What Dressing Yourself has to do with Obamacare???

By Tim Mooney

On Saturday morning, November 9th, I started…and stopped…trying to use Healthcare.gov, as I’m one of those whose health insurance had been canceled. Must have had an unpatriotic plan that wasn’t Obama-worthy.

Knowing people’s knack for exaggeration, I thought the website and its intrusion couldn’t be all that bad. I’m here to tell it’s every bit as bad as you can imagine and then some.

First the Healthcare.gov webpage didn’t work at all – error page. Tried again.

Then you have to pick your state. Then you have to sign up and create an account. Name has to have capitals and lower case, numbers and the like. Then the password needed the same. Then you get an email back with a link to click. But that didn’t work the first three times.

Next, three security questions have to be filled out – and you cannot create your own questions, just theirs. “Name of your oldest niece.” “Parents anniversary date” – who knows that?

I filled in “Favorite toy as a child” – Explosives!

Ah, but then I remembered the Government wants this information. And it gets even more creepy, as next you need full name, address, Social Security Number, birthday, phone – stuff everyone says never to give online.

Then it sends me four security questions, so they can prove just how much they know about me already.

Confirm from our information:

Which year were you born?

You previously lived on this street; confirm the town this was in.

Which of these was a previous employer?

Which of these High Schools did you attended?

Seems like I’m entering Ayn Rand’s “Anthem” as I’m giving the government more information than I want and seeing they have more information on me than I wish.

I forgot to confirm the street I used to live on. Message sent back quoted directly – “According to our records, you previously lived on (X Street). Please choose the city from the following list where this street is located.”

Now it’s getting like I’m talking to a man with a face scar and a monocle. “Answer zee question! Vee have vays to make you answer zee questions!”

OK – my identity is now verified – 30 minutes later. I just want to know how much a policy is.

Now I fill out an application and give information about myself and my kids. But first I need to confirm that the government can use the information I give them, and here again quoting verbatim from the box I must check:

“I agree to have my information used and retrieved from data sources for this application. I have consent for all people I’ll list on the application for their information to be retrieved and used from data sources.”

Do they really think I’m going to ask my kids for consent? Am I legally bound to have gotten the consent from my kids?

I’ve already violated every known warning against online privacy, so let’s continue.

Now I have to reconfirm my address, and that it’s my home address. If it’s a mailing address that won’t do. Gotta have a home address where they can come knock on my door. Confirm phone number, phone type, preferred spoken language, preferred written language. Do I want to read notices online or be sent in the mail and if online by text or email?

I have to be 20 pages deep of giving information and it’s been 40 minutes.

Now it rejects my info, because I listed my office address as my home address – it knows that! It won’t let me continue unless I confirm it was wrong and list my home address. “Vat kind of zee game are you attempting. Vee know more about you dann you know about yourself!”

Next, who is helping me fill out this information? An approved navigator or someone else?

Now I have to fill out another identity question. “In what city was your first job?” I answer that I was first employed in the idyllic hamlet of Gofuckyourself.

Now information about each person I’m applying for. I need to enter my social security number again – they already asked for it and confirmed it, but no matter.

Am I a citizen? If I’m not, here’s help in becoming a citizen.

Do I plan on filing taxes in 2014?

Am I married?

Will I claim dependents?

Who are these dependents? (It shows me a list of my potential dependents it already knows about.)

Do I have anyone else under 19 living with me?

Am I Hispanic?

What race am I?

It’s now close to an hour and I must be 40 web pages in and still not a single word about health insurance.

Do I have any physical or mental disability? – Well not until I started filling out the questions on this website!

Can I dress myself or do I need help going to the bathroom? This isn’t me making a joke – it’s one of the questions that must be answered before it will show me ANYTHING about health insurance.

Now it freezes up and I can’t continue. Maybe it doesn’t believe I can dress myself or wipe my own ass. (My teenagers don’t think I can either!)

I have spent an hour, filled out way more information than on any other website ever, been shown the Government already knows way too much about me and because it won’t accept my choices of yes I can dress myself and yes I can go to the bathroom without help, it will not move forward.

I’m not joking. Frozen!

I’ve learned nothing about insurance. But I now believe Orwell and Rand weren’t that paranoid. And I never even got to the financial disclosure section. Can’t imagine what questions may exist there.

After giving up, I went to ehealthinsurance.com and chose a family policy from about 30 options in less than 15 minutes. I got a phone call back to confirm and close the deal that rang to my cell in less than 45 seconds from hitting “send.”

The Obamacare website is just amazingly bad, scary intrusive, frustrating, and totally screwed up!

My experience proves once again the public sector can never match the efficiency of the private sector. And it should never try.

Tim Mooney is a partner with the political consulting firm Silver Bullet LLC

 

Is America worth fighting for?

by, Dr. Jim Denison, President of the Denison Forum

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, hostilities between Allied forces and Germany ceased, bringing an end to World War I. In 1938, November 11 was made an annual holiday; in 1954, the observance became known as “Veterans Day.”

There are currently more than 1.4 million Americans on active military duty around the world, and another 850,000 on reserve duty. They are part of the 22,658,000 who have served in our nation’s military. Each of them might have asked this question, recently posted online: “I am 16 years old and I live in the US. I am driven towards my goal of the armed forces and joining the US Army Rangers like my father. My question is this: is it still worth the sacrifice that I would have to make? Are the majority of the people in the US worth fighting for?”

How you would answer him?

I recently read Charles Murray’s excellent American Exceptionalism: An Experiment in History. A scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, Murray has a BA in history from Harvard and a PhD in political science from MIT. He states categorically, “American exceptionalism is a fact of America’s past, not something you can choose whether to ‘believe in’ any more than you can choose whether to ‘believe in’ the battle of Gettysburg.” In its early years, the United States was considered to be “exceptional” by foreign observers as much as by Americans.

Four factors contributed to our uniqueness. One was our geography: we were separated from European conflict by the Atlantic, with rich soil for agrarian development and a frontier to encourage immigration. A second was our people: the harsh life of a pioneer attracted courageous, honest, hardworking settlers who formed close-knit families. Third was our ideology: America was founded on the belief that human beings possess natural rights which the state cannot bestow or withhold. Thus our leaders would be chosen by the people whom they would serve

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.

A final factor was our religiosity: by separating church and state, we formed congregations made of those who were committed to their faith, not just those who were born into it. Churches with no state funding were forced to compete for support from the public, strengthening both. John Adams was blunt: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Will ours be a nation worth fighting for in the future? Our forefathers would say: the answer depends on the degree to which our citizens are moral, our leaders are servants, and our people seek and serve God. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).

Obamacare By The Numbers

41,000. That’s the number of hospital staff that were laid off so far in 2013 – including more than 8,000 in the last month alone, as ObamaCare is phased in. Thousands more are expected to follow.

$30 billion. The amount of our money Washington has spent so far on a government-backed medical record database – a system that isn’t even close to being operational by its 2014 deadline.

$634 million. The massive amount of taxpayer dollars wasted on building the ObamaCare website – a website that has crashed frequently. This website is so expensive that it cost more to build than Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

300%. The increase a father of six and small business owner, Jeremy Nichols, will have to pay for healthcare in Alabama – for the exact same coverage. His family premiums are skyrocketing from $463 a month to $1,012 a month under ObamaCare.

Five. The number of people in the state of Iowa who enrolled in ObamaCare in the first two weeks of October. Since Iowa’s current population is just over 3 million, only a pitiful 0.0001% of Iowans bought plans through ObamaCare, despite massive taxpayer expense.

National debt in $1 bills would reach the moon four times

By Dr. Jim Denison, president of the Denison Forum

Before today, the United States Treasury Department was legally allowed to borrow up to $16.699 trillion. This is not enough to fund the government: by November 15, it will owe another $104 billion more than it receives in taxes. So Congress has adopted a last-minute measure to increase the debt limit.

Let’s put this in perspective.

$16.699 trillion in $1 bills stacked on top of one another would reach more than a million miles high, enough to stretch from the Earth to the moon four times with money left over. If you spent $1 million a day every day since Jesus was born, you would have spent $700 billion by now. That’s 1/23 the debt limit as of yesterday.

The combined personal income of all Americans is $13.4 trillion a year. If every American gave the government everything we make in a year, we couldn’t pay off the debt. Every day, computers at the Treasury receive more than two million invoices from various agencies. We will spend more than $415 billion this year to pay just the interest on the debt we owe.

We have been a “debtor nation” since 1985, owing foreign countries more than they owe us. At that time, an economist for Shearson Lehman Brothers noted: “The point is in some fundamental sense we are trying to consume more and more and borrowing from others in order to do that.” Ironically, there is no longer a Shearson financial firm, and you know what happened to Lehman Brothers.

Are Americans consumers more than citizens, focused not on what we can do for our country but on what our country can do for us? Plato warned that democracy would never last, because citizens would inevitably discover that they could cast their ballots based on personal preference rather than the collective good. Are we there?

You and I couldn’t prevent the debt crisis in Washington, but we can prevent one in our homes. In total, American consumers owe $11.13 trillion in debt. That amount in $1 bills would wrap around the equator 30 times. What does God’s word say about debt?

Debt enslaves the debtor: “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). We must therefore pay what we owe: “It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay” (Ecclesiastes 5:5). Our character is tied to our financial integrity: “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives” (Psalm 37:21).

Here’s the bottom line: We must resist the magnet of materialism, for “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:10).

How will you measure success today?

“Chicken Little” Obama: Default is Scare Tactic

by Denise McNamara

The definition of “scare tactic”: a strategy intended to influence public reaction by the exploitation of fear.

President Obama is claiming that if Congress does not raise our debt ceiling, America will default on its obligations for the first time in our country’s history. His claim is untrue.

Regardless of the debt ceiling, tax revenue will continue to flow into our Federal government coffers, to the tune of over 200 billion per month. The interest on our debt is 30 billion per month. It will be the President’s decision on how to allocate that 200 billion. If he chooses to default on the interest payment, it would be his choice alone. There is plenty of money to pay the interest on our debt as well as Social Security and other entitlement obligations. Much like an American household, the Federal government would finally have a limit on spending.

Current tax revenues are at their highest in the history of our country. So is our debt, which is approaching 17 trillion dollars. If Congress would agree to return our country to the spending levels of 2008, there would be enough tax revenue to cover our expenditures and balance the budget.

The danger to Republicans is the uninformed voter. During Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s interviews on the Sunday talk shows, he repeatedly refused to answer the question about defaulting on our debt. Speaker John Boehner held his ground but did not clearly explain the debt ceiling debate in his interview with George Stephanopoulos. Taking a stand against increasing our debt is progress, but the entire situation must be clearly explained to the American people. The sky is not falling.

This Democrat tactic of lying to voters and blaming Republicans can be stopped if the GOP would go on the offensive.

Ask your Congressman and Senators to explain, simply and succinctly, the facts about the debt ceiling debate. We see President Obama campaigning on a daily basis with dozens of supporters lined up behind him to lend credibility. Republicans can do the same. The difference is that we will be telling the truth to the American people.

I Too Have Become Disillusioned

By Matt Patterson (Newsweek Columnist – Opinion Writer)

Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, the result of a
baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could manage the world’s largest economy, direct the world’s most powerful military, execute the world’s most consequential job?

Imagine a future historian examining Obama’s pre-presidential life: ushered into and through the Ivy League, despite unremarkable grades and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job as a “community organizer;” a brief career as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, less often did he vote “present”); and finally an unaccomplished single term in the United States Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to his presidential ambitions.

He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature legislation as a legislator. And then there is the matter of his troubling associations: the white-hating, America-loathing preacher who for decades served as Obama’s “spiritual mentor;” a real-life, actual terrorist who served as Obama’s colleague and political sponsor. It is easy to imagine a future historian looking at it all and asking: how on Earth was such a man elected president?

Not content to wait for history, the incomparable Norman Podhoretz addressed the question recently in the Wall Street Journal: To be sure, no white candidate who had close associations with an outspoken hater of America like Jeremiah Wright and an unrepentant terrorist like Bill Ayers, would have lasted a single day. But because Mr. Obama was black, and therefore entitled in the eyes of liberal Dom to have hung out with protesters against various American injustices, even if they were ‘a bit’ extreme, he was given a pass. Let that sink in: Obama was given a pass – held to a lower standard – because of the color of his skin.

Podhoretz continues: And in any case, what did such ancient history matter when he was also so articulate and elegant and (as he himself had said) “non-threatening,” all of which gave him a fighting chance to become the first black president and thereby to lay the curse of racism to rest?

Podhoretz puts his finger, I think, on the animating pulse of the Obama phenomenon – affirmative action. Not in the legal sense, of course. But certainly in the motivating sentiment behind all affirmative action laws and regulations, which are designed primarily to make white people, and especially white liberals, feel good about themselves.

Unfortunately, minorities often suffer so that whites can pat themselves on the back. Liberals routinely admit minorities to schools for which they are not qualified, yet take no responsibility for the inevitable poor performance and high drop-out rates which follow. Liberals don’t care if these minority students fail; liberals aren’t around to witness the emotional devastation and deflated self-esteem resulting from the racist policy that is affirmative action. Yes, racist. Holding someone to a separate standard merely because of the color of his skin – that’s affirmative action in a nutshell, and if that isn’t racism, then nothing is.

And that is what America did to Obama. True, Obama himself was never troubled by his lack of achievements, but why would he be? As many have noted, Obama was told he was good enough for Columbia despite undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was good enough for the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois ; he was told he was good enough to be president despite no record at all in the Senate. All his life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was good enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary.

What could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display every time Obama speaks? In 2008, many who agreed that he lacked executive qualifications nonetheless raved about Obama’s oratory skills, intellect, and cool character. Those people – conservatives included – ought now to be deeply embarrassed.

The man thinks and speaks in the hoariest of clichés, and that’s when he has his Teleprompters in front of him; when the prompter is absent he can barely think or speak at all. Not one original idea has ever issued from his mouth – it’s all warmed-over Marxism of the kind that has failed over and over again for 100 years. (An example is his 2012 campaign speeches which are almost word for word his 2008 speeches)

And what about his character? Obama is constantly blaming anything and everything else for his troubles. Bush did it; it was bad luck; I inherited this mess. Remember, he wanted the job, campaigned for the task. It is embarrassing to see a president so willing to advertise his own powerlessness, so comfortable with his own incompetence. (The other day he actually came out and said no one could have done anything to get our economy and country back on track). But really, what were we to expect? The man has never been responsible for anything, so how do we expect him to act responsibly?

In short: our president is a small-minded man, with neither the temperament nor the intellect to handle his job. When you understand that, and only when you understand that, will the current erosion of liberty and prosperity make sense? It could not have gone otherwise with such an impostor in the Oval Office.

09/11

On that dreadful day, 12 years ago America was attacked! We were not attacked as black or white American, we were not attacked as Hispanic or Asian Americans. There was not a poll taken by the terrorist on which ones were straight and which ones were gay, or who was a Democrat or Republican. We were attacked because we were Americans. We must fight the enemy as Americans. We must drop the rhetoric that divides us. We must never forget the greatness of this nation and we must protect it with our very lives.

United We Stand!

Divided We Fall!

 

What the press isn’t telling you about Syria

By Dr. Jim Denison, President of the Denison Forum

President Obama is engaging international and domestic leaders today as U.S. lawmakers consider action against Syria. This response needs to be decisive enough to deter the Assad regime from using chemical weapons in the future, but not so aggressive that it prompts him to strike back at America and/or Israel. Unfortunately, Assad’s response is not the only factor at work in this escalating war.

Yesterday we began a two-day conversation on the Syrian conflict, trying to understand the issues in their cultural and religious context. As we noted, an American attack on Syria could affect Israel, and not just from the Assad regime. Iranian lawmakers promise a retaliatory strike, while the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards predicts “the imminent destruction of the Zionist regime of Israel.”

Such anti-Israel rhetoric has been a staple of Iranian foreign policy for more than 30 years. Why? And why is it connected now to an American action against Syria?

Iran’s leader believes that attacking Israel would bring the Mahdi (“Guided One”), an Islamic messiah who would protect Muslims from retribution and dominate the world for Islam. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has been the Supreme Leader in Iran since the death of his predecessor and founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in 1989. Iran elects a president every four years, but the real power in the nation resides with the Supreme Leader, who combines clerical and political power.

Khamenei is now regarded by many as the “Seyed Khorasani,” the individual who will set the stage for the Mahdi’s re-emergence. Khamenei claims that Ayatollah Khomeini told him, “it will be during the time of your leadership that the last Shiite Imam, Imam Mahdi, will re-appear.” To fulfill this role, Khamenei would need to lead Muslims to attack Israel. How would he do so?

One way would be an appeal to the Qur’an, which requires Muslims to “fight in the way of Allah those who fight you” (Surah 2:190). If America strikes Syria, Khamenei can characterize our action as an attack by “infidels” against Muslims. He can then call on Muslims to defend Islam by attacking America and its ally, Israel. This attack would lead to the re-appearance of the Mahdi, fulfilling Khamenei’s role and establishing a base for global Islamic domination.

Clearly, the stakes in Syria are higher than most of us imagine. Christians should seek divine wisdom for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2) and protection for those in Syria and across the Middle East. We can pray for Ali Khamenei to meet Jesus in a vision or dream, the kind of miracle now happening across the Muslim world. And we are called to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6) today.

‘Could Syria ignite World War 3?’

By Dr. Jim Denison, President of
Denison Forum

David Brooks, my favorite New York Times columnist, identifies “the biggest threat to world peace right now” as “the possibility of a wave of sectarian strife building across the Middle East.” Others go even further. One British politician is warning that the conflict in Syria raises “the spectre of a third world war.” Another news outlet headlines: “Could Syria ignite World War 3?”

Why does the Syrian conflict threaten world peace? What does it mean for Israel? For Christians in the Middle East and around the world?

Ryan Crocker is currently serving as the Kissinger Senior Fellow at Yale University and is a former U.S. ambassador to Syria. Crocker reminds us that the Syrian conflict did not begin with the Arab Spring, but in 1982, when the Assad regime systematically eliminated the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. The government has been preparing for insurgency ever since. Unlike the regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, it was ready for this war.

The Assad regime is backed by Iran and other Shias. The strongest opposition group, Jabhat al-Nusra, is the al Qaeda branch in Syria. The Free Syria Army is another insurgent group—backed by Sunnis, including Saudi Arabia, it has been accused of widespread atrocities against Christians in the country. As you can see, the conflict in Syria is a “proxy war,” as Iran and Saudi Arabia work against each other to increase their leverage in the region. Meanwhile, Sunni vs. Shia tensions threaten to bring Iraq back into civil war and inflame tensions in Lebanon.

This situation affects Israel directly. Iranian lawmakers are warning that a military strike on Syria would lead to a retaliatory attack on Israel fanned by “the flames of outrage.” The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards states that an American attack on Syria “will result in the imminent destruction of the Zionist regime of Israel.” Israelis take these threats seriously—last week, crowds thronged gas mask distribution centers in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and northern Israel.

Hopefully, this is more empty rhetoric—Iran has been promising the destruction of Israel since its Islamic government took power in 1979. But there is a theological connection between our actions in Syria and an attack on Israel, a dimension of this issue that is not being reported in the secular press. Since the Syrian conflict is too complex to discuss in a single Cultural Commentary, let’s continue our conversation tomorrow.

History was not well Served by the Butler

Lee Daniels’ blockbuster hit movie “The Butler” though wonderfully acted by Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey is about as historical as the Wizard of Oz. Why does Hollywood continue their attempts to exploit the emotions of their black audiences with such fictional drama? The opening scene shows the film’s title character Cecil Gaines witnessing the white landowner murder Gaines’ father because he dared to speak to the landowner after he raped his wife (Gaines’ mother). This purely fictional addition was added for “dramatic effect” per the filmmaker. The depiction of Ronald Reagan, as racially insensitive — the president that signed into law the MLK holiday — exemplifies the Hollywood liberal bias. My advice to Hollywood especially when dealing with topics of race, don’t call it fact when it’s fiction.