News You Can Use for May 15

 

The Democrats

A chart from the RNC. Hat tip: Paula Linker, member of Palo Verde Republican Women

Stories of the Day

Follow the money. ALWAYS follow the money. “People also need to follow the money and understand the Keystone holdup by analyzing who benefits. Opposing the Keystone XL pipeline is a lightning rod and cash cow for the Democratic Party.Environmentalists who are among the 1% — notably Tom Steyer — have pledged $100 million to fight Keystone and fossil fuels. Oh, and then there is billionaire Democrat Warren Buffett, whose Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad capitalizes on transporting the oil that would otherwise flow more safely and economically through the Keystone pipeline. It’s also important to follow the power and ask who benefits. Neither American workers nor consumers benefit from Obama’s opposition to the Keystone pipeline. Internationally, the Keystone holdup helps sustain OPEC, while it weakens U.S. relations with Canada — an immediate neighbor and longstanding ally. At the same time, blocking Keystone helps China and Venezuela — two repressive regimes that are often hostile to the U.S. Finally, delaying Keystone reinforces the perception of American weakness and indecision at a time when Russia’s Putin is flexing his muscles, threatening Ukraine and other neighbors with energy blackmail. Obama declared that the U.S. would “lead from behind” in the political upheavals of oil-rich countries such as Libya. Now, at home he’s on another power grab while leading from behind on energy independence and security.” Obama Blocks Keystone To Start Energy Takeover

Scary times.And kudos to a brave columnist on the left to point it out. “Got that? A college educator with the right opinions can attack a high school student and keep her job. A corporate executive with the wrong opinions loses his for making a campaign donation. Something is very wrong here. As the mob gleefully destroys people’s lives, its members haven’t stopped to ask themselves a basic question: What happens when they come for me? If history is any guide, that’s how these things usually end.” Kirsten Powers: Liberals’ Dark Ages: Each week seems to bring another incident. Who will the thought police come for next?

Click on over to see the body count. “In his weekly Wall Street Journal column Daniel Henninger chronicles the commencement speakers who have become collateral damage to the tyranny of the lunatic left on campus. As the distance between the left and the lunatic left grows ever closer, attention must be paid. Henninger performs a real service in going in compiling the body count, with respect to which all but the great Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Brandeis was news to me.” DICTATORSHIP OF VIRTUE

More on the Left as “thought police.” “Unlike Michael Sam, who is encouraged to be who he is, what the Benhams “do,” which is to “find a fixer-upper and transform it into thedream home [needy families] never thought they could afford,” has very publicly now taken a backseat to who they “are.”  The reason why is because lately, in Barack Obama’s “fundamentally transformed” America, the sin of being a Christian family man and churchgoing son of a pastor is grounds for national shaming.”  [Snip] After participating in a shared exhibition of same-sex affection, which has now been juxtaposed with some of the things the Benham brothers oppose, Michael Sam is being celebrated as a trailblazer by a president who picks and chooses where he applies the unbiased tolerance he’s always talking about. Nonetheless, the Benhams have said that they have not, and would never, “discriminate against people who do not share [their] views.”  Yet all that matters little, because it’s the Benhams who are the ones being discriminated against. Meanwhile, Barack Obama, who prides himself on standing up for social justice and fostering fairness, hasn’t said one word about the injustice of punishing two men based on who they are, and what they believe, rather than what they do.  That’s why America should sit up and take notice.  Once again, thanks to Barack Obama, liberal hypocrisy and all of its intolerant splendor is on display for the whole world to see.” The Intolerant Hypocrisy of America’s ‘Tolerant’ President

Something to look forward to… “This is how government-run healthcare works.” BAD NEWS AT THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION: Cascade of scandals has Veterans Secretary Eric Shinseki fighting for his job.

Repeat after me: GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTHCARE DOES NOT WORK. “So why has President Obama failed to fix the backlog of veterans’ disability claims after five years in office? More than 300,000 claims to the VA have been pending for 125 days or more, a time stamp that puts them in the agency’s official definition of “backlogged.” And why did a long line of Obama’s predecessors—Republican and Democratic alike—end their own tenures without fixing the problem? In short, because fixing the VA backlog isn’t just a question of putting the proper resources into an overwhelmed agency. Solving it would require not only untangling a Gordian knot of dysfunctional bureaucracy surrounding the VA claims system and decades of neglect, it would also mean overcoming a perfect storm of factors in the past few years that has made the problem much, much worse.” Obama Has Every Reason to Fix the VA. Why Hasn’t He? The candidate made taking care of veterans a pledge and a priority, but hundreds of thousands of them are stuck in a long waiting line for disability decisions.

Why are our tax payer dollars going to office furniture rather than helping out our veterans? “President Barack Obama has increased the Department of Veterans Affairs’ budget each year since he took office, claiming the funds would give veterans the health care they deserve. However, an analysis of records show the agency has spent close to $500 million on office furniture under the Obama administration.” VA Spends Close to $500 Million on Conference Room, Office Makeovers Under Obama

It is all politics, all the time for these folks. “’Democrats are getting worried like they were on health care,” King said. “You’re starting to hear, ‘We’re not sure the administration is telling us everything. What else is there out there?’” Associated Press reporter Julie Pace indicated that the White House is taking the scandal seriously, and their decision to send a senior administration aid to oversee the investigation is a sign of that. “These allegations are incredibly troubling and they’re becoming very worrisome for the White House and Democrats as a management issue,” she added.” CNN’s King: Dems Worried WH More Focused on ‘Covering Your Ass’ Than VA Scandal

Amnesty

So, illegal immigrants in our country, who commit a crime get out of jail free, but not our own American citizens? WTH?  “It is easy to surmise why the Washington, D.C. bureau instructed ICE agents around the country to not talk about the shocking CIS report, as it raises questions about the Obama Administration’s enforcement policies. The newly-released figures also may prompt concerns regarding public safety. The CIS report claimed that the 36,000 released criminals were collectively convicted of 88,000 crimes. These convictions include 426 sexual assaults, 303 kidnappings, 193 homicides, 1,317 domestic violence assaults, and 1,724 weapon offenses. The immigrants were apparently being processed for deportation at the time they were let go. ICE could have held these individuals in detention, “but released them anyway,” according to a report by the Washington Times. The CIS added that many of the releases were likely “discretionary,” and not in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act.” ICE ORDERED TO STAY SILENT ON RELEASE OF 36,000 CRIMINAL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

“Over 2,500 illegals were released even after committing burglary, which is a serious felony (as a burglary theft is not only highly invasive, but a planned burglary often results in an unplanned murder). Obama is attempting to claim that he’s only “relaxing” border enforcement as regards the non-serious illegal immigrant offenders. But when you’re releasing murderers, kidnappers, rapist, burglars, and on and on that is an impossibleclaim to make. But that won’t stop Obama from trying. He is a shameless liar, and he knows he has the “Mainstream” Media to back him up on every false claim.” Having Released 36,000 Illegal Immigrants Charged With Serious Crimes in 2013, Obama Now Counsels Police to Let Even More Criminal Immigrants Roam Free

The IRS

Sometimes you have to get your news fro ‘across the pond’ to really know what’s up. IRS’s tea-party noose tightens: Targeting campaign was directed by HQ in Washington, D.C. – not by a few ‘rogue agents’ in Ohio, documents reveal

There’s not a smidgeon of corruption… At least that’s what President Obama tells us. “Newly released internal Internal Revenue Service emails obtained by the group Judicial Watch document active direction by the federal tax agency’s headquarters in targeting Tea Party and conservative nonprofit applicants during the 2010 and 2012 campaigns. [Snip] A third email being made public today by Judicial Watch came from Lois Lerner, the former IRS Exempt Organizations chief who was recently held in contempt of Congress by the House of Representatives. In the April 2013 email, Lerner describes the broad criteria for including a nonprofit applicant among those targeted as being linked to the Tea Party under the BOLO — “Be On The Lookout” for — designation: ‘Such applicants included “organizations meeting any of the following criteria as falling within the BOLO’s reference to “tea party” organizations: 1. ‘Tea Party’, ‘Patriots’ or ‘9/12 Project’ is referenced in the case file. 2. Issues include government spending, government debt and taxes. 3. Educate the public through advocacy/legislative activities to make America a better place to live. 4. Statements in the case file that are critical of the how the country is being run.’” New IRS emails describe Washington direction of Tea Party targeting efforts

“The Daily Beast columnist Kirsten Powers suggested that Congress simply submit Freedom of Information Act requests when they ask the administration to release documents. “It’s kind of hard to believe that they couldn’t have figured out that D.C. was involved in this,” she added. “It gives lie to the administration claim that this had nothing to do with the election, nothing to do with targeting opponents of the administration,” Krauthammer submitted. “This is a major abuse of power,” he continued. ‘They covered up for two years and now they say, ‘Hey, dude, two year old story.’ So it’s old news.” He concluded by asking if the media would cover the story as he saw it, evidence of the White House “misleading America and covering it up.’” Krauthammer: New Emails Proves ‘Lie’ in White House Claim IRS Didn’t Target GOPers

“A tranche of new Internal Revenue Service e-mails refute the White House’s longtime defense of the agency’s actions in the IRS targeting scandal. The e-mails, uncovered by a Judicial Watch FOIA request, reveal there was direction coming from the Washington headquarters of the IRS and that the targeting of Tea Party groups was indeed political.” New IRS e-mails: Yep, direction came from D.C. and yep, it was political

“In other words, the IRS can pretty much do what it wants when it comes to picking which political action groups to subject to additional scrutiny and how much scrutiny to apply. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton concludes:

These new documents show that officials in the IRS headquarters were responsible for the illegal delays of Tea Party applications. It is disturbing to see Lois Lerner mislead the IRS’ internal investigators about her office’s Tea Party targeting.

These documents also confirm the unprecedented pressure from congressional Democrats to go after President Obama’s political opponents. The IRS scandal has now ensnared Congress.

Indeed.” YOUR TAX DOLLAR COLLECTORS AT WORK– THE IRS TARGETING SCANDAL DEEPENS

Lending

The Left not learning from history, AGAIN, or maybe it’s all just intentional…  “You never let a serious crisis go to waste,” as Rahm Emanuel once famously said. “After a near-depression and worst-ever financial crisis that cost the US economy as much as $14 trillion, one might think Washington would be careful to avoid repeating the same policy mistakes. One might think, for instance, Washington would think twice and then thrice before loosening mortgage lending standards to boost home ownership, particularly among low-income borrowers. Because, you know, loosened mortgage standards seem to have played some role in helping set the stage for the catastrophic mortgage meltdown. [Snip] Here is AEI’s Ed Pinto: “This is ‘deja vu all over again.’ It will put into motion policies which will fuel another housing boom—in the effort to put families with limited resources and poor credit histories into highly leveraged loans. This policy has been a failure since it began around 1960. It places low income borrowers with a high degree of income volatility into loans with the greatest amount and varieties of leverage so as to enable them to buy homes in neighborhoods with the highest levels of house price volatility.” My take: this is one party cronyism and one part the left-wing again trying to stream the welfare state through the housing market via government subsidized and enabled mortgage credit, what social scientist Monica Prasad has termed “mortgage Keynesianism.” This may not be the worst economic policy Team Obama has dreamed up, but it’s sure hard to think of one as bad.” Obama to loosen lending standards to boost home ownership. What could go wrong?

Minimum Wage

The Left’s always “unintended consequences.” “Union interests are targeting McDonald’s restaurants May 15th in their campaign to raise wages to $15. In actuality, it’s just a cover to try to force the global chain to unionize workers in order to increase the unions’ flagging membership, which has been decreasing for decades. That’s why they’re not going to tell the workers that if they actually were successful in raising the wages, they’d most likely lose their jobs as restaurants close down or their jobs are replaced by automation. Job losses are exactly what are happening on military bases, after Obama announced minimum wage hikes among employees of federal contractors:

Four restaurants, including three McDonald’s outlets, will close within the next three weeks on Navy installations, according to Navy Exchange Service Command officials.

And two other contractors — a name-brand sandwich eatery and a name-brand pizza parlor — have asked to be released from their Army and Air Force Exchange Service contracts to operate fast food restaurants at two other installations, according to AAFES officials.

A source with knowledge of military on-base resale operations said the issue likely has to do with two new government regulations — one implemented, one pending — that will affect wages for contract workers in such on-base concessions.

These closings “are the tip of the iceberg,” the source said. ‘I don’t think anybody has realized what the far-reaching effects of this will be.’” Obama to loosen lending standards to boost home ownership. What could go wrong?

Net Neutrality

Government power grabs everywhere you look. “Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wants Congress to ban “the FCC‘s latest adventure in ‘net neutrality,’ ” saying the proposed changes to Internet regulations would damage the industry. “A five-member panel at the FCC should not be dictating how Internet services will be provided to millions of Americans,” Cruz said in aWednesday afternoon statement. “I will be introducing legislation that would remove the claimed authority for the FCC to take such actions, specifically the Commission’s nebulous Sec. 706 authority. More than $1 trillion has already been invested in broadband infrastructure, which has led to an explosion of new content, applications, and Internet accessibility. Congress, not an unelected commission, should take the lead on modernizing our telecommunications laws. The FCC should not endanger future investments by stifling growth in the online sector, which remains a much-needed bright spot in our struggling economy.” Ted Cruz bill would ban ‘FCC’s latest adventure in net neutrality’

Obamacare

All things going as secretly planned. “For many medium-sized companies, like AmeriMark, the new costs of the Affordable Care Act are an added burden on top of the health insurance premiums that have been rising for years. The largest of the new Obamacare costs is the health insurance provider tax, or HIT. It’s a tax that the federal government charges insurance companies, and the size of the fee depends on how many people the insurer is covering. Insurers then pass that cost on to employers. And employers, in turn, pass some or all of the cost on to their workers. It’s a kind of trickle-down sales tax, according to Clare Krusing, a spokesperson for America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group.” Obamacare Prompts Firm To Consider Dropping Its Health Plan

“AmeriMark is planning for an 8 percent increase for 2015 and expects to keep insurance coverage – for now.  If prices continue to escalate, AmeriMark President Louis Geisler warned, that decision will likely change. Geisler won’t be alone in that decision. Businesses will have to react to dramatic price increases, either by passing them onto the employees and eating into their wages or by passing them along to the consumer. When insurers start making their new prices public, the resulting market churn will make this past fall look like a mere frolic.” Big Increases in Obamacare Premiums and Deductibles Coming in November

We’re the Democrat party and we’re here to take away your choices, ALL of them. “That “choice habit that everyone has” must give way to the dictates of the state. Where are all of those pro-choice Democrats when we need them?” DOWN WITH CHOICE!

A ‘tongue in cheek’ headline. “The rate shocks continue. IBD reported this week that two states are proposing rate hikes topping 8% for their 2015 ObamaCare premiums. In Virginia, CareFirst Blue Choice proposed a nearly 15% increase. According to one insurer, poorer health of enrollees plus ObamaCare taxes and fees are largely to blame.” OK, We Admit It: ObamaCare Is Working!

Marco Rubio

I will take any of our candidates over President Hillary. OMG. I can’t even bear the thought of that. “What Senator Rubio is doing, then, is putting the Republican Party on the side of modernization and reform in contrast to reactionary liberalism, which is sclerotic and brittle, out of ideas and out of energy. This is precisely what needs to happen if the GOP hopes to become the majority party in America. Senator Rubio–energetic, engaging, interested in ideas, and cheerful rather than resentful–is among the most persuasive advocates for his party.” Rubio and the Modernization of the GOP

Socialism

Viva la socialism! “Shoppers in Venezuela know that shortages of staples like cornmeal, milk and chicken are a harsh reality of life, but now — amid violent protests and strikes — shortages have spread to that most basic of basics: bread. Lines are forming, and fights have broken out outside bakeries as politicians and business leaders point fingers. In recent days, people have had to wait in line for hours under the scorching sun. Ricardo Rodriguez, a Caracas resident waiting for the chance to buy bread, described the queues as “extraordinary.” “It’s like embarking on an odyssey,” he said. The problem stems from labor, social unrest and currency regulation that ties to difficulties importing raw ingredients, according to Tomas Ramos Lopez, president of the Venezuelan Federation of Bread Producers. Ramos told CNN en Español that the problem started last year when a strike stopped production at a flour mill in Monagas state that supplies 35% of all the flour in Venezuela. Another problem, Ramos said, is all of Venezuela’s wheat is imported from Canada, the United States and Argentina, and tight government-dictated currency controls have left producers in a situation where they don’t have the dollars needed to import wheat. A third problem, according to Ramos, has been social unrest. Violent anti-government protests in the past three months have disrupted distribution of flour. Bakers cannot get the raw ingredient in several cities across the country, especially San Cristobal, Valencia, Barquisimeto and Caracas, the capital. The government blames the shortage on unscrupulous merchants and bakery owners who hoard their products in order to make a profit by selling at higher prices on the black market. But Ramos said, ‘I believe that the national industry and the laws in Venezuela have to be changed. (Government officials) need to know the difference between hoarding and having inventory.’” Fistfights amid long bread lines in Venezuela

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