Pesky questions. “Reporters at a briefing on Monday pressed White House spokesman Jay Carney over President Obama’s claim that under the Affordable Care Act “if you like your plan, you can keep it.”
Panicky about revealing your personal data to a malfunctioning Web site? You’re on the right track. “To get coverage under Obamacare, applicants have to give out detailed information, among other things, about family, income, and employment, and applicants are repeatedly asked for their Social Security numbers. Has anyone asked whether a system that is so dysfunctional is able to protect the information that it receives? All of us are aware of the warnings not to give out Social Security numbers and financial information over the Internet, except for compelling reasons and to highly secure systems. I’m sure that the contractors who built the application system were supposed to include features that protect the information received. But they were also supposed to design a system that could actually process applications.”
These guys are so pushy. It’s like they want the government to operate or something. “[Sen. Mitch] McConnell also told attendees that Republicans are ready to challenge the tactics of the party’s anti-establishment wing, unlike the passive approach of the past two election cycles, and said they will fight back against people ‘who believe words like negotiate and compromise’ are a bad thing. McConnell and [Sen. John] Cornyn were very specific about directing their fire at groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund, whom they believe have actively misled donors about what is legislatively achievable in order to raise money off of their frustrations, according to another attendee.” Good for them.
It’s pretty amazing when the Europeans seem more serious about sanctions than the U.S. president. “The European Union is moving to a new approach in reinforcing its Iran sanctions regime in a bid to prevent legal challenges by companies from undermining the West’s efforts to counter Tehran’s nuclear program. . . . EU officials say the measures are intended to safeguard its existing sanctions regime to maintain leverage with Tehran and aren’t aiming at expanding it. But the move comes at a sensitive time: In the U.S., the Obama administration is pressing Congress to hold back on additional sanctions against Iran, arguing that diplomatic efforts need more time to contain Tehran’s nuclear program and that further moves could undermine Mr. Rouhani’s ability to negotiate.”
For all the petty jabs at his predecessor, Obama’s most successful national security actions have continued Bush policies. “A U.S. drone strike in Somalia killed two terrorists of the al Qaeda-affiliated group al Shabaab, including a leader of the group, a U.S. official said. The drone attack took place Monday near the southern town of Jilib when an armed unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with missiles fired on a vehicle in the town, said the official who is knowledgeable of the raid but who spoke on condition of anonymity.”
With a puny or nonexistent U.S. force, we are heading for a repeat of Iraq in Afghanistan. “At some point there is a real risk of Afghan politicos, like their Iraqi counterparts, deciding there is no point in having their sovereignty violated and being exposed to anti-American criticism in return for a token force that can accomplish little. If that were to happen, the future of Afghanistan isn’t hard to imagine. Just look at Iraq today–only Afghanistan will probably be worse off because it faces a more malignant insurgency with more entrenched cross-border bases and its government and security forces are weaker than their Iraqi counterparts.”
He should be more picky to whom and about what he speaks. He is a judge after all. “For those following Judge Richard Posner’s apparent flip-flop on his position over voter-identification requirements, his new piece in the New Republic caused some head scratching. . . . Judge Posner says he never repudiated his 2007 opinion upholding Indiana’s voter-ID law. He says the point he was trying to make in his book is that he’s no longer confident that the 2007 decision was right. But as legal observers noted, the judge didn’t leave much room for interpretation in an interview with the Huffington Post this month.” Perhaps he thinks he is a law professor who can muse openly about decisions.