Monday, April 7, 2014

I’ve observed, reported, mocked, written, and explained that Obamacare is a cluster-you-know-what.
So I’m rather bemused and frustrated by the latest pro-Obamacare spin that the law is a “success” because there are now 7 million people who have picked a plan.

There are lots of reasons for normal people to have a what-the-expletive-deleted response to this declaration of victory. For instance:

The goal of Obamacare was to insure the uninsured, yet that number has barely budged, so why is the Administration allowed to move the goalposts to something far more modest?

Obamacare also was supposed to lower premiums by $2500 and allow everyone to keep their plans and their preferred providers, so what happened to those goals?

And why should we even believe the White House spin when we have no idea whether people who have picked a plan have actually paid for that plan?

Moreover, what’s so impressive about getting some people to sign up for plans when they can get something that’s subsidized by taxpayers or other consumers?

But here’s an image put together by Senator Cruz’s office that may be the best – and certainly most amusing – look at the Administration’s supposed “achievement.”

Obamacare Broken WIndows
Amen. People are being both coerced and bribed to sign up for Obamacare, in many cases after the law forced the cancellation of plans that they liked.

So why are we supposed to applaud the fact that a small fraction of the population has chosen the only possible option?

That’s the same mentality that allows politicians to brag about our “voluntary” tax system. As if any of us send our hard-earned money to the crooks in Washington for any reason other than the fact that otherwise we would get arrested.

P.S. Since I commented on our acquiescence to the IRS and our “voluntary” tax system, I will admit that I’m amused and chagrined by this poster. It’s minimized since it uses a sometimes-inappropriate system, I will admit thatWashington Taxs synonym for wimps.

P.P.S. Since this post was about the “broken window” theory of Obamacare, let’s make sure to give ultimate credit to Bastiat, who came up with the original broken windows analogy (as captured by this cartoon mocking Keynesian economics).

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jeb Bush says all the speculation about whether he'll run for president in 2016 is actually getting him more attention than if he had already entered the race.

The former Republican governor of Florida said that's not by design, and that he'll make his decision before year's end.

He told Fox News Channel in an interview airing Sunday that the state of politics is "crazy right now."

Bush says one factor in his decision will be whether he can deliver an optimistic, hopeful message without getting drawn into a political "mud fight." He says the other main factor in his decision will be whether it's OK with his family if he ran.

Bush has antagonized many Republicans by supporting an immigration overhaul and educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade known as Common Core.

On immigration, he said that those who come into the country illegally generally do so because they had no other means to provide for their family, and what they did is "not a felony."

"It's an act of love. It's an act of commitment to your family," Bush said. "I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime. There should be a price paid, but it shouldn't rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families."

The interview with Bush occurred at his father's presidential library during the celebration of the 25th anniversary of George. H. W. Bush's presidency.

Military hitting the breaking point on mental health problems

Mental health problems among veterans will only grow, says former joint chiefs chairman

By Ben Wolfgang and Meghan Drake
-The Washington Times

** FILE ** Adm. Mike Mullen. (Associated Press)
As more details come to light surrounding Spc. Ivan Lopez’s state of mind before he fired on fellow service members at Fort Hood last week, the clearer it becomes, lawmakers and military leaders say, that the mental health of returning veterans no longer can be relegated to the back burner.

The shooting spree, in which the gunman killed three people and injured 16 others before taking his own life, once again has thrust the mental health issue into the spotlight and brought into focus the sheer inadequacy of both the overall understanding of troubled, disturbed individuals and the professional services to reach them before tragedy strikes.
Before he unleashed horror at Ford Hood, Lopez, a 34-year-old Iraq War veteran, took to Facebook to express frustrations, fears and other emotions on a variety of subjects. CNN and other media outlets reported over the weekend that the Army truck driver wrote cryptic, alarming messages under the screen name “Ivan Slipknot,” an apparent reference to the dark heavy metal band.
“My spiritual peace has just gone. Full of Hate. Now I think I’ll be damned,” he wrote.

Lopez also reportedly was being treated for depression and other issues.

Those clear warning signs and, more important, that no one intervened after seeing them, have left lawmakers and others once again grasping for answers.

“We have this crazy standard in the United States that says unless a person is on the verge of holding a knife to their own throat or someone else, we’re not going to step in. And that’s a real problematic standard,” Rep. Tim Murphy, Pennsylvania Republican and a clinical psychologist, said Sunday during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Although attention is turning to mental health, the families of the victims at Ford Hood continue to grieve. Lopez’s rampage was the second mass shooting in five years on the sprawling Texas military base.
In 2009, Maj. Nidal Hasan killed 13 and wounded 30 others at Fort Hood.
Just as in 2009, the White House announced Sunday that President Obama will travel to the base Wednesday and attend memorial services for the victims.

“The president and first lady send their thoughts and their prayers out to the victims and families and everyone on the base,” White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

In Killeen, Texas, home to Fort Hood, dozens of community members gathered Sunday to honor the victims. Pastor Robert Sperbeck tried to comfort the congregation at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Killeen and said most everyone is asking why a shooting like this would happen again.

According to The Associated Press, Mr. Sperbeck told mourners that “the devil is the author of what happened,” but “the way of God leads to the way of comfort.” He said God gives individuals choice and the gunman chose to follow darkness.

For officials, the search to understand Lopez’s motive only intensified.

Lopez reportedly got into a verbal altercation with fellow service members just before he began shooting, leading to speculation that he was harboring deep trauma that was ignited into violence by a specific event.

Military officials have said there is no evidence that Lopez was wounded in battle while in Iraq or suffered any other traumatic event, but specialists say it’s not uncommon for civilians or military personnel who didn’t see combat to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Known as nondeployment PTSD, the illness is becoming much more common, said Royce Lee, a psychiatrist and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago.

Mr. Lee said nondeployment PTSD is common in first responders who have been exposed to victims repeatedly, like those who responded to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

As a truck driver in Iraq, Lopez could have been exposed over and over again to traumatic events of victims, Mr. Lee said.

“It is plausible if that were the kind of duties he had,” he said.

Military leaders say there simply aren’t enough mental health professionals in either the military or the nation as a whole to deal with the scope of the problem. As more veterans return from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, mental illness may become more common and more serious.

“I think our force, because it has been away so much, has not had to deal with those [mental health and other issues] as directly as they may have in the past, and now that we’re going to be home more, I think we’re going to actually see an increased number of challenges associated with that,” Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “We all need to wrap our arms around the force to help us deal with those.”

Adm. Mullen said the availability and quality of services must be increased, along with the understanding of the human mind.

“This really is a national resources issue. … I think we need to do a lot more to understand the brain and how these [traumatic] injuries affect our young people who have done so much for our country,” he said.

Accomplice? Boston jihad murderer’s widow refused to cooperate with FBI

/ Jihad Watch
Karima Tsarnaeva“Russell has always claimed to be shocked and appalled by her husband’s actions, and to have had no knowledge whatsoever of what he was planning.” However, in the Tsarnaevs’ “tiny apartment in Cambridge,” the FBI “found bomb-making residue in the kitchen sink, in the bathtub, and on the kitchen table.” How did this bomb-making activity escape Karima Tsarnaeva’s notice in this “tiny apartment”? Also, “phone records show that Russell spoke to Tsarnaev on April 18, and another law-enforcement source told The Weekly Standard that after seeing the brothers identified on television, she called her husband.” She did not, mind you, call the police. And on her laptop, investigators found “the first issue of the al Qaeda online magazine Inspire, which included an article titled ‘How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.’ And “when the FBI showed up at her parents’ home on April 21, 2013, Russell refused to speak with them, and when it was reported, on May 3, that no trace of her DNA was found on any of the explosive material, she made it clear she would not cooperate.” She has “made it clear to her entire family that she is a Muslim and will remain a Muslim. That’s non-negotiable.”

“Boston bomber’s widow — victim or accomplice?,” by Maureen Callahan for the New York Post, April 6 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
She was known as Katie, a pretty, popular girl from a well-respected Rhode Island family. In high school, she excelled at music and art and worshipped David Bowie. As a freshman at Suffolk University, she majored in communications, and she and a gaggle of friends modeled themselves after the girls on “Sex and the City.”
She thought about joining the Peace Corps.
That was before 2010, when she met the man she’d drop out of school to marry, the man for whom she’d convert to Islam, the man who, three years later, would leave her with a baby daughter and the threat of jail time.
Today, at 25, Katie Russell is best known as the widow of the Boston bomber. As the first anniversary of the attack nears, she remains one of its biggest mysteries — how she was drawn into her husband’s world, and what she knew about his plans.
In November, Russell’s brother-in-law, Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev, will stand trial. Russell has not been charged, nor is it clear whether she’ll be a witness. But authorities still wonder: Was she a willing accomplice? Or a witless victim?
Russell, the oldest of three girls, was raised on a tree-lined street in the comfortable suburb of North Kingston, RI, right off a bike path called Sage Trail. Her dad, Warren, is an emergency-room doctor, her mom, Judith, a nurse.
The girls were raised Catholic and went to public schools. Katie was most comfortable in jeans and T-shirts. “She was a great girl, and a good student, and normal,” a family friend told The Washington Post. “She was normal.”
Aside from one incident when she was 18 — she was arrested for shoplifting $67 worth of merchandise at an Old Navy — Russell was never in trouble. (The charges were dropped after she did community service and paid a $200 fine.) Her personal credo, according to high-school friends, was, “Do something about it or stop complaining about it.”
“It was a fairly tight-knit family,” said the family friend, adding that the girls “had plenty of freedom . . . not like some kids where it’s not allowed for boys to see girls or girls to see boys.”
One night in 2009, two years ­after enrolling at Suffolk University in Boston, she met a charismatic young boxer named Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a nightclub. At the time, he had a girlfriend: 19-year-old Nadine Ascencao, whom he had been dating for three years.
But Tsarnaev, who emigrated with his refugee family from a former Soviet republic in 1995, had undergone a sudden religious conversion. In 2008, he went from smoking pot, partying and dressing “like a pimp, kind of ­Eurotrash,” a neighbor said, to hanging out at the local mosque.
“One minute, he’s this funny, normal guy who liked boxing and having fun, the next he’s praying four times a day, watching Islamic videos and talking insane nonsense,” Ascencao told Britain’s Sun tabloid. “Tamerlan said I couldn’t be with him unless I became a Muslim. He wanted me to hate America like he did.”
He became controlling and abusive, telling Ascencao she was no longer allowed to listen to the ­radio or watch TV. She’d lost her virginity to him, but now, he said, they had to stop having sex. As long as they were unmarried, it was against Muslim law. He told her she had to drop all of her old friends and socialize only with Muslim girls.
“He once ripped a pair of my jeans and hit me in the face with them,” she said. Another time, he slammed her head into a car after she wore shorts and a tank to a party. She called 911 but declined to press charges.
Toward the end of their relationship, when Ascencao finally relented and wore a hijab, he’d taunt her about the other American girl he had been seeing, the one who took Islam far more seriously than she did.
“He once made me learn a verse of an Islamic prayer,” she recalled. “And if I got it wrong, he’d say, ‘Well, Katherine can do it.’ 
Benghazi: The truth exposed
By: Diane Sori

Today Craig Andresen and co-host on RIGHT SIDE PATRIOTS on the CPR Worldwide Media Network...will NOT be posting self-written articles on our respective and ...because we are teaming up for a three part series on Benghazi that we hope will answer the many unanswered questions about who knew what, who knew it when, and what was hidden from the public. 

We both hope that you will look to our blogs and to Facebook, tomorrow and Wednesday, and then on Wednesday at 2pm tune into our radio program, to find what we have put together that just might just blow the lid off the cover-ups and lies that have become the hallmark of Benghazi. And just maybe we can bring some long awaited closure to the families of Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Doherty.