Missing Irony

HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius will now get to enjoy one of the benefits of Obamacare touted by Democrats: She’ll have a lot more time to make dinner.

HAIL HYDRA! She’ll be back in some way, somewhere. Just less visible.

But now at least the next person who’s the head of HHS can continuously say, “But I wasn’t there so I didn’t have anything to do with it. Don’t blame me.” when they blow you off… 🙂

That’s because like a lot of other Obamacare victims, she has now lost her job.

Thank goodness her insurance is portable.

Unlike ours. 🙂

In losing her job as the head of Health and Human Services, she can take satisfaction that she now gets to see Obamacare in the same way the rest of us do, as a job destroyer.

If anybody in the media sees the irony in the fact that Sebelius lost her job because of the disastrous implementation of a disastrous law that have cost so many others their jobs, they’re not acting like it.

“Kathleen Sebelius,” writes the New York Times, “the health and human services secretary, is resigning, ending a stormy five-year tenure marred by the disastrous rollout of President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act.”

Hooray for the president!

Boo for traitors who can’t implement our traitorous laws!

At the beginning of the month—yes, the month of April– we were all treated to a round of triumphant celebration by the leftist wing of the left-wing party as Obamacare was declared to be not just a success, but a stunning triumph of the will over Republican obstructionism, lies– thank you Harry Reid– misogyny and misanthropy.

Four and a Half Years (of Struggle) Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice, is what they will someday name the book if a Democrat writes one about the implementation of Obamacare.

Google it; you’ll see.

And again, they’ll miss the irony.

That liberals decided of their own accord that they would crown April Fools’ Day–forever after– as Obamacare Day, is again another irony that seems to be lost on people who believe that a variety selection of chilled cheeses is much more important than having a variety selection of competent doctors.

I mean let’s face it: There really aren’t any good wines that go with doctor anyway.

Ha, ha, ha, ha!

“Interviews with two dozen contractors, current and former government officials, insurance executives and consumer advocates, as well as an examination of confidential administration documents, point to a series of missteps — financial, technical and managerial — that led to the troubles” with the rollout of Obamacare conceded the New York Times in October.

Liberals will try to paint this as the failure of one person.

And they will be right. And they will be wrong.

Right premise; wrong person.

“Secretary of HHS will soon become known as the worst job in America,” says my friend, political consultant Tony Marsh. “It doesn’t matter how competent the director, no one can make this goofy law work.”

Pin the goofy law on our goofy president.

But then you’d be a racist!! 🙂

Whatever else people might say about Barack Obama, even liberals have to admit that when it comes to managerial prowess–even when having the benefit of his pen and telephone– the only executive action the president seems to get right is his tee time.

Don’t let the awesome size of the Obamacare debacle shrink the significance of the other debacles Obama has presided over: $1 trillion stimulus, failed; a Department of Energy loan program for green companies, failed too, just to name two in a growing database of Obama disasters.

Who could’ve predicted at a time when unprecedented money and resources would go into alternative energy production via fiat by the federal government, that the “green” industry would see an unprecedented number of bankruptcies, failures and collapses?

Conservatives could have, and did.

Because the question goes to the fundamental flaw that Democrats have when it comes to governance. If it were all about money and power and influence, Democrats would never have a problem; nor would communists.

But eventually human nature takes over; and human nature is the enemy of control freaks, a.k.a. progressives.

Human nature can’t control the progressive agenda, no matter how many jobs are lost. Democrats and the president mean to implement Obamacare even if they have to fire us all one by one.

That’s where the Thought Police come in. Control thought, control people.

In the old days, in order for healthcare to happen, you only needed to have a sick person.

Under the Democrats, you only need to have one very, very sick person right at the top, so he can do the firing of the rest of us. (John Ransom)

HAIL HYDRA!

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Crafting D.C. Style

Oh they hear you, they just don’t care what you think. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Before the Obama administration gave an inaccurate narrative on national television that the Benghazi attacks grew from an anti-American protest, the CIA’s station chief in Libya pointedly told his superiors in Washington that no such demonstration occurred, documents and interviews with current and former intelligence officials show.

The attack was “not an escalation of protests,” the station chief wrote to then-Deputy CIA Director Michael J. Morell in an email dated Sept. 15, 2012 — a full day before the White House sent Susan E. Rice to several Sunday talk shows to disseminate talking points claiming that the Benghazi attack began as a protest over an anti-Islam video.

That the talking points used by Mrs. Rice, who was then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, were written by a CIA that ignored the assessment by its own station chief inside Libya, has emerged as one of the major bones of contention in the more than two years of political fireworks and congressional investigations into the Benghazi attack.

What has never been made public is whether Mr. Morell and others at the CIA explicitly shared the station chief’s assessment with the White House or State Department.

Two former intelligence officials have told The Washington Times that this question likely will be answered at a Wednesday hearing of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence during which Mr. Morell is scheduled to give his public testimony.

Mr. Morell, who has since left the CIA, declined to comment on the matter Monday. He now works at Beacon Global Strategies, a Washington insider strategic communications firm.

One former intelligence official close to Mr. Morell told The Times on the condition of anonymity that “the whole question of communication with the station chief will be addressed in his testimony.”

“We’re confident that it will clarify the situation in the minds of many who are asking,” the former official said.

Another former intelligence official told The Times that Mr. Morell did tell the White House and the State Department that the CIA station chief in Libya had concluded that there was no protest but senior Obama administration and CIA officials in Washington ignored the assessment.

Why they ignored it remains a topic of heated debate within the wider intelligence community.

A third source told The Times on Monday that Mr. Morell and other CIA officials in Washington were weighing several pieces of “conflicting information” streaming in about the Benghazi attack as the talking points were being crafted.

“That’s why they ultimately came up with the analysis that they did,” the source said. “The piece that was coming out of Tripoli was important, but it was one piece amid several streams of information.”

One of the former intelligence officials said the Libya station chief’s assessment was being weighed against media reports from the ground in Benghazi that quoted witnesses as saying there had been a protest. Analysts at the CIA, the source said, also were weighing it against reporting by other intelligence divisions, including the National Security Agency.

“The chief of station in Tripoli who was 600 or 700 miles away from the attacks wouldn’t necessarily have the only view of what actually went on in Benghazi,” that former official said.

U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the attack.

While the testimony is expected to focus on Benghazi, the hearing arrives at a time of growing tensions between Congress and the CIA over such matters as the Bush administration’s interrogation rules and mutual charges of spying and illegality between the Senate intelligence committee and the agency.

Lawmakers are likely to press Mr. Morell for a reaction to reports this week that a classified Senate intelligence report has concluded that harsh interrogation methods used in the years after Sept. 11 provided no key evidence in the hunt for Osama bin Laden and that the CIA misled Congress on the matter.

The CIA disputes that conclusion. The Senate panel is expected to vote Thursday on sending the Obama administration a 400-page executive summary of the “enhanced interrogation” report to start a monthslong declassification process.

One of the key issues likely to come up during the House hearing involves what was said during a series of secure teleconferences between CIA officials in Washington and Libya from the time of the attack on Sept. 11, 2012, to the completion of Mrs. Rice’s talking points for dissemination on the Sunday talk shows Sept. 16.

Multiple sources confirmed to The Times on Monday that the station chief’s email to Mr. Morell was written after one of the teleconferences during which senior CIA officials in Washington — Mr. Morell among them — made clear to the Tripoli station chief that they were examining alternative information that suggested there was a protest before the attack.

After the exchange, Mr. Morell signed off on the CIA talking points given to Mrs. Rice promoting what turned out to be the false narrative of a protest. The development ultimately triggered an angry reaction from Republicans, who have long claimed that the Obama administration, with an eye on the November elections, was downplaying the role of terrorists in order to protect the president’s record on counterterrorism.

Documents since released by the White House show that administration officials boasted in internal emails at the time about Mr. Morell’s personal role in editing and rewriting the talking points.

“Morell noted that these points were not good and he had taken a heavy editing hand to them,” an Obama administration official wrote Mrs. Rice on the morning of Sept. 15.

What is not clear is whether the email was in any way referring to the conflicting intelligence streams about a protest in Benghazi.

Alternatively, the email notes that Mr. Morell was uncomfortable with an initial draft of the talking points batted back and forth between White House and CIA officials “because they seemed to encourage the reader to infer incorrectly that the CIA had warned about a specific attack” in Benghazi.

During interviews with The Times, several former senior intelligence officials have lamented the whole “talking points” issue, saying the CIA was caught in the middle of the White House, Congress and the reality on the ground in Benghazi while crafting the points.

The reason the CIA ended up taking the lead on the talking points was because, as news of the attack was breaking around the world, lawmakers on the House intelligence committee were seeking guidance from the agency on how to respond to media questions without revealing classified information.

Specifically, Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and the committee chairman, and ranking Democrat C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland asked for the guidance.

One former senior intelligence official told The Times that as word circulated through the inner circles of the intelligence community that the CIA was working on the talking points, officials within the Obama administration steered the mission toward crafting something Mrs. Rice could say on national talk shows.

“In essence, the talking points got repurposed,” the former official said. “What it turned into — and I don’t think Michael ever knew this, it’s something to watch for in his testimony this week — was, ‘Let’s hand this thing to the U.N. ambassador and make it what she should say.’”

“That’s a big deal,” the former official said. “It’s one thing to prepare something for lawmakers so they don’t make a mistake or say something inaccurate. It’s quite another matter to have that feed the administration’s then-current, definitive account of what had actually happened in Benghazi.”

“There are a lot of twists and turns in this,” added another former intelligence official. “A lot of it hangs on the fact that the agency thought they were crafting these talking points for Dutch Ruppersberger and Mike Rogers, not the White House.” (WT)

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Hope & Change 2014

“I guess what I would say, if you looked at that person’s budget, and you looked at their cable bill, their cell phone bill, other things that they’re spending on, it may turn out that it’s just they haven’t prioritized health care because right now everybody is healthy.” President Obama. The man who has ADDED 7 1/2 Trillion to the Debt in 5 years! I guess that was his priority!

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted Wednesday that Obamacare premiums will probably go up in 2015, that she does not know how many Obamacare customers have paid their premiums, and that she does not know how many Obamacare enrollees had insurance previously.

“I think premiums are likely to go up, but go up at a slower pace” than they did previously, Sebelius admitted at Wednesday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing.

“I can’t tell you that, sir, because I don’t know that,” Sebelius said when asked by Georgia Rep. Tom Price how many Obamacare customers have paid their first premiums. Sebelius said she also does not know how many Obamacare customers previously had insurance plans that were canceled.

However, an industry source says the White House “definitely knows” who has made these payments from two separate data points, as the exchanges were set up to be the “source of truth for information.” The source claims the White House is withholding the information for “political reasons because it would force them to lower their enrollment figures if 10% of 20% of enrollees had not paid.”

The Obama administration has delayed many provisions of the Obamacare law until after the 2014 midterms, including the economically consequential employer mandate.

The administration’s inability to meet its goal for enrolling young, healthy “invincibles” on the Obamacare exchanges has mired the entire Obamacare program in the so-called “death spiral,” which drives up health insurance rates because older, sicker people are primarily signing up. (DC)

Subverted Adverse Selection they did! 🙂

Most recently, the administration extended the “hardship exemption” from the individual mandate for those who had their previous policies canceled because of Obamacare until October 2016.

To qualify, your plan must have been canceled because it wasn’t compliant with Obamacare, and you just have to tell the government you “believe” that other insurance policies are unaffordable.

So the individual mandate is a “hardship” and the employer mandate is on hold until he’s not running anymore. BUT IT’S NOT POLITICAL!!!! And it’s doing good for everyone, anyone who says otherwise is a “liar” (Harry Reid).

So the 80-90% of the funding structure of this Magnum Opus just pissed down the drain…Gee, that’s very responsible budgeting Mr. president. Maybe we should cut your Cable bill!

“President Obama has refused to enforce those parts of our nation’s immigration laws that are not to his political liking, has waived portions of our welfare laws, has stretched our environmental laws to accommodate his policy objectives, and has waived testing accountability provisions required under the ‘No Child Left Behind’ education law,” according to Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House judiciary committee.

For example, in June 2012, Obama created a temporary mini-amnesty for at least 500,000 younger illegal immigrants. The act boosted his election-day support among Hispanics, but made it more difficult for young Americans to find jobs.

“Political appointees at the Justice Department have announced that rather than work with Congress to amend the federal criminal code, they will simply stop prosecuting low-level drug offenders under mandatory minimum sentencing laws,” said Goodlatte in a Fox News op-ed.

“And now that his signature health care law has not been working and revealed his empty promises, President Obama has changed that law unilaterally over 20 times,” Goodlatte added.

The House bill is titled “the Faithful Execution of the Law Act.”

The House is expected to pass the bill Wednesday, along with a companion bill, titled “ENFORCE the Law Act.”

The bills are expected to be blocked by the Democrat-controlled Senate. (DC)

Now that’s By-Partisan!
So do you “believe” in Hope & Change now…

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

 

All Hail New Coke!

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Monday she is in talks with the NFL to help promote new insurance options under ObamaCare.

Sebelius said the football league has been “very actively and enthusiastically engaged” in discussions about a partnership to encourage people to enroll in newly available insurance plans.

“We’re having active discussions right now with a variety of sports affiliates” about both paid advertising and partnerships to encourage enrollment, Sebelius told reporters.

HHS is reportedly also in talks with the NBA to promote the law.

Partnerships with sports organizations are especially promising to HHS because the department hopes large numbers of young, healthy men will enroll in the law’s new coverage options. 

Attracting young, healthy people will help keep premiums from rising dramatically once the law begins offering new protections for more expensive patients — namely, banning insurance companies from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions.

Ra ra sis boom ba! Or is that Ra Ra BIG SIS boom ba?

Because the young are the suckers they need to pay for the older people WITH the pre-existing conditions that will bankrupt the whole thing anyhow!

Monday Night Football Brought to you by ObamaCare!

Maybe we’ll even have an ObamaCare Field somewhere.

Big Brother Field. 🙂
The Sibelius Bowl!!
Gotta get the low information, young, morons where they live.
Maybe they sponsor a Facebook page or an App or an X-Box Game…
The administration and its allies, notably Enroll America, are pushing back against opponents of “Obamacare” with a media blitz, door-to-door canvassing and public events designed to direct potential enrollees to the exchanges.

Junk mail and Junk TV brought to you, by Big Brother. Oh happy Days. Happy, Happy Joy Joy!
I wonder if those commercial will be like the drug commercial you see these days. You know the one where they tout the benefit for about 10 seconds and spend the next 20 rattling off side effects that could kill you or give some OTHER crippling disease (that will undoubtedly have to be treated with even more drugs!).
So you’ll get the ra-ra 10 seconds and then… Nothing but more ra- ra!. This is ObamaCare and the Liberal Left we’re talking about. To them ObamaCare is Nirvana and nothing in this universe could ever be wrong with it no matter what.
If this spin doesn’t send the Earth off it’s axis nothing will.
What we need is a National BBQ day celebrating the glorious and wonderful expansion of Big Brother into every facet of your life forever!!
Let’s all Celebrate Big Brother. He’s so great!
A National Weenie Roast that can toast the end of Freedom as you know it!
And the target audience is too stupid to understand it. And if you want to educate them you’re just a fear-mongering Republican who hates everyone- you racist, misogynistic homophobe!
So beware. I’m sure the NSA is listening to me type this right now… <<middle finger to you>>>
Facing these critics, Enroll America President Anne Filipic filmed a three-minute video this month to explain the law’s benefits and launch the group’s “Get Covered America” campaign. The video, like the government’s website, tries to boil down the law into easy-to-understand options. (WP and The Hill)

Translation: Pablum for the stupid and lies of omission and enough spin to make it possible for you to kiss your own ass!
New Coke has arrived and let the Marketing Blitz begin! 🙂
Michael Ramirez Cartoon
Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

ARE YOU NOW OF HAVE EVER BEEN…

First an Update on Yesterday: A federal judge on Wednesday ordered HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to allow 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan to be moved to the adult lung transplant list, giving her a better chance of receiving a potentially life-saving transplant.

The case played out amid growing controversy with Sebelius in the spotlight. Several right-wing blogs and commentators depicted her as a one-woman “death panel.” The child’s mother said Sebelius was choosing to let children die. (Politico)

 
I have no idea what you’re talking about…:)
The political heat will be turned down, but the questions remain.
Sebelius: “I can’t imagine anything worse than one individual getting to pick who lives and who dies,” she said at a House hearing on Tuesday.

But that’s what ObamaCare and IPAB are for and she is that individual. Doesn’t that just fill you with Hope and Change! 🙂
“Govt bends the rules to target conservatives & harass journalists, but draws the line at saving a little girl’s life,” Sarah Palin tweeted Tuesday night.

 

Depends on who’s benefiting from it politically or bureaucratically, doesn’t it.

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (Fisa) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.

Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered. (UK Guardian)

‘Things have got a little out of whack’: Eric Holder admits failings on secretly pulling records on reporters but says he has no intention of standing down

It’s not that big a deal. You’re over-blowing the whole thing. Calm Down…

Valeruie Plaime on the Other Hand was a big F*cking Deal… 🙂

Although he approved some of the steps in the investigation, he said laws and regulations forced his hand and should be changed.

It’s The Regulations Fault! They made me do it!!

Stop me! Before they force me to do it again!

 

WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — U.S. border agents should continue to be allowed to search a traveler’s laptop, cellphone or other electronic device and keep copies of any data on them based on no more than a hunch, according to an internal Homeland Security Department study. It contends limiting such searches would prevent the U.S. from detecting child pornographers or terrorists and expose the government to lawsuits.

The 23-page report, obtained by The Associated Press and the American Civil Liberties Union under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, provides a rare glimpse of the Obama administration’s thinking on the long-standing but controversial practice of border agents and immigration officers searching and in some cases holding for weeks or months the digital devices of anyone trying to enter the U.S.

Since his election, President Barack Obama has taken an expansive view of legal authorities in the name of national security, asserting that he can order the deaths of U.S. citizens abroad who are suspected of terrorism without involvement by courts, investigate reporters as criminals and — in this case — read and copy the contents of computers carried by U.S. travelers without a good reason to suspect wrongdoing.(CBS)

At Tuesday’s congressional hearings on the IRS, witnesses provided shocking details about the agency’s abuse of conservative groups.

The IRS leaked the donor list of The National Organization for Marriage to their political opponents, the pro-gay-marriage Human Rights Campaign. This is not idle speculation: The documents had an internal IRS stamp on them. The list of names was then published on a number of liberal websites and NOM’s donors were harassed.

The IRS demanded that all members of the Coalition for Life of Iowa swear under penalty of perjury that they wouldn’t pray, picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood. They were also asked to provide details of their prayer meetings.

The FBI is unhappy that there are communications technologies that it cannot intercept, and wants a new requirement that software makers and communications companies create a back door so they can listen in when they want.

But a team of technology experts warns that would be nothing more than handing over to the nation’s enemies abilities they are not capable of developing for themselves.

According to a recent report in the Washington Post, the issue is being raised by the FBI because “there is currently no way to wiretap some of these communications methods easily, and companies effectively…”

The solution, according to the FBI, is a plan to fine companies when they fail to comply with wiretap orders, essentially requiring all companies to build a back door for wiretap capabilities into all their communications links.

“The importance to us is pretty clear,” FBI general counsel Andrew Weissman said in the report. “We don’t have the ability to go to court and say, ‘We need a court order to effectuate the intercept.’”

The participants included high-profile leaders in the field including Matt Blaze from the University of Pennsylvania, Edward Felten of Princeton, Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins, J. Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan, and dozens more.

It explained that there are some drawbacks to the idea of expanding wiretap design laws to Internet services.

“Mandating wiretap capabilities in endpoints poses serious security risks,” the report said. “Requiring software vendors to build intercept functionality into their products is unwise and will be ineffective, with the result being serious consequences for the economic well-being and national security of the United States.”

Just what kind of “serious consequences”?

“The FBI’s desire to expand CALEA mandates amounts to developing for our adversaries capabilities that they may not have the competence, access, or resources to develop on their own,” the report said.

CALEA is the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which already requires some electronic surveillance possibilities. It’s the plan the FBI wants to expand to include all digital forms of communication, including Skype, VoIP services, and others.

The London Daily Mail recently reported that those technologies are hard to track because they convert analogue audio signals into digital data packets, which would have to be retrieved and reassembled.

The team of experts said besides allowing criminals and terrorists into the networks, the strategy would require software companies to have employees do the wiretapping or give away their company secrets to law enforcement agencies.

“Finally, the wiretap capability that the FBI seeks will be ineffective because it is easily disabled and because knock-off products that lack the wiretap functionality can be readily downloaded from websites abroad. Because many of the tools that people use to communicate are built on open standards and open source software, it will be trivial to remove or disable wiretap functionality,” the report said.

According to the Post report, the draft proposal would let a court levy escalating fines against a company – fines that could double daily.

“This proposal is a non-starter that would drive innovators overseas and cost American jobs,” Greg Nojeim, a senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology, told the Post.

“They might as well call it the Cyber Insecurity and Anti-Employment Act.”

But they want to know EVERYTHING about you and EVERY MOMENT in your life.  And so what if we give that technology to our enemies indirectly, at least we’ll know!

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU!

ARE YOU NOW OF HAVE EVER BEEN? 🙂

Well have you? Answer The question? Why not? Do you have something to hide citizen?

VE HAVE WAYS OF MAKING YOU TALK! 🙂

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

 
 

Transparency

Death Panel anyone?

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius rebuffed an appeal from Rep. Lou Barletta on behalf of a girl who needs a lung transplant but can’t get one because of a federal regulation that prevents her from qualifying for a transplant.

“Please, suspend the rules until we look at this policy,” Barletta, a Pennsylvania Republican, asked Sebelius during a House hearing Tuesday on behalf of Sarah Murnaghan, a 10-year-old girl who needs a lung transplant. She can’t qualify for an adult lung transplant until the age of 12, according to federal regulations, but Sebelius has the authority to waive that rule on her behalf. The pediatric lungs for which she currently qualifies aren’t available.

“I would suggest, sir, that, again, this is an incredibly agonizing situation where someone lives and someone dies,” Sebelius replied. “The medical evidence and the transplant doctors who are making the rule — and have had the rule in place since 2005 making a delineation between pediatric and adult lungs, because lungs are different that other organs — that it’s based on the survivability [chances].”

So it has to be worth the government’s time and money to save you because you don’t meet the bureaucratic guidelines. Gee, that doesn’t sound ominous at all.

Barletta countered that medical professionals think Murneghan could survive an adult lung transplant. During the exchange, he also said that the girl has three to five weeks to live.

Sebelius reminded Barletta that 40 people in Pennsylvania are on the “highest acuity list” for lung transplants.

The good of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

She’s not exactly Spock is she. 🙂

And the other question is, why is someone on the children’s list if a modified adult lung would save them? I don’t understand offhand using a fixed age cutoff instead of a qualitative assessment of each patient to maximize their odds of a transplant. If an adult organ would work for her and there are more adult organs to be had, that’s the list she should be on.

She checking her list.

Having the head of HHS telling Congress “someone lives and someone dies” is poisonous optics with the public already sour on ObamaCare.

Since President Obama’s EPA administrator, HHS Secretary, and nominee for Labor Secretary have all been exposed for using pseudonymous email accounts as an end-run around transparency efforts, have any officials inside the White House employed the same trick?  Sorry, the spokesman for the “most transparent administration in history” won’t comment on that:

“There’s nothing secret,” Carney said. The AP reviewed hundreds of pages of government emails released under the federal open records law and couldn’t independently find instances when material from any of the secret accounts it identified was turned over. Congressional oversight committees told the AP they were unfamiliar with the few nonpublic government addresses that AP identified so far, including one for Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the Health and Human Services Department.

Now that’s transparency. 🙂

And they get to control your health care. Enjoy.

The Life of Riley

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

The government we entrust our medical records to under ObamaCare has its EPA sharing confidential data on farmers with green groups and the IRS reading your email. Smile and wave at the EPA drone.

The Environmental Protection Agency has acknowledged that it released personal information on potentially thousands of farmers and ranchers to environmental groups, violating their privacy rights and acting in collusion with private groups with private political agendas.

In Nixonian fashion, the EPA has provided these environmental groups with the dossiers of farmers it has gathered to help them create an enemies list of potential polluters. The agency acknowledged the information included individual names, email addresses, phone numbers and personal addresses.

The EPA claimed the data were related to farms in 29 states with “concentrated animal feeding operations” and that the released information was part of the agency’s commitment to “ensure clean water and public-health protection.”

How? By giving environmental groups the identities and addresses of those they need to pressure?

“This information details my family’s home address,” J.D. Alexander, a Nebraska cattle farmer and former president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, told FarmFutures.com. “The only thing it doesn’t do is chauffeur these extremists to my house.”

Recently we editorialized on how Nebraska’s congressional delegation had sent a justifiably angry letter to then-EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson complaining that her agency had exceeded its legislative and constitutional authority by conducting drone surveillance flights over Nebraska and Iowa farms looking for Clean Water Act violations.

“They are just way on the outer limits of any authority they’ve been granted,” said Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb.

The EPA argued that the courts, including the Supreme Court, has already authorized aerial surveillance, such as taking photographs of a chemical manufacturing facility. But nobody has their family home in a chemical plant, and such surveillance observes not only the farm, but also the farmers and their families who rightly have an expectation of privacy.

Such warrantless surveillance has found its counterpart in the claim by the Internal Revenue Service that it does not need a warrant to read our emails and that doing so does not violate the Constitution.

Incredibly, IRS attorneys have asserted in documents that the Fourth Amendment — which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures — does not protect email and that a warrant is not needed to plant a GPS location tracker on a car in its owner’s driveway.

“The Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on server, because Internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications,” says a 2009 “Search Warrant Handbook” by the IRS Criminal Tax Division’s Office of Chief Counsel.

The IRS claims that under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, government officials only need a subpoena, issued without a judge’s approval, to read emails that have been opened or that are more than 180 days old.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act request and released the information on Wednesday, begs to differ.

It cites the 2010 Warshak decision by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled the Fourth Amendment’s provisions trumped the provisions of the 1986 ECPA law. That means a warrant is required to read email — no matter where it is stored or how old it is.

In an October 2011 memo obtained by the ACLU, an IRS attorney explained that the Warshak decision applies only in the 6th Circuit, which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Since when do our constitutional rights depend on geography?

The Obama administration’s war on the Constitution knows no bounds, whether it be our First Amendment right to religious liberty, our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms or our protection against the government grabbing our possessions unreasonably. (IBD)

OBAMACARE UPDATE

Retired as a city worker, Sheila Pugach lives in a modest home on a quiet street in Albuquerque, N.M., and drives an 18-year-old Subaru.

Pugach doesn’t see herself as upper-income by any stretch, but President Barack Obama’s budget would raise her Medicare premiums and those of other comfortably retired seniors, adding to a surcharge that already costs some 2 million beneficiaries hundreds of dollars a year each.

More importantly, due to the creeping effects of inflation, 20 million Medicare beneficiaries would end up paying higher “income related” premiums for their outpatient and prescription coverage over time.

Administration officials say Obama’s proposal will help improve the financial stability of Medicare by reducing taxpayer subsidies for retirees who can afford to pay a bigger share of costs. Congressional Republicans agree with the president on this one, making it highly likely the idea will become law if there’s a budget deal this year.

But the way Pugach sees it, she’s being penalized for prudence, dinged for saving diligently.

It was the government, she says, that pushed her into a higher income bracket where she’d have to pay additional Medicare premiums.

IRS rules require people age 70-and-a-half and older to make regular minimum withdrawals from tax-deferred retirement nest eggs like 401(k)s. That was enough to nudge her over Medicare’s line.

“We were good soldiers when we were young,” said Pugach, who worked as a computer systems analyst. “I was afraid of not having money for retirement and I put in as much as I could. The consequence is now I have to pay about $500 a year more in Medicare premiums.”

Currently only about 1 in 20 Medicare beneficiaries pays the higher income-based premiums, which start at incomes over $85,000 for individuals and $170,000 for couples. As a reference point, the median or midpoint U.S. household income is about $53,000.

Obama’s budget would change Medicare’s upper-income premiums in several ways. First, it would raise the monthly amounts for those currently paying.

If the proposal were already law, Pugach would be paying about $168 a month for outpatient coverage under Medicare’s Part B, instead of $146.90.

Then, the plan would create five new income brackets to squeeze more revenue from the top tiers of retirees.

But its biggest impact would come through inflation.

The administration is proposing to extend a freeze on the income brackets at which seniors are liable for the higher premiums until 1 in 4 retirees has to pay. It wouldn’t be the top 5 percent anymore, but the top 25 percent.

“Over time, the higher premiums will affect people who by today’s standards are considered middle-income,” explained Tricia Neuman, vice president for Medicare policy at the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. “At some point, it raises questions about whether (Medicare) premiums will continue to be affordable.”

Required withdrawals from retirement accounts would be the trigger for some of these retirees. For others it could be taking a part-time job.

One consequence could be political problems for Medicare. A growing group of beneficiaries might come together around a shared a sense of grievance.

“That’s part of the problem with the premiums — they simply act like a higher tax based on income,” said David Certner, federal policy director for AARP, the seniors lobby.

“Means testing” of Medicare benefits was introduced in 2007 under President George W. Bush in the form of higher outpatient premiums for the top-earning retirees. Obama’s health care law expanded the policy and also added a surcharge for prescription coverage.

The latest proposal ramps up the reach of means testing and sets up a political confrontation between AARP and liberal groups on one side and fiscal conservatives on the other. The liberals have long argued that support for Medicare will be undermined if the program starts charging more for the well-to-do. Not only are higher-income people more likely to be politically active, they also tend to be in better health.

Fiscal conservatives say it makes no sense for government to provide the same generous subsidies to people who can afford to pay at least some of the cost themselves. As a rule, taxpayers pay for 75 percent of Medicare’s outpatient and prescription benefits. Even millionaires would still get a 10 percent subsidy on their premiums under Obama’s plan. Technically, both programs are voluntary.

“The government has to understand the difference between universal opportunity and universal subsidy,” said David Walker, the former head of the congressional Government Accountability Office. “This is a very modest step towards changing the government subsidy associated with Medicare’s two voluntary programs.”

It still doesn’t sit well with Sheila Pugach. She says she’s been postponing remodeling work on her 58-year-old house because she’s concerned about the cost. Having a convenient utility room so she doesn’t have to go out to the garage to do laundry would help with her back problems.

“They think all old people are living the life of Riley,” she said. (yahoo)

That’s the government’s job, did you know that. They run your life from beginning to end and you just trust that they know best and that everything will come out as it should. You should never doubt them.

We are from the Government and we are here to help you…. 🙂