Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday's News Has Far To Go

The Blog was down again. If you get this notice, it means Google has logged me out of G-mail and, in what I'm sure they call another improvement, blocked access to my blog until I get on the computer and log back in. Until I do, I have no way of knowing--sorry. No need to tell me--as soon as I log on, I know, before I see your e-mail. And, BTW G-mail's new compose window and hard-to-read CAPTCHA still suck. ~Bob

Surprise! Health-care enrollment on Web plagued by bugs
Excerpt: The enrollment records for a significant portion of the Americans who have chosen health plans through the online federal insurance marketplace contain errors — generated by the computer system — that mean they might not get the coverage they’re expecting next month. (Remind people frequently that almost every Democrat in Congress, and no Republican, voted for this disaster. ~Bob)

Republican doctors running for Congress amid ObamaCare rollout fiasco
Excerpt: Eleven Republican doctors are running for the Senate, hoping that voters will see their medical expertise as an asset amid the administration’s botched rollout of ObamaCare. 

Excerpt: Just one more presidential speech; one more Thanksgiving dinner-table push; one more Twitter campaign. Then America would love it. It has never happened. A new poll from Gallup may help to show why, suggesting as it does that those who are familiar with Obamacare are much more likely to oppose it than those who are not.

Subject: Sneaky, Despicable, Illegal code hidden from view

Legalized Prostitutes At Nevada’s Bunny Ranch Back Obamacare
In the same biz. ~Bob

Obamacare and Its Cronies: “Collaboration” between insurers and the administration, or revolving-door economics? By Andrew Stiles
Excerpt: Despite the myriad problems with Obamacare’s rollout, health-insurance companies are not tempering their support for the controversial law. The industry is even gearing up for an expensive “PR blitz” to enroll people in the exchanges, which should come as no surprise.
In the words of former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, insurance companies are “not necessarily unbiased. 

New Obamacare Headache: Is Your Enrollment Real?
Excerpt: Bob Shlora of Alpharetta, Ga., was supposed to be a belated Obamacare success story. After weeks of trying, the 61-year-old told ABC News he fully enrolled in a new health insurance plan through the federal marketplace over the weekend, and received a Humana policy ID number to prove it. But two days later, his insurer has no record of the transaction, Shlora said, even though his account on the government website indicates that he has a plan. (Note he enrolled after the site was "fixed." ~Bob)

The "Fixed" Website. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Excerpt: They can't be honest with us. They don't trust us with the truth, or they fear how the public will react with the truth. So they tell us everything's working fine, and hope not enough people notice. Attention, White House staffers: This is not Syria, some far-off land that people will eventually forget about. This isn't Benghazi; the country won't eventually move on and forget about your lies. This is not "Fast and Furious;" most Americans can't just shrug that it doesn't affect them. This is not the IRS abuse scandal, which you can blame on some low-level employees in a Cincinnati office, or GSA employees spending taxpayer dollars on luxury hotels in Las Vegas. This isn't Solyndra. This isn't wiretapping AP telephone lines or preparing a conspiracy charge against Fox News's James Rosen. This isn't even the NSA domestic-surveillance scandal, a revelation that really aggravates people but that fades from the headlines over time. No, this is the health care of millions of people that you're botching, after years and years of assuring the public that you can handle this and that they'll love the results of your efforts, hammered through Congress on party-line votes. It's infuriating to be on the receiving end of the lie, but the irony is that it's only the shortest of short-term solutions for the person telling the lie. Their impossible promises and lies and excuses always end with some variation of "and in the very near future, you're going to have an easier time, paying less money, to get better health care, we promise!" The "very near future" then arrives, and lo and behold, their vision hasn't come to fruition. Because it can't come to fruition, at least not the way they're doing it.

Good Article: Fire Your Team, Mr. President: A White House shake-up can't stop with a sacrificial lamb. Obama needs to change the people around him to change how he governs.
Excerpt: President Obama needs to fire himself. Not literally, of course, but practically: He needs to shake up his team so thoroughly that the new blood imposes change on how he manages the federal bureaucracy and leads. A series of self-inflicted wounds during his fifth year in office, capped by the botched launch of the Affordable Care Act, have Americans questioning the president's competence and credibility. (Media guy, not a conservative writer. ~Bob)

Uh oh: Healthcare.gov's Back End Flaws, Data Security Problems Worse Than Expected. By Guy Benson
Excerpt: The White House's second premature victory lap of the Obamacare saga looks even more ill-advised upon further review. As the administration crows about attracting one million visitors to Healthcare.gov yesterday, new questions about the website's security functions and end-to-end efficacy have arisen.

Worth Reading: Seriously? The Republicans have no health plan?

Government awards more contracts to company that created glitchy ObamaCare website
CGI Federal Inc, the company that created large parts of the error-plagued ObamaCare exchange website, which it says it is scrambling to fix, has recently been awarded several other government contracts. Since the ObamaCare exchange website launched on Oct. 1, government officials have signed at least five different agreements with CGI totaling $7 million, according to USASpending.gov, a government website that lists government contracts. The contracts were for computer and software development at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Commerce, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

What Was the Biggest Lie of the Year? Vote Here!
I voted for "you can keep your plan." ~Bob


Worth Reading: A Challenge to Our Beliefs. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: What do low-income whites in England and ghetto blacks in the United States have in common? It cannot be simply low incomes, because children from other groups in the same low-income brackets outperform whites in England and outperform blacks in America. What low-income whites in England and ghetto blacks in the United States have in common is a generations-long indoctrination in victimhood. The political left in both countries has, for more than half a century, maintained a steady and loud drumbeat of claims that the deck is stacked against those at the bottom.

The World’s New Outlaws: With America’s presence in the world receding, regional hegemons flex their muscles. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The American custodianship of the postwar world for the last 70 years is receding. Give it its due: The American super-presence ensured the destruction of Axis fascism, led to the eventual defeat of Soviet-led global Communism, and spearheaded the effort to thwart the ability of radical Islam to disrupt global commerce in general and Western life in particular.

Washington Post Editorial: Final Iran deal needs to balance out the concessions
Excerpt: THE FACT sheet distributed by the Obama administration about the nuclear agreement with Iran is notable for its omissions. ... What the White House didn’t report is that the text of the accord makes several major concessions to Tehran on the terms of a planned second-stage agreement. Though White House officials and Secretary of State John F. Kerry repeatedly said that Iran’s assertion of a “right to enrich” uranium would not be recognized in an interim deal, the text says the “comprehensive solution” will “involve a mutually defined enrichment program with mutually agreed parameters.” In other words, the United States and its partners have already agreed that Iranian enrichment activity will continue indefinitely. 

Judge declares Detroit eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy
Excerpt: Detroit will become the largest city in U.S. history to declare bankruptcy after a federal judge ruled Tuesday the city had met the legal criteria to win protection from its creditors. ... Orr will be able to consider pension cuts as part of his final proposal, Rhodes ruled. But Rhodes said he would only allow the cuts if the final reorganization is fair, the Detroit Free Press reported. (And now the real fun starts, as the city manager starts to look at how to handle income and outgo from here on out, which means some very hard time conversations with the city unions and retirees. The fact is that Detroit's income cannot pay all its running expenses and financial obligations, much less start paying off any of its massive debt. So where those income dollars go has to be very carefully thought out, and they will not be going to the full pension amounts for the retirees, nor probably to the full salaries of current employees. How the financial manager will walk this tightrope remains to be seen, but we know for sure it's going to make a whole lot of people not just unhappy, but more like foaming at the mouth screaming furious, and possibly on the edge of violence. Since there are other cities not far behind Detroit on the track to bankruptcy, what goes on in Detroit will be closely watched by the managers of those cities. This promises to be like watching the games in the Roman coliseum, complete with lots of blood on the sand. --Del)

National digest: Group seeks ‘legal personhood’ for chimps
A new class of Democrat voters. First chumps, now chimps. ~Bob

Economists propose tax break to ease the burden for struggling two-worker families
Excerpt: Put yourself in the shoes of a store clerk and his family this holiday season. Say you earn $11 an hour, which is a bit less than the national average for retail salesmen. And say that’s not enough to feed, clothe and house your spouse and children to your satisfaction, so your wife decides to take a job in the same store, full time. How much of her earnings do you think will make it to your joint bank account at the end of the month? The answer: about one-quarter, or about $3 an hour.

Long but Important: What Created the Federal Deficits?
Excerpt: In a new study published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Charles P. Blahous, a Mercatus Center senior research fellow and public trustee for Medicare and Social Security, examines the causes of federal deficits by systematically examining the federal budget itself, quantifying all contributions to the deficit regardless of when they were enacted.
Washington will never gain control of federal budget deficits unless it clearly identifies their underlying causes. The study uses three perspectives to quantify the policy choices that contribute to the fiscal gap. First Perspective: The Policy Decisions that Drive the Long-Term Imbalance. The long-term imbalance is driven primarily by growth in the costs of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the new health insurance exchanges established as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Excerpt: A proposed offshore wind development is generating a lot of discussion in New Jersey. Developers and environmentalists hope to cash in on hundreds of millions in government subsidies while businesses and ratepayers fear offshore wind will result in electricity rate hikes. So far, the 25 megawatt (MW) Fishermen’s Atlantic City Windfarm (FACW) project, three miles off the New Jersey coast, has been denied approval by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) for being too expensive and risky for residents, though FACW continues to work towards an acceptable resolution. A closer look at the proposal shows just how unsustainable wind projects are without the crutch of public subsidies and government mandates.

NFL banned a Daniel Defense Super Bowl ad about guns — This man’s response is EPIC

What the West Needs to Know about Islam
This is an hour and a half documentary about Islam, extremely well done. Most of the really critical teaching is done in the first half hour, and I really recommend viewing it to anyone who really wants to understand a lot of the critical basics about the religion. It will explain that anyone who is what we might call a fundamentalist in Islam must be a deadly enemy to everyone who is not a Muslim. Not every Muslim buys into this fundamentalism, and they can be and often are just fine people. One real problem is that if one is a fundamentalist living among or just dealing with non-Muslims then the doctrine of taqiyya says they can and should lie like a rug to further their aims. They become masters of propaganda, and sadly, all the PC people are just falling all over themselves to accept it. The politicians jump on the bandwagon as well, often from a misguided idealism about how religious freedom has always been a hallmark of America. I don't believe every Muslim is a lying, dangerous enemy of everything Western, and I am confident that plenty of Muslims are fine people and good Americans. But that doesn't change the fact that radical Islam is not some tiny fraction of the religion, and that radical Islam is damn dangerous, and has to be taken very seriously. --Del

It just keeps getting worse.
Thanksgiving weekend, we learned that the Obama Administration released an Iranian nuclear scientist as a gesture of "good faith" towards Iran. We released a scientist who can help Iran build a nuclear bomb. Yet we still don't have Pastor Saeed, a U.S. citizen in jail for his Christian faith who presents no possible threat to anyone. Iran keeps its centrifuges, it keeps enriching uranium, and it regains a key nuclear scientist. What does America get? It's time for Congress to step up. Already a bipartisan group of Senators is pushing for new sanctions against Iran. Today I'm leading an ACLJ delegation to Europe to meet with key foreign leaders. We can't back down. Pastor Saeed's life is at stake. Millions of lives are at stake.
Jay Sekulow, ACLJ Chief Counsel

In Los Angeles, it's like they jog for two hours a day and then they think they're morally right. That's when you want to choke people, you know? --Liam Neeson

Maaloula: Islamist rebels abduct 12 nuns from the St Thecla Orthodox monastery
Excerpt: Islamist rebels have kidnapped a group of nuns from the Greek Orthodox monastery of St Thecla (Mar Taqla) in Maaloula (north of Damascus). Mgr Mario Zenari, the Vatican nuncio in Damascus, confirmed the information after speaking with the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate. Through the Vatican diplomat, the latter "calls on all Catholics to pray for the women. (If our "allies" keep this crap up. maybe we should give Assad back his gas. ~Bob)

Syria: Al-Qaeda jihadists seize church, transform it into their headquarters

The real "War on Women" is in Islam. ~Bob

The News in Zingers. By Argus Hamilton
Excerpt: The NSA spied on the porn habits of U.S. radical Muslims to learn about their personal secrets. We're such idiots. If instead, we'd spied on the Porn Hub website they used and learned how it handles ten million hits an hour, Obamacare would be a success story by now.

White House Youth

Your Government: Now Paying Shrinks $3,000 For Every Veterans Gun They Confiscate
Excerpt: Dr. X reveals that, when veterans come to the VA for help, they’re often treated by ultra-liberal interns and residents who think of them as baby-killers; the VA actively seizes guns from any veterans treated for mental health issues, not matter how minor or stable the problem; veterans who refuse to give up their weapons are institutionalized; and psychiatrists get a $3,000 incentive whenever a veteran loses his guns. ( Could we work a deal with shrinks and turn this into a "Cash for Clunkers" program for Vets? Shrink could keep $1,000 and vet would get $2, 000 to upgrade his old 22 single shot. --MM)

The Trial of the Muslim Meat-Cleaver Murderers of 25 Year Old British Soldier Lee Rigby on the Day-time Street in London: Police officer tells the court she could see a black man running towards her waving a meat cleaver in a chopping motion and 'shouting something' By Tom Whitehead
Excerpt: The [female police] officer told how she and two other officers arrived at the scene and stopped suddenly before Adebolajo charged at the vehicle. She could not get her handgun out of her leg holster but the officer in the rear of the car opened his door and shot the suspect just as he reached them. Footage shows the force of the shot threw Adebolajo several feet to the ground.

Questions about Bengazi

UK--Jeremy Browne: Ban Muslim women from wearing veils in schools and public places. By Steven Swinford and Christopher Hope
He added: “I am instinctively uneasy about restricting the freedom of individuals to observe the religion of their choice. That would apply to Christian minorities in the Middle East just as much as religious minorities here in Britain. “But there is genuine debate about whether girls should feel a compulsion to wear a veil when society deems children to be unable to express personal choices about other areas like buying alcohol, smoking or getting married. We should be very cautious about imposing religious conformity on a society which has always valued freedom of expression.”

Excerpt: North of the capital, rebels exchanged fire with government troops outside Maalula, a day after opposition forces captured the Christian hamlet in the strategic Qalamoun region. The small town is renowned as a symbol of the long Christian presence in Syria and is famous for the fact that many residents still speak the ancient language Aramaic, which Jesus Christ is believed to have spoken.

Clustered Criminals Habituate Homicide
Excerpt: Nearly 50% of all gun homicides involve only 4% of inner city gangsters. This is common, but not widely publicized, knowledge. It’s a fact deliberately underemphasized by the Brady Campaign, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and other gun ban advocates at the Happy Acres Home For the Terminally Bewildered. But a recent study by a sociology professor at Yale, who explored a poor Chicago neighborhood, evaluating homicide victims and their associations should reduce such willful ignorance.

Obama’s Post-American World. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: What do the riots in the Ukraine, Iran throwing its weight around in the Persian Gulf and China’s new air defense zone all have in common? Barack Obama and his Post-American world. Nations exercise power within spheres of influence. As the American sphere of influence shrinks to nothing; Iran, China and Russia are using the opportunity to expand their own spheres of influence.

Ousting Assad may be only the beginning. By David Ignatius
Excerpt: As al-Qaeda grows more powerful in Syria — seeking “complete control over the liberated areas,” according to a new Syrian rebel intelligence report — moderate opposition leaders are voicing new interest in a political settlement of the grinding civil war. But a peace agreement may just be a prelude to a new war against the terrorists.

Is global warming helping al-Qaida?
Excerpt: Has global warming helped al-Qaida’s recruiting? At least one expert says that Islamic fundamentalist groups feed upon people’s frustrations and fears in a warmer climate to turn them against the West. (I now call them the GWL--Global Warming Lunatics. ~Bob

Excerpt: Violent gun crime has dropped dramatically in the past two decades, but the majority of Americans think it’s more of a problem now than ever, according to a Pew Research Center study released Tuesday. According to the survey, done in March, 56% of Americans believe gun crime is worse today than it was 20 years ago. And 84% believe in recent years, gun crime has either gone up or stayed the same – when the reality is that it has dropped significantly.

President Obama Awards Himself the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Oregon Girl Barred From Selling Mistletoe But Told Okay to Beg
Excerpt: Driven by her budding entrepreneurial instincts, an 11-year-old Oregon girl wanted to help her dad pay for her braces by selling mistletoe over the holidays, but she got tangled up in red tape instead.

Iran enrichment capacity expanded dramatically on Obama's watch
Excerpt: Yet a Fox News review of reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and analyses prepared by leading research institutions -- including the Arms Control Association, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Federation of American Scientists -- shows that the vast majority of Iran's enrichment capability came online during the Obama administration.

Excerpt: If you thought America’s government was corrupt, a new report suggests you may be on to something. Transparency International published its annual Corruption Perception Index, which measures the levels of public sector corruption in 177 of the world’s territories and countries. America did not fare too well.

Excerpt: Yes, now we have the White House Youth. Either these geniuses are actively inviting comparisons with the Hitler Youth, or nobody in that building knows any better. Which likelihood is more depressing?

Obama and the Suspension of Disbelief. By Victor Davis Hanson

Excerpt: As the first non-white president, Obama’s trajectory was not just seen as positive for the United States, but also his potential failure was feared as a collective setback. Obama brilliantly threaded the racial needle, serially reestablishing his fides as a minority candidate by weighing in unnecessarily in the Professor Gates psychodrama and the Trayvon Martin case, while offering soaring boilerplate about a racially blind and united America

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