Thursday, July 31, 2014


Representative Nancy Pelosi is a Democrat currently serving District 8 in California, which encompasses San Francisco and has served in the House from 1987-Present.

Representative Nancy Pelosi has had the worst record when it comes to border security. There are currently at least 12 million (with estimates reaching as high as 30 million) illegal aliens in this country. The first line of defense is controlling our porous borders. Representative Nancy Pelosi clearly opposes securing our borders.

Representative Nancy Pelosi has voted in favor of giving illegal aliens further rewards and other incentives to come such as in-state tuitioneducational benefitswelfare and health care services.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


The White HouseTuesday, July 29, 2014
"The President wants to meet you"
"Would you be willing to have dinner with the President Tuesday night?"
That's what four lucky people in the Kansas City area heard last night from White House Press Secretary (and Kansas City native) Josh Earnest.
This summer, the President's been traveling across the country to meet with people who have written him about how they're doing. And he'll be doing the same when he travels to Kansas City this evening.
Watch the Press Secretary give these letter writers a call, and hear their reactions  we're sure you'll enjoy it:
Share your story with the White House -- and if you want to write the President a note, you can do that right here.
Stay Connected

The White House • 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW • Washington, DC 20500 • 202-456-1111

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Illegal immigrants protest outside White House, with little fear of repercussions
Published July 28, 2014

Illegal immigrant demonstrators were protesting outside the White House on Monday – but don’t expect America’s immigration officers to intervene.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement official indicated that even if the protesters end up getting arrested by D.C. police, they’d have to be serious criminals for ICE to get involved.

“Unless the individuals meet ICE’s enforcement priorities, it’s unlikely that the agency would get involved in the case,” the official told

Under a policy that’s been in effect for several years, ICE focuses deportation mostly on serious criminals and – in some cases -- those caught in the act of crossing the border. The agency prioritizes deportation for felons, repeat offenders, gang members and others with a serious criminal record. But the agency largely gives a pass to other undocumented residents.

This is why illegal immigrant activists can protest outside the White House without worrying too much about ICE.

They did so at lunchtime on Monday, marching across Lafayette Park to the White House and advocating a reprieve for illegal immigrant parents who brought their children to the U.S. – and whose children have benefited from a separate reprieve issued in 2012 by the Department of Homeland Security.

According to The Washington Times, illegal immigrant protesters also planned to demonstrate outside the White House on Monday afternoon, to call on immigration groups to boycott any administration meetings until illegal immigrants are included in those talks.



Here is the 2700 page Obama Care condensed to 5 sentences.....
As it seems to be working, this is according to plan!

1. In order to insure the uninsured, we first have to un-insure the insured.
2. Next, we require the newly un-insured to be re-insured.
3. To re-insure the newly un-insured, they are required to pay extra charges to be re-insured.
4. The extra charges are required so that the original insured, who became un-insured, and then became re-insured, can pay enough extra so that the original un-insured can be insured, free of charge to them.

5. The court has determined if you were one of the original insured, who became uninsured, and then became re-insured in a State Exchange you no longer can get a subsidy and now can pay more.

CNN Poll: Twice As Many Americans Were Hurt By Obamacare Than Helped

Not an unusual data point at all, based on the polling trend -- but a timely reality check for the delusional "people love Obamacare!" propagandists. CNN's latest national survey includes a number of noteworthy nuggets, including the "Affordable" Care Act fallout verdict referenced in the headline (via Ed Morrissey):

(1) President Obama's job approval rating is mired at (42/55), languishing roughly where it's been for months. He is underwater with men (39/58), women (45/52), young people (45/49), and independents (34/62). Seventy-seven percent of Democrats and nearly two-thirds of non-white voters continue to give Obama high marks, but virtually everyone else's views have soured.

(2) The president is sucking wind on personal characteristics, as well:
- Is a strong and decisive leader: (48 yes / 52 no), which is amazingly generous, in my book.
- Generally agrees with you on issues you care about (43/56)
- Can manage the government effectively (42/57)
- Cares about people like you (51/48), down from his 2008 high water mark of (73/27)
- Shares your values (46/53)
- Is sincere in what he says (49/49). Ahem.
(3) Obamacare's overall approval rating remains upside-down by nearly 20 points (40/59), virtually unchanged from its March "rebound." Democrats' self-congratulatory convulsions over "eight million new enrollees" failed to move the needle. (Reasons for scare quotes hereherehere, and -- new today! --here). Asked whether the law has helped or hurt their families, respondents shared the bad news:
As we've seen in the other polling linked above, a plurality of Americans say they haven't been impacted too much by the new law -- yet, at least. As I've said in the past, I generally fall into this category, as the "only" effect I've felt is a monthly premium increase of nearly $100. But of those consumer who have been affected, they break two-to-one into the "worse off" camp. Obamacare is helping some people; mostly Americans with preexisting conditions and those who are eligible for very generous subsidies. But it's hurting far more people. And a substantial majority oppose the law. Obamacare was pitched as a win/win for everyone, with no trade-offs and no losers. That has not been the case. Indeed, Politico is showcasing one class of Obamacare losers, who've encountered "access shock" -- a phenomenon we've been tracking for quite some time:
Anger over limited choice of doctors and hospitals in Obamacare plans is prompting some states to require broader networks — and boiling up as yet another election year headache for the health law...It’s not just a political problem. It’s a policy conundrum. Narrow networks help contain health care costs. If state or federal regulators — or politicians — force insurers to expand the range of providers, premiums could spike. And that could create a whole new wave of political and affordability problems that can shape perceptions of Obamacare.

The Tampa Bay Times profiles one woman whose frustrating experience underscores this problem
Charlene Lake thought she got a decent deal through the Affordable Care Act marketplace: a Humana HMO that included a family doctor a few miles from her home. Five months later, Lake wonders if she can even use the insurance she bought. Her plan's dominant health care provider, JSA Medical Group, recently announced that it would take no new patients covered by Humana's exchange HMOs at least until fall. That leaves Lake no choice but to use the community health centers left in her plan's network, rather than the traditional physician's practice on which she planned. She has company...aside from first-year fumbles, the case also shows the downside of limiting consumer choice of physicians through what is known as narrow networks. Or, in Lake's case, a network so narrow it barely exists. "You can't make people sign up for a health care plan and then not have a doctor," said Lake, a St. Petersburg antiques dealer who is in her 50s. Narrow networks of hospitals and physicians help insurers maintain profitability while holding down premiums and complying with ACA rules.
Lake's quandary is redolent of the doctor-finding headache an Obamacare supporter and 'beneficiary' from New Jersey described in April. The good news is that there's at least one group of Obamacare enrollees who have voiced zero complaints whatsoever about their benefits: The fake ones.


Obama: Muslim Americans Have Helped Build ‘The Very Fabric Of Our Nation’
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama released a statement Sunday marking the celebration of the Islamic holiday, Eid al-Fitr.
WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama released a statement Sunday marking the celebration of the Islamic holiday, Eid al-Fitr.

The Obamas expressed positive wishes to Muslim Americans and thanked them for their observance of community service for the less fortunate and a call for more unity among people of all faiths. Obama and the first lady said that Muslim Americans are a core part of the country’s democracy.

“In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy,” reads the statement on Eid-al-Fitr posted to The White House’s official website. “That is why we stand with people of all faiths, here at home and around the world, to protect and advance their rights to prosper, and we welcome their commitment to giving back to their communities.”
Eid al-Fitr is a celebration that marks the end of Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and is celebrated with special prayers, presents, family gatherings, and feasts. Forgiveness is stressed among family and friends in addition to charitable donations and the exchange of “Eid Mubarak” greetings.

The Obamas noted in the message of interfaith peace that poverty, conflict and disease affect all of humanity, and not of just any one faith.

The statement concludes: “On behalf of the Administration, we wish Muslims in the United States and around the world a blessed and joyous celebration. Eid Mubarak.”

Monday, July 28, 2014



Pentagon signs deal to sell $11B worth of arms to Qatar connecting the "dots" … just another brick in the wall of destruction!
July 14, 2014: One Mad Dog to Another ~~ Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, shakes hands with Qatari Defense Minister Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah during a signing ceremony at the Pentagon. 
WASHINGTON – The Pentagon is (recycling its inventory of old design and inferior crap) making an $11 billion sale of Apache attack helicopters and Patriot and Javelin air-defense weapons to the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his Qatari counterpart, Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah, met Monday at the Pentagon to sign the deal.

Qatar is a key U.S. ally and hosts a major U.S. air operations center. Qatar was instrumental in completing the deal that gained the May 31 release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held for five years by the Taliban, in exchange for the release by the U.S. of five Taliban commanders imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The U.S. in recent years has made a priority of improving the air defenses of its Gulf allies.

This arms race in the middle east can only end one way …

Sunday, July 27, 2014


The Hamas Charter - A Covenant for Israel's Destruction

The Hamas Charter ("The Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement") rejects all peace talks with the State of Israel and stresses the terrorist organization's commitment to destroy Israel through a long-term holy war (jihad). The 1988 charter - an overtly antisemitic and anti-Western document which expresses Hamas' radical Islamic outlook - is valid till today.

The charter's extremist stance is uncompromising with regard to Israel. It expresses total opposition to any agreement or arrangement that would recognize Israel's right to exist.
Hamas' charter views jihad as the means to capture all of "Palestine" from the Jews and to destroy the State of Israel. It states that Palestine is comprised of sacred Islamic land and it is strictly forbidden to give up an inch of it because no one (including Arab rulers) has the authority to do so. Repeated statements from Hamas leaders define Palestine as including not just the West Bank and Gaza but all of the current State of Israel.
In the introduction to the charter, there is a quote attributed to Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan Al-Banna that "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it...." Hamas' terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians are seen as links in the jihad chain.
It views the "problem of Palestine" as a religious-political Muslim issue, and the Israeli-Palestinian confrontation as a conflict between Islam and the "infidel" Jews. Article 15 of the charter states that the jihad to liberate Palestine is the personal duty of every Muslim, an idea expounded by al-Qaeda founder Abdallah Azzam.

Overt and vicious antisemitism, inspired by both Islamic and European sources, is articulated extensively throughout the document. The all-out jihad against the Jewish people is legitimized by demonizing the Jews and warning that they want to take over not only the Middle East but also the rest of the world.

The document includes antisemitic myths directly lifted from "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" regarding Jewish world control, while the Jews are also held responsible for all world and local wars, as well as prominent revolutions. Anti-Jewish conspiracy theories abound. The Jews are also presented as worthy only of humiliation and lives of misery. That is because, according to the charter, they angered Allah, rejected the Koran and killed the prophets.

With regard to international relations, the charter manifests an extremist worldview which is as anti-Western as that of global jihad organizations.

The charter points out the ideological difference between Hamas, with its radical Islamic worldview, and the secularly-oriented Palestine Liberation Organization, but does refer to the need for Palestinian unity to face the Jewish enemy.

In recent years, senior Hamas officials have continued to emphasize their commitment to the terrorist organization's charter and have stated that they will never change a single word of it.


The Hamas Charter: Excerpts
Calls for the Destruction of Israel

· "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it" (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory)." [Introduction]

· "The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine…" [Article 6]

· "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad." [Article 13]

· "The Slogan of the Islamic Resistance Movement: Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes." [Article 8]

· "In face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised." [Article 15]

· "The Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine is an Individual Duty: " "The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised." [Article 15]

· "The basic structure of the Islamic Resistance Movement consists of Moslems who have given their allegiance to Allah whom they truly worship, - "I have created the jinn and humans only for the purpose of worshipping" - who know their duty towards themselves, their families and country. In all that, they fear Allah and raise the banner of Jihad in the face of the oppressors, so that they would rid the land and the people of their uncleanliness, vileness and evils." [Article 3]

Rejection of Peace Negotiations

· "Leaving the circle of struggle with Zionism is high treason." [Article 32]

· "The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that." [Article 11]

· "Now and then the call goes out for the convening of an international conference to look for ways of solving the (Palestinian) question…. These conferences are only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems as arbitrators." [Article 13]

· "The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: "The Day of Judgment will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him."" [Article 7]

· "The Zionist plan is limitless. After Palestine, the Zionists aspire to expand from the Nile to the Euphrates. When they will have digested the region they overtook, they will aspire to further expansion, and so on. Their plan is embodied in the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and their present conduct is the best proof of what we are saying." [Article 32]

· "For a long time, the enemies have been planning, skillfully and with precision, for the achievement of what they have attained. They took into consideration the causes affecting the current of events. They strived to amass great and substantive material wealth which they devoted to the realization of their dream. With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there. You may speak as much as you want about regional and world wars. They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources." [Article 22]

· "The Zionist invasion is a vicious invasion. It does not refrain from resorting to all methods, using all evil and contemptible ways to achieve its end. It relies greatly in its infiltration and espionage operations on the secret organizations it gave rise to, such as the Freemasons, The Rotary and Lions clubs, and other sabotage groups. All these organizations, whether secret or open, work in the interest of Zionism and according to its instructions. They aim at undermining societies, destroying values, corrupting consciences, deteriorating character and annihilating Islam. It is behind the drug trade and alcoholism in all its kinds so as to facilitate its control and expansion." [Article 28]

· "Our struggle against the Jews is very great and very serious….The Movement is but one squadron that should be supported by more and more squadrons from this vast Arab and Islamic world, until the enemy is vanquished and Allah's victory is realized." [Introduction]

· "Peoples should augment by further steps on their part; Islamic groupings all over the Arab world should also do the same, since all of these are the best-equipped for the future role in the fight with the warmongering Jews." [Article 32]

The Conflict with Israel as a Religious Struggle

· "The Movement's program is Islam." [Article 1]

· "It is necessary to instill in the minds of the Moslem generations that the Palestinian problem is a religious problem, and should be dealt with on this basis." [Article 15]

· "The Islamic Resistance Movement is one of the wings of Moslem Brotherhood in Palestine. Moslem Brotherhood Movement is a universal organization which constitutes the largest Islamic movement in modern times." [Article 2]

· Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgment Day. This being so, who could claim to have the right to represent Moslem generations till Judgment Day?" [Article 11]


Note: This document is based, in part, on "Analysis of the Hamas Charter" by the ITIC (The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center).

Saturday, July 26, 2014




Friday, July 25, 2014


Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Admit in 2012 That Subsidies Were Limited to State-Run Exchanges
Whitehouse.govEarlier this week, a three-judge panel in the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that, contrary to the Obama administration’s implementation and an Internal Revenue Service rule, Obamacare’s subsidies for private health insurance were limited to state-run health exchanges.

The reasoning for this ruling was simple: That’s what the law says. 

The section dealing with the creation of state exchanges and the provision of subsidies states, quite clearly, that subsidies are only available in exchanges "established by a State," which the law expressly defines as the 50 states plus the District of Columbia. [Perhaps the law was written in such manner in the belief such as it may be that directing/spreading the funding to the federal government was done eliminating one of the many "pins in the Voodoo doll" called Obamacare.]

Obamacare’s defenders have responded by saying that this is obviously ridiculous. It doesn’t make any sense in the larger context of the law, and what’s more, no one who supported the law or voted for it ever talked about this. It’s a theory concocted entirely by the law’s opponents, the health law's backers argue, and never once mentioned by people who crafted or backed the law.

It’s not. One of the law’s architects—at the same time that he was a paid consultant to states deciding whether or not to build their own exchanges—was espousing exactly this interpretation as far back in early 2012, and long before the Halbig suit—the one that was decided this week against the administration—was filed. (A related suit, Pruitt v. Sebelius, had been filed earlier, but did not challenge tax credits within the federal exchanges until an amended version which was filed in late 2012.) It was also several months before the first publication of the paper by Case Western Law Professor Jonathan Adler and Cato Institute Health Policy Director Michael Cannon which detailed the case against the IRS rule.

Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who helped design the Massachusetts health law that was the model for Obamacare, was a key influence on the creation of the federal health law. He was widely quoted in the media. During the crafting of the law, the Obama administration brought him on for consultation because of his expertise. He was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the administration on the law. And he has claimed to have written part of the legislation, the section dealing with small business tax credits.

After the law passed, in 2011 and throughout 2012, multiple states sought his expertise to help them understand their options regarding the choice to set up their own exchanges. During that period of time, in January of 2012, Gruber told an audience at Noblis, a technical management support organization, that tax credits—the subsidies available for health insurance—were only available in states that set up their own exchanges.

A video of the presentation, posted on YouTube, was unearthed tonight by Ryan Radia at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank which has participated in the legal challenge to the IRS rule allowing subsidies in federal exchanges. Here’s what Gruber says.

What’s important to remember politically about this is if you're a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits — but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that's a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this. [emphasis added] NOTE: Early on he clearly states that the Federal Government picked up $400 million of the Massachusetts Healthcare miracle! Also keep in mind the Federal Government can print money a state must live within its revenue and funding!

Here’s the video, which according to YouTube's date stamp was uploaded by Noblis on January 20, 2012. The relevant passage starts around minute 31.

There can be no doubt, based on his record, that Gruber is a supporter of the law. He says so in the presentation. "I’m biased, I’m in favor of this type of law, I won’t hide that," he says. He also explains early on that his entire presentation is made of "verifiable objective facts."

And what he says is exactly what challengers to the administration’s implementation of the law have been arguing—that if a state chooses not to establish its own exchange, then residents of those states will not be able to access Obamacare's health insurance tax credits. He says this in response to a question asking whether the federal government will step in if a state chooses not to build its own exchange. Gruber describes the possibility that states won’t enact their own exchanges as one of the potential "threats" to the law. He says this with confidence and certainty, and at no other point in the presentation does he contradict the statement in question.

In early 2013, Gruber told the liberal magazine Mother Jones that the theory advanced by the challengers in this case was "nutty." Gruber also signed an amicus brief in defense of the administration and the IRS rule. But judging by the video it is quite clear that in 2012 he accepted the essence of the interpretation advanced by the challengers.

Unless this video is a fraud or there are relevant details missing, there are only two options here: 
Either Gruber, a key influence on the legislation who wrote part of the law and who consulted with multiple states on setting up their own exchanges, was correct, and the law explicitly limits subsidies to state-run exchanges.
Or he was wrong in a way that perfectly aligns with both the clear text of the legislation and the argument later made by the challengers to the IRS rule allowing susbidies in federal exchanges.
Update: Earlier this week, Gruber was on MNSBC to address the Halbig ruling. He was asked if the language limiting subsidies to state-run exchanges was a typo. His response: "It is unambiguous this is a typo. Literally every single person involved in the crafting of this law has said that it`s a typo, that they had no intention of excluding the federal states." WHAT!?

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Obamacare Official Given Government Ethics Waiver WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG THAT HASN'T ALREADY … TRUST ME!   

Andrew Slavitt, a former executive at the technology company tasked with saving and current second-in-command at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was granted an ethics waiver by the Department of Health and Human Services to begin working with his former company immediately.
The waiver was granted despite Republican lawmakers’ concerns about Slavitt’s potential conflict of interest. The Daily Signal revealed those concerns in a story yesterday.
Slavitt, a former OptumInsight/QSSI group vice president, left the company last month to work as the principal deputy administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs Obamacare and His post makes him the No. 2 at the agency under CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner.
The former Optum executive gave the maximum campaign contributions allowed to President Obama’s Victory Fund and Obama for America—now Organizing for Action—in 2012, federal campaign records show.
According to the ethics waiver, issued July 11 by the Department of Health and Human Services and posted publicly last week, Slavitt will be able to begin working on matters involving his former company, OptumInsight/QSSI.
Without a waiver, Slavitt would have had to wait at least one year before participating in work that involves his former employer.
The letter states that Slavitt severed financial ties with OptumInsight/QSSI upon his hiring at CMS, and upon doing so will be “empowered to participate fully in particular matters of general applicability, such as regulation and policy determinations, that affect the healthcare-related industries in which your former employer operates.”
Slavitt is also able to participate in meetings with OptumInsight/QSSI personnel to discuss “technical issues or progress on existing contracts” and can “weigh in on or make decisions on policy matters or technical direction that would result in the necessity of [OptumInsight/QSSI] having to perform additional compensated work under existing contracts to implement health care reform under the ACA.”
In the waiver, Edgar Swindell, associate general counsel for ethics at HHS, praised Slavitt for his work in the health care industry. He wrote:
The information provided to me indicates that you bring an exceptional blend of managerial experience, health care industry acumen, and hands-on experience from working for the systems integrator for, Optum.
Hans von Spakovsky, a legal scholar at The Heritage Foundation’s Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, told The Daily Signal ethics waivers are unusual. He continued:
It’s not a good idea to waive those kinds of potential conflicts of interest. This very case shows why it’s not a very good idea. … The person is going to have divided loyalties.
In a statement to The Daily Signal, Aaron Albright, spokesman for CMS, said:
Andy Slavitt has taken all appropriate steps, such as severing financial ties with his former employer, which allow him to execute his duties as principal deputy and participate in broad policy matters, including those affecting the health care industry. He will be recused, as appropriate, from participation in specific party matters, such as contracts or claims, involving his former employer. However, the terms of the limited waiver ensure that Andy will be able to continue to interact with all of the contractors as needed so the Marketplaces will be ready to enroll millions more Americans into quality, affordable coverage.
OptumInsight/QSSI is the sister company of UnitedHealthcare, which offers health insurance plans on a variety of state-run exchanges and plans to expand into the federal exchange run by Both are owned by UnitedHealthGroup.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Marcos and Crisly, Ana and Blanca, Fabiola and Maria Antonia.
The youths were among 20 from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala who were set to appear in federal immigration court Tuesday for initial deportation hearings. But they weren’t there — 18 of the children whose cases were set to be heard didn’t show up Tuesday for court.
It was an absentee rate that federal Immigration Judge Michael Baird said was “highly unusual,” so high that he reset the hearings for Aug. 11 rather than possibly issuing a deportation order.
Baird said he was concerned that the children may not have received proper notice of the hearings from the government. Attorney Lynn Javier, with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, agreed that it was prudentto reset the hearings.

The children are among about 100,000 juveniles who have entered the U.S. without a parent in the last two fiscal years, according to Homeland Security. None of the children set to appear on Tuesday had an attorney, a swelling reality that inspired Dallas Catholic Bishop Kevin Farrell on Monday to appeal to attorneys to step up to provide free services.
The judge’s decision drew praise from local immigration lawyers. Paul Zoltan, an immigration attorney in Dallas, called the decision “classy,” saying the children would have time to get attorneys and any mailing errors could be corrected.

“It gives the kids another chance,” he said.

In general, 46 percent of juveniles don’t show up for their immigration court hearings, according to Capitol Hill testimony recently from Juan Osuna, who directs the Justice Department’s immigration courts. The Executive Office of Immigration Review faces a backlog of 375,000 cases and was ordered a few weeks ago to make unaccompanied juveniles the top priority.

The high number of no-shows Tuesday raised questions about whether the children had enough time to prepare for the hearings or whether they and their families made calculated risks not to appear in court.


Nine out of 10 unaccompanied juveniles who do not have attorneys will be deported, according to a new study by the Syracuse, N.Y.-based research center Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.
Many interviewed have said they faced gang recruitment and gang violence in their home countries. But under the U.S. laws for granting asylum and restrictive definitions of persecution, those cases are difficult to win.

“I would imagine things are moving too quickly,” said Renato de los Santos, who has a long history of working with youth programs in the League of United Latin American Citizens. “I wouldn’t be prepared in just few weeks, let alone a few days.”

The Dallas Hispanic Bar Association has recently signed up 160 attorneys to represent the children and has begun training sessions for them.

Monica Lira Bravo, an immigration attorney and co-organizer of the pro bono effort, said so many unrepresented minors underscores the need for lawyers. Once a juvenile is represented, the attorney will receive notices of court hearings, she said.

“This shows why it’s important for the children to be represented, to have counsel in proceedings,” Lira Bravo said.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Putin Poised to Retaliate Against Obama by Trashing Iran Deal
Now that the U.S.-Russia relationship has broken down, Moscow could throw a wrench into the teetering nuclear negotiations with Iran.

The escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow, brought to fever by the MH17 airliner disaster, are finally to the point where they threaten to spoil the number one item on President Obama’s foreign policy agenda: the nuclear talks with Iran. The man doing the threatening is Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Earlier this week, Putin promised to retaliate against the United States for new sanctions targeting his friends and business associates, as well as large Russian defense, energy, and financial firms. On Thursday, Putin called President Obama to alert him a civilian jetliner had crashed over Eastern Ukraine, a tragedy the U.S. says was caused by a missile shot from a Russian-made SA-11 mobile surface to air missile system located in a separatist-held area.
Putin’s next call was to none other than the President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani.

“Mr. Putin and Mr. Rouhani exchanged views on the state of talks on Iran’s nuclear program,” stated the Kremlin readout of the call. “The two leaders also examined bilateral cooperation matters of mutual interest, including joint projects in the oil and gas sector and in peaceful nuclear energy.”
“An extension is the only thing the Iranians need to complete their bomb work. The whole point of the sanctions was to make sure that time is not on the side of the Iranians.”

U.S. officials, lawmakers, and experts, have been watching and waiting for Putin to use the Iran negotiations as a way to mess with Obama ever since the tit-for-tat sanctions began in March.

Moscow and Tehran have been negotiating a $1.5 billion oil-for-goods exchange, which could undermine international pressure on Iran to make a deal with the West. But overall, Moscow has continued to be a reasonably constructive part of the international coalition pressing Iran to roll back its nuclear program.

The Obama administration on Friday announced a four-month extension to the talks, which would constitute perhaps the last chance Iran has to land a deal. “This will give us a short amount of additional time to continue working to conclude a comprehensive agreement, which we believe is warranted by the progress we’ve made and the path forward we can envision,” Kerry said in a statement.

But if Putin decides that retaliating against the U.S. and ruining Obama’s foreign policy legacy is more important than sealing a pact with Iran, the whole thing could unravel.

The shooting down of MH17 has escalated the diplomatic war between Washington and Moscow and made that scenario more likely because it could result in more sanctions and legal action against the Russian government.

“Right now, as the U.S. should move legally against Russia, Russia will begin to see its overseas portfolios start to really become encumbered and therefore they might decide to be less helpful on Iran,” Sen. Mark Kirk told The Daily Beast. “Then, the big goose egg that the administration is going to get from Iran will more obviously be a zip.”

Kirk is part of a chorus of GOP senators calling for the administration to impose more sanctions on Russia in the wake of the MH17 disaster. That includes measures like the Russian Aggression Prevention Act, which would cut all senior Russian officials, their companies, and their supporters off from the world’s financial system; target any Russian entities owned by the Russian government or sanctioned individuals across the arms, defense, energy, financial services, metals, or mining sectors in Russia; and ban all Russian banks from the U.S. financial system.

The Obama administration Wednesday imposed limited sanctions on many key players in those sectors, saying that broader sectoral sanctions were still on the table.

“Once we realize that [top State Department negotiator] Wendy Sherman got squat in Geneva, I think the Republican leadership will be highly supportive of any legislation on Iran,” Kirk said, referring to the latest round of negotiations.

Lawmakers in both parties are also set to push for new sanctions on Iran this year to be passed into law during the four month extension but not put into force until negotiations fail outright. One Democratic lawmaker who met with Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday at the State Department told The Daily Beast that Kerry said he was open to that idea. The State Department press shop denied Kerry made such remarks.

“An extension is the only thing the Iranians need to complete their bomb work,” said Kirk. “The whole point of the sanctions was to make sure that time is not on the side of the Iranians.”

Even top Democrats in Congress are worried that the MH17 disaster and its effect on U.S.-Russian relations will harm the effort to strike a nuclear deal with Iran.

The incident was “a serious act of terror, and if there was Russian complicity in it, that makes it even worse,” said Elliott Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Considering that we are doing the P5+1 [world power negotiations with Iran] and Russia’s part of that, there are all kinds of intertwining complications involving that.”

Until now, Moscow has retaliated to U.S. financial pressure with sanctions of their own against U.S. officials, lawmakers, and even donors to President Obama who are linked to the gay advocacy community. Putin hasn’t always made the retaliatory sanctions public, but his government sought to respond proportionally and kept other issues out of the dispute.

“A few things that had gone on between the U.S. and Russia despite the sanctions have been the P5+1 talks, the effort to rid Syria of its chemical weapons, and the implantation of treaties like New START,” said Sam Charap, senior fellow at the Institute for Strategic and International Studies.

But Russian can’t punish American banks and energy firms the same way the U.S. punishes Russian entities. American businesses rarely depend on access to the Russian financial system and U.S. officials don’t have assets in Russia.

“If it’s true that the Russians are now diverging from the rest of the P5+1 in the Iran negotiations, that would be a clear sign that they have retaliated for the sanctions,” Charap said.