Saturday, June 7, 2014

Obama's Spokesmen Now Smearing Combat Vets As ‘Psychopaths’ For Telling Truth About Bergdahl ^ | 06/05/2014 | Chuck Biscuits

Obama admin spokesmen, this one in particular a “top public affairs official”, are now making the most vile claims about America’s combat veterans for telling the truth about Bergdahl, in this case calling them “psychopaths”. And, equally horrifying is that Obama has apparently ordered his spokesmen to start spreading the meme that Bergdahl’s desertion was justified due to bad American soldiers (particularly Bergdahl’s officers) doing bad things. This is not the first time we’ve heard this claim from Team Obama, including from the WH, so it’s clearly approved from the top, and almost certainly in conjunction with Media Matters.
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Great news: HHS to overhaul … again!

Hotair ^ | 06/06/2014 | Ed Morrisse
When the Affordable Care Act passed in March 2010, HHS had three and a half years and $400 million to produce a web portal for individual-market consumers that would … pretty much do what the existing portal did for the Medicare Advantage program that ObamaCare raided to pay for its own operation. HHS rolled it out on time last October, whereupon it crashed repeatedly and had to be overhauled. A few months later, the Obama administration bragged about the system when it hit eight million signups, even though the back end couldn’t actually determine how many actually paid for their insurance. Last week, we found out that the part of the system that actually manages the government-run coverage may have screwed up two million or more of those signups.
The next open enrollment date is in mid-November, so now HHS will overhaul again with five months to get it functioning properly. What could go wrong? Er …
The Obama administration is revamping and scrapping significant parts of the federal health-insurance marketplace in an effort to avoid the problems that plagued the site’s launch last fall, according to presentations to health insurers and interviews with government officials and contractors.But the makeover—and the tight timeline to accomplish it—are raising concerns that consumers could face another rocky rollout this fall when they return to the site to choose health plans. Some key back-end functions, including a system to automate payments to insurers, are running behind schedule, according to a presentation federal officials made to health insurers.Adding to the pressure, is still in the midst of transitioning to new government contractors to manage basic functions.Among the changes in the new version of a revamp of the site’s consumer-facing portion including the application for coverage most people will use, as well as the comparison tool that lets them shop for plans, according to slides from a May 20 meeting for insurers held by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees
Of course, HHS has a new boss in Sylvia Burwell, who sailed to confirmation this week on a 78-17 Senate vote. The former OMB official has no particular expertise in web-portal project management, but then again, neither did her predecessor … and look how well that went.Presumably Burwell will keep a closer eye on progress than did Kathleen Sebelius, but this looks like a recipe for disaster even if Bill Gates was HHS Secretary and the late Steve Jobs the director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). HHS now plans to overhaul the front end again while the back-end systems are still in the late stages of development, including the connections to insurers. Just how will those integrations take place while rewriting software based on the existing and buggy platform that still can’t successfully verify enrollment even in the government’s own programs?“We’re all going to be nervous until November 15,” one insurer told the WSJ. No kidding. This time HHS plans to test some of the changes before the rollout date, but not all of them:
They said they expected to begin testing some of the changes over the summer, but that other tests would likely take place closer to the start of the new enrollment season. Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman, also said the agency knew the identity-management component was a particular source of problems.
While meditating on this, note this development in healthcare costs that flew under the Bergdahl-for-5-Talibani swap story earlier this week. Hospitals began charging more across the board for their services in 2012, and the New York Times is mystified by the reason (via Instapundit):
Charges for some of the most common inpatient procedures surged at hospitals across the country in 2012 from a year earlier, some at more than four times the national rate of inflation, according to data released by Medicare officials on Monday.While it has long been known that hospitals bill Medicare widely varying amounts — sometimes many multiples of what Medicare typically reimburses — for the same procedure, an analysis of the data by The New York Times shows how much the price of some procedures rose in just one year’s time. …
Charges for chest pain, for instance, rose 10 percent to an average of $18,505 in 2012, from $16,815 in 2011. Average hospital charges for digestive disorders climbed 8.5 percent to nearly $22,000, from $20,278 in 2011.In 2012, hospitals charged more for every one of 98 common ailments that could be compared to the previous year. For all but seven, the increase in charges exceeded the nation’s 2 percent inflation rate for that year, according to The Times’s analysis.
Perhaps we should put Nancy Drew in charge of this mystery. She could start with all of the taxes imposed by ObamaCare on medical devices and drug manufacturers, add in all of the administrative costs created to service the law’s mandates, and then round up the usual “you can keep your plan” subjects for the Big Reveal on the next-to-last page.

Michelle Obama Wants Students to Monitor Family Members for Racial Insensitivity!

Top Right News ^ | May 19, 2014 | by Jason DeWitt | Top Right News
First lady Michelle Obama wants students to police their families for any “racially insensitive comments” they might make, and to challenge those comments whenever they’re made, asking them to “drag” their presumably racist relatives into the “fight against racism.” Huh? You heard right. The lady whose husband has taken every opportunity to fan the flames of racism, from the Cambridge police, to Arizona’s immigration law, to the Trayvon Martin case, and on and on, wants everyone else to stop being so racist.
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Ted Cruz calls to repeal ‘every blessed word of Obamacare’

MSNBC ^ | 6 Jun 2014 | Emma Margolin
“Today, liberty is under assault,” declared conservative firebrand Ted Cruz before an adoring audience Friday at the Republican Party of Texas State Convention. The GOP senator and Tea Party darling left virtually no red meat unthrown, calling for a return to the Constitution – “the most extraordinary document crafted in history” – a resurrection of American leadership abroad – where “bullies and tyrants are laughing at [us]” – and a rebuilding of jobs and economic growth at home, through adhering to free market principles, supporting “the American energy renaissance,” abolishing the Internal Revenue Service, and repealing “every blessed word of Obamacare.” On the subject of the Constitution, Cruz declared that religious liberty was under fire, and blasted the recent controversy over the IRS’s alleged targeting of conservative groups that applied for nonprofit status. In one instance, an Iowa-based anti-abortion group was asked to provide information about its members’ prayer meetings, according to documents sent by an IRS official to the organization. “You know what, the federal government has no business asking any American the content of our prayers!” said Cruz to roaring applause. The Texas senator also touched on a high-profile federal case, in which the Colorado-based Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged is suing the Obama administration over an accommodation under the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurance cover contraception without a co-pay. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court affirmed a compromise that allows the religious nonprofit to sign a form certifying its objection to contraception, before sending it to an insurer who can then provide the coverage directly. “Let me give you a simple rule of thumb,” said Cruz. “If you’re litigating against nuns, you’ve probably done something wrong.”
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In the U.S. Senate, it's Ted Cruz, Of Counsel for the right!

The Houston Chronicle ^ | June 6, 2014 | Kevin Diaz
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz recalls that the Declaration of Independence listed 28 specific legal grievances against King George III of England. His list of "particulars" against President Obama goes up to 76 - and counting. To Cruz, a Texas Republican known for his vocal opposition to the president, that is not an exercise in historical trivia. It's become a major focus of his Senate office, where he has harnessed his Harvard Law skills to further his narrative of a "lawless" presidency. Long before the congressional furor over the legality of Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap in Afghanistan, Cruz, a potential 2016 presidential contender, was compiling a legal brief questioning the Obama administration's use of executive power. Policy differences with the White House are hardly new in Washington. But Cruz has made a name for himself as a leading lawyer for the conservative movement, battling the Obama agenda on health care, crime and immigration - not by passing laws, but by challenging Obama edicts in the legal arena. Call it Ted Cruz, Of Counsel. "Senator Cruz is among the most vocal and energetic advocates for limited constitutional government in our Congress," said Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the conservative-leaning Federalist Society. "There's no one in Congress who has been more systematic in cataloguing and critiquing federal branch overreach." The former Texas solicitor general is often portrayed as an ideological bomb-thrower who shut down the federal government during a budget fight over the Obama's health care overhaul. But in his first 18 months in the Senate, Cruz, 43, also has cultivated a following in academic circles for his legal work on the limits of federal authority, a cause that has adherents on both the political left and right....
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Breitbart ^ | 6 Jun 2014 | by CHARLES HURT
It is truly a fool’s errand for any decent person of conscience governed by honesty to engage in debate with the likes of these people. Never has that folly been more acute than in the aftermath of the President’s release of the five Kingpins of Terror. To engage them is like walking onto a battlefield of steel and lead in nothing but sandals and a sackcloth, unarmed. No matter how honorable your motive or how right your cause, you will be slaughtered with impunity. Your morals will be ridiculed. Your belief in a code of decency will be used to ensnare you. Your truth-bearing tongue will be ripped from your throat and fed to your children. You may be marked as God’s child, but that will do you no good here today. You will be killed on this battlefield of these people’s choosing and at their vile hands. So it is today for Americans who have never before felt a pang of disloyalty toward their country or the soldiers who fight for their freedom. For them, patriotism is both a cheap thrill at a ballgame and a profound comfort and compass during the blurred horror of wartime
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