So Team Obama says it “fixed” Healthcare.gov. Their fix apparently did not include enabling the website to do what every other e-commerce site on the planet does — process payments. If there is one thing that you’d expect a government website to do, it would be processing payments. But not this government.
There’s still one hitch. HealthCare.gov doesn’t work, at all. Sure, it provides a remarkably realistic user experience, but as of now it’s basically a video game. A really, really boring video game. Call it Sim Healthcare.
There are apps for that. No one really expected that Barack Obama would blow hundreds of millions of dollars and divide the country making those apps official government policy.
This is because the so-called back end essentially doesn’t exist. That’s the part of the site that talks to the insurance companies, processes payments, and actually, you know, gets people enrolled on insurance plans.
Reports vary on whether it needs to be “fixed” or whether it still needs to be built. On November 19, Henry Chao, the administration official in charge of overseeing the site, told Congress that “the accounting systems, the payment systems, they still need to be” created. Going by the rosy version of Chao’s estimate, that was roughly 30 to 40 percent of the system.
“It’s not built, let alone tested,” one insurance executive told the Washington Postlast week.
Meanwhile, the New York Times reported Sunday that the back-end systems “that are supposed to deliver consumer information to insurers still have not been fixed.” I’m not clear on how you can fix something that hasn’t been built yet, but maybe in the eleven days between Chao’s testimony and the November 30 deadline, the “A Team” President Obama deployed built the back end enough for it to be recognizably broken.
Eh, it’s ok. Captain Smokescreen and his back-up band of anonymous human props are busy talking the problems away. The going gets tough, so Obama gets out of the office and gets to campaigning. Again. They’ll have everything fixed, by, oh, 2017 or so. Until then, America, can you just not get sick? That would be great.
Not-ready-for-primetime Wendy Davis is having another bad run. Last week, in an interview that the Fort Worth Democrat probably hopes got buried by the holiday, Davis revealed that she doesn’t know the first thing about welfare policy in Texas (she’s running for governor). She isn’t familiar with SNAP benefit card rollovers, which enable some welfare recipients to drive around in luxury cars while on the taxpayer’s dime. She isn’t familiar with a bill intended to stop it. She just doesn’t know. That wouldn’t be so bad for a state senator, as Texas is a big state and there are lots of policies floating around out there, but for the fact that the interview was supposed to be about her stance on welfare. She supports it, just, not enough to familiarize herself with any of the details or know how to defend taxpayer’s interests.
This week, Davis is going on offense. Her campaign fired off an email slamming Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott — the likely Republican nominee for governor — for defending the state in a lawsuit over education funding.
As part of its efforts to avoid raising taxes during the 2011 session, the legislature cut some funding for public schools. It cut spending pretty much across the board, again, to avoid having to raise taxes in a tough economic climate. Cutting and prioritizing spending is something that Texas government has always done to balance its books and keep the tax burden as light as it can be on its citizens. About 600 schools responded to those cuts with a lawsuit that is still active in the courts. Abbott is defending the state’s side of the case.
Davis, as unfamiliar with what the state attorney general does as she is unfamiliar with the details of welfare policy, thinks Abbott shouldn’t defend the state in court.
It may be news to Davis, but that is what the state attorney general does. It’s the office’s job. In this case, Abbott is defending a law that was duly passed by the legislature and signed by the current governor, Rick Perry. Because that’s what the state attorney general does. Abbott didn’t choose the lawsuit. The schools sued the state. Would Davis have him surrender the lawsuit and abrogate the lawful actions of the legislature and the governor?
Abbott is simply standing up for the rule of law in Texas, something that Democrats in the Obama/Holder era have become less and less likely to do. President Obama decides he just isn’t going to defend laws that have been on the books for decades, he decides to just dispense with some immigration law by fiat, and he decides to suspend parts of his own healthcare law just to delay the inevitable chaos it will cause past the next election. His attorney general, Eric Holder, happily goes along with violating the law and the Constitution. In her attack on Abbott, Davis shows that she agrees with them and would bring that lawlessness to Texas if she were to be elected governor. She would pick and choose which laws to enforce and defend. If Democrat interests sued the state of Texas, she would not want the state defended in court. So Davis is an Obama Democrat in her contempt for the rule of law.
At the same time, Davis is also an Obama Democrat in her attitude toward education. The Democrats’ default setting on every issue is to throw more money at the problem, not examine what we are spending and see if it can’t be spent more intelligently or efficiently. Their other default setting is to oppose school choice, because apparently parents aren’t smart enough to choose good schools for our kids. Davis wants more money, and no choice, in education for Texans. That’s the Obama Democrat position, not the Texas position.
This article in the Colorado Daily Camera is fantastic, but it’s missing something.
The Well Armed Woman — their slogan is “Where the Feminine and Firearm Meet” — advertises stylish purses designed for concealed carry.
Another online retailer, Pistols & Pumps — “Concealed and High Heeled” — offers pink camouflage hats and bra-mounted holsters.
Gungoddess.com – the name, apparently, is sufficient — sells a variety of “gun bling,” including leopard-print handgun grips and zebra-print ear protection.
Such items may seem odd to some, but these retailers understand their customer base — a group of young, strong, determined and armed women. And just because their bullets may be fired from pistols with rhinestone-studded grips doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taken seriously.
These women are among a growing population of gun owners who fiercely fight for their right to own and carry a gun for self-protection.
“A woman with pepper spray is smart, a woman who takes self-defense is prepared, but a woman with a gun is scary,” said Rachael Makowski, a 25-year-old nanny in Westminster, Colo. “And when it comes down to my life or theirs, I want them to be just as afraid of me as I am of them.”
Self-reported gun ownership — among both men and women in the U.S. — is the highest it has been since 1993.
At the same time that the Democrats are trying and trying again to make “gun control” — making it harder to buy and own your own gun — a winning political issue for them. If only there was a political party out there that was a) pro gun rights and b) smart enough to use its support of gun rights to win over young female voters. Wouldn’t that be nice? If such a world existed, I would very much like to live in it.
At any rate, as I mentioned, the article is fantastic and I recommend reading the whole thing. It profiles what might be called archetypes of today’s female gun owner: the teacher, the students, the cheerleaders — gun owners all. What it lacks is this ad, to show how a gun might be used for self-defense.
It also lacks visual examples of women who own guns.
At PJ Media, we’re here to help. Consider it a public service.
So here’s Shelbie Murry. She’s a Houston Texans cheerleader.
The Texans are losers this year, but Shelbie Murry isn’t.
She likes guns. Long guns.
And hand guns.
So there’s our cheerleader. The teacher is a little harder to find.
Cheryl Torrenueva isn’t exactly a teacher. Sort of. She’s a designer on the cable show Restaurant: Impossible. She teaches restaurant owners how to update their drab spaces.
Moments ago, President Obama surrounded himself with human props and touted anecdotes meant to show how wonderful Obamacare is. I’d say that this is not a repeat of the last time he did that, but it basically was. His go-to move when things get tough is not to get going, but to get talking.
The president spoke briefly about the website, declaring that it’s working better for the “vast majority of users” and that Obamacare won’t be repealed “as long as I am president” despite the fact that a majority never wanted this law in the first place. Unfortunately he did not follow that up with “So, effective immediately, I am resigning.”
He claimed to check in on the site “every day” to make sure that it’s working better. That begs the question, why did he not do that before its launch? Why has he not done that since? Just what does he do all day?
Tellingly, President Obama has not signed up for Obamacare himself despite his pledge to do so. If he intended to lock in his claim that Healthcare.gov is really working better, he could have halted today’s speech, logged onto a computer and signed up for Obamacare himself. But he didn’t do that. That would have blown his critics right out of the water.
Maybe he didn’t do that because the site really isn’t getting customer information to insurers yet. Maybe he didn’t do it because Healthcare.gov is not secure and he didn’t want to compromise his and his family’s personal information. Can’t blame him for that.
But he encouraged Americans to use the site, and tell others to use the site. Which isn’t secure, and still doesn’t work.
So, what was today’s little speech all about?
During today’s House hearing on President Barack Obama’s tendency to rewrite the Affordable Care Act and other laws to suit his whims, Cato Institute legal expert Michael Cannon warned that Obama’s actions can lead Americans to decide that if the government won’t abide by the law, why should they?
Counting from memory, President Obama has ignored existing law on immigration and Obamacare. President Obama has also flouted court rulings against his gulf oil drilling moratorium and attempted to “recess” appoint members of the National Labor Relations Board when Congress was in session, in clear violation of the Constitution.
Well, this should be a mess.
Detroit — A federal judge has ruled Detroit is eligible to file for the nation’s largest Chapter 9 bankruptcy to help dig out from under $18 billion in debt and that city pension payments can be cut to help make that happen.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes determined the city meets the criteria for bankruptcy, ruling the city is financially insolvent and that the filing was properly authorized. He dismissed challenges to Michigan’s emergency manager law and ruled that pensions are not protected by the state Constitution.
“The case was filed in good faith and should not be dismissed,” Rhodes said.
So the vampire unions and other assorted leftist rent-seekers will have to experience the consequences for sucking a city dry. Or not. The unions have already appealed the decision to get the bankruptcy ruling overturned and preserve their lavish pensions and other benefits. They don’t really care that they’re stirring up dust kicking the desiccated corpse of a city they killed.
Detroit is the nation’s largest government bankruptcy, but it may not hold that status for long. Obamacare has a chain reaction built into it that will soon threaten state budgets. Millions of Americans will soon find themselves facing a choice, thanks to the unaffordability of the Affordable Care Act: Keep their jobs or keep their healthcare. They will find that they make just a little bit too much money to qualify for federal subsidies (welfare by another name) that supposedly make their healthcare affordable. They will find that by either decreasing their income or by losing their job altogether, they can qualify for subsidies or go on Medicaid. If they go the route of eschewing their jobs, their states will get hit with paying them unemployment and picking up the tab for their healthcare through Medicaid. This will further stress already strained state budgets, some beyond their breaking points.
Cowardly president to publicly accept the love and adoration of one of his most passionate worshipers. MSNBC to cement its place as Dear Leader’s official propaganda channel.
On Thursday, MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who infamously claimed that President Obama gave him a “thrill” up his leg, will be interviewing Obama at American University in Washington, D.C. Obama will also answer questions from the student audience, as well as some questions submitted online. Obama recently held an off-the-record meeting with several MSNBC hosts at the White House in the aftermath of his failing Obamacare rollout.
MSNBC is playing it smart here. The looky-loo factor will generate ratings. Plus, depending on how next year’s midterms go, once Obama decides to move against media who report negative stories about him, MSNBC will be well-placed to become the last cable news network standing.
Let’s go over what President Barack Obama is telling Americans to do. He’ll speak again today on the subject of Obamacare, and will probably tell Americans that the website is working better so go ahead and use it to shop for health insurance.
He will be telling Americans to transmit their personal information via a site that is unsecure, and was never built with any security at all, according to white hat hacker David Kennedy.
It could take a year to secure the risk of “high exposures” of personal information on the federal Obamacare online exchange, a cybersecurity expert told CNBC on Monday.
“When you develop a website, you develop it with security in mind. And it doesn’t appear to have happened this time,” said David Kennedy, a so-called “white hat” hacker who tests online security by breaching websites. He testified on Capitol Hill about the flaws of HealthCare.gov last week.
“It’s really hard to go back and fix the security around it because security wasn’t built into it,” said Kennedy, chief executive of TrustedSec. “We’re talking multiple months to over a year to at least address some of the critical-to-high exposures on the website itself.”
Another online security expert—who spoke at last week’s House hearing and then on CNBC—said the federal Obamacare website needs to be shut down and rebuilt from scratch. Morgan Wright, CEO of Crowd Sourced Investigations said: “There’s not a plan to fix this that meets the sniff test of being reasonable.”
HHS had explained then that steps were taken to ease security concerns after the memo was written, and that consumer information was secure. Technicians fixed a security bug in the password reset function in late October, the agency said.
But on CNBC, Kennedy disputed those claims, saying vulnerabilities remain on “everything from hacking someone’s computer so when you visit the website it actually tries to hack your computer back, all the way to being able to extract email addresses, users names—first name, last name—[and] locations.”
President Barack Obama, who we now know lied for years about what Obamacare would do, will be telling unsuspecting Americans to expose themselves and their families to hackers and identity thieves. In fact, not only is Obama telling them to do this, via Obamacare’s mandates he is ordering them — at the threat of facing an IRS that has become a political weapon — to do it. He will not only not warn Americans of the dangers, he will try to convince them that all is well with Healthcare.gov’s security. When the site will remain unsecure for many months, maybe even a whole year.
And it doesn’t stop there. Suppose you’re not computer savvy or find Obamacare confusing. Most people do. Obama wants you to go to the “navigators,” who are being paid to help Americans figure out Healthcare.gov and use it to buy insurance. But the navigators themselves aren’t being vetted. They’re not Boy Scouts. This administration would never choose Boy Scouts, as its intolerant hard left core would never stand for that. Among the navigators are leftwing political groups of the type caught helping pimps and engaging in election fraud, and felons and assorted henchmen of far left politics. Using the navigators amounts to playing Russian roulette with your personal information.
So, Obama will be sending unsuspecting Americans straight into the arms of some seriously bad actors. To use a website which compromises your personal information.
I’m sorry, but this is not mere politics or a president papering over a rickety policy. It’s not mere incompetence or average political dishonesty. This is evil.
If a private sector CEO did what Obama is doing, they would be headed for prison.
This news is unlikely to stop liberals from using the deadly crash to blackmail us into handing the government more of our money.
Veteran engineer William Rockefeller all but admitted he was falling asleep as the train came roaring to a curved section of track north of Spuyten Duyvil in statements made shortly after four people were killed and dozens were injured in the wreck, sources said.
He apparently woke up just as the train, traveling at 82 mph, was heading into a precarious curve that called for the train’s speed to be reduced to just 30 mph.
As the train entered the curve, sources said, Rockefeller was jolted from his sleep and hit the brake, but not in time. The cars derailed, and several careened onto their sides before grinding to a halt on the edge of the Harlem River. Four people were killed, three of whom were thrown out of the cars, and more than 60 others were injured.
So, human error, not any lack of government spending, caused this crash. Up to now the engineer had a spotless record, so there was no indication that this was coming.
Democrat Ed Rendell led the left’s creep brigades after the crash, using the tragedy to demand more taxpayer dollars be spent on “infrastructure.” If he had any shame, he would apologize and slink away. But being a leftist, shame just isn’t something he believes in. Democrats never slink away no matter what the facts say.
This tendency of liberals to exploit every single unfortunate incident, accident and tragedy is among the reasons I could never support them. They’re constantly perched and waiting for any means they can use to guilt or shame the rest of us into handing them either power or property. Democrats have become equal parts con artists and vampires, stalking the rest of us, always ready to use chaos and often intentionally causing chaos as President Obama has with Obamacare, always with a mind toward using the crisis to enrich themselves at our expense.
Frankly, I find the lot of them repulsive, amoral, dishonest, devious, cowardly, disloyal to anything but their own interests, and shameless.
The National Football League has banned this ad from airing during the Super Bowl.
The NFL’s ad policy for the Super Bowl bans ads for many products including firearms, but that policy allows advertising by companies that sell other products along with firearms. Daniel Defense does sell other products. The ad above doesn’t show a gun. Its theme isn’t guns per se, but about the responsibility to be prepared to defend your loved ones. Responsibility is apparently a forbidden topic now. Watching how many NFL stars lead their lives, the concept should be revived.
The Second Amendment itself isn’t banned by the NFL, and the league has allowed anti-gun ads to run in the past.
The NFL can do what it wants with its product. But potential viewers can respond to what the NFL does. We’re the ones who make the Super Bowl the spectacle that it is. I might spend Super Bowl Sunday brushing up on techniques at a gun range this time around. It’s not like the Cowboys will be playing anyway.
On Sunday morning, a New York train derailed. All seven of its cars derailed. Four people were killed and 63 were injured, some seriously.
The crashing of a train is tragic, but accidents do happen. Accidents and tragedies don’t have to become divisive political footballs, but they nearly always do these days. As the massacre at Newtown has become the left’s point to rally against the Second Amendment, the NY train crash may become its rallying point to give government more money to spend.
Before the crash’s cause had even been determined, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat and former chairman of the DNC, came out on MSNBC Monday morning to demand more money for the government.
Rendell said, “Consider the fact that Mike Bloomberg has invested five times more infrastructure than three or four mayors preceding him and it’s still bad. The country needs and you guys hit it on nail. We need to spend significantly more, the CBO said we could spend $180 million more and be justified and have social benefits and add up financially. Not only to spend more money but we need to plan. we need to decide what our priorities are.”
It’s always about getting more money with liberals. Even when, as Rendell noted, a vast amount of money is already being spent.
Did this crash have anything to do with government needing to spend more money? So far, the investigation says probably not. The train was speeding.
At a news briefing, Earl Weener of the NTSB said two “event recorders” retrieved from the wreckage had provided investigators with details on the speed, brakes and throttle control on the seven-car train, which went off the tracks at 7:20 a.m. about 10 miles north of its destination, Grand Central Terminal.
“The preliminary information … from the event recorders shows that the train was traveling at approximately 82 mph as it went into a 30-mph curve,” Weener said. “That speed, again, was 82 mph.”
That exceeds the 70-mph speed limit on the straight portion of track.
The brakes weren’t fully applied until just five seconds before the engine stopped, Weener said. By then the train, including the engine, was careening off the rails, and it was far too late to stop the catastrophic derailment that sent train cars rolling onto their sides and sliding down a hill toward the Harlem River.
A speeding train points toward a lot of causes that don’t involve needing to spend millions and billions on “infrastructure.” Human error of one kind or another probably caused the crash. The driver may have been texting or distracted in some other way. Or on drugs. Or was being irresponsible. Or lost control for some other reason. Maybe it was a mechanical problem with the accelerator or the brakes.
Gov. Rendell doesn’t see any of those possibilities. He also never acknowledged that President Obama has been spending all the money that he wants him to spend on infrastructure and more, mostly unaccountably. The president has been shipping money by the trainload to rail projects for four years.
The nation’s freight rail network has been the quiet recipient of more than $600 million in federal investment during the Obama administration.
According to Federal Railroad Administration numbers, at least half that amount has gone to projects that benefit the nation’s four largest railroads, the same companies at the heart of the industry’s ubiquitous “Freight Rail Works” campaign.
That doesn’t even include tens of millions more that states have contributed for additional investment in ports and high-speed passenger trains that’s boosted the nation’s freight railroads.
So compared to just a few years ago, the state and federal governments are spending massive amounts of money on rail projects. But as soon as one tragedy strikes, whatever amount of money is being spent is just not enough. Every. Single. Time.
Remember Dayna Morales, the restaurant server who destroyed our faith in Facebook’s infallibility? Well, things aren’t looking good for the former Marine (more about that in a bit) who accused a family of going all homophobe and cheapskate, but mostly homophobe, on their restaurant bill.
“Ms. Morales is currently not on our employee schedule while we are still working to complete our investigation,”the Gallop Asian Bistro restaurant posted on its Facebook page.
The 23-year-old former U.S. Marine came under attack after the family she accused of leaving the message produced a copy of the receipt and a credit card statement showing they were charged $111.55, which included an $18.00 tip on their $93.55 tab. The couple denied leaving any message on the receipt.
She didn’t come “under attack.” She came under suspicion, because these stories nearly always follow the predictable pattern of the “victim” turning out to be the perpetrator. And they would’ve gotten away with it, if not for meddling bloggers! These things aren’t mysterious — the perpetually aggrieved manufacture grievances when no real grievances present themselves. Morales’ claim that she wanted to spit in the family’s food before they had ever tendered their alleged hateful bill should have given her away to anyone who thought about it for a couple of seconds. Her story just seemed too good/bad to be true — the former Marine just doing her job, gets a nastygram from a bunch of breeders who are raising their kids to hate, and makes a national story from a mere Facebook post.
Winding it all back now, the Facebook post appears to be based on a note that she falsified to accuse an innocent family over an innocent misunderstanding. And the “former Marine” bit turns out to be less heroic than it seemed.
Former co-workers were also quoted as being critical of her past actions. “Every story she comes up with has a lie,” Julie Howat, 23, told USA Today. NBC 4 New York, which interviewed the family, reported that Morales was dismissed from the Marine Reserve Corp in May because she stopped attending drills while stationed in Newburgh, New York.
For media that initially ran with Morales’ story, it was just too good to check. This story only fell apart because the smeared family stepped forward. If they hadn’t, Morales would have become another media folk hero.
This is one of those “read the whole thing” posts. As bad as Chavez was, his successor, Nicolas Maduro, is worse.
Since Chávez’s death, the situation has changed in Venezuela. Nicolás Maduro lacks Chavez’s brain-power and charisma and has become completely dependent on Cuban advice. The relationship with Cuba has also changed: Havana is an imperial capital, and Caracas is merely the viceroy’s seat of power. Maduro and his vice-president, Chávez’s son-in-law — a true Marxist fanatic with a degree from Cambridge University — know that merely tweaking electoral rolls and voting machines will not win them elections a-la Chávez. They need to enter the Fourth Stage and achieve the revolution now. The latest news out of Caracas is simply the attempt by Maduro’s and Chávez’s family members to keep hold of power despite their evident lack of popularity.
Thus, during the last few weeks, Maduro has decided to have his Kristallnacht. This time it is not the Jews that are persecuted, as in Hitler’s Germany (although Chavismohas always been openly anti-Semitic), but the entire business class of Venezuela — from small shop owners to executives from large companies. In the initial opening of Maduro’s declared “Economic War” against the business community, he accused all merchants of price gouging, and he forced shops to lower their prices by 70 to 30 per cent.
Many citizens think it is immoral for a merchant to price his goods according to his rational expectations of what the exchange rate will be in the next few months, and not at the exchange rate artificially set by the government today. Only last January, the currency was devalued 48 percent, and yet the average consumer does not understand the concept of pricing to replacement cost. Thus, Maduro has achieved a great initial success. People are happy with his decision, only two weeks before Municipal elections take place. No one is thinking of what will happen in January when most of the shops do not reopen as they have been forced to liquidate their inventories below replacement values. No one, except Maduro and his vice-president, that is.
Last Friday, Maduro approved two laws that finally ended free markets in Venezuela.
It’s a bit glib to say that we’re heading in the same direction, but we are. Next year’s midterms are mighty important.
Read the rest.
Nothing says “We’re good people who care!” like tripping over yourselves in the race to mint dead children into political profit.
Nah. There’ s nothing creepy about this at all.
More fun from today’s press briefing at the White House. The answer to the one question, “What’s he waiting for?” is obvious. He’s just waiting for the website to actually work. Or maybe he granted himself a waiver.
A new Gallup poll finds that those who know the least about Obamacare tend to be the ones who gave Barack Obama both of his terms in the presidency.
To no great surprise, the more familiar one is with Obamacare, the more likely one is to oppose it.
Voting for Obama, the president with the thinnest resume in American history, and supporting Obamacare, the fat law that even Congress didn’t read before passing it like the world’s largest kidney stone, both amount to buying a pig in a poke. The majority of Americans never really supported Obamacare, but a majority did hand him power twice. We’re a nation of suckers, ripe for the next slick con man to come along and talk us out of more of our freedoms and our property.
It’s interesting how this administration uses our nation’s house for its political whims. It shut down White House tours to make hay out of the sequester budget cuts. Now it’s hosting this “summit” not to talk about our nation’s history or anything that all Americans could get behind. It’s hosting this summit to transmit its talking points about Obamacare. It’s about the cult, not the country, with this administration.
Over the weekend, the Obama administration declared that Healthcare.gov is working fine and it has met its December 1 deadline to get the site fixed. Insurance companies beg to differ over the definitions of “working” and “fine.” White House pitchman Jay Carney probably just wishes he could wake up from the nightmare of having to answer question about why that website doesn’t work every single day.
Today, ABC’s Jon Karl asked Carney if, after the White House’s declarations of victory, is it “Mission Accomplished.” Carney danced.
KARL: “In terms of the goal that you set for this moment, in terms of the website being functional for the vast majority of users, is it Mission Accomplished?”
CARNEY: “Well as I was saying, Jon, we were working very hard to make the necessary fixes to improve the website so that by December 1st, it would function effectively for the vast majority of users. The metrics we use to measure that have to do with response time, and stability of the site, and the error rate. And I know that Jeff and others who do the CMS briefings have gone into those metrics. And, you know, we believe we made the important progress that we set out to make by November 30th. But as we said in November, and I’ve said just now, the work continues to make improvements that still need to be made to the website, and the focus here is not on — the end game here isn’t the best possible and most effective website that we can build, but a system by which all those millions of Americans who are clearly interested in enrolling and purchasing quality, affordable health insurance, are able to do so. So that’s our goal and that work continues today. We have passed an important milestone in that effort, but you know, the work continues.”
KARL: “Well let me just try to crystallize that down because you — we tried to pin you down on what the vast majority means, you guys didn’t want to quantify it, I just — very clearly, in terms of the goal you set for this moment in time, is it Mission Accomplished? Have you accomplished that goal?”
CARNEY: “Using that phrase is not one I would employ.
And from there, Carney went on to blather about how it’s more functional for more people than it was before.
One of the side effects of having government essentially seize one-sixth of the economy through fiat, aka Obamacare, is that it has reduced the likes of Carney and the president to taking on the role of “Here’s how to order!” pitchmen. In the quote above, Carney goes on infomercial-style about how Obamacare lets people buy “quality, affordable healthcare,” in full knowledge that what Obamacare is mandating is in many cases not affordable, and is in many cases of lesser quality than that was available before. If he was in private business, Carney could be keelhauled by the Federal Trade Commission for false claims in advertising. Being in government shouldn’t be a Get Out Of Jail Free card, but in Obama’s America, it is.
Earlier: Zombie on ‘Mission Accomplished.gov.’
You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.
Lara Imler, an Anchorage-based hairstylist, managed to enroll in Obamacare, but problems with her application — her new insurer didn’t have it and nobody she reached on the HealthCare.gov hotline could help her figure out why; she also discovered that the exchange under-calculated the subsidy she was supposed to receive by $50 — made her want to cancel her enrollment.
“If you look at my profile on the website it shows my full subsidy, but it says I’m only using part of it,” Imler told Alaska Public Radio. “So they know I’ve got a screwed up subsidy but they don’t know what to do with it. There’s no one directly you can talk to to say, ‘Hey my subsidy is on there. How do I apply for all of it?’”
She recently attempted to cancel her new plan but HealthCare.gov was having none of it. Despite clicking on an option to terminate coverage, then confirming that she wanted to cancel her plan, nothing changed. Her plan was still listed on her profile.
She tried logging out and logging back in. She checked her e-mail to see if she’d been notified that her coverage was canceled. Nothing.
It’s also like the Hotel California, in that we can stab Obamacare as much as we want but so far we just can’t kill the beast.
As it returns to session today, the U.S. House will take up a bill to renew the ban on “undetectable” firearms — plastic guns, guns printed on 3D printers, and so forth. After Cody Wilson demonstrated that 3D guns are a real thing, such guns are driving government to do what it does best — arrive late to the party and to little that makes any sense.
While Congress obsesses over what expensive machines can do after you’ve fed them with detailed 3D models and scans, look what Evan Booth did with batteries and other odds and ends he bought at an airport terminal.
A battery in the “gun” runs an electric current through a piece of wire when the trigger is pulled, melting the condom with heat. The water from the condom mixes with the lithium, and that reaction heats up the deodorant can so quickly that it explodes, forcing the “shot” – in this case, pennies – out of the rolled-up magazine barrel.
The BLUNDERBUSSiness Class, which was made from magazines, a pack of Mentos, a Red Bull can and some other stuff, fired pennies right through the drywall in the video. While it took about 10 seconds to fire after the “trigger” pull, it did hit its target and it did survive to be fired again. In the video it had massive recoil. But how much would a suicidal terrorist really care about that?
He bought all the materials to construct all of these weapons after passing through airport security screening.
The implications of all this, both for the House’s anti-plastic gun law, and for TSA’s Thousands Standing Around junk-touching security theater, are profound.
The Robertsons seem like the perfect family with the perfect life. Together they run a multi-million dollar business based on their own inventions. On their hit show Duck Dynasty, they do everything together right down to praying over their meals. They have their dream, they live in the best part of town, they hunt, they fish, they have beautiful wives and loving kids. Duck Dynasty is the highest rated cable show ever. Their Duck Commander products — everything from duck calls to tea glasses to clothing and even loofahs — are everywhere.
But things could have turned out so differently for them. Before the beards, Phil Robertson wasn’t always the faithful patriarch of a family empire. Once upon a time he was a foul, angry man on a bad path.
Look, I can relate. Listicles have all but replaced serious reporting. Sometimes a list can generate traffic and tell a story at the same time.
So what story is the AP telling by trotting out five old things about Barack Obama now that he’s diving in the polls worse than a European soccer player and pretending that they’re new and interesting?
Fast and Furious and Benghazi don’t rate a mention, but “He sings in the bathroom” and “The president can cook” do.
AP gives us five frivolous things about Obama that Buzzfeed would’ve done better. Here are five real things about Obama.
1. He lies.
2. He lies a lot. I mean, like, he lies all the time. Whenever he’s talking, chances are, he’s lying. He lied that if you like your healthcare and doctor, you can keep them. He lied about reaching across the aisle to work with Republicans. He constantly lies about what he believes and what Republicans believe. His big tells: When he says “Let me be clear,” or when he’s just giving a speech. Or answering a question. Or making off the cuff remarks. Or talking.
3. He was born in Hawaii, but his heart is in Moscow. By which I mean to say, that he’s more or less a communist on policy. He likes to take things that belong to other people and give it to people who support him. That makes Obama happy.
4. He likes forcing people to do what he wants, whether it’s good for anyone other than himself or not. See point 3.
5. Despite having accomplished little and gone a long way toward ruining a perfectly good country, he’s a massive narcissist. He basically thinks that he’s the greatest basketball player ever, the greatest economist ever, the greatest doctor ever, the greatest professor ever, the greatest diplomat ever, the greatest lawyer ever, the greatest writer ever, the greatest public speaker ever, and it goes without saying, the greatest president ever.
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.