December 5th, 2013
This time around, regarding the budget, will determine whether the GOP has become completely castrated by the Progressives and the media, or whether it is finally game, especially with Obamacare's detritus having angered virtually every American with even a splinter of critical thinking ability.
The time for the budget negotiations are in January, the time for raising the debt ceiling again, comes in February. The GOP has the entire political Left including Obama, right where they want them....but will they choke, yet again?
With both Obama and the Democrats' tanking approval numbers and even the media looking askance at the party which ruined nationalized healthcare, the time to strike is now.
While many may wish to wait for maximum damage to occur, the simple truth is that many American's health, including the economy, may actually hinge upon decapitating the Obamacare beast before it can further damage the US economy and our medical system.
'Tis the season of important dates -- Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year's, government shutdown ...
Yes, it's that time of year -- again. Just two months after the last partial government shutdown ended, lawmakers are once again struggling to meet the deadline for funding the government.
As part of the short-term agreement struck in mid-October, Congress gave itself until Jan. 15 to pass a budget, and until Dec. 13 to reach a tentative deal at the committee level. It's Dec. 4, and despite weeks of talks the budget negotiations have only crept forward. And Congress really only has five more days this month to do anything. While the House is in session, the Senate doesn't return until next week -- and Speaker John Boehner plans to adjourn the House for holiday recess next Friday.
"The speaker is very serious about us being out of here on the 13th," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said.
There may be little stomach on Capitol Hill for another shutdown showdown. The last 16-day standoff helped drive public approval of Congress to historic lows. And while President Obama took heat for refusing to negotiate, Republican leaders emerged from the battle bruised -- and with little to show for it, having failed to win any major delay in ObamaCare.
But no bill is yet on the table that could avert one.
This time around, the debate centers around the spending levels for 2014, and the so-called sequester. Republicans want to hold down spending, while Democrats want to boost that number.
With so little time to cut a deal, some lawmakers are talking about passing another stopgap spending bill to buy more time to negotiate. A letter, obtained Wednesday by Fox News, from 18 House Republicans to House leadership encouraged them to pass such an interim spending bill.
But not everyone's on board.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Ky., is adamant that he does not want another stopgap spending bill to fund the government past Jan. 15.
"I want to see that pressure remains to get a number," Rogers said Tuesday.
There are also questions about whether the House could possibly get the votes to pass such a bill.
A lot of conservatives simply don't like the idea of another stopgap measure, known in Washington as a continuing resolution, or CR. And on the other side of the aisle, Democrats are concerned that a CR would keep spending too low. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said Tuesday he wouldn't accept a CR that renews the budget figure at $967 billion, keeping the sequester in place.
Amid the debate over whether to go big or small in the next budget bill, top negotiators returned to Washington this week for another round of talks. Leading the effort are Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
The panel of negotiators has given off mixed signals about how far along they might be.
"If you define success by taking things off the table, then we're getting success," said the Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., House Democrats' top negotiator. "The negotiations work by subtraction."
While lawmakers are negotiating this week, several senior leadership aides suggest that the real deadline is Dec. 9 -- to allow for the mechanics of actually putting the plan together and rounding up the votes.
Even if the panel led by Murray and Ryan is still talking, it's possible the House could move ahead on a short-term bill, if only to apply pressure on the Senate.
House GOP sources told Fox News on Wednesday that Ryan is "optimistic" that the ongoing talks could produce a small deal. But these sources said if there is no agreement by Dec. 13, the House will pass a short-term CR to keep funding the government at the $967 billion level as required by law.
A Ryan spokesman said the congressman "is committed to finding common ground. He hopes both parties can work together to cut spending in a smarter way."
A senior Democratic Senate leadership source close to the ongoing budget talks told Fox News that while there's no deal yet and things could fall apart, "there is lots of reason to believe we're on a good path."
The most likely scenario would see a deal announced sometime between Friday and Tuesday. It would not have to be voted on by the budget conference panel itself and will likely enjoy the advance blessing of Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, meaning it could proceed directly to the respective floors.
The package being crafted would be designed to spare the Pentagon -- but also education and medical research programs dear to Democrats -- from the sequester cuts looming as a result of the 2011 Budget Control Act. The most likely path is a mix of a sell-off of government assets, a hike in selected government fees, and "smart savings" achieved through cuts in other areas. Murray is still pushing for the closure of some tax loopholes, but is said to understand that that is unlikely.
Democrats also "remain hopeful" about including in the package an extension of unemployment insurance, but that, too, is a long shot. The Democratic source also said a deal could include "more deficit reduction above and beyond sequester replacement."
Without any agreement by Jan. 15, another partial shutdown would begin. Congress is also under pressure to pass several other items, including a defense bill and sprawling farm bill. On the latter, House and Senate negotiators are trying to iron out the differences between two competing versions of a package that would reform and extend farm subsidies.
Boehner said Tuesday that he wants the bill completed but "we can't get Senate Democrats to say yes."
More from Fox News
Martin Bashir quits at MSNBC over Palin slur (Politics)
Fox News' Chad Pergram, Mike Emanuel and James Rosen contributed to this report.
December 5th, 2013
Well, of course, sillies, why should the elite ruling class who make the rules be forced to comply with them?
By Chris Frates, CNN Investigative Correspondent
Washington (CNN) -- Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, one of Obamacare's architects and staunchest supporters, is also the only top congressional leader to exempt some of his staff from having to buy insurance through the law's new exchanges.
Reid is the exception among the other top congressional leaders. GOP House Speaker John Boehner, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell have all directed their staffs to join the exchange, their aides said.
In the charged atmosphere surrounding Obamacare, Reid's decision only gives Republicans more ammo to attack Democrats already suffering politically from the law's botched rollout.
In September, Reid told reporters, "Let's stop these really juvenile political games -- the one dealing with health care for senators and House members and our staff. We are going to be part of exchanges, that's what the law says and we'll be part of that."
That's true. Reid and his personal staff will buy insurance through the exchange.
But it's also true that the law lets lawmakers decide if their committee and leadership staffers hold on to their federal employee insurance plans, an option Reid has exercised.
Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson emphasized, "We are just following the law."
But Republicans are already taking aim.
"I'm sure that regular Americans who just lost their insurance will feel comforted to know that Senator Reid's staff gets to keep their government plan," a senior GOP Senate aide said.
Former Reid staffer Jim Manley defended his old boss, arguing that "the only people hypocritical here are Republicans, who made this an issue in the first place."And all four House and Senate leaders are required to relinquish their federal employee insurance plans next year and are choosing to enroll in the exchanges.
More Obamacare stories from CNN
December 5th, 2013
A strange glowing creature spotted floating in Bristol harbour has baffled biology experts
UK Daily Mail
By Miranda Prynne, News Reporter
Experts were baffled after video footage emerged of a glowing “alien-like creature” swimming in Bristol harbour.
Stunned eyewitnesses filmed a mystery luminescent, tentacled being, which was flashing a variety of colours, floating close to the top of the water.
Videos of the strange marine object in the city’s historic docks were posted on Youtube and Twitter with many claiming to have seen an alien.
Marine biologists admit they are baffled, but claim the footage could be a marine salp which had drifted off course by the weather.
Dr Steve Simpson, from the School of Biological Sciences at Bristol University, said: "It's very intriguing, I don't really know what to make of it.
"There is a possibility that it is a special type of jellyfish or a marine salp. It's very unusual and I haven't really seen anything like it before though.
"What makes it even more unusual is that fact that it showed up in the middle of a really busy area.
"There are various marine animals that have biological illuminating abilities and they are able to make themselves flash.
"It is entirely possible that it is a marine creature which has been brought into the harbour because of the storms or maybe it was trying to shelter from the stormy seas.
"We are currently experiencing spring tides too which may have dragged whatever this is in from the sea.
"This is either a very interesting animal or someone's very cool interpretation of a marine creature.
"It looks really cool - it's incredible. I don't know if it will make a return tonight but I'm sure if it does it will be met by an eager crowd."
It is not known what the creature was and whether it was alive or not.
Dozens of people were left mystified after spotting the creature and capturing it on camera.
Alex Gordon-Lennox, 22, said: "It was just floating down the harbour. I've never seen anything like it before.
"I only noticed it because it was flashing and was so bright. I was out with some friends that night so we watched it travel down the water a bit and then it just seemed to disappear.
"It looked a bit like a jellyfish or a squid or something. It was amazing."
Andrew Spooner, a software engineer from Bristol, tweeted a photo on Tuesday night and wrote: "Some weird craziness swimming around in #bristol harbour. Looks alien..."
He said: "The creature looked very organic, and it moved fluidly through the water as if it were a creature rather than say a machine that someone had made to look like Jellyfish.
He added: "I had just been for dinner with a few friends when I saw a group of about a dozen people huddling next to the waters edge.
"When I wondered over, I saw the glowing creature which was pulsating and after about 20 seconds, it stopped glowing and disappeared."
December 5th, 2013
Join Conservative Refocus Live, featuring author and Conservative activist Barry Secrest and co-host and exo-government expert Lee Daniel, airs tonight, Wednesday, December 4th at 7:00pm EST on Blog Talk Radio.
We'll discuss the latest revelations on Obamacare and delve into the Pope's rather odd remarks concerning his Socialist digresion, along with Obama's ongoing battle against capitalism.
Obama's suddenly in support of the multi-billion dollar catholic church....bizarre, indeed.
Listen live and call in--(347) 996-3923--to join the conversation.
December 5th, 2013
The Daily Caller
Reports of bias incidents at Vassar College that involved hateful messages left on students’ doors were actually elaborate hoaxes — and the perpetrator is none other than the student member of the Bias Incident Response Team, The Daily Caller has learned.
This fall semester at the liberal arts college in New York saw a curiously high number of bias incident reports. On Nov. 14, the college sent a mass email to students advising them that Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) had received at least six reports in the last few months of hateful and insensitive messages being scrawled and spray painted on student residences. Messages included “Avoid Being Bitches,” “Fuck Niggers,” and most prominently, “Hey Tranny. Know Your Place.”
“This is unacceptable and members of our community should be able to learn and work in environments that are free of hurtful expressions and behaviors,” wrote Edward Pittman, BIRT coordinator and dean of the College for Campus Life and Diversity, in an email to students.
The email also outlined BIRT’s purpose and role in bias incident response. The task force receives the reports of bias incidents, meets with victims, and provides support for campus efforts to foster diversity and inclusion.
The task force had one student member: Genesis Hernandez, who is transgendered and was also a vice president of the Vassar Student Association (VSA), the student government.
Five days after the email was sent, Vassar President Catharine Hill sent a follow-up email announcing that the bias incidents were hoaxes perpetrated by two students. The students wrote the vile messages and then filed the reports themselves, claiming to be the victims of unknown haters.
“It is our unfortunate duty to report that two Vassar students have admitted responsibility for creating a number of recent bias and hate-speech messages in public spaces on campus,” wrote Hill in an email. “They also falsely reported these as anonymous messages. Sadly, our community has been deeply hurt by these actions.”
The email noted that the two students had admitted responsibility and withdrawn from the college voluntarily. Their names were not reported.
However, The DC has learned that one of the perpetrators was none other than Genesis Hernandez.
Informed sources within Vassar told The DC that administrators pinpointed Hernandez as a responsible party, forcing him to give up his position in student government and leave the college. Leaked conversations between student government members also paint Hernandez as the culprit.
On the same day that Hill’s email went out, VSA President Deborah Steinberg sent an email of her own announcing an election to fill Hernandez’s now-vacant VP position.
Hernandez has withdrawn from the college. His vassar.edu address no longer works, and as such, he did not respond to a request for comment.
A representative for the college declined to comment. Vassar’s only statement on the matter remains Hill’s email, in which she acknowledged that the campus might now be skeptical of BIRT’s efforts, but stressed the need to continue them.
“The outcome of this most recent investigation in no way diminishes our commitment to working toward a more just, diverse, egalitarian and inclusive campus community,” she wrote.
The DC could not determine the other perpetrator’s identity, nor was it clear which student wrote and falsely reported which messages.
More from Robby Soave at the Daily Caller