Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Today's news

ObamaCare Exchanges: One Big Headache
Excerpt: Purchasing health insurance can be a frustrating experience for people trying to buy coverage on their own. Benefits, cost-sharing requirements (including deductibles and copayments), access to specific doctors and other health care providers, and premiums all vary, making comparisons difficult. … Regardless of who runs the exchanges (the states or the federal government), they will all have problems getting up and running. Establishing an insurance exchange is "highly complex . . . unprecedented and it's not going to be smooth," according to Kevin Counihan, chief executive of Connecticut's health exchange who helped implement Massachusetts's health reform. "This is a two- to three-year implementation we're doing in 10 months."

Excerpt: Conservative critics of fiscal stimulus often point out that the extra dollars must come from somewhere.3 If the government borrows funds to boost spending, then interest rates might rise, which would crowd out private investment expenditures on consumer durables, new homes, and business ventures. Although crowding out can reduce the effectiveness of fiscal stimulus, Keynesians correctly note that when interest rates are zero, it is unlikely that additional government borrowing will be fully offset by declining private investment, especially if the central bank holds rates close to zero.4

'Cyprus II' in Italy - it begins: Monte Paschi "bails in" bondholders, halts $650m in coupon payments
Excerpt: Today, as many expected on the day following the German elections, the dominos are finally starting to wobble, and as we predicted, Monte Paschi, Italy's oldest and according to many, most insolvent bank, quietly commenced a bondholder "bail in" after it said that it suspended interest payments on three hybrid notes following demands by European authorities that bondholders contribute to the restructuring of the bailed out Italian lender. (The term bail-in simply means 'reverse bank robbery.' Remember when the bank robbers burst in from the OUTSIDE, stole the money and left chased by cop cars with sirens wailing? In the New Normal, the richest men in the world simply steal from bondholders, depositors and anyone else with deep pockets stupid enough to invest or deposit in the criminal institution known as a Too Big to Fail (TBTF) bank. These banks routinely engage in high risk--or more to the point, reckless--practices like lending to people without jobs or speculating in derivatives, and then when inevitably, the SHTF, they get the green-light from governments and Too High to Be Held Accountable (THTBHA) agencies like the IMF, the EU Commission, etc, and simply raid the deposits and/or holdings of their Too Dumb to Come in Out of the Rain (TDTCIOOTR) depositors and bondholders. It's the New Normal. Bondholder beware! --Don Hank)

Good Article: The Unions’ Own ‘1%’: The Laborers and other unions pay big, while feds look the other way. By Luke Rosiak
Excerpt: Union leaders are increasingly distant from the everyday workers they claim to represent, with faster-growing pay and an entrenched ruling class, data show. Nepotism is in full force, union members complain, and the closest some second- or third-generation officials have been to a day on a job site is a class on labor relations at Harvard. With a small handful of persons controlling a multitude of related trusts, sometimes for decades, it should be no surprise the Department of Labor has found at least 89 cases where union members had funds embezzled by their own officials in the first half of 2013. (Show me your shocked face. ~Bob)

Syrian Army soldiers rescue 16-year-old girl who was pimped out by her FSA father to the rebels
Excerpt: It’s called ‘Sex Jihad.’ Women prostitute themselves to FSA rebels as a way to help the war effort. In this case, the teen girl’s father allowed fellow FSA rebels to rape her on multiple occasions, and her mother warned her to shut up and not tell anyone about it.

Excerpt: The too big to fail banks are now much, much larger than they were the last time they caused so much trouble. The six largest banks in the United States have gotten 37 percent larger over the past five years. Meanwhile, 1,400 smaller banks have disappeared from the banking industry during that time.

Kenyan president says siege of Nairobi mall is over, declares mourning period for the dead
Excerpt: Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday night declared that the four-day-long siege of an upscale mall in the capital by Islamist militants has ended with the deaths of five militants and 11 in custody. He announced three days of mourning for the more than 60 people killed in the attack, a death toll that is expected to rise with the recovery of more bodies from the mall, he said.

British hero of the mall massacre: Ex Royal Marine with a handgun saved 100 lives as terrorists ran amok
Excerpt: A former marine emerged as a hero of the Nairobi siege yesterday after he was credited with saving up to 100 lives. … With a gun tucked into his waistband, he was pictured helping two women from the complex. … ‘He went back in 12 times and saved 100 people. Imagine going back in when you knew what was going on inside.’

Off-Duty British Soldier w/Gun Saves 100 in Kenya. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: If only he had an AR-15. Then Piers Morgan’s head would explode. "An off-duty member of the SAS emerged as a hero of the Nairobi siege yesterday, after he was credited with saving up to 100 lives."

Our Truest Lies: If the truth doesn’t serve social justice — well, tell a noble lie. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Then the assault weapon vanished into fantasy. Instead, over the course of the week, it was slowly learned that the unhinged Alexis had somehow passed at least two background checks, legally bought a shotgun, modified it, and for 30 minutes shot and reloaded it to slaughter the innocent. Are we to outlaw the owning of shotguns despite background checks and lawful purchases? 

Reid: Defunding Obamacare ‘dead on arrival’ in Senate
Excerpt: “We’re not going to bow to tea party anarchists who deny that Obamacare is the law,” he added. (say, Harry, aren’t the immigration laws the law of the land? How about enforcing those? ~Bob.)
Good Column: High Risk, Low Yield. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: This has been the worst time, politically, for President Barack Obama since he took office. Recent polls reveal that public confidence in both his domestic and foreign policies has been falling, amid revelations about their defects and dangers. Even people who once supported and defended him have now turned against him.

Excerpt: Last week I was reading a U.S. Census Bureau report called the American Community Survey. Alas, the report contained nothing but bad news about the state of our nation's economy as well as some nasty spikes in the number of folks living below the poverty level. Every time I read of these misery indexes I can't help but look back on Obama's 2009 pork stimulus program. How in the world did we spend nearly a trillion dollars only to make matters worse than they were. More homeless people trying to survive in tent cities, homeless shelters, living under freeway bridges or even out of their cars.

Pelosi On Spending Cuts: "The Cupboard is Bare; There's No More Cuts to Make"
Excerpt: How can someone who works in D.C. as a representative say with a straight face that there just aren’t any more areas in the federal government that can be cut? As if they’ve already cut so much spending during the dreaded “sequestration,” right? The same government spending cuts that somehow still resulted in spending increases. In D.C.-speak, a cut in a proposed increase constitutes a spending cut. This is how Obama can say with a straight face that he’s “slashed” the deficit by half in just over four years.

Obamacare: One blow after another. By Jennifer Haberkorn and Carrie Budoff Brown, Politico
Excerpt: The Obamacare that consumers will finally be able to sign up for next week is a long way from the health plan President Barack Obama first pitched to the nation.
Millions of low-income Americans won’t receive coverage. Many workers at small businesses won’t get a choice of insurance plans right away. Large employers won’t need to provide insurance for another year. Far more states than expected won’t run their own insurance marketplaces. And a growing number of workers won’t get to keep their employer-provided coverage.

The foreign policy that was. By Paul Greenberg
Excerpt: How sum up the shambles -- as far as the eye can see -- that remain of American foreign policy after the past few weeks of zigs and zags, of appeals to high principle followed abruptly, even in the same presidential speech, by a headlong abandonment of it? How reconcile this president's demands for action and then equal but opposite embrace of inaction?

CAIR Impeded FBI Probe of Somali Terrorist Group in Kenya Attack
Excerpt: The Al Qaeda affiliate that terrorized a Kenyan shopping center and murdered scores of innocent people has a powerful and influential advocate in the United States, the Muslim “civil rights” group known as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). It’s unlikely that the mainstream media will mention the connection, but it’s deep and it involves interfering in federal probes involving the radicalization of young Somali men in the U.S., like the ones carrying out the attack at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Northern Nairobi. CAIR has also wielded its power to silence critics of the Al Qaeda offshoot—Somalia’s Al Shabaab—that stormed into the mall, murdered at least 68 and took dozens of hostages. (Fighting terrorism is Islamophobic because, you know, it’s their culture. ~Bob.)

Has British 'White Widow' been killed in final assault on Kenyan shopping mall? Body of white woman terrorist is found at scene
Excerpt: As attempts to flush the remaining militants out of a Kenyan shopping centre continued, officials said three Islamist extremists had died during attempts to free their hostages.
Insiders said one was a white woman – adding weight to the theory that Lewthwaite, the fugitive widow of 7/7 bomber Jermaine Lindsay, was behind the attack that has left 62 dead and 170 injured.

Excerpt: A Republican member of Congress is investigating whether the Obama administration circumvented the law by simply re-naming a position Congress specifically defunded. Tennessee Republican Rep. Diane Black is trying to ascertain whether Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “ignored” the law when the nation’s immigration law enforcement body renamed ICE’s “public advocate” instead of eliminating the position after Congress defunded it.

IRS scandal figure Lois Lerner retires
Excerpt: Embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner is finally retiring from the scandal-plagued agency. Lerner tried to plead the Fifth to avoid self-incrimination in congressional testimony, but the House  Oversight Committee ruled that she waived her Fifth Amendment rights when she said “I have not broken any laws” before attempting her plea….Emails released this month by the House Ways and Means Committee show Lerner appearing to collude with Democratic operatives and the Federal Elections Commission in 2011. (After four months paid vacation, Lois Lerner is harshly punished with full retirement benefits. – LLW. Guess she has a “Get out of jail free card”? –Barb. It’s more an if-I-go-to-jail-I-talk card. ~Bob.)

Why are people fed up with Washington? Louis Lerner.. Breaks the law, takes the 5th, gets a paid summer vacation & now retires on our dime !

The Military Betrays Women. Even if there were a “war on women,” the answer would not be to send unwilling women to war. By Elaine Donnelly
Excerpt: According to the New York Times, Hagel got an earful. Staff sergeants worried that if women were assigned to combat, the high standards of the Marine Corps would have to be lowered, “family lives would suffer,” and rates of sexual assault and harassment would increase. When Secretary Hagel asked whether it was right to deny the opportunity to a woman who wants to join, a fearless captain replied, “I haven’t met a female Marine who is standing up and shouting, ‘I want to be infantry.’” This must have been a shock, since the 15 Marines speaking to Hagel were not men; they were women. 

American History: Do you know US History?
Excerpt: And the results were even worse in a study by the U.S. Mint, which found that only 7% percent of Americans could name the first four U.S. Presidents in order: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

Bye-Bye Muslim Brotherhood; Egypt Bans Organization. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: This was one of several lawsuits making its way through the Egyptian legal system. But it has led to some definitive results.

The Central Planning Solution to Evil. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: We are a society sheltered from violence. No one in Rwanda spends time wondering what kind of man would murder people. They probably live next door to him.

The white guilt of Bono is keeping Africa down. By Mic Wright
Excerpt: The U2 singer is like an Easter Island head of patrician arrogance, the "fixer" of Africa whose relationship to his native land’s struggles is very vague. While he has wrung his hands so much over foreign aid it’s a surprise they still function, he has left Ireland to it. To many it seems as if Ireland is just too small, too petty a problem for the great Bono Vox to turn his gaze upon it.

Stray dogs terrorize Detroit neighborhoods, survey attempts to number them. By Corey Williams
Excerpt: The more than 30,000 vacant houses and buildings that once were homes for Detroit residents now provide havens and shelter for the animals. McPhee said he plans to share the numbers to find a way to humanely deal with what has become a safety risk as the strays breed, increasing their population even as the city's population falls. "With so many houses open that way, there's also a lot of rats," McPhee said. "That's when we start to have health problems as the rats and the dogs meet." 

Pickering asked if Benghazi a Botched Kidnapping Plot. By Ben Barrack
Excerpt: Her name is Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and she sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. She may have asked two of the most important questions at the September 19th hearing on Benghazi but they don’t appear to have been picked up. 

Global warming 'hiatus' puts climate change scientists on the spot. Los Angeles Times
Excerpt: It's contentious," said IPCC panelist Shang-Ping Xie, a professor of climate science at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. "The stakes have been raised by various people, especially the skeptics." Though scientists don't have any firm answers, they do have multiple theories.

CAIR's Irony Deficit
Excerpt: Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is using a complex web of non-profit and corporate entities to keep millions of dollars in donations from foreign government s and other international donors from public disclosure, Washington's Daily Caller reports.

The Gang Religion of Islam. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: Killing non-Muslims is the point of Islam. To the extent that it has any point. That isn't to say that Islam doesn't preach the virtues of charity and love for one's fellow Muslim. It does. But its virtues are not original. Like most of the rest of the framework of it, they are lifted from existing religions.

Time for Muslims to confront Muslim evil. By Dennis Prager
Excerpt: And I say this recognizing that Italy’s Catholic clergy saved many Jews [during World War II], and that [Pope] Pius, to his credit, had to be aware of this. What he could have and should have done was to announce that any Catholic — and for that matter any Christian — who in any way helps in the murder of innocent Jews is committing a mortal sin and will not attain salvation. In other words, he or she will go to Hell.

GRAPH: Record number of Americans believe government has too much power. By Joy Wilke
Excerpt: Six in 10 Americans (60%) believe the federal government has too much power, one percentage point above the previous high recorded in September 2010. At least half of Americans since 2005 have said the government has too much power. Thirty-two percent now say the government has the right amount of power.

No, Harry Reid – I’m NOT an Anarchist
Excerpt: This past Friday, the House passed a bill that would fund the government up through December 15th and that would defund Obamacare. But ah, the opposition. Senate majority leader, Harry Reid called the bill “dead on arrival

The Ugly, Unknown Story Behind Roe v. Wade. By Scottie Hughes
Excerpt: Second, abortion advocates at the time of Roe were caught up in the wake of two decades of fear about a growing world population. A widely popular 1968 book by Dr. Paul Ehrlich declared that “the battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines – hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.” The Journal of the American Medical Association published an article warning “if we breed like rabbits, in the long run we have to live and die like rabbits.”

Good Column: Morning Bits. By Jennifer Rubin
Excerpt: While the Senate food fight goes on, “One week away, Obamacare’s small business insurance exchanges not all ready for launch.”

Excerpt: Look, Democrats. You fouled up on Obamacare. You fouled up big time, and time is running out to mitigate the damage. You said you had to pass the bill in order to see what’s in it. Apparently it was like the Ark of the Covenant. Yes, this is a train wreck. It’s a train wreck upon another train wreck, upon another train wreck… it’s train wrecks all the way down.

Illegal alien charged with raping 14-year-old girl in Utah
Just looking for a better life, doing jobs Americans won’t do. ~Bob

Pro-Hillary superPAC aimed at recruiting college students accused of swindling money from others
Excerpt: A pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC focused on getting college students to sign up and vote for the former Secretary of State may instead be doing quite the opposite – swindling money out of the unsuspecting.

Illegal Immigration on the Rise. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: For the second year in a row, more illegal immigrants were caught entering the country than the year before, mostly along the US-Mexico border. The numbers are nowhere near their pre-recession peak, but they are unmistakably trending upward. This has heightened the battle between Republicans and Democrats over whether immigration reform should focus first on fixing the border or on clarifying the status of illegal immigrants already in the country.

What Does Merkel’s Victory Mean?. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: But Joe’s bigger point, about Germany’s current preference for regulated stability over the disruptive forces of markets, is the important take-away.

Marylanders Buying 1,000 Guns A Day Before New Gun Laws Take Effect
Excerpt: In anticipation of the implementation of new gun control laws next week, Marylanders have been scooping up 1,000 guns a day. According to the Baltimore Sun, 1,000 guns a day have been sold every day for the last two weeks and this week promises to be more of the same. 

Obamacare Horror: Father Gets Notified of TRIPLING Insurance Premium, Provider Directly Blames ‘Affordable Healthcare Act’

Cory Booker's ethical lapse: Editorial
Excerpt: Mayor Cory Booker stumbled when he accepted nearly $700,000 in payments from his former law firm while mayor, even as the firm won $2 million in work from Newark’s housing authority and watershed. It is made worse by his refusal to release documents spelling out the terms of those payments.

CAIR: Who Cares If Americans Were Involved in Kenya Terror Attack?
Excerpt: One of the most prominent and controversial Muslim-American advocacy groups says “who cares” if American jihadists were involved in the murderous terror attack on a shopping mall in Kenya. (As HC said, what difference does it make? ~Bob.)

Quote from Mark Steyn
Excerpt: "In the Middle East nothing quite paints you as a moderate more than going around with missiles that say 'Death to America.' That's a message we can all unite around when Iranian President Rouhani, Mr. Moderate, is in New York for dictator's week."

New Front in Blue Civil War: Silicon Valley. By Walter Russell Mead
Excerpt: If blue policies worked in practice the way their defenders say they do in theory, then San Jose, the self-proclaimed capital of Silicon Valley, one of America’s most dynamic and regions, should be the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. It should be a place where the overwhelming “excess” of riches from a relatively large, elite class of millionaires is channeled by public officials into brilliantly designed welfare, education, and infrastructure programs, making it the envy of the civilized world. Instead, San Jose is going broke.

Six-year-old rape victim ordered to wed rapist's 8-year-old son

Merkel the Great. By Roger Cohen
Excerpt: With each postwar German generation another debate was engaged: The silence of the Adenauer years gave way to angry demands for an accounting from the 1960s generation; and then there was Willy Brandt on his knees in the Warsaw ghetto; and the back-and-forth over d├ętente; and the polemics over the stationing of Pershing-2 missiles; and the miracle of unification; and the immense cost of that long process; and finally the pained self-questioning as to whether, after Auschwitz, Germany could ever be “normal” and Germans “proud” — questions that found an answer in the flag-wrapped euphoria of the 2006 World Cup.

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