The Obama administration waited until the last minute to test the main Obamacare website and refused to ask for a delay when hiccups arose, government contractors testified to Congress on Thursday as they tried to explain why the rollout of the insurance exchanges has been so rocky. Executives from lead contractor CGI Federal and three other vendors who worked on HealthCare.gov told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the federal agency in charge seemed to have assembled a flawed puzzle from the intact pieces they provided, and didn’t go through the months of testing that should have accompanied such
Well, I´m in the computer business and I guarantee that these vendors aren´t revealing half of what they know about this disaster. They know that if they do, their ride on the Obama gravy train is over.
This disaster is what you get when the client describing and managing one of the most complex system projects in the country has never run or managed anything more complex than a lemonade stand. If that.
Leaders of the nation’s biggest technology firms warned President Obama during a lengthy meeting at the White House on Tuesday that National Security Agency spying programs are damaging their reputations and could harm the broader economy. Cisco Systems has said it is seeing customers, especially overseas, back away from American-branded technology after documents revealed that the NSA enlisted tech firms and also secretly tapped into their data hubs around the world as the agency pursued terrorism suspects. Companies such as IBM, AT&T and Verizon Communications are facing angry shareholders, some of whom have filed
The Kaiser Family Foundation said Tuesday that roughly 5 million Americans will earn too much money to qualify for a government health-insurance program and too little to qualify for subsidized coverage under Obamacare next year. These Americans are in this “coverage gap” because they live in states that opted not to expand Medicaid under President Obama’s overhaul. The nonpartisan organization said the people that fall into this coverage gap are concentrated in states with the largest uninsured populations. More than a fifth of them live in Texas, 16 percent live in Florida, 8 percent in Georgia, 7 percent in North Carolina
The U.S. Army is sending roughly 19,000 active-duty captains and majors to a screening board for early separation this spring, the Army Times reported. Up to 20 percent of those screened — approximately 3,800 officers — could be scheduled to leave the service by the Officer Separation Board and Enhanced Selective Early Retirement Board. Officers with fewer than 18 years of federal active service will have their screening process done by OSB, and those with more than 18 years of service will see the E-SERB, according to the Army Times. “The Army’s drawdown plan is a balanced approach while maintaining
John Fonte’s excellent piece on the home page adds to the case made by Yuval Levin, Tim Carney, Douthat & Salam, and others for the GOP adopting what Senator Jeff Sessions calls “a humble and honest populism” as the antidote to the perception of conservatism and the Republican party as favoring big business at the expense of working people. Corporate support for big government cronyism, racial preferences, the sovereignty-undermining Law of the Sea treaty, and unlimited immigration (not to mention appeasement of the Soviet Union back in the day) highlight the anti-conservative and post-American nature of today’s big
President Obama is ending his fifth year in office matching the worst public approval ratings of his presidency, with record numbers of Americans saying they disapprove of his job performance and his once-hefty advantages over Republicans in Congress eroded in many areas, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. His position is all the more striking when compared with his standing a year ago, as he was preparing for his second inauguration after a solid reelection victory. That high note proved fleeting as the president faced a series of setbacks, culminating in the botched rollout of his Affordable Care
The bipartisan budget compromise that passed the House by a wide margin last week has inspired House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to blast outside conservative groups that he said were using Republican members of Congress for their own gain. It has inspired kind words between the two legislators — Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) — who hammered out the deal. And it has inspired hope that, after years of governing by crisis, Congress may begin returning to something resembling regular order. But that hope masks a deeply divided Senate,
Lobbyists and the GOP political establishment applauded Speaker John Boehner´s strident attacks against the Tea Party and conservatives as the House prepared to approve the Ryan-Murray budget deal. Boehner hadsaid that conservative groups had "lost all credibility" for opposing a budget deal that increases the national debt. While business groups may get a tingle hearing Boehner´s harsh words, one wonders how alienating the grass roots will help them curtail the next government overreach. “You didn´t hear all the applause across downtown?” Dirk Van Dongen, a top GOP lobbyist with the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) said about Boehner´s remarks. “Folks
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — A teenager who wounded a fellow student before killing himself at a suburban Denver high school entered the building with a shotgun, a machete, three Molotov cocktails and ammunition strapped to his body, likely intending to track down a librarian who had disciplined him, authorities said Saturday. After firing a round down a hallway, Karl Pierson, 18, shot a fellow student who just happened to be sitting nearby with a friend as he headed toward the library. Claire Davis, 17, was shot in the head at point-blank range and remained hospitalized Saturday in critical condition. Pierson set
Early news reports have identified the Arapahoe High School gunman as Karl Halverson Pierson, an 18-year-old student. Pierson is believed to be responsible for wounding one other student before shooting and killing himself with a shotgun. The Denver Post reports that Pierson had "very strong political beliefs" and that one Facebook post he authored tore into Republicans as political party that wanted to let people die: "[Y]ou republicans are so cute" and posting an image that reads: "The Republican Party: Health Care: Let ´em Die, Climate Change: Let ´em Die, Gun Violence: Let ´em Die, Women´s Rights: Let ´em Die,
A round of successful deal-making on Capitol Hill has altered the political dynamic in Washington, raising hopes within the Obama administration that stalled second-term priorities such as immigration might still have a chance at success. The key movement has come in the House, where members of both parties overwhelmingly approved a two-year budget deal and where Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) declared war on the tea party groups that have bedeviled him. The developments heighten the possibility of progress on issues such as immigration, which has been at the top of President Obama’s agenda since he won more than 70
On Friday, the Obama- and Clinton-allied Center for American Progress finally revealed its long-sought corporate donor list after heavy pressure arising from CAP’s quasi-lobbying history. That scrutiny ratcheted up following the announcement that CAP founder John Podesta would be formally joining the Obama administration. Both Politico and The New York Times called for the donor list to meet the public eye. And so CAP handed over the list to the leftist Huffington Post. Incredibly, its 2013 donor list contains a myriad of massive corporations, including Apple Inc., AT&T, Bank of America, BMW of North America, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Discovery, GE, Facebook,
On Friday, Media Matters for America announced victory in its longtime war with Fox News. The George Soros-funded organization announced to Huffington Post that “in the coming years, Fox will no longer be the center of Media Matters’ universe.” Vice President Angelo Carusone explains, “The war on Fox is over. And it’s not just that it’s over but it was very successful. To a large extent, we won.” How, exactly, did Media Matters win if Fox News remains a prohibitive ratings monster against competitors MSNBC and CNN, and retains far more of the public trust than either of those networks?
A&E broke its silence on Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson’s anti-gay comments late Wednesday. The cable network announced Robertson is off the hit show for the time being. The network issued the following statement to EW: “We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”
President Barack Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with who he is — and isn’t — sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics. Billie Jean King will be one of two openly gay athletes in the U.S. delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies, Obama announced Tuesday. For the first time since 2000, however, the U.S. will not send a president, former president, first lady or vice president to the Games. Russia has come under fierce criticism for passing national laws banning “gay propaganda.” Though the White House did not specifically address
The gay and lesbian rights group GLAAD is slamming ´Duck Dynasty´ patriarch Phil Robertson for comments he made about homosexuality to GQ magazine, and challenging the show´s network, A&E, to take action against its most popular star. In a wide-ranging interview, Robertson shared his thoughts on homosexuality and religion. After stating in very graphic terms his preference for heterosexual sex over homosexual sex, Robertson launched into more thoughts about homosexuality and sinning. “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong... Sin becomes fine,” he said.
Yes, she really said it. On CNN’s Piers Morgan Live Tuesday, in a brief discussion about President Obama, Barbara Walters actually said, “We thought that he was going to be - I shouldn´t say this at Christmastime, but - the next messiah” (video follows with transcript and commentary): PIERS MORGAN, HOST: You have interviewed every president of my lifetime. Why is Obama facing so much opposition now? Why is he struggling so much to really fulfill the great flame of ambition and excitement that he was elected on originally in 2009?
Reportage of last week´s Nelson Mandela funeral reveals clearly enough that President Obama has reached the point in his tenure where everything ceases to go right -- when even the most serious and determined efforts deteriorate into a hash, or worse, a joke. This happens to everyone in public life eventually, politicians above all. The original attraction wears thin, flaws appear more prominently, styles and opinions change. There is little the individual can do to avoid this.(snip)The Mandela funeral shows that Obama is deep into this phase of his career, and has landed on his head.
Everyone is doing thoughtful year-end pieces on President Obama. Writers and reporters agree he’s had his worst year ever. I infer from most of their essays an unstated but broadly held sense of foreboding: There’s no particular reason to believe next year will be better, and in fact signs and indications point to continued trouble. I would add that in recent weeks I have begun to worry about the basic competency of the administration, its ability to perform the most fundamental duties of executive management. One reason I worry is that I frequently speak with people who interact with the White
London – Large tapestry portraits of President Barack Obama were unveiled for guests at the U.S. Embassy in London over the weekend. The recently-installed, large-scale tapestry portraits were created by National Medal of Arts winner and renowned American painter, photographer Chuck Close. Close created the portraits by compiling and interweaving Polaroids of the president from an hour-long photo shoot done the summer before, the Washington Post reports. The portraits are nearly 8 feet tall and more than 6 feet wide, with the final piece looking like photos but feeling like textiles. Close used one photo of Obama smiling and another
John Podesta was just named as a new senior-level adviser to President Obama last week, but he´s already ruffling Republican feathers. In a profile published late Tuesday night by Politico Magazine, Podesta is quoted comparing Republicans to the infamous cult led by Jim Jones, who was responsible for the 1978 cyanide poisoning of more than 900 of his followers in Guyana. "They need to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress," said Podesta of what Obama´s White House team faces.
Hours after we reported that Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson dropped some illogical “logic” on homosexuality during his GQ interview, his home network A&E decided to indefinitely suspend him from the show. While Robertson’s comments were hilariously ignorant, they were predictable — especially given his family’s socially-conservative, Bible-loving image. Suspending the lead character for his wholly predictable comments is not only an overreaction but a gross misstep. To recap: The Duck Commander patriarch remarked to the men’s magazine that homosexuality is on par with bestiality, and used fifth-grade “logic” to imply that homosexual men should give up their ways of choosing a
On Monday, Variety reported that Fox News had once again dominated all comers I the annual ratings, not merely blowing out CNN, MSNBC and HLN, but drawing more viewers than the combined averages of the three other networks. Fox News averaged 1.774 million viewers in primetime; the other three averaged a combined 1.626 million viewers in primetime. Fox finished sixth among all basic cable companies. The addition of Megyn Kelly to primetime has been a boon for Roger Ailes and company, with Kelly up 23% in total viewers in the timeslot. No wonder CNN, which is struggling to outpace Headline
The U.S. Army War College, which molds future field generals, has begun discussing whether it should remove its portraits of Confederate generals — including those of Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Nestled in rural Pennsylvania on the 500-acre Carlisle Barracks, the war college is conducting an inventory of all its paintings and photographs with an eye for rehanging them in historical themes to tell a particular Army story. During the inventory, an unidentified official — not the commandant, Maj. Gen. Anthony A. Cucolo III — asked the administration why the college honors two generals who fought against the United States,
A&E has placed Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson on indefinite hiatus following anti-gay remarks he made in a recent profile in GQ. "We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty," A&E said in a statement. "His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely." The news comes after Robertson compared homosexuality to bestiality in an interview