Archive for California

Six Long Weeks

President Obama returned from Hawaii on January 2nd. Since which Ukraine has all but been lost, an American woman and a Jordanian pilot have been murdered by ISIS (only the more notable of their subhuman slaughter), Boko Haram has continued its raping and pillaging without respite, and all manner of “folks” have randomly shot to death other “folks” in a spree of random folks-on-folks crime. Randomly.

How has he stayed off the golf course for so long?

President Obama arrived at Sunnylands just before 10:30 a.m. to meet three of his friends for a round of golf at the popular Rancho Mirage tourist attraction. A spokesman for Sunnylands earlier this week told us that no public events at the venue were cancelled.

We learned that two of the President’s friends from Hawaii, Bobby Titcomb, and Greg Orme, along with a friend from Chicago, Marty Nesbitt joined the President for at least one round of golf.

Our photographer Chris Tarpening was staking out Sunnylands, when he saw the foursome approach the greens, and caught a rare glimpse of the President teeing off, on the estate’s private course. The President finished Saturday’s round a little after 6:00 p.m.

There is no shortage of pictures of Obama playing golf, but very few in recent years. While his rounds have only increased in number, media access has all but dried up. Hence that “rare glimpse” after a “stakeout”.

The Obama cabal know too well that memories are short. Control the imagery, and you control the story.

Why, it was only last year at this very time:

President Barack Obama traveled to California Friday to highlight the state’s drought emergency at two events near Fresno, calling for shared sacrifice to help manage the state’s worst water-shortage in decades. He then spent the rest of the weekend enjoying the hospitality of some of the state’s top water hogs: desert golf courses.

Vacationing with DVDs of his favorite television shows and multiple golf outings with his buddies, the duffer-in-chief played at two of the most exclusive courses in the Palm Springs area. On Saturday, Obama played at the Sunnylands estate, built by the late billionaire Walter Annenberg, which features a nine-hole course that is played like 18 holes. The following day he golfed at billionaire Oracle founder Larry Ellison’s 19-hole Porcupine Creek. On Presidents’ Day, Obama hit the links at Sunnylands once again.

The 124 golf courses in the Coachella Valley consume roughly 17 percent of all water there, and one quarter of the water pumped out of the region’s at-risk groundwater aquifer, according to the Coachella Valley Water District. Statewide, roughly one percent of water goes to keep golf courses green. Each of the 124 Coachella Valley courses, on average, uses nearly 1 million gallons a day due to the hot and dry climate, 3-4 times more water per day than the average American golf course.

Good thing California’s drought is a thing of the past.

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You Didn’t Build That Business

And you didn’t ruin it either.

Government did:

Borderlands Books, a much-praised science-fiction and comic-book store in San Francisco, opened for business in 1997. It has survived two recessions, a 100 percent rent increase, the opening of big chain bookstores, and the rise of Amazon’s deep-discounting online empire. What will finally force it to close its doors next month is San Francisco’s proposed increase in the minimum wage, which will hit $12.25 an hour in May.

Owner Alan Beatts minced no words about the reason for his store’s closure: “Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to the minimum wage.” Ironically, he said 2014 was the store’s best year in its 18-year history, and the store turned a small profit and was able to employ six people. But Beatts says the planned increases in the city’s minimum-wage law — which top out at $15 an hour by 2018 — will sink him. He would either have to increase sales by 20 percent (unrealistic) or reduce the staff to two managers and one part-time employee — all of whom would have to work greatly extended hours. “Keeping up our morale and continuing to serve our customers while knowing that we are going to close has been very painful for all of us over the past three months,” Beatts wrote in a statement to his customers. “Continuing to do so for even longer would be horrible. Far better to close at a time of our choosing, keep everyone’s sorrow to a minimum, and then get on with our lives.”

How perfect an epitaph for the bookstore, for California, for the nation as a whole: “Keep everyone’s sorrow to a minimum, and then get on with our lives.” American lives will be much reduced, our capacity for joy diminished to almost nothing, but better than the “painful”, “horrible” alternative of fighting against pervasive progressive orthodoxy. Retreat to ever smaller enclaves of liberty, however curtailed and illusory. Idaho, in other words.

PS: Don’t worry about the bookstore employees. They’ll be raking it in as fry cooks at Wendy’s.

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A Fool and His Money

Not soon enough:

Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer announced Thursday that he will not enter the race to succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer in California, a move that reshaped the early contest that has attracted a pack of potential candidates.

He said in a statement on The Huffington Post that global warming will “define the success or failure of our generation,” and the nation needs leadership in, and outside of, government.

“Given the imperative of electing a Democratic president — along with my passion for our state — I believe my work right now should not be in our nation’s capital but here at home in California, and in states around the country where we can make a difference,” he wrote.

Steyer will be seen as a prospect for a future campaign and signaled he intends to remain active in politics. Seeking to make climate change an issue, he poured about $74 million into 2014 races.

“The road we take may be less traveled and less well marked, but I am very determined. The journey is far from over — in fact, it has just begun,” he wrote.

Probably true, alas. Blowing money at a rate of $74 million every two years, he won’t run out until 2040, give or take a midterm.

But the nation’s loss is California’s gain. She’s tanned, she’s rested, she’s ready…she’s Sheehan!

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Hangin’ With My Homies

College campuses are reliably leftist, and they don’t come more leftist than Berkeley.

Which is why we’re not surprised:

Effigies of black lynching victims found hanging on a Northern California college campus have sparked debate over whether the images are powerful protest art or just plain tasteless and racist.

The photographic images were found Saturday morning hanging at two prominent spots on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. They were discovered a few hours before a demonstration against police brutality organized by a black student union was to start. Police are investigating, but officials say they still don’t know who hanged the images or the motivation.

“It’s unclear if this is racially motivated effort or an effort at something else,” campus spokeswoman Claire Holmes said.

Do you think if these effigies had been displayed at, say, Bob Jones University, there would have been a question about the “motivation”? Why give the benefit of the doubt to the socialist redoubt in the Bay Area?

Because there is a “motivation”, however “queer”:

Sunday Dec. 14, 5 p.m.: An anonymous artists’ collective has taken responsibility for the effigies strung up in nooses at UC Berkeley on Saturday.

The statement from the collective:

“We are a collective of queer and POC artists responsible for the images of historical lynchings posted to several locations in Berkeley and Oakland,” reads a notice the group found posted on campus Sunday. “These images connect past events to present ones – referencing endemic faultlines of hatred and persecution that are and should be deeply unsettling to the American consciousness. We choose to remain anonymous because this is not about us as artists, but about the growing movement to address these pervasive wrongs.”

“For those who think these images are no longer relevant to the social framework in which black Americans exist everyday – we respectfully disagree. Garner, Brown, and others are victims of systemic racism. For those who think these images depict crimes and attitudes too distasteful to be seen .. we respectfully disagree. Our society must never forget. For those under the mistaken assumption that the images themselves were intended as an act of racism – we vehemently disagree and intended only the confrontation of historical context.”

“We apologize solely and profusely to Black Americans who felt further attacked by this work. We are sorry – your pain is ours, our families’, our history’s. To all, each image represents a true life ended by an unimaginable act of ignorance and human cruelty: Laura Nelson, George Meadows, Michael Donald, Charlie Hale, Garfield Burley, Curtis Brown. We urge you to further research the lives and deaths of these individuals. History must be confronted.”

POC means persons of color, I take it. Not colored persons, but persons of color. Nice of them to apologize, though. Five words out of 230, buried deep within the screed, directed “solely” at 13% of Americans.

Some of whom aren’t buying:

Berkeley Pastor Michael McBride told the Oakland Tribune that he sees no redeeming quality to the display.

“This is racial terror they are experiencing,” said McBride, who is also co-director of Intervarsity’s Black Campus Ministries at UC Berkeley. “I don’t care if it was a white person, a black person, a blue person, if it was an adversary or ally, these images strewed across campus have terrorized my students.”

I followed the suggestion of the “queers” and POCs and looked up every name they listed. All but one were lynched over a century ago. Hanged by the neck until dead by a terrorist mob yes, but none more recent than 1911. Did the queers and the POCs think we didn’t know that happened? And why equate murdered innocents with two people, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, whose actual law-breaking led people to call the cops?

I will give them full credit for re-exposing one lynching we may have wished to forget. That of Michael Donald in 1981.

Berkeley, man. No [bleeping] wonder.

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BTL: Right Again As Ever

Rush likes to boast that he’s 98.7% accurate (or whatever), but it’s not that hard when you learn how to read the stitches on the curveball (as he also says).

We said this but five days ago:

[White House spokesman Shawn] Turner noted, however, that the estimated 5 million immigrants granted protection from deportation will not be eligible for other federal benefits such as student financial aid, food stamps or housing subsidies. Nor are they eligible to purchase health insurance through the federal health-care exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

To which we responded:

Yet.

Yesterday…

President Barack Obama’s executive order to spare some immigrants from deportation has galvanized Democrats, immigration groups and health care advocates in California to push for expanding health coverage to a segment of the population that remains uninsured.

The president’s action excludes immigrants who came to the country illegally from qualifying for federal health benefits. But California has its own policy of providing health coverage with state money to low-income immigrants with so-called “deferred action” that allow them to avoid deportation. Immigrant and health care advocates say that means Obama’s executive order will enable hundreds of thousands of low-income immigrants in California to apply for Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid.

Great. Another million mouths to feed.

Hang on, BTL, you say? It’s not ObamaCare they’re getting, but Medi-Cal.

You interrupted me:

Medi-Cal is a health program for the poor paid for by the federal government and the state. It has grown by about 3 million people in California under federal health care reform and now covers more than 11 million Californians, about 30 percent of the state’s population. The federal government is paying for the expansion, but the state will eventually pay 10 percent of additional costs to cover low-income adults, many of whom are childless.

You want to explain to me how “hundreds of thousands” (estimates of California’s illegals range to nearly three million) of illegal aliens getting health insurance paid in part by the federal government (you and me) is not “health insurance through the federal health-care exchange”?

We need to find that Frenchman who invented a pill that makes flatulence smell like roses. Obama is farting in our face with impunity. If we can’t stick a plug in him, we shouldn’t have to suffer from his stench.

PS: Conservatives believe in the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, which assigns rights and powers to the states not otherwise assigned to the federal government. That belief stops when a given state behaves irresponsibly and irrationally—Illinois with pensions, California with illegals—leaving the federal government (you and me) to pick up the pieces. And the bill.

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A Prophylactic Loss

Sandra Fluke ran for Congress in California, and lost—to another Democrat!

The face of the Obamacare contraception mandate has lost her bid for state Senate in California’s 26th Congressional District.

Sandra Fluke was facing off against another Democrat, Ben Allen, who is a board member of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

The women’s rights activist received 39 percent of the vote while Allen won with 61 percent.

In the War on Women, sweetheart, you just became France! That was a spanking.

I had forgotten she was running for office, as indeed did many liberals.

I wonder what her pitch was?

My career has always been devoted to the public interest and fighting for social justice.

Career? What career? She came to the public eye only because she had the ‘nads to demand that a Catholic institution at which she was a mere student pay for her birth control. If that’s a “career” what box does she check on the census under “Profession” (other than “professional”—sorry, sorry, bad joke)?

I believed it was my responsibility to use the microphone I was given to advocate for the progressive policies I’ve always fought for: affordable health care, access to a quality education, LGBTQ rights and economic justice.

What, no rubbers?

Sandra graduated cum laude [wipe that smirk off your face] from Georgetown University Law Center as a Public Interest Law Scholar with a Certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies. In 2003, she received a B.S. [wipe that one off too] from Cornell University in Policy Analysis and Management, as well as Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies [I’ll bet she did]. Sandra and her husband, Adam, live in West Hollywood with their dog, Mr. President.

No kids, huh? Well, give those two lovebirds time. Can’t keep their hands off each other.

For more than two years, Sandra worked with a grassroots coalition to pass the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, which was signed into law by Governor Brown in 2013 and is designed to ensure domestic workers have the same protections that other workers enjoy. At the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking in Los Angeles, Sandra is one of the longest running volunteer attorneys representing victims of human trafficking. She has advocated for student loan debt relief, access to early childhood education and for raising the minimum wage.

I stand corrected. If “volunteer attorney” at the “Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking” isn’t partnership track, I don’t know what is. Her dog may be Mr. President, but alas she will not be Congresswoman Fluke.

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Have You Seen Me?

Be creeped. Be very creeped:

Reports of creepy clowns carrying knives and other weapons have been scaring people in the California city of Bakersfield for the past week, police said on Sunday.

In the latest incident, a person telephoned the Bakersfield Police Department on Saturday night, reporting a clown armed with a firearm, said watch commander Lieutenant Jason Matson.

“We’ve been having sightings all over the city,” Matson said. “They range from anywhere from a guy carrying a gun to a guy carrying a knife running up to houses.”

The Bakersfield Californian newspaper reported earlier in the week that at least some of the reports were hoaxes. Matson said he did not know whether the incidents were pranks.

At least one of the reports was not a hoax – police arrested a teen on Friday who had dressed up as a clown and was chasing children on the west side of town, Matson said. The juvenile, whose name was not released, said he was doing it to perpetrate a hoax he had seen online.

He’s the Wasco Blown, and he has his own Twitter account.

And Instagram

And perhaps more than a few admirers and imitators:

Halloween came early to Wasco and Bakersfield.

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Another ObamaCare Success Story!

They said the passage of ObamaCare would be good for the economy, and darned if they weren’t right:

California’s health insurance exchange has awarded $184 million in contracts without the competitive bidding and oversight that is standard practice across state government.

An Associated Press review of contracting records finds some of those deals sent millions of dollars to a firm whose employees have ties to the agency’s executive director.

Awarding no-bid contracts is unusual in state government, where rules promote competition to give taxpayers the best deal and avoid ethical conflicts.

The Legislature gave Covered California broad authority to award no-bid contracts to meet federal deadlines to get the agency running.

Several contracts worth a total of $4.2 million went to The Tori Group, a consulting firm whose founder has strong ties to agency Executive Director Peter Lee.

Lee says he picked the best people for the job.

Trust us, they said. You’ll love ObamaCare. We didn’t. Trust us with no-bid contracts; we won’t hose you. They did. Thank you, California, for making all of us in Massachusetts feel a little less stupid.

PS: This story ought to make those seeing their plans canceled or their costs spike feel a little better. Or not.

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Beverly Shill-Billy

I would have thought that for a person with national political ambitions, languishing in a state senate would feel like exile. But a young political organizer named Barry Sotero, whose “presence” in Springfield, IL for an eternity of eight years must have felt like Elba, showed those with inflated opinions of themselves that state government offered more opportunity than first met the eye.

All you need, beside the outsized ego, is… well, that’s about all you need:

Sandra Fluke has moved on to the general election in the race to represent California’s 26th District in the state Senate, the Associated Press reports.

Fluke finished second in the open primary, following rival Ben Allen. Both will compete in November for the seat being vacated by state Sen. Ted Lieu (D), who’s running for Congress this year.

Fluke came to national prominence in 2012 after testifying before Congress in favor of mandatory contraception coverage. She became the target of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who called the then-Georgetown Law student a “slut.”

The attorney and activist, who spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention following Limbaugh’s attacks, briefly weighed running for outgoing Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-Calif.) House seat before deciding to run for the state Senate instead.

That’s the Georgetown Law (and Cornell undergrad) mind on display. Her sister in Socialism, Cindy Sheehan (an ugly step-sister, if I may rudely and honestly observe), shot too high, the California Governorship, but got no closer to that office than her lean-to in Crawford, TX. Sandra knew it wasn’t the office, but the ambition, that defined the office holder—especially when that office represents Beverly Hills and Hollywood.

Forget streetlights, pot holes, and pot dispensaries, Sandra Fluke—Senator Fluke to you, Rush—has higher (or lower) aims:

Protect women’s health care rights!

Any day now, the Supreme Court will announce its decision in the Hobby Lobby case. The case could have far-reaching implications for whether private companies can refuse to offer their employees’ health insurance with contraception coverage.

Plain and simple — A woman’s boss should not have a say in her health care decisions. No one’s boss should. The stakes are too high for us to be silent.

Please join Sandra Fluke and the DCCC and sign this petition declaring that a woman’s boss should not have a say in her health care decisions.

A woman’s boss should not have a say in her health care decisions.

Agreed. But we’re not talking about setting broken bones or treating breast cancer. That’s health care, and irrelevant to an employer. Abortion and contraception (two radically different things, in my view) might also be health care, but hardly irrelevant to an employer being asked to pay for them. Especially an employer with religious objections. Does a woman have a say in her boss’s morality?

The law has to find common sense middle ground between absurd extremes. Could a Christian Science employer withhold insurance that used medicine? Could an employee require his or her employer to add or subtract certain body parts? To mutilate or decorate those remaining?

It’s dishonest of Sandra to disguise abortion as “women’s health care rights”—hence her bright future in politics. I won’t predict what the Supreme Court will say, beyond guessing that it will be a split decision, with strong sentiments on both sides. One side will “win”, without exactly being “right”.

And Sandra Fluke will have gone from “slut” to Senator (albeit State Senator, in Sacramento) in this great nation of ours. Though the difference is less than you might imagine.

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Maybe They Can Replace it With the Pol Pot-au-Feu

What’s the special at the Che Guevara Collective (and why didn’t they call it “The Motorcycle Dairies”?), Bourgeois Bourguignon?

University of California-San Diego students have run the “Che Café Collective” for 34 years, a vegan co-op and concert venue boasting “exorbitantly low” prices and volunteer staffing. But it’s consistently in the red, costing the student body nearly $1 million over the years, and isn’t kept up to fire or safety codes. School officials are threatening to cut off funding, which would shut down the campus fixture, but a band of students is fighting back.

“The venue has been operating for 34 years and it’s the longest-running volunteer space in Southern California, if not in all of California,” café volunteer Rene Vera told FoxNews.com. “And our building is covered in murals that document a lot of that history.”

You say murals, we say graffiti.

In its heyday, the café hosted up-and-coming acts like Nirvana and Green Day. Staffers would feed the band, often with donated food, and the audience got the leftovers. The decidedly un-capitalist business model worked until crowds began to dwindle, extensive repairs were ordered by campus fire marshals and student groups got sick of subsidizing it.

The university’s student-run newspaper, The Guardian, characterized the venue as a “money pit consistently plagued with safety issues” in a recent editorial, urging its principals to start utilizing better fiscal management of nearly $1 million of student fees are used for renovations.

“Many students also don’t realize that the money being spent on the café’s renovation comes directly from student fees; in other words, we are collectively pouring almost one million dollars of our money into repairing a cooperative that the vast majority of us don’t even use.”

“I do not believe Che Cafe closing will be a severe blow to the campus’ overall aesthetic,” soon-to-be graduate Marco Vasquez, a political science major and vice chair of the university’s College Republicans, told FoxNews.com in an e-mail. “The majority of students that I have spoken to do not know what or where the Che Cafe is, given that it is on the edge of campus. Those who do know either visit it regularly or describe it as creepy.”

The perfect descriptor for its namesake.

When I was a kid, I knew a kid burdened with the name Che by his parents. (My parents mixed with that crowd.) I bet he’s going by Ernesto—even Ernest—now.

PS: Does one get the Trotskys after eating at the Che Guevara Collective?

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Why Not the Best?

As with so many things, Jimmy Carter said it first and best:

But if California could ever use a governor with the experience and wisdom of Cindy Sheehan (a debatable proposition), that time is now:

Whoops!

I mean:

Which metro area in the U.S. has suffered a greater economic collapse over the last two decades than Detroit? Hint: It’s a common fundraising stop for President Obama. The answer, according to a new UCLA Anderson School of Management study, is Los Angeles.

Th researchers say Los Angeles has lost 3.1% of its employment base since 1990, more than Cleveland (-0.2%) and Detroit (-2.8%). Job growth over the same period has exceeded 50% in Phoenix, Orlando, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. Los Angeles “displays a tale of two cities in terms of job growth,” the study notes. “From 2005 to 2012, West L.A. had a payroll job growth of 3% while the rest of L.A. took a 5.1% hit in job loss.”

Cindy’s the one who’s running, but it sounds like a job for another once-high-flying liberal heartthrob now fallen on hard times:

Anything to make a buck, right? But seriously, you think Cindy’s going to let this situation stand? Then you don’t know Cindy:

CINDY FOR GOVERNOR!

PS: Just for laughs:

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The UnDeadline [UPDATED]

No, this isn’t a post about zombies—or is it?

Monday marks the final day of Obamacare’s first open enrollment period — sort of — but the health care law’s hasn’t been implemented in its entirety or even close to on time.

Despite all the Obama administration’s talk about Republicans “obstructing” the health care law, federal officials and Obamacare administrators have done far more damage to the health care law by delaying some of its most central provisions. Here’s the Daily Caller News Foundation’s list of the ways the Obama administration has taken apart its own law, piece by piece.

It’s very long, but it’s encyclopedic (make that “but” an “and”). I would also note that Republicans in the House have tried to pass laws (of the land), Constitutional (bitches) laws, to legitimize what Kaiser Obama has rendered wholly illegitimate. Only for those laws to die in the Democrat Senate (under threat of veto by the Kaiser).

Today is a deadline—sort of—because all you have to do is say you tried to sign up but were thwarted by the universally reviled website. It’s an ironclad alibi.

MARCH 25, 2014: The Obama administration extends its enrollment deadline, letting consumers who already began the HealthCare.gov online initiation check a box stating that they were unable to enroll before the deadline. They’ll have until mid-April to sign up. (RELATED: White House extends Obamacare deadline yet again)

So, we are to believe that the Kaiser’s regime (“reich”?) will finally implement the law? I don’t—or rather, I don’t think he’ll implement the law as we think it is written. He will wield the law as he has all along, as a political tool.

To wit:

A couple in La Mesa, California received a voter registration card from California’s Obamacare exchange already pre-marked for the Democratic Party.

The couple did not want their identities revealed but told local station 10 News that they received an envelope addressed from Covered California, the state’s exchange, with a letter and registration card from the health care marketplace. They’ve always been registered to vote Republican.

Covered California is in the midst of sending out voter registration cards to all of its sign-ups, due to pressure from left-wing groups threatening legal action if they don’t comply.

Between private coverage and Medicaid sign ups, nearly four million Californians will receive voter registration cards.

With at least one couple’s Obamacare voter registration card illegally pre-marked as Democratic, worries over tying voter registration to the Democratic health care program could gain momentum.

To be fair to the Kaiser, KaiserCare has been a political Verdun: a long, slow bloodletting. So, if he tries to use it as a tool for community organizing, one should cut him a little slack. Just because four million Californians will be sent voter ID cards pre-marked “Democrat” doesn’t mean that’s how they’ll vote…does it?

UPDATE
[Bleep] you can’t make up:

People trying to apply and enroll for private health insurance through Obamacare before Monday’s midnight deadline discovered the website was “currently unavailable.”

Healthcare.gov, the online marketplace bedeviled by bugs since its launch last fall, went down for several hours Monday morning, a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services said. It was back online later in the morning after a short time when it put customers in a “queue,” meaning they’d be notified by email when they could proceed with enrollment.

“Consumers may also complete their application by calling the call center at 1-800-318-2596. The federal data services hub is working normally,” HHS said.

An administration spokesman said the website is usually offline for maintenance overnight, and was brought down for four extra hours by a technical glitch — not a rush of procrastinators or hackers.

Oh, a glitch! That’s better.

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