Saturday, March 22, 2014

We’re “covered,” to the tune of $700 a month…just not for what she really needs.

Notorious Will Pitt Turns Angrily Against Obamacare - Newsbusters

Harry Reid is going to have a hard time portraying Will Pitt as a Koch brothers shill...

William Rivers Pitt, a leftwing editor at TruthOut, whose foibles have been chronicled in NewsBusters and is probably best known for his journalism "scoop" of predicting the indictment of Karl Rove on May 12, 2006, is back in the spotlight again. While waiting 24 business hours to elapse for the Rove indictment to finally take place, Pitt shocked many at the Democratic Underground by posting an extremely angry attack, What I've learned about the Affordable Care Act, upon Obamacare due to a bad personal experience with it. In order to fully appreciate how far Pitt has turned against Obamacare, we need to go to his DU post back in December when he was proclaiming his love for Obama's signature plan...before he even experienced it...
And now, after having his Obamacare Moment, Pitt has moved from praising to cursing the President. A warning for those with tender sensibilities:
What I’ve learned after a three-month war with these fiends: the ACA says the insurance companies cannot deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, which is true as far as it goes. But they can deny coverage for the life-saving medications necessary to treat those conditions. The insurance company I signed up with through the ACA exchange just denied coverage of my wife’s multiple sclerosis medication. We’re “covered,” to the tune of $700 a month…just not for what she really needs.

A cozy loophole, that.

F— you, insurance industry.

F— you, Mr. President, you piece of sh*t used-car salesman.

From my heart and soul, f— you.

...I long for a time machine.
I helped, in my own small way, to promote this thing, because of the pre-existing conditions aspect that would benefit my wife. I feel like a f---ing dupe.
On edit: I AM a f---ing dupe. Last time that happens.

Unspeakable Horror Revealed by Melting Snow In Detroit Park

A man walking through a Detroit park was horrified after the melting snow revealed dozens of dead, frozen dogs curled into fetal positions and covered with scars and lacerations. - THE BLAZE

Nicole Litzelman, a Detroit Animal Welfare Group board member, said at least 28 large dogs — mostly pit bulls and Mastiff mixes — were discovered as the snow began to thaw.

“Because of the heavy snowfall in the month of January, a lot of these deceased bodies were discarded there because it was easier to cover them up,” she told WWJ. “Also, it was an unusually cold month where a lot of dogs froze outside or were left to starve to death....”

“A majority of them are due to illegal activities, such as fighting,” she continued. “It’s consistent with the bite wounds that are on the dogs. Most of them have either bled to death or have large gaping wounds that were never treated. The park is well-know for dog fighting and has a high activity for drugs and other illegal activities.”

Litzelman, however, said that some animals may still be alive in the park, but those animals might be in danger.

“The park is about 1,200 acres and there’s so many animals running around down there, and there’s actually some people who try to gather some of the dogs that have been discarded that are still alive, and they actually try to lure them and take them and use them for fighting as bait dogs,” she told WWJ.

Amazing how @Salon dubs the GOP as "white supremacist party," forgetting KKK member Sen. Robert Byrd, who Clinton defended, was a Democrat

Katie Pavlich smacks Salon for drivel about ‘how the GOP became the white supremacy party’ - Twitchy









Salon bigot calls black conservatives ‘professional buck dancing blackface artists’ - Twitchy

Friday, March 21, 2014

Serious

Half of callers to Covered California give up as deadline looms

Nearly half of callers to California's health insurance exchange in February and March couldn't get through and abandoned their call, state figures show. - LA Times

Those service woes could worsen as more people try to beat the March 31 deadline to get Obamacare coverage under the {UN}Affordable Care Act.

Get To Know the Common Core Marketing Overlords

They're everywhere. Turn on Fox News, local news, Animal Planet, HGTV, The Family Channel or talk radio. Pro-Common Core commercials have been airing ad nauseam in a desperate attempt to persuade American families to support the beleaguered federal education standards/testing/technology racket. - Michelle Malkin/Townhall

Who's funding these public relations pushes? D.C. lobbyists, entrenched politicians and Big Business interests.

The foundational myth of Common Core is that it's a "state-led" initiative with grassroots support that was crafted by local educators for the good of all of our children. But the cash and power behind the new ad campaign tell you all you need to know. For parents in the know, this will be a refresher course. But repeated lies must be countered with redoubled truths.

The Bipartisan Policy Center is one of the leading Common Core ad sponsors. It's a self-described nonprofit "think tank" founded by a pantheon of Beltway barnacles: former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell.

"Lobbying tank" would be more accurate.

...Jeb Bush's "Foundation for Excellence in Education" is also saturating the airwaves with ads trying to salvage Common Core in the face of truly bipartisan, truly grassroots opposition in his own home state of Florida. As I've reported previously, the former GOP governor's foundation is tied at the hip to the federally funded testing consortium called PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers), which pulled in $186 million through the Obama administration's Race to the Top program to develop Common Core tests.

One of the Bush foundation's top corporate sponsors is Pearson, the multibillion-dollar educational publishing and testing conglomerate. Pearson snagged $23 million in contracts to design the first wave of PARCC test items and $1 billion for overpriced, insecure Common Core iPads purchased by the Los Angeles Unified School District, and is leading the $13.4 billion edutech cash-in catalyzed by Common Core's technology mandates.... (MUCH MORE at the link)

Hispanics souring on Obamacare -- and Democrats too?

Will Hispanics remain a heavily Democratic voting bloc? Maybe not.  - Michael Barone/Washington Examiner @michaelbarone

...Obamacare may be discrediting Big Government generally among Hispanic voters. They may have assumed that government in the United States was competent and functional. They have been finding out that Obamacare has been about as competent and functional as government in Mexico.

The Democrats’ 2014 Agenda is Full of Big Ideas: Look on this platform, voters, and despair! - Washington Free Beacon

It’s only March, but the Democratic Party is already having a rough year. Midterm elections in November could make it even worse. Fortunately, the Democrats have assembled a compelling platform of Big Ideas to present to voters....
-The Koch brothers are evil/un-American.
-Republicans are racist, especially Paul Ryan.
-Tom Steyer thinks building an oil pipeline is a bad idea.
-Obamacare isn’t perfect. But Republicans.
-Go easier on Iran.
-Lift the embargo on Cuba.
-Your votes don’t really matter.

‘They’re starting to get serious’: Obamacare #GetCovered desperation hilariously lampooned [pic]


Maybe a spinoff of the classic cover of an issue of National Lampoon magazine would help speed up the Obamacare enrollment process. - Twitchy



Someone is in trouble.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kane lawyers up - HotAir

Trouble in Pennsylvania over the Democrat Attorney General Kathleen Kane dropping a bevy of evidence-backed charges against Philadelphia Democrats...

Kane’s reaction to reports about her decision went from bad to worse. At first, she complained that white men were attacking her... That was a pretty astounding escalation. It is not out of line to wonder why a state’s attorney general would drop an investigation which is said to have obtained detailed recordings of lawmakers taking bribes.

...But Kane, apparently frustrated by continuing scrutiny of her decision, has now escalated further, hiring counsel and suggesting that if the Inquirer continues to pursue the story, she would start suing people!

Tim Donnelly CRP Convention Speech



Due to Popular Demand... - Tim Donnelly

...In California, our dreams are measured by how hard we are willing to work. Hard work is my plan to ensure 2014 is the year we take our state back.

As you know, I am running a campaign on conservative principles. Our campaign is the front-runner in the Republican primary.

Due to popular demand, I have posted my full speech on the floor of the CRP convention. Please take a look and share it with more Californians. Our message of less government is the resonating with the hearts and minds of Californians....

NYT: ADMINISTRATION SPENDS $17 MILLION A MONTH ADVERTISING OBAMACARE



link

The New York Times reports that between January and March of this year, the Obama Administration is and will spend $17 million a month advertising for ObamaCare.
From January until the end of March, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs the HealthCare.gov site and administers the Affordable Care Act, will have spent $52 million on paid media, officials said. Conservative opponents of the law have concentrated their spending on ads focusing on Democratic candidates and sowing doubts about the viability of the law.

Michelle Obama: It's very rare that I have the chance to travel outside of the United States


"It’s very rare that I have the opportunity to travel outside of the United States, and it’s even more rare to have the opportunity to travel with three generations — with my daughters, and with my mother," she said. "And it is no accident that one of our first trips as a family is here to China." - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @charlesspiering

The American Physical Society (APS) has signalled a dramatic turnabout in its position on "climate change" by appointing three notorious climate skeptics to its panel on public affairs (POPA).

AMERICAN PHYSICAL SOCIETY SEES THE LIGHT: WILL IT BE THE FIRST MAJOR SCIENTIFIC INSTITUTION TO REJECT THE GLOBAL WARMING 'CONSENSUS'?

They are:

Professor Richard Lindzen, formerly Alfred P Sloan Professor of Meteorology at Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a highly regarded physicist who once described climate change alarmism on The Larry King Show as "mainly just like little kids locking themselves in dark closets to see how much they can scare each other and themselves."

John Christy, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, who has written: "I'm sure the majority (but not all) of my IPCC colleagues cringe when I say this, but I see neither the developing catastrophe nor the smoking gun proving that human activity is to blame for most of the warming we see."

Judith Curry, Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, a former Warmist (and still a self-described "luke warmer") who has infuriated many of her more extremist colleagues by defending skeptics and by testifying to the US House Subcommittee on the Environment that the uncertainties in forecasting climate science are much greater than the alarmists will admit.

That noise you can hear in the distance is the sound of John Cook’s, Dana Nuccitelli’s, and Joe Romm’s heads exploding - Watts Up With That?

Lindzen, Christy and Curry appointed to APS climate statement review panel - Australian Climate Madness

FRIDAY MUST READ by WFB's Editor in Chief Matthew Continetti: Column: How Democratic donors benefit financially from climate policy - Washington Free Beacon

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Judge rules states can demand proof of citizenship from voters

Election commission can’t stop voter ID laws - Washington Times

"A U.S. District Court judge ruled Wednesday that Arizona and Kansas can require anyone registering to vote to prove their citizenship and the federal Election Assistance Commission cannot block them.

The ruling is a boost for states’ rights and marks a setback for President Obama and other liberals who fought stiffer voter ID checks with an argument that they reduce voter turnout. ...

The judge said the Constitution gives states the power to determine voter qualifications, and if states want to insist on proof of citizenship, the election commission cannot overrule them."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Editorial cartoon: The CIA-Senate spying scandal


Washington Examiner

Rand Paul, Republican presidential hopeful, finds support in Berkeley, of all places



Nobody should be surprised that Rand Paul got so warm a welcome Wednesday, even in a city whose name is often preceded in conversation by "The People's Republic of..." - Josh Richman/San Jose Mercury News (image source)

After all, the junior U.S. Senator from Kentucky and likely contender for 2016's Republican presidential nomination is following in his father's footsteps by drawing crowds of enthusiastic young followers, particularly on college campuses, wherever he goes.

And his policies -- particularly criticizing government surveillance programs, avoiding military actions that aren't vital to national security, and rethinking the war on drugs -- draw voters from across the spectrum, including some of Berkeley's famed lefties....

In a speech peppered with references to Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" and Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here," Paul told a crowd of about 400 that he will call for creation of a bipartisan committee to probe and reform the intelligence community. Much like the post-Watergate Church Committee of the 1970s, "It should watch the watchers."

...Just as Edward Snowden broke the law by leaking information about these programs, so too did Director of National Intelligence James Clapper break the law by lying to Congress, Paul said. The nation is under watch by "an intelligence community that's drunk with power, unrepentant and unwilling to relinquish power," he said. "The sheer arrogance of this: They're only sorry that they got caught. Without the Snowden leaks, these spies would still be doing whatever they please."

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich watched from the back of the room.

"There are not too many people who can get a standing ovation at CPAC and a standing ovation at Berkeley," said Reich, now a UC-Berkeley professor.

...Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom walked over from the UC Regents meeting to hear Paul speak.

"The issue of privacy is the issue of our time," Newsom said. "We're all figuring this out in real-time... and his voice is an important one in this conversation."

Rand Paul: Sleeping with the Enemy at Berkeley - Roger L. Simon/PJM
Whatever you think of Rand Paul, he’s actually doing something that politicians rarely do – talking at length to audiences who don’t usually agree with him. And winning over new friends in the process. His recent speech at UC Berkeley, where he apparently got a standing ovation for excoriating runaway government spying on Americans, is only the latest example.

Historically, the Republican Party has been just what the public thinks it is, largely a bunch of risk averse white men who are totally clueless at public relations, even though they are on the right (correct) side of almost every issue. Meanwhile, the liberal Democrats haven’t had a decent rational argument about anything for years, if they ever did. They ream young people, blacks and virtually every other “interest group”that supports them with their policies and they still win most national elections. What a disgraceful group of losers that makes the Republicans. There are literally thousands of chips on the table and they’re living them all behind.

Rand Paul is smart enough to realize this and actually goes out and does things about it.
Rand Paul Invokes Martin Luther King Jr. to Slam Obama, Others on NSA Spying - AP/The Blaze

Rand Paul gets standing ovation at Berkeley: ‘Your right to privacy is under assault’ - Alex Pappas/Daily Caller
That Paul decided to take his libertarian-leaning message to one of the most liberal campuses in the country is no mistake. He is actively making an effort to appear before crowds that have not been supportive of Republicans to demonstrate his ability to appeal to a broader electorate.
RAND PAUL GETS A STANDING O AT BERKELEY - John Hayward/Human Events @Doc_o

The Mercury News gives Rand Paul credit for holding much of the youth enthusiasm generated by his father Ron, but it seems like Rand’s appeal is reaching beyond the energetic young Paulite base. Not to start any fights at the next Paul family picnic, but I don’t think Ron could have done quite this well at Berkeley in his prime. That’s partially a result of changing circumstances, of course, ranging from growing public disillusionment with the competence of the Leviathan State, to the current fears about getting spied upon by one of Leviathan’s many electronic eyes.

In fact, rather than pigeon-holing himself as the guy who complains about the NSA all the time, Paul is shaping the Surveillance State into the tip of a broader critique against Big Government. You might say he’s turned it into a wedge issue for Democrats, particularly young ones. He’s doing a great job of teaching them the importance of inalienable rights – privacy, dignity, and the presumption of innocence. There are some other inalienable rights to be discussed, once Paul has young people on board with those.

A big State is, inevitably, a nosy State; control requires information. As power grows, the spheres of both liberty and privacy collapse in tandem. The surveillance issue gives Paul a great opening to talk about the many other dangers of centralized power… increasingly centralized in one branch of the government, and vested in bureaucratic organisms even the unitary President Obama claims he cannot understand or control.

“If the CIA is spying on Congress, who exactly can, or will, stop them?” Paul asked the Berkeley crowd. ”I look into the eyes of Senators, and I think I see real fear. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but I think I perceive fear of an intelligence community that’s drunk with power – unrepentant, and un-inclined to relinquish power. I’m honestly worried and concerned about who is, truly, in charge of our government.”

Moscow Warns it May Change Stance on Iranian Nuke Talks...


Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted Wednesday as saying by the Interfax news agency that Russia didn’t want to use the Iranian nuclear talks to “raise stakes,” but may have to do so in response to the actions by the United States and the European Union. - CBS DC

The statement is the most serious threat of retaliation by Moscow after the U.S. and the EU announced sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.

GOP BEGINS TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST OBAMA'S BROAD EXECUTIVE OVERREACH

Has President Obama's impunity come to an end? - Matthew Boyle/Breitbart

After five years of his flouting the letter and spirit of the law in an increasingly brazen fashion, congressional Republicans have been starting to ramp up their rhetoric about Obama's lawlessness, their most concerted effort on the issue to date.

Several new reports from top Republicans underscore the breadth of Obama's executive overreach. Viewed comprehensively, it involves laws ranging from healthcare to immigration to privacy to technology to social issues to national security matters and more. Scandals like Benghazi, Operation Fast and Furious, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, NSA spying, CIA spying on Congress, the Delphi pensions scandal, the auto bailout and others have many unresolved questions – and unmet document and information demands.

Last week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor re-released his 33-page October 2012 report detailing 40 separate examples of “the break-down in the rule of law under the Obama Administration.” This time, Cantor added a nine-page addendum with scores more examples of lawlessness of the administration.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has also issued a three-part series of reports on the matter called “The Legal Limit,” which totals 26 pages of examples of Obama’s lawlessness, legal analysis and details of how courts have rejected the Department of Justice (DOJ) explanations from Attorney General Eric Holder for the Obama power grabs. In his first report, for instance, Cruz details nine cases the DOJ lost in which the Obama administration was seeking—but ultimately failed to achieve—more power....

These bills are dead on arrival in Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Senate, but the renewed focus from Republicans on the issue represents what could be the biggest narrative of this administration: Obama’s lawlessness. If Republicans take back the Senate in November, that pressure on the administration would all but certainly increase even more moving into the final years of the Obama presidency.

Obamacare: Abuse of Power Endangers the Nation's Health - Larry Elder/Townhall

Report: Pennsylvania Dem took bribe to oppose voter ID law, but Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane shut down the investigation

"Before Kane ended the investigation, sources familiar with the inquiry said, prosecutors amassed 400 hours of audio and videotape that documented at least four city Democrats taking payments in cash or money orders, and in one case a $2,000 Tiffany bracelet," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner @joelmentum

"Typically, the payments made at any one time were relatively modest -- ranging from $500 to $2,000 -- but most of those involved accepted multiple payments, people familiar with the investigation said. In some cases, the payments were offered in exchange for votes or contracts, they said."

State Rep. Vanessa Brown wouldn't comment on the Inquirer story, but the report relates a conversation between Brown and Tyron Ali, a lobbyist who agreed to be a government source "to win favorable treatment" in a fraud case.

"After he gave Brown the money, Ali urged her to vote against a bill that would require voters to show identification at the polls," the report says. "Brown voted against the measure -- as did every other Democrat in the House."

Kane shut down sting that snared Phila. officials - Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy/Philadelphia Inquirer

...In a statement to The Inquirer on Friday, Kane called the investigation poorly conceived, badly managed, and tainted by racism, saying it had targeted African Americans....

Sources with knowledge of the sting said the investigation made financial pitches to both Republicans and Democrats, but only Democrats accepted the payments.

AP photographer hits White House: 'Once we lose access, we'll never get it back'

In the latest media charge that the White House has reneged on promises to be “transparent,” two of AP's White House staff told a convention in Denver this week that the president's team often bars coverage of Obama events because they are “hypersensitive” about his Image. - Paul Bedard/Washington Examiner
At the Newspaper Association of America's mediaXchange convention in Denver, AP White House photographer Charles Dharapak said that instead of letting reporters and photographers in at major news events, like the president's recent meeting with the Dalai Lama, it is issuing “virtual press releases” on social media.

He suggested that in cutting reporters from events that have historically received coverage, the White House is limiting access to independent news organizations. "Once we lose access, we'll never get it back," he told convention participants.
No Reporters on Michelle Obama's Trip to China - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
"Michelle Obama’s trip to China starting on Wednesday will be nonpolitical, the White House says, a 'people-to-people exchange' emphasizing the importance that both nations place on education. As if to underscore the point, no reporters are traveling with the first lady, and she does not plan to give interviews while there," reports the New York Times....

"Some conservative commentators are calling the China trip a junket. The White House will not say how much it will cost."

To clean house, pass the Stossel Rule. It's simple: For every new regulation bureaucrats pass, they must repeal five old ones.

Use the 'Stossel Rule' to give government long overdue spring cleaning - John Stossel/FOX

...Today's laws are so complex even the lawyers don't understand them.

And the clutter gets worse. Every day, regulators craft more rules. It's always more. If you're a regulator, and you don't add rules, you think you're not doing your job.

So now that spring is about to arrive, let's give government that overdue cleaning. Eliminate half the 170,000 pages of federal laws, scrap useless Cabinet departments, and cut the $4 trillion in spending in half. We could move about so much more freely if our lives weren't buried in government's junk.

Laws stop me from opening my own lemonade stand, dictate where kids must attend school, and forbid voluntary interactions between consenting adults.

Clean this stuff away!

When government is big, we become smaller. When we're trapped in the web of their rules, we don't innovate; we become passive.

To clean house, pass the Stossel Rule. It's simple: For every new regulation bureaucrats pass, they must repeal five old ones.

It would be a start.

ObamaCare premiums to double in some areas next year; ALREADY rising faster than eight years before Obamacare COMBINED



Remember how Barack Obama and Democrats promised to “bend the cost curve downward” with ObamaCare? Well, they got most of that promise correct. ObamaCare has bent the cost curve all right, but sharply upward — and in 2015, expect them to not just bend but absolutely “skyrocket” - HotAir

...In some areas, premiums for 2015 will double, and one insurer told Viebeck that they will likely triple in his state. Those prices will get announced in the fall, regardless of whether HHS likes it or not, as insurers have to start open enrollments by October 1st to get people on plans by January 1. That puts the bad news just weeks ahead of the 2014 midterm elections....

Report: Premiums rising faster than eight years before Obamacare COMBINED - Daily Caller

Premiums are being hiked across the board for several reasons, but the biggest contributor is the Obama administration’s highly touted “essential health benefits,” services that insurers on and off exchanges must provide. Prices may be (keeping) people away from purchasing health insurance. The latest survey from consulting firm McKinsey found that half of those who haven’t purchased health insurance yet this year cited their inability to pay the premium.

ObamaCare Enrollment Still Falling Short, CBS Spins it as 'Milestone' - Newsbusters

“It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

Surprise Surprise: Healthcare Premiums Go Up Massively - IJ Review

Insurance premiums under the Affordable Healthcare Act are up 39% to 56% according to a new report. Across the country, families are paying an average of $663 per month and individuals are paying $274. On the extreme end, some families in California are paying more than $2,600 and more than $1,800 in New York.

These premium changes are for individual plans that do not qualify for the government subsidy. Funds from other Americans the government are available for individuals earning $45,960 per year and for families of four earning less than $94,200. A significant number of Americans, obviously, qualify for subsidies and it is expected that more than $1 trillion dollars will be provided to subsidize costs over the next ten years. To put this in perspective, median household income in America is about $51,000 per year....

Tim Donnelly Widens Front-Runner Lead At CRP Convention



Thanks to your hard work and energy, the media concluded that we walked away the winner in every way.

The LA Times headline read, ◼ “Tim Donnelly gets unofficial endorsement at GOP convention”, and the article called it a “resounding” decision.

Together, we rocked the entire California Republican Party convention over weekend, leaving zero doubt who the clear front-runner in the primary for Governor is.

Thanks to your hard work and energy, the media concluded that we walked away the winner in every way:

The Sacramento Bee said, "This is Tim Donnelly's crowd."

We even made the Drudge Report on Sunday!
__________________

WEBSITE: electtimdonelly.comABOUTYOUTUBEISSUESUPDATESDONATE

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Israel upgrades Apache helicopters after U.S. blocked their modernization

Israel, despite opposition from the Obama administration, has managed to upgrade its fleet of attack helicopters. - World Tribune

Military sources said the Israel Air Force has overseen a project to modernize its AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters.

...The upgrade has been developed amid the U.S. refusal to modernize Israel’s Apache fleet, employed in attacks on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The sources said the administration of President Barack Obama blocked Israeli efforts to modernize the Apaches or purchase new helicopters from Boeing.

LOST

Examiner Editorial: Why not let consumers control their health care choices?

Treating people like adults is a radical concept for this nanny-state administration. - Washington Examiner EDITORIAL
The problem is that once Obamacare went into effect, Americans throughout the country began to realize that having a new insurance plan that promised lots of new benefits didn't necessarily mean much if those benefits were too hard to access. Last August, Modern Healthcare reported on a McKinsey & Co. analysis of 955 Obamacare plan offerings in 13 states, which found that almost half were of “the narrow-network type,” meaning enrollees' choices were restricted and that they would “have limited or no coverage if they seek care outside their plan network.” In California, none of the plans offered through the state's exchange covered care at prestigious hospitals such as the UCLA Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai.

In response, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Friday issued final guidance to health insurers on the 2015 benefit year, imposing tougher regulations to ensure “network adequacy.” Next year, a plan won't be allowed on an Obamacare insurance exchange unless the insurer can offer what CMS considers “reasonable access” to doctors and hospitals. At least 30 percent of “essential community providers” (who serve predominantly low-income individuals) have to be in all of an insurer's networks, too.

Insurers will be able to meet these regulations — but at a price. Expanding provider networks without easing regulations elsewhere will drive up costs. So here’s the rub for Obama administration regulators: If they force insurers to offer truly broad networks on top of all the other benefit requirements, premiums will skyrocket. But if they put more pressure on insurers to contain the growth of premiums, access will suffer.
We mauled American health care — to insure only 4.2 million people? - Joseph Curl/Washington Times
The number bounced around for years — 46 million. Obama said it over and over: “Nearly 46 million Americans don’t have health insurance coverage today. In the wealthiest nation on Earth, 46 million have no coverage.” Was this another big lie?

It was official: Nearly 15 percent of America’s 313 million citizens had no coverage and were, as Mr. Obama loved to say over and over to hype the fear, “one illness away from financial ruin.”

So, he created Obamacare. The crux of the biscuit: The United States would completely change its entire health care system to make sure those 46 million got insured. Well, at least that’s what every rational American thought. If there are 46 million uninsured, and the president and Congress are overhauling the system, it must be to solve the whole problem — not just part of it.

But last week came word that with just 15 days left for people to enroll for federal coverage, just 4.2 million had. The math is simple: That’s just 9 percent of the supposedly 46 million uninsured.

“It will be a larger number than that by the end of March,” Mr. Obama promised in an interview with WebMD. “At this point, enough people are signing up that the Affordable Care Act is going to work.”

Still, the obvious question is: We changed the $2.7 trillion health care system to sign up 4.2 million people?
Obamacare leaves man owing $407,000 in doctor bills - Las Vegas Review-Journal
The hospital bills are hitting Larry Basich’s mailbox.

That would be OK if Basich had health insurance. But he doesn’t.

Thing is, he should be covered. Basich, 62, bought a plan through the state’s Nevada Health Link insurance exchange in the fall. He’s been paying monthly premiums since November.

Yet the Las Vegan is stranded in a no-man’s-land where no carrier claims him, and his tab is mounting...


Pastor With Cancer: 'No Compassion in Affordable Care Act'...

Independent Crimea lasted less than 24 hours:

RUSSIA’S HIGH-SPEED ANNEXATION OF CRIMEA - John Hayward/Human Events @Doc_o

Russia’s annexation of Crimea happened fast. The dodgy Crimean independence referendum, denounced as illegal by the “international community, took place over the weekend. On Monday, Russian president Vladimir Putin thumbed his nose at the aforementioned “international community,” said it was too a legal referendum, laughed at the notion of sanctions, and signed a decree recognizing Crimean independence… which lasted less than 24 hours, as Tuesday morning saw Crimean leaders signing a treaty to make it part of Russia.

And to think there were international observers speculating that annexation might take weeks or months! Try hours, ladies and gentlemen. And then take two of those hours back, because the Crimeans announced they would be resetting their clocks to Moscow time on March 30, which will put them two hours ahead of Ukraine time.

European and American sanctions – leveled against just 21 and 7 individual Russian officials, respectively – did nothing to slow Putin down....

Putin referred to the new Ukrainian government as “neo-Nazis, Russophobes, and anti-Semites” in his speech on Tuesday, to thunderous applause. That doesn’t bode well for harmonious co-existence.

Hard Times

The white-trashing of American television. - John Podhoretz/Weekly Standard

What does a poor or lower-middle-class white person, especially one from the South or Southwest, have to do to get a break from fancy high-end TV producers? It is a remarkable fact about this new Golden Age of television, which began with The Sopranos in 1999, that its primary focus of attention is the population cohort known (with the exquisite cultural sensitivity we have all learned in the era of political correctness) as “white trash.”

...{HBO's True Detective, True Blood, AMC's Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, FX series Sons of Anarchy}

...FX takes a lighter touch with Justified, the highly amusing series about a U.S. marshal forced to return to his white-trash home turf of Harlan County, Kentucky. Harlan was the nation’s paradigmatic coal-mining community and, in its day, the source of a great deal of leftist sentimentality about the plight of the working class.

No longer! We don’t care about the plight of the white trash folk who provide all this glorious local color; instead, these shows positively revel in the shabbiness of their upholstery, the grunginess of their bars, their casual brutality, their offhanded abuse and/or neglect of children. There is precious little sympathy expressed for them. Even Mad Men’s Don Draper, the well-to-do man from Westchester, was damaged forever by being born to a hooker in rural Illinois and raised by a vicious farmer who beat him regularly.

....(with the exception of True Blood), they’re just too good, too interesting, too flavorful. Still, rich Hollywood folk making mincemeat out of poor rural folk is another element of the ongoing American culture war that should not go unremarked.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Make Democrats Pay for Obamacare and Obamanomics

My humble advice to the GOP: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Don't fail to grasp the significance of the Florida election. Make Democrats pay for their president and their shared agenda. - David Limbaugh/Townhall

...For people surely know by now that the primary flaws in this law are not merely in the dysfunctional rollout website. In every respect, the law has been an unmitigated disaster that was born of a fraudulent narrative by a fraudulent president....

While some Democrats and their operatives are wising up and admitting what a political nightmare this law is for their party, others are stubbornly clinging to the fantasy that Obamacare will be "a plus" eventually, possibly even by November, because perceptions of the law will change by then.

Others are blaming Republican partisan negativity for the law's disasters. "Never defend; always attack," advises Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

The problem with that is that the law is a self-evident failure -- a nightmare like we've rarely seen before in American policy and politics.

That said, I would caution Republicans that this doesn't mean they can't squander the opportunity that Obama and his party have handed them on a silver platter. In obedience to the idolatrous gods of "bipartisanship," collegiality, civility and moderation, they are fully capable of blowing it by failing to scream from the rooftops just how terrible this law is, that Obama knowingly and deliberately lied about it, that his entire party backed him on it, that millions of American people are being hurt as a result and that any Democrat who now tries to distance himself from the bill is nothing but a political opportunist unworthy of the voters' trust.

In short, unlike their previous mode of operation, Republicans must be unafraid to hit this hard and capitalize on it in every future election, especially in November.

And it's not just Obamacare; Obama's entire agenda has been an unmitigated train wreck, and Republicans need to quit being afraid to call it that and make all Democrats pay for enabling this national destroyer.

He was planning to eventually join a terrorist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria

California student held on terrorism charge linked to L.A. subway - LA Times

A 20-year-old student at a California community college, who authorities said had discussed an attack on the Los Angeles subway, has been arrested on a federal terrorism charge while trying to enter Canada for an eventual trip to the Mideast, where he planned to help a group wage holy war, officials said Monday.

RUSSIA LAUGHS AT OBAMA 'SANCTIONS';
CALLS HIM 'PRANKSTER'


ABC US News | ABC Business News

link - ABC

MOSCOW – Russia’s deputy prime minister laughed off President Obama’s sanction against him today asking “Comrade @BarackObama” if “some prankster” came up with the list.

The Obama administration hit 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials with sanctions today as punishment for Russia’s support of Crimea’s referendum. Among them: aides to President Vladimir Putin, a top government official, senior lawmakers, Crimean officials, the ousted president of Ukraine, and a Ukrainian politician and businessman allegedly tied to violence against protesters in Kiev.

It remains to be seen whether the sanctions will dissuade Russia from annexing Crimea, but one an early clue that they will not be effective came just hours later when President Putin signed a decree recognizing Crimea as an independent state, perhaps an early step towards annexation.





Krauthammer: If Obama thinks that sanctioning seven Russians is a sanction, he’s living in a different world - HotAir

As Krauthammer puts it, “if he thinks that sanctioning seven Russians, out of a population of, what, 150 million, is a sanction, he’s living in a different world.” I don’t know about Dr. K’s suggestion that we could get the Europeans to join in on real, robust economic sanctions, given their degree of energy dependence on Russia, but today’s announcement definitely amounts to little more than weaksauce symbolic gesture...


Bolton: US Sanctions Against Russia 'So Weak It's Embarrassing' - Newsmax
The sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States in response to its invasion of Crimea were "so weak that it's embarrassing," and would have no effect on future threats by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine, said former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton.

"I mean, naming 11 individuals and imposing visa restrictions on them and freezing their assets in the United States — it is nothing in the big picture," Bolton, a former ambassador to the United Nations, told Fox News' "America's News HQ" on Monday.

The sanctions were especially timid, Bolton explained, since Putin had "put thousands of Russian troops across an international border" and held a "Soviet-style" referendum in Crimea, where 97 percent of voters cast ballots Sunday to return to Russian rule. On Monday, the Crimean parliament formally requested that Russia annex the breakaway peninsula.
RETALIATE: PUTIN TARGETS US SENATORS...
DEFIES WEST WITH CRIMEA DECREE...
RUSSIACHINA PUSH FOR CONTROL OF INTERNET...
REVOLT: Crimeans toast future with Moscow after 95% approval vote...
Venice votes on cutting ties with Italy...
Battle in Canada rekindled with Quebec election...
Scottish independence looms...
Putin's Popularity Soars...
Obama Sends New Warning...
Crimean PM Mocks With Photoshopped Pic in Russian Uniform...
Markets rally over 'weak' sanctions...
France Set to Deliver Helicopter Carriers to Russia?
State TV says Russia could turn USA to 'radioactive ash'...
Threatens switch to other currencies over sanctions...
Moscow Accuses Ukraine of Electronic Attack on Satellite...

Lowest Common Denominator: White House's Obamacare bracket features twerking and ducks for 'free' birth control

Yes. Twerking. - Washington Examiner





"Obamacare leaves the average 27 year old facing a gender-averaged 47.5 percent premium increase..."

"Even after subsidies, that’s an expense that many Millennials can’t afford. Perversely, such high costs make it even harder for us to purchase health insurance in the future, when we can afford it. - Althouse

From a piece in the Las Vegas Review-Journal titled ◼ "We’re young, but we aren’t stupid."

Report: Many Americans intend to stay without health insurance - CBS Money Watch

"This is a staggeringly high percentage," said Bankrate.com insurance analyst Doug Whiteman. "The government has spent over half a billion dollars promoting the Affordable Care Act, and more than two-thirds of uninsured Americans still don't know about the subsidies."

The New York Times Reports Obama is Becoming “Poisonous” to Democrats

You know things are getting bad for Democrats when you read something like this in the New York Times… - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
Obama Factor Adds to Fears of Democrats

WASHINGTON — Democrats are becoming increasingly alarmed about their midterm election fortunes amid President Obama’s sinking approval ratings, a loss in a special House election in Florida last week, and millions of dollars spent by Republican-aligned groups attacking the new health law.

The combination has led to uncharacteristic criticism of Mr. Obama and bitter complaints that his vaunted political organization has done little to help the party’s vulnerable congressional candidates.
That excerpt may sound serious enough but a bit further down, we get this:
One Democratic lawmaker, who asked not to be identified, said Mr. Obama was becoming “poisonous” to the party’s candidates. At the same time, Democrats are pressing senior aides to Mr. Obama for help from the political network.
WH: Obama will totally be an asset for Democrats this year - HotAir

Washington Post columnist and former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen surveys the landscape and explains why members of the president’s own party are mired in an Obama “trap:”
[Democrats] are trapped. If they follow the advice of those who say Democrats should double down and launch a full-throated defense of Obamacare, they lose independents. If they follow the advice of those who say Democrats should attack Obamacare, they despirit their base. And if they listen to those who argue they should walk the middle ground and talk about their plans to “fix” Obamacare — precisely the message that failed in Florida — they alienate everyone. They have no good options…Democrats are putting on a brave face, but behind the scenes they are panicking. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last week found that 48 percent of Americans say they’re less likely to vote for a candidate who’s a solid supporter of the Obama administration, while just 26 percent say they’re more likely to vote for that candidate. That suggests that what happened in Florida could very well happen nationally this November.

Tim Donnelly cheered by GOP



VIDEO: Boisterous GOP activists cheer Tim Donnelly - Sacramento Bee

Boisterous party activists cheered Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly as he addressed the California Republican Party's biannual convention here Sunday, a demonstration of Donnelly's continued appeal to the party's conservative base.

"We can win in 2014," Donnelly said. "I need your help to retire Jerry Brown and replace him with Tim Donnelly for governor."

The crowd erupted in applause, with supporters yelling, "Tim! Tim! Tim!"

...Neel Kashkari, a better-funded, more moderate candidate, spoke before Donnelly and garnered more reserved applause.

RISE OF A NEW MOTHERLAND


Crimeans vote in referendum on whether to break away from Ukraine, join Russia - Washington Post

Bill Clinton: Vladimir Putin is 'highly intelligent' and 'deeply, deeply patriotic' - Charlie Spiering/Washington Examiner @charlesspiering
"He is highly intelligent, deeply, deeply patriotic in terms of Russia, but he sees it more in terms of the greatness of the state. I think he's got a sort of fatalistic view of the misfortunes that befall ordinary people when larger things are at stake," said Clinton, according to a report from the International Business Times.
Vladimir Putin and the Lessons of 1938: He’s not Hitler. But we’ve got to stop him all the same. - Politico
DRUDGE HEADLINES:
Crimea votes for Russia union...
60,000 troops massed on border - Bloomberg
Ukraine calls up 40,000 reservists...
Putin's Popularity Soars...
Goals reach far beyond peninsula...
REPORT: Russia Downs US Drone...
Obama rejects vote results...
Has four days to stop...
Kasparov: 'Carter looks like Churchill in comparison' - TIME


Soros Predicts Ukraine Could Ruin EU - The Daily Beast
State TV says Russia could turn USA to 'radioactive ash'...
Threatens switch to other currencies over sanctions...

AP: Obama transparency getting worse...

The Obama administration has a way to go to fulfill its promises from Day 1 to become the most transparent administration in history. - AP

...The AP could not determine whether the administration was abusing the national security exception or whether the public asked for more documents about sensitive subjects. The NSA said its 138 percent surge in records requests were from people asking whether it had collected their phone or email records, which it generally refuses to confirm or deny. To do otherwise, the NSA said, would pose an "an unacceptable risk" because terrorists could check to see whether the U.S. had detected their activities. It censored records or fully denied access to them in 4,246 out of 4,328 requests, or 98 percent of the time.

Journalists and others who need information quickly to report breaking news fared worse than ever last year. Blocking news organizations from urgently obtaining records about a government scandal or crisis - such as the NSA's phone-records collection, Boston bombings, trouble with its health care website, the deadly shootings at the Washington Navy Yard or the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi - can delay uncovering significant developments until after decisions are made and the public's interest has waned.

The government said the average time it took to answer a records request ranged from less than one day to nearly two years.

...Sunday was the start of Sunshine Week, when news organizations promote open government and freedom of information.

FEINSTEIN: Drone spied on me!

link Demonstrators from Code Pink who were protesting government surveillance at the time, said the device was merely a toy helicopter, but Feinstein used the instance to sound off about the importance of controlling the technology through government regulation.

Markets hold breath as China's shadow banking grinds to a halt


Fresh loans in China’s shadow banking system evaporated to almost nothing from $160bn in January - Ambrose Evans-Pritchard/Telegraph (AFP image)

A slew of shockingly weak data from China and Japan has led to a sharp sell-off in Asian stock markets and the biggest one-day crash in iron ore prices since the Lehman crisis, calling into question the strength of the global recovery.

...Fresh loans in China’s shadow banking system evaporated to almost nothing from $160bn in January, suggesting the clampdown on the $8 trillion sector is biting hard.

“It seems that rising default risk has started to erode Chinese investors’ confidence,” said Wei Yao, from Societe Generale. “Together with continued regulatory tightening on banks’ off-balance-sheet activity, we are certain this slowing credit trend has further to go and will inflict real pain on the economy.”...

7.0- 6.7 Magnitude Earthquake Off Chile’s Pacific Coast

The quake's epicenter was 60 kilometers (37 miles) west-northwest of Iquique, Chile, and its depth was 20 kilometers (12.4 miles), the USGS said. - CNN
A magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit the Pacific coast of Chile at a depth of 20.5 miles (32 km), the U.S. Geological Survey said on Sunday. The quake was centered 44 miles (70 km) northwest of Iquique, in northern Chile, the USGS said. - Reuters
The magnitude 6.7 quake, originally measured as a 7.0, was centered 37 miles west-northwest of Iquique and hit at a depth of 12.4 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said. - Reuters
The ONEMI emergency office said that preliminarily no damage or injuries had been reported after the shake, which struck at 6:16 p.m. local time (2116 GMT).

Chile's massive mines, clustered in the mineral-rich North, appeared to be fine. Collahuasi, a partnership between Glencore Xstrata and Anglo American, located in the area, said operations were normal.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was no tsunami expected.
◼ March 13: 6.3 Mag Quake Strikes S. Japanese Island
◼ March 10: 6.9 Northern California earthquake followed by aftershocks - LA Times



◼ March 17: 4.4-Magnitude Earthquake Hits LA, Sepulveda Pass - CBS LA
...The tremor struck at 6:25 a.m. and was “epicentered in the Santa Monica Mountains between Westwood and Encino, closer to the Valley side, about five miles below the surface...”
4.4 earthquake near L.A. could be 'foreshock' for bigger shake

Robert Graves said there have been at least six aftershocks since the 6:25 a.m. earthquake. The largest so far has been a magnitude 2.7 earthquake that struck five miles northwest of Westwood.
Graves said there is always the small possibility that the 4.4 earthquake was only a prelude to an equal or stronger shake.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Russia is the only country in the world realistically capable of turning the United States into radioactive ash"

State TV says Russia could turn US to 'radioactive ash' - AFP







Donald Trump: “I seem to get along very well with the Tea Party. Part of it is a mutual respect. I have a great respect for the Tea Party.”



Mr. Trump is a rock star for Republicans, but he’s never been easily categorized. - Emily Miller/Washington Times

The billionaire developer was heading down the hall for an interview with me at The Washington Times video booth, but about a hundred fans swarmed over him to take a photo and shake his hand. We had to do the interview in a room protected by his personal security staff.

Mr. Trump is a rock star for Republicans, but he’s never been easily categorized.

So I asked him straight out if he considers himself a member of the Tea Party.

“I certainly seem to be in a sense. They like me, and I like them. And we have very much the same principles,” Mr. Trump answered. “When I speak to the Tea Party, they have the biggest crowd of anybody.”

Pilot Spoke to Air Controllers After Shutoff of Data System

Landing sites: The red dots show all the places
MH370 could have landed within the search area

"The Nature of the Search Has Changed:' At a news conference on Sunday, the Malaysian authorities listed possible reasons behind the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, including “sabotage.” - NY Times

A signaling system was disabled on the missing Malaysia Airlines jet before a pilot spoke to air traffic control without mentioning trouble, a senior Malaysian official said on Sunday, reinforcing theories that one of the pilots may have been involved in diverting the plane and adding urgency to the investigation of their pasts and possible motivations.

With the increasing likelihood that Flight 370 was purposefully diverted and flown possibly thousands of miles from its planned route, Malaysian officials faced more questions about how the investigation, marked by days of contradictory government statements, might have ballooned into a global goose chase for information....

And on Sunday, Malaysia’s defense minister added a critical detail about investigators’ understanding of what transpired in the cockpit in the 40 minutes of flight time before ground controllers lost contact with the jet. The determination that the last verbal message to the control tower — “All right, good night,” someone said — came after a key signaling system had stopped transmitting, perhaps having been shut off, appeared likely to refocus scrutiny on the plane’s veteran pilot, Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, and his young first officer, Fariq Abdul Hamid.

Pilot wife and children moved out day before disappearance...

...Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah was a fervent supporter of his country's opposition leader who was jailed for homosexuality - illegal in Malaysia - only hours before flight MH370 vanished with 239 passengers and crew on board, the Sunday Mirror can reveal.

And in a new twist, it emerged that the pilot's wife and three children moved out of the family's home the day before the plane's disappearance....

But his friend Peter Chong insisted Capt Zaharie, 53, would be "the last person" to hijack the aircraft.

He told the Sunday Mirror: "I would trust that man with my life. He loves people and being involved in something like that would hurt people. I would not believe he was involved in any way at all. If I went on a plane and was allowed the choice of a pilot, I would choose Captain Zaharie."

Mr Chong last saw his friend a week before the jet vanished. He said the two had agreed to meet up this week and that the pilot had been "his normal, cheerful self".

But now he has become a focus of the police investigation....

Boeing 777s need a runway up to a mile long to land, making it unlikely it touched down safely on a remote Asian strip.

"I can't think which airfield it would be - and what would they do with the passengers?" said Mr Learmount.

Malaysian authorities have been criticised for keeping the possibility of a hijack secret for eight days.

Mr Learmount said their "total incompetence is unforgivable", and created more agony for families desperate for news....

Former White House press secretary: ‘If we lose the Senate, turn out the lights. The party is over’



Gibbs: Dems ‘Absolutely’ in Danger of Losing Senate - Washington Free Beacon

CRP Convention


Great reaction to RNC committeeman Shawn Steel's convention report that no longer will the likes of George Stephanopoulos moderate our Republican presidential debates. ◼ Republican Party of San Diego County


National Republican Chairman Reince Priebus gets it. Back to basics. Blocking and tackling. 2014 is going to be a good year!


San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer addressing the California Republican Party delegates at the Friday dinner.

No, House Republicans haven't voted 50 times to repeal Obamacare. (via Byron York)

Here's the real story - Byron York/Washington Examiner @ByronYork

It has become a truism that House Republicans have voted dozens and dozens of times -- at least 50 in all -- to repeal Obamacare. "They have been obsessed with repealing the Affordable Care Act," President Obama told a Democratic National Committee meeting in Washington last month. "You know what they say: 50th time is the charm. Maybe when you hit your 50th repeal vote, you will win a prize. Maybe if you buy 50 repeal votes, you get one free. We get it."

For more than a year, Democrats and their advocates in the press have been ridiculing the GOP's anti-Obamacare efforts. "The House Republicans have voted more than 30 times to repeal Obamacare," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in March 2013. "The House has wasted weeks voting more than 40 times to repeal Obamacare," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in October of last year. "If at first you don't succeed, try 50 times -- Republicans [are] holding a 50th vote to repeal Obamacare," MSNBC's Al Sharpton said last week. Many others have said similar things.

The only problem is, the truism isn't true. The House has actually voted to repeal Obamacare in its entirety six times. Certainly Democrats think that is six too many. But it is not 50, or even close to 50. The rest of the votes -- there have actually been 54 so far -- were votes that ranged from defunding measures that would have crippled Obamacare to delaying measures that would have put off some of the very same provisions in the law that President Obama has delayed unilaterally, to measures fixing portions of the law that passed both houses of Congress with bipartisan support and were signed by the president.

Best Purim Tweet ever



Purim 2014 began in the evening of Saturday, March 15 and ends in the evening of Sunday, March 16.

Purim is a spring holiday that commemorates the Jewish community's narrow escape from collective destruction in the ancient Persian Empire.