Patterico's Pontifications

2/12/2014

Unspeakable Outrage: Obama Administration to Require Employers to “Attest” on Their Tax Forms That They Have Not Laid Off Workers to Avoid the ObamaCare Mandate

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:52 am

Fox News sure knows how to bury the lede. This passage is nine paragraphs into the article — a seemingly offhand comment in a story titled “Republicans renew ObamaCare battle after latest mandate delay”:

Some lawmakers, though, have claimed that the mere threat of the employer mandate is causing companies to shed full-time workers in the hope of keeping their staff size below 50 and avoiding the requirement.

Administration officials dispute that this is happening on any large scale. Further, Treasury officials said Monday that businesses will be told to “certify” that they are not shedding full-time workers simply to avoid the mandate. Officials said employers will be told to sign a “self-attestation” on their tax forms affirming this, under penalty of perjury.

Attest that you didn’t do something you have a right to do — and if you’re lying you go to jail. How about that?

Let’s be very clear about this. I feel confident in saying that there is no law in existence that prevents employers from laying off (or reducing the hours of) workers in order to avoid a burdensome federal regulation. I feel confident in saying this because if such an incredible intrusion into the management of small business were ever proposed, I think we would have heard about it. If I am wrong, and there is some small poisonous overlooked provision in ObamaCare or another law that imposes such a requirement, then this is an even bigger story than the one we’re currently looking at. I sincerely doubt it.

So take it as a given: the Obama administration says they will require employers to certify, under penalty of perjury, that they have not taken an action that they have every legal right to take.. This is a breathtaking abuse of power that deserves to be screamed from the rooftops of every home in the land. It should be a banner headline in every newspaper, not just a muttered afterthought in a mundane story about politics.

This bogus certification has at least two pernicious effects. First, it will cause some employers to believe that this is the law, even though it isn’t. Raise your hand if you can say that you have read every word of every law that pertains to employer responsibilities in this country. You guys with your hands up are all lying. Put those hands down and shut up and listen to me. If employers are forced to attest that they didn’t do something, many if not most will assume it was illegal to do what they did.

A QUICK ASIDE: This reminds me of the stunt that our wonderful Caliornia State Bar pulls on their membership fee forms. On the bill, which must be paid by every lawyer, they include in the printed total about $15 of contributions, which (you learn if you read the fine print) are actually voluntary and can be subtracted from the total. You can (and I always do) subtract those amounts from your total. But if you are not paying close attention, you may just write a check for the total amount on this bill, which after all, is mandatory for members of the bar. The only reason to structure the bill this way is to trick some lawyers into thinking that the contributions are mandatory when they aren’t. It’s nothing less than a fraud on State Bar members, perpetrated by the people entrusted to ensure that lawyers don’t defraud people. But these people have regulatory authority over me, so I had best not complain too loud, huh? Forget I said anything.

BACK TO THE POINT: Some people, of course, will not be fooled. Those people know that they have absolutely no obligation not to fire workers to avoid the mandate. But they are being asked to attest that they didn’t. What are the consequences of failing to sign this attestation? The story does not say, and legally, I can’t imagine there could be any. I have no doubt that some employers will refuse to sign the attestation, some will challenge it in court, and several years and thousands of dollars of legal bills later, they will win.

But in the meantime, what consequences will there be for failing to sign the illegal attestation? I don’t know, but I know this:

THOSE TAX RETURNS ARE GOING TO BE PUT IN A DIFFERENT PILE.

Beyond that, I don’t know what will happen. The people who refuse to attest to something they have no obligation to attest to may not be arrested. They may not pay fines. They may not be audited at a higher rate. (Raise your hand if you believe that. I see no hands.) But we know that their return will go in a different pile.

Because, why else ask the question?

I guess this may be the first in a glorious parade of new attestations we will all have to sign. Just imagine the possibilities. “I certify under penalty of perjury that I am paying each woman in my company the same salary that I pay the men.” “I certify under penalty of perjury that I am spending my company’s profits on hiring as many additional workers as possible.” “I certify under penalty of perjury that I am paying my workers the highest possible wage I can afford.”

I think I will start a new shtick on this blog, where I refer to Obama having people certify things on their tax forms that he just kind of feels like having them attest to. When I do that, I will include a link to this post. The gimmick is designed to raise awareness of this outrage in some small way. Because nine paragraphs into a boring political story from one news outlet does not cut it.

UPDATE: Commenter DF specifies the consequences for failing to sign the illegal attestation: employers can’t take advantage of the illegal delay of the mandate.

Sign this thing we can’t legally ask you to sign, or we will not give you the break we have no right to give, but that we will give anyway to people who do sign.

Great.

392 Responses to “Unspeakable Outrage: Obama Administration to Require Employers to “Attest” on Their Tax Forms That They Have Not Laid Off Workers to Avoid the ObamaCare Mandate”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/02/12/2014-03082/shared-responsibility-for-employers-regarding-health-coverage

    See XV-D-6-a

    Employers who do not certify that they did not reduce workforce or hours in order to satisfy the size criterion (less than 100 FTE employees) cannot receive the “2015 transitional relief” (i.e. exemption from the tax) otherwise provided by that section.

    DF (63295d)

  3. I certify and attest, under penalty of perjury, that Obama is a Jug-Eared Fool and Stutering Cluster**** of A Miserable Failure.

    nk (dbc370)

  4. Really. Those forms are now computer generated. Can the attestation be altered to something like my Comment 3? Will they actually proofread them at IRS or just glance to see if they’re signed?

    nk (dbc370)

  5. UPDATE: Commenter DF specifies the consequences for failing to sign the illegal attestation: employers can’t take advantage of the illegal delay of the mandate.

    Sign this thing we can’t legally ask you to sign, or we will not give you the break we have no right to give, but that we will give anyway to people who do sign.

    Great.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  6. Title 18 USCA Section 1000 makes if a felony to make a false statement to a government official.

    This IRS “requirement” is just another Hitlerian Fuhrerbefehl.

    Meanwhile back at Versailles on the Potomac, Queen Moochelle blows half a million dollars out the taxpayer’s ear for a state dinner for the French premier–and a twelve thousand dollar dress.

    At the same time, Ol Barky is out on the portico braying about income inequality.

    Skeptical Voter (12e67d)

  7. people need to learn more about jury nullification

    nobody should ever be punished for lying to some whore government flunky of the neo-fascist failmerican regime

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  8. Loyalty oaths were one of the things Nancy Pelosi was referring to when she said we needed to pass the bill to find out what’s in it.

    AZ Bob (533fbc)

  9. Can we make future Presidents (and current ones) certify on their tax returns that they have not arbitrarily changed laws on a whim to help with elections?

    Ryan (f63f4e)

  10. Another form of hypocrisy.
    They want us to make loyalty oaths, while they violate their oath to uphold the Constitution.

    We have lost the Republic, the only question is whether it is irrevocably lost, or whether we can get it back before things degenerate further.
    For a republic to work, the people who elect representatives need to be educated,
    which we are not, both by our public schools and by our media
    and we need a virtuous people, who are eager to do good and stand in the way of evil,
    and we are not.

    My son the detective mentioned last night the angst that is arising from the nomination/appointment of that Mumia Abdul-Jamal defender to head the civil rights division of the DOJ.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  11. So, apparently, there’s a problem?

    I certify under penalty of perjury that I never intended to run over that squirrel, Your Honorableness. I had a split second to swerve left, right, or do nothing. That squirrel had the same choice. Unfortunately Your Egregiousness, we both chose the latter. Nobody feels more broken up about it than I do. It’s important to make sure that at the end of the day, more squirrels—and drivers—choose a wiser path. There’s not a smidgen of squirrel animosity to see here, Your Loutishness. Also I swear under penalty of perjury that I never intended to awaken hysterical squirrel loving neighbors the next evening—or was it morning—with the sound of my less than expert drum kit expertise.

    Jack (ff1ca8)

  12. Comment by Ryan (f63f4e) — 2/12/2014 @ 8:56 am

    Well, with the current state of affairs, if we did the IRS would selectively enforce it; ignoring it where convenient and making up investigations to hassle people they don’t like.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  13. This is meant to silence critics. Remember the stories where business owners would say: “I’m not hiring [or I'm cutting hours/laying off people] because of Obamacare.” No more such stories, or they’ll be prosecuted for perjury.
    Remember the stories from various news outlets/think tanks about how many jobs were lost because of Obamacare? No more – some Obama flack will say: “We’ve got sworn statements from businesses that this did not happen!”
    This is the most ruthless, partisan, anti-free speech administration in memory.
    The Obama Administration – Using the IRS to Silence Critics since 2009

    Walter Cronanty (d16f1a)

  14. Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 2/12/2014 @ 9:04 am

    MD, you don’t know how happy it makes me that Holder with his, inter alia, supplying guns to drug cartels, reducing prison sentences, and now looking to re-enfranchise felons, is alienating the rank and file cops. Not that they necessary will refuse to rank and file us into cattle cars if ordered to do so. Just possible that they might refuse.

    nk (dbc370)

  15. Yeah, I think I said this yesterday:

    The certification thing about staffing is fairly hard to justify. Here, Obama has waived a section of law for reasons of expedience (never mind the constitutionality of the waiver) and conditioned the waiver on a certification requirement that occurs nowhere in law.

    As I understand it, they are saying this: There is a waiver. If you want the waiver it will be automatically granted if you sign this form. But the law that is being waived ALSO requires that a small-business insurance exchange be set up, and that isn’t happening either. So, the “choice” not to sign the form isn’t all that much of a choice. Someone will sue.

    Comment by Kevin M (dbcba4) — 2/11/2014 @ 8:27 pm

    http://patterico.com/2014/02/11/barack-i-can-do-whatever-i-want-obama-rewrites-obamacare-again/#comment-1451348

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  16. Oye, these stories are making my head spin. Wait…the world IS spinning!

    It turns out my previous perspective of a grounded reality was all false! Thanks Big Government for helping me see the truth!

    DejectedHead (a094a6)

  17. BTW, whatever happened to the requirement that regulations had notice periods, comment periods, etc? Can they really just promulgate new rules overnight under the ACA? IF not, there are millions of small businesses with standing to sue the HHS Secretary.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  18. And in any event the requirement to sign a form to obtain a waiver, outside of the law, ought be actionable even if the promulgation of the regulation is procedurally correct.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  19. Jonah Goldberg was right: put the right face on fascism, and progressive will love it.

    We have always been at war with Eastasia.

    Orwell knew this worm in the soul quite well.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  20. This is attest. This is only attest.

    Mitch (341ca0)

  21. Clearly we are outside the control of the law. You have the highest offices in the land actively circumventing laws. No one will enforce any comment period rules and the courts wouldn’t make a decision for years if it goes through them.

    It appears to me that they are actively pushing arbitrary rules from every angle because they have completely captured power and no one has realized it yet. As long as they push around the edges and don’t do anything too blatant, like ordering a military occupation of a State, then they’ll get away with it. You can’t confront them over EVERY form. If you find one and challenge it, IF you win, well you got 1 out of 4000.

    The odds are against the citizens. Everything his been set up to play in favor of the government.

    DejectedHead (a094a6)

  22. businesses will be told to “certify” that they are not shedding full-time workers simply to avoid the mandate

    This kind of thing occurs in other areas of law, although maybe there without having someone specifically attest as to motive.

    If a divorced woman who was previously married fror at least 10 years marries someone else she loses the right to collect Social Security on her fist husband’s account. she can regain it by divorcing again. But a divorce to gain a federal benefit is considered fraud.

    This isn’t the case for most things with marriage. Failure to marry is not a problem, and marriage for some tax benefit is OK. There is one thing where they can question a arriage and then is when it is used for purposes of immigration.

    So this thing, where the government tries to do something, but attempts to limit it only to cases which would have happened if the change in government policy did not exist, occurs in other places.

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  23. Just think of what they could add and control through the tax system if this is OK.

    HEY JUSTICE ROBERTS, I’m talking to YOU!

    In order to get the mortgage write-off you have to attest, under penalty of perjury, that you have never discriminated against someone on the basis of race, gender, religion, native origin or sexual orientation.

    In order to get the (remaining) medical deduction, you have to attest, under penalty of perjury, you have not smoked in the lat 10 years.

    In order to get the standard deduction, you have to swear loyalty to the Leader and His party.

    It’s all OK, because it’s a tax!

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  24. Reading is fundamental and one of the problems with blogs is that such a huge percentage of bloggers don’t actually work in the private sector. Context and perspective sorely are lacking. As the first commenter noted, and then as the blog after the heart attack was amended, if you don’t certify that you’re not laying off workers to avoid the mandate or to get the extension then you don’t get the extension. The sky isn’t falling all that much more than it was the day before yesterday. So employers will fudge it to get the extension or since every private sector group health plan out there already complies with the new req.’s and in most cases already have been paid for it’ll be six or half-a-dozen.

    That aside, voting and not voting have severe consequences and when you put into power a collection of Chicago thugocrats, ex-Hippies who’ve been spaced out since 1967, stealth CPUSA nuts, recent liberal arts grads and effete multi-millionaires from SoHo and Pacific Heights, there will be grave problems for the rest of us. Think about all this when Nov. 2016 rolls around.

    Lawrence Westlake (4fc30a)

  25. The most lawless administration in modern history is ruling by decree.

    There is no statutory authority for this requirement. Yet another thing we have to litigate to force compliance with law upon Obama.

    SPQR (768505)

  26. Ilya Ivanovich goes to the local KGB and says, “I want to report that my talking parrot has gone missing”. The KGB officer says, “This is a job for the common crime police, you have to report it to them”. Ilya says, “I know and I will. I just wanted to let you know that I do not agree with what it says”.

    nk (dbc370)

  27. Westlake, you’re wrong again. This regulation has nothing to do with whether businesses will “fudge” their staffing, if possible, to avoid the mandate. Of course they will. People have been changing their behavior to avoid taxes since taxes were invented. Indeed, the government often institutes taxes to change behavior [see, cigarette taxes].
    No, what this regulation does is insulate Obama from bad publicity when people react rationally, and predictably, to his unlawful edicts.
    It’s meant to silence critics.

    Walter Cronanty (d16f1a)

  28. Most of Obama’s top people are from Harvard or Yale, and Oxford (Rhodes Scholars), Mr. Westlake.

    And flushing or not flushing your toilet after you’ve scrubbed it with a chlorine bleach cleanser can have severe consequences when you sit down to use it, and whereas Preparation H may be perfectly adequate for kaffee klatches, zinc oxide may be a better choice for chemical butt burn.

    nk (dbc370)

  29. A humble suggestion:

    The House censures President Obama. Near as I can tell it takes a majority vote and the Senate isn’t involved. The last (only?) president censured by the House was James Polk, for starting the “unnecessary” Mexican War.

    God knows there are enough reasons. The NSA mess, the IRS mess and his habit of treating laws as a menu.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  30. Fox News sure knows how to bury the lede.

    There is a good reason for that–they are to the Lamestream as the GOP is to Government.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  31. nk
    not only that, but it is also something that makes otherwise young minds who aren’t already outraged by Obama see things in a new light,
    as well as a bump in the road to the pro-union hence Democrat rank and file

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  32. gary at 30. What is the difference between network news and newspapers? You can use newspapers to line a birdcage.

    nk (dbc370)

  33. 24. voting and not voting have severe consequences and when you put into power a collection of Chicago thugocrats, ex-Hippies who’ve been spaced out since 1967, stealth CPUSA nuts, recent liberal arts grads and effete multi-millionaires from SoHo and Pacific Heights, there will be grave problems for the rest of us. Think about all this when Nov. 2016 rolls around.

    Earth to Westlake, the Federal government grew during Reagan’s second term.

    Placing the burden on voters is a convenient dodge.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  34. 13. Comment by Walter Cronanty (d16f1a) — 2/12/2014 @ 9:31 am

    This is meant to silence critics. Remember the stories where business owners would say: “I’m not hiring [or I'm cutting hours/laying off people] because of Obamacare.” No more such stories, or they’ll be prosecuted for perjury.

    I think you’re right. Thats the main practical effect. Also no one will openly give such business advice. Everyone wll deny that’s the reaosn, but point to general business conditions, startegy.

    And the main threat doesn’t have to be prosecution for perjury. Just revocation of the tax benefit.

    Remember the stories from various news outlets/think tanks about how many jobs were lost because of Obamacare? No more – some Obama flack will say: “We’ve got sworn statements from businesses that this did not happen!”

    And the companies involved will be the first to deny that they cut the workforce for that reason.

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  35. 27. Bang on.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  36. Attest that you didn’t do something you have a right to do — and if you’re lying you go to jail. How about that?

    So the socialists want to suspend the Law of Cause & Effect by fiat? Sure, why not? Hell, these creatures’ entire epistemological faculty is defective, so whadja expect?

    J.P. (bd0246)

  37. On the one hand, by requiring this attestation Obama is admitting that Obamacare actually causing companies to change behavior to avoid compliance, perfectly legal behavior which the administration previously denied was occurring one any widespread basis.

    On the other, the reduction in worker hours caused by such behavior dovetails with last week’s CBO report, which the administration bizarrely decided to spin as positive news as freeing individuals from job lock and giving them freedom to pursue their dreams, so why would they seek to punish employers for giving employees what they want?

    On the third hand, tax avoidance has always been legal and the thinking process behind a business’s staffing levels has never been a subject of government review to my knowledge. A business has the number of employees it has. End of story. Business judgement.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  38. Hi, I’m Barack Obama and I was born under the sign of Feces… I dig long walks on a sandy beach, unfiltered Camels, lawlessness and makin’ sh*t up as I go… float, float on…

    Colonel Haiku (30caeb)

  39. A business has the number of employees it has. End of story. Business judgement.
    Not if it reflects poorly on Dear Leader. Uncle Joe Stalin would be proud.

    Walter Cronanty (d16f1a)

  40. Ray Nagin guilty on 20 of 21 counts accepting bribes of $500K.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  41. “What are the consequences of failing to sign this attestation? The story does not say, and legally, I can’t imagine there could be any.”

    - Patterico

    I’m curious as to why you think this would be an illegal act by the Administration, then. I definitely understand your anger, and find the move totally creepy myself, but what would be illegal about the “request to attest” if one can in fact decline to attest?

    They ask lots of questions on tax forms, most of which we are obliged to answer honestly.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  42. As noted in the update: “Commenter DF specifies the consequences for failing to sign the illegal attestation: employers can’t take advantage of the illegal delay of the mandate.”
    As I’ve noted, this regulation is nothing but a ham-handed attempt to silence critics.

    Walter Cronanty (d16f1a)

  43. “What are the consequences of failing to sign this attestation?”

    You get treated as an employer with more than 100 employees.

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  44. A cartoon which captures the spirit of this rather well.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  45. “They ask lots of questions on tax forms, most of which we are obliged to answer honestly.”

    Leviticus – What are the consequences for cutting employees specifically to avoid compliance with the ACA? Fines, penalties, IRS audit, or just public shaming and ridicule?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  46. “They ask lots of questions on tax forms, most of which we are obliged to answer honestly.”

    Leviticus – Most of those questions are factual, asking us what we did, not asking about the motivations behind what we did.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  47. Again,

    Censure.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  48. LEviticus,

    Your response is pretty much of the same stripe as saying “It’s OK if the police tap my phones, I have nothing to hide. Only criminals will object.”

    Consider the behavior you could enforce if this is OK.

    Taxes are 100% of income. Unless you sign this form, attesting that you have never had or paid for an abortion, you have never failed to report an illegal immigrant, you have never fed pigeons, etc, under penalty of perjury.

    This is a black-and-white test of whether one believes in liberty. So far, you are failing the test.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  49. Leviticus, they have no authority to invent a new requirement – to risk criminal liability – to take advantage of a delay that was itself illegal.

    SPQR (768505)

  50. Speculators! Hoarders! Enemies of the state!

    The left always gets there eventually.

    Patricia (8d9bfd)

  51. I have never had sex with that bill…..that Obamacare.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  52. “I promise I’ll never die.”
    -Gary Johnson trying to get into the sack with Lisa in “Team America”

    CrustyB (5a646c)

  53. Jack

    I know what you are saying, but what if I emailed my accountant, office manager, HR person, about how we needed to handle the new law and termination was discussed as an option… those emails could easily be threaded together to make it look like a tapestry of lies.

    What do I do if the IRS or whoever wants to audit me and make me prove I did not perjure myself… (besides lawyer up of course..)

    steveg (794291)

  54. R.I.P. Sid Caesar

    Icy (18d1c0)

  55. So take it as a given: the Obama administration says they will require employers to certify, under penalty of perjury, that they have not taken an action that they have every legal right to take.

    – “You can’t downsize that!”

    Icy (18d1c0)

  56. This does what most governmental actions do; make honest citizens criminals.

    They just need to make up a plausible reason for laying people off and their good to go.

    The Liberals do it all the time for racial quotas in hiring and colleges and for late term abortions, how hard could it be to point out some factor in our lousy economy as being the reason?

    Or they could say that because there’s been no immigration reform, they were unable to continue to retain workers.

    It’s the new normal. I do this all the time; lie on governmental forms. I just make sure that I’m able to justify it and it’s all good.

    See you on the soup lines comrades.

    jakee308 (e940d5)

  57. urther, Treasury officials said Monday that businesses will be told to “certify” that they are not shedding full-time workers simply to avoid the mandate.

    What’s the penalty for admitting, hell yes, I acted to avoid the Obamacare penalty?

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  58. flogging I think.

    narciso (3fec35)

  59. I’ve been saying for years Obama is a fascist. Do I get credit for making an accurate historical observation.

    Oh, more good news.

    http://minx.cc/?post=347082

    The FCC Will Begin Investigating Bias In the Media (and By That, They Mean Conservative Bias)

    The transformation of America continues apace.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  60. Comment by Steve57 (71fc09) — 2/12/2014 @ 1:50 pm

    What’s the penalty for admitting, hell yes, I acted to avoid the Obamacare penalty?

    You DON’T get to avoid the Obamacare penalty.

    Any business whose workforce was higher and then fell below 100 would avoid the penalty or requirements only by saying they didn’t reduce payroll for that reaason.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  61. Obama is God.
    Stop criticizing him. Or whatever.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  62. This is the actual regulation:

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2014-03082.pdf

    Page 124:

    (2) Maintenance of Workforce and Aggregate Hours of Service.

    During the period beginning on February 9, 2014, and ending on December 31, 2014, the employer
    does not reduce the size of its workforce or the overall hours of service of its employees
    in order to satisfy the workforce size condition set forth in paragraph (1) of this section
    XV.D.6.

    A reduction in workforce size or overall hours of service for bona fide business reasons will not be considered to have been made in order to satisfy the workforce size condition.

    For example, reductions of workforce size or overall hours of service because of business activity such as the sale of a division, changes in the economic marketplace in which the employer operates, terminations of employment for poor
    performance, or other similar changes unrelated to eligibility for the transition relief
    provided in this section XV.D.6 are for bona fide business reasons and will not affect eligibility for that transition relief.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  63. So, not only is the provision outrageous, it is also a fig leaf, as it affects no one who can make any kind of claim to a business decision.

    But…

    “First they came for nobody at all, so I did not object…”

    Kevin M (131754)

  64. …changes in the economic marketplace in which the employer operates…

    Obamacare is a change in the economic marketplace in which all employers operate.

    Wasn’t it just last week that Obama and his minions were shouting out hallelujahs because workers would react rationally to the financial disincentives of Obamacare and choose to work less?

    Now the Obama administration is demanding employers certify that they didn’t react rationally to the exact same type of financial disincentives and employ less.

    It’s official; Obama is mandating insanity.

    Is it any wonder why Prom Queen’s economy is circling the bowl?

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  65. I’ll add to what Steve just said.

    Obama is delaying the mandate for employers because the mandate is an economic burden to employers.
    Yet then Obama demands that employers risk going to jail for perjury if they simply admit that they agree with Obama that the mandate is an economic burden.

    Not only does the Emperor have no clothes, but he has no brain, and no conscience. And no clue.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  66. Feces, Libra, Leo, Cancer
    Barry, Joe, Eric, Harry

    Float, float on
    Float on, float on
    Float, float, float on
    Float on, float on

    Float, float on
    Float on, float on
    Float, float, float on
    Float on, float on

    Float, float on
    Float on, float on
    Float, float, float on
    Float on, float on

    Feces, Libra, Leo, Cancer
    Barry, Joe, Eric, Harry

    Feces and my name is Barry
    Now I like a country what loves her freedom
    And I hate a man who can provide for his own
    And if you fit that description, dude, come with me

    Take my hand
    Come with me, dude, to Lame Land
    Let me show you how sweet it could be
    Suckling at the federal teat, I want you to

    Float, float on
    (Come on, come on, come on, baby, yeah, yeah)
    Float on, float on
    (Ooh, ooh, baby)

    Float, float, float on
    Float on
    (Float with me)
    Float on

    Libra and my name is Joe, now I like a man that’s quiet
    A man who carries himself like
    Pajama Boy
    A man who would sip hot cocoa in front of a hot fire
    And he would say, “Joe, yeah”
    And if you fit that description, this is for you especially

    Mmm, take my hand
    Come with me, Shorty, to Lame Land
    Let me show you how sweet it could be
    Getting all this cool stuff for free, I want you to

    Float, float on
    (Ooh, yeah)
    Float on, float on
    (With Joe)
    Float, float, float on
    (Ooh, yeah)
    Float on, float on

    Leo and my name is Eric
    You see I like all black people of the world
    You see to me all black people are like helpless flowers
    And if you understand what I’m sayin’, I want you to

    Mmm, take my hand
    Come with me, people, to Lame Land
    Let me show you how sweet it could be
    No need for no photo ID, I want you to

    Float, float on
    (So float with me, baby)
    Float on, float on
    (Yeah)
    Float, float, float on
    (Float with Paul, y’all)
    Float on, float on

    Cancer and my name is Harry, huh
    And I hate a man that loves everything and everybody
    Because I hate everybody and everything
    And you know what, sweaty, fly-over people if you feel that this is you
    Then this is what I want you to do

    Ooh, yeah, take my hand
    Let me take you to Lame Land
    Let me show you how sweet it could be
    Voting once, tice, fee times for Harry, listen

    Float, float on
    (You better float with me now)
    Float on, float on
    (Float on)
    Float, float, float on
    (Yeah, yeah, you better float on, float on, ah)

    Colonel Haiku (30caeb)

  67. I think we all know the penalty, BTW. Via Ace:

    http://minx.cc/?post=347091

    In running a business for two decades, she had never been investigated by the federal government. But since the beginning of her political activism in 2010, “my private business, my nonprofit organizations, and family have been subjected to more than 15 instances of audit or inquiry by federal agencies.” Those include the IRS, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms, and the FBI.

    I guess the administration wants us to believe that is all coincidence.

    This was up at Powerline:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/02/bill-henck-inside-the-irs.php

    I have been an attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel for over 26 years. Over a number of years, I have attempted, largely unsuccessfully, to alert the public to abuse within the IRS. One of my kids suggested that I contact a blog and Power Line has graciously agreed to publish this account.

    I do not personally know whether the IRS has targeted conservative groups or individuals, but I do know that the environment within the agency is ripe for such activity and there is nothing to prevent it from occurring. As stated in more detail below, I have personally witnessed improper giveaways of billions of dollars to taxpayers with inside access at the agency, bullying of elderly taxpayers, the cover-up of managerial embezzlement and misappropriation of thousands of dollars in government funds, and a retaliatory audit. I have also heard credible accounts of, among other things, further improper giveaways, blatant sexual harassment, and anti-Semitism. All of these matters have been swept under the rug…

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  68. Of course, I’m only speaking out because I’m a racist.

    If a white Preezy were to constantly invent ever changing rules that would harm my business if not actually run it into the ground, I’d just comply without a peep.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  69. I only despise Charlie Crist because of teh racisms.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  70. Well, it could be because of teh homophobias, too.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  71. http://hotair.com/archives/2013/07/31/cbo-oh-by-the-way-the-obamacare-employer-mandate-delay-is-going-to-cost-12-billion-extra/

    The report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office is the first authoritative estimate of the human and fiscal cost from the administration’s unexpected one-year delay…

    The analysts said the delay will add to the cost of “Obamacare’s” insurance-coverage provisions over the next 10 years. Penalties paid by employers would be lower and more individuals who otherwise might have had employer coverage will need federal insurance subsidies.

    The whole point of having penalties is to modify behavior.

    Employers now have to certify that they didn’t modify their behavior because of the penalties of Obamacare.

    The mind boggles.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  72. Those white Democrats who refuse to appear or campaign with Barack Obama must be held accountable for their racist racisms.

    Colonel Haiku (30caeb)

  73. If Charlie Crist had hugged the prime minister of Denmark, I’d have been totally cool with him.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  74. The FCC Will Begin Investigating Bias In the Media

    That should be the answer to a “Carnack” question, not a serious headline.
    Quite a few times now I thought we were doing Alice in Wonderland, only for things to get more bizarre.
    Do they think that although “Congress shall make no law”, the FCC under O’s direction may make any rule and mandate that they want?

    There is this issue about the IRS making a ruling change concerning 501(c)4 groups that will do damage to Tea Party and other such groups,
    but I haven’t heard anything that explains why this would hurt conservatives more than libs,
    can someone edumacate me on this?

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  75. If Ray Nagin were white, I’d be totally cool with the way he took bribes. Or something.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  76. Essentially advocating for things deemed by the IRS to be conservative causes like voter ID will be deemed partisan political activity, not “social welfare” advocacy.

    Advocating for things like expanding Obamacare or open borders will be deemed non-partisan “social welfare” advocacy, not political activity.

    It will all depend on whether or not the big government loving, public employee union member construes something to be political.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  77. Never mind.

    mg (31009b)

  78. http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/02/gender-neutral_employee_sues_f.html

    A former catering worker who identifies as neither female or male is suing Bon Appetit Management Co. for $518,000, claiming co-workers referred to the employee as a female though repeatedly being asked to stop.

    Valeria Jones alleges in a lawsuit that co-workers repeatedly called Jones “miss,” “lady” and “little lady” despite explanations that Jones “was not a female or a male and that the term was unwelcome.”

    Workers also directly said Jones looked like a woman and made female celebrity comparisons, the suit states.

    The lawsuit, filed this week in Multnomah County Circuit Court, says Jones preferred to be addressed by a general neutral pronoun. The suit doesn’t identify the term…

    Objective reality is being outlawed at all levels of government.

    During the next few months, Jones spoke with managers about the problem — asking them to address employees as a group and present to employees information about gender identity. The managers didn’t follow through.

    “Plaintiff cried regularly at work and at home during this time,” the suit states.

    Jones resigned.

    The suit alleges Jones made a complaint to human resources, but the department never contacted Jones.

    The suit seeks $18,682 in lost wages and benefits, and $500,000 for humiliation and suffering.

    She should have no problem finding another job. I can’t imagine what employer wouldn’t want to have this individual on the team.

    In fact, I’ll be willing to “attest” that I only didn’t hire it because, gosh darn it, the economic marketplace didn’t support the decision.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  79. The Administration which has a cast of characters who have taken the Fifth rather than testify is asking demanding other people to make a declarative statement under penalty of perjury ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  80. I only think this is crap on steroids because of my racism and homophobia.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/08/opinion/blow-a-pen-a-phone-and-a-meme.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&_r=2

    The Republican messaging machine is at it again, cranking out scurrilous memes that defame the president and distract from the party’s inaction.

    The latest talking point is that the president is a “lawless” “dictator” hellbent on operating outside, and indeed above, the law.

    This is not a particularly new line of attack. Conservatives have been using some variation of the lawlessness theme for some time to refer to the president’s actions, particularly to the administration’s adjustments to the Affordable Care Act.

    I love this part.

    It seems to matter not that this president has in no way been an abuser of executive orders. Quite the opposite. According to the American Presidency Project, a collaboration between John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters at the University of California, Santa Barbara, President Obama had issued only 168 executive orders as of Jan. 20, fewer than any two-term president in more than 100 years.

    So if I’m ever elected Preezy, and I issue one executive order suspending the Constitution and ordering the Congress to invest me with supreme authoritah, I’m not a serial abuser of EOs.

    So it’s cool.

    This lawlessness talk is simply another iteration of the “othering” of this president. Paint him as a criminal, an enemy to the rule of law, and by extension, to the construct of America. America is, after all, a nation of laws.

    It’s another excuse for Republican obstruction and recalcitrance. It’s another line of attack that will allow Republicans to bide their time and hope for 2014 to deliver them the Senate and 2016 to deliver them the White House.

    They are banking on wearing down the truth, and this president, through what has become their bailiwick: repetition of fallacy.

    Yes, we’re a nation of laws. And a capricious executive branch that is entirely arbitrary in its application of those laws.

    Is it my racisty racism that prevents me from adjusting my perception of reality

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  81. …the administration’s adjustments to the Affordable Care Act.

    Which, you know, the administration has no legal authority that gives it such power.

    I think Mr. Blow missed that nuance.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  82. Ah Charlie, he’s not even fiskworthy anymore, although Leonard Pinth Garnell, glommed on the same talking point in my fishwrap.

    narciso (3fec35)

  83. Yep. Fodder for a lot of private lawsuits against employers, too.

    elissa (2df7b9)

  84. “It seems to matter not that this president has in no way been an abuser of executive orders.”

    Now if you want to talk about Executive Actions, which race baiter and amateur journalist Blow does not, Obama is in category all by himself.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  85. I thought the employer mandate was supposed to elicit employers to hire more employees.
    Why is Obama all concerned that employers might be firing employees—particularly when the economy is soooo strong ?

    This is all so counterintuitive !
    Or something.

    It is sort of like how global warming means we’ll have more snow. Or whatever.

    Oh well, whatever. Or whatever. Hillary ’16 !!!

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  86. Let’s cut to the chase:

    When can we break out the torches and pitchforks?

    I’m REAL tired of living under the “First Anti-Constitutional Administration” of these-here United States.

    A_Nonny_Mouse (57cacf)

  87. The chart here:

    http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=9751

    shows you what I believe to be the biggest reason for thisd winter’s extreme cold and snowstorms,

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  88. The top banana is not only rotten, it’s embarrassed to be so. Pretty soon it’s going to start leaking banana juice.

    htom (412a17)

  89. Another chart:

    http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=8070

    Both of these don’t go into 2013. There is supposed to be a recession in China, but that is not consistent with the weather.

    China is supposedly planning got cvut coal consumption, but presumably nothing has emerged yet.

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  90. Comment by Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 2/12/2014 @ 2:50 pm

    Not only does the Emperor have no clothes, but he has no brain, and no conscience. And no clue.

    Bit the worst thing actually is the narrow networks, which could almost force people to inferior hospitals, and let hospitals deteriorate in quality.

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  91. 90. I’m hoping we’ll recognize the first volley on Ft. Sumter instantly.

    It would be especially bad to repeat Harper’s Ferry.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  92. “We now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were already operating as 501(c)(4)s. At Washington, DC’s direction, dozens of groups operating as 501(c)(4)s were flagged for IRS surveillance, including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites and any other publicly available information. Of these groups, 83% were right-leaning. And of the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100% were right-leaning.”

    - House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) on Feb. 11, 2014

    Colonel Haiku (30caeb)

  93. Haven’t read all the comments, so excuse me if this possibility has been suggested:

    Couldn’t employers take this “attestation” requirement as a subtle hint to reduce staff/hours in advance of the effective date(s) of this rule? I mean, if one was even thinking about taking such action, do it beforehand. A laid-off or reduced-time employee can always be reinstated after this steaming pile cools off a bit…

    Rich B (76d661)

  94. Hey, guys, I heard the funniest joke, today:

    Q. Why do terrorists attack us?
    A. They hate us for our freedoms.

    I’m still laughing.

    nk (dbc370)

  95. 97. Sounds like the plan to me.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  96. very silly but then again, he used to write for Carlos Slim’s

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/12/the-stench-of-sochi.html

    narciso (3fec35)

  97. Dang it, narciso. Up until three minutes ago I could have proudly said that I have never read anything by Alex Berenson.

    nk (dbc370)

  98. he’s an ok novelist, but still, btw genius never ends Comcast, read MSNBC is going to merge with Time Warner, facepalm;

    narciso (3fec35)

  99. “Couldn’t employers take this “attestation” requirement as a subtle hint to reduce staff/hours in advance of the effective date(s) of this rule?”

    Rich B – Effective date was Monday, February 9, 2014.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  100. Yes, Admiral Ackbar couldn’t have said it better himself,

    narciso (3fec35)

  101. San Diego special election for mayor:
    Maybe they’re not so dumb.

    UPDATE: Obama Turnout Machine Crashes in San Diego—Loses Mayor’s Race by Nine Points. “Kevin Faulkoner recaptured the mayor’s office in San Diego for Republicans in a special election yesterday. The polls were skin-tight leading into yesterday’s election, and unions poured in millions to keep control in the nation’s eighth-largest city. . . . Democrats were stunned at the margin. In the November open primary, Democrats had won 54 percent of the ballots cast and were convinced they could win the runoff between Faulkoner and Alvarez. Unions pitched in a record $4.2 million to promote Alvarez, compared to only $1.7 million from business interests backing Faulkoner. In the end, Alvarez outspent Faulkoner in total by a million dollars.” Some of this is probably Filner fallout. Dems better hope that all of it is Filner fallout, because otherwise it suggests a severely damaged brand.

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/183917/

    elissa (2df7b9)

  102. They ask lots of questions on tax forms, most of which we are obliged to answer honestly.
    Comment by Leviticus

    Since the left has dumbed down standards, ethics and morality over the past several decades, it would make sense — now more than ever before — if growing numbers of Americans really start shrugging and yawning when hearing about other people finagling on their taxes (or when they themselves are doing that exact thing) and treating the IRS like the rogue entity it truly has become.

    Since we’re now a Banana Republic, we as citizens might just as well start acting the part to the fullest degree.

    Mark (8d237f)

  103. because otherwise it suggests a severely damaged brand.

    From your lips to God’s ears.

    Mark (8d237f)

  104. 101. Well I been watching the Winter Olympics since the early 60s and as far as I can tell Bob Costas is no Jim McKay.

    Other than that the Russkies are doing fine.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  105. The FDIC insures demand deposits to $250K except they only have $45 Billion and insured instituions have $13 Trillion in assets not all of which are deposits.

    While that should concern y’all there’s a bigger danger.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-12/europe-considers-wholesale-savings-confiscation-enforced-redistribution

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  106. Recall anyone that 90% of the new loan origination over the last year is in student and sub-prime car loans? Well, its been mentioned.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-12/channel-stuffed-us-car-dealers-cut-prices-hope-sell-their-way-out

    Great time for those TN Volkswagen employees to vote in the UAW, no?

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  107. 108. Make it so.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  108. Careful, guys. Freedom of speech is very nice and all, but freedom after speech is what’s important.

    Just kidding. Obama sucks.

    nk (dbc370)

  109. 110-Gary, McKay was exceptional at hosting the Olympics or
    Wide World of Sports.
    Chris Shenkel was another old pro with a baritone voice, perfect for listening.

    mg (31009b)

  110. light the corners of my mind

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  111. i for one

    i for one for damn sure

    will never be royal

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  112. It’s another excuse for Republican obstruction and recalcitrance. It’s another line of attack that will allow Republicans to bide their time and hope for 2014 to deliver them the Senate and 2016 to deliver them the White House.

    This is completely different from the Democrats’ principled objection to everything Bush did, and their forthright opposition and brave resistance until they could win the House and Senate in 2006.

    You could collect up all the NY Times editorials, and publish them in a book called “Logical Fallacies: 10,000 Real Life Examples”

    Kevin M (131754)

  113. Careful, guys. Freedom of speech is very nice and all, but freedom after speech is what’s important.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 2/12/2014

    I like that phrasing.

    Dustin (621e43)

  114. 69. (link to http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/02/bill-henck-inside-the-irs.php )

    A very interesting and partially informative Powerline blog post.

    Partially because it doesn’t let you get down to the bottom of it, but may be extremely helpful if combined with some other information if you can get it or stumble across it.

    What this means, though, is that the Tea Party audits were not very simply politically motivated, and they are part of something much bigger. A lot of what Bill Henck is telling can’t possibly be political in the usual sense.

    1) Besides widespread abuse of expense accounts (probably a government wide problem since they handed out government credit cards) and protection of each other (which probably has the effect of knitting many IRS workers together into a really strong old boys network)…

    2) …he tells of not going after an obvious loophole (what he calls the Elmer’s glue scam) and the extreme consideration given to those who used the “black liquor” loophole even afer Congress repealed or limited the refundable tax credit (they allowed them not to report, and then later to amend heir returns so as not to report) the tax credits they got as taxable income) the same time (to make up for that and look good?) ..

    3) …while at the same time going after other supposed loopholes that aren’t wrong readings of tax laws. (which he doesn’t specify probably because of privacy laws and because they may be too numerous to mention.)

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  115. Philly is getting a record 4th storm of the season conveying 6 inches or more of snow.

    That’s not even a notable April in the upper Midwest.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  116. I didn’t edit that last one carefully enoughly.

    Comment by Kevin M (131754) — 2/12/2014 @ 11:37 pm

    You could collect up all the NY Times editorials, and publish them in a book called “Logical Fallacies: 10,000 Real Life Examples”

    Not all of them. Maybe 40 to 80%. They actually had a rather good one the other day.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/11/opinion/the-message-from-homs.html

    Well, actually it does get around to being idiotic in the sixth, and almost final paragraph:

    And a political solution is not out of the question if some right choices are made. The United States, for one, should drop its opposition to including Iran, which supplies arms and other assistance to Mr. Assad, to Mr. Assad, in the negotiations. Russia, another weapons supplier, could send a powerful message to Mr. Assad by suspending its arms deliveries. Saudi Arabia and Qatar could..

    Now, in a previous paragraph, they spoke of “Russia’s slavish allegiance to President Bashar al-Assad.”

    But that was when they were telling the United Nations Security Council what to do, without explaining how they were going to get around this slavish allegiance. In this paragraph, they are telling everybody else what to do. I guess that means the idiocy begins in the 4th paragraph.

    And Iran was excluded from the negotiations because they wouldn’t agree that the purpose of he negotiations was to negotiate Bashar Assad’s peaceful departure. And without that, the opposition wouldn’t come. And you’d have no negotiations. (which would be a good thing actually beause the negotiations are interfering with arrangements for humanitarian aid, which Syria is only agreeing to in order to fend off possible military intervention or as a tactical move.)

    Syria also didn’t agree, and made a oint of asseting at the onset that Bashar Assad was not going anywhere, but the opposition agreed to come in spite of that because of pressure, and the idea that they would have to be in contact for any hope of that to happen.

    Most of the time, New York Times editorials don’t contain logical fallacies so much as they do wrong facts or assumptions.

    The wrong facts or assumptions are, of course, mostly derived from , or based on logical fallacies, but they are not contained in those particular editorials themselves.

    Sammy Finkelman (c08134)

  117. the fact is Qatar and the Kingdom’s contribution, to the conflict, Nusra Front, ISIS, the new Islamic front, proves the real threat.

    narciso (3fec35)

  118. Meanwhile the Times is on it, count on it;

    https://twitter.com/robinabcarian

    narciso (3fec35)

  119. Heh! http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/02/12/new-bill-would-require-wh-dinners-to-follow-same-as-school-lunch-guidelines-100318

    Read the menu. And consider whether every welfare mooch is probably thinking that this is what Obama means by income equality.

    nk (dbc370)

  120. You would be hardpressed from the Dog Trainer, that anything was wrong, ‘in the most wonderful of all worlds’ except for elements of the Brotherhood, I mean the Tea Party recalcitrants,

    narciso (3fec35)

  121. From the narciso linkied hot air article:

    ==The schedules suggest Sebelius was an active White House presence in the months leading up to the botched rollout, and raise new questions about why Obama wouldn’t have known about the problems that were exposed on Oct. 1.==

    So somebody’s been lyin’ then?

    elissa (5b4895)

  122. It would appear, elissa, Danny Ocean contacted them
    and said ‘i’m so proud;

    narciso (3fec35)

  123. It’s just a little nudge, another step on the road to fundamental change. Sure it’s a slap-in-the-face, a coercive Executive Branch assault on small business, but what’s more important, ObamaCare or representative government?

    Be glad big brother’s only flexing his muscles for now, the time’s not right yet for brandishing the hammer, but it’ll come soon enough, after a few more nudges, and once the exits are blocked off.

    ropelight (08fa9d)

  124. Here is my nomination for quote of the week (the “for real”, not “in jest”, category):

    But it doesn’t take a brain surgeon like me to see that America is facing serious problems. And right now, the number one problem is Obamacare.
    - Ben Carson

    I don’t know if this org is really good, or not so good and has managed to convince Carson to join on:
    http://americanlegacypac.org/landing/saveourhealthcare/index.php?origin=page-k

    I wonder how many attorneys Dr. Carson will be employing over the next couple of years to defend against government harassment. Seriously.

    Briefly to gary, there are three factors you may not appreciate in understanding the impact of snow here in Philly, though being the average intelligent PP reader, maybe you do:
    1) The preferred method of governmental dealing with snow is to let it melt, preferably on its own. Since major snow doesn’t happen real often, and when it does it often melts within a day or two, it seems like a poor investment to get adequate equipment and manpower to deal with it, especially since so much of the city budget goes to social welfare programs (and inflated pay and benefits across the board for city workers in general)
    2) People don’t know how to drive in it, also making the roads more hazardous than necessary.
    3) And the biggest of all it often doesn’t “just snow” here, we often gets mixtures of ice/freezing rain either underneath the snow or one top of the snow, and no matter where you are from, driving on ice is a challenge unless you have chains or something (more on that below). This AM I drove my wife in to work on about 8 inches of light fluffy snow, no problem. Since then it warmed up enough to have a half hour or so of sleet and freezing rain (where I live, 2 miles away who knows what happened…). then it snowed a little more. Depending on where you are in a 5 mile radius, one may drive on pavement mainly wet and slushy, unplowed 8 inches of snow underneath a crust of ice, or a sheet of ice on the pavement after snow was plowed 9it sometimes happens!!).
    Last week we had power out for about36-48 hours because of an ice storm. To our north and west it was much worse, with some areas out of power for 5 days. My 2 sons who live in different parts of the city south of us said, “What ice, it rained here.”
    And besides all of that, since 1993 we have had 3 storms of over 20″ of snow in less than 24 hours, much more than I ever saw in Wisconsin. the snow is so high that even if you know how to drive in it, that unless you have a heavy enough car, so much snow is trapped under the chassis that your tires can’t even hit packed snow to get traction, kind of like a frozen version of a post-turtle.

    *Anybody have experience and suggestions as to what kind of tire chains/straps to get and from where? I’m seriously interested in getting them, but I haven’t found anyplace that actually has some in stock to look at and compare. I still like to see and touch something before I buy it, unless someone I can rely on tells me, “This is what you want”.
    Thanks

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  125. 125. Transforming Amerikkka from the powder room.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  126. the Huntress is a good talent scout;

    http://minx.cc/?post=347135

    admittedly she doesn’t have a perfect record, but who does,

    narciso (3fec35)

  127. Like I say, not a perfect record, but neither did Billy Beane:

    http://theothermccain.com/2014/02/13/it-just-wasnt-right-said-sen-orrin-hatch/

    narciso (3fec35)

  128. 30 degrees Fahrenheit at 6:59 AM. Not cold.

    Snow or sleet was falling (I think it got heavier with time) It seems to consist of small particles of ice coated with snow.

    Extremely slow (and low volume) traffic outside.

    It was easier in most cases to walk in the street, where cars (there were enough of them) plowed the snow, than on the sidewalk, except in front of schools, where work was being done. As it got later, also in store parking lots.

    Traffic lights could most be ignored when crossing the street.

    It was all right to walk on one-way streets and most 2-wys srrets except for important ones. As time went on, maybe there was more traffic.

    BY 10:30 there were the beginnings of slush in some places where snow had been crushed by cars.

    The weather prediction was that the snow should turn to rain around 12, which looks about correct, and that there would be gaps (the snow or rain really actually seems to have stopped)

    On Channel Two Plus: 35 degrees at 1:14 pm.

    The newspapers were not delivered – the New York Times promises delivery by 6:30 tomorrow morning. (They are not anxious to give credit) Daily News also not so anxious.

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  129. Explanation of link at 137: House Republicans thought it was not amnesty because it would not make any of the people allowed to stay eligible for citizenship (until another law was passed) so they blamed Ted Cruz for calling it that.

    They really don’t undertand the issue.

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  130. 129 130. Where did anybody get the idea that Sebelius was the least bit competent?

    She didn’t understand the web site had problems.

    Many many peoiple didn’t know or understand there’s a big, big, problem with government contracting in the information technology field.

    This happened also in a number of states that built health exchange websites

    By the way, the same people are be hired to fix the problem:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/12/us/creators-still-in-demand-on-health-care-website.html?_r=0

    The transition between the two companies has interrupted work on the “back end” of the computer system needed to pay insurers, people involved in the project said Tuesday. CGI employees stopped work on new software code four weeks ago, but they continue to repair and refine the existing system, which frustrated millions of Americans when it was introduced in October.

    The government contract with CGI Federal, the American subsidiary of the CGI Group, based in Montreal, expires at the end of this month. But after announcing in January that Accenture would become the lead contractor for HealthCare.gov, the Obama administration began discussions with CGI to extend its role….

    …Administration officials said the federal website was still not performing certain functions, like providing a “special enrollment period” to consumers who become newly eligible or ineligible for federal subsidies because of a change in income.

    The government has found a way to add a newborn baby to a subscriber’s insurance policy. And insurers may increase premiums for such families.

    But insurers said that the website was not able to increase the family’s subsidy to help pay the higher premiums. Payments can be worked out later when insurers reconcile their enrollment files with the government’s records, federal officials said.

    In a memorandum to insurers last week, the government acknowledged that HealthCare.gov had sometimes “displayed benefits incorrectly” because of software bugs or computer coding errors. The government recommended that insurers “honor the benefit that was displayed incorrectly” if that would be “most beneficial to the consumer.”

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  131. Well Dr, Tiller’s most devoted fan, how was it going to turn out differently, Carousel anyone?

    narciso (3fec35)

  132. Most of the time, New York Times editorials don’t contain logical fallacies so much as they do wrong facts or assumptions.

    The wrong facts or assumptions are, of course, mostly derived from , or based on logical fallacies, but they are not contained in those particular editorials themselves.

    And other than THAT, Mrs Lincoln, how was the play?

    Meanwhile, I’ve been told by reliable sources that Obama isn’t an ultra-liberal and commentator Pat Buchanan loves blood and violence.

    Mark (8d237f)

  133. “She didn’t understand the web site had problems.”

    Sammy – Is your default position that nobody in the Obama Administration understands or knows anything until they read about it in the paper?

    Jay Carney has tried that at a lot of White House press briefings. It’s not working very well anymore.

    The Sgt. Schultz Administration.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  134. 137, 138. I worry this ‘loyalty’ scruple is a weakness.

    But then Reagan wasn’t an open supporter of Cristiani death squads.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  135. 144. LOL interrupted by throwing up in my mouth.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  136. “She didn’t understand the web site had problems.”

    Sammy – The above is just weapons grade stupid. There are two possibilities:

    1. Sebelius knew exactly what was going on and has been lying about her knowledge of the technological difficulties.

    or

    2. She started to see the website would not be functional on October 1 and instructed he subordinates to insulate her from information leaving any trail indicating problems with the website in order to give her plausible deniability later.

    I don’t know which is worse. Outright perjury or indirect perjury by giving the impression you are incompetent to perform the job you were hired to do. The government tried to bully contractors into not talking to reporters and Congress about the website problems and the lead HHS technology guy resigned. Plenty of people knew that the website would not be functional on October 1, so the idea that people did not understand something is delusional.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  137. 148. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/13/2014 @ 11:18 am

    Plenty of people knew that the website would not be functional on October 1, so the idea that people did not understand something is delusional.

    Plenty of people, but probably not Sebelius really. She was also incompetent as Kansas Insurance Commissioner.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/10/22/Who-hired-Kathleen-Sebelius

    Kansans have long recognized that Kathleen Sebelius is an unmitigated disaster

    She maybe understood there were some problems, but not so that the site could not handle the number of hits it was supposed to get, nor that it actually could not enroll anyone in anything.

    It was probably like this: The higher up you went in rank, the less the person knew.

    There was probably a certain level where the realization hit that the site was not ready, and as time went on, the level rose, but probably not to the level of Secretary of HHS or Chief Executive until after October 1.

    This is known as the thermocline of truth.

    http://andstillipersist.com/2013/09/obamacare-and-the-thermocline-of-truth/

    In many large or even medium-sized IT projects, there exists a thermocline of truth, a line drawn across the organizational chart that represents a barrier to accurate information regarding the project’s progress. Those below this level tend to know how well the project is actually going; those above it tend to have a more optimistic (if unrealistic) view.

    Originally, here (from 2008)

    http://brucefwebster.com/2008/04/15/the-wetware-crisis-the-themocline-of-truth/

    Sammy Finkelman (c33275)

  138. “Plenty of people, but probably not Sebelius really. She was also incompetent as Kansas Insurance Commissioner.”

    Sammy – I’ve met Sebelius and I’m familiar with her background. She’s no rock star. I understand the thermocline of truth concept having been responsible for many large IT projects.

    Your explanations are all complete BS and delusional.

    She was responsible for implementing the signature legislation of Obama’s first term. Your excuse is she didn’t take it seriously. I call BS. I say she did and Obama’s people kept making political decisions consciously delaying writing Obamacare rules, continued to make modifications to the way they wanted the website to function through last summer, and effectively eliminated the ability of the website to be fully functional through their own sabotage, of which both Sebelius and Obama were fully aware.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  139. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/13/2014 @ 12:15 pm

    She was responsible for implementing the signature legislation of Obama’s first term. Your excuse is she didn’t take it seriously. I call BS.

    I think she didtake it seriously, but didn’t think it needed any care or attention because there was nothing terribly new about anything the website was supposed to do. Does someone ordering a telephone system worry it can’t be done? Does someone building a house worry that the architect can’t do that? You’d expect the architect to warn you off, if so. Of course, in this case, tgheer were layers of bureaucracy. Does someone using a CAD program worry it can’t do the sort of things CAD programs are known to do?

    I say she did and Obama’s people kept making political decisions consciously delaying writing Obamacare rules, continued to make modifications to the way they wanted the website to function through last summer, and effectively eliminated the ability of the website to be fully functional through their own sabotage, of which both Sebelius and Obama were fully aware.

    There may have been aware there were some problems, and, as time drew close for it to go live, that it might not be fully functional, and they dropped some things, like the no-registration search function and the Spanish language version, but they did not expect it to be barely functional and basically not work at all.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  140. Sammy – Do you recall seeing from emails or memos from any of the HHS or CMS people involved in the website process indicating all the problems had been resolved and that the switch should be flipped to go live on October 1?

    I don’t recall seeing anybody taking responsibility like that.

    Instead we find out after the fact that 60% of the code had not yet been written, hardly any live testing had been performed, and that security was virtually nil.

    Who made the call to go live given all that information?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  141. “Does someone building a house worry that the architect can’t do that? You’d expect the architect to warn you off, if so.”

    Sammy – An architect draws up plans based on input from the homeowners. The Obama Administration were the homeowners and they gave the architect input too late to meet their deadline. Simple concept. Also, an architect usually has to get his/her plans approved by a town before building. During building, the homeowner continually inspects the process. No time for that here.

    Why do feel an obligation to keep making excuses for the screw ups of this administration?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  142. Forget it, Jake daleyrocks. It’s Chinatown Sammy.

    elissa (8a4e22)

  143. elissa – Thanks. Sometimes the stupid hurts so much I feel like I have to chase the rabbit down the hole.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  144. Well recall in Ghostbuster, when they describe the peculiar foundation of Dana Barrett’s apartment, Egon reminds Peter, ‘they never did it like this;

    narciso (3fec35)

  145. Some highlights

    http://minx.cc/?post=347138

    narciso (3fec35)

  146. Sammy World Version

    Kathy, hello it’s Barack.

    Hello Mr. President.

    Kathy, I was just calling to check on the status of the ACA website, to see if there were any issues or problems I should be aware of and if we were still on track for an October 1 launch.

    Gee Mr. President, to tell you the truth I really don’t know since I delegated everything to CMS and it’s dropped off my radar screen.

    Excuse me, Kathy?

    Well Mr. President, since I don’t write computer code myself, I delegated the implementation of the website to CMS and I imagine that they are monitoring how it’s going over there.

    Click……….dial tone

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  147. MD in Philly — if you’re allowed studded snow tires, Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7; if not, Nokian Hakkapeliitta R2 are unstudded. Have them mounted and balanced on their own rims so it’s easy to change to and from them. (They have an as-yet unavailable concept tire with on-the-go retractable studs, in a couple of years and lawsuits.)

    If you don’t want the seasonal changes, Nokian WRG3 is all season, V rated (in most sizes) and has Canadian DOT snow approval, but it’s not a snow and ice tire like the Hakkapeliittas.

    Chains are not a substitute for snow tires. Chains are in addition to snow tires, for speeds less than 5 mph when the snow is so deep that the tread can’t clear in a rotation.

    htom (412a17)

  148. Thanks for the info, htom. I have been edumacated.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  149. Sammy… reading your comments now, I AM thankful I had to work today. Simply awful.

    Colonel Haiku (30caeb)

  150. Sammy,

    You have a habit of ascribing incompetence and cluelessness to all of these left wing politicians and bureaucrats.
    At some point, in your mind, doesn’t the existence of 5,739 examples of their incompetence and cluelessness make the conservative case against big government and bureaucracy ?
    See, because in government, there is rarely real life accountability. But in the private sector, people get fired or demoted for their incompetence and cluelessness because they are costing the boss money and customers.

    If you get a fly in your soup at Joe’s Cafe, Joe has to do something about it so he can remain in business. But if you get a fly in your soup from ObamaCare, the DMV, the IRS, the NSA, the TSA, it doesn’t matter, because bureaucracy doesn’t need to please the customer—the customer (taxpayer) has to please the bureaucracy.

    Don’t you understand why conservatives argue against big government ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  151. I don’t know nothing about birthing websites Mr. President.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  152. Forget it, Jake daleyrocks. It’s Chinatown Sammy.

    That’s a good one.

    What’s truly an eye opener is that Sammy isn’t even as classically, nonsensically liberal as some of his like-minded comrades are. He at least tries to sound objective and like he’s aware of the pros and cons.

    Perhaps he’d even be a “centrist” if he weren’t living in blue-berserk New York City, surrounded by family members whose politics likely are even more monolithically of the left than the city they’re a part of. I was debating such a person from the East Coast a few months ago, and based on his life experience growing up and living amongst mainly liberal friends, colleagues and kin folk, he was astounded — and even mystified — that anyone could be non-liberal, much less staunchly conservative.

    Given such circumstances throughout dyed-in-the-wool, left-leaning America, it must be difficult for anyone to retain his or her common sense (and sanity).

    Mark (e9472f)

  153. Sammademics is for sleeping problems.

    mg (31009b)

  154. 147. Nice site find. Lots of hard to find stories.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  155. Sammy @121

    What this means, though, is that the Tea Party audits were not very simply politically motivated, and they are part of something much bigger. A lot of what Bill Henck is telling can’t possibly be political in the usual sense.

    Yes, they were simply politically motivated. What Bill Henck was saying is that they IRS can subject anyone to a punitive audit for any reason they want.

    Just because “a lot” of what Bill Henck wrote about wasn’t political doesn’t mean targeting conservative groups wasn’t political.

    It is entirely irrational to claim because some some IRS agents committed misconduct due to other motivations, targeting conservative groups couldn’t have been due to political motivations. Especially given Lois Lerner’s comments about TEA party/small government conservative groups being “dangerous.”

    You know, the individual who plead the Fifth.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  156. Sammy,

    How do you feel about the comments directed at you? Have you ever changed your mind about an important concept — something more than just a fact or detail — because of Patterico’s posts or someone’s comment?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  157. ** whistles nervously hoping DRJ does not use that tone with me ***

    SPQR (768505)

  158. How’s the cabal, SPQR?

    narciso (3fec35)

  159. narciso, strangely I found that I had a member appear spontaneously within it. Very disturbing.

    SPQR (768505)

  160. Pot meet kettle !
    Or whatever.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  161. 144.“She didn’t understand the web site had problems.”

    That should be corrected to “problems that could not be fixed by the opening date, even by dropping features and capabilities.”

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/13/2014 @ 10:49 am

    Sammy – Is your default position that nobody in the Obama Administration understands or knows anything until they read about it in the paper?

    Well, they don’t even understand – or acknowledge – things even after they’ve been in the paper!!

    Seriously, my default position is that when there is something wrong, or about to go wrong, that is, or will be, apparent to everyone, and, in spite of that, they go ahead with somehting like there is nothing wrong, and let everybody see it things go wrong, and fall flat on their faces….

    ….they didn’t understand that that would happen.

    1) They didn’t know the “spontaneous and unplanned attack” line about Benghazi would fall apart, because they actually thought it was true – and good news for the Administration.

    2) And they thought the healthcare.gov website would function. (that is, whatever it purported to do, it would do, at least as far as an ordinary user could tell)

    By the way the “I first read about it in the newspapers” meme was first used by the Clintons, and it is really more typical of them.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  162. Sammy, why do you suppose that Obama and Hillary refuse to disclose what they did (and didn’t do) on the night of the Benghazi attack ?

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  163. Comment by Steve57 (71fc09) — 2/13/2014 @ 5:09 pm

    Just because “a lot” of what Bill Henck wrote about wasn’t political doesn’t mean targeting conservative groups wasn’t political.

    Well, obviously there is some kind of political motive in going after Tea Party groups, but it doesn’t have to, and likely in fact, didn’t emanate from the White House.

    The IRS officials might have been concerned about possible legislation in Congress, and targeted some Tea Party groups, because maybe a small part of their agenda was something that they didn’t want. Actually, we still have to figure out why.

    It is entirely irrational to claim because some some IRS agents committed misconduct due to other motivations, targeting conservative groups couldn’t have been due to political motivations.

    It was not big enough to affect national politics. This was not, and could not have been, about the 2012 Presidential election.

    Especially given Lois Lerner’s comments about TEA party/small government conservative groups being “dangerous.”

    Well, maybe they could damage the IRS agents’ union.

    Lois Lerner, in particular, though, does seem to have more political motivations.

    She one wanted, while at the FEC, Al Salvi, the Republican candidate for the United States Senate in Illinois in 1996 opposite Dick Durbin, to promise never to run again for public office, in return for dropping a case against his campaign.

    What Lois Lerner did maybe ultimately didn’t make much of a difference. (at least according to what is written in the 2002 Almanac of American Politics)

    What really hurt Al Salvi is that he was tricked (almost certainly) into making an accusation (one time, in a radio interview) that Jim Brady, the Press Secretary for Ronald Reagan who had been shot in the head in March 1981, and badly injured, and who, with his wife Sarah, became a strong proponent of gun control laws, had once sold machine guns.

    The Democrats then jumped on him, and he apologized (and therefore Democratic claims that he was a brazen liar gained credibility.)

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  164. 176. Comment by Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 2/13/2014 @ 6:36 pm

    Sammy, why do you suppose that Obama and Hillary refuse to disclose what they did (and didn’t do) on the night of the Benghazi attack ?

    1) It isn’t flattering.

    2) They received some bad information from someone in the Libyan government and don’t want to talk about it.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  165. And 3) They were probably warned by someone in the CIA not to declassify the wrong information tghey received.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  166. Comment by Mark (e9472f) — 2/13/2014 @ 4:54 pm

    Perhaps he’d even be a “centrist” if he weren’t living in blue-berserk New York City, surrounded by family members whose politics likely are even more monolithically of the left than the city they’re a part of.

    That’s not true.

    I was debating such a person from the East Coast a few months ago, and based on his life experience growing up and living amongst mainly liberal friends, colleagues and kin folk, he was astounded — and even mystified — that anyone could be non-liberal, much less staunchly conservative.

    Given such circumstances throughout dyed-in-the-wool, left-leaning America, it must be difficult for anyone to retain his or her common sense (and sanity).

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  167. Sorry about that non-removal of the quote – but anyway, New York City is not just one place.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  168. “Does someone building a house worry that the architect can’t do that? You’d expect the architect to warn you off, if so.”

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/13/2014 @ 12:39 pm

    Sammy – An architect draws up plans based on input from the homeowners. The Obama Administration were the homeowners and they gave the architect input too late to meet their deadline.

    The architects didn’t tell them that. Why would they? Some mid-level officials realized that.

    Simple concept.

    I don’t think they had an honest architect. It’s not like cost overruns and failure to complete a project on time had ever stopped them from getting any business or caused them to be fired. If anything, it got them more work.

    This was a government contract. Things work diferently than in the private sector. But not better.

    Incompetence is not, and pretty much cannot be, punished very easily.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/23/us/politics/tension-and-woes-before-health-website-crash.html?_r=0&pagewanted=all

    Michelle Snyder, the agency’s chief operating officer, was telling colleagues outright, “If we could fire them, we would.”

    You see, systems are in place to make sure everyone is impartial and fair.
    And there are few alternative bidders.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  169. SPQR 171 and Sammy,

    I don’t mean to be rude or accusing. I’m really curious how you feel about comments, Sammy.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  170. “The architects didn’t tell them that.”

    Sammy – That’s not what the exhibits Congress was shown portrayed.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  171. Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/13/2014 @ 6:05 pm

    How do you feel about the comments directed at you?

    They are often off the mark. They tend to show lack of understanding about something.

    I try to understand what they are based on, and answer them, because they are usually wrong. hey usually describe or summarize what I am doing incorrectly – I know it’s not that – or give wrong motivations.

    Have you ever changed your mind about an important concept — something more than just a fact or detail — because of Patterico’s posts or someone’s comment?

    Things don’t work that way. What a person does change his opinions about are facts or details, and when some semi-important concept is wrong, you don’t go over to the other side – you come up with something else that’s not this and not that.

    Usuually, we’re not dealing with something that is totally new.

    You know, I started out believing that both Anita Hill and Tawana Brawley were likely telling the truth, but as I learned more, I decided they were not, and I haven’t changed my mind since.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  172. “The architects didn’t tell them that.”

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/13/2014 @ 7:34 pm

    Sammy – That’s not what the exhibits Congress was shown portrayed.

    Here I need to know more – what the exhibits were and what they showed.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  173. Benghazi was the fruit of the Arab Spring, which in turn was a Clinton, Rice, Power deal, the pivotal intervention was in Benghazi in 2011, with the uS providing air cover for the likes of Bin Qumu, Bel Hadj, et al, both former LFG members with AQ affiliations, both leaned more with sympathies to Doha, although there was some allegiance to Riyadh,
    Qatar had backed similar interventions in Egypt and the beginning of said project in Syria, the eventual prime minister, an American educated fmr planning minister, was not willing to go with the other factions, this is clear in the LOC report,

    narciso (3fec35)

  174. “Well, they don’t even understand – or acknowledge – things even after they’ve been in the paper!!”

    Sammy – Are you claiming psychic powers that allow you to perceive what people understand or don’t understand before events occur? Otherwise how the heck do you know what Sebelius understood before the Obamacare website went live, other than to willfully suspend disbelief and choose to believe she did not think there were any problems with the site in direct conflict with the mountains of evidence to the contrary?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  175. “I don’t think they had an honest architect. It’s not like cost overruns and failure to complete a project on time had ever stopped them from getting any business or caused them to be fired. If anything, it got them more work.

    This was a government contract. Things work diferently than in the private sector. But not better.”

    Sammy – I have no idea what you are talking about now. People building a home, to continue your analogy , typically cannot move in and occupy the home until it has been completed and it has received a certificate of occupancy from the town in which they are building. That is to prevent people from moving into dangerous, partially completed structures.

    Yet that is exactly what the Obama Administration did with website by consciously making the political decision to make it go live when it was only partially complete, again, using your analogy.

    It has nothing to do with firing an architect or whether the architect is honest it has everything to do with situational awareness and monitoring by the homeowner.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  176. Comment by Elephant Stone (6a6f37) — 2/13/2014 @ 4:33 pm

    You have a habit of ascribing incompetence and cluelessness to all of these left wing politicians and bureaucrats.

    It depends on what it is.

    At some point, in your mind, doesn’t the existence of 5,739 examples of their incompetence and cluelessness make the conservative case against big government and bureaucracy ?

    Of course it does. When did I ever say government was competent? Of course, different agencies have different degrees of competence, and some may be very competent – for now.

    But it is not only governments that are incompetent.

    Governments, however, go on while they are incompetent, whereas something tends to happen to private companies that are incompetent for a long enough time. And private institutions are often not the only ones doing something. When they are, like the Los Angeles Times newspaper, they can get bad and, once bad, they stay bad. There’s no newspaper it can lose business to.

    See, because in government, there is rarely real life accountability. But in the private sector, people get fired or demoted for their incompetence and cluelessness because they are costing the boss money and customers.

    The boss may not know that. What happens is the whole enterprise can go under, or get into danger of doing so.

    If you get a fly in your soup at Joe’s Cafe, Joe has to do something about it so he can remain in business.

    Oversimplified. That may not be the thing that most puts Joe’s cafe in danger of closing, and usually the danger doesn’t have to be that critical for Joe to care. The thing about government is, not doing its job doesn’t put it out of business. Example: public schools.

    Obamacare removes this kind of consequences from medical institutions, because more people can’t switch.

    But if you get a fly in your soup from ObamaCare, the DMV, the IRS, the NSA, the TSA, it doesn’t matter, because bureaucracy doesn’t need to please the customer—the customer (taxpayer) has to please the bureaucracy.

    Right, right. So why would anyone want anything like E-verify?

    It might work at first, and then deteriorate. Will things still be the same 15 or 20, 25, 30 years down the line? Maybe new problems will develop, and not be handled properly. Maybe the budget will be cut. Maybe somebody wll conceive of a new way of doing business that doesn’t work.

    Government doesn’t correct its problems, especially when correcting it involves spending money. Nothing worked in Detroit, except maybe the Fore Department. Right now, the crime problem is getting out of hand in Puerto Rico.

    Now certain functions, like the military, are necessary. But don’t expect it always to work right.

    The Western front of World War I and maybe the Vietnam War are examples of real, real, incompetence, plus many smaller things in military history.

    There needs to be some way to get it back on track. This does happen with the military, but I am not sure exactly how.

    Don’t you understand why conservatives argue against big government ?

    Yes, but I don’t understand why sometimes they will assume government, or some parts of it, will work perfectly.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  177. 189. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/13/2014 @ 8:02 pm

    People building a home, to continue your analogy, typically cannot move in and occupy the home until it has been completed and it has received a certificate of occupancy from the town in which they are building. That is to prevent people from moving into dangerous, partially completed structures.

    But here we have no supervisory body stopping it.

    Yet that is exactly what the Obama Administration did with website by consciously making the political decision to make it go live when it was only partially complete, again, using your analogy.

    They thought it was only partially complete, but enough of it worked to go live. At least the people at the very top thought so, although there was enough informaton to know it could not register many people (they also may not have counted on Senator Ted Cruz sparking interest in healthcare.gov)

    It has nothing to do with firing an architect or whether the architect is honest it has everything to do with situational awareness and monitoring by the homeowner.

    That did not exist. But that’s incompetence.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  178. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/13/2014 @ 7:44 pm

    Otherwise how the heck do you know what Sebelius understood before the Obamacare website went live, other than to willfully suspend disbelief and choose to believe she did not think there were any problems with the site in direct conflict with the mountains of evidence to the contrary?

    There’s no evidence that she knew what would happen, and evidence from silence (from what she didn’t do or say) that she did not.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  179. ==There’s no evidence that she knew what would happen,==

    It was her friggen job to know, Sammy. Everything and anything else about her role in this is immaterial.

    elissa (8a4e22)

  180. 187. Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 2/13/2014 @ 7:44 pm

    Benghazi was the fruit of the Arab Spring, which in turn was a Clinton, Rice, Power deal,

    The Arab Spring was inadvertantly caused by Bradley Manning, who turned over diplomatic cables to Wikileaks, some of which were about the government of Tunisia, and that started he Arab Spring. There was also the fact that it had bene many years sinnce these regimes had gotten established. People saw what happened in Tunisia, and copied. They became bold.

    the pivotal intervention was in Benghazi in 2011, with the uS providing air cover for the likes of Bin Qumu, Bel Hadj, et al, both former LFG members with AQ affiliations,

    Now wait. The US was not trying to help people allied wth Al Qaeda. In the case of Libya the US did accept many people who had been involved witgh al Qaeda because it was explained, al Qaeda’s propaganda had said he U.S. was allied with Quadafi.

    Now the streneth of Islamist militias later is simply another case of winning the war but losing the peace, or coming close to it. Things in Libya in fact are probably not all tghat bad – Iraq is in worse shape now.

    both leaned more with sympathies to Doha

    Qatar, which seems to be on both sides in the war on terror, and hardly anybody seems to notice. Maybe they are starting to notice now.

    although there was some allegiance to Riyadh

    Both are involved with Islamists.

    Qatar had backed similar interventions in Egypt and the beginning of said project in Syria, the eventual prime minister, an American educated fmr planning minister, was not willing to go with the other factions, this is clear in the LOC report,

    I’m losing you. Who was the fmr planning minister, what was he not willing to what is the LOC report?

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  181. “There’s no evidence that she knew what would happen, and evidence from silence (from what she didn’t do or say) that she did not.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c) — 2/13/2014 @ 8:17 pm “

    Sometimes, your comments are unbelievable Sammy. Sebelius was actively involved in decisions that created the website mess, from delaying regulations for political purposes to not hiring a contractor to do the integration work.

    SPQR (768505)

  182. “It was her friggen job to know, Sammy. Everything and anything else about her role in this is immaterial.”

    elissa – Absolutely. It was her responsibility to know. I have seen no evidence that the contractor was dishonest as Sammy’s new red herring implies or that Sebelius was lied to by her subordinates.

    It goes back to the two alternatives I raised earlier in the day -she was lying about the extent of her knowledge of the website’s lack of functionality when it went live or she deliberately shirked her responsibility by instructing her subordinates to keep her in the dark about any problems so that she had plausible deniability.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  183. Trying to respond to Sammy is akin to sculpting a cloud with a lawn mower. He has the ability to make a thinking person argue as a confused Faulkner trying to explain James Joyce to a toddler in Voynich script.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  184. 193. ==There’s no evidence that she knew what would happen,==

    It was her friggen job to know, Sammy. Everything and anything else about her role in this is immaterial.

    Comment by elissa (8a4e22) — 2/13/2014 @ 8:26 pm

    Which in the private sector, at a publicly traded company, would land any corporate officer in prison. The evidence is overwhelming that the entire structure of the Obama administration is designed to insulate Obama and his appointees from any responsibility for anything.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  185. What a person does change his opinions about are facts or details, and when some semi-important concept is wrong, you don’t go over to the other side – you come up with something else that’s not this and not that.

    Sammy, you don’t have to tell anyone here that you, in effect, avoid rationalizing and excusing away the “other side,” which in your case generally means the rightwing or Republican side, while you often do the watusi and back flips to explain away the screw ups and lunacy of the left, of most Democrats.

    Incidentally, I understand that professional pundit Pat Buchanan loves blood and violence.

    Mark (e9472f)

  186. 195. “There’s no evidence that she knew what would happen, and evidence from silence (from what she didn’t do or say) that she did not.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c) — 2/13/2014 @ 8:17 pm “

    Sometimes, your comments are unbelievable Sammy. Sebelius was actively involved in decisions that created the website mess, from delaying regulations for political purposes to not hiring a contractor to do the integration work.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 2/13/2014 @ 8:35 pm

    Not only was she actively involved, but she testified that she had never seen reports from the contractors detailing the problems with the website.

    Again, if a corporate officer had tried this dodge in court he’d be going away for a long time. What Sebelius, and Hillary!, and Obama, have attested to (Sebelius under oath) is that they refused to perform their basic job responsibilities. And that, they think, gets them off the hook for not knowing. Because it was their job to know.

    For instance, it was Hillary!’s job to authorize waivers from security requirements for embassies and consulates. There was an ARB following the East Africa embassy bombings that recommended just that. And if memory serves I’ve seen state department documents that said that the Secretary of State’s job to do just that.

    So what these people have done is dismantle the systems by which they were supposed to be kept informed. Previous administrations also performed similar functions. There are what are known in business and industry “best practices” in order to provide good corporate governance, some of which are mandatory (try not following Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures and see what happens when you get audited by the IRS or SEC). Precisely because corporate officers can go to prison or corporations can be put out of business if they fail to comply.

    Or, more likely, dismantled the systems by which you can prove they knew. We’ve seen this in other areas as well. Lisa Jackson used secret email accounts (and aliases) to evade Federal law regarding record keeping when she headed EPA. Labor Dept. head Tom Perez used his private email account to conduct DoJ business.

    There is only one reason to do this. To violate the Federal Records Act in order to hide incriminating information from the public.

    This is similar to what the Obama and OFA did during the 2008/2012 campaigns. They disabled address verification and CVV on their websites. There are not valid reasons for that. The only reasons anyone would do that is if they don’t care if the individual is committing credit card fraud, and in the case of campaign contributions if they don’t care if it’s a foreign donor who can’t legally donate money.

    At this point, Sammy, your comments are way past unbelievable. When you insist, for instance, that there is “no evidence” that Sebelius knew about the website problems before launch, that’s factually incorrect. Because there’s plenty of evidence that HHS was aware of the problems. The contractors gave Congress the report. So if Sebelius didn’t know about a major problem at her agency, and it was not only her job to know but she could have easily found out, that is evidence she knew what she had to studiously avoid doing.

    When you are in charge of an organization there is no way you know which questions you better not ask and what reports you don’t want to see unless you are aware what the problems are.

    The fact that Sebelius instructed contractors not to cooperate with Congressional investigators is evidence of malicious intent on her part.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  187. http://www.nationaljournal.com/health-care/sebelius-blame-contractors-for-obamacare-site-20131029

    A week after the contractors who built HealthCare.gov blamed the Obama administration for the site’s failures, the administration is shifting the blame right back.

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will tell a House committee tomorrow the site’s botched rollout was the result of contractors failing to live up to expectations – not bad management at HHS, as the contractors suggested.

    “CMS has a track record of successfully overseeing the many contractors our programs depend on to function. Unfortunately, a subset of those contracts for HealthCare.gov have not met expectations,” Sebelius said in prepared testimony for tomorrow’s hearing before the Energy and Commerce Committee.

    In federal contracting when your contractors accuse you of bad management and you then blame the contractors for failing to live up to expectations after they’ve been working on your project for three years, but you didn’t know about it until the deadline to operational, you have just conceded the contractor’s point. You are guilty of bad management. At a minimum.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  188. What’s the big deal. Liberals love this type of FASCISM. When we win back the WHITE HOUSE. ABORTION is HISTORY.

    Gus (70b624)

  189. Speculators! Hoarders! Enemies of the state!

    The left always gets there eventually.

    @51 Comment by Patricia (8d9bfd) — 2/12/2014 @ 12:26 pm

    It’s amazing, is it not? Watching it happen from the beginning.

    It is just like they said. Bravo to: Orwell, Rand, Solzhenitsyn, von Hayek, Frank, Epstein, Jefferson, Cicero, Belenko…countless others.

    “It always begins in the same way.”

    Pons Asinroum (8ce71a)

  190. UPDATE: Commenter DF specifies the consequences for failing to sign the illegal attestation: employers can’t take advantage of the illegal delay of the mandate.

    Sign this thing we can’t legally ask you to sign, or we will not give you the break we have no right to give, but that we will give anyway to people who do sign.

    Great.

    Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that you have to attest under perjury that you didn’t lay off any workers for a perfectly business reason or the IRS will illegally penalize you?

    Yes, what determines who is a big employer who must provide qualifying health insurance to employees are the number of employees you had in the previous calendar year. And the “previous calendar year” for 2015 when King Obama decided he’d enforce the law is of course this year. So the deadline has passed.

    But now the mandate for employers with between 50-99 employees doesn’t kick in until 2016. Which pushes back the compliance date to February 2015 according to the law.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/4980H

    26 U.S. Code § 4980H (c)(2) Applicable large employer
    (A) In general
    The term “applicable large employer” means, with respect to a calendar year, an employer who employed an average of at least 50 full-time employees on business days during the preceding calendar year.

    I realize the delay in the mandate is illegal. But still, the preceding calendar year for the mandate for they year these mobsters plan on following the law is 2015. There is no way under the law they can penalize anyone for firing/laying off people for any reason whatsoever in 2014. Nor for that matter can they penalize anyone in 2018 if they decide to lay people off once the mandate kicks-in in 2016.

    Actually, it’s stupid that you can be penalized by the IRS in any given year depending on how many people were working for you during any prior year.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  191. and good old Monty dropped off a tasty, tasty package of #Doom over at the HQ Wednesday evening, just to really get your optimism for Recovery Summer 2014 really building:

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/347104.php

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  192. @205: Unbelievable, you would think they would have learned their lesson in the 20 century, or 19th, or 18th, or 17th…

    Pons Asinorum (8ce71a)

  193. We are not dealing with people who learn lessons.

    Not when they’re demanding employers to “self-certify” that they’re not rational economic actors who will arrange their affairs to avoid tax penalties.

    Any group of people who demand people be penalized for trying to afford a penalty should be in an asylum. What’s next; they’ll demand I “self-certify” that I didn’t drive at 63mph on a highway where the speed limit is 65 to avoid a penalty, or else I get the speeding ticket for keeping below the limit?

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  194. *…trying to afford avoid a penalty…*

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  195. 193. ==There’s no evidence that she knew what would happen,==

    Elissa at 196: “It was her friggen job to know, Sammy. Everything and anything else about her role in this is immaterial.”

    Daleyrocks at 198 on 2/13/2014 @ 9:33 pm

    elissa – Absolutely. It was her responsibility to know.

    I don’t think that was her principle responsibilty as Secretary of HHS. It was not even Marilyn Tavenner’s job (head of CMS).
    although it should have been somebody’s job to keep track of what’s going at the website, and things should have arranged so that information could make its way up the line.

    But I am not arguing whether or not it was her job. I am arguing that she in point of fact did not know the website would not be at all functional.

    She and Barack Obama were planning an advertising campaign. Now you wouldn’t do that if you thought it couldn’t handle the volume.

    I don’t think the idea dawned in her mind that the site simply wouldn’t work, and when she found out there were some problems, she thought it would only be as much as she was told.

    I have seen no evidence that the contractor was dishonest as Sammy’s new red herring implies

    Only this maybe:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/25/us/politics/bipartisan-dismay-over-health-plan-woes-at-house-hearing.html?_r=0&pagewanted=all

    Lawmakers from both parties expressed anger and dismay at the contractors’ performance. The lawmakers said they felt misled because the same contractors testified at a hearing on Sept. 10 that the online marketplace was working properly and was ready to enroll millions of Americans eager to buy insurance, subsidized by the government.

    OK, well, you say, that’s Congress. But they told HHS. After all, that’s what they testified in October. Now it was true the Administration made it worse, and showed dishonesty. They were afraid people wouldn’t sign up.

    The contractors said the Obama administration decided in late September to block a feature of the Web site that allowed consumers to see the full unsubsidized prices of insurance plans without registering or creating personal accounts.

    Now, when they did that, they didn’t think it would have the consequence of creating a bottleneck. They couldn’t possibly want that.

    The contractors also said a the hearing there were too many customers. But that was what the Obama Administration wanted!

    Haven’t rockets crashed? Even because of obvious, well known to insiders, flaws? Do you think the people who gave the go-ahead to send up the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, wanted it to crash? No, they didn’t, and they didn’t expect it to crash.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  196. The contractors say they told HHS.

    Cheryl R. Campbell, a senior vice president of CGI Federal…said that CGI had continually reported to top officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, including Michelle Snyder, the chief operating officer of the agency, and Henry Chao, the deputy chief information officer.

    It is known that Henry Chao was frustrated about them and that Michelle Snyder, COO at Medicaid and Medicare, said she wished she could fire them.

    Let’s say maybe it is not obvious if the contractors (or some contractors) were lying.

    Is the main problem with CMS and not with the contractors?

    CGI had problems in other places too:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/27/us/2-states-may-seek-refunds-from-health-site-creator.html

    Two states that hired the same lead contractor to build their online marketplaces for health insurance under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act have experienced so many problems and delays that they are threatening to withhold millions of dollars in payments to the company and even seek refunds.

    Massachusetts health officials said they will meet in early January to decide whether to suspend payments to the company, CGI Federal, which has also been criticized — and questioned during a congressional hearing — for its central role in building the problem-plagued federal health insurance exchange. The state may also seek a refund from the firm, which is an American subsidiary of the Canadian-based CGI Group.

    Already, Vermont has refused to pay $5.1 million of its contract with the company and is trying to get hundreds of thousands of dollars refunded. The two states’ problems with CGI were reported by The Boston Globe.

    In Massachusetts and Vermont, were they also shirking their responsibilities?

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  197. I have seen no evidence that the contractor was dishonest as Sammy’s new red herring implies
    or that Sebelius was lied to by her subordinates.

    And the Challenger was also deliberately crashed?

    Now, sometimes, if there is alot of corruption, it can only look like there is incomptence. But what’s the corrupt motive for having the website crash on launch?

    It goes back to the two alternatives I raised earlier in the day -she was lying about the extent of her knowledge of the website’s lack of functionality when it went live or she deliberately shirked her responsibility by instructing her subordinates to keep her in the dark about any problems so that she had plausible deniability.

    I don’t think you have to instruct anybody to do that to create a thermocline of truth.

    According to Bruce F. Webster, this happens naturally, and you have to work at it to make sure it doesn’t happen:

    http://brucefwebster.com/2008/04/15/the-wetware-crisis-the-themocline-of-truth/

    Successful large-scale IT projects require active efforts to pierce the thermocline, to break it up, and to keep it from reforming.

    The contractors probably never said: “we give up.” “We can’t do this.” “it won’t work.” “we can’t get this ready by the deadline.” “You’re creating trouble.”

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  198. 212. According to Bruce F. Webster, this happens naturally, and you have to work at it to make sure it doesn’t happen:

    http://brucefwebster.com/2008/04/15/the-wetware-crisis-the-themocline-of-truth/

    Successful large-scale IT projects require active efforts to pierce the thermocline, to break it up, and to keep it from reforming.

    The contractors probably never said: “we give up.” “We can’t do this.” “it won’t work.” “we can’t get this ready by the deadline.” “You’re creating trouble.”

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c) — 2/14/2014 @ 7:05 am

    And you know what breaks up that thermocline of truth? Effective management. So if it existed at all, then the contractors are right. HHS was incapable of managing this IT project effectively.

    Thanks for agreeing that Sebelius didn’t do her job. Because if she had, then that thermocline of truth wouldn’t have been an issue.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  199. You have to be either a pretty dense executive if you don’t know that’s what you have to do. That that’s your job.

    Or a dishonest one, who knows but doesn’t do it. Or worse, encourage it to form and never break it by dismantling the mechanisms that no doubt were in place since this isn’t the first IT project HHS has ever managed. Because you think the “thermocline of truth” is a convenient excuse for not knowing.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  200. http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/project-management-for-dummies-cheat-sheet.html

    They don’t use Bruce Webster’s term, but it’s all in there.

    Particularly in these short, handy items:

    Project Manager Skill: Developing Achievable Project Schedules

    Effective Project Management: How to Hold People Accountable

    How to Avoid Common Project Management Pitfalls

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  201. I don’t think you have to instruct anybody to do that to create a thermocline of truth.

    No, you do have to insulate yourself when you actually have project managers with years of experience, and you don’t want to know what’s going on.

    Like you have to disable the the address verification and CVV if you want to be able to get foreign campaign donations but want to be able to feign ignorance.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  202. Books that have obviously been banned by the Obama administration. From the top guy all the way down the chain.

    http://www.amazon.com/Project-Management-Dummies-Stanley-Portny/dp/0470574526

    http://www.amazon.com/Building-Web-Site-For-Dummies/dp/0470560932

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  203. 206. Thanx, I totally missed his post in all the chaff over there.

    Gabe Malor still sucks.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  204. Here is a link to the September 10, 2013 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the PPACA where many of the contractors detailed government contract modifications over the summer of 2013 and the CMS presentation explicitly showed heavy testing yet to occur.

    http://energycommerce.house.gov/hearing/ppaca-pulse-check-part-2

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  205. “In Massachusetts and Vermont, were they also shirking their responsibilities?”

    Sammy – In Massachusetts and Vermont there was public is/was public awareness of the delays. On Obamacare, not so much. They went live with the flaws hidden. You decide after informing yourself a little more.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  206. What’s the Paradigm for the Day?

    Colonel Haiku (30caeb)

  207. “But I am not arguing whether or not it was her job. I am arguing that she in point of fact did not know the website would not be at all functional.

    She and Barack Obama were planning an advertising campaign. Now you wouldn’t do that if you thought it couldn’t handle the volume.”

    Sammy – It’s little wonder Sen. Max Baucus stated publicly he thought Obamacare would be a train wreck based on the information available prior to October 1, 2013 and after, in spite of the spin of people like the New York Times and the administration.

    Unfortunately the administration had delayed implementation of virtually everything else it could about Obamacare and it would have been brand suicide for them to consider delaying the website for the individual mandate in the middle of the “government slowdown” they forced on the country. That would have been admitting defeat.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  208. The Obama administration became self-aware on… oh, who are they kidding?

    Colonel Haiku (30caeb)

  209. “What’s the Paradigm for the Day?”

    Colonel – We must focus on the wrong things – squirrel! Or, don’t slip on red herrings, you might hurt yourself.

    Contractors performance on non-Obamacare contracts.

    Obamacare website was not Sebelius’ principle responsibility even though nobody claimed it was.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  210. I remember my Mom saying “The good Lord gave you two ears and one mouth; that’s a clue!

    Too many project managers focus on telling how and what to do, and not nearly enough on listening and reading about the problems they’re trying to solve. They focus so much on the efficiency of cutting down trees that they lose track of where the road is supposed to be going.

    htom (412a17)

  211. “No, you do have to insulate yourself when you actually have project managers with years of experience, and you don’t want to know what’s going on.”

    Steve57 – Or diligent inquiry from management whose reputation and success depends on the outcome these projects usually creates an incentive to cut through any BS spun by the propeller heads. Pure common sense in no different in the private sector than the public sector.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  212. “Too many project managers focus on telling how and what to do, and not nearly enough on listening and reading about the problems they’re trying to solve.”

    htom – I completely agree. Then after the fact when things don’t work out people discover the biggest problem is that they did not get the buy in or meet the needs of the various user constituencies.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  213. All of that can be prevented up front. There is no need to get the bends below the thermocline.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  214. Sammy 185,

    Thanks for your response. I agree we are more likely to change our minds as we learn new facts and details, but I’m not sure I agree with this statement you made:

    Things don’t work that way. What a person does change his opinions about are facts or details, and when some semi-important concept is wrong, you don’t go over to the other side – you come up with something else that’s not this and not that.

    This sounds like you are saying you haven’t changed your mind because of another person’s persuasive argument. Instead, at most, you may reformulate your opinion. I see you doing that here. It’s as if you don’t think you can trust anyone but yourself to analyze a topic, so you never trust anyone else’s conclusions. Maybe if you took more time to understand their analysis you wouldn’t be so reluctant about accepting their conclusions.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  215. “Instead, at most, you may reformulate your opinion. I see you doing that here.”

    DRJ – Good observation.

    What I see is Sammy usually moving from one flawed or questionable position or argument when pushed to successively more flawed or questionable positions or arguments in order to cling as closely as possible to the original position advanced.

    Sammy’s ideas have claw marks on them.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  216. Sammy… ask yourself, “would I buy a used car from Sammy Finkelman?” Let the answer guide you.

    Colonel Haiku (30caeb)

  217. daleyrocks,

    I know it’s hard to let go of an idea once we believe in it. One thing I like about the commenters here is that they are strong advocates for their positions, but most are also willing to consider other arguments and change their minds when it’s right. Maybe Sammy is a little more rigid and less willing to change his opinions than most.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  218. “Maybe Sammy is a little more rigid and less willing to change his opinions than most.”

    DRJ – That is a very diplomatic way of describing things, something you usually do with a lot more grace and patience than myself. :)

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  219. Sometimes, Sammy, its like you have never been outside your apartment door …

    SPQR (768505)

  220. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/14/2014 @ 11:09 am

    and it would have been brand suicide for them to consider delaying the website for the individual mandate in the middle of the “government slowdown” they forced on the country. That would have been admitting defeat.

    They are not there yet, and won’t be till the spring of 2015.

    It’s true once the website was up, they would not take it down. But it is not the same thing not to put it up, especially since Obama could have let the Republicans “win” a delay, if he had thought himself capable of carrying this thing off.

    And also, if it had to go up, but they knew it would have problems, there would be no reason to “double down” on the problems by attracting attention to the website.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  221. Yesterday and today, I saw people shoveling water. It’s logical, but a little unanticipated.

    Whether that’s a possible genuine use for a shovel is something to change your mind about.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  222. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/us/politics/one-in-5-buyers-of-insurance-under-new-law-did-not-pay-premiums-on-time.html

    About 75% to 855 have paid their premiums. Blue Cross is doing better than most. Blkue Cross in Minnesota reached 95%.

    Last paragraph:

    Obama administration officials said they did not know how many people signing up for coverage had paid their premiums because the government had not finished building the “back end” of the computer systems needed to pay insurers.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  223. Sammy @235 – English please.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  224. California is struggling, says the NYT, to enroll Latinos.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/us/states-struggle-to-add-latinos-to-health-rolls.html

    Problems: Some people have members in their family who are illegal. Some don’t know some members, particularly children, are eligible. Others travel to Mexico for medical care. Some worry that this would interfere with the ability to become a citizen.

    Even among those living here legally, there is fear that receiving Medicaid or insurance subsidy will jeopardize their chance at citizenship by labeling them a “public charge,” a term used to refer to immigrants dependent on the government, experts say. The Obama administration has issued guidelines assuring immigrants that receiving medical assistance will not affect their immigration eligibility, but many health care officials say the guidelines have done little to quell fears and confusion.

    I think “immigration eligibility” is the wrong term here.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  225. More increase in chocolate rations.

    narciso (3fec35)

  226. 235. 240. The “brand” problem occurs once the website is up.

    If they know problems are coming beforr it goed up, they should either take advantage of an excuse to delay putting it up, or at least not try to drum up more hits.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  227. 241. Of course, the biggest problem is…it’s not affordable.

    For those like Ms. Nuñez who have relied on walk-in clinics, cost is also a deterrent. Amanda Aguirre, the president of the Regional Center for Border Health in Yuma, Ariz., said many Latinos there felt the private plans available through the exchange were too expensive, even if they qualified for federal subsidies.

    “They still feel it’s a very high premium, like it’s another car payment or another mortgage payment, and they will not accept it,” Ms. Aguirre said. “They go uncovered.”

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  228. Whenever I make a prediction about the future, and it doesn’t happen, I change my mind.

    But usually I am not that wrong.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  229. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/14/2014 @ 11:30 am

    Obamacare website was not Sebelius’ principle responsibility even though nobody claimed it was.

    Then she’s really not to be blamed.

    It may be that the people who knew had no power, and the people who had power, didn’t know it wouldn’t work.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  230. But the really bad thing about Obamacare is the callousness about how this affects people. I think, though there may be people who think all medical care identical, once the doctors have their licenses.

    I also think there are many things Obama has been told or had opportunitgy to learn that he just ignores because it is inconvenient. That the website wouldn’t function wasn’t one of them.

    And he thinks if he says something that os true for 98% of the people he can claim all. He’s constantly giving bad arguments.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  231. A mind is a terrible thing to waste and watching it being wasted is also terrible. It is something I don’t have to waste time doing. I can do something useful, like polish light bulbs, instead.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  232. They’ve found the perfect way to coerce people into signing. If anyone complains about not getting a break on account of not signing, they can argue that it would illegal to give the break, so no actual harm was done. It’s Kafkaesque, but should keep the gov’t policymakers out of hot water.

    Warren (c3caa8)

  233. What does it say about a political party when one of their leaders – Pelosi, dim bulb that she is – says she doesn’t know why anyone would marry these days?

    Democrats are one of the main impediments to a sustainable civil society.

    Colonel Haiku (30caeb)

  234. You’re coming around to Kent Brockman’s point of view, she was the daughter of a mayor and congressman and married a rich developer, but we’re not supposed to mention that,

    narciso (3fec35)

  235. I don’t believe I’ve ever come across someone whose mind works quite like Sammy’s. It used to interest me and sometimes even fascinate me. Sammy is almost always cordial in his posts, rarely argumentative, and he responds directly to other commenters on their posts.

    Often I’ve wanted to try to decipher the flow of his “logic” and try to figure out what exact point he was actually trying to make amid his lengthy meanderings–the elusive point that he seemed to think everyone else on the planet was missing. Sammy’s participation (if you want to call it that) in the discussion on this thread has finished it for me because I realize I pretty much am no longer interested in what he thinks or why he thinks it.

    elissa (9d7d24)

  236. I agree, elissa. My son is like Sammy. They can’t help the way they are but that doesn’t make it any easier, for them or for us. I have to deal with my son but I don’t have to deal with Sammy, so I generally don’t.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  237. sometimes there’s more to it, than others it’s the argument clinicL
    http://washingtonexaminer.com/obama-to-link-california-drought-to-climate-change/article/2544008/comments#disqus_thread

    narciso (3fec35)

  238. It’s just a climate change sham, narciso. Obama is going to California for golf, not the drought or climate change. Even Obama’s claim that he needs to go to California to meet with Jordan’s King Abdullah is a sham:

    Following his trip to Fresno, he will go to Palm Springs to meet with King Abdullah of Jordan to discuss the Syrian civil war, the Iranian negotiations, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and other issues. But there was no need for Obama to meet Abdullah in Palm Springs: as the Times of Israel notes, Abdullah was already in Washington, DC and the two could easily have met there instead. The Times also notes that the president is expected to play golf over the long weekend.

    And there you have it. President Obama just has to get a game of golf in. While the rest of the East Cost hunkers down under a slew of snowstorms, he is going to take Air Force One to the sunny California desert. If he has to get in an appearance with the struggling farmers and unemployed agricultural workers of the Central Valley, so be it. He’s not above this sort of expensive diversion, and the U.S. media won’t hold him accountable. King Abdullah won’t be too put off by the long trip. In Jordan he, too, can do whatever he wants. It’s good to be king.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  239. yes, I know, plus it’s the delta smelt that is calling the lion’s share of the problems.

    narciso (3fec35)

  240. I’m very sorry about your son, DRJ. Raising kids is hard enough as it is, without the added tension of communication difficulties

    elissa (9d7d24)

  241. Thanks, elissa. We’re cool with ASD but dealing with one is my limit right now.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  242. Heh! If he talked about climate in DC, he’d be pelted with snowballs.

    nk (dbc370)

  243. Don’t know why but foreclosures patched out from zero to sixty in January:

    Foreclosure starts in [California] month of January suddenly jumped 57%.

    It’s not just in California. Foreclosure starts rose 10% from December to hit 57,259 properties across the country. That they on average were still down 12% from a year earlier obscured major annual increases in certain individual states, and not just in one or two, like us crazies out here in California, but in 22 states! And California with its 57% jump in foreclosure starts now suddenly seems tame: In New Jersey, they soared 79%, in Connecticut 82%, and in Maryland 126%!

    Perhaps its some new Mark to Market disclosure rule or its just reading the chicken entrails:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-14/20-signs-global-economic-crisis-starting-catch-fire

    Make sure your loved ones are strapped in.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  244. Thousands of pages of law, even more thousands of pages of regs and rules, and they didn’t realize some people take medications that have no generics?

    I have not bothered on the fine print as of yet, as it has not directly affected us yet and I know enough already to oppose it. For those who know more details than I (perhaps unfortunately), I have a question in regard to something I’ve heard, that in some (many? all?) ObamaCare plans there is actually no coverage until the deductible is met, often many thousands of dollars. Is that true? I mean, nothing would intrude with seeing the doctor and getting your meds like needing to pay $5,000 out of pocket before any coinsurance, etc. kicks in.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  245. 262. The too-big-to-fails like Goldman Sachs are forecasting GDP less than 2% now for 2014 and with FX deflation that has to mean flatlining.

    But 404Care is not satisfactorily included in the calculation because its too big an unknown.

    2014 has deep recession branded on its forehead if you ask me, not that you should.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  246. Alert for all those relying on the ballot-box resort:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/02/14/1-in-4-Americans-unaware-that-Earth-circles-Sun

    TILT!

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  247. You know something is really wrong when 25% of the public does not know that the earth rotates around the sun,
    and one is inclined to think that whatever it is, it is unfixable in the current form.
    But the same questionnaire apparently asked if humans descended from other animals, and since only ~50% said yes, it was judged that 50% got that answer wrong.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  248. I don’t think that explains it, nk. one shouldn’t need an IQ of 80 to know the earth revolves around the sun. maybe an IQ of 80 to understand how the earth’s revolving around the sun on its axis makes the seasons, yes, but not the simple fact that the earth revolves around the sun.

    Not an intelligence problem, but an ignorance problem, I think.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  249. MD! The Earth revolving around its axis makes night and day. The Earth orbiting the sun makes the seasons, because its axis is not perpendicular to the orbital plane.

    Or are you “gotcha”? If so, it’s ok, I can take a joke.

    nk (dbc370)

  250. Where’s happyfeet? Uranus’s axis of rotation is almost parallel to its orbital plane, its poles are by its equator, so its seasons and its night and day are identical. I think. My daughter tried to explain it to me.

    nk (dbc370)

  251. MD,

    The educational system has failed our students. They used to teach them basic things like geography and how the solar system works, as well as how to make change and the importance of being on time. Teaching things like that is no longer allowed either because of diversity concerns or academics infatuation with “modern” education. Children aren’t born knowing basic concepts and too many parents don’t have the time or knowledge to teach them.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  252. I have a question in regard to something I’ve heard, that in some (many? all?) ObamaCare plans there is actually no coverage until the deductible is met, often many thousands of dollars. Is that true? I mean, nothing would intrude with seeing the doctor and getting your meds like needing to pay $5,000 out of pocket before any coinsurance, etc. kicks in.

    I think it depends on which plan the consumer picks but, basically, I think it’s fair to say that the Affordable Care Act plans are not affordable.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  253. Yes, the earth rotating makes day and night, the fact that it revolves (orbits) around the sun on an axis that is not perpendicular to its plane of orbit makes the seasons.

    At least that is how I would word it. Rotating and revolving can be confusing, unless on specifies if what is doing the rotation or revolution and around what.
    But I am not a rocket scientist, so maybe my spaced terminology is wrong; it certainly appears to be imprecise.
    Of course, I don’t know what they teach in those Chicago schools…

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  254. My son is like Sammy.

    I don’t know about how you truly judge Sammy, and therefore what you mean that he and your son are similar. From my POV, Sammy is a liberal struggling to throw off the shackles of left-leaning bias and stupidity. Regrettably, he often comes up short. But it’s a valiant effort on such people’s part, stymied by their hard wiring (not to mention the peer group they hang out with), meaning they’ll never be really moderate, much less conservative.

    Mark (e03173)

  255. Well, that New York Times dialect test put me as being from Syracuse, Salt Lake City, and Tacoma, so ….

    And this is not the Inquisition and neither one of us is Galileo (“Still, it revolves.” “Rotates!” “Revolves!” ;) )

    nk (dbc370)

  256. I’m not judging Sammy, Mark. My opinion is based on my observations and what Sammy once told Stashiu3 in the comments.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  257. Don’t know why but foreclosures patched out from zero to sixty in January:

    Peculiar undercurrents in the economy right now, particularly the seemingly unflappable resiliency of the stock market.

    I remain uneasy and apprehensive about things in general, but I’m not sure how much of that is justified or not, how much of that is pessimism for pessimism’s sake.

    The big clown car that keeps circling the grounds of the White House (and other citadels of loony liberalism in DC and elsewhere) makes it very easy to be pessimistic.

    Mark (e03173)

  258. Mark,

    In other words, I have an opinion but I could be wrong. That’s what makes it an opinion instead of a fact.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  259. In other words, I have an opinion but I could be wrong

    DRJ, I wasn’t sure if you were honing in on the political/ideological orientation of Sammy, which is what I was doing, or is what interests me about people like him.

    I’ve been amazed through the years at observing the way that innate bias in people can make them swear that 2-plus-2 equals 7.5, or 3.0, or 13, but never 4. Or, similarly, I’m still stunned at having learned just within the past year that beloved, progressive, caring, do-gooder Franklin D Roosevelt — one of the icons of the Democrat Party and modern-day liberalism — was a surprisingly bigoted person behind closed doors.

    Mark (e03173)

  260. 278. Well the Market isn’t a big mystery. With zero % interest rates there are not a lot of rich payoffs. Venture capitalists and big investors had been accustomed to profits before taxes in the low teens.

    All investment banks run HFT programs, that along with day traders, are out to make a buck every day of the week. Often times the Market is nowadays up 50 points on no volume, insurance companies, mutual funds, and pensions are not taking part.

    A lot of the risked money in a bull market at the end of its run, like today, is borrowed. Those bank reserves not being issued in loans are used as collateral for playing the market among other speculative positions.

    Huge positions have been taken by companies, hedge funds, and investors tying up commodities like metals in warehouses the world over. They are being held against the day the blowout is just a bad memory.

    Some stocks will have value when those companies survive. Big retail outfits are not among them.

    Right now a lot of money is being played in FX, especially over the fluctuations between USD and the yen.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  261. There are still enough tax payers to cough up big chunks of change to cover Obamas’ endless vacations… no staycations for them.

    When all of the reporting of the first family’s 22 vacations so far to Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard, Spain, Colorado, Florida, Africa and elsewhere is added up, the estimate reaches over $18 million when hotel and resort rent, security hotel and car rentals, and airfare are included.

    Concerned about the trip expenses and the administration’s lack of transparency on the trips, Judicial Watch has sought spending documents. They’ve had success on just eight trips and only received Air Force and Secret Service expense forms which total $2,417,595.47. Included is the $1 million tab for Michelle Obama’s 2011 trip to Africa, her $476,585 2010 vacay in Spain, the first couple’s 2009 New York City date night that cost $11,648 and the first lady’s 2013 trip to Aspen for Presidents’ Day costing $81,523.

    Those expenses generally calculate onboard food, and security hotel and car rental charges. Sometimes actual receipts have been provided to Judicial Watch. For her Spain trip, for example, the Air Force spent over $1,300 on food, including potato chips, candy, and cookies. They also bought two magazines, Elle and Women’s Day.

    But that’s it. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told Secrets, “The Obama administration has simply stopped voluntarily producing information about the costs of the travel. It is radio silence. They are in cover up mode.”

    Multiple news organizations have also tallied the costs of the first family’s Christmas vacations in Hawaii, $16 million; and summers in Martha’s Vineyard, $500,000.

    Unspeakable outrage, indeed.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  262. 263. Thousands of pages of law, even more thousands of pages of regs and rules, and they didn’t realize some people take medications that have no generics?…

    Comment by MD in Philly (f9371b) — 2/14/2014 @ 7:39 pm

    One of my guiding principles is that anyone who thinks life’s problems can be fixed by thousands of pages of laws and more thousands of pages of rules and regs doesn’t know the first thing about life.

    And I’m not actually ragging on Obama at this point. He’s just giving the people what they want. It’s the people who thought that voting to put the sophomore captain of the Punahou college prep debating team in control of the health care system was a good idea that I’m PO’d at.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  263. I was drinking my first cup of coffee and something occurred to me that I haven’t seen said yet.

    Since Obama is now openly using the IRS to illegally silence his critics, can there be any doubt that he had the IRS illegally target his critics.

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  264. In other news, this will end well, trust me.

    http://tiny.cc/86tbbx

    narciso (3fec35)

  265. Where do the Saudis get them from?

    nk (dbc370)

  266. the Libyam flea market, at cost.

    narciso (3fec35)

  267. I couldn’t read the whole article because of WSJ’s paywall but “The U.S. Also Giving Millions of Dollars for Salaries to Fighters” is probably to the actors Kerry lined up in Zurich pretending to be leaders of, and speak for, the rebels. This is an old State Department trick — find some mopes and make a government in exile. Albright’s “rebel leader” Thaci, for one example, was in a New Jersey refugee camp during the Kosovo/Lewinsky War — a visa for his cooperation. The real leaders of the rebels are fighting with their troops in Syria.

    nk (dbc370)

  268. ;) The Kosovars should build statutes to Monica and venerate her as the mother of their country.

    nk (dbc370)

  269. Somewhat, Safi, of the SNC, was at Killeen around the time of the shooting,

    narciso (3fec35)

  270. Since Obama is now openly using the IRS to illegally silence his critics, can there be any doubt that he had the IRS illegally target his critics.

    Comment by Steve57 (71fc09)

    There should be no doubt. What fuels a seething rage is that they appear to be getting away with it. This must not be allowed to happen and should be resisted… both aggressively and passively. These people need to be held accountable for what they’ve done and continue to do.

    The obsequious, corksoaking media won’t do it, so it has to be at the ballot box and through the actions of clear-thinking people.

    Colonel Haiku (30caeb)

  271. Schumer, had about as said as much in 2010, as well as Durbin, a not so subtle nudge,

    narciso (3fec35)

  272. 291. “so it has to be at the ballot box and through the actions of clear-thinking people.”

    There it is again!

    It must be hard-wired in the species.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  273. Venture capitalists and big investors had been accustomed to profits before taxes in the low teens.

    There’s lots of big money out there always in search of a nest or home, and I wonder if — as evident in the ridiculously high prices that artworks fetch at auctions (even for what many people would deem is “crap” or gimmicky contemporary junk) — that ensures the stock market in the 21st century will be different from the stock market in the 1930s.

    I have seen charts that show the up-and-down trends of today are eerily similar to what happened in the months leading up to the great crash of 1929, but so far all the spinning plates (or juggling balls up in the air) continue to remain aloft.

    Mark (e03173)

  274. Well we’re seeing how that result works out in Venezuela, aren’t we,

    narciso (3fec35)

  275. ==There are still enough tax payers to cough up big chunks of change to cover Obamas’ endless vacations… no staycations for them.==

    Dana- the alphabet newscasts and newspapers often sketchily and sometimes after the fact (security concerns, you know) report their individual vacations and pics of them on a beach or in ski attire or getting on/off Air Force One in casual clothes, etc. But none ever tally the scandalous and unprecedented combined cost outrage on taxpayers during their WH years and present it as a broader prime time news story. that I’m aware of. I’d wager that 98% of American taxpayers have absolutely no ballpark idea about how much has been spent by the Obamas and the support entourage for their vacays.

    elissa (18d449)

  276. But they chronicled W’s expenses to the penny, didn’t they,

    narciso (3fec35)

  277. Since Obama is now openly using the IRS to illegally silence his critics, can there be any doubt that he had the IRS illegally target his critics.

    Imagine how much corruption — both ideological and conventional — is working its nasty tentacles throughout the government in general. My fear and disgust about that trend has affected my outlook on things today, which is why I admittedly viewed the controversy with Edward Snowden differently from the way you did.

    I see the berserk degree of leftism in certain other countries in the world today, and that’s a constant reminder to me of just how bad things can be, how bad things can get. It’s naive to believe the US is somehow uniquely impervious to that, just as it was naive on my part to believe that prior to 9-11, our geography and political scene somehow magically protected us from the tragedies that notoriously occur in the Middle East, Europe or Asia.

    Mark (e03173)

  278. 294. “charts that show the up-and-down trends of today are eerily similar to what happened in the months leading up to the great crash of 1929″

    A practice termed “wiggle matching”, comparing raw historical, which is routinely denigrated by quasi-scientists in Climate and Solar circles.

    Then they turn around and ‘improve’ or normalize historical data by regressing it to current patterns!

    Having a physical formula or mathematical relation of physical phenomena is great, and indeed scientific, but Market analysis by technical elves–with whom billions are entrusted–is nothing more than wiggle matching.

    Its all we’ve got for complex human behavior, there is nothing worthy of characterizing as science.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  279. Its all we’ve got for complex human behavior, there is nothing worthy of characterizing as science.

    I agree. I was told in Psychology 101 that if what I wanted was to learn about human nature, I’d be better off reading Shakespeare.

    (I stayed for the BA, anyway. Easy As for the GPA, and I liked statistics.

    nk (dbc370)

  280. 295. Some zillionaire named Perkins currently has the attention of CNBC, et al., holding forth on returning to the Athenian democratic model, where only workers have the vote, even according one vote to one dollar.

    Sysiphus is a best possible outcome.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  281. I’d wager that 98% of American taxpayers have absolutely no ballpark idea about how much has been spent by the Obamas and the support entourage for their vacays.

    I wonder what the political slant and voting record of many of those people are?

    Meanwhile…

    breitbart.com, February 14: Americans are enthusiastic about the promise of science but lack basic knowledge of it, with one in four unaware that the Earth revolves around the Sun, said a poll out Friday. The survey included more than 2,200 people in the United States and was conducted by the National Science Foundation.

    Ten questions about physical and biological science were on the quiz, and the average score — 6.5 correct — was barely a passing grade. Just 74 percent of respondents knew that the Earth revolved around the Sun, according to the results released at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago.

    In a 2010 Pew survey, Republicans outperformed Democrats on 10 of 12 questions, with one tie and Democrats outperforming Republicans on just 1 of the 12. In the latest survey, however, Republicans outperformed Democrats on every single one of 19 questions.

    Amusingly, the Pew report attempted to soften the stark partisan knowledge disparity: “Republicans generally outperformed Democrats on the current quiz. On 13 of the 19 questions, Republicans score significantly higher than Democrats and there are no questions on which Democrats did better than Republicans. In past knowledge quizzes, partisan differences have been more muted, though Republicans often have scored somewhat higher than Democrats.”

    hotair.com, April 2012: At The American, AEI resident scholar Andrew Biggs highlights an interesting study that confirms what most conservatives probably already know to be true of themselves: We understand why our liberal friends think what they think more than they understand why we think what we think.

    [University of Virginia professor Jonathan] Haidt’s research asks individuals to answer questionnaires regarding their core moral beliefs — what sorts of values they consider sacred, which they would compromise on, and how much it would take to get them to make those compromises. By themselves, these exercises are interesting.

    But Haidt’s research went one step further, asking self-indentified conservatives to answer those questionnaires as if they were liberals and for liberals to do the opposite. What Haidt found is that conservatives understand liberals’ moral values better than liberals understand where conservatives are coming from. Worse yet, liberals don’t know what they don’t know; they don’t understand how limited their knowledge of conservative values is. If anyone is close-minded here it’s not conservatives.

    Haidt has one theory to explain his results, while Biggs has another. Haidt says conservatives speak a broader and more encompassing language of six moral values, while liberals focus on a narrow subset of those values. Biggs says conservatives understand liberal positions because they’re inundated with them — by the media, by academia, even to a certain extent by the culture.

    Mark (e03173)

  282. We already have that in Illinois. We call it “pay to play”. Once every decade or so, we send one or two politicians or low-level bagmen to prison to keep the idiotes (Gk. person who does not engage in public affairs) fooled.

    nk (dbc370)

  283. What’s this world coming to when a trailer park slut cannot f*** her way into a governorship. What happened to “equality of opportunity”, you bitter clingers?

    nk (dbc370)

  284. Wendita. “Don’t cry for me, Texarkana ….”

    nk (dbc370)

  285. elissa,

    I’d wager that 98% of American taxpayers have absolutely no ballpark idea about how much has been spent by the Obamas and the support entourage for their vacays.

    And I would counter that wager with: I’d wager that 98% of American taxpayers have absolutely no interest in knowing about how much has been spent by them on vacays. It’s willful ignorance and apathy. Because racism.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  286. nk,

    What’s this world coming to when a trailer park slut cannot f*** her way into a governorship. What happened to “equality of opportunity”, you bitter clingers?

    You’ve been nailed, happyfeet.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  287. I think the blood soaked sneakers, she got from Gosnell might be the issue,

    narciso (3fec35)

  288. Wendita. “Don’t cry for me, Texarkana ….”

    Comment by nk (dbc370)

    Don’t cry for me, Texarkana
    The truth is I took the money
    All through my wild days
    I worked without pimp
    I left my children
    Don’t vote for teh Gimp

    Colonel Haiku (30caeb)

  289. narciso, if Texas wasn’t really a red state then Abortion Barbie wouldn’t have had to flip-flop on late term abortion, lie and say she’s for open carry of handguns, and take this stupid picture of herself holding a shotgun (shown with equally “cool” pic for proper historical perspective).

    http://cdn.pjmedia.com/tatler/files/2014/01/dukakis-davis.png

    Steve57 (71fc09)

  290. Wendita: I was for it before I was against it.

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/12/wendy-davis-is-now-against-abortion-possibly/

    Dana (9a8f57)

  291. ‘from a certain point of view’ she’s right, the likes of a Anne Richards, although Dustin could cover how that came about, that fellow White in the 80s could win, but she’s crazier than a jail house rat,

    narciso (3fec35)

  292. Anne Richards is where I got “you can’t be Governor of Texas without a good head of hair” from. It may have been around the same time as “poor George, he was born with a silver foot in his mouth”. Actually, I always liked her when I saw her on TV. She was a down to Earth “broad”, with brains and brass and sense of humor.

    nk (dbc370)

  293. *Ann*, BTW.

    nk (dbc370)

  294. Comment by Colonel Haiku (30caeb) — 2/15/2014 @ 9:16 am

    LOL. The use of certain words in your “lyrics” made me really chuckle.

    Mark (e03173)

  295. Mindful of having defined subversive terrorist threats to his Amerika as Conservatives, patriots, people of faith, supporters of the 2nd Amendment, and Tea Party members, next from King obama’s edict pen:

    “Henceforth those who fail to disclose their political contributions to right wing organizations, or who fail to admit their opposition to my presidency will be subject to IRS penalties.”

    Jersey Prophet (78bfe8)

  296. Los Lobos – “Tomorrow Never Knows”…

    http://youtu.be/UgmU_jFX8sc

    Colonel Haiku (30caeb)

  297. why thank you, Mark

    Colonel Haiku (30caeb)

  298. Well Richards struck me as cloying and insincere, much like Molly Ivins, although the latter poured the cornpone more deliberateluy

    narciso (3fec35)

  299. yup.

    Colonel Haiku (30caeb)

  300. …and Sweden swings toward a free market. Onlookers want to know, can America be far behind?

    How bad was it? Swedes have converted their bland, statist childhoods into a source of inspiration. “There was no cable,” DICE engineer Patrick Bach told the New York Times. “It was state television only, which meant socialist children’s programming. Things like Chinese shadow theater. Hungarian reruns. Horrible, horrible things. Our core tastes were founded in a void.”

    http://www.american.com/archive/2014/january/swedens-swing-toward-a-free-market

    Dana (9a8f57)

  301. 324. “Things like Chinese shadow theater. Hungarian reruns. Horrible, horrible things.”

    I take back every nasty thing I said about them dumb Swedes.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  302. Obama defeated the Russian hockey team today.

    Elephant Stone (6a6f37)

  303. “It always begins in the same way.”

    Comment by Pons Asinroum (8ce71a) — 2/14/2014 @ 12:35 am

    Sad. Unspeakably.

    I’m taking a vacay myself at the end of the month, in time to beat the next crash. The next one will be awful. I already helped pay for Michelle’s, so why not me?

    Patricia (be0117)

  304. And speaking of Economic Crazy Time II, the FHA has loosened its underwriting regs to allow people with three bad credit accounts to qualify for a loan. (Guaranteed by you and me.)

    And re the EU securitizing crap assets, it will happen here too. But I’m sure Goldman will certify to the IRS that all the newly securitized mortgages are top notch, so all is well.

    Patricia (be0117)

  305. 208. Comment by Steve57 (71fc09) — 2/14/2014 @ 2:12 am

    What’s next; they’ll demand I “self-certify” that I didn’t drive at 63mph on a highway where the speed limit is 65 to avoid a penalty, or else I get the speeding ticket for keeping below the limit?

    Maybe a better comparison would be:

    You get a discount on your auto insurance, or remove points from your license, if you self-certify that the reason radar did not catch you driving above the speed limit was NOT fear of getting a speeding ticket, but you would still have driven below 65 mph even if there was no radar.

    Or maybe this: you took a defensive driving course, but you get points off your license only if you self-certify that the reason you took a defensive driving course was not to get points off your license.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  306. 199. Comment by Mark (e9472f) — 2/13/2014 @ 10:19 pm

    Sammy, you don’t have to tell anyone here that you, in effect, avoid rationalizing and excusing away the “other side,” which in your case generally means the rightwing or Republican side,

    Nobody here is making too strong accusations against Republicans, so there’s nothing to excuse away (not really excuse actually, it’s just less bad) or explain.

    When they do, and are unfair, as some did with Governor Christie, I defend them. (and I don’t think he would make a very good president.)

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  307. 286. Comment by nk (dbc370) — 2/15/2014 @ 6:41 am

    Where do the Saudis get them [anti-aircraft missiles] from?

    287.

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 2/15/2014 @ 6:44 am <b287.the Libyam flea market, at cost.

    After they assassinated the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, and chased the CIA out the Benghazi area on September 11, 2012.

    I’ve been saying this from the beginning. And this point should not be too elusive.

    One shipped sailed before, but the weapons shipment was halted in Turkey. Hillary Clinton later pretended to misunderstand an inexpertly phrased question in testimony before Congress.

    It could be maybe these SAMs have since been delivered, but of course there could be more.

    The United States was trying to stop the shipment of weapons, particularly SAMs, from Libya (not facilitating it, as some stupid disinformation everybody picked up on said) and Ambassador Christopher Stevens was having some success in halting them, and that was an important reason why he went to Benghazi – to intercede with the Turkish intelligence chief there – and Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan successfully plotted his murder and the complete removal of the CIA from the scene.

    And he supplied disinformation (SOOPER SEKRIT INTELLIGENCE) to the U.S. about the cause of the attack, with the aim of getting the United stated to think it was unplanned, when in fact it wss superbly planned. Down even to the demonstration in Cairo and the video that preceded it!

    This is obvious.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  308. 29. Comment by Kevin M (dbcba4) — 2/12/2014 @ 10:06 am

    The last (only?) president censured by the House was James Polk, for starting the “unnecessary” Mexican War.

    President Andrew Jackson was censured by the Senate on March 28, 1834. It was later expunged in January 1837, when the Democrats had the majority.

    In 1998, or 1999, Senator Phil Gramm (R-Texaas) famously pulled out a $20 bill, more than once, to show how ultimately meaningless a Censure was.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  309. Comment by Steve57 (71fc09) — 2/13/2014 @ 10:26 pm

    but she testified that she had never seen reports from the contractors detailing the problems with the website.

    I think they were bypassing her, and decisions about the website were being made by somebody in the White House, who, however, did not know that the website was failing.

    Because if anyone did, going ahead, not just with the launch, but with plans to promote the website, was absolutely irrational.

    For instance, it was Hillary!’s job to authorize waivers from security requirements for embassies and consulates.

    There, she probably knew exactly what was going on.

    So what these people have done is dismantle the systems by which they were supposed to be kept informed. Previous administrations also performed similar functions.

    Very possible. There may have ben a political motive in hiring CGI. Whoever did that, however, did not expect a botched rollout.

    Or, more likely, dismantled the systems by which you can prove they knew. We’ve seen this in other areas as well. Lisa Jackson used secret email accounts (and aliases) to evade Federal law regarding record keeping when she headed EPA. Labor Dept. head Tom Perez used his private email account to conduct DoJ business.

    That’s all true, but nobody inside the government had an interest in the wesbite failing on launch.

    At this point, Sammy, your comments are way past unbelievable. When you insist, for instance, that there is “no evidence” that Sebelius knew about the website problems before launch, that’s factually incorrect.

    That’s an error. She was aware of some kinds of problems, but also thought the problems could be hidden until they were taken care of.

    Because there’s plenty of evidence that HHS was aware of the problems. The contractors gave Congress the report. So if Sebelius didn’t know about a major problem at her agency, and it was not only her job to know but she could have easily found out, that is evidence she knew what she had to studiously avoid doing.

    I think what happened here is that some political people in the White House had control over decisions about the website because it was very important to the president. But they didn’t have the systems set up so they could manage it.

    The fact that Sebelius instructed contractors not to cooperate with Congressional investigators is evidence of malicious intent on her part.

    It means that there is some secret here, not that she or anyone else sabotaged the website.

    The secret, of course, could be mismanagement, and/or it could be involvement in management decisions by people who were not legally given that responsibility, and/or it could be it would indicate a spirit of consumer fraud animated them.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  310. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/us/politics/from-the-start-signs-of-trouble-at-health-portal.html?pagewanted=all

    But Mr. Chao’s superiors at the Department of Health and Human Services told him, in effect, that failure was not an option, according to people who have spoken with him. Nor was rolling out the system in stages or on a smaller scale, as companies like Google typically do so that problems can more easily and quietly be fixed. Former government officials say the White House, which was calling the shots, feared that any backtracking would further embolden Republican critics who were trying to repeal the health care law.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/us/officials-say-they-dont-know-cost-of-health-website-fixes.html?_r=0

    WASHINGTON — The chief digital architect for the federal health insurance marketplace said Wednesday that he met periodically with White House aides to discuss the status of the website over the last three years, but he said the meetings focused narrowly on specific technical issues and therefore gave the president no clear warning of the disaster that ensued on Oct. 1.

    Even Chao was being bypassed at times:

    In the interview, Mr. Chao said he had not seen a Sept. 3 memorandum describing potential security risks in the online insurance marketplace. The memo, from Tony Trenkle, the chief information officer at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, noted six security problems, two of which were described as posing high risks.

    Mr. Chao, the deputy chief information officer at the Medicare agency, said he was surprised he had not been informed of the findings, based on tests by the Mitre Corporation, a contractor responsible for assessing the website’s security controls. The controls help prevent unauthorized access and identity theft.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  311. 328. Accounting is not my bag but the Economist has this set of figures, FWIW:

    Total Global GDP $ 60 Trillion.
    Total Global Debt $158 Trillion.
    Total Global Assets $212 Trillion.

    Considering the nominal value of CDS written by hedges stands at $ 400 Trillion I might take that Debt figger wit a grain of salt.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  312. ‘Houston we have a problem’ gary,

    narciso (3fec35)

  313. That business about “backtracking would further embolden Republican critics who were trying to repeal the health care law” was probably an excuse.

    They’d be confessing incompetence if, in the middle of 2013, they recommended a delay past Oct. 1, or rolling out the system in stages or on a smaller scale, and could lose their jobs.

    While if they just let the website fail, they would not be pointing the finger at themselves.

    Even if they eventually had to leave, they’d have been at the White House long enough to get lucrative jobs as lobbyists – the longer the better probably, up to about 3 1/2 years.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  314. they knew the site was not ‘fully operational’ yet they went with it anyways

    http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2014/02/15/what-holder-isnt-saying-about-letting-felons-vote/

    narciso (3fec35)

  315. 337. A really, really big problem:

    http://www.infowars.com/u-s-army-builds-fake-city-in-virginia-to-practice-military-occupation/

    I’m hoping failure among Afghanistan’s 18 million is telling. But they cut women and children a break there.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  316. The GAO issued reports in both June and July 2013 noting delays on the Obamacare website. The following is from July 17, 2017. I guess nobody at HHS or CMS talked to the GAO or read what they said according to some theories being bandied about.

    Page
    3
    GAO

    CMS has completed many ac
    tivities necessary to establish FFEs by
    October 1, 2013, although many remained to be completed and some
    were behind schedule. CMS issued numerous regulations and guidance
    and took steps to establish processes and data systems necessary to
    operate the exch
    anges. The activities remaining crossed the core
    exchange functional areas of eligibility and enrollment, plan management,
    and consumer assistance. For eligibility and enrollment, CMS expected to
    complete development and testing of the necessary informatio
    n
    technology systems by October 1, 2013……

    According to program officials, CMS established milestones for
    completing the development of required data hub functionality by July
    2
    013, and for full implementation and operational readiness by
    September 2013. Project schedules reflect the agency

    s plans to provide
    users access to the
    data
    hub for near real
    -
    time data verification services
    by October 1, 2013.
    In our June 2013
    report,
    we
    noted that
    agency Page
    4
    GAO
    -
    13
    -
    786T
    officials stated that ongoing development and testing activities were
    expected to be completed to meet the October 1, 2013 milestone.
    Additionally, CMS has begun to establish technical, security, and data
    sharing agreements with federal
    partner agencies and states, as required
    by department
    -
    level system development processes.
    While CMS stated that the agency had thus far met
    its
    project schedules
    and milestones for establishing agreements and developing the data hub,
    several critical task
    s remained to be completed before the October 1,
    2013
    ,
    implementation milestone. According to CMS officials and the
    agency’s
    testing timeline:

    Service Level Agreements (SLA) between CMS and the states, which
    define characteristics of the system once it is
    operational, such as
    transaction response time and days and hours of availability, were
    planned to be completed in July 2013;

    SLAs between CMS and its federal partner agencies that provide
    verification data were expected to be completed in July 2013; and

    c
    ompletion of external testing with all federal partner agencies and all
    states was to be completed by the beginning of September 2013……

    http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655905.pdf

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  317. Sorry about the formatting. Sometimes when I go in and fix it in the comment box it winds up looking worse, so I didn’t do anything this time.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  318. Let’s lighten up. Headlines that might not mean what you think they mean:

    “Cameron Diaz Advises Women To Keep Their Pubic Hair In Her New Book”. — Instapundit

    “Charlie Sheen Set To Marry For Fourth Time To Porno Star”. — Fox/Google News

    nk (dbc370)

  319. #334 and #338. (I contradicted myself)

    In 334 I said:

    I think they were bypassing her, and decisions about the website were being made by somebody in the White House, who, however, did not know that the website was failing

    I had remembered reading something about decisions being made in the White House.

    I found the article, which I quote in #335. (It’s the first one quoted)

    Former government officials say the White House, which was calling the shots..

    But I still said the people in the White House didn’t know, because, if so, “going ahead, not just with the launch, but with plans to promote the website, was absolutely irrational” and that “some political people in the White House had control over decisions about the website because it was very important to the president. But they didn’t have the systems set up so they could manage it.”

    In #338, however, I said:

    They’d be confessing incompetence if, in the middle of 2013, they recommended a delay past Oct. 1, or rolling out the system in stages or on a smaller scale, and could lose their jobs.

    While if they just let the website fail, they would not be pointing the finger at themselves.

    The reason for this thought was that I the article quoted in #335 cited a reason White House officials had opposed delaying the launch of the website:

    Former government officials say the White House, which was calling the shots, feared that any backtracking would further embolden Republican critics who were trying to repeal the health care law

    Now this last claim (by people in the White House to officials at HHS) strikes me as a lie. It doesn’t make sense. But it does show peole were telling them there were such problems the launch of the website should be delayed. (Not telling Kathleen Sebelius. They weren’t dealing with her. This was going straight into the White House.)

    But I thought, while letting it collpase would not make sense for President Obama, especially given the attention to was giving to promoting and advertising the website, it might make sense for an aide.

    So my best guess at the present, stands like this:

    Let us say, in August 2013, some White House aides came to realize there was an insurmountable problem with opening the website. Then they had reasoned if they said the website can’t be opened in time, they’d raise the question: “Why did you let this happen?? Why didn’t you say this in March?”

    But if they just let it collapse after opening, they could always claim ignorance!

    Besides which, every additional month of tenure adds to their marketability as lobbyists or consultants.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  320. 342. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/15/2014 @ 9:02 pm

    Sorry about the formatting. Sometimes when I go in and fix it in the comment box it winds up looking worse

    I think maybe anything that’s a single line can look better, but if there are hidden line breaks, it doesn’t look so good.

    The Preview below “Live Preview” tends to be frozen once you’ve done a blockquote, and you don’t see things there, and sometimes see a uncorrected version of what you already corrected.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  321. There’s always problems in cutting and pasting PDF files.

    341. I guess nobody at HHS or CMS talked to the GAO or read what they said according to some theories being bandied about.

    First of all, they still say, or CNS says, everything is going to be OK by October 1.

    Secondly, some people in the White House, who had less information were actually calling the shots.

    It looks they were finally at some point being told this was a big big problem, but insisted the date could not change. I feel the reason for this would have been to protect themselves *, although they were citing political reasons to the people they were dealing with at HHS.

    *protect themselves. They could deflect blame if the web site failed – not so much if they predicted it would fail, because then they’d have to explain why didn’t they predict it earlier.)

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  322. The worst part of Obama’s lawlessness is that if our leaders have no respect for the law, there’s no way we can expect everyday Americans to respect it. Our nation is based on people respecting law and order, and this seriously undermines that basic premise.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  323. Forbes has a nice roundup of President Obama’s Top 10 Constitutional Violations of 2013.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyashapiro/2014/01/13/president-obamas-top-10-constitutional-violations-of-2013/

    It doesn’t matter if it undermines the basic premise – it should, but it doesn’t. If it did, this administration would not be able to get away with all that they have. We the hoi polloi are still expected to obey the law for if we didn’t we would be held accountable and face the consequences – unlike those in charge. It may invite anarchy at some point in time, but more likely the lawlessness will be eradicated through the usual slow process of voting them out.

    Ask yourself, why has Obama been allowed to get away with all of this?

    Dana (9a8f57)

  324. I had asked before about how/why was the IRS talking about changing rules to 501(c)4′s that would hurt conservatives but how would it not affect libs. Here is a discussion of it, FYI:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/371257/proposed-irs-rule-change-fractures-left-eliana-johnson

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  325. Dana,

    The basic premise that makes American society successful isn’t that people are subject to the law and thus can be compelled to comply with those laws. The basic premise that makes America successful is that most of us respect and comply with most laws, even though as a practical matter the government could never compel everyone to comply with every law. Anything that undermines our willingness to obey our laws without compulsion undermines what makes our society successful.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  326. I think Obama gets away with this because Americans fall into two camps. First, those who support him and basically believe the system is rigged against them, so they are happy to see someone flaunting the rules. Second, those who don’t support Obama who believe the system should be applied fairly and according to the law, and are shocked to see someone in authority undermine and flaunt those principles for political and personal gain.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  327. From a constitutional perspective, Obama also gets away with this because the remedy for executive overreach isn’t through the courts. It’s through the election process, and that takes time when the opposition party is as useless as the GOP is now.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  328. Obama has a very large, very loyal constituency. It’s undeniable. And sad.

    nk (dbc370)

  329. 350-352. Good stuff, really good.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  330. 351,

    I don’t think it’s that simply divided as it gives too many too much credit for thinking through their reasoning and/or actions, and personally, I don’t believe that many people do that.

    I suggest:

    Third camp – the apathetic and uninformed. I believe this is a huge swath of the population and unfortunately, what they nightly news tells them, they believe – if they even bother to tune in at all.

    Fourth camp: those who support the one in office who provides them with the most perks and “stuff”. This camp likely an overlap with Camp 3.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  331. There is a third camp that, I believe, must be recognized and considered, too, DRJ. That is the growing number of people in this country who genuinely have little idea or ever give any conscious thought to the traditional three branches of federal government with their respective constitutionally assigned critical roles as checks and balances to power–and the supposedly apolitical agencies that cross through administrations. This goes back to the issue of educational failure and political manipulation of students that several of us were discussing on another thread. When national elections are routinely touted by the media as “winner takes all” (like the superbowl) or as “I won” (by an egocentric narcissist) instead of acknowledging the relative close percentage of votes the candidates receive, this is what happens.

    elissa (1d88ae)

  332. Ha Dana. I was typing without refreshing. You beat me to the third camp!

    elissa (1d88ae)

  333. Like minds, elissa…

    DRJ @350, I don’t think I said anything that disagrees with your statement. When talking about whether or not it matters if the premise is being undermined and whether that matters is one thing (and clearly from my comment, it of course should matter, but apparently doesn’t to the administration. Talking about whether or not that action results in a society failing is a question of when the tipping point is reached. And that is a bit of a mystery. Are we there yet? Probably not. Are we on the road to that point? Definitely.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  334. Dana and elissa,

    People in my community aren’t as uninformed, dumb or greedy as our current political class seems to think we Americans are. However, we’re blessed to have jobs and that may make us outliers. There are a lot of Americans who aren’t as blessed, so I won’t disagree with what you say. Nevertheless, I like to think that if we can improve the economy and more Americans have jobs, they will be more like my neighbors.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  335. My theory is based on the assumption that having an economic stake in the system makes people more interested and informed. But I could be wrong about that, too, because all Americans aren’t the same.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  336. Texas and your neighborhood may be unique. I work in an urban area and I can tell you that the majority of those families I’m in contact with on a daily basis fall into Camp 3 & 4.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  337. I think we have reached the tipping point, as Obama can do virtually anything he wants right now and will never be impeached, which is the most direct check on executive power.

    In my mind the question is whether or not we can still be tipped back.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  338. Consider what raising the minimum wage could do:

    Anyone making less than $12, even $14 or $15 an hour, who gets a raise without changing jobs maybe will attribute that to the new law.

    Sammy Finkelman (8eda0c)

  339. ==In my mind the question is whether or not we can still be tipped back.==

    That’s a damn good question, MD. what with the thought police ever on the lookout for racism on campus.

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/17/student-forced-to-apologize-for-emailing-pic-of-obama-kicking-a-door-because-racism/

    elissa (1d88ae)

  340. elissa – Canucks have even worse speech police than we do here.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  341. 365. I do not understand why that sort of thing doesn’t give people the creeps, daley. Every book I’ve ever read about Communist China under Mao focuses on the “denunciation” of citizens by fellow citizens (usually for totally unsubstantiated reasons) resulting in shaming and forced “confessions” by the innocent–if not even worse punishment. We are racing headlong into that world and I can hardly believe it is happening.

    elissa (1d88ae)

  342. “I do not understand why that sort of thing doesn’t give people the creeps, daley.”

    elissa – It really should.

    My oldest son finished college as a token conservative at a very wacky progressive school and go figure, he enjoyed stirring the pot. Some of his professors did actually appreciate having him around to play devil’s advocate. He would call or email about topics they were covering in class such as white privilege, social justice or Islamophobia and I would have some fun filling him in on the scams, code words and indoctrination his professors were trying to blow by him and steer him to some good reference material.

    Good times. Almost like being back in school myself.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  343. daleyrocks–Your son is very very lucky he has you as a counterbalance and that you were involved, paying attention, and asking him questions about his classes and his professors. A great many kids today do not have that level of parental involvement because they think their older kids “should learn to think on their own”. That’d be true and a great goal, of course, if so much of high school and college these days were not being presented as “settled science” with no room allowed for discussion or thinking.

    elissa (1d88ae)

  344. Now I am ready to do my breakfast, when having my breakfast coming again to read other news.

    www.socialtakeoff.co.uk (0bf7c8)

  345. Pardon if narciso has already linked another bit of a hitch in Ogabe’s ME policy, such as it is.

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/02/in-a-surprise-move-taliban-behead-23-pakistani-soldiers-end-peace-talks/

    US soldiers and now Pakis’ expendable on the quest for Peace.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  346. And again:

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/02/in-a-surprise-move-taliban-behead-23-pakistani-soldiers-end-peace-talks/

    Please keep knocking those chips off a nuclear power’s shoulder.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  347. It’s beginning to look like Israel’s annihilation will have to wait for a few scores to be settled.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  348. 375. With such a careless piling of fuel on smouldering cinders one would think any little thing could ignite the ammo dump.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  349. 359. It’s just politics until someone puts an eye out:

    http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2014/02/reason-4305-republican-leadership-needs.html

    Estragon for one is looking to blame a pied piper, Cruz mayhap, for the odd Party of Stupid Darwin incident but we know even inbred knuckledraggers can be taught to avoid an appointed bludgeoning.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  350. I couldn’t find the thread where we were discussing modern education and the societal problems that have resulted from poor education, so I’m posting it here… Ultimately, I suppose it’s applicable on any post with the words unspeakable outrage in its title.

    Let’s cut to the chase: The real issue in the American version of income inequality is the low incomes of the inner-city poor. And let’s put on the table one thing nearly all agree on: A successful education improves lifetime earnings.

    If there is one political goal all Democratic progressives agree on it’s this: They will resist, squash and kill any attempt anywhere in the U.S. to educate those low-income or no-income inner-city kids in alternatives to the public schools run by the party’s industrial-age unions.

    Reforming that public-school monopoly is the litmus test of seriousness on income inequality. That monopoly is the primary cause of America’s post-1970s social-policy failure. And that monopoly will emerge from the Obama presidency intact. So will income inequality.

    Dana (9f8700)

  351. 377. Case in point:

    http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/17/pf/taxes/citizenship-taxes/index.html?iid=Lead

    The US is alone in taxing its expatriates as tho their income was earned at home.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  352. 366. I’m feeling you.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  353. The worst part of Obama’s lawlessness is that if our leaders have no respect for the law, there’s no way we can expect everyday Americans to respect it. Our nation is based on people respecting law and order, and this seriously undermines that basic premise.

    Using my own self as a test case of the “everyday” American, then, yep, the cynical and corrupted nature of a dumbed-down society has corroded my own original sense of ethics and integrity. What I mean is that several years ago I’d cringe when I heard about people finagling with their taxes and playing games with the IRS. Now, in 2014, I’d actually snicker and chortle if a person said to me — primly and properly — “oh, it’s not good to cheat on one’s 1099!”

    Since we’re becoming a banana republic, if it’s good enough for Greece (or Venezuela, Mexico, etc), it’s good enough for us, for the USA.

    Mark (3739a8)

  354. We are now all Men of Harlech now.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRtnWVvDX6k

    Whether we are boys or girls,whether we want to be or not.

    Steve57 (da4753)

  355. Who in hell would have thought Don King is a better person than president dip shit?

    mg (31009b)

  356. Why Cease-Fires Make It Worse – Slate Good article, even though it appears on Slate.

    Cease-fires almost always make a conflict worse, delaying political deals, prolonging the killing, and ensuring that the fighting continues long after it has begun….

    ….My research on all 174 of the internationally recognized new states that have emerged since 1900 and scores of mass killings reveals that international involvement to temporarily address the symptoms of the violence—the mass death of civilians—increases the likelihood of greater violence and destruction. That is because cease-fires do nothing to eliminate the root causes of violence against civilians. Instead, both sides use the pause in killing to solicit diplomatic and military aid while planning and preparing their next wave of attacks…

    .. The war in Bosnia is a good example. In December 1995, the war ended with the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords. Four prior cease-fire attempts and peace plans failed despite widespread international involvement from the European Community, U.N. special envoys, U.N. mediators, and the so-called quintet of the United States, Russia, France, Britain, and Germany. Amid the haggling and hand-wringing, at least 100,000 civilian lives were lost, 20,000 women raped, and 2.2 million people displaced by the time the final negotiations began in November 1995. South Sudan is the latest example of the international community’s self-defeating efforts…

    ….The typical default position of the international community is to recognize the leaders in control of the national capital. To win control, political leaders fight one another while looking for any edge that will help them take the capital. The more support a faction has from foreign powers, the less it requires domestic allies or has to go about the painstaking work of maintaining broad political coalitions. Indeed, once political allies are no longer necessary partners for controlling the seat of government, they are simply obstacles to continued rule. That’s often when the killing begins….

    Nevertheless, there is a policy the international community can pursue that can save civilians from mass killing: We should make clear that any new government that consolidates its power by killing civilians will not be internationally recognized. No seat at the U.N., no membership to the World Trade Organization, no foreign aid agreements, and no participation in the World Cup or the Olympics. Nothing.

    It may seem that this policy would be easy to undermine, especially if a major power such as Russia or China chose to ignore the sovereignty boycott and offer its own recognition and support. True, but this new country would essentially be agreeing to join a club of nonrecognized countries. Right now these states include the Republic of Somaliland, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Republic of South Ossetia, and Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. No one wants to be consigned to this collection of second-class states.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

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