Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is keen on having a skeet shooting contest with President Obama. The White House? Not so much. A reporter at Wednesday’s daily briefing raised Blackburn’s challenge and asked press secretary Jay Carney: “Your reaction?” “I have none,” was the response from Carney, who quickly moved on to the next questioner.
President Obama invited a number of people to stand behind him as he delivered his speech on the state of Obamacare at the White House Monday morning. One of them, Janice Baker, a small business owner from Delaware, introduced the president, and Obama spoke of Baker and the others gathered there as people who have benefited from Obamacare. But after reading the White House-provided descriptions of each of those behind the president, it´s clear the administration was stretching to present people who, beyond supporting Obamacare, have actually gained from it in any tangible way. For example, a Pennsylvania man named Malik
Consumer Reports, which publishes reviews of consumer products and services, advised its readers to avoid the federal healthcare exchange “for at least another month if you can.” “Hopefully that will be long enough for its software vendors to clean up the mess they’ve made,” the magazine said, having tested the site themselves over the course of the past three weeks. Noting that only 271,000 of the 9.47 million people who tried signing up in the first week managed to create an account, Consumer Reports then provided a few tips to those attempting to slog through the application process. From attempting successive
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has summoned the US ambassador over newspaper claims that the US spied on millions of phone calls in France.France has labelled such activity between allies as "unacceptable".Le Monde says the data, based on leaks from ex-intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, suggest the US NSA agency monitored businesses and officials as well as terrorism suspects.The intercepts were apparently triggered by certain key words.The paper says the National Security Agency (NSA) spied on 70.3 million phone calls in France in just 30 days between December 10 last year and January 8, 2013.
The Democrats have achieved a public relations coup that any ministry of propaganda would be proud of. Worried that the United States is $17 trillion in debt? Radical! Unconcerned about deficits that pile up as far as the eye can see? Responsible! Unhappy about an anemic economy in which a generation of young people struggles to find full-time employment? Traitor! Content with record levels of poverty and non-employment? Moderate! Want to get rid of a law that is opposed by most Americans, decimates the economy and is patently unworkable? Crazy! Delighted at the sight of millions of Americans losing their
A reader who says that he has done large software installations for one of the big accounting firms wrote the following in an email. It seems to validate the concerns discussed in my Washington Examiner column on the Obamacare IT mess.1. The integration aspect is most difficult. In this case, the integration of various Federal Systems to determine subsidies is proving a daunting task. You are dealing with legacy systems that don’t integrate very well. Also the integration with the insurers consisting of sending an insurance application to the insurance company, a much easier task, was also screwed up. 2. The
The Obama administration Sunday said it’s called on “the best and brightest” tech experts from both government and the private sector to help fix the troubled website at the root of the Obamacare enrollment problems.The unusual Sunday 600-word blog post from HHS was the first update in more than a week on the many failings of an expensive website that HHS itself described as “frustrating for many Americans.” But it didn’t specify who the administration had called in, or when the American people would see clear-cut results on Healthcare.gov.
A new book claims John F Kennedy’s brother may have stolen his brain from the National Archives to conceal the true extent of his illness.The revelations are made In End of Days: The Assassination of John F Kennedy by James Swanson, excerpts which has been published in the New York Post.He writes: "Not all the evidence from the assassination is at the National Archives. One unique, macabre item from the collection is missing - President Kennedy’s brain." Mr Swanson rejects conspiracy theories that the brain vanished as part of a plot to hide the facts of the assassination. He adds: "My conclusion
ATF´s gunwalking and grenade walking tactics have come back to haunt them...again. CBS Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson has the scoop: CBS News has learned of a shocking link between a deadly drug cartel shootout with Mexican police last week and a controversial case in the U.S. The link is one of the grenades used in the violent fight, which killed three policemen and four cartel members and was captured on video by residents in the area. According to a Justice Department "Significant Incident Report" filed Tuesday and obtained by CBS News, evidence connects one of the grenades to Jean Baptiste Kingery, an
Almost as heart-rending as the shutdown of the Panda Cam at the National Zoo was this: The partial government shutdown has left the White House garden overrun with weeds, with fewer gardeners to maintain first lady Michelle Obama’s pride. Regular maintenance has stopped on the garden and only periodic watering is being done, a White House official confirmed to CNN. That’s consistent with landscaping being performed on all National Park Service areas crippled by the shutdown throughout
Forty-eight hours out from the New York city mayoral primary, Anthony Weiner had agreed to speak at the Bethany United Methodist Church in Brooklyn. The pastor, decked out in a perfectly white, long raiment, had really revved up the crowd. He was going through a visual presentation called "17 Principles of Success," and the sermon seemed to have lots of advice about money: about how doing things such as writing down your goals would put the power of the Lord in you, and how that power would make you a millionaire. The Candidate arrived. I had gotten so accustomed to seeing
For years, the tech billionaire Pierre M. Omidyar has been experimenting with ways to promote serious journalism, searching for the proper media platform to support with the fortune he earned as the founder of eBay. He has made grants to independent media outlets in Africa and government watchdog groups in the United States. In a more direct effort, he created a news Web site in Hawaii, his home state.
Just as he did to John McCain in 2008 and to Mitt Romney in 2012, President Obama defeated a lame Republican political team. The GOP´s right wing foolishly shuttered the government and threatened default in exchange for an unreasonable and unattainable concession: Scrap Obamacare. He refused. The GOP caved. It was all so predictable. Not quite so obvious is Obama´s response. Faced now with the choice between partisan politics and a risky high ground, the president has an opportunity to leverage this "victory" for a long-term budget deal that raises taxes and tames entitlements. Obama won. Now can he lead? Does he
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Tuesday that he is considering running for another term in 2016, when he would be 80 years old. "I´m seriously thinking about maybe giving another opportunity for you to vote for or against me in a few years from now," McCain said on KFYI-AM in Phoenix. "I´m seriously giving that a lot of thought." [1-minute sound bite] Asked by host Barry Young to clarify if he was saying he might run again, McCain said: "That would not be wrong." The New York Times´s Mark Leibovich, who is in Arizona following McCain, first tweeted the news.
It’s past time for the media to begin asking President Obama tough questions about the IRS conservative targeting scandal. After all he was involved, publicly, from the beginning. Last Friday, the American Center for Law and Justice (where I serve as Chief Counsel) filed its Second Amended Complaint against the United States, the IRS, and a legion of IRS officials. This Complaint, in which we represent 41 organizations in 22 states, presents perhaps the most complete story yet of the IRS conservative targeting scandal. And it is an ugly story indeed. What was sold to the American public as a low-level scandal perpetrated
While the president of the United States pitched his crumbling healthcare program like a late-night infomercial barker, the Army´s chief of staff made a shocking admission about national defense. Gen. Ray Odierno told a Washington conference Monday that the U.S. Army had not conducted any training in the last six months of the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. And, he said, there currently are only two Army brigades rated combat-ready. That´s less than one-third what ‘s regarded as necessary for national security. [Snip] All this to comply with Obama administration orders to drastically shrink the Army and military spending.
President Barack Obama will declare the glitches in a new healthcare website ´unacceptable´ on Monday as his team scrambles to fix problems that have tainted the roll-out of his signature healthcare law. Fresh from two weeks of budget battles that have consumed Washington, Obama will hold an event at 11:25am in the White House Rose Garden with consumers, small business owners, and pharmacists who have been affected by the new law. The move is the highest-profile step in a broad damage control effort that the administration has launched since technical problems with the website, healthcare.gov, have prevented Americans nationwide from signing up
In addition to the damage done to the GOP by his penchant for right-wing antics, of which the shutdown fiasco was only the latest, Jim DeMint, the president of Heritage Foundation, has ushered in a new era in the once-proud conservative think tank’s history. Under DeMint, Heritage Foundation has been subsumed to the interests of its sister organization, Heritage Action. As a result, Heritage Foundation is suffering a grievous slide in intellectual integrity and influence. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is the latest of many conservatives openly to express concern about the think tank. He told MSNBC’s Chuck Todd this week, “Right
President Obama is "frustrated" by the disastrous launch of an online computer marketplace for Obamacare, the White House says. Here are five reasons why frustration isn´t enough. He should be frightened.1. It´s worse than his team has let on. The White House has tried to position the failed first days of Obamacare as mere "glitches" caused by the site´s popularity. An administration spokesman told the Washington Post on Sunday that the "main driver of the problem is volume." That is intentionally misleading. The White House has heard complaints from insurance companies, consumers, and health policy experts about issues embedded deeply
President Obama´s long-winded speech in defense of his health care reform nearly put one audience member to sleep, with a guest standing directly behind the President almost fainting as he continued to drone on for nearly 30 minutes. A young woman, who appeared to be pregnant, dressed in a bright red frock stood at attention behind the President during his Rose Garden remarks, smiling brightly during much of the address. But Obama´s verbosity got the best of her — and she nearly toppled over, seemingly a result of the bright D.C. sun. She began to appear lightheaded, blinking several times
On ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, hosted by Martha Raddatz, reporter Jonathan Karl interviewed Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and proceeded to body-slam him for his involvement in the government shutdown debate. “People hated this shutdown, they hated this impasse and this was seen as the Ted Cruz shutdown. You more than any single individual were seen as the one that triggered this crisis to begin with,” Karl ranted. When Cruz tried to get a word in edgewise, Karl stated, “there never would have been a shutdown if you hadn´t gone with the strategy of saying we´re not even going
The Mark Twain Prize, handed out each year in the Nation´s Capital, is generally a nonpartisan affair meant to toast the funniest people in pop culture, period. This year, both the honoree and a key presenter couldn´t resist the chance to get political during the ceremony. The night belonged to beloved sketch comedy star Carol Burnett, who used the debate over the recently ended government shutdown in her acceptance speech: This is very encouraging. I mean it was a long time in coming, but I understand because there are so many people funnier than I am, especially here in Washington. With any luck,
President Barack Obama caught a pregnant woman who began to faint during his speech about healthcare reforms today, joking ´That´s what happens when I talk too long.´ Mr Obama reached out to help prospective Affordable Care Act beneficiary Karmel Allison who was standing directly behind him as he discussed the glitches of the new healthcare website in the Rose Garden of the White House. Around 25 minutes into the speech, Ms Allison became unsteady and started to lose consciousness and the President turned around and grabbed her by the arm before she fainted. Scroll down for video
NEW YORK — Slavery in the United States was once a roaring success whose wounds still afflict the country today. So says Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who examines both its success and shame in "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross," his new PBS documentary series that traces 500 years of black history. "Slavery is a perfect example of why we need limits on the more unfortunate aspects of human nature," he says. "Slavery was capitalism gone berserk." The horrifically profitable practice of slavery and the brutal inhumanity of Jim Crow loom large in "The African Americans" (premiering Tuesday at
Hard-line conservatives aren’t just sticking it to the national GOP by shutting down the government and bringing the nation to the brink of default — they’re also refusing to pony up to help their party defend the House in 2014. With a little more than a year until the midterm election, many leaders of the shutdown strategy have yet to donate to the National Republican Congressional Committee, records show. At least eight of the debate’s 20 or so most outspoken figures have not given any money to the NRCC, and others have forked over token amounts. Their refusal to contribute