Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and an unidentified woman were spotted snapping a “selfie” together at Tuesday’s memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg.
Obama, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and an unidentified woman pose together for a “selfie” at the memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela.
One striking thing about the new White House Obamacare promotion campaign is that so far it hasn’t had much to say about the central focus of Obamacare, which is helping Americans buy affordable health insurance.
Look at the cases President Obama has highlighted. There are young people who say they have benefited from being allowed to stay on their parents’ health policies until age 26. There are people suffering from serious illnesses who say they are thankful there will no longer be lifetime caps on insurance benefits. There are stories of people with pre-existing conditions who will be able to purchase coverage.
The term “Obamacare” has largely disappeared from the mouths of Democrats as the president’s health care reform law has gone from a rallying cry to a political grenade.
President Obama once said he embraced the phrase on the 2012 campaign trail, telling supporters, “I do care.” As recently as Nov. 8, Obama predicted to a laughing crowd in New Orleans that his political opponents would stop using the term once the law became popular.
“I know health care is controversial, so there’s only going to be so much support we get on that on a bipartisan basis — until it’s working really well, and then they’re going to stop calling it Obamacare,” he said. “They’re going to call it something else.”
During an apologetic press conference Nov. 14, Obama referred to his law as the Affordable Care Act 12 times but did not say “Obamacare” once. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has referred to the law as Obamacare in the past, told Meet the Press host David Gregory that she “always” referred to it as the Affordable Care Act during an interview Sunday, and other Democrats are backing off the term as well.
Exactly one year ago, the Israeli newspaper Ynet reported that Jarrett was beginning to communicate behind the scenes with representatives of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Ayatollah Ali Khamene
Israeli government officials are reportedly angry that the Obama administration has reportedly not been keeping Israel abreast of the latest developments regarding talks with Iran over curbing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
“The administration did not keep Israel fully informed on those talks, Channel 10 news reported, but Jerusalem nonetheless has a pretty clear picture of what has been going on in the secret channel,” the Times of Israel reported.
But according to the Israeli outlet Haaretz, White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said that the report about the deal was “absolutely, 100 percent false.”
(LIKE ANYTHING COMING FROM THE WHITE HOUSE SHOULD BE CONSIDERED TRUE?)
The Times of Israel provided more information on the Hebrew report:
In the course of the talks, the report said, the Americans offered the Iranians a series of “confidence-building measures,” which underlined American readiness to conclude a deal and undercut sanctions pressure.
It was the deal discussed in these secret talks, the report said, that the Americans then brought to Geneva earlier this month, where it was largely adopted by the P5+1 nations — the US, Britain, France, Russia, China, plus Germany.[…]
According to Channel 10, the secret channel marginalized [Secretary of State John] Kerry, and was overseen by the president. The idea had been for Kerry merely to fly to Geneva, as he did last Friday, to sign a deal in which he had been a bit player.
The last round of talks in Geneva broke up without agreement after France reportedly objected to its terms, with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius calling it “a sucker’s deal.” A new round of talks resumes Wednesday.
Just one month after the Obama administration announced it was partially suspending military aid to Egypt, Russia appears to be trying to fill that gap, discussing a large arms deal with the Middle Eastern country, according to multiple reports.
Bloomberg reported that for Russia, the arms agreements being discussed would be “its biggest weapons deals with Egypt since the Cold War as it seeks to capitalize on U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to cut defense aid to the military-backed government.”
Russian Defense Ministry advisory board member Ruslan Pukhov told Bloomberg that the deal could be for weapons totaling as much as $2 billion, which would include MIG-29 fighter jets, air-defense systems and anti-tank missiles. A report in the Palestinian newspaper Donia Al-Watan suggested that the deal could total twice that amount.
Russian MIG-29 fighter jets could be part of a major arms deal between Russia and Egypt. (AP/Misha Japaridze)
Both Russia’s defense and foreign ministers are traveling to Cairo this week for talks about the enhanced relationship, according to Russia’s RIA Novosty, which called the event “a landmark two-day visit.”
“The issue of purchasing new Russian weapons should be carefully examined,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy told Russian state-owned RT television Tuesday.
“A Russian warship has docked in Egypt’s port of Alexandria in a move that officials said was aimed at bolstering Cairo’s relations with Moscow ahead of one of the highest level visits by Russian officials to the country in decades,” Al Jazeera reported.
The missile cruiser Varyag was greeted by a 21-gun salute as it pulled into the Alexandria port in Egypt, according to Al Jazeera.
Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdelatty told Bloomberg that the visit of the senior Russian ministers is aimed at sending “a strong political message that stresses the desire … to bolster relations and cooperate with Egypt in all fields.”
He said this does not mean “substituting one party with another but rather diversifying the alternatives and choices.”
In the wake of the coup that deposed Morsi and elevated the Egyptian military to power this summer, the Obama administration decided to suspend the delivery of tanks, helicopters and fighter jets to Egypt.
According to RIA Novosty, Egypt has not purchased weapons from Russia since the early 1970s, under the Soviet Union.
What do Obamacare and phone sex have in common? Answer: “intimate connections.”
By dialing 1-800-382-5968 — a number that differs from Obamacare’s line by just two digits — you can reach “our nation’s little secret … intimate connections.”
An obliging voice gives you the option to press two to hear the phone number that President Obama read out during his press conference on the woes of healthcare.gov.
Press three, and the phone sex service transfers you to the government line. (Option 1, naturally, asks for your personal preferences and a credit card number to verify your age.)
Click here to hear what it sounds like when you dial 1-800-382-5968.
Yahoo! Answers has featured multiple questions about the “Obamacre sex hotline” (sic), but the threads have been deleted.
It’s not clear if civic-mindedness alone accounts for the “intimate connections” redirect to the health insurance exchange call center.
“[I]t stands to reason that a legitimate company would only provide option ’2′ in order to get the caller off the line,” a retired cyber security expert who told the Washington Examiner of the phone line said, given the cost of paying for enrollment phone calls.
An entity that transferred callers to the health insurance marketplace phone line would have the opportunity to execute a “man in the middle attack,” according to the expert, who explained that the identity thief who transfers a caller to a legitimate phone line has the ability to record the phone call and thus capture the private information provided by the caller.
“This is a popular method used by identity thieves because it is virtually impossible to detect while it is happening because the caller reaches the correct destination,” the expert, who asked not to be identified, said.
“Also, individuals who become a victim of identity thief or other phone or email scams will never suspect that the call to Obamacare was the source of their lost identity, thus the squatters rarely get caught.”
The confusion is made possible by the fact that Health and Human Services officials, perhaps because they expected the exchange websites to function properly, didn’t come up with a catchy phone number for Obamacare.
While the phone number for Medicare phone number is 1-800-MEDICARE, for instance, President Obama had to send people to 1-800-318-2596 — a number that comes perilously close to spelling “f*** you.”
“Intimate Connections” is more brand-conscious, though, so the phone sex number spells exactly that.