Thursday, October 17, 2013

In 2014, here are 10 things you should expect from ObamaCare

Submitted by Elizabeth Lee via Casey Research,


Ten Things to Expect from Obamacare in 2014

By Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D.

Obamacare's health exchanges opened on October 1. Hopefully you weren't one of the unlucky guinea pigs who attempted to sign up with a system so crummy that even the Washington Post is calling it a disaster.

Given that the impact of Obamacare will only grow from here on out, Casey Research  asked acclaimed Obamacare expert Dr. Lee Vliet what we should expect as the calendar turns to 2014.
Importantly, Dr. Vliet is independent in every sense of the word. Not only is she an independent physician, she's also a registered political Independent, and has no ties to pharmaceutical, insurance, political, or any other interests. Like any good doctor, she is professionally concerned with one thing and one thing only: her patients. You'll find her criticisms of Obamacare quite harsh, but only because she's disturbed about the impact it will have on her patients.

Ten Things to Expect from Obamacare in 2014

By Elizabeth Lee Vliet, M.D.

It's been clear to anyone paying attention that the October "rollout" of Obamacare has been a turbulent, confusing disaster. Sloppy IT systems and technological failures combined to cripple Obamacare's sign-up systems. Security flaws put Americans at risk for identity theft.

In an almost comical understatement, President Obama summarized these massive failures as "a few glitches." I think that Luke Chung, IT expert and president of database solutions firm FMS, explained the situation much more accurately:

"What should clearly be an enterprise quality, highly scalable software application felt like it wouldn't pass a basic code review. It appears the people who built the site don't know what they're doing, never used it and didn't test it."

Chung went on to call it a "technological disaster."

Think about what this ineptitude means in the bigger debate about Obamacare. The administration spent 3½ years and $698 million of taxpayers' money to develop this software. They've known since earlier this year that the system wasn't ready to support the rollout of the exchanges. Yet they proceeded anyway, apparently unconcerned about their faulty software costing Americans millions of hours of frustration and lost productivity.

These same bureaucrats continue to assume more and more control of our medical care. What does their incompetence say about how they will handle making life-or-death medical care decisions?

Like a parasite taking over its host, Obamacare will commandeer almost 20% of our economy, crowding out private options. With 2014 fast approaching, what should we expect in its next phase?

Here's my list Top Ten list for 2014:

1. The expansion of Medicaid, with increased cost burden for taxpayers.

Medicaid is a combined state-federal program initially designed to help the neediest among us. But it has burgeoned to cover medical costs for about one in every five people. Today, Medicaid pays for two of every five babies born in the United States, and three of every five people in long-term care facilities in the US.

Obamacare will add another 20 million new Medicaid dependents. According to the Kasier Family Foundation, that Medicaid expansion will add an average of 13% to state budgets in costs for 2014 alone.

Even though Medicaid was designed to help the poor, studies have consistently shown that Medicaid recipients receive worse medical care than people without any health insurance at all! Medicaid patients have longer waits to see a doctor, fewer specialists to choose from, and poorer medical outcomes overall. A particularly morbid piece of evidence is that on average, Medicaid patients die sooner after surgery than people who have no medical insurance.

Essentially, Obamacare is forcing 20 million more Americans into second-class medical care with Medicaid.

2. "Sticker shock" as the reality of higher health insurance premiums hits home.

The majority of Americans, especially those who are young and healthy and therefore have paid low premiums in the past, are seeing their health insurance premiums rise between 50% and 150%. Further, employers are cutting full-time workers back to part-time by reducing employees' hours per week from 40 to 29 or less, to avoid having to provide those employees with expensive, Obamacare-compliant coverage.

The "Affordable Care Act" has become anything but affordable for most people.

3. Large and small employers are cutting health insurance benefits.

Obamacare expands the requirements for what all health insurance policies must cover. So it's no mystery why premiums have risen: Americans now must pay for a host of features, whether they want to or not. For example, in my office, the women employees are all menopausal. Yet Obamacare requires our small-business health insurance policy to cover pregnancy and maternity care! That means our policy costs more.

These higher premiums force employers to pass on the costs to employees (in the form of higher co-pays and deductibles) and/or customers (in the form of higher product costs). 2014 will bring even higher premiums for most individuals and businesses.

To deal with this onslaught of rising costs, businesses have a series of bad options: fire or lay off workers, cut health insurance benefits for everyone in the company, or reduce full-time employees to part-time so they don't qualify for health insurance benefits, as I mentioned above.

Unfortunately, some businesses will be forced into the worst option of all: going out of business.

4. The employer-based health insurance policies that remain will have higher out-of-pocket costs for employees.

Because businesses must pay more to purchase Obamacare-compliant plans, they will require employees to pay higher co-pays and deductibles before coverage begins.

5. Fewer types of health insurance policies can be offered under Obamacare.

Many small-business plans and existing physician networks are being terminated due to the expanded coverage requirements under Obamacare. We just received notice that our own small-business plan is being terminated.

Candidate and then President Obama promised, "You can keep your insurance plan." Nope.

6. Many people cannot keep their doctors.

Candidate Obama promised, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." But many patients who like their doctors are being forced to find new ones due to changes in physician networks, as well as doctors leaving insurance plans to start fee-for-service or "concierge" practices.

Sadly, when a patient is pushed out of a long-standing relationship with a physician who understands their medical history, medical outcomes often deteriorate. This is especially true for special-needs patients, who often fall between the cracks when doctors are pressured to see 40 or 50 patients a day in five-minute visits.

7. Further destruction of Medicare.

In 2014, Medicare patients will discover several unwanted changes:

  • higher premiums for their supplemental policies
  • fewer types of Medicare supplement policies available
  • more cutbacks in Medicare-covered services
  • longer delays to see doctors, because many doctors are closing their doors to Medicare patients due to the cuts in reimbursements
  • fewer cancer care specialists taking Medicare patients
  • higher costs for hospital-based cancer treatments, as private offices with lower costs are closed due to reimbursement cutbacks
  • fewer hospital-based surgeries being approved because as of October 2012, Obamacare rules incentivize hospitals (i.e., paid more by Medicare) to do fewer surgeries and procedures.
  • Medicare patients who sign the Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) agreeing to pay for services Medicare does not cover will find that they now have higher out-of-pocket costs to pay for these non-covered services.
  • Patients over 80 are already finding reduced approvals for certain procedures and medicines. Expect to see more of this age-based rationing as the Medicare cuts increase over the next decade.

8. Loss of ownership of your medical records.
Your doctors, hospitals, and other health professionals are being pressured to adopt electronic medical record systems and send patient information to the federal government's medical database by 2015. If they don't comply, they'll be penalized with reduced payments for services.

This means the government will own your personal, private information, and you have no say in the matter. I consider this a complete loss of your privacy, as well as a violation of the Constitution's 5th Amendment "Takings" clause.

9. More waivers and exemptions for the political elites and Democrat cronies.

The Obama Administration and its political appointee, HHS Secretary Sibelius, have granted over 1,000 waivers and special exemptions to various Democrat donors, political allies, unions, and others. Obama's politically connected friends are the only Americans who won't suffer under Obamacare's onerous regulations, ballooning costs, and 20 new taxes.

10. On January 1, 2014, the Individual Mandate to purchase Obamacare-compliant health insurance goes into effect.

"Mandate" may sound benign, but it carries the force of law. Those who do not comply face another Obamacare tax (as the Supreme Court defined it), though called a "penalty" by Democrats when they forced the healthcare law through Congress on a partisan vote.

At the end of the day, Obamacare shifts a bigger burden onto taxpayers and increases the number of people on the dole. In other words, it pushes the US in the exact opposite direction it needs to go to solve its massive debt problems.

The most serious problems of Obamacare, however, will be felt at the individual level. You're going to wait longer to see a doctor, you're going to pay more for fewer treatment options, and healthcare quality will deteriorate as doctors and hospitals go out of business.

Obamacare seeks to replace the adaptability and efficiency of our free markets with heavy-handed government control and micromanaging by bureaucrats who don't have a clue about what really helps patients. We need the opposite: patient-centered, free-market reforms.

Such programs have been successfully implemented in states like Indiana and businesses like Whole Foods and Safeway. They used health savings accounts and other incentives to empower consumers to make their own medical spending decisions.

It's possible to reform and improve the broken payment system while keeping our excellent medical care and innovative atmosphere that relieves suffering and improves quality of life. Unfortunately, Obamacare is pushing our country in the wrong direction.

Dr. Vliet writes as an independent practicing physician with medical practices in Tucson and Dallas focused on issues of endocrine aging in men and women from puberty to late life. Dr. Vliet is a registered political Independent, and is also medically independent of all health insurance contracts since 1986. Her allegiance is to and for patients. Dr. Vliet is the 2007 Voice of Women Honoree by the Arizona Foundation for Women for her pioneering work on the overlooked hormone connections in women's health, and she is the author of six consumer books on health topics. She has appeared on nationally syndicated radio and TV shows discussing the healthcare law as well as a variety of health topics for women and men.

Dr. Vliet was one of the speakers at the just-concluded 2013 Casey Research Summit. (Click here to pre-order the complete Summit Audio Collection and save $100 off the normal price. This discount offer ends tomorrow.)

Dr. Vliet's medical websites are and Follow Dr. Vliet on twitter @healthandcents

Media Research Center: Big 3 nets blame GOP for shutdown in 41 stories; blame Dems in zero - Ever wonder why they are called presstitutes?

Courtesy of the Media Research Center

For millions of Americans, big political contests such as presidential elections and pivotal congressional hearings are still largely witnessed through the lens of ABC’s, CBS’s and NBC’s evening newscasts. According to Nielsen Research, more than 20 million viewers tuned in over the past two weeks for the Big Three’s take on the shutdown drama.

What those viewers heard, according to a just-completed Media Research Center study, was a version of the shutdown story that could easily have emanated from Barack Obama’s own White House. The broadcast networks invariably blamed Republicans for the impasse; spotlighted dozens of examples of how Americans were being victimized; and ran scores of soundbites from furloughed federal workers and others harmed by the shutdown — even as they ignored examples of how the Obama administration and Senate Democrats were working to make the shutdown as painful as possible.

■ Blaming Republicans. MRC analysts reviewed each broadcast network evening newscast from the first day of the shutdown (October 1) through the last night before a deal was announced (October 15). Of the 124 full stories and brief items about the shutdown or the pending debt ceiling deadline, 41 blamed Republicans or conservatives for the impasse, 17 blamed both sides, and none specifically blamed Democrats.

This is an acceleration of the same trend the MRC documented during the two weeks prior to the actual start of the shutdown (September 17 through September 30), when those same broadcasts ran 21 stories blaming Republicans, four blaming both sides, and none blaming Democrats.

Network reporters and anchors repeatedly instructed their audiences to blame Tea Party extremism for the consequences of the shutdown. “This current showdown and this current government shutdown traces its history back to a determined core of GOP House members who are vehemently against ObamaCare and were willing to shut down the government because of it,” NBC anchor Brian Williams asserted on the October 14 Nightly News.

The next night, ABC’s Diane Sawyer similarly explained Fitch’s warning of a possible downgrade of the U.S. government’s AAA debt rating: “A major agency now threatening a downgrade, lowering America’s sterling financial status in the world, and all because hardline members of Congress have brought the U.S. to the brink.”

■ Soundbites. In 15 days, the networks ran soundbites from 23 federal workers (most of them furloughed), 47 individuals whose lives had been hurt by the shutdown, and 56 ordinary citizens condemning the shutdown. While most of the negative opinion was directed at Washington in general, 17 singled out Republicans for blame, vs. only three castigating Democrats, a nearly six-to-one ratio.

On October 1, for example, ABC’s World News used a man on the street to spank conservatives: “I think the whole ‘holding the government hostage of ObamaCare’ is just ridiculous.” The next night, the same network featured a woman scolding: “It’s a crime and most of it is the Tea Party.”

Within hours of the start of the shutdown, the networks championed the plight of furloughed federal workers, who at that point had been out of work for only a few hours. On the October 1 CBS Evening News, furloughed Treasury worker Peter Gamba complained: “It’s a nightmare for me financially. Actually, it causes me a lot of anxiety and stress. I don’t sleep well at night.”

Over on the NBC Nightly News that same evening, reporter John Yang highlighted an EPA worker, Elizabeth Lytle, who had already filed for unemployment benefits. Lytle told NBC: “Right now, I’m terrified. I’m terrified to the point where, okay, what’s going to happen?”

Three days later, when the shutdown was less than a week old, NBC correspondent Miguel Almaguer profiled another out-of-work federal employee: “Wendy Robinson has been furloughed. A single mom with three mouths to feed, today she got her last paycheck. Robinson blames Congress.” Moments later, NBC viewers heard Robinson complaining: “I’m at a loss for words, really, about it because I’m not used to not giving my kids a Christmas.”

Four days out of work, and Christmas is cancelled?

■ Negative Consequences. During the first 15 days of October, the network evening newscasts highlighted 127 examples of ways the shutdown was hurting Americans — from closed national parks and furloughed workers, to children denied medical treatment for life-threatening illnesses and the suspension of death benefits for the families of U.S. soldiers and Marines killed in Afghanistan.

The drumbeat of negative stories cast the shutdown (and, by implication, those responsible) as downright scandalous. NBC’s Brian Williams described the consequences as nearly criminal on the October 8 Nightly News: “All kinds of people are getting cheated out of salaries, benefits, medical treatment.”

Virtually absent from the coverage was any questioning of the Obama administration's tactics in implementing the shutdown. Eight stories talked about the barricading of the open-air World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., a site that is normally accessible 24 hours a day. None of the networks questioned why that particular memorial needed to be barricaded.

Similarly, CBS anchor Scott Pelley opened the October 2 Evening News by saying “no one was more lonely on this second day of the partial government shutdown than the President — President Lincoln. His memorial, one of the many national park sites, forced to close.” The steps of the Lincoln Memorial were not off-limits to visitors during the Clinton-era shutdowns, yet none of the networks challenged the Obama administration’s decision to ban the public this year.

All three networks emphasized the tragedy of how furloughs at the National Institutes of Health meant patients with potentially fatal illnesses — including children — would not be admitted to new trials. On October 11, for example, ABC’s Jim Avila highlighted for World News viewers the heart-breaking story of an eight-year-old leukemia victim, Maddie Major, including a soundbite from the girl’s mother, Robin: “It’s the most devastating thing in the world to know that there could potentially be a cure for her, but because of a stalemate in the government, we can’t research those options. It’s mind-blowing.”

Avila then theatrically confronted a Republican congressman, Steve Womack, explaining: “He’s on the House committee that oversees the NIH budget and he voted for the shutdown.” Of course, Republicans never voted “for” a shutdown, but passed a series of bills ensuring continued funding, but with amendments the Democratic Senate rejected. Avila did not similarly put a Democratic Senator on the spot for the failure to fund NIH.

Earlier, on October 3, NBC correspondent Tom Costello showcased how “the mother of an 18-month-old has been told her rare sarcoma could be terminal. But without funding, any new NIH clinical drug trials are on hold.” NBC Nightly News ran three additional stories mentioning the deferral of NIH trials and the gravely-ill patients affected, but never once told viewers the House had voted on October 2 to restore that funding, only to be rebuffed by Senate Democrats.

Indeed, only the CBS Evening News bothered to mention — just once — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s dismissive comment about restoring funding to enable life-saving medicine to resume. On October 2, correspondent Nancy Cordes told anchor Scott Pelley, “Reid was asked if he’d be open to funding cancer research for kids only, and his response was, ‘Why would I do that?’”

For its part, the CBS Evening News on October 7 devoted an entire story to the plight of the “thousands who work for Head Start early education programs” and the families they serve. Correspondent Michelle Miller talked to Danielle Smith, who works for the program in Bridgeport, Connecticut: “I had parents who told me ‘I’m going to lose my job. If I don’t have child care, I can’t go to work.’ They were asking for help and we said — I couldn’t help them.” As the story ended, Pelley reflected: “Real consequences, for real people.”

The next day, the House passed a targeted funding bill that would have immediately restored Head Start. But Pelley’s Evening News never brought that important follow-up to viewers. If the interruption of Head Start’s services was deemed nationally important news, how come the attempt to resume those services was not treated as equally important?

As the shutdown neared its end, the networks’ polls found the American public more critical of the GOP than either Democrats or the White House. While some blame can perhaps be assigned to Republicans’ lack of a unified conservative message, the incessant drumbeat of hostile, and slanted, media coverage surely took its toll as well.
— Rich Noyes is Research Director at the Media Research Center. Follow Rich Noyes on Twitter.

Video: Report on JPMorgan Chase new cash transaction limits and what it means to you

JP Morgan Chase limiting cash transactions and transfers for its customers - unless you are a monster-size customer, that is - prepping for a cash crash in America?

Below we have a video giving the background to the article that follows. We suggest you watch the video first, then read the article.

Paul Joseph Watson
Updated October 17, 2013

UPDATE: Alex Jones: The fact that these letters were being sent out to Chase customers was confirmed at the time that we published, but in the last 24 hours we have confirmed that even large businesses doing international transactions have also received the same letters.

I personally visited Chase Bank and inquired about setting up an account and asked if I could wire money out of the country or withdraw the amounts of cash listed in their letter. I was told no, and that I would have to “qualify” with them for a special type of international bank account and would have to deposit huge amounts of money and pay fees to be able to access those services.

What this constitutes is a war on cash and a war on small business and individuals. Two years ago we saw a giant backlash against Bank of America when they announced customers would be charged for using their own money via their debit card.

We have crossed the rubicon where now the currency has been so devalued that you will have to pay money to have your money in a bank or use a debit card.

In saying that international wire transfers are too much of a risk, Chase Bank might as well be bankrupt because it is telling you there is no money to withdraw.

This is where the mega banks have wanted to take us all along – a total cashless society that destroys all privacy and allows them to fine and fee the general population into serfdom. This is clearly a major step towards capital controls as we saw with the Cyprus bail-in.

We are now receiving reports from business partners who we know well that they are being told by their banks that similar regulations to those adopted by Chase are coming within the next few months.
Chase would not be implementing a business killing strategy like this unless all other major banks were also planning to follow suit. What we see is mega banks leading the way to set the precedent that all the others will follow.

Chase needs to issue a statement clarifying exactly why they are imposing these capital controls.

It is clear that these regulations are being enacted for three different but equally plausible reasons, all of which contribute to the ultimate goal of sacrificing the global economy on the altar of derivative monster zombie banks.

1) Capital controls to prevent money leaving the country as the US dollar continues to devalue. Note that Chase will allow international wire transfers coming in, but not going out of the accounts. Note that they are only concerned about “risks” when the money is being moved out of the account.

2) Forcing businesses to abandon cash and switching everything over to digital currency that can be more easily tracked, traced and controlled.

3) Part of the preparatory phase for Cyprus-style bail-ins where the government announces a new “tax” to gouge out a percentage of people’s savings.

Customers need to rally and speak out against this and immediately move their money to smaller and local banks that will promise to give them good service and not rake them over the coals. We need diversity and competition within the banking system, not giant zombie banks endangering the world economy with derivatives and cheating their customers.

It should also be noted that JPMorgan Chase runs most of the welfare system and EBT cards and really constitutes the top of the pyramid in the corporate-banking-governmental structure.

Finally, we’ve seen the IRS attempting to bar Americans from leaving the country simply if the IRS has opened an investigation on them. This isn’t shades of tyranny, this is hardcore authoritarianism and everyone should be concerned. If you were planning on getting your money out of the country, now is the time. If you haven’t withdrawn your cash from the bank, you should have done it yesterday.

EBay founder Pierre Omidyar blogs he will start a new mass media organization

By Pierre Omidyar

As many of you know, I’ve had an interest in journalism for some time now. I’ve been working on Civil Beat for three years and through my philanthropic work at Omidyar Network and Democracy Fund, we’ve supported many efforts around the world related to media, citizen engagement, and government transparency and accountability.

Separate from my work with Omidyar Network and Democracy Fund, and as part of my growing interest to preserve and strengthen the role journalism plays in society, I explored purchasing The Washington Post over the summer. That process got me thinking about what kind of social impact could be created if a similar investment was made in something entirely new, built from the ground up. Something that I would be personally and directly involved in outside of my other efforts as a philanthropist.

I developed an interest in supporting independent journalists in a way that leverages their work to the greatest extent possible, all in support of the public interest. And, I want to find ways to convert mainstream readers into engaged citizens. I think there’s more that can be done in this space, and I’m eager to explore the possibilities.

Right now, I’m in the very early stages of creating a new mass media organization. I don’t yet know how or when it will be rolled out, or what it will look like.

What I can tell you is that the endeavor will be independent of my other organizations, and that it will cover general interest news, with a core mission around supporting and empowering independent journalists across many sectors and beats. The team will build a media platform that elevates and supports these journalists and allows them to pursue the truth in their fields. This doesn’t just mean investigative reporting, but all news.

As part of my learning process, I recently reached out to Glenn Greenwald to find out what journalists like him need to do their jobs well. As it turns out, he and his colleagues Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, were already on a path to create an online space to support independent journalists. We had a lot of overlap in terms of our ideas, and decided to join forces.

I believe that independent journalists like Glenn, Laura, and Jeremy play an important role in our society. We’ll be working with them and others, but we have a long way to go in terms of what the organization looks like, people’s roles and responsibilities — all of those things still need to be worked out.

I’ll be sure to update you along the way as the new organization progresses.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

For Boehner, the writing is on the wall for the end of his Speakership as he becomes the Obama of the House

By Kenneth E. Lamb

For Boehner, this is the end. It is the most devastating disaster of his incompetence as a leader.

So Obama and the Dems win again. They won because the Speaker is an inept patsy for their power plays. He is incapable of managing his own House, and now, again, the GOP looks the fool.

He, and the rest of the so-called GOP leadership, again lost the "words war" to the Dems.

The Dems got America to believe the GOP is the villain, and that all the Dems wanted was a "clean" Continuing Resolution - and for some unknown reason the GOP never rebutted their wordsmithing by calling it The Democrats Filthy Continuing Resolution - filthy with ObamaCare and its catastrophic effects.

I lost count of the number of bills the House passed to keep the government funded - sans ObamaCare.

The GOP even got to the point of doing what it should have done first, and passed a bill to require the Congress, its staffers, and the administration's political appointees - including the president, the VP, and their staffers -  to sign-up for ObamaCare themselves - without the ungodly federal subsidies to wipe out the payments from the insured.

(Note to House and Senate members: I want exactly the same Gold ObamaCare policy and federally subsidized net price as you are getting. Let's see your duplicitous selves produce that for me - and for all the rest of us getting stuck with this abomination. We'll be sure to ask when you're going to do that at your next Town Hall.)

But Boehner and his gang of incompetents never got the idea across to America that it is the Dems in the Senate who were keeping the government shut down.

No matter how many times Obama and Reid said they would not negotiate, no matter how many times they said they would not allow the government to be funded on any terms but their own, no matter how many times they lied about a so-called clean Continuing Resolution that was nothing more than a "take it or leave it" acceptance of what they wanted - Boehner and his crew never got the truth across.

That is hard-core incompetence.

Some will blame the MSM. Aren't we at a point now when it has been long enough that the GOP should have built bridges to the American public to make an end run around those propagandists?

There are plenty of conservative outlets - starting with Fox - that offer a forum for communicating the truth; but the GOP could neither communicate the truth nor mobilize the people.

That is also - even more so at this point - hard-core incompetence.

And Boehner is in the power position that he must accept responsiblilty for not doing that.

Of course, all this also lends credibility to the argument that the Congress is a bought-off group of campaign fund whores who do what the oligarchs tell them to do.

If any member of Congress doubts that, get out of The Bubble and walk down the streets of your district or state and just ask anyone you meet. They won't lack for words to tell you off to your face.

Throw in the reality that we now have a Fourth Branch of government - the Money Branch - embodied in the privately held FED and its bank owners - the TBTP (Too Big To Prosecute) Banksters and Wall Streeters, starting with Jamie Dimond - who are now the true source of funding the federal government, and America can see for itself the increasing irrelevancy of Congress in running the country.

Treasury Secretary Lew's crocodile tears warning of fire and brimstone were nothing but a PR stunt in fear-mongering; so what did you expect him to say - that his boss Obama is a lying idiot and nothing big is going to happen to the stock market if the default deadline passes?

Boehner should have vaporized Lew. But instead Lew got away with another Obama lie campaign without a peep from the Speaker.

Let's face it: The stock market is not going to crash so long as the FED keeps printing money out of thin air.
America went bonkers when the elites proposed $800-billion in 1-year for a stimulus plan; Bernanke and his bank-owned FED pump $850-billion into the asset-management firms in just 10 months.

They dump over a trillion dollars a year into stocks through the scam call Quantitative Easing; and they have shipped well over a trillion dollars directly into European banks as well.

If America only knew, and understood, the way it is getting looted by this TBTP criminal class.

But because of the outright powerlessness of Boehner, the poster child for powerlessness, the charade plays on. Only now the House no longer calla the budget shots - the Senate, de facto, does.

Congratulations Speaker Boehner, for abdicating the constitutional power of the House under your watch.

So now the Senate will decide how to spend the money - and the House will again relinquish its constitutional responsibility to decide who gets how much, and when they get it.

Boehner, do the right thing by us, our children, our grandchildren, and all who follow, and resign as Speaker. You have no respect from the GOP or the nation.

You have become the Obama of the House.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Video: When even MSNBC begins to "Get it": Dylan Ratigan Rages Over "The Extraction Of America" And The Bought-Off Congress

Speaking of the bankster criminal class - FED whistleblower suit has FED begging to seal documents that prove it is part of the criminal gang

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg

Former senior bank examiner at the New York Federal Reserve, Carmen Segarra,blowing the whistle on the NY FED and Goldman Sachs

 N.Y. Fed Looks To Seal Documents In Latest Whistleblower Case

As was widely reported last week in both the alternative media and the mainstream presstitute media, former senior bank examiner at the New York Federal Reserve, Carmen Segarra, has filed a lawsuit against her former employer accusing them of wrongful termination after she determined that Goldman Sachs had insufficient conflict-of-interest policies. As usual, anything that threatens to shed some light on the criminality at the most powerful institutions in America is immediately labeled “top secret” or “classified” and hidden from the public. Just as you would expect in a Banana Republic.

From Pro Publica:

On Friday, the Fed asked for a protective order to seal documents in the case as well as parts of the complaint. In a letter to U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams, New York Fed counsel David Gross said the information should be removed from the public docket because it is “Confidential Supervisory Information,” including internal New York Fed emails and materials provided to the Fed by Goldman.

“These documents show that at the time (Segarra) left the employ of the New York Fed, she purloined property of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,” Gross wrote, citing Fed rules that prohibit disclosing supervisory information without prior approval of the Fed.

Gross argues that the Fed’s obligation to keep bank supervisory records secret outweigh the public’s right to know. “The incantation of a ‘public right to know’ cannot ever be a license to discharged employees that they may violate Federal law simply by filing a complaint in Federal court,” Gross wrote.

The New York Fed has historically been one of the most opaque financial regulators and maintains that it is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act because it is not a public agency.

What more do you need to know? America: Land of the Thief, Home of the Slave.

Full article here.

Jamie Dimon: Legitimate banking CEO who is clueless about his staff's criminal activity, or criminally insane mob boss calling the shots?

Courtesy of

A few days ago many were shocked when JPM disclosed for the first time that in less than four years, or since 2010, Jamie Dimon's den of alleged criminals has reserved a mindblowing $28 billion toward legal expenses.

In light of recent developments, investors may just want to round that number to a good, clean $30 billion, because as the WSJ just revealed, yet another JPMorgan market manipulator has emerged in a seemingly endless line of people whose shortcut to success at 270 Park Avenue has been to manipulate assorted markets, be it Libor, Credit Derivatives, Electricity, Aluminum, or Equities. We can now add FX to that, following news that one Richard "Dick" Usher, until 2010 at RBS, and since then JPM's London-based head of G10 spot trading, has been implicated in the infamous RBS FX London closing fax manipulation chat sessions. "The group of traders in the chat rooms was known by various monikers including "The Bandits' Club," and "The Cartel," the people said."
As a reminder, "the investigation of possible manipulation of foreign-exchange markets got underway over the summer when the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority opened an inquiry in response to concerns voiced by industry officials. This month, the Swiss markets regulator, Finma, said it was conducting its own inquiry in concert with other regulators, and that "multiple banks around the world are potentially implicated." In the U.S., the Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun a criminal investigation into possible rigging of currency markets, people familiar with the matter said last week.... RBS started digging through its records to look into potential foreign-exchange manipulation by its traders around the same time that the FCA began its inquiry, according to a person familiar with RBS's actions. The FCA declined to comment."
So where does Usher fit in?
RBS, based in Edinburgh, unearthed materials that indicated that Mr. Usher participated in the electronic chat room with colleagues at other banks, this person said. RBS, following its policy of alerting regulators when it finds signs of potential misconduct by employees, handed over those chat records involving Mr. Usher to the FCA, this person said. It isn't clear what portion of the documents provided to the FCA related to Mr. Usher.

People familiar with the matter say one area investigators are looking at is the practice of currency "fixes," daily snapshots of prices for currencies that are used by money managers and others for valuing portfolios, among other purposes. The fixes—the most popular is at 4 p.m. London time—are computed based on market activity during a brief window.
The rest of the story is known, and was already covered previously, most recently in "Are FX Markets "Rigged" At The London Closing Fix?" And now we know that at least one current (and likely many more) JPM employee was actively engaged in riggind and manipulating yet another market. Was he doing it in the past three years since he came on board Jamie Dimon's Litigitanic? That is for the regulators to reveal, although we are confident that there is nothing in the regulatory rulebook that JPM can't "fix" with another $1-2 billion fine.
As for Dick Usher's recent quoted exploits, here he is in an October 2012 FT article:
“People have turned from euro speculation to dollar speculation since QE3 but that’s not working out as they hoped – people aren’t getting bang for their bucks,” says Richard Usher, JPMorgan’s head of spot forex trading in London.
Dick sounds confused. Well Dick, all "people" need to get more "bang for their buck" is to rig markets just a little more. After all, if "people" get caught, all "they" will have to do is pay a modest wristslap amounting to 5-10% of all the profits from any illegal trades that added that extra "bang."  That, and fortifying the "fortress balance sheets" of their allegedly criminal employers, will make them model employees in no time.
P.S. it goes without saying that retail investors just can't wait to get back inside this perfectly efficient, unmanipulated, fair, honest and regulated market, in which the same standard are used for everyone: small trader and big. Why else would Eugene "Efficient Market Hypothesis" Fama win the Nobel Prize earlier today?

Sen. Harry Reid: Paying taxes is "voluntary"

From his mouth to your ears . . .

The delusion of America's reitrement funds - they exist only in your imagination, not on the federal books

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog

 If stocks, bonds and real estate all decline going forward, where are pension funds going to earn their 7+% annual yields?

If we look at the foundations of retirement--Social Security, stocks, bonds and real estate--it seems we may have reached Peak Retirement. Let's start the discussion by noting that the primary Federal retirement programs--Social Security and Medicare--are "pay as you go," meaning the checks sent out to beneficiaries this year are funded by payroll tax revenues collected this year from workers.
As Mish and I (as well as others) have tirelessly pointed out, the "trust funds" for these programs are phantoms of imagination. When these programs run deficits, the government raises the money to fund the deficit the same way it funds all its deficit spending--by selling Treasury bonds.
These programs were founded on a demographic illusion, i.e. that the number of retirees (beneficiaries) would magically remain a small percentage of the workforce paying payroll taxes. Alas, the number of beneficiaries is rising fast while the number of full-time workers is stagnating.
Full-time employment and the number of Social Security beneficiaries: the ratio of full-time workers to beneficiaries is already 2-to-1, and set to decline. Below 2-to-1, either payroll taxes will have to icnrease or benefits will have to be trimmed, or some of both.

Public and private pensions are based on earning 7+% returns on investments in stocks, bonds and real estate. Let's look at each asset class and reckon the likelihood of it earning 7+% into the future.
The stock market has traced out a multi-year megaphone pattern that presages a decline to a new low: if this megaphone pattern plays out, the S&P 500 could plummet from its current level around 1700 to the 600 level. Were that to occur, pension funds holding stocks would suffer catastrophic losses.

Bonds are ripe for a reversal: as bond yields decline, the market value of existing bonds rises. This also works in the other direction: as yields, rise, the market value of all existing bonds declines. If the god-like powers of the Federal Reserve turn out not to be so god-like and interest rates rise, the market value of all existing bonds could fall dramatically.
Bond market trends rarely last 30 years, so the trend of falling yields is extremely long in tooth and ripe for a reversal, for example, 10 to 15 years of rising interest rates and declining bond values:

Housing has rebounded weakly, but only as a result of unprecedented intervention by the Federal Reserve and the Federal government: The Fed drove mortgage rates to historic lows, bought over $1 trillion in mortgages and Federal housing agencies such as FHA guaranteed 3% down payment mortgages to just about anyone with a full-time job and a middling credit rating.
Banks have held tens of thousands of defaulted homes off the market to induce an artificial scarcity to drive prices higher. Meet The Monster Of The Housing Market: Presenting "Vampire REOs" Where Half Live Mortgage-Free (Zero Hedge)
All this trillion-dollar manipulation and intervention generated the weak bounce that is now ending.

If stocks, bonds and real estate all decline going forward, where are pension funds going to earn their 7+% annual yields? Please don't say "emerging markets," for those markets are imploding (see India as an example) under the weight of speculative excess, asset bubbles, capital flight, and to-the-moon credit expansion.
If pension funds lose significant percentages of their assets to market declines, earning 7% will be the least of the problems. As for the Federal retirement programs: if the erosion of full-time employment continues as a long-term trend, Social Security and Medicare will both start running massive deficits as the number of Baby Boomer beneficiaries continues rising while the payroll tax base shrinks.

Video update: Will food stamps be shut down?

Is the foodstamp program only a couple of weeks away from a massive shut down?

Courtesy of

When over the weekend, a Xerox "glitch" shut down the EBT system, better known as foodstamps, for nearly the entire day across 17 states leaving millions without "funding" to pay for food leading to dramatic examples of the basest human behavior possible, some of the more conspiratorial elements saw this merely as a dress rehearsal for what may be coming in the immediate future. While there was no basis to believe that is the case, a USDA (the currently shuttered agency that administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) memo obtained by the Crossroads Urban Center in Utah carries in it a very disturbing warning for the 46+ million Americans currently on foodstamps.
To wit: "understanding the operational issues and constraints that States face, and in the interest of preserving maximum flexibility, we are directing States to hold their November issuance files and delay transmission to State electronic benefit transfer (EBT) vendors until further notice." In other words, as Fox13News summarizes, "States across the country are being told to stop the supplemental nutrition assistance program for the month of November, pending further notice."
The full memo first posted on the Crossroads Facebook page is shown below:

More on this dramatic development which, if implemented, would will result in significant unpredictable outcomes across the nation:
This is going to create a huge hardship for the people we serve here in our food pantry,” says Bill Tibbits who is the Associate Director at Crossroads Urban Center.

They posted a letter from the USDA on its Facebook page. It says in part, “in the interest of preserving maximum flexibility, we are directing states to hold their November issuance files and delay transmission to state electronic benefit transfer vendors until further notice.”

“What this means if there’s not a deal, if Congress doesn’t reach a deal to get federal government back up and running, in Utah about 100,000 families won’t get food stamp benefit,” says Tibbits.

In other words, tens of thousands of Utah families may not be able to feed their children come November.
People out here are going to go without food,” says Loralee Smith whose been homeless since August and says the uncertainty is making her uneasy about where her next meal will come from. “I’m on food stamps, I don’t know if I’m going to get them, a lot of people are on food stamps and they don’t know if they’re going to get them.”

Others say if SNAP shuts down, they’ll find a way to feed themselves.
One hopes such "alternative" feeding arrangements will be peaceful, although in the most heavily armed nation in the world, and arguably the one where a massive portion of the population is now fully reliant on the welfare state for virtually every daily need, it is easy to see cutting off daily bread to tens of millions has a less than happy ending.
As the report notes, for people out on the streets like Richard Phillips, "It could impact us and it’s going to cause problems because you’re going to come to find out that people are going to steal and do what they have to do to survive."
Such a realization could come as a very unpleasant wake up call for the millions of other Americans who still live in their Ivory Towers, focusing on the daily gyrations of the S&P500, and largely oblivious of how the rest of America lives.

You need to ponder on this: Regardless of any rational thought, as long as the FED keeps pumping, the market will keep humping

Submitted by Lance Roberts of STA Wealth Management,

22 reasons you should be very concerned about the US economy

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

Are we on the verge of another major economic downturn?  In recent weeks, most of the focus has been on our politicians in Washington, but there are lots of other reasons to be deeply alarmed about the economy as well.  Economic confidence is down, retail sales figures are disappointing, job cuts are up, and American consumers are deeply struggling.  Even if our politicians do everything right, there would still be a significant chance that we could be heading into tough economic times in the coming months. 
Our economy has been in decline for a very long time, and that decline appears to be accelerating.  There aren't enough jobs, the quality of our jobs continues to decline, our economic infrastructure is being systematically gutted, and poverty has been absolutely exploding.  Things have gotten so bad that former President Jimmy Carter says that the middle class of today resembles those that were living in poverty when he was in the White House.  But this process has been happening so gradually that most Americans don't even realize what has happened.  Our economy is being fundamentally transformed, and the pace of our decline is picking up speed.  The following are 22 reasons to be concerned about the U.S. economy as we head into the holiday season...
#1 According to Gallup, we have just seen the largest drop in U.S. economic confidence since 2008.
#2 Retailers all over America are reporting disappointing sales figures, and many analysts are very concerned about what the holiday season will bring.  The following is an excerpt from a recent Zero Hedge article...
Chico’s FAS [CHS] Earnings Call 8/28/13:

Traffic was our issue in quarter two. In a highly promotional and challenging environment, comparable sales result was a negative 2.6 percent on top of a positive 5.6 percent last year and a positive 12.8 percent in 2011.”

William-Sonoma [WSM] Earnings Call 8/28/13:

The retail environment, it seems to indicate there’s still a lot of uncertainty out there, that the promotional environment has not gone away and that the retail environment in general continues to be choppy, especially with the recent earnings releases and this global unrest, and we just don’t want to get ahead of ourselves.”

Zale Corp [ZLC] Earnings Call 8/28/13:

“Overall, we continue to take a conservative view of market conditions in both the U.S. and in Canada. That being said, we do expect to continue to achieve positive top line growth. We expect store closures will impact our overall revenue growth for the year by about 250 basis points. It represents net closures of approximately 50 to 55 retail locations.”

DSW Inc. [DSW] Earnings Call 8/27/13:

We did have a traffic decline in Q2, sort of similar to what just about every other retailer in America has reported.”

Guess? [GES] Earnings Call 8/28/13:

“The Korean business continued to be strong as revenue grew in the high single digits in local currency during the quarter. This was offset with the weakness from China, where we are seeing clear evidence of a pullback in consumer spending behavior because of the slowdown in the economy.”

Aeropostale [ARO] Earnings Call 8/22/13:

“Our business trends in the second quarter did not change materially from earlier in the year, which was disappointing given the level of change we registered with the brand. This performance in the third quarter outlook is being influenced by a challenging retail environment, with weak traffic trends and high levels of promotional activity.
#3 Domestic vehicle sales just experienced their largest "miss" relative to expectations since January 2009.
#4 One of the largest furniture manufacturers in America was recently forced into bankruptcy.
#5 According to the Wall Street Journal, the 2013 holiday shopping season is already being projected to be the worst that we have seen since 2009.
#6 The Baltic Dry Index recently experienced the largest 4 day drop that we have seen in 11 months.
#7 Merck, one of the largest drug makers in the nation, has announced the elimination of 8,500 jobs.
#8 Overall, corporations announced the elimination of 387,384 jobs through the first nine months of this year.
#9 The number of announced job cuts in September 2013 was 19 percent higher than the number of announced job cuts in September 2012.
#10 The labor force participation rate is the lowest that it has been in 35 years.
#11 As I mentioned the other day, the labor force participation rate for men in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket is at an all-time low.
#12 Approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.
#13 Incredibly, only 47 percent of all adults in America have a full-time job at this point.
#14 U.S. consumer delinquencies are starting to rise again.
#15 The Postal Service recently defaulted on a 5.6 billion dollar retiree health benefit payment.
#16 The national debt has increased more than twice as fast as U.S. GDP has grown over the past two years.
#17 Obamacare is causing health insurance premiums to skyrocket and this is reducing the disposable income that consumers have available.
#18 Median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row.
#19 The gap between the rich and the poor in the United States is at an all-time record high.
#20 Former President Jimmy Carter says that the middle class in America has declined so dramatically that the middle class of today resembles those that were living in poverty when he was in the White House.
#21 According to a Gallup poll that was recently released, 20.0% of all Americans did not have enough money to buy food that they or their families needed at some point over the past year.  That is just under the record of 20.4% that was set back in November 2008.
#22 Right now, one out of every five households in the United States is on food stamps.  There are going to be a lot of struggling families out there this winter, so please be generous with organizations that help the poor.  A lot of people are really going to need their help during the cold months ahead.

Wesley Pruden: Are the blind eyes of America's Left-wing "intellectuals" finally opening up about Obama?

Courtesy of

Why are intellectuals, sometimes the most intelligent among us, so dumb?

This is the question that confounds everyone; some intellectuals most of all. The late William F. Buckley Jr., a certified egghead, once said he would rather be governed by the first 50 names in the Boston telephone book than by the professors at Harvard.

Another wit observes that an intellectual is someone who so prefers theory over experience that he would sit down on a red-hot stove, twice. You can be too smart for your own good, and have the blisters on your bottom to prove it.

The intellectual romance with the clever Barack Obama continues. Having invested so much in candy and flowers, they must ignore all the evidence of being dumped.

His cultivated demeanor and carefully applied patina of synthetic sophistication, fraudulent as it may be, is what attracted the adoration of intellectuals from across the political spectrum in 2008, says Charles Murray, the social scientist and an intellectual with impressive books, studies and learned papers. He admits that he’s a dumpee.

“It’s kind of embarrassing to admit it,” he tells an interviewer for the website Daily Caller, “but I responded in part to his rhetoric because he talks just like me.

“It’s his whole way of presentation of self … of a little self-deprecation in the argument and picking out a nuance here, which is all the ways that we overeducated people have been socialized in the same way. It’s the way we carry on discourse. Along with [seeing] what was a very engaging personality, I kind of ignored things which … a lot of working-class people glommed onto right away.”

Working-class stiffs, the people an earlier generation of political scientists called “Joe Sixpack,” having earned their blisters and calluses by heavy lifting, are too smart to take a seat on the red-hot stove even once.

Having been to some big towns and heard some big talk, they were too smart by miles to be taken in by a smooth-talking butter and egg man from Chicago.

“It’s not that I think he is not a patriot,” says Mr. Murray, “but remember the line, he said, ‘You didn’t build that.’ No American is going to think you can say that, no matter what your political views are, because it’s just disastrous to say that. He is clueless about this country in some profoundly disturbing ways.”

How could he not be clueless about his native land, when he absorbed anti-American venom in his tender and formative years as a child in the Third World? He was deprived of the instincts and cultural intuitions that are the native son’s birthright.

No other American president in anyone’s imagination would instruct the National Park Service to evict veterans of World War II, many arriving in wheelchairs or moving with unsteady gait on walkers and walking canes to see the long-awaited memorial to the celebration and sacrifice of their unselfish generation.

The veterans had run afoul of the instructions to the Park Service rangers to “make life as difficult for people as we can.”

Then, only days later, thousands of illegal aliens were invited to rally for privilege and amnesty on the very soil where the veterans, American citizens all, were forcibly told they were not welcome.

Presidents of all stripes usually think they’re special and should be treated that way. But no president before him has guarded his privacy like President Obama.

He constructed his personal history with a ghost-written autobiography and refused to answer questions. He let speculation about his birthplace fester for months, stretching into years, before producing the evidence that put the questions to rest.

This raised no questions from the intellectual class. Why would he have done that?

Inquiring minds didn’t want to know. Mr. Obama’s obsessive protection of personal privacy, however, does not extend to everyone else.

The government eavesdropping on telephone calls, the collection of Internet correspondence, the probing into everyone’s underwear at the airport is OK.

The private man in the White House says so.

So, too, the intimate and intrusive questions asked by the health care schemers, backed by the weight and authority of the Internal Revenue Service. Inquiring intellectual minds don’t want to know about that, either.

Fortunately for all of us, the working-class stiffs, often untutored and even crude in their impolite and impolitic curiosity, continue to “glom” onto the holes in the story of how he would be “the uniting president” of “hope and change.”

His approval ratings have dropped into the 30 percent range. Obamacare now frightens most of us.

The fraud and misrepresentation recognized years ago by Joe Sixpack and his buddies is writ so large now that even an egghead can see it.

Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.

Obama reduced to making snadwiches: The overthrow of Barack Obama by the last bastion of the Status Quo elites

Reduced to making sandwiches - this is what Obama did while the congressional elites met to work out some kind of budget agreement. The fact that Obama was not involved shows that he is now irrelevant to running America; this is a type of coup overthrowing him and revealing who really holds the power in DC.

If you didn't catch the story about Obama showing up at a volunteer sandwich making charity, you missed the most incredible statement of what Obama has become in the American political system.

That he was outside the WH while budget warfare reigned on Capitol Hill tells you Obama is now completely irrelevant.

They got rid of him because he is useless. If he had a part to play, he would be in the negotiations - he doesn't have a part to play because when things get serious, the elites know they have to get the incompetent Obama out of the picture to get anything done.

For all practical purposes this is the overthrow of Obama as president. From this point forward, the new rulers are the Capitol Hill elites. This is a subtle, but important coup against Obama.

Now we contend with the last bastion of the Status Quo. The facade is stripped away; what everyone always knew was true about his incompetence is laid bare for all to see.

The congressional elites now run the game, and Obama will do whatever they tell him to do - including getting out of town so the adults can get the nation's work done.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Al Sharpton getting targeted for Black Racist hate-speech with advertisers' boycott

The most transparant? Team Obama rules over a Reign of Fear against its former presstitute lapdogs

Courtesy of

Many reporters covering national security and government policy in Washington these days are taking precautions to keep their sources from becoming casualties in the Obama administration’s war on leaks. They and their remaining government sources often avoid phone conversations and e-mail exchanges, arranging furtive one-on-one meetings instead.

“We have to think more about when we use cellphones, when we use e-mail and when we need to meet sources in person,” said Michael Oreskes, senior managing editor of the Associated Press. “We need to be more and more aware that government can track our work without talking to our reporters, without letting us know.”

These concerns, expressed by numerous journalists I interviewed, are well-founded. Relying on the 1917 Espionage Act, which was rarely invoked before President Obama took office, this administration has secretly used the phone and e-mail records of government officials and reporters to identify and prosecute government sources for national-security stories.

Just two weeks ago, the Justice Department announced that Donald Sachtleben, a former FBI bomb technician who had also worked as a contractor for the bureau, had agreed to plead guilty to “unlawfully disclosing national-defense information relating to a disrupted terrorist plot” in Yemen last year.

“Sachtleben was identified as a suspect in the case of this unauthorized disclosure” to an Associated Press reporter, according to the announcement, “only after toll records for phone numbers related to the reporter were obtained through a subpoena and compared to other evidence collected during the leak investigation.”

Times reporter Scott Shane, whose e-mail traffic with a former CIA officer was subpoenaed and seized, told me that the chilling lesson “is that seemingly innocuous e-mails not containing classified information can be construed as a crime.”

Six government employees and two contractors, including fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden, have been prosecuted since 2009 under the Espionage Act for providing information to reporters.

Many of the leakers could be characterized as whistleblowers rather than spies; they publicized actions for which the government should be held accountable. But the Obama administration has drawn a dubious distinction between whistleblowing that reveals bureaucratic waste or fraud, and leaks to the news media about unexamined secret government policies and activities; it punishes the latter as espionage.

After The New York Times published a 2012 story by David Sanger about covert cyberattacks by the United States and Israel against Iran’s nuclear enrichment facilities, federal prosecutors and the FBI questioned scores of officials throughout the government who were identified in computer analyses of phone, text and e-mail records as having contact with Sanger.

“A memo went out from the chief of staff a year ago to White House employees and the intelligence agencies that told people to freeze and retain any e-mail, and presumably phone logs, of communications with me,” Sanger said. As a result, longtime sources no longer talk to him. “They tell me: ‘David, I love you, but don’t e-mail me. Let’s don’t chat until this blows over.’ ”

Sanger, who has worked for the Times in Washington for two decades, said, “This is the most closed, control-freak administration I’ve ever covered.”

“Reporters are interviewing sources through intermediaries now,” Washington Post national news editor Cameron Barr told me, “so the sources can truthfully answer on polygraphs that they didn’t talk to reporters.”

A November presidential memorandum instructed all government departments and agencies to set up pervasive “Insider Threat Programs” to monitor employees with access to classified information and to prevent “unauthorized disclosure,” including to the media.

At the same time, revelations in the documents Snowden provided about the NSA’s collection, storage and searches of phone, text and e-mail data have added to the fear surrounding contacts between reporters and sources.

“People think they’re looking at reporters’ records,” Post national-security reporter Dana Priest told me. “I’m writing fewer things in e-mail. I’m even afraid to tell officials what I want to talk about because it’s all going into one giant computer.”

Will Obama recognize that all this threatens his often-stated but unfulfilled goal of making government more transparent and accountable? None of the Washington news media veterans I talked to were optimistic.

Leonard Downie Jr., a former executive editor of The Washington Post, is a professor of journalism at Arizona State University. This article is based on his report “The Obama Administration and the Press,” forthcoming from the Committee to Protect Journalists. From The Washington Post.