News and Commentary for February 21

It's National "Sticky Bun" Day. Yummmmmm.

It’s National “Sticky Bun” Day. Yummmmmm!

Stories of the Day

Scary times. In Obama’s world, free press is considerably less free than ever before, and it is about to get even more less free. This story is so important that I’ve posted all that I found on it in my “Stories of the Day” section. “Try this one on for size: The FCC has proposed sending “researchers” into newsrooms across the country to find out why stories impacting minorities aren’t being reported.” Feds to snoop in newsrooms. What could go wrong?

“Last week, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai disclosed the existence of the FCC’s new “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” a study that would send FCC researchers (monitors?) into newsrooms across the nation to determine, among other things, whether news organizations are meeting citizens “actual” as opposed to “perceived” information needs. As designed, the study empowers researchers to not only ask a series of questions of news staff, it also provides (in pages 10 and 11) advice for gaining access to employees even when broadcasters and their Human Resources refuse to provide confidential employee information. The Obama administration FCC is abusing its regulatory authority by attempting to discern the inner workings of American newsrooms.” Echoes of the IRS in the FCC Snooping Scandal

“The FCC explained that it wanted information from television and radio broadcasters “to ascertain the process by which stories are selected, station priorities (for content production quality, and populations served), perceived station bias, perceived percent of news dedicated to each of the eight CIN’s and perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.” The FCC has identified eight CINs, or key topics that the government believes should be covered. According to the actual FCC report, the eight CINs are:

1. emergencies and risks, both immediate and long term;
2. health and welfare, including specifically local health information as well as group
specific health information where it exists;
3. education, including the quality of local schools and choices available to parents;
4. transportation, including available alternatives, costs, and schedules;
5. economic opportunities, including job information, job training, and small business
assistance;
6. the environment, including air and water quality and access to recreation;
7. civic information, including the availability of civic institutions and opportunities to
associate with others;
8. political information, including information about candidates at all relevant levels of local governance, and about relevant public policy initiatives affecting communities and neighborhoods.” FCC Monitors Your News, Komrade

“It’s only taken seven years, but a member of the mainstream media is finally asking “what are they thinking?” That would be the formerly “respectable” Howard Kurtz, the Columbia J-school grad who wrote for the Washington Post and worked for CNN and the Daily Beast, before he fell from grace and landed at Fox News, where he writes: What on earth is the FCC thinking?” [snip] “Well, read the whole thing, because it’s worth it (and read FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai’s rather heroic bit of whistleblowing on the matter, dated February 10, and finally getting some attention beyond the blogs) but before you go, allow me to answer Kurtz’ opening query: “What are they thinking?” Mr. Kurtz, it’s pretty obvious; they’re thinking no one in the mainstream press has asked them a difficult or challenging question in 7 years, so why would they start now.” Over FCC Plans, MSM Finally a Bit Curious re Obama Admin – UPDATED

“Howie Kurtz wants to know what the FCC was thinking when it proposed to monitor how editorial decisions are made in news media. (Including in newspapers, over which they have no jurisidiction whatsoever.)

Oh, She’s got answers. Some of these answers are obvious, but apparently they didn’t occur to Kurtz.

After summing up what they were thinking (which I don’t want to excerpt, because it’s smokin’-hot, and you should click over there), she concludes:

‘The biggest problem in our nation is not the Democrats, or the Republicans; it is not the Obama Administration, just as it wasn’t the Bush Administration, and it won’t be future Clinton or Warren Administrations. Our biggest problem is that the press has voluntarily surrendered its freedoms for the sake of idols and ideologies. Because this is true, our government is either factionalized, fictionalized and bombarded with daily media outrage and indignation, or it is given an utterly free pass, with no accountability required. Either way, it is a process of illusion, which gives assist to the necessary distraction, and that’s all. I didn’t want to write about this today. The truth is, I don’t even want to write about politics, anymore, because it’s all distraction and illusion and theater. I’d be happy to write about prayer and scripture, and nothing else, for the rest of my life, and maybe that’s what I’ll be doing, soon enough. But I am passionate about journalism, passionate about the need for a free press, and so I had to write, today. Without a curious press interested in protecting its own freedoms, there is no there, there. We might as well just put down the mics and turn out the lights, because it’s over.’” “What Was the FCC Thinking?” The Anchoress Answers Howie Kurtz

“The Obama administration has been curtailing press freedom – but that hasn’t ended the press’ drool-cup worship for their beloved president. Despite occasional flare-ups, the relationship between the Obama White House and its press lackeys remains strong. Which is not only a testament to the tyrannical tendencies of the Obama administration, but to the cowardice of those who cover it.” Obama Crackdown on Press Freedom Escalates

Benghazi

If the FCC gets its way, stories like this won’t be allowed to be reported. “Two leading Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say that Michael Morell, former deputy director and twice acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, provided an account of his role on Benghazi that was often highly misleading and at times deliberately false. “I went back and reviewed some of his testimony the other day and he’s gotten himself in a real box,” says Senator Saxby Chambliss, the highest-ranking Republican on the committee. “It’s really strange. I’ve always thought Mike was a straight-up guy, gave us good briefings—factual, straightforward. I mean, this has really been strange the last few weeks—all this now being uncovered.” Lawmakers: CIA #2 Lied to Us About Benghazi

Big Government

When will Congress say “STOP?” “But the aggressive push for climate change is about more than Obama’s desire to shape his legacy as the president who would, as he said in his megalomaniacal 2008 boast, slow “the rise of the oceans” and “heal” the planet. What we are now witnessing is an attempt to create an imperial presidency that seeks to govern without Congress at home as opposed to the traditional model in which commanders in chief conduct wars and foreign policy without being held accountable.” Big Trucks, Obama, and the Rule of Law

Common Core

“Who would have thought the champion of charters and school choice, the foe of teachers unions, was connected to Common Core before most people had even heard the term?  Michelle Rhee is that woman and she has poured millions into getting Republican candidates elected in at least 17 states [in 2012, 90 out of the 105 candidates backed by Rhee were Republicans or conservatives] Texas may be next on the list — see USA Today op-ed co-authored by Rhee and Susan Combs, Texas State Comptroller.” Michelle Rhee: School Choice and Common Core Cheerleader

The Constitution

Thank goodness for Senator Mike Lee. “During a Senate oversight hearing, Lee asked Holder by what legal authority Obama suspended Obamacare’s employer mandate, which covers all companies with 50 or more employees. Holder admitted that he had no ready answer, that there were legal memos on this subject, but that he could not recall what they said. Lee sharply criticized this lack of an answer and requested that Holder provide to the committee copies of the legal memos making the case for Obama to be able to do this.” Eric Holder Can’t Explain if Constitution Allows Obama’s Executive Actions

“The Constitution disperses power among the branches of government and between levels of government to prevent unilateral action and force publicly conducted deliberation.  Mr. Obama has made it clear that public deliberation and the compromises that go with it are not for him.  The question now is, are they for the rest of us?” “Administration Lawlessness? Executive Orders Aren’t the Half of It.” by Clark S. Judge

Debt

Read the whole thing, please. “While Democrats have spent the last few months trying in vain to engender a public outcry about income inequality, the greatest challenge facing the country remains the same: a long-term budget and debt crisis fueled by the rising cost of entitlements that can’t be fixed with token spending cuts or higher taxes on the rich. But the 2015 budget that President Obama will propose this year will ignore it. Instead of building on the discussions that he has had with Republicans in recent years in which he has at least contemplated a form of entitlement reform, there will be no mention of indexing cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients or any other measure intended to check the growth of expenditures by the government. Instead, the president is proposing $56 billion more in federal spending on pet projects.” Obama Budget: Dems Still Status Quo Party

From the UK press. You won’t see anything about it here. “Americans are taking on debt at a rate not seen since just before the country spiraled into the Great Recession. Federal Reserve Bank of New York data out Tuesday indicates that consumers have slowly loosened their belts since the dark days of the recession began in ’07. But the stunningly high rate at which borrowing has risen in recent months, and the nation’s history debt-driven economic downturn, leave room to worry the data could spell impending disaster.” U.S. consumer debt spikes at rate not seen since just before the Great Recession

Elections

SAN ANTONIO, TX–The most recent James O’Keefe expose released on Breitbart Texas showed a Battleground Texas field organizer engaging in a seemingly illegal data mining operation where confidential information from voter registration forms was being collected in an effort to help elect Wendy Davis as governor of Texas. The video has now triggered a process by which an investigation carried by the State of Texas may occur.” Unrepentant Battleground Texas Now Subject to State Investigation

We must not let the Left destroy her, because they will hit her with all they have. “The last thing Democrats want on the national stage is a black conservative Republican, anti-abortion, successful single mom who worked her way through college to achieve her American dream (without seeking government for answers).  They do not want another non-victim-minded black elected official out there touting traditional values, preaching that the rewards of hard work and self-reliance are self-respect and dignity.  It would drive Democrats to drink.” Oh, No! Another Black Conservative Republican Running for Office

Energy

“The steep increase is the result of new rules implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency requiring any new power plant coming on line to use carbon capture and sequestration technologies intended to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases dispatched into the atmosphere. Climatologists maintain man-made greenhouse gases are a primary contributor to global climate change. A number of lawmakers and utility officials assert installing the carbon capture technology in newly constructed power plants can’t be accomplished in a fiscally sustainable manner, meaning power companies will turn to alternative fuel sources like natural gas.” Coal Regulations Could Hike Energy Costs as Much as 80 Percent

Foreign Policy

Does our president have even a clue of the impact his weakness is having upon the world? “It’s clear that around the globe today, the person who is respected and feared and shaping world events is not Mr. Obama, who is seen as an impotent amateur, but the brutal Vladimir Putin, who is reasserting Russian dominance in Ukraine and the Middle East, among other places. We all know Barack Obama is weak and essentially powerless; he simply makes things worse with his bluster. He’s a pushover, and the entire world–our adversaries and our allies–know it.” Obama’s Worthless Threats

“The abandonment of American interests in an effort to provide Moscow with reparations for the perceived offenses of the previous eight years has evolved from puerile and foolish to downright irresponsible. Today, real lives are being lost and the world has been made less secure as a result of the president’s folly.” Rothman: Obama’s Blood-Soaked ‘Reset’ with Russia

“Ukraine joins the long list of countries that have regressed into deeper shadow under President Obama and his two Secretaries of State, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. The list of just those countries we know about because they have have made huge headlines include Iran and its lost Green Revolution, Egypt and the years of chaos begun when the president and his team had four policies vis-a-vis Egypt in as many days, Libya where “leading from behind” was coined, Syria where the red line faded into black, Lebanon and Jordan where the Syrians sought refuge, Iraq where the peace has been forfeited and civil war begun again, Afghanistan where our scamper is underway and the Taliban is waiting, and this week Venezuela and Ukraine where American fecklessness has emboldened the worst of the locals to imprison and kill.” The Obama-Clinton-Kerry Legacy

Why should he? “Ukraine Defense Minister Pavel Lebedev has refused to take multiple phone calls made personally by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Pentagon said Thursday.

“Secretary Hagel has been trying, himself, since early this week,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters. Lebedev refuses “to communicate, to accept a phone call” from Hagel or the Pentagon.” Ukraine defense minister ignores repeated phone calls from Chuck Hagel

Global Warming

Scaring us so they control us even more than they do now. “Climate-change proponents have made their cause a matter of fealty and faith. For folks who pretend to be brave carriers of the scientific ethic, there’s more than a tinge of religion in their jeremiads. If you whore after other gods, the Bible tells us, “the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit” (Deuteronomy 11). Sounds like California. Except that today there’s a new god, the Earth Mother. And a new set of sins — burning coal and driving a fully equipped F-150. But whoring is whoring, and the gods must be appeased. So if California burns, you send your high priest (in a carbon-belching Air Force One, but never mind) to the bone-dry land to offer up, on behalf of the repentant congregation, a $1 billion burnt offering called a “climate-resilience fund.” Ah, settled science in action.” The Myth of ‘Settled Science:’ Computer models of climate change have been dead wrong, yet alarmists aim to quell debate.

Ouch. “Last week, John Kerry burned 12 tons of carbon to travel to Indonesia and declare global warming as the biggest WMD of all. In what has become the general model of climate-change alarmism, he told his audience that Jakarta would soon be half-submerged thanks to the rising of the oceans that the election of his boss supposedly stopped. The Chicken Little spectacle was so embarrassing that Newt Gingrich suggested that Kerry should retire out of embarrassment, if not national security. “A delusional secretary of state,” Gingrich tweeted, “is dangerous to our safety.” In the same speech, Kerry referred to climate skeptics as “Flat Earth Society” holdouts. That caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal and two fellows of the American Meteorological Society, Professors of Atmospheric Science Richard McNider and John Christy. Dr. Christy served at one time on the IPCC, the UN body that pushes anthropogenic climate change as the bogeyman of our time, and shared in its Nobel Prize along with Al Gore. Christy and McNider, however, teach a history lesson to Kerry before addressing his shrieking hysteria on global warming. It was the Flat Earthers who clung to “consensus,” and the skeptics who turned out to be right.” WSJ to Kerry: Flat Earthers were the “consensus” position

Hillary

While MSM is desperately trying to get another “email takes down governor” story going vis-a-vis Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Governor came on my show Wednesday and I asked him about 2016 and the prospects of facing Hillary on the debate stage with so many debacles roiling the world that she, her successor John Kerry, and President Obama had failed to prevent or even ameliorate. The complete transcript of the conversation is here. Governor Walker’s first take on Hillary’s record: I think the biggest problem that Secretary of State Clinton has is much bigger than just that, it’s that she is throughout her adult life, she has been a product of Washington, whether she’s been there, worked there, Secretary of State, United States Senator, not only first lady, but back to her days working on the Hill. And I think Americans now more than ever have had it with the whole bunch in Washington, and they want somebody to come in, actually, they want a group of people to come in and completely turn things around and reform things, and put the power back in the hands of the hard-working people of this country. So I think for her, her connection, her longevity connected to Washington, more than anything, is going to be a huge liability for her.” Scott Walker Assesses Hillary’s Record: “She was good at flying around the world…”

The Left

“Twenty-two years ago an event occurred that was the primary catalyst in the election of the Obama administration with its totalitarian mindset and statist convictions.  The presidential election of 1992 marked the turning point when the American people set in motion the dynamic that has eventuated in the dominance of government by the radical element of the American left.   These ideologues have skillfully exploited an overwhelmingly self-centered and ill-educated populace, while being greatly aided by a foolishly sanctimonious segment of the electorate.   These factors, in combination with a political system that is limited to two political parties, have placed the United States in its present predicament.” The Curse of the Sanctimonious Class

Marriage

Marriage as an “alternative lifestyle?” “But isn’t it fascinating that NBC views a man taking care of his wife and daughter as an alternative lifestyle? I’m glad David Wise won gold, but if this is any indication of media views on normalcy, our society is pretty much doomed.” Being Married With Kids And Young Now Deemed “Alternative Lifestyle” – NBC has interesting ideas about what’s outside the cultural norm

The Media

This: “By the way, 3 years ago today, in the Wisconsin protests, which included teachers who were calling in sick to absent themselves from the classroom, doctors stood on a street corner under a sign that read “I’m a doctor/Need a note?” They were real doctors, putting their names on notes that the protesters could use to excuse their absence from work. When lefty politicians or groups break the law, the press’s attitude is “politics ain’t beanbag.” And this: “But that forbearance doesn’t extend to Republicans.: And this: It’s interesting to watch the press try to do oppo-research and battlespace-prep on every GOP figure who gets mentioned. These are the same people who told us that looking into Obama’s background — or lack of actual accomplishments — was racist, and that looking into Hillary’s background — or lack of actual accomplishments — is sexist.” WISCONSIN SCANDALS THE PRESS NEVER CARED ABOUT

“As we reported earlier, the unfolding situation in Venezuela is not pretty. The protests against Chávez successor Nicolás Maduro‘s regime have reportedly turned violent, similar to the chaos seen in Ukraine.  At least six protesters have been shot, homes have reportedly been raided, and government efforts to suppress the gatherings are underway. Wednesday night was a particularly violent night. Venezuelan journalist Francisco Toro noticed that as the pandemonium unfurls before his country’s eyes, it has barely registered with the international media. In a post for Caracas Chronicles, Toro took major outlets to task for ignoring what has become a slow-motion crumbling of the Latin American country.” Venezuelan Journalist Rightly Wonders Why American Media Ignores Unfolding Crisis

Minimum Wage

The government making everything worse, as usual. “Whether one likes it or not, employers who want their company to survive (let alone prosper) do have to consider the effects of mandated minimum wage-increases on their business’s ability to make a profit (and thereby continue employing people). And that sometimes results in a freezing or even a reduction of staff numbers in particular industries. A well-intentioned flipping of the switch, it turns out, can make matters worse for some of the very people one is trying to help. But another aspect that’s not often considered is how policies emanating from other government institutions undermine the impact of mandated minimum wages. If, for instance, a central bank continues to follow loose monetary policy (as an ultimately ineffective way of trying to compensate for the failure of governments and legislatures to undertake the serious economic reforms that sustain growth over the long term), then the declining purchasing power of a given currency can nullify any beneficial effect of a minimum-wage increase, not to mention the gains of wage rises in general. A 3 percent decline in a currency’s purchasing power over the year, for example, more than halves the real benefits of a 5 percent wage increase in the same year.” Our Minimum-Wage Circus

Obamacare

If Democrats Think They Can Run on Obamacare… they’ve got another thing coming. Check out this absolutely brutal–because it is true–ad that Americans For Prosperity is running in Michigan:

Most of us live in realville. “Out in the world beyond what Washington manufactures and spins, no one would get away with putting out a product as flawed as ObamaCare. Today’s public won’t accept that kind of performance. From the largest consumer-product companies down to the local sandwich shop, you’ve got to deliver the goods at a sustained level of competent execution. Not everyone deserves a gold badge from J.D. Power, but by and large it has become very difficult to sustain a shoddy product in the marketplace anymore. Except the government. And the Democratic Party is nothing if not the party whose identity is bound up with government services and the public unions that deliver those services.  Good enough for government work was once just a joke. Some years ago I sat with a roomful of people in lower Manhattan’s federal Social Security office for a half hour with no discernible forward movement. The clerks seemed to have disappeared. Suddenly a frustrated lady shot up and screamed, “This place is worse than the department of motor vehicles!” To which the guard at the door responded: “Oh no, ma’am. They’re still worse than we are.” Henninger: The Rube Goldberg Democrats: ObamaCare is the party’s unworkable contraption of nonperformance.

ObamaCare: Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius claims “there is absolutely no evidence” that health reform is killing jobs. Liars are legion in politics, but they usually stop short of claiming the sun didn’t rise this morning. In George Orwell’s “1984,” “Doublethink” was the government’s “conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty.” [Snip] “IBD’s John Merline last June surveyed local news reports around the country and found private- and public-sector employers alike “cutting part-time hours specifically so they can skirt ObamaCare’s costly employer mandate.” [Snip] “Lying in the face of massive failure is one thing, Madam Secretary. But denial of obvious realities goes beyond honesty and borders on delusional.” Sebelius Denies Well-Documented ObamaCare Joblessness

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Filed under 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Benghazi, Big Government, Common Core, Constitution, Debt, Energy, Foreign Policy, Freedom of the Press, Global Warming, Hillary, Marriage, Minimum Wage, Obamacare, The Left, The Media, Ukraine, Venezuela

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