The National Security Agency has monitored the phone conversations of at least 35 world leaders after being given their numbers by an official in another government department, according to a classified document leaked by whistle-blower Edward Snowden. The confidential memo reveals that senior officials in ´customer´ departments such the White House and the Pentagon were encouraged to share their ‘Rolodexes’ of contact details with the NSA. The agency then added the phone numbers of the foreign politicians to their surveillance systems and started to monitor them. According to the leaked document handed over to The Guardian, one unnamed official handed over 200
Patients could be at risk in one in four hospitals, alarming new NHS ratings reveal today. Health inspectors have raised fears about high death rates, long waits for A&E, cancer treatment, botched operations and patients struggling to even find staff. Urgent inspections will be made of the worst NHS trusts, with officials admitting that at some patients ‘might not be receiving safe, effective, high quality care’. New rankings from the Care Quality Commission reveal 44 hospitals are put in the two lowest bands, with warnings that they are at ‘raised risk of poor performance’. Using ‘intelligent monitoring’ the CQC has
The White House admitted Thursday that it was the source of a phony quote attributed to a top House Republican, who had allegedly told President Obama during a tense Oct. 10 meeting that ´I cannot even stand to look at you.´ Sen. Dick Durbin, the Senate Majority Whip, claimed in a Facebook post on Sunday that an unnamed GOP lawmaker had delivered the verbal slap in Obama´s face, but everyone involved with the story now says it never happened. Eighteen Republicans from Congress attended that meeting with the president during a 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government, with the
RUSH: Let´s go to the audio sound bites now, the hearings today up on Capitol Hill with the joint committee looking into what happened here. Well, not a joint committee. Republicans and Democrats, House committee, looking into the glitches and the problems of the website. The chairman and the ranking member give their opening statements, and then the next members in the leadership give their opening statements while the guests and the targets are just sitting there at the witness table waiting. And everybody goes through the motions here. Then they finally get to the questions for the witnesses. During
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius bragged in July on her agency´s health care blog that ´we´re on track with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. It´s signed, sealed, and it´s delivering--on time. Eleven weeks later, Sebelius and the rest of the Obamacare rollout team came under fire when its flagship website crashed, flubbed and gaffed its way into the historical annals of failed launches. HHS published an infographic and a video on July 15, boasting that a series of benchmarks were reached on the way to what was hoped to be a seamless implementation of the Affordable
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, whatever you think you know, you don´t know how bad it is. You do not know. I did not know -- well, I suspected it. You don´t know how incompetent Obama is. You really don´t know don´t know. This is breathtaking, what has been learned recently by me and others. As was the case yesterday, a lot of stuff popping. These hearings that are going on this morning with the contractors of the website. "Well, blame them. We did everything we could, blame them." This is the root. These hearings are the root of Obama´s real incompetence.
Don’t donate to the tea party or to evangelical Christian groups — that was the message soldiers at a pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood said they received from a counter-intelligence agent who headed up the meeting. If you do, you could face punishment — that was the other half of the message, as reported by Fox News. The briefing was Oct. 17, and about a half-hour of it was devoted to discussion about how perceived radical groups — like tea party organizations and the Christian-based American Family Association — were “tearing the country apart,” one unnamed soldier said, to Fox
A member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said Wednesday that he is concerned that the problems tied to the Obamacare rollout are just the tip of the iceberg. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, Illinois Republican, said on MSNBC’s “Jansing & Co” that the $500 million that it cost to build the Healthcare.gov website and the additional money it will cost to repair it should raise some eyebrows. “I think there is a real concern right now of ‘Look, yeah, I get that it’s just a website, but this is the first part of a bigger rollout. If the website can’t be done
Rep. Frank Pallone got heated during Thursday’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the troubled launch of the HealthCare.gov website and called the meeting a “monkey court.” “No, I will not yield to this monkey court or whatever this thing is!” Pallone said. “Do whatever you want, I’m not yielding!” The New Jersey Democrat accused Republicans of “trying to scare people” to prevent people from enrolling in Obamacare, adding there was “no legitimacy” to the hearing.
A business owner who contracted with the Pentagon has pleaded guilty to charges he sold the military defective parts that grounded planes, and then sent sensitive information to India. In a release Thursday, federal prosecutors said Robert Luba, 47, the owner of Allied Components LLC of New Jersey, sold the government defective Indian-made “wing-pins” that eventually grounded 47 Air Force F-15 fighters while military officials inspected and repaired the aircraft. Then he sent information on a component of a nuclear-powered submarine to an associate in India, officials said. “The conduct admitted by Luba shows a callous disregard for the safety of
RUSH: Have you heard about Hillary in Buffalo getting heckled? I told you I went to dinner last week in California, some old buddies of mine, and everybody, I can´t believe the... I don´t know if it´s fear of Hillary, but people are just convinced she´s gonna run again. She´s gonna win. She can´t be beat. She just can´t be beat, it´s over, Rush, she´s gonna win, what do we got?" So she´s in Buffalo, University Buffalo, part of the University´s Distinguished Speaker series. And during her speech she was heckled. The heckler says, "Benghazi! You let them die! Benghazi!
Following yesterday’s allegation that the NSA had been spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, State Department Deputy Press Secretary Marie Harf was asked if the NSA had tapped President Obama’s phone. Harf seemed to find the question rather amusing, but was unable to give the reporter a definitive yes or no answer on the matter.Below is a transcript of the exchange: Q: And just one or two more. Does this development threaten the U.S.-German relationships? MS. HARF: No, not at all. I think that we value Germany as a close ally and partner on a number of issues. When there are issues, where
Washington - The White House hosted a meeting of aides to Senate committee leaders on Thursday seeking to persuade lawmakers to hold off on a package of tough new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, a senior Senate aide said.The White House will press for another delay on a sanctions bill that had been expected to come to a vote in the Senate Banking Committee last month but was held back after appeals from President Barack Obama´s administration to let negotiations on Iran´s nuclear program get under way.The aide said Republicans would resist further delay, but that the decision
A new bipartisan poll finds that most Americans support creation of a special congressional committee to investigate events surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Among voters who were polled, 62 percent believe “it is important” for Congress to establish a singular committee to address unanswered questions about the bombing in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed four American lives, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, according to pollsters John McLaughlin, a Republican, and Pat Caddell, a Democrat. More than 80 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of independents also support creation of a special panel to assess
The New York Times describes a high level meeting aimed at getting to the bottom of the disastrous failure of the Obamacare website. The mystery deepened when it emerged that none of the contractors was in the slightest degree response for its non-function. (Snip) Contractors that built President Obama’s health insurance marketplace point fingers at one another and at the government, but each insists that it is not responsible for the problems that infuriated millions of Americans trying to buy insurance
The sixth most widely used website in the world is not run anything like the others in the top 10. It is not operated by a sophisticated corporation but by a leaderless collection of volunteers who generally work under pseudonyms and habitually bicker with each other. It rarely tries new things in the hope of luring visitors; in fact, it has changed little in a decade. And yet every month 10 billion pages are viewed on the English version of Wikipedia alone. When a major news event takes place, such as the Boston Marathon bombings, complex, widely sourced entries spring
There is good news and bad news regarding Healthcare.gov. The good news is that despite the systemic failure infecting much of the site, there is one essential component — the federal data hub — that is working as it was designed. The data hub links federal-agency records together to determine whether an applicant for health insurance is eligible for subsidies. The bad news is that because the data hub is the largest consolidation of personal data in our nation’s history, it will become a magnet for identity thieves. This isn’t idle speculation or fearmongering. Michael Astrue, who was commissioner of Social
Building a website in 2013 should be as easy as U-R-L, so what’s the deal with HealthCare.gov? The White House billed the Obamacare portal as the Kayak.com of health coverage — only instead of plane rides, it was selling health insurance. It was supposed to be a one-stop click and shop place to compare and buy health plans in the 36 states not running their own insurance exchanges — and for the millions who are eligible, get federal subsidies. Hundreds of millions of dollars later, it’s fundamentally broken and a frantic fix is underway. What made it so complicated? The Obama administration has done
The disputed story - first shared publicly on his campaign Facebook page by the Senate’s number two Democrat, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois - that an unidentified senior House Republican Leader during negotiations over the debt ceiling and partial government shutdown told President Obama “I cannot even stand to look at you” made its way from the White House to the Senate via White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors, sources tell CNN. Nabors told the story to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Durbin, and the two other Senate Democratic leaders, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Patty
On the top of Thursday´s broadcast of his radio show, Sean Hannity revealed Erling Davis, the Obamacare operator he called early in his Monday show, got fired. Hannity quizzed her on how well the law is being received by applicants and she revealed no one liked it. Hannity had Davis on his show today and revealed he will give her a year´s salary of $26,000 and help her find a new job.
Poor Barack Obama. He’s been wronged again. This time, the Obamacare health insurance program is hung up on major computer malfunctions, adding fuel to the blazing criticism that this first giant step toward universal care is a flop. “Nobody’s madder than me,” Obama declared while trying to explain why three weeks into the enrollment period, most consumers still can’t enroll. “I think it is fair to say that no one is more frustrated by that than I am.” Wait a minute — the president’s mad? And he’s frustrated? At whom? Himself? Obamacare is his signature and singular accomplishment, the thing
Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC´s All In, has a favorite tactic--though not an original one: connecting today´s Republicans with the racist Democrats of the old South. In June, he rewrote history by casting George Wallace as a Republican--an error for which, to his credit, he later apologized. On Wednesday, he appeared to use a more subtle tactic to connect the Tea Party´s Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio to the Ku Klux Klan. In a segment on possible Tea Party contenders for the Republican Party´s nomination in the 2016 presidential race, Hayes used a graphic (above) that portrayed Cruz, Paul,
Liberal billionaire George Soros is lending his name to the “Ready for Hillary” super PAC, donating $25,000 to become a co-chair of the group’s National Finance Committee ahead of a major donor confab in New York. Soros political director Michael Vachon confirmed Soros’s involvement with the group in an emailed statement to POLITICO. “George Soros is delighted to join more than one million Americans in supporting Ready for Hillary,” Vachon said. “His support for Ready for Hillary is an extension of his long held belief in the power of grassroots organizing.” Soros, a longtime Democratic donor to help grass-roots efforts within the party,
Michelle Obama will be touting female candidates next month at an event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), a sign she may be helping more women run in 2014. The first lady will be in New York to address the Democratic Women’s Senate Network policy conference, The Hill has confirmed. The group, chaired by freshman Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.),is an arm of DSCC, which has several women running for the upper chamber in 2014: (Snip) Ticket prices range from $250 to $50,000, according to The New York Times,
The National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another US government department, according to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The confidential memo reveals that the NSA encourages senior officials in its "customer" departments, such the White House, State and the Pentagon, to share their "Rolodexes" so the agency can add the phone numbers of leading foreign politicians to their surveillance systems. The document notes that one unnamed US official handed over 200 numbers, including those of the 35 world leaders, none of whom is
An 11-year-old Washington state boy who authorities say brought a gun and 400 rounds of ammunition to school told police he did it to defend a friend who was being bullied, according to court documents filed on Thursday. The boy appeared in court at 9 a.m. local time and was appointed public counsel, said Clark County Juvenile Court Administrator Pat Escamilla. His mother and father were present, according to minutes from the appearance. The boy brought several knives to his Vancouver, Wash., school along with the gun and ammunition, police said. Frontier Middle School, in Vancouver, Wash., was locked down