A new report by Bloomberg Government indicates that Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human…
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HHS’ Burwell Caught Low-Balling Congress on Cost of Healthcare.gov

A new report by Bloomberg Government indicates that Sylvia Burwell, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), gave a potentially misleading answer when she told Congress that Healthcare.gov – the federal government’s ObamaCare portal – cost taxpayers $834 million to build.

Nicole Kaeding at the CATO Institute teases out some of the unstated, but related, costs that balloon the overall price tag to $2.14 billion, far north of Burwell’s testimony.

I’ve summarized them here as bullet points: $300 million contract to process paper applications to serve as backups to electronic files $387 million for real-time interfacing between the IRS and Healthcare.gov to verify income and family size for insurance subsidy calculations $400 million in accounting tricks…[more]

September 30, 2014 • 07:25 pm

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Meese Rightly Moves to Protect Our Votes Print
By Quin Hillyer
Wednesday, March 21 2012
In a close election, it is important that the leader of the free world not be seated due to phantom votes in the names of people who have died or moved, or who aren’t even citizens.

The political right is right about vote fraud. The left has left all decency in the rearview mirror.

Former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese and former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, among others, under the aegis of the American Civil Rights Union, will launch a new campaign on March 22 called “ProtectYourVote.us” to “prevent election fraud by requiring a photo ID to vote in person.” They do so in the face of unprecedented actions by the Justice Department that will directly (and probably deliberately) help vote fraud, in the face of a concerted leftist campaign (including implicit union thuggery) against honorable private efforts to block vote fraud – and in the face of an NAACP appeal to Saudi Arabia, Cuba and China (!!!!) to pronounce voter-ID laws a violation of human rights.

Yes, you read that right. The NAACP is taking its case against photo IDs to the United Nations Human Rights Council, which includes not just egregiously repressive regimes such as the Saudis, Cubans and Chinese, but also such moral exemplars and fair-voting stalwarts as Angola, Ecuador, Libya, Russia and Uganda. This is sort of like asking Bonnie and Clyde to pronounce judgment against bank robbers.

As Troy Senik described here at CFIF last week, the horribly politicized (and racialized) Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder has intervened in both South Carolina and Texas to block voter-ID laws in those states. The department’s actions invoke bogus statistics and fly directly in the face of a Supreme Court decision allowing Indiana to require photo identification for voting.

In that decision, written not by a conservative but by liberal stalwart John Paul Stevens, the court noted that “flagrant examples of such fraud in other parts of the country have been documented throughout this Nation’s history by respected historians and journalists.” And as journalist John Fund’s book Stealing Elections has made clear – and as ample evidence of vote fraud by affiliates of the controversial organization ACORN has confirmed – such fraud remains a serious, possibly growing problem.

“I am always suspicious of the motives of those people who object to preserving the integrity of the ballot box,” said Meese in an interview with me the day before the launch of ProtectYourVote.us. “In practice there is no evidence that [a photo-ID requirement] does suppress the vote of any group of people; and all these laws make ample provision for ways in which people can obtain photo IDs in case they don't already have one. In light of all this, the action of the administration is very surprising.”

The administration and its Democratic and union allies are not merely misusing the force of law to clear the way for vote fraud. They also are conducting an unprecedented media offensive against those who work to protect ballot integrity, especially a courageous Texas group called True the Vote. Democratic Party subsidiary MSNBC, in a supposedly “straight news” segment, recently slimed True the Vote by reporting (as if fact, not opinion) that the group’s activities show that “the right to vote once again is under siege.”

And as I noted here last year, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz warned that Republicans “want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws and literally — and very transparently — block access to the polls to voters who are more likely to vote Democratic candidates than Republican candidates.”

But, unlike the New Black Panther members so infamously protected by Eric Holder’s minions, neither True the Vote nor any other anti-fraud group has shown the slightest sign of using physical intimidation or threats to enforce voter-integrity laws. Last week, however, union leaders announced they would put real muscle into efforts to intimidate conservative volunteers. They pledged an “army of 400,000” to fight against True the Vote. “We will not be deterred,” said Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America. “If necessary we will be arrested, if that's what it takes, to register voters - if that's what it takes to protect democracy. We will match the tea party disrupters at the polling places….”

Union leaders also pledged to engage in “intensive, deep, one-on-one conversations between the 400,000 unionists going out there and voters, in their workplaces and at their doors.”

Ordinary conversations, of course, aren’t usually a problem. But when unions have a long history of thuggery, “intensive, deep, one-on-one conversations” can assume a decidedly threatening guise.

All of which is good reason for the American Civil Rights Union to launch ProtectYourVote.us. In a close election, it is important that the leader of the free world not be seated due to phantom votes in the names of people who have died or moved, or who aren’t even citizens. Protecting against vote fraud should not be a matter of partisanship, but of good citizenship.

Question of the Week   
What percentage of the American people cannot name even one branch of the federal government?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"If Mr. Obama isn't thinking about cashiering a top adviser, he should start now. CIA Director John Brennan has presided over serial intelligence debacles — including the failure to anticipate the fall of Mosul — while National Intelligence Director James Clapper has had no credibility in Congress since he lied to a Senate committee. John Kerry's incompetent diplomacy in Jerusalem and…[more]
 
 
—Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal
— Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal
 
Liberty Poll   

In selecting a nominee to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General, will President Obama choose someone who is less ideological and less divisive to serve as the country’s chief law enforcement officer?