Senator Ted Cruz: Let’s See if Obama Is Willing To Shut Down The Government To Fund Obamacare

Cruz: Let’s See if Obama’s Willing To Shutdown Gov’t To Fund Obamacare – CNS

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced an amendment on Wednesday that would cut off all funds for Obamacare, a step he said Republicans should support and, if it were to pass in the House as well, could be sent to President Barack Obama to see if he’s “willing to try to shut the government down” over funding of the Affordable Care Act.

“I think it’s the right position for Republicans to be taking,” Cruz told CNSNews.com. “And I think it would be exactly the right decision to then send it back to Harry Reid and President Obama and ask if Harry Reid and President Obama are willing to try to shut the government down in order to insist that Obamacare be fully funded now, even though it could well push us into a recession.”

“I think that is an important stand for principle that makes a difference in the lives of those who are struggling the most,” said the senator.

On Wednesday, Cruz introduced his de-fund Obamacare amendment to the continuing resolution (CR), which is a massive “must-pass” bill to keep the government funded for the rest of this fiscal year, from late March through the end of September.

Last week, the Republican-controlled House passed a $982-billion CR, but the GOP leadership set the rule and did not allow the must-pass CR to include language prohibiting funding for Obamacare or for de-funding the controversial Obamacare mandate that requires nearly all health plans to offer contraceptives, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs without co-payments.

Though he said he does not expect his amendment to pass in the Senate, which is majority-Democrat, Cruz said it is “entirely beneficial” to have a conversation about the impact of Obamacare on economic growth.

He also encouraged House Republicans to “stand for principle” and force the president and the Senate to shut down the government over funding the health care law.

During a press conference on Capitol Hill, CNSNews.com asked Cruz why the Republicans in the House did not attempt to defund the law.

“You just said this amendment isn’t likely to pass because the Republicans don’t control the Senate,” CNSNews.com asked. “But the Republicans control the House. And they decided to not try to defund Obamacare in the CR. Why do you think they didn’t put that in and do you think they should have?”

“Well, legislation can be an iterative process,” Cruz said. “And one of the benefits, I believe, of debating and voting on this amendment today is that if Republicans stand together – I hope we will – there is a very good chance the continuing resolution will be amended in the Senate in some way and sent back to the House.”

“So, the House is going to have another shot at this,” he said.

“And I would certainly be very encouraged if the House, when they get the continuing resolution back, made the decision to include precisely this amendment to defund Obamacare,” Cruz continued. “I think it’s the right position for Republicans to be taking.”

“And I think it would be exactly the right decision to then send it back to Harry Reid and President Obama and ask if Harry Reid and President Obama are willing to try to shut the government down in order to insist that Obamacare be fully funded now even though it could well push us into a recession,” he said.

“I think that is an important stand for principle that makes a difference in the lives of those who are struggling the most,” said Cruz.

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), also at the press conference, said, “I would add, again to reiterate, this was the very first vote they took in the House of Representatives this year, in this Congress. And so it’s important that we make sure that we have a vote here [in the Senate] on that.”

“It’s not always easy for us in the minority to get votes that we think are important,” he said. “But it is easier for the minority in the Senate than it is in the House.”

“This is an opportunity that we have to make sure that this vote happens and it makes sense to have this vote now in connection with the CR,” Lee said.

House Republicans have symbolically voted to repeal Obamacare more than 30 times in legislation that does not need to pass. However, every time they have enacted legislation that must-pass to keep the government funded, they have declined to include language that would repeal all or any part of Obamacare or that would withhold funding for all or any part of Obamacare.

Last week, as CNSNews.com previously reported, when the Republican-controlled House took up the $982-billion continuing resolution (CR) to fund the government through September, the legislation did include language prohibiting the administration from buying foreign-made ball bearings but it did not include language limiting the implementation of Obamacare.

The CR, for example, did not include language to prevent the administration from moving forward with a regulation that requires health-care plans to provide cost-free coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs – a regulation that dozens of Christian organizations and businesses have sued the federal government to stop, arguing that it violates their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.

Cruz’s amendment to the CR is called the “Restore Growth First” amendment, and it currently has 13 senatorial co-sponsors, all of them Republicans.

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Government Advertizes For 2,596 New Jobs Since Sequester (Video)

Sequester? What Sequester? …Government Advertizes For 2,596 New Jobs Since Sequester – Gateway Pundit

Since the sequester took effect the federal government has advertized for nearly 2,600 new jobs – including lawyers, librarians and sociologists.

Stephen Moore from the Wall Street Journal took a look at the numbers.

Via America’s Newsroom:

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Investor’s Business Daily has more:

Over a hundred jobs are at Homeland Security, which is letting criminal aliens go despite billions unspent from last fiscal year, with hundreds more jobs available at an Interior Department that warns of park closings.

“We’re doing our very best to minimize the impacts of sequester. But there’s only so much I can do,” DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said.

With regard to the release of illegal aliens from detention in anticipation of cuts due to sequestration, “I’m supposed to have 34,000 detention beds for immigration. How do I pay for those?”

Well, Madam Secretary, like other federal departments and agencies that have offered apocalyptic scenarios of tainted food and grounded planes, you can simply stop advertising and hiring new employees, while not replacing those who leave or quit.

It’s a money-saving process common in the business world. It’s called attrition.

A search of the USA Jobs federal employment website by Pajamas Media, filtered for positions in the U.S. and posted over the past 10 days, yielded 2,596 results, a staggering number of proposed new hires by an administration that halts White House tours that cost less money over a year than one presidential vacation.

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Obama To Nominate Sharia Supporter, Illegal Immigrant Advocate As Labor Secretary

Obama To Nominate Sharia Supporter, Illegal Immigrant Advocate As Labor Secretary – American Thinker

President Obama reportedly intends to nominate in-your-face radical leftist lawyer Thomas Perez as his next Secretary of Labor.

Now an assistant attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice, Perez is a former top aide to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and possibly a perjurer.

Perez led the Obama administration’s assault on voter ID laws last year. As John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky report in Who’s Counting, as a member of the Montgomery County, Md., Council in 2003 he also tried to force governments to accept fraud-prone matricula consular ID cards issued by Mexican consular offices. He was a board member of Casa de Maryland, an advocacy group for illegal aliens funded by George Soros and the recently deceased Hugo Chavez.

Perez is apparently in favor of Saudi-style anti-blasphemy laws. In Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries offenders can be condemned to death merely for insulting Islam.

Amazingly, at a congressional hearing last year, Perez pointedly declined to rule out bringing such laws to the United States. At the July 27, 2012, meeting of the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, Perez refused to say whether he would uphold the religious speech protections in the First Amendment in the future.

“Will you tell us… that this administration’s Department of Justice will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?” Congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) asked four times to no avail.

Perez, like so many Obama administration officials, believes that America is a seething hotbed of “Islamophobia,” filled with ignorant racist rubes who irrationally fear the Muslim religion. He has worked with hardcore Islamist groups such as the terrorist-linked Islamic Society of North America and applauded Islamists for lobbying against airline security measures.

He played a major role in enacting the Church Arson Prevention Act, legislation based on the false premise that black churches were being targeted with disproportionate frequency by arsonists.

Perez, now nominally the nation’s top civil rights enforcer at the Department of Justice, has an appalling track record at the DOJ and myriad unsavory associations.

He has targeted Maricopa County, Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio, for legal harassment because he doesn’t like Arpaio’s tough-on-crime approach, especially with respect to illegal aliens.

Under Perez, the DOJ has refused to prosecute hate crimes committed against white Americans. He was reportedly instrumental in the Justice Department’s dismissal of a case involving two Philadelphia-based members of the New Black Panther Party who intimidated white voters on Election Day 2008.

Perez graduated from Harvard Law School, long a hotbed of radical leftist activity. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) recently irritated left-wingers when an old speech of his surfaced in which he pointed out that Harvard Law is filled with what he called “communists.”

Cruz, of course, was correct. Harvard Law is bursting with adherents of “Critical Legal Studies” which is a crude legal theory derived from Marxism.

If confirmed, Perez would replace Hilda Solis, a former Democratic congresswoman from Los Angeles who resigned in January.

Solis treated the Labor Department as an arm of the labor movement and treated business as an enemy, not a partner in creating jobs. She also discarded Bush era transparency rules that fought union corruption.

As Capital Research Center (my employer) president Terrence Scanlon wrote, one of the most important things Solis did at the Department of Labor was

her reversal of Bush administration efforts to fight union corruption. Ms. Solis’ predecessor, Elaine Chao, had issued several rule changes to make it easier for union members and watchdogs to detect wrongdoing, especially conflicts of interest among union officials and the people with whom they do business.

Will Perez be even worse than Solis?

We’ll see.

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Obama’s Executive Expenses Top $1.4 Billion A Year… But We Can’t Afford White House Tours Anymore

Living Large In The Obama White House – National Review

We are now firmly ensconced in the brutal Age of the Sequester, and things in America are grave. The federal government, we learned on Wednesday, is so strapped for cash that the president has been forced to cut off the People’s access to the home he’s borrowing from them. He didn’t want to have to do this, naturally – “particularly during the popular spring touring season.” But then Congress just had to go and acquiesce in measures that the president himself had suggested and signed into law. How beastly! We axed 2.6 percent from a $44.8 trillion budget, and now the president can’t even afford the $18,000 per week necessary to retain the seven staff members who facilitate citizens’ enjoying self-guided tours around the White House.

The executive mansion is not in that much trouble, of course. It’s certainly not in sufficiently dire straits for Air Force One ($181,757 per hour) to be grounded, or to see the executive chef ($100,000 per year) furloughed, or to cut back on the hours of the three full-time White House calligraphers ($277,050 per year for the trio), or to limit the invaluable work of the chief of staff to the president’s dog ($102,000 per year), or to trim his ridiculous motorcade ($2.2 million). If Ellen DeGeneres wants another dancercize session or Spain holds another clothing sale, the first family will be there before you can say “citizen executive.” Fear ye not, serfs: Austerity may be the word of the week, but the president is by no means in any danger of being forced to live like the president of a republic instead of like a king.

When Calvin Coolidge was president in the glitzy 1920s, he took the republican ideal so seriously that he ended up in a series of tiffs with the White House housekeeper, Elizabeth Jaffray, over the cost of state dinners, and took to admonishing the executive branch for using too many pencils. Such behavior now serves only as a punchline to a joke that is not funny. The current annual cost of the White House – just in household expenses, not the policy operations for which it exists – is $1.4 billion: Annually, presidential vacations cost $20 million (the low estimate for one presidential vacation to Hawaii is $4 million, but the true cost is probably five times that); the first family’s yearly health-care costs are $7 million; more than $6 million is spent on the White House grounds each year. Transporting the president cost $346 million last year. But as Michelle Obama might say, America is basically a downright mean sort of place, so the tours will just have to go. One hopes at least that the calligraphers were recruited to sign the docents’ pink slips.

It’s not just the cost that stuns – it’s the pomp, too. The expense is often justified on the grounds of security. But for someone who wishes to remain inconspicuous, the president isn’t exactly subtle about things. In the 1930s, Eleanor Roosevelt tried to refuse Secret Service protection but was overruled. Nonetheless, for fear that “their presence made her look more like a Queen flanked by an Imperial Guard,” she refused to let the agents who tailed her make themselves known to the public, notes Philip H. Melanson. I was in Washington, D.C., once when George W. Bush’s presidential motorcade came past. It was like watching a Michael Bay movie about traffic, but with more special effects. “Imperial Guard” doesn’t do it justice. One can imagine Noel Coward: “Dear boy, I simply loved you in Pennsylvania Avenue!”

Like many of his predecessors, President Coolidge recognized that Americans looked up to the president as the only nationally elected politician, and he sought to behave accordingly. His example has been forgotten. John F. Groom, who has written a book about the growth of the White House, contrasts the expectation that presidents “should run their lives as examples to the nation, with frugality and simplicity,” with the conduct of President Obama, who, despite constant harping about “income inequality,” has displayed “the very height of unbridled personal excess in his own lifestyle.” It has been a long while since an incumbent lived frugally or simply. For all his virtues, Ronald Reagan positively encouraged a renaissance of Kennedy’s Camelot – bringing Hollywood into the mix for good measure. Fondly as many might remember his years in office, it was not a good look. And by all measures, George W. Bush was as bad as Obama – if not worse. America, “let’s not go to Camelot,” as Monty Python said. “’Tis a silly place.”

There was a reason that the Founding Fathers rejected titles and honorifics in favor of simplicity. Thankfully, the straightforward address, “Mr. President,” won out over the pretentious names that John Adams suggested, which included “His Majesty the President,” “His Mighty Benign Highness,” and “His High Mightiness.” (The Senate rather cruelly mocked Adams by suggesting it refer to him as “His Rotundity.”) Too many in our government have forgotten which way around this is supposed to work. Here in America, it’s supposed to be small government, Big People. This is the New World, not the Old. And yet, if you could sew Marie Antoinette’s head back on and bring her back to life, she would look around at today’s White House and nod approvingly. As for the people queuing outside? Sorry, darling, we simply can’t afford to invite them in.

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Former Newark TSA Screener: Airport Security Is A Joke

Former Newark Airport TSA Screener Says The Job Does Little To Keep Fliers Safe – New York Post

It is perhaps America’s most unsafe airport. Despite being the launching point for one of the planes hijacked on 9/11 – Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania – Newark Airport has had numerous security violations since. The latest: a fake bomb that made it past Transportation Security Administration officers. Here, a Newark TSA screener who recently left the agency tells how silly policies and lazy workers do little to stop real threats:

A LOT of what we do is make-believe.

I’ve had to screen small children and explain to their parents I had no choice but to “check” them. I would only place my hands on their arms and bottom half of their legs, and the entire “pat-down” lasted 10 seconds. This goes completely against TSA procedure.

Because the cameras are recording our every move, we have to do something. If someone isn’t checked or even screened properly, the entire terminal would shut down, as this constitutes a security breach.

But since most TSA supervisors are too daft to actually supervise, bending the rules is easy to do.

Did you know you don’t need a high-school diploma or GED to work as a security screener? These are the same screeners that TSA chief John Pistole and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refer to as a first-class first line of defense in the war on terror.

These are the employees who could never keep a job in the private sector. I wouldn’t trust them to walk my dog.

An agent got through Newark last week with an improvised explosive device? That’s not even news to anyone who works there. It happens all the time. The failure rate is pretty high, especially with federal investigators, and the pat-down itself is ridiculous. As invasive as it is, you still can’t find anything using the back of your hand on certain areas.

When there are internal tests, conducted by the Newark training department, it’s easy to cheat because they use our co-workers. You could be working with someone all morning, and then they’re gone. Word gets around the checkpoint. Someone will come over to you and say, “Hey, it’s Joe. He’s got a blue duffel bag.”

What are the chances of you being on a flight where something happens? We always said it’s not a question of if terrorists get through – it’s a question of when. Our feeling is nothing’s happened because they haven’t wanted it to happen. We’re not any big deterrent. It’s all for show.

A real pat-down is when a police officer pulls you over, uses his hands to search, actually goes into your clothes. We have to use the back of our hands around certain areas. It just doesn’t work. It’s a really bad way to pat somebody down.

If I had to guess, I’m sure lots of things get through. One screener told me about something he did going through security when he went on vacation. Let’s just say the screeners did not catch something that was really obvious to anyone who was paying attention.

Most TSA screeners know their job is a complete joke. Their goal is to use this as a stepping stone to another government agency.

We work in a culture where common sense has no place. All but a very few TSA personnel know they’re employed by a bottom-of-the-barrel agency.

Our first question to anyone in a wheelchair is to ask if they’re able to stand for a pat-down. If someone is in a wheelchair, he likely can’t stand. Even when they’re sitting, we’re required to ask them to move so we can check under their buttocks.

All I needed was for a passenger to fall over because I asked them to stand. And if that did happen, the screener would be vilified and the official p.r. spin would be that he needed “additional training.”

Every time you read about a TSA horror story, it’s usually about a screener doing what he or she is instructed to do.

Supervisors play absolutely no role in day-to-day functions except to tell you not to chew gum. Gum chewing is a huge issue with management. I once saw a supervisor make an officer open his mouth to prove he had a mint and not a piece of gum.

Goofing off and half-hour-long bathroom breaks are the only way to break up the monotony. There is also a lot of ogling of female passengers by the male screeners. So, ladies, cover up when you get to the airport. These guys are checking you out constantly.

A small number of screeners are delusional zealots who believe they’re keeping America safe by taking your snow globe, your 2-inch pocket knife, your 4-ounce bottle of shampoo and performing invasive pat-downs on your kids.

(Incidentally, the flap over the new rule allowing small pocketknives is overblown. Most of the public doesn’t realize it, but you are already allowed to bring scissors, screwdrivers, tweezers, knitting needles and any number of sharp instruments on board.)

The rest are only there for the paycheck and generous benefits. Screeners start at $15 per hour, and there is tons of overtime – mainly because they are filling in for the many screeners who don’t bother coming to work. For every 40 hours you work, you receive four hours of vacation and four hours of sick time.

One screener didn’t come to work for four weeks. When he finally reappeared, he asked for another week off. The answer was no. So what did this brainiac decide to do? He took another week off – and didn’t get terminated.

People have been caught falling asleep on the job. They get written up, it’s put in their file, and that’s it.

New hires see how bad it is working there, and, believe it or not, TSA does manage to hire some pretty decent people. They just don’t last because they can get a normal job.

It’s the people who’ve been there a good number of years who could never find employment elsewhere. When you have a real job, it usually means you have to actually work and think, which a lot of them have a hard time doing.

Anyone boarding an aircraft should feel maybe only a teeny tiny bit safer than if there were no TSA at all.

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Author Quotes Then-Professor Obama Saying, ‘I Don’t Believe People Should Be Able To Own Guns’

Author Quotes Then-Professor Obama Saying, ‘I Don’t Believe People Should Be Able To Own Guns’ – CNS

In his new book, At the Brink, economist and author John R. Lott Jr., assesses the presidency of Barack Obama and recalls conversations regarding gun laws they had while working at the University of Chicago.

In Chapter Three, Mr. Lott discusses gun-control and takes the reader back to his time at the University of Chicago, where he and then-professor Barack Obama spoke on numerous occasions about guns in America.

“I don’t believe people should be able to own guns,” Obama told Lott one day at the University of Chicago Law School.

Lott explains that he first met Obama shortly after completing his research on concealed handgun laws and crime.

“He did not come across as a moderate who wanted to bring people together,” Lott writes.

After he introduced himself to Obama, Lott suggested that they have lunch one day to discuss their views on guns. According to Lott, Obama “grimaced and turned away.” That was the way many conversations with Obama ended, Lott says.

Although the Law School was famous for the openness of its faculty and friendly engagement, Lott says, “Obama… preferred silent, scowling disdain to collegiality.”

President Barack Obama describes his views on guns much differently now that he is on the national stage, Lott believes, pointing to an interview on Fox News in which Obama states, “I have said consistently that I believe that the Second Amendment is an individual right.”

But, Lott isn’t convinced:

“Despite his assurance to Fox News that he understands the Second Amendment, it’s a good bet that the positions Obama took on guns during his time at Chicago reveal his true convictions.”

The chapter documents the actions that Obama has taken on guns, citing the following:

• In 1996, Obama supported a ban on handguns

• In 1998, he supported a ban on the sale of all semi-automatic guns

• In 2004, he advocated banning gun sales within five miles of a school or park, which would have shut down nearly all gun stores

Mr. Lott concludes the chapter, titled, “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,” writing, “Barack Obama is the most anti-gun president ever. That claim is based not on my own interactions with him back in the 1990′s but on his own public record over many years.”

He ends with a warning:

“The greatest threat is in his [Obama's] power to reshape the federal courts… Each appointment to the Supreme Court could determine whether the people are allowed to keep their guns.”

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Here Are All The GOP Senators That Participated In Rand Paul’s 12+ Hour Filibuster… And The Ones Who Didn’t

Here Are All The GOP Senators That Participated In Rand Paul’s 12+ Hour Filibuster… And The Ones Who Didn’t – The Blaze

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday staged an incredible nearly 13 hour filibuster to block President Barack Obama’s CIA nominee John Brennan, but mostly to bring attention to potential drone strikes against Americans in the U.S.

Attorney General Eric Holder, in a letter to Paul, said in an emergency the federal government could execute a drone strike on U.S. soil. The revelation resulted in Wednesday’s filibuster, the senator’s way of ringing the alarm bell. Paul made it clear repeatedly throughout the filibuster that he would end it once the White House admitted that drone strikes against Americans on U.S. soil are “unconstitutional.”

The White House had nothing to say on Wednesday.

Several GOP senators joined Paul in his crusade, however, many others didn’t and were not in attendance. Further, very few Democrats participated.

The Republican senators who participated in the filibuster with Paul include, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wy.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.).

There are a total of 47 Republican members of the U.S. Senate, meaning 33 other GOP senators sat out the filibuster protesting the federal government’s controversial drone program. To find out who those senators are, comb through the full list here.

Just one Democrat joined in the filibuster, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) spoke but only asked questions of Paul and didn’t officially speak as part of the filibuster.

Meanwhile, President Barack Obama invited rank-and-file Republican senators to dinner Wednesday. His efforts are “aimed at jumpstarting budget talks and rallying support for his proposals on immigration and gun control,” according to the Associated Press.

The GOP lawmakers at Wednesday’s dinner were Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Tom Coburn, Kelly Ayotte, Pat Toomey, Bob Corker, Ron Johnson, Saxby Chambliss, John Hoeven, Dan Coats, Richard Burr and Mike Johanns. Toomey, Johnson and Chambliss headed to the Senate floor later that night.

Millions of Americans and others around the world participated via Twitter Wednesday night, making #StandWithRand the number one trending topic worldwide on the social network.

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Related video:

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Click on the image above to watch the filibuster on the CSPAN website.

Note: Senator Paul’s remarks begin at the 2.17.45 mark.

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*VIDEO* Ted Cruz Grills Eric Holder Over The Constitutionality Of Drone Strikes On American Citizens Within The U.S.


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*LIVE STREAMING* Senator Rand Paul Filibusters Nominee For CIA Director John Brennan – 03/06/13


THIS EVENT HAS ENDED

Click on the image below to watch video of the filibuster on CSPAN.

Note: Senator Paul’s remarks begin at the 2.17.45 mark.

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*VIDEO* Publius Huldah Explains Why All Federal Gun Control Is Unlawful


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Click HERE to visit Publius Huldah’s website.

H/T Noisy Room

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Sequester Cuts So Devastating To The Feds That They Just Announced They’re Looking To Hire 400 More People

Feds Keep Hiring With Sequesters In Place: 400 Jobs Posted On First Day Back – Washington Times

The sequester cuts are now officially in place, but many government agencies appear to be hiring freely anyway.

The U.S. Forest Service on Monday posted help-wanted ads for a few good men and women to work as “recreation aides” this summer, the Internal Revenue Service advertised for an office secretary in Maryland, the U.S. Mint wanted 24 people to help press coins, and the Agriculture Department said it needs three “insect production workers” to help grow bollworms in Phoenix.

Monday marked the first regular workday under sequestration, and federal agencies posted more than 400 job ads by 6 p.m.

At a time when nearly all of those agencies are contemplating furloughs, the help-wanted ads raised questions about how agencies should decide between saving through attrition or letting people go.

“Every position you don’t fill that isn’t absolutely necessary is one less person that needs to be furloughed,” said Steve Ellis, vice president at Taxpayers for Common Sense – though he said some positions that people leave need to be filled in order to meet agencies’ core missions.

Part of the problem is it’s often unclear exactly what those core missions are, said Paul C. Light, a professor at New York University who has studied government organization extensively.

“When you say mission critical, it’s a phrase without meaning,” he said. “Everything’s mission critical. Therefore, we have no way of knowing what would be mission critical in a job description versus what is not.”

He said agencies become “very artful” in writing job descriptions to justify why they are hiring.

At the Homeland Security Department, which just days ago announced it was releasing some low-priority illegal immigrants from jails to await removal, the agency in charge of deportations advertised for an assistant to help with deportations.

The annual salary for the job is $60,765, enough to detain one immigrant for about 500 days.

An official at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the agency is filling only mission-critical positions and may not end up hiring for every job it advertises.

The sequesters – $85 billion in spending cuts – were set into motion by the 2011 debt deal and imposed across-the-board cuts to most federal agencies. Social Security was spared, and other big entitlements such as Medicare face only minor trims.

Homeland Security officials warned that they would have to furlough airport screeners, and the Defense Department has canceled deployment of a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf region to save money.

But the Obama administration also faces a decision about how painful it wants the cuts to be. Ahead of the sequesters, when the White House was still hoping for a deal, officials painted the most dire picture possible. Now that the cuts are a reality, the administration must grapple with the possible downside of cutting something critical while spending on something that voters might see as less important.

When it comes to furloughs, Mr. Light, the NYU professor, said it would make sense to use job appraisals to decide which employees to furlough – except that the appraisals aren’t particularly useful anymore.

He said it makes more sense to furlough senior managers and those near retirement, while keeping lower-level workers – those who are doing the enforcement or services such as air traffic controllers – on the job.

“What’s amazing to me about all this is you’ve got the furloughs going on in the agencies and they don’t seem to be linked to anything other than an across-the-board strategy,” Mr. Light said.

About a quarter of the job openings posted by Monday evening were in medical or public health, 67 were in management or clerical services, and another 21 were in information technology.

The Defense Department led the way with 123 jobs posted as of Monday evening, while the Department of Veterans Affairs was close behind with 119 jobs.

The Justice Department, which has issued furlough notices to 115,000 employees, had a handful of job openings, including one to hire “several” law librarians, with annual salaries up to $115,742, and another posting for a student intern to answer phone calls and sort documents for up to $18.97 an hour.

There was one opening for a professor at the Army War College in Pennsylvania, at a salary of up to $115,811 a year. A War College spokeswoman said the professor’s post was deemed critical for their academic mission.

The lowest-paying jobs were working at swimming pools, golf courses and bowling alleys on Army bases. Each of those began at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

An Army spokesman said those jobs are funded through fees paid to those facilities and don’t get taxpayer money.

But that explanation didn’t wash with some watchdogs.

“All money is fungible,” said John Hart, spokesman for Sen. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma Republican and Congress’s top waste-watcher. “Mobilizing our nation’s aircraft carriers seems to be a more pressing priority than mobilizing our nation’s taxpayer-funded bowling alleys. The administration‘s refusal to set priorities continues to make a mockery of their doomsday predictions.”

Mr. Coburn last week called for the government to stop filling low-priority jobs, pointing out a number of openings such as a museum director and 10 new drivers for State Department cars.

The White House at first seemed cool to the idea, but then issued a memo urging offices to be careful about any hires they made. The White House budget office also warned against hiring outside contractors to try to make up for the lost work from federal employees.

The budget office didn’t return messages seeking comment Monday, nor did the U.S. Forest Service or the Army Corps of Engineers.

One decision agencies face is how to handle internships. A number of intern openings were posted Monday, with duties ranging from answering phones to taking part in intensive engineering programs.

The federal Office of Personnel Management said agencies are allowed to make all hiring decisions and furlough decisions and that includes hiring interns, which the office said “is still an important part of an agency meeting its mission.”

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Obama Justice Department: Children Don’t Need Mothers, And Have No Right To Them

DOJ: Children Do Not Need, And Have No Right To, Mothers – CNS

The Obama Justice Department is arguing in the United States Supreme Court that children do not need mothers.

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The Justice Department’s argument on the superfluity of motherhood is presented in a brief the Obama administration filed in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, which challenges the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that amended California’s Constitution to say that marriage involves only one man and one woman.

The Justice Department presented its conclusions about parenthood in rebutting an argument made by proponents of Proposition 8 that the traditional two-parent family, led by both a mother and a father, was the ideal place, determined even by nature itself, to raise a child.

The Obama administration argues this is not true. It argues that children need neither a father nor a mother and that having two fathers or two mothers is just as good as having one of each.

“The [California] Voter Guide arguably offered a distinct but related child-rearing justification for Proposition 8: ‘the best situation for a child is to be raised by a married mother and father,’” said the administration’s brief submitted to the court by Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr.

“As an initial matter, no sound basis exists for concluding that same-sex couples who have committed to marriage are anything other than fully capable of responsible parenting and child-rearing,” the Department of Justice told the court. “To the contrary, many leading medical, psychological, and social-welfare organizations have issued policy statements opposing restrictions on gay and lesbian parenting based on their conclusion, supported by numerous scientific studies, that children raised by gay and lesbian parents are as likely to be well adjusted as children raised by heterosexual parents.”

“The weight of the scientific literature strongly supports the view that same-sex parents are just as capable as opposite-sex parents,” says the administration.

To support this argument, one of the documents the administration cites is a “policy statement” by the American Psychological Association. This statement claims that some studies indicate same-sex parents might be “superior” to mother-and-father families, but then concedes there is little actual data on the results of raising children in two-father households.

“Members of gay and lesbian couples with children have been found to divide the work involved in childcare evenly, and to be satisfied with their relationships with their partners,” says this APA policy statement the administration cited to the court. “The results of some studies suggest that lesbian mothers’ and gay fathers’ parenting skills may be superior to those of matched heterosexual parents. There is no scientific basis for concluding that lesbian mothers or gay fathers are unfit parents on the basis of their sexual orientation.”

“Studies of other aspects of personal development (including personality, self-concept, and conduct) similarly reveal few differences between children of lesbian mothers and children of heterosexual parents,” says the APA policy statement. “However, few data regarding these concerns are available for children of gay fathers.”

The Obama administration further argues that because California law already permits domestic partnerships in which same-sex couples are allowed all the “incidents” of marriage – including the right to adopt children and be foster parents – that Proposition 8 only denies same-sex couples the use of the word “marriage” and does not change the status of child-rearing in the state.

“Moreover, as the court of appeals determined, ‘Proposition 8 had absolutely no effect on the ability of same-sex couples to become parents or the manner in which children are raised in California,’” says the administration. “As explained, California law, both before and after Proposition 8, grants registered domestic partners the same parental rights and benefits accorded to married couples. And Proposition 8 does not alter California’s adoption, fostering, or presumed-parentage laws, which ‘continue to apply equally to same-sex couples.’

“In light of California’s conferral of full rights of parenting and child-rearing on same-sex couples, Proposition 8’s denial to same-sex couples of the right to marry bears no cognizable relation, let alone a substantial one, to any interest in responsible procreation and child-rearing (however defined),” says the administration. “Indeed, because a substantial number of California children are raised in households headed by same-sex couples.”

In effect, the administration is arguing that California had already conceded the administration’s point that children do not need a mother or a father when it enacted laws treating same-sex couples the same as married couples in its adoption, foster-parenting and other laws–which Proposition 8 did not seek to overturn.

So far in the history of the human race, no child has ever been born without a biological father and mother. Now, in the Supreme Court of the United States, the Executive Branch of the federal government is arguing that, regardless of the biological facts of parenthood, states have no legitimate and defenisble interest in ensuring that children conceived by a mother and a father are in fact raised by mothers and fathers.

The brief that the Justice Department presented to the Supreme Court discussed children only as items controlled by others, not as individual human beings who have God-given rights of their own. It simply assumes that a child has no inherent right to a mother or father and that the only right truly in question is whether two people of the same-sex have a right to marry one another and that that right encompasses a right to adopt and foster-raise children.

To take this view and be consistent with the principles of the Declaration of Independence – which recognizes the ultimate authority of the “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” and says that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” – the Obama Justice Department must advance the assumption that natural law and Nature’s God give children no right to a mother and father and no right not to be legally handed over by the government to be raised by same-sex couples.

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After Releasing 2,000 Criminal Aliens, Big Sis Promises To Put Thousands More Back On The Streets

Napolitano Promises To Release More Illegals – Daily Caller

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano promised to release more illegal immigrants into the United States, saying the budget sequester has left her no choice.

Several hundred detainees have already released because of the sequester, she insisted. They were released on bail, or because their legal status had changed, she said.

“We’re going to continue to do that… for the foreseeable future,” Napolitano said at a March 4 breakfast meeting hosted by Politico. “We are going to manage our way through this by identifying the lowest risk detainees, and putting them into some kind of alternative to release.”

However, Napolitano’s statement clashed with a March 1 report by The Associated Press, which said that internal agency documents show that her managers had already released 2,000 detainees, and planned to release 3,000 more detainees.

Napolitano’s threat reflects the White House’s determination to ramp up public distress until the GOP ages to another tax increase.

Under the sequester, budgets at the Pentagon and the numerous civilian agencies are being cut by roughly 8 percent from March to September. The cuts will trim roughly 1 percent from federal spending in 2013.

President Barack Obama suggested the sequester plan in 2011, and is now refusing any changes until the GOP agrees to tax increases.

There are roughly 11 million illegal immigrants in the country, of whom roughly 7 million are working, mostly in low-skill jobs. However, roughly 20 million Americans are without jobs, including several million Americans with few job skills.

In the run-up to the 2012 election, Obama offered work permits to more than 750,000 illegals, and rolled back enforcement of immigration law.

Napolitano’s threat to release more illegals was not criticized by Tom Ridge, a former secretary of Homeland Security under George W. Bush, who was also interviewed at the Politico breakfast.

Instead, Ridge complained that the controversy over the illegals’ release threatened passage of the draft immigration rewrite.

Progress towards a legislative success “gets sidelined – well, did you release 2,000? Didn’t you release 2,000? What about this, what about that?” Ridge complained.

The pending rewrite would offer immediate work permits to roughly 11 million illegal immigrants, a path for their relatives to join them in the United States, plus a ramped-up flow of foreign workers into the United States, despite the high unemployment rate.

“The job of the secretary of Homeland Security… with regard to securing the border would be a heck of a lot easier if the U.S. Congress would forget about the partisanship and come up with a broad-based, comprehensive immigration plan,” Ridge complained.

“Story ends right there,” said Ridge, who is now a consultant to various business groups, and a board member of the American Action Forum.

The forum is a business-linked advocacy group that is promoting the pending immigration rewrite. It is chaired by Fred Malek, a GOP donor and activist, who owns the Thayer Lodging Group. The group owns several hotels, some in partnership with a Chinese hotel firm.

Ridge’s complaint was backed by Napolitano. “Ditto, absolutely,” she said.

Napolitano’s promise to release more prisoners was indirectly criticized by Michael Cherthoff, who also served as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

To win passage of an immigration revamp, the public needs to be reassured that immigration enforcement will continue after the law is passed, said Cherthoff, who led President George W. Bush’s effort in 2006 to push through a controversial amnesty law. The effort was backed by business Republicans and progressives, but was derailed by a wave of public protests.

“Making people confident there will be continued enforcement and security, and it won’t go away once you have some kind of amnesty” is vital, he said.

He also warned Napolitano that legislators need to rush the draft rewrite through Congress before the opposition can mobilize.

In 2006, “the time between agreement and getting it to the floor really allowed a lot of erosion from both the right and let… [so] you’ve got to move it it quickly,” said Chertoff, who is now employed by Covington & Burling, a large legal and lobbying firm.

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Beat The Press: More Vile Threats And Harassment Of Reporters By The Obama Regime

Beat The Press: Reporters Reveal How The Obama Administration Threatens And Controls The Media – New York Post

As coverage of last week’s flare-up between Bob Woodward and the White House devolved into the granular parsing of words and implications and extrapolations and possible intent, the larger point was roundly missed: the increasing pressure that White House correspondents feel when dealing with the Obama administration – to follow their narrative, to be properly deferential (!), to react to push-back by politely sitting down and shutting up.

“The whole Woodward thing doesn’t surprise me at all,” says David Brody, chief political correspondent for CBN News. “I can tell you categorically that there’s always been, right from the get-go of this administration, an overzealous sensitivity to any push-back from any media outlet.”

A brief recap: After the Washington Post ran a Woodward op-ed in which he claimed that the administration was “moving the goalposts” on the eve of the potential sequester, the veteran journalist went on to assert that economic adviser Gene Sperling said, in an e-mail, “I think you will regret staking out this claim.”

While Woodward spent a lot of the week on cable news going back and forth on whether that was a threat, few reporters, if any, asked why a high-level administration official spent so much time – Sperling admittedly shouted at Woodward during a 30-minute phone call, followed by that e-mail – attempting to control an opinion expressed in a newspaper.

The answer, say former and current White House correspondents, is simple: This administration is more skilled and disciplined than any other in controlling the narrative, using social media to circumnavigate the press. On the flip side, our YouTube culture means even the slightest gaffe can be devastating, and so you have an army of aides and staffers helicoptering over reporters.

Finally, this week, reporters are pushing back. Even Jonathan Alter – who frequently appears on the Obama-friendly MSNBC – came forward to say he, too, had been treated horribly by the administration for writing something they didn’t like.


……………………………………..Jonathan Alter

“There is a kind of threatening tone that, from time to time – not all the time – comes out of these guys,” Alter said this week. During the 2008 campaign swing through Berlin, Alter said that future White House press secretary Robert Gibbs disinvited him from a dinner between Obama and the press corps over it.

“I was told ‘Don’t come,’ in a fairly abusive e-mail,” he said. “[It] made what Gene Sperling wrote [to Woodward] look like patty-cake.”

“I had a young reporter asking tough, important questions of an Obama Cabinet secretary,” says one DC veteran. “She was doing her job, and they were trying to bully her. In an e-mail, they called her the vilest names – bitch, c–t, a–hole.” He complained and was told the matter would be investigated: “They were hemming and hawing, saying, ‘We’ll look into it.’ Nothing happened.”

He wound up confronting the author of the e-mail directly. “I said, ‘From now on, every e-mail you send this reporter will be on the record, and you will be speaking on behalf of the president of the United States.’ That shut it down.”

Neil Munro, White House correspondent for the conservative Daily Caller, says that after he interrupted Obama during a June 2012 press conference on immigration – inadvertently, Munro insists – he felt the wrath of the administration. “The White House called and bitched us out vigorously,” he says. “I haven’t been called on since shortly after Osama bin Laden was killed.”

“I’ve seen reporters get abused – but it’s the job of the press to push back hard,” says Ron Fournier, a White House correspondent under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. “The people you’re covering don’t feel like they should be challenged, and they have immense resources at their disposal to beat back.”

CBN’s Brody, who covered Obama during the 2008 campaign and was granted four one-on-ones, has emotional whiplash from his treatment by top aides. On the one hand, he’s sympathetic: “I think they believe in a rabid defense of this president, who has had so many critics, at all costs,” he says. On the other, they are often bullies and a favored tactic is to make a journalist feel dumb, unsophisticated, unworthy of the job or the briefing room or the returned call.

“The way they treated Woodward,” says Munro, “is the way they treat other reporters.”

One correspondent says that when he inquired about a staging choice for the president’s speech, he was steamrolled. “There was one specific White House aide calling me up, yelling and screaming,” he says. “It was condescending and abrasive: ‘Why is this a story? Why are you doing this? This is of no consequence. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.’”

This went on for two days. “All I wanted,” says the reporter, “was an answer to a question. It’s not like I was looking to do a 12-page exposé to take down an aide. It was unnecessary vociferousness.” He eventually got his statement.

Another White House correspondent says that last week’s blowup over pool reporters’ access to the president’s golf game with Tiger Woods – which was none – is indicative of a larger problem. “Today’s a perfect example,” he says. “Jack Lew is sworn in” – as US Treasury secretary, on Thursday – “and they didn’t even allow a photographer in there. A reporter asked [press secretary] Jay Carney why, and his answer was, ‘It’s a family ceremony.’ No! This is a high-ranking government official whose salary is paid for by taxpayers. No.”

“This administration has tools to reach people on their own,” CBS White House correspondent Bill Plante said this week. “They don’t need us as much. And to the extent that they’re able to do that, they’re undercutting the First Amendment, which guarantees a free press through many voices. If they put out their own material, it’s state-run media.”

Meanwhile, the increasingly obsequious Steve Kroft at “60 Minutes” has had more access to the president than any other reporter, and his last sitdown – with Obama and outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – was less a scrupulous exit interview than an infomercial for Hillary 2016. Kroft kicked off things by making it clear he had been summoned: “This is not an interview I ever expected to be doing,” Kroft said. “But I understand, Mr. President, this was your idea. Why did you want to do this together, a joint interview?”

“These are the two most influential foreign-policy officials in the United States,” wrote The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf. “In the last four years, they’ve presided over hugely consequential policies all over the planet, much of it cloaked in secrecy.” He went on to excoriate Kroft’s soft-balling as “an embarrassing failure.”

None of the White House correspondents who spoke to The Post are hopeful that things will improve. “What’s our recourse?” says one. “How do you force them?”

“The reporters I’ve spoken to who have covered multiple administrations have said this is tighter, more restricted than other administrations,” Munro says. “They don’t like it. They don’t have the power to change it.”

For these reasons especially, Fournier is nostalgic for the days of covering Bill Clinton. “Every five or six days, he’d do a public event, and we’d go and yell questions and occasionally, he would answer,” Fournier says. “He had to be accountable to an a–hole like me. That’s healthy for democracy.”

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Rumor Check: Obama Uses Obamacare To Pay Off Crony To The Tune Of $340 Million

Rumor Check: Obama Uses Obamacare To Pay Off Crony To The Tune Of $340 Million – The Blaze

Is President Obama using his administration’s landmark legislative accomplishment as a vehicle to reward a longtime friend and political ally to the tune of $340 million?

That viral accusation has just begun making the rounds thanks to several conservative news sites, most notably Lifesitenews and the Washington Examiner. These sites allege that a woman named Sara Horowitz, who heads up the New York-based Freelancers’ Insurance Company (and its parent corporation, the Freelancers’ Union), has been loaned $340 million by the federal government to help set up Obamacare’s “exchanges” in New York, New Jersey and Oregon, in spite of a dubious record when it comes to actual customers. Lifesitenews sums up the accusation this way:

An insurance company known for not keeping its contractual obligations has received $340 million in federal loans to set up a health care exchange under ObamaCare. Critics say the only apparent criteria for the loan is the fact that the company is led by a friend of Barack Obama during his community organizer days. She is also a former leader of a George Soros-funded politically radical organization.

All of these charges are serious, so we thought we’d take a look into the evidence for each. What we found may surprise you.

Accusation #1: The Freelancers’ Insurance Company is “known for not keeping its contractual obligations”

In assessing this story of alleged political cronyism, probably the most relevant piece to be considered is the complaint that Sara Horowitz’s company is demonstrably unfit for the responsibility involved, and is, in fact, a poor provider of health insurance. After all, the nature of cronyism is that it rewards incompetence with connections. In marshaling evidence for the proposition that the Freelancers’ Insurance Company (FIC) is an incompetent health insurance provider, Lifesitenews makes the following subset of accusations:

FIC has been rated the “worst” insurer in New York for the past two years by state regulators, and has weathered numerous public relations and customer service crises since it launched in 2008. The company is so unpopular it has spawned its own hate blog, “Upset Freelancers’ Union Members,” where those who buy their healthcare from FIC meet to complain, strategize, and give each other tips on how to navigate labyrinthine restrictions and try to get results from the notoriously frustrating customer service hotline.

In 2011, the New York State Insurance Department ranked FIC dead last in customer satisfaction among insurers. Despite its relatively small size, FIC had the most complaints of all the state’s insurance providers. Last year, FIC again ranked “worst” in complaints. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners says FIC’s complaint rate is more than seven times the national average.

In half the complaints lodged against FIC by its customers, the insurance department ruled that “the health insurer did not comply with statutory or contractual obligations.”

After further digging on our part, it appears that only some of these points are valid, though arguably still enough of them to raise questions. The statistic from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners proved difficult to verify, and the reference to the “hate blog” was potentially overblown, given that the blog in question does not appear to have been active since early 2009. This is relevant, because even according to Horowitz herself, her company failed to be fully profitable or functional during its first year (2008), and as such, the “hate blog” would make sense as a phenomenon from that first year alone. Certainly, the absence of complaints on the site since early 2009 suggests that the people involved either took their business elsewhere or had their issues resolved.

However, given the other evidence regarding FIC’s business practices, the former course of action seems more likely. FIC has a record of consumer satisfaction that could charitably be called mixed. Its two year streak as “worst” company in terms of number of complaints is quite real. From last year’s “New York Consumer Guide to Health Insurance Companies“:

And from the same document in 2011:

Readers will note that in both cases, the absolute bottom rank goes to FIC. It is also worth noting that in 2012, of the 59 complaints that were filed against FIC, 30 were found to be accurate, whereas in 2011, 31 out of 62 were found to be accurate. In other words, at least half of all complaints against FIC have been upheld over the past two years by the New York State Insurance Department, which also ranks them dead last out of all the providers in the state. Not exactly a vote of confidence.

On the other hand, there are mitigating factors that may explain FIC’s attractiveness as a model for the administration’s health insurance exchanges. In an article offering advice to freelancers on how to obtain health insurance, Forbes Magazine described FIC this way:

If you live in New York State, for example,The Freelancers Union offers insurance through the Freelancers Insurance Company (F.I.C.). It currently covers about 25,000 independent workers and their family members and offers premiums that are reportedly a third below market rates. Individual plans might run from $225 to $600 per month.

In other words, judging by the statistics and pricing, the tradeoff in getting a plan from FIC is fairly simple to outline: Low prices, but also a lower quality of service. Moreover, a profile of Sara Horowitz in Slate Magazine detailed other factors that might lead the administration to find FIC’s model attractive – for instance, the low rate of compensation that Horowitz herself enjoys, and the attention by the company to crafting plans that match up to the needs of its specific demographic (IE freelance workers). In other words, even if cronyism is involved, it goes beyond personal affection between the President and Horowitz – her version of insurance coverage also matches up fairly well with the administration’s ideological vision. This can also be seen in this interview with Horowitz from BigThink:

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So is FIC a terrible provider of health insurance that could not possibly get federal loans if not for cronyism? Not exactly. It is admittedly an unlikely recipient in some ways, but it also does not operate in the same way as a conventional insurance company, and its model of providing insurance lines up with the administration’s ideological goals. As to the accusation that Sara Horowitz is a bosom friend of President Obama? Read on.

Accusation #2: Sara Horowitz is a friend of President Obama’s from his community organizing days

While there is little doubt that President Obama and Horowitz have crossed paths and share certain goals, the evidence that the two were affiliated during the president’s days as a community organizer is nonexistent, and the idea that they are “friends” as opposed to simply “allies” is also difficult to verify. The earliest association on record for the two occurred during President Obama’s days as an Illinois State Senator, when they both served as founding members of the liberal organization Demos. From an archived version of Demos’ website:

Demos began as a vision of Charles Halpern–then the president of the Nathan Cummings Foundation and a veteran non-profit entrepreneur. He was troubled by the narrow conversation about America’s future. On the eve of the 21st century, it seemed that America no longer had the imagination to tackle its largest problems and build a more just society.

Halpern set out to challenge the status quo with a new institution. He envisioned a dynamic hub for creative scholars and cutting-edge practitioners–an organization that combined ideas and action to chart a new set of priorities for America. By 1999, Halpern had assembled a talented working group to develop Demos. Among them were David Callahan, a fellow at the Century Foundation; Rob Fersh, a long-time policy advocate; Stephen Heintz, Vice-President of the East-West Institute; Sara Horowitz, founder of Working Today; Arnie Miller, a leading executive recruiter; Barack Obama, then a state senator from Illinois; David Skaggs, a congressman from Colorado; and Linda Tarr-Whelan, an internationally recognized expert on women and economic development. This working group would eventually form the core of Demos’ staff and Board of Trustees.

In other words, Obama and Horowitz have a past professional connection, but there is no evidence of a personal one. However, it should be noted that in cases like this, a professional connection may be all that’s needed. There is one other former leading figure at Demos to whom Obama tried to offer a substantial amount of agenda-setting power: none other than former Green Jobs Czar Van Jones.

Accusation #3: Horowitz is a former leader of a Soros-funded group

This accusation is the most unambiguously accurate, and it once again goes back to Horowitz’s relationship with Demos. As it happens, in the records of Soros’ Tides Foundation, Demos is listed as a grantee under Tides’ 2010 list of grantees, having received a grant of $53,970:

As established above, Horowitz was one of Demos’ founders. In fairness to her, she may have left before the group appeared on the list of recipients of Soros’ money, but the connection remains.

Then again, while this accusation is true, it also is the least conclusive in terms of its value as proof. The idea that President Obama would hire a committed liberal to manage his health insurance exchanges is not, in itself, surprising or newsworthy, and it scarcely proves cronyism exists in this case. Not that the suspicion is entirely unreasonable, given the problematic record of FIC, and the existing professional connection between Sara Horowitz and President Obama, but suspicion is not proof.

Conclusion

Even in the absence of definitive proof of cronyism, the checkered record of FIC leaves open the question of why it received such a large amount of federal money. The existence of such a question implies the need for a greater degree of transparency. Accusations of cronyism are more plausible when the standards by which such loans are given out are left up to the imagination, and certainly, that is the case when it comes to the funding for those who set up these insurance exchanges. Hopefully, the congressional investigation into these matters will shed some light on the subject.

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*AUDIO* Congressman Jim Bridenstine Discusses The Necessity Of Stopping ObamaCare On The Mark Levin Radio Show


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Obama Regime’s Benghazi Cover-Up Continues

Senators Complain After Getting ‘Worthless’ Redacted Version Of Benghazi Talking Points – Fox News

Senators investigating the attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya and the administration’s version of events in the aftermath were livid when the White House initially sent them documents so heavily redacted they were “worthless,” a source told Fox News.

The so-called Benghazi talking points were requested by the Senate Intelligence Committee, but were so heavily redacted lawmakers sent them back and demanded another set, a source told Fox News. Lawmakers sought the papers in order to find out why the administration repeatedly claimed the attack, which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, a State Department employee and two former Navy SEALs, was sparked by a spontaneous protest over an anti-Islam video.

But the first batch of documents contained hundreds of pages that were of no use, the source said.

“It was so redacted that there was no information whatsoever,” said the source, who spoke to Fox on the condition they not be identified. “There were some documents that were 100 pages with every word on the page redacted. They were worthless.”

A second set of documents were delivered to Capitol Hill Thursday night which had only minimal redactions.

The source speculated that the administration had two sets of documents ready to go: one that was redacted and another that didn’t. Senators have asked to see the documents as a part of their inquiry into the attack on Benghazi. Senators also wanted the documents before they were willing to vote on John Brennan to be Director of Central Intelligence.

A committee vote on Brennan’s nomination is set for Tuesday.

The documents reveal various email traffic about the “talking points” which were passed through a litany of Washington power centers: The White House, the FBI, the CIA, and the Justice Department. The source questions why it took the Obama administration months to deliver the information when all of these agencies had dealt with the email traffic.

Sources said the emails revealed heavy editing by then-CIA Director David Petraeus. The talking points evolved as they were passed around various intelligence and security hubs, and scrubbed of language referring to “al Qa’ida.” They also seemed to indicate an effort to paint the Sept. 11 attack as a demonstration and not a planned attack, the source said.

“The word ‘attacks’ was changed to ‘demonstration,’” the source said.

In the wake of the attack, the White House sent UN Ambassador Susan Rice on several Sunday news shows to explain the incident as a spontaneous event spurred by a 13-minute trailer for the low-budget film “The Innocence of Muslims” which had been posted online.

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5 Reasons Barack Obama Is A Creep (John Hawkins)

5 Reasons Barack Obama Is A Creep – John Hawkins

Is Barack Obama the Vladimir Lenin of American Presidents? No, Lenin was competent in an evil sort of way. Obama is more like Leonid Brezhnev: an ultra left-wing, belligerent doofus who isn’t laughed at by the general population primarily because the mainstream media liberals say nice things about him out of fear that they’ll end up in a gulag if they’re too harsh. Of course, we don’t have gulags, but reporters who criticize Obama would be snubbed by their peers at cocktail parties in Manhattan and Old Town, which seems almost as bad to liberals. This is how a narcissist who scores at “Nixon after Watergate” on the presidential likability scale can be perceived by much of the public as a long suffering, bipartisan nice guy. The real picture is less Van Gogh and is more Andy Warhol, if Andy Warhol were a five year old coloring with cow dung crayons.

1) Obama NEVER stops campaigning: Barack Obama almost seems disinterested in actually governing the country. Apparently the only thing he does passably well is campaign; so he has just decided to do that. His agenda, from Obamacare, to free birth control, to amnesty for illegals has nothing to do with the country’s immediate problems and everything to do with politics. This is a big part of the reason that Washington has become even more nonfunctional than usual under Obama – because he ALWAYS acts as if there’s an election next week and winning it by trying to make the GOP look bad is his first priority.

2) What he says is completely unrelated to what he does: Barack Obama is like an alcoholic who pledges to quit drinking and then gets hammered every night. Afterwards, his doting family full of enablers (played by the part of the mainstream media) pats him on the back and talks about what a great example he is for other people because he pledged to quit drinking. This is how Barack Obama can demand a sequester and then turn around and run against it or yammer on incessantly about transparency while he stonewalls on Fast and Furious. We’re talking about a man who’s worth nearly 10 million dollars, who has campaign events with celebrities and millionaires on a regular basis, and who just seems to squeeze in a little bit of work in between lavish vacations and golf outings with Tiger Woods; yet he spent most of last year campaigning against rich people. This is almost like listening to Bill Maher complain about loud mouth know-nothings who regularly say incredibly stupid things just for shock value.

3) He works overtime to pit Americans against each other: Barack Obama’s entire campaign strategy – and don’t forget, he’s always campaigning – is based on convincing different groups of Americans to hate each other. He tries to convince black and Hispanic Americans that Republicans hate them for their skin color, gays that Republicans hate them for their sexuality, women that the GOP is pro-rape, poor people that the rich are taking all their money, people who’ve had children killed that gun owners are in favor of their children dying – it just goes on and on. There have been campaigns of genocide across the world that have featured less vitriolic rhetoric against the people who were murdered than Barack Obama and Company have engaged in since he became President. Then they turn around and wonder why Republicans in Congress have trouble working with them. Go figure.

4) His hypocrisy on bipartisanship never ends: Politics is a brass-knuckled street fight in a phone booth and if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog or alternately, if you’re Robert Menendez, you hire an underage Dominican prostitute. What’s so frustrating about Barack Obama is that he’s as much of a diehard partisan as Rachel Maddow or Chris Matthews, but he never stops yapping about the importance of bipartisanship. This is a man who has done everything short of screaming, “Screw you, Republicans,” over and over at the State of the Union and yet he keeps claiming other people put “party before country.” It would be nice if he ever put his country before his party. Once. Ever. In his entire presidency. But, we’re still waiting.

5) He’s such a liar: Calling a politician a liar is a little bit like calling the Occupy Movement lazy and violent. It just sort of goes with the territory. But, even in a profession known for lying, Obama is the “lyingest” liar ever to spew lies out of his lie hole because he is allowed to get away with it. Obama’s coverage by the press is like that movie, The Invention Of Lying, where the main character is the first person on the planet to ever figure out how to lie and everyone simply takes whatever he says at face value. In this case, the part of “everyone” is played by the mainstream media which starts with the uncritical assumption that Obama is always right, good, and truthful, while the people who disagree with him are mean, partisan liars. Obama could sacrifice a child to Satan at a press conference tomorrow, get ripped for it by Republicans, and the headlines would read, “Republicans Accuse The President Of Child Murder. Have They No Shame?” Afterwards, Obama would blame the child sacrifice on Bush and we’d have weeks of “Republicans and Satan team up to wage war on children” stories in the media.

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Maxine Waters Challenges Joe Biden For Title Of Dumbest Person In The Federal Government (Video)

Maxine Waters: Sequester Could Cause ‘170 Million Jobs’ To Be Lost – National Review

Maxine Waters (D., Calif.), in an attempt to outdo President Obama’s claims that even minor cuts will bring the republic’s long run to an ignominious end, warned today that the sequester could cause “over 170 million jobs” to be lost:

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134 million people have jobs in America.

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More Advice From Joe Biden: ‘Just Fire The Shotgun Through The Door’

More Advice From Joe Biden: ‘Just Fire The Shotgun Through The Door’ – Washington Examiner

In an interview with Field & Stream magazine on Monday, Vice President Joe Biden once again touted shotguns as the best weapon for self-defense, offering advice similar to the questionable instructions he gave during a Facebook town hall last week.

During that interview, Biden explained his suggestion to his wife Jill for handling an intruder.

“If there’s ever a problem,” Biden said he told his wife, “just walk out on the balcony here— walk out, put that double barrel shot gun and fire two blasts outside the house.”

The problem with Biden’s advice is that it would empty the shotgun and possibly get the shooter in trouble with the law.

Undaunted, Biden gave similar advice in his interview with the hunting and fishing magazine.

Field & Stream asked the Vice President whether so-called assault rifles and high-capacity clips, which the administration wants banned, should be allowed for self-defense and target practice.

Well, the way in which we measure it is—I think most scholars would say—is that as long as you have a weapon sufficient to be able to provide your self-defense,” Biden said. “I did one of these town-hall meetings on the Internet and one guy said, “Well, what happens when the end days come? What happens when there’s the earthquake? I live in California, and I have to protect myself.”

I said, “Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15, because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door.” Most people can handle a shotgun a hell of a lot better than they can a semiautomatic weapon in terms of both their aim and in terms of their ability to deter people coming. We can argue whether that’s true or not, but it is no argument that, for example, a shotgun could do the same job of protecting you. Now, granted, you can come back and say, “Well, a machine gun could do a better job of protecting me.” No one’s arguing we should make machine guns legal.

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