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White House/Executive Branch (9)
By Tom Hamburger,
May 26, 2013
Wall Street investors hungry for advance information on upcoming federal health-care decisions repeatedly held private discussions with Obama administration officials, including a top White House adviser helping to implement the Affordable Care Act.
The private conversations show that the increasingly urgent race to acquire“political intelligence” goes beyond the communications with congressional staffers that have become the focus of heightened scrutiny in recent weeks.
White House records show that Elizabeth Fowler, then a top health-policy adviser to President Obama, met with executives from half a dozen investment firms in 2011 and 2012. Among them was Kris Jenner, a stock picker with T. Rowe Price Investment Services who managed its $6 billion Health Sciences Fund.
Separately, an official in the agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid spoke in December with managers of hedge funds, pension plans and mutual funds in a conference call. The official, Andrew Shin, was pressed during the 50-minute call for information about upcoming Medicare decisions but declined to discuss matters still under agency review, according to people familiar with the call.
That call and the White House meetings Fowler attended were arranged by political-intelligence firms, an expanding class of consultants in Washington that specialize in providing government information to Wall Street.
Hedge fund executives and other investors are increasingly interested in the timing and nature of health-policy decisions in Washington because they directly affect the profits and stock prices of pharmaceutical, insurance, hospital and managed-care companies. Similar interest surrounds other industry sectors, such as defense, agriculture and energy, whose fortunes are especially dependent on government decisions.
There is no evidence that the private discussions with the two administration officials about health-care decisions provided investors with confidential agency information or that the investors made trades based on what they learned.
But this sort of intelligence gathering has been drawing attention from lawmakers and federal investigators who are looking at whether some traders are gaining access to information that is not available to investors in general or the wider public.
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department are probing a spike in health-insurance stock trading this year that occurred after a Washington brokerage issued a bulletin predicting the outcome of a decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to increase funding for the Medicare Advantage program, which is administered by private insurers.
By Alex Pappas
The Daily Caller
September 26, 2012
Taxpayers spent $1.4 billion dollars on everything from staffing, housing, flying and entertaining President Obama and his family last year, according to the author of a new book on taxpayer-funded presidential perks.
In comparison, British taxpayers spent just $57.8 million on the royal family.
Author Robert Keith Gray writes in “Presidential Perks Gone Royal” that Obama isn’t the only president to have taken advantage of the expensive trappings of his office. But the amount of money spent on the first family, he argues, has risen tremendously under the Obama administration and needs to be reined in.
Gray told The Daily Caller that the $1.4 billion spent on the Obama family last year is the “total cost of the presidency,” factoring the cost of the “biggest staff in history at the highest wages ever,” a 50 percent increase in the numbers of appointed czars and an Air Force One “running with the frequency of a scheduled air line.”
“The most concerning thing, I think, is the use of taxpayer funds to actually abet his re-election,” Gray, who worked in the Eisenhower administration and for other Republican presidents, said in an interview with TheDC on Wednesday.
“The press has been so slow in picking up on this extraordinary increase in the president’s expenses,” Gray told TheDC. (RELATED: Five shocking truths about Michelle Obama)
Specifically, Gray said taxpayer dollars are subsidizing Obama’s re-election effort when he uses Air Force One to jet across the country campaigning.
By Joel B. Pollak
May 17, 2012
Note from Senior Management:
Andrew Breitbart was never a "Birther," and Breitbart News is a site that has never advocated the narrative of "Birtherism." In fact, Andrew believed, as we do, that President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961.
Yet Andrew also believed that the complicit mainstream media had refused to examine President Obama's ideological past, or the carefully crafted persona he and his advisers had constructed for him.
It is for that reason that we launched "The Vetting," an ongoing series in which we explore the ideological background of President Obama (and other presidential candidates)--not to re-litigate 2008, but because ideas and actions have consequences.
It is also in that spirit that we discovered, and now present, the booklet described below--one that includes a marketing pitch for a forthcoming book by a then-young, otherwise unknown former president of the Harvard Law Review.
It is evidence--not of the President's foreign origin, but that Barack Obama's public persona has perhaps been presented differently at different times.
Breitbart News has obtained a promotional booklet produced in 1991 by Barack Obama's then-literary agency, Acton & Dystel, which touts Obama as "born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii."
The booklet, which was distributed to "business colleagues" in the publishing industry, includes a brief biography of Obama among the biographies of eighty-nine other authors represented by Acton & Dystel.
It also promotes Obama's anticipated first book, Journeys in Black and White--which Obama abandoned, later publishing Dreams from My Father instead.
Obama’s biography in the booklet is as follows (image and text below):
Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, was born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii. The son of an American anthropologist and a Kenyan finance minister, he attended Columbia University and worked as a financial journalist and editor for Business International Corporation. He served as project coordinator in Harlem for the New York Public Interest Research Group, and was Executive Director of the Developing Communities Project in Chicago’s South Side. His commitment to social and racial issues will be evident in his first book, Journeys in Black and White.
The booklet, which is thirty-six pages long, is printed in blue ink (and, on the cover, silver/grey ink), using offset lithography. It purports to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of Acton & Dystel, which was founded in 1976.
Farrar Motion to dismiss by Obama is denied
Thank you god!!! I am ready to cry! After 3 years of battle for the first time a judge ruled that Obama’s motion to dismiss is denied. I can now depose Obama and everybody else envolved without any impediment.
I still can’t believe this. The order is in the link above. Judge Malihi, Deputy Chief judge of the Administrative court in GA, ruled, that Obama’s motion to dismiss is denied. He will have to stand trial and prove his eligibility for office.
Once again President Obama has used the authority vested in him in the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the National Emergencies Act to impose sweeping sanctions against a sovereign nation without Congressional approval.
On August 18th, 2011, Obama signed Executive Order 13582: Blocking Property of the Government of Syria and Prohibiting Certain Transactions With Respect to Syria, which authorizes the seizure of all Syrian-owned property and interests in property in the United States. It also bans exports of U.S. services to Syria, the import of petroleum from Syria, and any new investment in Syria or those who support them.
The following actions are now prohibited:
(a) new investment in Syria by a United States person, wherever located;
(b) the exportation, reexportation, sale, or supply, directly or indirectly, from the United States, or by a United States person, wherever located, of any services to Syria;
(c) the importation into the United States of petroleum or petroleum products of Syrian origin;
(d) any transaction or dealing by a United States person, wherever located, including purchasing, selling, transporting, swapping, brokering, approving, financing, facilitating, or guaranteeing, in or related to petroleum or petroleum products of Syrian origin; and
(e) any approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee by a United States person, wherever located, of a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited by this section if performed by a United States person or within the United States.The sweeping unilateral sanctions also permit the President to seize property without notice of those who sponsor or provide material assistance to Syria. In the case that such a person should have Constitutional protections, Obama declared "there need be no prior notice of a listing or determination" because of his powers during a national emergency.
By Kurt Nimo
Obama begins his speech by claiming Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda attacked the United States on September 11, 2001. Like his predecessor, the government, and the corporate media, he does not offer any evidence but simply states it as fact.
The events of September 11, 2011, were not included on Osama’s FBI poster. According to the FBI, Osama was wanted in connection with the August 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, not the attacks of September 11.
“Twenty years before Madison Avenue embarked upon “Motivational Research,” Hitler was systematically exploring and exploiting the secret fears and hopes, the cravings, anxieties and frustrations of the German masses. It is by manipulating “hidden forces” that the advertising experts induce us to buy their wares — a toothpaste, a brand of cigarettes, a political candidate.” – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited (1958).
The image of Barack Obama is carefully crafted, obsessively controlled, and completely different from the man. The Obama that is known by the general American public and the world is a marketing creation, as journalist John Pilger said in a lecture in 2009. The man in the White House is Obama the automaton, not Obama the leader of the free world; Obama the mechanical and manipulative machine, not the caring and faithful servant of the American people.
Obama’s role is merely functionary like almost all American presidents since the public execution of John F. Kennedy. Modern American Presidents, especially Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, are not real men who speak their own minds and make speeches from their hearts. They are self-created myths and robotic spokespersons for the American oligarchy, the parasitic private central banks, the military-industrial complex, the national security crime syndicate, and other powerful forces that dominate Washington.
The continuity of agenda between the Bush and Obama administrations means that presidents have no say, they are actors who are put there to read scripts and steamroll policies regardless if they are popular or lawful. Their job is to sell the destruction and impoverishment of America as good and inevitable, and continue the cover up of 9/11, the war on terror, Wall Street’s robbery and destruction of the middle class, and the secret birth of the transnational technofascist police state.
By Hillary Chabot
The White House Press Office has refused to give the Boston Herald full access to President Obama’s Boston fund-raiser today, in e-mails objecting to the newspaper’s front page placement of a Mitt Romney op-ed, saying pool reporters are chosen based on whether they cover the news “fairly.”
“I tend to consider the degree to which papers have demonstrated to covering the White House regularly and fairly in determining local pool reporters,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich wrote in response to a Herald request for full access to the presidential visit.
“My point about the op-ed was not that you ran it but that it was the full front page, which excluded any coverage of the visit of a sitting US President to Boston. I think that raises a fair question about whether the paper is unbiased in its coverage of the President’s visits,” Lehrich wrote.
But Lehrich said the Herald wasn’t purposefully barred from the press pool, saying local pool duty by the Boston Globe was arranged earlier with the White House Correspondents Association. And Lehrich insisted the Herald may yet be allowed into Obama events.