Just Because the Your News Source Isn’t Telling You About It, Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t Know About It: News You Should Know for January 16

Friday4

Stories of the Day

Get this through your thick heads. They don’t want us to drive. And they’ll do whatever it takes to keep as many of us off the roads as possible. “Yes friends, never let it be said that this administration isn’t beholden to special interests to the detriment of the middle class.

The oil shale boom has helped create a surplus of oil that has entered the market and driven prices down to under $2 a gallon. It is an economic boon to hard pressed families and businesses who use a lot of fuel. It is also a testament to how well markets work.

And that’s why government is about to intrude in that market and jack the prices back up.” Enjoying cheaper gas? Don’t worry, EPA is about to cause it to go up again

Embarrassing. Emphasis mine. “The administration has acknowledged that it erred by not participating in a meaningful way in the giant pro-free speech demonstration in Paris, so it has tried to make amends by sending John Kerry to France. Apparently thinking that he needed reinforcements to convey a full sense of the administration’s symbolic support, Kerry brought along…James Taylor. (snip) God only knows what the French made of this. (snip) For those who thought the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts couldn’t get any lamer: I don’t think we’ve seen the bottom yet.” STRANGEST DIPLOMATIC INITIATIVE EVER: YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND!

Imagine if this had been President Bush… The mainstream media would have had a field day. “The good news: With this the Boomer era is officially over, making today a wonderful day. The bad news: America’s diplomatic brain trust thought last week’s glaring snub of the solidarity march in Paris would best be resolved by dusting off an old hippie to play one of his sappiest tunes. Actually, it was probably Kerry himself who championed this idea and the brain trust was simply too timid to tell him no. There’s no way the Secretary of State would endure a photo op this surreally goofy if he wasn’t convinced it was brilliant.” Tout est pardonné: John Kerry atones to France at news conference by … having James Taylor sing

Slow to learn… “It took a while for Republicans to catch on to what President Obama is doing with the U.S. terrorist prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But now that it’s clear Obama is rushing to empty the place, Republicans are stepping up efforts to stop him. Whether they succeed could have a serious impact on national security, as well as on more general GOP efforts to rein in runaway executive power in the White House. Obama has accelerated Guantanamo releases and transfers since last November’s midterm elections. Other than the five senior Taliban leaders released in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl last May — a deal Obama made in secret, ignoring the law that required him to notify Congress — the president released just one other Guantanamo inmate in 2014 before the elections. (snip) The hurry has alarmed a number of lawmakers, even those who share Obama’s desire to close the prison. Now, several Republican senators — Kelly Ayotte, N.H.; John McCain, Ariz.; Lindsey Graham, S.C.; and Richard Burr, N.C. — have introduced a new bill slow the president down.” Obama rush to empty Guantanamo alarms lawmakers

Unconstitutional power grabs to continue for at least another two years. “Even though Obama’s position on Iran sanctions differs from a number of powerful Democrats, the session, several sources said, was more of a pep rally than confrontation. Despite his lame-duck status, the president promised that he would not sit on the sidelines in the next two years. He vowed more executive actions to implement his agenda, something bound to prompt anger from Republicans who have called the president’s unilateral moves, particularly on immigration, an unconstitutional power grab.” Obama: “I’m going to play offense.”

This, from a self-described “previously lifelong Democrat.”  Emphasis mine. “Most presidents, faced with a Congress controlled by the opposite party, are ready to do some compromising. The people have expressed themselves, and most presidents (Republican or Democrat) actually care about things like that and look for common ground.

Obama, however, is a leftist ideologue and a preening, nasty, aggressive narcissist. He is dedicated to putting as much of his agenda in place as possible, by hook or by crook or by any means that can’t be stopped. To do this, he needs most of the Democrats on board, because it’s the Democrats who have the power to stop him. Republicans need quite a few Democrats to join them to override Obama’s planned vetoes. Thus, this pep rally by Obama.” Non-news of the day

Wouldn’t surprise me. “Ah, good times, my friends. Good times. But that was so 2014 and a full election behind us. The new hotness has a slightly different tone.

Republicans in Congress are doing a 180 on net neutrality as the Federal Communications Commission prepares to issue new rules within weeks.” Did the GOP cave on net neutrality?

The Leftist thought police strike once again. “This legislative session, the theme of religious freedom has reared its head again, this time for a different reason — thefiring of Atlanta’s Fire Rescue Department Chief Kelvin Cochran over a book Cochran wrote in which he makes his views on homosexuality and adultery known.” Why the Firing of Atlanta’s Fire Chief Is Inspiring ‘Religious Liberty’ Bills: Kelvin Cochran wrote a book in which he makes his views on homosexuality and adultery known.

2016 Presidential Election

We had better get it right this time. “Although it is not without precedent, the number of potential contenders for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination exceeds two dozen. It’s actually a somewhat ridiculous situation – especially as the number of Democrat candidates at this point is essentially one. I also say ridiculous because I maintain that the choice of the next GOP presidential candidate is one of the most consequential choices the country will ever make.

The progressive remake of the United States is now a work that is just over a century in progress. One can argue that its political debut dates to 1900 – the year that Teddy Roosevelt entered the White House; or perhaps 1912 – when Wilson became president; but certainly no later than 1913 – upon the establishment of the Federal Reserve and the passage of the 16th and 17th amendments to the Constitution [income tax and direct election of senators].” Which of the Two Dozen 2016 GOP Contenders is the Right One?

From the comments: “The GOP can win in 2016 if the candidate is serious about individual liberty, limited government, free enterprise, equal opportunity under rule of law.” “Over a thousand people a day have been moving to Texas, where the unemployment rate is under 5 percent. His economic reforms were “controversial among those who wrote opinion columns and hired swarms of lobbyists,” Perry will say. “But it wasn’t controversial for the trucker or the waitress, the farmer or the nurse, the quiet majority that feels over-billed and taxed to death.” Rick Perry Rides Again: And it looks like he’s ready.

I’ve seen a handful in Arizona as well. “SAY WHAT YOU WILL, BUT I SAW TWO BEN CARSON STICKERS YESTERDAY. I HAVEN’T SEEN ANY FOR JEB, OR ROMNEY, OR HUCKABEE.” Ben Carson to the GOP Establishment: I’m Not ‘Crazy.’

If not her, then who? “Hillary can’t win, and that’s why she won’t run. She may not know that yet herself, but a lot of Democrats want her because she’s all they’ve got. The Republicans are counting on her to run because they think she’s the candidate they can beat in what looks from here like it could be a Republican year.” Why Hillary Clinton won’t run for president

The fake Indian’s name keeps popping up. “On Monday’s Special Report, Charles Krauthammer said Republicans will triumph in 2016 if Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren is the Democratic nominee for president. “I think she ought to run, I’d be the No. 1 supporter, I’d love to see her run,” Krauthammer said. ‘It would be a festival if you’re a conservative or a Republican. We put up anybody sentient on the other side it’ll be a good night on Election Night.’” Krauthammer’s Take: If Elizabeth Warren Runs For President, ‘I’d be the No. 1 Supporter’

Big Government

Will the Republicans say no? “With tax receipts at an all-time high, rather than applying that money to reducing the deficit, the president – as every Democratic president before him – will take the increased revenue and find something to spend it on.” Obama: Federal government not big enough; will increase budget by 7% next year

Democrats

Democrats don’t appeal to working-class voters because their policies do nothing to help them. “The challenge, the pollsters found, is for Democrats to tap into persuasive economic messaging for blue-collar voters and for unmarried women, who tend to vote on policies that are appealing to families. For instance, Clinton gets just 32 percent of white non-college-educated voters against Romney.

Both unmarried women and blue collar whites see the path to the middle class as increasingly precarious and feel that they are not doing as well as they should be — Jobs do not pay enough to live on, and while the middle class pays a lot in taxes they do not feel the country works for them,” the pollsters wrote in their findings. (snip)

Democrats have been focused heavily on shifting demographics as critical to success in upcoming elections, as Republicans have fared much better among a slowly diminishing white-voter population. But the 2014 midterm races showed that the coalition of voters that vaulted Obama to national victory can’t be presumed to be Democratic voters. And Democratic strategists have repeatedly said the party lacked a strong message to appeal to working-class voters last November.” Poll: Democrats need to win over blue-collar voters, unmarried women

“Obama has seen the worst party erosion ever, more than Republicans during the Watergate disaster.” DOES THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAVE A FUTURE? (PART 2)

Will they wake up to the fact that it’s just not impacting their school lunch choices? “The realities of Progressivism test the individualistic world-view of the next generation of voters. This is exactly what the new school lunch standards did. It required them to give up control to the ones who supposedly knew what was best for them — the central planners. The result was a backlash that hopefully represents their awakening to the harsh realities of government engineering. Ultimately, healthier nutrition for kids is a positive thing that all sides can support. That is a noble goal. The challenge is to attain it without the loss of freedom that often accompanies Progressive programs. That is what America’s kids are finding out.” Will School Lunches Destroy Progressivism?

Higher Education

“Simply put, it’s a crass move that puts politics over policy.” “And while enrollment will surge if tuition is free, it’s not clear that the resources going to community colleges will increase in proportion. Tuition only accounts for about 30 percent of their revenues. If federal and state subsidies—and states participating in the program must also contribute toward tuition—don’t keep pace with enrollment, the quality’s going to suffer and students wanting to move to a four-year school are going to be fighting to get into the classes they need.

President Obama’s proposal would create the educational equivalent of the mortgage interest deduction: a subsidy that goes mainly to middle- and upper-class households and does nothing to achieve its purported goal. And his proposal, if enacted, would be as sacrosanct and politically untouchable as the mortgage interest deduction.” Obama’s Latest Giveaway . . . But there’s no such thing as free tuition.

Hollywood

From a Hollywood writer and Academy member (and former Leftist) who voted. “Maybe it’s actually a badge of honor — after all Sharpton himself makes Bull Connor seem like Martin Luther King — but the Rev Al has called me a racist because I am one of those (white!) Academy members who did not vote for Selma as an Oscar nominee.  I cannot tell a lie.  He’s right.  Not only that, I did not vote for the movie for screenplay either, the only other category for which I can nominate, since I am in the writers branch. (snip) And as for Chris Rock, who is also complaining about the white skin privilege or whatever of the Oscar voting and general Hollywood behavior (mostly in excluding Chris Rock),  I have news for him.  Some years ago I wrote for and worked with his most famous  predecessor in African-American comedy, a certain Richard Pryor. And Richard was wildly more talented than you, Chris.  You see, some of us old white guys vote for talent and accomplishment, not skin color.  I know that doesn’t fit in with your narrative or whatever you want to call it, but as anyone who has worked in Hollywood knows, it all comes down to the ol’ box office-arooney.  Blame whoever you want, but Pryor got them into the theater in his time like nobody else around.  Chris Rock doesn’t.  End of story, whether you’re black, white or heliotrope.

Now back to Sharpton.  The big deal on the Drudge Report this morning was a link to the Hollywood Reporter with a complaint that no acting awards for black people at the Oscars this year showed a lack of “diversity.” Sacré bleu! Let me tell you what this old lefty thinks of “diversity.”  Diversity IS racism.  It’s the biggest shuck to come down the pike since, well, Al Sharpton. It divides people and turns them into objects, but that’s probably over your (meaning Al’s) head, so I’ll leave it at that.

But I will add this.  I’m shocked anybody cares who wins the Oscars anymore.  At least Al Sharpton does, or says he does.  We should be grateful for that.” Oscar Report: Al Sharpton Calls Me a Racist!

Islamic Terrorism

Tolerance is going to get a lot of people killed. “France—realm of rationalism, existentialism, and deconstructionism, those oh so uplifting conceptual frameworks that have entombed generations in labyrinths of self-destructive questions about knowledge and the cosmos. It is also the realm of another disastrous “ism,” multiculturalism, the unofficial ideology of the postwar European project, the one that has—as recent events fatefully and vividly illustrated—wildly succeeded in paralyzing those with a moral compass and letting run rampant those without one.

At the heart of the European continent’s debilitating obsession with “tolerance” is guilt.” The Enemy Within: Fault The Western Culture That Fosters Islamism: The West’s self-hatred and guilt complex leaves it too weak to defend itself against radical Islam.

“Unselfconscious ridiculousness.” “The Obama administration’s mind-bogglingly determined refusal to say that we are at war with “radical Islam,” together with the left’s evasions about Islamic terrorism, means that there has been a haze of euphemism and cowardice around what should be a galvanizing event in the West’s fight against terror. (snip)

Forget clarity—the administration has lapsed into unselfconscious ridiculousness. Asked why the administration won’t say we are at war with radical Islam, Earnest on Tuesday explained the administration’s first concern “is accuracy. We want to describe exactly what happened. These are individuals who carried out an act of terrorism, and they later tried to justify that act of terrorism by invoking the religion of Islam and their own deviant view of it” (emphasis added). (snip)

The threat of radical Islam won’t diminish until that war is won, no matter how much the U.S. government wants to obscure it with its verbal fog machine.” Of Course It Is Islam

When European countries voluntarily surrender territory and control to a strong immigrant minority that, unlike the onetime immigrant Jewish community, refuses to integrate, you know that country is on its way to disastrous consequences and in Paris we recently saw where these consequences can lead. One of those consequences is that, with rising anti-Semitism, a part of the intolerance of a growing intransigent minority, Jews are fearful, unsettled, and a growing number are packing their bags and leaving. This is a major loss to the host country as expressed by French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, who said, ‘If 100,000 Jews leave, France will not be France.’” Europe Supports Muslims over Jews

Do we have the will? “With the election of President Obama, however, the conflict between Islamism and America entered a third phase. Our troops were removed from the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving Special Forces and drone pilots to do most of the fighting. The defense budget was cut. Harsh interrogation was curtailed, and Guantanamo Bay slowly emptied. Surveillance practices were disrupted. The words “Islamic terrorism” would not be uttered, for that somehow legitimized extremists. As for the terrorists themselves, they were once again treated like criminals. (snip) Above all, America must cease pretending that Muslim rage is something the United States can ignore and avoid or is powerless against or cannot fight over there. We must fight it over there, or be resigned to terrorist attacks over here. Again and again and again.” Fight Them Over There: Column: Kill the terrorists before they reach the West

He does not see it because he does not want to see it. “The War on Terror 2015 is in a new phase with a new geography. At the core are parallel would-be caliphates: in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State; in central Africa, now spilling out of Nigeria into Cameroon, a near-sovereign Boko Haram; in the badlands of Yemen, AQAP, the most dangerous of all the al-Qaeda affiliates. And beyond lie not just a cast of mini-caliphates embedded in the most ungovernable parts of the Third World from Libya to Somalia to the borderlands of Pakistan, but also an archipelago of no-go Islamist islands embedded in the heart of Europe.

This is serious. In both size and reach it is growing. Our president will not say it. Fine. But does he even see it?” Obama: Charlie Who? Our president seems to have forgotten that the war is still on. The Islamists haven’t.

Multi-Culturalism

What were they thinking in the first place? “Duke University caved in to pressure and reversed its politically correct decision to permit weekly Muslim calls to prayer to ring out from its iconic chapel bell tower.” Duke caves, bans Muslim call to prayer from chapel bell tower

More on the Duke cave. “Supposedly Duke University thought turning the majestically Gothic bell tower of famous Duke Chapel into an Islamic minaret for every Friday call to prayer, heralded as “interreligious reimagining of a university icon,” would be non-controversial.

But the bow to campus multiculturalist ideology, thanks to nationwide publicity, barely lasted 24 hours. A campus spokesman curtly announced that what had been intended as unifying had become undesirably divisive. So the Muslim student group, which serves the five percent of Duke students said to be from Islamic backgrounds, will continue to worship in the chapel basement and will issue prayer calls outside the chapel instead. (snip)

Tensions between zealous multiculturalists and serious religious adherents of course will continue at Duke and countless other campuses. Minority religious groups, when offered seeming favors by campus elites, should consider the implications. Negating consecrated Christian space in favor of multi-faith experimentation ultimately doesn’t advance tolerance or respect. Instead it potentially impoverishes respect for the integrity of all religions.” FROM CHURCH BELL TOWER TO MINARET AND BACK AGAIN: Multiculturalism at Duke University blows up in its face.

Obamacare

Rationing coming soon to one of your loved ones. “So what happens when an unelected and unaccountable rationing board decides you can’t receive the lifesaving or extending treatment you need? Instead of the patient and their physician making these decisions, as it should be, the government is doing all of the deciding. Cancer patients in the UK are learning this lesson the hard way.

President Obama nominated Donald Berwick to run Medicare and Medicaid. Dr. Berwick is a big fan of the NHS; “I am a romantic about the NHS; I love it.” Expect to see ObamaCare morph into a version of the NHS as it continues to unfold. Including rationing. Death panels are indeed alive and well. (snip)

Both here and across the pond in the UK, government agencies ration healthcare. In the UK, the rationing board is ironically called NICE, or National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Under ObamaCare, the comparable agency is IPAB, the Independent Payment Advisory Board. Rationing boards evaluate “cost effectiveness” of treatments and medications, deciding which ones to pay for, or not.

If the rationing board decides to not pay for a particular treatment or drug, patients are out of luck. If the denied treatment is lifesaving, guess what follows? Hence the characterization of these rationing boards as “death panels.” Sarah Palin warned of “death panels” within ObamaCare but as usual was ridiculed by the media. Yet in the UK, their National Health Service (NHS), the model for ObamaCare, just demonstrated another example of their death panels. “Six breast cancer drugs are to be banned from use by NHS patients,” according to the Daily Mail. How’s that for “war on women”?” Death Panels — Alive and Well

They can’t hide their lies forever. Emphasis mine. “The memo was written and distributed to “interested parties,” including the media. It belies Obama’s characterization of Gruber as ““some adviser who never worked on our staff.” If that’s all Gruber was, Cutter wouldn’t have called him an architect of Obamacare — in fact she wouldn’t have touted him to the media at all.

Gruber’s status as “architect” of Obamacare is relevant not just for the purpose of discrediting Obama’s characterization of him. It is relevant to a vital Supreme Court case (King v. Burwell) that presents the question of whether subsidies are available to people who obtain health insurance through the federal exchange.” STEPHANIE CUTTER: GRUBER WAS AN OBAMACARE ARCHITECT

United States of America

We’ve got to throw them all out and start over. Otherwise I don’t see how anything changes. “The pundits puzzle and debate reasons for the sweeping nationwide GOP victories in November, while Democrats en masse engage in an epidemic of unhinged denial. But for the rest of us, the reason is crystal clear: this president and the Democratic Party are ruining our country. November was not a victory for Republicans, but rather an historic, nationwide, sweeping repudiation of Obama’s leadership and policies. Nonetheless, the GOP did get a mandate:

Stop Obama in his tracks! NOW! (snip)

GOP leaders promised to confront Obama’s executive amnesty, once the new Congress was seated, by denying funding for it in the DHS budget. They came through on Wednesday, passing amendments to the DHS appropriations bill that halt much of Obama’s amnesty through DHS This includes the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which motivated the mass migration from Central America over the past three years, Obama’s November “executive amnesty” for about 5 million illegals, and other actions – five amendments in all.

But there are two problems: 1. some or all of these measures could be stripped from companion Senate DHS funding legislation, thereby providing DHS full funding without any restrictions; and 2. at least some of the executive amnesty is implemented by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Unaccompanied Alien Children program, and other agencies. HHS and the others were all fully funded in the CROmnibus.Citizens’ Mandate: Stop the Fundamental Transformation of America

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