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Bill Cosby’s Legacy, Recast

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A long and troubling article about Bill Cosby…

The Washington Post

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White House on Illegal Immigration vs. Reality

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama made some notable omissions Thursday night in his remarks about the unilateral actions he’s taking on immigration.

A look at his statements and how they compare with the facts:

OBAMA: “It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive – only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.”

THE FACTS: He’s saying, and doing, more than that. The changes also will make those covered eligible for work permits, allowing them to be employed in the country legally and compete with citizens and legal residents for better-paying jobs.

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OBAMA: “Although this summer, there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is now actually lower than it’s been in nearly two years.”

THE FACTS: The numbers certainly surged this year, but it was more than a “brief spike.” The number of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border has been on the rise since the 2011 budget year. That year about 16,000 children were found crossing the border alone. In 2012, the Border Patrol reported more than 24,000 children, followed by more than 38,800 in 2013. In the last budget year, more than 68,361 children were apprehended.

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OBAMA: “Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Those are the facts.”

THE FACTS: Indeed, in the 2014 budget year the Border Patrol made 486,651 arrests of border crossers, among the fewest since the early 1970s. But border arrests have been on the rise since 2011.

The decline in crossings is not purely, or perhaps even primarily, due to the Obama administration. The deep economic recession early in his presidency and the shaky aftermath made the U.S. a less attractive place to come for work. The increase in arrests since 2011 also can be traced in part to the economy — as the recovery improved, more people came in search of opportunity. Read the rest of this entry »


White House Exposed: Nov 20, 2014

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Obamacare Approval Rating Hits New Low As Open Enrollment Cancer Metastasizes

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Americans are getting sicker of Obamacare. Approval rating for the 2010 Affordable Care Act reached a record low this month as the open enrollment period began for 2015

 reports: According to a Gallup poll released Monday, only 37 percent of Americans say they approve of the health care law, down one percentage point from the previous low in January.

Similarly, the number of Americans who disapprove of the law hit a new high of 56 percent, according to a survey of 828 telephone interviews conducted earlier this month.

However, the law remains popular with those who have signed up for coverage, with about 75 percent saying they would renew their policies or shop for another ACA health plan.

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Gallup asked: “Do you generally approve or disapprove of the 2010 Affordable Healthcare Act, signed into law by President Obama that restructured the U.S. healthcare system?”  Reuters

Obamacare has especially taken a hit with independents, who are much frostier toward the law than they were two years ago, when it was at the height of its popularity. Only 33 percent of independents say they approve of the ACA, compared with 74 percent of Democrats and 8 percent of Republicans. The poll reveals racial divisions as well, with only 29 percent of whites voicing their approval, compared with 56 percent of nonwhites. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Who’s The Man? Former Obama Adviser: Gruber Was the Man on Obamacare

“I remember that when I was in the White House, he was certainly viewed as an important figure in helping put Obamacare together.”

At The Corner,  Brendan Bordelon writes: Former Obama adviser Steve Rattner lamented the White House’s response to the series of revealing comments made by Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, saying their attempt to deny any association with the MIT professor is hard to take seriously.

BONUS VIDEO: #Grubergate in Two Minutes

“The problem is not that Gruber helped them put Obamacare together, because he was the man. The problem is what he’s said in the last two weeks, and how the White House has handled it.”

Rattner led a White House auto-industry task force in 2009 — the same year that Gruber helped the administration craft what would eventually become Obamacare…(read more)

National Review Online


[VIDEO] Obama in 2006: ‘I Have Stolen Ideas Liberally’ From Jonathan Gruber

At The Corner, Brendan Bordelon writes: This weekend, President Obama dismissed MIT professor Jonathan Gruber as “some adviser who never worked on our staff.” But back in 2006, the president struck a much more laudatory tone while addressing the future architect of Obamacare.

At a Brookings Institution meeting in 2006, Obama praised the policy accomplishments…(read more)

National Review Online


Philip Klein: Obamacare Repeal is More Likely, and Now GOP Needs an Alternative

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Philip Klein writes:  This month, two developments have shaken the conventional wisdom that repealing President Obama’s healthcare law is an impossibility.

First, Republicans scored a historic election victory, not only taking control of the Senate but likely winning the most House seats since 1928 — the year before Ernest Hemingway published A Farewell to Arms.

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Second, the Supreme Court took up another case on Obamacare, and if the justices rule against the administration, it would force a re-opening of the law.

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“Benson’s fear is that if the Supreme Court rules against the Obama administration, whatever the merits of the decision, liberal media would portray it as a right-wing court ripping health insurance away from millions over a silly typo out of animosity for the poor. And if Republicans didn’t pass a simple fix to change the wording, they’d be accused of mass murder.”

This doesn’t even account for the recently released videos of one of Obamacare’s main architects, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, conceding that Democrats misled the public to get the legislation passed, benefiting from “the stupidity of the American voter.”

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“The problem for Republicans — which I tried to convey to Benson in a spirited exchange that followed — is that going along with such a “fix” would be rightly seen as a complete surrender by Republicans that would alienate conservatives and enshrine Obamacare forever.”

The prospects of repealing Obamacare can now be better described, in the words of Rocco Lampone in The Godfather Part II, as “difficult, not impossible.”

But the hope of repealing Obamacare, however remote, is all the more reason for Republicans to begin coalescing around a real alternative to the law.

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“That is why conservatives should push Republicans to have an alternative plan ready to pass should the Supreme Court strike down the federal subsidies — a decision that should come by late June. “

Due to their suspicions of Republicans, whenever anybody utters the phrases “Obamacare alternative” or “repeal and replace,” many conservatives tend to hear “Obamacare lite.”

However, not every alternative to Obamacare needs to be a watered-down version of the healthcare law. And in fact, it’s always worth keeping in mind that even before Obamacare, the United States did not have a free market healthcare system. Read the rest of this entry »


Exposed: Jonathan Gruber’s Impressive Record of White House Endorsements

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“The fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is no  reflection on the actual process that was run.”


[VIDEO] REWIND: Harry Reid’s Glowing Praise for Obamacare Designer Jon Gruber

In 2009, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., heaped praise on Jonathan Gruber, one of the chief architects of the Affordable Care Act, calling the MIT health economist “one of the most respected” in his field of expertise.

“Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Jonathan Gruber, who is one of the most respected economists in the world, said in today’s Washington Post: ‘Here’s a bill that reduces the deficit, covers 30 million people and has the promise of lowering premiums.’ Pretty good statement.”

“The Congressional Budget Office said yesterday the majority of American families who buy insurance in the new marketplace we will create — what we call health insurance exchanges — what they will see is their premiums go down,” Reid said from the floor of the U.S. Senate…(read more)

WashingtonExaminer.com


[VIDEO] HHS Secretary Tries to Distance Admin from Gruber Comments

When asked if Gruber will be welcomed back by the administration for consultation on the law, Burwell refused to answer, twice dodging Todd’s questions

At The CornerAndrew Johnson writes:

Health and Human Service secretary Sylvia Burwell disavowed the series of comments by MIT professor and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber that surfaced throughout the week, in which he mocked the intelligence of American voters and told an audience that the law passed due to a lack of transparency(read more)

Big Brother Bonus: see next post.


The Probe That Launched a Thousand Shirts

Space scientist Matt Taylor apologized for the shirt he wore during live coverage of the Rosetta mission to land a probe on a comet. VPC

Better not to land a spaceship on a comet than let men wear sexist clothing.

Glenn Reynolds writes: So how are things going for feminism? Well, last week, some feminists took one of the great achievements of human history — landing a probe from Earth on a comet hundreds of millions of miles away — and made it all about the clothes.mt

“…what should have been the greatest day in a man’s life — accomplishing something never before done in the history of humanity — was instead derailed by people with their own axes to grind. “

Yes, that’s right. After years of effort, the European Space Agency’s lander Philae landed on a comet  300 million miles away. At first, people were excited. Then some women noticed that one of the space scientists, Matt Taylor, was wearing a shirt, made for him by a female “close pal,” featuring comic-book depictions of semi-naked women. And suddenly, the triumph of the comet landing was drowned out by shouts of feminist outrage about … what people were wearing. It was one small shirt for a man, one giant leap backward for womankind.

“Whatever feminists say, their true priorities are revealed in what they do, and what they do is, mostly,  man-bashing and special pleading”

The Atlantic’s Rose Eveleth tweeted, “No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt.” Astrophysicist Katie Mack commented: “I don’t care what scientists wear. But a shirt featuring women in lingerie isn’t appropriate for a broadcast if you care about women in STEM.” And from there, the online feminist lynch mob took off until Taylor was forced to deliver new-schoola tearful apology on camera.

[Glenn Reynolds‘ book “The New School: How the Information Age Will Save American Education from Itself is available at Amazon]

It seems to me that if you care about women in STEM, maybe you shouldn’t want to communicate the notion that they’re so delicate that they can’t handle pictures of comic-book women. Will we stock our Mars spacecraft with fainting couches?

Not everyone was so censorious. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] SIXTH Gruber Video Emerges: ‘Mislabeling’ Helped Us Get Rid of Tax Breaks

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Jake Tapper reports:  In a 2011 conversation about the Affordable Care Act, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the law more commonly known as Obamacare, talked about how the bill would get rid of all tax credits for employer-based health insurance through “mislabeling” what the tax is and who it would hit.

“What that means is the tax that starts out hitting only 8% of the insurance plans essentially amounts over the next 20 years essentially getting rid of the exclusion for employer sponsored plans. This was the only political way we were ever going to take on one of the worst public policies in America.”

In recent days, the past comments of Gruber — who in a 2010 speech noted that he “helped write the federal bill” and “was a paid consultant to the Obama administration to help develop the technical details as well” — have been given renewed attention.

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In previously posted but only recently noticed speeches, Gruber discusses how those pushing the bill took part in an “exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” taking advantage of voters’ “stupidity” to create a law that would ultimately be good for them.

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The issue at hand in this sixth video is known as the “Cadillac tax,” which was represented as a tax on employers’ expensive health insurance plans…(read more)

“Economists have called for 40 years to get rid of the regressive, inefficient and expensive tax subsidy provided for employer provider health insurance.”

Gruber said at the Pioneer Institute for public policy research in Boston.

“It turns out politically it’s really hard to get rid of. And the only way we could get rid of it was first by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people when we all know it’s a tax on people who hold those insurance plans.”

(The White House press secretary said at a press briefing in 2010: “I would disagree with your notion that it is a tax on an individual since the proposal is written as a tax on an insurance company that offers a plan.”

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The second way was have the tax kick in “late, starting in 2018. But by starting it late, we were able to tie the cap for Cadillac Tax to CPI, not medical inflation,” Gruber said. CPI is the consumer price index, which is lower than medical inflation.

Gruber explains that by drafting the bill this way, they were able to pass something that would initially only impact some employer plans though it would eventually hit almost every employer plan….(read more)

Gruber’s are at about the 30:38 mark here.

Former White House press secretary Jay Carney told CNN that Gruber’s remarks in general were “very harmful politically to the president.” Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The Fun Never Stops: FIFTH Video Emerges, Showing Gruber Gleefully Mocking Vermont Man Worried About Obamacare

“Was this written by my adolescent children by any chance?”

– Jonathan Gruber

Watchdog.org‘s Bruce Parker reports: A video from Vermont shows Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber mocking a Vermonter who expressed concern about single-payer health care.

“It was actually written by a former senior policy adviser in the White House who knew something about health care systems.”

In the 2011 video shot by TrueNorthReports.com and released on Thursday, Gruber appears before the Vermont House Health Care Committee to present recommendations for a universal, publicly financed health care program.

“No one should trust this man. Based on the rest of the stuff that’s come out on the videos, nobody can trust this guy. He has no use for transparency. He thinks people are stupid, and he’ll do anything to get this thing through and pocket his $400,000. That’s not in the interest of the people of Vermont.”

– John McClaughry, two-term Vermont state senator

The recommendations were part of the 2011 “Hsiao Report” submitted to the legislature by economist William C. Hsiao and co-written by Gruber. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] SMOKING GUN: Gruber Admits Obama Was in Room During Planning of ‘Cadillac’ Tax Bait-and-Switch

June 13, 2012, Gruber interviews with Frontline and tells them that the Cadillac tax issue was addressed. Obama knew it was going to be a problem, and they all agreed to lie about it.


[VIDEO] Jon Gruber in… HEALTHCARE PLAN 9 FROM M.I.T.

David Burge @iowahawkblog


Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Writes Good-bye Letter to Leg

Originally posted on TIME:

A Boston Marathon bombing survivor penned an emotional farewell on Facebook to her leg, badly injured in the blast, before it was amputated Monday.

After over 15 surgeries that failed to restore function in her left leg, 27-year-old Rebekah Gregory announced Friday that her doctor would “finally cut off the one thing that is holding me back.” She shared a photo gallery captioned “Left leg’s last day,” alongside a light-hearted goodbye letter to the limb.

Hey it’s me.

I’m sure it won’t come as a shock to you when I say that we’ve grown apart. The love that we once had has dwindled, and this relationship has become a real burden on my life. We have been through a lot together. We have seen a lot of places, done a lot of things, and you have helped me through some of the toughest steps thus far. I promise to always…

View original 293 more words


Obama to Violate Constitutional Authority with 10-point Immigration Plan Starting Next Week

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Epic showdown over immigration on the horizon

BREAKING: President Obama is planning to unveil a 10-part plan for overhauling U.S. immigration policy via executive action — including suspending deportations for millions — as early as next Friday, a source close to the White House told Fox News.

[Also see – Democratic Party Favorable Rating Falls to Record Low]

The president’s plans were contained in a draft proposal from a U.S. government agency. The source said the plan could be announced as early as Nov. 21, though the date might slip a few days pending final White House approval.

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Obama was briefed at the White House by Homeland Security officials before leaving on his Asia-Pacific trip last week, Fox News has learned.

The plan contains 10 initiatives than span everything from boosting border security to improving pay for immigration officers.

But the most controversial planks pertain to the millions who could get a deportation reprieve under what is known as “deferred action.”

The plan calls for expanding deferred action for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children — but also for the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.

The latter could allow upwards of 4.5 million illegal immigrant adults with U.S.-born children to stay, according to estimates. Read the rest of this entry »


‘People Are Going To Be In For A Shock’: Penalty For Uninsured Not Signing Up For Obamacare To More Than Triple

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Americans will see their bank accounts shrink if they don’t sign up for Obamacare in its second enrollment season.

“The penalty is meant to incentivize people to get coverage. “This year, I think a lot of people are going to be in for a shock.”

–  Laura Adams, senior analyst of InsuranceQuotes.com

Uninsured Americans who decide not to enroll will face a penalty of $325 per person, more than tripling the $95 penalty those who did not enroll had to pay the first time around.

Children under the age of 18 will be fined $162.50. The maximum amount an uninsured family will be penalized is $975 under the flat-rate method. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Yet Another Video Emerges Of Gruber Calling Americans Stupid

Alex Griswold reports: Yet another video has emerged of MIT professor and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber calling Americans “stupid,” and bragging about how the Affordable Care Act’s drafters had to deceive the public in order to pass the law.

“…the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.”

Fox NewsMegyn Kelly was the first to air the video on her program, “The Kelly File.” Kelly played the video of Gruber appearing on MSNBC’s “Ronan Farrow Daily” apologizing for his earlier remarks. “I was speaking off the cuff and I spoke inappropriately, and I regret making those comments,” he said.

“But now tonight,” Kelly reported, ” more video has surfaced showing this was not the first time Mr. Gruber called the American people stupid in an ‘off-the-cuff’ remark. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Gruber may believe that American voters are stupid, but he was the one who was dumb enough to say all this on camera’

 writes: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Jonathan Gruber was, by most accounts, one of the key figures in constructing the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare….(read more)

Here’s the full quote:

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that.  In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass….Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

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This validates much of what critics have said about the health care law, and the tactics used to pass it, for years.

For one thing, it is an explicit admission that the law was designed in such a way to avoid a CBO score that would have tanked the bill. Basically, the Democrats who wrote the bill knowingly gamed the CBO process.

[Also see Of Course Jonathan Gruber Said That by Charles C. W. Cooke]

It’s also an admission that the law’s authors understood that one of the effects of the bill would be to make healthy people pay for the sick, but declined to say this for fear that it would kill the bill’s chances. In other words, the law’s supporters believed the public would not like some of the bill’s consequences, and knowingly attempted to hide those consequences from the public. Read the rest of this entry »


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