Patterico's Pontifications

3/26/2015

Flashback: CNN, 2013: Ted Cruz Sure Is a Hypocrite for Not Going on ObamaCare!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:13 pm

Yup. That was seriously their stance back then.

CNN, 10-24-13: Ted Cruz sure is a hypocrite for getting his health insurance through his wife instead of the ObamaCare exchange.

Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, who has repeatedly blasted fellow members of Congress and legislative staffers for accepting federal health insurance support, has revealed that his coverage is provided through his wife, a Goldman Sachs executive.

Cruz’s office told CNN Thursday that Cruz is covered by his wife’s policy. Heidi Nelson Cruz’s policy is worth at least $20,000 a year, according to the story as originally reported by the New York Times.

Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for the senator, told CNN that “the senator is on his wife’s plan, which comes at no cost to the taxpayer and reflects a personal decision about what works best for their family.” Frazier had previously given the same statement to the Times.

Cruz was criticized by Democrats and some Republicans during the recent government shutdown debate for his calls to strip federal health care support from members of Congress and both legislative and executive branch staffers. Cruz’s critics argue that the support is no different from what other large employers provide for their workers.

Their anger has been magnified by suspicions that the senator does not have to rely on his employer – the U.S. Senate – to get coverage.

Cruz and other Republicans argue that ending the subsidy is only a matter of fairness, and that public officials should be required to get coverage through the Obamacare exchanges with no financial assistance.

CNN, 3-24-15: Ted Cruz sure is a hypocrite for getting his health insurance through the ObamaCare exchange instead of through his wife.

Ted Cruz is going on Obamacare.

The newly announced Republican presidential candidate told CNN’s Dana Bash on Tuesday that he will sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act — a law he has been on a crusade to kill.

“We’ll be getting new health insurance and we’ll presumably do it through my job with the Senate, and so we’ll be on the federal exchange with millions of others on the federal exchange,” Cruz said.

. . . .

Under the Affordable Care Act, members of Congress and some designated congressional staffers are required to obtain health care coverage through the D.C. Health Link Small Business Market. The Office of Personnel Management’s guidelines state that lawmakers and their staff receive a “government contribution” if they get health care coverage through the ACA.

But some lawmakers have declined to accept the contribution, saying they do not want to get special treatment. After the interview, a Cruz spokesperson clarified that he wouldn’t take the contribution.

Cruz’s admission comes one day after CNN first reported that the senator would no longer have access to health benefits through his wife’s employer, Goldman Sachs. Heidi Cruz, a managing director at the firm’s Houston office, has gone on unpaid leave for the duration of the senator’s presidential campaign and will not have access to the company’s benefits during that time.

See what’s going on? When he was getting insurance through his wife, he wanted to end special payments for Congressmen that the rest of the country wasn’t allowed to get. CNN said: HYPOCRITE!!!! You wouldn’t be saying that if you didn’t get insurance through your wife!!!

Now, he can no longer get insurance through his wife, so he will start getting it through his job. He could have done that before ObamaCare and he can still do it now. But, because he opposed the special payments, he declined to take them — the honorable and principled stand. And CNN said: HYPOCRITE!!!! Why don’t you get insurance on your own, like through your wife’s COBRA or something!!!

They will find a way to cackle and fling monkey poo no matter what he does.

(H/t Bridget F.)

Some Bergdahl Flashbacks

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:54 pm

I have been collecting some Bergdahl flashbacks and sharing them on Twitter, and I thought I might share a few of them with you here.

Dana already noted the first two of these:

  • A White House official said that soldiers accusing Bergdahl of desertion were “swift-boating” him.

  • A White House official said that the platoon members accusing Bergdahl of desertion might be “psychopaths.”
  • Eric Boehlert said Fox News smeared Bergdahl:

  • A lefty cartoonist portrayed Fox News as executing Bergdahl:

    Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 8.45.03 PM

  • Justin Baragona at PoliticusUSA assured his readers in June 2014 that Bergdahl-as-deserter was a “made-up scandal.”
  • Heather Digby Parton denounced “hysterical screeching over Bowe Bergdahl the traitor” in June 2014.

Also, for some reason I found this interesting. In a June 2014 article, the L.A. Times chose one Eugene Fidell to consult as an independent expert for a quote about Bergdahl:

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 8.27.28 PM

Yeah, so guess who Bergdahl’s lawyer is today? Eugene Fidell. Man, the L.A. Times sure can pick ’em.

A Round-Up Of Tangible Commitments And A Pinky-Swear Agreement With Iran

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:44 pm

[guest post by Dana]

With the March 31 deadline looming for an agreement with Iran and with a comprehensive finalized version due June 30, the US is making concessions in order to reach an agreement.

Facing demands by President Rouhani to lift all sanctions in order to reach a “final solution” as opposed to the gradual lifting of sanctions the West prefers, the Obama administration appears willing to make whatever concessions necessary to close the deal:

The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations.

U.S. negotiators are said to have given up ground on demands that Iran be forced to disclose the full range of its nuclear activities at the outset of a nuclear deal, a concession experts say would gut the verification the Obama administration has vowed would stand as the crux of a deal with Iran.

Concern from sources familiar with U.S. concessions in the talks comes amid reports that Iran could be permitted to continue running nuclear centrifuges at an underground site once suspected of housing illicit activities.

This type of concession would allow Iran to continue work related to its nuclear weapons program, even under the eye of international inspectors. If Iran removes inspectors—as it has in the past—it would be left with a nuclear infrastructure immune from a strike by Western forces.

The risk of such a concession:

“Once again, in the face of Iran’s intransigence, the U.S. is leading an effort to cave even more toward Iran—this time by whitewashing Tehran’s decades of lying about nuclear weapons work and current lack of cooperation with the [International Atomic Energy Agency],” said one Western source briefed on the talks but who was not permitted to speak on record.

With the White House pressing to finalize a deal, U.S. diplomats have moved further away from their demands that Iran be subjected to oversight over its nuclear infrastructure.

“Instead of ensuring that Iran answers all the outstanding questions about the past and current military dimensions of their nuclear work in order to obtain sanctions relief, the U.S. is now revising down what they need to do,” said the source. “That is a terrible mistake—if we don’t have a baseline to judge their past work, we can’t tell if they are cheating in the future, and if they won’t answer now, before getting rewarded, why would they come clean in the future?”

Further, as if ensuring Iran’s “nuclear privacy” wasn’t enough, Josh Earnest refused to confirm that there will be a written agreement signed by the Iranians. Three times White House news correspondent Jon Karl pressed Earnest for confirmation of a written deal, and three times Earnest offered non-answers:

Well, Jon, when the President was asked to talk about our ongoing efforts to reach a diplomatic political agreement with the Iranians before the end of March, the President made reference to the fact that we would see and that we, meaning the American people and Congress, would be able to take a close look at the terms of that agreement.

Now, the terms of that agreement are going to be — it’s a political agreement, right, so they’re making certain commitments to do certain things. The details of those commitments are extraordinarily important and there will be a process for hammering out those details. But the President was clear that the kinds of commitments that we seek from the Iranians are the kinds of things that we would be able to show to members of Congress and show publicly to share with our allies, including Israel, about what kind of commitments Iran has made.

So I don’t want to prejudge the process here at all, or to prejudge sort of the outcome of the talks because there’s the chance that a deal is not reached. But we certainly would want and expect that if a deal is completed, it will include tangible, specific commitments that have been made by the Iranians.

Pressing Earnest again:

Well, again, Jon, we’re going to seek very tangible commitments from the Iranians, and the President made a commitment to sharing those tangible commitments with members of Congress and with our allies.

When asked to clarify “tangible commitments”:

“And what I’m saying is that you can — that as we move through this process of negotiating with the Iranians and our P5+1 partners, we hope to be able to elicit tangible commitments that the Iranians have made that we can then share with our P5+1 partners, with our allies, and with the United States Congress, all of whom have a legitimate claim to understand exactly what kind of commitments Iran has made in this process, if they make them.”

Rush pointed out the obvious:

If there is a nuclear deal with Iran, it may not be committed to paper. It may not be written down. And if it isn’t written down, obviously there’s no way anybody can verify what it actually says. And if it isn’t written down, any signature that is said to accompany it is meaningless.

If a deal is reached, “the United States and its five negotiating partners may find themselves in the uncomfortable position of describing the accord as they understand it while the Iranians go home to offer their own version.”

So, in other words, folks, the Iranians might tell their people that they’re still gonna continue to pursue nuclear weapons, but the Regime, the Obama Regime will probably explain that they’re only saying that for domestic consumption. It isn’t gonna be written down. The Iranians can go home and tell their people whatever they want.

[W]e’re gonna have two different characterizations of the deal, or we likely could. Nothing’s gonna be written down. So we’re gonna have to take somebody’s word for what it is. The Obama administration, do they really think they can make a gentleman’s agreement with these lunatics in Iran? Do they really think they can take the mullahs at their word? I think Obama does.

And although there is not yet a deal secured, the White House already has their strategy in place on how to sell one to Congress and the American people:

The White House is gearing up to unleash an unprecedented campaign to sell a nuclear deal with Iran, should President Obama secure it, in a bid to win over divided Americans, skeptical lawmakers and wary Middle Eastern allies.

The blueprint for defending the legacy-defining agreement was described to Yahoo News by current and former officials from the administration and Congress.

Obama and his top national security and foreign policy aides will defend the deal forcefully to the public and in private talks with wavering senators and representatives. They will emphasize the deal’s intrusive monitoring and verification of Iranian nuclear facilities, an approach national security adviser Susan Rice recently summarized in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) as “distrust and verify.” They will defend the easing of crippling economic sanctions in return for steps Iran is taking to assure the world that its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.

We’re in good hands.

–Dana

Ignorant Parents Encourage Children To Use Vietnam Memorial As A Jungle Gym – In Front Of Veterans

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:43 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Untitled-1

This is The Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington D.C. As you can see, it is also doubling as a jungle gym for children.

[Matthew Munson] was taking photos when girls showed up, and says at first he didn’t think anything of it. He says he was waiting for them to move so he could take more pictures when their parents showed up and told the girls “to get on for pictures.” He says the kids were treating the memorial like a jungle gym.

“The parents were laughing while trying to get their kids to pose,” Munson wrote on Reddit. “There was a crowd of tourists forming around the parents just glaring at them. It was all pretty brutal to watch.”

Veterans watched the antics:

“They looked hurt more than angry. They were quiet. That’s when I noticed a big group around the parents glaring at them, the pressure was intense and the kids blissfully ignorant. That’s when I snapped the picture.”

Reaction to the children playing on the memorial was what you would expect – outrage over the disrespectful behavior being encouraged by parents. However, there are also those who see this as anything but disrespectful:

Some saw the carefree children as the very thing veterans fought to enable. One user told of how his grandfather, a World War II veteran, loved watching kids play on a local memorial that had names of lost friends — including his brother — on it.

“He saw it as a way for the next generation to take some joy out of something so terrible and at the same time gave them a link to the past,” the commenter wrote, noting that some kids would stop to read names or be prompted to read up on the history.

Another said his grandfather, also a World War II vet, let him play on local memorials in town, adding “I think they fought so kids can freely be kids.”

Parents encouraging their children to behave rudely and disrespectfully at a war memorial? If I had been there, I would not have been able to remain silent. Not for one second.

–Dana

Prosecutor: Germanwings Co-Pilot Deliberately Crashed Plane

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:23 am

First he locked the main pilot out of the cockpit — which pilots can do, thanks to 9/11 — and then deliberately crashed the plane.

The co-pilot’s name: Andreas Lubitz. Religion: unknown.

Hmmmmm. One gets the feeling that there will be a lot of interest in Mr. Lubitz’s life in the weeks and months leading up to this crash. For now, let’s call it what it was: mass murder.


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