Thursday, March 13, 2014

The magnitude of Obamacare's failure is becoming increasingly clear every day. Enrollment rates and demographics are weak. Central promises have been shattered. Affordability remains elusive for millions. Costs for families, small businesses and the federal government are going up. And the uninsured aren't participating.

In spite of a parade of delays and "fixes," Reeling from a bellwether special election loss, Democrats find themselves right back where they were in late 2013: Panicked over their poisonous signature law. Back then, they tried to blame "glitches" in the rollout. The problems that persist today cut to the heart of the law itself. How will Democrats spin Obamacare heading into November? They've devolved from vowing to proudly run on Obamacare, to focusing on making needed changes to the law, to...chaotic disagreement. Politico reports:
Democrats can’t even agree whether Obamacare was the reason for their crushing loss in a Florida special election Tuesday. Now picture how their messaging plan for the health care law is shaping up for 2014. Republican lobbyist David Jolly’s victory over Democrat Alex Sink has many Democrats privately worried and publicly split about how to talk about Obamacare. A few Democrats are advocating a drastic rhetorical shift to the left, by criticizing their own party for not going far enough when it passed the law in 2010. Other Democrats plan to sharply criticize the Affordable Care Act when running for re-election. Many plan to stick to the simple message that Obamacare is flawed and needs to be fixed —a tactic that plainly didn’t work for Sink. Taken together, the Democratic Party is heading into an already tough election year divided — instead of united — on the very issue Republicans plan to make central to their campaigns.
Pro tip: Messaging isn't the problem. Among the Democrats with the most to lose in November is a trio of vulnerable southern Senators: Kay Hagan, Mary Landrieu and Mark Pryor. Hagan has literally fled Obamacare questions, Landrieu is on record saying that she is "100 percent" responsible for the law, which Mark Pryor called an "amazing success story." Rattled by how badly his "success story" is proceeding, Pryor is running an erratic campaign. He accidentally touted his opponent's website at a press conference on Medicare (which he repeatedly voted to cut in order to pay for Obamacare), and bizarrely accused his Republican foe of feeling "entitled" to his seat due to his military service, or something. That, coming from a career politician who used his family's prominent political name to get elected. Americans for Prosperity has launched a $700,000 television ad buy in Arkansas targeting Pryor for misleading his constituents about keeping their existing health coverage:

Click link to see ad...
It's time to add Wanda's name to Harry Reid's ever-expanding roster of "liars." A recent poll showed Pryor trailing Tom Cotton by nine points among Arkansas' likeliest voters.
Night Watch
Russia: In a statement issued Tuesday evening, Russia's Foreign Ministry cited Kosovo's secession from Serbia as the precedent for Crimea's secession from Ukraine. "The Russian Federation will respect the results of the free vote of Crimea's people during the referendum."

Comment: Today's statement is the first to refer to Western action to secure the secession of Kosovo as the precedent for Russian action to secure the secession of Crimea, after Sunday's referendum.
The Russians consider that the US and the Europeans have no moral high ground when it comes to fracturing eastern European states. Russian memories are long.

Ukraine: The Ukraine government said it needs to rebuild the armed forces. In parliament, the acting defense minister said that of some 41,000 infantry mobilized last week, Ukraine could field only about 6,000 combat-ready troops, compared to over 200,000 Russians deployed on the country's eastern borders.

The prime minister said the air force was outnumbered 100 to one. Ukraine needs to establish a new National Guard to protect the country and its population, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov said. Ukrainian security authorities said 30,000 Russian military personnel are in Crimea now.

Comment: The disparity in capabilities and manpower between Ukraine and Russia is almost comical. Russian forces in the western district could overrun as much of Ukraine as they choose and would likely encounter no conventional military opposition.

The worrisome development in the past two days is that Russian media seem to be exaggerating the extent of lawlessness and of right-wing harassment of Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine. The trend in Russian media appears to justify, if not encourage, Russia in sending troops to protect other districts of Ukraine, in addition to Crimea.

Crimea: Crimean authorities invited European observers to monitor Sunday's referendum. Crimean lawmakers on 11 March also adopted a declaration of independence, Interfax reported.

Comment: The declaration of independence indicates the Crimeans finally figured out the sequence of action required for a plausible secession. As Texas did before it joined the United States, Crimea will declare independence and then apply to join the Russian federation.

Libya: Not so fast. The North Korean-flagged tanker supposedly seized by Libyan government forces yesterday, in fact, slipped through the Libyan blockade into open seas. Yesterday's reports of government forces and pro-government militias seizing the ship were exaggerations by the Libyan Prime Minister.

Apparently the government ships and militia craft attempted to restrict the tanker's movements to coastal waters. The tanker broke through the cordon and sailed for deep water. The navy and militia ships and craft did not pursue, allegedly because of bad weather. More likely because of poor seamanship. The tanker escaped.

Late on 11 March, the Libya Herald reported that Libyan government forces fired a missile at the tanker and set it on fire.

The parliament voted no confidence in and dismissed the prime minister whom it blamed for the failure. He not only claimed the ship to be in Libyan custody but that Italian naval ships assisted. Italy denied the claim.

Comment: Official comments about the rebels selling oil suggest the primary reason for the dismissal was the loss of revenue. The cargo was valued by one news analyst at more than $20 million. The defense minister is the new acting prime minister and apparently is responsible for the order to fire a missile at the tanker.

In firing on the tanker, Libya has made a strong point about its intentions and capabilities to halt illegal oil shipments. It also showed that it cares more about preventing an illegal oil shipment than about the environmental consequences of sinking a fully loaded oil tanker in the Mediterranean Sea.
Special Comment: Malaysia is a modern wealthy country that, with British and Commonwealth help, defeated a communist insurgency more than 40 years ago. It was a long hard fight.

Malaysia's state religion is Islam. Its leaders pride themselves that no Islamist terrorist attacks have taken place in Malaysia. Malay elites are strongly pro-UK and mildly hostile to Americans. Educated Malays have become increasingly and openly more devout since 1979.

Malaysia is tolerant of Islamists. It is a place where they can go to ground, rest, plan and prepare attacks, provided they cause no trouble in Malaysia. A suburb of Kuala Lumpur, the capital, was a production site for Pakistan's A.Q. Khan's nuclear weapons proliferation syndicate.

This background, based on decades of watching Malaysia, helps explain Malaysia's pathetic and almost criminal lack of cooperation with international efforts to find the missing Boeing 777-200 passenger aircraft. The NightWatch hypothesis is that the Malaysian authorities suspected terrorism, but did not want to share that suspicion to avoid losing face.

Almost three dozen ships from 9 or 10 countries wasted their time searching in the wrong place and senior Malays knew it. For at least three days the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the government failed to come forward with radar tracking information in their possession that the aircraft was not lost over the South China Sea, but over the northern approach to the Malacca Strait - off the west coast of Malaysia. They have not explained their behavior.

It is premature to conclude the missing aircraft was involved in an act of air terrorism. If the aircraft was downed by terrorist action, it would be an embarrassing first for Malaysia. The failure to provide timely and accurate information for the international search is inexcusable. Malaysia has lost face.

End of NightWatch

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Fires Scores of Rockets into Israel, Calls to Retake Gaza  


Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 3.18.59 PM
In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.
Support Israel, Defeat Jihad.

There can be no peace with savages whose life goal is your destruction.

Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza. The invented “Palestinian” people got their state and where is the peace, harmony and happiness? Gaza is a terror statelet whose goal is the annihilation of Israel. Giving Gaza to savages based on a lie could only have this catastrophic result.

Responding to the onslaught of more than 60 rockets fired by Islamic Jihad terrorists from the Gaza Strip this evening, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has said that any Israeli response must include the retaking of Gaza, according to AFP.
The comments were made in an interview with Israel’s Channel Two.

“Following an attack like this – a barrage of more than 50 rockets - there is no alternative to a full reoccupation of the entire Gaza Strip,” he said.(here)

IDF FOOTAGE: Palestinian Islamic Jihad Fires Mortar at Israel
Barrage of rockets from Gaza hits southern Israeli cities, JTA
JERUSALEM (JTA) — More than 30 rockets and mortars were fired from the Gaza Strip at communities in southern Israel.
The Israel Defense Forces responded to the rocket attacks about an hour later, hitting what it called two “terror locations” in the northern and southern Gaza Strip with artillery fire.
Eight of the rocket fired from Gaza landed in residential neighborhoods in the Wednesday evening attack, according to the IDF.
Most of the rockets were fired at Sderot and Netivot. The Iron Dome anti-missile system shot down at least three of the rockets, the IDF spokesman said on Twitter.
The Code Red siren was sounded in several southern Israeli communities. Residents were  instructed by the IDF to remain in bomb shelters.
The al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad terror organization, claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying: “The response has begun to the crimes of the occupation, the latest of which was the killing of three members” of the organization on Tuesday, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported. Islamic Jihad claimed to have launched 90 rockets at Israel, according to Ma’an.
On Tuesday, a retaliatory strike on a terror cell in Gaza, that had fired mortars at Israeli troops performing routine work in the border area, killed three members of Islamic Jihad.
A rocket fired from Gaza landed in southern Israel overnight on Tuesday.
“We will continue stopping attacks and hitting those who wish to harm us, and will act against them with full force,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that also was posted on Facebook, shortly after the attack.
Since the beginning of 2014, more than 60 rockets have been fired at southern Israel from Gaza, according to the IDF. Tuesday’s attack was the largest on Israel since the 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF said.
Psst! Obamacare Mandate Delayed Again — Quietly
By Todd Beamon
  / Newsmax
Another Obamacare delay has taken effect, although you may not have heard.

The administration has quietly announced that it was delaying through October 2016 the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate for millions of Americans who have lost their healthcare coverage.

The latest change was buried in an announcement that Americans would be able to keep health plans that do not meet Obamacare standards for another two years, Fox News reports.

Political consultant Dick Morris says the effect of this announcement with all the other Obamacare delays means that the act has now effectively been repealed.

"When you take the employer mandate that's been postponed, the small-business mandate that's been postponed, and the individual mandate that now has been given all kinds of escape clauses," he said, "you're essentially saying the boss doesn't have to provide it and you don't have to buy it. So, what's left?" he said on Newsmax TV's America's Forum.

"You don't have to buy insurance because there are all these escapes and your boss doesn't have to buy insurance if he is a small, medium or large business," he said. "This is to say any employer. And essentially now, all of it is postponed or overridden. So, it's really a [de facto] repeal."

Bradley Blakeman, former presidential assistant under George W. Bush, told Newsmax that Obama was attempting to "rig" November's congressional elections with the move.

"He’s unilaterally amending a law in order to save Democrats in the fall," said Blakeman. "You expect John Gotti to operate this way, not the president of the United States. It’s thuggery.

"He’s afraid, obviously he can’t go to Congress and get the law amended, and he has to save as many seats as he can, so he unilaterally amends the law. And he does so in a way that’s secretive. And he doesn’t make an announcement from the East room. He gets out his pen, and he does it in the dark of night.”

The seven-page technical bulletin, published with the announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services, contains a paragraph and footnote that refer to yet another rule in another bulletin that grants a "hardship exemption" to those whose policies were canceled, through October 2016.

News of the latest change was first reported Wednesday in an editorial in The Wall Street Journal. The bulletin that led to the editorial was published March 5.

In other words, the quietly announced change will not, until October 2016, penalize any Americans who lost their health insurance when the Obamacare individual mandate took effect last year but still have not gotten new coverage.

Since the last delay of the individual mandate in December, Americans have been told that they had to purchase insurance by March 31 to avoid being fined by the Internal Revenue Service.

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee attacked the latest Obamacare delay, charging on Wednesday that the White House is working to "bury its failures when nobody is watching."

"With less than three weeks remaining before the end of the healthcare law's first open enrollment period, the Obama administration continues to quietly abandon many of the law's core elements," the legislators said in a blog post on the committee's website.

"Throughout the law’s troubled implementation, the administration made unilateral change after unilateral change as it attempted to hide some of the law’s most harmful and controversial effects," the post said. "Many of these announcements have come late on Friday afternoon or before holidays, often will little fanfare."

But an HHS official told Fox that "we want consumers to have as many options as possible" and that the "transitional policy" will allow them to keep the coverage they have "if they would like to do so."

Later the agency said, “This is a common-sense clarification of the law that we made clear last December. For the limited number of consumers whose plans have been cancelled and are seeking coverage, this is one more option."

But this latest delay may not be so simple, Fox reports.

State insurance commissioners and insurance companies must decide whether to offer plans that have already been canceled — and many have objected to the latest extension.

Also, many Americans have since been forced to find new policies, often facing higher premiums and deductibles or reduced coverage.

"There's no question we got off to a really bad start, and that was on us," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Wednesday, according to Fox. "And a lot of effort was put into making sure that the website and the problems with it were fixed.

"Once that happened, we've seen the American people's interest in the product not waver at all, despite all of the obstacles to obtaining it that were put in front of them, and, you know, we've seen a consistent growth in enrollments."

About 4.2 million people have signed up through the Obamacare exchanges, Carney said, a number that continues to lag behind projections.

Just last month, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius retreated on comments that she had made in 2013 that the administration had a 7 million enrollment target for Obamacare.

What’s it going to take to stop Iran from going nuclear?

  / Jihad Watch
The Endowment for Middle East Truth has produced an important video about the Iranian negotiations, warning about the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran to the United States, and encouraging people to take immediate action
Ever since the Iran Nuclear Interim Deal was first announced in November 2013, EMET has been one of its foremost opponents. The deal gives Iran relief from economic sanctions in return for nothing of importance, leaving Iran’s nuclear infrastructure almost totally intact.

Iran keeps every one of its 19,000 centrifuges spinning, and under the deal is able to continue to construct more. While caps will be placed on Iran’s ability to enrich, the deal will do nothing to prevent Iran from expanding its stockpile of uranium, which means that Iran will emerge from the Iran Nuclear Interim Deal closer to its goal of building nuclear weapons.

In return, the U.S. and its allies give the Iranian mullahs immediate relief from the sanctions that had weakened the regime. The deal widens permissible trade in oil, gold and auto parts, giving the Iranian regime an economic windfall of over $20 billion. It also releases frozen Iranian assets worth about $8 billion. Worst of all, while any Iranian concessions are easily reversible, Western concessions are irreversible: the existing sanctions regime will be gutted with no realistic prospect of restoring those sanctions to previous levels.

The media has largely focused on the impact this disastrous deal will have on Israel. However, it has largely avoided discussing the very real threat that Iran poses to the United States, “the Great Satan.”

Please watch the video and:

Encourage your friends and colleagues to watch the video and follow the instructions to contact their Congressman and Senators to help stop Iran from going nuclear.

If you use Facebook, please join EMET’s online event on Facebook to “Stop Iran From Going Nuclear” (the link is also posted on EMET’s FB page) and invite your friends to join as well.

Please also spread the word by:
*Tweeting the Video
*Posting the Video on your Facebook Page
*Liking EMET on Facebook
*Following EMET on Twitter @emet4u
*Subscribing to EMET’s Youtube Channel
Disappearing into the Twilight Zone
By: Diane Sori

Everybody loves a good mystery but some mysteries are just too eerie for words.

An unscheduled U-turn as the plane's transponder stopped sending identifying codes before it disappeared from radar, just happened to occur at the exact same time flight controllers lost contact with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

A state-of-the-art two engine jetliner holding about 85,000 pounds of jet fuel ...a jet with a wing span of nearly 200 feet, a length of more than 209 feet, and 65 feet from belly to the top that can travel 7000 miles non-stop flew low for hundreds of miles...flew below the radar for over an hour after the sudden turn and headed towards the Malacca Strait between Indonesia and Malaysia hundreds of miles off its scheduled flight path. Could all this mean that someone in the cockpit might have deliberately steered the plane away from its intended destination (Beijing) NOT to crash it but to hijack it and land it somewhere...but where and why.

And why were cell phones...according to family members...still ringing after contact with the plane was lost and still even today some show up as active...were networks 'searching' for the devices or were people trying to call out. 
Or is this disappearance all about mechanical failure...a crack in the skin of the plane leading to a catastrophic sudden decompression of the flight deck...well if so then where is the debris...where is the black box (the voice and data recorders). It's almost like the sky swallowed the jet whole...a Far East version of the Bermuda Triangle if you will.

Is this Amelia Earhart's ghost coming back to haunt for NO evidence this plane hit the water has been found to date, and that allows for the conspiracy theorists, the layman, and the experts free reign to run theories and guesses amok.

Was this a hijacking with echoes of 9/11 at its heart, for could the plane have been hijacked and the passengers killed for the plane itself. And really think this through...once taken and landed in a 'friendly' county could the plane have been put into 'cold storage' so to speak for later use as a targeted missile against U.S. interests overseas...against the U.S. mainland itself...or Tel-Aviv perhaps...a scary possibility that boggles the mind.

Or could there have been 'something' in the cargo hold that someone might have wanted that was worth stealing a plane for...could a meteor have hit the plane...or maybe this was a political hijacking to make a statement but then why has NO ransom monies yet been demanded or NO statement of admission been issued.
But when forty-two ships and 39 planes from 12 countries go searching for 227 passengers and 12 crew members who just vanished into thin air any scenario becomes a possibility.

And while this incident is somewhat reminiscent of Air France Flight 447...the flight that plunged into the Atlantic on June 1, 2009, killing all 228 people on board that took four intensive searches over two years to locate deep under the ocean both the bulk of the wreckage and most of the bodies...the flight where the final 'incident report' found that the pilots failed to respond "effectively" to problems with the plane's speed sensors or to correct its trajectory when things first started to go wrong...Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 raises more than the usual questions because of the disturbing last minute addition to the flight manifest of two Iranian passengers with stolen passports and one-way tickets.

Terrorism...a word some fear to say...a word Obama dismisses every chance he gets yet a word that must be considered for on this flight in addition to the two Iranians were 20 electronic engineers who all worked for the same company...a company that designs and manufactures electronic weaponry for the U.S. Department of Defense including...are you ready for this...weaponry that allows planes and ships to 'disappear' in fly below the radar.

But when all is said and done, is it possible the plane continued on the veered off heading flying across the Bay of Bengal and India into Pakistan or Iran. Anything is possible in today's world...and with most of those on the flight being Chinese, 'suddenly' late yesterday afternoon the Chinese government announces...days after our government announced that U.S. spy satellites did NOT detect any air explosions when the plane disappeared...that a Chinese satellite had "observed a suspected crash area at sea." Releasing pictures taken last Sunday of three objects east of the projected flight path that might be parts of Flight 370...released after the search area was expanded to cover 27,000 square nautical just a little too coincidental for comfort.
And while the sea searches continue everyone is forgetting to look at dry land as the possible crash...or
So with NO definitive answers five plus days after the crash maybe this is 'Lost' revisited...if you believe a plane can cross a time continuum as per the DARMA initiative that is...but hey...NO matter as your guess is as good as good as all the other 'theories' circulating in cyberspace that is.