OBAMACARE IN THE BLUE STATES—THE GREAT COVERUP

(23LH)
7/30/14
One of the ironies of the ACA is that many of the governors who supported the bill failed spectacularly in its implementation –Oregon, Maryland, Minnesota and Massachusetts, which collapsed entirely and state officials, lack a plan for fixing it in time for the fall’s enrollments. The centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) instituted a management process to ensure accountability. It involved “gate reviews” a periodic assessment of progress in seven areas: CMS designed the process to ensure the continued federal funding would lead to secure and functional exchanges.
These new reviews required a state official to make critically important representation about the readiness of the state exchange. This allowed CMS to determine whether an exchange should continue to receive massive amounts of federal funding. Law enforcement officials in Oregon and Maryland are asking whether state officials misrepresented their progress in order to keep the funding spigot open.
Obama should start by reviewing the performance of the key law enforcement official, HHS inspector general Daniel Levinson.
In Oregon a complaint concerning $300 million in squandered taxpayer money finally provoked the FBI, the HHS inspector general and the GAO to open investigations into many issues, including whether Cover Oregon officials had misrepresents their progress. Making false statement is a federal felony.
Inspector General Levinson has repeatedly shirked his duties in order to be a good ACA team player. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, whose confirmation as secretary of HHS would use “the full extent of the law” to recover misspent health exchange funding. To insist that AG Holder sends the FBI into Maryland to babysit Levisnosn’s see-no-evil employees; any action less than that will strongly suggest that the fix is in.
Massachusetts website still does not allow residents to obtain insurance as the ACA requires, and state officials will no decide until late July whether to rebuild the site or use HealthCAre.gov. we are now six months away from the next round of health exchange enrollments.
Gov. Patrick has stonewalled attempts by his heavily Demo legislature to obtain an accounting of where the money went. The state that served as a model for the ACA has already spent over a half billion dollars. Patrick placed as many as 200,000 applicants who requested financial assistance onto Medicaid—whether they qualified or not. It lacks the data to come clean with the public and CMS as to how many hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent on Medicaid payments for people ineligible for it.
State attorney general Martha Coakley have been studiously silent about evidence of possible criminal activity in Mass., which includes untrue statements made to obtain
Funding as multiple cases of no-bid contracts going to entities paid to oversee
themselves.
His stonewalling of financial data that other states have disclosed is the first indicator of a problem. The second sign is that there is simply no credible explaining other than outright misrepresentation—for how Mass., slipped through the CMS gate reviews without having even a marginally functional beta version of its exchange. The states oversight board complained about their own staff’s failure to inform them promptly that the system had failed.
The third sign of misconduct is that Patrick has stripped the executive director of the state exchanges of her program management and contracting responsibilities. Functional control of the states exchange in eh hands of his trusted former deputy chief of staff for cabinet affair, a labor lawyer who is totally lacking in the technical expertise or experience necessary to turn around the failed exchange.
Minnesota’s arrogant and inexperienced executive director withheld critically important information form her board. Ill-advised software contracts compounded timeline failures produced primarily by poor planning and execution. Minnesota passed the CMS gate reviews even though as in Mass., it could not test a beta system before its failed launch. We need to know how CMS could have possibly found adequate progress for functionality and security in light of this disarray and laws enforcement needs to know too.
Obama is setting up his new HHS secretary for failure if he hesitates to hold his appointees accountable. We cannot rely on investigations by an inspector general who has been a significant and longstanding part of the problem he is investigating. Obama should fire Levinson, Holder to appoint a special counsel with broad powers to oversee an investigation into all the failed state exchanges in order to determine whether federal and state official committed felonies (WHEN PIGS FLY—HOLDER WILL)

Congress needs to ask whether partisan considerations—or personal relationships such as the friendship between Obma and Patrick—influenced decisions by CMS officials to continue funding completely non-functional systems.

Source—weekly standard, Michael astrue,

THE REAL V.A. PROBLEM

(50H) 7/30/14

At least 23 deaths have been tied to a “secret waiting lists”. Not a single VA official responsible for this tragedy has lost this job! The VA scandal would be clarion call for civil service reform.
Long-running problems, the Va has fired a grand total of three senior executives for performance in the last 5 years—one-fourth the federal average for terminations. The Office of Personnel Management disclosed that about 0.47% of the federal workforce was terminated for cause, considerably below the 3% fired in the private sector.
In the last 15 years federal agencies, employees were more likely to die of natural causes than to be terminated in any given year. Federal agencies go an entire year without firing a singe employee. The average federal employee made $126,141 in 2012 more than double the private sector average.
The House passed legislation that would give the VA greater authority to fire or demote senior executives for performance. The additional firing flexibility would apply only to the top 360 supervisors out of more that 340,000 employed at the VA. (WOW)
The bill has been blocked in the senator by Bernie Sanders. Dems are so influence by donations form powerful federal employees unions that, even in face of fatal negligence they are to the mat for a few hundred employees out of a federal workforce of more that two million.
In 2008 (NATCA) endorse Obama after his election and three years before their contract was to expire, the FAA suddenly renegotiated with the union. The new NATCA contract cost taxpayers an additional $669 million. The biggest spender in the 2012 election cycle was NATCA’s PAC, which gave $1.25 million to the Obama reelection PAC, Priorities USA.
The current probationary period for federal employees is one year. This could be doubled to allow more federal managers more opportunity to weed out problematic employees. Manages need more discretion to dismiss employees for poor performance. Union activities could also be curtailed. Enforcing the Hatch Act vigorously would be a good start. Employees should not be able to work on union organizing on the taxpayer’s dime, as they have done for years. In 2012 the IRS alone spent $21.6 million compensating employees who were working on union activities, not on public jobs.
It’s time to reexamine whether some agencies should even have the right to collectively bargain. The IRS scandal has resulted in no firings—convincingly demonstrates there’s not reason to allow IRS employees to belong the National Treasury Employees Union which is actively engaged in electoral politics. HR 2679 last year, legislation that would exclude the IRS from the relevant federal labor-management relation’s statue, is still pending???

Source-weekly standard, mark hemingway, usa today, Washington examiner.

A BUSINESS PLAN FOR INFRASTRUCTURE

(55H) 7/30/14

The US Chamber recently unveiled a comprehensive, forward-looking business plan for infrastructure that meets the needs of a competitive 21st century. It is based on five pillars:
Is transparency and accountability especially how transportation and infrastructure projects are selected, executed and paid for? Reforms will instill public confidence and trust that’s badly needed.
Streamlined regulatory process, put to work quickly. We cannot allow vital projects to get suspended in endless permitting processes or tangled up in red tape.
Seamless, nationally connected system that links all the physical assets and all the transportation mode together.
Technology to insure that our roads and bridges, our air traffic control systems and our water pipes and other infrastructure are “smart”
A predictable, stable and growing source of funding. We need to seize every opportunity to tap every possible source of capital so that it important projects can get done.
By raising the gas tax, which hasn’t been increased in 20 years. We must also leverage private investments, particularly innovative funding mechanism like public-private partnerships

Source—us chamber of commerce, Thomas donohue.

“MORAL HEALTH AND MARTIAL VIGOUR”

(59H) 7/30/14

Obama will have US forces out of AFG by the end of 2016. You can’t fault Obama for inconsistency. The election in 208 he reduced the US military presence in Iraq to zero. He topple Gaddafi in 2011, he made sure not US forces would remain, he stayed aloof except from he conflict in Syria”.
The AFG decision would be understandable had Obama previous choice proved out. The results had Iraq slid into something close to civil war. Qaeda retaking territory, in Syria, al Q has carved out safe zones., Libya is falling apart. Iran is on the verge of becoming a nuclear threshold state, Russia has responded to five years of effort by the Obama adm to “reset” our relationship by invading a neighboring state. American counterterrorism efforts in Pakistan have now virtually ground to a halt, and Al-Q branches and affiliates are gaining strength thought the greater Middle East. FBI director Comey “I Didn’t have anywhere near the appreciation I got after came into this job just how virulent those affiliates had become. There are both many more than I appreciated, and they are stronger than I appreciated.”
“Al-Q affiliates “are stronger that I appreciated”. Our enemies are stronger than the adm appreciates. The US is weaker than the adm appreciates.” (APPRECIATES???)
OBAMA DERIDED CRITICS OF HIS FOREIGN POLICY AS “THEIR MISREADING HISTORY OR ENGAGED IN PARTISAN POLITICS”.
His West Point speech may be the moist ahistorical major foreign policy speech ever given by an American president. It offers no “reading” of the history of American foreign policy.
Obama rejects US global engagement, has shaken the confident of many US allies and encouraged some adversaries. He heard form Singapore to France and more quietly form some leading congressional Dems. The President wants to insist that his critics are mere partisans.
Chairman Thronberry, the armed services next committee chairman, made the case that, under Obama, the US is seen to be “in withdrawal mode”. “Aggressors are emboldened; friends are unsure; neutrals are making new calculations” and according to the Freedom House freedom is in retreat, declining for the eighth consecutive year.”
“Military weakness” and “loss of credibility in the world”,” defense spending this year is 17% of the federal budget, the lowest since before WW2.
Thornberry points out that Obama called for replacing the defense budget caps in current law with “something more reasonable”, but Thronberry said that he is “not willing to accept that we must have a smaller military and a smaller role the world.
We know that as the US retreats, others will fill the void, and those others will not move the world toward greater freedom and prosperity.
And in quoting Tony Blair—“don’t worry so much about being loved. Just be storng…. what the world needs now is for you to be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does”.
Reversing Obama’s years of weakness and retreat will be difficult. It will require political courage. It will require a willingness to take on both the alleged “war wearines” of the public and the all-too –real disdain for American strength of many of our elites.
Source—weekly standard, William kristol, Washington post,

THEY HAD A DREAM—RULE BY EXPERTS COMES A CROPPER

(60H) 7/26/14

Their keen intellects would cut through the clutter, as mere mortals couldn’t
They would lift up the wretched, oppressed by cruel forces; they would counter the greed of the merchants, the limited views of the business community and the ignorance of the conformist and dim middle class.
Their stock in trade was their belief in themselves, and their contempt for the way the middle class thought, lived and made and spent money. Commerce was crude, consumption was vulgar and industry, which employed millions and improved the lives of many more people, too gross and/or grubby for words.
“It was thus a crucial imperative to constrain the conventional and often corrupt politics of middle-class capitalist so that these far-seeing leaders might obtain the recognition and power that was only their due”. They judged people largely by mores and manners and men in both parties would earn their contempt.
Kennedy shunned Schlesinger’s counsel. Bill Clinton was a wonk but also a Bubba.
When they found him (Obama) a genuine African American talked like the academics on both sides, could speak to both ends of the liberals’ up and down coalition and a would be transformer of our public life, this conveyed “moderation”.
They made it clear that the Obama regime would be different form all other. Damaged economy, creation of jobs, GW, refusal to act on the Keystone pipeline, health care—“sees himself as a Burkean” and “understands complexity and the organic nature of change.”
The ACA looked for advice to academics, not governors, and proposed the state takeover of an industrial complex responsible for one-sixth of the GDP. To insure approximately 18 million out of 300 + million Americans (they confessed the plan would still leave 20 million uninsured), they proposed to spending trillions on a reengineering of the entire system that would in time cause 80-100 million of the currently insured to lose and to seek new insurance.
This system requires coordination of over 288 policy options…each with three or more levels of coverage, while simultaneously calculating beneficiary income, tax credibility, subsidy levels, deductibles, not to mention protection applicant privacy. They planned to move millions upon millions of people from one set of doctors and networks to new ones.
They imposed health insurance mandates on companies that employed 50 or more people with little consideration that this might apply a strong brake to the expansion of businesses and move levied taxes on medical devices to fewer inventions. They heaped new levels of regulations and paperwork onto the shoulders of doctor’s and hospitals.
And to appease constituents was a blizzard of waivers, exemptions, and extensions of deadlines. At this point there is barely a deadline that has not been erased or extended, a rule that hasn’t been excised or rewritten to make its impact less lethal and even the most frantic of changes hasn’t made the system work well.
“Is the federal government capable of managing the provision of a fundamental service through an extraordinarily complex system?”
Owing to two tenets of liberal theory—that a crisis always makes people more open to large and expansive federal government and that people never turn ways form FREE stuff.
This assessment was drawn from the New Deal experience when the crisis was much graver; government was much smaller and had more room to grow. FDR waited to introduce Social Society until well after the financial panic was quelled, while Obama introduced his big, experience, and far more complex programs while the crash had not yet abated.
He came form the Scholl that maintained the country quite often didn’t know its won interest. Mencken had called the people “ignorant peasants,” and Stevenson, when told that “all thinking Americans” had voted for him, replied, “Yes but I need a majority.
Dems muscled the bill through the senate as a Christmas Eve present, having spent millions to bride their own members t defy their constituents.
For the first time in American history the cost of a massive social program would be concentrated on a small slice of the populace that was not rich and in some instances, could not afford it.
Cancer patients who took their complaints to the press were “fact checked” and then viciously attacked by the dems, among them Reid who called them all liars.
In Feb. 2010, 80 highly credentialed experts maintained that the ACA would’ cover more than 30 million who were otherwise have gone uninsured. Provide financial help to make coverage for millions of working families…strengthen competition and oversight of private insurance. Give them protection for Americans living with chronic illness and disabilities.. Make significant investments in community health centers, prevention and wellness. Increase financial support to states t fiancé expanded Medicaid insurance coverage, eliminate Medicare prescription drug donut hole.. Provide a platform to improve the quality of health care and reduce the federal budget deficit over the next ten years and beyond.
Herbert Croly confounded, “the new law untangles the dysfunctionalities of the individual insurance market while fulfilling he political imperative of leaving he employer-provided system in place. They put into place numerous reforms to force efficiency into the wasteful system; they found hundreds of billions of dollars in payment offsets. They will bring economic and financial security to tens of millions of Americans. It did none of these things.

Thus far, it has terminated the careers of almost 70 national dems given the republicans control of 26 states, and brought in anew crew of GOP leaders inspired by fighting it. “Liberalism has spent the better part of the past century attempting to prove that it could competently and responsibly, extend the state into new reaches of American life.
“It is actually harder to do some of these things in reality than we thought when we put it down n paper”, a book review in the Washington Post quoted a former Obama health care adviser as saying.

(GOOD LUCK)

sources—wahington post, weekly standard, noemie emery,

A PERFORMANCE REVIEW—THE PRESIDENTS NEEDS IMPROVEMENT

(28H) 7/26/14

in 2000 Fred Greenstein, a scholar of the presidency at Princeton, came up with six “qualities that bear on presidential performance.”
They’re nonideological, nonpartisan, and they offer a useful way to judge presidents.

EFFECTIVENESS as a political communicator. He’s become windy, boring, whiny and unpersuasive. He has a case to make for his presidency, but he makes it poorly. Obama thinks the press is puerile and annoying. Thus presidential press conferences are infrequent. One reason for the failure of Obama’s speeches is their sameness. He insists the public love his current agenda (minimum wage hike, more money for infrastructure etc). He blames republicans for blocking it and uses rhetorical devices such a straw men. He doesn’t believe “we as a community, as a country” should give people “ a hand up”. I don’t know a single republican with that attitude.

ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY: he rarely seems to be on top of events. He had not idea the OIBC rollout might be disastrous. We don’t know the inner workings of the White House because of lack of transparency. The biggest problem is lack of competence. Obama has trouble firing the duds. It would reflect badly on him, if he did.

POLITICAL SKILL: he wins a presidential election, is smart, deft and cunning. In 2008 Obama assured us he knew how to cure the polarization and dysfunction that impeded bipartisan progress. Turns out he didn’t. He succeeded in his first 2 years enacting “OBC, a stimulus and a federal takeover of student loans.” But any president would have succeeded with majorities in congress as large as Obama had. Obama doesn’t get along with those who disagree with him. In negotiations, he lectures and grows petulant when he doesn’t get his way. He lacks a knack for crafting compromises; he doesn’t know how to lead in strained circumstances.

VISION: Obama hs one, its left-wing vision. He’s for raising taxes, redistributing the wealth, giving federal regulators and bureaucrats more power than they ever dreamed of and reducing America’s sway in the world. Gridlock, but he wants the national political discussion to focus on race, poverty, sexism, and fairness vision “has a variety of connotations.” One is the capacity to inspire, and Obma can inspire the left (but only the left). Another is a “set of overreaching goals”. Obama has those but marketing his vision to a majority of American—that, he hasn’t mastered..

COGNITIVE STYLE: this is the ability to collect, analyze, absorb and process information. His ability to understand both side of any issue, Obama isn’t quite that wise.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE: IT’S ON OF Obama’s strengths and fare more important than it sounds. The six qualities for judging a president simply confirm the publics opinion of Obama: As president, he’s not so good.

Source—weekly standard, fred barnes

LERNER, LERNER—THAT’S ALL WE HEAR —HOW ABOUT JUSTICE 4 ARTICLES COMBINED

Part 4 of 4
More Lost Emails: FEC Destroyed Hard Drive of Ex-Lerner Employee: In addition to the destruction of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s computer hard drive, the Federal Election Commission recycled the hard drive of one of her former employees, adding to the list of emails that have gone missing in relation to the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups.
FEC attorney April Sands’ hard drive, saying it has hindered the investigation.

“The FEC’s failure to retain Ms. Sands’ hard drive prevented the FEC Office of Inspector General from fully pursuing appropriate criminal sanctions for Ms. Sands’ admitted violation of federal law,” the letter said. “Like the IRS’s destruction of Lois Lerner’s hard drive, the FEC’s recycling of Ms. Sands’ hard drive may have also destroyed material responsive to Freedom of Information Act and congressional oversight requests.”

Sands resigned from the FEC in April after admitting to violating the Hatch Act
\sources—daily caller, newsmax, melanie batley