If you’re one of those millions of Americans who have lost your healthcare thanks to Obamacare and now face the possibility of fines if you don’t replace it, whether Healthcare.gov works or not is very important.
Democrat Charlie Rangel obviously isn’t one of those people. He also doesn’t really understand what Obamacare actually does. The New York Democrat showed up on MSNBC today and made it clear that he really doesn’t care how long it takes the multi-million dollar site takes to become functional.
Rangel told host Thomas Roberts, “Listen, I’m not the least bit concerned about the computers. I am so ecstatic that at long last our great country will be providing health care for everybody.”
Obamacare mandates that Americans buy health insurance or face fines. In what universe is that “providing” anything other than a threat to get a boot to the head? Sure, some will qualify for “subsidies” to buy insurance, but those have to be paid for with tax dollars — confiscated under threat of imprisonment from the IRS.
Rangel continued to display his arrogance: “It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s this week, next month or the month after. …But for the 40 million people that have been begging and praying for being able to enroll in insurance, this is heaven.”
Rangel has a warped view of heaven. He also has his numbers wrong. Even after Obamacare, the government estimates that about 30 million Americans will remain uninsured. It’s almost a certainty that tens of millions of Americans will lose their health insurance next year, once the employer mandate kicks in.
I have no idea if the allegations against Archie Comics CEO Nancy Silberkleit by her male co-workers are true or not. They are bizarre, reports the NY Daily News. Five male co-workers allege that she interrupts meetings shouting “Penis!” whenever they talk instead of using their names, among other nutty antics. As you can imagine, the men have a problem with this.
[H]er fellow CEO, Jonathan Goldwater, filed suit seeking her ouster her in 2011, charging she was unstable and threatening to run the company into the ground.
That case settled last year, with an agreement that Silberkleit would have limited interactions with the employees, and that a go-between would represent her interests with the company.
The dispute erupted again earlier this year, when the go-between Silberkleit selected, Samuel Levitin, filed papers in Westchester Surrogate’s Court charging that she’d become unhinged – and even wanted to tart up beloved characters Betty and Veronica. He said she needed to be removed altogether.
Silberkleit responded with claims Levitin had sexually harassed her – and demanded that he get the boot. That case is still pending.
Then in October came the $32.5 million suit by the Archie employees. They’re seeking a court order keeping her two miles away from the office, and say her “deliberate and disturbed campaign of outrageous conduct” has them so freaked out an armed guard’s been posted in the office.
Archie Comics is a family-owned business, she inherited the job, so she can’t just be voted out and dispatched. She has her lawyers arguing in court that the whole case should be thrown out, because of who her accusers are:
The co-CEO of Archie Comics’ says she couldn’t have discriminated against her underlings – because they’re white men.
In papers filed in Westchester Supreme Court, Nancy Silberkleit’s lawyer says a gender discrimination lawsuit filed against her earlier this year by a group of Archie Comics employees should be tossed in part because white guys aren’t members of “a protected class.”
Do you have to be a member of a “protected class” to be treated fairly under the law? Is that where we are now?
60 Minutes previewed the future last night. Amazon is planning to use drone aircraft to enable 30-minute delivery of many products that we order online.
Charlie Rose: This is?
Jeff Bezos:…is…these are octocopters.
Charlie Rose: Yeah?
Jeff Bezos: These are effectively drones but there’s no reason that they can’t be used as delivery vehicles. Take a look up here so I can show you how it works.
Charlie Rose: All right. We’re talking about delivery here?
Jeff Bezos: We’re talking about delivery. There’s an item going into the vehicle. I know this looks like science fiction. It’s not.
Charlie Rose: Wow!
Jeff Bezos: This is early. This is still…years away. It drops the package.
Charlie Rose: And there’s the package.
Jeff Bezos: You come and get your package. And we can do half hour delivery.
Charlie Rose: Half hour delivery?
Jeff Bezos: Half hour delivery/and we can carry objects, we think, up to five pounds, which covers 86 percent of the items that we deliver.
Charlie Rose: And what is the range between the fulfillment center and where you can do this within…
Jeff Bezos: These…this…this…these gener…
Charlie Rose: 30 minutes?
Jeff Bezos: These generations of vehicles, it could be a 10-mile radius from a fulfillment center. So, in urban areas, you could actually cover very significant portions of the population. And so, it won’t work for everything; you know, we’re not gonna deliver kayaks or table saws this way. These are electric motors, so this is all electric; it’s very green, it’s better than driving trucks around. This is…this is all an R&D project.
Charlie Rose: With drones, there’s somebody sitting somewhere in front of a screen.
Jeff Bezos: Not these; these are autonomous. So you give ‘em instructions of which GPS coordinates to go to, and they take off and they fly to those GPS coordinates.
Charlie Rose: What’s the hardest challenge in making this happen?
Jeff Bezos: The hard part here is putting in all the redundancy, all the reliability, all the systems you need to say, ‘Look, this thing can’t land on somebody’s head while they’re walking around their neighborhood’…
Charlie Rose doesn’t know what a drone is? Sheesh.
This idea seems cool until you think it through for a bit. Amazon’s drones will be eyesores in the air and electromagnets for lawyers when one of them goes haywire and crashes in someone’s yard or in the middle of a street or, heaven forbid, kills a guy. Human nature can be a nasty thing. Lawfare is strangling innovation in America. Watch octocopter-chasing lawyers have a heyday over Amazon’s drones and its fat wallet. Watch the newspaper Amazon owns defend whatever the company does. And watch environmentalists slow this whole thing down in court.
The hardest part technologically probably isn’t building in redundancy. The hardest part is making sure these things don’t become magnets for thieves (other than the aforementioned lawyers). Where you have valuable product moving, you have the potential for heists. These drones could and probably will become targets, especially if they’re in operation at night. So game that out, and Amazon will end up working with the FAA to either create sky lanes through which its drones will have special permission to travel, which would be protected either from the air or the ground against theft, or they’ll have to arm the drones with countermeasures.
When Amazon merges with Google to perfect the drones’ accuracy, it’s all heading toward SkyNet.
Yahoo reports that Black Friday crowds were up strongly this year. But retailers still may not have sold as much stuff this year as last year.
A record 141 million people were expected to shop in stores and online over the four-day period that ended on Sunday, up from last year’s 137 million, according to the results of a survey of nearly 4,500 shoppers conducted for The National Retail Federation.
But total spending was expected to fall for the first time ever since the trade group began tracking it in 2006, according to the survey that was released on Sunday afternoon. Over the four days, spending fell an estimated 2.9 percent to $57.4 billion.
Shoppers, on average, were expected to spend $407.02 during the four days, down 3.9 percent from last year. That would be the first decline since the 2009 holiday shopping season when the economy was just coming out of the recession.
The survey underscores the challenges stores have faced since the recession began in late 2007. Retailers had to offer deeper discounts to get people to shop during the downturn, but Americans still expect those “70 percent off” signs now during the recovery.
Personally, I check some Black Friday ads but don’t get into the shopping. There’s just something about massive crowds and the probability of insane behavior that keep me either shopping online or not at all. But about half the country hit the stores over the weekend, yet spent less than last year.
For two months now, Americans have been regaled with the triplet messes of Obamacare. The website didn’t work when the law rolled out. Those who could use the website got sticker shock from more expensive plans due to Obamacare’s mandates. And about 5 million Americans have already had their insurance cancelled. They’re just the first wave of rate hikes and/or cancellations coming — the employer mandate hasn’t even kicked in yet. The media haven’t quantified all this yet, but this amount of turmoil and uncertainty over something as fundamental as healthcare is bound to have an impact on holiday shopping. If you’re worried about your job, worried about seeing your hours cut, and worried about what you’ll be paying for healthcare — or you’ve already received President Obama’s expensive “gift” — you have less motivation to spend and less cash to spend too.
A 76-year-old Brooklyn woman was punched in the back of the head by a stranger in what residents fear could be the city’s tenth “knockout game” attack.
Yvonne Small fell to the ground after being punched by her assailant on Alabama Ave. and Wortman Ave. in East New York about 11:35 a.m., according to police sources.
As she was being attacked, an already-planned rally against the sick game was wrapping up in the same neighborhood.
The “knockout game” has already claimed lives in Syracuse, St. Louis and New Jersey. Several injuries have been reported in Crown Heights. One of the New York victims said he believes he was targeted because he’s an Orthodox Jew.
Where gun control tends to rule.
The point of this post isn’t to turn former heavyweight boxing champion and ear-biter Mike Tyson into a political prognosticator. The point is to note that while the left’s leading lights — Ezra Klein, Matt Yglesias, etc — don’t get or won’t admit that Obamacare is a pile of fail, this guy who took quite a few punches to the head does get it. He appeared on Piers Morgan’s show and managed to make a little sense.
MORGAN: “That’s since then, that was a year ago. Obviously they tried to do this with ObamaCare, they tried — ”
TYSON: “This thing really, it just really went horrible, didn’t it?”
TYSON: “It’s really, it’s really bad.”
MORGAN: “I mean the idea behind it, would you be supportive of the idea of bringing millions of Americans into health care, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it?”
TYSON: “If they can get the health care, but as of now it doesn’t seem they can get it. I was for it a 100 percent but we just have to come to the reality that it didn’t work.”
It’s just another chance to talk up his almighty greatness.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 27, 2013
I know what you’re thinking. Yes, it’s real.
Can’t he just leave people alone for one day?
This year I’m thankful that I have absolutely nothing in common with any of the people on this MSNBC show. They’re just lousy excuses for human beings, really.
I wish I was making that up. I really do. But as the Weekly Standard reports, it’s a real thing. We live in interesting, in an Old Testament wicked king way, times.
The Obamacare event took place at the University of Central Arkansas last weekend. It was hosted by a group called the Living Affected Corporation, which apparently has received a grant from the federal government to educate the public about Obamacare.
The event organizer spilled out a bag of condoms — as a couple whoops and hollers could be heard from the small crowd.
Then she says, “Ok, if anyone wants a paper application,” but she interrupts herself to pickup condoms that had fallen on the floor. “I have those as well.”
“So when you’re leaving, you can stop by my table and I’ll give you whatever — condoms — that box has a bunch in it. Anyway … Our corporation, LA Corp … And I’m waiting on my dental dams and female condom order that still hasn’t come in. If you ever need condoms, let me know because we have thousands — boxes of magnums, we get magnums a lot. So here is the prize table.”
Video at the link. The event was a training for young Democrats.
It’s not like this is out of character for today’s Democrats. What does the abortifacient mandate do? Philosophically and morally — what does it really do?
Well, no one can say that this was unexpected. Whenever the law doesn’t work, Barack Obama just breaks the law.
The White House will hold off on launching its online health exchange where small businesses can shop for coverage until November 2014, an HHS official confirmed Wednesday.
Small businesses will still have the option to purchase coverage through the new marketplace but will not be able to do so online. Instead, until next fall, employers with fewer than 50 workers will need to work through a broker or agent to buy health plans for their employees.
“We’ve concluded that we can best serve small employers by continuing this offline process while we concentrate on both creating a smoothly functioning online experience in the SHOP Marketplace, and adding key new features, including an employee choice option and premium aggregation services, by November 2014,” the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services wrote in a Q&A distributed to health law stakeholders.
You lie. You’ve concluded that the website won’t work properly and that if small businesses are forced into Obamacare before next year’s elections, the sticker shock will help build a GOP wave to get that law repealed.
Update: Ha ha ha.
Obamacare really is starting to work better: http://t.co/eVtfmRDlC6
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) November 26, 2013
Well, that’s because he’s stupid. Or lying.
I don’t really understand the logic of dumping this kind of bad news on holiday weekends.
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) November 27, 2013
Ed Snowden has leaked another trove of documents, and the Huffington Post is generating clicks with it. The upshot is that the NSA monitored the online activities of six people it characterizes as Islamist radicalizers. The NSA built up information on these Islamists’ porn habits, for the purpose of discrediting them.
WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document. The document, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, identifies six targets, all Muslims, as “exemplars” of how “personal vulnerabilities” can be learned through electronic surveillance, and then exploited to undermine a target’s credibility, reputation and authority.
The NSA document, dated Oct. 3, 2012, repeatedly refers to the power of charges of hypocrisy to undermine such a messenger. “A previous SIGINT” — or signals intelligence, the interception of communications — “assessment report on radicalization indicated that radicalizers appear to be particularly vulnerable in the area of authority when their private and public behaviors are not consistent,” the document argues.
None of this is especially new. The allies built up extensive profiles and dossiers on Hitler’s private and even sexual life during World War II, and I’m sure the axis did the same to allied leaders. The Soviets probably had great fun building up files on J. Edgar Hoover and JFK, among others. They didn’t really have to build up a file on Ted Kennedy. Once he left a woman to drown, there wasn’t much they could expose that would have cost him his Massachusetts Senate seat. Maybe they could have run an op outing him as a closet Republican or something, but he was much more useful to them as a senator.
An attached appendix lists the “argument” each surveillance target has made that the NSA says constitutes radicalism, as well the personal “vulnerabilities” the agency believes would leave the targets “open to credibility challenges” if exposed.
One target’s offending argument is that “Non-Muslims are a threat to Islam,” and a vulnerability listed against him is “online promiscuity.” Another target, a foreign citizen the NSA describes as a “respected academic,” holds the offending view that “offensive jihad is justified,” and his vulnerabilities are listed as “online promiscuity” and “publishes articles without checking facts.” A third targeted radical is described as a “well-known media celebrity” based in the Middle East who argues that “the U.S perpetrated the 9/11 attack.” Under vulnerabilities, he is said to lead “a glamorous lifestyle.” A fourth target, who argues that “the U.S. brought the 9/11 attacks on itself” is said to be vulnerable to accusations of “deceitful use of funds.” The document expresses the hope that revealing damaging information about the individuals could undermine their perceived “devotion to the jihadist cause.”
The tactic of building up personal information on foreign enemies probably dates back, I don’t know, thousands of years. As long as humans have waged organized warfare. Sun Tzu would surely approve, and said as much when he wrote “Know your enemy.” We remain at war and we pay the NSA to conduct SIGINT on people who wish to harm Americans. That’s it’s job.
These tactics are not new, though the electronic means to stealthily invade one’s private space undetected is relatively new. What might be new to the American experience is the next direction this power could be aimed. Barack Obama literally owes his political career to using lies and dirty tricks to win. Someone (*cough* OBAMA) released the salacious details of Jack Ryan’s sealed divorce records, knocking Republican Ryan out of the Illinois race that ended with Obama taking up his seat in the US Senate. That seat became the platform from which Obama vaulted to the White House. Obama has shown that he has absolutely no scruples or restraint when it comes to bending laws to suit his purposes. It’s not a reach at all to fear that he would turn the NSA against his own political enemies and “destabilize” them.
Not a reach at all. We’re talking about the same man who knowingly and ruthlessly lied about Obamacare, and the deaths of four Americans at Benghazi, to win last year.
Obama could, and given the opportunity would, make LBJ and Richard Nixon look like Boy Scouts. That’s what’s worth worrying about in this revelation. Not that a relative handful of Islamists, none of whom are thought to be in the US, might be looked in upon for the purpose of finding their weak spots and undermining them. What’s worth concern is whose hands this power is in. Next year’s midterms could absolutely destroy Obama’s final two years in office. Or they could hand him unchallenged power. With stakes that high and such a selfish ideologue in the presidency, we’re not safe.
Don’t be shocked — be angry — if a slew of GOP pundits, office holders and candidates all start getting hit with revelations, that could well be a mix of real and fabricated information, as we get closer to the midterms. Absolute power is on the line.
Yes, it is. It’s not the only totalitarian feature of this regime.
Is the Obama White House airbrushing history?
It was a hallmark of the Stalin era: Fallen Soviet leaders vanished from official photographs. Nobody accuses President Obama of such subterfuge (well, nobody except for those who believe he forged his birth certificate), but a change in longtime practice in the White House has raised questions about the integrity of images Americans see of their president.
Milbank is joining the media chorus against the Obama administration’s habit of excluding news photographers from events and then just releasing its own official photo, taken by a government employee, as a substitute for real coverage. So while Milbank is right, there’s more than a trace of self-interest involved here.
I asked Pete Souza, a White House photographer, whether other photos of his have been altered. He sent me to deputy press secretary Josh Earnest, who said that altering photos would be done only to protect classified information and that he didn’t know of other instances. He defended the photo releases generally, telling reporters, “There are certain circumstances where it is simply not feasible to have independent journalists in the room when the president is making decisions.”
Making decisions? Here are some of the big moments at which the White House replaced independent eyeballs with in-house eyeballs: The president and first lady waving to a sea of people, with the Washington Monument in the background, on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s march; Obama swimming with one of his daughters in the Gulf of Mexico to show that the water is clean; Obama embracing one of his daughters in Nelson Mandela’s prison cell; the president touring the West Bank church on the spot where Jesus is thought to have been born (news photographers were allowed to shoot images when George W. Bush toured that location); Obama alone on the Rosa Parks bus, sitting in the same row where the civil rights icon sat; Obama shaking hands on Veterans Day with the oldest living World War II veteran; Obama shaking hands with Mitt Romney in the Oval Office; the first lady and the president greeting kids the day White House tours resumed this month.
Etc. It’s nice to see. But like Mark Halperin’s recent talk about Obamacare’s death panels, it’s years too late. We didn’t have to have a president who openly exhibited tyrannical tendencies, and the nation certainly didn’t have to re-elect him. The same media who are crying about photography policies now are massively to blame for not vetting Barack Obama when they had the chance, and they’re even more to blame when you recall that they openly mocked those who attempted to vet Obama and his policies.
Private property in the form of a business? Sandra Fluke never heard of it.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Sandra Fluke, the 30-year-old who pretended not to know that contraception costs about $9 a month, weighs in on the Hobby Lobby vs Obamacare case. It’s every bit as awful as you might expect.
In that case, the owners of a business are suing to escape the Obamacare mandate that forces them to violate their religious consciences. It’s worth pointing a few things out about all this at the start. First, the abortifacient mandate wasn’t in the original law. If it was, Obamacare probably would not have passed. HHS regulators wrote the mandate in, and Obama and Sebelius agree with it and are therefore defending it in court. Because it’s a regulation, it could be undone at any time if Obama simply picked up the phone and ordered the regulators, who work for him, to undo it. So we really are talking about Obama and Sebelius imposing their morality on the owners of Hobby Lobby, and by extension everyone else who opposes that mandate.
There is no medical or financial reason to impose that mandate. As it’s about birth control, it’s about lifestyle first and foremost. Not medical conditions. Not “the healthcare crisis.” It’s not even about access, as birth control has been available for decades. The difference now, is that everyone is paying for it, without ever being asked to agree to. It’s mandated. The Hobby Lobby case is about government forcing some to pay for the personal choices of others, not any medical conditions or any of that. It’s entirely about morality and politics, and it’s about breaking off traditional Christians from the public sphere.
It’s among the reasons it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Obama/Kerry Iran discussions did not include securing the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini. Obama et al don’t care about the freedom of Christians in this country. It should surprise no one that they care even less about the plight of one Christian in Iran.
It’s also worth pointing out that Obamacare has never had majority support and was passed through chicanery and shenanigans. A majority want it repealed now. Additionally, President Obama himself has chosen to enforce some parts of the law but not others, as suits his political whims. That last point in mind, now watch Sandra Fluke accuse the owners of Hobby Lobby of wanting an exception to the law. She’s either unbelievably stupid, or incredibly dishonest.
“Both” is also a viable option.
Fluke opens with this: “It goes even beyond healthcare. It’s a corporation picking and choosing which types of laws they want to comply with.”
The Obama administration has done that repeatedly with this very law.
She continues: “Our belief in this society has always been, that we protect the religious liberties of individuals in their private lives, but when you cross that line, and go into the public sphere, and decide that you want to operate as a company, make a profit off of the public, you need to abide by the public’s laws.”
Hayes agrees of course, because critical thinking is alien to him.
Again, the Obama administration itself has picked and chosen which parts of Obamacare it wants to enforce, despite the fact that the plain language of the law does not allow those choices. Fluke’s hero has blown her central argument away. The mandate itself is a choice, not part of the actual law. Obama could undo it with a phone call. Instead, it’s a regulation he is choosing to enforce to the point of dragging Hobby Lobby through a lengthy court case to defend it.
Fluke steals so many bases she should change her name to Ricky Henderson. Owning a business is often the choice an individual makes in order to make a living. That’s not going into the “public sphere,” it’s just making a living via one’s private property. Fluke is suggesting that business owners have no rights over their own private property. I’m sure she sincerely believes that. I’m also sure that she is wrong about it, the question is, does the court agree? On that, I’m no longer sure at all.
Remember when Barack Obama said that no one was more outraged than he was about the IRS abuse of Tea Party and conservative groups? Well, try to avoid your shockface — he wasn’t really telling the truth.
Fox reports (h/t JWF) that what the IRS sought to accomplish from 2010 to 2012 to suppress Tea Party groups, the Obama administration is trying to make official policy. It’s pulling this move the day before Thanksgiving, when most Americans are already tuning out of politics.
The administration has proposed new rules that would sharply curtail the activities of tax-exempt 501(c)(4) groups.
Under the proposed new rules, organizations that fall under the tax-exempt 501(c)(4) umbrella would also be more clearly identified during campaigns. The new guidance would curtail activities such as running ads, distributing campaign literature and other get-out-the-vote initiatives.
The groups in question are able to raise millions of dollars to influence elections.
Smaller organizations that are similarly classified were the subject of unfair targeting practices earlier this year by IRS employees, leading to the eventual resignations of several senior IRS officials.
However, it could be several years before any regulations are finalized, meaning the groups could likely still raise millions before next year’s elections.
Or it could happen much more quickly. Just last week the Democrat-controlled Senate blew up the filibuster against controversial judicial appointments below the Supreme Court. Now this week, the administration is pushing a rule that is sure to get challenged in court if it gets on the books. The courts will soon be packed with 51-vote judge appointed by the same administration that is pushing these new rules.
This is all coming from an administration that constantly militates against simple voter ID, by the way.
Under current rules, social welfare organizations may conduct some political work as long as it is not their main activity. The proposed new rules would block such things as running ads that “expressly advocate for a clearly identified political candidate or candidates of a political party” as fulfilling their tax-exempt mission.
The rules also would limit voter drives and voter registration efforts and distribution of literature.
The idea behind the new regulations is to simplify the rules of the road going forward, supporters say.
Some of the outside groups that could be affected by the proposal, including Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and the pro-Obama Priorities USA, did not offer any initial reaction to the announcement. The groups are expected to weigh in on the rulemaking as it proceeds.
Everyone knows how this will really work in practice. All the groups, left, right and otherwise, will be told that they have to live by the same rules. But Obama’s faceless bureaucracy will only enforce them on one side.
These rules need to be stopped in their tracks.
Bringing up Obamacare’s “death panels,” a fair characterization of the Independent Payment Advisory Board, got Sarah Palin lampooned and ridiculed.
Let’s see what doing the same thing, years after the law was passed, gets Mark Halperin. His appearance on Morning Joe today marks the second time he has discussed the death panels in the past few days.
Even in finally discussing the death panels, Halperin stole a base on Morning Joe in the clip above. He says that the death panels “weren’t discussed” when the law was being passed. That isn’t true. They were. The press ripped Palin apart when she did discuss them, thus helping the law get passed and helping Obama get through his re-election.
The media can’t even tell the full truth when it finally stops lying.
80 million. That’s a big number. I think it may be too low. I’ll explain later.
Almost 80 million people with employer health plans could find their coverage canceled because they are not compliant with ObamaCare, several experts predicted.
Their losses would be in addition to the millions who found their individual coverage cancelled for the same reason.
Stan Veuger of the American Enterprise Institute said that in addition to the individual cancellations, “at least half the people on employer plans would by 2014 start losing plans as well.” There are approximately 157 million employer health care policy holders.
Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute added, “the administration estimated that approximately 78 million Americans with employer sponsored insurance would lose their existing coverage due to the Affordable Care Act.”
Last week, an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, showed the administration anticipates half to two-thirds of small businesses would have policies canceled or be compelled to send workers onto the ObamaCare exchanges. They predicted up to 100 million small and large business policies could be canceled next year.
The higher number makes more sense to me, because of the way Obamacare grandfathers plans. Essentially, it doesn’t. You’re grandfathered unless your plan has changed, even in minute ways, since March 2010. That’s more than four years from the time the law passed until the mandates start kicking in. Whose plan stays exactly the same for four years? Families grow and change or split up, we change jobs an average of every three to four years, we move, our tax situations change, we gain or lose income. Many small businesses change plans every couple of years just to get a better deal, either for the business or employees or both. I’m not sure all of this is accounted for in the lower estimates.
Whatever the number is, it’s higher than the zero that the Democrats promised and President Barack Obama knew that this chaos was coming all along. He knew that he was plotting to hurt millions of people for his own political purposes. He chose to hide it and lie about it. That’s really unforgivable.
We in Texas hear a lot (a lot, you have no idea how much unless you’re here) about how the Democrats are finally gonna turn this big red state blue. It’s just around the corner. Really. Honest to goodness. They keep saying it, the media keeps repeating it, and the voters just keep spoiling their party.
You don’t hear the GOP go out and say “This is the year we finally turn Wisconsin red!” They just sort of do it, like Scott Walker.
It usually gets done when the Democrats just finally run out of gas and the Republicans finally nominate a worthy candidate. Like Scott Walker.
The above was a long-winded way of hiding my utter shock at what I’m about to report. Public Policy Polling — the goofy lefty pollster that once had Barack Obama leading Rick Perry in Texas — says Illinois’ governor’s race is winnable for the Republicans.
Illinois. One of the states that Barack Obama calls home.
PPP’s newest Illinois poll finds that the race for Governor next year is a toss up. Pat Quinn continues to be one of the most unpopular Governors in the country, but the Democratic lean of the state is enough to still make him neck and neck in hypothetical contests with the Republicans vying to take him on next fall.
Only 34% of voters approve of the job Quinn is doing to 60% who disapprove. That ties him for the third most unpopular Governor in the country. That’s actually an improvement for Quinn though- his numbers are up from a 25/64 approval spread a year ago at this time, which had made him the most unpopular Governor anywhere. He’s seen a little bit of improvement with Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.
In match ups with his potential GOP foes Quinn leads Bruce Rauner 41/38, trails Dan Rutherford 41/39, and ties both Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard at 41% and 39% respectively. Quinn trails by 4-7 points with independents and loses 13-15% of the Democratic vote in each of the match ups.
It’s obvious but I’ll say it anyway — none of that is good for Quinn at all. It’s all very good for whoever ends up representing the GOP atop the ballot. Quinn is unpopular, but he’s not the only reason that Illinois is looking competitive — according to PPP. Some of the Democrats’ problem has to be their support for Barack Obama. PPP finds that too, with Obama at just 50% approval even in Illinois. With 46% disapproval, he’s in the poll noise.
Just out of curiosity we tested to see how some other Democrats would fare against Rutherford, and although they do better than Quinn it looks like this race would be competitive no matter who the Democrats put forward next year. Lisa Madigan would lead Rutherford by 5 points at 45/40, Rahm Emanuel would lead him by 2 at 40/38, and Dan Hynes would be tied at 34.
Caveats: This is one poll. It’s PPP. It’s early. The poll doesn’t take corrupt machine politics and dirty tricks into account. But still.
Maybe Battleground Texas should pull up stakes — no one really wants them here anyway, as this is a Republican state and their presence exposes the ineffectiveness of the local Democrats — and head north. I-35 will get them where they’re more welcome in a straight shot.
Road trip! One way.
The Washington Free Beacon reports. I have no idea whom to believe.
Iran and Western nations including the United States came to an agreement on the framework for an interim deal late Saturday night in Geneva. The deal has yet to be implemented
The White House released a multi-page fact sheet containing details of the draft agreement shortly after the deal was announced.
However, Iranian foreign ministry official on Tuesday rejected the White House’s version of the deal as “invalid” and accused Washington of releasing a factually inaccurate primer that misleads the American public.
“What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva and some of the explanations and words in the sheet contradict the text of the Joint Plan of Action, and this fact sheet has unfortunately been translated and released in the name of the Geneva agreement by certain media, which is not true,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkhamtold the Iranian press on Tuesday.
Afkham and officials said that the White House has “modified” key details of the deal and released their own version of the agreement.
Iran’s right to enrich uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon, is fully recognized under the draft released by Tehran.
If the U.S. administration was of a hawkish bent, then Iran should pray that it doesn’t alter the deal further. But this administration is not hawkish and was so desperate for a deal that it claimed it had one before Iran had even agreed to anything. Then, the Obama administration trumpeted a deal that’s really more of a deal to make a deal, and the deal to be made isn’t a good one for the United States or for our allies. The Obama administration also has developed a reputation for lying about everything, because it lies about everything, with such a casual air that it’s disturbing.
On the other hand, Iran must know that it has Jean Francois right where they want him. Up to now his chief claims to fame have been smearing American troops, marrying for money and getting himself elected from Massachusetts every time he wants. The deal with Iran would be a legacy-builder for the long-faced former senator who looks like a muppet. The Iranians must know they have Obama where they want him too — weakened after Syria, weakened again after Obamacare, so desperate to deal that Iran could publicly truck a nuke into Tel Aviv at the head of a parade and he would still call for negotiations while blaming Bush.
But on the gripping hand, the Iranians are terrorists who lie all the time, when they’re not honestly threatening to blow up the world.
It’s just possible that incompetence can explain some of this. This is the administration that totally botched Russia, has stupidly stiffed the UK, and is generally populated with idiot ideologues better suited for faculty lounges than edgy international diplomacy. They have their theories, and whatever reality may throw their way, they’re sticking to them.
So incompetence is possible. But lying remains a viable option.
I don’t think either of these tweets need much comment.
In other news “Hobby Lobby” is a funny name for a business.
— Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) November 26, 2013
He’s childishly mocking Hobby Lobby because its owners take their religious responsibilities seriously enough to fight for them in court.
What’s a “tactical flashlight”? Does that mean you use it to kill people? http://t.co/066Q7lmneh
— Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) November 26, 2013
Yes, Matt, that’s exactly what it means. Such flashlights are machines of death. You owe it to the children to get sensible flashlight control through Congress.
The Puffington Host is on the case. Because that’s what they do. They determine stories by their search engine optimization possibilities, run them through the “X is offensive because Y” macro, hit publish.
Katy Perry opened the American Music Awards on Sunday night dressed as a geisha while belting out her latest single “Unconditionally.”
Although the stage aesthetics and colorful attire were quite beautiful, Perry is being called racist for sexualizing a traditional Japanese female figure, who is paid to serve as a hostess and excels in the art of entertainment, reports The Huffington Post.
The opening act included cherry blossoms, a Shinto shrine and taiko drummers. Perry appeared on stage draped in a kimono along with several dozen dancers wearing the cultural garb. Shortly after her performance ended, though, the critics began sounding off.
Cosmopolitan.com led their coverage by asking ”Was Katy Perry’s AMAs performance racist?” but Vulture.com’s writer Jesse David Fox wasn’t so diplomatic in his approach. He compared her showing to other “racially tut-tutted” performances.
Whatever. The Grammys are among those boring awards show I only watch if I absolutely have to. There are approximately 3,720 better ways to spend one’s time than watching egos who mostly attack what I believe in stroke each other. In this case, I’m offended that people keep getting offended at everything. We’ve built cities and empires and come to this pinnacle of civilization, only to take offense at every single thing about it.
The only opinion I have about the actual show is that Katy Perry is the worst looking geisha in the history of geishas. I have some Japanese roots. This is awful.
I’ve seen better geishas on Halloween. I hope it’s not racist to say that Perry’s getup looks more like a clown costume than anything else.
This ad will run Thursday during the NFL’s turkey day games. Take a look. The inclusion of MSNBC’s hosts with Pelosi is a nice touch. It’s paid for by the Conservative Campaign Committee.
Unfortunately for the states that did not send Ted Cruz to Washington, the ad will only run in Texas.
Poynter reports that USA Today won’t take the Obama White House’s official photos anymore.
In a memo to staff Sunday, USA Today Deputy Director of Multimedia Andrew P. Scott said the news organization will not use “handout photos originating from the White House Press Office, except in very extraordinary circumstances.” Such circumstances would have to involve “legitimate national security restrictions” as well as “very high news value,” Scott writes. The policy “simply codifies our existing practices on how we treat WH images,” Scott tells Poynter in an email.
The White House’s growing habit of shutting bona fide media out of events, only to release official photos later, has been building for months. Last week, the White House Correspondents Association joined the protest against the practice, which shields many of the president’s meetings and events from any real press coverage. Obama campaigned promising to make his administration the most transparent in American history, but by shutting media out of events, he is clamping down on coverage and forcing more positive portayals of himself into the media bloodstream. At the same time, he chooses to meet secretly and off-the-record with journalists he knows will carry his water. It’s another broken promise from Barack Obama.
Reports are out that Alec Baldwin is being fired from MSNBC, but probably not for the reason that you think. Sure, he’s known to verbally abuse his daughter and hurl the odd gay slur now and then. But that’s not what’s getting him canned from the most ridiculous network on cable.
“The decision has been made. He’s gone,” an insider at the cable channel told me. “The [parent company] Comcast guys have decided. Word is spreading through the building.”
Baldwin’s dismissal was decided on partly because of his diva-like behavior toward co-workers, a source said.
Besides demanding a humidifier because he claimed the air at 30 Rock was too dry, Baldwin alienated staffers when he demanded a separate makeup room being used by a woman with cancer who is sensitive to hairspray.
When Baldwin was told he couldn’t have his way, he allegedly bellowed at the top of his lungs, “I don’t give a f - - k if she has cancer or not, I want that f - - king makeup room.”
Nice guy. Wouldn’t you want to work with him?
In a way, I have, or close enough. It ain’t pleasant, trust me.
The message MSNBC has just sent by firing him: Toss out all the racial and gay and religious slurs you like. Even suggest that Republicans should eat excrement if you want. Fine, whatever, as long as you apologize. But don’t mistreat the help. That’s a firing offense.
Obama Meets With Liberal Journalists Like Ezra Klein. Liberal Journalists Including Ezra Klein Write Positive Stories About Obamacare.
I’m sure this is all just a coincidence, an accident of timing, but just for spitballin’s sake let’s take a look a couple of things.
Last week, the media was hammering away on Obamacare. Why, even lefty Ezra Klein had begun to suggest that the whole thing was a disaster.
Which, objectively speaking, it is. Millions have lost their healthcare or had it replace with more expensive plans despite Obama’s promise that if they liked their healthcare they could keep it. Millions more stand to lose our healthcare once the employer mandate kicks in. The “doc shock” is set to go off in January. And Healthcare.gov won’t be fully function on December 1, two months after it was launched. People whose coverage is being canceled thanks to Obamacare’s mandates will have a short window to get new coverage, many of them will end up paying more, and they have to use an embarrassingly dysfunctional website to do their shopping. Many will find their new premiums have increased so much that they’ll be forced to choose between Obama’s mandated insurance and having a normal Christmas.
None of that has changed.
Well, last week, President Obama summoned Klein and several other lefty JournoLists over to the White House. It was a private, off-the-record chat.
After that meeting, on the record, those journalists began writing about how things are looking up for Obamacare. In turn, other lefty JournoLists take the cue and start playing off those stories. Here’s a two-fer example, Steven Benen of the Rachel Maddow show and Ezra Klein, singing Obamacare’s praises side by side. Before that duet, Klein wrote that Obamacare’s failure actually hurts — not making this up — Republicans. The same day, Klein again pushed a “Republicans really need Obamacare to work” meme. That was a day after his meeting with Obama at the White House.
Does this stuff actually fool anyone? I doubt it, but it does create some headlines and it gives some other lefties in the media some license to stop hammering on Obamacare. It gives them a hook. It gives lefty bloggers something warm, a little comfort food from the White House table. Mainly, it keeps Klein’s access to the White House viable. Summoned by the president he adores, he couldn’t turn him down and couldn’t very well leave the meeting only to keep writing negatively about Obamacare. That would take something none of these JournoListers have: Integrity.
By the way, others invited to that White House meeting include Fox’s Juan Williams, along with MSNBC’s Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes apparently didn’t get invited, but he’s such a cheap date it didn’t matter.
It’s worth asking whether they all shouldn’t be fired for so blatantly selling out to Barack Obama.
On November 13, Dayna Morales posted this on her Facebook page.
I’m a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, NJ and THIS is what happened to me today…..
The note says “sorry I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle & the way you live your life”
NEVER in a million years did I think this would happen. Not only was it a family with two kids, but as I introduce myself and tell them my name is Dayna – the mom proceeds to look at me and say “oh I thought you were gonna say your name is Dan. You sure surprised us!”
I am THOROUGHLY offended mad pissed off and hurt that THIS is what her kids will grow up learning and that I served in the Marines to keep ignorant people like them free. Sorry lady but I don’t agree with YOUR lifestyle and the way you’re raising your kids but you didn’t see me throwing that in your face and giving you shitty service. Keep your damn mouth shut and pray we never cross paths again.
Actually, those of us who served in the military did serve to protect the freedoms of people with whom we disagree. Morales already let on that she doesn’t understand that.
Along with that note, Morales posted a photo that she claimed was of the actual receipt, with the note scrawled on it.
Later that same day, after an outpouring of support and offers to send her money to her PayPal account when her post went viral, Morales followed up with this comment, among others.
So if kids hadn’t been there she would have spit in the customers’ food. Only, doesn’t the receipt with tip usually come after you’ve already eaten?
Hm. That comment suggests that she was seething over the Dayna/Dan controversy the entire time the family was there.
That’s probably something the Gallop Asian Bistro should look into, along with the original claim. It’s looking like the whole thing was a hoax.
But a family contacted NBC 4 New York claiming their receipt from the restaurant shows they did leave a tip, and provided what they said was a credit card statement as proof.
The husband and wife, who asked to remain anonymous, showed NBC 4 New York a receipt that appeared to be printed at the same minute, on the same date, for the same $93.55 total, except with an $18 tip.
They also provided a document they said was a Visa bill, which appears to indicate their card was charged for the meal plus the tip, for a total of $111.55.
The couple told NBC 4 New York that they believed their receipt was used for a hoax. The wife says she is left-handed and could not have made the slash in the tip line, which she said looks to be drawn from the right.
“We’ve never not left a tip when someone gave good service, and we would never leave a note like that,” the wife said.
The husband said he and his wife have both worked in restaurants and believe in the value of tipping, and noted that he didn’t vote for Gov. Chris Christie because the governor doesn’t support gay marriage.
“Never would a message like that come from us,” he said.
Morales told NBC 4 New York on Monday that she was certain she did not receive a tip, and insisted the handwriting on the receipt was not hers. When asked if there had been some sort of misunderstanding, she said, “I don’t know, all I know is what I’ve been saying.”
A manager and the restaurant owner insisted they had the original ticket for the $93.55 charge, but would not produce the receipt for NBC 4 New York and could not explain why the family’s credit card was charged for more.
The restaurant later said in a statement it was aware of the allegations and had no comment pending an internal investigation.
If the family was charged a tip, that money went somewhere. It shouldn’t take too long to figure out where, if the Bistro wants to get the facts. Maybe Morales is the hoaxster, maybe someone else on staff is the hoaxster. But at this point, read Morales’ original note, the Dayna/Dan controversy, and then this:
Whatever happened, the couple believes it may have begun with a misunderstanding.
They said they thought the hostess who sat the family told them their server would be “Dan,” and when Morales showed up at their table, the wife exclaimed “whoa, you’re not Dan.”
Morales wrote in her Facebook post that the wife said, “oh I thought you were gonna say your name is Dan. You sure surprised us!”
That points at a motive for the irritated waitress to stage the hoax herself, then set herself up as a spokesperson for everyone who has ever been “put down,” as she said once she took the story to media and it went viral.
The truth should come out soon enough.
According to the White House’s website, “On Wednesday, November 27th, President Obama will pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey, and once again the American people will decide which bird takes the title. Learn about each bird, listen to their gobble and then make your selection.”
The site includes social media tools to select which bird you’d prefer get the pardon. But by implication, if you pardon one bird, you’re condemning the other to the axe.
It’s reminiscent of Roman emperors asking audiences at gladiatorial games to choose whether a given gladiator lives or dies, before signaling the verdict with a thumb up (they live) or a thumb down (they die).
Happy Thanksgiving, from Barack Obama!
Three data points to be considered. One, the GOP has passed the Democrats in the generic Congressional ballot. The shutdown is pretty much forgotten, says John Fund.
I recall after the government-shutdown battle ended in mid October that liberal pundits were talking about the death of the Republican party, burdened by what they saw as extremists and incompetents who would be rejected en masse by voters in 2014. Democrats held a 50–42 edge among registered voters in a generic ballot test done in a CNN poll around that time.
I won’t argue the shutdown was smart politics or policy, but the Republicans now look like geniuses compared to the party that brought us Obamacare. That program’s manifest failings has caused a dramatic shift in public opinion, as measured by the latest CNN poll. It shows a ten-point swing from the previous month’s survey in the generic ballot: Republicans now hold a 49 percent to 47 percent edge when voters are asked to choose if they want a Democrat or Republican to win next year.
Two, Democrats in vulnerable seats are tied up hoping that Healthcare.gov will actually work on December 1. Politico reports:
“The president and his team have repeatedly assured us that the system will be working by Dec. 1. That’s when I start looking at what we have to do in our oversight function to hold the administration accountable for making it work.” Rep. Bruce Braley, an Iowa Democrat who is running for an open Senate seat said Thursday, adding that he’s contemplating whether to ask the president to fire members of his staff.
We should be long past the point of firing people in this administration, but a poor manager doesn’t even know which of his workers ought to be fired. And Barack Obama is a poor manager. That’s not partisan guttersnipe me talking, it’s the majority of the voters talking.
The kicker: Healthcare.gov won’t be working on December 1. Everyone suspected this, now the White House is sending up the smoke signals, according to the Hill.
Administration officials said Monday that some visitors to ObamaCare’s federal enrollment site would experience outages, slow response times or messages to try again later during the month of December.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) delivered the message in the latest attempt to downplay expectations surrounding Nov. 30, the administration’s self-imposed deadline for fixing HealthCare.gov.
CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille said errors that persist past this weekend would be “intermittent” and, in line with a promise made by the White House, would not affect the vast majority of the site’s users.
But Bataille acknowledged that some people would still experience “periods of suboptimal performance” by the system due to either heavy traffic or technical issues that are still being addressed.
“The system will not work perfectly on Dec. 1, but it will work much better than it did in October,” Bataille said.
On the domestic front, then, it’s three strikes against Obama. He has lost his influence on daily events. The only thing he can offer Democrats at this point is campaign help through his OfA groups. That’s not nothing, but it’s not everything either.
In the aftermath of the nuclear deal that the US and Iran agreed to over the weekend, many questions remain. Among those, what happens to the American pastor currently being held in an Iranian jail. Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, is currently imprisoned in Iran, serving an 8 year sentence charged with “planting house churches that are intended to undermine national security.” Not only was he not released after Secretary of State Kerry struck his deal with Iran, his plight was made worse. CNN reports that his imprisonment was “intensified” after the deal was announced.
Even worse, CNN confirmed from Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken that Abedini’s plight was never part of the nuclear negotiations. Neither was Iran’s support for terrorism worldwide.
WOLF BLITZER: So a lot of folks are asking, Tony, in exchange for the $6 billion or $7 billion they’re about to get in relief on these sanctions, why weren’t they included. Why are they still being held captive inside Iran?
TONY BLINKEN: First of all, I watched your report and I heard her, and it is very powerful, and the president has raised this. In fact, in his conversation with President Rouhani, when Rouhani was in New York for the U.N. general assembly and they spoke on the phone, the only issue other than nuclear file that the president raised was the three Americans who are in Iran, and he asked for Rouhani’s assistance in freeing them and allowing them to return to the United States. Rouhani said that he would look into it. With regard to these negotiations, the only subject on the agenda is the nuclear file. There are unfortunately many things that Iran does around the world that we don’t like, including its support for terrorism, including its destabilizing activities in the middle east. None of this was on the agenda for the nuclear negotiations. The only thing on the agenda was the nuclear file, to see if we can get to a point where the world is satisfied that Iran has a nuclear program that is only for peaceful purposes, that it can’t produce a bomb. That’s what we’re focused on. But as I said, the only thing the president raised with President Rouhani when he spoke to him other than the nuclear issue was the fate of these three Americans and asking that they be returned to the United States.
BLITZER: Well the case of Saeed Abedini, they apparently intensified his incarceration, they threw him into a more hostile prison environment that looks like a slap at the U.S., directly at the president after he raised it with Rouhani.
BLINKEN: We have been repeatedly clear that we are calling on Iran to release them. The president’s raised it. We will continue to raise it. And we hope to see them return home.
Watch video of the segment here.
While disgusting, the fact that Obama and Kerry abandoned a Christian pastor in Iran is hardly surprising. Barack Obama doesn’t care about Christians in this country and is using his health care law as a tool of oppression. Why would he ever care about Christians in Iran or any other country?
If You Like Your Peaceful Thanksgiving, Obama Won’t Let You Keep Your Peaceful Thanksgiving (UPDATE: There’s a Video)
Praise the Lord and pass the gravy. President Obama’s online bot army wants you to go to your family Thanksgiving gathering armed with its ridiculous talking points.
Jonah Goldberg has posted the entire letter at NRO.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, MSNBC will get an hour of content out of it.
Devoting our whole show on Wednesday to how to talk about politics, news with conservative family members. Should be fun!
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 25, 2013
The letter assumes much — mostly, that the family liberal is the one anyone else turns to for advice. Seriously? Since when is liberalism a “voice of reason” or source of same? It’s entirely based on feelings and vague notions, not empirical facts.
I don’t know about you, but the prospect of listening to an OfA bot drone on about that craptacular law just warms my heart. Fortunately for me, there aren’t any OfA drones in my family. It’ll be football, turkey, pecan pie, maybe a trip to a gun range, and blessedly free of Obamabots.
Jim Geraghty makes a great point.
If you're going to denounce your parents' political beliefs, make sure you have moved out first.
— jimgeraghty (@jimgeraghty) November 25, 2013
What are the odds some OfA follower starts ripping into Dad the small business owner on Thanksgiving, only to have Dad remind him that he’s still on Dad’s insurance plan for another year or two? So, pipe down and eat some bird.
Update: There’s…a video. It’s horrible.
The National Republican Congressional Committee wants to thank online conservatives for “being awesome,” in the words of digital press secretary Andrew Clark. The NRCC’s online store, the only place where you can buy this:
and other great American-made products while supporting electing Republicans is having a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. Proceeds go toward helping elect Republicans to Congress to beat back the Democrats’ redistributionist agenda and advance liberty.
T-shirts not your thing? How about tree ornaments?
“None of the other political committees, from either party, have built as robust an online store to increase donations and collect data from. Our strategy has always been to create innovative and fun content that conservatives everywhere want to share. Our store, with light-hearted items like our ‘Happy Holidays is what liberals say’ tee shirts, is another chapter in that strategy,” says Clark.
Ok, so they’re having a sale that includes discounts on various items for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. That’s great, but it gets better for PJ readers. If you buy any holiday items there between midnight tonight and Monday, December 2, use the code below and you’ll get 20% knocked off the price — all week! The NRCC is offering this deal all week to PJM readers as a thank you. For being awesome.
In case anyone thinking of getting me anything is reading this, Honest Abe is always popular in the Tatler’s Hill Country lair. Just sayin’.
I blame global warming. Or Bush. Whatever.
The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which officially ends on Saturday, Nov. 30, had the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982, thanks in large part to persistent, unfavorable atmospheric conditions over the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and tropical Atlantic Ocean. This year is expected to rank as the sixth-least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950, in terms of the collective strength and duration of named storms and hurricanes.
“A combination of conditions acted to offset several climate patterns that historically have produced active hurricane seasons,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster atNOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. “As a result, we did not see the large numbers of hurricanes that typically accompany these climate patterns.”
Or, the climate patterns don’t really exist.
Thirteen named storms formed in the Atlantic basin this year. Two, Ingrid and Humberto, became hurricanes, but neither became major hurricanes. Although the number of named storms was above the average of 12, the numbers of hurricanes and major hurricanes were well below their averages of six and three, respectively. Major hurricanes are categories 3 and above.
Remember when Algore predicted that “global warming,” eventually rebadged as “climate change,” would produce more, stronger, meaner, fatter, more temperamental and less tolerant hurricanes? He made a movie about it and everything.
Heh. Also, LOL. What a duplicitous dope.
Former national security adviser Elliott Abrams isn’t a fan of the Obama administration’s new “deal” with Iran. Appearing on Fox News today, he said that President Barack Obama has become the latest hostage of Iran, a reference to the period in 1979-80 when the Iranians held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.
Abrams noted that Obama has obviously sought a deal with Iran since 2009, both to cement his “legacy” and to repudiate the sanctions approach favored by the Bush administration. Now Obama has an additional reason to want a deal — to distract media from continually reporting on the manifest failures of Obamacare. Abrams also said that the new “deal” tells Iran that it can get away with lying and cheating. Coincidentally or not, that’s largely the same lesson that Barack Obama appears to have learned from his election and re-election to the presidency.
Update: The Washington Free Beacon reports that the deal isn’t even a deal yet.
The final details of a nuclear agreement signed over the weekend between Iran and Western nations will not actually go into effect until further negotiations take place at a later date, according to a senior administration official and sources on Capitol Hill.
Even as Iran and the P5+1 announced late Saturday night that they had reached a six-month interim deal that curbs Iran’s nuclear program while giving Tehran the ability to continue some uranium enrichment activities, it is now clear that the six-month freeze will not go into effect until the P5+1 negotiators and Iran agree to a final plan to implement the interim agreement.
“Technical details to implement the Joint Plan of Action must be finalized before the terms of the Plan begin,” a senior administration official told the Washington Free Beacon on Monday. “The P5+1 and Iran are working on what the timeframe is.”
More at the link.
Man Uses Playstation 4′s Cutting Edge Video Streaming to Expose His Wife to the Game-Playing Internet
Well, this didn’t take long. Also, this is why we can’t have nice things.
Over the weekend I went to America’s electronics showroom, aka Best Buy, to take a look at Playstation 4 and XBox One side by side. It turns out that you can’t do that yet. The PS4 was there but it wasn’t working. The XBox One wasn’t truly there at all. The Microsoft rep who was there, standing around a screen with a mock-up XBox encased in plastic below it, said weather was preventing deliveries of demo units.
We did chat about the console’s features and he did a great job selling the XBOne’s voice command. You can use that to control your entire TV system. Pretty cool. Then he said something that he though was amazing, but I found unsettling: If you have the Kinect on and hand the controller over to a family member or friend, the XBOne will automatically log you off and the other person on. It will use facial recognition technology and the Kinect’s camera to do this.
While a cool feature, where there’s an Internet connection and a live camera there’s the potential for serious mischief.
It doesn’t even take a black hat hacker to pull said mischief off. Or an Xbox One. Game Revolution reports that as soon as the similarly equipped PS4 hit the streets, a little over a week ago now, people started doing amazing and stupid things with it. Like, probably, destroying their lives and marriages.
Twitch TV lets PS4 players broadcast themselves playing video games. It also lets them, well, do this.
And then there’s Darckobra. He and his wife sat on a couch drinking, and drinking, and drinking. Eventually, the wife passed out. So the man did what any man deserving of divorce papers would do: he showed the internet some breast — and not his own. Yes, live on Twitch TV, via The Playroom on PS4, a man lifted up his unconscious wife’s shirt and exposed her breast. After 15 or 16 post-boob minutes, the channel went dark briefly; upon its return, the wife was completely naked, presumably stripped by the husband.
Twitch eventually banned Darckobra, but not before he — potentially — changed the whole landscape of this streaming situation. If things like this continue, and especially if they continue to be lumped in association with Sony, you better believe that features will be re-examined, modified, and possibly even removed. No company wants to be associated with this kind of thing, and measures will be taken to add distance.
This is different from the way OnLive handles game streaming. Users of that technology can broadcast their game play and voice, but not themselves. Skype allows players of games to broadcast themselves while playing.
So here’s the thing: If your kid gets on these live streaming game networks, there’s literally no telling what they may see. Or do.
Proceed at your own risk.
Democrats often accuse Republicans of wanting to kill the elderly. Rep. Alan Grayson even once smeared the GOP’s health reform plan as “Die quickly.” But now the Democrats may be able to do what they accuse Republicans, baselessly, of wanting to do.
The Senate Democrats’ decision to nuke minority filibusters allows President Obama to pack one of the most controversial boards created by Obamacare, according to the Hill.
The filibuster vote could also make it easier for Obama to fill the healthcare law’s controversial cost-cutting board, another big advantage for the president.
Known as IPAB, the panel has no members yet is meant to submit its first proposed cuts in January. Any nominees from Obama require Senate confirmation, which is now an easier prospect.
Before Thursday’s vote, Obama’s nominees needed 60 votes to survive procedural motions. Now they need 51.
The Independent Payment Advisory Board is the 15-member unelected board that the Obamacare law creates. Its voting members are nominated by the president, and confirmed by the Senate. Prior to the breaking of the filibuster, President Obama would have had an extremely difficult time getting a single member appointed and confirmed.
Dubbed the “death panel” by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the IPAB is charged with essentially rationing health care. The IPAB is so controversial that the American Medical Association has taken the unusual step of publicly supporting its abolition.
Perhaps we shouldn’t look at the IPAB as a death panel per se. In Democrats’ thinking, it’s just a means of redistributing life.
Yes, Barack Obama really said this.
“The biggest barrier and impediment we have right now is the Congress, and in particular the House of Representatives, that is not focused on getting the job done for the American people and is a lot more focused on trying to position themselves for the next election,” Obama told about 60 wealthy supporters at a fundraising dinner outside of Seattle.
Obama’s comments came during an event for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee inside the sprawling contemporary Medina home of former Microsoft executive Jon Shirley. Tickets cost up to $16,200 per person or $32,400 per couple, with money going toward helping Democrats reclaim the House majority in 2014.
Obama described himself “not a particularly ideological person,” saying he is passionate about his values but is practical about how to achieve them. He attacked House Republicans for being what he considered overly partisan.
He then went on to say that the equally non-ideological Nancy Pelosi should be returned as speaker of the House. Meanwhile he’s bitterly clinging to his sharply ideological signature failure despite the fact that it has never enjoyed majority support and is obviously causing chaos all over the country, among other sharply ideological policies, procedures and nominees.
Exit question: Does Obama really believe this about himself, or is it yet another lie from the lightworker?
Flashback: Obama was a back-bencher in the US Senate, yet he still managed to distinguish himself as its most leftwing member.
This is one of the few cases in which Obama probably isn’t lying. I think he actually believes it. He doesn’t see raising taxes on some Americans, even if it hurts the economy, but because of “fairness,” as an ideological choice. It’s just what comes naturally to him. It’s who he is.