James Thurber once drew some cartoons of a woman playing poker. In one, she is seated at a table clutching her cards to her breast, eying the capacious pot, and inquiring, “What do four ones beat?” In another she is glaring across the table, demanding to know, “Why do you keep raising me when you know I’m bluffing?” Whether Brother Remnick of the New Yorker could get away with publishing such japes nowadays, we don’t know. But we were put in mind of the cartoons by the alarm at the New York Times over the possibility that President Obama
DETROIT — In a ruling that could reverberate far beyond Detroit, a federal judge held on Tuesday that this battered city could formally enter bankruptcy and asserted that Detroit’s obligation to pay pensions in full was not untouchable. The judge, Steven W. Rhodes, dealt a major blow to the widely held belief that state laws preserve public pensions, and his ruling is likely to resonate in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and many other American cities where the rising cost of pensions has been crowding out spending for public schools, police departments and other services.
You should really just read the entire piece by Amy Goldstein and Juliet Eilperin in today´s Washington Post, which is a great account of where things stand now with HealthCare.gov. These two paragraphs, taken together, jumped out at me especially in explaining the challenges that the website now faces. Paragraph one: The enrollment records for a significant portion of the Americans who have chosen health plans through the online federal insurance marketplace contain errors — generated by the computer system — that mean they might not get the coverage they’re expecting next month.
President Obama is striking a dangerous balance. Starting today, he must simultaneously refocus Americans on the potential benefits of Obamacare without shredding his credibility further by minimizing its flaws. That dilemma had White House officials twisted in knots Monday. On one hand, they acknowledged that the cornerstone federal website is not working as smoothly as it should. But you could hardly hear the disclaimer over the din of spin, as the White House launched an aggressive "offensive" from a defensive crouch. "Healthcare.gov met our self-imposed November 30th deadline and even as we continue to make improvements to the website, we´ll also remind
Some people who have managed to complete the burdensome and glitch-filled process of signing up for Obamacare are learning they are not really enrolled at all. "Obama administration officials acknowledged today that some of the roughly 126,000 Americans who completed the torturous online enrollment process in October and November might not be officially signed up with their selected issuer, even if the website has told them they are." Technical problems transferring information from the website to insurance companies have troubled the system since the program´s rollout. Experts report that the website appears to function properly, but in the back end of
President Obama intends to enroll for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Monday. “I know that he will, and has said that he will, or the White House has said that he will,” Carney said, “but I don’t have any update.” White House officials did not clarify whether the president’s interest is part of a public relations demonstration aimed at touting an improved HealthCare.gov website, or if Obama intends to alter his federally provided medical coverage. As with his predecessors, Obama’s health care is provided through the Defense Department as a federal
The House’s chief investigator says the FBI is stonewalling his inquiry into whether the agency and the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative group True the Vote for special scrutiny, and Rep. Darrell E. Issa is now threatening subpoenas to pry loose the information from FBI Director James B. Comey Jr. Mr. Issa, California Republican, and Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, are leading the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s IRS inquiry. They also said the FBI is refusing to turn over any documents related to its own investigation into the IRS, which began in the days after an auditor’s report revealed
The Obamacare insurance marketplace is even more vulnerable to security breaches since the administration “fixed” Healthcare.gov, according to a cyber security expert.Health and Human Services (HHS) released a progress report on Sunday following its self-imposed Nov. 30 deadline to repair the website, saying that the “team has knocked more than 400 bug fixes and software improvements off the punch list.” The administration said that the “site capacity is stable at its intended level,” though the site continued to crash on Monday. The eight-page report made no mention of the website’s numerous security flaws, which experts say put Americans’ personal information at risk. “It
I have never been much of a conspiracy theorist. For me it was always Oswald by himself from the Texas School Book Depository and nothing in the intervening fifty years has disabused me of this notion. For the most part, I’m an Occam’s Razor kind of guy — the most obvious explanation is likely to be true. (Snip) To put it bluntly, Occam’s Razor has moved. Things that were once possibilities now seem almost certainties to me. Principal among those is that Obama’s academic records are perpetually unavailable for a reason — and that reason is most likely that they reveal
One of President Obama´s chief political assets has been his ability to excite young people like almost no politician in history. But the days of America´s youth fawning over the president are over. A new Harvard University Institute of Politics poll released Wednesday confirms what other surveys have shown in recent months: Millennials have soured on Obama so much this year that their opinion of him largely mirrors the American public´s. Even though Obama does not ever have to face another election, he should be worried about the findings for a couple of reasons, which we will dive into momentarily.
Last summer on his $100 million family tour of Africa, Barack Obama hoped for a priceless photo op with Nelson Mandela, the ailing freedom pioneer who went from prison cell to the presidency of South Africa. Mandela´s family suggested that wouldn’t happen. So, the Obamas did a photo op in Mandela´s former prison cell. Which Obama’s White House quickly tweeted upon word of the icon´s passing at 95. [Skip] But Obama was also caught staring at television coverage of Mandela’s passing, which became Obama’s Photo of the Day.
Hardly a week goes by without Hillary Clinton receiving another award. Last month she was named a “Global Champion” by the International Medical Corps, received the American Patriot Award at the National Defense University Foundation and the Hermandad Award from the Mexican American Leadership Initiative. [Snip] At this rate, if a bunch of elderly left-wing Swedes toss her the Nobel Peace Prize early on, the way they did to Obama, it will barely rate mention among all the other glittering trophies that have been bestowed on a woman whose only actual accomplishment was being married to a crooked governor with
A stunning new study unveiled on Fox News´ Hannity finds that President Barack Obama’s White House calendar records just one face-to-face meeting between Obama and his Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the more than three-and-a-half years leading up to the disastrous Obamacare launch. The startling statistic comes from a new Government Accountability Institute (GAI) analysis of Obama’s own official White House calendar, as well as the Politico presidential calendar, and raises new questions about Obama’s executive leadership and management throughout the implementation of his singular legislative achievement. More alarming still, the president’s schedule lists 277 private
Speaker John Boehner said his party should support gay Republican congressional candidates and urged his colleagues to “be a little more sensitive” when running against women. “Some of our members just aren’t as sensitive as they ought to be,” Boehner said. When asked if he thinks his party should support gay candidates, Boehner simply said: “I do.”
In February, the Bush family’s personal emails were hacked by Guccifer, a hacker who uncovered photographs of former President George H. W. Bush in a hospital bed and George W. Bush’s oil paintings in the process. It seems Guccifer has struck again, this time targeting former President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Library. The hacker has reportedly uncovered doodles of Clinton drawing on what were, at the time, classified documents. Among the doodles is apparently a picture of a penis. The document uncovered is a briefing of the strategic measures the United States could take prior Clinton’s decision to intervene in