Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Two weeks ago, Texas Senator Ted Cruz took home second place in the annual Conservative Political Action Conference presidential straw poll. According to the Associated Press, Cruz isn't just taking up valuable space on ballots, but instead has been logging some serious hours in Iowa, fueling speculation he's gearing up for a 2016 run for the White House.
Texas tea party darling U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is making his fourth trip to Iowa in eight months, logging serious face-time before most other potential 2016 White House hopefuls in the state that kicks off presidential voting.

Cruz will keynote a Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators' event Tuesday in Des Moines before heading to Mason City for a GOP fundraiser with Iowa's U.S. Rep. Steve King, with whom Cruz went pheasant hunting. The trip comes five months after Cruz addressed the Iowa Republican Party's annual Ronald Reagan dinner, and he met with Christian conservatives and evangelical leaders during two visits last summer.

That's more Iowa trips than any of the other Republicans mentioned as possible presidential contenders, except for fellow tea party-backed U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
At this early stage is the presidential game, Cruz's biggest competitor is Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who won the CPAC straw poll and has also been logging a substantial amount of hours in Iowa.
But at three o’clock in the morning, a forgotten package has the same tragic importance as a death sentence, and the cure doesn’t work—and in a real dark night of the soul it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald 

It’s 3 am all around the world today.

And it has been for six years, even as some are just waking up to that fact.

As the Obama administration tries to tell the rest of us “All is well, remain calm, there is no new Cold War,” I’m wondering if Obama will try to overturn the Russian election in the Crimea with his phone and his pen.

Personally, I think it would be easier to do it with a United States army group and—who knows?—that may be what it comes to.

If you missed it, 99.999 percent of voters in the Crimea voted over the weekend to return to the warm embrace and sourdough breasts of the Great Patriotic Mother, Russia, eschewing the relative freedom of sovereignty within the Ukrainian federal system.

UN monitors said is was a free and fair election noting that Crimeans also voted for Kim Jong Un, the Ayatollah –any Ayatollah will do-- and Chairman Mao.

The Crimea has gone from freedom to FreeDoom overnight under the newest czarish majesty, Putin the Great.

But there is no new Cold War says the administration.

And if like your wars hot, you can keep them hot.

Because no less a figure than the head of the new state TV outlet recently reminded the whole world that because of 8,500 nuclear warheads more or less with Cyrillic stencils on them, Russia can do pretty much what it wants.

Russia, said Dmitry Kiselyov, is "the only country in the world capable of turning the USA into radioactive dust." This is the guy picked by the Kremlin-- and yeah Kremlin still means fortress in Russian-- to head state run media.

So, maybe Obama’s right. Maybe there will be no new cold war. Because the war Kiselyov described sounds pretty darn hot.

Any war that produces a half-life that lasts into the tens of thousands of days is decidedly not a cold one.

And if you like your doctor you can’t keep your doctor.

And guess what? Those same folks also promised this would be a time when “the planet would begin to heal.”

If we can't have our doctor can we at least have a corpsman?

I thought it was bad when we lost Afghanistan.

I thought it was bad when we lost most of North Africa.

I thought it was bad when we lost Egypt.

I thought it was bad when we lost Cyprus.

I thought it was bad when Syria crumbled.

I thought it was bad when Iraq started to teeter.

I thought it was bad when China started picking on Japan again.

I thought it was bad when Obama allowed Iranian centrifuges to start spinning again.

But now, it’s 3 am all over the world as an administration that telegraphed its weakness looks impotent, childish and incompetent.

Russia, the Great Patriotic Motherland under Putin the Great, starts to reassemble the pieces of their old evil empire. And Europe hangs in the balance.

And for America, it’s 3 am day after day.

Defiant Americans: A Third of Uninsured Refuse to Buy Obamacare

By Greg Richter 
/ Newsmax

A third of Americans currently uninsured still have no intention of buying health coverage even though they are required to do so by the Affordable Care Act, according to Bankrate's latest Health Insurance Pulse survey.

Thirty-four percent contacted by telephone said they still have no intention of buying insurance. Most, 41 percent, cited cost as their reason, while 17 percent said they oppose Obamacare and 13 percent said they are healthy and don't need insurance.

Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said they do plan to purchase health coverage.

"We did all this discombobulating for nothing, because the uninsured are not signing up," Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto said on Monday.

"It's hard to generalize, but for some of these folks, it's a case of, 'I'm in pretty good health, I don't think about these things, I know I can't afford it now,'" Michael Morrisey, professor of health economics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health told Bankrate. "I think it's just rolling past them, and they're not giving it a whole lot of attention."

The debate swirled even as the administration announced that more than 5 million had now enrolled in private health insurance under Obamacare since open enrollment began on Oct. 1. The tally is an increase of at least 800,000 enrollees since March 1, with volume rising as the six-month enrollment period approaches its deadline on March 31. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that enrollment could total 6 million, but private estimates have suggested a lower turnout.

In the Bankrate survey, only 30 percent were aware of tax credits designed to offset costs, but those making less than $30,000 a year  — who are more likely to benefit from them  — were in the group most likely to know about the credits.

It is mostly men who won't buy insurance over opposition to Obamacare. Twenty-two percent of men cited that as the reason as opposed to 8 percent of women.

Most opponents of the Affordable Care Act are Republican, so it's not surprising that half of uninsured Republicans cited opposition to Obamacare as their reason to remain uninsured. Only 5 percent of those who identify as Democrats cited opposition to the ACA as their reason.

And it is mostly the young who say they won't buy insurance because they are healthy. Thirty-one percent of respondents age 18-29 cited that reason. Only 6 percent of those 30-49 said they were healthy enough to remain uninsured.

Deborah Chollet, a health insurance research leader at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, D.C., told Bankrate that the multimedia advertising campaigns targeting the "young invincibles" may have missed another target group: low-income, young families.

"They're probably not spending a lot of time watching television, they never read a newspaper, and if they listen to radio, it's probably music in the car," she said. "In communities of color, people might hear about [Obamacare] in church, but for people who are not attached to a church, I don't know how they get the information."

Sabrina Corlette, research professor at Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute, told Bankrate that the Obama administration may have focused too much on positive aspects of the law, such as tax subsidies, rather than the penalties imposed for not buying insurance.

"They found in Massachusetts, with 'RomneyCare,' that the individual mandate penalty absolutely motivated a lot of people to purchase insurance," Corlette said. "The Obama administration understandably tried to emphasize the positive, but people need to understand that the mandate is not insignificant – they could be hit with a big tax bill if they don't buy coverage."

Also, only 48 percent of the uninsured were aware they have only until March 31 to sign up. After that, they have to wait for next year's open enrollment, which begins November 15. The only exceptions are life changes such as a divorce or lost job.

Dr. Jane Hughes, an ophthalmologist, told Fox News that the Department of Health and Human Services and Medicare and Medicaid Services say they aren't keeping track of who had insurance and who didn't when they are signing up.

"It's absolutely not been worth the hassle, and I know why we did all of this: This was a socio-political agenda to take over one-sixth of the private sector economy using my profession  — medicine  — to do it."

Six million have been bumped off insurance plans because of Obamacare. 4.2 million have signed up. "If we had a big neon sign over Healthcare.gov it would be minus-1.8 million now enrolled. That's hardly a success story."

Cavuto decided to have fun with what he admitted was a serious subject, creating a March Madness-type bracket to determine the "Not-So-Sweet-16" reasons people aren't signing up.

"Cost" beat out all other takers including "Can't keep your plan," and "Limits on coverage."

Lack of Passengers' Cell Phone Use Baffles Officials in Missing Jet Case

By Jason Devaney
 / Newsmax
With the fate of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane still unknown, all possibilities are still being considered. But there is one big question looming: Why didn’t any of the passengers or flight attendants attempt to call loved ones on the ground with their cell phones?

Up to this point, investigators have not been able to find any phone calls, e-mails or social media postings that originated from the missing plane.

The New York Times quotes Malaysia airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya as saying there hasn’t been any evidence of communications  from the plane, "but anyway they are still checking and there are millions of records for them to process."

Passengers on the hijacked flights during the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks called loved ones using cell phones. In the more than 12 years since that day, technology has moved forward at a tremendous rate. A 2012 report said that three quarters of the world’s population has access to a cell phone.

So if, as the data suggests, the plane continued to fly for several hours after it lost contact with ground radar, why didn’t anyone try to make a call? Or post a message on Twitter or China’s micro-blogging site Weibo?

There are a number of plausible reasons, according to the Times story. For one, whoever was in control of the airplane could have depressurized the cabin, which would have rendered the passengers unconscious. Death would have followed. There is evidence the plane climbed to 45,000 feet shortly after losing contact with ground radar. In a depressurized cabin, the Times report says a person would slip into unconsciousness within seconds at that altitude.

Or perhaps the plane was flying at too high of an altitude for cell phones to acquire a signal. But there are other reports that say the plane was flying very low — at around 5,000 feet.

Another question pertains to the 10 satellite phones that were in the airplane’s business class section. Why didn’t anyone use them? One theory, according to the Times report, is that someone could have disabled the in-flight entertainment system. If that goes down, so do the satellite phones.

First Turn in Missing Plane’s Path Was Programmed into the Computer 
Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs

The New York Times is reporting that the first critical turn (the U turn) was programmed into the computer system. The change input into the computer system could only have been made if and only if someone on the plane intentionally programmed that turn  into the  computer system on the plane.

So the turn was not made by someone who grabbed control of the controls  — it was programmed by someone on that plane or programmed before that plane took off.

Someone reprogrammed the plane. Was the pilots? Were they in cahoots? Was it the Uigher flight engineer on the plane?

Timing off system shutdowns is now unclear.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Officials revealed a new timeline Monday suggesting the final voice transmission from the cockpit of the missing Malaysian plane may have occurred before any of its communications systems were disabled, adding more uncertainty about who aboard might have been to blame.

The search for Flight 370, which vanished early March 8 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, has now been expanded deep into the northern and southern hemispheres. Australian vessels scoured the southern Indian Ocean and China offered 21 of its satellites to help Malaysia in the unprecedented hunt.

With no wreckage found in one of the most puzzling aviation mysteries of all time, relatives of those on the Boeing 777 have been left in an agonizing limbo.

Investigators say the plane was deliberately diverted during its overnight flight and flew off-course for hours. They haven’t ruled out hijacking, sabotage, or pilot suicide, and they are checking the backgrounds of the 227 passengers and 12 crew members, as well as the ground crew, to see if links to terrorists, personal problems or psychological issues could be factors.

Also contrary to previously thought, the co-pilot (not the captain)  ‘spoke last words’. 

His neighbourhood mosque’s imam, Ahmad Sharafi Ali Asrah, has described Fariq as a mild-mannered “good boy, a good Muslim, humble and quiet”, who also attended occasional Islamic courses. (here)

A signaling system was disabled on the missing Malaysia Airlines jet before a pilot spoke to air traffic control without mentioning any trouble, a senior Malaysian official said Sunday, reinforcing theories that one or both of the pilots may have been involved in diverting the plane and adding urgency to the investigation of their pasts and possible motivations. (here)

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 9.28.25 PMScreen Shot 2014-03-17 at 9.28.18 PM

The co pilot and the pilot going through security and patdown.

CCTV images are thought to show the pilot and co-pilot going through security checks at Kuala Lumpur airport

Officials in Malaysia say they believe the co-pilot of missing flight MH370 spoke the last words to ground controllers before it vanished.

Investigators are looking into the possibility that the aircraft’s crew were involved in its disappearance.

The search for the plane has extended into two vast air corridors.

Obama: Abbas has “consistently renounced violence”

/ Jihad Watch
ObamaweedThis is not the first time that Obama has said something to suggest that he is smoking controlled substances.

“Of course, Israel cannot be expected to negotiate with anyone who is dedicated to its destruction. But while I know you have had differences with the Palestinian Authority, I believe that you do have a true partner in President Abbas…” — Barack Obama, March 21, 2013

“As far as I am concerned, there is no difference between our policies and those of Hamas.” — Mahmoud Abbas, March 15, 2013

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it” — Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, as quoted in the Hamas Charter
“Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah” — Hamas’s Al Aqsa TV
“Obama: Abbas Has ‘Consistently Renounced Violence,’” by Adam Kredo for the Washington Free Beacon, March 17:
President Barack Obama welcomed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House on Monday in a bid to rekindle a fledgling peace process that has all but collapsed under Palestinian rejection and a massive influx of terrorist rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.
Obama hosted Abbas in the Oval Office for a “working lunch” and praised the Palestinian leader as “somebody who has consistently renounced violence.”
Obama omitted all references to Palestinian terrorism and last week’s rocket attacks, many of which were claimed to have been launched by a militant branch of Abbas’ own Fatah political party.
Obama also did not mention Abbas’ efforts to honor Palestinian terrorists and more recent remarks by his senior adviser calling on Allah to kill the Israelis.
The meeting comes at a critical time in the Middle East peace process, a priority for Secretary of State John Kerry.
Efforts to push both sides into signing an interim agreement that would lay the groundwork for a permanent deal have crumbled in recent weeks after Palestinian factions rejected the deal and resorted to launching nearly 200 rockets at Israeli civilians.
Obama lavished praise on Abbas during a joint press conference held before the two retreated from reporters for a one-on-one discussion.
“I have to commend President Abbas,” Obama said. “He has been somebody who has consistently renounced violence, has consistently sought a diplomatic and peaceful solution that allows for two states, side by side, in peace and security; a state that allows for the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people and a state that allows for Israelis to feel secure and at peace with their neighbors.”
However, talks have in part broken down on the Palestinians ongoing refusal to publicly recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.”
Obama also did not touch on Abbas’s ongoing support for Palestinian terrorists who were released from Israeli jails last year in good faith as a precursor to the talks.
Abbas awarded in July the “highest order of the Star of Honor” to Nayef Hawatmeh, leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which has killed Israeli schoolchildren and others.
In October of last year, Abbas welcomed back home a group of 26 released Palestinian terrorists as “our heroic brothers,” according to the media monitoring site Palestinian Media Watch.
“We welcome our heroic brothers who come from behind bars to the world of freedom. We congratulate ourselves and we congratulate all of you in this great celebration that unifies and returns our sons to us,” Abbas was quoted as saying of the terrorists.
He made similar remarks in December.
Abbas said during a press conference with the president on Monday that he is looking forward to the return of another group of Palestinian terrorists, which he views as a chief priority going forward.
“We have an agreement with Israel, that was brokered by Mr. Kerry, concerning the release of the fourth batch of prisoners and we are hopeful that the fourth batch will be released by the 29th of March because this will give a very solid impression about the seriousness of these efforts to achieve peace,” Abbas said.
Obama, in his own remarks Monday, said that the United States remains the Palestinian Authority’s biggest global champion.
The United States obviously has been a strong supporter of the Palestinian Authority,” Obama said. “We’re the largest humanitarian donor and continue to help to try to foster economic development and opportunity and prosperity for people, particularly young people like those that I met.”
As Obama struggles to put the peace process back on track, Abbas has indicated that he does not plan to negotiate past April 29, when he will revert to using the United Nations as a way to unilaterally gain recognition for a Palestinian state….

The 'Russian Bear' vs. the man in 'mom' jeans
By: Diane Sori

"The referendum in Crimea was a clear violation of Ukrainian constitution and international law" 
- Barack HUSSEIN Obama's statement after Sunday's Crimean vote

Well...well...the man who could care less about the U.S. Constitution suddenly cares about the Ukrainian constitution and international law...all while his very inaction's helped fuel this current situation on. And now comes useless sanctions that Putin will just laugh at while calling Obama's bluff as he sends Russian forces further into the Ukraine.

And those in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, and even those in Kazakhstan, are all now fearful they could be next.

Knowing his escalations mean NOTHING to Barack HUSSEIN Obama...the very man who drew a 'red line' in the sand over Syria and then did NOTHING about it when crossed...Vladimir Putin will manipulate Obama into doing his bidding, because with Russia being a two trillion dollar a year economy, with Russia involved in negotiations to remove Syria's chemical weapons, and with Russia a player in the game over Iran's nuclear program, Putin will push Obama into a corner and place the 'sucker punch' dunce cap on him himself..

Checkmate...game over...as the 'Russian Bear' triumphs over the man...the U.S. president...who wears 'mom jeans.'

In a vote planned by Crimea's regional parliament and endorsed by the Russian government...by the Russian Federation...Sunday's secession referendum was basically a choice between Crimea seeking annexation by Russia or Crimea opting for more autonomy from Ukraine under the 1992 constitution. And coming as NO surprise in a region with a 60% ethnic Russian population the referendum passed with 95% of the vote, and with a turnout reported to be well above the 50% mark that makes the referendum binding. 

Again NO surprise but remember also that there was NO option on the ballot for Crimea to remain a semi-autonomous region of Ukraine, causing many like Nikolay Vasilyevich, a Ukrainian professor, to say, "There's no choice to vote against joining the KGB-run government" ... translation: its Putin's way or else.

And the 'or else' would NOT be pretty...that I can guarantee.

And so what becomes of the 40% ethnic Ukrainians living in the Crimea..the very people who refused to take part in the referendum...those who called the referendum "an illegal charade stage-managed by Moscow"...these people are now rightfully scared of widespread discrimination and harassment...or worse...against them, very similar to what happened in parts of nearby Georgia after its 2008 war with Russia.

And adding further fuel to this Ukrainian fire is that while the U.S. and the EU are still seeking a diplomatic solution to this flexing of Putin's muscle, Putin continues surrounding Ukraine with more and more troops...more and more tanks...in addition to the troops and tanks already in place in Crimea, thus helping to further destabilizing the region.

So as Ukrainians in Kiev are preparing themselves for war what is our anything but fearless leader from behind doing...in a few words...NOT a damn thing of any substance even as many in Ukraine fear that Moscow could be orchestrating violence as a pretext to invading their southern and eastern regions. The fear is so great that it has caused many of age to sign up as volunteers to serve on the front in the event of a Russian attack ...all while Barack HUSSEIN Obama slaps (useless) sanctions on Russian officials, self-serving Crimean leaders, and others they hold responsible for the problems in Ukraine.

Sanctions...sanctions so useless as to have Vladimir Putin openly mocking Obama’s attempts to get tough on Russia leading Obama to issue one of his nefarious executive orders. And this order has Obama naming seven Russian officials whose U.S. assets will now be frozen and “may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn or otherwise dealt.” Focusing on individual personal assets NOT on the companies that the officials may manage on behalf of the Russian state, and focusing on any assets that the individuals have in U.S. jurisdiction have been frozen and Americans are prohibited from doing business with them.

Big freakin' deal! What a leader...what a man...war on the horizon and Barack HUSSEIN Obama freezes the assets of a handful of people...punitive measure at best that are sure to heighten the ever-expanding tensions between the U.S. and Russia...between Obama and Putin.

Between a man and a sniveling coward.

And what does the EU do...they announced travel bans and asset freezes on 21 people for their involvement in the Ukraine crisis...another slap on the wrist that must have Putin besides himself with laughter.

Now to add insult to injury, Obama is sending none other than Uncle Joe 'Bite-Me' Biden on a visit to Poland and Lithuania next week to help lay the groundwork for plans to help the European countries wean themselves off their dependency on Russian energy sources...on Russian natural gas and oil. But come on...'Uncle Joe'...oh yeah...that will help the situation...NOT.

And as Barack HUSSEIN Obama gets ready to jet off to the Netherlands next week to take part in the biennial Nuclear Security Summit, Vladimir Putin surrounds an independent nation with plans to overthrow their government and bring them back into the Russian fold. Crimea shows it can be done, and Obama's farce of a reaction and joke of a response shows Putin can get away with it all.

And that is the saddest thing of all...period.