In the wake of Europe’s longest postwar economic recession, the specter of deflation now haunts Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. Yet the European Central Bank (ECB) shows little sign of pursuing a more accommodative monetary policy that might address the European periphery’s deflation challenge. The inaction of the ECB, coupled with the complacency of European policymakers more generally, is regretful — if deflation does take hold in the European periphery, it will make the resolution of Europe’s ongoing sovereign debt crisis all the more difficult. The latest European consumer price data leave little room for doubt that the European economy
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell mocked the rollout of Obamacare on Tuesday, highlighting shocking cases of the misidentification of applicants by the system and polling that more Americans believe in the fictional “Bigfoot” than the bumbled rollout of the health care website. “Unsurprisingly, just 12 percent of Americans think the rollout has gone well,” he said on the Senate floor. “That’s less than the 14 percent of Americans who believe in Bigfoot.” While much of Washington´s attention has been on the website and President Obama´s belated efforts to fix it, McConnell cited several cases of the mistreatment of those who have gotten
Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator for the Centers for Medicaid & Medicaid Services that oversaw the office creating healthcare.gov, apologized in her opening statement on Capitol Hill Tuesday for the glitches that have plagued the website and turned into a national punchline: “I want to apologize to you that the website has not worked as well as it should,” she said. “I want to assure that you healthcare.gov can and will be fixed, and we are working around the clock to deliver the shopping experience that you deserve … We know that the consumer experience has been frustrating for many Americans.
The New York Times and veteran conservative rabble-rouser Richard Viguerie are happily predicting a “Republican Civil War” between “establishment” Republicans and populist conservatives that could make the Goldwater-Rockefeller struggle of the 1960s and the Reagan-Ford battle of the ‘70s look like child’s play. In politics, ambition, ego and profound political differences can lead to internal struggles within a party as new faces appear on the scene or when party elites lose touch with the party members and the voters they supposedly represent. That’s what happened in the ‘60s as a newly emerging conservative movement clashed with a GOP establishment that was
Talk about plum perfection! Michelle Obama made for a pretty chic church lady when she attended services at Saint John´s Church in Washington D.C. along with the first family on Sunday. The fab first lady stepped out in a rich purple colored Azzedine Alaïa dress decorated with a delicate eyelet pattern and a feminine scallop-edged skirt. Her pretty purple frock was perfectly in keeping with the regal plum jewel tones we spied on fall 2013 runways, including the colorful looks at Stella McCartney and Ralph Lauren´s recent shows. But Mrs. O´s dress didn´t come from the latest Alaïa collection.
On Monday, NBC News reported that President Obama’s administration knew for three years that Americans would lose their current insurance under Obamacare. The story quickly became the lead at the Drudge Report, making it the hottest political story on the Internet immediately. For several hours, there was no problem. Then, late at night, the story was pulled, the link was changed thereby breaking the Drudge link, and stealth edits were made to the piece. In particular, one key paragraph met the cutting room floor: None of this should come as a shock to the Obama administration. The law states that
President Obama will stump for Terry McAuliffe, Democrat candidate for Virginia Governor, on Sunday, at a get-out-the-vote rally in Northern Virginia. It is Obama´s first campaign appearance for McAuliffe, who has held a slim, but steady, lead in all recent polls. Virginia voters go to the polls next Tuesday. To translate his lead in the polls into victory, McAuliffe needs to replicate the Democrat turnout in 2012. That is a tall order in an off-year election, which tends to generate an older and more conservative turnout. This week, McAuliffe is conducting a four-day campaign swing with former President Bill Clinton,
Many Republicans see their opposition to Obamacare as the political path forward in 2014, but former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says the GOP´s future lies elsewhere, in issues like immigration, education and family values. "We´re a center-right country, but conservatives won´t govern again soon unless we ... get outside our comfort zones to listen," Bush said at the Jack Kemp Award Dinner he headlined in Washington on Monday night. Bush, the brother and son of former presidents, is rumored to be weighing his own presidential bid in 2016. And he´s taking a political tack similar to other former and current Republican governors
Megyn Kelly was completely shocked, to say the least, about the news that the White House knew as far back as 2010 that many people would lose their health care plans when Obamacare kicked in, and confronted Democratic guest Mark Hannah when he attempted to defend how the rollout’s been going so far. Kelly asked, “Was he intentionally misleading, or was there some argument that he was grossly mistaken?” Hannah argued Obama was “absolutely correct,” explaining that “these plans don’t offer the basic protections that the president has been saying all along are required in any insurance plan unless it
Pottery Barn apologized for selling a Halloween costume of a sushi chef and a kimono that an Asian civil-rights group had complained were culturally offensive. The retailer confirmed late Monday that the items had been removed from its website. “We did not intend to offend anyone with our Halloween costumes and we apologize,” said Leigh Oshirak, vice president of public relations and marketing for Williams-Sonoma, parent company of Pottery Barn. “Thank you for bringing this to our attention.” Asian civil-rights activists spoke out after the store began selling the products, a kimono and a sushi-chef outfit featuring the Rising Sun of the Japanese
The Germans are in a frenzy over the disclosure that the National Security Agency (NSA) tapped Angela Merkel’s private telephone, along with the telephones of three-dozen other world leaders. It’s an embarrassment of the second magnitude, and all Barack Obama knows about it is what he reads in the newspapers. “Senior government officials” tell The Wall Street Journal that the spooks didn’t tell the president about the wiretaps “because it wouldn’t have been practical to brief him on all of them.” (He was working on his hook shot and couldn’t be disturbed.) It’s hard to imagine that the Germans believe a word
On Monday’s “Special Report” on the Fox News Channel, network senior political analyst Brit Hume speculated that President Barack Obama may not have been concerned about the rollout of his signature health care legislation, which has been fraught with problems. Hume noted all the problems with the law, which includes requirements for insurance coverage that the consumer couldn’t need and some of the failed promises made by Obama himself. “On ‘The Kelly File’ here on Fox News the other night, Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of Rahm and one of the designers of the Affordable Care Act
MSNBC chief political analyst Chuck Todd told Morning Joe Tuesday morning that President Barack Obama’s claim that people would be able to keep their health insurance under the Affordable Care Act was a poor promise to have made from the start, as it relied on insurance companies’ compliance, and was made even worse by the fact that the administration knew as early as 2010 that it would not be the case. “They put themselves in the hands of the insurance companies,” Todd said. “They were making promises that they were hoping the insurance companies were going to keep!” “At the
BOSTON- U.S. researchers find people are biologically responsive to taking pleasure in the pain of others -- Schadenfreude -- at least if they envy them. Mina Cikara of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Susan Fiske of Princeton University measured the electrical activity of cheek muscles with an electromyogram, which captures the electrical activity of facial movements when an individual smiles. Participants were shown photographs of individuals associated with different stereotypes: the elderly (pity), students or Americans (pride), drug addicts (disgust) and rich professionals (envy). These images were then paired with everyday events such as: "Won five dollars" (positive) or "Got
I remember our daily food always coming from a long, long line at the end of which was a loaf of bread, a liter of milk, a stick of butter, a bottle of murky cooking oil, or a kilo of bones with traces of meat and fat on them. The interminable lines looked like this bread line pictured above. We never knew what was sold at the end of a line we happened to come upon, but we knew we needed whatever people lined up to buy, so we joined the line. If we wanted to eat, we learned at
Newly minted MSNBC host Ronan Farrow emphasized he is very close with the Clinton team having worked in the State Department Monday on The Last Word. Farrow effusively praised Hillary Clinton throughout the entire segment, noting he keeps in touch with the Clinton team daily and talked to her only two weeks ago. However, he said he is genuinely unsure if she will run for president, raising the playful ire of O’Donnell: RONAN FARROW: I would offer a counter point to Nia there. I stay in touch with this Hillary Clinton team virtually every day. I talked to her about two weeks
A popular jazz band named Skokaboza that "blends jazz and old school funk, with a West African beat" has just been told by Hampshire College in Massachusetts that it is "too white" to be allowed to perform a scheduled Halloween party gig on campus. Gawker reports: In a statement released by Shokazoba shortly after the abrupt cancellation, the band blamed "30 students" who complained "that we were too white to play Afro-beat." (snip) The excuse offered by the committee amounts to yielding to a digital racist mob, and nothing more. If intensity and tone of critics, not logic and fact are
Food stamp recipients face a massive benefit cut set to kick in when stimulus funds expire Friday. The nationwide cut “is equivalent to about 16 meals a month for a family of three,” according to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis using the USDA’s “Thrifty Food Plan.” CBPP called the roughly $5 billion annual cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program “unprecedented” in “depth and breadth.” “If you look across the world, riots always begin typically the same way: when people cannot afford to eat food,” Margarette Purvis, the president and CEO of the Food Bank..
New York doctors are treating ObamaCare like the plague, a new survey reveals. A poll conducted by the New York State Medical Society finds that 44 percent of MDs said they are not participating in the nation’s new health-care plan. Another 33 percent say they’re still not sure whether to become ObamaCare providers. Only 23 percent of the 409 physicians queried said they’re taking patients who signed up through health exchanges. “This is so poorly designed that a lot of doctors are afraid to participate,” said Dr. Sam Unterricht, president of the 29,000-member organization. “There’s a lot of resistance. Doctors don’t know what they’re
Jeffrey Zients, the advisor appointed by the Obama administration to lead repairs of the troubled Healthcare.gov website, faces a daunting task to have the EDI portion working "by the end of November," as promised last Friday. EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is a way of electronically moving data between two organizations in the form of small, tightly-organized packets. (snip)The most challenging aspect to fixing the Healthcare.gov EDI is that the EDI developers don´t have a stable platform on which to build their software. EDI software is often called a translator because it translates the internal data format
Leaders from the American LGBT community arrived in the country on Monday for a week of discussions about social and political issues in the Middle East. The program, organized by Project Interchange, an institute of the American Jewish Committee, is the first trip run by the project specifically for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender advocates from the United States. Nine LGBT American executives – from academia, the media, local government and nonprofit organizations – will meet with their counterparts in the LGBT community in Israel and will visit an LGBT community center in Tel Aviv.
President Obama says he didn’t know the U.S. government was tapping Angela Merkel, and you know, maybe he didn’t. I have come to wonder if we don’t have what amounts to a deep state within the outer state in the U.S.—a deep state consisting of our intelligence and security agencies, which are so vast and far-flung in their efforts that they themselves don’t fully know who’s in charge and what everyone else is doing.(Snip)Particularly obnoxious on this question are the American policy thinkers and journalists who, when asked about the Merkel taps, put on their world-weary professional wise-guy face, looking
Enrolling in Obamacare may be more difficult than anybody thought. The University of Texas at Austin’s spring 2014 course offerings include a graduate course on navigating Obamacare exchange enrollment. The university’s LBJ School of Public Affairs will give aspiring PhD students academic credit for examining the Obamacare enrollment process. The Public Affairs department aspires to “improving the quality of public service in the United States.” Presumably taking a deeper look at how consumers can manage to navigate HealthCare.gov will further the improvement of Obamacare as a public program. The class, entitled “Enrolling in Health Insurance Through the Affordable Care Act:
You know how under ObamaCare, if you like your health plan, you´ll be able to keep it? That´s the swell-sounding promise President Obama has made scores of times since signing into law his grandiose transformation of American healthcare 43 months ago. Turns out, like so many Obama promises, it´s not true. [Snip] Now, NBC News is reporting that Obama and his healthcare sales team knew all along that would happen.