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Onyango Obama has been granted legal residency, which is perfectly routine except for the fact that he's President Obama's uncle. In 2011 the President said that he and his uncle had never met. This past week the uncle revealed in his immigration hearing that the future-president had lived with him for almost a month and that they were in in periodic contact while Barack was living in Cambridge.
I'm not sure if it's news anymore when President Obama lies.
President Obama acknowledged Thursday that he lived with his Kenyan uncle for a brief period in the 1980s while preparing to attend Harvard Law School, contradicting a statement more than two years ago that the White House had no record of the two ever meeting.
Their relationship came into question Tuesday at the deportation hearing of the president's uncle, Onyango Obama, in Boston immigration court. His uncle had lived in the United States illegally since the 1970s and revealed for the first time in testimony that his famous nephew had stayed at his Cambridge apartment for about three weeks. At the time, Onyango Obama was here illegally and fighting deportation.
On Thursday, a White House official said the press office had not fully researched the relationship between the president and his uncle before telling the Globe in 2011 that it had no record of the two meeting. This time, press office staff members asked the president directly, which they said they had not done in 2011.
According to the poll, 57 percent of millennials disapprove of Obamacare, with 40 percent saying it will worsen their quality of care and a majority believing it will drive up costs. Only 18 percent say Obamacare will improve their care. Among 18-to-29-year-olds currently without health insurance, less than one-third say they're likely to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges.
More than two-thirds of millennials said they heard about the ACA through the media. That's a bad omen for Obamacare, given the intensive coverage of the law's botched rollout. Just one of every four young Americans said they discussed the law with a friend or through social media. Harvard's John Della Volpe, who conducted the poll, said the president has done a poor job explaining the ACA to young Americans.
An unknown quantity of cobalt-60 has been stolen in Mexico. It would be foolish to believe that it wasn't stolen for use in a dirty bomb. A cobalt-60 dirty bomb could be used to prevent access to the release location for years and would be devastating if used to contaminate, e.g., fresh water infrastructure.
Mexico has informed the IAEA's Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) of the theft of a truck carrying a dangerous radioactive source used in medical treatment.
Mexico's "Comisión Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias (CNSNS)" said the truck, which was transporting the cobalt-60 teletherapy source from a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana to a radioactive waste storage centre, was stolen in Tepojaco near Mexico City at around 08:00 UTC on 2 December 2013.
As Obamacare crashes and burns everyone should remember that zero Republicans in Congress voted for it. The Democrats had to use extraordinary measures to push the bill through after Massachusetts elected Republican Scott Brown to the Senate and the Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority. Republicans have done everything they could for several years to stop Obamacare, so don't blame them for the consequences. As Jammie Wearing Fools tells the Democrats:
You own him, folks. See you next November.
The Obama presidency has been a disaster for America, domestically and around the world. The only good thing to have come from it is that Obamacare has completely trashed the notion of Big Government competency.
And no, Obamacare isn't like Katrina:
I can think of a whole bunch of non-parallels:
1. Bush's political party didn't design and enact Hurricane Katrina.
2. Bush didn't have 5 years to craft his response to the hurricane.
3. Bush didn't have the power to redesign the hurricane as he designed his response to it.
4. The Republican Bush believed he could not simply bully past the Democratic Mayor of New Orleans and the Democratic Governor of Louisiana and impose a federal solution, but the Democrat Obama and his party in Congress aggressively and voluntarily took over an area of policy that might have been left to the states.
5. The media were ready to slam Bush long and hard for everything -- making big scandals out of things that, done by Obama, would have been forgotten a week later (what are the Valerie Plame-level screwups of Obama's?) -- but the media have bent over backwards for years to help make Obama look good and to bury or never even uncover all of his lies and misdeeds.
6. If Bush experienced a disaster like the rollout of Obamacare, the NYT wouldn't use its front page to remind us of something Bill Clinton did that looked bad.
But don't worry, some poll numbers are looking good for America!
The most interesting opinion survey we've seen about the ObamaCare cataclysm is one that's only indirectly about ObamaCare. Gallup asked Americans: "Do you think it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage, or is that not the responsibility of the federal government?" Only 42% of those surveyed said it is the federal government's responsibility, vs. 56% who said it isn't.
More telling is the trend. Gallup has been asking the question since 2000. "Prior to 2009, a clear majority of Americans consistently had said the government should take responsibility for ensuring that all Americans have healthcare," the firm reports. The proportion answering "yes" peaked in 2006 at 69%--27 points higher than today's number. Then it began declining, to 64% in 2007 and 54% in 2008.
The current 42% is the lowest figure ever recorded, but the percentage answering in the affirmative hasn't risen above 50% since 2009. Remember what happened in 2009?
Mead points out the most astounding and shocking revelation from Obama's Obamacare press conference: the President had no idea that the website wouldn't work. I'm not surprised by this at all. President Obama seems to think that the laws of nature bend to his decree, so why wouldn't a website simply work if he wills it to?
OK. On the website, I was not informed directly that the website would not be working as -- the way it was supposed to. Ha[d] I been informed, I wouldn't be going out saying, boy, this is going to be great. You know, I'm accused of a lot of things, but I don't think I'm stupid enough to go around saying, this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity, a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn't going to work.
This was eyepopping. Obamacare is the single most important initiative of his presidency. The website rollout was, as the President himself has repeatedly stated, the most important element of the law's debut. Domestically speaking there was no higher priority for the President and his staff than getting this right. And the President is telling the world that a week before the disaster he had no idea how that website was doing.
Reflect on that for a moment. The President of the United States is sitting in the Oval Office day after day. The West Wing is stuffed with high power aides. His political appointees sit atop federal bureaucracies, monitoring the work of the career staff around them. The President has told his core team, over and over, that the health care law and the website rollout are his number one domestic priorities.
And with all this, neither he nor, apparently, anyone in his close circle of aides and advisors knew that the website was a disaster. Vapid, blind, idly flapping their lips; they pushed paper, attended meetings and edited memos as the roof came crashing down. It is one thing to fail; it is much, much worse not to see failure coming. There is no way to construe this as anything but a world class flop.
I just found out that former Intrade CEO John Delaney died on Mt. Everest in 2011 and his body is still entombed in ice neat the summit. I first linked to Intrade on this blog in 2006 and received a nice email from Delaney in response. We exchanged a few emails subsequently. In addition to being a huge loss to his family, Delaney's death is a loss to the world that benefited from his futures market.
So healthcare.gov is 500 million lines of code? That suggests a level of brokenness that cannot be fixed. Here's a great visualization that compares the 500,000,000 lines of code in healthcare.gov with some other substantial codebases.
The Obamacare roll-out has been a disaster of epic proportions, and the only employee we're aware of who has been fired is a telephone operator who talked to Sean Hannity. It seems unfair that this unfortunate woman was fired for being more helpful than any elected or appointed official yet heard from on the matter.
On Monday, Hannity called an Obamacare hotline and had a conversation with the woman, Erling Davis, in which he pressed her for details about the lackluster rollout of Obamacare.
That phone call led to her termination from the private contractor where she worked, Davis said when Hannity interviewed her Thursday. Hannity then promised to give her a year's salary.
"They fired me from my job," Davis said.
The host asked her to lay out the details of the situation, and she explained how things unfolded leading up to her firing.
"If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan" said President Obama on August 11, 2009. However, hundreds of thousands of families are having their health insurance policies canceled right now. These folks are being told they have to sign up for new insurance through the Obamacare exchange, which is currently not operational.
Florida Blue, for example, is terminating about 300,000 policies, about 80 percent of its individual policies in the state. Kaiser Permanente in California has sent notices to 160,000 people - about half of its individual business in the state. Insurer Highmark in Pittsburgh is dropping about 20 percent of its individual market customers, while Independence Blue Cross, the major insurer in Philadelphia, is dropping about 45 percent.
For the families who had these policies these cancellations are a major life-changing event. Despite any opposition to Obamacare, one can only hope that these families are not too severely impacted by this completely avoidable disruption to their health care.
Police have found a series of dry ice "bombs" in secure areas of LAX: three today and one on Sunday. The articles don't say much, but presumably these "bombs" are plastic beverage bottles crammed full of dry ice and water and then screwed shut. As the dry ice sublimates the pressure in the bottle builds up and eventually bursts. These explosions would be loud, but relatively harmless to people and entirely harmless to buildings or aircraft.
So what's going on? Some theories:
- The bombs are a warning from some misguided do-gooder that the secure areas at LAX aren't very secure.
- The bombs are dry runs by real terrorists. But why draw attention to vulnerabilities?
- The bombs are a prank.
- The bombs are a cry for media attention. The single bomb on Sunday didn't get any national news coverage, so the "bomber" spent Monday building two more and then planted them today. Voila! Top story on Drudge.
LAX Police confirm that a bottle filled with dry ice exploded inside an employee bathroom at Terminal 2 at LAX Sunday.
The "bomb" exploded about 6:30 p.m. in an restricted access bathroom near Gate 27.
Officials said that no one was injured.
The FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department were investigating.
Sunday evening, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller released the following statement: "Earlier this evening, law enforcement and airport officials responded to a report of an explosion in an employee bathroom in Terminal 2 ... In a restricted area of the terminal (not accessible to the general public), responders found evidence of a plastic bottle containing dry ice. A chemical reaction caused the explosion. The area is being examined for evidence. The FBI and partners with LAPD, LAX PD, LA Fire, CBP, TSA and other officials will investigate the incident to determine the individual or group responsible."
"A chemical reaction caused the explosion." That makes it sound much more dangerous than it was. A chemical reaction! As if chemicals aren't reacting around us at all times.
Although it's fashionable to denigrate Christopher Columbus these days I prefer to take a broader view and celebrate the opening of the New World. Individuals are always flawed, but Columbus' achievements were instrumental in reviving Western Civilization and leading us to the vast prosperity that the world enjoys today.
The news reports aren't clear yet, but the early indications are that the Capitol Police shot and killed an unarmed woman who was attempting to flee. Hopefully we'll learn more soon, and hopefully the Capitol Police had a legitimate reason for killing this woman.
Witnesses said they heard multiple gunshots. The vehicle first slammed into a post near the White House at 15th street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. It then fled east to the Capitol.
When the car arrived on Capitol Hill, police cars tried to box it in, according to Ryan Christensen of Idaho Falls, Idaho, who witnessed the end of the chase. The car got away from police, and that's when shots were fired. Christensen told reporters he thought it was a "motorcade" at first.
Two eyewitnesses said Capitol Police fired multiple shots at the black sedan on Constitution Avenue near the Hart Senate Office Building. Two people -- including a child -- were removed from the vehicle.
"There's a possibility there was a child in the car," Dine said.
The female suspect is dead, according to numerous police officers and congressional officials.
One Capitol Police officer was injured in the crash, police said, and transported to a hospital. The cop was injured after running into the barricade while chasing the suspect.
Apparently the new iPhone 5S has a flawed inclinometer (which measures the tilt of the phone, like a carpenter's level). This cracked me up:
Haha, so I just tried to log in to healthcare.gov to check out my Obamacare options, and I got put in a virtual waiting room! Seriously. A website with a waiting room. Just like a real doctor. This is priceless.
When my number was called I attempted to make an account on the site but failed because the drop-down boxes that were supposed to contain my options for security questions were blank. Fantastic.
Much ado about nothing. The federal government stops spending money for a few days. We'll survive, just like we're surviving the ongoing sequester (did you even remember that?). I don't know whether Republicans or Democrats will get the most blame for the shutdown, but I do know that whatever effects it has in the near-term will be those fomented by the media. Let's see how this plays out.
I was in my apartment on Centinela Ave. in Los Angeles, having just woken up, when I turned on the TV and learned that the first plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. When the second one hit it completely blew my mind. The rest of the day is a blur. I remember hearing that people who worked in Nakatomi Plaza in Century City were refusing to enter the building out of fear that it could be a target. I think I stayed home from class that day myself, but I don't remember.
A lot of things have changed in the past 12 years, but we've still got enemies who want to kill us and our families. Pray for our leaders and the men and women who risk their lives for our country every day.
Pedestrian Observations dissects Elon Musk's Hyperloop concept and decides that it's mostly nonsense. Along the way he laments the hubris of successful entrepreneurs:
There is a belief within American media that a successful person can succeed at anything. He (and it's invariably he) is omnicompetent, and people who question him and laugh at his outlandish ideas will invariably fail and end up working for him. If he cares about something, it's important; if he says something can be done, it can. The people who are already doing the same thing are peons and their opinions are to be discounted, since they are biased and he never is. He doesn't need to provide references or evidence - even supposedly scientific science fiction falls into this trope, in which the hero gets ideas from his gut, is always right, and never needs to do experiments.
The nonsense surrounding Anthony Weiner highlights the lengths that Democrats were willing to go in the 1990s to protect Bill Clinton from his own philandering. It was irrational at the time, and is even more absurd now that Weiner and his wife Huma are being abandoned. What's the difference between Hillary and Huma?
What accounts for the contrast between the disparagement of Huma and the reverence for Hillary? It won't do to say that Mrs. Clinton is more accomplished now than Mrs. Weiner, for Huma's now-critics treated Hillary no less kindly back then. No, the only possible explanation is the one the Washington Post's Erik Wemple puts forth:The distinction may have more to do with political gifts than marital particulars. Despite his high media profile, Weiner is a former House member who was the the lead sponsor of only one bill that actually became law. Clinton was a successful two-term president of the United States, and he went on to be the head of a global philanthropic enterprise.
So Hillary is admired and Huma maligned because Hillary married better. Isn't feminism wonderful?
A better reason to be in the news... George Zimmerman rescues family from burning vehicle:
George Zimmerman, who has been in hiding since he was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, emerged to help rescue a family who was trapped in an overturned vehicle, police said today.
Zimmerman was one of two men who came to the aid of a family of four -- two parents and two children -- trapped inside a blue Ford Explorer SUV that had rolled over after traveling off the highway in Sanford, Fla. at approximately 5:45 p.m. Thursday, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.
The crash occurred at the intersection of I-4 and route Route 46, police said. The crash site is less than a mile from where Zimmerman shot Martin.
By the time police arrived, two people - including Zimmerman - had already helped the family get out of the overturned car, the sheriff's office said. No one was reported to be injured.
Zimmerman was not a witness to the crash and left after speaking with the deputy, police said.
The US Treasury has been holding the country right at the legal debt limit for the past 56 days using "extraordinary measures" and expects to be able to continue until Labor Day. Just remember: hitting the limit doesn't mean we'll default on our debts because debt repayment takes priority over other spending. If the extraordinary measures are exhausted and we hit the debt limit for real, we'll keep making payments on our debt but have to immediately cut spending in other areas. There is no way that America can default on its debt payments at this time, whether the debt limit is raised or not.
On May 18, the day after the debt began its long stay at $16,699,396,000,000.00, Treasury Secretary Lew sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner. In the letter, Lew said the Treasury would begin implementing what he called "the standard set of extraordinary measures" that allows the Treasury to continue to borrow and spend money even after it has hit the legal debt limit.
How many days did Lew think he could keep the debt just under the debt limit while the Treasury continued to borrow money?
"The effective duration of the extraordinary measures is subject to considerable uncertainty due to a variety of factors, including the unpredictability of tax receipts, changes in expenditure flows under the sequester, and the normal challenges of forecasting the payments and receipts of the U.S. government months into the future."
Lew went on to say, however, that "it is now clear that the measures will not be exhausted until after Labor Day."