Loudoun County Democrats cover a black candidate's face with white paint

Usually vandals paint over the candidate's name.  This time Loudoun Democrats targeted a black candidate's face for a literal whitewash.

#ObamaCare Contractor: I couldn't even create a HealthCare.gov account

How Cuccinelli blew his advantage in the #VaGov race


By Norman Leahy and Paul Goldman

Last month, we wrote that Ken Cuccinelli II’s campaign to become Virginia’s next governor needed to raise its game or face certain defeat. Has it done so? Unequivocally, no.

Cuccinelli’s strategists and consultants have doggedly followed a baffling strategy.

Even the best campaigns can lose. But an inept campaign guarantees a loss for an underdog, and Cuccinelli (R) has been the underdog since July. The attorney general’s defenders will undoubtedly refute our analysis, claiming instead that bad luck and strong headwinds have hobbled the GOP effort in Virginia. In our view, his problems went much deeper. 

Read the article at http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-ken-cuccinelli-blew-his-advantage-in-the-virginia-governors-race/2013/10/25/16d1a9ce-3a80-11e3-b6a9-da62c264f40e_story.html

Five Phony Public Health Scares

Five Phony Public Health Scares

Health activists, nutrition nannies, medical paternalists, and just plain old quacks regularly conjure up menaces that are supposedly damaging the health of Americans. Their scares range from the decades-long campaign against fluoridation to worries that saccharin causes cancer to the ongoing hysteria over crop biotechnology. The campaigners' usual "solution" is to demand that regulators ban the offending substance or practice. Here are five especially egregious examples of activist misinformation.

My (Failed) Attempt To Apply for Obamacare

My (Failed) Attempt To Apply for Obamacare

Lene Johansen experiences government-run health care.

UK Government raids 3D-printed 'gun factory'

UK Government Announces Raid on 3D-Printed Gun Factory, Uses Parts of the Printer as Evidence

Police in the UK city of Manchester have seized a 3D printer and what they have alleged to be 3D-printed gun parts, during a raid on alleged criminal gangs. However, as an eagle-eyed reader has noted, the parts shown off by police are actually spare parts for a 3D printer....

First #Bitcoin ATM to Go Live Next Week in Vancouver

First Bitcoin ATM to Go Live Next Week in Vancouver

Built by a Nevada company called Robocoin, the machine will trade bitcoins for cash and vice versa. Bitcoin is the world’s most popular digital currency, and it exists only on the internet, but it can be traded for traditional dollars and euros. Though bitcoin began as niche technology embraced mostly by internet geeks, it is gradually spreading not only to everyday people, but into the everyday world.

Obamacare's Great Medicaid Expansion Swindle

Obamacare's Great Medicaid Expansion Swindle

This is bad news. Medicaid, the nation’s health care program for low-income citizens and those with certain disabilities, is expensive. States are not required to participate in the program, but all do, though eligibility requirements differ from state to state. In 2011, states devoted nearly 24 percent (PDF) of total spending to Medicaid—the single largest state expense—despite the fact that there’s little evidence that it actually improves the health outcomes of its beneficiaries.

You got that? One of the major tenets of Obamacare is to expand an existing program that is both hugely expensive and massively ineffective.

You Can Keep Your Health Insurance Under Obamacare? Not So Much.

You Can Keep Your Health Insurance Under Obamacare? Not So Much.

President Obama (in)famously said, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan" under the Affordable Care Act. As it turns out, not so much. Hundreds of thousands of Americans, it turns out, are receiving letters telling them that their existing coverage just isn't good enough to satisfy the strict rquirements of the Obamacare law, and that they'll have to sign up for new policies. Those new policies come with new stipulations, and new price tags. Which is to say, it doesn't matter if you like your health care plan, since you probably can't keep it.

You Still Can't Keep (or Afford) Your Insurance Under Obamacare

You Still Can't Keep (or Afford) Your Insurance Under Obamacare

Supreme Court agrees to hear gun case on 'straw purchases'

WASHINGTON --  The U.S. Supreme Court announced Oct. 15 it will hear an important case supported by Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX 36) involving the right of Americans to keep and bear arms — Abramski v. United States.  The case challenges the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’s (ATF) “straw purchase” policyAs consistent with federal law.      

“I am grateful that the Supreme Court will review this important case.  I felt this case was so important, that I joined with Gun Owners of America and other pro-Second Amendment groups to file an amicus curiae brief urging the Court to grant review,” said Stockman.

“ATF’s policy on so-called ‘straw purchases’ is illegal.  No one should be convicted and made into a felon for buying and transferring a gun legally.  Congress never passed a law prohibiting such purchases, and the ATF has no authority to create new crimes to plug what it perceives to be holes in the law.  This case gives the Court the opportunity to rein in a lawless ATF which has repeatedly exhibited hostility to law-abiding gunowners.”

“It is incomprehensible that ATF and the Justice Department wasted federal government resources prosecuting legal gun buyers for nothing more than simple technicalities on government forms while at the same time they helped in sending thousands of firearms to Mexican cartels.  This rogue agency must be reined in,” said Stockman

Mr. Abramski is a former police officer.  His elderly uncle wanted to obtain a firearm for self-defense.  Mr. Abramski made the purchase at a local gun dealer in Virginia who offered discounts to former police officers.  Mr. Abramski passed a federal background check at the gun store in Virginia and then brought the handgun to another gun store in Pennsylvania, where the gun was transferred to his uncle, who also passed a federal background check.

Neither Abramski nor his uncle was prohibited from possessing the firearm.  Before making his purchase Abramski asked three federally-licensed dealers how he should go about obtaining a firearm for his uncle. All three agreed the sale was legal.

Nevertheless, because Abramski bought the gun from a federally-licensed dealer, he had to fill out an form stating that he was the “actual buyer” of the firearm.  The ATF claimed that Abramski’s uncle was the “actual buyer” and Abramski had made a false statement in filling out the form.  Abramski was eventually convicted of a felony.

Federal law does not prohibit one eligible person from buying a gun for another eligible person.  It is perfectly legal to buy a gun for an eligible gunowner.  The law only prohibits transfers to ineligible people.  Neither Abramski nor his uncle was ineligible.

The government charged Abramski with making a false statement on the ATF Form 4473, a form that ATF requires.  Had Abramski purchased the firearm from his uncle by private sale not involving an FFL, or made a gift of the gun, he could not have been charged.

Briefs in this case will be due in December 2013 and early next year, and a decision is not expected until the middle of next year.


White House ducks CNN’s attempts at “Keeping Them Honest” on #ObamaCare

CNN Laments: “The administration won’t tell us how many people have signed up, and have changed their story in the process. At first the administration said it didn’t know… Then we were told to ask someone else… A few days later, wait a month.”
The administration made a number of promises as it forced its health care law through Congress and onto the American people: your premiums will go down; if you like your current plan, you can keep it; and has since proclaimed everything was “working the way it is supposed to.” Yet, time and again, these promises have been broken. Premiums are skyrocketing, Americans across the country are losing coverage they currently have and enjoy, and healthcare.gov remains mired in significant “glitches” preventing folks from even browsing the website.

On Monday, Anderson Cooper’s hallmark “Keeping them Honest” segment featured “Obamacare Sign-Up Snafus.” But answers were hard to come by. A CNN correspondent explained “the failed rollout was not a surprise to anyone involved with it.” In an effort to “keep them honest,” CNN “requested an interview today with the White House to ask one question, ‘If the administration knew there would be so many glitches, why did the administration plan ahead with the roll out?’”

Unfortunately they “were told nobody was available to answer that and we are still waiting to find out when the point person for all of this, Kathleen Sebelius, will be able to talk to us. We’re still waiting.”

 The Energy and Commerce Committee has many of the same questions as CNN, and committee leaders recently sent several letters to both the administration and the lead IT contractors involved with implementation requesting enrollment figures and answers regarding the “glitches” that have defined the past two weeks.

“Despite our warnings that the law was not ready for prime time, the administration repeatedly brushed us off, proclaiming everything was ‘on track,’” said Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “The first two weeks of enrollment have been a nightmare, and we now know despite over three years to prepare, the administration was in over its head. After hundreds of millions of dollars spent on a shoddy website and numerous broken promises, the American people deserve answers, and we are going to get to the bottom of this mess in the coming weeks.”


EPA skirts law to grab regulatory power

Chairmen Smith and Stewart demand transparent process, full scientific review of new rule

Washington, D.C. – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Chris Stewart (R-Utah) today sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raising concerns over a new draft rule to greatly expand the agency’s regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Under the rule, EPA could expand its regulatory authority to include even the most isolated wetlands, streams and ditches. In their letter, the Chairmen criticize the EPA for pushing through a rule with vast economic implications before the agency’s independent reviewers at its Science Advisory Board (SAB) have had an opportunity review the underlying science, as required by law.

“A sweeping reinterpretation of EPA jurisdiction would give the agency unprecedented control over private property across the nation,” the Chairmen wrote. “Any attempt to issue a proposed rule before completing an independent examination by the agency’s own science advisors would be to put the cart before the horse.”

The Chairmen state, “In light of recent concerns raised by the small business community, the agency’s current approach to CWA jurisdiction appears to represent a rushed, politicized regulatory process lacking the proper consultation with scientific peer reviewers and the American people. If EPA has not already provided SAB with the proposed rule, the House Science Committee urges the agency to do so immediately. Under the law, the advice of scientific experts is a pre-requisite, not an afterthought.”

The letter advises the agency that the Science Committee intends to provide additional questions to the SAB panel related to the new rule in order to ensure that regulations are fashioned with a sound scientific foundation.

The full letter can be found here.

Obama Labor Dept: Job growth drops 12 percent in September

Economy still floundering as September brings fourth-worst Obama Failometer Score
Black unemployment still higher than any month under Bush
Labor force participation ties 35-year low

WASHINGTON – The nation’s economy continues to flounder and full recovery appears even further away, according to an objective mathematical measurement of the nation’s economic indicators released Tuesday by Congressman Steve Stockman (R-Texas 36.)

“ObamaCare is a sickness plaguing our economy.  Job growth collapsed 12 percent in one month and black unemployment is still near record highs,” said Stockman “Our economy won’t recover until we replace Obama’s failed policies.”

“Under Democrats misery is becoming the new normal.  We can do better.”

The economy continues to fail to recover under Obama as Obama Failometer Score stood at 1,173 last month. This is the fourth-worst Obama’s Failometer score this year.

Obama can set the Failometer to zero simply by outperforming George W. Bush on the economy and fulfilling his 2008 and 2012 campaign promises to help blacks and Hispanics gain economically.

The Obama Failometer uses a fixed mathematical score to calculate four economic indicators from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The figures from the monthly reports are weighted to provide a balanced total score, which ranges from zero to 1,000. A score of 0 represent economic stability and racial equality. The higher the score, the deeper the economic failure.

So far, Obama is worse than Bush.

Since its creation Obama has failed to generate a Failometer score that can be contained within the chart’s range of zero to 1000.

The Obama Failometer Score was originally displayed on a ten-foot-long billboard displayed in the hallways of the Capitol’s Cannon House Office building.  House officials ordered it torn down in January after Democrats complained.

Here is how the Obama Failometer Score is calculated:


Monthly jobs created: The Hamilton Project, a liberal economic policy group, stated last year the economy must create 321,000 jobs a month in order to return the economy to pre-recession employment levels by December 2016, the end of Obama’s term.

As the economy continues to flounder under Obama that number has grown, but the Obama Failometer will continue to use it, which gives him some statistical relief.

Obama promised not only to restore the economy to where it was under Bush, but grow it.  So far Obama has failed to even perform as well as Bush.

This Obama Failometer score portion is calculated by subtracting the number of jobs created in the previous month from the 321,000 jobs claimed necessary by the liberal Hamilton Project and dividing by 1,000 to balance it against other factors.

The BLS reports the economy created only 148,000 jobs last month, 173,000 fewer than needed to restore the economy.  This portion of the Obama Failometer Score is 173.

Civilian labor force participation rate:  The civilian labor force participation rate, the ratio between those 16 and over in the labor force against the national population of those 16 and over, is an important measure of economic health.  After puttering along during the Bush administration, including through the “Bush years” of the recession, under Obama it has plunged sharply.

This Obama Failometer score portion is calculated by subtracting the monthly civilian labor force participation rate from the average Bush administration rate and multiplying by 100 to balance it against other factors. According to data from the BLS, under Bush the average monthly civilian labor force participation rate was around 66.2 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the monthly civilian labor force participation rate last month stood at 63.2 percent, the worst rate since August 1978 and 3.0 percent worse than Bush’s average of 66.2 percent.  This portion of the Obama Failometer Score is 300.


Black unemployment:  No one has suffered more economically under Obama than black Americans. Obama’s election and re-election has meant crippling poverty for the black community.

This Obama Failometer score portion is calculated by taking the monthly unemployment rate for blacks and subtracting the monthly unemployment rate for all Americans, and multiplying it by 100 to balance it against other factors.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the black unemployment rate last month was 12.9 percent, while the national overall rate was 7.2 percent.  That is a gap of 5.7 percent. This portion of the Obama Failometer Score is 570.

Compare Obama’s performance to Bush’s.  The highest monthly unemployment rate ever for blacks under Bush was 12.1 percent.  Obama’s lowest rate is now 12.6 percent in Jul.  He has never performed as well as Bush’s worst black unemployment rate.

Bush’s average black unemployment rate was 9.7 percent and an overall national average of 5.2 percent, a 4.5 percent gap that gives Bush a score of 450.

Hispanic unemployment:  Despite winning the Hispanic vote, Obama’s liberal policies have caused widespread damage to the Hispanic community.  Thanks to Obama, they continue to lag behind the national average in many economic factors.

This Obama Failometer score portion is calculated by taking the monthly unemployment rate for Hispanics and subtracting the monthly unemployment rate for all Americans, and multiplying it by 100 to balance it against other factors.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the Hispanic unemployment rate last month grew to a stunning 8.5 percent, while the national overall rate was 7.2 percent.  That is a gap of 1.3 percent.  This portion of the Obama Failometer Score is 130.

The Hispanic unemployment rate hit its all-time historic low of 4.7 percent during Bush's last term.  It is almost twice that rate under Obama.


Remarks by the President at nomination of Jeh Johnson to be Secretary of Homeland Security

     THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Please have a seat.  As President, my most solemn responsibility is the safety and security of the American people.  And we've got an outstanding team here of folks who work every single day to make sure that we're doing everything we can to fulfill that responsibility.  And that means that our entire government -- our law enforcement and homeland security professionals, our troops, our diplomats, our intelligence personnel -- are all working together.  It means working with state and local partners to disrupt terrorist attacks, to make our borders more secure, respond to natural disasters, and make our immigration system more effective and fair.

Addressing any one of these challenges is a tall order.  Addressing all of them at once is a monumental task.  But that’s what the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security do every day.  And today I’m proud to announce my choice to lead them -- an outstanding public servant who I’ve known and trusted for years -- Mr. Jeh Johnson.

We are, of course, enormously grateful to Secretary Janet Napolitano.  Janet couldn’t be here today -- she’s already made her move to her new position in sunny California, overseeing the higher education system in that great state.  And I know that she’s going to do an outstanding job there with the incredible young people that are in our largest state.  But we all deeply appreciate the terrific job that she did over the last four-and-a-half years.  I want to thank Rand Beers for his service and for stepping in as Acting Secretary after Janet left.

Thanks in no small part to Janet’s leadership, her team, we’ve done more to protect our homeland against those who wish to do us harm.  We’ve strengthened our borders.  We've taken steps to make sure our immigration system better reflects our values.  We’ve helped thousands of Americans recover from hurricanes and tornados, floods and wildfires.  And we’ve worked to clean up a massive oil spill in the Gulf as well as address a flu pandemic. 
In Jeh Johnson, we have the right person to continue this important work.  From the moment I took office, Jeh was an absolutely critical member of my national security team, and he demonstrated again and again the qualities that will make him a strong Secretary of Homeland Security.

Jeh has a deep understanding of the threats and challenges facing the United States.  As the Pentagon’s top lawyer, he helped design and implement many of the policies that have kept our country safe, including our success in dismantling the core of al Qaeda in the FATA. 

When I directed my national security team to be more open and transparent about how our policies work and how we make decisions, especially when it comes to preventing terrorist attacks, Jeh was one of the leaders who spoke eloquently about how we meet today's threats in a way that are consistent with our values, including the rule of law. 

Jeh also knows that meeting these threats demands cooperation and coordination across our government.  He's been there in the Situation Room at the table in moments of decision, working with leaders from a host of agencies to make sure everyone is rowing in the same direction.  And he's respected across our government as a team player, somebody who knows how to get folks who don’t always agree to work towards a common goal.

Jeh has experience leading large complex organizations.  As a member of the Pentagon's senior management team, first under Bob Gates and then under Leon Panetta, he helped oversee the work of more than 3 million military and civilian personnel across the country and around the world.  And I think it's fair to say that both former secretaries Gates and Panetta will attest to the incredible professionalism that Jeh brings to the job, and the bipartisan approach that, appropriately, he takes when it comes to national security. 

He's also earned a reputation as a cool and calm leader.  Jeh appreciates that any organization's greatest asset is its people, and at the Pentagon he guided the report explaining why allowing our men and women in uniform to serve their country openly would not weaken our military.  Congress ended up using that report that Jeh helped to craft to justify repealing "don't ask, don't tell."  And America and our military are stronger because we did, in part because of Jeh's determined leadership.  I know he will bring that same commitment to our hardworking folks at DHS.

And finally, Jeh believes, in a deep and personal way, that keeping America safe requires us also upholding the values and civil liberties that make America great.  Jeh tells the story of his uncle who was a member of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.  And he and his fellow airmen served with honor, even when their country didn’t treat them with the dignity and the respect that they deserved.  And it was a lesson that Jeh never forgot.  “We must adopt legal positions that comport with common sense,” Jeh says, “consistent with who we are as Americans.”  Jeh is a pretty good lawyer, so he knows what that means. 

And Jeh understands that this country is worth protecting –- not because of what we build or what we own, but because of who we are.  And that’s what sets us apart.  That’s why, as a nation, we have to keep adapting to changing threats, whether natural or man-made.  We have to stay ready when disaster strikes and help Americans recover in the aftermath.  We’ve got to fix our broken immigration system in a way that strengthens our borders, and modernizes legal immigration, and makes sure everybody is playing by the same rules. 

And I’m confident that I could not make a better choice in Jeh, somebody who I’m confident is going to be moving not just the agency forward, but helping to move the country forward.

So, Jeh, thank you so much for agreeing to take on this very difficult and extraordinary mission.  You’ve got a great team over at DHS, and I know that they're looking forward to having you over there.  I urge the Senate to confirm Jeh as soon as possible.  And I thank you, as well as your family, to agreeing to serve.  Your wife, Susan, and your daughter, Natalie, couldn’t be here because they're visiting Jeh Jr. out at Occidental College, which, by the way, I went to for two years when I was young.  It’s a fine college.  I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to say hi to him.  But your son chose well. 

So, ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to invite Jeh Johnson to say a few words, hopefully our next Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.  (Applause.)

     MR. JOHNSON:  Thank you very much, Mr. President.

     As you noted, my wife and two kids are not here because it’s parents’ weekend at Occidental, and thanks to the cost of a non-refundable airline ticket -- (laughter) -- they could not be in two places at once.  They wish they could be here.

     Thank you for the tremendous honor of this nomination and the trust you have placed in me to carry out this large and important responsibility as Secretary of Homeland Security.  I was not looking for this opportunity -- I had left government at the end of last year and was settling back into private life and private law practice.  But when I received the call, I could not refuse it.

     I am a New Yorker, and I was present in Manhattan on 9/11, which happens to be my birthday, when that bright and beautiful day was -- a day something like this -- was shattered by the largest terrorist attack on our homeland in history.  I wandered the streets of New York that day and wondered and asked, what can I do?  Since then, I have tried to devote myself to answering that question.  I love this country.  I care about the safety of our people.  I believe in public service.  And I remain loyal to you, Mr. President.

     If confirmed by the Senate, I promise all of my energy, focus, and ability toward the task of safeguarding our nation’s national and homeland security.

     Thank you again, sir.  (Applause.)

                                       END                2:14 P.M. EDT