News You Can Use for April 1 (All this News is True!)

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Stories of the Day

It’s mostly a non-story because Democrats might be to blame, at least partially, and we can’t have that… “Even if you don’t know who to blame in the Government Motors recall, the story is still worth reporting. You might not know who to blame for the 2005 Thailand tsunami, but the story is still certainly worth reporting. Let me modify Kurtz’ proposed explanation for something closer to the truth: When something awful has happened, and it’s not clear that you can blame a Republican for it, or, even worse, that a Democrat may ultimately be to blame, the press cannot find any interest in reporting the story or asking questions. The press likes asking questions whose answers they already know. They like asking “Are Republicans to blame?” when they think Republicans are to blame. But in a case like this, where Republican blame seems unlikely, and where it could actually turn out to be the case that Barack Obama may share in the blame, the press just finds the whole situation rather “abstract,” as Kurtz terms it. Compare the media’s vim in reporting on Bridgegate — going so far as to speculate that maybe a ten-minute slowdown in an ambulance transport might put Chris Christie on the hook for involuntary homicide — with its lack of anything resembling basic curiosity in the case of Government Motors.” Power Steering: Government Motors Recalling Six Million Plus Vehicles Due to Potentially-Dangerous Defects; No One In Media Asks Where GM’s Top CEO, Barack Obama, Was During All This

May they eat our dust in November. “Bracing for a rough midterm-election outcome, Democrats aren’t waiting until Election Day to start blaming one another for the party’s problems. Anticipating the possibility that Republicans will flip the Senate, the finger-pointing game is already underway between the party’s warring factions. Earlier this month, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas argued liberals had successfully purged so-called squishy moderates from the Democratic Party’s ranks—even if those same lawmakers had helped the party retain conservative-leaning Senate and House seats. From the middle, the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way has become more outspoken in criticizing progressive leaders, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, for advocating an agenda that will compromise the party’s ability to attract moderate voters. The public spats between outside groups are nothing compared with the private finger-pointing over who could be responsible if Republicans ride a political wave this year. The moderate wing is prepared to blame the party for avoiding centrist initiatives like free-trade deals and entitlement reform, while the Left will argue party leaders didn’t do enough to protect benefits.” Preparing for Rough Midterms, Democratic Groups Already Blaming Each Other: Says one progressive strategist: “This is a coming divide for the Democratic Party.”

Silence before the November storm. “Am I the only one or have you noticed your liberal friends and family have been strangely silent lately? I tweeted as much Friday and, given the number of retweets in a matter of minutes, I gather I am not alone. So why are these normally voluble people suddenly doing a disappearing act? (I’m not talking about the politicians and pundits.  They’re being paid to move their mouths.)  It’s pretty obvious. They are bewildered and embarrassed.  Some are even ashamed of themselves, not that they will readily admit it.  The man who was their hero has now been unmasked in every direction as the worst president since the Civil War and possibly earlier. Not only is he a cheesy liar, everything he has done, domestic and foreign, has failed, sometimes to extraordinary degrees. The domestic part is bad enough, but at least that might be reparable.  The foreign is another matter.  The world is spinning out of control.  Who knows where that will end? Hence, the silence. [Snip] Unfortunately, however, we have nothing to gloat about.  Our liberal friends have left us with a pile of dung the size of  the Horsehead Nebula.  Digging out will be a titanic undertaking, especially in the aforementioned area of foreign affairs.   Ironically, Republicans have been jumping up and down about the inept Affordable Care Act, but the real problems left by the Obama administration will be global.  You don’t easily roll back an Iranian nuclear weapon or regain respect for America as the global leader when it is being dissed in nearly ever corner of the planet. (See Bret Stephens’ excellent column on the subject.) Just as nature abhors a vacuum, global leadership abdicated rapidly finds a replacement – usually a worse one. (Rand Paul and followers take note.)”  The Silence of the Liberals

I sure hope this collapses under its own weight, but I am not so sure anymore. “John Sexton calls it an application of the 80/20 rule, the idea that the first 20% of effort gets you 80% of the ultimate results, and the last 20% of the results takes 80% of the effort. Byron York notes that the great bulk of “sign-ups” occurred not due to the mandate or blowing up the individual insurance market, but due to two smaller changes. ‘The Times says the numbers break down like this: 4.5 million previously uninsured people are now on Medicaid; 3 million previously uninsured young people are now covered because of a provision that allows them to stay on their parents’ policies until age 26; and 2 million previously uninsured people have purchased coverage on the Obamacare exchanges… By far the largest part of Obamacare’s health coverage expansion has come from a) expanding Medicaid, and b) allowing young people to stay on their parents’ coverage. The part where Democrats essentially blew up the health care markets, imposed the individual mandate, and caused premiums to rise and deductibles to skyrocket? That hasn’t been such a success. If the Times number are correct, all of that — placing new burdens of higher costs and narrower choices on millions of Americans, in addition to setting the stage for coming changes in employer-based coverage — has resulted in two million of the previously uninsured gaining coverage.’” Most Obamacare “Sign-Ups” (However They’re Vaguely Defined) Stemmed From Two Modest Changes in the Law

Oh the lies our government tells…  because they know that the low information voters will eat it all up. “Yet the real problem with the White House’s triumphant spin on the enrollment figures isn’t that “glitchy” website. It’s the fact that the numbers that are being cited as proof that, despite all its travails, more than six and perhaps even seven million people have signed up for ObamaCare are thoroughly unreliable. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to know that the books are being cooked. With as many as 20 percent of those being counted as enrolled yet to pay a premium and thus not actually covered, the talk about success is mere hot air. So, too, are the claims that the scheme has met or exceeded its goal of expanding the pool of insured Americans. Since the overwhelming majority of those participating were already covered by insurance and are being forced onto ObamaCare by the new law’s regulations, the accomplishment being touted today is more one of bureaucratic bookkeeping than a meaningful expansion of health care. Nor is there any sign that the flood of young and healthy Americans into the ranks of those participating is occurring, meaning that what will follow today’s great victory will be a gradual recognition that what the country has been saddled with is a mess that will cause insurance costs to skyrocket rather than go down.” Deadline Is ObamaCare’s “Mission Accomplished” Moment

More than 1,000 days to go… OMG. “All this in just the past four months. And all so reminiscent of the contempt the world showed for Jimmy Carter in the waning days of his failed presidency. The trouble for us is that the current presidency has more than 1,000 days to go. I was wrong about diss. It’s a fine word. It means diss-respect. And connotes diss-may. And diss-honor. And diss-aster.” The Dissing of the President: The world is treating Obama like another failed American leader.

Threats. “In a video obtained by BuzzFeed via a Freedom of Information Act request, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Robert Papp revealed that Obama was unwilling to compromise with service leaders over DADT during a meeting in 2010. “We were called into the Oval Office and President Obama looked all five service chiefs in the eye and said, ‘This is what I want to do.’ I cannot divulge everything he said to us, that’s private communications within the Oval Office, but if we didn’t agree with it — if any of us didn’t agree with it — we all had the opportunity to resign our commissions and go do other things,” he said. [Snip] The admiral, who will be retiring from active duty on May 30, added that he thought the U.S. military made the right decision by abolishing DADT.” Obama Told Military Leaders: Accept Gays In Military Or Step Down, Admiral Says

It’s intentional—every single little bit of it. “Whether ObamaCare, for example, is a success or a failure depends on whether you think the president’s goal is to improve the medical treatment of Americans or to leave as his permanent legacy a system of income redistribution, through ObamaCare, and tight government control of the medical profession. [Snip] He has acted repeatedly as a citizen of the world, even though he was elected to be president of the United States. Virtually every major move of the Obama administration has reduced the power, security and influence of America and its allies. Cutbacks in military spending, while our adversaries have increased their military buildups, ensure that these changes to our detriment will continue even after Obama has left the White House. Is that failure or success?” Is Obama’s Inept Foreign Policy Incompetent Or Intentional?

American Exceptionalism

Leftist indoctrination going exactly as planned. “From there, I had planned to launch into a speech explaining that our democratic values, federalism, and respect for individual freedom made us great. Slight hiccup: Only half the class raised their hands. I was floored. I don’t remember exactly what I said after that. I probably stuck fairly close to my script, but in my mind I was screaming, “What?! How could these kids not think ours was the greatest nation on earth?” In every class that I spoke to after that, I always began with the same question, and I always received the same response. The Pew Research Center confirms that my anecdotal experience accurately reflects the reality. In a 2011 study, Pew found that only 32 percent of Millennials agreed with the statement that “the United States is the greatest country in the world,” while 64 percent of the Silent Generation believed that statement to be true.” Restoring Faith in American Exceptionalism: Affirming American greatness starts with defending the First Amendment.

Amnesty

Feel safe now? “A new study from Washington’s Center For Immigration Studies (CIS) found that the Obama administration in 2013 released 67,879 illegal aliens who had been convicted of a criminal offense — 35% of the total number of the aliens with criminal convictions encountered by law enforcement.” Politicized Immigration Policy Frees 68,000 Criminals

Big Government

Read the whole thing and then you’ll understand why unemployment is so high. “A new study from Washington’s Center For Immigration Studies (CIS) found that the Obama administration in 2013 released 67,879 illegal aliens who had been convicted of a criminal offense — 35% of the total number of the aliens with criminal convictions encountered by law enforcement. [Snip] Sometimes the rules are so numerous and contradictory that they ensnare businesses in regulatory Catch-22s. For many years, banks faced penalties if they denied a mortgage to low-income minorities under anti-discriminatory lending rules. But then, after too many home loans were made to these very borrowers, the feds turned around and passed new “anti-predatory” lending laws penalizing banks if they made loans to unqualified borrowers. What is a loan officer to do?” Runaway Regulation Is Destroying Wealth And The Economy

Big Green

Gaia is the new god. “Nothing comes close to environmentalism in generating left-wing enthusiasm. It is the religion of our time. For the Left, the earth has supplanted patriotism. This was largely inevitable in Europe, given its contempt for nationalism since the end of World War I and even more so since World War II. But it is now true for the elites (almost all of whose members are leftists) in America as well.” Judaism, Christianity, Environmentalism: In chronological order, these are the three main religions of the West.

The Culture

Leftist ideology working exactly as planned. “It comes down to simple arithmetic. More individuals are waiting until their 30s and beyond to have their first child. Perhaps they want to get their finances or career in order first, find the right partner or take on other big projects like an advanced degree or world travel. Whatever the reason, the result is that their parents have to wait longer for their first grandchild—perhaps to age 70 instead of age 60. They have to worry about whether they will be healthy enough to help out and enjoy the time they have with their grandchildren. Or if they’ll be alive at all. The shift is “ringing alarm bells,” says Mary Jane Horton, 62 years old, a writer, editor and blogger who lives in Pasadena, Calif., and is hoping for grandchildren sooner rather than later. “We know intellectually that we have to wait, but we don’t want to,” adds Ms. Horton, who likens the feeling to that of a “biological clock” for grandparents.” The Long (Long) Wait to Be a Grandparent: As More Couples Delay Having Children, Ties Between Generations Are Feeling the Strain

 

Elections

Please, please, please don’t blow it! “Democrats’ prospects for 2014 do not look rosy. There is little chance that they will retake the House, and a good chance they will lose seats. Even worse, there is a significant chance that they will lose control of the Senate. Our forecasting model said as many as two months ago. That forecast continues to square with the sense of many analysts — even those who mocked the forecast.” Analysts: Factoring in Candidate Experience, GOP Now Has 80% Chance of Recapturing the Senate

Can’t we just have a coalition made of folks that want what’s best for America and her people instead of what’s in it for one’s tribe? “In a nation of America’s cultural variety, that means holding together groups that have different priorities and conflicting positions on issues. So coalitions don’t last forever, and they change composition over time. John Kennedy’s Democratic coalition united white Southerners and Northern Catholics. Half a century later, Republican Mitt Romney carried white Southerners and white Catholics by wide margins. Barack Obama’s Democratic party is a top-and-bottom coalition, with affluent gentry liberals and blacks, single women, recent Hispanic immigrants and young voters — all groups of little political heft in Kennedy’s day. Now in the sixth year of the Obama presidency, with his job approval stuck below 50 percent, there are signs of strain. And choices made earlier, when Democrats held congressional supermajorities, are starting to prove troublesome.” Cracks in the Coalition: Obama and the Democrats are losing support because of choices they’ve made.

Foreign Policy

Leftists are fools, and we are all going to pay the price for years and years. “If I were Obama, I would not boast about the moral superiority of the modern world — as if we don’t any more allow hundreds of thousands, or rather millions in aggregate, to die in places like Rwanda, Serbia, or the Congo. If anything, when we compare a 19th-century pogrom to a 20th-century Auschwitz, or what the Athenians did to the Melians with what Mao did to his own people, or what the 9/11 hijackers did with what a 19th-century anarchist did with a bomb, or what racist Belgians did to 19th-century Congolese with what Congolese did to Congolese in the 21st century, the modern world does not come off too well. Europe between 1815 and 1914 was a far less bloody and less dangerous place than Europe between 1914 and 1989.” Obama’s Enlightened Foolery : He views Putin, the 21st century, and himself as in a fun-house mirror.

Desperation time. “The word is that, in order to keep John Kerry’s Middle East “peace talks” from collapsing, the United States is talking about releasing Jonathan Pollard, the Israeli spy. I hope the Israelis don’t take the bait. [Snip] “But Pollard’s release can come about only if the Israel makes major concessions. According to Politico, these concessions “could include some kind of freeze on Israeli settlements in disputed territory, the release of Palestinian prisoners beyond those Israel has already agreed to and a guarantee that Israel would stay at the negotiating table beyond an end-of-April deadline.” They could also include territorial concessions.More significantly, Pollard reportedly hopes they don’t take it. According to Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel, Pollard has told him that he opposes being released as part of such a ‘disgraceful deal.’” John Kerry plays the Jonathan Pollard card

Desperate measures usually lead to undesirable outcomes. “The latest idea on the table, which has now been publicly confirmed by U.S. officials speaking off the record, is for the U.S. to hand convicted spy Jonathan Pollard to the Israelis in exchange for the last batch of terrorists already scheduled for release from Israeli jails as well as a further group to be let go after that. Presumably this latest batch of terrorist prisoners would be enough to bribe Abbas to keep talking even though he has already signaled that he isn’t that interested in the discussions, especially if they require him to agree to measures that herald an end to the conflict with Israel. As I wrote last week, the idea of trading Pollard for murderers is a bad deal for Israel. If Prime Minister Netanyahu is to keep making concessions to Abbas then he should expect something of substance in return from the Palestinians that would bring peace closer. Doing so for the sake of Pollard makes no sense for anyone. But the real problem here isn’t the unbalanced nature of such a deal that is not likely to be carried out anyway. Rather, it is the sense of hysteria that has been invested in the latest iteration of the Middle East peace process. Having decided to try to succeed where all of his predecessors have failed, Kerry did so by claiming that it was the region’s last chance for peace even though there was no reason to believe the conflict was in danger of re-igniting or there were reasonable prospects for success. But now that he appears to be failing, his frequent predictions of doom have become self-fulfilling prophecies.” Kerry’s “Last Chance” Diplomacy Implodes

The world is a much more dangerous place as a result of Obama. And he has more than 1,000 days to reek more havoc. “That’s the point Gelb is making on Ukraine, and it’s an important one. He is saying that the United States’ decision on how to respond to Russia’s aggression should not be made in a vacuum. This may bind Obama’s hands a bit, but there is danger in reneging on this agreement. It’s a danger that was mostly ignored when it came to Israel. But now it’s clear that this is a pattern with Obama, and that American promises are suspended on his watch. It’s no surprise that the world is acting accordingly.” The Obama Doctrine of Selective Memory

Global Warming

All bow down to our enlightened elites who will save us from ourselves. “Flawed science is now used to bludgeon U.S. agriculture, which helps feed a hungry world. It has been a tenet of green theology that cattle contribute to global warming. But the planet hasn’t warmed since the late 1990s. As we’ve noted, this movement that blames human existence for nonexistent plagues on the planet has no scientific basis. It is a myth motivated by a quest for power by those who think they know what’s best for all of us. And now, as the EPA tries to grab the bull (no pun intended) by the, er, horns, we have this udder nonsense.” Apocalypse Cow — Obama EPA To Regulate Bovine Emissions

The IRS

Why does our government get away with things that a private company or citizen would not? “It could take years for Congressional committees to get all the documents demanded about the IRS scandal under mandatory subpoenas, IRS’ new Commissioner John Koskinen testified. The new IRS Commissioner displayed the slippery style of a snake-oil salesman while testifying March 26 before Congressman Darrell Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Government. Koskinen’s excuses were especially surprising because similar demands for documents are imposed upon private companies all the time by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.  Your author has worked as a lawyer on teams responding to such massive governmental document requests.  Any time there is a merger that raises questions or controversy, a “Second Request” is issued demanding often millions of pages of emails and documents to be delivered to the U.S. Government.  It doesn’t take years.” The IRS Digs in its Heels

The Left

Coming to their senses, for now. “Only a few years after getting back into power, French Socialists got strong feedback about their policies during Sunday’s second round of local elections. And it turns out the French people don’t like them or their policies very much. The Economist writes:

A CRUSHING defeat at French local elections has intensified pressure on François Hollande to reshuffle his government. At a second round of voting on March 30th, Mr Hollande’s Socialist Party lost over 150 towns, most of them to the opposition centre-right. This morning, the French president was holed up at the Elysée, the presidential palace, consulting close advisers over reshuffle plans, which could be announced as early as today.

The Socialist losses were devastating.” France Voters to Socialists: Get Out

All happening under President Obama.According to a report from Sadoff Investment Research, the “average household in the top 1% pulled in earnings of $1,264,065 in 2012,” which is “41 times greater than the $30,997 average income of Americans.” But the top .1% did considerably better than the top 1%, posting “average earnings of $6,373,782, or 206 times the average families’ income.” According to the report, nearly a quarter of the .1% work in the financial industry, 40% are “executives, managers and supervisors,” and a “vast majority of the 0.1% live in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C. or Houston.” Gap Between Super Rich 0.1% and Poor Grows

The Media

“So far, I have heard nothing in response to my email to Washington Post reporters Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson about their possible coordination with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Congressman Henry Waxman or other Democrats in writing the article about the Keystone pipeline that I critiqued here and here. I will follow up with them in due course. In the meantime, I have written the following letter to Whitehouse and Waxman.” Did the Washington Post Collaborate With Congressional Democrats to Smear the Koch Brothers? The Investigation Continues

Shhhh. Yee’s a Democrat. “The downfall of Calif. State Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco should be an utterly captivating, fascinating story, and the national media should be sinking its teeth into the details. I joked when Yee was first arrested about how he is destined to be parodied in Grand Theft Auto. That was before the FBI’s report was even released. Now, I’m convinced the report could be the outline for an entire Grand Theft Auto installment (have they set a game in a parody of San Francisco yet?). Yee’s story of corruption, attempted gun-running and accusations of vote-selling (an undercover FBI agent posing as a medical marijuana clinic owner wanted him to support legislation introducing new barriers to entry for potential competition) is actually just a small part of a larger story about the crime scene in San Francisco. Beyond Lee’s role, the whole story (pdf) is full of drug transactions, stolen booze fencing, a home invasion by apparently Mexican gangsters, what appears to be counterfeit credit cards supplied by a Russian hacker, and more. It has everything. There’s even a money-laundering scene that takes place inside a massage parlor. It’s part FBI report, part Hollywood pitch. And yet, it has not captured as much national media attention as one might think.” Why is Calif. State Sen. Leland Yee Not Yet a Household Name?

Obamacare

Before the age of two, and in your 50’s one of the authors of Obamacare believes that you are no longer worthy of medical care.. “This is worthy of being repeated. You have paid your payroll taxes for 40 years or so in the expectation that you will receive full Medicare benefits for your health care needs. Then you discover that under Emanuel’s “Reaper Curve,” you will only have a 25% chance or less of receiving medical intervention when you reach a health crisis. [Snip] But, as Ezekiel Emanuel points out in this graph, at the very age that you are most likely to need medical intervention, his “complete lives system,” will increasingly not provide it to you.  The older you are the more likely you will die from not receiving medical care.  Isn’t that comforting? ” Ezekiel Emmanuel’s Reaper Curve

Blowing up a good medical system for no apparent reason other than to control “we the people” even more than the government does now. “While successfully urging Congress to pass a sweeping health-care law in 2009 and early 2010, President Obama and his allies made three main promises. The law would reduce premiums, dramatically expand coverage, and leave people who liked their insurance plans and doctors undisturbed. With the official sign-up period for Obamacare’s exchanges now over, we can say that none of those promises have been kept. [Snip] The main benefit that the newly insured have gotten is the peace of mind that comes from knowing that medical events cannot bankrupt them. That benefit could have been won more cheaply, and for more people, by modifying public policy to make catastrophic insurance more affordable. The federal government would not have had to mandate essential benefits for everyone, and trample on consciences in the process, or to create a constitutionally suspect board to try to centralize medical practice, or to tax medical devices, or subsidize abortion, or make an ongoing mockery of the rule of law by executing it with an editor’s pen. There were better alternatives. There still are.”  A Season of Obamacare

It NEVER was about getting more people medical insurance. It was always about CONTROL.  But most low information voting Democrats either can not see this or refuse to admit it. “A RAND study pours buckets of cold water on the Obama administration’s claims that it has nearly reached 7 million sign-ups for Obamacare. The whole point of Obamacare, supposedly, was to insure the uninsured and bend the cost curve down. Those who had insurance were supposed to be able to keep it. Families were supposed to start saving about $2500 a year. If you believed the Obama administration. Reality, according to RAND‘s study, is that the Obama administration’s 7 million figure is deceptive. Supposing 7 million have actually signed up and paid their first premium — which is not a given, as the administration claims it does not know how many have paid — two-thirds of those who did sign up already had insurance before Obamacare.” Study: Obama and the Democrats Disrupted the Whole Healthcare Industry for Just Two Million Uninsured

Oh, Obama thinks the cost was worth it alright. Because now he has the control. “With just under two million people newly insured, Krauthammer questions if the cost of Obamacare was worth it. “The whole idea was about insuring the uninsured, so that’s going to leave about 40 million uninsured,” said Krauthammer. Six million policies were canceled under Obamacare and millions of people have lost their doctors and hospitals. “The price of this overturning, uprooting, and revolutionizing 1/6th of the economy, the ecosystem of Medicare is staggering, for a million and a half uninsured. Is that the way it should have been done?” Krauthammer’s Take: A Republican Senate Should Pick Through Obamacare ‘Wreckage’

Republican Minority Outreach

Emphasis mine. “Hawkins’ goal is to promote conservative policies to Hispanic, Jewish, and black Americans. As he noted in his blog post, the GOP is going to have to swing left in the future unless conservative policies are espoused by, and voted for, by non-white Americans. Hawkins’ goal is to grow the conservative movement to help the country by moving the GOP in the right direction — not help the GOP as the end goal, which is what the GOP donors and the RNC are aiming for. One of the great failings of both parties has been their unwillingness to do what’s best for all Americans, regardless of demographics. Democrats in power, for example, talk about gun control, but ignore that the plurality of homicides are committed by black Americans against other black Americans. And most Republicans in Washington had all but given up on non-white Americans, until recently, because the votes weren’t easily found. Never mind that the combination of GOP abandonment of non-whites and harmful Democratic Party policies hurt real people, not some inanimate bloc of voters. Are you a black, Jewish, or Hispanic conservative? Heck, are you a black, Jewish, or Hispanic liberal who is tired of watching both parties utterly fail the country as a whole and minorities in particular? Sign up for the Project here, and help Hawkins get one of the parties moving in the right direction.” What do black, Jewish, and Hispanic conservatives think? The Conservative Minority Polling Project wants to find out

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