Last Thursday, America woke up to the horrifying news of a massacre in a historic black church. Dylann Roof, a devout racist, walked into a Bible study, listened to innocent people discuss their faith for an hour, and then shot and killed nine of them in cold blood.
Two days after the killings, Americans were shocked once again -- but this time, the surprise came from the families and friends of the murdered churchgoers. One by one, gathered at Roof's bond hearing, a group of Christians publicly forgave and prayed for a decidedly evil person who, except for a few fleeting, eye-flickering onscreen moments, seemed without a soul.
It was the Gospel in practice.
ric Casebolt is no longer a police officer in the city of McKinney, Texas. The now-viral video of Casebolt's unprofessional conduct at a pool party run amok in a north Texas neighborhood all but guaranteed that he would not be long for his position. But since the video clearly shows that, among several officers who responded to the chaotic scene last Friday, Casebolt was alone in overreacting, the demonstrators who have flocked to McKinney can claim victory and return home now, right? Hardly. "Black Lives Matter" protesters -- reduced now to a core band of itinerant malefactors -- immediately condemned the incident in McKinney as yet another episode of racially motivated police violence.
t the Treasury Department, the memo came down from the deputy executive secretary, Wally Adeyemo, in December of 2009. Going forward, the memo stated, "sensitive information" requested under the Freedom of Information Act was to be reviewed not only by career FOIA officials but also by a committee of political appointees, including Adeyemo and representatives from the public-affairs, legislative-affairs, and general counsel's office, before release.
What followed was an unusual review of Treasury FOIA requests by high-ranking political officials. And it didn't just happen at Treasury, but at the IRS and the Department of Homeland Security, too. Current and former FOIA attorneys at these agencies say documents requested by the media have come in for special scrutiny, called "sensitive review," often holding up release for weeks or months. At times, these officials say, political officials delayed the production of documents for political convenience.
Many health insurers are proposing double-digit premium increases for individual policies in 2016, with some companies looking to boost rates more than 60%, according to a list posted Monday by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In Florida, for instance, United Healthcare wants to raise the rates of plans sold on the Obamacare exchange by an average of 18%. Individual policies available outside the exchange through United Healthcare or through a broker would go up by 31%, on average, with hikes as high as 60% for certain plans in certain locations. Insurers say they want to hike rates because enrollees are going to the doctor, getting lab work and filling prescriptions more than they had originally anticipated. "We've seen a great pent-up demand for services," said Aaron Billger, spokesman for Highmark, a Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee.
The New York Times had first shot in 2014 at the video of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber mocking the "stupidity of the American voter," but took a pass.
Though the Times eventually followed up on reports of the MIT economist's now-infamous remarks on the passage of the Affordable Care Act, it did so only after they had generated a national scandal.
Times' reporter Robert Pear was the "first real journalist" that tipster Rich Weinstein contacted with the newly unearthed footage, he told the Washington Examiner.
Weinstein met Pear at a conference in Washington, D.C., when he was trying to find a reporter who he could tip off to a separate Obamacare issue involving contracts between the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and CGI Federal, the company that was brought on to build healthcare.gov.