Posts

Showing posts from October, 2013

Only six enrolled in Obamacare on first day

The total now is probably a few hundred.

The three pillars of Obamacare

Charles Krauthammer:
Every disaster has its moment of clarity. Physicist Richard Feynman dunks an O-ring into ice water and everyone understands instantly why the shuttle Challenger exploded. This week, the ObamaCare O-ring froze for all the world to see:

Hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters went out to people who had been assured a dozen times by the president that "if you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan. Period."

The cancellations lay bare three pillars of ObamaCare: (1) mendacity, (2) paternalism and (3) subterfuge.

(1) Those letters are irrefutable evidence that Obama's repeated you-keep-your-coverage claim was false.

Why were they sent out? Because ObamaCare renders illegal (with exceedingly narrow "grandfathered" exceptions) the continuation of any insurance plan deemed by Washington regulators not to meet their arbitrary standards for adequacy.

Example: No maternity care? You are terminated.

So a law design…

Good Samaritan nation?

Guardian:
Bangkok's volunteers compete to reach bodies Despite a fear of ghosts, amateur 'basic teams' attend to injured and dead before police and medics arrive to earn good karma The Thai people tend to be very nice, but this is an aspect of their culture I had not heard of before.  My daughter has lived in Thailand with her family for about 10 years.  She speaks the language and is comfortable communicating with venders and strangers.

Israel hits Syrian missile site?

Reuters:
Syrian rebels and a U.S. official cited by CNN said on Thursday Israel had mounted a new attack on a Syrian military base but the Israeli government declined to confirm any strike.

CNN quoted an unidentified U.S. administration official on Thursday as saying Israeli warplanes struck a Syrian base near the port of Latakia, targeting missiles that Israel thought might be transferred to its Lebanese militia enemy Hezbollah.

One Syrian opposition source, a defector from air force intelligence with contacts in the Latakia region, said Israel struck a strategic missile battery near a village called Ain Shikak where President Bashar al-Assad's forces kept long-range Russian missiles that are among their most powerful weapons.

"We're not commenting on these reports," an Israeli Defence Ministry spokesman said. The government has not commented publicly on at least three attacks on Syria earlier this year.

One Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he …

IRS gave confidential tax payer info on conservative groups to FEC

Daily Caller:
A conservative government watchdog says it has obtained emails revealing that the Internal Revenue Service sent conservative groups’ private tax exemption application and tax return information to the Federal Elections Commission, in violation of federal law.

According to Judicial Watch, the emails from Jan. 2009 to the present, provided by the FEC in response to an August 2013 Freedom of Information Act request, yielded a “revealing email chain” between former Internal Revenue Services (IRS) Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner and enforcement attorneys at the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Judicial Watch explains that in one email exchange beginning on Feb 2, 2009, an FEC attorney requests information about the American Future Fund’s (AFF) tax-exempt status from Lerner.

“When we spoke last July, you told us that the American Future Fund had not received an exemption letter from the IRS,” the attorney, whose name is redacted, writes. Later in the email the atto…

Obama incompetence spread across many issues

Karl Rove:
...
It's not just ObamaCare's incompetent implementation. Many of Mr. Obama's other policies—the lack of "shovel ready jobs" in the huge stimulus bill, drawing and then erasing red lines in Syria, the near-criminal negligence surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi, the IRS targeting of conservatives, the president spinning his wheels on gun control and failing to achieve immigration reform—all of this and more smack of impulsive action, indifference and lack of attention.
... He is obviously not very good at governing and he has failed to put together a staff that can make him more disciplined.

It is going to get worse when employer mandate kicks in

Avik Roy:
Obama Officials In 2010: 93 Million Americans Will Be Unable To Keep Their Health Plans Under Obamacare They estimate that 51 percent of employer plans will be canceled.

It is why we call it the Unaffordable Care Act

Colorado 'navigator' has not been able to sign up a single applicant because the rates are too high.

Obama's lost credibility

Victor Davis Hanson:
... ... the distortions and lack of credibility of the Obama administration have matched and now trumped those of his predecessors. The public may have long ago forgotten that Obama did not close down Guantanamo as promised, or cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, or stop the revolving door of lobbyists coming in and out of the executive branch.

The public may even have forgiven the president when the stimulus bill never lowered unemployment as promised, or when his misleading boasts about vast increases in oil and gas production came to fruition despite, not because, of his efforts.

But the distortions and broken promises have now become so frequent that many at home and abroad are finally tuning out the president. Almost nothing promised about the Affordable Care Act is proving true. Contrary to presidential assurances, Obamacare has not lowered premiums or deductibles. It will not reduce the deficit or improve business competitiveness. It really …

Ads hit Obamacare supporters

Mary Landrieu deserves this ad.  She earned it with her support of the despised healthcare law.  Louisiana should reject her in 2014.

Democrats who refused to compromise want help to fix their mess

Rich Lowry:
Stop Whining Dems, You Own Obamacare. All Of It. This is a good piece that explains how we got to this point.

Obamacare is the failure of 'progressive' government

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

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

That battle a few weeks ago over the government shutdown was a familiar Beltway spectacle. But what is happening this week to ObamaCare and the political class that created it is historic. Forty years from now, the millennials who in 2008 and 2012 believed in and voted for the progressive ideal—limitless, mandated, state-led goodness—can tell their grandchildren they wat…

We did have special forces in Libya and two fought at Benghazi

Rowan Scarborough:
Masked from public view, two of the U.S. military’s elite special operations commandos have been awarded medals for bravery for a mission that further undercuts the Obama administration’s original story about the Benghazi tragedy.

For months, administration officials have claimed no special operations forces were dispatched from outside Libya to Benghazi during the Sept. 11, 2012, al Qaeda terrorist attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission and CIA annex because none was within range.

The Pentagon, under intense public criticism for not coming to the aid of besieged Americans, published an official timeline in November that carefully danced around the issue.

It said time and distance prevented any commandos outside Libya from reaching a CIA compound under attack. The timeline disclosed that a reinforcement flight 400 miles away in Tripoli contained two “DoD personnel” but did not describe who they were. Later, the official State Department report on Benghazi said they wer…

White House blames insurance companies and then tells them not to respond to attacks

This is a good example of the liberal fascism that this administration embraces.

Russia has big boomer nuclear missile test

Bill Gertz:
Russian strategic forces carried out a large-scale surprise military drill on Wednesday, launching four nuclear missiles that were closely monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies, U.S. officials said.

The drill began around 9:00 am ET and included the test launch of two land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and two submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).

The test firings were unusual because of the number of missiles fired at one time, said officials who discussed some details of the drill on condition of anonymity.

State Department spokeswoman Alexandra F. Bell confirmed the tests and said the long-range missile firings were “conducted consistent with the requirements of the New START Treaty.”

At the Pentagon, spokeswoman Cynthia O. Smith said: ”With regard to Russia’s recent testing of its strategic forces missiles, the United States received the proper notifications prior to the launches.”
... No explanation was given for why the Russians felt the nee…

We can drill our way to lower gas prices

Image
Steve Maley:But you and I both know that with only 2% of the world’s oil reserves, we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices – not when consume 20 percent of the world’s oil.
– Barack Obama, March 10, 2012
Oh, really?  That was the refrain during the election season of 2012, with average gasoline prices crowding $4.00 per gallon and no relief in sight. Democrats painted Republicans as wackos for thinking $2.50/gallon gasoline possible. But eighteen months have passed since the President’s misleading pronouncement: the U.S. is now poised to surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the the world’s #1 producer of oil and natural gas. The boom in domestic production continues, with oil production at levels not seen in a generation. Demand is soft, oil inventories are high and there is refinery capacity to spare.  And guess what? Gasoline prices are dropping. Color me unsurprised.
Source: Energy Information Administration
(http://www.eia.gov/oog/info/twip/twip_gasoline.html)  The scale of th…

Abbott looking for votes in Rio Grand Valley

FoxRio2:
Published October 28, 2013 @ 11:22 pm / News / @foxrio2PlayCurrent Time0:39/Duration Time0:39Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%00:00Fullscreen

Leaving the high cost states for Texas

Michael Barone:
Where are Americans moving, and why? Timothy Noah, writing in the Washington Monthly, professes to be puzzled. He points out that people have been moving out of states with high per capita incomes -- Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland -- to states with lower income levels.

“Why are Americans by and large moving away from economic opportunity rather than toward it?” he asks.

Actually, it's not puzzling at all. The movement from high-tax, high-housing-cost states to low-tax, low-housing-cost states has been going on for more than 40 years, as I note in my new book Shaping Our Nation: How Surges of Migration Transformed America and Its Politics.

Between 1970 and 2010 the population of New York state increased from 18 million to 19 million. In that same period, the population of Texas increased from 11 million to 25 million.

The picture is even starker if you look at major metro areas. The New York metropolitan area, including counties in New Jersey and Connect…

Cruz finds warm reception in Iowa

Margaret Carlson:
Sen. Ted Cruz was in Iowa last weekend to hunt pheasant, and activists. He found both.

He didn’t fire into anyone’s face (Dick Cheney), wear freshly pressed camouflage (John Kerry) or boast of shooting varmints (Mitt Romney). He had his own shotgun flown in by United Airlines as checked baggage and tramped through brush as if that’s how he spent all his weekends. Cruz even managed a little “Duck Dynasty” humor (“Someone make a pillow,” he shouted as a bird tumbled out the sky, or “just turn them straight into McNuggets”).

Iowa is a shallow place, at least politically. Candidates put themselves through various rites of passage to prove they’re sufficiently conservative for the state’s Republican base. The one who fakes it best wins. The straw poll and caucuses sometimes make a presidential candidate. More often they are a killing field for ambition. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, with her air-conditioned tent, country music star Randy Travis and hot-fudge sundaes w…

Obama's arrogant response to being caught in a lie

Sarah Palin:
President Obama flew in to Boston today to deliver another “ShamWow”-style infomercial for Obamacare, and it went about as well as his entourage’s snarled traffic debacle in Beantown.

As millions of Americans are being kicked off their desired insurance plans and seeing their premiums skyrocket, the President had a lot of 'splaining to do today. For starters we anticipated a Presidential apology for lying to Americans repeatedly when he promised things like, “If you like your current health care plan, you can keep it.” Make no mistake, he knew he was lying when he said that. And make no further mistake, after five years of false Obama claims, no one should actually expect contrition on this administration’s part.

Bloomberg reports that in June of 2010, the administration knew millions would be kicked off existing healthcare plans due to Obamacare; but President Obama continued to knowingly deceive the American people with repeated claims that if we liked our current pla…

Some in power sector still ignore cyber security

Fuel Fix:
Energy companies view safety as a top priority, but just 65 percent of utilities have cybersecurity program, based on responses to a survey released Wednesday.

Results of the survey by consulting firm Black & Veatch showed that many utilities are not planning on adopting computer security measures. And some respondents said they didn’t know if they’re companies have cybersecurity programs.

The responses illustrate a disconnect between many energy companies’ focus on physical safety and their knowledge of risks posed by increasingly automated systems that could be compromised.

“This level of automation helps drive efficiency, but it is important to recognize that each connected device also becomes a network access point subject to attack by hackers,” said a Black & Veatch report on the survey results.
... Only a third had systems in place to deal with cyber attacks.  I find this surprising since the threat has been openly discussed for some time.  An attack for which ther…

Obama's approval numbers continue to shrink to all time low

Politico:
President Barack Obama’s job approval has dropped to an all-time low, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey shows that a mere 42 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s job performance, down five points from a poll conducted in early October. The president’s disapproval rating stands at 51 percent, tying an all-time high for Obama.

In all, 41 percent of respondents say they have a less favorable opinion of the president since the 16 day government shutdown, compared to 21 percent who say they have a more favorable view since the shutdown.

The Affordable Care Act has made headlines since the flawed launch of HealthCare.gov on Oct. 1, and the poll shows that the website’s glitches might have raised concerns about the entire law’s tenability. Forty percent say they are less confident in the law based on what they have heard about it in the last several weeks, while 50 percent say the last few weeks have had no influence on their conf…

We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg in shale drilling

Ken Silverstein:
Despite warnings that the shale gas boom would wither, industry is getting pumped in certain areas as their numbers are only headed higher. That’s according to government analysts, who are drawing special attention to the Marcellus Shale region in the eastern states where production is skyrocketing.

The region is beating its forecasts, which is made possible by the advancement in drilling technologies. In fact, the U.S.Energy Information Administration is saying in a new report that breaks down productivity levels according to region that the gains in new gas wells are more than offsetting the declines from the existing ones. The Marcellus Shale, it adds, accounts for three-fourths of growth in the nation’s production.

“The sky has not fallen down like some have said would happen,” says Michael Krancer, Pennsylvania’s former head of environmental protection, in a speech. “We need to have continued good performance. Bad actors will be bad for business … The difference is…

Obamacare makes Republicans look wise

John Dickerson: During the public debate over health care in 2009 and 2010, no matter how tightly you may have shut your door, there was one piece of information it was impossible to avoid: the president's promise that if you liked your doctor and your health care plan you would be able to keep it. So it was a surprise to many people to get a letter like the one Independence Blue Cross sent its customers weeks ago. It said that as a result of the Affordable Care Act, "your current plan will be discontinued effective January 1, 2014, and you will need to select a new plan by the end of December to avoid any interruption in coverage."  That wasn't what the president promised. But wait, the president can explain. It's not what we think. People won’t have the same insurance—they will have better insurance, administration officials assure. That's not the way some of the people receiving these letters see it. The president's original promise was so ironclad a…

President picks a bad example to push his healthcare plan

Massachusetts cost three times as much and has a nearly five times a wait period for seeing a doctor as Georgia.

Obama's biggest whopper?

There are just so many to choose from.

White House threatens insurance executives to keep them quite

This is going on while the administration is blaming the industry for the cancellations.

What Obama really meant when he was lying about keeping your healthcare

George Will says you are free to choose along as you choose what Obama wants you to choose.

People are starting to notice that Obama is not a leader who takes responsibility

NY Times:
Where the Buck Stops, Some See a Bystander
President Obama has been under fire for his seeming detachment from major issues, like the rollout of the health insurance website and secret spying on allied heads of state. He must have been a kid who always blamed someone else for his failures.  He would have flunked OCS or the service academies with his refusal to take responsibility.  He seems to have a staff that feed into this desire to avoid taking responsibility.

Why Obama lied about allowing people to keep their healthcare

Phillip Klein:
President Obama is under intense fire this week as news of millions of Americans receiving insurance cancellation notices has renewed scrutiny of his best-known health care promise.

But to understand why this issue is so problematic for Obama, one must move beyond the debate about whether he was being dishonest by repeatedly promising that, under his program, everybody who liked their health care plans could keep them, and remember why he made the pledge in the first place.

For decades before Obama burst onto the political scene, liberals had been pushing for the federal government to establish some sort of national health care program.

But this effort always ran up against the same obstacle — an overwhelming majority of Americans were happy with their coverage and were leery of any changes.

So the health care status quo prevailed again and again, but most prominently when President Clinton's health care reform effort went down in flames in 1994.

Eventually, Democrats le…

Obama sold healthcare law through the politics of fraud

Tim Carney:
Joe Wilson didn’t know how right he was.

When the South Carolina congressman blurted, “You lie!” at President Obama’s health care speech to Congress in September 2009, Wilson could have been summarizing the president’s entire approach to passing and implementing Obamacare.

Most famously, Obama promised, again and again, “If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan, period.”

Obama knew when he said this -- the dozen times he said this -- that it was false. NBC reported that the administration understood the law would lead to cancellation of about half of the insurance plans on the individual market (that is, plans people get outside of their employers). Although Obamacare allowed some existing plans to be “grandfathered” and avoid the law's requirements, the administration tailored the grandfathering rules very narrowly, maximizing the number of disallowed plans.

Again, this was deliberate. One of Obama's favorite writers, Josh …

Getting web site running will only be the start of Obamacare problems

Moe Lane:
...
…but the problem is that, once the site is fixed, the administration’s real problems start. Because while various Lefty pundits may be content to argue about how many angels can dance on the premium of a new Obamacare policy the populace is going to focus on Hey, my healthcare costs doubled and my deductible is godawful, instead.
... Democrats maybe willing to writeoff voters who are so affected, but it will not be without cost.

Obama administration ignored warning that computer system was not ready for launch

CNN:
The Obama administration was given stark warnings just one month before launch that the federal healthcare site was not ready to go live, according to a confidential report obtained by CNN.

Read documents

The caution, from the main contractor CGI, warned of a number of open risks and issues for the HealthCare.gov web site even as company executives were testifying publicly that the project had achieved key milestones.

On Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Medicaid Chief Marilyn Tavenner, whose job it was to oversee the October 1 rollout of the website, said she did not foresee its problems.

"No, we had tested the website and we were comfortable with its performance," she said. "Now, like I said, we knew all along there would be as with any new website, some individual glitches we would have to work out. But, the volume issue and the creation of account issues was not anticipated and obviously took us by surprise. And did not show up in testing."

But the CGI document, which …

Democrats losing clout in Texas Senate

Texas Tribune:
Sometimes, it's the non-announcement that gets the political headline. Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns won’t run for the Senate seat left open by Wendy Davis’ decision to run for governor, greatly increasing already high odds that the seat will go from the Democrats to the Republicans.

That would put the Republicans just one seat away from a controlling two-thirds majority in the Texas Senate, a bit of math that increases their chances of getting their way on most issues even as it incrementally increases the clout of each of the Senate’s 11 Democrats.

That power comes from the ability to be the swing vote on issues that would otherwise be blocked. If any one senator is the difference between one outcome or another, that senator’s power — at least in that moment — rises dramatically.

On the other hand, the majority in such a case would only need one more vote. It all makes for some interesting wheeling and dealing. And it means the Democrats in the Senate can'…

Control freak healthcare computer plan abandoned in Britain

Independent:
A plan to create the world's largest single civilian computer system linking all parts of the National Health Service is to be abandoned by the Government after running up billions of pounds in bills. Ministers are expected to announce next month that they are scrapping a central part of the much-delayed and hugely controversial 10-year National Programme for IT.

Instead, local health trusts and hospitals will be allowed to develop or buy individual computer systems to suit their needs – with a much smaller central server capable of "interrogating" them to provide centralised information on patient care. News of the Government's plans comes as a damning report from a cross-party committee of MPs concludes that the £11.4bn programme had proved "beyond the capacity of the Department of Health to deliver".
... A failure like this will not be an impediment to the Obamacare plans.  They will continue to push centralized healthcare in the US despite it…

Fracking phobic New York group wants to ban LNG fuel stations

AP/Fuel Fix:
A coalition of groups dedicated to keeping New York state’s 5-year-old ban on fracking in place is demanding that the Department of Environmental Conservation withdraw its proposed regulations for new liquefied natural gas facilities, citing safety concerns and other issues.

New Yorkers Against Fracking has chartered buses to bring protesters to Albany on Wednesday for DEC’s public hearing on the regulations, which would end a 40-year moratorium on new LNG storage and fueling facilities. The state enacted the ban after an explosion killed 40 workers at a Staten Island LNG storage plant. Officials later lifted the ban, but said no facilities would be allowed until regulations were issued.

Liquefied natural gas is increasingly being adopted as a cheaper, less polluting alternative to diesel fuel for long-haul trucking fleets. At least one fuel company has plans to add LNG to some of its New York truck stops when the regulations are in place.
... The state should ignore these e…

Voters oppose new taxes on energy companies

Fuel Fix:
Most registered voters believe raising taxes on oil companies would hike costs for consumers and oppose boosting energy taxes now, according to a poll unveiled Tuesday.

Oil industry leaders and lobbyists say the new polling data, from a Harris Interactive survey commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute, helps them make the case that lawmakers should preserve a suite of cherished industry tax breaks that date back decades.

According to the survey results, 7 out of 10 registered voters believe raising taxes on oil and natural gas companies could drive up energy costs for consumers. And 81 percent think “now is not the time for politicians in Washington to raise energy taxes.”

But the tide may be shifting on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers from both parties are writing tax reform bills that would lower the corporate tax rate in exchange for repealing “loopholes” and deductions. And, on Wednesday, 29 members of a House-Senate conference committee will kick off meetings aimed …

Spy vs. Spy?

Daily Mail:
Revealed: 'Spain and France spied on their OWN citizens' phones and handed intelligence to the U.S. The NSA was given the data by the friendly governments.  I suspect it was because the NSA has better analytical tools for sifting through the mass of data.

Special ops raid to capture Benghazi attacker called off

CNN:
When U.S. commandos grabbed a former al Qaeda operative in Tripoli this month, American forces were just hours away from potentially launching a more dangerous covert raid to capture a militia figure facing charges in the deadly Benghazi terror attack, U.S. officials tell CNN.

U.S. special operations forces were ready, if ordered, to enter Benghazi and capture Ahmed Abu Khattalah, a leading figure in the Ansar Al-Sharia militia. But the mission never materialized.

The United States believes Ansar Al-Sharia was behind the September 2012 armed assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other targets.

President Barack Obama has openly said it is a "priority" to bring the Benghazi suspects "to justice." The FBI continues to investigate the attack and Khattalah is under federal indictment, CNN's Evan Perez has reported.

The FBI has also published photographs of people seen at the compound on the night of the raid tha…

Democrat hypocrisy watch--Obamacare edition

Kevin Leininger:
Look who wants to delay Obamacare now
In one of the most stunning examples of political hypocrisy in recent memory, some of the very congressional Democrats who rejected efforts to delay full implantation of the “Affordable” Care Act – then blamed Republicans for the resulting partial shutdown of the federal government – are now supporting the very thing they opposed only a couple of weeks ago.
... There is much more.

The media is starting to take note of not only the debacle taht is Obamacare, but those who refused to do anything to stop the train wreck.

2 million already told they can't keep their existing plan

The fraudulent promises of the President are finally being revealed.

Truth of the bad Obamacare results sinking in

The Unaffordable Care Act fraud on Americans is finally being revealed.

Britney Spears weaponized to deter pirate attacks?

Image
NY Post:
Britney Spears is being used as a secret weapon to fight Somali pirates.

The singer’s hits are being blasted out by tanker crews to deter kidnap attacks, merchant navy officer Rachel Owens has told Metro UK.

Spears’s chart-toppers “Oops! I Did It Again and Baby One More Time” have proved to be the most effective at keeping the bandits at bay.

Second Officer Owens, who works on supertankers off the east coast of Africa, said: “Her songs were chosen by the security team because they thought the pirates would hate them most.

“These guys can’t stand Western culture or music, making Britney’s hits perfect.”

Ships in the region are in constant danger from gun-toting pirates boarding and kidnapping crews for million-dollar ransoms. Ms. Owens, who regularly guides huge tankers through the waters, said the ship’s speakers can be aimed solely at the pirates so as not to disturb the crew.

“It’s so effective the ship’s security rarely needs to resort to firing guns,” she said.
... These guys ar…

The disengaged Obama

Washington Post:
Obama unaware U.S. spied on allied leaders The president was surprised to learn this summer about the scope of the “head of state collection,” which began in 2002. James Taranto has compile a list of similar headlines:
"Obama 'Unaware on Investments"--headline, Albany (Ga.) Herald, March 8, 2007"Obama 'Unaware of Illegal Aunt' "--headline, BBC website, Nov. 1, 2008"Obama Unaware of Tea Party Protests"--headline, Examiner.com, April 15, 2009"Obama Unaware of Backroom Deal, White House Says"--headline, Dallas Morning Newswebsite, June 4, 2010"Blago Judge: Obama Unaware of Seat Exchange Bid"--headline, Associated Press, May 16, 2011"Sebelius: Obama Unaware of ACA Website Glitches Before Launch"--headline,CaliforniaHealthline.org, Oct. 23, 2013"Obama Reportedly Unaware NSA Spied on 35 World Leaders"--headline, ABCNews.com, Oct. 28 He may be the most unaware President in history. You get the f…

Gulf Cartel money laundering charges filed in Texas

AP/San Antonio Express News:
Officials say they've smashed a South Texas money laundering ring for Mexico's Gulf Cartel.

A statement Monday from the U.S. Attorney's office in Brownsville says the nine of the 10 named in a 21-count indictment are in custody, and a search continues for the other. All are charged with conspiracy and other offenses.

Forfeiture of almost $2 million is sought.
... The alleged scam had deposits of less than $10,000 being sent from Florida to a Brownsville bank where withdrawals of less than  $10,000 would be made and then taken into Mexico.  The amounts were restricted to avoid reporting requirements.

I was in the Valley over the weekend and it appears to be prospering like the rest of Texas.  My old hometown of San Benito, just north of Brownsville appears to be doing a robust business with multiple auto parts dealerships and several new car dealers and fast food restaurants, but it also has traditional Mexican food places too.  While there is pro…

A portion of new abortion law found 'unconstitutional' by court

Dallas Morning News:
A federal judge struck down key elements of Texas’ new abortion law Monday, heeding opponents’ warning that the provisions would force a third of the state’s abortion clinics to close and deny women access to the procedure.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel found that a provision due to go into effect Tuesday, requiring doctors to have hospital admitting privileges before performing abortions, was an unconstitutional burden that had no legitimate medical purpose.

And he partially struck down a second provision that restricts the use of abortion pills, saying doctors can disregard state mandates to protect a patient’s health.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, the leading Republican candidate for governor, announced an immediate appeal to the conservative 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. But as a strong opponent of abortion, Abbott added, “I have no doubt that this case is going all the way to the United States Supreme Court.”

Texas’ new law, which includes a ban on abortion…

Unaffordeable Care Act raises cost of coverage for Texans

Texas Tribune:
The Affordable Care Act will increase the average cost of insurance premiums, making health care less affordable for those Texans on whom the system financially depends, according to a report from a conservative think tank.

The report, released Monday by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, says premiums for health insurance plans will increase for young, healthy Texans under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The health care law requires private insurers to cover essential health benefits and establishes a federal marketplace for insurers to sell coverage plans, among other requirements.

The report concludes that premiums will be on average "significantly higher than coverage available on the individual market in Texas prior to the ACA." Nonetheless, it concedes that comparing pre- and post-ACA health care plans “presents some difficulties” because of the costs associated with mandating that health plans cover essential benefits, and because the i…

Cruz says he is focused on senate job right now

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
There is much more on his Iowa trip here.  He appears to be meeting most of the right people for an Iowa run in 2016, but is not otherwise acting like a candidate.