Tag: Another

Dumped By Obama, The U.S. Just Lost Another Key Ally To Russia (Allen West)

Dumped By Obama, The U.S. Just Lost Another Key Ally To Russia – Allen West

.

.
What happens if you’re that guy who really likes this girl but she keeps dismissing you? Does there come a time when you finally realize this specific girl will never want you? And then comes a girl, maybe not so gorgeous but she’s attracted to you and sees you as a great guy. What do you do? Do you keep hanging around hoping the dream girl finally realizes you do exist – after you’ve spent forever conveying your desire? Or do you find a relationship with someone willing to be with you?

So, imagine how this little scenario plays out in the world of foreign policy.

As reported by the Jerusalem Post, “A delegation of Iraqi Kurds will visit Moscow in April to discuss Russian weapons supplies, the RIA Novosti news agency on Thursday cited the head of an Iraqi Kurd representation office in Russia as saying.

RIA on Wednesday quoted the Russian consulate in Iraq as saying Russia has already supplied weapons to Iraqi Kurds and that the first shipment had arrived on March 14. It said the shipment had included five Zu-23-2 anti-aircraft cannons and 20,000 shells for the cannons.

Having been in Kurdistan, I can attest that, outside of Israel, you will not find more pro-American, pro-Western people in the Middle East. They wholeheartedly have assisted U.S. forces in Iraq with the defeat of Saddam’s forces as well as Islamic jihadists. They were all in with the new Iraqi government and constitution, yet, with the coming of one Barack Obama, they’ve once again been dismissed.

As a Member of the U.S. Congress I hosted representatives of the Kurdish Regional Government in my office on several occasions and attended many of their sponsored events.

You want an effective ground force to combat ISIS, the spread of Islamic jihadism, and check the hegemonic designs of Iran? There’s no one better than the Kurds. The problem is that while the Kurds were requesting support from the United States, they were rejected. The weapons systems aid was provided to the central Iraq government in Baghdad, and guess what? They were distributed mainly to the Shiite elements, who in turn quickly dropped them as they withdrew, ran away, and then were confiscated by ISIS.

The return on investment for these weapons would have been much higher if they’d been delivered directly to the Kurds. And even worse, after Barack Obama achieved permission from the closet Islamist, his dear friend Turkish President Erdogan, for the use of U.S. military air basing, the Kurds then found themselves being bombed by Turkish forces. These are the same Turkish forces who somehow turned a blind eye as ISIS fighters flowed out of Turkey into northern Iraq and Syria.

So, like the fella who’s been rejected by the girl he wanted, the fella is looking elsewhere to the girl who’s said, “I like you.” Enter Russia and Vladimir Putin…and we all know Putin has some issues with Erdogan and Turkey after they shot down his aircraft.

This week we heard about Russia conducting a partial pullout of forces in Syria. Needless to say it appears Putin is building his coalition in the region. We know Egypt’s President el-Sisi has visited Russia – he’s been rejected by the same girl. Last year, right before the U.N General Assembly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Russia – he has been rejected by the same girl. So one has to ask, when will Jordan’s leader King Abdullah court the new”girl?”

The game of foreign policy is being lost by the United States under the presidency of Barack Obama. And these nations who were staunch allies and supporters are realizing they must court others. We’re watching the impact and influence of America slip away. Sure, progressive socialists will say, we’re more liked now – but I will counter that we’re not respected, by friend or foe.

We were once the desired date, but now we’re turning into something completely undesirable. We’re not the trusted ally we once were. And thanks to a nebulous and failed foreign policy folks are doing following the advice of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles: “You better shop around.”
.

.

.

*VIDEO* The Donald Holds Another Massive Rally At American Airlines Center In Dallas, TX

.
Note: for all you Trumpians out there, The Donald will be delivering another speech tonight aboard the battleship USS Iowa in Los Angeles, CA at 8:30pm ET. Click HERE to watch the event live on C-SPAN.

.

.

Tuesday’s Close: Dow Plummets Another 470 Points

New Month, Same Woes: Dow Plummets 470 Points – Daily Freeman

.

.
Stocks plunged again Tuesday, continuing a rocky ride for Wall Street, after an economic report out of China rekindled fears that the world’s second-largest economy is slowing more than previously anticipated.

The sell-off adds to what has been a difficult few weeks for U.S. and international markets. U.S. stocks just closed out their worst month in more than three years. Tuesday’s drop also dashed hopes that, after some relatively calm trading Friday and Monday, the stock market’s wild swings were coming to an end.

“This market remains fragile,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. “There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the U.S. economy, but we are going through this correction process. We’ve got a rocky road ahead of us.”

Stocks started the day sharply lower and never recovered, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling as much as 548 points. No part of the market was spared. All 10 sectors of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell more than 2 percent. Just three stocks in the S&P 500 closed higher.

“Monday’s relatively peaceful markets are a distant memory as Chinese data and shares sparked another severe … reaction from the developed world,” said John Briggs, head of fixed income strategy at RBS.

In the end, the Dow lost 469.68 points, or 2.8 percent, to 16,058.35. The S&P 500 fell 58.33 points, or 3 percent, to 1,913.85 and the Nasdaq composite fell 140.40 points, 2.9 percent, to 4,636.10.

As it’s been for the last several weeks, the selling and problems started in Asia.

An official gauge of Chinese manufacturing fell to a three-year low last month, another sign of slowing growth in that country. The manufacturing index, which surveys purchasing managers at factories, dropped to a reading of 49.7 in August from 50.0 in July. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction.

China’s stocks sank on the news, with Shanghai Composite Index closing down 1.2 percent. The index has lost 38 percent of its value since hitting a peak in June.

The Chinese economy has been a focus for investors all summer, and the concerns have intensified in the last three weeks. China devalued its currency, the renminbi, in mid-August. Investors interpreted the move as a sign that China’s economy was not doing as well as previously reported.

Investors moved into traditional havens like bonds and gold Tuesday. Bond prices rose, pushing the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note down to 2.16 percent from 2.22 percent on Monday. Gold rose $7.30, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $1,139.80 an ounce.

Faced with the possibility of slowing demand in China, the commodity markets once again took the brunt of the hit.

U.S. crude oil fell $3.79 to close at $45.41 a barrel in New York. Brent Crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell $4.59 to close at $49.56 in London.

Energy stocks were once again among the biggest decliners. Exxon Mobil fell nearly 4 percent and Chevron fell 2.5 percent. Exxon is down 22 percent this year, Chevron 30 percent.

In a sign of how battered energy companies have been this year, ConocoPhillips announced it was laying off 10 percent of its workers, roughly 1,800 workers, as a reaction this year’s plunge in oil prices.

Along with worries about China, speculation about whether or not the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as soon as this month continues to weigh on markets. Traders say a lot hinges on the August jobs report, which will be released this Friday. Economists are forecasting that U.S. employers created 220,000 jobs in the month and that the unemployment rate fell to 5.2 percent.

The Federal Reserve meets September 16 and 17. Some economists are predicting that policymakers will be confident enough in the U.S. economic recovery to raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade. While Fed officials are mostly focused on the U.S. economy, they cannot ignore problems in the global economy.

“China’s problems are totally a concern for the Fed,” said Tom di Galoma, head of rates trading at ED&F Man Capital. “With inflation remaining low here, I just don’t a reason why they would raise rates.”

Markets in Europe were broadly lower. Germany’s DAX fell 2.4 percent, France’s CAC-40 lost 2.4 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 index declined 3 percent. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was also volatile, dropping 3.8 percent. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 2.2 percent. Stocks also fell in South Korea and Australia.

The dollar fell to 119.68 yen from 121.20 yen on Monday. The euro rose to $1.1307 from $1.1225.

In other energy markets, wholesale gasoline fell 10.3 cents to close at $1.396 a gallon, heating oil fell 12.3 cents to close at $1.578 a gallon and natural gas rose 1.3 cents to close at $2.702 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Copper lost 4 cents to $2.30 a pound and palladium slumped $23.05 to $578.50 an ounce. The price of silver edged down four cents to $14.61 an ounce and platinum edged down $2.10 to $1,008.40 an ounce.

.

.

State Department Finds Another 150 Of Hitlery’s Emails That Contain Classified Information

Report: State Department Finds Another 150 Hillary Emails Containing Classified Info – Daily Caller

.

.
The latest batch of Hillary Clinton emails set to be released by the State Department Monday evening include 150 which contain now-classified information, a spokesman for the agency has confirmed.

Through two mass releases so far – one in June and another last month – the State Department retroactively classified 63 emails Clinton sent or received during her tenure as secretary of state.

That’s in addition to several others which the Intelligence Community inspector general discovered contained information that was classified as “top secret” at the time they were sent.

During a daily press briefing Monday afternoon, State Department spokesman Mark Toner confirmed that approximately 150 of the 7,000 emails that will be released contain information that has been “upgraded” to classified. He said that while State Department staffers are still processing the emails before publishing them online Monday night, none of the emails are believed to contain information that was classified at the point of origination.

Toner said that the new release puts the State Department ahead of a schedule mandated by a federal judge in May.

“We’re producing more documents than we have in the previous three releases,” said Toner. U.S. district court judge Rudolph Contreras ordered the agency to release Clinton’s emails on a graduated schedule at the end of each month.

Clinton has downplayed the existence of classified information in her 30,000-plus emails. When the scandal over her use of a private email account and private server first broke in March, she maintained that none of her emails contained classified information. She has since altered that claim by saying that none of the emails that traversed her server contained information that was marked classified when originated.

.

.

Yet Another Sickening Planned Parenthood Video Released

The Latest Planned Parenthood Video: Utterly Appalling – Powerline

The Center for Medical Progress released another Planned Parenthood video today. It once again features Holly O’Donnell, a former technician for StemExpress, one of the buyers of baby parts from Planned Parenthood. The video consists mostly of Miss O’Donnell describing an incident in which a baby’s heart was still beating, and she was instructed to cut through the baby’s face so that his brain–the baby was a boy–could be removed for sale. It is utterly appalling.

There have been multiple hints in the CMP videos that some babies are born alive and then killed by Planned Parenthood. That appears to have been true in this case, and there is another such suggestion from a different witness. I would think that at a minimum, a criminal investigation is warranted.

Warning: this video is not for the faint of heart. I am not a sensitive guy, but I had to steel myself to watch it.

.

.
The liberal media are generally trying to ignore the CMP videos, hoping the controversy they have caused will go away. The New York Times is typical: it has not yet mentioned today’s video. It hasn’t covered the content of the videos, except to misrepresent them and to defend Planned Parenthood. For example, today’s Times includes a story on a Reuters poll that is headlined, “Americans back federal funds for Planned Parenthood health services: poll.” The poll asked about women’s health exams, prenatal services and contraception, not abortion. The Times story begins:

Americans broadly support providing federal funding for free women’s health exams, screenings and contraception services, a Reuters/Ipsos poll has found, suggesting risks for Republicans criticizing Planned Parenthood as part of the 2016 campaigns.

Notice how the reporter defaults straight to politics. Happily, not many Republicans take campaign advice from the Times.

The non-profit’s image has taken a hit, the poll found, after an anti-abortion group earlier this year began releasing videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials negotiating prices for aborted fetal tissue.

The Times tries to keep alive the fiction that there is some doubt about what the videos show. The videos do not “purport” to show PP officials negotiating prices for aborted babies’ body parts. They show PP officials negotiating prices for aborted babies’ body parts. They show a lot more than that, too.

You have to read to the very end of the Times story to be told that the Reuters poll is actually bad news for Planned Parenthood:

But 44 percent of respondents who saw the videos said they now have a more negative view of Planned Parenthood, compared with 34 percent who said their views were unchanged.

Those 34% must have had an awfully negative view of PP to begin with. This is the kicker:

After the videos were described to poll respondents, 39 percent said Planned Parenthood should not receive government funding and 34 percent said federal dollars should continue.

You can read the actual poll results here. To say that the videos were “described” is a stretch; here is the question that was asked, along with the results. Click to enlarge:

.

.
Imagine what the reaction would have been if respondents had been told that PP extracts brains from babies with beating hearts.

Maybe the most significant aspect of the Reuters poll is that 37% said they have seen at least one of the CMP videos. That number will inexorably continue to rise. So the left’s effort to suppress the news about what the videos show hasn’t been very successful.

.

.

Leftist Incompetence Update: Yet Another Obamacare Health Co-Op Ends In Utter Failure

Another Obamacare Health Co-Op Ends In Failure – Daily Caller

.

.
Bleeding cash, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) announced Friday that Louisiana’s Obamacare health insurance co-op will be closing its doors by the end of 2015.

It will be the second collapse of an Obamacare health care co-op this year and the third since the Obama administration rolled them out in 2012 as a competitor to commercial health insurance companies.

From the beginning, the Louisiana co-op was fraught with high-paid consultants who were not even from Louisiana, but Georgia. It also suffered from an apparent conflict of interest. George Cromer, its CEO, simultaneously served the Louisiana House of Representatives as chairman of that legislative body’s insurance committee.

Roughly 18 months into its existence, in September 2012, the Louisiana co-op received $66 million from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. By 2014, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reported that the co-op had burned through half of its cash and suffered a net operating loss of $23 million.

The co-op had only enrolled 17,000 paid subscribers out of a total state population of 4.6 million, according to state census data.

AM Best, the insurance rating company, reported in the third quarter of 2014 that the Louisiana co-op’s indebtedness was 198 percent, among the worst performing Obamacare nonprofits in the nation.

“The onerous burdens of Obamacare have shocked health insurance markets and caused instability in pricing and predictability, and as a result, we’ve seen premiums spike upward,” Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon wrote in a press statement July 24 when he announced closure plans for the co-op.

“Start-ups in insurance, especially health insurance, are always a tough row to hoe. Obamacare has made that even more difficult,” the commissioner noted in a press release.

The LDI’s Office of Financial Solvency will be examining the financial issues that led to its decision to close, and the commissioner has said that the department is “on-site at the co-op.”

The Louisiana Health co-op began with controversy over Terry Shilling, its first CEO. Shilling arranged a lavish contract with his own Atlanta-based consulting firm, Beam Partners, LLC, an arrangement approved by federal Obamacare CMS officials.

Federal officials also approved Shilling as original founder and “interim CEO” for the co-op, even though in 1998, the Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned him for insider trading as a health executive. Shilling’s consulting firm received more than $3 million from the co-op in 2013 for “health plan development,” according to its IRS Form 990 filing.

Louisiana insurance documents obtained by the Washington Examiner in August 2013 showed that Beam would receive a separate $4 million contract from the start-up co-op. On top of the contract, the Atlanta firm would receive a 20 percent “performance fee,” according to the documents. Finally, Beam additionally reaped a “benefit payment services” that began at $66,667 per month in 2013, culminating in $72,917 in 2016, according to Louisiana co-op insurance filing documents.

Separate from the preferential contract with Shilling, the co-op represented a potential political conflict of interest. After Shilling’s relationship with the co-op went public, the Atlanta businessman stepped down as interim CEO, to be replaced by Louisiana Rep. George Cromer.

Cromer, a Republican, also was the chairman of the Louisiana House committee on health insurance. He did not step down from the position after assuming the co-op post.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Cromer’s office, but has yet to receive a response.

The Louisiana co-op is not the first to fold.

In February, the Iowa Insurance Department assumed receivership and closed the doors of Co-Opportunity Health, an Obamacare co-op that served more than 100,000 customers in Iowa and Nebraska. Co-Opportunity had a loss ratio of 140, which meant that for every dollar it received in premiums, it had to pay out $1.40 in benefits.

The first failure occurred in 2013, when the Vermont Insurance Commissioner refused to grant a license to a new Obamacare health co-op.

The Commissioner refused to license the co-op because the president had steered as much as $500,000 of the co-op’s money to his own firm. CMS had approved the loan to the Vermont co-op despite the conflict of interest.

She also said the co-op’s math was inadequate and failed to meet the state’s financial standards.

.

.

Ready For Another Obamacare Price Hike? (David Catron)

Ready For Another Obamacare Price Hike? – David Catron

.
………..

.
In July of 2009, as the Obamacare debate was heating up, Gallup published a survey indicating that 83 percent of Americans wanted health care reform to make their health insurance more affordable. Now, more than five years after the President’s “signature domestic achievement” was passed, health insurance premiums are higher than ever. And it’s obvious that Obamacare is a major driver of the increase. The Wall Street Journal reports that insurers are proposing rate increases ranging from 25 to 51 percent for 2016. Why? “All of them cite high medical costs incurred by people newly enrolled under the Affordable Care Act.”

Obamacare apologists suggest different causes, of course. Jonathan Cohn writes, “One reason could be the normal and predictable competition among insurance plans jostling for market share.” Cohn’s grasp of economics is so tenuous that he doesn’t know insurers compete for market share by reducing premiums. He also connects the increases to anxiety about that bête noire of Obamacarians everywhere, King v. Burwell: “If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs… millions will drop their coverage because they will no longer be able to afford it.” Cohn evidently thinks insurers will respond by making insurance even less affordable.

The real reason for the proposed increases is that insurers now have real data on real Obamacare enrollees rather than implausible projections from the Obama administration. And this new information makes it clear that they’ll lose their shirts if they sell coverage at anything resembling 2015 rates. Many young, healthy individuals have refused to buy pricy Obamacare coverage, leaving insurance carriers with sluggish premium streams out of which to pay the large dollar claims coming in from seriously ill patients willing to buy coverage regardless of cost. This dynamic has already caused a number of health insurers to incur huge losses.

Obviously, not even an evil insurance company can stay in business if it consistently loses large amounts of money. Earlier this month, Assurant Health announced that losses related to Obamacare are causing it to close its doors. Western Journalism reports, “The company and industry watchers blamed its losses directly on the impact of Obamacare… Assurant lost $63.7 million in 2014. The insurer raised its rates by 20 percent in 2015, in hopes of returning to profitability, but lost between $80 to $90 million during the first quarter of this year.” The company has been in business for 123 years and provides coverage for 1 million people.

Assurant is based in Wisconsin, but insurers all across the country are attempting to survive the same perverse incentives that finally undid that venerable company. The Journal lists proposed increases by companies offering plans through exchanges in Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington state. And many of these companies are already losing huge amounts of money: “BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee… lost $141 million from exchange-sold plans, stemming largely from a small number of sick enrollees.” It is asking for a 36.3 percent rate increase.

All of which suggests that the “premium stabilization” safeguards ostensibly meant to prevent Obamacare from sending the health insurance industry into a death spiral aren’t working. The “reinsurance program,” as Philip Klein explains at the Washington Examiner, “slaps fees on insurance policies and uses the revenue to funnel payments to insurers to compensate them for taking on individuals with a high-risk profile.” “Risk corridors” are a corporate redistribution scheme whereby the government uses the profits of some insurers to offset the losses of others. But, as Klein points out, both programs will be gone after 2016.

If disasters like Assurant and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee are occurring while these programs remain in place, what will happen when they’re gone? Well, we’ll have more insurers proposing hair-raising rate increases in order to avoid the fate of Assurant. But, not to worry, says Charles Gaba at HealthInsurance.org, upon whom the erstwhile “Citizen Cohn” rather desperately relies upon as the voice of reason: “These requested rate changes are being submitted to the state insurance commissioner’s office… and in most states either the commissioner or some other regulatory body has to either approve the requests or deny them.”

In other words, some state bureaucrat may simply deny the insurance company’s rate request and impose a more “appropriate” premium. This means that, in New Mexico, Health Care Service Corp. may get a mere 25 percent increase rather than the 51 percent it has proposed. In Tennessee, Blue Cross may get only 20 percent rather than the requested 36.3 percent increase. In Maryland, the state bureaucrats may decide that, instead of a 30.4 percent increase, Blue Shield may only get 18 percent. All of these outcomes have one thing in common: The rate goes up by double digits. That means you pay a higher premium no matter how it turns out.

In other words, in the best case scenario, the your health insurance premiums are going up. And this is not simply because Obamacare has been unable to accomplish the main thing most Americans wanted from health reform in first place – more affordable medical care. Barack Obama’s “signature domestic achievement” is actually making health care less affordable. Good job, Mr. President. Please use the rest of your term perfecting your chip shot.

.

.