ABC News

The Face Of HealthCare.gov Speaks Out, Says She Was Victim Of ‘Cyberbullying’

Health-overhaul-keeping-score

Those who would do this to someone who simply posed for a picture is beyond comprehension.   It illustrates the depth of hatred and division this country has been experiencing for the last six years…

TPM LiveWire

The woman who was once the face of the troubled HealthCare.gov website said she’s been the victim of “cyberbullying” since the Affordable Care Act’s rollout began.

Identified only as “Adriana,” she told ABC News about the insults and jokes that have come her way since Oct. 1, when the website went live and her face greeted scores of visitors.

“They have nothing else to do but hide behind the computer. They’re cyberbullying,” she said. “”I mean, I don’t know why people should hate me because it’s just a photo. I didn’t design the website. I didn’t make it fail, so I don’t think they should have any reasons to hate me.”

The picture was ultimately pulled from the front page, which Adriana called a “relief.”

“They took the picture down. I wanted the picture down, and they wanted the picture down. I don’t think anybody wanted to focus on the picture,” she said.

But a Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson told ABC that the photo was not removed because Adriana requested it.

Married for more than six years with a 21-month old, Adriana reached out to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to inquire about having photos of her family taken in exchange for permitting their use on the website. She was notified in the summer that her photo be used on the front page.

Calling herself “pure Colombian,” Adriana said she’s lived in the United States for more than six years and is applying for citizenship. Her husband is an American citizen.

 

Obama Vows No Debt Ceiling Negotiations

I hope the president sticks to this vow.  This is a lose-lose proposition for the GOP if they go forward with shutting down the government.

The Republicans who lead Congress appear to be using terrorist-like  threats to force the president to give in to their demands.  If he keeps giving in to them they will continue this tactic for the duration of his presidency.  By now the POTUS sees their true intent and hopefully, will hold his non-negotiation status.

The Huffington Post

President Barack Obama won’t negotiate with congressional Republicans over the U.S. government’s borrowing limit, he said in an interview that aired Sunday.

Obama told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he would not coöperate with House Speaker John Boehner’s demand for budget cuts in exchange for House Republicans’ allowing the government to continue paying its obligations.

“I’m happy to have a conversation with him about how we can deal with the so-called sequester, which is making across-the-board cuts on stuff that we shouldn’t be cutting, while continuing tax breaks, for example, for companies that are not helping to grow the economy,” Obama said on ABC’s “This Week.” “What I haven’t been willing to negotiate, and I will not negotiate, is on the debt ceiling.”

Much of the federal government will shut down unless Congress passes a budget, or a temporary spending bill, by next month. Not long after that, the U.S. will run out of borrowing authority, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the world economy if the government defaults on its debts. Some Republicans want Obama to gut his own health care law in exchange for a functioning government.

Obama called the GOP’s debt ceiling demands unprecedented.

“Never in history have we used just making sure that the U.S. government is paying its bills as a lever to radically cut government at the kind of scale that they’re talking about,” he said. “It’s never happened before. There’ve been negotiations around the corners, because nobody had ever presumed that you’d actually threaten the United States to default.”

Moreover, he said, Congress’ routinely using the debt ceiling as leverage “changes the constitutional structure of this government entirely.”

Boehner said last week that Obama would have to come around. “For decades, the White House, the Congress have used the debt limit to find bipartisan solutions on the deficit and the debt,” Boehner said. “So President Obama is going to have to deal with this as well.”

Zimmerman arrested for allegedly threatening wife with gun

George Zimmerman (Fox News/ screen grab)

This guy is definitely racking up negative points with his reckless behavior…

The Raw Story

Police in Lake Mary, Florida, arrested George Zimmerman Monday afternoon after being notified by his wife that he was allegedly threatening her and her father with a gun.

WKMG-TV reported that police were called to the home of Shellie Zimmerman’s parents, David and Machelle Dean, and were investigating the incident.

Shellie Zimmerman’s lawyer announced on Thursday that she had filed for divorce, and she told ABC News in an interview that he had been behaving recklessly since being found not guilty of murder in June 2013 after shooting and killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012.

“I have a selfish husband,” Shellie Zimmerman told ABC. “And I think George is all about George.”

Fed’s Halt Return of Zimmerman’s Gun

ABC News

George Zimmerman can’t get back the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin, but nothing is keeping him from purchasing another gun if he wants, Florida police said today.

Federal and local authorities said plans to return Zimmerman’s Kel Tec 9 pistol were put on hold after the Department of Justice announced a new investigation to determine whether Zimmerman violated 17-year-old Martin’s civil rights.

“The Department of Justice put a hold on all of the evidence in the case. The evidence will not be returned until such time as they release the hold,” said Sanford Police spokesman James McAuliffe.

McAuliffe, however, told ABC News that there is nothing legally preventing Zimmerman, who was acquitted in Martin’s murder on Saturday, from purchasing a new firearm.

“I do not believe that there is” any legal reason Zimmerman would not be able to purchase another gun, McAuliffe said.

Zimmerman was acquitted by a jury of six women who found he acted in self-defense when he shot the unarmed teenager in February 2012.

The verdict produced an outcry ranging from Martin’s parents to protests in cities across the country. Zimmerman, 29, immediately went into hiding following the verdict.

On Sunday, Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara said Zimmerman was entitled to get the gun back and needed it “even more” than before his acquittal, given the controversy surrounding the case and frequent threats to his life.

“I think that he feels truly in his heart that if he did not have that weapon that night he might not be here…. [He] would have continued to get beat even though he was screaming for help,” O’Mara told ABC News in an exclusive interview last week.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Eric Holder called Martin’s death “unnecessary” and vowed to proceed with a federal case.

Zimmerman’s attorney was travelling and not available for comment on the decision to retain all evidence pending DOJ orders. Zimmerman’s brother, Robert, also declined to talk about the gun.

Keith Ellison smacks down George Will with his own words from 2006 on NSA spying

Keith Ellison speaks to ABC News

Keith Ellison speaks to ABC News

The Raw Story

When conservative columnist George Will suggested on Sunday that a recent National Security Agency (NSA) scandal was made worse because President Barack Obama could not be trusted, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) was ready with column Will had written in 2006 to make the point that it was not just an “Obama problem.”

During a panel discussion on ABC News, Will linked the NSA’s practice of collecting the phone records of millions of Americans with a so-called “scandal” involving the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups.

“This is where the IRS scandal metastasizes into a national security scandal,” Will opined. “Because I’m sure I’m not the only American saying — looking at the NSA information gathering and saying, ‘Well, this would really be a problem if we had the kind of government that, say, unleashes the IRS on political opponents. Oh, come to think about it, we do have that kind of government.’ And, therefore, the willingness to trust the executive branch is today minimal and should be.”

At that point, Ellison reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out Will’s 2006 columnexcoriating President George W. Bush’s administration for using the NSA to spy on Americans’ phone calls without a warrant and without congressional oversight.

“Besides, terrorism is not the only new danger of this era,” Will wrote. “Another is the administration’s argument that because the president is commander-in-chief, he is the ‘sole organ for the nation in foreign affairs.’”

“You were talking about George Bush as that time,” Ellison pointed out. “You know, George, I actually don’t disagree with much you said. My only problem is, you can’t make this an Obama problem. This is an executive problem.”

Watch this ABC’s This Week, broadcast June 9, 2013.

 

In Two Hours Obama Destroys the GOP’s Benghazi and IRS Scandals

obama-irs

So, there you have it…

PoliticusUSA

Just as Republicans and their media lackeys were getting their Obama scandal machine fired up, President Obama killed both the Benghazi and IRS “scandals” in a couple of hours.

The president put a stake through the heart of the GOP’s attempts to revive Benghazi by releasing 100 pages of emails. (Now, the world can see how badly Jon Karl and ABC News got played when they used the summaries of someone else’s notes.) The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent published an email from Tommy Vietor, who until recently was the spokesperson for the National Security Council. Vietor wrote, “Regarding the talking points, it’s not surprising that the entire government would want the chance to look at and edit that language. This was a dynamic situation and new information was constantly flowing in, and different agencies had important concerns that had to be addressed – the State Department had security concerns, the FBI was worried about its investigation, and the CIA had a major, yet still undisclosed, role.”

Republicans are putting out vague statements about contradictions, but Benghazi is pretty much finished as a scandal. It is difficult to accuse the White House of a cover up, when they’ve released all the emails.

The second part of the one-two punch was Obama speaking about the IRS scandal.

Video:

Transcript

 

Two scandals deflated, one persists

Salon – Joan Walsh

The Obama administration started Tuesday mired in three scandals the GOP seemed able to tie “into one ‘Big Brother Obama’ storyline,” in the words of Greg Sargent, and ended it appearing to face political culpability on only one, the Department of Justice’s broad subpoenas obtaining phone records from the Associated Press. It’s not to say Benghazi or the IRS mess went away, but the GOP’s creepy plot line got a whole lot less plausible.

The Benghazi “scandal” lost velocity thanks to CNN’s Jake Tapper reporting that an email key to the notion that the White House doctored talking points to protect the State Department didn’t at all read the way ABC’s Jonathan Karl reported it. Karl quoted White House national security communications advisor Ben Rhodes’ email specifically saying the talking points should “reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department,” but the actual email obtained by Tapper didn’t mention the State Department at all. Karl ended the day with the shocking admission that while he’d reported on air that he’d “obtained” the emails in question, and wrote online that he’d “reviewed” them, in fact he’d only heard about them from the notes of a source – presumed to be a House GOP staffer.

Amazingly, Karl insisted Tapper’s reporting didn’t challenge the basic facts of his story, even though he acknowledged for the first time that he hadn’t actually “obtained” or “reviewed” the actual emails, but rather had notes about them read to him by his source. The fact that Karl put the purported email from Rhodes within quotation marks – which in actual journalism means you’re reading a direct quote from someone – seriously damages his credibility. But the ABC reporter reported concluded his self-defense by blaming the White House for failing to release all the emails – rather than blaming his source for misleading him, or himself for misleading his readers by using quotes around the Rhodes email.

Here’s hoping ABC News explains why the paraphrased depiction of notes about an email from a hostile source wound up within quotation marks attributed to Rhodes, and whether that’s the news organization’s policy.

On the IRS mess, the day closed with the release of the Inspector General’s report on the improper review of applications by Tea Party-related groups for tax-exempt “social welfare” status. The report blamed “inadequate management” for the review process, which began under Bush-appointed leadership, and it reads like everyone’s worst nightmare of incompetent government. But it finds no evidence that anyone higher than middle management was responsible for the review. Moreover, although it’s clear that groups with Tea Party or Patriot in their names came in for more scrutiny and delay than most liberal groups,  more than two thirds of the groups flagged for review had nothing to do with the Tea Party. And none of the conservatives were denied tax-exempt status, though many faced long delays.  Ironically, the only group that saw its status denied (for 10 of its chapters) was Emerge America, which works to elect Democratic women to office.

Within hours, President Obama sent a scathing statement about the IG’s findings, calling them “intolerable and inexcusable” and promising that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew would make sure all of its recommendations to correct the flaws in the IRS’s review process were implemented.

It’s the DOJ’s subpoena of phone records for 20 AP phone lines used by at least 100 reporters, in pursuit of a government official who leaked information about the U.S. foiling another al Qaida underwear-bomb plot, that has the capacity to damage the Obama administration. This White House is already shadowed by the fact that it has prosecuted more government “leakers” – also known as whistleblowers – than all previous administrations put together.

As Marcy Wheeler explained in Salon, the DOJ’s own guidelines require it to go directly to the news agency in question with its subpoena, which would have given AP the right to negotiate over it, or challenge it in court. The DOJ may subvert that requirement if going to the news agency would “pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation.” Since the investigation into the identity of the leaker was already big news – in fact, congressional leaders in both parties had demanded it – it hardly constituted a secret operation that would be blown by negotiating with the AP.

So did Tuesday’s developments on the Benghazi and IRS fronts break scandal fever in the Beltway? Sadly, no. On Wednesday MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” remained scandal central, setting the day’s agenda. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank’s wispy, fact-light “President Passerby” seems to be the top talking point: Even if some of the smoke is clearing, Obama hasn’t done enough personally to put out the fires. That’s leading the Drudge Report as I write.

Obama is not without blame here; the AP scandal particularly seems to stem from his administration’s overall approach to secrecy. With hindsight, he probably should have directed Jack Lew to take bolder steps on Friday night, when the IRS story broke. On Benghazi, the Beltway is determined to punish the president for insisting the talking points scandal is a “sideshow” – when that’s exactly what it is.

As I wrote Monday, before the AP news, some of the same bad actors who paralyzed the country during the Clinton years over phony scandals are getting ready to do it again. It’s too bad the genuine overreach by the DOJ is going to give some progressives understandable pause about wholeheartedly defending the administration. But people need to acknowledge that two of these three scandals were concocted by the GOP outrage machine.

Meanwhile, the headline crawl on “Morning Joe” announced: “U.S. deficit shrinks far faster than expected.” But the words sat there silently, drowned out by noise about mostly made-up scandals.

 

Bernie Goldberg To O’Reilly: Obama Could ‘Literally’ Cure Cancer And GOP Would Still Hate Him

billbernie

 Many pundits have exposed the GOP for their utter disdain for President Obama

Mediaite

Bernie Goldberg sat down with Bill O’Reillytonight for a round of media criticism that hit the liberal media for its months-long reluctance in covering Benghazi, with Goldberg arguing that it was a report by ABC News that finally “gave permission” to other news organizations to pursue the story. And while Goldberg differed with O’Reilly on the latter’s insistence that the AP monitoring story is not a scandal, he agreed that conservatives are too obsessed with tearing down Obama, saying that the president could cure cancer and the GOP would find a way to avoid giving him credit.

Goldberg claimed that liberal reporters have been playing down Benghazi because the White House wants that, but after ABC released a report on the changed talking points, “that gave permission” for the rest of the media to scrutinize Obama. He said that the media never really takes the word of conservative reporters seriously, that they need one of their own to jump on it first.

But on the Associated Press story, Goldberg challenged O’Reilly’ downplaying of the scandal, asking him how he would feel if Fox News was similarly targeted. O’Reilly defended the FBI for conducting a legal investigation into national security leaks, and while he did criticize the attorney general for denying involvement, he argued that it “hurts the cause of legitimate investigations” of the Obama administration by jumping to conclusions without the facts to back them up.

Goldberg agreed on this point, saying there are liberals who won’t acknowledge Benghazi as a scandal at all, but also conservatives who wouldn’t give credit to Obama even if he “literally” cured cancer, pointing to this new era of “raw partisanship” in Washington.

Watch the video courtesy of Fox News

Bobby Jindal To GOP: ‘It’s Time To Get Over’ Election Loss

Governor Bobby Jindal’s poll numbers may be low in Louisiana, but once again he’s giving his fellow Republicans some sage advice.  The last time he gave the GOP advice, they were not too happy with his choice of words.

The Huffington Post

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) spoke at a GOP dinner in New Hampshire on Friday, urging his fellow Republicans to “get over” last year’s electoral defeats and instead focus on reassessing party priorities ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

“We lost an election that we probably should have won,” Jindal said at a GOP fundraiser in Manchester, N.H., according to ABC News. “It’s time to get over it. … I think we can win elections by sticking to our principles, but I do think we need to make some changes and I think we need to think seriously about where we go from here.”

He continued, “We spent too much time last year criticizing the other side without saying what we were going to do instead, without saying what we were for.”

The Republican governor made headlines last year when he called on members of his party to end “dumbed-down conservatism” and “stop being the stupid party.” During his New Hampshire speech, Jindal offered an explanation for those remarks.

“What I meant by that was we’ve got to present thoughtful policy solutions to the American people — not just bumper stickers, not just 30-second solutions,” Jindal said, according to the Washington Times. “We have to have the confidence and the courage in our convictions and show them that our ideas will benefit them.”

Jindal has frequently been floated as a potential candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. However, he has brushed off the speculation, insisting that it is too early to wade into the race.

“Anybody on the Republican side even thinking or talking about running for president in 2016, I’ve said, needs to get their head examined,” Jindal said during a February appearance on “Fox and Friends.” “And the reason I say that is, we’ve lost two presidential elections in a row, we need to be winning the debate of ideas– then we’ll win elections.”

 

Tuesday Blog Roundup – 4-23-2013

A Moment in Boston
The stories of the runners, spectators and others in an image from the first explosio..

The Wages of Bamboozlement
Background check double-talk catches up with Sen. Flake (R-AZ).

Dem: Bombings being exploited
Partisan tempers flared at a Senate immigration hearing on Monday as top Democrats ac..

Anthony Weiner Returns To Twitter
ABC News’ Michael Falcone reports: It was a sexually-explicit tweet that forced Antho..

In Memoriam: Richie Havens 1941 – 2013
Folk singer and guitarist Richie Havens passed away Monday morning from a sudden hea..

Rupert Murdoch Defends the New York Post
News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch has weighed in on his tabloid’s decision t..

Video: Young science minds impress at White House
Rachel Maddow shares highlights from the White House Science Fair, include a mechani..

Video: ‘Whoever came in alive, stayed alive’ after Boston bombing
Rachel Maddow salutes the thorough, professional, and remarkably successful performa..

As Bush library opening puts his presidency back in the spotlight, his..
George W. Bush will return to the spotlight this week for the dedication of his pres..

What Chris Christie’s support for gun control says about GOP
The Senate gun control compromise failed, but that hasn’t stopped individual states f..