America has always lauded efficiency. Even before the existence of the United States of America, the colonists cultivated a reputation for being efficient marksmen. German gunsmiths immigrated to the colonies and their "rifled" gun barrels proved much more accurate than the smoothbore muskets and blunderbusses, popular in that day. In fact, the pinpoint accuracy of the colonial "rifle-men" would prove to be a major advantage for the rebels against the professional soldiers of Britain, as it allowed them to conserve ammunition and cripple the morale of Lord Howe's men.
Effectiveness and efficiency have always commanded a premium in the United States, but today these traits seem to be more elusive than an affordable insurance policy. Looking through the annals of history, no other nation has achieved a comparable amount of innovation in such a wide variety of disciplines as speedily as America has done. The scientific inventions of Franklin and Edison, the political genius of Madison and Jefferson, the militaristic dominance of Eisenhower and Patton, the novel entertainment of Walt Disney and Elvis, and the entrepreneurial spirit of Gates, Ford, and Jobs only scratch the surface on two and a half centuries of American ingenuity.
But the world-changing products of these American minds did not draw their first breath on a bed of incompetence. Yes, Edison's inventions sometimes took hundreds of iterations to emerge and many of Disney's sketches ended up on the ink-stained linoleum of his studio floor, but those were not their final incarnations. In each case, our free market system rewarded the most effective product with success while simultaneously encouraging future minds to find even more efficient ways of performing the same task. This is how the free market functions and why it works so brilliantly to provide value and prosperity for creator and consumer alike. more >>
Only six Americans successfully enrolled in an insurance plan using the government's healthcare exchange website on the first day it was launched, according to government documents subpoenaed by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The four pages of notes from October 2 and 3 from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services meeting summarize the scope of the problems with the site, what further work most be done, and tally the most recent figures on the number of registrants.
By the end of the website's second day, just 248 people nationwide had been able to purchase insurance policies through the site, the reports indicate. more >>
The presidential election of 2016 will be a defining moment for the nation and for the Republican Party.
Not so for the Democratic Party. There's no controversy among Democrats about what America should be and what their party is about - big government, welfare state socialism, and secular humanism. The only question about who the Democratic presidential candidate will be is which welfare state socialist, secular humanist they will nominate.
The picture for Republicans is more complex and this makes Democrats happy. They see Republican Party intraparty dissension as division and weakness, which, in their view, can only help Democrats. Key issues divide Republicans both about principles – what is America about? – and political strategy – what are the best tactics for electing candidates and advancing the party agenda? more >>
The Associated Press' (AP) photography director attacked the Obama administration's policy of denying photo-journalists access to the president, comparing it to visual "propaganda."
The "President who campaigned on promise of most transparency has tightest control over access for PJs," tweeted photo-journalist Greg Kendall-Ball, whose twitter handle is @gregkb. Kendall-Ball was attending the AP Media Editor's national conference in Indianapolis, Ind., and he attributed this statement to Santiago Lyon, vice president of the AP and the wire service's director of photography, who spoke on Wednesday. Lyon (@slyon66) retweeted Kendall-Ball's tweet, apparently confirming its accuracy.
"White House official photos = visual press release," Kendall-Ball added, attributing both this statement and the follow-up question "Propaganda in America?" to Lyon. Lyon retweeted this as well. more >>
President Barack Obama has a real opportunity to speak out for Christian and religious persecution as well as human rights when he meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Friday afternoon at the White House, said the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
"As you know, over the past year Iraq has experienced the worst sectarian violence since 2008, with the frequency and scope of such violence increasing. This violence is undermining Iraq's progress and threatening its people's safety, particularly the majority Shi'a Muslim population, as well as its smallest religious minority communities, including Christians and Yezidis," USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George said in his letter to Obama.
Major cities across Iraq have been plagued by relentless violence, often in the form of explosives. In the past year, and the violence has spread in the last few months to the northern regions of the country, which had previously been considered a place of refuge for Christians and other religious minorities. more >>
Russian President Vladimir Putin beat American President Barack Obama to the top of Forbes' list of the "Most Powerful People" in 2013, despite Obama having had taken the top spot every year except once since the list began in 2009.
"'Leading from behind' is a very appropriate phrase to say how President Obama handles foreign policy," Richard Benedetto, former White House correspondent and columnist for USA Today, and adjunct professional lecturer at American University's school of communication, told The Christian Post in an interview on Thursday. Benedetto explained that Obama allows other nations to lead because the American people care more about domestic issues.
But the Forbes list is "a reflection, not of domestic politics but of foreign policy politics and where the United States economy stands in the world," the scholar explained. The recent political snafus with the government shutdown and the failed rollout of the Affordable Care Act, also known as "ObamaCare," matter less for this list than the Snowden leaks and the debate over Syria. more >>