Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sebelius? Being untruthful about Obamacare? Perish the thought. Alas:
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. The troubled debut of the government's health insurance enrollment website has raised questions about whether its start date should have been delayed to allow testing and repairs before it went live. Asked last week whether that might have been the wiser course, Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, said that wasn't possible because the law required an Oct. 1 launch.
To deflect criticism about the law's woeful roll-out, Kathy's both blaming Republicans and pretending that October 1 was a locked-in, legally-mandated deadline. My hands were tied, she protests. But who did the tying?
In a visit to a community health center in Austin, Texas, on Friday, 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. Officials could have postponed open enrollment by a month, or they could have phased in access to the website.
Administration officials could have delayed this portion of the law, but that might have looked like a cave to Republicans, so that option was scratched off the list. Instead, they decided to cross their fingers, close their eyes, make a wish, and hope for the best. The best...hasn't panned out.

(Remember, they've known this thing was on track to flop for months; as recently as very late September, a trial run of healthcare.gov went down in flames). What's ironic about Sebelius' erroneous comment is that her boss has displayed scant hesitancy in unilaterally delaying other portions of the law that actually are set in stone. In this case, the administration genuinely had some legal discretion to play with, but chose not to exercise it. Sebelius either doesn't realize this (head-spinning incompetence), or she's actively lying to cover her own ass. Neither infraction is worthy of firing, it would seem -- "full confidence," and all that. No, that level of accountability is reserved for the little people. I'll leave you with Carney tap-dancing around a tough question about another infamous Obamacare lie:

Click on link to see the video...

IRS Tax Credit Scandal A Bad Omen For Obamacare 

Byron York/ Townhall Columnist

Under Obamacare, the Internal Revenue Service will determine who is eligible for health insurance subsidies, and it will deliver those subsidies, in the form of tax credits, to millions of individual Americans. It's a huge job, and a critical one, involving hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. So it should go without saying that the subsidies go only to people who actually qualify for them. But a new scandal within the IRS casts serious doubt on whether that will happen. 
The scandal involves a program known as the Earned Income Tax Credit. It is an anti-poverty program in which the government gives low-income workers a tax refund larger than their tax liability. For example, a family with a $1,000 income tax liability might qualify for a credit four times that large, and receive an Earned Income Tax Credit payment of $4,000. Another family with no income tax liability at all might qualify for the same lump-sum payment. Call it a subsidy, a refund, a transfer payment -- in any case, the family receives a check from the feds.

The government sends out between $60 billion and $70 billion a year in Earned Income Tax Credit payments. Now, a new IRS inspector general's report shows that a huge amount of that — anywhere between 21 and 30 percent, depending on the year — has been given out improperly to recipients who do not qualify for the payment. The inspector general estimates that somewhere between $110 billion and $132 billion -- billion, not million -- has been given away in improper Earned Income Tax Credit payments in the last decade.

It's long been known that the IRS throws taxpayer dollars away through tax credits. President Obama, who has sought to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit program, in 2009 signed an executive order entitled "Reducing Improper Payments and Eliminating Waste in Federal Programs" that required the IRS to come up with annual "improper payment reduction targets." That was four years ago. It still hasn't been done.

Don't look for it to be done anytime soon. IRS officials told the inspector general that the program was too complicated to administer correctly, and even if it were less complicated, they would not want rigorous enforcement measures to discourage legitimately qualified people from applying for the credit. In the words of the inspector general's report: "The IRS cited the complexity of the Earned Income Tax Credit program as well as the need to balance the reduction in improper payments while still encouraging individuals to use the credit as the two main reasons why reduction targets have not been established."

Given that, inspector general Russell George concluded, "The IRS is unlikely to achieve any significant reduction in Earned Income Tax Credit improper payments." So, look for billions more to be wasted in improper payments this year. And next year. And so on.

This is the very same IRS that will administer Obamacare's subsidies and penalties. Does anyone doubt that in coming years the IRS will use the same excuses -- complexity, a desire not to discourage qualified recipients -- to explain its lack of enforcement, or perhaps refusal to enforce, Obamacare's requirements?

The process has already begun. Back in July, the Obama administration announced it will not require state-run Obamacare exchanges to verify whether individuals who receive subsidies for health coverage are actually qualified for those subsidies. The administration will rely instead on an honor system in which it accepts an applicant's word that he or she is eligible -- a decision many analysts call an invitation to fraud.

In September, the Republican-controlled House passed a bill to require verification for all subsidies.

This month, a much weakened version of that proposal became part of the settlement of the government shutdown. But the bottom line is, don't expect the federal government to do much checking on who is receiving subsidies.

And even a stringent verification requirement will not work if the IRS decides not to enforce it for fear of discouraging people who legitimately qualify for Obamacare subsidies. Since that has been the case with IRS non-enforcement of the president's executive order covering improper Earned Income Tax Credit payments, is there any reason to believe the IRS would not use the same rationale for Obamacare?

Right now the public debate over Obamacare is consumed by news of the exchange website's failures. It's a serious situation that could have a long-lasting effect on the system. But at some point the administration will fix its technical problems. And then the news can move on to the next stage of Obamacare dysfunction -- like a new scandal with the IRS and subsidy payments.

Iran shuts down newspaper for article that "undermined Islamic values"

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

It actually undermined Shi'ite values, but for the mullahs, that's the same thing. In any case, note here again the absolute intolerance of dissent, the inability to deal with opposing points of view in any way other than to silence them forcibly. That same authoritarian impulse is present in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's "Islamophobia" campaign, which seeks not to refute or debate the so-called "Islamophobes," or to demonstrate that what they say is false in any way, but simply to shut them down. The campaign to smear them as "hatemongers" and "bigots" goes hand-in-hand with this -- it doesn't prove them wrong, it just makes timid and ignorant people think they better run the other way rather than listen to them.

"Iran shuts down newspaper, cites anti-Islamic article," from the Associated Press, October 28 (thanks to Twostellas):
TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has shut down a reformist newspaper over an article that allegedly undermined Islamic values. 
State TV reported Monday that Iran's media supervisory body banned the daily Bahar, citing a law authorizing media closures over articles deemed to violate Islamic values or insult Islam.
Bahar published an op-ed article on Wednesday that expressed doubts the Prophet Muhammad had appointed a successor — a statement that contradicts the beliefs of Shiite Muslims.
Shiite Muslims believe Muhammad designated Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib, his son-in-law, as the leader of the Islamic society.
Last week, Bahar's chief editors temporarily shut the publication down for two weeks, possibly in an effort to avoid the ban.
Since 2000, Iran's judiciary has shut down more than 120 pro-reform newspapers and jailed dozens of editors and writers.

Google sure got this one right...

It's Bowe Tuesday...

Hillary exposed...maybe now she'll kiss 2016 goodbye
By: Diane Sori

Wasn’t it nice that CBS finally decided to actually do some hard core, serious journalistic reporting for a change as this past Sunday, their flagship news show ’60 Minutes’ helped to expose the Obama regime’s cover-up of the deadly attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi. Running a report by Lara Logan about Ambassador Stevens having told the State Department that al-Qaeda was taking over buildings at the consulate hours BEFORE he was dragged from the compound brutalized, tortured, and then murdered, CBS did the right thing…albeit a year too late to stop the second usurping of the presidency…and took a big step away from the one they helped ‘anoint’ as the savior of us all.

Reporting that the State Department…as in Hillary ‘What difference does it make’ Clinton’s State Department…knew for quite some time that the Benghazi consulate was NOT as secure as it should have been, especially with the anniversary of 9/11 fast approaching, and with the al-Qaeda flag flying over numerous government buildings throughout Libya. The entire Obama administration was aware of all this…hell…Stevens himself told them that…and still they ignored his requests for additional security even having the knowledge that the few Benghazi consulate security officers that were present both on 9/11 and before were unarmed.

Also, the report did reiterate quite a few times that the State Department (but still NOT mentioning Hillary by name) knew the seriousness of the situation in real-time as it was unfolding…that they knew Stevens needed help…and that they did NOTHING nor recommend that anyone do anything to help…and rest assured that if the State Department knew Barack HUSSEIN Obama knew as well.

They all knew Benghazi was a terrorist attack from the get-go, and yet when the bodies of Ambassador Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith, and ex-Navy SEALS Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty returned home, Hillary and Obama put on their best phony faces of heartache, stood in front of the coffins of those murdered and played to the cameras…and lied to the families of the fallen…lied to ‘We the People’…and lied to the world about a two-bit YouTube video (The Innocence of Muslims) being the cause of it all.

And when Hillary was called to testify before Congress she bold-faced lied to the committee investigating Benghazi…and guess what…lying to Congress is a felony and most felons go to jail…as should she and her then boss Barack HUSSEIN Obama…for murder.

“Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?” croaked Hillary at the Congressional hearings when she knew full well that the 8-hour siege was an al-Qaeda planned, highly sophisticated and coordinated attack on the bare-bones protected Benghazi compound.

The British head of the Libyan guards, whistle blower Security Officer Morgan Jones, the man at the heart of the ’60 Minutes’ report…a man who was on the ground at Benghazi when the attack occurred…even said that the attackers told the few compound guards on duty that night that they were “here to kill Americans, not Libyans.”

And kill Americans they did…four brave men…four brave men who did NOT have to die if Hillary Clinton and Barack HUSSEIN Obama had heeding Ambassador Stevens’ calls for help in the days…in the weeks…leading up to the Benghazi attack.

But they could NOT heed Stevens’ pleas for help for then they risked having the truth about Benghazi being exposed…the truth that Hillary surely knew…the truth about Obama’s illegal guns and weapons smuggling to the Syrian rebels…the truth that Stevens found out and was going to expose…the truth that he had to be silenced for.

So while the ’60 Minutes’ report did NOT directly address the goings on at the White House during and after the attack per se…focusing instead on the actual night of the attack and its lead-up…much was implied about both Hillary and Obama’s cover-up, lies, and the truth that must be kept secret at all costs.

But now ’60 Minutes’ must follow-up on what they started and they must point fingers and name names…in other words hold NOTHING back if they are ever to regain a reputation as anything but another liberal media mouthpiece for Obama.

And this expose…even as limited in its scope as it was and again a year late in airing…must serve as the catalyst for Congress to demand more answers...many more answers...from both the White House and Hillary Clinton, because Benghazi is NOT going away...and that is something Barack HUSSEIN Obama and his minion in lies...Hillary Clinton...can count on as she kisses 2016 good-bye.