News and Commentary for March 4

The country needs us now. Be strong! And help save her.

The country needs us now. Be strong! And help save her.

Stories of the Day

The lawlessness continues. “The Obama administration is set to announce another major delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act, easing election pressure on Democrats. As early as this week, according to two sources, the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet ObamaCare’s minimum coverage requirements.” Obama Administration to Invoke Constitution’s Little-Known ‘Election Year’ Clause

This: “America is descending into banana republic status, where El Supremo suspends laws with which he disagrees, or which might create political difficulties for his party.” And this: “When the 2016 presidential debates take place, one question to be posed to both the GOP and Democratic candidates would be: ‘Does the next president have the right to unilaterally suspend any or all portions of Obamacare the same way President Obama has?’” Report: Obama plans new Obamacare delay to help Dems in midterms

Again, everything the Left does results in a directly opposite impact than what was intended. Here’s another example. “The free-market group analyzed the first round of energy usage data released by city officials Friday and found that large, privately-owned buildings that received the green energy certification Leadership in Energy Design (LEED) actually use more energy than buildings that didn’t receive this green stamp of approval.” Report: DC’s green-approved buildings using more energy

Delusional. “At the beginning of February, Fred Kaplan, the Edward R. Murrow press fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, headlined a Slate article, ‘Obama Isn’t Disengaged From the World: He just has a better understanding of how power works in the modern world.’” Obama enters Putin’s World

Note to all you Obama supporters: How’s all that Hope and Change looking to you now? “The brazen seizure of Crimea by Putin’s Russia has brought into bold relief how the world would look if America is unable or unwilling to project power and influence. Is this what our diplomatic president wanted?” Obama’s World Without America Looks A Lot Like Ukraine Hat tip: Lucianne.com

Woman power! “Palin foresaw a weak president who would bow to world leaders as he was apologizing to them for American excess. President Obama would go on to cave to Russian pressure and betray our NATO allies on missile defense, promising Russia’s leaders he would have more “flexibility” to bend to their will after his reelection.” Sarah Palin Was Right On Ukraine And Obama Hat tip: Lucianne.com

Floundering, to the detriment of the parts of the world that love freedom. “No one from left to right has suggested the use of military force by the U.S,. or any of its allies, but to not even summon the courage to immediately exile Russia from the G-8 and G-20 while draining the bank accounts of its oligarchs is astonishing.  President Obama has roused himself to make two tepid statements, as ambiguous as they have been ineffective, and John Kerry arrives with a paltry promise of a paltry billion in loan guarantees and “technical assistance” for a country in the process of dismemberment, the geopolitical equivalent of a last cigarette before execution. What a shameful time to be an American, and to accede to the loss of freedom that Ronal Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and John Paul II helped win for the people of Ukraine.  A few Republicans are speaking up, and a few analysts have begun the work of laying out the cost of rebuilding what President Obama has allowed to decline into dangerously provocative weakness. It will get worse before it gets better, and people in Tel Aviv, Taipei and Tallinn all know the score. They are on their own.” The Obama Collapse

Truth. “President Obama simply doesn’t understand international relations, and that’s why Russian president Vladamir Putin had the gumption to invade Ukraine, Charles Krauthammer explained on Special Report tonight. “To invade Crimea is a huge step and he would only have done it with a president who has shown from the very beginning that he’s living in a fantasy world,” Krauthammer said. Obama began his presidency declaring that no nation can or should dominate another. On Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that Russia committed a “19th century action in a 21st century world.” “They imagine the world as a new interconnected world where climate change is the biggest threat, and they are shocked that the Russians are actually interested in territory” Krauthammer said. It’s as if Obama believes that a world “where government’s pursue expansion, territory, domination, no longer exist in this century, as if that hasn’t been a constant in all of human history since Hannibal,” Krauthammer said.” Krauthammer’s Take: Obama Is Living in a Fantasy World

Oh, for what could have been. Click on over to watch “the smartest man on the planet” ridicule Romney for his comments concerning Russia. “Now seems like a reasonable moment to recall these zingers, which Democrats and the media thought were terribly clever in 2012. Mitt Romney’s clear-eyed assessment of Vladimir Putin’s Russia is looking more spot-on accurate than ever, yet it was greeted at the time with widespread ridicule. Barack Obama, in the final presidential debate.” Flashback: Obama, Kerry ridiculed Romney over Russia

From CBS no less. “’President Obama does have a credibility problem. He talks about a red line in Syria for chemical weapons and then he lets it be blurred. He says that Russia will have to pay costs if it intervenes in Ukraine. And then within hours, the military intervention begins,’ said Washington Post columnist David Ignatius on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday.” Ukraine conflict tests Obama’s credibility on the world stage Hat tip: Lucianne.com

From the NY Post no less. “As in the Carter era, Obama-era defenders of inaction suggest there is little they can now do to get Russia out of Crimea. They are likely right. Even so, Russia’s invasion was invited by manifold acts of American weakness — from our failure in Benghazi to the dubious deal we’re pursuing with Iran to denying our Eastern European friends missile defense to Obama’s failure to enforce the red line he himself drew in Syria. When you don’t resist aggression, you can’t be surprised aggressors raise the stakes.” Jimmy Obama

Endings. “This will probably end in either two ways : Either Barack Obama will have his 1980 Jimmy Carter revelatory moment as something like an “Obama Doctrine,” or we could see some pretty scary things in the next three years as regional thugs cash in their chips and begin readjusting the map in their areas of would-be influence.” The Stepping Stones to the Ukraine Crisis

Americanism

What the heck is wrong with the people of California. I was born there and I am disgusted by what is happening to the state I once called home.  This: “At Live Oak High School, the equation is much simpler. A toxic combination of political correctness that promotes the celebration of a Mexican holiday despite a track record of violence, coupled with the calculated impotence that rewards that violence with the suppression of free speech, makes an utter mockery of the educational process. As Volkh explains, the school has “taught its students a simple lesson: If you dislike speech and want it suppressed, then you can get what you want by threatening violence against the speakers. The school will cave in, the speakers will be shut up, and you and your ideology will win. When thuggery pays, the result is more thuggery. Is that the education we want our students to be getting?” And this: “Such PC-inspired nonsense should be called out. “This is the United States of America,” said Kendall Jones, whose son, Daniel Galli, was one of the students sent home by officials. ‘The idea that it’s offensive to wear patriotic clothing … regardless of what day it is, is unconscionable to me.’” The Judicial Assault on American Flag T-Shirts

Arizona

A Godless media. “In the aftermath of the abominable media coverage of Arizona’s religious liberty bill, an editor shared his hypothesis that journalists care about freedom of speech and of the press because they practice them. And journalists don’t care about freedom of religion because they don’t. But one of the most interesting things about modern media’s deep hostility toward the religious, their religions, and religious liberty in general is that press freedom in America is rooted in religion.” Dumb, Uneducated, And Eager To Deceive: Media Coverage Of Religious Liberty In A Nutshell

A reasonable man. “Even though I’m for marriage equality—see my Supreme Court briefs in the Prop 8 and DOMA cases, and this week I’ll be filing a brief supporting the challenge to the marriage laws of Oklahoma and Utah—I had no problem with Arizona’s SB 1062 for at least nine reasons: 1. Unlike the failed legislation in Kansas and elsewhere, which truly was anti-gay, bills like Arizona’s merely provide a (non-absolute) right to assert a religious objection to generally applicable law, with courts being the ultimate arbiters of how to reconcile competing values. 2. SB 1062 did nothing more than align state law with the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA, which passed the House unanimously and the Senate 97-3, and was signed by President Clinton in 1993). No government action can “substantially burden” religious exercise unless the government uses “the least restrictive means” to further a “compelling interest.” Understandably, this right includes being able to assert a religious objection as a defense in a lawsuit that invokes state law as the basis for a claim (whether that be an antidiscrimination law or any other kind)—but again, a judge gets to decide whether that objection should be accommodated or overruled based on the standards I just described.” 9 Reasons Why I Support Both Marriage Equality and Arizona’s Religious-Liberty Bill

Debt

When one party has a super-majority lock on a state, this is what you get. “But given the level of corruption endemic in a state that spends more than $100 billion a year with little scrutiny, a safe assumption would be that there is a lot more dirt that Calderon can expose in return for a lighter sentence, should his taped transactions result in convictions on multiple counts. Stay tuned.” President Obama’s Growth Gap Hits $1.31 Trillion

The Economy

Link sent by a conservative friend crazy enough to still live in the Los Angeles area, with this comment: “This story BURIED in the Saturday Business section of the LA-LA Times.  A sharp revision DOWNWARD!  So it’s the usual nothing to see here, move along.  Look at the shiny celebrities over here!” The Commerce Department sharply reduced its estimate of fourth-quarter growth to a moderate 2.4% annual rate. Friday’s revision downsized big gains in consumer spending and exports from its initial estimate of 3.2% in January. The updated figures on total economic output, known as gross domestic product, indicated the economy entered this year with less momentum than analysts had anticipated. And the lower rate added to concerns that recent lackluster economic data could signal even weaker growth in the weather-battered first quarter.” U.S. economic growth revised sharply downward

Freedom

Are we going to be free men or subjects? “In other words, the Constitution cannot protect you, if you don’t protect the Constitution with your votes against anyone who violates it. Those government officials who want more power are not going to stop unless they get stopped. As long as millions of Americans vote on the basis of who gives them free stuff, look for their freedom — and all our freedom — to be eroded away, bit by bit. Our children and grandchildren may yet come to see the Constitution as just some quaint words from the past that people once took seriously.” Freedom Is Not Free: You Have to Fight for It or Lose It

Global Warming

This: Apple CEO Tim Cook has told global warming skeptics to “get out of this stock.” But in essence, he did more than that. He told every Apple shareholder to take a hike and waved potential investors away.” And this: “If you want me to do things only for ROI (return on in vestment) reasons, you should get out of this stock,” Cook snapped back.” And this: “He might think that he’s merely brushing off gadflies who aren’t sold on climate change. But he’s really telling the investment world that anyone interested in making more money from this superstock should stay away. That’s no way to run a business. If a CEO says profit is overrated, he’s sending a strong signal to investors about the company’s future performance. Investors, by definition, expect a return. They don’t put their money in a stock to get a warm feeling from political activism — they want nonpolitical profits.” Tim Cook’s Climate Change Faith Costs Apple, Shareholders Hat tip: Lucianne.com

Hollywood

Spoiler Alert, but you need to know so that you don’t go see the movie. ‘Non-Stop’ Review: Liam Neeson Thriller Hits New Left-Wing Low

The IRS

Abolish it and start over. “The United States already has a rather good regulation regarding government oversight of political speech, which is that there isn’t to be any. The First Amendment ought to be the last word on the subject.” The IRS Is the Problem

Some common ground, finally. “Will a record-breaking amount of criticism force the Obama administration’s hand to soften proposed new rules for political nonprofits? Opponents sure hope so.” IRS hit from all political stripes on nonprofit rules

The Left

Community organizers in charge. We know THAT’S going to work out. “’The mayor, who advanced in politics by grass-roots organizing, has built a team filled with former activists — figures more accustomed to picketing administrations or taking potshots from the outside than working from within,” he said, in the New York Times. “His administration is heavily populated with appointees best known for the fights they have fought.’” New York City falls to ‘leftist activists,’ says Rupert Murdoch

Rude. “The problem with Whole Foods is their regular customers. They are, across the board, across the country, useless, ignorant, and miserable. They’re worse than miserable, they’re angry. They are quite literally the opposite of every Whole Foods employee I’ve ever encountered. Walk through any store any time of day—but especially 530pm on a weekday or Saturday afternoon during football season—and invariably you will encounter a sneering, disdainful horde of hipster Zombies and entitled 1%ers. They stand in the middle of the aisles, blocking passage of any other cart, staring intently at the selection asking themselves that critical question: which one of these olive oils makes me seem coolest and most socially conscious, while also making the raw vegetable salad I’m preparing for the monthly condo board meeting seem most rustic and artisanal? America’s Angriest Store Hat Tip: Instapundit.com

Stingy. “Liberals are right: there is a difference in caring that shows up along party lines.  Conservatives give more, a lot more.  They aren’t content with good-hearted wishes, they do good deeds, turning wishes into actions.  Conservatives are ten times more personally charitable, even to secular causes.  They do far more volunteer work.  They even give more blood.  Conservatives do more to help the poor, the sick, minorities, the environment.  People who want small government give an average of $1600 a year versus a measly $140 given by redistributionists.  It’s not because conservatives are richer; the opposite is true. Liberals rationalize their stingy behavior by saying government welfare is a right.  They will tell you that voting for higher taxes (on other people) is morally superior to charity.  Really?  Out of a $1000 “donated” to the IRS a meager $30 reaches the poor, versus $700 from a private charity.  Our neediest citizens would be in tough shape without the $126 billion in church programs, from soup kitchens to adoption centers to shelters to hospitals.” Are Liberals Less Selfish Than Other People?

Michelle Obama

Lavish. “A trip to China—for what? She’s not an elected official and she has no official role in our government. Neither does Malia, Sasha or her live-in babysitter, Marian Robinson.  How do they rate another taxpayer-funded jaunt overseas two months after her lavish Hawaiian vacation? How about putting that money to restoring veterans’ benefits and shoring up our military? Last week, when Bill O’Reilly asked Mrs. Obama’s Chicago crony, Valerie Jarrett,  about the cutbacks, President Obama’s senior adviser told him, ‘we needed to get our fiscal house in order and tighten our belts and that requires a lot of sacrifices.’” After Hawaii and Aspen Michelle Going to China

Obamacare

Not working as intended. “One-third of Americans say the Affordable Care Act has had a negative impact on them personally, while 14 percent say the law has helped them, according to a new Rasmussen survey. The poll finds that public dissatisfaction with Obamcare remains nearly as high as it was during the height of the website’s problems last year.” One in Three Say They’ve Been Personally Hurt by Obamacare

“It is a little hard to see how one-third of Americans could already have been hurt by the law, given that its mandates have been pushed back. By the same token, I don’t see how it can be true that 14% have been helped by the law, either. But here’s the point: whatever the right percentage is, there is no doubt that many millions of Americans have, in fact, lost their insurance coverage, lost their doctors, or been forced to pay more for insurance (or the same for less insurance) on account of Obamacare. These people and, in many instances, their families and friends, are going to be seriously unhappy in November. If the Democrats think they can hide their heads in the sand and claim that all of those people are liars, they will prove to be mistaken.” Are One-Third of All Americans Liars?

Why do Democrats hate freedom of choice? “To say that President Obama is not an enthusiastic backer of the two Medicare programs that offer seniors private insurance options would be something of an understatement. Over the years, Obama has repeatedly derided Medicare Advantage — the program that lets seniors enroll in subsidized, private insurance. He once called it “wasteful,” and said it amounted to “giveaways that boost insurance company profits but don’t make (seniors) any healthier.” Obama has been equally harsh when it comes to Medicare Part D — the drug benefit President Bush signed into law that relies on privately run plans. In his 2006 book, “The Audacity of Hope,” Obama blasted the program, saying it “somehow managed to combine the worst aspects of the public and private sectors.” As president, he said it gave overly generous “taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies.” Both programs, it turns out, have been wildly popular with seniors and, by most measures, big successes. But Obama nevertheless appears determined to undermine them with sharp cuts in payments and sweeping new regulations.” Obama’s Not-So-Secret War On Private Medicare Plans

President Obama

Fictional. “Imagine if a hard-right-wing president were to follow Barack Obama and embrace the new precedents that Obama himself has established for the presidency. Would he then be seen as an unusually polarizing figure, who abused the power of his office? Let’s call him Bucky Brewster, the new Republican President from Montana.” How Hard Will We Be on the Post-Obama President?

We need to know… Why does the president always go missing during a crisis? “We now know — even the Associated Press, better described as the Administration’s Press, has now acknowledged it — that President Barack Obama, in AP’s words, “did not participate” in a White House meeting of his national security team Saturday morning “to get updates on the situation and discuss policy options” in reaction to Russia’s invasion and takeover of Crimea and threatened military intervention in the rest of Ukraine. Those who need help getting past AP’s whitewashing need to understand that “did not participate” means “did not attend.” Last time I checked, the president of the United States was the nation’s commander in chief, the person who is supposed to be primarily responsible for the nation’s security and well-being in its relations with the rest of the world. He happens to live in the same White House where the national security meeting was held. PJ Media’s Bridget Johnson has noted that Obama “had no public events on his schedule.” President Not-Present: From domestically disastrous to internationally dangerous.

School Choice

This: “Three charter schools had been granted “co-location” permits by Bloomberg — permitting them to set up shop in the unused parts of already-existing public schools. De Blasio, “The People’s Candidate,” is suddenly canceling that permission, giving the three charter schools little time at all to find new places to teach. It’s already March, and these schools thought they had classrooms for September. But now they don’t, because De Blasio says he doesn’t want to “rush” these decisions.” And this: “If these schools were failing, De Blasio and his union stooges wouldn’t see them as a threat. In fact, they’d probably offer them tax subsidies, were they failing.” NYC Mayor De Blasio, The People’s Candidate, Begins His War on Charter Schools

Why do the Democrats hate black school children? Teacher union allies have taken to launching personal attacks on Moskowitz, a former Democratic member of the New York City Council. “Moskowitz’s attitude exemplifies all that is wrong with her approach to education. She sees children as pawns in her effort to privatize public schools and to enrich herself,” huffs Daniel Dromm, the chairman of the City Council’s Education Committee. In reality, it is Dromm’s allies in the teachers’ unions who have continually enriched their members’ pension and pay packets while opposing reforms to New York City’s schools and allowing test scores and graduation rates to stagnate. De Blasio’s attempt to roll back the city’s charter-school movement, which currently serves 70,000 of the city’s 1.1 million students is all the evidence needed that when it comes to choosing between power politics and the interests of children the Left has no trouble selling the kids short.” De Blasio’s Attack on Charter Schools Tells Us the Left’s Priorities

Tea Party

Grassroots. “Levin said the path to victory is putting the establishment on the run at the federal and state levels and focusing on local elections as much as national ones. If that occurs, Levin said the movement will be unstoppable in restoring the country back to its Constitutional principles.” Mark Levin: Ruling Class ‘Should Fear’ the Tea Party Movement

The peace movement changed the Democrat party; the Tea Party will ultimately change the Republican party. But it will take time. Be patient. “Like the peace movement, the Tea Party movement brought hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people into political activity, people with strong convictions, not on peripheral, but on fundamental issues of public policy. They supplied energy and enthusiasm plainly lacking in the Democratic Party in 1969 and the Republican Party in 2009. Such surges into politics will bring in many wackos, weirdos and wannabes. But they also include many solid citizens and some with finely honed political instincts.” Don’t Write Those Tea Party Obituaries Just Yet

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