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  • We are proud to announce that the 2014 Ronald Reagan Gala will honor Gary Sinise. For over thirty … [more]

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Obamacare’s website still faces hurdles as year two approaches

by The Washington Examiner

Obamacare WebsiteA year ago this week, Healthcare.gov launched and set a new standard for costly technological disasters.

The portal for obtaining private insurance under Obamacare proved completely impenetrable for consumers in its first two months. The constant error messages, glitches and outages became fodder for late night comics, but the Americans forced to interact with the site after Obamacare pushed them out of coverage they already liked were not amused.

A year later, most of Obamacare’s outwardly noticeable technological frustrations are gone. Even though the law remains as unpopular as ever — at 25 percent support among U.S. adults, according to the latest Associated Press poll — consumers who log in when with the second open enrollment begins on Nov. 15 will probably have a less unpleasant technical experience.

But here’s the problem: Beginning with the website’s early failure, the Department of Health and Human Services has concentrated mostly on fixing the portion of the site that the public interacts with. They have not yet fixed major structural and security issues on the back-end, and testing for some of these only begins this month. [Read more...]

Wind Farms Getting a Pass on Killing Endangered Species?

by Tom Steward   •   Daily Signal

wind turbine mill birds batsNothing strikes fear into developers and property owners more than a new critter on the federal list of endangered species.

Case in point: The northern long-eared bat, found in 39 states. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service probably will place it on the list in April.

The logging industry is worried.

“The economic loss to the entire state of Michigan would be devastating, if timber harvesting were to be restricted to the winter months in their habitat area,” said Brenda Owen, executive director of the Michigan Association of Timbermen. “This is not a viable solution to the bat’s decline, and it’s never a solution that the Timbermen would stand by and let happen.” [Read more...]

Tax dollars blowing in the wind-energy production credit

by Ernest Istook   •   Washington Times

Wind Energy Subsidies Green EnergyCrony capitalism plans are so lucrative for a select few that they are hard to kill. Those who get rich make generous campaign contributions, hire lobbyists and run massive public relations propaganda campaigns, using the billions of our tax dollars that they receive.

One “temporary” measure — the wind-energy production tax credit (PTC) — has received eight “temporary” extensions since 1992 and now backers want to add several years more. After 20 years of soaking taxpayers for billions of dollars in subsidies and raising electric bills, it’s overdue for the PTC to end. It expired at the end of 2013, yet some lawmakers want to give it new life, plus an additional $18 billion, during the postelection lame-duck session of Congress. [Read more...]

Climate Change Has Jumped the Shark

by Steven F Hayward     •     Forbes

Global-Climate-Change-environmentLay aside for now all of the arguments that can be made about the weaknesses of catastrophic climate change predictions. In fact, for purposes of discussion, let’s assume that the worst-case scenario is likely to come true. The paradox of climate change is exactly this: the more serious the problem, the more implausible are the remedies of the environmental community. That’s what ought to make the climate campaigners realize that last weekend’s mega-march in New York City represents the dead-end for their cause. Truly we can invoke that overused cliché that climate change has “jumped the shark.”

Here’s why: From the beginning 25 years ago the arguments over climate science have dominated the scene and distracted us away from the fundamental problem: the prescribed method for preventing climate change is essentially replacing nearly all hydrocarbon energy, in the space of less than two generations. Climate orthodoxy calls for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, worldwide, by the year 2050, which would take the United States back to a level of hydrocarbon energy use last seen more than 100 years ago. For the developing world, it means remaining poor for several more decades. [Read more...]

The Pass-the-Buck Presidency

The president has a pattern of deflecting blame and denying responsibility. With military action against ISIS underway, that’s a dangerous habit.

by Josh Kraushaar     •     National Journal

Obama Failed PolicyThe time-tested strategy for Obama: Blame, deny, and wait-it-out When national security is at stake, politics should stop at the White House’s edge ‘The president is the captain of the ship and should assume accountability.’

September 29, 2014 In attempting to downplay the political damage from a slew of second-term controversies, President Obama has counted on the American people having a very short memory span and a healthy suspension of disbelief. The time-tested strategy for Obama: Claim he’s in the dark about his own administration’s activities, blame the mess on subordinates, and hope that with the passage of time, all will be forgotten. Harry Truman, the president isn’t. He’s more likely to pass the buck. [Read more...]

Obama Has Missed Over Half His Second-Term Daily Intel Briefings

by Wynton Hall     •     Breitbart News Network

Smug-ObamaA new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report reveals that President Barack Obama has attended only 42.1% of his daily intelligence briefings (known officially as the Presidential Daily Brief, or PDB) in the 2,079 days of his presidency through September 29, 2014.

The GAI report also included a breakdown of Obama’s PDB attendance record between terms; he attended 42.4% of his PDBs in his first term and 41.3% in his second.

The GAI’s alarming findings come on the heels of Obama’s 60 Minutes comments on Sunday, wherein the president laid the blame for the Islamic State’s (ISIS) rapid rise squarely at the feet of his Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. [Read more...]

Obamacare Doctor Networks to Stay Limited in 2014

by Chad Terhune, Sandra Poindexter, Doug Smith     •    LA Times

Obamacare-DelayFinding a doctor who takes Obamacare coverage could be just as frustrating for Californians in 2015 as the health-law expansion enters its second year.

The state’s largest health insurers are sticking with their often-criticized narrow networks of doctors, and in some cases they are cutting the number of physicians even more, according to a Times analysis of company data. And the state’s insurance exchange, Covered California, still has no comprehensive directory to help consumers match doctors with health plans.

This comes as insurers prepare to enroll hundreds of thousands of new patients this fall and get 1.2 million Californians to renew their policies under the Affordable Care Act. [Read more...]

Holder’s Legacy of Racial Politics

The attorney general battled against state voter-ID laws, despite all evidence of their fairness and popularity. What will his successor do?

by Edwin Meese III and J. Kenneth Blackwell     •      Wall Street Journal

HolderAttorney General Eric Holder, who announced his resignation on Thursday, leaves a dismal legacy at the Justice Department, but one of his legal innovations was especially pernicious: the demonizing of state attempts to ensure honest elections.

As a former U.S. attorney general under President Reagan, and a former Ohio secretary of state, we would like to say something that might strike some as obvious: Those who oppose photo voter-ID laws and other election-integrity reforms are intent on making it easier to commit vote fraud.

That conclusion is inescapable, given the well-established evidence that voter-ID laws don’t disenfranchise minorities or reduce minority voting, and in many instances enhance it, despite claims to the contrary by Mr. Holder and his allies. As more states adopt such laws, the left has railed against them with increasing fury, even invoking the specter of the Jim Crow era to describe electoral safeguards common to most nations, including in the Third World. [Read more...]

Press Helps Obama Censor The News

Investor’s Business DailyMedia Propaganda

It’s not often that the press exposes its own bias. But a Washington Post story this week reveals both the Obama administration’s attempts to censor the news and the media’s complicity in that effort.

For decades, news outlets have relied on pool reports from a rotating group of White House correspondents who follow the president on his travels to public or semipublic events and file quick-and-dirty reports. Their stories are then distributed to other news outlets to use as they wish.

Pool reports can be inane, such as the Sept. 4 dispatch making note of the fact that, while in Wales, “Obama and Prince Charles posed for the cameras and laughed. Obama greeted a group of children who were gathered behind the rope line.” [Read more...]

Holder’s Legacy as Presidential Protector

The attorney general is stepping down and leaving a trail of troubling questions behind.

by Peter Roff   •   U.S. News & World ReportHolder Head

Controversial figure U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will be stepping down from his post, it was learned recently, leaving the Obama administration as soon as his replacement can be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Those who cannot see past race – and thus tend toward wanting to inflate Holder’s grade – are praising his tenure in office, lauding the attention he gave issues like civil rights and the manner in which, as NBC’s Chuck Todd suggested shortly after the news broke, managed to stay above politics.

In fact, almost every high-profile issue Holder took on had a political taint, especially his intervention in the civil rights arena where he and his department worked to thwart anti-election fraud reforms and to block reasonable photo ID requirements for voters. [Read more...]

Iran’s Islamic Regime Stymied by Iranian-American Patriot

by Dr. Lawrence A. Frankliniran-nuclear-weapons

The Islamic Republic of Iran is exploiting the thaw in relations to penetrate Iranian-American neighborhoods in the United States. The regime has already established a beachhead in the largest Iranian community in the U.S., the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles (LA) aka Tehrangeles.

Pro-regime operatives are circumventing U.S. laws prohibiting doing business with Tehran. They are flooding Farsi language Media outlets with commercial advertisements. These operatives are employing deceptive tactics to hoodwink Department of Justice authorities by placing in storefront windows advertisements of services with different messages in English than in Farsi. [Read more...]

The Unfree Speech Movement

I was among the student radicals at Berkeley in 1964, back when colleges actually had intellectual freedom.

by Sol Stern     •     The Wall Street Journal

Free speechThis fall the University of California at Berkeley is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement, a student-led protest against campus restrictions on political activities that made headlines and inspired imitators around the country. I played a small part in the Free Speech Movement, and some of those returning for the reunion were once my friends, but I won’t be joining them.

Though the movement promised greater intellectual and political freedom on campus, the result has been the opposite. The great irony is that while Berkeley now honors the memory of the Free Speech Movement, it exercises more thought control over students than the hated institution that we rose up against half a century ago. [Read more...]

The Air Comes Out of the Climate Change Talks

by Rupert Darwall     •     RealClearPolitics

Global-Climate-Change-environmentTuesday’s climate summit at the U.N. may well mark a turning point in the long-running talks as the reality sinks in that they are heading nowhere. For sure, the rhetoric is unchanged. Recently appointed U.N. peace messenger Leonardo DiCaprio is the show’s newest star, telling the meeting that it was “humankind’s greatest challenge.” But the older acts sounded stale. Former Vice President Al Gore demonstrated his green credentials when he said that political will was “a renewable resource,” recycling a line he’d first used at the 2007 Bali climate conference.

For small countries, the U.N. climate change talks provide an opportunity to show the world what virtuous global citizens they are. The Baltic republics boasted of the costly steps they are taking to rid themselves of fossil fuels as if decarbonizing their economies will help protect them against the Russian bear. [Read more...]

Targeting the Constitution

by Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz     •      Washington Post

IRS new logoIt is now well known that the IRS targeted tea party organizations. What is less well known, but perhaps even more scandalous, is that the IRS also targeted those who would educate their fellow citizens about the United States Constitution.

According to the inspector general’s report (pp. 30 & 38), this particular IRS targeting commenced on Jan. 25, 2012 — the beginning of the election year for President Obama’s second campaign. On that date: “the BOLO [‘be on the lookout’] criteria were again updated.” The revised criteria included “political action type organizations involved in … educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.” [Read more...]

The Divine Right of Barack Obama

The president who began as a champion of the legislature’s prerogative to declare war has morphed into Napoleon.

by Charles C. W. Cooke     •     National Review

Obama SmirkAsked earlier today how long he expected the bombing of Syria to last, Lieutenant General William C. Mayville Jr. advised reporters to think “in terms of years.” “Last night’s strikes,” Mayville confirmed, “were only the beginning.” A mile or so away, on the White House lawn, Barack Obama struck a similarly defiant note. “We’re going to do what is necessary to take the fight to this terrorist group,” the president explained, before assuring those present that the United States was but one part of a global alliance that stood “shoulder to shoulder . . . on behalf of our common security.” “The strength of this coalition,” Obama added, “makes clear to the world that this is not just America’s fight alone.” This much, at least, was true. Among the nations that have signed on to the attacks are Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates — all vital accomplices in the winning of hearts and minds. And yet, for all the cosmopolitanism, one crucial ally was conspicuously missing from the roster of the willing: the Congress of the United States. [Read more...]