Government Agencies

By Tom Blumer | September 26, 2014 | 10:05 PM EDT

It wasn't that long ago that Obamacare defenders were ridiculing those of us who pointed out that the fully loaded cost of HealthCare.gov would surely top the $1 billion mark.

Well, we were wrong — to be so conservative. The real number is "about" $2.1 billion and counting, according to a Bloomberg report which is mostly being kept out of the non-business press.

By Tom Blumer | September 26, 2014 | 1:22 PM EDT

USA Today, gave the equivalent of almost a full page to Eric Holder's resignation in Friday's print edition.

The paper's primary story by Gregory Korte, at the top right of the front page, described him as having "championed gay, civil, voting rights." The item's continuation on Page 8A included a quote from Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, which calls itself "America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality." Griffin called Hold "our Robert Kennedy." How odd, given that Michael Lind's 2000 book on RFK described him as "prudish and homophobic." That's what happens when you grow up learning airbrushed history, Chad. The paper's second story went into puffery by describing how "Holder Took Work as AG Personally." Excerpts from each follow the jump.

By Matthew Balan | September 24, 2014 | 5:37 PM EDT

The Washington Post on Wednesday revealed a U.S. Forest Service plan that would "fine photographers who shoot on federal wild lands without a permit." Reporter Hunter Schwarz noted how "critics have characterized the rules as too vague and say it infringes on the First Amendment's free speech clause," and quoted from a U.S. senator who raised his concerns about the "troubling questions about inappropriate government limits on activity clearly protected by the First Amendment."

By Tom Blumer | September 10, 2014 | 10:49 PM EDT

In quite remarkable testimony on the day before the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 Islamist terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo reported today that "Francis Taylor, under secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS, told senators during a hearing that ISIL supporters are known to be plotting ways to infiltrate the United States through the (nation's southern) border."

Predictably, Taylor's statements are getting very little other press attention.

By Tom Blumer | September 10, 2014 | 4:05 PM EDT

In recent days, the State Department has tried to paint Fox News's Bill O'Reilly as a sexist monster because he characterized Jen Psaki as "out of her depth." O'Reilly's criticism has a great deal to do with how Ms. Psaki often appears to be, well, out of her depth. The other member of the non-dynamic duo then pounced. Marie Harf claimed that O'Reilly used "sexist, personally offensive language that I actually don't think (he) would ever use about a man."

O'Reilly recently defended himself quite well; that video is at the end of this post. On Tuesday, liberal Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers also weighed in. Her USA Today column asserted that O'Reilly "does not discriminate when it comes to expressing tough judgments," and that Harf's sexist accusation was "so irresponsible." Excerpts follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | September 9, 2014 | 11:25 PM EDT

On August 22 — a Friday, of course — the Obama administration's Department of Health and Human Services issued a brand-new version of the Obamacare contraception mandate supposedly "accommodating" organizations with religious belief-based objections to providing such coverage.

The new version is a facile variant of the subterfuge the Obama administration failed to slide by the Court in the recent Hobby Lobby case. It now says that organizations which oppose providing their employees abortifacient contraceptive coverage can notify the government of their objections; previously, objectors informed their insurers. The government will then tell the insurance companies to pay any claims involved. Anyone can see that nothing has substantively changed, and that affected employers are still associating themselves with practices they believe are abhorrent. Nevertheless, CNBC's Dan ("Obama-who-cares") Mangan described the administration's move as a "compromise."

By Tom Blumer | September 3, 2014 | 2:14 PM EDT

Unfortunately and completely predictably, the Big Three news networks have ignored Catherine Herridge's Tuesday morning scoop at Fox News that President Obama was briefed on the growing threat of ISIS for over a year, going back to at least several months, if not much longer, before his "jayvee team" taunt in a January New Yorker Magazine interview. Curtis Houck and Jeffrey Meyer at NewsBusters have noted the omissions from the nets' Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning news shows, respectively.

Let's take a closer look at how NBC's Nightly News handled their broadcast. Obama's reported failure to take ISIS seriously and his failure to seize opportunities to strike before their influence became so threatening would have fit perfectly into the show's theme, uttered twice by anchor Brian Williams, namely that the world seems to be "falling apart."

By Tom Blumer | September 2, 2014 | 5:45 PM EDT

This morning, Catherine Herridge at Fox News, in the first two minutes of a video seen here, reported that "detailed and specific intelligence about the rise of ISIS was included in the PDB, or the President’s Daily Brief, for at least a year." Fox is being careful, as some of what is being reported would indicate that the time involved is "far more than a year" — possibly even "three years."

This would mean that Obama, if he actually reads the briefs he claims to devour in lieu of actually attending national security meetings as his Oval Office predecessors have, should have been fully aware of ISIS's danger at least several months before he called them the "jayvee team" in a New Yorker Magazine interview. If previous patterns hold, the fact that Fox is reporting the story will mean that the Obama-aligned establishment press will, as they have for several hours already, ignore it. The relevant portions of the transcript follow the jump (HT to a frequent tipster; bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | August 31, 2014 | 10:21 AM EDT

This "choice" thing with abortion is really the narrowest of one-way streets.

Seven robed men decided in 1973 that a woman has a "privacy" right to "choose" to take the life of a pre-born baby she is carrying, the God-given right to life of the baby be damned. But the radicals in Jerry Brown's government in the State of California have now mandated that all employers in that state, even those with religious affiliations, do not have a choice as to whether they will cover abortions in their health plans. It's funny, but certainly not in a humorous sense, how certain states' attempts to limit the practice routinely make national news, while this blatantly coercive dictate by California has barely been noticed.

By Tom Blumer | August 31, 2014 | 9:03 AM EDT

The "Office of Refugee Resettlement" in the government's Department of Health and Human Services has released a county-by-county list of 29,890 unaccompanied children sent "to safe settings with sponsors (usually family members)." Year-to-date, the number, according to an HHS state-by-state list, is 37,477. This has occurred "while they await immigration proceedings."

Now that they're out in the general population, we're still supposed to believe that the majority of these "children" (more on that later) will ultimately be deported. After all, that's what White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on July 7, specifically:

By Tom Blumer | August 30, 2014 | 11:54 PM EDT

Ice, ice baby. That's what they have a lot more of in the Arctic.

The UK Daily Mail, one of those British tabloids the left has despised going back to the Clinton administration and its paranoia about a right-wing media conspiracy, reports from authoritative sources — the kind the U.S. establishment press uses when it seems to support the hoax known as human-caused global warming — that the Arctic ice cap has expanded rapidly in the past two years. In doing so, it has made up all of what was lost between 2009 and 2012 with a slight margin to spare. Seven years ago, former Vice President and leading global warming false alarmist Al Gore predicted that "It could be completely gone." Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | August 30, 2014 | 10:20 PM EDT

In a Saturday evening story to appear on Page A1 in its Sunday print edition, Pam Belluck at the New York Times tells readers that "paying doctors to talk to patients about end-of-life care is making a comeback, and such sessions may be covered for the 50 million Americans on Medicare as early as next year." This apparently blessed development is occurring "After Sarah Palin’s 'death panel' label killed efforts to include it in the Affordable Care Act in 2009."

Belluck seems fairly pleased that "Bypassing the political process, private insurers have begun reimbursing doctors for these 'advance care planning' conversations as interest in them rises along with the number of aging Americans." (But of course, "private insurers" have really become inside cronies in "the political process" since Obamacare's passage; so their involvement may really prove that behind-the-scenes government pressure to reimburse those "services" is working.)