"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


One of Salem Oregon's Unofficial Top 1000 Conservative Political Bloggers!!!

Monday, March 31, 2014

CBS Cleveland: "Cleveland Clinic CEO: Three-Quarters Of Americans Who Signed Up For Obamacare Now Have Higher Premiums"


"You folks can thank me later for all the good times ahead with your doctors and in clinics and hospitals. And if your life expectancy drops or you're unhealthier, than you're too fat. Or you're just plain racist." 



Well, yeah.

After reading the law, the obvious conclusion is that Americans will be forced to buy more expensive health insurance with coverage determined by political whim-- which means poorer coverage, higher premiums, higher costs, less choice in insurance and in treatment.

So, this isn't a shocker.

From CBS News Cleveland:

The CEO of the Cleveland Clinic says that a majority of Americans who signed up for Obamacare have seen their premiums rise. 
“About three-quarters of them find that their premiums are higher than they had been previously with other insurance,” Toby Cosgrove told Fox News. 
Cosgrove explained that the Affordable Care Act is having a “major effect” upon health care providers. 
“We know for example that we’re going to get paid less for what we do,” Cosgrove stated. “Hospitals are going to be paid less for what they do. We also know that insurers are paying less for what we do.” 
Cosgrove said providers need to “become more efficient” in how they deliver health care.

"More efficient..." I bet we know what that means. And it certainly doesn't mean a lower quality of care. Nope. Doesn't at all.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Poll: ObamaCare Support at 26%


"All you folks don't understand what is best for you. Trust that both I and government know what's best for you. And if we fleece billions... well, that's just the payment we get for taking of you sheeple. If God didn't want them fleeced, he wouldn't have made them sheep."


Which is a new low.

From The Washington Times article by Seth McLaughlin:

A new poll shows that just 26 percent of Americans support Obamacare, but at the same time only 13 percent think the law will be completely repealed. 
The Associated Press survey was completed before the White House announced this week that it had signed up 6 million people for private health plans through the state and federal exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. 

The poll showed that 7 in 10 American believe the law will stay on the books with some changes. 
The AP noted that support for the law has dropped 13 points since 2010, when 39 percent favored the law. Opposition also has dipped 7 percentage points from 2010, when it stood at 43 percent. The number of people on the fence, the AP reported, has tripled from 10 percent to 30 percent. [emphasis mine. Also, some html script in the article was removed]

While  I understand people's discouragement and apathy for this monstrous law, we must repeal it. I've read this damn thing and there's nothing to save. It is so badly written, so expensive, and with so many nanny state provisions and requirements, that it has to be repealed. Americans have to focus on that goal, and demand that their senators and representatives follow through on this mission.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Obama Makes Two Huge Foreign Policy Gaffes


"My facts are incontestable. I will them to be, and they are. So it is and so it shall ever be."


Smartest president evah...

From Raheem Kassam and Andre Walker at Breitbart:

President Obama has made two major gaffes so far during his Europe trip. After falsely claimed that Kosovo held a UN-assisted referendum on self-determination, he then wrongly said that Georgia was not being considered for NATO membership. 
Speaking on Kosovo yesterday, Obama said : "...Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organised not outside the boundaries of international law, but in careful cooperation with the United Nations and with Kosovo’s neighbours. None of that even came close to happening in Crimea." 
But none of it came close to happening in Kosovo either, as Milos Subotic, the International Relations Officer of the University of Pristina, Kosovo told Breitbart London.  
"During his yesterday speech in Brussels, President Obama showed a lack of knowledge of the political situation in Kosovo. Kosovo never organised any kind of referendum, but the Assembly of Provisional Institutions of self-government of Kosovo made a unilateral declaration of independence on February 17th 2008. 
"The declaration of independence has been recognised by approximately one hundred states, however Serbia and many countries have also showed their opposition to declaration of independence, most notably China and Russia. What Kosovo did was not in line with United Nations and that’s confirmed by the fact that Kosovo is not member of UN."  [Duh. Oops.]
Dr. James Ker-Lindsay, a Senior Research Fellow on the Politics of South East Europe at the London School of Economics took to Twitter to correct the U.S. President before telling Breitbart London: "I think one must assume that this was indeed an error. However, it really does seem to be an incredible mistake to have made. Surely there must have been someone at hand who would have known that there was no UN organised referendum in Kosovo. It really was not that long ago.  
[...]  
If messing up on Kosovo wasn’t enough, Obama has now also potentially undermined Georgia’s application to join NATO. 
Speaking at the press conference after the EU-US summit yesterday the US President wrongly suggested that Georgia "is not currently on a path to NATO membership". In fact the country has been on the path to membership since 2008. 
At the North Atlantic Council in Bucharest that year the attending Heads of State and Government agreed the following statement: "NATO welcomes Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that they will become members of NATO." 
Former Georgian Ambassador to London Giorgi Badridze, told Breitbart London: "President Obama's remarks could hardly have come at a worse time – or have been formulated in a worse manner. 
"Firstly, it's wrong to link Georgia's aspirations for NATO membership with those of Ukraine. Georgia has been working hard to achieve more progress in that direction, while Ukraine formally withdrew from the process years ago. 
"The second – and most damaging - thing the President said is that Georgia and Ukraine are 'not currently on a path to NATO membership'. This ignores the fact NATO made a firm commitment to admitting Georgia at the Bucharest Summit back in 2008. 
"Thirdly, stating Russian opposition as a reason for halting Georgian progress towards NATO membership will only embolden Moscow and strengthen its view that it has a right to effectively veto enlargement – a dangerous precedent.  [The work of amatuer hour presidency. Obama's words are often his decisions are so ill-timed and so plain stupid that sometimes I wonder if he's not doing it on purpose. However, as someone( I can't remember who) once said when incompetence and a conspiracy are only two explanation, error on the side of incompetence.]
"Putin's tanks are positioned along the border with Eastern Ukraine, Crimea is under occupation and Putin has long been looking for a reason to finish the job he never had the chance to finish in 2008: terminating Georgia’s independence. Against that backdrop, Obama'’s comments were not only unfortunate but, in the context of regional security, dangerous." [empahsis mine]

Well, I'm sure that Obama really, really wishes that Kosovo had left Serbia in careful cooperation with the United Nations and with Kosovo’s neighbors. But if wishes were fishes, etc.

It is disconcerting, to say the least, to watch this guy blunder through Europe encouraging aggressive nations, demoralizing friendly nations, and letting everyone know that Obama and sycophants are lost, out of their depth, and totally incompetent. It's not just that they're policies aren't based in the real world, their factual information isn't based in the real world. I mean, Obama's gaffes weren't just breaches of protocol, or silly mis-statements (people speaking "Austrian" etc.). Obama's showing everyone that he's basing his policies upon untrue information.

These are actions in line with that of a deluded fool. And do you think that everyone in the world, ally and enemy, isn't picking up on this?

I suppose we should just be happy that Obama's not saying that Atlanta is Georgia's capitol...


Male North Korean Students Required to get Kim Jong-un Haircut?






And it just looks so good, especially for the shape of his head and all...

I'm not sure whether I believe this story or not. It's completely ridiculous. The thing is, North Korea is so insane that just because something is ridiculous-- or horrific for that matter-- doesn't mean that it's a lie.

From BBC News:

Male university students in North Korea are now required to get the same haircut as their leader Kim Jong-un, it is reported.  
The state-sanctioned guideline was introduced in the capital Pyongyang about two weeks ago, Radio Free Asia reports. It is now being rolled out across the country - although some people have expressed reservations about getting the look. 
"Our leader's haircut is very particular, if you will," one source tells Radio Free Asia. "It doesn't always go with everyone since everyone has different face and head shapes." Meanwhile, a North Korean now living in China says the look is actually unpopular at home because people think it resembles Chinese smugglers. "Until the mid-2000s, we called it the 'Chinese smuggler haircut'," the Korea Times reports
It seems that haircuts have been state-approved in North Korea for some time - until now people were reportedly only allowed to choose from 18 styles for women and 10 for men. Earlier, North Korea's state TV launched a campaign against long hair, called "Let us trim our hair in accordance with the Socialist lifestyle".

Why not make all the North Koreans men get that haircut? I mean it does look so damn good on Kim, you know?


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Obama Looks Petulant as He Lectures Russia on Appropriate 21st Century Behavior





(h/t Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit)

"Russia’s leadership is challenging truths that only a few weeks ago seemed self-evident. That in the 21st century the borders of Europe cannot be redrawn with force. That international law matters."

President Pushover in action...

Gee, Mr. President but it seems like Mr. Putin disagrees. Now what are you going to do about it? I know, make yawn-filled speeches in a petulant tone. Well, I'm sure Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, Israel, Taiwan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, South Korea and Japan can all rest easy now.

Man, this amateur an utter embarrassment.



I see Obama as Err, the pink mooninite, in this clip. "Mr. Putin says he disagrees with you, Err. With his foot."

Am I wrong in this?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Obama: "Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength but out of weakness"


"My mom says that bullies act the way that they do, because deep down inside they're scared-- and they're also only a regional power with oil. And now I'm taking my ball and going straight home."


That's the laughable quote of the year.

From the Mediaite piece by Noah Rothman:

During a joint press conference in the Netherlands alongside the Dutch prime minster, President Barack Obama fielded questions from the American press corps regarding Russia’s destabilizing invasion of neighboring Ukraine. With tens of thousands of Russian troops and hundreds of machines of war poised on the Ukrainian border ready at a moment’s notice to inflame the crisis further, ABC News White House correspondent Jonathan Karl asked a series of probing and uncomfortable questions of the president regarding his approach to foreign affairs.  
After making an arguable case that the president’s approach to America’s foreign adversaries was naïve and that his chief rival, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, may have been correct in his clear-eyed assessment of the threat Moscow posed to the post-Cold War global order, President Obama did the only thing he could do — answer the question he wish he was asked.  
“In China, in Syria, in Egypt, and now in Russia, we’ve seen you make strong statements, issue warnings that have been ignored,” Karl began. “Are you concerned that America’s influence in the world, your influence in the world, is on the decline?” 
“In light of recent developments, do you think that Mitt Romney had a point when he said Russia is America’s biggest geopolitical foe?” Karl continued.  
Faced with this searing indictment in the form of a question, Obama proceeded to erect and slay a straw man of his choosing: American military interventionism.  
“If the premise of the question is whenever the United States objects to an action, and other countries don’t immediately do exactly what we want, that that’s been the norm, that would pretty much erase most of 20th Century history,” Obama replied.  
No matter how much anyone would like to “erase most of 20th Century history,” this supposed attempt at clarification could not even be described as occupying the same universe as “the premise of the question.”   
[...]  
“Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors, not out of strength but out of weakness,” Obama asserted, as though he was talking about the psychological insecurities that plague the average playground bully.  
“The fact that Russia felt compelled to go in militarily and lay bare these violations of international law indicates less influence, not more,” Obama insisted. [WTF?] 
How convenient. Even when Russia directly threatens to topple the international order, of which America is the chief guarantor, they are not threatening the international order because the threat itself is an implicit admission of inadequacy.  
President Obama’s core supporters in the United States may still eat this nonsense up, but the actions of America’s geopolitical adversaries abroad suggest that they have long ago pegged the president as a pushover. [emphasis mine]

President Pushover... That's exactly the problem. And to make things even more destabilizing fun, is that America's allies-- aside from the ones that Obama's not simply betraying or ignoring-- are also facing that uncomfortable realization.

The only time Obama talks tough is when he believes that his enemies are in a position where they are wither unwilling or unable to fight back. Who's the playground bully in that situation?

Poll: 78% Favor Proof of Citizenship Before Being Allowed to Vote



And the numbers are rising, according to the same poll. That's some bad news for Democrats. Oh well, they still have their machines in place in Chicago and the northeast.

From Rasmussen Reports (via Drudge):

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 78% of Likely U.S. Voters believe everyone should be required to prove his or her citizenship before being allowed to register to vote. That’s up from 71% a year ago. Just 19% oppose that requirement. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 
Twenty-nine percent (29%) believe laws that require proof of citizenship before allowing voter registration discriminate against such voters. But more than twice as many (61%) say such laws do not discriminate, up three points from 58% who felt that way in March of last year. Ten percent (10%) are undecided. 
Opponents of proof-of-citizenship laws claim they are intended to keep eligible voters from voting, while supporters say instead that they are intended to keep ineligible voters from casting votes. Thirty-four percent (34%) think it is more common that people are prevented from voting who should be allowed to vote. Half (50%) of voters disagree and think that more often people are allowed to vote who are not eligible to vote. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure. 
This marks a six-point increase from last year in the number of voters who think it is more common for people to be allowed to vote who are not eligible. It’s also the highest level of doubt about the voting process in surveys since January 2008.

But keep making voting photo IDs a political issue Dems. Seriously. Keep it up.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Shocker: Obama's DOJ Gives Pass to Obama Vote Fraudster


"The excessive exuberance of your worship will not go punished. Just don't get caught next time, for Chisssakes! And don't admit to a thing on camera!"

I mean, she did vote for Obama after all...

From Breitbart piece by J. Christian Adams:

Last week Al Sharpton embraced convicted vote fraudster Melowese Richardson at a “voting rights” rally in Cincinnati. The United States Department of Justice under Eric Holder has done nothing to Melowese Richardson 410 days after she admitted on camera that she committed multiple federal felonies by voting six times for President Obama’s reelection. 
Federal law makes it a felony to vote more than once for President. In fact, 42 U.S.C. Section 1973i(e) subjects Richardson to twenty-five years in federal prison for her six votes for Obama. 
The lack of DOJ action against an unrepentant federal vote fraudster combined with Richardson’s lionization by Sharpton and the organization that sponsored the rally demonstrates how the Justice Department is facilitating a culture of brazen criminality on the eve of the 2014 midterm elections. The failure to indict Richardson is the latest example of Holder’s department excusing lawlessness in federal elections and abandoning law abiding Americans. 
Melowese Richardson was charged with state voter fraud crimes in Ohio. She was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison on July 7, 2013. Unfortunately, instead of serving five years, Richardson was set free after only eight months
A state court judge dismissed her May 2013 conviction and five-year prison sentence and allowed her to plead no contest to four counts of illegal voting, the same charges for which she was convicted. 
Richardson was represented by the George Soros-funded Ohio Justice and Policy Center, which claimed she suffered from bi-polar disorder. No claim was made that she was insane when she committed her election crimes. Nor was any effort made to establish her insanity.  
[...]  
Federal charges against Richardson for voting for Obama six times can be initiated by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Springer, who serves as the District Election Officer (DEO) in Cincinnati. U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart could also initiate charges, as could the Public Integrity Section in Washington D.C., or even Eric Holder himself.
DEO Anthony Springer donated $750 to Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign according to FEC records. 
Ohio Votes sponsored the rally where Richardson appeared with Sharpton. According to their website, it is a “year-round, statewide, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) voter mobilization initiative. It galvanizes nonprofits based in low income Ohio communities to increase voter participation and join efforts for fair elections.” The umbrella organization received $1,886,723 in government grants in 2012. The organization’s tax returns state the group exists to change “onerous voting laws” and that it focuses on “educating voters on the mechanics of how, when and where to participate in early voting for the Presidential election.”   
The IRS continues to provide the group 501(c)(3) tax exempt status despite its active role in the reelection of the President, and its embrace of election criminals.
 
"Onerous voting laws" such as not being able to vote for your favorite quasi-deity six times, it seems. Welcome to Obama's fundamentally transformed America.

Appalling? Yes.

Surprising? No.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ouch! IBD: "Judging Obama's Economy By His Own Promises"


"Do not judge me by my past promises, for that is racist. Judge me instead by my current ones."
Chart from IBD piece linked below


I'm sure to do that is unfair, racist and greedy.

From the Investor's Business Daily editorial by John Merline (h/t Instapundit):

Perhaps the best metric is Obama's own promises about what his economic plan would produce. Those are contained in his first budget, which was issued in early 2009. 
Above are charts comparing that budget's forecasts for key economic indicators with what actually happened. [Charts are above at top of post] 
The results are startling. The economy did far worse than Obama thought it would on every important measure. 
But, his backers say, the recession was deeper than Obama expected at that point. Except that nominal gross domestic product in 2010 turned out to be exactly where Obama said it would be. It was only after then that growth fell short. 
Others will say that Obama just did in his first budget what every president does: Paint a rosy picture of future economic growth. This doesn't hold water either, since Obama's projections were in line with the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and other economic forecasters, all of whom expected a normal recovery. 
Then again, the economy might have suffered from what Obama likes to call "self-inflicted wounds" imposed by Republicans — the threat of default, the sequestration, the turn to "austerity" policies, etc. 
The problem here is that federal spending from 2010 to 2013 was almost exactly where Obama pegged it in his first budget, and it's much higher as a share of GDP. Deficits were also far higher than Obama expected. 
From a standard Keynesian perspective, these should have provided additional stimulus to the economy — above what Obama initially forecast. 
So the GOP's efforts to rein in spending can't be blamed for Obama's failure to meet his economic targets. 
What can? Perhaps it's the combined effect of the massive Dodd-Frank financial regulations, ObamaCare, the hugely expensive new EPA regulations and two enormous tax hikes on investment income.

Look, any judgement of Obama is racist. He is above us, has to deal with problems that are far larger than any anything else in history, and is far too smart for silly conservatives and stupid people who just want to live their own lives.

Certainly, his political amateur standing, lack of any previous leadership position, his academic Marxist leanings, his big government policies, his predilection toward spying both international and domestic, his constant untruths uttered in speeches and tweeted out endlessly, his business unfriendly policies, his politically convenient witch hunts, his haughty and thin-skinned personality, his constant search for scapegoats, his recycling of failed economic and political policies, are not to blame for anything.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Stupid and Misleading Racial Headline Award Goes to CBS Cleveland


I posted this picture not long after playing Grand Theft Auto V!


Man, the people at CBS Cleveland are idiots...

The headline reads: "Study: Violent Video Games Encourage Racist, Aggressive Attitudes Toward Blacks" which makes it sound like people are running around shooting Blacks in video games and then are encouraged to go out and be racist and aggressive in real life. Because, you know, a video game is all that it takes for normal non-Black people to become violent racists.

But then when you read the story under it, you see the headline as either the result of incompetence bordering on idiocy, or a just another pale attempt to paint violence and racism as something caused by an industry that needs to be federally regulated by the race police.

From CBS Cleveland:

Violent video games encourage negative racial attitudes and thoughts, with white game players displaying stronger implicit and explicit aggressive attitudes toward blacks when they play as black characters.

Well immediately the very first sentence isn't what the headline said, but oh boy is it alarming! I mean a White person plays as a Black character and then immediately displays "implicit and explicit [both mind you!] aggressive attitudes toward blacks." Yup, that's all it takes... a video game!

A new study from researchers at The Ohio State University and the University of Michigan finds that white gamers who played as black avatars exhibited more racist sentiments, including connections made between blacks and weapons and photos of black people being linked to words such as “horrible” and “evil.” 
“This is a very troubling finding,” the researchers write in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

So, a white person playing a video game of Hearts with a Black avatar suddenly links Black people to words such as "horrible" and "evil." Is that it? Oh wait, no there's more.

“Our research suggests that people who play violent video games as violent black characters are more likely to believe that blacks are violent people,” writes a research team led by Grace Yang of the University of Michigan and Brad Bushman of the Ohio State University. “Playing a violent video game as a black character reinforces harmful stereotypes that blacks are violent.”

Bwahaha! So this suddenly goes from White people being turned violently racist by video games to "people who play violent video games as violent black characters are more likely to believe that blacks are violent people." So really it's kind of a no effin' kidding result. Believe it or not, when the media, in this case in the form of video games, consistently presents Blacks as violent and criminals then non-Blacks (and I wonder argue Blacks as well) get that impression of Blacks as a people. Have these fools never heard of branding? Why are they retreading studies done in advertising?

The whole article is actually pretty amusing to read, as the deeper you get into it, the more it disproves the hypothesis stated in the headline. It's like the exact reverse of the simplest version of a persuasive or argumentative essay. Good job!

The research itself is pretty damn stupid in itself. I won't go into it, but you can read the details at the link to the CBS story above ,or the study itself at the link within the article. Essentially they had White people (I haven't read the study itself, but the article doesn't mention any Black people-- or any other ethnicity at all-- used as control group) play violent/gang-glorifying video games for 20 minutes and then give them a "flash card test" where they apparently associated black people with weapons and white people with cell phones. Amazing test guys...

The most hilarious result though:

Participants were also tested on a seemingly unrelated food preferences test in which they tested hot sauce, and then were asked how much another person would like the spicy food. 
Among players of the violent game, those who used a black avatar gave their “partner” more hot sauce compared to those who used a white avatar [LOL]. The black avatar participants gave the hypothetical food “partner” more than double (115 percent) the amount of chili sauce than participants who played as white avatars [so never ever, ever eat at a Taco Bell after playing video games with a White guy who played as a Black guy. Or at the very least, keep him away from the Taco Sauce and salsa. This has been proven by Science.]. 
The researchers suggested this element of the study was “particularly noteworthy,” because “this increase in aggression occurred over and above any increase in aggression among participants playing the violent game as a white avatar.”

WTF?! So video games causes White people to like hot sauce more after a video game? Or is giving a hypothetical person extra hot sauce considered aggressive behavior? Well, it doesn't really matter, because what's really important is that White people are racist and video games are partially responsible.

This is your media and academia in action folks...


Friday, March 21, 2014

DOJ Refuses Request for Special Prosecutor in IRS Scandal


"A Democrat partisan investigating Democrats suppressing their political opposition? I see no conflict here. I mean... enemies have to be punished."


What?! Holder the partisan hack is refusing to investigate partisan attacks from the White House?

Shocker.

From Breitbart:

The Holder Department of Justice (DOJ) rejected a request from Texas Senator Ted Cruz to appoint a special prosecutor for the investigation into the IRS scandal in a letter released this week. The DOJ argued that it saw no apparent conflict of interest with its current investigator Barbara Bosserman—who has contributed thousands of dollars to Obama and other Democrats according to recent Breitbart News reports.  
Despite the DOJ's denial of his request, the junior Texas Senator's office said it will not give up the fight to hold the Obama Administration accountable. A Cruz spokesperson told Breitbart Texas, "We will certainly push back...This is an issue that Cruz remains committed to." 
In response to the DOJ's denial of his request, Cruz said in a statement, "It is the height of hypocrisy for the Obama Administration to claim that the investigator leading the investigation into the IRS's illegal program has no conflict of interest. The investigator is a partisan Democrat who has donated over six thousand dollars to President Obama and Democrat causes… Nobody should trust a partisan Obama donor to investigate the IRS's political targeting of President Obama's enemies.
Cruz sent his initial request to Attorney General Eric Holder on January 22. He wrote in a letter, "It strains credulity to say that, out of the over 114,000 employees of the Department of Justice, the only possible choice to lead the investigation was a major political donor to President Obama. This, on its face, is a significant conflict of interest... General Holder... I would ask you to immediately appoint a special prosecutor, with meaningful independence, to investigate the IRS' illegal targeting of conservative groups."  
Nearly two months later on March 10, the DOJ responded to Cruz in writing. A letter signed by Peter J. Kadzik, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, said that the appointment of a special prosecutor "is not warranted." Kadzik admitted in his letter that such an appointment is permitted when a DOJ investigation presents a conflict of interest--but he denied the presence of any such conflict. Bosserman's name was not mentioned in the letter. [emphasis mine]

Holder is the worst attorney general in recent history. His "Fast and Furious" programs resulted in hundreds of deaths in Mexico and several in the U.S. It's hardly surprising that the Obama flunky is denying a special prosecutor, but it helps that this request forces the DOJ to dig themselves a little deeper into the muck over the IRS scandal.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ObamaCare Premiums to Skyrocket in Coming Months


"Don't worry your pretty little heads over this increase. I promised you that families would save $2500 every year with ObamaCare. Don't you trust me? Besides, old people are now useless to the State."


Yeah, no kidding. The way ObamaCare was written, premiums were guaranteed to rise. Huge premium increases were baked into legislation.

From The Hill:

Health industry officials say ObamaCare-related premiums will double in some parts of the country, countering claims recently made by the administration
The expected rate hikes will be announced in the coming months amid an intense election year, when control of the Senate is up for grabs. The sticker shock would likely bolster the GOP’s prospects in November and hamper ObamaCare insurance enrollment efforts in 2015. 
The industry complaints come less than a week after Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sought to downplay concerns about rising premiums in the healthcare sector. She told lawmakers rates would increase in 2015 but grow more slowly than in the past.  
“The increases are far less significant than what they were prior to the Affordable Care Act,” the secretary said in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee. 
Her comment baffled insurance officials, who said it runs counter to the industry’s consensus about next year.  [What do they know? The Obama Administration are the real experts.]
“It’s pretty shortsighted because I think everybody knows that the way the exchange has rolled out … is going to lead to higher costs,” said one senior insurance executive who requested anonymity. 
The insurance official, who hails from a populous swing state, said his company expects to triple its rates next year on the ObamaCare exchange.  
The hikes are expected to vary substantially by region, state and carrier.  
Areas of the country with older, sicker or smaller populations are likely to be hit hardest, while others might not see substantial increases at all [emphasis mine].

So, higher costs and premiums, the Obama Administration lying about it (and probably looking for likely scapegoats-- the GOP, greed, and young people being the most likely candidates), and declining health care is all but guaranteed... ObamaCare is working out just great for everyone. Right?

And let's note that ObamaCare is going to be hardest on the old and the infirm. Oh, the compassion and human concern of the Left is without equal. We should also remember that the AARP gave ObamaCare it's seal of approval years back. I guess their loyalty's a little more in accord with the DC political class than with their members. What a shock!

Remember that this piece of trash legislation was passed in the middle of a December night, against the repeated protests of the American people, and without a single GOP vote. It was because of the Dems' and Obama's arrogant insistence that we're saddled with this expensive, intrusive, and unworkable piece of crap. Let us never forget that.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Israeli Defense Chief: U.S. Projecting Weakness


Fantasy

Reality


Yeah, no kidding.

From Reuters:

Israel's defense minister has accused the United States of projecting weakness internationally and said Israel could not rely on its main ally to take the lead in confronting Iran over its nuclear program.  
Moshe Yaalon, whose remarks were reported in the Haaretz daily on Tuesday, caused friction with the United States only two months ago when he described Secretary of State John Kerry's quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace as messianic and obsessive. 
His latest comments, confirmed by an Israeli official who was present at lecture Yaalon delivered at Tel Aviv University on Monday, displayed deep disappointment with U.S. President Barack Obama's handling of burning world issues. 
"We had thought it would be the United States that would lead the campaign against Iran," said Yaalon, who pointed to the Ukraine crisis as an example of Washington "showing weakness".  
[...]  
Iran and six world powers will try to make headway on the nuclear dispute in talks that started in Vienna on Tuesday, with Western officials hoping the challenge will not be made even more difficult by the Ukraine crisis. 
Yaalon said that although "people know Iran cheats", the United States and other nations chose to negotiate with Tehran on restricting activities they fear are aimed at developing atomic arms. 
"Therefore, on this matter, we have to behave as though we have nobody to look out for us but ourselves," Yaalon said, echoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's veiled threats of unilateral military action against Iran if diplomacy fails.

If diplomacy fails? It's pretty much a foregone conclusion, since Iran is absolutely dedicated to having nuclear weapons and the Obama Administration has pretty much resolved itself to accept that demand.

Obama the amateur has screwed up the world in ways that most Americans do not understand. Hugely important geopolitical realignments have taken place in the last fiver years due to Obama's inattention. Indeed Obama has been so obsessed in punishing domestic "enemies," dictating laws issuing executive orders, and passing extremely unpopular and invasive laws, that he has little time for the rest of the world. And it shows.


Friday, March 14, 2014

IG Finds Massive Amounts of Fraud at the EPA


They faithfully do the bidding of the Light-bringer. They shall be left alone.

And here I thought that the EPA was just for bullying.. er, I mean punishing... Obama's political enemies.

From Americans for Tax Reform:

A report released by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Inspector General has found that EPA employees have improperly used federal charge cards to purchase everything from gym memberships to gift cards. The report indicated that over 90 percent of the sampled transactions were for prohibited, improper, or erroneous purchases, all paid for by American taxpayers. Ironically, Senate Democrats Monday night carried on an all-night filibuster in the hopes of generating even more power and funding for the EPA. 
In order to compile the report, the Office of the Inspector General obtained a spreadsheet of 67,000 EPA transactions from Fiscal Year (FY) 2012, and randomly selected 69 transactions. They additionally selected 11 transactions that seemed inappropriate because of the name of the merchant involved. For instance, some transactions were with merchants listed as dance halls, child care organizations, music venues and theatres. Of the 80 transactions sampled, 75 were for prohibited, improper, or erroneous purchases. The 80 transactions sampled totaled $152,602 and $79,254 (52%) of which were for prohibited, improper, or erroneous purchases. 
The report outlined nine specific internal control oversight issues, ranging from the approval of prohibited transactions by EPA officials to the outright failure to maintain transaction records. Of the primary internal control oversight issues, four were particularly outrageous, and the report found that of the transactions sampled: 
  1. 35% of cardholders did not verify the receipt of purchases;
  2. 30% of cardholders did not obtain required approval prior for purchases;
  3. 25% of cardholders did not obtain funding prior to purchases; and
  4. 18% of approving officials never reviewed purchase logs.
       
Some specific instances of EPA employee misconduct were so egregious they are worth mentioning. In three instances, cardholders purchased gym memberships totaling $2,867. Two of those purchases were not even for EPA employees but for family members. Cardholders further violated EPA guidelines regarding inappropriate food purchases: 
“Although light refreshments are defined as those that do not include portions of food typical of a meal, in one of our samples, light refreshments included all elements of a meal for an awards ceremony. Four different appetizers, chicken tenderloin, fresh fruit, pasta salad, large cookies, soft drinks and punch were purchased at a cost of $2,900. Meals are not an allowable expense for an awards recognition ceremony.” 
The report also found that the purchase of gift cards by EPA cardholders was also a problem in seven transactions. For example, in one transaction 20 American Express gift cards were purchased totaling $1,588. Additionally, the report highlighted an instance where EPA employees blatantly violated records keeping requirements in that:

“Two transactions totaling $26,152 could not be located despite instructions to maintain supporting documentation. The EPA’s policy requires the retention of documentation for 3 years on a fiscal year basis. Cardholders were not attentive to this basic requirement. In two cases, the cardholders left their positions and no arrangements were made to retain the records. In another transaction the cardholder stated that records were not kept because of privacy concerns. This lack of documentation increases the risk that purchases could be fraudulent, improper or abusive.”

Look, these people at the EPA work very, very hard at saving us all from global warming, uppity conservatives and such, so they deserve a few perks every once in a while. Generally fraud like this is a perk while working in DC. Don't like it? Too bad. You're still paying for it.


Obama's "If You Like Your Doctor You Can Keep Your Doctor" Lie Exposed


"Ok, I did say you could your doctor and all that, but understand that it's better for everyone if Washington bureaucrats make these decision for you. Most folks are just too dumb to know what's best for them. And ObamaCare's now the law of the land, so suck it."


Gee, it almost seems like Obama and the Democrats were just lying so they could pass the ObamaCare atrocity. I'm so jaded for thinking that...


From The Washington Free Beacon:

President Obama admitted Americans may have to change their doctors under Obamacare in an interview with WebMD posted Friday. 
“For the average person, many folks who don’t have health insurance initially, they’re going to have to make some choices,” he said. “They might end up having to switch doctors, in part because they’re saving money. But that’s true, you know, if your employer suddenly decides we think this network’s going to give a better deal, we think this is going to help keep premiums lower, you’ve got to use this doctor as opposed to that one or this hospital as opposed to that one.” 
Like his infamous “Keep your plan” promise, Obama also pledged multiple times that Americans would not be required to change their doctor under the Affordable Care Act.

But I was sure that ObamaCare was going to lower my costs, save me money, make me healthier, and provide me with a pink unicorn to ride on.

Gosh, ObamaCare seems to be more of an super-expensive law that forces me to purchase worse coverage, worse care, and that's if I can find a working website here in Oregon. These problems must be caused by racism and greed.


Friday Funnies: More YouTube Comment Reconstructions



These reconstructions are terrible. As an occasional gamer with no real opinion about the next gen consoles, the second one is especially funny. They are both NSFW due to language. You've been warned.

Enjoy: YouTube Comment Reconstruction #3 - 'Brian Eno: An Ending (Ascent)'


And the second: YouTube Comment Reconstruction #4 - 'Xbox One Reveal - Full Press Conference"




Thursday, March 13, 2014

WSJ: U.S. Investigators Suspect Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane Flew On for Hours



Absolutely bizarre... if true.

From The Wall Street Journal article by Andy Pasztor:

U.S. investigators suspect that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 stayed in the air for about four hours past the time it reached its last confirmed location, according to two people familiar with the details, raising the possibility that the plane could have flown on for hundreds of additional miles under conditions that remain murky.  
Aviation investigators and national security officials believe the plane flew for a total of five hours, based on data automatically downloaded and sent to the ground from the Boeing Co. 777's engines as part of a routine maintenance and monitoring program.  
That raises a host of new questions and possibilities about what happened aboard the widebody jet carrying 239 people, which vanished from civilian air-traffic control radar over the weekend, about one hour into a flight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.  
[...]  
U.S. counterterrorism officials are pursuing the possibility that a pilot or someone else on board the plane may have diverted it toward an undisclosed location after intentionally turning off the jetliner's transponders to avoid radar detection, according to one person tracking the probe. 
The investigation remains fluid, and it isn't clear whether investigators have evidence indicating possible terrorism or sabotage. So far, U.S. national security officials have said that nothing specifically points toward terrorism, though they haven't ruled it out. 
But the huge uncertainty about where the plane was headed, and why it apparently continued flying so long without working transponders, has raised theories among investigators that the aircraft may have been commandeered for a reason that appears unclear to U.S. authorities. Some of those theories have been laid out to national security officials and senior personnel from various U.S. agencies, according to one person familiar with the matter.  
[...] 
As of Wednesday it remained unclear whether the plane reached an alternate destination or if it ultimately crashed, potentially hundreds of miles from where an international search effort has been focused.  
In those scenarios, neither mechanical problems, pilot mistakes nor some other type of catastrophic incident caused the 250-ton plane to mysteriously vanish from radar. 
The latest revelations come as local media reported that Malaysian police visited the home of at least one of the two pilots.  
[...]  
The engines' onboard monitoring system is provided by their manufacturer, Rolls-Royce PLC, and it periodically sends bursts of data about engine health, operations and aircraft movements to facilities on the ground.  
"We continue to monitor the situation and to offer Malaysia Airlines our support," a Rolls-Royce representative said Wednesday, declining further comment. 
"The disappearance is officially now an accident and all information about this is strictly handled by investigators," said a Rolls-Royce executive who declined to be named, citing rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency. 
As part of its maintenance agreements, Malaysia Airlines transmits its engine data live to Rolls-Royce for analysis. The system compiles data from inside the 777's two Trent 800 engines and transmits snapshots of performance, as well as the altitude and speed of the jet. 
Those snippets are compiled and transmitted in 30-minute increments, said one person familiar with the system. According to Rolls-Royce's website, the data is processed automatically "so that subtle changes in condition from one flight to another can be detected." 
The engine data is being analyzed to help determine the flight path of the plane after the transponders stopped working. The jet was originally headed for China, and its last verified position was half way across the Gulf of Thailand.  
A total flight time of five hours after departing Kuala Lumpur means the Boeing 777 could have continued for an additional distance of about 2,200 nautical miles, reaching points as far as the Indian Ocean, the border of Pakistan or even the Arabian Sea, based on the jet's cruising speed.

It seems that if the plane was hijacked, that the hijackers' demands would have already been issued. I know of no precedent for a "stealth" hijacking of an airliner.

I wish I trusted the competency of US officials more than I do, but this case is getting weirder and weirder. Rumors and conspiracy theories are choking the internet at this point, so it seems wise to take information, even information provided by legitimate sources, with a great deal of skepticism. That said, my opinion from the beginning is that the plane simply crashed into the ocean with a reasonable chance (~35%) of terrorism (likely Uighur) being the cause. If this information is correct, something a lot stranger is going on. An unimaginably horrible case of pilot error? Like pretty much the worst pilot error ever? A secret hijacking? A Chinese cover up?

It's all very, very odd.

And how horrible this must be for the families and friends of the passangers of this plane...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Obama's Dept. of Interior Knew World War II Veterans Would Be Locked Out


"Hey, hey! Do you remember when I deliberately locked out WWII veterans from the memorials? Good times..."

Because Obama wanted to make it hurt. And to hurt the right people.

From the NRO article by Jillian Kay Melchior:

 The Department of the Interior knew beforehand that two groups of aging veterans would be visiting the World War II Memorial as the partial government shutdown began on Oct. 1 but decided to barricade the site anyway, according to e-mails obtained by National Review Online. 
The newly released public records also show National Park Service employees busily monitoring the news for any bad publicity and making shutdown exceptions for their co-workers. 
On Sept. 30, staff from the offices of Senator Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) and Representative Steven Palazzo (R., Miss.) contacted the Department of the Interior's Office of Congressional Affairs, as well as the National Park Services Washington Office and at least one regional office. 
Tom Buttry, a legislative correspondent in Harkin's office, wrote on Sept. 30:
While I understand that these memorials have remained accessible to the public during past shutdowns (I'd imagine with the mall being so open, it'd probably [be] more manpower intensive to try to completely close them), I wanted to do my due diligence and make 100 percent sure that people could visit the outdoor memorials on the National Mall in the event of a shutdown.
The Department of the Interior and National Park Service decided instead to fully shut down the site, e-mails show 
The aftermath was widely reported: The visiting veterans defied the barricades, crossing to visit the site as bagpipes played and onlookers cheered.

Bravo Department of Interior! Punish those wicked enemies of the state! And then blame it all on Congress!

I think that there isn't a a depth that the Obama Administration is unwilling to sink to. Three more years of deliberate harm from our executive branch! I can't wait for what else they're going to come up with...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Pretty Good Question: "If the U.S. economy is getting better, then why are major retail chains closing thousands of stores?"


"I shall create wealth by taking it from others, sayeth the Light-bringer. What could possibly go wrong with spreading the wealth around?"

Tyler Durban at Zero Hedge asked the question, and there's not really a good answer. My bet is that retail stores are closing because of:

1) Online Sales

2) The Cold Weather

3) Greed

4) The GOP

5) Bullying

6) Overweight Children

7) George W. Bush

8) Even More Greed

9) The European Debt Crisis

10) The Tea Party

11) Global Warming

12) ATMs

13) Israel

14) Guns

15) Racism

... and it's mostly because of racism.

From Durban at Zero Hedge:

If the U.S. economy is getting better, then why are major retail chains closing thousands of stores? If we truly are in an "economic recovery", then why do sales figures continue to go down for large retailers all over the country? Without a doubt, the rise of Internet retailing giants such as Amazon.com have had a huge impact. Today, there are millions of Americans that actually prefer to shop online. Personally, when I published my novel I made it solely available on Amazon. But Internet shopping alone does not account for the great retail apocalypse that we are witnessing. In fact, some retail experts estimate that the Internet has accounted for only about 20 percent of the decline that we are seeing. Most of the rest of it can be accounted for by the slow, steady death of the middle class U.S. consumer. Median household income has declined for five years in a row, but all of our bills just keep going up. That means that the amount of disposable income that average Americans have continues to shrink, and that is really bad news for retailers.  
[...]  
#1 As you read this article, approximately a billion square feet of retail space is sitting vacant in the United States. 
#2 Last week, Radio Shack announced that it was going to close more than a thousand stores
#3 Last week, Staples announced that it was going to close 225 stores
#4 Same-store sales at Office Depot have declined for 13 quarters in a row
#5 J.C. Penney has been dying for years, and it recently announced plans to close 33 more stores
#6 J.C. Penney lost 586 million dollars during the second quarter of 2013 alone. 
#7 Sears has closed about 300 stores since 2010, and CNN is reporting that Sears is "expected to shutter another 500 Sears and Kmart locations soon". 
#8 Overall, sales numbers have declined at Sears for 27 quarters in a row
#9 Target has announced that it is going to eliminate 475 jobs and not fill 700 positions that are currently empty. 
#10 It is being projected that Aéropostale will close about 175 stores over the next couple of years. 
#11 Macy's has announced that it is going to be closing five stores and eliminating 2,500 jobs. 
#12 The Children’s Place has announced that it will be closing down 125 of its "weakest" stores by 2016. 
#13 Best Buy recently shut down about 50 stores up in Canada. 
[...] 
#15 It is being projected that sales at U.S. supermarkets will decline by 1.7 percent this year even as the overall population continues to grow. 
#16 McDonald's has reported that sales at established U.S. locations were down 3.3 percent in January. 
[...]
#18 Even Wal-Mart is struggling right now. Just check out what one very prominent Wal-Mart executive recently admitted...

David Cheesewright, CEO of Walmart International was speaking at the same presentation, and he pointed out that Walmart would try to protect its market share in the US – where the company had just issued an earnings warning. But most of the growth would have to come from its units outside the US. I mean, via these share buybacks?

Alas, outside the US too, economies were limping along at best, and consumers were struggling and the operating environment was tough. "We're seeing economies under stress pretty much everywhere we operate," Cheesewright admitted.

#19 In a recent CNBC article entitled "Time to close Wal-Mart stores? Analysts think so", it was recommended that Wal-Mart should close approximately 100 "underperforming" supercenters in rural locations across America.

#20 Retail consultant Howard Davidowitz is projecting that up to half of all shopping malls in America may shut down within the next 15 to 20 years...

Within 15 to 20 years, retail consultant Howard Davidowitz expects as many as half of America's shopping malls to fail. He predicts that only upscale shopping centers with anchors like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus will survive.

But don't worry, Obama will make it all better, right? And I bet if you renounce all others in his name, then he'll give you more food stamps and upgrade your ObamaCare health plan to gold...

So can we admit that Obamanomics is a failure yet?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Obama's Politicizing of the IRS to Attack Domestic "Enemies"


"All of you are to be punished at my whim. Such is the way of the Light-bringer."


Remember, it's all about division, enemies and revenge.

From George Will at The Washington Post: (h/t Instapundit):

The most intrusive and potentially most punitive federal agency has been politicized; the IRS has become an appendage of Barack Obama’s party. Furthermore, congruent with exhortations from some congressional Democrats, it is intensifying its efforts to suffocate groups critical of progressives, by delaying what once was the swift, routine granting of tax-exempt status.  
So, the IRS, far from repenting of its abusive behavior, is trying to codify the abuses. It hopes to nullify with new rules the existing legal right of 501(c)(4) groups, many of which are conservative, to participate in politics. The proposed rules have drawn more than 140,000 comments, most of them complaints, some from liberals wary of IRS attempts to broadly define “candidate-related political activity” and to narrow the permissible amount of this.  
Lerner is, so far, the face of this use of government to punish political adversaries. She knows what her IRS unit did and how it intersects with the law, and for a second time she has exercised her constitutional right to remain silent rather than risk self-incrimination. The public has a right to make reasonable inferences from her behavior.  
And from Obama’s. After calling the IRS behavior “outrageous,” he now says there is not a “smidgen” of evidence of anything to be outraged about. He knows this even though the supposed investigation of the IRS behavior has not been completed, or perhaps even begun. The person he chose to investigate his administration is an administration employee and a generous donor to his campaigns.  
Obama breezily says there was nothing more sinister than “boneheaded decisions” by wayward and anonymous IRS underlings. Certainly boneheadedness explains much about this administration. Still, does he consider it interesting that the consequences of IRS boneheadedness were not randomly distributed but thwarted conservatives?  
[...]  
Speaking of questions: Can anyone identify a Democratic Senate candidate whose tax records were leaked, as Christine O’Donnell’s were when she was the Republican candidate in Delaware in 2010? Is it a coincidence that in January 2011, after Catherine Engelbrecht requested tax-exempt status for two conservative groups she founded in Texas — King Street Patriots and True the Vote — the Engelbrecht family business was notified of its first IRS audit? Does James Comey wonder why (this was before he became FBI director), five months after Engelbrecht’s tax-exemption request, FBI agents appeared seeking information about attendees at the King Street Patriots meetings? Were five subsequent FBI contacts “checking in” for “updates” on the group’s activities really necessary? Why did the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives show a sudden intrusive interest in the Engelbrechts’ business, which has nothing to do with alcohol or tobacco or firearms or explosives? [emphasis mine]

I know most people are reluctant to believe this, but Obama and the Democrats have turned the agencies of the government into instruments of political punishment and intimidation. After the economically disastrous policies of the Obama Administration, the White House made a calculated decision to use executive government agencies to squelch criticism and attack political rivals.

This really shouldn't be a surprise to anyone familiar with the thought of the American Left. The Left has thrived on the strategies of division (divisions based in gender, race, economic levels, etc.) and assigning blame-- as Obama has exemplified repeatedly during his presidency. And an unfortunate but predictable result of these strategies is anger, and a usually misplaced self-righteous indignation.

Both play heavily into the Obama and Democrats' illegal attacks against conservatives and whoever they deem worthy of their ire. You see, the Left attacks conservatives because the Left truly, truly believes that conservatives deserve to be punished for whatever sleights they can creatively conjure up-- and they are thoroughly trained in that rather dubious skill. Be it "White privilege," historical wrongs seen through the light of today's mores (going back to The Crusades and well beyond), or simple lies designed to infuriate (for example "Lee Daniels' The Butler" as I've mentioned before), the Left has produced legions of people well-trained at finding fault to focus their ire and who now levy political punishments.

It will not stop, until all of those responsible within our government are held accountable for this deliberate targeting-- no matter how high the responsibility lies. And it is a fantasy that the buck stops with Lerner.