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OUT: Neocons. IN: Reformicons | Reform Conservatism Gets A New Media Outlet

For NROJoel Gehrke writes:

A former aide to retiring Senator Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) will serve as editor-in-chief of a new media outlet devoted to “discovering real-life success stories” — a reporting venture broadly analogous to the conservative policymaking currently in vogue among congressional Republicans.

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John Hart, Coburn’s former communications director, will be editor-in-chief of the new site, Opportunity Lives. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Oklahoman may have lost, but there are soon going to be more Republicans of color like him


[VIDEO] $180,000 in Taxpayer Money Swallowed in Corvette Museum Sinkhole

The Daily Caller‘s  writes:  “The Museum paid more than $200k out of pocket as it was a matching grant,” she explained in an email. “With these simulators we offer free teen driving courses, international driving courses, older driver courses through the NCM Drivers’ Safety Academy.”

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Frassinelli added that the simulators offer the capability for people to practice things that cannot be road tested, like dealing with a blow out tire and wheel drop off, as well as different weather conditions.

Last week the National Corvette Museum made headlines when a sinkhole formed under the facility and swallowed eight of the cars in the museum…

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Friday Afternoon News Dump

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BenK – Ace of Spades HQ – Follow Ben on twitter.


[VIDEO] Coburn Hints GOP Will Cave on Debt-Limit Negotiations

Eliana Johnson writes:  GOP senator Tom Coburn hinted on Sunday that Republicans will give in to Democratic demands in the upcoming negotiations on the debt ceiling because the two parties have come to see eye-to-eye on the issue. “The reason we’re in trouble on deficits and debt is not because we didn’t agree but because we did. We agreed to spend $740 billion we didn’t have last year,” he said. “The story coming out of Washington is we don’t get along. We get along just fine with the status quo of the government being ineffective and inefficient.”

The October agreement to end the government shutdown raised the debt ceiling until February 7. The White House has said that it will not negotiate over the debt limit, and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is calling on lawmakers to raise it in advance of the February deadline.

Coburn also suggested that the issue has become a losing one politically for Republicans. ”The American people don’t believe we have a debt ceiling because we always increase it,” he said.

National Review Online


Oregon Obamacare exchange pulls expensive hipster ads

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Caroline May reports:  The multimillion-dollar advertising campaign for the Oregon Obamacare exchange has been put on hold as officials there try to right the floundering ship and get people enrolled.

“We think it’s appropriate to hold off on any further advertising,” Bruce Goldberg, acting executive director of Cover Oregon, said at a Monday press conferenceaccording to the Northwest Watchdog, noting that most of the ads have been taken down except for several billboards.

Cover Oregon made headlines earlier this year for its, expensive, artistic television and radio ads that featured local musicians singing original songs about Oregon and healthy living to promote the state’s Obamacare exchange.

The ad campaign was featured in Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn’s 2013 ”Wastebook,” which chronicled the year’s top 100 most wasteful government-spending items.

“Oregon is spending $10 million advertising Obamacare with advertisements that don’t even mention the program or how to enroll in it. One of the television ads, produced by the Portland advertising agency North, Inc., does not mention the word ‘insurance’ or how or why to enroll in the program. Another Oregon ad does not mention the word ‘insurance,’ but features what appears to be Gumby riding on the Beatles’ yellow submarine,” the Wastebook, released this week, reads. “Between Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, however, just 44 residents were able to sign up for private insurance through Cover Oregon.”

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Cash Missing, Coverup at Democratic Think Tank

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Nonprofit groups often seek restitution, not prosecution, when money goes missing

[See also: Millions Missing, Little Explanation]

 and  report: Three years ago, the Progressive Policy Institute realized that a senior manager had quietly used unauthorized checks, credit-card charges and cash withdrawals to drain about $100,000 from the Democratic think tank’s accounts, pushing the nonprofit group to the edge of insolvency, interviews and documents show.

Officials at the institute didn’t call police and didn’t alert donors, said Lindsay Mark Lewis, now executive director of the Washington-based organization. Instead, they took what charity governance specialists call a distressingly common approach for a nonprofit group: They agreed to forgo legal action in exchange for restitution.

“We had an agreement that as long as the payments were made, that we would not pursue anything else,” Lewis said.

The institute declined to publicly identify the manager. Elizabeth Kennedy, who was executive director in 2010, left about the time of the discovery, and the institute’s financial records state that she has since “repaid” tens of thousands of dollars to the institute. She declined to discuss the institute’s loss and, asked whether she had embezzled the money, said, “No comment.”

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It Pays to be Dead: Medicare Paid Millions to Dead People, Illegal Immigrants

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New reports from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General reveal that Medicare wrongly paid out millions of dollars in benefits to dead patients, illegal immigrants and dead doctors.

rockybonesAccording to the reports in 2011 Medicare paid $23 million in services for dead patients, spent $25 million on dead doctors between 2009-2011, and provided $29 million in prescription drugs for illegal immigrants from 2009-2011.

Under federal law, none of these categories of people are eligible for Medicare benefits or payments.

The IG reports that from 2009-2011, more than 4,100 illegal immigrants were able to make drug benefit claims, because while the agency does have controls in place to prevent illegal immigrants from making Medicare claims, it did not have policies for prescription drug coverage. CMS agreed to put controls in place to prevent illegal immigrants from receiving benefits.

CMS also agreed to work to prevent and recover benefits provided to dead beneficiaries.     Read the rest of this entry »


RACKET: Widespread Disability Fraud

Congressional investigators say Social Security has made more than $1 billion in improper disability payments to people who had jobs when they were supposed to be unable to work. In a report issued Friday, the Government Accountability Office estimated that 36,000 workers got improper payments from December 2010 to January 2013. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Congressional investigators say Social Security has made more than $1 billion in improper disability payments to people who had jobs when they were supposed to be unable to work.  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

A two-year investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found widespread fraud in the Social Security Administration’s Disability Program.

The fraud is so rampant, and disability cases have so proliferated in recent years, that the Social Security’s Disability Trust Fund may run out of money in only 18 months, says Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., whose office undertook the investigation.

Coburn’s report on widespread fraud, released Monday, focuses in large part on a veritable “disability claim factory” allegedly  run by attorney Eric C. Conn out of his small office in Stanville, Kentucky, a region of the country where 10 to 15 percent of the population receives disability payments. Read the rest of this entry »