Saturday, January 25, 2014

News for You

New lung update: Not much to report. Feeling good, exercising at rehab three times a week, and all my numbers look god. They are giving me a bronchoscopy every week to clean out mucus and "slough" (dead cells, they say once gone are gone--not everyone has it). ~Bob

Aetna CEO: We May Have to Pull Out of Obamacare, or Heavily Hike Premiums. Guy Benson
Excerpt: Via CNBC, an appropriate companion story to Moody's decision to downgrade health insurers' credit outlook to "negative." At least one chief executive within the industry is openly warning markets and consumers that actions -- and math -- have real-world consequences, no matter how hard political actors spin:

Insurance Downgrade. From The Patriot Post
Moody's Investor Service has downgraded the entire health insurance industry from stable to negative. Guess what's to blame: ObamaCare. Moody's says, "a new development and a key factor for the change in outlook is the unstable and evolving regulatory environment under which the sector is operating." Unstable is putting it mildly given the waivers and unilateral changes made by the Obama administration. The ratings change was inevitable because ObamaCare was designed to yield the results it's getting. And it's just getting started.

Downgraded: Insurance Companies Taste Wrath of ObamaCare. By Arnold Ahlert 
Excerpt: Another day, another dose of bad news for ObamaCare. On Thursday, Moody’s Investor Service announced it was downgrading its outlook for America’s healthcare insurance sector from “stable” to “negative,” due to ObamaCare. “While all of these issues had been on our radar screen as we approached 2014, a new development and a key factor for the change in outlook is the unstable and evolving regulatory environment under which the sector is operating,” Moody’s said. 

The ObamaCare Carnival of Perverse Incentives. By John C. Goodman
Excerpt: With fewer glitches to deter them, millions of Americans are now logging on to the ObamaCare health-insurance-exchange websites. When they get there, many are discovering some unpleasant surprises: The deductibles are higher than what most people are used to, the networks of doctors and hospitals are skimpier (in some cases much skimpier), and lifesaving drugs are often not on the insurers' formularies. Even after the government's income-based subsidies are taken into account, the premiums are often higher than what people previously paid.

More People On Medicaid Does Nor Mean Obamacare Is A Success. By Andrew Quinn
Excerpt: Progressive policy wonks are rallying around one feature of the law that they insist is proceeding wonderfully. Put aside all the other issues, they say—we should still applaud Obamacare’s massive expansion of Medicaid. (Compares Medicaid expansion to a blind date gone bad – very funny and so sad – Bob M.)

New Gallup numbers pour cold water all over one of the Democrats’ remaining defenses of ObamaCare. By Dan Spencer 
Excerpt: According to Gallup, which has been measuring the percentage of uninsured Americans monthly since 2008, the current rate of uninsured Americans is stuck at 16.1%.
A quick look at the trends will show you that percentage is almost the same as what it was when President Obama took office in January 2009, and nearly identical to the rate of uninsured in March 2010, when the Democrats jammed ObamaCare through Congress on a strictly party line vote.

Little Sisters of the Poor, 1, Obamacare, 0. By Trey Sanchez
Excerpt: The Supreme Court on Friday delivered an injunction that allows the group of nursing home nuns, along with other religious organizations, to opt out of the Obamacare mandate that says they must provide employees contraception, which includes abortion. The injunction is quite a win for the nuns against the over-reaching arms of Obamacare. (Who knew the Little Sisters were racists? ~Bob)

Chris Jennings, White House adviser on health care, steps down
Excerpt: Chris Jennings, the White House’s coordinator of health reform, has resigned six months after he was recruited to try to iron out the implementation of major aspects of the Affordable Care Act.

Target to Drop Health Insurance for Part-Time Workers. By Alex Wayne
Excerpt: Target Corp. (TGT) will end health insurance for part-time employees in April, joining Trader Joe’s Co., Home Depot Inc. and other U.S. retailers that have scaled back benefits in response to changes from Obamacare.

Krauthammer: "The Purpose of O'care Was to Destroy the Relationship Between the Employer & Employee." ByGreg Hengler 
excerpt: Krauthammer: "The bill was written deliberately to force employers to kick people off their plans.... None of this [Target's new policy cancelling insurance for their part-time workers] is an unintended side effect of the creation of Obamacare. The purpose of Obamacare was to destroy the relationship between the employer and the employee in getting healthcare."

New Study: It’s Cheaper for Young People to Opt Out of Obamacare than to Enroll
Excerpt: Some House Democrats believe Obamacare is fundamentally sound. But if so, why has another study concluded that the individual mandate provision is seemingly flawed? In short, the law stipulates that those who do not have health insurance must sign-up for Obamacare or pay a penalty. But unfortunately for this administration, young people are already discovering that it’s cheaper for them to pay the fine than sign-up for an insurance plan they can ill-afford.

White Food. By Steve Sailer
Excerpt: In 2014, “transparency” is a popular buzzword used in the fight against corruption. The Turkish G├╝len cult that runs all those charter schools in America, for example, is frequently upbraided for not being transparent in its finances. Similarly, a century ago demanding whiteness was a way to fight corruption and adulteration in purchased food. Today a fashionable diet item such as South American quinoa may look like ground-up bugs, but we trust that supermarkets couldn’t get away with selling us ground-up bugs. (They can’t, can they?) Back then , however, people didn’t put much faith in grocery stores and restaurants, especially when they were traveling—and often with good reason.

Hand guns should be legalised and licensed, Nigel Farage has said
Excerpt: The Ukip leader has said it is party policy for hand guns to be legalised and licensed in the UK despite being banned in the UK for the last 18 years.
Mr Farage said the current ban on the guns, which were made illegal following the school shooting at Dunblane in 1996, was “ludicrous.”

Iran: Surge in Executions Worries Rights Experts
Excerpt: United Nations human rights experts called on Wednesday for an urgent halt to a surge in executions in Iran in recent weeks, observing that the more moderate tone adopted on human rights since President Hassan Rouhani’s election last year has yet to yield any moderation in the country’s punitive practices. Iran reportedly hanged 40 people in the first two weeks of January, 33 of them in the last week, Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations expert monitoring human rights in Iran, and Christof Heyns, the organization’s expert dealing with summary executions, said in a joint statement released in Geneva. The hangings carried out by Iran since the start of the year follow the execution of 625 people, including 28 women, and a number of political detainees in 2013, an increase of more than 100 over the number of recorded executions the previous year, Mr. Shaheed said.

Cairo bomb attacks: Four killed and dozens wounded on eve of revolution rallies in Egypt
Excerpt: Egyptians are bracing themselves for civil unrest tonight after Cairo was shaken by a series of explosions on the eve of third anniversary of the Tahrir Square uprising. A suspected suicide bomber detonated a truck bomb outside the headquarters of Egypt’s security directorate, killing four people – including three policeman – and wounding dozens of others.

Excerpt: In a statement released to jihadist forums this evening, Sinai-based Ansar Jerusalem (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis) claimed responsibility for four attacks today in the Cairo area, including a car bombing outside the Cairo Security Directorate. The attacks, the first by the group outside North Sinai since Dec. 24, left six people dead and over 70 wounded.

Motorcycle gunmen kill five Egyptian police, government says
Excerpt: The attack in the province of Beni Suef, 100 km (62 miles) south of Cairo, was carried out by men riding two motorcycles, a ministry statement said.

Book Review: Tramps Like Them. Charles Murray Examines the White Working Class in ‘Coming Apart’
The book is worth reading. ~Bob. Excerpt: Charles Murray, the influential conservative scholar and provocateur, believes this story is wrong. In his new book, “Coming Apart,” Murray flips the script that has energized Republican politics and campaigns since Richard Nixon: the white working class, he argues, is no longer part of a virtuous silent majority. Instead, beginning in the early 1960s, it has become increasingly alienated from what Murray calls “the founding virtues” of civic life. “Our nation is coming apart at the seams,” Murray warns — “not ethnic seams, but the seams of class.”

In Their Own Words: Lenin, Stalin, Obama, and Hillary. By Andrew Thomas
Excerpt: It is beneficial to remind ourselves periodicallyof the realities in the struggle between Constitutionalism / Capitalism and Marxism-Leninism. It is a continual struggle, whether we acknowledge it or not. And the enemy of America as a constitutional republic with a capitalistic economic system is Marxism-Leninism, whether it be characterized as communism, socialism, progressivism, leftism, statism, or liberalism (in its current state).

Outrage is the New Identity Politics. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: The internet has few limits. The only meaningful hard limit on the internet is the human attention span. Content isn't quite infinite, but it easily surpasses what any single person could even begin to take in. The sheer amount of options alone exceed the available time to enumerate them at any given moment. Technological limits have been proven to be soft limits. But there's only so much human attention to go around.

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: Two Sisters Lung Transplant from Same Donor
Excerpt: For months, 71-year-old Irma Myers-Santana and her younger sister, Anna Williamson, 69, had been debating who more urgently needed a lung transplant, each wanting the other to go first. Earlier this month, though, the sisters ended up in the same operating room, each getting one lung from the same donor in what doctors at Houston Methodist Hospital say is a first for their facility.

State Department spokesperson mischaracterizes al Qaeda
Excerpt: Yesterday, State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf made two ridiculous claims about al Qaeda during a briefing with reporters. First, she claimed that there are no "operational" links between al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri and jihadist groups in Syria. And second, she said that Zawahiri is the only remaining member of "core" al Qaeda. From the briefing [emphasis ours]:

Voters: Obama and Clinton to Blame for Benghazi. By Katie Pavlich
Excerpt: Sixty percent of voters blame Clinton for what happened, according to a Fox News poll released Thursday. That includes 28 percent who blame her “a great deal” and another 32 percent who say she deserves “some” blame. Essentially the same number -- 59 percent -- blames Obama (26 percent “a great deal” and 33 percent “some”).

A woman’s thoughts on Lone Survivor. And a message to candy-ass liberals. By Michele Hickford, Editor-in-Chief 
Excerpt: I saw Lone Survivor today. I wept. I’m a female, I can do that sort of thing in public. Here’s why I wept. In the first few minutes of the film, watching the Navy SEALS train, I turned to my friends and said what a travesty it would be if the physical requirements were ever adjusted downwards to accommodate women – or anyone who could not meet them for that matter, regardless of gender or orientation. These men, these warriors, are elite for a reason. They are capable of doing things very few can. That’s the way we want and need them to be. (This lady has it right, and my hat is off to her. --Del)

Excerpt: The unprovoked verbal attack this week on a black U.S. Senator by a senior official of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) shows that negative stereotyping and the prejudice of low expectations – precisely what Martin Luther King fought against –lives on. Unfortunately, it is being perpetuated by the some of the very people who have appointed themselves the guardians of his ideals.

Newspaper chain plans 'state-by-state' concealed weapon databases. By Joshua Rhett Miller
Excerpt: A national newspaper chain with nearly 100 publications and 1.6 million readers is considering building “state-by-state databases” on concealed weapons permit holders, according to an internal e-mail. (A public service to thugs and thieves. ~Bob)

Military Dress Policy Allows for Turbans, Beards Worn for Religious Reasons
Excerpt: The Pentagon is expected to announce changes today to rules governing religious items and uniform regulations, NBC News is reporting.

Excerpt: It seems the California government has launched a much more effective version of this strategy. Their regulations are so burdensome that, not only are guns more expensive, but gun sellers are giving up on the market.

Watch what happens when Obama picks a top donor as ambassador
Excerpt: This is why a future president might finally do away with the practice of nominating a top political donor to be an ambassador. Here’s how the White House described wealthy executive George Tsunis when President Barack Obama nominated him to be the top U.S. diplomat in Norway in September 2013:

Keystone Cop-Out: Obama should give Canada an answer, already. By Charles Krauthammer
Excerpt: Fixated as we Americans are on Canada’s three most attention-getting exports — polar vortexes, Alberta clippers, and the antics of Toronto’s addled mayor — we’ve somewhat overlooked a major feature of Canada’s current relations with the United States: extreme annoyance. (If Canada was a Muslim country or had made a large contribution to Organizing for America, construction--with subsidies--would be underway. ~Bob)

Company that vetted Snowden accused of faulty reviews
Excerpt: Federal authorities have accused the company that vetted former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden and Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis of conducting 665,000 incomplete reviews in exchange for millions of dollars in bonus payments, according to court documents. (But the government is competent and should run healthcare and the economy. ~Bob)

Blasphemy case: Briton in Pakistan sentenced to death
Excerpt: A court in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi has sentenced a 70-year-old British man to death after convicting him of blasphemy. Muhammad Asghar was arrested in 2010 after writing letters to various people claiming to be a prophet, reports say.

Obama’s Middle East Fantasies. By P. David Hornik
Excerpt: Obama adduces the Palestinian issue and Arab anti-Semitism going back “decades” as the factors preventing an “informal alliance” and “diplomatic relations.” The implication is that these problems—along with Israeli “anti-Arab sentiment”—can be overcome. The administration, spearheaded by Secretary of State Kerry, has indeed thrown itself headlong into another round of the “Israeli-Palestinian peace process.” The problems with Obama’s take on the matter, however, begin with the word “decades.”

Hollywood’s Muslim Lies. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: In real life, terrorists are almost always Muslim. In the movie theater, they are anything but. America’s fictional secret agents, covert operatives and rogue cops who play by their own rules have spent more time battling Serbian terrorists than Muslim terrorists. 

Look, You Don't Know What You're Missing. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: Painting. What to paint? How to paint it? Those are the two questions that ever haunt painters - beginners and accomplished alike. But painting is not about things. And painting is not about the brush.

Pakistan anti-terror fund spent on gifts
Excerpt: Pakistani officials have reportedly used a secret counter-terrorism fund to buy wedding gifts, luxury carpets and gold jewellery for relatives of ministers and visiting dignitaries.
Documents seen by the AFP news agency cast a spotlight on high-level corruption in Pakistan as the impoverished but nuclear-armed country battles a surge in Taliban violence.

Protesters throw stones, disrupt Nigeria gay trial
Excerpt: Thousands of protesters threw stones into the Shariah court in a north Nigerian city Wednesday, urging the speedy convictions and executions of 11 men arrested for belonging to gay organizations.

Unbelievable! Media Blames Chris Stevens for His Own Murder – New Talking Points to Clear Clinton for 2016
Excerpt: In a move that can only be considered so low as not to be believed, the liberal media has decided that Ambassador Chris Stevens is to blame for his own death at the hands of terrorists. That’s right folks, they are blaming Chris Stevens as the cause of his own death! T.V. talk show host and staunch liberal Bill Maher begins by essentially suggesting that the latest intelligence committee report all but exonerates everyone stateside of any incompetence, wrongdoing, or cover up.

Excerpt: The emir of al Qaeda, Ayman al Zawahiri, has released a new audio message addressing the infighting between jihadist groups in Syria. Zawahiri does not mention any specific groups or individuals by name, but much of his message is clearly aimed at the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS), a branch of al Qaeda that has been the main source of the internecine conflict.

Federal prosecutors subpoena Christie's campaign, NJ GOP committee
Excerpt: Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's campaign and a state Republican Party committee, escalating their probe into allegations that his aides created traffic jams as political payback. (Chgristie has handled this scandal far better than Obama has his many, but he doesn't have the media carrying water for him. I'm not a Christie fan. I think he's done. ~Bob.)

Judge: ‘Let’s Burn the Jew’ not Racism, Even if you Burn a Jew
Excerpt: A Canadian judge ruled that grabbing a Jewish girl, flicking a lighter next to her hair and saying "let's burn the Jew" is apparently not a racially motivated act in Winnipeg . A high school student grabbed a Jewish female classmate, held a lighter to her hair and said out loud, "let's burn the Jew," but a Canadian judge concluded that the incident was "not racially motivated." The lawyer for the defendant claimed, essentially, it was the girl's fault her hair caught on fire. (Would this judge have come to the same conclusion if the same was done by a Jew to a Christian or Muslim? What would be the reaction of the world? --Harry)

Global Warming Scientist To Be Cross-examined Under Oath [2nd Amendment Texan] Posted by Ace of Spades
Excerpt: It appears from the complaint that Mr. [Michael 'Hockey Stick'] Mann is demanding a jury trial. He might get it yet – after 18 months of procedural absurdity the judge refused to dismiss the case. For 1st Amendment legal observers, this is the cue to get the popcorn because there is a smack down coming.

Canada Takes Its Place at the Table. By Caroline Glick
Excerpt: It was the Arab use of the oil weapon after the 1973 Yom Kippur War that convinced Western Europe to end its diplomatic support for Israel and throw in with the PLO. More than anything else, it is the Arab economic boycott of companies that do business with Israel that has eroded Israel’s diplomatic standing over the past two generations and transformed the only human rights respecting democracy in the Middle East into an international pariah. And yet, under Stephen Harper, as the noose of international isolation is drawn around Israel’s neck more tightly every day, Canada has emerged as an outspoken supporter and defender of the Jewish state.

PHOTOS: Kiev "reminiscent of revolutionary Paris"

Excerpt: Tom Coburn’s decision to retire prematurely from the Senate is a major loss to both the upper chamber and his constituents in Oklahoma. Coburn, who is yet again battling cancer, has been one of the Senate’s most vocal fiscal conservatives, earning a reputation for fighting against cronyism, earmarks, and out-of-control entitlement spending in Washington. One pundit stated that he was Tea Party long before the movement was even conceived. But like any retirement, the ink has barely dried on the press release before possible successors start throwing their hats (or Stetsons) into the ring.

Almost Everything in "Dr. Strangelove" Was True. By Eric Schlosser
Excerpt: The first casualty of every war is the truth—and the Cold War was no exception to that dictum. Half a century after Kubrick’s mad general, Jack D. Ripper, launched a nuclear strike on the Soviets to defend the purity of “our precious bodily fluids” from Communist subversion, we now know that American officers did indeed have the ability to start a Third World War on their own. And despite the introduction of rigorous safeguards in the years since then, the risk of an accidental or unauthorized nuclear detonation hasn’t been completely eliminated.

Extreme Excessive Spending in the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey.
Excerpt: Last week in the newspaper it was reported that the Diocese of Camden purchased a mansion in Woodbury, New Jersey for $500,000.00. This is an 8 bedroom house, 6 bathrooms, a media room, gourmet kitchen, built in swimming pool and a $24,000.00 dining room table. The house was purchased for the Bishop to live in. Parishioners are very upset.

Dinesh D'Souza Released on $500,000 Bond
Excerpt: Dinesh D'Souza pleaded "not guilty" Friday in New York during his arraignment on federal charges that he violated campaign finance laws by donating $20,000 to a friend who unsuccessfully ran for Hillary Clinton's U.S. Senate seat in 2012. (More IRS targeting Conservatives? --JB).

The Totalitarians of New York. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: There are two ways of looking at any major city; as a mechanical problem of buildings, streets and sewers whose infrastructures need to be maintained or as a social problem of misbehaving people. The mayors of the mechanical problem understand that they need to clean the streets, but the mayors of the social problem think that they have to fix the people.
Mayor Bloomberg flubbed the snow challenge badly. Instead of preparing road salt, he banned salt in restaurants. Instead of having a snow strategy for the winter, he had a Global Warming strategy for the next fifty years. Instead of doing his job, he kept trying to transform the people.

Central African Republic children forced to commit atrocities: U.N.
Excerpt: As many as 6,000 children in Central African Republic have been recruited by armed groups and forced to commit atrocities along religious lines in a conflict that is at high risk of spiraling into genocide, U.N. envoys said on Wednesday.

Rights group says Muslims massacred in Myanmar amid official denials
Excerpt: Security forces in western Myanmar massacred at least 40 Rohingya Muslims last week, including women and children, a human rights group said on Thursday, quoting witness accounts, despite official denials of the killings.

Excerpt: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif insisted Wednesday that the Obama administration mischaracterizes concessions by his side in the six-month nuclear deal with Iran, telling CNN in an exclusive interview that “we did not agree to dismantle anything.”

Iran Sanctions Relief Could Fund Terrorism Against U.S. No strings attached to cash destined for Iran. By Adam Kredo
Excerpt: Iran has been granted absolute control over more than $4 billion that will be unfrozen and returned to Tehran under the recently enacted nuclear accord, causing concern that the cash will be used to fund terrorism.

Al-Qaeda training British and European 'jihadists' in Syria to set up terror cells at home
Excerpt: British people fighting in Syria are being trained as “jihadists” and then encouraged to return to the UK to launch attacks on home soil, an al-Qaeda defector and western security sources have told the Telegraph.

Excerpt: Don’t believe the happy talk coming out of the White House, Federal Reserve and Treasury Department when it comes to the real unemployment rate and the true “Misery Index.” Because, according to an influential Wall Street advisor, the figures are a fraud. In a memo to clients provided to Secrets, David John Marotta calculates the actual unemployment rate of those not working at a sky-high 37.2 percent, not the 6.7 percent advertised by the Fed, and the Misery Index at over 14, not the 8 claimed by the government.

Obama's NSA 'reforms' are little more than a PR attempt to mollify the public

Excerpt: The crux of this tactic is that US political leaders pretend to validate and even channel public anger by acknowledging that there are "serious questions that have been raised". They vow changes to fix the system and ensure these problems never happen again. And they then set out, with their actions, to do exactly the opposite: to make the system prettier and more politically palatable with empty, cosmetic "reforms" so as to placate public anger while leaving the system fundamentally unchanged, even more immune than before to serious challenge.

A blues singer spent 10 years in a North Vietnam prison for singing about love
Excerpt: During its war with the United States, North Vietnam wasn't just concerned with how the frontline battles were going, or the US air raids on its capital city. The communist leaders were also worried about what its citizens were singing. The North Vietnamese government only wanted songs that encouraged people to fight for the nation. So most other music was banned, especially love songs. (What they believe in is hatred and fear of anyone opposing them, and their own fanatic passion for power. Nothing else matters, so songs about love do not mean anything to them. --Del)

White House Petitioned to Have Muslim Holidays Recognized in School Year
Excerpt: OK, for all those people out there who think there can be religious neutrality, I’m just making it clear, there cannot be such a thing (It’s called the myth of neutrality). Everyone falls under some religious ideology, whether it be Christianity, Islam, secular humanism or even atheism (and yes it is a religious ideology). With that said, there is a petition posted at the site calling for recognizing Muslim holidays during the school year by the government education system. (And, of course, BHO will see to it that it is pushed through, maybe even by another executive order. --JB).

Blankets to armored vehicles: Military gives it, Utah police take it. Pentagon’s 1033 Program sparks “militarization” worries in civil libertarians.
Excerpt: Utah police also received four grenade launchers, 17 .45-caliber pistols and a handful of magazines and weapon accessories. Click here to see a map of where in Utah the weapons went. The Defense Department has provided the weaponry and equipment through what it calls the 1033 Program. …While there’s no available documentation that anyone in Utah has been shot or killed with weapons from the 1033 Program, civil libertarians have taken note and are voicing concern over what they call the "militarization" of local police.

Michelle Obama: Hanoi Jane Is My Role Model

Excerpt: First Lady Michelle Obama says Jane Fonda is one of her role models, and that she admires her political savviness. (Are we surprised? --JB).

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