Thursday, August 14, 2014

Hillary Clinton — a woman of no convictions!

The Washington Times ^ | 8-12-14 | Charles Hurt
The rank spectacle of ex-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton suddenly turning on her commander in chief and former boss to shiv him in the back over the burning ruins she helped make of the Middle East is staggering to behold. The brassiness, dishonesty and shamelessness as she slides into yet another presidential campaign season is enough to choke that old Arkansas draft mule of a husband she hitched her career to. The scheming calculation of it all would make Lady Macbeth take to the bed for blushing. How on earth did such a crafty street fighter get so completely trounced by such a naive rookie like Barack Obama in 2008? That Mrs. Clinton would up and disavow President Obama’s policy of ceding the entire world to evil forces — a policy she embraced and enforced for four years as his top diplomat — is a little hard to accept now as genuine. It is by far the most naked and self-serving political repositioning in American politics since, well, since the last time Hillary Rodham Clinton performed a bald and shameless U-turn on Middle East war policy. In 2002, she represented the state hardest hit by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. As the junior senator from New York, she gave a rousing floor speech and vowed to pursue our enemies to the ends of the Earth. She voted “with conviction” to authorize the invasion of Iraq. “It is a vote that says clearly to Saddam Hussein: This is your last chance. Disarm or be disarmed.”
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From Bellhops to Burger Flippers, Robots Look to Steal Even More Jobs

The Fiscal Times ^ | 08/14/2014 | BY ANDREW LUMBY
Hotel rooms for the introverts among us are an anti-social haven. Nothing beats a hot shower, followed by settling into a freshly made bed in a terrycloth robe to watch mediocre television with a glass of wine. No one bothers you and for an exquisite moment in time, you have nary a care in the world. Then the realization hits. You’ve forgotten your toothbrush at home! You’re going to have to call the snooty concierge. You’re going to have to smile and tip and say thank you. You’ll have to deal with people. The chain of hotels has introduced the Botlr (the name is a cringe-worthy hybrid of ‘robot’ and ‘butler’), a three-foot tall service robot designed by California startup Savioke. Designed to evoke the tux-wearing butlers of old, this high-tech helper is dispatched by a human bellman after a customer calls the front desk. It then navigates its way through the hotels’ maze of corridors and elevators to bring critical sundries to your door. Crisis averted. Like the pizza drone and the Dutch gas pump jockey before it, this newest tech wonder looks to be another item in a long list of robots that threatens to crush jobs and wreak poverty among workers, only to become a minor marketing gimmick. Even Starwood execs are remaining somewhat reserved on the matter: “It is certainly not replacing our staff, but it is augmenting our ability to service our customers,” Brian McGuinness, senior vice president for Starwood’s Aloft line of hotels, told CNBC, adding that he only foresees one or two Botlrs at most per hotel.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

The Three Stooges of the Apocalypse ^ | August 14, 2014 | John Ransom
The Middle East isn’t just a foreign policy problem it’s another one of the man-caused disasters that has become the hallmark of the Obama administration’s version of Moe, Larry and Curly. And the cause of the disaster is transparently clear: These stooges are all campaign and no common sense. Because the amigos tres in this instance haven’t just been poor executives-- as they have shown in other policy-- they’ve been poor thinkers as well. That they are hurting Muslims in Iraq and the Middle East -- a group they say they stand in solidarity with-- is immaterial to them. Campaigning for these stooges has always come before common sense. That’s why secretary of state John “Larry” Kerry-- who was for the Iraq war before he was against it while he was campaigning for president-- is secretary of state; and perhaps the worst secretary of state ever if you discount the last secretary of state, who also was for the Iraq war before she was against it. “This is not a combat, boots-on-the-ground, operation in Iraq,” said Defense Secretary, Chuck “Curly” Hagel—another guy who was for the war before he was against it-- all while he ordered 130 more US boots on the ground. So let’s just say that the campaign is never ending, and thus common sense is still quite uncommon with our foreign policy stooges. So uncommon in fact that Barack “Moe” Obama can’t even admit what we all know to be facts. When confronted with the fact that he promised to remove US troops from Iraq, then kept that promise, and then claimed he ended the Iraq War by removing the troops-- while really he was destabilizing the country—Moe had this to say: “What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision,” said Obama about the decision to end the US troops that stabilized Iraq. “Under the previous administration, we had turned over the country to a sovereign, democratically elected Iraqi government. So let’s just be clear: The reason that we did not have a follow-on force in Iraq was because the Iraqis — a majority of Iraqis did not want U.S. troops there.” Let’s just be clear, shall we? It was Moe—and Kerry and Curly-- who claimed from the campaign trail in 2008 that Iraq was just a sideshow, the surge wouldn’t work, and that the real US troop surge needed to happen in Afghanistan. It was Moe—and Kerry and Curly -- who said the Bush administration made a mistake in not pursuing Osama bin Laden, like somehow bin Laden’s death would make a difference. It was Moe-- and Kerry and Curly -- who pulled troops out of Iraq after the surge worked and INTO Afghanistan, even though we know now that Moe— and Kerry and Curly -- didn’t want troops in either country. So why are they sending troops in now? Because they are stooges, that’s why. I’m not sure what it is that theses stooges think they accomplishing for the Muslim world, or for America, but if Obama-- and Kerry and Curly—have something to offer in the Middle East besides an apocalypse now and more apocalypse later and even more apocalypse later still, they should cut the vaudeville routine. Their slapstick is a painful substitute for statesmanship.

Breaking: Obama VA Is Trolling Veteran Community For Gun Owners!

The Gateway Pundit ^ | 8/13/14 | Jim Hoft
progressives today banner smallThe Obama VA may be running a back door gun registry under the guise of a “free gun lock” program.
A Progressives Today reader sent in this letter they received with the following worrisome comment attached:
Is this a backdoor way of the VA attempting to create a gun registry on vets? I think it is…
(Click to enlarge)
Dear Veteran:The James E. Van Zandt VA Medial Center is extending the opportunity to request free gun locks to the Veterans we serve. We are providing this opportunity because, as your partner in health care, we are committed to keeping you and your family safe. We selected you for this mailing to Veterans simply because you have an upcoming appointment at our facility.If you own a gun, we hope you will request and use a gun lock. As a Veteran, you already know about the importance of firearm safety. We encourage you to talk about gun safety with family members, loved ones, and close friends.If you would like up to four free gun locks for personal use, please indicate how many you would like on the enclosed postcard, include your name and address, and return the postcard. When we receive your request we will mail the requested number of gun lock to the address you provide.
This is not the first time we’ve seen this.Read the rest here.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Aetna: Actual ObamaCare enrollment turning out way lower than the White House said!

Cain ^ | August 12, 2014 | Dan Calabrese
 And they should know because they're the ones not collecting the premiums.Much of the left has been trying its best to push the notion that "ObamaCare is working," largely based on the announced enrollment total of anywhere from 8 million to 10 million that has come out of the White House. Since this was more than the 7 million they originally said they needed to make the system viable, viola . . . success!One problem: They counted everyone who enrolled, without regard to whether enrollees ever paid a premium. If you don't pay the premium, you're not insured and you're not part of the system. Thus, your enrollment is meaningless and there's no serious measure that can count you. So how is this phase of the implementation going?Not well, if the experience of Aetna - one of the largest insurers participating in the system - is any indication. Investors Business Daily reports:
The nation's third-largest health insurer had 720,000 people sign up for exchange coverage as of May 20, a spokesman confirmed to IBD. At the end of June, it had fewer than 600,000 paying customers. Aetna expects that to fall to "just over 500,000" by the end of the year.That would leave Aetna's paid enrollment down as much as 30% from that May sign-up tally."I think we will see some attrition ... We're already seeing it. And we expect that to continue through the end of the year," CEO Mark Bertolini said in a July 29 conference call.It's not clear how representative Aetna's experience is of broader exchange trends, or whether its projection may be too conservative. (If it were representative, a similar 30% decline would drop ObamaCare enrollment to 6 million or less.)Still, as one of ObamaCare's largest players, participating in exchanges in 16 states plus D.C., Aetna's experience provides a pretty good window into what is happening across the country, and there are other indications that enrollment has turned down.Cigna (NYSE:CI) said that it expects its individual market customers, including more than 100,000 in the exchanges, to "move from 300,000 down to 280,000 in that range," Cigna CEO David Cordani said in a conference call.Other major insurers danced around questions about attrition on recent earnings conference calls, but none denied that it was occurring.
Granted, you can't assume that Aetna's level of attrition will prove to be what happens across the board. The industry overall could do better. Or it could do worse.Assuming Aetna's experience is not way out of line with what other insurers experience, where does ObamaCare end up if it's back down to only 6 million enrollees, especially given the likely problem of adverse selection that sees those insured through ObamaCare policies skew sicker and older than the population in general?Also keep in mind that this only measures the attrition so far. For those who didn't have health insurance before because they couldn't afford it, how many are likely to drop off six, nine or 12 months after signing up because they thought they could handle the premiums, but found they couldn't? Especially after they go up again, which appears to be a near certainty?ObamaCare is only "working" if you base that on phony and irrelevant numbers like the ones the White House has been pushing. The real facts suggest what we've always suspected: ObamaCare is a disaster.

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