A new report by Bloomberg Government indicates that Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human…
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HHS’ Burwell Caught Low-Balling Congress on Cost of Healthcare.gov

A new report by Bloomberg Government indicates that Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), gave a potentially misleading answer when she told Congress that Healthcare.gov – the federal government’s ObamaCare portal – cost taxpayers $834 million to build.

Nicole Kaeding at the CATO Institute teases out some of the unstated, but related, costs that balloon the overall price tag to $2.14 billion, far north of Burwell’s testimony.

I’ve summarized them here as bullet points: $300 million contract to process paper applications to serve as backups to electronic files $387 million for real-time interfacing between the IRS and Healthcare.gov to verify income and family size for insurance subsidy calculations $400 million in accounting tricks…[more]

September 30, 2014 • 07:25 pm

Liberty Update

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Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Notable Quotes
 
On the President Blaming the Rise of ISIS on Lack of Intelligence:
 
 

"The United States military and intelligence community have learned a lot over the past decade of conflict. Our commander in chief, unfortunately, has not. Since the start of his administration, President Barack Obama has ignored his generals and the intelligence community. Over the past few weeks, he has half-heartedly pursued a strategy that destines us to fail in our mission, and over the past three days, he and his White House have lied to prove otherwise. To those who wear our nation’s uniform, or serve in her intelligence community, that’s insult — and injury."

 
 
— Joseph Miller, Daily Caller. Joseph Miller is the pen name for a senior Department of Defense official with a background in U.S. special operations and combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.
— Joseph Miller, Daily Caller. Joseph Miller is the pen name for a senior Department of Defense official with a background in U.S. special operations and combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Posted October 01, 2014 • 07:42 am
 
 
On Signalling a Foreign Policy Change:
 
 

"If Mr. Obama isn't thinking about cashiering a top adviser, he should start now. CIA Director John Brennan has presided over serial intelligence debacles — including the failure to anticipate the fall of Mosul — while National Intelligence Director James Clapper has had no credibility in Congress since he lied to a Senate committee. John Kerry's incompetent diplomacy in Jerusalem and Ramallah helped set the stage for the Gaza War. Susan Rice is toxic with Republicans on account of her public misrepresentations regarding Benghazi and Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, and toxic with allies because of her penchant for foul-mouthed tirades. Hapless Chuck Hagel is busy downsizing the U.S. military while demanding that Europeans increase their military spending. 

"The dismissal of any of these people would send a useful signal to U.S. allies that the president has the nerve — and self-awareness — to make a change.

 
 
— Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal
— Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal
Posted September 30, 2014 • 08:10 am
 
 
On AG Eric Holder's Legacy:
 
 

"Attorney General Eric Holder, who announced his resignation on Thursday, leaves a dismal legacy at the Justice Department, but one of his legal innovations was especially pernicious: the demonizing of state attempts to ensure honest elections.

As a former U.S. attorney general under President Reagan, and a former Ohio secretary of state, we would like to say something that might strike some as obvious: Those who oppose photo voter-ID laws and other election-integrity reforms are intent on making it easier to commit vote fraud. 

That conclusion is inescapable, given the well-established evidence that voter-ID laws don't disenfranchise minorities or reduce minority voting, and in many instances enhance it, despite claims to the contrary by Mr. Holder and his allies. As more states adopt such laws, the left has railed against them with increasing fury, even invoking the specter of the Jim Crow era to describe electoral safeguards common to most nations, including in the Third World. 

Ascribing racial animus to people who are trying to safeguard democratic integrity is a crude yet effective political tactic that obscures the truth. But there's something even worse than name-calling: legal interference from Washington with valid laws."

 
 
— Edwin Meese III, U.S. Attorney General under President Reagan and J. Kenneth Blackwell, Former Ohio Secretary of State
— Edwin Meese III, U.S. Attorney General under President Reagan and J. Kenneth Blackwell, Former Ohio Secretary of State
Posted September 29, 2014 • 08:19 am
 
 
On the Economy and the Mid-Term Elections:
 
 

"[T]he economy remains the top issue for the electorate. ... 

"The Democratic Party's problem is that voters don't believe the president's claims that the economy is thriving. Even people with jobs feel apprehensive. Paychecks are flat, growth anemic, and people are worried about their children's prospects. Mr. Obama had a 38% approval on handling the economy in the Sept. 9 Fox News poll. In the Sept. 7 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 67% believe America is on the wrong track. ... 

"To win in November, Republican candidates must show they are in touch with voter concerns about growth, jobs, paychecks, government spending and debt. The only way to do this is by offering specific, persuasive ideas."

 
 
— Karl Rove, Former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush
— Karl Rove, Former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush
Posted September 26, 2014 • 07:48 am
 
 
On the Possibility of a 2016 Romney Run:
 
 

"Is Mitt Romney, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination and lost in 2008, ran again and won the nomination but lost the general election in 2012, really thinking about running yet again for president in 2016? Many Republicans have simply assumed not. Romney has seemed to discourage such talk in media appearances, and there has been a general belief that after losing as the party's nominee, the 67 year-old Romney would return to private life for good. 

"That belief is wrong. Romney is talking with advisers, consulting with his family, keeping a close eye on the emerging '16 Republican field, and carefully weighing the pluses and minuses of another run. That doesn't mean he will decide to do it, but it does mean that Mitt 2016 is a real possibility."

 
 
— Byron York, Washington Examiner Chief Political Correspondent
— Byron York, Washington Examiner Chief Political Correspondent
Posted September 25, 2014 • 08:08 am
 
 
On Targeting Those Involved in Educating on the Constitution:
 
 

"It is now well known that the IRS targeted tea party organizations. What is less well known, but perhaps even more scandalous, is that the IRS also targeted those who would educate their fellow citizens about the United States Constitution. 

"According to the inspector general’s report (pp. 30 & 38), this particular IRS targeting commenced on Jan. 25, 2012 — the beginning of the election year for President Obama’s second campaign. On that date: 'the BOLO [‘be on the lookout’] criteria were again updated.' The revised criteria included 'political action type organizations involved in … educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.' ...

"Five years ago, Obama, our constitutional law professor-in-chief, presented his first, ringing Constitution Day proclamation: 'To succeed, the democracy established in our Constitution requires the active participation of its citizenry. Each of us has a responsibility to learn about our Constitution and teach younger generations about its contents and history.' Quite so. Perhaps this year, Obama could explain why his IRS would target those who answered this call."

 
 
— Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Georgetown Professor of Law and Cato Institute Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies
— Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Georgetown Professor of Law and Cato Institute Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies
Posted September 24, 2014 • 08:08 am
 
 
On Launch of U.S. and Arab Allies Strikes in Syria:
 
 

"The United States, joined by five Arab allies, launched an intense campaign of airstrikes, bombings and cruise-missile attacks against the Islamic State and another militant group in Syria Monday night – marking the first U.S. military intervention in Syria since the start of that country’s civil war in 2011.  

"U.S. Central Command (Centcom) said in a statement released early Tuesday that 14 Islamic State targets were hit, including the group's fighters, training camps, headquarters and command-and-control facilities, and armed vehicles. The operation involved a combination of fighter jets, bombers, Predator drones and Tomahawk missiles launched from the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. ... 

"The mission was not limited to hitting Islamic State positions. Centcom said that U.S. aircraft also struck eight targets associated with another terrorist group called the Khorasan Group, made of up Al Qaeda veterans. Those strikes, near the northwestern Syrian city of Aleppo, targeted training camps, a munitions production facility, a communication building and command-and-control facilities."

 
 
— Fox News.com
— Fox News.com
Posted September 23, 2014 • 07:55 am
 
 
On the Environmental Justice Movement:
 
 

"NEW YORK — It's hard to make a really big protest march about just one thing. Back in the days of giant rallies against the Iraq war, all sorts of groups wanted in on the action. There were communists. Anarchists. Protesters mad about the Florida recount. Katrina justice groups. Civil rights organizations. And more. The crazy quilt of aggrieved demonstrators made it hard to keep the focus on protesting the war.

"A similar dilemma faced organizers of the giant People's Climate March, which clogged a big part of Manhattan on Sunday afternoon. ... 

"Put it all together — all the justice demanders, the tax Wall Streeters, and the spirit of Occupy symbolized by the angry pacifist — and the People's Climate March was one long, loud, loosely organized demand that vast sums of money be taken from the wealthy and given to the clients of the coalitions and alliances and networks and task forces that make up today's environmental justice movement. They've had enough of debating climate models. They want to start taking — now.

 
 
— Byron York, The Washington Examiner Chief Political Correspondent
— Byron York, The Washington Examiner Chief Political Correspondent
Posted September 22, 2014 • 07:51 am
 
 
On the Moral Imperative of Defeating ISIS:
 
 

"Testifying on Wednesday to the Senate, Kerry issued a stern declaration: 'ISIL must be defeated. Period. End of story.' Not the most wisely crafted of declarations: The punctuational emphasis carried unfortunate echoes of Obama’s promise about health-care plans, and the word 'must' carried similar echoes of Obama’s assertions that Bashar al-Assad had to go. 

"But Kerry’s statement remains true for strategic and even moral reasons. But especially because when the enemy deliberately brings you into combat, it is all the more imperative to show the world that he made a big mistake."

 
 
— Charles Krauthammer, Nationally Syndicated Columnist
— Charles Krauthammer, Nationally Syndicated Columnist
Posted September 19, 2014 • 08:27 am
 
 
On the President's Year of Action:
 
 

"Americans are afraid. The White House is afraid. Democrats are afraid. 

"President Obama's 'Year of Action' has turned into a Year of Fear. The country seems mired in dread. And that could have mortal consequences for midterm Democrats. 

"New polls out this week betray a rattled public, one that is jittery about war, security, and the economy -- and one that is increasingly looking to the GOP, not the party in power. Even as the White House has sought to reassure Americans that the campaign in Iraq will be limited, that the president isn't going to act alone on immigration in the near future, and that the economy is doing better, the damage appears to be done. 

"Obama and his aides have been caught between messages: that the country wasn't going to war, until it was (sort of). That the president couldn't act on immigration, until he could, until he wouldn't (yet). That the economy had turned the corner, but not quite. (Wait.)"

 
 
— James Oliphant, National Journal White House Correspondent
— James Oliphant, National Journal White House Correspondent
Posted September 18, 2014 • 07:54 am
 
Question of the Week   
When did the Secret Service assume full-time responsibility for the protection of the President of the United States?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"The United States military and intelligence community have learned a lot over the past decade of conflict. Our commander in chief, unfortunately, has not. Since the start of his administration, President Barack Obama has ignored his generals and the intelligence community. Over the past few weeks, he has half-heartedly pursued a strategy that destines us to fail in our mission, and over the past…[more]
 
 
—Joseph Miller, Daily Caller. Joseph Miller is the pen name for a senior Department of Defense official with a background in U.S. special operations and combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.
— Joseph Miller, Daily Caller. Joseph Miller is the pen name for a senior Department of Defense official with a background in U.S. special operations and combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
Liberty Poll   

In selecting a nominee to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General, will President Obama choose someone who is less ideological and less divisive to serve as the country’s chief law enforcement officer?