Seriously? Over a month after the Obamacare marketplaces have started, Obama administration has finally finalizes regulations for these exchanges

Is it surprising that Obamacare has the problems that it has when the final regulations for the Obamacare exchanges weren't even set up for more than a month after the exchanges started?  From The Hill newspaper:

The Obama administration has finalized additional regulations for new health insurance marketplaces under ObamaCare. 
The 236 pages of regulations released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Thursday set out oversight and financial standards for the marketplaces, called exchanges. 
“In this final rule, we encourage State flexibility within the boundaries of the law,” the agency said in the regulation.  
The standards are meant to protect consumers shopping for insurance on the exchanges and outline provisions for small businesses to buy insurance for their employees.CMS’s rules are some of the final measures for the exchanges, which opened up on Oct. 1. . . .

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The Hill Newspaper: Obama's "second-term agenda crumbles"

The Hill newspaper is the inside the beltway newspaper.  It is what people inside Congress read.  This is saying a lot.
President Obama has a chance to craft a second-term legacy on climate change even as the rest of his agenda runs aground in Congress. 
Gun control legislation is dead; immigration reform is on life support; and reaching a fiscal deal with Republicans appears to be a long shot. 
To make matters worse, what was supposed to be his signature first-term achievement — ObamaCare — is suffering from a disastrous rollout. 
But there’s one thing that’s going right for Obama: Executive action on climate change is moving full-speed ahead at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). . . .

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Obama administration jumps the shark, personally attacking a cancer survivor who spoke out about losing her insurance because of Obamacare

Why is the Obama administration's Dan Pfeiffer attacking a cancer survivor?  Mean attacks on a cancer survivor?  Is there nothing off limits for the Obama administration?  From the New York Daily News:

President Obama's top adviser Dan Pfeiffer has taken aim at the heartfelt op-ed penned by a terminal cancer patient about the disastrous impact of Obamacare on her treatment. 
Pfeiffer tweeted a jab at the argument presented by Edie Littlefield Sundby, who is battling stage 4 gallbladder cancer, in her Wall Street Journal piece about how elements of her treatment will not be covered with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, since her insurance company won't participate in the new program. . . . 
"That's right. Attack a cancer patient. Classy," one angered Tweeter wrote in response to his posting, with another adding "you have to smear a cancer patient for picking the wrong insurance company? Nice touch." . . . 
Here is Pfeiffer's tweet.  The interview with Kelly deals specifically with the attack that Littlefield's insurance was somehow subpar.

Here is another very tragic outcome of Obamacare where another sick person, Bill Elliott, lost his health insurance.  Again, he says that he "loved" his insurance.

Yet another woman who lost her plan is available here.  From the CBS TV station in Denver:
. . . Cathy Wagner says she isn’t political and has never written a lawmaker, much less the president, but with Obamacare she felt compelled. 
“I really just wanted him to know … I was so hopeful that this plan was going to move us forward, but in fact I think it’s moving us backward,” Wagner said. . . . 
She was a nurse for 35 years and championed Obamacare, until she received a letter from her insurance company saying it was canceling her policy.  
“I was really shocked … all of my hopes were sort of dashed,” Wagner said. “’Oh my gosh President Obama, this is not what we hoped for, it’s not what we were told.’ “
She was shocked further to learn that for the same coverage she would pay 35 percent more and have a higher deductible. . . .
UPDATE: Here is a third example of someone tragically losing their health insurance.  From WND.com:
Ron and Krista Alford’s two children, Hunter and his sister, Makayla, were both born with an extremely rare form of cancer called Plexiform Hishocyne Neoplasm.The parents said their children “have known nothing other than hospitals, doctors, sickness and pain.”
Makayla is currently in remission, but Hunter is in the second fight of his young life against cancer.
He is hospitalized and needs another round of chemotherapy, which will cost $50,000 without insurance, leaving his parents at their wit’s end. . . .
“Why would you cancel a kid?” she asked. “I really want to send Obama and all of them pictures of my son. He has scars all over his head. He doesn’t want to leave the house because he’s afraid people are going to make fun of him because he’s bald.” . . .
The insurance company initially told Krista that Hunter’s information was lost while it was making changes required under the newly implemented health-care law. . . .
“With CHIP you have to pay a copay for every doctor’s visit, and you’ve got to pay so much for prescriptions,” she said. . . .

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David Friedman on "Should the courts and military be privatized?"

David has an excellent presentation on Stossel's show this week (available here).  For people who haven't yet read David Friedman's book The Machinery of Freedom, it is definitely worth your time.

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Well, we are in a new age: World’s first 3D-printed metal gun, solves problem of gun exploding on you when you use it

The current metal printer that is used here is a very expensive machine.  I have seen ads for some running up to $50,000.  While I can't tell from the article exactly how much the printer here cost, that price is surely seems plausible.  From Fox News:

Depending on who you are, where you hail from, and where you stand on guns, 3D printing and related issues, this bit of news will either thrill and astound you, terrify you, or compel you to say “meh.”  
But here goes: A company by the name of Solid Concepts has made the world’s first metal gun using a 3D printer. 
Based out of Austin, Texas, the 3D-printed metal pistol made by Solid Concepts is based on the Browning 1911 firearm. Solid Concepts set out to make this gun in an effort to prove that they can make weapons that are fit for “real world applications.”  
To make the gun, Solid Concepts utilized a manufacturing process known as direct metal laser sintering, or DMLS. DMLS is a 3D manufacturing process used to make metal parts for the aerospace and medical industries. The application for DMLS in the latter example is specific to surgical tools, meaning it’s perfectly suited for the creation of precision firearms.  
“The whole concept of using a laser sintering process to 3D Print a metal gun revolves around proving the reliability, accuracy, and usability of 3D Metal Printing as functional prototypes and end use products,” says Solid Concepts’ vice president of additive manufacturing Kent Firestone. “It’s a common misconception that laser sintering isn’t accurate or strong enough, and we’re working to change people’s perspective.” . . .
My take on the impact of these guns is available here.  Prices are dropping rapidly.  For 3D printers that don't deal with metal the prices have already dropped dramatically.  In 2007, the first consumer 3D printer later this year for $4995.  Now we see prices such as this: "That goal came one step closer to realization in early May 2013, when office supply retailer Staples announced that it would be selling a $1,300 printer from 3D Systems, making it the first major retailer to do so."  More on prices falling available here.
The new printed gun also solves an important problem of blowing up in the users hands.  This gun had no problem firing 50 rounds.  From Computer World:
Solid Concept said its gun's barrel experiences chamber pressure above 20,000 psi every time the gun is fired. By comparison, a factory-made M1911 pistol is rated for 17,000 psi chamber pressure. . . .


Gallup: the decline in Obama's approval rating since the November 2012 election

Click to make the figure larger.


Obama is bragging about dramatically changing the federal courts

From the Examiner:
While speaking at a DSCC fundraiser in Texas on Wednesday, President Obama said the administration is "remaking the courts," Twitchy reported Thursday. . . . . 
"As Lisa mentioned, we are remaking the courts. I know that we’ve got some lawyers here, and here in Texas sometimes people feel a little frustrated about the pace of appointments here in Texas. But you should know that in addition to the Supreme Court, we’ve been able to nominate and confirm judges of extraordinary quality all across the country on federal benches. We’re actually, when it comes to the district court, matching the pace of previous Presidents. When it comes to the appellate court, we’re just a little bit behind, and we’re just going to keep on focused on it," he added.  
He also told those in attendance that he is "intent on squeezing every last bit of possibility to make sure that we’re moving this country forward." . . . .



Another mass shooting in Brazil: Despite extremely strict gun control laws and only a few percent of the population owning guns

A total of seven people were killed in this mass shooting.  From the Voice of Russia:

The motive of the crime late Thursday in Realengo was unknown, police spokesman Pablo Rodrigues said. 
"We cannot rule out any hypotheses," he said. "We will investigate the chance that the massacre might have been caused by the group's debts with drug dealers. That is one hypothesis, but we have not ruled out others."  
Five men and two women, aged 21 to 37, were killed by handguns and rifles on the veranda of the house, local media reported. . . .


The "subpar plan" lie about health insurance policies

Two facts Americans are overwhelmingly happy with their health care.  

1) 90+% of those with private health insurance have been happy with the health care that they have received. (see here and here)
2) How can a lot of these plans being terminated by Obamacare be subpar when 68 percent of all private insurance plans are being terminated?
Christopher Conover at Duke explains: “Bottom line: of the 189 million Americans with private health insurance coverage, I estimate that if Obamacare is fully implemented, at least 129 million (68 percent) will not be able to keep their previous health care plan either because they already have lost or will lose that coverage by the end of 2014."


"IRS refunded $4B to identity thieves," 655 tax refunds to a single Lithuania address

Don't red flags go off when 655 tax refunds are sent to a single address in Lithuania?  This gives one lots of confidence that government can run health insurance well.  From the Associated Press:
The Internal Revenue Service issued $4 billion in fraudulent tax refunds last year to people using stolen identities, with some of the money going to addresses in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Ireland, according to an inspector general's report released Thursday. 
The IRS sent a total of 655 tax refunds to a single address in Lithuania, and 343 refunds went to a lone address in Shanghai. 
In the U.S., more fraudulent returns went to Miami than any other city. Other top destinations were Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta and Houston. 
The IRS has stepped up efforts to fight identity theft, but thieves are getting more aggressive, said the report by J. Russell George, Treasury's inspector general for tax administration. Last year, the IRS stopped more than $12 billion in fraudulent refunds from going to identity thieves, compared with $8 billion the year before. 
"Identity theft continues to be a serious problem with devastating consequences for taxpayers and an enormous impact on tax administration," George said in a statement. The fraud "erodes taxpayer confidence in the federal tax system. . . .

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Support for Death Penalty in U.S. Surges to 86 percent

I know that this survey release says that support for the death penalty is at 78 percent, but if I add together the 64 percent who say that it is "sometimes" appropriate and the 22 percent who say that it is "always" appropriate, that comes to 86 percent.  From Angus Reid Public Opinion:
 The proportion of Americans who favor capital punishment increased dramatically this month, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.  
In the online survey of a representative national sample of 1,008 American adults, 78 per cent of respondents (+8 since September 2011) support the possibility of prosecutors relying on the death penalty for murder cases in the United States.  
The poll was conducted after the Boston Marathon bombings and concluded before the massive manhunt that resulted in the arrest of one of the suspects.  
Respondents in the South (80%) and West (79%) are more likely to endorse capital punishment, along with supporters of the Republican Party (86%).  . . .

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Amazing: "ObamaCare website could only handle 1,100 users a day before launch, docs show," Also Obama caught in another dishonest statement

This is too funny.  This goes well with the recent CBS News article that only six people signed up the first day.  So much for the claim that the website was having trouble because so many people were using it.  By "so many" the Obama administration apparently meant more than 1,100 people.  From Fox News:
The problem-plagued ObamaCare website was only equipped to handle 1,100 users a day before it was launched, documents released by the House Oversight and Reform Committee reveal.
The Obama administration has repeatedly insisted that the website’s repeated crashes were due to unexpectedly high traffic. U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park said on Oct. 6 that the website was expected to draw around 60,000 simultaneous users but instead drew many more, around 250,000.
However, a Healthcare.gov testing bulletin from Sept. 30, the day before the site’s launch, states that the website began to run into trouble with far fewer users.
“Currently we are able to reach 1,100 users before response time gets too high,” the bulletin states.
The bulletin says that the goal moving forward was to “conduct more thorough testing with (the Federally Facilitated Marketplace) to reach targets of up to 10,000 concurrent users in the next few days.” . . .
Since we are on the website issue.  Here is another article that is of interest.  Obama was dishonest about the original law.  He then was dishonest about what he said about the original law.  Now his own website contradicts what he said he claimed about the original law.  From my son Maxim at Fox News:
Millions of health insurance plans have been cancelled after ObamaCare went into effect, and President Obama backed away Monday from his previous oft-repeated statement that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” 
But he may want to glance at his own website, WhiteHouse.gov, which still states: "For Americans with insurance coverage who like what they have, they can keep it. Nothing in this act or anywhere in the bill forces anyone to change the insurance they have, period." 
That appears in a section of the WhiteHouse.gov website labeled "health reform details." The exact same language also appears in the Department of Health and Human Services' online description of the law. 
But that web description is very different from what Obama said Monday to top backers of Organizing for Action, his permanent campaign arm. 
“What we said was, ‘You could keep it [your plan] if it hasn’t changed since the law was passed,’” Obama said. 
Critics say the conflicting language is dishonest. . . .

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‘Obamacare by morning’: Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood mock HealthCare.gov during CMAs

This is something that you definitely won't see at the Oscars or some other award shows.



Google manipulating news searches for left wing political ends?: A case study

Google has previously been accused of "purging Conservative news sites."  There are other accusations that Google has manipulated search to harm Rick Santorum (more here).  Al Gore has been a Senior Advisor to Google. Well, I decided to do a test by searching on my own name.  Here is what I get on my name for Google and Bing for "best match" news search.

The first screen shot shows what happens with Bing and the second with Google.  Notice how under Google the lead searches are for a couple Media Matters pieces and other attacks on me.  But for Bing the first search findings are for Fox News; for John Lott, the sports writer who writes about the Toronto Blue Jays; and then outdoor life.com and the Daily Caller and Breitbart.  The Media Matters links come in at number 9.  Click on the screen shots to make them bigger.

I then tried doing the search using the "most recent" option for both searches.  With Bing, You get a lot stories from Outdoorlife and Shooting Sports News to Fox News and the Daily Caller.  For Google, two of the first three hits are attacks on me.  Three of the first six are attacks.  And Media Matters shows up in two of the first six hits.

So why does Google put so much more weight on pieces in Media Matters?  Interestingly, there were other "Opposing Views" columns that were favorable to me, but Google only seems to pick up the critical columns.

This bias in Google searches is something that I have seen over the years, but it isn't just important to me, it is Google's way of impacting the political debate and giving it a decidedly leftward tilt.

One final point, Bing seems to find a lot of stories that Google doesn't find.

A computer science professor that I know who specializes in these search questions wrote me:
this is the kind of thing we have seen for years, and seems to be a classic example in point. Google's secret sauce is flavored with larger doses of some sites than others, which is to say, their computation of page rank places more credibility on sites which emphasized one rather than the other set of sources. There are lots of benign reasons why this could be true in any one point example (and I can explain them in detail if you like), but to see this as a pattern over time tells us something about their algorithms. . . .

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Venezuela's medical care system collapsing under Socialism

Well, at least Chavez was able to get doctors from Spain or Cuba to provide him medical care for his cancer.  But at least Venezuelans can get easy to provide products such as toilet paper and milk.  From the Associated Press:
Evelina Gonzalez was supposed to undergo cancer surgery in July following chemotherapy but wound up shuttling from hospital to hospital in search of an available operating table. On the crest of her left breast, a mocha-colored tumor doubled in size and now bulges through her white spandex tank top. 
Gonzalez is on a list of 31 breast cancer patients waiting to have tumors removed at one of Venezuela's biggest medical facilities, Maracay's Central Hospital. But like legions of the sick across the country, she's been neglected by a health care system doctors say is collapsing after years of deterioration. 
Doctors at the hospital sent home 300 cancer patients last month when supply shortages and overtaxed equipment made it impossible for them to perform non-emergency surgeries.  
Driving the crisis in health care are the same forces that have left Venezuelans scrambling to find toilet paper, milk and automobile parts. Economists blame government mismanagement and currency controls set by the late President Hugo Chavez for inflation pushing 50 percent annually. The government controls the dollars needed to buy medical supplies and has simply not made enough available. . . .

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Woman, who served in the Army, barred from her disabled child's school simply for having a concealed handgun permit

Gun phobia for public school officials seems to know no bounds.  Here we have someone who served in the Army with a concealed handgun permit.  It seems that we should be thankful that this woman with her training is willing to carry a gun to protect others.  But instead she is banned from her disabled child's school?  There is no evidence that this woman carried the concealed handgun on school property, though if it were me, I would encourage someone with her training to do so.  From WRDW-TV Channel 12 in Augusta, Georgia:
Tanya Mount says she is being targeted by the administrator at her daughter's school after a meeting between the two several week ago. 
"I feel like a criminal. I want I want to be heard. I want a public apology," says Mount. On Wednesday, Mount says she was handed a notice from Richmond County Board of Education police. 
"He tells me that were going to issue you a criminal trespass warning," says Mount. The notice banned her from McBean Elementary School where her disabled daughter attends.
She asked what she did wrong. "The principal is scared of you and she doesn't want you on the grounds. I ask for what? And he asks were you in the Army and I said yes. He's like do you have a concealed weapons permit? I said yes," says Mount. 
Mount who is a parent volunteer says she is banned from the school for posting a picture of her new concealed weapons permit on her Facebook page. 
She says she has never had any problems with Principal Janina Dallas but says she was blind-sided weeks earlier during a meeting with Dallas. 
"She told me that instead of volunteering at the school and playing on the play ground with my daughter I need to be at home doing grown up things," says Dallas. . . . .

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Republicans take 67 of the 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates

Despite the Democrats winning the governorship (thanks to a Libertarian who was large financed by wealthy Democrats), Republicans keep their solid lock on the Virginia House of Delegates, winning just more than 2/3rds of the seats.  Republicans also just barely kept the Attorney General post, though they lost the governorship and the Lieutenant Governor offices.


Canadians taking up owning long guns after the elimination of registration

This seems like a remarkably positive story about owning guns from the CBC, even if it is just for New Brunswick.
Firearms instructors are scrambling to cope with a sudden increase in demand for gun safety courses. 
Enrolment has jumped by more than 20 per cent in the past year as younger hunters and more women head into the woods and to shooting ranges. 
The end of the federal long gun registry also plays a role in the upswing, says firearms instructor Bob Kierstead. He says the creation of the firearms registry by the federal government in 1993 turned  young people away from hunting and the use of guns. 
"The very, very restrictive legislation that came in on firearms in general, and that turned a lot of the young people away from it," said Keirstead. "Too many hoops to jump through and they turned away from it. That was the big thing that we saw." . . .

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TSA Union wants to arm TSA officers

From Politico:
The fatal shooting of Gerardo Hernandez and the ensuing gunfight at LAX called attention to a long-running debate over the powers of TSA, whose screeners aren’t considered law enforcement officers even though many of them wear badges. The 39-year-old Hernandez was the first TSA officer killed in the line of duty in the agency’s history. . . . 
Both lawmakers and the Obama administration have called for reviewing airport security procedures after the shooting spree. But union officials are already offering a concrete proposal: create a new category of TSA agent in addition to the 45,000 existing screeners. People in the new positions would be law enforcement officers, who could carry handcuffs and firearms as well as make arrests. . . . 
But Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), who chairs the House Homeland Security subcommittee that oversees the TSA, told POLITICO in a statement Monday that he opposes arming the TSA’s massive screener workforce. 
“There are practical, risk-based steps that can be taken to combat potential attacks without arming 45,000 TSA screeners,” Hudson said. He added: “In the wake of this attack it is of critical importance to review coordination and communication between TSA and local police, whose job it is to protect airports, as well as review TSA’s own programs for detecting and disrupting terrorist attacks.” 
Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond, the subcommittee’s top Democrat, told POLITICO that he would look at the union’s proposal but was worried about the cost. . . .


The expanding list of schools that allow teachers and staff to carry guns at K-12 schools

Slowly but surely things are changing.  I have been posting on individual school districts, but it is nice to see a major news story on this point that keeps track of all the different school districts.  While the list below is useful, it misses out on Michigan which allows people to carry guns at school as long as someone has a permit and the gun is carried openly (whether teachers or staff could do that would depend on their employment contract, but that is unlikely any time soon).

From USA Today:

The state of Utah allows teachers to carry concealed guns if they pass a background check and undergo training, a policy that has been in place since 2000. Hawaii does not regulate guns in schools, and New Hampshire bans only students from possessing a firearm on school grounds, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a nonprofit advocacy group.
This year, legislators in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas passed laws that authorize at least one school employee to carry a weapon on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some of the statutes revised existing laws.
Across the country, several schools allow or will be allowing their teachers to carry concealed weapons:
• St. Helens School District, about 25 miles north of Portland, Ore., voted earlier this month to allow teachers at its two elementary, one middle, one high and three alternative schools to carry weapons with a permit on campus, reversing a March decision to prohibit firearms.
• Clarksville School District about 100 miles northwest of Little Rock, Ark., became the first in the state this school year to arm selected teachers with handguns.
• Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District in northeast Ohio voted to allow authorized staff to carry guns on school property starting this school year.
• In Texas, at least 20 school systems — including the Brookesmith, Canadian, Cayuga, Chapel, Christoval, Ganado, Harmony, Hunt, Huntington, Jonesboro, Levelland, Lingleville, Louise, Palmer, Quanah, Shamrock, Union Grove, Van and West Hardin independent school districts — allow teachers to be armed, according to media reports. Harrold Independent School District began its policy in 2008 in response to the Virginia Tech shootings. . . .
There is also the Briggsdale school district in Colorado.

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Newest Fox New piece: New gun rules for Neighborhood Watch volunteers in Sanford, Fla. about race, politics not saving lives

My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:
When lives are on the line, what saves lives -- not politics – should guide policy. 
Gun control advocates used to warn about blood in the streets if we didn’t tighten gun laws, but as concealed handgun permits in the U.S. have doubled from 2007 to now, murder rates have fallen by 18 percent. 
Enter a new strategy: playing the race card, along with claims that allowing people to defend themselves means that whites will hurt blacks. But this strategy ignores the crucial fact that blacks kill over 91 percent of blacks and that whites kill 84 percent of whites. 
Unfortunately, many politicians – from Sanford, Florida to the U.S. Senate – are following a divisive race based strategy. 
Tuesday, George Zimmerman’s hometown, Sanford, Florida, is instituting two changes to its Neighborhood Watch program. 
Residents who are members of the watch will no longer be allowed to carry a permitted concealed handgun with them nor will they be able to follow someone they deem suspicious. . . .
UPDATE: The Sanford Police Chief has issued a clarification about their new policy.  From Fox News:
The police department in the Florida city where Trayvon Martin was killed says that while it recommends that neighborhood watch volunteers not carry weapons, it won't formally prevent volunteers from doing so. 
Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith says the program will better train participants but won't infringe on someone's constitutional right to carry a gun. Smith spoke Tuesday to clarify the agency's policy, days after the department said it would work to ensure volunteers weren't carrying weapons. 
Smith says anyone who carries a gun can still participate in the neighborhood watch program, and no one will be asked if they have a concealed weapons permit. But block captains will be required to sign a waiver saying the city will relinquish liability if they decide to carry a weapon. . . . . 

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Another dishonest Obama claim regarding the number who will lose their policies

The Obama administration claims that only 5 percent of people will lose their health insurance because of Obamacare.  Jay Carney for example claims:
If you are one of the 80 percent of the American people who receive insurance coverage through your employer or through Medicaid or Medicare or the Veterans Administration, this conversation doesn’t apply to you.  These reports do not apply to you.  If you’re one of the 15 percent of the American people who are uninsured entirely right now, this conversation does not apply to you.  So what we’re talking about here is the 5 percent in the country who currently purchase insurance on the individual market. . . .  
So that’s the universe we’re talking about:  5 percent of the population.  And I think it’s important to know that, because in some of the coverage of this issue in the last several days, you would think that you were talking about 75 percent or 80 percent or 60 percent of the American population.  So there’s that. . . .
Christopher Conover at Duke explains Obama's statement depends on a strange way of defining keeping your policy.  You may not have your policy officially canceled, but it isn't the same as keeping your policy.  From the Daily Caller:
If Obamacare is fully implemented, 68 percent of Americans with private health insurance will not be able to keep their plan, according to health care economist Christopher Conover. 
Conover is a research scholar in the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research at Duke University and an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. In an interview with The Daily Caller, he laid out what he estimates the consequences of Obamacare’s implementation will ultimately be. 
“Bottom line: of the 189 million Americans with private health insurance coverage, I estimate that if Obamacare is fully implemented, at least 129 million (68 percent) will not be able to keep their previous health care plan either because they already have lost or will lose that coverage by the end of 2014,” he said in an email. ”But of these, ‘only’ the 18 to 50 million will literally lose coverage, i.e., have their plans entirely taken away. This includes 9.2-15.4 million in the non-group market and 9-35 million in the employer-based market. The rest will retain their old plans but have to pay higher rates for Obamacare-mandated bells and whistles.” . . .
It turns out that even the Obama administration knew about this higher number.  From NBC News:
. . . The law states that policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 will be “grandfathered,” meaning consumers can keep those policies even though they don’t meet requirements of the new health care law. But the Department of Health and Human Services then wrote regulations that narrowed that provision, by saying that if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date -- the deductible, co-pay, or benefits, for example -- the policy would not be grandfathered. 
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. . . . 
UPDATE: Now Obama is doubling down on these dishonest statements.  As Ron Fournier at the National Journal notes: "Lying About Lies: Why Credibility Matters to Obama"
It might not seem possible that President Obama could do more harm to his credibility and the public's faith in government than misleading Americans about health insurance reform. But he can. The president is now misleading the public about his deception. 
In a speech Monday night to his political team, Obama said: "Now, if you have or had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came into law and you really liked that plan, what we said was you can keep it if it hasn't changed since the law passed." 
No, no, no, no, no--that's not what the Obama administration said. . . .

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Reading, PA: "Two alleged robbers shot dead outside Reading corner store"

This might possibly be a concealed carry case.  From The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Two alleged robbers are dead in Reading after what police have described as a "robbery in progress" of a corner store this afternoon, according to authorities. 
A civilian, who was not identified by police, shot and killed the suspects sometime after 3 p.m., a sergeant in criminal investigations at the Reading police department said. He declined to give any details on how the civilian shooter came in contact with the alleged robbers. He also did not identify the suspects. . . .


NSA sues t-shirt maker to stop his parody of government agency

Is the Obama administration's defense is people can't tell that this t-shirt is a parody?  If "Peeping while you're sleeping" and "The only part of the government that actually listens" strike people as serious descriptions of what the agency does, possibly the Obama administration has only itself to blame.

So let's do a test.  Here are the two emblems.  Can you guess which is the real one and which is the parody?  If the Obama administration lawsuit is justified, you should have a hard time figuring out which is which.  Click on pictures to make them larger.


Out for only three weeks and Piers Morgan's book is only ranked at 44,040 on Amazon

How is it possible that someone in the 9 PM time slot on CNN every evening and having done a huge amount of other media can only have his new book at 44,040 rank on Amazon?


Navy Seals ordered to remove "Don't Tread on Me" flag from uniforms because it "is too closely associated with radical (tea party) groups"

This is too much.  A symbol of American military resolve from the beginning of the Republic is being ordered off of military uniforms because of its association with the tea party?  From the Daily Caller:
The Navy Jack is the ‘don’t tread on me’ flag, one that has earned a revered place in America’s naval history and a beloved place in sailor’s hearts, through its use for over two centuries. This symbol of America’s naval ferocity has spanned our country’s entire existence, flying from the masts of the Continental Navy during the war of independence, to today’s War on Terror. In fact, an amendment to the Navy code called SECNAV Instruction 10520.6 clearly states that as of 31 May 2002 all ships are to fly the flag throughout the duration of the War on Terror. . . . 
When a friend of mine asked his leadership the same question, he was told, “The Jack is too closely associated with radical groups.” We must assume that this thought policeman embedded in the SEAL community is speaking of the Tea Party . . . .

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CNN: Insurance Executives are being pressured by White House, threatened with regulatory retaliation

Obama doesn't want the insurance companies to explain that it is Obamacare regulations that are causing people to lose their health insurance coverage.

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Conjugal visits for prisoners?

The Economist magazine has an article stating that many countries have recently introduced conjugal visits for prisoners.  
In September Qatar’s Central Prison unveiled villas for spouses and children to visit married inmates. Turkish prisons introduced them for the first time earlier this year. Authorities in Costa Rica, Israel and Mexico have in recent years allowed them for homosexual inmates. Even Saudi Arabia and Iran have long allowed them for married prisoners. And many Latin American countries allow private visits for unmarried inmates too. . . .
Will the US Supreme Court start looking to foreign countries for guidance on this point?  Apparently, five American states also allow these visits.  The claimed benefit is that it makes it easier to control prisoners.  But what doesn't get discussed is that this might make prison less of a punishment and thus reduce deterrence.  What is the net effect?  I don't know.  But it seems something that should be discussed.  Some argue that criminal predisposition is genetic so there is also the issue of whether certain types of people, particularly those with long violent criminal histories, should have kids.

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Cash for clunkers didn't help economy or improve environment, just made us poorer

This study sees to ignore the fact that "Cash for Clunkers" made the country poorer by destroying perfectly good cars, but it at least makes two other useful points.  From Fox News:
In fact, the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) known as Cash for Clunkers, did little to help the environment and was “far more expensive per job created than alternative fiscal stimulus programs,” according to new research led by Ted Gayer and Emily Parker of Brookings. . . . 
“The existing evidence also suggests that these sales were pulled forward from sales that would have occurred otherwise in the future,” Gayer and Parker said. “Ten months after the end of the program, the cumulative purchases from July 2009 to June 2010 were nearly the same, showing little lasting effect.” 
Americans traded in 700,000 “clunkers” between July 1 and Aug. 24, 2009, according to Brookings. . . . 
The environmental gains made through the program weren’t all that impressive either, according to the study. . . . 
Total emissions reduction was not “substantial” because “only about half a percent of all vehicles in the United States were the new, more energy-efficient CARS vehicles.” . . .
On this last point, suppose that fuel economy increased by 25 percent for these new cars and that the program did have an impact on cumulative purchases, the impact would be about 0.1% on energy use.  Now recognize that it cost energy to produce those new cars and to destroy the old ones and the benefit is some tiny fraction of 0.1%.

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Obama warned about problems with Obamacare launch back in May 2010, but he didn't move to fix it

A Democratic president must know that his competency is in question when even Jimmy Carter is questioning it.  When asked "how he would evaluate the Obama presidency so far," Carter apparently told Parade magazine this week: “He’s done the best he could under the circumstances. His major accomplishment was Obamacare, and the implementation of it now is questionable at best.”

Meanwhile it has come out that the Obama administration went forward with the launch of Obamacare even though they knew it was in trouble.  Well, apparently, the Obama administration knew from the time the law was based that there would be these problems and despite a three year lead they didn't fix these problems.  The irony is that Obama administration officials kept asking for private sector oversight to make sure that things worked, but Obama said "no."  From the Washington Post:
In May 2010, two months after the Affordable Care Act squeaked through Congress, President Obama’s top economic aides were getting worried. Larry Summers, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, and Peter Orzag, head of the Office of Management and Budget, had just received a pointed four-page memo from a trusted outside health adviser. It warned that no one in the administration was “up to the task” of overseeing the construction of an insurance exchange and other intricacies of translating the 2,000-page statute into reality. 
Summers, Orzag and their staffs agreed. For weeks that spring, a tug of war played out inside the White House, according to five people familiar with the episode. On one side, members of the economic team and Obama health-care adviser Zeke Emanuel lobbied for the president to appoint an outside health reform “czar” with expertise in business, insurance and technology. On the other, the president’s top health aides — who had shepherded the legislation through its tortuous path on Capitol Hill and knew its every detail — argued that they could handle the job. 
In the end, the economic team never had a chance: The president had already made up his mind, according to a White House official who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to be candid. . . . .


With weekly meetings, Obama administration gearing up for big gun control push to coincide with Newtown anniversary

Newtown might not be planning any town wide events to mark the shooting tragedy last December 14th. but the Obama administration and gun control groups are still planning enough.  From the Associated Press:
The leader of the board that governs Newtown, Conn., says it will not host any townwide events to mark the anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 
First Selectman Pat Llodra says the community is choosing to remember and honor the victims in ways that are "quiet, personal and respectful." . . .
Information on the Obama administration plans is available from Politico:
Officials from the White House Office of Public Engagement, which reports to senior Obama aide Valerie Jarrett, are now carrying the administration’s gun control efforts. OPE officials hold a regular meeting with the major gun control groups known as the Gun Violence Table.   
The weekly sessions often include OPE Director Paulette Aniskoff or official Paul Monteiro along with representatives from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action, the Center for American Progress, Organizing for Action and Americans for Responsible Solutions. 
The groups are coordinating a November lobbying effort and planning events to commemorate the first anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., massacre last December. . . .
As I have written about before, the White House is apparently still deeply involved in the push for gun control at the state level.
“What’s happening now is a necessary and appropriate drilling down into states both to push the ball forward at the state level,” said Arkadi Gerney of the Center for American Progress, who participates in the sessions. “Also, that’s the best way to move the ball forward at the federal level.” . . .
The coordinated events include a nationwide bus tour sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Bloomberg-funded effort, a series of Americans for Responsible Solutions stops by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, and some 200 local Organizing for Action events in August. . . .
The article also had information on the exact timing of the federal push is discussed here:
The groups and the White House are considering events pegged to Dec. 14, the anniversary of the Newtown shooting, which launched Obama’s gun control push. The Brady Campaign is planning four days of events the second week of November, including what its president, Dan Gross, called the largest gun control lobbying day ever at the Capitol and a day of speeches from prominent officials at the Mayflower Hotel. 
Gross said the Brady Campaign also is planning to commemorate Nov. 30, the 20th anniversary of former President Bill Clinton signing legislation that required background checks for commercial gun sales. That event, Gross said, will remind gun control supporters that it took seven votes over six years to become law. . . . 
The rest of the article mentions that while Biden is still involved publicly with the gun control issue, he is not participating in the weekly White House meetings.

Piers Morgan viciously attacked Alan Gottlieb for his "guns save lives" day, but any guesses whether Morgan will attack gun control advocates for their own push for gun control on that day?

Meanwhile, a "news" article in the New York Daily News makes this point:
The heartless gun nuts who hoped to make the anniversary of the Newtown massacre “Guns Save Lives Day” have changed their callous plan. 
The rallies, organized by the Washington state-based Second Amendment Foundation, will now be held one day later, on Dec. 15, which happens to be Bill of Rights Day. 
“We will not politicize the day, and we hope (gun-control advocates) will not politicize and push their anti-civil rights agenda on the 14th,” the group’s founder and executive vice president, Alan Gottlieb, told the New Haven Register.
“We’re going to show that we are sensitive.” . . . .
I have checked this author's other articles and they seems like pretty straightforward news stories. 

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