Wednesday, October 30, 2013

That's me if you try to talk to me after I've gone to bed

Toughest Bird Ever


I'm currently reading DARK WITCH by Nora Roberts. This is 1st of the The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy. Here is a description:
With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.
Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits. Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives. When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package. Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…

It was published this week and has 368 pages.


The new job is ... mixed. Working with Steve is fine ... there are issues with the other guys accepting me there. But. I'm not there for them. It will take a little time. And I have to remember it's just the first week.


I wish I had more time. I need to figure out now when I can do my current events blog again but it takes reading a lot of articles and choosing ones to include and time isn't something I have a whole lot of right now. I'm working on how to make it work out.



Nothing on TV for me tonight so I'm going to finish up here and head to bed to read.

If I don't do a post tomorrow it's because it's Halloween and we're handing out candy. Well, I'll be handing out candy and Steve will be holding on to the boys. It's a two-person process. 


Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Current Events - October 30, 2013

PK'S NOTE: Sorry, guys, I'm still adjusting to the new schedule with my new job. Less access for a bit. 


Monday, October 28, 2013

But it's my favorite!

Umm...Yeah, Not You

TV night .... The Voice, Sleepy Hollow and The Blacklist. Yeah!

First day on the new jobs. I don't know yet. I'm sure it will be fine. And I get to kiss the boss! I'm adjusting to the new schedule and stuff so I don't know how well I'll be doing posts of this or current events but I'll do my best in the evenings.

It's snowing and won't be stopping for a day or so. Tomorrow's drive to work will probably be yucky.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Current Events - October 28, 2013




Sunday, October 27, 2013

Reason #14 why I have dogs

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I made really nummy apple crisp this morning. The recipe I used this time was from The Barefoot Contessa online. 

We have The Walking Dead and then The Talking Dead to watch tonight. I'm making hamburger rice balls for Steve and meatballs for me with spaghetti squash. 

Tomorrow, it is supposed to snow and have a high in the 20s. I'm also starting the new job working for Steve. 

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Should I? Should I? Oh whatthehell...

Gorillas: Cousin of the Tasmanian Devil  

Usual Saturday cleaning. I also went with Steve this morning to visit his dad in the hospital then came home and took a nap. I think I'm fighting off something. 

Tonight we'll have hamburgers for dinner and will channel surf, I'm sure. 

I'm back to ENGAGING THE ENEMY by Elizabeth Moon. This is 3rd of 5 in the space opera Vatta's War series. Here's a description:
The brilliantly unorthodox Kylara Vatta, black-sheep scion of Vatta Transport Ltd., one of the galaxy’s wealthiest merchant houses, is a heroine like no other, blessed with a killer instinct for business and for battle. Now, in the aftermath of cold-blooded assassinations that have left her parents dead and the Vatta shipping empire shattered, Kylara faces her greatest challenge yet. There is a time for grief and a time for revenge. This is decidedly the latter. Placing her cousin Stella in command of the trading vessel Gary Tobai, Ky embarks aboard the captured pirate ship Fair Kaleen on a twofold mission: to salvage the family business and to punish those responsible for the killings . . . before they strike again.Since the network providing instantaneous communication between star systems has been sabotaged, news is hard to come by and available information impossible to trust. But as she travels from system to system, with Stella a step behind, Ky pieces together the clues and discovers a conspiracy of terrifying scope, breathtaking audacity, and utter ruthlessness .The only hope the independent systems and merchants have against this powerful enemy is to band together. Unfortunately, because she commands a ship known to belong to a notorious pirate–her own relative Osman Vatta, whom she killed for his part in her parents’ deaths–Ky is met with suspicion, if not outright hostility. Rumors swirl about her intent, her very identity. Soon even Stella begins to question her cousin’s decisions and her authority to make them. Meanwhile, the conspiracy Ky hunts is hunting her in turn, with agents insinuated into every space station, every planetary government, every arm of the military, and every merchant house–including her own. Before she can take the fight to the enemy, Kylara must survive a deadly minefield of deception and betrayal.
Published in 2006 and has 416 pages. Digital loan from the library.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Current Events - October 26, 2013

 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Why are you here?

Um...I Think You're Doing it Wrong


This was my last day at RMHN.  My boss took me and my department coworker to lunch at Red Robin. She let me go after that so my day was done. I think she just wanted to escort me out of the building.

Instead of being productive, I took a nap but it felt good so why not? Our cranky night shift neighbor apparently got mad at the other neighbor's dog barking. I heard him shoot a bottle rocket at her and of course the boys came running.

Tonight I have Say Yes to the Dress and the original, first season of Strike Back that has never been shown in the US. They're doing it as a "prequel".

I think I'll make hamburgers for dinner. Steve is stopping by the hospital after work so I don't know when he'll be home so that is something that can keep if need be.

Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster

Current Events - October 25, 2013

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

What Happened to All of Obama's Technology Czars?

By Michelle Malkin
Why does the White House need a private-sector "tech surge" to repair its wretched Obamacare website failures? Weren't all of the president's myriad IT czars and their underlings supposed to ensure that taxpayers got the most effective, innovative, cutting-edge and secure technology for their money?
Now is the perfect time for an update on Obama's top government titans of information technology. As usual, "screw up, move up" is standard bureaucratic operating procedure.

Democrats Run for ObamaCare Cover

After weeks of vowing they wouldn't cave on the president's signature legislation, some Democrats are doing just that.

By Kimberley Strassel
Jeanne Shaheen doesn't sound like a Democrat who just won a government-shutdown "victory." Ms. Shaheen sounds like a Democrat who thinks she's going to lose her job.
The New Hampshire senator fundamentally altered the health-care fight on Tuesday with a letter to the White House demanding it both extend the ObamaCare enrollment deadline and waive tax penalties for those unable to enroll. Within nanoseconds, Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor had endorsed her "common-sense idea." By Wednesday night, five Senate Democrats were on board, pushing for . . . what's that dirty GOP word? Oh, right. "Delay."
After 16 long days of vowing to Republicans that they would not cave in any way, shape or form on ObamaCare, Democrats spent their first post-shutdown week caving in every way, shape and form. With the GOP's antics now over, the only story now is the unrivaled disaster that is the president's health-care law.
Hundreds of thousands of health-insurance policies canceled. Companies dumping coverage and cutting employees' hours. Premiums skyrocketing. And a website that reprises the experience of a Commodore 64. As recently as May, Democratic consultants were advising members of Congress that their best ObamaCare strategy for 2014 was to "own" the law. Ms. Shaheen has now publicly advised the consultants where they can file that memo.
...The White House has lived in fear of this moment, and the administration's biggest problem is that it has no quick bandage for this bleed. Healthcare.gov is weeks or months from being fixed—if it is fixable at all. Enrollment numbers will thus remain dismal. The insurance horror stories are only beginning. The congressional hearings, too. The administration could sack Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, but it knows that getting a replacement nominee through the Senate would likely prove more painful than keeping her.
Democrats will do their best to keep shifting blame to the GOP, but those complaints are losing traction. This week was a turning point.

Obamacare’s Ticking Clock

With every passing day, it's less likely the law's disastrous rollout can be fixed

By Jonah Goldberg
...Still, the barely holding conventional wisdom on the right and left is that the website will get fixed eventually, the glitches will be de-glitched, and one day we’ll all look back and laugh at the fuss. That’s possible. But with every passing day it’s less likely. And if more Democrats join the movement to delay the individual mandate (Republican senator Marco Rubio has already drafted legislation to do exactly that), the whole thing could start to unravel almost overnight.
That’s because insurance companies cannot survive Obamacare without the individual mandate. Under the law, they must offer insurance to anyone who needs it — often at an artificially low price at that. The only way they can make a profit is if the government upholds its promise to get millions of young, healthy people to sign up for more expensive insurance than they need. Take away the mandate — i.e., the penalty — and you make that virtually impossible. If the government tells insurance companies they still have to provide insurance to bad risks, it will be like the government telling Apple it has to sell iPhones at a loss. The insurance companies will sue. And as Dan McLaughlin of The Federalist notes, their lawyers will invoke the Obama administration’s arguments before the Supreme Court that the mandate was inseparable from the “must-issue” requirements under the law.
But even if, somehow, the insurance companies can be compensated for their losses on that front, the fact remains that the only people willing to put up with the North Korean–level customer service are people understandably desperate for health insurance. Those people aren’t likely to be young and healthy.
So, sure, the website is just one small part of Obamacare. But your jugular is only one small part of your anatomy, too.


The Podesta Era

Column: How the Center for American Progress conquered America

The partygoers had reason to celebrate. Over the last decade the Center for American Progress, also known as CAP, and its political arm, the CAP Action Fund, have established themselves among the most influential policy and activist organizations in America. CAP has revenues of $34 million. Its alumni occupy positions inside the Obama administration, in media, in business, and in the academy. Speakers at its policy conference this week included cabinet secretaries Kerry, Perez, and Lew; the presidents of the NAACP and the SEIU; the two liberal hosts of Crossfire; the leaders of left-wing parties in Canada and Australia; and Al Gore. President Obama, President Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid all said nice things about CAP in its anniversary video. From its headquarters on H Street, in downtown D.C., CAP exerts a pull over the Democratic Party like no other liberal institution. The right has no equivalent.

Hillary builds her liberal firewall

By Chris Stirewalt
Hillary Clinton was the star attraction at the ultra-liberal Center for American Progress’ annual gala, what the group calls its “Progressive Party.” Clinton, who was tossed aside by liberal voters in the 2008 Democratic primaries, isn’t taking any chances for 2016. “Progressive ideas have helped make this country the greatest force for human liberty, dignity and opportunity the world has ever known,” she said. She also noted the country’s challenges, which leave it “careening from crisis to crisis” and said she sought a strategy based on “data and evidence, not ideology.” Clinton joked of the group’s 10th anniversary: “When does the cake come out? I was going to jump out of the cake.” Watch video from the group here.

The Guardian: NSA Eavesdropped on 35 World Leaders

US spies eavesdropped on the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after White House, Pentagon and State Department officials gave them the numbers, The Guardian reported Thursday.
A classified document provided by fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowden said the National Security Agency worked closely with the "customer" departments of the US government to secure the phone numbers of leading foreign politicians.
One unnamed US official handed over 200 numbers, including those of the world leaders who were immediately "tasked" for surveillance by the NSA, according to the document

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I'll think of a clever title in a bit

We All Know the Feeling

I started reading EXTORTION by Peter Schweizer last night. I'm not surprised by it because I know how corrupt Congress is but I am surprised at the scope of the graft. This really is a must read for all. Really.

Not much happening today. Walked the dogs, worked, dinner, not much on TV. By Thursday evening staying to watch or even read anything doesn't sound appealing. Sleep is good.

In the meantime, this makes me happy:


Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster 

Current Events - October 24, 2013


PK'S NOTE: Perhaps the only thing we agree on with the Progressives. The complaint I have on this video is that the only administration being pictured here is Nixon's. They most certainly should include Bush and Obama. 

A Politically Charged Celebrity Video You May Actually Agree With




PK'S NOTE: Keep in mind this next one comes from a Progressive website so the slant is there and they will do what they can to to aid the establishment Republicans, but I do believe RINOS feel this way regarding the Tea Party. This is the full article.

Inside the Messy but Moneyed Republican Plan to Neutralize the Tea Party

The business-friendly GOP establishment is putting its cash to work in skirmishes across the country that might reshape the 2014 elections.

It took a tea party insurrection that disabled the federal government and wrecked the Republican brand, but after months of handwringing, establishment Republicans are preparing to attack ultra-conservative ideologues across red America.
From Alabama to Alaska, the center-right, business-oriented wing of the Republican Party is gearing up for a series of skirmishes that it hopes can prevent the 2014 mid-term election from turning into another missed opportunity. But this will not be a coordinated operation. It will be messy, ugly, and prone to backfiring. And if the comeback succeeds, it will be in fits and starts, most likely culminating in the selection of a presidential nominee in 2016.
"Hopefully we'll go into eight to 10 races and beat the snot out of them," said former Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio, whose new political group, Defending Main Street, aims to raise $8 million to fend off tea party challenges against more mainstream Republican incumbents. "We're going to be very aggressive and we're going to get in their faces."
The caterwauling over the GOP brand ramped up after President Obama's re-election and a handful of setbacks in the Senate before hitting full screech as the country hurtled toward default. For some Republicans, the time for soul-searching is over. "This is a battle we have to fight," said Republican consultant John Feehery, a former adviser to top Republican leaders on Capitol Hill. "We can't just lie down and let this happen."
Tactics being discussed among Republican strategists, donors, and party leaders include running attack ads against tea party candidates for Congress; overthrowing Ron Paul's libertarian acolytes dominating the Iowa and Minnesota state parties; promoting open primaries over nominating conventions, like the ones that produced Republican hardliners like Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli and shutdown-instigator Mike Lee of Utah; and countering political juggernauts Heritage Action, the Club for Growth, and FreedomWorks that target Republican incumbents who have consorted with Democrats.
LaTourette's Defending Main Street group has identified its first project: defending Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho. The Club for Growth threw its support to a tea-party challenger, Bryan Smith, because Simpson backed the $700 million Wall Street bailout, raising the debt ceiling, and a budget deal that staved off last year's "fiscal cliff" crisis.
Defending Main Street also is keeping an eye on other House Republicans who have drawn the wrath of the Club for Growth, including Aaron Schock and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, who is running for the Senate.
But there are many more races drawing the attention of Republican insiders who fear the tea party – and the public's growing distaste for the movement – is jeopardizing GOP control of the House and a potential Senate takeover. Consider:
  • A Nov. 5 special congressional election in Alabama, where former state senator Bradley Byrne is competing in the Republican runoff primary against Dean Young, a tea party candidate who declared at a candidate forum, "We are witnessing the end of a Western Christian empire."
  • A crowded Republican primary field facing a top Democratic recruit, Michelle Nunn, for an open Senate seat in Georgia. One GOP operative described two of the candidates, Reps. Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey, as "ticking time bombs." Broun has condemned the theory of evolution, questioned President Obama's citizenship and Christianity, and advocated abolishing the Federal Reserve and returning to the gold standard. Gingrey defended former Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin, who said victims of "legitimate rape" could avoid pregnancy.
  • A Republican primary in the open Senate race in South Dakota pitting challengers from the right against former Gov. Mike Rounds. The front-running candidate has piqued conservatives by refusing to sign a no-new-taxes pledge.
  • A Republican Senate primary in Alaska that features two establishment figures, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and former Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan, against Joe Miller, a tea party firebrand with high unfavorable ratings after a 2010 defeat.
Along with LaTourette's group, another player in the battle for control of the Republican Party will be the Conservative Victory Project, an arm of the Crossroads super PAC founded by Republican strategist Karl Rove. The group plans to vet GOP primary candidates with the goal of sending the most viable conservative to the general election.
"We want to avoid situations like 2010 with (Delaware Republican nominee) Christine O'Donnell, where a candidate gains momentum and the skeletons come out after the primary," said Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio. "If skeletons exist, we'll make every effort to make sure they're known to every group that spends money long before the primary."
The business community is potentially a major ally in the Republican establishment's comeback plan. After long fueling Republican campaigns, corporate leaders were stunned that a wing of the party would refuse to fund the government and again risk national default in the hope of moving an immovable object, namely President Obama's health care law.
"We expect politicians to conduct themselves in such a way that respects the rule of law and the process by which our forefathers constructed this republic," said Greg Casey, president of a nationwide coalition of business groups called BIPAC. Like other business leaders and prominent Republicans, Casey was reluctant to identify specific targets for fear of antagonizing the conservative grassroots.
"They are going to see a business community interested in results and policy, and they have to decide whether that's to be feared or embraced," he said.
Because efforts to roll the tea party typically provoke activists to roar back stronger than ever, the old guard is stumped in some instances. Ideally, the establishment would figure out a way to channel the movement's passion into electoral victories in 2014 and 2016. But how do you control Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the Republican ringleader of the shutdown, who may not count enough friends on Capitol Hill to rename a post office but whose real power comes from outside Washington? How do you influence House Republicans when gerrymandering leaves them with little to fear?
"This conflict could be the new normal," predicted Rob Jesmer, former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. "Until we have a nominee people can rally around in 2016, I think we're going to be the wilderness for a while."
The latest round of polling offered evidence of this exile: 64 percent of Americans had an unfavorable view of the Republican Party in a new CNN/ORC International poll. The party's image also sunk to an all-time low in the latest Washington Post-ABC News survey.
The damage to the party is obvious in the Virginia governor's race, where two weeks before the election, Republicans are already writing off their tea party-backed nominee, Ken Cuccinelli. As he lags behind Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the polls, Republicans are condemning the state party for choosing its nominee at a convention dominated by conservative activists instead of in a regular primary. The decision prompted Lt Gov. Bill Bolling, who has strong ties to the business community, to drop out of the race.
The second-guessing over the convention and party's agenda is expected to dominate a traditional gathering of Republican elected officials in December and the elections for local party chairs in the spring.
"The convention left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths and we're not going to see that again," predicted Shaun Kenney, a former spokesman for the Virginia GOP who runs a conservative web site. "It's going to be like divorce court."

The Tyrant as Editor

By Holly Case
Even when not wielding his blue pencil, Stalin's editorial zeal was all-consuming. He excised people—indeed whole peoples—out of the manuscript of worldly existence, had them vanished from photographs and lexicons, changed their words and the meanings of their words, edited conversations as they happened, backing his interlocutors into more desirable (to him) formulations.
...The totalitarians are at the gate again. The stakes are higher now and the weapons much more destructive than the blue editor's pencil of the past, but the aims are the same: you are to submit, and they want total control.
Are you going to live your life ever cautious, under an invisible editor's thumb? I refuse to submit. I'll take my lumps.
I do not need anyone's permission to be free. Let the totalitarian editors frantically wave their blue pencils in your face. Let them pant and sweat and bark and bay till they are blue in the face. And then laugh at them and continue to defend what is rightly ours: liberty.
I challenge you to write your own stories, speak your mind and always refuse to submit to the unseen hand, the unseen editor whose name dare not be spoken.
 ....Are establishment Republicans naïfs, or are they culpable in the damage being done to liberty?
There are certainly patsies among establishment Republicans. But there are also conspirators, playing their parts in advancing big government. Why?
Because they gain. Establishment Republicans are in their ways as invested in big government as are Democrats. They gain status, incomes, privilege, and much else by being part of the problem -- i.e., the system -- than being against it.
...What purpose does the Republican Party serve when its establishment regularly displays contempt for much of its own base? When it ridicules Tea Party patriots as scourges? When grassroots conservatives are told to clam up, go along, or get lost?

Why the Republican Party?


By J Robert Smith
...The most dramatic, substantial political successes for Republicans since 1994 (Gingrich's Contract with America triumph) occurred in 2010, not because of Republicans, but because of the emergence of the Tea Party -- and, importantly, the reemergence of grassroots conservatives. The rewards? Vilification. Chicanery. Surrender. Those are the prizes bestowed by establishment Republicans on honest, hardworking Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party patriots or grassroots conservatives; who gave the GOP its biggest midterm election gains since the 1940s; who made switches in state legislative chambers, governorships, and local offices possible.
If the 2012 GOP presidential primaries are reflective, about a third of the GOP base identifies as establishment voters. The other two-thirds are primarily Tea Party patriots and grassroots conservatives.
Ingratitude and doubling-dealing occur in politics aplenty. But for a party's elite to so nakedly disdain huge portions of its own base is political suicide. You don't slap activists and voters in their faces, particularly those who've given your party majorities and muscle. You embrace and elevate them; you find common ground and work hard to maintain their trust.
The Republican Party seems to have moved past its expiration date.
...Bump's error is that he looks at the creation of a "Tea Party," which, if limited to Tea Party identifiers, would have meager prospects. Yet if -- let's say -- a Liberty Party includes tea partiers, grassroots conservatives, and libertarians, might that party send the GOP packing? Or serve as the core of a new major party that pushes the GOP to extinction? Is our political system so ossified that Americans can't instigate far-reaching change? I'll wager that American dynamism can break the political system's rigidity.

Be Vocal. Act Local.


By Carol Brown
....Which brings me to a comment posted by Dan Schultz (who uses the handle "ColdWarrior") at The Right Scoop. Mr. Schultz explained a strategy for political action that can have a major impact on the outcome of elections -- a strategy he notes is simple and requires a very small commitment of time. To paraphrase:

Conservatives need to "unite and organize" in the communities in which they live by joining the local Republican Party committee.

(Hold on! Don't throw your hands up in the air and think this is about becoming a card-carrying member of the GOP and supporting establishment go-along-to-get-along candidates, because it's anything but. It's about conservatives taking over the party from the inside.)

...In addition to impacting local politics, the implications of this strategy can be far-reaching and powerful. We often hear talk of primaries to remove RINO's from office and I've wondered where the candidates come from to run in the primary. How are they identified? How are they supported? It's great to say certain incumbents should be primaried, but we need to identify and support strong conservative candidates to offer as an alternative. In order to do that, we need to be well-positioned to have influence in every district. Mr. Schultz's recommendations will do that very thing. It is a viable path forward.

The Hidden Obamacare Taxes That Will Crush The Middle Class


...In fact, analysts estimate Obamacare will cost the average taxpayer nearly $6,000 in extra taxes as early as next year.  
...According to most experts, Obamacare will create a total of twenty new taxes or tax hikes on the American people.
In fact, the Obama administration has already given the IRS an extra $500 million to enforce the rules and regulations of Obamacare.
The new taxes don't bode well for millions of middle-class Americans. Incomes for the rich have soared this decade but middle class workers have seen their wages stagnate and even drop since the 2008 Great Recession.


Obamacare’s Huckster ‘Navigators’

Poorly screened community organizers could prey on applicants.

By John Case
There is good news and bad news regarding Healthcare.gov. The good news is that despite the systemic failure infecting much of the site, there is one essential component — the federal data hub — that is working as it was designed. The data hub links federal-agency records together to determine whether an applicant for health insurance is eligible for subsidies. The bad news is that because the data hub is the largest consolidation of personal data in our nation’s history, it will become a magnet for identity thieves.
...More than 700 “cyber-squatter” websites with similar domain names have been created to siphon off some of the public traffic meant for Healthcare.gov. Some sites direct people to fill out an “Obamacare enrollment form,” even though they actually offer no insurance. ...There will also be inevitable unauthorized releases of information. Minnesota’s health-care exchange inadvertently revealed the Social Security numbers of 2,000 state residents before its website even went up on October 1.
There is no federal requirement for background checks on navigators. It shouldn’t surprise anyone then that some people have found a way to form new “navigator” groups out of the ruins of ACORN, the notoriously corrupt left-wing “community organizing” group that saw dozens of its employees in multiple states convicted of fraud before and after the 2008 election.
...“There is a real danger that Obamacare ‘navigators’ will harvest the data of applicants and use it outside of the context of the health exchanges,” says Bruce Webster, a leading IT consultant to private companies. “They couldn’t care less what plans you qualify for — but with sufficient personal information, they stand a much better chance of committing traditional identity theft on you. Or they might simply sell that information to those who will commit the actual identity theft.”

Why Obamacare Is Like Three Mile Island

By Megan McArdle
...These mechanisms were not put in place to prevent a death spiral, and they aren’t designed to do that. Rather, they were put in place to prevent an entirely different problem: insurers trying to cherry-pick healthy people out of the pool (by, say, offering a policy that comes with a free gym membership). The idea is that there’s a huge tax on excess profits -- and a subsidy for losses -- so that it doesn’t make sense to expend a lot of energy trying to get a better patient mix.
The mechanisms do ensure that insurers will not go bankrupt from getting a much older and sicker pool of folks than they expected. But I wasn’t really worried that insurers would go bankrupt; the major insurers have enough reserves to last them a year and a keen eye to their own self-interest. Rather, I’m concerned that insurers will raise premiums a lot next year, which will mean a big spike in subsidy payments and an adverse-selection death spiral among the folks who buy unsubsidized insurance. And since the risk adjustment transfers do not cover all their potential losses, insurers still have a pretty strong incentive to price based on their 2014 costs -- which is to say raise premiums by a lot.

CNN Segment Explains Why Media's Ignoring ObamaCare Victims

Wednesday night on CNN's "Erin Burnett Out Front," Burnett did something I have seen no one in the media do  since the official October 1 launch of ObamaCare, and the very real fallout that has occurred since. Hundreds of thousands of everyday American families are losing the very health insurance president Obama repeatedly promised them they could keep. The CBO predicts that up to 19 million more could face this same nightmare. Finally someone in the media acknowledged this catastrophe and demanded an answer from a top Democrat.

Obama Admin Was Responsible for Testing Obamacare Site

The contractors responsible for building the troubled Healthcare.gov website say it was the government's responsibility _ not theirs _ to test it and make sure it worked.
Lead contractor CGI Federal tells Congress the Obama administration made the call to go live with the insurance website, while the company made no recommendation either way.
Another contractor says the company shared concerns about insufficient testing with the Obama administration.

Lawmakers: Sebelius failed at government website projects prior to serving in Obama administration

By Patrick Howley
Obama administration Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ failure at designing websites to provide government services began during her term as governor of Kansas, long before the Obamacare website debacle, Kansas political insiders told The Daily Caller.
...Other lawmakers acknowledged the failures of Sebelius’ tech projects.
“We heard several excuses for IT failures under Sebelius. Especially towards the end of her administration. The legislature was often frustrated with the Labor Department, Department of Administration, and also Pharmacy claims. It was hard to get clear answers back then too,” Kansas state Rep. Scott Schwab told The Daily Caller.
“We pretty much expected HealthCare.gov to fail, because she has a pattern of failing on these big initiatives. We thought that was why she was not nominated originally,” Schwab said.

Obama's Credibility Is Melting

Here and abroad, Obama's partners are concluding they cannot trust him

By Daniel Henninger
...What is at issue here is not some sacred moral value, such as "In God We Trust." Domestic politics or the affairs of nations are not an avocation for angels. But the coin of this imperfect realm is credibility. Sydney Greenstreet's Kasper Gutman explained the terms of trade in "The Maltese Falcon": "I must tell you what I know, but you won't tell me what you know. That is hardly equitable, sir. I don't think we can do business along those lines."
Bluntly, Mr. Obama's partners are concluding that they cannot do business with him. They don't trust him. Whether it's the Saudis, the Syrian rebels, the French, the Iraqis, the unpivoted Asians or the congressional Republicans, they've all had their fill of coming up on the short end with so mercurial a U.S. president. And when that happens, the world's important business doesn't get done. It sits in a dangerous and volatile vacuum.
...Voters don't normally accord politicians unworldly levels of belief, but it has been Barack Obama's gift to transform mere support into victorious credulousness. Now that is crumbling, at great cost. If here and abroad, politicians, the public and the press conclude that Mr. Obama can't play it straight, his second-term accomplishments will lie only in doing business with the world's most cynical, untrustworthy partners. The American people are the ones who will end up on the short end of those deals.

Another IRS Triumph

The Treasury makes at least $11 billion a year in faulty EITC payments.

While we're talking about incompetent government—see the ObamaCare website rollout—the IRS inspector general reported on Tuesday that from 2003-2012 the feds paid at least $110 billion and as much as $132.6 billion in improper earned-income tax credits. That's at least $11 billion a year, or more than the $9.5 billion Congress will spend on the Department of Commerce this fiscal year.
The earned-income tax credit, or EITC, is a major welfare program intended to supplement the incomes of the working poor. It is "refundable," which means you get the credit even if you pay no income tax. In 2011, more than 27 million families received EITC payments of nearly $62 billion.
But here's the catch: The IG report says that in 2011 at least 21% of those payments and as much as 26% were "improper." The percentages in 2012 were 21% and 25%. In other words, at least one of every five dollars, and maybe one in four, of EITC payouts were in some way undeserved.
The IG report attributes the erroneous payments to the complicated structure of the EITC and the overall tax code, confusion and turnover among claimants, "unscrupulous tax return preparers" and fraud. The nature and scope of this problem have been known for years, and President Obama issued a 2009 executive order instructing the IRS to reduce the bad payments.
...Our prediction for what will happen as a result of this report: Nothing. Nada. Zip. No one will lose a job, the White House and press corps will ignore it, and in two years the IG will issue another report with the same finding.
This EITC fiasco is another reminder that results don't matter for modern liberals. What counts is how much they spend, not whether the right people get the money or if those people ever escape poverty. We are supposed to accept a 21% error rate, and $11 billion in undeserved largesse, as the price of their good intentions.

No One Sabotaged Obamacare

Obama still does not appear to have noticed that he’s the executive and accountable. 

By Charles C W Cooke
...I should make it clear that I have precisely no intention whatsoever of ceasing to “root for failure.” I am actively hoping for the abject and embarrassing deterioration of Obamacare and I am not remotely ashamed to admit it. I loathe the law as a piece of public policy, as a means by which federal involvement in health care and society is being expanded rather than reduced, and as an unlovely example of the arrogance that presidents in the modern era have come to exhibit. Like Ed Rogers, “I would like to see the project’s collapse deter those who think a bigger, more domineering U.S. government is the answer to our problems.” And, like David Harsanyi, I want the project to fail “so hard that any residual perception among voters that any part of it was prudent policy is completely eliminated.”
...That notwithstanding, my opinion on this matter has absolutely no bearing on the outcome — and to pretend that it does is extremely naïve. I am not possessed of any magical power with which I might prevent the law from working, any more than I am able to stare at an airplane and will it to crash into the ground. I did not award a no-bid contract to a failed Canadian IT firm, nor ensure that the system wasn’t tested until four days before it launched, nor allow it to be “built using ten-year-old technology.” Nor, for that matter, did Republicans. Unless you believe that the role of Congress is merely to “support” the president in all that he does, the fact that more than half of the voting public and one of the country’s two political parties have been critical should not be held against them.
...A frequent criticism of this president is that he does not yet appear to have noticed that he heads up the government. Barack Obama is quite capable of saying that he is as “angry as anyone” about the mistakes of his own administration, but a little less adept at knowing when to say “sorry.” Even here, with the law that bears his name, and which he fought for years to pass and to protect, his instinct is to look elsewhere.
...But it would be nice if the people who inflicted this turbulent law on the rest of us could recognize that it is one thing for the faithful to indulge in conspiracy theory and blame and to look desperately for ghosts in the machine, and quite another for their elected officials to do so. The problems with Obamacare are of design, of leadership, and, ultimately, of hubris. It is possible that they will be fixed and the program will be back on track before it collapses under the weight of its own contradictions. Either way, though, there is a tough road ahead — and eliminating the kulaks won’t help one bit.

Next up: Medicaid expansion meltdown

By Rick Moran
...Pop some more popcorn, sit back in your chair and watch the meltdown that will occur when the Medicaid expansion begins on November 1.

Politico:
A new phase of the Obamacare launch is coming, this one involving Medicaid. And it could be déjà vu all over again.
On Nov. 1, the health law's malfunctioning enrollment system is supposed to send reams of data to states so they can begin placing thousands of people into Medicaid. But state officials say that transfer system has barely been tested and could be vulnerable to technical failures like those that have crippled the broader Obamacare sign-up process.
...There are now 25 states that have agreed to expand their Medicaid programs - most of which will be dependent on the healthcare.gov website to help process initial enrollees. What are the chances of a smooth rollout?
 By Silvo Canto, Jr
...We also learned today that President Obama is always the last guy to know in this government.

Let's add another one to the growing list of things that President Obama did not know
...This is amazing.  Nobody told President Obama that his "signature legislation" could run into problems.

Apparently, nobody told him either that the company hired to put together the website had "a checkered past":
...Of course, the Democrats will tell us that "you can't expect the president to check out companies" or that he is not "a computer expert".
Nobody is asking the president of the US to check references or understand software. 

All we ask of the President of the US is to surround himself with competent people who will implement programs and hold people accountable.

Beware the Hidden Costs of Beautifully Misnamed Laws


By Victor Davis Hanson
Washington has a bad habit of naming laws by what they are not.
These euphemisms usually win temporary public support. After all, who wants to be against anything "affordable"? But on examination, such idealistically named legislation usually turns out to be aimed at special interests and the opposite of what voters were promised.


Feds: Natural Gas Production Decreasing Greenhouse Emissions

EPA, EIA find CO2 emissions down 3.8 percent in 2012

A pair of federal agencies credited increased natural gas production for a decline in American greenhouse emissions in reports released this week.
...Both agencies attributed a large portion of the declines in emissions to the increased use of natural gas in American electricity generation.
“Because the generation of electricity, which is widely used in all sectors except transportation, is an important source of emissions, declines in the carbon intensity of electricity generation lowers emissions throughout the economy,” EIA noted.
EPA focused on that aspect specifically, and found that natural gas is primarily responsible for the emissions decline.

PK'S NOTE: This will never happen with the current structure of Congress. From EXTORTION by Peter Schwiezer, the "tax extender" method of fund raising is immensely lucrative. "Tax extenders temporarily reauthorize tax breaks that have not been made permanent law.... making them permanent would take away the ability of the Permanent Political class to return again and again to wealthy industries for the largesse to keep the credits on the books....In 1998 there were forty-two such "tax extenders." By 2011 that number had grown to 154." (p. 30-31). 

Welfare Fraud Is another Reason to Replace the IRS with a Flat Tax

By Daniel J Mitchell
One of my missions in life is fundamental tax reform. I would like to replace the corrupt internal revenue code with a simple and fair flat tax.
Though what I really want is a tax system that minimizes the damage of extracting money from the productive sector of the economy, so I’ll take any system with a low rate, no double taxation, and no distortionary loopholes.

How the GOP Can Win in 2016: Stop Singling Out the Mother

By Janine Turner
The Democrats are masters at public relations. This is one of the areas where the Republicans falter. The Democrats are masters at re-inventing the message. This is one of the areas where the Republicans falter. The Democrats are masters of imaging themselves as loving, helpful parents. This is one of the areas where the Republicans falter (the Republicans’ image is one of angry, judgmental parents). The Democrats are masters at making villains out of Republicans. This is one of the areas where the Republicans falter — Republicans make villains out of Republicans.
The time has come for Republicans to join the street fight, challenge the bully Democrats, and win. How? The Republicans need to step back, analyze their imaging, challenge their messaging, and get into fighting form.
One place to start is with single mothers. No matter what the statistics, no matter what the numbers, the constant barrage of attacks on single mothers as a culprit of America’s demise is lethal — especially in an upcoming duel with Hillary Clinton. How do Republicans triumphantly deal with this issue in the arena with Hillary Clinton? They need to master the re-imaging of their single-mother messaging. Instead of singling out single mothers, they need to put the emphasis where it really belongs — single parents. It takes two to tango. For every single mother there is a single father. There are Single Parents.
....The bottom line – for the sake of single mothers, their children, and the fate of the Republican Party – is that the publicity campaign, the imaging, the wording, the messaging, and the true intent need to shift focus from single mothers to single dads to single parents.
Stop the blame game. Stop attacking women, or giving the perception of attacking women.

Hypocrite: When Hillary Yelled

The media are celebrating Hillary Clinton's response to a heckler at an event in Buffalo, NY. The man shouted at her about the Benghazi scandal: "You let them die!" In response, Clinton said that Americans had to work together for a future--and that future "doesn't include yelling." The audience erupted in applause.
But it was Hillary Clinton herself who started the yelling over Benghazi at a Senate hearing in January, when she famously shouted at Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI): "What difference, at this point, does it make?" The media loved it, while conservatives were appalled. Beyond the substance, however, was the fact that she had yelled.
Not only was her response rude, but it displayed a contempt for the oversight role that Congress is meant to exercise over the functions of the executive branch. Her tone added insult to injury. If the future "doesn't include yelling," then Clinton's political future may depend on cooperating with Congress, not shouting it down.

George Soros Joins Ready for Hillary Super PAC Finance Board

Liberal billionaire George Soros has joined the finance council of Ready for Hillary, the Super PAC rallying support for a potential presidential bid by Hillary Clinton  the Washington Post reports:
“George Soros is delighted to join more than one million Americans in supporting Ready for Hillary,” Michael Vachon, Soros’s political director, said in a statement. “His support for Ready for Hillary is an extension of his long-held belief in the power of grassroots organizing.”
...Earlier this year, the Washington Post reported Ready for Hillary’s focus is more “grass-roots organizing” than that of Priorities USA.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Yes. All of them.




Sammy, Ole, Gunnar, Tug. I miss them with all my heart.
Ryker, Coda, Emmitt. I never want them to go.

Nothing on TV tonight for me and Steve has shooting so I hope to get some reading done.

CROSSED by Ally Condie. 2nd of  Matched dystopian young adult trilogy. Here is a description:
Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky--taken by Society to his certain death--only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons.  On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life . . . and the enthralling promise of rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices everything to reunite with Ky, ingenious surproses from Xander may change the game.  On the edge of Society, nothing is as expected, and crosses and double crosses make Cassia's path more twisted than ever.
 Published in 2011 and has 400 pages.  Digital loan from the library.

Arriving today is EXTORTION: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets by Peter Schweizer. Here is a description:
A bombshell investigation reveals how Washington really works: politicians extort money from us, then use it to buy each other’s votes. Best-selling author Peter Schweizer reveals:
*Obama’s "Protection Money": How the Obama Administration targeted industries for criminal investigation but chose not to pursue key political donors.
*John Boehner’s "Tollbooth": How the Speaker of the House extracts money by soliciting political donations before he will hold crucial votes on the House floor.
*The "Slush Fund": How politicians extract "campaign contributions" and then convert them to bankroll lavish lifestyles complete with limos, private jets, golf at five-star resorts, fine wines, and cash for family members.
*Capitol Hill’s "Underground Economy": How congressmen use a little-known loophole that allows them to secretly link their votes to cash.
Extortion finally makes clear why Congress is so dysfunctional: it’s all about making money, not making law.
Published yesterday, it has 256 pages. I'm anxious to get to this. I read the Kindle sample yesterday and just in the first few pages I'm completely pissed off.

We had a breakfast potluck at work today as a send off for me. On Friday I'll be going to lunch with my boss and department coworker. And then I'll be done.
 
Much love,
PK the Bookeemonster 


Current Events - October 23, 2013

 

The ‘No Excuse’ Administration Has a Whopper of an Excuse for Obamacare

By John Fund
...But there was also this startling explanation of what went wrong at HHS:
“We talked about having testing going forward, and if we had an ideal situation and could have built a product and, you know, a five-year period of time, we probably would have taken five years but we didn’t have five years. And certainly, Americans who rely on health coverage didn’t have five years for us to wait. We wanted to make sure we made good on this final implementation of the law.”
Well, okay, she only had three and a half years since Obamacare became law in early 2010 to oversee the design of the exchanges and the website accompanying them. So now she tells us she needed five years. Bruce Webster, a noted IT consultant to many companies, is stunned that Sebelius thinks “that ‘we needed five years but only had two’ is somehow an excuse for this disaster. That’s like Boeing saying, ‘We know the plane crashed, but we needed four years to build it and a year to test it, but we only had two years.’ Color me boggled.”

Steny Hoyer wants more money to fix Obamacare exchanges

By Steve Contorno
...Asked Tuesday how Congress could help improve the system by which millions of Americans must buy insurance by the end of the year, the House minority whip and Maryland Democrat said, "We can give them a little money."
"[Republicans have] been pretty much focused in the House of Representatives on undermining the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in every which way that we possibly could," he said.
Hoyer admitted that he does not know whether the project, which has already cost more than $400 million, has faced funding problems. "I don't think that's the reason," he said. "If I know that, I'll blame it."

How Jon Stewart became President Obama’s biggest problem

By Chris Cillizza
...Stewart dedicated the entire first 10 minutes of his show — three full segments — on Monday to slashing hits on the Web site and the president’s handling of the problems.
....Who cares what a late night comedian/talk show host thinks? President Obama should if viewership details on Stewart’s show are right.
According to a 2012 Pew Research Center poll, “The Daily Show” has the second largest share of young viewers — aged 18-29 — of any of the 24 media outlets tested. (The only one with a higher number of young viewers was the “Colbert Report”.)

Oblivious Obama totally clueless of ObamaCare troubles, Sebelius asserts

By Andrew Malcolm
According to Kathleen Sebelius, Barack Obama knew nothing, absolutely nothing, about the fundamental problems with the Oct. 1 roll-out of his namesake legislation that will affect nearly one-fifth of the nation's economy.
He didn't know about the last-minute test of the website expected to handle millions of customers and how it had crashed when only a few hundred samplers tried to get on at the same time. He had no idea that IT people had been expressing deep concerns for months that the site costing hundreds of millions of dollars was being constructed like an "Our Gang" clubhouse.
According to former Gov. Sebelius, the president of the United States was totally unaware that anything was wrong with ObamaCare for "a couple of days" after the bungled launch. A couple of days? Seriously?
...So, how could this Harvard grad, who's supposed to be so smart except when he's conveniently clueless, be oblivious to opening day of this mammoth legislative heave that cost his party the House of Representatives in 2010 and could well turn top Senate Democrat Harry Reid into a former majority leader next year?

Obama Keeps 'Affordable Care' Ruse Going

By M Catharine Evans
What's going to happen when Obama's senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and chief of staff Denis McDonough meet with insurance company executives on Wednesday?
...Will the CEO's knuckle under before their Boards push them out the door for allowing the President to destroy their businesses? Will Jarrett and McDonough threaten them with the IRS and the NSA if they don't agree to artificially lower the costs until after the midterm elections?
Will insurance companies be asked for voluntary contributions to fix the mess? HHS Secretary Sebelius tried to shake them down for donations to help fund the Obamacare PR campaign last spring.

Top Ten Obamacare Disasters to Come

Obamacare’s digital issues are just the beginning.

By Grace-Marie Turner
The problems increasingly are going to be up close and personal, as people see for themselves the impact it has on their lives and pocketbooks. The top ten debacles to come:
1. Deductible shock: When consumers finally do get onto the Healthcare.gov website, they are in for a new kind of sticker shock. Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute has exposed the high cost of Obamacare premiums — the next price shock will be the whopping cost of the deductibles.

Don't Forget Obamacare's Electronic Medical Records Wreck

By Michelle Malkin
Dr. Nicholas DiNubile, a Philadelphia orthopedic surgeon, has a timely reminder for everyone encountering the federal health care exchange meltdown: "If you think signing up for Obamacare is a nightmare, ask your doctor how the EMR mandate is going."
Bingo. 
...As I reported last year, Obamacare's top-down, tax-subsidized, job-killing, privacy-undermining electronic record-sharing scheme has been a big fat bust. More than $4 billion in "incentives" has been doled out to force doctors and hospitals to convert and upgrade by 2015. But favored EMR vendors, including Obama bundler Judy Faulkner's Epic Systems, have undermined rather than enhanced interoperability. Oversight remains lax. And after hyping the alleged benefits for nearly a decade, the RAND Corporation finally 'fessed up that its cost-savings predictions of $81 billion a year -- used repeatedly to support the Obama EMR mandate -- were (like every other Obamacare promise) vastly overstated. 
In June, the Annals of Emergency Medicine published a study warning that the "rush to capitalize on the huge federal investment of $30 billion for the adoption of electronic medical records led to some unfortunate and unintended consequences" tied to "communication failure, poor data display, wrong order/wrong patient errors and alert fatigue." Also this summer, Massachusetts reported that 60 percent of doctors could not meet the EMR mandate and face potential loss of their licenses in 2015. And a few weeks ago, the American College of Physicians pleaded with the feds to delay the mandate's data collection, certification and reporting requirements.  
...Let me underscore that again: Doctors face steep penalties if they can't meet the radical technology goals imposed by the very same glitch-plagued Obamacare bureaucrats who now need an emergency "tech surge" to fix their own failed info-tech Titanic. The Obamacare wrecking ball has only just begun.

Report: State Exchange Enrollments Mostly Medicaid, Not Private Insurance Plans

By Dr. Susan Berry
Defenders of President Obama’s signature health reform legislation claim the states that put effort into establishing their own exchanges, mostly Democrat-led, are signing people up successfully for ObamaCare. A new report, however, indicates that most of the individuals signing up in these state-run exchanges are enrolling into Medicaid.
Rachana Dixit at InsideHealthPolicy wrote Tuesday that enrollment into Medicaid in many of the state-run exchanges is “significantly outpacing the number of people that so far have enrolled into qualified health plans.” Medicaid enrollment numbers, Dixit observed, have reached tens of thousands in states such as Maryland, Washington, and Oregon.

ObamaCare Debacle: American Media Misses Yet Another Scandal

By John Nolte
The Washington Post's Ezra Klein now admits that weeks before the disastrous ObamaCare launch, he heard "some very ugly things about how the system was performing[.]" We also now know that a few hundred people were involved in a test that crashed the site days before the launch and that insurance companies were complaining about the site before the launch.  On top of all that, we are now seeing story after story about the red flags ignored by the Administration. But it isn't just the White House claiming to be caught off guard by The Obvious, it is also a useless American media that seems incapable of breaking stories embarrassing to this president.
...Once again, despite numerous red flags, our media claims to  be as surprised by a major scandal as the rest of the America. This isn’t the first major Obama White House scandal the media failed to break. The NSA, Associated Press, IRS, and Benghazi scandals were all missed by an American mainstream media that apparently spends its days spinning for the White House instead of engaging in the kind of investigative journalism into it that might result in revelations they don't want to know about or report.

The Shutdown that Ruined Christmas?

By Brent Bozell
The numbers are in for the evening news coverage of the shutdown. During the first 15 nights of October, ABC, CBS and NBC blamed the Republicans 41 times for the shutdown, blamed both sides 17 times, and blamed Obama and the Democrats ... never. 

Obama Admin Asks Blue Cross Blue Shield to Hide Poor Enrollment Numbers

By William Bigelow
In a bombshell revelation, a consumer sales manager for North Dakota’s largest health insurer said Monday that the Obama Administration asked Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota to hide how many people registered for health insurance through an online exchange that just went up.

The JPMorgan Shakedown Slush Fund

By Howard Richman
Like me, Morici described the settlement as a "shakedown":


"The president is shaking down JPMorgan. There's no other word for it," Morici told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"They started investigating these mortgage-related securities fraud ... about the time that Morgan ... decided not to support the president in his re-election campaign. How about that?"
Morici says the Justice Department targeted JPMorgan Chase even though "most of the sins were committed by companies it acquired at the behest of the Bush Treasury Department," including Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual.

Morici predicted more shakedowns in the future:


"You can count on more shakedowns. It would be a felony for me to, for example, threaten you with fraud to get the upper hand in a civil complaint, but not so the attorney general," he said.

In an interview with Univision that aired in October 2010, President Obama once said, "We're going to punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us."

Did Obama Draw a ‘Road Map’ for the IRS to Target Tea Party Groups?

By Fred Lucas
President Barack Obama’s rhetoric toward conservative nonprofits inspired the Internal Revenue Service to target Tea Party groups, a broad lawsuit against the IRS alleges.
“The president of the United States gave the IRS a road map to investigate the tea party in the United States,” David French, senior counsel to the conservative American Center for Law and Justice told TheBlaze.
...The ACLJ is representing 41 Tea Party and patriot groups from 22 states, claiming the IRS committed unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination by blocking or delaying their applications for tax exempt status. The suit does not name Obama as a co-defendant, but includes him in the narrative of what led to the alleged abuses from the agency.
...The plaintiffs’ complaint states: “The White House, congressional Democrats and the liberal media increasingly criticized the IRS for allowing conservative groups to exercise their First Amendment rights as tax exempt organizations and demanding that for those groups, the IRS should adopt more rigorous standards than applied to, for example, the Barack H. Obama Foundation.”
It continues, “IRS employees, including political employees to the IRS, eager to please their benefactors or kindred spirits forced plaintiffs applications into a Byzantine process, harassed them and systematically deprived them of their right to engage in constitutionally protected speech.”

Emails: White House, State Department coordinated with journalist on national security leaks

By Patrick Howley
White House and State Department officials cooperated extensively on background with a New York Times journalist during the period that he broke confidential national security information in a series of leaks that prompted outrage from lawmakers, according to unearthed 2011 and 2012 emails.
The nonprofit organization Freedom Watch, which obtained the internal State Department emails through a Freedom of Information Act request, believes that the Obama administration carried out the leaks to bolster a tough image for itself on Iran.

The Air Force as Taxi Service

By Victor Keith
Congress is closing down Thursday to attend the funeral of Representative C.W. Bill Young, a Republican from Florida who passed away October 18, 2013. Now many may not mind that Congress is closing for a day because, firstly, we are used to paying them for doing nothing and, secondly, the less work they do, the less damage to the country they cause.
What should bother most taxpayers, however, is that the Air Force is going to provide transportation for members of Congress to fly them all to Florida to attend the services. Defense Department spokesmen could not comment on what the costs of this operation would be.
So it seems, even while bemoaning the increasing national debt and out-of-control spending, Congress is still incapable of reaching into their own pockets to pay their personal bills.
By Michael Bargo, Jr.
...If this entire discussion seems rather tedious, it is only because government, and in particular the federal government, has entangled its administrative power with Constitutional corruption to enable themselves to dominate America's social and political fabric. The tendency of governments to seize property without court hearings is one of the three abuses of individual rights that motivated the Fifth Amendment. As government grows and encroaches upon individual rights there is no doubt that while it may not yet be able to seize property without due process, every day more regulations are written by the Obama Administration that allow it to seize money without due process.
Legal foundations should take it upon themselves to challenge federal administrative guidelines and bring this issue to the Supreme Court. If the time ever comes when money is defined as property by the Supreme Court bureaucratic powers will be greatly weakened. The government's ability to seize the wealth of Americans and transfer it to themselves will be severely curtailed.

Broke U.S. Resumes Spending

By John Stossel
What would you think of a person who earned $24,000 a year but spent $35,000? Suppose on top of that, he was already $170,000 in debt. You'd tell him to get his act together -- stop spending so much or he'd destroy his family, impoverish his kids and wreck their future. Of course, no individual could live so irresponsibly for long.
But tack on eight more zeroes to that budget and you have the checkbook for our out-of-control, big-spending federal government.
Yet when Congress and President Obama agreed on a deal last week to raise the debt ceiling and resume government spending, people reacted as if a disaster was averted -- instead of reacting as if a disaster had resumed. It has. And it continues.

Curing Majority Faction Mischief

 By Robert Weissberg
As the recent federal "shutdown" and the possibility of Washington defaulting on its debt fade into history, the chattering class turns to preventing future similar crises. The consensus is that "something is broken" (usually thanks to the demonic Tea Partiers) and therefore should be fixed. Nothing is broken; today's critics just need some history lessons regarding the U.S. Constitution and how far current political understandings have strayed from what our Constitution permits.
The Constitution was never designed to facilitate curing the ills of society -- creating a government to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and otherwise march to Utopia on the installment plan. The pursuit of such lofty aims is not explicitly forbidden; rather, those admirable aims are not the Constitution's paramount purpose. If the Founders wanted a government capable of fixing our ills by decree they would have instituted an absolute monarchy and then hoped for the best.


PK'S NOTE: I'm beginning to think this is the way to go. We've given it two elections already.

Will a New Republican Party Please Stand Up?

By Kathleen Gotto
...All three branches of the federal government have seized our inheritance to the point where now we citizens are the ones who support and defend the Constitution, and career politicians and judges are destroying what is left of it.
It is indisputable that the Republican Party offers no united opposition to the tyrannical Left. Indeed, in the recent government shutdown fiasco, Republican senators repudiated their fellow House Republicans and stood against them with the Democrats. That action was a slap in the face to not just those Republicans trying to rein in the Left's disastrous fiscal policies, but to all Americans who are concerned about the socialist agenda that is destroying our nation. The question before us is what to do about it.
...There are two major schools of thought on what should be done. One is to change the Republican Party from within. However, the Establishment members have been so long entrenched in their power positions that there is no way they will just move aside and let the conservative members assume positions of leadership in the party.
...Many people evince abject fear that third parties will only split the vote and hand victory to the Democrats. But we need to ask ourselves if the end result of a split vote is any different from the result of millions of voters staying away from the polls? More voters will continue to stay away if they are not offered a candidate who has strong conservative values.
...Would there be risks in establishing a third party? Of course. We may lose an election or two until a New Republican Party becomes established. However, by that time the old Republican Party may very well have become the third party. That can happen if we unite, rise up, and help it meet its destiny on the rag heap of history.
Let it sink in: We are not going to change the Republican Party. We need a New Republican Party that represents millions of Americans all across this country. We don't have such a party now. A New Republican Party name acknowledges what the old party once stood for and what a new party will uphold. It comprises both name recognition and name differentiation, and throws down the gauntlet to the status quo and inertia facing us. This is not just a political issue, but one that touches our very existence and fundamental freedoms. 
...If we conservatives can honestly acknowledge that we are on the ropes and have nowhere else to go, that can be the first step to change. It is either allow Establishment Republicans to continue leading us by the nose, or come out swinging with all we've got, come hell or high water.

By Sara Carter
Nine senior commanding generals have been fired by the Obama administration this year, leading to speculation by active and retired members of the military that a purge of its commanders is underway.
Retired generals and current senior commanders that have spoken with TheBlaze say the administration is not only purging the military of commanders they don’t agree with, but is striking fear in the hearts of those still serving.
...“Obama will not purge a civilian or political appointee because they have bought into Obama’s ideology,” Vallely said. “The White House protects their own. That’s why they stalled on the investigation into fast and furious, Benghazi and Obamacare. He’s intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.”

Rumor Check: Has Saudi Arabia Really Severed Ties with the U.S.?

By Dave Urbanski
But while relations appear strained, it looks as though diplomatic ties haven’t been severed just yet.
According to a Reuters article, ”Saudi Arabia warns of shift away from U.S. over Syria, Iran,” which the Daily Mail bases its headline on. Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief says the longtime U.S. ally will initiate a “major shift” in relations with the U.S. in protest of perceived inaction regarding Syria’s civil war and recent U.S. discussions with Iran, according to a source close to Saudi policy.

What Isn't Racist? According to the Media, Nothing

By Ben Shapiro
...Charges of racism have echoed from nearly every left-leaning mouth of late. Opposition to Obamacare: racist. Opposition to President Obama on the shutdown: racist. Don't like the president's tie-shirt combination? Racist.
This is not what Americans were promised. What's worse, it's un-American drivel. Ascribing racial motives to those who have none has become a near pathological condition among those on the left who cannot come to terms that their beloved leader's second term is a policy disaster. Racism is the last bullet in the leftist arsenal. And they're running out of ammo quickly. 

Race-Hustling Results: Part II

 By Thomas Sowell
...But that is no reason why the Washington Redskins should succumb to those pressures.
Among the reasons why they should not is the fact that being offended is one of the tactics of a race hustling industry that is doing more harm to Indians and other minorities than any name is likely to do. Some people are in the business of being offended, just as Campbell is in the business of making soup. 
...So long as the race industry -- the Al Sharptons, Jesse Jacksons, and their counterparts in various minorities -- can get political or financial mileage out of being offended, they are going to be offended. The only thing that will put a stop to this racket is refusing to be taken in by it or intimidated by it. 
...Young blacks are especially susceptible to the message that all their problems are caused by white people -- and that white society is never going to give them a chance. In short, they are primed to resent and hate individuals they have never seen before and who have never done a thing to them.

HEADSLAM HEADLINES: