NEWS AND OPINION:
“Steadfast and loyal” are the bywords of a vigorous new outreach from Allen B. West that closely resembles a news site. He is clearly in touch with his inner journalist through AllenBWest.com, meant to be a platform for an unapologetic conservative message. The former Florida congressman has much commentary, though, comparing the Democratic Party to a Star Trek-style “Borg” collective in one of many initial posts.
“The Borg’s ultimate goal is ‘achieving perfection’ — at least as far as they define it. Actually, I think the Borg exist on earth in the guise of today’s liberal progressive socialists, i.e. the Democrat Party,” Mr. West wrote. “It was Chief Borg, Barack Obama, who said five days before the 2008 presidential election that he was about to fundamentally change the United States. In other words, he was about to implement and achieve his vision of perfection.”
The busy Mr. West has a soon-to-be-published book, a foundation and a political action committee. He’s also taking aim at press bias.
“To return our nation to its constitutional principles, to change the direction our nation is heading and restore our American exceptionalism, we must ensure our conservative voices are not attacked and gagged by the liberal media,” Mr. West says. “With this website we are proud to join those who will not be silenced.”
BIG GOVERNMENT MALAISE
IT guru Ben Simo recently analyzed the errant HealthCare.gov sign-up site for Consumer Reports, concluding that those pesky glitches were caused by unwieldy electronic “cookies” that dominated the software. Now another IT guru has stepped forward to proclaim that bureaucracy is to blame.
“In the case of HealthCare.gov, the root cause isn’t the bugs we see in the software’s code. Instead, it’s the way that government procures things — in this case, software. The regulation is 6,500 pages long,” points out Clay Johnson, founder of the tech firm Department of Better Technology, in an op-ed for the New York Daily News.
“The result of this regulation? The contracts are going to the people who understand those regulations the best, not those who can do the best job,” Mr. Johnson explains. “The real bugs are in the federal acquisition. They prevent the small, innovative, agile tech firms that have given you a great user experience on the Web from even considering working with government.”
FOR THE LEXICON
— An outreach for Obamacare aimed at young males, from Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado. Their message to the bros:
“Keg stands are crazy. Not having health insurance is crazier. Don’t tap into your beer money to cover those medical bills. We got it covered. Thanks, Obamacare!”
OBAMACARE COMIC RELIEF
“This is what happens when we don’t outsource to India.”
— ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel, on the technical failures of the Obamacare sign-up site.
“ObamaCare: stop, drop, enroll.”
— Instruction from the Family Research Council, which advises, “ObamaCare may be a nightmare for the American people, but it’s been a dream come true for government contractors. Teams of specialists have been trucked in to deal with a health care system that’s quickly dissolving into the most expensive taxpayer-funded punch line of this administration.”
LE MONDE IS MISTAKEN
“Recent articles published in the French newspaper Le Monde contain inaccurate and misleading information regarding U.S. foreign intelligence activities. The allegation that the National Security Agency collected more than 70 million ‘recordings of French citizens’ telephone data’ is false,” said Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper in a statement issued late Tuesday
“While we are not going to discuss the details of our activities, we have repeatedly made it clear that the United States gathers intelligence of the type gathered by all nations. The U.S. collects intelligence to protect the nation, its interests, and its allies from, among other things, threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” Mr. Clapper said.
“The United States values our long-standing friendship and alliance with France and we will continue to cooperate on security and intelligence matters going forward.”
THE ‘BIG TENT’ CHALLENGE
Is it part of the proverbial “big-tent thinking” for political parties as the 2014 and 2016 elections loom? Consider that Republican Reps. Ted Poe of Texas, Peter T. King of New York and Darrell E. Issa of California are among the guests at the “Spirit of Lincoln Dinner” at a swanky hotel not five blocks from the White House on Wednesday evening.
The keynote speaker is former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, the “esteemed host committee” includes Jon Huntsman Jr., Larry Pressler, Christine Todd Whitman and a host of former GOP officials and state lawmakers. The organizers: the Log Cabin Republicans, an interest group founded some two decades ago to represent the interests of gay Republicans. The group currently lists Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska among its congressional “allies.”
Democrats court the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) voter demographic, right along with 16 other clearly defined voter groups that include blacks, American Indians, Asians, Hispanics, rural residents, veterans and seniors. Research on the impact of the LGBT voters is a work in progress. Gallup’s “landmark study” of 121,300 respondents examined trends shortly before the 2012 presidential election. The pollster found that 3.4 percent of the population said they “personally identified” with the LGBT demographic; 44 percent of them were Democratic.
“While LGBT voting preferences reveal a clear liberal tilt toward Democratic candidates, LGBT voters are not a totally monolithic political group, with 22 percent indicating support for Republican candidate Mitt Romney, 20 percent identifying as conservative, and 43 percent identifying as independent and 13 percent as Republican,” Gallup said in the analysis.
“Notably, LGBT Americans who express more conservative and Republican political preferences share many of the traits common to other Americans with those political views. They tend to be older, white, and more religious,” Gallup said in the report, released a year ago. “Still, the fact that roughly 7 in 10 LGBT voters can be expected to vote for President Obama on Nov. 6 shows that these voters could be an important factor in helping him win re-election in a close race.”
POLL DU JOUR
• 74 percent of “cybersecurity pros” at federal agencies say their agency is not completely prepared for international cyber attacks.
• 68 percent say they see the most breaches when agency users download files.
• 68 percent say their agency is not prepared for “employees leaking secure information.”
• 67 percent say their agency is not prepared against malware, hackers and data theft.
• 66 percent of agency users say security protocols are “burdensome and time consuming.”
• 62 percent of the cybersecurity pros encounter the most breaches when agency users surf the Web.
• 50 percent say they witness a security breach “at least once a week.”
Source: A Meritalk survey of 100 federal agency, Department of Defense and intelligence cybersecurity professionals and 100 federal system users conducted throughout August and released Tuesday.
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