Egyptian interim Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi does "not fear civil war" in Egypt, he told ABC News today in his first interview since taking office last month. He also warned that any decision by Washington to cut military aid to Egypt "will be a bad sign and will badly affect the military for some time." Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have pledged billions of dollars in aid to the new Egyptian government in recent weeks and Beblawi said Egypt´s army could survive without the $1.3 billion in military aid from the United States.
Comments: *Molly Hunter, Matt McGarry and Nasser Atta
Should Obama decide to cut military aid, the capabilities of the Egyptian military would begin to deteriorate almost immediately and, with time, would get increasingly worse. And financial assistance from other mid-East countries can not make up the difference. Much of the aid we send the Egyptian military consists of weapons enhancements and parts and training that are compatible with the U.S. weapons and systems Egypt already has and on which it is dependent. If aid is cut, the Muslim Brotherhood will be emboldened and the Egyptian military will have to act swiftly and with full force to smash the MB.
Team Obamacare is sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars of essentially frozen assets — yet another consequence of the failed launch of healthcare.gov. There’s no point in an ad blitz directing people to sign up on a website that doesn’t work. (Snip) The Obama administration isn’t just leaving the PR campaign to third party groups. In July, HHS inked a $33 million contract with PR giant Weber Shandwick. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid had already signed a $3 million and $8 million contracts. Porter Novelli also has a $20 million contract with the agency. While some of the big
A dormant scandal over Toronto Mayor Rob Ford´s alleged drug use flared anew Thursday when the city´s police chief disclosed that a video purportedly showing Ford smoking crack cocaine had been recovered from a computer seized in a related drug probe. Canadian media swarmed to Ford´s suburban home to confront him over the video, which journalists from the Toronto Star and the U.S. gossip site Gawker had reported viewing in May. The mayor at the time vehemently denied that he used drugs or that the video existed. Police Chief Bill Blair told the media earlier Thursday that an ongoing drug
Remember George W. Bush’s “16 words” in his 2003 State of the Union address making the case for military action in Iraq? Sen. John Kerry charged that Bush “hoodwinked the American people.” Sen. Hillary Clinton said Bush “misled” the country. And Sen. Barack Obama accused the White House of “shading intelligence reports to support its case.” Well, now it seems President Obama has his own 16 words to answer for: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.” (Actually, it was a little more than 16 words if you include what the
In one of the few political jokes attributed to a physicist, Ernest Rutherford once described a public official as being “like a Euclidean point: he has position without magnitude.” With a change of pronoun, he could have been describing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who ignored internal warnings about flaws in HealthCare.gov, botched its rollout, minimized her involvement and blamed her contractors. Now, in congressional testimony, she has accepted responsibility without the inconvenience of accountability or the demonstration of competence. Administration incompetence is not the final word on Obamacare, but it is the initial impression.
Covered California executive director Peter Lee told the Chronicle editorial board that he expects 800,000 to 900,000 people to lose their non-grandfathered private insurance policies on Dec. 31, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. (This figure — which is higher than past numbers reported – does not include small business coverage.) “The individual market is changing dramatically,” Lee said. What about President Obama’s promise that if people liked their plan, they could keep it? “I think it was not well stated,” Lee answered. Obama’s rhetoric “may have been an inarticulate way of describing what the realities are.”
Washington - To his critics, President Barack Obama often has seemed to be conveniently distant when trouble has hit his administration. But on Tuesday, Obama was hit with a public-relations crisis that struck at the core of his domestic and foreign policy - one that raised questions about whether he had misled Americans on his signature healthcare overhaul, and whether he really was unaware of the U.S. government´s alleged spying on its allies. It was a dramatic twist for the Democratic president, who was widely seen as outflanking Republicans during the budget battles that led to a partial government shutdown
President Obama promotes his health care plan Wednesday by praising the efforts of a political rival: Mitt Romney. The president visits Romney´s home base of Boston for a speech in which he´ll say that Obamacare is based largely on the health care plan that Romney installed as governor of Massachusetts, officials said. "It really does serve as the blueprint for the Affordable Care Act," said David Simas, an Obama deputy senior adviser for communications and strategy. Obama, who defeated Romney in last year´s presidential election, is expected to say that, like Obamacare, the Massachusetts plan had early challenges but is
Washington - The U.S. government´s Obamacare data hub was ´experiencing an outage´ on Tuesday evening, the Connecticut state healthcare exchange, "Access Health CT", announced. It was the second outage in three days. The exchange operator, Verizon, said it was doing maintenance on the system. "Access Health CT was informed by CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) that the Federal Data Services Hub is currently experiencing an outage," a statement from the Connecticut state exchange said. A similar outage on Sunday halted online enrollment on the federal Healthcare.gov website as well as similar state sites.
Washington -- The Obama administration was given stark warnings just one month before launch that the federal healthcare site was not ready to go live, according to a confidential report obtained by CNN. The caution, from the main contractor CGI, warned of a number of open risks and issues for the HealthCare.gov web site even as company executives were testifying publicly that the project had achieved key milestones. On Capitol Hill on Monday, Medicaid Chief Marilyn Tavenner, whose job it was to oversee the October 1 rollout of the website, said she did not foresee its problems.
The fact that many current health-care plans do not offer all the benefits required under Obamacare means that many premiums are likely to jump dramatically, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini told CNBC. Bertolini, appearing on Tuesday´s "Closing Bell," said that most Americans with current plans are below the 60 percent essential Affordable Care Act benefit requirement, and individual plan participants will have to pay a minimum of a 20 percent increase to upgrade, he said. (Snip) "Aetna alone will pass through to its customers over $1 billion in taxes and fees associated with the Affordable Care Act that need to go
Two years ago, when the Arab Spring was in bloom, President Obama declared that promoting democracy in the Middle East would be "a top priority" for the United States. "We know that our own future is bound to this region by the forces of economics and security, by history and by faith," Obama said. That was then; this is now. The ensuing years, alas, produced little more than a list of broken dreams. Egypt´s democratic revolution was hijacked by the Muslim Brotherhood and a military coup. Libya´s turned into a chaotic mess. Syria´s turned into a civil war.
President Barack Obama’s jaunt to downtown Boston on Wednesday could strike out with the locals. That’s because the commander in chief will touch down in Beantown on the same day the Boston Red Sox are playing a potential World Series clinching game against the St. Louis Cardinals. (Snip) The president is scheduled to deliver a health care speech at 3:55 p.m. from Faneuil Hall, about three miles from the ballpark and right next door to the city’s bustling business district. He will then attend a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. before leaving Logan International Airport shortly before
From Florida to California, consumers are getting notices their health plans are cancelled. They were promised they could keep their plan if they liked it. That was a lie. They’ve been duped and dropped. The liar is none other than the President of the United States. On June 15, 2009, President Obama told a town hall meeting that “No matter how we reform healthcare, we will keep this promise…. if you like your healthcare plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”
President Barack Obama’s job approval has dropped to an all-time low, according to a new poll released Wednesday. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey shows that a mere 42 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s job performance, down five points from a poll conducted in early October. The president’s disapproval rating stands at 51 percent, tying an all-time high for Obama. In all, 41 percent of respondents say they have a less favorable opinion of the president since the 16 day government shutdown, compared to 21 percent who say they have a more favorable view since the shutdown. The Affordable Care Act
Exactly half the nation sees the year-old killings of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya as a serious scandal — one many believe will hurt former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s chance to be the next president, according to a newly-released national poll. Rasmussen Reports revealed that 43 percent of likely voters believe the scandal will damage Clinton. That rises to 47 percent among voters not affiliated with any political party, like independents. Some 41 percent said it wouldn´t ding her chances. The impact is clear, and not just on Clinton. Most — 58 percent — rated the
White House officials have pressured insurance industry executives to keep quiet amid mounting criticism over Obamacare's rollout, insurance industry sources told CNN. Sebelius: 'I apologize, I'm accountable' for Obamacare website flaws - After insurance officials publicly criticized the implementation, White House staffers contacted insurers to express their displeasure, industry insiders said. Multiple sources declined to speak publicly about the push back because they fear retribution. But Bob Laszewski, who heads a consulting firm for big insurance companies, did talk on the record.
President Barack Obama will not attend next month´s event marking the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln´s Gettysburg Address in Pennsylvania. Officials at Gettysburg National Military Park said Wednesday that U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will represent the administration the Nov. 19 sesquicentennial. Jewell and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson will share the role of keynote speaker. Other events include a reading of the Gettysburg address by a Lincoln portrayer. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett also plans to attend the ceremony. Lincoln delivered the immortal words of the address at a dedication of the Soldiers´ National Cemetery on Nov. 19, 1863, more than
It was a spasm of violence that stunned residents: some 200 black youths raising hell - what police called a full-blown riot - in Austin, Texas. Angry black youths inexplicably converged by the Highland Mall, near an iconic haunted house attraction, and walked atop parked cars, fought among themselves, and hurled rocks at some 30 arriving police officers.(snip)In their reporting on the riot, Austin´s media outlets followed a widely accepted rule of mainstream journalism today: they failed to mention that the rioters were black. Yet many Austin residents surmised as much -- and their suspicions were confirmed when mug shots were
Politico describes this kindly gesture as “an olive branch.” I agree. Cruz, whose fiery brand of conservative politics continually draws the enmity and wrath of the GOP establishment, has publicly pledged he will not help conservative candidates oust his more squishy, Republican colleagues. The “surrender caucus” can finally breathe a sigh of relief. For now: Extending an olive branch to GOP senators, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is privately making it clear he won’t engage in the Senate Conservatives Fund’s hardball tactics to defeat his colleagues in their primary races. At a closed-door lunch meeting of Senate Republicans Wednesday, the freshman
Ronan Farrow is already in MSNBC mid-season form. Farrow, the son of actress Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, is set to debut his own MSNBC talk show early next year. His latest political comments, though, find him boosting the image of the Clintons in a way that even the far-left network might not embrace. They´re nimble politicians. Also I think that they represent a style of honesty that the public craves right now. And that´s reflected in the numbers. I think people are tired of the old school politicking, and when a politician comes out and says, “Actually, I changed my
Conservatives are expressing shock and outrage that the Obama administration knew that many people in the individual insurance market would not be able to keep their plans once the Affordable Care Act took effect. Such shock is not surprising; overblown outrage is the stock and trade of conservative politics these days. But here´s what conservatives won´t tell you, lest it undermine their theatrics: Many insurance plans are shutting down because they don´t meet the higher bar of quality benefits required under Obamacare, and of those people who lose access to their plans, many will pay less and all will have better
Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his frustration Tuesday with the fact that even in the United States, “a very educated country,” there are those who do not recognize the urgency of combating global warming. Addressing the D.C. Greening Embassies Forum, which encourages the “greening” of foreign mission in Washington, Kerry took aim at those who challenge the notion that the science is settled when it comes to climate change. “I am amazed after all these years that we’re still struggling here in a very educated country to get a lot of people to embrace and understand why this is not a
For a moment Wednesday morning, the person in charge of ObamaCare — not to mention the largest and most expensive Cabinet department in the United States and, therefore, the world — turned into a frustrated teenager. Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of Health and Human Services, was undergoing a grilling from a Republican congressman over whether President Obama bore responsibility for the failures of his health-care rollout. She said it was her fault. He said Obama was her boss and she reported to Obama, so wasn’t it his fault, too? To which Sebelius responded thusly: “Um . . . You clearly . .
Every day, it seems, more people who have been screaming their hatred for those who predicted all we see coming true are admitting what we have known all along. The president is incapable of telling a truth, and what conservatives have been predicting for three years about ObamaCare has been entirely correct. Indeed, we haven´t seen anything close to the worst of what is to come, since the system hasn´t even begun to function in its utmost state of disarray and confusion.(snip)So, can we finally stop pretending that the left has a positive plan for the United States? Can we