Excerpted from Breitbart: In a new video just released by the Center for Medical Progress, a former clinical worker at StemExpress described her job of identifying pregnant women “who met criteria for fetal tissue orders and to harvest fetal body parts after their abortions.”
Holly O’Donnell, a licensed phlebotomist, said she “unsuspectingly took as job as a ‘procurement technician’” at the fetal tissue company StemExpress, which was allegedly the primary buyer of fetal body parts from Planned Parenthood.
She said she fainted on her first day on the job when she was asked to dissect a “freshly aborted” baby.
Concerning Planned Parenthood’s repeated denials that they make any money from the exchange of body parts for cash, something that would be illegal under federal law, O’Donnell said, “For whatever we could procure, they would get a certain percentage. The main nurse was always trying to make sure we got our specimens. No one else really cared, but the main nurse did because she knew that Planned Parenthood was getting compensated.”
The new video also shows undercover footage of Dr. Savita Ginde, vice president and medical director of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, who operates abortion clinics in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nevada.
She was secretly videotaped in the Planned Parenthood pathology lab, where babies are taken after being aborted. She also talks about making money for body parts: “I think a per-item thing works a little better, just because we can see how much we can get out of it.”
Dr. Katherine Sheehan, medical director emerita of Planned Parenthood in San Diego, talks about their relationship with Advanced Bioscience Resources, a company that allegedly buys and sells baby parts into the abortion aftermarket. “We’ve been using them for over 10 years, really a long time, you know, just kind of renegotiated the contract. They’re doing the big government-level collections and things like that.” Keep reading
Excerpted from The Washington Examiner: A third video Planned Parenthood video was released Tuesday morning that features a whistleblower who says her biomedical company would compensate Planned Parenthood clinics for fetal organs based on their condition and quality after being extracted from an abortion.
Holly O’Donnell is a former technician for California-based Stem Express, a company that contracts with abortion clinics for the tissue.
“The more valuable the tissue the more money you get, so if you can somehow procure a brain or a heart you’re going to get more money than just umbilical cord,” O’Donnell says in the video. “So I guess that’s incentive to try and get the hard stuff because they get more money.”
The footage shows medical professionals picking through trays of aborted fetal tissue for legs and other recognizable body parts. O’Donnell says that when she was asked to participate, she fainted. She also names Cate Dyer, the president and founder of Stem Express, saying Dyer makes “a lot of money.”
“It’s basically a huge trafficking of fetal tissues,” O’Donnell says. “It’s a pretty sick company.”
The video also features Katharine Sheehan, medical director for Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest, talking about procuring fetal organs with an actor posing as a buyer for a human tissue company. Keep reading
The United States will continue to suffer increasingly damaging cyber attacks against both government and private sector networks as long as there is no significant response, according to a recent U.S. intelligence community assessment.
Disclosure of the intelligence assessment, an analytical consensus of 16 U.S. spy agencies, comes as the Obama administration is debating how to respond to a major cyber attack against the Office of Personnel Management. Sensitive records on 22.1 million federal workers, including millions cleared for access to secrets, were stolen by hackers linked to China’s government.
U.S. officials familiar with the classified cyber assessment discussed its central conclusion but did not provide details.
Spokesmen for the White House and office of the director of national intelligence declined to comment.
Recent comments by President Obama and senior military and security officials, however, reflect the intelligence assessment.
Obama said during a summit in Germany June 8 that he would not disclose who conducted the OPM hack. But he said such attacks would continue.
“We have known for a long time that there are significant vulnerabilities and that these vulnerabilities are gonna accelerate as time goes by, both in systems within government and within the private sector,” the president said.
Last week, Adm. Mike Rogers, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, said the increase in state-sponsored cyber attacks is partly the result of a perception that “there’s not a significant price to pay” for such attacks.
Privately, administration officials said the assessment appears to be an indirect criticism of the administration’s approach to cyber attacks that has emphasized diplomatic and law enforcement measures instead of counter-cyber attacks.
“The administration is expecting more attacks because they’re unwilling to do anything,” said one official. “They’re preparing for more attacks because we’re failing to deter and defend against them.”
Intelligence and cyber security experts agreed with the assessment that weak U.S. responses are encouraging more cyber attacks.
“Until we redefine warfare in the age of information, we will continue to be viciously and dangerously attacked with no consequences for those attackers,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, a former Defense Intelligence Agency director.
“The extraordinary intellectual theft ongoing across the U.S.’s cyber critical infrastructure has the potential to shut down massive components of our nation’s capabilities, such as health care, energy and communications systems. This alone should scare the heck out of everyone.”
James Lewis, a cyber security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, agreed. Lewis said the defensive approach that emphasizes closing vulnerabilities to cyber attacks is not working.
“Unless we punch back, we will continue to get hit,” Lewis said.
Lewis says that conducting retaliatory cyber strikes without starting a war is difficult but not impossible.
“There are a lot of ways to do this – leaking some party leader’s bank account could be a good start,” Lewis said. “Many people think a cyber response is the best way to signal where the lines are the other side should not cross.”
“We’re all coming to the same place – that a defensive orientation doesn’t work,” he added.
Rogers, the Cyber Command chief who has stated in the past that he favors more aggressive U.S. responses, acknowledged that the U.S. response to the OPM hack has been muted compared to the government’s highly-public response to North Korea’s damaging cyber attack in November against Sony Pictures Entertainment. The Sony hack was a failed bid by the North Koreans to derail the release of a comedy film critical of dictator Kim Jong Un.
Major incidents in recent months include the Sony attack; cyber attacks against the health care provider Anthem that compromised the records of some 80 million people; attacks against State Department and White House networks from suspected Russian government-linked hackers; the OPM hacking; and an Iranian-backed cyber attack against the Sands casino in Las Vegas.
Asked about the increase in state-sponsored attacks, Rogers said during a security conference in Colorado that one factor has been a lack of response.
Rogers earlier in congressional testimony has suggested a more muscular cyber policy that would include demonstrations and threats of retaliatory cyber attacks against hackers in a bid to create deterrence similar to the Cold War-era strategic nuclear deterrence.
In addition to more capable hackers, “you’ve got a perception, I believe, that to date there is little price to pay for engaging in some pretty aggressive behaviors,” Rogers aid.
“Whether it’s stealing intellectual property; whether it’s getting in and destroying things as we saw in the Sony attack; whether it’s going after large masses of data – OPM being the most recent but go back to the summer of ’14 and we saw a successful penetration of a large health insurance company and the extraction of most of the medical records and personal data information that they had.”
Nation states are only one part of the threat. Criminal groups also are conducting large-scale cyber attacks, Rogers said.
In November, Rogers said he argued for going public in naming North Korea’s communist regime for the Sony hack and having the president make a public statement that Pyongyang would pay a price.
Rogers said some officials in the administration favored a less public response to the Sony case.
“So one of my concerns was this time it was a movie,” Rogers said. “What if next time a nation state, a group, an individual, an actor decides I don’t like the U.S. policy, I don’t like a U.S. product, I don’t agree with this particular position taken by a company, or taken by an individual. If we start down this road, this is not a good one for us as a nation.”
Rogers said he argued strongly that “we cannot pretend that this did not happen,” and that the attack had to be linked to North Korea directly.
“My concern was if we do nothing, then one of the potential unintended consequences of this could be does this send a signal to other nation states, other groups, other actors that this kind of behavior [is okay] and that you can do this without generating any kind of response,” Rogers said.
On not naming the Chinese for the OPM hack, Rogers appears to have lost out during the administration’s debate on naming the Chinese.
“OPM is an ongoing issue,” Rogers said, adding that he would not discuss the specifics of internal discussions.
“But I would acknowledge, hey, to date the response to OPM, there’s a thought process and I’m the first to acknowledge to date we have to take a different approach.”
Asked if he agreed with doing nothing about the OPM response, Rogers suggested some action might be forthcoming.
“Just because you’re not reading something in the media does not mean that there’s not things ongoing,” he said. “So I would argue, let’s step back and see how this plays out a little bit.”
He defended the more public U.S. response to the Sony hack that included limited sanctions against North Korean agencies and officials, by noting that to date no similar cyber attacks by Pyongyang have been conducted.
Bleeding cash, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) announced Friday that Louisiana’s Obamacare health insurance co-op will be closing its doors by the end of 2015.
It will be the second collapse of an Obamacare health care co-op this year and the third since the Obama administration rolled them out in 2012 as a competitor to commercial health insurance companies.
From the beginning, the Louisiana co-op was fraught with high-paid consultants who were not even from Louisiana, but Georgia. It also suffered from an apparent conflict of interest. George Cromer, its CEO, simultaneously served the Louisiana House of Representatives as chairman of that legislative body’s insurance committee.
Roughly 18 months into its existence, in September 2012, the Louisiana co-op received $66 million from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. By 2014, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reported that the co-op had burned through half of its cash and suffered a net operating loss of $23 million.
AM Best, the insurance rating company, reported in the third quarter of 2014 that the Louisiana co-op’s indebtedness was 198 percent, among the worst performing Obamacare nonprofits in the nation.
“The onerous burdens of Obamacare have shocked health insurance markets and caused instability in pricing and predictability, and as a result, we’ve seen premiums spike upward,” Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon wrote in a press statement July 24 when he announced closure plans for the co-op.
“Start-ups in insurance, especially health insurance, are always a tough row to hoe. Obamacare has made that even more difficult,” the commissioner noted in a press release.
The LDI’s Office of Financial Solvency will be examining the financial issues that led to its decision to close, and the commissioner has said that the department is “on-site at the co-op.”
The Louisiana Health co-op began with controversy over Terry Shilling, its first CEO. Shilling arranged a lavish contract with his own Atlanta-based consulting firm, Beam Partners, LLC, an arrangement approved by federal Obamacare CMS officials.
Federal officials also approved Shilling as original founder and “interim CEO” for the co-op, even though in 1998, the Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned him for insider trading as a health executive. Shilling’s consulting firm received more than $3 million from the co-op in 2013 for “health plan development,” according to its IRS Form 990 filing.
Louisiana insurance documents obtained by the Washington Examiner in August 2013 showed that Beam would receive a separate $4 million contract from the start-up co-op. On top of the contract, the Atlanta firm would receive a 20 percent “performance fee,” according to the documents. Finally, Beam additionally reaped a “benefit payment services” that began at $66,667 per month in 2013, culminating in $72,917 in 2016, according to Louisiana co-op insurance filing documents.
Separate from the preferential contract with Shilling, the co-op represented a potential political conflict of interest. After Shilling’s relationship with the co-op went public, the Atlanta businessman stepped down as interim CEO, to be replaced by Louisiana Rep. George Cromer.
Cromer, a Republican, also was the chairman of the Louisiana House committee on health insurance. He did not step down from the position after assuming the co-op post.
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Cromer’s office, but has yet to receive a response.
The Louisiana co-op is not the first to fold.
In February, the Iowa Insurance Department assumed receivership and closed the doors of Co-Opportunity Health, an Obamacare co-op that served more than 100,000 customers in Iowa and Nebraska. Co-Opportunity had a loss ratio of 140, which meant that for every dollar it received in premiums, it had to pay out $1.40 in benefits.
The first failure occurred in 2013, when the Vermont Insurance Commissioner refused to grant a license to a new Obamacare health co-op.
The Commissioner refused to license the co-op because the president had steered as much as $500,000 of the co-op’s money to his own firm. CMS had approved the loan to the Vermont co-op despite the conflict of interest.
She also said the co-op’s math was inadequate and failed to meet the state’s financial standards.
On Tuesday pro-lifers in more than 50 cities – and counting – will be rallying against Planned Parenthood under the banner of #WomenBetrayed in response to the gruesome undercover investigative videos released by the Center for Medical Progress over the past two weeks.
Two Planned Parenthood senior medical officials were exposed as they explained how the taxpayer funded organization performs abortions in such a way as to harvest aborted babies’ body parts to sell them to biomedical companies.
National pro-life group Students for Life of America (SFLA) and its partner organization Pro-Life Future have launched the #WomenBetrayed initiative which urges citizens across the nation to rally to demand their states investigate, prosecute and defund Planned Parenthood.
According to a press release, SFLA chose the title of the initiative, #WomenBetrayed, because “Planned Parenthood has betrayed the very patients – women and their children – who they claim to care about and have compassion for.”
“Women are supposed to help and support other women – not use them for profit and sell the body parts of their prenatal children,” said Kristan Hawkins, SFLA president. “Planned Parenthood gets a half a billion a year in taxpayer dollars. We are calling on every state and federal government to cut off those funds immediately and investigate Planned Parenthood for possible wrongdoing.”
In the first video from the Center for Medical Progress, Planned Parenthood senior medical director Dr. Deborah Nucatola discussed how she “crushes” certain parts of the baby in order to get desired organs intact to be available for sale to biomedical companies. A second video exposes another Planned Parenthood senior medical adviser appearing to negotiate the price of selling baby body parts to undercover citizen journalists she believed to be biomedical entrepreneurs.
According to SFLA, the content of these latest videos is “only the latest infraction in a long list of horrific behaviors, including the covering up of statutory rape, the overbilling taxpayers, the aiding and abetting sex traffickers, scheduling sex-selective abortions and accepting money to abort African American children.”
“Planned Parenthood had a net profit of $127 million in 2013-2014,” Hawkins continued. “Let them fundraise and support themselves like any other business in the country that isn’t deceiving women and making money off of taking the lives of the most vulnerable and selling their body parts.”
Brendan O’Morchoe, Director of Pro-Life Future, said the #WomenBetrayed initiative is proving successful.
“Within days of announcing the national rallies to our supporters, we already have over 50 cities who will be hosting a local rally to defund Planned Parenthood,” he said. “The outrage against taxpayer dollars funding Planned Parenthood is palpable. This is the time to defund them and Americans are going to make their voices heard on July 28.”
For a list of cities holding #WomenBetrayed rallies, visit www.WomenNetrayed.com
Retired pediatric neurosurgeon and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson will be the featured speaker Tuesday at the Washington, D.C. #WomenBetrayed rally to defund Planned Parenthood.
To date, some 60 cities are confirmed as holding rallies – all of which have been coordinated by the nation’s largest organization of pro-life millennials, Students for Life of America (SFLA) and its partner organization Pro-Life Future. The rallies urge citizens across the nation to demand their states investigate, prosecute and defund Planned Parenthood.
The Washington, D.C. rally will be held on Capitol Hill.
In addition to Carson, other speakers scheduled include Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Chris Smith, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), and other national pro-life leaders. Blackburn led 135 Republican House members in a formal request to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch for an immediate investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices of harvesting the body parts of aborted babies for sale to biomedical companies.
In an email to SFLA supporters, president Kristan Hawkins invited them to participate in their local rallies, most of which will be held at 12:00 noon local time in the cities located at the #WomenBetrayed website.
“It’s time to stop the more than $500 million taxpayer dollars that flow to the abortion Goliath every year,” Hawkins said. “It’s the time for us to reach their would-be clients first to tell them the truth about Planned Parenthood’s motives. It’s time to topple the first domino in our mission to end abortion in America.”
But you can keep your doctor!
Thirty-four percent fewer healthcare providers are available to Obamacare patients – backing up “anecdotal reports that exchange networks contain fewer providers than traditional commercial plans,” a new report says.
According to an analysis by Avalere Health, the Washington-based advisory firm, the Obamacare networks offer an average of 42 percent fewer heart and cancer doctors – along with 24 percent fewer hospitals and 32 percent fewer primary care physicians for patients to choose from.
But most importantly, the Affordable Care Act’s restrictions on out-of-pocket costs by patients do not apply to healthcare services outside the plan’s network.
In years past, if you were a Republican seeking the GOP presidential nomination, the state of North Carolina wasn’t too high on your list of states to target. The Tar Heel primary has traditionally been held in May, at which point there already was (usually) a presumptive nominee. And, at least until 2008, the state was regarded as safely red for the general election.
This year, however, the low priority of North Carolina for challengers for the Republican nomination looks to be changing, as state legislators are putting the finishing touches on a plan to push the state’s presidential primary to March 15th:
North Carolina could become a key state by setting its primary date to March 15. Legislation – known as House Bill 373, or the 2016 Presidential Primary bill – would do just that. Last week, the state Senate passed the bill and sent it back to the House for concurrence.
Picking that date would allow North Carolina to be a winner-take-all state under new RNC selection rules:
In 2014, the RNC approved selection rules that govern how each state’s delegates are portioned out from the primaries. Under one of the changes, states holding their primaries between March 1 and March 14 will have their delegates doled out proportionately with election results, a change that will likely stymie a movement candidate.
States that have primaries on or after March 15 will be winner-take-all states.
Which in turn makes North Carolina’s primary a big deal, especially to candidates like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker:
March is full of big primary states packed with delegates, but three of the biggest have hometown candidates that could take those states off the map: Ohio’s governor John Kasich just joined the race, Florida has Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, and Texas has Rick Perry and Ted Cruz all claiming support back home.
That leaves North Carolina as the biggest primary prize in March: 72 delegates will be at stake in a winner-take-all contest
With this in mind, it isn’t a surprise to read reports of ‘behind the scenes’ attempts at maneuvering the state’s presidential primary by supporters from both the Walker and Paul camps:
Supporters of Scott Walker and Rand Paul have been jockeying behind the scenes for months to establish a North Carolina primary date that favors their preferred candidate. While Paul supporters weren’t banking on the Kentucky senator winning the state, they had hoped to make the state’s primary proportional, giving him a chance to nab some of its delegates.
Could Walker’s message resonate in North Carolina? To a certain extent it already has, considering he’s already gained supporters in the Tar Heel state thanks to victories against Democrats in Wisconsin on hot-button battles. The North Carolina Republican party has fought similar fights on issues like voter ID and unions:
North Carolina might seem an unusual cultural fit for the Wisconsin governor as he plots his nomination strategy, but Republicans in the state say his appeal is rooted in his tough-minded approach to the slashing the state budget in Madison.
The high-profile battles over union benefits and voter ID laws during Walker’s first term beginning in 2010 mirrored similar fights in North Carolina, and won Walker fans down south.
The most recent polling numbers show high-profile businessman/investor/TV personality Donald Trump currently leading in the state, but also have Walker within reach. It’s early on, though – still plenty of time between now and March 15, 2016 for all candidates to visit the state to try and make their mark.
That said, with supporters of Walker and the Trump camp now both trading barbs with each other, it may be time for GOP voters in North Carolina to fasten their seat belts – and grab the popcorn.