Covering The Smarter Government

nixon

Does anybody really care about an office break-in with possibly wide-ranging political implications? After all, the president isn’t a Republican.

Well, here’s a story about one anyway. John Hudson at Foreign Policy reports:

The offices of a Dallas law firm representing a high-profile State Department whistleblower were broken into last weekend. Burglars stole three computers and broke into the firm’s file cabinets. But silver bars, video equipment and other valuables were left untouched, according to local Fox affiliate KDFW, which aired security camera footage of the suspected burglars entering and leaving the offices around the time of the incident.

The firm Schulman & Mathias represents Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator at the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General. In recent weeks, she raised a slew of explosive allegations against the department and its contractors ranging from illicit drug use, soliciting sexual favors from minors and prostitutes and sexual harassment…

The State Department, which has repeatedly disputed Fedenisn’s allegations, denied any involvement in the incident. “Any allegation that the Department of State authorized someone to break into Mr. Schulman’s law firm is false and baseless,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Which given the Obama Track record means of course they did it!

And there you have it. If Psaki denies it, that’s the end of it. Everybody knows that the word of a State Department spokesperson is as good as pyrite.

Also, John Kerry absolutely wasn’t on his yacht as Egypt exploded into chaos last week, and it doesn’t matter that he was on his yacht because he can work from there. Oh, and the Benghazi attack was caused by a YouTube video, which had nothing to do with it and they never said it did, and it’s okay that they said it did, because it was the best information they had at the time, even though everybody knows that’s not true.

Got it? Now shut up. (DC)  🙂

#2: A top official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau could not tell the House Committee on Financial Services how many Americans are being monitored through the agency’s secretive data collection program Tuesday.

Mind you this was an Obama program that was absolutely crucial to protect the citizen from the evil predatory capitalist exploitation of the mortgage and credit industry!! 🙂
Don’t you feel safer?

OBAMACARE UPDATE

‘We’ve made huge swaths of your government more efficient and more transparent, and more accountable than ever before,” President Obama claimed Monday.

But the very next day, AP reported that a “computer system problem” has caused his administration to delay yet another piece of ObamaCare for at least a year.

The delay stems from a conflict between the law’s premium penalties for smokers and its restrictions on insurance rates. While ObamaCare forbids insurance companies from adjusting rates based on health status, it does let insurers impose a significant premium penalty on smokers.

At the same time, the law forbids insurance companies from charging older people more than three times what they charge younger people. The problem is that the premiums for an older smoker can end up more than three times that of a young smoker once you include the penalties.

Late last month, Obama’s tech-savvy regulators quietly told insurance companies that they simply couldn’t figure out how to get their computers to square the two.

“The system currently cannot process a premium for a 65-year-old smoker that is more than three times the premium of a 21-year-old smoker,” it explained.

And a fix could take at least a year.

Frankenstein has a Broken leg, missing his heart, has a bad knee and tennis elbow, bad eye sight, poor hearing, spinal problems, a brain hemorrhage, and weezes like a 65 year old chain smoker, but he’s ok. Trust me! 🙂

Meanwhile, the administration tacitly admitted last week that its promise of real-time verification of a consumer’s eligibility to buy subsidized coverage at an ObamaCare exchange wasn’t exactly panning out.

Under ObamaCare, only those who don’t have access to “affordable” insurance at work can buy coverage in an exchange, and only those below certain income levels are eligible for tax subsidies.

Rather than a high-tech instant check, the administration told states they could simply take the applicants’ word for it when it comes to their employer-provided coverage, as well as their “projected annual household income,” without the need for “further verification.”

The reason Obama’s regulators gave: There’s still “a large amount of systems development on both the federal and state side, which cannot occur in time for Oct. 1, 2013.”

The Government Accountability Office had warned in June that the administration was behind schedule getting the ObamaCare data hub up and running.

The administration also admitted earlier this year that — even with a nearly four-year lead time — it would have to put off a key piece of the small-business exchanges that was supposed to let employees at small firms pick from a range of plans best suited to their needs. “Operational challenges” was the excuse given for this delay.

To be fair, states aren’t doing much better when it comes to “smarter” government. The Washington Post reported last week that Connecticut will delay almost a third of the functions they’d planned for its insurance exchange Web portal. Oregon, Nevada and other states are also cutting back on their ObamaCare websites.

But the stakes are much higher at the federal level, particularly when protecting personal data is involved. Here, too, Obama’s “smart” government falls short.

Public.Resource.org revealed this week that the IRS inadvertently exposed the Social Security numbers of as many as 100,000 taxpayers on a government website. The group described the IRS’ data security efforts as “unprofessional and amateur.”

These are the same sort of government bureaucrats, mind you, who’ll be in charge of securing vast amounts of the far more sensitive data ObamaCare will collect on millions of Americans once it goes into effect. (IBD)

And they are doing a great job so far. You can have complete trust in them. Or else!
For 85 percent of Americans, he claimed, the only change they’ll experience is superior coverage.  For virtually everyone else, there will be competitive exchanges in place starting next year, from which they’ll be able to select affordable coverage.  And if some people still aren’t able to pay those new, lower rates, the government would step in with subsidies to make up the difference. 
And you know Obama ALWAYS keeps his promises.
So Shut up! 🙂
Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson