Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Obama is right, it's "not a myth", the pay gap between male and female employees in the White House is an absolute "embarrassment"

Speaking from the East Room of the White House on Tuesday, President Obama stated: "Today, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns... And in 2014, that’s an embarrassment. It is wrong."

The President went on to say that the pay gap between men and women is "not a myth; it’s math. You can look at the paychecks. You can look at the stubs... If [people] tell you that there’s not a pay gap out there, you tell them to look at the data, because there is."

Sadly, we do not need to look at paychecks or stubs to recognize that there is a huge pay gap between male and female employees in the White House. Some diligent individuals have already done the research; they examined the White House records and discovered that the median salary for female employees in the Obama White House in 2013 was 13% less than the median salary for male employees.

Obama is spot-on! "It's not a myth; it’s math!" The pay gap between male and female employees in the Obama White House is real, and, as the President rightfully noted, it's "an embarrassment" and "it is wrong!" Period!

It is also worthwhile to note that a 2008 report revealed that then-Sen. Obama paid his female senate staffers 83 cents for every dollar he paid his male staffers. And that's "not a myth; it’s math!" The pay gap between Obama's male and female senate staffers was "an embarrassment" then, and the pay gap in the Obama White House is "an embarresment" now! It was "wrong" then, and it is "wrong now"! Period!

To paraphrase a plea from President Obama during his speech on Tuesday: "If you care about this issue, then let your senators know where you stand - because female employees in the White House deserve equal pay for equal work!"

Related Post from January 2014:  Obama? Women deserve equal pay, Hmmm... State of the Union address

Related video below, from January 2014 - Obama's hypocritical State of the Union address:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hillary Clinton distinguishes between Syria & Libya: "There’s a difference between calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing your own cities"

Appearing on CBS Face the Nation in March of 2011, Hillary Clinton was asked whether the Obama administration would respond to the Syrian regime opening fire and killing anti-government protesters the same way it responded to the violence in Libya, and whether the administration would take similar action to put an end to the carnage in Syria.

Clinton made a distinction between Syria and Libya, and between Bashar Assad and his father, Hafez Assad, the former President of Syria.

"There is a different leader in Syria now," Clinton said. "Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer. What’s been happening there the last few weeks is deeply concerning. But there’s a difference between calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing your own cities, then police actions, which frankly have exceeded the use of force that any of us would want to see."

Of course the number of people who were killed during the Libyan upheaval is now a drop in the bucket compared to the number of people who've been killed in Syria [over 100,000, and probably a lot more than that. The UN does not keep a tally of the death toll in Syria anymore because it is too large to track].

Moreover, Clinton argued that "there’s a difference between calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing your own cities [in Libya], than police actions [in Syria]."

But calling out aircraft and indiscriminately strafing and bombing its own cities is precisely what the Syrian regime has been doing for quite some time.

Just one example: The UPI reported on Monday that "Air raids by the Assad regime killed around 30 Syrians as the government continued to drop barrel bombs on civilians"....

Oh, well....

The report also went on to say:
More than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began 3 years ago...

The West may not be making many substantial efforts in Syria, but Russia is sending more weapons to the Assad regime during a time when Russia already has escalated tensions with the international community after the annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

"Russia is now doing everything to ensure that Assad wins convincingly," said Alexei Malashenko, a Middle East analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Center. "If Russia can show it’s capable of carrying out its own foreign policy, regardless of America’s wishes, it will be a major achievement for Putin."

Hezbollah, which has been fighting alongside the pro-government forces, says Syria's government is no longer at risk of being toppled.
That last sentence was the topic of my previous post: Assad & Nasrallah declare victory in Syria

Here's a video clip from Clinton's 2011 Face the Nation interview:

Assad & Nasrallah declare victory in Syria

The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is no longer in danger of being toppled, the leader of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, Hassan Nasrallah, said in an interview with a Lebanese news media outlet on Monday.

Hebollah militants in Syria have been fighting alongside Assad’s forces.

"In my estimation, the phase of overthrowing the regime... is over," Nasrallah said.

Nasrallah added that Russia, after annexing Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula, will continue its “support and protection to Syria.”

Nasrallah went on to say that he believes Bashar Assad will run for reelection in July in this year's Syrian Presidential election and that Assad will nominate himself as a candidate for the election, which no doubt, will be rigged in Assad's favor.

"It's natural that he nominates himself, and I believe that will happen," Nasrallah said.

A Russian news media outlet reported on Monday that Sergei Stepashin - a former Russian prime minister who recently met Bashar Al Assad - said that the Syrian dictator told him that most of the fighting in Syria would be over by the end of the year.

The reassurance from Nasrallah and Assad that the Syrian regime will emerge triumphant and will remain in power is no doubt music to the ears of Obama, who, early on in his Presidency, was an enthusiastic supporter of Bashar Assad.

The US withdrew its ambassador from Syria in 2005 after Rafiq al-Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, was assassinated in a Beirut bomb attack perpetrated by Hezbollah and the Syrian regime. Nevertheless, in June of 2009, Obama announced that he was returning the US Ambassador to Syria.

Obama also began to soften the economic sanctions that had long been imposed on Syria.

Enerpub reported in August of 2009:
In February, the Obama Administration waived Syria Accountability Act provisions to approve the export of aircraft parts and repair services to Syria for civil aviation... Additionally, the return of a U.S. Ambassador to Damascus was announced on June 24th.

In July, according to Agence France Presse, US envoy George Mitchell told Assad he would work to speed up the process of obtaining exemptions to anti-Syrian sanctions. At the end of July, the United States announced a decision to ease sanctions on spare aircraft parts, information-technology products and telecommunications equipment.
But, in 2011, when the Syrian regime began shooting upon anti-government protesters, Obama was in a bind.

Despite the killing of civilians, Assad was initially labeled a "reformer" by then-Secretary of State, Hillaty Clinton. However, as the situation in Syria spiraled out of control, and more and more people were being killed, a reluctant Obama was left with little choice but to denounce his good buddy, the "reformer", and to call on him to step down from office.

Nevertheless, Obama stayed out of the fray and stood on the sidelines as thousands upon thousands of Syrians were being killed. But luckily for Obama, after months and months of him standing on the sidelines, al-Qaeda militants began infiltrating the ranks of the Syrian rebels, and Obama was able to avoid further criticism over his decision to remain inactive in Syria and turn a blind eye toward his good buddy's atrocities.

The President continues to feign phony condemnation of Assad while calling on his pal to step down from office, but of course, inside his heart, Obama couldn't be any happier with Assad and Nasrallah's latest declaration of victory, because ultimately a good buddy like Assad is hard to come by........

Reset Button: Obama resets US, Russian Relations to Cold War era

President Obama promised he would reset US, Russian relations, and indeed the relationship has been successfully reset, and restored, to an earlier era from the 20th Century when the Cold War was at its peak - which proves once again that Obama is a man of his word.

Ah, yes, the "Cold War-style war of words" between the Obama administration and the Kremlin.


From the AFP:
Ukraine faced a fresh secessionist crisis on Monday as pro-Kremlin militants occupying the Donetsk government seat proclaimed independence from Kiev and vowed to hold a referendum on joining Russia.

The declaration and accompanying appeal for Russian military assistance put the culturally splintered nation of 46 million in danger of disintegration and intensified pressure on Western powers to act.

The White House responded by calling on the Kremlin to stop trying to "destabilise Ukraine"...

But Moscow brushed off the accusations and called the latest unrest a sign of Kiev's Western-backed leaders' ineptitude and illegitimacy.

The Cold War-style war of words over the ex-Soviet nation's future comes with the added urgency of the Ukrainian border being watched by Russian soldiers who had already annexed Crimea in response to last month's ouster in Kiev of a Moscow-backed regime.

Several heavily Russified eastern regions have recently been hit by calls for referendums on joining Russia when Ukraine holds snap presidential polls on May 25.

The political pressure on Kiev's embattled leaders reached boiling point on Sunday when thousands of activists chanting "Russia!" seized administration buildings in Kharkiv and Donetsk as well as the security service headquarters in the eastern region of Lugansk.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Obama: "The Debate over repealing" Obamcare "is over!" Really?! Heh, heh, heh

President Obama told an audience of White House staff members and supporters on Tuesday that, "The debate over repealing this law [Obamacare] is over!"

However, it should be noted that the right to debate is a basic and fundamental right that can not be squashed by a US President, even an all-powerful President the likes of Obama - particularly when the topic of debate is a law that can detrimentally effect the health of millions of Americans, their livelihood and their bank accounts.

Hence, contrary to the President's assertion, the Obamacare debate is far from over.

More in the video below:

Monday, March 31, 2014

Yellen: Weak Job market will require lots of help for "some time"

Speaking at the National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference in Chicago on Monday, Fed Chairman Janet Yellen asserted that the abysmal US job market will likely remain in an egregious state for some time, hence, she said the Federal Reserve's current policies of massive bond-buying and ultra-low interest rates is "still needed, and will be for some time."

The following are excerpts from Yellen's address:
The recovery still feels like a recession to many Americans, and it also looks that way in some economic statistics... In some ways, the job market is tougher now than in any recession. The numbers of people who have been trying to find work for more than six months or more than a year are much higher today than they ever were since records began decades ago...

More than seven million people... are working part time but want a full-time job. As a share of the workforce, that number is very high historically... There are real people behind the statistics, struggling to get by and eager for the opportunity to build better lives...

One reason why I believe it is appropriate for the Federal Reserve to continue to provide substantial help to the labor market... is because of the evidence I see that there remains considerable slack in the economy and the labor market... Slack means that there are significantly more people willing and capable of filling a job than there are jobs for them to fill.

During a period of little or no slack, there still may be vacant jobs and people who want to work, but a large share of those willing to work lack the skills or are otherwise not well suited for the jobs that are available. If unemployment were mostly structural [and not due to a considerable slack in the economy and the labor market], if workers were unable to perform the jobs available, then the Federal Reserve’s efforts to create jobs would not be very effective.

Now let me explain why I believe there is still considerable slack in the labor market, why I think there is room for continued help from the Fed for workers... One form of evidence for slack is found in other labor market data, beyond the unemployment rate or payrolls... For example, the seven million people who are working part time but would like a full-time job..., the existence of such a large pool of “partly unemployed” workers, is a sign that labor conditions are worse than indicated by the unemployment rate. Statistics on job turnover also point to considerable slack in the labor market...

Firms... have been reluctant to increase the pace of hiring. Likewise, the number of people who voluntarily quit their jobs is noticeably below levels before the recession; that is an indicator that people are reluctant to risk leaving their jobs because they worry that it will be hard to find another. It is also a sign that firms may not be recruiting very aggressively to hire workers away from their competitors.

A second form of evidence for slack is that the decline in unemployment has not helped raise wages for workers as in past recoveries. Workers in a slack market have little leverage to demand raises. Labor compensation has increased an average of only a little more than 2 percent per year since the recession, which is very low by historical standards.... [Editor's Note: The egregious economy under Obama has resulted in a low increase in wages, hence Obama has decided to mandate an increase in the minimum wage to make up for his own ineptitude.]

Labor market slack has also surely been a factor in holding down compensation. The low rate of wage growth is, to me, another sign that the Fed’s job is not yet done.

A third form of evidence related to slack concerns the characteristics of the extraordinarily large share of the unemployed who have been out of work for six months or more. These workers find it exceptionally hard to find steady, regular work...

The concern is that the long-term unemployed may remain on the sidelines, ultimately dropping out of the workforce. But the data suggest that the long-term unemployed look basically the same as other unemployed people in terms of their occupations, educational attainment, and other characteristics. And, although they find jobs with lower frequency than the short-term jobless do, the rate at which job seekers are finding jobs has only marginally improved for both groups. That is, we have not yet seen clear indications that the short-term unemployed are finding it increasingly easier to find work relative to the long-term unemployed...

A final piece of evidence of slack in the labor market has been the behavior of the participation rate – the proportion of working-age adults that hold or are seeking jobs. Participation falls in a slack job market when people who want a job give up trying to find one... [The participation rate] now stands at 63 percent, the same level as in 1978 [when Jimmy Carter was President], when a much smaller share of women were in the workforce. Lower participation could mean that the 6.7 percent unemployment rate is overstating the progress in the labor market. ["Could mean?!" Heh....]

Based on the evidence, my own view is that a significant amount of the decline in participation during the recovery is due to slack, another sign that help from the Fed can still be effective.

Since late 2008, the Fed has taken extraordinary steps to revive the economy... There is little doubt that without these actions, the recession and slow recovery would have been far worse...

For the many reasons I have noted today, I think this extraordinary commitment is still needed and will be for some time, and I believe that view is widely shared by my fellow policymakers at the Fed

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Afghan violence rages on

NATO troops will finalize their pullout from Afghanistan by the end of this year in accordance with President Obama's so-called "exit strategy", but that doesn't mean there is any end in sight for the widespread violence, wanton destruction and absolute mayhem that is wreaking havoc upon the country.

Here's a small sampling of the latest violence via the AP:
The Taliban launched a brazen assault in the Afghan capital on Tuesday, with a suicide bomber detonating his vehicle outside an election office on the edge of Kabul while two other gunmen stormed into the building, killing four people and trapping dozens of employees inside.

Insurgents also carried out a number of attacks elsewhere across the country killing at least 10 people, many of them members of the country's security forces, including a woman police official in southern Helmand province.

In Kabul, a candidate for a seat on a provincial council was among those killed when insurgents stormed the election office. Two election workers and a policeman were also among the dead...

The Taliban claimed responsibility in a statement to media...

Also Tuesday, insurgents carried out a number of attacks across the country.

A suicide bomber blew himself up in northern Kunduz province. while in northeastern Kunar province three insurgents stormed the state-owned New Kabul Bank. In eastern Khost province, dozens of insurgents attacked a police outpost on the border with Pakistan.

In southern Helmand province, where the Taliban control vast areas, a woman police official was shot and killed in her home.

Five people were killed and another 20 were wounded in northern Kunduz province when a suicide bomber blew himself up during a traditional buzkashi match __ which features a headless goat, said provincial police chief Gen. Mustafa Mohsini...

In the government-owned New Kabul Bank in Asadabad, the capital of northeastern Kunar province, two policemen were killed and three others wounded in an attack carried out by three insurgents with suicide vests...

In eastern Khost province, dozens of insurgents armed with rocket propelled grenades and heavy machine guns laid siege to a border outpost. Provincial Police Chief Faizullah Ghyrat said two police border guards were killed...

In other developments, Afghan police said they detained eight senior employees of a private security company that provided guards to the Kabul hotel attacked by the Taliban last week.

The interior ministry said in a statement that the company employed by the Serena Hotel was negligent, which enabled the four attackers to hide small handguns in their shoes and avoid detection to enter the premises on Thursday evening.

The gunmen opened fire inside the hotel restaurant, killing nine people, including two children and four foreigners...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Obama's low approval ratings could cost Dems in midterm elections, poll shows

President Obama's low job-approval rating could cost the Democratic Party in November's midterm elections, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal noted on Wednesday citing a new poll conducted jointly by the two news media outlets that shows 54% of Americans disapprove of the President's job performance while only 41% approve of his job performance, his worst job approval rating in the survey’s history.

Of equal significance, or perhaps greater significance, to the midterm elections, the poll shows that 42% of Americans are less likely to vote for a candidate who is endorsed by President Obama, while only 22% are more likely to vote for a candidate who is endorsed by Obama. Additionally, 48% of Americans say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who is a solid supporter of the Obama administration, while only 26% say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who is a solid supporter of the Obama administration.

33% of Americans say their "vote for Congress this November" will "be a vote to send a signal of opposition to President Obama", while 24% say their vote "will be a vote to send a signal of support for President Obama." 41 percent say their vote will not be "a signal either way about Obama."

56% of Americans "disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing in handling the economy", while only 41% approve.

53% of Americans "disapprove of the job Barack Obama is doing in handling foreign policy", while only 41% approve.

42% of Americans strongly believe the new health care law [Obamacare] was a bad idea, while only 26% strongly believe it was a good idea.

Leaving out the word "strongly", 49% of Americans believe the new health care law was a bad idea, while only only 35% believe it was a good idea.

47% of Americans say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports repealing the health care reform law, while only 32% say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports the repeal of Obamacare.

57% of Americans think the United States is currently in an economic recession, while only 41% think the US is currently not in an economic recession.

30% of Americans have very negative feelings toward Obama, 21% of Americans have very positive feelings toward him.

67% of Americans are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports cutting federal spending, 14% are less lkely to vote for such a candidate.

44% of Americans prefer a Congress controlled by Republicans, 43% prefer a Congress controlled by Democrats.

42% of Americans say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who "places a major emphasis on more conservative social and religious values", while only 29% say they are less likely to vote for such a candidate.

41% of Americans say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports legalizing the purchase of small quantities of marijuana by adults for their personal use, 31% are more likely to vote for such a candidate.

72% of Americans think of Russia as more of an adversary than an ally, 19% of Americans think of Russia as more of an ally.

It is worthy to note that, although the poll shows significant opposition to the policies, ideals and ideologies of President Obama and his Democratic minions, 43% of the poll respondents said that they think of themselves as Democrats - whether that entails being a strong Democrat, a not very strong Democrat, or an Independent/lean Democrat - while 37% of the respondents said they think of themselves as Republicans, whether that entails being a strong Republican, a not very strong Republican, or an Independent/lean Republican. That's a 6% differential. The remaining 20% of the poll respondents considered themselves either strictly independents, none of the above, or they weren't sure what they were.

Which means that the poll respondents, of whom a majority were Democrats, expressed significant opposition to President Obama's extreme left-wing agenda.

You don't hear President Obama talking about Libya anymore

You don't hear President Obama talking about Libya anymore.

Obama no longer gloats about the important role he played in the Libyan uprising. That's because the terrorist attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi and the ongoing violence and perpetual chaos in the country is really nothing to gloat about. Hence, Obama has chosen to omit Libya from his talking points and to remove the five-letter obscenity from his lexicon.

But aside from the unremitting violence and chaos, the Libyan uprising also succeeded in creating a serious, ongoing problem of weapons trafficking from Libya, which, according to UN officials, "is fueling conflict and insecurity - including terrorism - on several continents."

No, you don't hear Obama talking about Libya anymore.

Reuters reported on Monday:
U.N. experts say Libya has become a primary source of illicit weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles, which have been trafficked to at least 14 countries and are fueling conflicts on several continents...

The [UN] panel furthermore noted that investigations relating to transfers to 14 countries reflected a highly diversified range of trafficking dynamics; and that trafficking from Libya was fueling conflict and insecurity - including terrorism - on several continents.
No, you don't hear Obama talking about Libya anymore; it's no longer part of his resume.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jolly sinks Sink in Obamcare referendum election

In what was seen as an early test of how President Obama's health care overhaul will play in November's midterm elections, Republican David Jolly, who seeks to repeal Obamacare, defeated Democrat Alex Sink on Tuesday to capture the special election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

The Washington Post noted earlier in the day: "Republicans say that if their first-time candidate defeats a seasoned veteran, it will demonstrate just how toxic the health-care law will be for Democrats this fall."

Apparently, Obamacare's toxicity is so strong that it enabled the first-time candidate to sink the seasoned Democrat veteran, Alex Sink - which, is jolly good news for the majority of Americans who are opposed to Obamcare.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Washington Post: Washington not focused on "the bankruptcy of Obama administration policy"

"Washington's seemingly inability to focus on more than one international crisis at a time has been a boon to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. It also has diverted attention from the bankruptcy of Obama administration policy," the Washington Post asserted in an editorial on Monday.

The problem is, the Post expects everyone else to focus on Obama's multiple foreign policy failures, when Obama can't even handle one crisis at a time, as the Post concedes implicitly later on in its editorial.

And while the current and former White House Press Secretaries - Jay Carney and Robert Gibbs - have insisted on a number of occasions that President Obama is a multitasker who is able walk and chew gum at the same, it is quite evident that, even when Obama's not chewing gum, he is still unable to walk, and that he can't even handle one task at a time.

In truth, Washington might be able to focus on Obama's failed policies if there weren't so many of them, but the endless stream of Obama failures keep popping up in rapid succession one after another, making it virtually impossible to focus on each and every failure, and his multitude of bankrupt policies.

Oh, well...

From the Washington Post:
Washington's seemingly inability to focus on more than one international crisis at a time has been a boon to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. It also has diverted attention from the bankruptcy of Obama administration policy.

As Russia invaded Ukraine, the Assad regime proceeded unmolested and almost unnoticed with a merciless offensive of “barrel-bombing,” in which helicopters drop explosive containers filled with nails and other deadly shrapnel on apartment buildings, schools and hospitals. The latest target is the town of Yabroud, near the Lebanese border. In other areas, the regime continued to wage a war of starvation, besieging civilians in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution approved more than two weeks ago.

Mr. Assad is missing deadlines on the promised destruction of his chemical weapons arsenal. Two deadlines for handing over chemical stocks have passed, and international inspectors say the regime will likely violate a March 15 requirement for destroying 12 production facilities. A bogus election is being prepared to extend Mr. Assad’s presidential term for another seven years. That follows the regime’s refusal to discuss a plan for a transitional government at a peace conference in Geneva last month, which caused the talks to collapse.

The breakdown in Geneva stripped the Obama administration of the fig leaf it had used to cover its failure to develop a workable policy for Syria. For nine months, Secretary of State John F. Kerry had claimed that, in concert with Russia, the United States would use the Geneva process to end Mr. Assad’s rule. As that fantasy unraveled, President Obama hinted at new strategies: “We are continuing to explore every possible avenue to solve this problem,” the president said Feb. 11.

If there has been a change in U.S. policy since then, it hasn’t been detectable.
As you can see for yourselves, the Post is clearly suggesting that Obama's handling of the Syrian crisis was inept long before he was confronted with a new crisis in Europe.

Yep, Obama is clearly incapable of walking, even when he's not chewing gum.
[Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)], the Democratic chairman and ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, both expressed bewilderment at a hearing last week over the administration’s seeming inactivity.

Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns stated bluntly that Syria now presents “enormous challenges” to U.S. interests that “require a steady, comprehensive American strategy.”

Yet when senators asked about the U.S. response, Mr. Burns could offer only vague phrases about “ways to support the moderate opposition” and coordination with other rebel supporters. As Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) noted, “We have been hearing this for years now, and since we first began hearing it, I would guess a hundred thousand people have died.”

The Obama administration unquestionably must answer the Russian offensive in Crimea. But that does not lessen the critical threat to U.S. interests in Syria or excuse the president’s continuing passivity. It’s time for decisive steps to achieve the U.S. objectives of checking al-Qaeda and reversing the regime’s military momentum.
Let's face it, Obama can't even handle one task at a time, and yet, the Washington Post, which seems to concede this point earlier in its editorial [implicitly], expects the President to walk and chew gum at the same time and handle two tasks simultaneously?! Are you kidding me?!

Senate Dems to pull all-nighter talking hot air

Twenty-six Democratic Senators will use the senate floor on Monday to conduct an all-night marathon talking hot air.

From 6:30 p.m on Monday until 9 a.m on Tuesday, the group, which calls itself the “climate caucus”, will speak not-stop about Global Warming and Climate change.

The "talkathon" is not technically considered a filibuster since no actual legislation is up for debate, but the hot air coalition hopes to draw media attention to its cause by talking hot air for hours on end.

Grueling, hectic 5 day schedule for Obama!

The US Presidency is not an easy job; just ask President Obama, who began a grueling five day schedule on Friday when he and his family flew off to Florida to spend the weekend at the Ocean Reef Club, a private membership club nestled in 2,500 secluded, tropical acres on the northern tip of Key Largo.

"For avid golfers like Obama, the property boasts two championship 18-hole golf courses," the AP noted. "The club also has a swimming lagoon, tennis courts, a spa and fitness center, a private airport and more than a dozen restaurants among its varied offerings."

However, the President's hectic schedule does not end there. Obama still has a couple of grueling days ahead of him as he welcomes college sports teams to the White House on Monday and flies off to New York on Tuesday for Democratic fundraisers.

Yep, the Presidency is definitely not an easy job - particularly for someone the likes of Obama who takes his job with the utmost of seriousness.

The President wrapped up his weekend getaway at "the Ocean Reef resort Sunday with a second round of golf in as many days, and headed back to Washington," the Washington Post reported.

"Obama spent the weekend with first lady Michelle Obama, daughters Malia and Sasha, and an assortment of friends, including former NFL star Ahmad Rashad and former NBA star Alonzo Mourning, both of whom joined the president on the links," the Post noted.

"The first family boarded the Marine One helicopter... and enjoyed a scenic ride to Homestead Air Reserve Base, where they boarded Air Force One for the trip back to Washington. This week, Obama will welcome college sports teams to the White House on Monday and travel to New York for Democratic fundraisers on Tuesday, officials said."

Yep, that's five successive days of grueling, arduous work for Obama.

But ultimately the Presidency is an exhausting and demanding job. And Obama, it seems, is more than willing to take the burden upon himself - for the good of the country.

Only after the President is finished tending to these very serious matters will he take a breather and tend to more light-hearted matters - like his meeting at the White House on Wednesday with the Ukrainian Prime Minister.

Yep, business before pleasure - that's what the Presidency is all about...........

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Robert Gates: Obama defense cuts sending signal that US is not interested in protecting its Global interests

Appearing today on Fox News Sunday, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates was asked whether he would have resigned as Defense Secretary - if he were still in office - rather than preside over the current defense budget cuts that President Obama is implementing?

Mr. Gates was also asked whether the huge cuts in defense spending "do damage to the nation's security?"

"Well, I don't know the answer to the first question [whether he would have resigned as Defense Secretary]. (But, as far as the second question is concerned), I think that cutting the defense budget in significant ways right now is a serious mistake,"said Gates. "You know, when we've cut the budget before, at the end of the Cold War, at the end of Vietnam, and at other times, it's been because we thought the world was going to be a safer place - at least we thought so temporarily at the time."

"No one can make that case right now. You look at the situation in Ukraine, and our relationships with Russia, you look a the tensions between China and Japan and in the South China Sea. You look at Iran and North Korea. These guys are operating on the 20th Century model of nation states: boundaries matter, strategic interests matter, zero-sum game, I win, you lose. This is the way these countries look at the world, it's different than the way the West Europeans and we look at it."

"And frankly, the pace at which both the Europeans and the US is cutting their defenses, regardless of what the facts on the ground, in terms of the number of ships and the number of planes, it certainly sends a signal that we are not interested in protecting our Global interests," said Gates - who, while serving as Defense Secretary, acquiesced, and bowed to President Obama's budget cut demands, despite the inherent dangers involved in such capitulation - although, it also true that cuts in defense spending have increased considerably since Gates left office.

Nevertheless, according to the former Defense Secretary, the President is sending a signal that the US is not interested in protecting its Global interests.

Which ultimately means Obama is showing competence in at least one area: his ability to send signals.........

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Obama: No regime change for Iran's regime changing regime!

Despite the fact that Iran is using terrorism as a vehicle to implement regime change in other countries - the Obama administration has reassured the Iranian regime that it does not support regime change in Iran - thereby enabling, and empowering, the Iranian regime to facilitate regime change in other countries, with impunity, via the regime's trusty and dependable tool, terrorism.

A real head-scratcher - compliments of the Obama administration. And par for the course......

Over the last several years, and in recent weeks, Bahrain has witnessed an endless stream of bomb explosions and attacks that have wrought death, injury and destruction upon its citizenry.

The pathetic UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, commenting on a recent terrorist attack in Bahrain, said that there is no justification for such acts of violence.

A vacuous, bold statement from the UN Secretary-General! Heh...

Shia cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Muqabi, sociologist at the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments in Bahrain, said that Iran and Hezbollah have been "supporting the criminal activity and terrorist attacks in Bahrain."

According to a Dubai police chief, the perpetrator of a bombing attack this week in Bahrain was a frequent visitor to Lebanon and received training on the use explosives from Hezbollah.

The chairwoman of the Bahraini parliamentary foreign affairs, defense and national security committee asserted that there are "Iranian fingerprints" and "Hezbollah's hand" in these attacks.

"Many suspects have been convicted of being involved or associated with Iran or Hezbollah," she said.

Bahrain's Foreign Minister, Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, said that, "Iran has sought to bring explosives into Bahrain and has trained terrorists to use them. As a result, Bahrain has entered a dangerous stage..."

The Bahrani Foreign Minister noted Iran's "active involvement in: indirect training of violent actors in Bahrain through proxy groups based outside Bahrain; emergence of insurgent groups directly linked to the Al Quds Force, a special unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard; arrests across the GCC [Arab Gulf states] of individuals being directed by Iranian operatives; and seizures of large amounts of deadly weaponry. These are a few recent examples..."

Mr. Khalifa called for international measures to be taken against Iran in the face of "this blatant incitement and interference in Bahrain's affairs as well as support of terrorism".

In February of 2013, I noted:
Bahrain's National Security Agency announced the discovery of an Iranian backed "terrorist cell" in Bahrain that was planning to attack highly-sensitive civil and military sites and to target public figures. Bahraini Security Chief, Tareq al-Hassan, said the terrorist cell "brought in arms and explosives" and was prepared "to launch operations at a moment decided by their command in Iran."
It is also worthy to note that the Israeli Navy on Wednesday intercepted an Iranian shipment of arms that was being delivered to Hamas. The shipment included rockets capable of carrying warheads with over 300 pounds of explosives.

But ultimately, while Iran seeks both regime change and absolute destruction for its neighbors - Obama does not support regime change in Iran because..., well, because he is Obama........

Hence, Mr. Obama refused to support the protesters in Iran during the mass demonstrations that took place in the country in 2009; and he currently refuses to support countless Iranians who loathe, and oppose, the Mullocracy.

The reason for this phenomenon is simple; it's because..., well..., it's because he's Obama........

Simple enough?

I concluded my February, 2013 post with the following tongue-in-cheek assessment:
The truth of the matter is, Iran is conducting these terrorist operations for peaceful purposes only, just as they are developing their nuclear program solely, and exclusively, for peaceful purposes. Hence, it would behoove the President to continue to adhere to his policy of refraining from meddling in Iran's peaceful pursuits.

President Obama has continuously reassured the Iranian government that he is not seeking, and will not seek, regime change in Iran. And this is indeed the correct path to take, for only a non-meddling policy on Obama's part, that ensures there will be no regime change in Iran, will afford the Iranian government the opportunity to further engage in their peaceful activities, [including their peaceful regime change activities].

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lawmakers reject Obama logic: Defending despicable cop-killer doesn't make one qualified to lead Justice Department’s civil rights division

If President Obama had a son, he would not look like Daniel Faulkner, the Philadelphia police officer who was brutally murdered in 1981 by Mumia Abu-Jamal. Hence, not surprisingly,the President expressed shock on Wednesday when Republican and Democratic lawmakers were unable to stomach his nominee to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division - a fellow by the name of Debo Adegbile - who just happened [by mere coincidence, of course] to serve as defense attorney for Abu-Jamal.

President Obama's choice for the civil rights division post was blocked in congress by a 52-47 vote, as seven Democratic lawmakers had the good conscience to join their Republican counterparts in rejecting Obama's nominee.

The Washington Examiner noted that, "Senate Democrats [previously] killed the filibuster for nominations because they wanted to be able to confirm the president's choices for top administration positions even if Republicans were united in opposition. From now on, Democrats ruled, nominations would be confirmed by a simple majority vote. With 55 Democrats in the Senate, and as few as 51 required for confirmation, the change virtually guaranteed success for the president's nominees. But even a rule change was not enough to save the nomination" of the notorious cop-killer's defense attorney.

President Obama, no doubt, believes that defending the notorious, heinous and brutal cop-killer is precisely what makes Mr. Adegbile highly qualified to lead the Justice Department's civil rights division, but, ultimately both Republicans and Democrats were unable to stomach the President's choice and his logic.

Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday recounted the details of Mr. Faulkner's brutal murder.

The policeman was "conducting a routine traffic stop when Wesley Cook — also known as Mumia Abu-Jamal — shot him in the back," McConell said. "[Abu-Jamal} then stood over Officer Faulkner and shot him several more times in the chest.

"As Officer Faulkner lay dying in the street, defenseless, Abu-Jamal shot him in the face, killing him. At the hospital, Abu-Jamal bragged that he had shot Officer Faulkner and expressed his hope that he would die."

However, President Obama, whose son - if the President were to have a son - would not look like Daniel Faulkner, called the vote a "travesty", and asserted that, "Those who voted against [Adegbile's] nomination, denied the American people an outstanding public servant.”

However, in a letter that was read on the senate floor shortly before the vote, Mauren Faulkner, the widow of the slain police officer, wrote that, "Today, as my husband lies 33 years in his grave..., old wounds have once again been ripped open, and additional insult is brought upon our law enforcement community in this country by President Obama's nomination of Debo Adegbile."

According to the Washington Examiner, "Vice President Joe Biden arrived in the Senate chamber to break a possible tie -- a clear indication that the White House knew the nomination was in trouble. But there was no tie. Seven Democrats voted "no," joined by 44 Republicans... The vote was a clear defeat for President Obama, who himself practiced civil rights law before taking up politics."

Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat from the state of Pennsylvania - where the brutal murder occurred - issued a statement on Friday saying:

"It is important that we ensure that Pennsylvanians and citizens across the country have full confidence in their public representatives - both elected and appointed. The vicious murder of Officer Faulkner in the line of duty and the events that followed in the 30 years since his death have left open wounds for Maureen Faulkner and her family as well as the City of Philadelphia. After carefully considering this nomination and having met with both Mr. Adegbile as well as the Fraternal Order of Police, I will not vote to confirm the nominee."

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey issued a statement after the vote saying:

“Today is a good day for Pennsylvania, for America, and for those who believe in justice... I appreciate the bipartisan support of my [Democratic] colleagues... and from Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams in opposing the confirmation of Mr. Adegbile.

“Today the Senate affirmed that our criminal justice system must never be abused to propagate a dishonest, radical agenda. The American people, especially law enforcement and Maureen Faulkner, deserve better.”

Indeed. For contrary to the President's twisted ideology - defending a despicable cop-killer does not make one qualified to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division; if anything, it makes him totally unqualified and unfit for the job.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Putin is on the right side of history, Obama isn't fooling Everybody

Lambasting Vladimir Putin's recent incursion into Ukraine, President Obama made the claim that the Russian President is "on the wrong side of history." Mr. Obama based his claim on a deceptive and fictitious assertion that he has made time and time again, namely that "the Cold War is over."

During the 2012 Presidential campaign, the Deceiver-in-Chief mocked then-Republican Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, for making a big fuss about Russia and for criticizing Obama's policies on Russia.

Romney is "stuck in a Cold War time warp," the Deceiver-in-Chief asserted while addressing the Democratic National Convention in September of 2012.

But the fact of the matter is, while the Cold War, in theory, may have ended - in practice, the Cold War continues till this very day, as evidenced by the positions Russia has taken time and time again - in the UN and outside of the UN - on virtually every issue that has arisen in the international arena - positions that deliberately run counter to the US positions.

Hence, Russia is merely embracing the policies and strategies that it has embraced until now, and Putin is simply aligning himself with his country's past and recent history; Putin is being consistent; he is clearly on the right side of history - both his country's past and recent history.

On the flip side, President Obama, with his illusionary and deceptive talking points about the Cold War and about terrorism, is on the wrong side of both past and recent history. For indeed, the Cold War is still in full force.

Some might call it naivety on Obama's part, I call it deliberate deception.

Which leads to me to a second point:

On Tuesday, President Obama said, with regards to the situation in Ukraine, that, "President Putin seems to have a different set of lawyers making a different set of interpretations, but I don’t think that’s fooling anybody."

Problem is, Putin doesn't need to fool anybody; he has been consistent, and his actions are consistent with Russia's past and recent history; Putin is on the right side of history.

Obama, on the other hand, is on the wrong side of past, and recent, history on just about every issue. And yet, he continues to fool a great many into believing his phony, illusionary talking points. However, unlike Putin, Obama desperately needs to throw the wool over people's eyes, otherwise he will no longer be the Pied Piper and his Presidential acting career will be over.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly told President Obama on Monday that she was not sure whether the Russian President was 'in touch with reality'. Putin is “in another world,” she said. But the fact of the matter is, Putin is clearly in touch with reality. Sadly, however, the Obama enthusiasts - who've been misled by the Pied Piper-in-Chief into believing that we are living in a new utopian era - have indeed lost touch with reality. Very sad, indeed.

And while Obama certainly deserves credit for his Pied Piper feats, it is nonetheless important to note what Abraham Lincoln once said, namely, that, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time."

Obama may be a cool cat, but even a cool cat can not "fool all of the people all of the time."

Monday, March 3, 2014

45-state study: Obamacare offers less choice, higher prices, breaking another promise

From the Washington Examiner:
A new and comprehensive comparison of health insurance options offered by Obamacare versus private websites finds that President Obama's program offers less choice and higher prices than promised by the White House and leading Democrats.

Adding to the list of broken health care promises, the study from the National Center for Public Policy Research found that there were more and cheaper options available on websites outside the health insurance exchange in 2013 than on healthcare.gov and state Obamacare exchanges.

The report, "Obamacare Exchanges: Less Choice, Higher Prices,” looked at options available for a 27-year-old single person and a 57-year-old couple in metropolitan areas across 45 states.

The report found that a 27-year-old male had about 10 more policies to choose from on eHealthinsurance.com and finder.healthcare versus the exchange. The older couple had about nine more policy choices.

Ditto for the cost findings, with the 27-year-old male having access to 32 policies that cost less than the cheapest Obamacare offering, and the 57-year-old couple access to 29 cheaper policies.

"In general, consumers had substantially more policies to choose from on private websites such as eHealthinsurance.com and Finder.healthcare than they presently have on the exchanges," said the study.

"Obamacare supporters, including the president himself and Nancy Pelosi, claimed the exchanges would yield more choice and lower prices," said the study's author, David Hogberg. "This study shows those claims do not stand up.”

Friday, February 28, 2014

African Americans suffering from Obama's disastrous economy, prompting Obama to launch 'My Brother's Keeper' initiative

Lamenting the plight of African Americans who, like many in this country, are suffering immensely as a result of his failed economic policies [see video below], President Obama on Thursday announced his "My Brother's Keeper" initiative calling on philanthropists and businesses to help repair the damage that he has inflicted upon African Americans and to help create more economic opportunities for "young men of color".

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Obama launches "My Brother's Keeper" initiative while abandoning his destitute half brother, George Obama

Although President Obama has callously abandoned his impoverished half-brother, George Obama - who lives in absolute destitution in a slum in Kenya - Mr. Obama nevertheless launched his "My Brother's Keeper" initiative on Thursday calling on philanthropists and businesses to ignore his own callousness, and to create, among other things, more economic opportunities for "young men of color".

"It doesn't take that much [to lend assistance]," the President said during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, "but it takes more than we're doing now. And that's what My Brother's Keeper is all about." It's all about not following the President's example.

Incidentally, the President's half-brother was not in attendance for the ceremony.

U.N. withholds report on Iran nuclear weapons development & research

From Reuters:
The U.N. nuclear watchdog planned a major report on Iran that might have revealed more of its suspected atomic bomb research, but held off as Tehran's relations with the outside world thawed, sources familiar with the matter said... According to the sources, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has apparently dropped the idea of a new report, at least for the time being...

A decision not to go ahead with the new document may raise questions about information that the UN agency has gathered in the last two years on what it calls the "possible military dimensions" (PMD) to Iran's nuclear program...

The sources... suggested the more recent material concerned extra detail about alleged research and experiments that were covered in [a] November 2011 report. A new report would probably have included "updated information on PMD ["possible military dimensions" to Iran's nuclear program] which could have "reinforced the concern" about Iran.

The IAEA's dossier in November 2011 contained a trove of intelligence indicating past activity in Iran which could be used for developing nuclear weapons...

Since then the agency has said it obtained more information that backs up its analysis in the 2011 document, which detailed allegations ranging from explosives testing to research on what experts describe as an atomic bomb trigger.

Other issues it wants Iran to address are alleged detonator development, computer modeling to calculate nuclear explosive yields, and preparatory experimentation that could be useful for any atomic test...

One source said it was believed that the Vienna-based IAEA had received more information on suspicions of nuclear yield calculations, but it was not known to what extent this would have made it into a new report on Iran.

"The agency has obtained more information since November 2011 that has further corroborated the analysis contained in that annex," it said on February 20 in a regular quarterly report on Iran's nuclear program. It has been investigating accusations for several years that Iran may have coordinated efforts to process uranium, test explosives and revamp a missile cone in a way suitable for a nuclear warhead...

The sources said that last year's planned report would probably have amounted to a wider review of the Iranian nuclear file, including PMD [possible military dimensions] and other outstanding issues

Sebelius is the real deal! Her mentor is beaming with pride!

In an interview on Tuesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was asked the following question:

"Vice President Joe Biden said that 5.6 million Americans enrolling in Obamcare by March 31 would be a good start. That's 1 million to 2 million short of the 7 million mark that the administration said. Do you agree with Vice President Biden that 5 or 6 is a much more realistic mark than 7?"

Sebelius replied: "7 million was not the administration. That was a CBO, Congressional Budget Office prediction when the bill was first signed. I'm not quite sure where they even got their numbers. Their numbers are all over the board."

President Obama's eyes, no doubt, were gleaming with immense pride when he heard Sebelius utter that cunning piece of sophistry - because, at that very moment, he realized that Sebelius was truly an Obama mentee, who, like her mentor, had completely mastered the art of prevarication.

Sebelius's response was classical Obama; it was right up Obama's alley!

I could just visualize the President, upon hearing Sebelius's remarks, hollering exuberantly at the top of his lungs: "Remarkable, Kathleen! Job well done!" And then the President orders his staffers to, "Give it up for Sebelius!" And, of course, they respond on cue with a thunderous round of applause!

Sebelius has proved her worth; she's the real deal - a genuine Obama mentee.

Of course, as others have dutifully noted, Sebelius, on a number of occasions, has stated that her target, and the administration's target, was to have 7 million Obamacare enrollees by the end of March.

On one occasion - which I believe has not been mentioned - Sebelius was discussing a 6 month enrollment campaign that would begin on October 1, 2013 and end on March 31, 2014. She was asked the following question by the Washington Post in July of 2013:

"How are you going to measure success on March 31?"

Sebelius replied: "Our target for this first open enrollment period is to have 7 million newly enrolled individuals throughout the country."

Others have noted that Sebelius told NBC News in September of 2013: “I think success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014.”

And yet, Sebelius stated on Tuesday, much to the delight of the Prevaricator-in-Chief - that "7 million was not the administration."

She then went on to say - in typical Obama fashion: "That was a CBO, Congressional Budget Office prediction. I'm not quite sure where they even got their numbers. Their numbers are all over the board."

So, all of a sudden, the 7 million number is ridiculous - an absurdly "over the board" number.

"I'm not quite sure where they even got their numbers," Sebelius said. "Their numbers are all over the board."

And yet, Sebelius stated: "Our target for this first open enrollment period is to have 7 million newly enrolled individuals throughout the country." “I think success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014.”

"All over the board," indeed.

She's the real deal - and her mentor is beaming with pride.

Give it up for Kathleen!

In late October, 2013, the AP pointed out another prevarication that Sebelius had made:
Misstating the health care law she is responsible for administering, Kathleen Sebelius has asserted that the law required health insurance sign-ups to start Oct. 1, whether the system was ready or not. In fact, the decision when to launch the sign-up website was hers...

In a visit to a community health center in Austin, Texas, Sebelius acknowledged more testing would have been preferable. "In an ideal world there would have been a lot more testing, but we did not have the luxury of that and the law said the go-time was Oct. 1," she said.

But the law imposed no legal requirement to open the website Oct 1. The law says only that the enrollment period shall be "as determined by the secretary." The launch date was set not in the law, but in regulations her department had issued. Agencies routinely allow themselves flexibility on self-imposed deadlines...
Her mentor is beaming with pride.........

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lack of support among Democrats for minimum wage increase forces a delay in floor debate

Senate Democrats have again delayed debating a proposal to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour because not all Democrats are on board with the proposal.

Lacking the required 60 votes to block a potential filibuster, Democratic lawmakers now say a floor debate on the proposed legislation will be postponed until late March.

Nevertheless, despite the real reason for the postponement - namely, the lack of votes among Democratic lawmakers - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to save face by blaming Republican opposition to some of President Obama's nominees for slowing the chamber's work, thereby [supposedly] causing a delay in the minimum wage floor debate.

Among the Democratic lawmakers opposed to the proposed legislation are Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Warner of Virginia, who are up for re- election in November, who voiced concerns about "timing" [heh, re-election timing] and the "amount" of increase in the minimum wage, Bloomberg News reported.

“There ought to be an increase in the minimum wage,” Warner said. “[But] I think there’s a valid debate about amount and timing.” Yeah, right, re-election "timing", heh...

Sen. Pryor said that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour is “too much, too fast,” but he said on Tuesday that he may consider a smaller increase.

Sen Landrieu told reporters on Tuesday that while she supports some sort of wage increase, she hadn’t committed to the $10.10 increase proposed by President Obama.

But despite the aforementioned reservations, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was asked whether there might be a compromise to raise the minimum wage while keeping it below the $10.10 an hour level that President Barack Obama proposed, so as to ease the concerns of Democrats who are up for re-election this year and who may be reluctant to support the $10.10 an hour proposal, Mr. Reid responded, "Not with me!"

There will be no compromise between Sen. Reid and his Democratic colleagues!

Irresponsible, Negligent Obamacare rollout: More than Two Thirds of State Obamacare Systems were Initially rated As 'High Risk' for Security Problems

From the AP:
As the Obama administration raced to meet its self-imposed deadline for online health insurance markets, security experts working for the government worried that state computer systems could become a back door for hackers.

Documents provided to The Associated Press show that more than two-thirds of state systems that were supposed to tap into federal computers to verify sensitive personal information for coverage were initially rated as "high risk" for security problems.

Back-door attacks have been in the news, since the hackers who stole millions of customers' credit and debit card numbers from Target are believed to have gained access through a contractor's network...

Issues detailed in documents and emails provided by the House Oversight and Government Reform committee reveal broader concerns than the federal Health and Human Services department has previously acknowledged.

They show a frenzied behind-the-scenes juggling act by officials and contractors as the Oct. 1 deadline for new health insurance exchanges loomed. Instead of providing a showcase for President Barack Obama, the launch of his health care law became a case study in how big technology projects can go off the rails.

In order to connect to federal computers, state and other outside systems must undergo a security review and receive an "authority to connect."

With the health care law, states needed approval to connect to a new federal data hub, an electronic back room that pings Social Security, the Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security to verify personal details about people applying for government-subsidized insurance. The hub handles sensitive information, including income, immigration status and Social Security numbers.

The documents showed a high-stakes decision-making process playing out against a backdrop of tension and uncertainty as the clock ran out.

For example:

— In one email from Sept. 29, a Sunday two days before the launch, Teresa Fryer, chief information security officer for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, wrote of the state security approvals, "The front office is signing them whether or not they are a high risk." Her agency, known as CMS, also administers the health care law.

Two days earlier, in a separate document, CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner approved nine states to connect although the approval document noted that "CMS views the October 1 connections to the nine states as a risk due to the fact that their documentation may not be submitted completely nor reviewed...by Oct. 1." Approval was contingent on states submitting proper documentation. ..

— A CMS PowerPoint presentation from Sept. 23 revealed huge differences in states' readiness. Some were already approved; others had security weaknesses that were well understood and being tackled. But there were also states where the federal government had little information on security preparations.

"CMS views these connections to states as a high risk due to the unknown nature of their systems," according to the presentation.

CMS officials contemplated whether their agency would have to accept risk on behalf of other federal government entities, including Social Security and the IRS.

—A federal contractor explicitly detailed the potential consequences of what he called an "elevated high risk."

Allowing states to connect without the appropriate review "introduces an unknown amount of risk" that could put the personal information of "potentially millions of users at risk of identity theft," not to mention exposing the program to fraud, contractor Ryan Brewer wrote to CMS security in a Sept. 18 email.

Brewer had formerly been in government, as top CMS information security officer...

"The administration has not been forthcoming with the American people about the serious security risks," the oversight panel's chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa said in a statement. "Despite repeated assurances from HHS, the department appears to still be struggling with security concerns."

Cybersecurity consultant and author Theresa Payton, who reviewed the materials for the AP... said a phased rollout of the health care markets would have been a prudent way to keep risks manageable.

The administration should have found a way to let consumers know that the new online markets weren't quite ready for prime time, she said. "A customer education campaign on how to avoid fraud would have gone a long way."
But of course, the administration was more interested in educating Americans on how to purchase Obamacare than in educating them on how they could avoid identity theft and avoid losing their pants.
Even top-performing states are not immune to problems. In a Jan. 10 email exchange, officials and contractors wondered whether they might have to disconnect California from federal computers after a website publicly disclosed that state's vulnerabilities.

"There are many security issues with the states' systems," a contractor wrote to CMS supervisors. "I would expect many more of the 'known' flaws to be posted in the near future."
Related Post: CEO of online security firm tells congress Obamacare website's security flaws have gotten worse since he last testified before congress in November of last year

Monday, February 24, 2014

Iraq signed deal to buy arms & ammunition from Iran in 2013, and the Obama administration knew it, despite its deceitful obfuscations

From Reuters:
Iran has signed a deal to sell Iraq arms and ammunition worth $195 million, according to documents seen by Reuters - a move that would break a U.N. embargo on weapons sales by Tehran... The agreement was reached at the end of November.

The Iranian government denied any knowledge of a deal to sell arms to Iraq. It would be the first official arms deal between Shi'ite Iran and Iraq's Shi'ite-led government and would highlight the growing bond between them in the two years since the departure of U.S. troops from Iraq.

The U.S. State Department said it was looking into the reports.

"If true, this would raise serious concerns," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a news briefing.

A U.N. diplomatic source close to the U.N. Security Council's Iran sanctions committee was aware of the Iran-Iraq arms deal and voiced concern about it, while declining to disclose details about those concerns. The source spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity...

One Western security official said U.S. government experts believed an Iranian-Iraqi arms deal had been in the works for some time.
Wait a minute! A UN diplomat close to the U.N. Security Council's Iran sanctions committee was aware of the deal and expressed concern about it, and U.S. government experts believed an Iranian-Iraqi arms deal had been in the works for some time, but the U.S. State Department had no knowledge of it, and said it was looking into the reports?!

More obfuscations, more lies - so typical of this administration.
The growing friendship between the two countries is discomfiting for the United States, which has accused Iran of having shipped arms to the Syrian government through Iraq...

The weapons purchases amount to a drop in the ocean for Iraq, which receives most of its arms from the United States and has also bought weapons and helicopters from Russia and other countries.

But they are politically significant as Maliki purses a third term in office.

Iraqi politicians consider Iran's blessing as a necessity for seeking power. Maliki won his second term in 2010 only after the Iranians exerted pressure on recalcitrant Shi'ite parties on his behalf.

Many Iraqis accuse Iran of funding Iraqi Shi'ite militias who have seen a resurgence in the last two years as Iraq's security has deteriorated.

Images of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei now decorate posters seen around Baghdad of Iraqi Shiite fighters slain fighting in Syria...

Mohammad Marandi, a professor at University of Tehran, told Reuters... that Iran would not be troubled by the idea [of selling arms to Iraq]: "Iranians don't accept the legitimacy of sanctions. Plus, Iran sells military equipment to many countries."
Truth be told, even if members of the Obama administration say they are troubled by the idea, President Obama himself, in all likelihood, is not the least bit troubled by it - despite the fact that Iran has armed and trained Iraqi and Afghan insurgents who've killed thousands of US troops.

Bear in mind what Obama said during a 2008 Democratic Presidential primary debate, namely, that the leaders of Iran and Syria have an important role to play in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran and Syria are "going to have to carry some weight, in terms of stabilizing the region," he added.

Yep, that's right, Iran and Syria will help bring stability to Iraq, Afghanistan and the entire region [heh...], according to Obama.

Sadly, Iraq is steadily becoming a proxy state for Iran, under the auspices, and with the approval, of President Obama, who certainly knew about the Iraqi/Iranian arms deal back in November, and who no doubt, relishes, not only the deal, but the newfound relationship between Iran and Iraq.

Hopefully, the US, and the free world at large, will survive, and overcome, Obama's convoluted policies.

Hagel: As a consequence of large budget cuts, our future force will assume additional risks; American dominance can no longer be taken for granted

Further advancing President Obama's goal of reducing the size of the US military and allowing friendly allies like Iran and Syria to carry more responsibility in combating terror and facilitating peace, harmony and stability all across the globe [heh......], Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Monday the Obama administration's new budget proposal that calls for the US Army to shrink to 440,000 to 450,000 soldiers by 2019, its smallest size in 74 years.

The New York Times noted: "Officials who saw an early draft of the announcement acknowledge that budget cuts will impose greater risk on the armed forces if they are again ordered to carry out two large-scale military actions at the same time: Success would take longer, they say, and there would be a larger number of casualties. Officials also say that a smaller military could invite adventurism by adversaries."

The Wall Street Journal noted the proposed budget includes "a limit on military pay raises, higher fees for health-care benefits and less generous housing allowances for troops and their families."

Likewise, the Hill reported that "the budget unveiled by Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel would cut the growth of housing allowances for troops and their families, and reduce subsidies provided to military commissaries that provide military families with low-cost goods. It would also increase health care co-pays and deductibles for retirees and active-duty family members, except for those medically retired."

In 2011, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates - who acquiesced, and bowed, to President Obama's demands to begin dismantling the US military - stated: "If we are going to reduce the resources and the size of the U.S. military, people need to make conscious choices about what the implications are for the security of the country, as well as for the variety of military operations we have around the world if lower priority missions are scaled back or eliminated. They need to understand what it could mean for a smaller pool of troops and their families if America is forced into a protracted land war again... To shirk this discussion of risks and consequences – and the hard decisions that must follow – I would regard as managerial cowardice."

To acquiesce, and bow, to Obama's demands, despite the inherent dangers involved in such capitulation, is indeed managerial cowardice and absolute negligence.

Mr. Gates went on to say: "I know that after a decade of conflict, the American people are tired of war. But there is no doubt in my mind that the continued strength and global reach of the American military will remain the greatest deterrent against aggression, and the most effective means of preserving peace in the 21st century, as it was in the 20th."

Yeah, right, but what about the "managerial cowardice" and absolute negligence.....

The Daily Mail-UK reported:
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has proposed shrinking the Army to its smallest size in 74 years through a series of base closures and troops cuts, and by completely eliminating several Air Force aircraft fleets...

Hagel surprised some observers on Monday when he outlined a military philosophy that removed America from the center of its universe.

"The development and proliferation of more advanced military technology of other nations – it means that we are entering an era where American dominance on the seas, in the skies, and space can no longer be taken for granted...," Hagel said.

"As a consequence of large budget cuts, our future force will assume additional risks in some areas," he added.
Hagel's remarks would have been more precise with a few additional words inserted into the text.

Here's what he should have said, or, what he meant to say:

"We are living in the Obama [and Hagel] era where American dominance on the seas, in the skies, and space can no longer be taken for granted. As a consequence of the President and your's truly, our future force will assume a plethora of risks in a great many areas."

Friday, February 21, 2014

Asthma sufferer now realizes Obamacare can't help him, despite Obama's 2008 remarks

Speaking at a campaign rally during his 2008 Presidential run, then-Sen. Obama made the following remarks with regards to health insurance:

"Everybody knows that it makes no sense that you send a kid to the emergency room for a treatable illness like asthma. They end up taking up a hospital bed. It costs, when, if you, they just gave, you gave, treatment early, and they got some treatment, and, uhhh, a breathalyzer, or, uhh, an inhalator, not a breathalyzer... [laughter] I haven't had much sleep in the last 48 hours... [laughter] If they had an inhalator, inhaler - I'm still stumbling over this word. You know what I mean. You know what I mean. Then we would save money."

Obama stumbled over his words; perhaps he was drunk, which would would explain the "breathalyzer" gaffe. But nevertheless, he was trying to make the case for national health insurance - or, as he likes to call it, "affordable health care" - by using an asthma sufferer as an illustration of someone who would benefit from national health insurance.

So, let's see how those asthma sufferers are faring, right now, under Obamacare:

From the Denver Post:
Matt Leising spends about $3,600 a year on medication to treat asthma and sinus problems, so he was supportive when Washington politicians were debating the Affordable Care Act.

After the law passed and then began rolling out last fall, Leising went to Colorado's health care exchange website to look for coverage, but the 29-year-old Littleton resident quickly realized he couldn't afford any of the plans.

The lowest monthly premium was $175, but the deductible was $10,000, meaning he would still have to pay for his medication and other expenses. He decided to just pay for his medication out of pocket and take the $95 tax penalty for a single person...
"You know what I mean. You know what I mean......."

Yes, Mr. Obama, I know what you mean.............

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Obama & Harper diverge on Keystone XL Pipeline - Three Amigos, North American Leaders' Summit

Although President Obama has accused members of congress of dragging their feet on various pieces of legislation that he supports and that he claims would boost the US economy - it is the President, who, over the last five years, has dragged his feet on the Keystone XL Pipeline project despite the immense economic benefit the project would provide to countless of American families.

During a press conference Wednesday at the North American Leaders' Summit - often referred to as "the Three Amigos Summit" - a Canadian reporter cited a State Department environmental report that concluded the Keystone pipeline would not have a significant effect on climate change.

The reporter then asked President Obama: "What more needs to be done on both sides of the [Canada/US] border for this project to go ahead?" The reporter also asked Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to weigh in on the matter.

President Obama responded: "There is a process that has been gone through, and I know it's been extensive, and at times I'm sure Stephen feels a little too laborious. But these are how we make these decisions about something that could potentially have a significant impact on America's national economy and our national interests."

"The State Department has gone through its review," the president added. "There's now a comment period in which other agencies weigh in. That will be evaluated by Secretary of State Kerry, and we'll make a decision at that point."

Mr. Harper told the reporter that Canada and the U.S. have a "shared concern" about climate change, but, he added, "In terms of climate change, I think the State Department report already was pretty definitive on that particular issue."

"My views in favor of the project are very well known," Harper said.
"[President Obama's] views on the 'process' are also equally well known, and we had that discussion and we'll continue on that discussion."

Mr. Harper didn't appear to be overly enthused by the Obama administration's lengthy, and multiple, environmental review process - due to the detrimental effect that the prolonged process, and unestablished timeline, has on investors.

"As you know, a couple of years ago we [Canadians] moved to reform our system so that we have a single (environmental) review wherever possible — a single review, a multidimensional review that happens over a fixed timeline," Harper said. "And I think that is a process that is tremendously useful in giving investors greater certainty in terms of the kind of plans they may have in the Canadian economy."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

CBO: Obama's proposed minimum wage increase would lead to even more joblessness

According to a new report released by the Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday, President Obama's proposed minimum wage increase would lead to more joblessness and put hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work.

The President has proposed raising the minimum wage from the current hourly wage of $7.25 to $10.10 an hour by the year 2016.

However, according to the CBO report, a $9 increase in the minimum wage would eliminate 100,000 jobs and a $10.10 increase would eliminate 500,000 jobs as employers would ultimately reduce their workforce to make up for the higher wages.

500,000 jobs would be lost, while only 900,000 Americans, out of the 45 million projected to be living in poverty in 2016, would rise above the poverty level, the CBO noted.

Roughly 3.6 million Americans were paid $7.25 an hour or less in 2012, representing 4.7% of hourly workers, the Wall Street Journal noted.

Additionally, the CBO report said that a minimum wage increase would force businesses to raise their prices, which, in turn, would force consumers to cut back on their purchases, which would mean businesses - manufacturers, retail outlets etc. - would need less workers.

The Wall Street Journal noted that, according to the CBO report, just 19% of the increased wages would go to Americans living below the poverty threshold, while close to 30% of the increased wages would go to people living in families that earned more than three times the poverty level, as many minimum-wage workers are second earners and teenage children living in middle- or upper-income households.

And, of course, as I noted earlier, a minimum wage increase would result in higher prices for consumers.

But of course none of this matters to the President - the master pol and the campaigner par excellence - whose sole focus is to cast the seductive bait and to reel in the gullible fish by fine tuning his phony talking points and polishing his crafty sound bites.

The Wall Street Journal noted that, "The [CBO] report could blunt the political momentum Democrats had hoped the issue would give them in November's midterm elections."

But, no need to worry; leave it to Obama - the master pol and Campaigner-in Chief - to use the phony bait to his advantage.