News and Commentary for March 16 and 17

With any luck, we'll see a whole bunch of Leftist Democrats booted out of their offices come November.
With any luck, we’ll see a whole bunch of Leftist Democrats booted out of their offices come November.

Stories of the Day

You absolutely MUST READ the whole thing, so click on over. “When Obama leaves the Oval Office and is free to enjoy many years of fame and fortune, he will have taken many steps that will harm Americans long afterwards. These actions will fulfill his boast that he would “fundamentally transform America” — probably the only promise he will have not broken. The worst is yet to come.” Obama and The Democrats Plot To Control America

I don’t like to link the NY Times, but I couldn’t help myself with this one! My happy dance continues. “Obama’s approval ratings will shape the midterms, and some Hill observers compare his crumpling numbers to an illness. The president didn’t do the basic things to take care of himself, and now he’s gone terminal and contagious.” Dems in Distress

I don’t typically copy and paste an entire post into my News and Commentary posts, but I had to this time, because this is a classic example of the New York Time’s decline. “Mark Twain famously observed: “The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Maureen Dowd presents as tomorrow’s Exhibit A. She happened onto the lightning bug in her New York Times column “Dems in distress.” Referring to the Democrats’ current panic as a crisis of confidence in President Obama, Dowd writes: “It’s not just congressional Democrats who are kvelling” (don’t spellcheck me, bro). My grandparents were native Yiddish speakers, so I happen to know that “kvelling” means “taking pride in.” The word Dowd was searching for was “kvetching,” which probably requires no translation, even for the layers of fact checkers and editors who work over the effusions of Paul Krugman, Thomas Friedman, Nicholas Kristof et al. on the editorial page. Maybe the editors can’t bring themselves to read her stuff more carefully than she writes it. It’s another sign of the decline of the Times, if an amusing one. UPDATE: The Times has silently corrected Dowd’s error.” Maureen Dowd finds the lightning bug

Their bubble is bursting, and they can’t figure out why it all went so wrong. Mark my words, eventually they’ll find a way to blame it on Bush. “The progressive dream, of a benevolent state led by the best and the brightest caring for a grateful population unable to fend for itself, is dying a painful death. And it is starting to dawn on some of the smarter Democrats — people like David Plouffe — that they face an electoral Armageddon in November. In an interview with Al Hunt broadcast aired last night on Bloomberg TV, former Obama adviser Plouffe:… called the Democratic loss in Florida’s special congressional race “a screaming siren,” warning that the party needs to do more to motivate supporters in November’s nationwide elections.” Progs start to realize the disaster ahead, but still are in denial

Inside the mind of every liberal is an insane person trying to get out. “MATTHEWS: Let me start tonight with this: have you noticed that the liberals usually win the argument – eventually? It’s been true from the beginning of our country. Back in the 18th century, the Tories opposed independence. Thanks to Thomas Paine, an immigrant, the once radical case for separation from England emerged to win the day. The case for abolition of slavery was so fiery, it led to wars, as well as argument, but with it all came emancipation. Women wanted the right to vote and won it. Jim Crow lost its fight with Dr. King, and civil rights became law. Gays were once shunned to the side; today, they’re winning the battle for full acceptance and even marriage quality. Well, the same is true of the social safety net. Conservatives fought Social Security. Ronald Reagan championed the fight against Medicare. The Republicans voted as a bloc against [the] Affordable Care [Act]. And in each case, the liberals won – eventually. Even as the struggle heads to another test this November, with the GOP rear guard sniping away at health care –  promising to chop away at the social safety net that the progressives have built in this country – and every voter, obviously, has a stake.” Matthews Rants: GOP Needs to ‘Pay A Price’ or Democrats Will ‘Get Their Asses Handed to Them’

Crony government—all at the tax payers expense. “Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics survey show that the average retired state-government employee has an income higher than 72% of full-time workers in his state. Generous public pensions ignore political bounds. A retired full-career California state worker takes home more than 87% of full-time workers’ incomes, but the same is true for Alabama and Texas. Oregon pays its retirees more than is earned by 90% of employees in that state.” How to Become a (Public Pension) Millionaire: In five states, an average full-career retiree receives a retirement income higher than his final salary

We continue to scream in small boxes. “Here’s my theory.  Conservatives are a remarkably well-organized and tight-knit group. It’s why every book from a conservative author shoots to the top of the best-seller list. It’s why Fox News Channel’s primetime programming regularly doubles that of its cable competition. It’s why Rush Limbaugh has no talk radio equal among liberals. It’s not terribly surprising then that organizational closeness extends to the digital space where conservative use Facebook to share stories/links from a handful of conservative websites. The fact that these sites rank as some of the most shared via Facebook but are not in the conversation when it comes to the most trafficked sites also speaks to a broader problem with the conservative movement. Yes, they are organized and effective. But, no, they are not legion.  That’s why conservative voices — and candidates — can dominate a primary election but occasionally nominate a candidate who lacks an appeal to the broader electorate.” What Facebook can tell us about conservatives?

Why isn’t this being reported on more extensively? “Somebody is a selling a fistful of US Treasuries. It could be Russia, or China, Turkey, South Africa, or Indonesia, or all frantically selling bonds at the same time for different reasons. We don’t yet know. All we know is that the US Federal Reserve’s custody holdings on behalf of foreign central banks plunged by $106bn in the week ending March 12, the biggest one-week drop on record.” Fire-sale of US Treasuries is a warning of acute stress across the world

Remember when Obama said that Al Qaeda was on the run? “The latest issue of Al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine contains an article about using car bombs in U.S. cities as well as abroad during election seasons, both presidential and congressional, as well as on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.” Al-Qaeda Set to Attack American Cities and Abroad

The Commerce Department dumped this news last Friday afternoon. I’ve been collecting articles and postings about this all weekend. “Another brilliant decision by the far left community organizer. Obama relinquished US control over the internet to an undefined global governance. What could go wrong?” Obama Turns Internet Over to Undefined Global Governance

“The United States has always played a leading role in overseeing the management of .com and other domain names, but the administration announced Friday night that it will give up its oversight when the current contract expires in fall 2015. The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, last month proposed establishing “a clear timeline” for globalizing ICANN and the duties it performs under the U.S. contract.” Internet transition triggers GOP backlash

This: “Today’s announcement seems to have taken the tech industry by surprise, although a formal separation between the U.S. government and ICANN has been discussed ever since the corporation’s inception in 1998.” And this:  “Unfortunately, there are suspicions today’s announcement was motivated by America’s role as Big Brother of the Internet.  The broad-based surveillance exposed during the Edward Snowden saga generated quite a bit of anger among the international targets of digital spying.” And this: “On the other hand, business leaders both in America and aboard valued the stability American oversight brought to the Internet, and are nervous about what the new “global model” might entail.  Assurances are being given that ICANN won’t become some sort of horrid United Nations-style circus dominated by totalitarian governments; business interests and user groups are supposed to play leading roles in the new system, and promises have been made that the free and open Internet will be protected at all costs.”  U.S. government to relinquish oversight of Internet addresses

“While the announcement of the plan was sure to please international critics (and some Democrats), it created concern among business leaders and others who depend on a smoothly functioning web. Oh, and it may lead to a global web tax, as well. Former Bush administration State Department senior advisor Christian Whiton told The Daily Caller: ‘U.S. management of the Internet has been exemplary and there is no reason to give this away — especially in return for nothing. This is the Obama equivalent of Carter’s decision to give away the Panama Canal — only with possibly much worse consequences.’Did The Administration Just Weaken Internet Security And Set The Stage For A Global Web Tax?

“Since the administration believes that all cultures are equal, the idea that Russia, China, and Muslim Arab countries should have an equal say in internet governance puts the very notion of free speech in jeopardy. Even if the Commerce Department can get 180 countries to agree on an oversight format that doesn’t include government control, you just know that a lot of countries will make sure that they can influence ICANN, whatever architecture is decided upon. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised given this administration’s incredible naivete about most nation’s intentions toward us. They simply don’t have the capacity – or desire – to protect our rights.” GOP blasts decision to cut ties with ICANN

“With a scratching of his pen, and perhaps a few regal utterances into his phone, this man who would be king has rendered your amazing technological accomplishments irrelevant and of no consequence, handing over American superiority in computer technology and information systems to a world body that has little regard for ensuring America’s continuation as the incubatory mother of all that is out there on the cutting edge of everything. Short version: the messiah you computer geeks believed to be a second coming is selling all of you geeks you down the river; or as is more commonly associated with Barack Obama, throwing you under that muchly over-used bus. How many millions of dollars did you fools funnel to this man who now sells you down the digital river, where you are no longer Americans, but rather subjects of a world body not particularly friendly, if not openly hostile, to American technological superiority?” You Bought His Ticket; He Took You for a Ride

“That would be just peachy, if … the aggregated stakeholders in the Internet all thought free expression was a great idea. That, however, is a mighty big if. The United Nations recently passed a resolution attempting to shut down any criticism of Islam, and Russia just spent the last two weeks locking out any websites that dissented from its military incursion into Crimea, for just two examples of what the brave new world of the Internet might look like under non-US control. ICANN, after all, controls the entire Internet through its assignment and management of domain names. It hasn’t been a perfect steward of that responsibility by any measure, but I’d trust it a lot more than I’d trust the United Nations to service those requests. It would be bad enough to have a unilateral organization of liberal democracies running it, with all of the inherent confusion and inefficiencies that would produce. Add in the malevolence of dictatorships, kleptocracies, and flat-out lunatic regimes being given the keys to suppressing criticism from all corners of the plant rather than just the ability to intercede in their own fiefdoms, and you have the recipe for utter disaster.” US to give up control over Internet

This: “Like the bully taking candy away from the proverbial baby, high-handed President Barack Hussein Obama is giving away the Internet that is in no way his to give.  His latest act of out-and-out thievery graduates him from the most unpopular American president of all time, to Enemy of the Free World Numero Uno.” And this: While the UN grab of the Internet goes down, those who helped make it happen, including Climate Change harbingers Al Gore and his sidekick Canadian UN Poster Boy Maurice Strong are safe in hiding. Meanwhile everyday people of the nations of the world unite: Obama is about to rob you of your most useful form of communication.  Your world will go dark and silent overnight without the Internet.” Hiding Behind ‘Global Internet Community’ the ravening United Nations Wolf

Flashback! Back in 2007, Claudia Rosette was warning about this: “Big on the agenda is the UN-based campaign to take away control of the internet from the U.S. The aim, now that U.S. freedoms and resulting creativity (not Al Gore, his own claims notwithstanding) have brought mankind this marvelous gift of the internet, is to confiscate management of the World Wide Web and turn it over to the same grand conclave of UN potentates whose members include the web-censoring likes of dissident-jailing China, monk-murdering Burma, terrorist-sponsoring bomb-making Iran, and 2008 members-elect of the Security Council, Libya and Vietnam.” Bloggers Beware! The UN Internet Grab Continues… Right Now, In Rio

Arizona

It’s typical of the way Democrats roll. Arizona State student who once interned for Rep. Sinema (AZ CD9) gets caught buying Twitter followers. “The latest fake-followers incident involves Jordan Hibbs, an Arizona State University student senator who was invited by the White House to live-tweet the president’s State of the Union address. A political rival used an online tool to raise questions about the veracity of some of Hibbs’ 17,000 followers, The Republic‘s Rebekah L. Sanders reports. Hibbs says she now knows it was a bad idea in 2012 to buy followers and is urging others not to do the same. Well, yeah. As soon as anyone finds out you’ve bought fake followers, your Internet cred is pretty much shot.” How to win friends, influence people on Twitter

Big Government

“’The biggest lie in American politics is that the Republican Party is the party of the rich or the wealthy,” Rep. John Duncan (R–Tenn.) said at “Conversations with Conservatives,”  hosted by The Foundry on Capitol Hill. “The Democrats hit us harder on that as we get closer to an election than anything else.’ Duncan added: ‘I think we need to do a better job of showing that liberalism is a philosophy of . . . elitism, and that conservatives believe in a government of, by, and for the people and the Democrats believe in one that’s of, by, and for the bureaucrats.’” Lawmaker on Liberals’ View of Government: ‘Of, by, for Bureaucrats’

The heavy hand of the government getting heavier. “All Andy Johnson wanted to do was build a stock pond on his sprawling eight-acre Wyoming farm. He and his wife Katie spent hours constructing it, filling it with crystal-clear water, and bringing in brook and brown trout, ducks and geese. It was a place where his horses could drink and graze, and a private playground for his three children. But instead of enjoying the fruits of his labor, the Wyoming welder says he was harangued by the federal government, stuck in what he calls a petty power play by the Environmental Protection Agency. He claims the agency is now threatening him with civil and criminal penalties – including the threat of a $75,000-a-day fine. … The government says he violated the Clean Water Act by building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.” The EPA is charging $75,000/day over a private citizen’s pond, but don’t you worry about their revisions to the Clean Water Act

California

Maybe we can get them to see the wisdom of switching parties? “Asian-Americans in California are in revolt against an attempt to reinstate affirmative action through a new statewide referendum.  Democrats in the California state legislature have been attempting to put such a referendum to voters, reionstating racial preferences which had been banned from all state institutions including the University of California and California State University Systems, ever since the passage of Proposition 209 in 1996.” Affirmative action drama in California

Common Core

Follow the money–big business and the federal government are in cahoots. This: “The special interests behind national curriculum and testing mandates are pouring millions into public relations and lobbying this spring after parents across the country began to oppose and destabilize their big project. Friday, Politico reported that the Business Roundtable and Chamber of Commerce are buying pricey ads on Fox News and mobilizing their state chapters to keep lawmakers in line. The same day, Bill Gates joined George Stephanopoulos to continue branding the Common Core mandates as a catalyst for improving U.S. education. Gates has joined with left-leaning philanthropies on a communications push worth more than $2.35 million.” And this: “Business groups often believe the talking points that proclaim Common Core will end rising phenomena like workers who won’t show up on time, can’t read or do basic math, and loaf around on the job. These are business’s biggest complaints about the kids our education system turns out. Oddly, business interests seem to ignore not just the evidence that Common Core graduates will not be internationally competitive, but that family degradation is a major—perhaps the major—reason for workers’ eroding soft skills and academic incompetence. Ironically, White and George’s devotion to their families makes them the kind of mothers whose kids will be the productive citizens employers want schools to produce.” Big Business Targets Common Core’s Band of Mothers:The powerful strike back against those who dare question Common Core.

The Economy

Meanwhile, in Liberal La La Land, economic idiocy continues. “One reason, according to the poll, is because skyrocketing housing costs are reshaping the city’s face: 45 percent of respondents in the new survey say friends or family have moved out of the city in the past two years because they could no longer afford to live there. Nearly a third said they were likely to leave in the next five years. Sixty-one percent of the LGBT respondents said family or friends have been priced out over the past two years.” Thumbs-up for $15-an-hour minimum wage in new S.F. poll

On the minimum wage, speaking truth to power. “Gates is a darling of progressives when he talks about raising tax rates on the rich, but they’re listening to the wrong part of his message. He’s a billionaire, and mostly unconnected from the tax brackets that actually feel the effects of tax hikes. But what he is also is an entrepreneur – unlike a lot of pro-minimum-wage-hike progressives, he actually built a business. He knows what it’s like to calculate the cost of adding a new worker and how much it will take to compensate them. Adding to the marginal cost of hiring a new worker – especially one at the low end of the income scale – would be disastrous for those workers who are marginally attached to the labor force and have fewer skills to fall back on if they’re priced out of the work force. This comes on the heels of a letter from 500 economists, including five Nobel laureates, that excoriated Democrats for threatening to raise the minimum wage in this economy. If Democrats were smart, they’d listen. Unfortunately, Bill Gates’ political views only matter when they’re convenient to liberals – and economists are only useful when they agree with Democrats.” Bill Gates on minimum wage hike: “I worry about what that does to job creation.”

But the economy is improving. It has to be true because Obama keeps telling us so. “Quiznos and Sbarro join what has been called a tsunami of store closings as the retail sector contracts in the face of declining sales and an economy that refuses to bounce back. Joining Quiznos and Sbarro, a number of retailers have announced a retrenchment for 2014. Such companies as Sears, JC Penny, Macy’s, RadioShack, Blackberry, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and Staples have all announced a scaling back of operations.” Store Closing ‘Tsunami’ Continues with Quiznos, Sbarro Bankruptcies

Hiding the decline. “The decline of 1/10th of an hour in the average workweek—say, to 34.2 from 34.3, as occurred between January and February—is like losing about 340,000 private nonfarm jobs, which is approximately 80% greater than the average monthly job gain during the past year. The reverse is also true. In months when the average workweek rises, the jobs numbers understate the amount of labor growth. That did occur earlier in the recovery, with a general upward trend in the average workweek between October 2009 and February 2012.” The Hidden Rot in the Jobs Numbers: Hours worked are declining, resulting in the equivalent of a net loss of 100,000 jobs since September.

Elections

Click on over to see the poster! “Last night, the Claremont Institute held its annual Churchill Dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Ted Cruz was the keynote speaker. In anticipation of the event, posters featuring a tattooed Cruz popped up all around Beverly Hills. They showed up on telephone poles, car windshields, outside of popular night clubs, and elsewhere.” Subversive in Southern California

Sinking. “In 2012, Democrats hammered Rep. Paul Ryan’s plans for Social Security. But by bringing the issue out in the open, they allowed Ryan to make clear, as his invariable first point, that he would change nothing for anyone over 55. Grandma remained unscared. On Medicare, it’s not the Republicans but the Democrats who are cutting — as part of Obamacare — funding for Medicare Advantage plans. That may not scare Grandma, but it’s not likely to make her vote Democratic. The Romney-Ryan ticket carried Florida’s elderly. Looking ahead, Democratic incumbents and candidates in seven states carried by Mitt Romney are running under 50 percent in polls. That’s true also of Democrats in four 2012 presidential target states carried by Obama. Obamacare leaves those Democrats in a position that resembles Gamelin’s: They have no good alternatives.” Democratic strategists in 2014 are like French generals in 1940

“ObamaCare has hurt the Democrats so much that one candidate, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona, ran an ad stating that she “blew the whistle on the disastrous health care website, calling it ‘stunning ineptitude’ and worked to fix it.” Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky was blunt, simply stating that Democrats are “getting beat to death.” Dems Panicked about 2014

“I’m starting to sense a major Democratic wipeout coming in November.” Denial: Formerly the Hudson River

I’m developing a class on how to talk to Leftists—none of us know how to do it. “If conservatives talk about welfare reform, it’s really about race. If we talk about religious liberty, it’s really about sex. If we talk about balancing the budget, we demonstrate antipathy for the poor. If we talk about marriage as it has been understood for millennia, and about the complementarity of men and women, and about the societal benefits of stable, procreative unions . . . well, then, we’re homophobes. No matter what we say, in fact, our words are evidence that we are bigots, nativists, jingoists, hypocrites — and nasty, brutish, and short. We probably kick furry little animals just for fun, too, and we cheated while playing Candy Land when we were toddlers. Such is the portrait the Left paints of conservatives. Such are the excretions from their professional smear machines. Such are the toxic tactics they use against honest and sincere debate from the right. At best, the Left meets logic with sophistry — but that’s only when leftists want to think hard enough even for that, rather than resorting to their default option of impugning conservatives’ character and sliming our motives. So, when Representative Paul Ryan last week aired some thoughtful and well-intentioned analyses of the plight of the poor, the Left went bananas (if I wrote “went ape,” they’d say I was racist) about how racially insensitive he was. When the Little Sisters of the Poor dared oppose Obamacare’s abortifacient mandate, it wasn’t just a misguided assertion of religious liberty; it was conservative prudery and oppression. And so on. We all know the drill. The question is, how to respond to it? The first answer is, stop apologizing, unless there really is something for which to apologize.” Conservative Monster Mash: When we’re called “boogeymen,” let’s just boogie.

My Monday Washington Examiner column notes the significant de-escalation of intra-GOP hammer throwing, and the coalescing of most of the factions around the goal of winning in November.This temporary truce owes much to the disarray of the Democrats and the near-panic among their ranks as The New York Times’ Jonathan Martin and Ashley parker.  The ongoing collapse of Obamacare into chaos and transparent lawlessness is accelerating dismay among even some of the president’s core supporters and certainly among the ranks of the independents.  Try as they might, Democrat can’t postpone all of the terrible impacts of the law past November.  The premium hikes are in the pipeline since the enrollments have been so low and not demographically as screwed towards young people as was necessary keep premium shock a one-time deal.  A second premium shock is on the way, as are many more doc shocks.” “A Majority Is Better Than The Best Repartee”–Disraeli

The Koch Brothers

What it’s really about. “It’s not about voters. It’s about scaring off other rich people who might be tempted to donate to Republicans.” THE ATLANTIC: The Democratic Party’s Foolish Koch Obsession: Led by Harry Reid, the party has declared its midterm strategy will revolve around bashing the conservative bankrollers. But do voters really care?

The Left

What New York will look like if Mayor DeBlasio gets his way. “By year three, Trump Towers will be a ghost building, but not to worry.  Nobody will be allowed to move out of NY without paying an exit tax of half their net worth.  The new mayor may need a helpful executive order or two from his friend in the White House to pull that off and to suppress the angry mobs of women in four inch Manolo stilletos.  (Is that redundant? Perhaps a fashion-conscious female reader at AT can help me out.) Wall Street will relocate to Tennessee.  Executive orders will abound.  But there will be no violence by the progressive rich.  The gun-clinging hicks will stay well outside NY.   Occupy Wall Streeters will protect the politicians even as they claim credit for driving the banksters from the vicinity of Wall and Broad.  The poor and recently poor can rely on themselves.  After all, they have been forced to do so for years by police who are afraid to enforce the law in their old communities.” Utopia Now! in New York City

“Why do liberals hate Sarah Palin? She has made far fewer gaffes than has Joe Biden, whose verbal mishaps have often been racist in nature. Is dropping your g’s worse than saying “corpse-men“? She does not believe that Canadians speak Canadian in the way the president thinks Austrians speak Austrian. Her life story is inspirational — working mom, without inherited privilege or capital, a successful pre-2008 tenure as an Alaska politician. I think the animus — as opposed to just disagreement with her views — derives in part from the fact that she is vivacious and attractive in a fresh Sally Field sort of way, unlike the cheek-boned refinement of an Audrey Hepburn or Jackie Onassis. Or is it because her diction, syntax, and grammar (especially the use of the passive voice) resonate slightly lower middle-class America? She is what white grandees with real white privilege castigate as a beneficiary of white privilege that she never really had. Much of the dislike is also because she is upbeat and unapologetic. She thinks America is a rare, good place and far better than the alternative. She is blunt about her values and politics, and does not seem to be skeptical, cynical, or ambivalent. Her “oh gosh” world is one of undisguised belief; she does not roll her eyes in David Letterman boredom. Nor does Palin adopt the Clinton on spec bite-the-lip, feel-your-pain anguish, clear evidence of the costs of feeling moral ambiguity.” Liberals and Their Uppity Enemies

This: “It is my experience that liberals are far more than simply gullible or ignorant.  Their world view is one of self-deception and self-loathing.  They are political and historical masochists.  They feel so ashamed at the generosity, wisdom, beauty, and success of Western civilization that they have trained themselves to process everything through the prism of masochism.  They are truly Ameriphobic.” And this: “The longer I live, the more I see the similarities between the ideology of liberals and the Islamists they so often defend.   You either think like them, believe like them or feel their wrath.   You either convert to their side, or face the penalties of their faith system: pay them homage by bowing down in political correctness to their idols or remain fearfully silent — otherwise you will be what is called behind closed doors as an “example.”  If that doesn’t work, they will move to option three, the slow death of a million cuts known as the political vendetta aka character assassination.” The Jihad of Liberalism

This: In this sixth year of near-zero interest rates, the government’s monetary policy breeds inequality. Low rates are intended to drive liquidity into the stock market in search of higher yields. The resulting boom in equity markets — up 30 percent last year alone — has primarily benefited the 10 percent who own 80 percent of all directly owned stocks. Charles Wolf writes in the Weekly Standard: ‘The financial sector’s profits rose from 18 percent of total corporate profits preceding the recession in 2007 to 23 percent in 2013.’” And this: “The monetary base having expanded 340 percent in six years, there is abundant money for businesses. But, says Fisher, the federal government’s fiscal and regulatory policies discourage businesses from growing the economy with the mountain of money the Fed has created. This is why ‘the most vital organ of our nation’s economy — the middle-income worker — is being eviscerated.” And why the loudest complaints about inequality are coming from those whose policies worsen it.’” Democrats are making income inequality worse

The Media

Sad. “When it came to jewelry, the rule was simple. Don’t wear anything flashy, like dangling earrings, or necklaces that will reflect light into the camera. Makes sense. But I never thought that wearing a cross necklace would be considered “flashy.” The first time I wore one to work, I was told to take it off because it would be distracting to the audience. I wanted to keep my TV job so much; I did it. It didn’t seem to matter to management that I wasn’t covering religion.” My cross to bear – why I no longer hide my faith in the newsroom

Millennials

Yet, still many stay faithful to the Democrats. I just don’t get it. “The economic purgatory into which millennials have been cast by Father Government is one of constant turmoil and statistical roadblock.” Obamanomics Is Ticking Time Bomb For Millennial Generation

Obamacare

Big government is great! Keep repeating it and maybe you’ll finally get it! “But last week came word that with just 15 days left for people to enroll for federal coverage, just 4.2 million had. The math is simple: That’s just 9 percent of the supposedly 46 million uninsured. “It will be a larger number than that by the end of March,” Mr. Obama promised in an interview with WebMD. “At this point, enough people are signing up that the Affordable Care Act is going to work.” Still, the obvious question is: We changed the $2.7 trillion health care system to sign up 4.2 million people?” CURL: We overhauled U.S. health care — to insure 4.2 million people?

President Obama

Shiny objects. “In another weekly smoke-and-mirrors address from Barack Obama, the president tried to distract Americans from the Obamacare debacle and the White House’s wek-kneed foreign policy by speaking of his efforst to “strengthen overtime pay protections.” In words that might leave the vast swaths of unemployed Americans incredulous, the White House released a statement beginning, “While our economy is moving forward…” The statement segued into Obama’s time-honored technique of class warfare, continuing, “…the middle class and those fighting to get into it are still struggling and too many Americans are working harder than ever just to keep up, let alone get ahead.” The White House did not mention under whose stewardship the economy has triggered massive numbers of unemployed workers, workers who can’t work harder because they are jobless.” Obama Distracts from Ukraine, Obamacare Failures with Overtime Pay Push

This is what failure looks like. “The evidence is scattered all around us, from the epic defeat Democrats suffered in the 2010 midterm, to the (likely) lashing that awaits them in 2014, to collapsing trust and confidence in the federal government, to an agenda that is unpopular virtually across the board. Add to that the rising disorder and chaos in the world that is the predictable result of Mr. Obama’s disengaged and impotent foreign policy. The American people, having lived with the Obama presidency for more than five years, have come to the conclusion–later, I think, than they should have–that he is incompetent, weak, and untrustworthy. And that judgment is directed not just at Mr. Obama; it is implicating his entire party. Barack Obama produced a health-care proposal that was a liberal dream for a half-century. It is a bitter irony for him, and a predictable result for many of us, that having achieved it, it may well set back the cause of liberalism for years to come. Liberals wanted Mr. Obama. Now they have him. And now they may be undone by him.” Barack Obama, Political Wrecking Ball

Ukraine

Clueless. “Meanwhile, the outcome of the referendum in Crimea is a foregone conclusion and sets the stage for Russian annexation. Obama and Kerry warn vaguely of “consequences,” but Putin is dismissive and seems more likely to extend his reach into eastern Ukraine than to back off. No wonder our allies in Eastern Europe, having lived under the Soviet yoke, are nervous. They know the stakes. We will learn soon whether Obama does, for his Munich moment has arrived.” Obama has his Munich moment with Putin and Crimea

“He’s right, but it’s too late for that now. Putin has already taken his measure of the West. Expect the annexation to happen immediately — and then wait for the inevitable repeat in eastern Ukraine, too.” Exit polls show Crimea annexation wins 93% of vote while under Russian occupation

Can it get any worse? “Saudi Arabia and Egypt are furious with Obama. And Kuwaiti and Emirati leaders suggest that they can no longer trust American commitments. I spent the last week in Baghdad, and Iraqis, too, express dismay that the United States doesn’t keep its side of the bargain it struck in the Strategic Framework Agreement. That is a sentiment growing in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Colombia, and Estonia as well.” America’s Credibility from Bad to Worse

Reset not working. “Anyway, what comes next as far as the Russians are concerned is what’s happening now. They’re pounding on that reset button for all it’s worth. What have we got going? President Obama’s Team of Nitwits last convened to deliberate over policy in connection with Assad’s use of chemical weapons in Syria. At that time Putin turned out to be the key to their thinking. They are back on the case this weekend and will undoubtedly do another fine job, though this time around without Obama.” Team of Nitwits reconvened

This: “How badly has Barack Obama bungled Russia and Vladimir Putin? Even the woman who created the embarrassing “reset button” fiasco has started to distance herself from the White House. National Journal’s Michael Hirsh belatedly comments on Hillary Clinton’s stunning equivalency between Putin and 1938, and its reflection of a clueless foreign policy that she herself initiated.” And this: “Now Hillary wants to be seen as tougher than Obama, but that’s rather laughable. This disaster has its roots firmly in the Hillary era at State, especially with that mistranslated reset button that tried to blame Russian aggression on the Bush administration. She owns this foreign policy no matter how hard she tries to distance herself from it. Clinton isn’t the only one drawing parallels to 1938, either. Russian dissident Garry Kasparov warned yesterday in Politico Magazine that the Western response to Putin looks very, very familiar.” National Journal: Hillary resets on Russia

“For running commentary on Russia and the vote in Crimea, you might want to follow chess champion turned democracy activist Garry Kasparov: @Kasparov63. Tonight, amid his usual barrage of criticism leveled at Vladimir Putin, he’s turning his fire on President Obama and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.” Kasparov: ‘Carter looks like Churchill in comparison’ to Obama

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