of assets and an ephemeral one such as a politician’s record has been lost among the media. A legacy is a gift; thus, the politician is bestowing his policy or legislative gift on his grateful recipients. Or, shall we say, his loyal subjects?
Nowadays, politicians thirst after “legacies” to leave behind. Two examples: Barack Obama and California Governor Jerry Brown.
Mr. Obama was determined to remake the entire system of health care that would ultimately force all Americans into federal single-payer plans. He labored mightily to get the Affordable Care Act passed and did, with only Democrat votes. There was no meaningful consultation with Republicans, since Obama considered them unworthy to discuss the issue.
Obama then crossed the country doing what he most likes to do: giving campaign speeches to sell Obamacare to the public. After three years and several million dollars, its vaunted website was expected to begin signing up a large number of Americans when it rolled out in October. It was a dud and only a relative handful signed up. Never popular in polls, Obamacare now has growing numbers of people opposed to it, especially after four million people have had their private policies canceled.
Assuming the website is fixed at some point, criticism of Obamacare is so wide and deep that Obama is now sitting on a “legacy” that he will wish he didn’t have.
In California, Jerry Brown, in his first iteration as Governor in the mid-1970s, granted public employee unions the right to collective bargaining. This led to a steady growth in pensions and health care benefits demanded by the unions which through large war chests contributed to Democrat legislators to get their way.
By 2010, when Brown defeated Meg Whitman to return to Sacramento, overly-generous pensions were a major driver of the state’s huge deficits. Brown could have persuaded the unions to swallow hard and accept pensions reform, but he did not. Instead, he nibbled around the edges and moved on to what he decided would be his “legacy,” the yesteryear idea of a high-speed train from Northern to Southern California.
Brown, rail buffs, and construction unions sold voters on a starter bond issue to build that first miles of rail in the Central Valley, between two cities. There was, however, a clinker in the ballot issue. It promised the sources for all funds for the $68 billion project would be identified before it could be built. Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny ruled last week that only $6 billion has been identified and that all the rest is “theoretical.” Unless the high-speed rail organization can satisfy that requirement, the project may be dead. Some legacy: 130 miles of railroad track from nowhere to nowhere.
Ronald Reagan put the legacy business in perspective in 1992 when he said, “Whatever else history may say about me when I’m gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence rather than your doubts. My dream is that you will travel the road ahead with liberty’s lamp guiding your steps and opportunity’s arm steadying your way.” He’d leave the rest to public opinion and historians. He’s done pretty well by them.
Peter Hannaford was closely associated with the late President Reagan for a number of years. His latest book is ◼ “Presidential Retreats.”
Report: Spike In U.S. Battlefield Deaths In Afghanistan Tied To Insanely Strict Rules of Engagement…
Consumers Shocked By 'Really High' Obamacare Deductibles, One Called Them 'So High… That It Defeats The Purpose Of Having Insurance'
"…many people with modest incomes are encountering a troubling element of the federal health law: deductibles so steep they may not be able to afford the portion of medical expenses that insurance doesn't cover." ◼ ("High Deductibles Fuel New Worries Of Health-Law Sticker Shock," The Wall Street Journal, 12/8/13)
"…as consumers dig into the details, they are finding that the deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs are often much higher than what is typical in employer-sponsored health plans." ◼ ("On Health Exchanges, Premiums May Be Low, But Other Costs Can Be High," The New York Times, 12/9/13)
"The average individual deductible for what is called a bronze plan on the exchange—the lowest-priced coverage—is $5,081 a year… That is 42% higher than the average deductible of $3,589 for an individually purchased plan in 2013 before much of the federal law took effect, according to HealthPocket Inc., a company that compares health-insurance plans for consumers." ◼ ("High Deductibles Fuel New Worries Of Health-Law Sticker Shock," The Wall Street Journal, 12/8/13)
For typical TX couple 'annual deductible is more than $12,000' "In El Paso, Tex., for example, for a husband and wife both age 35, one of the cheapest plans on the federal exchange, offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield, has a premium less than $300 a month, but the annual deductible is more than $12,000." ("On Health Exchanges, Premiums May Be Low, But Other Costs Can Be High," The New York Times, 12/9/13)
For typical MI couple 'a deductible of $10,000' "For a 45-year-old couple seeking insurance on the federal exchange in Saginaw, Mich., a policy with a premium of $515 a month has a deductible of $10,000." ◼ ("On Health Exchanges, Premiums May Be Low, But Other Costs Can Be High," The New York Times, 12/9/13)
Deductibles 'So High … That It Defeats The Purpose Of Having Insurance'
KY Couple: 'We do know for certain that our deductible will raise from $5,000.00 annually to $8,500.00' "We are covered under my husband's policy through his employer. We have not found out exactly how much the premium is going to rise but have been told to expect between 150% to 300% increase per paycheck. We do know for certain that our deductible will raise from $5,000.00 annually to $8,500.00." (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail, 11/19/13)
ID Man: 'the deductibles were so high — $4,000 to $6,000 a year — that it defeats the purpose of having insurance' "Mark A. York, a 60-year-old freelance writer in Hailey, Idaho, said he began shopping after he received a letter saying that his current insurance policy would be canceled because it did not meet the requirements of the health care law. In the exchange, he said, he found policies with premiums similar to what he is now paying, $440 a month, but 'the deductibles were so high — $4,000 to $6,000 a year — that it defeats the purpose of having insurance.'" ◼ ("On Health Exchanges, Premiums May Be Low, But Other Costs Can Be High," The New York Times, 12/9/13)
CA Woman: Deductible is 'nearly double' "'However you look at it, the son of a gun lied to us,' said Janette Ramsey, a Bakersfield business owner with a weekend home in Ventura. She's losing her current coverage and expects to pay $50 more a month for a policy with nearly double the deductible." ("Many In Middle Class Say They're Squeezed By Health Reform," Ventura County Star [CA], 12/7/13)
TX Man: 'had paid an annual $10,000 deductible before 2012. Now he pays double' "Policies bought before the law was passed were 'grandfathered in' and can remain in place, she said. But that apparently doesn't lock in the cost of premiums or deductibles, said Robert Kecseg, an investment adviser in Lewisville. Kecseg, 61, said he bought a plan before Obamacare took effect. But the insurer that provided the coverage went out of business. When he went to buy new insurance, he found that the cost was much higher. He had paid an annual $10,000 deductible before 2012. Now he pays double. 'It's pretty spectacular,' he said." ◼ ("Obamacare Stirs Anxiety For Thousands With Canceled Policies," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 11/23/13)
VA Man: 'the deductibles are way higher, $5,000 or $6,000' "Brian H. Snoddy, 35, of Palmyra, Va., said his wife and two children had a policy with a $330 premium and a $2,500 deductible, but it is being canceled. For new plans with comparable coverage on the federal exchange, he said, 'the deductibles are way higher, $5,000 or $6,000.'" ◼ ("On Health Exchanges, Premiums May Be Low, But Other Costs Can Be High," The New York Times, 12/9/13)
MI Family: 'the couple's deductible will jump to $6,000 each instead of $4,000 combined' "Kalamazoo residents Mary Swanson and her husband are among the reported 225,000 Michiganders who received cancellation letters from their insurers because their plans did not meet the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act. The Prudential Preferred Realtor, whose husband owns a construction business, said they currently pay $925 a month… She has been quoted between $1,300 and $1,500 a month for coverage, she said, and the couple's deductible will jump to $6,000 each instead of $4,000 combined. As a result, in 2014 they would need to budget $26,000 a year for health-care, Swanson said." ◼ ("Obamacare's Impact On Kalamazoo Residents: 'We're In The Worst Spot We Could Be,'" Kalamazoo Gazette, 11/23/13)
CA Man: A $5,000 deductible 'sounds really high' "In Santa Cruz, Calif., where the exchange is run by the state, Robert Aaron, a self-employed 56-year-old engineer, said he was looking for a low-cost plan. The best one he could find had a premium of $488 a month. But the annual deductible was $5,000, and that, he said, 'sounds really high.'" ◼ ("On Health Exchanges, Premiums May Be Low, But Other Costs Can Be High," The New York Times, 12/9/13)
NC Businessman: 'deductible is increasing by $1,000' Anchor: 'One local business owner told us he is suffering from sticker shock after watching his premiums skyrocket.' … Reporter: '…their health care premium is tripling from $311 a month to $963. He says the letter from his provider also said his deductible is increasing by $1,000.' … Tony Hyatt: 'I really am concerned that the way things are going that the quality of healthcare will go down.' ◼ (WSOC-NC, 11/18/13)
WA Small Business: 'There was one point when we had a $100 deductible. Now, it's $3,000' "She and her husband own A&C Mechanical in Wenatchee, a small business that has struggles every year with the rising cost of health insurance. 'It's literally getting to the point where it's unaffordable, and Obamacare does nothing to help that,' she said. 'There was one point when we had a $100 deductible. Now, it's $3,000.'" ◼ ("Experiences Finding Health Plans Range From Frustration To Elation," The Wenatchee World [WA], 11/23/13)
KY Woman: 'My deductible has doubled along with my premiums. ... This is hardly affordable health care' "I am deeply upset because of the effect this health care act has had on our family's health insurance. It has negatively impacted our finances and our quality of care. The President promised that if you had health care, you would not be impacted. The sad truth is that like my co-workers, my deductible has doubled along with my premiums. The only way to be able to adjust, is for us to either reduce or stop our 401K contributions. This is hardly affordable health care." (Sen. McConnell, Constituent Mail, 11/7/13)
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH): 'My co-pays and deductibles triple under Obamacare' "'My health insurance premiums are going to double,' the Ohio Republican said at his weekly news conference. 'My co-pays and deductibles triple under Obamacare. I'm thrilled to death, as you can tell.'" ◼ ("Boehner: It Took Me 3 To 4 Hours To Sign Up For Obamacare," The Washington Times, 12/5/13)
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX): Deductible will triple "Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said he tried for six hours to sign up for Obamacare on Oct. 1 - the first day that the exchanges opened for business - without success. As of Friday, he had not yet enrolled, but a spokeswoman said the options Brady and his wife had found will double their premiums and triple their deductible." ◼ ("Members' Obamacare Sign-Up Headaches," Politico, 12/8/13)
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