White House OKd spying on allies, U.S. intelligence officials say

NSA and other U.S. intelligence agency staff members are said to be angry at President Obama for denying knowledge of the spying. – L.A. Times

“With respect to NSA collection of intelligence on leaders of U.S. allies — including France, Spain, Mexico and Germany — let me state unequivocally: I am totally opposed,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“Unless the United States is engaged in hostilities against a country or there is an emergency need for this type of surveillance, I do not believe the United States should be collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers,” she said in a statement.

Feinstein said the Intelligence Committee had not been told of “certain surveillance activities” for more than a decade, and she said she would initiate a major review of the NSA operation. She added that the White House had informed her that “collection on our allies will not continue,” although other officials said most U.S. surveillance overseas would not be affected.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), ranking minority member of the Armed Services Committee, said Congress should consider creating a special select committee to examine U.S. eavesdropping on foreign leaders.

“Obviously, we’re going to want to know exactly what the president knew and when he knew it,” McCain told reporters in Chicago. “We have always eavesdropped on people around the world. But the advance of technology has given us enormous capabilities, and I think you might make an argument that some of this capability has been very offensive both to us and to our allies.”

Politicians on both sides are all riled up about us spying on other countries but I don’t recall them giving a damn when it comes to the NSA knowing the time, length and quality of the nose-picking sessions of every single American.  On a related note, let’s push Feinstein and McCain out on an ice floe, Eskimo style.

 

Obama administration knew millions could not keep their health insurance – NBC News

Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, “40 to 67 percent” of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And because many policies will have been changed since the key date, “the percentage of individual market policies losing grandfather status in a given year exceeds the 40 to 67 percent range.”  

That means the administration knew that more than 40 to 67 percent of those in the individual market would not be able to keep their plans, even if they liked them.

Yet President Obama, who had promised in 2009, “if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan,” was still saying in 2012, “If [you] already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.”

“This says that when they made the promise, they knew half the people in this market outright couldn’t keep what they had and then they wrote the rules so that others couldn’t make it either,” said  Robert Laszewski, of Health Policy and Strategy Associates, a consultant who works for health industry firms.

Is anyone genuinely surprised that this President would look the American People straight in the eye and lie?  The only thing that’s surprising here is that NBC reported it.

As I’ve mentioned before, getting this law on the books was all that mattered.  Federal ownership of your health and as an added bonus, a means of grinding the economy to a halt.

Docs resisting ObamaCare – NY Post

“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 going to get paid.”

Three out of four doctors who are participating in the program said they “had to participate” because of existing contractual obligations with an insurer or medical provider, not because they wanted to.

Only one in four “affirmatively” chose to sign up for the exchanges.

Nearly eight in 10 — 77 percent — said they had not been given a fee schedule to show much they’ll get paid if they sign up.

The survey invited doctors to anonymously share opinions about the new health care law, and many took time out of their busy days to vent.

“Obama Care wants to start right away, but who see all these new patients???? Not me,” e-mailed one doc.

Another said, “I plan to retire if this disaster is implemented. This is a train wreck.”

“I refuse to participate in the exchange plans! I am completely opposed to this new law,” said a third respondent.

One doctor recycled the mantra used to attack addictions: “The solution is simple: Just say no.”

One physician was so disgusted, he threatened to taken only cash patients going forward.

“I am seriously considering opting out of all insurance plans including Medicare because of [ObamaCare].”

Some physicians said the pressure on insurance carriers to control costs is leading to rationed care.

“OBAMACARE is a disaster. I have already seen denial of medication, denial of referrals,” one doc said.

Ten years ago, an endocrinologist I was referred to gave me my life back.  Eight years later he did it again when my thyroid wasn’t working.  Yesterday I called to make an appointment with him and the receptionist informed me that he had retired early because of Obamacare.

Seriously, fuck you people that wanted this shit.

House to Take Up ‘Keep Your Health Plan Act’ – The Weekly Standard

Last night, Fred Upton, the Republican chairman of the  of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, introduced the “Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013.” The goal is simple: To allow people who like their health care plans to keep them for the next year under Obamacare.

“To authorize health insurance issuers to continue to offer for sale current individual health insurance coverage in satisfaction of the minimum es- sential health insurance coverage requirement, and for other purposes,” the official summary of the bill reads.

The bill’s number is H.R. 3350, and I’m told that House Republicans will be able to “move this.”

I’m sure they can, but they’d be fools to.  A country populated with 42% idiots along with another 10% phantom votes put this whole thing into play.  Now they can see the misery their stupidity has wrought.

The Left in this country is not unlike a particularly slow child that absolutely, positively MUST touch their hand to the hot burner to understand that it’s hot and it will hurt them.

In the same vein as my previous post:

Why This Country Is Doomed

Look at it carefully.  As bad as Bush’s two terms were (about a five trillion dollar increase in the national debt), Obama has managed to exceed that with a more than six trillion dollar increase in less than one and a half terms.  As much as some like to blame the Iraq War, this was only (and I’ll try not to gasp as I write this), $709 billion — less than Obama’s much vaunted stimulus package, and at most only about 14% of what Bush contributed to the national debt.  Doubtless, Democrats will blame the problem on low tax rates, and that certainly contributed.  But notice that revenues actually rose until the economy collapsed in 2008.
 
The core problem is that the corruption of the political class in America, in both parties, makes it easier to give out goodies, usually to those who are already rich, than to say no to them.  Money given out to the poor is a pretty tiny fraction of the problem, but it is what enables Democrats to keep pretending that they are the party of the poor, instead of what they are: the party of Wall Street and green looters of the Treasury.
 
UPDATE: What is really tragic is how easy it would be to fix this.  Here is a spreadsheet from the White House Office of Management and Budget that shows budgets in inflation adjusted dollars from 1940 through estimated 2018.  If the federal government would spend what it did in 2006 (you know, while we were fighting a costly war in Iraq), $2.655 trillion a year, combined with the 2013 estimate for receipts (2.712 trillion a year), we would have a balanced budget — actually, a slight surplus.  Sure, we have more people out of work today than in 2006, and the government spends more on unemployment and various support programs — but we are not fighting a war in Iraq, either.
At some point, a majority of citizens will realize that President Obama isn’t an idiot and that the destruction of our economy is the goal.  By then it will be too late.

Big Labor threatens to end careers of Democrats who support entitlement reform – Washington Examiner

In a shot across the bow of political moderates, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka threatened Monday to use Big Labor’s resources to unseat any Democrat who supports entitlement reform.

Trumka made the comments in a speech at the annual meeting International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans in Las Vegas.

He was reacting to reports that lawmakers may pursue some type of restraint in the ever-rising costs of programs like Social Security and Medicare.

“Let me just say this one for the record. No politician — I don’t care the political party — will get away with cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. Don’t try it. And this warning goes double for Democrats. We will never forget. We will never forgive. And we will never stop working to end your career,” Trumka said.

He denied that there was any real economic problem related to entitlement growth: “We live in a time of self-imposed scarcity. Our American economy produces far more than enough wealth to go around, but, as working people, we see less and less of the wealth we produce.”

Trumka has nothing to worry about.  Democrats (and most Republicans for that matter) will never, ever genuinely pursue any real entitlement reform.  They will keep buying votes until the system breaks and then blame it on someone else.

At which point, after the dust has cleared, the remaining population will hopefully adopt the Mr. Sasshole plan:  Every department in the Federal Government has their funding cut by 5% the first year across the board.  This continues each year by another 5% until we have a balanced budget.

 

 

‘Delay’ suddenly not a dirty word at White House – Fox News

But after an epic failure of a launch for the new health insurance
entitlement and with the partial shutdown over, “delay” suddenly isn’t a
dirty word anymore. With many of those subject to the fine unable to
sign up due to manifold botches in the enrollment process, Democrats are
warming up to the idea.

I was told this morning that there is concern within the White House that the current backlash is only beginning and that once people see the prices and poor coverage of the plans, the outrage will be significant enough to not only give the House and Senate to the Republicans, but that the majorities will be large enough to create a veto-proof repeal of Obamacare.  Consequently, the idea of a one year delay is something that Valerie Jarrett is warming up to.

Obama cannot constitutionally delay the individual mandate.  Only Congress can.  If the Republicans have any scruples or brains (which they don’t), they will not delay Obamacare.  Let people see what they voted for.  Let people experience the pain of their poor decisions.

Although if the White House does come out in favor of a one year delay, how utterly fucked up will it be that they proudly refused to negotiate during a government shutdown, only to capitulate a couple of weeks later?

If I was