The S&L ‘Hive’ – Please Talk Amongst Yourselves

Here is our weekend discussion thread, where comments on the general topics of the day are very welcome.

But please remember to post and comment on specific news items in the ‘Reader Selected News’ thread below or via the ‘News Selected By Our Readers’ link found in the sidebar.

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Reader Selected News For Week Nov 30 – Dec 6

This thread is for the busy bees of S&L to post news articles that might not warrant their own thread.

Posting Guidelines

To make the articles as readable as possible, please:

  • Only post news from established news media outlets.
  • Avoid editorials or opinion pieces unless they are truly newsworthy.
  • Avoid items that most people most likely have seen elsewhere.
  • Post articles that fit under the topic of a recent thread as a comment there.
  • Always spell out the name of the source and post a link to it.
  • Always post less than one quarter of the original article.

Posts of articles that do not follow these guidelines may be edited or deleted.

Thank you.

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Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

It’s become a tradition this time of year here to post President George Washington’s Thanksgiving Day proclamation, which gave thanks to God for our nation’s newly enacted Constitution:

George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted’ for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

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China Destroys 500 (Uighur Muslim) Barbeques

From an unquestioning Reuters:

China destroys 500 barbecues to tame Beijing pollution

By Paul Carsten | November 26, 2013

BEIJING (Reuters) – More than 500 illegal outdoor barbecues, which Chinese state media say cause "serious air pollution", have been destroyed in Beijing as part of an emergency program to alleviate the city’s often hazardous pollution.

With all the problems China has with their dirty factories and power plants and cars with no pollution controls, they are going after barbecues?

The raids were part of a three-month operation to supervise the barbecues, many of which are operated by ethnic Uighur Muslims from the restive Xinjiang province in China’s west.

"Over 500 illegal barbecue grills in Beijing were destroyed on Tuesday amid the city’s efforts to fight air pollution and lingering foggy weather," state media Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

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1/2 Meteorologists Don’t Buy Man-Made Warming

From the Daily Caller:

Poll: Nearly half of meteorologists don’t believe in man-made global warming

Michael Bastasch | 11/26/2013

Not all scientists agree that global warming is man-made. Nearly half of meteorologists and atmospheric science experts don’t believe that human activities are the driving force behind global warming, according to a survey by the American Meteorological Society.

The survey of AMS members found that while 52 percent of American Meteorological Society members believe climate change is occurring and mostly human-induced, 48 percent of members do not believe in man-made global warming.

But what do meteorologists know? Did they go to Harvard Law School?

Furthermore, the survey found that scientists who professed “liberal political views” were much more likely to believe in the theory of man-made global warming than those who without liberal views.

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Obama Uses IRS To Overturn ‘Citizens United’

From a gleeful Associated Press:

IRS pushes to rein in tax-exempt political groups

By ANDREW TAYLOR | November 27, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is trying to rein in the use of tax-exempt groups for political campaigning. The effort launched Tuesday is an attempt to reduce the role of loosely regulated big-money political outfits like GOP political guru Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and the pro-Obama Priorities USA.

The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department said they want to prohibit such groups from using "candidate-related political activity" like running ads, registering voters or distributing campaign literature as activities that qualify them to be tax-exempt "social welfare" organizations…

The AP tries to portray this as wonderful news. Even though it is Obama once again using regulations and executive orders to bypass the ‘Law Of The Land.’ In this case, as expressed by the Supreme Court’s crystal clear ruling in ‘Citizens United.’

‘Citizens United’ has obsessed Obama since day one, and he has been trying to overturn it by hook or by crook.

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Iran: WH Is Lying About Details Of Nuke Deal

From the Washington Free Beacon:

Iran: White House Lying About Details of Nuke Deal

Iranian officials say White House fact sheet is ‘invalid’

By Adam Kredo | November 26, 2013

Iranian officials say that the White House is misleading the public about the details of an interim nuclear agreement reached over the weekend in Geneva… The White House released a multi-page fact sheet containing details of the draft agreement shortly after the deal was announced.

Indeed, the White House still has not released any copies of the Iranian agreement. All they have released is this ‘fact sheet.’ Which all of our journalists are accepting as fact.

But why can’t we see the written agreement itself? Could it be because it’s an even worse deal for the West than we are being told?

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Gallup: More Hurt Than Helped By Obama-Care

From Gallup:

In U.S., 69% Remain Unaffected by Health Law to Date

More say they have been hurt than helped by the law

By Jeffrey M. Jones | November 26, 2013

PRINCETON, NJ — As the Obama administration rolls out some of the more significant provisions of the 2010 healthcare law, the vast majority of Americans, 69%, say the law, so far, has not had an effect on them and their family, similar to what Gallup measured more than a year ago. More Americans say the law has hurt (19%) rather than helped (9%) their family, a slightly larger gap than was found last year.

In the Nov. 23-24 Gallup poll, at least six in 10 Americans in most major subgroups say the healthcare law, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, has had no effect on their own situation.

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The CSM Says Obama-Care Is On The Rebound

From a shameless Christian Science Monitor:

Is Obamacare on the rebound? Media turn to positive stories

Positive headlines are creeping into the news coverage of Obamacare, amid a Democratic counteroffensive and signs the program could be turning a corner. But tough tests lie ahead.

By Linda Feldmann | November 26, 2013

Bit by bit, the media narrative around the travails of Obamacare and its main enrollment vehicle, HealthCare.gov, is starting to look up. Or to put it more precisely, it is no longer so crushingly negative.

After weeks of stories about website crashes and canceled health plans – and an extraordinary mea culpa from President Obama – a competing story line is starting to emerge. Slowly but surely, people are navigating the exchanges and getting insurance – for some, cheaper and better than what they had.

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New Obama-Care Website ‘Fix’ – Wait In Line

From an approving Reuters:

U.S. says new queuing system will help if HealthCare.gov gets too much traffic

By David Morgan | November 25, 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Monday announced a plan to help HealthCare.gov visitors cope with online glitches if traffic surges after the troubled website is working smoothly for most people this weekend as promised.

Warning that the federal healthcare website will still be plagued by delays and outages in the weeks to come, an administration official said people who log on to shop or apply for subsidized health coverage will join a new "queuing system" if traffic exceeds a benchmark of 800,000 visitors.

"Consumers may not immediately be able to complete the application. But they will be queued in order to ensure a smoother process," said Julie Bataille, communications director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency responsible for HealthCare.gov.

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WH Begs People To Avoid Obama-Care Website

From an irony-proof New York Times:

A Plea to Avoid Crush of Users at Health Site

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and ROBERT PEAR | November 26, 2013

WASHINGTON — White House officials, fearful that the federal health care website may again be overwhelmed this weekend, have urged their allies to hold back enrollment efforts so the insurance marketplace does not collapse under a crush of new users.

And who says the White House doesn’t have a sense of humor?

At the same time, administration officials said Tuesday that they had decided not to inaugurate a big health care marketing campaign planned for December out of concern that it might drive too many people to the still-fragile HealthCare.gov.

And never mind that after Saturday, November 30, there will only be 23 days left to sign up for January coverage, as required by the ‘Law Of The Land.’ Oh, and never mind that the Obama administration is spending over $1.25 billion taxpayer dollars this year on advertising to get people to go to the Obama-Care website.

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Obama Gives Unions ‘Re-Insurance’ Carve-Out

Firs we have this from a shamelessly spinning Reuters:

U.S. government plan adjusts 2014 risk payments for health insurers

By Caroline Humer, Jeffrey Benkoe | November 26, 2013

(Reuters) – The U.S. government has issued a proposal that would likely increase risk payments in 2014 to health insurers offering plans on the Obamacare exchanges after the companies complained a recent policy change allowing people to keep their insurance policies had changed the financial equation.

The rule, published on Monday in the Federal Register, lowered the threshold at which risk payments kick in for the sickest health plan members. The government proposed paying insurers 80 percent of claims greater than $45,000 in 2014. Previously the lower limit was $60,000…

When Obama announced a plan about two weeks ago to allow individuals to keep their current plans longer, insurers complained it would remove even more people from the pool of applicants and asked for adjustments to the risk payments.

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Halperin: Death Panels Are (Aren’t) In O-Care

Mark Halperin is the senior political analyst for Time magazine and MSNBC. In an interview with the radio talkshow host, Steve Malzberg, Halperin said the following:

Halperin: Death Panels Are Built Into Obama-Care

STEVE MALZBERG: I think they focused on the death panels which will be coming, call them what you will. Rationing is part of it.
MARK HALPERIN: I agree. Huge. It’s going to be a huge issue, and that’s something else about which the President was not fully forthcoming and straightforward. MALZBERG: Alright, so you believe that there will be rationing, AKA death panels.
HALPERIN: It’s built into the plan. It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled.

But now he has suddenly changed his tune.

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ID Verification Bogging Down O-Care Website

From the New York Times:

ID Verification Lagging on Health Care Website

By ROBERT PEAR | November 25, 2013

WASHINGTON — Just days before the Obama administration’s self-imposed deadline to fix the troubled federal health insurance website, officials said Monday that they were aware of another problem that has prevented thousands of people who were unable to verify their identity from shopping for health plans.

Many users of the website have had their applications cast into limbo after they uploaded copies of documents like driver’s licenses, Social Security cards and voter registration cards, or sent them to the office of the federal insurance marketplace in London, Ky.

In other words, people are being required to give over copies of their driver licenses, Social Security cards and voter registration cards to get Obama-Care.

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DC Federal Offices To Open, Despite Showers

From a deeply concerned Washington Post:

D.C. region’s federal offices remain open despite weather

By Josh Hicks | November 26, 2013

Federal offices in the D.C. metro area will remain open on Tuesday despite a wintry storm expected to hit the region over the next two days, but agency employees have the option to take unscheduled leave or telework for the day.

Thank goodness! We wouldn’t want anyone to risk their lives to go to work in the rain. And who cares if 17% of the work force don’t show up? It’s not like that will shutdown the government or cost the economy $24 billion dollars.

Besides, isn’t it unfair to ask government employees to ‘work’ during Thanksgiving week? In fact, we suspect very few of them actually do.

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