Onyango Obama has been granted legal residency, which is perfectly routine except for the fact that he's President Obama's uncle. In 2011 the President said that he and his uncle had never met. This past week the uncle revealed in his immigration hearing that the future-president had lived with him for almost a month and that they were in in periodic contact while Barack was living in Cambridge.
I'm not sure if it's news anymore when President Obama lies.
President Obama acknowledged Thursday that he lived with his Kenyan uncle for a brief period in the 1980s while preparing to attend Harvard Law School, contradicting a statement more than two years ago that the White House had no record of the two ever meeting.
Their relationship came into question Tuesday at the deportation hearing of the president's uncle, Onyango Obama, in Boston immigration court. His uncle had lived in the United States illegally since the 1970s and revealed for the first time in testimony that his famous nephew had stayed at his Cambridge apartment for about three weeks. At the time, Onyango Obama was here illegally and fighting deportation.
On Thursday, a White House official said the press office had not fully researched the relationship between the president and his uncle before telling the Globe in 2011 that it had no record of the two meeting. This time, press office staff members asked the president directly, which they said they had not done in 2011.
According to the poll, 57 percent of millennials disapprove of Obamacare, with 40 percent saying it will worsen their quality of care and a majority believing it will drive up costs. Only 18 percent say Obamacare will improve their care. Among 18-to-29-year-olds currently without health insurance, less than one-third say they're likely to enroll in the Obamacare exchanges.
More than two-thirds of millennials said they heard about the ACA through the media. That's a bad omen for Obamacare, given the intensive coverage of the law's botched rollout. Just one of every four young Americans said they discussed the law with a friend or through social media. Harvard's John Della Volpe, who conducted the poll, said the president has done a poor job explaining the ACA to young Americans.
An unknown quantity of cobalt-60 has been stolen in Mexico. It would be foolish to believe that it wasn't stolen for use in a dirty bomb. A cobalt-60 dirty bomb could be used to prevent access to the release location for years and would be devastating if used to contaminate, e.g., fresh water infrastructure.
Mexico has informed the IAEA's Incident and Emergency Centre (IEC) of the theft of a truck carrying a dangerous radioactive source used in medical treatment.
Mexico's "Comisión Nacional de Seguridad Nuclear y Salvaguardias (CNSNS)" said the truck, which was transporting the cobalt-60 teletherapy source from a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana to a radioactive waste storage centre, was stolen in Tepojaco near Mexico City at around 08:00 UTC on 2 December 2013.
Wow, I didn't know that Amazon has a free tier for their web services! 750 hours free per month let's you run a single image 24/7 all month. That's pretty cool. Now I just have to figure out what I want to run.
"Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world," Francis wrote in the papal statement. "This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system."
Greg Mankiw defends capitalism:
A few reactions:
First, throughout history, free-market capitalism has been a great driver of economic growth, and as my colleague Ben Friedman has written, economic growth has been a great driver of a more moral society.
Second, "trickle-down" is not a theory but a pejorative used by those on the left to describe a viewpoint they oppose. It is equivalent to those on the right referring to the "soak-the-rich" theories of the left. It is sad to see the pope using a pejorative, rather than encouraging an open-minded discussion of opposing perspectives.
And then sticks in the shiv:
Third, as far as I know, the pope did not address the tax-exempt status of the church. I would be eager to hear his views on that issue. Maybe he thinks the tax benefits the church receives do some good when they trickle down.
Glenn Reynolds points out that Pope Francis may not be familiar with real free markets:
I think the key factor here is that he's from crony-capitalism-capital Argentina, and that he has mistaken what goes on there for the operation of free markets.
This observation is likely correct, given some of the Pope's following remarks:
"This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system."
"Meanwhile," he added, "the excluded are still waiting."
In free markets no one is excluded. When people are excluded it is almost always the result of government action, justified as being "for the good of the people".
So despite being high in fat and calories, nuts appear to have all sorts of health benefits. It's almost as if fat and calories aren't the end-all of health and weight management.
Those who ate a handful of nuts each day, approximately the recommended 1.5-ounce serving, had a 20 percent lower chance of dying from any cause during a 30-year period, compared with those who did not eat nuts every day. Additionally, the researchers saw a 29 percent reduction in the number of deaths that resulted from heart disease - the leading cause of death in the United States - and an 11 percent reduction in the risk of dying from cancer.
"Somebody might read our study and say that's fine, but if we start encouraging nut consumption, that might lead to a greater chance of obesity, which is a major problem in the United States," said Charles Fuchs, director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and a senior author of the report. "But interesting, what we find is that regular nut consumers are actually lighter. There's less obesity in that group."
Images that will drive OCD people crazy. (Crazier?) Since I work with so many engineers it may not be wise for me to print these up and post them around the office. The ones I hate the most:
At least a few of these 50 hacks will be new to you. Here are my favorites:
Charles Krauthammer figured out how to describe Drudge perfectly: "He's the greatest headline writer in the history of mankind."
I've struggled to describe Drudge to people who haven't seen his site, but now I know what to say.
Got rejected by Google? Don't worry, you don't want to work at Google anyway. Here are two of my favorites, and you can read the rest here.
Everyone is awesome, so they can hire the very best people to do even the most mundane jobs.
"The worst part of working at Google, for many people, is that they're overqualified for their job. Google has a very high hiring bar due to the strength of the brand name, the pay & perks, and the very positive work culture. As a result, they have their pick of bright candidates, even for the most low-level roles."
"There are students from top 10 colleges who are providing tech support for Google's ads products, or manually taking down flagged content from YouTube, or writing basic code to A|B test the color of a button on a site."
Google staff are so outstanding that there's an internal joke about it.
"... I used to joke with my colleagues that Larry & Sergey go out on their yachts - tie them together, sit back on the same recliners you'll find on their jumbo jet, each on his own yacht/set of yachts, smoke cigars, and put up pictures of Googlers with little snippets like "was a GM at muti-national telecomm company, got a Harvard MBA and is now answering Orkut tickets." and then they would erupt in laughter and clink their cigars & Scotch together in celebration. This, of course, is highly unlikely given neither of them would ever smoke a cigar or drink Scotch. Remainder is plausible."
Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address, probably the most beloved speech in American history. When I heard it on the radio this morning it almost brought tears to my eyes. It's hard to imagine a modern politician saying so much with so few words.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
As Obamacare crashes and burns everyone should remember that zero Republicans in Congress voted for it. The Democrats had to use extraordinary measures to push the bill through after Massachusetts elected Republican Scott Brown to the Senate and the Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority. Republicans have done everything they could for several years to stop Obamacare, so don't blame them for the consequences. As Jammie Wearing Fools tells the Democrats:
You own him, folks. See you next November.
The Obama presidency has been a disaster for America, domestically and around the world. The only good thing to have come from it is that Obamacare has completely trashed the notion of Big Government competency.
And no, Obamacare isn't like Katrina:
I can think of a whole bunch of non-parallels:
1. Bush's political party didn't design and enact Hurricane Katrina.
2. Bush didn't have 5 years to craft his response to the hurricane.
3. Bush didn't have the power to redesign the hurricane as he designed his response to it.
4. The Republican Bush believed he could not simply bully past the Democratic Mayor of New Orleans and the Democratic Governor of Louisiana and impose a federal solution, but the Democrat Obama and his party in Congress aggressively and voluntarily took over an area of policy that might have been left to the states.
5. The media were ready to slam Bush long and hard for everything -- making big scandals out of things that, done by Obama, would have been forgotten a week later (what are the Valerie Plame-level screwups of Obama's?) -- but the media have bent over backwards for years to help make Obama look good and to bury or never even uncover all of his lies and misdeeds.
6. If Bush experienced a disaster like the rollout of Obamacare, the NYT wouldn't use its front page to remind us of something Bill Clinton did that looked bad.
But don't worry, some poll numbers are looking good for America!
The most interesting opinion survey we've seen about the ObamaCare cataclysm is one that's only indirectly about ObamaCare. Gallup asked Americans: "Do you think it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage, or is that not the responsibility of the federal government?" Only 42% of those surveyed said it is the federal government's responsibility, vs. 56% who said it isn't.
More telling is the trend. Gallup has been asking the question since 2000. "Prior to 2009, a clear majority of Americans consistently had said the government should take responsibility for ensuring that all Americans have healthcare," the firm reports. The proportion answering "yes" peaked in 2006 at 69%--27 points higher than today's number. Then it began declining, to 64% in 2007 and 54% in 2008.
The current 42% is the lowest figure ever recorded, but the percentage answering in the affirmative hasn't risen above 50% since 2009. Remember what happened in 2009?
Mead points out the most astounding and shocking revelation from Obama's Obamacare press conference: the President had no idea that the website wouldn't work. I'm not surprised by this at all. President Obama seems to think that the laws of nature bend to his decree, so why wouldn't a website simply work if he wills it to?
OK. On the website, I was not informed directly that the website would not be working as -- the way it was supposed to. Ha[d] I been informed, I wouldn't be going out saying, boy, this is going to be great. You know, I'm accused of a lot of things, but I don't think I'm stupid enough to go around saying, this is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity, a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn't going to work.
This was eyepopping. Obamacare is the single most important initiative of his presidency. The website rollout was, as the President himself has repeatedly stated, the most important element of the law's debut. Domestically speaking there was no higher priority for the President and his staff than getting this right. And the President is telling the world that a week before the disaster he had no idea how that website was doing.
Reflect on that for a moment. The President of the United States is sitting in the Oval Office day after day. The West Wing is stuffed with high power aides. His political appointees sit atop federal bureaucracies, monitoring the work of the career staff around them. The President has told his core team, over and over, that the health care law and the website rollout are his number one domestic priorities.
And with all this, neither he nor, apparently, anyone in his close circle of aides and advisors knew that the website was a disaster. Vapid, blind, idly flapping their lips; they pushed paper, attended meetings and edited memos as the roof came crashing down. It is one thing to fail; it is much, much worse not to see failure coming. There is no way to construe this as anything but a world class flop.
Leno: As you may know, Thanksgiving began in 1621 when Pilgrims feasted with Indians and told them, "If you like your land, you can keep your land."
(HT: Andrew Malcolm.)
I just found out that former Intrade CEO John Delaney died on Mt. Everest in 2011 and his body is still entombed in ice neat the summit. I first linked to Intrade on this blog in 2006 and received a nice email from Delaney in response. We exchanged a few emails subsequently. In addition to being a huge loss to his family, Delaney's death is a loss to the world that benefited from his futures market.
Some great charts personal financial planning targeted at engineers. The advice is good for anyone though.
Charles Krauthammer dissects the mendacity, paternalism, and subterfuge of Obamacare and in passing notes the cancer at the heart of it all: President Obama's apparent lack of knowledge about anything that's going on in his government. I'd love to see Jay Carney's reaction to that list. Or the President's.
So a law designed to cover the uninsured is now throwing far more people off their insurance than it can possibly be signing up on the nonfunctioning insurance exchanges. Indeed, most of the 19 million people with individual insurance will have to find new and likely more expensive coverage. And that doesn't even include the additional millions who are sure to lose their employer-provided coverage. That's a lot of people. That's a pretty big lie.
But perhaps Obama didn't know. Maybe the bystander president was as surprised by this as he claims to have been by the IRS scandal, the Associated Press and James Rosen phone logs, the failure of the Obamacare Web site, the premeditation of the Benghazi attacks, the tapping of Angela Merkel's phone -- i.e., the workings of the federal government of which he is the nominal head.
It's silly enough that Obamacare requires single men, infertile people, and old people to buy insurance plans that include maternity care, but don't worry! People under age 30 are exempt. Yes, the people who are most fertile and most likely to have babies are exempt from the requirement to buy insurance that pays for having babies.
[Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC)]: You also brought up the issue that when you were in Kansas [as health Commissioner and governor] that you fought against discriminatory issues... As far as [ObamaCare's] essential health benefits, correct me if I'm wrong: do men not have to buy maternity care?
[Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius]: Policies will cover maternity coverage. For the young and healthy, uh, under ythirty year-olds will have a choice also of a catastrophic plan that has no maternity coverage.
Ellmers: But men are required to purchase maternity coverage.
Sebelius: Well, an insurance policy has a series of benefits whether you use them or not...
Ellmers: And that is why health care premiums are increasing, because we are forcing them to buy things that they will never need. Thank you.
Sebelius: The individual policies cover families. Men often do need maternity care for their spouses and for their families, yes.
Ellmers: A single male, aged 32, does need maternity coverage. To the best of your knowledge, has a man ever delivered a baby?
(HT: James Taranto.)
As a kid I had always been told that airplane wings work under the Bernoulli principle. Everyone has seen the demonstration where you hold a piece of paper under your mouth and then blow across the top: the paper rises! But airplane wings work completely differently and you only need to understand Newton's laws of motion to get it.
So healthcare.gov is 500 million lines of code? That suggests a level of brokenness that cannot be fixed. Here's a great visualization that compares the 500,000,000 lines of code in healthcare.gov with some other substantial codebases.