Thursday, November 21, 2013

Today's great offerings

Obamacare-speak fails to mask an evolving fiasco. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: The Obama administration once gave us "man-caused disasters" for acts of terrorism and "workplace violence" for the Fort Hood shootings. Now it has trumped those past linguistic contortions by changing words to mask the Obamacare disaster. ... Now the administration explains the deception by going after both the ethics of the insurers and the intelligence of the previously insured. That task required language to be altered. 

Interesting: Poll Results on the Politics of Healthcare Reform
Excerpt: Affordable Care Act (ACA) Has Net -12 Approval Rating: Forty one percent of registered voters approve of the law compared with 53 percent who disapprove. Approve/Disapprove: Republicans – 15/82 Democrats – 68/14 Independents – 28/63. Independents Trust Republican Party More on Healthcare: Loyalty prevails among partisans, but among independents, 42 percent trust the Democratic Party more when it comes to handling healthcare compared with 58 percent who trust the Republican Party more. Trust Democratic Party/Republican Party: Republicans – 7/93 Democrats – 92/8 Independents – 42/58

Excerpt: Multiple individual plans available on the D.C. health-insurance exchange specifically cover elective abortion but not hearing aids, routine foot-care, and routine eye-care. One such plan, Healthy Blue PPO $1500, has a summary on the D.C. exchange’s website titled “Excluded Services & Other Covered Services.” It says enrollees can receive coverage for abortions performed for non-medical reasons, but not for a number of other services that could seem medically necessary. (I couldn't hear her say no...~Bob)

Obamacare website developers rush to fix bug suggesting hacking methods: Flaw in Affordable Care Act site records hack attempts through its search box and re-presents code as autocomplete options
Excerpt: A flaw in the website of President Obama's flagship Affordable Care programme has left the site and its users vulnerable to hacking, the Guardian has discovered. has been unknowingly recording hack attempts through its search box and re-presenting the code as automatically completed options. The bug could invite hackers to plant malicious code, which could then infect users' computers, but while site managers have removed the most obvious mistakes, several serious flaws remain and attacks continue to be suggested to users.

Obama was briefed earlier in year on health website problems
Excerpt: (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, who has portrayed himself as surprised by technical problems with the government's new health care website, was briefed earlier this year on a consultant's report that warned of possible widespread site failures, the White House said on Tuesday. There have been weeks of questions about whether Obama understood the depth of the site's problems and let it open anyway, or simply "did not have enough awareness" of them, as the president stated at a November 14 news conference. (OK, now we have even more scoop on who knew what when. And wow, it's not exactly like we were told. --Del)

O’Keefe video captures nonprofit Obamacare enrollment group conspiring to engage in political activity
Excerpt: An official with the nonprofit Obamacare enrollment group Enroll America conspired to give people’s personal information to what he thought was a political action committee, according to James O’Keefe’s latest video, provided to The Daily Caller. Enroll America, which Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted to fundraising for, is a “nonpartisan” 501(c)(3) nonprofit that critics accuse of working as an unofficial Obamacare navigator across the country. Enroll America’s Texas state communications lead Christopher Tarango conspired to provide a list of potential Obamacare enrollees, obtained through the “commit cards” that the group hands out door to door to help them pick insurance plans, to an O’Keefe investigator posing as the representative of a political action committee.

Repeal is increasingly plausible
Excerpt: Insurers and Democrats are now in a similar situation. Legislators need insurers to help them make this law work by staying in the market and selling policies for affordable premiums. Insurers need legislators to hold this law together, particularly the individual mandate. If both of them hold strong, then Democrats have their best chance to get Obamacare working, and they can hope that voters like it so they can win re-election. Insurers, meanwhile, get a system in which the public is legally required to buy their product. But if you think the other side might waver, then your best move is to defect immediately. 

To Cut Costs, ObamaCare Plans Drop Top Docs, Hospitals
Excerpt: If you have a health care provider you really like, look very carefully at any plan you buy on To keep costs down—a top Obama administration priority—insurers on the government's health care exchange are offering smaller networks that cut out the country's most prestigious (and most expensive) hospitals and doctors, the Washington Post reports. In one much-watched case, the Seattle Children's Hospital has filed a lawsuit against Washington's insurance commissioner over all the plans excluding it. (The top hospitals and docs tend to charge more, so the answer is.....They are OUT of Obamacare network. Which means, every insurance plant that partners with them is automatically also out. There should be a way for them to not be out, even if they charge more, but apparently the geniuses who are running Obamacare can't figure out anything like that. This just keeps getting better and better. --Del)

Excerpt: Is this the beginning of something? Former Democratic Rep. Harold Ford (TN) appeared on Morning Joe today and said that the problems with the website are just the beginning (which most people have already realized). He cites the coming shortage of doctors as one of the next major problems facing Obamacare.

Mark Warner Is Afraid Of His Own Words On Obamacare
Excerpt: The heat cranked up on Warner even further when a video that his office posted to YouTube began making the rounds where Mark Warner makes an Obama-esque promise that no one who likes their current health insurance plan would lose it. Warner provided the 60th and decisive vote for Obamacare’s passage.

Important: Second wave of health plan cancellations looms
Excerpt: A new and independent analysis of ObamaCare warns of a ticking time bomb, predicting a second wave of 50 million to 100 million insurance policy cancellations next fall -- right before the mid-term elections. The next round of cancellations and premium hikes is expected to hit employees, particularly of small businesses.

Older hill aides shocked by Obamacare prices
Excerpt: “In a shock to the system, the older staff in my office (folks over 59) have now found out their personal health insurance costs (even with the government contribution) have gone up 3-4 times what they were paying before,” Minh Ta, chief of staff to Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), wrote to fellow Democratic chiefs of staff in an email message obtained by POLITICO. “Simply unacceptable.” (well, they voted for all this. ~bob)

Obamacare Ignites Revolution Inside The Democratic Party
Excerpt: President Obama backpedaling on Obamacare's effectiveness is the equivalent of Jefferson rethinking the Louisiana Purchase, or Reagan telling Gorbachev to keep the Berlin Wall up. And Obama is far from the only Democrat noticing the chinks in Obamacare...

Senate Dems weaken GOP power with major filibuster rule change
Excerpt: Senate Democrats bowled over Republicans on Thursday to win approval for a highly controversial rule change which would limit the GOP's ability to block nominees, in a move Republicans called a "raw power grab." (There will eventually be another GOP President. ~Bob)

Reid, Clinton, Obama, Biden All Opposed 'Nuclear Option' Eight Years Ago
Excerpt: Obama: “Mr. President, I rise today to urge my colleagues to think about the implications of what has been called the nuclear option and what effect that might have on this Chamber and on this country,” Obama said. “I urge all of us to think not just about winning every debate but about protecting free and democratic debate.” Obama added that if the nuclear option was invoked, partisanship would “get worse.”

Flashback, ’08 Reid: ‘As Long As I Am The Leader’ We Will Not Have A Nuclear Option
Not his first or last lie. ~Bob.
Puerto Rico: Greece in the Caribbean
Excerpt: (democrat-run) Puerto Rico, an American territory, risks a Greek-style bust. With $70 billion of debt outstanding, the equivalent of 70% of its GDP, it is more indebted than any of America’s 50 states. (Puerto Rico is not technically a state, but its bonds are treated as if it were.) Yields on its bonds have soared as high as 10%, as investors fret it may be heading for a default.

Three “Knockout” Attacks Reported In Philadelphia Area
Excerpt: “Knockout” attacks have been reported in several states around the country and now investigators believe three people have been attacked in our area.

'Knockout Game' Perp Shot, Killed. During apparent burglary, ran into 'right person' with gun
Excerpt: Tiffany Thompson got her wish: Demetrius Murphy met the “Right Person” and he will not be playing the Knockout Game any more. …A St. Louis homeowner shot Murphy dead late last week during a burglary. And a whole lot of people in St. Louis feel relieved, if not safer.

How soon before a press conf. from Obama saying that if he had a son, they'd look like these Black boys playing the Knockout game? (Racist! O, wait, Pam is black. ~Bob)

Kennedy Cousin Michael Skakel Granted Bond
Excerpt: Michael Skakel, a Kennedy cousin, was granted bond today after a judge found that his defense lawyer did not adequately represent him 11 years ago when he was tried for a murder committed decades earlier. Skakel, the 53-year-old nephew of Robert F. Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy, was granted bond after serving 11 years of a 20 years to life sentence for the brutal 1975 murder of teenager Martha Moxley. She was beaten to death with a golf club.

Excerpt: Repeat after me: JFK was killed by a Communist. Again: JFK was killed by a Communist. One more time: JFK was killed by a Communist. Because the New York Times keeps telling us how the Dallas of 1963 was a right-wing “city of hate.” 

Excerpt: In a brilliant 2006 analysis, Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism (Encounter), James Piereson showed how liberals turned the murder by a Communist of John F. Kennedy, a liberal politician, into a stain on conservatives, and how this distortion then caused liberalism to evolve into the sickly phenomenon it is today.

The Oswald Agenda. By Jerry Organ
Excerpt: Oswald was a self-proclaimed Marxist since adolescence who defected to the USSR in 1959 on his own initiative, offering to trade on his military experience with the Marines. Oswald's ideal of a Soviet utopia was immediately soured by bureaucratic indifference, causing Oswald to adopt revolutionary Marxism as opposed to institutionalized Leninism, perhaps inspired by some Cuban students he befriended while living in Minsk. By the time Oswald and his Russian-born wife Marina leave the USSR in June 1962, Oswald sees in the Castro revolution a truer form of socialism — one not corrupted by Soviet Communist Party Officials and their perks. ... That summer, while living in New Orleans, Oswald was very active in defending Castro through leafletting and debating on radio.

Excerpt: By almost any measure, John F. Kennedy was a middling president at best, and an occasionally disastrous one. The Bay of Pigs fiasco, the Cuban missile crisis, setting the nation on the wrong course in Vietnam, his nepotism, the spying on political rivals — all must weigh heavily in our judgment of his presidency. And while Kennedy the president was a middle-of-the-range performer at best, Kennedy the man has been relentlessly diminished by the eventual revealing of the facts of his day-to-day life.

The real JFK conspiracy. By Dale McFeatters
Excerpt: However, one conspiracy is real: John Kennedy was a very sick man, at times a physical and psychological cripple, and Kennedy and his aides conspired mightily to cover up his ailments on the not unreasonable grounds that had they been known Richard Nixon would probably have won the election.

The Islamic Hijacking of George Orwell. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: Islam is a religion of Peace. That is as certain as the three slogans of the Ministry of Truth; War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery and Ignorance is Strength. These three slogans of the Party in George Orwell’s 1984 are especially applicable to Islam; a religion of war that claims to be a religion of peace, whose political parties (such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party) use “Freedom” in their name but stand for slavery, and ignorance of its true nature creates an illusion of strength for industrialized nations that imagine that they are only battling a tiny handful of outmatched extremists.

U.S. Foreign Policy in ‘Whirlfall.’ By Jerome Vitenberg 
Excerpt: This policy, which is hastening the voluntary disintegration of the Western sphere of influence, is creating a vacuum into which old and new powers moved with incredible alacrity, led by realpolitik statesmen with scant regard to Western sensibilities, undeterred from using force to attain their goals. In the Middle East, in Africa, and in Asia, state actors such as Russia and China, as well as fundamentalist and terrorist groups such as the Taliban or Al-Shabaab, have moved in. Even in parts of South America – America’s “back yard” – the United States is being left behind.

Excerpt: The United States has promised that it will not carry out any drone strikes in Pakistan during any peace talks with Taliban militants in the future, the Prime Minister's Special Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said Wednesday. (Well there's an incentive for the talk and talk and talk while they move supplies and fighters into position. ~Bob.)

Tanzania dismantles al-Shabaab child indoctrination camp in Tanga region
Didn't get the "Islam is a Religion of Peace" memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Tanzanian police broke up an al-Shabaab training operation in Tanga region, arresting 69 suspects and freeing dozens of recruits ranging from 4 to 13 years old in a security sweep carried out October 28th to November 5th. ... When police found them at Madina mosque, the youngsters possessed exercise books which contained teachings on "how to kill using a knife [or] a machete, how to fight aggressors with weapons and without [weapons], how to sabotage the economy and how to liberate East Africa from the hands of the kuffar [infidels]," according to Liwowa.

The Jarrett File: What we know about Obama’s secretive adviser.
Excerpt: In the fall of 2012, when New York Times reporter Jo Becker was working on a profile of longtime Obama confidante and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, the White House press office circulated a list of talking points to ensure that potential sources would be on the same page regarding “The Magic of Valerie.”… Jarrett’s critics have no dearth of examples. She has been variously described by her critics within the Obama administration as the “Night Stalker,” on account of her general ruthlessness, as well as her tendency to follow the president into the White House residence after hours; “She Who Must Not Be Challenged”; and Obama’s “Rasputin.” 

Hospital delays are killing America's war veterans. By Scott Bronstein, Nelli Black and Drew Griffin
Excerpt: Military veterans are dying needlessly because of long waits and delayed care at U.S. veterans hospitals, a CNN investigation has found. What's worse, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is aware of the problems and has done almost nothing to effectively prevent veterans dying from delays in care, according to documents obtained by CNN and interviews with numerous experts. (Extremely upsetting news. To be fair, the VA is running on overload in many places, but still, what has gone on here is indefensible. Maybe this will get a tighter focus on the situation and things will start to get better. --De. The VA here in Madison, WI is wonderful. Hear good things from Buddies about the one in Columbus, MO too. ~Bob.)

Secret U.S. court approved wider NSA spying even after finding excesses
Excerpt: A secret U.S. intelligence court let the National Security Agency collect an expanded amount of data about Americans' email even after finding that the agency systematically exceeded the limits of a smaller program, newly released documents show. The judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court recounted a litany of problems with the first, smaller program, including the NSA collecting more categories of information than had been approved by the court and sharing data more widely within the electronic eavesdropping agency than had been authorized

Fisa court documents reveal extent of NSA disregard for privacy restrictions
Excerpt: Newly declassified court documents indicate that the National Security Agency shared its trove of American bulk email and internet data with other government agencies in violation of specific court-ordered procedures to protect Americans’ privacy. The dissemination of the sensitive data transgressed both the NSA’s affirmations to the secret surveillance court about the extent of the access it provided, and prompted incensed Fisa court judges to question both the NSA’s truthfulness and the value of the now-cancelled program to counter-terrorism. While the NSA over the past several months has portrayed its previous violations of Fisa court orders as “technical” violations or inadvertent errors, the oversharing of internet data is described in the documents as apparent widespread and unexplained procedural violations.

US Fed likely to start QE taper in 'coming months'
Excerpt: The US Federal Reserve sent investors a clear signal that it expects to begin tapering in the “coming months” its $85bn (£53bn) bond buying programme, its primary tool for reinvigorating the world’s largest economy

Barack Obama's approval rating sinks to an all time low. This might be the nadir of his presidency.
Excerpt: We might have hit the nadir of Barack Obama's presidency – and it's no coincidence that it should happen when his biggest initiative finally bears fruit. The latest CBS opinion poll says that his approval rating has sunk to its lowest point yet: just 37 per cent. …The Republicans might be feeling pretty down in the dumps right now but at least they have the consolation of knowing that Obama's down there with them.

Cheap But Imperfect: Can Geoengineering Slow Climate Change?
Excerpt: Keith: The idea is to make earth a little bit more reflective by putting say, sulfate or sulfuric acid aerosols in the upper atmosphere. This method is cheap, effective, quickly implantable but rather imperfect…. Eventually the sulfur will settle down into the lower atmosphere. And then there's the ozone loss risk.(Right. Back in the 197s, when Global Cooling was the settled science scare, scientists were suggesting dumping ask on the North Pole to increase heat and melting. The law of unintended consequences suggests this is a bad idea. ~Bob.)

Op-Ed: Can Obama Be Charged with Anti-Semitism?
excerpt: The US president last week mortally endangered the Jewish people by saying, through his Secretary of State, that Jewish life in Judea andSamaria is "illegittimate". Then he almost welcomed Iran into the world's nuclear club. Isn't that the world's most significant expression of anti-Semitism?

Exclusive: Syria's chemical weapons may be destroyed at sea - sources
Excerpt: Syria's chemical weapons could be processed and destroyed out at sea, say sources familiar with discussions at the international body in charge of eliminating the toxic arsenal. Four days after Albania rejected a U.S. request that it host a weapons decommissioning plant, Western diplomats and an official of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons at The Hague told Reuters the OPCW was studying whether it might carry out the work at sea, on a ship or offshore rig. (Creatures that live in the sea don’t have a vote….Anybody want a nice, odd-looking seafood platter? --Barb)

Bill Ayers Reportedly Reveals He Is Author Of “Dreams From My Father” in Latest Book
Excerpt: Flashback to 2011: Author Jack Cashill documented his thesis in “Deconstructing Obama.” Cashill explains that Obama does not possess the understanding or skills to author “Dreams From My Father”—however—the book writing style is remarkably similar to other works from Bill Ayers. Jack Cashill offers a full and fascinating discussion (along with a Q&A) on the topic at this C-SPAN video link.

“Schadenfreude”: “hurt,” “damage,” “detriment” plus “joy.” Is there any more perfect German word? Taking malicious glee in the misfortunes of others. (Melds with the “Knock Out” game where the “peeples have fun.” --Barb)

Exclusive—Rand Paul: ‘We Want Our Freedoms Back’
excerpt: Citing The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera, Paul explained, “Kundera captures the heart of the debate: the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting…against allowing the state to define away its usurpations. Will we allow defenders of the surveillance state to airbrush history and define away the notion of spying? Will we sit idly by as our expectation of freedom is defined downward?”

Issa Probes Report Of Fabricated Jobs Data Ahead Of 2012 Election
Excerpt: House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Census subcommittee chairman Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), and Joint Economic Committee chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) sent a letter to U.S. Census Bureau director John H. Thompson seeking information following reports that economic and jobs report data may have been “fabricated” ahead of the 2012 election. “Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy,” John Crudele wrote for the New York Post on Tuesday evening.

Excerpt: Poor countries pulled out of the United Nations climate talks during a fight over transferring wealth from richer countries to fight global warming…. Poor countries have demanded that the developed world give them $100 billion annually by 2020 to prepare for the impacts of global warming, such as heat waves and droughts.

Excerpt: “These allegations are shocking,” Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas, chairman of the subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and the Census, wrote in a letter Monday night to U.S. Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson. “If true, there may be a systemic problem at the Philadelphia Regional Census Office, where the alleged data fabrication occurred. These allegations also raise the prospect that the fabrication of data is a widespread problem.”

The real "War on Women." Thousands of girls flee homes for fear of FGM
Excerpt: Every year, thousands of girls flee mass mutilations in Africa. We have reports from Uganda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Kenya. Most of the girls are aged between 3 and 12 years and are hidden by older sisters to protect them from FGM.

Excerpt: Barack Obama is a terrible president who just so happens to be the nation’s first black president. (racist! h, wait, Crystal is black. ~Bob)

This Man Rescued Over 600 Jewish Kids from Nazi Camps. He Doesn’t Know It Yet, But He’s Sitting with Them.

Black woman named county mayor: Sharief also first mayor of Muslim upbringing
Excerpt: Sharief is also in a dispute with the state's Agency for Health Care Administration, which audited her business, South Florida Pediatric Homecare in Pembroke Pines, and accused her of overbilling Medicaid $485,615. In June she settled with the state, admitting no wrongdoing and agreeing to pay the disputed amount, plus costs and a fine of $48,561. The state has a second, open case against her business, accusing her of $221,819 in inappropriate Medicaid billings. 

Boko Haram Forces Kidnapped Christian Women To Be Slave Brides
Excerpt: In July, Christian teenager Hajja was picking corn in Gwoza, which is in the northeastern region of Nigeria, when the radical Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram, who control that region, kidnapped her. One of the men held a knife to her throat and told her he would kill her if she did not convert to Islam.

Maryland claims to have the toughest gun control laws in the nation and ranks #1 in robberies and #4 in both violent crime and murder.

South Florida religious youth group leader admits he made child porn video of student
Excerpt: Sheikh also admitted that his laptop contained a video he made of a 14-year-old male student masturbating, records show. The name of the mosque where Sheikh led the youth group was not included in court records. ... Sheikh convinced the parents that their son would best be able to lean the Koran if he stayed at Sheikh's home on weekends during summer vacation," according to the plea agreement Sheikh signed.

Obama Woos Liberal Journalists With Another Off-The-Record Meeting
Excerpt: On Thursday, Fox News’ Ed Henry tweeted that MSNBC hosts Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell, as well as Ezra Klein of theWashington Post and Fox News’ Juan Williams, had been invited for a private off-the-record chat with President Obama. Obama’s signature program, Obamacare, has been flailing in the press for weeks, and Obama apparently believes that it is about time to reshift the narrative:

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