Published on Nov 26, 2013
http://www.atlah.org The Manning Report
Published on Nov 26, 2013
http://www.atlah.org The Manning Report
For purely partisan reasons, the Obama administration cynically unveiled extra-legal plans on the eve of Thanksgiving to unilaterally delay the launch of a website for small businesses to select plans through federal health care insurance exchanges.It’s just the latest sleazy political move by the Community-Organizer-in-Chief to salvage his party’s fading electoral prospects by delaying at least some of the approaching tens of millions of health insurance policy cancellations until after the national vote next November.
It is also a sign of the Obama White House’s growing desperation over the political ramifications surrounding the grotesque failings of Obamacare. The administration said Wednesday it will unilaterally delay the upcoming launch of the online portal for small businesses. The website, which would allow small businesses to window-shop plans through the federal health insurance exchanges, won’t be ready for another year.
President Obama, whose political stature seems to shrink almost hourly, is feverishly trying to keep congressional Democrats aboard his sinking political ship. On Capitol Hill, Democratic lawmakers are now openly panicking at the damage the growing public backlash over Obamacare is going to inflict on their standings in the next Congress. Recent developments suggest that an electoral tsunami is developing that threatens to drown Democrats and give Republicans a healthy majority in the Senate.
The new one-year small business signup delay is just the latest in a series of unilaterally imposed deadline changes. One allows consumers to enroll until Dec. 23 — instead of Dec. 15 — to get coverage in time for the new year. The president also announced plans to push back the beginning of individual enrollment next year from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15, or after the 2014 midterm congressional elections. Obama has no legal authority to do this but he doesn’t care.
As Obama, a one-time part-time constitutional law lecturer ought to know, obstructing the implementation of a duly enacted federal law by refusing to enforce it in order to secure partisan political advantage almost certainly rises to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” as the Framers of the Constitution recognized when they wrote the presidential impeachment provision in Article 2, Section 4 of the Constitution. Of course, hardly a day goes by in Obama’s increasingly imperial presidency without the Chief Executive creating new grounds for his own impeachment, and so this latest outrage is, unfortunately, barely newsworthy.
The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) that is being delayed was supposed to help small businesses by providing tax credits that could be used to defray the cost of premiums, according to the Washington Times.
“In the case of SHOP, the administration said that online tool won’t be ready until November 2014. Department of Health and Human Services officials said they are still allowing enrollment through agents, brokers and insurers in the federal marketplace.
Businesses with fewer than 50 employees, which are not required to offer coverage under the Affordable Care Act, can compare plans online starting Dec. 1, even if they have to rely on non-Internet applications to qualify for tax credits and gain coverage for employees, officials said.”
Republicans say this is the latest indication that Obamacare should be repealed outright.
“The president bit off more than he can chew with this health care law, and small businesses are now forced to bear the consequences,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio).
House Small Business Committee chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.) said that “another last-minute delay is just more proof that the law is unworkable and beyond the capabilities of the administration.” He added, “if small firms failed to provide services this frequently, they would be fired.”
Although Obamacare critics may be enjoying some well-deserved schadenfreude at the expense of the Obama administration as the bureaucratically bungled HealthCare.gov enrollment website launched Oct. 1 continues to malfunction, the president’s law is still helping to wreak havoc among health care consumers and cause upheaval in the health care industry, just as it was designed to do. No websites have to be functioning properly in order for Obamacare to collapse the system.
Government officials are still trying to fix the federal website, which is used in the 36 states that chose not to create their own health insurance exchanges. They say the website should be working for the “vast majority” of users in the individual market this weekend, but they’re probably guilty of wishful thinking at best, or of lying, at worst.
Health insurers have already dropped –or in Obama-speak, “transitioned”– at least five million Americans from their health plans despite President Obama’s oft-repeated promise that under Obamacare all Americans would be allowed to keep their current policies. And tens of millions more –perhaps more than 1 in 2 of all persons insured through their employers– will be pushed over the cliff next year as various provisions of the Affordable Care Act come into force.
Calculating left-wingers counted on being able to blame the insurance companies for the wave of policy cancellations, but so far the public isn’t buying it. Americans know President Obama lied over and over again about how Obamacare would work and his already-abysmal public approval ratings continue to fall. Too many people are experiencing real hardship as the Affordable Care Act causes their insurance to be canceled — and they know who to blame for their pain and suffering.
Stung by public anger and his rapidly plunging approval ratings, President Obama cried crocodile tears earlier this month as he tendered his now-infamous non-apology apology for lying about Americans being able to keep their plans.
Around that time he also proposed delaying the cancellation of existing health care insurance policies for one year. The House of Representatives responded quickly, approving Congressman Fred Upton’s (R-Mich.) quixotic legislation that would supposedly allow Americans to keep their insurance plans. No one knows how the statute would actually work in the real world.
The legal infrastructure of the health care insurance market has been changed. Policies were canceled because they don’t subsidize all the new services that Obamacare mandates. Those policies no longer exist for a reason. Insurers can’t just push a button and bring them back into existence.
Obama’s bizarre pronouncements reflect leftists’ disdain and ignorance of market processes, and the president’s determination to proceed in defiance of those processes. A locomotive going 60 miles per hour can’t stop instantly when brakes are activated. Nor can the Obamacare juggernaut which has so many moving parts spread out over such a wide area that locking up one part of the beast won’t stop it from continuing to barrel forward.
But Obama wants to have a Communist Chinese-style rubber-stamp Congress for the final two years of his presidency.
As Obama sees it, in order to accomplish this almost unprecedented feat he has to distance himself from the most visible damage that is being inflicted on society by his signature legislative achievement. He has to pretend to try to mitigate the damage done by Obamacare.
Obama will do whatever he feels he has to do, including lying and demonizing Republicans, in order to gain total control over Congress.
Strap yourself in for 11 months of intensified class warfare, overblown rhetoric, and shameless mendacity.
دمشق، سوريا (CNN)–
بث المرصد السوري، لحقوق الإنسان، تسجيلا مصورا، قالت أنها حصلت على نسخة منه، يظهر قائد لواء “الله أكبر” المقاتل في سوريا، والذي يعترف فيه بأمور وصفتها بـ”الخطيرة” حول الأزمة السورية وموضوع التمويل الخليجي
The supreme leader of the Palestinian Muslims and guardian of Islam’s most sacred shrine in the Old City of Jerusalem has warned of an uprising and regional war if Jews attempt to take greater control of the al Aqsa Mosque complex.
The warning came amid advancing efforts in the Israeli parliament to try to take administrative control of the sacred Islamic site which Jews also lay claim to as it sits on the remains of their Second Temple.
For now “sovereignty” of the Haram al Sharif, as the complex is traditionally known, lies with Jordan.
But several Knesset members, led by deputy speaker Moshe Feiglin, a member of the Likud Party, are pressing for greater access to Jews for prayer on the site and administrative control of it.
“It is the hard core of our identity … those places that represent the basis for our existence here altogether. Should we insist on [access to] these places or not?” Mr Feiglin told Sky News.
“Because if we cannot insist on our legitimacy on our basic rights to pray in the most holiest place for the Jews in the land of Israel – under Israeli sovereignty in the middle of Jerusalem – then we’re losing our legitimacy not just in Jerusalem, in Tel Aviv, but everywhere else.”
The Knesset member is a forceful rejectionist of talks with the Palestinians aimed at establishing an independent state on the West Bank and in Gaza.
He believes that Israel is a threat to itself by ceding territory it captured in 1967 and has occupied since then. On the issue of what Jews call the Temple Mount, he is equally unbending.
“I don’t need to prove anything, history says it all. Any honest person who learned a bit of history knows the truth – Jerusalem belongs to the Jews and to the Jews only, that’s a fact. And by the way the Temple Mount never really interested Muslims before the Israelis came back.”
The Mohammed Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, issued a stark warning against any attempts to replace the Muslim administration of the Haram al Shari/Temple Mount in an exclusive interview with Sky News.
“If the Israelis come here it will be more than an intifada,” he said.
What do you mean more than an intifada?
“The whole region will be engulfed by war,” the Grand Mufti insisted.
Such threats are not idle.
In 2000, Ariel Sharon triggered the Second or “al Aqsa” Intifada which led to the deaths of 4,000 people and many more wounded over the next half decade by insisting on his right to visit the shrine.
He did so at a time of heightened tension when 10 years of talks aimed at ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza appeared to Palestinians to be going nowhere – and when they were also frustrated at the ineptitude and corruption of their own leadership.
Today, peace talks are going nowhere. The Palestinians have been letting Jewish settlements chew into their lands on the West Bank. Their leadership remains corrupt and incompetent – and are increasingly being seen as collaborators.
The tinder box that Mr Sharon, then leader of the Israeli opposition, lit in 2000 is just as dry now.
“It’s a huge and dangerous issue – taking the place from Muslims where they believe they have the right to pray is very dangerous,” Grand Mufti Hussein said.
Jews are banned from praying on the holy site by the Israeli police, although the courts have found that they should be able to exercise this right.
They are also forbidden, when they do visit, from removing so much as a leaf or a grain of soil.
Sky News joined a small group who were escorted by an Israeli policeman, who monitored their progress on a pre-set route around the outer edge of the 35-acre complex.
They prayed by talking to themselves as they walked, or by pretending to be in conversations and instead reciting invocations.
They were led by Rabbi Yitzchak Reuven, assistant director of The Temple Institute which is dedicated to restoring the temple to its third incarnation and is collecting the sacred vessels that one day it hopes will be used there.
A model of the Third Temple has pride of place in the Temple Institute Museum just 100 yards from the Western Wall – all that remains of the Second Temple since its destruction by Rome in 70AD.
Rabbi Reuven said: “It’s not a fantasy at all because we have the instructions of what needs to be done, we have the information, we have the technology to achieve all these things.
“In terms of arriving at the moment that’s a historical process, we don’t expect a metaphysical change in the world, we don’t expect a divine intervention that’s going to set things right.”
His ambition may have a purely theological intent, but it also poses an explosive political reality.
He is sanguine.
“We’re hoping by increasing awareness we will be closer to achieving the dream of the Jewish people and one that we have for the entire world because as Isaiah says this shall be a house of prayer for all nations.”
The call came as the panel amending Egypt’s suspended constitution began voting Saturday on some 250 changes,
The constitution before the 50-member committee makes drastic changes in ensuring civil liberties, fighting discrimination, criminalizing torture, protecting religious freedoms and giving lawmakers power to remove the president. Yet the draft also allows Egypt’s powerful military to choose its own chief and try civilians in military tribunals.
“This is the path of rescue from the current condition,” said Amr Moussa, the elder Egyptian statesman leading the constitutional panel. “It is the transition from disturbances to stability and from economic stagnation to development.”
The military suspended the Islamist-drafted, voter-approved 2012 constitution in the July 3 coup that ousted Morsi. The constitutional panel, dominated by secularists, has been working on changes as part of a military-backed timeline that calls for voters to approve it. It plans for parliamentary and presidential elections to be held early next year.
On Saturday, 48 panel members began voting on the changes in a session aired live on state television. Most articles passed unanimously. One issue the panel faced was how the principles of Islamic law, or Shariah, already called the main source of law in Egypt, should be defined. Some feared a definition would allow for a heavier implementation of Shariah and the creation of a religious state.
The panel voted to refer to Supreme Constitutional Court’s limited definition of Shariah’s principles. That “didn’t appease the Islamist representative,” said panel member Kamal el-Helbawi, an independent who once belonged to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
The panel voted for an amendment banning slavery, human trafficking and “the sex trade.” The panel’s sole Islamist party representative opposed the amendment, as some say the article restricts early marriages.
The panel also voted in favor of abolishing the upper house of parliament, the Shura Council, as well as an amendment defining Egypt as a “civilian” government in Arabic. That term angers Islamists, who say it means secular.
Among articles the panel will vote on Sunday is one allowing lawmakers to vote out an elected president and call for early elections if they have a two-thirds majority. Another allows parliament to prosecute the president for “violating the rules of the constitution.”
A proposed change also prohibits the establishment of political parties on religious grounds, meaning the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party and Al-Nour, the political arm of Salafi Call movement, could be banned.
Other controversial changes up for a vote include one giving the military the right to choose its own army chief, who serves as the defense minister, over a transitional period of eight years. Another gives the military the right to try civilians in front of military tribunals for a series of crimes. The tribunals are known for swift and harsh verdicts that cannot be appealed.
Once approved, the panel will hand the draft constitution to interim President Adly Mansour. Mansour has a month to call for a public vote on it.
The military-backed government hopes to pass the constitution with more support than Morsi’s constitution garnered. Only a third of voters cast ballots in 2012 and it passed by 63.8 percent. Billboards calling on voters to support the draft constitution already have been put up around the capital, Cairo, though some already have reservations about it.
“The constitution is better than the previous one, but it is not the best in general,” said leading civil rights lawyer Nasser Amin, an alternate member of the panel. “Polarization and divisions had its impact on the constitution.”
For Egyptians, the constitution is the first step toward normalcy and stability after nearly three years of tumultuous political change that has dealt a heavy blow to the economy and plunged the parts of the country into lawlessness.
Meanwhile Saturday, a few kilometers (miles) from where the panel met, brief clashes broke out between riot police and protesters. The clash grew out of anger over the arrest of 24 activists Tuesday who held a demonstration in defiance of a new law heavily restricting protests.
The new law allows security agencies to bar protests not previously reported to authorities, while also setting prison terms and high fines for violators. It appears aimed at ending the near-daily protests by Islamists supporting Morsi and others opposing the military-backed interim government. The law has angered secularists as well.
On Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa-Eldin called on authorities to review the law to show that the state was ready to listen to the country’s secular activists.
“It is not a shame and it does not detract from the prestige of the state to reconsider a law that will only widen the gap between the state and the youth,” Bahaa-Eldin said on his official Facebook page.
“It’s time to put that power back where it belongs,” explains Jonathan Zimmerman in today’s Washington Post, “Barack Obama should be allowed to stand for re election just as citizens should be allowed to vote for — or against — him. Anything less diminishes our leaders and ourselves.” The 22nd Amendment, limiting the Presidential term, according to Zimmerman, reflected “a shocking lack of faith in the common sense and good judgment of the people.” Of course, in the increasingly ‘entitled’ America, it would only cost a few hundred million to bribe all the newlydowngraded Middle-to-Lower class Americans with Obamaphones in order to finally get a “dictatorial democracy” by indirectly funding the lower common denominator with $400 in free money every election cycle.
Via WaPo, I’ve been thinking about Kilgore’s comments as I watch President Obama, whose approval rating has dipped to 37 percent in CBS News polling — the lowest ever for him — during the troubled rollout of his health-care reform. Many of Obama’s fellow Democrats have distanced themselves from the reform and from the president. Even former president Bill Clinton has said that Americans should be allowed to keep the health insurance they have.
Or consider the reaction to the Iran nuclear deal. Regardless of his political approval ratings, Obama could expect Republican senators such as Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and John McCain (Ariz.) to attack the agreement. But if Obama could run again, would he be facing such fervent objections from Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.)?
Probably not. Democratic lawmakers would worry about provoking the wrath of a president who could be reelected. Thanks to term limits, though, they’ve got little to fear.
Nor does Obama have to fear the voters, which might be the scariest problem of all. If he chooses, he could simply ignore their will. And if the people wanted him to serve another term, why shouldn’t they be allowed to award him one?
Read More at Zero Hedge . By Tyler Durden.
Israeli Prime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said violent protests against the Prawer Bill, aimed at resettling the large majority of the Bedouin population living in Israel’s Negev desert, would not be tolerated and that offenders would be tried “to the full extent of the law.”
Netanyahu spoke with Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino following violent riots during the “day of rage” against the Bill. “We will try the offenders to the full extent of the law. They will not be tolerated. We shall continue to advance the Praver Bill,” he said.
Netanyahu further added: “The attempts of a loud and violent minority to deprive a bigger community of a better future is very severe.”
Clashes broke out Saturday evening between Israeli police and protesters as thousands of protesters erected road blocks and attacked police officers across the country.
Around 1,200 people began protesting peacefully at around 13:00 GMT in the southern Bedouin village of Hura , but at around 14:30 GMT turned violent as demonstrators and the large police force, including cavalry and helicopters, began clashing. Police arrested ten people.
Protesters threw stones at security forces deployed at the demonstration. Police responded with tear gas to disperse the protest. After the clashes erupted, some protesters began setting tires on fire, and one intersection at which protest took place, was closed to traffic.
Meanwhile, some 1,500 protesters blocked a main street in Israel’s northern city of Haifa and chanted “We will sacrifice our lives for Palestine” and “We won’t let Prawer pass.” A policer officer was stabbed in the leg by a protester in Haifa and sustained light wounds.
Among the protesters were Arab MKs including Haneen Zoabi, who in 2010 took part in the controversial Gaza Flotilla in which nine Turkish activists were shot following violent attacks on Israeli special forces attempting to stop the flotilla’s main ship.
Several dozens also demonstrated in Jerusalem’s Old City, hurled stones and tried to block a road. Police used water cannons to disperse the crowd.
Israeli Police Souther District Commander Yoram Halevy said Police are aware of attempts to inflame tensions and bring a new round of violent protests in Israel.
“This is not the first time we’ve heard people make warnings about a Third Intifada,” Halevy said. “We approved a license for a peaceful protest and to my dismay, from the beginning it declined very quickly when they began throwing rocks and we were forced to close the highway.”
“They also threw Molotov cocktails and garbage cans,” he said, adding that “there is an attempt to start a war here but we won’t allow it to happen.”
Police said that by 18:00 GMT 28 people arrests were made and 15 police officers were lightly hurt, including Coastal District Commander Haggai Dotan; the spokeswoman of the Negev subdistrict Navah Tabo, and an officer from the Central District who was stabbed in the leg by a protester.
Situation in south ‘catastrophic’
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman called the rioting “serious but expected” and the situation in the south “catastrophic.”
“It is our duty to stop the situation in which there are some citizens to whom the laws of planning and construction apply and there are others who ignore them and used violence to ensure the laws don’t apply to them,” Liberman wrote on Facebook.
According to Liberman, “this isn’t a social problem or a housing crisis, but a battle for the land…We are fighting for the national lands of the Jewish people and some are intentionally trying to steal them and forcibly take them over. We cannot close our eyes and escape this reality.”
He called for the government to deal with the situation before it becomes impossible by building modern cities for Israeli Arabs, with tall buildings and infrastructure.
Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch issued a statement condemning the violent protests against the Bedouin resettlement plan. “I strongly condemn the fierce violence by the protesters. When such brutal violence is directed at officers it’s clear that the rioters’ goal is not a legitimate and legal protest.”
International Day of Rage
Saturday was dubbed as the ‘International Day of Rage’ against the relocation plan with demonstrations expected to take place in Israel and the Palestinian territories, as well as Berlin, The Hague, Cairo and other cities around the world, after organizers spent weeks drumming up support for a series of simultaneous rallies.
The Bill on the Arrangement of Bedouin Settlement in the Negev, also known as the Prawer-Begin Plan, was drawn up by former Likud Knesset member Benny Begin and approved by the Cabinet in January of this year and approved by the parliament in a first reading in June.
It calls for Israel to officially recognize and register the vast majority of Bedouin settlements throughout the South, while compensating the residents of 35 unrecognized communities, housing some 30,000 to 40,000 people, who will be moved off state-owned land into towns built by the Israeli government.
The government says the plan will give the Bedouin the services and economic opportunities they currently lack. Bedouins and human rights activists however see the plan as a land grab tinged with anti-Arab racism with some even referring to it as an “ethnic cleansing” scheme.
A cabinet statement has said “most” residents — who do not currently receive government or municipal services — would be able to continue living in their homes after the villages are granted legal status. Bedouin advocates say that there are no obstacles to recognizing all of the current villages in place.
The government has so far neglected to provide infrastructure services to the scattered Bedouin communities, citing high expenses.
Bedouin rights groups refute such claims, arguing that isolated Jewish towns and farms in the Negev have been given such services while Bedouin requests have been ignored, an accusation the government in turn denies.
LONDON — Living in self-imposed exile in Russia, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden may be safely out of reach from Western powers. But dismayed by the continued airing of transatlantic intelligence, British authorities are taking full aim at a messenger shedding light on his secret files here — the small but mighty Guardian newspaper.
The pressures coming to bear against the Guardian, observers say, are testing the limits of press freedoms in one of the world’s most open societies. Although Britain is famously home to a fierce pack of news media outlets — including the tabloid hounds of old Fleet Street — it also has no enshrined constitutional right to free speech.
A feisty, London-based news outlet with a print circulation just shy of 200,000 — albeit with a far bigger footprint online with readers in the many millions — the Guardian, along with The Washington Post, was the first to publish reports based on classified data spirited out of the United States by Snowden. In the months since, the Guardian has continued to make officials here exceedingly nervous by exposing the joint operations of U.S. and British intelligence — particularly their cooperation in data collection and snooping programs involving British citizens and close allies on the European continent. In response, the Guardian is being called to account by British authorities for jeopardizing national security. The Guardian’s top editor, Alan Rusbridger, is being forced to appear before a parliamentary committee Tuesday to explain the news outlet’s actions. The move comes after British officials ordered the destruction of hard drives at the Guardian’s London headquarters, even as top ministers have taken to the airwaves to denounce the newspaper. Scotland Yard has also suggested it may be investigating the paper for possible breaches of British law.
Nevertheless, the actions against the paper have led to growing concern in Britain and beyond. Frank La Rue, the U.N. special rapporteur on free expression, has denounced the Guardian’s treatment as “unacceptable in a democratic society.” The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, a Paris-based trade association, will send a delegation of “concerned” publishers and editors from five continents to London in January on a “U.K. press freedom mission.”
“The kind of threats and intimidation being experienced by the Guardian, especially compared to the different responses in the United States and Germany, is something that we should all be very worried about,” said Jo Glanville, director of English PEN, a London-based freedom of expression group.
Threat to national security?
The Guardian is among the global news outlets thoroughly studying the Snowden files and publishing key parts, a club that in addition to The Post has expanded to include the New York Times and Germany’s Der Spiegel, among others.
The Post does not show stories to U.S. officials in advance of publication, nor does it routinely agree to official requests. But language in some articles has occasionally been modified when officials cited very specific risks to certain intelligence operations and individuals, according to the paper’s executive editor, Martin Baron. A spokeswoman for the New York Times pointed to statements by executive editor Jill Abramson in which she said the paper had turned down at least one request by U.S. officials to withhold a story.
Although legal experts say the First Amendment offers stronger protection for the news media in the United States than their counterparts enjoy in Britain, U.S. authorities still have tools at their disposal to limit the disclosure of classified data. Those tools include the 1917 Espionage Act, which federal prosecutors have used to charge Snowden. Nevertheless, U.S. officials have thus far stopped short of the more aggressive tactics being deployed against the Guardian in Britain.
The German government has also taken a relatively hands-off approach. “At Der Spiegel we have not encountered anything similar,” managing editor Klaus Brinkbäumer said in an e-mail. “There is no serious pressure.”
In contrast, Rusbridger must explain to the parliamentary committee the paper’s dissemination and handling of the Snowden data. The move came after Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking on the floor of Parliament in October, offered comments that seemed to open the door for the editor’s public grilling.
Scotland Yard, meanwhile, has suggested that it might be investigating the Guardian in connection with the authorities’ continuing probe of David Miranda, the partner of Brazil-based freelance journalist Glenn Greenwald, who formerly worked with the Guardian on its Snowden stories.
In August, British authorities arrested Miranda at Heathrow Airport while he was on an information-gathering trip funded by the Guardian. British officials interrogated Miranda for nine hours before confiscating his laptop, cellphone, USB memory sticks and video-game consoles.
Miranda was released after being questioned, but the confiscated items remain in official custody.