Saturday, November 2, 2013

Meet Paul Ryan 2.0

The National Journal ^ | 10-31-13 | Tim Alberta

This was shaping up to be Paul Ryan's moment.

With the Republican Party reeling from a government shutdown and a near disaster over the debt limit, the chairman of the House Budget Committee was tasked with leading the GOP in a six-week bicameral budget conference. Republicans, who demanded these talks in exchange for a short-term budget resolution, were expected to pursue big-picture negotiations over America's long-term fiscal challenges.
But that's not going to happen. Since being appointed as the Republican negotiating chief two weeks ago, Ryan has endeavored to lower public expectations for the committee, saying he hopes to pursue small, targeted policy fixes rather than broad, sweeping reforms.
"We don't want to set expectations that aren't going to be achieved. That's not helpful," Ryan told National Journal Daily on the eve of negotiations.
Ryan added: "There won't be a grand bargain. So we shouldn't suggest that there will be."
Such modesty of purpose sounds peculiar coming from a politician who, after Republicans regained the House majority in 2011, was celebrated by conservatives as America's fiscal messiah. When Ryan released a budget that year, he described it as "the new House majority's answer to history's call."
Indeed, Ryan viewed his role in momentous context. Upon taking the Budget Committee gavel in 2011, he envisioned a great fiscal settlement, built upon sweeping reforms to America's entitlement system. But for nearly three years thereafter, Washington failed to reach a comprehensive agreement, with both sides balking on concessions and reverting to finger-pointing that eroded trust and emptied the Capitol's already-diminished reservoir of goodwill.
Of course, Ryan was no innocent.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Obama A 'Complete Failure' - According to Obama!

American Thinker ^ | October 16, 2013

"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America 's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, "the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006

Check out the book a Republican in TN gave Sebelius today in Memphis. Hilarious!

View image on Twitter

Democrats Fear Obamacare Election Disaster

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 1 Nov 2013 | John Semmens

The problems with the Obamacare website, the waves of policy cancellations, and the ensuing “sticker shock” of higher insurance premiums for conforming Affordable Care Act plans has Democrats facing reelection in 2014 in a state of high anxiety.
“I'm seeing a lot of sympathy for the poor schmucks that can't log onto the website or are getting cancellation notices,” Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) observed. “I don't see anyone showing much concern about how this will affect us next November. I didn't muck up the website. I didn't send out any cancellation notices. But it looks like voters could take out their anger on me. How is that fair?”
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) was similarly concerned. “We trusted the President and Secretary Sebelius to do this thing right,” Shaheen remembered. “We didn't poke or pry into the process. We didn't even read the bill before we passed it. We had total faith they'd handle it. Now that everything is falling apart the President is saying that no one told him it was a mess. That may be well and good for him, but we're the ones exposed to voter retaliation next year. What's he going to do about that?”
Investment guru and Obama supporter Warren Buffett advised the President to “blow the whole thing up and start over. With a reported 500 million lines of code behind the website there's no way to rescue this monster. The President has already used his discretion to exempt employers and unions from complying with the new regulations. He should just exempt everyone else until a completely new system is developed and tested.”
Whether Buffett's suggestion is feasible is dubious. On the one hand, the exemptions the President has been handing out conflict with the contents of the Affordable Care Act and are clearly illegal. On the other hand, issuing more exemptions will still leave the damage already done by the law unaffected. Since Obama seems determined to impose his vision of health care on largely unwilling consumers, any so-called new system that meets with his approval would inevitably repeat the errors that plague the current fiasco.

Town Makes Obama Dissent Illegal

The Western Center for Journalism ^ | November 1, 2013 | B. Christopher Agee

In recent months, a loosely coordinated band of activists have displayed anti-Obama signs from atop overpasses across the U.S. After one town cracked down on the practice, conservatives involved in the movement are crying foul.
Officials in Campbell, Wis. recently passed legislation that specifically targets signage displayed within 100 feet of a bridge, precisely the areas targeted by the so-called “Overpasses for Impeachment” campaign.
Town Chairman Scott Johnson claims the decision stemmed from “them distracting people,” which he said “constituted a safety risk.”
Despite insistence that the new laws are designed to combat distracted driving, Tea Party-aligned activists naturally feel that they are being targeted. With permanent signs displayed on countless overpasses and individuals holding roadside banners for any number of causes, there seems to be little evidence these protesters are any more distracting than other highway diversions.
One individual’s attempt to simply display a flag from the town’s pedestrian bridge earned a $132 citation. Additionally, when protesters tried to work within the constraints of the law by wearing shirts that spell out “IMPEACH” instead of holding signs, police came in to disperse the activists.
Local resident Tony Curtis said that the town is “hiding behind safety as an excuse,” explaining that protesters were told they could engage in free speech provided they found another location. The bridge, however, provides the greatest platform through which they can engage the public.
Campbell lawmakers, many in the group feel, are attempting to stifle the right to express a conservative opinion. The use of city ordinances to outlaw these effective protests could ultimately catch on, leading to similar outcomes in other communities.
In response to what they say is discriminatory behavior, Tea Party activists in the vicinity are considering taking legal action against Campbell.
Governments have long used the power of lawmaking to keep dissension in check. The First Amendment to our Constitution, however, provides each citizen the right to publicly express his or her opinion.
Hopefully, this case will ultimately set a precedent, making it harder for municipalities to stifle free speech based on political ideology.

Obamacare Promises: Sex, lies and – if you insist – let’s not go to the videotape

Michelle Obama's Mirror ^ | 11-2-2013 | MOTUS

After a month of criticism of our Obamacare Website - so full of “glitches” that we can still count on one hand the number of legit enrollees -
number one now in 4 colorsWe’re #1 – now in 4 different colors!
we’re adopting a whole new approach.
new yourker mocks obamacare website
Because apparently the old one didn’t work right
Here are the primary tactics of our new strategy:
#1: Blame the Republicans. This one nearly always works; this time they are culpable because everyone knows they’ve been trying to sabotage Obamacare from the start. And they’re racists.
#2: Blame the greedy, heartless insurance companies. They’re rotten apples. That’s why we need to get rid of them altogether. And go to a single-payer system.
#3: Advise people that the cancellation notices from their insurance companies are a feature of the Affordable Care Act, not a bug. (see “rotten apples,” above)
#4 If all else fails, employ the Clinton Nuclear defense: “Everybody lies about keeping your healthcare plan.”
Screenshot Studio capture #1453…and healthcare
In case you haven’t figured it out, this new approach is intended to shift the focus away from “OBAMACARE ISN’T WORKING.” Hey, there’s no need to shout, you’ve got our attention!
I don’t know which phony scandal we can refocus on though:
So many phony scandals to choose from, it’s hard to know which one we can use as a squirrel. Maybe “Fast and Furious.” There’s nothing new being discussed in that phony scandal right now, is there?
Perhaps we need a new squirrel of an entirely different stripe.
black and white squirrel
Butt sometimes those new squirrels end up looking more like skunks.
Besides, we’ve already got a black and white squirrel around here that stinks a lot.
boseering eyes All skunks worthy of their stripes have developed a deadly stink-eye.
So maybe we’ve reached the point where we need to employ another trick from the trusty progressive playbook; time to “reframe the problem” altogether. Obamacare: it’s so big, so awesome and so grand that no one man, no one woman and no one existing Government Department of Health and Human Services could ever possibly oversee its implementation. We need to form a brand new agency with 10 more levels of oversight and review to ensure it’s successful operation.
Obamacare-Chartpjm-7-28-10Because the first 200 levels aren’t enough
So here’s the deal: this mess is clearly not Barry’s fault. He made it perfectly clear from the gitgo: If HE likes your healthcare plan, you can KEEP your healthcare plan. Period. And I’ve got this fresh new videotape that proves it.
So ask yourself: just whose fault is it that the do-nothing Congress passed a law that they gave to a do-everything-incompetently bureaucracy, led by a know-nothing President?
That’s a rhetorical question, so if you insist on responding, please remember to do so in the form of a question.
Posted from: Michelle Obama’s Mirror 

A Truly Wicked Blow: Jimmy Carter Hammers Obama for Ineptness!

Commentary Magazine ^ | 10-31-2013 | Pete Wehner
Posted on 11/1/2013 11:07:24 PM by smoothsailing

I’ve been quite critical of President Obama over the course of his presidency. Earlier this week, for example, I wrote a piece in which I accused Mr. Obama of mendacity. So I take a back seat to no one when it comes to leveling harsh judgments against the president. But even I, an Obama critic, believe there are some lines one should not cross, some things that should never be said, some blows that are too brutal even for American politics.
I had in mind what Jimmy Carter, who ranks with James Buchanan and a few others as among America’s worst and most inept presidents, said about Obama. When asked by Parade magazine how he would evaluate the Obama presidency so far, Carter said this:
He’s done the best he could under the circumstances. His major accomplishment was Obamacare, and the implementation of it now is questionable at best.
This is, as Guy Benson points out, a withering indictment from Mr. Malaise. And on first blush, I thought, an unfair one, at least given the source. Who is Jimmy Carter to indict anyone on grounds of incompetence. And yet the more I reflect on it, the more I think Mr. Carter may be on to something.
What exactly are the impressive achievements of President Obama? The revival of the American economy? Surging job growth? The success of the stimulus package and the number of “shovel ready jobs”? Moving us toward energy independence? Reducing the debt? Reducing poverty and the number of Americans on food stamps? His oversight of agencies like the IRS? The Fast and Furious program? Ending America’s political divisions and unifying his countrymen? Perhaps his skillful handling before, during, and after the terrorist assault on the American diplomatic outpost in Benghazi? His successes in Syria? Egypt? Iraq? Iran? Peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis? And don’t forget his signature domestic achievement, the Affordable Care Act, which may rank among the worst major government programs in modern American history, a failure in both conception and implementation.
So it may be that Jimmy Carter has a right to sit in judgment of Barack Obama. Which is among the worst things that could be said about America’s 44th president.

ObamaCARE didn’t terminate your health plan; OBAMA did!

Obamacare Cancelling Your Insurance? Share your story at ^ | Novemver 1, 2013 | MrChips 

ObamaCARE didn’t terminate your health plan; OBAMA did!

It’s right there in black-and-white on page 43 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The president’s famous promise that if you like your plan you can keep your plan (without which the bill most certainly would never have passed) is indeed the law of the land. It is Section 1251, to be exact. This is what it says . . . .SEE LINK ABOVE

Ironclad. Bulletproof. If you like your plan, “nothing in this Act” can “require that an individual terminate coverage.” It’s. The. Law.

So why are millions of Americans receiving cancelation letters?

Because in one of the first of many lawless abuses of executive authority to distort, ignore, or rewrite the law, President Obama issued a shameful regulation just months after the law was passed known as the Grandfathered Plan Rule that – in blatant violation of the president’s famous promise embodied in Section 1251 – terminated the overwhelming majority of plans in the individual market by invalidating grandfather status for minor routine changes of the sort that most plans have always made annually. . . .
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

In first month, the vast majority of Obamacare sign-ups are in Medicaid (9 out of 10)!

The Washington Post ^ | November 1, 2013 | Sarah Kliff

The first month of the new health law’s rollout reveals an unexpected pattern in several states: a crush of people applying for an expansion of Medicaid and a trickle of sign-ups for private insurance.

This early imbalance — in some places, nine out of 10 enrollees are in Medicaid — has taken some experts by surprise. The Affordable Care Act, which expanded Medicaid to cover millions of the poorest Americans who couldn’t otherwise afford coverage, envisions a more even split with an expanded, robust private market.
“When we first saw the numbers, everyone’s eyes kind of bugged out,” said Matt Salo, who runs the National Association of Medicaid Directors. “Of the people walking through the door, 90 percent are on Medicaid. We’re thinking, what planet is this happening on?”
The yawning gap between public and private enrollment is handing Republicans yet another line of criticism against President Obama’s health overhaul — that the law is primarily becoming an expansion of a costly entitlement program.
Supporters, however, caution against reading too much into the early numbers. Some of the states that set up their own exchanges, including Maryland, are suffering Web site glitches similar to those of the national system, and that is delaying private plan enrollments.....
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Perry will defy Guard same-sex benefits! ^ | November 01, 2013 | Jeremy Herb

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and other Republican governors might defy Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s call for all state National Guards to issue ID cards and full benefits to queer same-sex couples.

A spokesman for Perry said Friday that the state National Guard was obligated to follow the state constitution, which outlaws same-sex marriage.
“The Texas Military Forces is a state agency, and as such, is obligated to adhere to the Texas constitution and the laws of this state, which clearly define marriage as between one man and one women,” Perry spokesman Josh Havens said.
Hagel on Thursday slammed Texas and eight other state National Guards for denying same-sex couples ID cards, saying they were violating federal law.
The Pentagon directed same-sex couples to receive full federal benefits after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act in June.
“This is wrong,” Hagel said in a speech at the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). “It causes division among our ranks, and it furthers prejudice, which DOD has fought to extinguish, as has the ADL.”
Hagel said he was tapping National Guard Chief Gen. Frank Grass to resolve any issues with the state National Guards. A senior Defense official said Hagel was “prepared to take further action” if the states did not comply.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin may also refuse to agree to Hagel’s directive.
A spokesman for the Republican governor said President Obama was “seeking to usurp the power of the states” and undermine governors’ authority.
“Her priority is to obey and protect Oklahoma’s laws while supporting the men and women of the Guard,” Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said.
“The president has made it clear he supports gay marriage,” he added. “He has the legal authority to order federal agencies to recognize gay marriages. He does not have the legal authority to force state agencies to do so, or to unilaterally rewrite state laws or state constitutions.”
Weintz said that Fallin was working with her attorney general to evaluate the legal options available to the Oklahoma guard.
The state National Guards are typically under the control of states and their governors, but the Guard can be called into federal service by the president.
Another Defense official told The Hill that Texas was wrong to suggest its state constitution trumped federal law.
"These are federal ID cards paid for with federal funding to provide federally mandated benefits,” the official said.
The official declined to speculate on what legal options could be taken if the states did not begin issuing the ID cards.
Texas officials have argued that same-sex spouses are able to travel to federal military facilities in Texas to receive the ID cards.
The Associated Press reported in September that Maj. Gen. John Nichols, the commanding general of Texas Military Forces, wrote to service members to say that his agency could not process applications from same-sex couples. But he said the Texas National Guard would not deny benefits to anyone.
“We encourage anyone affected by this issue to enroll for benefits at a federal installation," Nichols wrote.
Advocates for same-sex couples in the military say the law is clear that states cannot use the Guard to deny benefits and not issue ID cards.
“It’s a false argument because the vast majority of all National Guard resources are federal resources,” said Chris Rowzee, a spokeswoman for the Military Partner Association.
But several of the states listed by the Pentagon Thursday said they were being unfairly singled out.
The Indiana National Guard issued a statement Friday that said it had not refused same-sex benefits but that it had delayed for one month before it began issuing them.
"The Indiana National Guard started processing same-sex benefits on Oct. 3,” Indiana Guard spokeswoman Lt. Col. Cathleen Van Bree said in a statement.
“The delay in processing benefits was due to the Indiana National Guard conferring with the Indiana attorney general's office in order to understand the impact of these new benefits on state-active duty, where state funds are used to pay service members.”
The defense official said that the Indiana Guard told the Pentagon in September they weren't going to issue the ID cards until the review was complete, and it was "welcome news" the state was now complying with Pentagon policy.
Lawrence Messina, a spokesman for the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs, said there had been no instances in West Virginia where benefits were denied, and at least one ID card was granted to a same-sex spouse.
“I’m not aware of anyone being turned away,” he said.

‘Agitated’ Dems Bugging Out; WH Has No Contingency Plan if ObamaCare Website Not Fixed By Nov 30!

Jammie Wearing Fool ^ | October 31, 2013 | Jammie

We hope they suffer a whole lot more than the millions of Americans who’ve lost their insurance thanks to them. Don’t forget, America, Democrats own this horror show in its entirety and they must pay next November.

Senate Democrats vented their frustrations over the faulty rollout of the Affordable Care Act in a meeting Thursday with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and other senior officials.
“There’s a lot of frustration, everywhere,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said after the meeting.
McDonough tried to assure angry senators he is personally taking charge of the disparate federal offices in charge of implementing the massive law, which has been plagued by technical errors.
“He gave us the impression that he’s taking charge of the different elements and cracking the whip. He said to let him know if we had concerns,” said a Democratic senator who attended the meeting.
Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Jeffrey Zients, whom President Obama has tapped to troubleshoot the bugs afflicting, also attended the meeting.
Democratic senators facing reelection in 2014 were some of the most vocal critics.
One lawmaker described Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) as visibly “agitated.”
Shaheen demanded to know why the rollout of had become so riddled with problems.
A Democratic aide said Shaheen asked the administration officials for a contingency plan in case technical problems are not fixed by Nov. 30. They replied they are working on one but did not have a plan to share as of Thursday.
They’re working on a plan to fix the next debacle! Surely it will save the day.
“[People] are unhappy. We want to see improvements. They’ve got to let people know what they’re doing, as they’re doing it,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
Brown said too many people still don’t know how to sign up for health plans through the insurance exchanges.
“This is a situation where too many people don’t know about the website, don’t know how to apply,” he said.
If there are still people who don’t know about this disastrous website then we need to re-define low-information voter.

The Emmanuel Goldstein-ing of Ted Cruz

PJ Tatler ^ | October 31, 2013 | Bryan Preston

Obamacare is a disaster, but the leftists who supported it don’t seem to care about that. They’re singling out and pack attacking one of the Republicans who tried to save America from Obamacare. Take a look at this section of headlines from Memeorandum today.

David Corn leads the Emmanuel Goldstein-ing of Ted Cruz, but the hate is clearly coming straight from the Democratic Party leadership, as the second section shows. It’s not accidental. It’s a party strategy to single Cruz out and pour hate on him, make him radioactive and unelectable. Democrats successfully did the same thing to Sarah Palin, and will do the same to any genuine leader who emerges among the GOP. Why would Reid really care if a Cruz nomination hurts the GOP? As a partisan Democrat, isn’t that what he wants? He doesn’t care. It’s a strategy to destroy Cruz. If Reid really thought Ted Cruz would be bad for the GOP, he would shut up and hope that Cruz wins the nomination in 2016. Bob Beckel on The Five would do the same thing, but instead, he hates on Cruz for a least a few minutes of every show, every day.
Corn probably doesn’t care that attacking Cruz’s father legitimizes attacks on Barack Obama’s illegal-alien aunt and drunk-driving uncle. Maybe he just didn’t think that far ahead. I’ve seen him in action in person. The only impressive part of him is his unjustifiably vast ego....
(Excerpt) Read more at .

If you have any questions, dial 800-645-8333 on your Obamaphone.

Boston Herald ^ | 11/01/13 | Howie Carr 

If you have any questions, dial 800-645-8333 on your Obamaphone!

There’s only one way to cope with this mean-spirited Republican attack on the leisure classes — get more EBT cards. You just go down to the welfare office and make a “self-declaration,” meaning nobody checks. That’s how come you read so often nowadays of illegals being pinched, and just before the traditional paragraph about the immigration detainer, you learn that the “dreamer” had two, or three, or even four EBT cards.

Poor Campeo Armando Diaz-
Carola, sentenced to eight years in prison earlier this week after being caught with a pound and a half of heroin. Just selling the skag Americans couldn’t be bothered selling. Obviously not much of a crook, because this illegal, I mean “dreamer,” was only carrying one EBT card.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

5 Things The Obama Administration Had No Idea The Obama Administration Was Doing ^ | November 2, 2013 | John Hawkins

"I wouldn’t be surprised if President Obama learned Osama bin Laden had been killed when he saw himself announce it on television." -- Jon Stewart

What's the point of having a President who learns about everything his administration is doing from the newspapers, just like everyone else? When do you start to ask, "Is this guy stupid or just dishonest?" Given that Barack Obama seems to know so little about what's going on in his administration that it's starting to resemble a "Hogan's Heroes" rerun with Bo playing the role of Colonel Klink, maybe the answer is "both."

1) Obama didn't know we were spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel for five years.

The White House cut off some monitoring programs after learning of them, including the one tracking Ms. Merkel and some other world leaders, a senior U.S. official said. Other programs have been slated for termination but haven’t been phased out completely yet, officials said.
The account suggests President Barack Obama went nearly five years without knowing his own spies were bugging the phones of world leaders. Officials said the NSA has so many eavesdropping operations under way that it wouldn’t have been practical to brief him on all of them.

2) Obama didn't know that his administration was sending guns to Mexican drug cartels via Fast and Furious.

In the March 22 interview, Obama said: “There have been problems, you know. I heard on the news about this story that fast and furious, where allegedly guns were being run into Mexico and ATF knew about it but didn't apprehend those who had sent it. Eric Holder has -- the attorney general has been very clear that he knew nothing about this. We had assigned an IG, inspector general, to investigate it.”

3) Obama didn't know the DOJ seized the AP's phone records.

(Press Secretary) Carney later added about the scandal, "We don't have any independent knowledge ... [Obama] found out about the news reports yesterday on the road."

4) Obama didn't know the IRS was targeting Tea Party groups.

During a press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, President Obama was asked about the IRS scandal. He responded, ”I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this. I think it was on Friday.”

5) Obama didn't know the website was going to fail.

In an exclusive interview with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta asked when the President first learned about the considerable issues with the Obamacare website.
Sebelius responded that it was in "the first couple of days" after the site went live October 1.

"But not before that?" Gupta followed up.

To which Sebelius replied, "No, sir."