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Presidential Proclamation -- American Heart Month, 2013

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Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Sat, 02 Feb 2013 05:27

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

January 31, 2013

AMERICAN HEART MONTH, 2013

- - - - - - -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among American men and women, claiming well over half a million lives annually. While no one is immune to heart disease, everyone can take steps to reduce their risk. During American Heart Month, we make a commitment -- for ourselves and our families -- to staying healthy and keeping our hearts strong.

Although genetic factors likely play a role in cardiovascular disease, there are also several controllable risk factors, including: blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, diabetes, poor diet, obesity, tobacco use, and physical inactivity. Any one of them can lead to heart disease, and additional factors magnify the risk. That is why a heart-healthy lifestyle is so important. Certain improvements to daily routines -- like eating healthy, not smoking, limiting alcohol use, and getting routine health screenings -- can lower several of these risk factors and set the stage for a long and healthy life.

My Administration is committed to helping Americans achieve and maintain heart health. Under the Affordable Care Act, many insurance plans must cover certain preventive services like blood pressure screening and obesity screening at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient. In 2014, a new Health Insurance Marketplace will make affordable health insurance available to millions of men, women, and children -- including those with pre-existing conditions. We are also working to prevent heart disease through efforts like First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, which encourages young people and families to eat healthy and get active. And throughout the Federal Government, we are partnering with communities, health care providers, organizations, and other stakeholders to make care more accessible and prevent more heart attacks than ever before. To learn more, visit www.HealthCare.gov.

On Friday, February 1, Michelle and I invite all Americans to join in marking National Wear Red Day. By wearing red, we pay tribute to men and women affected by heart disease, recognize dedicated health care professionals, honor researchers working toward tomorrow's breakthroughs, and demonstrate our personal commitment to a heart-healthy lifestyle.

In acknowledgement of the importance of the ongoing fight against cardiovascular disease, the Congress, by Joint

Resolution approved December 30, 1963, as amended (77 Stat. 843; 36 U.S.C. 101), has requested that the President issue an annual proclamation designating February as "American Heart Month."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim February 2013 as American Heart Month, and I invite all Americans to participate in National Wear Red Day on February 1, 2013. I also invite the Governors of the States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of other areas subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join me in recognizing and reaffirming our commitment to fighting cardiovascular disease.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

Presidential Proclamation -- National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, 2013

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Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Sat, 02 Feb 2013 05:24

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

January 31, 2013

NATIONAL TEEN DATING VIOLENCE AWARENESS

AND PREVENTION MONTH, 2013

- - - - - - -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

This year, it is estimated that 1 in 10 teens will be hurt intentionally by someone they are dating. While this type of abuse cuts across lines of age and gender, young women are disproportionately affected by both dating violence and sexual assault. This month, we stand with those who have known the pain and isolation of an abusive relationship, and we recommit to ending the cycle of violence that affects too many of our sons and daughters.

Whether physical or emotional, dating violence can leave scars that last a lifetime. Teens who suffer abuse at the hands of a partner are more likely to struggle in school, develop depression, or turn to drugs or alcohol. Victims are also at greater risk of experiencing the same patterns of violence later in life. These tragic realities tug at our conscience, and they call upon us to ensure survivors of abuse get the services and support they need.

We also have a responsibility to make dating violence an act that is never tolerated in our communities, among those we know, or in our own lives. That is why my Administration has made preventing abuse a priority. We continue to support educators, advocates, and organizations who are advancing outreach and education, and we are harnessing the power of technology to get the message out under Vice President Joe Biden's 1is2many initiative. Last June, we built on those efforts by launching a new public service announcement that features professional athletes and other role models speaking out against dating violence. And in the months ahead, we will keep working to empower all Americans in the fight against abuse. To learn more, visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/1is2many.

Each of us has an obligation to stand against dating violence when we see it. This month, as we remember that important lesson, let us rededicate ourselves to making its promise real. I encourage all Americans seeking immediate and confidential advice regarding dating violence to contact the National Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474, by texting "loveis" to 77054, or by visiting www.LoveIsRespect.org. Additional resources are available at www.CDC.gov/features/datingviolence.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 2013 as National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. I call upon all Americans to support efforts in their communities and schools, and in their own families, to empower young people to develop healthy relationships throughout their lives and to engage in activities that prevent and respond to teen dating violence.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

Presidential Proclamation: National African American History Month, 2013

Link to Article

Source: White House.gov Press Office Feed

Fri, 01 Feb 2013 15:50

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

January 31, 2013

By The President of The United States of America

A Proclamation

In America, we share a dream that lies at the heart of our founding: that no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, no matter how modest your beginnings or the circumstances of your birth, you can make it if you try. Yet, for many and for much of our Nation's history, that dream has gone unfilled. For African Americans, it was a dream denied until 150 years ago, when a great emancipator called for the end of slavery. It was a dream deferred less than 50 years ago, when a preacher spoke of justice and brotherhood from Lincoln's memorial. This dream of equality and fairness has never come easily -- but it has always been sustained by the belief that in America, change is possible.

Today, because of that hope, coupled with the hard and painstaking labor of Americans sung and unsung, we live in a moment when the dream of equal opportunity is within reach for people of every color and creed. National African American History Month is a time to tell those stories of freedom won and honor the individuals who wrote them. We look back to the men and women who helped raise the pillars of democracy, even when the halls they built were not theirs to occupy. We trace generations of African Americans, free and slave, who risked everything to realize their God-given rights. We listen to the echoes of speeches and struggle that made our Nation stronger, and we hear again the thousands who sat in, stood up, and called out for equal treatment under the law. And we see yesterday's visionaries in tomorrow's leaders, reminding us that while we have yet to reach the mountaintop, we cannot stop climbing.

Today, Dr. King, President Lincoln, and other shapers of our American story proudly watch over our National Mall. But as we memorialize their extraordinary acts in statues and stone, let us not lose sight of the enduring truth that they were citizens first. They spoke and marched and toiled and bled shoulder-to-shoulder with ordinary people who burned with the same hope for a brighter day. That legacy is shared; that spirit is American. And just as it guided us forward 150 years ago and 50 years ago, it guides us forward today. So let us honor those who came before by striving toward their example, and let us follow in their footsteps toward the better future that is ours to claim.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 2013 as National African American History Month. I call upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

Happy Randsday! Give Yourself A Present This Randsday! - Capitalism Magazine

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Sat, 02 Feb 2013 21:01

February 2nd is the birthday of Ayn Rand, the author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Ayn Rand developed and defended Objectivism, a philosophy that advocates ''rational selfishness.''

To celebrate Randsday, you do something not done on any other holiday: you give yourself a present. Randsday is for getting that longed-for luxury you ordinarily would not buy for yourself. Or for doing that long-postponed, self-pampering activity you cannot seem to fit into your chore-packed schedule.

Randsday is for reminding ourselves that pleasure is an actual need, a psychological requirement for a human consciousness. For man, motivation, energy, enthusiasm are not givens. Psychological depression is not only possible but rampant in our duty-preaching, self-denigrating culture. The alternative is not short-range, superficial ''fun,'' but real, self-rewarding pleasure. On Randsday, if you do something that you ordinarily would think of as ''fun,'' you do it on a different premise and with a deeper meaning: that you need pleasure, you are entitled to it, and that the purpose and justification of your existence is: getting what you want'--what you really want, with full consciousness and dedication.

In The Fountainhead, Peter Keating comes to realize this:

Katie, I wanted to marry you. It was the only thing I ever really wanted. And that's the sin that can't be forgiven'--that I hadn't done what I wanted. It feels so dirty and pointless and monstrous, as one feels about insanity, because there's no sense to it, no dignity, nothing but pain'--and wasted pain. . . . Katie, why do they always teach us that it's easy and evil to do what we want and that we need discipline to restrain ourselves? It's the hardest thing in the world'--to do what we want. And it takes the greatest kind of courage. I mean, what we really want. As I wanted to marry you. Not as I want to sleep with some woman or get drunk or get my name in the papers. Those things'--they're not even desires'--they're things people do to escape from desires'--because it's such a big responsibility, really to want something.

Randsday is the time to challenge any duty-premise, re-affirm your love of your values, and honor the principle that joy in living is an end in itself.

Have a selfish Randsday!

Made available from www.randsday.com

About Harry BinswangerDr. Binswanger, a longtime associate of Ayn Rand, is a professor of philosophy at the Objectivist Academic Center of the Ayn Rand Institute.Special Offer: Dr. Binswanger moderates Harry Binswanger's List (HBL)--an email list for Objectivists for discussing philosophic and cultural issues. The HBL is $14 per month or $145 per year; a free one-month trial is available at: www.hblist.com.

Moonlight tower - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Moonlight towers in Austin, Texas

Moonlight Towers

U.S. National Register of Historic Places

A moonlight tower at night

Location: Austin and vicinity

Nearest city: Austin, Texas

Architect: Fort Wayne Electric Co.

NRHP-Reference#: 76002071

Added to NRHP: July 12, 1976

Austin, Texas is the only city in the world known to still operate a system. The towers are 165 feet (50-m) tall and have a 15 feet (4.6-m) foundation. This type of tower was manufactured in Indiana by Fort Wayne Electric Company and assembled onsite.[1] In 1894, the City of Austin purchased 31 used lighting towers from Detroit. A single tower cast light from six carbon arc lamps, illuminating a 1,500 feet (460-m) radius circle brightly enough to read a watch.[2]

The Austin Moonlight Towers were erected, at least partially, in response to the actions of the Servant Girl Annihilator. This claim has been repudiated by some since the towers were erected in 1894 and 1895, ten years after the murders took place.[3]

Moonlight tower in Austin, Texas

When first installed, the towers were connected to their own electric generators at the Austin dam (on the site of present day Tom Miller Dam). Over the years they were switched from their original carbon-arc lamps (which were exceedingly bright and time consuming to maintain) to incandescent lamps in the 1920s, and mercury vapor lamps in the 1930s. Mercury vapor lighting allowed the installation of a switch at each tower's base. During World War II, a central switch was installed, allowing citywide blackouts in case of air raids.

Servant Girl Annihilator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Sun, 03 Feb 2013 01:03

An unknown serial killer, popularly known today as the Servant Girl Annihilator, preyed upon the city of Austin, Texas (1885 population approximately 17,000)[1] during the years 1884 and 1885.[1] The series of murders was referred to by contemporary sources as "The Servant Girl Murders."[2] The December 26, 1885 issue of The New York Times reported that the "murders were committed by some cunning madman, who is insane on the subject of killing women."[3]

[edit]MurdersAccording to Texas Monthly, seven females (five black, two white), and one black male were murdered. Additionally, six women and two men were seriously injured. All of the victims were attacked indoors while asleep in their beds. Five of the female victims were then dragged, unconscious but still alive, and killed outdoors. Three of the female victims were severely mutilated while outdoors. Only one of the murdered male victims was mutilated indoors. According to Texas Monthly, all of the victims were posed in a similar manner. Six of the murdered female victims had a "sharp object" inserted into their ears. The series of murders ended with the killing of two white women, Eula Phillips, age 17, and Susan Hancock, who was attacked while sleeping in the bed of her sixteen year-old daughter, on the night of 24 December 1885.[1]

According to a page one article in the New York Times of December 26, 1885, four hundred men were arrested during the course of the year.[3] According to Texas Monthly, powerful elected officials refused to believe that one man or one group of men was responsible for all of the murders. Only one of those arrested, James Phillips, was convicted of the murder of his wife, Eula Phillips. The conviction was later overturned.[1]

The serial-murders represent an early example of a serial killer operating in the United States, three years before the Jack the Ripper murders in Whitechapel.[1] In her book, Jack the Ripper: The American Connection author Shirley Harrison asserted that the Texas killer and Jack the Ripper were one and the same man, namely, James Maybrick. According to author Phillip Sugden in The Complete History of Jack the Ripper, the conjecture that the murders were committed by the same hand originated in October, 1888, when an editor with the Atlanta Constitution proposed the conjecture following the murders of Stride and Eddowes by Jack the Ripper.[4] London authorities questioned several American cowboys, one of whom, according to the authors of Jack the Ripper, A to Z, possibly having been Buck Taylor, a performer in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show,[5] who was born in Fredricksburg, Texas,[6] about seventy miles southwest of the city of Austin, Texas.

[edit]The Malay cook suspectAccording to the Atchison Daily Globe of November 19, 1888, the Austin American-Statesman reported that a Malay cook "running on ocean vessels' was a suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders. The newspaper reported that "a Malay cook had been employed at a small hotel in Austin in 1885. Furthermore, the newspaper reported that the Austin reporter:

...investigated the matter, calling on Mrs. Schmidt, who kept the Pearl House, near the foot of Congress Avenue opposite the Union depot, 3 years ago. It was ascertained that a Malay cook calling himself Maurice had been employed at the house in 1885 and that he left some time in January 1886. It will be remembered that the last of the series of Austin women murders was the killing of Mrs. Hancock and Mrs. Eula Phillips, the former occurring on Christmas eve 1885, just before the Malay departed, and that the series then ended. A strong presumption that the Malay was the murderer of the Austin women was created by the fact that all of them except two or three resided in the immediate neighborhood of the Pearl House.

''

''

[edit]VictimsMollie Smith, 25, was murdered the night of 30 December 1884. Walter Spencer was seriously injured.[1]Clara Strand and Christine Martenson, two Swedish servant girls, were seriously wounded the night of 19 March 1885.[1]Eliza Shelly was murdered the night of 6 May 1885.[1]Irene Cross bled to death after being attacked by a man with a knife on the night of 22 May 1885.[1]Clara Dick was seriously injured in August, 1885.[1]Mary Ramey, 11, was murdered the night of 30 August 1885. Her mother, Rebecca Ramey was seriously injured.[1]Gracie Vance, was murdered on the night of 28 September 1885. Orange Washington was also killed during the attack upon Vance. Lucinda Boddy, and Patsey Gibson were seriously injured.[1]Susan Hancock was murdered the night of 24 December 1885[1]Eula Phillips was murdered the night of 24 December 1885. Her husband, James Phillips, was seriously injured.[1][edit]Eyewitness accountsAccording to a June 2000 article appearing in the Texas Monthly about the murders, there was an eyewitness who claimed to have seen the murderer(s) but reported contradictory information to police and detectives. The killer(s) was reported to be white, or "dark" complexioned; to be a "yellow man" wearing lampblack to conceal his skin color; a man wearing a Mother Hubbard style dress; a man wearing a slouch hat; or a man wearing a hat and also a white rag that covered the lower portion of his face. There were also reports that the killer worked with an accomplice, or was part of a "gang" of murderers. The African-American community and some practitioners of voodoo believed the killer was a white man who had magic powers that enabled him to appear invisible, as no dogs outside or in fenced-yards adjacent to locations where murders occurred were heard to bark or raise any alarm.[1]

[edit]ResponseThe series of murders stopped when additional police officers were hired, rewards were offered and citizens formed a vigilance committee to patrol the streets at night.[8] Contemporary newspapers reported that the murderer(s) had apparently fled the area, as no more murders were officially attributed to the killer by the authorities.[1] The still existing Austin Moon Towers were installed for safety ten years after the murder spree.[1]

[edit]In popular cultureWilliam Sydney Porter, better known as the short story writer O. Henry, was living in Austin at the time of the murders. Porter coined the term "Servant Girl Annihilators" in a May 10, 1885, letter addressed to his friend Dave Hall and later included in his anthology Rolling Stones: "Town is fearfully dull", wrote Porter, "except for the frequent raids of the Servant Girl Annihilators, who make things lively in the dull hours of the night...." However, no contemporary newspaper or published source referred to the murderer(s) as "The Servant Girl Annihilator."[1]

[edit]References^ abcdefghijklmnopqrHollandsworth, Skip. "Capital Murder", Texas Monthly, July 2000.^Galloway, J.R. The Servant Girl Murders: Austin, Texas 1885. 2010. ISBN 1-60910-123-5.^ ab"Three Murders in One Night", New York Times, December 26, 1885.^Sugden, Philip. The Complete History of Jack the Ripper. Carroll & Graf, 1995. ISBN 0-7867-0276-1.^Paul Begg, Martin Fido, Keith Skinner. Jack the Ripper, A to Z John Blake Publishing, 2010. ISBN 1-84454-797-3.^Russell, Don. The Lives and Legends of Buffalo Bill. University of Oklahoma Press, 1979. p. 306. ISBN 0-8061-1537-8.^"The Malay Cook: Strange Coincidence in the Austin and Whitechapel Woman Murders", Atchison Daily Globe. Atchison, Kansas. November 19, 1888 from Casebook.org^Ramsland, Katherine. "Servant Girl Annihilator", truTV Crime Library.PersondataNameServant Girl AnnihilatorAlternative namesShort descriptionDate of birthPlace of birthDate of deathPlace of death

2nd Oval Office Readied in White House Rehab Project

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Sat, 02 Feb 2013 05:43

This summer there will be two Oval Offices in the White House complex, and it won't be a case of double vision.

In preparation for a major, two-year renovation of the West Wing, the government is undertaking extensive work to complete a new executive office for President Obama at the south end of the adjacent Eisenhower Executive Office Building, RCP has learned.

The president's facsimile Oval Office, created as a nearly identical replica of the most famous ovoid room in the world, is slated to be ready for occupancy by August if Obama is ready to move and if design challenges are resolved. The build-out of the new ''West Wing quarters'' inside the Eisenhower building has begun, but unforeseen construction hurdles may alter plans for the eventual placement of the new office inside the EEOB, according to several knowledgeable sources.

The timing of Obama's move to a substitute executive suite is in part dependent on the president's readiness to begin working in the temporary quarters for what could be as long as two years, sources told RCP. The West Wing phase of a larger, $376 million project begun in September 2010 was put on pause through last year's election, although funding and contracts were ready, the sources said. If Mitt Romney had won in November, Obama would have handed decisions about whether and how to proceed with the rehab project to his successor, they added.

Since the Oval Office was added to the White House in 1909 (during the Taft administration), decades of repairs, redecoration and technological add-ons have been layered atop an antique foundation -- meaning that other presidents have been inconvenienced in this fashion.

Herbert Hoover, for example, had to make significant repairs after an electrical fire in 1929, and relocated for a brief time across the street to the secretary of the Navy's office. Sources described how Obama's West Wing rehab will tackle a down-to-the-studs overhaul of America's iconic seat of power.

Though Obama won't be the first modern president to work in an executive suite nearby, he has described the Oval Office as a ''surprisingly comfortable'' place in which to get real work done, and he lauds his 70-yard walk from home to office as one of the perks of his position.

President Nixon treated the Oval Office as a ceremonial suite, choosing to do most of his writing, thinking and phone-calling (and some tape-recording) in Room 180 of what was then called the Old Executive Office Building. His office was located at the top of building's steps, closest to the West Wing. President Johnson, out of respect for his assassinated predecessor, John F. Kennedy, also used the Oval Office only as a formal setting with visitors and continued to do most of his work in his vice presidential suite located in Room 274 of the OEOB.

This week, fresh lumber and rebar are visible as walls rise out of the ground at 17th and State streets NW, at the southwest corner of the executive office building that began as home to the U.S. War Department in 1888. The small construction site, which is shrouded from view by tall chain-link fences and forest-green tarps, signals one of the preparatory phases for the eventual West Wing overhaul, according to sources familiar with the plans.

Workers are building what will become a temporary blast-proof, secure VIP visitors' entrance to the granite EEOB behemoth, which already houses most of what is known as the Executive Office of the President. The new, secure gate -- slated to be operable by June -- is intended to become an entryway for VIP guests, akin to the existing West Wing lobby, sources told RCP.

Because the Oval Office is an internationally renowned symbol of American power -- and because considerable disruption is involved in transitioning out of the West Wing -- the precise timing of the relocation and West Wing interior demolition is somewhat up in the air. ''We have eight to 10 months to get ready,'' one source said.

The president's senior advisers, now squeezed into the coveted but cramped West Wing quarters, are expected to move with Obama across a narrow drive to the Eisenhower building.

The West Wing renovation is the latest phase of a significant project that resulted last year in the completion of a secret bunker-like facility deep underneath the White House driveway. The work also included construction under West Executive Drive, the private lane between the two buildings in the White House complex. The drive is ostensibly used as a VIP entrance for vehicles and as a parking lot.

Although officials described the excavation project completed last year in front of the West Wing lobby as an upgrade of air conditioning, plumbing and basic ''infrastructure,'' reporters chronicled the mysterious cavalcade of heavy trucks -- their commercial identifiers covered over -- as they deposited steel beams, huge pipes, concrete, electrical equipment and even a hot water heater into the cavernous hole.

Although the White House and General Services Administration officials responsible for the project's multiple phases have not publicly discussed its details, many observers have made educated guesses that the deep pit, now covered over by asphalt and grass, encloses a security structure butted against the West Wing.

The President's Emergency Operations Center, used by Vice President Cheney and key officials on Sept. 11, 2001, is located at the far side of the 18-acre complex beneath the East Wing and accessed through a maze of hallways, tunnels and multiple vault-like doors.

The White House Situation Room, located on the lower level at the south side of the West Wing, was renovated in 2006 as a high-tech information fusion center under President Bush. In 2011, Obama and his national security team used the high-tech facility to watch U.S. forces as they killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. (The so-called ''Sit Room'' is not part of the administration's planned upgrades.)

The West Wing overhaul plan was first reported by Carol Ross Joynt in Washingtonian magazine a year ago, although a government spokesman at the time denied that the president would be relocated after the inauguration.

Since Joynt's online report, RCP learned that the stand-in ''Oval Office,'' replicated in shape and Obama beige-ness, is being readied for occupancy within months. And a source pointed RCP to the construction of the new visitors' entrance on 17th Street as evidence that an EEOB relocation project was under way in phases.

RCP also learned that the White House press corps and Obama press staff, currently working just steps from the Oval Office, would be impacted when construction crews and materials arrive. Obama's press office staff will have to relocate, a source said.

The White House briefing room, named for former Press Secretary James S. Brady, as well as journalists' work spaces next to the briefing room, were remodeled in 2007 during a project that required journalists to temporarily set up shop across Pennsylvania Avenue at a government center on Jackson Place.

Obama Nation

Federal Register | Shared Responsibility Payment for Not Maintaining Minimum Essential Coverage

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Sat, 02 Feb 2013 00:26

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148 (124 Stat. 119 (2010)) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-152 (124 Stat. 1029 (2010)) (collectively, the Affordable Care Act), the Federal government, State governments, insurers, employers, and individuals are entrusted with shared responsibility to reform and improve the availability, quality, and affordability of health insurance coverage in the United States. The Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid eligibility for residents of electing States and increases Federal funding for the expansion. The Affordable Care Act also provides individuals and small businesses the ability to purchase private health insurance through State-based, State Partnership, or Federally facilitated competitive market places called Affordable Insurance Exchanges (Exchanges). Through Exchanges, insurance companies will compete for business on a level playing field and qualified consumers will have a choice of health plans to fit their needs.

In addition, the Affordable Care Act includes various insurance market reforms to increase the ability of individuals to enroll in health insurance coverage regardless of preexisting conditions and to eliminate the ability of insurers to charge higher premium prices based on factors other than age, tobacco use, rating area, or family size. Moreover, the Affordable Care Act builds upon the existing private employer-based health insurance system to ensure continued access to high quality health insurance coverage at low cost.

Finally, to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the insurance market reforms, the Affordable Care Act requires a nonexempt individual to maintain minimum essential coverage or make a shared responsibility payment. Section 1501(b) of the Affordable Care Act added section 5000A to a new chapter 48 of subtitle D (Miscellaneous Excise Taxes) of the Code effective for months beginning after December 31, 2013. Section 5000A was subsequently amended by the TRICARE Affirmation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-159 (124 Stat. 1123) and Public Law 111-173 (124 Stat. 1215).

Shared Responsibility Payment for Not Maintaining Minimum Essential CoverageSection 5000A provides nonexempt individuals with a choice: maintain minimum essential coverage for themselves and any nonexempt family members or include an additional payment with their Federal income tax return. Section 5000A(a) and section 5000A(b) provide that nonexempt individuals must have minimum essential coverage for each month beginning after December 31, 2013, or make an additional payment (the shared responsibility payment) with their Federal income tax return for the taxable year that includes such month. Under section 5000A(b)(3)(A), a taxpayer is liable for the shared responsibility payment if any nonexempt individual who may be claimed by the taxpayer as a dependent for a taxable year does not have minimum essential coverage in a month included in that taxable year. Married taxpayers filing a joint return for any taxable year are jointly liable for any shared responsibility payment imposed for the year.

Exempt IndividualsMany individuals are exempt from the shared responsibility payment, including some whose religious beliefs conflict with acceptance of the benefits of private or public insurance and those who do not have an affordable health insurance coverage option available. Section 1311(d)(4)(H) of the Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18031(d)(4)(H)) directs Exchanges to issue to qualified individuals certificates of exemption from the requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage or the shared responsibility payment under section 5000A. Section 1411 of the Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18081) generally provides procedures for determining an individual's eligibility for various benefits relating to health coverage, including exemptions from the application of section 5000A. The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of the Treasury are working in close coordination to release regulations and other guidance related to Exchanges.

On March 27, 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services released final regulations related to the establishment of, and the standards applicable to, Exchanges (45 CFR 155.10 and following sections (Exchange regulations)). Section 155.200(b) of the Exchange regulations directs an Exchange to issue exemption certificates in accordance with sections 1311(d)(4)(H) and 1411 of the Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18031(d)(4)(H), 18081). The Department of Health and Human Services is publishing proposed regulations detailing the standards by which Exchanges will issue certificates of exemption under section 5000A. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchange Functions: Eligibility for Exemptions; Minimum Essential Coverage Provisions (to be codified at 45 CFR 155.600 and following sections).

Section 5000A(d) and (e) describe individuals who are exempt from making the shared responsibility payment even if they do not have minimum essential coverage for a given month. Under section 5000A(d)(2)(A), an individual is exempt for a month for which an Exchange certifies that the individual is a member of a recognized religious sect or a division thereof described in section 1402(g)(1) and is an adherent of established tenets or teachings of that sect or division. Section 1402(g)(1) provides an exemption from self-employment tax for members of a qualified religious sect or division thereof. A qualified religious sect or division thereof described in section 1402(g)(1) is a sect or division thereof that the Commissioner of Social Security finds: (1) has established tenets or teachings by reason of which its members and adherents are conscientiously opposed to acceptance of the benefits of any private or public insurance that makes payments in the event of death, disability, old age, or retirement or makes payments toward the cost of, or provides services for, medical care (including the benefits of any insurance system established by the Social Security Act); (2) maintains, and has maintained for a substantial period of time, a practice whereby its members make provision for its dependent members that is reasonable in view of their general level of living; and (3) has been in existence at all times since December 31, 1950.

Section 5000A(d)(2)(B) provides that an individual is exempt for a month that the individual is a member of a health care sharing ministry. A health care sharing ministry is an organization: (1) which is described in section 501(c)(3) and exempt from tax under section 501(a); (2) members of which share a common set of ethical or religious beliefs and share medical expenses among themselves in accordance with those beliefs, and regardless of the State in which a member resides or is employed; (3) members of which retain membership even after they develop a medical condition; (4) which has itself (or a predecessor of which has) been in existence at all times since December 31, 1999; (5) members of which have continuously and without interruption shared medical expenses since at least December 31, 1999; and (6) which conducts an annual audit performed by an independent certified public accounting firm in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles the report of which is made available to members of the public upon request.

Section 5000A(d)(3) provides that an individual is exempt for a month that the individual is neither a citizen or national of the United States nor an alien lawfully present in the United States.

Section 5000A(d)(4) provides that an individual is exempt for a month that the individual is incarcerated, except for incarceration pending the disposition of charges.

Section 5000A(e)(1) provides that an individual is exempt for a month for which the individual lacks access to affordable minimum essential coverage. For this purpose, an individual lacks access to affordable coverage if the individual's required contribution (determined on an annual basis) for minimum essential coverage exceeds a percentage (8 percent for 2014) of the individual's household income for the most recent taxable year for which the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary, determines information is available.

In general, section 5000A(c)(4)(B) defines a taxpayer's household income as the sum of the taxpayer's modified adjusted gross income and the modified adjusted gross income of any other member of a taxpayer's family (that is, individuals for whom the taxpayer properly claims a deduction under section 151 (relating to the personal exemption deduction)) who are required to file a Federal income tax return. Under section 5000A(c)(4)(C), modified adjusted gross income means adjusted gross income (within the meaning of section 62) increased by amounts excluded from gross income under section 911 and tax-exempt interest a taxpayer receives or accrues in the taxable year. Unlike section 36B(d)(2)(B), modified adjusted gross income for purposes of section 5000A does not include Social Security benefits that are not includable in gross income. For purposes of determining the affordability of minimum essential coverage under section 5000A(e)(1), the taxpayer's household income is increased by the portion of the required contribution made through a salary reduction arrangement and excluded from gross income.

For purposes of determining household income, a taxpayer's family includes all individuals for whom the taxpayer properly claims a personal exemption deduction under section 151 for the taxable year. See also¤ 1.36B-1(d). Taxpayers may claim a personal exemption deduction for themselves, a spouse, and each of their dependents. Section 152 provides that a taxpayer's dependent may be a qualifying child or qualifying relative, including an unrelated individual who lives with the taxpayer.

For an employee eligible to purchase coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan, the required contribution for purposes of the exemption under section 5000A(e)(1) is the employee's share of the annual premium for self-only coverage. For an individual eligible to purchase coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan because the individual is related to an employee, the determination of whether the individual's coverage is affordable is made by reference to the employee's required contribution. For all individuals who are ineligible to purchase coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan, the required contribution is the annual premium for the lowest cost bronze plan available on the Exchange where the individual lives reduced by the credit allowable under section 36B for the taxable year (determined as if the individual enrolled in a plan through such Exchange for the entire taxable year).

Section 5000A(e)(2) provides that an individual is exempt for a month included in a calendar year if the individual's household income for the most recent taxable year for which information is available is less than the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1) for the taxpayer. Section 6012(a)(1) provides, for each filing status, gross income thresholds above which individuals are required to file Federal income tax returns.

As described in this preamble, income-based exemptions under section 5000A(e)(1) and section 5000A(e)(2) rely upon household income for the most recent taxable year that the Secretary of Health and Human Services, after consultation with the Secretary of Treasury, determines information is available. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, after consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, determined that the household income for these exemptions that is available and relevant is the household income for the year for which an exemption is being claimed. See section III.A.3.b. of the preamble to Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchange Functions: Eligibility for Exemptions; Minimum Essential Coverage Provisions (to be codified at 45 CFR 155.600 and following sections, and 45 CFR 156.600 and following sections). The determination by the Secretary of Health and Human Services is reflected in the proposed regulations.

Section 5000A(e)(3) provides that an individual is exempt for a month that the individual is a member of an Indian tribe as defined in section 45A(c)(6). Section 45A(c)(6) describes certain Federally recognized Indian tribes (including any qualified Alaska Native village or regional or village corporation). The Federally recognized Indian tribes are listed in Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, 75 FR 60810 (Oct. 1, 2010), as supplemented by 75 FR 661124 (Oct. 27, 2010), or its successor.

Under section 5000A(e)(4), an individual is exempt for a month the last day of which occurs in a period when the individual does not have minimum essential coverage for a continuous period of less than three months (a short coverage gap). The length of a gap in coverage is determined without regard to the calendar years in which months in the gap occur. If an individual has more than one short coverage gap in a calendar year, the exemption applies only to the earliest short coverage gap. Section 5000A(e)(4) authorizes the Secretary to issue regulations that provide for collecting the shared responsibility payment in cases where gaps in coverage straddle more than one taxable year.

Section 5000A(e)(5) provides that an individual is exempt for a month that the Exchange determines, in accordance with guidance promulgated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the individual suffered a hardship that prevented the individual from obtaining coverage under a qualified health plan. The Department of Health and Human Services is proposing rules on the criteria for application of the hardship exemption. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchange Functions: Eligibility for Exemptions; Minimum Essential Coverage (to be codified at 45 CFR 155.605(g)).

Computation of Shared Responsibility PaymentUnder section 5000A(c), the amount of the shared responsibility payment for any taxable year is generally the sum of monthly penalty amounts for all months in the taxable year in which any nonexempt individual for whom the taxpayer is liable under section 5000A(b) did not have minimum essential coverage. The shared responsibility payment amount for any taxable year may not exceed an amount equal to the national average premium for bronze-level qualified health plans offered through Exchanges for the applicable family size involved.

The monthly penalty amount for a month is equal to1/12of the greater of the following amounts: (1) The flat dollar amount or (2) the percentage of income. The flat dollar amount is the lesser of the following amounts: (a) the sum of the applicable dollar amounts for all nonexempt individuals without minimum essential coverage for whom the taxpayer is liable or (b) 300 percent of the applicable dollar amount. The applicable dollar amount is $95 for 2014, $325 for 2015, and $695 for 2016, and will be increased for calendar years beginning after 2016 by a cost-of-living adjustment. If a nonexempt individual has not attained the age of 18 as of the beginning of a month, the applicable dollar amount for that individual is one-half of the regular applicable dollar amount.

The percentage of income is calculated as the excess of the taxpayer's household income over the taxpayer's Federal income tax return filing threshold under section 6012(a)(1), multiplied by a percentage figure. The percentage figure is 1 percent for taxable years beginning in 2014, 2 percent for taxable years beginning in 2015, and 2.5 percent for taxable years beginning after 2015.

Minimum Essential CoverageSection 5000A(f) defines minimum essential coverage as one of the following: (1) Coverage under a specified government sponsored program, (2) coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan, (3) coverage under a health plan offered in the individual market within a State, (4) coverage under a grandfathered health plan, and (5) other health benefits coverage that the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Secretary, recognizes for purposes of section 5000A(f).

Under section 5000A(f)(1)(A), specified government sponsored programs include the following: (1) The Medicare program under part A of title XVIII of the Social Security Act, (2) the Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act, (3) the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) under title XXI of the Social Security Act, (4) medical coverage under chapter 55 of title 10, United States Code, including the TRICARE program, (5) veterans health care programs under chapter 17 or 18 of title 38, as determined by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Treasury, (6) a health plan under section 2504(e) of title 22 relating to Peace Corps volunteers, and (7) the Nonappropriated Fund Health Benefits Program of the Department of Defense, established under section 349 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1995, 103 (10 U.S.C. 1587 note).

Under section 5000A(f)(2), an eligible employer-sponsored plan is, with respect to an employee, a group health plan or group health insurance coverage offered by an employer to the employee that is: (1) a governmental plan, within the meaning of section 2791(d)(8) of the Public Health Service Act, or (2) any other plan or coverage offered in the small or large group market within a State. An eligible employer-sponsored plan also includes a grandfathered health plan offered in a group market.

Under section 1251 of the Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18011), a grandfathered health plan is a group health plan or health insurance coverage that provided coverage as of the enactment date of the Affordable Care Act (March 23, 2010) or in which an individual was enrolled as of that date. See also¤ 54.9815-1251T(a) (providing guidance regarding grandfathered health plans).

As described in this preamble, the Department of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Treasury Department, may designate other health benefits coverage as minimum essential coverage. The Department of Health and Human Services is proposing a regulation that provides criteria and a process by which other types of coverage may be designated as minimum essential coverage. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchange Functions: Eligibility for Exemptions; Minimum Essential Coverage Provisions (to be codified at 45 CFR 156.600 and following sections).

Under section 5000A(f)(3), health coverage that consists of coverage of certain excepted benefits specified in section 2791(c) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg-91(c)) is not minimum essential coverage. There are four categories of excepted benefits. The first category includes accidental death and dismemberment coverage, disability insurance, general liability insurance, automobile liability insurance, workers' compensation, credit-only insurance (for example, mortgage insurance), and coverage for employer-provided on-site medical clinics. See42 U.S.C. 300gg-91(c)(1). The second category of excepted benefits includes limited-scope dental or vision benefits, long-term care benefits, and benefits provided under certain health flexible spending arrangements. See42 U.S.C. 300gg-91(c)(2). The third category of excepted benefits includes, but only if offered under a policy, certificate, or contract of insurance separate from, and not coordinated with, any group or individual health plan maintained by the same plan sponsor, coverage only for a specified disease or illness (for example, cancer-only policies) or fixed indemnity insurance (for example, a policy that pays a fixed dollar amount, such as $100, per day of hospitalization or illness regardless of the amount of medical expense incurred). See42 U.S.C. 300gg-91(c)(3). The last category of excepted benefits includes, but only if offered under a policy, certificate, or contract of insurance separate from the primary health coverage, Medicare supplemental polices (also known as Medigap or MedSupp insurance), TRICARE supplemental policies, and similar supplemental coverage to coverage under a group health plan. See42 U.S.C. 300gg-91(c)(4).

Under section 5000A(f)(4), an individual is treated as having minimum essential coverage for a month: (1) if the individual is a bona fide resident of a United States possession for the month or (2) if the month occurs during any period described in section 911(d)(1)(A) or section 911(d)(1)(B) that is applicable to the individual. Section 911(d)(1)(A) is applicable to a citizen of the United States who has a tax home outside the United States and is a bona fide resident of a foreign country or countries during an uninterrupted period that includes an entire taxable year. For example, an individual who resides abroad for an entire calendar year is treated as having minimum essential coverage for each month of that calendar year regardless of whether the individual has health coverage of any type. Section 911(d)(1)(B) is applicable to a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident (within the meaning of section 7701(b)) who has a tax home outside the United States and is present in a foreign country or countries for at least 330 full days during a period of 12 consecutive months. In general, an individual who meets either of the foregoing residency requirements under section 911(d)(1) is treated as a qualified individual for purposes of section 911 and may elect to exclude certain foreign earned income and housing costs from gross income.

Administration and ProcedureUnder section 5000A(b)(2), an individual liable for the shared responsibility payment under section 5000A must report the payment with the individual's Federal income tax return for the taxable year including the month or months for which the payment is owed.

Under section 5000A(g)(1), the shared responsibility payment is payable upon notice and demand by the Secretary. The shared responsibility payment is generally assessed and collected in the same manner as an assessable penalty under subchapter B of chapter 68 (sections 6671 through 6725). Unlike the assessable penalties, however, the Secretary may not file notice of lien or levy on the taxpayer's property for failing to pay the assessed shared responsibility payment. Further, a taxpayer may not be subject to criminal prosecution or penalty for failing to pay the assessed shared responsibility payment in a timely manner.

1. Maintenance of Minimum Essential Coverage and Liability for Shared Responsibility PaymentThe proposed regulations provide that, for a month, a nonexempt individual must either have minimum essential coverage or pay the shared responsibility payment.

a. Coverage for a MonthThe proposed regulations provide that, for any calendar month, an individual is treated as having minimum essential coverage if the individual is enrolled in and entitled to receive benefits under a program or plan that is minimum essential coverage for at least one day during the month.

b. Liability for Shared Responsibility Paymenti. Liability for DependentsUnder section 5000A(b)(3)(A), if an individual with respect to whom the shared responsibility payment is imposed for a month is another individual's dependent (as defined in section 152) for the taxable year including that month, the other individual is liable for the shared responsibility payment for the dependent. The proposed regulations clarify that a taxpayer is liable for the shared responsibility payment imposed with respect to any individual for a month in a taxable year for which the taxpayer may claim a personal exemption deduction for the individual (that is, the dependent) for that taxable year. Whether the taxpayer actually claims the individual as a dependent for the taxable year does not affect the taxpayer's liability for the shared responsibility payment for the individual.

The proposed regulations provide special rules for determining liability for the shared responsibility payment attributable to individuals who are adopted or placed in foster care during a taxable year. If a taxpayer legally adopts a child and is entitled to claim the child as a dependent under section 151 for the taxable year when the adoption occurs, the taxpayer is not liable for a shared responsibility payment attributable to the child for the months before the adoption. Conversely, if a taxpayer who is entitled to claim a child as a dependent under section 151 for the taxable year places the child for adoption during the year, the taxpayer is not liable for a shared responsibility payment attributable to the child for the months after the adoption.

The proposed regulations define shared responsibility family to include all individuals for whom a taxpayer (including a spouse, if married filing jointly) is liable for the shared responsibility payment. The proposed regulations clarify that a taxpayer who is an exempt individual remains liable for a shared responsibility payment imposed for a nonexempt dependent who does not have minimum essential coverage.

ii. Joint LiabilitySection 5000A(b)(3)(B) provides that, if an individual for whom the shared responsibility payment is imposed for a month files a joint return for the taxable year including that month, the individual and the individual's spouse are jointly liable for the shared responsibility payment. The proposed regulations clarify that whether one spouse is an exempt individual does not affect the joint liability of the two spouses for the shared responsibility payment.

2. Minimum Essential Coveragea. Government Sponsored ProgramsSection 5000A(f)(1)(A) specifies several government sponsored programs as providing minimum essential coverage by referring to the Federal law authorizing a particular program. In most cases, the relevant law describes a single program or a discrete portion of a larger program. For example, section 5000A(f)(1)(A)(i) lists Part A of the Medicare program under title XVIII of the Social Security Act. However, in some cases, the relevant law establishes programs with limited coverage. For instance, some of the programs under title XIX of the Social Security Act do not provide a scope of benefits comparable to the primary Medicaid program under the same title. In addition, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, in coordination with the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Treasury, determined that only certain health care programs under chapter 17 or 18 of title 38, United States Code provide comprehensive benefits. The programs with limited coverage are similar to coverage consisting of excepted benefits that is not minimum essential coverage under section 5000A(f)(3). Accordingly, the proposed regulations identify limited benefit programs under title XIX of the Social Security Act that are not minimum essential coverage and specify comprehensive health care programs under chapter 17 or 18 of title 38, United States Code, that are minimum essential coverage.

b. Eligible Employer-Sponsored Plansi. In GeneralSection 5000A(f)(2) defines eligible employer-sponsored plan, for an employee, as a group health plan or group health insurance coverage offered by an employer to the employee that is either of the following: (1) A governmental plan (within the meaning of section 2791(d)(8) of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) (42 U.S.C. 300gg-91(d)(8)) or (2) any other plan or coverage offered in the small or large group market within a State. The terms group health plan and group health insurance coverage are not defined in section 5000A. However, section 5000A(f)(5) provides that any term used in section 5000A that is also used in title I of the Affordable Care Act has the same meaning as when used in that title.

Section 1301(b)(3) of the Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18021(b)(3)) provides that group health plan has the same meaning as in section 2791(a) of the PHSA (42 U.S.C. 301gg-91(a)(1)). Section 2791(a) of the PHSA provides that group health plan means an employee welfare benefit plan (as defined in section 3(1) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) (29 U.S.C. 1002(1)) to the extent that the plan provides medical care (as defined in section 2791(a)(2) of the PHSA and including items and services paid for as medical care) to employees and their dependents directly or through insurance, reimbursement, or otherwise. Section 3(1) of ERISA defines employee welfare benefit plan as any plan, fund, or program established or maintained by an employer or by an employee organization, or by both, to the extent that the plan, fund, or program is established or maintained for the purpose of providing for its participants or their beneficiaries, through the purchase of insurance or otherwise, various benefits, which may include medical, surgical, or hospital care or benefits.

Group health plans within the meaning of section 1301(b)(3) of the Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18021(b)(3)) include both insured health plans and self-insured health plans. Accordingly, a self-insured group health plan is an eligible employer-sponsored plan.

ii. Continuation and Retiree CoverageEmployers are required to offer certain former employees continuation coverage under Federal or State law. Many employers offer health benefits coverage to retired employees. Under the PHSA and ERISA, group health plans and employee welfare benefit plans, respectively, include plans offered to former employees. Accordingly, the proposed regulations clarify that coverage provided by an employer to a former employee, including coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), 99 (100 Stat. 82), and retiree health coverage, qualifies as coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan.

c. Other Health Benefits CoverageUnder section 5000A(f)(1)(E), the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Secretary of the Treasury, may designate other health benefits coverage as minimum essential coverage. The Department of Health and Human Services is proposing rules providing standards for determining whether certain other types of health insurance coverage constitute minimum essential coverage and procedures for plan sponsors to follow for a plan to be identified as minimum essential coverage under section 5000A. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchange Functions: Eligibility for Exemptions; Minimum Essential Coverage Provisions (to be codified at 45 CFR 156.600 and following sections).

3. Exempt Individualsa. In GeneralThe term applicable individual is used in section 5000A to describe an individual who is subject to the minimum essential coverage provision under section 5000A(a). Section 5000A(d)(2) through section 5000A(d)(4) describe one category of individuals who are not applicable individuals for purposes of section 5000A. Section 5000A(e)(1) through 5000A(e)(5) describe another category of individuals who are exempt from liability for the shared responsibility payment imposed under section 5000A(b). Although the two categories are distinct in the statute, the consequence for individuals described in either category is the same: individuals in both categories are not subject to the shared responsibility payment for not maintaining minimum essential coverage. Accordingly, the proposed regulations refer to all individuals described in section 5000A(d)(2), (d)(3), or (d)(4), or section 5000A(e)(1), (e)(2), (e)(3), (e)(4), or (e)(5), as exempt individuals. For a month, a nonexempt individual is any individual who is alive for the entire month and is not an exempt individual for the month.

The proposed regulations provide that, in general, an individual is treated as an exempt individual for a month if the individual is an exempt individual for at least one day in the month. In the case of certain individuals who are nonresident aliens (as defined in section 7701(b)(1)(B)), individuals whose household income falls below the return filing threshold, and individuals who experience short coverage gaps, the proposed regulations provide rules on how to determine whether an individual is exempt for a particular month. An individual is exempt for all months included in a taxable year when the individual is a nonresident alien. In the case of an individual whose household income falls below the return filing threshold for a taxable year, the individual is exempt for all months in the taxable year. In the case of an individual experiencing a coverage gap, the individual is exempt for a month included in the first short coverage gap in a calendar year.

b. Members of Recognized Religious Sects or DivisionsUnder section 5000A(d)(2)(A), an individual is exempt for a month that the individual has in effect a religious conscience exemption certification. Only an Exchange may grant a religious conscience exemption certification. Individuals who are members of a recognized religious sect or division thereof described in section 1402(g)(1) and who are adherents of the established tenets or teachings of the sect or division are eligible to receive a religious conscience exemption certification.

c. Exempt NoncitizensThe proposed regulations clarify that an individual who is not a citizen or national of the United States is exempt for a month if the individual is not lawfully present in the United States in that month within the meaning of 45 CFR 155.20 (referring to lawful immigration status within the United States). In addition, an individual who is not a citizen or national of the United States is treated as not lawfully present in the United States for a month in a taxable year if the individual is a nonresident alien as defined in section 7701(b)(1)(B) for that taxable year.

d. Incarcerated IndividualsSection 5000A(d)(4) provides that an individual is exempt for a month for which the individual is incarcerated (other than incarceration pending the disposition of charges). The proposed regulations clarify that an individual confined for at least one day in a jail, prison, or similar penal institution or correctional facility after the disposition of charges is exempt for the month that includes the day.

e. Individuals Who Cannot Afford CoverageSection 5000A(e)(1)(A) provides that an individual is exempt for a month for which the individual does not have access to affordable minimum essential coverage. For this purpose, an individual does not have access to affordable coverage for a month if the individual's required contribution (determined on an annual basis) for coverage for the month exceeds 8 percent of the taxpayer's household income for the taxable year. Under section 5000A(e)(1)(D), for any plan year beginning after 2014, the 8 percent figure is replaced by the percentage figure that the Secretary of Health and Human Services determines reflects the excess of the rate of premium growth between the preceding calendar year and 2013 over the rate of income growth for the same period.

For purposes of determining affordability of coverage, in accordance with section 5000A(e)(1)(A), the proposed regulations require that the taxpayer's household income be increased by the portion of the required contribution made through a salary reduction arrangement and excluded from gross income. In many cases, information on the excluded amount may not be available to the IRS or to the employee. Comments are requested on practicable ways, if any, in which the required adjustment to household income may be made with the information available under sections 6051, 6055, 6056, or other provisions of the Code.

i. Individuals Eligible for Minimum Essential Coverage Under an Eligible Employer-Sponsored PlanA. Eligibility for Coverage Under an Eligible Employer-Sponsored PlanIf an individual is eligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan, whether as an employee or as an individual related to an employee, the individual's qualification for the lack of affordable coverage exemption is determined solely by reference to the cost of coverage under the eligible employer-sponsored plan. The proposed regulations clarify that an employee or related individual is treated as eligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan for each month included in the plan year if the employee or related individual could have enrolled in the plan for that month during an open or special enrollment period.

The proposed regulations also clarify that an employed individual who is eligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan offered by the individual's employer is not treated as eligible as a related individual for coverage under a plan offered by the employer of another employed individual. Thus, if two or more members of a family are employed and their respective employers offer self-only and family coverage under eligible employer-sponsored plans, each employed individual determines the affordability of coverage using the premium for the self-only coverage offered by the individual's employer. Neither individual may determine the affordability of coverage using the premium for family coverage offered by the other individual's employer. In these cases, each employed individual's self-only coverage may be treated as affordable, even though the aggregate cost of covering all employed individuals may exceed 8 percent of the family's household income. The Department of Health and Human Services is proposing rules that would permit families in these circumstances to qualify for the hardship exemption described in section 5000A(e)(5). Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchange Functions: Eligibility for Exemptions; Minimum Essential Coverage Provisions (to be codified at 45 CFR 155.605(g)).

The proposed regulations provide that employee includes a former employee. Thus, an individual eligible to enroll in retiree coverage under a group health plan that is an eligible employer-sponsored plan as defined in section 5000A(f)(2) is treated as eligible to purchase minimum essential coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan under the same rules applicable to current employees. The treatment of former employees is consistent with other provisions of the Code, the PHSA, and ERISA that apply to group health plans of employers.

In addition, the proposed regulations provide that an individual eligible to enroll in continuation coverage required under Federal law, such as COBRA, or a comparable State law is eligible to purchase minimum essential coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan only if the individual enrolls in the coverage. This treatment of former employees eligible for continuation coverage is consistent with the rules provided in ¤ 1.36B-2(c)(3)(iv).

B. Required Contribution for Employees Eligible for Coverage Under an Employer-Sponsored PlanSection 5000A(e)(1)(B)(i) provides that, in the case of an employee eligible to purchase minimum essential coverage through an eligible employer-sponsored plan, the required contribution is the portion of the annualized premium that the individual would pay (without regard to whether paid through salary reduction or otherwise) for self-only coverage. The proposed regulations clarify that, for an employee eligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan, the required contribution is the portion of the annual premium that the employee would pay for the lowest cost self-only coverage.

C. Required Contribution for a Related Individual Eligible for Coverage Under an Eligible Employer-Sponsored PlanSection 5000A(e)(1)(C) provides that, in the case of a related individual eligible to purchase minimum essential coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan because of the individual's relationship with an employee, the related individual's affordability determination is made by reference to the employee's required contribution. The proposed regulations provide that a related individual is an individual who is eligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan because of a relationship to an employee and for whom a personal exemption deduction under section 151 is properly claimed on the employee's Federal income tax return. For example, an employee's spouse is treated as a related individual if the spouse files a joint return with the employee and is eligible for employer-sponsored coverage only under the plan offered to the employee. An individual who is eligible to enroll in an eligible employer-sponsored plan by reason of a relationship to an employee, but who is not claimed as a dependent by the employee, is not treated as a related individual. For purposes of section 5000A, the unclaimed dependent's household income is independently determined.

The proposed regulations clarify that if an employee or related individual is eligible to enroll in an eligible employer-sponsored plan, any eligibility for other coverage (for example, government sponsored minimum essential coverage) is disregarded for purposes of the exemption for lack of affordable coverage.

The proposed regulations further clarify that the required contribution for a related individual's coverage is determined by reference to the premium for the lowest cost coverage under the eligible employer-sponsored plan in which the employee and all related individuals who are included in the employee's family and not otherwise exempt are eligible to enroll. Thus, the required contribution for a spouse and claimed dependents (who are not otherwise exempt) is the premium that the employee would pay for the lowest cost coverage covering the employee, the spouse, and the claimed dependents. The required contribution for self-only coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan may cost less than 8 percent of household income, while the required contribution for family coverage under the same employer plan may cost more than 8 percent of household income. In such a case, the employee is not exempt under section 5000A(e)(1), while the employee's spouse and claimed dependents are exempt.

Finally, some individuals who are claimed as dependents by a taxpayer may not be eligible for coverage under the taxpayer's eligible employer-sponsored plan. The affordability of coverage for these individuals is determined in the manner that applies to them individually. Thus, if a taxpayer is not allowed to enroll a niece who is the taxpayer's dependent in the taxpayer's eligible employer-sponsored plan, the required contribution for the niece is not determined by reference to the cost of coverage under the plan. Instead, unless the niece is eligible for coverage under another eligible employer-sponsored plan, her required contribution is determined under the rules applicable to individuals eligible only to purchase coverage in the individual market.

ii. Individuals eligible only to purchase coverage in the individual marketSection 5000A(e)(1)(B)(ii) defines the term required contribution for an individual eligible only to purchase coverage in the individual market. The proposed regulations clarify that, for any individual who is not an employee or related individual eligible for minimum essential coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan, the required contribution is the premium for the lowest cost bronze plan available in the individual market through the Exchange serving the rating area where the individual resides, reduced by the maximum amount of any premium tax credit that would be allowable if the individual were enrolled in the plan offered through the Exchange.

As explained in this preamble, under the proposed regulations, both the annual premium for the applicable lowest cost bronze plan and the credit allowable under section 36B are determined by reference to coverage for those members of the individual's family who are not otherwise exempt (nonexempt family). Consequently, the required contribution is the same for all members of a nonexempt family who are ineligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan.

A. Premium for the Lowest Cost Bronze PlanThe proposed regulations provide that the lowest cost bronze plan is the lowest cost bronze-level qualified health plan available in the Exchange serving the rating area that would cover all members of the nonexempt family who are ineligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan. Accordingly, the premium for the lowest cost bronze plan is the same for all individuals in a nonexempt family.

The proposed regulations provide special rules for determining the premium for the lowest cost bronze plan if the Exchange does not offer a bronze-level plan that would cover the taxpayer's entire nonexempt family. The proposed regulations provide that, in general, the premium for the lowest cost bronze plan is the sum of the premiums for the lowest cost bronze plans that would, taken together, cover the taxpayer's nonexempt family (for example, for an uncle and two adult dependent nieces, a self-only plan for the uncle and a two-adult or family plan for the nieces). Alternatively, the proposed regulations provide that a taxpayer may elect to use the premium for the lowest cost bronze plan that would apply to a set of individuals that have the same characteristics as the taxpayer's nonexempt family (such as one adult plus children) as if one plan covered all members of the taxpayer's shared responsibility family.

B. Credit Allowable Under Section 36BIn general, a premium tax credit is allowable under section 36B for any coverage month (within the meaning of ¤ 1.36B-3(c)) that occurs in a taxable year in which a taxpayer is an applicable taxpayer (within the meaning of ¤ 1.36B-2(b)). A month is not a coverage month for an individual, and thus no premium tax credit is allowable for the individual's coverage, if the individual is eligible for minimum essential coverage other than coverage offered in the individual market for that month. In general, an applicable taxpayer is a taxpayer whose household income for the taxable year is between 100 percent and 400 percent of the Federal poverty line for the taxpayer's family size.

Section 36B(b)(1) provides that the premium tax credit for any taxable year is the sum of the premium assistance amounts with respect to all coverage months occurring in the taxable year. Under section 36B(b)(2), for any coverage month, the premium assistance amount is the lesser of the following: (1) The monthly premiums for the month for one or more qualified health plans in which the taxpayer or a member of the taxpayer's family (coverage family) is enrolled through the Exchange serving the rating area where they reside or (2) any excess of the adjusted monthly premium for the month for the applicable second lowest cost silver plan for the taxpayer over an amount equal to1/2of the product of the applicable percentage and the taxpayer's household income for the taxpayer. Section 36B, therefore, calculates the allowable credit by treating the family as a single, aggregated unit.

The proposed regulations take a similar family-unit approach to determine the affordability of Exchange coverage. The proposed regulations provide that, for purposes of section 5000A, each individual in the taxpayer's nonexempt family is treated as having enrolled in a qualified health plan through the appropriate Exchange for purposes of determining the credit allowable under section 36B. Therefore, for each individual, a month is treated as a coverage month if the individual is ineligible for minimum essential coverage other than coverage in the individual market for the month. The proposed regulations further provide that the premium assistance amount for the month is the amount that would be allowable under the rules of section 36B if each member of the individual's nonexempt family enrolled in a qualified health plan through an Exchange. Accordingly, for a month that an individual included in a nonexempt family is eligible for minimum essential coverage other than coverage in the individual market, the month is not a coverage month for that individual, the individual is not included in the coverage family for purposes of section 36B, and no premium assistance amount is allowable for the coverage attributable to such individual.

f. Household Income Below Return Filing ThresholdSection 5000A(e)(2) provides that an individual is exempt for a month in a calendar year if the individual's household income for the taxable year is less than the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1) with respect to the taxpayer. The proposed regulations refer to ''the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1) with respect to the taxpayer'' (that is, the minimum amount of gross income that triggers the individual's requirement to file a Federal income tax return under that section) as the applicable filing threshold.

The proposed regulations further clarify that, for any individual who is properly claimed as a dependent, the applicable filing threshold is that of the taxpayer who claims the individual as a dependent. Therefore, if a taxpayer is exempt under section 5000A(e)(2), any individual the taxpayer properly claims as a dependent also is exempt as well. The Treasury Department and the IRS recognize that some taxpayers who do not have sufficient gross income to trigger a return filing requirement nevertheless may have household income that exceeds the return filing threshold. For example, if a taxpayer whose gross income is below the applicable filing threshold files a Federal income tax return in order to claim certain tax benefits (such as the earned income credit or additional child tax credit) and claims a dependent whose gross income triggers a return filing requirement, the household income (which combines the taxpayer's and the dependent's income) may exceed the filing threshold. The Department of Health and Human Services is proposing rules providing that individuals in this circumstance may qualify for a hardship exemption. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Exchange Functions: Eligibility for Exemptions; Minimum Essential Coverage Provisions (to be codified at 45 CFR 155.605(g)). The Treasury Department and the IRS are considering additional methods of accommodating individuals in these circumstances.

g. Short Coverage GapThe proposed regulations clarify that a continuous period without minimum essential coverage is determined by reference to calendar months (for example, January or February) in conjunction with the coverage rule in ¤ 1.5000A-1(b). Therefore, if an individual is enrolled in and entitled to receive benefits under a plan identified as minimum essential coverage for one day in a calendar month, the month is not included in the continuous period when determining the application of the short coverage gap exemption. As a result, the proposed regulations provide that an individual qualifies for the short coverage gap exemption if the continuous period without minimum essential coverage is less than three full calendar months and is the first short coverage gap in the individual's taxable year.

i. Coverage Gap Straddling Multiple Taxable YearsIn general, section 5000A(e)(4)(B)(i) provides that the length of a continuous period is determined without regard to the calendar years in which months in the period occur. However, whether an individual had coverage during the last month, or the last two months, of a taxable year affects the determination of whether any gap in coverage that the individual experiences in the first month, or the first and second months, of the following taxable year qualifies as a short coverage gap. Accordingly, if a calendar year taxpayer has a continuous period of 3 months or longer that starts in November or December of one taxable year and ends in the next taxable year, then January and any ensuing months of the second taxable year that are included in the period are ineligible for the short coverage gap exemption.

Section 5000A(e)(4) expressly authorizes the Secretary to prescribe rules for the collection of the shared responsibility payment in cases in which continuous periods include months in more than one taxable year. Each Federal income tax return covers a single taxable year and requires the taxpayer to account for coverage of the taxpayer's shared responsibility family during the months included in that taxable year. To require a taxpayer to take into account months in the following taxable year may delay or impede the taxpayer's ability to file a timely Federal income tax return. Accordingly, to provide taxpayers with certainty when filing their Federal income tax returns, the proposed regulations provide that an individual who lacks minimum essential coverage for a period no longer than the last two months of a taxable year will be deemed to have a short coverage gap exemption for those months if the short coverage gap is the first to occur in that taxable year, without regard to whether the individual is covered during the first months of the following taxable year.

ii. Coordination With Other ExemptionsThe proposed regulations clarify that, for purposes of determining whether a short coverage gap applies, an individual is treated as covered under minimum essential coverage for a month in which the individual qualifies for a section 5000A exemption (other than the short coverage gap exemption). Therefore, the short coverage exemption applies to a month in which no other section 5000A exemption applies, and a month in which an individual is otherwise exempt is not taken into account in determining the length of the continuous period without coverage.

h. Claiming Section 5000A ExemptionsThe exemptions for members of recognized religious sects or divisions and for individuals who have suffered a hardship are available only to individuals who have been certified as meeting the relevant criteria by the Exchange serving the rating area where the individuals seeking the exemption reside.

In addition, Exchanges will provide, upon request, exemption certifications for members of health care sharing ministries, incarcerated individuals, and members of Indian tribes. If an individual receives an exemption certification from an Exchange, the taxpayer who is responsible for accounting for that individual's coverage must provide information about the certification on the taxpayer's Federal income tax return. Alternatively, a taxpayer may claim any of these exemptions on the taxpayer's Federal income tax return for the taxable year.

Finally, the income-based exemptions for individuals who lack affordable coverage or have household income below the applicable income tax return filing threshold and the exemption for short coverage gaps may be claimed only on the individual's Federal income tax return for the applicable year. Thus, an individual claiming the affordability exemption under section 5000A(e)(1) for part or all of a taxable year will do so on the Federal income tax return that reports the individual's income establishing qualification for the exemption. An individual who has household income below the applicable Federal income tax return filing threshold and files a Federal income tax return may claim the exemption under section 5000A(e)(2) on the return. However, an individual who has household income below the applicable Federal income tax return filing threshold is not required to file a Federal income tax return to claim the exemption under section 5000A(e)(2).

Pursuant to section 6001, taxpayers are required to maintain all records and information substantiating any claim for exemption on the taxpayer's Federal income tax return, regardless of whether the individual was certified by an Exchange as qualifying for an exemption or first claimed the exemption on a Federal income tax return.

4. Computation of Shared Responsibility PaymentUnder section 5000A(b)(1) and 5000A(b)(3)(A), a taxpayer is liable for the shared responsibility payment with respect to any nonexempt individual who is included in the taxpayer's shared responsibility family. The maximum annual amount of the shared responsibility payment for a taxpayer is the national average premium for the bronze level plan available through Exchanges that provides coverage for the applicable family size involved. The proposed regulations clarify that the applicable family size involved for purposes of identifying the appropriate bronze level plan includes only the nonexempt members of the taxpayer's shared responsibility family who do not have minimum essential coverage.

Under section 5000A(c), the annual amount of the shared responsibility payment is the lesser of the applicable national average bronze plan premium or the sum of the monthly penalty amounts. The monthly penalty amount may vary month to month because of changes in the composition of the taxpayer's shared responsibility family. To provide a meaningful value with which the sum of the monthly penalty amounts are compared, the proposed regulations provide that the applicable national average bronze plan premium must similarly be determined for each month and then aggregated for comparison with the sum of the monthly penalty amounts. Consequently, the applicable national average bronze plan premium may vary from month to month during the year to account for changes in the taxpayer's shared responsibility family.

5. Procedure and Administrationa. Inclusion With Federal Income Tax ReturnSection 5000A(b)(2) provides that the shared responsibility payment for a month must be included with a taxpayer's Federal income tax return for the taxable year that includes the month. The proposed regulations clarify that the time for assessing the shared responsibility payment is the same time as that prescribed by section 6501 for the taxable year including the month for which the taxpayer is liable for the payment.

b. Assessment and CollectionSection 5000A(g)(1) provides that the shared responsibility payment is payable upon notice and demand by the Secretary and, except as provided in section 5000A(g)(2), is assessed and collected in the same manner as an assessable penalty under subchapter B of chapter 68 of the Code (sections 6671 through 6725). The proposed regulations clarify that the shared responsibility payment is not subject to deficiency procedures of subchapter B of chapter 63 of the Code. In addition, the proposed regulations clarify that interest on the shared responsibility payment accrues in accordance with the rules in section 6601. The proposed regulations further provide that the Secretary may offset any liability for the shared responsibility payment against any overpayment due the taxpayer, in accordance with section 6402(a).

begin regulatory text

Paragraph 1. The authority citation for part 1 is amended by adding an entry in numerical order to read in part as follows:

Authority:26 U.S.C. 7805* * *

Section 1.5000A-4 also issued under 26 U.S.C. 5000A(e)(4).

Par 2. Sections 1.5000A-0 through 1.5000A-5 are added to read as follows:

¤ 1.5000A-0 Table of contents.This section lists the captions contained in ¤¤ 1.5000A-1 through 1.5000A-5.

¤ 1.5000A-1Maintenance of minimum essential coverage and liability for the shared responsibility payment.

(a) In general.

(b) Coverage under minimum essential coverage.

(1) In general.

(2) Special rule for United States citizens or residents residing outside the United States or residents of territories.

(c) Liability for shared responsibility payment.

(1) In general.

(2) Liability for dependents.

(i) In general.

(ii) Special rules for dependents adopted or placed in foster care during the taxable year.

(A) Taxpayers adopting an individual.

(B) Taxpayers placing an individual for adoption.

(C) Examples.

(3) Liability of individuals filing a joint return.

(d) Definitions.

(1) Affordable Care Act.

(2) Qualified health plan.

(3) Exchange.

(4) Rating area.

(5) Shared responsibility family.

(6) Family.

(7) Household income.

(i) In general.

(ii) Modified adjusted gross income.

(8) Self-only coverage.

(9) Family coverage.

(10) Employee.

(11) Month.

¤ 1.5000A-2Minimum essential coverage.

(a) In general.

(b) Government sponsored program.

(c) Eligible employer-sponsored plan.

(1) In general.

(2) Group health plan.

(3) Group health insurance coverage.

(4) Large and small group market.

(5) Government sponsored program not treated as eligible employer-sponsored plan.

(d) Plan in the individual market.

(e) Grandfathered health plan.

(f) Other health benefits coverage.

(g) Excepted benefits.

¤ 1.5000A-3Exempt individuals.

(a) Members of recognized religious sects.

(1) In general.

(2) Exemption certification.

(b) Member of health care sharing ministries.

(1) In general.

(2) Health care sharing ministry.

(c) Exempt noncitizens.

(1) In general.

(2) Exempt noncitizens.

(d) Incarcerated individuals.

(1) In general.

(2) Incarcerated.

(e) Individuals with no affordable coverage.

(1) In general.

(2) Required contribution percentage.

(i) In general.

(ii) Indexing.

(iii) Plan year.

(3) Individuals eligible for coverage under eligible employer-sponsored plans.

(i) Eligibility.

(A) In general.

(B) Special rule for continuation coverage.

(ii) Required contribution for individuals eligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan.

(A) Employees.

(B) Individuals related to employees.

(C) Required contribution for part-year period.

(D) Examples.

(4) Individuals ineligible for coverage under eligible employer-sponsored plans.

(i) Eligibility for coverage other than an eligible employer-sponsored plan.

(ii) Required contribution for individuals ineligible for coverage under eligible employer-sponsored plans.

(A) In general.

(B) Applicable plan.

(1) In general.

(2) Lowest cost bronze plan does not cover all individuals included in the taxpayer's nonexempt family.

(i) In general.

(ii) Simplified method for applicable plan identification.

(C) Credit allowable under section 36B.

(D) Required contribution for part-year period.

(iii) Examples.

(f) Household income below filing threshold.

(1) In general.

(2) Applicable filing threshold.

(i) In general.

(ii) Certain dependents.

(g) Members of Indian tribes.

(h) Individuals with hardship exemption certification.

(1) In general.

(2) Hardship exemption certification.

(i) [Reserved]

(j) Individuals with certain short coverage gaps.

(1) In general.

(2) Short coverage gap.

(i) In general.

(ii) Coordination with other exemptions.

(iii) More than one short coverage gap during calendar year.

(3) Continuous period.

(i) In general.

(ii) Continuous period straddling more than one taxable year.

(4) Examples.

(k) Claiming exemptions from the shared responsibility payment.

(1) Exemptions requiring certification by an Exchange.

(2) Exemptions that may be certified by an Exchange or claimed on a Federal income tax return.

(i) Exemption certified by an Exchange.

(ii) Exemption claimed on a Federal income tax return.

(3) Exemptions that are claimed on Federal income tax returns.

¤ 1.5000A-4Computation of shared responsibility payment.

(a) In general.

(b) Monthly penalty amount.

(1) In general.

(2) Flat dollar amount.

(i) In general.

(ii) Applicable dollar amount.

(iii) Special applicable dollar amount for individuals under age 18.

(iv) Indexing of applicable dollar amount.

(3) Excess income amount.

(i) In general.

(ii) Income percentage.

(c) Monthly national average bronze plan premium.

(d) Examples.

¤ 1.5000A-5Administration and procedure.

(a) In general.

(b) Special rules.

(1) Waiver of criminal penalties.

(2) Limitations on liens and levies.

(3) Authority to offset against overpayment.

(c) Effective/applicability date.

¤ 1.5000A-1 Maintenance of minimum essential coverage and liability for the shared responsibility payment.(a) In general. For each month during the taxable year, a nonexempt individual must have minimum essential coverage or pay the shared responsibility payment. For a month, a nonexempt individual is an individual in existence for the entire month who is not an exempt individual described in ¤ 1.5000A-3.

(b) Coverage under minimum essential coverage'--(1) In general. An individual has minimum essential coverage for a month in which the individual is enrolled in and entitled to receive benefits under a program or plan identified as minimum essential coverage in ¤ 1.5000A-2 for at least one day in the month.

(2) Special rule for United States citizens or residents residing outside the United States or residents of territories. An individual is treated as having minimum essential coverage for a month'--

(i) If the month occurs during any period described in section 911(d)(1)(A) or section 911(d)(1)(B) that is applicable to the individual; or

(ii) If, for the month, the individual is a bona fide resident of a possession of the United States (as determined under section 937(a)).

(c) Liability for shared responsibility payment'--(1) In general. A taxpayer is liable for the shared responsibility payment for a month for which'--

(i) The taxpayer is a nonexempt individual without minimum essential coverage; or

(ii) A nonexempt individual for whom the taxpayer is liable under paragraph (c)(2) or (c)(3) of this section does not have minimum essential coverage.

(2) Liability for dependents'--(i) In general. For a month when a nonexempt individual does not have minimum essential coverage, if the nonexempt individual is a dependent (as defined in section 152) of another individual for the other individual's taxable year including that month, the other individual is liable for the shared responsibility payment attributable to the dependent's lack of coverage. An individual is a dependent of a taxpayer for a taxable year if the individual satisfies the definition of dependent under section 152, regardless of whether the taxpayer claims the individual as a dependent on a Federal income tax return for the taxable year. If an individual may be claimed as a dependent by more than one taxpayer in the same calendar year, the taxpayer who properly claims the individual as a dependent for the taxable year is liable for the shared responsibility payment attributable to the individual. If more than one taxpayer may claim an individual as a dependent in the same calendar year but no one claims the individual as a dependent, the taxpayer with priority under the rules of section 152 to claim the individual as a dependent is liable for the shared responsibility payment for the individual.

(ii) Special rules for dependents adopted or placed in foster care during the taxable year'--(A) Taxpayers adopting an individual. If a taxpayer adopts a nonexempt dependent (or accepts a nonexempt dependent who is an eligible foster child as defined in section 152(f)(1)(C)) during the taxable year and is otherwise liable for a nonexempt dependent under paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section, the taxpayer is liable under paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section for the nonexempt dependent only for the full months in the taxable year that follow the month in which the adoption or acceptance occurs.

(B) Taxpayers placing an individual for adoption. If a taxpayer who is otherwise liable for a nonexempt dependent under paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section places (or, by operation of law, must place) the nonexempt dependent for adoption or foster care during the taxable year, the taxpayer is liable under paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section for the nonexempt dependent only for the full months in the taxable year that precede the month in which the adoption or foster care placement occurs.

(C) Examples. The following examples illustrate the provisions of this paragraph (c)(2)(ii). In each example the taxpayer's taxable year is a calendar year.

Taxpayers adopting a child. (i) E and F, married individuals filing a joint return, initiate proceedings for the legal adoption of a 2-year old child, G, in January 2016. On May 15, 2016, G becomes the adopted child (within the meaning of section 152(f)(1)(B)) of E and F, and resides with them for the remainder of 2016. G meets all requirements under section 152 to be E and F's dependent for 2016. Prior to the adoption, G resides with H, an unmarried individual, with H providing all of G's support.

(ii) Under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, E and F are not liable for a shared responsibility payment attributable to G for January through May of 2016, but are liable for a shared responsibility payment attributable to G, if any, for June through December of 2016. H is not liable for a shared responsibility payment attributable to G for any month in 2016, because G is not H's dependent for 2016 under section 152.

Taxpayers placing a child for adoption. (i) The facts are the same as Example 1, except the legal adoption occurs on August 15, 2016. G meets all requirements under section 152 to be H's dependent for 2016.

(ii) Under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, H is liable for a shared responsibility payment attributable to G, if any, for January through July of 2016, but is not liable for a shared responsibility payment attributable to G for August through December of 2016. E and F are not liable for a shared responsibility payment attributable to G for any month in 2016, because G is not E and F's dependent for 2016 under section 152.

(3) Liability of individuals filing a joint return. Married individuals (within the meaning of section 7703) who file a joint return for a taxable year are jointly liable for any shared responsibility payment for a month included in the taxable year.

(d) Definitions. The definitions in this paragraph (d) apply to this section and ¤¤ 1.5000A-2 through 1.5000A-5.

(1) Affordable Care Act. Affordable Care Act refers to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Public Law 111-148 (124 Stat. 119 (2010)), and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Public Law 111-152 (124 Stat. 1029 (2010)), as amended.

(2) Qualified health plan. Qualified health plan has the same meaning as in section 1301(a) of the Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18021(a)).

(3) Exchange. Exchange has the same meaning as in 45 CFR 155.20.

(4) Rating area. Rating area has the same meaning as in ¤ 1.38B-1(n).

(5) Shared responsibility family. Shared responsibility family means, for a month, all nonexempt individuals for whom the taxpayer (and the taxpayer's spouse, if the taxpayer is married and files a joint return with the spouse) is liable for the shared responsibility payment under paragraph (c) of this section.

(6) Family. A taxpayer's family means the individuals for whom the taxpayer properly claims a deduction for a personal exemption under section 151 for the taxable year.

(7) Household income'--(i) In general. Household income means the sum of'--

(A) A taxpayer's modified adjusted gross income; and

(B) The aggregate modified adjusted gross income of all other individuals who'--

(1) Are included in the taxpayer's family under paragraph (d)(6) of this section; and

(2) Are required to file a Federal income tax return for the taxable year (determined without regard to the exception under section 1(g)(7) to the requirement to file a Federal income tax return).

(ii) Modified adjusted gross income. Modified adjusted gross income means adjusted gross income (within the meaning of section 62) increased by'--

(A) Amounts excluded from gross income under section 911; and

(B) Tax-exempt interest the taxpayer receives or accrues during the taxable year.

(8) Self-only coverage. Self-only coverage means health insurance that covers one individual.

(9) Family coverage. Family coverage means health insurance that covers more than one individual.

(10) Employee. Employee includes former employees.

(11) Month. Month means calendar month.

¤ 1.5000A-2 Minimum essential coverage.(a) In general. Minimum essential coverage means coverage under a government sponsored program (described in paragraph (b) of this section), an eligible employer-sponsored plan (described in paragraph (c) of this section), a plan in the individual market (described in paragraph (d) of this section), a grandfathered health plan (described in paragraph (e) of this section), or other health benefits coverage (described in paragraph (f) of this section). Minimum essential coverage does not include coverage described in paragraph (g) of this section. All terms defined in this section apply for purposes of this section and ¤ 1.5000A-1 and ¤¤ 1.5000A-3 through 1.5000A-5.

(b) Government sponsored program. Government sponsored program means any of the following:

(1) The Medicare program under part A of title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395c and following sections);

(2) The Medicaid program under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 and following sections) other than'--

(i) Optional coverage of family planning services under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(ii)(XXI) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396a(a)(10)(A)(ii)(XXI));

(ii) Optional coverage of tuberculosis-related services under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(ii)(XII) (42 U.S.C. 1396a(a)(10)(A)(ii)(XII));

(iii) Coverage of pregnancy-related services under section 1902(a)(10)(A)(i)(IV) and (a)(10)(A)(ii)(IX) (42 U.S.C. 1396a(a)(10)(A)(i)(IV), (a)(10)(A)(ii)(IX)); or

(iv) Coverage of medical emergency services under 8 U.S.C. 1611(b)(1)(A), as authorized by section 1903(v) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396b(v)).

(3) The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) under title XXI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C 1397aa and following sections);

(4) Medical coverage under chapter 55 of title 10, U.S.C., including coverage under the TRICARE program;

(5) The following health care programs under chapter 17 or 18 of title 38, U.S.C.:

(i) The medical benefits package authorized for eligible veterans under 38 U.S.C. 1710 and 38 U.S.C. 1705;

(ii) The Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) authorized under 38 U.S.C. 1781; and

(iii) The comprehensive health care program authorized under 38 U.S.C. 1803 and 38 U.S.C. 1821 for certain children of Vietnam Veterans and Veterans of covered service in Korea who are suffering from spina bifida.

(6) A health plan under section 2504(e) of title 22, U.S.C. (relating to Peace Corps volunteers); and

(7) The Nonappropriated Fund Health Benefits Program of the Department of Defense, established under section 349 of the National Defense authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1995 (Public Law No. 103-337; 10 U.S.C. 1587 note).

(c) Eligible employer-sponsored plan'--(1) In general. Eligible employer-sponsored plan means, with respect to any employee, a group health plan (whether an insured group health plan or a self-insured group health plan) or group health insurance coverage offered by an employer to the employee, which is'--

(i) A governmental plan (within the meaning of section 2791(d)(8) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg-91(d)(8)));

(ii) Any other plan or coverage offered in the small or large group market within a State;

(iii) A grandfathered health plan (within the meaning of paragraph (e) of this section) offered in a group market.

(2) Group health plan. Group health plan has the same meaning as in section 2791(a) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg-91(a)(1)).

(3) Group health insurance coverage. Group health insurance coverage has the same meaning as in section 2791(b) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg-91(b)).

(4) Large and small group market. Large group market and small group market have the same meanings as in section 1304(a)(3) of the Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18024(a)(3)).

(5) Government sponsored program not treated as eligible employer-sponsored plan. A government sponsored program described in paragraph (b) of this section is not an eligible employer-sponsored plan.

(d) Plan in the individual market. Plan in the individual market means health insurance coverage offered to individuals not in connection with a group health plan, including a qualified health plan offered by an Exchange.

(e) Grandfathered health plan. Grandfathered health plan means any group health plan or group health insurance coverage to which section 1251 of the Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C.18011) applies.

(f) Other health benefits coverage. Minimum essential coverage includes any plan or arrangement recognized by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as minimum essential coverage for purposes of section 5000A under 45 CFR 156.600 and following sections.

(g) Excepted benefits. Minimum essential coverage does not include any health insurance coverage that consists of excepted benefits that are described in section 2791(c)(1), (c)(2), (c)(3), or (c)(4) of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 300gg-91(c)).

¤ 1.5000A-3 Exempt individuals.(a) Members of recognized religious sects'--(1) In general. An individual is an exempt individual for a month that includes a day on which the individual has in effect a religious conscience exemption certification described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(2) Exemption certification. A religious conscience exemption certification is issued by an Exchange in accordance with the requirements of section 1311(d)(4)(H) of the Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18031(d)(4)(H)) and 45 CFR 155.605(c), 45 CFR 155.615(b) and certifies that an individual is'--

(i) A member of a recognized religious sect or division thereof that is described in section 1402(g)(1); and

(ii) An adherent of established tenets or teachings of the sect or division as described in that section.

(b) Member of health care sharing ministries'--(1) In general. An individual is an exempt individual for a month that includes a day on which the individual is a member of a health care sharing ministry.

(2) Health care sharing ministry. For purposes of this section, health care sharing ministry means an organization'--

(i) That is described in section 501(c)(3) and is exempt from tax under section 501(a);

(ii) Members of which share a common set of ethical or religious beliefs and share medical expenses among themselves in accordance with those beliefs and without regard to the State in which a member resides or is employed;

(iii) Members of which retain membership even after they develop a medical condition;

(iv) That (or a predecessor of which) has been in existence at all times since December 31, 1999;

(v) Members of which have shared medical expenses continuously and without interruption since at least December 31, 1999; and

(vi) That conducts an annual audit performed by an independent certified public accounting firm in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and makes the annual audit report available to the public upon request.

(c) Exempt noncitizens'--(1) In general. An individual is an exempt individual for a month that the individual is an exempt noncitizen.

(2) Exempt noncitizens. For purposes of this section, an individual is an exempt noncitizen for a month if the individual'--

(i) Is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. national for any day during the month; and

(ii) Is either'--

(A) A nonresident alien (within the meaning of section 7701(b)(1)(B)) for the taxable year that includes the month; or

(B) An individual who is not lawfully present (within the meaning of 45 CFR 155.20) in the United States on any day in the month.

(d) Incarcerated individuals'--(1) In general. An individual is an exempt individual for a month that includes a day on which the individual is incarcerated.

(2) Incarcerated. For purposes of this section, the term incarcerated means confined, after the disposition of charges, in a jail, prison, or similar penal institution or correctional facility.

(e) Individuals with no affordable coverage'--(1) In general. An individual is an exempt individual for a month in which the individual lacks affordable coverage. For purposes of this paragraph (e), an individual lacks affordable coverage in a month if the individual's required contribution (determined on an annual basis) for minimum essential coverage for the month exceeds the required contribution percentage (as defined in paragraph (e)(2) of this section) of the individual's household income. For purposes of this paragraph (e), an individual's household income is increased by any amount of the required contribution made through a salary reduction arrangement that is excluded from gross income.

(2) Required contribution percentage'--(i) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section, the required contribution percentage is 8 percent.

(ii) Indexing. For plan years beginning in any calendar year after 2014, the required contribution percentage is the percentage determined by the Department of Health and Human Services that reflects the excess of the rate of premium growth between the preceding calendar year and 2013 over the rate of income growth for the period.

(iii) Plan year. For purposes of this paragraph (e), plan year means the eligible employer-sponsored plan's regular 12-month coverage period (or the remainder of a 12-month coverage period for a new employee or an individual who enrolls during a special enrollment period).

(3) Individuals eligible for coverage under eligible employer-sponsored plans'--(i) Eligibility'--(A) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(3)(i)(B) of this section, an employee or related individual (as defined in paragraph (e)(3)(ii)(B) of this section) is treated as eligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan for a month during a plan year if the employee or related individual could have enrolled in the plan for any day in that month during an open or special enrollment period, regardless of whether the employee or related individual is eligible for any other type of minimum essential coverage. For purposes of this paragraph (e)(3), an employee eligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan offered by the employee's employer is not treated as eligible as a related individual for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan (for example, an eligible employer-sponsored plan offered by the employer of the employee's spouse) for any month included in the plan year of the eligible employer-sponsored plan offered by the employee's employer.

(B) Special rule for continuation coverage. An individual who may enroll in continuation coverage required under Federal law or a State law that provides comparable continuation coverage is eligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan only if the individual enrolls in the coverage.

(ii) Required contribution for individuals eligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan'--(A) Employees. In the case of an employee who is eligible to purchase coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan sponsored by the employee's employer, the required contribution is the portion of the annual premium that the employee would pay (whether though salary reduction or otherwise) for the lowest cost self-only coverage.

(B) Individuals related to employees. In the case of an individual who is eligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan because of a relationship to an employee and for whom a personal exemption deduction under section 151 is claimed on the employee's Federal income tax return (related individual), the required contribution is the portion of the annual premium that the employee would pay (whether through salary reduction or otherwise) for the lowest cost family coverage that would cover the employee and all related individuals who are included in the employee's family and are not otherwise exempt under ¤ 1.5000A-3.

(C) Required contribution for part-year period. For each individual described in paragraph (e)(3)(ii)(A) or (e)(3)(ii)(B) of this section, affordability under paragraph (e)(3) of this section is determined separately for each employment period that is less than a full calendar year or for the portions of an employer's plan year that fall in different taxable years of the individual. Coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan is affordable for a part-year period if the annualized required contribution for self-only coverage (in the case of the employee) or family coverage (in the case of a related individual) under the plan for the part-year period does not exceed the required contribution percentage of the individual's household income for the taxable year. The annualized required contribution is the required contribution determined under paragraph (e)(3)(ii)(A) or (e)(3)(ii)(B) of this section for the part-year period times a fraction, the numerator of which is 12 and the denominator of which is the number of months in the part-year period during the individual's taxable year. Only full calendar months are included in the computation under this paragraph (e)(3)(ii)(C).

(D) Examples. The following examples illustrate the application of this paragraph (e)(3). Unless stated otherwise, in each example, each individual's taxable year is a calendar year, the individual is ineligible for any other exemptions described in this section for a month, the rate of premium growth has not exceeded the rate of income growth since 2013, and the individual's employer offers a single plan that uses a calendar plan year and is an eligible employer-sponsored plan as described in ¤ 1.5000A-2(c).

Unmarried employee with no dependents. Taxpayer A is an unmarried individual with no dependents. In November 2015, A is eligible to enroll in self-only coverage under a plan offered by A's employer for calendar year 2016. If A enrolls in the coverage, A is required to pay $5,000 of the total annual premium. In 2016, A's household income is $60,000. Under paragraph (e)(3)(ii)(A) of this section, A's required contribution is $5,000, the portion of the annual premium A pays for self-only coverage. Under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, A lacks affordable coverage for 2016 because A's required contribution ($5,000) is greater than 8 percent of A's household income ($4,800).

Married employee with dependents. Taxpayers B and C are married and file a joint return for 2016. B and C have two children, D and E. In November 2015, B is eligible to enroll in self-only coverage under a plan offered by B's employer for calendar year 2016 at a cost of $5,000 to B. C, D, and E are eligible to enroll in family coverage under the same plan for 2016 at a cost of $20,000 to B. B, C, D, and E's household income is $90,000. Under paragraph (e)(3)(ii)(A) of this section, B's required contribution is B's share of the cost for self-only coverage, $5,000. Under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, B has affordable coverage for 2016 because B's required contribution ($5,000) does not exceed 8 percent of B's household income ($7,200). Under paragraph (e)(3)(ii)(B) of this section, the required contribution for C, D, and E is B's share of the cost for family coverage, $20,000. Under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, C, D, and E lack affordable coverage for 2016 because their required contribution ($20,000) exceeds 8 percent of their household income ($7,200).

Plan year is a fiscal year. (i) Taxpayer F is an unmarried individual with no dependents. In June 2015, F is eligible to enroll in self-only coverage under a plan offered by F's employer for the period July 2015 through June 2016 at a cost to F of $4,750. In June 2016, F is eligible to enroll in self-only coverage under a plan offered by F's employer for the period July 2016 through June 2017 at a cost to F of $5,000. In 2016, F's household income is $60,000.

(ii) Under paragraph (e)(3)(ii)(C) of this section, F's annualized required contribution for the period January 2016 through June 2016 is $4,750 ($2,375 paid for premiums in 2016 ÷ 12/6). Under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, F has affordable coverage for January 2016 through June 2016 because F's annualized required contribution ($4,750) does not exceed 8 percent of F's household income ($4,800).

(iii) Under paragraph (e)(3)(ii)(C) of this section, F's annualized required contribution for the period July 2016 to December 2016 is $5,000 ($2,500 paid for premiums in 2016 x 12/6). Under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, F lacks affordable coverage for July 2016 through December 2016 because F's annualized required contribution ($5,000) exceeds 8 percent of F's household income ($4,800).

Eligibility for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan and under government sponsored coverage. Taxpayer G is unmarried and has one child, H. In November 2015, H is eligible to enroll in family coverage under a plan offered by G's employer for 2016. H is also eligible to enroll in the CHIP program for 2016. Under paragraph (e)(3)(i) of this section, H is treated as eligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan for each month in 2016, notwithstanding that H is eligible to enroll in government sponsored coverage for the same period.

(4) Individuals ineligible for coverage under eligible employer-sponsored plans'--(i) Eligibility for coverage other than an eligible employer-sponsored plan. An individual is treated as ineligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan for a month that is not described in paragraph (e)(3)(i) of this section.

(ii) Required contribution for individuals ineligible for coverage under eligible employer-sponsored plans'--(A) In general. In the case of an individual who is ineligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan, the required contribution is the premium for the applicable plan, reduced by the maximum amount of any credit allowable under section 36B for the taxable year (determined as if the individual was covered for the entire taxable year by a qualified health plan offered through the Exchange serving the rating area where the individual resides).

(B) Applicable plan'--(1) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(B)(2) of this section, applicable plan means the single lowest cost bronze plan available in the individual market through the Exchange serving the rating area in which the individual resides (without regard to whether the individual purchased a qualified health plan though the Exchange) that would cover all individuals in the individual's nonexempt family. For purposes of this paragraph (e)(4), an individual's nonexempt family means the family (as defined in ¤ 1.5000A-1(d)(6)) that includes the individual, excluding any family members who are otherwise exempt under section 1.5000A-3 or are treated as eligible for coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan under paragraph (e)(3)(i) of this section. The premium for the applicable plan takes into account rating factors (for example, an individual's age) that an Exchange would use to determine the cost of coverage.

(2) Lowest cost bronze plan does not cover all individuals included in the taxpayer's nonexempt family'--(i) In general. If the Exchange serving the rating area where the individual resides does not offer a single bronze plan that would cover all individuals included in the individual's nonexempt family, the premium for the applicable plan is the sum of the premiums for the lowest cost bronze plans that are offered through the Exchanges serving the rating areas where one or more of the individuals reside and that would, in the aggregate, cover all the individuals in the individual's nonexempt family.

(ii) Simplified method for applicable plan identification. In lieu of the premium for the applicable plan determined under paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(B)(2)(i) of this section, a taxpayer may irrevocably elect to use the premium for the lowest cost bronze plan offered by the Exchange serving the rating area where the individual resides that would cover individuals with the characteristics (for example, the individuals' ages) of the individuals in the taxpayer's nonexempt family. For example, if a taxpayer's nonexempt family includes one adult and two children, the taxpayer may elect to use the premium for the lowest cost bronze plan that would cover individuals having the same characteristics as the adult and the two children in the taxpayer's nonexempt family. A taxpayer makes the election by using the simplified method described in this paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(B)(2)(ii).

(C) Credit allowable under section 36B. For purposes of paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(A) of this section, credit allowable under section 36B means the maximum amount of the credit that would be allowable to the individual (or to the taxpayer who can properly claim the individual as a dependent) under section 36B if all members of the individual's nonexempt family enrolled in a qualified health plan through the Exchange serving the rating area where the individual resides.

(D) Required contribution for part-year period. For each individual described in paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(A) of this section, affordability under paragraph (e)(4) of this section is determined separately for each period described in paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(E) of this section that is less than a 12-month period. Coverage under a plan is affordable for a part-year period if the annualized required contribution for coverage under the plan for the part-year period does not exceed the required contribution percentage of the individual's household income for the taxable year. The annualized required contribution is the required contribution determined under paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(A) of this section for the part-year period times a fraction, the numerator of which is 12 and the denominator of which is the number of months in the part-year period during the individual's taxable year. Only full calendar months are included in the computation under this paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(D).

(iii) Examples. The following examples illustrate the provisions of this paragraph (e)(4). Unless stated otherwise, in each example the taxpayer's taxable year is a calendar year, the rate of premium growth has not exceeded the rate of income growth since 2013, and the taxpayer is ineligible for any of the exemptions described in paragraphs (b) through (i) of this section for a month.

Unmarried employee with no dependents. (i) Taxpayer G is an unmarried individual with no dependents. G is ineligible to enroll in any minimum essential coverage other than coverage in the individual market for all months in 2016. The annual premium for the lowest cost bronze self-only plan in G's rating area (G's applicable plan) is $5,000. The adjusted annual premium for the second lowest cost silver self-only plan in G's rating area (G's applicable benchmark plan within the meaning of ¤ 1.36B-3(f)) is $5,500. In 2016 G's household income is $40,000, which is 358 percent of the Federal poverty line for G's family size for the taxable year.

(ii) Under paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(C) of this section, the credit allowable under section 36B is determined pursuant to section 36B. With household income at 358 percent of the Federal poverty line, G's applicable percentage is 9.5. Because each month in 2016 is a coverage month (within the meaning of ¤ 1.36B-3(c)), G's maximum credit allowable under section 36B is the excess of G's premium for the applicable benchmark plan over the product of G's household income and G's applicable percentage ($1,700). Therefore, under paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(A) of this section, G's required contribution is $3,300. Under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, G lacks affordable coverage for 2016 because G's required contribution ($3,300) exceeds 8 percent of G's household income ($3,200).

Family. (i) In 2016 Taxpayers M and N are married and file a joint return. M and N have two children, P and Q. M, N, P, and Q are ineligible to enroll in minimum essential coverage other than coverage in the individual market for a month in 2016. The annual premium for M, N, P, and Q's applicable plan is $20,000. The adjusted annual premium for M, N, P, and Q's applicable benchmark plan (within the meaning of ¤ 1.36B-3(f)) is $25,000. M and N's household income is $80,000, which is 347 percent of the Federal poverty line for a family size of 4 for the taxable year.

(ii) Under paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(C) of this section, the credit allowable under section 36B is determined pursuant to section 36B. With household income at 347 percent of the Federal poverty line, the applicable percentage is 9.5. Because each month in 2016 is a coverage month (within the meaning of ¤ 1.36B-3(c)), the maximum credit allowable under section 36B is the excess of the premium for the applicable benchmark plan over the product of the household income and the applicable percentage ($17,400). Therefore, under paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(A) of this section, the required contribution for M, N, P, and Q is $2,600. Under paragraph (f)(2) of this section, M, N, P, and Q have affordable coverage for 2016 because their required contribution ($2,600) does not exceed 8 percent of their household income ($6,400).

Family with some members eligible for government sponsored coverage. (i) In 2016 Taxpayers U and V are married and file a joint return. U and V have two children, W and X. U and V are ineligible to enroll in minimum essential coverage other than coverage in the individual market for all months in 2016; however, W and X are eligible for coverage under CHIP for 2016 at an annual cost of $1,000 per child. The annual premium for U, V, W, and X's applicable plan is $20,000. The adjusted annual premium for the second lowest cost silver plan that would cover U and V (the applicable benchmark plan (within the meaning of ¤ 1.36B-3(f)) is $12,500. U and V's household income is $50,000, which is 217 percent of the Federal poverty line for a family size of 4 for the taxable year. W and X do not enroll in CHIP coverage.

(ii) Under paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(C) of this section, the credit allowable under section 36B is determined pursuant to section 36B. With household income at 217 percent of the Federal poverty line, the applicable percentage is 6.89. Each month in 2016 is a coverage month (within the meaning of ¤ 1.36B-3(c)) for U and V, but no months in 2016 are coverage months for W and X because they are eligible for CHIP coverage. The maximum credit allowable under section 36B is the excess of the premium for the applicable benchmark plan over the product of the household income and the applicable percentage ($9,055). Therefore, under paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(A) of this section, the required contribution is $10,945. Under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, U, V, W, and X lack affordable coverage for 2016 because their required contribution ($10,945) exceeds 8 percent of their household income ($4,000).

Family with some members enrolled in government sponsored minimum essential coverage. The facts are the same as Example 3, except W and X enroll in CHIP coverage on January 1, 2016. Under paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(B), U, V, W, and X are members of U and V's nonexempt family for 2016. Therefore, the annual premium for the applicable plan is the same as in Example 3 ($20,000). The maximum credit allowable under section 36B is also the same as in Example 3 ($9,055). Under paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(A) of this section, the required contribution is $10,945. Under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, U and V lack affordable coverage for 2016 because their required contribution ($10,945) exceeds 8 percent of their household income ($4,000).

Simplified method for applicable plan identification. (i) In 2016 Taxpayer Y, a 42-year old unmarried individual, lives with her 17-year old nephew, Z. Y properly claims Z as a dependent for 2016. Neither Y nor Z is eligible for minimum essential coverage other than coverage in the individual market in 2016. The Exchange serving the rating area where Y and Z reside does not offer any plan that would cover them both. For 2016, the annual premium for the lowest cost bronze plan covering Y is $5,000, and the annual premium for the lowest cost bronze plan covering Z is $4,500. The premium for the lowest cost bronze plan that would cover individuals with the characteristics of Y and Z that is offered in the Exchange serving the rating area where Y and Z reside is $10,000.

(ii) Under paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(B), Z is included in Y's nonexempt family. Under paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(B)(2)(i) of this section, the premium for the applicable plan is the sum of the premiums for the lowest cost bronze plans that would cover Y and Z, or $9,500 ($5,000 + $4,500). Alternatively, under paragraph (e)(4)(ii)(B)(2)(ii) of this section, Y may irrevocably elect to use the premium for the lowest cost bronze plan that would cover individuals with the characteristics of Y and Z that is offered in the Exchange ($10,000) as the premium for the applicable plan in determining qualification for the exemption described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

(f) Household income below filing threshold'--(1) In general. An individual is an exempt individual for any taxable year for which the individual's household income is less than the applicable filing threshold.

(2) Applicable filing threshold'--(i) In general. For purposes of this section, applicable filing threshold means the amount of gross income that would trigger an individual's requirement to file a Federal income tax return under section 6012(a)(1).

(ii) Certain dependents. The applicable filing threshold for an individual who is properly claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer is equal to the other taxpayer's applicable filing threshold.

(g) Members of Indian tribes. An individual is an exempt individual for a month that includes a day on which the individual is a member of an Indian tribe. For purposes of this section, Indian tribe means a group or community described in section 45A(c)(6).

(h) Individuals with hardship exemption certification'--(1) In general. An individual is an exempt individual for a month that includes a day on which the individual has in effect a hardship exemption certification described in paragraph (h)(2) of this section.

(2) Hardship exemption certification. A hardship exemption certification is issued by an Exchange under section 1311(d)(4)(H) of the Affordable Care Act (42 U.S.C. 18031(d)(4)(H)) and 45 CFR 155.605(g) and 45 CFR 155.615(f) and certifies that an individual has suffered a hardship (as that term is defined in 45 CFR 166.605(g)) with respect to the capability to obtain minimum essential coverage.

(i) [Reserved]

(j) Individuals with certain short coverage gaps'--(1) In general. An individual is an exempt individual for a month the last day of which is included in a short coverage gap.

(2) Short coverage gap'--(i) In general. Short coverage gap means a continuous period of less than three months in which the individual is not covered under minimum essential coverage. If the individual does not have minimum essential coverage for a continuous period of three or more months, none of the months included in the continuous period is treated as included in a short coverage gap.

(ii) Coordination with other exemptions. For purposes of this paragraph (j), an individual is treated as having minimum essential coverage for a month in which an individual is exempt under any of paragraphs (a) through (h) of this section.

(iii) More than one short coverage gap during calendar year. If a calendar year includes more than one short coverage gap, the exemption provided by this paragraph (j) only applies to the earliest short coverage gap.

(3) Continuous period'--(i) In general. Except as provided in paragraph (j)(3)(ii) of this section, the number of months included in a continuous period is determined without regard to the calendar years in which months included in that period occur.

(ii) Continuous period straddling more than one taxable year. If an individual does not have minimum essential coverage for a continuous period that begins in one taxable year and ends in the next, for purposes of applying this paragraph (j) to the first taxable year, the months in the second taxable year included in the continuous period are disregarded. For purposes of applying this paragraph (j) to the second taxable year, the months in the first taxable year included in the continuous period are taken into account.

(4) Examples. The following examples illustrate the provisions of this paragraph (j). Unless stated otherwise, in each example the taxpayer's taxable year is a calendar year and the taxpayer is ineligible for any of the exemptions described in paragraphs (a) through (h) of this section for a month.

Short coverage gap. Taxpayer D has minimum essential coverage in 2016 from January 1 through March 2. After March 2, D does not have minimum essential coverage until D enrolls in an eligible employer-sponsored plan effective June 15. Under ¤ 1.5000A-1(b), for purposes of section 5000A, D has minimum essential coverage for January, February, March, and June through December. D's continuous period without coverage is 2 months, April and May. April and May constitute a short coverage gap under paragraph (j)(2)(i) of this section.

Continuous period of 3 months or more. The facts are the same as in Example 1, except D's coverage is not effective until July 1. D's continuous period without coverage is 3 months, April, May, and June. Under paragraph (j)(2)(i) of this section, April, May, and June are not included in a short coverage gap.

Short coverage gap following exempt period. Taxpayer E is incarcerated from January 1 through June 2. E enrolls in an eligible employer-sponsored plan effective September 15. Under paragraph (d) of this section, E is exempt for the period January through June. Under paragraph (j)(2)(ii) of this section, E is treated as having minimum essential coverage for this period, and E's continuous period without minimum essential coverage is 2 months, July and August. July and August constitute a short coverage gap under paragraph (j)(2)(i) of this section.

Continuous period covering more than one taxable year. Taxpayer F, an unmarried individual with no dependents, has minimum essential coverage for the period January 1 through October 15, 2016. F is without coverage until enrolling in an eligible employer-sponsored plan effective February 15, 2017. F files his Federal income tax return for 2016 on March 10, 2017. Under paragraph (j)(3)(ii) of this section, November and December of 2016 are treated as a short coverage gap. However, November and December of 2016 are included in the continuous period that includes January 2017. The continuous period for 2017 is over 3 months and, therefore, is not a short coverage gap.

Enrollment following loss of coverage. The facts are the same as in Example 4 except F loses coverage on June 15, 2017. F enrolls in a new eligible employer-sponsored plan effective September 15, 2017. The continuous period without minimum essential coverage in July and August of 2017 is two months and, therefore, is a short coverage gap. Because January 2017 was not part of a short coverage gap, the earliest short coverage gap occurring in 2017 is the gap that includes July and August.

Multiple coverage gaps. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 5 except F has minimum essential coverage for November 2016. Under paragraph (j)(3)(ii) of this section, December 2016 is treated as a short coverage gap.

(ii) December 2016 is included in the continuous period that includes January 2017. This continuous period is two months and, therefore, January 2017 is the earliest month in 2017 that is included in a short coverage gap. Under paragraph (j)(2)(iii) of this section, the exemption under this paragraph (j) applies only to January 2017. Thus, the continuous period without minimum essential coverage in July and August of 2017 is not a short coverage gap.

(k) Claiming exemptions from the shared responsibility payment'--(1) Exemptions requiring certification by an Exchange. An individual obtains a religious conscience exemption certification (described in paragraph (a) of this section) or a hardship exemption certification (described in paragraph (h) of this section) from the Exchange serving the rating area where the individual resides. To claim the exemption, the individual includes the information specified in published guidance of general applicability, see ¤ 601.601(d)(2) of this chapter, with the Federal income tax return for the taxable year that includes the months for which the exemption is sought.

(2) Exemptions that may be certified by an Exchange or claimed on a Federal income tax return'--(i) Exemption certified by an Exchange. The exemptions for members of health care sharing ministries (described in paragraph (b) of this section), incarcerated individuals (described in paragraph (d) of this section), and members of Indian tribes (described in paragraph (g) of this section) may be certified in the manner and within the time specified in 45 CFR 155.610. To claim the exemption, an individual includes the information specified in published guidance of general applicability, see ¤ 601.601(d)(2) of this chapter, with the Federal income tax return for the taxable year that includes the months for which the exemption is sought.

(ii) Exemption claimed on a Federal income tax return. Alternatively, an individual, or a taxpayer who may claim the individual as a dependent for the taxable year, may claim the exemptions for members of health care sharing ministries (described in paragraph (b) of this section), incarcerated individuals (described in paragraph (d) of this section), and members of Indian tribes (described in paragraph (g) of this section) without certification by an Exchange by including the information specified in published guidance of general applicability, see ¤ 601.601(d)(2) of this chapter, with the Federal income tax return for the taxable year that includes the months for which the exemption is sought.

(3) Exemptions that are claimed on Federal income tax returns. The exemptions for individuals who lack affordable coverage (described in paragraph (e) of this section), individuals with household income below the applicable return filing threshold (described in paragraph (f) of this section), and individuals with short coverage gaps (described in paragraph (j) of this section) may be claimed only by including the information specified in published guidance of general applicability, see ¤ 601.601(d)(2) of this chapter, with the Federal income tax return for the taxable year that includes the months for which the exemption is sought. Taxpayers are not required to file Federal income tax returns solely to claim the exemption for individuals with household income below the applicable return filing threshold (described in paragraph (f) of this section).

¤ 1.5000A-4 Computation of shared responsibility payment.(a) In general. For each taxable year the shared responsibility payment is the lesser of'--

(1) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts for each individual in the shared responsibility family; or

(2) The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums for the shared responsibility family.

(b) Monthly penalty amount'--(1) In general. Monthly penalty amount means, for a month that a nonexempt individual is not covered under minimum essential coverage, 1/12 multiplied by the greater of'--

(i) The flat dollar amount; or

(ii) The excess income amount.

(2) Flat dollar amount'--(i) In general. Flat dollar amount means the lesser of'--

(A) The sum of the applicable dollar amounts for all individuals included in the taxpayer's shared responsibility family; or

(B) 300 percent of the applicable dollar amount (determined without regard to paragraph (b)(2)(iii) of this section) for the calendar year with or within which the taxable year ends.

(ii) Applicable dollar amount. Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(2)(iii) and (b)(2)(iv) of this section, the applicable dollar amount is'--

(A) $95 in 2014;

(B) $325 in 2015; or

(C) $695 in 2016.

(iii) Special applicable dollar amount for individuals under age 18. If an individual has not attained the age of 18 on the first day of a month, the applicable dollar amount for the individual is equal to one-half of the applicable dollar amount (as expressed in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section) for the calendar year in which the month occurs. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(2)(iii), an individual attains the age of 18 on the anniversary of the date when the individual was born. For example, an individual born on March 1, 1999, attains the age of 18 on March 1, 2017.

(iv) Indexing of applicable dollar amount. In any calendar year after 2016, the applicable dollar amount is $695 as increased by the product of $695 and the cost-of-living adjustment determined under section 1(f)(3) for the calendar year. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(2)(iv) of this section, the cost-of-living adjustment is determined by substituting ''calendar year 2015'' for ''calendar year 1992'' in section 1(f)(3)(B). If any increase under this paragraph (b)(2)(iv) is not a multiple of $50, the increase is rounded to the next lowest multiple of $50.

(3) Excess income amount'--(i) In general. Excess income amount means the product of'--

(A) The excess of the taxpayer's household income over the taxpayer's applicable filing threshold (as defined in ¤ 1.5000A-3(f)(2)); and

(B) The income percentage.

(ii) Income percentage. For purposes of this section, income percentage means'--

(A) 1.0 percent for taxable years beginning in 2013;

(B) 1.0 percent for taxable years beginning in 2014;

(C) 2.0 percent for taxable years beginning in 2015; or

(D) 2.5 percent for taxable years beginning after 2015.

(c) Monthly national average bronze plan premium. Monthly national average bronze plan premium means, for a month for which a shared responsibility payment is imposed,1/12of the annual national average premium for qualified health plans that have a bronze level of coverage, would provide coverage for the taxpayer's shared responsibility family members who do not have minimum essential coverage for the month, and are offered through Exchanges for plan years beginning in the calendar year with or within which the taxable year ends.

(d) Examples. The following examples illustrate the provisions of this section. In each example the taxpayer's taxable year is a calendar year and all members of the taxpayer's shared responsibility family are ineligible for any of the exemptions described in ¤ 1.5000A-3 for a month.

Unmarried taxpayer without minimum essential coverage. (i) In 2016 Taxpayer G is an unmarried individual with no dependents. G does not have minimum essential coverage for any month in 2016. G's household income is $120,000. G's applicable filing threshold is $12,000. The annual national average bronze plan premium for G is $5,000.

(ii) For each month in 2016, under paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section, G's applicable dollar amount is $695. Under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, G's flat dollar amount is $695 (the lesser of $695 and $2,085 ($695 ÷ 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, G's excess income amount is $2,700 (($120,000''$12,000) ÷ 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the monthly penalty amount is $225 (the greater of $58 ($695/12) or $225 ($2,700/12)).

(iii) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $2,700 ($225 ÷ 12). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $5,000 ($5,000/12 ÷ 12). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on G for 2016 is $2,700 (the lesser of $2,700 or $5,000).

Part-year coverage. The facts are the same as in Example 1, except G has minimum essential coverage for January through June. The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $1,350 ($225 ÷ 6). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $2,500 ($5,000/12 ÷ 6). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on G for 2016 is $1,350 (the lesser of $1,350 or $2,500).

Family without minimum essential coverage. (i) In 2016, Taxpayers H and J are married and file a joint return. H and J have three children: K, age 21, L, age 15, and M, age 10. No member of the family has minimum essential coverage for any month in 2016. H and J's household income is $120,000. H and J's applicable filing threshold is $24,000. The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000.

(ii) For each month in 2016, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the applicable dollar amount is $2,780 (($695 ÷ 3 adults) + (($695/2) ÷ 2 children)). Under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,780 and $2,085 ($695 ÷ 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the excess income amount is $2,400 (($120,000''$24,000) ÷ 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the monthly penalty amount is $200 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $200 ($2,400/12)).

(iii) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $2,400 ($200 ÷ 12). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $20,000 ($20,000/12 ÷ 12). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on H and J for 2016 is $2,400 (the lesser of $2,400 or $20,000).

Change in shared responsibility family during the year. (i) The facts are the same as in Example 3, except J has minimum essential coverage for January through June. The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 4 (1 adult, 3 children) is $18,000.

(ii) For the period January through June 2016, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) of this section the applicable dollar amount is $2,085 (($695 ÷ 2 adults) + (($695/2) ÷ 2 children)). Under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,085 or $2,085 ($695 ÷ 3)).

(iii) For the period July through December 2016, the applicable dollar amount is $2,780 (($695 ÷ 3 adults) + (($695/2) ÷ 2 children)). Under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,780 or $2,085 ($695 ÷ 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the excess income amount is $2,400 (($120,000''$24,000) ÷ 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, for January through June the monthly penalty amount is $200 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $200 ($2,400/12)). The monthly penalty amount for July through December is $200 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $200 ($2,400/12)).

(iv) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $2,400 ($200 ÷ 12). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $19,000 ((($18,000/12) ÷ 6) + (($20,000/12) ÷ 6))). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on H and J for 2016 is $2,400 (the lesser of $2,400 or $19,000).

Eighteenth birthday during the year. (i) In 2016 Taxpayers S and T are married and file a joint return. S and T have one child, U, who turns 18 years old on June 28. No member of the family has minimum essential coverage for any month in 2016. S and T's household income is $60,000. S and T's applicable filing threshold is $24,000. The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 3 (2 adults, 1 child) is $15,000.

(ii) For the period January through June 2016, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the applicable dollar amount is $1,737.50 (($695 ÷ 2 adults) + ($695/2) ÷ 1 child)). Under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $1,737.50 (the lesser of $1,737.50 or $2,085 ($695 ÷ 3)).

(iii) For the period July through December 2016, the applicable dollar amount is $2,085 ($695 ÷ 3). Under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,085 or $2,085 ($695 ÷ 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the excess income amount is $900 (($60,000''$24,000) ÷ 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, for January through June the monthly penalty amount is $144.79 (the greater of $144.79 ($1,737.50/12) or $75 ($900/12)). The monthly penalty amount for July through December is $173.75 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $75 ($900/12)).

(iv) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $1,911.24 (($144.79 ÷ 6) + ($173.75 ÷ 6)). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $15,000 ($15,000/12 ÷ 12). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on H and J for 2016 is $1,911.24 (the lesser of $1,911.24 or $15,000).

¤ 1.5000A-5 Administration and procedure.(a) In general. A taxpayer's liability for the shared responsibility payment for a month must be reported on the taxpayer's Federal income tax return for the taxable year that includes the month. The time for assessing the shared responsibility payment is the same as that prescribed by section 6501 for the taxable year to which the Federal income tax return on which the shared responsibility payment is to be reported relates. The shared responsibility payment is payable upon notice and demand by the Secretary, and except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, is assessed and collected in the same manner as an assessable penalty under subchapter B of chapter 68 of the Internal Revenue Code. Therefore, the shared responsibility payment is not subject to deficiency procedures of subchapter B of chapter 63 of the Internal Revenue Code. Interest on this payment accrues in accordance with the rules in section 6601.

(b) Special rules. Notwithstanding any other provision of law'--

(1) Waiver of criminal penalties. In the case of a failure by a taxpayer to timely pay the shared responsibility payment, the taxpayer is not subject to criminal prosecution or penalty for the failure.

(2) Limitations on liens and levies. If a taxpayer fails to pay the shared responsibility payment imposed by this section and ¤¤ 1.5000A-1 through 1.5000A-4, the Secretary will not file notice of lien with respect to any property of the taxpayer, or levy on any such property with respect to such failure.

(3) Authority to offset against overpayment. Nothing in this section prohibits the Secretary from offsetting any liability for the shared responsibility payment against any overpayment due the taxpayer, in accordance with section 6402(a).

(c) Effective/applicability date. This section and ¤¤ 1.5000A-1 through 1.5000A-4 apply for months beginning after December 31, 2013.

end regulatory text

IRS: Cheapest Obamacare Plan Will Be $20,000 Per Family | CNS News

Link to Article

Fri, 01 Feb 2013 15:36

President Barack Obama hugs HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after signing the Obamacare law on March 23, 2010. (White House photo/Pete Souza)

(CNSNews.com) '' In a final regulation issued Wednesday, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assumed that under Obamacare the cheapest health insurance plan available in 2016 for a family will cost $20,000 for the year.

Under Obamacare, Americans will be required to buy health insurance or pay a penalty to the IRS.

The IRS's assumption that the cheapest plan for a family will cost $20,000 per year is found in examples the IRS gives to help people understand how to calculate the penalty they will need to pay the government if they do not buy a mandated health plan.

The examples point to families of four and families of five, both of which the IRS expects in its assumptions to pay a minimum of $20,000 per year for a bronze plan.

''The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000,'' the regulation says.

Bronze will be the lowest tier health-insurance plan available under Obamacare--after Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Under the law, the penalty for not buying health insurance is supposed to be capped at either the annual average Bronze premium, 2.5 percent of taxable income, or $2,085.00 per family in 2016.

In the new final rules published Wednesday, IRS set in law the rules for implementing the penalty Americans must pay if they fail to obey Obamacare's mandate to buy insurance.

To help illustrate these rules, the IRS presented examples of different situations families might find themselves in.

In the examples, the IRS assumes that families of five who are uninsured would need to pay an average of $20,000 per year to purchase a Bronze plan in 2016.

Using the conditions laid out in the regulations, the IRS calculates that a family earning $120,000 per year that did not buy insurance would need to pay a "penalty" (a word the IRS still uses despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is in fact a "tax") of $2,400 in 2016.

For those wondering how clear the IRS's clarifications of this new "penalty" rule are, here is one of the actual examples the IRS gives:

''Example 3. Family without minimum essential coverage.

"(i) In 2016, Taxpayers H and J are married and file a joint return. H and J have three children: K, age 21, L, age 15, and M, age 10. No member of the family has minimum essential coverage for any month in 2016. H and J's household income is $120,000. H and J's applicable filing threshold is $24,000. The annual national average bronze plan premium for a family of 5 (2 adults, 3 children) is $20,000.

"(ii) For each month in 2016, under paragraphs (b)(2)(ii) and (b)(2)(iii) of this section, the applicable dollar amount is $2,780 (($695 x 3 adults) + (($695/2) x 2 children)). Under paragraph (b)(2)(i) of this section, the flat dollar amount is $2,085 (the lesser of $2,780 and $2,085 ($695 x 3)). Under paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the excess income amount is $2,400 (($120,000 - $24,000) x 0.025). Therefore, under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the monthly penalty amount is $200 (the greater of $173.75 ($2,085/12) or $200 ($2,400/12)).

"(iii) The sum of the monthly penalty amounts is $2,400 ($200 x 12). The sum of the monthly national average bronze plan premiums is $20,000 ($20,000/12 x 12). Therefore, under paragraph (a) of this section, the shared responsibility payment imposed on H and J for 2016 is $2,400 (the lesser of $2,400 or $20,000).''

Lame Cherry: WADGATE: Obama's New Final Jeopardy

Link to Article

Sat, 02 Feb 2013 22:21

My children, as another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter anti matter, concerning the photo of Barack Hussein Obama AKA Skeeter Obama AKA Barry Chin which you will not receive any other place, anywhere, as all of your experts from Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin, Ingraham, Savage, Dean blah blah blah Ed Schultz are not going to inform you of the reality of the fraud of Barack Obama.Even if gunner Schultz does know how to massacre cranes.

I digress......

No I do not.

First off, we have beloved leader, B. Hussein hosing down only Obama knows what, as one points a shotgun, in the air and not straight ahead when shooting skeet.

Fake picture of Obama just attempting to appear he has ever had a weapon in his hand, besides the one which riddled Donald Young's gay body before it became a corpse in Chicago prior to Christmas 2007.

Where was I?

Obama is shooting an over and under. There are tell tale signatures in this that Obama has no idea what he is doing and does not fire guns. If he had simply taken me up on my offer to go hunting and have Muchelle pluck our white fronts and roast them up, as she rubbed, Dick Cheney's and my feet, all of this could have been avoided in B. Hussein looking like a more complete fool than he usually positions hisself as.

The recoil pad on the stock of this shotgun is in the wrong place. Obama should have it down seated on his shoulder. Neophytes have this problem when guns do not fit them. It makes them kiss your shoulder harder and leaves red spots as it is the pointy part of the stock hitting your shoulder.

Next Obama's cheek is in the wrong spot.......no not the Mom jean's ass cheeks, but his face cheek. Obama has it scrunched up as he is terrified of the recoil and bang of this gun. His nose should be "kissing" his thumb for a better site alinement and Obama is stiffly holding this firearm and "not into it", because he is a virgin.

His right hand is in the wrong place in extending beyond the forearm. There are cardinal rules in this, to keeping your oily salty damn hands off the bluing of the barrel, as hunters and shooters like their guns pretty.The same holds true for not wrapping your stubby fingers up onto the barrel to distract YOUR SHOOTING as you must sight down this barrel at the front bead in order to hit the target you are aiming at.

Obama in the way he is Mom jean's handling this shotgun, could not adjust comfortablly to swing on the target nor elevate.

I will provide a hint too as the photo depicts and overcast day, and Obama with those Fearless Fly safety glasses he is wearing would be encumbered by black clay pigeons being lost in a dreary sky, but as he is not shooting at anything but thin air for a photo op, it does not matter. Unless of course, one is interested in the Truth as an expert in firearms and methods would be.

Why is it that you will hear none of this from the NRA, Nugent, Limbaugh, Schultz etc....

Yeah ponder that as it is important in why this only comes from one source being here, EVERY TIME.

Next, Obama is shooting a fag shotgun. Notice that plume of smokeless powder coming out of the end, and bursting out of the side?

Obama is firing an elongated choke tube, which has inserts of various "chokes" meant to constrict the shot pattern.......meaning tight patterns for longer shots, and modified or open patterns for close shots or for shooters who could not hit a bull or Boehner in the ass with a scoop shovel.

The sissy part of Obama is the powder gas escaping out the side ports. This is a muzzle break. Doing this reduces recoil for woosies who can not handle recoil, usually in the rifled magnums.

Obama is firing a 12 gauge, skeet or trap gun, for clay targets. This is thee lightest load in ammunition. Unless one was an Olympic shooter firing off a thousand rounds in practice, one would not even bother with anything being ported, as these light loads are in the 1 ounce category, loaded fast with a light load of powder, so one does not even notice their going off.

Completely different than lead 12 gauge 3 inch with 2 ounces of BB's. Those and my pet 10 gauge get your attention. A friend of my beloved Uncle's had a double barrel 10 gauge Ithaca, which fires a 3 1/2 inch shell, or the equivalent 8 gauge of yesteryear. Damn thing would fire both barrels off at once, which was like cutting loose with a double barrel elephant gun.He was a big man, and it still knocked him on his ass when he was goose hunting.He though did not have a muzzle break.

Some folks like myself find recoil comforting in the gun letting you know it is there. Nice hearing a metal barrel sing too in a heavy load.

Where was I?

Oh yes, Obama is a puss who shoots a woosie shotgun loaded with light loads. The photo reveals that Obama is shooting such a light load that it did not even push him out of his stance. It honestly looks like Val-erie Jarrett had the Secret Service open up some AA trap loads, dump out the 8 shot, and then crimp it back in as nothing appears to be coming out of that barrel.

this is what a powder cloud should appear like with a shotgun wadGet the point yet, in there is no WAD in this photo in the wad is something that the shot is placed into to hold it into a better pattern.In a still action photo as the above, the wad should be visible just at the head of this plume of powder smoke.......which too is smoking a bit too much for nitrocellulose powder and is suspect in Obama had someone load some next generation black powder replacement like Shockey's citrus based powder......as this is what my muzzle loader looks like when I burn powder in it.

Now you see, all of this information is a bit more information than the Obama propaganda machine wants out, and Mockingbird Wayne LaPierre of the NRA or any of these right or left wing sorts are not going to be revealing these realities that the popular girl is exposing all of this in.........

WADGATE. Yes I like that Obama's WADGATE.

this is Obama's missing wadYes perhaps B. Hussein should have not threatened Matt Drudge with making bad quality photoshops of Obama, as Mr. Chin after gaining so much from this blog has a discerning taste in appreciating the quality work here, compared to the low quality Drudge work.

This blog does appreciate the hat tip from B. Hussein in his attempt to get Matt Drudge to employ me for a 6 figure salary as was offered here months ago, but B. Hussein should realize that sometimes a photoshop photo would have been the distraction he needed, instead of the thousand words posted here, exposing more of his fraud from ANALGATE to now WADGATE.

Who did destroy Camelot after Uncle Ted put the crown on his head.

agtG 224

WADGATE: I'll take Obama's WAD for 200 Alex

Link to Article

Source: Lame Cherry

Sun, 03 Feb 2013 13:42

As a continuing series of Inspired exclusives from the Lame Cherry blog in matter anti matter exclusives only found here.......and then, er uh, mentioned, plagiarized and ordered to be ignored elsewhere, we now enter into the reality of the Obama orchestrated skeet shooting photo, AKA, WADGATE as exposed first here.

This blog has always informed you, my children, that photos just do not happen. They are planned, engineered, shot and reshot, for effect. There are hundreds and thousands of photos in each photo set, as digitals have transformed the propaganda era.

For the released photo which the Obama regime released of B. Hussein AKA Barry Chin "skeet shooting" as was first exposed here as a fraud........paging Ted Nugent, where the hell are you, Mr. NRA powder burner............the following revelations are the reality of Barack Hussein Obama.

The photo released required high speed recording, and was one of a number of photos of the finished product or propaganda. To not have any blurring, these high speed stop action stills required a fast lens, to get things "just right" as it was engineered in the big smoke signal which Obama over dramatized on.

The recreations of the events are in the stills, as this all started out when things rubbed Obama raw in that first shotgun photo. For Obama reasons, he now wants to not only be loved, but to be revered as someone who just does not arm Mexican bandits to murder Mexicans in Gun Runner, but Obama wants to be a he man in being known he fires off his own load.

The forensic pyschology of Obama is his own. He gravitates not to pistols or revolvers which he can not handle, nor does he appreciate rifles, but Obama likes shotguns for his own psychopathy as they have the "big shells".

Obama started this charade off with wanting "real manly photos" which were the orders. He strolled out with a big skeet gun and ordered up the pictures with the Jarrett sucklings looking on and the cameras ready to capture all the glory of Obama, when a strange thing happened to Mr. Move Star ready for his close up.

Mr.Obama's gun went off, and he looked like a fricking puss in not being able to control the recoil.All firearms recoil and everyone in high speed snaps is going to look like a ninny, from things being jostled like head gear and glasses to being bent in a girly position backwards.

That kind of thing would have brought heaps of ridicule on Obama, so after some heated demands a new drama was released, in Obama would switch from his regular load to a light load.

Take two required more out takes as light loads, just had Obama pointing a gun with no action, and Obama wanted ACTION.Obama likes smoke when he pulls out the he man stuff.

Big problem in that, as there just was not enough smoke in smokeless powder, so after more heated demands about making it look like he was actually doing something, instead of just pointing a gun at Boehner's brain, a little bit of engineering took place.

One must understand that nitrocellulose is modern smokeless powder. It is made by cotton soaked in nitric acid. It produces a non corrosive powder, compared to black powder which is a brew of charcoal, salt peter and sulfur.........that rusts metal, but does not produce high pressures in gun barrels in modern firearms, which produce recoil that bends a body back.

Someone started tampering with shot shells in concocting a load of the new genre of black powder replacements, which produce a white smoke, but little recoil when it is just in shell without a wad.A wad as was first exposed here in the missing photos and smoke curl, is .......I will just explain it this way.

One has the shell, at the base is a primer which when the firing pin is struck, produces a small fire that ignites the powder loaded on top of it. On top of the powder is a wad. The wad is designed to keep the power and shot from mixing, to seal the chamber to pressure builds to drive the shot down the barrel, and in modern firearms, the wad is utilized to keep the shot charge together to make it lethal further out, so it will not spread in blowing the pattern of the shot.

With a missing wad, one can in forensic science deduce that someone loaded 50 grains of a black powder replacement on top of a primer, with some type of loose packing which would not produce recoil.This packing produced no smoke curl as a modern wad would. This then produced this peculiar smoke cloud which was more akin to a rifle plume.

Obama was literally blowing smoke, and got the exact neophyte photo he was joyous over, as he had absolutely no idea he would look like a fool as the photos only would be noticed by someone familiar with firearms and shooting.

It is puzzling how in all of these Obama events, that no NRA types are busy exposing any of this. Certainly there has to be someone, beyond a 3 month Guns and Ammo or Popular Mechanics writer looking to be fired for stories bringing things like this up. 3 months it usually is in the planning stages for a magazine.That of course is not internet, and yet none of the champions of the dead American Republic seem to be Inspired enough to note simple things which do not match.

While Obama is not NBC faking stories about Sandy Hook or ABC faking stories about blacks spit on to smear the Tea Party, there is the reality that Obama fakes stories like knowing bin Laden's DNA was his DNA hours or days before he could of, having just shot up his body.......the only way Obama would know that, is if his body was a corpse already dead days previously, and he acquired the corpse and the bin Laden raid was all a stage act which got the SEALS murdered for it later, in another theater production like ANALGATE.

Those GATES are crimes, and while WADGATE is another obvious deception like Obama's Birther abstract being a forgery, it is just Obama completing his feudal lord persona.

All of that simply reveals that Obama is the expanding sociopath he is. To stage photos with sort of temerity in knowing how ignorant the populace is, is Obama the criminal in all he is.It is very important to the boy who has homosexual males sniff coke off his thighs to now appear the man in the room, with a big gun he can handle..........even if he has to shoot lighter than skeet loads, specifically created for delicate shooters who used to run like a duck, but in need of plumes of smoke to show how Putin he is.

*There is a matter in this if ammunition was tampered with, and firing loads not approved by the manufacturers, that some legalities are involved.Was this one of Mr. Obama's BATF who seem to be hovering about him at Hutatree framing Americans or covering up events at Sandy Hook, that someone had to create this magical poofer ammunition for Obama.

Purchasing and transporting powders.......naughty naughty and if the powder were altered, that means manufactured and that is a conspiracy involving things like 10 years to whatever.

Just how big was this conspiracy.

I'll takes Obama's WADGATE for 200 Alex.

Be sure to phrase the answer in the form of a question........

CUT, yes that's the take. Barry Chin really looks the match for all in how he handles that manly gun with lots of smoke.

When will Congress, any of these blackmailed cowards keeping silent, demand to see the entire photo sets of Obama skeet shooting fabrications?Oh that's right, we are still awaiting Darrell Issa to fulfill his promise on Gun Runner from 3 years ago.

agtG 224, 292 ddbrft

Don't Photoshop Obama Gun Pic

Link to Article

Sun, 03 Feb 2013 13:31

"This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House."

Um.... Are you listening, Iowahawk and Ace of Spades?

obamagun.curry.com

---------------------

The Christie on the Obama Knoll

Link to Article

Sat, 02 Feb 2013 14:16

Oh ye of childish faith..........My children as another Lame Cherry, matter anti matter exclusive.......that of course all of you missed this, since the day this blog in satire "joined in the speculation about which democrat was raping little girls) as there are so many.

You missed the quotes and hints:

Asking about this now..........is Obama the pimp in this and is Menedez just the John exposed with his pants down..........

Yes who is it that exposed Bob Menedez when there are so many other child rapists in the Obama regime.

Barack Obama and Chris Christie in November of 2012 became the pedophile couple. (Do not miss the svelt blonde Marine behind them with her TOES POINTED OUT hinting at another spread.)The reality is for the Obama election theft of 2012, as Romney was ahead of Obama by 5 points in all the polls and had won the election, that Obama needed a second shooter on a grassy knoll to pull off the political assassination of Mitt Romney.

What follows is as this blog has hinted was the insider story in this, and the fact is that it was Barack Hussein Obama who reached out to Chris Christie asking what Christie could do for him in securing the election theft, as Obama offered up Bob Menedez as the sacraficial pedophile.YES it was Romney's camp who were fed the Menedez story directly into Daily Caller and Drudge jumped on it hard, but Barack Obama through channels was the source.

Menedez is a democrat, insider democrat. He stole the Senate seat with the help of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Chris Christie Would Choose Menendez's Replacement...

As this blog had confirmed by Drudge Report in Chris Christie would be appointing Menedez's replacement, the scope of this conspiracy was unfolding as foretold here.

Christie: 'Fun' Oval Office chat with ObamaPolitico'Ś- 14 hours agoChris Christie offered some insight into his meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House when he was seeking aid after Hurricane Sandy. ''The president ... (PHOTOS: Chris Christie's career). ''I won't talk about ...Christie felt so confident and in confession had to the same day all this was breaking, went into forensic confession pointing out in Politico all the fun that Obama and he had strolling on the beach over hurricane Sandy, the very bullet that blew Mormon Romney's head off his candidacy.Yes Chris Christie signed up to be the second shooter for taking out Romney in the last days of the elect as ass rape of Chris Stevens blew up in Obama's face.

Now for the continued exclusives in this, as this blog has pointed to what moved Obama to this offering up Menedez

As was pointed out here, Bob Menedez was in the Dominican Republic. That is the land of the Afroid Caribbean like Colin Powell and Eric Holder. Menedez has a thing for the nig snatch.

the pedophile prostitution pornster pimpThere was "talk" in this, that got back to the brown recluse. Val-erie Jarrett was in on this. You have to understand the David Letterman comments were flying about Bob Menendez giving it to Muchelle as she was his type and that the Obama girls were going to be in on the illegal immigration deal for Bob to "tutor" as Barry held them down.It was never on the table, but it was the conversation as the Menendez file started being reviewed in the blackmail aspects as Menendez's control was he liked raping little girls. I have told you that ALL of the DC crowd have a file on them and an entire industry was born after the Clinton's to command and control.

What the hell do you think made the change in Michele Bachmann. You can see it in her eyes. How she disappeared. How she was made to whore for Romney. Her file was shown to her and there are things in that file she was made to do that would destroy her. It is how they keep all of your people in line.

I digress.......

This was the foundation in 1600 Penn took intelligence blackmail files on Menendez, after the banter started in DC about Uncle Bob filling in for Barack. This started the outreach to Chris Christie, who was promised a 2016 presidential run, if he helped Obama, and that Bob Menendez was on the chopping block as a Christie stepping stone.

That is what was behind the Christie bed fellowing with Obama. Obama needed Menendez out and if you can handle this, Obama really does not give a damn about illegals. There is Operation Aztec, but what Obama cares about is destroying Menendez.

This is why this first volley took place just before the election, and why this is still being fed from the intelligence community to their assets on the right.....who are Romney and Christie supporters. This feed is being ignored by the Obama mainline puppy press, but the reality is this is coming from Obama and Val-erie Jarrett through right wing channels.

Obama is rewarding the grassy knoll shooter with Bob Menendez's ass.

That is the story behind all of this. Everyone with a brain knows or suspects this. Of all the pedophiles in DC, Menendez was singled out from Obama intelligence, because of his "affections" looking over the Obama women.There are recordings of this sticky preliminary affection.

agtG 267

Chris Christie Would Choose Menendez's Replacement | The Weekly Standard

If Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey either steps down or is removed from office, Governor Chris Christie, a Republican, will get the chance to choose his replacement.

"If a vacancy shall happen in the representation of this State in the United States senate, it shall be filled at the general election next succeeding the happening thereof, unless such vacancy shall happen within 70 days next preceding such election, in which case it shall be filled by election at the second succeeding general election, unless the governor of this State shall deem it advisable to call a special election therefor, which he is authorized hereby to do," New Jersey law reads. "The governor of this State may make a temporary appointment of a senator of the United States from this State whenever a vacancy shall occur by reason of any cause other than the expiration of the term; and such appointee shall serve as such senator until a special election or general election shall have been held pursuant to law and the Board of State Canvassers can deliver to his successor a certificate of election."

One Republican suggested to me that should Senator Menendez step down, Christie would likely appoint Joe Kyrillos, the state senator from New Jersey. Kyrillos ran against Menendez in the November election, but ultimately lost the election by sizable margin.

"Senator Joseph M. Kyrillos, Jr. began serving New Jersey's 13th Legislative District in 1988 when he was elected to the General Assembly. After spending two terms in the Assembly he was elected to the Senate where he has served since 1993," the state senator's official biography reads.

Chris Christie: 'Fun' Oval Office chat with President Obama - Ginger Gibson - POLITICO.com

Three days before Obama sent his proposal for Sandy aid to Congress, Christie said he met with Obama in the Oval Office for 30 minutes, representing both New Jersey and New York.

(PHOTOS: Chris Christie's career)

"I won't talk about how the conversation went, that's between me and the president" Christie said. "But someday, I'll let you all know, it was a lot of fun."

Christie explained there was some haggling involved.

"I was pushing hard for a particular number and president was working hard not to give me a number," Christie said. "I finally was walking out the door of the Oval Office and I grabbed his arm and I said, and I won't say what the number was, but I said, Mr. President, 'You give me this number today and you've got a deal.' He said to me, 'That's a lot of money governor, that's a lot of money.'"

Be Afraid Slave!

USA TODAY

Link to Article

Fri, 01 Feb 2013 13:39

AP

Emergency personnel are seen in front of a side entrance to the U.S. Embassy following a blast in Ankara, Turkey. Photo is taken from a video.

by Victor Kotsev, Special for USA TODAY

Updated: 02/01/2013 08:23am

ISTANBUL, Turkey -- A suicide bomber attacked the U.S. Embassy in the Turkish capital of Ankara, killing one Turkish security guard along with the bomber, Ankara Govenor Aladdin Yuksel told Turkish news media.

A woman visiting the embassy on business was also injured, Yuksel said.

The explosion went off at the entrance used by the embassy personnel and their visitors, after a lone suicide bomber passed through the x-ray machine, CNNTurk reported.

Turkish media is reporting that there is no damage inside the embassy, and that all personnel have been moved to safe rooms inside the building.

Turkish television footage showed a door blown out and pieces of the wall around it scattered in front of the entrance.

Turkey, a member of NATO, has come under attack from a number of groups operating on its territory including Kurdish separatists, leftists and Islamist militants, with the last major attack in Ankara in 2007 blamed on a solo suicide bomber: It killed nine people and injured 120.

The Turkish daily newspaper, Hurriyet, reported that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoۀan is waiting to receive a briefing on the blast. He earlier told reporters that he had no information.

There has been no claim of responsibility.

Copyright 2013 USATODAY.com

Eat Shit Slave!

Soda, candy out under USDA's proposed school snack rules - The Hill's Healthwatch

The Obama administration proposed regulations Friday that would prohibit U.S. schools from selling unhealthy snacks.

The 160-page regulation from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) would enact nutrition standards for "competitive" foods not included in the official school meal.

In practice, the proposed rules would replace traditional potato chips with baked versions and candy with granola. Regular soda is out, though high-schoolers may have access to diet versions.

Shut Up Slave!

Travel Tips for Football Fans Going to Super Bowl XLVII

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Sat, 02 Feb 2013 05:14

50,000 or more additional passengers are expected to travel to and fromLouis Armstrong International Airport(MSY) this weekend forSuper Bowl XLVII. Arrivals at MSY will steadily increase as game day approaches, with the heaviest travel days being today through Saturday.The busiest day at MSY will be on Monday when football fans begin their journey home. No worries though'... following the big game, TSA will be operating on a 24/7 schedule so passengers can clear security and reach their gates as quickly and securely as possible. We're also bringing in additional officers so we can double the number of open lanes at the checkpoint.We thought it might be helpful to put together a little list with some helpful hints related to what football fans might want to know.Air horns:Air horns are prohibited in both carry-on and checked baggage. It's a compressed can of air which is prohibited, but can you imagine the reaction from passengers if one of those things went off in the cabin?Concealment flasks:We've seen them all. Binocular flasks, beer bellies, cell phone flasks, cane flasks, pen flasks, flip-flop flasks, you name it'... You may be able to sneak these into concerts and sporting events, but we'll find them at the airport. Please get your libations in New Orleans if you're not going to check them in your baggage. You can however have 3.4 oz. or less bottles of approved liquids in a baggie per liquids guidelines.Baltimore Ravens Fans: If you're traveling with a live Raven, please alert your airline and check out our page on traveling with pets.San Francisco 49er Fans:Kaepernicking is permissible at the airport; however, gold mining implements such as pick axes and shovels are prohibited in the cabin of the aircraft.Propane tanks:These are a big no-no. I'm a camper, and I know how handy they are for stoves, heaters, coffee makers, etc., but they're a compressed flammable gas that can't be brought on the plane at all.Gas heaters and stoves:These are popular items at tailgating events, but if gasoline can be smelled, the item won't be permitted. For propane powered items, see above.Food Items:Here is a list of items that should be placed in your checked bags instead of your carry-on bags to comply with our liquids guidelines: Creamy dips and spreads, BBQ sauce, cheeses, peanut butter, salsa, jams, salad dressings, jellies, maple syrup, sauces, soups, wine, liquor and beer.Super Bowl fans may encounter TSA Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams on local transportation venues, including commercial and general aviation facilities and mass transit. Teams augment other federal, state, and local transportation and law enforcement to reduce potential terrorist risks to the traveling public. TSA assets will also work with law enforcement at Mercedes-Benz Superdome during the high-profile game. Fans are encouraged to report potentially dangerous situations to law enforcement or someone in authority. The Department of Homeland Security's''If You See Something, Say Something'''campaign reminds the American public that security is a shared responsibility. "If You See Something, Say Something'" used with permission of theNY Metropolitan Transportation Authority.http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-informationhttp://www.tsa.gov/travelers/mobile/index.shtmhttp://neworleanssuperbowl.com/http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/47http://flymsy.com/SuperBowlXLVIIhttp://www.neworleanscvb.com/thebiggame/http://new.nola.gov/city/superbowl/

Cyber War$

BBC News - Google boss Schmidt labels China an 'IT menace'

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Sat, 02 Feb 2013 21:52

2 February 2013Last updated at13:35 ETGoogle Chairman Eric Schmidt uses a new book to call China an Internet menace that backs cyber-crime for economic and political gain, reports say.

The New Digital Age - due for release in April - reportedly brands China "the world's most active and enthusiastic filterer of information".

China is "the most sophisticated and prolific" hacker of foreign companies, according to a review obtained by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

China denies allegations of hacking.

Revolution coming?Beijing has been accused by several governments, foreign companies and organisations of carrying out extensive cyber espionage for many years, seeking to gather information and to control China's image.

Continue reading the main storyChina was widely believed to be the source of major cyber attacks between 2006 and 2011 targeting 72 organisations including the International Olympic Committee, the UN and security firmsIn 2011, Google said hackers based in Jinan province had compromised personal email accounts of hundreds of top US officials, military personnel and journalistsSouth Korea blamed Chinese hackers for stealing data from 35 million accounts on a popular social network in July last yearChinese-based computers seized "full functional control" of computers at Nasa in 2011, the US body saidIn 2011 US media reported that Chinese-based hackers were suspected of a "significant" cyber attack on defence firm Lockheed Martin.Coca-cola says its systems were breached in 2009 by Beijing-backed hackers, while it was trying to buy China's Huiyuan Juice GroupThe US Pentagon said it was hacked by the Chinese military in 2007China says hacking is illegal under its laws and that it is a victim of such attacks itselfThe New Digital Age analyses how China is dangerously exploiting an Internet that now permeates politics, business, culture and other aspects of life, the WSJ says.

It quotes the book as saying: "The disparity between American and Chinese firms and their tactics will put both the government and the companies of the United States as a distinct disadvantage."

This, it says, is because Washington "will not take the same path of digital corporate espionage, as its laws are much stricter (and better enforced) and because illicit competition violates the American sense of fair play".

The book argues that Western governments could do more to follow China's lead and develop stronger relationships between the state and technology companies.

States will benefit if they use software and technology made by trusted companies, it suggests.

"Where Huawei gains market share, the influence and reach of China grow as well," the WSJ quoted the authors as writing.

The WSJ this week said its computer systems had been hacked by specialists in China who were trying to monitor its China coverage.

It was the second reported attack on a major US news outlet in days, as the New York Times reported earlier that Chinese hackers had "persistently" penetrated its systems for the last four months.

China's foreign ministry dismissed the New York Times' accusations as "groundless" and "totally irresponsible".

NWO

VIDEO-Hillary Clinton: Remarks On American Leadership To The Council On Foreign Relations (FULL-TEXT)

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Sat, 02 Feb 2013 21:38

RICHARD HAASS, President of the Council on Foreign Relations: Please, take your seats. (Off-mic exchange.)

Well, good afternoon, and on behalf of Bob Rubin, Carla Hills, who is with us today, the entire Board of Directors and our members, I want to welcome you to the Council on Foreign Relations. And I'm Richard Haass, president of the CFR.

For those of you who don't know who we are, we're an independent nonpartisan membership organization, a think tank and a publisher. And we are dedicated to improving the understanding of the world and the foreign policy choices facing this country.

And today we are continuing what we've come to call Secretary of State Week here at the council. (Laughter.) On Tuesday night we were fortunate to hear from George Shultz, who served as secretary of state for some 6 1/2 years under President Ronald Reagan. And this afternoon we are honored to host Hillary Rodham Clinton during her last 24 hours as President Obama's first secretary of state -- immediately after which, I'm told, she might be expected to party like it's Cartagena all over again. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: (Laughs.)

HAASS: We did our research, and this is the eighth time that Hillary Clinton has spoken at this council and her third appearance in her current incarnation as secretary of state. And this afternoon's speech is probably the most anticipated one she's given here. Indeed, it may be the most anticipated farewell address since 1796. (Laughter.) I suspect, though, that her views on entangling alliances might be somewhat different than George Washington.

Much has been made of the miles she's put in as the country's 67th secretary of state. You've seen the statistics. She has visited some 112 countries; logged, what, nearly a million miles of travel, nearly 87 days of flight time. There have been wars shorter than that. (Laughter.)

But more important than that, Madam Secretary, is what you've put into these miles. And your tenure has coincided with some of the most consequential events and decisions of this young century: rebalancing American foreign policy toward Asia; winding down the war in Iraq and, after a surge, the war in Afghanistan; contending with the difficult and dangerous transitions in the Arab world; and building a multilateral coalition for tough sanctions against Iran.

You've also elevated the profile of traditional social issues -- women, gay rights, Internet freedom and more -- to the seventh floor of the building you oversee.

And you've done all this and more against the backdrop of historic global economic downturn that sharply limited every country's room to maneuver.

So I know I speak for everyone in this room and beyond when I say thank you for your dedicated service to this country. (Applause.)

The way we're going to proceed is, Secretary Clinton will deliver a speech, after which we'll have time, given her schedule, for just a few questions. Madam Secretary, the floor is yours.

CLINTON: Thank you, Richard. Thank you so much.

HAASS: Thank you.

CLINTON: Thank you, Richard, for that introduction and for everything you've done to lead this very valuable institution.

I also want to thank the board of the Council on Foreign Relations and all my friends and colleagues and other interested citizens who are here today because you respect the council, you understand the important work that it does, and you are committed to ensuring that we chart a path to the future that is in the best interests not only of the United States but of the world.

As Richard said, tomorrow is my last day as secretary of state, and though it is hard to predict what any day in this job will bring, I know that tomorrow my heart will be very full. Serving with the men and women at the State Department and USAID has been a singular honor, and Secretary Kerry will find there is no more extraordinary group of people working anywhere in the world.

So these last days have been bittersweet for me. But this opportunity that I have here before you gives me some time to reflect on the distance that we've traveled and to take stock of what we've done and what is left to do.

I think it's important, as Richard alluded in his opening comments, what we faced in January of 2009: two wars, an economy in free fall, traditional alliances fraying, our diplomatic standing damaged and, around the world, people questioning America's commitment to core values and our ability to maintain our global leadership. That was my inbox on day one as your secretary of state.

Today the world remains a dangerous and complicated place. And of course, we still face many difficult challenges. But a lot has changed in the last four years. Under President Obama's leadership, we've ended the war in Iraq, begun a transition in Afghanistan and brought Osama bin Laden to justice. We have also revitalized American diplomacy and strengthened our alliances. And while our economic recovery is not yet complete, we are heading in the right direction.

In short, America today is stronger at home and more respected in the world. And our global leadership is on firmer footing than many predicted.

To understand what we have been trying to do these last four years, it's helpful to start with some history. Last year I was honored to deliver the Forrestal Lecture at the Naval Academy, named for our first secretary of defense after World War II. In 1946 James Forrestal noted in his diary that the Soviets believed that the postwar world should be shaped by a handful of major powers acting alone. But, he went on, the American point of view is that all nations professing a desire for peace and democracy should participate.

And what ended up happening in the years since is something in between. The United States and our allies succeeded in constructing a broad international architecture of institutions and alliances, chiefly the U.N., the IMF, the World Bank and NATO, that protected our interests, defended universal values and benefited peoples and nations around the world. Yet it is undeniable that a handful of major powers did end up controlling those institutions, setting norms and shaping international affairs.

Now, two decades after the end of the Cold War, we face a different world. More countries than ever have a voice in global debates. We see more paths to power opening up as nations gain influence through the strength of their economies rather than their militaries. And political and technological changes are empowering non-state actors, like activists, corporations and terrorist networks.

At the same time, we face challenges, from financial contagion to climate change to human and wildlife trafficking, that spill across borders and defy unilateral solutions. As President Obama has said, the old postwar architecture is crumbling under the weight of new threats. So the geometry of global power has become more distributed and diffuse as the challenges we face have become more complex and cross-cutting.

So the question we ask ourselves every day is what does this mean for America? And then we go on to say, how can we advance our own interests and also uphold a just, rules-based international order, a system that does provide clear rules of the road for everything from intellectual property rights to freedom of navigation to fair labor standards?

Simply put, we have to be smart about how we use our power, not because we have less of it. Indeed, the might of our military, the size of our economy, the influence of our diplomacy and the creative energy of our people remain unrivaled. No, it's because as the world has changed, so too have the levers of power that can most effectively shape international affairs.

I've come to think of it like this. Truman and Atcheson were building the Parthenon, with classical geometry and clear lines.

The pillars were a handful of big institutions and alliances dominated by major powers. And that structure delivered unprecedented peace and prosperity. But time takes its toll even on the greatest edifice. And we do need a new architecture for this new world, more Frank Ghery than formal Greek. (Laughter.) Think of it.

Now, some of his work at first might appear haphazard, but in fact it's highly intentional and sophisticated. Where once a few strong columns could hold up the weight of the world, today we need a dynamic mix of materials and structures.

Now of course, American military and economic strength will remain the foundation of our global leadership. As we saw from the intervention to stop a massacre in Libya to the raid that brought bin Laden to justice, there will always be times when it is necessary and just to use force. America's ability to project power all over the globe remains essential.

And I'm very proud of the partnerships that the State department has formed with the Pentagon, first with Bob Gates and Mike Mullen, then with Leon Panetta and Marty Dempsey.

By the same token, America's traditional allies and friends in Europe and East Asia remain invaluable partners on nearly everything we do. And we have spent considerable energy strengthening those bonds over the past four years. And, I would be quick to add, the U.N., the IMF, the World Bank and NATO are also still essential.

But all of our institutions and our relationships need to be modernized, and complemented by new institutions, relationships and partnerships that are tailored for new challenges and modeled to the needs of a variable landscape -- like how we elevated the G-20 during the financial crisis or created the Climate and Clean Air Coalition out of the State Department to fight short-lived pollutants like black carbon, or worked with partners, like Turkey, where the two of us stood up the first Global Counterterrorism Forum.

We're also working more than ever with invigorated regional organizations. Consider the African Union in Somalia and the Arab League in Libya, even subregional groups like the Lower Mekong Initiative, that we created to help re-integrate Burma into its neighborhood and try to work across national boundaries on issues like whether dams should or should not be built.

We're also, of course, thinking about old-fashioned shoe-leather diplomacy in a new way. I have found it -- and I've said this before -- highly ironic that in today's world, when we can be anywhere, virtually, more than ever people want us to actually show up. But while a secretary of state in an earlier era might have been able to focus on a small number of influential capitals, shuttling between the major powers, today we, by necessity, must take a broader view.

And people say to me all the time, I look at your travel schedule; why Togo? Well, no secretary of state had ever been to Togo, but Togo happens to hold a rotating seat on the U.N. Security Council. Going there, making the personal investment, has a strategic purpose.

And it's not just where we engage, but with whom. You can't build a set of durable partnerships in the 21st century with governments alone. The opinions of people now matter as to how their governments work with us, whether it's democratic or authoritarian. So in virtually every country I have visited, I've held town halls and reached out directly to citizens, civil society organizations, women's groups, business communities and so many others. They have valuable insights and contributions to make, and increasingly they are driving economic and political change, especially in democracies.

The State Department now has Twitter feeds in 11 languages, and just this Tuesday, I participated in a global town hall and took questions from people on every continent, including, for the first time, Antarctica.

So the point is we have to be strategic about all the levers of global power and look for the new levers that could not have been possible or had not even been invented a decade ago. We need to widen the aperture of our engagement, and let me offer a few examples of how we're doing this.

You can't be a 21st-century leader without 21st-century tools, not when people organize pro-democracy protests with Twitter and while terrorists spread their hateful ideology online. That's why I have championed what we call 21st-century statecraft. We've launched an interagency Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications at State. Expert, tech-savvy specialists from across our government fluent in Urdu, Arabic, Punjabi, Somali use social media to expose al- Qaida's contradictions and abuses, including its continuing brutal attacks on Muslim civilians. We're leading the effort also to defend Internet freedom so it remains a free, open and reliable platform for everyone. We're helping human rights activists in oppressive Internet environments get online and communicate more safely, because the country that built the Internet ought to be leading the fight to protect it from those who would censor it or use it as a tool of control.

Second, our nonproliferation agenda. Negotiating the New START treaty with Russia was an example of traditional diplomacy at its best, then working it through the Congress was an example of traditional bipartisan support at its best.

But we also have been working with partners around the world to create a new institution, the Nuclear Security Summit, to keep dangerous materials out of the hands of terrorists. We conducted intensive diplomacy with major powers to impose crippling sanctions against Iran and North Korea. But to enforce those sanctions, we also enlisted banks, insurance companies and high-tech international financial institutions. And today, Iran's oil tankers sit idle, and its currency has taken a massive hit.

Now, this brings me to a third lever: economics. Everyone knows how important that is. But not long ago, it was thought that business drove markets and governments drove geopolitics. Well, those two, if they ever were separate, have certainly converged. So creating jobs at home is now part of the portfolio of diplomats abroad. They're arguing for common economic rules of the road, especially in Asia, so we can make trade a race to the top, not a scramble to the bottom.

We are prioritizing economics in our engagement in every region, like in Latin America, where as you know, we ratified free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. And we're also using economic tools to address strategic challenges, for example in Afghanistan, because along with the security transition and the political transition, we are supporting an economic transition that boosts the private sector and increases regional economic integration. It's a vision of transit and trade connections we call the "New Silk Road."

A related lever of power is development, and we are helping developing countries grow their economies not just through traditional assistance but also through greater trade and investment, partnerships with the private sector, better governance and more participation from women. We think this is an investment in our own economic future. And I love saying this, because people are always quite surprised to hear it: Seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa.

Other countries are doing everything they can to help their companies win contracts and invest in emerging markets. Other countries still are engaged in a very clear and relentless economic diplomacy. We should too, and increasingly, we are. And make no mistake; there is a crucial strategic dimension to this development work as well. Weak states represent some of our most significant threats. We have an interest in strengthening them and building more capable partners that can tackle their own security problems at home and in their neighborhoods. And economics will always play a role in that.

Next, think about energy and climate change. Managing the world's energy supplies in a way that minimizes conflict and supports economic growth while protecting the future of our planet is one of the greatest challenges of our time. So we are using both high-level international diplomacy and grass-roots partnerships to curb carbon emissions and other causes of climate change. We've created a new bureau at the State Department focused on energy diplomacy as well as new partnerships like the U.S.-EU Energy Council. We've worked intensively with the Iraqis to support their energy sector, because it is critical not only to their economy but their stability as well.

And we've significantly intensified our efforts to resolve energy disputes, from the South China Sea to the eastern Mediterranean, to keep the world's energy markets stable.

Now, this has been helped quite significantly by the increase in our own domestic production. It's [no] accident that as Iranian oil has gone offline because of our sanctions, other sources have come online so Iran cannot benefit from increased prices.

Then there is human rights and our support for democracy and the rule of law. Levers of power and values we cannot afford to ignore. In the last century the United States led the world in recognizing that universal rights exist and that governments are obligated to protect them. Now we have placed ourselves at the front lines of today's emerging battles, like the fight to defend the human rights of the LGBT communities around the world and religious minorities, wherever and whoever they are.

But it's not a coincidence that virtually every country that threatens regional and global peace is a place where human rights are in peril or the rule of law is weak -- more specifically, places where women and girls are treated as second-class, marginal human beings. Just ask young Malala from Pakistan. Ask the women of northern Mali who live in fear and can no longer go to school. Ask the women of the eastern Congo who endure rape as a weapon of war.

And that is the final lever that I want to highlight briefly because the jury is in; the evidence is absolutely indisputable. If women and girls everywhere were treated as equal to men in rights, dignity and opportunity, we would see political and economic progress everywhere.

So this is not only a moral issue -- which of course it is -- it is an economic issue and a security issue, and it is the unfinished business of the 21st century. It therefore must be central to U.S. foreign policy. One of the first things I did as secretary was to elevate the Office of Global Women's Issues under the first ambassador at large, Melanne Verveer. And I'm very pleased that yesterday the president signed a memorandum making that office permanent.

In the past four years we've made a -- (applause) -- thank you -- (chuckles) -- in the past four we made a major push at the United Nations to integrate women in peace and security building worldwide. And we've seen successes in places like Liberia. We've urged leaders in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya to recognize women as equal citizens with important contributions to make. We are supporting women entrepreneurs who are creating jobs and driving growth.

So technology, development, human rights, women -- now, I know that a lot of pundits hear that list, and they say, isn't that all a bit soft? What about the hard stuff?

Well, that is a false choice. We need both, and no one should think otherwise. I will be the first to stand up and proclaim loudly and clearly that America's military might is and must remain the greatest fighting force in the history of the world. I will also make very clear, as I have done over the last years, that our diplomatic power, the ability to convene our moral suasion, is effective because the United States can back up our words with actions. We will ensure freedom of navigation in all the world's seas. We will relentlessly go after al-Qaida, its affiliates and its wannabes. We will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

There are limits to what soft power on its own can achieve. And there are limits to what hard power on its own can achieve. That's why from day one I've been talking about smart power. And when you look at our approach to two regions undergoing sweeping shifts, you can see how this works in practice.

First, America's expanding engagement in the Asia-Pacific. Now, much attention has been focused on our military moves in the region. And certainly, adapting our forces posture is a key element of our comprehensive strategy. But so is strengthening our alliances through new economic and security arrangements. We've sent Marines to Darwin, but we've also ratified the Korea Free Trade Agreement.

We responded to the triple disaster in Japan through our government, through our businesses, through our not-for-profits, and reminded the entire region of the irreplaceable role America plays.

First and foremost, this so-called pivot has been about creative diplomacy, like signing a little-noted treaty of amity and cooperation with ASEAN that opened the door to permanent representation and ultimately elevated a forum for engaging on high-stakes issues like the South China Sea. We've encouraged India's "Look East" policy as a way to weave another big democracy into the fabric of the Asia- Pacific. We've used trade negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership to find common ground with a former adversary in Vietnam. And the list goes on.

Our effort has encompassed all the levers of power and more that I've both discussed and that we have utilized. And you can ask yourself, how could we approach an issue as thorny and dangerous as territorial disputes in the South China Sea without a deep understanding of energy politics, subtle multilateral diplomacy, smart economic statecraft and a firm adherence to universal norms?

Or think about Burma. Supporting the historic opening there took a blend of economic, diplomatic and political tools. The country's leaders wanted the benefits of rejoining the global economy. They wanted to more fully participate in the region's multilateral institutions and to no longer be an international pariah. So we needed to engage with them on many fronts to make that happen, pressing for the release of political prisoners and additional reforms while also boosting investment and upgrading our diplomatic relations.

Then there's China. Navigating this relationship is uniquely consequential because how we deal with one another will define so much of our common future. It is also uniquely complex because, as I have said on many occasions, and as I have had very high-level Chinese leaders quote back to me, we are trying to write a new answer to the age-old question of what happens when an established power and a rising power meet.

To make this work, we really do have to be able to use every lever at our disposal all the time. So we expanded our high-level engagement through the Strategic and Economic Dialogue to cover both traditional strategic issues like North Korea and maritime security and also emerging challenges like climate change, cybersecurity, intellectual property concerns as well as human rights.

Now, this approach was put to the test last May when we had to keep a summit meeting of the dialogue on track while also addressing a crisis over the fate of a blind human rights dissident who had sought refuge in our American embassy. Not so long ago such an incident might very well have scuttled the talks. But we have, through intense effort -- confidence-building -- we have built enough breadth and resilience into the relationship to be able to defend our values and promote our interests at the same time. We passed that test, but there will be others.

The Pacific is big enough for all of us, and we will continue to welcome China's rise if it chooses to play a constructive role in the region. For both of us, the future of this relationship depends on our ability to engage across all these issues at once.

That's true as well for another very complicated and important region, the Middle East and North Africa. I've talked at length recently about our strategy in this region, including in speeches at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Saban Forum and in my recent testimony before Congress.

So let me just say this: There has been progress. American soldiers have come home from Iraq. People are electing their leaders for the first time in generations, or ever, in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. The United States and our partners built a broad coalition to stop Gadhafi from massacring his people. And a cease-fire is holding in Gaza. All good things, but not nearly enough.

Ongoing turmoil in Egypt and Libya point to the difficulties of unifying fractured countries and building credible democratic institutions. The impasse between Israel and the Palestinians shows little sign of easing.

In Syria, the Assad regime continues to slaughter its people and incite intercommunal conflict. Iran is pursuing its nuclear ambitions and sponsoring violent extremists across the globe. And we continue to face real terrorist threats from Yemen and North Africa.

So I will not stand here and pretend that the United States has all the solutions to these problems. We do not. But we are clear about the future we seek for the region and its peoples. We want to see a region at peace with itself and the world, where people live in dignity, not dictatorships, where entrepreneurship thrives, not extremism.

And there's no doubt that getting to that future will be difficult and will require every single tool in our toolkit. Because you can't have true peace in the Middle East without addressing both the active conflicts and the underlying causes. You can't have true justice unless the rights of all citizens are respected, including women and minorities. You can't have the prosperity or opportunity that should be available unless there's a vibrant private sector and good governance.

And of this I'm sure: You can't have true stability and security unless leaders start leading, unless countries start opening their economies and societies, not shutting off the Internet or undermining democracy, investing in their people's creativity, not fomenting their rage, building schools, not burning them. There is no dignity in that, and there is no future in it either.

Now, there's no question that everything I've discussed and all that I left off this set of remarks adds up to a very big challenge that requires America to adapt to these new realities of global power and influence in order to maintain our leadership. But this is also an enormous opportunity. The United Stated is uniquely positioned in this changing landscape. The things that make us who we are as a nation -- our openness and innovation, our diversity, our devotion to human rights and democracy -- are beautifully matched to the demands of this era and this interdependent world.

So as we look to the next four years and beyond, we have to keep pushing forward on this agenda: consolidate our engagement in the Asia-Pacific without taking our eyes off the Middle East and North Africa; keep working to curb the spread of deadly weapons, especially in Iran and North Korea; effectively manage the end of our combat mission in Afghanistan without losing focus on al-Qaida and its affiliates; pursue a far-ranging economic agenda that sweeps from Asia to Latin America to Europe; and keep looking for the next Burmas -- they're not yet at a position where we can all applaud, but which has begun a process of opening; capitalize on our domestic energy renewal and intensify our efforts on climate change; and then take on the emerging issues, like cybersecurity, not just across the government but across our society.

You know why we have to do all of this? Because we are the indispensable nation. We are the force for progress, prosperity and peace. And because we have to get it right for ourselves. Leadership is not a birthright. It has to be earned by each new generation.

The reservoirs of good will we built around the world during the 20th century will not last forever. In fact, in some places they are already dangerously depleted. New generations of young people do not remember GIs liberating their countries, or Americans saving millions of lives from hunger and disease. We need to introduce ourselves to them anew, and one of the ways we do that is by looking at and focusing on and working on those issues that matter most to their lives and futures.

So because the United States is still the only country that has the reach and resolve to rally disparate nations and peoples together to solve problems on a global scale, we cannot shirk that responsibility. Our ability to convene and connect is unparalleled, and so is our ability to act alone whenever necessary.

So when I say we are truly the indispensable nation, it's not meant as a boast or an empty slogan.

It's a recognition of our role and our responsibilities. That's why are the declinists are dead wrong. (Laughter.) It's why the United States must and will continue to lead in this century, even as we lead in new ways.

And we know leadership has its costs. We know it comes with risks and can require great sacrifice. We've seen that painfully again in recent months. But leadership is also an honor, one that Chris Stevens and his colleagues in Benghazi embodied. And we must always strive to be worthy of that honor.

That sacred charge has been my north star every day that I've served as secretary of state, and it's been enormous privilege to lead the men and women of the State Department and USAID, nearly 70,000 serving here in Washington and in more than 270 posts around the world. They get up and go to work every day, often in frustrating, difficult and dangerous circumstances because they believe, as we believe, that the United States is the most extraordinary force for peace and progress the world has ever known.

And so today, after four years in this job, traveling nearly a million miles and visiting 112 countries, my faith in our nation is even stronger, and our -- my confidence in our future is as well. I know what it's like when that blue and white airplane, emblazoned with the words "United States of America" touches down in some far-off capital, and I get to feel the great honor and responsibility it is to represent the world's indispensable nation.

I'm confident that my successor and his successors and all who serve in the position that I've been so privileged to hold will continue to lead in this century, just as we did in the last: smartly, tirelessly, courageously to make the world more peaceful, more safe, more prosperous, more free. And for that, I am very grateful. Thank you. (Applause.)

(Chuckles.) So -- (inaudible) -- come over here?

HAASS: (Inaudible.)

Well, thank you, Madam Secretary --

CLINTON: Thank you.

HAASS: -- both what you had to say as well as for the last four years.

Let me just take advantage of my position and ask the first question. You gave an extraordinarily comprehensive talk that touched on, as you called them, the many levers of American influence and power and made the case for various forms of our power. So when it comes to putting it together, is there an Obama doctrine, is there a Clinton doctrine that somehow ties it together, gives a sense of priorities, helps explain what it is we should do and not do and how we should do it in the way that other doctrines historically have played that role?

CLINTON: Well, I think that, as you can tell from what I said, we believe that America must continue to be the indispensable nation and the global leader on behalf of peace, prosperity and progress, and that that requires us not only to lead alone but also to build coalitions and networks that will put responsibility with others and expect them to play their role in a rules-based global order. So it's not always easy to talk about what we are doing every day, everywhere in the world, but I think if you look at what we have done, we have certainly kept faith with that kind of mission.

HAASS: I will show uncharacteristic self-restraint --

CLINTON: (Chuckles.)

HAASS: -- as those of you who know me, and we'll try to have time for a couple questions. Yes, ma'am, all the way in the back. Yeah. Right there. Just wait for the microphone, and just let us know who you are.

QUESTIONER: Thank you. My name is Nadia Bilbassy. I'm with MBC television, Middle East Broadcasting Center.

Madam Secretary, some of the successes have been attributed to you is mending or fixing United States relation with Arab and Muslim world. Yet the statistics contradict that. If you look at the Pew statistics, it shows that actually, your favoritism in comparison to the Bush administration is lower and -- in countries like Turkey, Jordan and in other places.

So what is going wrong? Does that mean that America's standing in the -- in the world is on the receding end, that its prestige has been affected?

Thank you.

CLINTON: Well, let me say three things about that. First, I have obviously followed closely public opinion, and I think it's fair to say that the United States, for the last decade, has not been viewed favorably by a very high percentage of the people in any of the countries in the Middle East or North Africa for a number of reasons, some of it rooted, of course, in our strong support for Israel over the many years of Israel's existence as a state. So this is not the Obama administration, the Bush administration, the Clinton administration. This is the views of many people in the region about America. And I think it's unfortunate, because, you know, clearly what the United States stands for is absolutely in line with what the Arab revolutions have been publicly espousing.

Secondly, I think that we have done -- and I take responsibility, along with our entire government and our Congress and perhaps our private sector -- we have not done a very good job in recent years reaching out in a public media way or in a culturally effective way to explain ourselves. You know, I'm always encountering so many conspiracy theories that are totally off-base, wild, made-up stuff that the media in the region promotes about the United States that is absolutely untrue. Our response has been, nobody'll either believe it, or we can't possibly contest it.

I take a different view. I think we ought to be in there every single day. You know, I made a point of reaching out to Al Jazeera when I became secretary of state, because it was unrelentlessly -- or was relentlessly negative about us. And I said, you know, come on, that is not only inaccurate, but it's deeply unfair. And, you know, they -- their response to me was, well, your government never puts anybody on Al Jazeera. I said, well, that's going to change right now. You know, you can't be in the arena and expect there to be a change if you're not willing to get off the bench. And from my perspective, that's our fault. We have let a lot of stuff be said about us, believed about us that is contrary to who we are as a people, what we stand for and what we've done.

I guess thirdly, we in our efforts to support democracy still are held accountable for supporting the governments that were there before democracy. You know, you deal with governments of all kinds. We deal with China. Hardly anybody believes that China fully respects human rights, and it certainly is not a democracy, but we don't get blamed because we do business with China, but we did business with other regimes, and somehow that caused lasting negativity toward us, which I think, again, is unfounded.

So there are reasons for all of the points that you made that go more to the heart of American foreign policy and American values, but we can do a better job in at least disabusing and refuting some of what people are led to believe that is contrary to who we are.

HAASS: Allan Wendt.

QUESTIONER: Allan Wendt, formerly with the State Department. Madam Secretary, you've outlined a very ambitious agenda and program of work for the Department of State. Could you tell us a little bit about the budgetary resources -- (laughter) -- that will be required to carry out that agenda?

CLINTON: Well --

HAASS: I bet you're glad he's asked that question.

CLINTON: I'm very glad he asked that question. (Laughter.) You know, we've had some success in the very first years of my tenure in making the case to the Congress to increase our budgets, increase our workforce to be able to deal with the myriad of challenges, threats and opportunities we face. But we are -- we are moving into the budget negotiations and a potential sequestration, which will be disastrous.

And people will focus -- and they should -- on what sequestration will mean to the military. Hundreds of thousands -- maybe 800,000 civilians will lose their jobs. Bases will have to be closed. Programs will have to be stopped.

So the Defense Department will be able, if anyone's willing to listen, you know, say, look, you know, here's what the immediate effect will be, and it won't only be about our military might; it'll be about the economy. You say in the fourth quarter slowdown, one of the reasons was decreased military spending as people, you know, hedge against and get prepared for this, you know, absurd sequestration idea.

In the State Department, you know, we can't look at military programs that are producing weapons, but we can look at people being furloughed, which they will. We can look at cutting back once again on security, which has been one of the challenges we have inherited over the years and which I tried to explain to the Congress. We can look at the cutbacks in passports that the American people deserve us to provide, and on and on and on.

So although we are, you know, one-twelfth, one-thirteenth of the Defense Department budget, what we do does directly affect Americans. It's not just programs over there; it's what happens here at home and what we do through those programs and posts that make it possible for us to have jobs and, you know, travel easily and so much else.

So I thank you for asking it. This is a government-wide challenge and something that no great country should do. I mean, just as a final note, you know, I was giving a speech in Hong Kong during the last debt ceiling debate, and all these very sophisticated investors and government officials, you know, lined up to say, is the United States really going to default on its credit? And I said, oh, no, no, no, we'll never do that, you know, oh, Lord, please, please -- (laughter) -- no -- so are we really going to have mindless sequestration? Are we really going to, in effect, handicap ourselves? We'll see. I hope not. I hope that cooler and smarter heads prevail.

HAASS: (Inaudible.)

CLINTON: Sure. Sure.

HAASS: OK, Diana.

QUESTIONER: Diana Lady Dougan, Center for Strategic and International Studies and Cyber Century Forum. Madam Secretary, I think all of us are -- want to say how honored we are to have had you as our secretary. But I will move quickly on to a question that -- for those of us particularly who served during the Cold War, it was much easier to identify American interests, and we had much more of a moral compass. And now I would like to know, when you are talking about protecting and advancing American interests, it's becoming more and more difficult and more and more parochial in identifying American interests, particularly in a transnational world and the various vested interest groups. So what advice do you have to give to your successors in terms of defining American interests and redefining them?

CLINTON: Well, that's an excellent question. And I think it's on two levels. On the most fundamental level, you know, protecting America and Americans has to remain a core interest. Our security is non-negotiable. And we have to be smart about what really threatens us and what doesn't. We have to work better on intelligence so that we don't make very unfortunate mistakes. So -- but security first and foremost. And I don't think any official, secretary of state or otherwise, could put anything before that.

Secondly, we need an open, transparent, free market in which Americans are able to compete on a level playing field, because when we can compete, we often can win. But the deck has been stacked against us in the last years because of all kinds of forces converging, whether it's, you know, state-owned enterprises or indigenous protections that are behind the borders and so forth. So, you know, it is very much in our interest to help write the rules for the 21st-century global economy and then to think of mechanisms to enforce those rules.

Thirdly, we have to continue to advance American values, which correspond with universal values. I'm always reminding my counterparts that when I talk about freedom of expression, freedom of religion, those are not just American values.

The world agreed to those values back in the declaration, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

And we're going to stand up for them. And it's not always easy, and we have to pick our times. We can't be short-sighted or counterproductive, but we're going to continue to stand up for them.

So on the fundamental first level, we do what we do because it's in our security interest, our economic interest and our moral interest, and we have to continue to do that.

But then as you go up to sort of the second level, how you adapt that to the world of today requires us to be more clever, more agile, and we're trying to do that.

So for example, countering violent extremism: There are those who estimate that maybe there are 50,000 violent homicidal extremists in the world. But they are able to maximize their impact and their messaging through the Internet. And what we have tried to do, as I briefly mentioned, is to get in there with them, to undermine them and to rebut them.

It is something we did quite well in the Cold War. You know, the more I've done this job, the more lessons I think we can transfer from the Cold War to today. No, we don't have some monolithic Communist Soviet Union. But we were engaged minute by minute in pushing out our ideas, our values, refuting Communist propaganda. Cold War ended, people said, oh, my goodness, thank the lord, democracy has triumphed; we don't have to do any of that anymore. That is a terrible mistake.

We have basically abdicated, in my view, the broadcast media. I have tried and will continue from the outside to try to convince Congress and others, if we don't have an up-to-date, modern, effective broadcasting board of governors, we shouldn't have one at all. Other countries, Russia, China -- and I mentioned Al-Jazeera already -- they have government messaging that is now predominant in so many places in the languages of the places. And we -- you know, we -- you know, we transport our cultural and entertainment around the world, which doesn't always, unfortunately, convey our best values. (Laughter.) But, you know -- and we abdicate in really investing in and modernizing what our broadcasting potential could be.

So, you know, I think there is a -- there are many more examples, but I would say that if you look at how successful we were in the Cold War -- thankfully, we never went to war with the Soviet Union; we never stopped negotiating with the Soviet Union. And we engaged in a lot of very sophisticated diplomacy around the world. And we did things like support certain people in elections because they were more democratic than other people. I mean, we did a lot. I mean, George Shultz was here the other day, and, you know, we did so much to kind of help those who were on the side of democracy and freedom survive behind the Iron Curtain and then thrive when the Iron Curtain fell. And I have a long list of things that I would love to see us doing in a modern way that we have not yet adapted to this new time.

HAASS: Time for one last one. Yes, ma'am. Third row.

QUESTIONER: Rickie Taggart --

HAASS: Rickie, just wait for the microphone.

QUESTIONER: Thank you. Rickie Taggart, Health for Financial Regulation Reform International.

Immigration reform has been seen as largely a domestic issue, but I would like very much for you to give us your views on to what extent immigration reform will enhance our ability to deal with other countries and to foster U.S. values abroad.

CLINTON: Well, it's funny, my very last bilateral meeting was with yesterday the new foreign secretary of Mexico. And we talked about the benefits to both United States and Mexico -- in fact, all of North America -- in better integrating our economies, our infrastructure, our energy, particularly our electricity grid and so much else that is possible. So immigration reform is the right thing to do for America and for people who are here who have in many instances been here for a very long time, made their contributions to this country, have been law-abiding, contributing residents.

But it's also to our benefit with our neighbors to the south.

What's happened in the last several years has been actually a slowing- down of immigration -- undocumented immigration from Mexico, because as our economy was struggling and jobs were not as available and the Mexican economy was growing, people didn't come or they went home. So now much of the immigration flows are coming from further south, from countries where there is still a lot of instability and very significant poverty. So what we have to do is have, as the president said, comprehensive immigration reform, which means not only border security on our borders but helping with border security further south so that we can then move on to dealing with the 11 million-plus people who are here and creating some path to citizenship. That will be a huge benefit to us in the region, not just in Mexico but further south.

At the same time that we do immigration reform, we need to do more on border security and internal security in Central America. We should be very proud of the role we played in stabilizing Colombia from the drug cartels and the FARC rebels, and we've made a lot of progress with Mexico under the Merida Initiative with the result that these Central American countries are increasingly squeezed. So they -- their internal workforce will not have many opportunities once we do immigration reform, once the Mexicans get serious about their border. Then I think we have to do more with the Central American countries in order to help them the way that we have helped others.

HAASS: Madam Secretary, you spoke about the indispensability of American leadership and how, you know, the world would be, I think, a much worse place were it not, you know, for such an active American role. But coming back to immigration reform and to your comments about sequestration, are you optimistic about the capacity of the American political system to come up with policies that will allow us to sustain that kind of American leadership?

CLINTON: Absolutely. I mean, if you look back, we've done some really stupid things -- (laughter) -- and -- you know, over 200 years. We've passed terrible laws. We've had all kinds of government-sponsored or condoned discrimination against all kinds of people. We've -- you know, we've made our mistakes. I mean, we may be indispensable; doesn't mean we're perfect. We're probably as close to perfect as anybody has been, but -- (laughter) -- we've got -- we're maybe not there yet. We're still trying to form a more perfect union. (Laughter.)

But no, I think -- look, you look at the sweep of American history, and sometimes it takes longer than it should, but, you know, eventually we do, you know, overcome our own discriminatory tendencies, our own insecurities and fears. And I have no doubt that we will again. It is -- it is distressing when you're -- when you're watching some of what is happening, but I think you have to take a longer view. And in the -- and certainly in my view, that's one for optimism.

HAASS: At the risk of leaving you all with an image that probably isn't good, I would simply say that John Kerry has some fairly large Manolo Blahniks to fill. (Laughter.) I want to thank the secretary of state again for everything she's done. (Laughter, applause.)

CLINTON: (Laughs.) Oh, Richard, that is very good. (Laughter, applause.) Did Susan come up with that? (Laughter, applause.)

HAASS: (Inaudible.) (Laughs.)

CLINTON: That is very funny. Oh my goodness. (Sustained applause.)

Hillary Clinton: International Order | New World Order Set You Free News

Link to Article

Sat, 02 Feb 2013 21:37

Phantom Report

Editors Notes: No question this is right in your face off the cuff speech. You the citizen, the debt slave do not matter because the pillars of major power are dominated by a handful of big institutions and alliances. A blueprint of policies for an International Order.

Today the world remains a dangerous and complicated place. And of course, we still face many difficult challenges. But a lot has changed in the last four years. Under President Obama's leadership, we've ended the war in Iraq, begun a transition in Afghanistan and brought Osama bin Laden to justice.

We have also revitalized American diplomacy and strengthened our alliances. And while our economic recovery is not yet complete, we are heading in the right direction.

In short, America today is stronger at home and more respected in the world. And our global leadership is on firmer footing than many predicted.

To understand what we have been trying to do these last four years, it's helpful to start with some history. Last year I was honored to deliver the Forrestal Lecture at the Naval Academy, named for our first secretary of defense after World War II.

In 1946 James Forrestal noted in his diary that the Soviets believed that the postwar world should be shaped by a handful of major powers acting alone. But, he went on, the American point of view is that all nations professing a desire for peace and democracy should participate.

And what ended up happening in the years since is something in between. The United States and our allies succeeded in constructing a broad international architecture of institutions and alliances, chiefly the U.N., the IMF, the World Bank and NATO, that protected our interests, defended universal values and benefited peoples and nations around the world. Yet it is undeniable that a handful of major powers did end up controlling those institutions, setting norms and shaping international affairs.

Now, two decades after the end of the Cold War, we face a different world. More countries than ever have a voice in global debates. We see more paths to power opening up as nations gain influence through the strength of their economies rather than their militaries. And political and technological changes are empowering non-state actors, like activists, corporations and terrorist networks.

At the same time, we face challenges, from financial contagion to climate change to human and wildlife trafficking, that spill across borders and defy unilateral solutions. As President Obama has said, the old postwar architecture is crumbling under the weight of new threats. So the geometry of global power has become more distributed and diffuse as the challenges we face have become more complex and cross-cutting.

So the question we ask ourselves every day is what does this mean for America? And then we go on to say, how can we advance our own interests and also uphold a just, rules-based international order, a system that does provide clear rules of the road for everything from intellectual property rights to freedom of navigation to fair labor standards?

Simply put, we have to be smart about how we use our power, not because we have less of it. Indeed, the might of our military, the size of our economy, the influence of our diplomacy and the creative energy of our people remain unrivaled. No, it's because as the world has changed, so too have the levers of power that can most effectively shape international affairs.

I've come to think of it like this. Truman and Atcheson were building the Parthenon, with classical geometry and clear lines.

The pillars were a handful of big institutions and alliances dominated by major powers. And that structure delivered unprecedented peace and prosperity. But time takes its toll even on the greatest edifice. And we do need a new architecture for this new world, more Frank Ghery than formal Greek. (Laughter.) Think of it.

Now, some of his work at first might appear haphazard, but in fact it's highly intentional and sophisticated. Where once a few strong columns could hold up the weight of the world, today we need a dynamic mix of materials and structures.

Now of course, American military and economic strength will remain the foundation of our global leadership. As we saw from the intervention to stop a massacre in Libya to the raid that brought bin Laden to justice, there will always be times when it is necessary and just to use force. America's ability to project power all over the globe remains essential.

And I'm very proud of the partnerships that the State department has formed with the Pentagon, first with Bob Gates and Mike Mullen, then with Leon Panetta and Marty Dempsey.

Read More: IBT

Frank Gehry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bank$ters

Corzine to Continue with Business as Usual? | Attain Capital Managed Futures Blog

Link to Article

Fri, 01 Feb 2013 15:11

For those who were hoping that Jon Corzine would face ramifications similar to what is being pursued with Russ Wassendorf, Sr., we've got bad news. Via Dealbreaker:

A criminal investigation into the collapse of the brokerage firm MF Global and the disappearance of about $1 billion in customer money is now heading into its final stage without charges expected against any top executives.

After 10 months of stitching together evidence on the firm's demise, criminal investigators are concluding that chaos and porous risk controls at the firm, rather than fraud, allowed the money to disappear, according to people involved in the case. ['...]

In the most telling indication yet that the MF Global investigation is winding down, federal authorities are seeking to interview the former chief of the firm, Jon S. Corzine, next month, according to the people involved in the case. Authorities hope that Mr. Corzine, who is expected to accept the invitation, will shed light on the actions of other employees at MF Global.

Those developments indicate that federal prosecutors do not expect to file criminal charges against the former New Jersey governor. Mr. Corzine has not yet received assurances that he is free from scrutiny, but two rounds of interviews with former employees and a review of thousands of documents have left prosecutors without a case against him, say the people involved in the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

While the government's findings would remove the darkest cloud looming over Mr. Corzine '-- the threat of criminal charges '-- the former Goldman Sachs chief is not yet in the clear. A bankruptcy trustee on Wednesday joined customers' lawsuits against Mr. Corzine, and regulators are still considering civil enforcement actions, which could cost him millions of dollars or ban him from working on Wall Street.

This is certainly not what MFGlobal victims wanted hear, and seems to be part of a trend with federal prosecutors. They don't want to take a case they're not 100% sure they can win, and Corzine's army of lawyers seems to have them running scared. That's not how the system should work, and fuels our argument that the law should be changed to render FCM leadership liable for any missing customer funds moving forward.

The last paragraph of this passage, however, should give some hope. Trustee Giddens has made it clear that he will pursue leadership as aggressively as possible, and much of the chatter in the industry has indicated that Corzine is at the top of his list. This could drain Corzine's financials substantially. While the regulators may be inept at catching fraud, they're still not bad about pursuing action against it. We anticipate seeing some very hefty fines, and beg the regulators to ban this man from finance, especially given another revelation in this article'... one almost too absurd to contemplate:

Mr. Corzine, in a bid to rebuild his image and engage his passion for trading, is weighing whether to start a hedge fund, according to people with knowledge of his plans. He is currently trading with his family's wealth.

His poor family. If we see more of the risk management Corzine used at MFGlobal, they're screwed. But beyond that, should this fund launch, anyone who gives this man their money to manage should be evaluated for competency in making financial decisions. We wrote about the hazards involved in hedge fund investing earlier this week, and if you think putting your money into the name of a man who has already demonstrated having no qualms with abusing customer trust, you deserve everything that's coming to you.

Drone Nation

DARPA's 1.8 gigapixel drone camera is a high-res Fourth Amendment lawsuit waiting to happen | The Verge

Link to Article

Sat, 02 Feb 2013 21:21

As unmanned aerial vehicles continue to populate the skies above battlefields and college campuses faster than anyone can count them, the US government has taken a keen interest in equipping them with an increasing number of state-of-the-art surveillance technologies. The latest to be revealed is DARPA's frightening ARGUS-IS, a record-setting 1.8 gigapixel sensor array which can observe and record an area half the size of Manhattan. The newest in the family of "wide area persistent surveillance" tools, the system can detect and track moving objects as small as six inches from 20,000 feet in the air.

But what's most terrifying about ARGUS (fittingly named after Argus Panoptes, the 100-eyed giant of Greek myth) is what happens afterward: the system gives its owner (and eventually, DARPA says, a well-programmed A.I.) the ability to scan an entire city for all sorts of "suspicious" activity, not just in real-time but after the fact. It all adds up to around 6 petabytes (6,000 terabytes) worth of 12 frames-per-second video per day.

What's really interesting is that the system is kind of a hack-job. Its massive resolution comes from chaining together 368 5-megapixel cellphone cameras '-- something similar doesn't seem like it would be impossible to reproduce on a civilian scale. The image processing, however, is another story. ARGUS' real-time surveillance capabilities rely on both on-board and ground-based processing, which need to transmit to the tune of 600 gigabits per second, though DARPA won't disclose exactly how they'd be able to run that kind of network from the air.

The new info comes from "Rise of the Drones," a new PBS NOVA TV special-bordering-on-infomercial which was funded in part by drone manufacturer Lockheed Martin '-- seemingly in direct violation of PBS' own underwriting guidelines. It's not clear where ARGUS-IS will be used just yet, but its probably a safe bet we'll see it as payload on the cheap and ubiquitous MQ-1 Predator drone. Don't expect it to stay in war zones, though '-- thanks in part to a recent Department of Homeland Security initiative, the FAA estimates 30,000 drones in US skies in the next 20 years, and it's a probably safe to assume that ARGUS isn't far behind, with a trail of potential Fourth Amendment violations in tow.

Gorgon Stare - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Sat, 02 Feb 2013 21:21

"Gorgon stare" redirects here. For uses related to Greek mythology, see Gorgon.Gorgon Stare is a video capture technology developed by the United States military. It is a spherical array of nine cameras attached to an aerial drone.[1] The US Air Force calls it wide-area surveillance sensor system".[2]

[edit]BackgroundThe system is capable of capturing motion imagery of an entire city, which can then be analyzed by humans or an artificial intelligence, such as the Mind's Eye project being developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. This motion imagery is not considered video as it is collected at fewer hertz than the standard definition of video. TV-like quality of video is 24''60 Hz.[3] Gorgon Stare needs to utilize a system of tagging and metadata to be fully effective.[4][5][6] The Air Force plans to deliver one system in 2011, another in 2012, and a third in 2014, though they will not enter service until accepted by the commander in the theatre of operations.[7]Gorgon Stare has been under development for more than two years and it is designed to download 65 different images to a variety of military users for analysis; this is what is referred to as ''wide-area surveillance.''[8]

[edit]DevelopmentGorgon Stare is being developed and tested on the MQ-9 Reaper at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. with the 53rd Wing. These sensors pods have been in development since 2009 by the Air Force's Big Safari group and Sierra Nevada Corp.[9]

In January 2011, it was announced that the program wasn't performing to expectations, and included faults such as "a large black triangle moving throughout the image," due to failure to combine the images taken by the multiple cameras, inferior image quality compared to older systems, a problematic night-vision system, inability to track people on the surface, and delays of up to eighteen seconds in sending data to the ground.[7] In response, the Air Force said that several of the flaws had been fixed since the report detailing the issues had been written, that the system was never designed to offer high-resolution imagery over a wide area, and that in some areas the testing was "not sufficiently constructed to objectively evaluate the capabilities of the system," according to an anonymous source involved with the program.[10]

Development costs are in the $15 million range. This sensor will photograph an area with a four-kilometer radius underneath the MQ-9 Reaper. The Reaper can fly both day and night operations from 12 angles; as reported by Robert Marlin, a technical adviser for the Air Force.[11]

The Eglin AFB test revealed numerous problems, one such problem was a faulty coordinate grid for the chipped-out imagery. Another problem was a floating black triangle in the scenes. A third problem was an incompatibility with the handheld Rover 5 computers.[9]

[edit]Phase twoPhase two will integrate processes of tracking algorithms from the ARGUS-IS system. Argus is a system of tools developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.[2]

[edit]Deployment plansLt. Gen. Craig Koziol, the director of the ISR Task Force, reported in a news conference that Gorgon Stare is planned to be deployed in December 2011.[9]

[edit]Name originThe Gorgon was a monster from Greek mythology who's stare could turn any who viewed it to stone. Presumably the reference is to the Gorgon Stare's ability to freeze a scene in time for analysts to later view.

[edit]Similar systemsA similar system was planned to be installed on the Blue Devil blimp, a spy blimp developed for the US Air Force.[12]

In 2006, a similar wide-area surveillance system, the Constant Hawk, was being tested by the US Army. Also, in 2007, the Marine Corps tested an upgrade of the Constant Hawk, called Angel Fire. Both of these sensors were mounted under aircraft in Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.[11]

[edit]See also[edit]References^View all comments that have been posted about this article. (2011-01-02). "With Air Force's Gorgon Drone 'we can see everything'". Washingtonpost.com. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/01/AR2011010102690_pf.html. Retrieved 2011-01-22.^ abAir Force Magazine.com: The New Normal for RPAs, by Marc V. Schanz, Senior Editor, November 2011, Vol. 94, No. 11, page53.^http://www.gwg.nga.mil/misb/faq.html^"Pentagon to adopt NFL's instant replay technology". CSMonitor.com. 2010-06-02. http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2010/0602/Pentagon-to-adopt-NFL-s-instant-replay-technology. Retrieved 2011-01-22.^"Gorgon Stare Broadens UAV Surveillance". Aviationweek.com. http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/jsp_includes/articlePrint.jsp?storyID=news/dti/2010/11/01/DT_11_01_2010_p30-261179.xml&headLine=Gorgon%20Stare%20Broadens%20UAV%20Surveillance. Retrieved 2011-01-22.^Lohr, Steve (1 January 2011). "Computers That See You and Keep Watch Over You". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/science/02see.html. Retrieved 22 January 2011.^ ab"Gorgon Stare tests reveal long list of problems". Flightglobal.com. 25 January 2011. http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2011/01/25/352261/gorgon-stare-tests-reveal-long-list-of-problems.html. Retrieved 1 February 2011.^Washingtonpost.com : Gorgon Stare surveillance system gazes over Afghan war zone, by Craig Whitlock, published: April 29, 2011^ abcAirForcTimes.com: Air Force stands by Gorgon Stare program, by Ben Iannotta - C4ISR Journal Writer, posted Tuesday Jan 25, 2011 14:15:59 EST^Axe, David; Shachtman, Noah (25 January 2011). "Our 'All-Seeing Eye' Sees Just Fine, Air Force Insists". Wired Magazine. http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/01/all-seeing-eye-can-see-just-fine-air-force-insists/. Retrieved 1 February 2011.^ abDarkGovernment.com : Reaper Sensors Called ''Gorgon Stare''^Shachtman, Noah (18 January 2011). "All-Seeing Blimp Could Be Afghanistan's Biggest Brain". Wired Magazine. http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/01/all-seeing-blimp/. Retrieved 22 January 2011.[edit]External links

Panetta: U.S. has to maintain open-ended drone war to prevent a terror attack on America.

Link to Article

Source: DaDenMan news feed

Sat, 02 Feb 2013 14:18

By Madison Ruppert

Editor of End the Lie

Drones at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum (Image credit: Chris Devers/Flickr)

According to United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, the U.S. must indefinitely extend the drone war against al Qaeda in Pakistan and elsewhere in order to prevent a terror attack on U.S. soil.

This comes with the continued expansion of the drone war in Africa, the opposition to U.S. drone strikes within Pakistan itself continues and the U.S. still doesn't have a drone rulebook which, even when completed, will not be binding on the CIA.

Panetta claims the drone program has been effective even though it has involved the killing of Americans with a supposed legal justification which never has to be revealed.

To make matters worse for drone advocates like Panetta, the long-awaited investigation into the civilian deaths caused by the drone program has now begun. That being said, it's a United Nations probe so not too much can be expected.

Panetta told AFP that there is still a need to continue the drone strikes with no indication of any intention to even slow down the so-called targeted killing program.

''I think it depends on the nature of the threat that we're confronting. We are in a war,'' Panetta said. ''We're in a war on terrorism and we've been in that war since 9/11.''

''The whole purpose of our operations were aimed at those who attacked this country and killed 3,000 innocent people in New York as well as 200 people here at the Pentagon,'' Panetta said.

Panetta went on to use a contrived justification similar to that presented in 2012 when Ryan Crocker, then U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, claimed that al Qaeda could plan and carry out another September 11, 2001-style attack on U.S. soil if America ended the occupation.

''I think we had a responsibility to use whatever technology we could to be able to go after those who not only conducted that attack but were planning to continue to attack this country,'' Panetta said.

''It's been an important part of our operations against Al-Qaeda, not just in Pakistan, but also in Yemen, in Somalia and I think it ought to continue to be a tool we ought to use where necessary,'' he said.

It's quite interesting that in situations like these individuals like Panetta speak freely about the drone program but when it gets challenged in court, suddenly it becomes too secret to confirm or deny.

AFP notes, ''The CIA drone bombing raids, by Predator and Reaper aircraft armed with Hellfire missiles, have caused an unknown number of civilian casualties and prompted accusations that Washington is carrying out extrajudicial killings in the shadows with no genuine oversight by courts or lawmakers.''

These are far from mere accusations. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder simply claims that the government's secret reviews of evidence count as due process when authorizing these extrajudicial killings.

Even Panetta admitted to AFP that ''the campaign still needed to be regularly reviewed'' although he ''did not say he favored turning over the spy agency's drone war to the military.''

This is especially interesting given that much of the mainstream media chooses to ignore the fact that this means the drone rulebook will not apply at all since, as Panetta clearly is showing here, the drone war is mostly conducted by the CIA.

''Having said that, we always need to continue to look at it, to make sure we develop the right standards, that we're abiding by the laws of this country, that we're doing it in a way that hopefully can be a little more transparent with the American people,'' Panetta said.

It's a wonderful platitude but entirely meaningless. The simple fact is that they are not abiding by the laws of the United States and they are doing it in the most patently non-transparent way imaginable.

Panetta went on to say, according to AFP, that '''to protect this country' it was not enough to have operations carried out openly by the military.''

Yet it is engendering a deep hatred towards the U.S. in the states constantly bombarded by drones which result in massive numbers of civilian deaths, estimates of which vary.

The ''double tap'' tactic, which results in first responders and civilian rescuers being killed by a second strike on the same target, also does nothing to paint the program in a positive light.

The ''double tap'' and other techniques are clearly doing nothing to stop terrorists but instead serve to encourage a future generation with a deep hatred for the U.S.

Press TV points out that major protests have been held across Pakistan in recent months and ''Yemenis have held several anti-US rallies across the country over the past months and have called on their government to cut all ties with Washington over the deadly airstrikes.''

Secret killings carried out by the CIA are, according to Panetta, necessary ''when you got those kind of operations where, because of the nature of the country you're in or the nature of the situation you're dealing with, it's got to be covert.''

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the perpetual drone war is the use of military drones in the United States (data from which are shared with law enforcement).

The domestic drone boom has led to colleges and universities offering degrees for drone piloting, the Department of Homeland Security embracing small spy drones, the opening of new drone training facilities and even the National Guard requesting the use of a public airport for drones.

Couple that with groundbreaking drone technologies, facial recognition, perpetual flight, EMP missiles, automated tracking systems, unbelievably powerful cameras, miniature bombs, programs aimed at producing silent drones, solar-powered long-distance drones, just to mention a few developments, and you have a troubling picture.

Thankfully, some lawmakers are introducing legislation in an attempt to curb the trend here in the U.S. but one must remain realistic about the prospects of such legislation at the federal level.

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PedoBear

PAEDOPHILES IN POLITICS: A Beecher's Brook of a scandal which may yet unseat David Cameron | The Slog. 3-D bollocks deconstruction

Link to Article

Sun, 03 Feb 2013 14:37

With the issue of EU membership neutralised for the time being, the Prime Minister neverthless still faces the problem of upcoming Newscorp cases in which he is clearly implicated. But towering above any other obstacle is the emerging depth and breadth of potential paedophile cases linked to the Conservative Party. Is David Cameron about to become the Disappearing Man?

The Daily Telegraph yesterday noted that 'many of [Cameron's] MPs see a leader who is not a winner, and whose actions '' and inactions '' are leading the country to disaster and the Tory party to extinction. Away from the public eye, some are actively working to bring him down, while others watch and wait, quietly hoping for his demise'. A little bit of this is wishful thinking by the Barclays of Sark '' but not much: as I've posted several times since last Austumn, David Cameron is doomed, and the latest he will meet his fate is 2015. But now I can see dark clouds appearing at a faster speed than previously'...and hear the sound of thunder foretelling the arrival of le deluge. It's beginning to look like Dave won't stay the course.

The Prime Minister has, for the time being, put one major problem '' EU membership '' on the political back-burner. He did this by saying an enormous number of things all at the same time which amounted to nothing beyond ''maybe the day after tomorrow''. Another day, another can'....but he seems to have stymied the Ed Miller Band (who now don't know what to think, again) and largely guaranteed he can go into an election without it being a millstone round his rubber neck. The question is, will he make it to the Election which will be, barring great drama, around May 2015? There are two reasons why he may well not.

The first is Hackgate in particular and Newscorp in general. Although it has been largely (and often deliberately) driven from our front pages, it's time some commentators woke up to the timeline here. Just seven months from now, Cameron's former Number Ten media fixer Andy Coulson '' along with ex-News International chief executive and horse-riding friend Rebekah Brooks '' will face trial over allegations linked to phone hacking for starters, and more besides: Brooks is also accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, in that that she allegedly tried to conceal information from police investigating both hacking and corrupt payments to public officials at The Sun and the News of the World. In turn, five other Newscorpers will also face illegal hacking charges: Ex-managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Greg Miskiw, former head of news Ian Edmondson, ex-chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck former reporter James Weatherup, and near enough inhouse private detective Glenn Mulcaire.

I do find it perpetually staggering that 3,000 looters in Croydon can be banged up in three weeks, but (given the hearing for the Newscorp defendants was last September) it takes a year just to get seven well-heeled folks into Court. Of course this case is more complex, but seven goes into three thousand almost four hundred and thirty times. Anyway, delaying tactics Court procedures are not my concern today. My observation is a simple one: our economic situation will be parlous by September. It may prove to be one rough ride too many for our equestrian Prime Minister'...especially if ginger canaries start to sing alongside drink-addled blokes with scores to settle against several people.

But even before then, Cameron may well find himself neck-deep in what will probably turn into the biggest sexual abuse scandal in political history. Those of us who've been grubbing about in this awful pit of depravity for six years or more have been rendered weary by a surfeit of false dawns, false flags and false witness: all of us, I think, still fear that the Establishment will yet again cover up this obscenity in its midst. But this week '' and notably this weekend '' several things seem to be surfacing at once. And as the original Hackgate scandal showed only too well, one of the few things left that will get the Brits up off their sofas is bad stuff being done to children.

I spoke at some length with a LibDem MP three weeks ago who insisted that the main motive behind child trafficking and systemic sexual abuse in care homes and schools is money. This is rather like saying that the main motive for war is munitions sales: as with so many of the observations made by our legislators and their fellow-travelling extremists, it shows a woeful ignorance of social anthropology '' and the typical psychography of those in positions of power. The fact is, control is the common driver here: the same folks who like bossing the rest of us about are also have a higher-than-average propensity towards sexual control and abuse.

Thus illegal, life-damaging sexual perversity is as powerful a minority in the Labour Party (especially at local level) as it is in the Conservative Party higher up. However, to date it does seem to be the Tories who are getting the bulk of the heat'....which, on top of the Party's very obvious collusion in myriad ways with City criminality, is in danger of giving them an image roughly on a par with the necrophile serial killer John Christie. This can only get worse. In fact, it already is doing.

This morning, the Sunday People unveils a former Richmond Council care home orphan who says he and his 12-year-old brother were sent by staff to the Elm Guest House, where they were lured into cider and beer-drinking races to get them drunk and ordered to dress in girls' fairy costumes while their pictures were taken. What The People calls 'vile sex acts' then occurred. Prominent Conservative politicians are popping up on the Elm House guest list with disturbing regularity, and not all of them are expat Ministers who were in power under Margaret Thatcher. Some are very closely connected to Cabinet Ministers and Peers in both powerful and controversial posts today.

It's one thing turning a blind eye to Sir Cyril Smith's preference for marginally under-age rent boys; it's another to cover up a form of sadistic sexual bullying that blighted thousands of lives. One in six children aged 11-17 (16.5%) have experienced sexual abuse, and almost one in 10 children aged 11-17 (9.4%) have experienced sexual abuse in the past year. However, the correlation between care home abuse and later suicides among the victims is irrefutable and truly damning: for many decent people, privileged and protected predators should be considered murderers by proxy. Peter Hatton-Bornshin ended up at the Grafton Close Children's Home, which was run by Richmond borough council in South-West London and supplied paedo-fodder to Elm House. An orphan from the age of eleven, Peter killed himself at the age of 28 as a direct result of the appalling abuse to which he was subjected. His story mirrors hundreds of others.

Meanwhile, Wrexham Council has been sitting on a controversial shelved report into North Wales child abuse. The Councillors have been running the media Around the Houses for Eighty Days, despite acknowledged FOI requests from both the Welsh Daily Post and the site Wrexham.com. Having admitted that yes, they do indeed have the report, there is no way the Council can stonewall for much longer. I'm reliably told the report contains a savage criticism of police collusion, as well as the 'mystifying' decision of one senior Tory Minister at the time not to take things further. It also massively implicates the little-known relative of a figure already involved in deep controversy over paedophile allegations. And it might hold further clues as to the business influence this relatively obscure figure allegedly had with Conservative politicians in the 1970s.

Just when it looked like there might be an end to the evidence of depravity, the Independent on Sunday has a piece this morning about trafficking links between the Grafton Care Home run by Richmond Council and Amsterdam's red light area. Written by Paul Cahalan and Deputy Editor James Hanning (a man with A-level in Hackgate and Hidden Paedophilia to his name) the article confirms that Fernbridge detectives 'are building a picture of the reach of the network '' which allegedly used the property '' and have seized a number of files from local authorities'.

Various concerned residents of Plymouth may now also be moved to have another crack at persuading the authorities that, there too, Council care homes have allegedly been involved in a trade whose first destination was Santander'....thence onto North Africa. At least one prominent Conservative politician in the city has been implicated by Plymouth-based complainants in the past. Plymouth also has a long history of paedophile abuse in its care system. And one of its justice officers, Judge Francis Gilbert, has an equally long track-record of bizarrely lenient paedophile judgements'...for which his reward was the promotion to being resident Judge in Exeter.

If the Conservative Party manages to escape all the consequences of these multiply-surfacing hobgoblins, then it will have been lucky indeed. Or put another way, the British legal and political Establishment will once more be shown to hold the concept of equality before the in contempt. But with this in the mix alongside his many other kicked cans, it's hard to see how David Cameron can emerge unscathed out of the other end of his self-made tunnel.

Stay tuned. There'll be another exposure along in a minute. And have a look at Msjenniferjames, a reliably factual and thoroughly professional site often focusing on rarely-seen items such as truth, bent trials, ignored testimony and so forth in this field.

To get the full story on (C)lite depravity in Britain, visit The Slog's dedicated page The Paedofile

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Egypt

Federal Register | Trade Mission to Egypt and Kuwait

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Sun, 03 Feb 2013 03:34

The United States Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service is replacing the Notice regarding the Trade Mission to Egypt and Kuwait March 10-14, 2013, published at 77 FR 71777, December 4, 2012, to cancel the Kuwait portion of the mission, and reschedule the Egypt portion to April 14 to 16, and the application deadline to March 14.

In June 2012 the Department of Commerce initiated recruitment for participation in the U.S. Trade Mission to Egypt and Kuwait March 10-14, 2013, published at 77 FR 33439, June 6, 2012. In 77 FR 71777, December 4, 2012, the Department of Commerce announced that the application deadline for the mission was extended until January 18, 2013. Since then, due to unforeseen circumstances, the Kuwait portion of the mission has been cancelled, and Trade Mission to Egypt will be April 14 to 16 and the application deadline March 14. Interested firms that have not already submitted an application are encouraged to apply. Applications will be accepted after the deadline only to the extent that space remains and scheduling constraints permit.

The Trade Mission to Egypt and Kuwait is replaced to read as follows:

April 14-16, 2013.

The U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service is organizing a Trade Mission to Cairo, Egypt to explore opportunities in the following sectors: electric power infrastructure, building products and design and construction, and safety and security.

Led by a senior executive of the Department of Commerce or other U.S. Government agency, the trade mission will include one-on-one business appointments with pre-screened potential buyers, agents, distributors and joint venture partners; meetings with national and regional government officials, chambers of commerce, and business groups; and networking receptions for companies and trade associations representing companies interested in expansion into the North African and Middle Eastern markets. Meetings will be offered with government authorities that can address questions about policies, tariff rates, incentives, grid interconnection, regulation, etc.

The mission will help participating firms and trade associations gain market insights, make industry contacts, solidify business strategies, and advance specific projects, with the goal of increasing U.S. exports to Egypt. Participating in an official U.S. industry delegation, rather than traveling to Egypt on their own, will enhance the companies' ability to secure meetings in Egypt.

Egypt is strategically located at the gateway of trade for Africa and the Middle East. It is a prime location for the transit of goods, as well as a key destination for American companies seeking to do business in the region. Egypt has experienced profound political changes over the past year. On February 11, 2011, President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule came to an end. In January 2012, Egypt seated its first freely and fairly elected parliament, and has held a Presidential election. In the meantime, the United States remains committed to a strong partnership with Egypt.

As the largest Arab country with a population of 90 million, Egypt is the fourth largest export market for U.S. products and services in the Middle East. The United States is Egypt's largest bilateral trading partner, and the second largest investor. In 2011, bilateral trade reached $8.2 billion. The gross domestic product (GDP) grew over five percent from 2009 to 2010. According to Business Monitor International's forecasts, Egypt's real GDP is expanding 2.1% in FY2011/12 and projected to grow 4.9% in FY2012/13 (Egypt's fiscal year is July through June). Egyptian law requires that foreign companies retain Egyptian commercial agents for public tenders, but they may work directly with private companies. Most foreign companies have found it beneficial, however, to engage a local agent for private sector transactions as well because of their familiarity of the language, law and general business practices. Based on geographical location or product basis, a firm can appoint multiple agents in Egypt to further enhance its success.

Electric Power InfrastructureEgypt is one of the largest electrical energy producing countries in the Middle East. Over the next ten years, Egypt plans to expand its electricity capacity to 60,000 megawatts through a combination of traditional, renewable, and energy production to diversify energy resources and preserve the country's limited oil and gas reserves. Opportunities exist for U.S. providers of gas turbines, steam turbines, hydro and wind turbines, blades, and other equipment, as well as development and project management. Best prospects in the energy sector include circuit breakers of more than 66kv, power transformers of more than 25MVA-66kva, power transmission lines, turbine generator units with associated equipment, and vibration dampers.

The US&FCS will organize meetings for the mission delegates with the Ministry of Electricity and Energy, and the New and Renewable Energy Authority government officials who can address questions about policies, tariff rates, incentives, grid interconnection, price subsidy, and regulations.

Building Products and Design and ConstructionThe Government of Egypt (GOE) directed $1.9 billion to Egypt's infrastructure in 2010. With over 50 percent of the population under the age of 25 and a strong tourism market, there has been increased pressure on Egypt's roads, bridges, railroads, power stations, water and sewage, hospitals, and schools. According to the GOE, growth in the construction sector reached 4.25% in 2010 and will rise to 5.63% in 2014. It is expected to grow by a robust 4.91% year-on-year from 2010 to 2014, reaching a total value of $15.8 billion. Such growth is expected to attract investments of around $7.3 billion by 2015. Demand in the sector is on the rise mainly because of rapid demographic growth and housing shortages, particularly in the low- and middle-income segments. Construction accounts for around 8% of total employment, with a workforce of 1.2 million people in the sector.

As an active importing and exporting country with a trade volume reaching $19.5 billion in 2011, there is an ongoing need for state-of-the-art logistics centers, intermodal connecting systems, cold storage, and river transportation. Logistics centers are considered critical to the global supply chain and will affect logistics decisions ranging from shipping routes to warehouse locations.

In 2012, the Egyptian government's General Authority for Investment announced the following major plans for infrastructure development:

The 6th of October Wastewater Treatment Plant: design, construction operation and maintenance of a new 150,000 m3/day plant, valued at $15-29 millionAbu Rawash Wastewater Treatment Plant: upgrading of the plant, valued at $990 million East Port Said Port: includes a duty free zone area, road and rail networks, a power station, communication center, value-added services, valued at $1.5 billionAlexandria Medical City: a medical center project for which the Egyptian government seeks private investment for financing, designing, constructing, equipping, furnishing, maintenance, operating and providing non-clinical facility services for two University Hospitals and a blood bank, valued at $1.45 billionSome projects will be awarded based on the Egyptian government's ''Public Private Partnership'' (PPP) program, a multi-faceted initiative to attract private sector investment for infrastructure projects.

Safety and SecurityThe safety and security industry is booming throughout Egypt as the country deals with increased security issues ranging from private citizen safety to transaction fraud. Safety and security imports to Egypt have increased 10-15% annually for the past few years and U.S. brands are well received. This is primarily a government market, dominated by the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defense.

As the country works to increase tourism over the next few years (a government priority post-revolution), airports and seaports will need upgraded security systems. Police and customs authorities will also have an increased need for such systems. Egypt has eight major ports and three cross-country borders that require significant security measures. In its fight against drug smuggling and counterfeit products, Egypt requires container scanning and shipment tracking devices. Egypt is also looking at container scanning upgrades and seafarer identification cards for more secure identification and synchronizing systems to coordinate security measures and responses. Accordingly, opportunities exist for U.S firms providing short-range radar systems, surveillance cameras, infrared and radiological detectors, vessel tracking MIS, biometric scanners, personnel databases, computer peripherals, and systems integration equipment. Companies that can provide proven, cutting-edge technologies will have an advantage in these export opportunities.

The goal of the trade mission is to provide U.S. participants with first-hand market information, access to government decision makers as appropriate and one-on-one meetings with business contacts, including potential agents, distributors and partners, so they can position themselves to enter or expand their presence in the Egypt.

Cairo is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in Africa. The business week runs from Sunday through Thursday.

Saturday, 13 April, Arrival in Cairo.

Sunday, 14 April, Orientation and market briefings, business luncheon with American Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Ambassador's networking reception.

Monday, 15 April, One-on-one business appointments; business lunch'--General Authority For Investment and Free Zones presentation on major public-private partnership projects; group dinner.

Tuesday, 16 April, One-on-one business appointments.

All parties interested in participating in the Trade Mission to Egypt must complete and submit an application package for consideration by the U.S. Department of Commerce. All applicants will be evaluated on their ability to meet certain conditions and best satisfy the selection criteria as outlined below. A minimum of 15 U.S. companies and/or trade associations and maximum of 20 companies and/or trade associations will be selected to participate in the mission from the applicant pool. U.S. companies or trade associations already doing business with Egypt, as well as U.S. companies or trade associations seeking to enter these countries for the first time may apply.

After a company has been selected to participate on the mission, a payment to the U.S. Department of Commerce in the form of a participation fee is required. The fee for one representative to participate in the mission is $1400 for an SME and $2100 for large firms or trade associations. The fee for each additional company or association representative (SME or large firm) is $400. Expenses for travel, lodging, most meals, interpreters, and incidentals are the responsibility of each mission participant. Participants may be able to take advantage of Embassy rates for hotel rooms.

An applicant must submit a completed and signed mission application and supplemental application materials, including adequate information on the company's products and/or services, primary market objectives, and goals for participation. If the U.S. Department of Commerce receives an incomplete application, the Department may reject the application, request additional information, or take the lack of information into account when evaluating the applications.Each applicant must also certify that the products and services it seeks to export through the mission are either produced in the United States, or, if not, marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least 51 percent U.S. content. In the case of a trade association or trade organization, the applicant must certify that, for each company to be represented by the trade association or trade organization, the products and services the represented company seeks to export are either produced in the United States, or, if not, marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least fifty-one percent U.S. content.Selection will be based on the following criteria:

Suitability of the company's (or, in the case of a trade association or trade organization, represented companies') products or services to the targeted marketsApplicant's (or, in the case of a trade association or trade organization, represented companies') potential for business in the target markets, including likelihood of exports resulting from the missionConsistency of the applicant's goals and objectives with the stated scope of the missionReferrals from political organizations and any documents containing references to partisan political activities (including political contributions) will be removed from an applicant's submission and not considered during the selection process.

Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, including posting Export.gov'--and other Internet Web sites; publication in trade publications and association newsletters; direct outreach to the Department's clients; posting in the Federal Register; and announcements at industry meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows.

Recruitment for the mission will begin January 28, 2013 and conclude no later than March 14, 2013. The U.S. Department of Commerce will review applications and make selection decisions on a rolling basis until the maximum of twenty participants is reached. We will inform all applicants of selection decisions as soon as possible after the applications are reviewed. Applications received after the March 14 deadline will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit.

U.S. Commercial Service Cairo, EgyptU.S. Commercial Service Washington, DCDennis Simmons, Deputy Senior Commercial OfficerAnne NovakU.S. Commercial ServiceU.S. Commercial ServiceEmbassy of the United States of AmericaWashington, DCEmail: Dennis.Simmons@trade.govTel: (202) 482-8178Tel: (202) 2797-2610Email: Anne.Novak@trade.govElnora Moye,

Trade Program Assistant.

[FR Doc. 2013-02262 Filed 2-1-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-FP-P

Bills in Progress

To increase the statutory limit on the public debt by $1 trillion upon the adoption by Congress of a balanced budget Constitutional amendment and by an additional $1 trillion upon ratification by the States of that amendment. (H.R. 443)

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Sat, 02 Feb 2013 14:09

GovTrack's Bill SummaryWe don't have a summary available yet.

Library of Congress SummaryThe summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

No summary available.

House Republican Conference SummaryThe summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

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House Democratic Caucus SummaryThe House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.

So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference's summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That's because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.

We'll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.

To establish the National Criminal Justice Commission. (H.R. 446)

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Sat, 02 Feb 2013 14:07

GovTrack's Bill SummaryWe don't have a summary available yet.

Library of Congress SummaryThe summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

No summary available.

House Republican Conference SummaryThe summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus SummaryThe House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.

So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference's summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That's because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.

We'll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.

Seeing Is Believing: Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform Is Possible

A bill to expand the use of E-Verify, to hold employers accountable, and for other purposes. (S. 202) - GovTrack.us

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Fri, 01 Feb 2013 15:13

GovTrack's Bill SummaryWe don't have a summary available yet.

Library of Congress SummaryThe summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

No summary available.

House Republican Conference SummaryThe summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.

No summary available.

House Democratic Caucus SummaryThe House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.

So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference's summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That's because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.

We'll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.

EUROLand

Crystal meth usage rising in Germany

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Source: The Local - Germany's news in English

Sat, 02 Feb 2013 14:39

Published: 2 Feb 13 13:35 CET | Print versionOnline: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20130202-47723.html

Usage of the highly addictive drug methamphetamine, also known as ''crystal meth'', has gone up in Germany and it is being rapidly imported into the country, the Bild newspaper reported on Saturday.

Experience in the United States shows not only how addictive the drug is, but how much damage it can do to people '' both mentally and physically, the paper said.The drug is cheaper than others to manufacture and is being imported from the Czech Republic. It is easy to make and there are even internet videos explaining how. Increasingly the drug is also being imported from Africa, the paper said.

''Crystal is in Germany on the rise and is expanding from the southern states to the north and west,'' Tom Bernhardt, a spokesman for the State Police in Saxony told the paper.

Some 40 kilos of the drug were confiscated in 2011, according to the Federal Criminal Office. The traffic is especially bad in Szony, There the number of meth users rose by 45 percent between 2011 and 2010 and increased by as much as 70 percent in some areas.

National statistics for 2012 are not yet available, but the trend is clear, the paper wrote.

''The discovered amounts and the cases involving crystal have shown a significant increase for 2012,'' a spokeswoman for the Federal Criminal Office said.

The paper reported that the first numbers available for 2012 are showing a horrifying trend. In Bavaria the number of first time consumers, as documented by the police, of crystal and other hard drugs rose from 24 in 2009 to 456 in 2012.

Sachsen-Anhalt reported a 50 percent increase in crystal meth use last year, a police spokesman said.

But the paper noted that the high figures reflect a greater scrutiny of the drug '' and when enforcement efforts are stepped up the numbers can be expected to increase.

The effects of crystal meth are similar to cocaine. It makes people euphoric, increases their confidence and sex drive and reduces hunger and thirst. People can stay up for long periods of time '' 36 hours or more '' and then they crash when the drug's effect goes away, followed by insomnia, anxiety and depression.

Horror pictures of meth additcts with eroded teeth and severe pock marks on their face have been published in the United States for years.

For Dr HŪrtelŠ Petri that just shows how bad the American healthcare system is. ''In Germany you can hardly find such pictures. Whowever has bad teeth goes to the dentist and gets them fixed. Crystal addicts are visually hard to recognize in Germany,'' he said.

Crystal is a synthetic drug that is crushed and snorted. It was given to soldiers in World War II and known as ''tank chocolate'' or ''Hitler Speed'' as a way to eliminate their fears. But the doses were much lower back then than what addicts take today, Petri said.

Tennis star Andre Agassi, who is married to German tennis star Steffi Graf, admitted to using the drug until 1997.

The Local/mw

Berlusconi belooft dat Italianen 4 miljard euro terugkrijgen

Link to Article

Source: VK: Home

Sun, 03 Feb 2013 14:29

Berlusconi belooft dat Italianen 4 miljard euro terugkrijgen13:48 Als centrumrechts eind deze maand de parlementsverkiezingen in Itali wint, krijgen de Italianen binnen luttele weken 4 miljard euro terug van de staat. Dit beloofde ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi zondag tijdens een campagnebijeenkomst in ...

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Dutch state nationalizes SNS Reaal NV bank

Link to Article

Sat, 02 Feb 2013 05:23

AMSTERDAM (AP) '-- The Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem Friday nationalized the long-suffering bank and insurance company SNS Reaal NV to prevent a disorderly bankruptcy and will spend '­Ā3.7 billion ($5 billion) to recapitalize it.

SNS is the Netherlands fourth-largest bank, with around 10 percent of retail deposits, and it was brought down by its real estate financing arm, as property values slid and loans went bad. SNS will continue operations as normal, Dijsselbloem said at a press conference, and depositors won't lose their money.

However, shareholders will be wiped out, some creditors will lose money, and the nationalization will cost the government '-- that is, taxpayers '-- money at a time the Dutch state is already trying to enact painful austerity measures to remain within European deficit spending limits.

"This isn't what we wanted," Dijsselbloem said. But he added that, without nationalization, SNS "would have gone irrevocably bankrupt," with potentially dire consequences for the Dutch economy and financial system.

SNS had already been given '­Ā750 million ($1 billion) in bailout money in 2008 and its banking and insurance remained profitable on an operating level since then. But as the value of its real estate portfolio fell, its balance sheet of around '­Ā134 billion weakened below legal limits and was vulnerable to financial shocks.

Jan Sijbrand, the head of regulatory operations at the Netherlands' Central Bank, said that as of Friday it basically had "no capital left at all."

There was no full-fledged run on the bank, but "there was a continual flow of money going out, of varying intensity" in January '-- greatly influenced by news articles in the Dutch press speculating on whether the bank would survive, he said. Depositors pulled around '­Ā1.4 billion over the course of the month, he said.

Unlike the decisions made during the crisis of 2008, Friday's nationalization came after months of talks in which the bank, regulators, and external investors considered various other scenarios.

"This is a unique situation and we have prevented worse outcomes with this solution, but it is nothing to be satisfied about," Sijbrand said.

SNS had warned with increasing frequency that its troubles would require some kind of restructuring since July, and was in talks with private parties about a takeover up until Thursday afternoon.

The three biggest Dutch banks, ING Groep NV, ABN Amro, and cooperative bank Rabobank NV had reportedly considered buying parts of SNS. But European regulators blocked ING and ABN for the reason that they were themselves bailed-out and nationalized, respectively.

The three big banks will be asked to contribute a combined '­Ā1 billion to the rescue under the Dutch system, under which retail banks act as insurers for each others' retail deposits on a proportional basis.

ING said in a reaction it expected its share to be no more than '­Ā350 million, and that wouldn't affect its own solvency ratios significantly.

ING shares were up 0.4 percent at '­Ā 7.481 in early Amsterdam trading, while trading in SNS shares was halted.

Nederland pompt miljarden in nationalisering probleembank ... - De Standaard

Link to Article

Sat, 02 Feb 2013 20:56

De in financile moeilijkheden geraakte bank SNS Reaal komt volledig in handen van de Nederlandse overheid. Alle andere reddingsscenario's draaiden op niets uit. De operatie zal Nederland 3,7 miljard euro kosten. De nieuwe topman, Gerard van Olphen, ontvangt een loon van 550.000 per jaar.

Dat heeft het Nederlandse ministerie van Financin vrijdag bekendgemaakt. SNS Reaal kwam in de problemen door de vastgoedcrisis en onderhandelingen met private investeerders mislukten. De top van de bank treedt af.

Belastingsbetaler draagt meest bij

De problematische vastgoedtak wordt afgescheiden van SNS Reaal. De operatie zal de Nederlandse overheid 3,7 miljard euro kosten. Deze kosten bestaan uit 2,2 miljard euro aan nieuwe kapitaalinjecties, 0,8 miljard euro als afschrijving van de eerdere steun, en 0,7 miljard euro voor het afzonderen van de vastgoedtak. Daarnaast verschaft de staat nog 1,1 miljard euro aan leningen en 5 miljard euro aan garanties.

Dijsselbloem zegt dat het onzeker is of de overheid ooit dat geld terugziet, al denkt hij dat er daar op langere termijn wel een kans toe is. De onmiddellijke impact is echter dat de ingreep voor een bijkomend tekort van 0,6 procent van het BBP op de begroting van dit jaar zorgt. De Nederlandse staatsschuld zou met 1,6 procent groeien.

Ook de huidige aandeelhouders en schuldeiser van SNS Reaal moeten meebetalen. Ze worden onteigend en pompen zo 1 miljard euro in de bank. De overige Nederlandse banken zullen moeten bijdragen in de vorm van een heffing, die eveneens 1 miljard euro moet opleveren.

Weerstand

De minister toont begrip voor ''de weerstand die velen zullen voelen omdat er opnieuw een groot bedrag aan publiek geld nodig is''. Daarom wil hij ''de private sector voor een zo groot mogelijk deel laten meebetalen aan de redding van SNS Reaal''. Het nieuwe management van de bank krijgt de opdracht om ''zodra het bedrijf is gestabiliseerd en de markt het toelaat'' onderdelen weer in private handen te brengen.

Systeembank

SNS is de kleinste van de vier Nederlandse 'systeembanken'. Een faillissement zou het financile stelsel in ernstig gevaar gebracht hebben. De Nederlandse centrale bank (DNB) had de instelling tijd gegeven tot 31 januari om 18.00 uur om een oplossing te vinden.

''Ik heb alle alternatieve oplossingen met marktpartijen in detail bekeken. Maar gisteravond heb ik geconstateerd dat er geen acceptabele totaaloplossing is geboden'', stelt minister van Financin Jeroen Dijsselbloem. ''Daarom heb ik het uiterste middel van de nationalisatie moeten inzetten. Zo wordt de financile stabiliteit gewaarborgd en grote schade aan de economie voorkomen.''

Top vertrekt, nieuwe baas krijgt 550.000 per jaar

Topman Ronald Latenstein, financieel directeur Ference Lamp en voorzitter van de raad van commissarissen Rob Zwartendijk treden terug. Zij ''willen en kunnen geen verantwoordelijkheid nemen voor het nationalisatiescenario'', liet SNS vrijdag weten. Een vertrekvergoeding krijgt het trio niet.

De Nederlandse minister van Financin, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, heeft bekendgemaakt dat de nieuwe topman van de bank, Gerard van Olphen, 550.000 euro per jaar zal opstrijken. Dijsselbloem vindt de verloning niet te hoog.

Het is een beloning die betaald moet worden voor de kwaliteit die nu nodig is aan de top van SNS, aldus de Nederlandse minister. Hij wijst erop tevens op dat het bedrag al fors lager is dan bij Van Olphens voorganger Ronald Latenstein, en het is bescheiden vergeleken met topsalarissen bij andere banken.

Beurs

Overnamegesprekken met durfkapitalist CVC leverden niet op. Donderdag doken nog geruchten op dat de andere Nederlandse systeembanken ING, ABN en Rabobank, tot 400 miljoen euro in SNS Reaal zouden pompen om een nationalisering te voorkomen. Dat jaagde de beurskoersen omhoog. Het plan is dus uiteindelijk toch niet doorgegaan. Uiteraard is de handel in het aandeel vrijdag geschorst.

Belgi

De operatie roept kwalijke herinneringen op aan de nationalisering van Fortis, op het hoogtepunt van de financile crisis. Daar was ook de Belgische overheid toen bij betrokken. SNS Reaal is niet in ons land actief.

$elleabretties

The 2013 Mercedes Super Bowl Commercial and its Occult Message

Link to Article

Sun, 03 Feb 2013 13:05

The Super Bowl has become much more than a football game. It is a multifaceted event that mixes sports entertainment with the music industry and big corporation advertisement, monopolizing mass media attention for days. This unique yearly event is watched by hundred of millions of people worldwide and is therefore a great platform for the occult elite to push its Agenda. Even worst, its becoming an increasingly blatant celebration of the Illuminati's industry (see last year's article Madonna's Superbowl Halftime Show: A Celebration of the Grand Priestess of the Music Industry).Super Bowl advertisements are also big part of the show '' they are probably more discussed and analyzed than the actual football game. This year, Mercedes stepped into the Super Bowl commercial arena with a cinematic ad promoting a new car model. While it does a good job selling the car, it also communicates other messages to the Super Bowl TV audience. In short, it is the elite delivering a message about who's running the show.

The ad is based on the Faustian concept of selling one's soul for fame and riches, a favorite of the Illuminati industry. In less than 2 minutes, the ad manages to pack some telling symbolism and some realness about the entertainment industry. Here's the ad.Signature RequiredThe ad begins with a guy admiring a billboard featuring the car in question. The Devil then pops up and tells him:

''Make a deal with me kid and you can have the car and everything that goes along with it''.

The Devil tempts the guy to sell his soul.The guy takes the pen and then envisions what would happen if he made a deal with the Devil. Apparently, what would happen to him would be pretty darn cool. According to the ad, this is what happens when you sell your soul:

You become a celebrity and get to date the hottest girl of the moment. This year, its Kate Upton.You get to party with giants of the music industry such as Usher.You become the ''it'' person and your face is featured on magazine covers.You also drive a nice car, have girls running after you and you become a race car champ. So extremely cool. Such a great deal.

Back to reality, the guy looks at the contract that was presented to him by the Devil.

The symbol of the Devil is apparently the reverse of the ancient Chi-Rho symbol that was adopted by the Catholic Church as a symbol of Christ. Notice that the small hourglass-shaped symbol at the left of the inverted ''P'' is similar to the illuminated sign that was between Usher and the guy. Yup, the Devil owned that club.Looking closer at the Devil's rings, we see that the on on top is clearly Masonic. Why would this specific symbol be there? It refers to a real, powerful secret society. There are many symbolic messages in this short commercial.The guy then realizes that the car is affordable enough for him not to sell his soul to obtain it. Good for you, guy, whoever you are.

The ad ends with some subtle occult numerology.

There is fire on the 13 of 2013. Thirteen is probably the most important number in Masonic and occult numerology. It being highlighted is another way of saying that those behind that ad are ''in the know''.So, while the guy did not fall for the Devil's trap, the ad nevertheless showed what is required to rise up the to highest ranks of the entertainment industry. One must make a deal with an evil entity that is apparently a member of a secret society, who then ''magically'' gets you in all the right places in music, fashion and sports. Yes, all of this was conveyed in a short advertisement for a car. Is this another way of the elite to brag about how it runs the show? One thing is for sure, all of the Super Bowl audience will soon be absorb that message'...And some will buy that car.

Source:The Vigilant Citizen

Respected Readers:To help us go ahead with the same spirit, a small contribution from your side will highly be appreciated.

Buy One

Hey guys,

You talked about the Robin Hood foundation ( and other organizations )

using the funds they raised to book celebrities to play their benefits a

while back. My friends and I are at a bar jokingly taking about booking a

down and out one hit wonder for a birthday party and I stumbled upon this

site which breaks the celebrities down by price.

http://www.celebritytalent.net/about/testimonials.php

Maybe a good reference for the future.

Btw,

I've set up a $33 a month recurring donation. I hope you guys are doing

OK. There's been a lot of talk of down donations lately. I really hope

you guys pull this off. No Agenda really is an incredible resource.

Thanks for everything you do.

Matt Nicole

Knight of the No Agenda Round Table.

Undocumented Americans

'We Are Undocumented And Unafraid, Because This Is What We Learned In School'

Link to Article

Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Sun, 03 Feb 2013 13:44

MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them -- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.

MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 325 South Patrick Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.

Copyright (C) 2013, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.

Vaccine$

Could the 'Contagion' Sequel Mutate into a Television Series? | /Film

Link to Article

Sat, 02 Feb 2013 20:22

Posted on Friday, February 1st, 2013 by Angie Han

Steven Soderbergh's 2011 disease thriller Contagion wasn't exactly crying out for a sequel, but in the light of its strong box office performance of course more than a few execs' minds went there. Warner Bros. quietly began developing a follow-up with writer Scott Z. Burns set to produce, and last October it took a small step forward by posting an open writing assignment.

Now, however, Burns says they're thinking of changing course entirely. Instead of a feature film, Contagion 2 could wind up being a TV series. Hit the jump to read his comments.

Burns revealed the potential shift in plans when he sat down for an interview with Coming Soon to promote his new film with Soderbergh, Side Effects.

We've been talking about turning it into a TV series and I think it may have a life there. It has some of the properties inherently like 'Homeland' and '24' where you can really explore outbreaks and pandemics in interesting ways. Like this story, they take you to unexpected places, whether it's drug companies or governments or scientists or people with political agendas. All of these things, once they're out there, can be coopted from a lot of different angles.

The change is unexpected, but it makes a lot of sense. Switching media would give the team (which does not include Soderbergh) more freedom to reboot the premise or take it in a different direction, and a TV series could go deeper than the movie did with the characters and locations. On the flip side, I'm not sure how a disease outbreak plotline can sustain more than one season. I suppose we'll have more time to worry about that later, though.

Burns did not go into details about what the new series might look like, but offered a broad view of his approach.

That movie had an almost fractal kind of quality for me as a writer because anytime I looked at a business or a character, when it's something like a virus, it changes everything. If you have a date with somebody and they're sick and now you don't go out with them to business men who don't get on planes and don't go to meetings, so certain things don't happen. It becomes a causal agent for a whole bunch of plot.

If the two-hour movie version of that story made you paranoid, imagine how much more freaked out you'll be after watching the disease spread over a matter of weeks. Would you tune in for a Contagion series?

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

In Dramatic Move, Flu Researchers Announce Moratorium on Some H5N1 Flu Research, Call for Global Summit - ScienceInsider

Link to Article

Fri, 01 Feb 2013 15:07

Stung by a growing global controversy over the potential dangers of experiments involving the H5N1 avian flu virus'--and worried about heavy-handed government regulation'--the world's leading H5N1 researchers have agreed to a 60-day moratorium on a controversial category of studies "to allow time for international discussion."

"We recognize that we and the rest of the scientific community need to clearly explain the benefits of this important research and the measures taken to minimize its possible risks," a group of 39 researchers write in a statement published today by Science and Nature. "To provide time for these discussions, we have agreed on a voluntary pause of 60 days on any research involving highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 viruses leading to the generation of viruses that are more transmissible in mammals."

"It's a pity that it has to come to this," says Ron Fouchier, of Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, one of the scientists who took the initiative for the announcement. (Fouchier's H5N1 paper, under review by Science, was one of two that triggered the international debate.) "I would have preferred if this hadn't caused so much controversy, but it has happened and we can't change that. So I think it's the right step to make."

The group calls for "an international forum in which the scientific community comes together to discuss and debate these issues. We realize organizations and governments around the world need time to find the best solutions for opportunities and challenges that stem from the work." That meeting will be hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva in late February, sources tell ScienceInsider.

Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, which funded the studies, strongly supports the moratorium and discussed it at length with Fouchier. "I thought it would be a good idea for the investigators themselves to call for a time-out rather than seeming like we're rushed," says Fauci. "He said if I'm going to do it, let me take the pulse of the others in the field. I really admire that and the fact that he agreed to do it. I felt strongly this was the way to go."

Fauci says he hopes the moratorium will lead to "a more transparent and intelligent discussion" by regulators, scientists, and the public about the issues raised by these experiments. "I have concerns that people understandably concerned about security may put restrictions on important research that might go a little bit too far," he says. "We have to be extremely sensitive to safety and security, and everyone is in agreement on that, but what I would not want to see is an overreaction."

One vocal critic of the flu studies, however, is not impressed, calling the moratorium "pure PR." The letter "includes flatly false statements" about the safety of influenza research labs, Richard Ebright, a biologist at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, wrote in an e-mail. And "the letter rejects, out of hand, the need for enhanced biosafety, biosecurity, and dual-use oversight, and, instead, maintains that all that is needed is an opportunity for researchers 'to assure the public' and 'to clearly explain the benefits of this important research and the measures taken to minimize its possible risk.'" The letter is "strictly symbolic," he writes. "An empty gesture."

"I welcome this development," wrote another critic, John Steinbruner of the University of Maryland, College Park. "But I question the capacity of 'governments' to do anything meaningful within the 60 day period of the announced moratorium. What happens if they do not?" And Steinbruner says he would feel more reassured about the safety of H5N1 research if it took place in more secure laboratories.

The call for the moratorium and summit follows months of rising tension over two studies that describe how researchers made the deadly H5N1 avian influenza more transmissible between mammals'--possibly providing a blueprint on how to set off a flu pandemic. In late December 2011, the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) asked flu researchers to strike key details from the papers, which are in press at Science and Nature. The researchers and the journals agreed, provided that the U.S. government comes up with a mechanism to share those details with bona fide researchers and public health experts. But the deal has sparked extensive criticism'--with some scientists saying the redactions went too far, and others arguing the research should not have been conducted in the first place.

Meanwhile, the episode prompted the U.S. government to rapidly restart a long, moribund process aimed at tightening oversight of so-called "dual use" research'--and WHO to complain that the deal could imperil a carefully negotiated global agreement to share flu viruses and research results. Earlier this month, a New York Times editorial, headlined, "An Engineered Doomsday," even called for the scientists to destroy the H5N1 variants they had created in the name of safety. In Washington, science policy experts warned that, unless the scientific community could reassure the public and lawmakers that it could adequately regulate itself, the controversy could result in onerous new regulations. "The debate is so controversial that we can't rule that out," Fouchier says. "We'd rather have everybody take a breather to reflect carefully on how to handle this."

Against that backdrop, leading scientists'--including NSABB Chair Paul Keim, a microbiologist at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff'--began promoting the idea of a moratorium. It is modeled in part after a landmark moratorium agreed to by recombinant DNA researchers in 1975, who were also facing public doubts about the safety of their new field of research and potential government regulation. That moratorium led to a meeting in Asilomar, California, at which scientists drew up safety guidelines for genetic engineering.

Signers of today's moratorium agreement include the leaders of virtually every major lab in the world conducting H5N1 research.

"The continuous threat of an influenza pandemic represents one of the biggest challenges in public health," the statement begins. "A major obstacle in preventing influenza pandemics is that little is known regarding what makes an influenza virus transmissible in humans. As a consequence, the potential pandemic risk associated with the many different influenza viruses of animals cannot be assessed with any certainty."

In addition to halting H5N1 transmissibility research, "no experiments with live H5N1 or H5 HA reassortant viruses already shown to be transmissible in ferrets will be conducted during this time. We will continue to assess the transmissibility of H5N1 influenza viruses that emerge in nature and pose a continuing threat to human health."

The statement also seeks to reassure the public about safety. Labs currently conducting H5N1 research use "the highest international standards of biosafety and biosecurity practices that effectively prevent the release of transmissible viruses from the laboratory," the authors note. Still, "a perceived fear that the ferret-transmissible H5 HA viruses may escape from the laboratories has generated intense public debate in the media on the benefits and potential harm of this type of research. We would like to assure the public that these experiments have been conducted with appropriate regulatory oversight in secure containment facilities by highly trained and responsible personnel to minimize any risk of accidental release. Whether the ferret-adapted influenza viruses have the ability to transmit from human to human cannot be tested."

According to several sources, WHO is planning a meeting in late February to discuss the issues raised by the research. One of the organization's main worries is that limiting access to the research results and the virus would flout the new pandemic influenza preparedness (PIP) framework, agreed to earlier this year after 4 years of often-acrimonious debate. That agreement stipulates that countries that provide virus samples should also receive the benefits of research with the virus. The main benefit of the research, says WHO in a statement sent to ScienceInsider, is the knowledge that the virus is potentially capable of spreading between mammals and therefore "must continue to be regarded as a high priority risk for pandemic flu. "Beyond that, however, knowing which mutations make transmission possible will be an important tool for global surveillance efforts, it says. Limiting access to that data could hamper global efforts to contain potential pandemic strains.

WHO isn't the only organization that will be hosting discussions of the issue. The American Society for Microbiology is hosting a discussion of the NSABB controversy at a major biodefense meeting in Washington, D.C., on 29 February.

This article was updated at 2:15 p.m. on 20 January. It was corrected on 2 February; AAAS has not added panels on the flu controversy to its annual meetings. ScienceInsider regrets the error.

VIDEO

'We Are Undocumented And Unafraid, Because This Is What We Learned In School'

Link to Article

Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Sun, 03 Feb 2013 13:44

MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them -- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.

MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 325 South Patrick Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. For information about the MRC, please visit www.MRC.org.

Copyright (C) 2013, Media Research Center. All Rights Reserved.

Suicide Bomber That Attacked US Embassy In Turkey Believed To Belong To Leftist Terrorist Group

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Malalai Yousafzai Formally Nominate For The Nobel Peace Prize

French President Visits Mali For Victory Lap

Twitter Says Website Hacked! "AS THE CYBER THREAT SPREADS"

Sen Menendez Accusations Of Sex With Underage Prostitutes "Nameless Faceless Anonymous Allegations"

Boeing Engineer Says 787's Power Distribution Panel Parts Are Cheap Plastic And Prone To Failure

Navy SEAL Sniper Responsible For 160 Kills Shot And Killed At Texas Shooting Range

The 2013 Mercedes Super Bowl Commercial and its Occult Message

Link to Article

Sun, 03 Feb 2013 13:05

The Super Bowl has become much more than a football game. It is a multifaceted event that mixes sports entertainment with the music industry and big corporation advertisement, monopolizing mass media attention for days. This unique yearly event is watched by hundred of millions of people worldwide and is therefore a great platform for the occult elite to push its Agenda. Even worst, its becoming an increasingly blatant celebration of the Illuminati's industry (see last year's article Madonna's Superbowl Halftime Show: A Celebration of the Grand Priestess of the Music Industry).Super Bowl advertisements are also big part of the show '' they are probably more discussed and analyzed than the actual football game. This year, Mercedes stepped into the Super Bowl commercial arena with a cinematic ad promoting a new car model. While it does a good job selling the car, it also communicates other messages to the Super Bowl TV audience. In short, it is the elite delivering a message about who's running the show.

The ad is based on the Faustian concept of selling one's soul for fame and riches, a favorite of the Illuminati industry. In less than 2 minutes, the ad manages to pack some telling symbolism and some realness about the entertainment industry. Here's the ad.Signature RequiredThe ad begins with a guy admiring a billboard featuring the car in question. The Devil then pops up and tells him:

''Make a deal with me kid and you can have the car and everything that goes along with it''.

The Devil tempts the guy to sell his soul.The guy takes the pen and then envisions what would happen if he made a deal with the Devil. Apparently, what would happen to him would be pretty darn cool. According to the ad, this is what happens when you sell your soul:

You become a celebrity and get to date the hottest girl of the moment. This year, its Kate Upton.You get to party with giants of the music industry such as Usher.You become the ''it'' person and your face is featured on magazine covers.You also drive a nice car, have girls running after you and you become a race car champ. So extremely cool. Such a great deal.

Back to reality, the guy looks at the contract that was presented to him by the Devil.

The symbol of the Devil is apparently the reverse of the ancient Chi-Rho symbol that was adopted by the Catholic Church as a symbol of Christ. Notice that the small hourglass-shaped symbol at the left of the inverted ''P'' is similar to the illuminated sign that was between Usher and the guy. Yup, the Devil owned that club.Looking closer at the Devil's rings, we see that the on on top is clearly Masonic. Why would this specific symbol be there? It refers to a real, powerful secret society. There are many symbolic messages in this short commercial.The guy then realizes that the car is affordable enough for him not to sell his soul to obtain it. Good for you, guy, whoever you are.

The ad ends with some subtle occult numerology.

There is fire on the 13 of 2013. Thirteen is probably the most important number in Masonic and occult numerology. It being highlighted is another way of saying that those behind that ad are ''in the know''.So, while the guy did not fall for the Devil's trap, the ad nevertheless showed what is required to rise up the to highest ranks of the entertainment industry. One must make a deal with an evil entity that is apparently a member of a secret society, who then ''magically'' gets you in all the right places in music, fashion and sports. Yes, all of this was conveyed in a short advertisement for a car. Is this another way of the elite to brag about how it runs the show? One thing is for sure, all of the Super Bowl audience will soon be absorb that message'...And some will buy that car.

Source:The Vigilant Citizen

Respected Readers:To help us go ahead with the same spirit, a small contribution from your side will highly be appreciated.

VIDEO-Breakingviews: Gun insurance - YouTube

Link to Article

Sun, 03 Feb 2013 06:09

Wal-Mart Limits Ammunition Sales Because Of Shortage

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Source: Crooks and Liars

Sat, 02 Feb 2013 21:54

Although I don't think they've ever released figures or confirmed it, it's largely believed that Wal-Mart is the largest gun dealer in the country. So of course their loyal customers, faced with possible restrictions on their unlimited right to get drunk and shoot at sh*t in the woods, are stocking up. (Also because of the black helicopters, FEMA camps and the Kenyan coming for their freedom.)

Faced with months of surging demand, Wal-Mart is rationing sales of ammunition.

The nation's largest retailer is limiting ammunition sales at its stores across the country to three boxes per customer, per day.

Guns and ammunition have been flying off store shelves since President Obama's reelection in November, and the firearm rush only picked up in the wake of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December.

More and more people are buying up guns while they have the chance, since many are worried that their right to buy assault weapons could be curtailed with gun control legislation. The increased demand has hit Wal-Mart's ammunition supply.

"Right now we're monitoring supply issues daily, since supply is limited at this time," said Ashley Hardie, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman. "We're trying to take care of as many customers as possible and we're working with suppliers to put products back on shelves."

Hardie said that the purchase limit will stay in place until the retailer is able to resolve the shortage.

NBC's Andrea Mitchell Frets Over Climate Change to Al Gore: 'Do We Still Have Time?'

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Fri, 01 Feb 2013 15:46

In an interview with Al Gore aired on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Andrea Mitchell treated the former Vice President like a climate change prophet: "Floods. Fires. Historic drought. Some of the dire consequences Al Gore warns about if we don't act on climate change. Do we still have time?"

Erin Burnett: Is Someone That Kills A Prostitute Playing GTA More Likely To Kill People?

VIDEO-CEO of Wikimedia on making a site useful for billions | Marketplace.org

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Fri, 01 Feb 2013 14:12

So you're at your computer. Try Googling something. How about..."Ben Bernanke." Almost certainly, the first thing that you type for almost anything is a Wikipedia entry. Information written mostly by about 15,000 active users -- not a huge group, when you think about it.

Sue Gardner is the executive director of the WikiMedia Foundation, of which Wikipedia is a part.

Turns out, there's not much different between the business models of WikiMedia and public radio. Both have to ask for money to help support their content. And that model's working really well for WikiMedia -- Gardner says in their latest campaign, they made $2.7 million a day. That's up from $430,000 a day the year before.

But financing aside, Gardner says Wikipedia has a lot of room for growth. Though the website has entries in 286 languages, the entries that get the most edits are in English by people in developed countries.

She also says the huge disparity between the number of male editors and female editors -- nine out of 10 editors are men -- is also troubling.

"It stems from the origins of the project," Gardner says. "So when people were first interacting online in 2001, the folks who were interacting online tended to skew heavily heavily male." She says WikiMedia works actively now to recruit female editors.

When will you see an ad on Wikipedia? Never, says Gardner. She then hedges a bit -- "if it were a choice between putting ads on Wikipedia or shutting down Wikipedia, we would then very reluctantly consider putting ads on Wikipedia."

And of course, you're probably wondering what Gardner thinks about criticism of the site's accuracy. "Everybody's saying, be skeptical of Wikipedia. That is true. They should also be skeptical of everything. We should all be critical consumers of the media."

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