The Hawaiian health official who verified the authenticity of President Obama’s birth certificate died in a small plane crash.
The plane, carrying a pilot and eight passengers, went down Wednesday in the water off the Hawaiian island of Molokai, the Maui Fire Department said. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser was among the first outlets to report that the lone fatality was Loretta Fuddy. Tom Matsuda, the interim executive director of Hawaii’s health insurance exchange, confirmed Fuddy’s death.
Fuddy, 65, became acting health director in January 2011. After being confirmed as the permanent health director, Fuddy made news in April 2011 when she verified the authenticity of certified copies of President Obama’s birth certificate, proving that he had been born in Hawaii.
Obama had requested the release to curb claims by opponents that he was born in Kenya and not eligible to be president.
FBI agents began arresting Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials Monday as part of a wide-ranging investigation into allegations of abuse and misconduct inside the county’s jails, according to sources familiar with the arrests.
At least three people — including a lieutenant, a sergeant and a deputy — were taken into custody as part of a federal obstruction of justice probe into how sheriff’s officials handled an FBI informant at the center of the jail investigation, one source familiar with the probe said.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday backed off controversial plans for potential construction of thousands of new homes on the West Bank, including development of a contentious area outside of Jerusalem.
The plan announced by Israel’s Housing Ministry earlier in the day, prompted a Palestinian threat to walk out of Mideast peace talks. U.S. officials said they were blindsided by the Israeli announcement and demanded an explanation.
In a statement issued late Tuesday evening, Netanyahu said the plan would make “no contribution” to settlements and would only hurt the cause.
He said the announcement had caused “unnecessary conflict” with the international community just at a time when Israel is trying to rally pressure to halt Iran’s nuclear program.
This is paged to discuss the website rollout. Not the ACA itself. All bold is my addition. I tend to think CBS overplays this. Few critics if any want to admit that there are no contemporary examples of a really smooth rollout of a website in this complex atmosphere of 50 states, HIPAA and laudable goals for change.
What say you?
In an in-depth investigation into the implementation of the president’s health care law, the paper’s reporters describe the creation of a jalopy built by a deeply flawed system. The problems piled up over years, flowing from both Republican obstructionism and the hyper political sensitivity of the Obama administration. This mix led to decisions based on politics instead of efficiency, which created the complexity and delay that contributed to the problems the president is scrambling to fix today.
Healthcare.gov’s collapse touches on the big issues of the Obama administration because the website represents a multiyear effort to implement the president’s greatest vision. As the Washington Post outlines, three years before the site became an embarrassment, the seeds of its destruction were evident. The ingredients are familiar: partisan hurdles thrown up by the GOP, the jumpy political instincts of administration aides, administration insularity, spin that borders on deception, bureaucratic clots, and the bold and sprawling scope of the project. The question at the heart of this story—and, in a sense, of the entire Obama administration—is, what percentage of each element contributed to the ultimate outcome?
The hero of the Post narrative is David Cutler of Harvard, an Obama adviser who wrote a four-page memo in 2010 outlining a number of structural flaws he saw in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Many of those structural flaws led to the public mess we’re now witnessing. “I am concerned that the personnel and processes you have in place are not up to the task, and that health reform will be unsuccessful as a result,” he wrote to the president’s top economic adviser, Larry Summers. The memo would seem to refute those who suggest that the failure of healthcare.gov is simply the kind of rocky rollout that attends any product launch.
The problems were deep and predictable. Cutler suggests one big flaw was that there was no central person leading the charge who had experience implementing anything of that size and complexity in the nongovernmental world. This critique gets to the heart of the question about the difference between campaigning and governing. The modern political campaign is seen as a proxy for governing. For most of American history, it was seen as the opposite, because the talents of one often have little to do with the other. Can the team that runs a successful campaign—whether it’s for office or selling a piece of legislation—also run a successful product launch? If the team members can’t, do they know enough to bring in a person who can? When healthcare.gov imploded, the president knew to call in the experts and put a seasoned troubleshooter at the head of the cleanup effort. Why wasn’t that done before?
(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co has reached a tentative $13 billion deal with the U.S. Justice Department and other government agencies to settle investigations into bad mortgage loans the bank sold to investors before the financial crisis, a source familiar with the talks said on Saturday.
The tentative deal, the largest ever between the U.S. government and a single company, does not release the bank from criminal liability for some of the mortgages it packaged into bonds and sold to investors.
That had been a major sticking point in the discussions, but the government refused to budge on that issue and JPMorgan felt it had no choice but to give in, according to a second source. Until recently, the most that JPMorgan was willing to pay was closer to $11 billion.
Link to CNN Live Blog as the vote approaches
The fact that House Republicans are now planning to go that route marks a stunning reversal for the speaker who had backed his conservative wing’s drive to gut Obamacare as part of the government shutdown fight, now in its third week.
It still is not assured that Congress will send President Barack Obama a bill to sign by Thursday, when the Treasury Department warns the country will start running out of cash to pay its bills. Any senator can also hold up the bill in the Senate past the Thursday deadline, but originating the legislation in the House is the fastest path toward passage for lawmakers and is a sign of urgency in the Capitol.
The bill will barely scathe Obamacare, however, and putting it on the floor will mark a huge concession by the House after sparking a 16-day government shutdown over insistence that the health care law be defunded or delayed as a condition to keep the government open. Dozens of conservatives in the House will be disappointed by the proposal and Boehner will need Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to deliver a bevy of votes to pass the bill.
The deal Reid (D-Nev.) and McConnell (R-Ky.) will announce will reopen the government through Jan. 15, lift the debt ceiling through Feb. 7 and develop a bicameral budget committee that would be required to develop a conference report by Dec. 13.
Charles….Watch out!! The Gov’ment is digging near the Sekret Lizard Headquarters!!!
DIA fake alien
Denver International Airport tweeted this photo and said it was found while building the new airport hotel and transit center. (Provided by DIA)
Travelers looking for flight information on the Denver International Airport Twitter account may have instead found updates about alien remains being discovered at the airport.
The airport’s account was not hacked; the tweets are intentional, and done to publicize that the South Terminal Redevelopment
(STRP) is midway through construction.
The project — adjacent to Jeppesen terminal — includes a 519-room Westin Hotel and Conference Center, a public transit center with a commuter rail station for Regional Transporation District trains and a public plaza that will include entertainment, culture and dining options for passengers.
“The government #shutdown is NOT affecting construction of the underground alien bunker. That is all. #DIAmidpoint #conspiracy,” was tweeted from the account.
Additional tweets mention alien remains being found, accompanied by pictures of skulls.
Late-breaking news, and I’ll update as I find out more: While the government is shut down, with food-safety personnel and disease detectives sent home and forbidden to work, a major foodborne-illness outbreak has begun. This evening, the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture announced that “an estimated 278 illnesses … reported in 18 states” have been caused by chicken contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg and possibly produced by the firm Foster Farms.
“FSIS is unable to link the illnesses to a specific product and a specific production period,” the agency said in an emailed alert. “The outbreak is continuing.”
(Updates to this post are at the bottom.)
This is the exact situation that CDC and other about-to-be-furloughed federal personnel warned about last week. As a reminder, a CDC staffer told me at the time:
I know that we will not be conducting multi-state outbreak investigations. States may continue to find outbreaks, but we won’t be doing the cross-state consultation and laboratory work to link outbreaks that might cross state borders.
A federal law enforcement search of homes in upscale Houston neighborhoods Friday was prompted by the ordering of chemicals that could be used in the manufacture of some type of gas, according to an official.
Agents wearing Hazmat-type gear raided two homes in Houston and a third home in Bryan at about 9 a.m.
The law enforcement source, who asked not to be identified, said the chemicals were not the type used in the manufacture of a traditional explosive.
The intent was “to make some sort of gas … like tear gas or nerve gas,” the source said.
The official said it was not known if any gas was ever produced or recovered.
All three homes are linked to a member of the Houston art community, Cecily E. Horton, and her husband, Andrew Schneck.
Horton’s business partner confirmed that the raids were conducted on homes owned by Horton, but indicated the target of the activity is their son.