Naturally: Mike Huckabee wants to ban the term RINO
Former Arkansas Governor loves him some big government. Oh sure, he likes to talk about small government, but he’s a ban-happy statist. There’s a term that’s often assigned to ban-happy, big-government, Common Core-loving, libertarian-bashing, statist Republicans: RINO. Naturally, Mike Huckabee wants to ban that term.
from Washington Examiner:
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee wants to ban the term “RINO” — “Republican in Name Only” — in the Republican Party.
The former governor complained in a letter to supporters that during a recent social media outreach, he was disturbed that too many Republicans were attacking each other and calling them names.
"Many of you used a term that I’d like to see outlawed from the vernacular of the party: RINO," he said, calling it a "pejorative term" that questioned one’s purity.
Huckabee pointed out that he got a tweet from someone who complained that he was a RINO, which upset him.
"With all due respect, I’ve fought in the trenches of Republican politics for over two decades, but I wouldn’t pretend that I’m lord over determining who the real Republicans are versus the so-called RINOs," he said.
Huckabee reminded his readers that Jesus once said that “a house divided against itself cannot stand,” referring to the Gospel of Matthew.
read the rest
Sorry, Huck. You can’t back up your street cred by quoting Jesus. The people dividing the house are the big government progressives like you.
Sadly, big government progressives like Mike Huckabee have taken over the leadership of the Republican party, so RINO might not be the most accurate term any more. But still, I’ll call Mike Huckabee a RINO all I want because that’s what he is.
1:28 pm • 14 January 2014 • View comments
Surprise! FBI not expected to file criminal charges in IRS targeting of conservative groups
Well, here’s a shocker! Eric Holder’s Justice Department is not expected to file any criminal charges against IRS officials who targeted conservative groups.
from Washington Times:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation didn’t find the kind of political bias needed to file criminal charges over the Internal Revenue Service’s heightened scrutiny of tea party groups, law enforcement officials told theWall Street Journal.
“Instead, what emerged during the probe was evidence of a mismanaged bureaucracy enforcing rules about tax-exemption applications it didn’t understand, according to the law-enforcement officials,” the newspaper said.
The case is still being investigated, but officials familiar with the case said it is increasingly unlikely any criminal charges will result.
The investigation was sparked after the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed the IRS had been targeting tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny and wrongly delayed the approval of hundreds of conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status.
read the rest
We reached out to Iago the Parrot for his reaction to this shocking news story. Here was his response:
10:23 am • 14 January 2014 • View comments
CNN calls bologna on the White House’s bloated Obamacare numbers
It’s nice to see that at least one reporter over at CNN still knows how to do a little journalism. Today, CNN’s financial site is throwing some cold water on the White House’s inflated Obamacare enrollment numbers.
The news is not good for Obamacare.
The Obama administration is trumpeting that 6 million people have health coverage thanks to Obamacare.
Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a blog post Monday that “More than 6 million Americans have now either signed up for a private health insurance plan through the Marketplace or for Medicaid coverage.”
But the numbers are somewhat misleading. Here are the figures:
— 2.1 million Americans signed up for private health insurance through the federal and state exchanges through the end of December.
— 3.9 million people learned they’re eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in October and November.
The squishiness lies in the Medicaid number. The 3.9 million figure includes people who were already on Medicaid and are just renewing, as Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services noted in a blog post late last month. So not all of these folks have coverage due to Obamacare.
read the rest
The 2.1 million number also doesn’t say how many of those are Americans who previously had coverage and saw their plans cancelled. These aren’t new enrollees paying into the system either.
The White House also neglects to say how many of the 2.1 million “enrollees” have actually paid for their plans. Previously, the Obama administration has included people who have “selected a plan” but hadn’t actually enrolled yet.
When all is said and done, the Obama administration is far short of the 7 million new private insurance customers they need to keep Obamacare afloat.
This bad news leaves Obamacare in jeopardy and with two likely options for the future of the Obama administration: the so-called “death spiral” where costs fling wildly out of control or a massive bailout of the health insurance industry. Neither of these are acceptable outcomes.
9:45 am • 14 January 2014 • View comments
Obama’s “reforms” to the NSA’s spying practices are all talk and no action
For anybody even remotely concerned about civil liberties and privacy, don’t be fooled by Obama’s upcoming “reforms” to the NSA. They’re all a bunch of hot air.
from National Journal:
President Obama has a rare opportunity this week to reshape the nation’s counterterrorism strategy. He won’t take it.
The White House has been trying to lower expectations for the president’s planned Friday speech for days now. He’ll outline a series of reforms to the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs in an address at the Justice Department, but Obama will do nothing to diminish the government’s capacity to root out terror networks, aides say.
Ever since the flood of disclosures regarding the NSA from former contractor Edward Snowden, Obama and his team have tried to walk a careful public line: appearing to cherish Americans’ privacy while defending the agency’s actions, particularly the bulk collection of telephone records, the so-called “metadata.”
But it’s been evident all along that the White House has more or less been dragged into the reform debate. At a press conference back in August, for example, the president maintained, amid heavy criticism, that the programs are valuable and that a public skeptical about their reach simply needs reassurance that they won’t be abused.
That’s still Obama’s view. And in the days leading to Friday’s speech, Jay Carney and others in the White House have referred to the issue as one of transparency and disclosure, not of reining in government power. “The president has been clear throughout this review process that we will not harm our national security or our ability to face global threats,” Obama’s press secretary said last week. “And our intelligence-gathering activities are directly related to our ability to face those global threats and protect our national security.”
To lay the groundwork for that position, aides to the president told the Los Angeles Times this weekend that the NSA’s metadata collection scheme could have prevented the Sept. 11 attacks. What’s more, Obama has adopted that “9/11 justification” for the NSA program, the paper reported.
That’s a blinking-red signal that the administration is not about to be accused of making the country more vulnerable by tampering with such a preventive weapon. Remember that George W. Bush, a Republican, walked back his warrantless wiretapping program in 2007 after a public outcry. This president, a Democrat, isn’t going to follow suit—especially given the new instability in Iraq and worries about the vacuum left by the coming pullout from Afghanistan.
All of which means Friday’s speech is going to be a piece of kabuki theater: The president is going to have to look like he’s taking meaningful action to curb the NSA’s reach when he really isn’t. To that end, Obama is expected to tweak the bulk data program rather than overhaul it or, as civil libertarians demand, junk it outright.
read the rest
As we have learned over the last few years, President Obama knows how to smooth talk his way out of a bad situation, but the actions that follow rarely live up to his words.
9:36 am • 14 January 2014 • View comments
VIDEO: Father sentenced to 6 months in jail for paying TOO MUCH child support
Clifford Hall is the opposite of a dead-beat dad, and a Texas judge is sentencing him to 6 months in jail for being too generous a father.
Here’s video of the local news report:
From Fox Houston:
Clifford Hall says he’s more than happy to pay child support for his 11-year-old son.
"I’m his father it’s my responsibility to take care of him," Hall says.
But Hall says when the amount of child support was modified no one told him.
"I discovered for some reason his employer was withholding a large amount some weeks a small amount some weeks a zero amount some weeks," says Hall’s attorney Tyesha Elam.
"I didn’t want to go to jail basically," Hall says.
So Hall quickly paid almost 3 grand in back child support.
When Hall and his ex were in Judge Lisa Millard’s court last November he owed nothing.
"Opposing counsel testified twice that he’s all paid up," says Elam.
But the attorney representing the child’s mother wanted Hall to pay her three grand in attorney fees and Judge Millard agreed.
Court documents also reveal Hall wasn’t following the court’s scheduled times to pick his son up for visitation.
Another modification Hall says he knew nothing about.
"The Judge ended up sentencing him to 6 months in jail." Elam says.
"When she said I remand you to the Harris County Jail for 180 days my mouth just dropped," says Hall.
"This entire situation is shocking to me," says community activist Quanell X. "I’ve never seen one like this."
Quanell X wants the state’s judicial board to investigate.
"The court failed the child," he says. "The court failed Mr. Hall the system broke down."
"I’m like he couldn’t have gotten a worse result," Elam says. "He could have gone in there with a monkey and gotten a better result. What did I do that my client has over paid over visited and is now paying 3 thousand dollars in attorney fees and is going to jail for 6 months."
"I can’t be there for my son in jail," Hall says. "I can’t pay child support in jail. This is not in the best interest of the child."
read the rest
There is a systematic breakdown of families and fatherhood in the United States, and this story shows how the court system is increasingly a part of the problem.
1:55 pm • 13 January 2014 • View comments
US Taxpayers foot $175 million bill for “vacuum erection systems.”
That headline has an endless number of punchlines, but sadly it’s no joke. Over the last several years, the Federal Government has dished out $175 million for penis pumps.
Taxpayers paid nearly $175 million for vacuum erection systems (VES), commonly known as “penis pumps,” from 2006 to 2011, according to an inspector general report released on Monday.
The federal government paid more than double the retail price for VES, the Department of Health and Human Services IG found. Medicare prices for the systems, the report said, “remain grossly excessive compared with the amounts that non-Medicare payers pay.”
Medicare paid 473,620 VES claims during calendar years 2006 through 2011, according to the IG report.
Health care policy experts said the revelations in the IG report are a troubling indication of what they describe as wasteful spending in federal health programs.
“The fact that taxpayers have spent more than a quarter of a billion dollars over the past decade on penis pumps via Medicare is obscene and insulting – even more so when you consider that this is an arena of Medicare expenditures rife with fraud and where the government doesn’t even bother to assess medical necessity,” said Ben Domenech, a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute.
“This is a perfect example of what happens when government becomes the be all and end all of human existence – a system where everyone has a right to a taxpayer-funded penis pump.”
read the rest
This is big government hard at work….for small men. (Okay that’s my one and only joke. I just couldn’t help myself).
12:38 pm • 13 January 2014 • View comments
What bias? NBC’s Matt Lauer calls former Defense Secretary Gate’s criticism of Obama “dishonorable.”
Former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates has dropped a few bombs on President Obama’s naive and political foreign policy decisions in his new memoir. In an interview with Gates, NBC’s Matt Lauer called his criticism of Obama’s policies “dangerous and dishonorable.”
Here’s the video:
I honestly don’t believe that most journalists are biased because they’re consciously trying to push their agenda…it’s just who they are. The vast bulk of the media are statists, leftists, and progressives and their entire networks are a giant cesspool of bias.
12:28 pm • 13 January 2014 • View comments
Millions discover that their new Obamacare coverage doesn’t work at their doctor’s office
The glitches that plagued the signup process for Obamacare are proving to be no less debilitating in the coverage itself. Millions of Americans are going to hospitals, doctors, and pharmacies only to find that their new coverage is, for the time being, completely worthless.
from New York Times (emphasis mine):
Paul D. Donahue and his wife, Angela, are among more than a million Americans who have signed up for health coverage through the federal insurance exchange. Mr. Donahue has a card in his wallet from his insurer to prove it. But when he tried to use it to get a flu shot and fill prescriptions this week, local pharmacies could not confirm his coverage, so he left without his medications.
Similar problems are occurring daily in doctors’ offices and drugstores around the country as consumers try to use insurance coverage that took effect on Jan. 1 under the Affordable Care Act.
In addition to the difficulties many face in proving they have coverage, patients are also having a hard time figuring out whether particular doctors are affiliated with their health insurance plan. Doctors themselves often do not know if they are in the network of providers for plans sold on the exchange.
But interviews with doctors, hospital executives, pharmacists and newly insured people around the country suggest that the biggest challenge so far has been verifying coverage. A surge of enrollments in late December, just before the deadline for coverage to take effect, created backlogs at many state and federal exchanges and insurance companies in processing applications. As a result, many of those who enrolled have yet to receive an insurance card, policy number or bill.
Many are also having trouble reaching exchanges and insurance companies to confirm their enrollment or pay their first month’s premium. Doctors’ offices and pharmacies, too, are spending hours on the phone trying to verify patients’ coverage, sometimes to no avail.
“The system wasn’t really built to handle this kind of glut of new patients,” said Dr. Curtis Miyamoto, a radiation oncologist at Temple University Hospital who is president of the Philadelphia County Medical Society. “So it’s resulting in us having some delays in getting people verified, and therefore delays in their care.”
read the rest
The irony of Dr. Miyamoto’s statement is that the Obamacare system is about 5 million enrollees short of what was supposed to be the targeted number of subscribers. Regardless, the large numbers should come as no surprise to anyone. How could the system be so dysfunctional when the law mandates that people sign up for coverage?
This is government run health care in action…
11:45 am • 13 January 2014 • View comments
About that unemployment rate…
Yes, I know we’ve covered this already (monthly, it seems), but it bears repeating: The sole reason that the unemployment rate is declining is because people are dropping out of the work force altogether. Last month, nearly 350,000 people left the work force. That’s 350,000 people who are no longer counted.
From The Federalist:
According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released this morning, the U.S. economy last month added 74,000 new payroll jobs, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent from 7.0 percent. Good news, right? Not really.
Yes, the unemployment rate has fallen significantly from its high of 10 percent in October of 2009. But it turns out the unemployment rate has been falling for a pretty depressing reason: people dropping out of the labor force. Last month, 347,000 workers dropped out, effectively sending the message that it wasn’t even worth looking for work anymore.
…To understand how the labor force numbers affect the unemployment rate, it helps to understand how the unemployment rate is calculated. First, BLS determines who is a member of the civilian non-institutional population: people who are 16 years of age or older who are not inhabitants of institutions (prisons, mental institutions, etc.) and not active duty members of the U.S. military. Next, BLS determines what percentage of those individuals are members of the labor force: that roughly consists of people who are either working or are looking for work. Then, BLS determines how many individuals within the labor force are employed. Subtracting the number of employed persons from the labor force gives you the number of unemployed, and dividing the number of unemployed by the total labor force gives you the unemployment rate.
If you hold total employment constant and increase the size of the labor force, the number of unemployed persons will increase, as will the unemployment rate. A shrinking labor force, however, can completely mask a serious job shortage by excluding those who stop looking for work altogether from the calculation of unemployed persons.
Read the Rest (H/T Ace)
Don’t let you eyes glaze over. It’s important that we fully grasp what’s happening here.
In short, if there are ten eligible workers in a room but 2 of them aren’t working, the unemployment rate is 2 ÷ 10, or 20%. If one of those 2 unemployed gets fed up with trying to find a job and finally gives up, that leaves 9 eligible workers with only 1 not working. This is 1 ÷ 9, or 11.1%. In this example, 8 people were working the entire time but the unemployment rate fell from 20% to 11.1%. Yay, economy.
But that’s not all! There’s the matter of the U-6 unemployment rate (AKA the “real” unemployment rate). What’s that, you ask? It’s defined as the ”total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers.”
What does this mean? The economy is horrible. Numbers don’t lie.
12:04 am • 12 January 2014 • View comments
What bias? Big three networks spend 17 times more airtime on Christie’s ‘bridgegate’ in 24 hours than Obama’s IRS scandal in 6 months
The media is so predictable. So unbelievably predictable. They hilariously claim they’re not biased but then they do stuff like this. Facepalm.
From the Washington Examiner:
The Big Three networks, in a frenzy over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s traffic headache dubbed “Bridgegate,” have devoted a whopping 34 minutes and 28 seconds of coverage to the affair in just the last 24 hours.
By comparison, that’s 17 times the two minutes, eight seconds devoted to President Obama’s IRS scandal in the last six months, according to an analysis by the Media Research Center.
“While routinely burying new stories on the IRS scandal, the media practically fell over themselves to start taking shots at the potential 2016 Republican presidential nominee,” said the conservative media watchdog.
Read the Rest
What’s somewhat befuddling about all of this is that Christie is a big-government progressive who is also (amazingly enough) the early front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2016. It seems to me that a Christie vs. Hillary race would be exactly the match-up that a statist media would want. It would be a total win-win for them: Big-government progressive vs. big-government progressive. But the media is so eager to destroy someone with an ‘R’ after their name that they can’t even muster the restraint they need to ensure it.
11:03 am • 11 January 2014 • View comments
Change! Obama’s new hire to fix Obamacare site paid $63.7 million in 2011 for defrauding the US government
Today, the Obama administration finally fired CGI, the company who had a no-bid contract to build the Obamacare health insurance exchange. The new hire to replace CGI is already looking bad. Three years ago, they paid $63.7 million in fines for defrauding the US government.
Global consulting giant Accenture has agreed to pay $63.7 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that it defrauded the US government, US officials said on Monday.
"Accenture has agreed to resolve allegations that it received kickbacks for its recommendations of hardware and software to the government," the US Department of Justice said in a statement.
The firm also “fraudulently inflated prices and rigged bids in connection with federal information technology contracts,” the statement said.
The lawsuit was brought against Accenture in the southern state of Arkansas by two whistleblowers who are entitled to receive part of the settlement under a US law designed to help ferret out fraud in government contracting.
read the rest (h/t Weasel Zippers)
Accenture just received a $90 million to fix the broken Obamacare website. Anybody want to take a guess who Accenture’s top recipient of political donations in the last election was? That’s right…Barack Hussein Obama.
6:15 pm • 10 January 2014 • View comments
GLOBAL WARMING ALERT! Great Lakes froze more earlier this year than any year since 1930s
So much for all that melting ice. This year we’ve got more ice faster than we’ve had it in any time in recent memory. I know, I know. Global warming isn’t weather…unless it fits the narrative. This definitely does not fit the narrative.
In the midst of record-breaking bitter cold, the U.S. Coast Guard has been relentlessly fighting against ice buildup in the Great Lakes region in an effort to keep important shipping channels open.
A massive swath of arctic air, known as a “Polar Vortex,” plunged temperatures well below zero from Chicago to Tulsa. In those temperatures, ice can form up to a foot thick in the rivers that connect the Great Lakes.
The Coast Guard uses ice cutters — heavy ships that have thick, reinforced hulls and polar ice-breaking bows — to clear the major shipping route that separates the U.S. and Canada, so that freight-carrying ships can get through. Without the ice cutters, large freighters can get stuck.
The Bristol Bay is one of four ice cutters that have been working around the clock to keep the shipping lanes open for freighters that use the Great Lakes and connecting channels to deliver goods between the Midwest and the East Coast. These massive ships range in length from 730 feet to over 1,000 feet — a ship that is 730 feet long can carry 37,000 tons.
“The biggest cargo for these lakers: iron ore, coal, heating oil and grain,” Henry said. “They pretty much come and service all the Great Lakes, coming through the Soo Locks and then heading either to Lake Erie or Lake Michigan.”
The Coast Guard said it was the earliest the ice had frozen here since the 1930s, and the river connecting Lakes Superior and Huron has been some of the toughest ice they have seen.
read the rest
For those of you who would claim that the “Polar Votex” is caused by global warming, know this…back in the 1970s, liberals were blaming the Polar Votex on global cooling. So which is it?
6:05 pm • 10 January 2014 • View comments
Obama admin finally fires company that had no-bid contract on Obamacare website
The Obamacare insurance exchange has been a complete debacle, costing the American taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. Today, the Obama administration finally terminated the no-bid contract with CGI, who built the website.
from WaPo (emphasis mine):
The Obama administration has decided to jettison CGI Federal, the main IT contractor that was responsible for building the defect-ridden online health insurance marketplace and has been immersed in the work of repairing it.
Federal health officials are preparing to sign a 12-month contract worth roughly $90 million, probably early next week, with a different company, Accenture, after concluding that CGI has not been effective enough in fixing the intricate computer system underpinning the federal Web site, HealthCare.gov, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Accenture, which is one of the world’s largest consulting firms, has extensive experience with computer systems on the state level, and it built California’s new health insurance exchange. But it has not done substantial work on any federal health-care program.
In a statement Friday, CGI spokeswoman Linda Odorisio said that even as the company’s work on HealthCare.gov was wrapping up, “CGI’s 15-year relationship with CMS will continue, including work on the nearly $37 million in contracts that have been awarded to CGI since October 1, 2013.”
“We are proud that more than 400 CGI employees worked around the clock from October through December to deliver a consumer experience that works for a vast majority of Americans,” she added.
read the rest
Many tech experts over the last several months have indicated that the Obamacare website is fatally flawed at its core and to fix the system would take a total overhaul. Spending $90 million more on a new company to come in and clean up CGI’s mess isn’t going to make the situation any better.
5:20 pm • 10 January 2014 • View comments
Hope and Change: Number of Americans not in work force at all time high
Want to know how the economy can get worse while the unemployment rate goes down? People have given up looking for work.
From Zero Hedge:
Curious why despite the huge miss in payrolls the unemployment rate tumbled from 7.0% to 6.7%? The reason is because in December the civilian labor force did what it usually does in the New Normal: it dropped from 155.3 million to 154.9 million, which means the labor participation rate just dropped to a fresh 35 year low, hitting levels not seen since 1978, at 62.8% down from 63.0%.
Read the Rest
For those of you still in obama-denial, this is a direct result of the big-government, extreme left policies of President Obama. There is no doubt about it.
11:10 am • 10 January 2014 • View comments
Super. IRS considering new ‘Tea Party rules’
Hey, remember that scandal where the IRS, one of the most powerful arms of the massive federal government, was specifically targeting those who dared criticize the
king, er, president? Well, these unconscionable and unconstitutional actions are “still under investigation” (by the perpetrators, of course) which is another way of saying “nothing will ever be done about it.” But don’t worry, the scandal is about to get worse. How? The actions of the IRS agents at the center of the “investigation” are about to be company policy.
From The Washington Times:
The Internal Revenue Service is getting a special new power: a “license to kill” groups that oppose the Obama agenda. James Bond’s license to kill isn’t nearly as broad.
The power to tax is the power to destroy. Its new powers will let the IRS destroy certain groups, especially those connected to the Tea Party, by imposing a tax on their work and messages during campaign seasons. Even the value of volunteer work could be taxed.
Suspicion traces the plan directly to President Barack Obama, since he personally met with IRS chief counsel William Wilkins — an Obama political appointee and long-time supporter — in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on April 23, 2012, two days before the IRS issued its key internal directives to target Tea Party and other conservative groups.
…The IRS wants to create a new bureaucratic definition that re-labels those common voter information activities by re-naming them “candidate-related political activity.”
Read the Rest
In other words, all political activity is subject to extra scrutiny and certain activity is strictly prohibited…unless you’re not critical of the regime.
For more details, go here and here.
9:24 am • 9 January 2014 • View comments