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Friday, May 08, 2015

NSA - The Security State’s Dark Corner - Who Was Right? Snowden or Hayden?

guardian





On 6 June 2013, the Guardian published a secret US court order against the phone company Verizon, ordering it on an “ongoing, daily basis” to hand over the call records of its millions of US customers to the NSA – just one of numerous orders enabling the government’s highly secret domestic mass surveillance program. Just days later the world learned the identity of the whistleblower who made the order public: Edward Snowden.


Now, almost two years later, a US court has vindicated Snowden’s decision, ruling that the bulk surveillance program went beyond what the law underpinning it allowed: the US government used section 215 of the Patriot Act to justify the program. A US court of appeals has ruled the law does not allow for a program so broad. In short, one of the NSA’s most famous and controversial surveillance programs has no legal basis.
Of Snowden and the NSA, only one has so far been found to have acted unlawfully – and it’s not Snowden. That surely must change the nature of the debate on civil liberties being had in America, and it should do so in a number of ways.
The first is the surprisingly thorny question of what to do with Snowden himself. The whistleblower is in his second year of exile, living in asylum in Russia, as he would surely face criminal prosecution should he return. The nature of the punishment – and pre-trial mistreatment – meted out to Chelsea Manning shows his fears are well founded.
But now the courts have ruled that Snowden’s flagship revelation, the very first and foremost of the programs he disclosed, has no legal basis, who now might challenge his status as a whistleblower?
Certainly not Judge Sack, who in his concurring opinion alongside today’s rulings acknowledged Snowden’s revelations led to this litigation, and likened his disclosures to Daniel Ellsberg’s famous “Pentagon Papers” leak.


If the US government seeks to jail someone who has shown its own security services acting unlawfully, its international reputation will deservedly take a beating. If the US wants moral authority to talk to other governments about whistleblowers and civil liberty, it needs to be brave: it needs to offer Snowden amnesty.
The other actions for the US executive and for Congress are broader. The court of appeals judges very deliberately chose not to consider the constitutionality of NSA bulk surveillance programs, as such questions are currently before Congress with the ongoing debate on how to reform the Patriot Act.
Congress should allow this ruling to reinvigorate that debate, and in a sense the ruling forces it to do so. If Congress want a law that allows phone surveillance on the scale of the NSA’s existing programs, it will have to explicitly create that: gone is the option of trying to push through something near the status quo with a fringe of reform.
For domestic bulk surveillance to continue and be legal, Congress must explicitly vote for it – and then, in time, the judicial branch will consider the constitutional case in earnest.
If Congress sincerely wishes to curb it, it now has substantial backing from the judicial branch to push forward and do that. Reformers finally have the jolt in the arm they needed to prevent the positive impact of Snowden’s revelations dribbling away.


The president could also use this ruling as an opportunity to consider his stance. The line endlessly aired by the administration and its officials is that all surveillance is legal. That line is no longer valid. Rather than just seeking a new script – or as is almost certain, merely appealing against the decision – this could be a great opportunity for some introspection. These surveillance programs are wildly expensive and have very few proven results. Why not look at which ones the US really needs, and whether old-fashioned targeted surveillance might not keep us all as safe (or safer), and freer too?
The final debate is one that is unlikely to happen, but should: the US needs to start considering the privacy and freedom of foreigners as well as its own citizens. The US public is rightly concerned about its government spying on them. But citizens of countries around the world, many of them US allies, are also rightly concerned about the US government spying on them.
Considering Americans and foreigners alike in these conversations would be a great moral stance – but pragmatically, it should also help Americans. If the US doesn’t care about the privacy of other countries, it shouldn’t expect foreign governments to care about US citizens. There’s something in this for everyone.
These are the debates we could be having, and should be having. The judiciary has spoken. The legislature is deliberating. The public is debating. And all of it is enabled thanks to information provided by Edward Snowden.
He should be free to join the conversation, in person.

185 comments:

  1. When the NSA was formed, those forming it recognized the danger to US civil liberties and forbade it to operate in the US or against the US, us. Every member of the Bush Administration and those that followed all love three things: God, The US flag lapel pin and The US Constitution. But we also have learned that the Constitution is a living document, much like play dough in the hands of the rulers and masters in Mordor. When US citizens need the protections of the Constitution, DC politicians find that inconvenient and big whomping-ass federal contracts are way too irresistible a force for Washington and the defense establishment to resist.

    In January, 2015, this was reported in The Atlantic:

    In a speech at Washington and Lee University, Michael Hayden, a former head of both the CIA and NSA, opined on signals intelligence under the Constitution, arguing that what the 4th Amendment forbids changed after September 11, 2001. He noted that "unreasonable search and seizure," is prohibited under the Constitution, but cast it as a living document, with "reasonableness" determined by "the totality of circumstances in which we find ourselves in history."

    He explained that as the NSA's leader, tactics he found unreasonable on September 10, 2001 struck him as reasonable the next day, after roughly 3,000 were killed. "I actually started to do different things," he said. "And I didn't need to ask 'mother, may I' from the Congress or the president or anyone else. It was within my charter, but in terms of the mature judgment about what's reasonable and what's not reasonable, the death of 3,000 countrymen kind of took me in a direction over here, perfectly within my authority, but a different place than the one in which I was located before the attacks took place. So if we’re going to draw this line I think we have to understand that it’s kind of a movable feast here.”...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ... I think I understand.

      The Bill of Rights may guarantee certain limits on government today. But if there is a terrorist attack tomorrow, a bureaucrat within the national security state may decide, without asking permission from any elected official, that the people are actually owed less protections than before. The more innocent people that terrorists succeed in murdering, the less our own government is limited by the Constitution. With every attack that the government fails to prevent it gains new powers.

      Who was affected by growing surveillance power? "Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras are fond of accusing the NSA of suspicion-less surveillance. That's almost a nonsense comment for somebody with my background," Hayden said. "I am not a law enforcement officer. I don't suspect anybody. I am simply going out there to retrieve information that helps keep my countrymen free and safe. This is not about guilt. In fact, let me be really clear. NSA doesn't just listen to bad people. NSA listens to interesting people. People who are communicating information."

      He feels that Edward Snowden has distorted the debate about gathering that information and when it constitutes an unreasonable search under the Constitution. Observers looking at his leaks are like people who began watching a murder mystery in the third act. He urged his audience to reassess the leaks in context...


      http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/01/former-cia-and-nsa-director-nsa-doesnt-just-listen-to-bad-people/385007/

      Delete
    2. Well the courts have reassessed in Snowden’s favor.

      The US Government thinks they have a right to know everything about us. I think we have a right to see 28 pages that are all about them.

      Delete
  2. E85 for $1.58 / gal. in Mason City, Iowa.

    Iowa E85

    ReplyDelete
  3. BLOOMBERG


    NSA's Worst Program Is Finally Reined In
    7 MAY 7, 2015 4:45 PM EDT

    By The Editors
    It has long been clear that the National Security Agency's mass collection of U.S. phone records was intrusive, unpopular and ineffective at preventing terrorism. Now a court has found it illegal, too.

    A federal appeals court in New York ruled unanimously Thursday that the program -- in which the NSA swooped up colossal amounts of metadata from Americans' phone calls without a warrant, then stored it all in a searchable database -- wasn't authorized under the Patriot Act, as the government had argued.

    That argument depended on some inspired sophistry. The law allows federal agents to collect business records and other data deemed relevant to counterterrorism investigations. But the government's secret interpretation of that law -- secretly affirmed by a secretive court -- held that essentially all phone calls made by Americans could one day be relevant to such an investigation. Thus, everyone's phone data could be collected in bulk.

    This was a tortured reading of the text unknown even to many members of Congress who ostensibly approved it. "Such an expansive concept of 'relevance’ is unprecedented and unwarranted,” the court's ruling says.

    Legal rationale aside, this program was always an odd duck in the menagerie of NSA operations exposed by Edward Snowden -- most of which are governed by elaborate rules to protect Americans from snooping and many of which have proven crucial in protecting national security.

    The phone-records program, by contrast, intentionally collected the data of U.S. citizens. It didn't differentiate between the guilty and the innocent. And two comprehensive reviews, several members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a federal judge have all come to the conclusion that it was ineffective in achieving its stated goals.

    A report last year from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board put it unequivocally: "We have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the telephone records program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation."

    Even so, many members of Congress have insisted that the program is vital to national security and must be protected. As the court noted Thursday, however, they're free to legalize it the old-fashioned way: by unambiguously stating their intentions in a bill and putting it up for a vote. They may find that legalizing an intrusive surveillance program with little empirical justification is a tough sell to a public increasingly concerned about privacy, inured to alarmist rhetoric and scandalized by government espionage. Such is democracy.

    This isn't the end of the line for the phone-snooping program. Congress must decide whether to renew parts of the law underlying it by the end of the month. Several proposals to overhaul it are circulating. And Thursday's ruling may be appealed. But the court affirmed an important principle: Laws conceived in secret, interpreted in secret, and subject only to secretive overview will almost always be abused. And they will almost never withstand public scrutiny.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "THE PATRIOT ACT"

    The very name is grating. Disagree with wholesale Washington spying on all citizens and your are obviously un-American.

    ReplyDelete
  5. If they renew it, Let's rename it: TIBA:

    the "Take It Bitch Act" would be more apt.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting jobs report this morning. Labor Force Participation Rate ticked up a notch to 62.8 (makes it flat, Year on Year,)

    and the Unemployment Rate fell by a tenth to 5.4% (down 0.8% Year on Year.)

    Decent report, a bit better than I was expecting, honestly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 62.8 is a NEAR generation LOW...

      Real unemployment is said to be 10.5%

      But rufus will spin...

      Delete
    2. Near is not the same as same ...
      It... is said ...

      By whom, where, when?

      Delete
    3. Dumbo doesn't know it, but he's referring to U-6. :)

      U-6 is at about a seven year low, if I'm not mistaken.

      Delete
    4. Shoot the messenger since the message is true and you are full of shit.

      Delete
    5. I just hope it's your family members that cannot find jobs...

      Delete
    6. You would not know the truth, "O"rdure, if it bit you in the ass...

      Which it often does.
      "O"rdure fails to answer the questions ...
      Who said it, when did they say it, where was it said?

      He has no message, he merely deserves to be shot.

      Delete
    7. There's no spin about this:

      Employment, at 148,523,000 is 2,799,000 More than the year ago number of 145,724,000.

      Delete
    8. Jack, you are not worth of links.

      If you are interested you can find my sources quite easily.

      You brag about your detective skills... USE THEM.


      Meanwhile my point still stands.

      UN employment participation rate sucks, and the real unemployment rate is close to 10.5%

      You can SNIP a window of 12 months, congrats.

      But if you look at REAL TRENDS and numbers...

      with out spin.....

      it sucks out there...

      All those stimulus billions squandered...

      Delete
    9. The only point that "O"rdure has made, he makes unreferenced claims.
      Claims he cannot defend or verify.

      Then when he decides on the proper chastisement for his failures as a blogger, he gets upset when others agree with him.

      Delete
    10. ,

      Bullshit, rat.

      You know where to get the information, or should. If you have an actual argument against what WiO said post it instead of your constant whine. Link? Photos?

      I make this argument only to you because of past history where when asked to 'provide a link' you chose not to. You are an instigator and your well know game is annoying.

      .


      Delete
    11. Kick Jack's ass out of here for good !

      Delete
  7. All Jack once again starts with the death threats...

    Jack HawkinsFri May 08, 09:45:00 AM EDT
    He has no message, he merely deserves to be shot.


    Jack, please do not threaten to shoot me again...

    Your violent death threats are against the law..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought you would have learned after I turned you into the AZ FBI.

      The internet is not a place for violent bullying...

      Delete
    2. Jack HawkinsFri May 08, 09:45:00 AM EDT
      He has no message, he merely deserves to be shot.



      Not the 1st time Jack Hawkins threatens to shoot someone on this blog

      Delete
    3. "O"rdure does not understand what a threat is.

      Merely agreeing with him, in his comment that he deserved to be shot, is no threat.
      Disagreeing with him, as to the reason he deserves to be shot, not a threat, either.

      He really does have a hard time understanding the ebb and flow, doesn't he?

      Delete
    4. If he would post whatever he were to consider the previous threat, that would be deconstructed, as well.

      But he will not do that. "O"rdure never does, because he never can.
      Dealing exclusively in lies, "O"rdure can never provide a reference to his claims.
      Never provides the quotes ... He can't, because the quotes do not exist.

      Delete
    5. Jack, please don't shoot the innocent folks at Chocolate Emporium

      PLEASE

      Delete
    6. Kick Jack's ass out of here for good.

      Delete
  8. More success for the US policy in Yemen, another one of the "Evil Doers" will no longer be operational.

    Al Qaeda announced Thursday that Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi was killed with his eldest son and six other fighters last month in Yemen, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.

    The US scores again ... President Obama was correct, US policy in Yemen is paying off.
    Al-Qeada is being brought out of the shadows and into the light of day, where it is being targeted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That must be what has wio's panties in a wad this morning. :)

      Delete
    2. Here's what Dumbo's trying to refer to: the U-6 Unemployment Rate.

      It includes those that are working Part-Time for Economic Reasons, and Discouraged Workers.

      It is, actually, 10.8%, which is down considerably from the 17.1% at the start of Obama's first Budget - Oct. 1, 2009.

      Delete
    3. Ever since the Chocolate Emporium bit the "Big One"and closed its doors ...

      "O"rdure has had trouble adjusting ...
      Whether the lack of competition has caused his juices to dry up, or it is merely his own private Idaho, his failure to secure financing for his dreams ...

      Only Time Will Tell

      Delete
    4. Jack, we all KNOW you stalked the wrong Jew for over a decade, please don't go and shoot them…

      PLEASE

      DONT SHOOT THEM

      Delete
    5. Jack, please seek medical help, don't go to Cleveland Ohio and SHOOT the Jews…

      DONT

      Delete
    6. .

      The US scores again ... President Obama was correct, US policy in Yemen is paying off.

      One data point and the rat declares our policy in Yemen a success, that it is 'paying off'.

      Lordy.

      .

      Delete
    7. Not just one data point, Legionnaire, just the one for today, the one that illustrates the continued success of US policies.

      There are others, in the historical record.

      al-Qeada operatives being dispatched, in accordance with the AUMF of 14SEP2001.
      The gift that keep on giving.

      Delete
    8. ONLY 17 MORE DAYS UNTIL MEMORIAL DAY 2015, JACK'S IRAQ ISIS FREE PREDICTION DAY !

      Some 'military expert'.

      Delete
  9. Rufus IIFri May 08, 10:09:00 AM EDT
    That must be what has wio's panties in a wad this morning. :)


    Hardly, but I heard that ISIS attacked Hamas this AM in Gaza….

    ALL good when the goat fuckers are killing each other...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. The Islamic State is al-Qeada
      Israel prefers Daesh (al-Qeada) in Syria, over the Alawites, Christians and their Kurdish allies

      Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren told the Jerusalem Post that Israel so wanted Assad out and his Iranian backers weakened, that Israel would accept al-Qaeda operatives taking power in Syria.

      “We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.”
      Even if the other “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.

      http://www.jpost.com/Syria-Crisis/Oren-Jerusalem-has-wanted-Assad-ousted-since-the-outbreak-of-the-Syrian-civil-war-326328.

      So, no "O"rdure, HAMAS is ISrael.
      Just as the e Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst were NAZI

      Delete
    2. The first commander of the Warsaw ghetto was Józef Szeryński, a Polish-Jewish police colonel. He changed his name from Szenkman and developed an anti-Semitic attitude.
      In ghettos where the Judenrat was resistant to German orders, the Jewish police were often used (as reportedly in Lutsk) to control or replace the council.
      One of the largest police units was to be found in the Warsaw Ghetto, where the Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst numbered about 2500. The Łódź Ghetto had about 1200, and the Lviv Ghetto 500.
      The Polish-Jewish historian and the Warsaw Ghetto archivist Emanuel Ringelblum has described the cruelty of the ghetto police as "at times greater than that of the Germans, the Ukrainians and the Latvians."

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Ghetto_Police

      Warsaw Ghetto was the largest ghetto containing at its height more than 400,000 people. It was the site of the first urban uprising in occupied Europe.

      The Warsaw shared many characteristics with other ghettos: Conditions worsened over time as did accompanying mortality from starvation and disease; social welfare organizations ministered to the needy; there was a rich cultural life;
      the ghetto was administered internally by a Judenrat and policed by the Jewish Police
      http://www.holocaustsurvivors.org/data.show.php?di=record&da=encyclopedia&ke=117>

      Delete
    3. HAMAS = ISrael
      Hamas = Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst

      Zionist ISrael = NAZI Germany

      Delete
    4. Jack HawkinsFri May 08, 11:00:00 AM EDT
      HAMAS = ISrael
      Hamas = Jüdischer Ordnungsdienst

      Zionist ISrael = NAZI Germany




      Thanks Jack for showing your Israel hating point of view again..

      Proves my thoughts about you and this blog. Pure hate speech…

      It may be legal but it's hate.

      AND please don't go to Cleveland and shoot Jews.

      Delete
    5. Merely exposing the historical precedents that the Zionists of ISrael are using as their guides, is not hate, "O"rdure.

      Historic relevancy is not hate.

      Hamas was founded under the auspices of the ISraeli government, the same Zionist ideology as the ISraeli government that supports al-Qeada in Syria, now.
      Even the President of ISrael, today, can see the disease.

      “It is time to honestly admit that Israeli society is ill – and it is our duty to treat this disease,”

      “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings.
      Have they forgotten how to converse?”

      - Reuven Rivlin, President of Israel



      Delete
    6. Jack your hatred and hate speech of Jews Israel and Zionism is well documented.

      Are you now a coward when faced with your outspoken point of view?

      BTW PLEASE, you know that Jew you stalked for 10 years in Cleveland? Don't shoot him...

      Delete
  10. Civilians die in reported Yemen drone strike as weekend of attacks kills at least 35

    At least 35 people were reportedly killed over the weekend in Yemen, as a series of air strikes hit the country, including the biggest reported drone strike of the year so far.

    Multiple sources including military officials and eyewitnesses described how a US drone attacked a truck that was carrying alleged members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and also hit a vehicle carrying civilians. At least 10 – and possibly as many as 21 – were reportedly killed in the attack, including at least three civilians. They were described as ‘construction workers‘ or ‘labourers’ by some reports.

    This is the highest death toll of any confirmed drone strike in Yemen so far this year. The Bureau regards drone strikes as ‘confirmed’ if they are described as such by three independent sources, such as eyewitnesses, military officials and security sources.

    Attacks continued on Sunday when air strikes – described by many reports as US drone strikes – targeted three suspected militant camps in the same province. Early reports suggested five people had been killed, but the reported death toll later rose. A tribal source told Reuters 25 bodies had been removed from the site, while other media reported a death toll in excess of 30.


    Don't you hear the screams of the babies Rufus? The dismembered daughters? The Slaughter continues….

    And yet you are silent, living 9000 miles away in the comfort of your home.. Safe and secure..

    WHy do you support the killings so far away?

    What did they do to you?

    Are you "despicable" now also?

    ReplyDelete
  11. So, there were a bunch of foreign diplomats flying around Pakistan in helicopters when, suddenly ...

    Taliban claims responsibility for chopper attack, says Sharif was target

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two ambassadors to Pakistan were among seven people killed when a military helicopter crashed into a school in the country’s mountainous north on Friday, authorities said, as the local Taliban claimed it shot down the aircraft and had hoped to assassinate the Prime Minister.

      The Russian-made helicopter was one of three army Mi-17s carrying a group of diplomats to the Gilgit-Baltistan region as part of a campaign to promote tourism when the chopper collided with the building that was reportedly empty at the time.

      Leif H Larsen, the Norwegian envoy, and Domingo D Lucenario Jr of the Philippines were killed along with the wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors, as well as the helicopter’s two pilots and a crew member, the army tweeted.

      Polish ambassador Andrzej Ananiczolish and Dutch envoy Marcel de Vink were reportedly among those injured.


      http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan-military-helicopter-crash-at-least-four-killed/article1-1345105.aspx

      .... as part of a campaign to promote tourism ....

      Delete
    2. May 8 (Reuters) - A Pakistan military helicopter carrying diplomats to inspect a tourism project crashed on Friday killing seven people, including the ambassadors of Norway and the Philippines and the wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors.

      Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was travelling to the mountainous northern region of Gilgit on a separate aircraft when the accident happened. He returned to Islamabad, his office said.

      Norwegian Ambassador Leif Larsen, Philippine Ambassador Domingo Lucenario and the wives of the ambassadors of Malaysia and Indonesia were killed, along with two pilots and a crew member, military spokesman Asim Bajwa said in Twitter posts.

      He said initial information indicated the cause was a technical fault.

      The Pakistani Taliban claimed they shot down the aircraft but witnesses on the ground, and in other helicopters on the trip, reported nothing to indicate any firing.


      http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/08/pakistan-crash-idUSL4N0XZ5DB20150508

      Delete
  12. Jack HawkinsFri May 08, 09:45:00 AM EDT
    He has no message, he merely deserves to be shot.



    Not the 1st time Jack Hawkins threatens to shoot someone on this blog

    ReplyDelete
  13. In what was an "unambiguously" unpleasant April jobs payrolls report, with a March revision dragging that month's job gain to the lowest level since June of 2012, the fact that the number of Americans not in the labor force rose once again, this time to 93,194K from 93,175K, with the result being a participation rate of 69.45 or just above the lowest percentage since 1977, will merely catalyze even more upside to the so called "market" which continues to reflect nothing but central bank liquidity, and thus - the accelerating deterioration of the broader economy.

    End result: with the civilian employment to population ratio unchanged from last month at 59.3%, one can easily on the chart below why there will be no broad wage growth any time soon, which will merely allow the Fed to engage in its failed policies for a long, long time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. to the so called "market" which continues to reflect nothing but central bank liquidity, and thus - the accelerating deterioration of the broader economy.


      quantitative easing...

      Delete
  14. FBI director says Islamic State influence growing in U.S.

    WASHINGTON — In a dramatic assessment of the domestic threat posed by the Islamic State, FBI Director James Comey said Thursday there are "hundreds, maybe thousands" of people across the country who are receiving recruitment overtures from the terrorist group or directives to attack the U.S.

    Comey said the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, is leveraging social media in unprecedented ways through Twitter and other platforms, directing messages to the smartphones of "disturbed people'' who could be pushed to launch assaults on U.S. targets.

    "It's like the devil sitting on their shoulders, saying 'kill, kill, kill,''' Comey said in a meeting with reporters.


    How many are we creating by dropping bombs 9000 miles away on Syria and Iraq Sunnis?

    ReplyDelete
  15. .

    Not just one data point, Legionnaire, just the one for today, the one that illustrates the continued success of US policies.

    Rat, above I called you an instigator. In doing so, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. I assumed that you didn't really believe half the stuff you post here but were merely attempting firing for effect.

    If you actually believe that our policies in Yemen have been a success you must be one of the few still left in the world that does. As proof of that success, you offer us a successful drone strike, one data point. However, even if it were 10 or twenty data points with as many AQAP leaders killed, leaders who are dead today but replaced tomorrow, how you can say that when Yemen is in turmoil, when a nominally pro-US government (if only for the baksheesh) has been ousted, when the vacuum has been filled by Islamist who despise America, when the latest conflict has produced the perfect breeding ground for AQAP to grow and flourish, when both Houthi and AQAP have all the arms they need from captured military camps and arms depots that the elected government abandoned, when our purported Sunni ally states are endangered, after all this, how can you say our policy in Yemen has been a success?

    From the WaPo on September 11, 2014, seven months ago,

    The drone strikes allow the United States to pin back AQAP, but not defeat it. As with the Taliban operating in Pakistan's tribal areas, prominent AQAP commanders may be killed, but hydra-like, they get replaced. Nor do reports of U.S. drones killing civilians and ending wedding parties win Washington hearts and minds.

    AQAP has seen successive regimes in Yemen fall; it has seized towns and territory and now may benefit from a Shiite insurgency that's plunged the country into crisis once more...


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/09/11/yemen-and-somalia-are-examples-of-u-s-mission-creep-not-success/

    The article was in response to Obama's statement the day before citing Yemen and Somalia as success stories. It was a few months after Obama declaring that al Queda had been decimated and that ISIS was a JV squad.

    If you accept the administrations talking points as you seem to be doing, your credulity astounds. That or you have been licking those toads again.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What is the US policy, Legionnaire.

      Not what is stated publicly, for consumption by th sheeple, at home and abroad.
      But the "real" policies ... backed up by aid dollars and military might.

      US Policy is described in the reality of the AUMF of 14SEP2001.
      Not in the rhetoric provided by any politico on any stage.

      US policy towards Egypt, that was seen in the continued Cairo production of the M1 Abrams battle tanks needed by the Egyptian Army. General Dynamics will fill out the order for the 1,400 units and now US military aid will be directed to "training", after 2018.

      The White House said President Barack Obama was freeing up the equipment and making other changes to military ties with Washington's long-time ally to support U.S. interests while encouraging Egypt's political reforms.

      Obama directed the release of 12 Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft, 20 Boeing Harpoon missiles, and up to 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits made by General Dynamics, National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said.

      This was "in the interest of U.S. national security," she said.

      The decision was announced after a telephone call between Obama and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in which they also discussed the turmoil that is gripping the region.

      Egypt, which has worked with the United States on Middle East peace moves, is emerging from a period of domestic upheaval and is engaged in several regional conflicts, including in neighboring Libya, and fighting Islamic State militants at home.

      Delete
    2. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/31/us-usa-egypt-military-idUSKBN0MR2GR20150331

      So, in Yemen, the objective as per the 14SEP2001 AUMF is to root out and destroy al-Qeada and their operatives.
      Any other 'objective' is secondary.

      Delete
    3. ONLY 17 MORE DAYS UNTIL MEMORIAL DAY 2015, JACK'S IRAQ ISIS FREE PREDICTION DAY !

      Some 'military expert'.

      Delete
  16. .

    Thanks for the post, Deuce. I missed that Atlantic article. It's pretty frightening.

    How can an appointed official in the US government say something like,

    He explained that as the NSA's leader, tactics he found unreasonable on September 10, 2001 struck him as reasonable the next day, after roughly 3,000 were killed. "I actually started to do different things," he said. "And I didn't need to ask 'mother, may I' from the Congress or the president or anyone else. It was within my charter, but in terms of the mature judgment about what's reasonable and what's not reasonable, the death of 3,000 countrymen kind of took me in a direction over here, perfectly within my authority, but a different place than the one in which I was located before the attacks took place. So if we’re going to draw this line I think we have to understand that it’s kind of a movable feast here.”...

    The man should have been tried for treason. The problem of course is that it would never happen given that so many in government profit from the current trend, and even in the court of public opinion, in this land of sheeple in which we live, he would have probably been hailed as a hero ala Ollie North.

    .


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quirk,

      With all the nasties about the NSA coming to light, why is hard to believe the NSA hasn't been doing all sorts of nasties since it's inception?

      Delete
    2. .

      I accept that premise. What I don't accept is some bullshit conspiracy theory concocted by a proven liar about a US vessel with armed crew being taken over by a couple of NSA operatives and forced to sail towards Israel without knowledge of the Navy, the Marines, NSA headquarters, or the President or that when the deed was done there was no investigation into the piracy and any surviving perps were allowed to walks.

      Occam's razor tells there are other, more reasonable, explanations for what happened 12 miles off the coast of Israel back in 1967.

      .

      Delete
    3. .

      In speaking of liars I was of course talking about the author.

      .

      Delete
    4. I understand, but it does raise the issue that we just might not KNOW the extent of the NSA in that and other situations.

      Delete
  17. .

    The trend towards ignoring the constitution has become more evident recently with administration officials picking and choosing which laws they will enforce, with boards like APAB being formed, and with presidential hopefuls pledging to do whatever it takes to enforce their policies even if that ignores the checks and balances established by the constitution.

    To my mind a sad state of affairs.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  18. How about 11,000+ Data Points?

    WASHINGTON - The US-led military coalition launched 14 air strikes in Iraq and four in Syria against Islamic State militants since early on Wednesday, the Combined Joint Task Force said on Thursday.

    The military statement said strikes in Syria near Al Hasakah involved attack and fighter aircraft. It said the strikes in Iraq involved attack, bomber, fighter and drone aircraft and were near Al Huwayjah, Bayji, Fallujah, Kirkuk, Mosul, Sinjar and Tal Afar.

    The strikes all took place between 8 a.m. on Wednesday and 8 a.m. on Thursday local time, the statement said.

    Dead Data Points

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rufus,

      America is bombing thousands and thousands of Sunni ISIS fighters and their women and children.

      We are not trying to win, we are playing for photo ops....

      How is it in the interest of America to be flying and killing in Yemen, Pakistan, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other place you and I don't have a clue about?

      Are not the very arguments that you make against Israel about the Hamas being repeated times 10?

      Israel and Hamas are next to each other, Hamas attacked Israel and Israelis directly... There is a border and wars...

      America has no duck in the ISIS hunt... They are Sunnis savagely fighting the Shia (to simplify)


      The Sunni and Shia are BOTH head cutters...

      Delete
    2. You're as full of shit as a Christmas turkey.

      Delete
    3. Rufus,

      In the spirit of communication.

      Please point out ANY point specifically that you think i am incorrect on…

      Delete
    4. BTW I have never had the pleasure of a "Christmas Turkey" but I never knew that they were full of shit, rather I have heard that Christmas Turkeys are stuffed with edible things like fruit or stuffing…

      Do Christians actually stuff their turkeys with shit? Yuck...

      Delete
    5. I'm not going to attempt an intelligent conversation with a stone cold idiot teenager. You're to be made fun of, not communicated with.

      Delete
    6. .

      How about 11,000+ Data Points?

      Still lost in the 60's, Rufus?

      Haven't you heard that since the embarrassment caused by the policy in Vietnam the 'headcount' metric is no longer used by the US?

      It's the 21st century, get with it.

      .


      Delete
    7. "They" may not, but I do.

      I do because I realize that 11,000 is an important number when you're talking about a force of their size.

      Delete
    8. Rufus IIFri May 08, 02:08:00 PM EDT
      I'm not going to attempt an intelligent conversation with a stone cold idiot teenager. You're to be made fun of, not communicated with.


      Ah, I see...

      Teenager?

      Haven't been that since 1978 when I registered of Selective Service...

      But I know that your insolence just hides your lack of ability to speak clearly and concisely...

      My points stand.

      You are a coward.

      Delete
    9. Rufus,

      America is bombing thousands and thousands of Sunni ISIS fighters and their women and children.

      We are not trying to win, we are playing for photo ops....

      How is it in the interest of America to be flying and killing in Yemen, Pakistan, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other place you and I don't have a clue about?

      Are not the very arguments that you make against Israel about the Hamas being repeated times 10?

      Israel and Hamas are next to each other, Hamas attacked Israel and Israelis directly... There is a border and wars...

      America has no duck in the ISIS hunt... They are Sunnis savagely fighting the Shia (to simplify)


      The Sunni and Shia are BOTH head cutters..

      Delete
    10. .

      I do because I realize that 11,000 is an important number when you're talking about a force of their size.

      Are you confident you have any idea what the size of their force is? Are you that confident that the 11,000, if that is what it actually is, hasn't already been replaced by new recruits?

      .

      Delete
  19. The Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, is a fifteen-member United States Government agency created in 2010 by sections 3403 and 10320 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which has the explicit task of achieving specified savings in Medicare without affecting coverage or quality. Under previous and current law, changes to Medicare payment rates and program rules are recommended by MedPAC but require an act of Congress to take effect. The new system grants IPAB the authority to make changes to the Medicare program with the Congress being given the power to overrule the agency's decisions through supermajority vote.

    Beginning in 2013, the Chief Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will determine in particular years the projected per capita growth rate for Medicare for a multi-year period ending in the second year thereafter (the "implementation year"). If the projection exceeds a target growth rate, IPAB must develop a proposal to reduce Medicare spending in the implementation year by a specified amount. If it is required to develop a proposal, the Board must submit that proposal in January of the year before the implementation year; thus, the first proposal could be submitted in January 2014 to take effect in 2015. If the Board fails to submit a proposal that the Chief Actuary certifies will achieve the savings target, the Secretary of Health and Human Services must submit a proposal that will achieve that amount of savings. The Secretary must then implement the proposal unless Congress enacts resolutions made to override the Board's (or the Secretary's) decisions under a fast-track procedure that the law sets forth.[1]

    Unconstitutional? Really?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      The Independent Payment Advisory Board. The new Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), composed of 15 members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, was created by the PPACA to enforce a per capita spending growth target in Medicare. If spending exceeds the set threshold, the board’s recommendations will automatically go into effect unless Congress passes legislation that equally reduces growth in spending. Otherwise, IPAB’s decisions will bypass congressional approval and require a two-thirds majority of Congress to override them.

      http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/ipab-obamacares-superlegislature

      Now, while this isn't unconstitutional, it is just one more example of Congress (or at least those who voted for the legislation, the Dems for the most part) ceding their obligations under the constitution to an unelected group with limited at present and eventually no oversight (hell, maybe it is unconstitutional).

      However, here is the part I really feel is unconstitutional.

      And finally, Obamacare limits Congress' ability to make "any changes that would result in greater Medicare spending." Consequently, Congress becomes inconsequential. And these are just the initial steps to the time when congressional interference with this heinous law becomes completely irrelevant.

      Most terrifying though is that without GOP concerted action to repeal every scintilla of Obamacare, in 2020 Congress will lose all power to control IPAB. According to the law,

      Congress may amend or reject IPAB proposals, subject to stringent limitations, but only from 2015 through 2019. If Congress fails to repeal IPAB in 2017, then after 2019, IPAB may legislate without any congressional interference.

      Moreover, if "Congress fails to repeal IPAB ... then after 2020, Congress loses the ability even to offer substitutes for IPAB proposals." Thus, "to constrain IPAB at all after 2020, Congress must repeal it between January and August in 2017."


      Is the GOP listening? Will it act accordingly? Will Americans be unrelenting in speaking up and demanding action to "resist this arrant tyranny?"

      As we have come to expect from the most non-transparent administration in history, Obama and the Democrats "went to extraordinary, unconstitutional, . . . lengths to try to protect IPAB from. . . being repealed by future Congresses." Henceforth, the Act states that Congress may only repeal IPAB if it follows these precise steps:

      Wait until the year 2017
      Introduce a specifically worded "Joint Resolution" in the House and Senate between January 1 and February 1
      Pass that resolution with a three-fifths vote of all members of each chamber by August 15.

      As Cohen and Cannon meticulously point out in their analysis, "the IPAB's constitutional infirmities are numerous." In fact, "after 2017, Congress could repeal Medicare, but not the board it created to run Medicare. Congress (and the states) could repeal the Bill of Rights. But not IPAB." Astounding!


      Read more: Family Security Matters http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/slavery-via-the-independent-payment-advisory-board-ipab?f=must_reads#ixzz3ZZs6Y5gj
      Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

      .

      .

      Delete
    2. "slavery-via-the-independent-payment-advisory-board-"

      Slavery?

      Horseshit from Cato, Quirk. You're smarter than this - surely.

      If it's created by Congress, it can be Killed by Congress. And, at Any time, buddy - Any time.

      Delete
    3. .

      From the previous article,

      Aaron Klein points out that "Obama has also established a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute with funding of $3.8 billion." While a section of Obamacare states that "the secretary of health and human services may not use research data ... in a manner that treats the life of an elderly, disabled, or terminally ill individual as lower in value than that of an individual who is younger, non-disabled, or not terminally ill" there is a qualifier which does allow the health secretary to limit any "alternative treatments ... if such treatments are not recommended by the new research institute." Thus the health secretary is given unlimited power to determine treatments -- think death panels, anyone?

      The PPACA is huge and filled with clauses that few citizens understand, for instance, if IPAB says they are unable to achieve their targets in a given period, the legislation grants the power of the IPAB board to be assumed by a single person, the Secretary of HHS. The PPACA is huge and filled with vague words like 'reasonable' that are left open to interpretation by IPAB, so vague they could mean anything.

      This is why in the post Deuce put up when Michael Hayden claims that he, an unelected bureaucrat, has the authority to bypass the president and Congress and the courts and interpret the Constitution the way he thinks fit, one of the first things I thought of was APAB.

      On the issue of decisions being left open to IPAB and forming a possible (and in my mind probable) slippery slope, the following article provides some insight. It describes the CER (comparative effectiveness research) process which forms the basis of the PPACA. The article is long and a little technical but for anyone interested it provides a preview of where we are heading.

      http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/04/comparative-effectiveness-research-under-obamacare-a-slippery-slope-to-health-care-rationing

      .

      Delete
    4. .

      If it's created by Congress, it can be Killed by Congress. And, at Any time, buddy - Any time.

      Surely 'buddy' you realize that the question that started this discussion was my assertion that IPAB is unconstitutional and your argument that it was not.

      Somehow, you seem to have missed that point as you indulge in high umbrage over the word 'slavery' used not by CATO but by the blog site that was quoting them.

      I can't help noting the irony of you of all persons complaining of biased commentary given some of the sources you put up here.

      I post it. You don't like it, don't read it.

      .

      Delete
    5. "Death Panels," now? :) :)

      Okay, bob; take the pot. :)

      Delete
    6. .

      Now, if you want to argue that the wording CATO or Heritage say is in the ACA isn't there, pull it up and check it out.

      .

      Delete
  20. Epic Fail

    Farage Crash and Burn

    TOGETHER WE'LL MAKE GREAT BRITAIN GREATER STILL: Cameron hails shock Tory outright majority as Miliband, Clegg and Farage all QUIT. SNP wins near clean-sweep of seats in Scotland

    FINAL RESULT: Tories 331 (up 25), Labour 232 (down 24), SNP 56 (up 50), Lib Dems 8 (down 48), Ukip 1 (down 1)
    David Cameron has secured an overall Commons majority, vowing to implement the Tory manifesto in full
    In the best Conservative result for more than 20 years, Prime Minister visited the Queen to confirm his victory
    Ed Miliband resigned with immediate effect after taking Labour to its worst result for three decades under Kinnock
    Nigel Farage resigned as Ukip leader after failing to become an MP in Thanet South but could stage a comeback
    Lib Dems are left with only 8 MPs, leading Nick Clegg to resign after a 'cruel and punishing' night for his party
    Big political names ousted by voters include Ed Balls, Vince Cable, Ed Davey, Jo Swinson and Esther McVey
    Nicola Sturgeon's SNP swept to a stunning victory across Scotland, winning all but three of Scotland's 59 seat


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3072601/Election-results-2015-LIVE-General-election-exit-poll-suggests-Conservatives-victory.html#ixzz3ZZa3kXnm
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


    People are beginning to wake up everywhere.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I agree with Quirk on whatever he says about spooking.

    I don't like spooking.

    He follows it closer than I so I agree with what Quirk says on spooking.

    (I think, at least for now)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It' the only subject I can think of where I've always agreed with Quirk.

      Delete
    2. And believe you me, I find it really spooky agreeing with Quirk on anything.

      Delete
  22. Given enough Vodka, Quirk is a man with the courage to match his convictions.

    He flew his ultra light - The "Q" Low and Slow - right into the Heart of the Beast of the Evil Empire, Area 51, to get to the bottom of things, and stop the spooking.

    Alas, shot down, he took over a month escaping, and linked up with me in Vegas, covered with cactus scratches, bee and scorpion stings, and two rattle snake bites.

    He took all my money, and my car, and headed to the liquor store, leaving me in the phone booth without enough change even to call my Old Girl Friend.

    But I have forgiven him.

    Guy is always there 'when the chips are really down'.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Iraq Launches Sunni Anti-IS Force in Anbar


    More than 1,000 Sunni fighters from Anbar joined Iraq's Popular Mobilization force Friday as part of government efforts to make the fight against the Islamic State group a cross-sectarian drive.

    Political, security and tribal leaders attended a large parade at a base in Amriyat al-Fallujah in a bid to give new momentum to the province's homegrown anti-IS fightback.

    "Your country has been stolen by a bunch of thieves and thugs and you must fight to take it back," Anbar Governor Soheib al-Rawi said at the event.

    "Let this day be the day when we declare a massive revolution against Daesh... kick Daesh out of our homes, fight their extremist ideology and tighten the noose around them," he said, using an Arab acronym for IS.

    Parts of Anbar province have been under jihadist control since before the nationwide June 9 offensive by IS, and the capital Ramadi has been on the brink of falling completely for months.

    The counter-offensive has so far been spearheaded by Shiite militias, some of which are now operating under a government-controlled umbrella known as the Hashed al-Shaabi -- or Popular Mobilization Brigades.

    However, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has been keen to deflect criticism of the organization as a Shiite-only body, and has defied challenges within his own camp to push for the inclusion of Sunni fighters in their home provinces.

    Hundreds of Sunni tribal fighters had already been fighting under the Popular Mobilization banner in Anbar in recent weeks, but Friday marked their official recruitment.

    Sunni fighters in the troubled western Iraqi province had so far been using their own weapons and not receiving payment.

    The new system comes with an organized vetting process designed to avoid the lack of accountability that prevailed under previous attempts to enlist Sunni fighters in recent years.

    Rawi said that, according to Abadi's executive order, the plan was for the Sunni force with the Popular Mobilization units in Anbar to reach 6,000 men.


    Source

    Agence France Presse
    .
    Encouraging

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rufus, do you read your own postings ?

      >>>>Parts of Anbar province have been under jihadist control since before the nationwide June 9 offensive by IS, and the capital Ramadi has been on the brink of falling completely for months.<<<<

      I have assigned the $1,000 Dollars you owe me over to WiO.

      He can send me a formal legal notification when your debt is cleared.

      I am hoping he will donate part of it to the Likud Party in Israel.

      Delete
    2. I don't pay off on hyperbole.

      Send a photo.

      Delete
    3. I google "Ramadi" every day.

      It's, evidently, been many days since they've seen a headcutter around there.

      Delete
    4. Speaking of which,

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.-led military coalition launched nine air strikes in Iraq and five in Syria against Islamic State militants since early on Thursday, the Combined Joint Task Force said on Friday.

      The military statement said the strikes in Syria near Al Hasakah and Ar Raqqah involved attack, bomber, fighter and drone aircraft. It said the strikes in Iraq involved attack, fighter and drone aircraft and were near Al Asad, Al Qaim, Bayji, Mosul and Sinjar.

      The strikes all took place between 8 a.m. on Thursday and 8 a.m. on Friday local time, the statement said.

      (Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Lisa Lambert)

      Nothing about Ramadi - Again

      Delete
    5. I sent a video.

      Ramadi news does seem to be hard to come by these days. Iraq news as a whole is hard to come by too.

      Fox will have something sooner or later.

      Mrs. McFarland, former security adviser to somebody, Bush probably, was saying Ramadi was still being hotly contested, and the big oil installation was almost entirely in the hands of ISIS, and overall the situation was the shits and not getting any better.

      That was the last I've heard.

      I will continue to look for your blessed 'photo'.

      Delete
    6. Having trouble listening to Fox as my streaming isn't working well.

      It's like having a leg cut off.

      Delete
  24. .

    I don't pay off on hyperbole.

    :o)

    The irony is palpable.

    Too funny.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dale was a Death Panels guy.

      Dale's Daid.

      I miss him.

      So is Umatilla Jack.

      I miss too.

      Delete
    2. 1) The IPAB hasn't been formed yet, and

      2) IPAB deals with Medicare, not the VA.

      Delete
    3. With regard to IPAB's recommendations, the law says "The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums under section 1818, 1818A, or 1839, increase Medicare beneficiary cost sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and co-payments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria."[10] The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must implement these proposals unless Congress adopts equally effective alternatives. The board is also required to submit to Congress annual reports on health care costs, access, quality, and utilization. IPAB must submit to Congress recommendations on how to slow the growth in total private health care expenditures

      Delete
    4. This has been tried before, always unsuccessfully. Any law that congress passes by a simple majority can be unpassed by a simple majority.

      Delete
    5. .

      So you are now saying that the law as currently written with respect to APAB is unconstitutional?

      .

      Delete
    6. I don't know; maybe that part is.

      It doesn't matter. The law is doing too much good; it's safe.

      Delete
  25. The Mystery of the Missing $1,200 Per Person: Can Medicare’s Spending Slowdown Continue?

    The big story in the Medicare world these days is the slowdown in program spending. Based on our comparison of CBO’s August 2010 and August 2014 baselines, Medicare spending this year will be about $1,200 lower1 per person than was expected in 2010, soon after passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which included reductions in Medicare payments to plans and providers and introduced delivery system reforms that aimed to improve efficiency and reduce costs. By 2019, Medicare spending per person is projected to be more than $2,400 lower per person than was expected following passage of the ACA. Medicare spending projections in CBO’s August 2010 and subsequent baselines take into account the anticipated effects of the ACA, along with other factors that are expected to affect future Medicare spending. So it seems that the ACA may be having a bigger than expected effect, but something else may be going on here too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The numbers are impressive, and the consecutive year-to-year reductions in projected Medicare spending are unprecedented. Looking back, total and per person Medicare spending have grown more slowly each year since 2010 than was expected based on CBO projections, and on a per person basis, Medicare spending actually declined between 2013 and 2014, according to our analysis of data from CBO.

      Health care observers are still scratching their heads trying to explain why Medicare spending is growing so slowly. A CBO analysis shows the Great Recession did not have the same effect on Medicare that it had on the slowdown in health care spending generally, which has been documented by our Kaiser colleagues. It is clear that the Medicare savings provisions in the ACA, such as reductions in provider payment updates and Medicare Advantage payments, have played a major role, and the changes included in the law may be having a bigger effect than was expected soon after the law passed. In addition, the Budget Control Act of 2011 also exerted downward pressure on Medicare spending through sequestration that reduced payments to providers and plans by 2 percent beginning in 2013. And yet even after incorporating these scheduled payment reductions in the baseline, CBO has continued to lower its projections of Medicare spending.

      So what else might be going on here? In addition to scheduled reductions in Medicare’s more formulaic payment rates, providers may be tightening their belts and looking to deliver care more efficiently in response to financial incentives included in the ACA, and it is possible that these changes are having a bigger effect than expected. For example, CMS recently reported that hospital readmission rates dropped by 130,000 between January 2012 and August 2013. It is also possible that hospitals and other providers are using data and other analytic tools more successfully to track utilization and spending and to reduce excess costs. Another more straightforward factor is that several expensive and popular brand-name drugs have gone off patent in recent years, which has helped to keep Medicare drug spending in check.

      Whatever the causes may be, the slowdown in spending is good news for Medicare, the federal budget and for beneficiaries—at least for now, and as long as . . . .

      Delete
  26. It is interesting that The Supreme Court completely missed the "unconstitutionality" of the ACA.

    And, the Death Panels

    :) Hoo Boy


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      There is still an ongoing Obamacare case being reviewed by SCOTUS. There will likely be others, but surely you are aware of this.

      Originally, the two issues in question were the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion. In the first, despite the words of government counsel and the words of the act itself the majority accepted Robert's argument (one I was not aware of) that the court is not bound to interpret laws exactly as they are written, but uses what it calls a “functional approach”—considering the substance of a law in addition to its formal language.

      On the Medicaid issue they ruled the Medicaid expansion couldn't be forced on the states.

      Now, they are reviewing whether subsidies paid to users of state exchanges is legal.

      Right now, as you pointed out no one really has standing to challenge APAB. However, if Congress doesn't change APAP by the 2017 deadline, I would be very surprised not to see court challenges launched.

      .

      Delete
    2. Court challenges to regulatory commissions are virtually never successful.

      Delete
    3. .

      Regulatory commissions are rarely allowed to make their own rules with no oversight.

      .

      Delete
  27. The VA is the military equivalent of the civilian ACA Death Panels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whatever you say.

      I'm in a good, not argumentative mood.

      Delete
  28. Whooooo Hoooo!!!

    We're going on Vacation to Wally World again !

    This time with Quirk doing the driving !

    Yippeeeee

    Video: They’re remaking “Vacation” for some reason
    posted at 6:41 pm on May 8, 2015 by Allahpundit

    http://hotair.com/archives/2015/05/08/video-theyre-remaking-vacation-for-some-reason/


    Definitely one of the Top Ten movies of all time.

    Watch the video.

    ReplyDelete
  29. The Freddie Gray Transport Van – Reconciling Disparate Witnesses…
    Posted on May 8, 2015 by sundance
    How did we miss this?

    Look closely at the picture. What do you see?

    http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2015/05/08/the-freddie-gray-transport-van-reconciling-disparate-witnesses/#more-100586


    Long complex article about Sir Freddie's transport van, sequence of events, occupants etc.

    Good photos and diagrams of transport van, van's route, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. .

      Sounds like a lot of speculation to me.

      I saw a police lieutenant explaining to a CNN reporter exactly how Grey was placed in the van and where. They were using an actual police van for the demonstration. He explained Gray was prone on the floor with hands handcuffed behind his back. There was very little room for him to shift from side to side because of the limited distance between the seat and the separation wall; although he could slide forward or backward if the van were to accelerate or brake rapidly. They cop showed Gray was put into what the article called compartment #3 [At this point, rather than 'speculating' on where each of the players were positioned, it seems that a simpler way to go would be simply ask someone, the police the passenger(s) that survived.

      If you read the comments it seems that the article really didn't clear things up for a lot of people.

      .

      Delete
    2. Obviously didn't clear up much for you, but no one would be surprised by that.

      Interesting about the layout of the van, though.

      I had it visualized more like a bus, but with seating on both sides in compartments of some sort.

      I admit it didn't clear up a lot for me either, so you are, for now, in good company, as you always are with me.

      Delete
  30. Calling out to all the EB dhimmis -


    May 8, 2015
    Embracing dhimmihood
    By Ethel C. Fenig

    According to Muslim law (sharia) a non Muslim who refuses to convert to Islam but is still tolerated in Muslim society is considered a dhimmi, a lower being. Accepting their diminished outcast status, dhimmis are not to mock their superiors--the Muslims--but rather unquestioningly obey them.

    And judging by the outrage heaped on Pamela Geller many Americans have quietly evolved into good little dhimmis. How dare the seemingly white, skin privileged middle aged Jewish former housewife from middle class suburban Long Island, New York bypass the cultural and media gatekeepers, exercise her free speech rights and expose the murderous intent of Islam and many of its followers in her own words and her own style. And so the media and the seemingly cultural decisors condemn her. Independent wrong thinking by the wrong type of the wrong sort cannot go uncensored these good little dhimmis obediently say and do.

    As the AP put it in its backwards--but oh so politically correct style

    Pamela Geller says she has no regrets about Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest that ended in 2 deaths: http://apne.ws/1IkVUKN

    Bosch Fawstin is another wrong sort. A self described "recovered Muslim. That is, if Muslims don’t kill me for leaving Islam, which it requires them to do.," - he won Geller's American Freedom Defense Initiative's Mohammad Cartoon Contest last week end.

    Therefore he must be punished. And he is. As Fawstin summed up in a tweet

    1 more time, media: I won't go on any TV show that won't show my prize-winning Mohammad cartoon.

    He's not going on many TV shows because that pesky prize-winning Mohammed cartoon is such a hindrance to free speech. Or something.

    And now add Facebook, that 21st century communications medium created by media darling, t-shirt clad, under 30 college drop out Mark Zuckerberg and helmed by another media darling, the tragically recently widowed Lean In Sheryl Sandberg, to the new dhimmis. Tweeting again, Fawstin announced Thursday morning "I have been removed from Facebook." Whoops! Uproar! By afternoon he triumphantly announced "I'm back."

    But his victory is fragile. How many more American dhimmis are out there, disguised as tolerant, multi culturals accepting anything and everything that they agree with and won't harm them? Too many I'm afraid. As Geller herself explains

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Freedom of speech is the foundation of a free society. Without it, a tyrant can wreak havoc unopposed, while his opponents are silenced.

      Putting up with being offended is essential in a pluralistic society in which people differ on basic truths. If a group will not stand for being offended without resorting to violence, that group will rule unopposed, while everyone else lives in fear.

      Islamic law as it’s interpreted by extremists forbids criticism of Islam, the Quran, and Muhammad. If they cannot be criticized in the United States, we are in effect accepting Islamic law as overriding the freedom of speech. This would establish Muslims as a protected class and prevent honest discussion of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence.

      Some say that “hate speech” should be censored. But what constitutes “hate speech” is a subjective judgment that is unavoidably influenced by the political perspective of the one doing the judging.

      Allowing this sort of censorship would mean nothing less civilizational suicide. Many in the media and academic elite assign no blame to an ideology that calls for death to blasphemers — i.e., those who criticize or offend Islam. Instead, they target and blame those who expose this fanaticism. If the cultural elites directed their barbs and attacks at the extremist doctrine of jihad, the world would be a vastly safer place.

      Take that cowardly American dhimmis; a middle aged woman is speaking the (politically correct) truth. Deal with it.

      hat tip: Weasel Zippers

      Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/05/embracing_dhimmihood.html#ixzz3Zb5T94bv
      Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

      Delete
    2. >>>>
      Allowing this sort of censorship would mean nothing less civilizational suicide. Many in the media and academic elite assign no blame to an ideology that calls for death to blasphemers — i.e., those who criticize or offend Islam. Instead, they target and blame those who expose this fanaticism. If the cultural elites directed their barbs and attacks at the extremist doctrine of jihad, the world would be a vastly safer place.

      Take that cowardly American dhimmis; a middle aged woman is speaking the (politically correct) truth. Deal with it.<<<<

      Hear, hear

      Delete
    3. .

      Calling out to all the EB dhimmis -

      ----------------------------------------

      Take that cowardly American dhimmis; a middle aged woman is speaking the (politically correct) truth. Deal with it.


      Hah. More buffoonery from American Thinker and their minion in Idaho. No one here that I have seen has made any excuses for the Muslim shooters in this little saga. All they have stated is that Geller is a flaming ass which from what I have seen seems to be the consensus opinion. The fact that Geller's supporters can't seem to get their mind around that simple fact is one of reasons American Thinker is considered an oxymoron.

      .

      Delete
    4. Hmmmm - no one here has suggested Pam Geller instigated, or goaded, or enticed the jihadis to do what they did ?

      You seem to be unable to get your mind around the fact that Pam Geller is not a flaming ass, but the tip of the American Spear in the Fight For Freedom of Speech.

      These people need to become acculturated to this sort of thing so they finally get used to it and think it unimportant.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acculturation

      I have seen it said that we need a Free Speech Event every weekend somewhere in the USA so that the Moslems finally get over it.

      Delete
  31. I would like to see the article by Ethel on some conference having a drawing contest and festival by doing charactures of Jews.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Iran does a holocaust denial cartoon contest each year, does this count?

      Delete
    2. Latest update : 2015-02-02

      An international cartoon contest has been launched in Iran around the theme of Holocaust denial, in response to French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo’s decision to publish cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

      Holocaust denial is not uncommon in the Islamic Republic, an arch-foe of Israel, but the controversial competition is a response to the January 14 issue of Charlie Hebdo, whose cover featured a teary Prophet Mohammed holding a sign saying “Je Suis Charlie” (I am Charlie).

      The three-word slogan became a rallying cry across France and much of the world in the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks on January 7 at the magazine's offices, carried out as revenge for drawings published by Charlie Hebdo that mocked the founder of Islam.

      The post-attack issue of Charlie Hebdo featuring a sympathetic Mohammed, with a historic 7.3-million copy run, sold out in just days.

      The competition in Iran has been launched by the Tehran-based House of Cartoon and the Sarcheshmeh Cultural Complex, the Iranian newspaper Tehran Times reported over the weekend.

      The winner of the contest will receive a cash prize of $12,000, the runner up $8000 and third place $5000, the daily said.

      Second edition

      It is not the first time a Holocaust denial cartoon contest has been organised in Iran. The first one was launched by the Iranian daily Hamshahri in 2006, in response to cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published that same year.

      At the time, the House of Cartoon’s Masoud Shojaei-Tabatabaii, a driving force behind cartoon initiatives past and present, said the contest exposed the “West’s double standards when it comes to freedom of expression… which forbids any debate about the legitimacy of the Holocaust.”

      More than 750 cartoons were sent to Iran from around the world for the contest's first edition, including entries from the United States and Britain, Iranian organisers boasted.

      Around 200 of those cartoons were then selected to be part of an exhibit in a Tehran museum.

      The first contest and associated exhibit was firmly condemned by the United States, Israel and many Jewish organisations.

      Flag burning and candles

      Iranian authorities have strongly condemned the new Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.

      Echoing angry protests from Niger to Pakistan, around 100 ultra-conservative Iranian students shouted slogans and burned a French flag outside France’s embassy in Tehran to denounce the blasphemous cartoon – as well as alleged manipulation by the United States and Israel – on January 19.

      However, in the days that followed the bloody attacks in Paris, dozens of anonymous Iranians also left candles, flowers and letters of solidarity with France outside its embassy in Tehran.

      Delete
  32. Today is 70th VE Day.

    Thank you, Vets.
    ***************

    Deuce ☂Fri May 08, 08:52:00 PM EDT

    I would like to see the article by Ethel on some conference having a drawing contest and festival by doing charactures of Jews.
    ***

    Just look to your own work here. It is a festival of caricatures of Jews.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Heh

    Megyn Kelly on Fox News, commenting on how all the Republican candidates have been on her program - Jeb is scheduled for Monday - and have all gone before the Fox Group to answer the unknown questions of citizens, in comparison to Hillary, who is yet to do an interview with anyone and has answered a total of eight questions so far in her campaign -

    "Seemingly Hillary has put herself under the Presidential Protection Program"

    HahaHA !

    ReplyDelete
  34. >>> American Thinker is considered an oxymoron <<<

    Quirk has joined that liberal Canadian nitwit Noble Ash in going full shit high brow on us all by claiming Americans can't think.

    Well whoooo whoooo

    What a stuffed shirt and low brow pretentious Philistine he has become !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robert "Draft dodger" Peterson thinks that Americans are mostly dumb fucks, he has written as much.

      Bob Oreille Mon Dec 29, 09:07:00 AM EST
      Americans are mostly dumb fucks?

      That's got my vote.


      Here is just another example of the muddled thinking that exemplifies the current state of Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson's mental state.

      Delete
  35. There's a war on free speech --- and radical Islam is winning
    By Philip Klein | May 8, 2015 | 7:39 am

    Photo - Personnel remove the bodies of two gunmen Monday, May 4, 2015, in Garland, Texas. Police shot and killed the men after they opened fire on a security officer outside the suburban Dallas venue, which was hosting provocative contest for Prophet Muhammad cartoons Sunday night, authorities said. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
    Personnel remove the bodies of two gunmen Monday, May 4, 2015, in Garland, Texas. Police shot and...

    Warnings about the threat that radical Islam poses to America are often greeted with sneering and mocking by cultural elites — as if anybody who expresses concern is a paranoid nut who believes that Sharia law is soon going to replace the U.S. Constitution after an EMP attack destroys civilization.

    Radical Muslims are succeeding in eroding fundamental American values, but the reality is more nuanced. Through a combination of fear, intimidation and exploitation of the liberal reflex to sympathize with supposedly marginalized groups, radicals have been steadily eroding our long-standing conception of free speech.

    In the most recent example in Garland, Texas, two men with body armor and assault rifles shot up a community center that was holding a cartoon contest to draw the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. Luckily, they were shot dead by police before they could harm anybody.

    Yet, in a horrendous case of mass victim-blaming, media figures across the political spectrum have been pointing fingers at the contest organizers — and worse, suggesting limits on offensive speech.

    The New York Times ran an editorial distinguishing between "free speech" and "hate speech" writing that the event "was not really about free speech. It was an exercise in bigotry and hatred posing as a blow for freedom." CNN's Chris Cuomo wrote on Twitter that "hate speech is excluded from protection," later claiming it was a "clumsy tweet." Fox's Bill O'Reilly got into the act, saying the organizers of the event "spurred a violent incident."

    Alia Salem, executive director of the Dallas and Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, floated restrictions on the First Amendment freedoms, stating, according to the New York Times, that, "The discussion we have to have is: When does free speech become hate speech, and when does hate speech become incitement to violence?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But as First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh wrote, "incitement" is defined as trying to persuade people to carry out an attack imminently: "Generally condemning Islam (or condemning capitalism or condemning the police or condemning evangelical Christians), even in harsh terms, doesn't constitute incitement. Even if people think the speaker is trying to foment violence, there's no advocacy of imminent illegal conduct."

      Let's be clear: the only reason the Texas event was associated with violence is that there are radical Muslims who are willing to shoot people over cartoons. To shift any blame for violence to the conference organizers is to reward this violent action. If Christians responded to an art show that they found offensive with violence, the media would call for a national conversation on Christian fundamentalism. But when radical Muslims do it, the national conversation is on hate speech.

      This is for two reasons. One reason is that people are afraid of becoming the next victims of radical Muslims. The other reason is that Muslim pressure groups have been effective at portraying adherents of the religion as a uniquely marginalized group. But this is not supported statistically.

      In 2013, 60 percent of religious hate crimes were motivated by anti-Jewish bias, according to FBI data, compared with less than 14 percent that were motivated by anti-Islamic violence. This discrepancy cannot be explained by the demographic makeup of the U.S., as Jews represent only about twice as much of the population. Yet there's much less hypersensitivity about anti-Semitism.

      On his show's "Talking Points Commentary," O'Reilly framed the controversy as one about whether organizers did "a foolish or a noble thing." But that's a false dichotomy. One doesn't have to honor the organizers as noble heroes to think the content of the event is irrelevant. The important part of the story is that people were targeted with violence in America for exercising free expression.

      If the takeaway from this incident — even among those who depend on free expression for their livelihood — is that people shouldn't offend radical Muslims, than the radicals have succeeded in undermining American values by creating a chilling effect on free speech.

      http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/theres-a-war-on-free-speech-and-radical-islam-is-winning/article/2564186

      Delete

  36. Despite the fury of the war party, momentum today is clearly in favor of the diplomacy between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany (P5+1) that would render war moot.

    Once again, the Republicans and many Democrats have seriously misjudged majority sentiment in America or intentionally ignore it. According to Robin Wright, writing in the New Yorker, recent polls show “the majority of Americans now support a deal with Iran even though they don’t necessarily trust Tehran.“ Last week Quinnipiac reported that 77% of Americans prefer a negotiated settlement over military intervention. Last month, the Economist reported more than 60% of Americans support negotiations. An NBC poll reporting 54% trust the Obama Administration over Congressional Republicans to ‘handle an agreement with Iran’ offers a vivid confirmation of the trend.

    ReplyDelete
  37. This will be hard for our Israeli-firster and his child minded sheep dog to comprehend.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Here is something to ponder over about Baltimore:

    “Baltimore was once a city where tens of thousands of blue collar employees earned a good living in industries building cars, airplanes and making steel. … In 1970, about a third of the labor force in Baltimore was employed in manufacturing. By 2000, only 7 percent of city residents had manufacturing jobs.”

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Full article

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. same article from Human Events:

      Republicans who wail over Obama’s budget deficits ignore the more ruinous trade deficits that leech away the industrial base upon which America’s self-reliance and military might have always depended.

      Last month, the U.S. trade deficit with the People’s Republic of China reached $31.2 billion, the largest in history between two nations.

      Over 25 years, China has amassed $4 trillion in trade surpluses at our expense. And where are the Republicans?

      Talking tough about building new fleets of planes and ships and carriers to defend Asia from the rising threat of China, which those same Republicans did more than anyone else to create.

      Delete
  39. Norway ends blasphemy law because of Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre

    May 8, 2015 7:56 pm By Robert Spencer

    MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThis is interesting: just as the U.S. is instituting a de facto blasphemy law, Norway is abandoning its de jure one. “Norway ends blasphemy law after Hebdo attack,” The Local, May 7, 2015:

    Norway has scrapped its longstanding blasphemy law, meaning it is now legal to mock the beliefs of others, in a direct response to January’s brutal attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

    The proposal to rush through the change was made in February by Conservative MP Anders B. Werp and Progress Party MP Jan Arild Ellingsen, who argued that the law “underpins a perception that religious expressions and symbols are entitled to a special protection”.

    “This is very unfortunate signal to send, and it is time that society clearly stands up for freedom of speech,” the two wrote in their proposal.

    Norway’s parliament first voted to scrap the blasphemy law back in 2009, against strong opposition from the Christian Democrat party. But the move has yet to come into force because the country’s new penal code remains delayed by problems updating the computer systems used by police and prosecutors.

    The decision to push through the change was attacked as “cultural suicide” by Finn Jarle Sæle, editor of the Norwegian Christian weekly, Norge IDAG.

    But the change will be largely symbolic.

    The last time anyone was tried for blasphemy in Norway was back in 1933, when the writer Arnulf Overland was prosecuted for giving a lecture titled “Christianity, the tenth plague” to the Norwegian Students’ Society. He was acquitted.

    The last time anyone was actually convicted was in 1912, when the journalist Arnfred Olsen was taken to court for an article criticising Christianity in the radical magazine Freethinkers.

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/05/norway-ends-blasphemy-law-because-of-charlie-hebdo-jihad-massacre

    I am preparing a lecture:

    The Elephant Bar - The First Plague

    ReplyDelete
  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  41. "All good hearted, honest, and right thinking men support similar political ideas, which do not change."

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, he considers himself to b amongst the good hearted, honest and right thinking men.
      He could not be more mistaken, more wrong in his self-evaluation

      bob Thu May 27, 12:52:00 AM EDT

      But I did rip off the bank for $7500 hundred dollars, when I was on my knees, and fighting for my economic life, on my aunt's credit card. But that wasn't really stealing, just payback. …


      Just like a meth head, Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson, tries to justify his crime by saying that the loot was owed him, by the people or institution he ripped off.

      Delete
    2. But ...

      The truth of it ...

      Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson is not good hearted, is not honest, is not right thinking.
      He is dishonest, he is a thief, his thinking is muddled, at best.

      By his own writing, about his own life, the truth about Robert "Draft Dodger" Peterson is laid bare.

      Delete
  42. "Some men change their political views because of the political views of their wench, other men change their wench because of her political views."

    Mark Twain

    ReplyDelete
  43. Many men are liberal-minded in their youth, largely for social justice/humanitarian reasons, and turn conservative in middle age.

    Some of these men revert to their liberal roots later in life, not necessarily for the humanitarian/justice reasons of their youth, but because they start to believe that liberalism is better Economic Policy. I find that I am one of those men.

    After close to 70 years on this mortal coil, it has occurred to me that most of the depressions, and recessions were caused by Conservative Economics gone wrong, and the recoveries, and good things were brought about through liberal policies. YMMV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you don’t can’t learn from experience and changing events, what can you learn from?

      Delete
    2. Lord knows, we couldn't try reading a book every now and then. :) :)

      Delete
    3. >>>> good things were brought about through liberal policies<<<<

      Like inner Baltimore ?

      Whole topic is complex but some policies are obviously failing.

      Rufus, the secret about reading books is you have to read the meaningful ones, and these have very little to do with economics, and in the end, nothing at all to do with economics.

      Delete
    4. You're a fucking moron.

      Please don't use my name; I'm afraid it might be contagious.

      Delete
  44. TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a longtime opponent of "Obamacare," made a startling announcement shortly after his mother's death, going on TV two years ago to explain that he had dropped his objections to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.



    The Republican governor, a former hospital executive who entered politics running TV ads against the Affordable Care Act, said then in 2013 that his mother's death had changed his perspective, and that he could no longer "in good conscience" oppose expanding health care coverage to nearly 1 million Floridians.







    Scott's allies, opponents and the press corps in Tallahassee were incredulous over his change of heart, asking if his support for Medicaid expansion could be a calculated move designed to win Obama administration approval for his long-sought proposal to hand control of the existing Medicaid population's health care over to private insurance companies.



    Scott insisted then that his sudden reversal was motivated by the death of his mother, and that he wasn't expecting anything from Obama in exchange. But he soon got the federal waiver he had been pressing for, and private companies now manage Medicaid benefits for more than three million Floridians.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scott's gratitude didn't last — he is again one of the nation's harshest critics of "Obamacare" and the Medicaid expansion the president has been lobbying for. Scott even sued the federal government two weeks ago, alleging that Obama is illegally coercing the state to expand Medicaid to more of the working poor, in ways that could cost taxpayers dearly.



      Now the governor says he shouldn't be forced to expand the same program he supported two years ago, even if the financial terms are now much better for Florida: With its current Medicaid population, Florida pays 40 percent of the bill and the federal government pays 60 percent. Under Medicaid expansion, the feds will pay the entire bill at first, and 90 percent thereafter.



      "He engaged in a deceitful plan to privatize Medicaid, all while pretending to embrace an expansion of the program that would help his constituents. I'm at a loss to think of a time when truer colors were more exposed," U.S. congresswoman Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement Friday.



      This dispute over Medicaid is the chief reason the Florida Legislature, with large GOP majorities in both houses, adjourned its annual session last week without passing a budget, as it must by July 1. The Senate, backed by hospitals and business groups, supported a plan to expand Medicaid, while the more conservative House, with Scott's blessing, rejected that.



      The pressure remains high. Florida's budget has a gaping hole, and a $1 billion federal grant that defrays hospital care for indigent patients in the state expires June 30 unless state Republicans can reach a deal with the Obama administration.



      An AP reporter asked the governor a tough question Thursday after Scott returned empty-handed from Washington, where he had tried to persuade Obama's Health and Human Services secretary to extend the grant even without a Medicaid deal.



      "Two years ago you did come out in favor of expansion," the reporter asked. "Can explain to me — were you lying back then — or has something changed, other than an election, between now and then to get you to change your position?"



      "Let's remember what I said back then. It was the day that we were able to get our waivers done," Scott responded.

      Delete
    2. Republican State Sen. Joe Negron, the architect of Florida's plan to get federal Medicaid money two years ago, told the AP Friday that it was always clear to him that Scott's fleeting endorsement of Obamacare back then was intended to win the waiver. "In his mind those two policy items were linked," Negron said.



      After the AP reported Friday that Scott "conceded" that his earlier support of Medicaid expansion was a "ruse," the governor's office issued . . . . .

      Deemocracy is Hard

      Delete
    3. Flip Flopper.

      I don't like flip floppers, though everybody does it sometime.

      Looking at it optimistically, it's the only hope for some, pessimistically, a train wreck.

      This guy sounds like a 'double flipper' the worst kind of flopper in existence.

      John Kerry comes to mind in this context.

      Delete
    4. Didn't see that last part about it being a 'ruse'.

      Guy should be shot.

      My party should always strive to cleanse itself, one way or other.

      Think Larry 'Men's Room' Craig aka 'The Toe Tapper' aka 'Widestance' Larry.

      Delete



  45. by Bill McBride on 5/06/2015 06:46:00 PM




    image: http://ads.investingchannel.com/adtags/log_dart_url?url=invc.calculatedriskblog/prudential_risk%3Bkval%3Dprudential%3Bkval%3Drisk%3B%3Btile%3D1%3Bviewcount%3D4%3Bfp%3D1%3Bivp%3D100%3Badslot_fp%3D1%3Bpm_bid%3D0%3Bpm_bidid%3D%3Bpm_sz%3D%3Brb_t%3D140%3Brb_z%3D174632%3Bkw%3D%3Bsz%3D728x90%3Btl%3Dprudential_risk%3Batype%3Djn%3Bis_search%3Dfalse%3Brnd%3D9665571603395456%3Bspy_Up%3Dtrue%3Bitb_Up%3Dtrue%3Bfm_Up%3Dtrue%3Bewzs_Down%3Dtrue%3BMCHI_Up%3Dtrue%3B%5EVIX_Down%3Dtrue%3Breferer%3Dhttp%3A//www.calculatedriskblog.com/2015/05/demographics-are-now-improving.html%3B%3Bord%3D43978484103786%3F&atype=jn&itype=ps&ptype=pg&at_status=CL





    The Financial Times blogs has a blog post about the demographic impact on the U.S. economy: The US economy’s demographic dividend is fast turning into a deficit. A few excerpts.


    Demographic change is creating major headwinds for the US economy ... One key factor is that there are more older people than ever before, due to a combination of the ageing of the US baby boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) and increasing life expectancy. Older people tend to spend less, as they already own most of what they need and their incomes decline as they enter retirement.

    Equally important is the collapse that has occurred in US fertility rates since the peak of the baby boom. These have nearly halved from the 3.33 babies/woman level of the mid-1950s to just 1.97 babies/woman today, below the level required to replace the population. As a result, the size of the 25-54 age group, historically the main wealth creators, has plateaued in the US.
    If this post had been written a decade ago, it would make more sense.

    Last year, I posted some demographic data for the U.S., see: Census Bureau: Largest 5-year Population Cohort is now the "20 to 24" Age Group, Decline in the Labor Force Participation Rate: Mostly Demographics and Long Term Trends, and The Future's so Bright ...

    Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2015/05/demographics-are-now-improving.html#DZ3i2Edr5uVwmTMq.99

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I pointed out that "even without the financial crisis we would have expected some slowdown in growth this decade (just based on demographics). The good news is that will change soon."

      Changes in demographics are an important determinant of economic growth, and although most people focus on the aging of the "baby boomer" generation, the movement of younger cohorts into the prime working age is another key story in coming years. Here is a graph of the prime working age population (this is population, not the labor force) from 1948 through March 2015.


      Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2015/05/demographics-are-now-improving.html#DZ3i2Edr5uVwmTMq.99

      Delete
    2. There was a huge surge in the prime working age population in the '70s, '80s and '90s - and the prime age population has been mostly flat recently (even declined a little).

      The prime working age labor force grew even quicker than the population in the '70s and '80s due to the increase in participation of women. In fact, the prime working age labor force was increasing 3%+ per year in the '80s!

      So when we compare economic growth to the '70s, '80, or 90's we have to remember this difference in demographics (the '60s saw solid economic growth as near-prime age groups increased sharply).

      Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2015/05/demographics-are-now-improving.html#DZ3i2Edr5uVwmTMq.99

      Delete
    3. The prime working age population peaked in 2007, and appears to have bottomed at the end of 2012. The good news is the prime working age group has started to grow again, and should be growing solidly by 2020 - and this should boost economic activity in the years ahead.

      Demographics are improving in the U.S.!
      Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2015/05/demographics-are-now-improving.html#DZ3i2Edr5uVwmTMq.99

      Bill McBride - Calculated Risk Blog

      Delete
    4. Yesterday I pointed out that a blog post on demographics at the Financial Times would make more sense if it had been written a decade ago.

      A decade ago it was obvious that demographics would be a drag on the economy. Even without the financial crisis, we would have expected a slowdown in growth.

      But now the prime working age population is growing again, and we can expect growth to pick up over the next decade.

      Here is a graph of the prime working age population (this is population, not the labor force) from 1948 through March 2015 - with projections from the Census Bureau through 2040.

      In the '80s, the prime working age population was growing 2% or more per year. Over the last 10 years (March 2005 through March 2015), the prime working age population was mostly unchanged (up less than 1% for the decade).

      That is key reason that growth has slowed (see Demographics and GDP: 2% is the new 4%). Add the residual effects of the financial crisis to the drag from demographics - and the last decade was no surprise.

      Going forward, the prime working age population will grow at a 0.5% to 1.0% annual rate (Census projections). This isn't the 2%+ per year of the 1980s, but it is still decent growth.

      Demographics are now improving in the U.S..

      Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2015/05/part-ii-demographics-are-now-improving.html#5XMSHFK3edhMikOv.99


      Read more at http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2015/05/part-ii-demographics-are-now-improving.html#5XMSHFK3edhMikOv.99

      Demographics Are Improving - Part II

      Delete
    5. .

      Old news, still...

      Hopefully, McDonald's growth rate her will be able to keep up.

      .

      Delete
  46. Some good charts concerning yesterday's jobs report

    charts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Measuring a hiccup and ignoring the trend...

      Delete
    2. SodaStream . still bumping along the bottom ...

      Broke out and moved north of $21 per share ...
      Still well below the price point that "O"rdure advised buying the stock at, claiming it to be, undervalued.

      He was confused, convincing himself that the long term trends at SodaStream were merely a hiccup.

      Delete
  47. Conflicting reports from Egypt ...


    Egyptian court: Former President Hosni Mubarak can go free

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/09/middleeast/egypt-hosni-mubarak/


    Egyptian court sentences Mubarak, sons to three years in jail


    He's been in prison, sentenced to spend the rest of his life there for the killing of protesters.

    But soon he will be a free man.

    That was the decision Saturday by the Cairo Court of Appeals, which state media reported upheld a three-year sentence against the 87-year-old Mubarak on corruption charges, but -- accounting for time he's already served -- gave the OK for him to go home.

    When and exactly where he'll get out of custody wasn't immediately clear.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/09/us-egypt-mubarak-idUSKBN0NU0D620150509

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mubarack's sons no longer in line for succession to the role of Pharaoh.

      The Egyptian Army, the US proxy force in the region, still controls the country.
      The last of the 1,400 A1 Abram main battle tanks to be assembled in Egypt, now fully funded.

      Obama directed the release of 12 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets, 20 Boeing Harpoon missiles, and up to 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits made by General Dynamics.

      The decision was announced after a telephone call between Obama and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in which they also discussed the turmoil that is gripping the region. Egypt, which has worked with the United States on Middle East peace moves, is emerging from a period of domestic upheaval and is engaged in several regional conflicts, including in neighbouring Libya, and fighting Islamic State militants at home.

      Sisi is leading an initiative to form a unified Arab military force in the region to confront Iranian-allied rebels in Yemen, and other threats. Egypt is taking part in Operation Decisive Storm, the Saudi-led operation against militants in Yemen.

      On Tuesday, US Deputy Secretary for State Antony Blinken said the US would speed up weapons procurement for nations acting in Yemen.

      The White House said Washington would "modernize" the way it provided military aid to Cairo to focus on counterterrorism, border security, maritime security and Sinai security, where Islamic State militants have been active.

      Obama told Sisi he would continue to ask the U.S. Congress for $1.3 billion in military aid for Egypt per year, but said the United States would stop allowing Egypt to buy equipment on credit starting in fiscal year 2018, the White House said.


      ... the United States would stop allowing Egypt to buy equipment on credit starting in fiscal year 2018, ...
      The 1,400 M1 Abrams main battle tanks will have been delivered.
      The $1.3 Billion USD per year in US aid then will be spent on "Training & Operations".

      Delete
    2. Egypt has been the second-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid since its peace treaty with Israel in 1979.

      The Egyptian contract is the second big potential US arms deal this week after Congress was notified of a potential $1 billion sale of helicopters and missiles to Pakistan.

      On Monday, the DSCA said the State Department had approved a potential $952 million sale to Pakistan of 15 Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters, 32 General Electric helicopter engines and 1 000 Hellfire missiles.

      DSCA said the sale would further provide Pakistan
      "with military capabilities in support of its counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations."


      1,000 Hellfire missiles.

      Who's gonna be needing US drones, if the Pakistani Army has 1,000 Hellfire missiles and AH-1 platforms to fire them from?

      Delete
  48. MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) -- Liberia is now free of Ebola after going 42 days - twice the maximum incubation period for the deadly disease - without any new cases, the World Health Organization announced on Saturday.

    Obama was gonna kill us all with ebola, he was

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't remember anyone saying Obama was going to kill us all with ebola.

      He is doing a great deal of harm to the country, but kill us all with ebola ?

      Naw.

      Race relations are a lot worse than when he began his two terms. He has totally fucked up the mid east, has opened out borders, etceetc.............

      Delete
  49. Only 16 more days until Iraq ISIS Free Memorial Day 2015.

    I am beginning to get a little concerned here.

    Mosul should have been liberated by now.

    The liberation of Mosul hasn't even begun.

    Ramadi isn't even secure.

    The big oil refinery is falling to ISIS.

    Where or where is the 'rat Doctrine' when we need it ?

    ReplyDelete
  50. The United States and its allies have conducted 15 air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and 13 in Iraq since Friday, the coalition leading the operations said in a statement.

    In Syria, 13 air strikes near al-Hasakah hit 10 Islamic State tactical units, destroyed nine fighting positions, 10 vehicles, two heavy machine guns and an armored vehicle, the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement on Saturday. The other two strikes were near Aleppo and Kobani.

    In Iraq, coalition-led forces launched four strikes near Baiji, four near Falluja and others near Tal Afar, Sinjar, Mosul and al-Assad, the statement said.

    (Reporting by Washington Newsroom; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

    Nothing near Ramadi - again

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Keep bombing and killing. There is an endless supply. The civilians killed are of no matter. Cause it's not israeli doing doing the killing

      Delete
  51. .

    This is interesting: just as the U.S. is instituting a de facto blasphemy law...

    Moron. Spencer = Geller's.

    Hmmmm - no one here has suggested Pam Geller instigated, or goaded, or enticed the jihadis to do what they did ?

    I haven't seen it. No one is making excuses for the shooters. There are no excuses. I certainly haven't blamed her for inciting the shooters. All that I have done is call her a flaming ass and a media whore. The fact that you can't seem to keep these two simple issues separate is troubling but expected. I assume your simple, atavistic thought processes are the reason you keep putting up your inane posts about dhimmihood. Kind of understandable but not excusable.

    .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "a flaming ass and a media whore"

      Why ? She is very rarely in the news.

      You are thinking of that Kardashian gal -

      It's is true that Robert Spencer and Pam Geller work together a lot.

      And with Geert Wilders at times too.

      Why are not these Gentlemen flaming assholes and media whores ?

      Listen, Quirk, you got a 'strong woman' problem.

      You know instinctively that she has a mind of her own that you can't manipulate like you do Maria, or the women on a Jury, just because you are Mr. Dashing, and know how to sell product.

      I repeat, the USA should have an event like hers somewhere every week end for as long as it takes otherwise we have been de facto Sharia-ed into silence.

      Delete
    2. She, Spencer, Wilders, now all under death threats.

      She contacted the FBI.

      Obama's FBI has not called her back, so far, as of yesterday.

      "The future shall not belong to those who slander Islam"

      Prophet, er, President Obama

      "If the political winds change, I will side with the Moslems"

      Obama

      Delete
    3. Everyone that attended that Free Speech Event knew there was some risk involved in doing so.

      Your attitude, Quirk, is that we should all keep our mouths shut unless there is no risk in doing so.

      NBD

      natural born dhimmi

      Delete
    4. Wasn't calling YOU an NBD

      That's the attitude of an NBD

      Delete
    5. I'm in too good a mood to argue about it anymore anyway. Things going well here, the sky is blue, my time limited future looks bright right now....

      I'm off the too controversial subject.

      We need more love here, all around ! :)

      The spring birds sing....

      Delete
    6. Let's all get together and criticize that flaming asshole and corrupt whore and soul of the Democratic Party, USA, Hillary Clinton !

      Delete
  52. Justice for Melissa Anne Bingham. Ten shot in Baltimore Thursday night
    posted at 10:01 am on May 9, 2015 by Jazz Shaw

    Thursday night turned out to be a seriously tragic episode in Baltimore, where the city is already in the grips of major unrest over the case of Freddy Gray. Ten people were shot, with three of them winding up dead and the remainder being treated for wounds of varying severity. Hearing something like that, you’re to be forgiven if you are once again expressing dismay over the relations between the police and the community. How, you might be wondering, could this happen? Are the looters out of control? Have the cops just started mowing people down at random?

    Well, as it turns out you would be wrong. This had nothing to do with the protests or the police or the Mayor or the City Attorney. This was just another night in Baltimore. (From the Baltimore Sun)

    Ten shootings were reported Thursday across Baltimore, continuing a spate of gun violence that began after riots overtook West Baltimore on April 27. At least three of the victims died.

    About 40 people have been shot since April 28, the day after Baltimore’s most intense day of rioting.

    Just after midnight Thursday morning, a 24-year-old man walked into an area hospital with a gunshot wound to his foot. The victim told police he was approached by an unknown man who shot him in the 1200 block of E. North Ave.

    It wasn’t police shootings and it wasn’t protesters gone wild. This was the gang activity and random violence which grips parts of Baltimore and other major urban centers. The newspaper wasn’t even able to identify all of the victims by name, including one of the deceased. But another young woman was known to residents and her story had the worst ending of all.

    A 34-year-old woman was shot several times at Patapsco Avenue and Potee Street about 6 p.m., police said. Police identified her as Melissa Anne Bingham, 24, of the 100 block of W. Patapsco Ave. Bingham was taken to a hospital and died of her wounds.

    The streets are still filled with people carrying signs which call for Justice for Freddy Gray. I wonder if anyone will come forward to demand justice for Melissa Bingham. Sadly, her story is far from unique. The records show that we’re barely the month of May and Baltimore has already seen 82 people killed this year. That’s an increase of 20 over the same time last year. In addition to those killed, they are up to 134 non-fatal shootings for 2015, also a significant increase over last year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As an aside, one might wonder how so many people are getting shot in Baltimore when Maryland already has some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, drawing protests from Second Amendment proponents across the nation. It’s almost as if these gang members don’t care about following the law.

      The latest round of violence may not have been cop on citizen attacks or skirmishes which broke out as part of of the Freddy Gray protests, but that’s not to say that there is no causal relationship at all. A different report indicates that at least some of the police have been hesitant to go after the bad guys with their normal vigor now that they feel the city has turned against them. A couple of responses in particular from these officers should have citizens worried.

      “I’m hearing it from guys who were go-getters, who would go out here and get the guns and the bad guys and drugs. They’re hands-off now,” Butler said. “I’ve never seen so many dejected faces.

      “Policing, as we once knew it, has changed.”

      Lt. Victor Gearhart, a 33-year veteran who works in the Southern District, said residents with complaints about police “are going to get the police force they want, and God help them.”

      Something went wrong in the case of Freddy Gray and the public is entitled to know that there is a full – and fair – investigation taking place into the events of that day. But by the same token, complaints about the rough hands of the cops in Baltimore may be missing the much larger story. Ten people shot in one night? More than 80 killed this year? 40 shootings just in the last eleven days? Those cops are working in a war zone for all intents and purposes. In fact, I’d be willing to bet there were probably fewer people shot in parts of Damascus on Thursday night.

      The whole point here is that there is more to the story in Baltimore than just the case of Freddy Gray. The system there – in place for decades and run exclusively under liberal Democrat policies – has failed to deliver justice in a variety of ways. Will there be any justice for Melissa Bingham? The media needs to be asking many more questions than we’re currently hearing.

      http://hotair.com/archives/2015/05/09/justice-for-melissa-anne-bingham-ten-shot-in-baltimore-thursday-night/

      Delete
    2. >>>> The system there(Baltimore) – in place for decades and run exclusively under liberal Democrat policies – has failed to deliver justice in a variety of ways. Will there be any justice for Melissa Bingham?<<<<

      Probably not.

      I don't know what the answer is, but I know what it is not - a continuation of the decades old liberal Democrat policies.

      A guy like Noble Ash is desperately needed in Baltimore to get to the bottom of problem and come up with solutions.

      Delete
  53. Hillary's goose is cooked.

    >>>Face it: Hillary is old, old, old, the candidate of the last millennium. Face lifts, baggy clothes, and her own insistence that being a granny matters somehow, will not change that perception. And 92 percent of Americans want something different.<<<

    May 9, 2015
    Uh-oh! Terrible news for Hillary in new poll
    By Thomas Lifson

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2015/05/uhoh_terrible_news_for_hillary_in_new_poll.html

    ReplyDelete
  54. Quirk, have you ever considered going into the Motivational Speaking business ?

    If not, perhaps you should.

    Tim Storey's Dream Academy might be the place for you.

    http://www.yourdreamacademy.com/faq.cfm

    You might be able to pick up a quick on line degree there.

    A sort of second talent insurance policy for your future, so to speak, when all else fails.

    ReplyDelete