GOOD NEWS: New Head of HHS Was Responsible for Making Outrageous Government Shutdown Decisions

Guest post by Marguerite Bowling

President Obama’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services led the federal government’s response during last year’s “shutdown”—which included officials erecting barricades around open-air monuments.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell—who was deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, among other roles—currently serves as Obama’s director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Obama formally announced today that he will nominate Burwell to replace outgoing HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose resignation went public yesterday.

“When the government was forced to shut down last October…Sylvia was a rock, a steady hand,” Obama said in a Rose Garden ceremony this morning. He repeatedly praised Sebelius for her leadership and noted that Burwell’s “prudent manager” skills would be needed for the “tough challenges” of running the nation’s health agency.

The government largely closed down after Congress failed to enact a continuing budget resolution providing funds for fiscal year 2014. During the 16-day shutdown, 800,000 federal workers were furloughed, the National Zoo’s “panda cam” went dark, and the National Park Service set up barriers to open-air monuments, citing security concerns.

Sebelius, widely blamed for the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act’s online health exchanges and other mishaps, said HHS was making “tremendous progress” to implement the health law known as Obamacare.

One more glitch plagued Sebelius, though, toward the end of her remarks. ”Unfortunately, a page is missing,” she said calmly, before ab-libbing the remainder.

She leaves after five years, despite saying only days earlier that she would stay with HHS through November.

Burwell said that she looks forward to further implementing Obamacare. Among lawmakers and pundits praising the nomination was Sen. John McCain (R–Ariz.), who said on Twitter: “Sylvia Burwell is an excellent choice to be the next #HHS Secretary.”

However, Burwell could be in for a tough confirmation process. Although she was easily confirmed by the Senate a year ago to head OMB by a vote of 96-0, this time — ahead of the mid-term elections – she could face resistance, as Politico reported.

Read more at The Foundry.

Doug Ross @ Journal

Larwyn’s Linx: Obama’s New Unilateral Law: Making America’s Small Businesses Sign a Loyalty Oath

Send us tips! Bloggers: install a Larwyn’s Linx widget. Get real-time news, 24/7, at BadBlue.


Obama’s New Unilateral Law: Making Businesses Sign a Loyalty Oath: Ace
Should the President Be Impeached?: Jeffrey Lord
Hot Off The Presses: Devastating New ‘Executive Power’ Video: Scoop

Ted Cruz on debt ceiling hike: in November, Americans will remember: TPNN
Obama’s Fate: J.R. Dunn
9th Circuit Smashes San Diego’s Concealed Carry Restrictions: Damon Root

Dirty Dozen: Senate Republicans Who Voted to Silence Cruz: Dean Garrison
Keywords: Barack Obama, Cult of Personality, 2010-2020, Democrats: Moe Lane
SCF levels harshest attack yet on Mitch McConnell: Exam

Quinnipiac Study: Concealed Carry Results in Fewer Murders: TruthRevolt
Thousands of CT Gun Owners Refuse Unconstitutional Gun Control Law: Publius
Cuomo aide caught breaking gun law, quickly receives waiver: Will Rahn


Five Years Later: How’s that Wreckovery Working Out?: Michelle Malkin
Why even have a debt limit?: AWD
Paul Krugman’s Greatest Hits: American Digest

Scandal Central

Vulnerable Dems Want To Sic IRS On Opponents: S&L
Homeland Security to Activate ‘National License Plate Recognition Database’: DC Clothesline
Flashback: Valerie Jarrett’s Father-in-Law Head of Communist Youth: MagNote (2011)

Mexico: A Different Kind of Gun Story: DiploMad
No names announced during debt-ceiling vote so GOP sellouts could secretly switch: Hot Air
8 Police Officers Fire 103 Times At 2 Unarmed Women Delivering Newspapers: Jonathan Turley

Climate & Energy

Time to end the Secret Science at the EPA: Exam
EPA bans wood-burning stoves; fireplaces could be next: RWN
Illinois Electricity Customers Forced to Get ‘Smart Meters’ or Pay Fine: WS


Surprise! GOP Fights FCC on Behalf of MSM Freedoms: Anchoress
Tweet of the Day, @BarackObama And Imperial Presidencies edition: Moe Lane
Americans Don’t Like Obama’s End Runs: Keith Koffler

The Golden Egg: The Hillary Papers and the Death of the Mainstream Media: WFB
Mann vs. Steyn: The Trial of the Century: RCP
Why Do Liberals Have To Ruin Everything?: Glob

Americans: Where Have You Gone?: David Limbaugh
RUSH: This Is Way Beyond A Banana Republic Now. This Is Stalinism.: NoisyRm
‘That’s a joke, right?’ Joe Scarborough floated as possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate: Twitchy


Who’s afraid of Barack Obama?: Post
Olympic coverage sweeps Soviet horrors under the rug: Jonah Goldberg
French Reporters Scolded For Oval Office Selfies: My Philthy-delphia

UN Small Arms Treaty: 80 Million Determined Gun Owners Should be Quite an Obstacle: David Risselada
UN to Vatican: Your Theology Violates Child Rights: Parental Rights
John Podesta, Obama regulation czar, also helped UN develop radical new global agenda: George Russell

Sci-Tech (courtesy BadBlue Tech News)

Proposed federal law would require smartphone ‘kill switches’: AppleInsider
Ancient Reptile Live Birth Discovered in 248-Million-Year Old Fossil: Benita Matilda
Deadly Monster Winter Storm Batters US Eastern Seaboard: UniverseToday


Emperor: 90 Miles
NY Fashion Week: It’s not just an exhibition, it’s a competition: MOTUS
This Bride Is About to Do Something So Unique While Walking Down the Aisle…: Blaze

Image: Ancient Reptile Live Birth Discovered in 248-Million-Year Old Fossil
Today’s Larwyn’s Linx sponsored by: Send Senate Conservatives Fund As Much As You Can NOW

QOTD: “David Axelrod, President Obama’s top strategist when he defeated Hillary Clinton in 2008, wants Democratic donors to focus on the 2014 elections, rather than Clinton’s likely campaign.

“With the Senate seriously at risk, and the Koch Brothers spending prodigiously, shouldn’t Dem funders be focused on ’14 and not ’16 races?” Axelrod tweeted Thursday afternoon, in what appears to be a very thinly veiled allusion to the Clinton machine that is already coming together.” —Joel Gehrke

Doug Ross @ Journal

Thank you for blessing the poor & needy in Israel. Read The Joshua Fund’s 2013 Donor Report online to learn more about the difference you’re making.


>> If you would like to make a tax-deductible, year-end financial gift to The Joshua Fund, we would be very grateful. You give securely on-line by clicking here.

Dear faithful friend of The Joshua Fund –

Because of you — through your faithful prayers and generous financial support — the Lord has touched the lives of thousands of Jewish and Arab families in the epicenter in real and practical ways with the love of Jesus Christ.

A few examples:

  • By God’s grace, The Joshua Fund provided food and other relief supplies to more than 43,940 poor and needy Jewish and Arab families this year — an increase of more than 4% over 2012.
  • Two new distribution centers have just opened, bringing us to a total of 14 centers distributing relief supplies throughout Israel. We are prayerfully considering opening 2 or 3 new distribution centers in 2014.
  • We have had the honor of helping Christian ministries that are doing relief work among refugees escaping the civil war in Syria.
  • TJF has also planned and funded retreats for pastors and ministry leaders, and provided biblical training, encouragement and refreshment for those serving throughout the epicenter region.

On our website,, we have posted the 2013 Donor Report to give you a sense of the many projects you have helped to fund in 2013, and get a glimpse of the lives the Lord has blessed because of you.

We have also posted a short video message I recently taped sharing some of the highlights of the Donor Report.

I hope you will pour yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee and sit down beside the fireplace and watch the video and read through the report. In the process, I hope you will be encouraged by what God has done through your investment.

From all of us on the Board and staff of The Joshua Fund — both here in North America and in Israel — thank you so much for standing with us. We count it a great privilege to serve you in this work.

Yours for blessing Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus,

Joel C. Rosenberg

Founder and President, The Joshua Fund

>> If you would like to make a generous, tax-deductible, year-end financial gift to The Joshua Fund, we would be very grateful. You give securely on-line by clicking here.

Or, you can send a check in the mail. Please make your check payable to “The Joshua Fund” and send to:

  • The Joshua Fund
  • PO Box 2589
  • Monument, CO  80132-2589

Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Is the Bible making a comeback? Hollywood blockbusters about Jesus, Noah and Moses set to release in 2014.

religion-comebackIs Hollywood rediscovering the greatest story ever told?

In a year in which The History Channel’s “The Bible” was the most-watched miniseries on cable TV; the Pope was Time magazine’s “Person of the Year”; Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Jesus, is a New York Times best-seller; and the faith of Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson is the talk of the country, perhaps it’s not surprising that major motion picture studios are preparing to release Biblical blockbusters in 2014 about Jesus, Noah, and Moses, to name just a few.

When I took my family to the movies this week, I was intrigued to see trailers for three faith-based films, each one of which was genuinely intriguing in their own way:

  • Son of God will release just before Easter and will re-tell the story of the birth, life, ministry death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. [click on link to see trailer]
  • Noah is a $ 125 million extravaganza starring Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins and Jennifer Connelly about the catastrophic judgment of mankind recorded in the Book of Genesis and one man and his family who are saved. It releases March 28th. [click on link to see trailer]
  • Heaven Is For Real will release on April 16th, based on the New York Times best-selling non-fiction book about a boy who dies, but after being brought back to life by a team of doctors tells his family that he went to heaven while he was dead and describes what he saw in vivid detail. [click on link to see trailer]

I can’t vouch for the theology of each of these films based solely on the trailers. But I can say their production values are top notch and just seeing these sneak previews (especially amidst trailers for other soon-coming films that are violence- and sex-ridden trash) was both surprising and encouraging. It got our family talking about this intriguing moment in which so much of our culture seems vehemently opposed to Biblical faith, yet man other Americans seem truly curious, and at times even hungry, to know if the Bible has answers to life’s deepest and most important questions.

This was also the topic the other day on the Fox News program, “The Five.” They had an engaging and lively discussion about this question, “Is religion making a comeback in American culture?” They talked about the films that are coming out, but also about their own personal views of the culture and the curiosity and hostility towards Christianity and the Bible. The segment lasted about 12 minutes. I’d encourage you to watch it and discuss it with family and friends. Bob Beckel’s comments were particularly intriguing.

Finally (for now), I read this article in the Telegraph giving the inside scoop on a slew of Bible-based films in production or about to be released. Here are some excerpts, but I commend the entire article it to your attention.

Biblical films’ Hollywood comeback

Superheroes are being elbowed out by Noah and Mary as Hollywood makes 2014 year of the biblical epic

By Nick Allen, The [UK] Telegraph, December 25, 2013


  • The saint-like image of a hooded woman looms out from the movie poster, her arms outstretched as a divine light bursts from the sky. A message written above is simple and unambiguous: “You Will Believe.” So goes the promotional campaign for the forthcoming Hollywood blockbuster Mary Mother of Christ….whose title character will be played by Odeya Rush, a 16-year-old Israeli-born actress, is one of a series of unashamedly Christian biblical epics due to appear next year, marking an unprecedented overture by Hollywood to America’s evangelical heartland. 
  • In March audiences will be treated to Noah, a $ 150 million special effects-laden extravaganza, in which Russell Crowe will build an ark and rescue mankind from the Great Flood. Harry Potter actress Emma Watson will play his adopted daughter, and Sir Anthony Hopkins is portraying Methuselah. The ark was built on Long Island, New York. 
  • Noah will be followed by Sir Ridley Scott’s Exodus, in which Christian Bale,   as Moses, will part the Red Sea. Scenes from ancient Egypt have been   reconstructed in southern Spain, with Bale wielding a bow and arrow and   Sigourney Weaver playing the Pharaoh’s wife.
  • Another movie of Moses’s life called Gods and Kings is also planned. Steven Spielberg was due to make it but has been replaced by Ang Lee, who won the Best Director Oscar this year for Life of Pi.
  • Meanwhile, Son of God will tell the story of Jesus’s life, with Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado in the lead role.
  • Will Smith is said to be planning a film based on the story of Cain and Abel.
  • Brad Pitt is rumoured to be playing Pontius Pilate in a eparate project.
  • There will also be Resurrection, in which a Roman soldier is sent to investigate Christ’s death. It has been likened to “Gladiator, with a mystery bent.”

Phil Cooke, a film-maker and media consultant to Christian organisations, said Hollywood’s epiphany had financial, not spiritual, origins.

“What’s happened is they’ve understood it’s very good business to take Christians seriously, and this is a real serious market,” he said. “For years Hollywood bent over backwards to reach special interest groups, be it feminists or environmentalists. It has finally realised that there are 91 million evangelical Christians in America.”

For their part, studio executives have taken something of a leap of faith that films in which religious figures save the world will bring big box office   receipts. 

That faith is based in no small part on the success of The Bible, a television mini-series shown on the History channel earlier this year, which averaged 11.4 million viewers and became America’s most watched cable show of 2013….


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog