Wednesday, October 30, 2013
My computer is still down, and I'll likely have to have more work done on it than I'd hoped. Be back as soon possible. In the meantime Michelle Malkin has a good piece on the thuggery and heavy-handed intimidation doled out by HHS Secretary1 Kathleen Sebelius. Check it out.
Link is here: http://michellemalkin.com/2013/10/30/the-thuggery-of-obamacare-czarina-kathleen-sebelius/
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Monday, October 28, 2013
Hey, who knew that centralizing health insurance with the feds would raise prices? Anyone who knows a thing about economics and has any sense of history.
Yes, Obama lied when he said you could keep your doctor, keep your plan, and that you would save money. Why would you trust him? Because he was a community organizer in Chicago? Because he won't release his school records? Because he has ZERO experience with health insurance and actively ignores the very theory behind actuarials? Because you'd be called "racist" if you didn't trust him?
Here's a little analysis of ObamaCare and its website by Avik Roy in Forbes:
A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.
HHS didn’t want users to see Obamacare’s true costs
“Healthcare.gov was initially going to include an option to browse before registering,” report Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in the Wall Street Journal. “But that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.” Why was it delayed? “An HHS spokeswoman said the agency wanted to ensure that users were aware of their eligibility for subsidies that could help pay for coverage, before they started seeing the prices of policies.” (Emphasis added.)
As you know if you’ve been following this space, Obamacare’s bevy of mandates, regulations, taxes, and fees drives up the cost of the insurance plans that are offered under the law’s public exchanges. A Manhattan Institute analysis I helped conduct found that, on average, the cheapest plan offered in a given state, under Obamacare, will be 99 percent more expensive for men, and 62 percent more expensive for women, than the cheapest plan offered under the old system. And those disparities are even wider for healthy people. [emphasis mine]
That raises an obvious question. If 50 million people are uninsured today, mainly because insurance is too expensive, why is it better to make coverage even costlier?ObamaCare was never about making health insurance affordable. Never.
Political objectives trumped operational objectives
The answer is that Obamacare wasn’t designed to help healthy people with average incomes get health insurance. It was designed to force those people to pay more for coverage, in order to subsidize insurance for people with incomes near the poverty line, and those with chronic or costly medical conditions.
But the laws’ supporters and enforcers don’t want you to know that, because it would violate the President’s incessantly repeated promise that nothing would change for the people that Obamacare doesn’t directly help. If you shop for Obamacare-based coverage without knowing if you qualify for subsidies, you might be discouraged by the law’s steep costs.
So, by analyzing your income first, if you qualify for heavy subsidies, the website can advertise those subsidies to you instead of just hitting you with Obamacare’s steep premiums. For example, the site could advertise plans that cost “$0″ or “$30″ instead of explaining that the plan really costs $200, and that you’re getting a subsidy of $200 or $170. But you’ll have to be at or near the poverty line to gain subsidies of that size; most people will either not qualify for a subsidy, or qualify for a small one that, net-net, doesn’t make up for the law’s cost hikes.
This political objective—masking the true underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans—far outweighed the operational objective of making the federal website work properly. Think about it the other way around. If the “Affordable Care Act” truly did make health insurance more affordable, there would be no need to hide these prices from the public.
It's government redistribution. Dare we say the "S" word? Yes, it's socialist-- by way of economic Fascism.
As an economic system, fascism is socialism a capitalist veneer.
Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the "national interest"—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions.
Tell me how this doesn't describe ObamaCare-- and read the law before you answer. I had to slog through the thousands of pages of of two drafts plus the final law.
And like all socialist programs ObamaCare is inefficient and ineffective. It does not help the people it purports to champion, creates a possibly permanent economic class barrier, and it insulates the political elite from the problem.
ObamaCare just managed to break the record with immediate widespread inefficient ineffectiveness. Congrats!
Sunday, October 27, 2013
|"If you like your insurance, you can keep it, until I deem it necessary for you to lose it. Suckers!"|
Hey, did you really take Obama seriously when he said passing a huge omnibus bill wasn't going to affect your insurance and would save you $2500 a year? Really?
From the NRO piece by Wesley J. Smith:
My wife, the syndicated San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders, has learned that at least 500,000 Californians may lose their health insurance next year — and that’s a conservative estimate. From her Token Conservative blog:Oh, who didn't want their insurance rates to increase by 90% or so? If you don't like your new insurance plans or their costs you're unpatriotic and racist.
According to this link as of December 2012, there were 491,977 covered lives in individual health care plans regulated by the state Department Insurance that are not grandfathered under the Affordable Care Act. (If they bought a plan after March 2010, their coverage is not grandfathered.) This is a 2012 number, but if the number of people with private coverage hasn’t changed much in the last ten months, that’s half a million Californians who will lose their coverage.Those canceled policies will have to be replaced with Obamacare-approved insurance:
California Association of Health Plans president Pat Johnston told me that by law providers must cancel non-grandfathered individual policies. (It is my understanding some folks will lose their coverage at year’s end, others might be able to extend into 2014 through the end of a covered year.) This probably means premiums hikes for people who “not only were they healthy, they also probably were very savvy shoppers.” This is a small corner of the insurance market; others may well save money under the Affordable Care Act. But for the people kicked off their individual California plans, Johnston said, it may well be that ”if you’re outside that subsidy range, you’re on your own.”So much for, “If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance.” The train wreck continues.
All shall obey the will of the Light-bringer in all things, that is the only true path to being non-racist.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Michelle Obama's Princeton Classmate is Senior Exec at Company the Built ObamaCare Website with a No Bid Contract
|"Look, my friend just happened to work there. Let's not make a federal case out of it. Oh... and you're all too fat!!!"|
But I'm sure it's just a coincidence.
From The Daily Caller:
First Lady Michelle Obama’s Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the contract to build the failed Obamacare website.
Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at Healthcare.gov. CGI Federal is the U.S. arm of a Canadian company.
Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.
George Schindler, the president for U.S. and Canada of the Canadian-based CGI Group, CGI Federal’s parent company, became an Obama 2012 campaign donor after his company gained the Obamacare website contract.
As reported by the Washington Examiner in early October, the Department of Health and Human Services reviewed only CGI’s bid for the Obamacare account. CGI was one of 16 companies qualified under the Bush administration to provide certain tech services to the federal government. A senior vice president for the company testified this week before The House Committee on Energy and Commerce that four companies submitted bids, but did not name those companies or explain why only CGI’s bid was considered.
On the government end, construction of the disastrous Healthcare.gov website was overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of longtime failed website-builder Kathleen Sebelius’ Department of Health and Human Services.After the disastrous release of the ObamaCare website, my wife asked me why that particular company was hired. My immediate reply was that it was a political payoff. I just didn't know for whom.
Now we know.
It's funny how alll it takes is a little friendship and some built in juice to pull in graft opportunities all the while wasting a billion dollars of taxpayers money. It's the Obama age.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Remember, Freedom of the Press is only given to reporters that the government determines are not racists. And, of course, some reporters are more free than others.
From The Washington Times (via Drudge):
Maryland state police and federal agents used a search warrant in an unrelated criminal investigation to seize the private reporting files of an award-winning former investigative journalist for The Washington Times who had exposed problems in the Homeland Security Department’s Federal Air Marshal Service.
Reporter Audrey Hudson said the investigators, who included an agent for Homeland’s Coast Guard service, took her private notes and government documents that she had obtained under the Freedom of Information Act during a predawn raid of her family home on Aug. 6.
The documents, some which chronicled her sources and her work at the Times about problems inside the Homeland Security Department, were seized under a warrant to search for unregistered firearms and a “potato gun” suspected of belonging to her husband, Paul Flanagan, a Coast Guard employee. Mr. Flanagan has not been charged with any wrongdoing since the raid.
The warrant, obtained by the Times, offered no specific permission to seize reporting notes or files.
The Washington Times said Friday it is preparing legal action to fight what it called an unwarranted intrusion on the First Amendment.
“While we appreciate law enforcement’s right to investigate legitimate concerns, there is no reason for agents to use an unrelated gun case to seize the First Amendment protected materials of a reporter,” Times Editor John Solomon said. “This violates the very premise of a free press, and it raises additional concerns when one of the seizing agencies was a frequent target of the reporter’s work.
“Homeland’s conduct in seizing privileged reporters notes and Freedom of Information Act documents raises serious Fourth Amendment issues, and our lawyers are preparing an appropriate legal response,” he said.
Maryland State Police declined comment, except to say that “evidence and information developed during this investigation is currently under review by both the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office and the United State’s Attorney’s Office,” and that a determination has yet to be made on any charges.
Ms. Hudson described a harrowing ordeal the morning her family home was raided.
The agents, who had arrived a 4:30 a.m. in full body armor, collected several small arms during the raid, although no charges have been filed against Mr. Flanagan, 54, during the nearly three months since.
Mrs. Hudson, 50, says that while the authorities were raiding her house, Coast Guard investigator Miguel Bosch — who formerly worked at the marshal service — began asking questions about whether she was the same “Audrey Hudson” who had written “the air marshal stories” for The Washington Times. Mrs. Hudson says she responded that she was.
It was not until roughly a month later, Mrs. Hudson says, that she realized the agents had quietly seized five files from her private office — including handwritten and typed notes from interviews with numerous confidential sources related to her exclusive reporting on the air marshals service.
The search warrant for the raid, issued to Maryland State Trooper Victor Hodgin by a district court judge, made no reference to the documents. A copy obtained by The Times indicates that the search was to be narrowly focused on the pursuit of “firearms” and their “accessories and/or parts,” as well as any communications that that might be found in Mrs. Hudson and Mrs. Flanagan’s home related to “the acquisition of firearms or accessories.”
David W. Fischer, a private attorney contacted by the couple, says that the raid is a potential violation of Mrs. Hudson’s constitutional rights.
“Obviously, the warrant is about a gun, nothing about reporters notes,” he said. “It would be a blatant constitutional violation to take that stuff if the search warrant didn’t specifically say so.”Clearly Mr. Fischer is a racist.
Odd. The police's reaction to this seems a little different from David Gregory's breaking of the large capacity magazine ban for his pro-gun control editorial.
Life in the Age of Obama... It's a time when rights are doled out by the government like food stamps, and not recognized by the government as being endowed by their Creator. But then no one must stand in the Light-bringer's way of transformational government.
|"Look ObamaCare was always about centralizing and running the health care economy, not about insuring people. If I gave another impression to you, that's your problem."|
Huh. Who could've seen this coming? I mean aside from anyone with any experience in actual economics or government bureaucracies...
From The Daily Caller article by Katie McHugh:
Hundreds of thousands of Americans who purchase their own health insurance have received cancellation notices since August because the plans do not meet Obamacare’s requirements.
The number of cancellation notices greatly exceed the number of Obamacare enrollees.
Insurance carrier Florida Blue sent out 300,000 cancellation notices, or 80 percent of the entire state’s individual coverage policies, Kaiser Health News reports. California’s Kaiser Permanente canceled 160,000 plans — half of its insurance plans in the state — while Blue Shield of California sent 119,000 notices in mid-September alone.
Two major insurance carriers in Pennsylvania, Insurance Highmark in Pittsburgh and Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia plan to cancel 20 percent and 45 percent of their total plans, respectively.
Nearly 800,000 New Jersey residents’ health-care plans will not longer exist in 2014, forcing insurers to create new ones for individuals and small business owners that hew to the Obamacare’s new regulations, The New Jersey Star Ledger found in early October.They're all racists who want ObamaCare to fail because they don't like a president who self-identifies as Black. I mean, there's no other explanation.
Later the article says:
More Americans have lost their individual health coverage in Florida and California than have gotten past the login screen on HealthCare.gov, according to The Washington Post, which reports that 476,000 applications have “been started,” but not completed. HealthCare.gov’s dysfunctional website has helped enrollment grind to almost a complete halt.
But it’s difficult to determine exactly how lopsided the rates of cancellations versus the rates of enrollment are — the Obama administration jealously guards the official enrollment numbers, refusing to release them to even the law’s loyal Democratic supporters. [flop sweat]
Several states have released Obamacare enrollment data, however, revealing extremely low rates. South Dakota reported that only 23 people enrolled in the exchanges, a mere 0.0000276 percent of that state’s population. North Dakota enrolled only 20 residents.
Alaska, meanwhile, comes in at seven total enrollees, or 0.000957 percent of Alaskans.
Sources inside the Department of Health and Human Services told The Daily Mail that only 6,200 Americans signed up for coverage the day HealthCare.gov launched, while only 51,000 applied in the first week.
During his campaign to pitch the law to voters back in 2009, President Barack Obama vowed that Obamacare would merely lower costs for Americans with health insurance while providing coverage to the uninsured.
“[N]o matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period,” Obama said to an audience at the annual conference of the American Medical Association. “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.”
“Again, [the Affordable Care Act] is for people who aren’t happy with their current plan. If you like what you’re getting, keep it. Nobody is forcing you to shift,” he later added.Lies. They don't cost anything to politicians unless you hold them accountable. In Obama's case if you even attempt to address this, then you're labeled a racist. It's new normal in The Age of Obama. Part of the light-bringer schtick, no doubt.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
|"Now let me be clear. Sometimes folks have to die, and it's up to the betters to determine when and how they are treated during these moments that we will make sure are their final moments. It's only fair."|
And the Obama Administration and the Democrats love the NHS so much. Makes you wonder...
From The Daily Mail article by Jonathan Petrie and StephenAdams:
GPs have been paid bonuses to put elderly patients on controversial ‘death lists’ in an attempt to save the NHS money by cutting the number of people who die in hospital.
They have been given £50 a time to draw up ‘end-of-life advanced care plans’ for patients they predict will pass away within a year.
The payments are designed to encourage doctors to start talking about death with elderly and seriously ill patients and to keep a record of where, ideally, they would like to die.
Those behind the ‘yellow folder’ scheme – so named as that is where the care plan forms are kept – insist its main aim is to give patients a better death.
But critics say it was designed to save money and could result in people being denied treatment or help. According to documents seen by The Mail on Sunday, a ‘key objective’ of the project, trialled in eastern England, has been ‘to shift the place of death’ away from hospitals so ‘reducing . . . healthcare costs’.
Every death that takes place outside of hospital saves the NHS almost £1,000, official calculations show. Average hospital deaths in England costs the NHS £3,065 but those elsewhere cost only £2,107.
Our latest report comes three months after The Mail on Sunday revealed ambulance crews can refuse to take extremely ill people to hospital if they have stated on their care plan they want to die at home.
Dr Gillian Craig, a retired geriatrician, questioned why GPs were being offered an extra payment for having a difficult conversation.
‘Why should a GP be paid for this conversation, as opposed to any other?’ she said. ‘I feel doctors are paid very well and there should be no extra payments. Anything else is open to abuse and misuse.’
She also feared that patients signing up to die in their own home may unwittingly be ‘closing the door on potentially life-saving hospital treatment’. She explained: ‘A doctor may not realise that, while the person appears to be dying, they actually have a reversible condition.’
The GP bonus scheme rewarded doctors at 41 practices in Ipswich and East Suffolk, who were paid £50 for each care home patient they signed up to an end-of-life plan.
Patients were asked to stipulate where they would like to die, whether they wished to be resuscitated, and what drugs they wanted in their final hours. Ambulance services and out-of-hours doctors’ services were informed.
The family doctors were also asked to sign up elderly people living in their own homes, although they were not paid the £50 bonus in these cases. The ‘pilot’ project ran for two years from July 2011 to this September and was deemed ‘successful’.
Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which ran the scheme, has refused to say how much was paid out in total. Stated benefits of the scheme include improving the quality of end-of-life care – but also ‘reducing emergency admissions, length of stay, use of unnecessary treatments and healthcare costs’.
"Dr Anthony Cole, acting chairman of the Medical Ethics Alliance, said: ‘I think it’s got everything to do with money, with the cost of a hospital bed being £200 a day.’ He added there was ‘a real danger’ patients might not realise the choice could lead to them not having medical support in their final days.Yeah, I always like the term "unnecessary treatments." What is necessary and unnecessary is generally determined in hindsight-- except when trying to save costs by a unsympathetic government. I mean, hey, it's not their neck. Then potentially lifesaving procedures are deemed unnecessary and people die needlessly. And then you hear the chorus of Leftists chant about "the greater good" and how that the person was going to die anyway, and he/she was old anyway, and they couldn't waste scarce resources on them, etc.
Sorta sounds like "death panels," huh? But those were just the delusions of an evil racist or something...
UPDATE: Keeping with the health care topic, John Nolte at Breitbart has noted "The Top Five ObamaCare Catastrophes the Media Refuse to Cover"
1. Millions are Losing Their Health Insurance
2. Premium Increases on Working and Middle Class
3. Obama's One-Year Delay On Business Mandate Strands the Middle and Working Class
4. ObamaCare's Effect On the Unemployed and Under-Employed
5. The Working Poor are Getting Hammered
Go check it out at the above link.
|"You can trust him to keep your driving habits private."|
If I actually trusted the government to not abuse the information they gather, I might have less of a problem with this. But I don't, so I do.
From Fox News (via Instapundit):
Oregon is moving ahead with a controversial plan to tax motorists based on the number of miles they drive as opposed to the amount of fuel they consume, raising myriad concerns about cost and privacy.
The program, springing out of a recently signed bill, is expected to launch in 2015 on a volunteer basis. But it’s charting relatively new territory, and other states aching for additional tax revenue are sure to be watching closely to see whether to imitate the model.
The problem for lawmakers is that the existing per-gallon gas tax has hit a point of diminishing returns, as Americans drive less and vehicles become more fuel efficient. The federal Highway Trust Fund, which gives money to states for highway construction and repairs, for example, has needed a congressional bailout four times since 2009, in part the result of no federal gas tax increase in the past 20 years.
However, economists and civil libertarians are concerned about the Oregon pilot project in large part because some mileage meters can track and record residents’ every vehicular move.
Rick Geddes, a Cornell University professor, said the basic device is okay because it is simply attached to a vehicle’s computer, which cannot track locations.
“It’s just like using electricity,” he told FoxNews.com
However, Geddes said privacy concerns could resurface should governments expand the program and use SmartPhone or apps to track movements and reward motorists who avoid congested roads and drive during off-peak hours.That's a big concern of mine. There will be a push to control people's driving habits, and, as the need for funds and graft increases, to raise the price for people who have to drive to work at rush hour on congested roads. They get hit with taxes for doing nothing except having to suffer through too much traffic on badly highways and interchanges (especially in and around Portland). Want to drive to work? Then you have to pay taxes-- on top of everything already taken out of your paycheck anyway.
Mark Perry, a University of Michigan scholar, says the GPS or “black box” system is "particularly untenable.”
“It would force us to surrender our privacy,” Perry, a scholar at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, recently wrote in a column for McClatchy Newspapers. “Each day more and more of us are required to tell government agencies more and more about ourselves. Do we really want the government collecting data about driving habits?”
Another concern is the cost of tracking devices -- including who pays and how deep the expense cuts into the tax coffers.
Oregon is purportedly considering several tracking methods for the pilot project’s 5,000 volunteers ahead of the 2015 start date – essentially allowing them to install mileage meters connected their vehicles’ odometers or GPS systems that could better track non-taxable miles on private and out-of-state roads.
The average cost of GPS is now about $200.
And a 2012 Government Accountability Office report states the costs of a GPS system for 230 million U.S. passenger vehicles “is likely to greatly exceed the costs of collecting fuel taxes,” absent any reliable studies on the issue.
Critics also say state governments calculating the tax per mile and mailing bills is another cost, and that people who use the most gas-efficient vehicles could pay just as much as those owning gas-guzzlers.
The Oregon plan -- approved and signed into law this year by the state’s Democrat-run government -- would replace the 30-cents-a-gallon state tax with one for 1.5 cents a mile, for those participating.
A state spokeswoman said Monday that the project is still in the development stages with officials focused on public awareness, not registration.
Still, she acknowledge residents with electric cars, who pay no gas taxes, “won’t be running to sign up.”
The incentive for states to pursue this kind of program could build as cars become more fuel efficient, especially considering President Obama wants new vehicles to get 54.5 mpg by 2025, up from the average now of 23.5 mpg’s. [And he's willing to pay trillions of dollars to Democrat contributors to do it.]
Motorists will still be charged the federal tax under the Oregon program. [emphasis mine]
Sounds like a real winner.
Glenn Reynolds had published a pretty decent take down of these sort of schemes in Popular Mechanics.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
|"Things could be worse. I might have a media that does not worship at my altar."|
The only thing that would truly be unexpected is if Obama actually managed to create a few jobs after five years and spending 50% of the current U.S. debt.
September saw the U.S. economy add just 148,000 jobs, significantly worse than expected, according to a report delayed more than two weeks by the government shutdown.
The unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 7.2 percent, the lowest since November 2008, as the labor-force participation rate held near 35-year lows, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Economists had been expecting 180,000 new positions and a steady jobless rate.
"This kind of report adds to the sense of foreboding about our economy," said Claire McKenna, policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project.
A broader measure of unemployment that takes into account the underemployed and those who have quit looking for work also edged lower, to 13.6 percent.Yeah, that Obamanomics is sure working wonders. And it only cost how many trillions of dollars to get these sterling results?
"Today's blistering jobs report has quickly reminded America that our economic problems are getting worse, despite talking point reassurances from Federal Reserve officials," said Todd Schoenberger, managing partner at LandColt Capital. [emphasis mine]
Who doesn't like a little "unintentional" homoeroticism in their professional football sports videos?
Such beautiful lines such as "Do you know how to ram it? We're rocking L.A., so we're going to ram it today!" Or "Let's ram it right now with the L.A. Rams." And who could forget "I like to ram it, as you can see. Nobody likes ramming it more than me." My personal favorite "I learned long ago if you ram it just right, you can ram it all day and ram it all night."
If I'd known about this video, I would have fled Southern California sooner.
|Despite the shutdown, I see that bicyclists were out in force. (Photo from the Reuters story)|
We should all be like China. Because, you know, China can get things done...
From Reuters: (via Drudge)
Choking smog all but shut down one of northeastern China's largest cities on Monday, forcing schools to suspended classes, snarling traffic and closing the airport, in the country's first major air pollution crisis of the winter.
An index measuring PM2.5, or particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5), reached a reading of 1,000 in some parts of Harbin, the gritty capital of northeastern Heilongjiang province and home to some 11 million people.
A level above 300 is considered hazardous, while the World Health Organisation recommends a daily level of no more than 20. [yikes.]
The smog not only forced all primary and middle schools to suspend classes, but shut the airport and some public bus routes, the official Xinhua news agency reported, blaming the emergency on the first day of the heating being turned on in the city for winter [Really? That's the best the Chinese government can come up with? Really?].
Visibility was reportedly reduced to 10 meters.
The smog is expected to continue for the next 24 hours.
Air quality in Chinese cities is of increasing concern to China's stability-obsessed leadership because it plays into popular resentment over political privilege and rising inequality in the world's second-largest economy.
Domestic media have run stories describing the expensive air purifiers government officials enjoy in their homes and offices, alongside reports of special organic farms so cadres need not risk suffering from recurring food safety scandals.Yeah, the would-be petty Leftists tyrants of this country just love China. There's nothing like exercising hideous amounts of control over the media, political adversaries, and the common people in the name of "fairness" and "justice" and political graft.
But don't worry. The Chinese government has it all in hand by tackling the major causes of smog in China.
Last week, Beijing city released a color-coded alert system for handling air pollution emergencies, to include the temporary halt of construction, factory production, outdoor barbecues and the setting off of fireworks.Yup. Backyard barbecues and fireworks. If it wasn't for that, then China would smog free.
Monday, October 21, 2013
|"Don't worry. ObamaCare will cure all biological weapons' ills. Would I lie? Look at this patriotic halo of mine!"|
From The Free Beacon article by Adam Kredo:
Al Qaeda-aligned militants operating in Syria could already have access to “biological pathogens or weaponized agents,” according to terrorism and biological warfare experts studying the region.
The possible acquisition by al Qaeda of these highly dangerous toxins has prompted bio-warfare experts to label the threat a “clear and present danger.”
Extremist militants and other fighters tied to the terror group al Qaeda have continued to gain a foothold in key sections of Syria as the country’s civil war rages on.
Lawlessness has taken hold in many areas that are home to Syria’s biological weapons research hubs and mounting evidence indicates that al Qaeda fighters have capitalized on this security gap by looting the facilities.
“The Syrian civil war has left sections of the bio-pharmaceutical infrastructure destroyed and looting of labs has been observed, which could indicate that Assad is losing command and control over one of the most dangerous classes of weapons remaining in his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) arsenal,” bio warfare and terrorism experts Jill Bellamy van Aalst and Olivier Guitta conclude in a new report.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is believed to have ample biological weapons stores in addition to the chemical weapons currently being confiscated by Western nations. These caches likely include various neurotoxins and deadly viruses, according to U.S. intelligence estimates and other experts.
Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas) warned last month that Syria’s unsecured bioweapons pose a great threat to the region.
U.S. intelligence agencies have reported that Assad possesses various biological weapons and has an active research program underway.
“Based on the duration of Syria’s longstanding biological warfare (BW) program, we judge that some elements of the program may have advanced beyond the research and development stage and may be capable of limited agent production,” Director of National Intelligence James Clapper wrote in an unclassified April report.
“Syria is not known to have successfully weaponized biological agents in an effective delivery system, but it possesses conventional and chemical weapon systems that could be modified for biological agent delivery,” Clapper concluded.
Biological weapons could more easily be obtained and used by terrorist forces, experts warned.
“The problem with bio-weapons, unlike chemical or nuclear, is the quality and weaponization for dispersal that counts, not the quantity, Guitta and van Aarst wrote.
“You do not need a stockpile and you do not need sophisticated delivery methods, in fact, that is no longer optimal. Bio-weapons are silent, and determining that an attack has occurred can be challenging.”Well, that just means that Obama and the media can ignore or downplay an attack, until it's politically convenient. How very appropriate in the Age of Obama.
The horror... the horror...
Okay, I admit that I'm kinda/sorta a Dallas Cowboys fan. I'm not honestly much of a pro football fan now, but when I was growing up I was way into it. My grandmother-- being a proud Texan-- made sure I was a Dallas Cowboys fan. So, no offense is meant here (at least by me). But good lord was this awful...
Friday, October 18, 2013
AP Begins Laying Foundation to Blame the Future "Unexpectedly" Weak Christmas Season on Conservatives
|If I were a retailer, I'd be more worried about this chart then political fallout from the latest political circus.|
Yup. If the there's a weak Christmas season, and odds are it will be totally "unexpected," it'll be the fault of the government shutdown and the evil Tea Party. At least that's the groundwork the AP is already beginning to lay down. Remember, it's never too early to plan for Christmas.
From the AP (via Breitbart):
After weeks of bickering between Congress and the White House, President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed into law a plan that ended a partial 16-day government shutdown and suspended the nation's debt limit until early next year.
But the measure, which comes just weeks ahead of the holiday shopping season, only temporarily averts a potential default on U.S. debt that could send the nation into a recession.
Retailers hope that short-term uncertainty won't stop Americans from spending during the busiest shopping period of the year, but they're fearful that it will.
"I am not nervous, but I am mindful," said Jay Stein, chairman of Stein Mart, a 300-store chain that sells home goods and clothing. "The biggest enemy of consumer confidence is uncertainty."
Retailers and industry watchers say Washington gridlock already has caused shoppers to hold back on purchases.
The number of people going into stores nationwide dropped 7.5 percent for the week that ended Oct. 5 and 7.1 percent during the following week compared with a year ago, according to ShopperTrak, which measures foot traffic at 40,000 retail outlets across the country. Men's clothier Jos. A. Bank Clothiers and furniture chain Ethan Allen said their customers cut back in recent weeks. And auto sales, which had been strong, trailed off last week, with experts blaming Washington lawmakers.
Retailers say the agreement that lawmakers approved, which funds the government until Jan. 15 and gives the Treasury the ability to borrow above its limit until Feb. 7, may not be enough to alleviate shoppers' concerns.
Take Nino Rodriguez, who was already planning to cut back spending on gifts for his four children ages 3 to 21 by about 25 percent to $1,500 as he juggles stagnant wage gains with college tuition costs.Fears and what not, unspecified factors that will blamed on the obstructionist GOP and the all-out evil Tea Party. Really?
Now, the Chicagoan plans to cut another $500 from the holiday budget because of uncertainty. In particular, he's concerned about having government aid checks suspended for teenage sons who have special needs.
"The doomsday clock is just one second less than what it was before," said Rodriguez, who works in the hospitality business. "All this just heightens our awareness of spending."
This isn't the first time that debt-and-spending stalemates have hurt shoppers' mood during the holidays. Last year, Americans worried about tense negotiations in Washington to resolve the fiscal cliff, a simultaneous increase in tax rates and a decrease in government spending.
Congress and the White House reached a deal on Jan. 1 that prevented income taxes from rising for most households, but many store executives blamed the uncertainty for a slowdown in sales in December. In November 2012, sales were up 4.7 over the year ago period, but rose only 2.4 percent in December.
If I was a retailer, I would be more concerned about the increasing poverty rate (up 6.6 million plus under Obama-- a record), record high number of people out of the workforce (up 10 million under Obama), decreasing household income of Americans which we all have experienced under Obama. As people have less money, they spend less. I know it's a hard concept to understand. And then you factor in the government forcing you to spend a huge chunk of change on spiralling health care insurance...
Well, it's all the GOP's and conservatives' fault. Because they're racist.
|"My magical powers will give you, the people, the best health care and no increase in cost because it will be subsidized by the wealthy-- which is defined by anyone possessing a job."|
Why is this a surprise to anyone? I guess because so few people pay attention to how government contracting goes.
From AllahPundit at HotAir.com:
Via Lachlan Markay and Ace, who calls it “Nixonian.” This is the rare Hot Air item that might actually make liberals angrier at the White House than conservatives. If you’d staked your party’s credibility on realizing the utopian dream of universal health care only to have Obama deliver this fartburger, you’d be furious. Why anyone on either side still wants Sebelius in charge, I have no idea.While the website roll out was, of course, a disaster and is making some press, the real problems in ObamaCare resides not merely in its execution, but in its content. Yes, the implementation of it was guaranteed to be a disaster, but the real disaster is still to come.
Facing such intense opposition from congressional Republicans, the administration was in a bunker mentality as it built the enrollment system, one former administration official said. Officials feared that if they called on outsiders to help with the technical details of how to run a commerce website, those companies could be subpoenaed by Hill Republicans, the former aide said. So the task fell to trusted campaign tech experts.Very important to understand: Between this and the fact that HHS deliberately hid the price of insurance behind a reg wall on Healthcare.gov to reduce “rate shock,” the grand takeaway about the website’s failure is that O and his team made it much worse than it needed to be because they were terrified of transparency. And the reason they were terrified of transparency, both in the case of hiding the cost of the premiums from web users and hiding the site’s architectural problems from contractors who might be hauled before Congress, is because they know they’ve delivered a bad product. Put the premiums on the front page and the public, expecting “affordable care,” would recoil at the truth. Put the contractors at the witness table before Issa’s committee and the public, expecting that the government would “fix” health care, would recoil upon discovering that they can’t even build a website with three years’ lead time.
Government price controls and government-mandated coverage will lead to shortages of services, medical supplies, and the nightmare scenario of lobbying federal officials for coverage of various diseases. It's in the recipe. There's no way to avoid it.
As I have said numerous times before-- and having actually read the huge law itself-- ObamaCare cannot work. It's very simple. The only question is how much costly suffering, both in terms of dollars and in human life, will we have to endure until it is thrown into the ash bin of history. My bet, a helluva lot.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
I saw this at Ace of Spades and had a good laugh.
I thought this particular takeoff was especially funny. Ever since the show came on, I never thought it really looked all that medieval. I mean the look of the show is just too modern, from the haircuts to the wardrobe to the props (nice burger king crown) to the casting-- especially the women and their make up.
Anyway here you go. Enjoy:
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
|Quite the crowd. The Light-bringer is most disappointed. (Pic via Charlie Spiering's twitter)|
The OFA is showing their true popularity. I bet this won't be covered by the MSM.
From The Washington Free Beacon:
Less than two dozen people have shown up for a government shutdown protest Tuesday sponsored by President Obama’s dark money group Organizing for Action, according to Politico’s Reid Epstein.
The protest, held on the Capitol steps, is part of the organization’s “Budget shutdown Day of Action.” According to Epstein, the event has been sparsely attended, with just 23 attendees. The Washington Examiner’s Charlie Spiering reported 16 attendees a half-hour into the event.
Epstein described the protest in a report Monday as OFA’s “first attempt to stage a large rally at the Capitol.”
Let's remember that this was described as an anti-Tea Party protest by the OFA.
Organizing for Action is holding a “Budget shutdown Day of Action event” at noon Tuesday at the reflecting pool west of the Capitol.
“Tuesday is the start of the third week of the government shutdown,” OFA wrote in a message to supporters. “With every day that passes, these members of Congress need to feel more pressure from the constituents who sent them to Washington. Millions of Americans across the country are feeling the effects of the shutdown — and it’s only getting worse.”
OFA executive director Jon Carson tweeted Monday urging supporters to “Come join OFA at an event tomorrow to say #EnoughAlready to the #TeaPartyShutdown.” [emphasis mine]
It just seems a little strange for the OFA, who reside at barackobama.com, to be staging a protest against the Tea Party. As Iowahawk wittily put it: "In Soviet America, government protests you"
Monday, October 14, 2013
|"While you folks are waiting 6 months or more to see a specialist, think of me. And think about how I said that I have the best health care in the world."|
Things aren't looking so rosy for our health care in the near future.
From USA Today (via Drudge):
Hospitals, a reliable source of employment growth in the recession and its aftermath, are starting to cut thousands of jobs amid falling insurance payments and inpatient visits.
The payroll cuts are surprising because the Affordable Care Act (ACA), whose implementation took a big step forward this month, is eventually expected to provide health coverage to as many as 30 million additional Americans. [This is not surprising to anybody who understands economics nor to anyone who has read the law.]
Health care providers announced more layoffs than any other industry last month — 8,128 — largely because of reductions by hospitals, according to outplacement firm Challenger Gray and Christmas. So far this year, the health care sector has announced 41,085 layoffs, the third-most behind financial and industrial companies.
Total private hospital employment is still up by 36,000 in the past 12 months, but it's down by 8,000 since April, and more staff reductions are expected into next year.
This month, Indiana University Health laid off about 900 workers as part of a move to trim its budget by $1 billion over five years. Vanderbilt plans to eliminate 1,000 jobs by the end of the year to help shave operating costs 8% a year. The Cleveland Clinic is offering buyouts to 3,000 employees as it shaves its annual operating costs by $330 million.
Oh, but don't worry says the end of the article... better times are just around the bend. Yeah, right. These are the same people that keep talking about the "unexpected" weak economic and job numbers that keep coming out. They're either liars or fools-- and either way that's useless to us.
Let's not forget that this happening just as the demand for their services will increase as people are forced to buy federally approved comprehensive insurance... Oh yeah, and the costs of services will be regulated by the government much like medicare. Too little money will be made available for quality health care... so take a wild guess as to what will happen. Hint-- look to Britain's NHS and the wealthy's expenses for private health care and insurance.
ObamaCare is the travesty that just keeps on giving...
Thursday, October 10, 2013
|"Laws are for little people who don't have friends high up in the police department..."|
And you wonder where Obama gets his thugs, conspirators and collaborators out of the rank and file. They're right there in the capitol working to break the law for the Democrats' agendas. Unreasonable laws being applied unequally-- often times due to political affiliation. This seems to always be the result of the Democrats' sweeping agendas.
From the Op-ed piece by Emily Miller: (h/t Instapundit)
Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier seems to think that gun-control laws don’t apply to the liberal elite. The police chief helped Sen. Dianne Feinstein acquire “assault weapons,” which are illegal to possess in the District, for a news conference early this year to promote a ban on these firearms, then tried to cover up the police involvement.
Now, a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveals Chief Lanier’s shocking willingness to bend the rules for partisan and ideological purposes.
Chief Lanier wanted to help Mrs. Feinstein, but didn’t want the media to know.
Cmdr. Williams emailed Mr. Mentzer to put a “bug” in his ear that the police would “prefer that no mention of the fact that the weapons came from D.C. or were recovered by MPDC in the official language or speeches.” Mr. Mentzer replied, “By not mentioning where the weapons came from, we open ourselves up to the same charge against David Gregory.”
He was referring to the anchor of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” who knowingly procured an illegal 30-round magazine in the District as a stunt for his TV show, but was not charged.
The office of Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance W. Gainer coordinated bringing the illegal weapons onto Capitol Hill for Mrs. Feinstein’s dramatic Jan. 24 news conference introducing her new “assault weapons” ban.
Kathryn Stillman, the campus-access coordinator for Mr. Gainer, emailed Cmdr. Williams and Mrs. Feinstein’s staff to recommend the firearms be mounted on a board with zip ties so that Mrs. Feinstein could “point or even touch, but no need for any particular handling.” This was to ensure that it could be argued later that the senator never had “possession” of the illegal guns.
After seeing the weapons on display at the press event, I asked Mr. Gainer’s office about the legality and was told that the firearms were the property of the D.C. and Philadelphia police departments. A spokesman for Mrs. Feinstein, Brian Weiss, told me that his office ”coordinated” with the police and that “the weapons were under Washington MPD possession the entire time.”
But when I asked Chief Lanier’s spokesman, Gwendolyn Crump, about the guns, she refused to confirm they belonged to MPD. I followed up the next day with several more questions to Ms. Crump.
From the FOIA documents, I now know that she sent my second email to Chief Lanier, who then forwarded it to three people with notes.
Chief Lanier wrote to Philadelphia Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, “I am really disappointed in Terry [Gainer]. This is exactly why I didn’t want to participate.” She said to Mr. Gainer, “This is completely contrary to our agreement to participate in this event. We will not participate again.”
The chief wrote to lobbyist Mr. DeWitt, “So much for our agreement.” Mr. DeWitt replied: “Well, Ramsey and Feinstein followed our script, but who would have guessed that [Gainer] would burn us.” He drafted a response for the police to send to me and added in a note, “I don’t know how you put up with people like Emily … .” Chief
Lanier replied, “Thanks, Chuck, unfortunately this will be the next tail wagging our dog for weeks.”
No special favors for Republicans
A week after Mrs. Feinstein’s publicity stunt, Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina were refused permission to bring a hunting rifle and an AR-style rifle to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Mrs. Feinstein’s “assault weapon” ban.
The Republican senators sent a letter of complaint to committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, but were still forced to use just a photo of a standard wooden hunting rifle with a plastic pistol grip at the hearing in order to demonstrate that simply adding the ergonomic feature transformed the gun into one that would be illegal under her ban.
Mrs. Feinstein’s staff gloated: “I was gratified to hear Sens. Cruz and Graham complaining that getting weapons into their hearing today was ‘unworkable,’” Mr. Mentzer emailed Cmdr. Williams and another officer with a news story about the Republicans not being able bring in even a legal rifle. “I find you guys ENTIRELY practical, for the record.”
The police have yet to turn over a majority of the documents I requested. The FOIA officer wrote that she was “still searching” and “will release them, if any are located.”
The police stonewalling and cover-up are so that the public doesn’t find out that Chief Lanier enforces laws differently in the District, depending on whether you are a powerful liberal who opposes Second Amendment rights, like Mr. Gregory and Mrs. Feinstein, or an average American.It's another reason why the Democrats push so hard for gun control against the public's beliefs. They know that the laws won't be applied to them... just to the little people, whom Dems routinely refer to as crazy, stupid, Nazis, racists, and terrorists.
But, hey keep on voting these petty would be dictators into office, because they'll give you ObamaCare and stuff...
Those Egyptians dared to act in their own best interests rather than Obama's political needs. Now they must pay the penalty. I wonder if Obama will release the National Park Service on them to "make it hurt" even more.
From Fox News:
The Obama administration was criticized by an Egyptian government official Thursday in the wake of its decision to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in cash and military aid in response to the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and the crackdown by the military-backed government on his supporters.
"The decision was wrong. Egypt will not surrender to American pressure and is continuing its path towards democracy as set by the roadmap,'' Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty told an Egyptian radio station, according to Reuters.
The State Department announced the decision late Wednesday afternoon, after press reports emerged that an aid cut-off was imminent.
The U.S. provides $1.5 billion in aid each year to Egypt. While the State Department did not provide a dollar amount of what was being withheld, senior Senate leadership aides shared with Fox News some of the details of a conference call with staffers from the State Department and the office of the Secretary of Defense.
The U.S. is "holding" -- as in not sending to Cairo -- a dozen F-16s; a similar number of AH-64 Apache helicopters; four M-1/A-1 tank kits (tanks that are shipped in pieces and assembled in the receiving country); and an unspecified number of Harpoon missiles (typically an anti-ship missile).
Also, the U.S. is not proceeding with the planned transfer of $260 million in cash to the Egyptian government. However, these funds were already on hold pending the outcome of talks between the Egyptians and the International Monetary Fund.
The U.S. is also not proceeding with a $300 million loan guarantee slated as part of our foreign military financing programs.
Importantly, officials did not invoke the "coup" clause -- which would be a determination that aid must be cut off because a "coup" was deemed to have taken place.
Officials said they plan to revaluate this decision on a constant basis going forward, to see if the Egyptian interim government is moving rapidly towards a "sustainable, inclusive, non-violent transition to democracy."
The U.S. decision to cut aid to Egypt, though, will create new friction in Washington's already uneasy relations with the government that ousted the first democratically elected Egyptian president. And the consequences won't end there. The move will anger Persian Gulf states, push Egypt to seek assistance from U.S. rivals and upend decades of close ties with the Egyptians that that have been a bulwark of stability in the Middle East.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement Wednesday that the U.S. will withhold delivery of certain large-scale military systems as well as cash assistance to the Egyptian government until "credible progress" is made toward an inclusive government set up through free and fair elections.
Hmm. So Obama's State Department won't deliver military aid and money until the Egyptians vote in more Islamists? Okay, that's not exactly what they're saying, but it's pretty close. Ah, Obama's international relations is just so darn intelligent. It's good to see "smart diplomacy" in action.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
|"The Light-bringer has deemed that you need no other savior. Bow down to me and then attack the ranks of the Congressional unbelievers. And then, perhaps, you folks can go back to your little Mass. If I feel like it. I mean you all are just 'coweringly religious and not really spiritual' anyway..."|
Am I appalled? Yes. Am I surprised. Not in the least.
From David Brody at CBN News (h/t Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit and with much relief, welcome back!!):
How about trying this one on for size? Here is the press release headline from Congressman Tim Huelskamp’s office this afternoon:
Obama Administration Denies Mass to Catholics
Apparently, a priest was denied access to a military chapel this weekend. Father Ray Leonard serves at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia but because of the government shutdown, he wasn’t allowed to go to celebrate Mass this past weekend.
He is contracted by the Defense Department to meet the spiritual needs of Catholics, but not now. The chapel doors were locked and the sign said, “Shutdown: No Catholic service till further notice.”
Father Leonard said the following:
“This is our church, Catholics have an expectation and obligation to attend Mass and we were told, ‘No you can’t go to church this week…“ My parishioners were upset. They were angry and dismayed. They couldn’t believe that in America they’d be denied access to Mass by the government.”
Rep. Tim Huelskamp had this reaction:
“Time and time again this Administration demonstrates it is waging a war against the very religious freedoms upon which America was founded. This is exactly why we worked to pass legislation (House Concurrent Resolution 58) this past weekend – to protect the religious liberties of all those who bravely serve in our Armed Forces.”
The Brody File will follow up.
Obama has been making life as difficult as possible for religious soldiers (excluding Muslims, of course) long before the government "shutdown." This is just a little extra sting that Obama will doubtlessly blame on Congressional Republicans.
Welcome to the Age of Obama Redux, where the government controls your access to religious services. Why not? He wants government to control your health care...
|Under the Light-bringer's authoritative gaze, privacy is unnecessary for you, the People.|
ObamaCare... the crappy law that keeps on getting crappier and crappier...
From The Weekly Standard article by Jeryl Bier (h/t Ace of Spades):
The first is regarding personal information submitted with an application for those users who follow through on the sign up process all the way to the end. The policy states that all information to help in applying for coverage and even for making a payment will be kept strictly confidential and only be used to carry out the function of the marketplace. There is, however, an exception: "[W]e may share information provided in your application with the appropriate authorities for law enforcement and audit activities." Here is the entire paragraph from the policy the includes the exception [emphasis added]:Should you decide to apply for health coverage through Maryland Health Connection, the information you supply in your application will be used to determine whether you are eligible for health and dental coverage offered through Maryland Health Connection and for insurance affordability programs. It also may be used to assist you in making a payment for the insurance plan you select, and for related automated reminders or other activities permitted by law. We will preserve the privacy of personal records and protect confidential or privileged information in full accordance with federal and State law. We will not sell your information to others. Any information that you provide to us in your application will be used only to carry out the functions of Maryland Health Connection. The only exception to this policy is that we may share information provided in your application with the appropriate authorities for law enforcement and audit activities.The site does not specify if "appropriate authorities" refers only to state authorities or if it could include the federal government, as well. Neither is there any detail on what type of law enforcement and/or audit activities would justify the release of the personal information, or who exactly is authorized to make such a determination. An email to the Maryland Health Connection's media contact seeking clarification has not yet been answered
The second privacy term that may prompt caution by users relates to email communications. The policy reads:If you send us an e-mail, we use the information you send us to respond to your inquiry. E-mail correspondence may become a public record. As a public record, your correspondence could be disclosed to other parties upon their request in accordance with Maryland’s Public Information Act.Since emails to the marketplace could conceivably involve private matters regarding finances, health history, and other sensitive issues, the fact that such information could be made part of the "public record" could prevent users from being as free with their information than they might otherwise be.
Boy, this sounds great! Where do I sign up?! Because I really want the police to have access to my health care records and I would just love for the IRS to access by prescription lists and my e-mails to and from my health insurance providers! Can this law get any better?!
Oh, and a reminder-- ObamaCare fits the economic definition of Fascism. Just thought I might mention that again... So do we will really expect privacy under this law? Really?
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
OMG! Who could have seen this coming? Widespread fraud in a disability program?!
From the Fox News article by Doug McKelway:
A two-year investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found widespread fraud in the Social Security Administration's Disability Program.The fraud is so rampant, and disability cases have so proliferated in recent years, that the Social Security's Disability Trust Fund may run out of money in only 18 months, says Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., whose office undertook the investigation.
Coburn’s report on widespread fraud, released Monday, focuses in large part on a veritable "disability claim factory" allegedly run by attorney Eric C. Conn out of his small office in Stanville, Kentucky, a region of the country where 10 to 15 percent of the population receives disability payments.
The report documents how Conn allegedly worked together with Administrative Law Judge David Daugherty and a team of favored doctors with checkered pasts, including suspended licenses in other states, who rubber stamped approval of disability claims. In most cases, the claims had been prepared in advance with nearly identical language by staffers in Conn's law office.
The report found that over the past six years, Conn allegedly paid five doctors almost $2 million to provide favorable disability opinions for his claimants.
In 2010, the last year for which records are available, Daugherty approved 1375 disability cases prepared by Conn's office and denied only 4 of them - an approval rate that other administrative law judges have described as nearly impossible.
The alleged fraud highlights an endemic problem in Social Security disability benefit awards. The Coburn report says a random examination of 300 case files by Congressional staff found more than a quarter of the case files “failed to properly address insufficient, contradictory, or incomplete evidence,” suggesting a high rate of fraud or abuse.
Disability payments have skyrocketed across the U.S. in recent years. At the end of August 2013, more than 14 million Americans were receiving disability benefits The Social Security Administration has blamed aging baby boomers and the lingering effects of the recession as two causes, but another appears to be the SSA's attempt to reduce the back-log of disability cases.
Obama's America, much like Chicago and other political-machine cities and/or states, is rife with corruption in which the various politically connected fleece millions-- if not billions of dollars at this point--- from social welfare programs and the like. It's a time honored tradition.
But then again, this kind of talk is all racist or something... I mean I did use the term "Chicago" which is apparently a code word for racism or something.