Nov 21

Chinese Kids Driving Supercars: Inside the Secret Southern California Meet-up

Nov 18, 2014

Description:

China’s ultra-rich are growing in number and in wealth – and are sending billions of dollars out of the country. Much of it is landing up in the U.S. where many children of the wealthy elite are sent to get an American college education — and they’re living large. Vocativ found a sub-culture of these Chinese students in California. They drive luxury cars like Maseratis and Ferraris and flaunt their wealth at discreet private parties and in online groups, like “Super Cars in America”.

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- ‘Diabolical & absurd’: Outrage as Save the Children gives Tony Blair Global Legacy Award:

A decision by UK charity Save the Children to give Tony Blair its annual Global Legacy Award has unleashed a torrent of criticism highlighting the former PM’s role in Britain’s 2003 Iraq war and his controversial business dealings in the Middle East.

The former Labour leader, who is currently a key focus of a public inquiry into Britain’s invasion of Iraq, received the honor on Wednesday night at a star-studded gala hosted by the charity in New York.

Save the Children’s decision to offer Blair the award has provoked outrage across the UK, with critics insisting the move utterly discredits the charity.

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Flashback:

- DEPLETED URANIUM: ‘THE GREATEST CRIME OF HISTORIC TIME’

- Dramatic Drone’s-Eye View Of The Record Upstate New York Snowfall:

With half the nation covered in snow, according to ABC, nowhere appears to have had it worse (or more suddenly) than upstate New York. As images pour in from lake-effect snow, to The Buffalo Bills stadium, and from scenes caught in a snow storm to pandas playing, we thought the following stunning drone’s-eye-view over Erie County was both incredible in its beauty and cruel in its GDP-destroying reality.

A Drone’s eye view of the beauty (and GDP cruelty) of a snow-buried upstate New York

- 141-year-old cold record shattered in Jacksonville:

For the second morning in a row, Jacksonville, Florida, dropped to a new record low.

- Climatologist: 30-Year Cold Spell Strikes Earth:

With nasty cold fronts thrusting an icy and early winter across the continental U.S. — along with last winter described by USA Today as “one of the snowiest, coldest, most miserable on record” — climatologist John L. Casey thinks the weather pattern is here to stay for decades to come.

In fact, Casey, a former space shuttle engineer and NASA consultant, is out with the  provocative book “Dark Winter: How the Sun Is Causing a 30-Year Cold Spell,” which warns that a radical shift in global climate is underway, and that Al Gore and other environmentalists have it completely wrong.

The earth, he says, is cooling, and cooling fast.

And yes, you read that one right:

- The Wrath of Draghi: Biggest German Banks Impose “Negative Interest Rates”:

Commerzbank, Germany’s second-largest bank, a toppling marvel of ingenuity during the Financial Crisis that was bailed out by ever dutiful if unenthusiastic taxpayers, will now reward these very folks with what Germans have come to look forward to: the Wrath of Draghi.

It started with Deutsche Skatbank, a division of VR-Bank Altenburger Land. The small bank was the trial balloon in imposing the Wrath of Draghi on savers and businesses. Effective November 1, those with over €500,000 on deposit earn a “negative interest rate” of 0.25%. In less euphemistic terms, they get to pay 0.25% per year on those deposits for the privilege of giving their money to the bank.

“Punishment interest” is what Germans call this with Teutonic precision.

- Amazon robots prepare for Christmas:

The squat, wheeled machines move stocked shelves to workers

In its latest bid to boost productivity and speed delivery, Amazon.com Inc. is deploying a robot army.

The Seattle online retailer has outfitted several U.S. warehouses with squat, orange, wheeled robots that move stocked shelves to workers, instead of having employees seek items amid long aisles of merchandise, according to people familiar with the matter. At a 1.2-million-square-foot warehouse in Tracy, Calif., about 60 miles east of San Francisco, Amazon this summer replaced four floors of fixed shelving with the robots, the people said.

Now, “pickers” at the facility stand in one place and wait for robots to bring four-foot-by-six-foot shelving units to them, sparing them what amounted to as much as 20 miles a day of walking through the warehouse. Employees at some robot-equipped warehouses are expected to pick and scan at least 300 items an hour, compared with 100 under the old system, current and former workers said.

The robots are the fruits of Amazon’s 2012 purchase of Kiva Systems Inc. for $775 million. In May, Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos told investors at Amazon’s annual meeting that he planned to deploy 10,000 Kiva robots by year-end, up from 1,400 at the time.

- A Quick Look At Goldman’s Takeover Of The US Judicial System: NY Fed Edition:

One really just can’t make this up. Perhaps the Fed inspector general, when he is done “fixing” the corruption at the NY Fed will be so kind to take a look at the Goldman takeover of the US judicial system next.

And the saddest thing: it cost the banks (and their lawyer lackeys) under a million to buy America’s judicial system off: American justice is not only for sale, it goes at firesale prices!

- The NY Fed’s Attempt To Explain That It Is Not A Subsidiary Of Goldman Sachs:

The most shocking, if already completely buried, news of the day was that – in yet another confirmation that Goldman Sachs is in charge of the New York Fed – a NY Fed staffer was colluding and leaking confidential, material information to a 29-year-old Goldman vice president, himself a former Federal Reserve employee. This only happened because on the day Carmen Segarra disclosed her 47 hours of “secret Goldman tapes” on This American Life, Goldman executives asked the former Fed staffer where he had gotten what appeared to be confidential information from. To nobody’s surprise the answer was: The New York Fed. So as the latter, also known as the biggest hedge fund of the western world with $2.7 trillion in AUM, is scrambling to once again prove it is shocked, shocked, that it has become merely the latest subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, Inc., it released the following statement explaining what “really” happened.

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- “Some Folks Lied” – How The Administration Fabricated Obamacare Enrollment Numbers:

Two months ago, to much fanfare by the progressive community, HHS, if not Dr. Jonathan Gruber, were delighted to report that as of August 15, Obamacare enrollment had hit 7.3 million sign ups, well above the 7.0 million goal. Then a week ago we learned that “projection mistakes were made” after the “Obama administration revised its estimate for Obamacare enrollment, now saying – with the bruising midterms safely in the rearview mirror – that it expects some 9.9 million people to have coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges in 2015, millions fewer than outside experts predicted.” Fast forward to today when moments ago Bloomberg reported, that “the Obama administration included as many as 400,000 dental plans in a number it reported for enrollments under the Affordable Care Act, an unpublicized detail that helped surpass a goal for 7 million sign-ups.

- Dutch government refuses to reveal ‘secret deal’ into MH17 crash probe:

The Dutch government has refused to reveal details of a secret pact between members of the Joint Investigation Team examining the downed Flight MH17. If the participants, including Ukraine, don’t want information to be released, it will be kept secret.

– Neo-Feudalism Has Officially Arrived – Congressman Suggests Building A Moat Around White House:

While the general population is aware something is seriously wrong, people remain extremely confused about the root of the problem. This is because what’s happening all around us isn’t socialism and it isn’t free market capitalism. It is actually a return to something much more ancient and much more oppressive. It is a return to serfdom, neo-fedualism and oligarchy.”

- Giant sinkhole swallows up old mine in Russia’s Urals (PHOTOS):

A sinkhole 20 by 30 meters (65 by 98 feet) in size has been found near a Uralkali mine in Russia’s Perm region. While the company says the development is of no further threat, locals fear the whole nearby town could go underground.

Putin-Gold

- As The “Sanctions War” Heats Up, Will Putin Play His ‘Gold Card’?:

The topic of ‘currency war’ has been bantered about in financial circles since at least the term was first used by Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega in September 2010. Recently, the currency war has escalated, and a ‘sanctions war’ against Russia has broken out. History suggests that financial assets are highly unlikely to preserve investors’ real purchasing power in this inhospitable international environment, due in part to the associated currency crises, which will catalyse at least a partial international remonetisation of gold. Vladimir Putin, under pressure from economic sanctions, may calculate that now is the time to play his ‘gold card’.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CURRENCY WAR

RUSSIA, NATO AND THE ‘SANCTIONS WAR’

SO, WILL PUTIN PLAY THE ‘GOLD CARD’?

gold_vault

- Missing Gold – Precious Metals in WTC 4 Vault: Only a Fraction Recovered?:

Why is there this huge discrepancy between the value of gold and silver reported recovered, and the value reported to have been stored in the vaults? There are a number of possible explanations, from outright theft using the attack as cover, to insurance fraud. Until there is a genuine investigation that probes all the relevant facts and circumstances surrounding the attack, we can only speculate.

- Retail Rapture: UK Grocery Sales Drop 1st Time In 20 Years, Dollar General To Shut 4000 Stores:

For the first time since it began collecting data in 1994, Kantar Worldpanel, the market researcher, reported a decline in UK grocery sales by value, as The FT reports the biggest UK grocers were “losing market share hand over fist,” as analysts warn “there are phoney price wars, and there are real price wars. This is a real price war.” This comes on the heels of Goldman report claiming 20% of British grocers are surplus to requirements. But it’s not just Britain… in the the cleanest dirty shirt world-economic-growth supporting decoupled economy of the USA, Reuters reports Dollar General may need to divest more than 4,000 stores to win approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for its acquisition of Family Dollar.

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- 5-foot-tall ‘Robocops’ start patrolling Silicon Valley:

Autonomous “Robocop”-style robots, equipped with microphones, speakers, cameras, laser scanners and sensors, have started to guard Silicon Valley.

The security robots, called Knightscope K5 Autonomous Data Machines, were designed by a robotics company, Knightscope, located in Mountain View, California.

The robots are programmed to notice unusual behavior and alert controllers. It also has odor and heat detectors, and can monitor pollution in carpets as well. Last but not least: with cameras, the Robocops can remember up to 300 number plates a minute, monitoring traffic.

- The New World Order: Does It All Just Boil Down To A Battle For Your Soul?:

This problem extends into the oligarchy of globalists, who adore the theories expressed in Plato’s “The Republic,” in which an elite cadre of “philosopher kings,” men who have achieved a heightened level of academic knowledge, are exalted as the most qualified leaders. However, leadership requires more than knowledge, even if that knowledge is profound. Leadership also requires compassion and informed consent, two things for which the elites have no regard.

- American-born London mayor refuses to pay US taxes, threatens to renounce citizenship:

The Internal Revenue Service reportedly wants London Mayor Boris Johnson to write a check for taxes he owes to the United States government, but the UK politician says he isn’t paying.

Those ‘brilliant’ Japanese ‘visionaries’ never heard of Fukushima:

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- Living under the sea: Japanese visionaries unveil underwater city plan:

Will people ever live in underwater cities? Japanese construction firm says it is possible by 2030. The visionaries revealed a $25 billion deep-sea eco-city plan called Ocean Spiral for 5,000 people that will produce energy from sea resources.

Many have pondered the idea of living under the sea while sci-fi film directors such as George Lucas tempted our imagination with stunning images of underwater cities. Such was the Gungan city consisting of a mass of hydrostatic bubbles shown in the first part of the “Star wars” epic space film series.

Now a Japanese construction firm Shimizu Corp. says that building an underwater residential area is not a fantasy and aims to build one by 2030 – in just 15 years.

- China and others can cripple US power grid, NSA admits for the first time:

The head of the National Security Agency warned Congress on Thursday that China and “one or two” other nations currently possess the capability of crippling the American power grid through cyberattacks.

- 6 Months Before The Fed Is Said To Hike Rates, It Still Has No Idea How It Will Do That:

It has become quite clear that the Fed neither has the intention, nor the market mechanism to do any of that, and certainly not in a 3-6 month timeframe. Which may explain the Fed’s hawkish words on any potential surge in market vol. After all, if the nearly $3 trillion in excess reserves remain on bank balance sheets for another year, then the only reason why vol could surge is if the Fed lose the faith of the markets terminally. At that point the last worry anyone will have is whether and how the Fed will tighten monetary policy.

- Initial Jobless Claims Hit 2-Month Highs, Continuing Claims Tumble To 14-Year Lows:

It is still far too early to call a turn in the long-term trend of initial jobless claims but this is the 5th week that new lows have not been made, 4th miss in a row, and (despite last week’s upward revision) claims sit at 2-month highs. Initial claims printed 291k (against 284k expectations) down very slightly from an upwardly revised 293k last week. However, continuing claims continue to tumble to fresh cycle lows at 2.33 million (below expectations and well down from last week’s jump).

- Another Triple-Fat-Finger VIX Day Saves Stocks:

Ugly data in Asia, Europe, and US PMI meant US equities opened gap-down… that was unacceptable to ‘someone’ and so the “most shorted” names were squeezed. However, after 10 minutes the ramp started to fade… and so the big boys ‘fat-fingered’ VIX and that rescued the dip. That would be fine… but it happened again at 958ET when stocks started to fade again and suddenly VIX was lit up and zoom… stock momentum was ignited and all was well in the world… Broken record? Yes! But clearly someone has to take note of this rigging…

- Ice on the Mississippi River in Iowa:

“I’ve seen ice like this or even worse, but it’s usually not until the middle of December,” says lockmaster.

Game 9 – 2014 World Chess Championship – Magnus Carlsen vs Viswanathan Anand

WTF: A Night With Japan’s Highest Paid Male Gigolo

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Nov 18

Obamacare

- Obamacare = A Death Panel For The U.S. Economy (Economic Collapse, Nov 16, 2014):

Did you know that some Americans are being hit with health insurance rate increases of more than 500 percent?  Taking advantage of “the stupidity of the American voter”, the Democrats succeeded in ramming through one of the worst pieces of legislation that has ever come before Congress.  The full implementation of Obamacare has been repeatedly delayed, but now we are finally starting to see the true horror of this terrible law.  Thanks to Obamacare, millions of American families are losing health plans that they were very happy with, health insurance rates are skyrocketing, millions of workers are having their full-time hours cut back to part-time hours, rural hospitals all over the country are dying, and thousands of doctors are being driven out of the industry thus intensifying the greatest doctor shortage in U.S. history.  Obamacare is a slow-motion train wreck of epic proportions, and the full effect of this law is only beginning to be felt.  In the end, the economic impact of this law will likely be measured in the trillions of dollars. Continue reading »

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Nov 17

- Obama Comments On Grubergate: “I Did Not Mislead Americans” Even As Gruber Pocketed Millions (ZeroHedge, Nov 16, 2014):

The last thing Obama needed brought up during the just concluded G-20 conference, where world leaders generously agreed to boost global GDP by $2 trillion (let’s all hold our breath while they “just go find a cash machine“) while bashing Putin pretty much non-stop for 48 hours to the point where the Russian leader left early (due to “lack of sleep“), was the whole “Gruber thing”, i.e., the recent revelations that the architect of the “Affordable” Care Act, Jonathan Gruber, relied on the “stupidity of American voters” to pass Obamacare. Sadly for the American president, not even halfway around the world could he get away from the humiliation that has clouded his one and only domestic policy “success” in his 6 year tenure. Continue reading »

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Nov 14

- ObamaCare Creator Admits If He Had Told The Truth “It Would Not Have Passed” (ZeroHedge, Nov 13, 2014):

Having exposed the disgraceful reality of ObamaCare’s passage into law (and then apologized for being caught saying that “stupidity of the American voter” helped Congress approve the bill); a 3rd and 4th clip of the healthcare law’s architect Jonathan Gruber (who Nancy Pelosi says she has never heard of despite her role in the law’s birth) have surfaced… and it’s not pretty. As CNN reports, the emergence of this video with Gruber repeatedly suggesting that “stupid” voters were misled for their own good by Obamacare supporters is a political problem for Obama as the Supreme Court is set to rule on subsidies.

The 3rd video…

“It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber said at the Honors Colloquium 2012 at the University of Rhode Island. Continue reading »

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Nov 13

- 3 Videos Have Now Surfaced of Obamacare Architect Saying American People Are Stupid and Must Be Fooled (Washington’s Blog, Nov 12, 2014):

In 3 separate videos shot at 3 different events in 3 different cities, the main architect of Obamacare – Jonathan Gruber – said the American people are stupid, and must be lied to for Obamacare to pass …

Here’s the first one:

Here’s the second:

Continue reading »

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Nov 11

Caught on tape:

“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage,” Gruber said. “And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”


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Video of the Day – Obamacare Architect Credits “Lack of Transparency” and “Stupidity of the American People” for Passage of Healthcare Law (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Nov 10,2014):

Earlier today, I published a post titled, Inside the Mind of an Oligarch – Sheldon Adelson Proclaims “I Don’t Like Journalism, which zeroed in on the condescending attitude oligarchs and their technocrat minions have toward the general population. I wrote:

The term oligarch is reserved for those with extreme wealth who also want to control the political process, policy levers and most other aspects of the lives of the citizenry in a top-down tyrannical and undemocratic manner. They think they know best about pretty much everything, and believe unelected technocrats who share their worldview should be empowered so that they can unilaterally make all of society’s important decisions. The unwashed masses (plebs) in their minds are unnecessary distractions who must to be told what to do. Useless eaters who need to be brainwashed into worshipping the oligarch mindset, or turned into apathetic automatons incapable or unwilling to engage in critical thought. Either outcome is equally acceptable and equally encouraged.

It’s quite timely that those words appeared on the site the same day that a video clip emerged of MIT economics professor, and the architect of Obamacare, Jonathan Gruber, admitting that the legislation was intentionally complex and misleading in order to pass Congress and elicit limited outrage from the “stupid” American public.

The Hill reports that: Continue reading »

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Nov 08

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- Obama’s Week Just Got Worse: Supreme Court To Rule On ObamaCare Subsidies (ZeroHedge, Nov 7, 2014):

Getting ‘shellacked’ in the Midterms, coming 2nd to Putin as the world’s most powerful person, and now, as AP reports, The Supreme Court agrees to rule on insurance subsidies in a new challenge to ObamaCare. Simply put they will judge whether subsidies for middle- and lower-income people are legal…

As AP reports,

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a new challenge to President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The justices on Friday say they will decide whether the law authorizes subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people afford their health insurance premiums. Continue reading »

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Nov 06

FYI.


- Republicans Lay Out Agenda: Repeal ObamaCare, Authorize Keystone, Save The Children (ZeroHedge, Nov 5, 2014):

It would appear the blood-red pen of veto will be running dry by the time the President’s term is up based on Mitch McConnell and John Boehner’s WSJ op-ed explaining “now we can get Congress going.” As they begin, “Americans have entrusted Republicans with control of both the House and Senate. We are humbled by this opportunity to help struggling middle-class Americans who are clearly frustrated…

Via Speaker.gov and WSJ,

Americans have entrusted Republicans with control of both the House and Senate. We are humbled by this opportunity to help struggling middle-class Americans who are clearly frustrated by an increasing lack of opportunity, the stagnation of wages, and a government that seems incapable of performing even basic tasks. Continue reading »

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Nov 05

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- 10 Examples Of The Extreme Incompetence That Now Pervades The Federal Government (The American Dream, Nov 2, 2014):

There has always been a substantial level of incompetence at federal agencies, but under the Obama administration incompetence has risen to unprecedented levels.  This year the incompetence of the Secret Service, the Veterans Administration, the Department of Homeland Security and the CDC have all made national headlines.  And it is hard to forget how the launch of Obamacare was such a failure that it became a global joke.  We live at a time when our government officials can’t seem to do anything right.  When Americans complain about the government, most of the time they focus on how corrupt and wicked our politicians have become, and that should not be downplayed whatsoever.  But just replacing those politicians is not going to fix what ails our government.  The quality of the workers throughout the government bureaucracy has fallen so dramatically that our federal agencies can no longer be depended upon to perform even the most basic governmental functions competently.

The following are 10 examples of the extreme incompetence that now pervades the federal government… Continue reading »

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Oct 15

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- Obamacare likely to cost $300 billion more than thought – Congressional Budget Office (RT, Oct 14, 2014):

The real cost of Obamacare will be hundreds of billions of dollars more than expected, Republican members of the Senate Budget Committee now say, and will greatly increase the federal deficit during the next decade.

Contrary to claims made by the White House, United States President Barack Obama’s hallmark health care plan will actually have a tremendous toll on the government, GOP members of the SBC committee allege in a new report.

According to an analysis of data received by the Congressional Budget Office, Senate Republican say so-called Obamacare won’t reduce the federal budget deficit by $180 billion by 2019 as predicted, but will actually set the US back another $131 billion in the hole. Continue reading »

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Oct 07

walmart

- Walmart Ends Healthcare Benefits For Workers Under 30 Hours (ZeroHedge, Oct, 7, 2014):

Under the title (only-a-PR-person-could-make-up) “Providing Quality Benefits for Our Associates,” Walmart – who employs 1.3 million people in America, has changed its eligibility standards for healthcare benefits. “Like every company,” they explain “Walmart faces rising healthcare costs,” and so are ending benefits for associates who work less than 30 hours a week. Continue reading »

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Sep 25

obamacare-symbol

- Obamacare Website Costs Top $2 Billion, Almost Triple Government Estimates (ZeroHedge, Sep 25, 2014):

What’s the opposite of government efficiency? In a double-take-instigating headline, the federal government’s Obamacare enrollment system has cost about $2.1 billion so far, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis of contracts related to the project. BGOV’s analysis shows that costs for both healthcare.gov and the broader reform effort are far greater than anything publicly discussed. However, that pales into insignificance when considering health reform has cost American taxpayers $73 billion in the last four years… and counting.

As Bloomberg reports, Continue reading »

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Aug 30

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- CBO: Obamacare Discourages Work (ZeroHedge, Aug 29, 2014):

Remember all those allegations that Obamacare would be an unmitigated disaster for businesses, especially smaller companies? Well, now we have some facts. A week ago we noted that the Philly Fed found that Obamacare was a disaster for business, and now no lessor entity than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is out with its latest forecasts, concluding “certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act will tend to reduce labor force participation.”

20140828_CBO

Via Kevin Hall of TownHall.com,

the CBO does write, though, is that one of the downward pressures on the labor force is Obamacare. As the report finds: Continue reading »

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Aug 22

Obamacare-screws-middle-class
Mission accomplished!

- Obamacare Is A Disaster For Businesses, Philly Fed Finds (ZeroHedge, Aug 21, 2014):

Remember all those allegations that Obamacare would be an unmitigated disaster for businesses, especially smaller companies? Well, now we have proof.

As the Philly Fed, which mysteriously soared at the headline level even as the vast majority of its components tumbled, reported moments ago, “in special questions this month, firms were asked qualitative questions about the effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how, if at all, they are making changes to their employment and compensation, including benefits.”

What the survey found was very disturbing: not only did businesses report that as a result of Obamacare the number of workers they employ is lower than higher (18.2% vs 3.0%), that there has been an increase in part time jobs (18.2% higher vs 1.5% lower), leading to a big increase in outsourcing and most importantly, Obamacare costs are being largely passed on to customers (28.8% reporting higher vs 0.0% lower), the punchline was that while there is basically no change in the number of employees covered (17.6% higher vs 14.7% lower and 67.6% unchanged), there has been a big jump in Premiums, Deductibles, Out-of-pocket maximums, and Copays, which has been “matched” by a far greater reduction in the range of medical coverage and the size of the network.

In short a disaster. Continue reading »

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Aug 09

obamacare-symbol

- Former Obamacare Boss Admits She Deleted Emails Sought By Congress (ZeroHedge, Aug 8, 2014):

On the bright side, Marilyn Tavenner – appointed by President Obama to take over CMS within the Department of Health and human Services in 2013 – did not suffer a hard-drive crash. However, as MSNBC reports, she may be unable to cooperate with House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoenas because she deleted emails.

As MSNBC reports,

A team of HHS officials is now working to reconstruct Tavenner’s inbox by collecting emails from people she typically corresponded with and through other methods. They expect to recover “most, but not all” of Tavenner’s emails, the letter adds. Continue reading »

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Jul 26

Obamacare12

- ObamaFraud: GAO Study Finds Almost All Fake Applicants are Approved for Subsidized ObamaCare (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 25, 2014):

Although it hasn’t been a focus for a while, the incompetent disaster that has been the ObamaCare rollout has been well documented on this site.

Here are just a few posts on the subject: Continue reading »

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Jul 23

- In Potentially “Lethal Blow” For Obamacare, US Appeals Court Finds Insurance Subsidies Invalid In Most States (ZeroHedge, July 22, 2014):

It may be back to square 1 for Obamacare.

Moments ago, in what NBC classified as a “potentially lethal blow to Obamacare” a federal appeals court has ruled that the federal government may not subsidize health insurance plans bought by people in states that decided not to set up their own marketplaces under Obamacare. The law clearly says that states are to set up the exchanges. But 34 states opted not to, and the federal government took over in those states. The court ruled that federal government may not pay subsidies for insurance plans in those states.

As the Hill reports further, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Affordable Care Act does not permit the IRS to distribute premium subsidies in the federal ObamaCare exchange, meaning those consumers must bear the full cost of their insurance. Continue reading »

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Jul 21

obamacare-symbol

- White House ‘Quietly’ Exempts 4.5 Million People In 5 “Territories” From Obamacare (ZeroHedge, July 20, 2014):

As WSJ reports, last week’s geopolitical chaos and distraction was ideal for a news dump, and the White House didn’t disappoint: On no legal basis, all 4.5 million residents of the five U.S. territories were quietly released from ObamaCare. It seems the costs of healthcare soared in these five territories due to uneconomic mandates – which woul dhave been a disaster PR-wise for the administration and so, under cover of catastrophe, WSJ reports all of a sudden last week HHS discovered new powers after “a careful review of this situation and the relevant statutory language,” that enabled them to ‘selectively exempt’ American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and Virgin Islands from Obamacare. And all while vacationing…

As WSJ reports, Continue reading »

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Jul 17

From the article:

“The unsubsidized cost of Obamacare for two 60-year old healthy adults ($23,244 annually) for an inferior plan to what we had before exceeds the cost of rent or a mortgage for the majority of Americans. Please ponder this for a moment: buying healthcare insurance under Obamacare costs as much or more as buying a house.”


- Why America’s Healthcare (Sickcare) System Is Broken and Unfixable (Of Two Minds, July 16, 2014):

Here’s a two-word summary of why the American healthcare system is fundamentally broken and cannot be fixed with policy tweaks: perverse incentives.

If you type sickcare in the custom search box on this site, you get 10+ pages of articles. I have covered healthcare/sickcare in depth for many years. I have many correspondents within the sector (doctors and nurses), and have paid the unsubsidized costs of insurance as an employer or as a self-employed worker for 30+ years. Continue reading »

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Jul 06

- Why Obamacare Is Pushing Up Health Insurance Premiums (ZeroHedge, July 6, 2014):

Now that Obamacare has been enacted, Americans across the nation are seeing their health insurance bills spiking, leading to what has been a documented slide in full-time hiring, a drop in consumer discretionary spending, not to mention stagnant and declining real wages. In short: a broad economic contraction (yes, yes, who could have possibly foreseen this).

But how is it that insurers set their prices? As Bloomberg explains, insurers are calculating what to charge for health plans in 2015, which is no simple task. Actuaries can’t easily forecast how often the millions of new Obamacare enrollees will go to a doctor. New federal rules and expensive drugs will also increase costs. Wrong guesses could wipe out profits.

Here is a quick and dirty way to understand why premiums are going up. Continue reading »

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Jun 30

Obamacare-summary


- Supreme Court Gives Obamacare Opponents Biggest Legal Victory Yet (ZeroHedge, June 30, 2014):

Moments ago the US Supreme Court – the same Supreme Court which two years ago upheld Obamacare but as a tax, something the administration has since sternly denied – dealt Obamacare its biggest legal blow to date, and alternatively handing Obamacare opponents their largest court victory yet, when in a 5-4 vote SCOTUS ruled that business owners can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law that requires closely held private companies to provide health insurance that covers birth control. Continue reading »

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Jun 26

- Feds Spent $4.8 Billion on Obamacare Exchanges So Far (The Washington Free Bacon, June 25, 2014):

Law provided ‘indefinite’ funding

The federal government has spent nearly $5 billion to establish federal and state exchanges for Obamacare, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

The funding was provided by a section of the Affordable Care Act that allowed for “indefinite” funding at the discretion of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Continue reading »

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Jun 04

obamacare-symbol

1 In 4 Obamacare Signups Are Faulty – But, We Are Sure Obama Never Knew Anything About It Until Now (ZeroHedge, May 4, 2014):

While the administration unabashedly argued that they would not hand out taxpayer cash subsidies to anyone who didn’t verify income on… it seems once again, they lied. 9 months later and AP reports that 2 million of the Obamacare sign-ups have data discrepancies that could jeopardize coverage for some, a government document shows. Direct from the HHS itself, AP adds that several congressional committees are actively investigating the discrepancies, most of which involve important details on income, citizenship and immigration status. The farce is complete as no resolution looks likely anytime soon – “Current system access and functionality…limits the ability to resolve outstanding inconsistencies.” Of course, this is the first that Obama would have heard about it (from AP) and a probe of this SNAFU will begin immediately… Continue reading »

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Jun 02

Health-insurance-CEO-compensation

- Health insurance corporate CEOs rake in millions while the masses can barely afford premiums (Natural News, June 1, 2014):

One of the consequences of Obamacare is that health insurance company profitability is soaring, causing corporate CEOs of health insurance companies to pocket millions of dollars in annual salaries and bonuses. This is what happens when a government colludes with private industry to force the entire population to purchase a for-profit product that many don’t want (or need). Sales skyrocket and profits head for the stratosphere.

That’s why CEOs of the nation’s largest health insurance companies are raking in record salaries right now, earning as much as $90,000 per day:

Continue reading »

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Apr 30

- If It Wasn’t For Obamacare, Q1 GDP Would Be Negative (ZeroHedge, April 30, 2014):

Here is a shocker: for all the damnation Obamacare, which according to poll after poll is loathed by a majority of the US population, has gotten if it wasn’t for the (government-mandated) spending surge resulting from Obamacare, which resulted in the biggest jump in Healthcare Services spending in the past quarter in history and added 1.1% to GDP …

Healthcare Quarterly

… real Q1 GDP (in chained 2009 dollars), which rose only $4.3 billion sequentially to $15,947 billion, would have been a negative 1.0%!

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Apr 30

- GDP Shocker: US Economic Growth Crashes To Just 0.1% In Q1 (ZeroHedge, April 30, 2014):

Despite consensus at 1.2% growth QoQ, the “weather” destroyed the fragile stimulus-led economy of the US which managed only a de minimus +0.1% QoQ growth (the lowest since Q1 2011). However, as Steve Liesman noted on the heels of Mark Zandi’s comments “basically ignore this number” – ok then. Spending on Services, however, surged by the most since 2000 – heralded as great news by some talking heads – but is merely a reflection of the surge in healthcare and heating costs (imagine if it had not been cold and if Obamacare hadn’t saved us). As a reminder – this is the growth that is occurring as QE has run its course, as stimulus ends, and as escape velocity nears… if the “weather” can do this much damage to the US economy, should stocks really be trading at the multiple of exuberant future hope that they are?

Oops!

20140430_GDP

The full breakdown of GDP components: Continue reading »

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Apr 17

Paul-Krugman-Keynesians-Fail

- Krugman, Who Is Paid $25,000/Month To Study Inequality, Says “Nobody Wants Us To Become Cuba” (ZeroHedge, April 17, 2014):

When it comes to Krugman’s views on any particular topic, he may be right and he may be wrong, but whatever his opinion he always has a much to say about it (even if the factual backing is of secondary importance or outright missing). Today, his chosen topic is inequality, and in an interview with Bloomberg’s Tom Keene, shown and transcribed below, he certainly says much, encapsulated perhaps by the following gem:

“There’s zero evidence that the kind of extreme inequality that we have is good for economic growth. In fact, there’s a lot of evidence that it is actually bad for economic growth. Nobody wants us to become Cuba. The question is, do we have to have levels of inequality that are getting close to being the highest levels ever anywhere. We’re really starting to set new records here. Is that a good thing for anybody? If you look at our own history, it’s not true. The fact of the matter is since inequality began soaring around 1980, the bottom half of America has been pretty much left behind. It has not been a rising tide that raised all boats.”

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Apr 02

Obamacare-delay

- Obamacare deadline date extended again, US citizens hesitant to sign up (Voice of Russia, April 1, 2014):

The deadline to enroll in Obamacare has been extended once again. One reason why the delay is happening is because US citizens are hesitating to sign up. In spite of recent allegations that Obamacare would not be postponed after March 31 of this year, the White House changed its mind last minute. According to a Washington Post report on March 25, the Obama Administration decided to allow for an extension on the open enrollment timeframe for two to three weeks in at least 36 states.

This brand new postponement is just another headache that has become yet another nightmare in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In the beginning, Obama gave an open enrollment period of six months to sign up for the universal healthcare act that has been coined Obamacare. Now, Americans are being given even more time to sign up, with the extension period being between two to three weeks for individuals.

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Mar 31


Mar 31, 2014

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Mar 28

“By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.”
- Adolf Hitler


- Valerie Jarrett to Hollywood to Get Obamacare in Movie, TV Scripts (The Weekly Standard, March 26, 2014):

‘I’m a really good nag.’

A top of advisor to President Barack Obama is in Los Angeles to try to get Obamacare written into scripts of TV shows and movies. Valerie Jarrett explained in an appearance on Top That! on PopSugar.com:

“That’s the cool thing,” a host said to the presidential advisor. “You’ve been reaching out to people that are, you know, outside of the norm of what the president might work with. Who else are you working with? Like celebrities, personalities, things like that?”

Continue reading »

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