Saturday, December 21, 2013

"Back to that proverbial fork in the road. One sign says 'liberty.' The other sign says 'political correctness.' Every individual American and every American institution will have to choose one or the other. We can no longer have both, and the truth is we really never could. It was always going to end this way, we just didn't want to believe it."


DUCK DYNASTY MESS HITS CRITICAL MASS: ONLY TWO WAYS IT CAN END... - Truth Revolt

The "Duck Dynasty" situation has gotten as hot and spicy as a bowl of creole jambalaya, with the down-home Louisiana family threatening to walk away from its popular cable show and host channel A&E network stuck between a rock and a hard gumbo.

The temperature rose Friday, when a insider to the show -- which generates nearly half a billion dollars in advertising and merchandise -- said the family is "serious" in its threat to walk away if A&E goes through with a suspension for patriarch Phil Robertson.

That threat sets up only two ways the spectacle can end.

"If the network backs down and they bring Phil back, they look weak. If they stand their ground, the family probably won’t move forward, and A&E loses their highest-rated show," the insider told E!

...Meanwhile, there has been steady -- even fierce -- pushback from the Christian community, which sees in the brouhaha an attempt to force them to alter their views. ◼ Radio talk show host Steve Deace laid out the situation in a USA Today column on Saturday.

"A nation founded by pilgrims who came here to worship the God of the Bible freely without interference and persecution from ruling elites and those opposed to Christianity's influence on the culture, has now come to the proverbial fork in the road. After years of attempting to balance traditional Americana with political correctness, those pushing the new 'my way or the highway' definition of 'tolerance' have decided accommodating our differences of opinion is defeat," he wrote.

And at the end of his piece, he had this dire warning:
"Back to that proverbial fork in the road. One sign says 'liberty.' The other sign says 'political correctness.' Every individual American and every American institution will have to choose one or the other. We can no longer have both, and the truth is we really never could. It was always going to end this way, we just didn't want to believe it."
What The Duck?

But grown-up conversations are not fashionable in the early 21st century, and a stake was prepared for the lady’s burning. Rant and rave is the order of the day

‘Tis the season for apologies - Wesley Pruden/Washington Times

The Age of Intolerance - Mark Steyn/National Review

Mr. Johnsen, who is 47, said he would like to buy insurance for his family. They have gone without it for the last two years, paying out of pocket on rare visits to the doctor. But he said it is hard to justify those prices to prevent an unforeseen catastrophe when so many real-world expenses demand his attention first.

link







For Global Warming Campaigners, 2013 Was The Year From Hell

Newsbytes: For Global Warming Campaigners, 2013 Was The Year From Hell - Watts Up With That?

2013 marks the 17th year of no warming on the planet. Almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the cause of global warming. 2013 was the best of years for climate skeptics; the worst of years for climate change enthusiasts for whom any change – or absence of change — in the weather served as irrefutable proof of climate change. That governments and the public would abandon the duty to stop climate change was in their minds no more thinkable than Hell freezing over. Which the way things are going for them, may happen in 2014. –Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, 20 December 2013

‘Twas the nightmare before Christmas - Watts Up With That?

2013 Will Finish One Of The Ten Coldest Years In US History, With The Largest Drop In Temperature - stevengoddard

Friday, December 20, 2013

"Rare" White House Press Conference











James Carville, Mary Matalin recall finding ‘Love’


The political world’s odd couple — conservative Mary Matalin and liberal James Carville — have talked plenty about politics but their latest book — “Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home” — focuses on how they resolve their differences at home... - Politico

...On the current GOP (Carville): “I think 80 percent of what’s wrong in the country is all contained in the Republican Party. I really do. And I don’t say that because I’m a Democrat.” Still, Carville admits that “I do think that I’ve gotten more conservative in some ways as I’ve gotten older. … I became a little more conservative politically when I realized that once something gets written into law, once it’s in the bloodstream, it’s really hard to undo it. You’ve got to be careful before making big changes....”

So, this is an embarrassment, yes? The law intended to insure the uninsured is instead uninsuring the insured.

Little problem: Most of those who had plans before had good plans, comprehensive plans. They will now be allowed to purchase catastrophic plans... but at comprehensive plan prices. - Ace Of Spades

None of these fixes are designed to be fixes. They're designed to appear to be fixes, so when people are uninsured, Obama can say, "I tried. I gave them options."

Just never the option of what he promised: Of keeping health insurance they liked.

Utter Chaos: White House Exempts Millions From Obamacare's Insurance Mandate, 'Unaffordable' Exchanges



link - Avik Roy/Forbes

(L)ast night, the White House made its most consequential announcement yet. The administration will grant a “hardship exemption” from the law’s individual mandate, requiring the purchase of health insurance, to anyone who has had their prior coverage canceled and who “believes” that Obamacare’s offerings “are unaffordable.” These exemptions will substantially alter the architecture of the law’s insurance marketplaces. Insurers are at their wits’ end, trying to make sense of what to do next.

?◼ WILL ANYONE HAVE TO PAY - Weekly Standard

The White House will not say whether anyone will have to pay the Obamacare penalty in 2014:



14th change to law without Congressional approval - John Fund/National Review

Yesterday the Obama administration suddenly moved to allow hundreds of thousands of people who’ve lost their insurance due to Obamacare to sign up for bare-bone “catastrophic” plans. It’s at least the 14th unilateral change to Obamacare that’s been made without consulting Congress.

“It shows that the Obamacare insurance products aren’t selling so, at the last minute, the administration is holding a fire sale on a failed launch,” says Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute, a health-care advocacy group. “Just think how you must feel if you were one of the people who spent the last two months fighting their way through HealthCare.gov to buy a policy that will be thousands of dollars more expensive than this catastrophic insurance!”

PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK: New security concerns for Healthcare.gov... DC to push Obamacare on youth waiting to buy Air Jordans...

White House warns Americans of GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare - Washington Times

Well, isn't this interesting. ...both the official Barack Obama and Organizing for America Twitter accounts have shifted their messaging from touting the benefits and success stories of Obamacare (few as they may be), to scare-whoring the costs of repealing the law.


"The Costs of Repeal" - JohnE/Ace Of Spades (image source)

I'm not sure if they're seeing disastrous internal polling or if this is a shot at the increasingly-weak knees of several red state Democrat Senators up for reelection next year, but either way, this is not exactly a position of strength. Repealing our signature law that is creating nationwide disruptions and confusion will likely cause more disruptions and confusion! Sure, run with that. Also, the website will be faster. Huzzah.

If you're explaining, you're losing, as they say.

STORY OF THE YEAR

The lie of the year, according to Politifact, is “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” But the story of the year is a nation waking up to just how radical Obamacare is — which is why it required such outright deception to get it passed in the first place. - Charles Krauthammer/Washington Post

Obamacare was sold as simply a refinement of the current system, retaining competition among independent insurers but making things more efficient, fair and generous. Free contraceptives for Sandra Fluke. Free mammograms and checkups for you and me. Free (or subsidized) insurance for some 30 million uninsured. And, mirabile dictu, not costing the government a dime.

In fact, Obamacare is a full-scale federal takeover. The keep-your-plan-if-you-like-your-plan ruse was a way of saying to the millions of Americans who had insurance and liked what they had: Don’t worry. You’ll be left unmolested. For you, everything goes on as before.

That was a fraud from the very beginning....

Obamacare posed as a free-market alternative to a British-style single-payer system. Then, during congressional debate, the White House ostentatiously rejected the so-called “public option.” But that’s irrelevant. The whole damn thing is the public option. The federal government now runs the insurance market, dictating deadlines, procedures, rates, risk assessments and coverage requirements. It’s gotten so cocky it’s now telling insurers to cover the claims that, by law, they are not required to.

I call this one 'Fireside Chat'


Day By Day

FEDERAL COURT: OBAMA’S PARTNERSHIP WITH MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS GOES FAR BEYOND GUNS

Last Friday, an opinion by Texas federal judge Andrew Hanen opened a window onto the sheer lawlessness of the Obama administration–in particular, the Department of Homeland Security. The case was United States of America v. Mirtha Veronica Nava-Martinez. - John Hinderaker/Powerline
In summary, instead of enforcing the laws of the United States, the Government took direct steps to help the individuals who violated it. A private citizen would, and should, be prosecuted for this conduct.
We see that a lot with the Obama administration. If they were in the private sector, they would go to jail. Judge Hanen’s anger was prompted, in part, by the fact that the case before him was not unprecedented, or even unusual:
This is the fourth case with the same factual situation this Court has had in as many weeks. In all of the cases, human traffickers who smuggled minor children were apprehended short of delivering the children to their ultimate destination. In all cases, a parent, if not both parents, of the children was in this country illegally. That parent initiated the conspiracy to smuggle the minors into the country illegally. He or she also funded the conspiracy. In each case, the DHS completed the criminal conspiracy, instead of enforcing the laws of the United States, by delivering the minors to the custody of the parent illegally living in the United States….

[T]here is no explanation. The DHS has simply chosen not to enforce the United States’ border security laws.
The Obama administration has tried to come up with explanations for why it is helping felons to break our laws at taxpayer expense, but its efforts, the Court says, are pathetic....

(You can download the opinion here.) Judge: DHS delivering young illegals caught at border to illegal immigrant parents - Caroline May/The Daily Caller

Poor guy. Barack Obama gets to jet around on Air Force One, golfs every once in a while (/sarc), and has all the trappings and perks of the highest office in the land.

But, according to a headline in Monday's Washington Post, he is the one person in the whole USA above everyone else — not those who have lost health insurance plans with which they were happy, not those who are paying outrageious amounts for far skimpier coverage than they formerly had, not the millions of potential workers so discouraged that they are no longer looking for work or considered to be workers, not the increasing ranks of the homeless — who has taken it on the chin this year... - Tom Blumer/Newsbusters

Probably the safest predictions on the planet are that the effort to portray Obama's poll implosion and ongoing unpopularity as not his fault will move forward in 2014, and that it will involve nonstop attempts to portray anyone and everyone who disapproves of his dishonest, sloppy, privacy-invading, opponent-harassing, state-enhancing nonchalant performance as racist.

You Were Warned: Obama as Victim - Rush

"Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Obama! Oh, Obama is suffering more than anybody from this." This is perverted, and it is sick, and it is their way of dealing with this. I went and researched my website, and it's all the way back on October the 16th where I first made reference to this fact that the Democrats, the left, the media were going to start portraying Obama as a victim.

Obama’s suffering - Neoneocon

The wording of this WaPo headline caught my eye: ◼ “Obama Suffers Most From Year of Turmoil, Poll Finds.”

...Again, we have the president as sufferer, and even though here (finally!) the wounds are “self-inflicted.” But it is the administration rather than the president himself that is doing the damage.... All in all, a masterpiece of subtly crafted writing designed to effect a certain perception: that of a beleaguered president who is the suffering victim.

STORY OF THE YEAR

The lie of the year, according to Politifact, is “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” But the story of the year is a nation waking up to just how radical Obamacare is — which is why it required such outright deception to get it passed in the first place. - Charles Krauthammer/Washington Post

Obamacare was sold as simply a refinement of the current system, retaining competition among independent insurers but making things more efficient, fair and generous. Free contraceptives for Sandra Fluke. Free mammograms and checkups for you and me. Free (or subsidized) insurance for some 30 million uninsured. And, mirabile dictu, not costing the government a dime.

In fact, Obamacare is a full-scale federal takeover. The keep-your-plan-if-you-like-your-plan ruse was a way of saying to the millions of Americans who had insurance and liked what they had: Don’t worry. You’ll be left unmolested. For you, everything goes on as before.

That was a fraud from the very beginning....

Obamacare posed as a free-market alternative to a British-style single-payer system. Then, during congressional debate, the White House ostentatiously rejected the so-called “public option.” But that’s irrelevant. The whole damn thing is the public option. The federal government now runs the insurance market, dictating deadlines, procedures, rates, risk assessments and coverage requirements. It’s gotten so cocky it’s now telling insurers to cover the claims that, by law, they are not required to.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

What the Duck? UPDATED


“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

How in the world did a family of squirrel-eating, Bible-thumping, catchphrase-spouting duck hunters become the biggest TV stars in America? And what will they do now that they have 14 million fervent disciples? ...Drew Magary toured the Louisiana backwater with Phil Robertson and the Duck Dynasty gang to find out - GQ
__________________

Gay rights group slams ´Duck Dynasty´ star Phil Robertson over homosexuality comments - FOX
‘Duck Dynasty’ star slammed over anti-gay rant - New York Post
SARAH PALIN: 'INTOLERANTS' BEHIND PHIL ROBERTSON'S SUSPENSION ATTACKING 'ALL OF US' - Tony Lee/Breitbart
'ANTI-GAY': ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY ATTACKS 'DUCK DYNASTY' STAR'S CHRISTIAN FAITH - John Nolte/Breitbart
Had the "Duck Dynasty" star singled out homosexuals, EW might be able to make its case for the absurd charge that he made "anti-gay comments." But as you can read with your own eyes, Robertson did not single out gays, he appropriately listed heterosexual sexual sin, such as adultery and sleeping around.
´Duck Dynasty´s´ Phil Robertson on Indefinite Hiatus Following Anti-Gay Remarks - Hollywood Reporter
Duck Dynasty Under Attack - Larry Johnson/No Quarter
'Duck Dynasty' star suspended for anti-gay comments - Entertainment Weekly
A&E broke its silence on Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson’s anti-gay comments late Wednesday.

The cable network announced Robertson is off the hit show for the time being.
“Duck Dynasty” has been a ratings juggernaut for A&E, recently drawing around 9 million viewers for its Christmas special. - Variety



Is Phil Robertson Wrong? - The Other McCain



UPDATE:

Was Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson fired after likening homosexuality to bestiality? - Althouse (Must Read Comments Thread)
Ultimately There Will Be No Option for Silence or the Sidelines. You Will Be Made To Care. - Erick Erickson/Red State
Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant and then it seeks to silence good. Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Duck Dynasty clan, honestly answered questions during an GQ interview. He spoke openly of his Christian faith. Because he offended a secular left at war with orthodox Christianity, he must be punished.
Over 1 Million Support Boycotting A&E Following ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star’s Suspension - CBS Houston ◼ Via Drudge
As of Thursday evening, more than 1 million people have “liked” the ◼ “Boycott A&E Until Phil Robertson Is Put Back On Duck Dynasty” Facebook page.

“This page is to show support for the freedom of speech of Americans. Unless Phil is reinstated to the show, we refuse to watch the A&E Channel!” the page states.

The page exploded when it was launched Wednesday, breaking over 200,000 likes in less than six hours and 700,000 after 20 hours. The page received more than 1 million likes in less than 24 hours.

The administrator, who is named Michael, claims he was even banned from Facebook for 12 hours because the page was generating 4,500 likes in one hour.
TODD STARNES EXCLUSIVE!

Duck season may soon be over for A&E.

The Robertson family released a statement to me just moments ago that raises doubts about the future of the one of the most popular shows on cable television.

“We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm,” the Robertson family said in a prepared statement. “We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty.”

The family said the have “spent much time in prayer” since they learned that A&E had suspended Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Louisiana family, over comments he made about his religious faith.

The family defended Robertson’s comments and stressed that they are a “family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word.”

“While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible,” the family stated. “Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Phil would never incite or encourage hate.”

The family also criticized A&E for their actions -- saying he was placed on hiatus “for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.”

WE'LL WALK. 'Duck Dynasty' Family: 'We Cannot Imagine the Show' Without Phil Robertson - HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

The reality stars have issued a statement amid the controversy surrounding the family patriarch's anti-gay remarks, saying it is in discussions with A&E about the future of the series.
__________________

MORE, AT DRUDGE:
A&E Tried to Cut 'Jesus' from Family Prayers - Truth Revolt
Will Air Marathon Despite Suspension - Truth Revolt
PALIN DEFENDS: “Free speech is an endangered species. Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us...” - Politico
CRUZ: 'Represents the America Usually Ignored or Mocked by Liberal Elites' - National Journal
PAGLIA: Uproar 'utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist' - Caroline May/Daily Caller
GAY WRITER: Fiasco says more about our bigotry than Phil's - Brandon Ambrosino/TIME
'Boycott A&E' FACEBOOK Page Gets 500k 'Likes' in Hours - Breitbart
Administrator BANNED For Generating Too Much Support - CBS Local
Show Sponsor Backs Robertson - TMZ

'Duck Dynasty' Controversy: Conservatives (and Camille Paglia) Leap to Phil Robertson's Defense - Hollywood Reporter
"I speak with authority here because I was openly gay before the Stonewall Rebellion, when it cost you something to be so," (Camille) Paglia said. "I personally feel, as a Libertarian, that people have the right to free thought and free speech."

Paglia said the punishment of Robertson is a "level of punitive PC, utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist, OK, that my liberal colleagues in the Democratic party and on college campuses have supported and promoted over the last several decades. It's the whole legacy of the free speech [movement] of the 1960s that has been lost by my own party."

On the 8th day of ObamaCare, Democrats gave to me coverage a’ dropping, businesses-a-closing, six-in-ten disapprovin', five million cancelled plans

...Four-Oh-Four errors, fewer physicians, two times the cost and a nightmare for my family.


RNC

So You Think Obama’s 2013 Was Bad? Just Wait Until 2014

President Obama is ending a miserable year on a down note. - Peter Wehner/Commentary

Public opinion polls show Mr. Obama’s approval ratings at their low and disapproval ratings at their high. He’s being tagged by the elite media as a liar and as having had the Worst Year in Washington. His signature achievement, the Affordable Care Act, is a rolling disaster. And the rest of his agenda–on gun control, climate change, immigration, and much else–is dead in the water. As CNN’s John King put it, Obama was “0 for 13” on the policy proposals he advocated at the beginning of the year....

The core problem facing the Obama presidency, then, can’t be fixed simply by personnel changes; it can only be repaired by accepting that the Affordable Care Act is intrinsically defective and therefore needs to be ended. And Mr. Obama will fight to his last breath to keep that from occurring.

Obama spends $11m attending Mandela funeral -- not including flight there and back...

VIP Hotel and Vehicles for Mandela Funeral Trip More Than $11M - Jeryl Bier/Weekly Standard

It is unclear from the documents if the lodging and transportation contracts covered just the president and his support staff, or if it included George W. Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and other current and former government officials. The transportation contract included passenger vehicles, SUVs, vans, buses, pickup trucks, box trucks, and "larger capacity vehicles"

Krauthammer to Senator Manchin: “Why Don’t You Fess Up and Become a Republican?” (Video)



Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) joined Special Report tonight to discuss the Democrat agenda going forward. - Jim Hoft/Gateway Pundit
Charles Krauthammer: You are someone who takes the debt seriously. So my question is why don’t you fess up and become a Republican?

Sen. Joe Manchin: There are still responsible Democrats around the country.

Krauthammer: Well, you’re one of them. Can you name three?

ObamaCare Found To Restrict Where You Live And Travel

'We have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in." Those words from President John F. Kennedy in June 1963, standing at the Berlin Wall, neatly illustrated the moral superiority of the free West over the Soviet bloc. - Investor's Business Daily

But Americans are now about to find themselves grappling with their own bureaucratic Berlin Wall. The American Thinker's Stella Paul has exposed the virtually unnoticed fact that within the ObamaCare exchanges so many Americans are being forced into, "most plans only provide local medical coverage."

...A prominent New York insurance broker pointed out that most of the policies offered on the ObamaCare exchanges are not national networks, so "if you need routine medical services, they will not be covered when you leave your local area," as they were before.

Travel health insurance, unfortunately, only covers emergencies. So, the broker told Paul, "a large portion of the population will have their insurance as a consideration for their mobility, which they never had before."

...Meet the latest unpleasant ObamaCare surprise, right on the heels of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius this week finally admitting that, contrary to Obama's endlessly repeated promise, "there are some individuals who may be looking at increases" in premiums.

Unrestricted movement is a birthright of our liberty. Even socialized medicine's harshest opponents didn't suspect Washington would trample that freedom.

The Case That Could Topple Obamacare

Obamacare may have its problems, including more bugs than you can find in the cornfields of Nebraska, but its legal worries were meant to end after the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate, the heart of the Affordable Care Act. - Pema Levy/Newsweek

Now, as the technologists charged with making healthcare.gov work report progress, lawyers are re-entering the fray. A little-heard of challenge currently making its way through the court system may represent opponents’ last best hope of, as they are fond of saying, driving a stake through the heart of the law.

It all started in 2011, when Jonathan H. Adler, a conservative law professor at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, shot an email to his friend Michael Cannon, a health policy expert at the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. Adler thought he had spotted an error in Obamacare that could unravel a significant portion of the law.

At issue are the federal subsidies for individuals buying insurance in their state’s health care exchanges. The law stipulates that those subsidies should be allotted for plans purchased “through an Exchange established by the State under Section 1311” (italics added), a reference to the section of the law that establishes state-run exchanges.

Adler wondered: Did the law provide subsidies for only state-run exchanges and not federal ones? The law requires that the federal government step in to create an exchange when a state declines to do so. But does it fail to give subsidies to the residents of those states?

It may seem like a small problem, but if true, it spells disaster for the Affordable Care Act. Without subsidies, health care on the individual market becomes unaffordable. Without an affordable option, the individual and employer mandates disappear. In other words, the entire law could come crashing down in the 36 states that have opted not to run their own exchanges. (Read the rest, at Newsweek)

72% Say Big Government Is Greater Threat Than Big Business Or Big Labor


The prior high for big government was 65% in 1999 and 2000. Big government has always topped big business and big labor, including in the initial asking in 1965, but just 35% named it at that time. - Gallup

Currently, 21% name big business as the greatest threat, while 5%, a record low, say big labor. The high point for big labor was 29% in 1965. No more than 11% of Americans have chosen big labor since 1995, clearly reflecting the decline of the labor movement in the United States in recent decades.

‘TROUBLING’: FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS OBAMA ADMIN. TO DISCLOSE DOCUMENT IT’S BEEN TRYING TO KEEP HIDDEN

A federal judge Tuesday ordered the disclosure of a government-wide foreign aid directive President Barack Obama signed in 2010 but wanted to keep hidden from the public, Politico reports. The judge called the scope of the government’s argument for “presidential communications privilege” rather “troubling.” - The Blaze

The Department of Justice has argued that the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development was covered by executive privilege, even though the information is “non-classified” and sends directives to agencies not to the president of the United States.

Judge orders Obama foreign aid order released - Josh Gerstein/Politico

Rejecting one of the Obama White House's most aggressive attempts to preserve executive branch secrecy, a federal judge Tuesday ordered the disclosure of a government-wide foreign-aid directive President Barack Obama signed in 2010 but refused to make public....

Acting on a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the Center for Effective Government, U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle concluded that the presidential order is not properly within the bounds of the so-called ‘presidential communications privilege’ The judge went further, calling "troubling" the sweeping nature of the government's argument's in the case.

The judge also suggested the administration had lost sight of the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act and transparency itself.

"The government appears to adopt the cavalier attitude that the President should be permitted to convey orders throughout the Executive Branch without public oversight ... to engage in what is in effect governance by 'secret law,'" Huvelle said.

Judge smacks Obama secrecy in unique FOIA case - McClatchy

Read Huvelle’s entire opinion here.

MR. PRESIDENT, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?



House Republicans have passed dozens of pro-growth bills to get the government out of the way and secure the American Dream; however, Senate Democrats and President Obama continue to refuse to consider and pass these bills. Watch the video ◼ (http://bit.ly/1kfxPaz) to see how House Republicans are working for YOU!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Trying to get people to “talk about” Obamacare reminds me of the attempt to get people to hold a Windows 7 party. In other words: it seems lame.



Is There A “Birther” Reference In This Lame Attempt To Push Obamacare On Millennials? - Political Outcast



Government Propaganda, Then and Now - Michael Warren/Weekly Standard

The Twitter account of Barack Obama published an image Tuesday night that seems designed to encourage young Americans to "talk about getting health insurance" and Obamacare during the holiday season. The image featured a photograph of a young man wearing what appear to be full-length pajamas and holding a mug.



OFA: Support O-care and you too can have a hot chocolate-sipping millennial hipster sitting around your house in onesie jammies - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin

Pajama Boy: The Obama Machine’s Id

When Twitter rather predictably exploded with derision, a few contrarians suggested that the campaign was deliberately self-deprecating — silly, yes, but explicitly intended to provoke a reaction and thus to guarantee discussion. I’m afraid that this doesn’t strike me as very likely. We are, after all, dealing with the tone-deaf team that thought that “Truth Team,” and “Attack Watch,” two services that allowed Americans to inform on their Obama-criticizing neighbors to the White House, were a good idea. As Buzzfeed’s McKay Coppins has asked rhetorically, “Is there any battle in contemporary politics being waged with more indignity and less prowess than the tug-of-war for twentysomethings over Obamacare?”

Oh My: Footie Pajama Guy Wasn't the "Gay Outreach" Effort of Obamacare's Minions. This Is the Gay Outreach Effort. - Ace Of Spades

WaPo: ‘Every Democrat Should Be Scared’ of this Obamacare Ad



“Next November, if you like your senator, you can keep her. If not, you know what to do.” - John Fund/National Review

Chris Cillizza, the Washington Post’s top political blogger, says “Obamacare’s growing unpopularity makes the ad’s message dangerous for any Democrat.” The latest ABC News poll shows 70 percent of independents oppose Obama on health care. Nearly half of all voters think Obamacare is making the health-care system worse versus only 19 percent who think it will improve matters. Cillizza’s conclusion: “You have a very scary situation for Shaheen — and any other Democrat, which is almost all of them, on the record supporting the ACA. Get used to this ad. You are going to see it thousands of times — in various forms — before 2014 is over.”

On the 7th day of ObamaCare, Democrats gave to me businesses-a-closing, six-in-ten disapprovin', five million cancelled plans, Four-Oh-Four errors, fewer physicians, two times the cost and a nightmare for my family.


RNC

"This is like the Stasi."

In an angry exchange with Barack Obama, Angela Merkel has compared the snooping practices of the US with those of the Stasi, the ubiquitous and all-powerful secret police of the communist dictatorship in East Germany, where she grew up. - The Guardian

The German chancellor also told the US president that America's National Security Agency cannot be trusted because of the volume of material it had allowed to leak to the whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to the New York Times.

Cover Oregon Blows Millions on Hipster Ad Campaign – Then Pulls Ads



Cover Oregon announced Monday the state will quit running the quirky hipster ads. - Jim Hoft/Gateway Pundit

Critics of the quirky, vague and expensive ads will likely rejoice. The ad campaign was originally slated for about $10 million, but then officials doubled it to $21 million in October.

Fewer shiny, happy people: Cover Oregon pulls hipster ads - Shelby Sebens|Northwest Watchdog

It’s no secret the health exchange in Oregon has been a train wreck since it launched Oct. 1.

But...As for the rest of it, well, it’s still a scramble to get things fixed at Cover Oregon, the website that was supposed to enroll Oregonians in health care coverage. It’s still not working, forcing the state to hire more than 400 additional workers to process paper applications.

Variety reports Fox News Channel maintained its grip on the cable-news network ratings prize in 2013, drawing more viewers than the combined averages of CNN, MSNBC and HLN.


Fox News Remains Ratings Champ As 2013 Comes to Close - Variety

It all looks so lax, so loosey-goosey. In the place of the energy and focus that would go into the running of things, the administering and managing of them, we have the preoccupation with spin, with how things look as opposed to how they are.

Incompetence - Peggy Noonan/Wall St. Journal

Everyone is doing thoughtful year-end pieces on President Obama. Writers and reporters agree he’s had his worst year ever. I infer from most of their essays an unstated but broadly held sense of foreboding: There’s no particular reason to believe next year will be better, and in fact signs and indications point to continued trouble.

I would add that in recent weeks I have begun to worry about the basic competency of the administration, its ability to perform the most fundamental duties of executive management. One reason I worry is that I frequently speak with people who interact with the White House, and when I say, “That place just doesn’t seem to work,” they don’t defend it...

I’m worried, finally, that lines of traditionally assumed competence are being dropped. The past few weeks I can’t shake from my head this picture: The man with the football—the military aide who carries the U.S. nuclear codes, and who travels with the president—is carrying the wrong code. He’s carrying last month’s code, or the one from December 2012. And there’s a crisis—a series of dots on a radar screen traveling toward the continental U.S.—and the president is alerted. He’s in the holding room at a fundraiser out west. The man with the football is called in and he fumbles around in his briefcase and gets the code but wait, the date on the code is wrong. He scrambles, remembers there’s a file on his phone, but the phone ran out on the plane and he thought he could recharge in the holding room but there’s no electrical outlet. All eyes turn to him. “Wait—wait. No—uh—I don’t think that’s the code we use to launch against incoming from North Korea, I think that one takes out Paris!”

So, Peggy Noonan just started to perceive this a few weeks ago? - Neoneocon

Barbara Walters on Obama:
‘We Thought He Was Going To Be The Next Messiah’



"...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 Act, it just hasn't worked for him, and he’s stumbled around on it, and people feel very disappointed because they expected more." - Newsbusters

Quite a thing to say on the very day ◼ a new poll found this president having the lowest approval rating of any since Nixon.

It's also worth noting that this came the day after the ◼ Washington Post said Obama was responsible for three of the top ten biggest Pinocchios of the year, and five days after PolitiFact ◼ awarded him the Lie of the Year.



Krauthammer: It Took Barbara Walters 5 Years to Realize Obama’s Not the Messiah? It Took Us 1 1/2 Hours - Noel Sheppard/Newsbusters

OBAMA 'HIJACKS' NSA MEETING TICKS OFF TECHIES WITH HEALTHCARE PITCH

Obama 'hijacks' tech executive meeting to make 'PR pitch' on Obamacare website fix instead of dealing with NSA surveillance - Daily Mail

During a White House meeting called to brief America's largest tech companies today about government overreach in electronic surveillance, President Barack Obama changed the subject – angering some meeting participants by shifting gears to address the failed launch of healthcare.gov....

One executive said that meeting participants were dead-set against straying from the principal focus of the meeting – the uncomfortable and legally untenable position they are in when the National Security Agency demands access to their digital records....

'He basically hijacked the meeting,' the executive said. 'We all told the White House that we were only there to talk about what the NSA was up to and how it affects us.'

The 15 companies, including Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, Apple and Etsy, issued a one-line joint statement after the 150-minute marathon meeting in the White House's Roosevelt Room, saying that they 'appreciated the opportunity to share directly with the president our principles on government surveillance that we released last week and we urge him to move aggressively on reform.'

"We really didn't care for a PR pitch about how the administration is trying to salvage its internal health care tech nightmare." - Althouse

"We need no more Washington solutions...We need to go back to the American people."



Ted Cruz: Carrying on the Fight in 2014 - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @charlesspiering

"We need to make DC listen."

Second Smackdown Coming...


Second Federal Judge 'Skeptical' About Legal Case for NSA Phone-Record Collection - US News & World Report

ACLU attorney says judges seem to doubt role of case used to justify surveillance

Federal Judge Calls Obamacare "Totally Ineffective" While Striking Down Contraception Mandate


Yesterday, Judge Brian Cogan of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, not only struck down Obamacare's contraception mandate as applied to religious non-profit organizations, but also sent a strong signal that federal courts were losing patience with President Obama's many stitches of executive power. - Conn Carroll/Washington Examiner @conncarroll

Previous courts had ruled against President Obama's contraception mandate as applied to for-profit entities (see Sebelius v Hobby Lobby), but this was the first court to hold that participating in Obama's scheme to provide free birth control is a substantial burden on the free practice of religion (specifically the Catholic Archdiocese of New York and its affiliate organizations).

The contraception mandate "directly compels plaintiffs, through the threat of onerous penalties, to undertake actions that their religion forbids," Cogan wrote. "There is no way that a court can, or should, determine that a coerced violation of conscience is of insufficient quantum to merit constitutional protection." ...

Second, the court also rejected Obama's last minute claim that Obamacare's contraception mandate, as implemented for religious organizations, did not, in fact, mandate contraception:
Here, the Government implicitly acknowledges that applying the Mandate to plaintiffs may in fact do nothing at all to expand contraceptive coverage, because plaintiffs’ TPAs aren’t actually required to do anything after receiving the self-certification. In other words, the Mandate forces plaintiffs to fill out a form which, though it violates their religious beliefs, may ultimately serve no purpose whatsoever. A law that is totally ineffective cannot serve a compelling interest.
Considering how often Obama has justified his expansion of executive power on Congress' failure to do his bidding, yesterday's ruling was not only a huge victory for religious liberty, but a huge win for limited government in all spheres as well.

‘Blue Screen of Death Panel’: What to expect now that Microsoft exec will run O-care site [Photoshop]

link - Twitchy



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

MUST READ

The Hypocrisy of the ‘Islamophobia’ Scam

Naive networks like NPR publicize CAIR propaganda while ignoring the infidels living under very real persecution - Robert Spencer/PJ Media

If it weren’t for the “Islamophobes,” we are told, Americans wouldn’t have the low opinion of Islam that surveys show they do; innocent Muslims would not be victimized; and discrimination against Muslims would be essentially non-existent.

The only problem with this scenario is that every detail of it is false....

In reality, the world faces not an “Islamophobia” problem, but a problem with genuine Muslim persecution of those who speak out against jihad terror and Islamic supremacism.

Parents Threatened for Opting Out of Common Core



New York State PTA Education Coordinator Bob Aloise supported calling Child Protective Services and charging parents with "educational neglect" for opting-out their kids from the curricula or testing.

Despite outrageous threats and insults, parents across the U.S. are expressing disgust with the one-size-fits all, turn-my-child-into-a-robot form of standards imposed by Common Core. - Freedom Outpost

When 80% of the parents opted-out of high-stakes testing, Julie Zuckerman, principal of the Castle Bridge School in New York, canceled the tests because there wouldn’t be enough test scores available to provide meaningful data.

While children are in tears, participating in self-mutilation, and learning to hate school because the tests are unreasonably long and the questions are needlessly confusing, parents in Denver, Chicago, Portland, and Providence are taking their kids out of the high-stakes testing in record numbers. Texas cut the number of students taking standardized tests in half.

Administrators of the New York Springville-Griffith Institute Central School District are concerned about the impact that 64 students who have refused the tests will have on district outcomes. The more people know about these tests and the curriculum the more determined they are to remove it from their schools.

Obama Administration ‘has thrown Americans’ data security out the window’


Congresswoman: Require Feds to Disclose Security Breaches on Healthcare.gov - Washington Free Beacon

A bill in the House of Representatives would require the federal government to tell Americans if their personal information has been stolen while using Healthcare.gov.

Rep. Diane Black (R., Tenn.) introduced the “Federal Exchange Data Breach Notification Act of 2013” on Thursday to address privacy concerns regarding the Obamacare insurance website, which has been live for months despite its lack of fundamental security safeguards.

“IT experts have repeatedly raised red flags about the security of the information people are putting into the exchanges, and it is only fair that the administration gives people proper notice if this information has been compromised,” she said. “Americans deserve this basic notice so that they can protect themselves from cyber attacks and identity theft.”

Obama's horrible year: Even his supporters wonder if he can reboot his administration and save his second term



For President Obama, 2013 will go down as a year of self-inflicted wounds, wasted political capital and missed opportunities that imperiled his second-term agenda and fundamentally changed how many Americans view his administration. - Brian Hughes/Washington Examiner

“His principal campaign theme was 'Mitt Romney is a rich, white guy,' " said Barbour, explaining why Obama has so quickly lost his reservoir of good will.

Pew: Liberal support for Obama at all-time low, worse than George W. Bush and conservatives - Paul Bedard/Washington Examiner

Following on the heels of other political groups, President Obama's liberal base is abandoning him, giving him an even lower level of support from his base than George W. Bush had from conservatives five years into his presidency, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

Just 54 percent of liberal Democrats strongly approve of Obama in their new poll. For Bush at this stage of his presidency, 65 percent of conservatives strongly supported the Republican.

Worse for Obama: Younger liberals have lost their thrill for Obama more than older liberals. Of those aged 18-49, just 46 percent strongly approve of the president, 39 percent “not so strongly,” said Pew.

Obama’s suffering - Neoneocon

The wording of this WaPo headline caught my eye: ◼ “Obama Suffers Most From Year of Turmoil, Poll Finds.”

...Again, we have the president as sufferer, and even though here (finally!) the wounds are “self-inflicted.” But it is the administration rather than the president himself that is doing the damage. Note, also, that this observation is followed in the same sentence by a balancing reference to the government shutdown, which didn’t hurt Obama at all and was widely blamed on the Republicans.

All in all, a masterpiece of subtly crafted writing designed to effect a certain perception: that of a beleaguered president who is the suffering victim.

When Obama Is Gone, The Nightmare Will Remain…

The Wall Street Journal published a chilling piece on the real life nightmare that is now unfolding for millions of Americans under the oppressive, costly, and deadly Obamacare legislation. What was warned, is now coming to pass, and Barack Obama, and those around him, are well aware of the nightmare that will remain for America when Obama leaves the White House. - The Ulsterman Report

Obamacare will continue to fail miserably, and the insurance company will buckle under that failure, and if progressive socialists take control of Congress, and then the White House, the push for single payer socialized medicine will be complete, and the lives of every American will suffer for it.

2014 and 2016 are not mere elections – they are wars for the soul of the nation.

ObamaCare’s Troubles Are Only Beginning - Michael J. Boskin/Wall St. Journal

Be prepared for eligibility, payment and information protection debacles—and longer waits for care.

On the 6th day of ObamaCare, Democrats gave to me six-in-ten disapprovin', five million cancelled plans, Four-Oh-Four errors, fewer physicians, two times the cost and a nightmare for my family.


RNC

Monday, December 16, 2013

What if you were told there is a corrupt dictatorship on the other side of the world where government officials are using US foreign aid to build palatial mansions for themselves, diverting money intended to feed poor children and spending billions with no oversight or accountability?

Unfortunately, these examples are not from a remote foreign land, but from right here in California. And you, California taxpayers, are footing the bill. - Jon Coupal/HJTA

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Foundation has just released “Follow the Money 2013,” a report chronicling some of the highest profile government waste, fraud and abuse uncovered this year. Added together, the examples in this document amount to tens of billions of dollars.

There seems to be no limit on the irresponsible behavior of some politicians and bureaucrats when it comes to spending OPM (Other People’s Money). “Follow the Money 2013” shows they are paying millions to drug rehab clinics with histories of questionable billing practices, giving elected officials bonuses just for being reelected, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on outside consultants, and much, much more.

If it is unconstitutional for the NSA to steal our private info....shouldn't it be ILLEGAL for the Obama camp and Organizing For America to take your PRIVATE facebook and Google info and build mega campaign databases out of it????????


Kitchen Cabinet poses the question on Facebook

The Death of Obama's "Noble Lie"

Powerful Americans for Prosperity ad running in North Carolina:



The disastrous ObamaCare rollout unmasks liberalism's paternalistic dishonesty. - Matt Welch/Reason.com

For years, liberal commentators have accused conservatives of living in an intellectual "bubble" of their own creation, impervious to reality. But through official intent and intellectual laziness, Democrats have created a bubble of deception surrounding ObamaCare that will affect millions of Americans for years to come. A lie this ignoble should stain the credibility of everyone who perpetuated it.

Poll: Americans Blame Obamacare for Inferior Coverage, Higher Costs - Guy Benson/Townhall

Note well, Democrats: These complaints are unrelated to Obamacare's failed roll-out, and are being driven by the vast majority of Americans covered on the employer-based market -- whom the White House has falsely claimed will not be affected by the law's changes...

SORRY, BUT WE SPENT THE COST OF A MAJOR PLANETARY MISSION ON A WEBSITE THAT STILL DOESN’T WORK



Bill Nye To Obama: Don’t Slash Space Science Funding. - Slate, ◼ via Instapundit

“In the end, the lion’s share of cuts to planetary exploration have come from the White House.”

Bill Nye's Open Letter to President Barack Obama

NSA Spying On All Americans: Likely Unconstitutional

A federal judge ruled Monday that the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone records violates the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches, but put his decision on hold pending a near-certain government appeal. - AP/ABC

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon granted a preliminary injunction sought by plaintiffs Larry Klayman and Charles Strange, concluding they were likely to prevail in their constitutional challenge. Leon, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, ruled Monday that the two men are likely to be able to show that their privacy interests outweigh the government's interest in collecting the data. Leon says that means that massive collection program is an unreasonable search under the Constitution's Fourth Amendment.

The collection program was disclosed by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden, provoking a heated debate over civil liberties. The Obama administration has defended the program as a crucial tool against terrorism.

But in his a 68-page, heavily footnoted opinion, Leon concluded that the government didn't cite a single instance in which the program "actually stopped an imminent terrorist attack."

PDF of the Klayman #NSA opinion

Federal judge finds NSA phone metadata collection probably violates the Fourth Amendment - HotAir

The headline says “probably” because the ruling was on a preliminary injunction. He’ll issue a ruling on a permanent injunction after this order is inevitably appealed and he hears further arguments from both sides, assuming this issue doesn’t land before the Supreme Court first....

...if not for (Edward) Snowden’s leaks, this case literally might not have happened. Per the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Clapper case earlier this year, you can’t get standing before a federal judge by merely speculating that the NSA is targeting you. You need to show a real likelihood of concrete injury. Right, says Leon — and now, thanks to Snowden’s exposure of PRISM, we’ve got that. The leaker has changed the legal facts on the ground, enough so to make a Fourth Amendment lawsuit possible. That may be the single most tangible change in U.S. surveillance policy to have come from Snowden’s leaking, despite Obama’s endless promises about reform....

Judge: NSA phone program likely unconstitutional - Politico

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon found that the program appears to violate the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. He also said the Justice Department had failed to demonstrate that collecting the information had helped to head off terrorist attacks...

As columnist Charles Krauthammer remarked, rather than investigating and punishing members of the IRS who discriminated against conservative 501(c)(4)s, the IRS now simply wants to change the rules to cover its hide. Even more disconcerting, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp was right on the money when he said these rule changes "smack of the administration trying to shutdown potential critics."

THE IRS POWER GRAB - David N. Bossie Op-Ed/Politix

RYAN SAVES GOP FROM ITSELF

Everyone acknowledges that Ryan-Murray is not a great deal. But the fact is, its passage will avoid a government shutdown. That’s crucial. - Larry Kudlow/Human Events

If the GOP wants to retake the Senate and hold the House in 2014, the key issues must be the catastrophic pitfalls of Obamacare and better economic growth. A shutdown would be a distraction. It would take the heat off Obama and Obamacare, and all the Democrats who falsely promised that if you like your insurance and doctor, you can keep them.

Obama’s “like it, keep it” promise was just named the lie of the year in the annual PolitiFact survey. Reminding voters of that lie is much more important than a government shutdown — which would be blamed on Republicans anyway....

The purest path for the budget talks would have been a clean bill keeping all the sequestration budget cuts. But the votes were never there in the House. Defense hawks and others would have left that bill short by 40 to 50 Republican votes. And Democrats would never have supported it. Hence the shutdown threat....

Because we like to be helpful, here's the speech Paul Ryan *should* have given about the budget deal - Dan Calabrese/CainTV

Did you notice the three-week ‪#‎ObamaCare‬ tour already stopped happening? We did!

“Happy Holidays with Obamacare” #6: No Obamacare Benefits...The White House Can’t Even Find Three Weeks’ Worth of Obamacare Benefits

Today, Americans for Prosperity concluded its “Three Weeks of Obamacare’s Problems” campaign by drawing attention to the fact that the White House hasn’t been able to finish its own three-week pro-Obamacare tour.

After starting their campaign on December 4, the administration’s efforts on behalf of the President’s signature law have slowed to a trickle well before the campaign’s expected conclusion on December 23. During that time, Americans for Prosperity has also responded to the “benefits” touted by the White House by pointing out how they actually harm the American people.

“In letters, interviews with administration officials, hearings and reports, Congress has repeatedly asked the administration: Why has the federal government failed to issue proper consumer protection guidelines for Obamacare’s navigators?"

Who are these Obamacare navigators? - Pete Sessions and Darrell Issa/Dallas News

...First, the law does not bar — or even require screening for — convicted felons, including individuals convicted of identity theft or fraud. This is particularly dangerous because navigators may have access to applicants’ personally identifiable information, including Social Security number, date of birth, address, phone number and annual income. This poorly conceived program endangers families and individuals across the country by heightening the risk of identity theft or financial loss.

In letters, interviews with administration officials, hearings and reports, Congress has repeatedly asked the administration: Why has the federal government failed to issue proper consumer protection guidelines for Obamacare’s navigators? Even as U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted before Congress that the lack of federal requirements raises a “possible” problem, the administration has continued to call common-sense safeguards “cumbersome.”

Second, navigators are only required to take a five- to 20-hour online training course and pass a quiz that they can take as many times as needed. The lack of sufficient training for navigators stands in stark contrast to the requirements placed upon health care underwriters whose job it is to help people enroll in health insurance plans....

Confidential Obamacare Navigator training manual uploaded online - capitolcityproject.com

While nothing within the manual seems to be out of the ordinary or raise eyebrows, it contains parts instructing Navigators how to interact with people they speak with. It also includes sections on “Identifying Personally Identifiable Information,” “IRS Data Safeguards” and “Preventing Fraud.”

However, despite sections on preventing fraud and protecting people’s personal information, Breitbart News obtained an early copy of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee report on Obamacare Navigators that documents Navigators encouraging fraud.

The report titled, Risks of Fraud and Misinformation with ObamaCare Outreach Campaign: How Navigator and Assister Program Mismanagement Endangers Consumers, details how ill-trained the people in charge of signing Americans up for Obamacare actually are.

HOUSE REPORT: ILL-TRAINED OBAMACARE NAVIGATORS ENCOURAGING FRAUD, JEOPARDIZING PRIVATE INFO - Tony Lee/Breitbart

Breitbart News has obtained a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee report on the Obamacare Navigators that will be released Monday. It has found that Obamacare Navigators have been giving Americans misinformation and, in some cases, actively encouraging enrollees to commit fraud in order to raise their subsidies. To complicate matters further, there is no way for Americans to find out whether their Navigators are properly certified.

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said at a Congressional hearing that it was “possible” for convicted felons to become Navigators. The report, titled Risks of Fraud and Misinformation with ObamaCare Outreach Campaign: How Navigator and Assister Program Mismanagement Endangers Consumers, concludes that is only one of many worries Americans should have about Navigators....

On the 5th day of ObamaCare, Democrats gave to me…five million cancelled plans, Four-Oh-Four errors, fewer physicians, two times the cost and a nightmare for my family.


RNC

"What happened on Thursday... will stand as one of the most lawless acts yet committed by this administration"

Avik Roy of Forbes is one of the unsung heroes in the battle against Obamacare. His latest article -- "Government Takeover: White House Forces Obamacare Insurers To Cover Unpaid Patients At A Loss" -- outlines the increasingly frenzied thrashing of an administration that is operating completely outside the boundaries of the Constitution. - Doug Ross

It’s unconstitutional to force insurers to cover people for free.

The administration could pay insurers to cover up for its mistakes. But that would lead to criticism—as it has in other instances—that the White House is lawlessly throwing taxpayer money at insurers to, well, cover up for its mistakes. So, instead, they’re asking insurers to pay for the mistakes.

But, of course, the cost of paying for those mistakes won’t end up being paid by insurers, but by consumers, in the form of higher premiums.

In theory, the Obama administration’s actions aren’t merely illegal—they’re unconstitutional.

The early, unconditional surrender in the House sends a message that these congressmen will throw good policy overboard at the first sign their re-election could be imperiled

The GOP retreats into fear - Washington Times EDITORIAL

With a bully pulpit backed up by friends in the media, the president owns the agenda in Washington. If he can fool Republicans into voting for a tax and spending increase in return for gossamer spending reductions to take place someday, maybe in a future decade when many of the congressmen voting for it will be dead, anyway, there’s no limit to what he can do....

There may be more than mere populist politicking behind the president’s latest big idea. The unions, which don’t have to make a business work, are the No. 1 advocates of raising the minimum wage. There’s a simple reason for this. Buried in many union contracts are provisions that peg negotiated wages to the minimum wage. The collective-bargaining agreement with one particular union states that “whenever the federal legal minimum wage is increased, minimum wages … under this Agreement shall be increased so that each will be at least fifteen percent higher than such legal minimum wage.” The poorest may lose a chance to put money in their pockets, but union bosses won’t.

That might sound like a good deal to the president, but those struggling to survive his mangled economy know better. Republicans must man up when the administration increases the pressure for raising the minimum wage early in the new year. It’s a small hope, but it’s all we’ve got.

Pat Caddell Slams Republicans: “They Don’t Know How To Finish The Kill!” (Video) - Nice Deb

Echoing what I have been saying since May, Caddell continued, “here’s the problem – when they have Obama on the ropes – look at Republicans! – They don’t know how to finish the kill – with him on the ropes with ObamaCare, that’s when these things would really kill him – but they surrender.”

How the West was lost by the selfie president


My bookshelves sag with encyclopedic volumes arguing that America and the West are in decline. But proving that a picture is worth a thousand books, the “selfie” seen ’round the world ends the argument. - Michael Goodwin/New York Post

...President Obama’s flirting with Denmark’s prime minister would be shameful on any occasion. That it happened at the memorial for Nelson Mandela only adds to the embarrassment.

But the “selfie” episode also symbolizes the greater global calamity of Western decline. With British prime minister David Cameron playing the role of Obama’s giggling wingman, the “look at me” moment confirms we have unserious leaders in a dangerously serious time....

Poll: Ted Cruz 3rd 'most influential' world leader

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has had the best year of any Republican and virtually anyone in the world, ranking third in Rasmussen Report’s new poll of the of the “most influential” people in the world, behind Pope Francis and President Obama. - Paul Bedard/Washington Examiner

Among Republicans, Cruz was second behind the pope, with 19 percent calling the freshman senator and Tea Party leader the world’s most influential leader. Just 9 percent of Republicans said the same thing of Obama.

Time magazine named Pope Francis its “Person of the Year” last week, and nearly one-in-four Americans agrees with that pick. Rasmussen Reports gave Americans a similar list of influential people worldwide... - Rasmussen Reports

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Expanded Medicaid’s fine print holds surprise: ‘payback’ from estate after death

As thousands of state residents enroll in Washington’s expanded Medicaid program, many will be surprised at fine print: After you’re dead, your estate can be billed for ordinary health-care expenses. - Seattle Times

...As fine print is wont to do, it had buried itself in a long form — (Gary) Balhorn’s application for free health insurance through the expanded state Medicaid program. As the paperwork lay on the dining-room table in Port Townsend, (Sophia) Prins began reading.

She was shocked: If you’re 55 or over, Medicaid can come back after you’re dead and bill your estate for ordinary health-care expenses.

The way Prins saw it, that meant health insurance via Medicaid is hardly “free” for Washington residents 55 or older. It’s a loan, one whose payback requirements aren’t well advertised. And it penalizes people who, despite having a low income, have managed to keep a home or some savings they hope to pass to heirs, Prins said....

Medicaid, in keeping with federal policy, has long tapped into estates. But because most low-income adults without disabilities could not qualify for typical medical coverage through Medicaid, recovery primarily involved expenses for nursing homes and other long-term care.

The federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed that. Now many more low-income residents will qualify for Medicaid, called Apple Health in Washington state.

But if they qualify for Medicaid, they’re not eligible for tax credits to subsidize a private health plan under the ACA, which requires all adults to have health insurance by March 31.

White House delayed enacting rules ahead of 2012 election to avoid controversy

The White House systematically delayed enacting a series of rules on the environment, worker safety and health care to prevent them from becoming points of contention before the 2012 election, according to documents and interviews with current and former administration officials. - Juliet Eilperin/Washington Post

Some agency officials were instructed to hold off submitting proposals to the White House for up to a year to ensure that they would not be issued before voters went to the polls, the current and former officials said....

The Obama administration has repeatedly said that any delays until after the election were coincidental and that such decisions were made without regard to politics. But seven current and former administration officials told The Washington Post that the motives behind many of the delays were clearly political, as Obama’s top aides focused on avoiding controversy before his reelection....

Inside the British university where Muslims were segregated by sex: Shocking picture shows how men were reserved front-row seats while women had to sit at the back


Photograph was taken earlier this year at a Leicester University seminar - Daily Mail

With women obliged to sit yards behind chairs reserved exclusively for men, the photograph above shows the shocking reality of gender segregation at a British university.

It was taken earlier this year at a training course at Leicester University organised by its Islamic Society. The course was entitled Call Of Duty and it featured a guest speaker from a hardline Islamic group. (more at the link)

No matter the final vote on this bill, the fact remains that Boehner broke a vow he made to the American people to cap discretionary spending, he gave his own caucus the bum’s rush because he couldn’t afford to let them read the bill, the Senate Majority Leader has rejected this bill and the only way it will pass is on the votes of a handful of turncoat GOP senators and a solid Democrat bloc.

This is a sorry legacy to leave behind. - streiff/Red State

How not to handle internal party divisions - John Hayward/Red State @Doc_o

Internal Democrat strife over the ObamaCare disaster dwarfs anything currently going on between Republicans over their budget deal, but you’d think it was the other way around from the media coverage. That’s partly media bias, sure, but it’s also a result of the way both sides play these things out.

Here’s Boehner unloading on conservative groups critical of the budget deal, complete with his infamous “ARE YOU KIDDIN’ ME?’ meltdown:



It doesn’t help Boehner’s cause that he’s so fundamentally wrong in his critique. The people he’s taking issue with did read the budget deal. In some cases, as radio host Mark Levin has been pointing out for the last few days, details were passed out by the Republican leadership’s own staffers. It would be one thing if Boehner stood up for the budget deal on its merits, or even stuck with his dismaying but perhaps defensible point that it’s the best deal Rep. Ryan could manage, given the political circumstances. He might even have found a graceful, roundabout way of acknowledging that his top priority is avoiding another government shutdown drama, conceding that the Party of Big Government has the whip hand in budget negotiations until the Senate and White House change hands.

But instead, Boehner goes on a rant against the Tea Party rascals who pushed “his” members into the ObamaCare defunding fight. (When did they become “your” representatives, Mr. Speaker? That’s exactly the sort of language you should never, ever use at times like this.) He should be directing his ire at the Democrats, the opposition, the people who make it necessary for math wizard Paul Ryan to accept a deal he knows is inadequate to the fiscal challenges at hand.

The Good and Bad of Paul Ryan’s Budget Deal (AUDIO) - Brad Jackson/Red State

A Washington Budget Deal: Republican Style - Daniel Horowitz/Red State

Democrats... pushed through the nomination of Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Now, one of the biggest supporters of affordable housing mandates will guard the hen house at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Additionally, Democrats pushed through the nomination of two more liberal judges to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the second most important court in the country.

Instead of responding by shutting down all bipartisan deals on outstanding legislation (which are still subject to a filibuster), Rep. Paul Ryan, without any protest from leadership, handed Democrats the biggest legislative victory in months....

Hitler's health insurance is cancelled

“Would you put up a billboard ‘take Mohammed out of Ramadan’ and cross out Mohammed’s name?"



◼ American Atheists President David Silverman said, “Christmas is better without the religion.”

Board members say Common Core isn’t rigorous enough for their high expectations. “We don’t want to be a mediocre district”

Wisconsin school district moving away from Common Core State Standards

The board voted unanimously Tuesday to begin developing its own Germantown Model of Standards for Academic Achievement in January. Germantown is now the first district in the state to formally move away from Common Core, but school board members in other districts could follow.

“We don’t want to be a mediocre district,” school board vice president Sarah Larson told Wisconsin Reporter. “We want to be a premiere district in Wisconsin.”

The district is already one of the highest performing districts in the state. US News & World Report ranked Germantown High School sixth in Wisconsin and in the top 5 percent of high schools nationally. District Administrator Jeff Holmes said sticking to the Common Core would take the district down a road of mediocrity....

No other school board to this point has gone as far as Germantown, but some of that may be due to the assessments and teacher evaluations tied to Common Core — agreements Wisconsin made with the federal government to get a No Child Left Behind waiver.

“The whole thing gets a little bit messy,” Rossmiller said. “The question, ‘Exactly what does all of this entail if you try to unravel Common Core?’ is probably what’s preventing more if it.”

But Holmes sees Germantown’s move as leading the way for other districts who aren’t satisfied with more of the same in education.