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The BL RAG is dedicated to the idea of free expression, thus we welcome and encourage reader  commentary on current events and issues, music, sports, or other topics of interest, no matter what one's political leanings or worldview.

  

Site Management:

Front Page Section Editors: Machiavelli, Skinnydipinacid, and Redbeard

Miscellanea Editor: Zoy Clem

Poetry Editor: Lenny

Music Editors: see schedule below

***

Site Editors: Skinnydipinacid and Zoy Clem

Maintenance Man: Master Admin Dude

 

Alumni:
Eric Olsen, Fornax, GrayRider, Winston, Jimmmco, and WesMorgan1

 

KRAG Music Section Schedule:

Sunday - Jgeagle5

Monday - Rhythm & Truth

Tuesday - Machiavelli

Wednesday - GrayRider

Thursday - Skinny

Friday - Fornax

Saturday - Zoy Clem

On-call - Schwabman

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Monday
Dec022013

CNN Gives The Fixed Website A Try; Healthcare.gov Crashes

It's not fixed yet.

Monday
Dec022013

Obama Administration Declares Mission Accomplished

Claiming they've met the 12/1 deadline to fix Healthcare.gov, the White House sent out it's minions to announce the notoriously glitchy website “will work smoothly for the vast majority of users.” NY Times:

In effect, the administration gave itself a passing grade. Because of hundreds of software fixes and hardware upgrades in the last month, it said, the website — the main channel for people to buy insurance under the 2010 health care law — is now working more than 90 percent of the time, up from 40 percent during some weeks in October.

Jeffrey D. Zients, the presidential adviser leading the repair effort, said he had shaken up management of the website so the team was now “working with the velocity and discipline of a high-performing private sector company.”

Mr. Zients said 50,000 people could use the website at the same time and that the error rate, reflecting the failure of web pages to load properly, was consistently less than 1 percent, down from 6 percent before the overhaul.

Pages on the site generally load faster, in less than a second, compared with an average of eight seconds in late October, Mr. Zients said.

Of course, making Healthcare.gov more user-friendly is pointless if people still can't use the website to purchase insurance plans, ostensibly the purpose of the online exchange:

Weeks of frantic technical work appear to have made the government’s health care website easier for consumers to use. But that does not mean everyone who signs up for insurance can enroll in a health plan.

The problem is that so-called back end systems, which are supposed to deliver consumer information to insurers, still have not been fixed. And with coverage for many people scheduled to begin in just 30 days, insurers are worried the repairs may not be completed in time.

“Until the enrollment process is working from end to end, many consumers will not be able to enroll in coverage,” said Karen M. Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, a trade group.

The issues are vexing and complex. Some insurers say they have been deluged with phone calls from people who believe they have signed up for a particular health plan, only to find that the company has no record of the enrollment. Others say information they received about new enrollees was inaccurate or incomplete, so they had to track down additional data — a laborious task that would not be feasible if data is missing for tens of thousands of consumers.

In still other cases, insurers said, they have not been told how much of a customer’s premium will be subsidized by the government, so they do not know how much to charge the policyholder.

And there's no word on whether Healthcare.gov's gaping security holes have been fixed, GOP critics pointed out. NBC News:

“The most important part of this discussion that nobody talks about,” Rep. Mike Rogers, R- Mich., said on NBC’s Meet the Press, is that “the security of this site” and its ability to safeguard health and income information “does not meet even the minimal standards of the private sector.”

He argued that Americans “should not tolerate the sheer level of incompetence securing this site. And remember how much personal information is not only there, but all of the (federal government data) sites that the (healthcare.gov) hub accesses would expose Americans’ personal information in a way that is breathtakingly bad.”

The true measure of success for Obamacare can be gauged from the Obama Administration's recent actions, more legally dubious delays and corrupt waivers for key constituents

 

Thursday
Nov282013

The Mellow Out - It's Thanksgiving Thread

After browsing the through comments in the thread below, I figured it was time to send a friendly but somewhat pointed reminder that this is a blog not a blackboard jungle...

Seriously...one of you guys is likely to burst a blood vessel if you don't calm it down a little. And getting into a pissing match with each others' real names is out of order and everyone knows it. Give it a rest. Have a nice Thanksgiving and otherwise post what you like.  

Tuesday
Nov262013

The Only Thing Remotely "SHOCKING" to ME...

... Is that THIS is still considered "SHOCKING" by anybody at this point:

 

 

 

 

Yeah...

color me...

 

... "suprised"

 

 

 

 

 

Question:  Does the following mean that "idiot", "extreme", "right-wing cuckoo-bird" Sarah Palin lady is more competent when it comes to understanding ObamaCare than the man we named the Affordable Care Act ObamaCare after?

NEWSMAX: The Affordable Care Act contains provisions for "death panels," which decide which critically-ill patients receive care and which won't, according to Mark Halperin, senior political analyst for Time magazine.

"It's built into the plan. It's not like a guess or like a judgment. That's going to be part of how costs are controlled," Halperin told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

Whoa... did I just go numb... or is this what shock feels like?

(Kinda makes you want to question everything they rashly called people "crazy" for, huh?)

Friday
Nov222013

Weekend Backfire Open Thread 

Now, I think we focused enough on ObamaCare's historic backfire this month, and the most recent strategy or "going nuclear" (that just oozes with backfiring potential)...  so instead of making fun of all that (yet again) what say we take a lighter turn before the weekend.

Watch how this douchebag (yes... douchebag) that thought it would be funny to record him playing a "practical joke" on his 5 YEAR anniversary to his GIRLFRIEND (just marry her already douchebag) by telling her (get this...) that he cheated on her (I know, real "funny", right?)...  only to have it then backfire on him:

Funny... possibly fake, but who cares...  I enjoyed looking at her, uh... shirt, or something.

Thread is open so post whatever you want and have a great weekend.

 

Friday
Nov222013

Dr Obamalove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Nuclear Option

Then:

“I sense that talk of the nuclear option is more about power than about fairness,” Obama said in April, 2005 during a speech from the Senate floor. “I believe some of my colleagues propose this rules change because they can get away with it rather than because they know it’s good for our democracy.”

Ah...  "FAIRNESS"...  and...

Now:

Obama, even invoking former President Bush, said it's critical to "change the way that Washington is doing business."  

sarcasm:  President Bush... nice name drop! /sarcasm

Obviously Obama isn't alone in this hypocrisy, seeing as how Harry Reid was the guy who found it in the archives of long lost political strategies (while of course Democrats were in the minority), dusted it off, threw a lil' spit on her to shine it up and proceed to use it over and over again on the Senate floor.

Remember the media?   "Uh... hrm... what's a... 'fillibuster'?"   When you have to defend its use by saying  “The filibuster is not a scheme and it certainly isn't new", it's not exactly a household term.

Now it seems it's suddenly a burden and Democrats have successfully aimed to do away with the fillibuster, and in doing so, set themselves up for another fat slab of potential hypocrisy if/when they're crying for the good ol' days...   "before Republicans were too fat, dumb and racist to stop us Democrats from doing what they did best those years...  shooting ourselves in the foot."

Just a matter of time... 

Thursday
Nov212013

The Knockout Game: McConnell Style

Have you heard about this horrible new knockout game that's been plaguing Washington DC and various other parts of the country lately?    It's apparently become so popular that even old Republican Senators are starting to play it. 

CAUGHT ON CAMERA:  Watch Mitch McConnell (R) throw a verbal shot to the head of Harry Reid (D) on the Senate floor earlier today:  

(WARNING:   Graphic!!!)

Not exactly the "one-hitter quitter" we're used to seeing in the knockout game, but cut McConnell some slack, he's old but still occasionally shows some spunk:

Oh SNAP!  "If you like the rules of the Senate, you can keep them!”  Now that's a punch to the face.   Might as well just flat out call him a liar... because you know, he lies a lot.   He's nowhere near Presidential when it comes to lying, but he'd make the ideal Liars' Leader, maybe even Speaker of the Liars.   The man is on top of his game.

But that didn't stop Mitch "Darth Vader" McConnell hailing out of Kentucky.   He continued pummeling that limp noodle of a body with glasses named Harry Reid:

And this Democrat strategy of distract, distract, distract is getting old. Because the American people aren’t fooled. “If our colleagues want to work with us to fill judicial vacancies that actually need to be filled, then let’s do it. “If our colleagues want to work with us to spare the American people from the pain of Obamacare, then let’s do that. “But if they want to play games and set yet another precedent that they will no doubt come to regret, well…that’s a choice only they can make. “Let me be clear: the Democrat playbook of broken promises, double standards, and raw power…the same playbook that got us Obamacare…it has to end. “That’s why Republicans are going to keep their focus where it belongs: on the concerns of the American people. “It means we’re going to keep pushing to get back to the drawing board on health care – to replace Obamacare with real reforms that do not punish the middle class. And we’ll leave the political games to our friends on the other side.”

This is in response to Harry Reid's plan to go "nuclear" on the rules for judges, hoping to cut passage numbers from 60 to 51.    Stay tuned to see how Harry Reid responds.

 

Thursday
Nov212013

And the Hits Just Keep on Coming

This can't be good for Obamacare.   Yet another Project Veritas video shows Chris Tarango, Comminactions Director for Texas' Enroll America, caught on tape agreeing to help obtain a private list of potential Obamacare enrollee data for election/political purposes:

I especially laughed over the dorky "rule #17" where he said... "Anything it f***ing takes!"   I'm sorry, but that's begging to be shredded:

The 1st rule of ObamaCare is... You do not talk about ObamaCare!

The 2nd rule of ObamaCare is... YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT OBAMACARE!!

 (bonus funneh:)

Thursday
Nov212013

Think You Had a Bad Day?

ObamaCare, nuclear options, stuck listening to a new Lady Gaga album?   Look on the bright side:  At least you're not this guy who accidentally landed a 747 cargo plane which requires 10,500-some ft to take off on a 6,000-some ft long (and narrow) runway :

Oops.

Thread is open... consider this the pre-open-thread open-thread.

Wednesday
Nov202013

Under God

Obama can't even read one of the most famous speeches in US history (a speech I had to memorize back in 5th grade, when they used to actually teach kids stuff in school) without finding a way to make an issue of the day out of it:

Now obviously we know so many of Obama's frothing supporters hate hearing the word God in just about anything these days, but let me take a moment to point out what's a wee bit irritating here, mostly when it comes to the left and how they handle being shown how stupid this choice was, and more importantly their choice to blast what some consider all too obvious.

So today I've been wasting my free time over at the Raw Story's article titled "Conservatives flip out... blah blah blah" when I could/should have been doing more productive things, however I just love doing cannonballs into a pool of liberal stupidity, and felt my need to point out how cowardly it was of Obama to blame his "scholarly" liberal pal Ken Burns.   

Congrats there Kenny:  You're the White House's scapegoat of the day!

My biggest beef I had at the time (and still do) was I felt that this was purposely done by the White House.   After all, Barack can't be Mr. Progressive in Chief if he doesn't coddle all his God-hating supporters.    Besides, I'm over this notion that Obama is Christian outside of elections.  I used to defend him there, no matter how warped I thought his preacher was at the time, but now I'm in agreement with Bill Maher (never a comfortable thing to say)... he's more of an athiest if you ask me.    At least when he was frequenting that "Goddam America" church he could play along and call himself a church-goer.

Without even going there (liberals can't take blunt criticism, and it was early, thought I'd ease into the hate-inducing bait) I thought I'd  challenge some liberals and hoping to get some responses telling me why they thought the Obama administration would choose to cite a version of the Gettysburg Address lacking the words "under God".  Anxiously awaiting the big counter-argument from liberals I slowly watched the angry responses commence and my dislikes rack up.   Quickly I was being painted as an assumed right-wing nutter for even questioning the great one and watched every liberal slowly fall in line with the Maddow/Media Matters crowd's  half-assed spin (God bless Google) calling the choice to go with the "original" version, as if it was somehow more accurate of what Lincoln said that day... in which I called, uh... "phooey".*

(*editor's note... I didn't really say "phooey")

Now first off, the version Obama read was actually the first of five versions, commonly known as the Nicolay copy.   This was written mostly from the White House the weeks prior to the actual Gettysburg Address.   It's a draft... in essence, the 1st rough draft of this eventually historic speech.   It wasn't even the last copy before giving the speech, but Obama ran with it anyway and liberals defended this choice as if this was supposed to be considered more accurate, being the "original" version and all.  "Ah, nastalgia!"

I was even pointed towards this link and told to get educated.    Oh, how I love me some links thrown around recklessly by angry liberals as they concede with an argument-winning mentality.    I believe one commenter even referred to this act happily, positive this argument was solid as he talked about how bad I just "got schooled" by it.   This was already getting cuter than a kitten trying to climb up onto a hard surface that's just a weeee bit too tall.

Sadly if those users would have simply read their own link they might have actually learned something, you know... before I dragged them there kicking and screaming (but mostly screaming).    

I started to focus their attention on the third version of the speech, which was requested the day after the Gettysburg Adress was given by then Chief Speaker Edward Everett, who spoke prior to Lincoln for nearly two hours, and needless to say.... really loved the speech:

Everett Copy

Edward Everett, the chief speaker at the Gettysburg cemetery dedication, clearly was impressed by Lincoln's remarks and wrote to him the next day saying, "I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes." In 1864 Everett asked Lincoln for a copy of the speech to benefit Union soldiers, making it the third manuscript copy. Eventually the state of Illinois acquired it, where it's preserved at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Four score and seven years ago...   (continue reading) 

Now you would think that pointing out that this 3rd copy is actually a better representation of what Lincoln said in his speech and that people could discuss this like rational people without going crazy and calling me dumb, crazy, ignorant, etc.... but we know better.   As usual... liberals will be liberals: "Why that wasn't said right after... it was MONTHS later"...  (durp)

... so the attempt to re-educate them continued:

(per the link)
1. The original autograph MS. draft, written by Mr. Lincoln partly at Washington and partly at Gettysburg.
2. The version made by the shorthand reporter on the stand at Gettysburg when the President delivered it, which was telegraphed, and was printed in the leading newspapers of the country on the following morning.
3. The revised copy made by the President a few days after his return to Washington, upon a careful comparison of his original draft and the printed newspaper version with his own recollections of the exact form in which he delivered it.

Now of course this goes against today's liberal argument/spin. Nonetheless I still felt further proof was necessary (remember....  liberals), so I then referenced the notes from the AP (per the same link):

If now we make the comparative analysis, we find that between the first draft as Mr. Lincoln wrote it, and the Associated Press report as he delivered it, the following essential changes occurred

1. The phrase, "Those who died here," was changed to "Those who here gave their lives." This was a gain in rhetorical form.
2. The entire sentence, "This we may in all propriety do," was changed to " It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this." It was a mere recasting of the phrase for greater emphasis.
3. The sentence in the original draft, " It is rather for us the living we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us," was transformed into two sentences, thus : " It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the un-
finished work that they have thus far so nobly carried on. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us." This is a repetition and shght amplification of the sentence and thought. The "we " in the original was of course a mere slip of the pencil — " to " having been intended.
4. The phrase, " Shall have a new birth of freedom," was changed as follows:" Shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom," a change which added dignity and solemnity.

So no, the draft spoken by Obama was NOT "the original", it was a DRAFT.   The must accurate version was likely the Everett coy.   When President Lies-a-Lot runs out on stage and does his thing, (you knew.... lying) do we report on what he said during that moment or what his speechwriters jotted down WELL BEFORE plugging it into his teleprompter? 

The only thing I really wanted to point out in all of this (besides Obama lies, like... a lot) was that whether done purposefully or absent-mindedly he had to have known this would irritate his "fellow" Christians.   I'm sure many of his supporters are happy with results like that, but we question:  Is this just a goal of Obama's nowadays?  

To top it off his progressive-faithful can't help but defend their greatest orator even when its pointed out to them just how wrong they are while mindlessly defending him. 

Tuesday
Nov192013

Just Another Day; Just Another WH Scandal

 We're going to need to install an odometer on this site to help keep count of them all... 

I'm starting to lose track:

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.

The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.

And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.

Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.

And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.

“He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.

Either he's a very corrupt President or an extremely incompetent President... pick one, or two, just no voting "present".

Tuesday
Nov192013

Calling the Liar a Liar is Racist... or Something

I think by now we've all seen our share of Chris Matthews making a complete jacka....er, I mean Democrat out of himself, but this may be a new level of partisan ignorance that is so incredibly desperate-sounding it's almost impressive:      (bonus points for Dick Cheeeeeney namedrops)

I can only hope that someday Chris donates his brain to science so we can perhaps solve what mental disorder causes hopelessness in individuals and apparent hallucinations of white-hooded racists doing cartwheels around them everywhere they go.   

Not to be overshadowed though, HuffPo's Howard Fineman did his best to prove to the world that misery loves company, replying to Matthews little diatribe with:

Well, I would normally be reluctant to make the accusation of racism...I say what's the missing element here? What's the "X" factor here that makes them go so crazy?

Ooh, let me guess...   is the "X factor"... racism?

Well, there are two things.

Ahh... so TWO X-factors!   That's like an entire Klan of X's!!

First of all, we live in divided worlds of politics and reality. They deny his validity because they deny the rest of the world outside of the world they live in, number one.

Oh, by reality do you mean like living out some leg-tingling fantasy that the man you are absolutely smitten with hasn't REALLY been lying to you the past few years, and instead everybody that keeps informing you he's a liar... is just racist?  

Hmmm... Sounds more like the frantic excuse given by the black-and-blued half of an abusive relationship to me...  but maybe that's just me.

No matter, you were saying Howard?

And number two, I think race has to be part of it because they see everything that he does in apocalyptic terms.  Why? What other explanation is there?

I think what Howard really means to say is that he's analyzed everything Obama has done and said he would do over the past few years, he's studied every criticism of the president top to bottom, every scandal, every policy, every controversial opinion, every mere hint of a disagreement with the President and no matter what he finds, each and every time, one thing is ALWAYS for certain:   This Barack Obama guy... is BLACK!   BAM!  X-Factor!!

(this is the part where you all pretend to be terrified)

Yes, so-called journalism has come to this...   You almost want to lend them a helping hand, give them a blanket, maybe a warm cup a cocoa and just keep telling them over and over again that they're going to get through this.  "YOU JUST HAVE TO BE STRONG!"  

I tell you what, if these leftists weren't sounding so damn funny these days, they'd be downright depressing the last bit of crap right out of me.

Monday
Nov182013

President Stompy Foot Doesn't Like To Hear Bad News

And that is the reason Healthcare.gov, which cost us taxpayers hundreds of millions of $'s, is a gigantic trainwreck, according to Time's Gloria Borger:

It’s a real head-scratcher. Most powerful man in the free world. Most important issue. Most politically explosive, particularly coming on the heels of the government shutdown. Consider the context: Republicans had just tried to defund Obamacare, and they lost in a heap of public humiliation. So the rollout of Obamacare had to be really impressive, because the Republicans had to be proven wrong.

And yet, as the dry-runs continued to produce red flags—over and over—the president remained in his steely cocoon. If this were the presidency of George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan, the obvious theories would abound: the chief executive is disengaged. Or incurious. Or worse. But since Obama is none of the above, what gives?

This much is clear, after speaking with both past and present senior administration officials: no one was really in charge, so no one knew for sure how bad the overall picture was. What’s more, and—perhaps most telling—no one wanted to even hint to the president that this techno-savvy administration possibly had a website stuck in, say, 1995. “People don’t like to tell him bad news,” says an ex-White House staffer. “Part of it is the no-drama culture.”

Oh, that. The infamous no-drama Obama credo: no panic, no drama. “No drama is attractive to people, except there are times when people actually should light their hair on fire,” says one former senior administration official. “That would have been a very good thing.”

Remember when we were told that Obama's supposedly superior temperment made up for his lack of experience?

 

Friday
Nov152013

Poor Service Open

Well, I'll go ahead and leave it to Skinnydipinacid to post the more important stuff...McDonalds has acknowledged that their quality of service has suffered recently. One wonders why...

Have a nice weekend and post what you like.

Friday
Nov152013

Obama Threatens to Veto Bill Aimed to Salvage Promise / Lie He Made to the American People

So much for "You can keep your plan..."   Proves it was just a lie afterall: