Category Archives: AARP

News and Commentary for February 26

From this day forward, I choose Faith.

From this day forward, I choose Faith. You should too.

Stories of the Day

Quick, someone tell Bill that the DREADED Koch Brothers rank number 49 in OBSCENE political spending (emphasis mine). “Democrats have a big job in 2014: they need to hold onto control of the Senate, win back leadership of the House, and elect Democratic governors and state legislators in key states. But to get there, they face one big obstacle. Arrayed against them will be an obscene amount of money. The dreaded Koch brothers alone, who spent $400 million in 2012 bashing President Obama and Democratic candidates, are expected to raise and spend just as much, if not more, in 2014. They’re already running TV spots against several incumbent senators and House members they deem vulnerable. But Republican opponents and outside groups like the Koch brothers are not the Democrats’ biggest problem. Their No. 1 obstacle: themselves. As Pogo once famously said, “We have met the enemy — and he is us.” Bill Press: Democrats’ Enemy No. 1

Ponder this. “The First Amendment has three parts to it: the protection of religious freedom, the protection of speech and press, and the protection of the people’s right to assembly and petition. In all three categories, the Obama administration’s record is outrageous: it has forced the religious to finance free contraceptives, treated some journalists as potential criminals, and sought to undermine political speech and action through “campaign finance reform” and IRS harassment.” Obama’s Trifecta: He’s violated each of the First Amendment’s parts.

Haters everywhere I guess (emphasis mine)… “Republican Gov. Jan Brewer faced intensifying pressure Monday from CEOs, politicians in Washington and state lawmakers in her own party to veto a bill that would allow business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to deny service to gays and lesbians… Opponents call it a license to discriminate against gays. Similar religious protection legislation has been introduced in Ohio, Mississippi, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee and Oklahoma, but Arizona’s plan is the only one that has passed. The efforts are stalled in Idaho, Ohio and Kansas.Quotes of the day

Where’s Frank Underwood when you need him? “Let’s get this straight. This is Obama’s highest domestic agenda priority item, and the chamber which his party controls can barely get half of their caucus to sign onto it? That’s some genius work at the White House. Who’s their legislative liaison these days?” Reid stops minimum-wage hike bill after Dems balk

My blood’s boiling, Part I. “By 2008, some patients were “waiting six to nine months for an exam” and VA “didn’t know how to address the issue,” Mitchell said.”” Department of Veterans Affairs employees destroyed veterans’ medical records to cancel backlogged exam requests [AUDIO]

My blood’s boiling, Part II. This: “A member of Hawaii’s House of Representatives is criticizing an ambitious, federally funded sex education program currently in use in 12 of the state’s public schools. The pilot curriculum, called “Pono Choices,” targets 11- to 13-year-old students. (“Pono” is a Hawaiian word that basically means “good” or “moral.”) Its creators include the University of Hawaii and, of course, Planned Parenthood. Rep. Bob McDermott, a Hawaii Republican, claims that the curriculum is “not age appropriate and not consistent with state policy” for a slew of reasons, reports EAGnews.org.” And this: “The curriculum also never makes a single mention of the benefits of monogamous relationships.” Federally funded sex ed program teaches Hawaii middle schoolers that butts are genitals

I’ve seen hatred in his eyes; you probably have too. “Speaking to reporters after a meeting between the President and the National Governors Association, the GOP governors said they were deeply troubled by Obama’s tone when asked about planned cuts to the National Guard. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said Obama became ”aggressive” and that his tone “chilled the room quite a bit.” “He basically said, ‘Many people in this room have asked for cuts, and now you getting ’em,’” Haley said at a news conference across from the White House at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, adding that her husband, a guardsman, just returned from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.” GOP Governors Accuse Obama of Politically Motivated National Guard Cuts

More on one of yesterday’s top stories. “That is not to say that some cuts to the military aren’t warranted. Yet for a nation awash in red ink, one that still faces serious and unforeseen threats from Islamist terror, an increasingly aggressive China, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who may yet play a hand in Ukraine, a serious discussion of national priorities is in order. One that puts everything on the table for the simplest of reasons: absent national security, everything else is irrelevant. There will be no victorious enemy willing to provide Americans with anything remotely resembling the massive and overly generous safety net we take largely for granted. And hope and change are not viable substitutes for military strength, preparedness and deterrence.” Gutting the Army

The hits just keep on coming (emphasis mine). “Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is unveiling the Pentagon’s proposed budget today—a budget that will dramatically scale back the size of the military. But in order to save the most sacred of cows in its ongoing modernization efforts, the Pentagon is proposing the elimination of what has arguably been the most effective combat aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory: the A-10 Thunderbolt II.” Update: DOD aims to scrap A-10 to keep F-35 alive in new budget

I must be dreaming, because this can’t possibly be true, right? “The Clarion Project just disclosed the existence of a terrorist enclave in Texas last week, bringing new attention to a network of at least 22 Jamaat ul-Fuqra “Islamic villages” across the country. Newly-declassified documents reveal that the FBI privately considers ul-Fuqra to be a terrorist group, but remains operational in the U.S. because of the State Department.” [Snip] “Responsible reporters must relentlessly demand answers from the State Department in the wake of these new revelations.” Texas Terror Enclave Exposed

Stealth messaging on behalf of jihad. “Jihadist graffiti functions as communication and recruitment and is popping up in cities around the world including: Toronto, London, Dublin, Derry, Glasgow, Augsburg, Munich, Moscow, Toulouse, Frejus, Helsinki, Rome, Crete, Jerusalem, Beirut, Salt lake City, New York City, Washington, D.C. Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, Oakland and many others. Islamist graffiti is a popular artistic form of rebellion that portrays the global jihad movement as hip and cool. It appeals to young people who do not consider graffiti vandalism but view it as artistic expression and an agency for popular resistance and change. Spray painting Islamist slogans and jihadist phrases goes beyond graffiti as protest art. Islamist graffiti is a symbolic warfare tactic, a successful stealth information strategy camouflaged as street art.” [Snip] “The writings need to be recognized and documented using methods that law enforcement currently employ to track gang activity, membership, rivalries and affiliations with larger gangs. Spray painting the words Jihad, Intifada or Allahu Akbar does not represent benign expressions of faith or popular resistance. Jihadist gang graffiti embodies Islamist messaging that has a significant impact in recruiting homegrown terrorists, inciting violence and is an indicator of future criminal and terrorist activity.” Jihadist Gang Graffiti

So can we start calling those in the media racist for not reporting these kinds of stories? “Stories like this happen all the time, and we can’t begin to note all of them. Still, the murder of 59 boys, either shot or burned to death, deserves mention. Terrorists from Boko Haram–which means “Western education is sinful”–attacked a school in northeast Nigeria. Attacking schools and murdering students is a favorite tactic of Boko Haram, which is trying to force Nigeria to institute Sharia law.” Muslim Terrorists Murder 59 Children In Nigeria

AARP

I did more than seal the empty envelope and drop it in the mail. I stuffed the envelope with as much junk mail as possible. “Do you get solicitations from AARP?  They have been trying to sign me up for a decade now.  Until recently I always tossed everything except the business reply envelope, which I would often drop in the mail empty because I have always disapproved of their philosophy of promoting subsidies and discounts based on status rather than need. I’ve noticed that the last two solicitations I have gotten from them did not contain a business reply envelope. Anyone who wanted to sign up with AARP would have to use their own stamp. Since including a postage reply envelope has a significant effect upon response rates, they are standard in most solicitations.  In my experience only the most controversial organizations don’t regularly use business reply envelopes in their mass solicitations for new members.” Is AARP getting Obamacare blowback?

Arizona

As I wrote yesterday, we’re going to lose the messaging war on this one, unfortunately. A message of “hate” trumps “common sense policies” every time. “But second, it also seems fundamentally wrong to require a photographer who believes, based on sincere religious conviction, that gay marriage is immoral to participate in a gay marriage celebration by photographing it. Indeed, it is odd (and telling) that any gay couple would want their sacred ceremony to be chronicled by someone who finds the event morally reprehensible. Such a photographer is unlikely to capture the spirit of the occasion.” No, this is not Jim Crow for gays — understanding Arizona S.B. 1062

America in Decline

As American Patriots we will never stop fighting. “Those pursuing three authoritarian agenda items once considered unthinkable emanating from an administration which has become openly hostile to what once were our basic freedoms can already hang “Mission (Partially) Accomplished” banners on their walls. First, there are the ongoing revelations about the government’s accumulation of digital mountains of personal information on citizens’ daily lives. If there’s a positive result from this, it would be that many Americans have become a bit more careful about their data trail. But the good news ends there. Our emails, Facebook posts, text messages and other communications are subject to easy scrutiny by government minders and anyone else to whom those apparatchiks might feel like conveying information. The chilling effect on everyday speech, expression and interactions is a statist’s dream come true. Just wait until they integrate the Obamacare and Common Core data.” Destructive Missions, Partially Accomplished: Emboldened statists have already done serious damage.

Benghazi

Nobody died in Watergate. “Were he alive today, Richard Nixon would have to doff his hat to Barack Obama. Compared with how the Obama administration has swept under the rug the Benghazi attacks of September 11, 2012, Nixon’s attempt to cover up the Watergate burglary was rank amateurism. To be fair, Nixon’s team of Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, and Dean were not in the same league as Obama’s, which includes not only his cabinet but most of the national media and much of Congress.” Whitewashing Benghazi

Big Government Lawlessness

Lawless. “The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) rejected Attorney General Eric Holder’s claim that state attorneys general do not need to defend their states’ laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman, issuing a strongly worded statement obtained by National Review Online.” Republican State AGs Reject Holder’s Dereliction of Duty

Why have any laws then? This: “When President Obama refused to endorse same sex marriage in the 2008 presidential campaign, was he as bigoted as a defender of Jim Crow in 1948, six years before “separate but equal” was struck down by a unanimous Supreme Court?” And this: “This is astonishing and troubling, and of a piece with the president and the Administration’s growing lawlessness.  There is no precedent for the idea that states’ attorneys generals ought to pick and choose among the laws they defend, just as there is no precedent for the president’s decision to serially alter his signature legislative “achievement” as he has done with Obamacare, or to empower his agencies to regulate far in advance of authority granted them by the Congress.” And this: For the benefit of AG Holder, let’s jump in the way-back machine to far, far ago: November 2, 2008: Obama told MTV he believes marriage is “between a man and a woman” and that he is “not in favor of gay marriage.” Now back to the present day.  Attorney General Holder is demanding that the nation’s elected chief law enforcement officers of every state reach a conclusion that the president hadn’t reached less than six years ago and further, that she or he impose it on their states despite their sworn oaths to uphold and defend the constitutions of their states.” And this: “Holder’s position is far removed from a courageous decision to risk political future for principled stance.  There is no risk on his part, just as there was no risk on the president’s part.  Both are posing, and in posing, sanitize a deep lawlessness.” And this: If an attorney general can refuse to defend one portion of his state’s constitution, why not another?  Will the Attorney General encourage pro-life attorneys general to stop defending abortion clinics beset by protesters?  Will he encourage district attorneys convinced that heroin addiction is a disease and the use of heroin wrongly classified as a crime to cease prosecuting offenders brought by their law enforcement officials to their jails?” Eric Holder’s Law

Racists! A coalition of black pastors announced on Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. that they are launching a campaign to gather one million signatures on a petition calling for the impeachment of Attorney General Eric Holder for violating his oath of office by trying “to coerce states to fall in line with the same-sex ‘marriage’ agenda.” “President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have turned their backs on the values the American people hold dear, values particularly cherished in the black community: values like marriage, which should be strengthened and promoted, rather than weakened and undermined,” says a statement by the Coalition of African American Pastors that has been posted online with their impeachment petition.” Black Pastors: Impeach Holder

The Economy

I keep trying to imagine how things would be going with President Romney at the helm. “The economy is not likely going to tank, but economic growth is not likely to match the president’s optimistic aspirations until policies are embraced other than compulsory health insurance, ever larger education loans, higher taxes, indulging politically-connected monopolists, and excessive government regulation.” More than Winter Chill Gripping Housing, Broader Economy

There’s so much good information contained within this article that I wanted to post the whole thing. Please click on over to get the rest. “But even without the president’s eagerness to ramp spending up again, this is just a temporary phenomenon. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent report, issued earlier this month, deficits will start rising as soon as 2016, and by 2024 will exceed $1 trillion per year. CBO also estimates that we will add another $10.5 trillion to the debt through 2024, at which point gross federal debt will be more than $27 trillion. President Obama’s answer to these trends is to “abandon the era of austerity”?” Obama’s ‘Age of Austerity’ Lie: The president’s new budget will bid farewell to fiscal discipline he never knew.

Elections

If there’s dirt, the Left will find it, because at all cost, someone who is actually doing the right thing on behalf of the country must be destroyed. “Walker probably causes more sweating among Democrat elites as far as 2016 is concerned than any other potential candidate among the popular GOP governors (I have a separate theory about Christie that I won’t go into here). All Walker does is make Democrats look bad. And beat their organized muscle, Big Labor. He is one of those politicians who accomplishes being remarkable by being unremarkable, which is odd in the hyper-media era. He just shows up at work and gets results for all of the people he governs, not only the ones who voted for him.” The Democrats Are Apparently Terrified of Scott Walker

Rock star. “Ted Cruz is not on the March 4 primary ballot. But his likeness is all over TV and in campaign materials, as a slew of Republican candidates on the primary ballot are using his words and — in rare occasions — his endorsement to reach out to voters. This year, having Cruz weigh in any way possible “is political gold,” said Mark P. Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston. His thumbs up for a candidate serves “as a signal to Cruz’s plethora of supporters within the GOP primary electorate who the ‘true’ movement conservative in the race is,” he said.” The Ted Cruz Effect: Political Gold?

Marco Rubio for president! “A few moments ago, the body was treated to a report from the senator from Iowa about his recent trip to Cuba. Sounded like he had a wonderful trip visiting, what he described as, a real paradise. He bragged about a number of things that he learned on his trip to Cuba that I’d like to address briefly. He bragged about their health care system, medical school is free, doctors are free, clinics are free, their infant mortality rate may be even lower than ours. I wonder if the senator, however, was informed, number one, that the infant mortality rate of Cuba is completely calculated on figures provided by the Cuban government. And, by the way, totalitarian communist regimes don’t have the best history of accurately reporting things. I wonder if he was informed that before Castro, Cuba, by the way, was 13th in the whole world in infant mortality. I wonder if the government officials who hosted him, informed him that in Cuba there are instances reported, including by defectors, that if a child only lives a few hours after birth, they’re not counted as a person who ever lived and therefore don’t count against the mortality rate.” Rubio Gives Harkin a Lesson in History

Food Stamps

Trouble ahead. “The best analysis of the devastating military cuts ordered by President Obama came from former Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday’s “Hannity”: “He would much rather spend the money on food stamps than he would on a strong military or support for our troops.” Our Food Stamp Commander In Chief

Global Warming

Lions, tigers and bears, oh no! This: “The Nobel Prize winner regaled the audience “with a 90-minute presentation, using photos and videos to illustrate a litany of floods, wildfires, torrential rains, droughts, dust storms, rising sea levels and increasing world temperatures.” In other words, what they heard at the Folk Alliance International conference was just another installment in Gore’s long line of public disservice.” And this: “Though the causes of their obsession might be dissimilar, all alarmists have one thing in common: Their predictions of disaster — the superstorms, the underwater coastal cities, famine, mass starvation, the end of snow, the end of skiing, a dangerous refugee problem — have been wrong. Sure, there’s been some rough weather recently. But it’s just weather. As far as we know, no reputable scientist has positively linked the unusual cold and snow to man-made global warming.” Climate Alarmists Never Called Out For Spreading Fear

The truth must not be told. “’Is there anything more anti-scientific than scientific truths being determined by petition and demonstration?’” Heating up: Climate change advocates try to silence Krauthammer

Will the Left attempt to silence one of their heroes as well? “Moore argued that the current argument that the burning of fossil fuels is driving global warming over the past century lacks scientific evidence. He added that the Earth is in an unusually cold period and some warming would be a good thing.” Greenpeace co-founder: No scientific evidence of man-made global warming

Hillary Clinton

Delays. “Sensitive documents including those related to the Hillarycare debacle and presidential pardons for the likes of Marc Rich are being withheld from release. As the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidential candidacy looms, the public’s right to know her involvement is under threat.” And this: Even if the Clintons and Obama exercise their many options to delay release of the records, requiring lawsuits to work their way through the courts, the GOP presidential candidate will have an issue to raise. It is clear that Democrats do not want Hillary’s track record as the “buy one, get one free” first lady of the Clinton “co-presidency” to be scrutinized. This is a risible position and not one that can be defended.” Clinton Library Secret Files a Landmine for Hillary?

IRS

Heroes do what heroes do. “Paul Mirengoff has explained what the IRS is up to in its proposed rulemaking under section 501(c)(4) in the post “The IRS’s latest attempt to silence conservatives.” The proposed regulation means to institutionalize the criminal misconduct of the IRS that has sent many clients to Washington superlawyer Cleta Mitchell, the star of this series. The IRS and the Obama administration are deep into the cover-up phase of the IRS’s criminal misconduct. Cleta has filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking documents relating to the proposed rule. In the video below, she explains the peculiarities of the IRS’s response to her request.” Cleta Chronicles: IRS scandals, part 4

Let your voice be heard! “President Obama’s Internal Revenue Service has quietly announced new rules… seemingly designed to silence the growing conservative grassroots and Tea Party movement in America. Our First Amendment rights are in jeopardy. Please join us in fighting back now!

These new IRS rules will:

  • Keep citizens from holding their public officials accountable
  • Silence citizens and chill the very purpose of grassroots groups

Tell the IRS:

  • It is impractical, burdensome and unacceptable for the IRS to interject itself into the inner workings of every citizens’ group in the country
  • The IRS is supposed to be collecting revenues, not snooping and trampling on the First Amendment rights of citizens
  • American citizens don’t need permission from the IRS in order to be active in grassroots movements
  • To stop unfairly attacking the Tea Party and other 501(c)(4) groups

The IRS is now allowing public comments on these rule changes. So, if you’re as outraged by this as I am, please click here and submit your comment. (If you like, for reference, you can visit our campaign webpage to see some sample comments. You can also view the letter JW sent to the Office of Management and Budget registering our objections.) You must submit your comments by Thursday, February 27th!” Don’t Let the IRS Silence You

The Left

“Progressivism is merely the current euphemism for centralized power vested in a class of people who believe their own propaganda, or know it is a lie but tell it anyway. It is not enough merely to note that it has failed every time it has been tried. It must also be said that it has done irreparable damage to humanity wherever it has been practiced. Progressivism is human vice incarnate, the indulgence and celebration of the erasure of the constraints that human experience and wisdom have devised to limit evil. The name has been changed to protect the guilty.” Progressivism as a Weapon of Mass Destruction

This: “A vital but usually ignored part of the Nazi revolution in Germany was the reduction of robust and independent German states to the status of mere appendages of the federal government.” And this: “As Weimar Germany slid to Nazi Germany, another disturbing trend was the reduction of the national legislature to irrelevance. In the last years of Weimar Germany, President Hindenburg began ruling Germany by emergency decree. On the pretext that the Reichstag could not operate, the executive branch of Weimar Germany simply began acting without legislative consent.” Our Weimar Republic

President Obama, Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Courtney Love, Gregory Meeks and Reverand Jesse Jackson. “President Maduro is the successor to Hugo Chavez, a man loved by the socialist Left in Hollywood and the fringes of the Democratic Party. Most observers place the blame for the situation in Venezuela at Chavez’s feet. While Chavez and Maduro have the same base of support and the same policies, Chavez possessed a political ability to keep tensions at a simmer, unlike Maduro, who has seen them boil over. As we watch dozens of Venezuelans die in the streets, struggling to save their country from the brink of disaster, this is a good opportunity to point out who on the Left in the United States helped legitimize Chavez during his time in power.” 7 Famous Supporters of the Chavez Regime

Read the whole thing. “Thus the party that spent the Bush years screaming about the “Imperial Presidency” overwhelmingly decides that the legislative branch is an unnecessary obstacle to setting its preferred environmental policy. We’ve reached the point where vehemently anti-Bush Democrats in Congress now write up executive orders for President Obama to implement unilaterally. The legislative branch matters, until it doesn’t. The filibuster matters, until it doesn’t. Yesterday’s positions get dropped if they interfere with today’s needs. The Right is dealing with extremely adaptive foes who, for the most part, have no hesitation about lying to get what they want.” Progressive Chameleons: The difficulty of beating an opponent who doesn’t believe in much of anything.

Obamacare

Do they ever get tired of telling these lies? “First of all, seven million was not the administration,” said Sebelius. “That was a CBO, Congressional Budget Office, prediction when the bill was first signed. I’m not sure where they even got their numbers.” However, in September 2013, NBC News asked Sebelius what success would look like for Obamacare. ‘Well, I think success looks like at least seven million people having signed up by the end of March 2014.’” Sebelius Denies WH Ever Aimed For 7 Million Obamacare Sign-Ups

More proof of the lies. “This week provides still more evidence of ObamaCare’s job-killing effects. Among the multitude of taxes ObamaCare levies to help pay for its massive new entitlement program is a 2.3% excise tax on medical device sales. On Tuesday, an Advanced Medical Technology Association industry survey found the $29 billion tax has prevented or killed 33,000 jobs in the industry. “As a result of the medical device tax, we have seen an unprecedented impact on jobs and key investments in R&D,” said the group’s president, Stephen Ubl.” Sebelius’ Jobs Claim Debunked, Again

Our hard-earned tax dollars at work. “As Richard Baehr points out, these “dreamers” were supposed to be the best and brightest among the illegals. Yet 80% of them are earning less than $16,000. Because of all the subsidies available to low incpome people in the United States, from food stamps EBT to the earned income “tax credit” (welfare check) to Section 8 housing subsidies, poor people are very expensive, a burden the taxpayers must carry. Now we can add Medicaid expenses” Report: 125,000 illegals in California qualified to be covered by Medicaid

Message to our seniors: Obama and the Democrats are really not that in to you. Remember that in November. “Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs for senior citizens, is one of the few government health-care programs that has demonstrated success in increasing coverage, reducing costs, and improving the health of its beneficiaries. The Obama administration’s new regulations threaten this achievement.” The White House’s Attack on Medicare’s Prescription-Drug Plans Is Obamacare 2.0

Regulation

What statism brings. “But government is forever. The state has the unique ability to protect existing “stakeholders” from the threats posed by innovation and competition, whether those stakeholders are businesses or unions, fat cats or philanthropies. That’s where the votes are and where the checks come from. But progress — material, medical, economic — comes from innovation. Economist Deirdre McCloskey notes that until the 19th century, innovation was a negative word because innovators upset the established order and the powers that be. In her wonderful book Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World, McCloskey describes how for all of human history, humans lived on about $3 a day, using today’s dollars. For 200,000 years, the line was essentially flat, until around 1800, when a culture that valued innovation spread from England to Europe and the New World. Since then, wealth has skyrocketed, all thanks to a culture willing to let innovators pull up the stakes of the existing stakeholders. In Silicon Valley, where government’s touch is light, we can see the rapidity of innovation at work. In health care, education, and other areas where the government’s hand is heavy, we see stakeholders holding on for dear life.” Innovation vs. Regulation: When entrenched interests face competition, wealth and opportunity can skyrocket.

Voter ID

Haters everywhere I guess: Banks, Libraries, Airlines, etc. etc. etc. “Vice President Biden said new voter ID laws in North Carolina, Alabama, and Texas were evidence of “hatred” and “zealotry” during a Black History Month event at the Naval Observatory on Tuesday.” Biden: New voter ID laws tied to ‘hatred’

Welfare State

I don’t know about you, but I’ve come to realize that the Left detests everything about the middle class. “After a century of misery, the left still hasn’t learned that there is no substitute for the middle class. It’s not just running out of money, it’s running out of people. The welfare state has no future. It is only a question of what terms it will implode on and what will happen to the social welfare political infrastructure when it does. The violence in Venezuela and the slow death of Detroit give us insights into the coming collapse of the welfare state.” The Coming Collapse of the Welfare State

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Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, AARP, Arizona Politics, Benghazi, Charles Krauthammer, Climate Change, Debt, Economy, Education, Elites, Environment, Eric Holder, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Freedom of Speech, Global Warming, Governor Scott Walker, Hillary, IRS, Jobs, Liberal Hypocrisy, Lies, Marriage, Medicaid, Medicare, Middle Class, Middle East, Military, Minimum Wage, Money in Politics, National News, Obamacare, Poverty and the Welfare State, President Obama, Regulation, Religious Liberty, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz, Tea Party, Terrorism, The Left, Tyranny, Voter Fraud

News and Commentary for February 4

Keep your ears open. There's a lot going on and we have to help explain it to those who aren't paying attention.

Keep your ears open. There’s a lot going on and we have to help explain it to those who aren’t paying attention.

Story of the Day

We really are in the best of hands. “U.S. intelligence agencies last week urged the Obama administration to check its new healthcare network for malicious software after learning that developers linked to the Belarus government helped produce the website, raising fresh concerns that private data posted by millions of Americans will be compromised.” The Belarusian Connection

Arizona Politics

Oldie, but worth a re-look as we get closer to August primaries. And what the heck is a “Prada socialist?” “And she discusses her seven pairs of glasses and her wardrobe, describing herself as “a Prada socialist,’’ saying people can still believe in fairness and justice ‘and still have fabulous accessories.’” Gay marriage debate sparks a feminism battle

Amnesty

Collapsing. “Entitlements: ObamaCare is already a fiscal nightmare for the country. Now Democrats, and even some Republicans, want to expand it to ruinous levels by making 12 million illegals eligible for subsidies. Adding these largely poor immigrants to the state health exchanges and Medicaid rolls threatens to explode the $2 trillion cost of ObamaCare by another $210 billion to $300 billion over the next 10 years, according to the Senate Budget Committee.” If You Liked Health Reform, You’ll Love Immigration Reform

Benghazi

Drip, drip, drip. “Former CIA Director Mike Morell may have altered the Benghazi talking points to benefit the Obama administration during the 2012 election, Catherine Herridge of Fox News reports.” Herridge: Fmr. CIA Director Morell May Have Altered Benghazi Talking Points to Benefit Obama Admin.

Big Government

“In January 2014, the Obama donor appointed to “investigate” the abuse declined to bring any charges against anyone, which leads to the question: Why did Lois Lerner take the Fifth? If there were no crimes committed, how could Lerner incriminate herself?” Obama: ‘Not a Smidgeon’ of Corruption in IRS Abuse

“Obama is just the extreme version of a widespread belief among many in both parties that an enormous, intrusive federal regulatory and redistributionist regime is necessary for “solving problems” that in fact are best left to individuals and state and local government. The only argument between the parties these days is over the amount and pace of expansion––spending, for example, $800 billion on food stamps over the next decade rather than $808 billion. This belief in problem-solving big government is more insidious and thus in the long run more dangerous than Obama’s ‘pen and phone.’” Executive Tyranny: The Problem’s Bigger Than Obama

I think we should all work in the government. It’s much more lucrative. “The IRS’ announcement Monday that it will pay cancelled 2013 bonuses has infuriated Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, who wants to know why an agency with employees who “inappropriately” targeted conservative political groups would reinstate the rewards.” Senator rebukes IRS over decision to reinstate 2013 employee bonuses

Class Warfare

This: “Two phenomena: anti-Semitism and American class conflict. Is there any connection between them? In a letter to this newspaper, the noted venture capitalist Tom Perkins called attention to certain parallels, as he saw them, between Nazi Germany’s war against the Jews and American progressives’ war on the “one percent.” For comparing two such historically disparate societies, Mr. Perkins was promptly and heatedly denounced. But is there something to be said for his comparison—not of Germany and the United States, of course, but of the politics at work in the two situations? The place to begin is at the starting point: with the rise of anti-Semitism, modernity’s most successful and least understood political movement.” And this: Herein lies a deeper structural connection. On the global front today, the much larger and more obvious beneficiary of those same blessings is the democratic capitalist system of the United States, and the ultimate target of the ultimate negative campaign is the American people. Anyone seeking to understand the inner workings of such a campaign will find much food for thought in Mr. Perkins’s parallel.” Ruth Wisse: The Dark Side of the War on ‘the One Percent:’ Stoking class envy is a step in a familiar, dangerous and highly incendiary process.

Education

Maintaining the Education Plantation. “After Barack Obama gave a thousand campaign speeches on Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, and the economy, one of his first actions upon taking office as president was to begin gutting a tiny school-choice scholarship program in Washington, D.C. And now newly inaugurated New York mayor Bill de Blasio has, as one of his first agenda items, begun the gutting of the city’s charter schools, which are public schools that operate with some limited measure of independence from the usual education bureaucracies. Like President Obama, Mayor de Blasio is here engaged in plain, naked payback, rewarding the teachers’ unions that funded and manned his campaign by taking hundreds of millions of dollars away from projects they despise. If a private city contractor had bankrolled the mayor’s campaign and been repaid by having him hobble its competition, we’d call it simple corruption. And it is simple corruption, legal though it may be.” Save the Charter Schools

Elections

“The Republican plan for granting legalization up front, while withholding citizenship, is too clever by half. It is like saying that you can slide halfway down a slippery slope. Republicans may yet rescue the Democrats while demoralizing their own supporters and utterly failing the country.” GOP Could Blow 2014 Election With Unwise Push For Amnesty

Interesting history lesson. This: Henry Waxman and George Miller are retiring from the House and not running for re-election after 40 years as a congressmen from southern and northern California. Also retiring and not running for re-election is Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa. Senator Max Baucus of Montana will resign if, as expected, he is confirmed as ambassador to China. Both were first elected to the House in 1974 and were later elected to the Senate. These four are just about the last members serving in Congress of the 75 Democrats first elected to the House in the Watergate year of 1974. And this: “The Class of 1974 also shifted the House and the congressional Democratic party from hawkish to dovish. One of its first acts in March 1975 was to block funding for South Vietnam when it was under attack by the North. Saigon fell in April. In the 1980s the Democratic House kept pushing back on Reagan foreign policy. In 2002, Nancy Pelosi, who holds the seat once held by Phil Burton, led most House Democrats to oppose the Iraq war resolution. Pelosi says she is staying on, even as her ally Waxman and her consigliere Miller leave the House. The 201-member caucus she leads has more black and Hispanic members and fewer young doves and reformers than the 291-member caucus Waxman and Miller entered nearly 40 year ago. Still, the Class of 1974 has left a mark on history — though not as much as one Democrat who narrowly lost a House race that year, a 28-year-old Arkansan named Bill Clinton.” The Democratic class of 1974 passes from the scene

Freedom

What the hell is happening in our country? “The House Armed Services Committee hearing focused on religious liberty, following growing reports of discrimination and reprisals against soldiers who expressed or practiced their religious beliefs, in particular Christian military members. The statement included information about the Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition, a group of 23 non-profit organizations, which documented examples of those discrimination reports, including an officer who was ordered to remove a Bible from his desk so as not to offend anyone, and an Army chaplain’s assistant who was ordered to remove a social media post that expressed her own religious and moral views.” Gen. Boykin to Congress: Religious Liberty Must Be Affirmed, Cherished in Military

Foreign Policy

Weak. “Whether all these incidents are minor or serious, and whether they are random or interconnected and perceived as proof of the loss of U.S. deterrence, depends on which particular bad actor is studying them to try to guess whether the Obama administration will do anything should a provocateur start a war or attempt to redraw a regional map. In short, our Icarus-in-Chief, without much foreign-policy experience but with youthful zeal and good intentions, soared far too high for his flimsy waxen wings. Now they are melting, and as the American commander-in-chief careens back to earth, lots of those below are wondering what will come next. Still, there is a lot of irony as Obama freefalls to earth.” Our Icarus-in-Chief: Obama’s global fantasies are falling to earth along with him.

The Left

This: “During the 1950s, American society saw a great expansion of the middle class, with rising incomes and rates of home ownership. Rather than rejoicing over the large number of Americans who had escaped poverty, many liberals were torn. These days, there is a wave of nostalgia for the 1950s, but many commentators of the time saw it as a soul-deadening period of homogenization and middlebrow culture, of men in “flannel suits” who lived in ticky-tacky houses. Consumerism ran rampant while middle-class Americans were busy keeping up with the Joneses. A raft of clichés belittled the lives of middle-class Americans and tried to denigrate this era of economic progress.” And this: “Which brings us back to Obamacare. Its success or failure will ultimately hinge on whether middle-class Americans either benefit or are hurt by the new law. If the latter occurs, popular support will continue to plummet, and Democrats will suffer. Modern liberalism makes claims to technocratic superiority, believing that enlightened elites can make choices in a planned economy on behalf of the benighted. That proposition is being tested in the health care debate, but its fate will ultimately be in the hands of middle-class Americans.” Opiate of the Elites

Big Government doesn’t work. This: “Obama will seek to overcome “disability” through executive orders—as in raising the minimum wage for federal contractors. Leaving aside increased unemployment from the effects of raising the minimum wage, the entire effort promises to be lost in a bureaucratic bog, with litigation lasting into the next administration. Having worked in an agency established by executive order, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), I can add from my own experience the confusion of trying to enforce civil rights on federal contractors. First of all, an executive order implements a federal law or a constitutional power—the most famous executive order being Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, based on Article II war powers. Obama’s action regarding a pay increase may be unconstitutional, for it may violate the statute that it implements, the Federal Property and Administrative Practices Act of 1949. And this: “A little while later, as we were leaving the Oval Office and walking under the colonnade, Obama said, “I just wanted to add one thing to that business about the great-man theory of history. The President of the United States cannot remake our society, and that’s probably a good thing.” He paused yet again, always self-editing. “Not ‘probably,’ ” he said. “It’s definitely a good thing.” One trusts as true the first-draft Obama more than his self-edited version.” Obama’s Left-Wing Foot

Michelle Obama

Whitewashing the truth of obesity. “Despite $4.5 billion in funding for the Let’s Move campaign, USDA hyper-regulations, and multiple executive actions created to influence personal habits, the government has little to show for its efforts. The declining obesity rates the president cites began years before Michelle Obama had any say, and there’s no indication that Let’s Move has greatly helped the process.” Let’s Move? Fat Chance

Obamacare

Is there ANYTHING working as it relates to Obamacare? “First, Amy Goldstein of  The Post reveals that the appeals process guaranteed in the Obamacare law does not actually exist. The story outlines an almost comical process that requires citizens who seek a fair hearing to have an innocent, HealthCare.gov-generated mistake corrected to fill out a seven-page paper form that is then inexplicably shipped to Kentucky, where it is entered into a government database that isn’t actually connected to anything. It’s a digital dead end for those who dare to complain. Typical. As a result, 22,000 Americans who have submitted an appeals request remain without proper coverage and they have no recourse. And, according to The Post, in the latest show of non-transparency from this administration, officials have “not made public the fact that the appeals system for the online marketplace is not working.” There is “no indication that infrastructure . . .  necessary for conducting informal reviews and fair hearings had even been created, let alone become operational,” and administration officials are refusing to give any information as to when the appeals process might start moving. This is an administration that wants to hide things rather than fix things.” The Insiders: Obamacare – The incompetence and denials keep coming

Run Scott, run! “New Hampshire is a good example of a state where the Obamacare disaster could make a Senate race unexpectedly competitive. Without Obamacare dragging her down, incumbent Jeanne Shaheen would be a prohibitive favorite for re-election. But a recent poll shows her in a dead heat with Scott Brown, who has moved to the state and is mulling the possibility of a run.” Obamacare In New Hampshire

“And, now to the video. This is fast-food fry cook Darnell Summers, who has been working with his union to get higher wages. He’s clearly pushing for a minimum wage raise, here, and President Obama is happy to talk about that. What he’s not happy to address is the part of the question where Summers notes he’s been knocked down to part time work because his employers are trying to avoid the expense of Obamacare. These are real people, who were promised far better than this, being hurt by a law that was supposed to help them. They are not figments of Fox’s imagination. They are not Republicans obstructing anything. They’re the people Obamacare has failed to serve.” Video: Meet ObamaCare’s unintended consequences

“There is much to like in their proposal. It would extend tax credits to help all Americans purchase insurance, getting around the tax code’s previous bias towards those who receive insurance through their employer. It would ensure the widespread availability of bare-bones catastrophic coverage without resorting to Obamacare’s individual mandate. It takes important steps towards reforming Medicaid and providing coverage for those with medical conditions. And it has laudable goals for deregulating health markets and empowering consumers to make health choices based on cost and quality, a development that would drive health care costs downward. The proposal isn’t perfect. It maintains Obamacare’s provision allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, for instance, an unnecessary exercise in infantilizing young Americans. Nor does it make any serious efforts to address Medicare, a program that will require reform sooner rather than later. That said, the plan still represents an important step forward: articulating an alternative to health care policy that empowers individual consumers rather than government. That’s precisely the necessary direction as the nation attempts to dig out from the wreckage of Obamacare, a law that deserves to be discarded at the first possible opportunity.” After Obamacare, what?

Our tax payer dollars at work. “Obamacare supporters are hoping the day after Valentine’s Day will be the day young people in America show health insurers some love. And they’re banking on women to make it happen. Feb. 15 is “National Youth Enrollment Day,” a nationwide series of concerts, rallies, and online campaigns aimed at convincing more young people to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. It’s the latest and largest piece of an effort that borrows heavily from President Obama’s reelection campaign, a plan that’s been slowed by the difficult rollout of the Affordable Care Act’s online portal.” Inside The Plan To Get More Young Americans To Enroll In Obamacare

President Obama

Forgotten, meaningless words. “There was one other area Obama talked about in Peoria 259 weeks ago: fiscal restraint. It almost seems ludicrous now after his four straight years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits and another contentious debate looming this month over raising the national debt limit yet again, well above the current fiscal hole that’s $17 trillion deep. “We’ve got to get serious about starting to live within our means,” said Democrat Barack Obama. No, really. He said that. You can see on the C-SPAN video below. “Instead of leaving debt for our children and our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren,” said the Great Spender, who’s created more debt than any other modern-day president. “That’s not the responsible way. That’s not how folks here in Peoria operate in their own lives, and they should expect the government is equally responsible.” Unfortunately, Americans have come to expect so much less from this man and his government.” Five years of Obama promises: What’s changed?

“I can’t recall any previous president, even when lying or shading the truth, saying that he had said something in a public speech when he had not (if you can think of such an incident, let me know). This is what is called a bold-faced lie, an egregious lie—and a lie that depends for its success on the collusion of the press.” Obama: degrees of lies

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Filed under 2014 Elections, AARP, Amnesty, Arizona Politics, Benghazi, Big Government, Class Warfare, Education, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Michelle Obama, Obamacare, President Obama, Story of the Day, The Left

News and Commentary for January 23

It's "National Pie" day. Have some, and don't worry about the calories!

It’s “National Pie” day. Have some, and don’t worry about the calories!

Refuting what was reported on this blog yesterday, and even picked up by Rush. “Marotta in his calculation includes everyone: Retirees, adolescents, college students and stay-at-home mothers. In other words, he includes people who would ordinarily be excluded from what we refer to as the labor force.” Fact Check: No, ‘Actual’ Unemployment Isn’t 37.2 Percent

Failing. “Despite the popularity of plastic bags, a growing number of municipalities are enacting laws aimed at reducing their use. The laws range from outright bans to taxes. One argument for plastic bag bans is that cities will save money by reducing the costs of litter collection, solid waste disposal and recycling. And in tight fiscal times when municipal budgets are strained, the argument is compelling. However, a recent study by the National Center for Policy Analysis demonstrates that there is simply no evidence that plastic bag restrictions reduce these costs.” Restrictions On Plastic Bags Fail To Deliver Results

Will they have us all living in caves? “That testimony comes on page 21 of Beale’s deposition. He testified to his belief that while environmental regulations in the United States have been successfull, “we’re reaching the limits of the traditional regulatory process…largely because the fundamental dynamic of the capitalistic system is for businesses and individuals to try to externalize all costs.” That, combined with the limits of technology to limit the movement of pollution around the globe, necessitated this project to “modify the DNA” of capitalism.” Smoking Gun: Disgraced Obama EPA Official Testifies to Anti-Capitalist Plan

Is there no end to this crony capitalism?Cause of Action accuses Mr. Reid of attempting to influence the Obama administration to overrule career bureaucrats at the Department of Homeland Security to “expedite” visa applications for nearly two-dozen foreign nationals who were investors in a Nevada casino. Mr. Reid’s son, Rory, was a lawyer for the casino. The facts are clear enough. Career officials at the Department of Homeland Security turned down an expedited EB-5 visa application by the SLS Hotel & Casino in 2012 because agents were concerned over “suspicious financial activity.” Mr. Reid called Alejandro Mayorkas, who was then the director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, to ask him to reverse the decision. Mr. Mayorkas cheerfully obliged. Mr. Reid then changed Senate rules so that Mr. Mayorkas could be promoted to the No. 2 position at the Department of Homeland Security, even though he was the subject of an investigation by the inspector general.” EDITORIAL: Harry Reid’s casino luck

Hope. “But like many folks on the left, Rosenthal is forced to make a big leap. He contends that a shift on social issues and the electoral success of (a now-unpopular) Barack Obama proves that the entire progressive buffet is destined for widespread approval. Guess what? It doesn’t work that way. Support for gay marriage does not mean support for unions. (Unions, one of backbones of political progressivism, have never been less popular in practice.) Pot legalization does not mean we’re ready for nationalize energy policy. And support for immigration reform doesn’t mean people are prepared to “Make Everything Owned by Everybody.” And while I certainly don’t believe we’re about to privatize Social Security, to believe that the philosophy of the electorate is on a fixed leftward arc — which seems to be conventional wisdom these days — is premature.” Sorry, America Isn’t Destined To Be More Liberal

“Wendy Davis understands this all too well. Her pro-abortion extremism, so out of step with the country and especially her state of Texas, is the standard Democratic line. But—as with Warren—the party wants to be able to avoid talking about the issues and instead push a bogus narrative consisting of false accusations and character assassination. For that, Davis—or, rather, the person Davis has claimed to be—was perfect.” American Liberalism’s Necessary Fictions

With good intentions, the Left always makes things worse. “Both President John F. Kennedy, who launched the proposal for a “war on poverty” and his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, who guided the legislation through Congress and then signed it into law, were very explicit as to what the “war on poverty” was intended to accomplish. Its mission was not simply to prove that spending money on the poor led to some economic benefits to the poor. Nobody ever doubted that. How could they? What the war on poverty was intended to end was mass dependency on government. President Kennedy said, “We must find ways of returning far more of our dependent people to independence.” The same theme was repeated endlessly by President Johnson. The purpose of the “war on poverty,” he said, was to make “taxpayers out of taxeaters.” Its slogan was “Give a hand up, not a handout.” When Lyndon Johnson signed the landmark legislation into law, he declared: “The days of the dole in our country are numbered.” Now, 50 years and trillions of dollars later, it is painfully clear that there is more dependency than ever.” Fact-Free Liberals: Part III

A Must Read. “It is beneficial to remind ourselves periodicallyof the realities in the struggle between Constitutionalism / Capitalism and Marxism-Leninism.  It is a continual struggle, whether we acknowledge it or not.  And the enemy of America as a constitutional republic with a capitalistic economic system is Marxism-Leninism, whether it be characterized as communism, socialism, progressivism, leftism, statism, or liberalism (in its current state).” In Their Own Words: Lenin, Stalin, Obama, and Hillary

Tolerance. “Those people said that the application had been under review for roughly two years, and had at one point included a demand — which was not met — for enhanced access to the group’s security-protected website, which would have revealed member names. Tax experts said that an organization’s membership list is information that would not typically be required. The I.R.S. already had access to the site’s basic levels, a request it considers routine for applications for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.” Leaning Right in Hollywood, Under a Lens

Click on over and make a comment! “At the time of this writing, not one public comment on a proposed IRS rule for 501(c)(4) nonprofit groups is positive. The proposed rule, “Guidance for Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Organizations on Candidate-Related Political Activities” does not impact labor unions or the Chamber of Commerce, but does impact the Tea Party and other conservative groups. It is out in the open that the IRS is targeting perceived political opponents, but this truth is frustratingly not being shouted from the rooftops by the mainstream media or the Republican establishment, who have been quite clear in their disdain for the Tea Party.” Comments on proposed IRS rule targeting the Tea Party reflect fear, anger

Disparate treatment, media style. “How would the mainstream media have reacted if Rick Scott or Rick Perry said that pro-choice, pro-gun control and pro-gay rights people weren’t welcome in their state? Wouldn’t that be a huge story? This is clearly a case of double standards.” From Christie to Cuomo to McDonnell, the media’s selective standards

Disparate treatment, media style, part 2. “However many [euphemisms] you can think of, the MSM can probably think of more—if they’re talking about the lies of a Democrat.” How many euphemisms can you think of for the word “lie”?

Disparate treatment, media style, part 3. “Now imagine if a Republican candidate had been caught embellishing his or her background to create a more compelling life story. Think the press would be so forgiving? Turns out, you don’t have to imagine it. Four years ago, Tea Party favorite Dan Maes was campaigning for Colorado governor when it came to light that he’d embellished his decades-old law enforcement record. The press pounced. And then there was the 24/7 wall-to-wall coverage about a claim that Tea Party favorite Christine O’Donnell — who was running for a Delaware Senate seat in 2010 — had fudged her academic record. In Wendy Davis’ case, the press had invested a lot of time and effort building her up as a shining liberal star. So now they’re at pains to protect their investment, just as they’ve done for five years with President Obama.” Why Is The Press Fighting To Protect Wendy Davis?

Unreal. Aborting your baby so you can pursue your dreams. The slippery slope is getting more slippery by the day. “Compare this to Barack Obama, who today proclaims abortion an unambiguous moral good, something that permits “everyone” to “have the same freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams.” Standard progressive boilerplate on abortion usually includes a flourish acknowledging, for example (and I’m fake-quoting this from memory, not any particular document), “supporting women as they wrestle with these difficult choices.” Well, apparently we’re wrestling with difficult choices no longer. Now it’s about freedom and the opportunity to pursue your dreams, Wendy Davis style.” Obama: Roe v. Wade Permits all Women to “Fulfill Their Dreams”

This: I’m still shaking my head at Wendy Davis — not that she lied about her biography (sometimes it seems as if every politician springs out of some kind of heroic narrative) — but that she, as a very young lawyer doing the simple, ordinary work that thousands of young lawyers do, conceded custody of her child on the grounds that “it’s not a good time for me right now” to be the custodial parent. I’m also shaking my head at the president of the United States, speaking on the anniversary of the legalized killing of tens of millions of children, justifying this slaughter because it gives the former parents the ability to “fulfill their dreams.” And this: How would our lives be different if we understood that we are never more important than our spouse? We are never more important than our children? We are never more important than our neighbor or brother? The culture of life — indeed, grace itself — begins with the denial of self, and unless we begin to deny self, we could overturn Roe and still not overcome abortion — much less the sins that separate us from God and man. Our “dreams” will still be too big.” The Culture of Death and Our Towering Self-Regard

Lecturer in chief. “You know, I have. Although, like Isaac Chotiner, I think there’s more to it than mere contempt for his audience’s intelligence. You need to read the piece for a full slate of examples but essentially Chotiner’s zeroing in on O’s patented pros-and-cons Thoughtful Guy non-answer. Did you know that there are two sides to most vexing policy problems and that hard choices are usually required? You did? Well, let the president remind you a few thousand times anyway.” TNR: Have you noticed that Obama talks to people like they’re children?

It’s going to be a long, long three more years. “Veteran White House reporter Keith Koffler on “The Root of Obama’s Imperious Presidency:” I covered both the Clinton and Bush White Houses. Routinely, with each of them, there was line of cars on the West Wing driveway belonging to members of some committee or faction of Congress that had dropped by to meet the president. If they wanted the gathering to remain below the radar, they “snuck in” the side door, and then the camera guys who were always in a position where they could see the entrance there told us about it. With Obama, almost never. Nothing. No meetings. If you ask around on Capitol Hill, no phone calls either. Obama, expostulating about the uncooperativeness of Republicans, does nothing to get them to cooperate. It’s not in his character. And then he attacks them for his own paucity of results. He’s like a high school football player who never comes to practice and then whines that he’s warming the bench. Unfortunately, Obama’s temperament will now have serious consequences for the nation. We’ll be in a constant state of Constitutional subversion for the next three years as Obama issues edicts and bullies the private sector into doing his bidding. At any point, with some particularly outlandish act, he can kick things up to a major Constitutional crisis. It’s a sad thing to see.” Obama the Loner

Failure. “While the media turns all if its guns on Republican governors Chris Christie and bob McDonnell and chooses to ignore the growing pile of hardships ObamaCare is inflicting on the American people, this tactic is not doing anything to help resurrect President Obama’s approval numbers. A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday shows the president still flat on his back with only 40% approving of the job he’s doing and a full 54% disapproving. This is actually worse than an earlier poll that had Obama at 41% – 54%.” Poll: Obama Still Flat On His Back at 40% Approval

Sagging. “In reality, O’s approval is around 43 percent and hasn’t been higher than his disapproval in RCP’s poll average since last May. The lower he goes, the more vulnerable Democratic “safe” seats become. Right now, Trende thinks a 10-seat pick-up for Republicans isn’t out of the question. If perceptions of his competence really are stuck at 43/53 or so going forward, he and his party are in deep trouble.” Poll: 53% say that Obama’s administration has been incompetent in running the government

Sinking. “Those who believe the Obama administration is incompetent weigh in at a clip of 53-42 – a margin of 11 points. In addition, more people believe that the president is not even paying attention to what’s going on than the contrary: 47-45. (That may be because the president finds out about all those “phony scandals” by reading about them in the news.)” Majority Say Obama Administration Is Incompetent and Obama Is Not Even Paying Attention

With antics like this, can the Republican party be saved?A nice example of what I said last week about Republicans forging their immigration policy based not on what works but on what they think they can sell. Legalization without citizenship is, as DrewM says, arguably the worst possible outcome policy-wise. It rewards illegals by letting them stay in the U.S. indefinitely, creating an incentive for future illegals to cross the border, but then tries to punish them by relegating them to a status of uncertainty. Will they ever be allowed to apply for citizenship or will they be stuck forever as second-class quasi-citizens? No one knows. And no one in the GOP leadership really cares. They like this dopey idea because they think they can sell it to both sides.” House GOP number three: How about legalization without citizenship for illegals?

Don’t join. “What there is not is one single representative thought, article or voice for conservatism. So, I ask you, AARP… are you honestly unable to find even one conservative role model to highlight, one known right-winger to interview, one successful Republican to extol? Are you so arrogant as to not notice the millions of us vehemently opposed to Obama and his socialist agenda? You exploit your mighty voice with blatant bias. You are a wolf in sheep’s clothing — and I, one small voice, find your magazine, your political involvements, and your behind-the-scenes deals despicable. I may not have a choice about growing older but I sure as hell have a choice about who claims to speak for me!” AARP: One More Big Brother?

Standing up to coercion. “Illinois resident Pam Harris is a 55-year-old mom earning less than the minimum wage who cares for her son Josh Harris, 25. He has Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, a muscular degenerative disease, compounded by physical disabilities and mental illness. Josh and his family qualify for an Illinois home-based support-services program that lets disabled adults live at home. He gets $721 each month from Medicaid to cover the costs of the constant supervision he requires. To the Service Employees International Union and Illinois’ Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, the fact that Josh’s mother receives a small government stipend given to home health-care workers makes her a state employee subject to forced unionization.” SEIU Fights To Force Home Caregivers To Pay Union Dues

More costs falling on the taxpayer. “He said that so far, Obamacare has just shifted people who were insured in the individual market to the public exchanges where they could get a better deal on a subsidy for coverage. ‘We see only 11 percent of the population is actually people that were firmly uninsured that are now insured. So [it] didn’t really eat into the uninsured population.’” Aetna CEO: We May Just Have to Pull Out of Obamacare

Fiascos and more fiascos. “Tuesday’s interviews with John Bolton (transcript here) and E.J. Dionne (audio and transcript here) underscored just how central to the 2016 presidential race the foreign policy fiascos of the past few years will be.  The GOP will be talking about them, and Hillary will be unable to defend her record, just as E.J. Dionne was unable to do so in our conversation.  (E.J. joins a line of show guests who have tripped over the same very low bar of “Tell me what she accomplished during her four years at state.”).” National Security and 2016

Our trash talking president. “Let’s hope that Obama takes al Qaeda more seriously than his trash-talking interview with the New Yorker suggests. To take al Qaeda lightly would be the approach of a jayvee president.” Of jayvee terrorists. . . and presidents

May the truth come out, eventually. “Shifting blame to our dead ambassador is wrong on the facts. I know—I was there.” Gregory Hicks: Benghazi and the Smearing of Chris Stevens

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