Thursday, December 19, 2013

Today's News & Update on John

Update on my friend and brother Marine John Payne, who got his new lung Wednesday morning. He is awake, alert (though he nods off often) and writing notes to his wife. He asked to see us, so we stopped by after PT this morning. I was surprised they let me in, with my cough, but stayed clear in case. He recognized us, but is not yet too responsive. They say he is doing well. We passed greetings on from many of you. The surgeon told his wife it was good a lung came along, as he may have only had a couple of months without it. Thanks for everyone's prayers and good thoughts for him--and for me. A blessing in all this trouble is becoming friends with John and Donna--very good folks.

Today & Tuesday at PT, I did 32 minutes on the treadmill at 1.7 MPH, or 9/10th of a mile, plus three sets of four other exercises. If it doesn't sound like much, try doing it with a scarf wrapped a couple of times around your face restricting your breathing!

Obamacare News at the End--for a change. ~Bob

Frightening Must Read: 83 Numbers From 2013 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe
Excerpt: During 2013, America continued to steadily march down a self-destructive path toward oblivion. As a society, our debt levels are completely and totally out of control. Our financial system has been transformed into the largest casino on the entire planet and our big banks are behaving even more recklessly than they did just before the last financial crisis.

Peace Prize Quote
"Dignity does not consist in possessing honours, but in deserving them." - Aristotle

Hamas man killed, 6 injured, in Jenin firefight with IDF
Excerpt: A 22-year-old man was killed and six more were injured when the IDF exchanged fire with Palestinians during an operation in the West Bank city of Jenin Wednesday night.

Non-Citizens Caught Voting In Key Swing State In 2012 Presidential Election
Excerpt: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Wednesday that his office found 17 non-citizens illegally cast ballots in the 2012 presidential election — and has referred the case for possible prosecution.

Barbara Walters On Barack Obama: 'We Thought He Was Going To Be ... The Next Messiah'
Excerpt: "He made so many promises. We thought that he was going to be - I shouldn't say this at Christmastime, but the next messiah. And the whole ObamaCare, or whatever you want to call it, the Affordable Health[care] Act, it just hasn't worked for him. And he’s stumbled around on it and people feel very disappointed because they expected more." 

‘Massive Seizure Of Power’: Climate scientists, economists challenge EPA
Excerpt: A group of climate scientists and economists are challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other stationary sources. These critics see a “massive seizure of power” by the agency.

Obama's Recovery: $1.3 Trillion Below Average
Excerpt: It also means that Obama's recovery — now more than 4 years old — remains the worst since WWII. That's despite the fact that, by this point, half the previous recoveries had been interrupted by another recession. Had Obama's recovery been only as good as the average of the past 10 recoveries, the economy would be $1.3 trillion larger. That's $4,038 for every person in the U.S., or $10,451 per household.

The Insiders: Obama’s ‘Indiana Jones’ trick. By Ed Rogers
Excerpt: Nothing about corporate earnings or broad-based business confidence suggests that we are experiencing real economic growth. All the president is doing is further endangering his fellow Democrats, who already have the dead weight of Obamacare hanging around their necks as they prepare for the 2014 elections. This president may be one of the luckiest politicians of all time, but believing he can replace the government-supplied growth in the stock market with real economic growth when he and his Democratic allies continue to champion no-growth policies is unrealistic.

"Duck Dynasty" Star Phil Robertson Also Under Fire for African American Statements. By Suzy Byrne
Excerpt: "I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once," the reality star said of growing up in pre-Civil-Rights-era Louisiana. "Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I'm with the blacks, because we're white trash. (the fact that I think the race baiters like Obama, Holder, Jackson and Sharpton have made things worse for blacks doesn't mean I don't think there has been real racism--I've seen it. But creating a give-up-you're-all-victims mentality in blacks, or encouraging counter racism, makes things worse. ~Bob)

War on Subsidies: Brussels Questions German Energy Revolution
Excerpt: As part of Germany's switch to renewables, industry has been exempt from paying higher prices associated with solar and wind energy. The European Commission, however, believes the practice distorts competition on the Continent. Huge penalties could be in store. (The problem with the transnational elites' policies is that they are like a snake trying to eat its tail. Or rather a snake trying to eatitself starting with the tail. The ideology-bound Left invariably ignores one major thing: reality. And now reality is breathing down their necks like never before. It happened in Detroit, and it is pandemic in the West. Consider this: The EU has long expected Germany to bail out all of the rest of the EU countries that get into serious financial trouble. Yet the EU bosses, trained as they are in socialism-Keynesianism, have no understanding of Economics 101. They literally do not know, or refuse to believe what the Soviets learned the hard way, namely, that propaganda, laws and decrees alone can't control supply and demand. Supply in this case refers to the ability to provided bailouts. Germany is the last country standing after an all-out assault on national economies using as weapons over-regulation and taxes, the usual economic wrecking balls of the Left. Yet, even this engine of the European economy is now the target of the EU's campaign against prosperity. Demand here refers to the need for such bailouts-the need by central or oversized banks and nations, like Greece, for a perennial creditor to pay their bills. This demand is created by the EU itself, in large part by its tacit guarantee to rescue irresponsible governments, who as a result of this guarantee, indulge in irresponsible fiscal behavior-just as bank customers often indulge in irresponsible borrowing as a result of the banks' recklessly liberal lending policies (which are in turn encouraged, even enforced, by a global epidemic of fiscally reckless government policies-encouraged by wraithlike figures behind the curtain). So let's see. The EU created this fiscal monster and then needed a money source to pay for its debauchery. Germany was the main source, but as the reckless policies took their toll, Germany became the only country left that could pay for the unbridled spending spree. That in itself is dangerous. But it gets worse. Now their lethal lack of common sense comes into play: Germany, that same sugar daddy that paid for the irresponsibility is being punished for the fact that it is in a position to do so. This insanity cannot last long. Once the EU and Germany's own Left--e.g., the increasingly powerful Greens--have finished picking the bones of its industry, there will be nothing left to prop up the deranged EU wizards and pay for their bacchanalian brawl. --Don Hank)

Al Qaeda's Courts in Syria Lock Up and Torture Children. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: Islamic law. It’s everywhere you don’t want to be. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), which has seized control of territory in northern Syria, has reportedly committed horrific abuses in its prisons in the region. Sources told Amnesty that some of those imprisoned by ISIS are as young as eight years old.

Special Report--Chinese Military's secret to success: European engineering. By David Lague
Excerpt: If the People's Liberation Army went to war tomorrow, it would field an arsenal bristling with hardware from some of America's closest allies: Germany, France and Britain. Most of China's advanced surface warships are powered by German and French-designed diesel engines. Chinese destroyers have French sonar, anti-submarine-warfare helicopters and surface-to-air missiles. Above the battlefield, British jet engines drive PLA fighter bombers and anti-ship strike aircraft.

Obama ‘cavalier’ in hiding foreign aid order, judge rules
Excerpt: A district court judge ruled that President Obama can’t lawfully keep hidden a foreign aid order he tried to shield via a claim of executive privilege, characterizing the move as a “cavalier” dodge of the Freedom of Information Act. The Justice Department had argued that a foreign-aid directive that Mr. Obama signed in 2010 should remain secret, because it was part of the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development and fell under the umbrella of executive privilege — despite its unclassified status, Politico reported…("Keep your plan" may be his biggest lie, but "most transparent administration in history" ranks right u there. ~Bob)

Excerpt: The London School of Economics (LSE) has today issued a long-awaited apology to students Chris Moos and Abhishek Phandis, representatives of the student Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society (LSEASH), who wore t-shirts featuring the popular Jesus and Mo cartoon at the SU Freshers’ Fair on 3 October, and who were asked to cover their t-shirts or face removal from the Fair. The incident, covered first by at the time, was described as an “effective blasphemy law”, and said to be indicative of a wider trend around various university campuses across the country, wherein minorities are singled out and targeted under the guise of “political correctness”.

The Democratic Party is a Cult Worthy of Jonestown. By Daniel Greefield
Excerpt: If Jim Jones were around today, there’s little doubt that he and his cult would still be campaigning for Democrats just like they used to. “What you had here was a ready-made volunteer workforce,” said Agar Jaicks, who was chairman of the county Democratic Central Committee, the governing body of the Democratic Party in San Francisco. “And you also had in Jones a man who touched a component of the consensus power forces in the city, such as labor and ethnicity groups, and he was very strong in the Western Addition. So here was a guy who could provide workers for causes progressives cared about.”

Worth Reading: Reagan's Welfare Queen Whom Liberals Says Didn't Exist, Existed and Killed People. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: This is from Slate so there are more caveats than from a dozen lawyers being forced to sign a contract with the devil, but it knocks down the lie that the Welfare Queen was some sort of imaginary racist character that Reagan made up to make freeloaders look bad: “In Chicago, they found a woman who holds the record,” the former California governor declared at a campaign rally in January 1976. “She used 80 names, 30 addresses, 15 telephone numbers to collect food stamps, Social Security, veterans’ benefits for four nonexistent deceased veteran husbands, as well as welfare. Her tax-free cash income alone has been running $150,000 a year.”

Lawsuit: Lesbian boss fired gym teacher because of his ‘traditional family’
Excerpt: A gym teacher in New York City has filed a lawsuit claiming that his lesbian boss at a posh private school sacked him because he is straight, happily married and has three children with his heterosexual wife. Plaintiff Gregory Kenney taught physical education for 16 years at the Trinity School, a fancypants K-12 school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where tuition is over $40,000 per kid per year….He asserts that gay athletic director Pat Krieger despised him for his “traditional family status” ever since she took over in 2009. (Don't know the facts; I'm tolerant of gays, but tolerance must go both ways. Just as some blacks are racist--and encouraged in that by the race baiters--some gays are biased towards straights. Have encountered both kinds. ~Bob)

Excerpt: Fifth grade students at Fremont Elementary School in Colorado were assigned a reading' border=0 v:shapes="_x0000_i1025">  passage that describes global warming as a dangerous, man-made phenomenon that will destroy civilization in a few hundred years. The reading assignment was found inside a workbook aligned with the controversial national Common Core curriculum guidelines, and was titled “Homework from the Future.” It tells the fictional story of a visitor to the year 2512 who discovers that the eastern United States is under water and the country’s population greatly reduced, all thanks to man-made global warming: (Gov in education=brainwashing. Hitler knew it; used it well. So did Soviets, etc. --Barb. The fact that the "warmists" only allow one side to be presented tells you all you need to know about their case. ~Bob)

Egypt Buries the Brotherhood. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: It’s not unusual for the United States and a Muslim country to be on the opposite sides of the War on Terror. It is unusual for a Muslim country to take a stand against terrorism while the United States backs the right of a terrorist group to burn churches, torture opposition members and maintain control of a country with its own nuclear program.

Excerpt: A newly released designation by the US Treasury Department identifies two alleged al Qaeda supporters who have raised funds for the terror network. The fundraising has benefited multiple al Qaeda branches, according to Treasury, and has at times totaled millions of dollars per month. Some of this money has been funneled through a longtime al Qaeda operative known as Abu Khalid al Suri, who served as one of Osama bin Laden's most trusted couriers prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and is now Ayman al Zawahiri's main representative in the Levant. Al Suri is also a founding member of Ahrar al Sham, an al Qaeda-allied extremist group in Syria

Orwellian Denver Post Edits “Socialist” Out Of Classmate’s Description Of Arapahoe Shooter
Excerpt: It’s one of the most blatant examples of Soviet-style media disinformation and manipulation I’ve ever seen, here in the West, in my life: A prominent, big-city newspaper deliberately distorting/omitting a salient detail of an important news story, in order to provide cover for the evil school of economic thought that their editors share with yet another crazed, violent attacker of innocents. It’s bad enough that we’ve already seen numerous examples of the democrat-run mainstream media trying to smear the Tea Party & conservatives by falsely, shamelessly attempting to associate various mass-shooters and terrorists with conservative philosophy and politics (while, in fact, they are almost invariably leftist, Obama-supporting democrats who carry out such attacks)

Hosni Mubarak allies cleared of corruption charges
Excerpt: An Egyptian court has acquitted the two sons of former President Hosni Mubarak, and his last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, of charges of embezzlement.

Slaughter of Christian Women and Children in Muslim Lands. By Raymond Ibrahim 
Excerpt: Two of the most tragic Islamic attacks on Christians, killing several women and children, took place in the month of October, one in Syria another in Egypt.

Judge Orders Removal of San Diego War Cross
Excerpt: A judge on Thursday ordered that a war memorial cross atop a San Diego mountain be removed from federal property in 90 days but said the ruling would be put on hold if it is appealed. (They could make it inter-faith. Put add a Budda, a Star of David and maybe hang a few gays or stone a rape victim for the Muslims. ~Bob)

How Free Is North America?
Excerpt: The most-free jurisdiction in North America is in Canada, according to a study by Dean Stansel, a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, and Fred McMahon of the Fraser Institute.
Developing Countries Need Coal-Fired Power Plants
Excerpt: Coal has lifted 680 million people in China out of poverty over the past 30 years, says Bjørn Lomborn, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center.

Syrian fighter defects to Qaeda-linked group
Our ally. Did he take his Obama-guns with him? ~Bob. Excerpt: In November, however, he announced his "repentance" for his membership in the battalion and the FSA, dubbing them "apostates".

Make yourself indispensable, and you will move up. Act as though you are indispensable, and you will move out. --Jules Ormont

Excerpt: The heart of Yellowstone National Park is its caldera, a vast basin left behind after the last of three volcanic eruptions spanning a period of 2.1 million years. …Using measurements from seismic waves from earthquakes, scientists were able to map the magma lake underneath Yellowstone's caldera as being 55 miles long, and 18 miles wide. …This revelation puts the size of the magma chamber at 2 1/2 times larger than previously thought. 

The Obamacare Train Wreck

Good Column: The Obamacare Generation: The ACA depends on Millennials picking up the tab — as they already are for other entitlements — in the midst of a bad economy. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Among these unanswered questions, the most disturbing pertain to the demand that millions of so-called Millennials must purchase health insurance — estimated at about $1,700 a year — that they will hardly use. Their premiums supposedly will subsidize older, in-need Americans who cannot pay the full costs of coverage that they will draw on frequently. (If I understand the progressive position, the laws of mathematics and economics are racist. ~Bob)

Pajama Boy: The Obama Machine’s Id. The new face of Obamacare is a man in a plaid onesie. Of course. By Charles C. W. Cooke
Excerpt: Oh dear. The Obama administration isn’t doing very well with putting an empathetic face on its calamitous health-insurance law, is it? First, we had Julia, the creepy, eyeless, vision-of-horror from Brave New Worldwhose life was run from cradle to grave by the federal government. Then, we had Adriana, the painfully neutral and carefully ambi-racial stock-model-from-everywhere whose face became so synonymous with’s hilarious launch that she had to be replaced with a graphic plugging an 800 number. And now, courtesy of Organizing for Action, we have Pajama Boy, a metrosexual hipster in a plaid onesie who wants you to spend your precious Christmas days talking to him about the president’s vision for health insurance.

Taking Pleasure in Obamacare's failures. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Morning Jolt is worth subscribing to. I can only give you a taste from time to time to encourage you to do so. ~Bob. Excerpt: From the beginning, Obamacare fans inside and outside of government insisted that they were right, that we were wrong, and that we were motivated by all sorts of malicious and callous motives. They insisted our skepticism was fueled by ignorance and outdated ideology. Our warnings and dire predictions were dismissed as sour-grapes negativity and pessimism. Most of the ideas from the right -- medical malpractice reform, interstate sales of insurance -- were ignored or dismissed. We said you couldn't require insurance companies to cover a lot of new expenses -- i.e., pre-existing conditions -- without driving up costs, and that higher costs inevitably would drive up premiums. Obama's promise that his plan would lower premiums by $2,500 per year for families was always industrial-strength snake-oil, and yet somehow we were the bad guys for saying it couldn't possibly happen, short of covering the costs from the discovery of the Leprechaun's pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Now it is exceedingly clear that one-sixth of the nation's economy is being fouled up beyond recognition by a convoluted, complicated, poorly-planned Rube Goldberg of a law that has been implemented by hacks whose overestimation of their own abilities is on an astronomical level. So we're not enjoying any of the problems from Obamacare, but spare us the insistence that we not take any satisfaction in seeing our assessment of the world, the limits of policy, the capabilities of government, and the possibility of grandiose, utopian promises reaffirmed, verified, underlined, highlighted, and footnoted in high-definition, day after day.

Poll: Many uninsured haven't explored Obamacare options. By Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus
Excerpt: More than two months after the health care exchanges opened, a new CBS News/New York Times poll reveals most uninsured Americans - 58 percent - say they have not looked up information about applying for insurance, while four in 10 have done that.

Breitbart Poll: 70% Do Not Trust The Media To Inform About Obamacare
The other 30% read only the sports and comics pages--if they can read. ~Bob

Funny: Obamacare Is The Gift That No One Wants: The 12 Days of Obamacare
This is good! ~Bob

Obamacare Tech Hurdle Looms Right Before Enrollment Deadline
Excerpt: Switching hosts is not in and of itself a huge risk if it is done carefully and with lots of preparation, according to technical experts interviewed by Reuters. It is the timing of the highly complex maneuver that is risky. If there are problems, the website could become sluggish or even unusable for anyone trying to enroll. The government is tempting fate, they said.

Some Illinois Obamacare Applicants Asked To Start Over
Excerpt: Illinois officials are e-mailing and calling some 30,000 people, advising them to start over on their health insurance applications.

NMHIX group enrollment so far: 291
Excerpt: As of Wednesday, the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange had spent at least $2.5 million on marketing and outreach campaigns to get people to buy health insurance.
And as of Wednesday, 291 people had enrolled for coverage beginning Jan. 1 on NMHIX’s small business exchange. ($859k each. ~Bob)

ObamaCare's Troubles Are Only Beginning: Be prepared for eligibility, payment and information protection debacles—and longer waits for care. By Michael J. Boskin
Excerpt: The White House is claiming that the website is mostly fixed, that the millions of Americans whose health plans were canceled thanks to government rules may be able to keep them for another year, and that in any event these people will get better plans through ObamaCare exchanges. Whatever the truth of these assertions, those who expect better days ahead for the Affordable Care Act are in for a rude awakening. The shocks—economic and political—will get much worse next year and beyond. Here's why:

Worth Reading: Top 10 Broken Obamacare Promises. By Alyene Senger
Excerpt: Since the passage of Obamacare in 2010, many of the President’s famous promises have been routinely broken. As he so ironically threatened in 2009, “If you misrepresent what’s in this plan, we will call you out.” To that end, here are 10 promises of Obamacare that have already been broken.

The Collapse: How Many California Democrats Does It Take With It? By Hugh Hewitt 
Excerpt: Peter Lee is going to need a copy of The Happiest Life, and very soon, because his 2014 looks like it will be miserable, though not as miserable as he will have made the start of the new year for hundreds of thousands of Californians whom Lee has failed. Lee is the number one guy at what may prove to be the biggest failure of many big failures in the state Obamacare exchanges.

The News in Zingers: By Argus Hamilton

Excerpt: President Obama's approval rating fell to thirty-eight percent Friday while Toronto mayor Rob Ford's approval rating soared to fifty percent. The conclusion is plain to see. President Obama would have been better off smoking crack than passing Obamacare.

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