Just Because the Mainstream Media Isn’t Telling You About It, Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t Know About It: News You Should Know for January 23

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Stories of the Day

This is a MUST read. No matter what party you are aligned with, you should be appalled that Nancy Pelosi covered up the truth. “We’ve long suspected the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission wasn’t honest in examining events before the meltdown. But an ex-commissioner says the probe was actually a full-blown political cover-up.

In a just-released book, former FCIC member Peter Wallison says that a Democratic Congress worked with the commission’s Democratic chairman to whitewash the government’s central role in the mortgage debacle. The conspiracy helped protect some of the Democrats’ biggest stars from scrutiny and accountability while helping justify the biggest government takeover of the financial sector since the New Deal.

Wallison’s sobering, trenchantly written “Hidden in Plain Sight: What Really Caused the World’s Worst Financial Crisis and Why It Could Happen Again” reveals that the Democrat-led panel buried key data proving that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other federal agencies pushed the housing market over the subprime cliff. The final FCIC report put the blame squarely on Wall Street.” Whistleblower: Pelosi Covered Up Role In Crisis

OUCH. Obama’s gotta feel the sting from this one. This from a typically Obama-friendly mainstream paper. Another MUST READ. “IN DEVOTING 250 of the 6,800 words of his State of the Union address to the fight against “violent extremism,” President Obama offered a boilerplate description of his policy. “Instead of sending large ground forces overseas,” he said, “we’re partnering with nations from South Asia to North Africa to deny safe haven to terrorists who threaten America.” As he spoke, his strategy was crumbling in a nation he failed to mention: Yemen, home to the branch of al-Qaeda that claimed credit for the recent attacks in France and has repeatedly attempted to strike the U.S. homeland. (snip)

The Yemen mess reveals the weaknesses of Mr. Obama’s “partners” strategy, which has been too narrowly focused on drone strikes and training of specialized units, and not enough on providing security for the population, institution-building and support for moderate political forces. Unfortunately, the president’s cursory and formulaic description of his counterterrorism policies this week, following a year in which jihadist forces and terrorist attacks expanded across the world, suggested that he remains uninterested in correcting his mistakes.” Yemen’s turmoil exposes Mr. Obama’s crumbling ‘partners’ strategy

Guess which great ally is acquiescing? “Our regional allies — Saudi Arabia, the other five Gulf states, Jordan, Egypt, and Israel — are deeply worried. Tehran is visibly on the march on the ground and openly on the march to nuclear status. And their one great ally, their strategic anchor for two generations, is acquiescing to both.” The Emerging Iranian Empire: Tehran’s growing hegemony is a mortal threat to our allies in the Middle East.

What are they hiding? The people have the right to know. “Some federal agencies continue to stonewall when it comes to the ongoing investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attacks, according to insiders familiar with the process. They say the House Benghazi Select Committee isn’t getting access to all relevant documents and witnesses.” Federal Agencies Stonewall House Committee’s Benghazi Investigation

Some harsh words about Obama’s Iran foreign policy from a Democrat who should know. “Senator Robert Menendez is the ranking (Democratic) member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This morning at a committee hearing he said this to Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Under Secretary (and prospective CIA deputy director) David Cohen: “I have to be honest with you, the more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran.” WHAT MENENDEZ SAID

Braying donkeys. “Credit where it’s due: Not in the darkest corners of my partisan heart did I think liberals would have the balls to complain about Congress stepping on executive prerogatives after the years-long dump Obama’s been taking on separation of powers. You would think, after he unilaterally suspended the employer mandate in ObamaCare, ordered not one but two enormous amnesties for illegals, and, oh yeah, launched multiple wars without seeking Congress’s authorization, that Democrats would tolerate or even expect that Boehner might not be a stickler about observing traditional courtesies between the branches. Turns out they’re quite surprised by his affront. Via Breitbart, watch below as Jen Psaki calls it an “episode of the bizarre.” Obama’s handing out work permits to people who are here illegally under U.S. law and Boehner’s inviteis “bizarre”?” Democrats whine: Boehner broke with protocol by inviting Netanyahu without telling Obama first

Obama is a little man. “Israeli officials in Jerusalem told Army Radio on Thursday that a report in Bloomberg highlighting the rift between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the vaunted intelligence agency Mossad over Iran sanctions was “the Obama administration’s revenge” over the Republican-controlled Congress’ invitation to the premier to speak before a joint session without consulting the White House.” Israel source says leaked report of Netanyahu-Mossad rift on Iran sanctions is ‘Obama’s revenge’

Stories You Might Have Missed

If the Democrats had their way, we’d all be living off of the government doll in one way or another. They have more control over us that way. “America’s national character will have to be changed if progressives are going to implement their agenda. So, changing social norms is the progressive agenda. To understand how far this has advanced, and how difficult it will be to reverse the inculcation of dependency, consider the data Nicholas Eberstadt deploys in National Affairs quarterly:

America’s welfare state transfers more than 14 percent of GDP to recipients, with more than a third of Americans taking “need-based” payments. In our wealthy society, the government officially treats an unprecedented portion of the population as ‘needy.’” Our Mushrooming Welfare State: Americans’ slipping into government dependency is becoming increasingly difficult to reverse.

How low can Obama go? “The days are long gone when presidents honored the solemnity of their responsibilities as chief executive with decorum.  The U.K. Daily Mail takes the optimistic spin that this stunt backfired because only 84,000 people watched the live stream at its peak.  I hope so.  But I am reminded of H.L. Menken’s dictum that “nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public,” written at a time when schools were able to impart literacy and numeracy to close to 100% of their graduates.

I am trying to regain my customary optimism about the possibilities of politics, but find myself this morning in the depths of depression over the fate of the Republic as ignorance and superficiality have been so honored by a president.” Obama debases the presidency in sit-down interviews with YouTube celebrities

D-list. “And not just for any interview, Kurtz noted, but for the president’s first post-State of the Union interview. He likened this to a “D-list Hollywood after party,” while Kelly wondered if she should be more like GloZell if she ever hopes to get to interview President Obama.” Fox’s Kurtz: Obama YouTube Interview Was ‘Beneath the Dignity of the Office’

File this under “Only at the University could this happen.” Unfortunately this is really happening. “It used to be that women couldn’t speak until they were spoken to. But now, apparently, women often can’t speak even when they’re spoken to because they’ve been conditioned to believe they shouldn’t unless a man has spoken first.

At least that’s the opinion of the Canadian professors who want to make it official school policy that you have to call on female students first in class:

“I do think, in general, there are a lot of studies that indicate women, girls are socialized not to speak first. . . . And so to make a conscious rule, a deliberate rule that is explicit, that ‘no, men are not allowed to speak first,’ is certainly a strong way of addressing that issue,” said Jacqueline Warwick, a professor of musicology and former coordinator of the Gender and Women’s Studies Programs at Dalhousie University.” ‘Feminists’ Think Female Students Are Too Scared to Speak in Class? They want a policy demanding professors call on female students first.

This is really happening as well. “Okay, tickets are not actually being issued for manspreading. Not yet. But feminists have certainly vociferated about the practice as if it were nothing short of criminal: “The fact is that most of the perpetrators taking up too much space in public with their bodies are men,” asserted feminist activist Davis Carr, who has expressed her contempt for men onTwitter. “It’s hard to accept that something you do so naturally can cause other people harm.” In response to the “harm” experienced by “survivors” like Carr, manspreading has become an advertising target in cities across North America, particularly in New York, where “Dude … Stop the Spread” posters have been put up by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Ostensibly focused on men’s habit of sitting with their knees apart, pushing into other passengers’ seating area, the anti-manspreading movement is only the most recent in a spate of public service campaigns (the “Don’t Be That Guy” anti-rape poster blitz perhaps the most outrageous) to demonize (white) men by focusing on male attitudes and behaviors as social problems requiring censure.” ‘Manspreading’: A Portent of Things to Come: 2015 will see more crackdowns on the crime of masculinity

This is really worth a read. What the Left wants: “Alexei Gutnov and his team set to create “a concrete spatial agenda for Marxism”. At the center ofThe Communist City lay the “The New Unit of Settlement” (NUS) described as “a blueprint for a truly socialist city“. Gutnov established four fundamental principles dictating their design plan. First, they wanted equal mobility for all residents with each sector being at equal walking distance from the center of the community and from the rural area surrounding them. Secondly, distances from a park area or to the center were planned on a pedestrian scale, ensuring the ability for everyone to be able to reasonably walk everywhere. Third, public transportation would operate on circuits outside the pedestrian area, but stay linked centrally with the NUS, so that residents can go from home to work and vice versa easily. Lastly, every sector would be surrounded by open land on at least two sides, creating a green belt.

Gutnov did acknowledge the appeal of suburbia — “…ideal conditions for rest and privacy are offered by the individual house situated in the midst of nature…”, but rejected the suburban model common in America and other capitalist countries. Suburbs, he argued, are not feasible in a society that prioritizes equality, stating, “The attempt to make the villa available to the average consumer means building a mass of little houses, each on a tiny piece of land. . . . The mass construction of individual houses, however, destroys the basic character of this type of residence.” LOOKING BACK: THE IDEAL COMMUNIST CITY

2016 Presidential Election

Question for Democrats: Who’s the greedy one? “Mitt Romney will charge Mississippi State University $50,000 to deliver a lecture on campus next week, most of which will go to charity — a dramatically lower fee than the $250,000 to $300,000 Hillary Rodham Clinton requires for her university lectures.” Romney’s speaking fee at public university is $50,000, far less than Clinton’s

Personally, I think “Walker/Martinez” has an awfully nice ring to it.  “As the son of a Baptist minister and someone with a strong pro-life record, Walker will appeal to social conservatives, just as his Act 10 success will attract libertarian-minded voters. But Iowa political activists tell me that Walker is taking real risks of leaks in his Iowa coalition if he either approves expanded gambling or chokes on approving right-to-work — especially in a state such as Iowa that has had such a law on its books for more than 60 years.

Success in politics often goes to those who are bold and can convince people of their consistency. As Governor Walker prepares for his Iowa political debut this Saturday, he should remember that it was those qualities that propelled him into the national spotlight. Now is not the time for him to adopt a new approach that would signal drift and inconsistency.” Wisconsin Stubborn: Scott Walker has Iowa advantages, if he can keep his base.

Hold strong Scott Walker. “This puts Scott Walker in a unique position.  Several Republican “moderates” have won elections in blue states and Republican conservatives have won elections in red states, but only Walker has been able to win as an unapologetic conservative in an undeniably blue state.  Moreover, Scott Walker is the only governor in American history to survive a recall election, and this in blue Wisconsin.

The contrast is stark.  Except for Walker, only two clear conservatives who have won statewide races in states that are not red are Santorum, who lost very badly in Pennsylvania in his 2006 re-election race, and Rubio, who won with a minority of the vote in purple Florida in his only statewide run.

Candidate Walker would carry his home state of Wisconsin, and he would understand how to connect with voters in neighboring swing states like Iowa and Ohio, and perhaps even put states like Michigan, Minnesota, and Illinois in play.  Walker, who has won eleven straight electoral contests, certainly looks like he could win in 2016.” The Case for Scott Walker

Amnesty

The GOP selling us out again… But are we really surprised?  “Here we go again.

Last month’s “CRomnibus” debacle underscored a divide between the conservative base that gave Republicans a resounding victory in the midterm elections and GOP leadership on Capitol Hill: The base wants Obama’s lawlessness stopped; leadership wants to show that Republicans can “govern” by working cooperatively with Obama – in effect, codifying his lawlessness.

Prepare for the next betrayal: Republicans are about to surrender on Obama’s amnesty for illegal immigrants. The surrender, which will be portrayed as a reluctant but noble compromise for the sake of “homeland security,” was baked in the CRomnibus cake.” The Fight Over Obama’s Amnesty Decree Has Nothing to Do With Homeland Security

“The problem with Plan B is that beefing up border security does nothing to prevent the amnesty, and a lawsuit, as Patrick Brennan of NRO points out, won’t be resolved for quite a while and is probably better brought by states (who are already working on it).

Why the cave? There are several pragmatic justifications, but Brennan shows they aren’t persuasive.

The real answer can be discerned from the nature of Plan B. Understand first, that the regime Obama has imposed — amnesty for most illegal immigrants but no path to citizenship — is the substantive policy most Republican legislators (and quite possibly most Republicans, period) favor. You don’t need to be a “Washington insider” (I’m certainly not) to pick up on this.” THE GOP LEADERSHIP WANTS TO GIVE UP FIGHTING EXECUTIVE AMNESTY

Arizona Happenings

“Recently, a small rally and memorial for fallen police officers was held in Scottsdale in the Scottsdale police headquarters parking lot. The event featured a reading of names of police officers and public safety officer who were killed in the line of duty.

Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp and Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell were in attendance along with 75-100 police supporters. About a dozen anti-police agitators crashed the gathering.

To the shock and disgust of many, liberal agitators showed up wearing NAZI and communist uniforms as they shouted down police supporters trying to honor the lives of these deceased police officers.

Dennis Gilman, perhaps one of the most notorious leftist agitators and videographers in Arizona, also showed up at the event and interrupted the gathering attempting to provoke a violent confrontation. He is heard swearing profanities and even physically confronting a supporter. This is Gilman’s normal tactic of provocation in order to acquire a violent reaction on videotape. Gilman, later posted his version of the protest, labeling his video, “Pro Cop Rally Turns Violent.” Leftist Agitator Goes Berserk At Scottsdale Police Memorial

Davos/Our Betters

At Davos, billionaire tells us we need to “have less things” while he travels with two nannies on a private jet… Emphasis mine. “Billionaire Jeff Greene, who amassed a multibillion dollar fortune betting against subprime mortgage securities, says the U.S. faces a jobs crisis that will cause social unrest and radical politics.

America’s lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence,” Greene said in an interview today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “We need to reinvent our whole system of life.” (snip)

Greene, who flew his wife, children and two nannies on a private jet plane to Davos for the week, said he’s planning a conference in Palm Beach, Florida, at the Tideline Hotel called “Closing the Gap.” The event, which he said is scheduled for December, will feature speakers such as economistNouriel Roubini.” Billionaire Greene, Who Bet Against Subprime, Goes Long on U.S. While Bemoaning Jobs Crisis

We’ll start reducing our foot print when you start doing it as well… “An estimated 1,700 private aircraft are descending on the Swiss Alps — a record number that drove the Swiss Armed Forces to open up its Dübendorf military airbase to civilian traffic earlier this week.

Private jet operators across Europe are seeing a business boom, with flights on some carriers running from $10,000 to $15,000 an hour. Some companies are even throwing in free helicopter rides — another high-emission aircraft in high demand at Davos.

Climate scientists view air travel as the most costly per-person contributor to carbon emissions, with some estimates saying it accounts for 5 percent of “warming.” A round-trip flight from New York to Europe can emit 2 to 3 tons of carbon dioxide per person — and that’s a commercial flight, where the cost is shared with hundreds of other passengers.” Davos Climate Conference’s Massive Carbon Footprint

Hypocrites, all of them. “If only everyone could be as enormously conscientious as these people flying private jets to warn us that it’s time to make home heating more expensive, outlaw plastic bags and price food staples further out of reach.” 1,700 Private Jets Will Fly to Davos to Discuss Global Warming

The Economy

Obamanomics: It’s fair to say humility isn’t one of the president’s virtues, and so it’s no shock he took a bow for his self-declared status as savior of the American economy in his State of the Union address. He shouldn’t have.

Mission accomplished: that was President Obama’s message. Too bad so few Americans agree with him. If things are going so magnificently, maybe the White House can explain why its party took a historic whipping from angry and anxious voters in November.

Is the economy improving? Surely, it is. The dreadful 2% growth rut the U.S. experienced in Obama’s first five years of “recovery” appears to have finally ratcheted up to closer to 3% — which should be the average for 2014. Employment has picked up to a clip of about 250,000 jobs a month — a good but unspectacular pace of hiring. The official unemployment rate has dipped to 5.6%. Inflation and interest rates are low. (snip)

Obama’s only economic idea is to redistribute wealth via ever-rising taxes from the productive class and the job creators to everyone else. He bashes success and believes government activism is the engine of growth.

The enduring lesson of Obama’s slow-motion recovery is you can’t redistribute wealth until someone steps up and creates it in the first place.” The Real Obama Economy: A Subpar Recovery Drags On

Equal Pay

“On Wednesday morning Republican businesswoman Carly Fiorina asked Jarrett why, if Obama believed so passionately in equal pay, he didn’t start with the White House.

“I am struck by the fact the president hasn’t really led in this regard,” Fiorina said on Morning Joe. “He’s not paying women equally by his own measures in his own White House. …Why wouldn’t the White House take on the seniority system and say let’s pay women by merits and results?” Carly Fiorina to Valerie Jarrett: Shouldn’t Equal Pay Start at the White House?

House Republicans

Cowards. “Evidently, Republicans don’t feel competent enough to make a case against infanticide. Why else would the GOP pull its 20-week abortion-limit bill?

Here’s a short list of things that are less popular than banning late-term abortions: “Acting” on climate change. “Free” community college. Taxing the wealthy. Building the Keystone XL pipeline. President Barack Obama. Future President Hillary Clinton. Every Republican who’s thinking about running for president.

A new Marist poll finds that 84 percent of Americans favor some level of further restrictions on abortion. And regardless of their feelings about the legality of the procedure, 60 percent believe it to be “morally wrong.” If you aren’t keen on that poll — it was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, after all — you can take your pick of others. (snip)

Evidently, Republicans don’t feel competent enough to make a case against infanticide. Why else would the GOP pull its 20-week abortion-limit bill?

Here’s a short list of things that are less popular than banning late-term abortions: “Acting” on climate change. “Free” community college. Taxing the wealthy. Building the Keystone XL pipeline. President Barack Obama. Future President Hillary Clinton. Every Republican who’s thinking about running for president.

A new Marist poll finds that 84 percent of Americans favor some level of further restrictions on abortion. And regardless of their feelings about the legality of the procedure, 60 percent believe it to be “morally wrong.” If you aren’t keen on that poll — it was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, after all — you can take your pick of others.” House Republicans’ Cowardly Retreat: They think a late-term-abortion ban is controversial even though it enjoys widespread support.

The Left

The Left never gives up, even though their policies continue to fail. “The fundamental problem of the political Left seems to be that the real world does not fit their preconceptions. Therefore they see the real world as what is wrong, and what needs to be changed, since apparently their preconceptions cannot be wrong. (snip)

But, by the end of the 20th century, even socialist and communist governments began abandoning central planning and allowing more market competition. Yet this quiet capitulation to inescapable realities did not end the noisy claims of the Left.

In the United States, those claims and policies have reached new heights, epitomized by government takeovers of whole sectors of the economy and unprecedented intrusions into the lives of Americans, of which Obamacare has been only the most obvious example.” The Left’s Central Delusion: Its devotion to central planning has endured from the French Revolution to Obamacare.

Obama’s Disneyland. “France has everything that Barack Obama finds wanting in his own country. His entire presidency is a prolonged effort to tear the United States away from free-market economics and decentralized political power (what the French deride as the “Anglo-Saxon model”) toward the kind of socialist, government-dominated society that France has achieved.

France is Obamaland. Government sucks up 56 percent of GDP. The state offers cradle-to-grave subsidies for child care, health, disability, unemployment, old age, and more. The welfare state discourages work in myriad ways — most French retire at age 60, and many at 55. The work week is 35 hours. (Obamacare defines it as 30 hours.) France’s labor code is 3600 pages long (sound familiar?) and makes it practically impossible to fire anyone. Shockingly, businesses are wary about hiring. France’s growth rate has averaged .3 percent annually since 2008. Everyone from taxi drivers to notary publics to dentists goes on strike at the drop of a chapeau.

All of this looks like paradise to President Obama.” France: Obama’s Paradise: The policies the president praised in the State of the Union are already on display there.

Obamacare

Typical Leftist thought: if the original regulations aren’t working as intended, just make more regulations. Yeah, that’ll work.  “Instead of calling for a rollback of regulations that have caused insurers to increase premiums and cost-sharing, however, the group calls for additional mandates, such as a requirement that insurers offer plans that would exempt certain services from the deductible; requirements for insurers to expand access to medical providers; and a mandate that every health plan (in addition to Medicare and Medicaid) cover adult dental care.

All of these mandates would drive up the price tag of insurance even more than Obamacare already has. But another proposal would increase the value of the subsidies for individuals to purchase insurance through Obamacare’s exchanges. In other words, in the Families USA vision for the future of the American health care system, more government spending would be perpetually chasing the costs imposed by more government mandates.” As GOP dawdles, liberals prepare Obamacare 2.0

I can hear the explosions from here. Emphasis mine. According to CNN Money, most Americans who receive health insurance through their work will have no problem with their 2014 tax filings. They will simply report that they have been covered with health insurance all year. For the 25 to 30 million who are not covered or who purchased insurance through the federal or state-level exchanges, they will be walking through an IRS minefield.” Get ready for a tax season nightmare, Obamacare ‘beneficiaries’

President Obama

“Obama made no effort to discuss his proposals with the leadership of the House or the Senate or to get their input because they are not being presented with the idea that they will get serious consideration. They are mere rhetorical aspirations, words that mean nothing.

If that is how the president wishes to spend the public’s time at the annual event, that is his privilege. But if the public disdains Republicans for being obstructionists who don’t care about working with their opponents, then the question arises as to why Obama’s speech is being presented as being any different from their efforts. The answer is that the same liberal media bias that has been an essential element to the president’s ability to survive scandal and failure is acting as his safety net again.

As much as the public blames Congress and dislikes the Republicans for their devotion to their principles, it is not unfair to ask the mainstream media that is heralding Obama’s proposals as another installment of the New Deal to ask themselves if there is any real difference between his ideological rigidity and that of his opponents. The honest answer, and one we’re not hearing or reading much about today, is that there is none. The obstructionist-in-chief’s “Robin Hood” plan for government will do as much to make compromise impossible as any Ted Cruz speech or the actions of House Tea Partiers and is as unlikely to become law as any Tea Party manifesto. The 2015 edition of the State of the Union speech is merely more evidence that Obama is guilty of the same sin for which his foes have been routinely denounced over the course of his presidency.” Who’s the Real Extremist? Obama or GOP?

Not that smart. “Take how smart the president has been in combating ISIS (aka ISIL and the Islamic State). On Tuesday night Mr. Obama informed us that he was asking Congress to pass a resolution to authorize the use of force against the Islamic State. This comes precisely a year after our really, really smart commander in chief referred to ISIS as a “jayvee team.” That prediction was so prescient that the president decided to deceive us about it.

Here are some other examples of the shrewdness of the president. In his speech on Tuesday, Mr. Obama declared, “We’re also supporting a moderate opposition in Syria that can help us in this effort [to defeat the Islamic State], and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism.” This comes after the president said last August that the notion that arming Syrian rebels would have made a difference has “always been a fantasy.” The president apparently believes that supporting what he deemed a fantasy–one military official told the press they are calling the moderate Syrian opposition “the Unicorn” because they have not been able to find it–now qualifies as Kissingerian.

The president also declared on Tuesday that “in Iraq and Syria, American leadership — including our military power — is stopping ISIL’s advance.” That would be good news–if it were true. But just last week a senior defense official was quoted in the Wall Street Journal saying, “certainly ISIL has been able to expand in Syria.” The Smartest Guy Ever to Be President Isn’t Quite As Smart As He Thinks

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