"March to Save our Care" Surrounds Capitol   
Activists and supporters of Planned Parenthood marched around the capitol Wednesday evening in defiance against a senate GOP healthcare bill that would strip many of the provisions of Obamacare. They say these changes will particularly hurt women and poor people. Donald Trump's administration supports the plan.
          E&E TV Clean Water Rule   

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CLEAN WATER RULE:
Former Obama EPA counsel Shenkman talks WOTUS repeal
OnPoint: Friday, June 30, 2017
This week, the Trump administration released a proposed rule that would repeal the Clean Water Rule, known as WOTUS. What are the next steps that this proposal triggers, and how is the legal landscape for the rule shaping up? During today's OnPoint, Ethan Shenkman — a partner at Arnold & Porter, the former deputy general counsel at U.S. EPA and, prior to that, deputy assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division — explains how EPA might handle a new rule and what the repeal means for the business community.
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CLIMATE:
Former EPA official McCabe talks Trump moves on budget, power plan, ozone and Paris
OnPoint: Wednesday, June 14, 2017
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SUPREME COURT:
Dawson & Associates' Liebesman says WOTUS move could have big impacts on Trump agenda
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Former EPA official Perciasepe talks 'We Are Still In' coalition, business response to Paris exit
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          Comment on Sae Sae, Hostel di Jogja yang Jadi Langganan Turis by Ini Dia Hotel Pilihan Obama Untuk Menginap di Yogyakarta. Tarifnya 30 Juta Semalam – Traveling Yuk   
[…] dari publik dengan alasan keamanan. Ada beragam akomodasi di daerah ini, dari yang unik seperti Sae Sae, atau vila lucu menggemaskan seperti Rumah Unyu. Dari sekian banyak yang diajukan, akhirnya Ketua […]
          Comment on Thiwul, Kuliner Tradisional yang Sekarang Jadi Kekinian by Ini Dia Hotel Pilihan Obama Untuk Menginap di Yogyakarta. Tarifnya 30 Juta Semalam – Traveling Yuk   
[…] berkali-kali adalah Mie Lethek, yang memang khas daerah Bantul. Wah, kira-kira sempat mampir beli Thiwul Ayu Mbok Sum untuk oleh-oleh atau tidak, […]
          Comment on Hotel Kapsul di Jogja, Cocok Buat Kalian yang Berbudget Minim by Ini Dia Hotel Pilihan Obama Untuk Menginap di Yogyakarta. Tarifnya 30 Juta Semalam – Traveling Yuk   
[…] Sudah sejak bulan Ramadan kemarin, desas-desus tentang kedatangan mantan Presiden Amerika Serikat, Obama yang akan mengajak keluarga untuk liburan ke Indonesia sudah menjadi berita hangat. Dikabarkan bahwa Barack Obama datang atas undangan Jokowi untuk berlibur sembari menghadiri Kongres Diaspora Indonesia ke-4 pada 1 Juli 2017 di Jakarta kemarin untuk menyampaikan pidato kunci. Selain Ibukota, ternyata beliau juga berkunjung ke Bali dan Jogja. Ini dia hotel pilihan selama tinggal di Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta. […]
          A Message to Colorado from President Obama   
Legalized pot has been a bit “hit” in Colorado so far. Here’s something I wonder about: If we, as El Pasoans, have to go through a potentially invasive search when we want to leave our city ( Border Patrol Checkpoints) will people leaving Colorado be similarly inconvenienced? If not, why? Is drug smuggling only bad if it comes from the border? Continue reading…
          China Completes Construction Of New Missile Shelters On Disputed South China Sea Islands   

Trump's "up and down" relationship with China may be on the precipice of taking a sharp dive into the proverbial abyss.  After frequently threatening to label China a "currency manipulator" on the campaign trail last year, Trump's relationship with China's President Xi Jinping took a decided turn for the better after a meeting at Mar-a-Lago in which China vowed to help address the "menace of North Korea" .

But apparently those efforts have officially failed:

 

And, shortly after those efforts were declared dead, the Trump administration signed a $1.3 billion arms deal with Taiwan, a deal which China has "demanded" be cancelled immediately.

Meanwhile, as the Financial Times points out today, in the midst of all the international crises, China has made great strides building out and further militarizing their disputed islands in the South China Sea.

Over the past three months, China has built four new missile shelters on Fiery Cross, boosting the number of installations on the reef to 12, according to satellite images provided to the Financial Times by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

 

China has also expanded radar facilities on Fiery Cross and two other disputed reefs — Subi and Mischief — in the Spratly Island chain, and started building underground structures that Greg Poling, director of CSIS’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, assesses will be used to store munitions.

 

“We haven’t seen any slowdown in construction, including since the Mar-a-Lago summit,” said Mr Poling. “The islands are built and they are clearly militarised, which means they already got over the hard part. Now every time they put in a new radar or new missile shelter, it is harder for the world to get angry. They are building a gun, they are just not putting the bullets in yet.”

 

The advances underscore how much progress China has made towards militarizing the man-made islands in ways that significantly enhance its ability to both monitor activity in the South China Sea and to project power in the western Pacific where the US has been the dominant power in the seven decades since the second world war.

Euan Graham, an Asia expert at the Lowy Institute in Sydney, said it was “not quite game over in the South China Sea” but that China had fundamentally altered the status quo over the islands that would be hard to change barring war or natural disasters.

 

“They already exert a strategic effect by projecting China’s presence much further out,” said Mr Graham. “They will not prevent the US Navy from operating in their vicinity, but they will complicate the threat environment for US ships and aircraft — by extending the [Chinese navy’s] surveillance and targeting net, as well as the envelope of power projection.”

 

Of course, these latest provocations come despite a promise made to Obama in 2015 that "China would not militarize the man-made islands"...a promise which the Obama administration apparently took at face value and proceeded to bury their heads in the sand.

During a visit to Washington, Mr Xi told Barack Obama in 2015 that China would not militarise the man-made islands, but in the intervening 20 months Beijing has stepped up construction, and now has runways that can accommodate Chinese fighter jets.

 

China’s legal claim to the seas around the maritime features is legally controversial since many were dredged out of coral and sand and thus not entitled to status as islands. But Vasily Kashin, an expert on the Chinese military at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, said the goal was never legal sovereignty but to give China forward bases from which it could patrol and exercise control in their vicinity.

 

“If you have this infrastructure in the Spratlys, it allows China to constantly monitor aircraft and ships in the South China Sea. The point is that no one will be able to do anything in the area without them seeing.”

 

Ely Ratner, an Asia expert who served in the Obama administration, said Washington had failed to craft a strategy to convince China to halt militarisation of the man-made islands. “Until China believes that there will be significant costs . . . I don’t think they have any reason to slow down,” said Mr Ratner. “They have been pushing on an open door and have been surprised at how little resistance they have faced.”

 

Critics say the Obama administration took too cautious an approach to avoid creating tensions that would hurt the ability for co-operation on other issues. Meanwhile, some experts say the Trump team has given China a relatively free pass to maximise the chances it will boost pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear programme.

Somehow we suspect the Trump administration will end up being slightly less "accommodating" over the long term...


          Comment on "Trump Administration: Making America Great Again by Simply Not Rushing to Implement the Late Obama Age Collapse" by Steve Sailer   
That's an interesting, if depressing, insight into what's happening in Germany. Most of it is news to me. You know you're in deep trouble when even the UN thinks your laws are crazy.
          Comment on "Trump Administration: Making America Great Again by Simply Not Rushing to Implement the Late Obama Age Collapse" by Steve Sailer   
Good point--it's possible the affirmative action took place during the hiring stage and not the educational stage. Speaking from personal experience--those not in the know sometimes think that affirmative action is a one time thing that happens during undergrad and then after that the professional schools and later hiring organizations apply objective standards. Nope! It's...
          Comment on "Trump Administration: Making America Great Again by Simply Not Rushing to Implement the Late Obama Age Collapse" by Steve Sailer   
I'm not so sure about the decades part, history is full of sudden tipping points where that solid looking ship of state seems to be merely taking on some water before it abruptly capsizes. I don't remember who it was when asked how he went bankrupt replied "slowly at first, then all at once".
          Comment on "Trump Administration: Making America Great Again by Simply Not Rushing to Implement the Late Obama Age Collapse" by Steve Sailer   
There's a story of an MI6 spy, an American citizen and therefore a neutral, walking into a German police station in 1941. The only photo of a Nazi on the wall was of Rudolf Hess, even though he had already made his famous flight to Scotland. The American asked why. "Because he's the only sane...
          Comment on "Trump Administration: Making America Great Again by Simply Not Rushing to Implement the Late Obama Age Collapse" by Steve Sailer   
Simple song, I searched for info on Henry Bello, but came up empty on the question of where he was educated and got his medical degree.
          Comment on "Trump Administration: Making America Great Again by Simply Not Rushing to Implement the Late Obama Age Collapse" by Steve Sailer   
I've just finished reading While Berlin Burns by Hans-Georg von Studnitz. In the midst of total catastrophe the German people simply kept on about their daily tasks, continuing to obey "orders" from authority, from the Führer right down to the lowliest post office clerk. Only unconditional surrender put an end to what would soon have...
          Are Democrats Thinking Their Way Out of Victory?   

Would you mind if Democrats learned to be mindless?

Nevada Democrats do seem to have their acts together. They kept their heads in 2016 when everyone around them was losing theirs, and accomplished a good deal of what they wanted at the 2017 legislature. And 2018 seems to be coming into focus.…

Representative Jacky Rosen will run for the Senate after only a few months in Congress, and the Democrat could face a serious primary challenge. Whoever wins faces a vulnerable Republican, Dean Heller, the only GOP Senator up for reelection in a state Hillary Clinton carried. Heller has managed to defend the Republican lack of transparency on health care legislation after falsely claiming Democrats did much the same thing on Obamacare. He also said both yes and no on how he’s going to vote on the un-Christian and anti-life bill his white male colleagues generated without a woman or person of color being involved before finally saying he wouldn’t vote for the bill in its current form with Governor Brian Sandoval standing next to him—because Heller is not only bipartisan, but brave.

County Commissioner Steve Sisolak has declared his candidacy for governor. He may face a Democratic primary—his commission colleague Chris Giunchigliani is making noises (this could make the commission meetings must-see-TV). The winner of that contest will face Adam Laxalt, grandson of a major Nevada political figure. He’s also the hirer of outside lawyers who charge the state hundreds of thousands of dollars to do legal work that Laxalt’s people would be able to do if they were members of the Nevada bar, and he is a defender of Sheldon Adelson’s interests to the point that a Gaming Control Board chairman who’s never had the whiff of a taint of a sniff of a scandal attached to him decided he’d better record a conversation with Laxalt.


Democrats think when they should act, and Republicans act when they should think.


These campaigns will unfold with Trump registering the lowest approval ratings of any president at this point in an administration since polling was done with an abacus. But Republicans have won each special election so far, so why not think it can continue?

Well, let’s be fair. In each election, the Democratic candidate did far better than she or he normally would. In Georgia and South Carolina, in blood-red districts, the Democratic House candidate came within three points of the Republican.

But Republicans still won, and the reason is simple. To quote Charlie Pierce, America’s best political blogger (well, my favorite, anyway): “Through decades of constant and unrelenting pressure, and through finagling with the franchise in a hundred ways in a thousand places, the Republicans have compressed the votes they need into an unmovable, diamond-hard core that will vote in robotic lockstep for whoever it is that wins a Republican primary. In American politics today, mindlessness is one of the strongest weapons you can have. Republicans vote for Republicans in Republican districts.”

That Democrats lack mindlessness can be proved even without referring to certain lefties in 2016. Consider the response to recent Democratic defeats from D. Taylor, the Unite Here leader who was the driving force behind the Culinary in Las Vegas for so many years. Besides properly attacking the president, the speaker, the Senate majority leader and the GOP congressional caucus, he declared, “Hope is not a strategy and ‘resisting’ is not a plan. The Democratic Party is out of excuses on its electoral performances.… In red states or blue states, Democrats should be able to compete—and win.”

As Pierce shows, some of that point is debatable, but then we recall his union didn’t do all it could in 2014, out of displeasure with some provisions of Obamacare and the lack of movement on immigration reform. The Culinary Union was being mindful when it needed to be mindless.

Heller is in the Senate because in 2012, Shelley Berkley ran 85,000 votes behind Barack Obama while Heller ran 26,000 ahead of Mitt Romney. She won Clark County by 60,000 while Obama took it by 100,000. Obama carried Washoe County by 7,000, Heller by 20,000. Both large counties bear some credit or blame, depending on your political views.

Berkley faced attacks over ethics, but also Washoe choosing the northerner over the southerner, regardless of party. Did Democrats ask themselves who would most strongly support Obama, or was more “acceptable”? A minimal number of Republicans ask those questions. If more did, we might have a more mindful president.

Laxalt’s grandfather ran smart campaigns. But he won his first statewide race, for lieutenant governor, when Democrats refused to unite behind his opponent because of previous political battles. They were mindful when they should have been mindless, and have paid for it ever since.

And thereby hangs the tale. Democrats think when they should act, and Republicans act when they should think. If Democrats don’t want Senator Heller and Governor Laxalt, they need to grasp that distinction.

Michael Green is an associate professor of history at UNLV

The post Are Democrats Thinking Their Way Out of Victory? appeared first on Vegas Seven.


          Re: What are your health insurance stats?   
GraduateStudent wrote:
mhalley wrote:This will be all over the map as it depends on your zip code and your company, and of course employment. I pay $2008 a month as a retiree at age 62 for me and the wife for a 7k deductable non hsa plan. :oops:


Interesting that zip code matters.... where do you live?


Obamacare premiums vary enormously by geography. Even two adjacent counties can have premium differences of more than 30%. At the state to state level, the differences can be several times. I think it's due to different state regulations as well as the number of companies serving the area, as that determines the amount of market competition.

Interestingly, some of the highest cost of living states, such as Massachusetts, have some of the lowest premiums, and some of the lowest cost of living states, such as Wyoming, have some of the highest premiums.
          Zumba Before And After Picutures   
Democratic Transition in Tunisia

"Tunisia is between radical and authoritarian democracy"
EROS BY SANA (January 31, 2011)

Source: http://www.bastamag .net/article1401.html

How to build the democratic transition in Tunisia? Vincent Geisser, a researcher at the Institute for Research and Studies on the Arab and Muslim world, analyzes the role played by different actors in Tunisia - political opponents, former regime of Ben Ali, "Islamist" party, army, police - and foreign powers. It describes possible scenarios of democratic consolidation in the coming weeks. Maintenance.

Basta! : Where is the revolution in Tunisia? What are the strategies of the opposing forces to build the "transition Democratic?

Vincent Geisser [1]: The "democrats" Tunisians who supported and accompanied the revolution are deeply divided over the future of the protest movement. There are those who feel the need to strengthen the nascent democracy by putting a definitive end to the protest process. They are supporters of a certain security standards, based on a historic compromise between the "doves" of the former regime, opponents and independent representatives UGTT single union (the General Union of Tunisian Workers). They want to consolidate the democratic transition, including by dealing with the army and the party more "healthy" of the security apparatus, as well as some former bosses of the regime known for their "openness." This is the position advocated by Najib Chebbi (Democratic Progressive Party), former opponent in Ben Ali, currently Minister of the transitional government.

Others want to eradicate all traces of the old regime and the party-state, and reject any compromise. This is where supporters of Marzouki (Congress for the Republic) and members of the Communist Party of Tunisian Workers (POCT). And of course leaders movement of "unemployed graduates" of the interior. They wish to push through the "democratic revolution" to give birth to a new political, economic and social development. Both camps have no real difference in political culture, they are animated by democratic ideals. What separates them fundamentally, the strategy of rupture and especially the "democracy agenda".

What remains of the old regime?


There is some disappointment today protesting actors, quite understandable - I think particularly young people "unemployed graduates". But there is no objective risk of returning to the old regime or system restore mafia. A break has occurred. The dictator is gone. This is a crucial element when it is known that while Tunisia was around him, with extreme personalization of power. mafia clans and profiteers - families Ben Ali, Trabelsi and others - have fled. Darkest segments of the security apparatus were largely dismantled.

If we can legitimately understand the disappointment of " radical democrats, "as Marzouki, Hammami, Nasraoui, and unemployed graduates who feel that their revolution was stolen, the former regime is ousted. We are in a transition phase. But this transition can lead to a regime that bastard would an independent candidate access to presidential power, with new elements but also with elements of the old regime. This will lead to reinforce a kind of "authoritarian democracy" or "democratic authoritarianism".

What role did the Tunisian army played in the revolution and what role can it play in the future?

The army has been in recent weeks a fundamental role, not supporting the plan of repression of Ben Ali. She clearly rejected the extreme policies of the supreme leader, and instead played a protective role players protesters. The reason? The army is not connected with the mafia and clan interests of power. Unlike Egypt, Syria or even Algeria, Tunisia army has no direct interest in industry or in the management of oil revenues. It is an army of about 35,000 men, composed of employees, officials, technicians and engineers.

should not be provided to paint a romantic portrait. The Tunisian army played a repressive role in 1978 to channel the social movements, and in 1981 and 1984 to quell the "bread riots". This time, she refused the role because the sources of legitimacy of the regime were exhausted. Ben Ali was discredited, corruption was widespread. Faced with this stalemate, the military has understood that the only solution was to replace the dictator.

This reaction - some would say "Republican" - is primarily dictated by pragmatic: generals and senior officers are convinced that a crackdown could lead to chaos and their own demise. As the "political fluidity" present, the Tunisian army can play a more important role in the constitutional process and the "pacification" social, oscillating between registry and registry security mediation with the forces of the country.

"security apparatus" Tunisia is it still present and operational?

France has 60 million inhabitants, Tunisia 9 million. Yet both countries have almost the same number of police officers: 135.000. is huge! Tunisia is one of the countries with the most police per capita. The security apparatus, through the Ministry of Interior is fully engaged in repression. Part of the police fired into the crowd with live ammunition. It is the security apparatus of Ben Ali who is responsible for nearly 70 deaths officially deplored and thousands injured. But the whole apparatus police is not corrupt: the "rotten" mafia of the security apparatus was largely dismantled.

There is more to fear from areas of the Department of the Interior directly to the clans and Ben Ali Trabelsi. They are currently in hiding. I do not believe in a return of "old demons" even if the future Tunisian democracy can deal with safety trends similar to those we see now in France with Nicolas Sarkozy. In this sense there is a danger of creating in Tunisia in the coming months an "authoritarian democracy".

What role can the "Islamists" in the democratic process?


The "Islamists" Tunisians have long been integrated into "democratic forums." They are "fundamentalists embedded" in the democratic debate in exile. They participated in Paris, London, Marseille numerous opposition rallies, alongside the left, communist, socialist, even anti-Islamic. Many leaders of the left Tunisian 'secular' leaders have frequently met with "Islamists". In many ways the 'fundamentalists' are already integrated into the political game of Tunisia.

For the party Ennahdha (Renaissance) Rached Ghannouchi, the model is not radical Islam or Islamism Salafi Saudi-style, but the AKP, which currently leads Turkey. This means accepting the parliamentary game and advocating economic liberalism tinged social, and especially a certain pragmatism with other Democrats. There is a huge myth about "Islamists" of Tunisia. The party Ennahdha is more of a liberal conservative party, which is not at all in a process of creating an Islamic state or Islamic theocracy. The Islamists classic "Tunisians are now looking to Ankara, they did nothing" green fascists. " How

react today Western countries and Arab neighbors?


The United States has played a leading role in the departure of Ben Ali.
support President Barack Obama to the social movement, even if he was shy, was much sharper than that of France. Beyond this symbolic support, it would seem that the Obama administration has given its support to the Tunisian army and "doves" of the regime (Mohamed Ghannouchi, Prime Minister and Kamel Morjane, the Minister of Foreign Affairs) to sacrifice Ben Ali. It is clear that the United States supported the transition scenario.

Regarding the Arab countries, we can really worry that some plans make every effort to derail the democratic process in Tunisia. Saudi Arabia, Libya, Algeria has no interest in a democracy can arise in the Arab world. A "loose coalition" of Arab dictators could be to sabotage or disrupt the democratic process in Tunisia.

Support from U.S., EU and France to Tunisian Democrats is essential. Either you play the card of democracy in the Arab world or, rather, play an ambiguous role and promotes the perverse game of Saudi Wahhabis, the megalomaniac dictatorship of the regime of Gaddafi and Algerian generals. In this case, we should not complain about the progress of the Salafist jihadist ideology!

How Does France have made such errors of analysis on the situation of Tunisia?

The official position of France was not based on an error analysis, but on a political logic of total and blind support for Ben Ali regime. Interpret the statements of Michele Alliot-Marie as a political mistake is wrong. This is not a political mistake, this is a failing policy. France has always supported authoritarian regimes . She believes that one does diplomacy in relations between States and civil societies are not important.

The United States have both supported Ben Ali and developed concrete relations with unions and all the dissidents of the regime. In contrast, France has always prohibited its diplomacy to have any contact with everything that could affect the quality of its relations with Ben Ali. This blindness is the logic of French policy towards the Arab world: "We support dictators against the risks of destabilization! It seems that France has included a number of mistakes. Hopefully it reorients its policy towards Tunisia openly supporting the democratic process.

What are the possible scenarios in the weeks and months ahead?

Tunisia has a choice between two options. Either authoritarian democratic consolidation that would lead the country until elections, with a broad coalition around an opponent as independent Nejib Chebbi (PDP), with some elements of former regime elements and the trade union left. In this case, the elections will certainly be "democratic" (at least in appearance), but the scenario is first "programmed" the government candidate will have particular ways superior to those of its opponents. This scenario of "managed democracy" is intended to protect Western interests and pursue the integration of Tunisia in the "world economy" in the footsteps of the Bank World Bank and the IMF. A scenario where the candidate would be a sort of "Tunisian Ouattara.

Another assumption: the pressure of the street continues or increases and pushes the government to resign or to go much further, with the dissolution of the party of Ben Ali (RCD), the establishment of a genuine process with the constitutional election of a constituent assembly. Total semi-democracy or democracy? Radical break with the old regime or consolidation autoritaro-democratic? This is how I would put the political future of Tunisia. A future which, in all cases, will be without Ben Ali.

Interview by Eros Sana



Notes [1] Vincent Geisser is a sociologist and researcher at the CNRS and the Institute for Research and Studies on the Arab and Muslim world (IREMAM). He is author, with Marzouki, dictators on borrowed time. A democratic path in the Arab world, editions of L'Atelier, 2009.

          Obama Celebrates Diversity, Discusses Daily News Cycle and ‘Absence of American Leadership’ in Indonesian Speech (Video)   

“What I Was Worried About Was, ‘What are They Going to Write About me in 20 Years?’”


          Trump rompe con la tradición al no reconocer el mes del Orgullo LGTBI    

WASHINGTON. El Gobierno del presidente de Estados Unidos, Donald Trump, ha roto con la tradición de reconocer oficialmente el mes de junio como el Mes del Orgullo LGTBI, pese a que algunos miembros de su gabinete sí tuvieron palabras de distinción al respecto.

El expresidente Bill Clinton (1993-2001) fue el primero en declarar junio como el mes del Orgullo LGTBI, pero la tradición no continuó bajo el expresidente George W. Bush (2001-2009), algo que sí retomó sin embargo la Casa Blanca de Barack Obama.

El secretario de Estado, Rex Tillerson, reconoció el mes del Orgullo Gay una semana después de su comienzo, condenando “la violencia y la discriminación” contra la comunidad LGTBI en el extranjero.

“En reconocimiento del Mes LGTBI, el Departamento de Estado afirma su solidaridad con los defensores de derechos humanos y las organizaciones de la sociedad civil que trabajan alrededor del mundo para mantener las libertades fundamentales de las personas lesbianas, gais, bisexuales, transgénero e intersexuales (LGBTI) para que puedan vivir con dignidad y libertad”, apuntó el Departamento de Estado en un comunicado.

Asimismo, la hija del mandatario, Ivanka Trump, destacó la celebración apenas comenzó el mes.

“Este mes celebramos y honramos a la comunidad #LGBTQ”, escribió ella el 1 de junio.

El silencio del magnate sorprende en parte, ya que durante la campaña electoral defendió algunos derechos de los homosexuales.

El pasado mes de octubre, posó con una bandera arco iris en Colorado y en julio prometió a una multitud, en su mayoría conservadora, que “haría todo” lo que estuviera en su mano “para proteger a los ciudadanos LGBTQ de la violencia y la opresión de la odiosa ideología extranjera”.


          On Conference Call, Conservative Leaders Demand Full Repeal of Obamacare   
(CNSNews.com) – During a conference call on Friday, conservative leaders from organizations including the Tea Party Patriots, Club for Growth, and ForAmerica, as well as former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), demanded that Republicans in Congress completely repeal the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. “It is important to remember that our current situationContinue reading
          The State of American Federalism 2016–2017: Policy Reversals and Partisan Perspectives on Intergovernmental Relations   
Abstract
Unified Republican Party control of the federal government after the 2016 election brought a reversal of several Obama administration policies, especially those adopted via executive and administrative action in areas such as immigration, energy, the environment, and LGBT rights. The 2016 election also prompted a reversal of partisan perspectives with respect to federal-state relations, as Republicans in Washington moved to preempt state discretion in various areas, whereas Democrats in state capitols challenged the legality of presidential actions and resisted federal efforts to constrain state and local discretion. In this essay, we discuss these themes through an analysis of developments in 2016 and early 2017 regarding health care, immigration, education, marijuana, and energy and environmental policy. We also consider key U.S. Supreme Court decisions affecting the contours of state policymaking.

          La NRA et sa pub proche de l’appel à la guerre civile   
La National Rifle Association a perdu sa bête noire, Barack Obama, dont ses membres et les bons citoyens américains devaient se méfier en raison de son intention secrète de leur arracher leurs armes à feu. Qu’à cela ne tienne, l’influent ...
          Texas regulators weigh in on proposed greenhouse gas rules   
President Obama instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to revise greenhouse gas limits for existing power plants. The suggested changes are to be proposed by June 2015, and Texas regulators have already weighed in according to The Texas Tribune .
          Trump to Senate Republicans: kill Obamacare now, replace later   
U.S. President Donald Trump listens as South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivers a statement from
          Will Repealing Obamacare Kill People? | Manhattan Institute   
Source: Will Repealing Obamacare Kill People? | Manhattan Institute ABSTRACT The best statistical es
          Obama Laments ‘Absence of American Leadership’ Under President Donald Trump   

Former President Barack Obama challenged President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate agreement, describing it as the “absence of American leadership.”
          Phones for Dead People: GAO Report Uncovers Massive Fraud in ‘Obamaphone’ Program   

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reveals that the infamous “Obamaphone” program, meant to provide low-income Americans phone and internet service, is riddled with waste, fraud, and abuse.
          Pro-Life Provisions in Obamacare Repeal Bill ‘Non-Negotiable’ for Many Republicans   

Many conservative leaders say whatever form the Republican bill to repeal and/or replace Obamacare takes, it must contain provisions to protect the unborn and get taxpayers out from having to fund Planned Parenthood.
          ICE Director Warns: No Illegals Should ‘Feel Comfortable’   
Dreamer ArrestedICE Director Thomas Homan said at a White House press briefing that no illegal immigrant in this country should "be comfortable" about being here.
          House Speaker Welcomes Resignation Of National Security Adviser Flynn   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: Michael Flynn has resigned as national security adviser, but many questions remain, like, what did White House officials know of Flynn's contacts with Russia, and when did they know about them? The most likely place to get some answers in public is on Capitol Hill. NPR's Ailsa Chang reports Democrats and Republicans want a complete investigation. AILSA CHANG, BYLINE: Look; Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina says he gets it. This isn't a time to get partisan. He urged his GOP colleagues to consider if the shoe were on the other foot. LINDSEY GRAHAM: Now, I can only imagine what Republicans would say if the Obama administration had reached out to Iran or Iraq or any other government to say, just be patient; we're going to change some policies of the Bush administration. We would all be pretty upset. CHANG: And Graham says there are now two central questions lawmakers need answered about Flynn's conversations with the
          Senate Takes First Step To Repeal Obamacare — So What's Next?   
At about 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, Republicans moved one step closer to repealing a law they have railed against since the moment it was passed nearly seven years ago. By a final vote of 51-48, the Senate approved a budget resolution that sets the stage for broad swaths of the Affordable Care Act to be repealed through a process known as budget reconciliation. The resolution now goes to the House, where leaders are hoping to approve it by the end of the week. The powerful tool sets up a fast track for repealing large parts of Barack Obama's major domestic achievement; the best guess is that the Senate is still several weeks away from largely repealing Obamacare. But as the process continues, large questions still loom over how — and when – Republicans will replace the health care law. An expedited repeal, starting with a vote-a-rama The vote took place during a session known as a "vote-a-rama." These all-night vote-fests happen surrounding budget resolutions, which allow senators to
          Almanya’da konuşturulmayan Erdoğan’a tahmin bile edemeyeceği bir Alman’dan destek   
Türkiye ziyaretine izin verilmeyen Alman Meclisi Başkan Yardımcısı Roth, Cumhurbaşkanı Erdoğan’a Almanya’da etkinlik yasağını eleştirdi. Roth, “Farkımız bu biz hukuk devletiyiz, ifade özgürlüğü geçerli” dedi. Orijinal haber kaynağı için; Samanyoluhaber İlgili haberler:27 Haziran 2016 Almanya’da Erdoğan’a Suç Duyurusu30 Mart 2016 Almanya’da Erdoğan’a basın özgürlüğü tepkisi17 Haziran 2012 Almanya’da Obama’ya Destek Sürüyor25 Şubat 2011 Yüksel: “Hem […]
          Fidel Castro blasts Obama's Cuba visit   

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro spoke critically Monday of US President Barack Obama's historic trip to communist Cuba last week in his first comments about the groundbreaking visit.


          Only rock and roll? Rolling Stones make history at Havana concert   

It's been a big week for Cuba. First US President Barack Obama makes a historic visit, then the Rolling Stones play a gig in Havana that Cuban rock 'n' rollers thought they'd never see. Mick Jagger tells the crowd in Havana: "The times are changing."


          Obama: US will do "whatever is necessary" to support Belgium   

US President Barack Obama vows the US will do "whatever is necessary to support our friend and ally Belgium," in the wake of terrorist attacks in Brussels.


          Obama, Castro talk US-Cuban trade embargo, human rights   

US President Barack Obama declared a "new day" between the United States and Cuba following talks with Cuban President Raul Castro at which the Cuban leader repeated his call for the end to the decades-long US trade embargo against the communist island nation.


          "What political prisoners?" Castro refutes challenge beside Obama   

Cuba has traditionally denied having any political prisoners. In a rare press conference during which he stood alongside US President Barack Obama, Cuban leader Raul Castro turned the question around: "What political prisoners?"


          Obama: "It's a new day" in US-Cuban relations   

US President Barack Obama says a visit by a US president to Cuba would have been "unthinkable" for decades, but declares "it's a new day" in relations between the countries.


          "Que bola Cuba?" Obama asks upon arriving in Cuba for historic visit   

US President Barack Obama met with US embassy employees in Havana and took a walking tour of historic old Havana after arriving Sunday in Cuba to start a three-day visit that culminates a process of a rapprochement between the United States and Cuba.


          Obama arrives in Havana for trip to further rebuild ties with Cuba   

US President Barack Obama arrived Sunday in Havana to start a three-day visit to Cuba, a historic trip culminating a process of a rapprochement that began more than a year ago.


          Democrats, moderate Republicans continue to mislead on Medicaid ‘cuts.’ Here are the facts   
As Senate Republicans continue to push their plan to replace the Obama-era Affordable Care Act, a new hurdle has emerged as one of the primary…
          In blocking a bad single-payer healthcare bill, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon was not 'cowardly' – quite the ... - Los Angeles Times   

Los Angeles Times

In blocking a bad single-payer healthcare bill, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon was not 'cowardly' – quite the ...
Los Angeles Times
Many Democrats would have lost politically regardless of how they sided on this pipe dream — angering taxpayers satisfied with their current insurance if they voted for the bill, or riling the potent California Nurses Assn. if they opposed it. Rendon ...
California Single-Payer Organizers Are Deceiving Their Supporters. It's Time to Stop.The Intercept
Death threats directed at Assembly leader over universal health care billSacramento Bee
What Killed Single-Payer In California?New Republic
Science 2.0 -ThinkProgress -PJ Media -The Mercury News
all 103 news articles »

          US healthcare will get worse without Obamacare. California needs to chart its own course. - Los Angeles Times   

Los Angeles Times

US healthcare will get worse without Obamacare. California needs to chart its own course.
Los Angeles Times
Jerry Brown supports the Healthy California Act and allows California to chart the path to a better healthcare system and become a model for the rest of the nation. ... I am sure many of our elected officials can afford to pay entirely for their own ...


          Yes, California can (stick it to Trump on healthcare) - Los Angeles Times   

Los Angeles Times

Yes, California can (stick it to Trump on healthcare)
Los Angeles Times
Just when Senate Republicans are releasing the details of their Obamacare repeal bill — which would cut billions in Medicaid spending and likely leave millions of Americans with no health insuranceCalifornia lawmakers are mulling a plan to ...


          How California made Obamacare work - ModernHealthcare.com   

How California made Obamacare work
ModernHealthcare.com
"California has in essence reached virtually universal coverage," said Peter Lee, executive director of the state-operated insurance exchange, Covered California, during a session Friday at the 2017 AHIP Institute and Expo in Austin. "We've done that ...


          Essential California: The dream of single-payer healthcare in ... - Los Angeles Times   

Los Angeles Times

Essential California: The dream of single-payer healthcare in ...
Los Angeles Times
Senate leaders have now released their Obamacare repeal bill, and it would hurt wide swaths of the state's population.

and more »

          Senate GOP healthcare bill would be 'devastating' for L.A. County ... - Los Angeles Times   

Los Angeles Times

Senate GOP healthcare bill would be 'devastating' for L.A. County ...
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County officials gathered Tuesday morning to warn of the impact the Senate healthcare bill could have on the county, which is home to one out of ...

and more »

          After Defying Trump On Climate Change & Immigration, California Clears Way For Universal Healthcare - Forbes   

Forbes


          Worried about losing health care? You're in good company - Sacramento Bee   

Sacramento Bee

Worried about losing health care? You're in good company
Sacramento Bee
Californians have a message for Republican-controlled Washington as the U.S. Senate continues work to overhaul the health care system: We like what we've got. A new statewide poll found that Golden State supporters of the Affordable Care Act, also ...
With Obamacare, More California Latinos Sought Care for HypertensionNBCNews.com

all 7 news articles »

          Usai Pidato Obama Emil Ingatkan Pentingnya Investasi Pendidikan   

Mendengar pidato dari Presiden Obama pria yang akrab di sapa Kang Emil itu merasa terinspirasi dengan sosok Politisi Partai Demokrat AS tersebut Dia merasa harus menjadi pemimpin yang baik dan juga cerdas namun tetap humoris
          Bertemu Obama Anies Sampaikan Rencana Atasi Ketimpangan Di Jakarta   

Usai Obama berpidato mantan Menteri Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan ini juga sempat menyampaikan keinginannya untuk mengurangi ketimpangan di Jakarta Karena dia menilai dengan cara tersebut dapat menjaga persatuan dan kesatuan
          Obama Singgung Soal Toleransi Di Indonesia   

Obama mengambil contoh toleransi di dalam keluarganya antara ayah tirinya yang muslim dan ibunya yang Nasrani
          Obama Kritik Trump Soal Keluar Dari Perjanjian Perubahan Iklim Paris   

Obama kritik Trump soal keluar dari Perjanjian Perubahan Iklim Paris Awalnya Obama menceritakan bagaimana AS mengalami krisis yang juga terjadi di negara lain Dia mengaku berhasil menyelamatkan Negeri Paman Sam dari krisis itu
          Justice Neil Gorsuch Votes 100 Percent Of The Time With Most Conservative Colleague   
By now, we can probably say that Justice Anthony Kennedy is not retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court. The word "probably" is apt because nothing is certain about the plans of this or any other Supreme Court justice when it comes to ending his or her service on the nation's highest court. But this week, the court wrapped up the current term, and Kennedy, who turns 81 in July, seems to have decided to stay on the job — at least for the coming term. There could be a variety of reasons. As an institutional matter, he could well have concluded that there had been enough uncertainty and drama on the court after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, and the vacancy that lasted for well over a year with Senate Republicans refusing to even consider President Obama's nominee. Kennedy may also have thought it best to ensure that there is a full complement of nine justices for at least a year. He could even have been put off by President Trump's tweets about the judiciary. But it is unlikely that
          How Clippers Wore Tees That Compared Blake to Gandhi, Obama, JFK, & Mandela (Photos)   
How Clippers Wore Tees That Compared Blake to Gandhi, Obama, JFK, & Mandela (Photos)

          Democrats Need To Recognize That Obama Screwed Over The Working Class   
Liberals see Obama as an economic savior who stopped a financial crisis, created scores of (crappy or part time) jobs, and did his best to fight for the little guy. That’s what the Left says. Stoller added that the evidence presents a different picture and one that offers a reason why Trump beat Hillary Clinton last November. For starters, Obama allowed the banks for foreclose on nearly 10 million homes, favored creditors over borrowers when both probably should have been shouldering the burden of the housing crisis together, and didn’t prosecute anyone who was involved in almost setting the world...
          COLD ANGER – The Corporate U.S. Media Has Weaponized Against US…   
Donald Trump’s supporters are angry“, or “uneducated”, or “unenlightened”, or (Fill_In_The_Blank). So goes the latest round of media talking points as the election draws near. Meanwhile, don’t pay attention to that 25% increase in ObamaCare premiums you just received… look away,… look away… The corporate media narrative controllers are fully engaged. The gaslighting is extreme as the same entities utilize their microphones in a brutal attempt to create a self fulfilling prophecy. In essence, what they are really trying to save is themselves. However, the reality disconnect only solidifies their irrelevance. At this point, anyone still trying to convince us...
          Labor Day 2016   
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION The strongest middle class the world has ever known was not built overnight.   Nor was it destroyed overnightIt was achieved by men and women who believed that living up to the promise of this Nation meant more than hoping for the best   it meant toiling in the day, working through the night, and proving that theirs was a future worth fighting for. Labor Day 2016 and we have nearly 95 million adult Americans out of the labor force. Thank you Obama!On Labor Day, we celebrate the grit and...
          Kudlow: Donald Trump Is the middle-class growth candidate   
Trump is the pro-growth candidate in this race. Hillary Clinton is the anti-growth candidate. Trump wants to expand national income and the economic pie. Clinton wants to redistribute income and shrink the pie. In past columns, I have equated Trump's tax-reduction plan to the JFK and Ronald Reagan tax cuts, which generated economic booms of roughly 5 percent growth per year. President Barack Obama, by comparison, has raised taxes, spending, and regulations, producing the worst recovery since World War II. And Clinton intends to follow in Obama's footsteps with a Bernie Sanders-like, left-wing policy mix. She is the Democrats' anti-JFK....
          Special Counsel Robert Mueller Had Been On White House Shortlist To Run FBI   
The Trump White House had been considering Robert Mueller as a top candidate to lead the FBI before the deputy U.S. attorney general changed course and tapped Mueller to serve as special counsel investigating Russian interference in last year's election, two sources familiar with the process told NPR. Mueller had gone so far as to meet with Justice Department leaders and White House officials about the FBI job, which opened after President Trump fired Director James Comey on May 9. But that idea went by the wayside after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein instead reached out to Mueller to run the politically sensitive Russia probe, which is examining ties between Russians and Trump campaign aides, the sources said. Mueller has long been considered one of Washington's most indispensable men. He served in top roles at the Justice Department and became President George W. Bush's FBI director only days before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks devastated the country. President Barack Obama
          Cornyn Drops Out Of Running For FBI Director Job; Merrick Garland To Remain A Judge   
Updated at 2:44 p.m. ET Neither Merrick Garland nor Sen. John Cornyn of Texas will be the new FBI director. Two friends of Judge Merrick Garland who asked not to be named say he loves being a judge, and he intends to remain on the bench. This comes after word that Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell recommended Garland to President Trump as a candidate for FBI director. Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court by former President Barack Obama after Justice Antonin Scalia's death, but never received even a hearing from the GOP Senate that McConnell runs. Cornyn pulled himself out of the running Tuesday, saying he believes the best way to serve the country is as a senator. "Now more than ever the country needs a well-credentialed, independent FBI Director," Cornyn said. I've informed the administration that I'm committed to helping them find such an individual, and that the best way I can serve is continuing to fight for a conservative agenda in the U.S. Senate." NPR's Domenico
          The Next Pandemic Is Nearly Upon Us and Bill Gates Is Positioned to Enormously Profit   
The Next Pandemic Is Nearly Upon Us and Bill Gates Is Positioned to Enormously Profit
SOURCE

"...because Fatima is a very apocalyptic message. It says that no matter what happens there are going to be terrible wars, there are going to be diseases, whole nations are going to be wiped out, there are going to be 3 days darkness, there are going to be epidemics that will wipe out whole nations overnight (great culling), parts of the earth will be washed away at sea and violent tornadoes and storms. It's not a nice message at all." ~Fr Malachi Martin on portions of the real 3rd secret of Fatima
My oh my, we may be getting glimpse into how the Deep State will ultimately respond to the extreme scrutiny that they are undergoing. The Deep State is losing control of the narrative and they desperately need a game-changer. And the following may very well represent what is coming.

Bill Gates and the Discovery Channel are Promoting a New Show on Pandemics As a Threat to Humanity

The Discovery Channel is airing a show on July 6th which details how easy it would be for a pandemic to wipe out a significant amount of humanity. The content of the show is not newsworthy unto itself. However, when they bring the richest man in the world, who has made a large portion of his wealth from vaccines, come in and promote the show’s trailer, namely Bill Gates, that is worth noting.
Bill Gates is certainly no stranger to the subject of pandemics and it is interesting that he is featured in such a prominent manner.



If I wanted to obtain credibility on a widespread basis, I would not be selecting Bill Gates to promote anything that has to do with health, particularly in the arena of health administration. The old saying, “with friends like this, who needs enemies”, certainly applies. Please consider what Bill Gates previously did on a mass scale to young women in India. The following is from Natural News:
“In 2009, the tribal children of the Khammam district in Andhra Pradesh were gathered together and told they would be receiving healthcare shots. Even though the Gates foundation has the wealth to give these tribes access to clean water, sanitation services, nutrition and low stress living conditions, they instead push for HPV vaccines and call them “well-being” shots. The shot these young girls received was an HPV vaccine manufactured by Merck and administered by the state’s health department. The young girls, aged 9–15, were instructed to line up for three doses of the vaccine. As the months rolled on, the health of the 16,000 girls rapidly deteriorated. Five of the girls died shortly thereafter.
In Vadodara, Gujarat, another 14,000 or more tribal children were put to the test. This time the Gates Foundation carried out their humanitarian healthcare mission by providing the HPV vaccine called Cervarix, made by Glaxo SmithKline.
Giving no informed consent, the Gates Foundation coerced the tribal people on the belief that the shots were beneficial and necessary. However, when virus material, heavy metals and other preservatives foreign to the body are injected into young, developing women, drastic changes are bound to occur in their bodies. Having no idea that they were being signed up for vaccine trials, thousands of young girls were injected with these experimental vaccines purported to prevent cervical cancer.
Instead of seeing their health improve, the tribes reported numerous, bizarre adverse events in the days, weeks and months following vaccination. Young girls in India lost weight, appetite and stamina. 16-year-old Aman Dhawan had no idea he was even signed up for the vaccine trial. Soon thereafter he began to lose weight and energy, as the life was sucked right out of him. The same problem broke out among girls in Colombia, where the same vaccine had been doled out to the young girls there”.
Again, with friends like this, who needs enemies?

A New Pandemic Is the Fulfillment of Gates Self-Appointed Destiny

On February 28, 2013, Bill Gates appeared on the Charlie Rose Show and he was as candid as a globalist could be. On the show, Gates indicated that he has contributed large sums of money to numerous causes such as the Global Polio Eradication Initiative originally launched in 1988 by the World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC, and UNICEF.
Gates expressed his love affair with vaccines and his clear intention to reduce the world’s population when he stated the following:
 “The world today has 6.8 billion people… that’s headed up to about 9 billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.”

Quite clearly, Gates is a devoted subscriber to Eugenics and depopulation. On his television show, Charlie Rose asked Gates the following question:

“You mentioned the five or a six year plan the new initiative has learning from old lessons and therefore, coming up with new approaches. What are the new approaches?”
To that question, Bill Gates answered:
“Well, we’re able to use new technology like satellite photos to see are there people moving around, nomadic roots. You know we see if when we go out to get all the children, if there’s some settlement areas that we’ve actually missed. We also put a – – a phone in the vaccine box they carry around that looks where they’re located every three minutes and so it has that GPS data. At the end of the day you plug that in and compare it to where they were asked to go, and you can see if you’re – you’re really covering all the kids.”
Gates is clearly advocating for an extreme Orwellian society that will be monitored and targeted for vaccinations that do more harm than good. The ultimate goal is depopulation, not saving lives. Unfortunately for the fate of humanity, Gates seems to know something ominous is coming our way when we consider what Gates recently wrote in the New York Times.

Bill Gates Writes for the New York Times

On March 18, 2015, the King of vaccinations  wrote an editorial piece in the New York Times in which he stated that the “Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed more than 10,000 people. If anything good can come from this continuing tragedy, it is that Ebola can awaken the world to a sobering fact: We are simply not prepared to deal with a global epidemic“.
Gates also stated the following:
“As menacing as Ebola was this past year, other pandemics are a greater threat to the human race.
The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed more than 10,000 people. If anything good can come from this continuing tragedy, it is that Ebola can awaken the world to a sobering fact: We are simply not prepared to deal with a global epidemic.
Of all the things that could kill more than 10 million people around the world…there are many things worse than Ebola”
Gates spoke about the deadly Spanish Flu and other epidemics which could (probably will) serve to threaten humanity. Frighteningly and prophetically, Gates is advocating for the United Nations should “fund a global institution” to coordinate the efforts to conduct mass vaccinations. Would anyone like to place a bet that the new round of vaccinations will be mandatory? The United Nations and the World Health Organization would be in charge according to Gates. After all, according to Gates, Ebola was terrible, but next time, “it could be much worse“.

Gates Has Already Put His Money Where His Mouth Is

Can we only imagine the enormous profits that can be realized by vaccinating every child in the third world? If we apply Gates’ penchant for investing in causes which produce a hefty “return on investment” (ROI) then one could reasonably suspect that Gates is positioning himself to profit on the $50 million he has invested in the Ebola cause which conveniently includes the CDC, the holder of the patent for Ebola and this is just one small example of how Gates has positioned himself to enormously profit from a pandemic:

“When an unsuspecting public is finally told of the existence of an Ebola vaccine, coupled with the fact that the Global Fund will be in charge of the distribution of the vaccine. Interestingly, Bill Gates has donated a total of $560 million dollars to the Global Fund. The Global Fund has also positioned themselves to be in charge of the distribution of the “newly developed”, and not yet announced vaccines for TB and HIV.  Since the goal is the vaccination of every man, woman and child on the planet with multiple vaccines, Gates’ $560 million contribution to the Global Fund is chump change compared to the expected ROI…”

If one really wants to get conspiratorial, consider that back in 2014 I previously published an article entitled:

The CDC, NIH & Bill Gates Own the Patents On Existing Ebola & Related Vaccines: Mandatory Vaccinations Are Near

Predictive Programming Supports Gates’ Prepositioning to Profit from an Engineered Pandemic

TNT is currently home to a very popular show known as The Last Ship. From a technical standpoint, the show is very well constructed particularly with regard to the military protocols embedded within the story line. The show is based on an engineered pandemic which sweeps the planet and destroys 80% of humanity. Interestingly, the show contains a sub-theme in which a group of people who are immune to the pandemic, ban together to try and form a “master race”  and also kill off the vulnerable at the same time as they try and enhance the spreading of the pandemic.
In the show’s plot a “vaccine” is developed as a cure. Bill Gates must be jumping up and down for joy at the storyline since this man virtually controls all vaccines on the planet.  Here is a further description of the show which takes on new meaning now that the discussion of a potential pandemic is taking place in combination with the Discovery Channel’s exploration, guided by Gates, into this topic. Here is a brief discussion of the show, The Last Ship.


In the first three seasons of the Last Ship, it has always debuted in June. I find it more than interesting that the season premiere has been delayed until after the Discovery Channel’s show with Bill Gates on pandemics.
TNT has chosen Sunday, August 20th,  for the fourth season premiere of its epic drama series The Last Ship. Also, I find it interesting that the show was renewed for two years which guarantees a 5th year. When have you ever seen a show be renewed for two years at a time?

Conclusion

If I were to don my conspiracy hat, which is easy to do when Bill Gates is in the neighborhood, it appears that humanity being prepared for the inevitable pandemic which will wipe out any real resistance to the Deep State.
What does this mean for the United States and for your family. Fortunately, the Obama administration left behind several documents which tells us what we are all facing and this will the future topic of these particular revelations. In the meantime, monitor your news for preliminary snippets of a coming pandemic.

RELATED:
http://tradcatknight.blogspot.com/2016/05/3rd-secret-of-fatima-epidemics.html 


Dr. Tenpenny "Global Forced Vaccines; Conspiracy Or Reality?  



          Comment on FORCED HOME INSPECTIONS ARE COMING WITH OBAMACARE by kencing   
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          I Never Said That   
We don't claim to know what Jesus would say if he were here today. But we suspect he might set the record straight on his words getting taken out of context. Here are just a few things Jesus never said. • He never got specific on his return date. (So please put those billboards away.) • He never proclaimed himself a Republican, Democrat, socialist, or member of The Rent Is Too Damn High Party. • He never declared any of the following a sin: same-sex marriage, immigration, Obamacare, Harry Potter books, animal rights or any of Miley Cyrus' VMA outfits. • He never took a stand on "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays." • He never declared his preference for a sports team, or implied that he might care about the outcome of a game. (Except that one weird verse about the 1990s Bills.)

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          Space Invaders Flag   
The United States officially unfurled its new flag today, honoring the brave souls who lost their lives in the war against the Space Invaders. "Let it be known! Never again will our country be terrorized by neatly organized rows of pixelated, two-dimensional critters from space," said President Obama. "And may this serve as a warning to any other foe who might get any ideas -- be they giant centipedes, millipedes, Galagas, or barrel-tossing apes." This will be the first change to the US flag since the 1979, when a white triangle was added to commemorate the spaceship that saved the planet from a storm of asteroids.

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          Re: Five Reasons Why The Navy Yard Shooting Probably Won’t Revive Gun Control   

So, 40 votes to repeal Obamacare is good, but two votes for stronger gun control is not?


          Obama waarschuwt voor ‘agressieve vorm van nationalisme’   

Voormalig Amerikaans president Barack Obama heeft bij een bezoek aan Indonesië opgeroepen tot meer tolerantie en respect voor elkaar. "Als je zelf sterk achter je godsdienstkeuze staat, is er geen reden om je zorgen te maken over het geloof van een ander."


          Obama Celebrates Diversity, Discusses Daily News Cycle and ‘Absence of American Leadership’ in Indonesian Speech (Video)   

“What I Was Worried About Was, ‘What are They Going to Write About me in 20 Years?’”


           Obama calls for tolerance and unity in childhood home Indonesia    
Barack Obama called for tolerance and respect in his childhood home of Indonesia Saturday, amid rising religious tensions in the country where the former US...
          Making good on the apprenticeship promise will require major investment in states   

Apprenticeships are all the rage. President Trump recently announced a doubling of federal funding for apprenticeship programs to $200 million in his next budget. This follows an investment by President Obama of $50 million in the outgoing months of his administration. In fact, this follows a major rewrite of the federal legislation governing job training in 2014. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) calls for a much greater level of coordination among workforce programs.

President Trump correctly noted that the organizational framework surrounding workforce development still needs some work, but this criticism is too simplistic. States have made major strides in recent years to improve the coordination of workforce development, and some have promoted apprenticeships as a part of the effort. The WIOA legislation made a requirement for workforce plans at the state level and some states have plans to expand apprenticeships. Many states have invested state tax revenue in apprenticeships and other mechanisms to strengthen training for youth.

Ohio, for instance, has recently taken critical steps to link apprenticeship programs to young people’s educational experiences. These include: 1) expanding linkages between high schools and state-recognized pre-apprenticeship programs through the College Credit Plus program, 2) developing an optional state recognized pre-apprenticeship pathway for students in regular career and technical programs, and, 3) expanding registered apprenticeships utilizing the state community college system, particularly for non-traditional apprentice occupations and under-represented populations.[1]

The point here is that apprenticeship programs are—not to mince words—boutique programs. A program that trains roughly 3,000 new apprentices a year in 2010 in Ohio cannot make a major dent in the labor demands for the state as a whole. In a study of ten states, only 35,000 students annually start apprenticeship programs. Ohio has over 5.8 million people working and has an unemployment rate of below 5 percent. There is great need for new entrants into the skilled trades. There are currently 7,500 jobs for “construction” alone and 700 for “welders” on OhioMeansJobs, the state online job posting system. In 2015, the combined output for all Ohio schools on an annual basis was only 654 welders. While it is projected to increase over time, the Ohio Education Research Center’s research shows that it can be very hard to meet the labor supply needs of growing firms with educational institutions.[2] All the more reason for the apprenticeship system to be improved.

Registered apprenticeship programs can be high quality. The best evidence indicates that the median annual earnings of completers of apprenticeships are over $60,000/year in the State of Washington, which works out to a median hourly wage of $37. In the ten-state study from 2012, the average difference in annual earnings for those in skilled professions was over $6,000 between those that did an apprenticeship and those that did not.  

Dr. Eric Hanushek recently suggested in an opinion piece that apprenticeships might not be the ideal education program for youth, and that young people need better general education. However, since the average age of apprentices is about 30 years old, apprenticeships are clearly serving a clientele that has tried other programs and had work experience and is looking for something new. An apprenticeship is still a great option for an adult seeking to support a family. And programs have gotten much better at linkages with community and technical colleges. In the future, they very well may be a real alternative for youth as well as 30-year-olds. But what I worry about in response to Dr. Hanushek’s work is that we throw out a good training system just because it doesn’t teach general skills as well as a good suburban high school.  

In addition to being small in comparison to the demand, apprenticeships are devilishly hard to scale up. An apprenticeship is a complex system of industrial relations, including an educational component (often at a community college), a trade union supervising the curriculum and training, and employers working on the practicum part of apprenticeships. The reason they thrive historically in Germany has a lot to do with the interdependence between firms, unions, and educational institutions and the “Lander” or regional government. We should be very skeptical that we can transplant the form to the United States without major effort at research and development. 

Doing this right at the national level is not going to cost $200 million. If we take the estimates on the government costs from the 2012 study, it might be on average $1,000 per apprentice. For an apprenticeship system as big as, say, the community college system, we would need $170 million dollars just for Ohio. What happens if we really want to take on the problem and we give $1,000 per apprentice to a state the size of Texas or even California? Costs will vary among programs, so the real costs will be much greater. Clearly, President Trump will need to increase the overall budget for apprenticeships, as will states, if we really want to make a dent in the demand for skilled trades in the nation.

The nation would do well to take education for careers more seriously than it has in the past. The apprenticeship system is a major part of this potential source of training. However, taking it seriously requires dealing with a whole host of fiscal, educational, and social issues. I hope the states, including Ohio, are up for it.

Joshua D. Hawley is Associate Professor in the Glenn College and an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University.




[1] The State of Ohio has a new apprenticeship website: http://apprentice.ohio.gov/index.stm.

[2] We have built two tools for state government in Ohio to examine workforce supply. They are available at https://workforcesupply.chrr.ohio-state.edu/ and http://www.measures.workforce.ohio.gov/.

 


          Rubio and Obama, compare and contrast   
Slate’s Daniel Engber is upset.  People are making fun of Marco Rubio’s “I’m not a scientist, man” response to a question about the age of the earth, and he wants to insist that “Willful ignorance of science is a bipartisan value.”  As evidence for this claim, he contrasts Rubio: Q: How old do you think…
          McConnell: We’re not splitting repeal and replace   
So much for Donald Trump’s input, eh? Yesterday, a president tweeted out his strategy for solving a impasse in a Senate over a ObamaCare repeal effort — to split a repeal & replace functions & pass each separately. Senators Ben Sasse & R& Paul immediately endorsed a idea, although Sasse did want to give a […]
          Trump proves to be an unreliable ally to Republicans in the health-care fight - Washington Post   

Washington Post

Trump proves to be an unreliable ally to Republicans in the health-care fight
Washington Post
President Trump is more than his own worst enemy. The damage he has inflicted during his first five months in office has undermined Republican congressional leaders, frustrated members of his Cabinet, exasperated top advisers and strained relations ...
Trump Warms to Old Idea: Kill Health Law Now, and Replace It LaterNew York Times
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Fox News -NBCNews.com -ABC News -HuffPost
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          When dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world - Washington Post   

Washington Post

When dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world
Washington Post
Ivanka Trump's office: clean, white, quiet. A zone of punctual start times and promptly-offered water bottles, and a conference table at which she conducts meetings. A short, winding walk away from her father's Oval Office downstairs. She does not ...
White House says Spanish-version website still comingThe Hill
More than 4 in 10 Trump White House staffers earn six-figure salariesCBS News
Trump Wants To Rewrite Obama's Overtime ReformsHuffPost
New York Daily News -Washington Examiner -MarketWatch -Roll Call
all 168 news articles »

          Obamaphones   
People's Karaoke
Statistics : 1 Post || 132 Views Post by Groucho Marxist
          Presiden Jokowi Sambut Obama dengan Bakso dan Teh Hangat   
BOGOR, SUMUTPOS.CO – Ketika dua pemimpin bertemu dalam suasana santai, riang, penuh kekeluargaan, dan kaya persahabatan, semua ikut tersenyum. Awan mendung yang menyelimuti Kota Bogor, Jawa Barat pun, serasa lebih hangat sore itu. Perjumpaan Presiden Joko Widodo dan Presiden Amerika Serikat ke-44 Barack Obama di Istana Kepresidenan Bogor, Jumat sore, 30 Juni 2017 itu pun […]
          Obama Sudah Bervakansi di Berbagai Negara, tapi Jogja Tetap Istimewa   
YOGYAKARTA, SUMUTPOS.CO – Slogan Jogja Istimewa sepertinya juga berlaku bagi Barack Obama. Meski Obama sudah berlibur di lokasi-lokasi wisata kondang di berbagai penjuru dunia, tapi Presiden Amerika Serikat (AS) ke-44 itu tetap punya kenangan tersendiri tentang Yogyakarta. Sejak lengser dari kursi Presiden AS pada Januari 2017, tokoh dunia kelahiran 4 Agustus 1961 itu sudah berlibur […]
          President Trump, “Buy American and Hire American”   

President Trump, “Buy American and Hire American” On the campaign trial Donald Trump promised to “set the stage for a great revival” for American factories – to “Buy American and Hire American.” In the 1st 5 months of last year under then President Obama, American manufacturers lost 24,000 jobs. Now n the 1st 5 months […]

The post President Trump, “Buy American and Hire American” appeared first on Live Trading News.


          Trump proves to be an unreliable ally to Republicans in the health-care fight - Washington Post   

Washington Post

Trump proves to be an unreliable ally to Republicans in the health-care fight
Washington Post
President Trump is more than his own worst enemy. The damage he has inflicted during his first five months in office has undermined Republican congressional leaders, frustrated members of his Cabinet, exasperated top advisers and strained relations ...
Trump Warms to Old Idea: Kill Health Law Now, and Replace It LaterNew York Times
Cruz and Lee play inside game in health fightPolitico
Trump is killing his party's health billCNN
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          When dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world - Washington Post   

Washington Post

When dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world
Washington Post
Ivanka Trump's office: clean, white, quiet. A zone of punctual start times and promptly-offered water bottles, and a conference table at which she conducts meetings. A short, winding walk away from her father's Oval Office downstairs. She does not ...
White House says Spanish-version website still comingThe Hill
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          Trump proves to be an unreliable ally to Republicans in the health-care fight - Washington Post   

Washington Post

Trump proves to be an unreliable ally to Republicans in the health-care fight
Washington Post
President Trump is more than his own worst enemy. The damage he has inflicted during his first five months in office has undermined Republican congressional leaders, frustrated members of his Cabinet, exasperated top advisers and strained relations ...
Trump Warms to Old Idea: Kill Health Law Now, and Replace It LaterNew York Times
Cruz and Lee play inside game in health fightPolitico
Trump is killing his party's health billCNN
Fox News -NBCNews.com -ABC News -Los Angeles Times
all 5,745 news articles »

          When dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world - Washington Post   

Washington Post

When dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world
Washington Post
Ivanka Trump's office: clean, white, quiet. A zone of punctual start times and promptly-offered water bottles, and a conference table at which she conducts meetings. A short, winding walk away from her father's Oval Office downstairs. She does not ...
White House says Spanish-version website still comingThe Hill
More than 4 in 10 Trump White House staffers earn six-figure salariesCBS News
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          BOMBSHELL: In 2016, Obama DISMISSED Idea That ANYONE Could Rig An American Election    
FAKE NEWS won't touch this video....


"I'd invite Mr. Trump to stop whining" Obama said. He adds that there's just absolutely no chance that the upcoming election could be rigged.

"No serious person" would ever suggest something like this.

Here's video of Obama, when he was sure Hillary Clinton was gonna win in October of 2016.

Roll Tape:




          Suguhan Teh dan Bakso, Presiden Jokowi Terima Obama di Kebun Raya Bogor   
BOGOR, Pelitabanten.com – Awan mendung yang mengitari Kota Bogor, Jawa Barat, tidak mengurangi kehangatan pertemuan Presiden Joko Widodo dan Presiden Amerika Serikat ke-44 Barack Obama di Istana Kepresidenan Bogor pada Jumat sore, 30 Juni 2017. Obama yang mengenakan kemeja lengan panjang berwarna biru muda dipadukan dengan celana panjang berwarna gelap, tiba di Istana Kepresidenan Bogor […]
          SO...A NORTH KOREAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM IS UNACCEPTABLE, IS IT NOW?    
In the past, The United States government has taken comfort in the position that North Korea did not possess a significant nuclear weapons program, however it is no longer the case that North Korea does not possess nuclear weapons.  Upon taking office, the Obama administrati …
          Comment on Red Rover, Red Rover, send Republican Women with Brains over by Ivory Bill Woodpecker   
Obama is not a fighter. He clung to the fatuous notion that the Rethuglicans could be reasoned with. We needed Churchill, we got Chamberlain. :mad:
          Comment on Red Rover, Red Rover, send Republican Women with Brains over by pm317   
Whoever the mastermind behind putting Trump up to this, had figured out how to stoke racism, sexism, bigotry, all the wrong stuff within the Republican party and Trump was a perfect vehicle. I didn't think there were enough such people to elect him but again, whoever were the mastermind, figured out the swing state electoral politics to a tee also. Good people were robbed in broad daylight. This thing has not been talked about at all. Why didn't Obama administration or the Democrats do more to respond to voter suppression projects like crosscheck, gerrymandering, or voter ID laws when it was happening?
          Cruising the Web   
For all those people who think that Trump's tweets are brilliant at reaching the public and throwing his opponents off balance or whatever other bit of analysis used to show that somehow he's playing three-dimensional chess while the rest of the world can't even set up the checker board, is this really a set of tweets that makes you proud that he's your president?




These morning tweets follow other tweets touting ones supporting policy actions by his administration and the GOP. Does he think anyone will pay attention to any of that when he's tweeting comments on a morning show's appearance and the show's ratings? It's as if he's taken a master a class on self-sabotage.

Isn't he supposed to be in the middle of trying to help a GOP repeal of Obamacare?

Remember when conservatives ridiculed Obama interview talking to GloZell, the woman who is mainly known for eating cereal while sitting in a bathub of milk or going on Between Two Ferns? Well, was any of that less respectful of the office of the presidency than such tweets? I have come to regard Trump's tweets as a verbal expression of his id. That is the level he operates at and we get a glimpse at what impulses control him through Twitter. All his advisers urging him to focus on policy and presenting an image of gravitas are the ego trying to mediate between those impulses and reality. They might win out for hours, even days sometimes, but the id is there ready to take over.

There used to be a time when Republicans claimed that character mattered in the presidency. Today...not so much.

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Canada thinks it can control the Internet.
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled against Google on Wednesday in a closely-watched intellectual property case over whether judges can apply their own country's laws to all of the Internet.

In a 7-2 decision, the court agreed a British Columbia judge had the power to issue an injunction forcing Google to scrub search results about pirated products not just in Canada, but everywhere else in the world too.

Those siding with Google, including civil liberties groups, had warned that allowing the injunction would harm free speech, setting a precedent to let any judge anywhere order a global ban on what appears on search engines. The Canadian Supreme Court, however, downplayed this objection and called Google's fears "theoretical."
Charles C. W. Cooke comments,
That amusing episode of The I.T. Crowd notwithstanding, “the Internet” is not a single black box somewhere in London, but a massively decentralized network of networks that, while conforming to a few agreed-upon technical specifications, gives new meaning to the word “diffuse.” Or, put another way, “the Internet” is a patchwork quilt of cables, satellites, switches, service providers, cell phones, desktops, laptops, web-servers, and protocols that, taken together, forms the sprawling web to which we are all so accustomed. The beauty of this arrangement is that anybody can participate. Want to be the next Facebook? To start with, at least, all you’ll need is a domain name, an internet connection, and a computer, and . . . that’s it. Though there are certain breakpoints (IP allocation, root DNS, etc.), there is no central permission structure that newcomers have to navigate. It’s open. It’s wild. It’s wonderful.

Now, this is not to say that censorship is impossible. It’s not. If a government wishes to block access to a particular site within the physical borders over which it has jurisdiction, it can do so. Likewise, websites and services that contradict local law can be legally removed, and, if it so wishes, a government can demand that any organization operating on a network within its borders must conform to its rules. What it can’t do, however, is export those judgments abroad.

Suppose that I, a permanent resident of the United States, were to host a website that contained speech that was banned in, say, Germany. Certainly, the German authorities could prevent Germans from seeing my site. And, if anyone chose to mirror my site on server inside Germany, they could shut that person down quite quickly. But they couldn’t have me shut down in America, and they couldn’t prevent people in other countries from accessing my site over the web. My server would be in America, connected to a network in America, subject to the law in America, and guaranteed the protections to which Americans are entitled. The German government, annoyed as it might be, would have to accept that....

And that, ultimately, is why the Canadian Court’s decision is so hilarious. I understand why people are worried about the idea — if taken seriously, it would give any less-free-than-America country an effective veto over the First Amendment. But they shouldn’t fret too much: The judges can say what they like, but their edict is simply unenforceable. If it wishes to do so, the government of Canada can prevail upon Google to abide by its rules within Canada. In addition, it can regulate the web in Canada to prevent access to sites it dislike. But it can’t force Google in America or France or Australia or Singapore to do a single goddamned thing. And thank goodness for that, eh?
I hope that he is correct, but we've seen the EU slapping a $2.7 billion fine on Google because the EU thinks it violates antitrust for Google to promote Google Shopping sites over other shopping sites. I'm not sure what there is about a FREE service like Google that the Europeans don't understand. Are European citizens actually hurt by Google giving them a free shopping search engine and then putting their items at the top? Would they prefer to pay for their search engines? Please, just keep your hands off Google. As more countries try and figure out ways to make money off of fining Google, they should consider the unintended consequences.
“The EU has effectively decided that some companies have become too big to innovate,” Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, said in a statement following the Google Shopping decision. “The EU’s actions have created a cloud of uncertainty that will make large tech companies overly cautious about making changes to the user experience and service offerings that would benefit consumers.”

Jonathan Tobin applies Occam's Razor
to explain why Obama didn't do more about Russia's attempts to interfere in our election last year.
But the real problem here is not so much Barack Obama’s failure to act as the most plausible reason for his inaction: Vladimir Putin’s capers didn’t impact the election results.
Despite the efforts by Democrats to blame Russia for Hillary Clinton's loss and their frustration that Obama didn't do more about it, there really is no evidence that the WikiLeaks revelations from John Podesta's emails had any effect on the course of the election.
But there’s a simpler, even more plausible explanation for Obama’s inaction: The president saw that the hacking was having almost no impact on the course of the campaign and thus wasn’t going to mess with the results. Far from the crime of the century, it was, at worst, a minor annoyance to Clinton that Obama obviously felt didn’t warrant a major dustup with Putin.

It’s true that Russia’s actions were outrageous and deserved a strong US response, both then and now. It can also be argued that the public had a right to know about it. But it was only after Clinton lost and she and her supporters began searching for excuses that Russia’s actions were considered an important factor in the outcome.

While Putin was way out of line, the impact of the WikiLeaks document dumps on Clinton’s candidacy was marginal at best.

The contents of the Democratic National Committee e-mails were embarrassing to Podesta and then-DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who wound up losing her job after proof of DNC collusion with Clinton against Bernie Sanders was produced. But there was almost nothing in those documents that related directly to Clinton, let alone being enough to influence voters.

Every WikiLeaks story was also almost immediately overshadowed by other, more damaging gaffes or revelations about Trump, such as his attack on a Gold Star family or the release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape. Nothing the Russians did matched the damage done by either of those Trump disasters.
Instead of looking for some external events or action, just admit that Hillary was a lousy candidate. That should actually be comforting to the Democrats. With such a compromised candidate whom so many Americans just never liked, they still won the popular vote and came really close to winning the states that put Trump over the top. If they can pick a better candidate in 2020, and can make an appeal for the voters they lost in the Rust Belt, chances are pretty strong that they'll win that year. They should be more concerned about forging a message that doesn't repel independents and those voters they lost in 2016. That's their real challenge and focusing all the time on Russia, Russia, Russia won't help them achieve that goal.


Good to know.
Tell your friendly environmentalist activist. But they're not really interested.
The benefits of fracking far outweigh its costs not only economically, but environmentally, a Stanford University geophysicist said Friday.

After teaching geophysics at Stanford for 30 years Mark Zoback took the helm of Stanford's new Natural Gas Initiative three years ago, he said, because of gas's environmental benefits.

"We did it because there were so many important and obvious environmental benefits to the utilization of natural gas," Zoback said. "So it’s somewhat ironic to be asked to argue for the notion that these benefits outweigh the environmental costs, when it’s the environmental benefits that got me into this business in the first place."

Zoback's remarks opened the annual debate at Stanford's Silicon Valley Energy Summit, and were swiftly challenged by representatives of the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Counci
Zoback argued that natural gas can replace coal and "dirty diesel" at significant scale throughout the world, supporting economic growth while slashing carbon emissions. (When burned, natural gas emits about half the CO2 that coal does).

The Senate has some really dumb rules. And the minority party can use them to slow everything down to a standstill. Chuck Schumer is taking advantage of every tool that the rules provide.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer used an upper chamber procedure Wednesday to block a national security briefing hosted by the Senate Judiciary Committee, irritating Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley.

The rule that Schumer had invoked, which he has been exercising the use of over the past two weeks, blocks Senate committee business from happening two hours after the Senate convenes session for the day. Schumer has consistently used the procedure as a way to delay business in Senate to make demands on Republicans on the health care bill.

The rarely-used tactic has cut short a committee hearing on free speech, stopped a hearing on Russian meddling in the U.S. elections and blocked a mark-up to advance bipartisan anti-human trafficking legislation....

Grassley had sent a joint letter with subcommittee judiciary chairman Lindsey Graham to the FBI Tuesday requesting all documents related to the FBI FISA surveillance requests on the Russia investigation.

“Today, the Judiciary Committee was set to hear from senior intelligence officials about highly sensitive intelligence gathering authorities that will soon require action from Congress. It’s disturbing and reckless for the Minority Leader to block the briefing. We’ve seen too many recent reminders of how unsafe the world is today. This is no time to play politics with our national security,” he said.
If they could use the nuclear option to get rid of a much more prominent rule concerning filibusters of Supreme Court nominees, why not use it to get rid of this stupid rule. If it's a "rarely-used tactic," no one except the angry members of the minority party will miss it.


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I had so much fun last night. I'm visiting my daughters in D.C. and we went to the Nats-Cubs game. I haven't seen a live baseball game in about 50 years since I was a kid and we'd go to the Cubs games. So I scheduled my trip to catch the game. After falling behind in the seventh inning, I thought it was pretty hopeless for the Cubs based on the way they've been playing this year. But they rallied in the ninth inning to go ahead on a triple by Jon Jay. It was so exciting and I could celebrate with all the other Cubs fans in the stadium including a cute little girl, about 10 years old, sitting with her family of Cubs fans in front of me who told her parents that John Jay had written five of the Federalist Papers. Exactly right and the Cubs' Jon Jay was a hero tonight. Go Federalists!


What a blast! And then as walked out of the stadium and came back on the Metro and hear all the Nationals fans complaining about the Nationals' bullpen. Eh, they're still doing well. I'm just hoping that the Cubs are recovering their mojo. At least their closer, Wade Davis, another historically relevant name on the Cubs roster


          Tom Perez: Treat Trump Like Mitch McConnell Treated Obama   
WASHINGTON ― Labor Secretary Tom Perez suggested that Democrats should confront President-elect Donald Trump with the obstruction strategy Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) employed against President Barack Obama. “We can hit him between the eyes with a 2-by-4 and ...
          Mitch McConnell Caricatured And Mocked Obamacare's Process. Then He Adopted It.   
“Americans believe that on issues of great importance, one party shouldn’t be allowed to force its will on everyone else,” he wrote.
          Strohalm   

In een interview over de eventuele omzetting van Obamacare zei Trump deze week dat hij direct het ene systeem zou vervangen door het andere, zonder een vacuüm te laten ontstaan waarin mensen even niet verzekerd waren. "We can do that" beloofde de president-elect. Wat hij absoluut niet kan is overnight een nieuwe economie introduceren. Dat

Het bericht Strohalm verscheen eerst op Marieke van der Werf.


          Mitch McConnell: Replacing failed Obamacare   
Excerpts of Senate majority leaders's remarks Thursday on the Senate floor:              
          Trump is reliving the 2016 election again on Twitter Sunday morning — and attacking Hillary Clinton   
As is his habit on early Sunday morning, President Donald Trump was on Twitter attacking his enemies — this time former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A day after he attacked former President Barack Obama and Republican senators who are not falling in line with the GOP’s proposed Tr...
          McConnell rejects Trump's advice to replace ObamaCare now, replace later   
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is rejecting President Trump's suggestion on how the Senate could promptly pass its ObamaCare overhaul measure -- by immediately repealing the 2010 heath care law and replacing it later.
          Trump jumps into health debate - repeal now, replace later   
*By The Canadian Press* WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has barged into Senate Republicans' delicate health care negotiations with a suggestion bound to muddle things: If you can't cut a deal on repealing the Obama-era law, then repeal it right away and then replace it later. Trump ...
          Obamacare Isn't Budging   
Senate Republicans continue to work to repeal and repeal Obamacare, but even if they succeed, it has become clear this week that the law has fundamentally shifted expectations surrounding health care in the country. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was forced to delay a vote on the Senate's ...
          Trump Administration to Teachers: You Must Use a Transgender Student’s “Preferred Pronouns”   
The Story: The Trump administration recently issued a letter stating that teachers and students could be investigated for a civil rights violation if they refuse to use the “preferred pronouns” of transgender students. The Background: In February the Department of Justice and the Department of Education issued a notice withdrawing the statements of policy and guidance issued last year by the Obama administration that affected public schools. In May 2016, the Obama administration sent a letter to all public schools in America notifying teachers and administrators of a new regulation for treating “gender identity.” The letter stated that, to comply with federal law,...
          Justice Neil Gorsuch Votes 100 Percent Of The Time With Most Conservative Colleague   
By now, we can probably say that Justice Anthony Kennedy is not retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court. The word "probably" is apt because nothing is certain about the plans of this or any other Supreme Court justice when it comes to ending his or her service on the nation's highest court. But this week, the court wrapped up the current term, and Kennedy, who turns 81 in July, seems to have decided to stay on the job — at least for the coming term. There could be a variety of reasons. As an institutional matter, he could well have concluded that there had been enough uncertainty and drama on the court after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, and the vacancy that lasted for well over a year with Senate Republicans refusing to even consider President Obama's nominee. Kennedy may also have thought it best to ensure that there is a full complement of nine justices for at least a year. He could even have been put off by President Trump's tweets about the judiciary. But it is unlikely that
          Justice Neil Gorsuch Votes 100 Percent Of The Time With Most Conservative Colleague   
By now, we can probably say that Justice Anthony Kennedy is not retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court. The word "probably" is apt because nothing is certain about the plans of this or any other Supreme Court justice when it comes to ending his or her service on the nation's highest court. But this week, the court wrapped up the current term, and Kennedy, who turns 81 in July, seems to have decided to stay on the job — at least for the coming term. There could be a variety of reasons. As an institutional matter, he could well have concluded that there had been enough uncertainty and drama on the court after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, and the vacancy that lasted for well over a year with Senate Republicans refusing to even consider President Obama's nominee. Kennedy may also have thought it best to ensure that there is a full complement of nine justices for at least a year. He could even have been put off by President Trump's tweets about the judiciary. But it is unlikely that
          I like Obamacare, and here’s why   
John and I were thrilled to hear the announcement of the Supreme Court’s decision on the American Care Act. Well, were thrilled to hear CNN’s retraction of their first statement that the individual mandate was overturned. First because of the implications for our country, second because it is in line with our faith beliefs, and […]
          Verizon wants to borrow T-Mobile and Vodafone's consumer data to take on Facebook and Google (VZ)   
  • Tim ArmstrongVerizon wants to license data from its competitors to bulk up its online ad business Oath
  • This initiative could bring together competitors like T-Mobile and Sprint
  • Ultimate plan is to take on Google and Facebook

Verizon Communications wants to challenge Google and Facebook. So it's reaching out to some of its biggest rivals in the wireless industry for help.

Now that the telecom giant has completed its acquisition of Yahoo and rolled out Oath, a division which includes a wide collection of digital advertising assets, it is looking to ramp up its ability to challenge Google and Facebook in the sector. The wireless giant is exploring building a data partnership with other top wireless players, including T-Mobile, Sprint, Vodafone and Telefónica, people with knowledge of the matter told Business Insider.

Specifically, Verizon wants to pool together more wireless consumer data that can be used for ad targeting. A big reason Google and Facebook are so dominant in digital advertising – besides the fact that their platforms reach huge audiences  –is that they have powerful, accurate data sets on millions of consumers that can be used by advertisers to target people with more relevant ads.

When Verizon purchased AOL two years ago, Oath CEO Tim Armstrong spoke openly about the power of Verizon's data and how it, coupled with AOL's advertising technology and large audience, could be used to put some real pressure on Google and Facebook on the ad targeting front. For example, Verizon knows where its customers live, where they travel, and what apps they use, all of which could be used to show people more relevant ads as they surf the web. 

But while Verizon's US subscriber base is close to 150 million people, that's still rather paltry compared to Facebook and Google's massive audiences. So if it can license data from T-Mobile, for instance, it could layer on ad targeting signals from roughly 72 million more consumers.

In addition, licensing data from companies like Vodaphone and Telefónica would help Verizon expand its ad footprint outside the US, an area where advertisers have been pushing for progress, given Google and Facebook's global clout.

There's a lot to be worked out behind the scenes for such a data partnership to fully come to fruition. To date, just weaving together the various pieces of AOL and Verizon has proven particularly complicated. And the level of data that various wireless companies would be willing to license may vary widely. But Armstrong did discuss this plan in his pitch to top advertisers at the Cannes ad festival last week, said people familiar with the matter.

Verizon was potentially hampered by regulatory uncertainty during the waning months of the Obama administration. But since March when Republican senators voted to kill regulations in this realm, companies like Verizon are freer to exploit consumer data for advertising. (Of course, it's perhaps a different story in Europe, where regulators just hit Google with a monster fine).

If Verizon and competitors like T-Mobile and Telefonica did share consumer data, it's a good bet that there would be steps taken to make sure that no personal consumer identification data would be shared between the two companies. Undoubtedly, consumer privacy advocates would scrutinize this project closely.

If this plan proceeds, it will be interesting to see what other Verizon rivals may participate. It seems doubtful that AT&T would jump in, considering that Verizon is blocking AT&T users from logging onto Yahoo with AT&T email addresses, according to TechCrunch. And Sprint's potential wireless pact with Comcast and Charter, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, would only seem to complicate matters.

Officials from T-Mobile and Telefonica declined to comment. Vodafone and Sprint did not return request for comment on this story.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Heard in Cannes: World's leading marketing execs told us how they feel about the power of Google and Facebook


          Kasich signs Ohio state budget, vetoes Medicaid freeze   

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, right, joined by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, speaks during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, about Republican legislation overhauling the Obama health care law. less Ohio Gov. John Kasich, right, joined by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, speaks during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, about Republican legislation ... more COLUMBUS, Ohio - Gov. John Kasich once again stood against fellow Republicans in the Ohio Legislature on Friday to support Medicaid expansion, which now provides health insurance to 700,000 low-income Ohioans.


          Columnist: ‘Skeptical’ President Obama’s Justice Department will indict Hillary over email scandal   
New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor Michael Goodwin in a column this week expressed doubt Hillary Clinton will be forced to answer for sending and receiving confidential emails via a private server when she was secretary of state. Read a portion of Mr. Goodwin’s column below: Color me skeptical that she will face […]
          News Briefing for Tuesday, June 2   
TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: End the NSA dragnet (Op-ed) http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/opinion/2015/06/01/end-nsa-dragnet/28276189/ HEALTHCARE: Obamacare’s Double-Digit Rate Hikes For 2016 Disclosed “After two years of relatively stable premiums across the country, rates will jump in 2016 by double-digit percentages for individual policy purchasers on public exchanges under the Affordable Care Act in practically every state, according to the first […]
          News Briefing for Monday, May 18   
  HEALTHCARE: The dire ObamaCare threat to New York’s hospitals “City Comptroller Scott Stringer laid out the grim facts last week on how the most progressive law in decades means disaster for New York City. The bottom line of Stringer’s report: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, Uncle Sam will cut more than […]
          News Briefing for Friday, May 15   
HEALTHCARE: One in four Americans who got insurance still can’t afford medical care: Study “One in four people who bought health insurance on their own couldn’t afford medical care last year, according to a study released Thursday that shows out-of-pockets costs are still getting between Americans and their doctors despite Obamacare’s progress in cutting the […]
          News Briefing for Wednesday, May 13   
TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: GOP SENATORS’ PRO-CONGRESSIONAL EXEMPTION FROM OBAMACARE CRUSADE DRAWS SCORN – FROM AMERICA (Jenny Beth Op-Ed) “Pity poor Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)40% And Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)45% And Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)14% , Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)32%, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)42% , Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE)58%, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)51%, Sen. Lindsey Graham […]
          News Briefing for Tuesday, May 5   
HEALTHCARE: Obamacare exchanges are not cheap to build or run “In its next Obamacare-related decision, the Supreme Court will decide whether employers in states that chose not to establish their own Obamacare exchanges can be forced to pay penalties for not offering insurance the government deems acceptable. The case is somewhat complicated and based on […]
          News Briefing for Monday, April 20   
HEALTHCARE: Group Takes On Insurance Companies Over Obamacare “Justin Danhof, general counsel for the National Center for Public Policy Research, challenged the president of Humana Thursday for his support of Obamacare during a shareholder’s meeting. Danhof took aim at Bruce D. Broussard, president of the insurance giant Humana, over his support of Obamacare, particularly in […]
          News Briefing for Wednesday, April 1, 2015   
HEALTHCARE: CALPERS COULD OWE OBAMACARE $770 MILLION IN “CADILLAC TAX’ “California government entities and their unions are panicking because Obamacare’s punitive 40% “Cadillac Tax” beginning in 2018 will directly hit the low-deductible and broad-provider network type of “platinum” healthcare coverage that public employees have enjoyed under the California Public Employee Retirement System (CalPERS). With the […]
          News Briefing for Wednesday, March 25   
HEALTHCARE: How many will have to pay back Obamacare subsidies? “More Americans will owe the government money for their Obamacare subsidy than won’t, says a new analysis. A big upcoming Tax Day question is how many Americans with government-subsidized health insurance will find that they collected more in subsidies than they’re qualified for and have […]
          News Briefing for March 14   
HEALTHCARE: Obamacare special enrollment for penalty payers a one-time deal, admin says “The Obama administration said Friday the special enrollment period that kicks off this weekend for uninsured Americans who missed Obamacare’s signup deadline and face a tax penalty will be a one-time deal, as the nation confronts the confluence of health care and tax […]
          News Briefing for March 7, 2015   
TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: On free trade, tea partyers and the left want the same thing They’re both trying to stop the Obama administration from fast tracking a deal — but they don’t coordinate to make it happen. “…America wins because we do a better job of creating those products, we have better innovation and we […]
          Dalrymple Calls for Comprehensive National Energy Policy   
By ND Governor's Office
Speaking today at the Great Plains & Empower ND Energy Conference, Gov. Jack Dalrymple said the nation should follow North Dakota’s lead in developing a truly “all-of-the-above” energy policy that empowers industry to produce diverse and affordable energy supplies, advance energy independence and create jobs.
 
“At a time of growing demand for affordable and reliable energy, we need a national energy policy that truly supports the development of all of our energy resources,” Dalrymple said. “North Dakota is a great example of what can be accomplished when we support the responsible development of our oil and gas resources; when we recognize the important role of coal-fired power generation while reducing emissions; and when we continue to increase production of renewable resources.”
 
North Dakota can also become a national leader in value-added energy, Dalrymple said. The Governor encouraged energy representatives attending the conference to continue developing projects that reduce flaring, add value to the state’s abundant supplies of natural gas and create jobs.
 
North Dakota has developed a comprehensive energy policy that acknowledges the need for a diverse power supply, and empowers all energy sectors to work together in the interests of meeting the growing demand for affordable energy.  Dalrymple said North Dakota’s energy policy, developed through EmPower ND, has helped the state achieve major advancements in energy production, including:
  • North Dakota has become the nation’s second-largest oil producer and remains among the nation’s most cost-efficient shale oil plays.
  • North Dakota continues to increase its electric generation from non-carbon sources. Today, about 25 percent of North Dakota's total electric generation comes from wind and hydroelectric power.
  • North Dakota is one of just a handful of states meeting all ambient air quality standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Total carbon emissions in North Dakota have dropped 11 percent below 2005 levels, despite the Bakken oil boom.
The Governor said that the Obama Administration refuses to honor states’ rights and continues on a path that threatens the nation’s ability to produce affordable energy and enhance its energy security.  Dalrymple cited the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” and proposed “Waters of the United States” rule as examples of government overreach that will impede responsible energy development and drive up consumers’ energy costs.           
 
Dalrymple, Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer hosted the annual Great Plains & Empower ND Energy Conference which was held at Bismarck State College’s National Center of Excellence. The daylong conference included a panel discussion with Dalrymple and the state’s congressional delegation as well as presentations by leading energy researchers and developers. Speakers included Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Tony Clark, and Marianne Kah, chief economist at ConocoPhillips.

read more


          Pentagon delays plan on transgender recruits   
Proposal was brought on during Obama’s administration
          Obama urges end to division in childhood home Indonesia   
“It is very important here in Indonesia, the United States, Europe, everywhere, to fight against the politics of 'us and them',” he said.
          Twitter Borrows Trump's Obamacare Strategy: 'Impeach Now, Replace Later' | HuffPost   
This one speaks for itself.
          Friday!   
Hey hey! Happy Holiday Weekend to my U.S. homies — I hope it’s a long one that you get to enjoy! There has been a darkness over our country since we lost the election and then the Obamas, but I am reminded every single day that the good people here far outnumber those blind to our vision for an inclusive, harmonious future. It has been difficult to hold our heads up some days, but I am hopeful that the ship will be righted and we will be back on course. Lots of love to everyone out there and, if you live outside the states, please stand with us — we need you. xx Jen ➔...
          Clouds On The Horizon For The U.S.-Korea Alliance Under Trump and Moon?   
Following a decade of convergence between South Korean conservatives and the Obama administration

          THE TIES THAT BIND:   
The Time I Got Recruited to Collude with the Russians (Matt Tait  Friday, June 30, 2017, LawFare)

A few weeks later, right around the time the DNC emails were dumped by Wikileaks--and curiously, around the same time Trump called for the Russians to get Hillary Clinton's missing emails--I was contacted out the blue by a man named Peter Smith, who had seen my work going through these emails. Smith implied that he was a well-connected Republican political operative.

Initially, I assumed the query must have been about my work on the DNC hack; after all, few people followed my account prior to the DNC breach, whereas my analysis of the break-in at the DNC had received considerably more coverage. I assumed his query about the "Clinton emails" was therefore a mistake and that he meant instead to talk to me about the emails stolen from the DNC. So I agreed to talk to him, thinking that, whatever my views on then-candidate Trump, if a national campaign wanted an independent non-partisan view on the facts surrounding the case, I should provide it to the best of my ability.

Yet Smith had not contacted me about the DNC hack, but rather about his conviction that Clinton's private email server had been hacked--in his view almost certainly both by the Russian government and likely by multiple other hackers too--and his desire to ensure that the fruits of those hacks were exposed prior to the election. Over the course of a long phone call, he mentioned that he had been contacted by someone on the "Dark Web" who claimed to have a copy of emails from Secretary Clinton's private server, and this was why he had contacted me; he wanted me to help validate whether or not the emails were genuine. [...]

Over the course of our conversations, one thing struck me as particularly disturbing. Smith and I talked several times about the DNC hack, and I expressed my view that the hack had likely been orchestrated by Russia and that the Kremlin was using the stolen documents as part of an influence campaign against the United States. I explained that if someone had contacted him via the "Dark Web" with Clinton's personal emails, he should take very seriously the possibility that this may have been part of a wider Russian campaign against the United States. And I said he need not take my word for it, pointing to a number of occasions where US officials had made it clear that this was the view of the U.S. intelligence community as well.

Smith, however, didn't seem to care. From his perspective it didn't matter who had taken the emails, or their motives for doing so. He never expressed to me any discomfort with the possibility that the emails he was seeking were potentially from a Russian front, a likelihood he was happy to acknowledge. If they were genuine, they would hurt Clinton's chances, and therefore help Trump.

When he first contacted me, I did not know who Smith was, but his legitimate connections within the Republican party were apparent. My motive for initially speaking to him was that I wondered if the campaign was trying to urgently establish whether the claims that Russia had hacked the DNC was merely "spin" from the Clinton campaign, or instead something they would need to address before Trump went too far down the road of denying it. My guess was that maybe they wanted to contact someone who could provide them with impartial advice to understand whether the claims were real or just rhetoric.

Although it wasn't initially clear to me how independent Smith's operation was from Flynn or the Trump campaign, it was immediately apparent that Smith was both well connected within the top echelons of the campaign and he seemed to know both Lt. Gen. Flynn and his son well. Smith routinely talked about the goings on at the top of the Trump team, offering deep insights into the bizarre world at the top of the Trump campaign. Smith told of Flynn's deep dislike of DNI Clapper, whom Flynn blamed for his dismissal by President Obama. Smith told of Flynn's moves to position himself to become CIA Director under Trump, but also that Flynn had been persuaded that the Senate confirmation process would be prohibitively difficult. He would instead therefore become National Security Advisor should Trump win the election, Smith said. He also told of a deep sense of angst even among Trump loyalists in the campaign, saying "Trump often just repeats whatever he's heard from the last person who spoke to him," and expressing the view that this was especially dangerous when Trump was away.

          Trump jumps into health debate: repeal now, replace later   
President Donald Trump has barged into Senate Republicans' delicate health care negotiations with a suggestion bound to muddle things: If you can't cut a deal on repealing the Obama-era law, then repeal it right away and then replace it later. ...
          Obama puji toleransi di Indonesia   
Mantan Presiden Amerika Serikat Barack Obamdalam Kongres ke-4 Diaspora Indonesia, yang salah satunya menyoroti globalisasi, kata Ketua Board of ...
          Obama: Indonesia bagian dari diri saya   
Mantan presiden Amerika Serikat, Barack Obama, berpidato dalam pembukaan Kongres ke-4 Diaspora Indonesia. Pria kulit hitam ini mengenakan setelan ...
          jorg gray obama   
JORG GRAY OBAMA


          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 210838)   
You know your low when you dig up dirt on your own party members like Billary did on Obamanation an now on Al Bore lol
              
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          Obama Boulevard Gets Green Light In Los Angeles   
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday voted unanimously to change the name of a section of Rodeo Road to Obama Boulevard.
          Remember Obamaphones? Turns out the entire program is corrupt and fraudulent. Tucker Carlson explains how it became “easily the most corrupt welfare program in America”   
Almost unbelievable. Why would anyone on welfare, food stamps, public housing, WIC, SNAP and SSI need a phone? They won’t work, we feed them, give them a place to live and send them a...
          Santorum or Paul ?   

I (and dozens of other folks) received a political endorsement from a very nice, well-meaning woman from my traditional Mass group this week. She was excited that Rick Santorum was talking publicly about the problem of birth control, and she asked us all to support someone who “shared our values.” Her Santorum plea intrigued me—I haven’t seen a faithful Catholic run for highest office, except for Buchannan, who was in a way “before my time”—but I’m still not in Santorum’s camp, to say the least. The Ron Paul sticker is still on my car.

Anyways, I spent a couple of hours crafting a response to her endorsement. I haven’t “stretched my polemical legs” in quite a while, so I’m grateful she gave me the opportunity and the inspiration. Since I was moderately satisfied with how my response turned out, I’m converting it to a blog post. Here goes:

Santorum's personal rejection of contraception is admirable, of course, and it's somewhat in contradiction to...say...Ron Paul, who--as an obstetrician in the 70s and 80s--presumably prescribed contraceptives and performed sterilizations. I'm making that assumption because he's a Protestant, and if he hadn't wrote scrips for the pill, NARAL and Planned Parenthood would surely have found out and painted him as an extremist by now.

But I don't think Santorum's personal position on contraception...even in contrast to someone like Paul who must have personally promoted it (whether he knew better or not)...is enough to compel my vote. Why not? Obviously, someone like Ron Paul isn’t consistently pro-life. But at the most basic level, Santorum isn't consistently "pro-life" either. Santorum’s "pro-life" personal views didn't get in the way of his politics when it would have mattered most: his support of Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania Senate primary a few years ago. When Santorum could have backed another pro-lifer, Pat Toomey, and tipped the scales, he didn't. Instead, he supported Specter, who was NOT ONLY a pro-abort who controlled the Senate Judiciary Committee (where the best pro-life judicial nominees need not apply, even in the GOP's best days), but was also a turncoat who switched to the Democratic party a couple years later. Every observer I've read agrees that if Santorum had stuck to principle and stumped for Toomey, Toomey would have won (instead of lost by 1.7%), we'd have had a better Judiciary Committee, hence better federal judges, and the Dems wouldn't have had a filibuster-proof majority in the next go-round. (BTW, Toomey did beat Specter the next time and go to the senate after Santorum lost his own seat to a Democrat!)

And really, the issue of outlawing contraception in national politics...it doesn't simply matter, and Santorum won’t pursue it. I'm not saying that it shouldn't matter. It should, but it doesn't. Maybe some day it will at least matter at the state level. It's like nationally outlawing all pornography or buggery or usury or no-fault divorce. They are all admirable goals but candidly, they are not achievable on a national level at our present time and place. Although the link between abortion and all that bad stuff I mentioned above is obvious to us traditional Catholics, most non-Catholics (and heck, perhaps most novus ordo Catholics) aren't intellectually or spiritually equipped to deal with the link right now. We laymen should work one-on-one to convert people away from contraception, and our Bishops and priests should preach against it. However, too much public talk of outlawing contraception by a national political candidate at the present moment will be counterproductive. It will be exploited by his pro-abort enemies and slow down all our efforts to stop the greatest and "most fixable" of these evils...abortion. On this issue, we will only succeed if we tackle only one thing at a time.

The lady said Santorum “shares our values.” Well, leaving the pro-life issue and moving on to look at Santorum's other values? I honestly can't say they're the same as mine:

FIRST Santorum's an interventionist, looking to keep a huge United States military presence throughout the world--running up more debt, getting more American boys killed, and making more foreign enemies. For Santorum, patriotism is about geopolitical power. For me? Nope, patriotism is about loving ones’ land for what it is, not loving one’s government for the power it can project over other governments. Patriotism for me doesn't include going from one undeclared war to another….especially when the next one will be against a huge, prosperous country with a large, well-organized and educated populace that can really fight back—i.e., Iran. Nor does it involve the same bankrupting globalist busybody strategy as that other recently-collapsed empire: Great Britain.


SECOND, Santorum loves Israel--a state and a society which is absolutely hostile to the Church, and which is the very cause of that the "Islamo-Fascism" that Sean Hannity and Billy O’Reilly and the other neoconservative blowhards denounce. I, on the other hand, recognize that Israel is not a reliable ally, and that Moslems don't hate us for our freedom--they hate us because guys like Santorum vote to send Israel the guns and tanks and planes (and bombs marked "Made in the USA") that are used to kill their co-religionists, or if they’re lucky, merely expel them from their ancestral homes and leave them fenced in and starving.


THIRD, Santorum also believes in centralization of government, for example, federalizing education and doubling the number of education bureaucrats (99% of whom probably hate homeschooling). I adhere to the Catholic principle of subsidiarity--that is, the exercise of power by the lowest level capable of doing so (the family, the local church, the community, the state, and only where absolutely necessary, by the feds).


FOURTH, Santorum loves the police state, having voted for all sorts of restrictions on our ability to travel and communicate, and all sorts of new mechanisms for monitoring the daily activities of people in the United States. I value freedom of movement and (in my 30 or 40 flights a year) recognize that the TSA goons, the humiliating porn scanners, and the other monitoring of our activities don't keep us "secure"--they are simply part of a subtle retraining US residents to be sheepish and compliant subjects of the totalitarian state.


Neoconservatives like Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich love the general growth in government as much as "moderates" like Mitt Romney and liberals like Hillary Clinton and Barry Obama. While their rhetoric is couched slightly differently, all of them want more government, more federal intrusion on our daily life, more perks for their friends (be they Obama's Chicago Daly Machine wonks or Mitt's Goldman Sachs pals or Santorum's military contractor donors or Newt's insurance company lobbying clients). Santorum won't make it easier for the Church to pursue its mission. He won't make it easier for faithful Catholics to raise holy families. He won't make it easier for our boys to find good jobs. He won't create the conditions necessary to rebuild Christian culture in the United States. And of course, he won't outlaw contraception. He has so many "backs to scratch" that he probably won't even get around to nominating judges that will unwind the nonsensical web of Constitutional "privacy" jurisprudence that prevents states from regulating contraception, prohibiting abortion, and discouraging buggery.

A friend of mine who’s since moved out of state—a very well-formed guy--once recommended Frank Sheed's book, Society and Sanity. Sheed is on solid Catholic ground, and he's an eloquent apologist. One of the central points of the book is a consideration of Christ's answer to the Pharisees, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's...." He approaches modern politics (circa 1960, I think) in the form of two questions about government which should be distinct in everyone's mind, but which are often muddled...they are paraphrased by me as "Who gets to be Caesar?" and "What things are Caesar's?" which I'll further rephrase as "How far does Caesar's authority extend?" My friend also pointed me to where St. Thomas Aquinas addresses the same issues, but I found Sheed to be much more accessible.

So here we are in 2012: this is an election which should be more about the second question than it is the first. All but one of the candidates is focused entirely on the first question. They all want me to believe that if they're Caesar, I can trust them because they share my values, and they can do more for me, and they can do it better. The organs of the federal government will be more efficient and stronger, but they’ll serve my interests. Only one of the candidates has anything substantive to say about that second question, and only one wants you to think about the limits of Caesar's reach. And unfortunately, it ain't Catholic Rick Santorum. It's Protestant Ron Paul.

In a field of imperfect candidates (all either statists or liberals), Ron Paul not only opposes abortion, but he is the one who is the most likely to REALLY give new momentum to the life movement (perhaps more momentum than he himself intends). He'll install judges who read the Constitution as it is (imperfect though it may be) and throw out the reasoning in cases like Roe and Doe and even Carpenter (the case that invented the "right to privacy" that prevented states from regulating contraceptives) and Lawrence (the case that prevents states from outlawing buggery). He’s not touting a huge program of federal prohibitions in their place like some pro-life lobbyists want, but really, such a prohibition is a pipe dream. Returning the life issues to the states (where the battle can be fought and won at least in most places over time) is really the best we can hope for—and the best we should hope for. The several states, after all, are where the plenary power to punish offenses against life and property properly rest.


Also, even though Paul's economic positions aren't perfect, there isn't a Rerum Novarum candidate to compare him to. His Austrian economic theory (BTW, at least he can speak intelligently about economics--the other candidates can't) is a much more sound basis for economic policy than Obama's soft socialism or Romney's Goldman Sachs TARP capitalism or Santorum's military industrial cronyism. In the absence of a candidate with a workable Distributivist program (if there is such a thing), quoting or at least plagiarizing Hillaire Belloc, Pope Leo XIII, and GK Chesterton, Paul's the one candidate who will at least redirect the country in a general direction that could ultimately be refined to a Catholic economic order.


As for militarism and interventionism—Paul’s obviously not a jingo. And as for subsidiarity--that big question about the scope of Caesar's authority--it's clear that a Ron Paul administration will have a smaller federal government--leaving more room in our society for families, the Church, communities, and states to operate and seek the Good on their own. I don't think anyone would argue that point.

The restoration (or rather reformation) of American culture on sound Catholic principles won't be easy. Barring a huge cataclysm, it won't happen in my lifetime. But whenever and however it happens (if it happens at all), it can only come back if we clear away the choking roots of our out-of-control, anti-Catholic, antagonistic federal government, and leave some open ground for the shoots of a civil society where Catholic principles to grow and flourish. A Catholic Humanae Vitae candidate (or…for the pre-Vatican II crowd…a Casti Conubii candidate) who otherwise promises more central government control of society, more war, and more spending, isn't going to do that. But a Protestant obstetrician will do it, even if he may not really appreciated what he was doing with his prescription pad a few decades ago. Ultimately Ron Paul is not the best possible candidate, but this is a multiple-choice test, not fill-in-the-blank.


As I said before, the question is "Who understands what things are really Caesar's?" In each case, Ron Paul is the answer that comes closest to the correct one.


          Obama bin Laden's "death"   
Ok, the real important question here is, now that we've invaded yet ANOTHER country and headshot an unarmed bin Laden, and he's supposedly dead (again), and yee-haw, we won the war on "terrorism" (whatever the hell that is), CAN WE SEND THOSE MOUTHBREATHING, KNUCKLEDRAGGING TSA PERVERT STOOGES BACK TO THEIR OLD JOBS AT BURGER KING?
Gosh, what a wonderful country this would be if you could walk onto a plane again in the "land of the free" (insert guffaw here) without being accosted, stripped, sexually assaulted, and irradiated by those bastards.


Man, Hitler, or Stalin, or Mao or Pol Pot would have wet their pants with glee if they'd have been able to be as intrusive into the lives of their ordinary subjects as our government has managed to be.


Do me a favor, and when you fly next time, and some TSA goon expects you to answer politely when he demands you speak to him, ask him point blank when he's going back into the fast food industry.


          I'm guessing it's one of those "enlightened" nuns who've kicked the habit   
Nun Embezzles $850,000 from New York college.

Yep, it was a good guess! She's part of a "dynamic union" that is trying to "speak to our contemporary society and be a positive influence for change." In other words, the Obama campaign.

Compare the traditional habit to the getup of the current "Executive Director" of the federation.




          George Tiller, abortion martyr?   
Let's stop the hand-wringing and be frank: Yes, he deserved to die, and no, the cause wasn't served by having him die THAT way. The last thing we needed was some sort of diabolical martyrdom. If the blood of the [true] martyrs was the seed of the Church, we can only expect the Evil One to try and turn that on its head and use Tiller's blood as seed for his garden of wickedness. Obviously the shooter didn't read observation #3 in my post below on Lincoln and the pro-life movement.

Now, I'm not saying that I doubt the sincerity and passion of the guy who did it, no more than I doubted the sincerity and passion of Timothy McVeigh, nor I doubt the sincerity and passion of Guy Fawkes. But (as the evidence shows in the Gunpowder Plot, which happened at a most convenient time to consolidate public feeling behind King James and permit him to expand an ungodly government's control over the populace ... and the evidence may someday show in the Oklahoma City bombing, which happened at a most convenient time to consolidate feeling behind the Clinton Administration and expand an ungodly government's control over the populace) the coincidence of this finally happening just a few months into the Obama regime is uncanny. What better way to create good cover for an assault on people like us?

Certain shadowy operatives for the protestant regime found in Guy Fawkes a man whose anger at injustice overwhelmed his reason, and pushed him under the parliament building with kegs of explosives. It has been posited that certain shadowy operatives found in Timothy McVeigh a man whose anger at injustice overwhelmed his reason, and drove him to the OK Federal building with a Ryder truck of explosives. Some future historian (certainly not our coopted contemporary press) may learn that certain shadowy operatives encouraged this Tiller killer guy in a very similar way. The Obama Justice Department goons will be swarming the state to find evidence of a conspiracy, and I wonder if they'll be really careful not to find evidence of that sort.

So I guess we brace ourselves to feel the boot from the Daley machine thugs in Washington and vermin in Kansas politics (the ones that didn't follow Kathleen Sebelius to DC). I'm sure that pro-death shill Dan Watkins in Lawrence (who abandoned the Catholic faith to ride Sebelius's coattails and Tiller's money to the US Attorney nomination) can't wait to get confirmed into his office at the Dole Courthouse so he can ramp up the persecution.
          Democratic National Committee visits Phoenix   
Friction between the Obama administration and Arizona Republican lawmakers won't influence whether Phoenix gets picked as the site of the party's 2016 national convention, a top Democratic National Committee official said.
          Arizonans aboard Undocu-bus fault Obama on illegal immigration   
Fernando Lopez, an illegal immigrant from Phoenix, rode more than 2,000 miles through 11 states on a 40-year-old bus that broke down twice to deliver a message to the Democratic National Convention: President Barack Obama hasn’t done enough to help the millions of people in the United States illegally, people he said could benefit the ...
          Obama reprises State of the Union themes, praises Intel    
With Intel’s Chandler factory serving as a backdrop and an example of the kinds of high-tech manufacturing jobs he wants to bring back to the United States, President Barack Obama reprised much of his State of the Union address in Arizona during a speech today.

Standing before thousands of cheering supporters and Intel employees, Obama praised the microprocessor manufacturer as the type of company that will help create an “America built to last” – the title and theme of his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
          Mientras Cuba denuncia asedio de EEUU, llega primer crucero de Tampa a La Habana   
Mientras Cuba denuncia asedio de EEUU, llega primer crucero de Tampa a
La Habana

El Carnival Paradise, que arribó al puerto habanero el viernes con 2.400
pasajeros, es el primer crucero en viajar a la isla desde Tampa en más
de 50 años.
En medio de una campaña nacional e internacional del gobierno de Cuba
que pinta recientes medidas del presidente Donald Trump hacia la isla
como una vuelta a un riguroso embargo, llegó al puerto de La Habana este
viernes el crucero Carnival Paradise, el primero en partir de la bahía
de Tampa desde que la administración anterior de Barack Obama autorizó
los viajes marítimos a la isla.

Carnival fue también la primera empresa en el marco del deshielo de
relaciones en incluir a Cuba en sus itinerarios, con la llegada del
crucero Adonia a La Habana el 2 de mayo de 2016; pero hasta ahora el
punto de partida tanto para esa compañía como para Royal Caribbean y
Norwegian, que se sumaron después, había sido el puerto de Miami.

Después de Miami y la zona metropolitana de Nueva York- Nueva Jersey y
Connecticut, Tampa es la ciudad con la tercera mayor comunidad cubana de
EE.UU, más de 80.000 personas según el Censo de 2010.

El Carnival Paradise llegó a la capital cubana con unos 2.400 pasajeros
a bordo, los que todavía podrán merodear por La Habana individualmente,
ya que las nuevas regulaciones que prohíben a los estadounidenses los
viajes por su cuenta aún tardarán en ser emitidas por el Departamento
del Tesoro.

Una vez que entren en vigencia, los viajeros autorizados deberán
reservar sus visitas a Cuba a través de una compañía de itinerarios
turísticos o en un crucero.

Las medidas anunciadas por Trump en Miami el pasado 16 de junio , que
prohibieron asimismo las transacciones con empresas vinculadas a los
militares cubanos, incluyeron una excepción en el caso de los cruceros y
las aerolíneas, de modo que las naves y aeronaves puedan pagar derechos
y hacer otras operaciones con entidades bajo control de las fuerzas
armadas cubanas.

Carnival planea enviar otros 12 cruceros a Cuba entre julio y octubre de
este año.

Una proyección del Consejo Comercial y Económico EE.UU.-Cuba divulgada
en mayo calcula que los itinerarios a Cuba representarán más de 420
millones de dólares en ingresos entre 2017 y 2019 para las tres grandes
compañías de cruceros del Estados Unidos.

El estudio prevé que el gobierno cubano recibirá por su parte 50
millones de dólares por concepto de gastos de los viajeros en
excursiones, restaurantes, ron, souvenirs y habanos,y otros 13 millones
de dólares por pagos de tasas portuarias.

[Redactado por Rolando Cartaya con información de Tampa Bay Times y Fox 13]

Source: Mientras Cuba denuncia asedio de EEUU, llega primer crucero de
Tampa a La Habana -
https://www.martinoticias.com/a/primer-crucero-desdde-tampa-llega-a-la-habana-mientras-cuba-denuncia-asedio-de-eeuu/147999.html
          La ‘evolución’ cubana   
La 'evolución' cubana
OLGA CONNOR

El turismo norteamericano en Cuba es de gran importancia para la
economía de la isla. Después del restablecimiento de las relaciones con
Cuba en diciembre del 2014, este fue el aspecto más publicitado por la
variedad y naturaleza de las personalidades internacionales que
visitaron la isla, incluyendo el propio presidente Barack Obama.

Toda esa propaganda entusiasmó a los norteamericanos, y dio como
resultado que se iniciaran múltiples vuelos aéreos de diferentes
aerolíneas y cruceros a varios puertos. Se decía que "había que ir antes
de que cambiara el país". Pero el gobierno dirigido por el Partido
Comunista no ha cambiado.

Aún así, para los cubanos de la isla el país sí ha cambiado, y mucho.
Ellos lo llaman "evolución". Percibí en mi reciente viaje a La Habana
que era como un hervor por las nuevas medidas, que permiten compraventas
de propiedades y aperturas de nuevos paladares o restaurantes. A su vez,
afecta a todo lo que se relaciona con el turismo: taxis, shows, souvenirs.

En una visita al estudio del artista René Francisco en Miramar vi un
emblema de esta "evolución": una escultura en material transparente con
un letrero grande en mayúsculas que decía: rEVOLUCIÓN, con la letra R
rota o aplastada.

Noté que muchos en la ciudad estaban preocupados acerca de las
decisiones que tomaría Donald Trump. Finalmente, el 16 de junio proclamó
en Miami que rechazaba y revertía la apertura de Obama. Esto ha
entusiasmado al pueblo cubano exiliado, porque el presidente de Estados
Unidos manifestó enfáticamente que deplora la dictadura militar de Cuba.

En las relaciones de negocios con Cuba las nuevas medidas no harán mucho
más que afectar al turismo, y las libertades de los viajeros
estadounidenses, prohibiendo que usen los hoteles aliados al gobierno de
la isla. Que en cierto sentido son todos.

Además de los cruceros, tienen acceso a las propiedades particulares,
reguladas por los Airbnb, o por anuncios en la internet. Negocios
basados en muchos casos en viviendas usurpadas desde el principio por el
gobierno revolucionario. La mayoría de familias en las ciudades no tenía
casa propia en los años 50. Algunos de esos antiguos propietarios o sus
hijos y nietos viven aún en Cuba, no todos están exiliados. Y lo mismo
allá que acá, muchos han guardado los títulos legales.

Por eso es irónico que se hable de las fuentes del nuevo sector
empresarial privado e independiente del gobierno, como proclamó el
senador Marco Rubio. Porque muchos propietarios de hoy recibieron esas
viviendas por la Reforma Urbana del 14 de octubre de 1960. Otra reforma
posterior ratificó esos derechos revolucionarios, la del nuevo Código
Civil de Cuba, Ley Nº 59, del 16 de julio de 1987. Y más reciente la Ley
288, de 2011, permite las compraventas, lo que describe ampliamente el
cubanólogo Carmelo Mesa Lago, en el capítulo cinco del libro del que fue
coordinador, Voces de cambio en el sector no estatal cubano (Editorial
Iberoamericana, 2016).

La oficina legal de mi esposo en los años 50 administraba 300 unidades
de varios propietarios en grandes y pequeños edificios, algunos eran de
familiares. Nos fuimos en junio de 1960, pero quedó un secretario a
cargo, que notificó a los dueños que entregaran las propiedades al
Estado, al cual le siguieron pagando mensualmente los inquilinos. Los
forzaron a ser usurpadores, aunque no quisieran, como lo hacen todas las
mafias. La indemnización a los propietarios originales fue una suma que
podría llegar hasta $600 al mes como máximo (Artículo 22 de la Ley de
Reforma Urbana), no importaba cuán grande fuera su fortuna. Pero no les
dieron nada a los que se exiliaron, aunque muchos lo pudieron declarar
como pérdidas al IRS en Estados Unidos.

Por esa razón el problema de la legitimidad de la propiedad en Cuba
sigue subyacente. Cuando fui a ver una casa para alquilar, el que la
rentaba me dijo: "yo nací aquí". Una amiga española que estaba comprando
un piso se preocupó de que el título pudiera ser de origen dudoso, y
tuvo la misma respuesta del vendedor, "yo nací aquí".

En otros países que pertenecieron al bloque soviético se han devuelto
las casas, al terminar esos gobiernos, cosa que exploré cuando fui a
Sofía, Bulgaria, y a Bucarest, Rumania. También en la parte de Alemania
que fue gobernada por los comunistas. En Rostock, en la antigua
República Democrática Alemana, hay todavía casas en litigio por la
reclamación de viviendas.

Además, en Miami se ha discutido la recuperación de bienes, muebles e
inmuebles, en algunas ocasiones, sobre todo el arte.

Creo firmemente que la supervivencia económica de los cubanos de la isla
requiere que tengan negocios propios, aunque sea con sus actuales
viviendas. Esto será aun mejor que recibir dinero en remesas, ya que
contribuye a la independencia personal por lo ganado con el esfuerzo propio.

Aunque, a pesar de las ventajas de esta "evolución", hay que constatar
que los negocios particulares en Cuba tienen bases tan ilegítimas como
las cadenas hoteleras. Ya que nada ni nadie en Cuba está libre de la
urdimbre del tejido totalitario que ha manejado toda su historia en
estos 58 años.

olconnor@bellsouth.net

Source: La 'evolución' cubana | El Nuevo Herald -
http://www.elnuevoherald.com/opinion-es/opin-col-blogs/opinion-sobre-cuba/article159032204.html
          Obama knocks Trump: 'Temporary absence' of US climate leadership   
Former President Barack Obama took a shot at his successor while traveling in Indonesia, saying President Trump had caused a "temporary absence of American leadership" on climate policy. "In Paris, we came together around the most ambitious agreement in history to fight climate change," Obama said Saturday, per Bloomberg. "[A]n agreement that even with the temporary absence of American leadership will still give our children a fighting chance." Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement, months after Obama's team raced to finalize an international climate accord before he left office. That decision angered Democratic leaders, although Trump...
          Obama pushes tolerance, respect in childhood home Jakarta   
Following another week of dust-ups between the media and President Donald Trump, his predecessor shared a bit of wisdom Saturday from the other side of the world about tolerance and taking the daily news cycle in stride. “I wasn’t worried about what was in the newspapers today,” former President Barack Obama said during a nostalgic visit to Indonesia’s capital, his childhood home. “What I was worried about was, ‘What are they going to write about me 20 years from now when I look back?’” Obama was greeted by a crowd of thousands, including leaders, students and businesspeople, in Jakarta, where...
          Pentagon Halts Obama’s Transgender Endorsement Plan   
The Secretary of Defense has frozen a decision by former President Barack Obama to recruit transgender soldiers this year, and a new poll shows the planned recruitment freeze is very popular. Two of every three swing voters say the Pentagon should postpone plans to accept “transgender” people who are trying to live as members of the opposite sex, according to the new poll by Rasmussen Reports. Defense Secretary James Mattis explained his July 30 decision to delay Obama’s plan for six months, just before it was to begin operating: Since becoming the Secretary of Defense, I have emphasized that the...
          Fraudulent Obamaphone Program   
The controversial “Obamaphone” program, which pays for cellphones for the poor, is rife with fraud, according to a new government report released Thursday that found more than a third of enrollees may not even be qualified. Known officially as the Lifeline Program, the phone giveaway became a symbol of government waste in the previous administration. Now a new report from the Government Accountability Office bears out those concerns. The report, requested by Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, also says the program has stashed some $9 billion in assets in private bank accounts rather than with the federal treasury, further increasing...
          La popularité des théories du complot sous la loupe   
La Terre est plate. Les vaccins causent l'autisme. L'ancien président américain Barack Obama a espionné le président actuel Donald Trump. Plusieurs théories du complot circulent ces temps-ci dans ce contexte de «post-vérité», et même la personne la plus rationnelle du monde pourrait être tentée de remettre en question les faits qui lui sont présentés.
          CMS Releases 2016 ACA Marketplace Reinsurance And Risk Adjustment Data   

On June 30, 2017, CMS released the results for the third year (2016) of the reinsurance and risk adjustment programs, two of the Affordable Care Act’s “three R” premium stabilization programs. The 2016 results from the risk corridor program, the “third R” will be announced later this year.

ACA’s “Three R” Progams Are Modeled After Medicare Part D, But Are Weaker And More Controversial Than Their Part D Counterparts

The ACA’s three R programs were modeled after similar premium stabilization programs that have operated for about a decade for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. The Part D program also has a risk adjustment program (which adjusts premiums prospectively rather than insurer income retrospectively), a reinsurance program (which is much more generous than the ACA program and permanent rather than temporary), and a risk corridor program (also permanent, and initially more generous than the ACA program.). The part D premium stabilization programs played an important role in attracting insurers to the prescription drug program initially and have helped to keep premiums stable and premium increases low since the program was launched in 2006. They have undoubtedly been an important factor in maintaining the popularity and bipartisan support for Part D.

The ACA premium stabilization programs have proven far more controversial than the Medicare Part D programs. The risk corridor program has been criticized as an Insurer “bail-out” and was seriously undermined by appropriations riders enacted by Congress limiting program payouts to the amount collected from insurers. For 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services was only able to pay out 12.6 percent of the amounts owed insurers under the statutory formula because of this constraint, while it has been unable to make any payments for 2015 as it had to set off 2015 collections against 2014 obligations.  This no doubt contributed to the insolvency of a number of insurers and has resulted in a number of lawsuits in the Federal Court of Claims, as insurers attempt to collect the full amount they claim they are due under the statute.

The reinsurance program was supposed to collect $25 billion over its three- year life and pay $5 billion of that amount to the Treasury, apparently to reimburse it for funds spent on the Early Retiree Reinsurance program from 2010 to 2013.  Collections fell short in the first two years, and the Obama administration took the position that this reimbursement to the Treasury would only be paid after all reinsurance obligations were first met.  It paid nothing to the Treasury in 2015 and less than a half a billion dollars for 2016.  This position has been condemned by ACA critics and legislation was introduced in 2016 to force HHS to make the repayment.  The Trump administration has apparently not bowed to this pressure and is paying the full $4 billion due to insurers under the program for 2016.

The formula used by the risk adjustment program has also come in for criticism. CMS made a number of changes in its risk adjustment methodology for 2017, including factoring in preventive services and better accounting for drug cost increases.  It will incorporate even greater changes for 2018, including adjustment for partial-year enrollees and prescription drug use and setting up a separate risk adjustment pool for very high costs cases.

A Widespread Recognition Of The Importance Of Reinsurance

Despite criticism, the reinsurance program has in fact made a substantial contribution to constraining marketplace premiums. During 2014, the reinsurance program reduced net claim costs an estimated 10 to 14 percent, during 2015, 6 to 11 percent, and during 2016, 4 to 6 percent.  The end of the reinsurance program after 2016 has been a major driver of premium increases for 2017 and 2018.  Recognizing this, there is a consensus in Congress that further reinsurance funding is needed.  The House’s American Health Care Act, the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act, and health reform legislation introduced by Democrats all include reinsurance funds for the individual market.

The federal risk adjustment program for 2016 covered non-grandfathered insurers in the individual and small group markets in every state except Massachusetts, which operated its own risk adjustment program. Transfers happened within each state.  The reinsurance program covered non-grandfathered insurers in the individual market in every state.

Participating insurers were required to set up EDGE servers through which they could transfer to CMS the data necessary to calculate reinsurance programs and risk adjustment information while retaining control of sensitive enrollee information. Nationally, 496 insurers were eligible for reinsurance payments.  Of these 445 will receive reinsurance payments.  CMS estimates that 52.9 percent of claims between $90 and $250,000 will be payable for the year, with 83 percent of that money currently available through the $3.3 billion already collected for the reinsurance program.

A total of 751 insurers participated in the risk adjustment program, which covered the individual and small group markets. Default risk adjustment charges were assessed against 42 insurers, 41 that did not submit EDGE server data and one that did but did not provide HHS with access to the required data. Of the 709 insurers that participated in transfers, 469 issued individual market non-catastrophic plans, 247 issued individual market catastrophic plans, 552 issued small group market plans, and two issued merged market plans.

The CMS report states that reinsurance and risk adjustment transfers correlate strongly with paid claims, showing that the programs are working as intended.  Insurers in the lowest quartile of claims costs were assessed on average a risk adjustment charge of 18 percent of total collected premiums, while insurers in the highest quartile of claims received risk adjust payments of 27 percent of total premiums.  Risk adjustment transfers averaged 11 percent of premiums in the individual market, up from 10 percent in 2015, while small group transfers remained steady at 6 percent of premiums.  CMS reports that there was a significant improvement in the quantity and quality of data provided by insurers for 2016, and thus a higher correlation between interim risk scores released in the spring and the final scores released on June 30.

Surprisingly, CMS reports that risk scores remained stable in the individual market and decreased in the small group market.  It was expected that as individuals had been enrolled longer in the program and insurers became more experienced in reporting the diagnoses on which the risk scores were based, the risk scores would go up, but they did not.  The data also would seem to refute the commonly held belief that the marketplace population is becoming sicker.  Risk adjustment transfers (calculated using the absolute value of net transfers for each issuer in the risk pool) amounted to 11 percent of enrollment-weighted monthly premiums in the individual market, 6 percent in the small group market, and 18 percent in the catastrophic market, for a national average of 8 percent.

Big Winners And Losers

The size of some of the transfers is remarkable.  Blue Cross of California will receive an estimated $210 million in reinsurance payments, $49 million in risk adjustment in the individual market, and $217 million in risk adjustment in the small group market.  Blue Shield of California is slated to receive $201 million in reinsurance, $265 million in risk adjustment in the individual market, and $106 million in risk adjustment in the small group market. The California Kaiser Foundation Health Plan will receive $99 million in reinsurance, but must pay in $183 million in risk adjustment in the individual market and $255 million in risk adjustment in the small group market.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida is slated to receive $127 million in reinsurance and  $464 million in risk adjustment payments in the individual market, while Molina Healthcare of Florida must pay in $253 million, Celtic Insurance Company of Florida $161 million, and Coventry Health Care of Florida $112 million.  Molina Healthcare of Texas must pay in $126 million in individual market risk adjustment.  Other insurers receiving nine-figure risk adjustment or reinsurance payments include Humana Employers Health Plan of Georgia, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.


          General Motors Wins a Star   
Two years ago, when President Obama decided to spend billions to prop up General Motors, and then to guide it through a cushioned, soft landing bankruptcy, there were a lot of doubters. Many thought nature should have been allowed to take its course, and that the once-mighty General should have been allowed to die. At the time, a commentator on NBC News said As the GM bailout goes, so goes the Obama presidency. But you wont find Republicans saying that today. General Motors has come roaring back in a way thats astonished virtually everyone in the industry, not to mention those who talk for a living. Yesterday, we learned for the first time since 2004, GM ended last year with a profit -- four point seven billion dollars. That was also its biggest profit since the go-go year of 1999. Whats more, there are cautious expectations that GM will do even better this year, as the nationwide automotive market continues to recover. One strike against the General is that it still doesnt have a lot
          Internet in disbelief over Clippers' T-shirt of Blake Griffin with MLK, Gandhi, Ali, more   
Clockwise, starting top right: Barack Obama, Albert Einstein, Michael Jackson, Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Martin (...)
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 39930788)   
oh great a little illuminatti kid is like walking around "la la, oh, a sick little bird, let me help it, la la " then BAM glp anti illuminatti racist that wants to pour salt in his eyes and call his parents names and then buy guns and rant about obama the evidence...
          Keliling Objek Wisata di Indonesia, Biaya Liburan Obama Hampir 4 Miliar?   
Lebaran di tahun 2017 ini begitu spesial lantaran cerita seru dari mantan presiden Amerika Serikat. Siapa lagi kalau bukan Barack Obama yang juga tengah menjalani agenda pulang kampung selama 12 hari di Indonesia. Kedatangan Obama ke tanah air ini pun menarik perhatian banyak orang bukan hanya karena objek wisata yang dikunjungi tapi juga biaya yang […]
          Liburan Murah ala Presiden Jokowi: Ke Ragunan Saja!   
Ketika mantan presiden Amerika Serikat, Obama berlibur ke Indonesia dengan mengunjungi kota-kota wisata seperti Jogja dan Bali, presiden kita, Jokowi justru menyempatkan untuk menikmati libur lebaran dengan cara yang terbilang irit. Ya, Presiden Jokowi baru saja mengunjungi kebun binatang pertama di Indonesia yaitu Taman Margasatwa Ragunan bersama Ibu Iriana, Kahiyang dan Kaesang. Apa yang menarik […]
          Syrian Government Rejects Report Saying Sarin Was Used in Attack   
The Syrian government on Saturday dismissed a report by the international chemical weapons watchdog that said the banned nerve agent sarin was used in an April attack in northern Syria, saying it lacked "any credibility." Western governments including the United States have said the Syrian government carried out the attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, which killed dozens of people. The Syrian government has denied using chemical weapons. The attack prompted a U.S. missile strike against a Syrian air base that Washington said was used to launch the strike. The report into the attack was circulated to members of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, but was not made public. In a statement, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said the fact-finding team had based its report on "the testimonies offered by terrorists in Turkey." Turkey is a major backer of the Syrian opposition to President Bashar al-Assad. After interviewing witnesses and examining samples, the fact-finding mission of the OPCW concluded that "a large number of people, some of whom died, were exposed to sarin or a sarin-like substance." Russia, Assad's most powerful ally, has described the report as biased. The April 4 attack on in northern Idlib province was the most deadly in Syria's civil war in more than three years. Western intelligence agencies had also blamed the Assad government. Syrian officials have repeatedly denied using banned toxins in the conflict. Chlorine gas A joint U.N. and OPCW investigation has found Syrian government forces were responsible for three chlorine gas attacks in 2014 and 2015 and that Islamic State militants used mustard gas. Syria joined the chemical weapons convention in 2013 under a Russian-U.S. agreement, averting military intervention under then U.S. President Barack Obama. The United States said Wednesday that the Syrian government appeared to have heeded a warning this week from Washington not to carry out a chemical weapons attack. Russia warned it would respond proportionately if the United States took pre-emptive measures against Syrian forces after Washington said on Monday that it appeared the Syrian military was preparing to conduct a chemical weapons attack.
          Re: Yes We Can? Yes We Did!   

Small update: the rate that housing in DC is going for Obama's upcoming inauguration, I think we can massively capitalize C&P by renting out the office for the week! I've seen rates that are, frankly, astounding, but I guess that's what happens when as many as 4 million (!) people come to DC for the historic event. For comparison, the last Bush inauguration had a crowd of about 150,000 (National Park Service estimate). That's inflation!


          Re: Yes We Can? Yes We Did!   

It's utterly joyous and amazing.

The bummer in the joy are the various anti-gay marriage initiatives, including the loathsome Prop 8 in California. I find it hard to believe and sad that people would vote for a initiative that is presented as Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California..

Well, anti-abortion stuff went down in flames...maybe we can fix this sooner rather than later.

Obama's making it does give me hope for the rest. Painful and too slow, but justice will come to everyone.


          Obama Warns Against an ‘Aggressive Kind of Nationalism’   
The former president referenced Trump's decision without mentioning him by name
          Hope for Employers on the Wage and Hour Front: The Department of Labor Brings Back Opinion Letters   
Given the exponential uptick in wage and hour lawsuits during the Obama administration and the United States Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) continuing aggressive enforcement of wage and hour laws, many employers have felt the risk of a potential lawsuit looming over their heads for pay violations they may not even know exist. Before 2010, Opinion Letters prepared and made publicly available by the DOL were invaluable to employers seeking clarification of a wage and hour rule or regulation. Oftentimes these Opinion Letters were the only guidance available to a company desperately attempting not to run afoul of the Fair Labor Standards Act and its myriad complex regulations. However, in 2010, after 70 years, the practice was stopped in favor of Administrator Interpretations, but the frequency with which those have been issued the past seven years is glacial in comparison to the prior DOL Opinion Letters. In addition, Administrator Interpretations tended to be more…
          These are the days of elliah the days of baael. (Really)   
Johnathon cahn a prophetic teacher Explains the paradigm of today's political view with a bible basis. Hillary Clinton pro baby killer for baael. Baroc Obama same sex marriage Its OK to be gay.
          Trump’s Voter Fraud Endgame   

Donald Trump’s attempt at voter suppression through his “election integrity” commission is a voting rights nightmare that is being enacted so clumsily it just might backfire.

Both before and after the election, Trump made wild and unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud and the system being “rigged.” Before the election, many of the claims were about voters voting five, 10, or 15 times by impersonating other voters. The ridiculous and unproven charges of voter suppression had a racial tinge, with suggestions the fraud would happen in majority minority communities. According to the New York Times, he told an audience in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a few weeks before Election Day: “I just hear such reports about Philadelphia. … I hear these horror shows, and we have to make sure that this election is not stolen from us and is not taken away from us.” He added for emphasis: “Everybody knows what I’m talking about.”

After the election, he shifted his unsubstantiated fraud talk from rumormongering about voter impersonation to claims of massive noncitizen voting. Trump said repeatedly that 3 to 5 million illegal voters had cast ballots, a claim so outlandish it is hard to know where to start to refute it. (We could start with a Brennan Center report which, so far, has found a total of 30 cases nationwide of possible noncitizen voting. That’s 30, not 300, 3,000, 30,000, 300,000, or 3 million.) He claimed that “none” of the supposed fraudulent votes went to him.

In hindsight, the focus on noncitizen voting makes sense, and the endgame is about passing federal legislation to make it harder for people to register and vote. The noncitizen focus fits in with Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric as well as the rhetoric of Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who has been advising Trump on voter fraud issues. Kobach has repeatedly lost in lawsuits against the American Civil Liberties Union on account of his actions to make it harder for people to register and vote. Just last week, a federal magistrate judge fined him $1,000 for misleading the court by attempting to shield a document regarding his advice to Trump on how to make voter registration harder.

Trump has put Kobach in charge of a commission that is supposed to examine problems with voter fraud and report back to the president. (Vice President Mike Pence is the formal head, but it is clear Kobach is the one calling the shots.) Back in January, when Trump announced he would launch an investigation into voter fraud, I laid down some markers here at Slate for what a fair commission would look like. It would have bipartisan elder statesmen heads (like earlier voting commissions); it would have professional staff and rely on people with experience in running and analyzing elections; it would look for areas of bipartisan consensus.

Trump’s commission is none of these things. There is no professional staff, a B-list of token Democrats to give the commission a bipartisan veneer, and the work is being done out of the Executive Office of the President. (Given that Trump is an announced candidate for the next presidential election, he’s hardly a person who can be counted on for a fair and impartial review.)

Most importantly, the commission includes a rogue’s gallery of the country’s worst voter suppressors. Not just Kobach, but former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who was notorious for rejecting Ohio voter registration forms because they were not printed on heavy enough paper. And on Thursday, Trump added Hans von Spakovsky, one of the original leaders of what I termed the Fraudulent Fraud Squad.

Von Spakovsky has a history of making false and unsupported claims of voter fraud, and using them to argue for voting laws that make it harder to register and vote. In one notorious incident, chronicled in an excellent 2012 New Yorker profile by Jane Mayer, von Spakovsky claimed impersonation fraud was a major problem, pointing to a 1982 New York grand jury report. At the time von Spakovsky made the claims, I had been researching the topic of impersonation fraud for my book, The Voting Wars. I couldn’t find a single election anywhere in the United States since the 1980s where impersonation fraud was used to swing an election. (That’s because it is an exceptionally dumb way to try to steal an election: Pay people to go to the polls claiming to be someone else, not know how they voted, hope they don’t get caught by poll workers who may know the people being impersonated, and do it in large enough numbers to swing your candidate from defeat to victory.)

Despite my repeated requests, von Spakovsky would not turn over the grand jury report. When Mayer asked von Spakovsky why he’d refused to give me the document, he told her he was not my “research assistant.” We were finally able to track it down, and it unsurprisingly did not support his case in the slightest.

Kobach, Blackwell, von Spakovsky—this is a list meant to send a message to those who care about voting reform on both sides of the aisle that this is not a serious effort to propose bipartisan solutions. (Indeed, if you want bipartisan solutions, just turn to the 2014 report of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, which was headed by Mitt Romney’s lawyer Ben Ginsberg and Obama’s lawyer Bob Bauer. But don’t look at the government website which used to host the report—Trump took it down.)

Here’s the likely endgame. Kobach has requested that every state send detailed voter information to the commission. Never mind the privacy concerns or the fact that this intrudes on what the right always refers to as states’ rights to run elections as they see fit. If a left-wing Obama appointee requested this information, it would prompt a federal investigation and be at the top of every Fox News segment for months.

Kobach’s likely going to use this information to try to “match” voters and show there is bloat on the voter rolls, such as dead voters and people who have moved but have not been removed from the rolls. He’ll also likely find a small number of noncitizens who are registered to vote. Doing this kind of matching well is tough business: It is easy to claim that two people with the same name are the same person, or that someone is a felon because he has the same name as a felon. But Kobach will not be relying on election administration professionals to do that work; he’s going to use the president’s staff.

The report will likely conclude that even if there is no evidence of actual voter fraud, the potential for voter fraud and noncitizen voting is there because of inaccurate rolls. Accordingly, they will argue it is necessary to roll back the 1993 National Voter Registration Act (or “motor voter” law)—a law which folks like Kobach hate because among other things it requires states to offer voter registration at public service agencies. They’ll want federal law to do what federal courts have so far forbidden Kobach to do: Require people to produce documentary proof of citizenship before registering to vote. In other words, show us your papers or you can’t register.

Repealing the enfranchising parts of the motor voter law would be a terrible thing, but the good news is that the “electoral integrity” commission’s efforts are already so outlandish and lacking in credibility that it will do nothing to help get the law repealed. Serious Democrats and Republicans know this effort is a sham. This is a faux commission that is not following sound social science or bipartisan principles.

That’s not to say there won’t be an attempt to kill the motor voter law. Indeed, the move toward voter suppression is proceeding apace. Just this week, a House committee voted to defund the United States Election Assistance Commission, a federal agency which is charged with certifying the security of voting machines and coming up with best practices for election administration. And the U.S. Department of Justice is looking to make states enforce the voter purge provisions of the 1993 motor voter law.

But the Trump commission process has been so poorly handled that whatever it concludes will be likely ignored by serious people, even while the president latches onto it to make it harder for people to register and vote. He’s overplayed his hand, and we should be thankful for that.


          Popcorn, Pinballs, and Piranhas   

The Capitol Hill unit of the country’s fake news operation—50 or so crisply attired journalists with their faces deep in their phones—is loitering outside the ballroom where Republican senators are eating lunch. The spacious anteroom is packed; my colleague who reports frequently from the Senate and House says he’s never seen it so crowded. Behind the enormous doors, GOP leaders debate what is to be done about the Better Care Reconciliation Act, a potentially disastrous piece of legislation that could tear health insurance away from more than 20 million Americans. In the hallway, those of us who’ve been sent to the U.S. Capitol to find the news keep looking at our phones, hoping the news will come to us.

Hark—the news! Our screens reveal that the health care bill with the 17 percent approval rating has been kicked down the road until after Independence Day. We mill beneath a tremendous mural that’s tightly draped in plastic, like a Dexter victim, and make eyes at the century-old sculpture of Benjamin Franklin. Security types scurry about, herding us away from the staircase. “Make a path, guys,” says a broad-shouldered suit. Several of us drift reluctantly to the right, but only a few inches. “Guys. Guys. I know this is tough,” the man insists. We guys shift one or two more inches, then return to where we were. We watch the crack under the big doors as if a magic light might spill out at any moment and write our pieces for us.

Like the answer to a prompt on a flashcard, a familiar face materializes a few feet away. It is Elizabeth Warren, who strolls past our press amoeba with an intense expression that calls to mind such phrases as “due process” and “friends, Romans, countrymen.” When nobody detaches to follow her, my colleague explains with a sigh: “She never talks to us.”

A little after 2 p.m., the GOP brass finally finishes eating. (They’ve been at it since 12:30.) The senators now face a logistical challenge: All paths of egress swarm with piranhas who, convention dictates, can attack their prey far more ruthlessly than the more genial schools of notebook-wavers swimming around the White House and the Supreme Court. The anteroom branches into two exit routes: a stairway and a narrow corridor leading to an elevator lobby. We line the walls like villi coating the sides of a digestive tract. Sean Spicer walks by. Nobody moves. “Sean doesn’t know anything,” a colleague snarks.

The whispers start around 2:15. Murkowski, it’s Murkowski. Sen. Lisa Murkowski shoots out of the ballroom like a pinball. “Senator, senator!” the correspondents entreat in low voices. “Is the delay good or bad for the bill?” “Did the CBO score—?”

Murkowski doesn’t break stride. She proceeds to the elevator enclosed in a glom of pump-heeled, jacketed humanity, the whole inquisitive organism gliding with her and swishing its extravagant tail of stragglers. Then: Perdue. Perdue! Some of the clump breaks off and doubles back. The journalists on the sidelines pepper their returning colleagues with questions: What’d she say? Did you hear? There’s no time to debrief; Tim Scott, John McCain, and Bob Corker are streaking toward the staircase. It’s like the moment when, after a few trial pops, the microwaved popcorn starts cooking in earnest. The lunchers are dispersing everywhere; Democratic senators are arriving with prepared statements. The piranhas fan out, desperate for some morsel of flesh.

Power crisscrosses the anteroom in an invisible grid, or like the wire you pull on a bus to get it to stop. There is jocular power, exchanged in handshakes and good-to-see-yas, and the soaring power embedded in the architecture, and the breathless, sidelong power of being in the know. Two aides confer in the corner, their voices hushed and heavy with import. “That depends,” one murmurs, “on the defectors.” He kneads the word like a sore muscle.

In configuring itself around loci of legislative authority, the fourth estate follows certain rules. Taller, more aggressive journalists seem to gravitate toward higher-profile senators, such as Florida’s Marco Rubio. Smaller and shyer correspondents flit about the room’s edges, picking off lower-wattage congresspeople as they try to escape. There’s my colleague, latched onto John Thune like a sea lamprey.

The carnage of fact-finding roars around us, but this is ritualized, stylized mayhem. The politicians have their lines, their lockstep. The reporters know they won’t get anything other than a sound bite, if they even get that. Mitch McConnell may be trying to persuade his party to replace Obamacare with the legislative equivalent of a high school chemistry accident, but when he returns the gaze of 50 iPhone cameras, his eyes are not the window to his turbulent soul.

The evasive, boilerplate answers. The dispiriting contrast between the sense of things happening and the garbage you discover written down in your notebook afterward. In the Trump era, our best, most useful work seems to emerge from shadowy sessions with teed-off anonymice, not elaborate Kabuki performances in which John Cornyn’s indigestion might be mistaken for a brewing GOP revolt.

Standing in the hallway, waiting for someone important to say nothing as he or she breezes past, one can’t help but wonder if this entire ceremony deserves to go the way of Obamacare (RIP). Yet what if Murkowski forgets herself and reveals a top-secret plan to sabotage the BCRA? What if another civilian gets body-slammed by a public servant? The Capitol corps will be there, ready and waiting to let the American people know. That’s a comforting thought. Let’s hope their phones stay charged.


          About That Tax Cut for the Rich   

On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell came to terms with reality and announced that he would delay the health care vote he had been planning to hold this week. Since then, Republican members of Congress have been negotiating terms, trying to strike a health care agreement before flying back to their home states on Friday to screw around for 10 days. Though they were making progress by Thursday morning in narrowing the options, senators still had to get through that little part where they make impossible decisions on the issues that have bitterly divided them.

Some of the more obvious tweaks have been made. Senate holdouts representing states hollowed out by the opioid crisis—West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, and others—are likely to get the full $45 billion in grant funding that they’ve been seeking all along, Politico reported Wednesday night. The bill will also likely be adjusted to allow people to use their health savings accounts to pay for premiums, something conservatives fought for in this bill.

But these changes still fall within the realm of tinkering. Capito, for instance, has said that the opioid money would not be enough—she wants the stingy long-term growth rate for the bill’s Medicaid caps raised, too. That’s something conservatives would be loath to do.

A lot of senators, including many in the rank-and-file, still want to see the bill’s refundable tax credits for individuals boosted. And the most conservative wing of the party, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, want more market deregulation. The “grand bargain,” then, still amounts to conservatives giving way on Medicaid cuts and other spending, while moderates give way on market regulation.

Here’s what that might look like, per the current discussions.

The Congressional Budget Office analysis, you’ll recall, left McConnell about $188 billion in additional funds to spread around to buy votes. The opioid crisis funds and HSA changes could exhaust about half of that. If senators wanted to substantially increase the tax credits to those with lower and middle incomes—or even dependents on employer plans—that could exhaust the savings, and a new stream of revenue would be needed.

That’s why some senators are now talking more seriously about keeping the Affordable Care Act’s 3.8 percent net investment tax, as Bloomberg first wrote Wednesday afternoon. This is not a new conversation: Since December, there’s been a debate over whether to keep any of the ACA’s taxes to help fund elements of replacement legislation. Opinions have varied. But the House-passed American Health Care Act chose to repeal nearly all of the taxes and finance the bill through Medicaid cuts. And the Senate kept that framework. The very correct depiction of Trumpcare as “cutting Medicaid to finance tax cuts for the wealthy” has caused a lot of political headaches for the party, and now some senators are having second thoughts.

South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds said Wednesday that he wanted the party to reconsider ditching the investment tax, which only affects individuals making more than $200,000 and families making more than $250,000, and using that money to bump up the individual tax credits.

“If we did that, that would be another $172 billion that could then be utilized to perhaps offset some of the areas in which people have expressed concern,” Rounds said, “or as a way to allow for individuals who have never been helped by Obamacare, in the group market.”

Rounds has always been receptive to keeping the investment tax. He now has more support—and more importantly, it appears that this wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for conservatives. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, a conservative holdout, said on Thursday that he could live with keeping the Obamacare tax. Cruz said that he doesn’t want to keep it but didn’t answer when asked whether it would be a deal-breaker. Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told reporters on Thursday that keeping the tax wouldn’t be a deal-breaker in his chamber either.

The conservative holdouts would demand a price, though: Give us deregulation, and we’ll stomach the losses.

Cruz has been selling one particular deregulatory proposal hard over the last week, which leaders are now taking seriously as something they’ll have to engage with to get conservative votes. As my colleague Jordan Weissmann wrote Thursday, the amendment would allow insurers within a state to sell cheaper plans that don’t comply with the ACA’s regulations so long as they also sell one plan that does.

One might call this “the MacArthur amendment by other means.” The MacArthur amendment, which sealed conservatives’ support for the House bill, allowed states to waive the ACA regulation, called community rating, that barred insurers from charging sicker people more. Eliminating that regulation would bring down premiums for healthier people while sequestering those with pre-existing conditions in high-risk pools. The Cruz amendment, essentially, would embed the high-risk pool within the traditional market: All the healthy, younger people would sign up for the cheaper, noncompliant plan, causing an increase in prices for the regulated plans as only sicker people enroll in them. In other words, it could undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions, much as experts fear would happen under the MacArthur amendment. Cruz believes that the federal subsidies and stabilization money would be enough to ensure that premiums remain within reach for those most in need of care. But his more moderate colleagues, after witnessing the shellacking the House bill got with the MacArthur amendment, are leery of such a move. And yet South Dakota Sen. John Thune, a member of the Senate leadership, said leaders could consider it if there was a way to ensure it didn’t unravel markets. (There’s also, as with all regulatory changes considered under the reconciliation process, concerns about whether the Senate parliamentarian would allow it.)

Again, senators have about 24 hours to reach an agreement under McConnell’s latest artificially imposed deadline. That means that senators who have been fighting for the last two months will have 24 hours to miraculously come together around an agreement where conservatives abandon some of their deeply held priors on tax cuts and spending while moderates assent to market reforms that could undermine protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

Maybe they’ll need the weekend.


          The Angle: Slipping Masks Edition   

He can’t help it: President Trump has managed to keep his misognyist tendencies quiet during the first few months of his administration. With today’s tweets, Michelle Goldberg argues, he shows that the stress of being in office is getting to him.

Make it so: Trump speaks as though Obamacare were already dead and in the dustbin. That’s so he’ll stop having to hear how much better it is than Trumpcare, William Saletan writes.

Staring down Islamophobia: In the first two installments of Slate’s new video series, our Aymann Ismail seeks out and speaks with people who fear Muslims, wherever they may be.

Not my “partner”: People in married same-sex couples should claim the title of “wife” or “husband” for their spouse, Jacy Topps writes. Letting everyone else choose neutral alternative language denies the reality of gay marriage.

For fun: The best stand-up specials of 2017, so far.

Go, Norm,

Rebecca


          The Republican AHCA Bill is going to screw over the majority of Americans   
This Healthcare act currently in the process of replacing Obamacare is economically devastating. It will to greatly decrease tax breaks for the lower and middle classes but for the upper class, amounts in the range $30,000 in tax breaks as the minimum with $197,000 being the max. This bill is essentially taking from the poor and giving to the rich and is not well examined. It was rushed by the premature repeal of Obamacare and undoubtedly has an infinite number of flaws. What I want is for them to fear the Constitutional rights of their Constituents who can and will take them out of power. Congress you will not pass this bill and you will bring back Obamacare and it will remain for however much time is necessary for you to come together and form a decent healthcare bill and thoroughly examine it before you are ready to truly replace it.
          Ingatan Obama Patung Pancoran Tertinggi, Tinggal Kenangan   
Dia mengatakan, kemajuan Jakarta sangat pesat.
          Obama Imbau RI Jangan Setop Membangun, Ini Kata Menkeu Sri   
Pembangunan tidak bisa dilakukan tanpa pajak.
          Obama Puji Toleransi di Indonesia   
Hal tersebut disampaikan dalam pidatonya di acara diaspora Indonesia.
          Menhub Budi Harap Kedatangan Obama Dongkrak Pariwisata   
Indonesia dan Obama punya ikatan emosional yang kuat.
          Science Division of White House Left Empty   
The science division of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) was unstaffed as of Friday as the three remaining employees departed this week, sources tell CBS News. All three employees were holdovers from the Obama administration. ... On Friday afternoon, Eleanor Celeste, the assistant director for biomedical and forensic sciences at the OSTP, tweeted, "Science division out. Mic drop" before leaving the office for the last time. The Trump administration hasn't demonstrated the same commitment to science to date, most notably by naming climate change skeptic Scott Pruitt to run the Environmental Protection Agency and announcing the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
          Pentagon Halts Obama’s Transgender Endorsement Plan   
WINNINGWINNINGWINNINGWINNINGWINNINGWINNING The Secretary of Defense has frozen a decision by former President Barack Obama to recruit transgender soldiers...

- Poster: troitcity - Views 2,305 - Replies 78

          Trump Revives 1960s-Era Space Council at NASA, which Obama destroyed!   
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Friday to re-establish the National Space Council, reviving an entity that was formed during the 1960s race...

- Poster: Anonymous Coward (UID 75163355) - Views 51 - Replies 2

          Remember we said that after Obama left office, we'd find out the damage he did?   
From Thomas Wictor on Twitter (1) Boy oh boy. Remember we said that after Obama left office, we'd find out the damage he did? It's much worse...

- Poster: Anonymous Coward (UID 72359862) - Views 153 - Replies 3

          Obama is caling out Trump! WAR!   
How dare he!

- Poster: Ascanius - Views 126 - Replies 1

          Will Trump continue the Bush-Obama legacy?   
Will Trump continue the Bush-Obama legacy? http://www.theledger.com/opinion/20170120/paul-will-trump-continue-bush-obama-legacy

- Poster: Anonymous Coward (UID 75164849) - Views 35 - Replies 2

          SHOULD OBAMA BE CALLED TO QUESTION UNDER OATH?? See what Newt gingrich said   


- Poster: Anonymous Coward (UID 59528021) - Views 44 - Replies 0

          CNN Triggered: Trump Proposal to Reorganize Refugee Bureaucracy Activates Deep State, Media, Obama Allies   
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/30/cnn-triggered-trump-proposal-to-reorganize-refugee-bureaucracy-activates-deep-state-media-obama-allies/...

- Poster: BOUT FUKKKING TIME :) (UID 73870092) - Views 93 - Replies 4

          Fred Savage: Jade Helm and Obama's Treyvon Martin Acorn cell assassinated Scalia to repeal Roe v wade!!   
Holy fuck! On drudge now! :bump:

- Poster: Planetx Elenin Confederate N (UID 71372454) - Views 4,576 - Replies 90

          Dear Obama, please create a national holiday to memorialize Treyvonn Martin. Amen.   
Oh Lord, please let the peoples remember and honor the fallen hero Treyvon. Keep us from traspass and sin, AMEN!

- Poster: Anonymous Coward (UID 22448756) - Views 1,696 - Replies 61

          Republicans grow increasingly anxious about heading home without a health plan - Washington Post   

Washington Post

Republicans grow increasingly anxious about heading home without a health plan
Washington Post
The dispute within the Republican Party over health care widened further Friday as President Trump joined with two conservative senators in calling for an outright repeal of the Affordable Care Act if the party fails to agree on an alternative plan by ...
Trump Warms to Old Idea: Kill Health Law Now, and Replace It LaterNew York Times
Cruz and Lee play inside game in health fightPolitico
Obamacare Has Problems. The Senate Health Care Bill Doesn't Solve Them, Experts SayNPR
CNN -Fox News -NBCNews.com -ABC News
all 6,139 news articles »

          When dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world - Washington Post   

Washington Post

When dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world
Washington Post
Ivanka Trump's office: clean, white, quiet. A zone of punctual start times and promptly-offered water bottles, and a conference table at which she conducts meetings. A short, winding walk away from her father's Oval Office downstairs. She does not ...
White House says Spanish-version website still comingThe Hill
Trump Wants To Rewrite Obama's Overtime ReformsHuffPost
More than 4 in 10 Trump White House staffers earn six-figure salariesCBS News
New York Daily News -Washington Examiner -Salt Lake Tribune -MarketWatch
all 167 news articles »

          Trump's Foreign Policy, With the Press Distracted, Is Starting To Cohere   
Though it is hard to believe some days, the political atmosphere in Washington is slowly settling down. The Democrats drone tiresomely on, battering the pi ta that there is no evidence that President Obama tapped candidate Trump's telephones, and the Republicans, as if trying to extract a shark's teeth, require the endlessly repeated admission that the allegation of collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign was horse feathers.The corresponding entrenched defense positions...
          Kerry Leaves Public Life The Way He Came In Turning Against an Ally   
It looks like Secretary of State Kerry is determined to go out the way he came in wrapping himself in the flag while betraying the causes of both America and its allies. He came in by doing that to Vietnam and is going out by turning on Israel.Mr. Kerry's tirade against Jewish settlements in liberated Judea and Samaria was breathtaking in its mendacity. Before a captive audience at the State Department, the lame-duck diplomat went on for more than an hour, blaming President Obama's failures...
          How Jews Gained Okay For 'Close Settlement'Of Judea and Samaria   
President Obama's passive aggression toward Israel has been evident ever since his Cairo speech five months after his accession to the presidency. After affirming "unbreakable" bonds between America and Israel, he segued to Palestinians. They "endure the daily humiliations . . . that come with occupation" an "intolerable situation." America, he pledged, "will not turn our backs on the legitimate Palestinians aspiration for dignity, opportunity, and a state of their own." Then he departed to...
          The effects of name and religious priming on ratings of a well-known political figure, President Barack Obama   
- Source: journals.plos.org
          Why the Obamacare Repeal Effort Will Never Disappear   
none
          Comment on DB – Chapter 107 by Triton   
In other words : We will all die, thanks Obama....
          Latest Venezuelan Opposition Coup Attempt Against Maduro Linked to DEA, CIA   
More than 80 people miraculously avoided injury or death in a helicopter attack that targeted Venezuelan government buildings this week. The attack may have been part of an attempted coup supported by the U.S. as it seeks to topple Venezuela’s government to gain access to its massive oil reserves.
June 30, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – CARACAS– Opposition efforts to topple Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government are rapidly heating up, as months upon months of opposition protests have failed to make the inroads desired by the more extremist elements of the opposition and their foreign backers, particularly the United States.
With the current regime still hanging on to power despite years of economic sabotage and the funneling of millions from the U.S. to right-wing Venezuelan opposition parties, those determined to see Maduro removed from power have now turned to more drastic, violent measures in order to spark a coup.
We’re revolutionizing the news industry, but we need your help! Click here to get started.
On Tuesday, one of the more dramatic incidents of the most recent phase of the Venezuelan crisis took place when a stolen police helicopter opened fire on the Supreme Court and the Interior Ministry. At the time the attack occurred – about 5 p.m. local time – there were an estimated 80 people still inside the Interior Ministry and the Supreme Court was in session. No deaths or injuries were reported, a fact that the Venezuelan government attributed to a quick response by national guard forces, who repelled the attacking helicopter before it could do more damage.
Maduro condemned the attack soon after it occurred, calling it a “terrorist attack” that “could have caused dozens of deaths.” Ernesto Villegas, Venezuela’s Communications and Information Minister, stated that the attack was intended to be part of an attempted coup led by extremist groups within the opposition, with full U.S. government support said to be behind them.
Villegas’ assertion that the U.S. was involved in this attack is not based on mere speculation. Pérez has been known to work for Miguel Rodríguez Torres, a former general and former minister of Venezuela’s Department of Interior Relations, Justice and Peace who is currently being investigated for his ties to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the CIA. The charges first surfaced when the Venezuelan news agency Últimas Noticias obtained an official DEA document that described Rodríguez Torres as a “key information provider” for the agency and recommended that he be secured as a protected source for the DEA and U.S. government. It also noted that 40 percent of his assets and wealth are held in the U.S. under his wife’s name.
The U.S. has long sought to oust the left-wing regime that was brought to power in Venezuela by Hugo Chávez in the late 1990s. Since Chávez’s election, the U.S. is believed to have spent between $50 to $60 million to strengthen the country’s right-wing opposition in the hope that they would win elections. Former U.S. President Barack Obama alone dedicated $5 million to “support political competition-building efforts” in Venezuela.
More recently, the U.S. Senate has been mulling over new legislation that would provide an additional $20 million for “democracy promotion” efforts in Venezuela. However, some of these efforts in the past have led to right-wing politicians and their affiliates paying protesters in cash to violently escalate opposition rallies.
Such rallies have turned increasingly violent in recent weeks, with three people burned alive by opposition protesters just in the last week. Journalists have also been targeted, with some being directly shot at and others threatened with being lynched or set aflame. Despite the violence, the Venezuelan opposition is likely to continue receiving funding from the U.S., which is eager to gain control of Venezuela’s oil reserves – the largest in the world – no matter the cost.
Whitney Webb is a MintPress contributor who has written for several news organizations in both English and Spanish; her stories have been featured on ZeroHedge, the Anti-Media, 21st Century Wire, and True Activist among others – she currently resides in Southern Chile.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.
Click for SpanishGermanDutchDanishFrench, translation- Note- Translation may take a moment to load.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

          Donald Trump trolled by former White House photographer with image of Barack Obama and four women   

Donald Trump trolled by former White House photographer with image of Barack Obama and four womenAs a chorus of Democratic and Republican lawmakers slammed President Trump for “sexist” tweets about MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, a former White House chief photographer took to social media to troll the president, again. Pete Souza, who chronicled the Obama presidency, shared a photo of an Oval Office meeting four women had with Barack Obama while he was president.



          THE (REAL) REASON OBAMA AND HILLARY DESTROYED LIBYA AND KILLED GADDAFI    
.
          Muerte del califa y fin del Emirato Islámico   

voltairenet.org

Muerte del califa y fin del Emirato Islámico

Red Voltaire

El estado mayor del ejército iraquí anunció que la ciudad de Mosul será liberada próximamente. Bajo estricto control de la censura militar, los medios de prensa resaltan que han sido tomadas las ruinas de la mezquita Al-Nuri, donde el califa Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi había anunciado su victoria, en 2014. El primer ministro iraquí, Haider al-Abadi, concluyó que se trata de hecho del fin del Emirato Islámico (Daesh, conocido también como Estado Islámico o bajo las siglas EI, EIIL, ISIS o ISIL).
En realidad, Daesh es un instrumento creado por el ex director de la Inteligencia Nacional de Estados Unidos, John Negroponte, a partir varios grupos armados que ya operaban bajo control del MI6 británico.
La administración Obama había confiado al Emirato Islámico la creación de un «Sunnistán» para cortar la «ruta de la seda» que conectaría China con el Mediterráneo pasando por Teherán, Bagdad y Damasco, pero la administración Trump se opuso a permitir que Daesh se convierta en un Estado y ahora las actuales operaciones militares contra sus dos ciudades más importantes –Mosul, en Irak, y Raqqa, en Siria– tienen como objetivo volver a meter el diablo en la botella y reducir el sistema terrorista a sus proporciones de los tiempos de al-Qaeda.
Las inesperadas declaraciones de los responsables iraquíes parecen tener como objetivo disminuir la repercusión del anuncio, por parte de Moscú, de la muerte del autoproclamado califa de Daesh, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, en una incursión de la aviación rusa.

          La guerra de Yemen en tiempos de Trump   




La guerra de Yemen en tiempos de Trump

El Viejo Topo

 


El primer ataque militar ordenado por Trump ha sido contra un pobre y pequeño pueblo de campesinos escondido entre las grises montañas del centro del Yemen. A finales de enero tropas de elite del ejército de Estados Unidos atacaron al Ghayil, en la provincia de al-Bayda. Qassim al Rimi, el líder de Al-Qaeda en la Península Arábiga, supuesto objetivo del ataque, se había esfumado horas antes –dijeron que había habido un chivatazo–. En el ataque, los soldados asustados por la resistencia masacraron a la población de la pequeña aldea. Además de destruir 12 casas y exterminar los burros y ovejas de la comunidad murieron asesinados seis mujeres y 10 niños menores de 13 años. Se desconoce el numero de combatientes que murieron en la refriega pero se sabe de la muerte de un oficial estadounidense y que uno de los helicópteros usados en la operación fue destruido. No sé sí será una premonición, pero el primer ataque ordenado para hacer grande a America otra vez fue un auténtico desastre1.
* * *
La población de al-Ghayil pertenece mayoritariamente a la tribu Qayfa. En Yemen la mayoría de las veces los hombres tribales no se alinean en términos territoriales sino sanguíneos. Los jeques de esta tribu –al-Bayda está dividida y es un frente de guerra– tienen relaciones con los saudíes; una relación sellada por el dinero. Esta tribu pelea en la guerra de Yemen al lado del depuesto Presidente Hadi y de los Estados Unidos. Estos hombres tribales reciben como combatientes de la coalición un salario mensual que los saudíes pagan, aun sabiendo que Qassim al Rimi, el líder de Al-Qaeda en Arabia Saudí –la organización de Al-Qaeda en Yemen y Arabia Saudí, están unidas–, está protegido por ellos. Mientras los saudíes les pagan, sus aliados de Estados Unidos los atacan. El caos de la política en Oriente Medio está por todos lados. Un caos que aunque parezca paradójico tiene su lógica.
Está documentado que Al-Qaeda ha sido un instrumento de Estados Unidos y Arabia Saudí, aunque obviamente no se reduce solo a ello. La usan a escondidas de su población porque saben que esta no aceptaría que apoyaran de alguna manera a grupos terroristas que luego atentan contra sus ciudades. Pero Washington, Ryad y otros gobiernos vienen aprovechándose desde hace décadas de estos grupos de jóvenes radicalizados. El nacionalismo árabe laico, enemigo histórico del Islam político, es también enemigo de las grandes compañías privadas petroleras occidentales que tienen a sus gobiernos en su nómina. Este doble juego entre policías y terroristas, basado en intereses comunes a corto plazo pero a la larga difícil de manejar, ha empezado a pasar factura en forma de ataques terroristas a ciudades y aviones de Europa y Estados Unidos.
Yemen llegó a mandar oficialmente a Afganistán a 3.000 guerrilleros reclutados en mezquitas o madrasas para luchar contra los soviéticos de manera organizada por la CIA; combatientes que usó después el Presidente Saleh contra los socialistas del sur. Luego fueron dos mil islamistas a la guerra de Iraq, la mayoría a luchar junto al líder de Al-Qaeda Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, cuya estrategia era enfrentar a los sunitas con los chiítas. Estrategia también usada por las fuerzas ocupantes. Estos combatientes, financiados por los saudíes y qataríes, a su regreso constituyeron los cimientos que han formado Al-Qaeda en Yemen. Hubo cierta continuidad porque lograron entenderse entre las diferentes generaciones y fundaron en el año 2009 la organización Al-Qaeda en la Península Arábiga.
* * *
La guerra actual del Yemen, que lleva ya más de dos años, empezó con dos ataques de ISIS en Sanaa: el asesinato del periodista defensor de los derechos humanos Abdulkarim al-Jaiwani y el ataque suicida a dos mezquitas zaydíes cuando estaban repletas de feligreses. Fue un salto en la historia de los rebeldes salafistas en Yemen. Hasta ese momento habían atacado a objetivos colonialistas: el Cole de la marina estadounidense, instalaciones petroleras, turistas. Ha sido la primera vez y la última que ISIS se ha responsabilizado públicamente de atentados dirigidos contra civiles yemenitas, aunque se sabe que el Estado Islámico está operando en Taiz y Aden. Este terrorismo contra la población apareció cuando los intereses del Estado saudí lo requerían. Pero no son solo los saudíes quienes lo dirigen. Una y otra vez diferentes servicios de inteligencia acuden al terrorismo en la región cuando sus gobiernos no pueden conseguir sus objetivos con la diplomacia o la guerra convirtiendo al terrorismo en la tercera pata de su política. Para estos gobiernos los grupos “terroristas” a los que manipulan son la continuación de la política por otros medios. Por eso los saudíes protegen al líder de Al-Qaeda en Yemen. Pueden necesitarlo en el futuro si su guerra contra Yemen fracasa.
El caso en Londres de Bherlin Gildo, acusado de terrorista, es una muestra elocuente de lo que estamos hablando. Los fiscales abandonaron el caso cuando los abogados del acusado demostraron que la inteligencia británica había armado y asesorando al grupo en que militaba el acusado. El grupo armado estaba activo en Inglaterra y Siria. En el juicio los abogados preguntaron al juez si se podía mandar a alguien a la cárcel por seguir la política del gobierno. ¿No debía ir entonces también el gobierno a la cárcel?, preguntaron al juez2. Los fiscales, avergonzados, retiraron el caso. No es el único. En documentos desclasificados de la inteligencia estadounidense escritos en 2012 se da la bienvenida a “usar” a los salafistas (la corriente puritana wahabista del Islam saudí que siguen el ISIS y Al-Qaeda) en Siria e Iraq3.
The Economist publicó recientemente un articulo sobre Yemen en el que documentaba cómo Al-Qaeda se ha ido fortaleciendo en los dos últimos años gracias a la política de guerra saudí, una política que cuenta con el apoyo de Washington y Londres. Según el artículo, Al-Qaeda en Yemen es más poderosa que nunca4. Periodistas que han visitado el sur del país dicen que las banderas de Al-Qaeda y las independentistas son mas visibles que las del gobierno del Presidente depuesto Hadi, él mismo nativo del sur. Viendo el resultado sobre el terreno, los ataques de los drones o las operaciones especiales militares que han causado la muerte a cientos de civiles durante la administración Obama y que continúa Trump parecen operaciones militares dedicadas al consumo interno: aparentar que se hace algo contra Al-Qaeda, más que operaciones militares bien concebidas para debilitarla.
** *
Hay varias razones para este éxito de Al-Qaeda. Una de ellas es que las tribus que luchan contra el gobierno huzí-Saleh, sobre todo del sur del país, como la tribu Qaifa, ven a los militantes de Al-Qaeda como sus aliados. Es importante para Al-Qaeda dado el carácter tribal de la sociedad yemení. Sin el consentimiento de las tribus ninguna organización puede moverse libremente y prosperar. Pero hay otras razones reveladoras de lo que venimos diciendo. Un estudio hecho sobre los objetivos de los bombardeos aéreos de la coalición –realizados por aviones saudíes pero asesorados por militares ingleses o estadounidenses– muestra que ninguno de ellos, y son cientos las salidas documentadas de sus aviones, ha sido dirigido directamente contra Al-Qaeda a pesar de que llegó a controlar Mukalla, el segundo puerto más importante del Océano Indico después de Aden, durante un año4. The New York Times informó incluso que Al-Qaeda gestionaba los ingresos del petróleo de Hadramout en nombre del Presidente depuesto Hadi5. Cuando los saudíes permitieron a regañadientes –Estados Unidos estaba en una posición difícil cuando el The New York Times publicó la noticia– a soldados de la coalición de Emiratos Arabes Unidos sacar a los guerrilleros islámicos de la ciudad, Ryad solo lo autorizó con la condición de que se dejara escapar a los guerrilleros de Al-Qaeda hacia los wadis aislados del interior.
¿Porqué al Presidente Trump le gustan los halcones saudíes que apoyan a Al-Qaeda?
Esta política saudí de fortalecer a Al-Qaeda es en cierta manera el reconocimiento de que la guerra contra Yemen está siendo un fracaso. La coalición de los huzíes con Saleh ha demostrado ser más fuerte de lo que se pensaba. La mayoría de los yemeníes la apoyan a pesar del enorme sufrimiento –la agresión saudí está provocando según Naciones Unidas la mayor crisis humanitaria que existe actualmente, el país vive estos meses una epidemia de cólera dantesca que está causando cientos de muertos– porque ven al gobierno huzíes-Saleh como la resistencia de una nación frente a un poder externo. Las empresas de comunicación suelen presentar a los huzíes como un aliado iraní o un Hezbolah en Yemen que amenaza a la seguridad saudí. Pero es pura propaganda para legitimar la venta de armas millonarias a los agresores. Los huzíes tomaron Sanaa contra la opinión de Irán, que le aconsejó no hacerlo. En Yemen no hay tropas iraníes o de Hezbolah, son el ejército nacional y las milicias tribales quienes resisten a los saudíes bajo una política de defender a una nación agredida injustamente.
Los halcones que se han hecho cargo del poder en Ryad, representados por el Príncipe Mohammed bin al Salman, a cargo de la defensa y los ingresos petroleros, pueden dar un paso mayor y mandar al grueso de su ejército a invadir Yemen, pero es una opción cada vez más difícil de realizar por su coste político y económico. Un ataque a Hodeidah, el puerto del Mar Rojo por donde entran al menos el 80% de la comida y las medicinas importadas, llevaría al país al límite y las consecuencias son impredecibles. Este escenario se ha hecho todavía más improbable debido al conflicto entre saudíes y qataríes que está debilitando a la coalición. Doha ha ordenado a sus mercenarios pakistaníes regresar a casa. Los estrategas militares saben que entrar es fácil. Lo difícil es salir y para ello se necesita construir una solución política; cada vez más difícil de lograr. Los hermanos musulmanes, cercanos a Qatar, encuadrados en Yemen en el partido del Islah, apoyaban a Hadi. Ahora es una incógnita lo que van a hacer. En esta situación cualquier acuerdo político precisa incluir a los huzíes y Saleh.
* * *
Arabia Saudí es un vampiro que se alimenta de petróleo. Ha anunciado que quiere diversificar la economía, pero de momento eso solo es un proyecto. El 90% de los ingresos del gobierno vienen del crudo. Del petróleo depende la vida extravagante de la masiva familia al-Saud, los salarios de dos tercios de los trabajadores saudíes y todo el entramado de política exterior de injerencia e intervención en asuntos ajenos. El gasto militar ha representado el 13% del PNB durante los últimos seis años. Arabia Saudí se ha convertido en el mayor comprador de armas per capita del mundo. El mejor cliente de Inglaterra y Estados Unidos. Pero también ha financiado, gastando miles de millones de dólares, el wahabismo, principal instrumento ideológico de la expansión saudí, y se ha gastado otro tanto para comprar a las empresas de comunicación que informan sobre Arabia Saudí. Ante tantos gastos su superdependencia petrolera hace que cualquier turbulencia en el mercado de petróleo sea vital para sus intereses. Ryad necesita intervenir en él si no quiere ser afectada fatalmente por cualquier crisis.
Los halcones saudíes necesitan a Estados Unidos para ello. En su guerra contra Yemen dependen de ellos para mover sus aviones, municiones, entrenamiento, refueling en vuelo y proteger las fronteras. Uno de las últimas medidas de Obama –hay una oposición creciente en el Congreso a vender armas a los saudíes– había sido bloquear una entrega de munición de precisión por su preocupación con los ataques a objetivos civiles. Hay más de 12 mil muertos, la mayoría civiles, a causa de ellos. Una prohibición que Trump levantó rápidamente.
El Presidente Trump está haciendo más caso a los militares que Obama cuando se trata de política de seguridad nacional. Esto significa menos diplomacia y más bombas, incrementando el riesgo de una guerra total en la región. De momento sigue la política de Obama de drones y operaciones especiales, aunque se han intensificado. Hay quien piensa que dada la relación que el Presidente Trump está creando con el Principe Salman los Estados Unidos podrían atacar directamente a los huzíes. Sí esto ocurre el conflicto quedará fuera de control, pudiendo convertirse en el primer enfrentamiento directo entre iraníes y saudíes en una guerra generalizada.
En su viaje a Ryad –era su puesta de largo diplomática– Trump anunció una venta de armas por valor de 110 mil millones de dólares. Hubo más contratos económicos, cerca de 270 mil millones de dólares, entre ellos uno con Exxon Mobil. En su visita Trump se hizo acompañar de Rex W. Tillerson, su Secretario de Estado. Tillerson es gran amigo de los saudíes debido a que es un hombre del petróleo. Durante décadas fue el jefe ejecutivo de Exxon Mobil. Tillerson conoce bien la región. El problema es que la conoce desde la óptica de los intereses de las compañías petroleras. Al nombrarlo, Trump se había comportado como el sirviente de los intereses petroleros, que en realidad es lo que ha demostrado al sacar a Estados Unidos del acuerdo climático de París. Los intereses petroleros son parte de su coalición reaccionaria.
¿Para qué quieren los saudíes una Al-Qaeda fuerte en el sur de Yemen?
A finales de mayo un barco petrolero, el MT MUSKIE, con bandera de Estados Unidos, fue atacado en el estrecho de Bab al Mandab. La Fuerza Naval de la Unión Europea dijo que los atacantes dispararon granadas propulsadas por cohetes antes de llevar a cabo su asalto al buque. Los saudíes acusaron inmediatamente a los huzíes del incidente, pero el presidente del Comité Supremo Revolucionario de Yemen, Mohamad Ali al-Houzi negó toda responsabilidad de sus soldados y acusó a Arabia Saudí de fabricar el incidente.
El estrecho de Bab al Mandab, donde acaba el mar Rojo al sur del Yemen, es uno de los siete mayores embudos de transporte energético en el mundo. Pasan cada día 3,8 millones de barriles de petróleo y el equivalente a 0,5-1 millón de barriles de gas natural. Un bloqueo significaría un repunte inmediato del precio del petróleo, algo muy beneficiosos para los saudíes, quienes se encuentran en aprietos financieros. El precio del barril del petróleo saudí es muy competitivo, está por debajo de los 10 dólares. Cualquier aumento del precio del barril es muy lucrativo.
Un bloqueo del estrecho de Bab al Mandab tendría efecto en los precios, pero afectaría muy levemente a las exportaciones petroleras saudíes, a diferencia de lo que ocurriría con las de Irán y otros países del golfo. Eso ayuda a entender, al menos parcialmente, las diferencias existentes entre Arabia Saudi y otros estados del Golfo Pérsico. Un conflicto que afecta también al futuro de Yemen del Sur. Mientras la Unión de Emiratos Árabes apuesta por un Yemen del Sur independiente, Ryad estaría tentado de apoyar una división del territorio en sultanatos gobernado a la vieja manera colonial inglesa, territorio fértil para las disputas y la inestabilidad. Emiratos Árabes Unidos ha desplegado miles de tropas en el sur a diferencia de los saudíes; han entrenado a 30 mil yemeníes como soldados de un ejército estatal; y han invertido 2 mil millones de dólares en proyectos para revivir la economía. Incluso ha llegado a participar en operaciones contra Al-Qaeda junto a las fuerzas especiales de Estados Unidos7.
Los saudíes necesitan menos el paso por el estrecho que otros países del Golfo, porque el oleoducto saudí que une el este y oeste de Arabia, el Golfo con el Mar Rojo, atravesando la Península Arábiga, ha empezado a ser operativo. Los grandes pozos petroleros saudíes están en zonas chiítas del Golfo Pérsico. Arabia solo necesitaría para exportar el grueso de su petróleo que los estrechos de Ormuz y Bab al Mandab estuviesen abiertos. Podría embarcarlo en sus puertos del Mar Rojo. Pero sigue necesitando el paso de sus tanques petroleros por el canal de Suez. La buena amistad con Egipto es vital para sus intereses. Por eso cultiva sus relaciones con el Mariscal de Campo al-Sissi atacando a los Hermanos Musulmanes, que están apoyados por Qatar. El desarrollo de la guerra de Siria está siendo una mala noticia para Ryad. El Presidente Bashar al-Assad parece estar ganándola, cerrando la salida de petróleo saudí a Europa por oleoducto vía Turquía o en barcos desde el puerto de Lattakia. La crisis con Qatar puede ser interpretada en esta clave. Su acercamiento a Irán podría facilitarle un futuro entendimiento con Siria, asegurándose el envío del gas –Qatar tiene cuantiosas reservas– a Europa a través de su territorio. Egipto está cerrando el canal de Suez a sus barcos por su apoyo a los Hermanos Musulmanes.
La política militarista saudí –la nueva generación macho rehusa establecer compromisos– busca controlar por la fuerza las salidas del petróleo en la región. Un objetivo estratégico por su alta dependencia de los ingresos petroleros. Es una de las razones que explican la guerra del Yemen y su apoyo a ISIS en Iraq y Siria. Los guerrilleros islamistas pueden dañar cualquier oleoducto que atravesando Iraq y Siria llegase a Europa o al Mediterráneo, incidiendo en el precio y perjudicando a sus adversarios. En su frontera sur un gobierno de los huzíes protegería el paso a través Bab al Mandab de los barcos de Irán y de otros países del Golfo que exportan millones de barriles cada mes por el estrecho. Esa es la razón del porqué Ryad necesita un Yemen bajo su control, o si fracasa una Al-Qaeda fuerte en el sur del Yemen. Es una política de piratas pero esa es la historia de la familia beduina de los al-Saud. ¿No están saqueando en su propio provecho el petróleo de su pueblo?
Notas:
  1. Ver “Death in Al Ghayil”, Iona Craig, The Intercept.
  2. “Terror trial collapse after fears of deep embarrassment to security services”, The Guardian, Monday 1 june 2017.
  3. “Now the truth emerges: how the US fueled the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq”, The Guardian, june 6
  4. “In its third year of war, Yemen risk fragmentation”, The Economist Apr 27th 2017.
  5. Ver “What is happening in Yemen and how are Saudi Arabia´s airstrikes affecting civilian”, The Guardian, The Date Yemen Project.
  6. “Yemeni Bankers Get in Troubles Over a costumer, Al Qaeda”, The New York Times. Nov 15 2016.
  7. Ver el articulo citado de The Economist.
Fuente: http://www.elviejotopo.com/articulo/la-guerra-de-yemen-en-tiempos-de-trump/




          CNN Obama Butt Kissers Meme   

TRUMP MEMES LIBRARY posted a photo:

CNN Obama Butt Kissers Meme


          President Trump ends LGBTQ Pride Month the same way he began it: with silence   

NEW YORK – Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD – the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, released the following statement after President Trump refused to acknowledge June as LGBTQ Pride Month by presidential proclamation, remaining silent the entire month and breaking an eight-year tradition set by former President Barack Obama.

“President Trump tried to gaslight LGBTQ Americans during his campaign, but it was an empty charade that opened the door for his administration to try and systematically erase us from the fabric of this nation. President Trump’s refusal to acknowledge Pride Month is a continuation of his anti-LGBTQ agenda, but Pride reminds us that we are strongest when we are loud and visible. LGBTQ Americans and the countless leaders in faith, business, and all areas of our culture who recognized Pride over the past few weeks will continue to resist until full respect and acceptance are given to all.”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: TIMELINE OF CALLING OUT PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR SILENCE ON PRIDE MONTH

  • 6.02.17: GLAAD sent a press release including a statement from GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis calling out the Trump Administration for his negligence in not issuing a Pride Proclamation: “While the Trump Administration tries to systematically erase LGBTQ people and families from the fabric of this nation, LGBTQ Americans and allies must do what we know best this Pride month – stay visible and march for acceptance.”
  • 6.02.17: Sarah Kate Ellis and countless others responded to Ivanka Trump on Twitter for her weak attempt to save face via tweets mentioning Pride month.
  • 6.06.17: GLAAD condemned Donald Trump for addressing anti-LGBTQ leaders in Washington, D.C.  
  • 6.11.17: Sarah Kate Ellis called out Trump for refusing to acknowledge Pride Month on the stage at the National Equality March in D.C.
  • 6.11.17: GLAAD called on Fox News to ask Ivanka Trump why her father has refused to issue a proclamation.
  • 6.16.17: Sarah Kate Ellis called out President Trump’s silence on LGBTQ Pride Month at the NYC Pride Rally.
  • 6.26:17: GLAAD responded to Hillary Clinton for tweeting her support and called out President Trump for remaining silent.
  • 6.26.17: Newsweek covered GLAAD’s continued pressure on the Trump Administration to acknowledge LGBTQ Pride Month.
  • 6.28.17: Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President and CEO speaks to Daily Beast about Donald Trump’s silence and what it represents: “If President Trump goes until July 1 without mentioning Pride Month, Ellis says that “it sends a continuation of the message that he’s been sending since January which is that we’re not valued, that we’re not important, that we don’t exist, and that he and the administration that he’s put in place will do everything to roll back and unwind any progress that we’ve been able to achieve as a community.”

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June 30, 2017
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          President Trump adds violently anti-transgender activist Bethany Kozma to Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Rights   

Anti-transgender activist is latest to be added to the most anti-LGBTQ administration in recent memory

NEW YORK – Yesterday, reports surfaced that President Trump appointed Bethany Kozma to serve as Senior Advisor to the Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at the US Agency for International Development. Kozma’s qualification for the role? She is known for being an anti-transgender activist, and, through this appointment, the Trump Administration has added yet another anti-LGBTQ activist to what has already been the most anti-LGBTQ administration in recent memory.

“When you google the name Bethany Kozma the first hit is a screed against transgender youth, but that’s not surprising since President Trump has been recruiting from a pool of the most vehemently anti-LGBTQ activists to run our great nation,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “At a time when transgender women are facing rising levels of violence and income inequality, appointing someone to this post who has dedicated their life to harming transgender youth is a slap in the face to LGBTQ Americans and a huge leap in the wrong direction which could place some of the most marginalized Americans directly in harm’s way.”

Bethany Kozma has a history of peddling false and defamatory myths about transgender people. Her anti-LGBTQ activist work includes published work at the Daily Signal, a publication managed by the Heritage Foundation, and partnerships with anti-LGBTQ hate groups such as the Family Research Council. Kozma was one of the most visible leaders in a campaign to bar transgender students access to bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity at school.

Check out more of Kozma’s anti-LGBTQ record below as well as the anti-LGBTQ records of the entire Trump Administration by visiting GLAAD’s Trump Accountability Project.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Bethany Kozma, Senior Advisor to the Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at the USAID

-- Testified to her local school board that there is a direct link between sexual predators and trans access to facilities. “Imagine how predators will be emboldened and enabled, endangering other young girls if they are allowed to enter girls facilities and protected under your current policy.” (Begins at 17:10)

-- Informed her school board that the next superintendent must “not violate Title IX, not just in the female sports by allowing males to unfairly compete and possibly severely injure the girls, but also not allow males to take over bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms and push out females, denying them their right for privacy and safety.” (Begins at 53:55)

-- Warned another Virginia school board that fair bathroom policy “allows the man who identifies as the woman” into facilities and “tells young girls who are students that you don’t care how they feel and you will be discriminating against your own students, potentially opening them up to sexual harassment...sexual assault or rape.” (Begins at 8:50)

-- Response to a gender services clinic in Seattle: “This is horrible- a place where our children will be sterilized

-- Attempted to discredit the identities of transgender youth by referring to trans kids as  “gender confused children.”

-- Partnered with anti-LGBTQ hate groups including Family Research Council in a campaign to overturn the Obama Department of Education guidance for transgender students.


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June 30, 2017
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          Trump to Senate Republicans: kill Obamacare now, replace later   
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump urged Republican senators in a tweet on Friday to repeal Obamacare immediately if they cannot agree on a new plan to replace it, muddying the waters as congressional leaders struggle for consensus on healthcare legislation.

          Senator Harris Statement on the Fifth Anniversary of DACA   

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris

[caption id="attachment_51452" align="alignright" width="300"]U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris[/caption] WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris released the following statement on the fifth anniversary of President Barack Obama authorizing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
“DACA recipients remind us of the strength that comes from diversity, and that our nation remains one shaped by the contributions of immigrants as it has from the very beginning. They serve in our military, work in Fortune 100 companies, conduct important medical research, and are thriving across the country in colleges and universities.
“This anniversary is also a reminder of the deep uncertainty and fear felt by DACA recipients as the Administration continues to expand President Trump’s deportation force. In order to receive DACA, these young individuals underwent extensive vetting by the federal government, including submitting detailed personal information about themselves and their loved ones. In exchange, their government promised to protect them, and yet we have seen DACA recipients arrested, detained, and even deported under this Administration.
“With one in three DACA recipients living in California, we have an outsized stake in ensuring the continuation of this program. I remain committed to holding the Administration accountable to honor the United States government’s promise to protect them, and to ensure that these young DREAMers are able to live, work, learn and thrive in the only nation they call home.”
          Statement on Senate Vote Seeking to Rollback Obama-era BLM Methane Rule   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representing the independent producers that develop 90 percent of America’s oil and natural gas wells, Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) President and CEO Barry Russell issued the following statement on today’s Senate procedural vote failing to allow debate on an Obama-era...

The post Statement on Senate Vote Seeking to Rollback Obama-era BLM Methane Rule appeared first on Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA).


          With The Senate's Health Care Vote Delayed, What's Next For Democrats?   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: To health care now - both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate are complaining that they aren't working together. Here's Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaking on the Senate floor yesterday. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) MITCH MCCONNELL: It's unfortunate that our Democratic colleagues refuse to work with us in a serious way to comprehensively address Obamacare's failures in the seven years since they passed it. MARTIN: Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had this response. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) CHUCK SCHUMER: We Democrats are genuinely interested in finding a place where our two parties can come together on health care. MARTIN: So what is the next move for the Democrats? Tom Perez is the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He's with us in the studio. Thanks for coming in this morning. TOM PEREZ: Always a pleasure. MARTIN: Do congressional Democrats really want to work with Republicans to try to
          The Reality TV/WWF President   
The Reality TV/WWF President Robert Tracinski, at The Federalist, asks that the media stop magnifying every presidential drama -- the utterly tween meangirlish tweets Donald Trump sent out about "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. I think people can't help but report this stuff because it's so shocking, and because if they don't, others will. From Tracinski's post about Trump's continuing tackiness on Twitter:
It's the stuff of squabbling between rival high school cliques. From the other side, I hear the argument that this is some brilliant move by Trump to keep the media focused on trivialities while he gets things done. Meanwhile, the current Republican Congress has been spectacularly unproductive and has delivered very little of Trump's promised agenda. They can't even pass an Obamacare replacement, much less repeal it. The president is not entirely responsible for the inaction of Congress, even a Congress where his own party has a majority. But the whole pitch for Trump as president was that he was going to be a superior leader and negotiator who would knock together the heads of all those wimpy beta males in Washington, DC, and get things done. And if he's supposed to be such a master manipulator of the press, shouldn't there be some results to show for it? No, I'm afraid Trump isn't doing this out of some kind of calculation. He's doing it because this is who he is and because the fake drama of tabloid gossip columns and "reality TV" is what made him a household name. The media is going along because this is what they love, too. After all, it was media shows like "Morning Joe"--he was a guest dozens of times--that provided Trump with total media dominance during the last election cycle. They have continued that relationship with the latest Twitter spat, just with Trump in a more antagonistic role. Maybe they think this makes for good TV, and I suppose people who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like. The rest of us are going to get bored and starting tuning out politics. It's too bad that the important issues won't just go away while no one is paying attention to them.
I don't really think that's the case, but -- and I wish I could remember whom I heard this from -- the words coming out of The White House have all the class and decorum of the World Wrestling Federation. [see bottom of post.] Yes, this is The President of The United States: And the NBC spokesman: And finally, actually, that pro-wrestling tweet, which I found: via @MZHemingway
          Wisata napak tilas Obama hingga pidato kunci di Dispora Indonesia   
Simak berita menarik kemarin yang masih laik hari ini, mulai dari rencana pembuatan paket wisata napak tilas perjalanan Barack Obama di Indonesia hingga pidatonya di kongres Diaspora Indonesia. 1. Pesan Obama pada Kongres ...
          Is Healthcare on Life Support?   
Congress has an abysmal approval rating of about 20%.  There are dozens of reasons for this rating.  Right now, my disapproval with Congress stems from the chaos in Washington over healthcare. Obamacare is imploding.  It’s up to the Republicans to repeal and replace it.  I know the Democrats will say... CONTINUE
          President Barack Obama Delivers A Message To The People Of Nigeria   
VideoWith the continent's mostpopulous nation, Nigeria heading for presidential elections coming up this Saturday,the White House released a video of President Barack Obama’s message to the people of Nigeria earlier this morning. "Nigeria is a great nation and you can be proud of the progress you have made. Together you [...]
          Comment on Moveable Feast Cafe 2017/04/30 … Open Thread by Anonymous   
We have seen that the Mainstream Media Admitted that they have No evidence that Candidate Donald Trump colluded with a foreign Country during the Election, and while the Lie that Candidate Trump colluded with Russia with was Needed to justify the Improper Surveillance on a Republican Presidential Candidate, to try to gain Electoral Advantage, and to have what is a ‘plausible’ Excuse if ever this matter was investigated or Leaked to the Media, it was Not anticipated by the Clintonites that some Democrats Would Leak to WikiLeaks, and so other Lies to Wrongly blame another Country would Need to be Invented by the Clintonites to try to manage that, as is explained in this updated comment. It was Obvious to Many People that there No collusion between Candidate Donald Trump and Russia, for the Obvious reasons, because there are Only a few ways that such a thing could happen, and None of them occurred during the Election. Those reasons would be that a foreign Country would rig the Votes, or that they would give Money to a Political Campaign, or that they would be the Political campaign strategist and speechwriter for a Candidate. There has been too much time elapsed, and too many statements have been made on this, for the American Shadow Regime to make up new Lies to suggest any type of collusion to those who have been paying attention to this matter. All Countries Know that the American Shadow Regime Selects their Puppet for President a long in Advance, and that it is futile to try to influence that, regardless of what the Majority of Americans may think otherwise, and Many Presidential Elections in America have been Staged events. It was Obvious to All foreign Countries that Hillary Clinton was Selected by the Shadow Regime to be President, but Candidate Donald Trump was Elected. The Reason for that was that the Less Establishment Candidate Always had the Advantage in that Election, and Hillary Clinton Usurped the Democratic Party nomination from Senator Sanders, and Hillary Clinton was the Most Establishment Candidate ever in American History, and also the Most Corrupt Candidate for President ever in American History, but this was Not known by any Country or even by Most Americans until after the Election and we now Know that it was Entirely because the Establishment Selected the Corrupt and Untrustworthy Hillary Clinton to be their Puppet. We Know that foreigners did Not rig the Voting, and this was mentioned several times. It appears that the Only Alleged complaint is that a foreign Country was Allegedly responsible for gaining information. That information was the Clinton and DNC Emails, but the DNC Servers have Never been examined by anyone Unbiased, and furthermore there is No way to prove who hacks a Computer these days, and those who wanted to help Senator Sanders become the Democratic Party nominee might think to Leak to WikiLeaks so that it would help Senator Sanders become President, and WikiLeaks said that Russia did Not give them those Emails, and Kim Dotcom wants to testify under Oath that Seth Rich was involved in the DNC Leaks, and Robert Mueller has had Plenty of time to Reply to the Lawyer of Kim Dotcom in Writing Only so that it does Not cause confusion, ambiguity, or a lack of accountability regarding arrangements for him to Testify under Oath regarding his Knowledge of Email Leaks to WikiLeaks, and a former British Ambassador Craig Murray said that it was an Intermediary for Democratic Party whistle blowers who gave him the Emails in Washington DC where it appears that this occurred in September of 2016, where he was a Master of Ceremonies for a Conference, and so unless it is better researched, then it does Not appear that this Person was Seth Rich or Shawn Lucas, and then that material was then given to WikiLeaks, and this is why the DNC Servers were Not examined by the FBI or by any other Intelligence or Law Enforcement Agencies, because it was a Leak, and the Clintonites and their Puppet Obama Administration did Not want Americans to Know that, and so they Invented this Lie of Russia Allegedly hacked the DNC, and meddled in the Election. We heard that President Barack Obama was Allegedly informed in August of 2016, that Russia was Allegedly meddling in the Election and Allegedly trying to rig the Votes, and that was after WikiLeaks Published in July of 2016, more of the Clinton and DNC Emails. This would mean that the NSA and the FBI and the Others Would have Investigated these things concerning these Allegations of meddling by a foreign Country in America’s Election, and they Would have told these things to President Barack Obama, and someone would have Leaked to the Media Why the think that a foreign Country meddled in the Election, but there were after Election Lies Specifically Invented to try to justify Spying on an opposition Political Party. It is interesting what Candidate Barack Obama said in the 2008 Presidential Election Campaign, that both major Political Parties Rig Elections, and the Video is Titled: Obama Admits To Rigged Elections Back In 2008 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsVNKmb6jEc , and Obama said that he was a Lawyer working on Voting Rights Law, and Obama is an Example of a Presidential Candidate who discredited the Elections and the Election process before Voting had taken place, and so it was Not unprecedented for Candidate Donald Trump to mention possible Election Rigging in 2016, and Obama did Nothing to Reform the Electoral System, and Many Americans want Electoral Reform, and if there is No Substantial Electoral Reform proposed by (S)Elected Representatives, then we Know that the Corrupt System likes its Lies and Corruption. Months later, Obama continued to Deny any Election rigging or meddling on October 18 of 2016, where he said that the Election would be Free and Fair, and that was 3 weeks before the Election and the Video is Titled: Obama To Trump: Stop Whining About A Rigged Election at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPpt7-QOGKc , and President Obama said that it would be a Free and Fair Election, because he Knew that Russia did Not meddle in the Election, and Obviously Obama Lied regarding the matter that the Clintons and the Democrats would not try to commit Election Fraud, because the Democrats are the Specialists for Election Fraud with their Electronic Voting Machines, but Russia did Not meddle in the Election, and Further tailor made Lies had to be Manufactured to try to justify the Spying on an Opposition Political Party by the Clinton Campaign, by means of their Partisan Puppet Obama Administration, and President Barack Obama said that Candidate Donald Trump and his Vice Presidential running mate along with Candidate Hillary Clinton and her Vice Presidential running mate Received Daily Top Secret Information during the Election Campaign, and we Know that Hillary Clinton Could Lie if she was asked if President Barack Obama told her that Russia was trying to rig the Election for Candidate Donald Trump. I think that if President Barack Obama had Proven to Candidate Donald Trump that the Russians were rigging the Election for him, then I think that Candidate Donald Trump would have tried to lose that Election, by promising Tax Increases, and some other Democratic Party Policies. This is because President Donald Trump is a Patriot, and I do Not think that Hillary Clinton is a Patriot, and she would have Accepted help from anyone to become the President, even if it was in a Treasonous and Undemocratic way, and we saw that with how she Usurped the Democratic Party nomination and with the Actions of the Democratic National Committee, and the Bias in much of the Mainstream Media. The Republican National Committee spent 600 million Dollars on their Presidential Campaign, and Hillary Clinton spent over one Billion Dollars on her Campaign, and if a Country wanted Candidate Donald Trump to win the Election, then they would have Secretly suggested to him, that he Should spent one Billion Dollars or more of his own Money on top of what the Republican National Committee provides, and that he would be Reimbursed after the Election, regardless of the result, and if a President Hillary Clinton had to be Bribed to look the other way for the Reimbursement, then there is also Money for that, and we Know that this did Not happen, and the other way to collude is to be a Political campaign strategist and speechwriter, and the Republican Party have Many of their own, who Understand Political matters in America Much Better than a foreigner, and it was Alleged that Russia was the speechwriter for Marine Le Pen of France, and she received approximately a third of the Votes, and we Know that the Experienced British Politician Nigel Farage wanted Candidate Donald Trump to become President, and People can hear his speech in Mississippi at a Trump Rally, and he gave his Advice on how Candidate Donald Trump could win the Election. I do Not think that Obama had any evidence that Russia was rigging the Election, because Russia was Not doing that, and any such Lying ‘evidence’ was Manufactured by Clintonites after the DNC Leaks and after the Election, and this is Why I think that President Barack Obama did Not mention that to the Public, or to Candidate Donald Trump or to the Congress or the Senate before the Election, because it was thought that the Election would be Rigged for Hillary Clinton, and so there was No demand for such Lies at the time, until after the Leaks and after the Election, and if some Government Documents say this or that, then we Need to remember how it was with the Iraq Lies, and it is because it was Known that they were Spying on Candidate Donald Trump, and so they had to write down some Lies to give themselves Excuses if someone ever Investigated the matter, and Documents can be backdated to Deceive some People. It has been suggested that President Barack Obama did Nothing to prevent a foreign Country from meddling in America’s Election, and I am Skeptical on that, because I do Not think that there was any foreign meddling in that Election, but if that is true, then there has to be a reason for that, and it Could be that Secretly and Subtlety that President Barack Obama did Not want Hillary Clinton to become President. It has been suggested that President Barack Obama did not mention that, because it Allegedly or Supposedly would be evidence to Candidate Donald Trump that the Election was being rigged, but that it would Really be Lies and Slander that could have been debunked during the Election Campaign, and it would have help Candidate Donald Trump, and it was President Barack Obama’s Responsibility to Ensure that Government Departments and Agencies made the Elections Free and Fair, Especially because Obama Knew that Elections are Rigged at times, and he Knew that before he became President, and the Shadow Regime likes to be able to Rig Elections for their Puppets, and unless there are Paper Ballots and Voter Identification, then the Democrats and Lying Bribed and Corrupt Puppet Mainstream Media will always claim Election Fraud if their Candidate does not win, and it Could be that another reason for these Lies was for the Shadow Regime by means of their Puppet Barack Obama to remain as President and call for Fresh Elections, where both Presidential Candidates will be Establishment Puppets, because we Know that there were Demonstrations in America because there had been an Election, and it looks like the Shadow Regime wants a Soft Coup by means of special counsel Robert Mueller to make up something for an Impeachment, and if it is managed properly, then the Money that Mueller spends could be Free Electioneering Finance for either major Political Party, and if Senator Sanders had became President, then the Shadow Regime would have tried to Impeach him on False charges, and that is Why Most of the Senator Sanders Supporters Know that President Donald Trump has to Unrig the Rigged System for them, and while they may not Vote for the Republicans until that Task has been Accomplished, they may Vote for other Political Parties other than the Democrats, and there are Americans who think that if they want a Political Revolution, then they will Need their own Political Party, because we see what the Democrats are Responsible for with the Biased and Corrupt and Illegal Mueller appointment, to try to install a Puppet of the Establishment, with trying to undermine a Non Establishment President who wants to keep the Promises he made during the Election Campaign, and we can see that if Senator Sanders had become President, then he would have been Impeached on False charges in the current Corrupt American Political System. There are People who think that the Proper thing for Robert Mueller to do is to recuse himself from this Conflict of Interest, or for him to Voluntarily ask for a restricted scope of Relevant investigation as a Proper course of action, given that Mueller is a Good and Close Friend of James Comey, and as such it is Illegal, because it Violates the Law, which Specifically and Unambiguously states that a special counsel is Disqualified because of Personal or Political Relationship, and also on the Clause of Conduct and Accountability, and this Sham and Illegal investigation is there to try to impeach President Donald Trump, and it has been suggested that a Special Prosecutor Should Investigate Mueller and his team while they are conducting their Illegal Sham investigation, and to Recommend Criminal Charges if Appropriate. We Know what was found on the laptop Computer that Anthony Weiner was using, and that was connected to Hillary Clinton’s Unauthorized Clandestine Secret Email Server that contain Classified Information, and this Adversely Affected the Clinton Campaign, and was Available for hacking, because People Knew that it was Anthony Weiner, and he has been Convicted of Criminal Activity, and we Know that James Comey had to Investigate these Classified Emails only days before the Election, and there are People who think that Mueller should investigate this. We Know that President Barack Obama said that Libya was his greatest mistake, but Hillary Clinton thought it was very good, and this is Why I think that President Barack Obama was Hillary Clinton’s Puppet for Libya, and Perhaps Barack Obama Secretly and Subtly did Not want Hillary Clinton to become President, because he was the Clintons’ Puppet. A News Article dated 13 December 2016, and which was over a month after the Election, and where James Clapper said that Russia did Not influence the Election, and there is a News Article dated 14 December 2016, where James Comey said that Russia did Not influence the Election, and Comey Assured the President Elect that there was No credible evidence that Russia influenced the outcome of the recent Presidential Election by (Allegedly) hacking the Democratic National Committee and (Allegedly) hacking the emails of John Podesta, and Comey told President Elect Donald Trump that James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, Agreed with that FBI Assessment at http://townhall.com/columnists/edklein/2016/12/14/comey-to-trump-the-russians-didnt-influence-the-election-n2259827 . The same James Clapper would have been associated with one of those Alleged 17 Intelligence Agencies, and only 4 of those 17 Intelligence Agencies think that there was collusion with a foreign Country in the Election Campaign, and that means that any such ‘evidence’ is Not evident, and it was these who then Allegedly informed President Barack Obama, and James Clapper said weeks after the Election on December 13 of 2016, and he said that Russia did Not influence the Election, and then a few weeks after that, James Clapper said the Lies on January 5 of 2017, which are: “The Russians have a long history of interfering in elections, but I do not think we have ever encountered a more aggressive and direct campaign to interfere with our election process than we have seen in this case”, and in May of 2017, the same James Clapper said that he has not seen any evidence of any kind of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian foreign nationals, and Unbiased Investigators said that there is No evidence that Russia hacked those Servers, and Umbrage Vault 7 hacking tools which other Countries now have, prevents detection of who hacked a Computer, and Furthermore, there was No hacking of those DNC Computers, but it was a Leak by one or more Democrats to WikiLeaks, and a former CIA Intelligence Officer has provided Irrefutable Proof that Russia did Not interfere with or influence or meddle in the Election at http://phibetaiota.net/2016/12/robert-steele-the-dhs-fbi-report-against-the-russians-is-absolute-crap/ . If Russia Allegedly had this Alleged long history of Allegedly interfering in American Elections, then Why was no commentary of this occurring during the Election Campaign, similar to Weather announcers saying that there is a long history of it snowing in Winter, and then daily commenting on the amount of snowfall during Winter on their Weather News, but we Know that the Allegations of Russian meddling are Lies to try to distract from the Fact that it was Democrats Leaked to WikiLeaks, and to try to justify Spying on an Opposition Political Party by the Corrupt Clinton Campaign, which Did Corrupt collude during the Democratic Primaries, to Usurp the Democratic Party nomination, and Many Americans want Electoral Reforms that Restore Integrity back to the Voting, and Electoral, and Democratic System in America.
          Comment on Why Modern Architecture sucks by Larchmonter445   
Watson is the most effective voice on YouTube. The Cult of Liberalism that has taken control of the West's "governance" is a Tyranny. UK, US, EU all subsets of Globalist Liberalism are tyrannies. With the Tyranny are all aspects of Cult manifestation, a complete devastation of prior culture, art, psychological harmonies and knowledge. The Cult must debase all. No different than the ISIS freakoids breaking up ancient archeological and religious sites. They rampage through academia, Constitutional order, sovereign borders—whatever is foundational and normal. Inherent to modern deconstruction of social norms is the godless separation from Nature and Human Values. They particularly hate individuals of accomplishment, families, small congregations and communities, cohesiveness and conviviality. They must have namelessness, separateness, soullessness. They use techniques all Cults use that produce Stockholm syndrome clinging to the Cult as the only balm from the despair they create. Authority of the Elites in the Cult (Government especially) is idolized and protected as if a Queen in a Hive were under attack. All drone bees cluster in defense, regardless of the danger. We saw this with Obama (the ultimate Queen Bee). We see it everywhere with the EU being protected, NATO being protected, every construct to be worshipped with no option for all or any to challenge or criticize or compete. You will be destroyed! Israel, the concept, is unassailable. America the Exceptional, is unassailable. EU, the marvel, is unassailable. Globalism. Liberalism. Multiculturalism. Bezos. FaceBook. Zuckerberg. Google. All unassailable. The Pentagon. 17 Intelligence Agencies. Zionism. Khazaria. Unassailable. Consistent Conservatism. Saint Mike Pence. Unassailable. Billionaires. Millionaires. Unassailable. All objects of Cult Behaviorism. Then along comes a singular mind like Paul Joseph Watson and he busts the Cult with his four minute rants, and the free minds of the world shout in joy as the Truth destroys the Hive, piece by piece. Great for you to post this video, Saker. Thought provoking and deserving of an honor in the Vineyard. Think Free and Live Free. A perfect opening statement for July 4th weekend. Fireworks for the brain and soul of all humans outside the Cult.
          Comment on GOP failure to repeal Obamacare by Wolfie   
We have American friends, originally pro Obamacare who are getting premium increases much like that when wages are being squeezed.
          Reply by HappyGlock   
I thought Obama was supposed to lead us into a post racial world of harmony and love? :wtf: happened?
          Kongres Diaspora, Pidato Obama Dinilai Bukan Sekadar Basa-basi   

BINTANGNEWS.com –Pidato Mantan Presiden ke-44 Amerika Serikat, Barack Obama di Congress of Indonesian Diaspora dianggap tak cuma basa-basi.

Lewat pidatonya, Obama tak cuma menyampaikan tanggapan, tapi juga
memberikan masukan kepada diaspora di Indonesia.

"Saya senang sekali pidatonya bukan basa basi, tapi benar-benar memberikan pandangan Beliau yang sejujurnya mengenai kondisi dunia, mengenai masalah yang dihadapi," kata Ketua Board of Trustees Indonesian Diaspora Network Global, Dino Patti Djalal di The Hall Kasablanka, Sabtu (1/7/2017).

Menurut Dino, Obama menyampaikan banyak hal, mulai dari masalah kepemudaan, pengangguran, isu perubahan iklim hingga toleransi dalam keragaman. Obama juga menyinggung mengenai era globalisasi.

Menurut Dino, dalam pidatonya Obama mengatakan bahwa pemuda di Indonesia harus mampu beradaptasi dengan berbagai perubahan dan mengambil keuntungan dari globalisasi.

"Saya kira pesan Presiden Obama itu bisa menginspirasi bangsa kita, terutama diaspora," ujar Dino Patti Djalal.

Kongres diaspora Indonesia merupakan suatu festival yang menampilkan prestasi, peluang, kontribusi dan pemikiran cemerlang tokoh-tokoh diaspora Indonesia dari berbagai penjuru dunia. 

Dalam Kongres ini juga  diselenggarakan Diaspora Fair, yang terdiri dari Education Fair, Diaspora Business Forum dan pameran diaspora lain,” demikian Kompas.com.(jon)
Ikuti Terus Sumber Infomasi Dunia Di Twitter @Bintangnews.Com




          Trump's suggestion to repeal Obamacare with no replacement would remove healthcare from 32 million people [Obvious]   
Obvious [link] [212 comments]

          Trump comes up with brilliant plan: Let's just repeal Obamacare and forget about passing Trumpcare. What could possibly go wrong? [Dumbass]   
Dumbass [link] [447 comments]

          Response to a Jewish Nazi – Only a Zionist would be interested in proving that Jackie Walker is not Jewish   
When you live in or support a state, in this case the State of Israel which is based on racial supremacy, it is important to know who is and who is not a member of the master race.  Religion is there to define who is a member of the herrenvolk or the untermenschen, that is all.  
Jackie Walker
It is not surprising that in Israel, you can’t convert to Judaism unless you are a White European. The Jerusalem Post reported (1.4.16) ‘Palestinian Requests To Convert To Judaism Rejected Automatically':
To initiate an officially recognized conversion to Judaism in Israel, foreigners need to apply to the special cases panel of the Conversion Authority.

The threshold requirements” to be considered by the special cases panel, Rabbi Yitzhak Peretz, director of the Israeli government’s Conversion Authority, said,are that applicants be sincere and that they are not foreign workers; infiltrators; Palestinian or illegally in the country.” In 2014, he added, the special cases committee received 400 applications. “Half of the applicants were accepted, the rest were rejected as foreign workers, infiltrators, illegal stayers and Palestinians.”
The eugenecist origins of the Israeli state

I am not an expert on Jewish religious law but I do know that nowhere in the Talmud or the Torah is there any mention of the fact that Palestinians cannot convert to Judaism.  Nor is there any mention of ‘infiltrators’ or foreign workers or illegal immigrants.  These are political categories.  In other words, in a state based on race you cannot have the lower races or the Untermenschen joining the master race (herren volk).  This is perfectly understandable because in Israel being a Jew confers privileges that non-Jews do not have and therefore you cannot have people changing their race in order to get a house or an extra grant.

The Zionists, as part of their false ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign in the Labour Party have been targeting Jackie Walker.  You can read the details in my article The lynching of Jackie Walker and Jonathan Rosenhead’s Jackie Walker: a suspense mystery.  Being Black Jackie is and was an ideal target for these racists.  The only problem was that she was Jewish.  Hence we have the spectacle of these Zionists, in the best traditions of the Nazis, investigating Jackie’s ancestry in order to ‘prove’ that she isn’t Jewish.
Tony Greenstein

What is Jewish identity? A response to the general garbage written by Jewish racial purists and in particular to this blog by ‘Jew Know’

Jackie Walker speaking to the LRC meeting in Brighton September 2016
Recently there has been a(nother) spate of attacks of the ‘Jackie not a Jew’ type. Most have been downright racist, some hilarious, all show an obsessive concern for genealogy, an old trope of racists, in their attempt to police something which is in fact too complex to be policed; Jewish identity.

This most recent contribution by ‘Jew Know’ made me think (probably because I was on holiday), not just about my identity, but of Jewish identity, of racism, ethno-nationalism, racial purity and of those who put themselves up as guardians of identity whether they are white, black, Jewish or any other.

First thing ‘Jew Know’ - learn something about cultures that are not your own, otherwise you are simply an ignorant Jew Know-little.

You cannot trace the ancestry of Caribbean people using records (alone). Slave records are limited (for obvious reasons). Parentage was often not attributed, or falsely attributed. Records were ‘manipulated’, for example, especially when women had ‘relations’ or were raped by white men (the description ‘white’ in this instance includes Jews in the context of the racialised, colour ordered Caribbean). In any case, in a society where even long term, committed relationships between white and black would/could not be officially endorsed/recognised another ‘father’ was often named on official documents.

Neither does ‘Jew Know’ take account of the particular oppressions experienced by Jewish refugees on the run from Christian persecution, for example the ‘Conversos’ (Jews who were forced, often on pain of death, to convert) and the other Jews of the Caribbean who were forced to compromise in so many other ways simply to survive, or those who chose to take on a more fluid, syncretic idea of what made them Jewish.
A typical example of the racism that Jackie Walker has to put up with

Yes, Jew Know appears pretty ignorant of the positioning of Jews in the Caribbean, the flow of Caribbean ethno-religious cultures, the conversion to Judaism undertaken by enslaved African women who wanted/were coerced into ‘marrying’ Jewish men. There is no comment on this – and for good reason, because Jew Know doesn’t have a clue, you know.

The binary outlook reflected in Jew Know’s blog betrays deep-seated ignorance of the many variations of Jewishness that have historically always been part of Jewish history. But according to Jew Know everything to do with Jewish identity has the simplicity of any authoritarian ideology; you are either Jewish or not. There is no scope for variation, no intersectionality, no understanding of the potential conflicts, complex histories inherent in being black and Jewish, Arab and Jewish, Asian and Jewish. No, In Jew Know’s kosher world there is no room for complexity, no Jewish diversity, just a nice, easy, genetic (or is it religious) monoculture where bright eyed Jewish mothers give birth to Jewish children and people have access to the easy going charms of the local Rabbi to sort things out when things get …. mucky for Jew Know cannot tolerate a world of self-determination -  no - a higher authority must always decree.

But as we all know – none of that’s true – Jews, like every other people, come in all sorts.

Jew Know expresses religious and ethnic definition of identity and leaves no room for those with no religious commitment but with the necessary ancestry, those who have been adopted, those ‘in care’, those orphaned and separated from the community. Jew Know does not admit the perspective of Reformed Jews, those who advocate that Jewish identity can be inherited from a father as well as mother – no.

Then tell me Jew Know, in your little, little world, what about the people of Jewish heritage born to people who have not practiced any religion, maybe for generations? Ok – strike them out!

And is acceptance of a Jewish state part of being Jewish? When and who decided that one? And are the very many non or anti-Zionist Jews ‘self-haters and not real Jews in your book too? I think I know your awnser.

I have nothing to prove to you Jew Know. You shame the Jewish heritage you claim.

To deny my Jewish heritage is racist, deeply racist and you are a racist. It is as unacceptable to deny my Jewish heritage, the political and historical struggles that brought my parents together as it would be to deny my African or Caribbean ancestry.  Your attitudes reflect the deep-seated and shameful racism entrenched in sections of the Jewish community.

It reflects a shameful intolerance, a lack of inclusivity, empathy, an essentialism that harvests a paucity of the soul. As with all ethno-nationalists these attitudes undermine the high-ground they seek to attain; complexity is the life-blood of creativity, the life-blood of a modern, tolerant society, the only path of progress for humanity. Want help with these ideas? I suggest you contact Mocha Jews and find out more http://mochajuden.com

Jew Know in fact you appear to Know Little of the multi-faceted history of the Jewish people, a people that in the last 2,000 years engagedand yes, MIXED at times, and very often with the rest of the world, were an essential part of much of it. These Jewish people fought to be a part, not set apart, from the countries they inhabited. …. Hurrah!

And then, in true racial purity tradition you dig up what you claim are my genealogical records and publish what you again claim is my family tree (sordid aren’t you, it will be my underwear drawer next I presume). By the way, I have know nothing of some of the people you refer to as my ancestors – and truth is neither do you – though I can take you back on one side to the 15th century and the pogroms of the Spain and Portugal and on the other to an African griot.

My DNA (which I have a detailed analysis of and have had for sometime) is the business of me and my family – and my friends who have seen it. As for the rest ……

Youhave caused distress to many people, Jewish and non Jewish. Your intolerance and racism is an embarrassment, not just to Jews but to all good people everywhere. You have caused outrage, in particular to members of the black and Caribbean community in Britain.

Jew Know – I wouldn’t ask you to prove your Jewishness, I would however welcome you proving your humanity but truth is on that one, I won’t be holding my breath.   .
  
Jackie Walker

Background to Zionist Racism
From its very beginning Zionism was, in the words of Max Nordau, Theodor Herzl’s Deputy, a matter of race not religion.  Nordau, was a follower of Lombroso the social Darwinist criminologist.  Nordau claimed that ‘The Jews possess a greater enterprising spirit and abilities than the average European, to say nothing about all those Asians or Africans.’ [Max Nordau to this People, New York 1941, p.73] In an interview with La Libre Parole, Edouard Drumont’s anti-Semitic daily, in 1903 Nordau explained that that ‘(Zionism) is not a question of religion but exclusively of race and there is noone with whom I am in greater agreement on this position than M Drumont.’ (Desmond Steward, Herzl, p. 322)
According to Moses Hess, the first modern, political Zionist, in his novel Rome & Jerusalem:Race struggle is primary; class struggle is secondary.” [Moses Hess, Rome & Jerusalem,Philosophical Library, New York, 1958, p.10. Cologne May 1862].
Nor was this fascination with race confined to a few Zionist intellectuals.  A pillar of the Zionist leadership, Arthur Ruppin, known as the Father of Land Settlement in the Yishuv (Jewish community in Palestine) and a member of the Zionist Executive described how, in his diary of August 11, he had travelled to Jenna on August 16, 1933:
to meet Prof. Hans F.K. Günther, the founder of National-Socialist race theory. The conversation lasted two hours. Günther was most congenial… and agreed with me that the Jews are not inferior but different, and that the Jewish Question has to be solved justly. [Amos Morris-Reich, Arthur Ruppin’s Concept of Race, Journal of Israel studies, volume 11, number 3 p.1. citing CZA A107/954]
Eitan Bloom writes of how
The idea of segregation was central to Ruppin’s eugenic planning… in order to produce a culture of their own, the Jews had to live… separated from any other culture… the Jew needed to be segregated in a space that would enable him to be among his like; only such “kinship of race” would encourage him to be healthy and creative.’[Eitan Bloom, Arthur Ruppin and the Production of the Modern Hebrew Culture, Ph. D. thesis, Tel Aviv University, December 2008].
Hans Günther, a member of the Nazi party from 1929, was Himmler’s ideological mentor and ‘the highest scientific authority concerning racial theory.’ [Bloom, p.405-6.].
In May 1930 Gunther was appointed Professor to the Chair of Racial Anthropology at Jena University, after the intervention of Wilhelm Frick, the first National Socialist state minister and later Nazi Minister of the Interior. Gunther praised Zionism ‘for recognizing the genuine racial consciousness (Volkstum) of the Jews.’ [Bloom, op. cit. p.408].Ruppin saw in Günther’s writings ‘a treasure chest of material.’ [Bloom, p. 409, Arthur Ruppin, Briefe, Tagebucher, Erinnerungen, (ed.) Schlomo Krolik, Leo Baeck Instituts, Königstein: Leo Baeck Instituts & Jüdischer Verlag Athenau, 1985.p.422]
In Germany the Nazis divided society into Aryan and non-Aryan.  How did they define the Jew?  Simple they went back to 1870 to see if someone’s grandparents were practising Jews.  Were they baptized?  So the definition of race, which is supposed to be biological in fact rested on religious practice which is why in the case of the ‘mixed race’ Mischlinge, those who had one or two Jewish grandparents, if the parents or the persons themselves or their children were practising Jews then that determined their racial belonging.
 Eugenics, the ‘science’ of selective breeding which Hitler based his ‘euthenasia’ programme on and which was the precursor of the Holocaust, was integral to the foundation of the Israeli medical service under Dr Joseph Meir. [Ha'aretz, 11.6.04., Do Not Have Children if They Won't Be Healthy!'].   Indeed it was integral to social policy at the beginning of the Israeli state.  Hence why thousands of Yemenite and Arab Jewish children were kidnapped from their parents, reported to be dead and secretly given to European Ashkenazi parents to bring up.
In Israel Black Jews are at the bottom of the pile and many Zionists don’t accept that you can be Black and Jewish.  Much like Donald Trump refused to accept that Barak Obama was Black and American, hence the Birther movement demanded to see his birth certificate.  In Israel the Black Ethiopian Jews are the most discriminated against of all and large parts of the Orthodox Rabbinate refused to accept they were Jewish and insisted that the men undergo another circumcision.

The Black Hebrews were a sect that emigrated from the USA and although a community of them live in the Negev near Beer Sheeva now, many of them previously were deported from Israel because they were not considered Jews.  This is in essence what lies behind the attempts of pathetic little racists like jonny dravitz to ‘prove’ that Jackie Walker isn’t Jewish. 

That is where Jackie Walker comes in.  She was the Black Jewish anti-Zionist who the Jewish Labour Movement and other Zionists tried to use as the traditional symbol of the Black devil in the Labour Party, the archetypal anti-Semite.

Te Israeli Law of Return, which allows me to ‘return’ to Israel even though I’ve never lived there but prevents a Palestinian returning even if they were born there (they are classified as ‘infiltrators’) is based on virtually the same racial criteria as the definition of a Jew under the Nuremburg Laws, viz. whether someone’s parents or grandparents are Jewish.  Indeed under the 1970 Amendment it goes wider and classifies as Jewish for the purpose of Return a spouse of a Jew.  Since Jackie’s father is Jewish then she is Jewish for the purpose of the Law of Return but in Israel itself the Orthodox Rabbinate control all personal affairs and the definition is much stricter. You are only Jewish if your mother is Jewish and Reform Judaism isn’t recognized.
There is though something pathetic in the attempt of the Jewish Labour Movement under Jeremy Newmark and petty little Judeo-Nazis like Jonny Kravitz trying to ‘prove’ that Jackie isn’t Jewish.  Except that they don’t even have the courage or honesty to say that she is a cushi or shvartze
Tony Greenstein



          Philippines   
Après un an au pouvoir, le président flingueur des Philippines reste populaire (30/06/2017)

Après un an au pouvoir, le président flingueur des Philippines reste populaire  (30/06/2017)
Par Anne-Laure Frémont , AFP agence  Publié le 30/06/2017 à 11:20

VIDÉOS - Le président Rodrigo Duterte célèbre ce vendredi sa première année au pouvoir à des sommets de popularité. Retour sur cinq faits marquants de ce début de mandat aux multiples controverses.

Un massacre au nom de la lutte contre la drogue

3 171. C'est le nombre de personnes que la police dit avoir tuées dans le cadre de la campagne du président pour éradiquer le trafic de stupéfiants. Rodrigo Duterte a fait de cette «guerre contre la drogue» sa priorité, promettant d'éradiquer le problème en six mois, et allant même jusqu'à dire qu'il serait «heureux de massacrer» des millions de toxicomanes. Ses opposants l'accusent d'encourager n'importe qui à commettre des meurtres de masse : des meurtriers inconnus ont abattu 2.098 personnes en rapport avec la drogue. Parallèlement, la police enquête sur 8.200 personnes tuées sans mobile connu. Les victimes se multiplient, mais le trafic de drogue existe toujours.

Un avocat philippin a déposé en avril une plainte auprès de la Cour pénale internationale (CPI) visant le président Duterte et 11 autres hauts responsables, qu'il accuse de crimes contre l'humanité.

Brouillage de piste diplomatique

En septembre dernier, il insultait l'ancien président américain Barack Obama. Depuis son arrivée au pouvoir, Duterte semble vouloir prendre ses distances avec l'allié américain et réchauffer les relations avec Pékin, considérablement détériorées sous son prédécesseur en raison des revendications territoriales concurrentes de Manille et Pékin en mer de Chine méridionale. «Le truc politique et culturel a changé et l'Amérique a perdu. Je me suis réaligné sur votre mouvance idéologique (celle de la Chine) et je vais peut-être me rendre aussi en Russie pour parler au (président Vladimir) Poutine et lui dire qu'on est trois contre le reste du monde : la Chine, les Philippines et la Russie. C'est la seule voie», a-t-il déclaré à Pékin l'an dernier.

Mais dans les faits, Duterte n'a pas mis à exécution sa menace de rompre la coopération militaire avec l'Amérique. Et les relations se sont réchauffées avec l'arrivée de Donald Trump au pouvoir. Ce dernier a invité le président philippin Rodrigo Duterte à se rendre à Washington, lors d'uneconversation téléphonique «très amicale».

Un franc-parler qui dérape... souvent

À l'étranger, le président Duterte est surtout «connu» pour ses déclarations percutantes, parfois insultantes, voire au-delà. «Hitler a massacré trois millions de Juifs. Bon, il y a trois millions de drogués (aux Philippines). Je serais heureux de les massacrer», a-t-il par exemple déclaré en septembre dernier pour défendre sa guerre contre la drogue. Ce parallèle a suscité un tollé et le président philippin a présenté ses excuses «au peuple juif».

Dans une autre vidéo, on le voit en septembre dernier faire un doigt d'honneur à l'attention de l'Union européenne, dont il ne supporte pas les critiques vis-à-vis de ses méthodes expéditives.

Le défi de la menace islamiste

Jusqu'à récemment, la guerre contre la drogue était la priorité du président Duterte. Mais le 23 mai dernier, des djihadistes brandissant le drapeau noir de Daech ont mis à sac plusieurs quartiers de la ville méridionale de Marawi. Duterte a immédiatement déclaré la loi martiale à travers toute la région de Mindanao, qui représente le tiers sud des Philippines et où vivent 20 millions de personnes. Il a accusé les djihadistes de vouloir y décréter un «califat».

En dépit d'une campagne intensive de bombardements aériens soutenue par les États-Unis, l'armée n'a pas réussi à déloger les djihadistes. Les combats ont fait plus de 400 morts, selon le gouvernement, et ne semblent pas près de s'arrêter.

Une popularité qui atteint des sommets

Malgré sa politique violente et ses grossièretés, il incarne toujours l'anti-establishment et jouit pour cela d'une forte popularité. 75% des Philippins se disent satisfaits de la présidence Duterte, selon un dernier sondage national mené par un institut de recherche indépendant. Autre signe de sa popularité, la «super majorité» dont il dispose à la chambre basse du Congrès, où sur 296 sièges, sept seulement sont occupés par l'opposition. Mais comme le souligne un représentant de l'opposition, Edcel Lagman, les promesses de «changement» ne se sont pas traduites dans les faits, et «sa super majorité» pourrait un jour voler en éclats.

La rédaction vous conseille





          Etat islamique (ou ISIS, ou Daech) au jour le jour   
Qui sont les auteurs d'attaques terroristes en Occident ? (30/06/2017)
L'EI reprend un quartier de Raqqa (30/06/2017)
L'EI totalement retiré de la province d'Alep (30/06/2017)
Mossoul : dans les ruines laissées par Daech (29/06/2017)
L'EI subit deux revers en Irak et Syrie (29/06/2017)
Daech a perdu 60% de son territoire et 80% de ses revenus (29/06/2017)
EI/Philippines : la Chine promet d'aider (29/06/2017)
Roumanie : un arrestation en lien avec l'EI (29/06/2017)
Mossoul : les forces irakiennes annoncent avoir repris la mosquée Al-Nouri (29/06/2017)
L'interminable reconquête de Mossoul, la «capitale» irakienne de Daech (28/06/2017)
Offensive à Raqqa : « l'État Islamique n'existe plus » (09/06/2017)
Daech veut créer un califat aux Philippines (29/05/2017)
Syrie : six mois pour libérer Raqqa de l'État islamique (10/02/2017)

Qui sont les auteurs d'attaques terroristes en Occident ? (30/06/2017)
Par Le Figaro.fr avec AFPMis à jour le 30/06/2017 à 19:08 Publié le 30/06/2017 à 18:42

Les auteurs d'attaques terroristes en Europe et aux Etats-Unis étaient dans leur grande majorité des hommes jeunes et connus des autorités, selon une étude universitaire ayant passé au peigne fin les 51 attentats perpétrés en Occident depuis trois ans.

Depuis la proclamation du "califat" de l'Etat islamique le 29 juin 2014, il y a juste trois ans, 51 attentats ont été menés en Occident, dans un nombre limité de pays (8). La France a été le pays le plus touché, avec 17 attaques, suivie des Etats-Unis (16) et de l'Allemagne (7).


Ces attaques qui ont fait 395 morts et au moins 1.549 blessés, ont été perpétrées par 65 assaillants. Quarante-trois ont perdu la vie, 21 ont été arrêtés, 1 est en fuite.

L'âge moyen des auteurs s'élève ainsi à 27,3 ans. Le plus jeune avait 15 ans, le plus âgé 52. Sur les 65 assaillants, 63 étaient des hommes, soit 97% d'entre eux.

73% étaient citoyens du pays où ils ont mené l'attaque. 14% résidaient légalement dans le pays ou étaient en visite légalement depuis des pays proches, 5% étaient des réfugiés ou des demandeurs d'asile, tandis que 6% étaient présents illégalement sur le territoire ou attendaient d'être expulsés. 17% étaient des personnes qui se sont converties à l'islam.

82% étaient déjà connus d'une façon ou d'une autre des autorités avant l'attaque. 57% avaient un passé criminel et 18% avaient déjà effectué un séjour en prison. En revanche, seuls 18% d'entre eux s'étaient rendus à l'étranger pour combattre sur un terrain de guerre.

Concernant les attaques proprement dites, dans 8% des cas, l'ordre venait directement de dirigeants de l'Etat islamique. Dans 26%, les assaillants n'avaient pas de connexion avec l'EI ou d'autres groupes djihadistes, mais ont été inspirés par leur message. Enfin, dans 66% des cas, les auteurs avaient une forme de connexion avec l'EI ou d'autres groupes, mais ont agi de manière autonome.


Ce rapport baptisé "Djihadiste de la porte d'à côté. Radicalisation et attaques djihadistes en Occident" est le fruit d'une recherche approfondie conduite par Lorenzo Vidino, Francesco Marone et Eva Entenmann, dans le cadre du Programme sur l'extrémisme de l'Université George Washington, situé dans la capitale américaine, de l'Ispi (Institut pour les études de politique internationale) de Milan et de l'ICCT (centre international pour le contre-terrorisme) de La Haye. Ils ont étudié les 21 attentats perpétrés en Occident depuis 3 ans.

L'EI reprend un quartier de Raqqa (30/06/2017)
Par Le Figaro.fr avec AFPMis à jour le 30/06/2017 à 14:01 Publié le 30/06/2017 à 13:51

Le groupe État islamique (EI) a repris aujourd'hui un quartier du sud-est de la ville de Raqqa, son bastion en Syrie, près de trois semaines après l'avoir perdu, a affirmé l'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'Homme (OSDH).

"L'EI a totalement repris al-Senaa, le quartier le plus important dont s'était emparées les Forces démocratiques syriennes (FDS) le 12 juin", a indiqué à l'AFP Rami Abdel Rahmane, directeur de l'Observatoire, en référence à l'alliance kurdo-arabe appuyée par une coalition internationale menée par les Etats-Unis.



"En utilisant des tunnels, les jihadistes ont attaqué les FDS en utilisant des kamikazes ainsi que des drones transportant des charges explosives", a-t-il précisé. Al-Senaa, un quartier densément peuplé, se trouve à proximité de la vieille ville de Raqa.

Hier, une quarantaine de membres de l'EI, vêtus de l'uniforme des FDS pour tromper la vigilance de leurs adversaires, avaient attaqué al-Senaa et Mechleb, deux quartiers du sud-est. Ils avaient mené trois attaques suicide à la voiture piégées, actionné des drones avec des charges explosives, pour s'emparer de six positions tenues par les FDS.

Après l'attaque d'aujourd'hui , les FDS ont dû se replier sur le quartier adjacent de Mechleb "où elles renforcent leurs positions", a dit M. Abdel Rahmane. Après la perte d'al-Senaa, les FDS contrôlent toujours Mechleb à l'est et deux autres quartiers à l'ouest.

LIRE AUSSI :



L'EI totalement retiré de la province d'Alep (30/06/2017)
Par Le Figaro.fr avec AFPMis à jour le 30/06/2017 à 14:26 Publié le 30/06/2017 à 14:02

Le groupe jihadiste Etat Islamique (EI) s'est totalement retiré d'Alep, mettant fin à une présence de quatre ans de la province septentrionale de Syrie, a affirmé à l'AFP l'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'homme (OSDH).

"Daech s'est complétement retiré de la province d'Alep face à l'avance des forces du régime", a dit le chef de l'ONG, Rami Abdel Rahmane, en utilisant un acronyme en arabe de l'EI. Ce retrait d'Alep a été confirmé de source militaire syrienne.

LIRE AUSSI :


Mossoul : dans les ruines laissées par Daech (29/06/2017)
Par Luc Mathieu, Envoyé spécial à Mossoul Photos William Daniels — 29 juin 2017 à 20:26

Dans le vieux Mossoul, dimanche. 
Dans le vieux Mossoul, dimanche.  Photo William Daniels pour Libération 
Si la reprise de la mosquée Al-Nouri marque un tournant symbolique du conflit, les combats se poursuivent entre des jihadistes aux abois et une armée épuisée.

  Mossoul : dans les ruines laissées par Daech
Quand le vent se lève, la vieille ville de Mossoul disparaît. Le ciel gris et brûlant, les murs sales des maisons ravagées, la poussière des gravats, plus rien ne se distingue, tout se mêle. Seule ressort parfois la puanteur de cadavres oubliés. Les forces irakiennes ont avancé jeudi et dévoilé un paysage post-apocalyptique. Elles ont gagné quelques centaines de mètres sur l’Etat islamique. Cela paraît peu. Mais dans des venelles d’un mètre et demi de large où chaque pas risque de déclencher une mine artisanale, où chaque porte peut receler un piège, c’est beaucoup. L’avancée est aussi symbolique. Les forces spéciales se sont emparé de ce qu’il reste de la mosquée Al-Nouri et d’Al-Hadba, son minaret penché recouvert de mosaïques, le «bossu» comme le surnomment les Mossouliotes. Les jihadistes l’ont dynamité le 21 juin. Ils ne voulaient pas que les soldats puissent parader et faire des selfies devant le minbar où Abou Bakr Al-Baghdadi, le calife autodésigné, a fait sa seule apparition publique. C’était le 3 juillet 2014, l’Etat islamique était au faîte de sa puissance. Jeudi, l’armée irakienne a commencé à déminer les ruines de l’édifice. «D’ici quatre à cinq jours, nous aurons atteint le Tigre. La victoire est une question de jours. Daech n’est plus qu’un pain de glace qui fond sous le soleil», souffle le général Sami al-Arthy, à la tête de deux divisions des forces spéciales irakiennes.

Dans la poussière de la vieille ville, à côté de son blindé noir frappé d’une tête de mort, Nasser, 23 ans, soldat dans les forces spéciales, ne dit pas autre chose. «Dans dix jours, deux semaines peut-être, c’est réglé. On sent que les hommes de l’Etat islamique n’ont plus le moral, qu’ils ne pensent plus qu’à s’échapper. Ils ne savent plus se battre alors qu’il y a encore trois semaines, ils étaient des combattants redoutables.» La bataille a anéanti le vieux Mossoul. Pas une maison ne semble avoir été épargnée. Des toits se sont écroulés, laissant des blocs de béton pendre comme des guirlandes, seulement retenus par leurs armatures métalliques. Des voitures calcinées aux carcasses tordues disparaissent sous la chaussée. Des cratères creusés par des frappes aériennes ont aspiré camionnettes et bulldozers. Quand les avions de la coalition ne bombardent pas et que les combats cessent, un silence profond se répand, imperméable aux bruits de la vie qui a repris dans les autres quartiers.

Tréteaux de fer
Jeudi, comme à chaque progression de l’armée irakienne, des habitants sont apparus au détour des ruelles. Exténués, sales, regards tristes ou joyeux de croiser des militaires. Ils n’ont que quelques sacs et sont entourés d’enfants. Une vieille femme a les yeux dans le vague. Seuls ses deux fils qui la soutiennent l’empêchent de s’écrouler. Devant une maison écrasée par un bombardement il y a dix jours, un homme reste à côté de deux sacs de plastique noir d’où s’écoule une odeur de mort. «Ce sont les restes de mes parents, on vient de les sortir», dit-il calmement. Un autre attend à ses côtés que les secouristes de la Défense civile extraient le cadavre de son père. Il reste une douzaine de corps sous les décombres.

La bataille de Mossoul n’est pas finie, mais les soldats sont épuisés. Ils marchent lentement, s’accroupissent dès qu’ils le peuvent à l’ombre d’un mur éboulé ou d’un blindé. Ceux des forces spéciales n’ont en réalité jamais cessé de combattre depuis 2014. Ils ont mené les assauts à Samarra, Tikrit, Ramadi, Fallouja, Hit, Baji et désormais Mossoul. Le califat irakien est presque annihilé, mais l’enchaînement des combats les a usés.

Dans la cour d’une maison de la vieille ville au toit à moitié arraché, Ahmed, 29 ans, s’est avachi dans un vieux canapé. Il est 15 heures et la chaleur pèse comme un sac de ciment sur les épaules. Il fait près de 50 degrés. «Le plus dur n’est pas tellement la fatigue physique, mais celle liée à la perte d’amis au combat, dit-il. Si je ne compte que depuis le début de l’offensive dans l’ouest de Mossoul, j’en ai perdu quatorze. Mon frère aussi est mort durant un combat.» Il sort son smartphone et montre les photos où il pose en riant avec chacun d’eux. «Au fond, ma vie se résume à la guerre.» Comme la plupart des autres soldats, Ahmed porte les cicatrices de ces offensives qui n’en finissent pas. Il est sorti il y a un mois de l’hôpital après l’explosion d’un mortier qui l’a blessé aux deux jambes et à un bras. Dans la cour de la maison, l’un de ses copains montre son bras, transpercé par cinq balles qui ont laissé des cercles sombres sur la peau et une longue cicatrice. «J’ai aussi été touché au ventre par un éclat», dit le jeune soldat.

Depuis le début de la bataille de Mossoul, les blessés sont rapidement soignés dans de petits centres d’urgence qui se déplacent au gré de la ligne de front. Ils sont ensuite transférés dans des hôpitaux. Cette semaine, l’un des plus avancés est installé à côté de la mosquée Abou Zyan, à environ 500 mètres de la vieille ville, dans deux anciens ateliers. Il n’y a ni porte ni fenêtre et des machines-outils sont encore installées au fond, trop lourdes sans doute pour être pillées.

Les infirmiers ont installé cinq brancards sur des tréteaux de fer. Les cartons de compresses, seringues et perfusions s’entassent le long des murs. Des grappes de mouches bourdonnent autour de petites flaques de sang. Chaque jour, les blessés se succèdent, emmenés par de vieilles ambulances aux suspensions défoncées qui pilent devant les anciens ateliers. «Les blessures les plus courantes sont dues à des éclats de mortiers, de mines artisanales et de grenades. Il y a aussi des blessures par balle, mais c’est moins fréquent», explique un infirmier. Les cadavres sont enveloppés dans une couverture puis déposés dans des sacs mortuaires. La guerre contre l’Etat islamique a décimé les rangs de l’armée irakienne. Les forces spéciales ont perdu 40 % de leurs effectifs, blessés ou tués, depuis le début des combats, selon le Pentagone.

«Seul Dieu a des yeux»
La guerre ne sera pas pour autant terminée avec la fin de la bataille de Mossoul. Avant même le début des derniers assauts contre la vieille ville, l’Etat islamique a répliqué à sa manière, brutale et rapide. Dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi, une soixantaine de jihadistes ont attaqué deux quartiers de l’ouest de Mossoul, libérés il y a quelques mois, Tanak et Yarmouk. Ils ont investi le premier, avancé vers le second. Les habitants ont fui en quelques heures. Les autorités irakiennes ont d’abord blâmé des «cellules dormantes». La réalité est plus inquiétante. Les jihadistes n’attendaient pas cachés à Mossoul dans des caves ou des maisons abandonnées. Ils venaient de beaucoup plus loin, de Tall Afar, à la frontière syrienne, l’une des dernières villes irakiennes qu’ils contrôlent encore. «Ils ont marché durant une partie du trajet et ont réussi à passer nos lignes. Ils avaient des informateurs qui leur ont dit comment éviter les check-points et parvenir jusqu’à Mossoul. Tout était prêt pour eux quand ils sont arrivés», explique le général Haider Fadhel des forces spéciales. Au moins un soldat a été tué lors de l’assaut. Aucun civil n’aurait perdu la vie, selon l’armée irakienne.

Un jihadiste a été capturé. Il a 11 ans. Les autres ont tous été tués, selon le général. «La plupart avaient des vestes explosives. Nous en avons abattu quelques-uns», affirme-t-il. Le cadavre poussiéreux de l’un d’eux, barbe et cheveux longs, pantalon court, était accroché tête en bas lundi matin au poteau cassé d’un feu tricolore. «Ce sont les habitants qui l’ont mis là, pas nous», expliquait un soldat en faction. Quelques heures plus tard, le corps avait été décroché. Il gisait juste à côté sur un terre-plein. Des enfants lui jetaient des cailloux, lui défonçant le crâne. Des adolescents criaient : «C’est un Pakistanais ! Non, un Afghan !» «C’est un Tadjik», hurlait un autre. Un homme d’une quarantaine d’années répétait : «Seul Dieu a des yeux et sait ce qui s’est passé.»

Le jour même, l’armée s’est déployée dans plusieurs quartiers de l’ouest de Mossoul, à plusieurs kilomètres de la vieille ville et de ses combats. En milieu d’après-midi, une vingtaine de soldats ont investi le quartier de Tal Ruman. Ils frappent aux portes métalliques des maisons. La plupart s’ouvrent. Ils pénètrent dans la cour, le salon, jettent un œil dans la cuisine, montent vers les chambres, observent les portes à l’arrière. «Regardez ce que vous voulez, et partout», dit un propriétaire bedonnant en offrant des graines de tournesol. Les inspections ne durent que quelques minutes. Au coin d’une rue, deux blindés sont arrêtés. Des soldats ouvrent le coffre d’un Humvee noir. Un homme pieds nus en tee-shirt blanc est allongé. Il a une vingtaine d’années et l’air terrifié. Un militaire lui met une claque et le sort en le tirant par une oreille. Le jeune est poussé jusqu’à un commandant qui joue avec une petite barre de fer. «Je n’ai rien fait, je n’ai rien fait», répète l’homme en gardant la tête baissée. «Quoi que tu aies fait, quoi que tu fasses, si jamais c’est pour Daech, tu es mort», crie le commandant. Un peu à l’écart, un soldat aux yeux bleus dit : «On le pousse un peu mais c’est pour lui faire peur. On veut qu’il travaille pour nous.» L’homme est ramené au Humvee où il récupère son sac. Il est libre. Il s’éloigne aussi vite qu’il le peut.


Luc Mathieu Envoyé spécial à Mossoul Photos William Daniels


L'EI subit deux revers en Irak et Syrie (29/06/2017)
Par Le Figaro.fr avec AFPMis à jour le 29/06/2017 à 20:31 Publié le 29/06/2017 à 20:12

Les djihadistes du groupe Etat islamique (EI) ont enregistré aujourd'hui deux importants revers en Syrie et en Irak:En Irak, les forces gouvernementales ont repris le site de la mosquée emblématique d'Al-Nouri, dans la vieille ville de Mossoul où elles traquent les derniers jihadistes.

» Lire aussi - Le crépuscule de l'État islamique à Mossoul

C'est dans cette mosquée qu'Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi avait fait en juillet 2014 son unique apparition publique connue en tant que chef de l'EI, peu après que les jihadistes s'étaient emparés de la deuxième ville d'Irak. Il avait appelé dans un prêche les musulmans à lui obéir.

La mosquée Al-Nouri et le minaret penché, connu sous le nom d'"Al-Hadba" ("la bossue") et surnommé "la tour de Pise irakienne", avaient été détruits le 21 juin par les jihadistes qui les ont fait exploser alors que les forces irakiennes progressaient en direction de ce site. Le "califat", proclamé par l'EI il y a trois ans jour pour jour, touche à sa fin, a affirmé le Premier ministre irakien Haider al-Abadi.

Les Forces démocratiques syriennes (FDS) ont "pris le contrôle d'une région au sud de l'Euphrate, coupant ainsi la dernière route que l'EI pouvait utiliser pour se retirer de Raqqa", a expliqué à Rami Abdel Rahmane, directeur de l'OSDH. "Les FDS ont pu maintenant encercler complètement Raqa" a-t-il dit.

Quelque 2.500 jihadistes combattent dans la ville, selon le général britannique Rupert Jones, commandant en second de la coalition internationale. L'ONU a estimé mercredi que près de 100.000 civils étaient "pris au piège" à Raqqa, alors que des dizaines de milliers de civils seraient aussi bloqués dans la vieille ville de Mossoul.

Daech a perdu 60% de son territoire et 80% de ses revenus (étude) - 29/06/2017
Par Le Figaro.fr avec AFPMis à jour le 29/06/2017 à 16:44 Publié le 29/06/2017 à 16:43

Le groupe Etat islamique (EI) a perdu en trois ans 60% du territoire qu'il a occupé en Irak et en Syrie et 80% de ses revenus, selon une étude du cabinet d'analyse IHS Markit publiée jeudi. Le territoire du "califat" autoproclamé en juin 2014 à cheval sur ces deux pays est passé de 90.000 km² en janvier 2015 à 36.200 km² en juin 2017, explique cette firme basée à Londres. Une coalition internationale conduite par les Etats-Unis mène des frappes aériennes contre les jihadistes depuis l'été 2014.

Au sol, la bataille est engagée en Irak par l'armée et en Syrie principalement par les Forces démocratiques syriennes (FDS), une alliance de combattants kurdes et arabes anti-EI. "La montée et la chute de l'EI se caractérisent par une expansion rapide suivie d'un déclin continu. Trois ans après sa proclamation, il est évident que le projet de gouvernance du califat a échoué"', note Columb Strack, un expert du Moyen-Orient à IHS Markit. "Le reste du +califat+ devrait se désintégrer avant la fin de l'année et son projet sera réduit à une série de zones urbaines isolées qui devrait être reprise au cours de 2018", a-t-il ajouté.

Par ailleurs, les finances de l'EI se sont aussi effondrées. Les revenus mensuels sont passés de 81 millions de dollars au deuxième trimestre 2015 à 16 millions de dollars au second semestre 2017, soit une baisse de 80%. "Cela s'explique par un déclin continu de toutes les sources de financement, que ce soit la production de pétrole, les taxes et les confiscations ainsi que les autres activités illicites", note un autre expert d'IHS Ludovico Carlino. Ainsi les revenus générés par le pétrole sont tombés de 88% et les taxes et confiscations de 79% entre 2015 et 2017. Pour lui, "la perte de territoires est le principal facteur ayant entrainé les pertes de revenus".

"La perte de contrôle de régions peuplées comme Mossoul (en Irak) et de zones pétrolières dans les provinces de Raqa et Homs en Syrie ont eu un impact significatif sur la capacité du groupe à générer des revenus", a-t-il expliqué.

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EI/Philippines: la Chine promet d'aider (29/06/2017)
Par Le Figaro.fr avec AFPMis à jour le 29/06/2017 à 15:10 Publié le 29/06/2017 à 14:42

La Chine a promis aujourd'hui de continuer à fournir aux Philippines "l'aide nécessaire", au lendemain de la livraison par Pékin de milliers d'armes à Manille pour affronter des djihadistes qui occupent une ville de l'archipel.

Le 23 mai, des centaines de combattants brandissant le drapeau noir du groupe Etat islamique (EI) ont pris le contrôle de quartiers de Marawi, une localité de la région de Mindanao, dans le sud du pays. L'armée philippine mène actuellement une campagne de bombardements et de combats au sol mais n'a pas réussi à déloger les assaillants des poches où ils se sont retranchés.


"Hier, le premier lot d'aide d'urgence a été livré aux Philippines", a déclaré aujourd'hui le ministre chinois des Affaires étrangères Wang Yi lors d'une conférence de presse à Pékin.

"A l'avenir, conformément aux besoins des Philippines, nous continuerons à fournir l'assistance et l'aide nécessaires", a-t-il souligné aux côtés de son homologue philippin Alan Peter Cayetano, actuellement en visite en Chine. M. Wang a également promis le soutien chinois dans les opérations de reconstruction de Marawi.

Une cargaison chinoise de fusils d'assaut, fusils de sniper et de munitions est arrivée hier aux Philippines. C'est la première aide militaire de Pékin depuis que le président philippin Rodrigo Duterte a annoncé fin 2016 sa "séparation" d'avec les Etats-Unis - son allié militaire traditionnel - au profit de la Chine.

Cette livraison d'armes, d'une valeur de 50 millions de yuans (6,5 millions d'euros), "reflète l'avènement d'une nouvelle ère dans les relations philippino-chinoises", s'est réjouit M. Duterte.
L'ambassadeur chinois aux Philippines, Zhao Jianhua, a assuré qu'un "deuxième lot" d'armes chinoises sera bientôt livré.

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Roumanie: un arrestation en lien avec l'EI (29/06/2017)
Par Le Figaro.fr avec AFPMis à jour le 29/06/2017 à 15:11 Publié le 29/06/2017 à 13:13

Un Roumain de 39 ans soupçonné d'avoir collecté des données militaires au profit du groupe Etat islamique (EI) a été interpellé aujourd'hui, une première dans ce pays de l'Union européenne, ont indiqué les autorités roumaines.

Le suspect est accusé d'avoir effectué des repérages "au printemps 2015 à proximité d'une installation militaire du territoire roumain, observant attentivement les voies d'accès et les clôtures", a précisé le parquet chargé de combattre le crime organisé et le terrorisme (DIICOT) dans un communiqué.

Son "but déclaré était de contribuer à l'organisation d'un attentat terroriste contre cette base", a ajouté le Service roumain des renseignements, selon lequel l'homme avait déclaré son "adhésion" au groupe jihadiste EI.

Il voulait transmettre les informations collectées à "une cellule salafiste et pro-jihadiste d'un état de l'Union européenne", a ajouté le parquet. Selon ce dernier, cette cellule était en lien avec des auteurs des attentats terroristes du 13 novembre 2015 à Paris.

Les autorités ont organisé ce matin trois perquisitions dans le département d'Arges (sud) où habitait le suspect. Il est également poursuivi pour "propagande" en ligne en faveur du groupe EI et a été placé en garde à vue.


Surveillé depuis 2015, l'homme se serait radicalisé après avoir vécu plusieurs années à l'étranger, dans un pays de l'Union européenne où il était en lien avec des groupes jihadistes, a précisé le service des renseignements.

Mossoul: les forces irakiennes annoncent avoir repris la mosquée Al-Nouri (29/06/2017)
Par Le Figaro.fr avec AFPMis à jour le 29/06/2017 à 11:40 Publié le 29/06/2017 à 11:30

Les forces irakiennes ont annoncé aujourd'hui avoir pris le contrôle de la mosquée Al-Nouri où Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi avait donné en juillet 2014 son premier prêche en tant que chef du groupe Etat islamique (EI). Sa dernière apparition publique connue à ce jour.

Des membres de l'EI avaient fait exploser cette grande mosquée, minaret emblématique de la ville irakienne, le 21 juin dernier.

L'armée irakienne a fait savoir que les Forces spéciales avaient pris la mosquée aux jihadistes. Un commandant des Forces spéciales a lui indiqué que le site n'avait pas encore été repris mais que ses forces étaient sur le point de le faire.

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» L'interminable reconquête de Mossoul, la «capitale» irakienne de Daech

» «Soudain, le monde éclate...» : le récit tragique de notre envoyé spécial blessé à Mossoul

L'interminable reconquête de Mossoul, la «capitale» irakienne de Daech (28.06.2017)
Par Adrien Jaulmes Mis à jour le 28/06/2017 à 21:32 Publié le 28/06/2017 à 19:50

VIDÉO - Après neuf mois de bataille, les forces irakiennes avancent sur le dernier refuge des combattants de Daech. Une ultime offensive qui s'oppose à la défense ingénieuse, retorse et acharnée des djihadistes.

La longue reconquête de Mossoul sur l'État islamique touche à sa fin. Acculés dans les ruines de la vieille ville, dans les décombres de ce qui fut le cœur de leur sinistre expérience étatique, les combattants djihadistes livrent leur dernier combat. L'issue de la bataille ne fait désormais plus aucun doute, mais les soldats irakiens devront néanmoins la livrer jusqu'au bout.

Il leur a fallu neuf mois de durs combats pour arriver jusqu'aux ruelles autour de la grande mosquée où fut proclamé le califat, en juillet 2014. Neuf mois au cours desquels les combattants fanatiques de l'EI ont reculé pied à pied, se battant maison par maison. Neuf mois pendant lesquels des ...

Offensive à Raqqa : « l'État Islamique n'existe plus » (09/06/2017)
Par Eloi Thiboud  Publié le 09/06/2017 à 12:33

FIGAROVOX/ENTRETIEN - Le 6 juin les Forces Démocratiques Syriennes soutenues par la coalition américaine, sont entrées dans Raqqa défendue par Daech. Spécialiste des questions internationales, Hadrien DESUIN décrypte le déclin de l'État islamique à Raqqa.

Spécialiste des questions internationales et de défense, Hadrien Desuin est essayiste. Il vient de publier La France atlantiste ou le naufrage de la diplomatie (éd. du Cerf, 2017).

FIGAROVOX. - Les forces arabes et kurdes, soutenues par les Américains, ont engagé l'offensive contre l'EI à Raqqa et sont entrées dans l'est de la ville le 6 juin. Que représente Raqqa pour l'EI aujourd'hui? La reconquête de Raqqa signifie-t-elle la chute de l'État Islamique?

D'un point de vue strictement territorial, «l'État islamique » n'existe plus.

Hadrien DESUIN. - Raqqa ne représente pas grand-chose dans la symbolique du Califat. Une ville comme Mossoul est plus intéressante car elle frappe l'imaginaire de la mythologie islamique. Tout comme Damas d'où est partie la reconquête de Saladin pour chasser les croisés de Jérusalem. Raqqa a toutefois été la plus grosse ville syrienne sous occupation de l'État islamique. Elle était donc la capitale économique de Daech en Syrie. Elle était très bien située quand l'organisation djihadiste était au faîte de sa puissance en 2014- 2015. 300 000 habitants, à très grande majorité arabes sunnites, ont donné de la substance à l'État islamique. Désormais encerclée, l'issue militaire de Raqqa ne fait pas de doute. Le siège sera long mais ce n'est qu'une question de temps. Les assaillants vont sans doute prendre le temps de laisser s'affaiblir les assiégés en coupant leur ravitaillement. En attendant, ils pourraient bien conforter leurs positions dans toute la province de Raqqa.

D'un point de vue strictement territorial, «l'État islamique» n'existe plus. Les liaisons sont très compliquées entre la Syrie et l'Irak. Il ne reste que des grosses poches de résistances, incapables de se coordonner entre elles. Plus aucune zone n'est sûre. Ces dernières vont persister encore longtemps car elles sont tenues par des fanatiques prêts à mourir plutôt que de se rendre. Dans certains quartiers très urbanisés, les petites équipes de snipers ou de tireur RPG peuvent considérablement ralentir la progression d'une troupe entraînée. Il faut 10 assaillants pour un défenseur à moins de raser la ville. Il s'agit toutefois d'un combat d'arrière-garde. Depuis que les contre-offensives des coalitions américaines et russes ont commencé, l'EI est revenu au modèle plus classique d'Al Qaïda : internationalisation du terrorisme et guérillas franchisées dans tout le monde musulman. N'oublions pas que Daech n'est au départ qu'une dissidence d'Al Qaïda en Irak et au Levant.

L'idéologie de Daech, et du djihadisme en général, ne peut pas vivre en dehors de la conquête. Dès qu'elle fut arrêtée aux portes de Bagdad, à Palmyre et dans Kobané, Daech a dû se réinventer pour survivre et maintenir sa folle cavalcade meurtrière.

Quels sont les intérêts des États-Unis à Raqqa ?

Les États-Unis ont voulu prendre Raqqa avant les Russes, les Iraniens et l'armée syrienne. Quitte à se fâcher avec les Turcs qui redoutent par-dessus tout l'extension du Kurdistan syrien. La prise de Raqqa marquera symboliquement la défaite de Daech en Syrie et donc la victoire de la coalition américaine. Pour Donald Trump, l'enjeu est d'importance après des années d'extrême prudence de la part de Barack Obama sur ce dossier. D'un point de vue géopolitique, la coalition irano-russe serait contrainte de laisser la vallée de l'Euphrate aux alliés des Américains. Il s'agit de confiner le plus possible la Russie et l'Iran qui sont toujours vus à Washington comme les principaux adversaires de l'Amérique à l'échelle du monde.

Les Forces Démocratiques Syriennes (FDS) soignent malgré tout leurs relations avec les Russes et donc avec le régime syrien car ils doivent se coordonner avec eux dans la poche d'Afrin, coupée du cœur du Rojava qui va de Kobané à Hassaké. En prenant Raqqa, les Américains veulent aussi rassurer l'Arabie Saoudite, le grand allié de Donald Trump : la Syrie de l'Est ne tombera pas dans l'escarcelle chiite. Cette vision saoudienne et confessionnelle est quelque peu caricaturale car le régime de Bachar a toujours su composer avec les populations sunnites dans le passé. En faire une secte arc-boutée sur un clan alaouite est très simpliste. La Syrie des années 2000 savait aussi jouer des rivalités entre l'Iran et l'Arabie Saoudite.

Qui tiendra la ville après le départ des djihadistes ?

Les membres arabes de l'alliance FDS sont en première ligne mais les Kurdes auront une place incontournable. Toutefois, ils devront s'appuyer impérativement sur les grandes familles de la ville qui ont subi l'oppression de l'État islamique pendant plus de cinq ans. Les Kurdes pourront réoccuper les quartiers dont ils ont été expulsés mais doivent rester en dehors des quartiers arabes s'ils veulent gagner la paix. Dans l'idéal, il faudrait qu'une municipalité sous l'égide des notables de Raqqa prenne les affaires socio-économiques en main, laissant aux FDS la défense militaire de la ville.

Pourquoi la coalition russe ne participe-t-elle pas à cet assaut ?

Parce que les Américains et les Russes ne sont jamais parvenus à se mettre d'accord sur le périmètre d'une éventuelle coalition commune. Les Russes sont alliés aux Iraniens, au Hezbollah et à l'armée de Bachar Al-Assad. Ni le Pentagone, ni la CIA ne peuvent accepter de combattre avec les alliés de la Russie. Ils soutiennent des rebelles sunnites qui se battent justement contre l'armée syrienne dans le sud du pays. Faute de s'entendre sur un partage des zones d'influence, la partition de la Syrie se fait par les armes. Chaque camp tente de prendre le maximum de terrain sur les décombres de Daech, un peu comme ce qui s'était passé à Manbij et Al-Bab.

Dans l'idéal, il faudrait qu'une municipalité sous l'égide des notables de Raqqa prenne les affaires socio-économiques en main, laissant aux FDS la défense militaire de la ville.

Pour la bataille de Raqqa, les forces soutenues par la Russie sont encore à 100km de la ville. Laquelle est déjà ceinturée par les FDS. Il est donc trop tard pour les troupes de Damas de participer à la prise de la ville. L'objectif est de consolider les territoires gagnés à l'est d'Alep et dans le centre du pays, autour de Palmyre. Il y a aussi les quartiers de Der Ez Zor à défendre, l'autre grande ville sur l'Euphrate. L'enclave qui résiste depuis des années à Daech est de nouveau sous l'intense pression des djihadistes.

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Daech veut créer un califat aux Philippines (29.05.2017)
Par Camille Bouscasse Mis à jour le 29/05/2017 à 12:42 Publié le 26/05/2017 à 18:39

VIDÉO - L'État islamique contrôle toujours la ville de Marawi sur l'île de Mindanao avec l'appui de djihadistes venus de pays asiatiques. Le président philippin Rodrigo Duterte évoque «une invasion».

La percée de groupuscules islamistes rattachés à l'État Islamique (EI) plonge l'île de Mindanao aux Philippines dans le chaos. Les islamistes philippins ont pris le contrôle de la ville de Marawi, un bastion musulman au sein d'un pays à majorité catholique.

«L'État Islamique a radicalisé un grand nombre de jeunes philippins musulmans»
José Calida, le solliciteur général des Philippines

Depuis le début des violences, et notamment depuis que le chef de police de Malabang s'est fait décapiter à un poste de contrôle des rebelles, les autorités philippines ont déployé les forces spéciales ainsi que plusieurs hélicoptères de combat. Après avoir instauré la loi martiale dans la région mardi dernier, le président philippin Rodrigo Duterte a insisté sur sa volonté de se montrer sévère et ferme envers les terroristes des groupes Mauteet Abou Sayyaf

Maute est une branche de Daech qui opère dans la région de Lanao du Sud sur l'île de Mindanao et qui s'est rendue célèbre en septembre 2016 lors d'une attaque à la bombe meurtrière à Davao, la plus grande ville de l'île de Mindanao. 

Quant à Abou Sayyaf, le groupe islamiste qui sévit depuis plus de vingt ans a récemment étendu son influence à toutes les îles du Sud des Philippines et est responsable d'une multitude d'attaques terroristes dans la région. Selon les autorités philippines, des combattants indonésiens et malaisiens, entre autres, seraient venus soutenir et renforcer les islamistes philippins. Pour Manille, la présence de ces forces étrangères dans les rangs des insurgés est due à un appel de ralliement lancé par Daech.

L'apport des combattants indonésiens et malaisiens révèle le nouveau mode opératoire de l'État Islamique (EI). Pour la première fois en Asie de l'Est des branches locales de Daech déploient leurs forces sur des territoires autres que les leurs. Cette capacité de mobilisation et de déplacement de terroristes étrangers visent à internationaliser le terrorisme en s'appuyant sur les sous-groupes lui ayant prêté allégeance. Daech qui veut instaurer un califat sur l'île de Mindanao cherche à territorialiser son influence.

Pendant les derniers jours, l'État Islamique a engagé une succession d'offensives, à l'instar du double attentat-suicide de Jakarta. L'ouverture de ces nombreux fronts inquiète d'autant plus les autorités philippines que, selon José Calida, le solliciteur général des Philippines, l'État Islamique «a radicalisé un grand nombre de jeunes philippins musulmans.» Qualifiés de «très déterminés» par l'armée, les djihadistes ont provoqué la fuite de nombre des 200.000 habitants de Marawi et la mort de 46 personnes.

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          Soudan   
Soudan : les États-Unis «inquiets» de la situation (30/06/2017)
Par Le Figaro.fr avec AFPMis à jour le 30/06/2017 à 12:38 Publié le 30/06/2017 à 12:30

Les Etats-Unis demeurent "très inquiets" de la situation des droits de l'Homme au Soudan, s'agissant notamment des restrictions concernant la liberté de la presse et de religion, a indiqué l'ambassade à Khartoum.

Ces déclarations ont été mises en ligne hier sur la page Facebook de l'ambassade, à quelques jours d'une décision attendue le 12 juillet du président américain Donald Trump sur une levée de certaines sanctions imposées depuis 20 ans sur Khartoum.

"Les Etats-Unis demeurent très inquiets au sujet de la situation des droits de l'Homme au Soudan, dont la fermeture continue de l'espace politique, et les restrictions à la liberté religieuse, la liberté d'expression, dont la liberté de la presse. La question de la protection des droits de l'Homme est "profondément imbriquée avec celles de la paix et la sécurité" indique l'ambassade.

Au vu de ces inquiétudes, certaines organisations ont exhorté l'administration Trump à maintenir les sanctions sur Khartoum.

L'ex-président Barack Obama avait décidé en janvier la levée de certaines sanctions économiques américaines contre le Soudan. Il avait cependant prévu une période probatoire de six mois avant que Washington ne lève effectivement ces sanctions.

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Un commandant de l'État islamique arrêté au Soudan
Par Richard Heuzé  Publié le 16/11/2016 à 17:49

Fezzani Moez Ben Abdelkader, dit «Abou Nassim», un Tunisien de 47 ans, est décrit comme un terroriste organisé et déterminé.
"Fezzani Moez Ben Abdelkader, dit «Abou Nassim», un Tunisien de 47 ans, est décrit comme un terroriste organisé et déterminé.

Recherché par l'Italie, « Abou Nassim » a été interpellé à l'issue d'une traque rocambolesque.
Rome

Les autorités soudanaises ont arrêté, cette semaine à Khartoum, l'un des terroristes les plus dangereux de l'État islamique (EI), après une traque rocambolesque dans une dizaine de pays d'Europe, du Moyen-Orient, en Afghanistan et en Afrique. Ce sont les services de renseignements italiens qui ont mis Interpol sur la trace de cet agent recruteur de l'EI, également recherché pour la préparation de deux attentats en Tunisie, au ...

          All those "Democrats and white middle class" articles explained in four lines.   

I’m going to translate the subtexts and signals of What’s Wrong With the Democrats? - The Atlantic into plain language:

  1. Democrats should have disowned Black Livers Matter.
  2. Democrats shouldn’t run a woman for the presidency.
  3. Democrats should have lied more.
  4. Democrats should have paid more attention to the economic collapse of the non-college (peak human, mass disability)

I agree with the fourth. I was worried about that before Trump took over. I don’t agree with #3, I think lying works a lot better on the GOP base than the Dem base.

Number one and two remind me of the Al Gore’s choice to embrace gun management measures. It was a progressive and brave act, but Americans showed they didn’t want it. Dems have not pushed it since.

I don’t think we’ll see a woman running for the presidency of the United States in the next ten years. Maybe 20 years. I was shocked that almost half of white college educated women voted for Trump. HRC was less excellent than Obama, but she was pretty good. Since white men are  hopeless the lack of support from white women was a killer.

I also think Dems will shy away from BLM like movements - at least for another decade. We won’t say that loudly, but watch what happens. American racism is stronger than many thought.

The are sad predictions. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t have a lot of faith in post-Trump America. 

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, can journalists top writing these articles?


          Kommentar zu Honigmann-Nachrichten vom 30. Juni 2017 – Nr. 1124 von Biene   
http://www.katholisches.info/2017/07/positives-und-negatives-vom-un-menschenrechtsrat-lebensrecht-gender-ideologie-homo-rechte/ Positives und Negatives vom UN-Menschenrechtsrat: Lebensrecht, Gender-Ideologie, „Homo-Rechte“ Positives und Negatives von der 35. Sitzungsperiode des UN-Menschenrechtsrates in Genf: Lebensrecht, Gender-Ideologie, "Homo-Rechte" (Genf) Vom 6.-23. Juni fand in Genf die 35. Sitzungsperiode des UN-Menschenrechtsrates (UNHRC). Das Ergebnis ist ambivalent, doch gibt es auch Positives zu berichten. Gute Nachricht 1 Zu nennen ist an erster Stelle, daß die US-Regierung unter Donald Trump auch an der UN-Front in Sachen Lebensrecht der ungeborenen Kinder aktiv wurde. Der US-Vertreter Jason Mack trat einer Formulierung in einer von Kanada eingebrachten Resolution entgegen, die ein „Recht“ der sogenannten „sicheren Abtreibung“ festschreiben wollte, „dort, wo diese Dienste vom staatlichen Recht erlaubt sind“. Die Stelle war in einer Resolution gegen Gewalt gegen Frauen, besonders in Kriegsgebieten, versteckt worden. Ein weiterer Beweis dafür, wie sehr die Abtreibungslobby alles versucht, um das „Recht“ auf Tötung ungeborener Kinder in möglichst viele UNO-Dokumente einzuschmuggeln versucht. Der US-Diplomat sicherte die Unterstützung für das eigentliche Anliegen der Resolution zu, erinnerte zugleich aber daran, daß es im Völkerrecht kein Recht auf Abtreibung gibt. Seine Regierung stehe zu den Schlußdokumenten der Weltbevölkerungskonferenz von Kairo 1994 und der Weltfrauenkonferenz von 1995, in die zwar der Begriff „reproduktive Gesundheit“ eingeführt wurde, aber in keinem Wort mit Abtreibung in Verbindung gebracht wurde. Diesen Zusammenhang vertreten in der praktischen Umsetzung jedoch die Anhänger der Abtreibungsagenda, zuletzt US-Präsident Barack Obama. Sie versuchen seit 20 Jahren ihre Interpretation der Schlußdokumente durchzusetzen, was in zahlreichen westlichen Staaten, so auch im deutschen Sprachraum, weitgehend, wenn auch stillschweigend gelungen ist. Die Auslegung der Abtreibungslobby gilt unter Juristen und Lebensrechtlern allein schon deshalb als falsch, weil sich zahlreiche Staaten damals ausdrücklich gegen ein „Recht“ auf Abtreibung ausgesprochen haben und den Schlußdokumente nie zugestimmt hätten, wenn die Abtreibung miteinbezogen gewesen wäre. Die Erklärung des US-Vertreters bekräftigt die Position Washingtons, Abtreibung als Methode der Familienplanung abzulehnen. Mack betonte, daß die USA Abtreibung nicht als Teil der reproduktiven Gesundheit sehen und nicht unterstützen, was durch die Wiedereinsetzung der Mexico City Policy formalisiert wurde. Die 1984 von US-Präsident Ronald Reagan eingeführte Richtlinie verbietet jede Finanzierung aus Bundesmitteln von Nichtregierungsorganisationen, die im Ausland Abtreibung unterstützen. Lebensrechtsorganisationen haben die Vorgehensweise der US-Delegation gelobt. Marie Smith vom Parliamentary Network ob Critical Issues äußerte die Hoffnung, daß „die erdrückende Mehrheit der UNO-Mitgliedsstaaten, die Abtreibung ablehnen, durch die starke Parteinahme für das Leben der Regierung Trump ermutigt und angeregt werden, sich den USA anzuschließen und aufzustehen, um sich für die weltweit gefährdetste Bevölkerungsgruppe, die ungeborenen Kinder im Mutterleib, einzusetzen“. Gute Nachricht 2 Eine weitere gute Nachricht, immer von der 35. Sitzung des UN-Menschenrechtsrates, ist eine Resolution zum Schutz der Familie und ihre Rolle bei der Bewahrung und Förderung der Rechte alter Menschen. Diese Resolution wurde mit 30 gegen 12 Stimmen, bei fünf Enthaltungen, angenommen. Die Schweiz und Malta, letzteres in Vertretung der EU, hatten einige gefährliche Abänderungsvorschläge eingebracht, die darauf abzielten, den eindeutigen Begriff „Familie“ als Institution durch den mehrdeutigen Begriff „Familien“ zu ersetzen – und das gleich im Titel. Ziel war es, die Existenz „verschiedener Formen von Familie“ festzuschreiben. Sowohl der Pluralgebrauch „Familien“ als auch die Formulierung „verschiedene Formen von Familie“ sind typisch für den familienfeindlichen Neusprech, mit dem die Homo-Lobby ohne Unterlaß ihre Forderungen in die offiziellen Dokumente und Gesetze hineinschreiben will. Die Änderungsanträge wurden mit großer Mehrheit abgelehnt, was einige Mitglieder, darunter die EU-Mitgliedsstaaten, die USA, die Schweiz, Japan und einige lateinamerikanische Staaten veranlaßte, der Resolution die Zustimmung zu verweigern. Von den EU-Staaten stimmten gegen die Resolution: die Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Niederlande, Großbritannien, Belgien, Kroatien, Litauen, Portugal und Slowenien. Der Vorfall zeigt, daß die neue US-Regierung in Sachen Lebensrecht ein zentraler Verbündeter ist, nicht aber beim Thema Gender-Ideologie. Schlechte Nachricht Die schlechte Nachricht ist, daß der erste Bericht zum Schutz der sexuellen Orientierung und Geschlechtsidentität vorliegt. Als „letzten Streich“ hatte Barack Obama am 21. November 2016, 13 Tage nach dem Wahlsieg von Donald Trump, mit knapper Mehrheit von 84 gegen 77 Stimmen (bei 16 Enthaltungen) bei den Vereinten Nationen einen Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity durchgesetzt, der beim UNHRC angesiedelt ist. Vitit Mutarbhorn, der erste auf drei Jahre bestellte LGBT-Envoy ist allerdings kein „unabhängiger Experte“, sondern ein Homo-Aktivist. 2007 wirkte Mutarbhorn mit 30 weiteren „LGBT-Experten“ an der Ausarbeitung der homosexuellen Yogyakarta-Prinzipien mit. Ein zentraler Punkt dieser 29 „Prinzipien“ ist die internationale Durchsetzung der Gender-Ideologie. Letztlich wird mit ihnen die Abschaffung des Naturrechts gefordert. Wegen ihres umstrittenen Inhalts wurden sie von der UNO nicht übernommen. Ende Januar kam es zu einer ungewöhnlichen Versammlung, bei der Mutarbhorn seinen ersten offiziellen Auftritt hatte. An der Versammlung nahmen nur die Staaten teil, die für die Schaffung dieser neuen institutionellen Figur gestimmt hatten. Der thailändische Homo-Aktivist erklärte dabei, daß bei einem Gegensatz die Meinungs- und Religionsfreiheit zugunsten von „Homo-Rechten“ einzuschränken seien. Starker Tobak für einen UNO-Vertreter, der damit die Menschenrechte und die Verfassung der UNO-Mitgliedsstaaten in Frage stellt. Wörtlich sagte Mutarbhorn: „Es gibt einige Rechte, die absolut sind, aber es gibt auch einige, die nicht absolut sind.“ Seither gilt Mutarbhorn erste Homo-Weltpolizist und erklärter Gegner der Meinungs- und Religionsfreiheit. Seine Haltung bekräftigt Mutarbhorn auch in seinem ersten Bericht und wiederholt darin, daß „Homo-Rechte“ Vorrang vor der Religionsfreiheit hätten. Die Tatsache, daß die Religionsfreiheit (Art. 18) zentraler Bestandteil der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte ist, wird von ihm einfach ausgeblendet. „Die Wahrheit wird immer bekämpft werden und einmal mehr muß sie verteidigt werden“, so Ermes Dovico von Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. Schwerwiegend ist jedoch die Situation besonders dann, wenn jene, die institutionell beauftragt sind – wie Mutarbhorn –, die Menschenrechte zu verteidigen, sie in Wirklichkeit ignorieren, verzerren und aushöhlen.
          Obama reminisces over childhood memories in Indonesian speech   
Jakarta (dpa) – Former US president Barack Obama on Saturday delivered his first post-presidential speech in Asia, emphasising tolerance, democracy and youth empowerment at an congress of the Indonesian Diaspora in Jakarta where he spent four years as a child. Obama was greeted with a standing...
          Justice Neil Gorsuch Votes 100 Percent Of The Time With Most Conservative Colleague   
By now, we can probably say that Justice Anthony Kennedy is not retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court. The word "probably" is apt because nothing is certain about the plans of this or any other Supreme Court justice when it comes to ending his or her service on the nation's highest court. But this week, the court wrapped up the current term, and Kennedy, who turns 81 in July, seems to have decided to stay on the job — at least for the coming term. There could be a variety of reasons. As an institutional matter, he could well have concluded that there had been enough uncertainty and drama on the court after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, and the vacancy that lasted for well over a year with Senate Republicans refusing to even consider President Obama's nominee. Kennedy may also have thought it best to ensure that there is a full complement of nine justices for at least a year. He could even have been put off by President Trump's tweets about the judiciary. But it is unlikely that
          Obama in Indonesia Takes Swipe at Trump   
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          Obama calls for tolerance and unity in childhood home Indonesia   

Former US President Barack Obama speaks to the audience during the 4th Congress of Indonesian Diaspora in Jakarta on July 1, 2017. Former US President Barack Obama called for the Indonesian people to respect each other despite their differences, in his first Asian speech after presidency on July 1, amid tensions in Indonesia over ethnicity ...

The post Obama calls for tolerance and unity in childhood home Indonesia appeared first on News and Gist Portal.


          Obama pushes tolerance, respect in childhood home Jakarta - Washington Post   

Washington Post

Obama pushes tolerance, respect in childhood home Jakarta
Washington Post
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Following another week of dust-ups between the media and President Trump, his predecessor shared a bit of wisdom Saturday from the other side of the world about tolerance and taking the daily news cycle in stride. “I wasn't ...
Barack Obama warns against nationalism, says the “world is at a crossroads” in Indonesian speechSalon
Obama knocks Trump: 'Temporary absence' of US climate leadershipWashington Examiner
Obama Laments 'Absence of American Leadership' Under President Donald TrumpBreitbart News
TIME -Voice of America -TPM -Bustle
all 56 news articles »

          Trump jumps into health debate - repeal now, replace later   

WASHINGTON >> President Donald Trump has barged into Senate Republicans' delicate health care negotiations with a suggestion bound to muddle things: If you can't cut a deal on repealing the Obama-era law, then repeal it right away and then replace it later.

Trump is trying to revive an approach that GOP leaders and the president himself considered but dismissed months ago as impractical and politically unwise.


          During a speech in his childhood home, former President Obama encourages “tolerance” and “respect”   
“The spirit of this country has to be one of tolerance."
          Trump's Labor Dept wants salary to count on overtime rule   
WASHINGTON— The Labor Department said Friday it wants salary level to count in deciding who is eligible for overtime pay. That's according to a brief filed by the Trump administration in federal court in New Orleans in a case over whether President Barack Obama's administration had the right to double the threshold to around $47,000. He told a Senate panel this...
          Obama in Indonesia Takes Swipe at Trump on Paris Climate Accord (Karlis Salna/Bloomberg)   

Karlis Salna / Bloomberg:
Obama in Indonesia Takes Swipe at Trump on Paris Climate Accord  —  Former president delivers speech at congress in Jakarta  —  Obama, holidaying in his childhood home, praises Jokowi  —  Former U.S. President Barack Obama has pointed to the importance of the Paris climate accord …


          Next 100 Days: In the Era of Trump, NYS is Out of Step and In the Crosshairs (Adam Wisnieski/City Limits)   

Adam Wisnieski / City Limits:
Next 100 Days: In the Era of Trump, NYS is Out of Step and In the Crosshairs  —  During President Trump's first 100 days, the national conversation turned on big ideas: whether it was right to bar refugees, whether Obamacare was worth keeping, and more.  Over the past several weeks …


          Da Trump langet ut mot kvinnelig journalist, kom Obamas tidligere fotograf med Trump-stikk - igjen   
Pete Souza var Barack Obamas offisielle fotograf. Nå har han gjort det til vane å komme med stikk når Trump er ute på dypt vann.
          Marines Raise US Flag Over US Embassy in Cuba   
[+8] Question by Moment-in-Time on 08/14/15 8:52 AM Replies: 10 Views: 703
Tags: Cuba, John Kerry, Barack Obama, Us Flag, Cuban-Us Relations
Last Post by farmerman on 08/16/15 4:33 PM
          Chicago law school prof describes B. Obunga   
[+1] Discussion by gungasnake on 03/19/15 9:03 AM Replies: 48 Views: 1,847
Tags: Politics, Barack Obama, American Politics, U S Politics, American Racism
Last Post by coldjoint on 03/21/15 9:57 PM
          Obama’s Black Skin Privilege   
[+5] Discussion by coldjoint on 12/06/14 2:12 PM Replies: 7 Views: 1,365
Tags: Racism, Racist, Politics, Obama, Barack Obama
Last Post by coldjoint on 01/20/15 10:40 AM
          ISIS: The Nail in the Coffin of Obama's Plummeting Popularity    
[0] Discussion by hawkeye10 on 08/30/14 3:13 PM Replies: 0 Views: 677
Tags: Politics, Human Rights, Barack Obama, Islamic State, Yazidi Persecution
Last Post by hawkeye10 on 08/30/14 3:13 PM
           Obama Facilitates The Rise Of The Caliphate   
[0] Discussion by coldjoint on 06/13/14 11:40 PM Replies: 3 Views: 1,092
Tags: Traitor, Politics, Islam, Barack Obama, American Politics
Last Post by Nark Mobble on 06/19/14 5:08 PM
          The President is Missing   
[+25] Discussion by edgarblythe on 04/11/11 3:55 PM Replies: 540 Views: 19,031
Tags: Politics, Barack Obama, U S Politics, The President Is Missing, U S Politics 2011
Last Post by edgarblythe on 05/05/14 4:08 PM
          Pentagon Wants $450m For Guantanamo   
[+1] Discussion by johnmarson on 05/22/13 2:03 AM Replies: 2 Views: 640
Tags: Gitmo, Barack Obama, Oblunder, Oboy, Guantanamo Bay
Last Post by revelette on 06/21/13 9:04 AM
          Obama..... not religious?   
[+43] Discussion by shewolfnm on 01/25/09 10:32 AM Replies: 788 Views: 45,926
Tags: Politics, Religion, Obama, Barack Obama, Presidency
Last Post by jcboy on 08/28/12 7:45 PM
          The idea the William Ayers is a terrorist is patently ridiculous...   
[0] Discussion by Centroles on 10/10/08 6:40 AM Replies: 14 Views: 1,120
Tags: Politics, Barack Obama, William Ayers
Last Post by joefromchicago on 07/27/11 12:24 PM
          Barack Obama and the Betrayal of Black America   
[+1] Question by Renaldo Dubois on 06/02/11 7:43 AM Replies: 13 Views: 806
Tags: Politics, Barack Obama, Us Politics, American Politics, U S Politics
Last Post by Renaldo Dubois on 06/06/11 7:55 AM
          What the F has Obama done so far?   
[+1] Discussion by nimh on 11/02/10 12:57 PM Replies: 19 Views: 977
Tags: Obama, Barack Obama, Governance, Policy, Legislation
Last Post by Fido on 11/04/10 1:42 PM
          Barack Obama is an illeagal allien.   
[+3] Discussion by Muarck on 09/25/09 2:37 PM Replies: 37 Views: 2,210
Tags: Politics, Birthers, Obama, United States, Barack Obama
Last Post by cicerone imposter on 08/04/10 7:51 PM
          There is a communist in the Whitehouse!   
[+2] Discussion by Victor Murphy on 03/08/10 5:57 PM Replies: 0 Views: 863
Tags: Music, Obama, Video, Barack Obama, President
Last Post by Victor Murphy on 03/08/10 5:57 PM
          Obama '08! A2K Inauguration Party   
[+29] Discussion by sozobe on 01/18/09 2:09 PM Replies: 160 Views: 7,676
Tags: History, News, Obama, United States, Barack Obama
Last Post by Diest TKO on 01/21/09 2:38 PM
          Think That the Obama's....   
[0] Discussion by Bella Dea on 01/20/09 11:54 AM Replies: 5 Views: 954
Tags: Humor, Politics, Humour, Michelle Obama, Barack Obama
Last Post by Bella Dea on 01/20/09 3:38 PM
          CNN Warns "We Don't Really Know Obama"   
[+5] Discussion by cjhsa on 12/02/08 2:05 PM Replies: 13 Views: 1,592
Tags: Oh God Here We Go Again, Politics, Obama, Media, Barack Obama
Last Post by revel on 12/05/08 10:46 AM
          Obama supporters: where do you differ from your candidate?   
[0] Discussion by joefromchicago on 06/07/08 1:21 PM Replies: 112 Views: 5,772
Tags: Politics, Obama, Barack Obama
Last Post by blueflame1 on 10/23/08 12:15 PM
          Party of the Poor?   
In the past, I have not been pleased with either party, but have voted Republican only for their pro-life stance, which has not always been as strong as it might have been. Sadly, we have watched the Democratic party go from being the party of the working class to the party of abortion and sodomy. From Crisis:
For decades liberals have claimed that Democrats care for the poor and Republicans don’t. And they really believe it. A meme that circulated widely over left-leaning blogs a few years back had a depiction of Jesus with a child on his lap, reading,

It’s ironic because the biggest enemy of the Republicans isn’t Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, it’s THIS MAN… He said heal the sick, feed the hungry care for the weakest among us, and always pray in private.

The real irony for the Party of Pro-choice and its apologists is the child in Jesus’ arms. More recently, religious progressive Jack Jenkins wrote a piece, bluntly titled, “The Strange Origins of the GOP Ideology that Rejects Caring for the Poor” in reaction to comments made by GOP Congressman Roger Marshall on health care. In an attempt to explain why government-run programs don’t work, the Kansas Representative remarked, “Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us. There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.” Although Marshall clarified that he was speaking “in the context of supporting the obligation we have to always take care of people (emphasis added),” progressives, imagining themselves tapped into the divine mind-set, took to the media with their own hermeneutics.

There was MSNBC host Joe Scarborough who disparaged the lawmaker’s comments as a “complete twisting of everything that the Gospel is about. Everything! Read the Gospel. Read the Sermon on the Mount. … I mean, Jesus was pretty clear.” Yes, he was, and Scarborough would do well to read those texts himself—or, perhaps, a little more closely.

There was also Matthew Loftus in America: The Jesuit Review who traced Marshall’s biblical quote to Deuteronomy 15:11 where the Israelites were commended “[to] always be generous and open-handed with their neighbors.” Jack Jenkins included a link to the same verse in his critique. Such biblical expositors should note that unless we are living under a theocratic government, as was ancient Israel, the state has no biblical duty to the poor. As James Madison put it, “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of government.” Our nation’s Founders understood that, biblically, the role of the state is limited to protecting the citizenry, preserving civil order, and executing justice, and that care of the needy is the responsibility of those closest to their need—neighbors and de-centralized civic and faith-based organizations.

Contrary to the “clobber” verses marshaled to argue otherwise (e.g., Matthew 5 and Matthew 25), when Jesus taught about duty to the poor, he was not speaking to government officials or their political bodies, he was speaking to his disciples—sometimes privately—indicating that the care of the needy is their responsibility as Christians.

For nineteen hundred years, their followers did just that, individually, and through the collective of the Church, caring for each other and their neighbors by establishing hospitals, orphanages, food distribution systems, and houses for the poor and aged. Although exceptions can be found on both sides of the political aisle, Republicans do not care any less about the poor than Democrats. They just differ on how and by whom it should be given. In short, they believe that care is best handled at the local level by individuals and “mediating” institutions like churches, faith-based charities, civic groups, and other volunteer associations. They reject programs that encourage a culture of idleness and dependence, in favor of those that help the able-bodied poor become employable and self-reliant so that they can have the dignity of earning a living and providing for their families. (Read more.)

          Sasse, Paul And Trump Call For Obamacare Repeal Instead Of Reform   

In statements echoed by President Trump on Twitter, two prominent Republican senators have called for the GOP to skip the health care overhaul and focus on simple repeal of Obamacare if Republican Senate leadership cannot find 50 votes to move the current health care reform bill forward. Earlier this week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

The post Sasse, Paul And Trump Call For Obamacare Repeal Instead Of Reform appeared first on Freedom Daily.


          Is Obama Attempting to Buy Votes from College Students?   
The president is playing politics with the high cost of college.
          Obama: no pipeline is needed. It is safer to transport by train   
WildRiver: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-train-derailment-dumps-thousands-of-gallons-of-crude-oil-in-plainfield-20170701-story.html

Great man with great intellect.
          Trump Administration admits Russia hacked the election   
Shylock: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/06/25/white-house-blames-obama-for-failing-to-stop-russia-collusion/?utm_term=.3e44ade695ee&wpisrc=nl_az_most&wpmk=1

Ree Ree Ree Ree
          Valuable suggestions by Udaipur’s Neha to US President Trump   

Neha Dalal of Udaipur, whose suggestions were followed by Former US Presi Obama has given some extremely valuable suggestions to President Trump.

The post Valuable suggestions by Udaipur’s Neha to US President Trump appeared first on UdaipurTimes.com.


          Podijelite svoje Google Photos fotografije uz pomoć veštačke inteligencije   

Google je pre nekoliko dana objavio kako korisnici njihovog Photos servisa od sada na raspolaganju imaju i posebnu večku inteligenciju koja im može pomoći prilikom deljenja slika sa drugima.

Google Photos vam tako, koristeći mašinsko učenje, može preporučivati koje slike da podelite sa kojim prijateljima. Proces selekcije je pri tome baziran na vašim navikama prilikom deljenja fotografija, na osobama koje se nalaze na samim slikama, ali i na značaju situacija koje ste fotografisali. U praksi, to bi trebalo da znači da će Google Photos automatski prepoznati značaj događaja poput venčanja ili velikog porodičnog okupljanja.

Pored toga, Google Photos će korisnicima slati i podsetnike da podele određene fotografije, a biće i u stanju da kontaktira vaše prijatelje kako bi ih podsetio da ubace sopstvene fotografije u vaše albume - ukoliko su već prisustvovali događaju koji ste fotografisali.
          Comment on Repealing Obamacare Will Hurt Black Women and Their Families by Business Directory   
<strong>Business Directory</strong> [...]we came across a cool website which you may take pleasure in. Take a appear when you want[...]
          Comment on Michelle Obama Takes Part in Fireside Chat at Apple’s WWDC Event by christmas holiday boxes   
<strong>christmas holiday boxes</strong> [...]one of our visitors not too long ago advised the following website[...]
          Comment on Obama Makes History Again: First Sitting President to Visit Hiroshima by Website usability review & checklist in 2017   
<strong>Website usability review & checklist in 2017</strong> [...]Here is a superb Weblog You might Obtain Interesting that we Encourage You[...]
          Comment on Letter: The Left perfected ‘fake news’ by RfromN   
Your letter reeks of Mein Kampf and the big lie "If you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself." It is your contention that the vast majority of the press are fake news except for the sources you choose to believe. You bring up "Rathergate" yet you fail to include the fact that there were repercussions. Journalists lose their jobs if they don't publish factually correct articles. The website you promote and the rest of the conservative propaganda outlets do not have the same standards. If you think Hillary was guilty for Benghazi, which a majority of conservatives do, it is because Powerlineblog, Breitbart, Fox news and the rest of the state media published 1000s of articles promoting her guilt. The problem is there were Eight investigations by House Select Committeees and every one of them found no wrong doing on her part. This is just one the big lies that has been repeated often enough by the Republicans. Did anyone from Powerlineblog, Breitbart or Fox lose their jobs for promoting these false stories? Of course not. Another big lie is the ACA is a disaster. They point out the few states with the worst record and hold them up as the majority, yet the fact is, the overall rates have risen slower during the ACA than before. There is also the fact that ~14 million gained coverage which led to thousands of lives being saved. Does that sound like a disater. NO, but they keep repeating the lie. This is true for Hillary's emails and Obama not being a US citizen, just to name a few. If you look back to the Nazis, they ran on nationalism, anti-immigrant sentiments and against the Luggenpresse (lying press). Does this sound familiar? Putin knows that to destroy a democracy, you have to undermine the free press, which is a big reason why his efforts supported Trump. So remember, Putin smiles everytime someone spreads the fake news lie.
          Clippers’ employees wore a t-shirt comparing Blake Griffin to MLK, Lincoln, Gandhi, Mandela   

The Clippers made this t-shirt comparing Blake Griffin to "Pioneers."Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela…and Blake Griffin? Well, that’s rather interesting company, but that’s the category the Los Angeles Clippers appear to put Griffin in, at least as evidenced by a t-shirt their employees wore: Clippers employees wore T-shirt after Blake Griffin's FA meeting likening him to MLK, Obama, Ali, Read more...

The post Clippers’ employees wore a t-shirt comparing Blake Griffin to MLK, Lincoln, Gandhi, Mandela appeared first on The Comeback.


          List of Obamacare Taxes Repealed in Senate Health Bill   

          With The Senate's Health Care Vote Delayed, What's Next For Democrats?   
Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: To health care now - both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate are complaining that they aren't working together. Here's Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaking on the Senate floor yesterday. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) MITCH MCCONNELL: It's unfortunate that our Democratic colleagues refuse to work with us in a serious way to comprehensively address Obamacare's failures in the seven years since they passed it. MARTIN: Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had this response. (SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING) CHUCK SCHUMER: We Democrats are genuinely interested in finding a place where our two parties can come together on health care. MARTIN: So what is the next move for the Democrats? Tom Perez is the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He's with us in the studio. Thanks for coming in this morning. TOM PEREZ: Always a pleasure. MARTIN: Do congressional Democrats really want to work with Republicans to try to
          McConnell: GOP will 'continue to wrestle' with Obamacare replacement   
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Friday that he plans to continue the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare -- the same day President Donald Trump called for repealing the law immediately and replacing it later.

          President Trump delivers tough trade talk during visit by South Korea's new leader   

President Trump opened his meeting Friday with newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in with tough trade talk, announcing he is renegotiating a 5-year-old trade deal between their two countries that was a joint legacy of Presidents George W. Bush and Obama.

Yet it was unclear from his and...


          GOP's Plan B for Obamacare -- repeal first, replace later -- began with quiet push from Koch network   

President Trump’s surprise suggestion Friday that deadlocked Senate Republicans shift their focus to simply repealing Obamacare — and worry about replacing it later — has its roots in a Koch network proposal that has been shopped around Congress for months.

The influential Koch network, backed...


          Will Obamacare outlast Trump? The odds improved this week.   

In the heady days just after their surprise victory in November, Republicans talked optimistically of repealing Obamacare in January.

After all, they said, a previous Republican-controlled Congress already had passed a repeal bill, which President Obama vetoed. Now, they could simply pass it again...


          Healthcare debate highlights the split that threatens to paralyze Republicans   

Six months after taking control of the White House and both houses of Congress, Republicans who campaigned for years on repealing Obamacare still can’t agree on how to do it.

A chief reason that the struggle has been so hard is the growing importance in the party of populist blue-collar voters,...


          $8   

In reply to B&N Cancels Order for Chelsea Green’s Obama Book

Amazon has the book down to $8. Print on Demand cost a little more than traditional print runs so Amazon is shaving the margins on this one. Marking the book super cheap will drive up sales and will show how great Amazon's pod service is. (View that Amazon wants people to take)

Here is a link to the book.


          Booksurge Bite Back for Obama   

In reply to B&N Cancels Order for Chelsea Green’s Obama Book

Booksurge Bite Back for Obama

I think Chelsea Green needs to wake up and smell the democracy. Any publisher keeping up to date with just how the world is changing (including the Amazon POD monopoly game and current associated litigation) shouldn't even be surprised, let alone dismayed, let alone scolding us like naughty and delusional children with the old 'cut off your nose to spite you face' litany.

Did they consider, even for a moment, the problem is not with POD, but with the choice of a POD printer that is essentially 'in house' to Amazon? Did they wonder whether, if POD companies were Presidential candidates, Booksurge would be Obama?

Full blog post here.


          Penn State Press Blog   

In reply to B&N Cancels Order for Chelsea Green’s Obama Book

Has a blog entry: Buy Local, Unless There's Money in It for Me

Chelsea Green, a pretty crunchy eco-publisher, has raised the hackles of both B&N and the US indie bookstore community by deciding to initially release its new book titled Obama’s Challenge exclusively through Amazon.com. According to this Times article the decision was made to engage the folks attending the upcoming Democratic National Convention. Katherine Walton (not listed on Chelsea Green's staff page for some reason) told the Times that they felt the book was too important to wait for all sales channels to receive the book. Putting it in Amazon's POD program would allow folks immediate access to the book. This decision has apparently cost them a 10,000 copy order from B&N, not to mention quite a few orders from independents.

Full blog entry here.

They make this comment in their blog entry:

If they really felt that what was important here was getting this book's message out, perhaps again they could have learned a little something from university presses. Offer it open access. If they were really prepared to "bonfire" the book in January, they could have survived the decrease in sales online access might have caused. I'll bet it would have been less than the 10,000 copy order B&N canceled.


          Should Chelsea Green Be Ashamed?   

In reply to B&N Cancels Order for Chelsea Green’s Obama Book

“Who’s Chelsea Green?” you ask. Chelsea Green is a small, third-rate publishing house that has confirmed its third-rate status with its recent snub of independent booksellers by making a new pro-Obama book available through Amazon and at a special discount before it becomes available in bookstores.

Full blog post here.


          Worldcat   

In reply to B&N Cancels Order for Chelsea Green’s Obama Book

Eight locations come up on Worldcat for this book.

They are:
Laramie County Library System
Free Library of Philadelphia
Westport Public Library (CT)
WASHOE COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM (NV)
Seattle Public Library
Ybp Library Service
Baker & Taylor (OH)
Baker & Taylor Inc Tech Service & Prod Dev (NC)


          I wouldn't buy it... but not for the reason you think   

In reply to B&N Cancels Order for Chelsea Green’s Obama Book

I think it is dirty pool for a publisher that regularly deals with all in the trade to hold back a book from all sales channels save one for a period of time to allow them to get the lucrative street date sales.

Chelsea Green should be ashamed of themselves. I prefer my local indy bookstore because they have something Amazon does not have, my friends and neighbors working there. Sure the people in whoville from which Amazon ships books need to work too, but they don't need to take money from the pockets of my local bookstore.

I am certain the publisher wants to capture the fervor of the Convention, and the coupon and POD certainly are a way to do that, and I am at heart a Capitalist so I don't bedrudge anyone an ethical money making opportunity. However it is simply not something I would do. I would not shut out independents simply because my press run timing was poor, or because I wanted a bigger share of the profit to the detriment of the small business owner.

Perhaps they wanted to test the waters before committing to a big print run, look at Representative Pelosi's dismal sales - perhaps people are just not in the market for a book of that type now. I can certainly understand that, however closing distribution channels seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

So, I wouldn't buy it unless and until I could buy it from my local independent bookstore.

I also wouldn't buy it because I don't really want to read it, but if it were something I would read, I would not buy it just for my own feeble protest at the man who puts profit so far ahead of fair dealing as to be unethical. It's legal - sure; but it is still dirty pool.


          Open Letter from the Publisher   

In reply to B&N Cancels Order for Chelsea Green’s Obama Book

An Open Letter to Booksellers Regarding Obama’s Challenge

Open letter to the bookselling community:

First I want to thank all of you for the big positions you have taken on Robert Kuttner’s important new book, Obama’s Challenge: America’s Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency. As Hendrick Hertzberg just wrote on his New Yorker blog, “Obama's Challenge is the fruit of Bob Kuttner’s lifetime of engagé reporting, analysis, and advocacy…. it is riveting, brilliant, and persuasive. Kuttner, in concise chapters written with great vigor and clarity, shows what the change could look like if Obama is bold enough to go for it and the gods continue to smile on him.”

Secondly, I want to respond to the initial reaction to our decision to launch this book by offering a special discount coupon at the Democratic National Convention, redeemable exclusively on Amazon.com via print-on-demand technology until the regular print run is available for national distribution.

Letter continued here.


          First chapter of book   

In reply to B&N Cancels Order for Chelsea Green’s Obama Book

Here is a link to the first chapter of the book.


          Link to book on Amazon   

In reply to B&N Cancels Order for Chelsea Green’s Obama Book


          Chelsea Green and the politics of ‘Obama’s Challenge’   

In reply to B&N Cancels Order for Chelsea Green’s Obama Book

Blog entry:
Chelsea Green and the politics of ‘Obama’s Challenge’

The publishing and bookselling world has been atwitter since the announcement on Friday of publisher Chelsea Green’s decision to offer Robert Kuttner’s Obama’s Challenge early exclusively on Amazon.com. As soon as news of the announcement was posted on Publisher’s Weekly’s website, comments flooded in on the article, outraged at the decision by the publisher. Letters and complaints were also sent to Chelsea Green’s sales team, and the strong response prompted an open letter from Chelsea Green’s president, Margo Baldwin.


          Obama book falls victim to booksellers' rivalry   

In reply to B&N Cancels Order for Chelsea Green’s Obama Book

Associated Press: Obama book falls victim to booksellers' rivalry

A new book about Sen. Barack Obama has intensified a rivalry between two powerful competitors: Barnes & Noble, Inc. and Amazon.com.

Chelsea Green Publishing, a small, liberal publisher based in Vermont, is releasing Robert Kuttner's "Obama's Challenge," a call for Obama to enact a bold, progressive economic agenda. It plans to distribute copies at next week's Democratic National Convention, where Obama is expected to get the party's presidential nomination.

Angering both Barnes & Noble and independent sellers, the publisher also will distribute coupons that can be redeemed exclusively through Amazon.com's BookSurge, a "print-on-demand" service that through digital technology enables books to be printed in small quantities.


          Another article in Publisher's Weekly   

In reply to B&N Cancels Order for Chelsea Green’s Obama Book

Independent Booksellers 'Disheartened' with Chelsea Green

Many independent booksellers are outraged with Chelsea Green’s decision to sell Robert Kuttner’s new book, Obama’s Challenge, by offering a discount coupon at the Democratic National Convention redeemable exclusively on Amazon.com via POD until the regular print run is available for national distribution. Since the announcement last Friday, Chelsea Green’s sales team has received e-mails calling the move “a money-grubbing sellout,” a “slap in the face,” and “another blow to independent bookstores.”


          Article in WSJ   

In reply to B&N Cancels Order for Chelsea Green’s Obama Book

Barnes & Noble Cuts 'Obama' Book Order Amid Amazon Deal

Barnes & Noble Inc. is cutting its order for Robert Kuttner's coming "Obama's Challenge: America's Economic Crisis and the Power of a Transformative Presidency" after learning that the publisher, Chelsea Green Publishing Inc., has struck an exclusive agreement to make copies available first via Amazon.com Inc.'s Web site for two weeks.


          Trump suggests just repeal Obamacare, then try to replace it   
U.S. President Donald Trump barged into Senate Republicans’ delicate health care negotiations Friday, declaring that if lawmakers can’t reach a deal they should simply repeal ...
          Fourth Amendment Quartet: Edward Snowden, Judge Leon, Barack Obama, and the NSA   
Edward Snowden's leaks might be necessary. But it's the likes of Judge Richard Leon that preserve freedom.
          Trying To Make History In Berlin, Obama Fed The Germans Platitudes   
Lots of government solutions, little talk of free markets.
          The Primacy Of Politics Is The Greatest Danger to Europe And The EU   
Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, ECB. (Image credit: AFP/Getty Images via @daylife) This article was originally published on November 8, 2012. Barack Obama’s election win briefly sent gold prices soaring (then flattening), U.S. stocks plunging, and the dollar on a roller-coaster ride. The market response is markedly different from [...]
          With health bill looming, senators aren't rushing into the July Fourth spotlight - Washington Post   

Washington Post

With health bill looming, senators aren't rushing into the July Fourth spotlight
Washington Post
Sen. Susan Collins will celebrate the Fourth of July within view of the Canadian border, at a remote northeastern Maine town's annual parade. Sen. Lisa Murkowski will appear on the other end of the continent in an old timber town on an isolated Alaskan ...
On ObamaCare, Republicans still chant repeal, replace; but question is when, howFox News
Senate asks for CBO score on Cruz's healthcare proposalThe Hill
Cruz and Lee play inside game in health fightPolitico
Washington Examiner -Salon -HuffPost -Hot Air
all 113 news articles »

          How Congress is taking back power from Trump on national security   

In ways big and small, Congress is taking back power from President Donald Trump on national security matters.

From Russia to the Pentagon budget, Republicans in Congress are proposing new checks to curb the White House's power and, in some cases, simply ignoring the Trump administration's desires on national security and foreign policy.

Wary of favorable comments Trump has previously made about Russia, the Senate has passed a significant Russia sanctions package that gives Congress the ability to review any administration effort to roll back sanctions against the Kremlin. Congressional committees approved three defense bills this week boosting Pentagon spending by about $30 billion more than the Trump administration proposed after Republicans complained that Trump's budget failed to rebuild the military as he promised.

And in a surprise vote this week, a House panel approved an amendment to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which provides legal authority for the U.S. wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I think it's sinking in, especially with Republican members of Congress, that they are not getting the kind of adult leadership out of the White House that would allow you to give deference to the White House," said Mieke Eoyang, a national security analyst at Third Way and former congressional aide. "So you see Congress stepping up to take a much more aggressive role on national security for the first time in a very long time."

Legislative vs. Executive

For years, a small chorus in Congress has bemoaned the legislative branch giving back its national security powers to the executive, from war-making to the budget caps imposed by the sequestration law.

Congress certainly hasn't taken back those authorities in full, and some experts argue most of the steps taken thus far are mostly symbolic. There are still major hurdles to passing a new ISIS war authorization, the new Russia sanctions have stalled with the House, and sequestration spending caps are still looming over the spending process.

"I'm cautiously optimistic that Congress is looking to assert some structure on a chaotic national security process ... but at the moment these don't yet strike me as significant checks -- yet," said Loren DeJonge Schulman, a defense analyst at the Center for a New American Security. "I'll be willing to say Congress is offering a real check to this administration when it refuses to fund one of its initiatives, or halts war funding until a clear strategy is provided."

There were also similar efforts to curb President Barack Obama's national security powers, including blocking the closure of the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay and rolling back surveillance authorities.

At the start of the Trump administration, Republican congressional leaders on national security were hopeful that the national security team -- Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats -- would steer Trump in what they consider the right direction.

Trump was praised for his decision to strike Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack. But in many cases, Trump has ignored or overruled his national security team, and the President's actions and statements -- or lack of action -- has sparked a more robust response on Capitol Hill than during the Obama years.

"I think we are seeing a growing dose of skepticism by members of Congress -- notably in the President's own party -- about Trump's ability and willingness to grasp the complexities of key national security problems and his unique responsibilities as commander in chief," said John Kirby, a CNN diplomatic and military analyst and former Pentagon and State Department spokesman under Obama.

Rebukes of Trump

The Senate's Russia sanctions bill may be the most significant fight thus far over the balance of national security power. The bill, which passed 98-2, would give Congress the ability to block Trump from rolling back sanctions on Moscow and comes amid concerns from lawmakers following a Washington Post report in May that said Trump was considering returning two Russian compounds that the U.S. seized in December sanctions on Russia.

Senators are now pressing the House to pass the bill without weakening it.

While the House Appropriations Committee's vote to repeal the 2001 war authorization is unlikely to be signed into law, it is another implicit rebuke to Trump and a sign of growing congressional discontent with an unchecked war on terror.

The proposed amendment received support from both Democrats and Republicans during debate, but the vote caught House leaders in both parties off guard.

In other cases, Congress has taken symbolic gestures to rebuke the President.

The Senate, for instance, passed an amendment reaffirming support for NATO's Article 5 principle that an attack on one member is an attack on all -- a vote that came after Trump did not reaffirm the principle during his speech at NATO headquarters. The House passed a similar resolution on the floor this week to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to NATO.

Key Republican senators are also injecting themselves directly into foreign policy decisions.

After Trump took Saudi Arabia's side in the blockade of Qatar by four Gulf countries -- putting him at odds with statements from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson -- Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker got involved.

The Tennessee Republican said he would use his authority as chairman to block any new foreign arms sales to all of the countries involved until a path to a resolution was found.

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain has slammed the administration for failing to articulate a strategy for Afghanistan, and he threatened to provide one himself at a June confirmation hearing for Patrick Shanahan, Trump's nominee for deputy defense secretary.

"The President has two choices: Either give us a strategy or we will put a strategy that we develop into the defense authorization bill," McCain said.

Ignoring Trump's budget

McCain did not include his own Afghanistan strategy in his defense bill that passed this week, given that Mattis has promised one in July. But the Arizona Republican did blow by the Trump administration's Pentagon budget request, authorizing $640 billion in base spending compared to the Trump budget's $603 billion request.

"He called it a 10 percent (budget increase)," McCain told CNN. "It wasn't. It was 3 percent, and it was a joke. I think it's very clear that the majority of Congress, because of events in the world, view more seriously the cuts that have been made in defense spending."

While Republicans will still have to fight with Democrats over final spending levels, McCain and other defense hawks have placed the blame for Trump's defense spending levels at the feet of his budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, a fiscal hawk who often targeted defense spending while in Congress.

"Congress is in the lead here, but we're not making this up, we're going to the experts," said Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner. "We're listening to DOD, and we're merely giving them what they've already said that they needed. The problem is that OMB didn't listen and we are."

The Trump administration's proposed 32 percent cut to the State Department budget has gotten even less consideration in Congress, as lawmakers in both parties say they're going to ignore the proposal.

"After about five minutes, I said, 'This is a total waste of time,'" Corker told Tillerson at a June budget hearing. "The budget that's being presented is not going to be the budget we deal with. It's just not."


          Murphy: Is health care in the U.S. a right or a privilege?   

The Declaration of Independence is a shade under 1,500 words in length. That’s a little over twice the length of this article. By comparison, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare), signed into law in 2010, is a whopping 381,000 words long — and the myriad regulations that grew out of it constitute 11.6 million words, or about 20,000 pages of the Federal Register.

Read more

Photos


          What the Latest Healthcare Hiccup Means for the U.S. Economy   

The effort to repeal and replace “Obamacare” hit yet another stumbling block this week when U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided to pull the bill from consideration after realizing he did not have sufficient votes for it to pass.


          Comment on Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows users elected President Trump; Mac and Android users voted for Hillary Clinton by GoeB   
I seem to recall Obama clueless on vacation and golfing all the time. Sarah, noted the shoe is now on the other foot ...
          Connecticut Looks To Sell Its Obamacare Exchange To Other States   
Kevin Counihan, the CEO of Access Health CT , is walking through the 15th floor of a downtown Hartford office building that houses Connecticut's health insurance marketplace. He passes the legal department, the IT folks and the consultants, then stops in front of three large, wall-mounted computer screens. "These are showing in real time, activity on our website. So, for example, right now you're looking at the number of concurrent users on the site," Counihan says. "So you can see that there are 212 people in the process of applying for insurance on the site." The monitors and technology are just a part of what his agency is doing right. Connecticut is widely seen as one of the states that is succeeding with the Affordable Care Act . The state's website works well, and it has already exceeded its first-year enrollment goals. Other states have noticed. "We were approached by several states who called us and said, 'Would you have any interest in franchising your exchange to us as a
          Call Centers Got Big Deals Under Health Law, But How Big?    
Before the Affordable Care Act was even open for enrollment, Viviana Alvarado was already taking calls from people who wanted to know more. She and about 40 of her colleagues are staffing the phones for Maximus , the company Connecticut has contracted to run its call center. The government contractors running the troubled HealthCare.gov website have been under intense scrutiny in the past month, but those businesses aren't the only ones being paid to rollout Obamacare. In the states that are running their own health care exchanges, practices vary. Oregon, for instance, set up its own call centers; other states, like Connecticut, farm that business out to companies like Maximus. "It's a huge opportunity, and it remains so," says Rick Howard , an analyst at Gartner, a technology research firm. "There are millions of millions of folks coming in for insurance coverage. That represents a great opportunity for both commercial carriers and for those contractors who are servicing health care."
          Kommentar zu Katzengold (I): Antirussische Verschwörungstheorien bringen US-Demokraten keine Wähler zurück von Michel Eyquem   
„Um politisch zu überleben, muss sich die Demokratische Partei in den USA neu erfinden. Ihre bisherige Strategie gegen Trump hat versagt. Russophobie zieht nicht. Das Volk nimmt die Demokraten als abgehoben wahr, für die wahren Probleme des Landes haben sie keinen Blick.” Die Demokraten sollen sich neu erfinden? Welche Amerikaner hätten sie denn im Sinn? Sie meinen wirklich Politiker, die nicht Angestellte der üblichen Machthabenden des Landes sind, hätten auf einmal in den USA eine Chance? Lassen sie mich da mal was Sinnvolles draus machen? Wir reden hier von Menschen die es sich widerstandslos bieten liessen, in einer Präsidenten Wahl, die Auswahl zwischen einem geistesgestörten Primitivling und einer durch und durch korrupten Verbrecherin vorsetzen zu lassen! Und hielten das auch noch für Demokratie und kreischten vor lauter Glück: USA, USA? Und von solchen Leuten die in ihren Medien von Geburt an nie was anderes vorgesetzt bekommen haben, als die bösen Russen, die sofort kommen werden um ihnen die Freiheit wegzunehmen, wenn sie nicht den grössten Teil ihrer Steuern in Waffen investieren, von solchen Leute erwarten sie, dass sie (in grösserer Anzahl) verstehen, dass sie verarscht werden? Und was vor allem in dem Artikel fehlt, ist eine Erinnerung für die Leser daran, dass ein gewisser Bernie Sanders, ein Gut-Mensch wie Obama, ernsthaft dazu aufgefordert hat Hilary zu wählen? DIe Lösung liegt nicht in Amerika, die Lösung läge beim deutschen Wähler, der eine Regierung nach Berlin wählen könnte, die sich von den USA und NATO löst! Leider meine ich mit dem "könnte" natürlich nur die Möglichkeit, und keineswegs eine Zukunft, in der tatsächlichen Zukunft wird ein verblödeter Urnenpöbel im September natürlich eine CDU/FDP Regierung in Berlin installieren.
          Challenges to Silicon Valley won’t just come from Brussels   
Fine of €2.4bn levied on Google is a sign of the continued erosion of US tech firms’ domination of the internet

The whopping €2.4bn fine levied by the European commission on Google for abusing its dominance as a search engine has taken Silicon Valley aback. It has also reignited American paranoia about the motives of European regulators, whom many Valley types seem to regard as stooges of Mathias Döpfner, the chief executive of German media group Axel Springer, president of the Federation of German Newspaper Publishers and a fierce critic of Google.

US paranoia is expressed in various registers. They range from President Obama’s observation in 2015 that “all the Silicon Valley companies that are doing business there [Europe] find themselves challenged, in some cases not completely sincerely. Because some of those countries have their own companies who want to displace ours”, to the furious off-the-record outbursts from senior tech executives after some EU agency or other has dared to challenge the supremacy of a US-based tech giant.

Continue reading...
          ‘Like a 71-year-old Jan Brady’: Charles Blow brutally mocks Trump’s ‘obsession’ with Obama   
Does President Donald Trump have an obsession with former President Barack Obama? New York Times columnist Charles Blow believes he does, and he’s written a scathing op-ed piece in which he calls out Trump for... Read More
          Obamacare | Podcast #274   
itunes pic

Obamacare makes much needed improvements to America’s health insurance system. But it’s only a bandaid on a dam set to burst.

Have you heard enough rhetoric, pundit posturing, and political scaremongering about the future of America’s health insurance? I hope you can indulge me a bit: I want to offer a different perspective. Most of the debate I have heard is about the ideological merits of health insurance (should people have it?) and who should be paying for it (is there such a thing as a free lunch?).

The biggest issue I see is the lack of big-picture strategic thinking and evaluation.

Who really cares if you are healthy or not?


          Tariq Ali on "The Obama Syndrome"   
What has really changed since Obama replaced Bush in the White House. Very little, argues Tariq Ali in his latest book, The Obama Syndrome: Surrender At Home, War Abroad, apart from the mood music.

I know some of his supporters might feel it’s a little harsh, but I think that we’ve had two years of him now, Amy, and the contours of this administration are now visible. And essentially, it is a conservative administration which has changed the mood music. So the talk is better. The images of the administration are better, the reasonable looks. But in terms of what they do—in foreign policy, we’ve seen a continuation of the Bush-Cheney policies, and worse, in AfPak, as they call it, and at home, we’ve seen a total capitulation to the lobbyists, to the corporations. The fact that the healthcare bill was actually drafted by someone who used to be an insurance lobbyist says it all.

Let’s look at it concretely. Bush had promised exactly the same withdrawal pattern from Iraq: by this time, we will be out. Obama has followed it. They’re not going out. What is essentially happening, they’re reducing the presence of combat troops and eliminating it in the big cities, and building six huge military bases all over Iraq, in which they’ll keep between fifty and sixty thousand soldiers, ready to act when the need be—just like the British did when they occupied Iraq in the '20s and ’30s of the last century. And the British were then driven out by a violent upheaval and revolution in the ’50s. So the US is keeping these bases in, (a) to control Iraq, and (b) as a warning to Iran. And I think there's going to be trouble.

The war isn’t over at all. We’ve seen, just a few days ago, huge explosions in Baghdad and Fallujah. It’s a total disaster and a mess. And to present that as somehow "mission accomplished part two" is a joke. That country has been wrecked, a million Iraqis dead, its social infrastructure destroyed. And in Afghanistan, they are now going from bad to worse. They know, and General Eikenberry knows and says, we cannot win this war militarily. They can’t lose it, but they can’t win it, either. So, political solution is the only way out, and that means that they have to have an exit strategy. Obama isn’t even talking about that, because that might be construed as a sign of weakness. But by who? The army knows what’s going on. They can’t stay there forever. - Tariq Ali, speaking to Amy Goodman on DemocracyNow!

In Cairo, at West Point, at Oslo, Obama has treated the world to one uplifting homily after another, each address larded with every euphemism that White House speechwriters can muster to describe America’s glowing mission in the world: ‘Our country has borne a special burden in global affairs’; ‘Our cause is just, our resolve unwavering.’ The model for this variant of imperial presidency is Woodrow Wilson—no less pious a Christian, whose every second word was peace, democracy or self-determination, while his armies invaded Mexico, occupied Haiti and attacked Russia. But cant still goes a long way to satisfy those who yearn for it... - Tariq Ali, from The Obama Syndrome.
          Former U.S. Senator James Abourezk on Leaders in Hiding   
Those of us who have read some history also know what happened to the Irish when they first came to America. We also remember how Jews were assaulted, both in the press and in person, until the remainder of the country put a stop to it by making it unpopular to isolate a community so they could be demonized.

Now, it's the turn of the Arabs and the Muslims to receive the same treatment that blacks, the Irish, and the Jews did before that treatment became unpopular.

How similar is the assault on the Muslims and Arabs when compared to what happened to other ethnic groups in our shady past. Where the similarity ends is how the media is treating the entire "mosque" at ground zero. The proposed building is neither a mosque, nor is it at ground zero. It is a community center that, among other activities, includes a prayer room. I know of no one who would build an eleven-story mosque, and I know of no mosque that would allow a swimming pool and recreation center to be built in it, or even above it.

So what we have here is a political football that leaves it open for the gaggle of demagogues and hustlers -- I'm thinking specifically of Newt Gingrich, Rick Lazio and Sarah Palin -- to try to reap some kind of political popularity from denouncing the project.

It used to be that both political leaders and the media would denounce this kind racism, and that such denunciations would soon bring such demagoguery to an end. But not this time. Most of the media, MSNBC being the major exception, has ducked its head, being content to just report on the onslaught against the Islamic Center, but not denouncing the demagoguery.

So far, this has resulted in someone setting fire to the construction of a real mosque in Tennessee. This usually follows acts of violence against Arabs and Muslims in different parts of the country. We've seen it before.

All this won't stop unless and until all the political leaders--now silent--come down hard on what is happening, when the haters begin themselves to feel isolated. Cheers to President Obama and to Mayor Bloomberg, who have tried to lead the way, but who lost Howard Dean and Harry Reid in the process. The rest of the political leadership--both Republican and Democratic--predictably are in hiding. - an excerpt from Give Me That Old Time Racism by former U.S. Senator James Abourezk.
          Andrew J. Bacevich on How to Dismantle the American Empire   
The question demands to be asked: Who is more deserving of contempt? The commander-in-chief who sends young Americans to die for a cause, however misguided, in which he sincerely believes? Or the commander-in-chief who sends young Americans to die for a cause in which he manifestly does not believe and yet refuses to forsake?

The Afghanistan decision was his [Obama's] opportunity to begin to chart a new course on national security policy, to begin to break away from this pattern of behavior that we’ve adhered to for the past sixty or so years. And he blew it. I can’t pretend to look into his heart and understand what factors caused him to make the decision he did. I suspect that a political calculation may have weighed more heavily than a strategic calculation or a moral calculation. And I find that deeply upsetting, because I, and I think many of us, felt that here, finally, was a public figure who—whose decisions would not be influenced primarily by political calculations... My guess is the President probably right now has a case of buyer’s remorse and is wishing that he hadn’t actually made the decision that he did, but it has become Obama’s war. I mean, he finds himself in a circumstance now where, having bought the war, it’s going worse now than it was last year. And he’s basically facing a reelection campaign right around the corner. Unless David Petraeus, our new commander, truly pulls a rabbit out of the hat, then President Obama will run for reelection in 2012 with this war still very much ongoing and, in all likelihood, with no end in sight.

But you asked the question, where does the pressure come from? And the pressure comes from what President Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex. The pressure comes from the national security apparatus. There are people in institutions who are deeply invested in maintaining the status quo. There are budgets, there are prerogatives, there are ambitions, that ostensibly get satisfied by maintaining this drive for American globalism, again, backed by an emphasis on military power. So I don’t discount for a second that the President would have had to, you know, shove aside some fairly stubborn resistance to make that course change on Afghanistan, and he chose not to do it. - Andrew J. Bacevich from a DemocracyNow! interview.

There exists an alternative tradition to which Americans today could repair, should they choose to do so. This tradition harks back to the nearly forgotten anti-imperial origins of the Republic. Succinctly captured in the motto “Don’t Tread on Me,” this tradition is one that does not seek trouble but insists that others will accord the United States respect. Updated for our own time, it might translate into the following substitute for the existing sacred trinity.

First, the purpose of the U.S. military is not to combat evil or remake the world, but to defend the United States and its most vital interests. However necessary, military power itself is neither good nor inherently desirable. Any nation defining itself in terms of military might is well down the road to perdition, as earlier generations of Americans instinctively understood. As for military supremacy, the lessons of the past are quite clear. It is an illusion and its pursuit an invitation to mischief, if not disaster. Therefore, the United States should maintain only those forces required to accomplish the defense establishment’s core mission.

Second, the primary duty station of the American soldier is in America. Just as the U.S. military should not be a global police force, so too it should not be a global occupation force. Specific circumstances may from time to time require the United States on a temporary basis to establish a military presence abroad. Yet rather than defining the norm, Americans should view this prospect as a sharp departure, entailing public debate and prior congressional authorization. Dismantling the Pentagon’s sprawling network of existing bases promises to be a lengthy process. Priority should be given to those regions where the American presence costs the most while accomplishing the least. According to those criteria, U.S. troops should withdraw from the Persian Gulf and Central Asia forthwith.

Third, consistent with the Just War tradition, the United States should employ force only as a last resort and only in self-defense. The Bush Doctrine of preventive war -- the United States bestowing on itself the exclusive prerogative of employing force against ostensible threats even before they materialize—is a moral and strategic abomination, the very inverse of prudent and enlightened statecraft. Concocted by George W. Bush to justify his needless and misguided 2003 invasion of Iraq, this doctrine still awaits explicit abrogation by authorities in Washington. Never again should the United States undertake “a war of choice” informed by fantasies that violence provides a shortcut to resolving history’s complexities.

Were this alternative triad to become the basis for policy, dramatic changes in the U.S. national security posture would ensue. Military spending would decrease appreciably. The Pentagon’s global footprint would shrink. Weapons manufacturers would see their profits plummet. Beltway Bandits would close up shop. The ranks of defense- oriented think tanks would thin. These changes, in turn, would narrow the range of options available for employing force, obliging policy makers to exhibit greater restraint in intervening abroad. With resources currently devoted to rehabilitating Baghdad or Kabul freed up, the cause of rehabilitating Cleveland and Detroit might finally attract a following.

Choosing

President Lyndon Johnson had hoped that an ambitious domestic reform program known as the Great Society might define his legacy. Instead, he bequeathed to his successor a nation that was bitterly divided, deeply troubled, and increasingly cynical.

To follow a different course would have required Johnson to depart from the Washington rules. This he -- although not he alone -- lacked the courage to do.

Here lies the real significance -- and perhaps the tragedy -- of Barack Obama’s decision, during the first year of his presidency, to escalate the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan. By retaining Robert Gates as defense secretary and by appointing retired four-star officers as his national security adviser and intelligence director, Obama had already offered Washington assurances that he was not contemplating a radical departure from the existing pattern of national security policy. Whether wittingly or not, the president now proffered his full-fledged allegiance to the Washington consensus, removing any lingering doubts about its durability.

In his speech of December 1, 2009, while explaining to the cadets at West Point why he felt it necessary to widen a war already in its ninth year, Obama justified his decision by appending it to a much larger narrative. “More than any other nation,” he declared, “the United States of America has underwritten global security for over six decades -- a time that, for all its problems, has seen walls come down, and markets open, and billions lifted from poverty, unparalleled scientific progress and advancing frontiers of human liberty.” Obama wanted it known that by sending tens of thousands of additional U.S. troops to fight in Afghanistan his own administration was carrying on the work his predecessors had begun. Their policies were his policies.

The six decades to which the president referred in his artfully sanitized rendering of contemporary history were the years during which the American credo and the sacred trinity had ascended to a position of uncontested supremacy. Thus did the president who came into office vowing to change the way Washington works make known his intention to leave this crucially important element of his inheritance all but untouched. Like Johnson, the president whose bold agenda for domestic reform presaged his own, Obama too was choosing to conform - an excerpt from WASHINGTON RULES: America's Path To Permanent War by Andrew J. Bacevich.
          Historian Bruce Cumings on the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula   
This particular incident [North Korea’s March 26 sinking of South Korea's Cheonan naval ship where 46 sailor's lost their lives] is just ripped out of context, the context of a continuing war that has never ended. Just an armistice holds the peace. But in the case of this particular incident, which happened very close to the North Korean border, we’ve had incidents like this...going back more than ten years. In 1999, a North Korean ship went down with thirty sailors lost and maybe seventy wounded. That’s a larger total of casualties than this one. And last November, a North Korean ship went down in flames. We don’t know how many people died in that. This is a no man’s land, or waters, off the west coast of Korea that both North and South claim. And the Cheonan ship was sailing in those waters when it was hit by a torpedo...I’m sure it’s a 95 percent case that the US and South Korea are right that North Korea fired this torpedo. Let’s say they did. The fact is, our government has not pointed out the background that I just pointed out, the sinking last November, the clashes in 1999 and 2002. This is a no man’s land, where the US and South Korea demarcated a so-called Northern limit line unilaterally. The North has never accepted it. The North says that this area is under the joint jurisdiction of the North and South Korean militaries. So you have an incident waiting to happen...Regardless of whether the North Koreans fired it or not, this incident is being blown way out of proportion. Secretary of State Clinton referred to it a couple days ago as unprovoked aggression, which of course is what we accused the North of when the Korean War started sixty years ago. I noticed in your clip she’s now simply calling it a provocation. I do think there’s probably an attempt on the part of the Obama administration to draw down the tension over this. But the fact is, you have a structure in Korea that’s ongoing since the Korean War, where these incidents can happen and you can have a ratcheted-up escalation that might result in a second Korean War. So it’s imperative to try to end this war and find a way to have a dialogue with the North, so that the Peninsula can be denuclearized and these incidents don’t come along every once in awhile and raise such a threat to peace.

- Bruce Cumings, from an interview on DemocracyNow!.
          Capital Journal Daybreak: A Senate Health Bill Provision You Might Not Have Heard About   
HIGHLIGHTS Provision in Senate Health Bill Could Be a Boon to Insurers Senate Republicans Scramble to Rework Health Bill As Partial Travel Ban Takes Effect, First Impact to Be Felt Abroad Seib Video: Tensions Between U.S. and Syria Heat Up Good morning. Here’s what’s happening today: Something in the Obamacare Repeal Effort You Probably Haven’t Heard […]
          Free and Open Government Information Online : How About It Canada?   
The Obama administration is making a huge effort to open up gov't information online. Will Canada follow?
          Virtual presence / holographic interview on CNN   
Video conferencing took another step with the first use of a virtual presence or “holographic” reporter on Election night on CNN. Pulling off Virtual presence The remote reporter, Jessica Yellin, was in Chicago’s Grant Park covering the scene as supporters waited for Barack Obama’s victory speech. After stepping into a specially engineered booth or “tent” […]
          are gun sales down under president trump?   
One of the favorite tactics of the “gun control” extremists for the past eight years or so is to decry pro-rights activists as “racists”, and use the massive uptick of firearm sales during and immediately prior to Obama’s time in office as “proof”.  I cannot say as though I understand that rationale myself, especially since … Continue reading are gun sales down under president trump?
          Kisah Obama 'kebanjiran, naik becak dan mengejar ayam' di Jakarta   
Barack Obama adalah figur yang bisa dibilang dicintai banyak masyarakat Indonesia. Setidaknya itu terlihat saat Kongres Diaspora Indonesia di Jakarta, Sabtu (01/07).
          McConnell on Obamacare repeal: 'Not easy making America great again' - Politico   

Politico

McConnell on Obamacare repeal: 'Not easy making America great again'
Politico
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is sticking to his current plan of trying to simultaneously repeal and replace Obamacare, despite a call from President Donald Trump and some conservative members of his conference to separate the two tasks.

and more »

          Trump impide entrar transexuales al Ejército porque duda de su “capacidad de defender la nación”   
El Pentágono aplaza seis meses la recluta de personas transgénero aprobada por Obama
          Ohioans Should Brace for Obamacare Sticker Shock   

Obamacare will dramatically increase health insurance premiums throughout Ohio for young and middle-aged men and women alike, based on the most accurate policy data available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Obamacare premium estimates are not readily available for all ages, but figures HHS has released indicate that Ohioans in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s in every county should expect to pay steep costs for President Obama's signature legislative achievement.

A Media Trackers comparison of Obamacare "Gold" plans from HHS and existing policies with similar deductibles listed at eHealth found that:

  • Obamacare plans for 27-year-old female nonsmokers will cost at least $100 per month -- or $1,200 per year -- more than pre-Obamacare health insurance policies in 72 of Ohio's 88 counties.
  • Obamacare premiums for 27-year-old male nonsmokers will be at least $100 per month more expensive than pre-Obamacare premiums in 85 of 88 counties -- and at least $200 more per month in 15 counties.
  • Compared to pre-Obamacare policies for 50-year-old female nonsmokers, Obamacare plans will cost at least $1,000 more per year in all 88 counties, at least $2,000 more per year in 54 counties, and at least $3,000 more per year in 16 counties.
  • Obamacare premiums for 50-year-old male nonsmokers will cost at least $100 more per month than current policies in all 88 counties, at least $200 more per month in 61 counties, and at least $300 more per month in 14 counties.

Statewide annual estimates weighted using county populations from the 2010 Census are shown in the following table.

Obamacare Bronze plans are the cheapest policies for individuals over the age of 30, except in cases of financial hardship; Catastrophic plans are available to those 30 and under. Most Bronze and Catastrophic plans have annual deductibles at least three times greater than the policies quoted from eHealth for this analysis.

Demographic Ohio % Change, Obamacare Catastrophic/Bronze Plan Ohio $ Change, Obamacare Catastrophic/Bronze Plan Ohio % Change, Obamacare Gold Plan Ohio $ Change, Obamacare Gold Plan
Women, Age 27 -2% -$49 84% $1,364
Men, Age 27 37% $421 160% $1,834
Women, Age 50 19% $553 66% $2,017
Men, Age 50 39% $1,001 94% $2,466

Because Obamacare is a redistributive system by design, proponents counter concerns about premiums by pointing to the federal subsidies some Ohioans will receive. A Kaiser Family Foundation study released November 5 estimated that 554,000 Ohioans will qualify for Obamacare subsidies.

For those eligible for the law's entitlement benefits, a portion of Obamacare's astronomical premiums will be borne by taxpayers -- many of whom will also be paying higher costs for their own insurance as a result of the Democrats' latest socialized medicine program.

While Kaiser estimates 812,000 Ohioans will purchase insurance through the Obamacare exchange, dozens of employers across the state have already announced layoffs or cuts from full- to part-time status in order to avoid Obamacare's employer mandate.

Combined with the implosion of President Obama's vow that "if you like your plan, you can keep it," this means more Ohioans than expected may be pushed into Ohio's federally-run Obamacare "marketplace."

The following maps demonstrate exactly how severe and far-reaching Obamacare's premium increases will be for Ohioans in a range of demographic groups. Click each map for further Media Trackers analysis.

OH-obamacare-hikes-female27-gold OH-obamacare-hikes-male27-gold OH-obamacare-hikes-female50-gold OH-obamacare-hikes-male50-gold

As more facts become available to taxpayers, it may turn out that the technological disaster of the Obamacare exchanges at HealthCare.gov is one of the more successful aspects of the 2010 health law.

This story was originally published at Media Trackers.


          Gov. Kasich Moves to Bypass Ohio Legislature for Obamacare Money   

Governor John Kasich’s administration last week requested the Ohio Controlling Board appropriate Obamacare funds for Medicaid expansion, an attempt to circumvent the General Assembly for billions in new entitlement funding from DC.

Despite the partial shutdown of the federal government, a plan amendment submitted to DC by Ohio Department of Medicaid Director John McCarthy to expand eligibility was approved on October 10.

As Statehouse insiders have speculated for weeks, the Kasich Administration will go to the Controlling Board on October 21 to make its case — although without an executive order from the governor, as was widely predicted.

Unfortunately for Gov. Kasich, the Controlling Board “shall take no action which does not carry out the legislative intent of the general assembly,” according to the Ohio Revised Code.

There is no indication the Obamacare expansion meets the “legislative intent” requirement of state law, and in fact the legislature expressly forbade Ohio from adopting the Obamacare Medicaid expansion with a provision of the biennial budget approved by both the House and Senate.

In June, Kasich used a line-item veto to override the General Assembly’s clear intent.

His attempted end run around the legislature is the starkest evidence to date that John Kasich, who was elected in 2010 as a limited government conservative, is less interested in freedom than in “free” money. By 2020, the Obamacare expansion is expected to increase Ohio’s annual Medicaid spending by nearly half a billion dollars.

Kasich has simultaneously expressed his confidence the state should expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of Ohioans — almost all able-bodied childless adults — and his confidence that Ohio will roll back the expansion if the federal government fails to keep its impossible funding promises.

The U.S. government is currently $16.7 trillion in debt not including unfunded entitlement liabilities; the best-case scenario from the State of Ohio’s perspective is that Kasich’s decision saddles the nation with billions per year in new bills it cannot pay.

Gov. Kasich first announced his support for the Obamacare Medicaid expansion as part of his budget plan released February 4. The policy is backed by a broad coalition of groups who found common ground in their desire for more taxpayer money.

After House conservatives stripped the Obamacare expansion from Kasich’s budget, the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA), labor unions, socialized medicine lobbyists, and a number of major chambers of commerce across the state redoubled their pleas for the new federal spending Medicaid expansion would bring.

Advocates for Ohio’s Future, a partnership of health care providers, unions, and leftist groups, has worked since February to pressure legislators into backing Gov. Kasich on Medicaid expansion, and sister organization “Healthy Ohioans Work” has begun gathering signatures to send the issue to the ballot.

Despite the efforts of an army of lobbyists and Ohio’s legacy media, who have made serious debate impossible by bashing opponents of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion as cruel ideologues, the Obamacare expansion has not received a floor vote in either the Ohio House or Ohio Senate.

Proponents of the Obamacare expansion insist Ohio’s hospitals desperately need more tax dollars, and have used veterans, drug addicts, and the mentally ill as props whose health and happiness supposedly require more federal entitlement spending.

Gov. Kasich, for his part, has abandoned all but the flimsiest pretense of fiscal responsibility, adopting the left’s talking points and even warning God will punish opponents of the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.

The Kasich Administration falsely insists Medicaid expansion in Ohio will be paid for entirely with “Ohio’s tax dollars,” which would go to other states as a result of Ohio refusing to enact the Obamacare expansion.

This story was originally published at Media Trackers.


          Website Woes Indicate Waste as Obamacare Spending to Skyrocket   

This morning, I walked through the rain to work. After arriving at the office, I proceeded to make myself a cup of coffee and log on to my computer.  The first thing I did was visit the Drudge Report to find out the big headline news today. What I found nearly made me throw my coffee at the computer screen. 

The Daily Caller reported earlier today that CGI Federal, the company contracted to create the Obamacare exchange website, was paid $634,320,919 to build the site.  A drop in the bucket compared to the total federal debt and deficit, sure, but is this the best our federal government can do for a law they’ve so heavily promoted? $634 million and the federal government can’t even get a website to function properly? Outrageous. 

Clearly we need to re-evaluate the total cost of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, since the grand opening of Obamacare is inspiring so much confidence in how the federal government manages our tax dollars. 

Charles Blahous, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, has started the conversation in a commentary he wrote yesterday. He made some disturbing observations, revealing how many of the revenue mechanisms in the Affordable Care Act have “started to unravel, while pressure mounted to expand its spending programs.” Remember now, the Obama administration repeatedly promised that the ACA would cut the deficit.  

Blahous points out that “One of the first provisions to bite the dust was the CLASS long-term care program, suspended in 2011 due to its financial unsoundness.” It was supposed to be a source of $70 billion of revenue in the first ten years to finance Obamacare. Also, the employer mandate, which the Obama Administration delayed with questionable legality, was allegedly scheduled to deliver $140 billion in revenues over the next decade. The delay will no doubt shift that projection downward. Furthermore, Blahous indicates that “The ACA's finances further depend on a new tax on medical device manufacturers, estimated to raise $29 billion from 2013-'22.” Members of both political parties have indicated that they view a repeal of the tax as a compromise that can end the government shutdown, removing that $29 billion revenue source. 

Those are just three examples Blahous has highlighted and they show that Obamacare is already scheduled to lose $196 billion in revenue. In a previous research paper, Blahous noted that “between now and 2021, the ACA is expected to add as much as $530 billion to federal deficits while increasing spending by more than $1.15 trillion.” I fail to see how gutting revenue mechanisms from a law that already increases deficit spending will cut deficit spending. 

So, let’s put Obamacare, which constitutes a massive increase in federal spending, in the context of the government shutdown and debt ceiling debate. The shutdown occurred after Democrats refused to accept a Republican compromise to delay the implementation of Obamacare for one year. The CBO estimates that such a delay would save $36 billion over the next ten years. Delaying the law would also give Congress more time to repeal or revise the law to make it fiscally sustainable, but the Democrats have unconditionally refused to stall the implementation of Obamacare, even in spite of the demonstrated problems with Obamacare’s launch.

Now the raging debate in Congress has shifted over the last few days to raising the debt ceiling and whether or not the federal government will default on its debt obligations to creditors. The debt ceiling is currently $16.699 trillion. As I write this sentence, the U.S. A.’s total debt is $16.970 trillion. The United States is predicted to hit the debt limit on Thursday, next week, the 17th of October.  Dean Clancy, vice-president of public policy at FreedomWorks, has already explained why the government will not default. He’s even made a good case for eliminating the debt ceiling entirely. 

But, given that we’re having this debate, and that the consequences of defaulting on our creditors are reported to be so drastic, is it really a good idea to add another $1.15 trillion (at bare minimum) to federal spending? And can we trust the federal government to manage all that money when they can’t even run a website?

UPDATE: Only 51,000 were able to sign up for the Obamacare exchanges after an entire week. Clearly our tax dollars were well spent on that website. 


          Gov. Kasich Pretends Obamacare is Not Obamacare   

Ohio Governor John Kasich is now insisting the Obamacare Medicaid expansion “is not about Obamacare,” in an attempt to message his fight for new deficit spending around conservative opposition and months of bad news about President Obama’s unpopular 2010 health law.

Expanding Medicaid – an ineffective entitlement program that already consumes nearly half of Ohio’s budget – to able-bodied childless adults under the age of 65 is a key component of Obamacare, or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

“Medicaid expansion is no different than the current Medicaid program, and to try to tie Medicaid to Obamacare, I don’t see the connection,” Gov. Kasich told reporter Joe Vardon last week.

The connection could not be stronger: the estimated $13 billion in new federal spending Kasich claims Medicaid expansion would “return” to Ohio over the next 7 years would come entirely from Obamacare.

Newspaper editors have joined health care industry lobbyists and progressive activists in cheering Kasich’s attempt to secure billions in “free” Obamacare funding, but Kasich must also contend with the voters and volunteers who made the Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment possible in 2011.

Even before the Obama Administration began arbitrarily choosing which parts of PPACA it would enforce, Ohioans voted overwhelmingly to block the law’s implementation in the Buckeye State.

“I mean it may have been provided in there, but it was John Roberts, the Republican chief justice appointed by President (George W.) Bush, who said states can have the option to extend their Medicaid coverage,” Gov. Kasich added in his interview with Vardon.

This statement was so misleading that even Vardon, writing for the staunchly pro-expansion Columbus Dispatch, noted that Roberts actually said “states could not be compelled to expand their Medicaid programs but could opt to expand if they so choose.”

With few other exceptions, Ohio’s press has parroted Kasich Administration talking points and hospital lobby rhetoric while framing opposition to the Obamacare Medicaid expansion as a thoughtless reaction to the word “Obamacare.”

The Republican governor seems to be taking the media’s assessment to heart.

“This is not about Obamacare,” Kasich told Robert Higgs of the Cleveland Plain Dealer while discussing his speech at a July 9 socialized medicine rally. “This is not about some bureaucracy. This is not about the federal debt.”

Gov. Kasich has been making similarly ridiculous statements for months. In a February 6 RedState post, he wrote that expanding Medicaid as called for in Obamacare would “limit further damage from Obamacare.”

Kasich was far more concerned about entitlement spending, bureaucracy, and the national debt before bigger government meant reelection support from the Ohio Hospital Association and other lobbyists looking for more taxpayer money.

Responding to Obamacare’s passage, on March 22, 2010 Kasich wrote, “In the end, the federal government will just rack up higher deficits and go deeper in debt, leaving future generations to pick up the tab.”

“Ohio government spending will go up also, adding to an already bleak budget picture,” candidate Kasich warned. “Instead of letting states develop innovative solutions to their respective challenges, new federal mandates will require more Medicaid spending and stick states with large and unsustainable costs.”

“Government shouldn’t be making promises it can’t keep – especially when it’s more than $14.5 trillion in the hole,” Governor Kasich said on August 20, 2011, when the federal government was in a pit of debt $2.2 trillion shallower than it is today.

This story originally appeared at Media Trackers Ohio.


          Top 10 Ways ObamaCare Sticks It to Young Adults   

Top 10 Ways ObamaCare Sticks It to Young Adults

Top Ten Ways ObamaCare Sticks It to Young Adults

    By Dean Clancy

[Note: a .pdf version of this post can be found at the bottom of this page]

ObamaCare should really be called the Unaffordable Care Act, especially when it comes to adults in their twenties and thirties. ObamaCare’s “individual mandate,” which takes full effect on January 1, 2014, requires all Americans to purchase expensive government-controlled health insurance, even if they don’t want or need it. (1)  The defenders of this mandate, and especially the health insurance lobby, claim a mandate on all of us is necessary to “help the uninsured.”

In fact, the mandate’s real purpose is to prevent the system’s new government-run “health exchanges” from collapsing. Young adults are being singled out as the group who will have to bear the brunt of preventing this collapse. They’re being asked to sacrifice their dollars and their freedom.

Eighty percent of 20-somethings who earn more than about $18,500 a year will see their health insurance costs go up as a result of ObamaCare. In California, the cost of a basic plan for a 25-year-old male will jump as much as 92 percent, in Ohio as much as 700 percent! Meanwhile, the Administration is enforcing ObamaCare selectively, having granted more than 1,200 waivers to politically connected labor unions and corporations over the past three years, and more recently exempting all large businesses.

In short, ObamaCare is unfair, unnecessary, and harmful to our health. No wonder it’s so unpopular, even before it has been fully implemented. We call on all Americans, and especially millennials, to “burn their ObamaCare card,” join the “health care draft resistance” movement, and help us hasten the replacement of government-centered care with patient-centered care.

Here are the top ten ways ObamaCare sticks it to young adults:

1.    Raises insurance costs for adults under 40 (on purpose)
2.    Reduces access to workplace health insurance
3.    Shrinks workplace health benefits
4.    Reduces work-hours
5.    Kills jobs
6.    Increases debt
7.    Raises taxes
8.    Is unfair
9.    Is unnecessary
10.  Is insulting

1.    Raises insurance costs for adults under 40 (on purpose)

ObamaCare sticks it to young adults by driving up their health insurance costs. On purpose. That’s right, the law is designed to drive up costs for people in their twenties and thirties, in order to keep the new ObamaCare exchanges from collapsing.

Unless a lot of young, healthy people sign up to pay for insurance through the government exchange,  premiums will spiral upward as too many old and sick people sign up, which will cause the system to collapse. Thanks to ObamaCare’s numerous mandates, the health insurance in most cases will cost more than it’s actually worth, especially for young adults. Hence the need for a mandate requiring people to pay into the system. The young are, in effect, being drafted into compulsory national service.

How does ObamaCare drive up rates? Primarily by forcing insurance companies to accept all applicants, regardless of age or health status (“guaranteed issue”) and by forcing them to charge all applicants roughly the same price (“community rating”). These mandates make insurance more expensive, especially for healthier folks, some of whom naturally respond to the higher expense by becoming uninsured -- the opposite of the law’s alleged goal. Younger people tend to be healthier. That’s why they also tend to be uninsured -- the high cost isn’t worth it for them, relative to the benefit. The largest negative effects of guaranteed issue and community thus fall on younger people.

ObamaCare imposes a host of other mandates. One is to make insurers cover adults up to age 26 on their parents’ policy. That sounds nice, until we realize that it costs each of us an additional $100 to $400 a year on our health insurance premiums. (And by the way, since when it a 26-year-old a child?) Another mandate requires insurance companies to cover all services deemed by the government to be “preventative,” including “reproductive health services,” “free of charge.” That too sounds great, until we remember that there’s no free lunch. Mandates raise prices. Period.

How much will premiums rise for folks under 40? (2)

  • Almost 80 percent of those aged 21 to 29 with incomes greater than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $18,560 a year, can expect to pay more out of pocket for coverage than they pay today. Younger, healthier individuals can expect premiums to increase by more than 40 percent. (3)  
  • In Ohio the cost of a basic plan for a healthy 25-year-old male will jump by nearly 700 percent, from $355.44 a year ($29.62 a month) in 2013 to $2,383.68 a year ($198.64 a month) in 2014. (4)
  • In California the cost of a basic plan for a healthy 25-year-old male will jump by 92 percent, from $1,212 a year ($101 a month) in 2013 to $2,196 a year ($183 a month) in 2014. (5)

The uninsured (two out of three of whom are under 40) have average annual health care expenditures of around $800 to $1,200. Since health insurance will cost a good deal more than that, they have an incentive to be uninsured. They need low-cost, economical coverage. ObamaCare gives them the opposite. (6)

By the way, premiums will only go down for older folks if young adults voluntarily swallow ObamaCare’s big rate hikes. If young adults opt instead to take a pass on the insurance and just pay the law’s $95 tax penalty “user fee,” rates will go up for older folks. (7)

You can’t defy the laws of economics. If we want to get more Americans insured, we have to enable insurance to cost less. ObamaCare makes it cost more, for the majority of Americans, and especially for young adults

2.   Reduces access to workplace health insurance

ObamaCare sticks it to young adults by incentivizing many employers to stop offering health benefits. When an employer stops offering health benefits, workers must either: a) rely on a relative’s health insurance; b) go into the ObamaCare “health exchange,” b) enroll in Medicaid or other government program for which they may be eligible, or c) join the ranks of the uninsured. Younger workers will often find themselves in the last category: uninsured.

About 156 million Americans (roughly half the U.S. population) get their health insurance through the workplace. Credible experts predict ObamaCare will cause anywhere from 7 million to 35 million Americans to lose their workplace health benefits over the next few years.

  • The official Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate projects that between 2014 and 2019 anywhere from 7 million to 20 million Americans will be “dumped” by their employers from their workplace health plan. (8)
  • A former head of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is more pessimistic, estimating that Obamacare “provides strong incentives for employers—with the agreement of their employees—to drop employer-sponsored health insurance for as many as 35 million Americans.” (9)

Wait. Would employers really do that? Would they really drop coverage? Yes, it seems, they would:

  • Thirty percent of employers tell surveyors they’ll “definitely” or “probably” stop offering employer-sponsored insurance in the years after 2014. (10)
  • One recent survey found 9 percent of employers “expect” to stop offering health benefits in the next few years (which would affect about 3 percent of the workforce, or about 5 million workers). (11)


Most of this “employer dumping” will occur among small businesses. That will disproportionately affect adults under 40. (12)

3.    Shrinks workplace health benefits
ObamaCare sticks it to young adults by incentivizing employers to offer stingier workplace benefits. Those employers who choose to offer health benefits will be under pressure to try to save money by making the benefits “thinner.” We already have reports of some employers switching to “skinny” plans, which are plans that don’t cover certain items, such as hospital stays. (13)  Yes, “skinny” plans are allowed under the statute. (14)

4.    Reduces work-hours
ObamaCare sticks it to young adults by causing employers to cut back on workers’ hours. (15)  The law’s “employer mandate” requires all employers with 50 or more full-time employees, beginning January 1, 2014, to offer expensive, government-regulated health insurance. (16) “Full time” is defined under the law as 30 or more hours a week. (The average American works about 32 hours a week.) So unsurprisingly, many firms are reducing workers’ hours to 29 hours or below, in order to avoid the expense. According to the Los Angeles Times:

[B]ig restaurant chains, retailers and movie theaters are starting to trim employee hours. Even colleges are reducing courses for part-time professors to keep     their hours down and avoid paying for their health premiums. Overall, an estimated 2.3 million workers nationwide, including 240,000 in California, are at risk of losing hours as employers adjust to the new math of workplace benefits. (17)

5.    Kills jobs
ObamaCare sticks it to young adults by causing employers to eliminate jobs, especially low-end, minimum wage positions. ObamaCare is causing a hiring slowdown. Part of the problem is uncertainty: employers are afraid to hire because they still don’t know how exactly the extremely complicated law will be enforced. But the bulk of the problem is the employer mandate itself: firms are avoiding new hires to avoid hiring that incredibly costly 50th employee. A health insurance plan can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $20,000 a year. The law says that if you offer coverage, it must be “affordable,” as defined by the government. That means you, the employer, must pay for roughly 92 percent of the plan’s cost. Many small firms simply can’t afford that. Right now, unemployment among Americans under 24 is a staggering 16.2 percent, and thanks to our economy’s anemic 2 percent a year growth rate, these Americans’ employment prospects are dismal. The ObamaCare-induced hiring slowdown only makes this problem worse, disproportionately affecting entry- and lower-level positions and thus younger adults trying to get their start in life.

6.    Increases debt
ObamaCare sticks it to young adults by driving up the national debt. The national debt has recently soared above $16,000,000,000,000 (sixteen trillion dollars), an historic high. Uncle Sam has additionally racked up nearly $100,000,000,000,000 (one hundred trillion dollars) in future, unfunded promises. That mountain of debt must be paid back by current and future generations. The cost of the law’s coverage provisions alone, over the first ten years of full implementation (2014 to 2023), is around $2,400,000,000,000 (two trillion four hundred billion dollars). The law will likely drive the deficit up by more than $700,000,000,000 (seven hundred billion dollars). (18) The problem boils down to basic math. As one analyst has summed up the problem:

Health spending now averages about 21 percent of households' personal income ... [but the] health care legislation presumes that those in an exchange shouldn't have to pay more than 10 percent of their income for a health insurance policy. (19)

That means someone is going to have to subsidize people who get their coverage through an exchange. Who is going to be on the hook for that subsidy? Current and future taxpayers, of course. How will it be paid for? Mostly through borrowing. (Uncle Sam currently borrows more than one-third of every dollar he spends.) So now young adults, who already carry historically high levels of student-loan debt, will have to help pay for the massive ObamaCare debt as well. (20)  How thoughtful.

7.    Raises taxes
ObamaCare sticks it to young adults by increasing taxes. ObamaCare imposes eighteen new taxes, including an expensive tax on medical devices and the first-ever tax on workplace health benefits -- even a new tax on the sale of your home. Those new taxes are projected to bring in a total of $514,000,000,000 (five hundred fourteen billion dollars) in additional federal revenues over ten years.
    ObamaCare’s 18 New Taxes

  1. Individual mandate tax on individuals who do not purchase health insurance.
  2. Employer mandate tax on employers who do not offer “acceptable” health coverage to their employees.
  3. Annual fee on health insurance providers based on each company’s share of the total market.
  4. Medical expense deduction is limited to those with expenses above 10% of adjusted gross income, up from previous 7.5%.
  5. 2.3% excise tax on manufacturers and importers of certain medical devices.
  6. 10% excise tax on indoor tanning services.
  7. Fee on manufacturers and importers of branded drugs, based on each individual company’s share of the total market.
  8. Increased Medicare portion of FICA payroll tax, rising to 3.8% from previous 2.9%, on couples earning more than $250,000 a year ($200,000 for     single filers); increased tax is also applied to investment income for the first time.
  9. Increased penalty for purchasing over-the-counter products with HSAs to 20%.
  10. Reduction in the number of medical products taxpayers can purchase using funds they put aside in HSAs and FSAs.
  11. Limit on the amount taxpayers can deposit in flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to $2,500 a year.
  12. Fee on insured and self-insured health plans to fund PCORI agency.
  13. Elimination of the corporate deduction for prescription expenses for retirees.
  14. Increase in taxes on health insurance companies, by limiting the amount of compensation paid to certain employees they can deduct from their taxes.
  15. End of special deduction for Blue Cross / Blue Shield organizations.
  16. 40% excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans costing more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families (begins in 2018).
  17. Exclusion of unprocessed fuels from the existing cellulosic biofuel producer credit.
  18. Increase in corporate taxes by making it more difficult for businesses to engage in activities that reduce their tax liability.

8.    Is unfair
ObamaCare institutes basic intergenerational unfairness. Sixty-four-year-olds typically spend six times as much on health care as 18-year-olds. Logically, their health insurance rate should be six times higher. But ObamaCare says insurers can charge older folks no more than three times what it charges a young person. This 3:1 community rating forces millennials to pay about 75 percent too much for insurance, so folks in their early 60s can underpay by about 13 percent. Nice! (21)

9.    Is unnecessary
The tragedy of ObamaCare is that it isn’t even necessary. There are less coercive, less expensive ways to help the uninsured. Here are some simple ways to reduce health care costs and thus increase the number of insured people, without costly government mandates or price controls:

  1. Promote competition by passing a federal “health care freedom act” that makes participation in all federal health care programs completely voluntary for individuals.
  2. Permit individuals to deduct 100 percent of their medical expenses from their taxes.
  3. Allow people to buy health insurance across state lines.
  4. Allow everyone, including folks on Medicare and Medicaid, to have a Health Savings Account (HSA) (a pre-tax savings account for medical expenses coupled with a high-deductible health insurance plan).
  5. Provide targeted assistance, via the states, for the one percent of Americans who can’t afford good private health insurance because of a preexisting medical condition.
  6. Encourage states to reform their medical malpractice tort laws to reduce costs. (22) 

This robust agenda would benefit young adults and indeed all Americans by promoting patient power in the health care marketplace. It would help lower the excessive cost of health care, which is the real problem, by reducing meddlesome government mandates, which are the real culprit.

10.     Is insulting
ObamaCare insults young people’s intelligence by trying to make them believe they are benefiting from a policy that actually targets them for the biggest pain.

P.S. There’s an eleventh reason ObamaCare sticks it to young adults: its inevitable negative effects on the quality and availability of medical care. With the new system’s top-down, centralized approach, there will be higher costs, longer wait times, and incentives for doctors and hospitals to scrimp on care.

Conclusion: Burn Your ObamaCare Card!

ObamaCare was rammed through Congress in the name of “helping the uninsured.” What it really does is hurt the young. Two-thirds of the uninsured today are in their twenties and thirties. Most of the uninsured make a rational choice to go without insurance because government policies have made it too expensive, relative to its value for them.

The individual mandate, ObamaCare’s linchpin, will hit young adults the hardest. Eighty percent of 20-somethings who earn more than about $18,500 a year will see their health insurance costs go up as a result of ObamaCare. In California, the cost of a basic plan for a 25-year-old male will jump as much as 92 percent, in Ohio as much as 700 percent! The individual mandate, ObamaCare’s linchpin, is unjust, unnecessary and harmful to our health.

Millennials would be better off “burning their ObamaCare card” and resisting the “health care draft.” We call on Americans who can do so to “opt out” of the ObamaCare mandate and instead pay the small penalty tax “user fee” for being uninsured (or for not having ObamaCare-compliant coverage). (23)  If enough Americans join the resistance movement, we can hasten the collapse of the exchanges, reverse the Washington takeover, and pave the way for a health care system that works for, rather than against, patients. (24)

End Notes
1. Tens of millions of Americans are statutorily exempted from the individual mandate, including prisoners, illegal immigrants, certain religious sects, Native Americans, Americans living overseas, Americans who don't have to file a tax return, Americans whose employer offers them coverage that would cost them more than 8 percent of their income, and any American granted "hardship" status at the discretion of the Health and Human Services secretary. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, section 1501.
https://www.bcbsri.com/BCBSRIWeb/pdf/Individual_Mandate_Fact_Sheet.pdf

2. The following estimates are for insurance in the individual or nongroup market. That is, not for coverage received through the workplace or the government.

3. http://www.contingenciesonline.com/contingenciesonline/20130102#pg33

4.Louise Radnofsky, “Ohio Complains of Higher Health-Insurance Premiums,” Wall Street Journal, June 6, 2013, http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/06/06/ohio-complains-of-higher-health...

5. Avik Roy, “The War On Bros: Exchange Subsidies Won't Protect Young People From Obamacare's Higher Insurance Premiums,” Forbes, June 7, 2013,  http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/06/07/the-war-on-bros-exc...

6.   ObamaCare supporters try to downplay “rate shock” figures like these, by noting that costs will go down for some older folks. True. But how much comfort is it for a millennial faced with a 92 percent premium increase to know that his 64-year-old neighbor will enjoy a 10 percent decrease? Supporters of the law also say that folks earning up to about $45,000 a year will get a relatively generous subsidy, on a sliding scale, to help them afford the premiums (courtesy of the taxpayer), if they buy coverage in the government exchange. Also true. But that taxpayer subsidy is only available to people whose employer doesn’t offer “affordable” coverage, as defined by the government (and whose state doesn’t offer Medicaid to people earning more than 100 percent of poverty). It’s hard for anyone to know for sure whether he qualifies for the subsidy and will remain qualified for it, since third parties (employers, state policy makers) are the ones making the critical decisions affecting his eligibility.

7. Here is now the individual mandate penalty works. The IRS will levy penalties on individuals who don’t buy government-approved insurance. The annual fines will equal the greater of $95 per adult or 1 percent of income (in 2014); $325 or 2 percent (in 2015), $695 or 2.5 percent (in 2016); and then will rise with inflation. The fine for uninsured children equals one-half the adult fine. Additionally, many people are exempted from the mandate, such as those for whom premiums exceed 8 percent of household income. Hence, as premiums increase, more and more people will be exempted from the mandate.

8.  Seven million figure comes from: CBO, Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Health Insurance Coverage—February 2013 Baseline,” February 5, 2013, http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43900_ACAIns.... Twenty million figure from: CBO, “The Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Employment-Based Health Insurance,” March 15, 2012, http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43090. See also: CBO, “How Has CBO’s Estimate of the Net Budgetary Impact of the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Coverage Provisions Changed Over Time?” March 20, 2013, http://www.cbo.gov/publication/44008. CBO does think it possible that the number of people in employer-based coverage could go up, by 3 million; but the agency designates as its “best estimate” a 7 million person drop in workplace coverage

9. Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Cameron Smith (American Action Forum), “Labor Markets and Health Care Reform: New Results,” May 2010,  http://americanactionforum.org/files/AAF_Labor%20Markets%20and%20Health%....

10. McKinsey & Company, “How US health care reform will affect employee benefits,” June 2011, http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/health_systems/how_us_health_care_refor...

11. Deloitte, “2012 Deloitte Survey of U.S. Employers: Opinions about the U.S. Health Care System and Plans for Employee Health Benefits,” July 2012,  http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/Insights/centers/center-for-health....

12. Some workers will lose what the law deems to be “affordable” benefits, as their employers offer “unaffordable” plans intentionally, knowing that doing so will drive their lower-income workers to look outside the firm for health coverage, which will save the employer money (because paying a $3,000 federal penalty fine is cheaper than paying for a $8,000 to $20,000 insurance policy). Some economists predict that we may see a lot of firms restructure themselves into two “sister firms”: one for higher-wage workers who will continue to enjoy company health benefits, and one for lower-wage workers who will be “dumped” into the government exchange. In other words, lower-income workers will get the short end. And guess which age group will be hardest hit by that? Yep, young adults.

13.  Brett Norman, “ACA Penalties Spawn ‘Skinny’ Plans,” PoliticoPro, July 16, 2013, http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/some-workplace-health-plans-will-b....

14. http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/05/21/employers-can-minim...

15.  The employer mandate will take effect on January 1, 2014. In July 2013, the Obama Administration surprised everyone by announcing it was unilaterally cancelling the mandate for a year, pushing the effective date back to January 1, 2015. While this cancellation is illegal, so long as the mandate is only delayed temporarily the incentives for employers to cut back on hours and hiring will remain essentially unchanged. The one-year delay will probably cause more employers to “dump” their workers into government health exchanges in 2014 than would otherwise have been the case. This, we suspect, is exactly what the Administration intends.

16. Here is now the employer mandate penalty works. The IRS will level a tax penalty on businesses with more than 50 full-time employees who fail to offer health coverage. The fine is $2,000 per employee after the first 30 employees. Employers will also be fined for failing to offer “affordable” coverage, as defined by the law. The fine is $3,000 per employee if coverage costs more than 8.5 percent of that worker’s income.

17. Chad Terhune, “Part-timers to lose pay amid health act's new math,” Los Angeles Times, May 2, 2013, http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/02/business/la-fi-part-time-healthc....

18. Estimate by Senate Budget Committee Republicans, based on CBO projections, for the years 2014-2023.

19. C. Eugene Steuerle (Urban Institute), "Fixing the Nation's Four-Tranche Universal Health System: Next Steps for Both Republicans and Democrats," October 28, 2010, http://www.urban.org/publications/901386.html

20. ObamaCare supporters protest that the law “doesn’t add a dime to the deficit,” citing the official CBO cost estimates for the legislation. But that claim doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. The law only appears “deficit neutral” on paper, because of massive budget gimmicks like these. In reality, ObamaCare will cost taxpayers dearly, with younger taxpayers getting hit the hardest. The law includes $700 billion in ten-year Medicare reductions (to help pay for the new entitlement) that the Chief Actuary of the Medicare program assumes are unlikely to take effect, because they would cause 15 percent of hospitals to go out of business by 2019. (Source: CMS Chief Actuary Richard S. Foster, Memorandum on Estimated Financial Effects of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” as Amended,  April 22, 2010, http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Research/Actuari....) Members of Congress will never voluntarily allow large numbers of hospitals in their districts to go out of business. They will move to provide federal relief. And the relief will most likely come in the form of reversing the Medicare payment reductions. The Chief Actuary also points out that the law assumes a series of deep, automatic, annual reductions in Medicare payments to doctors that Congress has historically never allowed to take place.

21. Avik Roy, “Putting the ‘Insurance’ Back in Health Insurance, Forbes, May 21, 2012, http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2012/05/21/putting-the-insuran...

22. Dean Clancy, What Should Replace ObamaCare, July 17, 2012,
http://www.freedomworks.org/blog/dean-clancy/what-should-replace-obamacare.
See also: Avik Roy, “The Tea Party’s Plan for Replacing ObamaCare,” Forbes, April 7, 2012,
http://www.freedomworks.org/blog/dean-clancy/forbes-the-tea-party-plan-f...

23. For many people, especially younger citizens, it will be more financially sensible to just pay the fine than to buy overpriced health coverage. The fine is small (only $95, or 1 percent of one’s income, whichever is higher, in 2014). If you refuse or neglect to pay the fine on your yearly tax return, the statute prevents the IRS from punishing you, other than by withholding any tax refund you are owed. So you could theoretically sidestep any penalty whatsoever by adjusting your income tax withholdings to avoid being owed a refund.

24. Jacqueline Bodnar, “FreedomWorks Announces “Burn Your ObamaCare Card” Campaign to Resist the Compulsory Health Care Law” (press release), July 11, 2013,  http://www.freedomworks.org/press-releases/freedomworks-announces-%E2%80.... See also: Dean Clancy, “Burn Your ObamaCare Card,” Washington Times, July 10, 2013, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/10/burn-your-obamacare-card/


          All Things (ObamaCare) Fall Apart   

The hits just keep coming for President Obama’s beleaguered health care reform law. If you’ve had trouble keeping up with all of the bad news surrounding ObamaCare, I don’t blame you. For the sake of convenience, let’s take a look at some of this news and then consider the “big picture” for the floundering Affordable Care Act.

Health Insurance “Exchanges”

We’ll begin with the health insurance “exchanges,” which are the primary mechanism by which ObamaCare distributes massive government subsidies to private health insurance companies. These “exchanges” feature only government regulated and approved insurance plans, from which consumers are allowed to choose. When writing the law, Congressional Democrats and the White House left the dirty work of setting up these expensive, complicated “exchanges” to the states.

After a majority of states flatly refused to comply with this unfunded mandate, the Obama administration started scrambling to set up dozens of “exchanges” by itself. At the same time, the federal government is also burdened with the cost of conducting a massive public relations outreach campaign for ObamaCare, which remains unpopular with more than half of Americans. Compliant states are also struggling to implement their “exchanges,” with Idaho official Stephen Weeg acknowledging that the state bureaucracy will need to “beg, borrow, and steal” in order to get its “exchange” operational by the October 1st start date for enrollment.

The federal Department of Health and Human Services even broke ObamaCare’s own rules by approving Utah’s unique “dual exchange” system. It is clear that the Obama administration is becoming desperate to salvage its crumbling law by any means necessary. By the way, even if these “exchanges” are actually set up according to design, some of the nation’s largest insurance companies are still expressing reluctance to provide coverage plans for them in the first place. Perhaps private insurers do not find the idea of entering such government dominated “exchanges” an attractive prospect, after all?

Lawsuits

Lawsuits continue to plague ObamaCare, as well. Earlier this month, a group of small business owners sued the federal government on the grounds that the text of the ObamaCare law does not authorize the government to issue subsidies to private insurance companies in those states with federally-run health insurance “exchanges.”

The Pacific Legal Foundation filed a separate lawsuit that uses Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ flimsy defense of ObamaCare’s individual mandate as a “tax” against the law. Revenue-raising bills, such as taxes, must originate in the House of Representatives in order to be constitutional, but the final version of ObamaCare began in the Senate. This is just a small sampling of the growing number of lawsuits brought against ObamaCare so far.

Medicaid Expansion

ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion isn’t exactly going to plan, either. The law offers full funding for the first few years for those states that expand their Medicaid programs, and then promises 90% of the funding for future years. However, there is no guarantee behind that money, and truthfully, the federal government cannot afford to hold up its end of that bargain for very long.

Once that happens, state legislatures across the country will get stuck with the tab for Medicaid expansion, which will crowd out other state budgetary priorities such as education and infrastructure. As a result, many governors are refusing to take such a risky deal. Even Missouri, which has Democratic Governor Jay Nixon, is turning down Medicaid expansion due to resistance from the state legislature.

A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine casts doubt on the belief that Medicaid expansion is even a good idea. After Oregon expanded its Medicaid program in 2008, researchers found that, “…Medicaid coverage generated no significant improvements in measured physical health outcomes” in the first two years following the expansion. To be fair, the study did discern some positive secondary effects from the expansion, but the primary purpose of Medicaid is to improve health care outcomes for low-income Americans. If the program is not accomplishing that end, then something is seriously wrong with the program, and further expansion through ObamaCare isn’t the solution.

Implementation

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is charged with leading the ObamaCare implementation effort, but it is clear that she is not up to the (potentially impossible) task. As POLITICO’s David Nather put it, “Obamacare fires are flaring up all over.” Unpopular policy and muddled messaging are hampering outreach efforts by the Obama administration, which leads Reuters’ David Morgan to question how many people will even sign up for insurance coverage under the law. After all, the law assumes that many uninsured but healthy Americans will enroll for coverage, and that these citizens will provide the necessary revenue to allow private insurance companies to comply with ObamaCare’s many costly mandates. If that assumption proves false, then the law is in serious danger of systemic failure. 

The need to boost awareness for enrollment efforts is leading President Obama and Secretary Sebelius to take extreme measures. Speaking to Planned Parenthood, President Obama pleaded with the controversial organization to spread the word about enrollment on his behalf. Secretary Sebelius is personally begging health care industry leaders to donate funds for the implementation efforts. Of course, HHS denies that there is anything improper with such solicitation attempts. Fearing the impact that a complete ObamaCare meltdown would have on their industry, some private insurers are reluctantly stepping into the breach to help with the outreach efforts.

The "Big Picture"

So, what’s the “big picture?” Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), one of the law’s chief architects, recently admitted that ObamaCare is starting to resemble a “huge train wreck.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) fully agreed and asked for additional funding to implement the unpopular law. Remember, this is the same law that the Government Accountability Office recently stated would add $6.2 trillion to the long-term deficit, assuming that some unpopular cost-containing measures are phased out after 2019. According to Senator Reid, this law apparently needs even more money in order to function even somewhat adequately.

Why would Senators Baucus and Reid feel so pessimistic for ObamaCare? If you ask progressive Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein, he’ll tell you that the problem is (of course) Republicans. In summary, he argues that if only Republicans would keep shoveling money into the admittedly “unwieldy” law, then it wouldn’t have all of these problems! Mr. Klein, why would conservatives who oppose deficit spending and ObamaCare agree to increase the size of both? Was this really the Democratic plan all along? Why would you ever think that that would work?

By the way, Senators Baucus and Reid aren’t the only Democrats worried now that they’re seeing ObamaCare in action. Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) recently acknowledged during a House subcommittee hearing that the Affordable Care Act “does not address [cost containment].” Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) criticized the Obama administration for “raiding the Public Health and Prevention Fund” in order to advertise for ObamaCare. For his part, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) is worried that the law is causing insurance companies to hike premiums, and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) fears that businesses still do not know how to comply with the complex law and that some will cut employees’ hours to reduce compliance costs. Failed South Carolina Democratic candidate, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, summed up all of these complains when she labeled the law “extremely problematic.”

In 2010, then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) demanded that Congress pass ObamaCare despite intense opposition. She infamously argued that, “…We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” More than three years later, we now know all too well what is in ObamaCare: disaster. Unfortunately, that is the “big picture” for ObamaCare.


          Republican Representative Barbara Sears Blocks Effort Against Obamacare   

In early March, Ohio State Representative Ron Young and Rep. Andy Thompson introduced a bill known as, “The Health Care Freedom Act,” (HCFA) that proposed a new line of defense against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or, Obamacare.  The bill, when passed, will prohibit health insurance companies in Ohio from accepting any federal funding that would trigger penalties for employers or individuals who aren’t compliant with Obamacare.  Wednesday, when the bill was brought up in committee, opposition arose; but not only from the expected side of the aisle.  While the Democrats did balk at the bill, Republican Majority Floor Leader Barbara Sears also took issue with HCFA.  One needn’t look too deep to understand why Sears wouldn’t want the HCFA to pass in Ohio.  Not only has she received a substantial amount of financial contributions from the health care industry, she currently works at a health insurance provider and recently passed her own bill which helps implement Obamacare.

Representative Sears is currently serving her third term in Ohio and over the years has amassed nearly $1 million in campaign contributions from various members of the health care industry.  In fact, her list of donors is a veritable who’s who of health care heavy hitters including: Humana, Merck & Co, Aetna, United Health Care, Johnson and Johnson and many more national players.  When she’s not representing the people of Ohio (or the health care industry) in the House, she works as the Senior Vice President of Employee Benefits at Roemer Insurance, who's website refers to her as a “resource,” as well as an employee.  Perhaps it was in the spirit of being a “resource” that led Sears to introduce HB 3, a bill that regulates the “navigators” established in Obamacare.

Navigators will be individuals tasked with helping citizens through the maze of Obamacare before they actually purchase insurance.  According to the federal law, their duties consist of:

 (A) conduct public education activities to raise awareness of the availability of qualified health plans;

(B) distribute fair and impartial information concerning enrollment in qualified health plans, and the availability of premium tax credits under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and cost-sharing reductions under section 1402;

(C) facilitate enrollment in qualified health plans;

(D) provide referrals to any applicable office of health insurance consumer assistance or health insurance ombudsman established under section 2793 of the Public Health Service Act, or any other appropriate State agency or agencies, for any enrollee with a grievance, complaint, or question regarding their health plan, coverage, or a determination under such plan or coverage; and

(E) provide information in a manner that is culturally and linguistically appropriate to the needs of the population being served by the Exchange or Exchanges.

The law, which mandates navigators, specifically bars them from issuing health insurance and directs that funding for the new jobs must come from the state exchanges.  The issue of navigators has been surprisingly absent from the news, considering the large amount of money states will have to come up with to comply with this aspect of Obamacare.  California, notorious for their problems with debt, is slated to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to hire 21,000 navigators.

So why would a Republican propose a bill that seeks to further regulate a government created job that will cost the states untold amounts of money?  It would appear that insurance brokers across the country are getting nervous about the prospect of competition from navigators and have been lobbying for stricter standards on them.  One such group, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, has been lobbying nationwide and their Ohio affiliate has contributed financially to Rep. Sears’ campaigns since 2010.  The passage of Sears’ bill restraining the navigators follows similar bills in Maine and Iowa. In Sears’ case, however, even setting aside the steep amount of money she has received from the health care industry, the fact that she works at an insurance agency that will benefit from her bill seems a conflict of interest.  

Her motives become even more suspect when considering her follow-up of speaking out against the HCFA, a bill that will protect consumers against federal penalties for noncompliance with Obamacare.  According to Sears, the HCFA violates the state constitution by preventing health insurance providers from selling a product.  “If I pass a law that tells my carriers that if they accept any funding under (Obamacare)... if I comply in that area, my penalty is suspension of my ability to accept new enrollees in the plan,” she stated.  Yet, as Rep. Young explained, the HCFA doesn’t limit insurance providers any more than the refusal by the state to enact its own exchange.  Why would a member of the health insurance industry resist an effort to combat the broad-sweeping mandates of Obamacare?  Does Sears really believe insurance companies won’t be able to sell their products without federal funding?  Perhaps it is the case that she believes insurance companies care more about receiving federal money then the consumers they are supposed to be protecting.  Considering her close ties to the industry, Sears may be, as she did in regulating navigators, representing the concerns of insurance providers instead of Ohioans.

The HCFA needs Rep. Sears support to continue to passage.  If she is truly representing the people of Ohio and not the health insurance industry and herself, to back a law protecting her constituents makes logical sense.  As the country counts down to Obamacare taking effect, all eyes will be on Ohio to lead the way out of the coming disaster.

Ask Representative Sears about her motives.


          Ohio Finds New Hope Against ObamaCare   

 

Rep. Ron Young (OH)State Representative Ron Young and Rep. Andy Thompson have introduced a bill in the Ohio House known as, “The Health Care Freedom Act,” that could offer new hope in the fight against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), otherwise known as Obamacare.  The bill focuses on the Obamacare provision that seeks to fine citizens for failing to purchase health care.  As the Health Care Freedom Act claims that it doesn’t conflict with the current federal law, it can be seen as a great step forward for Ohio’s health care freedom. According to the PPACA, employers and individuals must purchase health insurance or they will be subject to tax penalties.  In seven months time, despite the sequester, citizens may be fined anywhere from $695 per person to $4,700 per person; with those amounts set to increase at the rate of inflation.  To help Americans secure health insurance, Obamacare allows for many people to receive subsidies and/or tax credits to offset the cost of insurance.  On the insurance provider side, companies also receive subsidies to help with the added costs associated with covering a larger amount of people at lower rates to consumers.  However, the price for the insurance companies accepting the federal subsidies is the tax penalty for citizens who don’t purchase insurance.  As long as the insurance companies do not accept federal subsidies, consumers will not be subject to penalty taxes.  That is where Ohio’s Health Care Freedom Act (HCFA) has potentially located a weakness. Once passed, HCFA prohibits health insurance companies operating in Ohio from accepting any funding from the federal government that would result in potential penalties for employers or individuals.  If a company chooses to receive federal subsidies, their license would be suspended in the state.  While they would still be able to conduct business previously secured, the company would be barred from writing any new business until the funding is returned to the federal government.  Further, due to the rules set up within PPACA, the subsidized insurance company would be prohibited from participating in any exchange nationwide.  As explained by Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute:
“... since they would no longer be licensed and in good standing with the state, they would no longer qualify under the PPACA as an issuer of “qualified health plans.” The PPACA itself would therefore preclude them from writing new business or receiving subsidies through any Exchanges for as long as the suspension remained in place. Without the (illegal) subsidies, consumers and carriers would have no reason to participate in a federal Exchange.”
 In 2011, voters in Ohio overwhelming supported the adding of language concerning their health care freedoms to the state Constitution.  It now reads:
"No federal, state, or local law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system." 
The HCFA may be just what the doctor ordered in helping protect the citizens of Ohio against the federal government’s attempted intrusion into their state health care and, as evidenced by the support of the additional language to their state constitution, should be passed without objection.

          Kasich Pitches Obamacare Surrender as Pragmatism   

Ohio Governor John Kasich announced his surrender to Washington spending gimmicks on February 4, calling for the expansion of Medicaid eligibility as part of his biennial budget proposal. Kasich, a Republican elected in 2010 and known as a fiscal hawk from his time in Congress, seeks to sell a key component of Obamacare as the pragmatic choice for Ohio.

In a February 6 RedState post defending his embrace of a law he has long spoken against, Kasich wrote, "Now I’ve proposed extending Medicaid health coverage to low-income and working poor Ohioans, in part, to limit further damage from Obamacare."

Obamacare was designed to push millions of Americans into one of the nation's most expensive and least effective entitlement programs, coercing states into compliance by making all federal Medicaid funding contingent on expanded eligibility. The Supreme Court's June 2012 ruling on the bill forbade Washington from cutting off existing funding to states that refuse to expand Medicaid, but Governor Kasich now aims to grow the program anyway.

"Without this move Obamacare is likely to increase health insurance premiums even higher in Ohio," Kasich continued. "Worse, it takes $13 billion of Ohioans’ federal tax dollars out of our state and gives it to other states—where it will go to work helping to rev up some other state’s economy instead of Ohio’s."

In short, Governor Kasich is promoting Medicaid expansion using the language and logic of socialized medicine advocates, treating bureaucratic cost-shifting as actual savings. Kasich even suggested Ohio must claim its "fair share" of Obamacare spending, demonstrating no regard for the fact that DC has run annual deficits exceeding $1 trillion each year since President Obama took office.

Prior to Kasich's February 4th announcement, conservative think tanks Opportunity Ohio and The Buckeye Institute both published critiques of a joint Health Policy Institute of Ohio / Urban Institute study which framed federal spending as free money. Kasich and his staff have cited the study as proof Ohio would come out ahead by expanding Medicaid eligibility.

Not only has the governor failed to address any of conservatives' substantive concerns - instead waving off disagreement as unreasonable ideology - he actually worked with the far-left Universal Health Care Action Network to develop talking points for Medicaid expansion.

In no way does Kasich's current rhetoric square with his past protestations against deficit spending.

"Instead of letting states develop innovative solutions to their respective challenges, new federal mandates will require more Medicaid spending and stick states with large and unsustainable costs," Governor Kasich wrote on March 22, 2010.

"Government shouldn’t be making promises it can’t keep – especially when it’s more than $14.5 trillion in the hole," Kasich said in his August 20, 2011 Weekly Republican Address.

Nearly $2 trillion in national debt later, Ohio's governor has allied himself with lobbyists for socialized medicine, the ultimate promise the government cannot keep. Kasich's abdication of his former fiscal hawk role will make it more difficult for conservative leaders to make a consistent case against entitlement spending and for market-based reforms.

Should the Republican-controlled Ohio General Assembly choose to support Kasich's Medicaid proposal, the state would "save" money by taking billions in federal funds to cover 100 percent of the expansion for several years. Though federal funding would quickly drop to 90 percent of Ohio's new costs even assuming Congress can borrow forever, care providers are pushing for the change because of numerous perverse incentives built into Obamacare.

Governor Kasich is widely expected to run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, but first faces reelection in 2014 in a state that went for President Obama last fall. However politically expedient it may be in the near term to help expand the entitlement state, history tells us how difficult it is to unring that bell.

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jasonahart


          Yet Again, HHS Secretary Sebelius Extends ObamaCare State "Exchanges" Deadline   

The more forgiving amongst us may feel some genuine pity for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. On one hand, President Barack Obama loaded her department with the mammoth task of writing up the thousands of rules and regulations that will constitute the real weight of ObamaCare. On the other, he charged Secretary Sebelius with the even more onerous duty of convincing a (rightfully) skeptical American public that the new 2,801 page health care reform law represented a landmark achievement that would benefit all citizens. So far, this hasn't gone so well.

The law remains unpopular to this day due to failure in the realms of principle, policy, constitutionality, and public relations. This lingering unpopularity has led to serious real-world consequences for the law itself. As Joshua Withrow noted before, a stunning majority of states have refused to set up their own state "exchanges," which are the basic machinery through which ObamaCare is meant to operate.

Unless these states undergo an inexplicable change of heart, this means that Secretary Sebelius's department will now take on the added responsibility of creating a majority of the state health insurance "exchanges." In fact, her department has so far only granted "conditional approval" to seventeen proposed state "exchanges," so the number may end up even higher than twenty-seven. It goes without saying that creating just one of these exchanges is not a cheap, simple, easy, or quick process.

Remember, the clock is ticking on ObamaCare's implementation. On October 1st of this year, citizens will supposedly be able to purchase health insurance through these "exchanges," with their coverage beginning on January 1st, 2014. Secretary Sebelius, in fear of this fast-approaching implementation deadline, has graciously (read: desperately) decided to extend or even outright waive the deadline for states to set up their own "exchanges."

This isn't the first time that Secretary Sebelius has postponed this particular deadline. Originally, states were meant to submit their proposals to her department on November 16th of last year. However, well aware that a large majority of states would not meet that deadline (or had any intentions of trying), she delayed it on November 9th to December 14th while demanding that those states that did intend to create an "exchange" must submit a brief "letter of intent" along those lines by the original deadline of November 16th.

This new deadline didn't work out so well, either. On November 15th, when Secretary Sebelius finally realized that those "letters of intent" probably weren't in the mail, she ditched that idea and admitted that the letters could be sent on December 14th, as well. However, she insisted that she would make a final decision on January 1st of this year regarding which states would be allowed to create their own "exchanges." Surely, this would be the final deadline.

As you might suspect, it didn't turn out to be the final deadline. On January 14th, Secretary Sebelius admitted that she would still accept proposals from states that desired to create their own "exchanges." In fact, she will now "waive or extend the deadline" for those states. Perhaps to preserve a shred of dignity, her department claims that proposals for "partnership exchanges" between states and the federal government must still be submitted by February 15th.

It's fair to ask whether Secretary Sebelius is "kicking the can down the road" on the issue of ObamaCare implementation. Well aware that her department is ill-prepared (if not completely incapable) of taking on the gargantuan burden of creating dozens of state "exchanges" by itself, she has continually pushed back this key deadline. Now, there is no true deadline, other than the planned starting date of October 1st.

Is there still time for her department to create these "exchanges?" Not if you were to ask Dan Mendelson, president of consulting firm Avalere Health. 

The Washington Post quoted Mendelson as saying that, "It would be very hard at this point to start from scratch. I’m not going to say it’s impossible, but it would be unlikely." To be fair, he was discussing recalcitrant states and not the Department of Health and Human Services, but that only makes it worse. A state only needs to construct a single exchange. Secretary Sebelius will have to build dozens. Also, keep in mind that Mr. Mendelson provided this opinion months ago on November 9th. The situation has only grown more dire for Secretary Sebelius since then, as so much precious time has elapsed.

Secretary Sebelius has a hard job. However, she is engaging in pure self-delusion if she believes that repeatedly pushing back these deadlines will cause the states resisting ObamaCare to flock under its banner in these final months. The longer she holds out baseless hope along these lines, the less time her department will have to slap together a pile of last-minute "exchanges."

As FreedomWorks’ Vice President of Health Care Policy Dean Clancy put it, "The wheels are coming off the bus, and the Administration is getting desperate." It's time for Secretary Sebelius to admit the obvious: a majority of states in the Union do not support ObamaCare and do not want to participate in it.

It's that simple.


          With health bill looming, senators aren't rushing into the July Fourth spotlight - Washington Post   

Washington Post

With health bill looming, senators aren't rushing into the July Fourth spotlight
Washington Post
Sen. Susan Collins will celebrate the Fourth of July within view of the Canadian border, at a remote northeastern Maine town's annual parade. Sen. Lisa Murkowski will appear on the other end of the continent in an old timber town on an isolated Alaskan ...
Senate asks for CBO score on Cruz's healthcare proposalThe Hill
Cruz and Lee play inside game in health fightPolitico
Mitch McConnell plans to stick to 'repeal and replace' on healthcareWashington Examiner
Salon -HuffPost -Hot Air -Newsmax
all 125 news articles »

          Menhan AS Tangguhkan Penerimaan Calon Tentara Transgender   
Menteri Pertahanan Amerika menangguhkan penerimaan calon tentara transgender. James Mattis mengatakan, dalam pernyataan, hari Jumat (1/7) menangguhkan keputusan selama enam bulan. Hari Jumat adalah hari sebelum batas waktu yang ditetapkan oleh pemerintahan Obama, untuk mengizinkan calon tentara transgender masuk angkatan bersenjata Amerika Serikat. Mattis mengatakan departemen pertahanan harus mengukur setiap keputusan kebijakan dengan “satu standar yang sangat penting: apakah...
          Obama Puji Keberagaman dan Tolerasi di Indonesia   
Kehadiran Mantan Presiden Amerika Serikat, Barack Obama, mendapat sambutan meriah oleh ribuan orang peserta acara "4th Congress Of Indonesian Diaspora 2017" atau Kongres Diaspora Indonesia ke-4 yang berlangsung di Mal Kota Kasablanka, Jakarta, Sabtu (1/7). Dalam pidatonya saat pembukaan Kongres Diaspora Indonesia ke-4, Obama berkata Indonesia menjadi contoh negara-negara lain mengenai toleransi.  Menurutnya, Indonesia terdiri dari banyak etnis, bahasa, agama, namun...
          Obama Beri Anjuran Tidak Langsung bagi Trump   
Setelah seminggu lagi pertentangan antara media Amerika dan Presiden Donald Trump, pendahulunya berbagi sedikit petuah dari balik lain dunia agar jangan terlalu memusingkan berita setiap hari. Obama disambut oleh ribuan orang hari Sabtu (30/6) di daerah kediaman masa kecilnya, Jakarta, di mana ia berpidato pada Kongres Diaspora Indonesia. “Dalam media sekarang ini, ada wartawan yang setiap hari mengatakan 'poll Obama buruk hari ini',” kata mantan presiden Barack Obama. “Saya...
          Obama: Indonesia Bagian dari Diri Saya   
Pidato mantan Presiden AS, Barack Obama, dalam pembukaan Kongres “Indonesian Diaspora Network Global (IDNG)” dihadiri ribuan diaspora Indonesia yang berkumpul di Main Hall Kota Kasablanka, Jakarta, Sabtu (1/7).
          Usai Menikmati Liburan di Bali dan Yogyakarta, Obama Penuhi Undangan Jokowi   
Selama sekitar satu jam kunjungan di Bogor dan bertemu Presiden Jokowi, Obama kemudian bertolak kembali ke Jakarta untuk persiapan pembukaan Kongres Diaspora Indonesia ke-4 di kota Kasablanka, Jakarta, Sabtu (1/7).
          Obama Nikmati Aneka Jajanan Pasar dan Bakso    
Meski kedatangan mantan Presiden Amerika Serikat Barack Obama, Jumat (30/6) di Kompleks Istana Presiden Bogor, diwarnai hujan deras, namun pertemuan Obama dengan Presiden Joko Widodo tetap berlangsung hangat.  Saat Presiden Jokowi menjamu Obama di Grand Garden Cafe yang masih terletak di kawasan Kebun Raya Bogor, hujan rintik mulai turun. Semula Jokowi dan Obama akan berbincang di tempat terbuka Grand Garden Cafe, namun karena hujan, keduanya tak bisa lama-lama berada di tempat...
          Presiden Jokowi Sambut Mantan Presiden Obama di Istana Bogor   
Presiden Obama disambut hangat oleh Presiden Joko Widodo dan ibu negara Iriana di Istana Bogor, 30 Juni 2017.
          Obama Disopiri Jokowi di Istana Bogor   
Presiden Joko Widodo dan ibu negara Iriana Jokowi langsung mengajak mantan Presiden AS, Barack Obama, setibanya di Istana Bogor untuk berkeliling istana.
          Jokowi Sambut Kedatangan Obama di Istana Bogor   
Mantan Presiden AS, Barack Obama tiba di Istana Bogor jam 15:30 WIB hari Jum’at (30/6) untuk memenuhi undangan Presiden Joko Widodo.
          Djarot Berharap Obama Betah di Jakarta   
Kedatangan mantan Presiden AS, Barack Obama, di VVIP Bandara Halim Perdanakusumah Jakarta saat suasana Jakarta masih lengang dirasa oleh Gubernur DKI Jakarta, Djarot Syaiful Hidayat sebagai saat yang tepat.
          Comment on Trump administration just audited ObamaPhone program by MGAP   
Hmmmm, send a nice box of dogpoop to my friends at AARP?
          Comment on CNN attacks Obama. Get me the smelling salts! by Cheap Jerseys   
<strong>Cheap Jerseys</strong> "I'm not as worried about the offensive and defensive side of it as much as I am the pitching. Should you yearn to discover more regarding UGG footwear, we'll be discussing some attention-grabbing highlights from the company in the following paragra…
          Comment on Post office having problems with new Obama postage stamp by Cheap NFL Jerseys From China   
<strong>Cheap NFL Jerseys From China</strong> Therefore, what are you waiting for? Sign up for the first tennis lesson and you will not glance back again!. Discover more about making a successful site for your own home business. You would be forced to hire someone to check and rectify the problem…
          Organic Animal Welfare Rules Delayed, Giving Opponents Hope   
Is organic meat more humane than conventionally raised meat? Rules that would create animal welfare standards for livestock certified as organic have been delayed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday, giving opponents new hope that they will be quashed. The standards were in the works for years, but not released until the final full day of President Barack Obama’s term. Now, implementation of the rules has been pushed back thanks to President Donald Trump’s “regulatory freeze.” Originally slated to take effect March 20, they are now scheduled to be implemented May 19. As our Grant Gerlock reported in September , many organic producers have endorsed the rules, which would allow them to market organic meat as being more humane. Conventional farm organizations, however, charge that folding humane standards into the federally run organic program would amount to unfair government backing of the organic industry. The Organic Trade Association is maintaining steadfast
          Agriculture Secretary Lone Trump Cabinet Post Without A Nominee   
And then there was Agriculture. Agriculture Secretary is the only post in President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet without a nominee, mystifying many in rural America and spurring worries that agriculture and rural issues will land near the end of the line among the new president’s priorities. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, who served for all 8 years of Barack Obama’s presidency, announced Friday was his last day in office . The Agriculture Department employs nearly 100,000 people spread out over 29 agencies. It deals with everything from food stamps, to farm loans, to food safety, and administers programs in rural areas, which largely supported president-elect Trump. “I find it, frankly, astounding that we’ve waited so long to get an Agriculture pick,” says Dan Glickman, a former Agriculture Secretary under President Bill Clinton and a former congressman from Kansas. The next Agriculture Secretary will be charged with shepherding a new Farm Bill through Congress. Work on the law, which
          Comment on Trump – I Want A Healthcare Bill With A Heart, Not Dead Obamacare Carcass by Google   
<strong>Google</strong> Although web sites we backlink to below are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they're actually really worth a go by means of, so have a look.
          carolineschmoldt @lovebuttahurts   
RT @Impeach_D_Trump: President Obama had a goal of empowering Americans from all backgrounds. Trump has a goal of empowering the Rich at t…
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 34389505)   
George the smirking chimp had already destroyed the global economy and ruined the military before Obama even started running for office. :bushtard: :dick: "Deficits don't matter"
          Reply by davvi   
:cruise: LMBAO @ obama working to destroy the country. let me guess the country was all fine and dandy, doing extremely well, and rich beyond belief up until obama stepped into office. You knuckledraggers are delusional and insane, not surprising as alot of you caucasoids are INSANE due to...
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 33871075)   
You stand corrected. Obama HAS ALREADY DESTROYED THE WHITE MANS ECONOMY(Eternal QE) and THE MILITARY (Don't Ask Don't Tell)Tell me that you were not watcxhing!
          Reply by Anonymous Coward (UID 1554099)   
:cruise: LMBAO @ obama working to destroy the country. let me guess the country was all fine and dandy, doing extremely well, and rich beyond belief up until obama stepped into office. You knuckledraggers are delusional and insane, not surprising as alot of you caucasoids are INSANE due to...
          Reply by davvi   
well, obama is working from both the inside and the outside to destroy this country. look at what he is doing to the military, slashing their benefits and doing all kinds of destructive social experiments. there is a thread here about a black principal have after school programs for kids of...
          Trump wants America to be ‘energy dominant,’ but that’s not much different than the Obama era   
The Trump White House is casting "energy dominance" as a break with the Obama era.
          [various] The Annual May Zombie Post   
So it could be the fact I have been somewhat slow in updating this recently, or it may even have seemed I was infected by the zombie virus, however there has been a distinct lack of Annual May Zombie posts for a while. Time to fix this.

This is an easy one, Joss is kind of awesome, also this ad did not convince people to vote for Romney (which I think we can all be thankful for) however it is another example of how awesome Joss Whedon is.

Here is Joss trying to convince people to support Romney to bring about the Zombie Apocalypse. We all know Obama won, but it could have been close. I wonder if we need be afraid in a similar way with Abbott here?

In other Joss news, he is now on twitter, pretty cool. Joss Whedon Twitter.

          'I was recruited to collude with the Russians': An unexpected player has added a new layer to the Trump campaign's Russia ties   

Michael Flynn

Hackers believed to be Russian discussed how to steal Hillary Clinton's emails from her private server and transfer them to Michael Flynn via an intermediary, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing reports compiled by US intelligence agencies investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

One of those intermediaries, according to The Journal, may have been a GOP operative named Peter Smith — an 80-year-old opposition researcher who assembled a team of technology experts, lawyers and a Russian-speaking investigator in September to track down hacking groups with access to the 33,000 emails Clinton deleted from her private server that she said were personal in nature.

While Smith cited a working relationship with Flynn's consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, when trying to recruit new team members, the Journal could not verify whether Flynn knew what Smith was doing, or if he knew him at all.

But one of the people Smith appears to have tried to recruit, Matt Tait, relayed his interactions with Smith in a first-person blog post for Lawfare published on Friday night — and noted that  "it was immediately apparent that Smith was both well connected within the top echelons of the [Trump] campaign and he seemed to know both Lt. Gen. [Michael] Flynn and his son well." 

Tait, a cybersecurity researcher and former information security specialist at Britain's Government Communications Headquarters, was an unnamed source for the Journal's first article about Smith and a named source for the second.

The second, published on Friday, described how Smith listed top Trump advisers Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, and Sam Clovis as part of a group he had formed to conduct opposition research on Clinton — research that involved asking hackers, Russian or not, whether they had her missing emails. 

"A few weeks into my interactions with Smith, he sent me a document, ostensibly a cover page for a dossier of opposition research to be compiled by Smith’s group, and which purported to clear up who was involved," Tait recalled for Lawfare.

He continued:

"The document was entitled 'A Demonstrative Pedagogical Summary to be Developed and Released Prior to November 8, 2016,' and dated September 7. It detailed a company Smith and his colleagues had set up as a vehicle to conduct the research: “KLS Research”, set up as a Delaware LLC “to avoid campaign reporting,” and listing four groups who were involved in one way or another. The first group, entitled “Trump Campaign (in coordination to the extent permitted as an independent expenditure)” listed a number of senior campaign officials: Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Sam Clovis, Lt. Gen. Flynn and Lisa Nelson."

Tait said that he didn't view this as "merely a name-dropping exercise."

"This document was about establishing a company to conduct opposition research on behalf of the campaign, but operating at a distance so as to avoid campaign reporting," Tait said. "Indeed, the document says as much in black and white...the combination of Smith’s deep knowledge of the inner workings of the campaign, this document naming him in the 'Trump campaign' group, and the multiple references to needing to avoid campaign reporting suggested to me that the group was formed with the blessing of the Trump campaign."

FILE PHOTO: - U.S. President Donald Trump (L-R), joined by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and then National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, speaks by phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. on January 28, 2017.     REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Smith apparently contacted Tait after seeing his Twitter account, where Tait had spent a "great deal of time" analyzing the Clinton emails released by the State Department in response to Freedom of Information Act requests throughout 2015.

"Smith implied that he was a well-connected Republican political operative," Tait recalled on Lawfare, and had contacted him because he believed "that Clinton’s private email server had been hacked—in his view almost certainly both by the Russian government and likely by multiple other hackers too."

Smith mentioned that someone on the Dark Web had contacted him claiming to have Clinton's emails, Tait wrote, and wanted Tait to help him verify if they were real.

Tait went along with it, he said, because he wanted to find out more about this "dark web" figure — was it a hoax, or was it a Russian intelligence front trying to use Smith as the "intermediary" the US intelligence community later described?

kellyanne conway donald trump

Tait never found out, and, to this day, there is no evidence the hackers infiltrated Clinton's server. But Tait soon realized that, to Smith, it didn't matter if the hackers were Russian. 

"In my conversations with Smith and his colleague, I tried to stress this point: if this dark web contact is a front for the Russian government, you really don’t want to play this game," Tait wrote. "But they were not discouraged."

Conway and Bannon told the Journal that they had never met Smith. Conway said she had heard of him in Republican circles but never interacted with him directly; Bannon said he'd "never heard of KLS Research or Peter Smith."

Still, Tait's story and the Journal's reporting will likely be of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the FBI's investigation into whether any of Trump's associates colluded with Russia to undermine Clinton during the election.

Conway and Bannon are not under FBI investigation. But Flynn's potential ties to Russia have been of particular interest to the bureau and the congressional intelligence committees because of his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, that eventually led to his ouster.

Russian officials bragged about their close relationship to Flynn last year, according to intercepted communications described to CNN, and boasted that they could use him to influence Trump. The way the Russians were talking about Flynn "was a five-alarm fire from early on," a former Obama administration official said.

SEE ALSO: 'A waste of taxpayer money': Trump's voter fraud commission is facing pushback from a dozen states

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A former KGB spy explains how Americans have been historically naive about the Russians


          Is the Right’s Lack of Empathy a Pre-Existing Condition?   
You probably know somebody like this. You heard them complain in 2009 about “what Barack Obama’s doing to health care in this country.” They considered it an unconstitutional takeover of a critical part of the economy. They thought Sarah Palin nailed it when she talked about death panels. They agreed with Rush Limbaugh when he... Read more »
          Comment on "Trump Administration: Making America Great Again by Simply Not Rushing to Implement the Late Obama Age Collapse" by Steve Sailer   
6 Months Holy shit! -- six months -- talk about winning. Meanwhile: DailyMail -- Wombs for men: Astonishing prospect as fertility doctors back operations on NHS so transgender women born as boys can have babies Doctors have said transgender women, born male, should be able to have kids -- Talks planned on if womb transplants...
          Comment on "Trump Administration: Making America Great Again by Simply Not Rushing to Implement the Late Obama Age Collapse" by Steve Sailer   
Cool. So if Trump delays every other batshit crazy leftwing policy by 6 months we can delay the apocalypse…for 6 whole months. I was not sure how to take this post by Steve. I suspect it is damning with faint praise. "Make America Worse Much More Slowly!" Similarly, reducing the average criminality of immivaders by...
          Comment on "Trump Administration: Making America Great Again by Simply Not Rushing to Implement the Late Obama Age Collapse" by Steve Sailer   
He got his medical degree at Ross University on Dominica - one of those carribean med schools.
          Comment on "Trump Administration: Making America Great Again by Simply Not Rushing to Implement the Late Obama Age Collapse" by Steve Sailer   
OT: Piece of garbage reported as possible hate crime
          Comment on "Trump Administration: Making America Great Again by Simply Not Rushing to Implement the Late Obama Age Collapse" by Steve Sailer   
She's an assistant secretary - a political appointee - she's not on the GS scale at all. Someone on the Trump transition team put her in that job. She seems to be of a more libertarian stripe rather than a movement conservative, at least lately. Apparently libertarians now think it is the job of the...
          Comment on "Trump Administration: Making America Great Again by Simply Not Rushing to Implement the Late Obama Age Collapse" by Steve Sailer   
Of course he was trying nomesayne to push up on a white/asian/latina lady. Or man. They made this clown a doctor!
          Justice Neil Gorsuch Votes 100 Percent Of The Time With Most Conservative Colleague   
By now, we can probably say that Justice Anthony Kennedy is not retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court. The word "probably" is apt because nothing is certain about the plans of this or any other Supreme Court justice when it comes to ending his or her service on the nation's highest court. But this week, the court wrapped up the current term, and Kennedy, who turns 81 in July, seems to have decided to stay on the job — at least for the coming term. There could be a variety of reasons. As an institutional matter, he could well have concluded that there had been enough uncertainty and drama on the court after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, and the vacancy that lasted for well over a year with Senate Republicans refusing to even consider President Obama's nominee. Kennedy may also have thought it best to ensure that there is a full complement of nine justices for at least a year. He could even have been put off by President Trump's tweets about the judiciary. But it is unlikely that
          Obama legt krans op graf Kennedy   
De Amerikaanse president Barack Obama bracht woensdag hulde aan oud-president John F. Kennedy. Vrijdag is het vijftig jaar geleden dat die ... tags: arlington_national_cemetaryclintonethelgrafkennedykranspresidentObama legt krans op graf Kennedy
Zoomin_Vlaanderen
          "In Response to Anonymous1" by Reallucky1 - 7.1.17   
Entry Submitted by Reallucky1 at 2:51 PM EDT on July 1, 2017

"Re: Welcome, GCR/RV Op-Ed" by Anonymous1 - 7.1.17

Anonymous1

I have tried to explain some of the same theories you have explained, along with Zap and his gang, my parents are on the Tier 1 group exchanges, and while they have done way more than us, including bank documents, and have SKRs, they still have no money. In fact, they call me when there Intel sources do not have information.

I explained yesterday about the greenbooks tax documents, and how Obamacare and the Obama administration have set up tax documents that ended last night. There would have been huge tax implications, if the exchanges were to happen prior to June 30 2017, and that is the true reason for delay. Obama wanted all the credit, and set up these exchanges to be severely taxed. Why we were made to wait, or the real reason, I believe everything was synced up for the second quarter, I will attach this tax document, as a search will not reveal this information.

I believe that was also the reason for the different tiers and the roll out segmented system that has now been changed, the true reason, is everyone is to go at once, all at the same time a shot gun start for everyone. We are past all these ramifications, and now the true blessing should be forthcoming. It is very noble that you are concerned about the people suffering, and I too, am thankful, that many that are struggling can now be helped. It would have not have been good, that the tax would revive the Democratic Party, and continue with our bankrupt and out of control government. The greenbooks, was just that, a remnant of the last failed decade for the ending USA inc.

The most upsetting part of all of this, that the government that has let us down, is the one that is in charge, of these blessing, when these blessings were not to be given to the leaders, that have not only failed us, continue to delay and set up unnecessary taxing, and documents, to line their own pockets once again. I wish since this is a military operation, that they would have completely taken over the government, and made announcements as such, and brought this blessing in, as this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The only way to keep greedy politicians from benefiting, from the Gold that has been held for this point in time.

Hope this explained a little why people have been made to wait, and may we all finally receive this blessing.

I included the tax documents, as well as the comments on Dinar Recaps copied off of KTFA, all about these tax documentations.

Sincerely

Reallucky1

https://www.northerntrust.com/documents/wealth-advisor/2017-budget-greenbook.pdf

KTFA

June 21, 2017 (Reposted Per Request)

Doc.K : 2017 Obama Tax year started July 1 2016 expires June 30 2017


ALL MONIES RECEIVED UP TO THE JUNE 30 DATE ARE INCLUDED AND CREDITED TO OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. OBAMA CARE AND MANY OTHER OBAMA PLANS WOULD OF PROVED TO BE VIABLE WITH INCOME TAX $$$ FROM THE RV, thus giving Democrats FUEL for changes and continued nonsense.

I believe during the Trump / Abadi visit this year they made the contracts and escrow for said date, June 30, (midnight) for the Trump Administration to get the credit for RV $$ and to PROVE that OBAMA CARE would be insolvent.

We know how much Trump and Abadi love O .

This is scripted folks ....... Why was there a start and stop of the forces moving in Mosul ? Timing. This is why MOSUL dragged out sooooo long .

The USA agencies can tell what book your reading during a baseball game from a satellite.

They could of gotten Bagdadi long time ago. The CBI is just now updating their site ,,,,,, timing.... We should be hearing more about Lower Denoms soon.

TRUMP IS A VERY SMART MAN AND HE IS FOR THE PEOPLE. HE IS NOT GOING TO LET US GET ​ SOAKED by the OBAMA TAX RULES/ PLANS.

Notice the tax brackets, trust, estate, gift, transfer etc....... rules ....... before he left office.

          Selamat Datang di Jakarta, Obama   
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Presiden Amerika Serikat ke- 44 Barrack Hussein Obama kembali mengunjungi Indonesia. Kehadirannya kali ini disambut langsung oleh Gubernur DKI Jakarta Djarot Syaiful Hidayat. Berikut liputannya.   Videografer :...
          American Dignity on Fourth of July   
SUBHEAD: Frederick Douglass’s 1852 Independence Day address may provide some perspective on today.

By David Remnick on 1 July 2017 for the New Yorker -
(http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/10/american-dignity-on-the-fourth-of-july)


Image above: Derived from a painting of Frederick Douglass in 1852 when he was a young man. From (https://www.pinterest.com/explore/frederick-douglass-autobiography/).

Frederick Douglass’s Independence Day address from 1852 may provide some perspective on today.

More than three-quarters of a century after the delegates of the Second Continental Congress voted to quit the Kingdom of Great Britain and declared that “all men are created equal,” Frederick Douglass stepped up to the lectern at Corinthian Hall, in Rochester, New York, and, in an Independence Day address to the Ladies of the Rochester Anti-Slavery Sewing Society, made manifest the darkest ironies embedded in American history and in the national self-regard. “What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” Douglass asked:
I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy—a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.
The dissection of American reality, in all its complexity, is essential to political progress, and yet it rarely goes unpunished. One reason that the Republican right and its attendant media loathed Barack Obama is that his public rhetoric, while far more buoyant with post-civil-rights-era uplift than Douglass’s, was also an affront to reactionary pieties.

Even as Obama tried to win votes, he did not paper over the duality of the American condition: its idealism and its injustices; its heroism in the fight against Fascism and its bloody misadventures before and after.

His idea of a patriotic song was “America the Beautiful”—not in its sentimental ballpark versions but the way that Ray Charles sang it, as a blues, capturing the “fullness of the American experience, the view from the bottom as well as the top.”

Donald Trump, who, in fairness, has noted that “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job,” represents an entirely different tradition. He has no interest in the wholeness of reality.

He descends from the lineage of the Know-Nothings, the doomsayers and the fabulists, the nativists and the hucksters. The thematic shift from Obama to Trump has been from “lifting as we climb” to “raising the drawbridge and bolting the door.”

Trump may operate a twenty-first-century Twitter machine, but he is still a frontier-era drummer peddling snake oil, juniper tar, and Dr. Tabler’s Buckeye Pile Cure for profit from the back of a dusty wagon.

As a candidate, Trump told his followers that he would fulfill “every dream you ever dreamed for your country.” But he is a plutocrat. His loyalty is to the interests of the plutocracy.

Trump’s vows of solidarity with the struggling working class, with the victims of globalization and deindustrialization, are a fraud. He made coal miners a symbol of his campaign, but he has always held them in contempt.

To him, they are luckless schmoes who fail to possess his ineffable talents. “The coal miner gets black-lung disease, his son gets it, then his son,” Trump once told Playboy. “If I had been the son of a coal miner, I would have left the damn mines. But most people don’t have the imagination—or whatever—to leave their mine. They don’t have ‘it.’ ”

Trump is hardly the first bad President in American history—he has not had adequate time to eclipse, in deed, the very worst—but when has any politician done so much, so quickly, to demean his office, his country, and even the language in which he attempts to speak?

Every day, Trump wakes up and erodes the dignity of the Presidency a little more. He tells a lie. He tells another. He trolls Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He trolls the press, bellowing “enemy of the people” and “fake news!” He shoves aside a Balkan head of state. He summons his Cabinet members to have them swear fealty to his awesomeness. He leers at an Irish journalist.

Last Thursday, he tweeted at Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, of MSNBC:
“I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came . . . to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”
The President’s misogyny and his indecency are well established. When is it time to question his mental stability?

The atmosphere of debasement and indignity in the White House, it appears, is contagious. Trump’s family and the aides who hastened to serve him have learned to imitate his grossest reflexes, and to hell with the contradictions.

Melania Trump, whose “cause” is cyber-bullying, defends the poisoned tweet at Brzezinski. His righteously feminist daughter Ivanka stays mum. After the recent special election in Georgia, Kellyanne Conway, the counsellor to the President, tweeted, “Laughing my #Ossoff.” The wit! The valor! Verily, the return of Camelot!

Trump began his national ascendancy by hoisting the racist banner of birtherism. Since then, as candidate and as President, he has found countless ways to pollute the national atmosphere. If someone suggests a lie that is useful to him, he will happily pass it along or endorse it. This habit is not without purpose or cumulative effect.

Even if Trump fails in his most ambitious policy initiatives, whether it is liberating the wealthy from their tax obligations or liberating the poor from their health care, he has already begun to foster a public sphere in which, as Hannah Arendt put it in her treatise on totalitarian states, millions come to believe that “everything was possible and that nothing was true.”

Frederick Douglass ended his Independence Day jeremiad in Rochester with steadfast optimism (“I do not despair of this country”). Read his closing lines, and what despair you might feel when listening to a President who abets ignorance, isolation, and cynicism is eased, at least somewhat.

The “mental darkness” of earlier times is done, Douglass reminded his audience. “Intelligence is penetrating the darkest corners of the globe.”

There is yet hope for the “great principles” of the Declaration of Independence and “the genius of American Institutions.” There was reason for optimism then, as there is now. Donald Trump is not forever. Sometimes it just seems that way.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: The American Unraveling 7/29/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Birthday Card 7/4/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Happy Independence Day! 7/4/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Halfway There 7/1/11
Ea O Ka Aina: Rocket's Red Glare? 7/1/09
Island Breath: American patriotism's failure 7/4/08
Island Breath: July 4th Plantation Days 7/4/08
Island Breath: Thinking about July Fourth 7/4/07

.

          Donald Trump lässt die Wall Street jubeln   
Partylaune bei US-Bankern: Präsident Trump will die Wall-Street-Reform seines Vorgängers Obama aufheben. Die Umsetzung wird zwar lange dauern - doch die Geschäfte der Finanzhäuser brummen auch so schon.
          Trump lockert Bankenregulierung   
Rund zehn Jahre nach Ausbruch der letzten Finanzkrise hat US-Präsident Donald Trump wichtige Regeln aufgehoben, mit denen sein Vorgänger Barack Obama die Exzesse der Wall Street zügeln wollte.
          US : Un patron du charbon porte plainte contre John Oliver (11 réponses)   
Il l'a cherché, il l'a trouvé. John Oliver, le journaliste qui rend la neutralité du net passionnante, est poursuivi pour diffamation par Bob Murray, le PDG d'une entreprise majeure d'extraction du charbon, Murray Energy. Ce dernier n'a pas du tout apprécié d'être pris à partie et moqué lors de l'émission d'Oliver Last Week Tonight, le 18 juin dernier. Une émission durant laquelle Oliver a rappelé que Murray était accusé de négligence sur les règles de sécurité dans ses mines.
John Oliver savait ce qui l'attendait. Le comique anglais, qui présente l'émission Last Week Tonight sur HBO (et fait passer des pubs sur Fox News pour expliquer l'Obamacare à Donald Trump), est poursuivi par le géant du charbon Robert (Bob) Murray, PDG de Murray Energy. En cause : son émission du 18 juin dernier consacrée au déclin de l'industrie du charbon, aux difficultés des mineurs et aux promesses de Trump, durant laquelle Oliver s'en est pris directement à l'industriel...
          Reply by NightWisp   
Total waste of money. I never watch anything Obama. I cannot stand his high pitched, little girly tone punctuated with the arrogant head tilts, talking down to people.Not to mention the whistles through his teeth when he talks.... yikes.. imagine fingernails on a chalk board.
          Comment on President Obama Commutes Sentence of Oscar López Rivera by June 20, 2017 | Oscar López Rivera Gets Hero’s Welcome at Chicago’s Puerto Rican Parade | LatinoUSA.org – Serena Maria Daniels   
[…] prisoner —who only a month earlier had been released from prison after serving 35 years before his sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama in January— was led on a walking tour to show him just how his legacy […]
          Republicans grow increasingly anxious about heading home without a health plan - Washington Post   

Washington Post

Republicans grow increasingly anxious about heading home without a health plan
Washington Post
The dispute within the Republican Party over health care widened further Friday as President Trump joined with two conservative senators in calling for an outright repeal of the Affordable Care Act if the party fails to agree on an alternative plan by ...
Trump Warms to Old Idea: Kill Health Law Now, and Replace It LaterNew York Times
Democrats go in for the kill on ObamaCare repealThe Hill
Cruz and Lee play inside game in health fightPolitico
NBCNews.com -ABC News -NPR -Fox News
all 5,984 news articles »

          When Dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world - Washington Post   

Washington Post

When Dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world
Washington Post
Ivanka Trump's office: clean, white, quiet. A zone of punctual start times and promptly-offered water bottles, and a conference table at which she conducts meetings. A short, winding walk away from her father's Oval Office downstairs. She does not ...
The week in politicsCNN
White House says Spanish-version website still comingThe Hill
Trump Wants To Rewrite Obama's Overtime ReformsHuffPost
CBS News -New York Daily News -Washington Examiner -MarketWatch
all 163 news articles »

          NYT Finally Retracts Russia-gate Canard   

NYT Finally Retracts Russia-gate Canard

 

Exclusive: A founding Russia-gate myth is that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that Russia hacked into and distributed Democratic emails, a falsehood that The New York Times has belatedly retracted, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry (Updated on July 1 with new NYT deception)

The New York Times has finally admitted that one of the favorite Russia-gate canards – that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concurred on the assessment of Russian hacking of Democratic emails – is false.
New York Times building in New York City. (Photo from Wikipedia)
On Thursday, the Times appended a correction to a June 25 article that had repeated the false claim, which has been used by Democrats and the mainstream media for months to brush aside any doubts about the foundation of the Russia-gate scandal and portray President Trump as delusional for doubting what all 17 intelligence agencies supposedly knew to be true.
In the Times’ White House Memo of June 25, correspondent Maggie Haberman mocked Trump for “still refus[ing] to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help get him elected.”
However, on Thursday, the Times – while leaving most of Haberman’s ridicule of Trump in place – noted in a correction that the relevant intelligence “assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community.”
The Times’ grudging correction was vindication for some Russia-gate skeptics who had questioned the claim of a full-scale intelligence assessment, which would usually take the form of a National Intelligence Estimate (or NIE), a product that seeks out the views of the entire Intelligence Community and includes dissents.
The reality of a more narrowly based Russia-gate assessment was admitted in May by President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan in sworn congressional testimony.
Clapper testified before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on May 8 that the Russia-hacking claim came from a “special intelligence community assessment” (or ICA) produced by selected analysts from the CIA, NSA and FBI, “a coordinated product from three agencies – CIA, NSA, and the FBI – not all 17 components of the intelligence community,” the former DNI said.
Clapper further acknowledged that the analysts who produced the Jan. 6 assessment on alleged Russian hacking were “hand-picked” from the CIA, FBI and NSA.
Yet, as any intelligence expert will tell you, if you “hand-pick” the analysts, you are really hand-picking the conclusion. For instance, if the analysts were known to be hard-liners on Russia or supporters of Hillary Clinton, they could be expected to deliver the one-sided reportthat they did.

Politicized Intelligence

In the history of U.S. intelligence, we have seen how this selective approach has worked, such as the phony determination of the Reagan administration pinning the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II and other acts of terror on the Soviet Union.
Hillary Clinton at the Code 2017 conference on May 31, 2017.
CIA Director William Casey and Deputy Director Robert Gates shepherded the desired findings through the process by putting the assessment under the control of pliable analysts and sidelining those who objected to this politicization of intelligence.
The point of enlisting the broader intelligence community – and incorporating dissents into a final report – is to guard against such “stove-piping” of intelligence that delivers the politically desired result but ultimately distorts reality.
Another painful example of politicized intelligence was President George W. Bush’s 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s WMD that removed State Department and other dissents from the declassified version that was given to the public.
Since Clapper’s and Brennan’s testimony in May, the Times and other mainstream news outlets have avoided a direct contradiction of their earlier acceptance of the 17-intelligence-agencies canard by simply referring to a judgment by “the intelligence community.”
That finessing of their earlier errors has allowed Hillary Clinton and other senior Democrats to continue referencing this fictional consensus without challenge, at least in the mainstream media.
For instance, on May 31 at a technology conference in California, Clinton referred to the Jan. 6 report, asserting that “Seventeen agencies, all in agreement, which I know from my experience as a Senator and Secretary of State, is hard to get. They concluded with high confidence that the Russians ran an extensive information war campaign against my campaign, to influence voters in the election.”
The failure of the major news organizations to clarify this point about the 17 agencies may have contributed to Haberman’s mistake on June 25 as she simply repeated the groupthink that nearly all the Important People in Washington just knew to be true.
Even after the correction, the Times quickly returned to its pattern of deceiving its readers regarding the U.S. intelligence assessment. On June 30, a Times article reported: “Mr. Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the unanimous conclusion of United States intelligence agencies that Russia sought to interfere in the 2016 race.”
The phrasing “unanimous conclusion” again suggests that all 17 intelligence agencies are in accord, albeit without specifically saying so, a journalistic sleight of hand that raises further doubts about the objectivity and honesty of the Times on this issue.
The Times’ belated correction — and its new deceptive formulation — underscore the growing sense that the U.S. mainstream media has joined in a political vendetta against Trump and has cast aside professional standards to the point of repeating false claims designed to denigrate him.
That, in turn, plays into Trump’s Twitter complaints that he and his administration are the targets of a “witch hunt” led by the “fake news” media, a grievance that appears to be energizing his supporters and could discredit whatever ongoing investigations eventually conclude.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).



          U.S. Drone Terror   

"I Saw Pieces of Bodies": Afghan Civilians Describe Terrorization by US Drones

Saturday, July 01, 2017 By Alex Edney-Browne, Truthout | News Analysis 
Predator drone with Hellfire missiles on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. Credit: Alex Edney-BrownePredator drone with Hellfire missiles on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. (Photo: Alex Edney-Browne)
The Trump administration's "drone policy," though early to characterize, is shaping up to be even more aggressive than the Obama administration's. There has been a significant increase in the number of drone attacks since Trump assumed office. In March 2017 parts of Yemen and Somalia -- where the United States is not formally at war -- were changed to "areas of active hostilities," making it easier for the US to launch drone attacks.

Many more civilians are dying than the US government publicly admits.

Through the Obama years and continuing with Trump, opponents of drone warfare have tended to highlight civilian casualties from drone attacks. They rightly argue that many more civilians are dying than the US government publicly admits. Another frequently raised concern is the secrecy of (and dubious legal basis for) the CIA's drone operations in "non-traditional battlefields" like Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. These are all pressing issues and will continue to serve an important role in ethical debates about drone warfare.
What is often neglected in these debates, however, is the use of drones by the US Air Force (not the CIA) in countries that the US is known to be active in: Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The Trump administration is deepening its military engagement in these conflicts, and has committed to the deployment of nearly 4,000 soldiers to Afghanistan. This troop surge is going ahead even though a corresponding long-term strategy for the war in Afghanistan is not yet decided. It is important to consider how the use of drones is affecting civilians' lives and livelihoods in these countries, how those effects will manifest in the future, and the long-term implications of this for diplomacy and security.
More Than Numbers: Afghan Civilians
"Bongak" and "Bnngina" are the terms used to describe military drones in different regions of Afghanistan: Dari/Pashto onomatopoeias because of the "bnng" sound they make as they hover above. Afghanistan is the world's most drone-bombed country, yet is commonly forgotten about in drone criticism and monitoring efforts. Drone surveillance and attacks began in Afghanistan in 2001, yet the civilian casualty toll has only been monitored since 2015. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the organization conducting this monitoring, reports that accurate figures are almost impossible to obtain because of the insecurity and inaccessibility of attack locations.

Quantitative data is not the best tool to convey how it feels to hear drones, to think about being spied on in your home or to fear a possible attack.

This means there are limitations to relying on civilian casualty figures when discussing the ethics of drone warfare in Afghanistan. More importantly, and this applies to all areas attacked and surveilled by drones, the effects of drones are much more profound and wide-ranging than a focus on casualty numbers invites the public to consider. Casualty figures can even work to dehumanize victims: Quantitative data is not the best tool to convey how it feels to hear drones, to think about being spied on in your home or to fear a possible attack. Despite the obvious challenges, it is important that researchers and journalists attempt to uncover and communicate the emotional and psycho-social harms of drone warfare. The recent documentary National Bird, which interviews Afghan drone victims, is one such example of the brave journalism needed.
Afghan Victims Detail Psycho-Social Harms
As a Ph.D. researcher based in Australia, going to Afghanistan to speak with drone victims seemed impossible for myriad reasons, including the rigorous ethics approval and "high-risk travel destination" application my university required. Persistence paid off, however, and I had the (difficult, heart-wrenching, yet moving) experience of meeting with more than 20 Afghans who live in provinces surveilled by drones, were injured in drone attacks or have lost loved ones to drone attacks. It is their stories that I share here, though I have changed their names to protect their privacy.
Despite researching drone warfare for almost four years, it was still surprising to learn about the extent of the effect on Afghan people's lives and livelihoods. From the psychological distress of living under drone surveillance, to the economic impact of a disability, to the sadness and stress experienced by the family of an injured person, the Bongak/Bnngina has damaged so many aspects of Afghan lives.
Saifullah, a 39-year-old, was injured in a co-joint helicopter and drone attack on February 21, 2010. The attack -- reported in the media as "Uruzgan helicopter attack," though victims say they also saw the drone launch missiles -- took place in Kijran District, Daikundi Province (not Uruzgan). According to these civilians, Daikundi was (and still is) a safe, government-controlled province of Afghanistan. The attack killed 21 civilians and injured 14. Saifullah's younger brother, a 23-year-old, was killed from metal shrapnel piercing his head. Saifullah needed a below-knee amputation on his left leg and now lives with a prosthetic. The "Uruzgan Attack" is unique for a US air attack in Afghanistan because it received Western media attention (many don't), and the transcript of the drone crew was successfully obtained by the LA Times through a Freedom of Information Act request. It is the only publicly available drone transcript. Media reporting of the event reveals the civilian casualty count. Saifullah's testimony is much more horrifying:
I heard everybody shouting and crying…. I saw pieces of bodies, even pieces like the size of this cup [points]. I lost my brother. My leg was broken and it was very painful. It is very difficult to see that situation with your own eyes, even for me to say it now. I hope that God does not show that kind of scene to anyone.
Seven years after that dreadful day, Saifullah is still feeling the impact. He has nightmares that wake him in a sweat, he discontinued his university education because his memory and concentration have since weakened, and he sometimes avoids seeing his nephew because it is too upsetting to be reminded of his dead brother.
Saifullah, a drone attack victim, lost his leg and the trauma to his head stopped him from concentrating at university. Credit: Alex Edney-BrowneSaifullah, a drone attack victim, lost his leg and the trauma to his head stopped him from concentrating at university. (Photo: Alex Edney-Browne)Thankfully drones rarely fly over Daikundi province, so Saifullah only sees and/or hears them once or twice a year when he travels to other provinces. This is a relief, as he finds the sound "very disturbing," and fears there will be "another attack on me or some other innocent civilians."
Meanwhile Abdul Qodus, a 45-year-old from Wardak Province, cannot escape being transported back to the day of the attack that killed his brother. The Bnngina (the name given to drones in Wardak) flies over regularly. "All day and all night it is there," he laments. "It is nonstop in our village." This did not seem to be an exaggeration: Abdul had even heard a drone the evening prior to our meeting. "All night I did not sleep more than two hours," he told me. Abdul's brother, a farmer, was killed in 2014. He was working alone -- taking goats up to the mountain -- when he was hit by a drone missile.

"I heard the drone attack and I ran to the mountain. The first thing I saw was the pieces of my brother's body."

"I heard the drone attack and I got out of the house, because I knew my brother had taken goats to the mountain and I thought maybe he has been attacked, and I ran to the mountain," he added. "The first thing I saw was the pieces of my brother's body."
Abdul and his family's lives have changed drastically since the death of his brother. They are now scared of taking their animals to the mountain. "This affects our financial situation. Because we don't have much land, we need to use the grass at the mountain. Our lives are connected to our animals."
Abdul described how the lives of the whole community had been disrupted by drone attacks on the mountain. Before Abdul's brother's death, four other civilians had also been killed on the mountain in a separate drone attack.
"We are a mountain village," he told me. "We go to the mountain to collect wood for fuel, for fires. We need it for our cooking and to make bread. We collect mushrooms and mountain leeks. We get water from the mountain, too, because there is a spring there. We use it to irrigate our farms."

Villagers are worried that the drones' surveillance cameras will mistake their innocent behavior for something nefarious.

Many other rural Afghans echoed that the ill effects of drones were felt not just at the individual and familial level, but also by the wider community. Villagers are worried that the drones' surveillance cameras will mistake their innocent behavior for something nefarious. "When there is a jirga [local meeting] in the village and a drone goes around, we are afraid because we think the meeting will be attacked," Shanaky Gul, a 25-year-old from Wardak Province, said.  Congregations of Afghan civilians have been targeted in the past. A study by Stanford Law School/NYU Legal Clinic, "Living Under Drones," likewise found that civilians in Waziristan, Pakistan, had stopped participating in communal and social activities because they feared gathering in groups.
Long-Term Strategy?
It is hard to fathom the long-term effects of drone-induced fear on the psycho-social health of Afghan people and their communities. It is clear, however, that the task of diplomacy and improving security is made more difficult as a result. An overwhelming majority of the Afghan drone victims interviewed voiced unfavorable views about the United States and its allies. How will Afghanistan's next generation of community leaders and politicians, who have grown up living under the buzz of drones, feel towards the nations responsible for operating them? A troop surge will not improve this diplomatic impasse. Ahmad, a 21-year-old elementary school teacher from Wardak Province, put it this way: "We don't want to have relations with the militaries of foreign countries. We don't want it and we don't like them. The ordinary people like you -- we like them and we want to have connections with them."   
Meanwhile, President Trump has repeatedly declared that he will "destroy radical Islamic terrorism," but has consistently shown that he does not understand the conditions in which terrorism thrives, overlooking the fact that  the Taliban has capitalized on anger caused by drones in its propaganda material and the madrassas (schools) it funds in Eastern Afghanistan.

"We cannot care as well for our farms as before," Abdul told me. "When we go, we go with fear, we go quickly."

The psycho-social toll of drone warfare and its knock-on effects for cross-cultural relations and security are missed by most drone warfare criticism. As I witnessed in Afghanistan, the wide-ranging and long-term negative impact of drone warfare go far beyond the civilian casualty statistics most often cited, affecting the lives of all who live in the areas patrolled by drones.
"We cannot care as well for our farms as before," Abdul told me. "When we go, we go with fear, we go quickly." 
Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

ALEX EDNEY-BROWNE

Alex Edney-Browne is a Ph.D. researcher in international relations at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her thesis investigates people's lived experiences of drone warfare, both Afghan civilians and US Air Force drone personnel. Follow her on Twitter: @AlexEdneyBrowne.

              Republicans grow increasingly anxious about heading home without a health plan - Washington Post   

    Washington Post

    Republicans grow increasingly anxious about heading home without a health plan
    Washington Post
    The dispute within the Republican Party over health care widened further Friday as President Trump joined with two conservative senators in calling for an outright repeal of the Affordable Care Act if the party fails to agree on an alternative plan by ...
    Trump Warms to Old Idea: Kill Health Law Now, and Replace It LaterNew York Times
    Democrats go in for the kill on ObamaCare repealThe Hill
    Cruz and Lee play inside game in health fightPolitico
    NBCNews.com -ABC News -NPR -Fox News
    all 5,984 news articles »

              When Dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world - Washington Post   

    Washington Post

    When Dad's the president — a look inside Ivanka Trump's complicated world
    Washington Post
    Ivanka Trump's office: clean, white, quiet. A zone of punctual start times and promptly-offered water bottles, and a conference table at which she conducts meetings. A short, winding walk away from her father's Oval Office downstairs. She does not ...
    The week in politicsCNN
    White House says Spanish-version website still comingThe Hill
    Trump Wants To Rewrite Obama's Overtime ReformsHuffPost
    CBS News -New York Daily News -Washington Examiner -MarketWatch
    all 163 news articles »

              Obama’s Transgender Troop Plan Paused By Pentagon   
    transgender

    Former President Barack Obama Coasted through his lame duck presidency with seemingly only one major issue to address: Transgendered Americans.

    The post Obama’s Transgender Troop Plan Paused By Pentagon appeared first on The Constitution.


              Shocking New Report finds Obamaphone Fraud as High as 65%!   

    A massive portion of Obamaphone recipients are receiving the benefit after lying on their applications, according to a new 90-page reportfrom the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

    The post Shocking New Report finds Obamaphone Fraud as High as 65%! appeared first on The Constitution.


              Live Oversight Hearing: ‘White House Narratives on the Iran Nuclear deal’   
    The House Oversight and Reform Committee led by Rep. Jason Chaffetz is holding a hearing this morning titled, “White House narratives on the Iran Nuclear Deal” to examine the process by which the Obama administration negotiated the Nuke deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes was invited to appear … Continue reading
              Obama’s Immoral Welfare Regime as Explained By a Radio Talk Show Caller   
    Joe, a self-employed construction worker from Caret Virginia, called into the Mark Levin Show Wednesday to “bust the myth” about the minimum wage. Joe was bitter because he has always worked hard and played by the rules, while illegal immigrants and welfare cheats make their living off of the American taxpayer. He said that the … Continue reading
              Saturday Movie Matinee: PRESIDENT FAILURE’S SMART DIPLOMACY   
    Truth Revolt Videos: PRESIDENT FAILURE’S SMART DIPLOMACY: James Rosen: Obama Administration ‘Unquestionably’ Engaged In Deception To Sell Iran Nuclear Deal: SEE ALSO: The Daily Mail: White House BRAGS about how it tricked reporters into cheerleading for Obama’s Iran nuclear deal by creating a media ‘echo chamber’ Belmont Club: The Men Who Would Be King Washington Post: Why the … Continue reading
              Cerita Obama soal Tempe dan Es Kelapa Muda   
    "Ke Jakarta lagi, saya lihat banyak yang berubah. Jalan-jalan berubah, dan my kampong yaitu di Menteng Dalam," ujar Obama.
              Bicara Keberagaman RI, Obama Fasih Ucapkan Bhinneka Tunggal Ika   
    Obama memuji toleransi dan keberagaman Indonesia. 
              Comment on Nina Turner: It Is Not Our Job to Fit Into the Democratic Establishment by Nir Haramati   
    I say very clearly, rather than imply, that a politician has more than just the responsibility for promoting his politics. The rest of your comment is presumptuous. It also misses the point. What I did say is that if progressives cannot promote their agenda, the idea it is fine for them to undermine liberal agenda is dangerous, counterproductive, and to me, completely moronic and incomprehensible. It is doubly so now, when the contrast between Obama and Trump is so vivid. To answer your odd question, progressive are political minority, both within Democratic politics, and certainly elsewhere. The idea Democrats should ignore that fact and promote progressive policies beyond what progressives actually represent is an implementation of right-wing politics within the liberal camp.
              Comment on Nina Turner: It Is Not Our Job to Fit Into the Democratic Establishment by Nir Haramati   
    "For example, what Nir is saying is that if you insist that slavery be abolished immediately, you are morally at fault." Where am I saying it? "If Nir had his way " What is my way? In any case, what I was actually saying, if you want to use historical examples, is that the current reality is more like refusing to fight in the civil war against the south if the voting Rights act is not implemented immediately. Imagine, for a moment, the New Deal rejected because of a demand to immediate school desegregation, or Obamacare failing because of progressive democrats refusing to sign on anything less than single payer. The reality of the progressive/Democrat debate is more of the nature of all or nothing, coming from progressives, and costing us all Bush AND Trump, than your fraudulent characterization of my words. The idea that as a response to right wing extremism the left must propose equally extremist view is a guaranty of a second civil war, or at best a yo-yo politics.
              Comment on The Health-Care Debacle Has Exposed Republicans for Who They Are by Curtis Carpenter   
    Agree -- and well stated. I think Obama realized that the health care crisis was going to have to be addressed step-by-step over a long period of time, and that the ACA was a necessary, albeit highly imperfect, first step in that journey. I believe we should thank him (and those "corporate democrats" perhaps inadvertently) for setting the public view of the current debate about health care in motion. I see free market mythology as just one face -- but a very important face -- of the philosophical problem that divides us between the "every man for himself" and "we&apos;re all in this together" approaches to our communal lives. The "every man for himself" school is very much in ascendance right now, but the survivors will change that eventually.
              Comment on Nina Turner: It Is Not Our Job to Fit Into the Democratic Establishment by Curtis Carpenter   
    I worked in both Obama campaigns, and was inspired by the commitment of POC to the efforts. Mothers and Fathers were bringing their children with them to the call center where I worked to watch democracy in action while they worked the phones. It was a great experience that I thought might mark a sea change in my state&apos;s politics. Last year though, almost all of those people had vanished. Maybe they were disappointed in Obama and politics in general, maybe they didn&apos;t like Ms. Clinton and the "democratic establishment" -- but whatever the reason, they abandoned our democracy and our progressive causes and contributed to our ending up with Donald Trump. I wonder if Ms. Turner would care to comment on that, and the Pew research here: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/05/12/black-voter-turnout-fell-in-2016-even-as-a-record-number-of-americans-cast-ballots/? Will minority communities turn out in 2018 and 2020, or have they thrown the baby out with the bath water? Will disappointed Berniecrats (I was one), regardless of race, turn out and vote next year, or will they continue to sulk?
               Obamaphones? Tucker Carlson explains how it became "easily the most corrupt welfare program in America"   

    Turns out the entire program is corrupt and fraudulent.


              The G.O.P.'s Medical Malpractice: Either Republicans Don’t Understand Healthcare, or They’re Just Liars   
    healthcare, Obamacare, repeal and replace, GOP healthcare plan, Trumpcare, uninsured Americans, single-payer healthcare, Medicare for All, Mitch McConnell, unregulated markets, free market

    The GOP has already indicted itself as both criminally ignorant and casually hypocritical about the nature of health insurance and the critical role government necessarily plays in it.


              Trump Officials Overseeing Health Care Overhaul Previously Lobbied for Health Insurance Firms   
    Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, Trumpcare, repeal and replace, Republican healthcare plan, healthcare lobbyists, insurance lobby, Tom Price

    Senior Health and Human Services Administration appointees previously worked for insurers seeking to influence the consumer regulations mandated by the ACA.


              Comment on Lynchings and Witch-Trials, Technology-Enhanced by Mike K   
    "The point was to make clear that he is willing to do such things," Napoleon, "If you decide to take Vienna, take Vienna." TR Roosevelt, “We want either Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead.” I don't know if what is going on in Syria is in our national interest. I do know that what Obama did there and in Libya was not. Trump has accomplished one huge beneficial event. Fracking is making the middle east optional.
              Comment on Lynchings and Witch-Trials, Technology-Enhanced by Ginny   
    David, thanks for the John Prine. It is probably another sign of the times that I went to Amazon to order them my husband and kids (the whole family likes him a lot - and a lot more than I do) when I realized they all use a variety of systems - and my husband seldom listens except in the car (when he and his friend had a radio show on the local pbs and did old time music, every session included one John Prine and one in Czech - it's been a long time). But then Prine (and <a href="https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-befrugal-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=befrugal&p=iris+dement+northern+exposure#id=1&vid=0fde93069f30cf5aec058bfa546b674c&action=click" rel="nofollow">Iris Dement </a> for a different take) can be wise. Because we are all a mixture of responses, it is hard not to want the approval of others. In fact, I don't think that instinct is a bad thing - generally, in a virtuous society people are respected because they are worthy of respect. We threw off in the 60's a lot of quite reasonable traditions and worked at being neither virtuous nor respectable. I don't think that was wise - I don't think it is useful to spend too much regretting my youth but at least its a cautionary tale. Of course, sometimes we rebelled because we wanted the approval of a stoned petty Marxist. Oh, well. But it takes a lot of toughness to not care what the entire press corps thinks of you - and that is the kind of president we need. The press has proven to us that they are not virtuous in their perspectives and values. Their attitude toward the Tea Party, toward both the Clintons, toward Sarah Palin, toward Bush and Romney, toward Obama and Holder showed they had no idea what the virtuous life was. To be able to distinguish between compromising important values for popularity and acting in a way that is praised rightfully takes a strong character and a very clear inner compass. I like the idea that Trump is the guy with the red laser that keeps all the kittens distracted and running around - is that Steyn's analogy? The big question is, would the health care bill be getting through if the press were less distracted? Or would they be tearing it apart, declaring 93 billion or whatever would die, and this way Congress can more quietly work? Does this mean that the changes in Interior, Education, Energy, etc. aren't going to be appreciated, or does it mean that they can be enacted without crowds of protesters because, somehow, no one told them what was going on? I'd like to know - but I guess it will only be the results a decade from now that can make us sure.
              Obama criticises Trump in Indonesia speech for withdrawal from Paris climate deal   

    Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer View text version of this page Help using this website - Accessibility statement Join today and you can easily save your favourite articles, join in the conversation and comment, plus select which news your want direct to your inbox. Join today and you can easily save your favourite articles, join in the conversation and comment, plus select which news your want direct to your inbox.


              The Reluctant Regulator   

    Congress has already begun to engage the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its network neutrality policy. The House Energy and Commerce Commission is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a resolution opposing the new rules. “The last thing we need, in my view, is the FCC serving as Internet traffic controller,” said House Speaker John Boehner in a speech on Sunday.

    With this week’s vote, which could be followed later by a move to defund any network neutrality initiative, Congress continues to press FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the primary author of the new rules, for more justification as to why they are necessary and whether the FCC actually has the authority to implement them. The most controversial of the new rules would prohibit phone and cable companies from charging companies such as Google, Netflix and Facebook for higher quality broadband connections. The most likely result of this rule would be that service providers would instead have to spread these costs across all broadband consumers.

    As Congress continues to debate Genachowski over the merits of network neutrality, Americans have already made up their minds. A Rasmussen Report survey of likely voters conducted in late December—just as the FCC was adopting the new network neutrality rules—just 21 percent of those surveyed favored Internet regulation, while 54 percent said the FCC should keep its hands off the net. The balance was undecided.

    America consumers may not be experts on how Internet technology works, but they do understand the economics of it. Whether it’s a high-tech service or something more tangible like organic produce, consumers know an upgrade in quality usually requires an additional investment.

    Consumers know that the cost of an Internet quality upgrade must be paid for somehow, and they’ve correctly deduced that the FCC, through its network neutrality policy, thinks the source of those funds should be their own wallets, not the coffers of the companies responsible for adding the stress on the network.

    This was all but confirmed when Netflix and its service provider, Level 3 Communications, asked the FCC to stop Comcast and other broadband service providers from charging them higher rates in order to guarantee the quality of bandwidth-crunching Netflix video. By then it was apparent that network neutrality was not about creating a level playing field, as proponents would have you believe, it was about creating a set of regulations that benefited some big players over others.

    Then there are the rules themselves, which fall far short of what neutrality activists originally wanted. The biggest surprise is that they exempt wireless broadband service. FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, an ardent network neutrality supporter, could only muster a lukewarm better-than-nothing endorsement in a statement accompanying their adoption. 

    One cannot help but wonder why wireless was exempted. Now that consumers have seen the potential of devices like the iPhone and iPad, analysts see wireless as a mainstream broadband alternative. Mobile data traffic is expected to increase by a cumulative annual growth rate of more than 100 percent over the next five years, according to BuddeComm, an independent telecommunications market research company. And President Obama considers wireless to be an important part of the national broadband plan.

    For the last five years, we’ve been told that network neutrality is necessary to preserve a free and open Internet. Yet, the FCC endorsed a policy that does not address wireless broadband, which stands to be the single most critical Internet delivery mechanism going forward.

    That’s why Congress is right to question the whole policy outright. If Genachowski appears to be a reluctant regulator, perhaps it is because he simply using network neutrality as a vehicle to expand the FCC’s regulatory authority into broadband territory without considering the consequences that will result from poorly crafted policy.  He may feel he can control his activist impulses, but can we count on the same from his successors?

    It’s not so much that the rules seem less intrusive than originally planned. Genachowski still hasn’t made it clear why we need them at all and worse, he went ahead with them without solid legislative authority to do so. So, forget about what the net neutrality rules do or do not say; there’s no justification for the FCC to be making them at all. 

    Steven Titch is a policy analyst at Reason Foundation. 

     


              The Regulated Internet: How We Got Here   

    In the March issue of Reason, Peter Suderman takes us on a tour of the recent telecom and Internet regulatory scene as he looks at the Federal Communications Commission Chairman and Obama hoops buddy Julius Genachowski and his push to regulate the Web.

    The article, which recaps the five-year network neutrality battle that reached a watershed moment this December when Genachowski all but rammed through the new rules as the rest of D.C. was heading out for the holidays, punctures many of the myths of the network neutrality rationale--including the notion that it is a small site-vs.-large-site issue and that large ISPs were exploiting their bottlenck position.

    Suderman succintly shows how Genachowski, following the lead of groups like Free Press, framed what is essentially a geeky tug-of-war about network engineering concepts as wholesale market failure that demanded regulation, with himself as top Intenet cop.

    But the net neutrality debate doesn’t really pit the Goliaths against the Davids. It’s a battle between the edge of the Internet and the center, with application and content providers (the edge) fighting for control against infrastructure owners (the center). Large business interests dominate both sides of the debate. Google, for example, has long favored some form of net neutrality, as have Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and a smattering of other big content providers, who prefer a Web in which the network acts essentially as a “dumb pipe” to carry their content. Mom-and-pop sites aren’t the issue.

    Google makes its support sound as simple and earnest as its corporate motto of “don’t be evil.” Much like Genachowski, it defines net neutrality as “the concept that the Internet should remain free and open to all comers.” But the freedom and openness that Google claims to prize bear a distinct resemblance to regulatory protection. An Internet in which ISPs can freely discriminate between services, prioritizing some data in order to offer enhanced services to more customers, is an Internet in which content providers may have to pay more to reach their customers. Under Google and Genachowski’s net neutrality regime, ISPs may own the network, but the FCC will have a say in how those networks are run, with a bias toward restrictions that favor content providers.

    The entire article can be found here,

     


              Internet Cop   

    Robert McDowell becomes effusive when talking about the World Wide Web. “The beauty of the Internet is that it has been somewhat lawless,” says the Republican, one of five appointees who run the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The lack of government mandates, McDowell says, has made the Net “the greatest deregulatory success story of all time,” a “sort of libertarian heaven.”

    Is that heaven about to crash down to earth? Julius Genachowski, the man hand-picked by President Barack Obama to chair the FCC, insists not. “I’ve been clear repeatedly that we’re not going to regulate the Internet,” he told The Wall Street Journal in February 2010. But his actions suggest otherwise. Since taking office in June 2009, Genachowski, a tech entrepreneur and former FCC counsel, has led the commission on an unprecedented quest for power over the Web’s network infrastructure, sparking a thunderous, confusing lobbying battle over who gets to control the Net. 

    “If the government starts to get involved with regulation of Internet network management,” McDowell warns, “you’ll start to see the politicization of decisions in that realm.” At this point, there’s no if about it: From his first major speech to a hurried and secretive rulemaking procedure in the final weeks of 2010, Genachowski has made it his mission to plant the seeds of government control within the core of the Internet—all under the guise of “preserving Internet freedom.”

    They Call It Net Neutrality

    Like so many political slogans, Internet freedom sounds great. But what does it mean in practice? For Genachowski and the rest of the Obama administration, “Internet freedom” is a feel-good euphemism for the techie idea known as “net neutrality.”

    At its most basic, net neutrality is the belief that all bits and bytes that travel over the Internet should be treated equally: no discrimination, no paid prioritization, just first-come-first-served access for everyone all the time. As an egalitarian approach to the Web, it is more a pre-technical philosophy than a clear guide to managing network infrastructure. The applied theory of net neutrality is that routers—the traffic management devices that send packets of information from one computer or server to the next—should treat each piece of information like every other piece, be it an email message, a video, a game, or 3D porn. This is not a bad idea; indeed, it is largely how the Internet works already. But net neutrality advocates warn that without federal intervention, corporate giants won’t leave it this way for long; they will begin setting up pricey, priority-traffic toll roads across the Web.

    The neutrality concept is a direct descendant of “common carrier” regulation of phone companies. When wire-based phone networks ruled the earth, they were treated as public utilities. The feds forced them to share their infrastructure with their competitors at regulated rates, a restriction on their property rights that was enforced under the pleasant-sounding banner of “equal access.”

    It didn’t take long for politicians to start fretting about equal access on the Web. In a 1994 speech, Vice President Al Gore pondered this loaded question: “How can government ensure that the [emerging Internet] will permit everyone to be able to compete with everyone else for the opportunity to provide any service to all willing customers? Next, how can we ensure that this new marketplace reaches the entire nation?” Access, opportunity, competition—how would these goals ever be achieved without the government’s involvement?

    Answer: easily. Internet access exploded throughout the late 1990s and the following decade—no federal broadband regulation required. By 1999 more than 30 million people could dial in from their homes. The Net’s success in the absence of regulation was so apparent that even Democratic bureaucrats preached the gospel of nonintervention: In 1999 FCC Chairman William Kennard declared in a speech that “if we’ve learned anything about the Internet in government over the last 15 years, it’s that it thrived quite nicely without the intervention of government.” In the same speech, Kennard made the case for what he called a “high-tech Hippocratic Oath” for regulators: First, do no harm.

    It worked. During the following decade, online activity exploded. Between 2001 and 2008, online commercial activity—which for all practical purposes did not exist the decade before—became big business, rising from about $8 billion a year to about $42 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. Simultaneously, broadband Internet access rapidly blazed a path from high-tech luxury service to mass-market must-have. In 2000 just 3 percent of homes had broadband access. By 2010 the figure had climbed to 66 percent, according to a report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

    But the net’s success only made activists more vehement that it must be “preserved” through regulation. That’s where net neutrality came in. In 2005, under the leadership of Republican Chairman Kevin Martin, the FCC adopted four “policy statements” outlining the principles that should govern Internet use and operation. Users, the commission asserted, are entitled to access their choice of lawful content, to use applications and services as they wish, to connect legal devices to the network provided they do no harm, and to enjoy the effects of competition among providers and networks. But these statements of principle were not regulations, and thus of dubious enforceability.  

    At first, the push for net neutrality was targeted at wire-line carriers—cable companies, DSL providers, and others who delivered Internet connections to fixed locations using expensive-to-install conduits. But by 2007, calls for net neutrality expanded to the growing wireless Internet, bringing mobile data networks like those operated by AT&T and Verizon into the crosshairs. Net neutrality gave online Democratic activists—the “netroots”—an issue in which “equality” was on one side and discriminatory corporations on the other. The sin of these corporate villains? Denying network access to those unwilling to pay for it.

    “Network giants believe they should be able to charge Web site operators, application providers and device manufacturers for the right to use the network,” the progressive media activists at Free Press warned in their online guide to the issue. “Those who don’t make a deal and pay up will experience discrimination: Their sites won’t load as quickly, and their applications and devices won’t work as well.”

    The issue never really caught on with the broader public, but it did become a partisan rallying cry. In 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama made net neutrality a campaign promise, vowing to achieve it through the FCC. The promise was politically smart. Although regulating Internet traffic was barely raising eyebrows among average voters—most of whom were busy enjoying easy access to the Internet—the idea was much loved by two groups important to Obama: the digitally savvy army of online activists whose fund raising and organizing helped put the president in office, and a collection of high-flying, Democrat-supporting Silicon Valley companies. Netroots powerhouses such as Moveon.org got an issue to motivate and deliver their progressive base, while content-delivery behemoths such as Google (whose CEO, Eric Schmidt, took a week off to campaign for Obama) got a policy wedge against the Net’s infrastructure gatekeepers. Both camps expected a payoff in exchange for their support.

    Obama’s Basketball Buddy

    After Obama was elected, it fell to Julius Genachowski to make good on the campaign promise. The president didn’t just assure supporters that his administration would pursue net neutrality through the FCC; he named a close personal friend and a net neutrality true believer as the commission’s chairman to get the job done right. (Genachowski’s office declined a request for an interview.)

    Genachowski has been friends with Obama for decades. The two were classmates at Harvard Law School, where they worked together on the Harvard Law Review and, according to The New York Times, were “basketball buddies.” Genachowski, who has spent much of his professional career zig-zagging through Silicon Valley, served Obama’s campaign as chairman of the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Policy Working Group.

    The two men have remained tight since Obama took office: Between January 31 and August 31, 2009, official records show that Genachowski visited the White House 47 times, more than any other agency head. (Sixteen of those visits came before Genachowski had even assumed office.) The next most frequent visitor among agency chiefs was Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who dropped by just five times during the same period.

    The FCC chairman’s private-sector background includes stints at the sort of content companies that tend to favor neutrality rules. Genachowski helped launch Rock Creek Ventures, which funds and consults for “digital media and commerce companies,” and he has served as a director for a number of large Web portals, including Web.com and Beliefnet. According to his fellow FCC commissioner, Meredith Baker, “The chairman’s starting point is at the edge, application side of the [Internet] ecosystem. I don’t think that’s to the exclusion of the networks and their important role, but he starts in Silicon Valley.”

    The outline of Genachowski’s ideas for neutrality regulation was unveiled at his first major address as the nation’s top communication regulator, a September 2009 speech at the center-left Brookings Institution. Genachowski reiterated at nine separate points the Obama administration’s promise to ensure that the Web would remain “free and open.” The phrase even appeared in the title of his talk: “Preserving a Free and Open Internet: A Platform for Innovation, Opportunity, Prosperity.”

    The chairman’s speech didn’t answer the obvious question that has long nagged net neutrality skeptics: preserving it from what? But his remarks did address the question of how: The FCC, Genachowski said, must be “a smart cop on the [Internet] beat.” To fulfill that role, the commission would both beef up its authority and grant itself wide discretion in how to use it. “I will propose that the FCC evaluate alleged violations of the non-discrimination principle as they arise, on a case-by-case basis,” the chairman promised. Clear and straightforward rules were out. Regulators’ whims were in.

    Genachowski proposed taking his predecessor Kevin Martin’s four principles—access to legal content, unrestricted use of services, device interoperability, and provider competition—and codifying them into law. He also wanted to add two more.

    The first, and more controversial, of his additions would prohibit broadband providers from discriminating against “particular Internet content or applications.” In theory, the nondiscrimination provision would mean that the FCC could prohibit service providers from, say, blocking access to certain websites, or prioritizing the traffic to a particular company’s service (for instance, giving priority to videos from corporate partners over those from competing services). But the case-by-case standard would provide the agency with considerable leeway to decide when to step in.

    The second new principle would require ISPs to be “transparent about their network management practices.” Basically, if service providers selectively slowed traffic for a particular application—say, the peer-to-peer service BitTorrent, which is frequently used to share movies, TV shows, and other large files—or capped a user’s total bandwidth for a given pay period, they’d have to notify consumers in plain English. Genachowski also hoped to extend the rules to wireless data networks such as those used by iPhones and Blackberries.

    Genachowski’s speech was couched in the rhetoric of choice, innovation, and openness. But in framing his proposal as an attempt to preserve the Internet’s existing virtues, he masked the fact that it would represent an unprecedented expansion of federal control over the nation’s information infrastructure. And although no one knew it at the time, his plan presaged a sweeping attempt to subject broadband providers to an entirely different, and far more restrictive, regulatory classification.

    A Solution in Search of a Problem

    Genachowski’s speech targeted discriminatory practices by ISPs. But it did not cite any specific examples of such behavior, perhaps because neither Genachowski nor any other net neutrality supporter has ever identified more than a handful of instances in which the Internet’s openness has actually been violated. Indeed, it is hard to get a handle on what, exactly, strict neutrality rules are intended to prevent.

    In October 2010, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a list of 10 alleged net neutrality violations. But as horror shows go, it wasn’t very scary. For starters, the list included two actions taken by ISPs in Canada, which suggests how far advocates have had to stretch to find real-world examples. It also included AT&T’s 2007 decision to excise Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder’s attacks on President George W. Bush during a live stream of a concert. But that decision wasn’t made by AT&T in its role as a network provider; it was made at the broadcast level by the team in charge of running the show, in the same way that an MTV video crew might bleep a curse word from a live awards ceremony. Also on the list: an allegation that BellSouth censored MySpace by denying access to some users—despite the fact BellSouth says the event was merely a glitch, an explanation no evidence has yet contradicted.

    The ACLU also listed Verizon’s 2007 refusal to send a mass text message from the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America. Verizon maintained that it had the right to block “controversial” content of any kind—essentially, that it needed to be sensitive to bulk messages that it agreed to send over its network. Julian Sanchez, a research fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute (and former reason staffer), describes it as “a case where the company is partnering with the provider in a way that goes beyond carriage, because they’re also effectively acting as a payment processor. That means they’ll have an interest in vetting partners in a way you wouldn’t expect a mere carrier to vet every content provider on the network.” Regardless, after a loud public outcry, Verizon reversed the decision within one day.

    Consumer agitation also played a role in resolving the most notorious net neutrality violation. In 2007, the press began to report that Comcast was secretly slowing some users’ access to BitTorrent. The company said it was merely attempting to prevent network congestion—and thus keep overall access and user speeds up—by slowing applications that were suspected of hogging bandwidth. By spring 2008, Comcast, under intense customer pressure, adjusted its network management practices so that specific applications such as BitTorrent would not be targeted. Consumer agitation had solved the problem, but the Bush FCC later censured the company anyway.

    The punishment was largely symbolic, but was intended to send the message that the FCC would take official action to ensure net neutrality. “We are saying that network operators can’t block people from getting access to any content and any applications,” then-chairman Kevin Martin told The New York Times in August 2008. Comcast challenged the decision in court.

    This lack of clearly defined violations has never stopped net neutrality advocates from using Comcast and other big broadband providers as convenient corporate villains. On the campaign trail, Barack Obama warned that without net neutrality, “mom and pop sites” could suffer at the hands of greedy network behemoths.

    But the net neutrality debate doesn’t really pit the Goliaths against the Davids. It’s a battle between the edge of the Internet and the center, with application and content providers (the edge) fighting for control against infrastructure owners (the center). Large business interests dominate both sides of the debate. Google, for example, has long favored some form of net neutrality, as have Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and a smattering of other big content providers, who prefer a Web in which the network acts essentially as a “dumb pipe” to carry their content. Mom-and-pop sites aren’t the issue.

    Google makes its support sound as simple and earnest as its corporate motto of “don’t be evil.” Much like Genachowski, it defines net neutrality as “the concept that the Internet should remain free and open to all comers.” But the freedom and openness that Google claims to prize bear a distinct resemblance to regulatory protection. An Internet in which ISPs can freely discriminate between services, prioritizing some data in order to offer enhanced services to more customers, is an Internet in which content providers may have to pay more to reach their customers. Under Google and Genachowski’s net neutrality regime, ISPs may own the network, but the FCC will have a say in how those networks are run, with a bias toward restrictions that favor content providers.

    Battle Lines

    Yet for many of net neutrality’s most vocal supporters, Genachowski’s proposal didn’t go far enough. In November 2009, Columbia law professor Timothy Wu, who popularized the term net neutrality in a 2002 paper, co-signed a letter with other left-leaning academics warning that an early draft of the FCC plan was too vague and might not sufficiently restrict ISP behavior. Building on that letter, the “media reform” group Free Press warned that the ambiguity “would undermine the future of Internet freedom.”

    Free Press serves as the nexus for the netroots’ net neutrality efforts. Founded by Josh Silver, who’d previously helped run a state-based campaign for publicly funded elections, and the leftist media theorist Robert McChesney, the group touts a radical, anti-corporate vision of government control over the media. In 2002, the year Free Press was founded, McChesney co-wrote a book, Our Media, Not Theirs: The Democratic Struggle Against Corporate Media, which declared “the need to promote an understanding of the urgency to assert public control over the media.” 

    Despite its relative newness and its radical ideas, Free Press has had an outsized influence on the net neutrality debate. It has a former staffer in the FCC chairman’s office: In June 2009, Jen Howard left her job as press director for Free Press to become Genachowski’s press secretary. The group also benefited from its longstanding alliance with MoveOn.org, a netroots giant with massive influence on progressive politics.

    Free Press has used its influence to push the FCC toward the strictest regulations possible. By opposing Genachowski’s initial rule proposal as too lax, the coalition made it clear that only the heaviest regulatory burden would do. And Free Press hasn’t been afraid to turn its fire on the chairman. In July the group created a mocked-up “Wanted” poster using a photo of Genachowski’s face and encouraged activists to post it “all over Chicago” during an FCC meeting there. FCC insiders say the group’s influence is strongly felt. According to Commissioner Baker, the chairman “is under tremendous pressure from the netroots base not to compromise on net neutrality.”

    While Free Press was busy trying to save the Internet from vaguely defined ISP threats, opposition to Internet interference began to coalesce. In September 2009, the free market telecommunication scholars Adam Thierer and Berin Szoka, then employed by the Progress & Freedom Foundation, wrote in Forbes that “the presumption of online liberty is giving way to a presumption of regulation.” They warned that despite efforts to make the net neutrality proposal seem harmless, it would inevitably lead to a massive increase in federal regulation of the nation’s information infrastructure. “Real Internet Freedom,” they wrote, “is about to start dying a death by a thousand regulatory cuts.”

    Broadband providers, naturally, worried too. “In the ’90s,” says Hank Hultquist, a vice president in AT&T’s federal regulatory division, “the FCC decided that it was not going to regulate the Internet in the way that we regulate phone service.” But despite an initial bipartisan consensus against regulating the Net, there was always dissent. As the Web matured, that dissent grew, and when the Obama administration took power, it gave dissenters the keys to the regulatory command post.

    Following Genachowski’s Brookings Institution speech, Commissioners Baker and McDowell went public with their skepticism about the regulatory push. Nevertheless, in the months immediately afterward, Genachowski began the lengthy process of writing and reviewing his rule proposal. The plan that emerged closely resembled the structure that Genachowski had proposed in his speech. At the end of October, when the commission voted on the proposal and published it, both Baker and McDowell dissented from the “factual and legal predicates” underlying the report. But they were in the minority.

    ‘An Unbridled, Roving Commission’

    Yet the FCC still did not have clearly enforceable rules governing net neutrality. Martin’s principles were the only clear statements on the books. And even as the bureaucratic process rolled forward, the agency’s authority to oversee broadband traffic—and thus to regulate net neutrality—was being challenged in federal court as a result of the 2008 BitTorrent decision.

    Comcast owned up to slowing some users’ connections when they were using BitTorrent. But it maintained that the agency’s philosophical statements about Internet openness, which the FCC had relied on for its censure, were merely guidelines and therefore legally unenforceable. The FCC responded that it could enforce them under the doctrine of “ancillary jurisdiction,” a legal concept under which an agency claims the authority to issue regulations necessary to meet its statutory responsibilities. To uphold its net neutrality policy statements, the FCC argued, it needed to oversee broadband traffic management practices such as Comcast’s treatment of BitTorrent.

    Because the policy statements weren’t codified, the FCC had a tough time convincing D.C. Circuit Judge A. Raymond Randolph that it had a statutory responsibility to uphold them. In January 2010, Randolph signaled during oral arguments that he might take Comcast’s side. “You have yet to identify a specific statute” that gives the FCC clear authority to regulate, he told the agency’s lawyers. He seemed exasperated, saying vague statements of principle are no replacement for concrete rules. “You can’t get an unbridled, roving commission to go about doing good,” he said.

    In April, Randolph laid down the law: “Policy statements are just that—statements of policy,” he wrote. “They are not delegations of regulatory authority.” The decision wreaked havoc with the net neutrality rulemaking process. Codifying the policy statements into new rules would do little to ensure the FCC’s authority to regulate because those rules would still lack a statutory basis. Congress had never given the agency a clear directive to enforce neutrality. Without statutory authority to regulate broadband data management, what could the FCC do?

    A few options quickly became apparent. First, the agency could drop its pursuit of net neutrality. But given the fact that the policy was an explicit campaign promise, and given the political pressure from groups like Free Press, that seemed unlikely. Second, the FCC could wait for Congress to give it explicit statutory authority. But with the health care battle recently ended, and with Democrats headed for what promised to be a sizable loss in the November elections, there was little appetite for a controversial new regulatory initiative—especially one that would make congressional supporters vulnerable to accusations that they wanted to control the Internet. 

    The Trouble With Title II

    And then there was the most extreme option. Instead of pursuing net neutrality through ancillary jurisdiction, as it had already attempted, the commission could move broadband service into the same regulatory category as telephone lines. Rather than regulating broadband providers under Title I of the Communications Act, as information services, it could regulate them under Title II, as telecommunication services. After Randolph’s decision, Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps immediately signaled that he favored this route.

    It sounds like a small change, but in fact it would be enormous. Title II was designed for legacy phone networks and was written before broadband existed. If the FCC could pull off this shift, it would have far greater power than before. The Net’s core would effectively be transformed into a public utility subject to the whims of regulators.

    But this approach was sure to provoke a drawn-out legal battle. As an executive branch agency, the FCC does not have the power to define its own governing statutes. That’s Congress’ job. And nowhere in the commission’s governing statutes did Congress bestow upon it the power to reclassify broadband providers as telecommunication services. If the FCC pursued the Title II strategy, several ISPs warned in a joint statement in February 2010, the industry would be wracked by “years of litigation and regulatory chaos.” That wasn’t just a prediction; it was a threat. 

    The legal complexities of reclassifying broadband service were only part of the problem. Broadband providers warned repeatedly that strict net neutrality rules would derail capital investment, an argument seconded by telecommunication labor unions. In July the Communications Workers of America released a statement declaring that “the ‘reclassification path’ will lead to years of litigation and regulatory uncertainty that will reduce broadband investment and jobs.” That promised to put the policy in conflict with one of the agency’s other top priorities. 

    At the same time the FCC has been pursuing net neutrality, it has been putting together a National Broadband Plan meant to spark broadband investment and deployment in underserved regions, a plan the Obama administration has persisted with despite surveys showing that most Americans don’t want the government involved in promoting broadband. The FCC’s own estimates put the cost of this plan at $350 billion, the bulk of which is presumed to come from investment within the industry. Rules that make such investment less lucrative make the broadband plan tougher to implement.

    It was enough to make even the most determined regulator anxious. Which may be why, in May 2010, Genachowski announced that the FCC would take a step toward reclassifying broadband—but only a tentative one. Rather than release rules, the agency would issue a notice of inquiry asking for input about the possibility of switching broadband to Title II—the bureaucratic equivalent of winking at your friend and asking, “Hypothetically, what if we were to do this?” In a further sign of Genachowski’s anxiety, the FCC’s notice did not propose applying the full regulatory power of Title II to broadband providers. Instead, it suggested what Genachowski called the “Third Way,” under which the agency would give up some of its potential Title II authority in the hope of erecting “meaningful boundaries to guard against regulatory overreach.”

    But the few boundaries to regulation the FCC proposed were not very meaningful. Larry Downes, a fellow at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society, argues that regulating broadband providers like old-style telephone services could have a host of unintended effects, such as adding new consumer fees, giving local governments greater authority to impose a patchwork of confusing and contradictory regulations, and even giving the federal government greater leeway to wiretap electronic communications. 

    The difference, Downes says, is plain to see when you compare the evolution of Title I broadband service to the evolution of Title II phone carriers. “Under Title I, we’ve had the Internet revolution,” he wrote on his eponymous website in March. By contrast, under Title II, “we’ve had the decline and fall of basic wireline phone service…and the continued corruption of local licensing authorities.”

    Even advocates of the switch seemed to admit that the move would open up the regulatory floodgates: According to a January 2010 FCC filing by Public Knowledge, one of the most active pro-neutrality groups, “Reclassification would…expand the range of opportunities for more aggressive regulatory steps.”

    The idea also faced opposition from Congress, particularly in the House, where a majority of members—including 72 Democrats—expressed disapproval of the plan in letters sent last May. And behind the scenes, sources say, the White House economic team expressed concern that the FCC’s pursuit of strict, investment-killing net neutrality rules was a distraction that would be bad for growth in the telecommunications sector.

    Fear of Compromise

    Free Press was having none of it. The group mounted a months-long campaign pushing Genachowski to formally declare his intention to proceed with a Title II reclassification. In November Free Press urged its members to sign and email the chairman a prewritten letter urging him to reclassify broadband so that the FCC “can keep the Internet open and free of corporate gatekeepers.” By the end of November, Genachowski looked stuck.

    Free Press has declared that only the strictest approach to Internet regulation is acceptable. Yet the voting public appears unmoved by the neutrality agenda. Every single one of the 95 congressional candidates who signed a petition pledging to support neutrality lost in the 2010 elections. Meanwhile, Congress wasn’t being supportive, and industry players on both sides of the issue were increasingly seeking compromise. In August, for example, Google and Verizon proposed a joint policy framework—essentially a loosely defined model regulatory structure—that would impose some restrictions on wire-line providers but would leave wireless data networks, widely believed to be the future of the Net, largely untouched.

    A similar proposal made its way into legislative form at the end of September, when Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released a short proposal subjecting wire-line providers to basic nondiscrimination rules but strictly forbidding the FCC from pursuing any form of Title II reclassification. The legislation appeared right before Congress was scheduled to end its session, and Republicans, citing the short time frame, declined to support it. But AT&T, which has long opposed any sort of neutrality regulations, was enthusiastic, and conservative activist groups quietly urged their members and contacts to push Republicans to vote for the proposal. Republicans clearly wanted to wait until after the November elections to act, but the interest from both industry and conservative activists suggests that something like the Waxman bill could eventually garner bipartisan support.

    As 2010 progressed, Genachowski faced the unpleasant choice of either risking the wrath of MoveOn.org or giving in to Free Press’ demands, despite their mounting unpopularity and the years-long legal battle that would result from trying to satisfy them. Initially, he opted to wait. 

    In September, Genachowski decided the FCC would delay any Title II decision until after the elections, implicitly acknowledging the messy politics of the situation. The day after the elections, he announced that neutrality would not be on the agenda for the commission’s November 30 meeting, buying him time to take the temperature of the new Congress and see what might be done during the upcoming lame-duck session.

    At the beginning of December, Genachowski finally made his move, announcing that the FCC would vote on a net neutrality proposal within a few weeks. The proposal would be based roughly on the Waxman bill and anchored firmly under Title I, broadband’s current regulatory category. Never mind that a court had already declared the FCC’s previous justifications for Internet regulation insufficient, making a legal challenge inevitable. When the lawsuit arrived, the FCC would come up with a new justification, ancillary to some currently untapped statutory provision. Conveniently, says Larry Downes, “the D.C. Circuit opinion left some wiggle room, suggesting that even though the commission had failed to find a provision in the law that its adjudication was ‘ancillary’ to, there might be some that weren’t advanced.”

    Meanwhile, the time for comments on the neutrality proposal was limited to less than three weeks—far shorter than the comment period granted for the initial rule and the Notice of Inquiry. Normally the short comment period would have been the biggest cause of commotion surrounding the proceedings. But in this case, there was very little of substance for anyone to get excited about. In a highly unusual move, Genachowski decided to keep the text of the proposal secret until after it passed. The gist, though, was made plain enough by Genachowski’s remarks at vote: The FCC would finally have a rule prohibiting “unreasonable discrimination” on the major wired networks.  And who would be in charge of determining what sort of network management practices were “unreasonable?” Why, none other than the FCC. 

     The remnants of a once firmly held bipartisan consensus that the Internet operates best when the government leaves it alone were strong enough to block the most radical elements of the Left’s net neutrality wish list, at least temporarily. And the rules will be challenged in court as well as Congress, where congressional Republicans were already threatening to use their new found oversight powers to make Genachowski’s life difficult.

    But Genachowski has finally managed to plant regulatory roots within the Net. On December 21, 2010, the agency voted 3-2 to pass a major regulatory order that no one outside the FCC had been allowed to see. Genachowski’s power grab had been accomplished in haste and secrecy as a lame-duck Congress prepared for Christmas, but he had successfully fulfilled the president’s promise and asserted federal control over the sprawling core of the Net. Commissioner McDowell’s “greatest deregulatory success story of all time” has given way to empowered regulators. The Internet, after luxuriating in lawless freedom, finally has its own cop. 

    Peter Suderman is an associate editor at reason. This column first appeared at Reason.com.


              Obama Isn't Fooling Anyone   

    President Barack Obama penned a witty Wall Street Journal op-ed this week, titled "Toward a 21st-Century Regulatory System."

    In it, he extolled the virtues of a free market system. And to prove that his admiration of capitalism has nothing to do with naked political expediency, Obama signed an executive order that will "root out regulations that conflict, that are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb."

    Sounds rather subjective, though, don't you think? How do we gauge excessive regulation in the Age of Obama? I can't recall a single federal program, piece of legislation, or proposal in the past two years that was initiated to ease the burden on consumers or businesses. (If you know of any, please send specifics to sorry@dowelooklikesuckers.com.)

    Obama doesn't have to look far, if he's serious. Nor does he need an executive order. Right now, the Environmental Protection Agency is drafting carbon rules to force on states, even though a similarly torturous 2,000 pages on a cap-and-trade scheme intending to make power more expensive was rejected. Maybe there's something in that pile of paper to mine.

    Also, the Federal Communications Commission is shoving network neutrality in the pipeline—again, bypassing Congress—so government can regulate the Internet for the first time in history, though the commissioners themselves admit that as of now, any need for rules are based on the what-ifs of their imaginations.

    There exists no legislation more burdensome and expensive than the job-crushing (not "job-killing," because, naturally, we can't stand for that kind of imagery) Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, formerly known as ObamaCare and presently being symbolically repealed by House Republicans.

    That's for starters.

    But, of course, there will be no tangible regulatory relief. The Federal Register is a codex of moral well-being, after all. Regulatory schemes are how we make life fairer, the sick healthy, the economy recession-proof, and green energy a reality. It's how we stop the rich from acting selfishly and the weak from stuffing fat kids with Sno Balls.

    Last May, a New York Times story, "With Obama, Regulations Are Back in Fashion," laid out how the administration had "pressed forward on hundreds of new mandates." In it, we have what seems like half the White House championing the pettiest of regulations as an ethical imperative.

    Our bureaucratic agencies have nearly infinite power to do good via rule-making—once they are in, that is. Keep in mind that the rule allowing "end-of-life" counseling paid for by Medicare was inserted into ObamaCare after passage and only nixed after an ensuing outcry.

    It, like thousands of other additions, will return.

    A Small Business Administration study says total regulatory costs that businesses (and thus consumers) pay amount to about $1.75 trillion—more than all collected personal income taxes. The Competitive Enterprise Institute found in this past year that the appearance of new rules—including "major" rules that cost more than $100 million annually—had dramatically accelerated.

    Which isn't surprising.

    When Obama was in a place of political comfort, the free market was a place of unhinged self-interest, unfairness, and misery. Nearly all of our troubles were portrayed as a case of regulatory neglect—and nearly every dilemma was met accordingly.

    Nothing's changed but the political conditions.

    David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his website at www.DavidHarsanyi.com. This column first appeared at Reason.com.

    COPYRIGHT 2011 THE DENVER POST
    DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM


              Network Neutrality Backlash   

    Don’t look for the network neutrality controversy to go away anytime soon.

    The Federal Communications Commission’s “Christmas Surprise”—its December 21 vote to adopt new network neutrality—touched off criticism from mainstream pundits despite the distraction of the holiday season. Political cartoons like this, plus a column by George Will, which succinctly linked net neutrality to the Obama adminstration’s overall regulatory bent, belie the notion that the issue was only front-and-center among tech policy geeks.

    What’s most frustrating about the new rules is that they all but concede there’s no real problem.

    Larry Downes, in the first of a series of posts about the net neutrality order at Technology Liberation Front, points out that the new rules likely would not prevent three of the four so-called violations that neutrality advocates repeatedly cited as egregious abuse (Comcast-BitTorrent, an on-line payment service blocking use of competitive payment services, and AT&T’s restriction of certain iPhone apps). The fourth—the Madison River-Vonage case already had been dealt with under the existing rules.

    In his ensuing posts (catalogued here), Downes cites the real problem: the creation of a framework that can be arbitrarily applied by either Genachowski or future chairpersons, and can spark a series of petitions and complaints aimed at rent-seeking or delaying competition.

    Under the new network neutrality rules, the FCC is a referee stepping onto the field and declaring he will make the rules up as the game progresses. Teams won’t be told what plays are legal or illegal and won’t know if they’ve committed a foul until the ref tells them have. And a fair play in the first quarter may be ruled a foul in the fourth and vice-versa.

    It also doesn’t help that in the run-up to the neutrality decision, a neutrality complaint came not from some tiny website that activists like Free Press claim the rules are designed to protect, but from Level 3 Communications and Netflix, two large companies, who asked the FCC to prevent Comcast from charging them more to cover the cost of the massive bandwidth Netflix’s video-on-demand service was going to consume.

    Now comes the first neutrality complaint since the new rules were adopted. Note it concerns neither AT&T, Verizon, Comcast or any of the large service providers accused of monopolizing access. Instead, neutrality proponents Free Press, Media Access Project and the New America Foundation have accused Metro PCS, a second-tier wireless service provider with little brand recognition beyond Dallas, Texas, with a violation because it offered a low-priced "all-you-can use" data plan that blocked access to YouTube and other high-bandwidth sites. Never mind MetroPCS’s competitors offer wireless YouTube access, and never mind that Metro PCS made the package available on the assumption that a subset of customers may not be interested in using their phone for YouTube and would happily pay less if the choice were offered. So there you have it—network neutrality used to force consumers to pay higher prices for services they don’t want, rather than allow a small company to peel off a bit of market share by addressing a subset of the market with particular needs.

    So much for the Free Press argument that network neutrality would safeguard competition. Here, regulation would close off an incentive that might lead some consumers to switch from a larger, dominant carrier and thereby strengthen a small one. This is exactly the sort of unintended consequence that opponents of neutrality regulation warned of—and it is showing up mere weeks after the new rules were adopted.

    Now that net neutrality's problems are emerging for all to see, there’s been some pushback from antiregulatory circles. Rep. Marcia Blackburn (R-Tenn.), now part of the House majority, already has reintroduced a bill to prohibit the FCC from further regulating the Internet. Blackburn had sponsored this bill during the last Congress, too, where it went absolutely nowhere. This time around, is has gained 59 cosponsors.