President Obama is "frustrated" by the disastrous launch of an online computer marketplace for Obamacare, the White House says. Here are five reasons why frustration isn´t enough. He should be frightened.1. It´s worse than his team has let on. The White House has tried to position the failed first days of Obamacare as mere "glitches" caused by the site´s popularity. An administration spokesman told the Washington Post on Sunday that the "main driver of the problem is volume." That is intentionally misleading. The White House has heard complaints from insurance companies, consumers, and health policy experts about issues embedded deeply
As anger toward the Republican Party grows, a majority of Americans say a GOP-controlled House is bad for the country and want Speaker John Boehner replaced, according to a new poll out Monday. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed say it is a bad thing that Republicans control the House, up 11 percentage points since December 2012, while 38 percent say it is a good thing, the CNN/ORC poll shows. This is the first time a majority is unhappy with the GOP controlling the House since the party gained control of the chamber in the 2010 midterm elections. Sixty-three percent of respondents
So, were they lying, or merely clueless? On today´s Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough disclosed that in off-the-record briefings prior to the rollout of the Obamacare website, Obama administration officials were "extraordinarily confident" of success. They displayed a site that Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski said looked "great," "very user friendly" and "very simple." View the video after the jump. [Video] So which is it? Were the White House officials: a. lying, or b. did they not know what a disaster was brewing? I´d almost be tempted to go with ´b,´ since it would have been colossally stupid and counterproductive to build
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will be the first ever recipient of a new award organizers are calling the "Jewish Nobel Prize," The Genesis Prize Foundation announced Monday. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will present Bloomberg with the $1 million Genesis Prize at a special ceremony in Jerusalem in May. The Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) established the prize with the stated aim of "recognizing exceptional human beings who, through their outstanding achievement, come to represent a fundamental value of the Jewish people – a commitment to the betterment of mankind." (Snip) Bloomberg was selected out of more than 200
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein warned that the Obama administration is underplaying the problems facing its online exchanges by simply labeling them “glitches.” Ironically, according to Klein, the websites’ incapacity to handle Internet traffic is actually preventing users from encountering what may be the sites’ biggest problem. “These aren’t glitches,” Klein said on Morning Joe on Monday. “The website, to a first approximation, simply isn’t working.” He explained that the more fixable problem facing the website was dealing with traffic. The bigger problem, according to Klein, was whether the right information was being sent to insurers after users enroll, including
Federal contractors have identified most of the main problems crippling President Obama’s online health insurance marketplace, but the administration has been slow to issue orders for fixing those flaws, and some contractors worry that the system may be weeks away from operating smoothly, people close to the project say. Administration officials approached the contractors last week to see if they could perform the necessary repairs and reboot the system by Nov. 1. However, that goal struck many contractors as unrealistic, at least for major components of the system. Some specialists working on the project said the online system required such
The media believe the White House is openly lying to them about not having the numbers on those who have enrolled for ObamaCare. Monday on Morning Joe, the AP´s Julie Pace said that on a daily basis she is being told by the Obama administration that "we don’t have the number yet." A few sentences later, Pace reveals that she knows the administration is lying to her, "We know that they have these numbers." Rather than being outraged over being lied to, Pace seemed amused by the whole thing. This is a question that comes up literally every day at
Another milestone is about to be recorded in the aviation sector as President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda paves way for the signing of a Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the State of Israel. Previous attempts to sign the BASA between the two countries in 2005 and 2012 were unsuccessful. According to the special media assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Joe Obi, the agreement would be signed this week during President Jonathan’s pilgrimage to Israel. He said this was a culmination of months of rigorous negotiations between the two countries.
When the Obamacare website debuted on Oct. 1, Barack Obama walked into the Rose Garden and compared it to Amazon.com, Kayak.com and the iPhone. Unlike those operated by the other three, the Affordable Care Act portals to buy insurance were not working that day — but the President explained that the “glitches” had to do with traffic that “exceeds anything that we had expected.” Five days later, when asked about the continued problems, he told the Associated Press, “It is true that what’s happened is the website got overwhelmed by the volume.”
Ten years after the Dixie Chicks performed in South Carolina amid a firestorm of controversy, it appears singer Natalie Maines isn´t quite ready to “make nice” with the state. Maines, now a solo act, performed at the Southern Ground Music and Food Festival Saturday where, according to some attendees, she received some boos. [Snip] At a 2003 Dixie Chicks concert in London, Maines told a London audience, “Just so you know, we´re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.” South Carolina became center stage for the anger as Greenville was site of the group´s first concert on American
An explosion that killed at least five people on a bus in the southern Russian city of Volgograd was caused by a bomb, Russia´s National Anti-Terrorism Committee has said in a statement. The blast, which happened just after 14:00 (10:00 GMT), also injured more than a dozen people, some seriously. Investigators suspect a female suicide bomber, Russian news agencies report. Cities to the south, in Russia´s North Caucasus, have seen attacks by Islamist militants in recent years. ´Criminal case´ It is believed there were 40 people on board the bus, the BBC´s Steve Rosenberg in Moscow reports.
Popstar Rihanna was asked to leave an Abu Dhabi mosque because she did not have permission for a photoshoot, it emerged today. Staff at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque say they asked the singer to leave the compound after her actions were considered to be at odds with the ´sanctity´ of the site. Photos posted on her Instagram account at the weekend show the 25-year-old posing on white marble wearing a head-to-toe hooded black jumpsuit. She is known for her raunchy outfits so the photoshoot was deemed conservative for the Bajan singer, although she made sure she had bright red lipstick and large
The Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., is arguing in a new lawsuit that the Obama administration is engaged in a “conscious political strategy to marginalize and delegitimize” Catholic “religious views on contraception by holding them up for ridicule on the national stage.” At issue in the lawsuit is whether the administration can force the archdiocese to secure a third-party administrator for its self-insurance plan who will provide sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs at no cost to church employees at some of the archdiocese’s separately incorporated subunits. These subunits include a number of Catholic schools and charities, including Archbishop Carroll High School
President Barack Obama will declare the glitches in a new healthcare website ´unacceptable´ on Monday as his team scrambles to fix problems that have tainted the roll-out of his signature healthcare law. Fresh from two weeks of budget battles that have consumed Washington, Obama will hold an event at 11:25am in the White House Rose Garden with consumers, small business owners, and pharmacists who have been affected by the new law. The move is the highest-profile step in a broad damage control effort that the administration has launched since technical problems with the website, healthcare.gov, have prevented Americans nationwide from signing up
The American hero awarded the Medal of Honor earlier this week for his bravery in fighting off 60 Taliban almost single-handedly for seven hours has spoken of his anger that repeated requests for backup during the ordeal were ignored by his commanders back at base. [Snip] The President said that when Swenson’s comrades needed him, he ´was there for his brothers´...´we thank God he was there for us all.´ But now Swenson, 34, has spoken out about his frustration that his repeated--as many as ten--requests for backup were ignored by commanders who feared involvement would lead to civilian casualties.
Let’s drop the whole notion of “entitlement.” Just eliminate it. Politicians, pundits and academics who talk about entitlements would then have to name the actual programs and argue their merits and demerits. This would encourage clarity and candor. Of course, that’s why it won’t happen. Generally, Americans don’t want clarity and candor in their fiscal debates. We blame our leaders for budget brawls — this latest was a doozy — but forget that our leaders are largely governed by public opinion, which is awash in contradictions. So the government is “open” and the immediate threat of default has lifted. Great. But
The Obamacare program´s flagship website is so error-prone and user-unfriendly that Consumer Reports magazine has thrown up its hands in disgust, advising readers to ´stay away from Healthcare.gov for at least another month if you can.´ The website´s messy launch has been the subject of endless news reports, talk show segments and late-night comedy bits--adding to a full-time congressional inquiry and, now, questions about why Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is refusing to testify on Capitol Hill. But Consumer Reports, the toaster-testing, TV-rating consumer powerhouse, is on the case. Before October 1, the magazine was a major booster
The government shutdown that finally ended on Wednesday night furloughed 800,000 government workers for the better part of two weeks, but there was one group of federal employees that was able to maintain the lifestyle that many of them have grown accustomed to: members of Congress. With all the talk about their irreconcilable political differences, we wanted to see if they shared any common ground. And we found some. For example, there seems to be a permanent majority in Congress that´s completely satisfied with the current state of campaign financing and congressional ethics and members of both parties have institutionalized ways
France´s foreign minister has summoned the US ambassador to respond to "shocking” claims in Le Monde newspaper that America’s NSA spy agency snooped on millions of phone calls made in France. The allegations risked turning into a diplomatic row just as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris for the start of a European tour over Syria. Le Monde cited documents supplied by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden which claimed that the NSA monitored 70 million phone calls in France over a 30-day period between December 10 and January 8, 2013.
Gun rights return to the Supreme Court this year, challenging a federal regulation that resulted in a police officer’s felony conviction when he purchased a firearm for his uncle. Bruce Abramski is a former police officer whose uncle wanted to buy a firearm. His uncle is a law-abiding person who can legally purchase, but since Abramski is a former policeman, there are gun shops where he can buy firearms at a discount. Thus, he decided to buy the gun for his uncle. Everyone who purchases a firearm at a federally-licensed firearm retail store is familiar with Form 4473. The form is created
The planned broadcast of a Panorama investigation into Comic Relief has reportedly been cancelled after a string of BBC executives ruled themselves out of making decisions about it. The documentary is understood to examine how the charity allegedly invested £150 million of its funds for up to eight years, before handing the money to the causes for which it had been raised. [Snip] By the end of last year, the charity was allegedly sitting on £261million in a mixture of shares, bonds and cash. The six-month investigation also explores how staffing costs at Comic Relief have allegedly almost doubled from
Since John Boehner became speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 5, 2011, the debt of the federal government has increased by $3,064,063,380,067.72. That is more than the total federal debt accumulated in the first 200 years of the U.S. Congress--during the terms of the first 48 speakers of the House. It also equals about $26,722 for each of the 114,663,000 households the Census Bureau estimates are now in the United States.
Andrew Herndon knew it was coming. (Snip) He recently learned in a letter that monthly premiums for his individual market plan, which also covers his wife and two kids, will increase to $810 next year, a $547 or 280 percent increase from his current plan, after the ACA’s health insurance exchanges begin offering coverage. “I can’t pay $800 a month for insurance,” he said in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon. “Basically the government is making me choose between paying for my mortgage and buying food and paying for insurance,” he said. “[My wife and I] are both in our 50’s. We have