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What Was Indicted Doctor Hoping to Buy With $100k Donation to Harry Reid’s Super PAC?

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Michael Patrick Leahy reports: In its indictment of Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida opthalmologist, the Department of Justice cites Melgen’s $600,000 donation to Senator Harry Reid’s (D-NV) Senate Majority PAC in 2012. That money, the feds charge, was earmarked for the successful re-election of Menendez, and was part of “hundreds of thousands of dollars and contributions to entities that benefitted MENENDEZ’s 2012 Senate campaign, in exchange for specific requested exercises of MENENDEZ’s official authority.”

“Having worked for the Justice Department for many years, I was taken aback, upon carefully reviewing the indictment, at the lengths to which prosecutors went to downplay or omit salient details of Sen. Reid’s participation in a corruption scheme for which they’ve charged Sen. Menendez.” 

— Former chief assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Andy McCarthy

The indictment makes no mention of the additional $100,000 Melgen contributed to the Senate Majority PAC a mere two weeks before Reid arranged an August 2, 2012 meeting among himself, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and Menendez.

[Read the full text here, at Breitbart]

At that meeting, Menendez advocated directly to Secretary Sebelius on behalf of Melgen’s appeal of an HHS finding that he owed $8.9 million for overbilling Medicare in 2007 and 2008. That advocacy, the indictment charges, was the influence Melgen received from Menendez in return for his $600,000 contribution to Reid’s Senate Majority PAC.

That charge leads to an obvious question.

If Melgen’s $600,000 contribution to Senate Majority PAC was an illegal quid-pro-quo between Melgen and Menendez, does it not stand to reason that Melgen’s $100,000 contribution to the same Senate Majority PAC was an illegal quid-pro-quo between Melgen and Reid in which the influence Melgen received was Reid’s arrangement of and participation in the August 2, 2012 meeting attended by Reid, Sebelius, and Menendez?

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“I don’t understand, for example, how you go to the trouble of itemizing trivial gifts like Melgen’s buying Menendez a $360 steakhouse dinner but leave out Melgen’s giving $100,000 to a Reid-controlled super PAC just a few days before Reid — not Menendez — arranged a meeting with the HHS secretary to intervene in Melgen’s $8.9 million Medicare billing dispute.”

— Former chief assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Andy McCarthy

Menendez benefited from the $600,000 that was earmarked to his campaign because it helped him sail to a 19-point re-election victory in deep-blue New Jersey. Reid benefited from the $100,000 that was not earmarked because he was able to allocate it as he wished to assist more vulnerable Democrat candidates in 2012. Those efforts were successful, and Reid emerged from the general elections with his position of Senate Majority Leader still intact.

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“The facts and circumstances outlined in the Menendez indictment clearly implicate the current Democratic Senate Minority Leader in the scheme to sell influence for huge campaign contributions.”

Two former federal prosecutors tell Breitbart News that the Department of Justice, which indicted Menendez on Wednesday for his role “in the scheme to sell influence for huge campaign contributions,” has chosen “to downplay or omit salient details of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) participation in [that] corruption scheme.”

“It is obvious that the Justice Department chose to calibrate its charges so as to skip Reid. The timing and size of the contributions to Reid’s PAC coupled with his personal attendance at a meeting with Secretary Sebelius along with Menendez on behalf of the Doctor demonstrate facts sufficient to warrant further investigation.”

— Former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova

“The facts and circumstances outlined in the Menendez indictment clearly implicate the current Democratic Senate Minority Leader in the scheme to sell influence for huge campaign contributions,” former U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova tells Breitbart News.

“It is obvious that the Justice Department chose to calibrate its charges so as to skip Reid. The timing and size of the contributions to Reid’s PAC coupled with his personal attendance at a meeting with Secretary Sebelius along with Menendez on behalf of the Doctor demonstrate facts sufficient to warrant further investigation,” di Genova adds.

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“The fundraiser referenced in the indictment as ‘Fundraiser 2′ and Dr. Melgen are personal friends, and we were not aware of the full extent of their communication until the indictment came out [Wednesday] night. While we are confident that this was an isolated incident, the fundraiser in question is no longer with Senate Majority PAC.”

— Stephanie Potter, executive director of Senate Majority PAC

“Having worked for the Justice Department for many years, I was taken aback, upon carefully reviewing the indictment, at the lengths to which prosecutors went to downplay or omit salient details of Sen. Reid’s participation in a corruption scheme for which they’ve charged Sen. Menendez,” former chief assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Andy McCarthy tells Breitbart News.

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“I don’t understand, for example, how you go to the trouble of itemizing trivial gifts like Melgen’s buying Menendez a $360 steakhouse dinner but leave out Melgen’s giving $100,000 to a Reid-controlled super PAC just a few days before Reid — not Menendez — arranged a meeting with the HHS secretary to intervene in Melgen’s $8.9 million Medicare billing dispute,” McCarthy says.

A spokesperson for Senate Majority PAC attempted to distance the organization from the illegal activity described in the indictment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Megyn Kelly Takes On Sandra Fluke

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I watched this live a few hours ago, it was memorable. Armed with sharp logic and verbal firepower, Fluke’s paper-thin arguments were reduced to ashes in only a few moments of uninterrupted (Kelly was uninterruptible) guest time. An example of why I have nightmares about being on the wrong end of an argument with Megyn Kelly.

Read the whole thing here, and see the video here as well.

For The Daily CallerKatie Frates writes:

Fox’s Megyn Kelly passionately defended religious liberty on “The O’Reilly Factor” Monday after the Supreme Court sided in favor of Hobby Lobby in a 5-4 decision.

O’Reilly played a clip of Sandra Fluke on Chris Matthews’ MSNBC show Monday night, where Fluke described the decision as an attempt to limit women’s access to health care, saying “What this is really about at its base is trying to figure out as many ways as possible to limit women’s access to reproductive healthcare.”

“…we passed Obamacare. And then Kathleen Sebelius had some of her HHS minions go down in the basement and write a regulation that said as part of Obamacare, you have to cover 20 out of 20 birth-control drugs — 20 out of 20. And then women like Sandra Fluke started saying, ‘I’m entitled. Oh my God, I didn’t realize how victimized I was all those years when I was paying for it on my own…’”

Kelly wasted no time in launching into an explanation of the ridiculousness of Flukes allegation.

“It hurts, it hurts, it doesn’t matter how many times you say something,” she said. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s true if she says it over and over, it’s not true, just don’t believe that, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

“The Supreme Court said, ‘You’re right’. This [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] law passed by President [Bill] Clinton, that all those Democrats who are now rejecting signed on to — also voted for — that law protects you, Hobby Lobby, and Kathleen Sebelius’s minions in the basement don’t get to take your rights away from you.”

“So it’s a lot of corporations that could be affected, but only those who feel strongly about their religious beliefs,” Kelly explained. “Those folks aren’t going to have to provide abortion-related drugs: drugs that terminate an already-fertilized egg. Read the rest of this entry »


Sebelius Blames ‘Right-Wing Media’, ‘Shadow Political Organizations’, ‘Hostile Governors, ‘Hostile Legislators’ For Obamacare Failures

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For The Daily CallerSarah Hurtubise reports: Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius took aim at her “hostile” right-wing opponents Tuesday, in her first speech after resigning her top post.

“We had right-wing media, leadership in Congress who was determined on the House side to stop this law at any cost, shadow political organizations, hostile governors, hostile legislators, all working to make sure you couldn’t do the job that was so important.”

— Kathleen Sebelius

At the State of Enrollment conference run by Enroll America, an Obamacare-promoting nonprofit run by former Obama White House staffer Anne Filipic, Sebelius addressed a friendly audience with a host of typical pro-Obamacare speakers, from insurance executive Dan Hilferty, Independence Blue Cross CEO, to Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. Read the rest of this entry »


[CHART] Eric Shinseki is in WAY worse shape than Kathleen Sebelius. Just look…

From The Fix, Philip Bump:

…We compiled calls for the resignation of each Cabinet secretary from news reports, plotting them in relation to the moment at which each secretary’s position reached a moment of crisis. For Sebelius, we put that at the day after the launch of Healthcare.gov, October 2, 2013. For Shinseki, we put it at CNN’s report on backups at VA hospitals on April 23 of this year.

Here’s the comparison…

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(read more)

Washingtonpost.com


A Message from Bill Clinton

ClintonHey


BREAKING NEWS: Bowing to Pressure from punditfromanotherplanet, White House Responds: Health Secretary Resigns

Sebelius-Resigns

No longer able to withstand the increasing pressure from punditfromanotherplanet, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius resigns in disgrace, as Democrats struggle to hold Senate in upcoming mid-term elections

NYTimes.com reports: WASHINGTON — Kathleen Sebelius, 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.

The system is down at the moment. We are experiencing technical difficulties and hope to have them resolved soon.”

— Kathleen Sebelius, struggling to defend the website and the health care law

Mr. Obama accepted Ms. Sebelius’s resignation this week, and on Friday morning he will nominate Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace her, officials said.

“If I could take something along with me, it would be “all the animosity. If that could just leave with me, and we could get to a new chapter, that would be terrific.”

— Kathleen Sebelius

The departure comes as the Obama administration tries to move beyond its early stumbles in carrying out the law, persuade a still-skeptical public of its lasting benefits, and help Democratic incumbents, who face blistering attack ads after supporting the legislation, survive the midterm elections this fall.

[See: Kathy, We Knew Ye Too Well: Sebelius Resigns Five Years Too Late]

“President Obama has headed off panic over Sebelius’ departure by reassuring the nation that he has another unqualified failure to take her place.”

Tim Cavanaugh

Officials said Ms. Sebelius, 65, made the decision to resign and was not forced out. But the frustration at the White House over her performance had become increasingly clear, as administration aides worried that the crippling problems at HealthCare.gov, the website set up to enroll Americans in insurance exchanges, would result in lasting damage to the president’s legacy. Read the rest of this entry »


Kathleen Sebelius: Insulated, Arrogant, Disinterested, Declines to Respond to Reporter in Bizarre On-Air Silence

Sebelius Has No Comment After Hearing Oklahoma’s Opposition To ObamaCare (March 31, 2014)


‘Obamacare Extension Is Not An Extension’

Kathleen Sebelius

Wynton Hall writes:  Embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that the Obama administration’s decision to extend the Obamacare open enrollment period is not, in fact, an extension.

“This is not an extension of open enrollment. It is just saying, like you do on election day, if you’re in line to vote, we want to make sure you vote.”

— Sebelius, to Michigan Fox 2

However, unlike election day, the Washington Post says the Obama administration will give people several weeks – until mid-April – to enroll.

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Read the rest of this entry »


Failing Liberals Turn To Oppression To Hold On To Power

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Kurt Schlichter  writes:  If you’re a conservative, you don’t need to silence the opposition.

In fact, we conservatives want liberals to talk, to make buffoons of themselves, to prove their folly. We want liberals to expound upon their ridiculous ideas, to show the world exactly what they’re about. Nancy Pelosi? Give that tiresome woman a microphone. Chatty liberals are the best advertisement for conservatism.

But liberals just can’t have conservatives speaking. We’ll tell the truth, and that’s why liberals need to shut us up.

Their traditional intimidation tactics are wearing out. Calling someone a “racist” used to be a devastating moral indictment. Liberals’ promiscuous employment of the word first turned it into a cliché and then into an ironic punchline.

I know, saying that out loud is racist. And sexist. And cisgender heteronormative, whatever the hell that means.

So now liberals have stepped up to formal governmental repression. Take the IRS scandal – or ex-scandal, in the eyes of the mainstream media. The Obama administration, at the urging of red state Democrat senators who are about to lose their seats because of their track records of failure, are doing everything they can to turn the taxman loose on the organizations that are pointing out their track records of failure.

Read the rest of this entry »


Corporate Backing is Helping Obamacare Infect National Economy like a Virus

forced-medical

Obamacare virus is infecting mainstream American life as business conglomerates, sports teams and crony capitalists voluntarily inject it into the corporate bloodstream

Fans of the Jet City Rollergirls are hearing public announcements about Obamacare when they go to the roller derby track north of Seattle.

Univision, the nation’s largest Spanish-language television network, is airing half-hour specials about healthy living and educating viewers about how to sign up for coverage under President Obama’s health law.

“…we knew that if we wanted to reach young people, this couldn’t look like a traditional government program…”

— Michael Marchand

And tax preparers at thousands of Jackson Hewitt and H&R Block offices are talking to their customers about how to enroll in the new insurance plans sold through the law’s online marketplaces.

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Although many companies are wary of associating with the health law while it remains a political lightning rod, the Affordable Care Act is increasingly entering the mainstream as major corporations, sports teams and others integrate it into their businesses.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Obama vs. O’Reilly: Obama’s Credo ‘When All Else Fails, Assign Blame’

ObamaSuperBowl

Ace nails it:  

Obama claims that Benghazi is a false scandal which is only talked about because people on FoxNews keep talking about it. Full video below. He denies everything. He also denies denying everything.

 

“These kind of things keep resurfacing in part because you and your TV station will promote them..”

Deadline Hollywood reports:

Things turned tense quickly today between President Obama and Bill O’Reilly in their Super Bowl pregame interview. “OK, Bill, you’ve got a long list of my mistakes,” Obama said to The O’Reilly Factor host near the gutfeld-obama-whinesstart of their 10-minute live interview on Fox. That remark — in response to a question from O’Reilly whether it was the biggest mistake of Obama’s presidency when he told Americans no one would lose their healthcare under Obamacare — was one of a number of points on which the two butted heads.  The duo sparred almost from the beginning in the interview live from the White House this afternoon. Obama also took on Fox News Channel when O’Reilly asked him about reports the IRS was investigating Tea Party-related groups for political reasons. “These kind of things keep resurfacing in part because you and your TV station will promote them,” Obama said. “When you look there have been multiple hearings.” Obama denied any corruption, just some “boneheaded decisions.” Earlier, the Fox News host interrupted Obama with a “you’re not going to answer that?” as the President replied to a question about why he didn’t fire Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius after the botched online launch of Obamacare.

Read the rest of this entry »


Mess-O-Rama: Benghazi, Obamacare and the Absence of Accountability

“I think of a Conservative, and I take away reason, and accountability”

Ruth Marcus  writes:  In the narrative of every political scandal comes the accountability moment. New facts slow to a trickle, and the next, insistent demand becomes: Who is being held accountable? This is often a dumb question, asked for lack of a more fruitful topic and fueled by partisans more interested in point-scoring than in problem-fixing.The better question is: What is the goal of accountability? A showy, timed-for-the-evening-news firing to demonstrate action and quiet the baying hounds? Or a change in personnel that will help clean up the mess at hand or send a cautionary message to deter future messes?

Consider the recent mess-o-rama. The botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act. The Senate report that deemed the attack in Benghazi, Libya, preventable and raised questions about accountability, or lack thereof. The mounting problems of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Read the rest of this entry »


Obamacare vs. Colorado’s Legalization of Marijuana: A Tale of Two Rollouts

PJ Media‘s Stephen Green has a timely exploration of parallel rollouts:

Frank Nuccio wears a "pothead" button on his jacket while attending a cannabis cooking class in Denver, Colorado, on Thursday, April 18, 2013. (Werner R. Slocum/MCT)

(Werner R. Slocum/MCT)

Stephen Green writes:  Two months ago, Healthcare.gov went live, sort of, as the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act finally went into full effect across the nation. On the first of this new year, right here in Colorado, it became fully legal to sell marijuana for recreational purposes.

Let us compare and contrast the two rollouts, shall we?

The first product, heath insurance, was so desperately needed by some 47 million Americans who lacked it, that our entire healthcare infrastructure had to be upended by force of law in order to accommodate them.

Pot is something which some unknown number of Americans, but probably quite a bit less than 47 million, merely desire.

On the first day those 47 million uninsured Americans were able to purchase health insurance on Healthcare.gov, six obamacaredid so. Not six million. Six. As in five, six, seven. Only they never made it all the way to seven.

On the first day pot was legally available for recreational use in Colorado, thousands made purchases.

During Healthcare.gov’s period of growing pains, untold thousands, perhaps a million, frustrated customers gave up before they could complete simply setting up an account.

In Colorado last week the scene was somewhat different:

Read the rest of this entry »


Vatican’s Consultant Firm Warned White House of Obamacare Rollout Flop

 (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Dr. Susan Berry writes:  The private U.S. management consultancy firm hired by the Vatican to advise it on its media operations is the same firm that warned the White House of serious problems with the Obamacare rollout.

As Breitbart News reported Friday, the Vatican has hired McKinsey & Co. to “make the organization of the means of communication of the Holy See more functional, efficient, and modern.” McKinsey is considered to be one of the “Big Three” in management consulting services to Fortune 500 companies, the other two being Bain & Company and The Boston Consulting Group.

According to Opensecrets.org, individuals at McKinsey & Co. contributed $121,106 to Barack Obama for his re-election campaign; $159,388 to DNC Services Corp.; $71,450 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; $57,500 to the Democrats’ Priorities USA Action and $25,000 to the Democrats’ House Majority PAC; $21,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; and $25,000 to Planned Parenthood Votes.

Individual McKinsey & Co. donations to GOP candidates and causes included $100,053 to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign; $68,460 to the Republican National Committee; and $38,700 to Arkansas Republican Rep. Tom Cotton.

Read the rest of this entry »


Obama Repeals ObamaCare

Potus-Obama

Under pressure from Senate Democrats, the President partly suspends the individual mandate

It seems Nancy Pelosi was wrong when she said “we have to pass” ObamaCare to “find out what’s in it.” No one may ever know because the White House keeps treating the Affordable Care Act’s text as a mere suggestion subject to day-to-day revision. Its latest political retrofit is the most brazen: President Obama is partly suspending the individual mandate.

The White House argued at the Supreme Court that the insurance-purchase mandate was not only constitutional but essential to the law’s success, while refusing Republican demands to delay or repeal it. But late on Thursday, with only four days to go before the December enrollment deadline, the Health and Human Services Department decreed that millions of Americans are suddenly exempt.

Individuals whose health plans were canceled will now automatically qualify for a “hardship exemption” from the mandate. If they can’t or don’t sign up for a new plan, they don’t have to pay the tax. They can also get a special category of ObamaCare insurance designed for people under age 30.

So merry Christmas. If ObamaCare’s benefit and income redistribution requirements made your old, cheaper, better health plan illegal, you now have the option of going without coverage without the government taking your money as punishment. You can also claim the tautological consolation of an ObamaCare hardship exemption due to ObamaCare itself.

Read the rest of this entry »


Obama has shown how a future GOP president can gut Obamacare

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Philip Klien writes: I owe Mitt Romney an apology.

During the 2012 Republican presidential primary season, I repeatedly criticized Romney — and personally challenged him during his editorial board meeting with the Washington Examiner — for promising that if elected, on day one of his presidency, he would grant Obamacare waivers to all 50 states.

As I reported, under the text of the law, the ability to offer waivers to states was subject to many restrictions and wouldn’t even be an option until 2017, four years after his hypothetical swearing in.

Though I still believe I was right about what the statute said, as it turns out, I was being old-fashioned by taking the letter of the law so literally.

Read the rest of this entry »


Obama’s untouchables: Holder, Clinton, Lerner, Rice, and Sebelius

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Lloyd Marcus writes:  How many times must we see this movie before realizing that the ending never changes? Act one: An Obama Administration official is found to be incompetent, grossly negligent, or caught blatantly and arrogantly lying to the American people.

Act two: Media and pundits express their outrage and proclaim that the guilty official’s head will surely roll. Confidently, they predict that it is only a matter of time before [fill in the blank] is forced to resign.

Act three: The scandal gradually falls off the media and the public’s radar. The once thought to be doomed Administration official remains on the government payroll, is moved to another position or simply continues on as if nothing ever happened without consequence. No accountability. We all move on.

Talk about deja vu all over again, Kathleen Sebelius is the latest in the growing list of Obama Administration officials who when caught wrongdoing simply politically give the American people the finger. The roll-out of Obamacare has been a disaster.

Arrogantly, Sebelius has refused to accept responsibility for her gross incompetence, even attempting to pass the blame on to the public and Republicans. Further poking her finger in our eye, Sebelius boldly announced that she does not work for We The People.

Please allow me to refresh your memory about a few earlier arrogant Obama Administration untouchables.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Kathleen Sebelius As Obamacare Website Crashes

The perpetually annoyed Health and Human Services overlord Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had an embarrassing moment in Florida yesterday as she was touring Miami.

She was meeting with Obamacare Navigators when the HealthCare.Gov website crashed right in front of her. This must happen a lot because she took it in stride, saying cheerfully, “Uh oh!” while her host said, “Oh, that happens every day!”

Read the rest of this entry »


BURN NOTICE: A. Let it Proceed as Designed. B. Don’t Bring Water.

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“Everything burns”

Hot Air


Obama Loses His Cool

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Only the pant crease remains

Rich Lowry writes:  Barack Obama is the coolest president we’ve had since John F. Kennedy, at least according to conventional standards for such things. Obama has always been a brand as much as a politician, one that has been perceived as sleek, smart, and up to date.

Then along came HealthCare.gov. Its failure to launch is a signal event in the long political battle over Obamacare and perhaps an inflection point in the president’s image. It’s hard to maintain a sense of truly being on the cutting edge of change when you can’t build a website.

Obama’s cool was, in part, an artifact of world-class marketing. Graphic designer Michael Bierut writes in the book Designing Obama (yes, there’s such a book) of how impressed he was watching Obama rallies in 2008: “The awe-inspiring part was the way all the signs were faithfully, and beautifully, set in Hoefler & Frere-Jones’s typeface Gotham.” If only the folks at Health and Human Services were consumed with such attention to detail.

Read the rest of this entry »


Obamacare: ‘if the law actually goes down this time there will be a lot of fingerprints on the murder weapon’

The Three Burials of Obamacare

Douthat_New-articleInline writes: The first time Obamacare seemed finished, doomed, doornail-dead, the voters of Massachusetts played the would-be executioner. In January 2010, they sent a pickup-driving Republican to the Senate to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat, apparently depriving the health care bill of its crucial 60th vote and sending Democrats scrambling for a Plan B.

[See also: The Next 90 Days: the Obama Administration will Declare Victory and then Abandon Most of Obamacare]

Except that Plan B turned out to be Plan A, thanks to the maneuverings of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and the surprising stiffness of Democratic spines — and a bill that seemed undone by voter backlash went staggering across the legislative finish line instead.

The second time Obamacare seemed headed for an early grave, it was the conservative justices on the Supreme Court who were was going to see it off, by following through on their oral-argument inclinations and finding the individual mandate unconstitutional. Read the rest of this entry »


The Choo-Choo Train of Doom

Little Miss Disaster-Pants

Little Miss Disaster-Pants

 The Worst Is Yet to Come 

There probably isn’t time to mitigate the ObamaCare debacle.

James Taranto writes:  The ObamaCare debacle carries the name of the president and the face of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the highest-ranking official subject to congressional oversight. Sebelius was on Capitol Hill again today, testifying before the Senate Finance Committee. She assured the Democrat-run panel that “repairs are under way on the most serious [technical] problems” afflicting the federal insurance exchange, The Wall Street Journal reports. Such problems, she claimed, number “a couple of hundred.”

The exchange was supposed to be functional at the beginning of October. The administration now promises it will be by the end of November. Sebelius’s assurances strained the credulity even of Chairman Max Baucus, who cast the deciding vote to pass ObamaCare in December 2009. “It has been disappointing to hear members of the administration say they didn’t see problems coming,” Baucus told Sebelius today. “We heard multiple times that everything was on track. We now know that was not the case.” In April Baucus famously told Sebelius “he saw ‘a huge train wreck coming down,’ ” a statement that proved to be an outrageous slander against train wrecks.

Read the rest of this entry »


Let the Finger-Burning Begin! Sen. Nelson’s Morbid Command to Sebelius

burnfingersHill

‘Burn their fingers’

Jonathan Easley reports:  Sen. Bill Nelson lashed out Wednesday at the contractors charged with building the ObamaCare website. Addressing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a Senate Finance Committee hearing, the Florida Democrat said the contractors should be held to account for the site’s disastrous launch. “As someone who has fought and bled for this … I want you to hold them to account,” Nelson said.

I want you to burn their fingers and make them pay for not being responsible and producing a product that all of us could be proud of.”

Nelson asked Sebelius if she had any legal authority to withhold payments from the contractors.

Read the rest of this entry »


Poll: 71% of Voters ‘Yeah, We Knew He Was Lying’

3f6ad3a336b07b5a32cf05f06a0c05e3Debra Heine writes: A new Rasmussen poll finds that an overwhelming majority of voters think the president probably lied to them about  his “signature achievement”, and would like to see it scrapped or changed.

Asked how likely it is that Obama or senior officials in his administration were aware long before ObamaCare was implemented, that health insurance costs would go up for some, 71 percent of voters responded that “it’s at least somewhat likely.”

When the vast majority of American voters can agree they were lied to in order pass a controversial bill on a party line vote that amounts to a takeover of nearly 1/6 of the economy, and a large percent of them say, yeah, so what? – Our country is in deep trouble. According to Rasmussen, 48% of Likely U.S. Voters still approveof  Obama’s job performance. Unbelievable.  Read the rest of this entry »


Obama: The Myth of the Master Strategist

Maybe we can play checkers instead? Ping pong?

Maybe we can play checkers instead? Ping pong? Let me be clear: I’m a better ping pong player than Vladimir Putin

Jonah Goldberg writes: Often in error but never in doubt, Barack Obama could walk into the Rose Garden and step on a half-dozen rakes like Foghorn Leghorn in an old Looney Tunes cartoon, and the official line would be, “He meant to do that.”

And the amazing thing is that so many people believe it. “Mr. Obama is like a championship chess player, always several moves ahead of friend and foe alike. He’s smart, deft, elegant and subtle,” proclaimed then–New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in 2009. It’s an image of the president that his biggest fans, in and out of the press, have been terribly reluctant to relinquish — because it confirms the faith they invested in him. Nobody ever likes to admit they were suckered.

Read the rest of this entry »


PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Check out the book a Republican state senator in TN gave Kathleen Sebelius today…

Instapundit » Blog Archive


Out-Foxed by Megyn Kelly, CNN Blows Feathers: Lowest Primetime In Over A Year

Fox’s Megyn Kelly Rocks Cable News Ratings Top Spot 

cnnlogo__130909223055-200x95__131028185652__131031215342Dominic Patten reports: A busy news day of combative Congressional Obamacare hearings and Presidential speeches did CNN no favors in primetime last night. The Jeff Zucker-run cable network hit its lowest primetime time result among adults 25-54 in over a year Wednesday despite all the cable newers being up double digits over the day before during Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius’ morning testimony. Between 8 PM and 11 PM last night, CNN had a mere 67,000 viewers among the key news demo. That’s the worst its done in the demo since August 10 last year. With the Olympics were on NBC kelly10302-1__131031220006last August, CNN drew just 62,000 among the 25-54s that Friday. Not only was CNN behind rivals Fox News Channel (396,000) and MSNBC (127,000) but also it did worse than sister station HLN (93,000) and CNBC (79,000). The most watched show on CNN last night was Piers Morgan Liveat 9 PM which got a soft 83,000 in the demo and 340,000 viewers overall. Overall CNN had 285,000 viewers in primetime last night compared to MSNBC’s 683,000 and FNC’s 2.312 million.

Read the rest of this entry »


Progressive Government Fails

Obama’s ideology is the politics of the personal cram down
Kathleen Sebelius at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Oct. 30. Associated Press

Kathleen Sebelius at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Oct. 30. Associated Press

Daniel Henninger writes: A reader remarked last week that Barack Obama is running out of human shields. With the father of ObamaCare unavailable to explain the greatest fiasco of his presidency to Congress, the American people had to settle Wednesday for his surrogate, Kathleen Sebelius.

Let us try to understand clearly what is happening now with the Obama presidency. On display to everyone watching this week is not merely the failure of a federal website or a software program or Ms. Sebelius’s management skills. This is the failure of the very idea of progressive government. Not liberal government. Progressive government.

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Is the Embattled IRS the Next Obamacare Nightmare?

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Eric Pianin and Brianna Ehley report: Shortly before Obamacare’s nerve system crashed over the weekend, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius touted the data services Hub as a “model of efficiency and security.”

The giant router funnels tax and income information to the new federal and state government websites designed to sell medical coverage; it is critical to the success of the HHS in attracting enough consumers – and the right mix of ages — to make the system financially feasible.

Beyond that, the Hub will be vital to the Internal Revenue Service as it assumes responsibility for administering a multitude of tax increases and tax credits and collecting and verifying data from employers and individuals to determine eligibility for federal subsidies. Read the rest of this entry »


‘We used to launch men to the Moon. Now the U.S. government can’t launch a website’

Titanic-Sinking

Peggy Noonan: ObamaCare Is Taking On Water: It’s not just a buggy website, it’s a disaster of Titanic proportions.

“We should not lose The Headline in the day-to-day headlines. This is big history, not small. The ObamaCare rollout is a disaster for the White House, not a problem or a challenge or an embarrassment, not a gaffe or a bad few weeks. It is a political disaster, and the only question is whether it is partially recoverable, meaning the system can be made to work in a generally satisfactory way in the next few weeks. But—it has to be repeated—they had 3½ years after passage of the Affordable Care Act to make the program into something the American people could register for and feel they were benefiting from. Three and a half years! They had a long-declared start date: It would all go live Oct. 1, 2013, and everyone in the government, every contractor and consultant, knew it.

The president put the meaning of his presidency into the program—it informally carries his name, it is his brand. It was unveiled with great fanfare, and it didn’t work. For almost anybody. Crashed systems, frozen screens, phone registration that prompted you back to the site that sent you to the 800 number, like a high-tech Möbius strip.

All this from the world’s greatest, most technologically sophisticated nation, the one that invented the computer and the Internet. And from a government that is able to demand and channel a great deal of the people’s wealth.

So you’d think it would sort of work. And it didn’t. Which is a disaster. . . . It was Bill Daley — accomplished political player, former commerce secretary and, most killingly, former chief of staff of President Obama — who Thursday, on “CBS This Morning,” admitted the scale of the problem. Asked whether Kathleen Sebelius should be fired, he said: “To me that’s kind of like firing Captain Smith on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.”

The Titanic. Some will see his comments as disloyal. Actually they were candid and realistic. Although in fairness, the Titanic at least had three good days, and Edward Smith chose to go down with the ship.”

We used to launch men to the Moon. Now the U.S. government can’t launch a website.

Plus:

misslefail“And there is the enduring mystery of why the president, who in his career has attempted to persuade the American people to have greater faith in and reliance on the federal government’s ability to help, continues to go forward with an astounding lack of interest in the reputation of government.

He talks but he doesn’t implement, never makes it work. He allows the IRS under his watch to be humiliated by scandal, waste, ill judgements prompted by ideological assumptions. He allows his signature program, the one that will make his name in the history books, to debut in failure. In response he says bland, rounded words that leave you wondering what just got said.

We’re all reading of Jack Kennedy. He stayed up nights with self-recrimination after failure. “How could I have been so stupid?” he asked about the Bay of Pigs. A foreseeable mistake and he’d blown it, listened to the wrong people, made the wrong judgments. That man suffered over his missteps. He worried about his reputation, and the reputation of his government, and of America.

It is disorienting to not see this in a president. It is another thing about this story that feels not only historic, but historically strange.”

Our president is historically strange, and I predict that future historians will find themselves marveling at just how strange.

Instapundit


BREAKING: Obama to Appoint Sebelius to Higher Level Cabinet Position

pic_giant_102513_SM_Sebelius-Ducks

Just kidding. The title of the following Rich Lowry NRO article is “Heckuva Job, Kathleen Sebelius”. But it wouldn’t surprise anyone, would it? Career success formula in the Obama era:  Incompetence + Catastrophe + Taking Heat + Lying on National Television = Reward, Success, Promotion. Is Kathleen Sebelius following in the footsteps of Susan Rice?

Rich Lowry writes: Little did they know it, but Republicans fighting to defund or delay Obamacare had an ally in spirit in Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Her explanation for the Obamacare website is that she couldn’t possibly have been expected to make it work in the mere three and a half years since the law passed. She told the Wall Street Journal that the website ideally needed five years of construction and one year of testing, and instead had only two years of construction and almost no testing.

That means with the proper development time, Healthcare.gov would have had a flawless launch . . . on October 1, 2017. Had Senator Ted Cruz suggested a four-year delay in Obamacare as his fallback in the defunding fight, he would have been scorned as an unbending fanatic, although he might have been giving Sebelius the breathing room she needed.

Read the rest of this entry »


Sebelius: ‘I Don’t Work for You’

Courtesy of NRO Staff:  Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius responded moments ago to questions about whether she will resign in the wake of the Affordable Care Act’s problematic rollout. Her response is raising some eyebrows.

Sebelius: ‘I Work For The United States of America  The Department of Health and Human Services My Fellow Citizens  The American People  the Democratic Party

“My goal is to actually get the website up and running,” she told reporters. “The majority of people calling for me to resign I would say are people who I don’t work for and who do not want this program to work in the first place. I have had frequent conversations with the president and I have committed to him that my role is to get the program up and running and we will do just that.”

A group of 33 House Republicans on Wednesday sent a letter to President Obama calling for her resignation. ”The scope of the problem is so great that, were this a private company or military command, the CEO or general would have been fired,” they wrote. “We are, therefore, calling on you to hold Secretary Sebelius accountable for the fiasco that is HealthCare.gov and ask for her resignation.”

National Review Online


History of Gross Incompetence: Sebelius Has Long Failed @ Government Website Projects

Kathleen-Sebelius-

Patrick Howley reports:  Obama administration Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ failure at designing websites to provide government services began during her term as governor of Kansas, long before the Obamacare website debacle, Kansas political insiders told The Daily Caller.

Sebelius oversaw numerous costly and disastrous government website projects during her six-year governorship (2003-2009), including a failed update of the Department of Labor’s program to provide unemployment pay and other services and similar updates pertaining to the Department of Administration and the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) services.

The Department of Labor’s overhaul of its computer programs was a notable boondoggle, according to 14-year former Kansas state senator and former state Labor Secretary Karin Brownlee.

“In the Kansas Senate, I chaired the Commerce committee. We had oversight over the Department of Labor. For years, we watched as the Department of Labor under Sebelius worked on that computer program. After seven years and $50 million, something should work,” Brownlee told TheDC. Read the rest of this entry »


Let Them Eat Obamacake

Sebelius: I Haven’t Tried To Sign Up For Obamacare Because I Have Health Insurance.

Jon Passantino reports:  The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, said in a CNN interview Tuesday that she hasn’t actually tried to sign up for a health care plan on the glitch-plagued Obamacare site.

Sebelius also said President Obama did not know about the problems with the Affordable Care Act’s website until days into its launch, despite complaints from insurance companies and the site crashing during a test run.

When asked if she would resign over the disastrous rollout, Sebelius said she serves at “the pleasure of the president.”

Buzzfeed


Drained of Legitimacy: Liberalism in Crisis

crisistown
Michael Gerson writes: For liberals, it is a cruel twist of history that Harry Truman’s dream of universal health coverage, carried forward by generations of committed Democrats, should fall to the Obama administration for its fulfillment.Barack Obama seems to have adopted this cause in January 2007 as a lastminute speech insert. “We needed something to say,” one adviser told Politico. “I can’t tell you how little thought was given to that thought other than it sounded good.” Eventually, the Affordable Care Act was passed by a partisan vote, draining the law of legitimacy outside the Democratic Party. Over the next three years, Obama proved incapable of explaining Obamacare’s virtues and its popularity fell. Then its implementation was entrusted to a Cabinet secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, who gratuitously alienated religious groups and massively bungled the law’s rollout.

Obamacare is a multiyear, multifaceted fiasco. It is a case study in how to alienate a country you intend to help. And it could become an intellectual crisis for modern liberalism.

The “glitches” are shockingly serious systemic failures, which were caused, in part, by a political calculation. Read the rest of this entry »


All Sham, No Wow

The lady on the left passed out before the speech was done. Associated Press

The lady on the left passed out before the speech was done.      Associated Press

Obama Delivers an Infomercial when an Accounting is Due

James Taranto writes: “The Affordable Care Act is not just a website,” President Obama said at the Rose Garden today. “It’s much more.” It’s like a chamois, it’s like a towel, it’s like a sponge.

Another way of putting it is that ObamaCare isn’t just a technical failure. And it isn’t just an economically unsustainable scheme. Now it’s a rhetorical disaster too. Even by the standards of Obama speeches it was terrible. It was so bad, it was the ObamaCare website of political oratory.

Fine, blame us. After all, we called for an Obama speech. But remember that what we called for–it was right there in the subheadline–was an accounting. What he gave us was an infomercial. Read the rest of this entry »


Washington D.C. Sebelius BBQ Fest to Begin Next Week

grilledHill

grilledonhill

obama-lunch-at-BBQ

The Hill’s Healthwatch

 


Laws are for the Little People: Sebelius Refuses to Appear at Congressional Hearing

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

 “Listen, it’s cool, just tell them you have a scheduling conflict. I got your back.”  (Photo by Pete Souza)

Kristen Welker, NBC News White House Correspondent, reports:  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will not testify at a congressional hearing Thursday into breakdowns in the rollout of the federal Affordable Care Act.

An HHS official confirmed Saturday that the secretary would not attend, citing a conflict in her schedule.

“We are in close communication with the committee and have expressed our desire to be responsive to their request,” the official said. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] ‘A Product they Don’t Want, with Money they Don’t Have, on a Website that Doesn’t Work…’

PJTV – Prominent Liberals Are Turning On ObamaCare

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post declared Obamacare a disaster on MSNBC. Former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs even said the Obamacare launch was embarrassing. Are liberals turning on President Obama and his signature healthcare legislation? Find out in this schadenfreudelicious edition of Trifecta, hosted by Stephen Green, Scott Ott, and Bill Whittle.

PJ Media


The Super-Awesome Obamacare Rollout

Just kidding. Here’s the original headline:

The Abysmal, Pathetic Obamacare Rollout

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Nick Gillespie writes: The best jokes about the absolutely abysmal rollout of Obamacare have come not from the program’s critics but from the Affordable Care Act’s two biggest champions. And the biggest tears? Well, those will come from the rest of us over the coming years, in the form of declining levels of choice in health care and rising prices.

Faced with the manifest—and ongoing—failure of the federal exchange at  Healthcare.gov to allow people to shop, compare, and enroll in great new insurance at low, low prices, Barack Obama huffed, “Just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it. I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t.”

The president’s comments deliberately echoed that of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who on the launch date pleaded with Americans to “give us the same slack they give Apple…If there’s not quite the operational excellence right away, we’ll continue to press for that.”

Operational excellence?

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