Sebelius’s Big Day of Big Lies Posted By Arnold Ahlert

Those Americans who watched Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s testimony yesterday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee might be forgiven for thinking they were in an alternate universe. Despite her assertion that Americans should ”hold me accountable” for the ongoing debacle, Sebelius later claimed she was never warned by anyone that the scheduled roll out of the website would be the disaster it turned out to be. Furthermore, she stood by the assertion that the president has been “keeping his promise” with regard to the idea that Americans who liked their insurance policies could keep them. Fittingly, during the entire three and a half hours the Secretary testified, the website was down.

Sebelius’s contention that she was not warned of the problems with the website is a lie. CNN reveals they obtained a confidential report showing that while website creator CGI executives were publicly testifying about achieving milestones, they warned the administration a month before the launch that there were “a number of open risks and issues” associated with the website.

Undoubtedly, Americans are far more interested in the far bigger lie perpetrated by this administration, highlighted by the exchange between Sebelius and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). “Before, during and after the law was passed the president kept saying if you like your health care plan, you can keep it, so is he keeping his promise?” asked Blackburn. “Yes, he is,” Sebelius replied. When Blackburn noted the reality that 300,000 people in Florida and 28,000 in Tennessee had their policies terminated, Sebelius contended that “they can get health insurance.”

The president didn’t promise people they could get health insurance. “No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what,” Obama said in remarks made to the American Medical Association in 2009.


Just a few years ago, some American citizens came together to demand change. They were fed up with decades of out-of-control government growth, confiscation of their hard-earned income through ever-increasing taxes, and unending regulations invading every aspect of their lives. Things were racing out of control.

Every aspect of American society was changing, and not for the better. Freedoms and rights that are guaranteed under the Constitution – the founding document of our nation and law of the land, were disappearing. Elected representatives turned a deaf ear to concerned citizens. It seemed those in power simply didn’t care. No matter the outcome of elections, nothing changed. There was a sense of hopelessness, helplessness, and frustration as concerned citizens saw the America they loved disappearing.

The answer? Enter the TEA Party – declaring “Taxed Enough Already.” It was time to make their voice heard. It was time to directly confront the government and demand that it stay within the confines of the Constitution that every single elected official at every level of government pledged to uphold.

They organized. They rallied. They confronted members of Congress at local meetings. And their voices were heard. The TEA Party movement spread across the nation like wildfire. Many people were excited that finally the national debate was about concerns over the ever-expanding government. Some officials embraced the TEA Party. Some feared it.

Most who participated were political novices, experiencing their first direct activism. Concerned citizens, many were just parents who had spent their time raising the kids, and had been unaware of just how massive the government had gotten. They were about to get the shock of their lives.

Betsy McCaughey: Obamacare Has Been a Lie From Day One

Lesson: Believing the president is dangerous to your health.

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Florida Blue canceled policies for 300,000 Floridians, Kaiser Permanente dropped 160,000 individual plan holders in California, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina mailed out 160,000 cancellation notices.

It’s happening nearly everywhere. People were promised they could keep their health insurance plan. That was a lie. They were duped and dropped.

The liar is none other than the president of the United States. On June 15, 2009, President Obama told a town hall meeting: “No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise … if you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.”

The fine print in his health law proves that he never intended to keep that promise.

Sec. 1251(a)(1) of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) says that no one can be required to give up a plan in effect on March 23, 2010, when the law was passed. Those plans are “grandfathered.” But following that guarantee is a list of costly requirements that made it difficult for insurers to keep offering your plan.

It gets worse. Union plans were “grandfathered” with none of those fine-print tricks and exceptions. Sec. 1251(d).

The law also left open the possibility that the president could impose additional requirements on grandfathered plans (except union plans). Two months after ObamaCare was passed, the IRS, Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services – all reporting to the president – churned out hundreds of additional rules to make it even harder for grandfathered plans to survive.

The rule makers knew that they were turning the president’s promise into a flimflam. They estimated that up to 69% of individual plans and 89% of small-group plans would be canceled by the end of 2013 as a result of their rules (Federal Register, June 14, 2010).

Better to be Wrong than Right? For Some Intellectuals, it all Depends. By Walter Laqueur

Walter Laqueur is the author of, among other books, Weimar, A History of Terrorism, Fascism: Past, Present, Future, and The Dream that Failed: Reflections on the Soviet Union. His newest book, Optimism in Politics and Other Essays, is due out from Transaction in January.

How many pages of print need be devoted to an event that amounts to no more than a small footnote, if that, in the history of British academic life? In the case of the dueling protagonists of Isaac & Isaiah, a new book by the British historian and novelist David Caute, the unfortunate answer is: quite a few. Luckily, there is much else of inadvertent interest in the story Caute tells.

Both Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997) and Isaac Deutscher (1907-1967) were born to Jewish parents in Eastern Europe, but otherwise they had little in common. Berlin, who arrived in England as a schoolboy, eventually became a central and much celebrated figure of the British intellectual and academic establishment and was knighted in 1957. Deutscher, who arrived in his thirties, established himself within a few years as a well-known biographer and political commentator and a self-proclaimed exemplar of the human type known as the “non-Jewish Jew,” a term he may have coined.

Caute presents his chosen pair as the “most influential scholars of cold-war politics.” This is not accurate. Berlin, whose many interests included Russian social and political thought, was not and never claimed to be an expert in Soviet politics—the field that preoccupied Deutscher almost entirely. Nor was Berlin ever a political activist, while Deutscher, by contrast, had been a member of the Polish Communist party, later a Trotskyite, and thereafter a faithful fellow traveler and well-wisher of the Soviet Union. Finally, although Deutscher acquired a remarkable mastery of the English language—in a 1967 review of one of his biographies, I noted not only his forceful style but his unique ability to make his protagonists come alive—whether he was a scholar by inclination or accomplishment has remained a matter of controversy to this day.


The controversy aroused by Daniel Goldhagen’s new book The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism, has to do with the extent, not the existence, of Jew hatred–most generally expressed as opposition to Israeli policies–in today’s world. Goldhagen maintains that the global spread of technology has led to an explosion of anti-Semitism in recent years to levels not seen since the years leading up to the Holocaust. In a review of Goldhagen’s book in The Wall Street Journal on September 12, 2013, Anthony Julius takes issue with Goldhagen’s argument.

Julius, a distinguished literary and legal figure and the author of Trials of the Diaspora, a definitive history of anti-Semitism in England, criticizes Goldhagen’s book as a deplorable work, its research unreliable and its conclusions unbalanced.

While author and critic disagree on the extent and intensity of anti-Semitism today, neither of them denies its widespread existence. The disagreement seems to center on questions of scholarship and the nature and uses of data. Which leaves the unarguable fact that anti-Semitism is not dead or even dying and that once again Jews in Europe and indeed in countries throughout the world are being made to feel unwelcome.

France: Anti-Semitism Now Mainstream by Guy Millière

“You show that it is possible to be of the Jewish faith without being completely disgusting.” — Standup comedian Sebastian Thoen introducing Elie Semoun on Canal Plus TV.

When a leading Jewish organization complained about “a dangerous trivialization of anti-Semitism,” the President of the TV channel responded by saying that the Jewish community had “no sense of humor.”

A few weeks ago, when French Jewish actor Elie Semoun was a prime-time guest on one of the main French television channels, Canal Plus, the words of Sebastian Thoen, a standup comedian who introduced him may have been meant to be to be laudatory, but took quite a different turn: “You never plunged into communitarianism [Jewish activism] … You could have posted yourself in the street selling jeans and diamonds from the back of a minivan, saying ‘Israel is always right, f*** Palestine, wallala.’ You show that it is possible to be of the Jewish faith without being completely disgusting.”

Semoun was obviously ill-at-ease, but did not react. A couple hours after the show, the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions of France (CRIF) issued a statement denouncing a “dangerous trivialization of anti-Semitism.” The President of the TV channel responded by saying that the Jewish community had “no sense of humor.” The incident occurred, however, in a context where the French Jewish community has no reason to have a sense of humor.

Anti-Semitism is at the Root of the UN’s Double-Standards : Anne Bayefsky

This week Israel caved in to European and American pressure to further subject itself to egregious discrimination at the United Nations. The move was in response to a twisted appeal to Israel to preserve the fiction of a U.N. human rights system committed to equality.

On October 29, 2013, Israel ended 18-months of non-participation with U.N. human rights mechanisms that are dedicated to its demonization and defeat.

The surrender spawned victory laps by the U.N., the State Department and bigots in foreign ministries across Europe.

Leading the campaign to bring the Jewish state to its knees was none other than Germany. The diplomatic blackmail reached its apex in a letter of October 25, 2013 sent from German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Germany threatened that it “would be hard-pressed to help” Israel respond to the “severe diplomatic damage” which would allegedly have occurred if Israel failed to attend one more Israel-bashing session engineered by the U.N. Human Rights Council.

The formal procedure of Tuesday’s inquisition by the U.N.’s top human rights body was called a “universal periodic review” or “UPR.” The cyclical UPR process is applied to each state once every four years. Hence, the façade of “universality.”

However, the Council’s regular sessions occur three times a year and only Israel is specifically on the agenda every single time. In fact, the Israeli human rights record was last considered by the Council a mere five weeks ago, on September 23, 2013.


A FORGOTTEN hero of one of the most famous Australian actions of World War I has been honoured in his Queensland home town.

Exactly 96 years after Trooper Thomas O’Leary won the Military Medal for gallantry in the 1917 Charge of Beersheba, a memorial headstone was dedicated at his grave on Thursday.

The ceremony in Townsville’s Belgian Gardens Cemetery was organised by the RSL to coincide with the Poppy Appeal in the run up to Remembrance Day.

Trooper O’Leary was a cavalry scout with the 4th Light Horse Regiment who raced ahead of his unit into the Palestinian town of Beersheba, in modern-day Israel, where he captured 30 Ottoman Turkish soldiers and a field gun.

But after returning to Australia in 1919 he became a recluse, living alone in a shack on the edge of Townsville.

He committed suicide in 1956 at the age of 72 and was buried in a pauper’s grave, the RSL said.

His post-war story is one the charity works to avoid being repeated with modern-day soldiers.

Reagan, O’Neill, and Someone Named Chris By Craig Shirley

An actual history should be written someday about Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill. But not by Chris Matthews.

Matthews’s new book, “Tip and the Gipper,” is not the history of Ronald Reagan and neither is it the history of Thomas P. O’Neill III. It is the history of Chris Matthews before he became the Chris Matthews we see on cable television today. It falls into the category of micro personal history, but is so elfin as to be inconsequential.

There are several reasons for this. Matthews has assured Washington for years that he was a close aide and confidant to the former speaker of the House. Presumably in support of this narrative, Matthews invites readers of “Tip and the Gipper” to also look at O’Neill’s autobiography, “Man of the House.” That book provided some important source material for his own, says Matthews.

So this historian closely examined O’Neill’s book — and found no mention of Chris Matthews in the index. The photo section was also inspected. No pictures of Matthews. Was Matthews the “ghost” on O’Neill’s book? No — William Novak aided in this task. So is Matthews in the dedication, then? No again. Only in the acknowledgements section does his name appear, but only alongside the names of dozens of other staffers and individuals.

Other than that, there is no mention — zip, nada — of Matthews in the body of Tip O’Neill’s tome, though plenty of other aides and individuals are mentioned throughout and often warmly. “Man of the House,” by the way, is a treasure-trove of Reagan bashing, despite the hollow plea of Matthews that the two men were really the best of friends.

Tip O’Neill said it was “sinful” that Reagan had been elected president. He said Reagan didn’t care about the poor, and that Reagan would have made a better “king” than a president — and that, in any event, Reagan was the “worst” president of his lifetime; a period that encompassed Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon. There are dozens of other examples of Reagan-bashing, not excluding O’Neill’s ungentlemanly claim that Nancy Reagan was “the queen of Beverly Hills.”

Britain: “A World Capital for Islamic Finance” by Soeren Kern “I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.” — David Cameron, Prime Minister, Great Britain. But critics say that British ambitions to attract investments from Muslim countries, companies and individuals are spurring the gradual establishment of a parallel […]