Thursday, September 26, 2013

Barack Obama, Insurance Salesman

President Obama wants you to buy health insurance. Like, a lot.
The president has undertaken a months-long effort to convince people, particularly the Millennials who populate his political base, to give their business to America’s largest insurance companies. This sounds odd for a guy who used a populist pitchforking of “big insurance” to goose his health law over the finish line in 2010.
But it’s not as odd as you might think. Obama built his law in private in conjunction with the same companies he was skewering in public. The same goes for the drug companies that were the preferred targets of Democrats for most of the pre-ObamaCare era. Why?
Unable to unite his party behind his vision for a government-run insurance program open to all Americans, Obama outsourced the sales job to insurance and drug companies to get the deal done. His pitchfork routine was in part about gaining an upper hand in negotiations with his insurance and PhRMA  partners, but mostly about appeasing liberal lawmakers who were unhappy that Obama’s more liberal vision had vanished. They got Hillary Clinton’s health law even though they elected Obama. But it was insurance and drug lobbyists who did the hard work of squeezing moderates into the already unpopular plan. They sold what Obama could not.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Top senator calls for scrapping key snooping Patriot Act section

**FILE** Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Associated Press)The Senate’s senior lawmaker said Tuesday that its time to end the Patriot Act power that the intelligence community has relied on to collect all Americans’ phone records, saying it isn’t making the country safer.

“In my view, and I’ve discussed this with the White House, the Section 215 collection of Americans’ phone records must end,” said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat and chairman of the SenateJudiciary Committee. “It is not making America safer and the government has not made its case this is an effective counterterrorism tool.”

Speaking at Georgetown Law Center, Mr. Leahy said he would hold a classified briefing this week and call an open hearing next week to try to look at the issues at stake.

The intelligence snooping has come under scrutiny since leaks earlier this year exposed that the U.S. government was collecting the time and phone numbers of calls made in the U.S., as well as combing through other electronic communications.

Since then, the intelligence community has admitted it has repeatedly broken its own rules — though officials say they have caught themselves and have generally not found any intentional efforts to abuse the programs.

Mr. Leahy, though, said there aren’t enough checks built into the program to let it continue, particularly with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has grown from a panel that approves wiretaps into a major legal power that decides weighty constitutional issues — all outside the view of the public.

“They are conducting oversight of highly technical programs that even the agency running them apparently did not understand and certainly did not accurately explain to the court. And they are doing all of this entirely in secret and without the benefits of an adversarial process,” Mr. Leahy said.

Via: Washington Times

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Is this the worst New York Times ‘Vows’ column ever written?

Over the weekend, the New York Times published the worst “Vows” column ever written in the history of the Times or the history of history. “Found, a Soul Mate” is a marriage story about two insufferable yuppie-hippies who fell in love over yoga. It was actually published in the one-time paper of record.
These two are your average, yoga-loving Brooklynites, except for that the woman accidentally killed a little girl this one time, a plot point that is explained in just two throwaway sentences that serve to explain her calm presence: “On Aug. 17, 2008, Ms. Halweil was driving on Montauk Highway when a 5-year-old girl rode a red toy wagon down a steep driveway and shot out onto the road in front of Ms. Halweil’s car. When she recounts the accident (the child died and Ms. Halweil was not charged) you can really see her calm, philosophical and open demeanor.”
The column is nearly 2,000 words, but seems like 20,000. And just when you think the author cannot possibly continue to write about the healing power of Ashtanga and womb-colored candles, IT GOES ON FOR A WHOLE OTHER PAGE.
Here are the nine worst/best lines from the column, which — as far as we know — is not a joke.
  • “Ms. Halweil, 36, grew up in New York in a tightknit family of four who loved to spend weekends together foraging for elderberries in Central Park”
  • “In 2003, while living in a loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, he started biking across the Williamsburg Bridge every morning to practice Ashtanga yoga with Eddie Stern, a well-known teacher in SoHo.”
  • “He painted the walls dark red, installed almost-black wood floors and put yellow candles everywhere. ‘It was like a womb,’ he said. ‘It took you somewhere else.’”
  • “…Mr. De Rosa, who in a single conversation might discuss Hindu deities, the connection between the knees and the ego, an energy healer he admires, Indian spices, juice cleanses and his ideas about love…”
  • “Their daughter, Neelu, was born at home on June 15, 2011, shortly after Ms. Halweil drank a concoction of castor oil, pineapple juice, vodka and baking soda prescribed by her midwife to speed contractions.”
  • “As 150 guests looked on and bamboo flute music played, Ms. Halweil appeared wearing a backless dress designed by Nili Lotan on a lawn decorated with modern sculptures including an enormous one by Urs Fischer of a yellow teddy bear.”
  • “The bride described the color of her dress as ‘pigeon-blood red.’ The groom was the one who wore white. He had on a Nehru-style suit the shade of coconut milk, lined with jewels around the lapels and neck.”
  • “Mr. Halsband, who was among the guests, commented, ‘It was just super-solid and super-honest.’”
  • “[The officiator] shared several pieces of advice about marriage that he had collected beforehand from family members and friends: think, laugh and love as often as possible; save money; check each other for ticks nightly to prevent Lyme disease.”

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


In anticipation of the implementation of new gun control laws next week, Marylanders have been scooping up 1,000 guns a day. 

According to the Baltimore Sun, 1,000 guns a day have been sold every day for the last two weeks and this week promises to be more of the same. 
Starting next week, bans will prohibit the sale of "assault rifles" and "fingerprints and a license" will be required to buy a handgun. 
State senator Nancy Jacobs (R-Dist. 34) says the new laws go too far and will only "make it...much more difficult for law-abiding citizens to get firearms without jumping through a million hoops."
Jacobs bought two handguns in time to beat the new laws too--and one of them has an "extended magazine."
Maryland State Police say background check requests for all the people trying to beat the sales ban and gun control laws have overwhelmed their system. This month alone background check requests are at "a pace roughly seven times that during the same time last year." 
Moreover, over "102,000 gun purchase applications have been submitted so far this year." A number which represents twice the applications that were coming in during 2011.

No communion for Nancy Pelosi: Vatican court head

** FILE ** Rep. Nancy Pelosi's views on abortion have brought criticism from the Catholic Church. (The Washington Times)House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has no Catholic right to be granted Communion, said the leading cardinal of the highest court at the Vatican.

Mrs. Pelosi should be denied Communion until she changes her advocacy views on abortion, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke said, according to the Western Center for Journalism.

That’s canon law, not opinion, he said. Canon 915 states that Catholics who are stubbornly contrary “in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

And Cardinal Burke said Mrs. Pelosi fits the definition.

“Certainly this is a case when Canon 915 must be applied,” he said, the Western Center for Journalism reported. “This is a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin — cooperating with the crime of procured abortion — and still professes to be a devout Catholic.”

The cardinal also said that Mrs. Pelosi is a perfect example of Catholics who separate their faith from day-to-day living.

“This is a prime example of what Blessed John Paul II referred to as the situation of Catholics who have divorced their faith from their public life and therefore are not serving their brothers and sisters in the way that they must — in safeguarding and promoting the life of the innocent and defenseless unborn, in safeguarding and promoting the integrity of marriage and the family,” he said.

The cardinal, an American, is the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura in Rome, Life News reported.

Via: Washington Times

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BARONE: Under Obama, America Wayward in the World

featured-imgAmerica has gone back to isolationism, many commentators are saying. Not just the dovish Democrats, but also Republicans who were so hawkish a decade ago are turning away from the world.
There is something to this, but it’s more complicated than that. To understand where we are, it’s helpful to put today’s developments in historical perspective.

One picture of American history has it that this country left the rest of the world alone through most of its history, was pulled into world politics by World War II and the Cold War, and is now just reverting to its norm.

The problem with this picture is that it leaves a lot of things out. George Washington kept Americans out of a world war between Britain and France, wisely, because the early republic was split down the middle on which side to back.

But a few years later, Thomas Jefferson was quite willing to send the U.S. Navy and Marines to quell the Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean. He recognized that we were a maritime and trading nation and had an interest in keeping the sea lanes open for trade.

America has sent missionaries as well as merchants around the world for two centuries. The nation has projected power and acquired territory in the Pacific as well as the Caribbean.

It has participated in international organizations since it ratified The Hague Conventions that set out principles of international law in 1899.

So the proposition that America long isolated itself from the world is laced with exceptions.

The term “isolationist” became common in the years after World War I. It was applied, erroneously, to senators who opposed the Versailles Treaty because it committed the U.S. to go to war without a vote in Congress.

But the heyday of isolationism was not the 1920s, when Republican presidents were heavily involved in European negotiations. It was in the middle 1930s, when Franklin Roosevelt torpedoed the London economic conference and signed a Neutrality Act. He changed course around 1938 when he decided that Hitler was a menace America could not live with.

Since the Founders, Americans have had different approaches to foreign policy — four different approaches named after four statesmen, as Walter Russell Mead explains in his book, Special Providence, and on his blog at The American Interest. They are isolationist to varying degrees, depending on circumstances.

One approach is Hamiltonian, making the world safe for American commerce through global alliances and military power. Another is Wilsonian, relying more on international law and human rights.

George W. Bush started off as a Hamiltonian and after 9/11 added Wilsonian emphases: Military power would be used to serve universal aspirations for freedom.

Obamacare: One blow after another

The Obamacare that consumers will finally be able to sign up for next week is a long way from the health plan President Barack Obama first pitched to the nation.

Millions of low-income Americans won’t receive coverage. Many workers at small businesses won’t get a choice of insurance plans right away. Large employers won’t need to provide insurance for another year. Far more states than expected won’t run their own insurance marketplaces. And a growing number of workers won’t get to keep their employer-provided coverage.

Every branch of the federal government played a role in weakening the law over the past three years, the casualty of a divisive legislative fight, a surprise Supreme Court ruling, a complex implementation and an unrelenting political opposition. The result has been a stark gap between the promise of Obamacare and the reality — one that has fueled a deep vein of skepticism about the law as it enters its most critical phase.

“Oh, I’ve heard of Obamacare, yes, but I didn’t know all that was involved,” said Cindy Bishop, a part-time worker from Lexington, Ky., who stopped by an Obamacare information booth at the state fair last month. “Everybody that I have ever talked to is totally against it. They’re afraid all the doctors are going to pull out, and you’re going to have to be like Canada and have to be on a waiting list.”

Obama will take a lead role during the six-month enrollment period in trying to convert critics like Bishop. He doesn’t expect to boost the subpar approval numbers, at least not in the near term. Democrats stopped anticipating a bump a long time ago when voters defied prediction after prediction that they would fall in love with Obamacare.

His best defense against Republican repeal efforts is a robust consumer response, and his best hope to soften years of public antipathy is a successful rollout. That’s why Obama is asking millions of Americans to just give the law a chance — go to the Web, sign up for a health care plan starting Oct. 1 and claim a new benefit that’s there for the taking on Jan. 1. It’s also why Republicans are mounting such an aggressive last stand this week to revoke funding for the law.

The early hiccups may not matter in the long run if the Affordable Care Act survives Republican challenges and goes on to become an entitlement as popular as Social Security or Medicare and if the early gaps between hope and practice narrow as more states agree to expand Medicaid.

Via: Politico

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'Duck Dynasty' star Uncle Si talks iced tea, marriage troubles and God

uncle si duck dynasty ae.jpgEveryone's favorite uncle, Si, has a best-selling book out, “Si-cology 1,” and it's just like Si, charming, funny and just a bit cheeky. The Tupperware toting “Duck Dynasty” star spoke to FOX411 about the book and some surprising hardships that he's battled.
FOX411: What's with the cups?
Uncle Si: I'm always just carrying a Tupperware cup, ever since my mom went to a Tupperware party and got 'em. I've left them strewn all over the U.S. and Europe. I drink iced tea out of them.
FOX411: Will you have an iced-tea line?
Si: Well, that's in the works I think.
FOX411: Anything you guys have said no to?
Si: (Laughs) They're coming up with new ideas all the time. That's Willie's and Corey's department. I don't get involved in the business end of it.
FOX411: You write very honestly about your wife's difficulty in conceiving.
Si: She went to all the specialists and they all said, “You'll never have kids.” I said, “Don't worry about it.” She said, “Yeah but I know you love 'em so I'm not going to marry you.” I said, “Hey, don't worry about that. The doctors don't have the final word. I believe in a higher power,” and I've got what you call two miracle babies, my daughter and my son and they gave me four grandsons a piece.
FOX411: You were also very honest about your son's mental health issues.
Si: Yeah he had some serious problems. The doctors finally figured out the medicine he needed and then everything was fine. Sometimes it's necessary to medicate.
FOX411: It put a lot of stress on your marriage.
Si: Oh yeah but if you think you're going to go through this life without running into some problems then you need to think again. It's not going to happen.
FOX411: Do you think people get divorced too easily?
Si: Oh definitely. Look the Bible says that you marry for life okay. It's a lifetime decision. They look at it way too trivial.
FOX411: How important is your faith to you?
Si: That's what got me through 65 years of life. My belief in God and what He's done for us and what He will do for us. That's a lot of the problems now. Look a lot of people don't believe there's evil. If there's good in this world, then you're being intellectually dishonest, if you believe there's a good power you've also got to believe there's an evil power too. There are physical laws that are in place. We've got the physical world we see but there's a microscopic world that you have to have special stuff to see, just because you don't see it with your naked eye doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

New York: Corrupt — and Set for Life

A corruption conviction doesn’t necessarily stop elected officials from profiting at the taxpayers’ expense. But a new effort led by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara aims to go after politicians’ public pensions when the courts find them guilty.

“Our primary mission is to address and to undo injustice, and, in the public-corruption context, a galling injustice that sticks in the craw of every thinking New Yorker is the almost inviolable right of even the most corrupt elected official — even after being convicted by a jury and jailed by a judge — to draw a publicly funded pension until his dying day,” Bharara, attorney for the Southern District of New York, testified on September 17 at the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. He added that “convicted politicians should not grow old comfortably cushioned by a pension paid for by the very people they betrayed in office.”

National Review Online has found that since 2008, at least four convicted politicians in New York have drawn pensions, all in excess of $3,000 per month.

The war on terror is back — and we remain leaderless.

Those very, very, very loose cannons, known as Muslim jihadists, have been shooting off around the world — massacring Christians in Pakistan, Africans in Nairobi, and all kinds of Syrians, and in the process, reminding serious Westerners (we still have a few) of the need for clear leadership amid clear and present dangers.
So far, we can be sure only of one thing: We have no line on what’s happening. Accordingly, we don’t know what to do.
One might suppose we had figured out some of the essential matters 10 years ago, starting with the attack on the twin towers, followed by the U.S. counter-attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq. We were on the right track. We knew that a crazed — I used the adjective deliberately, in its dictionary sense, without theological overtones — faction in the Muslim world wants us dead or submissive on account of our disgusting commitment to human freedom, made worse by our outrageous instinct to defend and pursue that freedom abroad.
It has come to this: If you believe in freedom or in Jesus Christ or in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, you’re a target for elimination at the hand of the crazies. (Aren’t people who blow themselves up, and others with them, just a little, you know, tetched in the head?) The world is at war in a way unfamiliar to most of its 7 billion people, but we are at war, nonetheless, and are in need of strong leadership, as I was saying.
We seemed for a while to be waiting out the crazies, hoping they might find more fruitful pursuits, especially if we assured them of our good intentions and democratic instincts. They fling our patience back in our faces. These are villainous people, which is what they think of us, but so what? They are wrong. A concerted worldwide effort against them is of the essence.
An effort led by whom?

GOP launches race war to boost the 1 percent


From Newt's epithets to the gutting of food stamps, Republicans try to unite white people to serve a hideous agenda

recent vote of House Republicans to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program reflects a deep-seated and insidious racial resentment toward Americans of color. This racial resentment rears its ugly head within the provisions for the bill that demand that non-employed participants in the program get a job, job training or do community service activities. Though the bill in its current form will most likely die in the Senate, the fact that Republicans would even pass it should concern us.
Conservatives continue to lead under the aegis of a deliberate and willful ignorance about the long-term existence of a group known as the working poor, people who work long hours in low-wage paying menial labor jobs, and therefore cannot make ends meet. Moreover, there is a refusal to accept that the economic downturn in 2008 created conditions of long-term unemployment, such that people simply cannot go out and “get a job” just because they will it to be so.
I often wonder if government officials actually talk to real human beings about these policies, because if they did, they would find many people with a deep desire to work, but a struggle to find well-paying jobs. Some of those people would gladly take jobs that pay far less, but are frequently told that their education and years of work experience make them over-qualified.
This is not a race-based problem. The American middle class itself is shrinking dramatically each year in relation to a poor economy, an insistence on austerity measures from the right, and a capitulation to these measures on the left. However, the complete irrationality and utter severity of the legislation, and the total lack of empathy and identification that inform contemporary Republican social advocacy is tied to a narrative about lazy black people and thieving “illegal” brown people.
In 1976, Ronald Reagan invented the term “welfare queen,” to characterize the actions of exactly one person in Chicago who had bilked the welfare system out of a staggering amount of money. Buttressed by an underlying white racial resentment of the liberal pieces of legislation that emerged during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations – laws that had attempted to change conditions, but could not change hearts and minds around racial inequality issues — white conservatives latched on to a narrative about lazy African-Americans stealing from taxpayers and living lavish lives financed by the welfare state.

Kerry to sign UN arms treaty opposed by Senate, NRA

Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to sign an arms trade treaty opposed by the Senate and the gun lobby as early as Wednesday, and Republicans aren't happy about it.

Kerry's plan to sign the treaty on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City this week has sparked immediate criticism from GOP opponents. 

“This treaty is already dead in the water in the Senate, and they know it,” said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services. “The Administration is wasting precious time trying to sign away our laws to the global community and unelected U.N. bureaucrats.”

A majority of Senate oppose the treaty because it covers small arms, making ratification impossible in the short term.

Kerry had already announced in June that the administration would sign the treaty as soon as it was satisfied with its translations into the different official U.N. languages. Reuters reported that he is likely to sign the treaty this week.

The news sparked immediate criticism from Republicans. 

An Inhofe amendment to the Senate Budget resolution in March blocking the U.S. from joining the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty garnered 53 “yes” votes.

The National Rifle Association insists the pact is a U.N.-backed gun grab. Advocates of the treaty say it's only aimed at regulating international sales to prevent terrorists and other rogue actors from getting their hands on weapons.

Lois Lerner retires---courtesy of the American taxpayer

And Her Troubles are Just Beginning.

Top IRS official Lois Lerner has now "retired."  
Lerner, under fire since she confessed on May 10, 2013, that the IRS had singled out Tea Party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny, had been on paid leave while revelation after revelation demonstrated that she was not only instrumental in targeting Tea Party groups, but she also misled the American public when the agency "confessed" to IRS wrongdoing.
In fact, nothing about her original story has proven true.  In May, she claimed that low-level officials applied extra scrutiny to conservative groups, that this scrutiny was “wrong,” and that the IRS put a stop to it when it learned of the abuse.
All these assertions were wrong.
Leaked documents show that Lerner, former Director of IRS Exempt Organizations, saw the Tea Party applications as "extremely dangerous,"
The documents show she took the lead in yanking their applications for tax exempt status from Cincinnati to Washington, D.C. -- where they were ultimately scrutinized in the IRS Chief Counsel's office -- and she hoped that the Federal Election Commission  would "save the day" from conservative electoral gains.
Yet no other federal agency had to "save the day," as the IRS conducted its systematic targeting of conservatives and then kept targeting them even after approving their applications for tax exemption, actions that had an undeniable impact on conservative advocacy.
In other words, rather than providing the solution, Lerner was a key part of the problem. 
As the evidence of her wrongdoing quickly piled up, Lerner improperly pled the Fifth Amendment before a congressional panel, proclaiming her innocence before refusing to speak – a move that would never work in federal court.
Via: Fox News
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DOJ, IRS Grant True the Vote Tax-exempt Status

The scandal-scarred IRS has agreed to grant tax-exempt status to True the Vote, the Texas-based “election integrity” group that became one of the tea party and conservative organizations targeted by the tax collector.

True the Vote announced Monday the IRS and the Justice Department consented late Friday to grant its application for 501(c)(3) status.

Editor's Note: Should ObamaCare Be Defunded? Vote in Urgent National Poll 

True the Vote calls itself a voters' rights organization, and was involved in efforts cleaning up voter rolls in some states, deterring fraud in Texas elections and verifying signatures in the Wisconsin governor recall election, according to the Washington Times 

But earlier this year, the group discovered it was among a slew of applications the IRS had been scrutinizing and turned around to sue the agency to force it to approve the application.

News of the Internal Revenue Service decision came the same day the retirement of Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the center of the agency's tea party scandal, was announced.

True the Vote lawyer Cleta Mitchell said the fight with the IRS is far from over.

“This lawsuit is about getting to the truth and we are not going to stop until we find out the answers to these and many other questions,” Ms. Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the IRS still needs to answer for the costs and damages that resulted from the three-year delay, and to explain why they were  looking at information the IRS's internal auditor says wasn't necessary for them to make a decision.

“We are pleased and relieved that the IRS and the DOJ are finally doing what should have been done three years ago, which is to recognize TTV as a charitable and educational organization, which we have always been and will continue to be,” True The Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said in a statement to Breitbart News.

The group first filed for tax-exempt status in July 2010. With the belate

Via: Newsmax

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Green Energy Co. Folds after Obama gives it $99.8 Mil

For the third time in just a few months, another one of President Obama’s alternative energy ventures has failed after getting tens of millions of dollars from American taxpayers. It’s a tired old story that nevertheless keeps repeating itself as the administration moves forward with an aggressive plan to make America green.

This month’s failed green experiment du jour features a company (ECOtality) that makes charging stations for electric cars. Like many of the other bankrupt businesses that have received government handouts, it’s situated in northern California and Uncle Sam gave it $99.8 million before it collapsed. The cash was doled out by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), which has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars for similar projects.

ECOtality was supposed to make charging stations for electric cars but instead it filed for bankruptcy which means that, once again, American taxpayers have been fleeced by another one of Obama’s alternative energy ventures. Get this; the company attributes its financial problems to “disappointing sales” and “a suspension of payments from the federal government.”

In the last few months two different fly-by-night companies went down after getting large sums from the government for their failed ventures. The first was Fisker Automotive, which received nearly $200 million to develop a wheelchair-accessible “green” van. The startup had been heavily touted by the administration as an innovator that would develop two lines of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that could run up to 300 miles on a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery. In fact, the Obama administration planned to give Fisker $528 million but the cash finally stopped flowing when the company laid off three quarters of its employees and announced it was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Soon after Fisker’s collapse another startup called Vehicle Production Group (VPG) went under after losing $50 million in taxpayer funds. VPG was supposed to create special vans for the disabled that run on compressed natural gas. Here’s how the Obama administration justified funding this experiment with public dollars: “This project invests in a socially and environmentally responsible product that will create new jobs, promote the use of alternative fuels, and help the U.S. maintain its competitive edge in the automotive industry.” The DOE has since taken the page down, but we got the quote straight from the agency’s announcement touting VPG.

There have been many other clean energy ventures that have also failed miserably after receiving exorbitant allocations from American taxpayers. Remember Solyndra, the northern California solar panel company—bankrolled by Obama fundraiser George Kaiser—that folded after getting $529 million from the government?

Despite the “serious concerns” of U.S. Treasury officials about the risky infusion, a federal audit exposed how the controversial deal was suspiciously rushed through for a politically-connected entrepreneur that had raised large sums for Obama. Judicial Watch is investigating the Solyndra scandal and has sued the administration for records related to the shady deal.

Then there’s the administration’s multi-million-dollar investment in “green jobs’ that will never exist. A few months ago afederal audit revealed that the government has blown half a billion dollars to train workers for the fantasy positions to fulfill Obama’s promise of creating 5 million green jobs over the next decade. It’s simply not happening and only half of the trainees in the program get work, most in areas unrelated to renewable energy.

Via: Judicial Watch

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Sarah Palin is Right

This is not some sort of bait-and-switch where the Palin-hating liberal swoops in with a zinger, this is for real: Sarah Palin is actually right about something. Furthermore, she’s not just a little bit right, she doesn’t just have a point, the former Alaska Governor is absolutely, 100% right. While you arrange your lambs in snuggly positions with your lions, let me explain. Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace revealed, yesterday, that “top Republicans” had sent him unsolicited oppo research and questions for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Former Governor Palin (R-AK) tweeted, on Sunday, that Wallace ought to reveal which sources had sent him the dirt on Cruz. She tweeted “@FoxNewsSunday Keep it TRULY fair & balanced. Release the GOP names encouraging you to trash @SenTedCruz. No more anonymous sources.”
Many Republicans are angry with Cruz for engineering a strategy that has the House GOP demanding a government shutdown and/or default if Obamacare is not de-funded. Presumably, the research sent to Wallace was intended to undercut Cruz, and perhaps trip him up. Palin’s tweet appears to have been motivated, in part, by affinity for Cruz, but also a well-earned contempt for anonymously-sourced news. Regardless of her motives, though, Palin is on firm journalistic footing with her demand.
Oppo research like this typically makes its way too a reporter in one of two ways: either as a general blast to journalists, with no attempt to hide the source, or as a specific package delivered to a particular reporter. Wallace’s is obviously in the latter category. Oppo deliveries like this are usually appended with language like “off the record” or “not for attribution,” or are generally understood to be off the record. They don’t need to be on the record because they typically don’t consist of new reporting, but rather, point the reporter toward existing reporting that he can verify independently.
The catch is that an unsolicited email, even if marked “off the record,” or understood to be off the record, isn’t actually off the record until the reporter agrees it is. We generally don’t burn sources in these cases because it isn’t usually newsworthy, and a source that feels burned won’t ever be a source for you again. There are rare exceptions. It was less newsworthy that Barack Obama once wore a Muslim-y outfit than it was that Hillary Clinton‘s campaign wanted people to know that.
This might be the reasoning that Wallace used in not revealing the source of the information, that even if it wasn’t technically off the record, he wished to honor the spirit of that unspoken agreement. If that’s the case, though, then he had no business revealing that the research even existed; that, in and of itself, would be a violation of off the record communication.
The reason he revealed it was that the source itself was newsworthy, that “top Republicans” were trying to undercut Ted Cruz. If the public has an interest in knowing that, then they surely have an even greater interest in knowing which top Republicans were doing it. Simply put, something can’t be a little bit off the record, any more than you can be a little bit pregnant. If Wallace concealed his source because they were off the record then he shouldn’t have mentioned it at all. If he was serving the public interest in revealing it, then he abdicated that interest by not revealing the source of the oppo research, and the contents of it. Sarah Palin is right, he should come clean.

Samuel L. Jackson to Obama: ‘Stop Trying to Relate’ and ‘Be F*cking Presidential’

Samuel L. Jackson has some harsh criticism for President Obama in a new interview with Playboy. The actor was lamenting the fact that it now appears to be “politically cool” for “white guys” on TV to use terms like “Pump your brakes” and “I got you” when speaking to black people. “We do still speak English, right?” he asked. “How the fuck did we become a society where mediocrity is acceptable?”
“Or one in which President Obama or other highly educated Americans consciously drop gs off the ends of words to sound like Joe Average?” Playboy’Stephen Rebello suggested. This led Jackson to issue his tough words for the president:
“First of all, we know it ain’t because of his blackness, so I say stop trying to ‘relate.’ Be a leader. Be fucking presidential. Look, I grew up in a society where I could say ‘It ain’t’ or ‘What it be’ to my friends. But when I’m out presenting myself to the world as me, who graduated from college, who had family who cared about me, who has a well-read background, I fucking conjugate.”
At the same time, Jackson reaffirmed that he would like to see Obama get “scary” in certain situations that call for some anger. “He got a little heated about the kids getting killed in Newtown and about the gun law,” Jackson said. “He’s still a safe dude.”
But, he also said, “If Hillary Clinton decides to run, she’s going to kick their fucking asses, and those motherfuckers would rather see the country go down in flames than let the times change.”

90% of Top Newspaper Headlines Censor Islam in Nairobi, Pakistan Attacks

Dare a top newspaper journalist to play connect-the-dots and chances are he’ll fail miserably – at least with drawing the line between Islam and terrorism. In Nairobi, Kenya last weekend, Islamist militants took over a high-end shopping mall and began executing non-Muslims. In Pakistan, Islamist suicide bombers detonated at a Christian Church on Sunday. 
Yet on Monday, September 23, 90 percent of the top ten (via circulation numbers) daily newspapers’ headlines in the United States censored the words “Islam” and Muslim” from Nairobi and Pakistan reports. One – the New York Daily News – didn’t even have a headline for the latest Islamic terrorist attacks. That’s journalism at its finest. 
The Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) headline by Heidi Vogt announced that “Assault on Mall Stuns Kenya” and called the act a “terrorist attack” by “armed militants.” In a small reference to the Pakistan Christian fatalities, the newspaper credited a group linked with the “Pakistan Taliban.” 
As the second most popular newspaper after the WSJ, The New York Times proclaimed “Carnage In Mall Shows Resilience of Terror Group” for an article by Nicholas Kulish, Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt. In fact, on the front page the Times used every description but the Islamic connection to describe the aggressors: “the ferocious armed political movement known as the Shabab” – with ties to Al Qaeda and Boko Haram. 
Only USA Today (number three in circulation) broke Islam silence with a headline admitting, “Islamists kill dozens in Kenya and Pakistan” (under an even larger headline: “Two New Terror Attacks”). Jim Michaels and William W. Welch’s story detailed how “Islamic extremists unleashed bloody attacks.” For Pakistan, the reporters called Sunday’s two suicide bombers assault “the deadliest-ever attack against the nation’s Christian minority” and included a picture with a caption describing, “a relative of victims of the Christian church bombings.” 
Via: Newsbustrers

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