Obama Def. Sec.’s Budget Proposal Would Shrink Army To Pre-WWII Levels, Eliminate Entire Class Of USAF Jets

Proposed Budget Will Reportedly Shrink Army To Pre-WWII Numbers – Fox News

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will reportedly propose a Pentagon budget that will shrink the U.S. Army to its smallest number since 1940 and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets.

The New York Times reported late Sunday that Hagel’s proposal, which will be released to lawmakers and the public on Monday, will call for a reduction in size of the military that will leave it capable of waging war, but unable to carry out protracted occupations of foreign territory, as in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Under Hagel’s plan, the number of troops in the Army will drop to between 440,000 and 450,000, a reduction of at least 120,000 soldiers from its post-Sept.11 peak.

Officials told the Times that Hagel’s plan has been endorsed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and protects funding for Special Operations forces and cyberwarfare. It also calls for the Navy to maintain all eleven of its aircraft carriers currently in operation. However, the budget proposal mandates the elimination of the entire fleet of Air Force A-10 attack aircraft, as well as the retiring of the U-2 spy plane, a stalwart of Cold War operations.

The budget plan does keep money for the F-35 warplane, a project which has been beset by delays and criticism over design flaws.

Other characteristics of the budget will likely draw further ire from veterans groups and members of Congress. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Hagel would recommend a limit on military pay raises, higher fees for health-care benefits, less generous housing allowances, and a one-year freeze on raises for top military brass.

“Personnel costs reflect some 50% of the Pentagon budget and cannot be exempted in the context of the significant cuts the department is facing,” Defense Department spokesman Adm. John Kirby told the Journal. “Secretary Hagel has been clear that, while we do not want to, we ultimately must slow the growth of military pay and compensation.”

“This is a real uphill battle with Congress,” Mieke Eoyang, director of the National Security Program at Third Way, a centrist think tank in Washington, told the Journal

“God bless [Hagel] for trying to get a handle on these costs,” she said. “But in this political environment, in an election year, it’s going to be hard for members of Congress to accept anything that’s viewed as taking benefits away from troops.”

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FCC Commissioner Blows Whistle On His Own Agency’s Planned “Study” Of Newsrooms (Video)

Meet The FCC Commissioner Who’s Blowing The Whistle On His Own Agency’s Planned Study Of Newsrooms – The Blaze

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai is warning against his own agency’s planned study of America’s newsrooms, saying “government doesn’t have a place in the newsroom.”

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Appearing on Greta Van Susteren’s TV show on Thursday, Pai explained that under the planned study the FCC would oversee an outside contractor as researchers gathered information. The study would seek to “figure out why they cover the stories that they do,” Pai said.

The FCC commissioner went public with the story because he says he was “concerned about what this implicated for our First Amendment values.”

Following the public outcry, the head of the FCC promised to remove questions about “news philosophy and editorial judgement,” however, Pai is still against the study and has concerns about what it would mean to press freedom.

“You’d have to be out of your mind to have proposed this in the first place,” Van Susteren said.

Pai, a government official, then proclaimed that the “government doesn’t have a place in the newsroom.” He also revealed that study was designed and adopted under previous leadership.

Watch the segment here:

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Ukrainian President Yanukovych Signs Deal With Opposition Leaders In Attempt To End Crisis

Opposition Leaders Sign Deal With President To End Crisis In Ukraine – Fox News

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Shots rang out and tension remained high in the streets of Kiev Friday, as Ukrainian protest leaders signed a deal with Ukraine’s president to defuse a political crisis that has left scores dead and hundreds injured.

After hours of European-led negotiations, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed an agreement with opposition leaders Friday that calls for early elections, a new constitution and a new unity government. The deal promises presidential elections will be held no later than December, instead of March 2015 as scheduled.

Many protesters say December is too late – they want Yanukovych out immediately.

Ukrainian authorities also will now name a new government – including opposition figures – within 10 days. The deal says the government will not impose a state of emergency and both sides will refrain from violence.

It’s a “good compromise for Ukraine. Gives peace a chance. Opens the way for reform and to Europe. Poland and EU support it,” European Union mediator, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, said in a Twitter post Friday.

The Ukrainian parliament approved amnesty for protesters involved in the violent months-long standoff, following the agreement Friday. The parliament also voted to restore the 2004 constitution that limits presidential powers, clawing back some of the powers that Yanukovych had pushed through after being elected in 2010. Although Yanukovych retains an apparent majority in parliament, his powers are now significantly reduced.

Yanukovych gave in to pressure from European diplomats, offering concessions – including elections – and promising to invite the opposition into the government, in an attempt to end the violence.

Opposition leader Oleh Yaroslavovych Tyahnybok says one condition of the agreement was that the present interior minister and prosecutor-general be excluded from any interim government, Reuters reported, citing Interfax.

Russian officials immediately criticized the deal and protesters angry over police violence showed no sign of abandoning their sprawling camp in central Kiev. While opposition leaders agreed that protesters should hand over any weapons and withdraw from occupied buildings and protest camps around the country, it’s far from clear whether the thousands of demonstrators camped out in Kiev Friday will go home.

One by one, protesters took to a stage on Independence Square to say they’re not happy and didn’t get what they wanted.

A statement on the website of the Health Ministry said 77 people had been killed between Tuesday morning, when the violence began, and Friday morning. The statement said 577 people had been wounded and 369 hospitalized. Opposition sources claimed at least 70 on their side were killed Thursday. There was no way to immediately verify the figures.

European foreign ministers had stayed up all night in Kiev trying to negotiate an end to the standoff, sparked when the president aborted a pact with the European Union in November in favor of close ties with Russia instead.

The U.S., Russia and European Union are deeply concerned about the future of Ukraine, a nation of 46 million that has divided loyalties between Russia and the West.

Leonid Slutsky, the chairman of the committee in charge of relations with other ex-Soviet nations in the lower house of Russian parliament, told reporters Friday that the agreement serves the interests of the West.

“We realize where and by whom this agreement has been written. It’s entirely in the interests of the United States and other powers, who want to split Ukraine from Russia,” Slutsky said.

Slutsky also shrugged off claims that Russia could send its troops to Ukraine, saying Moscow will communicate with any government Ukraine has. “No matter how bad and hard to deal with the new government is for us, we will deal with it,” he said. “We must learn from mistakes we have made.”

Lawmaker Inna Bogoslovskaya, allied with the opposition, told The AP that December is too late for elections. “After 77 corpses yesterday… that changes the stakes,” she said. “The Maidan (protest movement) demands immediate resignation of the president instead of early elections.”

Protesters will not abandon occupied buildings until after the constitution is changed, she added.

“It’s completely not enough,” said protester Anton Gusev, standing at one of the barricades near city hall. Referring to the election date, he said, “December or March – what difference does it make?”

At the city hall barricade, protesters were busily organizing stacks of tires. The street was crowded with people heading toward the central square.

Several regions in the west of the country are in open revolt against the central government, while many in eastern Ukraine back the president and favor strong ties with Russia, their former Soviet ruler.

In a sign of the high tensions, armed law enforcement officers tried to enter parliament Friday morning during a debate over measures to end the crisis. Shouting lawmakers pushed them out.

The report of a deal followed the worst violence yet in the confrontation between the government and protesters. Demonstrators advanced on police lines in the heart of the Ukrainian capital on Thursday, prompting government snipers to shoot back and kill scores of people in the country’s deadliest day since the breakup of the Soviet Union a quarter-century ago.

Protesters across the country are upset over corruption in Ukraine, the lack of democratic rights and the country’s ailing economy, which just barely avoided bankruptcy with the first disbursement of a $15 billion bailout promised by Russia.

The violence is making Ukraine’s economic troubles worse. Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Ukraine’s debt rating Friday, saying the country will likely default if there are no significant improvements in the political crisis, which it does not expect.

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*VIDEO* Judge Jeanine Pirro Verbally Bitchslaps Obama Over Dictatorial Behavior


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*VIDEO* Judge Jeanine Pirro Verbally Bitchslaps Hillary Clinton Over Benghazi Cover-Up


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H/T Weasel Zippers

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*VIDEO* Lawyer For Targeted Conservative Groups Slams FBI, Holder DOJ For Bogus IRS Investigation


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Obama’s IRS Goon Squad Ramping Up Efforts To Target Conservative Groups In 2014 – Weasel Zippers

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Via WSJ:

President Obama and Democrats have been at great pains to insist they knew nothing about IRS targeting of conservative 501(c)(4) nonprofits before the 2012 election. They’ve been at even greater pains this week to ensure that the same conservative groups are silenced in the 2014 midterms.

That’s the big, dirty secret of the omnibus negotiations. As one of the only bills destined to pass this year, the omnibus was—behind the scenes—a flurry of horse trading. One of the biggest fights was over GOP efforts to include language to stop the IRS from instituting a new round of 501(c)(4) targeting. The White House is so counting on the tax agency to muzzle its political opponents that it willingly sacrificed any manner of its own priorities to keep the muzzle in place.

And now back to our previously scheduled outrage over the Chris Christie administration’s abuse of traffic cones on the George Washington Bridge.

Yet my sources say that throughout the negotiations Democrats went all in on keeping the IRS rule, even though it meant losing their own priorities. In the final hours before the omnibus was introduced Monday night, the administration made a last push for IMF money. Asked to negotiate that demand in the context of new IRS language, it refused.

That’s a lot to sacrifice for a rule that the administration has barely noted in public, and that then-acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel claimed last fall when it was introduced is simply about providing “clarity” to nonprofits. It only makes sense in a purely political context. The president’s approval ratings are in the toilet, the economy is in idle, the ObamaCare debate rages on, and the White House has a Senate majority to preserve. With one little IRS rule it can shut up hundreds of groups that pose a direct threat by restricting their ability to speak freely in an election season about spending or ObamaCare or jobs. And it gets away with it by positioning this new targeting as a fix for the first round.

This week’s Democratic rally-round further highlights the intensely political nature of their IRS rule. It was quietly dropped in the runup to the holiday season, to minimize the likelihood of an organized protest during its comment period. That 90-day comment period meantime ends on Feb. 27, positioning the administration to shut down conservative groups early in this election cycle.

Keep reading

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24 Underreported Democrat Scandals That Make News Media’s ‘Bridgegate Mania’ Look Like A Joke (Kyle Becker)

24 Underreported Democrat Scandals That Make News Media’s ‘Bridgegate Mania’ Look Like A Joke – Kyle Becker

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Whatever happened in New Jersey under Governor Chris Christie in regards to the already-infamous “bridgegate,” the open gloating by the media over the unacceptable behavior of the Republican governor’s staffers is extremely revealing.

Regardless of one’s views on Governor Chris Christie, this coordinated political feeding frenzy is liberal hypocrisy at its finest. Take a look at some of these over-the-top headlines:

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Here are 25 underreported stories that most news media barely reported on, or blew by as quickly as possible because Democrats are involved.

1. Fast & Furious

Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt by the U.S. House for refusing to turn over Department of Justice documents related to the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal, which led to hundreds of Mexican civilians being killed and U.S. border patrol agent Brian Terry’s death. (See NBC News, August 3, 2011 and Independent Journal Review, June 29, 2012.)

2. Benghazi

Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, Christopher Stevens and Glen Doherty were killed during the attack, which came without any rescue attempt by the Obama administration. Nevertheless, the White House tried to cover up what happened by blaming a YouTube for causing the terrorist attack, even though there was no protest at the Libyan mission.

3. IRS Targeting Scandal

The IRS not only admitted that it had targeted the Tea Party and other conservative groups during the 2012 presidential campaign in an effort to challenge their tax-exempt status applications, but it also apologized for doing so. But where is the rest of the investigation, and what about accountability?

4. AP/Fox News Tracking

Eric Holder, the man who abruptly recused himself from the AP & Fox phone records scandal, signed off on the private email search warrant claiming Fox reporter James Rosen was a suspected criminal. Holder appears to have misled Congress by feigning he knew nothing about it. The Department of Justice also tracked the phone calls of AP news reporters.

5. ObamaCare’s No-Bid Website

According to a senior watchdog reporter at the Washington Examiner, federal officials only considered one firm to design the ObamaCare exchange website instead of putting the task up for competitive bidding.

6. NSA Scandal

At a Congressional hearing, Senator Ron Wyden asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper if the NSA collect “any type of data” on law-abiding citizens. And Clapper said no. If the reports in the Washington Post and elsewhere on PRISM are accurate, then this statement appears to be a lie.

7. Weinergate

Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner confessed that he tweeted a bulging-underpants photo of himself to a young woman and admitted to “inappropriate” exchanges with six women before and after getting married at a press conference in New York shortly before resigning. (See Huffington Post, June 6, 2011.)

8. Spitzer Prostitution Scandal

Former Governor Elliot Spitzer resigned after it was discovered he had engaged in financial transactions with prostitute Ashley Dupre. Spitzer is pictured above holding a press conference with his humiliated wife Silda Wall. Spitzer later landed a short-running show on CNN. (See NY Daily News, June 23, 2010.)

9. Jon Edwards’ Infidelity

In 2008, John Edwards admitted he had cheated on his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, with former campaign staffer Rielle Hunter during his second presidential campaign. He was later indicted June 2011 on federal campaign finance charges. (See Huffington Post, June 1, 2012.)

10. Chris Dodd – Countrywide Scandal

Former Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee Chris Dodd (among five other politicians) received favorable loans from Countrywide that would have saved him up to $70,000, among other financial scandals. He is now Chairman of the Motion Pictures Association of America. (See NY Post, March 30, 2009.)

11. GSA Scandal

The General Services Administration or GSA held a lavish party during a five-day conference in Las Vegas, blowing over $820,000 in taxpayer dollars on shrimp and champagne, commemorative coins, and a mind reader/motivational speaker. (See ABC News, April 16, 2012.)

12. IRS Waste

The IRS blew $50 million dollars for extravagant conferences and ridiculous training videos, doled out $70 million in bonuses and even sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to “unauthorized” alien workers at one address in Atlanta, Georgia. All without a slap on the wrist.

13. Solyndra/ Green Energy

The now-bankrupt solar energy company, was able to procure $535 million in government loan guarantees. This was after the Obama campaign received over a $100,000 in donations from the “green energy” company, partly bundled for the Obama campaign by major investor and oilman George Kaiser. (See WSJ, September 9, 2011)

14. Charlie Rangel

Resigned Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and current Congressman Charlie Rangel failed to report rental income from vacation property in the Dominican Republic as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income and assets on his financial disclosure statements. (See Huffington Post, July 29, 2010)

15. Maxine Waters – Banking

Current Congresswoman Maxine Waters was brought up on House ethics charges after personally lobbying for a bailout of OneUnited bank, where her husband had previously sat on the board and owned about $350,000 in the bank’s stock. (See Bloomberg, August 11, 2010.)

16. Tony Rezko

According to ABC News, convicted criminal and Obama bundler Tony Rezko made a sweetheart real estate deal with Barack Obama, saving the future president hundreds of thousands of dollars. Obama later said it was a “boneheaded mistake.” (See Townhall, July 16, 2012.)

17. Fannie Mae

Franklin Raines, former Fannie Mae CEO, received million dollar bonuses on top of $91 million salary at FM although the mortgage giant was at center of housing meltdown storm in 2008. Both Raines and former FM CEO Jim Johnson ($21 million salary) worked with the Obama campaign. Obama was the #3 receiver of campaign dollars from Fannie Mae, a so-called “private-public” partnership. (See Politico, October 31, 2011.)

18. Jon Corzine – MF Global

Billionaire bundler for Obama and former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, as CEO of the imploded financial services firm MF Global, apparently perjured himself in Congressional hearings, because he did order $200 million in funds to be moved from MF Global’s customer accounts to illegally cover brokerage accounts at JP Morgan Chase. Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon is a close associate of Barack Obama. (See Politico, May 14, 2012 and Bloomberg March 23, 2012)

19. Geithner Tax Evasion

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner failed to pay Social Security taxes, even though he was advised by his employer to do so. He only admitted to the tax evasion after he was caught by an IRS audit. (See Washington Post, January 19, 200.)

20. Jesse Jackson Jr.

The Office of Congressional Ethics found “substantial reason to believe” that Jesse Jackson Jr. attempted to buy Obama’s Senate seat from convicted former Governor Rod Blagojevich by giving campaign contributions. He was later convicted of illegal misuse of campaign funds. (See Politico, December 2, 2011.)

21. David Wu

Oregon Congressman David Wu resigned after the teenage daughter of a friend accused Wu of “aggressive and unwanted sexual behavior.” (See CBS News, July 26, 2011.)

22. David Paterson

According to the NY Daily News, former NY Governor David Paterson “personally directed two female staffers to pressure a domestic violence victim who was pointing the finger at his right-hand man,” his aide David Johnson. (See NY Daily News, March 2, 2010.)

23. Eric Massa

Former NY Representative Eric Massa resigns after sexual harassment allegations were made by a male staffer. Massa later confessed to the charges. (See CBS News, March 5, 2010.)

24. Tom Donilon – National Security Leaks

National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, a man who before the Obama administration had no serious experience in national security, has been widely speculated to have leaked high level security secrets. (See Gateway Pundit, June 11, 2012.)

This list is just the tip of the iceberg from the past few years, surely many people who get news outside of the major left-wing news media can think of many other examples.

So, why is it that Chris Christie is responsible for everything his staffers do, while nothing in the White House is Obama’s fault?

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*VIDEO* Greg Gutfeld Eviscerates Commie-Loving Rolling Stone Magazine


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*VIDEO* Trey Gowdy Verbally Bitchslaps The Staff Of The NY Times Over Their Absurd Benghazi Narrative


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*VIDEO* Obama Regime Complicit In The Deaths Of Countless Illegal Alien Children


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Egypt Officially Declares Obama-Backed Muslim Brotherhood A Terrorist Organization

Egypt Declares Muslim Brotherhood A Terrorist Group – Fox News

Egypt’s military-backed interim government on Wednesday declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, criminalizing all its activities, its financing and even membership to the group from which the country’s ousted president hails.

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The announcement is a dramatic escalation of the fight between the government and group, which has waged near-daily protests since the July 3 popularly backed military coup that toppled President Mohammed Morsi.

Hossam Eissa, the Minister of Higher Education, read out the Cabinet statement after long meeting, saying: “The Cabinet has declared the Muslim Brotherhood group and its organization as a terrorist organization.”

He said that the decision was in response to Tuesday’s deadly bombing targeting a police headquarters in a Nile Delta city which killed 16 people and wounded more than 100. The Brotherhood has denied being responsible for Mansoura attack and an al-Qaida inspired group has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing on Wednesday.

“Egypt was horrified from north to south by the hideous crime committed by the Muslim Brotherhood group,” Eissa said. “This was in context of dangerous escalation to violence against Egypt and Egyptians (and) a clear declaration by the Muslim Brotherhood group that it is still knows nothing but violence.”

“It’s not possible for Egypt the state nor Egypt the people to submit to the Muslim Brotherhood terrorism,” he added.

Eissa offered no evidence in his speech linking the Brotherhood to Tuesday’s attack.

The Brotherhood, founded in 1928, denounced violence in the late 1970s. Ibrahim Elsayed, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political group, the Freedom and Justice Party, said the government announcement will have no impact on the work or the beliefs of the group, because it has seen repeated government repression and continued to exist with a moderate view of Islam.

“This decision is as if it never happened. It has no value for us and is only worth the paper it is written on,” he told The Associated Press. “It won’t impact us from near and far. Ideas won’t be impacted by false accusations. We uphold this call only for the sake of God.”

The declaration, he said, means that those who “participate in the group’s activities, in the organization or promotion verbally or by writing or by any other means or financing its activities” will be facing punishment according to the law. He said that the government had notified other Arab countries about its decision. The Brotherhood has organizations and political parties in other nations in the region.

Ahmed el-Borai, the Minister of Social Solidarity, told reporters in a news conference that the decision means “all activities of the Muslim Brotherhood group are – banned including the demonstrations.”

The declaration gives the armed forces and the police the right to enter universities and prevent protests, as “protection to the students,” el-Borai said.

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Rep. Gowdy Discusses House Resolution Authorizing Congressional Lawsuits Against Obama Regime (Video)

Republican Congressman: Obama’s Disregard Of Law ‘Has Reached An Unprecedented Level’ (Video) – Gateway Pundit

On Thursday the Obama administration pushed back the deadline for consumers to make their first payment for coverage under the healthcare law. This was just the latest lawless suspension of one of the Obamacare regulations.

Today Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told FOX News the Obama administration’s flouting of the law had reached an “unprecedented level.”

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The Daily Caller reported:

South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy said Sunday that the Obama administration’s deliberate flouting of congressional law “has reached an unprecedented level,” claiming the time is now ripe for Congress to take the White House to court over executive overreach.

Gowdy spoke with Fox News’ Shannon Bream about a House resolution authorizing a congressional lawsuit against the executive branch. Although individual lawmakers do not have standing to challenge the president, the provision would allow the institution of Congress itself to sue the Obama administration for ignoring laws passed by the legislative body.

“The case law that says members don’t have standing also allows for the institution itself – under a theory of vote nullification, that if the executive is just nullifying the votes of a co-equal branch of government – that we may have standing,” Gowdy said. “So an individual member – the case you referenced was Dennis Kucinich challenging the actions in Libya – he does not have standing. But the institution of Congress as a whole, if it relates to recess appointments or the Affordable Care Act or immigration, courts have signaled that they may say the institution itself has standing, and that’s what [South Carolina Republican Rep. Tom Rice] is trying to do with his resolution.”

Read the rest here.

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Your Daley Gator ObamaCare News Update – 10/25/13 (Videos)

10 Senate Democrats Sign Shaheen Letter Pushing For Open Enrollment Extension – Washington Post

Ten Senate Democrats have signed on to a letter crafted by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) urging the Obama administration to extend the open enrollment period for the recently launched health-care exchanges.

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Shaheen called for the extension this week in light of myriad problems with the HealthCare.gov Web site.

As of now, Americans are required to obtain health insurance by March 31 or will face a penalty under the individual mandate. Some have suggested the penalty could be delayed, given the problems with the Web site might prevent people who otherwise want insurance from obtaining it.

The White House on Wednesday announced it would give Americans six weeks longer than previously thought – until March 31 – to enroll before facing a penalty, but also said the change had nothing to do with the Web site problems.

“Extending this period will give consumers critical time in which to become familiar with the website and choose a plan that is best for them,” the letter states. “Individuals should not be penalized for lack of coverage if they are unable to purchase health insurance due to technical problems.”

The letter doesn’t state how long the senators would like to extend open enrollment, only that it should be beyond March 31. One of the signers, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), called for a two-month delay in remarks on Thursday. Separately, another Democratic senator, Joe Manchin (W.Va.), has called for a one-year delay in the individual mandate.

The signatories to the letter are Shaheen and Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Hagan (D-N.C.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).

Begich, Pryor, Landrieu and Hagan are all top GOP targets in red states in 2014, and Bennet is likely to be targeted in 2016. (Shaheen and Mark Udall face reelection in swing states in 2014 but aren’t considered among Republicans’ top targets.)

Feinstein stands out as a long-time liberal senator from California. Tom Udall is considered largely safe for reelection in New Mexico next year and Heinrich was just elected in 2012 in the same state.

Here’s the text of Shaheen’s letter:

Dear Secretary Sebelius:

When fully implemented, the Affordable Care Act represents a bold step forward in reforming our nation’s health care system. It has the potential to improve the quality of care we all receive and provides the opportunity for millions of Americans to purchase quality, affordable health insurance.

The newly created federal and state health insurance marketplaces are intended to allow consumers the opportunity to compare health insurance options and find a plan that fits their needs and their budgets. For three years, we have been eagerly waiting for the launch of these marketplaces. However, now that the marketplaces are open, we have become discouraged and frustrated with the problems and interactions that are occurring with the Affordable Care Act’s federally-administered website, healthcare.gov.

As long as these substantial technology glitches persist, we are losing valuable time to educate and enroll people in insurance plans. Our constituents are frustrated, and we fear that the longer the website is not functional, opportunities for people to log on, learn about their insurance choices, and enroll will be lost.

Given the existing problems with healthcare.gov and other state-run marketplace websites that depend on the federally-administered website, we urge you to consider extending open enrollment beyond the current end date of March 31, 2014. Extending this period will give consumers critical time in which to become familiar with the website and choose a plan that is best for them. Individuals should not be penalized for lack of coverage if they are unable to purchase health insurance due to technical problems.

The Affordable Care Act has already had a significant impact on the lives of millions of Americans; seniors are now paying less for their prescription drugs, critical preventive care services are available for free and important work is being done to improve the quality of care we receive. Americans will now have the opportunity to receive tax credits to purchase quality health insurance, and starting in January 2014, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny health coverage because of a pre-existing condition or drop coverage if someone is sick.

We appreciate your efforts to fully implement this law and look forward to working with you to accomplish that goal. Thank you for considering our requests to extend the open enrollment period if the healthcare.gov substantial technology glitches continue.

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Think Tank: Health Insurance Premiums Will Almost Double In Wisconsin – National Review

Health-care premiums in Wisconsin will almost double under Obamacare, compared with their current rates, according to a report from the MacIver Institute.

The state’s free-market think tank figured the average premiums of the insurance plans the Obamacare exchange offers for several categories of Wisconsinites: 27-year-olds, 50-year-olds, and a family of four from data found on a federal database. The institute then compared those rates with the average premiums on the private market, using figures from eHealthInsurance.com.

MacIver found that rates will jump significantly, especially for the young: A 27-year-old will see premiums more than double in one county in 2014, and see his rates go up by 93.6 percent in Madison, 91.2 percent in Milwaukee, and 72.6 percent in Eau Claire.

Fifty-year-olds will be paying more overall, too, but their premiums won’t go up quite as much, jumping by about half. Families will see their premiums rise at similar rates to young people: A family of four will see a spike of 97.2 percent in Brown County, and increases of just below 90 percent in Milwaukee and Dane counties.

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Sebelius: I Don’t Work For ‘The People’ Calling For My Resignation – Townhall

Late Monday evening after visiting an Obamacare call center in Arizona, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius held a brief press conference during which she was peppered with questions. One reporter in particular asked Sebelius how she feels about those calling for her resignation. Sebelius responded by saying she “doesn’t work for them” and stressed that nobody has been fired.

“The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don’t work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place. I have had frequent conversations with the president and I have committed to him that my role is to get the program up and running and we will do just that,” she said.

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Apparently Sebelius thinks she only works for, and answers to, Barack Obama.

Nearly three dozen Republicans sent a letter to President Obama earlier this week demanding he fire Sebelius. Democrats have stated that “someone” should lose their job over the Obamacare website roll out.

An online (unscientific) CNBC poll shows 85 percent of people think Sebelius should be fired.

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According to a Fox News poll, 60 percent of people think Obamacare implementation is a “joke.” Also as a reminder, Obamacare is still extremely unpopular among “the people” Sebelius claims she doesn’t work for.

A majority continues to dislike President Obama’s signature achievement: 51 percent of voters use negative terms to describe the health care law, saying it is either “a step backward” or “disastrous.”

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Obamacare Hotline Operator Fired For Taking Call From Sean Hannity… Here’s How The Host Is Making It Right – The Blaze

Earline Davis, the Obamacare hotline operator who took a call from conservative radio host Sean Hannity on Monday, has apparently been fired over the conversation.

Because his decision to call the operator technically led to her firing, Hannity generously offered the mother of two a year’s tax-free salary of $26,000 and also vowed to help find her a new job.

“Earline did NOTHING wrong, she was kind, polite, helpful, honest and extremely patient,” Hannity told TheBlaze via email. “The president said we should call, and I did, and Earline did what she was hired to do. How sad she got fired and Kathleen Sebelius still has her job!”

Davis joined Hanniy on the radio again on Thursday afternoon, this time to discuss the details of her termination.

The morning after speaking with Hannity on the air, Davis was led into an HR meeting and told she would be let go because “contact with the media is not allowed.”

However, the mother told Hannity that she was not made aware of the rule during her initial operator training.

“I was just out here trying to help everybody,” Davis added.

Hannity then apologized for the entire situation and told her, “I don’t want you to have to pay a price just for taking our call… So I want to help you out here.”

After talking to his accountant, Hannity discovered he can “legally gift” Davis a tax-free sum – $13,000 for her and $13,000 for one of her kids. The gift covers what would have been her full-time annual salary.

“I want to try and get you a new job,” Hannity continued. “I’m sure you want to get back to a normal routine.”

Listen to the entire segment below:

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How To Opt Out Of ObamaCare Without Paying The Fine – Big Government

Less than two-hours ago, I submitted a revised W-4 form to our payroll department. My goal is to avoid being in a position where at the end of next year I am owed a refund from the federal government. As an act of civil disobedience, I am refusing to purchase health insurance. This means that I am subject to a tax/fine of 1% of my income (2% the following year, 2.5% thereafter). But the beautiful thing is that unless I am owed a tax refund, the government will never get any of that money.

My decision to not purchase health insurance is a decision a lot of people – possibly millions – are going to make, either out of protest, or once the ObamaCare site is up and running and they finally get a look at the increased cost of their monthly premiums under the Orwellian-named Affordable Care Act. Purely by coincidence, during his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh went into great detail about all of this:

Anyway, [my accountant] said to me that, according to the law, the only way that the government can collect the fine or penalty for you not buying insurance is if you are owed a tax refund. If you do not owe a tax refund, they cannot go into your bank account or anywhere else and get that money. Now, the sad thing is that most people file their taxes to get a refund ’cause they think they’re screwing the government, and they’re not…

Therefore, the only way that they can collect the penalty or the fine is by taking money from your refund. If you are not owed a refund, they cannot get money from you. They can’t issue a lien. They can’t garnish your wages. They can’t use any of the normal procedures available to them if you owe them money, even though the Supreme Court has said it’s a tax. So for those of us – I mean, folks, I’m in fat city. I’m in fat city because I always structure to where I owe money. Well, not entirely. There have been years. But if you structure your taxes so that you do not get a refund, you do not have to buy insurance and you do not have to pay a fine ’cause they can’t collect it from you if you don’t have a refund due.

And that is just another nail in the coffin of Obamacare imploding on itself.

Limbaugh also points out that in order for ObamaCare to succeed, the program needs to coerce a few million young, healthy suckers into paying for something they do not need. Like me (a healthy 47-year-old), all we want and need is a catastrophic plan in case the unthinkable happens. But Obama has outlawed affordable catastrophic plans and is using the mandate/fine/tax as a way to force us into paying for services like maternity, vision, dental, mental health, and drug and alcohol treatment.

According to the CBO, up to 20 million people could lose their health insurance because the plan they are currently happy with (and Obama repeatedly promised they could keep) has been made illegal under ObamaCare. There is little doubt that these ObamaCare victims are going to face higher premium costs that they might not be able to afford, or just don’t think are worth the potential of a 50% to 150% premium increase with a higher deductible.

For those of you who – for whatever reason – will not be buying health insurance next year, remember that you legally do not have to pay that fine if you legally make sure that at the end of the year you are not owed a refund from the federal government.

Fight the Power.

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Figures. Obamacare’s Hispanic Website Features Asians, Not Hispanics – Gateway Pundit

Asians, Hispanics… They all look alike to the O-Care website designers.

The Obamacare Hispanic website features Asians – not Hispanics.

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The Hispanic website was inoperative all month.

It looks like they finally got it going, featuring Asians.

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Obamacare Website Disqualifies Enrollees: You’re In Jail – WorldNetDaily

Are you in jail and didn’t know it?

Don’t worry. Obamacare will tell you.

That’s the “circumstance” for a commenter to a government website taking responses to the problems with the failing Healthcare.gov website, which has been unable to provide reasonable access for Americans.

“Website said my wife and I were ineligible due to current incarceration,” wrote Fred in an acknowledgement by the left-leaning ProPublica of the website problems. “We have never been arrested in our lives, both 63!!!!!!!!!!!”

Charles Ornstein, in the ProPublica report, documented some of the responses on the federal site collecting comments.

“The Obama administration has not always been transparent about Healthcare.gov: A case in point is how HHS has withheld the number of people who have been able to successfully enroll. But in this instance, the administration allowed comments to the blog post to be seen by all.”

Ornstein wrote that the feedback largely has been negative.

“While some comments root for the site’s failure, many are from people who’ve tried to use the site without success,” his report said. “Some pose specific questions; others voice general frustrations. Because their identities and contact information isn’t listed (for understandable reasons), there was no way to verify their stories.”

Besides the couple told by Healthcare.gov that they were in jail, Joanna noted that the system was telling her that her daughter was added twice. So she now lists two daughters with the same name and Social Security number, and no deleting was allowed.

Also, she added, “I choose that my husband is the father of our daughter and that my daughter is a dependant (sic) to me and my husband. What it actually shows though is that my daughter is a stepdaughter to her father and that my daughter is now both my husband and I’s parent (sic).”

Rhonda added that she could sign in, but was told her identity “has been compromised.”

Another, Francine, said she was told she could only submit one application per state, and now the system has her blocked.

The comment collection site optimistically labeled “Doing Better: Making Improvements to Healthcare.gov,” says that 19 million visits to the site show that “the American people are looking for quality, affordable health coverage, and want to find it online.”

They’re apparently not finding, however.

“Unfortunately, the experience on Healthcare.gov has been frustrating for many… some have had trouble creating accounts and logging in to the site, while others have received confusing error messages, or had to wait for slow page loads or forms that failed to respond in a timely fashion,” the government admits.

New code has been introduced to fix some problems, but “we know there’s still more work to be done,” the site explains.

The stories were not encouraging.

Julie, an insurance agent, reported: “My client and I spent three hours alone today trying to get her registered so she could look at plan info and find out what subsidy she would get, once again 24 days into this websites (sic) launch all we got were error messages… I am 24 days now without a sale and will NOT have a paycheck this month do to the lack of ability to access this site.”

Noted Greg: “Has anyone got insurance thru the gov program yet? If so who? I would like to talk with one that has this in place.”

Jeb asked, “I don’t understand why men have to pay for ‘women’s health care’ items.”

Noted Mel: “I’ve filled out and submitted the application at least 10 times… Have I inadvertently started 10 different files that will all need to be sorted out someday?”

Said Don, “Give me the private sector and free market system!”

“I continue to be unable to create my account,” said Elizabeth. “I have tried all month. My high risk insurance will terminate at the end of December so it is critical that I be able to get new insurance through the marketplace.”

Ryan wrote that his current premium of $208 per month is rising to $887 per month. “The affordable Care Act is a contradiction, and destined to implode and take our economy with it. Hold on friends – it aint’ gonna be pretty!”

Penny wrote: “Can’t create account. Trying over and over again.”

Elizabeth was out of patience: “I give up!”

Occasionally, someone in support of the program turned up. This came from John: “The Repukes and the biased conservative main stream media need to stop lying about the Obamacare website. It works just fin (sic) if you follow the instructions. Unfortunately there are a lot of dummies out there so it may take awhile .. be patient. I also suspect TEA tard sabotage. Obama needs to take a hard line against the repuke saboteurs.”

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Obamacare Forcing Indiana Hospitals To Cut Hundreds Of Jobs – Right Scoop

The Obamacare wrecking ball is not only skyrocketing premiums, but destroying healthcare jobs as well:

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Another ‘Affordable Care’ Sticker Shock Looms – Wall Street Journal

President Obama and supporters of his health-care law have defended it by saying that the Affordable Care Act is “the law of the land.” However, the spending reductions in the 2011 Budget Control Act – the so-called sequester – also remain “the law of the land.”

In promoting the former, the Obama administration has failed to enforce the latter. As a result, people trying to buy health insurance on the new exchanges are getting incomplete and misleading information, and they may experience more sticker shock next year.

Some have claimed that the sequester “exempts” ObamaCare’s subsidies from spending reductions. That is only half true. The Budget Control Act does exempt from sequestration the premium subsidies for households with incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level ($94,200 for a family of four) and that meet other eligibility criteria.

But other ObamaCare subsidies, paid directly to insurance providers on behalf of eligible beneficiaries, are subject to the sequester – namely “cost-sharing subsidies.” These include subsidies for households with incomes below 250% of the federal poverty level ($58,875 for a family of four) to reduce copayments and deductibles. They also include subsidies to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for households with incomes up to 400% of the poverty level.

The Obama administration has acknowledged that the cost-sharing subsidies are subject to sequester reductions. A May report from the White House Office of Management and Budget estimated that the sequester would reduce the subsidies by 7.2% in fiscal year 2014. That amounts to a $286 million reduction through next September – the first nine months of ObamaCare.

However, the administration hasn’t issued guidance on how it will implement the required cuts. Appearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Aug. 1, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner declined repeated requests to explain how the cost-sharing subsidy reductions would be applied. She did, however, pledge that the administration would release more information before the Oct. 1 start of open enrollment in ObamaCare. But that deadline came and went without more information.

Clearly, someone will be left holding the bag, and the administration doesn’t want to address who that someone will be.

There are two possible outcomes. The first is that individuals who have managed to enroll in subsidized health insurance will find they’ve been misled about their copays and deductibles. Families who currently think their plan will charge a $20 copayment for doctor visits may instead face a $25 charge when the sequester kicks in. Individuals who now believe they face maximum out-of-pocket costs of $2,000 may end up paying hundreds more.

The other alternative is that insurers may be stuck with the sequester cuts. A May 31 Congressional Research Service report, noting that ObamaCare requires insurers to reduce cost-sharing for eligible individuals regardless of the sequester, concluded that “insurers presumably will still have to provide required coverage to qualifying enrollees but they will not receive the full subsidy to cover their increased costs.” In other words, the CRS, Congress’s own think tank, believes insurers may be forced to eat the costs of the sequester reductions – $286 million through September, and billions more through 2021.

Having first proposed the sequester two years ago, the Obama administration now finds itself on the horns of a self-imposed dilemma. It can tell the American people that the “good deal” President Obama promised isn’t as good as they thought – that those who spent hours and days signing up on Healthcare.gov bought coverage that will cost more than advertised. If full disclosure truly were to prevail, the administration would also admit that this classic bait and switch occurred solely due to its failure to account for its responsibilities under the Budget Control Act.

Or the administration can try to force insurers to bear the full costs of the sequester reductions—and watch them promptly drop out of the exchanges.

This is no mere “glitch” in the website, nor was it unforeseen. The administration has known for years that the cost-sharing subsidies were subject to sequester, but has failed to plan for its impact.

In her Aug. 1 appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Ms. Tavenner testifed that it is the administration’s “strong preference that the issue of sequestration go away entirely.”

But neither Ms. Tavenner nor President Obama can pick and choose which laws they wish to enforce. And the administration’s rush to implement one law, while ignoring the requirements of another, means Americans could face a rude awakening when they discover what their ObamaCare coverage will cost them.

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Army Ranger Believed To Be Unconscious Salutes During Purple Heart Ceremony

Army Ranger Believed To Be Unconscious Salutes During Purple Heart Ceremony – Fox News

Army Ranger Josh Hargis was unconscious, hooked to a breathing tube at a military hospital in Afghanistan after losing both his legs in battle last week.

But when the Purple Heart ceremony began at Hargis’ bedside, it turned out he was not unconscious, as doctors believed. Instead, he struggled with an attending doctor to raise his heavily bandaged hand to salute a commanding officer presenting him with the medal.

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“I cannot impart on you the level of emotion that poured through the intensive care unit that day,” the commander wrote to the Ranger’s wife. “Grown men began to weep, and we were speechless at a gesture that speaks volumes about Josh’s courage and character.”

There were about 50 fellow Rangers, doctors and nurses in the hospital room during the ceremony. The commanding officer said the salute was the “most beautiful” any person in the room had ever seen.

“I’m overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed that that’s my boy, that he could come from me. Yeah, I’m overwhelmed,” Jim Hargis, the 24-year-old’s father, told Fox 19.

Hargis, who is expecting a baby with his wife, was injured in an explosion while his unit, the 3rd Ranger Battalion, was searching for a high-value target in Panjwaj, Afghanistan, the Fox 19 report said. Four other soldiers died in the attack.

His father told the station that the troops had just inspected a man for bombs, and then a woman came by and exploded. While the troops were responding to the explosion, other IEDs planted in the area detonated, including one Hargis stepped on.

Hargis will be moved to a military hospital in San Antonio, Texas, for further treatment.

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Your Daley Gator Obamacare-Is-Evil News Roundup – 10/15/13 (Videos)

The Obamacare Implosion Is Worse Than You Think – Washington Post

Obamacare is imploding. But thanks to the government shutdown, everyone is talking about the implosion of the GOP instead.

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The shutdown drama has distracted from the fact that Obamacare’s debut is worse than many realize – and it threatens the fundamental viability of the law itself. The administration claims the Obamacare online exchanges crashed because the Web site got more than 8 million hits in the first week. Please. You know how many people visit Amazon.com every week? More than 70 million. The difference is: 1.) Amazon seldom crashes, and 2.) on Amazon, people actually buy something.

It appears virtually no one is buying Obamacare. While administration officials brag about how many visitors the site is getting, they refuse to divulge how many people actually signed up. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was asked that directly by Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show.” “Fully enrolled?” Sebelius stuttered. “I can’t tell you. Because I don’t know.” That is a frightening admission of incompetence. If the Obama administration can’t even track how many people signed up, how on earth is it going to verify whether those people are eligible for subsidies? How will it protect against fraud?

The Post reported this past weekend that the failure of the Web site is worse than previously known: “Even when consumers have been able to sign up, insurers sometimes can’t tell who their new customers are because of a separate set of computer defects.” It turns out that in some 99 percent of applications, the Obamacare site did not provide insurers with enough verifiable information to enroll people in their plans.

Computer experts say the problems with the site are not because of heavy traffic but are the result of structural flaws in system architecture. It is going to take months to rebuild it. That raises a question: If the federal government can’t manage a simple Web site, how on earth is it going to manage the health care of millions of Americans?

It also means that President Obama may have no choice but to delay the individual mandate. As my American Enterprise Institute colleague, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, points out, how can Obama penalize people for not having health insurance if the government’s Web site to provide that insurance doesn’t work?

Without the individual mandate, Obamacare unravels. The only way the law works is if the government forces young, healthy people into it by threatening them with penalties for not carrying health insurance. But if there is no penalty for not signing up, then fewer Americans will sign up.

Even if the administration manages to fix the Web site and finally implement the individual mandate, people still may not join – because the plans being offered are so unattractive. To entice people to join the exchanges, the administration forced insurers to offer low monthly premiums and cover people with preexisting conditions. Insurers have responded by increasing deductibles – the out-of-pocket costs people must pay before insurance benefits kick in – to stratospheric levels.

According to an analysis this weekend by the president’s hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune, “21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered on the Illinois health insurance exchange for Cook County have annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage… Plans with the least expensive monthly premiums – highlighted by state and federal officials as proof the new law will keep costs low for consumers – have deductibles as high as $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families.” Even with federal subsidies, few Americans will bother to buy insurance with a $4,000 to $12,700 deductible – and millions won’t even be eligible for the subsidies.

If enough Americans don’t join the exchanges, Obamacare collapses. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the administration needs at least 7 million people to join the exchanges for Obamacare to be financially viable. While the administration won’t reveal sign-up rates, London’s Daily Mail reported that total sign-ups in the first week were just 51,000 people. If accurate, that would mean they have just 6,949,000 more to go to break even.

Bottom line: It turns out Obamacare is blowing itself up just fine without Republican help. Far from a few “glitches,” the president’s signature program is in free fall after only a week. But instead of focusing on the Obamacare debacle, the news is filled with stories about… the government shutdown. The irony is, the shutdown was intended to stop Obamacare. Instead, it is rescuing Obama from his own incompetence.

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Obamacare Website Source Code: ‘No Reasonable Expectation Of Privacy’ – Weekly Standard

The launch of federal government’s Obamacare insurance exchange, Healthcare.gov, has been plagued with delays, errors, and poor website design, even prompting USA Today to call it an “inexcusable mess” and a “nightmare”. Now comes another example of why the website’s reputation is in tatters. Buried in the source code of Healthcare.gov is this sentence that could prove embarrassing: “You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system.” Though not visible to users and obviously not intended as part of the terms and conditions, the language is nevertheless a part of the underlying code for the “Terms & Conditions” page on the site.

After creating an account on Healthcare.gov, users are asked to click an “I accept” button under some routine Terms & Conditions prohibiting unauthorized attempts to upload information or change the website. Once users click the button, they may proceed to shop for insurance and enter detailed personal information. However, when the Terms & Conditions page is visible, the hidden sentence mentioned above along with several others can be seen by using a web browser’s “View Source” feature. A screen grab below shows the visible Terms & Conditions page along with a simultaneous view of the code underlying it:

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The full portion of the code which does not appear on the visible page displayed for users reads as follows:

You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system. At any time, and for any lawful Government purpose, the government may monitor, intercept, and search and seize any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system. Any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system may be disclosed or used for any lawful Government purpose. [The sentence beginning "To continue" also appears again, but is only visible once on the page as displayed for users.]

It is unclear why these sentences appear in the code at all since they are not displayed, although the code may simply have been copied from another website that does use the full warning. In this case, the unwanted portion of the warning was rendered inert with HTML coding tags (““) usually used by programmers for inserting comments to explain the purpose of a section of code. However, the code can be rendered “live” again by simply removing those tags, in which case the full text would appear on the screen to users. However, it is unclear why the paragraph containing “no reasonable expectation of privacy” would ever have even been considered appropriate in this context.

The phrase “no reasonable expectation of privacy” is actually a stock phrase used in the terms and conditions of many government websites and information systems, but those who are entering personal, medical and financial information at Healthcare.gov may not find that fact reassuring. An email sent on Thursday, October 10, requesting comment from Department of Health and Human Services, the agency responsible for the website, has not yet been returned.

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Report: Budget Deal To Include Obamacare Tax Delay For The Unions – Weasel Zippers

Unbelievable.

Via The Hill:

Labor unions are poised to score the delay of an ObamaCare tax in the bipartisan budget deal emerging in the Senate.

The bargain under negotiation would make small adjustments to the healthcare law, including delaying the law’s reinsurance fee for one year. The three-year tax is meant to generate revenue that will stabilize premiums on the individual market as sick patients enter the risk pool.

The tax applies to all group health plans, but unions argue it will raise their healthcare costs while providing them no benefit.

The reinsurance tax figured prominently in discussions at a recent AFL-CIO convention, where workers passed a resolution demanding changes to ObamaCare.

The White House recently denied labor’s top priority on ObamaCare, ruling that union health plans are not eligible for the new subsidies because they are already helped by the tax code.

Democrats could be pushing to delay the reinsurance fee for one year as an olive branch after that apparent slight, though it could also create trouble for insurers on the marketplaces.

The possible Senate deal would raise the nation’s debt ceiling until mid-February, immediately reopen the government and provide funding until Jan. 15.

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Most Powerful White House Obamacare Official At Center Of IRS Scandal – Daily Caller

The White House official who exchanged confidential taxpayer information with the IRS is a longtime Obama advisor and progressive activist who is currently the most powerful official on Obamacare implementation within the White House.

Jeanne Lambrew, deputy assistant to the president for health policy, entered Obama-world in 2008 as a health-policy adviser to then-Senator Obama’s presidential campaign. She was subsequently named deputy director and then director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) now-defunct Office of Health Reform, where she reported directly to Kathleen Sebelius.

Lambrew’s current “deputy assistant to the president” position, while modest-sounding, gives her extensive and centralized power over the White House’s efforts to implement Obamacare.

“[Lambrew] is also unabashedly liberal – often serving as the architect of her party’s most progressive ideas on healthcare reform,” wrote American Enterprise Institute resident fellow Scott Gottlieb in a March op-ed.

“The few remaining centrists thinkers inside the White House, mostly scattered across the National Economic Council and Treasury, are gone – or largely marginalized when it comes to issues around implementation. The people drafting and reviewing the regulations are mostly centered in the White House and its Domestic Policy Council – and they mostly work for Jeanne Lambrew,” Gottlieb wrote.

“Normally, the Office of Management and Budget and the National Economic Council would be heavily engaged on the issuance of regulations tied to a major law like Obamacare. Not the Obama White House. The economists still play on the fiscal issues related to Medicare and Medicaid. But when it comes to Obamacare implementation, they are not calling the shots. The power is centered on Lambrew,” Gottlieb wrote.

Lambrew exchanged confidential taxpayer information on organizations with IRS official Sarah Hall Ingram and White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz, according to 2012 emails obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and provided to The Daily Caller last week. Ingram attempted to counsel Lambrew and the White House on a lawsuit from religious organizations opposing Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

Lambrew also hosted 155 of Ingram’s 165 White House visits, according to White House visitor logs that were recently taken offline during the government shutdown. The IRS improperly targeted conservative groups for harassment of their tax-exempt applications and abusive audits between 2010 and 2012.

Lambrew previously served as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a left-wing Washington think tank headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta.

Podesta credited Lambrew with helping to shape the “foundation” of the progressive health care reform push beginning in 2005, which was eventually realized under Obama despite attempts to “demagogue” the issue by conservatives who believe that “health is a privilege, not a right,” according to Podesta.

Lambrew moderated a June 2008 Center for American Progress panel criticizing Obama opponent John McCain’s health policy.

Among numerous other positions in government and academia, Lambrew worked on health care reform at the Department of Health and Human Services between 1993-94, as First Lady Hillary Clinton led the administration’s disastrous health care reform initiative.

Lambrew has contributed money to the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Obama, and to the now defunct George Soros-funded PAC America Coming Together.

“Providing and improving health care for every American may be the current test of our country’s strength of conviction, as was enacting civil rights for all in the 1960s and the creation of the New Deal in the 1930s,” wrote Lambrew, Podesta, and Teresa L. Shaw in 2005.

The White House did not return a request for comment.

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Obamacare Meltdown Triggers Congressional Investigations – Washington Examiner

House Republicans don’t have the power to stop Obamacare. But they do have the power to investigate it.

Recent weeks have seen the meltdown of the Obamacare national online marketplace, reported to have cost between $400 million and $600 million so far. There are also indications the administration knew serious problems were coming and hid them from lawmakers who have a responsibility to oversee the program.

The episode has prompted a lot of questions on Capitol Hill. Just how many people have tried to purchase coverage on the exchanges? How many have succeeded? Is the level of interest sufficient for Obamacare to reach its goal of seven million enrollees? Why is the administration being so secretive about it?

Also, what about the security of Americans’ confidential health and financial information? Does the struggling system have adequate protections for that?

And once the administration finally gets its website working, will millions of Americans experience sticker shock, discovering that they will have to pay higher premiums and deductibles for coverage? What were the administration’s in-house estimates on that?

As House Republicans see it, there is much to talk about. Last Thursday, Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent letters to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, as well as some major Obamacare contractors, wanting to know why HHS officials were painting a rosy picture of the exchanges just weeks before it all came crashing down.

“Staff from your agency who briefed committee staff in August 2013 explained that testing of the [exchanges] was proceeding on schedule and did not identify any problems like the ones now being experienced on HealthCare.gov,” Upton told Sebelius. In addition, Upton said a top Obamacare official told the committee on Sept. 19 that consumers would have immediate and full access to Obamacare’s programs, “and they will be able to choose a plan and get enrolled in coverage beginning Oct. 1.”

That certainly didn’t happen. Citing what he calls “a host of broken promises” from the Obama administration, Upton is preparing to call those officials back for more testimony. “We want to look at the rollout, and what they said this summer,” Upton told me, “when they absolutely verified that everything was fine and dandy.”

In addition to testimony, Upton wants internal documents relating to the exchange’s design and testing, plus documents from outside experts involved.

And there are still more questions. How did the Obama team select the contractors involved in the (so far, disastrous) rollout? The Washington Examiner’s Richard Pollock has reported that federal officials relied on just one company to design the system. “Rather than open the contracting process to a competitive public solicitation with multiple bidders,” Pollock reported, “officials in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid accepted a sole bidder, CGI Federal, the U.S. subsidiary of a Canadian company with an uneven record of IT pricing and contract performance.”

That is a classic subject for congressional investigation. And so is the subject of cost: Just how much has the administration spent on the exchanges so far versus its original estimates, and how much will it cost to fix the system now? And what about the administration’s story that the exchanges’ early problems were due simply to an enormous amount of traffic from people wanting to sign up? Where did that come from?

In addition to Upton, Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Sen. Lamar Alexander, the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, are seeking answers from the administration. In a letter to Sebelius on Thursday, the lawmakers demanded a wide range of information from HHS, “for us to better determine whether any corrective legislative actions are necessary.”

The number of Obamacare investigations on Capitol Hill is likely to grow in coming weeks. There’s no denying the probes will have a political element, as Republican chairmen in the House lead the charge. And if Obamacare’s problems continue, and perhaps expand, the situation could be politically advantageous for the GOP. No one should be surprised if a White House on the defensive accuses Republicans of playing politics.

But the fact is, the investigations are necessary and appropriate; Obamacare is a massive, and massively expensive, federal undertaking that could bring about major changes in the lives of millions of Americans. It must have congressional supervision.

“We’re going to be pursuing this with a lot of vigor,” said Upton. “This issue is not going away.”

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Sebelius: ObamaCare To Bring ‘Western Civilization To Its Knees’ – Investors Business Daily

In a stunning admission, our Health and Human Services secretary admits ObamaCare is part of the fundamental transformation of America away from a free market in anything to a nanny state on steroids.

Maybe Kathleen Sebelius was being sarcastic, or maybe she thought it might be a good way to reach the “young invincibles” who feel they had better things to do with their money than enroll in ObamaCare. But her recent appearance on Jon Stewart’s show on Comedy Central went about as well as ObamaCare’s train wreck of a rollout.

Stewart hammered her and ObamaCare, as we have, on why she and President Obama granted delays for employers and insurers in their mandates, while individuals were still being forced into the comedy central known as the ObamaCare exchanges.

Failing to get a straight answer, Stewart pointed out that businesses are basing hiring decisions now based on ObamaCare’s expensive regulatory straightjacket. He noted that businesses are cutting worker hours to exploit a loophole in the law, but Sebelius denied it.

Then in a moment of intended sarcasm that was really one of unintentional honesty, the U.S. secretary of health and human services said, “As you know, we’re facing the end of the Western Civilization by having a market-based strategy. We are bringing Western Civilization to its knees by selling private insurance plans on a website where people can pick and choose.”

People have long been able to buy insurance online and free to choose which insurance to buy and from whom or not to buy any at all. By forcing people to buy a product they don’t want, Sebelius and the Obama administration are bringing Western civilization to its knees — at least our Constitution-based part of it.

ObamaCare limits our choices and freedom. A true market-based strategy would let people save money tax-free in medical savings accounts and use that money to choose their doctor and buy insurance tailored to their needs, with companies competing for their business across state lines. No mandates, no bureaucrats.

But then ObamaCare has never been about health care. It’s been about power, as IRS target Dr. Ben Carson made clear Friday at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. The former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon called the Affordable Care Act the “worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

He wasn’t exaggerating.

ObamaCare puts the U.S. government in charge of fully one-sixth of America’s economy, unconstitutionally seeks to force Americans to buy a service, often against their will, and places each individual’s health at the eventual mercy of government bureaucracy.

ObamaCare’s power to tax is the power to destroy our free-market economy — and our freedoms, as well.

So Sebelius is right after all. ObamaCare, as the song goes, is the end of the world as we know it.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Family Of Toddler Who Stunned The World With His Viral Trick Shot Videos Hit With Obamacare Shocker – The Blaze

“Trick Shot Titus” won over the world with his incredible trick shots. YouTube videos of the toddler draining shot after shot, many times increasing in difficulty, resulted in a number of viral videos and appearances on “Today,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “The Glenn Beck Radio Program.”

The overwhelming success of the toddler’s trick shot videos brought in money that his parents plan to save for Titus and his three siblings. However, that plan has officially hit its first snag, according to the toddler’s father, Joseph Ashby.

The problem’s name is Obamacare.

Ashby, an aerospace engineer and radio host in Wichita, Kan., told TheBlaze that he recently received a letter from his family’s health insurance provider informing him that their policy no longer complies with federal law under Obamacare. The replacement plan allegedly comes with a roughly 535 percent deductible increase – before the plan helps out with medical bills. The replacement plan also reduces the number of plan-covered doctor visits from five to as few as two, and doubles the co-pay for each visit, he said.

“The old plan had a $1,000 deductible before the plan kicked in. After that, the old plan paid 80 percent and we paid 20 percent until we got to another $1,000. The new plan has a $6,350 deductible before they kick in anything,” he explained.

Further, Ashby claims the plan’s vision coverage is dropped and the monthly premium is still higher than the old policy. The family may end up paying as much as $10,000 more over the next year in medical costs under the new Obamacare-compliant plan, he said.

Ashby told TheBlaze the $10,000 estimation is based on a combination of higher premiums and likely medical payment his family would have to make with the increased deductible.

“I just want to make it clear that if my family was in the deepest pit of Nova Scotia with the Rocky Mountains piled on top of us, we’d make it out. We’re not here to complain,” the father said. “I just want people to know what Obamacare is – and isn’t.”

“The money from the viral videos (meant for Titus’ and his siblings’ future) is small compared to the family’s new health care cost,” reads a post on Ashby’s Facebook page.

“The folks in Washington who are doing so much to try and stop the law are fighting a good fight. We all want people to get medical care, but we can’t embrace a law that hurts so many others in the process.”

The original Titus trick shot video has more than 12 million views on YouTube:

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Obamacare’s Website Is Crashing Because It Doesn’t Want You To Know How Costly Its Plans Are – Forbes

A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.

HHS didn’t want users to see Obamacare’s true costs

“Healthcare.gov was initially going to include an option to browse before registering,” report Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in the Wall Street Journal. “But that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.” Why was it delayed? “An HHS spokeswoman said the agency wanted to ensure that users were aware of their eligibility for subsidies that could help pay for coverage, before they started seeing the prices of policies.”

As you know if you’ve been following this space, Obamacare’s bevy of mandates, regulations, taxes, and fees drives up the cost of the insurance plans that are offered under the law’s public exchanges. A Manhattan Institute analysis I helped conduct found that, on average, the cheapest plan offered in a given state, under Obamacare, will be 99 percent more expensive for men, and 62 percent more expensive for women, than the cheapest plan offered under the old system. And those disparities are even wider for healthy people.

That raises an obvious question. If 50 million people are uninsured today, mainly because insurance is too expensive, why is it better to make coverage even costlier?

Political objectives trumped operational objectives

The answer is that Obamacare wasn’t designed to help healthy people with average incomes get health insurance. It was designed to force those people to pay more for coverage, in order to subsidize insurance for people with incomes near the poverty line, and those with chronic or costly medical conditions.

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But the laws’ supporters and enforcers don’t want you to know that, because it would violate the President’s incessantly repeated promise that nothing would change for the people that Obamacare doesn’t directly help. If you shop for Obamacare-based coverage without knowing if you qualify for subsidies, you might be discouraged by the law’s steep costs.

So, by analyzing your income first, if you qualify for heavy subsidies, the website can advertise those subsidies to you instead of just hitting you with Obamacare’s steep premiums. For example, the site could advertise plans that “$0″ or “$30″ instead of explaining that the plan really costs $200, and you’re getting a subsidy of $200 or $170. But you’ll have to be at or near the poverty line to gain subsidies of that size; most people will either not qualify for a subsidy, or qualify for a small one that, net-net, doesn’t make up for the law’s cost hikes.

This political objective – masking the true underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans – far outweighed the operational objective of making the federal website work properly. Think about it the other way around. If the “Affordable Care Act” truly did make health insurance more affordable, there would be no need to hide these prices from the public.

Subsidy verification created a traffic bottleneck

Comparable private-sector e-commerce sites, like eHealthInsurance.com, allow you to shop for plans and compare prices simply by entering your age and your ZIP code. After you’ve selected a plan you like, you fill out an on-line application. That substantially winnows down the number of people who rely on the site for network-intensive tasks.

The federal government’s decision to force people to apply before shopping, Weaver and Radnofsky write, “proved crucial because, before users can begin shopping for coverage, they must cross a busy digital junction in which data are swapped among separate computer systems built or run by contractors including CGI Group Inc., the healthcare.gov developer, Quality Software Services Inc., a UnitedHealth Group Inc. unit; and credit-checker Experian PLC. If any part of the web of systems fails to work properly, it could lead to a traffic jam blocking most users from the marketplace.”

Jay Angoff, a former federal official at the agency that oversees the exchange, told the Journal that he was surprised by the decision. “People should be able to get quotes” without entering all of that information upfront.

Weaver and Radnofsky say that the core problem stems from “the slate of registration systems [that] intersect with Oracle Identity Manager, a software component embedded in a government identity-checking system.” The main Healthcare.gov web page collects information using the CGI Group technology. Then that data is transferred to a system built by Quailty Software Services. QSS then sends data to Experian, the credit-history firm. But the key “identity management system” employed by QSS was designed by Oracle, and according to the Journal’s sources, the Oracle software isn’t playing nicely with the other information systems.

Oracle hotly denies these claims. “Our software is the identical product deployed in most of the world’s most complex systems… our software is running properly,” said an Oracle spokeswoman in a statement.

‘It’s awful, just awful’

Robert Pear and colleagues at the New York Times have a piece up today detailing the serious problems with the federal exchange, problems that may get worse, not better. They confirm what we already knew: that the Obama administration refused to delay the implementation of the exchanges, despite the well-known problems, because they were afraid of the political blowback. “Former government officials say the White House, which was calling the shots, feared that any backtracking would further embolden Republican critics who were trying to repeal the health care law.”

As I documented last week, IT and insurance experts have been saying for at least eight months that implementation of the exchanges was going badly, that as early as February officials were warning of a “third world experience.” The Times’ sources are just as blunt. “These are not glitches,” said one insurance executive. “The extent of the problems is pretty enormous. At the end of our [conference calls with the administration], people say, ‘It’s awful, just awful.’”

“We foresee a train wreck,” said another executive in a February interview with the Times. “We don’t have the IT specifications. The level of angst in health plans is growing by leaps and bounds. The political people in the administration do not understand how far behind they are.” Richard Foster, the former chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said last week that “so much testing of the new system was so far behind schedule, I was not confident it would work well.”

Henry Chao, the deputy chief information officer at CMS who made the “third world experience” comment, was told by his superiors that failure to meet the October 1 launch deadline “was not an option,” according to the Times.

White House knowingly chose to court disaster

Think about it. It’s quite possible that much of this disaster could have been avoided if the Obama administration had been willing to be open with the public about the degree to which Obamacare escalates the cost of health insurance. If they had, then a number of the problems with the exchange’s software architecture would have been avoided. But that would require admitting that the “Affordable Care Act” was not accurately named.

They knew that their people on the front lines, people like Henry Chao, were worried that the exchanges would get botched. They saw the Congressional Research Service memorandum detailing that the administration has missed half of the statutory deadlines assigned by the law. But they were more afraid of the P.R. disaster of disclosing Obamacare’s high premiums than they were of the P.R. disaster of crashing websites. What you see is the result.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Obamacare’s Secret Is Out – The Foundry

Timing is everything. And just as Congress’s focus seems to be drifting from Obamacare’s ravages on the economy, Americans are learning the reason this law’s implementation was postponed until after the presidential election.

That reason is becoming clear as person after person opens the mail. Insurance costs are going up. For many, not just going up – skyrocketing.

Ross, a married father of three small boys in Florida, tells us his insurance will be going up $525 per month. “I feel completely helpless,” he says.

Kevin, who also has three small boys, just found out his wife’s individual health insurance premium will be jumping from $79 per month to $311.82 per month.

“For whom exactly is the Affordable Care Act making care affordable?” asked Kevin, who lives in Alabama.

But this isn’t all. While people are receiving notices that their premiums are going up or perhaps their health plans are being discontinued, there’s a secret in Obamacare’s exchanges, too.

One of the reasons the Obamacare website has been so slow and glitchy? It requires people to enter personal information before they’re able to see insurance plan options. Health and Human Services does this so that if you’re eligible for a subsidy, you won’t see the true cost of your health plan.

Obamacare is laden with mandates that are driving up the cost of health insurance. And it didn’t stop with the original law. Federal bureaucrats are continuing to write more Obamacare regulations. One estimate is that these paper pushers have added 30 words of regulations for every word in the original law.

No small tweak to Obamacare can fix this. No small tweak can give relief to these hard-working dads who are supporting their families and getting the wind knocked out of them by hundreds of dollars in insurance hikes.

If Congress does anything less than defund Obamacare, it is turning its back on all of these suffering Americans.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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*VIDEO* Judge Jeanine Verbally Bitchslaps Obama Over his Refusal To Bury Soldiers, Pay Death Benefits


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*VIDEO* Dr. Ben Carson Discusses The IRS’ Targeting Of Conservatives With Megyn Kelly


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*VIDEO* Judge Jeanine Pirro Calls Out Obama For Smack Talking Fox News


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Hidden Camera Catches Culprit Taking Man’s Second Amendment Sign… Turns Out To Be A Cop

Hidden Camera Catches Culprit Taking Man’s Second Amendment Sign – Fox News

A New York man, frustrated when his pro-Second Amendment sign kept disappearing, was surprised when the hidden camera he set up revealed the culprit to be a local cop.

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Jon Gibson, of rural Lake Lincolndale, about 50 miles north of New York City, told FoxNews.com he set up a hunting field camera near the sign, which reads “Protect the Second Amendment,” and features the silhouette of an assault rifle, after two mysteriously vanished. A third sign disappeared before the camera finally captured the sign stealer – a police officer from the nearby Somers Police Department.

“It was pure shock to see,” Gibson said to FoxNews.com about first seeing the video recorded on Monday. “He had a huge smile on his face as he’s kicking down the sign.

“I was in total disbelief to see such criminal behavior from a law-enforcement officer,” he added.

Gibson’s lawyer, Richard Bombardo, told FoxNews.com that they are currently having his property surveyed to be certain that the signs were not on the public right-of-way, which, though on Gibson’s property, would be restricted for signage.

“If the sign was close enough to public property, then they were within their right,” Bombardo said to FoxNews.com. “But if it was solely on his property, that’s where the issue is.”

Somers Town Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy told FoxNews.com that the signs were indeed on public property – within 15 feet of the road – and were removed to comply with town ordinances.

“The town does not allow signs in the right of way,” Murphy said. “The police chief had received numerous complaints from neighbors and it was determined that the sign was posted in the right of way.”

Murphy also denied Gibson’s claim that the officer had attempted to destroy the sign.

“I have seen the images that were taken, but it is my understanding that he was loosening the sign from the ground,” she said. “It was brought to the Police Department and it is still intact and he (Gibson) would be able to come pick it up.”

However, images provided to FoxNews.com by Gibson clearly show the officer in mid-kick, snapping the post of the sign in half.

Murphy also said that there was never a fine issued, but that Gibson did receive a letter from the Somer Building Department.

Gibson says that he never received any sort of citation and that he’s been singled out as other signs in the area have been left undisturbed.

“This isn’t about the Second Amendment. My First Amendment and even my Fifth Amendment rights have been violated,” he said, explaining that words and image on the sign are protected by his right to free speech and the sign itself was taken from him without due process.

“I’m not quite sure where this is going to go, but what’s important here is that people need to defend their rights,” Gibson said.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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*AUDIO* Mark Levin Explains The Senate Obamacare Fight


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PLEASE SIGN THE CRUZ/LEE PETITION TO DEFUND OBAMACARE!

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Dont Fund Obamacare
………………………Click on image above to sign petition.

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