Monday, June 22, 2015

Emails Show MIT’s Jonathan Gruber Had Even More To Do With Obamacare’s Passage Than Previously Thought
...Gruber, an MIT professor, was hired as a consultant to the Department of Health and Human Services on Obamacare. A number of videos and recordings emerged last year showing Gruber’s disdain for the “stupidity of the American voter,” and expounding on the “huge political advantage” the administration had because Obamacare was passed with little transparency — leading the administration to distance itself from the professor. ...

...Gruber was in contact with key advisers on the health-care law, including Peter Orszag, then-director of the Office of Management and Budget; Jason Furman, then an economic adviser to the president who is now chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers; and Ezekiel Emanuel, then a special adviser for health policy at OMB.

“Thank you for being an integral part of getting us to this historic moment,” Jeanne Lambrew, a top administration official at HHS and the White House, wrote to Gruber in September 2009. In another email several months later, she hailed Gruber as “our hero.”

Far from being an independent contractor, Gruber regularly consulted with Lambrew when answering questions about his relationship with the Obama administration. Gruber went to Lambrew for advice when a Politico reporter asked why he had not disclosed his administration contract before writing about health care policy, and asked Lambrew to review his description of his own responsibilities at HHS before responding. Gruber also spoke to top HHS officials about his interviews with other reporters, including one with Ezra Klein, then at the Washington Post....

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Law student laughs as she walks free from court for hitting aspiring male model over the head with a bottle of champagne cutting his forehead to the SKULL
...Sarah McKenzie-Ayres was pictured laughing as she walked free from court after being handed a suspended sentence for striking the man in a Manchester nightclub last September.

The 19-year-old victim, who has not been named, has been left with permanent scarring that has forced him to abandon his dreams of becoming a professional model.

McKenzie-Ayres, 19, was spared jail for GBH after telling Manchester Crown Court that she believed the victim was 'making unwelcome advances'.

Neil Beckwith, prosecuting, said the victim was standing with friends in Venus nightclub in Manchester when McKenzie-Ayres accused him of bumping into her friend.

When the victim disagreed, McKenzie-Ayres ordered him to move before pushing him and grabbing the champagne bottle from his friends' table.

She then pushed him backwards and swung the champagne bottle into his face ‘like a club’.

Mr Beckwith said: 'He had a glimpse of her with the bottle of champagne in her right hand, raised overhead, and she then struck him to the forehead....
Obama Admin Making Billions In Obamacare Subsidy Payments Without Verifying Amounts
...Obamacare’s premium subsidies are paid each month directly to insurance companies, to ease the burden of health coverage to eligible customers in the health law’s government exchanges. The payments add up: the federal government doled out almost $2.8 billion to insurers in just the first four months of 2014, when Obamacare launched.

The agency tasked with making the payments hasn’t yet made sure the calculations behind the billions are accurate. An inspector general audit of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has found that the administration did not confirm the exact amount it owed each insurer before paying up, putting the billions in federal taxpayer funds at risk.

The problem lies in’s unfinished back-end system. The portions of the website which allow insurers to communicate enrollee information with the federal government hasn’t yet been completed and was even less workable in 2014, when the outlays began....

Are Obamacare’s 22 Health Insurance Co-ops Near Financial Collapse?
Ominous signs are proliferating among 22 Obamacare health insurance co-ops of imminent financial collapses that could leave more than a million Americans without coverage, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group analysis.

All but one of the federally funded co-ops are experiencing accelerating net losses. President Obama’s signature health care reform program established the co-ops to provide non-profit competition to private sector health insurance providers.

Many of the 22 co-ops could soon follow an Obamacare co-op that defaulted earlier this year, suffering $163 million in operating losses in a single year. That collapse left 120,000 customers without coverage on Christmas Eve....
Someone should have warned them.
The Daily Mail has a heart rending story* about some recent immigrants to the UK who ended up in prison because they didn’t fully understand the local laws and customs. New to the country and in dire need of money, the immigrants set out to use promises of love and commitment to con local Brits out of half of their stuff.

In the case detailed by the Mail the mark (Mrs. Hardman) had recently acquired nearly 400,000 pounds the old fashioned way, in a divorce. After buying a new home for 200,000 pounds, Hardman still had 190,000 pounds left. The new immigrants were able to con her out of 170,000 pounds with false promises of love and commitment, but failed to follow local law and custom when doing so. As a result, the men are now in prison....

NHS chief warns women not to wait until 30 to have baby as country faces a fertility timebomb
One of Britain’s top NHS fertility specialists last night issued a stark warning to women: Start trying for a baby before you’re 30 – or risk never having children.

In a strongly worded letter to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, consultant gynaecologist Professor Geeta Nargund has also demanded that teenagers are taught about the dangers of delaying parenthood, because of the spiralling cost to the taxpayer of IVF for women in their late 30s and 40s....
Rachel Dolezal goes birther on…herself: “There’s no biological proof Larry and Ruthanne are my parents”
She's seen the birth certificate, but "I haven't had a DNA test"

Rachel Dolezal Wanted To Boycott A Movie Because A White Actor Played Moses [AUDIO]

Rachel Dolezal In Talks For Reality Show

Shocker: Psycho Dolezal Claimed Her Father Was Black Oakland Police Officer

Rachel Dolezal in earlier interview: My black father had three attempts on his life by whites while in the Marine Corps

Nutcase Dolezal on Today Show Claims to Have Identified as Black at Age 5: “I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon”

NAACP Imposter Sued School Over Race Claims
JUNE 15--The NAACP official who today resigned in the face of evidence that she masqueraded as black once sued Howard University for denying her teaching posts and a scholarship because she was a white woman, The Smoking Gun has learned....

Rachel Dolezal: There’s no proof those two white people are my biological parents

Activist: Rachel Dolezal Said White People Can't Talk About Racism
...“We pinned them down on this hiatus… they were arguing that yes, there might have been a hiatus, but warming might be going into the ocean, or it could be due to volcanic activity. So we asked at what point would you begin to accept there had been no warming. If there is no warming for five years, or ten years?

“Finally they conceded they would wait fifty years.

“We asked would that be fifty years from now, or fifty years from 1997, when the hiatus started? They said they wouldn’t change their mind for fifty years from now.

“Effectively, we’re all going to be dead before the Royal Society admits they’ve got their facts wrong. There could be absolutely no warming every year for the next fifty years, and the Royal Society would still maintain that climate change is a major problem”....

Climate Wars and the Damage Done to the Credibility of Science
...The IPCC actually admits the possibility of lukewarming within its consensus, because it gives a range of possible future temperatures: it thinks the world will be between about 1.5 and four degrees warmer on average by the end of the century. That’s a huge range, from marginally beneficial to terrifyingly harmful, so it is hardly a consensus of danger, and if you look at the “probability density functions” of climate sensitivity, they always cluster towards the lower end.

What is more, in the small print describing the assumptions of the “representative concentration pathways”, it admits that the top of the range will only be reached if sensitivity to carbon dioxide is high (which is doubtful); if world population growth re-accelerates (which is unlikely); if carbon dioxide absorption by the oceans slows down (which is improbable); and if the world economy goes in a very odd direction, giving up gas but increasing coal use tenfold (which is implausible).

But the commentators ignore all these caveats and babble on about warming of “up to” four degrees (or even more), then castigate as a “denier” anybody who says, as I do, the lower end of the scale looks much more likely given the actual data. This is a deliberate tactic. Following what the psychologist Philip Tetlock called the “psychology of taboo”, there has been a systematic and thorough campaign to rule out the middle ground as heretical: not just wrong, but mistaken, immoral and beyond the pale. That’s what the word denier with its deliberate connotations of Holocaust denial is intended to do. For reasons I do not fully understand, journalists have been shamefully happy to go along with this fundamentally religious project....

...We have at least to consider the possibility that the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seriously overstating the climate problem—or, what is much the same thing, of seriously understating the uncertainties associated with the climate problem—in its effort to promote the cause. It is a particularly nasty trap in the context of science, because it risks destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis for society’s respect for scientific endeavour....

ABC News, 'Earth 2100': the Final Century of Civilization?, May 29, 2009
But will it be enough? In 2015, global demand for fossil fuels could be massive and growing, but experts say oil will be harder to find and far more expensive to consume.

"We have no new source of energy on the horizon that's currently capable of being developed on a large enough scale to replace the supply of oil in any near- term framework," says Michael Klare, professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College.

If the cost of gasoline skyrockets, few may be able to afford to maintain the lifestyles to which we've grown accustomed. There may be a mass exodus from the suburbs, as driving gas-fueled cars becomes nearly impossible economically. But will that convince us to change our ways?

"Until we have a crisis of some kind, I don't think we're going to be motivated to make the really deep changes in the way we use energy, the technologies we use, the density of our cities, our travel patterns," says Thomas Homer-Dixon, a political science professor and author of "The Upside of Down."

The imagined crises in Lucy's futuristic world come in the forms of earthshaking hurricanes spawned by over-reliance on climate-damaging coal and other nonrenewable resources. What if climate change in our world is actually much closer than we think? Many experts say we have to start seriously reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2015, or we may pass a point of no return.

America’s Most Advanced Climate Station Data Shows US In A 10-Year Cooling Trend
...Data from America’s most advanced climate monitoring system shows the U.S. has undergone a cooling trend over the last decade, despite recent claims by government scientists that warming has accelerated worldwide during that time.

The U.S. Climate Reference Network was developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide “high-quality” climate data. The network consists of 114 stations across the U.S. in areas NOAA expects no development for the next 50 to 100 years.

The climate stations use three independent measurements of temperature and precipitation to provide “continuity of record and maintenance of well-calibrated and highly accurate observations,” NOAA states on its website. “The stations are placed in pristine environments expected to be free of development for many decades.” In essence, NOAA chose locations so they don’t need to be adjusted for “biases” in the temperature record.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

The existence of these billionaires proves Thomas Piketty is wrong about wealth
... 70 percent of those who show up on Forbes’ 2014 list created their own wealth. Nearly three out of every four billionaires, then, are self-made entrepreneurs and innovators, far from being born with a silver spoon in their mouths.

What’s more, this figure is actually up from 1984, when fewer than half were self-made. If Piketty’s theory held any water, we would expect to see the same powerful families dominating the Forbes 400 decade after decade—the Rockefellers, the Carnegies, the Vanderbilts—with few new entrants....
Stop grovelling to civil servants: Column
...As the public sector has expanded, so has the public's dissatisfaction with it. In 1964, before Lyndon Johnson instituted his Great Society programs, 77% of Americans trusted the government. In October 2013, only 12% of Americans said they were "basically content with the federal government," which was just two points higher than the percentage of Americans who trusted Pakistan. In other words, the government that killed Osama bin Laden is only slightly more popular than the country that harbored him. No wonder government employees have low self-esteem....
Brace yourself for Obamacare sticker shock.
...Health insurers are proposing to raise Obamacare rates more than in the past — some by more than 70 percent — now that they are finally equipped with all the information they need to price those plans....

...Gosh, what happened to that $2500 per year savings we were promised? Same thing that happened to the “if you like your plan/doctor, you can keep it/him.” ...
Everyone Hates Harvard
...Hedge fund manager John Paulson personally took home nearly $4 billion in 2007 after convincing banks to create securities of sub-prime mortgages he could bet against. Now Harvard, which originally passed on an opportunity to join alum Paulson in his big bet, is also reaping the rewards of the nation's financial crisis as it renames its engineering school the "Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences" after receiving a staggering $400 million donation from Paulson, the largest gift in the university's history. Quartz argues that Paulson's $400 million Harvard donation just reinforces inequality. Author Malcolm Gladwell took to Twitter to voice his distaste (sampling: 1. "It came down to helping the poor or giving the world's richest university $400 mil it doesn't need. Wise choice John!" 2. "If billionaires don't step up, Harvard will soon be down to its last $30 billion." 3. "It's going to be named the John Paulson School of Financial Engineering.") And, in Everyone Hates Harvard, Philip Greenspun notes that even WSJ readers reacted with vitriol to the news. "I would have thought that Paulson would be a hero to market-following WSJ readers," remarks Greenspun, "not a villain."...
Meanwhile in the UK… be sure not to injure your rapist
...“You must not get a product which is made or adapted to cause a person injury. Possession of such a product in public (and in private in specific circumstances) is against the law.” So even in the sanctity of one’s home, the statement seems to suggest that care for violent offenders outweighs the rights of potential victims to be safe and secure against attack....
Scientists May Have Lied To Promote EPA’s Global Warming Agenda
Scientists may have lied about the EPA’s involvement in a recent study put out earlier this year claiming Obama administration regulations on carbon dioxide emissions will save thousands of lives every year.

Emails obtained by the blog’s Steve Milloy show Harvard University and Syracuse University researchers involved in the study consulted with the EPA while conducting their study, contradicting their previous statements the study was done independently of the agency....

The 97% Cook Consensus – when will Environ Res Letters retract it?
...As Tol explains, the Cook et al paper used an unrepresentative sample, can’t be replicated, and leaves out many useful papers. The study was done by biased observers who disagreed with each other a third of the time, and disagree with the authors of those papers nearly two-thirds of the time. About 75% of the papers in the study were irrelevant in the first place, with nothing to say about the subject matter. Technically, we could call them “padding”. Cook himself has admitted data quality is low. He refused to release all his data, and even threatened legal action to hide it. (The university claimed it would breach a confidentiality agreement. But in reality, there was no agreement to breach.) As it happens, the data ended up being public anyhow. ...

...The hidden timestamps of raters revealed one person rated 675 abstracts in 72 hours, with much care and lots of rigor, I’m sure. It also showed that the same people collected data, analyzed results, collected more data, changed their classification system, and went on to collect even more data. This is a hopelessly unscientific process prone to subjective bias and breaches the most basic rules of experimental design. Tol found the observations changed with each round, so the changes were affecting the experiment. Normal scientists put forward a hypothesis, design an experiment, run it, and then analyze. When scientists juggle these steps, the results influence the testing. It’s a process someone might use if they wanted to tweak the experiment to get a specific outcome. We can’t know the motivations of researchers, but there is a reason good scientists don’t use this process....

@NOAA ‘s desperate new paper: Is there no global warming ‘hiatus’ after all?
...The significance level they report on their findings (.10) is hardly normative, and the use of it should prompt members of the scientific community to question the reasoning behind the use of such a lax standard.

In addition, the authors’ treatment of buoy sea-surface temperature (SST) data was guaranteed to create a warming trend. The data were adjusted upward by 0.12°C to make them “homogeneous” with the longer-running temperature records taken from engine intake channels in marine vessels.

As has been acknowledged by numerous scientists, the engine intake data are clearly contaminated by heat conduction from the structure, and as such, never intended for scientific use....
"Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman."
-- Hillary, 2000

EXCLUSIVE: Clinton charity took up to $10 MILLION donation from African church which called homosexuals 'devils' - despite Hillary's support for gay marriage
Hillary Clinton's charity accepted a substantial donation from an anti-gay African church which has likened homosexuals to the Devil, Daily Mail Online can reveal.

The 2016 Presidential candidate took money for her sprawling health nonprofit from the Cameroon Baptist Convention whose official policy is that being gay 'contradicts God's purpose for human sexuality'.

The devout Christian organization has in the past compared being gay to committing incest and human trafficking. Its leaders have also railed against US attempts to promote gay rights in Cameroon.

Despite this, the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Board gave between $1million and $10million between 2010 and this year, according to the latest list of donors from the Clinton Health Access Initiative....

Charity watchdog: Clinton Foundation a ‘slush fund’
...The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.

The group spent the bulk of its windfall on administration, travel, and salaries and bonuses, with the fattest payouts going to family friends....

...On its 2013 tax forms, the most recent available, the foundation claimed it spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on “conferences, conventions and meetings”; $8 million on fundraising; and nearly $8.5 million on travel. None of the Clintons is on the payroll, but they do enjoy first-class flights paid for by the foundation....

The cash donations Hillary simply has no answer for
...While Clinton was secretary of state, her department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors. That figure from Clinton’s three full fiscal years in office is almost double the value of arms sales to those countries during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.

The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that gave to the Clinton Foundation. That was a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration. The 143 percent increase in U.S. arms sales to Clinton Foundation donors compares to an 80 percent increase in such sales to all countries over the same time period....

...As just one of many examples, in its 2011 Human Rights Report, Clinton’s State Department slammed Algeria’s government for imposing “restrictions on freedom of assembly and association,” tolerating “arbitrary killing,” “widespread corruption” and a “lack of judicial independence.”

That year, the Algerian government donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation and the next year Clinton’s State Department approved a one-year 70 percent increase in military export authorizations to the country. The jump included authorizations for almost 50,000 items classified as “toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment.” The State Department had not authorized the export of any of such items to Algeria the year before....