More outrage smoke from Ezekiel Emanuel on the Supreme Court women’s contraception ruling over at Politico lamenting unintended consequences.
Someone should lament the unintended consequences of the ACA, assuming they are unintended.
Blah blah, no personal choice, your company’s religious belief trumps yours, what a crime that companies have provided the majority of American’s health insurance since World War II when we could have had a super good program like ObamaCare is offering right now. Don’t you just wish those evil Supreme Court justices had gone the way of progressive liberal goodness and niceness and made up law like Justice Roberts did when he magiced a penalty, unlawful, into a tax, lawful, instead of reading this new rule to see if it clashed with laws already on the books?
The ACA was crated to, uh, prevent you from being locked into your job you see. Odd, I personally changed jobs, as a father of a family, which HAD pre-existing conditions, of a serious nature, some 9 times over the course of the last 35 years BEFORE the ACA, and oddly must have missed the handcuffs that kept me locked in my job(s). The ACA is a cure all, it will prevent job lock, it will raise wages AND it will keep health care inflation under control. Yeah, course it will. It would have helped win the War on women, but not now because Sharia law!
Here’s a snip….
‘To minimize disruption and reassure most Americans, the Affordable Care Act kept employer-sponsored health insurance intact. The ACA includes an employer mandate enforced by a $2,000 per worker penalty: Employers with more than 50 full-time workers who do not provide insurance that satisfies a minimum requirement must pay.
The minimum requirement includes preventive services from vaccinations to cancer screening tests to cholesterol screening. It also includes contraception. The Hobby Lobby case basically says employers need not cover contraception in the health insurance it provides” (my emphasis)
So well crafted was this law, that women’s contraceptive health coverage wasn’t even included in it. That would be the rule that the evil religious folks NOW can use to control women’s uterus’s! I mean that would be the rule that means the evil religious folks have to pay for birth control.
The ACA passed into law on March 23, 2010 – there was NO provision in the original law for birth control – here’s a FAQ from the National Women’s Law Center web site that explains it was added on August 1, 2011. Added, not voted on, not sent to the House, Senate, President. Just added.
“The health care law (the Affordable Care Act) requires certain preventive health services and screenings to be covered in all new health insurance plans without cost sharing. This means that, for the preventive health care services included, you will not be charged a co-payment for the services, and the costs of the services will not be applied to your deductible. The list of covered preventive services is extensive and includes services such as mammograms, pap-smears, and smoking cessation supports….(I snipped a link ‘for more info)
On August 1, 2011, the list was expanded to include birth control alongside other women’s preventive services, such as an annual well-woman visit.”
Maybe Nancy Pelosi should have read it first to see if that was in there. Or maybe it was, we just couldn’t see it, yet.
That was, not so soon, taken care of by Kathleen Sebelius and the good folks down at US Department of Health and Human Service, a year later. Really, you’d have thought they’d have done it sooner, but maybe they finally read the ACA.
Free contraception for women. They couldn’t possibly have left that out, that would be like a war on women or something, and not a Bush or Republican in sight to take the blame! It’s important, right? It couldn’t have been overlooked. It’s important enough that the government just tried to use it to tell people with objecting religious convictions (dirrrrrrrrty Christians) ….they were going to have to provide contraception coverage.
And now because of the Jihadi Sharia loving 5 maniacs on the Supreme Court, women can’t have contraception, or contraception of their choice, or health care, or something!!!!!!!!
Well, not quite, in this case, specifically, the government mandated Hobby Lobby had to pay for methods they considered to be tantamount to ”abortion’ coverage. Hobby Lobby actually agreed to cover some other forms of contraception, a pretty fair number, in fact, 16.
Robin Abcarian at the LA Times weighed in on the decision too. According to Robin the Supremes should have looked at what the drugs and devices did and made their decision on that basis. So long as when it was done the 5 male Justices that didn’t know for sure what 1 male and 3 female Justices didn’t know for sure, that is, when life begins, listened only to the 3 females because, uh, they have a uterus and ovaries.
Seems to me they probably did consider what those drugs and devices did as it really figures in their determination it was in fact a religious argument, or an argument of ‘faith’ if you will.
Here’s a summary from The Atlantic of what Hobby Lobby is thinking… and that’s where the argument gets religious for them. Hobby Lobby views life as beginning at the point the egg is fertilized by the sperm. The counter argument, and the Atlantic linked an authority appeal of ‘Most Doctors’ which turns out to be the Federal Government and a reference to the American Congress of OBGYNs, is that it begins at implantation (and we all know from Roe v. Wade that what implants is a puppy, or goldfish, or protoblob, until 9 months later a miracle occurs and a human is born.) The Atlantic summary is okay, but to me they torpedo themselves right around the straights of IUD diagram because they rely on their experts to make a decision of faith for Hobby Lobby, and decide that Hobby Lobby’s faith is politely, crap.
Once again, note if the egg hasn’t implanted (yet), the now hysterical side of the argument has decided it’s not a pregnancy. The IUDs prevent implantation and the pills in question prevent fertilization rather than stopping ovulation. And that’s where faith/belief comes in because we didn’t get the instruction book from the Deity of your choice. If you don’t have a deity, I’m not sure what you’re going to decide, but at some point LIFE begins and the two sides do NOT agree definitively when that is.
The 5 mad male Mullah’s on the Supreme Court decided to err on the side of Hobby Lobby’s beliefs. Owing to the Religious Freedom Restoration act. A law, already, on, the, books. Which the new ‘rule’ seemed to contradict in the 4 instances specified.
More from Zeke:
“The closely held corporation limit is no limit at all. It turns out that more than half of U.S. employees work for closely held corporations. While many are small, many, like Hobby Lobby, are large. And it gives an incentive for more employers to become closely held corporations.”
It doesn’t stop contraceptives from being covered, it’s probably not going to lead to a massive rush by companies to drop contraceptive coverage, it’s not some fundamentalist plot to control women and (re)gain control over their reproductive systems.
It was a loss for the progressives though, because they made such a freaking big deal out of making sure the crazy faith holders at Hobby Lobby did as they were damn well told. Hence the lamentations of their…uh, various genders.
As a final note, I can’t help thinking it is interesting to note that while 4 methods of “contraception” are no longer available to female Hobby Lobby employees, no one of these outraged folks is particularly concerned that the Democrats left such an important item out of the original encyclopedic bill or that an Executive branch agency came along and created an entire entitlement completely out of whole cloth a year after “the law” was passed.
You’d almost think they had some plan to make sure they were going to remain permanently in control of those agencies, otherwise that sort of thing would be dangerous if the crazy faith holders ever got back into power and turned the tables on them.
This administration excels at ‘The Big Lie”. Probably most hereabouts are familiar with that idea – tell any lie long enough and people just accept it as true. Biggest lie I can think of – that Barack Obama was ever qualified to be President of the United States. But there he is, sitting in the Oval Office, golfing at Andrews, picking out the spot for his legacy of lies “Liebrary”. Red lines that the world drew, recoveries that aren’t, a recession that never went away, actually a depression but who’s counting, unemployment that gets better by getting worse, pivots to the economy, which is where he pivots in some other way to destroy it through executive signings or approved executive branch regulations.
Birthed in lies, raised in lies, campaigned in lies, elected in lies and serving daily in lines. Non-stop lying. About the only thing he doesn’t lie about is that he likes to golf.
Benghazi, IRS, Fast and Furious, Affordable Health Care, closing Guantanamo, gay marriage, jihad is workplace violence. It’s not always ‘himself’ lying, sometimes it’s his executive organizations, his spokesmen, his fawning press. But it’s HIS administration, these therefore become his lies.
Lies to enemies, lies to allies, lies to ‘friends’, lies to detractors, lies to supporters.
Small lies, well, every day. A small lie gets them through this press conference, this question or that question, this news cycle. Sometimes we’ll have to visit it again, let’s see, oh, right, the GDP was down to a 1 percent growth, oh, and we had Obamacare’s increased spending on those who hadn’t been previously insured to thank for that. Until yesterday when that lie had to be revised, and the lie about Obamacare’s increased spending turned into a lie that Obamacare actually caused a decrease in healthcare spending. Yeah, small lies, we’ll see them again, contorted, changed, history ignored and altered. Things they said before ‘forgotten’ by them, by the media, by us as they trot out the new lie. They’ll become big lies if we keep worrying at them. Quit asking.
The lies evolve, sometimes they just drop them and come up with a completely new lie – it was riot in Benghazi caused by a video that grew to an attack on the embassy, we never said it wasn’t terrorism, we caught the mastermind! It was two rogue agents in Cincinnati that were trying to be more efficient, the dog ate our emails at the IRS, oh, and now the dog wandered over to the neighboring offices at the EPA and had a late night snack.
The original lies generally suck, they do however seem to pass muster for the low info voters, for people who might read the first paragraph of the headlines. They do the job they’re supposed to do, provide a little cover till they can refine the lies. But they only need to refine the lies if someone asks for clarification of course. Any lying 5 year old understands you don’t elaborate on the lie if you aren’t pushed with further questions.
Like lies presented in truths so we can move past a lie that’s really important to the problem they’re willing to cop to for the moment. The art of distracting us from a lie by handing us lies wrapped in truth.
Oh, that’s bad….but it appears to be the truth. That’s good, truth is good, good we found this out, not much there, ask the NY Times, this is just another Republican attempt to pump up a scandal I’m sure.
“Congressional investigators say they uncovered emails Wednesday showing that a former Internal Revenue Service official at the heart of the tea party investigation sought an audit involving a Republican senator in 2012.
The emails show former IRS official Lois Lerner mistakenly received an invitation to an event that was meant to go to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.”
And there, in the first two paragraphs, presented as ‘truth’, is your bold faced lie (made bold and italic by yours truly).
She mistakenly received an invitation for Senator Grassley?
Why? How? because the sender had Lerner’s address and Grassley’s address on a dropdown and moused to the wrong one?
Because Grassley ‘sounds’ like Lerner and the autoaddress feature used Lerner instead of Grassley?
Uh, because someone interrupted the writer and he accidentally typed LOIS.LERNER@IRS.GOV instead of SEN.CHARLES.GRASSLEY@USSENATE.GOV and hit SEND?
Wow. Look ma, the dog ate our emails, and the organizer for a Republican campaign event’s dog accidentally sent Lois Lerner at IRS an invitation intended for US Senator Charles Grassley that Lois might review to consider launching an investigation over.
Phew, good thing that guy Matthew Giuliano waved her off from doing anything with that ‘mistakenly received’ email.
“This kind of thing fuels the deep concerns many people have about political targeting by the IRS and by officials at the highest levels,” Grassley said. “It’s very troubling that a simple clerical mix-up could get a taxpayer immediately referred for an IRS exam without any due diligence from agency officials.”
This kind of thing? ‘Simple clerical mixup’ Words fail me. Et tu Chuck? Seriously?
You mean how an email went mysteriously to LOIS.LERNER@RECTALEXAMSAREUS.GOV, her email address, for her review, ‘by mistake’?
No, you mean the IRS rectal exam that might have been started as a result of her completely innocent receipt of an email intended for a US Senator.
But there wasn’t any exam, so yeah! NO HARM DONE!!!! No harm, no foul. Prove the harm! None! Matthew Giuliano at the IRS did his job, the IRS did it’s job! Now go away you scandal mongering racist conservatives!
So don’t ask how she got that invitation, but rest assured, there was no mistake involved. Remain confident if you ask, they’ll refine this blatant lie.
Lies hidden in truths, lies in your face. Every week, every year, the most transparently lying to us administration in our history.
Obama’s administration lies again. Hi-ho Silver.
In case you’re wondering why the lie might matter and why ‘mistaken receipt’ of the email for which Lois Lerner considered the possibility of investigation is important. Because, you see, if Lois Lerner had Senator Grassley’s email invitation through some method other than ‘accidental receipt’, she, and the person who sent it to her, may have broken Federal laws.
Since the Constitution didn’t foresee email, there is no guarantee of it’s privacy. So in 1986 Congress passed the Electronic Communications Privacy act, which established provisions for privacy rights of people using electronic devices. The way I read it, under the act it is a crime for someone to read or disclose the contents of email communications (let alone decide to launch an IRS tax audit) if it’s not addressed to them.
The law regards each of these situations as distinct.
- Interception of e-mail during transmission is prohibited by federal wiretap statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2510-2521 and also some state wiretap statutes. The federal statutes were amended in 1986 by Title I of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) to include e-mail.
- Reading e-mail during storage on a computer system is prohibited by federal statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2701-2711, Title II of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), provided that the system is “providing an electronic communication service to the public.” This means, among other things, that your e-mail messages are confidential when stored on a computer owned by an ISP that offers to any member of the public the ability to send e-mail and you pay for the account yourself. But there is no protection in 18 U.S.C. § 2702 for e-mail stored on a computer system operated by a corporation primarily for its own business communications. So, if you send e-mail to a company (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org) and the e-mail is stored on that company’s computer, you have no privacy rights under this statute.
- The recipient of e-mail is generally free to share the information in the e-mail with anyone, subject to legal obligations that are mentioned later in this paper.
Reading e-mail that is stored on a computer is not an “interception” under 18 U.S.C. § 2510, et seq., because an interception must be contemporaneous with the transmission of the message between different locations. Steve Jackson Games v. U.S. Secret Service, 816 F.Supp. 432, 442 (W.D.Tex. 1993), aff’d, 36 F.3d 457, 460 (5thCir. 1994). This holding has been accepted in several subsequent cases, including Wesley College v. Pitts, 974 F.Supp. 375, 384-390 (D.Del. 1997); U.S. v. Moriarty, 962 F.Supp. 217, 221 (D.Mass. 1997); Bohach v. City of Reno, 932 F.Supp. 1232, 1235-36 (D.Nev. 1996).”
See below – it’s a fine line if some ‘unknown’ person made a copy and passed it on to Lerner. The person who passes it on originally may have broken the law since passing on such an email seems like it could constitute ‘disclosure’. Unless of course it pertains to evidence of a criminal activity….
“One court noted that there is a loophole in Title II of the ECPA, where an unknown person can make a copy of e-mail and give it away, then other people who do not provide an electronic communication service can lawfully make a further distribution of copies of that private e-mail. Wesley College v. Pitts, 974 F.Supp. 375, 389 (D.Del. 1997).
In the special case of e-mail that contains evidence of criminal activity, there is no protection for the confidentiality of the message when the recipient discloses the contents of a communication to law enforcement agents or to a criminal trial. U.S. v. White, 401 U.S. 745 (1971)(no violation of Fourth Amendment when defendant spoke to informant who had concealed microphone and transmitter); Hoffa v. U.S., 385 U.S. 293 (1966)(statements made by Hoffa to undercover informant not protected by Fourth Amendment). Furthermore, there is no protection under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for production of documents at a criminal trial, U.S. v. Doe, 465 U.S. 605 (1984). In summary, the author of an e-mail message generally can not prevent disclosure of the message by the recipient.”
I’ll let the legal experts, some here assembled, discuss the possibilities. The idea that she mistakenly received it however, smells of pure fabrication.
UPDATE (the second)
It appears that the actual invitation WAS through snail mail, making Grassley’s acceptance that some clerical error genuinely occurred valid.
Not a lie then if there’s real paper on this – and not Lerner’s fault if she opened a letter addressed to her with contents intended for someone else.
What she did with it afterwards, well……..
I’m assuming that we’re not talking .PDF files here, attached to mails, and that we’re really talking a hand delivered stamped envelope carried by the United States Postal service which was addressed to Lois Lerner, with contents for Charles Grassley….
Certainly the flow of e-mails in this link indicates the second go round, the correction of recipients, was done via .PDF.
If you read it, you’ll see the clarification and embarrassment from the sender.
One odd thing….can anyone fathom the end of the PS comment at the end of the correct sending exchange between ‘Dawn’ and Matthew?
Should we get the sense they don’t know each other, or didn’t prior to a phone call he made to clarify and correct?
“Still, it will be an easy commute?“
During my usual effort to get good and stressed before sunrise, I was reading the news this morning –
President campaigns for Health Care Enrollment
Where I came across this photo, which I proceeded to doctor and make mock of. I thought it was from the White House Easter Egg ceremony of 2014 – and then found out it was from 2009.
Hardly current. Buggers.
I wandered back to the real 2014 gallery to find some others. Maybe there was another photo that my hostile imagination could play with.
Who needs to play with things when the real thing is so much more entertaining.
The real White House egg hunt photos from 2014. Step right up, this is the real thing folks, accept no substitutes.
So now we can all try and figure out what kind of people think this is funny enough to make part of the National history of what should be a lighthearted thing for kids.
Here’s the caption “Our heavily armed snipers are dressed in kid-friendly bunny attire”.
Oh, ha ha ha. You kidders, your heavily armed snipers are kid friendly heavily armed snipers.
This made me to wonder if we’ve ever lightheartedly made jokes about needing snipers on the White House roof before.
The gallery of previous years, even post 9/11, seem remarkably short of references of this kind. You know, no cute photos of MANPAD equipped agents dressed as Harvey the Pooka who will magic Easter Jihadi’s out of the air (to cascade down in flaming bits over the streets and buildings of the capital, but I digress while expressing thanks that I have neither the job of pulling the trigger or the job of giving the command to do so…).
But the real prize for this year goes to this one -with the caption – “Colorful Easter eggs are tossed off the White House roof at special targets below.”
Given the death from above philosophy I think this humor a little macabre as well.
How about some nice photo shots of the kids and people at the parties as we did in previous administrations? No?
Readers can feel free to tell me to “lighten up Francis,” I won’t mind.
If it were new behavior from this administration, I’d just think it was a little weird. As it is, I’ve come to accept this kind of thing as fairly normal.
That is to say, bizarre.
If you’re at all inclined to go look you might want to do so before some adult becomes aware and sanity takes hold and they clean this, yet another, clueless, tone deaf, gawdawful mess up.
UPDATE – 2014-04-21 – 15:00 Central Time
If you go to the White House web page I linked to, you’ll see a bunch of little eggs floating around the screen, and…..a fly. A fly? A fly walking around the screen?
The Easter Fly? Is this some tradition I don’t know about?
Does someone need to remind these people this is the White House or what? The Residence of the President of the United States of America…
Yeah yeah, I know, lighten up Francis.
There’s a lot of internetness going on over Jay Carney and the choice of posters in his kitchen.
Priorities people….but what the hell, it’s Sunday morning and I’m not cranky yet. Maybe I will be when I’m done .
Apart from the choice of Soviet Era posters that Joe Stalin may have had the originals of in his garage or basement pool room let’s take a visual tour of the rest of the place.
First let us note, admire, and praise the skill of his son flipping that egg, and timing it all so his sister can point at it at precisely the right instant for the camera. Come on people, that’s pretty awesome. How many of you have TRIED to flip an egg in the pan? That boy got some serious hang time there, and I have to assume it’s still going up because the egg hasn’t even rotated over yet. AND I want to be there when that still runny yoke smacks into the pan from that height as Newton’s laws do their thing when it comes back down. Ah, good times, good times…..
Second, I hope the Carneys (Given this photo, can I spell it Carnies? That joke never runs out does it.) enjoy the repast they’ve laid out. When Michelle gets wind of the sugar laden carbo loaded feast for two dozen that the four (I’ve allowed for the photographer) are about to settle down to she’s going to have words with Jimbo about healthy diets.
Food to the left of them,
food to the, uh, even further left of them,
food behind them.
Stacked and plated,
sliced up with special care,
boldly it sits, all there,
gather ye world, and stare.
No spot on the counter bare,
none of them have bed hair,
displaying their hominess flair,
the family of Carney.
Let’s see – nice plate of butter sticks, looks to be about two pounds, poached eggs in cups, bananas just in the left of the frame, blueberries strewn across the counter closing in on one infidel strawberry, sliced bread plates, a tray of bagels, stacks of muffins, stacks of Danish. I can’t tell if that’s an entire cheese cake covered with strawberries, or a massive bowl of said fruit.
Yep, life must be goooooooo-oood at the Carney house if that’s a normal breakfast layout. Maybe there’s a slew of undocumented maids off camera that will be eating after the Carney family is finished picking over this smorgasbord buffet pastry collection that wiped out the local bakeries’ stock for the morning. I’m surprised they’re all so healthy looking if that’s what they normally lay out. What about the hungry? What about the poor? That’s a lot of cash, well, for me it is, laying out in baked goods that are going to get stale before noon. I’d swear they were feeding way more than 4 people. I’ve seen local computer user group meetings where that layout would be the first go round as the vultures, uh, participants, arrived for the 8:00 am opening.
I don’t know, maybe those pastries were provided by ‘green’ bakers looking to schmooze Jay so he’ll put in a good word with the boss for the next big payoff, I uh mean of course, stimulus package. I don’t really care what Jay does with his paycheck, that’s his business, but, dude, kinda wasteful, no? Maybe that’s just the deep down stingy Yankee in me talking. Maybe it’s the jealous guy who’s fighting off and losing against the advance of his stomach over the belt border line. Maybe I’m just a racist who resents imported possibly undocumented Danish pastry taking the jobs of American baking powder biscuits and corn muffins. I think I’m suffering class envy!
As I write this I am link hunting, and discovered Noah Rothman’s most excellent de-construction of this, and other pictures I didn’t know existed. I’ll leave this to Mr. Rothman now, read his piece. I can’t top his, but I am encouraged to see several of the observations he made were ones I made myself.
Where I was going anyway was what disturbs me, and still does despite Rothman’s wonderful take down is that THIS is what it takes to piss people off. THIS is what we talk about around the table, at the water cooler, wherever. We’re not pissed enough that they might be listening in to our phone calls and reading our emails and accessing our computers. We’re not angry enough that they’re ignoring, inventing and mis-enforcing the laws, that they’re using executive branch agencies to clamp down on every conceivable corner of our way of life while they plot new ways to stuff us in neat little demographic pens. Where they can pander and feed and water and house us while they whip up our anger against the people two pens down because they have a bigger pen than we do. They give us a new ball to keep an eye on in a never ending shell game while they pick our pockets and divide us for their own ends.
We riot over whether or not our team loses in the NCAA, heck, we may riot if they win. We worry and grouse, and demand action against “the rich”, without stopping to wonder whether or not we’re ‘rich’ to the guy on the other side of the tracks.
Especially pernicious is their use of race to deflect and divert justifiable criticism of their policies as they work to divide us. Focusing on what makes us different while claiming they want us to embrace and accept everyone in harmony.
Based on the photos, with the exception of the posters (kinda scary really) I guess they want us to judge people based on the content of their kitchen.
Here we are.
Quick hits on the last day you have, had, might have had, to sign up for your ObamaCare insurance. Curiously a rush of people appeared to sign up that I predict the Administration will report will carry them over the 7 million
lost policies, log ons , applications, enrollments payed policy holder goal line. If anyone can recall 7 million was the original goal when this benevolent plan to help the uninsured portion of the population of the United States started. We should overlook the percentages of likely to use older and less healthy participants versus the younger will pay and never use participants and the predicted cost curves and such. If you have a plan and don’t like what they’re offering they promise you can keep your plan. Ha! Fooled you! It’s okay though, your old plan sucked whatever it was and whether you thought it did nor not.
There’s a rumble of war in the east, the Russians will, they won’t, they can’t because we stood up to them, occupy Ukraine, or eastern Ukraine, and will maybe go so far as to establish casino dominance in the Crimea. Take that Winstar Casino! But Putin is now in a box owing to the stringent actions of the EU and the US to contain his aggressive ADHD driven tendencies. And owing to
the President’s our ever watchful eye we have Putin’s army where we want it now.
At the pump gas prices are consistently higher over time under the current administration than the previous administration. But not the highest single spike and that’s what’s important. We can assume the personal finances of the President are secure as it was a well documented fact during the Bush administration that upticks in gas prices are the result of the President’s holdings in oil companies and his desire to make sure his retirement fund is well padded. Harry Reid said that when they rose under Bush, or someone said they heard Harry Reid say someone said that. Meanwhile in another energy independent decisive policy act the President is going to render a decision on the job creating, oil providing, Keystone pipeline at any moment. If you click on those links, you might want to jot down the dates on the articles for reference and hilarity. Continued samples of the brilliant ultra decisive actions we’ve come to expect from this President.
Environmentally the administration is rolling out a new plan to deal with global warming. It’s likely this plan will establish policies to deal with dangers such as earth quakes, meteor strikes, comets and other ill portents all suspected to be linked to man made catastrophic global warming by the consensus science community. Officially known as the
American Economy Wrecking plan Climate Action Plan, they should consider calling it Obamafarts as a sort of short catchy handle that will appeal to the millenials almost as much as Pajama Boy did.
Speaking of American youth, they continued this last weekend to demonstrate their anger over being spied on, lied to and future taxed into oblivion by focusing on what’s important the same way the President uses his laser like focus to solve the country’s problems. Such a trend could, in as little as 300 years, lead to as broad a nationwide protest to the current government policies as was seen in the 60’s and 70’s during America’s involvement in Vietnam, though the former Soviet Union would need to rise up again and send us more campus agitators.
Finally the President’s 4 point approach to deal with America’s immigration problem is showing very positive signs in at least 2 of the 4 parts. Coupled with his crack down on companies that hire illegals, it was shown over the weekend by an independent study of ICE’s activities that the President can safely add the title “Deporter in Chief” to his list of accomplishments. We’re calling this latest ‘by Presidential order’ approach the “Catch and Release” mandate. It’s thought highly likely that once the mid-term elections are over the Administration (and the Republicans) will step up their efforts on part 3, “Streamlining Immigration” by declaring any individuals, living or deceased, in the continental US, it’s states, or territories on Jan 1st 2015 be recognized officially as American citizens. The President may extend the deadline to January 15th 2015 for those who thought about coming to the US, but couldn’t make it before the cutoff date.
Have a great day America.
UPDATE – April 1st
As my two Great Danes could have predicted – “With daily volumes continuing to surge, analysts believe the final tally could approach or even exceed an original goal of 7 million”
Now, don’t let the fact that the system was down for a good portion of the day deceive you. This “surprising” come back was destined, written, fated, according to prophecy, etc.
I wish the numbers in my checking account were as flexible as the numbers used by the Obama Administration.
A new study from National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado revealed that a ‘small’ nuclear exchange would solve the global warming problem.
That wasn’t what they intended it to show, but it sure would be a quick fix to this impending global climate change heating up disaster the President and John Kerry keep flogging wouldn’t it? But seriously, it shows a drastic global cooling effect brought on by nuclear exchange. The term nuclear winter is bandied about, but in this theoretical exercise things don’t go quite far enough to trigger Fimbulwinter.
In the study, only the US is still a superpower but we’re not the problem. That term superpower may need to go to the shop for repair all things considered, but for once the study didn’t presume Evil Bush pushed the buttons to send us to perdition. Instead India and Pakistan square off and slug it out with low yield bombs in the Hiroshima class range. To the tune of 100 15kt weapons.
What they collectively have 100 of that would need nuking isn’t clear, but assume bases, cities and so forth, and maybe re-nuking some targets. It’s a study in long term effect after all, not military use of the weapons. 100 of them in the territory given certainly implies some tactical activity for their deployment as well as strategic hits on infrastructures and civilian centers. Therefore we can assume air bursts and ground bursts, as each one will have different effects for the purposes of the study. As an aside, they must have really dedicated fighters and leaders in their model to continue fighting long enough to exchange 100 nukes. Be that as it may, once the blasting is over the study simulates the effect on climate on land, sea and air. The conclusion as you would expect is catastrophe not just for India and Pakistan, but globally.
We’re talking, according to the study, global cooling effect and the loss of the ozone layer for as long as a decade. The cooling to be caused by 5 million metric tons of dust spewing into the atmosphere.
The conclusion is that 100 weapons of Hiroshima scale would throw up 5 million metric tons of sunlight blocking dust and drop average surface temperatures world wide 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit ( or for fuzzy foreigners 1.5 degrees Celsius). That would be the lowest averages in over 1000 years. Here in the US we’d experience winters that were significantly colder by from 4.5 to 10.8 degrees F and cooler summers. All of which would lead to lethal frosts and reduced growing seasons. No doubt causing world wide famine and destruction of biblical plague proportions. if it didn’t say that last part, it can be pretty much concluded though. It was originally thought by previous studies that the temperatures would go back to something like normal after a decade or so, but this new study shows the cool temperatures could persist for 25 years or more. Global precipitation would fall off and this would lead to forest fires world wide which of course would raise the amount of particulate in the atmosphere. Somewhere in there dogs and cats probably start living together and there’s mass hysteria.
Now this is the third study of this nature that’s been done, and “their conclusions support each other”. As the models get more sophisticated they show the effects of a limited regional nuke war to be more and more pronounced.
If you have access, you can see the detail of their findings here, but your bumbled journalist here gets a big 403 Forbidden from the link.
All of this stuff is cool, no pun intended, and interesting. Well, other than perhaps the models might look to real climate history for some reference about effects of nuclear above ground detonations on the earth’s climate. It’s not like the world hasn’t had any experience or history to go by.
First there’s the bombs. 100 bombs at 15kt each is 15000 kt, or 1.5 megatons. That’s gonna be a bad start to anyone’s weekend. After all 1 exploding dumb 250 lb iron bomb ruins your day if you’re nearby.
But the “BRAVO” hydrogen test shot on Bikini Atoll was 15 megatons all by itself, so, multiply this little ground war’s explosions by 10 and we’re in the same range as this one explosion on Bikini. India and Pakistan are going to have to fight a little harder. The United States alone, in atmospheric nuclear testing, accounted for 137 megatons worth of explosions above ground over a 17 year period. That works out to a little over 8 megatons worth of nuclear explosions per year for 17 years. That’s just the US contribution. France, Britain, The Soviets, ‘Red’ China, all tested atmospheric bombs, all in the megaton range. The Soviet Tzar Bomba was rated, by itself, as at, or over, 50 megatons. Before the distinction is made about tests over the ocean, versus tests over the land, the US detonated 27 nuclear devices here in the US, above ground, in 1957 alone.
The various nuclear armed parties continued with these above ground tests up until 1980.
1.5 megatons causes drastic global cooling?
Then there’s the dust estimates – 5 million metric tons of dust high into the atmosphere. By way of comparison, Mount St. Helens in 1980 is estimated to have blown 1.5 million metric tons 20 miles into the atmosphere with 500 million falling tons falling in Washington, Idaho and Montana. Krakatoa in 1883 is estimated to have produced 12 BILLION metric tons of dust – I based this number on a study here – which estimates a 10,000 megaton nuke war would put 25 billion metric tons of dust into the atmosphere and that study estimates that amount to be about double the dust produced by Krakatoa. Krakatoa is credited with screwing up the weather in 1884, with results like crazy prolific rain in Southern California and average Northern Hemisphere summer temperatures falling by 2.2 degrees F.
There’s no disputing the effect of dust in the atmosphere, there should be a serious dispute about the effect the amount of dust used in their sophisticated model will produce. The warmers will probably claim that was why it didn’t get warmer until after 1980 when atmospheric nuclear testing stopped.
Finally there’s the business of stripping off the ozone layer in the atmosphere. We can only speculate that our modern ozone must be different than the ozone available in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s since that old timer ozone didn’t all vanish when we nuked Enewetak in 1952 to the tune of 10.5 megatons worth of boom, dust and excited atomic particles.
It is safe to believe that some fair percentage of the people involved in these studies probably don’t remember atmospheric nuclear testing, or possibly even Mount St Helens, but they, or their elders who do, might consider cracking open a world history book from the WWII onwards and then a climate history review between 1945 and 1981.
And then try tuning their keeno sophisticated nuclear war climate models and running them again.
I thought I’d, you know, take a tour of QandO. A real tour, of things I might use more than once every year, because prior to this my ramblings seldom needed any kind of links or documentation. That being the case I can report I’ve poked around in the wardrobes, steamer trunks and closets here back stage, and God help them they’ve given me access to all kinds of things.
While I was puttering around in the right hand column, I noticed ‘resources’ (“which”, says the narrator in my head “he’s seen and even used before but didn’t bother to make note of….”).
Bottom of that list….”White House”. Yep. The White House. I stopped trying to learn about QandO and clicked it. Attention span of a gnat I swear.
The White House.
I was greeted by the count-down clock for the destruction of the world, err, I mean the amount of time people have left to enroll in the mandatory health care system before the deadline is arbitrarily extend by the President on the afternoon of March 30th because not enough people will have enrolled. We may only need another 15% of the country to sign up anyway. What’s that you say?
Slightly down the page there’s a tab – Engage and Connect – Opening the doors to the White House. Where it says “President Obama is committed to making this the most open and participatory administration in history.” That brought forth a friendly chuckle, and I had to know more. Ah, that zany transparency thing again, such kidders. Now I would learn how I could participate. Clicking on the link, I saw two more links under ‘participate’ – “We are a nation of immigrants” and “Speak out in support of Health Care Reform”. Apparently we are not asked to participate if we want to speak out against Health Care Reform, that isn’t particularly surprising, but I thought showhow it might be helpful to mention it here.
I clicked We are a nation of immigrants. They generously offered to let me give them my own immigrant story, which they can probably get from the NSA or FBI or my sister’s ancestry.com account, so I declined to give it to them again to avoid duplication. A link says the President is committed to common-sense reform that fixes our broken immigration system. Have you ever noticed it’s always going to be a common-sense reform? Phew, I thought he was for some crazy radical scheme like handing out citizenship to 11 million or so people who snuck into the country illegally!
Now we were getting somewhere! Four points, four simple points. Border Security, Strengthening enforcement, Earned Citizenship and Streamlining Immigration.
1st point, Border Security – Beef up the borders. We now have more agents, specifically on the Canadian border. Probably to keep undocumented Canadian rodeo riders, country western singers and actors from sneaking in, though it doesn’t really say. I can’t tell how many agents…both numbers 3800 and 2200 are mentioned so maybe it’s 6000, agents now, but yeah! The site goes on to say we’ve doubled the number of agents nationwide since 2004, up to 21,000. By default, we may then assume we have more on the southern border too. No, we must assume because the numbers were a little vague. By ‘a little vague’, I mean nonexistent.
They didn’t say anything specifically about the increase of coverage on the southern border. Just that we had more boots on the ground. I presume we have people wearing the boots and didn’t just sort of scatter empty ones from Port Isabel to San Diego. Then again, it did say we’re using technologies to secure the land and maritime border. Maybe we have special sensors in empty boots that detect doctors, engineers and web programmers as they attempt to sneak in across our southern land border. They don’t mention if we have floating boot buoys at sea to keep zodiac boats full of undocumented physicists from sneaking in along the Gulf coast. Well, that was a good start anyway. I assume these are the professions of people who have already breached the border, because the Chamber of Commerce and the High Tech companies seem very keen to grant them all amnesty for their undocumented transgression, NOW.
2nd Point, Strengthening Enforcement – ah, big heading here says “Cracking down on Employers Hiring Undocumented Workers”. This deserves the copied quote:
– “It means cracking down more forcefully on businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers…most businesses want to do the right thing… So we need to implement a national system that allows businesses to quickly and accurately verify someone’s employment status. And if they still knowingly hire undocumented workers, then we need to ramp up the penalties.”
President Barack Obama, January 29, 2013
Apparently we need a national system to check you out Ivan Ivanovitch, when you apply for a job, to make sure you’re here legally. It needs to be a national database. Fraud resistant tamper proof identification, which of course won’t be used for you to vote in elections, that would be wrong to disenfranchise you and only a racist would suggest such a thing. It will be required when you get a job at, 7-eleven, or McDonalds or Lockheed Martin or Booz Allen Hamilton. A nagging voice in my mind keeps mumbling about some national data collection thingy or other that was an overwhelming success in October of last year.
Penalties for hiring illegals will be significantly increased! Hurrah! Take that Koch brothers! Take that Mitt Romney! I don’t know that any of them hire illegals, unless Harry Reid says he heard someone say they did. All this made me wonder what weak worthless penalties we currently have in place for companies that hire illegal, I mean, undocumented, workers.
So I did a web search “penalties for illegal hiring” and the very first hit on Google says – Obama eases penalties for businesses hiring illegal immigrants.
Well, that took the wind out of my sails. Well, that and seeing them being called illegal instead of undocumented even on the White House web site.
There were 4 items listed on how we’re going to fix immigration, and when I checked just one with sources other than the White House, it proved to be, uh, like saying I could keep my insurance plan if I liked it. 25% of the plan the White House is talking about is already crap and I haven’t even finished looking at half of it yet (which means 50% of the plan I do know about is crap).
So I stopped. That was sooooo disappointing.
There’s obviously a rogue intern at work here, or a low level functionary from Cincinnati. I considered sending a note to the President so he didn’t have to find out on the 6:00 PM news on Friday that someone in his administration wasn’t on the same page he was and was making him look silly on the White House web page. He’d be very angry, no one would be angrier.
Maybe I’d have better luck with “Speak out in support of Health Care reform”
I clicked the link. Ah there’s a nice picture of the President, sitting at a kitchen table…with a bunch of people who look like Tea Partiers…and a skin-head!!! Maybe it’s just the camera angle, maybe that guy has some hair on the back of his head, maybe it’s the edge of a NAZI tattoo! Lord! Nary a Secret Service agent in sight!
And the bold caption says “85% of Americans have already benefitted from the Affordable Care Act”. 85% of YOU, because so far as I know aside from an increased tax burden and higher premiums on a slightly less generous insurance plan, that number does NOT include me.
At this point I couldn’t go further, because I was sort of afraid if I clicked any other White House site links I’d find myself in an odd room with a bottle with a little tag that said “drink me” and a cake with a note that said “eat me”.
That’s my way of telling you stay away from the White House resource link…..
Dear readers of QandO.
I intended this to precede my musings on the Crimea, alas, Id10T error received by WordPress novice.
Normally you may see my…observations…in the comment section here, assuming you read the comment section, and assuming you read my comments.
After years of being ‘looker’ somehow my credibility would be increased (nay confirmed even!) if I used my real name, at least, according to one particular person I shall not name (curse you Voldemort!). On reflection perhaps ‘pain in the …’ would have been a better handle for me, but when I first commented, I was only ‘looking’, hence ‘looker’. That didn’t last long.
The proprietors have apparently had enough of my Irish whispers in the background and rather than show me the door, have decided that I should try and earn my keep instead. So they’ve offered me the opportunity to stop merely being a wordy guest, and maybe do some actual work.
Trust me, I have now officially discovered writing allegedly coherent, if not thoughtful, pieces for presentation versus commenting ain’t the same thing. My level of respect for those who do so daily has risen dramatically.
I would like to express my thanks to all the contributing authors, especially Dale and Bruce, for this opportunity.
As for everyone else, I am sorely tempted to warn you to flee while you may.
When the Russians more or less militarily annexed the Crimea a couple of days ago , it was pretty obvious the West wasn’t going to go to war over it, any previously mumbled promises to Ukraine that implied we might aside. It’s still obvious, not that avoiding a war is a bad thing and all.
Who can blame Europe for not wanting another war? They’ve hosted so many, and I’m reliably told if you wander about you can still find nostalgic bits of wreckage to prove it. There are parts left over from wars everywhere. Castles, forts, the Kaiser Wilhelm church (what’s left of it) in Berlin. Graves….lots and lots of graves. Graves of local men, and graves of men who came from across the world, and graves of civilians.
In January of this year, in Euskirchen Germany, a bulldozer operator was killed by a bomb from WWII, and it’s not uncommon for unexploded ordnance to be found, some dating back to the big fandango they held 100 years ago this year. The Europeans have done a super job of cleaning up the place, and I’m 100% certain they aren’t interested in having to do it again anytime soon.
This is why, no one, not even the allegedly crazy Russians, really wants to die for real-estate to get it back into Russia. Maybe some Ukrainians are willing to die out of pride for Ukraine, but the Russians prefer it be done with the bare minimum of shooting, explosions and death. Even ‘crazy’ ‘evil’ people understand that upsets folks, and the shooting, explosions and death get out of control, and pretty soon it’s happening everywhere in sight. The Russians don’t want a war either, but they’re not averse to picking up (re-acquiring) some real-estate on the cheap.
For my entire life we, Americans, helped keep the Russians from taking over the joint by being in places they wanted to be before they could be there. Kudos to NATO and all for asking us to stay. But everybody knew when we parked Americans in their path all across Europe and the Russians did drive tanks through Fulda Gap…if they did it over American bodies; America was likely to take a war-like exception to it. Geo-politics and military science is brutally practical about things like that, and the Russians understood. America was across the ocean and much harder for Soviet tank division to blitzkrieg than a quick push to the east bank of the Rhine. We made it difficult for them by being where they wanted to be in ways that only war, or government over throw, could clear us out of. We stood in Western Europe and they stood in Eastern Europe and we glared at each other. The Europeans understood where the fight was going to happen if it happened. If some were nicer to the Soviets (now the Russians) than we liked, it was probably out of practicality. At times they glared at both us and the Russians.
The ‘other’ people further east, in the Russian zone, just had to live with the Russians because clearing them out would wreck the joint, and everybody knew that too. They didn’t glare at anybody because they didn’t dare. Then the Soviet Union/Eastern Bloc collapsed, they became Russians again and Ukrainians and Latvians and Estonians and Lithuanians and Moldovans and Serbs and you get the idea.
The Europeans don’t want a war, the Russians don’t want a war, we don’t want a war. Having so much experience in wars, and cleaning up after wars, one can understand the reluctance to do the centennial anniversary reenactment of 1914 this year with live rounds.
Still, Russian occupation of the Crimea should never have happened if the West was sincere about helping the Ukrainians keep their lands (especially after the Russians vs Georgia take-down in 2008). I have mixed emotions about our policing the world, and our commitments to far flung places. But our word has to mean something too, and if we bother to give it, we ought to keep it. Not keeping it leads to where we are, drawing red lines and erasing them just as quickly, making threats on an international basis and then barring a couple people from Disney World to show how much we mean it. There’s a whole set of posts that could be written on why we let down our guard in Europe. A quick hit list, military use fatigue, the cost, the simple hope that the not Soviet Russians weren’t going to start up the ‘let’s take over a country’ club again, resurgent Russian pride, feckless American policy, and a new world order.
The biggest one we hear about is this inane belief in some new order that has taken hold. A magic set of rules for countries came into being when we hit the millennium. Who knew? It’s not clear, to me anyway, why that is, must be a side effect of climate change or something because I don’t recall any burning bushes or Jewish prophets with stone tablets making the news recently. I do know our Secretary of State thinks they exist ( I mentioned feckless American policy); Angela Merkel seems to think they exist. But maybe no one forwarded the memos to Vladimir Putin, because all in all he seems pretty proud of using the old rules, and so are his constituents.
No, there is no magic set of new rules. I can’t even say it would be nice, because not only is it not real, it’s not even clearly laid out what it means internationally. Furthermore the old rules still work and still apply. Power and vacuums of power. In fact these new rules already seem remarkably ineffective against people who still use the old rules. As a result there aren’t any new magic formulas or methods for getting the Russians to give Crimea back now either. They certainly aren’t going to do it because we in the West tell each other that Russia is naked in the eyes of the world. They aren’t going to do it no matter how many times some idiot calls them ‘evil’. They aren’t going to do it because they suddenly understand they’re violating the 21st century rules.
Just because the West doesn’t want to apply power doesn’t mean the Russians can’t and won’t. When a country can take over a chunk of another country in a week, there really isn’t much threats that will take months to show effect are going to do to stop them. Done deals. Because people don’t want to wait that long for results (especially the Ukrainians in this case), and life, and business, and in Europe’s case, the need to heat their houses, goes on.
If the West is serious, and worried about the Russians moving into Kiev, park ‘non-threatening’ NATO forces in Kiev. Not just visiting, full time. Park a ‘non-threatening’ contingent of ground troops in Estonia (note the date of that article, last year…). See if the other Baltic countries would like to have permanent physical NATO contingents with troops who are not local. Go beyond ‘air policing’. Put the equivalent of a guard contingent on the equivalent of the Rhine bridges before the Russians do the equivalent of occupying the Rhineland.
And hit our own damn power reset button. Drill like hell for natural gas and oil here in the US and export it to Europe to cut their dependence on Russia. The Russians will understand, they’ll bitch, but they’ll stop because they really don’t want the same war we don’t want. There can’t be a whole lot in Estonia the Russians want to die for.
Project POWER back into the vacuum we’ve created before Putin again proves the old rules, the same ones Hitler used so well, still work just fine. Do it before Chamberlain calls to say he wants his ‘new’ rules back.
Not gonna happen, I realize. We have ‘smart’ diplomacy now, we lead from behind. We’re going to jaw about the new international rules the millennium brought us, and threaten the Russians with our economic power even while we struggle to keep that power turned on for ourselves.