NFL playoff schedule 2013-14….

….from ESPN….. 

No. 5 Kansas City Chiefs
at No. 4 Indianapolis Colts
Lucas Oil Stadium, 4:35 p.m. ET, NBC

Click here for matchup page
No. 6 San Diego Chargers
at No. 3 Cincinnati Bengals
Paul Brown Stadium, 1:05 p.m. ET, CBS

Click here for matchup page




Opponent TBD
at No. 2 New England Patriots
Gillette Stadium, 8:15 p.m. ET, CBS
Opponent TBD
at No. 1 Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field at Mile High
4:40 p.m. ET, CBS




Site, teams, time TBD




No. 6 New Orleans Saints
No. 3 Philadelphia Eagles
Lincoln Financial Field, 8:10 p.m. ET, NBC

Click here for matchup page
No. 5 San Francisco 49ers
at No. 4 Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field, 4:40 p.m. ET, Fox

Click here for matchup page


Opponent TBD
at No. 1 Seattle Seahawks
CenturyLink Field, 4:35 p.m. ET, Fox
Opponent TBD
at No. 2 Carolina Panthers
Bank of America Stadium, 1:05 p.m. ET, Fox


Site, teams, time TBD


MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
6:30 p.m. ET, Fox

Click here for past Super Bowl results


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International Oligarchies And Selfies…The Oligarch Kings….

by  @ The Oligarch Kings…..


The ruckus that emanated from that selfie (AP and others) was of interest to me for more reasons than the simple vulgarity of people who should know how to behave at funerals.

The people involved were Obama and Helle Thorning-Schmidt the Prime Minister of Denmark.  David Cameron Prime Minister of Britain can be seen stretching over, just desperately desperately, trying to be included with the big boy and his new-found friend.

We have explored Obama’s connections with America’s political oligarchy in the past, with his descents from the Mayflower, through his mother and very posh grandmother .  But Helle Thorning-Schmidt (47) she of the five inch heels and shapely legs who is frequently described by the foreign press as “curvy” what of her?  Where does she fit in with any international elements of political oligarchy?


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Daily Real Clear Politics Polling Numbers 12/26/13 to 12/30/13…Obama in the rising…

The President’s polling numbers continue to inch up…..

Christie continues his lead in the 2016 GOP Presidential sweepstakes….

Monday, December 30
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
President Obama Job Approval Gallup Approve 44, Disapprove 49 Disapprove +5
President Obama Job Approval Rasmussen Reports Approve 47, Disapprove 51 Disapprove +4
Public Approval of Health Care Law Rasmussen Reports* For/Favor 40, Against/Oppose 56 Against/Oppose +16
Friday, December 27
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
2016 Republican Presidential Nomination FOX News Christie 16, Paul 11, Cruz 12, Ryan 12, Bush 12, Rubio 8, Walker 6, Jindal Christie +4
2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination FOX News Clinton 68, Biden 12, Warren 7, Cuomo 4, O’Malley 1, Schweitzer Clinton +56
Thursday, December 26
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
2014 Generic Congressional Vote CNN/Opinion Research Republicans 49, Democrats 44 Republicans +5
General Election: Christie vs. Clinton CNN/Opinion Research Christie 48, Clinton 46 Christie +2
General Election: Paul vs. Clinton CNN/Opinion Research Clinton 54, Paul 41 Clinton +13
General Election: Ryan vs. Clinton CNN/Opinion Research Clinton 52, Ryan 44 Clinton +8
General Election: Bush vs. Clinton CNN/Opinion Research Clinton 58, Bush 37 Clinton +21
General Election: Rubio vs. Clinton CNN/Opinion Research Clinton 56, Rubio 37 Clinton +19
General Election: Cruz vs. Clinton CNN/Opinion Research Clinton 57, Cruz 39 Clinton +18

…from RealClearPolitics….

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The New Healthcare Act is on its way to reach it’s 7 Million sign-up goal…

I said here ‘Patience’

And I meant it…..

The negative noise from October ‘s botched rollout is just that…


The new healthcare program is gaining sign-ups at a rate that could bring the sign-ups to the level the White House had predicted….7 Million….

This past February, well before opened for business, the Congressional Budget Office made a prediction. The nonpartisan agency projected that the federal exchange, alongside 14 state run Web sites, would sell 7 million people insurance policies in 2014.

cbochartThe number quickly became the political benchmark for the health law’s success or failure, a ruler by which to measure the success of a largely unprecedented insurance expansion.

White House officials used it when they talked about how many young people they needed to sign up. Health and Human Services forecasted out, month by month, how many sign-ups they would need to get to 7 million.cmschart

Health law opponents, too, focused on the CBO projection when they saw terrible sign-up numbers in October and November. How could you get to 7 million sign-ups, after all, when the first day of enrollment had netted a mere six customers?

But what seemed impossible in October suddenly became a lot more plausible in late December….



There have been adjustments in the program and there will continue to be….But the basic program is intact….

Oh, yea?

Kathleen Sebelius IS still going to work everyday as the HHS agency’s boss….

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The US Army moves back into the Pacific…

A US Army Kiowa Warrior Helo lands on the US Navy Missile Cruiser USS Lake Erie

Image….WashPost – Cory Lum / Cory Lum Photography

During World War II the US Army and marines moved across the Pacific engaging and defeating the Japanese….

Then during the Korean War the two American military forces fought again…..

20 years later the Army pivoted to the Middle East…..

During the Iraq war and the actions in Afghanistan the Marines jointed the fight in those countries . And they found themselves far from any water which is how they did their thing traditionally….

These days with the action ramping down in the Middle East and China making military noise in the Pacific….The Army is moving back into the Pacific…

The US Military is shrinking these days…..

So it is fair to say that with money tight, the US services are breaking down the walls of doing their own thing and looking to fight missions and beginning to merge units as they had been doing in the   Iraqi and Afghan actions….

One must remember that the US Army in more than double the size of the Marines and in any land action the Army would end up being the overall leader in any action…..

The Washington Post highlights the beginnings of the Army coming back into the Asian Theatre to the unease of the Marines….

The Army, which fights on terra firma, does not usually land its helicopters on ships — the domain of the Navy and the Marine Corps — but these are not usual times in the U.S. military. As the Obama administration winds down the Army-centric war in Afghanistan, Pentagon leaders are seeking to place the Air Force, Navy and Marines in dominant roles to counter threats in the Asia-Pacific region, which they have deemed to be the nation’s next big national security challenge.

Fearful that the new strategy will cut its share of the defense budget, the Army is launching an ambitious campaign to transform itself and assert its relevance in the Pacific. And that, in turn, is drawing the Army into a fight.

With the Marines.

Calculating that there are only slim chances of the Army fighting a big land war anywhere in the Far East other than the Korean Peninsula, the new top Army commander in the Pacific, Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, wants his forces to more quickly and effectively respond to small conflicts, isolated acts of aggression and natural disasters. Doing so, however, has traditionally been a challenge for the Army, which bases most of its soldiers assigned to the Orient in Hawaii, Alaska and Washington state. To overcome what he calls “the tyranny of distance,” Brooks is trying to make his forces more maritime and expeditionary.

To cut travel time and increase regional familiarity, he is seeking authorization to send key elements of a U.S.-based infantry brigade to Asia and keep them there for months at a time, moving every few weeks to different nations to conduct training exercises. The rotating deployment, which amounts to the first proposed increase in U.S. forces in Asia in years, could enable the Army to move more speedily to address humanitarian crises and security threats….


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Bill de Blasio follows a Billionaire as the NYC Mayor…


The New York Times pegs Mike Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor of the ‘Big Apple’ as a spending spree of $650 MILLION …..

The guy took $1 of his annual salary, flew on his own private plane, installed a giant fish tank in his office, paid his staff PRIVATE bonuses, and gave generous amounts of money out of his pocket….

THOSE things are going away after 12 years of a billionaire holding the New York City Mayor’s job….

When Mr. Bloomberg leaves office at midnight Tuesday, he will bequeath a litany of record-shattering statistics on crime reduction, sidewalk safety and skyline-altering construction. But perhaps the most staggering figure is the amount of his own money that he devoted, day in and day out, to being mayor — much of it unseen by the public.

An analysis by The New York Times shows that Mr. Bloomberg has doled out at least $650 million on a wide variety of perks and bonuses, political campaigns and advocacy work, charitable giving and social causes, not to mention travel and lodging, connected to his time and role as mayor. (His estimated tab for a multiday trip to China, with aides and security in tow: $500,000.)

In the process, he has entirely upended the financial dynamics surrounding New York’s top job.

In the past, the city paid its mayor; Mr. Bloomberg paid to be the city’s mayor.

In moves that would make a financial planner’s head spin, he rejected the $2.7 million worth of salary to which he was entitled (accepting just $1 a year) and, starting in 2001, turned on a spigot of cash that has never stopped gushing. He poured at least $268 million of his personal funds into three campaigns for mayor.

He donated at least another $263 million to New York arts, civic, health and cultural groups, personally and through his company, Bloomberg LP.

Campaign donations? He handed out about $23 million of them.

He even chipped in $5 million to renovate an official mayoral residence that he never inhabited. (He preferred the familiar privacy of his own nearby mansion.)

“A modern Medici” is how Mark Green, the former public advocate, described him, reaching back to 15th-century Italy for any kind of precedent.

Mr. Bloomberg’s all-expense-paid mayoralty was, depending on the vantage point, exhilarating (for his aides), infuriating (for his rivals) cost-saving (for his constituents) or selfless (for the beneficiaries of his largess)…..


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The GOP will have to get around the Tea Party to have chance at the Senate…

And THAT will NOT be easy….

The GOP and the Tea Party types are at odds at how to HANDLE their politics….

The GOP establishment types are not necessarily worried about winning the Senate back…

They just want THEIR way….

The GOP establishment types will have to fight primary efforts by the Tea Party types over the next year….

Crowded primaries in states such as Georgia, Iowa and North Carolina, where tea partyers and social conservatives are fighting for the nomination and pushing candidates farther right, worry many Republicans, especially after they saw their legitimate shots at a Senate majority slip away in 2010 and 2012.

Republicans need a net gain of six seats to capture control from Democrats, who effectively hold a 55-45 advantage now. But Democrats will be defending 21 of 35 seats to be decided in November, and President Barack Obama is looking like a major drag for them. Midterm elections are often tough for a president’s party in any event.

“History is with us, geography is with us and the president’s signature legislative achievement is the most unpopular” law of his tenure, Rob Collins, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said of Obama and his health care overhaul.

Republicans inside and outside the Senate speak confidently about snatching open seats in West Virginia and South Dakota. They like their chances against Democratic incumbents in Republican-leaning Arkansas, Louisiana and Alaska and remain upbeat about Montana even if Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock names Lt. Gov. John Walsh to succeed Sen. Max Baucus, Obama’s choice for U.S. ambassador to China.

The looming question is whether Republicans undercut their solid shot with tea party-style candidates who fizzled out in Delaware, Colorado and Nevada in 2010 and Indiana and Missouri in 2012…..


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Mike Shanahan fired from coaching the Wash Redskins…

Mike Shanahan at Sunday’s game, the last in the team’s season. (Post)

Problems with Quarterback RG III….

Having a son as a asst coach….

And losing done him in…..

The Washington Redskins have fired Mike Shanahan as their coach, according to a member of the organization.

The move had become increasingly inevitable in recent weeks and was made official Monday.

Shanahan had said Sunday he was scheduled to meet Monday morning with Snyder. The coach pulled into the parking lot at Redskins Park around 9 a.m. after being stuck briefly in a line of vehicles with media members who’d been kept outside the front gate until then. Snyder had arrived at the facility earlier.

The Redskins part ways with Shanahan after four years in which he had a regular season record of 24-40. He and the Redskins also suffered a playoff defeat last season to the Seattle Seahawks.

Shanahan led the Redskins to an NFC East title last season but the team slipped to last place this season, losing its final eight games to finish 3-13. Shanahan’s relationships with Snyder and quarterback Robert Griffin III came under intense scrutiny…..


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Republicans charge NY Times Benghazi report is pro-Hillary ….

The New York Times investigation into the Benghazi attack paints a picture of a ‘fog of war’ situation in which the US Ambassador knew he was in ‘hot zone’ when he went out talk with people in the city….The report also points to a local war lord as the person who started an ad hoc attack on the people that ended up getting hurt….

The report makes no mention of then Secretary Hillary Clinton and makes then US UN Amb. Susan Rice’s first announcements mostly correct….

One can expect more complaints from the Republicans since they are using the incident to political pick at any Hillary Clinton 2016 Presidential run….

A GOP member of the House Intelligence Committee alleged Monday that the New York Times published a story about the Benghazi, Libya, attack in order to advance Hillary Clinton’s possible White House bid

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) described the newspaper report as “totally unsatisfactory and completely false” after it turned up no evidence that al Qaeda — or other “international terrorist groups” —was involved in the attack last year that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Smith.

Westmoreland said the Times could be trying to help lay the groundwork for Clinton’s presidential run in 2016. Clinton led the State Department during the attack.

“The reports by the New York Times was — I don’t know why they put it out unless it was for political reasons, but we thoroughly dispute that story as far as the link to al Qaeda,” he said Monday on Fox News.

“Of course Secretary Clinton was in charge at the time, and you know there are just now a lot of rumors going and pushing about her running for president in 2016,” he said. “So I think they are already laying the groundwork.”

He also accused the newspaper of attempting to absolve Clinton and the Obama administration……


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Democrats will run on a $10 Minimum Wage in 2014….

The move to raise the base hourly pay rate is popular in polling across all party lines , which could undercut the Republican efforts to pin the Democrats to the negatives of the healthcare program…..

Democrats hope this economic issue will also bring out more voters in their base and cause lower class GOP voters to voter for the economic improvement …..

The move also would more clearly define the class war issues between the parties….

The effort to take advantage of growing populism among voters in both parties is being coordinated by officials from the White House, labor unions and liberal advocacy groups.

In a series of strategy meetings and conference calls among them in recent weeks, they have focused on two levels: an effort to raise the federal minimum wage, which will be pushed by President Obama and congressional leaders, and a campaign to place state-level minimum wage proposals on the ballot in states with hotly contested congressional races.

With polls showing widespread support for an increase in the $7.25-per-hour federal minimum wage among both Republican and Democratic voters, top Democrats see not only a wedge issue that they hope will place Republican candidates in a difficult position, but also a tool with which to enlarge the electorate in a nonpresidential election, when turnout among minorities and youths typically drops off.

“It puts Republicans on the wrong side of an important value issue when it comes to fairness,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the president’s senior adviser. “You can make a very strong case that this will be a helpful issue for Democrats in 2014. But the goal here is to actually get it done. That’s why the president put it on the agenda.”

Top Republicans assert that a wage increase would dampen the economic recovery and indicated after Mr. Obama mentioned the issue in his State of the Union speech this year that they had no intention of bringing a minimum-wage increase to a vote in the House, which they control.

“Why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people?” Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio said.

In the capital, Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats are supporting legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2015. Mr. Obama is planning a series of speeches across the country focused on improving wages for workers, aides said, many of them timed to coincide with key minimum-wage votes in Congress. Income inequality is also likely to play a prominent role in his State of the Union address next month.

At the same time, Democratic campaign officials and liberal activists — conceding that Democrats face tough prospects in some Senate races — are working to put minimum-wage increases on the ballot next year in places like Arkansas, Alaska and South Dakota. The hope is to stoke Democratic turnout in conservative-leaning states where the party’s Senate candidates have been put on the defensive by the mishandled rollout of the Affordable Care Act…..


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Mini-Roundup for December 30, 2013…Red Racing Horses

by: shamlet

MT-Sen: Expect to hear more about this one. Documents have just come out that show LG John Walsh (D), now considered the presumptive Senate appointee to replace Baucus, was investigated by the military in 2010. The military investigators claim Walsh improperly used his position as head of the MT National Guard to convince subordinates to join a lobbying group in order to boost Walsh’s campaign for a leadership role. For their part, both Walsh and his political patron, Gov. Steve Bullock (D), seem to have no explanations and are trying to change the subject.

SD-Sen: As expected, R-turned-I ex-Sen. Larry Pressler officially kicked off his comeback bid for the seat he lost in 1996. Odds are, with his center-left campaign, Pressler is more likely to hurt presumptive D nominee Rick Weilland than ex-Gov. Mike Rounds (R).

HI-Sen: Unlike most punditry of this contest, this recap of the Schatz-Hanabusa primary actually does the race justice. The basic contrast is this: Schatz is running a mainland-style campaign designed to appeal to white voters and netroots partisans. Hanabusa is running a traditional Hawaiian campaign designed to appeal to Asians.

NE-Sen, NE-2: Attorney and 1986 gubernatorial candidate David Domina (D), last seen contemplating a run for the open Senate seat, is apparently now looking more toward a challenge to Rep. Lee Terry (R) after Omaha council pres. Pete Festersen (D) dropped out for a second time. While the decision would put Terry’s seat at least slightly back on the table, it would also leave Dems high and dry in the Senate race, and may force them to consider supporting Indie rancher Jim Jenkins.


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Are you Really working this week?

It’s that between holidays time in America….Christmas to New Years…..

Here’s piece on those, who like me, are working…..

The days between Christmas and New Year’s Day are some of the strangest in the American office environment. A critical mass of your co-workers will have foolishly decided to expend some critical vacation days. As a result, those of us Left Behind to work during this week don’t really have all that much work to do or any kind of meaningful supervision. And yet, conscience requires us to spend time in the office.

What is to be done?

  1. Clean your office. Your office is a mess! Well maybe it’s just my office. But this is a great 52nd-week activity. It involves being in the office, it’s basically work-related, and you’ve got the time.
  2. Read Josh Levin’s profile of Linda Taylor. It’s too long to digest during conventional slacking off but far too brilliant to go unread. Now is the time.
  3. Read some listicles‘Tis the season.


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The 10 best superhero comics of 2013 from Salon…..


The 10 best superhero comics of 2013
“Batman Incorporated” (Credit: DC Comics/Salon)

Superheroes keep muscling their way into more TV and movies. “Arrow” and “Agents of SHIELD” will soon be joined by “The Flash” and “Gotham,” plus Netflix shows for Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Not a day goes by without breathless news from the set of “Superman vs. Batman,” like the casting of Wonder Woman or the state of Ben Affleck’s growl. If you saw “Thor: The Dark World,” you may have seen previews for “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which are both based on classic comic book stories of the same names.

Comic books?

Yes, once upon a time, in the days of yore, before international corporate synergy, superheroes were mainly creatures of comic books. Believe it or not, superhero comics continue to be made. Sure, many of these comics are retreads of the past or BIG IMPORTANT CROSSOVER EVENTS with 50 tie-ins: the comic book equivalent of a Ponzi scheme. However, there are also plenty of spandex-centric comics that are fresh, moving, original and fun. In fact, after too much of what fans call “grimdark” — pseudo-serious downer stories that mimic one crayon in Frank Miller’s box — fun seems to be making a comeback in the funny pages. For a good time, please read all of the following.


The adventures of Hawkeye on his days off from the Avengers have been like a beautiful love child of traditional superhero comics and independent comics like Chris Ware’s. Writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja also produced what is probably the best single issue of the year: Hawkeye #11, the Pizza Dog issue, which is told entirely through the point of view of Hawkeye’s dog. That comic — analyzed by Rachel Edidin here — should be read by every lover of dogs or art. It’s a total validation of comics as art form…..


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….from nicekicks….


Get set to unleash your speed in the new year with the Nike Free Trainer 7.0 “Unleash Speed”. Covered in a gold graphic cheetah print and laced with all the necessary training technology, this black and red accented Free Trainer 7.0 is truly bold….


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Opting out of healthcare cause you’re young and ain’t nothing gonna happen to ya….

Daily Kos on the argument….

And a bit of counter…..

Lawrence O’Donnell had a guest on his Thursday “The Last Word” show that illustrates a problem with the left. It also illustrates a problem with the very young. To be sure, this problem was created by the baby boomers. The youth, specifically on the left, tend to believe, many times correctly, that their interests are left out of policy. That is what Carl Gibson believes. He believes this specifically as it applies to the Affordable Care Act. For that reason, he has opted to not sign up for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and instead he will pay the penalty.

Carl Gibson is a well-known young and influential activist. He is the co-founder of US Uncut. He is also a prolific blogger at Huffington Post. He reports for Carl Gibson has a platform. I interviewed him on my Move to Amend Reports radio show a few months ago. I found him to be very engaging, knowledgeable, and convincing. It is for this reason that the article he wrote for (rsn) was so disconcerting.

Carl Gibson laid out his mental path, the argument he made to himself for not signing up for the Affordable Care Act. His argument makes sense only if he is trying to convince himself not to do something he intrinsically knows he should do.

Gibson’s analysis is basically this. He exercises. He eats well. He does not take the flu shot. He meditates. So far in his 26 years of life he has only had the sniffles. His biggest healthcare cost was $6,000 for a surgery in 2011 when he broke his elbow. Even without insurance he was at near break–even as his premiums and deductibles would be close to that. Based on his current earnings, his out of pocket healthcare cost would be 15 percent of his income. In 2013 he was run off the road. A closer clinic refused to see him because he was uninsured. The hospital he drove to for an X-ray, bandage, and sling cost $2,500. He figures he would still be ahead in 2013 opting to be uninsured.

Carl Gibson misses several things. First, he has a propensity for accidents. In my 52 years I have had no accidents requiring hospitalization even as a cyclist for over 12 years. Second, the prices he was quoted as an uninsured person were likely subsidized by all those paying insurance as well as taxes. Third, not taking the flu shot is not a responsible thing to do, especially if one is uninsured. The swine flu is the prevailing strain this year and there have been several flu deaths in the Houston area already and likely throughout the country.

After Carl Gibson laid out the reasons he chose to opt out of Obamacare, he went into the issues Obamacare failed to address. Gibson is absolutely correct that a single payer system would have been the preferred option. It removes profits, executive salaries, and unnecessary overhead simply to pay a bill. He is correct that health insurance companies are nothing but entities created to profit off of the sick. He is correct that political bribery is responsible for a much less than optimal Affordable Care Act.

Lawrence O’Donnell attempted to convince Carl Gibson of his folly by bringing Gov. Howard Dean and Ezra Klein to his show for a pleasant debate. Dean agreed with much of what Gibson said but in effect said this was all that was unattainable at this time. He advised Gibson that he still needed to opt in to Obamacare to ensure he is protected from possible future catastrophe. Ezra Klein was a bit blunt. He said one could do the jerk-ish thing and be a free rider. Ezra however gave Gibson a civics lesson we have failed to teach many of our young. He said:

It is a mistake to think about yourself of having a singular relationship with the healthcare system. To say I am young and that’s my relationship to healthcare is wrong. One day you are going to be old. You sound healthy but one day you are going to be sick. And if every young person, every healthy person starts to game the system, then when they are old, when they are sick, there will be no system there that is affordable to take care of them…..

And there is More..

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Ted Cruz doesn’t think the Government Shutdown was wrong….

Ted Cruz, The Texas GOP Senator,  who was The Tea Party Army House leader, stands by his actions….

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) doesn’t think he made any mistakes related to the government shutdown, but he can think of things others should regret, he said in remarks aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

“I think it was absolutely a mistake for President Obama and Harry Reid to force a government shutdown,” he told ABC’s Jonathan Karl during an interview at the Tortilla Coast restaurant on Capitol Hill, where he had met with fellow conservative lawmakers during the shutdown.

Cruz ended the year insistent in a number of interviews that the government shutdown, which wounded the economy and put many temporarily out of work, was solely the fault of Democrats who refused to make changes to President Barack Obama’s signature health care law as demanded by Republicans, including himself.

He said he has no regrets about the shutdown, even though many other GOP lawmakers have said the strategy he pushed — which failed to defund Obamacare — was the wrong one. Karl asked him about statements by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who has been increasingly critical of conservative groups that Boehner says helped drive the GOP into its unsuccessful stance during the shutdown.

“I can’t help what other people say,” Cruz said.



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