Sunday, September 27, 2015

Obamacare Waste Continues to Pile Up

Heartland ^ | 9/26/15 | Justin Haskins 


According to Whitehouse.gov, an official website of the Obamacare administration, the ACA “reduces health care costs,” in part, “by … cracking down on waste, fraud, and abuse.”

A new government audit of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) management of contracts made with eight companies that helped to build the Healthcare.gov website, shows the 20 contracts “most critical to the website’s operation” – worth roughly $600 million in total – were incredibly mismanaged. According to the report, millions were wasted in cost overruns, shoddy practices, and poor business practices.

John Tozzi of Bloomberg Business reports the primary reason for the mismanagement is that government employees managing the contracts were completely unprepared for the responsibilities given to them.
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.heartland.org ...

Ted Cruz Wins, Donald Trump Flops In Latest Presidential Straw Poll For Republican Contenders

International Business Times ^ | September 26, 2015 | Kerry Flynn 

Could the Donald be falling? Texas Sen. Ted Cruz came out on top in the latest presidential straw poll, garnering 35 percent of the approximately 1,200 votes from the Values Voter Summit in Washington Saturday, NBC News reports.
That’s the third year in a row Cruz has won the support from the forum. The affair comes amid some shakeup for the Republican party in the past week, with House Speaker John Boehner announcing his departure and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has been criticized for not taking stronger conservative stances, ending his bid for the presidency.
Social conservatives are further vocalizing their support. "Today, the insurgency is more emboldened than ever and looks to even further dominate the presidential elections in 2016," Mark Meckler, an attendee at the summit, told the Associated Press. "Our influence is growing."
And Cruz has apparently been seen as their insurgent leader, at least for now. Speaking at the summit Friday, Cruz denounced the Iran nuclear deal with rhetoric that involved introducing “72 virgins” to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, and called President Barack Obama “the world’s most powerful communist,” CNN reports.
While businessman Donald Trump has topped recent polls -- pulling 25 percent of the GOP support in a Quinnipiac University national survey and 24 percent in a CNN poll following the most recent Republican debate on Sept. 16 -- Trump came in fifth place in the summit’s straw poll and received only 56 votes. NBC News reported Trump was booed by attending activists following remarks on Republican contender Marco Rubio. The Florida senator had topped Trump, falling in fourth place with 13 percent of the support.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson took second place with 18 percent of the vote and was followed by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with 14 percent. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, businesswoman Carly Fiorina and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul -- who all declined invitations to speak at the event -- each pulled less than 3 percent of the vote.
(GRAPH-AT-LINK)
Once a front-runner, Bush has been falling in the polls and has evidently lost support from social conservatives. The contender claimed having scheduling conflicts with the event.
“He needs to do well with this voting bloc, especially where he's at now in the polls,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who hosted the summit, told the AP. “He needs all the help he can get.”
But perhaps Trump has not completely lost the faith of the party. “I believe there's a relationship to be built with Trump," Perkins said at a press conference, according to NBC News. "I'm concerned Jeb Bush is sidestepping some events.”

Ted Cruz's Best Weekend Ever

Slate ^ | September 26, 2015 | Beth Ethier 

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz scored a runaway victory in the presidential straw poll at the Values Voter Summit on Saturday, grabbing 35 percent of the vote among attendees at one of the country's highest-profile conservative gatherings, where no fewer than eight GOP presidential hopefuls came to court the crowd. Cruz had nearly double the support of the second-place finisher, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and seven times the votes for Donald Trump, who was audibly booed during his Values Voter speech but still leads the Republican field among likely primary voters who are outside of the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C.
Cruz must be wondering what will happen when he wakes up Sunday, since his weekend got started early and has been going strong ever since. As Cruz was preparing for his Friday appearance at the summit, news broke that Speaker John Boehner would be leaving Congress in a little over a month. Cruz, who Boehner recently called "that jackass" at an out-of-town fundraiser, has made it his business to stoke discontent with Boehner among the farthest-right reaches of the House Republican conference. With Boehner apparently cowed by the struggle over the federal budget, the dream of shutting down the government over funding for Planned Parenthood must seem more achievable than ever for Cruz.
The senator from Texas unfortunately didn't get the chance to reveal Boehner's announcement to the right-wing faithful at the conference on Friday—2016 primary rival Marco Rubio beat him to it—but it was impossible to miss Cruz's glee as he took the stage and cracked jokes about the conservatives in the room striking such fear into the Speaker that he'd up and quit when they came to town....
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...

Professors Confess: Trump as Likely as Jeb! to Win in 2016

Breitbart ^ | 25 Sep 2015 | Neil Munro 

Donald Trump has a better shot at the presidency than Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and is just as likely to win the 2016 election as Jeb Bush, say two embarrassed political scientists.
--snip--
Because they concluded that Donald Trump “has a 54 percent chance of being elected president if he is the GOP nominee… [and] he is as electable as [Jeb] Bush and [John] Kasich and more electable than [Carly] Fiorina and [Marco] Rubio.”
--snip--
What’s powering this support? It is almost surely Trump’s ability to win GOP and Democratic votes in the blue-collar suburbs by his championing Americans and by shunning elite preferences.
The professors hinted at this shockingly novel strategy — “promise benefits for voters, not donors”
(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

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