Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius defended Obamacare in a very contentious interview with Daily Show host Jon Stewart on Monday night. Stewart pressed Sebelius on why businesses get a one-year delay on Obamacare but individuals do not. After several attempts for an answer, Sebelius eventually said individuals could delay Obamacare for a year -- by paying the penalty. JON STEWART: So this is what some would consider the first mall that´s been created [for purchasing health care insurance]. KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: You bet. The first -- new rules for companies. STEWART: So why is it that individuals, though, couldn´t say that they
The mainstream media loves it when conservatives step out to criticize... conservatives. Hence, the gleeful coverage of Grover Norquist´s criticism of Ted Cruz. Norquist used the Washington Post´s WONKBLOG feature to unload on Cruz. He did so to the Post´s Ezra Klein last Wednesday. The gist of Norquist´s criticism of Cruz is that he´s the Music Man. With a smile and a lot of glib talk and airy promises -- and a few snappy tunes -- Cruz duped enough House Republicans and grassroots conservatives into backing a play to defund ObamaCare that had a snowball´s chance in hell of passing. Moreover,
As a retired computer systems manager, I am always fascinated by large, complex software systems that fail -- such as the Federal ObamaCare "insurance exchange" currently being rolled out at HealthCare.gov. This software monstrosity is now in its second week, and most people trying to use it still can´t get into the system, or else they can´t create an account on it, or their account information is lost. I, and you, can follow this unfolding disaster at any time in the comments section on HealthCare.gov´s own Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/Healthcare.gov. (You do not need a Facebook account to view this page.) Here
The price of Britain´s favourite chocolate treats could be set to soar by up to a third by Christmas after a crippling rise in cocoa butter and other costs, experts have revealed. And it could add as much as 21p to every 100g of milk chocolate, spelling an inflation busting rise in everything from advert calendars to chocolate gift packs to everyday indulgences. The cost of producing chocolate soared by 33 percent in the last year thanks to a 70 percent rise in the price of cocoa butter, 50 percent to milk powder and 15 percent to whey powder. Both
The governorship of Texas is getting like the governorship of New York and California: a venue for spotting political trends and up-and-coming national leaders. Which helps explain all the media oooh-la-la-ing over Wendy Davis’s bid to become the next Rick Perry — colored blue instead of red. Could Texas, under the witching spell of a future Davis administration, turn from gun-toting, business-loving, Bible-quoting conservatism to cuddly, hand-in-someone-else’s-pocket liberalism? Well, since you ask — no. First, It would take a real — not just a suppositious — Gov. Davis to initiate, far less effect, such a notable change. I’m afraid, boys, that ain’t
The Obama administration will allow a massive rally for comprehensive immigration reform on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall, even though it is supposed to be closed due to the federal government shutdown. Open-air spaces like the World War II Memorial have been barricaded since the federal government shut down last week, but an organizer for the rally told the Washington Examiner that the National Park Service will allow the rally and march. As Breitbart News reported, immigration activists have called for volunteers to get themselves arrested at the rally in acts of civil disobedience. The event will
In a brilliant 1982 memoir of his career with LBJ, George Reedy, a key member of Johnson’s senatorial and presidential staffs, explained Johnson’s philosophy when he dominated the Senate: He thought of the Senate as a workshop for resolving political, social, and economic problems rather than as an arena of conflict for contrasting ideologies. Therefore, he did not label senators as Democratic and Republican or liberal and conservative but as “work horses” and “show horses” (both pet phrases). He was equally at home with the conservative Republican Everett M. Dirksen and the liberal Democrat John O. Pastore — because both were
Under President Bush in eight years we added $4.9 trillion to the national debt. Under President Obama in four years we have added more than $6 trillion. The debt limit will be raised again this month. If Obama has his way, it will be raised unconditionally. Raising the debt limit unconditionally is a matter of deep principle, or something. For a current take on the number see Terry Jeffrey’s account of the last Daily Treasury Statement for fiscal 2013. I am borrowing from PolitiFact’s August 2012 assessment of New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte’s critique of Obama. The debt numbers calculated by
Former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards will be back in the spotlight this month – as the star of his very own reality TV show. A&E Network has announced that “The Governor’s Wife” – which follows 86-year-old Edwards and his much younger wife, Trina – will premiere on Sunday, Oct. 27. What to expect? Kardashian-esque family drama and probably a few TMI moments. The series, according to a press release, “follows Trina as she discovers Edwin’s reserve of frozen sperm and tries to grow the family, while also attempting to fit into the former governor’s Southern high society, get along with stepdaughters twice
The federal government has declared war on the customers at many of our places of public amusement, closing some of them and blocking access to some it can’t close. One of them is a popular boat launch on the Mississippi River in Wisconsin. Agents of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service put up barriers at an outdoor, unmanned concrete structure solely to deny the public the use of a ramp that it had long since paid for. This was an affront too far for Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, a Republican. He asserted the authority of his state against the Obama administration’s
Suppose it’s Hillary vs. Liz Warren for the Democratic nomination in 2016? What’s a card-carrying member of the sisterhood to do? Lots of us seduced by the bright, shiny bauble named Barack Obama have buyer’s remorse: Hillary might’ve done a better job. Lots of us who felt vicariously humiliated by her stint as a doormat first lady did a 180 after her classy, oh-so-grown-up?rebound following her Obama defeat. Hillary just walloped all comers in a new Quinnipiac poll, coming in first at 61 percent, ahead of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whom John
Don’t look now, but as Obamacare’s critics are focusing incessantly on the abortive rollout of the law’s health-care exchanges, the Left is moving the goalposts in the broader debate — and rather spectacularly, too. Obamacare, recall, was sold with a specific set of political promises: The new regime, advocates insisted, would reduce the deficit, cover the needy, and reduce total health spending — all while lowering the premiums of those who were already insured. Back in 2007, when Obama was running for the Democratic nomination, he introduced what was then an embryonic proposal with the quixotic assurance that, “if you already
An off-duty undercover cop who had claimed he took no active role as fellow bikers pulled a Manhattan dad from his SUV and beat him to a pulp was actually pounding the vehicle with his fists at the height of the bloody road-rage attack, sources told The Post. The cop, a seven-year veteran, had told investigators he didn’t help the injured man because he rode up to the scene as the beating was nearly over, sources said. But video footage clearly shows otherwise, disgusted sources said Monday — and Internal Affairs Bureau higher-ups want to nail the officer. Still, probers believe their hands
The government shutdown is frustrating. But it doesn’t mark the end of the Republican party, as some have suggested. Here are 8 reasons why. 1. Most of the “damage” is already done. A shutdown does what past rounds of budgetary brinkmanship, especially over the debt ceiling, haven’t already accomplished. Partisans of both sides made up their minds long ago, and no large and politically-engaged chunk of the population is sitting on the fence. 2. There’s no reason to think the electorate will overwhelmingly blame Republicans. Even if the public is paying attention, polling suggests most Americans will split attribution for a
America has had some great presidents, many mediocre ones and a few bad ones. But we’ve never had one like Barack Obama. He’s the first who thinks the job is beneath him. He’s the first who turns political give-and-take into a crisis by refusing to negotiate with Congress. He’s the first who thinks the way to more power is to inflict pain on ordinary people. The move to barricade the World War II memorial reveals the mentality of a tin-pot dictator. The limited government shutdown did not need to affect the memorial because it is open 24 hours, without gates and often without
The Secretary of State showed up at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Nusa Dua, Bali on Monday in a psychedelic purple "Endek" -- a shirt made out of traditional Balinese woven textiles -- looking, well, not completely at home. His selection was bolder than that of some of the other world leaders who posed for a big group photo: Vladimir Putin, for example, got away with dark green.
The government shutdown has been a disaster for federally funded science, especially at NASA, which saw 97 percent of its workforce furloughed. But luckily for fans of the robot apocalypse, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is still running. The agency, according to its website, is funded through "multi-year research and development" funds, which means DARPA "remains open today and until further notice." And if this terrifying humanoid machine is any indication, we may one day wish Congress had done more than shutter Yellowstone. Its name is Atlas, and it´s one of the most advanced robots being produced by DARPA-funded Boston Dynamics.
Washington — A retired Social Security judge in West Virginia collaborated with a lawyer to improperly award disability benefits to hundreds of applicants, according to a report released Monday by congressional investigators. The report accuses retired administrative law Judge David B. Daugherty of scheming with lawyer Eric C. Conn to approve more than 1,800 cases from 2006 to 2010. “By 2011, Mr. Conn and Judge Daugherty had collaborated on a scheme that enabled the judge to approve, in assembly-line fashion, hundreds of clients for disability benefits using manufactured medical evidence,” said the report by the staff of the Senate Homeland
The Defense Department’s Friday night operation to go after an Al-Shabaab commander in Somalia peeled the veil a bit off the Obama administration’s ongoing secret war in Somalia, but left many questions about the story behind the failed raid. Pentagon press secretary George Little confirmed today that U.S. military personnel conducted a “targeted operation” against Abdikadir Mohamed Abdikadir, a.k.a. “Ikrima,” a Kenyan of Somali origin and a top commander in the al-Qaeda affiliate. Ikrima is “closely associated” with late al-Qaeda operatives Harun Fazul and Saleh Nabhan, who played roles in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport finds itself in the news twice today, although this story’s a little more indirect than the one about a 9-year-old outfoxing MSP security for a trip to Sin City. The Federal Elections Commission wants former Senator Larry Craig to reimburse his campaign for $217,000 used to pay lawyers not for campaign-related issues but to defend himself against charges arising from allegedly importuning an undercover officer in an MSP bathroom. They also want an additional $140,000 in fines: Federal election regulators want former U.S. Sen. Larry Craig to pay $140,000 in fines and return nearly $217,000 to his
Washington - Instead of sending suspected terrorists to Guantanamo Bay or secret CIA "black" sites for interrogation, the Obama administration is questioning terrorists for as long as it takes aboard U.S. naval vessels. And it´s doing it in a way that preserves the government´s ability to ultimately prosecute the suspects in civilian courts. (Snip) Questioning suspected terrorists aboard U.S. warships in international waters is President Barack Obama´s answer to the Bush administration detention policies that candidate Obama promised to end. The strategy also makes good on Obama´s pledge to prosecute
It’s nice to check in on these stories every once in a while since I doubt they’re making it onto your radar thanks to copious national news coverage. As our friend Emily Zanotti puts it, Terry’s “earning himself extra credit” in the Clintonista training school with this one: “[N]ot just a foreign national, but an African gun-runner who may have aided Liberia’s despotic ruler in defiance of UN sanctions.” More from Talking Points Memo: A company linked to questionable arms deals in West Africa has given $120,000 in campaign contributions to Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe. The Liberian International Ship And Corporate Registry
An unarmed 34-year-old woman suffering from postpartum depression is surrounded by the authorities while sitting in her car, and gunned down in cold blood. She is blocked in. She cannot move. And yet she is killed by heavily armed security officers. Her one-year old child witnesses this from the back seat. Why is this not a national tragedy? Miriam Carey was a young African-American woman who wanted to better herself. She went to college and graduated with a BA degree in health and nutrition science. She became a dental hygienist. One of her neighbors noted that it was obvious she was
Cleveland - A former fugitive accused of operating a $100 million cross-country scam collecting donations for Navy veterans shifted money among various accounts and stole millions through ATM cash withdrawals and checks made out to himself, prosecutors said. Assistant Ohio Attorney General Brad Tammaro told a jury at the opening of a trial Monday that the defendant, who calls himself Bobby Thompson but has been identified by authorities as Harvard-trained lawyer John Donald Cody was the mastermind of the alleged scam. The 67-year-old defendant has been charged with defrauding donors to a reputed charity, the United States Navy Veterans Association based in
Pierre, SD - A record-breaking storm that dumped 4 feet of snow in parts of western South Dakota left ranchers dealing with heavy losses, in some cases perhaps up to half their herds, as they assess how many of their cattle died during the unseasonably early blizzard. Meanwhile, utility companies were working to restore power to tens of thousands of people still without electricity Monday after the weekend storm that was part of a powerful weather system that also buried parts of Wyoming and Colorado with snow and produced destructive tornadoes in Nebraska and Iowa. At least four deaths were attributed
Bluffdale, Utah - A huge new data-storage facility for U.S. spying is plagued by chronic electrical surges that have prevented the center´s opening, documents and officials say. (Snip) But it hasn´t been able to because of 10 explosive meltdowns in the past 14 months that have destroyed close to $1 million in machinery, project documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal indicate. The meltdowns were described by a project official as "a flash of lightning inside a 2-foot box," the Journal said. Their causes are disputed, if not a mystery, some officials say and project documents indicate.