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You'd think the Obamacare brain trust would have learned their lesson. But, no, they rolled out a companion website to Healthcare.gov, and it failed spectacularly too.
Another federal government-run website created under ObamaCare is suffering the same symptoms as the troubled federal health care exchange -- grappling with delays, data problems and other hiccups as the deadline to take it public nears.
At issue is a database known as the Open Payments website. It was created under the Affordable Care Act to shed light on the financial ties between doctors and pharmaceutical companies as well as device manufacturers.
The transparency initiative is supposed to include detailed information about drug payments made by doctors as well as the value of gifts and services given by drug makers. Such items can include everything from meals to swanky retreats.
The database project, though, is dealing with a minefield of technical problems and confusion over the data. The problems led the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to shut down what is currently a private site for 11 days earlier this month.
The government is hoping to take the site public on Sept. 30. But it's already a year behind schedule, and if some industry heavy hitters have it their way, the schedule will slip by another six months.
The data is hopelessly garbled. The procedure for registering is convoluted, and inaccurate. There are major technical glitches. And it's more than a year behind schedule.
It's deja vu all over again!
Let's say Obama has a plan to build a permanent Democrat majority. A plan that will guarantee Hillary Clinton wins the White House in 2016. A plan which takes precedence over all other concerns, no matter what the cost to America's short-term well-being or long-term prospects for security and prosperity.
I suspect he (well, actually, Valerie Jarrett) does, and I'd say it looks something like this.
Newly released Census data reveals nearly 110 million Americans — more than one-third of the country — are receiving government assistance of some kind.
The number counts people receiving what are known as "means-tested" federal benefits, or subsidies based on income. This includes welfare programs ranging from food stamps to subsidized housing to the program most commonly referred to as "welfare," Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
At the end of 2012, according to the stats, 51.5 million were on food stamps, while 83 million were collecting Medicaid — with some benefitting from multiple programs.
Though the programs were created to help those in need, some analysts worry that the way they're designed is, increasingly, incentivizing people not to work. They note that when recipients combine several government assistance programs, in many cases they pay better than going to work.
The Cato Institute's Michael Tanner said that in the eight most generous states, the benefits can be tantamount to a $20 minimum wage — which would exceed the $7.25 minimum wage in most states.
"So in many cases people could actually do better on welfare than they could in an entry level job," Tanner said.
When people are beholden to the government for sustenance, they tend to vote for the politicians who promise them more of that sustenance.
And nobody is better at promising unlimited Free Stuff than today's Democratic Party. Remember the woman who said Obama was going to pay her mortgage? The entitlement mentality is seductive, and contagious.
It's also ridiculously easy to make promises, and then blame "evil Republicans" when you don't deliver. The goal isn't to help people; the goal is to keep people dependent, and voting your way.
In other words, the goal is Power. Power at any cost.
Barack Obama never intended to govern.
Barack Obama is a permanent campaigner, skilled at drumming up primal emotions, and then focusing them for the benefit of his Party. The incongruity of his Class Warfare rhetoric is lost on the guilty white liberal donors who pour millions of dollars into his coffers at every opportunity. And all that matters to Obama is that the money flows into electing, and re-electing Democrats.
Hence he eschews policies which might jeopardize their hegemony.
Building the Keystone Pipeline might piss off the econuts, and he needs their cash.
Fighting Islamic terrorists might piss off the kumbaya crowd, and he needs their cash too.
Promoting private sector job growth might dilute the culture of dependency, and he needs every vote he can get.
Helping businesses succeed might make the unions wonder why he isn't raising taxes instead, and he needs their votes too.
Stopping the invasion on our southern border might upset La Raza, and he needs their anger and envy to keep them from wanting to embrace what we used to call The American Dream.
You know, there's the really sad legacy of Obama and the Democrats.
Once upon a time it was said that the business of America is Business.
They've turned that old saw on its head. The business of America is dependency. Wealth transfer. Class envy. Business is a dirty word.
Why work? Vote Democrat and somebody else will do that. Then, as your reward, the government will mail you checks.
You gotta admit it's a sweet deal.
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only
exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the
public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the
candidates promising the most money, with the result that a democracy always
collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.
— Alexander Tyler
Or, as Lady Thatcher put it, sooner or later they'll run out of other people's money.
Obamabot shibboleths meet Reality. Reality wins.
This weekend, American workers will take part in a time-honored tradition, gathering around picnic tables and barbecue grills to talk shop.
A new Rutgers University report on the American workforce in the aftermath of the Great Recession gives them plenty to discuss.
American workers are "insecure, underpaid, highly stressed, and generally unhappy at work," researchers found.
The report, "Unhappy, Worried, and Pessimistic: Americans in the Aftermath of the Great Recession," details the results of a national survey conducted by the school's John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. Researchers at the university have been taking stock of public perception on the effects of the recession since it ended in 2009, and honed in on the American workforce ahead of Labor Day weekend.
"We tracked people through the recession and never found light at the end of the tunnel," said Cliff Zukin, a professor of public policy and political science at Rutgers and one of the authors of the report. "The image of the American worker, I think, stunned us."
It's only stunning if you're living in an Obamabot, MSNBC, New York Times bubble. Here in the Real World, the recession did not "end" in 2009, no matter what the White House and the Democrats want you to believe.
And it must be the prospect of more snow that led to the CBO "revising" its 2014 economic forecast downward. A lot.
CBO has lowered its projection of real growth of GDP in 2014 from 3.1 percent to 1.5 percent, reflecting the surprising economic weakness in the first half of the year.
Surprising, stunned, it's always unexpected when things don't go
the way Obama said they would. Because the force of his words is supposed
to move mountains, slow the rise of the oceans, and heal our
C'mon Rutgers, who you gonna believe? Obama? Or your lyin' eyes?
Remember when the Obama Administration said they lost Lois Lerner's emails?
Yeah, that was a lie.
Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner's emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. The DOJ attorneys also acknowledged that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is investigating this back-up system.
"Too onerous to search" them?
The guys at Google could search those backup files with one arm tied behind their backs.
Of course, the guys at Google don't want to search for Lerner's "lost" emails. They're in the tank for Obama, and judging by the emails that have already been released, the stuff on those backup tapes has gotta be truly incendiary.
Fortunately there are many other search providers. Surely one of them will recognize the marketing opportunity inherent in uncovering emails the, ahem, experts, have deemed impossible to find.
Now's your chance fellas!
Finding a cure for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) is an admirable goal. And many well-intentioned American Catholics have taken the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness of ALS.
But the cure cannot come at the expense of other innocent life.
The ALS Association, recipient of donations associated with the Ice Bucket Challenge, uses embryonic stem cells in their research. And now, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers is speaking up to warn us of the moral conflict associated with sacrificing one life to save another.
The Newark Archdiocese has told North Jersey pastors and Catholic school officials that holding Ice Bucket Challenges, a wildly popular fad that has raised millions of dollars to combat a crippling illness, conflicts with church teachings by funding embryonic stem-cell research.
The warning was issued Thursday in a letter from a church official and with the blessing of Archbishop John J. Myers. It said some of the research funded by the ALS Association, which receives much of the money from the Ice Bucket Challenge, involves embryonic stem-cell research, which is opposed by the Catholic Church because of conflicts with its antiabortion mission.
The challenge involves dumping ice water on participants' heads and donating money for research into ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The Rev. Lawrence Fama, director of the archdiocesan Office of Respect Life, called the challenge "a stunt" that can be "fun and engaging," but questioned whether the practice conflicts with "Catholic moral teaching."
The archdiocese sent the letter Thursday to principals at all 94 Catholic schools in the archdiocese, and to pastors and religious education staff at 218 parishes. It suggested sending donations to organizations that don't use embryonic stem-cell research.
The knee-jerk reaction, of course, is to condemn Catholics for not wanting to find a cure for ALS. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The Pope John Paul II Medical Research Institute funds morally acceptible ALS research. And they gladly accept donations associated with the Ice Bucket Challenge.
We are receiving increasing financial support from donors asking whether their donations will go directly to support ALS research. We want to assure people that any donation specifically directed towards finding a cure for ALS will be used to support medical research for that cause.
Catholics can indeed raise awareness of ALS. Archbishop Myers leads by
example. Together, we will find a cure.
New HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell, late of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's population control efforts, has again "revised" Obamacare's anti-Catholic abortifascient and and birth control mandate. But her new regulations still firmly place the burden of providing life-destroying drugs and procedures on the employer.
Meet the new form, it's functionally equivalent to the old form.
The new arrangement as a more complicated accounting gimmick, no different in effect than its predecessors.
Arina Grossu, Director for the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, said the amendment "is simply another clerical layer because the employer still remains the legal gateway by which these drugs and services will be provided to their employees. It's very disappointing that the Obama administration is doubling down on its plans to punish charities and non-profits that assist the poor and homeless, who in some cases have nowhere else to turn for assistance."
Although the Obama administration is still seeking comments for its final implementation of the new rule, the nation's religious leaders concur that the latest change still fails to observe all Americans' First Amendment freedom of religion.
"On initial review of the government's summary of the regulations, we note with disappointment that the regulations would not broaden the 'religious employer' exemption to encompass all employers with sincerely held religious objections to the mandate," Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said on Friday. "Instead, the regulations would only modify the 'accommodation,' under which the mandate still applies and still requires provision of the objectionable coverage."
"Also, by proposing to extend the 'accommodation' to the closely held for-profit employers that were wholly exempted by the Supreme Court's recent decision in Hobby Lobby, the proposed regulations would effectively reduce, rather than expand, the scope of religious freedom," he added.
Who gets the "opt-out" form is irrelevant. Forcing a religious organization to ask for the objectionable coverage is the real problem. Morally, Catholics cannot participate in any aspect of provisioning life-destroying drugs and procedures.
Instead of working with the USCCB, the Obama administration went back to the Kermit Gosnell Fan Club at Planned Parenthood for input on their "revised" mandate rules. And of course they baked in onerous penalties for anyone who follows his faith.
"Effective immediately, this latest rule still orders charities like the Little Sisters of the Poor, non-profit Christian colleges like Wheaton College, and religious broadcasters like EWTN to violate their consciences simply because they legally contract for health coverage," Grossu continued. "The government uses their contract as the basis to force their insurers to provide their employees with free contraception and drugs that can kill human embryos, against their sincere conscientious beliefs."
"If these charities and non-profits follow their conscience and decline to participate in the meaningless accounting gimmick, the administration will make them pay huge penalties accruable on a daily basis — one hundred dollars per employee per day," she said.
"Additionally, the government is also soliciting comment on new ways to force family businesses to violate their deeply held moral and religious convictions due to the HHS mandate in an attempt to address and skirt the recent Supreme Court ruling. However, the government's actions here still force family businesses to be complicit in what they view as morally wrong," Grossu added.
Obama and his henchmen are being purposefully obtuse, thumbing their noses at the Supreme Court, and at religious Americans too. They are beholden to a cabal of radical feminists hell-bent on overthrowing all vestiges of traditional morality. They only respect the Progressive hegemony of the State, and all other forms of authority must be eradicated lest they instill doubt in the minds of the citizenry.
So everyone has to conform, or the invalidity of the State's coercion will become all too apparent.
Fortunately, the Supreme Court has already told HHS they can't do this. Alas,
the price of Liberty is eternal vigilance.
Jihad came to West Orange, NJ.
The man accused of gunning down a Livingston teenager in his car earlier this summer told investigators the murder was an act of retribution for U.S. military action against Muslims in the Middle East.
According to court documents filed Wednesday in Washington state, where he is accused of killing three other men, Ali Muhammad Brown said he considered it his mission to murder 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin as an act of "vengeance" for innocent lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran.
"All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life," he told detectives, according to the documents.
Brown, 29, also confessed to killing the other men, all of whom, like Tevlin, were shot multiple times in isolated areas late at night. He described the murder as a "just kill" — carried out against an adult male who was not in the company of any women, children or elderly persons, court papers said.
Prosecutors say Brown is a devout Muslim who had become angered by U.S. military intervention in the Islamic world, which he referred to as "evil."
The politically correct prosecutors office insisted on labeling Tevlin's murder as a "robbery gone bad." We now know that to be a lie. This young man's reputation was smeared to avoid offending Muslims.
But there's no escaping the truth. "A devout Muslim" followed his religion. He stalked innocent victims, and slaughtered them for Allah. Brendan Tevlin is dead, and we as a country still aren't willing to admit that the problem isn't "terrorism," or "extremism," or "poverty," or "occupation," or any of the thousand other excuses the apologists make in the name of moral relativism.
The problem is Islam. It is not a religion of peace. It is an ideology of violence. Beheadings. Honor killings. Jihad.
Because, Pope Benedict was right.
And, for those of you who prefer to get your news from the entertainment side of the aisle, allow me to agree (just this once) with Bill Maher.
Isis- "one of thousands of Islamic militant groups" (NYTimes) beheads another. But by all means lets keep pretending all religions are alike— Bill Maher (@billmaher) August 20, 2014
Like I said earlier this week,
Mister we could use a man like Stephen Decatur again.
Gas prices are falling. I question the timing.
Gasoline prices in New Jersey have dropped this summer and as of today, three stations in Union and Middlesex counties were charging as low as $2.98 for a gallon of unleaded.
That marked the first time since February that a station in the state sold gas for less than $3 a gallon, highlighting what oil analysts say is a trend that should continue into Labor Day and beyond.
Yup, "beyond," to Election Day.
The $2.99 gas at two Delta stations in Rahway and one in Carteret "are more gimmicky now than anything else," Kloza said. "But in the next few weeks you're going to see more sub-$3 prices. I would not be surprised to see New Jersey average $3.10 by Election Day (Nov 4)", he said.
The illusion of an improving economy just might help Democrats keep the Senate.
So, go ahead, call me a cynic. But if they're willing to indict Rick Perry for doing his job, tell me, what won't Democrats do to maintain their stranglehold on power?
Are you going to tell me that George Norcross couldn't drop a dime and "suggest" that gas prices ease up because Jeff Bell is closing in on Cory Booker and people's all-too-reasonable fears of econut economic turmoil need to be toned down? Harry Reid's already given up on South Dakota, he can't afford to lose a deep blue state like New Jersey.
Nevermind that Booker's Sierra Club buddies are hell-bent on stopping a vital natural gas pipeline project. And that they're still tilting at bird-killing windmills, despite the guaranteed detriment to our view from the Jersey shore.
Listen up. If you think gas won't be back to $3.89 a gallon by November 10th, you aren't paying attention (or you're an Obamabot, but I repeat myself). The long-term outlook for cheap, dependable fossil fuels in this state is grim, no matter what our beloved bylined Democratic Party operatives at the Star-Ledger might try to tell you before Election Day.
Perhaps they've conveniently forgotten that gas was selling at far below $2 per gallon when the Great and Munificent Barack Obama took office. Fortunately, I'm here to remind them, and you.
Obamanomics. It's not the shiznit. So if you vote Democrat, you only
have yourself to blame.
The news out of Iraq gets worse every day.
I could blame Barack Obama, but he only did what he promised he'd do. He pulled us out, with predictable consequences for sure, but it's what a majority of (poorly informed) Americans wanted at the time.
And now his late-to-the-party half-hearted airstrikes on ISIS aren't the actions of a serious wartime president. They're CWA moves, so he can say "he tried."
No, America, and Western Civilization, have to wait until January 2017, when hopefully we have the good sense to inaugurate a president who takes the Islamist threat seriously.
Because make no mistake, the Islamists are deadly serious. And if we don't start killing them, killing a lot of them, Real Soon, they're gonna have a field day killing lots and lots and lots of Americans.
When The Pope is the guy calling for war, you'd best believe we're well and truly in dangerous territory.
I don't know who our next president should be. But I do know that whoever it is, he (or she) must single-mindedly focus on one goal — complete and utter destruction of the Islamic Caliphate.
Remember how Stephen Decatur crushed the Barbary Pirates?
Yeah, like that. That's what we need to do. I pray we're not
Rosemary Lehmberg says she doesn't have a drinking problem. Her credit card receipts tell a different story.
When going through filings he found receipts from seven different Twin Liquors stores. They show Lehmberg's credit card was used to buy more than $3,000 in vodka. The 72 bottles purchased Total more than 23 gallons.
"If somebody is buying 23 gallons of vodka within 15 months' time, is caught with it, three times the legal limit all those things, being that coherent, all suggest that Ms. Lehmberg has probably had some sort of problem for a long time," O'Brien charged.
Texas Governor Rick Perry said he will vigorously fight Lehmberg's ridiculous charges.
Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry responded Saturday to the weekend indictment in which he is accused of abusing his power of office, calling it a political "farce" and vowing to explore "every legal avenue" to combat the prosecution.
Perry, a 2012 GOP presidential candidate with potential 2016 aspirations, was indicted Friday for allegedly abusing his power by vowing to veto $7.5 million in state funds for an agency run by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, after she pleaded guilty to drunken driving in April 2013 and refused to resign.
Perry vetoed the money after Lehmberg, a Democrat, videotaped acting erratically during her arrest, refused to resign.
"I think Americans and Texans who have seen the video would agree that this is not the type of individual who should be heading up an office that we want to fund," Perry said during a brief news conference in Texas. "I wholeheartedly and unequivocally stand behind my veto … I will explore every legal avenue to expedite this matter and bring it to a swift conclusion. I am confident … this farce of a prosecution will be revealed for what it is."
What it "is," is partisan demagoguery at its worst. The Travis County D.A.'s office is a hotbed of libtard progressivism. They're the bozos who hounded House Majority Tom DeLay out of office. He was, of course, exhonerated, but not before the lawfare loons had done their damage to his career.
Now they're trying the same stunt with Rick Perry, because he's in the way of annointing Hillary Clinton as Obama's Great Successor.
When Perry beats these trumped up charges, and beat them he will, because governors have the statutory authority to veto appropriations bills, the RNC should make Rosemary Lehmberg the poster girl for Democrats nationwide. To paraphrase Dean Wormer, fat, drunk, and vindictive is no way to win elections. And if Democrats want to line up behind an alcoholic megalomaniac who kicks doors and bad-mouths cops we should give them every opportunity to show America exactly what they stand for.
Oh, and until then, I suppose it's fair to ask every Democrat running for
office, how many gallons of vodka did you buy last year? I'm guessing
that Hillarity Will Ensue.
President Golfpants took time out from boogying with the Clintons to unleash yet another Executive Order from his omnipresent pen. This one comes via the Secretary of Education, to helpfully remind school districts of their statutory obligation to educate all those children waltzing across the Mexican border, regardless of their "immigration status."
The Obama administration is preparing the nation's schools to accept thousands of new students who illegally crossed the southwest border and are now awaiting trials on their possible deportations.
A fact sheet from the Department of Education sent to states and schools on Monday highlights the children's right to attend public school.
It says all children in the United States "are entitled to equal access to a public elementary and secondary education, regardless of their or their parents' actual or perceived national origin, citizenship, or immigration status."
How we're suppoed to pay for educating these freeloaders, well, that's not really his concern. He dumped them in our laps, now they're our problem.
As far as we know he has already sent more than 1500 illegal alien "minors" into New Jersey. At an average annual cost of $16 grand a kid that's more than $24 million bucks New Jersey has to find before the end of the month. And it's probably gonna be way more than that considering 99.9999% of these kids don't speak one word of English and haven't ever seen the inside of a schoolhouse.
Multiply the problem by 50 states and, to quote the late Everett Dirksen, you're talking about Real Money. Atlanta is so overwhelmed they're "passing out numbers" and asking many to come back "later." Texas already spends $12.1 billion a year on illegal aliens. How much more can they be expected to give?
Obamunism 101: From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.
In other words, pay up suckaz!
While Chris Christie focuses on New Jersey's underfunded and overly generous public employee pension system there is another boondoggle dragging down our state's beleaguered taxpayers. Public employee health insurance. Not only is it a Cadillac Plan, it's a fully-loaded Escalade with artificially low monthly payments subsidized by those of us with Real Jobs.
New Jersey offers one of the most expensive health benefits plans in the nation to its state workers, with average monthly premium costs running nearly 1-1/2 times more than that of the rest of the country, according to the first-ever analysis of how much state governments pay to insure their employees.
A study released this afternoon by Pew Charitable Trusts and the MacArthur Foundation, both nonpartisan research organizations, found premium costs were highest in Alaska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont and Wisconsin, and lowest in Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina and South Dakota.
The national average monthly premium — the cost borne by the state and its employees — was $963, compared to $1,334 in New Jersey, according to the report.
New Jersey covered 95 percent of the tab, employees 5 percent, compared to the 84 -to-16 percent state and employee split nationally.
At $65 per month this isn't in the same league as your Obamacare Bronze plan. Even if you get a whopping subsidy, it's not 95% of your premium.
But while Chris Christie might tell us how "unsustainable" this situation is, he's not doing much to rein in the growth of NJ's public employee ranks. He's all talk and no action.
And the Democrats who run this state like it that way. Because the recipients
of taxpayer largesse always vote their way.
After people signed up, would they pay? That was the Big Question lurking in the shadows as the White House trumpted 8 million enrollees in Obamacare.
"Trust us," said the Obamabots, "they'll pay."
Except, as you might have guessed by now, the checks got lost in the mail.
ObamaCare exchange statistics should clear up any doubt as to why the Obama Administration has been tight-lipped about enrollment since celebrating 8 million sign-ups in mid-April.
Reality, evidence suggests, could require quite a come-down from those lofty claims.
The nation's third-largest health insurer had 720,000 people sign up for exchange coverage as of May 20, a spokesman confirmed to IBD. At the end of June, it had fewer than 600,000 paying customers. Aetna expects that to fall to "just over 500,000" by the end of the year.
That would leave Aetna's paid enrollment down as much as 30% from that May sign-up tally.
Insert obligatory George Costanza shrinkage joke here.
Meanwhile, Obamacare premiums are rising by an average of 7.5%. This is, quixotically, being spun as good news.
The average national increase of 7.5 percent is "well below the double-digit increases many feared," HRI Managing Director Ceci Connolly wrote in an email.
Yeah, they screwed us over so much last year they can cut back a little.
Last time I looked nobody's paycheck went up 7.5%. But hey, Obamacare is still a bargain, right?
Me? I find out next month what my increase will be. And let me tell ya, I'm
praying it's only 7.5%. Because if history is any guide, that'll
be a bona fide miracle.
Obama golfs while the Mideast burns.
And because Martha's Vineyard is chock full of sketchy characters, he's got a SWAT team and snipers keeping watch over each and every mulligan.
Yazidis and Christians are fleeing being beheaded in Iraq, but Obama needs a SWAT team on a Vineyard golf course?
As conflict continued in Iraq, President Barack Obama waged a different kind of war during his vacation at Martha's Vineyard — on the golf course.
Obama was escorted to the Farm Neck Golf Club, in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, by a huge motorcade, which included a SWAT team and two snipers who peered out of an open trunk.
Maybe Judge Smails misread his new SketchFactor app?
SketchFactor uses crowd-sourced observations and public data to gauge the "relative sketchiness of an area."
"Google Maps does a good job of telling us where streets intersect but it gives us no information about what the experience of the street is," said Allison McGuire, 27, who co-founded the app with Daniel Herrington, 26.
The app gives users the chance to find out what they might be in for when they trek to a far-out swath of the city — from rats and rancid smells to leering homeless guys and dangerous intersections.
Well, there could very well be a gopher lurking around the 18th green…
Crime, meet journalism and a heavy dose of irony.
A WUSA-TV news van was burglarized in Washington, D.C., Friday while the news crew was interviewing locals nearby, the station reported.
The robbery happened as they were reporting about a "sketchy neighborhood" app.
The crew said they had locked their van in D.C.'s Petworth neighborhood, but someone popped the lock and absconded with "the gear of photojournalist James Hash, the backpack of reporter Mola Lenghi, and the purse of intern Taylor Bisciotti."
Stay safe out there Barry.
It seems like everybody is exempt from Obamacare, except me.
Today comes the breathtaking news that 90% of the remaining uninsured are exempt from paying the individual mandate tax penalty.
Almost 90% of the nation's 30 million uninsured won't pay a penalty under the Affordable Care Act in 2016 because of a growing batch of exemptions to the health-coverage requirement.
The architects of the health law wanted most Americans to carry insurance or pay a penalty. But an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation said most of the uninsured will qualify for one or more exemptions.
Remember when John Roberts twisted the Constitution by deciding Obamacare was a "tax?"
Well, the joke's on him. It's a "tax" that virtually nobody has to pay.
The Obama administration has provided 14 ways people can avoid the fine based on hardships, including suffering domestic violence, experiencing substantial property damage from a fire or flood, and having a canceled insurance plan. Those come on top of exemptions carved out under the 2010 law for groups including illegal immigrants, members of Native American tribes and certain religious sects.
Factoring in the new exemptions, the congressional report in June lowered the number of people it expects to pay the fine in 2016 to four million, from its previous projection of six million. Also bringing down the total: At least 21 states have opted not to expand the Medicaid insurance program for lower earners under the health law, and those residents may be exempt from the penalty.
Dear Anybody Paying The Fine: You're a schmuck.
"If your pajamas don't fit well, you don't need health insurance," said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and president of the American Action Forum, a conservative think tank. "It basically waives the individual mandate."
Yup, the catch-all exemption is "hardship."
In December, a hardship application form was released that laid out the 14 exemptions. Among other things, people could avoid the penalty if a close family member had died recently, if they were facing eviction or if they had medical expenses that couldn't be paid in the last 24 months and resulted in substantial debt.
Critics have assailed one exemption for people who "experienced another hardship obtaining health insurance" as too broad. That exemption asks for documentation if possible but doesn't require it.
Hey, I "experienced hardship obtaining health insurance!" Aetna raised our rates so high we were forced into buying a craptacular Oxford plan which is still about 20% more expensive that what we paid last year. The renewal forms should be here in another month or so, I can't wait to see what next year's premium increase will look like. Because single guys paying for maternity and pediatric dental coverage is the epitome of fairness, or something.
And spare me the whole "cost sharing" nonsense. If cost sharing was actually the goal, there wouldn't be so many damn exemptions from having to actually share some costs.
Nope, Obamacare was, and is, all about vote-buying. Exemptions exist because otherwise Democrats would have already gotten creamed in 2012, and the idea now is to soften their looming chances of losing the Senate in November. If people had to pay the true cost of Obamacare nobody would vote for Obama's duplicious cronies.
The only thing Democrats care about is Power. They've got it, and they'll do
anything to keep it. You? Me? America? We're, in the candid words of Nancy
Last week the Pentagon announced, with
great fanfare I might add, that Brigadier General Markus Laubenthal
has been appointed Chief Of Staff of US Army Europe. Which wouldn't be a
Big Deal, until you learn that General Laubenthal is currently commander
Wehrmacht Bundeswehr Panzerbrigade 12.
That's right, a German general is now in the chain of command for US troops.
What could go wrong?
Apparently this is how Smart Diplomacy™ makes up for the NSA spying on Angela Merkel. We invite one of her guys to spy on us!
So why not outsource our defense to Germany? If anybody's got experience kicking Russian ass, it's them, right? Oh, wait…
And yet, the trend seems to be catching on with his minions. California Democrat Congresswoman Julia Brownley recently sent out a political mailer to her constituents featuring a woman wearing fake military attire and a German Luftwaffe insignia.
On Monday Jeff Gorell, Brownley's Republican opponent in California's 26 congressional district, sent out a press release highlighting the congresswoman's taxpayer-funded faux pas.
The candidate claims that "concerned local veterans" brought to his attention a photograph featured along the top of the flyer — which also contains pictures of a young family, a child going to school, a vibrant classroom and other common campaign themes.
That photograph shows a young woman in a white, open-collared military uniform, wearing a white cap displaying a gold insignia and blue-and-gold trim.
Although it bears a fleeting resemblance to official attire worn by the U.S. Navy, no branch of the United States military wears a uniform like the one in the mailer. And the insignia on the cap is the symbol of the Bundeswehr Luftwaffe, Germany's air force.
I'm guessing Herr General Laubenthal would approve.
Her constituents, including the 19,000 men and women serving at
Naval Base Ventura County, probably not so much.
They can't stop the flood of illegal aliens waltzing in from Mexico.
And they've never caught a terrorist in an airport.
But, fear not, because Obama's crack DHS storm troopers are locked and loaded, mobilizing on a moment's notice to pounce on a threat more sinister than you could ever imagine — Old Land Rovers.
When Jennifer Brinkley saw a line of law enforcement vehicles coming up her driveway last Tuesday she didn't know what to think. "I haven't done anything wrong."
The Homeland Security agents were not there to take her away, they were looking for illegally imported Land Rover Defenders. Brinkley had bought one via the internet last year and had invested more than $60,000 into the rare vehicle.
She thought she had checked it all out and she legally owned it. "They popped up the hood and looked at the Vehicle Identification Number and compared it with a piece of paper and then took the car with them," she said.
Due process? That's only for the La Raza crowd. Regular Americans are at the mercy of Dear Leader's bureaucracy, and his EPA takes no prisoners.
She told Fox News that she was told the agents seized the vehicle because they thought it violated the Clean Air Act — though at the time, they weren't completely sure. She also said her vehicle was just one of 40 that feds seized in various locations that same day for the same reason.
Cars they'll deport.
Criminal illegal aliens, not so much.
Oh, did I mention that Obama's fascists have done this before? Ayup. They really hate Land Rovers. Curiously though, they don't go around seizing old Chevys and Vettes, presumably because Government Motors and his UAW buddies wouldn't approve.
Hey, I wonder if the
military assault vehicles he just gave Bergen County meet the EPA's
emissions standards? I'm guessing no. But that's OK, laws only apply to
the common folk. The bureaucrats can do whatever they want. Just ask Lois