Kenneth R. Timmerman — Shakedown: Exposing The Real Jesse Jackson

Posted on January 26, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, College, Communications, Corruption, Documentary, Economics, Education, Ethic Cleansing, Faith, Family, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, government spending, Heroes, history, Islam, Islam, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Rants, Raves, Religion, Reviews, Security, Shite, Sunni | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Ken-Timmermanshakedown

ktimmerman

Kenneth Timmerman on persecution of Iraqi Christians

Kenneth Timmerman executive director of Foundation for Democracy in Iran at the National Press Club

 

Kenneth R. Timmerman

Kenneth R. Timmerman (born November 4, 1953) is a political writer and conservative activist who was the 2012 Republican nominee for U.S. Representative for the newly redrawn Maryland’s 8th congressional district, facing the incumbent Chris Van Hollen, aDemocrat.[1] Timmerman lost to Van Hollen in a landslide, 33% to 63%. In 2000, Timmerman was a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator from Maryland. Timmerman is executive director of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, an organization that works to support democratic movements in Iran. He authored Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson. Timmerman has also written on the spread of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. He is currently an Expert at Wikistrat.[2] He was the running mate for Republican Charles Lollar in the 2014 Maryland gubernatorial election.[3][4] The Lollar/Timmerman ticket finished third in the Republican primary.

Early life and career

Born in New York in 1953, Timmerman obtained a BA from Goddard College in 1973 and an M.A. from Brown University in 1976. He moved to France, where he pursued a career as a novelist, publishing a novel called Wren Hunt in 1976 and a novella called The Iskra Scrolls in 1980.

Middle East and defense correspondent

In the early 1980s, Timmerman became a Middle East correspondent for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and developed an expertise in the Middle East and the arms trade. In 1982, he was taken prisoner for 24 days by Fatah guerrillas in Lebanon. He was the first journalist on the scene when Islamic militants bombed the US Embassy in 1983.

From 1985 to 1987, Timmerman was a correspondent for Defense and Armament Newsweek and Military Technology, covering the Iran–Iraq War and the arms industry in the Middle East. He won the Joe Petrosino Prize for Investigative Reporting in 1987 for an investigation of an Iranian arms procurement group.

From 1987 to 1993, Timmerman published the Middle East Defense News and was international correspondent for Defense Electronics. He also wrote monographs for the Simon Wiesenthal Center on efforts by Iraq, Syria and Libya to acquire weapons of mass destruction.

Author and activist

In 1991, Timmerman published The Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq after the Gulf War. Timmerman advised the United Nations Special Commission for the Disarmament of Iraq on the location of weapons plants.

In 1993, Timmerman returned to the US where he worked as a member of the staff of the U.S. House Committee on International Relations. In 1995, he founded the Foundation for Democracy in Iran with Peter Rodman, Joshua Muravchick and Iranian opposition expatriates to attempt to topple the Iranian government. He founded the Middle East Data Project to advise governments and private companies. In 1998, he made suggestions to the Rumsfeld Commission supporting the deployment of a national missile defencesystem.

In 1998, he wrote a piece on Osama Bin Laden and his training camps in Afghanistan just before Al-Qaeda attacked two US embassies in Africa. He also wrote features for the American Spectator criticizing the export of high-technology equipment to China, which was published as a book in 2000. In 2000 Timmerman sought the nomination of the Maryland GOP to run against Democratic incumbent Paul Sarbanes. Timmerman won less than ten percent in the party primary; Paul Rappaport won the Republican nomination but lost to Sarbanes, who won with 63% of the vote.

Timmerman wrote Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson as a change of pace from his focus on international issues in 2002. The argument claimed that Jackson alleging connections with criminals and claiming that Rev. Jackson practised extortion of businesses. It proved to be highly successful making the top ten bestseller list with 200,000 copies printed.[5] It also reached the top of the Amazon bestseller list.[6]

In 2003, Timmerman published Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War Against America. The French Betrayal of America was published in 2004. Timmerman returned to his field of greatest expertise with the publication of Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran in 2005.

On February 7, 2006 Sweden’s former deputy prime minister and Liberal party leader Per Ahlmark asserted that he had nominated Timmerman for a Nobel Peace Prize along with UN Ambassador John Bolton for “their repeated warnings and documentation ofIran‘s secret nuclear buildup and revealing Iran’s repeated lying and false reports to the International Atomic Energy Agency.”[7] The Nobel Foundation won’t confirm nominations, however, until 50 years have passed.[8]

Bibliography

  • The Wren Hunt Bran’s Head Books 1976, 1982 ISBN 0-905220-32-3
  • The Iskra Scrolls novella Handshake Press Paris 1980
  • Fanning the Flames: Guns, Greed, and Geopolitics in the Gulf War syndicated by New York Times Syndication Sales, 1987, published in book form as “Öl ins Feuer Internationale Waffengeschäfte im Golfkrieg” Orell Füssli Verlag Zürich and Wiesbaden 1988ISBN 3-280-01840-4
  • La Grande Fauche: Le vol de la haute technologie (Gorbachev’s Technology Wars: How the U.S.S.R Arms Itself in the West) Editions Plon Paris 1989
  • The Poison Gas Connection: The Chemical Weapons Programs of Iraq and Libya Simon Wiesenthal Center Los Angeles 1990
  • The Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq Houghton Mifflin Boston 1991 ISBN 0-395-59305-0
  • The BNL Blunder: How the U.S. Policy Allowed a Bank in Atlanta to Finance Saddam Hussein’s War Machine Simon Wiesenthal Center Los Angeles 1991
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction: the Cases of Iran, Syria and Libya Simon Wiesenthal Center Los Angeles 1992
  • Selling Out America: The American Spectator Investigations Xlibris Philadelphia Pennsylvania 2000 ISBN 0-7388-2858-0
  • Shakedown: Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson Regenery Washington DC 2002 ISBN 0-89526-165-0
  • Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America Crown Forum 2003 ISBN 1-4000-4901-6
  • The French Betrayal of America Crown Forum 2004 ISBN 1-4000-5366-8
  • Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran Crown Forum 2005 ISBN 1-4000-5368-4
  • Shadow Warriors: The Untold Story of Traitors, Saboteurs, and the Party of Surrender Crown Forum 2007

Notes

  1. Jump up^ “Conservative Timmerman tries to capitalize on shift in 8th Congressional District”. MarylandReporter.com. October 8, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  2. Jump up^ “Wikistrat profile on Kenneth Timmerman”. Wikistrat. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  3. Jump up^ Wagner, John (February 24, 2014). “Md. GOP gubernatorial hopeful Lollar chooses Kenneth Timmerman as running mate”. The Washington Post. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  4. Jump up^ Wheller, Tim (February 24, 2014). “GOP gubernatorial hopeful Lollar names running mate”. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  5. Jump up^ “Regnery’s Latest Score (Behind the Bestsellers)”. Publishers Weekly 249 (12): 18. March 25, 2002.
  6. Jump up^ Dreher, Rod (April 22, 2002). “He is Somebody (Exposing the Real Jesse Jackson book review)”. National Review 54 (7): 41.
  7. Jump up^ “All eyes on Nobel Peace Prize possibles”. BBC News. October 12, 2006. Retrieved February 25, 2014.
  8. Jump up^ “Statutes of the Nobel Foundation”. Nobel Media. Retrieved February 25, 2014. Such permission may not, however, be granted until at least 50 years have elapsed after the date on which the decision in question was made.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_R._Timmerman

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Obama’s Cadillac Tax Crashes and Burns Killing Obamacare and Injuring MIT Professor Gruber — Rest In Peace — Obamacare Is Shovel Ready — Videos

Posted on November 15, 2014. Filed under: American History, Biology, Blogroll, Books, Business, Chemistry, College, Communications, Constitution, Crisis, Demographics, Diasters, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Freedom, government, government spending, Health Care, history, IRS, Law, liberty, Life, Macroeconomics, media, Medical, Medicine, Microeconomics, Monetary Policy, Non-Fiction, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Press, Private Sector, Public Sector, Raves, Regulations, Science, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 371: November 14, 2014

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Pronk Pops Show 307: August 1, 2014

Story 1: Obama’s Cadillac Tax Crashes and Burns Killing Obamacare and Injuring MIT Professor Gruber — Rest In Peace — Obamacare Is Shovel Ready — VideosObama-lyingking )bamaObamaCare-CadillacTaxPPACA-Sec-9001-cadillac-tax-2120701-10-obamacare21-new-taxes-under-Obamacareexcise-tax-140820Cadillac-Tax-penetrationtax_apple_piecorrected_pie_graph_verticalObamacare taxes 1obamacare-warning-lights-on-the-job-training-political-cartoon130402-obamacare-cartoon-cadillac_taxpink_cazdillacCadillacJonathan-Gruber

jonathan_gruberGruberobamacare_shovel_

ObamaCare a Trojan Horse for Single-Payer

Obama lies about “cadillac” plan taxation

36 Times Obama Said You Could Keep Your Health Care Plan | SuperCuts #18

ACA Architect Confession: Created Lies For Obama

Obamacare – Concerns “Cadillac Tax” Forcing Employers To Cut Back Health Plans

What is the “cadillac tax?”

Obamacare’s Cadillac Tax Pushing People To Plans With High Deductible- Union You Got What You Wanted

Obamacare – Concerns “Cadillac Tax” Forcing Employers To Cut Back Health Plans

The Five: Large Employers Cite ObamaCare “Cadillac” Tax In Reducing Benefits

SMOKING GUN! Gruber Admits Obama Was in Room During Planning of Cadillac Lie

GRUBER: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”

GRUBER; Deceive Americans Critical to Pass Obamacare-Calls us ‘Stupid Americans’; Part 1 of 3

Gruber Remarks Puts Obama Administration on Scramble; Part 2 of 3

Jonathan Gruber: States Which Do Not Set Up an Exchange Do Not Get Tax Subsidies

BookTV: Jonathan Gruber, “Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works”

Jonathan Gruber admits Obamacare is inherently unaffordable

Obamacare – Concerns “Cadillac Tax” Forcing Employers To Cut Back Health Plans

Krauthammer rips Jonathan Gruber: “We’re hearing the true voice of liberal arrogance”

Megyn Slams ObamaCare Architect Who Declined to Appear on ‘Kelly File’

Democrats Loved Jonathan Gruber Before They Forgot Who He Was

Sen. Harry Reid, 2009: Gruber Is One Of The ‘Most Respected Economists’ Out There

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in a December 2009 floor speech on Capitol Hill lauded Jonathan Gruber as one of the most “respected economists in the world” as Reid cited facts defending the Senate’s Obamacare bill.

Nancy Pelosi In 2009: Americans Should Read Jonathan Gruber’s ObamaCare Analysis

Nancy Pelosi In 2009: Americans Should Read Jonathan Gruber’s ObamaCare Analysis (November 5, 2009)

AHEC 2013 Conference

As part of the 24th Annual Health Economics Conference hosted by PennLDI, Mark Pauly and Jonathan Gruber were featured in the Plenary Panel discussing the role of economics in shaping (and possibly reshaping) the ACA. See below for the conference agenda with links to working papers. See the full AHEC agenda: http://ldi.upenn.edu/ahec2013/agenda

Jonathan Gruber at Noblis – January 18, 2012

The Noblis Technology Tuesday speaker series covers a broad spectrum of political, technical and innovative ideas. Noblis is a nonprofit science, technology, and strategy organization that brings the best of scientific thought, management, and engineering expertise with a reputation for independence and objectivity. The opinions expressed in this video are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Noblis.

Jonathan Gruber spoke to a Noblis audience on January 18, 2012 Few experts know more about America’s dire need of health care reform than Gruber. And of that short list, he is the only one prepared to enter the pages of a comic book to make the case. To be clear: Gruber is not an expert; he is “the” expert. An award-winning MIT economist and the director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, he was a key architect of the ambitious health care reform effort in Massachusetts and is a member of the Health Connector Board now implementing it; in 2006 he was named by “Modern Healthcare” as the nineteenth most powerful person in health care in the United States. In 2008 he was a consultant to the Clinton, Edwards, and Obama presidential campaigns. The national legislation passed by Congress in 2009 derives directly from Gruber’s insights learned during the Massachusetts health care debate.

Honors Colloquium 2012 – Jonathan Gruber

Dr. Jonathan Gruber is a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is a Research Associate. He is an Associate Editor of both the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Health Economics. In 2009 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Dr. Gruber received his B.S. in Economics from MIT, and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. Dr. Gruber’s research focuses on the areas of public finance and health economics. He has published more than 140 research articles, has edited six research volumes, and is the author of Public Finance and Public Policy, a leading undergraduate text, and Health Care Reform, a graphic novel. In 2006 he received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under. During the 1997-1998 academic year, Dr. Gruber was on leave as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department. From 2003-2006 he was a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health reform effort, and in 2006 became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. In that year, he was named the 19th most powerful person in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

BookTV: Jonathan Gruber, “Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It’s Necessary, How It Works

Jonathan Gruber, economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and director of the health care program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, presents his thoughts on health care. Mr. Gruber a leading architect of Massachusetts’ health care reform also consulted with Congress and President Obama on the creation of the Affordable Care Act, signed into law by the President in 2010.

Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber suddenly recast as bit player after uproar

Nancy Pelosi, fellow Democrats scramble to distance themselves from MIT professor, economist

For years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Jonathan Gruber was deemed an architect of Obamacare and his economic modeling was cited regularly by the health care law’s defenders on Capitol Hill and in legal briefs defending the Affordable Care Act in federal courts.

But after tapes surfaced of the economist saying “stupid” voters needed to be bamboozled and the books cooked to get the legislation passed in 2010, Democrats are scrambling to reduce Mr. Gruber to a bit player — and raising questions about whether he needs to be expunged from their defense strategy as they face yet another Supreme Court review.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who as speaker in 2009 posted an Obamacare “myth buster” citing Mr. Gruber, vehemently distanced herself from him Thursday.


SEE ALSO: EDITORIAL: Jonathan Gruber’s payday


“I don’t who he is. He didn’t help write our bill,” she said, but added that Mr. Gruber’s comments were a year old and he had recanted them.

In the comments that have just come to light, Mr. Gruber said the health care bill was written in a “tortured” way to ensure the Congressional Budget Office didn’t score the individual mandate as a tax, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately upheld the mandate as constitutional under Congress’ taxing power.

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

Mr. Gruber said this week that he regretted the remarks. But House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said Thursday that American voters are “anything but stupid” and oppose the health care system’s overhaul for valid reasons.

Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican selected as the next Senate majority leader, said Mr. Gruber made a classic “Washington gaffe — when a politician mistakenly tells you what he really thinks.”

However, Mr. Gruber’s explanation in 2012 of how Obamacare’s subsidies should be paid put the Justice Department in a tough spot.

In legal briefs submitted last year to a federal district court in Virginia, Obama administration attorneys cited Mr. Gruber in a case defending their ability to pay subsidies to enrollees regardless of whether they are part of state-run or federally run health care exchanges.

“According to the calculations of one health care economist, without the minimum coverage provision and subsidized insurance coverage, premiums for single individuals would be double the amount anticipated under the ACA,” the Justice Department wrote in a legal brief last November, citing Mr. Gruber’s work in a footnote.

The Supreme Court decided this month to take up the case, King v. Burwell, after the challengers lost to the administration in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Neither the Justice Department nor the White House responded to questions about Mr. Gruber — who declined to comment for this story — and his role in their legal strategy.

But Sam Kazman, general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is funding the administration’s opponents in the King case, said Mr. Gruber’s 2012 remarks about subsidies bolster their own arguments.

Mr. Gruber at the time said subsidies would flow only to states that set up their own exchanges.

“What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits — but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill,” the economist told an audience.

That would mean consumers in most states wouldn’t be eligible for subsidies, which would puncture a big hole in Obamacare. The Obama administration has argued that even though the law says subsidies go to state exchanges, they also should include states that have opted for the federal exchange.

Mr. Kazman said the Gruber comments create a major problem for Mr. Obama.

“He’s not toxic to us,” Mr. Kazman said in an interview Thursday. “We may give him an award for public service.”

In a parallel case before the D.C. Circuit, the administration tried to downplay Mr. Gruber in its latest court filings. On Nov. 3, the Justice Department said in a footnote that “post-enactment statements by a non-legislator are entitled to no weight.”

“In any event, Professor Gruber has since clarified that the remarks on which plaintiffs rely were mistaken,” the attorneys told the D.C. Circuit, which has suspended its proceedings until the Supreme Court weighs in.

In the King case, Obama administration attorneys who cited Mr. Gruber in briefs at the lower court dropped him from their arguments to the Supreme Court, said Michael A. Carvin, an attorney for the health care law’s opponents.

He wasn’t about to let the justices forget.

“Tellingly,” Mr. Carvin said in a reply brief, “the government also ignores that Jonathan Gruber — the ACA architect whose work it cited in every brief below but is nowhere mentioned now — articulated the incentive purpose of [subsidies] as early as 2012.”

Mr. Gruber has made hundreds of thousands of dollars off Obamacare, serving as a consultant to the Department of Health and Human Services and to states that used health care grant money to pay him for his services.

Timothy Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University who closely tracks the health care law, said the controversy has been overblown.

“This whole thing just puzzles me,” he said. “He wasn’t a legislator. He didn’t write the bill. He didn’t vote on the bill.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/13/jonathan-gruber-obamacare-architect-recast-as-bit-/

Transcending Obamacare: An Introduction To Patient-Centered, Consumer-Driven Health Reform

Today, the Manhattan Institute is publishing my 20,000-word, 68-page health reform proposal entitled “Transcending Obamacare: A Patient-Centered Plan for Near-Universal Coverage and Permanent Fiscal Solvency.” It represents a novel approach to health reform: neither accepting Obamacare as is, nor requiring the law’s repeal to move forward. And yet its ambition is to permanently solve our health care entitlement problem, while also expanding coverage for the uninsured.

As most Apothecary readers know, I’ve long been critical of Obamacare, the so-called Affordable Care Act. The law expands Medicaid, the worst health insurance program in the developed world. It significantly drives up the underlying cost of health insurance for those who shop for coverage on their own. And regardless of what John Roberts has to say about it, Obamacare’s individual mandate—forcing most Americans to buy government-certified health coverage—is an injury to the Constitution.

But I’ve also long supported the principle of universal coverage. Universal coverage, done right, is a core part of a conservative worldview that values equality of opportunity for the sick and the poor. If 10 of the 11 freest economies in the world can establish universal coverage, it’s not impossible for the United States to do so in a way that is consonant with economic freedom.

Switzerland and Singapore: Market-based health reform models

The most market-oriented health care systems in the developed world—those ofSwitzerland and Singapore—have much to teach us about how to achieve universal coverage in a way that spends far less than what the U.S. does. In 2012, U.S. government entities spent $4,160 per capita on health care. That’s more than twice as much as Switzerland, and nearly five times as much as Singapore.

OECD 2012 public expenditures

And that brings us right back to Obamacare. The vast majority of the law is misguided and misconceived. But a handful of its provisions can provide the basis of constructive health care reform: in particular, its use of Swiss-style means-tested tax credits to subsidize private health insurance premiums. Most importantly, those tax credits are applied to insurance plans that people shop for on their own, substantially expanding the market for individually purchased health coverage.

The Swiss system is far from perfect, as I have discussed on many occasions. But the basic idea in Switzerland is to offer premium subsidies to the people who really need them. In Switzerland, one-fifth of the population gets subsidized health coverage. In the U.S., around four-fifths do. That’s the difference between a safety net and an entitlement leviathan.

Conservative health reform after Obamacare

One of the fundamental flaws in the conservative approach to health care policy is that few—if any—Republican leaders have articulated a vision of what a market-oriented health care system would look like. Hence, Republican proposals on health reform have often been tactical and political—in opposition to whatever Democrats were pitching—instead of strategic and serious.

Those days must come to an end. The problems with our health care system are too great. Health care is too expensive for the government, and too expensive for average Americans.

In 2012, as the Romney campaign came to a close, Rich Lowry, the editor ofNational Review, asked me to write an article with my thoughts about the best path forward for conservative health care reform. I outlined a four-step plan to take the entire gamish of government health care programs and reform them into something consumer-driven and fiscally sustainable: (1) deregulate Obamacare’s insurance exchanges, including repeal of the individual mandate, while preserving guaranteed issue for individuals with pre-existing conditions; (2) migrate future retirees onto the reformed exchanges; (3) repeal Obamacare’s employer mandate; (4) migrate Medicaid acute-care and dual-eligible enrollees onto the exchanges.

“After these four relatively simple steps,” I wrote, “we would be left with a health-care system that would look a lot like Switzerland’s. Rises in premium subsidies could be held to a sustainable growth rate to ensure their long-term fiscal stability. And Americans might finally have the opportunity to purchase insurance for themselves, gain control of their own health-care dollars, and enjoy a wide range of low-cost, high-quality coverage options.”

A few months later, former Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and I wrote a similar piece for Reuters, which elicited a broad range of responses from both the left and the right.

It became clear that I had to do more than write op-eds, that I had to develop this idea in detail, with credible fiscal and economic modeling.

Modeling market-based health reform

So, over the last 18 months, I’ve done just that. Stephen Parente, a health economist at the University of Minnesota, and his team modeled the fiscal and coverage impact of the bulk of my proposed set of reforms. (I then modeled the remainder, using analyses from the Congressional Budget Office, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the like.)

The Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, where I am a Senior Fellow, raised money to fund Parente’s work on this project. Steve and his team and I went back and forth for months, refining and tweaking the proposal until it met five non-negotiable goals. The end result had to:

  1. Reduce the deficit without raising taxes
  2. Expand coverage meaningfully above ACA levels
  3. Repeal the individual mandate
  4. Reduce the cost of private health insurance
  5. Improve health outcomes for the poor

Based on our modeling, the plan, over a thirty-year period, reduces federal spending by $10.5 trillion and federal revenue by $2.5 trillion, for a net deficit reduction of $8 trillion. We project that it will expand coverage by more than 12 million individuals over its first decade, despite the fact that it repeals the individual mandate. It reduces the cost of private-sector insurance policies by 17 percent for single policies and 4 percent for family policies.

But the most dramatic improvement, we estimate, is in the Medicaid population. A group that today receives substandard care and substandard access to care will see a dramatic increase in provider access and health outcomes, based on Parente-developed indices that measure these things.

Breaking free of the repeal-or-reform debate

Importantly, while this plan is compatible with “repealing and replacing” Obamacare, it does not require the repeal of Obamacare. To achieve the former, you would repeal Obamacare and replace it with a universal system of state-based health insurance exchanges. To achieve the latter, you’d reform the pre-existing ACA exchanges, and gradually migrate future retirees and Medicaid enrollees onto the reformed exchanges.

In this way, perhaps the plan can attract interest from both the right and the center.

We’ll soon find out.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/08/13/transcending-obamacare-an-introduction-to-patient-centered-consumer-driven-health-reform/

Jonathan Gruber Embraced Misleading the Public About Obamacare Even While It Was Still Being Debated
Peter Suderman

In the week since video surfaced of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber saying that “lack of transparency” and “the stupidity of the American voter” were critical to passing the health law, two more videos of Gruber making statements with similar themes or tones have received attention.

Both clips reveal a gleefully dismissive attitude toward public concerns about the law, and offer a telling reminder of the attitude that played a crucial role in shaping and selling the law to the public.

In the first video, recorded in March of 2010, just a few days before the law would pass the House, Gruber argues that the public does not really care about the uninsured. What it cares about is cost control. Therefore, he says, the law had to be sold on the basis of its cost control.

Yet as Gruber admits in the video, the bill was not primarily focused on cost control—the bill “is 90% health insurance coverage and 10% about cost control.” Indeed, the problem with cost control, he says, is that “we don’t know how” to do it.

The primary quote. Via CNN:

“Barack Obama’s not a stupid man, okay?” Gruber said in his remarks at the College of the Holy Cross on March 11, 2010. “He knew when he was running for president that quite frankly the American public doesn’t actually care that much about the uninsured….What the American public cares about is costs. And that’s why even though the bill that they made is 90% health insurance coverage and 10% about cost control, all you ever hear people talk about is cost control. How it’s going to lower the cost of health care, that’s all they talk about. Why? Because that’s what people want to hear about because a majority of American care about health care costs.”

Elsewhere in the same speech, Gruber says:

“The only way we’re going to stop our country from being a latter day Roman Empire and falling under its own weight is getting control of the growth rate of health care costs. The problem is we don’t know how.”

Remember, this is what Gruber was saying as the law was still being debated. It didn’tpass in the House, the critical step before hitting President Obama’s desk, until more than a week later. And what Gruber was saying, even before the bill was law, was that supporters had intentionally emphasized parts of the bill that were relatively minor, and that were not certain to even produce their intended effects.

This is not lying, exactly; the bill did in fact include some attempts at cost control, although as Gruber said, it was unclear at the time if or how well they would work. And Gruber may well have been right that the public was more concerned with cost control than expanding coverage. But, especially in combination with the other video released this week, it indicates that Gruber believed that the law’s advocates were not being completely straight with the public, that supporters of Obamacare were telling the public what they believed the public wanted to hear instead of giving them the full story, and that they were doing so on the understanding that telling the full story would make the bill impossible to pass.

What it shows, in other words, is Gruber openly embracing a strategy of messaging manipulation and misleading emphasis even while the bill was still being debated. If the public understood the bill clearly, he believed, they would reject it. It was more important to pass the bill.

Another video, posted today by The Daily Signal, shows Gruber taking a similarly dismissive attitude toward public concerns about the bill.  At a meeting with the Vermont House Health Care Committee, Gruber is presented with a question about whether systems like those described in a report by Gruber and Harvard health economist William Hsiao, might result in “ballooning costs, increased taxes and bureaucratic outrages” as well “shabby facilities, disgruntled providers” and destructive price controls.

Gruber’s response begin with: “Was this written by my adolescent children by any chance?” The Signal quotes two-term Vermont state senator and Reagan-adviser John McClaughry as saying that the question had been submitted “by a former senior policy adviser in the White House who knew something about health care systems.”

Gruber’s response is intended as a joke, and it reveals little about the health care law (the reforms in question are specific to Vermont). But it says plenty about Gruber, and the flippant, arrogant way he treats concerns and criticism.

This is the person whom the White House relied on to help craft the bill; he was paid handsomely to model its effects (a fact he did not disclose, even when asked), and he was in the room when important decisions were made about how it would work. He claims to have helped write specific portions of the law himself. Gruber was not the sole architect of the law, but he was one of its biggest single influences on both its design and on how the media, which quoted him repeatedly, reported and understood the law.

The White House and its allies are desperately trying to distance themselves from Gruber right now by downplaying his role in the law’s creation. But the record of his involvement is clear enough: At The Washington Post, Ezra Klein has variously described Gruber as “one of the key architects behind the structure of the Affordable Care Act” and “the most aggressive academic economist supporting the reform effort.” The New York Times in 2012 described his role as helping to design the overall structure as well as being “dispatched” by the White House to Congress to write the legislative text. Gruber’s work was cited repeatedly by the White House, Democratic leadership, and the media.

So when he describes the thinking about how the law was crafted and sold to the public, it’s worth taking note. This is the posture of one of the law’s authors and chief backers. It’s part of the spirit in which the law was created and passed. Gruber’s ideas were embedded in the law’s structure and language, and so was his attitude.

http://reason.com/blog/2014/11/14/jonathan-gruber-embraced-misleading-the 

 

White House says Gruber’s wrong, attacks GOP

By LUCY MCCALMONT

The White House is denouncing comments from key Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber that a lack of transparency and the stupidity of voters helped in the passage of the health care law and is instead pointing a finger at Republicans.
“The fact of the matter is, the process associated with the writing and passing and implementing of the Affordable Care Act has been extraordinarily transparent,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said during a news briefing in Myanmar, according to a transcript provided by the White House.
Story Continued Below

“I disagree vigorously with that assessment,” Earnest responded when asked about Gruber’s claim that Obamacare wouldn’t have passed if the administration was more transparent and voters more intelligent.
He added, “It is Republicans who have been less than forthright and transparent about what their proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act would do in terms of the choices are available to middle class families.”
Earnest said the president “is proud of the transparent process that was undertaken to pass that bill into law.”
The response from the White House comes as a third video of Gruber criticizing the intelligence of American voters has surfaced.
“We just tax the insurance companies, they pass on higher prices that offsets the tax break we get, it ends up being the same thing. It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber said in remarks from 2012 that aired Wednesday evening on “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
Gruber has been causing headaches for the White House as conservatives have had a field day that began with comments the MIT professor made in 2013.
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter, or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass,” Gruber said at the time, according to one of the videos that has recently come to light.
In another video clip of a separate event, while talking about tax credits in the Affordable Care Act, he said, “American voters are too stupid to understand the difference.”
Gruber apologized for the comments during an appearance earlier this week on MSNBC’s “Ronan Farrow Daily”:
(Also on POLITICO: Ted Cruz out on a limb on Obamacare repeal)
“I was speaking off the cuff, and I was basically speaking inappropriately, and I regret having made those comments.”
Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dismissed Gruber’s role in Obamacare on Thursday, telling the press, “I don’t know who he is. He didn’t help write our bill.”
Many outlets were quick to point out that Pelosi cited Gruber in a “Health Insurance Reform Mythbuster” on her official website in 2009.
House Speaker John Boehner released a statement Thursday, slamming Gruber for his comments.
“If there was ever any doubt that ObamaCare was rammed through Congress with a heavy dose of arrogance, duplicity, and contempt for the will of the American people, recent comments by one of the law’s chief architects, Jonathan Gruber, put that to rest,” the top Republican said.
The statement continues, “The American people are anything but ‘stupid.’ They’re the ones bearing the consequences of the president’s health care law and, unsurprisingly, they continue to oppose it.”
http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/jonathan-gruber-obamacare-voters-white-house-response-112856.html

 

Cadillac insurance plan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Health care reform in the United States
Legislation
Preceding
Superseded
Proposed
Latest enacted
Reforms
Systems
Third-party payment models

Informally, a Cadillac plan is any unusually expensive health insurance plan, usually arising in discussions of medical-cost control measures in the United States.[1][2][3][4] The term derives from the Cadillac automobile, which has represented American luxury since its introduction in 1902,[1] and as a health care metaphor dates to the 1970s.[1] The term gained popularity in the early 1990s during the debate over the Clinton health care plan of 1993,[1] and was also widespread during debate over possible excise taxes on “Cadillac” plans during the health care reforms proposed during the Obama administration.[1] (Bills proposed by Clinton and Obama did not use the term “Cadillac”.)

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) imposes an annual 40% excise tax on plans with premiums exceeding $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for a family (not including vision and dental benefits) starting in 2018.[4]

Criticisms of these plans generally center on the small or nonexistent co-pays, deductibles, or caps that encourage the overuse of medical care, driving the cost up for the uninsured or those on other plans, which some say necessitates aCadillac tax.[citation needed]

A study published in Health Affairs in December 2009 found that high-cost health plans do not provide unusually rich benefits to enrollees. The researchers found that only 3.7% of the variation in the cost of family coverage in employer-sponsored health plans is attributable to differences in the actuarial value of benefits. Only 6.1% of the variation is attributable to the combination of benefit design and plan type (e.g., PPO, HMO, etc.). The employer’s industry and regional variations in health care costs explain part of the variation, but most is unexplained. The researchers conclude “…that analysts should not equate high-cost plans with Cadillac plans, but that in fact other factors—industry and cost of medical inputs—are as important in predicting whether a plan is a high-cost plan. Without appropriate adjustments, a simple cap may exacerbate rather than ameliorate current inequities.”[5]

See also

References

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadillac_insurance_plan

 

How ObamaCare Taxes Affect You: New Taxes, Hikes, Breaks, Credits, and Other Changes

Here’s a full list of ObamaCare Taxes. The 21 new ObamaCare tax hikes and breaks impact us all, but which ObamaCare taxes will you actually pay? Find out how the tax related provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) will affect you, your family, your business, and your tax returns for 2013 and beyond.

Obamacare Taxes

The Bottom Line on the ObamaCare Tax Plan

The new tax related provisions in theAffordable Care Act(ObamaCare) include tax hikes, limits to deductions, tax credits, tax breaks, and other changes. While a few of the changes directly affect the average American, tax increases primarily affect high earners (those making over $200,000 as an individual or $250,000 as a family), large businesses (those making over $250,000), and the health care industry, while tax credits primarily affect low-to-middle income Americans and small businesses.

Here are some quick facts to help you understand how ObamaCare affects taxes:

• For the majority of the 85% of Americans with health insurance the percentage of income paid in taxes won’t change much, if at all. However, some of the changes may directly or indirectly affect specific groups.

• The majority of the 15% of Americans without health insurance will primarily be affected by the Individual Mandate (the requirement to buy health insurance), the Employer Mandate (the requirement for large employers to insure full-time employees), and Tax Credits (tax credits reduce premium costs for individuals, families, and small businesses).

• Many Americans will be affected by changes to new limits on medical tax deduction thresholds MSAs, FSAs, and HSAs.

• Small businesses will not be required to provide health insurance, but will gettax credits to reduce premium costs if they choose to offer group plans.

• Even if you won’t see higher taxes under the Affordable Care Act, it doesn’t mean there aren’t costs associated with the law. You’ll still need to buy health insurance, unless you qualify for Medicaid or an exemption, and that will cost you money.

• As a rule of thumb those who make less pay less and those who make more pay more, both in regard to health insurance costs and taxes under theAffordable Care Act.

• The Congressional Budget Office has shown that the revenue generated from the new taxes, along with cuts to spending, will help to pay for the Affordable Care Act’s many provisions, fund tax credits and lower the deficit by 2023.Learn More.

Why Does ObamaCare Create New Taxes?

ObamaCare includes many new benefits, rights, and protections including the requirement for health insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions. It also expands access to affordable health insurance to almost 50 million low-to-middle income men, women, and children across the country by offering reduced premiums via tax credits and expanding Medicaid and CHIP. Expanding the quality, affordability and availability of health insurance (along with other aspects of the law) come at a high cost. Assuming all tax provisions remain in place, the revenue generated from these new taxes help to cover the costs of the program and reduces the deficit. Learn more about the new benefits, rights, protections offered by the Affordable Care Act.

A Quick Overview of Key Taxes in the Affordable Care Act

Before we get to the full list of taxes here is a quick overview of the key tax related provisions that may affect those without insurance, those who plan to go without insurance, and those who are struggling to afford insurance now.

Individual Mandate (new tax): Americans who can afford to must obtain minimum essential health coverage for 2014, get an exemption or pay a per month fee.

Employer Mandate (new tax): Come 2015 large employers must insure full time employees or pay a per employee fee. Over half of Americans get their insurance through work and the largest group of uninsured is currently the working poor.

Advanced Premium Tax Credits (tax break): Low-to-middle income Americans are eligible for tax credits which reduce the upfront cost of premiums on health insurance purchased through their State’s “Health Insurance Marketplace”.

Small Business Tax Credits (tax break): Small businesses may be eligible for tax credits of up to 50% of their cost of employee premiums through theSmall Business Health Options Program.

Taking all the tax provisions in the ACA into account ObamaCare technically provides the greatest middle class tax cut to healthcare in history.

Full List of All Taxes in ObamaCare / All Taxes in the Affordable Care Act

The following list of new ObamaCare taxes collectively raise over $800 billion by 2022. Here is a complete list of new fees and taxes contained withinObamaCare:

ObamaCare Taxes That Most Likely Won’t Directly Affect the Average American

• 2.3% Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers 2014

• 10% Tax on Indoor Tanning Services 2014

• Blue Cross/Blue Shield Tax Hike

• Excise Tax on Charitable Hospitals which fail to comply with the requirements of ObamaCare

• Tax on Brand Name Drugs

• Tax on Health Insurers

• $500,000 Annual Executive Compensation Limit for Health Insurance Executives

• Elimination of tax deduction for employer-provided retirement Rx drug coverage in coordination with Medicare Part D

• Employer Mandate on business with over 50 full-time equivalent employees to provide health insurance to full-time employees. $2000 per employee $3000 if employee uses tax credits to buy insurance on the exchange (marketplace). (pushed back to 2015)

• Medicare Tax on Investment Income 3.8% over $200k/$250k

• Medicare Part A Tax increase of .9% over $200k/$250k

• Employer Reporting of Insurance on W-2 (not a tax)

• Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (repealed)

• Codification of the “economic substance doctrine” (not a tax)

ObamaCare Taxes That (may) Directly Affect the Average American

• 40% Excise Tax “Cadillac” on high-end Premium Health Insurance Plans 2018

• An annual $63 fee levied by ObamaCare on all plans (decreased each year until 2017 when pre-existing conditions are eliminated) to help pay for insurance companies covering the costs of high-risk pools.

• Medicine Cabinet Tax
Over the counter medicines no longer qualified as medical expenses for flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), and Archer Medical Saving accounts (MSAs).

• Additional Tax on HSA/MSA Distributions
Health savings account or an Archer medical savings account, penalties for spending money on non-qualified medical expenses. 10% to 20% in the case of a HSA and from 15% to 20% in the case of a MSA.

• Flexible Spending Account Cap 2013
Contributions to FSAs are reduced to $2,500 from $5,000.

• Medical Deduction Threshold tax increase 2013
Threshold to deduct medical expenses as an itemized deduction increases to 10% from 7.5%.

• Individual Mandate (the tax for not purchasing insurance if you can afford it) 2014
Starting in 2014, anyone not buying “qualifying” health insurance must pay an income tax surtax at a rate of 1% or $95 in 2014 to 2.5% in 2016 on profitable income above the tax threshold. The total penalty amount cannot exceed the national average of the annual premiums of a “bronze level” health insurance plan on ObamaCare exchanges.

• Premium Tax Credits for Small Businesses 2014 (not a tax)

• Advanced Premium Tax Credits for Individuals and Families 2014 (not a tax)

• Medical Loss Ratio (MRL): Premium rebates (not a tax)

The link below provides a full list of ObamaCare Taxes by the IRS.

For a full list of taxes provisions from the IRS

Or see the latest publication by the joint tax committee on the Affordable Care Act.

Who Does ObamaCare Tax?

Let’s take a look at how ObamaCare’s taxes affect certain income groups.

ObamaCare Taxes for High Earners and Large Businesses

Most of the new taxes are on high-earners (individuals making over $200,000 and families making over $250,000), large businesses (over 50 full-time equivalent employees making over $250,000), and industries that profit from healthcare. Essentially those who will see gains under ObamaCare are required to put money back in the program via taxes.

FACT: Tax increases generally affect single filers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) above $200,000 and married couples filing jointly above $250,000. Some of the tax increases don’t kick in until single AGI hits $400,000 and married filing jointly AGI hits $450,000.

ObamaCare Taxes for the Average American With Health insurance

For most of the 85% of Americans with health insurance, making less than $250,000, most of the new taxes won’t mean much of anything although certain taxes below will affect specific individuals and families.

ObamaCare Taxes for the Average American Without Health insurance

The 15% of Americans without health insurance will be required to obtain health insurance (Individual Mandate) or will face a “tax penalty”.

The good news is that many uninsured will be exempt from the Individual mandate due to income, offered cost assistance through the marketplaceincluding Tax Credits (also available to small businesses), qualify for Medicaid, or will get insurance through work (the Employer Mandaterequires large employers to insure full-time employees by 2015). Adults who are under 26 will be able to stay on their parents plan as well, this will help to limit the number of young people who will pay the fee. Both the employer and individual mandates are part of our “shared responsibility” to expand the quality and affordability of health insurance in the United States as a trade for our new benefits, rights and protections.

ObamaCare Taxes for Small Businesses

Small businesses with less than 25 full-time equivalent employees will have access to tax credits to reduce premium costs of group plans.

ObamaCare Taxes for Specific Groups With Health Insurance

Here are a few changes that my affect specific groups of Americans with health insurance:

• Other tax provisions such as changes medical deduction thresholds, HSAs, MSAs, and FSAs may impact some Americans by limiting tax deductions.

• The Medical Loss Ratio (MLR or 80/20 rule) will mean that some Americans may get rebates if health insurance companies spend on non-healthcare related expenses.

• Tax provisions like the 10% tanning bed tax, taxes on drug companies, taxes on medical devices and taxes on health insurance companies selling insurance on and off the exchange may affect the amount of money we pay for some health care related goods and services, but will not have a significant impact on our daily lives.

• The employer mandate has caused some companies to cut down full-time workers to part-time to avoid providing benefits, however major employers like Disney and Walmart have actually increased their full-time workforce in response to the looming 2015 deadline.

• Overall the benefits tend to outweigh the costs for the average American as even those who pay a little more, get a lot more in return due to the increased quality of their health insurance.

Will I pay More Taxes and High Premiums Because of ObamaCare?

As mentioned above premium rates and the taxes you will have to pay are primarily based on income. Aside from income premium prices are based on which plan you choose, family size, age, smoking status and geography. Subsidies reduce the overall rate of your premiums (however smoking is calculated after subsidies). Come 2018 there will be a 40% excise tax on high end health insurance plans.

Aside from the tax provisions that require Americans to obtain insurance and subsidize it’s costs, ObamaCare also includes a few tax related provisions that work as consumer protections including requirements for better reporting and the Medical Loss Ratio.

ObamaCare Tax Rebates

Some consumers in both individual and group markets will see tax rebates due to ObamaCare’s Medical Loss Ratio (MLR). Health insurance companies will have to provide rebates to consumers if they spend less than 80 to 85% of premium dollars on medical care.

Medical Loss Ratio (MLR)

The Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) means that Insurance companies are now required to spend at least 80% of premium dollars (85% in large group markets) on medical care and quality improvement activities. Insurance companies that are not meeting this standard will be required to provide rebates to their consumers. The MLR isn’t a tax, but it does have implications in regards to filing taxes and rebates can be given in the form of reduced premiums. See our page on ObamaCare Health Insurance Regulations for more details.

ObamaCare Income Tax Penalty For Not Having Insurance “Individual Mandate”

Starting in 2014, most people will have to have insurance or pay a “penalty deducted from your taxable income”. For individuals, penalty starts at $95 a year, or up to 1% of income, whichever is greater, and rise to $695, or 2.5% of income, by 2016.

For families the tax will be $2,085 or 2.5% percent of household income, whichever is greater. The requirement can be waived for several reasons, including financial hardship or religious beliefs. If the tax would exceed 8% of your income you are exempt, also some religious groups are exempt. That tax cannot exceed the cost of a “bronze plan” bought on the exchange.

Many individuals who are exempt from the mandate to buy insurance will still be eligible for free or low-cost insurance through the health insurance marketplace.

While some states, including Alabama, Wyoming and Montana, have passed laws to block the requirement to carry health insurance, those provisions do not override federal law. Get more information on the ObamaCare Individual Mandate.

The Individual Mandate is officially called the “individual shared responsibility provision”.

What Are ObamaCare Tax Credits?: Advanced Premium Tax Credits

Premium tax credits are a form of cost assistance that reduce premium costs for coverage purchased on your State’s “health insurance marketplace” for individuals, families, and small businesses.

Advanced Premium Tax Credits for Individuals and Families

Individuals and families will have access to Advanced premium tax credits on the marketplace. Tax Credits are deducted from your premium cost by your health insurance provider and are adjusted on your Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). You can choose how much advance credit payments to apply to your premiums each month, up to a maximum amount. If the amount of advance credit payments you get for the year is less than the tax credit you’re due, you’ll get the difference as a refundable credit when you file your federal income tax return. If your advance payments for the year are more than the amount of your credit, you must repay the excess advance payments with your tax return.

Aside from premium tax credits individuals and families can also get lower cost sharing on out-of-pocket expenses like coinsurance, copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums through the marketplace.

Eligibility for Tax Credits

In general, you may be eligible for the credit if you meet all of the following:

  • buy health insurance through the Marketplace;
  • are ineligible for coverage through an employer or government plan;
  • are within certain income limits;
  • file a joint return, if married; and
  • cannot be claimed as a dependent by another person.

If you are eligible for the credit, you can choose to:

  • Get It Now: have some or all of the estimated credit paid in advance directly to your insurance company to lower what you pay out-of-pocket for your monthly premiums during 2014; or
  • Get It Later: wait to get all of the credit when you file your 2014 tax return in 2015.

How Will Advanced Premium Tax Credits Affect My Health Insurance Costs?

Under the Affordable Care Act health insurance that costs less than 8% of your MAGI is considered affordable. Although the law doesn’t guarantee lower costs, premium tax credits help to ensure that more Americans will have access to affordable insurance.

s a rule of thumb most Americans will pay between 1.5% and 9.5% on their Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) when using tax credits to buy a basic Silver Plan on the marketplace.

If the lowest-priced coverage available to you would cost more than 8% of your household income are exempt from the individual mandate.

The amount you pay is on a sliding scale based on your income. Use the chart below to get an idea of what you and your family may pay for insurance purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Make sure to check outObamaCare Subsidies for more detailed information on Premium Tax Credits.

The 2013 Federal Poverty Level Guidelines below are used to Determine if your percentage of the poverty level for both taxes and cost-assistance.

 Household Size

 100%

 133%

150%

200%

 300%

400%

 1

$11,170

$14,856

$16,755

$22,340

$33,510

$44,680

 2

15,130

 20,123

22,695

  30,260

45,390

60,520

 3

19,090

 25,390

28,635

  38,180

57,270

76,360

 4

23,050

 30,657

34,575

  46,100

69,150

92,200

 5

27,010

 35,923

40,515

  54,020

81,030

108,040

 6

30,970

 41,190

46,455

  61,940

92,910

123,880

 7

34,930

 46,457

52,395

  69,860

104,790

139,720

 8

38,890

 51,724

58,335

  77,780

116,670

155,560

 For each additional person, add

$3,960

 $5,267

$5,940

  $7,920

$11,880

$15,840

This following table is an example of how premium tax credits work. Please note that the numbers below are purely for example and don’t reflect your personal rates.

Health Insurance Premiums and Cost Sharing under PPACA for Average Family of 4
For “Silver Plan”
Income % of federal poverty level Premium Cap as a Share of Income Income $ (family of 4) Max Annual Out-of-Pocket Premium Premium Savings Additional Cost-Sharing Subsidy
133% 3% of income $31,900 $992 $10,345 $5,040
150% 4% of income $33,075 $1,323 $9,918 $5,040
200% 6.3% of income $44,100 $2,778 $8,366 $4,000
250% 8.05% of income $55,125 $4,438 $6,597 $1,930
300% 9.5% of income $66,150 $6,284 $4,628 $1,480
350% 9.5% of income $77,175 $7,332 $3,512 $1,480
400% 9.5% of income $88,200 $8,379 $2,395 $1,480
In 2016, the FPL is projected to equal about $11,800 for a single person and about $24,000 for family of four. Use the Kaiser ObamaCare Cost Calculator for more information. DHHS and CBO estimate the average annual premium cost in 2014 to be $11,328 for family of 4 without the reform. Source: Wikipedia

ObamaCare Employer / Employee Taxes

ObamaCare’s taxes mean large employers will have to provide health insurance to their employees and will see a raised Medicare part A tax, small businesses may be eligible for tax breaks.

Medicare part A Tax Hike for Employers and Employees

The Medicare part A tax is paid by both employees and employers who earn over a certain amount. ObamaCare’s Medicare tax hike is a .9% increase (from 2.9% to 3.8%) on the current total Medicare part A tax. This tax is split between the employer and employee meaning that they will both see a .45% raise.  Small businesses making under $250,000 are exempt from the tax. Employees making less than $200,000 as an individual or ($250,000) as a family are also exempt. Employers must withhold and report an additional 0.9 percent total on employee wages or compensation that exceed $200,000.

Tax Penalty for Not Providing Full-time Workers with Health Insurance the “Employer Mandate”

Employers with over 50 full-time equivalent employees must either insure their full-time employees or pay a penalty or “employer shared responsibility fee”. The penalty is $2000 per employee. If however, at least one full-time employee receives a premium tax credit because coverage is either unaffordable or does not cover 60 percent of total costs, the employer must pay the lesser of $3,000 for each of those employees receiving a credit or $750 for each of their full-time employees total.

Employers with under 25 full time employees, whose average income doesn’t exceed $50,000, can apply for tax credits of up to 50% for insuring their employees.

Tax Credits for Small Businesses

Small businesses with under 25 full-time equivalent employees with average annual wages of less than $50,000 can apply for tax breaks of up to 50% of their share of employee premium costs via ObamaCare’s Small Business Health Options Program (accessible through your State’s Health Insurance Marketplace). The credit can be as much as 50% of employer premiums (35% for not-for-profits in 2014). The credit is only available if the employer is paying at least 50% of the total premiums.

Small Business Health Options Program

Employers with 50 or fewer employees, you can purchase affordable insurance through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) even if they don’t qualify for tax credits.

Reporting

Along with the new law there are new requirements for reporting.

    • Effective for calendar year 2015, you must file an annual return reporting whether and what health insurance you offered your employees. This rule is optional for 2014. Learn more.

 

    • Effective for calendar year 2015, if you provide self-insured health coverage to your employees, you must file an annual return reporting certain information for each employee you cover. This rule is optional for 2014. Learn more.

 

    • Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, you must withhold and report an additional 0.9 percent on employee wages or compensation that exceed $200,000. Learn more.

 

Other ObamaCare Taxes on Big Business

Aside from having to adhere to the “employer mandate” ObamaCare also imposes taxes and fees that are unique to big business. ObamaCare taxes some medical device manufactures, drug companies and health insurance companies. Beginning in 2013, medical device manufacturers and importers must pay a 2.3% tax on the sale of a taxable medical device. This raises $29 billion over a 10 years. However, many states are asking to delay the medical device excise tax to protect jobs in states that produce the devices. An annual fee for health insurers is expected to raise more than $100 billion over 10 years, while a fee for brand name drugs will bring in another $34 billion.

  • Employers that have employees who earn more than $200,000 will have to look at the potential for additional Medicare withholding due to the Medicare part A tax.
  • Employers that issued 250 or more W-2 forms in 2012 must report the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage for 2013 on the 2013 W-2 forms.

Medical Device Excise Tax

There is a 2.3% medical excise tax on medical device manufacturers and importers on the sale of taxable medical devices. Section 4191 of the Internal Revenue Code imposes an excise tax on the sale of certain medical devices by the manufacturer or importer of the device. The tax applies to sales of taxable medical devices after Dec. 31, 2012. You can learn more from the official IRS page on the Medical Device Tax.

What Increases Do the ObamaCare Taxes Include for The $200k/$250k Earners?

ObamaCare Medicare Part A Payroll Tax

Starting in 2013, individuals with earnings above $200,000 and married couples making more than $250,000 will see an increase in the Medicare part A payroll tax. It’s an increase of 2.35%, up from the current 1.45% ( a .9% Medicare part A payroll tax hike), on adjusted income over the threshold.

ObamaCare Unearned Income Tax

This group will also pay a 3.8% unearned income (capital gains) tax on interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, rents, and gains on the sale of investments over the threshold.

Taxable income under the $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 threshold for families is subject to the same benefits and tax cuts as those who make under the threshold.

ObamaCare Home Sales Tax / ObamaCare Real Estate Tax Increase

ObamaCare increases taxes on unearned income by 3.8% and this can add additional taxes to the sales of some homes, but many limitations apply which means it won’t affect most sellers. The 3.8% capital gains tax typically doesn’t apply to your primary residence. It also doesn’t usually apply to homes you have owned for over 5 years or on profits of less than $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for couples due to a capital gains tax exclusion rule for sales of a primary home.

In short the ObamaCare home sales tax isn’t something that most of us will pay, it is a tax is aimed at those selling non-primary residences in short term periods for profit and not at the average American buying and selling their primary residence.

ObamaCare Medical Expense Deductions

ObamaCare increases the medical expense deduction threshold. Unreimbursed medical expense deductions will now be available only for those medical expenses in excess of 10% of AGI, which has been raised from 7.5%. There is a temporary exemption for individuals ages 65 and older and their spouses from 2013 through 2016.

ObamaCare “Cadillac” Tax

Starting in 2018, the new health care law imposes a 40% excise tax on the portion of most employer-sponsored health coverage (this excludes dental and vision) that exceed $10,200 a year and $27,500 for families. The tax has been dubbed a “Cadillac” tax because it hits only high-end “gold”, “platinum” and high-end health care plans not purchased on the exchange. The tax raises over $150 billion over the next 10 years.

New ObamaCare Taxes Summary

Going through the new ObamaCare taxes line by line is, in itself, taxing. The bottom line is that a majority of Americans will find themselves paying less for better healthcare, while higher-earners will pay tax rates closer to what they did in the Clinton years. ObamaCare pays for most of itself via the above taxes, reforms to Medicare, and health care as a whole, as well as cutting out billions in wasteful spending.

ObamaCare Taxes Moving Forward into 2014

We hope this helps you to understand the new ObamaCare taxes and how they work. Many of the ObamaCare’s taxes won’t be fully implemented until 2022, but most will be in effect by 2014. ObamaCare helps all Americans get access to quality affordable healthcare, and new benefits, rights and protections. Make sure to look out for ObamaCare tax breaks, credits, subsidies and breaks on up front costs moving forward into 2014. As we learn more we will update our full ObamaCare tax list.

 

ObamaCare Taxes: New Health Care Taxes

http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-taxes/

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Part II More On Jonathan Gruber, Basically PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) on Healthcare, Obamacare and Lack of Transparency — The American Voters Were Not Stupid And Rejected Democrats Who Supported Obamacare By Voting Them Out of Office — But The Democratic Progressive Elitist Establishment Are Liars and Losers — Stupid Is As Stupid Does — Death Knell of Socialized Medicine — Repeal Obamacare Now! — Videos

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Story 1: Part II More On Jonathan Gruber, Basically PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) on Healthcare, Obamacare and Lack of Transparency — The American Voters  Were Not Stupid And Rejected Democrats Who Supported Obamacare By Voting Them Out of Office — But The Democratic Progressive Elitist Establishment Are Liars and Losers — Stupid Is As Stupid Does — Death Knell of Socialized Medicine — Repeal Obamacare Now! — Videos

Stupid Is As Stupid Does


jonathan_gruber_1

obamacare_architect_jonathan_gruber_open_mic

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass….Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

~Jonathan Gruber

Stupid is as stupid does, Mrs. Blue..

Jonathan-Gruber

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GRUBER: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”

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Flashback: Obama: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.

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Dems including Harry Reid, Sebelius, and Obama admit Single Payer Healthcare is ultimate goal

 

Democrats Push for a Single Payer Health Care System Katie Pavlich Charles Payne 8 12 13

Socialize Medicine! – Influential Democrat Calling For Single Payer System Amid Obamacare Trouble

 

obamacare

“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” – Barack Obama

obama

Obama-If-You-Like-Your-Health-Care-Plan-You-Can-Keep-It

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Jon Stewart on You Can Keep Your Plan. Period.

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HealthCare Reform – Modified Community Rating Part 2 – Federal Marketplace

Community Rating – How the Affordable Care Act Impacts Small Business Owners

Forrest Gump TRAILER

Honest Trailers – Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump’s most beautiful quote

Funeral Toll & Peal, Mount Angel Abbey

When a monk passes away during the night, the toll is sounded early the following morning. It is repeated after the funeral Mass, when the monks process down to the cemetery, and ends with a peal of all the bells. These are the last few tolls of the sequence on the largest bell in the Pacific Northwest.

Please pray for the eternal repose of the soul of this monk, that he may enter into everlasting life with Christ.

Martin Luther King – For whom the bell tolls

Nancy Pelosi says she doesn’t know who Jonathan Gruber is. She touted his work in 2009.

By Aaron Blake

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that, not only did Jonathan Gruber not play a significant role in drafting Obamacare, but that she doesn’t even “know who he is.”

Many have pointed out since then that Pelosi’s office has cited Gruber’s work in the past. That’s notable, but it’s very unlikely Pelosi herself wrote those press releases herself or even participated in their drafting.

But then there’s this: Pelosi herself has also mentioned Gruber and his work — back in November 2009, at the height of the Obamacare debate.

Here’s the transcript, via Nexis:

Q: As you know, the Republicans released their health- care bill this week. And I wanted to get your comment on the bill, and specifically on the CBO analysis that it would cost significantly less than the Democratic plan and that it would lower premiums.

PELOSI: Let me just say this. Anything you need to know about the difference between the Democratic bill and the Republican bill is that the Republicans do not end the health insurance companies’ discrimination against people with preexisting conditions. They let that stand. That’s scandalous, the fact that it exists. I don’t understand why they have not heard the American people, who have said preexisting conditions should not be a source of discrimination.

And secondly, the Republican plan ensures about 3 million more people than now, and ours does 36 million people. So that’s a very big difference in that.

We’re not finished getting all of our reports back from CBO, but we’ll have a side by side to compare. But our bill brings down rates. I don’t know if you have seen Jonathan Gruber of MIT’s analysis of what the comparison is to the status quo versus what will happen in our bill for those who seek insurance within the exchange. And our bill takes down those costs, even some now, and much less preventing the upward spiral.

So again, we’re confident about what we set out to do in the bill: middle class affordability, security for our seniors, and accountability to our children.

Pelosi’s office told the Washington Post that the minority leader meant that she didn’t know Gruber personally.

“She said she doesn’t ‘know who he is,’ not that she’s never heard of him,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said.

Hammill added: “We’ve cited the work of dozens upon dozens of economists over the years. As the leader said today, Mr. Gruber played no role in drafting our bill.”

Pelosi clearly wants to distance herself and Obamacare from Gruber, given Gruber’s controversial comments about “the stupidity of the American voter,” and Democrats are going to argue that Gruber wasn’t instrumental in the bill. But, as an architect of the Massachusetts health-care law and a consultant to the White House on Obamacare, he’s been regularly cited by Democrats as an authority on this issue — including, apparently, by Pelosi.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/11/13/nancy-pelosi-says-she-doesnt-know-who-jonathan-gruber-is-she-touted-his-work-in-2009/

This Philly-Based Investment Adviser Has Become Obamacare’s Digital Menace

Sam Stein

You could pardon Rich Weinstein for gloating. These past few days, he’s enjoyed the type of journalistic high that comes with unearthing a particularly meaty scoop.

Except Weinstein is no journalist. He’s a Philadelphia-based investment adviser approaching 50 who, until a half-year ago, was unknown to the political world. A set of videos he found of Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist who played an important role in drafting the Affordable Care Act, changed all that. The videos have become rich context for a legal challenge to the law now heading to the Supreme Court, and they’ve made Weinstein the celebration of conservative circles.

“This is going to sound a little cocky and I don’t want it to be,” Weinstein told The Huffington Post Tuesday in one of the the media interviews he’s given on his feat. “But I’m not partially responsible for finding those clips. I’m completely responsible.”

Weinstein’s story, in some respects, would be the stuff of a made-for-TV movie — if the director is a member of the tea party and eager to dramatize the Affordable Care Act’s unraveling (those two points, admittedly, are redundant).

Weinstein, who runs his own company, and his family lost their health insurance after Obamacare forced higher standards for policies. On the exchange, the only plan with similar benefits was twice the cost of his old one. Irritated, he began looking into who put together the Affordable Care Act, searching Google with the term “ACA architects.” Days consumed with researching old videos became nights.

“Remember when the husbands used to come home at night in the ’50s and ’60s and grab a newspaper and read it?” said Weinstein. “Well, I’m like that with the iPad. It was a lot of time. For the past year, I put a lot of time into this.”

His break came last winter. An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma, outlined a long-shot legal argument that said a direct interpretation of Affordable Care Act precluded giving subsidies to people on federally run exchanges. Weinstein had seen that argument before, albeit from a different vantage point. Months earlier, he had stumbled across video of Gruber stating that the subsidies to help low-income Americans buy insurance are reserved for state-established exchanges, if only to give states an incentive to establish an exchange

Weinstein had a smoking gun, but no one to show it to.

“I’ve got the tinfoil hat,” Weinstein said, excusing the reporters who ignored his early entreaties. “People in the media must be overwhelmed with idiots like me who think they have something.”

So he took time off — three to four months — and watched his kids play lacrosse. Then, in July, two conservative justices on a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the subsidies for those shopping on federally run exchanges were, indeed, illegal. People were talking about the issue again.

Weinstein dropped comments about his Gruber video onto The Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy blog. Eventually, Ryan Radia, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian think tank, noticed and turned it into a blog post.

Dominos began to fall. Weinstein’s first video was included in the legal challenge to Obamacare. And that challenge — King v. Burwell — ended up making its way to the Supreme Court. “Which is crazy,” Weinstein said. “Crazy because I found it. Not crazy because it is a crazy legal case.”

This week, another of Weinstein’s videos emerged. This one is of Gruber saying that a bit of budgetary deception helped Obamacare pass in Congress (“call it the stupidity of the American voter, or whatever,” said the professor). This, too, found its way into the mainstream conversation. Gruber on Tuesday went on MSNBC to apologize for his language, though he may have return. Weinstein said he has another video of a similar comment that he will soon release.

Should the Supreme Court ultimately rule against subsidies being available on federally run insurance exchanges, it would, in some ways, make the perfect ending to a conservative-inspired Horatio Alger story.

“I’m kind of a nobody,” said Weinstein. “And, I think, people who are out there, just the average person who gets hacked off about something or has an interest about something, I think I’m a perfect lesson that any one person can make a difference. Anybody. Even guy with the tinfoil hat in his mom’s basement.”

Except life and politics aren’t that simple. There is texture. Weinstein doesn’t live in his mom’s basement. He just says it for rhetorical flair. For those who would like to dismiss him as a knee-jerk partisan, he’s not that, either. He voted for Bill Clinton, he said, before he cast a ballot for Ross Perot and, most recently, Mitt Romney. Certainly, he’s no longer a “nobody” in the fight against Obamacare. Elements of the conservative movement have geared up to both promote and protect his work.

Phil Kerpen, who founded the group American Commitment and formerly was vice president for the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, helped spread the second of Weinstein’s videos. Once Kerpen found out an article was in the works, he sent a tweet suggesting The Huffington Post was “doxxing” Weinstein for attacking Gruber. The tweet came just minutes after The Huffington Post asked Weinstein whether he had used an online alias before commenting on The Volokh Conspiracy.

But the real nuance is in the history and the policy details. Gruber was an architect of Obamacare. But he wasn’t the only architect. The staffs to former Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), among others, deserve their fair share of credit or blame, depending on one’s perspective.

On the issue of subsidies, the Gruber statement that Weinstein unearthed remains a gem for a reason. It’s because it’s rare (Gruber called it a “speak-o” — like a typo). There has been one other instance unearthed of Gruber discussing tax incentives as a means of compelling a state to set up an exchange.

For defenders of the law, that’s still thin gruel compared with the widely accepted belief during and after the crafting of the bill that subsidies would be universal. (The IRS ruled this way in May 2012, five months after Gruber’s speech.)

For critics, it’s proof enough.

“I don’t think he misspoke at all. I don’t think he was taken out of context and I don’t think he misspoke,” said Weinstein.

And then there is the issue of practical outcomes. Weinstein became a digital archaeologist after the cost of his insurance went up two-fold. Should a lawsuit succeed in eliminating subsidies for those buying insurance on federally run exchanges, it would result in many people confronting similar, or worse, price hikes. It’s an outcome that Weinstein admitted weighs on him, even as he keeps scanning the Web for more Gruberisms.

“It does,” Weinstein said. “But the way you say it makes it sound like nothing else will happen. Like it is a straight line. Subsidies are taken away and the world ends. And I think that’s not fair. I think there will most certainly be a disruption. No doubt about it. I think some states will go build their own exchanges quickly. But, I think the markets would find a way to adjust.”

“It does bother me,” he added later. “I get it. I’m not an evil person. I just think people should see these videos. I just think people should know what’s going on. “

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/11/rich-weinstein-jonathan-gruber_n_6142340.html

Hearings floated as Hill Republicans seize on Gruber Obamacare comments

 By Robert Costa and Jose A. DelReal

Congressional Republicans seized Wednesday on controversial commentsmade by a former health-care consultant to the Obama administration, with one leading House conservative suggesting that hearings could be called in response as part of the GOP effort to dismantle the law in the next Congress and turn public opinion ahead of the 2016 election.

“We may want to have hearings on this,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), an influential voice among GOP hardliners and a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in an interview at the Capitol. “We shouldn’t be surprised they were misleading us.”

The firestorm began when a video emerged showing Jonathan Gruber, a high-profile architect of the Affordable Care Act and one of its fiercest advocates, suggesting that the health reform law passed through Congress because of the “stupidity of the American voter” and a “lack of transparency” over its funding mechanisms. The remarks were originally made in 2013 during a panel discussion at the University of Pennsylvania but began heavy circulation on social media Monday.

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” Gruber said. “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the ‘stupidity of the American voter’ or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”

Gruber apologized for his incendiary remarks in an on-air interview with MSNBC Tuesday afternoon, calling his comments inappropriate and saying he was speaking “off the cuff.” On Tuesday evening, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly aired a second video, of Gruber calling voters stupid, also from 2013.

The controversy has lit a fire under conservatives eager to dismantle the law and has raised eyebrows among the law’s defenders, who are concerned that such comments will further damage the law’s already shaky standing with American voters. It also comes after a sweeping electoral victory for Republicans last Tuesday, who won control of the Senate and bolstered the size of their majority in the House.

Jordan said House Republicans have been sending each other a blizzard of e-mails and text messages this week, and he expects the interest in “bringing [Gruber] up here to talk” will gain traction as members return to Washington. House Republicans will gather Thursday evening for their first series of votes since the election.

“I just had a colleague text me saying, ‘We’ve got to look into this!” Jordan said as he glanced at his phone outside the House floor Wednesday morning.

The chatter among lawmakers echoes the outrage among the conservative grassroots over the comments. Sen. Ted Cruz in a speech last week said targeting ACA must remain the party’s top priority. “Now is the time to go after and do everything humanely possible to repeal Obamacare,” he said.

House GOP leadership aides expressed new optimism that their desire to target the ACA could get some momentum. While rhetorically committed to full repeal, in order to keep the party’s right flank on board, the party is looking more seriously at undermining specific parts of the law as it navigates divided government next year. Those moves could include repealing the medical device tax; watering down a requirement that employers offer full time workers coverage, which takes effect in January; and changing the definition of a full-time worker from someone who works at least 30 hours a week to someone who works at least 40 — all proposals which could win some Democratic support.

On the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who is slated to become chairman of the powerful Senate budget committee, also threw his support behind possible hearings. In a furious gaggle with reporters, Sessions said Gruber’s comments could make dealings with the White House more difficult, days after Republican leaders said they would seek areas of common ground.

“The strategy was to hide the truth from the American people,” Sessions said. “I’m not into this post-modern world where you can say whatever you want to in order to achieve your agenda. That is a threat to the American republic… This is far deeper and more significant than the fact that he just spoke.”

Other Senate Republicans expressed similar discomfort with Gruber, but warned conservatives to not get their hopes up about repealing the health-care law while President Obama remains in office, underscoring the tonal difference between the more rabble-rousing House GOP and the new and more even-tempered Republican Senate majority.

Heading into a party luncheon on Wednesday, retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said the health care law “is going to still be there regardless because we don’t have the votes” to undo it.

“We can talk all we want but he is going to veto whatever we send him,” Coburn said. “That’s the reality.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said he was unsure of how Senate Republicans would use the Gruber kerfuffle to go after the law, if at all. For the moment, he said, Republicans should focus on using the episode to highlight how the national press has covered the president’s signature policy.

“What Gruber said should be read and reported on by every news organization,” he said. “People should be aware of how this administration thinks.”

Several Democrats said Wednesday that they were unaware of Gruber’s comments and declined to speculate on whether there could be political consequences, underscoring how much of the discussion is being driven by Republicans. One, however, did distance herself from the arguably aloof phrasing used by Gruber. “I have not seen them,” said Sen. Patty Murrary (D-Wash). “But I do think voters are pretty smart.”

The challenge for Republicans will be balancing the conservative ire surrounding Gruber with the leaders’ political imperative to establish themselves as a governing congressional majority. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and incoming Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) have pledged to bring another repeal bill to floor, but are also focused on achieving incremental legislative gains on Keystone XL and trade agreements.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/11/12/hearings-floated-as-hill-republicans-seize-on-gruber-obamacare-comments/

 

 

Jon Gruber finally speaks! … to MSNBC

POSTED AT 6:01 PM ON NOVEMBER 11, 2014 BY NOAH ROTHMAN

On Saturday, Newsbusters was the first major website to feature a video posted to YouTube by AmericanCommitment of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber boasting in 2013 how he helped deceive the public via a lack of transparency about that bill. Some readers were anxious about that video being made better known to the public since at the time the article was published, there were only a couple of dozen views of the video on YouTube.

Well they needn’t have worried because since then the video has gone over the top viral to the extent that Rush Limbaugh led his show talking about it at length this morning as did Sean Hannity on his radio show. In addition, the video made it into the mainstream media other than Fox News when Jake Tapper showed the video today on The Lead and The Hill has an article about it as well. As of this writing the video has over 177,000 views and growing fast. Reason today had an excellent analysis of the Gruber revelations:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Jonathan Gruber was, by most accounts, one of the key figures in constructing the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. He helped designed the Massachusetts health care law on which it was modeled, assisted the White House in laying out the foundation of the law, and, according to The New York Times, was eventually sent to Capitol Hill “to help Congressional staff members draft the specifics of the legislation.” He provided the media with a stream of supportive quotes, and was paid almost $400,000 for his consulting work.

Jonathan Gruber, in other words, knows exactly what it took to get the health care law passed.

And that’s why you should take him seriously when he says, in the following video, that it was critical to not be transparent about the law’s costs and true effects, and to take advantage of the “stupidity of the American voter” in order to get it passed:

Here’s the full quote:

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass….Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

This validates much of what critics have said about the health care law, and the tactics used to pass it, for years.

For one thing, it is an explicit admission that the law was designed in such a way to avoid a CBO score that would have tanked the bill. Basically, the Democrats who wrote the bill knowingly gamed the CBO process.

It’s also an admission that the law’s authors understood that one of the effects of the bill would be to make healthy people pay for the sick, but declined to say this for fear that it would kill the bill’s chances. In other words, the law’s supporters believed the public would not like some of the bill’s consequences, and knowingly attempted to hide those consequences from the public.

Most importantly, however, it is an admission that Gruber thinks it’s acceptable to deceive people if he believes that’s the only way to achieve his policy preference. That’s not exactly surprising, given that he failed to disclose payments from the administration to consult on Obamacare even while providing the media with supposedly independent assessments of the law.

…Gruber may believe that American voters are stupid, but he was the one who was dumb enough to say all this on camera.

Now that various MSM outlets have begun to pay attention to the Gruber Obamacare deception video, it will be fascinating to see what type of excuses will be made by the pundits to cover for what he admitted. Bonus points to Jonathan Cohn at New Republic or Politico or any of a vast number of liberal sources for whoever can dream up the most entertaining spin control to explain away this viral video.

p.s. Did I mention that Newsbusters was the first major website to feature this video?

– See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/pj-gladnick/2014/11/10/jonathan-gruber-obamacare-deception-video-goes-viral-newsbusters-was#sthash.OIUxVcFC.dpuf

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/11/11/jon-gruber-finally-speaks-to-msnbc/

Jonathan Gruber at Noblis – January 18, 2012

Honors Colloquium 2012 – Jonathan Gruber

Dr. Jonathan Gruber is a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is a Research Associate. He is an Associate Editor of both the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Health Economics. In 2009 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Dr. Gruber received his B.S. in Economics from MIT, and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. Dr. Gruber’s research focuses on the areas of public finance and health economics. He has published more than 140 research articles, has edited six research volumes, and is the author of Public Finance and Public Policy, a leading undergraduate text, and Health Care Reform, a graphic novel. In 2006 he received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under. During the 1997-1998 academic year, Dr. Gruber was on leave as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department. From 2003-2006 he was a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health reform effort, and in 2006 became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. In that year, he was named the 19th most powerful person in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

2012-01-09 Jonathan Gruber on Mitt Romney and Health Care Reform

Jonathan Gruber Once Again Says Subsidies Are Tied to State-Based Exchanges

Jonathan Gruber discusses health care law’s next step

Healthcare Reform 101 Part 1.

Healthcare Reform 101 Part 2.

Healthcare Reform 101 Part 3.

Jonathan Gruber on Obamacare: Part 1 of 3

Jonathan Gruber on Obamacare: Part 2 of 3

Crafting ObamaCare

Obamacare Architect: No State Exchange = No Subsidies; Blatant Enough

#GruberGate: Tale of the Tapes

Rush Limbaugh – MIT Gruber Lied about Obamacare

Rush Limbaugh: Jonathan Gruber says you are Life’s Lottery Winners – Eugenics

Gwen and Jonathan Gruber Talk Health Care with Chris Matthews

Obama 2008: Bypassing Congress Unconstitutional; I’ll Reverse It

Lec 1 | MIT 14.01SC Principles of Microeconomics

 

Meet Jonathan Gruber, the man who’s willing to say what everyone else is only thinking about Obamacare

By Jason Millman

Jonathan Gruber might not be a household name, but in the world of health care policy, he’s a pretty big deal. And now he’s also known as the guy who’s credited “the stupidity of the American voter” for the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

An old video surfaced this week of Gruber saying that a lack of transparency was one of the reasons Obamacare got through Congress in 2010. Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology health economist who’s credited as one of the intellectual godfathers of the Affordable Care Act, has apologized for speaking off the cuff, but critics of the law are eagerly highlighting his comments.

That’s because of what Gruber represents. He was one of the architects of the 2006 Massachusetts health care law, which became the basis for the ACA, and he helped craft the federal legislation that used a similar scheme of guaranteed coverage, financial assistance and insurance mandates. He was far from the only person who helped shape the ACA, but he has been one of its most vocal academic defenders in the nearly five years since it passed. (And he’s the only one to write a comic book about the law.)

It’s easy to see why Gruber’s comments get pored over by ACA opponents. There’s plenty of misunderstanding about what’s in the ACA and mistrust of the motivations for passing the law — just recall Nancy Pelosi’s infamous line about needing to pass the bill to find out what’s in it. So when someone like Gruber, who’s supposed to know the law inside and out, seemingly confirms critics’ worst suspicions, that makes for a powerful anecdote.

Gruber, who’s fiercely intelligent and passionate about the health reforms he helped create, also isn’t one to always sugarcoat things.

Earlier this year, a pretty important health policy study showed that the expansion of Medicaid coverage in Oregon was associated with a spike in emergency room visits. The research potentially undercut an argument by supporters of the law who said it would save money since giving more people health insurance meant patients would rely more on primary care providers, rather than expensive trips to the ER. And Gruber, commenting on the study, offered an uncomfortable truth.

“I would view [the study] as part of a broader set of evidence that covering people with health insurance doesn’t save money,” Gruber told the Washington Post at the time. “That was sometimes a misleading motivator for the Affordable Care Act. The law isn’t designed to save money. It’s designed to improve health, and that’s going to cost money.”

You may also remember Gruber from the last presidential campaign, when there was plenty of debate over just how similar Obamacare and Romneycare actually were to one another. It was Gruber who artfully cleared up the confusion. “They’re the same f—— bill,” he told Capital New York in what became a widely circulated interview three years ago. It’s probably what ACA supporters wanted to say all along, but only Gruber went ahead and did it.

His most potentially damaging comments surfaced just over the summer, when Gruber seemingly gave credence to the ACA challenge just taken up by the Supreme Court last week — a challenge that if successful couldtorpedo the law.

The case revolves around whether residents in states that refused to set up their own health insurance marketplaces should still be able to claim tax subsidies to help them afford their insurance. Opponents say no, Congress intentionally didn’t allow that under the law. Democrats say they never intended for people in these 36 states to not have access to the financial assistance.

Here was Gruber again, in January 2012, telling a health-care conference that states refusing to set up their own exchanges would deny their residents premium tax credits. The video wasn’t widely viewed until June of this year, but this is what he said at the time:

I think what’s important to remember politically about this, is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits. But your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying to your citizens, you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these Exchanges, and that they’ll do it. But you know, once again, the politics can get ugly around this.

Here’s the video, with these comments near the 31:30 mark:

 

Critics of the law jumped on those comments as further validation of their challenge to the subsidies in the 36 states relying on the federal-run insurance marketplaces, or exchanges. Gruber later said that he misspoke, and that his own work always assumed all exchanges — whether run by the states or the federal government — would be eligible for subsidies.

Gruber’s latest comments have surfaced at an especially inopportune time for the Obama administration. The next enrollment period is approaching this weekend with lowered expectations, just as Republicans reclaimed the Senate and the Supreme Court agreed to hear a new Obamacare challengethat could seriously weaken the law.

The Democrats, realizing how harmful Gruber’s latest comments have become, are already out doing damage control. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean was on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today to put distance between Gruber and the health-care law, saying he’s not even sure that Gruber ever met with President Obama.

“He’s a consultant, not the architect [of Obamacare,” Dean said. “I’m not excusing the language — it’s terrible.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/12/meet-jonathan-gruber-the-man-whos-willing-to-say-what-everyone-else-is-only-thinking-about-obamacare/

Jonathan Gruber (economist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people of the same name, see Jonathan Gruber (disambiguation).
Jonathan Gruber
Born September 30, 1965 (age 49)
Nationality American
Institution MIT
Field Health economics
Alma mater Harvard University (PhD, 1992)
MIT (BSc, 1987)
Information at IDEAS/RePEc

Jonathan Holmes Gruber is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is a research associate. He is an associate editor of both the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Health Economics.

Gruber has been heavily involved in crafting public health policy. He was a key architect of both the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform, sometimes referred to as “Romneycare”, and the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as “Obamacare”.

Contents

Early life

Gruber was born on September 30, 1965. He completed his BS in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987 and his PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1992, with a thesis titled Changes in the Structure of Employer-Provided Health Insurance.[1]

Academic career

Gruber began his career as an assistant professor of economics at MIT.[2] Currently, [clarification needed] he is a professor of economics at MIT. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.[2]

Gruber’s research has focused on public finance and health economics. He has published more than 140 research articles, and has edited six research volumes. He is a co-editor of the Journal of Public Economics, an associate editor of the Journal of Health Economics, and the author of Public Finance and Public Policy.[3] and Health Care Reform, a graphic novel delineating the Affordable Care Act.[citation needed]

Public service

During the 1997–1998 academic year, Gruber was on leave as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department. From 2003–06 he was a key architect of Massachusetts health care reform, also known as “Romneycare”. In 2006 he became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. In that year, he was named the 19th most powerful person in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare magazine. During the 2008 election he was a consultant to the Clinton, Edwards and Obama presidential campaigns.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

In 2009–10 Gruber served as a technical consultant to the Obama Administration and worked with both the administration and Congress to help craft the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as the ACA or “Obamacare”.[4] The act was signed into law in March 2010, and Gruber has been described as an “architect”, “writer”, and “consultant” of the legislation. He was widely interviewed and quoted during the roll-out of the legislation. [5][6][7][8][9]

In January 2010, after news emerged that Gruber was under a $297,000 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services, while at the same time promoting the Obama administration‘s health care reform policies, some conservative commentators suggested a conflict of interest.[10][11][12] While he did disclose his HHS connections in an article for the New England Journal of Medicine, his oversight in doing this earlier was defended in the New York Times .[13]

One heavily-scrutinized part of the ACA reads that subsidies should be given to healthcare recipients who are enrolled “through an Exchange established by the State”. Some have read this to mean that subsidies can be given only in states that have chosen to create their own healthcare exchanges, and do not use the federal exchange, while the Obama administration says that the wording applies to all states. This dispute is currently part of an ongoing series of lawsuits referred to collectively as King v. Burwell. In July 2014, two separate recordings of Gruber, both from January 2012, surfaced in which he seemed to contradict the administration’s position.[4] In one, Gruber states, in response to an audience question, that “if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits”,[14] while in the other he says, “if your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars of tax credits to be delivered to your citizens.”[15] When these recordings emerged, Gruber called these statements mistaken, describing them as “just a speak-o — you know, like a typo”.[14]

In a panel discussion about the ACA at the University of Pennsylvania in October 2013, Gruber stated that the bill was deliberately written “in a tortured way” to disguise the fact that it created a system in which “healthy people pay in and sick people get money”. He stated that this obfuscation was necessary, due to “the stupidity of the American voter or whatever”, in order to get the bill passed and that a “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”[16] His comments caused controversy after a video of them was placed on YouTubein November 2014.[17][18][19][20]

Published works

  • On February 15, 2006, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities published an article by Gruber entitled “The Cost and Coverage Impact of the President’s Health Insurance Budget Proposals”[21]
  • In a December 4, 2008 New York Times op-ed, “Medicine for the Job Market”, he claimed that expanding health insurance, even in difficult financial times would stimulate the economy.[22]
  • On February 9, 2011, the Center for American Progress published an article by Gruber titled “Health Care Reform Without the Individual Mandate,” analyzing the health insurance coverage impacts of alternative policy options for encouraging purchase of health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the mandate, a late penalty, and auto-enrollment.[23]

He has published over 100 research articles.[24]

Awards and honors

In 2006, Gruber received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under.[25] He was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine in 2005.[26] In 2009 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association.

In 2011 he was named “One of the Top 25 Most Innovative and Practical Thinkers of Our Time” by Slate Magazine. In both 2006 and 2012 he was rated as one of the top 100 most powerful people in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

References

  1. Jump up^ Gruber, John. “Changes in the structure of employer-provided health insurance”. ProQuest. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b http://economics.mit.edu/files/6400. Retrieved 25 July 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. Jump up^ Worth Publishers Student Center for Public Finance and Policy
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b Cannon, Michael. “ObamaCare Architect Jonathan Gruber: “If You’re A State And You Don’t Set Up An Exchange, That Means Your Citizens Don’t Get Their Tax Credits””. Forbes. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  5. Jump up^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/jon-gruber-on-the-premiums-in-health-care-reform/2011/08/25/gIQAN0TUWS_blog.html
  6. Jump up^ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/business/jonathan-gruber-health-cares-mr-mandate.html?pagewanted=all
  7. Jump up^http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704586504574654362679868966
  8. Jump up^ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2010/01/on-jonathan-gruber-and-disclosure/
  9. Jump up^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-hamsher/how-the-white-house-used_b_421549.html
  10. Jump up^ James, Michael (January 9, 2010). “On Jonathan Gruber and Disclosure”. ABC News. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  11. Jump up^ “Jonathan Gruber Failed to Disclose His $297,600 Contract With HHS”. Huffington Post. May 25, 2011. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  12. Jump up^ Berger, Judson (January 8, 2010). “Economist Was Under Contract With HHS While Touting Health Reform Bill”. Fox News. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
  13. Jump up^ “Jonathan Gruber”. New York Times. January 11, 2010. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  14. ^ Jump up to:a b Cohn, Jonathan (July 25, 2014). “Jonathan Gruber: ‘It Was Just a Mistake'”. The New Republic.
  15. Jump up^ Oops!…Gruber Did It Again, Forbes, July 25, 2014
  16. Jump up^ “GRUBER: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.””. American Commitment. October 13, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
  17. Jump up^ Roy, Avik (November 10, 2014). “ACA Architect: ‘The Stupidity Of The American Voter’ Led Us To Hide Obamacare’s True Costs From The Public”. Forbes.
  18. Jump up^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/11/11/obamacare-consultant-under-fire-for-stupidity-of-the-american-voter-comment/
  19. Jump up^ http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/11/10/obamacare-architect-admits-deceiving-americans-pass-law
  20. Jump up^http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/10/obamacare-architect-we-passed-law-due-to-stupidity/
  21. Jump up^ The Cost and Coverage Impact of The President’s Health Insurance Budget Proposals, February 15, 2006]
  22. Jump up^ Gruber, Jonathan (December 4, 2008), Medicine for the Job Market, New York Times
  23. Jump up^ Gruber, Jonathan (February 9, 2011), Health Care Reform Without the Individual Mandate
  24. Jump up^ NBER Working Papers by Jonathan Gruber
  25. Jump up^ Honors & awards – Fall 2006 Soundings
  26. Jump up^ National Academy of Social Insurance

External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Gruber_(economist)

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Jonathan Gruber, PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) on Healthcare, Obamacare and Lack of Transparency — The American Voters Were Not Stupid And Rejected Democrats Who Supported Obamacare By Voting Them Out of Office — But The Democratic Progressive Elitist Establishment Are Liars and Losers — Stupid Is As Stupid Does — Death Knell of Socialized Medicine — Repeal Obamacare Now! — Videos

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Story 1: Jonathan Gruber, PhD (Piled Higher and Deeper) on Healthcare, Obamacare and Lack of Transparency — The American Voters  Were Not Stupid And Rejected Democrats Who Supported Obamacare By Voting Them Out of Office — But The Democratic Progressive Elitist Establishment Are Liars and Losers — Stupid Is As Stupid Does — Death Knell of Socialized Medicine — Repeal Obamacare Now! — Videos

Stupid Is As Stupid Does


jonathan_gruber_1

obamacare_architect_jonathan_gruber_open_mic

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass….Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

~Jonathan Gruber

Jonathan-Gruber

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GRUBER: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”

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Flashback: Obama: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.

The Changing Touchstone of Transparency

Nets Ignore ObamaCare Architect Crediting Law’s Passage On ‘The Stupidity Of The American Voter’

Megyn Slams ObamaCare Architect Who Declined to Appear on ‘Kelly File’

WHY IS OBAMA NOT IN PRISON FOR STEALING TAXPAYER MONEY?

ObamaCare: Bill’s architect Gruber admits lies, deception necessary because Americans are stupid

President Obama in 2009: Mandate is Not a Tax

obamacare

“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” – Barack Obama

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Obama-If-You-Like-Your-Health-Care-Plan-You-Can-Keep-It

losing_plan

Jon Stewart on You Can Keep Your Plan. Period.

Jonathan Gruber on MSNBC says he “regrets” calling the American voter stupid

Conversation: “Health Care Reform,” The Comic Book

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Please pray for the eternal repose of the soul of this monk, that he may enter into everlasting life with Christ.

Martin Luther King – For whom the bell tolls

Hearings floated as Hill Republicans seize on Gruber Obamacare comments

 By Robert Costa and Jose A. DelReal

 

Congressional Republicans seized Wednesday on controversial commentsmade by a former health-care consultant to the Obama administration, with one leading House conservative suggesting that hearings could be called in response as part of the GOP effort to dismantle the law in the next Congress and turn public opinion ahead of the 2016 election.

“We may want to have hearings on this,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), an influential voice among GOP hardliners and a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in an interview at the Capitol. “We shouldn’t be surprised they were misleading us.”

The firestorm began when a video emerged showing Jonathan Gruber, a high-profile architect of the Affordable Care Act and one of its fiercest advocates, suggesting that the health reform law passed through Congress because of the “stupidity of the American voter” and a “lack of transparency” over its funding mechanisms. The remarks were originally made in 2013 during a panel discussion at the University of Pennsylvania but began heavy circulation on social media Monday.

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” Gruber said. “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the ‘stupidity of the American voter’ or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass.”

Gruber apologized for his incendiary remarks in an on-air interview with MSNBC Tuesday afternoon, calling his comments inappropriate and saying he was speaking “off the cuff.” On Tuesday evening, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly aired a second video, of Gruber calling voters stupid, also from 2013.

The controversy has lit a fire under conservatives eager to dismantle the law and has raised eyebrows among the law’s defenders, who are concerned that such comments will further damage the law’s already shaky standing with American voters. It also comes after a sweeping electoral victory for Republicans last Tuesday, who won control of the Senate and bolstered the size of their majority in the House.

Jordan said House Republicans have been sending each other a blizzard of e-mails and text messages this week, and he expects the interest in “bringing [Gruber] up here to talk” will gain traction as members return to Washington. House Republicans will gather Thursday evening for their first series of votes since the election.

“I just had a colleague text me saying, ‘We’ve got to look into this!” Jordan said as he glanced at his phone outside the House floor Wednesday morning.

The chatter among lawmakers echoes the outrage among the conservative grassroots over the comments. Sen. Ted Cruz in a speech last week said targeting ACA must remain the party’s top priority. “Now is the time to go after and do everything humanely possible to repeal Obamacare,” he said.

House GOP leadership aides expressed new optimism that their desire to target the ACA could get some momentum. While rhetorically committed to full repeal, in order to keep the party’s right flank on board, the party is looking more seriously at undermining specific parts of the law as it navigates divided government next year. Those moves could include repealing the medical device tax; watering down a requirement that employers offer full time workers coverage, which takes effect in January; and changing the definition of a full-time worker from someone who works at least 30 hours a week to someone who works at least 40 — all proposals which could win some Democratic support.

On the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who is slated to become chairman of the powerful Senate budget committee, also threw his support behind possible hearings. In a furious gaggle with reporters, Sessions said Gruber’s comments could make dealings with the White House more difficult, days after Republican leaders said they would seek areas of common ground.

“The strategy was to hide the truth from the American people,” Sessions said. “I’m not into this post-modern world where you can say whatever you want to in order to achieve your agenda. That is a threat to the American republic… This is far deeper and more significant than the fact that he just spoke.”

Other Senate Republicans expressed similar discomfort with Gruber, but warned conservatives to not get their hopes up about repealing the health-care law while President Obama remains in office, underscoring the tonal difference between the more rabble-rousing House GOP and the new and more even-tempered Republican Senate majority.

Heading into a party luncheon on Wednesday, retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said the health care law “is going to still be there regardless because we don’t have the votes” to undo it.

“We can talk all we want but he is going to veto whatever we send him,” Coburn said. “That’s the reality.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said he was unsure of how Senate Republicans would use the Gruber kerfuffle to go after the law, if at all. For the moment, he said, Republicans should focus on using the episode to highlight how the national press has covered the president’s signature policy.

“What Gruber said should be read and reported on by every news organization,” he said. “People should be aware of how this administration thinks.”

Several Democrats said Wednesday that they were unaware of Gruber’s comments and declined to speculate on whether there could be political consequences, underscoring how much of the discussion is being driven by Republicans. One, however, did distance herself from the arguably aloof phrasing used by Gruber. “I have not seen them,” said Sen. Patty Murrary (D-Wash). “But I do think voters are pretty smart.”

The challenge for Republicans will be balancing the conservative ire surrounding Gruber with the leaders’ political imperative to establish themselves as a governing congressional majority. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and incoming Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) have pledged to bring another repeal bill to floor, but are also focused on achieving incremental legislative gains on Keystone XL and trade agreements.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/11/12/hearings-floated-as-hill-republicans-seize-on-gruber-obamacare-comments/

 

 

Jon Gruber finally speaks! … to MSNBC

POSTED AT 6:01 PM ON NOVEMBER 11, 2014 BY NOAH ROTHMAN

On Saturday, Newsbusters was the first major website to feature a video posted to YouTube by AmericanCommitment of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber boasting in 2013 how he helped deceive the public via a lack of transparency about that bill. Some readers were anxious about that video being made better known to the public since at the time the article was published, there were only a couple of dozen views of the video on YouTube.

Well they needn’t have worried because since then the video has gone over the top viral to the extent that Rush Limbaugh led his show talking about it at length this morning as did Sean Hannity on his radio show. In addition, the video made it into the mainstream media other than Fox News when Jake Tapper showed the video today on The Lead and The Hill has an article about it as well. As of this writing the video has over 177,000 views and growing fast. Reason today had an excellent analysis of the Gruber revelations:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Jonathan Gruber was, by most accounts, one of the key figures in constructing the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. He helped designed the Massachusetts health care law on which it was modeled, assisted the White House in laying out the foundation of the law, and, according to The New York Times, was eventually sent to Capitol Hill “to help Congressional staff members draft the specifics of the legislation.” He provided the media with a stream of supportive quotes, and was paid almost $400,000 for his consulting work.

Jonathan Gruber, in other words, knows exactly what it took to get the health care law passed.

And that’s why you should take him seriously when he says, in the following video, that it was critical to not be transparent about the law’s costs and true effects, and to take advantage of the “stupidity of the American voter” in order to get it passed:

Here’s the full quote:

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that. In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass….Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

This validates much of what critics have said about the health care law, and the tactics used to pass it, for years.

For one thing, it is an explicit admission that the law was designed in such a way to avoid a CBO score that would have tanked the bill. Basically, the Democrats who wrote the bill knowingly gamed the CBO process.

It’s also an admission that the law’s authors understood that one of the effects of the bill would be to make healthy people pay for the sick, but declined to say this for fear that it would kill the bill’s chances. In other words, the law’s supporters believed the public would not like some of the bill’s consequences, and knowingly attempted to hide those consequences from the public.

Most importantly, however, it is an admission that Gruber thinks it’s acceptable to deceive people if he believes that’s the only way to achieve his policy preference. That’s not exactly surprising, given that he failed to disclose payments from the administration to consult on Obamacare even while providing the media with supposedly independent assessments of the law.

…Gruber may believe that American voters are stupid, but he was the one who was dumb enough to say all this on camera.

Now that various MSM outlets have begun to pay attention to the Gruber Obamacare deception video, it will be fascinating to see what type of excuses will be made by the pundits to cover for what he admitted. Bonus points to Jonathan Cohn at New Republic or Politico or any of a vast number of liberal sources for whoever can dream up the most entertaining spin control to explain away this viral video.

p.s. Did I mention that Newsbusters was the first major website to feature this video?

– See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/pj-gladnick/2014/11/10/jonathan-gruber-obamacare-deception-video-goes-viral-newsbusters-was#sthash.OIUxVcFC.dpuf

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/11/11/jon-gruber-finally-speaks-to-msnbc/

Jonathan Gruber at Noblis – January 18, 2012

Honors Colloquium 2012 – Jonathan Gruber

Dr. Jonathan Gruber is a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is a Research Associate. He is an Associate Editor of both the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Health Economics. In 2009 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Dr. Gruber received his B.S. in Economics from MIT, and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. Dr. Gruber’s research focuses on the areas of public finance and health economics. He has published more than 140 research articles, has edited six research volumes, and is the author of Public Finance and Public Policy, a leading undergraduate text, and Health Care Reform, a graphic novel. In 2006 he received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under. During the 1997-1998 academic year, Dr. Gruber was on leave as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department. From 2003-2006 he was a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health reform effort, and in 2006 became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. In that year, he was named the 19th most powerful person in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

2012-01-09 Jonathan Gruber on Mitt Romney and Health Care Reform

Jonathan Gruber Once Again Says Subsidies Are Tied to State-Based Exchanges

Jonathan Gruber discusses health care law’s next step

Healthcare Reform 101 Part 1.

Healthcare Reform 101 Part 2.

Healthcare Reform 101 Part 3.

Jonathan Gruber on Obamacare: Part 1 of 3

Jonathan Gruber on Obamacare: Part 2 of 3

Crafting ObamaCare

Obamacare Architect: No State Exchange = No Subsidies; Blatant Enough

#GruberGate: Tale of the Tapes

Rush Limbaugh – MIT Gruber Lied about Obamacare

Rush Limbaugh: Jonathan Gruber says you are Life’s Lottery Winners – Eugenics

Gwen and Jonathan Gruber Talk Health Care with Chris Matthews

Obama 2008: Bypassing Congress Unconstitutional; I’ll Reverse It

Jon Gruber: The Dismal Science

 

Meet Jonathan Gruber, the man who’s willing to say what everyone else is only thinking about Obamacare

By Jason Millman

Jonathan Gruber might not be a household name, but in the world of health care policy, he’s a pretty big deal. And now he’s also known as the guy who’s credited “the stupidity of the American voter” for the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

An old video surfaced this week of Gruber saying that a lack of transparency was one of the reasons Obamacare got through Congress in 2010. Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology health economist who’s credited as one of the intellectual godfathers of the Affordable Care Act, has apologized for speaking off the cuff, but critics of the law are eagerly highlighting his comments.

That’s because of what Gruber represents. He was one of the architects of the 2006 Massachusetts health care law, which became the basis for the ACA, and he helped craft the federal legislation that used a similar scheme of guaranteed coverage, financial assistance and insurance mandates. He was far from the only person who helped shape the ACA, but he has been one of its most vocal academic defenders in the nearly five years since it passed. (And he’s the only one to write a comic book about the law.)

It’s easy to see why Gruber’s comments get pored over by ACA opponents. There’s plenty of misunderstanding about what’s in the ACA and mistrust of the motivations for passing the law — just recall Nancy Pelosi’s infamous line about needing to pass the bill to find out what’s in it. So when someone like Gruber, who’s supposed to know the law inside and out, seemingly confirms critics’ worst suspicions, that makes for a powerful anecdote.

Gruber, who’s fiercely intelligent and passionate about the health reforms he helped create, also isn’t one to always sugarcoat things.

Earlier this year, a pretty important health policy study showed that the expansion of Medicaid coverage in Oregon was associated with a spike in emergency room visits. The research potentially undercut an argument by supporters of the law who said it would save money since giving more people health insurance meant patients would rely more on primary care providers, rather than expensive trips to the ER. And Gruber, commenting on the study, offered an uncomfortable truth.

“I would view [the study] as part of a broader set of evidence that covering people with health insurance doesn’t save money,” Gruber told the Washington Post at the time. “That was sometimes a misleading motivator for the Affordable Care Act. The law isn’t designed to save money. It’s designed to improve health, and that’s going to cost money.”

You may also remember Gruber from the last presidential campaign, when there was plenty of debate over just how similar Obamacare and Romneycare actually were to one another. It was Gruber who artfully cleared up the confusion. “They’re the same f—— bill,” he told Capital New York in what became a widely circulated interview three years ago. It’s probably what ACA supporters wanted to say all along, but only Gruber went ahead and did it.

His most potentially damaging comments surfaced just over the summer, when Gruber seemingly gave credence to the ACA challenge just taken up by the Supreme Court last week — a challenge that if successful couldtorpedo the law.

The case revolves around whether residents in states that refused to set up their own health insurance marketplaces should still be able to claim tax subsidies to help them afford their insurance. Opponents say no, Congress intentionally didn’t allow that under the law. Democrats say they never intended for people in these 36 states to not have access to the financial assistance.

Here was Gruber again, in January 2012, telling a health-care conference that states refusing to set up their own exchanges would deny their residents premium tax credits. The video wasn’t widely viewed until June of this year, but this is what he said at the time:

I think what’s important to remember politically about this, is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits. But your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying to your citizens, you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these Exchanges, and that they’ll do it. But you know, once again, the politics can get ugly around this.

Here’s the video, with these comments near the 31:30 mark:

 

Critics of the law jumped on those comments as further validation of their challenge to the subsidies in the 36 states relying on the federal-run insurance marketplaces, or exchanges. Gruber later said that he misspoke, and that his own work always assumed all exchanges — whether run by the states or the federal government — would be eligible for subsidies.

Gruber’s latest comments have surfaced at an especially inopportune time for the Obama administration. The next enrollment period is approaching this weekend with lowered expectations, just as Republicans reclaimed the Senate and the Supreme Court agreed to hear a new Obamacare challengethat could seriously weaken the law.

The Democrats, realizing how harmful Gruber’s latest comments have become, are already out doing damage control. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean was on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” today to put distance between Gruber and the health-care law, saying he’s not even sure that Gruber ever met with President Obama.

“He’s a consultant, not the architect [of Obamacare,” Dean said. “I’m not excusing the language — it’s terrible.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/12/meet-jonathan-gruber-the-man-whos-willing-to-say-what-everyone-else-is-only-thinking-about-obamacare/

Jonathan Gruber (economist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people of the same name, see Jonathan Gruber (disambiguation).
Jonathan Gruber
Born September 30, 1965 (age 49)
Nationality American
Institution MIT
Field Health economics
Alma mater Harvard University (PhD, 1992)
MIT (BSc, 1987)
Information at IDEAS/RePEc

Jonathan Holmes Gruber is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught since 1992. He is also the director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he is a research associate. He is an associate editor of both the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Health Economics.

Gruber has been heavily involved in crafting public health policy. He was a key architect of both the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform, sometimes referred to as “Romneycare”, and the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, sometimes referred to as “Obamacare”.

Contents

  • Early life

    Gruber was born on September 30, 1965. He completed his BS in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987 and his PhD in economics from Harvard University in 1992, with a thesis titled Changes in the Structure of Employer-Provided Health Insurance.[1]

    Academic career

    Gruber began his career as an assistant professor of economics at MIT.[2] Currently, [clarification needed] he is a professor of economics at MIT. He is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.[2]

    Gruber’s research has focused on public finance and health economics. He has published more than 140 research articles, and has edited six research volumes. He is a co-editor of the Journal of Public Economics, an associate editor of the Journal of Health Economics, and the author of Public Finance and Public Policy.[3] and Health Care Reform, a graphic novel delineating the Affordable Care Act.[citation needed]

    Public service

    During the 1997–1998 academic year, Gruber was on leave as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department. From 2003–06 he was a key architect of Massachusetts health care reform, also known as “Romneycare”. In 2006 he became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. In that year, he was named the 19th most powerful person in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare magazine. During the 2008 election he was a consultant to the Clinton, Edwards and Obama presidential campaigns.

    Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    In 2009–10 Gruber served as a technical consultant to the Obama Administration and worked with both the administration and Congress to help craft the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as the ACA or “Obamacare”.[4] The act was signed into law in March 2010, and Gruber has been described as an “architect”, “writer”, and “consultant” of the legislation. He was widely interviewed and quoted during the roll-out of the legislation. [5][6][7][8][9]

    In January 2010, after news emerged that Gruber was under a $297,000 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services, while at the same time promoting the Obama administration‘s health care reform policies, some conservative commentators suggested a conflict of interest.[10][11][12] While he did disclose his HHS connections in an article for the New England Journal of Medicine, his oversight in doing this earlier was defended in the New York Times .[13]

    One heavily-scrutinized part of the ACA reads that subsidies should be given to healthcare recipients who are enrolled “through an Exchange established by the State”. Some have read this to mean that subsidies can be given only in states that have chosen to create their own healthcare exchanges, and do not use the federal exchange, while the Obama administration says that the wording applies to all states. This dispute is currently part of an ongoing series of lawsuits referred to collectively as King v. Burwell. In July 2014, two separate recordings of Gruber, both from January 2012, surfaced in which he seemed to contradict the administration’s position.[4] In one, Gruber states, in response to an audience question, that “if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits”,[14] while in the other he says, “if your governor doesn’t set up an exchange, you’re losing hundreds of millions of dollars of tax credits to be delivered to your citizens.”[15] When these recordings emerged, Gruber called these statements mistaken, describing them as “just a speak-o — you know, like a typo”.[14]

    In a panel discussion about the ACA at the University of Pennsylvania in October 2013, Gruber stated that the bill was deliberately written “in a tortured way” to disguise the fact that it created a system in which “healthy people pay in and sick people get money”. He stated that this obfuscation was necessary, due to “the stupidity of the American voter or whatever”, in order to get the bill passed and that a “lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”[16] His comments caused controversy after a video of them was placed on YouTubein November 2014.[17][18][19][20]

    Published works

    • On February 15, 2006, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities published an article by Gruber entitled “The Cost and Coverage Impact of the President’s Health Insurance Budget Proposals”[21]
    • In a December 4, 2008 New York Times op-ed, “Medicine for the Job Market”, he claimed that expanding health insurance, even in difficult financial times would stimulate the economy.[22]
    • On February 9, 2011, the Center for American Progress published an article by Gruber titled “Health Care Reform Without the Individual Mandate,” analyzing the health insurance coverage impacts of alternative policy options for encouraging purchase of health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the mandate, a late penalty, and auto-enrollment.[23]

    He has published over 100 research articles.[24]

    Awards and honors

    In 2006, Gruber received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under.[25] He was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine in 2005.[26] In 2009 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association.

    In 2011 he was named “One of the Top 25 Most Innovative and Practical Thinkers of Our Time” by Slate Magazine. In both 2006 and 2012 he was rated as one of the top 100 most powerful people in health care in the United States by Modern Healthcare Magazine.

    References

    1. Jump up^ Gruber, John. “Changes in the structure of employer-provided health insurance”. ProQuest. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
    2. ^ Jump up to:a b http://economics.mit.edu/files/6400. Retrieved 25 July 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
    3. Jump up^ Worth Publishers Student Center for Public Finance and Policy
    4. ^ Jump up to:a b Cannon, Michael. “ObamaCare Architect Jonathan Gruber: “If You’re A State And You Don’t Set Up An Exchange, That Means Your Citizens Don’t Get Their Tax Credits””. Forbes. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
    5. Jump up^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/jon-gruber-on-the-premiums-in-health-care-reform/2011/08/25/gIQAN0TUWS_blog.html
    6. Jump up^ http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/business/jonathan-gruber-health-cares-mr-mandate.html?pagewanted=all
    7. Jump up^http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704586504574654362679868966
    8. Jump up^ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2010/01/on-jonathan-gruber-and-disclosure/
    9. Jump up^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-hamsher/how-the-white-house-used_b_421549.html
    10. Jump up^ James, Michael (January 9, 2010). “On Jonathan Gruber and Disclosure”. ABC News. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
    11. Jump up^ “Jonathan Gruber Failed to Disclose His $297,600 Contract With HHS”. Huffington Post. May 25, 2011. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
    12. Jump up^ Berger, Judson (January 8, 2010). “Economist Was Under Contract With HHS While Touting Health Reform Bill”. Fox News. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
    13. Jump up^ “Jonathan Gruber”. New York Times. January 11, 2010. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
    14. ^ Jump up to:a b Cohn, Jonathan (July 25, 2014). “Jonathan Gruber: ‘It Was Just a Mistake'”. The New Republic.
    15. Jump up^ Oops!…Gruber Did It Again, Forbes, July 25, 2014
    16. Jump up^ “GRUBER: “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.””. American Commitment. October 13, 2013. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
    17. Jump up^ Roy, Avik (November 10, 2014). “ACA Architect: ‘The Stupidity Of The American Voter’ Led Us To Hide Obamacare’s True Costs From The Public”. Forbes.
    18. Jump up^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/11/11/obamacare-consultant-under-fire-for-stupidity-of-the-american-voter-comment/
    19. Jump up^ http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/11/10/obamacare-architect-admits-deceiving-americans-pass-law
    20. Jump up^http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/nov/10/obamacare-architect-we-passed-law-due-to-stupidity/
    21. Jump up^ The Cost and Coverage Impact of The President’s Health Insurance Budget Proposals, February 15, 2006]
    22. Jump up^ Gruber, Jonathan (December 4, 2008), Medicine for the Job Market, New York Times
    23. Jump up^ Gruber, Jonathan (February 9, 2011), Health Care Reform Without the Individual Mandate
    24. Jump up^ NBER Working Papers by Jonathan Gruber
    25. Jump up^ Honors & awards – Fall 2006 Soundings
    26. Jump up^ National Academy of Social Insurance

    External links

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Gruber_(economist)

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    Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 58-61

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    Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 17-26

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    Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

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    David Kennedy — White Hat Hacker — HealthCare.gov Website Not Secure — Danger of Identity Theft — Videos

    Posted on December 4, 2013. Filed under: American History, Babies, Blogroll, College, Communications, Computers, Constitution, Crime, Diasters, Economics, Education, Employment, External Hard Drives, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Fraud, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, Medicine, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Photos, Press, Rants, Raves, Resources, Systems, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Obamacare_HealthCare_gov_Screen-Shot-2013-10-29-at-8.03.59-AMKathleen Sebelius

    Henry Chao, David PownerhealthcaregovObamacare_plan_premium_comparisons

    Improved ObamaCare Site Still A Hacker’s Dream

    Hacker: No security ever built into Obamacare website healthcare gov

    Personal data security on Obamacare site

    Experts Recommend Shutting Down Obamacare Website Hackers Dream The Real Story

    Hack Attack! Can Hackers Hijack The Healthcare gov Website Judge Jeanine Pirro

    11-13-13 “ObamaCare Implementation: The Rollout of HealthCare.gov” Pt. I

    11-13-13 “ObamaCare Implementation: The Rollout of HealthCare.gov” Pt. 2

    [11-13-13 “ObamaCare Implementation: The Rollout of HealthCare.gov” Pt. 3

    Congressional Hearing On The Failed Implementation Of The ObamaCare Healthcare.gov Website

    Background Articles and Videos

    How to Become an IT Professional

    Introduction to Hacking

    Hacking DNS

    OpenDNS for Network Security

    The Future of Security: Ethical Hacking, Big Data and the Crowd – Welcome and Opening Remarks

    The Future of Security: Ethical Hacking, Big Data and the Crowd – Panel One

    The Future of Security: Ethical Hacking, Big Data and the Crowd – Panel Two

    The Future of Security: Ethical Hacking, Big Data and the Crowd – Panel Two Discussion

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LACxDIF1CP4

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    Financial Services Committee hearing on Madoff and SIPC — Videos

    Posted on November 19, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Business, Communications, Computers, Computers, Economics, Education, government, government spending, IRS, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Raves, Regulations, Taxes, Technology, Unemployment, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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    Financial Services Committee hearing on Madoff December 9, 2009 Part 1

    Financial Services Committee hearing on Madoff December 9, 2009 Part 2

    Financial Services Committee hearing on Madoff December 9, 2009 Part 3

    Financial Services Committee hearing on Madoff December 9, 2009 Part 4

    Financial Services Committee hearing on Madoff December 9, 2009 Part 5

    Financial Services Committee hearing on Madoff December 9, 2009 Part 6

    Financial Services Committee hearing on Madoff December 9, 2009 Part 7

    Financial Services Committee hearing on Madoff December 9, 2009 Part 8

    Financial Services Committee hearing on Madoff December 9, 2009 Part 9

    Financial Services Committee hearing on Madoff December 9, 2009 Part 10

    Financial Services Committee hearing on Madoff December 9, 2009 Part 11

    Financial Services Committee hearing on Madoff December 9, 2009 Part 12

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    Inside the Madoff Scandal — Videos

    Posted on November 19, 2013. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, Communications, Crime, Diasters, Economics, Federal Government, Fraud, government, government spending, IRS, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Religion, Securities and Exchange Commission, Security, Taxes, Technology, Video, Wealth, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

    Inside the Madoff Scandal: Chapter One

    Inside the Madoff Scandal: Chapter Two

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    Erin Arvedlund — Too Good to be True- The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff — Videos

    Posted on November 19, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, Communications, Computers, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Photos, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Religion, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

    too_good_to_be_true

    Erin_Arvedund

    Too Good to be True- The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff Part 1

    Erin Arvedlund first wrote about Bernie Madoff for Barrons in 2001 and published her book, Too Good to be True- The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff in August of 2009. In this episode of The Massachusetts School of Law’s Books of our Time, Dean Velvel, himself a Madoff victim, and Arvedlund discuss the history of the brokerage industry, the possible culpability of the entire Madoff family, the difference between Madoff’s legitimate brokerage firm and his illegitimate hedge fund and the steps that lead up to the largest Ponzi scheme in American History. Arvedlund tells the story of Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme with the knowledge and detail of an insider, and sheds new light on the greatest financial enigma of American History.

    The Massachusetts School of Law also presents information on important current affairs to the general public in television and radio broadcasts, an intellectual journal, conferences, author appearances, blogs and books. For more information visit mslawledu.

    Too Good to be True- The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff Part 2

    [youtub4e=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CdqYJZfyq0]

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    The Madoff Hustle — Videos

    Posted on November 19, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, Communications, Computers, Computers, Crime, Diasters, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Fraud, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, People, Philosophy, Programming, Raves, Tax Policy, Technology, Video, Wealth, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    madoff_hustle

    The Madoff Hustle – Part 1

    The Madoff Hustle – Part 2

    The Madoff Hustle – Part 3

    The Madoff Hustle – Part 4

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    Fraud Food Thieves Using EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) Food Stamp Cards Showing No Limit Robbed Walmart in Springhill and Mansfield, Louisiana — Videos

    Posted on October 14, 2013. Filed under: Agriculture, Babies, Blogroll, Communications, Constitution, Culture, Diasters, Economics, Federal Government, Food, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Links, media, Photos, Politics, Press, Public Sector, Security, Technology, Unemployment, Unions, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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    Glenn Beck Unloads Over Food Stamp ‘Glitch’ That Led to Walmart Ransacking: ‘Thieves and Animals’

    Walmart Shelves Cleared During Food Stamp Panic ‘It was like a tornado had came through’

    Walmart Shelves Cleared During Food Stamp Panic – The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system allows recipients of government food stamps to purchase goods using a digital card with a set spending limit, but for a few hours over the weekend, that limit disappeared for many users visiting Walmart stores in Louisiana.

    Walmart and local police in Springhill and Mansfield confirmed to CBS affiliate KSLA that officers were called into the stores to help maintain order Saturday as shoppers swept through the aisles at two stores and bought as much as they could carry.

    Xerox, which hosts some of the infrastructure used by the EBT card system, told KSLA that a power outage during a routine maintenance test caused the temporary glitch.

    Walmart workers phoned their corporate headquarters to ask how they should handle all the shoppers with unlimited, government-funded spending limits, and were told to keep the registers ringing.

    “We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards during the outage so that they could get food for their families,” Walmart representative Kayla Whaling told KSLA. She added that Walmart was, “fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage.”

    Amateur video taken on shoppers’ cell phones shows dozens of shopping carts, piled high with merchandise, abandoned in the aisles of one Walmart after the announcement was made that EBT cards were once again showing accurate spending limits.

    Police spokesmen in both locations told KSLA that no arrests were made during the spending sprees.

    Shoppers gave mixed reactions to the incident, with one man in the Springhill store told KSLA it was simply “human reaction” to stock-up when given the opportunity. Shopper Stan Garcia was more critical of the unscrupulous shoppers, however, saying that taking advantage of the brief glitch in the benefits system amounted to “plain theft. That’s stealing, that’s all I got to say about it.”

    EBT benefit card glitch sparks Walmart shopping sprees in Louisiana

    The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system allows recipients of government food stamps to purchase goods using a digital card with a set spending limit, but for a few hours over the weekend, that limit disappeared for many users visiting Walmart stores in Louisiana.

    Walmart and local police in Springhill and Mansfield confirmed to CBS affiliate KSLA that officers were called into the stores to help maintain order Saturday as shoppers swept through the aisles at two stores and bought as much as they could carry.

    Xerox, which hosts some of the infrastructure used by the EBT card system, told KSLA that a power outage during a routine maintenance test caused the temporary glitch.

    Walmart workers phoned their corporate headquarters to ask how they should handle all the shoppers with unlimited, government-funded spending limits, and were told to keep the registers ringing.

    “We did make the decision to continue to accept EBT cards during the outage so that they could get food for their families,” Walmart representative Kayla Whaling told KSLA. She added that Walmart was, “fully engaged and monitoring the situation and transactions during the outage.”

    Amateur video taken on shoppers’ cell phones shows dozens of shopping carts, piled high with merchandise, abandoned in the aisles of one Walmart after the announcement was made that EBT cards were once again showing accurate spending limits.

    Police spokesmen in both locations told KSLA that no arrests were made during the spending sprees.

    Shoppers gave mixed reactions to the incident, with one man in the Springhill store told KSLA it was simply “human reaction” to stock-up when given the opportunity. Shopper Stan Garcia was more critical of the unscrupulous shoppers, however, saying that taking advantage of the brief glitch in the benefits system amounted to “plain theft. That’s stealing, that’s all I got to say about it.”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57607332/ebt-benefit-card-glitch-sparks-walmart-shopping-sprees-in-louisiana/

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    Anatomy of Race Racketeering — Civil Rights Pimp and Charlatan Al Sharpton — “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” ~John 8:32 — Videos

    Posted on August 8, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Food, government, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Raves, Religion, Talk Radio, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    al-sharpton-bet-awards-2012-02

    Al_Sharpton_Jesse_Jackson

    jess_jackson_al_sharpton

    al_sharpton_hillary_clinton

    Charlatan

    A charlatan (also called swindler or mountebank) is a person practicing quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame or other advantages via some form of pretense or deception.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlatan

    Racket

    A racket is a service that is fraudulently offered to solve a problem, such as for a problem that does not actually exist, will not be affected, or would not otherwise exist. Conducting a racket is racketeering.[1] Particularly, the potential problem may be caused by the same party that offers to solve it, although that fact may be concealed, with the specific intent to engender continual patronage for this party. A prototype is the protection racket, wherein a person or group indicates that they could protect a store from potential damage, damage that the same person or group would otherwise inflict, while the correlation of threat and protection may be more or less deniably veiled, distinguishing it from the more direct act of extortion.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer

    Glenn Beck – Anatomy of a Racist

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    Cornell West Goes OFF on Obama (Video)

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    National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) Secret Security Surveillance State (S4) Uses Stellar Wind and PRISM To Create Secret Dossiers On All American Citizen Targets Similiar To East Germany Stasi Files–Videos

    Posted on June 18, 2013. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Computers, Demographics, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Math, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Raves, Security, Strategy, Video, War, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    bill_binney

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    NSA Phone Records

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    James Bamford Compares Obama Spying On ALL Americans To “East Germany During The Cold War” 

    NSA Spying on Americans Isn’t New – Everything Changed after 9/11

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    NSA whistleblower William Binney Keynote at HOPE Number Nine

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    Stasi Files: The Lives of Others | Journal Reporter

    The Lost World of Communism (Part 1)

    Nova: The Spy Factory Full Video

    Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant

    Fisa court submissions show broad scope of procedures governing NSA’s surveillance of Americans’ communication

    Document one: procedures used by NSA to target non-US persons
    Document two: procedures used by NSA to minimise data collected from US persons

    Top secret documents submitted to the court that oversees surveillance by US intelligence agencies show the judges have signed off on broad orders which allow the NSA to make use of information “inadvertently” collected from domestic US communications without a warrant.

    The Guardian is publishing in full two documents submitted to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (known as the Fisa court), signed by Attorney General Eric Holder and stamped 29 July 2009. They detail the procedures the NSA is required to follow to target “non-US persons” under its foreign intelligence powers and what the agency does to minimize data collected on US citizens and residents in the course of that surveillance.

    The documents show that even under authorities governing the collection of foreign intelligence from foreign targets, US communications can still be collected, retained and used.

    The procedures cover only part of the NSA’s surveillance of domestic US communications. The bulk collection of domestic call records, as first revealed by the Guardian earlier this month, takes place under rolling court orders issued on the basis of a legal interpretation of a different authority, section 215 of the Patriot Act.

    The Fisa court’s oversight role has been referenced many times by Barack Obama and senior intelligence officials as they have sought to reassure the public about surveillance, but the procedures approved by the court have never before been publicly disclosed.

    The top secret documents published today detail the circumstances in which data collected on US persons under the foreign intelligence authority must be destroyed, extensive steps analysts must take to try to check targets are outside the US, and reveals how US call records are used to help remove US citizens and residents from data collection.

    However, alongside those provisions, the Fisa court-approved policies allow the NSA to:

    • Keep data that could potentially contain details of US persons for up to five years;

    • Retain and make use of “inadvertently acquired” domestic communications if they contain usable intelligence, information on criminal activity, threat of harm to people or property, are encrypted, or are believed to contain any information relevant to cybersecurity;

    • Preserve “foreign intelligence information” contained within attorney-client communications;

    • Access the content of communications gathered from “U.S. based machine[s]” or phone numbers in order to establish if targets are located in the US, for the purposes of ceasing further surveillance.

    The broad scope of the court orders, and the nature of the procedures set out in the documents, appear to clash with assurances from President Obama and senior intelligence officials that the NSA could not access Americans’ call or email information without warrants.

    The documents also show that discretion as to who is actually targeted under the NSA’s foreign surveillance powers lies directly with its own analysts, without recourse to courts or superiors – though a percentage of targeting decisions are reviewed by internal audit teams on a regular basis.

    Since the Guardian first revealed the extent of the NSA’s collection of US communications, there have been repeated calls for the legal basis of the programs to be released. On Thursday, two US congressmen introduced a bill compelling the Obama administration to declassify the secret legal justifications for NSA surveillance.

    The disclosure bill, sponsored by Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, and Todd Rokita, an Indiana Republican, is a complement to one proposed in the Senate last week. It would “increase the transparency of the Fisa Court and the state of the law in this area,” Schiff told the Guardian. “It would give the public a better understanding of the safeguards, as well as the scope of these programs.”

    Section 702 of the Fisa Amendments Act (FAA), which was renewed for five years last December, is the authority under which the NSA is allowed to collect large-scale data, including foreign communications and also communications between the US and other countries, provided the target is overseas.

    FAA warrants are issued by the Fisa court for up to 12 months at a time, and authorise the collection of bulk information – some of which can include communications of US citizens, or people inside the US. To intentionally target either of those groups requires an individual warrant.

    One-paragraph order

    One such warrant seen by the Guardian shows that they do not contain detailed legal rulings or explanation. Instead, the one-paragraph order, signed by a Fisa court judge in 2010, declares that the procedures submitted by the attorney general on behalf of the NSA are consistent with US law and the fourth amendment.

    Those procedures state that the “NSA determines whether a person is a non-United States person reasonably believed to be outside the United States in light of the totality of the circumstances based on the information available with respect to that person, including information concerning the communications facility or facilities used by that person”.

    It includes information that the NSA analyst uses to make this determination – including IP addresses, statements made by the potential target, and other information in the NSA databases, which can include public information and data collected by other agencies.

    Where the NSA has no specific information on a person’s location, analysts are free to presume they are overseas, the document continues.

    “In the absence of specific information regarding whether a target is a United States person,” it states “a person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States or whose location is not known will be presumed to be a non-United States person unless such person can be positively identified as a United States person.”

    If it later appears that a target is in fact located in the US, analysts are permitted to look at the content of messages, or listen to phone calls, to establish if this is indeed the case.

    Referring to steps taken to prevent intentional collection of telephone content of those inside the US, the document states: “NSA analysts may analyze content for indications that a foreign target has entered or intends to enter the United States. Such content analysis will be conducted according to analytic and intelligence requirements and priorities.”

    Details set out in the “minimization procedures”, regularly referred to in House and Senate hearings, as well as public statements in recent weeks, also raise questions as to the extent of monitoring of US citizens and residents.

    NSA minimization procedures signed by Holder in 2009 set out that once a target is confirmed to be within the US, interception must stop immediately. However, these circumstances do not apply to large-scale data where the NSA claims it is unable to filter US communications from non-US ones.

    The NSA is empowered to retain data for up to five years and the policy states “communications which may be retained include electronic communications acquired because of limitations on the NSA’s ability to filter communications”.

    Even if upon examination a communication is found to be domestic – entirely within the US – the NSA can appeal to its director to keep what it has found if it contains “significant foreign intelligence information”, “evidence of a crime”, “technical data base information” (such as encrypted communications), or “information pertaining to a threat of serious harm to life or property”.

    Domestic communications containing none of the above must be destroyed. Communications in which one party was outside the US, but the other is a US-person, are permitted for retention under FAA rules.

    The minimization procedure adds that these can be disseminated to other agencies or friendly governments if the US person is anonymised, or including the US person’s identity under certain criteria.

    A separate section of the same document notes that as soon as any intercepted communications are determined to have been between someone under US criminal indictment and their attorney, surveillance must stop. However, the material collected can be retained, if it is useful, though in a segregated database:

    “The relevant portion of the communication containing that conversation will be segregated and the National Security Division of the Department of Justice will be notified so that appropriate procedures may be established to protect such communications from review or use in any criminal prosecution, while preserving foreign intelligence information contained therein,” the document states.

    In practice, much of the decision-making appears to lie with NSA analysts, rather than the Fisa court or senior officials.

    A transcript of a 2008 briefing on FAA from the NSA’s general counsel sets out how much discretion NSA analysts possess when it comes to the specifics of targeting, and making decisions on who they believe is a non-US person. Referring to a situation where there has been a suggestion a target is within the US.

    “Once again, the standard here is a reasonable belief that your target is outside the United States. What does that mean when you get information that might lead you to believe the contrary? It means you can’t ignore it. You can’t turn a blind eye to somebody saying: ‘Hey, I think so and so is in the United States.’ You can’t ignore that. Does it mean you have to completely turn off collection the minute you hear that? No, it means you have to do some sort of investigation: ‘Is that guy right? Is my target here?” he says.

    “But, if everything else you have says ‘no’ (he talked yesterday, I saw him on TV yesterday, even, depending on the target, he was in Baghdad) you can still continue targeting but you have to keep that in mind. You can’t put it aside. You have to investigate it and, once again, with that new information in mind, what is your reasonable belief about your target’s location?”

    The broad nature of the court’s oversight role, and the discretion given to NSA analysts, sheds light on responses from the administration and internet companies to the Guardian’s disclosure of the PRISM program. They have stated that the content of online communications is turned over to the NSA only pursuant to a court order. But except when a US citizen is specifically targeted, the court orders used by the NSA to obtain that information as part of Prism are these general FAA orders, not individualized warrants specific to any individual.

    Once armed with these general orders, the NSA is empowered to compel telephone and internet companies to turn over to it the communications of any individual identified by the NSA. The Fisa court plays no role in the selection of those individuals, nor does it monitor who is selected by the NSA.

    The NSA’s ability to collect and retain the communications of people in the US, even without a warrant, has fuelled congressional demands for an estimate of how many Americans have been caught up in surveillance.

    Two US senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall – both members of the Senate intelligence committee – have been seeking this information since 2011, but senior White House and intelligence officials have repeatedly insisted that the agency is unable to gather such statistics.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/20/fisa-court-nsa-without-warrant

    Background Articles and Videos

    Stellar Wind

    Stellar Wind was the open secret code name for four surveillance programs by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) during the presidency of George W. Bush and revealed by Thomas Tamm to The New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau.[1] The operation was approved by President George W. Bush shortly after the September 11 attacks in 2001.[2] Stellar Wind was succeeded during the presidency of Barack Obama by four major lines of intelligence collection in the territorial United States, together capable of spanning the full range of modern telecommunications.[3]

    The program’s activities involved data mining of a large database of the communications of American citizens, including e-mail communications, phone conversations, financial transactions, and Internet activity.[1] William Binney, a retired Technical Leader with the NSA, discussed some of the architectural and operational elements of the program at the 2012 Chaos Communication Congress.[4]

    There were internal disputes within the Justice Department about the legality of the program, because data are collected for large numbers of people, not just the subjects of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.[4]

    During the Bush Administration, the Stellar Wind cases were referred to by FBI agents as “pizza cases” because many seemingly suspicious cases turned out to be food takeout orders. According to Mueller, approximately 99 percent of the cases led nowhere, but “it’s that other 1% that we’ve got to be concerned about”.[2] One of the known uses of these data were the creation of suspicious activity reports, or “SARS”, about people suspected of terrorist activities. It was one of these reports that revealed former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s use of prostitutes, even though he was not suspected of terrorist activities.[1]

    In March 2012 Wired magazine published “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)” talking about a vast new NSA facility in Utah and says “For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamed Stellar Wind, in detail,” naming the official William Binney, a former NSA code breaker. Binney went on to say that the NSA had highly secured rooms that tap into major switches, and satellite communications at both AT&T and Verizon.[5] The article suggested that the otherwise dispatched Stellar Wind is actually an active program.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_Wind_%28code_name%29

    PRISM

    PRISM is a clandestine national security electronic surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) since 2007.[1][2][3][Notes 1] PRISM is a government codename for a data collection effort known officially as US-984XN.[8][9] It is operated under the supervision of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).[10] The existence of the program was leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden and published by The Guardian and The Washington Post on June 6, 2013.

    A document included in the leak indicated that the PRISM SIGAD was “the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports.”[11] The President’s Daily Brief, an all-source intelligence product, cited PRISM data as a source in 1,477 items in 2012.[12] The leaked information came to light one day after the revelation that the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had been requiring the telecommunications company Verizon to turn over to the NSA logs tracking all of its customers’ telephone calls on an ongoing daily basis.[13][14]

    According to the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, PRISM cannot be used to intentionally target any Americans or anyone in the United States. Clapper said a special court, Congress, and the executive branch oversee the program and extensive procedures ensure the acquisition, retention, and dissemination of data accidentally collected about Americans is kept to a minimum.[15] Clapper issued a statement and “fact sheet”[16] to correct what he characterized as “significant misimpressions” in articles by The Washington Post and The Guardian newspapers.[17]

    History

    Slide showing that much of the world’s communications flow through the US

    Details of information collected via PRISM

    PRISM is a “Special Source Operation” in the tradition of NSA’s intelligence alliances with as many as 100 trusted U.S. companies since the 1970s.[1] A prior program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program, was implemented in the wake of the September 11 attacks under the George W. Bush Administration but was widely criticized and had its legality questioned, because it was conducted without approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).[18][19][20][21] PRISM was authorized by an order of the FISC.[11] Its creation was enabled by the Protect America Act of 2007 under President Bush and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which legally immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with US intelligence collection and was renewed by Congress under President Obama in 2012 for five years until December 2017.[2][22] According to The Register, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 “specifically authorizes intelligence agencies to monitor the phone, email, and other communications of U.S. citizens for up to a week without obtaining a warrant” when one of the parties is outside the U.S.[22]

    PRISM was first publicly revealed on June 6, 2013, after classified documents about the program were leaked to The Washington Post and The Guardian by American Edward Snowden.[2][1] The leaked documents included 41 PowerPoint slides, four of which were published in news articles.[1][2] The documents identified several technology companies as participants in the PRISM program, including (date of joining PRISM in parentheses) Microsoft (2007), Yahoo! (2008), Google (2009), Facebook (2009), Paltalk (2009), YouTube (2010), AOL (2011), Skype (2011), and Apple (2012).[23] The speaker’s notes in the briefing document reviewed by The Washington Post indicated that “98 percent of PRISM production is based on Yahoo, Google and Microsoft.”[1]

    The slide presentation stated that much of the world’s electronic communications pass through the United States, because electronic communications data tend to follow the least expensive route rather than the most physically direct route, and the bulk of the world’s internet infrastructure is based in the United States.[11] The presentation noted that these facts provide United States intelligence analysts with opportunities for intercepting the communications of foreign targets as their electronic data pass into or through the United States.[2][11]

    According to The Washington Post, the intelligence analysts search PRISM data using terms intended to identify suspicious communications of targets whom the analysts suspect with at least 51 percent confidence to not be United States citizens, but in the process, communication data of some United States citizens are also collected unintentionally.[1] Training materials for analysts tell them that while they should periodically report such accidental collection of non-foreign United States data, “it’s nothing to worry about.”[1]

    Response from companies

    The original Washington Post and Guardian articles reporting on PRISM noted that one of the leaked briefing documents said PRISM involves collection of data “directly from the servers” of several major internet services providers.[2][1]

    Initial Public Statements

    Corporate executives of several companies identified in the leaked documents told The Guardian that they had no knowledge of the PRISM program in particular and also denied making information available to the government on the scale alleged by news reports.[2][24] Statements of several of the companies named in the leaked documents were reported by TechCrunch and The Washington Post as follows:[25][26]

    Slide listing companies and the date that PRISM collection began

    • Microsoft: “We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it.”[25]
    • Yahoo!: “Yahoo! takes users’ privacy very seriously. We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network.”[25] “Of the hundreds of millions of users we serve, an infinitesimal percentage will ever be the subject of a government data collection directive.”[26]
    • Facebook: “We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers. When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.”[25]
    • Google: “Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a backdoor for the government to access private user data.”[25] “[A]ny suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.”[26]
    • Apple: “We have never heard of PRISM. We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.”[27]
    • Dropbox: “We’ve seen reports that Dropbox might be asked to participate in a government program called PRISM. We are not part of any such program and remain committed to protecting our users’ privacy.”[25]

    In response to the technology companies’ denials of the NSA being able to directly access the companies’ servers, The New York Times reported that sources had stated the NSA was gathering the surveillance data from the companies using other technical means in response to court orders for specific sets of data.[13] The Washington Post suggested, “It is possible that the conflict between the PRISM slides and the company spokesmen is the result of imprecision on the part of the NSA author. In another classified report obtained by The Post, the arrangement is described as allowing ‘collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,’ rather than directly to company servers.”[1] “[I]n context, ‘direct’ is more likely to mean that the NSA is receiving data sent to them deliberately by the tech companies, as opposed to intercepting communications as they’re transmitted to some other destination.[26]

    “If these companies received an order under the FISA amendments act, they are forbidden by law from disclosing having received the order and disclosing any information about the order at all,” Mark Rumold, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told ABC News.[28]

    Slide showing two different sources of NSA data collection. The first source the fiber optic cables of the internet handled by the Upstream program and the second source the servers of major internet companies handled by PRISM.[29]

    On May 28, 2013, Google was ordered by United States District Court Judge Susan Illston to comply with a National Security Letter issued by the FBI to provide user data without a warrant.[30] Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in an interview with VentureBeat said, “I certainly appreciate that Google put out a transparency report, but it appears that the transparency didn’t include this. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were subject to a gag order.”[31]

    The New York Times reported on June 7, 2013, that “Twitter declined to make it easier for the government. But other companies were more compliant, according to people briefed on the negotiations.”[32] The other companies held discussions with national security personnel on how to make data available more efficiently and securely.[32] In some cases, these companies made modifications to their systems in support of the intelligence collection effort.[32] The dialogues have continued in recent months, as General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has met with executives including those at Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Intel.[32] These details on the discussions provide insight into the disparity between initial descriptions of the government program including a training slide which states “Collection directly from the servers”[29] and the companies’ denials.[32]

    While providing data in response to a legitimate FISA request approved by FISC is a legal requirement, modifying systems to make it easier for the government to collect the data is not. This is why Twitter could legally decline to provide an enhanced mechanism for data transmission.[32] Other than Twitter, the companies were effectively asked to construct a locked mailbox and provide the key to the government, people briefed on the negotiations said.[32] Facebook, for instance, built such a system for requesting and sharing the information.[32] Google does not provide a lockbox system, but instead transmits required data by hand delivery or secure FTP.[33]

    Post-PRISM Transparency Reports

    In response to the publicity surrounding media reports of data-sharing, several companies requested permission to reveal more public information about the nature and scope of information provided in response to National Security requests.

    On June 14, 2013, Facebook reported that the U.S. Government had authorized the communication of “about these numbers in aggregate, and as a range.” In a press release posted to their web site, Facebook reported, “For the six months ending December 31, 2012, the total number of user-data requests Facebook received from any and all government entities in the U.S. (including local, state, and federal, and including criminal and national security-related requests) – was between 9,000 and 10,000.” Facebook further reported that the requests impacted “between 18,000 and 19,000” user accounts, a “tiny fraction of one percent” of more than 1.1 billion active user accounts.[34]

    Microsoft reported that for the same period, it received “between 6,000 and 7,000 criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 consumer accounts from U.S. governmental entities (including local, state and federal)” which impacted “a tiny fraction of Microsoft’s global customer base”.[35]

    Google issued a statement criticizing the requirement that data be reported in aggregated form, stating that lumping national security requests with criminal request data would be “a step backwards” from its previous, more detailed practices on its site transparency report. The company said that it would continue to seek government permission to publish the number and extent of FISA requests.[36]

    Response from United States government

    Executive branch

    Shortly after publication of the reports by The Guardian and The Washington Post, the United States Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, on June 7 released a statement confirming that for nearly six years the government of the United States had been using large internet services companies such as Google and Facebook to collect information on foreigners outside the United States as a defense against national security threats.[13] The statement read in part, “The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer to collection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They contain numerous inaccuracies.”[37] He went on to say, “Section 702 is a provision of FISA that is designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. It cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States.”[37] Clapper concluded his statement by stating “The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.”[37] On March 12, 2013, Clapper had told the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the NSA does “not wittingly” collect any type of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.[38] In an NBC News interview, Clapper said he answered Senator Wyden’s question in the “least untruthful manner by saying no”.[39]

    Clapper also stated that “the NSA collects the phone data in broad swaths, because collecting it (in) a narrow fashion would make it harder to identify terrorism-related communications. The information collected lets the government, over time, make connections about terrorist activities. The program doesn’t let the U.S. listen to people’s calls, but only includes information like call length and telephone numbers dialed.”[15]

    On June 8, 2013, Clapper said “the surveillance activities published in The Guardian and The Washington Post are lawful and conducted under authorities widely known and discussed, and fully debated and authorized by Congress.”[40][10] The fact sheet described PRISM as “an internal government computer system used to facilitate the government’s statutorily authorized collection of foreign intelligence information from electronic communication service providers under court supervision, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (50 U.S.C. § 1881a).”[10]

    The National Intelligence fact sheet further stated that “the United States Government does not unilaterally obtain information from the servers of U.S. electronic communication service providers. All such information is obtained with FISA Court approval and with the knowledge of the provider based upon a written directive from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.” It said that the Attorney General provides FISA Court rulings and semi-annual reports about PRISM activities to Congress, “provid[ing] an unprecedented degree of accountability and transparency.”[10]

    The President of the United States, Barack Obama, said on June 7 “What you’ve got is two programs that were originally authorized by Congress, have been repeatedly authorized by Congress. Bipartisan majorities have approved them. Congress is continually briefed on how these are conducted. There are a whole range of safeguards involved. And federal judges are overseeing the entire program throughout.”[41] He also said, “You can’t have 100 percent security and then also have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience. You know, we’re going to have to make some choices as a society.”[41]

    In separate statements, senior (not mentioned by name in source) Obama administration officials said that Congress had been briefed 13 times on the programs since 2009.[42]

    Legislative branch

    In contrast to their swift and forceful reactions the previous day to allegations that the government had been conducting surveillance of United States citizens’ telephone records, Congressional leaders initially had little to say about the PRISM program the day after leaked information about the program was published. Several lawmakers declined to discuss PRISM, citing its top-secret classification,[43] and others said that they had not been aware of the program.[44] After statements had been released by the President and the Director of National Intelligence, some lawmakers began to comment:

    Senator John McCain (R-AZ)

    • June 9 “We passed the Patriot Act. We passed specific provisions of the act that allowed for this program to take place, to be enacted in operation,”[45]

    Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee

    • June 9 “These programs are within the law”, “part of our obligation is keeping Americans safe”, “Human intelligence isn’t going to do it”.[46]
    • June 9 “Here’s the rub: the instances where this has produced good — has disrupted plots, prevented terrorist attacks, is all classified, that’s what’s so hard about this.”[47]
    • June 11 “It went fine…we asked him[ Keith Alexander ] to declassify things because it would be helpful (for people and lawmakers to better understand the intelligence programs).” “I’ve just got to see if the information gets declassified. I’m sure people will find it very interesting.”[48]

    Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), member of Senate Intelligence Committee and past member of Homeland Security Committee

    • June 11 “I had, along with Joe Lieberman, a monthly threat briefing, but I did not have access to this highly compartmentalized information” and “How can you ask when you don’t know the program exists?”[49]

    Representative John Boehner (R-OH), Speaker of the House of Representatives

    • June 11 “He’s a traitor”[50] (referring to Edward Snowden)

    Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), principal sponsor of the Patriot Act

    • June 9, “This is well beyond what the Patriot Act allows.”[51] “President Obama’s claim that ‘this is the most transparent administration in history’ has once again proven false. In fact, it appears that no administration has ever peered more closely or intimately into the lives of innocent Americans.”[51]

    Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI), a Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

    • June 9 “One of the things that we’re charged with is keeping America safe and keeping our civil liberties and privacy intact. I think we have done both in this particular case,”[46]
    • June 9 “Within the last few years this program was used to stop a program, excuse me, to stop a terrorist attack in the United States we know that. It’s, it’s, it’s important, it fills in a little seam that we have and it’s used to make sure that there is not an international nexus to any terrorism event that they may believe is ongoing in the United States. So in that regard it is a very valuable thing,”[52]

    Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)

    • June 9 “I don’t think the American public knows the extent or knew the extent to which they were being surveilled and their data was being collected.” “I think we ought to reopen the Patriot Act and put some limits on the amount of data that the National Security (Agency) is collecting,” “It ought to remain sacred, and there’s got to be a balance here. That is what I’m aiming for. Let’s have the debate, let’s be transparent, let’s open this up”.[46]

    Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN)

    • June 10 “We have no idea when they [ FISA ] meet, we have no idea what their judgments are”,[53]

    Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

    • June 6 “When the Senate rushed through a last-minute extension of the FISA Amendments Act late last year, I insisted on a vote on my amendment (SA 3436) to require stronger protections on business records and prohibiting the kind of data-mining this case has revealed. Just last month, I introduced S.1037, the Fourth Amendment Preservation and Protection Act,”[54]
    • June 9 “I’m going to be seeing if I can challenge this at the Supreme Court level. I’m going to be asking the Internet providers and all of the phone companies: ask your customers to join me in a class-action lawsuit.”[45]

    Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)

    • June 9 “We will be receiving secret briefings and we will be asking, I know I’m going to be asking to get more information. I want to make sure that what they’re doing is harvesting information that is necessary to keep us safe and not simply going into everybody’s private telephone conversations and Facebook and communications. I mean one of the, you know the terrorists win when you debilitate freedom of expression and privacy.”[52]

    Judicial branch

    The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has not acknowledged, denied or confirmed any involvement in the PRISM program at this time. It has not issued any press statement or release relating to the current situation and uncertainty.

    Applicable law and practice

    On June 8, 2013, the Director of National Intelligence issued a fact sheet stating that PRISM “is not an undisclosed collection or data mining program”, but rather computer software used to facilitate the collection of foreign intelligence information “under court supervision, as authorized by Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) (50 U.S.C. § 1881a).”[10] Section 702 provides that “the Attorney General [A.G.] and the Director of National Intelligence [DNI] may authorize jointly, for a period of up to 1 year from the effective date of the authorization, the targeting of persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information.”[55] In order to authorize the targeting, the A.G. and DNI need to get an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) pursuant to Section 702 or certify that “intelligence important to the national security of the United States may be lost or not timely acquired and time does not permit the issuance of an order.”[55] When asking for an order, the A.G. and DNI must certify to FISC that “a significant purpose of the acquisition is to obtain foreign intelligence information.”[55] They do not need to specify which facilities or property that the targeting will be directed at.[55]

    After getting a FISC order or determining that there are emergency circumstances, the A.G. and DNI can direct an electronic communication service provider to give them access to information or facilities to carry out the targeting and keep the targeting secret.[55] The provider then has the option to: (1) comply with the directive; (2) reject it; or (3) challenge it to FISC.

    If the provider complies with the directive, it is released from liability to its users for providing the information and reimbursed for the cost of providing it.[55]

    If the provider rejects the directive, the A.G. may request an order from FISC to enforce it.[55] A provider that fails to comply with FISC’s order can be punished with contempt of court.[55]

    Finally, a provider can petition FISC to reject the directive.[55] In case FISC denies the petition and orders the provider to comply with the directive, the provider risks contempt of court if it refuses to comply with FISC’s order.[55] The provider can appeal FISC’s denial to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review and then appeal the Court of Review’s decision to the Supreme Court by a writ of certiorari for review under seal.[55]

    The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the FISA Courts had been put in place to oversee intelligence operations in the period after the death of J. Edgar Hoover. Beverly Gage of Slate said, “When they were created, these new mechanisms were supposed to stop the kinds of abuses that men like Hoover had engineered. Instead, it now looks as if they have come to function as rubber stamps for the expansive ambitions of the intelligence community. J. Edgar Hoover no longer rules Washington, but it turns out we didn’t need him anyway.”[56]

    Involvement of other countries

    Australia

    The Australian government has said it will investigate the impact of the PRISM program and the use of the Pine Gap surveillance facility on the privacy of Australian citizens.[57]

    Canada

    Canada’s national cryptologic agency, the Communications Security Establishment, said that commenting on PRISM “would undermine CSE’s ability to carry out its mandate”. Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart lamented Canada’s standards when it comes to protecting personal online privacy stating “We have fallen too far behind,” Stoddart wrote in her report. “While other nations’ data protection authorities have the legal power to make binding orders, levy hefty fines and take meaningful action in the event of serious data breaches, we are restricted to a ‘soft’ approach: persuasion, encouragement and, at the most, the potential to publish the names of transgressors in the public interest.” And, “when push comes to shove,” Stoddart wrote, “short of a costly and time-consuming court battle, we have no power to enforce our recommendations.”[58]

    Germany

    Germany did not receive any raw PRISM data, according to a Reuters report.[59]

    Israel

    Israeli newspaper Calcalist discussed[60] the Business Insider article[61] about the possible involvement of technologies from two secretive Israeli companies in the PRISM program – Verint Systems and Narus.

    New Zealand

    In New Zealand, University of Otago information science Associate Professor Hank Wolfe said that “under what was unofficially known as the Five Eyes Alliance, New Zealand and other governments, including the United States, Australia, Canada, and Britain, dealt with internal spying by saying they didn’t do it. But they have all the partners doing it for them and then they share all the information.”[62]

    United Kingdom

    In the United Kingdom, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has had access to the PRISM program on or before June 2010 and wrote 197 reports with it in 2012 alone. PRISM may have allowed GCHQ to circumvent the formal legal process required to seek personal material.[63][64]

    Domestic response

    Unbalanced scales.svg
    The neutrality of this section is disputed. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (June 2013)

    The New York Times editorial board charged that the Obama administration “has now lost all credibility on this issue,”[65] and lamented that “for years, members of Congress ignored evidence that domestic intelligence-gathering had grown beyond their control, and, even now, few seem disturbed to learn that every detail about the public’s calling and texting habits now reside in a N.S.A. database.”[66]

    Republican and former member of Congress Ron Paul said, “We should be thankful for individuals like Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald who see injustice being carried out by their own government and speak out, despite the risk…. They have done a great service to the American people by exposing the truth about what our government is doing in secret.”[67] Paul denounced the government’s secret surveillance program: “The government does not need to know more about what we are doing…. We need to know more about what the government is doing.”[67] He called Congress “derelict in giving that much power to the government,” and said that had he been elected president, he would have ordered searches only when there was probable cause of a crime having been committed, which he said was not how the PRISM program was being operated.[68]

    In response to Obama administration arguments that it could stop terrorism in the cases of Najibullah Zazi and David Headley, Ed Pilkington and Nicholas Watt of The Guardian said in regards to the role of PRISM and Boundless Informant interviews with parties involved in the Zazi scheme and court documents lodged in the United States and the United Kingdom indicated that “conventional” surveillance methods such as “old-fashioned tip-offs” of the British intelligence services initiated the investigation into the Zazi case.[69] An anonymous former CIA agent said that in regards to the Headley case, “That’s nonsense. It played no role at all in the Headley case. That’s not the way it happened at all.”[69] Pilkington and Watt concluded that the data-mining programs “played a relatively minor role in the interception of the two plots.”[69] Michael Daly of The Daily Beast stated that even though Tamerlan Tsarnaev had visited Inspire and even though Russian intelligence officials alerted U.S. intelligence officials about Tsarnaev, PRISM did not prevent him from carrying out the Boston bombings, and that the initial evidence implicating him came from his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and not from federal intelligence. In addition Daly pointed to the fact that Faisal Shahzad visited Inspire but that federal authorities did not stop his attempted terrorist plot. Daly concluded “The problem is not just what the National Security Agency is gathering at the risk of our privacy but what it is apparently unable to monitor at the risk of our safety.”[70] In addition, political commentator Bill O’Reilly criticized the government, saying that PRISM did not stop the Boston bombings.[71]

    In a blog post, David Simon, the creator of The Wire, compared the NSA’s programs, including PRISM, to a 1980s effort by the City of Baltimore to add dialed number recorders to all pay phones to know which individuals were being called by the callers;[72] the city believed that drug traffickers were using pay phones and pagers, and a municipal judge allowed the city to place the recorders. The placement of the dialers formed the basis of the show’s first season. Simon argued that the media attention regarding the NSA programs is a “faux scandal.”[72][73] George Takei, an actor who had experienced Japanese American internment, said that due to his memories of the internment, he felt concern towards the NSA surveillance programs that had been revealed.[74]

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an international non-profit digital-rights group based in the U.S., is hosting a tool, by which an American resident can write to their government representatives regarding their opposition to mass spying.[75]

    On June 11, 2013, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the NSA citing that PRISM “violates Americans’ constitutional rights of free speech, association, and privacy”.[76]

    International response

    Reactions of Internet users in China were mixed between viewing a loss of freedom worldwide and seeing state surveillance coming out of secrecy. The story broke just before US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in California.[77][78] When asked about NSA hacking China, the spokeswoman of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China said “China strongly advocates cybersecurity”.[79] The party-owned newspaper Liberation Daily described this surveillance like Nineteen Eighty-Four-style.[80] Hong Kong legislators Gary Fan and Claudia Mo wrote a letter to Obama, stating “the revelations of blanket surveillance of global communications by the world’s leading democracy have damaged the image of the U.S. among freedom-loving peoples around the world.”[81]

    Sophie in ‘t Veld, a Dutch Member of the European Parliament, called PRISM “a violation of EU laws”.[82]

    Protests at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

    The German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Peter Schaar, condemned the program as “monstrous”.[83] He further added that White House claims do “not reassure me at all” and that “given the large number of German users of Google, Facebook, Apple or Microsoft services, I expect the German government […] is committed to clarification and limitation of surveillance.” Steffen Seibert, press secretary of the Chancellor’s office, announced that Angela Merkel will put these issues on the agenda of the talks with Barack Obama during his pending visit in Berlin.[84]

    The Italian president of the Guarantor for the protection of personal data, Antonello Soro, said that the surveillance dragnet “would not be legal in Italy” and would be “contrary to the principles of our legislation and would represent a very serious violation”.[85]

    William Hague, the foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, dismissed accusations that British security agencies had been circumventing British law by using information gathered on British citizens by Prism[86] saying, “Any data obtained by us from the United States involving UK nationals is subject to proper UK statutory controls and safeguards.”[86] David Cameron said Britain’s spy agencies that received data collected from PRISM acted within the law: “I’m satisfied that we have intelligence agencies that do a fantastically important job for this country to keep us safe, and they operate within the law.”[86][87] Malcolm Rifkind, the chairman of parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, said that if the British intelligence agencies were seeking to know the content of emails about people living in the UK, then they actually have to get lawful authority.[87] The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office was more cautious, saying it would investigate PRISM alongside other European data agencies: “There are real issues about the extent to which U.S. law agencies can access personal data of UK and other European citizens. Aspects of U.S. law under which companies can be compelled to provide information to U.S. agencies potentially conflict with European data protection law, including the UK’s own Data Protection Act. The ICO has raised this with its European counterparts, and the issue is being considered by the European Commission, who are in discussions with the U.S. Government.”[82]

    Ai Weiwei, a Chinese dissident, said “Even though we know governments do all kinds of things I was shocked by the information about the US surveillance operation, Prism. To me, it’s abusively using government powers to interfere in individuals’ privacy. This is an important moment for international society to reconsider and protect individual rights.”[88]

    Kim Dotcom, a German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur who owned Megaupload, which was closed by the U.S. federal government, said “We should heed warnings from Snowden because the prospect of an Orwellian society outweighs whatever security benefits we derive from Prism or Five Eyes.”[89] The Hong Kong law firm representing Dotcom expressed a fear that the communication between Dotcom and the firm had been compromised by U.S. intelligence programs.[90]

    Russia has offered to consider an asylum request from Edward Snowden.[91]

    Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said “We knew about their past efforts to trace our system. We have used our technical resources to foil their efforts and have been able to stop them from succeeding so far.”[92][93]

    Related government Internet surveillance programs

    A parallel program, code-named BLARNEY, gathers up metadata as it streams past choke points along the backbone of the Internet. BLARNEY’s summary, set down in the slides alongside a cartoon insignia of a shamrock and a leprechaun hat, describes it as “an ongoing collection program that leverages IC [intelligence community] and commercial partnerships to gain access and exploit foreign intelligence obtained from global networks.”[94]

    A related program, a big data visualization system based on cloud computing and free and open-source software (FOSS) technology known as “Boundless Informant”, was disclosed in documents leaked to The Guardian and reported on June 8, 2013. A leaked, top secret map allegedly produced by Boundless Informant revealed the extent of NSA surveillance in the U.S.[95]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_%28surveillance_program%29

    ThinThread

    ThinThread is the name of a project that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) pursued during the 1990s, according to a May 17, 2006 article in The Baltimore Sun.[1] The program involved wiretapping and sophisticated analysis of the resulting data, but according to the article, the program was discontinued three weeks before the September 11, 2001 attacks due to the changes in priorities and the consolidation of U.S. intelligence authority.[2] The “change in priority” consisted of the decision made by the director of NSA General Michael V. Hayden to go with a concept called Trailblazer, despite the fact that ThinThread was a working prototype that protected the privacy of U.S. citizens.

    ThinThread was dismissed and replaced by the Trailblazer Project, which lacked the privacy protections.[3] A consortium led by Science Applications International Corporation was awarded a $280 million contract to develop Trailblazer in 2002.[4]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThinThread

    Trailblazer

    Trailblazer was a United States National Security Agency (NSA) program intended to develop a capability to analyze data carried on communications networks like the Internet. It was intended to track entities using communication methods such as cell phones and e-mail.[1][2] It ran over budget, failed to accomplish critical goals, and was cancelled.

    NSA whistleblowers J. Kirk Wiebe, William Binney, Ed Loomis, and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer Diane Roark complained to the Department of Defense’s Inspector General (IG) about waste, fraud, and abuse in the program, and the fact that a successful operating prototype existed, but was ignored when the Trailblazer program was launched. The complaint was accepted by the IG and an investigation began that lasted until mid-2005 when the final results were issued. The results were largely hidden, as the report given to the public was heavily (90%) redacted, while the original report was heavily classified, thus restricting the ability of most people to see it.

    The people who filed the IG complaint were later raided by armed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents. While the Government threatened to prosecute all who signed the IG report, it ultimately chose to pursue an NSA Senior Executive — Thomas Andrews Drake — who helped with the report internally to NSA and who had spoken with a reporter about the project. Drake was later charged under the Espionage Act of 1917. His defenders claimed this was retaliation.[3][4] The charges against him were later dropped, and he agreed to plead guilty to having committed a misdemeanor under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, something that Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project (which helped represent him) called an “act of civil disobedience”.[5]

    Background

    Trailblazer was chosen over a similar program named ThinThread, a less costly project which had been designed with built-in privacy protections for United States citizens.[4][3] Trailblazer was later linked to the NSA electronic surveillance program and the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy.[3]

    In 2002 a consortium led by Science Applications International Corporation was chosen by the NSA to produce a technology demonstration platform in a contract worth $280 million. Project participants included Boeing, Computer Sciences Corporation, and Booz Allen Hamilton. The project was overseen by NSA Deputy Director William B. Black, Jr., an NSA worker who had gone to SAIC, and then been re-hired back to NSA by NSA director Michael Hayden in 2000.[6][7][8] SAIC had also hired a former NSA director to its management; Bobby Inman.[9] SAIC also participated in the concept definition phase of Trailblazer.[10][11]

    Redacted version of the DoD Inspector General audit, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the Project on Government Oversight and others. [12][5]

    The NSA Inspector General issued a report on Trailblazer that “discussed improperly based contract cost increases, non-conformance in the management of the Statement of Work, and excessive labor rates for contractor personnel.” [13]

    In 2004 the DoD IG report criticized the program (see the Whistleblowing section below). It said that the “NSA ‘disregarded solutions to urgent national security needs'” and “that TRAILBLAZER was poorly executed and overly expensive …” Several contractors for the project were worried about cooperating with DoD’s audit for fear of “management reprisal.”[5] The Director of NSA “nonconcurred” with several statements in the IG audit, and the report contains a discussion of those disagreements.[14]

    In 2005, NSA director Michael Hayden told a Senate hearing that the Trailblazer program was several hundred million dollars over budget and years behind schedule.[15] In 2006 the program was shut down,[3] after having cost billions of US Dollars.[16] Several anonymous NSA sources told Hosenball of Newsweek later on that the project was a “wasteful failure”.[17]

    The new project replacing Trailblazer is called Turbulence.[3]

    Whistleblowing

    According to a 2011 New Yorker article, in the early days of the project several NSA employees met with Diane S Roark, an NSA budget expert on the House Intelligence Committee. They aired their grievances about Trailblazer. In response, NSA director Michael Hayden sent out a memo saying that “individuals, in a session with our congressional overseers, took a position in direct opposition to one that we had corporately decided to follow … Actions contrary to our decisions will have a serious adverse effect on our efforts to transform N.S.A., and I cannot tolerate them.”[3]

    In September 2002, several people filed a complaint with the Department of Defense IG’s office regarding problems with Trailblazer: they included Roark (aforementioned), ex-NSA senior analysts Bill Binney, Kirk Wiebe, and Senior Computer Systems Analyst Ed Loomis, who had quit the agency over concerns about its mismanagement of acquisition and allegedly illegal domestic spying.[3][18][19] A major source for the report was NSA senior officer Thomas Andrews Drake. Drake had been complaining to his superiors for some time about problems at the agency, and about the superiority of ThinThread over Trailblazer, for example, at protecting privacy.[19] Drake gave info to DoD during its investigation of the matter.[19] Roark also went to her boss at the House committee, Porter Goss, about problems, but was rebuffed.[20] She also attempted to contact William Renquist, the Supreme Court Chief Justice at the time.[19]

    Drake’s own boss, Maureen Baginski, the third-highest officer at NSA, quit partly over concerns about the legality of its behavior.[3]

    In 2003, the NSA IG (not the DoD IG)[19] had declared Trailblazer an expensive failure.[21] It had cost more than $1 billion.[8][22][23]

    In 2005, the DoD IG produced a report on the result of its investigation of the complaint of Roark and the others in 2002. This report was not released to the public, but it has been described as very negative.[18] Mayer writes that it hastened the closure of Trailblazer, which was at the time in trouble from congress for being over budget.[3]

    In November 2005, Drake contacted Siobhan Gorman, a reporter of The Baltimore Sun.[24][17][25] Gorman wrote several articles about problems at the NSA, including articles on Trailblazer. This series got her an award from the Society of Professional Journalists.[17]

    In 2005, President George W. Bush ordered the FBI to find whoever had disclosed information about the NSA electronic surveillance program and its disclosure in the New York Times. Eventually, this investigation led to the people who had filed the 2002 DoD IG request, even though they had nothing to do with the New York Times disclosure. In 2007, the houses of Roark, Binney, and Wiebe were raided by armed FBI agents. According to Mayer, Binney claims the FBI pointed guns at his head and that of his wife. Wiebe said it reminded him of the Soviet Union.[3][18] None of these people were ever charged with any crime. Four months later, Drake was raided in November 2007 and his computers and documents were confiscated.

    In 2010 Drake was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice on charges of obstructing justice, providing false information, and violating the Espionage Act of 1917,[17][26][27] part of President Barack Obama’s crackdown on whistleblowers and “leakers”.[24][17][28][18] The government tried to get Roark to testify to a conspiracy, and made similar requests to Drake, offering him a plea bargain. They both refused.[3]

    In June 2011, the ten original charges against Drake were dropped, instead he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.[5]

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AXwwSq_me4

    Boundless Informant

    Boundless Informant is a big data analysis and data visualization system used by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) to give NSA managers summaries of NSA’s world wide data collection activities.[1] It is described in an unclassified, For Official Use Only Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) memo published by The Guardian.[2] According to a Top Secret heat map display also published by The Guardian and allegedly produced by the Boundless Informant program, almost 3 billion data elements from inside the United States were captured by NSA over a 30-day period ending in March 2013.

    Data analyzed by Boundless Informant includes electronic surveillance program records (DNI) and telephone call metadata records (DNR) stored in an NSA data archive called GM-PLACE. It does not include FISA data, according to the FAQ memo. PRISM, a government codename for a collection effort known officially as US-984XN, which was revealed at the same time as Boundless Informant, is one source of DNR data. According to the map, Boundless Informant summarizes data records from 504 separate DNR and DNI collection sources (SIGADs). In the map, countries that are under surveillance are assigned a color from green, representing least coverage to red, most intensive.[3][4]

    History

    Slide showing that much of the world’s communications flow through the US.

    Intelligence gathered by the United States government inside the United States or specifically targeting US citizens is legally required to be gathered in compliance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) and under the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court).[5][6][7]

    NSA global data mining projects have existed for decades, but recent programs of intelligence gathering and analysis that include data gathered from inside the United States such as PRISM were enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced under President Bush and renewed under President Obama in December 2012.[8]

    Boundless Informant was first publicly revealed on June 8, 2013, after classified documents about the program were leaked to The Guardian.[1][9] The newspaper identified its informant, at his request, as Edward Snowden, who worked at the NSA for the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.[10]

    Technology

    According to published slides, Boundless Informant leverages Free and Open Source Software—and is therefore “available to all NSA developers”—and corporate services hosted in the cloud. The tool uses HDFS, MapReduce, and Cloudbase for data processing.[11]

    Legality and FISA Amendments Act of 2008

    The FISA Amendments Act (FAA) Section 702 is referenced in PRISM documents detailing the electronic interception, capture and analysis of metadata. Many reports and letters of concern written by members of Congress suggest that this section of FAA in particular is legally and constitutionally problematic, such as by targeting U.S. persons, insofar as “Collections occur in U.S.” as published documents indicate.[12][13][14][15]

    The ACLU has asserted the following regarding the FAA: “Regardless of abuses, the problem with the FAA is more fundamental: the statute itself is unconstitutional.”[16]

    Senator Rand Paul is introducing new legislation called the Fourth Amendment Restoration Act of 2013 to stop the NSA or other agencies of the United States government from violating the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution using technology and big data information systems like PRISM and Boundless Informant.[17][18]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boundless_Informant

    ECHELON

    ECHELON is a name used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement[1] (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, referred to by a number of abbreviations, including AUSCANNZUKUS[1] and Five Eyes).[2][3] It has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications.[4]

    ECHELON, according to information in the European Parliament document, “On the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system)” was created to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War in the early 1960s.[5]

    The system has been reported in a number of public sources.[6] Its capabilities and political implications were investigated by a committee of the European Parliament during 2000 and 2001 with a report published in 2001,[5] and by author James Bamford in his books on the National Security Agency of the United States.[4] The European Parliament stated in its report that the term ECHELON is used in a number of contexts, but that the evidence presented indicates that it was the name for a signals intelligence collection system. The report concludes that, on the basis of information presented, ECHELON was capable of interception and content inspection of telephone calls, fax, e-mail and other data traffic globally through the interception of communication bearers including satellite transmission, public switched telephone networks (which once carried most Internet traffic) and microwave links.[5]

    Bamford describes the system as the software controlling the collection and distribution of civilian telecommunications traffic conveyed using communication satellites, with the collection being undertaken by ground stations located in the footprint of the downlink leg.

    Organization

    UKUSA Community
    Map of UKUSA Community countries with Ireland

    Australia
    Canada
    New Zealand
    United Kingdom
    United States of America

    The UKUSA intelligence community was assessed by the European Parliament (EP) in 2000 to include the signals intelligence agencies of each of the member states:

    • the Government Communications Headquarters of the United Kingdom,
    • the National Security Agency of the United States,
    • the Communications Security Establishment of Canada,
    • the Defence Signals Directorate of Australia, and
    • the Government Communications Security Bureau of New Zealand.
    • the National SIGINT Organisation (NSO) of The Netherlands

    The EP report concluded that it seemed likely that ECHELON is a method of sorting captured signal traffic, rather than a comprehensive analysis tool.[5]

    Capabilities

    The ability to intercept communications depends on the medium used, be it radio, satellite, microwave, cellular or fiber-optic.[5] During World War II and through the 1950s, high frequency (“short wave”) radio was widely used for military and diplomatic communication,[7] and could be intercepted at great distances.[5] The rise of geostationary communications satellites in the 1960s presented new possibilities for intercepting international communications. The report to the European Parliament of 2001 states: “If UKUSA states operate listening stations in the relevant regions of the earth, in principle they can intercept all telephone, fax and data traffic transmitted via such satellites.”[5]

    The role of satellites in point-to-point voice and data communications has largely been supplanted by fiber optics; in 2006, 99% of the world’s long-distance voice and data traffic was carried over optical-fiber.[8] The proportion of international communications accounted for by satellite links is said to have decreased substantially over the past few years[when?] in Central Europe to an amount between 0.4% and 5%.[5] Even in less-developed parts of the world, communications satellites are used largely for point-to-multipoint applications, such as video.[9] Thus, the majority of communications can no longer be intercepted by earth stations; they can only be collected by tapping cables and intercepting line-of-sight microwave signals, which is possible only to a limited extent.[5]

    One method of interception is to place equipment at locations where fiber optic communications are switched. For the Internet, much of the switching occurs at relatively few sites. There have been reports of one such intercept site, Room 641A, in the United States. In the past[when?] much Internet traffic was routed through the U.S. and the UK, but this has changed; for example, in 2000, 95% of intra-German Internet communications was routed via the DE-CIX Internet exchange point in Frankfurt.[5] A comprehensive worldwide surveillance network is possible only if clandestine intercept sites are installed in the territory of friendly nations, and/or if local authorities cooperate. The report to the European Parliament points out that interception of private communications by foreign intelligence services is not necessarily limited to the U.S. or British foreign intelligence services.[5]

    Most reports on ECHELON focus on satellite interception; testimony before the European Parliament indicated that separate but similar UK-US systems are in place to monitor communication through undersea cables, microwave transmissions and other lines.[10]

    Controversy

    See also: Industrial espionage

    Intelligence monitoring of citizens, and their communications, in the area covered by the AUSCANNZUKUS security agreement has caused concern. British journalist Duncan Campbell and New Zealand journalist Nicky Hager asserted in the 1990s that the United States was exploiting ECHELON traffic for industrial espionage, rather than military and diplomatic purposes.[10] Examples alleged by the journalists include the gear-less wind turbine technology designed by the German firm Enercon[5][11] and the speech technology developed by the Belgian firm Lernout & Hauspie.[12] An article in the US newspaper Baltimore Sun reported in 1995 that European aerospace company Airbus lost a $6 billion contract with Saudi Arabia in 1994 after the US National Security Agency reported that Airbus officials had been bribing Saudi officials to secure the contract.[13][14]

    In 2001, the Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System recommended to the European Parliament that citizens of member states routinely use cryptography in their communications to protect their privacy, because economic espionage with ECHELON has been conducted by the US intelligence agencies.[5]

    Bamford provides an alternative view, highlighting that legislation prohibits the use of intercepted communications for commercial purposes, although he does not elaborate on how intercepted communications are used as part of an all-source intelligence process.

    Hardware

    According to its website, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is “a high technology organization … on the frontiers of communications and data processing”. In 1999 the Australian Senate Joint Standing Committee on Treaties was told by Professor Desmond Ball that the Pine Gap facility was used as a ground station for a satellite-based interception network. The satellites were said to be large radio dishes between 20 and 100 meters in diameter in geostationary orbits.[citation needed] The original purpose of the network was to monitor the telemetry from 1970s Soviet weapons, air defence radar, communications satellites and ground based microwave communications.[15]

    Name

    The European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on the ECHELON Interception System stated: “It seems likely, in view of the evidence and the consistent pattern of statements from a very wide range of individuals and organisations, including American sources, that its name is in fact ECHELON, although this is a relatively minor detail.”[5] The U.S. intelligence community uses many code names (see, for example, CIA cryptonym).

    Former NSA employee Margaret Newsham claims that she worked on the configuration and installation of software that makes up the ECHELON system while employed at Lockheed Martin, for whom she worked from 1974 to 1984 in Sunnyvale, California, US, and in Menwith Hill, England, UK.[16] At that time, according to Newsham, the code name ECHELON was NSA’s term for the computer network itself. Lockheed called it P415. The software programs were called SILKWORTH and SIRE. A satellite named VORTEX intercepted communications. An image available on the internet of a fragment apparently torn from a job description shows Echelon listed along with several other code names.[17]

    Ground stations

    The 2001 European Parliamentary (EP) report[5] lists several ground stations as possibly belonging to, or participating in, the ECHELON network. These include:

    Likely satellite intercept stations

    The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 54 ff) as likely to have, or to have had, a role in intercepting transmissions from telecommunications satellites:

    • Hong Kong (since closed)
    • Australian Defence Satellite Communications Station (Geraldton, Western Australia)
    • Menwith Hill (Yorkshire, U.K.) Map (reportedly the largest Echelon facility)[18]
    • Misawa Air Base (Japan) Map
    • GCHQ Bude, formerly known as GCHQ CSO Morwenstow, (Cornwall, U.K.) Map
    • Pine Gap (Northern Territory, Australia – close to Alice Springs) Map
    • Sugar Grove (West Virginia, U.S.) Map
    • Yakima Training Center (Washington, U.S.) Map
    • GCSB Waihopai (New Zealand)
    • GCSB Tangimoana (New Zealand)
    • CFS Leitrim (Ontario, Canada)
    • Teufelsberg (Berlin, Germany) (closed 1992)

    Other potentially related stations

    The following stations are listed in the EP report (p. 57 ff) as ones whose roles “cannot be clearly established”:

    • Ayios Nikolaos (Cyprus – U.K.)
    • Bad Aibling Station (Bad Aibling, Germany – U.S.)
      • relocated to Griesheim in 2004[19]
      • deactivated in 2008[20]
    • Buckley Air Force Base (Aurora, Colorado)
    • Fort Gordon (Georgia, U.S.)
    • Gander (Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada)
    • Guam (Pacific Ocean, U.S.)
    • Kunia Regional SIGINT Operations Center (Hawaii, U.S.)
    • Lackland Air Force Base, Medina Annex (San Antonio, Texas)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON

    Room 641A

    Room 641A is a telecommunication interception facility operated by AT&T for the U.S. National Security Agency that commenced operations in 2003 and was exposed in 2006.[1][2]

    Description

    Room 641A is located in the SBC Communications building at 611 Folsom Street, San Francisco, three floors of which were occupied by AT&T before SBC purchased AT&T.[1] The room was referred to in internal AT&T documents as the SG3 [Study Group 3] Secure Room. It is fed by fiber optic lines from beam splitters installed in fiber optic trunks carrying Internet backbone traffic[3] and, as analyzed by J. Scott Marcus, a former CTO for GTE and a former adviser to the FCC, who has access to all Internet traffic that passes through the building, and therefore “the capability to enable surveillance and analysis of internet content on a massive scale, including both overseas and purely domestic traffic.”[4] Former director of the NSA’s World Geopolitical and Military Analysis Reporting Group, William Binney, has estimated that 10 to 20 such facilities have been installed throughout the United States.[2]

    The room measures about 24 by 48 feet (7.3 by 15 m) and contains several racks of equipment, including a Narus STA 6400, a device designed to intercept and analyze Internet communications at very high speeds.[1]

    The very existence of the room was revealed by a former AT&T technician, Mark Klein, and was the subject of a 2006 class action lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T.[5] Klein claims he was told that similar black rooms are operated at other facilities around the country.

    Room 641A and the controversies surrounding it were subjects of an episode of Frontline, the current affairs documentary program on PBS. It was originally broadcast on May 15, 2007. It was also featured on PBS’s NOW on March 14, 2008. The room was also covered in the PBS Nova episode “The Spy Factory”.

    Lawsuit

    Basic diagram of how the alleged wiretapping was accomplished. From EFF court filings[4]

    More complicated diagram of how it allegedly worked. From EFF court filings.[3] See bottom of the file page for enlarged and rotated version.

    Main article: Hepting v. AT&T

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T on January 31, 2006, accusing the telecommunication company of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in a massive, illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans’ communications. On July 20, 2006, a federal judge denied the government’s and AT&T’s motions to dismiss the case, chiefly on the ground of the States Secrets Privilege, allowing the lawsuit to go forward. On August 15, 2007, the case was heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and was dismissed on December 29, 2011 based on a retroactive grant of immunity by Congress for telecommunications companies that cooperated with the government. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.[6] A different case by the EFF was filed on September 18, 2008, titled Jewel v. NSA.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A

    List of government surveillance projects for the United States

    United States

    A top secret document leaked by Edward Snowden to The Guardian in 2013, originally due to be declassified on 12 April 2038.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_government_surveillance_projects

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    LIBOR Scandal — Videos

    Posted on April 23, 2013. Filed under: American History, Banking, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Crime, Economics, Education, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government, government spending, history, Inflation, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Literacy, Macroeconomics, media, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Politics, Video, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , |

    libor-scandal

    LIBORmanipulation-2

    Spiegel-graphic-of-Libor-scandal

    BBC_Libor_Scandal

    Keiser Report: The Birth of a Scandal

    LIBOR investigation by financier Martin Wheatley (10Aug12)

    The Wheatley Review of LIBOR: Final Report

    LIBOR Scandal More Than Fraud – Whole Game is Rigged

    How Barclays manipulated the libor rates 

    On the Edge with Max Keiser: Libor rigging crime

    What is the LIBOR / OIS spread? – MoneyWeek investment tutorials

    The LIBOR scandal: what it means for you – MoneyWeek Investment Tutorials

    The Biggest Banking Scandal The World Has Ever Seen (6:47)

    The Real Story Surrounding  LIBOR — A Worldwide Scandal—Is Now A Funeral

    Max Keiser: Cancer is How They Will Take It All

    [yuotube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHtLy3AfpMI]

    Bernanke grilled on Libor scandal – Rough Cuts

    BANKSTERS & Fraud, The LIBOR Scandal

    Unknown LIBOR Fraud of The Century (Barclays)

    WORLD BANKER MAKES STUNNING CONFESSION

    Judge Napolitano: “LIBOR Scandal One of the Largest Bank Orchestrated Frauds in History”

    The Department of Justice is reportedly deciding whether to charge banks over growing LIBOR interest rate fixes. The international investment bank Barclays Capital has already paid $450 million in fines for illegally manipulating the rates that banks charge each other to borrow money. That rate affects everything from credit cards to car loans and mortgage rates. Shepard Smith reported that it remains to be seen whether Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner knew about the rate manipulation when he was head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

    Judge Andrew Napolitano explained the importance of the LIBOR interest rate, saying, “Think of it this way, the biggest banks in London each morning announce what they’re going to charge each other for money and that number is averaged … Whatever that rate is, is the baseline for millions of other loans and mortgages around the country.”

    Libor scandal

    The Libor scandal is a series of fraudulent actions connected to the Libor (London Interbank Offered Rate) and also the resulting investigation and reaction. The Libor is an average interest rate calculated through submissions of interest rates by major banks in London. The scandal arose when it was discovered that banks were falsely inflating or deflating their rates so as to profit from trades, or to give the impression that they were more creditworthy than they were.[3] Libor underpins approximately $350 trillion in derivatives. It is controlled by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA).[4]

    The banks are supposed to submit the actual interest rates they are paying, or would expect to pay, for borrowing from other banks. The Libor is supposed to be the total assessment of the health of the financial system because if the banks being polled feel confident about the state of things, they report a low number and if the member banks feel a low degree of confidence in the financial system, they report a higher interest rate number. In June 2012, multiple criminal settlements by Barclays Bank revealed significant fraud and collusion by member banks connected to the rate submissions, leading to the scandal.[5][6][7]

    Because Libor is used in U.S. derivatives markets, an attempt to manipulate Libor is an attempt to manipulate U.S. derivatives markets, and thus a violation of American law. Since mortgages, student loans, financial derivatives, and other financial products often rely on Libor as a reference rate, the manipulation of submissions used to calculate those rates can have significant negative effects on consumers and financial markets worldwide.

    On 27 July 2012, the Financial Times published an article by a former trader which stated that Libor manipulation had been common since at least 1991.[8] Further reports on this have since come from the BBC[9][10] and Reuters.[11] On 28 November 2012, the Finance Committee of the Bundestag held a hearing to learn more about the issue.[12]

    The British Bankers’ Association said on 25 September 2012 that it would transfer oversight of Libor to UK regulators, as predicted by bank analysts,[13] proposed by Financial Services Authority Managing Director Martin Wheatley‘s independent review recommendations.[14] Wheatley’s review recommended that banks submitting rates to Libor must base them on actual inter-bank deposit market transactions and keep records of those transactions, that individual banks’ LIBOR submissions be published after three months, and recommended criminal sanctions specifically for manipulation of benchmark interest rates.[15] Financial institution customers may experience higher and more volatile borrowing and hedging costs after implementation of the recommended reforms.[16] The UK government agreed to accept all of the Wheatley Review’s recommendations and press for legislation implementing them.[17]

    Early reports of Libor manipulation

    WSJ Libor study

    Libor manipulation to lower rate

    Hi Guys, We got a big position in 3m libor for the next 3 days. Can we please keep the lib or fixing at 5.39 for the next few days. It would really help. We do not want it to fix any higher than that. Tks a lot.

    Barclays Bank trader in New York to submitter, 13 September 2006[18]

    On 16 April 2008, The Wall Street Journal released a controversial article, and later study, suggesting that some banks might have understated borrowing costs they reported for the Libor during the 2008 credit crunch that may have misled others about the financial position of these banks.[19][20] In response, the BBA claimed that the Libor continued to be reliable even in times of financial crisis. Other authorities contradicted The Wall Street Journal article saying there was no evidence of manipulation. In its March 2008 Quarterly Review, the Bank for International Settlements stated that “available data do not support the hypothesis that contributor banks manipulated their quotes to profit from positions based on fixings.”[21] Further, in October 2008, the International Monetary Fund published its regular Global Financial Stability Review which also found that “Although the integrity of the U.S. dollar Libor-fixing process has been questioned by some market participants and the financial press, it appears that U.S. dollar Libor remains an accurate measure of a typical creditworthy bank’s marginal cost of unsecured U.S. dollar term funding.”[22]

    A study by economists, Snider and Youle, in April 2010, however, corroborated the results of the earlier Wall Street Journal study that the Libor submissions by some member banks were being understated.[23] Unlike the earlier study, Snider and Youle suggested that the reason for understatement by member banks was not that the banks were trying to appear strong, especially during the financial crisis period of 2007 to 2008, but rather that the banks sought to make substantial profits on their large Libor interest-linked portfolios.[24] For example, in the first quarter of 2009, Citigroup had interest rate swaps of notional value of $14.2 trillion, Bank of America had interest rate swaps of notional value of $49.7 trillion and JP Morgan Chase had interest rate swaps of notional value of $49.3 trillion.[25] Given the large notional values, a small unhedged exposure to the Libor could generate large incentives to alter the overall Libor. In the first quarter of 2009, Citigroup for example reported that it would make that quarter $936 million in net interest revenue if interest rates would fall by .25 percentage points a quarter, and $1,935 million if they were to fall by 1 percentage point instantaneously.[26]

    Central banks aware of Libor flaws

    The Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, by the end of 2008, described the Libor to the UK Parliament saying “It is in many ways the rate at which banks do not lend to each other, .. it is not a rate at which anyone is actually borrowing.”[27][28]

    The New York Federal Reserve in July 2012, released documents dating back to 2007 which showed that they were aware that banks were lying about their borrowing costs when setting Libor and chose to take no action against them at that time.[29][30] Released minutes from the Bank of England indicated similarly that the bank and its deputy governor Paul Tucker were also aware as early as November 2007 of industry concerns that the Libor rate was being underreported.[31][32] In one 2008 document a Barclays employee told a New York Fed analyst, “We know that we’re not posting an honest Libor, and yet we are doing it, because if we didn’t do it, it draws unwanted attention on ourselves.”[30]

    The documents show that in early 2008 a memo written by then New York Fed President Tim Geithner to Bank of England chief Mervyn King looked into ways to “fix” Libor.[33][34] While the released memos suggest that the New York Fed helped to identify problems related to Libor and press the relevant authorities in the UK to reform, there is no documentation that shows any evidence that Geithner’s recommendations were acted upon or that the Fed tried to make sure that they were. In October 2008, several months after Geithner’s memo to King, a Barclays employee told a New York Fed representative that Libor rates were still “absolute rubbish.”[30]

    Regulatory investigations

    The Wall Street Journal reported in March 2011 that regulators were focusing on Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG in their probe of Libor rate manipulation.[35] A year later, it was reported in February 2012 that the U.S. Department of Justice was conducting a criminal investigation into Libor abuse.[36] Among the abuses being investigated were the possibility that traders were in direct communication with bankers before the rates were set, thus allowing them an unprecedented amount of insider knowledge into global instruments.[37] In court documents, a trader from the Royal Bank of Scotland claimed that it was common practice among senior employees at his bank to make requests to the bank’s rate setters as to the appropriate Libor rate, and that the bank also made on occasions rate requests for some hedge funds.[38] One trader’s messages from Barclays Bank indicated that for each basis point (0.01%) that Libor was moved, those involved could net “about a couple of million dollars”.[37]

    The Canadian Competition Bureau was reported on 15 July 2012 to also be carrying out an investigation into price fixing by five banks of the yen denominated Libor rates. Court documents filed indicated that the Competition Bureau had been pursuing the matter since at least January 2011. The documents offered a detailed view of how and when the international banks allegedly colluded to fix the Libor rates. The information was based on a whistleblower who traded immunity from prosecution in exchange for turning on his fellow conspirators. In the court documents, a federal prosecutor for the bureau stated that the “IRD (interest-rate derivatives) traders at the participant banks communicated with each other their desire to see a higher or lower yen LIBOR to aid their trading positions”. The alleged participants are the Canadian branches of the Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Bank, and Citibank, as well as ICAP (Intercapital), an interdealer broker.[39]

     Fines for manipulation

    Libor manipulation to raise rate

    Pls go for 5.36 libor again, very important that the setting comes as high as possible … thanks.

    Barclays Bank trader in New York to submitter, 29 July 2007[18]

    On 27 June 2012, Barclays Bank was fined $200 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission,[5] $160 million by the United States Department of Justice[6] and £59.5 million by the Financial Services Authority[7] for attempted manipulation of the Libor and Euribor rates.[40] The United States Department of Justice and Barclays officially agreed that “the manipulation of the submissions affected the fixed rates on some occasions”.[41][42][43]

    Barclays manipulated rates for at least two reasons. Routinely, from at least as early as 2005, traders sought particular rate submissions to benefit their financial positions. Later, during the 2007–2012 global financial crisis, they artificially lowered rate submissions to make their bank seem healthy.[6]

    Following the interest rate rigging scandal, Marcus Agius, chairman of Barclays, resigned from his position.[44] One day later, Bob Diamond, the chief executive officer of Barclays, also resigned from his position.[45][46] Bob Diamond was subsequently questioned by the Parliament of the United Kingdom regarding the manipulation of Libor rates. He said he was unaware of the manipulation until that month, but mentioned discussions he had with Paul Tucker, deputy governor of the Bank of England.[47] Tucker then voluntarily appeared before parliament, to clarify the discussions he had with Bob Diamond. He said he had never encouraged manipulation of the Libor, and that other self-regulated mechanisms like the Libor should be reformed.[48]

    On 19 December 2012, UBS agreed to pay regulators $1.5bn ($1.2bn to the US Department of Justice and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, £160m to the UK Financial Services Authority and 60m CHF to the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority) for its role in the scandal.[49] The investigations revealed that UBS traders had colluded with other panel banks and had made over 2,000 written requests for movements in rates from at least January 2005 to at least June 2010 to benefit their trading positions.[50] According to transcripts released by the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority, UBS traders also offered financial inducements to interdealer brokers to help manipulate rates by spreading false information. In one exchange between a UBS banker identified as Trader A and an interdealer broker, the banker wrote “if you keep 6s [i.e. the six month JPY LIBOR rate] unchanged today … I will f—ing do one humongous deal with you … Like a 50,000 buck deal, whatever … I need you to keep it as low as possible … if you do that …. I’ll pay you, you know, 50,000 dollars, 100,000 dollars… whatever you want … I’m a man of my word.” Subsequent trades between UBS and this broker generated more than $250,000 in fees to the broker.[51][52]

    US Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer described the conduct of UBS’s as “simply astonishing” and declared the US would seek, as a criminal matter, the extradition of traders Tom Hayes and Roger Darin.[49] The bank has stated that these and other fines would probably result in a significant fourth-quarter loss in 2012.[49] The fine levied by the FSA, reduced due to the bank’s cooperation, was the largest in the agency’s history.[49]

    Breadth of scandal becomes apparent

    By 4 July 2012 the breadth of the scandal was evident and became the topic of analysis on news and financial programs that attempted to explain the importance of the scandal.[53] Two days later, it was announced that the U.K. Serious Fraud Office had also opened a criminal investigation into manipulation of interest rates. The investigation was not limited to Barclays.[54][55] It has been reported since then that regulators in at least ten countries on three different continents are investigating the rigging of the Libor and other interest rates.[56][57] Around 20 major banks have been named in investigations and court cases.[58]

    Early estimates are that the rate manipulation scandal cost U.S. states, counties, and local governments at least $6 billion in fraudulent interest payments, above $4 billion that state and local governments have already had to spend to unwind their positions exposed to rate manipulation.[59] An increasingly smaller set of banks are participating in setting the Libor, calling into question its future as a benchmark standard, but without any viable alternative to replace it.[60]

     United States investigations

    The United States Congress began investigating on 10 July. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D., S.D.) said he would question Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about the scandal during scheduled hearings. Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R., Texas) of the House Financial Services Committee, wrote New York Federal Reserve (New York Fed) President William Dudley. He was seeking records of communications between the New York Fed and Barclays between August 2007 and November 2009 related to Libor-like rates.[61]

    On 4 October 2012, Republican U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Mark Kirk announced that they were investigating Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner for complicity with the rate manipulation scandal. They accused Geithner of knowledge of the rate-fixing, and inaction which contributed to litigation that “threatens to clog our courts with multi-billion dollar class action lawsuits” alleging that the manipulated rates harmed state, municipal and local governments. The senators said that an American-based interest rate index is a better alternative which they would take steps towards creating.[62]

    Federal Housing Finance Agency Inspector General and auditor Steve A. Linick said in a 3 November memo that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may have lost more than $3 billion because of the manipulation.[63]

     Parliamentary investigation

    Appearing before Parliament on 16 July, Jerry del Missier, a former senior Barclays executive, said that he had received instructions from Robert Diamond to lower rates after Diamond’s discussions with bank regulators. He said that he had received information of a conversation between Diamond and Paul Tucker, deputy governor of the Bank of England, in which they had discussed the bank’s financial position at the height of the 2008 financial crisis. It was his understanding that senior British government officials had instructed the bank to alter the rates. Del Missier’s testimony followed statements from Diamond in which he denied that he had told his deputies to report false Libor rates. Speaking before Parliament the previous week, Tucker stated that he had shared concerns regarding Barclays Libor rates because the markets might view Barclays to be at risk if its Libor submissions continued to be higher than those of other international banks. In the midst of the Lehman Brothers collapse, there was concern the bank might need to be bailed out if the financial markets perceived it was a credit risk. Tucker told the committee, “I wanted to make sure that Barclays’ day-to-day funding issues didn’t push it over the cliff.”[64]

     Libor banks are sued in civil court

     Libor fixing operates as a cartel

    Libor fixing a banking cartel

    It’s just amazing how Libor fixing can make you that much money or lose if opposite. It’s a cartel now in London.

    RBS trader in Singapore to Deutsche Bank trader, 19 August 2007[65]

    In court documents filed in Singapore, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) trader Tan Chi Min told colleagues that his bank could move global interest rates and that the Libor fixing process in London had become a cartel. Tan in his court affidavit stated that the Royal Bank of Scotland knew of the Libor rates manipulation and that it supported such actions. In instant messages, traders at RBS extensively discussed manipulating Libor rates. In a released transcript of a 21 August 2007 chat, Jezri Mohideen, who was the head of yen products in Singapore, asked to have the Libor fixed in a conversation with other traders:[65]

    Mohideen: “What’s the call on the Libor?”
    Trader 2: “Where would you like it, Libor that is?”
    Trader 3: “Mixed feelings, but mostly I’d like it all lower so the world starts to make a little sense.”
    Trader 4: “The whole HF [hedge fund] world will be kissing you instead of calling me if Libor move lower.”
    Trader 2: “OK, I will move the curve down 1 basis point, maybe more if I can.”

    In another conversation on 27 March 2008, Tan asked that RBS raise its Libor submission and noted that an earlier lower figure that the bank had submitted had cost his team 200,000 pounds. In other released instant chats, Tan made it clear that the Libor fixing process had become a highly lucrative money making cartel. Tan in a conversation with traders at other banks, including Deutsche Bank’s Mark Wong said on 19 August 2007:[65]

    Tan: “It’s just amazing how Libor fixing can make you that much money or lose if opposite. It’s a cartel now in London.”
    Wong: “Must be damn difficult to trade man, especially [if] you [are] not in the loop.”

    Mortgage rates manipulated on reset date

    Homeowners in the US filed a class action lawsuit in October 2012 against twelve of the largest banks which alleged that Libor manipulation made mortgage repayments more expensive than they should have been.

    Statistical analysis indicated that the Libor rose consistently on the first day of each month between 2000 and 2009 on the day that most adjustable-rate mortgages had as a change date on which new repayment rates would “reset”. An email referenced in the lawsuit from the Barclay’s settlement, showed a trader asking for a higher Libor rate because “We’re getting killed on our three-month resets.”[66] During the analysed period, the Libor rate rose on average more than two basis points above the average on the first day of the month, and between 2007 and 2009, the Libor rate rose on average more than seven and one-half basis points above the average on the first day of the month.[67]

    The five lead plaintiffs included a pensioner whose home was repossessed after her subprime mortgage was securitized into Libor-based collateralized debt obligations, sold by banks to investors, and foreclosed. The plaintiffs could number 100,000, each of whom has lost thousands of dollars.[68] The complaint estimates that the banks earned hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, in wrongful profits as a result of artificially inflating Libor rates on the first day of each month during the complaint period.[67]

    Municipalities lost billions due to rigging

    The city of Baltimore and others in the US filed a class action lawsuit in April 2012 against Libor setting banks which alleged that the manipulation of Libor caused payments on their interest rate swaps to be smaller than they should have been.[69] Before the financial crisis, states and localities bought $500 billion in interest rate swaps to hedge their municipal bond sales. It is estimated that the manipulation of Libor cost municipalities at least $6 billion. These losses were in addition to $4 billion that localities had already paid to unwind backfiring interest rate swaps.[70]

    Municipalities began using interest rate swaps to hedge their municipal bond sales in the late 1990s. At this time, investment bankers began offering local governments a way to save money on the sale of municipal bonds. The banks suggested instead of selling fixed interest rate bonds that local governments sell variable interest rate bonds which typically have interest rates as much as one percentage point lower than fixed interest rate bonds. For a municipal government this could mean saving as much as $1 million a year on the sale of a $100 million bond.[71]

    In order to hedge costs on the sale of variable interest rate bonds, which can rise and fall with the market, local governments, such as Baltimore, purchased interest rate swaps which exchange a variable interest rate for a fixed interest rate.[72] In a swap deal, when the interest rate rises, the swap seller pays the local government the increased cost on the bond, while when the interest rate falls, the swap seller saves and pays the local government the decreased cost on the bond. The interest rate swap mechanism generally works well, however, between 2007 and 2010 the payments to local governments on their swaps artificially decreased but the cost on their bonds remained at actual market rates. This was because most interest rate swaps are linked to the Libor interest rate, while municipal bond rates are linked to the SIFMA Municipal Bond Index interest rate. During the financial crisis the two benchmark rates decoupled. Municipalities continued to pay on their bonds at the actual market Sifma rate but were paid on their interest rate swaps at the artificially lower Libor rate.[71]

    Reactions and impact on banking regulation

    The cost to colluding and suspect banks from litigation, penalties, and loss of confidence may drive down finance industry profits for years. The cost of litigation from the scandal may exceed that of asbestos lawsuits.[73]

     United States

    US experts such as Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts have argued that the Libor Scandal completes the picture of public and private financial institutions manipulating interest rates in order to prop up the prices of bonds and other fixed income instruments, and that “the motives of the Fed, Bank of England, US and UK banks are aligned, their policies mutually reinforcing and beneficial. The Libor fixing is another indication of this collusion.”[74] In that perspective they advocate stricter bank regulation, and a profound reform of the Federal Reserve System.

    Former Citigroup Chairman and CEO Sandy Weill, considered one of the driving forces behind the considerable financial deregulation and “mega-mergers” of the 1990s, surprised financial analysts in Europe and North America by calling for splitting up the commercial banks from the investment banks. In effect, he says: “Bring back the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 which led to half a century, free of financial crises.” [75]

     Europe

    Mainland European scholars discussed the necessity of far-reaching banking reforms in light of the current crisis of confidence, recommending the adoption of binding regulations that would go further than the Dodd–Frank Act: notably in France where SFAF and World Pensions Council (WPC) banking experts have argued that, beyond national legislations, such rules should be adopted and implemented within the broader context of separation of powers in European Union law, to put an end to anti-competitive practices akin to exclusive dealing and limit conflicts of interest.[76][77] This perspective gained ground after the unraveling of the Libor scandal, with mainstream opinion leaders such as the Financial Times editorialists calling for the adoption of an EU-wide “Glass–Steagall II”.[78]

    Naomi Wolf of The Guardian suggested in an editorial that the “notion that the entire global financial system is riddled with systemic fraud – and that key players in the gatekeeper roles, both in finance and in government, including regulatory bodies, know it and choose to quietly sustain this reality – is one that would have only recently seemed like the frenzied hypothesis of tinhat-wearers”.[79] Following Tim Geithner‘s promotion to Treasury Secretary, Wolf commented, “It is very hard, looking at the elaborate edifices of fraud that are emerging across the financial system, to ignore the possibility that this kind of silence – ‘the willingness to not rock the boat’ — is simply rewarded by promotion to ever higher positions, ever greater authority. If you learn that rate-rigging and regulatory failures are systemic, but stay quiet, well, perhaps you have shown that you are genuinely reliable and deserve membership of the club.”[79]

     Recommendations

    The British Bankers’ Association said on 25 September that it would transfer oversight of Libor to UK regulators, as proposed by Financial Services Authority Managing Director Martin Wheatley and CEO-designate of the new Financial Conduct Authority.[14] On 28 September, Wheatley’s independent review was published, recommending that an independent organization with government and regulator representation, called the Tender Committee, manage the process of setting Libor under a new external oversight process for transparency and accountability. Banks that make submissions to Libor would be required to base them on actual inter-bank deposit market transactions and keep records of their transactions supporting those submissions. The review also recommended that individual banks’ Libor submissions be published, but only after three months, to reduce the risk that they would be used as a measure of the submitting banks’ creditworthiness. The review left open the possibility that regulators might compel additional banks to participate in submissions if an insufficient number do voluntarily. The review recommended criminal sanctions specifically for manipulation of benchmark interest rates such as the Libor, saying that existing criminal regulations for manipulation of financial instruments were inadequate.[15] Libor rates could be higher and more volatile after implementation of the reforms, so financial institution customers may experience higher and more volatile borrowing and hedging costs.[16] The UK government agreed to accept all of the Wheatley Review’s recommendations and press for legislation implementing them.[17]

    Bloomberg LP CEO Dan Doctoroff told the European Parliament that Bloomberg LP could develop an alternative index called the Bloomberg Interbank Offered Rate that would use data from transactions such as market-based quotes for credit default swap transactions and corporate bonds.[80][81]

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    External links

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    Tom A. Coburn–The Debt Bomb: A Bold Plan To Stop Washington From Bankrupting America–Videos

    Posted on April 17, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, government, government spending, Health Care, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Macroeconomics, People, Philosophy, Politics, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    “…Overview

    In a nation whose debt has outgrown the size of its entire economy, the greatest threat comes not from any foreign force but from Washington politicians who refuse to relinquish the intoxicating power to borrow and spend. Senator Tom Coburn reveals the fascinating, maddening story of how we got to this point of fiscal crisis-and how we can escape.

    Long before America’s recent economic downturn, beltway politicians knew the U.S. was going bankrupt. Yet even after several so-called “change” elections, the government has continued its wasteful ways in the face of imminent danger. With passion and clarity, Coburn explains why Washington resists change so fiercely and offers controversial yet commonsense solutions to secure the nation’s future.

    At a time when millions of Americans are speculating about what is broken in Washington, The Debt Bomb is a candid, thoughtful, non-partisan expose of the real problems inside our government. Coburn challenges the conventional wisdom that blames lobbyists, gridlock, and obstructionism, and places the responsibility squarely where it belongs: on members of Congress in both parties who won’t let go of the perks of power to serve the true interests of the nation-unless enough citizens take bold steps to demand action.

    “Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There was never a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” -John Adams

    Throughout a distinguished career as a business owner, physician, and U.S. senator, Tom Coburn has watched his beloved republic careen down a suicidal path. Today, the nation stands on the precipice of financial ruin, a disaster far more dangerous to our safety than any terrorist threats we face. Yet Coburn believes there is still hope-if enough Americans are willing to shake the corridors of Washington and demand action.

    With an insider’s keen eye and a caregiver’s deft touch, Coburn diagnoses the mess that career politicians have made of things while misusing their sacred charge to govern.

    Coburn’s incisive analysis:

    · Reveals the root causes of America’s escalating financial crisis

    · Exposes Washington’s destructive appetite for wasteful spending, power grabs, backroom deals, and quick non-fixes

    · Rises above partisanship to implicate elected officials of all stripes in steering the nation off course

    · Lays out a commonsense guide to restoring order

    · Concludes with a clarion call and sound advice for Americans who would dedicate themselves to defusing the debt bomb

    Above all, Coburn believes the United States can continue as a beacon of opportunity for future generations-but how we act today will determine whether we deliver the nation to our children and grandchildren fully alive, on life support, or without a pulse. …”

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-debt-bomb-md-tom-a-coburn-tom-a/1106523522

    U.S. Debt Clock

    http://www.usdebtclock.org/

    US National Debt Growing Faster Than GDP (4/9/2012)

    U.S. National Debt Documentary Part 1

     

    U.S. National Debt Documentary Part 2

    U.S. National Debt Documentary Part 3 

    U.S. National Debt Documentary Part 4

    U.S. National Debt Documentary Part 5

     

    The award-winning documentary I.O.U.S.A. opened up America’s eyes to the consequences of our nation’s debt and the need for our government to show more fiscal responsibility. Now that more Americans and elected officials are aware of our fiscal challenges, the producers of I.O.U.S.A. created I.O.U.S.A.: Solutions, a follow-up special focusing on solutions to the fiscal crisis. Learn more at http://www.iousathemovie.com/.

    IOUSA Solutions: Part 1 of 5 

    IOUSA Solutions: Part 2 of 5 

    IOUSA Solutions: Part 3 of 5 

    IOUSA Solutions: Part 4 of 5 

    IOUSA Solutions: Part 5 of 5 

     

    Krauthammer: Obama’s debt increase “radical, unprecedented”

    [yotube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyyocogAgwY]

    Exclusive Video  Tony Robbins Deconstructs the National Debt

    Dr. Coburn on CNBC’s Mad Money discussing the budget deficit facing the U.S. 

    (Thursday, June 10 2010) Jim Cramer discusses importance of getting a handle on the national debt, the current budget deficit, and ways to expand Congress’ knowledge of economics and budgeting by cutting spending.

    Coburn on CNBC’s Squawk Box: Healthcare Law Huge Contributor to Debt, Deficit 

    Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn Blasts Everyone in New Book: Buzz Politics 4.17 

    Coburn Urging the Senate to End Duplication, Pass Amendment that Saves $10 Billion

    HSGAC Hearing on Reducing Duplication

    (Wednesday, March 21 2012) Dr. Coburn stressing the importance of taking advantage of the GAO’s recommendations for eliminating duplication and savings hundreds of billions in taxpayer dollars in today’s HSGAC hearing titled, “Retooling Government for the 21st Century: The President’s Reorganization Plan and Reducing Duplication”.

    Coburn on The Kudlow Report on Problems w/ Obamacare & Gov’t-run Healthcare 

    Military spending, collapse of US empire 

    Deficits, Debts and Unfunded Liabilities: The Consequences of Excessive Government Spending

    Four Reasons Why Big Government Is Bad Government 

    David Walker – America at a Crossroads 

    It’s Simple to Balance The Budget Without Higher Taxes

    Eight Reasons Why Big Government Hurts Economic Growth 

    Free Markets and Small Government Produce Prosperity 

    Deficits are Bad, but the Real Problem is Spending 

    Spending Restraint, Part I: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton 

    Spending Restraint, Part II: Lessons from Canada, Ireland, Slovakia, and New Zealand 

    Background Articles and Videos

    Debt and Deficit in a Nutshell

    Coburn book “The Debt Bomb” hits the shelf today

    By Rick Couri

    “…Senator Tom Coburn hates it when taxpayer money is wasted. Now he has a new book out that points directly at the people and organizations he thinks are the worst offenders. The book is called “The Debt Bomb” and he holds no punches. “We lack the courage to do what’s in the best long term interest of the country because we always put short term political considerations first” he explained.

    The Senator says the book is easy to follow because it goes step by step “first of all we tell the story of where we are and how we got here” he said. So how did we get here? Coburn says it all stems from what he calls careerism. “Careerism tends to make members of congress do what’s best for their re-election and not what’s best for the country.”  Coburn told us people who hold elected office are always careful to pick the timing of their battles “we’re always waiting for the right moment to fix things well guess what, that right moment doesn’t come.” …”

    http://www.krmg.com/news/news/local/coburn-book-debt-bomb-hits-shelf-today/nMbXy/

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    Senator Tom Coburn–A Real Conservative and An Excellent Vice-President Candidate

    Tea Party Candidates And Elected Officials New Gold Standard For Balanced And Surplus Budgets, Lower Debt Ceilings and Tax Reform: Fiscal Responsibility Pledge To The American People–Videos

    The Pronk Plan for A Peace and Prosperity Economy–Videos

    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

    KONY 2012 Theme Song–I’m Your Boogie Man!–Videos

    Posted on March 10, 2012. Filed under: American History, Babies, Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Culture, Economics, Education, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, Music, Narcissism, People, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Rants, Raves, Talk Radio, Technology, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Joseph Kony Theme Song

    I’m your boogie man that’s what I am

    I’m here to do whatever I can

    Be it early mornin’ late afternoon

    Or at midnight it’s never too soon

    To wanna please you to wanna please you

    To wanna do it raw awhaw

    I wanna be your be your Rubber Ball

    I wanna be the one ya’ love most of all – oh yeah

     I’m your boogie man

    I’m your boogie man

    Turn me on

    I’m your boogie man

    I’m your boogie man

    Do what you want

    I’m your boogie man

    I’m your boogie man

    Turn me on

    I’m your boogie man

    I’m your boogie man

    Do what you want I’m your boogie man that’s what I am

    I’m here to do whatever I can

    Be it early mornin’ late afternoon

    Or at midnight it’s never too soon

    To wanna take you to wanna hold you

    I wanna give my all, all to you

    And I want you to completely understand

    Just where I’m at that’s where I am – oh yeah I’m your boogie man I’m your boogie man,

    Turn me on I’m your boogie

    I’m your boogie man

    Do what you want I’m your boogie man

    I’m your boogie man turn me on

    I’m your boogie man

    Do what you want I’m your boogie man that’s what I am

    I’m here to do whatever I can

    Be it early mornin’ late afternoon

    Or at midnight aww it’s never too soon

    I wanna be with you I wanna be with you

    Yeah we’ll be together you and me

    I wanna see you ah get near you

    I wanna love you up from sundown sunup –

    oh yeah oh yeah I’m your boogie man that’s what I am

    I’m here to do whatever I can

    Be it early mornin’ late afternoon

    Or at midnight it’s never too soon

    To wanna please you to wanna hold you

    To wanna do it all all for you

    I wanna be your be your rubber ball

    I wanna be the one ya love most of all

    I’m your boogie man aha …

    I’m your boogie man aha …

    I’m your boogie man aha …

    I’m your boogie man aha …

    BOOGIE SHOES by kc & sunshine band

    Girl, To Be With You Is My Fav’rite Thing Uh Huh

     And I Can’t Wait Til I See You Again Yeah,

    Yeah I Want To Put On My My My My My Boogie Shoes

     Just To Boogie With You,

     Yeah I Want To Put On My My My My My Boogie Shoe

    s Just To Boogie With You,Uh Huh

     I Want To Do It ’til The Sun Comes Up Uh Huh,

    And I Want To Do It ’til I Can’t Get Enough,

     Yeah, Yeah I Want To Put On My My My My My Boogie Shoes

     Just To Boogie With You, Yeah

     I Want To Put On My My My My My Boogie Shoes

     Just To Boogie With You Uh Huh, Yeah Yeah

     I Want To Put On My My My My My Boogie Shoes

     Just To Boogie, With You,

    Yeah I Want To Put On My My My My My Boogie Shoes

     Just To Boogie With You, Yeah

    Invisible Children are liars and Kony 2012 is a scam

    KONY 2012

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/kony2012/kony_5.html

    TEDxSanDiego 2011 – Jason Russell – Joseph Kony 2012

    How Cults Work (MUST SEE) 

    KONY 2012 SCAM – Ron Paul Speaks Out Against Brainwashing

    Stop Kony Now – Discussion !!

    Uganda Genocide

    Congo 20 million dead the role US and its allies played

    CONGO 20 MILLION DIE AND THE WORLD SILENT: The role that the America/Isreal and its allies, Rwanda/Uganda, have played in the greatest humanitarian crisis at the dawn of the 21st century

    KONY 2012 Exposed: African Invasion Psyop: Infowars Nightly News

    KONY 2012 Exposed: Dr. Webster Tarpley Reports 1/3

    KONY 2012 Exposed: Dr. Webster Tarpley Reports 2/3 

    KONY 2012 Exposed: Dr. Webster Tarpley Reports 3/3 

    [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM2LZ3W1D2Q&feature=related]

    Obama’s Great African Military Safari with Patrick Henningsen 1/2

    Obama’s Great African Military Safari with Patrick Henningsen 2/2

    BEWARE KONY 2012!

    KONY 2012 HOAX

    Kony 2012 Video is Misleading

    Invisible Children and Kony 2012: Avoiding Scams and Irresponsible Donations

    Is Kony 2012 FRAUD? Just Asking Questions!

    The TRUTH About “Invisible Children org” & “KONY 2012 Campaign”

    KC & The Sunshine Band – Keep It Comin’ Love

    kc and the sunshine band – get down tonight

    Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

    KONY 2012–Joseph Kony and Lord’s Resistence Army (LRA)–Soros Funds Obama Election Youth Distraction To Protect Oil Investments–Occupy Uganda–Wag The Dog Movie?–SONY 2012 Cult!–Videos

    The Real KONY 2012–Obama 2012–Stop Genocide Now–The Silent Scream–Videos

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    KONY 2012–Joseph Kony and Lord’s Resistence Army (LRA)–Soros Funds Obama Election Youth Distraction To Protect Oil Investments–Occupy Uganda–Wag The Dog Movie?–SONY 2012 Cult!–Videos

    Posted on March 8, 2012. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Communications, Economics, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, government spending, history, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Rants, Raves, Religion, Security, Talk Radio, Technology, Video, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Joseph Kony Theme Song

    KONY 2012 is a Pro-War Propaganda film…

    KONY 2012

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/kony2012/kony_5.html

    TEDxSanDiego 2011 – Jason Russell – Joseph Kony 2012

    Secrets KONY 2012 Is Desperate to Hide

    Kony 2012, hyped on the backs of celebrities and do-gooders, is revealed for what it is– a propaganda salvo for a continent wide invasion of Africa.

    Research makes clear that KONY is a full on deception for geostrategic positioning vis-a-vis China for oil and mineral resources, as well as an effort to legitimize the U.S. military’s AFRICOM unit in the region through newly-branded “humanitarian” interventions.

    It is not only War in the name of Peace, but an attempt to empower the International Criminal Court under the influence of NGOs and other related globalist corporate interests.

    Obama has already deployed 100 special forces troops to the central African region back in October 2011, and a resolution in Congress– on the heels of KONY 2012’s viral views of more than 100 million– seeks to send more forces there for an all out invasion on the pretext of hunting down a shadowy warlord with less blood on his hands than an average African despot.

    How Cults Work (MUST SEE) 

    Invisible Children are liars and Kony 2012 is a scam

    Uganda Genocide

    Congo 20 million dead the role US and its allies played

    CONGO 20MILLION DIE AND THE WORLD SILENT: The role that the America/Isreal and its allies, Rwanda/Uganda, have played in the greatest humanitarian crisis at the dawn of the 21st century

    KONY 2012 SCAM – Ron Paul Speaks Out Against Brainwashing

    Stop Kony Now – Discussion !!

    Oil behind US nose poking in Uganda – RT 111018 

    Obama, the US and 5 Million Deaths in The Congo 

    US Sends Troops to Uganda – Is it About the Oil? 

    The US, Mining and Dictators in the Congo

    RE: KONY 2012 — Beware Invisible Children SCAM (Video Response)

    KONY 2012 Exposed: Dr. Webster Tarpley Reports 1/3

    KONY 2012 Exposed: Dr. Webster Tarpley Reports 2/3 

    KONY 2012 Exposed: Dr. Webster Tarpley Reports 3/3

    [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM2LZ3W1D2Q&feature=related]

    BEWARE KONY 2012!

    KONY 2012 HOAX

    Kony 2012 Video is Misleading

    KONY 2012 Exposed: African Invasion Psyop: Infowars Nightly News

    Invisible Children and Kony 2012: Avoiding Scams and Irresponsible Donations

    Is Kony 2012 FRAUD? Just Asking Questions!

    The TRUTH About “Invisible Children org” & “KONY 2012 Campaign”

    Kony 2012 – Truth About Kony 2012 – Uganda oil find 2009 – Share this video! 

    US Military in Uganda = Soros, NWO Want Uganda’s Oil; Another Battle For Resources 10/17/11 

    GBR: What is “Kony 2012”?

    Wag the Dog (1997) – Trailer

    Wag The Dog

    Wag The Dog – War On Terror

    US sends combat troops to Uganda

    U.S. sending troops to Africa combat Joseph Kony 

    US Sends Troops to Uganda – Is it About the Oil? 

    Obama sends troops to Africa

    KONY 2012 = BIG OIL – Truth UGANDA OIL – Share this video! 

    People & Power  – The LRA and Sudan

    Occupy Uganda: Obama Sneaks U.S. Combat Troops Into African War Zone

    KONY 2012: The Charity of Death with Ugandan Activist Sanyu & Writer Patrick Henningsen

    Real News @ http://RevolutionNews.US — Why U.S. military in Uganda? Soros fingerprints all over it! Obama’s billionaire friend has interests in African country’s oil…

    Obama on Friday notified House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, that he plans to send about 100 military personnel, mostly Special Operations Forces, to central Africa. The first troops reportedly arrived in Uganda on Wednesday.

    The U.S. mission will be to advise forces seeking to kill or capture Joseph Kony, the leader of the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA. Kony is accused of major human rights atrocities. He is on the U.S. terrorist list and is wanted by the International Criminal Court.

    In a letter on Friday, Obama announced the initial team of U.S. military personnel “with appropriate combat equipment” deployed to Uganda on Wednesday. Other forces deploying include “a second combat-equipped team and associated headquarters, communications and logistics personnel.”

    “Our forces will provide information, advice and assistance to select partner nation forces,” he said.
    Both conservatives and liberals have raised questions about whether military involvement in Uganda advances U.S. interests.

    Writing in The Atlantic yesterday, Max Fisher noted the Obama administration last year approved special forces bases and operations across the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and Central Asia.

    “But those operations, large and small, target terrorist groups and rogue states that threaten the U.S. — something the Lord’s Resistance Army could not possibly do,” he wrote.

    “It’s difficult to find a U.S. interest at stake in the Lord’s Resistance Army’s campaign of violence,” continued Fisher. “It’s possible that there’s some immediate U.S. interest at stake we can’t obviously see.”
    Bill Roggio, the managing editor of The Long War Journal, referred to the Obama administration’s stated rationale for sending troops “puzzling,” claiming the LRA does not present a national security threat to the U.S. — “despite what President Obama said.”

    Inhofe Sets LRA Record Straight

    U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), the driving force behind the legislative efforts against Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), discusses the LRA and dispenses with many misconceptions about the group and what they have done. Inhofe has been raising awareness and working to end Kony’s reign of terror for over a decade.

    Invisible Children // Who is the LRA

    LRA Crisis Tracker

    http://www.lracrisistracker.com/

    Manhunt – Africa

    Rocketboom: Interview with Joseph Kony of the LRA

    Inside the LRA – Uganda

    Lured by a government amnesty, senior commanders from the LRA are coming out of the bush and speaking about their time with Joseph Kony. In this rare report, they justify their actions.

    “He is from God. What he predicts comes true”, states Captain Ray Apire, explaining Kony’s hold over his soldiers. “By making people suffer, he is bringing people close to God”. Commanders explain how they interpreted Jesus’ command to “Go and catch people”, seeing it as an order to abduct children. For the first time in a decade, the government and LRA are involved in serious peace talks. But the conflict is far from over. A woman breaks down describing how her daughter was abducted the previous night. This is the second time her girl has been kidnapped so she knows she will probably be killed.

    Why Is Obama Sending Troops to Uganda to Support a Dictator?

    “…One possible explanation is oil.  When Yoweri Museveni won re-election this year Bloomberg reported that Tullow Oil would begin to pump oil out of the Lake Albert region as they have an estimated 2.5 billion barrels and possibly as high as 6 billion.

    Are Presidents concerned with oil agreements in other countries?  Former President Clinton was overseeing the oil Production Sharing Agreement of Tullow Oil back in 2000.  As president Clinton supported and invested in what is called a “murderous gang” consisting of General Kagame of Rwanda, and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

    A grantee of the Soros-funded Revenue Watch called the Africa Institute for Energy Governance, started the Publish What You Pay Coalition of Uganda, supposedly to promote transparency in the oil industry.

    According to World Net Daily Soros is the main financier of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect.  The “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine is based on principles backed by the UN which propogate the formula that sovereignty is not a right but rather a responsibility that can be taken away if they have engaged in “ethnic cleansing” or “war crimes.”  Though one member of the group, Hanan Ashrawi is a staunch Holocaust denier according to WND.

    WND has reported that the founder of “Responsibility to Protect,” Ramesh Thakur recently advocated for global redistribution  to create a “New World Order.”

    Then Soros’ International Crisis Group advised the White House to deploy the military to Uganda to capture the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, Joseph Kony.  The ICG executive board along with Soros also has Bill Clinton’s former national security advosor Samuel Berger, a socialist former secretary general of NATO, and the senior advisor of ICG is Zbignew Brzezinski just to add a little new world order spice to the mix.

    The real issue appears to be an oil dispute as the Ugandan President Museveni has been accused of taking bribes from Tullow Oil and Italian ENI though he staunchly denies the claim.  …”

    http://consciouslifenews.com/why-is-obama-sending-troops-to-uganda-to-support-a-dictator/1121260/

    Soros’ “Responsibility to Protect Doctrine” Advanced By Comrade Obama

    By Ed Randazzo

    “…Responsibility to Protect, or Responsibility to Act, as cited by Obama, is a set of principles, now backed by the United Nations, based on the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege but a responsibility that can be revoked if a country is accused of “war crimes,” “genocide,” “crimes against humanity” or “ethnic cleansing.”

    The Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect is the world’s leading champion of the military doctrine. Billionaire activist George Soros is a primary funder and key proponent of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect. Several of the doctrine’s main founders also sit on boards with Soros.

    The luminaries that devised the Responsibility to Protect doctrine included Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa as well as Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi, a staunch denier of the Holocaust who long served as the deputy of late Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.

    Also, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy has a seat on the advisory board of the 2001 commission that originally founded Responsibility to Protect. The commission is called the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. It invented the term “responsibility to protect” while defining its guidelines.

    The Carr Center is a research center concerned with human rights located at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, that bastion of conservative thought.

    Samantha Power, the National Security Council special adviser to Obama on human rights, was Carr’s founding executive director and headed the institute at the time it advised in the founding of Responsibility to Protect.

    Power reportedly heavily influenced Obama in consultations leading to the decision to bomb Libya.

    Soros’ Open Society Institute is a primary funder and key proponent of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect. Soros’ Open Society is one of only three nongovernmental funders of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Government sponsors include Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Rwanda and the U.K. …”

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=global+center+for+responsibility+to+protect&oq=global+center+for+responsibility+to+protect&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=3&gs_upl=132l8621l0l8865l36l36l0l0l0l0l110l2724l34.2l36l0

    KONY 2012

    “…Kony 2012 is a film created by Invisible Children, Inc. which became a viral video.[2][3][4][5] The film’s purpose is to promote the charity’s ‘Stop Kony’ movement to make indicted Ugandan war criminal Joseph Kony internationally known in order to arrest him in 2012.[6]

    The film has spread virally.[7][8][9] As of 9 March 2012 (2012 -03-09)[update], the film currently has over 15.5 million views on Vimeo,[10] and over 64 million views on video-sharing website YouTube,[11] with other viewing emanating from a central “Kony2012” website operated by Invisible Children. The intense exposure of the video caused the “Kony 2012” website to crash shortly after it began gaining widespread popularity.[12] The video has also seen a number of celebrities endorsing the campaign including Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Christina Milian, Nicki Minaj, Bill Gates and Kim Kardashian.[8][13][14][15][16] On April 20, 2012, as part of the campaign, supporters will put up posters promoting Kony 2012 in their home towns. Invisible Children offers posters from an online shop in an attempt to gain wider recognition on the issue. They have also created action kits that include campaign buttons, posters, bracelets, and stickers to help spread awareness.[12]

    Plot

    The film documents the Invisible Children Inc’s plans and efforts to arrest Kony. It describes Kony’s guerrilla warfare tactics with his Lord’s Resistance Army and the regions (northern Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan) in which they have been employed.[17] One of the main people featured in the film is a Ugandan named Jacob, whose brother was killed by Kony. In response, director and founder of Invisible Children, Jason Russell, “promises Jacob that he will help stop Kony.”[18] The film advocates curtailing compelled and coerced youth military service and the restoration of social order.[4] The video also has clips of Jason Russell’s son, Gavin. Gavin is a young child and many children his age are subject to Kony’s regime. Gavin shows that even though he’s young he wants to help and wonders why no one else does. He also says innocent, childlike things – when told that Kony forces people to kill family members and fellow countrymen, his response is “But they’re not gonna do what he says, ’cause they’re nice guys… right?”.

    “Culture and policy makers”

    The Invisible Children charity has been focused on obtaining the support of a select group of individuals in order to “help bring awareness to the horrific abuse and killing of children in the East and Central African countries at the hands of Kony and his leadership”. This list included 20 “celebrity culture makers”, such as George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Taylor Swift, and Ryan Seacrest.[19]

    The list also featured 12 “policy makers” that have “the power to keep U.S. government officials in Africa” in order to work toward the capture of Kony. This list includes former U.S. President George W. Bush and his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (although their administration pursued a policy of hostility towards the International Criminal Court[20]), and U.S. Senator and former presidential candidate John Kerry.[21]

    Criticism and responses

    The campaign has come under criticism for its simplification of events in the region.[22] Part of this purported simplification is the campaign’s failure to mention Ugandan government actions or those committed by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army or the complicated regional politics fueling the conflict.[23] Another critique is that the film gives a misleading impression of the whereabouts and magnitude of Kony’s remaining LRA forces: in fact, Kony’s followers are now thought to number only in the hundreds.[24] There has also been a more cynical analysis of Barack Obama‘s decision to send military advisers to the region, it being suggested that it was a reward for Uganda giving assistance in Somalia. Obama did announce a kill-or-capture mission with “combat-equipped troops” to take out Kony in Uganda. [23] Further criticism has come from the campaign’s lack of accountability towards the Ugandan government in the conflict.[22] Jedediah Jenkins, the “director of idea development for Invisible Children”, responded to the concerns about working with the Ugandan government by stating that, “There is a huge problem with political corruption in Africa. If we had the purity to say we will not partner with anyone corrupt, we couldn’t partner with anyone.”[25]

    In November of 2011, while the Kony 2012 film was in production, Foreign Affairs magazine published an article that stated that Invisible Children had “manipulated facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders” and was “portraying Kony – a brutal man, to be sure – as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil”.[25] Resolve, one of Invisible Children’s “partner organizations”, responded to the article, saying that the accusations were a “serious charge … published with no accompanying substantiation.”[25] These criticisms of how Invisible Children has been acting to raise awareness and the statements that were made in the film resurfaced when Kony 2012 was released. Jenkins responded to the new criticisms by saying that they were “myopic” and that the video itself was a “tipping point” that “got young people to care about an issue on the other side of the planet that doesn’t affect them”.[25]

    There has also been criticism related to the plausibility of Kony 2012. Cooperation between the United States of America and Uganda is hard-fought, and the two armies have failed to come together and cooperate in numerous occasions [26]. The Kony 2012 film has raised a possibility of the military of African nations coming together to find Kony, however, military coordination and cooperation is lacking within the countries where the LRA resides itself. Since the LRA has split up, there is no guarentee of quick or even possible success in the mission to capture Kony, and Kony is not with the group that has been committing the most damage and atrocity with the people of Uganda.

    Official response

    On March 8, 2012, Invisible Children released an official response, addressing the criticisms directed at the Kony 2012 film. They explained that they “do not defend any of the human rights abuses perpetrated by the Ugandan government or the Ugandan army” and the reason why they are working with the Ugandan army even though Kony is no longer in Uganda is because the army is “more organized and better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries (DRC, South Sudan, CAR) to track down Joseph Kony” and that they want all of the governments in the region to work together to arrest Kony. As an explanation for the simplicity of the movie, they stated that “in [their] quest to garner wide public support of nuanced policy, [they] sought to explain the conflict in an easily understandable format”. [27] …”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kony_2012

    Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

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    Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

    The Massive Fraud In Mortgages Continues–Crooks and Corrupt Politicians In Charge–Videos

    Posted on October 25, 2010. Filed under: Blogroll, Business, College, Communications, Crime, Demographics, Economics, Education, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, government, government spending, history, Homes, Investments, Law, liberty, Life, Monetary Policy, People, Philosophy, Rants, Raves, Taxes, Technology, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

    U.S. On The Verge Of Foreclosure Crisis (Oct-2010)(NWO ECONOMICS series)

     

    Whalen Calls U.S. Foreclosure Crisis a `Cancer’: Video

     

    Faulty Paperwork Prompts Deepening Foreclosure Problem

    Is Your Mortgage Loan Illegal? Sue Your Lender

    Mortgage Servicers’ Secret

    Foreclosure Tsunami Coming?

     

    DYLAN RATIGAN: FORECLOSURE FRAUD & $45 TRILLION DOLLARS

     

    Prof. Bill Black – Financial crisis probe, prosecution failure – Fire Summers, Geithner, Holder

     

    Fraudclosure – Just the Tail End of Systemic Fraud?

    Foreclosure Fraud Hits Housing Market

     

    William K. Black and L. Randall Wray

    Foreclose on the Foreclosure Fraudsters, Part 1: Put Bank of America in Receivership

    “…We make three propositions concerning what we believe to be institutions that are run as “control frauds”. To date, this situation has been ignored in the policy debates about how to respond to the crisis. The propositions rest on a firm (but ignored) empirical and theoretical foundation developed and confirmed by white-collar criminologists, economists, and effective financial regulators. The key facts are that there was massive fraud by nonprime lenders and packagers of fraudulent nonprime loans at the direction of their controlling officers. By “massive” we mean that lenders made millions of fraudulent loans annually and that packagers turned most of these fraudulent loans into fraudulent securities. These fraudulent loans and securities made the senior officers (and corrupted professionals that blessed their frauds) rich, hyper-inflated the bubble, devastated millions of working class borrowers and middle class home owners, and contributed significantly to the Great Recession — by far the worst economic collapse since the 1930s.

    Our first proposition is this: The entities that made and securitized large numbers of fraudulent loans must be sanctioned before they produce the next, larger crisis. Second: The officers and professionals that directed, participated in, and profited from the frauds should be sanctioned before they cause the next crisis. Third: The lenders, officers, and professional that directed, participated in, and profited from the fraudulent loans and securities should be prevented from causing further damage to the victims of their frauds, e.g., through fraudulent foreclosures. Foreclosure fraud is an inevitable consequence of the underlying “epidemic” of mortgage fraud by nonprime lenders, not a new, unrelated epidemic of fraud by mortgage servicers with flawed processes. We propose a policy response designed to achieve these propositions.

    S&L regulators, criminologists, and economists recognize that the same recipe that produced guaranteed, record (fictional) accounting income (and executive compensation) until 2007 produced another guarantee: massive (real) losses, particularly if the frauds hyper-inflated a bubble. CEOs who loot “their” banks do so by perverting the bank into a wealth destroying monster — a control fraud. What could be worse than deliberately growing massively by making loans likely to default, converting large amounts of bank assets to the personal benefit of the senior officers looting the bank and to those the CEO suborns to assist his looting (appraisers, auditors, attorneys, economists, rating agencies, and politicians), while simultaneously providing minimal capital (extreme leverage) and only grossly inadequate loss reserves, and causing bubbles to hyper-inflate?

    This nation’s most elite bankers originated and packaged fraudulent nonprime loans that destroyed wealth — and working class families’ savings — at a prodigious rate never seen before in the history of white-collar crime. They created the worst bubble in financial history, echo epidemics of fraud among elite professionals, loan brokers, and loan servicers, and would (if left to their own devices) have caused the Second Great Depression.

    Nothing short of removing all senior officers who directed, committed, or acquiesced in fraud can be effective against control fraud. We repeat: Foreclosure fraud is the necessary outcome of the epidemic of mortgage fraud that began early this decade. The banks that are foreclosing on fraudulently originated mortgages frequently cannot produce legitimate documents and have committed “fraud in the inducement.” Now, only fraud will let them take the homes. Many of the required documents do not exist, and those that do exist would provide proof of the fraud that was involved in loan origination, securitization, and marketing. This in turn would allow investors to force the banks to buy-back the fraudulent securities. In other words, to keep the investors at bay the foreclosing banks must manufacture fake documents. If the original documents do not exist the securities might be ruled no good. If the original docs do exist they will demonstrate that proper underwriting was not done — so the securities might be no good. Foreclosure fraud is the only thing standing between the banks and Armageddon. …”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-k-black/foreclose-on-the-foreclos_b_772434.html

    William K. Black and L. Randall Wray

    Foreclose on the Foreclosure Fraudsters, Part 2: Spurious Arguments Against Holding the Fraudsters Accountable

    “…Who is Guilty? Let us deal with the “borrower fraud” argument first because it is the area containing the most erroneous assumptions. There was fraud at every step in the home finance food chain: the appraisers were paid to overvalue real estate; mortgage brokers were paid to induce borrowers to accept loan terms they could not possibly afford; loan applications overstated the borrowers’ incomes; speculators lied when they claimed that six different homes were their principal dwelling; mortgage securitizers made false reps and warranties about the quality of the packaged loans; credit ratings agencies were overpaid to overrate the securities sold on to investors; and investment banks stuffed collateralized debt obligations with toxic securities that were handpicked by hedge fund managers to ensure they would self destruct.That homeowners would default on the nonprime mortgages was a foregone conclusion throughout the industry — indeed, it was the desired outcome. This was something the lending side knew, but which few on the borrowing side could have realized.The homeowners were typically fraudulently induced by the lenders and the lenders’ agents (the loan brokers) to enter into nonprime mortgages. The lenders knew the “loan to value” (LTV) ratios and income to debt ratios that they wanted the borrower to (appear to) meet in order to make it possible for the lender to sell the nonprime loan at a premium. LTV can be gimmicked by inflating the appraisal. The debt to income ratios can be gimmicked by inflating income. “Liar’s” loan lenders used that loan format because it allowed the lender to simultaneously loan to a vast number of borrowers that could not repay their home loans, at a premium yield, while making it look to the purchaser of the loan that it was relatively low risk. Liar’s loans maximized the lender’s reported income, which maximized the CEO’s compensation.The problem is that only the most sophisticated nonprime borrowers (the speculators who bought six homes) (1) knew the key ratios they had to appear to meet, (2) had the ability to induce an appraiser to inflate substantially the reported market value of the home, and (3) knew how to create false financial information that was internally consistent and credible. The solution was for the lender and the lender’s agents to (1) instruct the borrower to report a certain income or even to fill out the application with false information, (2) suborn an appraiser to provide the necessary inflated market value, and (3) create fraudulent financial information that had at least minimal coherence.When the overburdened homeowner began missing payments, late fees and higher interest rates kicked-in, boosting the stated income of mortgage servicers and the value of the securities. Not coincidentally, the biggest banks own the servicers and could maximize claims against the mortgages by running up the late fees. It was quite convenient to “misplace” mortgage payments, so even homeowners who were never delinquent could get hit with fees and higher rates. And when payments were received, the servicers would (illegally) apply them first to the late fees, meaning the homeowners were unknowingly still missing mortgage payments. The foreclosure process itself generates big fees for the SDI banks.And, miracle of miracles, the banks would end up with the homes and get to restart the whole process again — from resale of the home through the financing, securitizing, and fee-for-servicing juggernaut.  …”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-k-black/post_1115_b_772820.html

     

    Foreclosure-Gate Fallout: How Bad Can It Get For Wall Street?

    Zach Carter

    “…JPMorgan Chase loves using its research department to push its political agenda, and the bank is currently characterizing the foreclosure fraud outbreak as a set of “process-oriented problems that can be fixed.” That puts them in the rosy optimist camp for this crisis, and they’re projecting a total of $55 billion to $120 billion in losses for the entire industry, spread out over a few years.

    But take a look at the analysts’ methodology. The actual scope of losses gets drastically larger if you just change a few arbitrary assumptions.

    JPMorgan’s analysts look at about $6 trillion in mortgages issued between 2005 and 2007 — this is the height of the bubble, but it excludes plenty of lousy loans issued in 2003, 2004 and 2008. They then estimate defaults of $2 trillion and losses of $1.1 trillion on those defaults.

    So far, these estimates are reasonable. According to Valparaiso University Law School Professor Alan White, banks lose about 58 percent of the value of a subprime loan at foreclosure. JPMorgan is estimating 55 percent. The notion that one-third of mortgages issued at the height of the bubble will default may seem extreme, but the analysis includes both first-lien mortgages and second-lien mortgages (home-equity loans). For houses with multiple mortgages, there’s going to be a double-hit when the first lien goes bad. Right now, the official statistics from Mortgage Bankers Association indicate that 14 percent of first mortgages are delinquent or in foreclosure. The longer unemployment stays near 10 percent, the higher that figure will go. …”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zach-carter/foreclosuregate-fallout-h_b_770359.html

    Background Articles and Videos

    “Stress tests Total Sham” William K. Black on Fox Business

     

    BILL MOYERS JOURNAL | William K. Black on Fraud | PBS

     

    Moyers 1/3: Sharing the Blame for the Economic Crisis?

     

    Moyers 2/3: Sharing the Blame for the Economic Crisis?

     

    Moyers 3/3: Sharing the Blame for the Economic Crisis?

    William Black on Alex Jones Tv 1/5:Former Federal Regulator Tells All !!

     

    William Black on Alex Jones Tv 2/5:Former Federal Regulator Tells All !!

     

    William Black on Alex Jones Tv 3/5:Former Federal Regulator Tells All !!

     

    William Black on Alex Jones Tv 4/5:Former Federal Regulator Tells All !!

     

    William Black on Alex Jones Tv 5/5:Former Federal Regulator Tells All !!

     

    GRITtv: William K. Black: Elizabeth Warren & Consumers

     

    Obama Passing On Elizabeth Warren?

     

    Foreclosure Defense Attorney Roy Oppenheim Discusses Bank Fraud and Foreclosures on CBS News

    The Mortgage Meltdown

     

    Related Posts On Pronk Palisades

    Gillian Tett–Fool’s Gold–Videos

    The American People Paid Off The Bets (Credit Default Swaps) Of Wall Street Investment Banks–Videos

    Quantitative Easing–Videos

    Deflation, Inflation and Uncertainty–Videos

    The Trillion Dollar Bet–Videos

    The Obama Depression Deepens–Federal Reserve Executes–QE II Plan–”Operation Pawnshop”–$2,500 Billion In Quantitative Easing–Money Printing–Will It Be Enough?

     

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    Climategate–The Political Scam, Investment Fraud, and Science Scandal of The Century Exposed–The Progressive Radical Socialist’s Big Lie And Con That Man Is The Cause Of Global Warming Was In Fact Nothing More Than Politicians, Investment Bankers, and Government Scientists Creating Climate Crisis!

    Posted on November 24, 2009. Filed under: Blogroll, Climate, Communications, Computers, Crime, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, government spending, history, Investments, Language, Law, liberty, Life, Links, media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Programming, Psychology, Quotations, Rants, Raves, Regulations, Reviews, Science, Security, Strategy, Talk Radio, Taxes, Uncategorized, Video, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

     

     

    UPDATED

    Hannity – Chris Horner – ClimateGate (12.3.09)

     

    Americans Skeptical of Science Behind Global Warming
     

    “…Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Americans say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming. Thirty-five percent (35%) say it’s Very Likely. Just 26% say it’s not very or not at all likely that some scientists falsified data. …”

    “…tne reason for this skepticism may be the role the United Nations has played in promoting the global warming issue. Only 22% of Americans consider the UN to be a reliable source of information on global warming. Forty-nine percent (49%) disagree and say the international organization is not reliable on that topic. Twenty-nine percent (29%) aren’t sure.

    Still, 46% of Americans say global warming is a major problem. However, 36% disagree, and 18% remain undecided. …”

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/environment_energy/americans_skeptical_of_science_behind_global_warming

     

     

    Rush Limbaugh Nov 24 2009 Morning Update

    Climate Gate Glenn Beck Show – November 24, 2009

    CLIMATEGATE! Fox RIPS Global Warming Advocate! 1000’s of Emails / Documents Reveal FRAUD!

    Ed Begley, Jr Blows Up Over Climate Gate!

    Climate Gate Scientists Would Rather Change Facts Than Their Theories!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RykErh8G4jk

     

    Global warming scientists E mail hacked. 23rd 11th 09

    GlennBeck Climategate 

    Climate Change Hoax – Climate-Gate

    ClimateGate

    Alex Jones Tv: Climate-Gate ” THE E-MAILS ARE REAL!!!”

    Infowars.com: Climate-Gate Pt 1 ***EMERGENCY VIRAL TRANSMISSION***