It seems like it was an eternity ago that Obama was doing his post-government shutdown gloating media tour, when day after day the world was bombarded with news of the GOP's record low popularity rating, paradoxically following their attempt to do what even the president is now desperate to achieve: delay Obamacare. Well, the tables have turned and now that the government shutdown is history, at least until January, and the public focus has shifted to where it should have been in the first place - namely the embarrassing ponzi scheme experiment that is Obamacare, and the epic failure surrounding its rushed rollout - it is Obama's turn to suffer a record low rating, which is precisely what happened according to a just concluded WSJ/NBC News poll.
While the White House spied on Frau Merkel and Obamacare developed into a slow-moving train wreck, while Syria was saved from all-out war by the Russian bell and the Republicrats fought bitterly about the debt ceiling… something monumental happened that went unnoticed by most of the globe. The US quietly surpassed Saudi Arabia as the biggest oil producer in the world. You read that correctly: "The jump in output from shale plays has led to the second biggest oil boom in history," stated Reuters on October 15. "U.S. output, which includes natural gas liquids and biofuels, has swelled 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2009, the fastest expansion in production over a four-year period since a surge in Saudi Arabia's output from 1970-1974." After the initial moment of awe, pragmatic readers will surely wonder: Then why isn't gasoline dirt-cheap in the US?
- Morning Humor from Hilsenrath - Fed Balance Sheet Not Seen Returning to Normal Until at Least 2019 (WSJ)
- Health Policies Canceled in Latest Hurdle for Obamacare (BBG)
- Was there anything RBS was not manipulating? RBS Said to Review Currency-Trading Practices Amid Probe (BBG)
- Sebelius to Testify Before House Panel (WSJ)
- And more humor: Spain's Statistics Institute Confirms End of Recession (WSJ) ... and now we await the triple dip
- Finally some credible reporting on Yellen's "foresight" - Yellen feared housing bust but did not raise public alarm (Reuters)
- Japan government moves closer to Fukushima takeover (FT)
- China to step up own security after new NSA allegations (Reuters)
- Blackstone Vies With Goldman in Spain Rental Housing Bet (BBG)
- In new U.S. budget talks, Republican proposal has flipped the script (Reuters)
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.
- U.S. spy chiefs face Congress amid spying rift with Europe (Reuters)
- Deutsche Bank income hit by €1.2bn of legal provisions (FT)
- China's second tapering attempt fails: China central bank seeks to reassure money markets after rate spike (Reuters)
- UBS Takes Action Against Staff in Foreign-Exchange Probe (WSJ)
- Saudi Arabia frees man jailed for Mohammad tweets (Reuters)
- Tax Revolts Hit Hollande as Farmers, Soccer Clubs Protest (BBG)
- German parliament to meet over U.S. spying scandal (Reuters)
- Google Nears Smartwatch Launch (WSJ)
- How to end gridlock in DC? Pork projects (Reuters)
- UBS ordered to increase capital reserves (FT)
In a dramatic change of events that is a) sure to not win the administration any goodwill point with the citizens of the free, or enslaved, world or their insolvent leaders so desperately reliant on the US for day to day funding, and b) will confirm the state of complete policy chaos that is at the core of the Obama administration's handling of the ObamaPhone spygate (where for some reason the fact that the US spied on foreigners, as it should, has taken far more precedence over the NSA intercepting and recording each and every domestic communication, with neither checks nor balances), the earlier reported news originating from the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein, who said that "the White House has informed me that collection on our allies will not continue, which I support" was a fabrication.
The world's first Bitcoin ATM will be ready for use this week at a coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada. Created by Las Vegas based Robocoin, the new ATM in Vancouver will allow users to turn bitcoins directly into Canadian dollars, or turn Canadian dollars into bitcoins. As The Telegraph reports, the ATM first scans the user's palm to ensure security and transfers are limited to CAD$3,000 per day. Until now, the currency existed only on the web but the introduction of these ATMs brings bitcoin-as-cash usage closer. The RoboCoin kiosks are expected to make the process of buying and selling Bitcoins much easier says Jordan Kelley, the company's chief executive. "Our goal is to make Bitcoin truly grandma-friendly," says Kelley. This is especially notable in light of President Obama asking Eric Schmidt if "Bitcoin is anything he has to worry about?"
Continuing to play Obama like a fiddle, the Snowden revelations have done more to change US foreign policy in a few short months, than all laws passed since the advent of the Patriot Act. In the latest example of just this, moments ago, USA Today first and the WSJ and others subsequently, reported that according to Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and an NSA supporter, the National Security Agency has stopped gathering intelligence on allied political leaders, a practice that has drawn global criticism. "The White House has informed me that collection on our allies will not continue, which I support," according to Feinstein. It was not immediately clear if this is an implicit admission that the White House actually did know about the NSA's spying on foreign leaders over the past decade, and lied about being unaware. Recall that Obama denied just this last night, but at this point the pit of lies is so deep, few actually care or are keeping track.
With 'spies like us' who needs enemies. With the world upset at what Obama now claims is all Bush's doing, the installation of a new FBI Director (James Comey) may just have some irony to it; especially since the White House has specifically noted he will be making some 'remarks'. Of course, the hope is that President Obama will use this opportunity to answer a few questions from an uninspired press corps...
- 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.
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.
Every now and then, it is good to refresh knowledge of what is truly important in life. So it’s time to post “The Greatest Speech Ever” by Charlie Chaplin. Charlie Chaplin was known as the greatest silent actor ever. The most powerful excerpts from his speech, still very relevant today, in my opinion, are below:
The diplomatic farce in the aftermath of the most recent revelations that Obama had tapped not only Hollande's but Merkel's cell phone as well continues, when moments ago Germany's Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador over claims that U.S. intelligence agencies may be spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone, a ministry spokeswoman said. They used the word "may" loosely. John B. Emerson, the newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Germany, will meet Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle Thursday afternoon, she said. But while the latest diplomatic escalation will have zero impact whatsoever on either US spying intentions, mostly of US citizens let alone foreigners, or German-US relations, what is missing is that had this "scandal" happened four short months ago, the farce would have been truly complete as the summoned US Ambassador would be none other than former Goldman senior director and head of Goldman Germany, Philip Murphy, who alas stepped down in August. Had that been the case someone may have just put two and two together.
In a “Sponsorship Agreement” between the Maryland Health Connection and the Ravens, Judicial Watch reports that the state (read taxpayers) will pay the Super Bowl champs $130,000 to push Obamacare on television, radio, the team’s official website, its newsletter and in social media. If Obamacare is the great thing that we are constantly reassured it to be, why are we seeing the administration feeling the need to constantly market, pitch, and sell the idea by any means possible (from keg standing college students to Superbowl shuffles)?