News and Commentary for February 18

I had my number 15 tooth pulled today. This is how I feel.

I had my number 15 tooth pulled this morning. And this basically sums up how I feel.

Stories of the Day

A depressing must-read. This: “America is unraveling at a stunning speed and to a staggering degree. This decline is breathtaking, and the prognosis is dim. And this: America is a total mess. The Land of the Free is governed by an out-of-control egomaniac, neither bolstered by managerial competence nor hindered by the legislature’s institutional prerogatives. In the Home of the Brave, half of Congress cheers Obama’s unconstitutional behavior, while the other half grumbles and then meekly carpet-bombs his path with white flags. The American people have been betrayed — both by Obama and the Democrats, whose lust for control intensifies daily, and by Republican leaders in Washington, whose cowardice and defeatism have turned their guts and spines into tapioca. America, as Paul Simon sings, is slip-slidin’ away. And the worst part hasn’t happened yet.” The United States of Decline

They know better than us. And they look down their noses at us. “The roots of American liberalism are not compassion, but snobbery. That’s the thesis of Fred Siegel’s revealing new book, The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class.” The Failure of Obama’s Aristocracy of Merit: The liberal elite believe they are uniquely fit to govern; their policies discredit that claim.

Where’s the rest of the media on this? “A tipster tried to warn the Labor Department in 2011 that its unemployment statistics were being fabricated by the people at the Census Bureau who compile the data. But the warning was either missed or ignored by Labor. That allegedly allowed the data falsification to go on for years. As I’ve been telling you, the falsification is now the subject of a number of investigations, including one by the House Oversight Committee and Congress’ Joint Economic Committee.” Censusgate: When and what did Labor know?

If you encourage “class warfare” this is what you get. “Google’s corporate mantra may be to do no evil, but to a determined band of activists in San Francisco the company could just be the devil incarnate. Corporate buses that Google and other tech companies lay on to ferry their workers from the city to Silicon Valley, 30 or 40 miles to the south, are being targeted by an increasingly assertive guerrilla campaign of disruption. Over the last two months, a groundswell of discontent over the privatisation of the Bay Area’s transport system has erupted into open revolt. Well organised protesters have blocked buses, unfurled banners and distributed flyers to tech commuters who have seemed either nonplussed, embarrassed or downright terrified. And this could be just the beginning. “We’re in the planning process for the next protest,” one of the organisers, Erin McElroy, told the Observer. “We’re trying to stay creative with each one, not just repeat over and over.” San Francisco’s guerrilla protest at Google buses swells into revolt: Campaign against tech giant pricing ordinary citizens out of the housing market becomes increasingly disruptive and forces city to act

A companion piece to the above post. “In 1950, nobody thought Detroit — by many measures then the world’s most prosperous city — would end up a half-abandoned, bankrupt, violent basket case. Nobody thought that U.S. automakers would be so inept as to fail to keep up with Japanese and European competitors, that their unions would be so corrupt and rapacious, or that the city of Detroit would slide into Third World standards of municipal governance. But bear this in mind: The automakers had large, expensive factories in Detroit. Their capital was physical. Sure, Google and Apple have real estate and physical infrastructure in California, but high-tech firms are much less tied to the land than were their industrial-age competitors. California’s cities are falling to bankruptcy and fiscal crisis like water dripping in a sink. Meanwhile, the local radicals, driven by envy and ideology, have taken to accosting Silicon Valley engineers at their homes. The companies are responding with increased reliance upon private security forces. But there are other possible responses, such as relocating to where they are more welcome. Is San Francisco the progressives’ best counterexample to the devastation in Detroit? Ask again in 20 years.” The Golden Gated Communities

Arizona

Apparently Ann Kirkpatrick is now wagging her finger at something SHE voted for. This: “In the last couple of days, the political press has introduced us to the Democrats’ emerging strategy for the upcoming midterm congressional elections. They will be running as the arsonists who can be trusted to put out their fire. They are being less explicit about the first part, of course. The New York Times has a story that exemplifies the cognitive dissonance. It begins with a campaign ad by Democratic Representative Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona trumpeting the fact that when the Healthcare.gov website sputtered out of the gate, she wagged her finger at it.And this: “In one sense, it’s encouraging that Democrats are kinda-sorta confronting reality. But in another sense, this follows the classic storyline of American liberalism. Progressives animated by ideology, ignorant of policy and economics, and filled with contempt for the voters institute leftist policy. The policy is, unsurprisingly, a wreck. As others attempt to clean up their mess, liberals intervene to promise to fix what they’ve done, usually through yet more state coercion.” ObamaCare Supporters Swear They Can Be Trusted This Time

I bought a loaf of bread yesterday. Slices are now the size of cracker. And have you noticed how small crackers are getting? “It’s is not her imagination. While the government says prices are up 6.4 percent since 2011, chicken is up 18.4 percent, ground beef is up 16.8 percent and bacon has skyrocketed up 22.8 percent, making it a holiday when it’s on sale. “Oh my god!” Singer said as she spied bacon for $3. “The things that are going up in price are the things I absolutely need to buy,” she said. “It’s the meat, it’s the milk, it’s the eggs and it’s getting out of hand.”” Food prices soar as incomes stand still

The intent is to have more folks looking to the government for help. “Since the 1960s, the progressives have waged war against “middle class morality.” What better way to undermine it than to get rid of the middle class?” HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Joel Kotkin: The U.S. Middle Class Is Turning Proletarian.

Common Core

Criticism from the Left. “Now comes “an acclaimed high school principle” from Long Island Carol Burris, who states flatly that Common Core is a “disaster.” “We see kids,” Burris added, “they don’t want to go to school anymore.” Common Core Gets Knocked –By The Left

Economy

The people give the Stimulus an F. “Another way to look at whether the stimulus has worked or not is to measure it against the impact the administration said it would achieve. If you remember, back in 2009, Christina Romer, then the chair of the CEA, made the case to the White House and Democrats in Congress that if the gigantic bill were adopted, it would prevent unemployment from 8 percent. Well, the bill passed, the spending machine was activated, and unemployment swelled all the way to 10 percent, and stayed there for a significant number of months. Five years later, unemployment rates have finally come down, but many economists agree that the drop has a lot to do with people giving up on looking for work. The lucky ones who have actually gone back to work have often settled for part-time jobs and lower pay. Whether this chronic under-employment can be described as “a success” is up for debate especially since its long-term negative consequences can be significant.” Five Years of Stimulus

Elections

We need to stop being the Charlie Browns to the Lucys. This: “Now the same people who got us into this mess are telling us we should go along and trust them to fix the same damn problem that they created in the first place. Liberals are the Lucys of American politics, holding the football and promising that this time it’ll be different. We need to stop being the Charlie Browns.” And this: “If the rules of the game are now that there are no rules, then the only political currency is raw power. But we know what happens when there are no rules, where pure power is the sole measure of right and wrong. I served in countries like that. They are full of mass graves. The American system’s strength is not that everyone always wins. It is that the system cultivates our ability to lose gracefully, to understand that you were heard, that you had your say, that there was a process, and that you lost fair and square. It sustains itself by reinforcing its own legitimacy. But if your losses aren’t fair, if you haven’t been heard, if the rules have been bent or broken or ignored, that crucial legitimacy is gone. And then there are no rules to respect. What keeps this grand experiment in freedom going is that we honored, at least until now, our Constitution’s boundaries. Sure, we pushed at the edges, nudged the envelope, sometimes fudged the line, but what is happening now is different. What’s happening now is that the line is being erased.” Failing Liberals Turn To Oppression To Hold On To Power

This: “There’s been a series of good articles this week providing ample evidence that, for the most part, unions’ main goal is to promote the survival of unions themselves rather than the interests of working-class Americans. Take this weekend interview in the Wall Street Journal of Eva Moskowitz, a “Democrat and educational-reform champion who runs the city’s largest charter network.” As it turns out, Ms. Moskowitz has become Enemy No. 1 of the new mayor, Bill de Blasio, and the teachers’ unions. Why? Because she’s New York’s most vocal advocate of charter schools and a hero to thousands of lower-income parents in the city. The track record of the 6,700 students of modest means who attend her network of mostly non-unionized 22 schools speaks for itself. And this: “Unfortunately, public-sector unions are thriving – especially compared with private-sector unions. According to a recent BLS report about public and private sector union membership in 2013:

  • “Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (35.3 percent) more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.7 percent).”
  • “Within the public sector, the union membership rate was highest for local government (40.8 percent), which includes employees in heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters.” It’s time to dismantle public-sector unions and to hold lawmakers accountable for the bad decisions they make to placate or please their union donors.” Unions: America’s Biggest Political Donors

It’s time to dismantle public-sector unions and to hold lawmakers accountable for the bad decisions they make to placate or please their union donors.” Unions: America’s Biggest Political Donors

“Last week The Gateway Pundit reported the “Evil” Koch Brothers Rank # 59 in political donations behind 18 different Democrat unions. But, there’s more… The political left always accuses the Republican Party of being the “party of rich guys.” It’s a lie. According to analysis from the political donation website Open Secrets:

A) Since 1989 Top DNC Donors have spent a total of $1,152,389,462.00 (With a B)
B) Since 1989 Top RNC Donors have spent a total or $736,075,110.00 (With an M)
C) Committed Democrat donors have outspent committed Republican donors by nearly $486 million since 1989

t: “The arguments by Democrats that the RNC is trying “buy or rig elections” are utterly false.
The Republican Party is the party of the middle class. What the party of the KKK, Jim Crow, Al Capone, Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger, Robert Byrd, and Barack Obama really fear is legitimate competition.” The REAL Party of the Rich Guys: Top Dem Donors Have Outspent Top GOP Donors by $486 Million in Last 25 Years. And, the top ten DNC donors outspent the top ten RNC donors by nearly 2 to 1 since 1989!

Hillary

Yes, Hillary’s past does matter and here’s why. “In the 2012 presidential race, for example, many in the press were very interested in business deals Mitt Romney made in the 1980s. In the 2004 race, many journalists were even more interested in what George W. Bush did with the Texas Air National Guard in 1968, as well as what John Kerry did in Vietnam that same year. And in 2000, a lot of journalists invested a lot of time trying to find proof that Bush had used cocaine three decades earlier. So by the standards set in coverage of other candidates, Clinton’s past is not too far past. That’s especially true because there will be millions of young voters in 2016 who know little about the Clinton White House. Americans who had not even been born when Bill Clinton first took the oath of office in 1993 will be eligible to vote two years from now. They need to know that Hillary Clinton has been more than Secretary of State.” Why Hillary Clinton’s past is fair game in presidential race

Hollywood

Just say no. They want everyone else to pay more in taxes except for themselves. Don’t they see the hypocrisy of this? Hollywood asks California to cut taxes — for the film industry

The Left

Endoctrination. “A textbook at the University of South Carolina is teaching kids that Ronald Reagan was a sexist and conservatives are judgmental.” UNIVERSITY TEXTBOOK Claims Reagan Was Sexist; Conservatives are Judgmental

Those on the Left must have slept through their math classes too. “Note, too, that for Ornstein’s proposal to mean what he thinks it means, the 5% has to be a real rate of return. I am no finance guy, but it was immediately obvious to me that Ornstein’s numbers are ridiculous. If you could turn $3,500 into $700,000 in 60 years at 5%, I wouldn’t be practicing law these days. As Rocky said to his two goldfish, “If you guys could sing and dance, I wouldn’t be doin’ this.” Money, unfortunately, does not sing and dance as hypothesized by Ornstein. But, as our reader says, this kind of magical thinking on the Left is not unique to Ornstein. On the contrary, an inability to understand the most basic principles of arithmetic constantly dogs liberals. How else did we get Obamacare? Moreover, Ornstein was not alone. Didn’t National Journal have an editor who read the piece and said, “Whoa! $3,500 to $700,000 at 5%? Did you check the math?” Maybe there was no editor, because that is how things are going these days in the “mainstream” media. (We don’t have editors either, but if I write something stupid I will hear about it from Scott. Or Paul or Steve.) More likely there was an editor, but he too was a magical thinker when it comes to arithmetic. This is a big problem on the Left these days, and one of many reasons why you should treat liberal claims of government panaceas with a high degree of skepticism.” To Liberals, Arithmetic Is Magical Thinking

The Media

Welcome to Breitbart’s world! We need more of you, all over the world. “‘They’re not interested in “constructive dialogue”,’ he said. ‘Don’t you get it? If you extend any sort of olive branch to them they’ll see it as a sign of weakness and move in for the kill. I dealt with exactly the same people — the Socialist Workers’ Party, the Anti-Academies Alliance, the National Union of Teachers — for most of my ministerial career and, believe me, they would rather stick pins in their eyes than admit they have common ground with someone like you. Their attitude to free schools is the same as their attitude to academies: they won’t rest until every last one has been razed to the ground.’” Andrew Breitbart’s War Comes to Britain

Minimum Wage

Not surprising. “Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 will cut about a half-million jobs out of the economy by 2016, according to a new Congressional Budget Office report Tuesday that could deal a major blow to Democrats’ chief domestic agenda item this year.” Minimum wage hike would kill a half-million jobs: CBO

Obamacare

Do the Dems really think the people of this country are this stupid? (Emphasis mine.) “For a crystal-clear sign of the political woes Obamacare faces, look no further than the ad the Democratic House Majority PAC is airing in a majority-Hispanic south Florida district that Obama carried twice. The seat, represented by freshman Rep. Joe Garcia, is one of a small handful in the country that gave Obama a larger share of the vote in 2012 than in 2008—he won 53 percent last election. It’s also one of the media markets where the Obama presidential campaign spent millions of dollars in Spanish-language ads praising the law in unequivocal terms. This new ad, as part of the damage control, contains no such accolades. It promotes how Garcia “took the White House to task,” referencing its “disastrous” health care website. Like its counterparts, it argues Garcia wants to fix the broken law. Democratic strategists said that outside of the most liberal precincts, they can’t persuade people of the law’s benefits until they acknowledge its problems first. The Garcia ad shows that even in an Obamacare stronghold, where support for the law ran well ahead of its national numbers, dissatisfaction is creeping up. Indeed, The New York Times reported that uninsured Hispanics were signing up for the law at “strikingly” lower rates than anticipated. One Democratic operative involved in the race told me it was much harder to find nonpartisan Obamacare advocates to cheerlead for the law in South Florida this year—compared with 2012.” Democrats in Denial Over Obamacarea: Supporters of the health care law are convinced they can defend themselves on the issue. Don’t bet on it.

President Obama

Poll: 71% of Obama voters, 55% Democrats ‘regret’ voting for his re-election

But Senator Al Franken still popular. Obama job approval under water … in Minnesota

Tea Party

Senator Mike Lee for president! “Senator Lee, on the other hand, was terrific. His answers were crisp, direct, and articulate. He was principled without coming across as dyspeptic. He also helped educate both Mr. Becerra and the public by (to take one example) making the point that not all executive orders are created equal, thereby deftly answering the charge that because Ronald Reagan used executive orders more often than Mr. Obama, the latter has violated the constitutional less often than the former.” The Tea Party’s Gift to American Politics

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Filed under 2014 Elections, Arizona Politics, Big Government, Common Core, Economy, Hillary, Hollywood, Minimum Wage, Money in Politics, Obamacare, Senator Mike Lee, Taxes, Tea Party, The Left, Unemployment, Unions

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