In what can only be characterized as a stunning moment of transparency for the Obama administration, now 5 years into its reign of "unprecedented transparency" not to mention hope and change, US Health Secretary actually did the unthinkable: she took responsibility. "Hold me accountable for the debacle," Sebelius said in response to accusations at a congressional hearing today that her deputies failed to do their jobs. "I’m responsible."
I present to you a video in which POTUS Barack Obama could learn much from the wisdom of 16-year-old Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai.
Obama Knew Most Americans Would Not Be Able To Keep Their Existing Insurance Under Obamacare As Early As 2010Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/29/2013 06:56 -0500
The news keeps going from worse to worse-er for the administration and Obamacare. The latest hit, however, does not revolve around the dysfunctional healthcare.gov website, whose hundreds of millions of lines of faulty code will take a very long time to fix, but relates to Obama's promises that individuals would be able to keep their existing healthcare plans following the rollout of the Affordable Care Act. The truth, as NBC reports, is they can't but what's worse is that Obama knew as early as July 2010 that 40 to 67 percent of customers will not be able to keep their policy. And that's not all: since the 14 millions consumers who buy their insurance individually will be forced into comparable plans, they are all set to experience a "sticker shock" when "opting" for the mandatory alternatives.
If Churchill were alive today, he would probably characterize the rollout of Obamacare as a humiliation, wrapped in an embarrassment, inside a mockery-punching bag injury. And overnight, in addition to all the other well-known gremlins that have plagued America's socialized healthcare from Day 1, insult was added injury, following a Reuters report that a "data center critical for allowing uninsured Americans to buy health coverage under President Barack Obama's healthcare law went down on Sunday, halting online enrollment for all 50 states." In other words, on top of and in addition to all the other bad coding and website processing issues that have been exposed and promptly scapegoated on other (you see Obama knew all about the successes, but nothing about the failures of Obamacare), now the internet itself is starting to glitch up. Which is hardly surprising considering Al Gore's involvement in the latter.
- Budget deficit priorities people: U.S. NSA spied on 60 million Spanish phone calls in a month (Reuters)
- Stuck in countless scandals, Obama does what he does best: speak. Obama To Speak At Installation Of FBI Director James Comey (TPM)
- Five killed as car ploughs into crowd in Beijing's Tiananmen Square (Reuters)
- U.K. Storm Brings Power Cuts, Snarls Transport in South (BBG)
- China Signals ‘Unprecedented’ Policy Changes on Agenda at Plenum (BBG)
- Sandy's Legacy: Higher Home Prices (WSJ)
- Merkel Enters Concrete SPD Talks as Finance Post Looms (BBG)
- Keep arming those Syrian al-qaeda rebels: Car bombs kill scores in Baghdad, in sign of crisis in Iraq (WaPo)
- J.P. Morgan's Mortgage Troubles Ran Deep (WSJ)
- Detroit’s public library contains story of city’s decline (FT)
- Argentina elections: President loses in Buenos Aires province (BBC)
- Phone-hacking: trial of Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks to begin (Guardian)
Most recently, it was the horrific rollout of Obamacare which as we observed earlier in the week, was all "someone else's fault" but certainly not the government's. Now, as the Snowden whistleblowing scandal has found its third (or fourth) wind courtesy of a furious international response following revelations that Obama was listening in to Merkel and at least 34 other world leaders', it is time for perhaps the most stunning revelation of all: you see, Obama is shocked, shocked to learn that cell phone spying - of virtually everyone on the planet - is going on in here.
Hypocrisy as a Weapon
As if the technological problems facing Obamacare were not enough, a potentially major "legal glitch" could cause the healthcare law to unravel in 36 states. As the LA Times reports, The Affordable Care Act proposes to make health insurance affordable to millions of low-income Americans by offering them tax credits to help cover the cost. To receive the credit, the law twice says they must buy insurance "through an exchange established by the state." But 36 states have decided against opening exchanges for now. Critics of the law have seized on the glitch. They have filed four lawsuits that urge judges to rule the Obama administration must abide by the strict wording of the law, even if doing so dismantles it in nearly two-thirds of the states. And the Obama administration has no hope of repairing the glitch by legislation as long as the Republicans control the House..."This has the potential to sink Obamacare. It could make the current website problems seem minor by comparison," noted on policy expert.
The rollout of Obamacare to date has been, as many predicted, the case study of everything that is wrong with a mandatory government-conceived, supervised and enforced program. Ignoring for a minute the daily embarrassment the Obama administration has to face with the well-documented failings of the HealthCare.gov website which on second glance should win Obama the Nobel Price for coding in Fortran (or Cobol), and which seems set for a full-blown overhaul that would force a delay of the mandate whether Obama wants it or not, the several million "glitchy" lines of code have become the greatest gift the GOP could have asked for. A gift, which as the saying goes, keeps on giving. Because one of Obama's suggested loopholes has been to advise people who can't or won't sign up online, to do so using old-fashioned means: by paper, pen or phone. Unfortunately, that's where the rabbit hole just goes deeper, because as Politico reports, the glitches that started on line have rapidly shifted to the world of phone and mail, as virtually every pathway of enrolling into the enforced healthcare program is now hopelessly bottlenecked, if not entirely shut.
Update: As of 6:30 pm Eastern, the NSA's website has been down for 5 hours.
Following our earlier comments on the vulnerabilities of the Obamacare websites, the fact that the United States National Security Agency suddenly went offline Friday is still surprising. As RT reports, NSA.gov has been unavailable globally as of late Friday afternoon, and Twitter accounts belonging to people loosely affiliated with the Anonymous hacktivism movement have suggested they are responsible. It is perhaps not entirely coincidental that there is a major “Stop Watching Us” rally scheduled for Saturday in Washington, DC. We wonder if the 'hackers' had a German or French accent...?
It's happening again. The US lack of intervention in Syria (and implicit and explicit support for the rebels) has apparently emboldened none other than Al-Qaeda. As the WSJ reports, a flurry of recent attacks by al Qaeda-linked militants in Iraq - strengthened by their alliance with jihadist fighters in Syria - is threatening to undo years of U.S. efforts to crush the group, widening sectarian conflict in the Middle East. Iraqi security officials say al Qaeda-linked fighters from the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, are moving aggressively to re-establish a base of operations in Anbar province, the stronghold of the Sunni insurgency during the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
As the 'diplomatic' debacle continues to rage between the US and Europe (most loudly France and Germany) over the Obama administration's ongoing eavesdropping on its allies' cell phones, Reuters reports that (state-backed) Deutsche Telekom is calling for German comms companies to cooperate to shield local internet traffic from foreign intelligence services. "It is internationally without precedent that the internet traffic of a developed country bypasses the servers of another country," notes one academic, warning that if more countries wall themselves off, it could lead to a troubling "Balkanisation" of the Internet, crippling the openness and efficiency that have made the web a source of economic growth. Despite Obama's denials, the situation is not fading away, and Germany and France continue to demand a "no spying" agreement.
The number one American export is U.S. dollars. It is paper currency that is backed up by absolutely nothing, but the rest of the world has been using it to trade with one another and so there is tremendous global demand for our dollars. The linchpin of this system is the petrodollar. For decades, if you have wanted to buy oil virtually anywhere in the world you have had to do so with U.S. dollars. But if one of the biggest oil exporters on the planet, such as Saudi Arabia, decided to start accepting other currencies as payment for oil, the petrodollar monopoly would disintegrate very rapidly. For years, everyone assumed that nothing like that would happen any time soon, but now Saudi officials are warning of a "major shift" in relations with the United States. In fact, the Saudis are so upset at the Obama administration that "all options" are reportedly "on the table".
During this morning's Congressional hearing on the failure of Obamacare, one of the developer's let slip a little too much truth:
CGI exec says she is not allowed to publicly say how many people have enrolled via http://t.co/25y1SOfdCF
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) October 24, 2013
While the self-proclaimed 'most transparent' administration fights off the French and the German over spying 'lies', and gags insurers from publicizing how many people have signed up for Obamacare, it seems the cover-up goes even further with everyone involved silenced (for now).
- Central Banks Drop Tightening Talk as Easy Money Goes On (BBG)
- More Democrats voice Obamacare concerns as website blame goes around (Reuters)
- Contractors Point Fingers Over Health-Law Website (WSJ)
- Jury Decides Against BofA on 'Hustle' Program (WSJ)
- Credit Suisse to overhaul interest rates trading business (FT)
- Home Builders Target Higher End (WSJ)
- The Many Lives of Iron Mountain (NYer)
- Busy tourist season nudges Spanish unemployment lower (Reuters)
- Morgan Stanley Joins BofA in Broker Recruiting Truce (BBG)
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