GAO investigation: Non-existent ‘people’ able to sign up for #Obamacare coverage

Obamacare

Wowsers:

Investigators from the Government Accountability Office have been able to register fake applicants with fictitious identifying documents for health plans and federal subsidies through ObamaCare, according to a published report.

The Washington Post reports that investigators were able to obtain subsidized health coverage for eleven of twelve fictitious applicants online or over the phone. The investigators used invalid or missing Social Security numbers or inaccurate citizenship information in applying for coverage. In one of the eleven approved instances, the paper reported that the application was denied, but later approved at the second attempt.

The Post also reported that six attempts were made to sign up false applicants via in-person representatives. In five of those cases, the representative did not know that the applicant’s income was too high to receive a subsidy in the first place.

GAO officials will testify about the findings before a House Ways and Means subcommittee Wednesday. The office is expected to continue the investigation before reaching final conclusions sometime next year.

The inquiries were carried out in several different states. The Post reported that the GAO has not specified which states were investigated because the investigation is ongoing.

Republicans have claimed that the federal health insurance exchange does not properly verify the identity and eligibility of potential customers, leaving it open to fraud and abuse. The GAO investigation was requested last year by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.); Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr. (R-La.), chairman of the Ways and Means oversight subcommittee; and Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

Gee, so Republicans were right about this aspect of Obamacare, too? Hmmm. I sense a pattern developing …

Rep. Cummings to Issa: Stop the “public harassment” of #IRS official

IRS

The Washington Examiner reports that, unsurprisingly, Democrat obstructionist Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is demanding the House Oversight committee stop the “public harassment of an agency head” – IRS Commissioner John Koskinen:

The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform panel is objecting to a plan to call the Internal Revenue Service commissioner to testify for a third time in a matter of weeks, calling it “public harassment of an agency head.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent a letter Monday to Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., objecting to a decision to call Commissioner John Koskinen to testify at a hearing on Wednesday. It would be the third time Koskinen appeared before the panel in the past month, Cummings noted.

“Requiring Commissioner Koskinen to testify again this week not only takes him away from the day-to-day duties of operating an agency with 90,000 employees, but it also diverts our Committee from conducting responsible oversight on many key areas that traditionally have been part of our jurisdiction,” Cummings said in the letter.

Because how dare Congress demand answers!?

In reality, we know exactly why Cummings wants this inconvenient scandal involving a gross violation of the public’s trust, not to mention numerous violations of federal law, to magically go away. And not just because it could potentially implicate Cummings himself, but also because it’s an embarrassment to this White House at a crucial time during a critical election year. Can’t have any pesky facts be made public about the blatant abuses of power at the IRS, now can we?

QOTD: Cruz encourages Reid to leave the DC Ritz-Carlton & visit the border

Senator Harry Reid

How about it, Senator Reid?

I love it:

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) characterization of the U.S.-Mexico border as “secure” by telling his colleague to come take a look for himself.

“President Obama and Harry Reid both engage debates divorced from the facts and divorced from the reality,” Cruz said on Fox News Sunday. “Harry Reid lives in the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C., and I’m sure from his perspective the border seems secure. I would invite Harry Reid to come with me down Texas and see the border.”

Make sure to view video of Senator Cruz’s comments at the Mediaite link above.

Meanwhile, reports are surfacing that Texas Gov. Rick Perry will announce today a plan to deploy 1,000 TX National Guard troops to the border:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) reportedly plans to dispatch the Texas National Guard to the U.S. border with Mexico, according to news reports.

Perry will announce his plans Monday to mobilize some 1,000 guardsmen to the Rio Grande Valley to increase security at the border, according to the Monitor, a south Texas newspaper. The newspaper quoted a state senator and an internal memo it obtained from a state official’s office.

Perry spokesman Felix Browne told The Washington Post he would neither confirm nor deny the report, but said all details will be given at a news conference at 2 p.m. Central time Monday in Austin. It was unclear what mission the guard will have.

I suspect the major TV news outlets will have coverage of Perry’s afternoon presser. Make sure to tune in to your preferred network at that time. If the reports are indeed true, please keep the troops in your thoughts and prayers. It’s not just hot and uncomfortable at the border right now. It’s dangerous.  

Will the #Obamacare employer mandate be delayed again?

Obamacare

The Hill reports that the pressure is on for the White House on whether or not to delay the employer mandate for the third time:

The White House needs to make a decision soon on whether ObamaCare’s controversial employer mandate will take effect in 2015.

With the mandate set to take effect in January, businesses are awaiting final world from the administration on whether they will be required to track and report how many of their employees are receiving coverage.

Federal officials are late in delivering the final forms and technical guidance necessary for firms to comply, raising suspicions that the mandate could once again be delayed.

The mandate has been pushed back twice before, both times in late summer.

The delays to the mandate have angered House Republicans, who are now taking President Obama to court for what they say is his refusal to follow the letter of the law.

Another delay to the mandate would be sure to create a political firestorm and draw charges that the administration is playing politics with ObamaCare ahead of the midterm elections.

But support for the mandate on the left has begun to soften in recent months, with influential figures and former Obama administration officials questioning whether it’s needed to make the law work.

Seven business lobbyists interviewed by The Hill said it is unlikely the administration will defer the employer mandate wholesale one more time, given the intense political pressure from Republicans.

But many groups are expecting partial relief to be announced prior to November, perhaps in the form of looser reporting requirements that would be easier to follow.

“I’d be shocked if they did another [full] delay … but it wouldn’t surprise me if something else came out before the election,” said one source who requested anonymity in order to speak freely.

I wouldn’t be shocked one bit, considering their past history of delaying the more controversial parts of this bill they know will hurt them more in the voting booth than any other.  But, as they say, stay tuned.

Senate Dems, including @KayHagan, set to try & “reverse” #HobbyLobby ruling

Hobby Lobby

Because religious freedom sucks and stuff – and so do the “five white guys” on the Supreme Court. Via The Hill:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) set up the first procedural vote on a bill that would reverse the recent Supreme Court ruling that allows some employers to deny birth control coverage for women.

“After five justices decided last week that an employer’s personal views can interfere with women’s access to essential health services, we in Congress need to act quickly to right this wrong,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said while introducing the bill last week.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that companies, such as Hobby Lobby, don’t have to provide their employees birth control coverage as mandated under ObamaCare. The 5-4 decision stated that the mandate violated the religious liberties of employers who don’t believe in the use of contraceptives.

Democrats have pounced on the issue ahead of the November elections in order to draw contrast between the two parties on the issue.

“The U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision opened the door to unprecedented corporate intrusion into our private lives,” said Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), a lead co-sponsor of the bill. “My common-sense proposal will keep women’s private health decisions out of corporate board rooms, because your boss shouldn’t be able to dictate what is best for you and your family.”

Senate Democrats will need at least five Republicans to join them in voting to end debate on the motion to proceed to S. 2578, but it seems unlikely they will get that support. That vote is expected Wednesday.

In other words, they know they aren’t going to get anywhere on the bill. It’s just election-year posturing designed to let perpetual (and in some cases “professional”) “feminist” victims on the left who dogmatically support the demagogues in the Democrat party know that when it comes to choosing between respect for the First Amendment versus abortion on demand, they’ll choose baby-killing every single time.

And yes, as the headline to this post suggests, North Carolinians, Senator Hagan (D) supports this bill:


Shameful. And out of touch with North Carolina voters. But not surprising.

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Reid is “the da Vinci of distraction”

Harry Reid

Shame, shame, shame.

A perfect description of the despicable Senate Majority Leader from one of his hometown newspapers (hat tip):

Harry Reid is the da Vinci of distraction. The moment any scandal, policy failure or political defeat crashes down on him — and there have been plenty the past few years — the Senate majority leader unleashes outrageous rhetoric that’s better suited for a sandbox than what once passed for the world’s greatest deliberative body. Worse, the Nevada Democrat has become especially fond of slinging race cards just to crank up the outrage.

Last week, Sen. Reid was in rare form following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn part of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. The 5-4 ruling declared that closely held for-profit businesses, such as craft retailer Hobby Lobby, do not have to provide some forms of birth control to female employees if doing so violates the owners’ religious beliefs. Sen. Reid eviscerated the decision. “The one thing we are going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men,” Sen. Reid said.

[…]

Sen. Reid’s slip was no accident. He believes racial and ethnic minorities are ideologically monolithic constituencies who are incapable of independent or — gasp! — right-of-center thinking. In the majority leader’s mind, Mr. Thomas is not an African-American because the justice doesn’t blindly subscribe to liberal orthodoxy.

[…]

Never mind that Sen. Reid himself, like the entire Senate Democratic leadership, is as white as an Irishman in a snowstorm. And never mind that after more than five years of Democratic control of the White House and the Senate, black and Hispanic unemployment — especially among teenagers — remains scandalously high. Sen. Reid’s “fix” for this problem — a higher minimum wage — will actually make it worse.

We thought the 2008 election of Barack Obama as president was supposed to herald an age of post-racial politics. So much for hope and change. Quit the race-baiting already, Sen. Reid. You’re clearly colorblind — in all the wrong ways.

AMEN.

By the way, Reid was quoted years ago as saying to the director of LVRJ advertising during a Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce business luncheon that he hoped the Review-Journal would “go out of business.”  Gee, I can’t imagine why, can you? l-)

Fearmongering Pelosi: We should “be afraid” of “five guys” on #SCOTUS

Pelosi and Assad

”We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace.” – Pelosi on Assad, April 2007. But ‘five guys’ on the Supreme Court are frightening … SMH.

Considering the depth of ignorance on display here, it’s astonishing  how high this woman has risen in power in Congress over the last couple of decades. Then again, maybe not, considering how Democrats think and operate:

Americans should live in fear of the Supreme Court, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday.

Hammering a pair of recent rulings related to birth control access, the House minority leader suggested the conservative-leaning court is stealing women’s freedoms when it comes to making healthcare choices.

“We should be afraid of this court. That five guys should start determining what contraceptions are legal or not. … It is so stunning,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol.

Pelosi said last week’s Supreme Court ruling that the birth control mandate under President Obama’s healthcare reform law is a violation of religious freedom was particularly egregious.

“That court decision was a frightening one,” she said. “That five men should get down to the specifics of whether a woman should use a diaphragm and she should pay for it herself or her boss. It’s not her boss’s business. His business is whatever his business is. But it’s not what contraception she uses.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again in hopes it will sink in with the clueless: By forcing your boss to pay for healthcare options that go against his or her religious conscience, you ARE putting them in the middle of your healthcare decisions.  Furthermore, you’ve told them that their religious rights should be laid at the feet of the state simply because you want something that you think shouldn’t have to pay for.  Not only that, but in the case of Hobby Lobby, it already offers – and continues to offer – healthcare coverage for sixteen types pf birth control.  It wanted nothing to do, however, with abortifacients, which was the issue at the heart of their case against the Obama administration.

But we’ve rehashed that again and again. What I want to address is the sexism, yes, outright sexism Pelosi – and other female Democrat politicos and so-called “woman’s rights activists” on the left who’ve uttered similar remarks – has blatantly exhibited here, and how this disturbing double standard has unfortunately become “acceptable” over the years because too few have dared to question it and/or call it out.  Her implication here is that if we’d just had a Supreme Court full of women, they’ve have never ruled this way.  To Pelosi, there’s no way the five (male) justices who ruled the way they did in the Hobby Lobby case could have done so for any other reason other than they hate women or, at the very least, want to see them relegated back to being barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen.    Keep in mind that Pelosi has offered no legal basis for her disagreement with the high court’s decision, so we’re left to assume that not only does she believe the “five guys” are misogynists, but also that she’s in favor of women on the court ruling based on feelings rather than the law.  And here you thought, by the standards that Democrats themselves have set, that it was wrong to believe women make judgment calls based purely on their emotions.

Lastly, I want you to imagine for a second that we did have a majority female Supreme Court, and how high the level of outrage would be nationwide if anyone on the right condemned a case ruling based solely on the sex of the justices who ruled for or against it.   We’d be at Code Red on the outrage meter, and understandably so.  That we’re not when it comes to “reverse sexism” just shows how successful feminists on the left have been over the years at demonizing men and demagoguing and dumbing down the debate over women’s rights issues – and issues that go beyond women’s rights but are nevertheless hijacked by “feminists” for their own warped agendas.  That needs to change.

Memo to Senator Reid: Justice Clarence Thomas is black, not white

Senator Harry Reid

Um….

Losing it in more ways than one. Via ABC News:

Senate Democrats said they plan to unveil legislation in the coming weeks in response to the Supreme Court’s controversial ruling in the Hobby Lobby contraception case.

“This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous, and we’re going to do something about it,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters on Capitol Hill today. “People are going to have to walk down here and vote, and if they vote with the five men on the Supreme Court, I think it’s — they’re going to have — be treated unfavorably come November with the elections.”

Reid said the Senate needed to do something to “ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men.”

Look, I know liberals view Justice Thomas as “black in color only” – meaning they think he’s only black on the surface (meaning he’s a “sellout to his people” or whatever) but the least the despicable Majority Leader of the United States Senate could do as a show of basic, common decency is to pretend in public that’s not what he thinks. Sheesh.

The Left’s obsession with the Redskins

**Posted by Phineas

Everything is political

Everything is political

Amidst all the other outrageous outrages that outrage the outraged Left these days, you may have noticed a controversy (well, controversial to the Left) over the team name of the Washington Redskins, a name the team has used for over 80 years with no one complaining (1).

Well, no one until Harry Reid, the national Democrats, and the Left (but I repeat myself) decided they needed something, anything, to distract people from the failures of Obamacare and the lousy economy (and the crashing foreign policy and… Well, you get the idea.). Hence, in the last year or so, the professional Left has turned on the Redskins, decrying their name as offensive, hateful, and …brace yourselves… “racist” against American Indians. (2) The way they carry on, you’d think they were fighting the civil rights battles of the 50s and 60s all over again.

And, in fact, according to Dennis Prager, that is indeed one of the reasons the Left has gone bonkers over the team name: it makes them feel good, as if they’re reliving the battles of their fathers and grandfathers. Call it a self-esteem booster shot. Writing at Real Clear Politics, he give four additional reasons for the Left’s mania. It’s a good article, so click through for the rest, but I want to highlight one that I think cuts to the root of the matter:

Fifth, and finally, the left is totalitarian at heart. Whenever possible, they seek control of others; and they love to throw their considerable weight around. The left-wing president does it so often that the Supreme Court has unanimously shot down his attempts on a dozen occasions. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, under huge pressure from leftists, just dropped conservative Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist George Will. Under pressure from left-wing professors and students, Brandeis and other universities dropped the few conservative speakers they had invited to this year’s commencement exercises. Forcing the Redskins to do their will is just the left’s latest attempt to force its views on the vast majority of its fellow citizens. That’s why it’s worth fighting for the Redskins. Today it’s the Redskins, tomorrow it’s you.

Emphasis added. Ever hear the expression “the personal is the political?” It was a rallying cry of the student movement and leftist feminists in the 60s that argued there was no separation between daily life (work, play, family, sports, &c.) and what we think of as traditional politics (elections, legislation, and so on). Every aspect of your personal life, including your recreation, is as much open to politics as is your choice of party to support. Support a team the name of which some faction finds politically incorrect, and you’ll be subject to political action to make you change your ways and the way you think. Our Betters on the Left know what’s best for us all and they have a driving urge to make sure we all conform.

Even if all you want to do is watch your favorite team and forget about the world for a while.

Footnote:
(1) There’s a survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center showing that less than ten percent of American Indians find the name “Redskins” offensive. It’s from 2004, however, so it might be interesting to resurvey that.
(2) No disrespect intended to members of the various tribal nations, but I’ve never liked the term “Native American” when referring to the descendants of the people who were here before the European colonization. I was born here, my parents were born here, my grandparents were born here, and so were most of my great-grandparents. I’m native to America, too, and I refuse to use a term that in any way slights my right to be here.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

The return of President Obama – the “Healer in Chief”?

Newsweek's Obama cover

‘Second Coming’? I don’t think so.

Not this garbage again:

Rep. Luis Gutierrez said Tuesday that President Barack Obama has the power to “heal” undocumented immigrants.

“If [Republicans] want to come back and discuss [reform], fine,” the Illinois Democrat said on MSNBC. “But in the interim period, I believe the president of the United States has already in statute, in the law, the ability to heal and put in a safe harbor millions of undocumented immigrants while the Congress of the United States finally decides it’s going to take action.”

[…]

Gutierrez said he does not have much optimism when it comes to comprehensive reform coming out of Congress. Instead, he said that he hopes the steps from Obama will start to get the ball rolling on immigration policies.

“Just as Republicans have said, ‘No, no, no,’ I expect the president to be broad, expansive and generous in the use of his prosecutorial discretion,” Gutierrez said.

Let’s clear up the confusion on this – again. Politicians are not “healers”, they are not “saviors”, they are not “the next coming of Jesus Christ” – nothing even remotely close.   They don’t “heal” anyone – they legislate, they govern.  They are human beings who were elected to serve at various levels of government by a majority of the people in their counties, cities, districts, states, etc.  They are all fallible, with some sincerely entering into the political arena to make a difference, while others in the same field often partake in activities that most would consider corrupt.  These people should not be viewed any differently than you or I should be – that is, they shouldn’t be put on pedestals to idolize and worship.  That goes double for the President of the United States, no matter who he or she may be.

Any questions?