Tag: News Roundup

Your Daley Gator Hitlery Clinton News Roundup

Hillary Discussed Highly Sensitive Information, Now Classified “Secret,” On Her Private Email, As We Predicted – Andrew C. McCarthy

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Well, you heard it here first.

Today, the State Department released Benghazi-related email from the private server and one of the (at least) two private email accounts on which former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conducted official business – recklessly and in violation of laws and guidelines relating to the exchanging and preservation of electronic communications. Within hours, the Obama administration was forced to concede that at least one of the emails contained classified information.

Mrs. Clinton has previously and dubiously claimed that she did not discuss classified information on her private email account(s). Despite today’s disclosure, she is standing by that claim as, apparently, is the State Department. Her rationale is that the information in question – which relates to suspects in the Benghazi attack and remains highly sensitive ­- was not classified “secret” at the time of the email exchange. Instead, it was upgraded to “secret” status just today by the FBI, which was plainly alarmed at the prospect of its disclosure.

I warned about this situation back in March, when Mrs. Clinton’s violation of federal laws and guidelines in connection with using private email to conduct official business first surfaced. The problem with the rationalization offered by Mrs. Clinton and the administration is twofold.

First, at the time of the Benghazi attack, Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state and an old hand at dealing with classified information. She thus had to have known at the time of the communication in question that information of the type she was dealing with should have been classified as “secret” even if it had not been so classified yet. Obviously, the FBI instantly recognized the significance of the information upon learning that it was about to be disclosed.

Second, it is frequently the case that highly sensitive information is not classified (or not yet classified); nevertheless, government officials are instructed that it is not to be disclosed publicly and not to be discussed on non-government email systems.

As I explained back in March:

Mrs. Clinton [in her press conference] stressed that she never stored classified documents on her private e-mail system. To the uninitiated, this sounded like the strongest point in her defense. Mostly, however, it is a red herring, exploiting the public’s unfamiliarity with how classified information works – and fueling no small amount of irresponsible speculation over the last few days about how the nature of her responsibilities meant classified material must have been stored on her private system. In the government, classified documents are maintained on separate, super-highly secured systems… [I]n general, Mrs. Clinton would not have been able to access classified documents even from a .gov account, much less from her private account – she’d need to use the classified system… That said, there are two pertinent caveats.

First, since we’re dealing with Clintonian parsing here, we must consider the distinction between classified documents and classified information – the latter being what is laid out in the former. It is not enough for a government official with a top-secret clearance to refrain from storing classified documents on private e-mail; the official is also forbidden to discuss the information contained in those documents. The fact that Mrs. Clinton says she did not store classified documents on her private server, which is very likely true, does not discount the distinct possibility that she discussed classified matters in private e-mails…

Second, most of the important but mundane information exchanged in government is not classified. It is a truism that too much information in Washington is classified. Still, it is also true that, for government officials, dealing with classified information is very inconvenient – you are usually not allowed to read it on your office computer, certainly not on your personal computer, not while commuting to work, not at home, etc. Thus, much of the information that government officials deal with is categorized as “sensitive but unclassified” (SBU).

To listen to the commentary over the past week, and to listen to Mrs. Clinton yesterday, one would think there are only two realms of government information: something is either a national defense secret or the seating chart for Chelsea’s wedding reception. Most information, though, is neither classified nor private. When I was a federal prosecutor, for instance, the SBU information I routinely dealt with included: grand-jury transcripts, the secrecy of which must be maintained by law; investigative reports by the FBI, DEA, NYPD, and other investigative agencies; wiretap affidavits that disclosed that investigations were underway, the suspects, the evidence, the wiretap locations, and the identity of government undercover agents, informants, and witnesses; memos outlining investigative or litigation strategies to deal with organized crime and terrorism organizations; plans to orchestrate arrests in multi-defendant cases where flight risk was a concern; financial information of subjects of investigations; personal information (sometimes including family financial and medical information) of lawyers and staff whom I supervised; contact information (including home addresses) of agents with whom I worked on cases often involving violent crime and public corruption; contact information (including home addresses) of judges in the event it was necessary to get a search warrant after hours; and so on.

None of that information was classified. I was permitted to – and needed to – have it ready to hand, but it was also my duty to maintain it in a secure, responsible manner… a duty that became even more important once I was a boss and was expected to set an example for junior lawyers and staff to follow. And mind you, I was just a government lawyer. I was not the secretary of state.

The inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of SBU can do enormous damage. It can even get people killed. That is why the State Department has elaborate rules about SBU – rules that include instructing State Department employees to conduct their e-mail business via government e-mail accounts on government communications systems that have “the proper level of security control to provide nonrepudiation, authentication and encryption, to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of resident information” (U.S. Dept. of State, Foreign Affairs Manual, vol. 12, sec. 544.3 ). As Fox News relates, it was on the basis of these concerns that Mrs. Clinton, as secretary of state, directed State Department employees in June 2011 to “avoid conducting official Department [business] from your personal e-mail accounts.”

Thus far, there has been disclosure of only a fraction of Mrs. Clinton’s existing private email – i.e., the email that she did not unilaterally delete despite being on notice that it was relevant to government investigations. Yet it is already clear that, as secretary of state, she did business in a way that was, at a minimum, grossly irresponsible… and quite possibly worse. She had to have realized the near certainty that an official of her stature would have been targeted for surveillance of her private emails by foreign intelligence services. Yet, in her determination not to leave a paper trail that might damage her political prospects, she ignored the risks. The Justice Department, which has prosecuted high government officials for mishandling national defense information, should be investigating – and that includes acquiring custody of Mrs. Clinton’s private server.

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Krauthammer Sounds Off On Hillary Email Dump, Explains Why He Thinks ‘Whole Release Is A Farce’ – The Blaze

Conservative political pundit Charles Krauthammer reacted to the release of the first batch of Hillary Clinton emails, calling the “whole release” a “farce.”

“This is an echo of what her own press secretary said, who said there isn’t a shred of evidence. And as I’ve said there is no shred of evidence because she shredded the evidence. This whole release is a farce,” the syndicated political columnist said. “What is being released now… is stuff that was scrubbed and cleansed and decided upon, chosen by her own people, acting in her own interest, rather than… people with obligation to the public.”

“So we are getting the cleaned up version,” he continued. “And I think they are succeeding, the Clinton people. Because everybody is hungrily looking through stuff pre-scrubbed. They are not going to find anything. The Clinton’s are secretive and deceptive, but they are not stupid.”

Krauthammer then explained how he thought the process will benefit Clinton in the presidential election.

“Whatever is indicating has been scrubbed and removed. So we are going to have this long saga of the release. She will take the credit for, ‘I asked for it to be released, I wanted it to be released.’ But it’s the wrong stuff. And when people attack her later in the campaign, she will say it’s all been released, the press has looked at it,” he said.

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Hillary Slept Through Security Briefing On Benghazi Attack – Gateway Pundit

Figures.

Hillary Clinton slept through the president’s daily briefing on Benghazi. She didn’t wake up until 10:45 AM.

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What difference does it make?

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Hillary Didn’t Even Know Ambassador’s Name After He Was Murdered In Benghazi – Right Scoop

The State Department is releasing a batch of the Hillary emails, because the best way to make sure no one notices is to do it on the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. Hidden in one email is a pretty deplorable absence of interest and care from Hillary.

From the Washington Times:

The night a U.S. ambassador was killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, Hillary Clinton sent a message three senior State Department officials.

The recepients were Jake Sullivan, Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Secretary of State Clinton, Cheryl Mills, an adviser to Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and Counselor and Chief of Staff to the Secretary, and Victoria Jane Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

“Cheryl told me the Libyans confirmed his death. Should we announce tonight or wait until morning?” Clinton says in the email, time stamped 11:38 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2012.

The email had as its subject line: “Chris Smith.” The murdered ambassador was Chris Stevens.

The Secretary of State didn’t even know the name of the U.S. ambassador to Libya – even after terrorists stormed an American compound and killed him.

How deplorable is that. And this is who the Democrats want to make president? Disgusting.

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E-mails: Hillary Knew That State Department Asked YouTube To Block Anti-Muslim Movie Overseas – Hot Air

Not that there was ever much doubt. Three days after the Benghazi attack, the White House admitted it had pressured Google and YouTube to yank “Innocence of Muslims” as some sort of terms-of-use violation. Google refused. A week after that, having failed to twist a major corporation’s arm into censoring a politically unhelpful bit of free speech on its behalf, the State Department started running ads in Pakistan denouncing the movie, in hopes that jihadi savages would be appeased by the show of national contrition and not target any more embassies. Also around this time, YouTube did agree to censor “Innocence of Muslims” by blocking it in Egypt and Libya, the two nations that saw the most violent attacks on U.S. diplomats on September 11, 2012. Hillary Clinton had to have known about and signed off on all this, we naturally assumed. And now here’s evidence that she did: Although the message below is vague, I assume it’s referring to the ban that Google imposed on the video in Africa.

Leaning on corporate cronies to suppress Americans’ speech for political ends would be a disqualifying offense for a candidate in a sane world.

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Fun fact: On the very day that e-mail was sent, the man who made “Innocence of Muslims” was arrested by the feds on a “parole violation.” Hillary’s leisure reading in the weeks before that was interesting too:

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Clinton Foundation Discloses Millions In Additional Payments Under Pressure – Big Government

From the Washington Post:

The Clinton Foundation reported Thursday that it has received as much as $26.4 million in previously undisclosed payments from major corporations, universities, foreign sources and other groups.

Thursday’s disclosure is one of a number of instances in recent weeks in which the foundation has acknowledged that it received funding from sources not disclosed on its Web site.

The ethics agreement was reached between the foundation and the Obama administration to provide additional transparency and avoid potential conflicts of interest with Hillary Clinton’s appointment as secretary of state.

The agreement placed restrictions on foreign government donations, for instance, but the foundation revealed in February that it had violated the limits at one point by taking $500,000 from Algeria.

There was one entity clearly associated with a foreign government that provided speaking fees, of $250,000 to $500,000 for a speech by Bill Clinton: The energy ministry in Thailand.

The U.S. Islamic World Forum also provided $250,000 to $500,000 to the foundation for a speech by Bill Clinton, according to the new disclosure. The event was organized in part by the Brookings Institution with support from the government of Qatar.

In addition, the list is studded with overseas corporations and foundations.

They included the South Korean energy and chemicals conglomerate Hanwha, which paid $500,000 to $1,000,000 for a speech by Bill Clinton.

China Real Estate Development Corp. paid the foundation between $250,000 and $500,000 for a speech by the former president. The Qatar First Investment Bank, now known as the Qatar First Bank, paid fees in a similar range. The bank is described by Persian Gulf financial press as specializing in high-net-worth clients.

The Telmex Foundation, founded by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, provided between $250,000 and $500,000 for a speech by Hillary Clinton.

Read the rest of the story here.

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Your Daley Gator Benghazi Scandal News Roundup (Videos)


ENTIRE HOUSE OVERSIGHT AND REFORM COMMITTEE HEARING ON THE BENGHAZI COVER-UP – 05/01/14

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……………………….Click on image above to watch video.

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COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN DARRELL ISSA

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GENERAL ROBERT LOVELL (RETIRED)

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COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN DARRELL ISSA (2)

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CONGRESSMAN JASON CHAFFETZ

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CONGRESSMAN JASON CHAFFETZ (2)

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CONGRESSMAN JASON CHAFFETZ (3)

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CONGRESSMAN RON DESANTIS

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CONGRESSMAN JAMES LANKFORD

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CONGRESSMAN TIM WALBERG

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CONGRESSMAN JOHN MICA

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CONGRESSMAN SCOTT DESJARLAIS

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Obama’s ‘Blame The Video’ Fraud Started In Cairo, Not Benghazi – Andrew C. McCarthy

Here is the main point: The rioting at the American embassy in Cairo was not about the anti-Muslim video. As argued here repeatedly (see here and here), the Obama administration’s “Blame the Video” story was a fraudulent explanation for the September 11, 2012, rioting in Cairo every bit as much as it was a fraudulent explanation for the massacre in Benghazi several hours later.

We’ll come back to that because, once you grasp this well-hidden fact, the Obama administration’s derelictions of duty in connection with Benghazi become much easier to see. But let’s begin with Jay Carney’s performance in Wednesday’s exchange with the White House press corps, a new low in insulting the intelligence of the American people.

Mr. Carney was grilled about just-released e-mails that corroborate what many of us have been arguing all along: “Blame the Video” was an Obama-administration-crafted lie, through and through. It was intended, in the stretch run of the 2012 campaign, to obscure the facts that (a) the president’s foreign policy of empowering Islamic supremacists contributed directly and materially to the Benghazi massacre; (b) the president’s reckless stationing of American government personnel in Benghazi and his shocking failure to provide sufficient protection for them were driven by a political-campaign imperative to portray the Obama Libya policy as a success – and, again, they invited the jihadist violence that killed our ambassador and three other Americans; and (c) far from being “decimated,” as the president repeatedly claimed during the campaign (and continued to claim even after the September 11 violence in Egypt and Libya), al-Qaeda and its allied jihadists remained a driving force of anti-American violence in Muslim countries – indeed, they had been strengthened by the president’s pro-Islamist policies.

The explosive e-mails that have surfaced thanks to the perseverance of Judicial Watch make explicit what has long been obvious: Susan Rice, the president’s confidant and ambassador to the U.N., was strategically chosen to peddle the administration’s “Blame the Video” fairy tale to the American people in appearances on five different national television broadcasts the Sunday after the massacre. She was coached about what to say by other members of the president’s inner circle.

One of the e-mails refers expressly to a “prep call” that Ambassador Rice had with several administration officials on late Saturday afternoon right before her Sunday-show appearances. The tangled web of deception spun by the administration has previously included an effort to distance the White House (i.e., the president) from Rice’s mendacious TV performances. Thus, Carney was in the unenviable position Wednesday of trying to explain the “prep call” e-mail, as well as other messages that illuminate the Obama White House’s deep involvement in coaching Rice. The e-mails manifest that Rice’s performances were campaign appearances, not the good-faith effort of a public official to inform the American people about an act of war against our country. Her instructions were “To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy”; and “To reinforce the President and Administration’s strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges” (emphasis added).

Carney risibly claimed that the “prep call” was “not about Benghazi.” Instead, according to him, it was “about the protests around the Muslim world.”

Two points must be made about this.

The first involves the administration’s blatant lying. Benghazi was the only reason Rice was going on the Sunday shows. If the massacre had not happened, there would not have been an extraordinary administration offering of one top Obama official to five different national television networks to address a calamity that had happened a few days before.

Moreover, as is well known to anyone who has ever been involved in government presentations to the media, to Congress, to courts, and to other fact-finding bodies, the official who will be doing the presentation is put through a “murder board” preparation process. This is a freewheeling session in which the questions likely to be asked at the presentation are posed, and potential answers – especially to tough questions – are proposed, discussed, and massaged. The suggestion that Rice, less than 24 hours before being grilled by high-profile media figures, was being prepped on something totally separate and apart from the incident that was the sole reason for her appearance is so farfetched it is amazing that Carney thought he could make it fly.

The second point brings us full circle to Egypt.

Why would Carney claim, with a straight face, that Rice was being prepped “about protests around the Muslim world”? Because, other than Benghazi, the “protest around the Muslim world” that Americans know about is the rioting (not “protest,” rioting) at the U.S. embassy in Cairo a few hours before the Benghazi siege. When Benghazi comes up, the administration – President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Jay Carney, et al. – loves to talk about the Cairo “protests.” Why? Because the media, and thus the public, have bought hook, line, and sinker the fraudulent claim that those “protests” were over the anti-Muslim video. Obama & Co. shrewdly calculate that if you buy “Blame the Video” as the explanation for Cairo, it becomes much more plausible that you will accept “Blame the Video” as the explanation for Benghazi – or, at the very least, you will give Obama officials the benefit of the doubt that they could truly have believed the video triggered Benghazi, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

You see, the Benghazi fraud hinges on the success of the Cairo fraud. If you are hoodwinked by the latter, they have a much better chance of getting away with the former.

But “Blame the Video” is every bit as much a deception when it comes to Cairo.

Thanks to President Obama’s policy of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic supremacists in Egypt, post-Mubarak Cairo became a very hospitable place for jihadists. That included al-Qaeda leaders, such as Mohammed Zawahiri, brother of al-Qaeda emir Ayman Zawahiri; and leaders of Gama’at al-Islamia (the Islamic Group), the terrorist organization led by the Blind Sheikh – Omar Abdel Rahman, the terrorist I convicted in 1995 for running the jihadist cell that bombed the World Trade Center and plotted to bomb other New York City landmarks.

In the weeks before September 11, 2012, these jihadists plotted to attack the U.S. embassy in Cairo. In fact, the Blind Sheikh’s son threatened a 1979 Iran-style raid on the embassy: Americans would be taken hostage to ransom for the Blind Sheikh’s release from American prison (he is serving a life sentence). Other jihadists threatened to burn the embassy to the ground – a threat that was reported in the Egyptian press the day before the September 11 “protests.”

The State Department knew there was going to be trouble at the embassy on September 11, the eleventh anniversary of al-Qaeda’s mass-murder of nearly 3,000 Americans. It was well known that things could get very ugly. When they did, it would become very obvious to Americans that President Obama had not “decimated” al-Qaeda as he was claiming on the campaign trail. Even worse, it would be painfully evident that his pro–Muslim Brotherhood policies had actually enhanced al-Qaeda’s capacity to attack the United States in Egypt.

The State Department also knew about the obscure anti-Muslim video. Few Egyptians, if any, had seen or heard about it, but it had been denounced by the Grand Mufti in Cairo on September 9. Still, the stir it caused was minor, at best. As Tom Joscelyn has elaborated, the Cairo rioting was driven by the jihadists who were agitating for the Blind Sheikh’s release and who had been threatening for weeks to raid and torch our embassy. And indeed, they did storm it, replace the American flag with the jihadist black flag, and set fires around the embassy complex.

Nevertheless, before the rioting began but when they knew there was going to be trouble, State Department officials at the embassy began tweeting out condemnations of the video while ignoring the real sources of the threat: the resurgence of jihadists in Muslim Brotherhood–governed Egypt, the continuing demand for the Blind Sheikh’s release (which underscored the jihadists’ influence), and the very real danger that jihadists would attack the embassy (which demonstrated that al-Qaeda was anything but “decimated”).

The transparent purpose of the State Department’s shrieking over the video was to create the illusion that any security problems at the embassy (violent rioting minimized as mere “protests”) were attributable to the anti-Muslim video, not to President Obama’s policies and patent failure to quell al-Qaeda.

Because there was a kernel of truth to the video story, and because the American media have abdicated their responsibility to report the predominant causes of anti-Americanism in Egypt, journalists and the public have uncritically accepted the notion – a false notion – that the video caused the Cairo rioting. That acceptance is key to the administration’s “Blame the Video” farce in connection with the lethal attack in Benghazi.

At about 10 p.m. Washington time on the night of September 11 – after they knew our ambassador to Libya had been murdered and while the siege of Benghazi still raged – Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama spoke on the telephone. Shortly afterwards, the State Department issued a statement from Secretary Clinton blaming the video for the atrocity in Benghazi. That was the beginning of the fraud’s Benghazi phase – the phase Susan Rice was prepped to peddle on nationwide television. But it wasn’t the beginning of the fraud.

Secretary Clinton’s minions at the State Department had started spinning the video fraud hours earlier, in Egypt. The sooner Americans grasp that, the sooner they will comprehend the breathtaking depth of the president’s Benghazi cover-up.

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Your Daley Gator Neo-Nazi IRS News Roundup (Video)

Boom! Emails Implicate Top Democrat In Colluding With IRS To Target Conservative Group – Gateway Pundit

Conservative activist and founder of True the Vote, Catherine Engelbrecht, filed an ethics complaint against far left Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) in February. Engelbrecht accused Cummings of harassment and intimidation.

Catherine Engelbrecht testified before Congress in February.
She was visited by FBI, IRS, ATF, and OSHA after she filed for tax exempt status for her voters rights group.

Engelbrecht said her testimony before Congress and Cummings,
“Frankly, to sit before my accuser and be silent in the face of what he did was unconscionable.”

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Today, Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) accused Elijah Cummings of colluding with the IRS to target True the Vote.

National Review reported:

The war between Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa and the committee’s ranking member, Elijah Cummings, rages on.

Issa on Wednesday accused the Maryland Democrat of colluding with the Internal Revenue Service in its targeting of the conservative nonprofit group True the Vote, whose founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, said she received multiple letters from Cummings in 2012 and personal visits from the IRS and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Explosives. Engelbrecht’s True the Vote is one of the many conservative groups that claims to have been improperly targeted by the IRS while it scrutinized the applications of tea-party groups.

In a letter signed by his five subcommittee chairmen, Issa raised the possibility that Cummings coordinated with the IRS, “surreptitiously” contacting the agency to request information about True the Vote.

E-mails unearthed in the course of Issa’s investigation into the IRS’s inappropriate targeting of right-leaning groups show that in January 2013, a member of Cummings’s staff contacted the IRS asking for any publicly available information on True the Vote. The matter was discussed by IRS officials that included Lois Lerner, the former exempt-organizations chief who retired in the wake of the targeting scandal. One of Lerner’s deputies, Holly Paz, subsequently sent the organization’s 990 forms to Cummings and his staff – not an illegal disclosure of taxpayer information, though sources say the exchange of such information was not routine.

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Issa: IRS Coordinated With Dems To Attack Tea Party Group – Washington Times

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa on Wednesday accused his Democratic counterpart, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, of coordinating with the IRS to attack one of the tea party groups that was targeted by the tax agency for intrusive scrutiny and long delays.

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Mr. Issa and five other top Republicans said they have just last week been given emails showing Mr. Cummings sought information from the IRS about True the Vote, a conservative tax-exempt organization that drew the ire of liberals for pushing states to eliminate potentially bogus names from their voter rolls.

Mr. Issa said the IRS employees appear to have discussed confidential taxpayer information as they debated how to respond to the request from Mr. Cummings – though it’s unclear what response they ended up giving to the Maryland lawmaker, who is the ranking Democrat on the Oversight Committee.

“It is unclear whether the IRS shared True the Vote’s confidential taxpayer information with you or your staff through either official or unofficial channels,” Mr. Issa said, though he stressed that the IRS didn’t convey any of the information to the GOP, nor did they even alert Republicans of the request for information. Mr. Issa indicated he thought that was hypocritical since Mr. Cummings has repeatedly accused Republicans of refusing to share their requests or information they received.

Mr. Cummings‘ office didn’t immediate reply to a request for comment on the accusation.

At one point in public testimony earlier this year, Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer for True the Vote, wondered allowed whether congressional staffers “might have been involved in putting True the Vote on the radar screen of some of these federal agencies.”

Mr. Cummings vehemently denied that, calling it “absolutely incorrect and not true.”

But Mr. Issa laid out a series of questions that Mr. Cummings asked of True the Vote, which he said were so similar to the questions the IRS asked that they raised questions of coordination. The questions involved the computer software True the Vote uses, its training procedures and a list of jurisdictions the group has targeted for cleaner voting rolls.

“The timeline and pattern of inquiries raises concerns that the IRS improperly shared protected taxpayer information with your staff,” Mr. Issa wrote.

True the Vote applied for status as a 501(c )(3). The founders also created another organization, King Street Patriots, which applied for 501(c )(4) status. Catherine Engelbrecht, who founded both organizations, said soon after their creation, she, the groups and her business were subjected to multiple investigations, audits and inquiries from federal agencies ranging from the FBI and IRS to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Wednesday’s letter marks the latest escalation in what’s become a bitter relationship between the two men. Mr. Issa last month cut off Mr. Cummings’s microphone at a hearing with former IRS employee Lois G. Lerner, and Mr. Cummings demanded and received an apology.

Then, over the last week, Mr. Issa accused Mr. Cummings of trying to work out a secret deal with Ms. Lerner, and Mr. Cummings vehemently denied that.

The two men will likely clash again Thursday when the committee is slated to meet and consider holding Ms. Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer the committee’s questions. She has asserted her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Mr. Cummings argues Mr. Issa botched the proceedings and tainted any contempt finding, and he is backed by more than two dozen lawyers who have issued memos or quotes saying contempt shouldn’t happen in this case.

On Wednesday, Mr. Cummings released a report from the Congressional Research Service arguing that there is no historical precedent for the House to find Ms. Lerner in contempt.

In the report, CRS went back to the 1950s, when then-Sen. Joseph McCarthy was investigating communists in the U.S. government. In an instance that appears to be similar to Ms. Lerner’s exchange with Mr. Issa, a witness testifying to Mr. McCarthy asserted her innocence and then refused to answer follow-ups.

A federal court upheld the woman’s right to remain silent.

“Sixty years ago, Joe McCarthy tried-and failed-to hold an American citizen in contempt after she professed her innocence and asserted her rights under the Fifth Amendment. I reject Chairman Issa’s attempts to re-create our committee in Joe McCarthy’s image, and I object to his effort to drag us back to that shameful era in which Congress tried to strip away the Constitutional rights of American citizens under the bright lights of hearings that had nothing to do with responsible oversight and everything to do with the most dishonorable kind of partisan politics,” Mr. Cummings said.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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GOP Says IRS’ Lois Lerner Targeted Crossroads – Political

House Republicans on Wednesday accused former IRS official Lois Lerner of breaking agency rules by aggressively urging denial of tax-exempt status to Crossroads GPS, the giant political nonprofit founded by Karl Rove.

The House Ways and Means Committee released emails showing the former chief of the tax-exempt unit took a special interest in Crossroads GPS in early 2013 – inquiring with IRS officials why they hadn’t been audited. Around the same time an email suggested she might be applying for a job with a pro-President Barack Obama group, Organizing For Action, though it is unclear if she was joking.

Democrats decried the release, calling it an election year gimmick to win over the party’s political base. One campaign finance group came to the defense of Lerner, who has denied any wrongdoing, calling the probe a partisan witch hunt.

The Republican committee letter calls her actions an “aggressive and improper pursuit of Crossroads… but no evidence [that] she directed review of similarly situated left-leaning groups.”

The documents were released after a rare, closed-door Ways and Means markup, where the panel voted 23-14 along party lines to send a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting he take the former head of the IRS tax-exempt division to court – though the department already has an ongoing investigation.

The scandal, spurred when Lerner publicly acknowledged extra scrutiny of tea party groups followed by a critical inspector general report, has surged back into the spotlight in recent months as congressional committees finish their investigations.

Lerner became a lightning rod for Republicans after she pleaded the Fifth and refused to testify before a House panel. The original inspector general report found that the targeting was inappropriate but found no evidence of partisan motivations.

Republicans want her charged for improperly influencing the IRS to take action against conservative organizations; disclosing confidential taxpayer info, a felony; and impeding an investigation.

Democrats cried foul play, accusing Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) of releasing private taxpayer information, and said its protests have nothing to do with holding Lerner accountable.

“This executive session isn’t about any of us condoning the mismanagement at the IRS tax-exempt division,” top panel Democrat Sander Levin (D-Mich.) said after the public was dismissed from the hearing, according to a release. “It now seems clear that Republican members of the Ways and Means Committee have decided that they do not want to be left behind in the Republican campaign to declare this a scandal and keep it going until November.”

Lerner’s lawyer William Taylor III said he had not heard from Ways and Means on the issue, and maintained his client’s innocence.

“Ms. Lerner has done nothing wrong,” Taylor, a partner of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP said in a statement. “She did not violate any law or regulation. She did not mislead Congress. She did not interfere with the rights of any organization to a tax exemption. Those are the facts.”

Camp defended the release.

“We have a right and obligation to protect the American people and to oversee the IRS and to hold them to account for their actions,” he said. “This was a career employee at the IRS so we have to make sure the signal goes out that this can’t happen again.”

The Justice Department said it will review the letter and noted it is already probing the matter.

“It remains a high priority of the Department,” Justice spokeswoman Emily Pierce said.

The actions come a day before the House Oversight Committee will vote to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions on the controversy.

Advocates for reform of campaign finance rules say the scandal obscures an important policy debate about whether such politically active groups deserve tax-exempt status in the first place.

Crossroads spent $176 million during the 2012 election cycle – 99 percent of the time to back Republicans and bash Obama and Democrats. Its nonprofit arm spent about $70 million.

Paul S. Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center, which advocates stricter campaign finance rules, said it is perfectly appropriate for Lerner to advocate denial of tax-exempt status if it was based on agency review of facts. He called the data dump part of a witch hunt against a career civil servant.

“If she was pushing for a denial based on facts that had been ascertained by her agency, that sounds to me that she was doing her job,” said Ryan, who attended one of the meetings cited in the letter. He said Lerner did not reveal any sensitive taxpayer information and in fact he left the meeting frustrated.

He also said the focus on Crossroads and not for example, the pro-Obama Priorities USA, was understandable given that the latter had raised scant funds at the time, compared to Crossroads.

So-called tax-exempt social welfare groups, organized under section 50(c) 4 of the tax code, are barred from using a significant amount of their resources for political purposes, though the standard is murky after an IRS regulation later changed the benchmark.

The documents released Wednesday include those that suggest Lerner was misleading when asked about the timeline of when she found out that “tea party” was a trigger word on a be-on-the-lookout list for groups that should get extra IRS scrutiny.

In an interview with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Lerner said she first learned of the BOLO on June 29, 2011.

But the panel has evidence that she knew that “tea party” cases were being treated differently as early as April 2010, when the whole shebang started, although whether she knew of the list is unclear.

On April 28, 2010, Lerner received an email alerting her that “there are 13 tea party cases out in EO Determinations.”

A few months later, on Aug. 3, 2010, Lerner asked her assistant to print the sensitive case report that detailed how the tea party groups were being handled. A few months later, in early 2011, she would write to her colleagues that the “Tea party matter [is] very dangerous.”

That was when she instructed the Cincinnati IRS officials handling the cases to send them to IRS counsel in Washington, D.C., where they would end up sitting for years, virtually untouched.

The documents also show that Lerner met with a group named Democracy 21, which made several complaints about Crossroads between 2010 and 2012. That Jan. 4, 2013 meeting included the Office of Chief Counsel and the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy, according to the committee letter.

Before that, Lerner sent emails asking what happened to the Crossroads application, including whether the group had been audited or selected for audit.

When IRS official Tom Miller said it had not, she sent an email to IRS officials asking why: “I reviewed the information last night and thought the allegations in the documents were really damning, so wondered why we hadn’t done something with the org,” she wrote, later adding: “You should know that we are working on a denial of the application, which may solve the problem because we probably will say it isn’t exempt.”

The week later she followed up on her instructions: “As I said, we are working on the denial for [Crossroads], so I need to think about whether to open an exam. I think yes, but let me cogitate a bit on it.”

Steven Law, Crossroads GPS president in a statement said “it is now apparent that Ms. Lerner was directly and improperly involved in targeting our application, which may explain why we are still awaiting final action on our 501(c)(4) certification.”

The letter also charged that Lerner targeted conservative groups Americans for Responsible Leadership, Freedom Path, Rightchange.com, America is Not Stupid and A Better America after a January 2013 ProPublica story ran, accusing the “dark money groups” of lying to the IRS and over-engaging in politics when they aren’t supposed to.

Lerner forwarded the email to her colleagues and asked to meet on the groups. Ultimately three of the groups were selected for an audit.

A little later that month, Lerner seemed to be considering a job at a left leaning social welfare organization, Organization For Action.

But it’s unclear if she was serious or joking in her email to an IRS employee in response to a news story about the new group: “Oh – maybe I can get the DC office job!”

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House Ways And Means Committee Votes To Refer Lois Lerner For Criminal Charges – Townhall

The House Ways and Means Committee has voted to 23-14 along party lines to refer former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS Lois Lerner to the Justice Department for prosecution. Although the details about exactly what charges will be have not yet been released, lawmakers are arguing Lerner has not been truthful with Congress or the IRS inspector general and leaked confidential tax information.

Last time a referral like this happened, it was to Major League Baseball player Roger Clemens, who was pursued by the Department of Justice for lying to Congress but was exonerated in court.

This is a test for the Department of Justice and the Obama administration. What’s more important? Baseball and steroids? Or the most powerful federal agency abusing its power to target innocent conservative groups?

Last summer President Obama called the targeting “outrageous” and promised to hold people responsible and accountable for what happened. If the Justice Department refuses to pursue charges against Lerner, it’s fair to say one reason is because they don’t want information leading back to the administration coming out in court.

Tomorrow the House Oversight Comittee will vote on whether to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress.

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Email: Lois Lerner Joked About Working For Pro-Obama Non-Profit Group – Big Government

Former IRS director Lois Lerner, the center figure in the scandal surrounding conservative and Tea Party groups once joked about getting a job with Organizing for Action while investigating the reorganization of President Obama’s former campaign operation into a 501(c)(4) group.

Lerner, the director of Exempt Organizations, emailed a colleague about OFA on January 24, who noted that they would primarily operate out of Chicago – but would have an office in Washington D.C.

“Oh – maybe I can get the DC office job!” Lerner emailed back.

See an image of the email below as provided by the House Ways and Means Committee.

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IRS Employees Accused Of Donning Pro-Obama Gear, Urging Callers To Vote For Him – Fox News

IRS workers in several offices have been openly supporting President Obama, including by donning pro-Obama paraphernalia and urging callers to reelect the president in 2012, according to allegations contained in a new government watchdog report.

A report by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, released Wednesday, cited accusations that workers at a Dallas IRS office may have violated federal law by wearing pro-Obama items like shirts, stickers and buttons. The Hatch Act forbids Executive Branch workers from engaging in partisan political activity.

The report comes as two House committees move to take action against former IRS official Lois Lerner regarding the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.

The report, further fueling allegations of bias at the agency, claimed that several accusations were made against the Dallas office claiming pro-Obama gear was “commonplace” there. Employees allegedly wore Obama shirts, buttons and stickers to work and had Obama screensavers on their IRS computers.

The report said it was unclear whether this activity happened before or after the 2012 election, but an advisory was issued to Dallas employees that such activity was prohibited.

Another example cited in the report states an IRS employee in Kentucky also violated the law by touting her political views to a taxpayer during the 2012 election. According to the report, the employee told the caller she was “for” the Democrats because “Republicans already [sic] trying to cap my pension and… they’re going to take women back 40 years.”

The employee then told the taxpayer that she was not supposed to disclose her views “so you didn’t hear me saying that.” The report says the employee admitted violating the Hatch Act and will serve a 14-day suspension.

However, the Kentucky example was not the only IRS employee found to be urging taxpayers over the phone to vote for Obama. The report cites another unnamed customer service representative, who was accused of telling multiple callers in 2012 they needed to vote for Obama.

According to the report, the employee told the callers a chant based on Obama’s last name that touted his campaign and urged them to reelect him. The report does not say where the employee was located, but says the Office of Special Counsel is seeking “significant disciplinary action” against him.

The accusations come as a House committee on Wednesday voted to formally ask the Justice Department to consider criminal prosecution against Lerner. A separate committee will vote Thursday on whether to hold her in contempt of Congress for twice refusing to testify on the targeting scandal.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is an independent government watchdog that investigates claims of wrongdoing by federal employees.

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Your Daley Gator Obamacare Nightmare News Roundup

‘The Debate Over Repealing This Law Is Over’: Obama Boasts 7.1 Million Have Signed Up To Obamacare, But Study Shows Just 858,000 Newly Insured Americans Have Paid Up! – Daily Mail

A triumphant President Barack Obama declared Tuesday his signature medical insurance overhaul a success, saying it has made America’s health care system ‘a lot better’ in a Rose Garden press conference.

But buried in the 7.1 million enrollments he announced in a heavily staged appearance is a more unsettling reality.

Numbers from a RAND Corporation study that has been kept under wraps suggest that barely 858,000 previously uninsured Americans – nowhere near 7.1 million – have paid for new policies and joined the ranks of the insured by Monday night.

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Others were already insured, including millions who lost coverage when their existing policies were suddenly cancelled because they didn’t meet Obamacare’s strict minimum requirements.

Still, he claimed that ‘millions of people who have health insurance would not have it’ without his insurance law.’

‘The goal we’ve set for ourselves – that no American should go without the health care they need… is achievable,’ Obama declared.

The president took no questions from reporters, but celebrated the end of a rocky six-month open-enrollment period by taking pot shots at Republicans who have opposed the law from the beginning as a government-run seizure of one-seventh of the U.S. economy.

‘The debate over repealing this law is over,’ he insisted. ‘The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.’

The president also chided conservatives ‘who have based their entire political agenda on repealing it,’ and praised congressional Democrats for their partisan passage of the law without a single GOP vote.

‘We could not have done it without them, and they should be proud of what they’ve done,’ Obama boasted, in a clear nod to November’s contentious elections in which Republicans are expected to make large gains on an anti-Obamacare platform because of the law’s general lack of popularity.

‘In the end,’ he warned the GOP, ‘history is not kind to those who would deny Americans their basic economic security… That’s what the Affordable Care Act represents.’

‘“The bottom line is this,’ said Obama: ‘The share of Americans with insurance is up, and the growth in the cost of insurance is down. There’s no good reason to go back.’

Republicans will differ with that assessment as Election Day nears. They need to gain a net total of six Senate seats in order to reclaim the majority and control both houses of Congress, a goal that appears reachable since two-thirds of the seats being contested are held by Democratic incumbents.

No national political analyst has predicted a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives.

White House press secretary Jay Carney stopped short of saying ‘I told you so,’ but chided a sparse press corps in the briefing room at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for ever doubting that the Obamacare system would enroll more than 7 million Americans.

‘At midnight last night we surpassed everyone’s expectations,’ he boasted, ‘at least everyone in this room.’

While he took great pains to emphasize that the total would grow – saying ‘we’re still waiting on data from state exchanges’ – he dodged tough questions about other statistics that reporters thought he should have had at the ready.

Those numbers included how many Americans have paid for their insurance policies, and are actually insured. Also, he had no answer to the thorny question of how few signups represented people who had no insurance before the Affordable Care Act took effect.

Aside from the issue of the numbers’ likely decrease when non-paying enrollments are taken into account, administration officials have been coy about the RAND Corporation study, which suggests that relatively few Obamacare enrollees were previously uninsured.

In addition to his claim of 7.1 million enrollments, Obama also announced that ‘three million young people’ under age 26 have gained coverage as add-ons to their parents’ policies. and ‘millions more… gained access through Medicaid expansion,’ he said.

Those totals – young adults attached to their parents’ insurance and new taxpayer-funded Medicaid subscribers – far exceed the 7.1 million number the White House trumpeted on Tuesday.

The Affordable Care Act carried with it the promise of covering ‘every American,’ and it appears to have fallen tremendously short.

The unpublished RAND study – only the Los Angeles Times has seen it – found that just 23 per cent of new enrollees had no insurance before signing up.

And of those newly insured Americans, just 53 per cent have paid their first month’s premiums.

If those numbers hold, the actual net gain of paid policies among Americans who lacked medical insurance in the pre-Obamacare days would be just 858,298.

Obama’s Rose Garden speech included an acknowledgement that the Affordable Care Act ‘has had its share of problems,’ and has at times been ‘contentious and confusing… That’s part of what change looks like in a Democracy.’

But ‘there are still no death panels,’ he joked amid laughter. ‘Armageddon has not arrived.’

A standing ovation greeted him after his speech. A White House aide said the crowd consisted of ‘”organizations and stakeholder groups who helped lead the enrollment and outreach efforts, as well as Hill lawmakers and staff from HHS, CMS and other agencies involved in implementing the ACA.’

Not among them: Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathlen Sebelius, the administration official most responsible for the Obamacare program’s implementation. She also did not appear in the White House press briefing room earlier in the afternoon.

But Carney and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough distributed donuts to reporters in the press center on Tuesday morning – presumably without checking with the first lady – and eagerly pitched talking points to journalists writing about the milestone day.

Questions remain about the effectiveness and affordability of Obama’s plan, which he sold to congressional Democrats and the American people as a scheme to cover the uninsured, and about how the law is contributing to the spiraling cost of medical care.

As information about the chasm between Obamacare’s promises and its reality have reached the public, the program has become more and more unpopular – a fact that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met with awkward silence during a Monday television interview in Oklahoma.

‘At last check, 64 percent of Oklahomans aren’t buying into the healthcare plan; they don’t like Obamacare, and they’ve been pretty vocal about it,’ a KWTV-9 reporter told her.

‘Now that’s going to be – still continue to be a tough sell, but we’ll see how that plays out over the coming months.’

Sebelius, a deer trapped in TV’s headlights, offered only a blank stare. Asked if she had lost the audio feed, the icy secretary responded, ‘I can hear you. But I – thanks for having me.’

Hours earlier, she tooted Obama’s horn during a fawning Huffington Post interview, claiming that healthcare.gov saw a surge in traffic when the president appeared on the gonzo show ‘Between Two Ferns’ on the Funny or Die website.

Obamacare ‘definitely saw the Galifianakis bump,’ she said, referring to the show’s host Zach Galifianakis.

‘As a mother of two 30-something sons, I know they’re more likely to get their information on “Funny or Die” than they are on network TV,’ she added.

Americans who missed the online broadcast still knew enough to queue up Monday for panic-induced sign-ups. Crushed with traffic, healthcare.gov crashed twice.

On its way to 7 million, the Obama administration has never answered some key questions about the open enrollment period.

The White House has instead kept to its talking points.

‘What I can tell you is that we expect there to be a good mix of people who were previously uninsured who now have insurance,’ Carney said Monday.

‘Certainly, there’s a significant number who now have qualified for Medicaid in those states that expanded Medicaid who will have insurance who didn’t have it before.’

The midnight deadline for enrollment has become a temporary formality, as the Obama administration has offered extensions to anyone willing to claim they tried in earnest to sign up in time.

Sebelius promised Congress weeks ago that there would be no extension.

The White House has compared it to voters who are permitted to cast ballots if they are in line when the polls close. But conservative opponents note that ballot officials won’t accept voters’ claims the day after an election.

California has also extended its deadline through April 15.

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The Most Un-American Speech Barack Obama Has Ever Delivered – Bryan Preston

Before getting to the speech itself, it’s worth noting a few things.

When the Democrats passed and Barack Obama signed Obamacare, the majority opposed it. About 56%, in fact. A majority have consistently opposed that law ever since.

The Obama administration touted 7 million sign-ups by March 31 as “success.” When that goal appeared to be unreachable, the administration suggested that maybe 5 or 6 million would be enough. Now, as if by magic, they have their number. Somehow.

All along, the administration has touted false numbers of enrollees. All along, the administration has neglected to admit that Obamacare is causing millions of Americans to lose their insurance, as they were forced to admit that they knew it would.

A simple bit of math shows that even if there are 7 million legitimate sign-ups, there are between 5 and 6 million who lost their healthcare because of Obamacare. What’s the net number? How many of these have even paid their premiums? And how many of them are now facing steeper deductibles?

Premiums are not going down. Access has not been expanded. Provider networks are shrinking, reducing choice. These are all consequences of Obamacare. The president mentioned none of it.

The Obama administration is also neglecting to admit that their law is killing jobs. It is strangling hiring. It is killing the work ethic that built this country. The CBO estimates that we will lose the equivalent of more than 2 million jobs’ worth of work hours. Small businesses say that Obamacare is keeping them from expanding their businesses, and keeping them from hiring and growing their workforces. They also say that Obamacare is forcing them to cut hours, which translates into lost wages, for millions of workers. Obama mentioned none of that.

But most importantly, the Obama administration is not admitting that it used naked, brute force to coerce Americans into signing up for Obamacare. Failing to sign up can get the IRS, with its auditors and armed agents, unleashed on you. When faced with that prospect, sure, it’s not all that hard to persuade people to do what you want. It’s a lesson that feudal chiefs, tyrants, pirates and bandits learned a long time ago.

The 7 million that President Obama touted today is a false number, he knows that it is a false number, and he knows that it is based on the threat of force. In fact, his administration couldn’t even give a solid number until today. How convenient.

So today, the day after the same administration that has cooked the books on deportations, and cooked the books on unemployment, the same administration that lied about Fast and Furious, lied about Benghazi, lied about “green jobs,” lied about last week’s meeting with the Pope, and whose IRS abused the president’s critics – the leader of that administration touted “7.1 million sign-ups” for Obamacare. Even going by the administration’s official numbers, the president’s claim is inflated. The administration only claims 7,041,000 – far from 7.1 million.

The president criticized Americans who donated their own money to run ads opposing Obamacare. But Barack Obama used government force to take Americans’ money and use that money to promote his law – whether we backed his law or not. Which is worse?

Obama said that now that his law is the law of the land, it cannot be repealed. Also false. It’s unpopular even before the employer mandate kicks in, which is destined to cost tens of millions of Americans the healthcare that they now have. We have a system by which laws and even amendments to the Constitution can be repealed.

But the most ghastly aspect of the president’s speech was its celebratory tone. This president stood in the Rose Garden in the lawn of the people’s house. He used force to coerce Americans into doing what he wants for the sake of politics and power. An American president should never celebrate taking freedoms away from Americans. This president has, and he is pleased with himself for doing it. He basks in the applause of those who celebrate with him, as if it’s an achievement to use the full force of government to impose yourself on others.

Outside the gates of his little ceremony, Democrats remain on the run because Obamacare is wreaking havoc on people’s lives. This president’s “mission accomplished” moment has come. The Democrats will still lose the Senate this year, in part because Barack Obama remains so out of touch, aloof, and dishonest.

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Mark Levin Blasts Obama For His Castro-Like Campaign Rally, Spewing Obamacare Lies To His Clapping Seal Sycophants – Right Scoop

Mark Levin opened his show tonight livid over Obama’s Castro-like campaign rally on Obamacare today, where he spewed lie after lie to his clapping seal sycophants. And the media just echoes what he says like it’s the truth.

Listen below to his first segment:

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……………………….Click on image above to watch video.

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5 Reasons Obama’s 7.1 Million Number Is Meaningless – Big Government

On Tuesday, President Obama triumphantly announced that, with the power of the mainstream media, Hollywood, and the threat of the IRS, the mission had been accomplished: 7.1 million Americans had selected an Obamacare plan.

Obama’s tone was nothing short of exuberant: “7.1 million Americans have now signed up for private insurance plans through these market places. 7.1! Yep!” He then went on to criticize those who had expressed objections to Obamacare for its deprivations of plans, doctors, drugs, and liberty: “Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance?”

Now, it was always foolhardy for Republicans and conservatives to stake their objections to Obamacare on the number of sign-ups; Social Security is going bankrupt despite 100% enrollment. The reality is that Obama was always destined to hit his required numbers because, after all, he has the power of government to compel action. The real problem with Obamacare has little to do with the number of people signing up, and a lot to do with the restrictions on insurance companies and reimbursement rates to doctors.

Nonetheless, the 7.1 million statistic is a meaningless one. It’s meaningless for a variety of reasons:

It Doesn’t Measure How Many People Have Actually Paid. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted yesterday that of the 6 million people who had signed up for Obamacare at the time, “What we know from insurance companies… tell us that, for their initial customers, it’s somewhere between 80, 85, some say as high as 90 percent, have paid so far.” In other words, about five million people were signed up. As Aaron Blake of the Washington Post points out, “If between 80 and 90 percent of the six million have paid premiums, the number who are fully enrolled would be closer to five million than to six million.” With the increased number of sign-ups in the last days, that percentage number has likely dropped. This is not an unimportant distinction; insurance will not cover those who don’t pay.

7.1 Million Enrollees in the Private Exchanges Doesn’t Mean 7.1 Million Who Were Previously Uninsured. Some five million Americans saw their policies cancelled thanks to Obamacare. Those Americans were forced into the Obamacare exchanges by the government. According to a RAND Corporation study, only 858,000 previously uninsured Americans had actually joined Obamacare. That’s a far cry from 7.1 million.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated in March 2010 that 37.3% of all uninsured Americans would gain insurance thanks to Obamacare in 2014. That estimate rose to 38.9% in March 2011. In February 2014, the CBO suggested that in 2014, 22.8% would gain insurance through Obamacare. The actual statistic: 12.5%. In other words, the original estimates were off by approximately 66%.

The Chief Beneficiaries of Obamacare Have Been Medicaid Recipients and 26-Year-Old Basement Dwellers. There are approximately 6.1 million people who have gained coverage through Obamacare’s non-private exchange program. 4.5 million were beneficiaries of Medicaid expansion, and another 1.6 million 26-year-old “children” were forced onto their parents’ policies. That far outweighs any supposed gains in the private insurance market. As Chris Conover of Forbes writes, “At the end of the day, we appear to have covered 1 in 8 uninsured, but to get to this point, we have disrupted coverage for millions, increased premiums for tens of millions more and amplified the pain even further with a blizzard of new taxes and fees that will end up cost even the lowest income families nearly $7,000 over a decade.”

The Huge Majority of Those Signing Up Are Getting Subsidies – and Even Those Who Are Subsidized Aren’t Signing Up. In order for Obamacare’s cost structure to work, millions of Americans must sign up to pay inflated prices; that would help pay for the subsidies to cover insurance company costs on those with pre-existing conditions. In March, the Obama administration reported that 83% of those who had signed up were eligible for subsidies. As Robert Laszewski estimates, in the end, just 27% of those who are eligible for Obamacare subsidies nationwide have signed up.

How Much Will The Numbers Drop? These are all preliminary statistics. We now know that somewhere between 2% and 5% of people who paid their insurance bills in January did not do so in February, to go along with the high percentage of people who signed up and never paid at all (that number in Obamacare success story Washington state, for example, was 39% as of early February).

The 7.1 million statistic is not all that important, in the end. Obama will hit his numbers, by hook or by crook. Likely by crook. But conservative opposition to Obamacare should not be predicated on its ineffectiveness in forcing sign-ups. Instead, it should be based on deprivation of liberty and destruction of medical care.

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Compassion: Anti-Obamacare Cancer Patient Smeared By Reid Now Receiving Death Wishes From Liberals – Hot Air

Welcome to your feel-bad story of the month. Remember Julie Boonstra? She’s the single mother fighting leukemia who appeared in an anti-Obamacare television ad running in Michigan:

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid assailed Ms. Boonstra, and others like her, in a breathtakingly mean-pirited floor speech – going so far as to say that “all” of their negative experiences were “untrue” and “lies.” Reid now claims he doesn’t remember saying any such thing, but there’s video tape:

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In his effort to discredit Boonstra, Reid relied on a Washington Post “fact check,” which effectively ruled her story half true. In fact, every claim Boonstra made in the ad has been confirmed, as explained by the Detroit News’ Dan Calabrese:

Boonstra is on five different medications to help deal with her leukemia. The Blue Cross PR spokesman claimed that they are all covered. But when Boonstra went to fill her prescription for Loratadine – a prescription-level equivalent of Claritin that she uses to control congestion brought on by chemotherapy – she was told that Loratadine is not covered. She has not yet attempted to restock any of her other meds but she is already having to come with strategies to deal with that problem. The $5,100 cap on Boonstra’s out-of-pocket spending is for in-network care only. If she has to go out of network, she could spend an additional $10,200…When Boonstra was first diagnosed, she had to go through a painstaking process to get approval for her chemotherapy drugs to be covered. When she finally found insurance she liked, she had no problem with the chemo drugs. She now says that process is starting all over again. Boonstra has already had to cut back on her bone marrow biopsies, which she was having on a regular schedule she had worked out with her doctor, because she doesn’t have clarification on whether these will be covered. I could go on, but the bottom line is this: Julie Boonstra told the truth, and arrogant media “fact checkers” had a lot of nerve claiming she hadn’t when they never even talked to her.

Nevertheless, Reid’s inaccurate nasty gram touched off a torrent of bile from Obamacare supporters, including this delightful care package Boonstra received in the mail:

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Die, because your experience is inconvenient to my “pissed off” ideology. Incidentally, Ms. Boonstra isn’t the only Obamacare victim who received a cancellation notice, and whose subsequent plan presents out-of-pocket hardships:

Breast cancer survivor Ginny Mason was thrilled to get health coverage under the Affordable Care Act despite her pre-existing condition. But when she realized her arthritis medication fell under a particularly costly tier of her plan, she was forced to switch to another brand. Under the plan, her Celebrex would have cost $648 a month until she met her $1,500 prescription deductible, followed by an $85 monthly co-pay. Mason is one of the many Americans with serious illnesses – including cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis – who are indeed finding relatively low monthly premiums under President Barack Obama’s law. But some have been shocked at how much their prescriptions are costing as insurers are sorting drug prices into a complex tier system and in some cases charging co-insurance rates as high as 50 percent. That can leave patients on the hook for thousands.

Another example from North Carolina:

Amy Newbold, a 57-year-old saleswoman from Randolph County, N.C., lost her employer insurance last year. Through HealthCare.gov, she found a mid-tier “silver” plan with premiums that at first blush are $75 a month lower than her previous policy. But there are no savings, she said, since her old premiums were paid with pretax dollars and Obamacare premiums are paid with aftertax dollars. Newbold said she faces substantially higher drug costs for arthritis and psoriasis and worries that an out-of-pocket maximum of $5,000 could put needed medicines out of reach. “I feel left out in the cold, and I don’t know why it has to be that way,” she said.

Maybe Reid can make these “liars” famous, too. Indeed, unleashing left-wing wrath on ordinary people for the sin of speaking out must be a pretty effective method of stifling dissent – which is precisely what Reid wants.

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Kansas Hospital Lays Off Employees Due To Obamacare – Washington Free Beacon

The sky-high costs of Obamacare have forced a Kansas hospital to lay off more than a dozen employees.

Newman Regional Health hospital in Emporia, KS, a limited in-patient and outpatient services facility, has laid off fifteen employees- ten full time workers and five part time workers.

In a statement issued by Newman Regional, the hospital blames the lay offs on the “negative financial impacts of the Affordable Care Act.”

The staff cut is expected to save the hospital $1 million every year.

Bob Wright, CEO of Newman Regional told KTKA-KS, “It’s looking into the future, knowing that we need to make a profit, having the advantage of critical access, getting us most of the way there, but having really to do our part as good stewards of our resources to make sure that we’re profitable.”

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Harry Reid Dismisses Cancer Patient Tom Coburn’s Obamacare Concern – Washington Examiner

When Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., pointed out that the majority of cancer centers in the country aren’t covered under Obamacare while arguing that the law’s problems go beyond early website issues, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., dismissed the critique as too “in the weeds.”

Coburn, a medical doctor battling cancer, panned the coverage offered to cancer patients.

“Nineteen of the cancer centers in this country, only five are covered under Obamacare,” he told the Washington Examiner Tuesday, a data point he attributed to the low payments the Affordable Care Act provides for those treatments.

“You know, it’s a market, and what they’ve done is they’ve priced it where these cancer centers, a lot of them, aren’t going to participate because they don’t get paid to cover the costs,” he said. Coburn, who is retiring at the end of this year, said his cancer center initially refused to accept the government health insurance, but has since reversed that policy.

Reid suggested that Coburn was taking too narrow a view of the law. “Dr. Coburn is very good at getting into the weeds and trying to find something that he thinks makes sense, but I think we need to look at the overall context of this bill,” he replied when asked about Coburn’s comments during a Senate press briefing. “It really brings a lot of people in from the cold so that they have the ability to get health insurance, which they’ve never had the opportunity [to do] before.”

Reid hailed the White House’s announcement that seven million people had enrolled in insurance through Obamacare, but Coburn said the statistic is a “numbers game.”

“You had six million who lost their insurance, how many net new people got covered? How many who lost their insurance don’t have insurance today?” Coburn asked. “And is it affordable? …The ones that lost their insurance now have [Obamacare], and we don’t know what that number is. I guarantee you three-quarters of them are paying a significantly higher cost, have a higher co-pay and a higher deductible.”

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Your Daley Gator Obamacare-Is-Evil News Roundup – 10/15/13 (Videos)

The Obamacare Implosion Is Worse Than You Think – Washington Post

Obamacare is imploding. But thanks to the government shutdown, everyone is talking about the implosion of the GOP instead.

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The shutdown drama has distracted from the fact that Obamacare’s debut is worse than many realize – and it threatens the fundamental viability of the law itself. The administration claims the Obamacare online exchanges crashed because the Web site got more than 8 million hits in the first week. Please. You know how many people visit Amazon.com every week? More than 70 million. The difference is: 1.) Amazon seldom crashes, and 2.) on Amazon, people actually buy something.

It appears virtually no one is buying Obamacare. While administration officials brag about how many visitors the site is getting, they refuse to divulge how many people actually signed up. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was asked that directly by Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show.” “Fully enrolled?” Sebelius stuttered. “I can’t tell you. Because I don’t know.” That is a frightening admission of incompetence. If the Obama administration can’t even track how many people signed up, how on earth is it going to verify whether those people are eligible for subsidies? How will it protect against fraud?

The Post reported this past weekend that the failure of the Web site is worse than previously known: “Even when consumers have been able to sign up, insurers sometimes can’t tell who their new customers are because of a separate set of computer defects.” It turns out that in some 99 percent of applications, the Obamacare site did not provide insurers with enough verifiable information to enroll people in their plans.

Computer experts say the problems with the site are not because of heavy traffic but are the result of structural flaws in system architecture. It is going to take months to rebuild it. That raises a question: If the federal government can’t manage a simple Web site, how on earth is it going to manage the health care of millions of Americans?

It also means that President Obama may have no choice but to delay the individual mandate. As my American Enterprise Institute colleague, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, points out, how can Obama penalize people for not having health insurance if the government’s Web site to provide that insurance doesn’t work?

Without the individual mandate, Obamacare unravels. The only way the law works is if the government forces young, healthy people into it by threatening them with penalties for not carrying health insurance. But if there is no penalty for not signing up, then fewer Americans will sign up.

Even if the administration manages to fix the Web site and finally implement the individual mandate, people still may not join – because the plans being offered are so unattractive. To entice people to join the exchanges, the administration forced insurers to offer low monthly premiums and cover people with preexisting conditions. Insurers have responded by increasing deductibles – the out-of-pocket costs people must pay before insurance benefits kick in – to stratospheric levels.

According to an analysis this weekend by the president’s hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune, “21 of the 22 lowest-priced plans offered on the Illinois health insurance exchange for Cook County have annual deductibles of more than $4,000 for an individual and $8,000 for family coverage… Plans with the least expensive monthly premiums – highlighted by state and federal officials as proof the new law will keep costs low for consumers – have deductibles as high as $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families.” Even with federal subsidies, few Americans will bother to buy insurance with a $4,000 to $12,700 deductible – and millions won’t even be eligible for the subsidies.

If enough Americans don’t join the exchanges, Obamacare collapses. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the administration needs at least 7 million people to join the exchanges for Obamacare to be financially viable. While the administration won’t reveal sign-up rates, London’s Daily Mail reported that total sign-ups in the first week were just 51,000 people. If accurate, that would mean they have just 6,949,000 more to go to break even.

Bottom line: It turns out Obamacare is blowing itself up just fine without Republican help. Far from a few “glitches,” the president’s signature program is in free fall after only a week. But instead of focusing on the Obamacare debacle, the news is filled with stories about… the government shutdown. The irony is, the shutdown was intended to stop Obamacare. Instead, it is rescuing Obama from his own incompetence.

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Obamacare Website Source Code: ‘No Reasonable Expectation Of Privacy’ – Weekly Standard

The launch of federal government’s Obamacare insurance exchange, Healthcare.gov, has been plagued with delays, errors, and poor website design, even prompting USA Today to call it an “inexcusable mess” and a “nightmare”. Now comes another example of why the website’s reputation is in tatters. Buried in the source code of Healthcare.gov is this sentence that could prove embarrassing: “You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system.” Though not visible to users and obviously not intended as part of the terms and conditions, the language is nevertheless a part of the underlying code for the “Terms & Conditions” page on the site.

After creating an account on Healthcare.gov, users are asked to click an “I accept” button under some routine Terms & Conditions prohibiting unauthorized attempts to upload information or change the website. Once users click the button, they may proceed to shop for insurance and enter detailed personal information. However, when the Terms & Conditions page is visible, the hidden sentence mentioned above along with several others can be seen by using a web browser’s “View Source” feature. A screen grab below shows the visible Terms & Conditions page along with a simultaneous view of the code underlying it:

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The full portion of the code which does not appear on the visible page displayed for users reads as follows:

You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system. At any time, and for any lawful Government purpose, the government may monitor, intercept, and search and seize any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system. Any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system may be disclosed or used for any lawful Government purpose. [The sentence beginning “To continue” also appears again, but is only visible once on the page as displayed for users.]

It is unclear why these sentences appear in the code at all since they are not displayed, although the code may simply have been copied from another website that does use the full warning. In this case, the unwanted portion of the warning was rendered inert with HTML coding tags (““) usually used by programmers for inserting comments to explain the purpose of a section of code. However, the code can be rendered “live” again by simply removing those tags, in which case the full text would appear on the screen to users. However, it is unclear why the paragraph containing “no reasonable expectation of privacy” would ever have even been considered appropriate in this context.

The phrase “no reasonable expectation of privacy” is actually a stock phrase used in the terms and conditions of many government websites and information systems, but those who are entering personal, medical and financial information at Healthcare.gov may not find that fact reassuring. An email sent on Thursday, October 10, requesting comment from Department of Health and Human Services, the agency responsible for the website, has not yet been returned.

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Report: Budget Deal To Include Obamacare Tax Delay For The Unions – Weasel Zippers

Unbelievable.

Via The Hill:

Labor unions are poised to score the delay of an ObamaCare tax in the bipartisan budget deal emerging in the Senate.

The bargain under negotiation would make small adjustments to the healthcare law, including delaying the law’s reinsurance fee for one year. The three-year tax is meant to generate revenue that will stabilize premiums on the individual market as sick patients enter the risk pool.

The tax applies to all group health plans, but unions argue it will raise their healthcare costs while providing them no benefit.

The reinsurance tax figured prominently in discussions at a recent AFL-CIO convention, where workers passed a resolution demanding changes to ObamaCare.

The White House recently denied labor’s top priority on ObamaCare, ruling that union health plans are not eligible for the new subsidies because they are already helped by the tax code.

Democrats could be pushing to delay the reinsurance fee for one year as an olive branch after that apparent slight, though it could also create trouble for insurers on the marketplaces.

The possible Senate deal would raise the nation’s debt ceiling until mid-February, immediately reopen the government and provide funding until Jan. 15.

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Most Powerful White House Obamacare Official At Center Of IRS Scandal – Daily Caller

The White House official who exchanged confidential taxpayer information with the IRS is a longtime Obama advisor and progressive activist who is currently the most powerful official on Obamacare implementation within the White House.

Jeanne Lambrew, deputy assistant to the president for health policy, entered Obama-world in 2008 as a health-policy adviser to then-Senator Obama’s presidential campaign. She was subsequently named deputy director and then director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) now-defunct Office of Health Reform, where she reported directly to Kathleen Sebelius.

Lambrew’s current “deputy assistant to the president” position, while modest-sounding, gives her extensive and centralized power over the White House’s efforts to implement Obamacare.

“[Lambrew] is also unabashedly liberal – often serving as the architect of her party’s most progressive ideas on healthcare reform,” wrote American Enterprise Institute resident fellow Scott Gottlieb in a March op-ed.

“The few remaining centrists thinkers inside the White House, mostly scattered across the National Economic Council and Treasury, are gone – or largely marginalized when it comes to issues around implementation. The people drafting and reviewing the regulations are mostly centered in the White House and its Domestic Policy Council – and they mostly work for Jeanne Lambrew,” Gottlieb wrote.

“Normally, the Office of Management and Budget and the National Economic Council would be heavily engaged on the issuance of regulations tied to a major law like Obamacare. Not the Obama White House. The economists still play on the fiscal issues related to Medicare and Medicaid. But when it comes to Obamacare implementation, they are not calling the shots. The power is centered on Lambrew,” Gottlieb wrote.

Lambrew exchanged confidential taxpayer information on organizations with IRS official Sarah Hall Ingram and White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz, according to 2012 emails obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and provided to The Daily Caller last week. Ingram attempted to counsel Lambrew and the White House on a lawsuit from religious organizations opposing Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

Lambrew also hosted 155 of Ingram’s 165 White House visits, according to White House visitor logs that were recently taken offline during the government shutdown. The IRS improperly targeted conservative groups for harassment of their tax-exempt applications and abusive audits between 2010 and 2012.

Lambrew previously served as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a left-wing Washington think tank headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta.

Podesta credited Lambrew with helping to shape the “foundation” of the progressive health care reform push beginning in 2005, which was eventually realized under Obama despite attempts to “demagogue” the issue by conservatives who believe that “health is a privilege, not a right,” according to Podesta.

Lambrew moderated a June 2008 Center for American Progress panel criticizing Obama opponent John McCain’s health policy.

Among numerous other positions in government and academia, Lambrew worked on health care reform at the Department of Health and Human Services between 1993-94, as First Lady Hillary Clinton led the administration’s disastrous health care reform initiative.

Lambrew has contributed money to the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Obama, and to the now defunct George Soros-funded PAC America Coming Together.

“Providing and improving health care for every American may be the current test of our country’s strength of conviction, as was enacting civil rights for all in the 1960s and the creation of the New Deal in the 1930s,” wrote Lambrew, Podesta, and Teresa L. Shaw in 2005.

The White House did not return a request for comment.

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Obamacare Meltdown Triggers Congressional Investigations – Washington Examiner

House Republicans don’t have the power to stop Obamacare. But they do have the power to investigate it.

Recent weeks have seen the meltdown of the Obamacare national online marketplace, reported to have cost between $400 million and $600 million so far. There are also indications the administration knew serious problems were coming and hid them from lawmakers who have a responsibility to oversee the program.

The episode has prompted a lot of questions on Capitol Hill. Just how many people have tried to purchase coverage on the exchanges? How many have succeeded? Is the level of interest sufficient for Obamacare to reach its goal of seven million enrollees? Why is the administration being so secretive about it?

Also, what about the security of Americans’ confidential health and financial information? Does the struggling system have adequate protections for that?

And once the administration finally gets its website working, will millions of Americans experience sticker shock, discovering that they will have to pay higher premiums and deductibles for coverage? What were the administration’s in-house estimates on that?

As House Republicans see it, there is much to talk about. Last Thursday, Rep. Fred Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent letters to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, as well as some major Obamacare contractors, wanting to know why HHS officials were painting a rosy picture of the exchanges just weeks before it all came crashing down.

“Staff from your agency who briefed committee staff in August 2013 explained that testing of the [exchanges] was proceeding on schedule and did not identify any problems like the ones now being experienced on HealthCare.gov,” Upton told Sebelius. In addition, Upton said a top Obamacare official told the committee on Sept. 19 that consumers would have immediate and full access to Obamacare’s programs, “and they will be able to choose a plan and get enrolled in coverage beginning Oct. 1.”

That certainly didn’t happen. Citing what he calls “a host of broken promises” from the Obama administration, Upton is preparing to call those officials back for more testimony. “We want to look at the rollout, and what they said this summer,” Upton told me, “when they absolutely verified that everything was fine and dandy.”

In addition to testimony, Upton wants internal documents relating to the exchange’s design and testing, plus documents from outside experts involved.

And there are still more questions. How did the Obama team select the contractors involved in the (so far, disastrous) rollout? The Washington Examiner’s Richard Pollock has reported that federal officials relied on just one company to design the system. “Rather than open the contracting process to a competitive public solicitation with multiple bidders,” Pollock reported, “officials in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid accepted a sole bidder, CGI Federal, the U.S. subsidiary of a Canadian company with an uneven record of IT pricing and contract performance.”

That is a classic subject for congressional investigation. And so is the subject of cost: Just how much has the administration spent on the exchanges so far versus its original estimates, and how much will it cost to fix the system now? And what about the administration’s story that the exchanges’ early problems were due simply to an enormous amount of traffic from people wanting to sign up? Where did that come from?

In addition to Upton, Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Sen. Lamar Alexander, the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, are seeking answers from the administration. In a letter to Sebelius on Thursday, the lawmakers demanded a wide range of information from HHS, “for us to better determine whether any corrective legislative actions are necessary.”

The number of Obamacare investigations on Capitol Hill is likely to grow in coming weeks. There’s no denying the probes will have a political element, as Republican chairmen in the House lead the charge. And if Obamacare’s problems continue, and perhaps expand, the situation could be politically advantageous for the GOP. No one should be surprised if a White House on the defensive accuses Republicans of playing politics.

But the fact is, the investigations are necessary and appropriate; Obamacare is a massive, and massively expensive, federal undertaking that could bring about major changes in the lives of millions of Americans. It must have congressional supervision.

“We’re going to be pursuing this with a lot of vigor,” said Upton. “This issue is not going away.”

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Sebelius: ObamaCare To Bring ‘Western Civilization To Its Knees’ – Investors Business Daily

In a stunning admission, our Health and Human Services secretary admits ObamaCare is part of the fundamental transformation of America away from a free market in anything to a nanny state on steroids.

Maybe Kathleen Sebelius was being sarcastic, or maybe she thought it might be a good way to reach the “young invincibles” who feel they had better things to do with their money than enroll in ObamaCare. But her recent appearance on Jon Stewart’s show on Comedy Central went about as well as ObamaCare’s train wreck of a rollout.

Stewart hammered her and ObamaCare, as we have, on why she and President Obama granted delays for employers and insurers in their mandates, while individuals were still being forced into the comedy central known as the ObamaCare exchanges.

Failing to get a straight answer, Stewart pointed out that businesses are basing hiring decisions now based on ObamaCare’s expensive regulatory straightjacket. He noted that businesses are cutting worker hours to exploit a loophole in the law, but Sebelius denied it.

Then in a moment of intended sarcasm that was really one of unintentional honesty, the U.S. secretary of health and human services said, “As you know, we’re facing the end of the Western Civilization by having a market-based strategy. We are bringing Western Civilization to its knees by selling private insurance plans on a website where people can pick and choose.”

People have long been able to buy insurance online and free to choose which insurance to buy and from whom or not to buy any at all. By forcing people to buy a product they don’t want, Sebelius and the Obama administration are bringing Western civilization to its knees — at least our Constitution-based part of it.

ObamaCare limits our choices and freedom. A true market-based strategy would let people save money tax-free in medical savings accounts and use that money to choose their doctor and buy insurance tailored to their needs, with companies competing for their business across state lines. No mandates, no bureaucrats.

But then ObamaCare has never been about health care. It’s been about power, as IRS target Dr. Ben Carson made clear Friday at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. The former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon called the Affordable Care Act the “worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

He wasn’t exaggerating.

ObamaCare puts the U.S. government in charge of fully one-sixth of America’s economy, unconstitutionally seeks to force Americans to buy a service, often against their will, and places each individual’s health at the eventual mercy of government bureaucracy.

ObamaCare’s power to tax is the power to destroy our free-market economy — and our freedoms, as well.

So Sebelius is right after all. ObamaCare, as the song goes, is the end of the world as we know it.

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Family Of Toddler Who Stunned The World With His Viral Trick Shot Videos Hit With Obamacare Shocker – The Blaze

“Trick Shot Titus” won over the world with his incredible trick shots. YouTube videos of the toddler draining shot after shot, many times increasing in difficulty, resulted in a number of viral videos and appearances on “Today,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “The Glenn Beck Radio Program.”

The overwhelming success of the toddler’s trick shot videos brought in money that his parents plan to save for Titus and his three siblings. However, that plan has officially hit its first snag, according to the toddler’s father, Joseph Ashby.

The problem’s name is Obamacare.

Ashby, an aerospace engineer and radio host in Wichita, Kan., told TheBlaze that he recently received a letter from his family’s health insurance provider informing him that their policy no longer complies with federal law under Obamacare. The replacement plan allegedly comes with a roughly 535 percent deductible increase – before the plan helps out with medical bills. The replacement plan also reduces the number of plan-covered doctor visits from five to as few as two, and doubles the co-pay for each visit, he said.

“The old plan had a $1,000 deductible before the plan kicked in. After that, the old plan paid 80 percent and we paid 20 percent until we got to another $1,000. The new plan has a $6,350 deductible before they kick in anything,” he explained.

Further, Ashby claims the plan’s vision coverage is dropped and the monthly premium is still higher than the old policy. The family may end up paying as much as $10,000 more over the next year in medical costs under the new Obamacare-compliant plan, he said.

Ashby told TheBlaze the $10,000 estimation is based on a combination of higher premiums and likely medical payment his family would have to make with the increased deductible.

“I just want to make it clear that if my family was in the deepest pit of Nova Scotia with the Rocky Mountains piled on top of us, we’d make it out. We’re not here to complain,” the father said. “I just want people to know what Obamacare is – and isn’t.”

“The money from the viral videos (meant for Titus’ and his siblings’ future) is small compared to the family’s new health care cost,” reads a post on Ashby’s Facebook page.

“The folks in Washington who are doing so much to try and stop the law are fighting a good fight. We all want people to get medical care, but we can’t embrace a law that hurts so many others in the process.”

The original Titus trick shot video has more than 12 million views on YouTube:

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Obamacare’s Website Is Crashing Because It Doesn’t Want You To Know How Costly Its Plans Are – Forbes

A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.

HHS didn’t want users to see Obamacare’s true costs

“Healthcare.gov was initially going to include an option to browse before registering,” report Christopher Weaver and Louise Radnofsky in the Wall Street Journal. “But that tool was delayed, people familiar with the situation said.” Why was it delayed? “An HHS spokeswoman said the agency wanted to ensure that users were aware of their eligibility for subsidies that could help pay for coverage, before they started seeing the prices of policies.”

As you know if you’ve been following this space, Obamacare’s bevy of mandates, regulations, taxes, and fees drives up the cost of the insurance plans that are offered under the law’s public exchanges. A Manhattan Institute analysis I helped conduct found that, on average, the cheapest plan offered in a given state, under Obamacare, will be 99 percent more expensive for men, and 62 percent more expensive for women, than the cheapest plan offered under the old system. And those disparities are even wider for healthy people.

That raises an obvious question. If 50 million people are uninsured today, mainly because insurance is too expensive, why is it better to make coverage even costlier?

Political objectives trumped operational objectives

The answer is that Obamacare wasn’t designed to help healthy people with average incomes get health insurance. It was designed to force those people to pay more for coverage, in order to subsidize insurance for people with incomes near the poverty line, and those with chronic or costly medical conditions.

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But the laws’ supporters and enforcers don’t want you to know that, because it would violate the President’s incessantly repeated promise that nothing would change for the people that Obamacare doesn’t directly help. If you shop for Obamacare-based coverage without knowing if you qualify for subsidies, you might be discouraged by the law’s steep costs.

So, by analyzing your income first, if you qualify for heavy subsidies, the website can advertise those subsidies to you instead of just hitting you with Obamacare’s steep premiums. For example, the site could advertise plans that “$0″ or “$30″ instead of explaining that the plan really costs $200, and you’re getting a subsidy of $200 or $170. But you’ll have to be at or near the poverty line to gain subsidies of that size; most people will either not qualify for a subsidy, or qualify for a small one that, net-net, doesn’t make up for the law’s cost hikes.

This political objective – masking the true underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans – far outweighed the operational objective of making the federal website work properly. Think about it the other way around. If the “Affordable Care Act” truly did make health insurance more affordable, there would be no need to hide these prices from the public.

Subsidy verification created a traffic bottleneck

Comparable private-sector e-commerce sites, like eHealthInsurance.com, allow you to shop for plans and compare prices simply by entering your age and your ZIP code. After you’ve selected a plan you like, you fill out an on-line application. That substantially winnows down the number of people who rely on the site for network-intensive tasks.

The federal government’s decision to force people to apply before shopping, Weaver and Radnofsky write, “proved crucial because, before users can begin shopping for coverage, they must cross a busy digital junction in which data are swapped among separate computer systems built or run by contractors including CGI Group Inc., the healthcare.gov developer, Quality Software Services Inc., a UnitedHealth Group Inc. unit; and credit-checker Experian PLC. If any part of the web of systems fails to work properly, it could lead to a traffic jam blocking most users from the marketplace.”

Jay Angoff, a former federal official at the agency that oversees the exchange, told the Journal that he was surprised by the decision. “People should be able to get quotes” without entering all of that information upfront.

Weaver and Radnofsky say that the core problem stems from “the slate of registration systems [that] intersect with Oracle Identity Manager, a software component embedded in a government identity-checking system.” The main Healthcare.gov web page collects information using the CGI Group technology. Then that data is transferred to a system built by Quailty Software Services. QSS then sends data to Experian, the credit-history firm. But the key “identity management system” employed by QSS was designed by Oracle, and according to the Journal’s sources, the Oracle software isn’t playing nicely with the other information systems.

Oracle hotly denies these claims. “Our software is the identical product deployed in most of the world’s most complex systems… our software is running properly,” said an Oracle spokeswoman in a statement.

‘It’s awful, just awful’

Robert Pear and colleagues at the New York Times have a piece up today detailing the serious problems with the federal exchange, problems that may get worse, not better. They confirm what we already knew: that the Obama administration refused to delay the implementation of the exchanges, despite the well-known problems, because they were afraid of the political blowback. “Former government officials say the White House, which was calling the shots, feared that any backtracking would further embolden Republican critics who were trying to repeal the health care law.”

As I documented last week, IT and insurance experts have been saying for at least eight months that implementation of the exchanges was going badly, that as early as February officials were warning of a “third world experience.” The Times’ sources are just as blunt. “These are not glitches,” said one insurance executive. “The extent of the problems is pretty enormous. At the end of our [conference calls with the administration], people say, ‘It’s awful, just awful.’”

“We foresee a train wreck,” said another executive in a February interview with the Times. “We don’t have the IT specifications. The level of angst in health plans is growing by leaps and bounds. The political people in the administration do not understand how far behind they are.” Richard Foster, the former chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said last week that “so much testing of the new system was so far behind schedule, I was not confident it would work well.”

Henry Chao, the deputy chief information officer at CMS who made the “third world experience” comment, was told by his superiors that failure to meet the October 1 launch deadline “was not an option,” according to the Times.

White House knowingly chose to court disaster

Think about it. It’s quite possible that much of this disaster could have been avoided if the Obama administration had been willing to be open with the public about the degree to which Obamacare escalates the cost of health insurance. If they had, then a number of the problems with the exchange’s software architecture would have been avoided. But that would require admitting that the “Affordable Care Act” was not accurately named.

They knew that their people on the front lines, people like Henry Chao, were worried that the exchanges would get botched. They saw the Congressional Research Service memorandum detailing that the administration has missed half of the statutory deadlines assigned by the law. But they were more afraid of the P.R. disaster of disclosing Obamacare’s high premiums than they were of the P.R. disaster of crashing websites. What you see is the result.

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Obamacare’s Secret Is Out – The Foundry

Timing is everything. And just as Congress’s focus seems to be drifting from Obamacare’s ravages on the economy, Americans are learning the reason this law’s implementation was postponed until after the presidential election.

That reason is becoming clear as person after person opens the mail. Insurance costs are going up. For many, not just going up – skyrocketing.

Ross, a married father of three small boys in Florida, tells us his insurance will be going up $525 per month. “I feel completely helpless,” he says.

Kevin, who also has three small boys, just found out his wife’s individual health insurance premium will be jumping from $79 per month to $311.82 per month.

“For whom exactly is the Affordable Care Act making care affordable?” asked Kevin, who lives in Alabama.

But this isn’t all. While people are receiving notices that their premiums are going up or perhaps their health plans are being discontinued, there’s a secret in Obamacare’s exchanges, too.

One of the reasons the Obamacare website has been so slow and glitchy? It requires people to enter personal information before they’re able to see insurance plan options. Health and Human Services does this so that if you’re eligible for a subsidy, you won’t see the true cost of your health plan.

Obamacare is laden with mandates that are driving up the cost of health insurance. And it didn’t stop with the original law. Federal bureaucrats are continuing to write more Obamacare regulations. One estimate is that these paper pushers have added 30 words of regulations for every word in the original law.

No small tweak to Obamacare can fix this. No small tweak can give relief to these hard-working dads who are supporting their families and getting the wind knocked out of them by hundreds of dollars in insurance hikes.

If Congress does anything less than defund Obamacare, it is turning its back on all of these suffering Americans.

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*VIDEOS* Your Daley Gator Anti-War-In-Syria News Roundup



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Your Daley Gator Anti-War-In-Syria News Roundup

Syrian Rebel American Allies Continue Christian Genocide… Obama Sends Fruit Basket Thank You… Halal Of Course – Gateway Pundit

Al-Qaida Rebel fighters have taken over a Christian village northeast of the capital of Syria, Damascus. The slaughter of Christians continues as Obama’s allies cleanse the country of those EVIL Christians. This village speaks the language Christ spoke and now it is a ghost town.

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From Yahoo! News:

A Maaloula resident said the rebels, many of them sporting beards and shouting Allahu Akbar, or God is great, attacked Christian homes and churches shortly after moving into the village overnight.

“They shot and killed people. I heard gunshots and then I saw three bodies lying in the middle of a street in the old quarters of the village,” said the resident, reached by telephone from neighboring Jordan. “So many people fled the village for safety.”

Now, Maaloula “is a ghost town. Where is President Obama to see what befallen on us?” asked the man, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal by the rebels.

The barbaric Rebel advance into these towns and areas is led by the Nusra Front – Islamic extremists and BFFs of Obama – and they strike terror into the hearts of Syrians and religious minorities. They come to conquer – burn churches to the ground, murder, rape, pillage, torture and terrorize. And let’s not forget – cleanse in the name of Allah shouting Allah Akbar! You know, as McCain points out, just like Christians do. Hope he remembers that when the Islamists gear up in America.

We have watched at every turn as Obama has courted Erdogan of Turkey, claiming him as his closest ally; bringing the Muslim Brotherhood into the White House; persecuting Christians at home and abroad; and forcing Islamic law and principles down our throats while disparaging America. Taqiyya reigns in our government halls and the enemies within are praying for a similar Christian cleansing and debasing in America, while Obama faces Mecca.

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Obama’s Successful Foreign Failure – Norman Podhoretz

It is entirely understandable that Barack Obama’s way of dealing with Syria in recent weeks should have elicited responses ranging from puzzlement to disgust. Even members of his own party are despairingly echoing in private the public denunciations of him as “incompetent,” “bungling,” “feckless,” “amateurish” and “in over his head” coming from his political opponents on the right.

For how else to characterize a president who declares war against what he calls a great evil demanding immediate extirpation and in the next breath announces that he will postpone taking action for at least 10 days – and then goes off to play golf before embarking on a trip to another part of the world? As if this were not enough, he also assures the perpetrator of that great evil that the military action he will eventually take will last a very short time and will do hardly any damage. Unless, that is, he fails to get the unnecessary permission he has sought from Congress, in which case (according to an indiscreet member of his own staff) he might not take any military action after all.

Summing up the net effect of all this, as astute a foreign observer as Conrad Black can flatly say that, “Not since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, and before that the fall of France in 1940, has there been so swift an erosion of the world influence of a Great Power as we are witnessing with the United States.”

Yet if this is indeed the pass to which Mr. Obama has led us – and I think it is – let me suggest that it signifies not how incompetent and amateurish the president is, but how skillful. His foreign policy, far from a dismal failure, is a brilliant success as measured by what he intended all along to accomplish. The accomplishment would not have been possible if the intention had been too obvious. The skill lies in how effectively he has used rhetorical tricks to disguise it.

The key to understanding what Mr. Obama has pulled off is the astonishing statement he made in the week before being elected president: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” To those of us who took this declaration seriously, it meant that Mr. Obama really was the left-wing radical he seemed to be, given his associations with the likes of the anti-American preacher Jeremiah Wright and the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, not to mention the intellectual influence over him of Saul Alinsky, the original “community organizer.”

So far as domestic affairs were concerned, it soon became clear – even to some of those who had persuaded themselves that Mr. Obama was a moderate and a pragmatist – that the fundamental transformation he had in mind was to turn this country into as close a replica of the social-democratic countries of Europe as the constraints of our political system allowed.

Since he had enough support for the policies that this objective entailed, those constraints were fairly loose, and so he only needed a minimum of rhetorical deception in pursuing it. All it took was to deny he was doing what he was doing by frequently singing the praises of the free-enterprise system he was assiduously working to undermine, by avoiding the word “socialism,” by invoking “fairness” as an overriding ideal and by playing on resentment of the “rich.”

But foreign policy was another matter. As a left-wing radical, Mr. Obama believed that the United States had almost always been a retrograde and destructive force in world affairs. Accordingly, the fundamental transformation he wished to achieve here was to reduce the country’s power and influence. And just as he had to fend off the still-toxic socialist label at home, so he had to take care not to be stuck with the equally toxic “isolationist” label abroad.

This he did by camouflaging his retreats from the responsibilities bred by foreign entanglements as a new form of “engagement.” At the same time, he relied on the war-weariness of the American people and the rise of isolationist sentiment (which, to be sure, dared not speak its name) on the left and right to get away with drastic cuts in the defense budget, with exiting entirely from Iraq and Afghanistan, and with “leading from behind” or using drones instead of troops whenever he was politically forced into military action.

The consequent erosion of American power was going very nicely when the unfortunately named Arab Spring presented the president with several juicy opportunities to speed up the process. First in Egypt, his incoherent moves resulted in a complete loss of American influence, and now, thanks to his handling of the Syrian crisis, he is bringing about a greater diminution of American power than he probably envisaged even in his wildest radical dreams.

For this fulfillment of his dearest political wishes, Mr. Obama is evidently willing to pay the price of a sullied reputation. In that sense, he is by his own lights sacrificing himself for what he imagines is the good of the nation of which he is the president, and also to the benefit of the world, of which he loves proclaiming himself a citizen.

The problem for Mr. Obama is that at least since the end of World War II, Americans have taken pride in being No. 1. Unless the American people have been as fundamentally transformed as their country is quickly becoming, America’s decline will not sit well. With more than three years in office to go, will Mr. Obama be willing and able to endure the continuing erosion of his popularity that will almost certainly come with the erosion of the country’s power and influence?

No doubt he will either deny that anything has gone wrong, or failing that, he will resort to his favorite tactic of blaming others – Congress or the Republicans or Rush Limbaugh. But what is also almost certain is that he will refuse to change course and do the things that will be necessary to restore U.S. power and influence.

And so we can only pray that the hole he will go on digging will not be too deep for his successor to pull us out, as Ronald Reagan managed to do when he followed a president into the White House whom Mr. Obama so uncannily resembles.

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No Joke: Susan Rice Will Brief Congress On Reasons To Attack Syria On Anniversary Of Benghazi – Weasel Zippers

Un-friggen-believable.

Via CNS News:

Susan Rice, who falsely told the nation that the terrorist attacks in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012 had developed out of a spontaneous demonstration against a YouTube video, will mark the one year anniversary of those attacks by briefing Congress to make the administration’s case for authorizing President Barack Obama to use military force in Syria.

Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation” today, House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R.-Mich.) pointed to the administration’s decision to have Rice brief members of Congress about this issue on the anniversary of the Benghazi attacks as emblematic of the administration’s bumbling approach to making its case for intervening in Syria.

On Monday, Rice will give a speech about Syria to the New America Foundation, then speak to the Congressional Black Caucus and participate in a classified briefing that the administration will provide to members of Congress, the Associated Press has reported. She will then participate in another classified briefing for Congress on Wednesday – which will be the twelfth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S. homeland and the one year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the State Department and CIA facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

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Who Funds Syrian Rebel Advocate O’Bagy And The Syrian Emergency Task Force? You Do – Daily Caller

The Syrian Emergency Task Force, the pro-rebel lobbying outfit that employs widely quoted intervention advocate Elizabeth O’Bagy as its political director, receives funding from the U.S. Department of State and related government contractors.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller earlier last week, O’Bagy explained how she got paid. O’Bagy has been roundly condemned for working for a pro-Syrian lobbying group at the same time she was casting the Syrian rebels in a positive light. She works as an analyst at the neoconservative think tank, the Institute for the Study of War.

“Most of the contracts that I’ve been a part of through the Task Force have been through CSO, which is the Conflict and Stabilization Office[sic],” O’Bagy told The Daily Caller. O’Bagy was likely referring to the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, a State Department-funded organization.

“My salary comes from the Institute for the Study of War. I don’t get a salary from working with the Task Force,” O’Bagy said. “I get paid contracting fees for very specific contracts.”

How much she makes is “completely dependent on the contract,” says O’Bagy. “Usually, they [the SETF] kind of write in a specific fee. So it’s not a percentage of the contract, but it’s like I get, just off the top of my head, like two thousand dollars to help implement this project. And then I just get that standard contracting fee. And I actually get a 1099.”

State Department contracting firms like “ARK [Access Resources Knowledge], Chemonics, Creative [Associates International] – a number of the big contractors” set up the contracts and pay the Syrian Emergency Task Force, O’Bagy told TheDC.

With each contract, O’Bagy made more money. This revelation raises serious questions about her incentives to support American involvement in Syria. Both Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain cited O’Bagy’s work in the push for military action but did not disclose her ties to the rebel groups.

When asked about the potential conflict of interest, O’Bagy said she was working for the Syrian people.

“Frankly I mean the humanitarian crisis is just so horrific that I honestly could not spend significant amounts of time there without trying to contribute to the humanitarian situation in one way or another and that’s just kind of me as a human being. I literally could not go there without trying to use my knowledge for the betterment of these various humanitarian aid programs,” she told TheDC.

O’Bagy, whose Georgetown MA/PhD focuses on Arab women’s issue, explained that the work had been helpful to her dissertation, which she has written but not yet defended.

While John McCain has called her “doctor,” she isn’t one technically. “You can call me doctor, if you want,” O’Bagy said. She graduated Georgetown in 2013. The U.S. government has spent over a $1 billion on aid to the Syrian rebels, with nearly half going to the Department of State, which is used for “institution building,” and the other half going to USAID, which is used for diaspora community relations.

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Kerry Sees ‘Unbelievably Small’ Strike On Syria’s Chemicals – News Max

Secretary of State John Kerry said an “unbelievably small, limited” military strike will be enough to halt Syria’s use of chemical weapons and hasten a political settlement to the 2 1/2-year civil war.

As Congress got set to debate a U.S. intervention, Kerry sought to reassure the public that the Obama administration won’t let a Syrian campaign evolve into a years-long commitment with ground troops, like the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“We’re not talking about war, we’re not going to war,” Kerry said in a press conference in London today after a three- day mission to Europe. He spoke of a “limited, very targeted, very short-term effort.”

Syria’s bid to frustrate that effort took Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem to Moscow today, seeking a joint approach with Russia to defuse Western assertions that the Syrian regime is using chemical munitions against its own people. The two allies called for a peace conference instead of U.S. strikes.

Kerry’s tour yielded a European Union appeal to work through the United Nations, French determination to side with the U.S., support from as-yet undisclosed Arab countries and denunciations of Assad from Britain, the American ally in prior Middle Eastern wars which will stay out of this one.

The buildup toward another intervention by Western powers in the Middle East pushed oil prices to a two-year high on Sept. 6. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped from that peak today, falling 0.6 percent to $109.91 per barrel at 11:15 a.m. London time.

Assad Interview

As President Barack Obama took his case to the U.S. public, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad did the same. In an interview with CBS News correspondent Charlie Rose, Assad denied a role in the Aug. 21 chemical attack near Damascus that the U.S. says killed more than 1,400 people.

According to Rose, Assad said there is no evidence that Syria had a chemicals arsenal or used it against its citizens. CBS will broadcast excerpts of the interview this morning and the full interview will air on Rose’s Public Broadcasting System show tonight.

U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague, who briefed the London press with Kerry, warned not to “fall into the trap of attaching too much credibility” to Assad’s declarations.

EU Questions

Obama’s call for a narrowly targeted, rapidly executed strike on Assad’s war-making capability hinges on evidence that the regime carried out the Aug. 21 massacre, one of the darkest days in a civil war that has cost more than 100,000 lives since early 2011.

Questions about the intelligence pervaded a statement issued by EU foreign ministers on Sept. 7 after a meeting with Kerry in Lithuania. The evidence “seems to indicate” that Assad was behind the attack, the EU said, reflecting doubts that have arisen in Washington as well.

Kerry offered a timeline of what happened on Aug. 21, saying that Assad’s regime ordered preparations for a chemical attack, moved forces to the location and then launched rockets that “all came from regime-controlled territory and all landed in opposition-controlled or contested territory.”

“We know this,” Kerry continued. “We know that within moments of them landing in that territory, the social media exploded with videos that we also know could not be contrived.”

Congress returns to Washington today from recess. The Democratic-controlled Senate is likely to vote on a Syria resolution by the end of the week. The House, controlled by the opposition Republicans, takes up Syria on Sept. 16.

U.S. international lobbying had echoes of the second Bush administration’s assembly of a “coalition of the willing” to back the 2003 invasion of Iraq, be it militarily or politically. Some countries in the U.S. camp want to go further than Obama’s plan for a one-time strike.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey, for example, are pushing for Assad’s ouster. In an editorial today, Arab News, a Saudi newspaper, said “merely seeking stop-gap military intervention is not enough to stem the rot in Syria.”

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Your Daley Gator Anti-War-In-Syria News Roundup

Obama Relying On Student’s Spin On Syria? – WorldNetDaily

Evidence is mounting that the strategy by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Secretary of State John F. Kerry to cast members of the Free Syria Army as “moderates” among the rebel forces opposing the government of Bashir al-Assad was the brain-child of Elizabeth O’Bagy, a 26-year-old graduate student pursuing a Ph.D. in Arab studies and political science at Georgetown University, who is working on a dissertation on woman’s militancy.

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In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, Kerry cited O’Bagy, arguing that the war in Syria is “not being waged entirely or even predominately by dangerous Islamists and al-Qaida die-hards,” but rather the struggle is being led but “moderate opposition forces – a collection of groups known as the Free Syria Army.”

Kerry was citing an opinion piece O’Bagy wrote for the Wall Street Journal on Aug. 30 titled “On the Front Lines of Syria’s Civil War.” It ran with a tag-line “The conventional wisdom – that jihadists are running the rebellion [in Syria] – is not what I’ve witnessed on the ground.”

The O’Bagy narrative, however, is contradicted by intelligence estimates and experts specializing in the region.

After Kerry’s testimony to Congress this week, Reuters reported: “Secretary of State John Kerry’s public assertions that moderate Syrian opposition groups are growing in influence appear to be at odds with estimates by U.S. and European intelligence sources and non-governmental experts, who say Islamic extremists remain by far the fiercest and best-organized rebel elements.”

On April 27, the New York Times reported that the Jabhat al-Nursa Front, a group declared a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, has pledged allegiance to al Qaida’s top leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and remains the group of choice for foreign jihadis pouring into Syria. The Ahrar al-Sham, meanwhile, which shares much of al-Nusra’s extremist ideology, is composed mostly of Syrians.

In her capacity as a senior research analyst and the Syria team leader at the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War think-tank, O’Bagy authored a report in March titled “The Free Syrian Army” in which she argued as follows:

The opposition movement in Syria has been fragmented from its inception, a direct reflection of Syria’s social complexity and the decentralized grassroots of the uprising. This condition has plagued Syria’s armed opposition since peaceful protestors took up arms and began forming rebel groups under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the summer of 2001.

The narrative is currently being circulated in Congress in an attempt to counter the recent disclosure of evidence the rebel groups in Syria affiliated with al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood, who have committed atrocities against government soldiers and Syrian civilians, may be the parties responsible for the chemical weapons attacks the Obama administration is blaming on the Assad government.

O’Bagy also works as the political director of the Washington-based Syrian Emergency Task Force, or SETF, chaired by Mohamed Kawam.

Kawam is linked with the Washington-based Syrian Support Group, or SSG, which encourages Americans to send money that arguably could be used to buy weapons for the Free Syria Group.

The “Donate” button on the Syrian Support Group website specifies donations will go toward providing “certain logistical, communications, and other services to the FSA.” The caveat is “the SSG intends to support only those military councils that have adopted the FSA’s Proclamation of Principles,” not the Jabhat al-Nusra or any other group designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.

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The “About the Syrian Support Group” page on the group’s website states the SSG has pursued and received a license from the U.S. Department of Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control that permits the organization to raise funds and provide certain services to the FSA, further specifying the SSG has to date transported over $10 million in U.S. government aid to the Supreme Military Council of the FSA.

The Facebook page of the Coalition for a Democratic Syria makes clear the Syrian Emergency Task Force organized McCain’s surprise May visit to Syria, where he met with leaders of the FSA Supreme Military Council.

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On May 27, the Los Angeles Times reported O’Bagy, in her capacity as political director for the Syrian Emergency Task Force, said in a telephone interview from Turkey that McCain’s office approached the task force two weeks earlier to ask if it could arrange for him to meet with Syrian rebel leaders in Syria.

O’Bagy, who accompanied McCain on the senator’s May trip to the Middle East, told the newspaper McCain met with FSA commanders in two meetings in Gaziantep, Turkey, and in one meeting about a half mile inside the Syrian border at the Bab Salameh border crossing. There, he talked with the Asifat al-Shamal, identified as the Northern Storm Brigade, that controls the border.

O’Bagy further confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that Gen. Salim Idriss, the leader of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army, and other rebel commanders asked the U.S. to consider giving heavy weapons to the FSA, set up a no-fly zone in Syria and conduct air attacks on Hezbollah in Lebanon.

McCain asked the FSA commanders how they planned to reduce the presence of Islamic extremists in Syrian rebel ranks, O’Bagy told the newspaper.

In Syria, McCain was photographed with a group of Syrian rebels that included Mouaz Moustafa, a Palestinian Arab (seen to far right of photograph, closest to camera) who was introduced to McCain as the executive director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, the group that organized the senator’s trip.

McCain in Syria, May 2013, with Mouaz Moustafa (seen at far right, closest to camera)

On Twitter, Moustafa identifies himself as a Palestinian refugee who moved to the U.S. at 12 years old, worked as a staffer in the U.S. House and Senate (Rep. Vic Snyder, D-Ark., and Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark.) and participated in the Libyan and Syrian revolutions.

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On Instagram, Moustafa calls himself a “Freelance Revolutionary,” adding that he also worked as a field organizer for the Democratic National Committee in 2008.

On Linkedin.com, Moustafa continues to list himself as the executive director at the Libyan Council of North America.

A Daily Caller profile of Moustafa added that he meets with National Security Council staff “every couple of months.”

In recent weeks, O’Bagy and Moustafa have been conducting a media blitz on behalf of the Syrian Emergency Task Force, including interviews with NPR, Fox News, RT, Thom Hartmann’s radio show, Foreign Policy Magazine and MSNBC, arguing that the FSA is the “moderate” rebel group the U.S. should support in Syria.

The Daily Beast has reported that in addition to meeting with Moustafa and FSA leaders in Syria, McCain also met with Mohammad Nour and Ammar Al-Dadikhi (a.k.a. Abu Ibrahim), two men who were part of a group that kidnapped Lebanese religious pilgrims returning from Iran in May 2012. Both were identified as being part of Asifat al Shamal, the Syrian rebel group known as the Northern Storm Brigade controlling the border.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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MSNBC Editor: Obama’s Case For Syria ‘Embarrassing,’ ‘Muddled’ – National Review

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MSNBC executive editor Richard Wolffe slammed President Obama for having yet to give a clear rationale for military intervention in Syria. “I do think that the president’s press conference today was actually embarrassing,” Wolffe said today. “It was as muddled and unconvincing as you could possibly imagine.”

“If you want to take a country to a difficult place, which is this authorization for war, you have to be much more clear and convincing about what the rationale is,” he continued. He bashed the administration for continuing to push a “fundamentally mixed,” contradictory case to Congress: “What they’re saying all the time is, ‘This a small thing, it’s a small thing, it’s really a small thing, but we’re asking you to do a big thing, which is to vote on it.’”

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Al-Qaeda Vows To Slaughter Christians After Obama Topples Assad – Pat Dollard

Excerpted from Raymond Ibrahim: While U.S. leaders continue pushing for war against the Syrian government, today “Al-Qaeda-linked rebels,” reports AP, “launched an assault on a regime-held Christian mountain village in the densely populated west of Syria and new clashes erupted near the capital, Damascus, on Wednesday… In the attack on the village of Maaloula, rebels commandeered a mountaintop hotel and nearby caves and shelled the community below, said a nun, speaking by phone from a convent in the village. She spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.”

Arabic news agency Al Hadath gives more information concerning this latest terror attack on Syria’s Christians, specifically how the al-Qaeda linked rebels “terrorized the Christians, threatening to be avenged on them after the triumph of the revolution.”

Thus al-Qaeda terrorists eagerly await U.S. assistance against the Syrian government, so they can subjugate if not slaughter Syria’s Christians, secularists, and non-Muslims – even as the Obama administration tries to justify war on Syria by absurdly evoking the “human rights” of Syrians on the one hand, and lying about al-Qaeda’s presence in Syria on the other.

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Pentagon Says Hacker’s Emails Showing Wild Claims That U.S. Staged Chemical Attack Are Fakes – The Blaze

Pentagon officials say a hacker’s claim that he has official military emails proving U.S. intelligence agencies were involved in framing President Bashar Assad’s regime for the Syrian chemical attacks is “totally false.”

And now the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, known as the CID, is investigating the incident.

The digital thief claims to base his assumptions on revelations made in emails he said he hacked into belonging to U.S. military and Pentagon officials.

Those emails, along with the hackers’ story, were originally posted in the Daily Opinion blog on the British Telegraph on Sept. 1, from the hacker’s post on pastebin. He also claims to have hacked the emails of 18 other Pentagon officials.

“Army is aware of the situation and the hacking incident, and it has been referred to the Army CID for investigation,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart told TheBlaze.

“There is no truth to those emails,” he added. “No truth whatsoever. It is totally false.”

Pickart, who speaks on behalf of the Pentagon’s cyber affairs issues, said the email addresses used by the hacker were accurate but the content of the emails was falsified.

The hacker’s unconfirmed story, however, is now spreading: It has been posted on a number of websites questioning whether the Syrian government was really behind the Aug. 21 attack that killed 1,429 people and whether it was instead terrorist rebel factions who instigated the bombings at the behest of the U.S. government.

The cyber crook claims to have hacked and published email correspondence between U.S. Army Col. Anthony J. MacDonald, who works in intelligence at the Pentagon, and Eugene Furst, a civilian worker in the Pentagon.

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In the alleged Aug. 22, email, Furst congratulates MacDonald, saying “by the way, saw your latest success, my congratulations,” and provides a link to the original Washington Post story regarding the chemical attack in Syria.

Neither McDonald nor Furst responded to email inquiries from TheBlaze.

The hacker, in his post on pastebin, claimed to have used the colonel’s LinkedIn social media page to pull off the mission (content warning for language):

I’ve hacked colonel Anthony Jamie MacDonald mail he is intelligence US Army Staff boss. First I hacked his Link3dIn account and got access to his mail through it then.

Among mail Mayhem like Amazon mails I’ve found his correspondence with his colleague Eugene Furst. He congratulates Col. with success and gives a link to the Washington Post publication about chemical attack in Syria on August 21. Furst also mentions it was “well staged”. Holy shit. I was shocked my eyes refused to believe it. Bloody bastards they “staged” a chemical attack.

Then a friend of Anthony MacDonald’s wife Jennifer writes she was shocked seeing on TV the children died after chemical attack in Syria. Jennifer answers she saw the story but Tony calm her down saying children were alive and the scene was staged.

Pickart said the hacker “looked for an individual that would fit the profile of the disinformation or stories they wanted out.”

McDonald’s LinkedIn profile was the perfect target because it states he had a position where her would, “direct and manage Army G-2 intelligence operations, plans and policies, and the integration of emerging intelligence capabilities in support of Army current and future operations and force structure.”

It also shows that he transitioned out of that command, after two and half years, in July.

The page has since been removed, but a cached version reveals the information:

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“We tell our personnel to exercise caution and operational security when posting information on social websites,” Pickart said. “You need be careful about what you put on LinkedIn, Facebook or other open source websites. We have guidelines for that but it’s not always easy.”

Open source information is used by the enemies and foreign intelligence “so you don’t want to give the enemy too much information about yourself,” Pickart added. “We need to be careful.”

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*VIDEOS* Your Daley Gator Hump Day Morning Syria News Roundup



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Your Daley Gator Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman Tuesday Afternoon News Roundup

How Many Crimes Did The New Black Panthers Commit In Florida? – Pajamas Media

When New Black Panther Mikhail Muhammad called for the mobilization of a 10,000-strong black male mob to capture George Zimmerman, we glimpsed into the depths of racial depravity of the organization. “An eye for an eye,” Muhammad threatened. A cash bounty for Zimmerman, “dead or alive,” provided a nasty incentive for thugs across the land.

But did a crime occur in the New Black Panther Party’s call for mob vengeance against Zimmerman? Quite possibly.

I’ve been familiar with this crowd since the day President Obama was elected when I worked at the Department of Justice. Soon after election day 2008, I and other attorneys would bring a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panthers. The Obama administration famously dismissed the case. Afterwards, I and another DOJ lawyer testified under oath about the hostility within the Obama DOJ to bringing cases against defendants like the NBPP. Nobody has ever contradicted the specifics of our testimony, or the details in my book Injustice, which describes, among other things, Eric Holder’s personal involvement in the Panther case dismissal.

Now Florida officials may have a chance to do what Eric Holder refused to do – bring these New Black Panther gangsters to justice once and for all.

State Attorney Norman Wolfinger is busy these days. While he is busy looking at the underlying facts of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, he needs to look at the New Black Panther threats also.

America is not a land where thugs should be allowed to threaten free Americans who have been charged with no crime. Seminole County, Florida, is not Ox-Bow Canyon, where resolutions come quick by murderers with rope and a tree.

We can thank Eric Holder in part for the disgusting bravado we’ve seen from these lawless thugs over the last few days. Not only did his DOJ drop the voter intimidation charges against them, the DOJ refuses to bring what appears to be slam dunk felon-in-possession gun charges against one member.

The New Black Panthers act like they are above the law because so far they have been.

Americans are taking renewed notice of the New Black Panthers and the politicians who have enabled them. What sort of country have we become that racist uniformed thugs can stalk polls and threaten free citizens with mob arrest and murder? Is this a post-racial America, or a wicked reminder of a lawless age we thought we had moved beyond forever?

So what crimes may have the New Black Panthers committed in Florida with their threats toward George Zimmerman?

Let’s start with solicitation to kidnap. In announcing a reward for the seizure of Zimmerman, the New Black Panthers may have violated Florida Code 787.01. It makes it a felony to “by threat, confining or abducting, or imprisoning another person against his… will without lawful authority with intent to… terrorize.”

Merely soliciting someone else to do this is also a felony in Florida under Florida Code 777.04. “A person who solicits another to commit an offense prohibited by law and in the course of such solicitation commands, encourages, hires, or requests another person to engage in specific conduct which would constitute such offense or an attempt to commit such offense commits the offense of criminal solicitation.”

The solicitation and threat to seize Zimmerman may also constitute a crime under Florida Code 876.35. The felony of “combination against part of the people of the state” occurs when someone is unlawfully seized by a mob, or at the behest of a mob. Think of a small town jail 100 years ago and an angry crowd, armed with rope, demanding a particular inmate. Sound familiar?

Florida Code 876.35 defines the crime: “to remove them forcibly out of this state, or to remove them from their habitations to any other part of the state by force, or [when people] shall assemble for that purpose.” Remember, solicitation to commit a crime is in itself a crime.

Florida Code 876.34 even makes it a felony to “interfere forcibly in the administration of the government.”

Florida has an oddball law which may play a role as the facts of the Trayvon Martin case become clearer. Florida Code 843.20 is a criminal provision titled “Harassment of participant of neighborhood crime watch program.” It makes it a misdemeanor to threaten or intimidate a member of a neighborhood crime watch program “while such member is engaged in… an organized neighborhood crime watch program activity.” The law says that a neighborhood patrol includes a “crime watch program activity.” Of course, Zimmerman was on his neighborhood crime watch patrol when the tragic incident occurred.

This awful mess in Sanford is bad enough without the shrill race agitators like the New Black Panthers throwing gasoline on the fire.

But free speech is free speech, until you make threats and offer money to people to commit crimes.

There was a time in this country when criminal threats were treated as criminal threats. There was a time when stalking polls on election day with a billy club was taken seriously. Obviously we’ve lost something precious when thugs command the attention of a media unwilling to label them as thugs. We’ve lost something precious when the most vile vigilantism not only goes unpunished, but seems to attract defenders, benefactors, and fans.

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Related articles:

Anderson Cooper And New Black Panther Leader Clash Over Group Meddling In Trayvon Martin Case (Video) – Mediaite

The New Black Panther Party: they exist, and they have somehow squeezed themselves into a corner of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, no matter how much no one else – particularly Martin’s parents – want them around. But they are calling for a “citizen’s arrest” of George Zimmerman and leader Minister Mikhail Muhammad spoke to Anderson Cooper today to try to explain just what his group was doing. In the process, he “indicted” Zimmerman with “1st degree murder” and accused Cooper of not “caring about the Martin family.”

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No Justice! No Peace! …Trayvon Protesters Ransack Walgreens Store (Video) – Gateway Pundit

Do it for Trayvon!

High school students in Miami decieded to ransack the local Walgreens on the way to a Trayvon Martin rally. The students left the store when the vice principal ordered them out.

WSVN has video.

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Coincidence? Obama Camp Peddles 2012 ‘Hoodies’ – WTAM

A lot has been made about the hoodie lately. Not only has Geraldo partially blamed it for the death of Trayvon Martin, but it’s also become a symbol of unity for standing with the slain teen and his family.

So when the Obama camp announced via Twitter yesterday that it was putting its 2012 hoodies on sale, it got some thinking: Is the President trying to capitalize off the death of Martin?

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Registered Dem Killed Trayvon – Washington Free Beacon

The individual at the center of the controversial Trayvon Martin shooting is a registered Democrat.

George Michael Zimmerman, born Oct. 5, 1983, registered as a Democrat in Seminole County, Fla., in August 2002, according to state voter registration documents.

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Suspended Three Times For Drugs, Truancy And Graffiti And ‘Caught Carrying A Burglary Tool’: New Picture Emerges Of Trayvon Martin (And Did He Attack A Bus Driver Too?) – Daily Mail

Trayvon Martin was suspended from school three times in the months before he was shot dead by a neighborhood watchman, it emerged today.

The new claims, revealed in a leaked report, paint a different picture of a teenager who frequently found himself in trouble with authorities.

It was also revealed that he might have attacked a bus driver, according to a Twitter account that it is claimed belonged to the teen.

The Miami Herald claims that in October, he was caught with a ‘burglary tool’ – a flathead screwdriver – and 12 pieces of women’s jewellery. Martin insisted that they did not belong to him.

Earlier, he had been suspended for skipping school and showing up late to class. And most recently, in February, he was suspended again when officials found a ‘marijuana pipe’ and an empty baggie with traces of the drug.

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Playing The Race Card Again – Jonah Goldberg

“White Hispanic.” That’s how the New York Times, Reuters and other media outlets have opted to describe George Zimmerman, a man who would simply be Hispanic (or Latino in this newspaper) if he hadn’t shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The term, rarely if ever used before this tragedy, is necessary in telling the Martin story in a more comfortable way.

What’s the comfortable way? It’s the way the blame for Martin’s death belongs squarely at the feet of “the system.” And “the system” is a white thing, don’t you know.

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Spike Lee Tweeted Incorrect George Zimmerman Address, Possibly Putting Sanford Woman In Danger – DaIly Caller

Filmmaker Spike Lee tweeted the wrong home address for George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Fla., man who many are claiming should be arrested for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin. The tweet could have potentially put the woman who actually lives at that address in danger.

The Washington Times’ Kerry Picket went to the address that Lee tweeted as members of the New Black Panther Party were offering a $10,000 cash reward for Zimmerman’s capture, “dead or alive,” and others were demanding his arrest.

“[T]he Edgewater Circle address Mr. Lee re-tweeted out is not part of the gated Retreat at Twin Lakes where the shooting took place and where Mr. Zimmerman lives,” Picket reported. “The area is not even a gated a community.”

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Trayvon’s Mother Trademarks Her Son’s Name As Merchandise Hits Stands Throughout Florida – Daily Mail

The mother of slain Trayvon Martin recently filed a trademark to protect the rights to his name as an attempt to control- and collect funds from- the masses of merchandise being produced in support of their cause.

It was revealed today that Sabrina Fulton, the boy’s mother, filed two petitions last week to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to specifically gain the rights to the phrases ‘I Am Trayvon’ and ‘Justice For Trayvon’, both of which have been frequently used by protesters across the country.

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Another Witness: Zimmerman Beaten By Trayvon – WRKO

Bad news for those in the business of stoking the race divide – A second witness, a 13 year old boy walking his dog, says he saw George Zimmerman on the ground being attacked by Trayvon Martin.

In addition, an eyewitness, 13-year-old Austin Brown, told police he saw a man fitting Zimmerman’s description lying on the grass moaning and crying for help just seconds before he heard the gunshot that killed Martin.

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The initial police report noted that Zimmerman was bleeding from the back of the head and nose, and after medical attention it was decided that he was in good enough condition to travel in a police cruiser to the Sanford, Fla., police station for questioning. He was not arrested.

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