News and Commentary for February 25

We need to do more than work hard for our candidates.

We need to do more than work hard for our candidates.

Stories of the Day

Read it and weep. “More than any president in my lifetime, Barack Obama has damaged virtually everything he’s touched. When it comes to American interests, he’s a one-man wrecking ball.” Obama Consciously Engineering America’s Decline

Intentional decline. “In The NY Times today, Pentagon Plans to Shrink Army to Pre-World War II Level: “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plans to shrink the United States Army to its smallest force since before the World War II buildup and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets in a new spending proposal that officials describe as the first Pentagon budget to aggressively push the military off the war footing adopted after the terror attacks of 2001.” One year ago: Hagel nominated “to supervise … generation-long process of defense cutbacks”

“But while that is true to a point, the Obama administration is nevertheless taking an enormous gamble by cutting America’s defence capabilities at a time when many of its enemies are increasing theirs. Both China and Russia are in the process of revamping their military capabilities and, as the Russians have recently demonstrated in Syria, they are adept at using the mere threat of military force to achieve their strategic objectives.” America’s enemies will be delighted by the latest cuts to its military strength

“Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s proposed drastic cuts to the U.S. Army are “absolutely dangerous” and would cause long-term damage to the military.” Former Vice President Cheney calls Hagel’s proposed Army cuts ‘absolutely devastating’

“Our armed forces must be the only area of the federal government subject to actual cuts in the proposed budget. Elsewhere Obama has declared an end to the era of austerity that has supposedly tied his hands. It’s almost funny.” In search of antithesis

Can the world recover? “An increasingly messy world is looking for guidance. But not only does the United States refuse to be its policeman, it won’t even be its hall monitor. The utterly false choice in Syria articulated by Rice — America can do nothing because it won’t do everything — is noticed by the rest of the world. Obama threatened “consequences” if someone stepped “over the line” in Ukraine. Ah, another line. Is it red?” Susan Rice and the retreat of American power

Arizona

Mark my words, we’re going to lose the messaging war once again. Reminder: Our country was founded on religious liberty. Why have so many of us forgotten this? This: It is perhaps unfortunate that it has come to this, but organized homosexuality, a phenomenon that is more about progressive pieties than gay rights per se, remains on the permanent offensive in the culture wars. Live-and-let-live is a creed that the gay lobby specifically rejects: The owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado was threatened with a year in jail for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. New Mexico photographer Elaine Huguenin was similarly threatened for declining to photograph a same-sex wedding. It is worth noting that neither the baker nor the photographer categorically refuses services to homosexuals; birthday cakes and portrait photography were both on the menu. The business owners specifically objected to participating in a civic/religious ceremony that violated their own consciences. And the so-called liberals answer: “To hell with your consciences.”And this: “It is our hope that the people of Arizona will treat their gay fellow citizens with decency and respect. It also is our hope that they will be repaid in kind. Insofar as legal intervention is required in the matter, the need for legislative preemption of judicial coercion is an unhappy fact, and the Arizona legislature is right to act on it.” A Live-and-Let-Live Law

Big Government

Why should we trust them? “HHS said it would use the social media tool for public health concerns and emergencies such as Superstorm Sandy. “In the midst of an event we want to know when hospitals and/or nursing homes are evacuating patients,” HHS said under “scenarios of how we would utilize this tool.” HHS Seeking Access to ‘Full Twitter Historical Data’

Who made her queen? First lady Michelle Obama will unveil a proposal Tuesday that would ban marketing junk food and so”das in schools — an unusually aggressive position for the administration that could draw the ire of school districts, food companies and conservatives. Schools would no longer be able to house vending machines that sport images of their flagship sodas, have posters promoting unhealthy food and drinks or use cups in cafeterias that market high-calorie beverages, among other forms of promotion, according to administration officials.” Michelle Obama to unveil food marketing limits for schools

Debt

Hurling towards disaster. This: The president can delay his budget, but no good can come from further postponing our country’s desperately needed financial reforms.” And this: “The budget that America needs — versus the more likely budget shaped by concurrent political forces — are two very different things. As we prepare to receive and evaluate President Obama’s next submitted budget, it is worth knowing what a set of budget proposals would look like if focused on solving our escalating fiscal problems. Such a budget would rein in the growing cost of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA. The extent to which the coming budget diverges from this blueprint is the extent to which other policy agendas are diverting us from urgently needed fiscal repairs.” Reform entitlements — or go bust

Speaking the truth, which apparently no one in Washington D.C. wants to hear. “Short-term thinking killed the “Grand Bargain,” the mythical compromise to avert a fiscal crisis that Democrats and Republicans know is unavoidable without slashing entitlement spending and/or raising taxes. Long-term thinking … well, there is none of that in Washington. Because long-term thinking requires courage and transparency, and such traits are dead to this town. Allow me to highlight two facts that President Obama and House Republicans, cowardly, don’t want their followers to know.” What Your Party Leaders Aren’t Telling You About The Debt

Elections

Scott Walker for president! “As Jonathan very correctly observes, Scott Walker’s public-sector union reforms, which he got enacted over extraordinary opposition, scare unions, Democrats, and possible GOP opponents alike should he decide to run for the Republican nomination in 2016. Unions face a massive loss of funds (and therefore political power) if his reforms spread to other states. The Democratic Party faces a loss of those union funds, which go overwhelmingly to that party. And the contenders for the presidency in both parties face the fact that Scott Walker, who comes across in both private and public as a nice, low-key, everyone’s-favorite-uncle sort of guy—a veritable unObama when it comes to self-regard and ego—has proved himself a political mensch of the first order. That could be a very potent combination in 2016.” Scott Walker’s Political Courage

Doing what needs to be done, in the right way. “Wisconsin’s previous Democrat governor, Walker pointed out, “had people on a waiting list living in poverty for health care.” But during Walker’s administration, for the first time in state history, they covered everyone living in poverty under Medicaid, and everyone above poverty is covered by transitioning them to the marketplace. That’s 224,000 more covered than before, “and yet, we don’t put the taxpayers at risk.” Gov. Walker: Success Not Measured by ‘How Many People Are Dependent on the Government’

Fairness

More truth. “Those who preach this counterproductive message will probably never think that the envy, resentment and hopelessness they preach, and the welfare state they promote, are among the factors keeping people down.” The ‘Fairness’ Fraud

Free Speech

They have to silence us because they have to silence those that speak the truth. “For half a century or so, IRS regulations have held that a political advocacy group maintains its 501(c)(4) status as long as “candidate-related political activity” is less than 50 percent of what it does. These groups have been able to meet this test because they are far more focused on citizen education and grassroots lobbying than on the election of particular candidates. This is where the new proposed regulation comes into play. In order to strike at these groups — most of which are conservative — the Obama IRS proposes to redefine “candidate-related political activity” to encompass most of what 501(c)(4) organizations normally do.” The IRS’s latest attempt to silence conservatives

Global Warming

It’s really about the power. This: Our friend Rob Bradley, founder of the indispensable Institute for Energy Research, has a brilliant post up on IER’s MasterResource blog today about how the all-important “carbon footprint” of the environmental movement is almost certainly positive (that is, their policies have led to a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions). And this: “So natural gas wins, nuclear loses, and climate loses by Hansen’s math because…. What to do when the wind is not blowing? The answer was: have a gas plant ready as back-up. In other words, replace carbon-free nuclear power with a dual system, renewables plus gas. With this approach CO2 emissions will increase and it is certain that fracking will continue and expand into larger regions. Me (Steve) again: Nice going enviros.  Of course, Hansen’s fundamental mistake is thinking environmental activism is actually about the climate.  Some day he’ll figure this out, and get really depressed.” Environmentalists: Carbon Bigfoots?

IRS

We need more people like her. “Cleta Mitchell may be the most dangerous woman in America. She is the prominent Washington attorney who represents several clients victimized by the criminal misconduct of the IRS over the past four years. She speaks with authority when she asserts, as she did recently in her testimony before a congressional subcommittee, that the Obama administration is responsible for “lies upon lies” covering up the multifarious, politically inspired wrongdoing of the IRS.” POWER LINE: Cleta Chronicles: IRS scandals, part 1, 2 and 3

The Left

Those on the Left live in a weird world. “Twitter lit up with ridicule of Power’s meditation on the significance of Pearl’s murder. One tweeter offered the simplest explanation: maybe she was on drugs. But she doesn’t seem the type. Rather, I think Samantha Power–who among fans of the Obama administration is considered a deep thinker!–suffers from the muddle-headedness that typifies most liberals. She can’t face the truth, which is that radical Muslims are an existential threat to civilization and freedom, with whom we can never be reconciled. So in lieu of truth, she emits platitudes about “cycles of violence” and so on. The sad reality is that her boss, Barack Obama, who has appointed her to a series of high-profile foreign policy positions, has just as incoherent a view of the world as she does.” Samantha Power Dives Deep…Into Incoherence

More on the Left’s weird world. “For Obama’s supporters, what matters is not what he does, but what he says and represents.” When Failure Is Success

Bubbles. “The new millennium has also given us a new American profile — the hip richeral. Richerals are, of course, well off. But they are even more cool and liberal. The two facts are not so much incompatible, as complementary. For some, big money allows three things: wealth’s cocoon enables you to dream safely about utopia rather than being laid off and broke; it exempts you from worrying much about the high taxes and regulations needed to pay for your redistributionist fantasy agendas; and it gives you the influence, capital, and opportunities to flee from the messy ramifications of your own ideology.” Meet the Richerals

What we need to do… “So the upshot: there is no point trying to open the zombie liberals’ eyes. It’s a total waste of time and energy. The real target should be the young whose minds have not yet completely closed and who still might be receptive to appeals to their common sense. “We’ll get you through your children!”, the lefty poet Allen Ginsberg yelled to his erstwhile fellow radical Norman Podhoretz. That’s exactly why the Bill Ayerses and Mike Klonskys have given up open terrorism and burrowed into the educational system to gnaw America from within. This is one field which conservatives can’t afford to yield; the battle should be joined.” Obeying the Dog Whistle

Minimum Wage

“A recent University of California, Berkeley, Labor Center study, “Fast Food, Poverty Wages,” shows that low-wage workers already get substantial government subsidies, such as food stamps and the earned income tax credit. The authors propose supplementing those programs with government-mandated wage hikes. But as conventional economics says, that would only worsen the poor’s plight.” The Minimum Wage Is No Friend of the Poor

Obamacare

“You won’t find chilly, insulated elites like Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama admitting it, but the blood of Mrs. Blackwood and millions of other Americans harmed by their thoughtless legislation is on their heads. Obamacare is a totalitarian scheme masquerading as a humanitarian enterprise.  Its human cost is incalculable, but already, just a few months in, we’re beginning to get a sense of the suffering it will cause.  When your treatment for cancer is disallowed, when your daughter cannot get the medicine she needs, when your mother’s insurance is cancelled, will you still go gently into that good night of liberal sanctimony? Or will you finally realize that when Barack Obama promised to “fundamentally transform the United States of America,” this might not have been the beneficent program the New York Times and other such outlets led you to believe?” The Human Face of Obamacare

“Nearly two-thirds of small businesses that currently offer health insurance to their workers will pay more for coverage as a result of new rules in the health care law, as will millions of small-business employees and their family members, according to new estimates released by the Obama administration.” Obama administration: Health law’s new rules will increase costs for most small businesses

The reason? “These companies generally employ younger, healthier workers and so had been paying lower-than-average rates. But since ObamaCare bans insurance companies from considering health when setting premiums, these companies will get hit with higher costs.” 65% of small businesses face Obamacare premium hikes

President Obama

Where were all these people in November of 2012? “For the first time,” Gallup tells us today, “more Americans think President Barack Obama is not respected by other world leaders than believe he is.” The news is a bit worse for the president than it looks, as Gallup notes that “Americans’ opinions have shifted dramatically in the past year, after being relatively stable from 2010 to 2013.” While such perceptions often track closely with presidential approval numbers, Gallup explains, President Obama’s numbers have not followed that pattern: “a majority of Americans still thought world leaders respected Obama in 2010 and 2011, when his job approval was similar to what it is now.” Why the President Don’t Get No Respect

Ruling Class Elites

“America’s ruling class has been experiencing more pushback than usual lately. It just might be a harbinger of things to come.” Americans rising up against government: Column

War on Poverty

Nothing the Left does works out the way it was supposed to. “From the end of World War II until 1964 the poverty rate in this country was cut in half. Further, 94% of the change in the poverty rate over this period can be explained by changes in per capita income alone. Economic growth is clearly the most effective antipoverty weapon ever devised by man.The dotted line shows what would have happened had this trend continued. Economic growth would have reduced the number in poverty to a mere 1.4% of the population today, a number so low that private charity could probably have taken care of any unmet needs. But we didn’t continue the trend. In 1965 we launched a War on Poverty. And as the graph shows, in the years that followed the portion of Americans living in poverty barely budged. In 1965, 18% of the population lived in poverty. Today we are at 15%, or 50 million Americans. That’s after spending $15 trillion on antipoverty programs and continuing to spend $1 trillion a year.” Why We Lost the War on Poverty

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Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, Arizona Politics, Big Government, Debt, Freedom of Speech, Global Warming, IRS, Michelle Obama, Military, Minimum Wage, Olympics, Poverty and the Welfare State, President Obama, Religious Liberty, The Left

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