Category Archives: Benghazi

News and Commentary for January 28

It's "National Fun at Work" Day. Have some fun, whatever you're doing!

It’s “National Fun at Work” Day. Have some fun, whatever you’re doing!

Fired up and ready to run again. “Sen. John McCain said a censure from Arizona’s Republican Party is “regrettable” but that it will not dissuade him from running for reelection in 2016. The Republican senator and former presidential candidate said that the formal reprimand from the GOP over the weekend only serves as a motivator as he weighs whether to pursue a sixth term in the chamber. The state Republican Party passed a resolution over the weekend that derided his record as too liberal and “disastrous and harmful” to the country. “We’ve got polling data that shows overwhelming support. I’ve won every election in Arizona by very large margins, quite often with the opposition of that element of the party,” McCain said of his state’s rightward flank, which he described as encompassing a “very small portion” of Arizona voters.” John McCain on reprimand: ‘It fires me up’

Rep. Krysten Sinema is beatable. Let’s make sending her packing our priority. “By contrast, according to a competitiveness chart issued by the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, CD 9 just barely skews Dem. The 2012 election reflected the district the AIRC drew. Sinema’s foil was one of the worst Republican candidates imaginable: former Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker. Sinema scored 121,881 votes to Parker’s 111,630. Libertarian Powell Gammill picked up 16,620. If Gammill had not been in the race, Parker might have won, as there is natural overlap between Republicans and Libertarians. At the very least, Sinema’s edge would have been razor thin sans Gammill. Kyrsten Sinema Turns Blue Dog, Liberals Blow a Gasket

We won’t forget. “Sinema has long been invested in the law’s success. In 2009, then-State Rep. Sinema was handpicked by President Obama to represent Arizona in crafting the law.” Dem Rep: The Fundamentals Of Obamacare Are Good

Remember, Rep. Sinema says the “fundamentals” of Obamacare are good—please tell us Rep. Sinema: exactly how many folks could have purchased insurance with the kind of tax payer dollars being wasted on failing exchanges? “In late October 2013, the Obama administration sent $41.9 million to Minnesota for its state-built health exchange. It was the sixth ObamaCare grant awarded the state, and all told taxpayers ponied up $155 million to help build MNSure.” ObamaCare Dumped $1.2 Bil Into Failing State Exchanges

Candidate for CD9, to oust Rep. Krysten Sinema. “Walter is hardly the first former NFL player who has tried to come to Capitol Hill, although Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., is the only one currently in Congress. But he faces a similarly interesting opponent in Sinema, the first openly bisexual member of Congress. His chances: If Walter makes it through a competitive primary against Wendy Rogers, who ran an unsuccessful race for the nomination in 2012, and other potential candidates who are said to be mulling bids, he has a shot of winning the district. It gave President Barack Obama a 4-percentage-point edge over Republican nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.” This Cycle’s Top 8 Most Fascinating Recruits (So Far)

More on the Democrat’s war on young people. “Yes, frankly, there has always been substantial legitimacy to their concerns. The law requires young and healthy consumers to buy expensive comprehensive insurance for thousands of dollars a year, far exceeding their likely expenditures on health-related services and products. It then imposes ridiculous deductibles which all but guarantee that they won’t see any benefit at all from those policies. That money will instead benefit older Americans by subsidizing their premiums. It’s one of the most perverse wealth transfers of all time.” Retiring House Dem: ObamaCare is unraveling because young people won’t sign up

Someone needs to remind our president. This: “America does not have a royal family and is not ruled from a throne by a monarch. Our Constitution — the same one Obama is an alleged professor of, the same one the political left detests because it stands in its way of unfettered power — designed a government of three branches. None can act on its own. None can seize power over the other two.” And this: “When Obama makes his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, he is likely to threaten to issue executive orders in instances when Congress refuses to follow his agenda. Principled members of Congress should spend the next days and weeks challenging his usurpation of power in the court of public opinion — and in a court of law. Americans are not subjects of a king.” Barack Obama And The Quest For Raw Political Power

Did you ever think you’d see this happening in our beloved United States? “Decades of this have poisoned the well of American politics, and paved the way for Obama to take the demonization to the next level by unleashing the law on them. Arresting prominent members of the opposition is the kind of behavior we have seen from the likes of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler; it is a hallmark of authoritarianism, not (until now) of politics in the United States. Of course, Stalin and Hitler didn’t stop with arresting their foes; they had them murdered as well, usually after a show trial. Obama is not doing that, but is even one step down this road one that Americans want to take?” The D’Souza Arrest: Obama Adopts the Stalinist Style

The IRS is hiding something and hopefully the smoking gun will be found. “What is this, Zimbabwe? Turkmenistan? Ecuador? The point of a civil service over a political spoils system is to have an impartial system based on merit, not a collection of political operatives who gladly serve as attack dogs and then retreat behind illegitimate legal protections to await their next opportunity to strike again. And as O’Donnell noted, they will. The fact that they won’t cooperate based on “confidentiality” requirements is nothing but a shield law for wrongdoers who have turned what should be an honorable profession to the ultimate manifestation of Big Dirty Government, unrestrained by law, unmoved by conventions of professionalism and unwilling to adhere to any sense of right or wrong.” IRS, The Emblem Of Big Dirty Government, Gets Dirtier

Was he ever a nice guy?Yuval Levin wonders how anyone who has witnessed the last few years can conclude that Obama has not used unilateral executive power enough, or think he has tried too hard to work with Congress. He also points out that Obama has been at his most popular when dealing with Congress — especially in the confrontation that led to the government shutdown — and at his least popular when on his own — see the Obamacare rollout.” Obama’s new plan — no more Mr. Nice Guy

The Media intends to cover for Obama’s tyranny. “So first we have the framing of this as a new approach, one to which Obama came reluctantly, forced by the stubborn resistance of Congress’s Republicans to his agenda. Of course, his approach is neither new, nor forced—although I suppose it’s “forced” inasmuch as it wouldn’t be necessary if Congress was still controlled by Democrats who could be trusted to merely rubber-stamp Obama’s desires. And it’s “new” in the sense that it will now be intensified. Obama is also attempting to capitalize on Americans’ dislike for and disapproval of Congress, which is far more unpopular even than he is.” Obama: you ain’t seen nothing yet

Remember, we have three more years of this man and his administration. “There are the latest results from the ABC/Washington Post poll and I would call that a crisis of confidence. Men have some or no confidence in Obama’s ability to “make the right decisions for the country’s future” by 67-32. Among women, it’s 59-41.” 63% of Americans Lack Confidence in Obama’s Ability to Make Decisions

Repeat after me, “Liberal Policies NEVER grow an economy. “In fact, the pro-market, pro-growth policies of Ronald Reagan, disparagingly referred to as “trickle-down economics,” produced falling poverty rates every year from 1984 to 1989, a 20% overall hike in real per-capita disposable incomes, a drop in inflation from 13.5% to 4.1%, and a decline in the unemployment rate to 5.5% by way of the creation of 20 million new jobs. Today, in contrast, Obama’s anti-growth policies of more taxation, more regulation, more mandates, more government, and more redistribution have produced the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression, the lowest workforce participation rate in 40 years, declining real incomes, higher poverty rates and more inequality.” Lack Of Opportunity, Not Economic Inequality, Is U.S.’ Real Problem

Up in smoke! “Interest rates were vaporized in favor of cheap money. We’re living in a debt society where every institution is borrowing money to lend to someone at the bottom of the pile and then reselling that debt to someone else. Saving money by investing it works at the top, but saving money in a bank account provides little except a rainy day fund constantly eroded by inflation at the bottom.” Cheap Money and American Poverty

The war on future generations is getting worse. “Many may argue this is not the time for pension reforms; however, President Reagan may have said it best, ‘If not us, who? If not now, when?’” You Think The Deficit Is Bad? Federal Unfunded Liabilities Exceed $127 Trillion

Conservatives MUST win in 2014, and 2016. “The biggest challenge in 2014 and beyond will be to recognize the limits of government — especially the limits of monetary policy to stimulate the real economy — and to restore economic freedom so individuals can innovate and prosper. Many of America’s problems stem from intrusive government, not from genuine free markets. Government has an important role to play in a free society, but one limited by the rights of individuals. The outlook for 2014 and beyond will depend on whether the rule of law and limited government prevail or whether special interests and “democracy” trump what F.A. Hayek called the “constitution of liberty.” The midterm election will provide a referendum on that historic question.” More Economic Freedom Is Key To U.S. Economic Success

Only in President Obama’s America: Benghazi incompetence and death leads to promotion. “Lamb was brought before the congressional investigation into Benghazi, and defended the lax security at Benghazi by saying that they didn’t need extra help because they were training Libyans to defend the embassy. Another official testified that she had denied security because there would have been too high of a political cost to doing so. She resigned from her position as State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs, but it appears that the Obama administrations knows how to take care of those who protect their interests. Now, do you think Lamb’s promotion after our ambassador and soldiers were killed at Benghazi will make as much news as Chris Christie immediately firing those responsible for “bridgegate”? Don’t hold your breath.” ObamAccountability: Official Who Oversaw Failed Security At Benghazi Given Promotion

She’s not inevitable. “Hillary Clinton has given comments in which she claims that Benghazi is her “greatest regret” as secretary of state. “My biggest, you know, regret is what happened in Benghazi,” Clinton said when asked to identify “do-overs” of her time as America’s top diplomat during her keynote appearance before the National Automobile Dealers Association in New Orleans.” Hillary Wants to Get Benghazi Out of the Way

Ugh. “As for Rand bringing this up in the first place, I go back and forth between thinking it’s foolish to give Hillary a chance to remind the public of her victimization (victimhood being a core component of her campaign to come) and clever in making Democrats generally and Bill in particular think twice before throwing around “war on women” charges. More than anything, though, I can’t believe Democrats are going to foist this baggage on us again. We’re going to spend another two years, and maybe four years after that, and then maybe four years after that — 10 years! — neck deep in Clinton drama. Again. I don’t have the energy. I need to blog something less exhausting, like the Middle East.” WaPo columnist: Hey, Monica Lewinsky wasn’t exactly an innocent victim, you know

Make it stop, please! “Whatever damage Obama can do in the next 3 years, 8 years of Hilary Clinton will make it worse. Every dysfunction inflicted on the country by 100 years of the progressive assault on limited government, self-reliance, and self-government will continue to worsen, while the debt clock ticks ever closer to the midnight of bankruptcy. Conservatives need to fight the next war, not refight the last one.” Fight the Next War, Not the Last One

Blinded by reality. “I’m told Fink desperately wants to be Treasury secretary, which is part of why he’s looking toward Hillary as a savior. The other part is that he, like Blankfein and the many other Democrats among the nation’s top chief executives, are so blinded by their obsession with Republican hard-liners that they haven’t observed how the anti-business hard left is now the most powerful force inside the Democratic Party. They blame the problems in the party now on the peculiar disposition of President Obama, which is more his arrogance than his ideology. Business executives who’ve sat down with him jokingly refer to their meetings as the “Four Ls” because, as one recently put it to me, “He arrives late; he doesn’t listen; he lectures them and then he leaves.” Yet they’re leaving out a fifth “L” — that Obama’s a liberal, or even a lefty. His arrogance with businessmen even in his own party is all about ideology — one that thinks business is so inherently bad it needs to be regulated, reshaped and crushed, which is exactly what he did to the financial sector after the financial crisis and what he’s doing now to the health-care system.” Wall Street’s bad bet on Hillary for 2016

We can win, if we select the right candidate. “The contest she will be running in in 2016 is first toward the end of a last decade of slow economic growth. B, in 2016, we will have had three consecutive two- term presidencies. The last time we had that, and the only other time we had that was Jefferson, Madison and Monroe before the two-party system emerged. We had a period of uncommon stability in the presidency. And that makes it even less likely that we’re going to give a third term to the same party.” George Will On The Clintons: “All They’ve Done Their Entire Life Is Borrow Money From Rich People To Seek Office”

Don’t worry… The MSM will protect her. “The scanner thing stuck against Bush 41 (unfairly, as it was based on bad reporting) because it fit the media narrative of an older country-club patrician president not understanding America’s problems the way a younger man from Arkansas who didn’t come from money could. Hillary’s narrative, though, will be First! Woman! President! The car thing will be a curio, easily spun, as Drew says, “as a story about how she has forgone the simple pleasures of life in service to her people.” And if for some reason it does stick, she’ll have Bill out on the trail reassuring the middle class that she’s the real populist in election 2016, no matter how many private-jet miles she’s logged in the past two decades.” Hillary: I haven’t driven a car in 18 years

The Left might understand, but they need the division in order to continue to win elections. “I don’t know if I persuaded anyone, but at least the facts are on my side. Consider, for instance, how the world’s two most laissez-faire jurisdictions – Hong Kong and Singapore – have overtaken the United States over the past 50-plus years. That’s been great news for low-income and middle-income people, not just the rich. So ask yourself whether you’d rather be a poor person in one of those jurisdiction or in France. The government in France has all sorts of programs to make your life easier, but you have very little hope of escaping a life of dependency. And now ask yourself whether it’s good that Obama is doing his best to push America in that direction.” Everything You Ever Needed to Know about the Left’s View of Income Inequality, Captured in a Single Image

Hypocrisy. “There is an asymmetry between declamations of those on the far left and those on the far right, which is disturbing. The former often express a visceral hostility which is intended to marginalize their opposition in the style of Saul Alinsky. One only has to recall the demonization of Sarah Palin in 2008 or the vilification of Mike Huckabee last week – in both cases taking words out of context and relentlessly belittling them. Likewise, Bush lied; Obama tells falsehoods. Lies and false statements are too often ignored by mainstream media when they are uttered by those on the left. Lies about Benghazi and the IRS are examples. Elizabeth Warren’s lie about her heritage was another. So was Wendy Davis’s lie about bringing up her children as a single mother. Conservatives would have been scalded for making such false claims.” Thought of the Day: Who Is the Extremist, Andrew Cuomo?

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Filed under 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Arizona Politics, Benghazi, Big Government, CD9, Debt, Economy, Freedom, Hillary, Income Inequality, IRS, Millenials, Obamacare, Political Corruption, President Obama, Senator John McCain, The Left, Trickle Down Economics, Tyranny

News and Commentary for January 24

It's "National Compliment" Day. Tell someone how much you appreciate them!

It’s “National Compliment” Day. Tell someone how much you appreciate them!

I’ve been puzzled by this for a while now. Democrats hate cigarettes, but they want to legalize pot. It makes absolutely NO SENSE. But when does anything the Left do make sense? Again, the means justifies the ends, and in this case, the end is more voters. “But one other aspect of the issue that few have pondered is the liberal hypocrisy that the emerging consensus about legal pot has illuminated. As William Bennett and Christopher Beach pointed out in an incisive Politico magazine article today, there is a question that no one in the media is asking Obama or any other liberal advocate of opening the floodgates to more marijuana: Why do the same people that have sought to outlaw transfats and super-sized sodas while banishing cigarette smokers and seeking to criminalize anything else that can be branded as unhealthy think there’s nothing wrong with a measure that would almost certainly increase the amount of pot smoked in this country?” The Nanny State Exception: Legal Pot

I posted on this yesterday, but here’ some commentary on the original article. Benghazi whistleblower: Don’t even think about blaming Stevens

Arguments in favor of a more libertarian Republican party. “While I respect and recognize people’s religious traditions, what concerns me is this — this issue will be used effectively as a wedge to sabotage a whole lot of change at a time when it couldn’t be more necessary. It dovetails perfectly with the mythological “war on women,” which we all will be sure to hear about incessantly. Now I readily acknowledge I have been pro-same-sex marriage for many years.  So I am not a perfectly honest broker.  But  as an observer of society,  and as a writer that’s what I’m paid to do, I have to say in all candor that political opposition to same-sex marriage is the Achilles’ heel of the right going into 2016. Social conservatives who intend to make a serious issue out of it should realize that the fallout from their views could adversely affect all of us in a catastrophic way. No one is going to be happy here. SoCons who continue to press this issue on the political (not the personal or religious) stage have to realize that they are damaging many of us who have other concerns domestic and foreign, many of which we would probably agree on more easily. This is a great moment.  A seriously smaller government is a real possibility with electoral victories in 2014 and 2016.  Let’s not jeopardize them by emphasizing an issue more properly, and unquestionably more successfully, dealt with in the private realm.” How Social Conservatives Are Saving Liberalism (Barely)

Arguments for a more socially conservative Republican party. “My friend Roger Simon writes that social conservatives are the only thing that can “save liberalism.” Social conservatives should just accept the wisdom of coastal, unchurched 18 year olds and surrender our core beliefs. Surrender on marriage, and allow it to be redefined by people who harbor nothing but contempt for the institution. It’s a recurring theme among a certain set within the larger conservative-libertarian movement. Shut up and surrender, they explain. Where do the surrenders end? Those who share the shut-up sentiment never say. They just tell social conservatives to shut up already and give up on the issues that for many are the very reason that they got into politics in the first place. So we surrender on marriage, then we give up on life, and pretty soon, they’ll be telling us to give up on the Second Amendment, then the First, then something else. Always retreat, ever surrender, because they say so, never offering a glimpse of what might be the end game.” Rebuttal to Another ‘Why Won’t the Social Conservatives Just Shut Up?’ Post

The sooner the low information voters wake up to this fact, the better off our country will be. “One of the things that attracted me to the political left, as a young man, was a belief that leftists were for “the people.” Fortunately, I was also very interested in the history of ideas — and years of research in that field repeatedly brought out the inescapable fact that many leading thinkers on the left had only contempt for ‘the people.’” Fact-Free Liberals: Part IV

Don’t for a minute think that the Chamber of Commerce cares about the little guy. “Last year, the chamber poured more than $52 million into K Street lobbying efforts on behalf of illegal alien amnesty, federal education Common Core programs and increased federal spending. This year, chamber bigwigs are paving the perilous pathway to GOP capitulation. The Left hardly needs to lift a finger against Tea Party candidates and activists who are bravely challenging the big government status quo. The chamber has already volunteered to spend $50 million subsidizing the Republican incumbency protection racket and attacking anti-establishment conservatives.” The US Chamber of Commerce versus America

Nice to think it could happen, but don’t get your hopes up. Will Oregon be part of the 2014 Senate playing field?

I am sure many of the folks that feel this way will continue to vote for the Democrats? Fox News Poll: Voters say addressing income inequality is not government’s job

“’The facts themselves are pretty unassailable,” says an economist who reviewed the latest canon in the political fight over redistributive policies. “How you want to interpret them is the question.” The New York Times dissects the study from Harvard that the Left is grasping to show the urgent need to address “income inequality,” and finds that it’s not exactly quite as advertised. Income mobility — the ability to improve one’s standing in the US economy — has not grown over the last few decades, but it’s not falling, either. In fact, it’s held remarkably steady since the 1950s.” Surprise: Income mobility is not falling after all

After a few years of De Blasio’s Leftists ways, New Yorkers are going to be screaming for change. “De Blasio sees himself as thinking big, and insists he has a mandate for his ideas. Maybe. We’ll just note that the evidence of the last 50 years suggests the progressive agenda may be less the answer for so much of what ails our big American cities than the cause. And at this early stage in his tenure, Mayor Bill would do well to recognize that a man who can’t get the streets plowed is not going to persuade anyone he can end inequality.” De Blasio should fix the streets first

It’s going to take some kind of miracle to repair the damage this man has done to our country, and the world. “Some of this is surely a product of the times in which we live. But a lot of it is the result of Mr. Obama’s divisive and unusually ruthless tactics. He took a polarized country and deepened its divisions. It will take a long time, and a special successor, to begin to unwind all the damage this man has done.” Obama An Unrivaled Polarizing President

“Barack Obama is a chastened man trying to make sense of his multiplying failures. Well into his second term, blaming them on his predecessor no longer works. One can now see the outlines of the new explanation: The job is too big, the country too divided, the opposition too unreasonable, the world too complicated, the tools we have to fix things too few. There is another alternative. Mr. Obama wasn’t ready to be president and he hasn’t learned very much as president. He has constantly been overmatched by events. And now his presidency is being undone by them.” Our Chastened President

Snore. “The State of the Union is a grand tradition, but only if people are listening.” Noonan: The Sleepiness of a Hollow Legend

Fearing the government. “Hardball: Hell hath no fury like an administration embarrassed by a top credit-rating agency stating the obvious — that its perilous spending policies and rising debts warranted a downgrade just like any poorly run business.” Timothy Geithner Teaches Standard & Poor’s The Chicago Way

More on the IRS attempting to silence conservatives in Hollywood. “The demand for that information—and the group’s principled refusal to comply—highlights the perilous professional risks for Hollywood conservatives who acknowledge their political leanings before achieving fame. That’s why only a few members of Friends of Abe, such as actors Gary Sinise, Jon Voight, and Kelsey Grammer and writer/director Lionel Chetwynd, have identified themselves. But the real issue here is why the IRS has been stalling a tiny conservative group because of questions about the speakers they invite to their off-the-record dinners and meetings while a bevy of left-wing Hollywood groups whose involvement in political issues is a matter of record have not encountered such IRS challenges.” The IRS’s Political Bias Goes Hollywood

We’re from the government and we’re here to silence you. “Why pick on Friends of Abe? The group wants to keep its membership information private, for one thing. Anyone who saw what happened to Maria Conchita Alonso can understand why. But this isn’t supposed to be an issue for 501(c)(3) organizations in the first place. There isn’t any requirement to make membership or donor information public, because they are proscribed from directly supporting political parties and candidates by that very status. Yet here is the IRS stalling the application for two years, demanding access to the internal website, and asking intrusive questions that are really none of its business. It’s not difficult to see this as an attempt to identify members and embarrass them — or to intimidate them out of the political sphere altogether.” IRS going after conservatives in Hollywood now?

Silencing their enemies is the only thing they’ve got left. “The Democrats’ new much-vaunted master plan for annihilating the Tea Party movement calls for aggressive class warfare, demagoguery, and lying about the beliefs, motives, and goals of Tea Party supporters, Sen. Chuck Schumer revealed yesterday.” Schumer’s Plan to Abolish the Tea Party

Is there ANYTHING good about Obamacare? “This is the deeper point of the Moody’s downgrade: The insurance industry is now essentially a political creature, and politics can change quickly. How’s an investor supposed to assess risk if he or she can’t know whether the president might need to knock over the chessboard at any given moment for his own political interests? Even if you think Obama and the Democrats are so invested in O-Care’s success that they’ll find a way to keep federal money flowing to prop it up, the lingering bitterness after the law was passed on party lines and the recurring fact of potentially game-changing elections means it’ll be years before the industry enjoys real stability. And yet, in partnering with O on sweeping reform in the expectation that it would bring them millions of new customers, this is what insurers signed up for. They bought the ticket. Hope they’re enjoying the ride.” Moody’s downgrades outlook for insurance industry to negative, thanks to ObamaCare

Don’t they get it? Nothing is EVER free! “Tom Gialanella, 56, was shocked to find out he qualified for Medicaid under ObamaCare. The Bothell, Wash., resident had been able to retire early years ago, owns his home outright in a pricey Seattle suburb and is living off his investments. He wanted no part of the government’s so-called free health care. “It’s supposed to be a safety net program. It’s not supposed to be for someone who has assets who can pay the bill,” he said. And after reading the fine print, Gialanella had another reason to flee Medicaid — the potential death debt. Though many may not realize it, states are allowed to recover the cost of health care after someone’s death by seizing their assets. It applies to Medicaid recipients who are between the ages of 55 and 64. The law has been in place since 1993, when Congress realized states were going broke over rising Medicaid expenses.” ObamaCare death debt? States can seize assets to recoup Medicaid costs

The disaster continues. “But the White House can evade responsibility for only so long.  The backend was incomplete from Day One and runs the risk of complete breakdown come mid-March when both insured and insurance companies will be looking for accurate subsidies to be sent to pay for coverage.  They very well may not get that information or money.” ObamaCare D-Day in March

Making things worse, but then, that’s the Liberal way. “Note, this is after decades of liberals insisting that the uninsured were desperate to get insurance and years of Obama officials and defenders swearing that this law would make it happen. Indeed, in order to make it happen the Democrats blew up the entire health-care industry casting millions of people off their existing insurance plans. When those people went to exchanges to sign up for new ones, the Obama administration took credit for it, as if they were doing something for the uninsured. But barely 1 in 10 of new Obamacare enrollees were previously uninsured.” So What Was The Point of Obamacare Again?

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Filed under 2014 Elections, Benghazi, Big Government, Class Warfare, Crony Capitalism, Hollywood, Income Inequality, IRS, Legalizing Marijuana, Liberal Hypocrisy, Mayor De Blasio, Medicaid, Obamacare, President Obama, Republican Infighting, Tea Party, The Left, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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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Filed under AARP, Amnesty, Benghazi, Big Government, Capitalism, Class Warfare, Communism, Crony Capitalism, Economy, EPA, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Glenn Beck, Govenor Chris Christie, Harry Reid, Hillary, Hollywood, IRS, Jobs, Lies, Marxism, Media Malfeasance, Middle Class, Obamacare, Political Corruption, Poverty and the Welfare State, President Obama, Socialism, Tea Party, Terrorism, Unemployment, Unions, Wendy Davis

News and Commentary for January 21

It's National Hugging day. Find a friend and hug them!

It’s National Hugging day. Find a friend and hug them!

This isn’t getting near enough coverage so I am placing it on top. “[M]y friend told me that my colleague Jennifer Griffin, who was aggressively reporting on Benghazi, was wrong and that, as a favor to me, my friend in the Administration was telling me so that I could tell Jennifer so that she did not ruin her career. My friend was telling me to tell Jennifer to stop her reporting. Ruin her career? In 20 plus years, I have never received a call to try and shut down a colleague – not that I even could – this was a first.” Wow: Greta drops a bomb about White House trying “very hard” to get Fox not to report on Benghazi

Read the WHOLE thing. “In the margin of the teachers edition, the teacher is instructed to explain the term ‘fascist’ to the students and to point out that the term ‘fascist’ is now applied to all right-wing extremist groups.” Teachers ‘instructed’ to teach ‘all right wing extremist groups’ are fascist

Tell me again who the fascists are? “New York governor Andrew Cuomo, whose desire to be the Democratic nominee for president of these United States is embarrassingly palpable, has decided that those who do not share his views on abortion (Hooray!), scary-looking firearms (Horrors!), and the various political demands attached to organized homosexuality (Hand on heart!) are untouchables — “They have no place in the state of New York,” he says, “because that’s not who New Yorkers are.” The governor needs to meet some New Yorkers.” Who New Yorkers Are

Good for Hannity. “It doesn’t get much dumber than inviting people to leave your state because of their political beliefs. Apparently, Communists, anarchists, radical greens, eco-terrorists, and other far left loons are welcome to stay because “that’s who New Yorkers are.” Hannity to leave NY after Cuomo says conservatives not welcome

Is anyone surprised? “Corruption. “The Sochi Olympics are an unprecedented thieves’ caper,” says former deputy prime minister and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. He claims that some $26 billion in phony costs may have been creamed off by contractors, many of whom are Putin cronies. Consider the new 31-mile road and railway that run from the beachfront town of Adler to the Krasnaya Polyana ski resort, overseen by Vladimir Yakunin, a former KGB general and Putin pal who heads Russian Railways. The new route into Sochi cost an estimated $8.7 billion — more than Vancouver spent staging the entire Winter Olympics in 2010. For that sum, calculated the Russian edition of Esquire, Russia could have paved the entire road with beluga caviar.” The Most Expensive, the Most Corrupt, and the Most Dangerous Olympics in History

Stay away. “Russia claims that security surrounding the Olympic Games in Sochi are a “ring of steel,” but at least for now it looks a little more like a grating. NBC reports that Russian security services are looking for three more women from the Caucasus who have threatened to conduct suicide-bombing attacks on the torch relay that will open the games, and NBC’s own analysts say that the ring of steel is mostly a myth.” Russia looking for three more “black widow” terrorists targeting Sochi Olympics; Update: One down?

Disaster if true. “It takes some chutzpah for Boehner to make his amnesty push now, given the sour jobs news, falling measured support for amnesty, and the need for party unity in the coming midterm elections. You’d think the employment news alone–almost 3 unemployed Americans for every available job–would cause savvy lobbyists to postpone any attempt to push for a massive addition to the unskilled and skilled workforce. (The Senate’s bill would add about 6 million extra immigrant workers by 2023 – in addition to the current illegals who’d be legalized.) Maybe that could fly in a boom. But now?” MICKEY KAUS: The Coming GOP Amnesty Sellout Push.

Repositioning U.S. power. “Collate the following: large defense cuts, the president’s suspicions that he is being gamed by the military, the pullout from the anti-missile defense pact in Eastern Europe, the pressure on Israel to give new concessions to its neighbors, the sudden warming up with an increasingly Islamist Turkey, the failed reset with Russia, radical nuclear-arms-reduction talks, the abject withdrawal of all U.S. peacekeeping forces in Iraq, the timetable withdrawals in Afghanistan, the new worries of our Asian and Middle Eastern allies, the constant euphemisms on the war on terror, the stepped-up drone attacks, the lead-from-behind removal of Moammar Qaddafi, the pullaway from Mubarak in Egypt, the support for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the pink lines in Syria, the Iranian missile deal, the declaration that al-Qaeda was on the run and the war on terror essentially ending, the Benghazi coverup, and on and on.” Obama’s Recessional

Expected. “Insurance policies plunge into a “death spiral” when premiums don’t cover the cost of claims, causing rates to surge year over year and more and more beneficiaries to drop coverage. This “adverse selection” already appears to be underway in eight states including Maryland, Washington, Ohio, Texas and Indiana.” The Young and the ObamaCare-less

How many folks could have been insured for all the money being thrown into this disaster? “The Chicago-based consulting firm Accenture received a $90 million noncompetitive contract to become the Obamacare website’s new primary contractor. The no-bid deal puts the company that employed the man who developed the Obama campaign’s personality-tracking programs in charge of a website that possesses massive amounts of personal information despite severe security risks.” After firing CGI, no-bid contract for Obamacare site goes to firm whose former top researcher developed Obama campaign voter tracking

We all should be weeping. “But most of all, I wept in anger. I am overcome with rage at the elected politicians who have never served their country in uniform, never seen battle and yet make decisions that affect the life and death of their fellow citizens. I am so angry that our rules of engagement, made in courtrooms by people whose personal agenda has nothing to do with victory, restrict the ability of our military to do the thing we send them into battle to do: fight.” A woman’s thoughts on Lone Survivor. And a message to candy-ass liberals.

Not ready for Hillary. “Wait, wait, wait .  .  . We’ve forgotten something: Hillary would be the FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT! That might be enough to get her to run and conceivably to get her elected. But Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher hadn’t been first lady before taking power. Hillary will be the second Clinton president. That fact overwhelms her claim to first-ness. As a feminist, Hillary surely knows that when your husband’s been president, you’re not really breaking any glass ceilings on behalf of womankind. And lots of other women understand this as well.” Hillary? Really?

For the Left, the ends always justify the means. “But, then again, Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama was ultimately responsible for the delays, non-actions, and talking points. The first thing we were taught in Army OCS is that authority can be delegated, but responsibility cannot. So, for Hillary, problem solved. Now all she has to do is explain why she lied under oath, as well as why she is trying to separate herself from Obama.” Hillary’s ‘Political Football’ Baggage

A long and winding road to the presidency. “Could Hillary Clinton be the next Richard Nixon? Now that’s a provocative question, but it isn’t quite what you think.” Hillary’s No Slam Dunk in 2016: Why She’s More Vulnerable Than Everyone Thinks

Good news! “While I was away seeking (and finding) global warmth in the Dominican Republic, voters in Northeast Arkansas sent an ominous message to Democrats by overwhelmingly electing a Republican in a special State Senate election. The Republican, John Cooper, captured 57 percent of the vote to win a seat (District 21) that has never been held by a member of his party.” Democrats take another hit in Arkansas

The Democrats are already screaming “War against women.” “If anything, the fact that we are only just learning the “fuller version” of Davis’s biography says less about her than it does about the media that have lavished her with adoring coverage over the past six months. But as Slater writes, the story is relevant because Davis “has made her personal story of struggle and success a centerpiece of her campaign” for governor. So why did it take so long to poke holes in her story?” Wendy Davis, Fibber

Not going along. “But he didn’t listen to the campaign, and the result is the implosion of Wendy Davis’ personal and political narratives.” Wendy Davis’ ex-husband: “They’ve asked me not to talk to reporters”

There are not enough rich people to pay for all this free stuff. “That new movement puts de Blasio squarely in the spotlight. He has big plans, like requiring private companies to provide mandatory sick leave and forcing developers to build affordable housing, whether they like it or not. And his “universal” pre-K programme would be a nationwide first, taxing the rich to come up with the needed $500m.” Bill de Blasio: the Left’s Nutty Professor Transforming New York into a Giant Political Petri Dish

We’ll trust the government again when we stop hearing stories of the government targeting conservatives. “Since then, of course, the new “weaponized IRS” has, in fact, come to be seen as illegitimate by many more Americans. I suspect that, over time, this loss of moral legitimacy will cause many to base their tax strategies on what they think they can get away with, not on what they’re entitled to. And when they hear of someone being audited, many Americans will ask not “what did he do wrong?” but ‘who in government did he offend?’” Government conspiracy theories aren’t crazy

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Filed under 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Amnesty, Benghazi, Big Government, Class Warfare, Common Core, Foreign Policy, Hillary, Hollywood, IRS, Lies, Mayor De Blasio, Media Malfeasance, Middle Class, Millenials, Movies, Obamacare, Olympics, Political Corruption, Terrorism, The Left, War on the Military, Wendy Davis

News and Commentary for January 17 – 20

The news may be grim, but hang in there if you can!

The news may be grim, but hang in there if you can!

This: “We’re being led away from the fundamental principles upon which “happiness” is built – God and virtue.” And this: “Our culture and our schools have incubated and birthed the “new principle” that we are “owed” happiness, that society “owes” happiness to others. This fallacy has been promulgated by a progressive movement – a movement that has been unchecked by a lazy citizenry.” Virtue and the Pursuit of Happiness

If Common Core is fully implemented, there will be no stopping the Progressives. “In an interview with Breitbart News, Moore illuminated the hidden agenda behind the Common Core initiative, particularly its drive to remove classical literature from schools and replace it with “informational texts,” a move, he said, that will make children superficial and biased in their thinking.” Hillsdale Professor Dr. Terrence Moore: Common Core ‘Superficial, Biased, Embarrassingly Dumb’

Hiding who they really are, because if the low information voters knew who they really were… “You know you’re in real trouble when the Blue Dog Democrat Caucus invites you into its midst in an effort to give you political protection. That’s what just happened to Arizona Representatives Ron Barber and Kyrsten Sinema (Why not Ann Kirkpatrick?) as the mid-term election cycle kicks off.” Expanding the Blue Dog Democrat Franchise in Arizona

If you haven’t already read this, you must now. “We are in unprecedented trouble. Citizens know this. It’s why they buy guns. They see unfixable America around them, they think it’s all going to fall apart. In Washington (and New York) they huff and puff their disapproval: Those Americans with their guns, they’re causing a lot of trouble. But Americans think they’re in trouble because their leaders are too selfish to face challenges that will do us in.” Our Selfish ‘Public Servants’

Question posed by the infamous Dr. Krauthammer. “How in good conscience could a commander-in-chief send troops to fight a war he wasn’t serious about”? Not His War

Reprehensible. “Why are the Benghazi killers still at large?” The Real Scandal

Double standards on steroids is more like it. “The double standard here is clear. While no one is saying that Clinton deliberately sent Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others to their deaths, she was the person responsible for this disaster. Had any other presidential contender been in charge of an agency whose negligence led to four deaths, it is hard to imagine they would not be disqualified in the eyes of the general public by it, let alone be acclaimed as a likely next president of the United States as is the case with Clinton. But the idea of derailing the chances of electing our first woman president merely because of an inconvenient terrorist attack in Libya is unimaginable to most of our chattering classes. That’s why this report isn’t likely to generate any more coverage of the issue in the coming days, weeks, and months than previous discussions of the scandal.” Benghazi Won’t Stop Guilty Hillary

Watch the video! “The judge nails the coffin shut on Clinton’s duplicity and negligence as Secretary of State.” Benghazi: Judge Jeanine Pirro Utterly Destroys Hillary Clinton

Start watching for the “Ready for Hillary 2016” bumper stickers. I’ve already seen a couple of them. One here in Scottsdale, another in Las Vegas over the weekend. “Put aside the fact that the “more than any secretary of state” part isn’t actually true — Condi Rice flew more. When you ask, “Okay, what did she get for it?” you get a blank stare or you get some stuff about championing women’s rights. Two people have told me she did good work in Myanmar, but I’ve never really gotten to the bottom of that. I suppose I could look it up, but at the end of the day we’re still talking about Myanmar, which is not the locus of America’s most pressing international problems. (“That’s right, because Hillary prevented the Myanmarese hegemony,” someone at MSNBC just shrieked. “She stopped it cold.”) While the Wikipedia page on her tenure doesn’t even mention Myanmar, it does mention her championing of better cook stoves in the Third World. That’s good. And so is improving the plight of women in various countries where their status ranges between “Slightly More Important than the Village Mule” to “So Incredibly Delicate We Must Keep Them Covered with Burlap Sacks All Day Long Even Though It’s Like 115 Degrees in the Shade Today.” Hillary the Hyped

My gut says we win in 2014, but I have my doubts in 2016. I hope I am wrong. “Liberals are still convinced that their vision is what America wants and needs and that Obama is the right man to give it to us. Assuming Republicans don’t immolate themselves — always a possibility — that vision will receive yet another massive rebuke in November. The interesting question then will be whether liberals question the soundness of their faith or insist that the fault lies entirely with the false prophet who failed to deliver them to the Promised Land.” Rebuking the ‘New’ New Deal

I don’t think the madness will ever end with so many low information voters in our midst. “Five years and one piddling “recovery” later, and progressives are fully convinced that the only thing that went wrong with their big-government, more spending, more taxes, more financial/healthcare/environmental regulation, faux-stimulus style of governing is that Republicans haven’t allowed them to do even more of it. Where does it end, where does it end?” Cavuto: Why do we willingly fork over more money to known spending addicts and expect a different result?

We won’t be silenced. “Democrats are working hard to make sure conservative groups are silenced in the 2014 midterms.” IRS Targeting and 2014

Commentary on the “IRS Targeting and 2014” article linked above. “Kimberly Strassel’s weekly Wall Street Journal column “IRS targeting and 2014″ is something of a bombshell. As Mark Tapscott explains, Strassel reports that keeping the IRS “muzzle in place” for 2014 was Obama’s top priority during negotiations with House Republicans on the just-passed omnibus spending bill. The vehicle for keeping the muzzle in place is the recently proposed IRS rule that proscribes all kinds of educational activities that 501(c)(4) non-profits have routinely conducted. In other words, the Obama administration seeks to achieve legally by regulation in 2014 what it achieved illegally by agents acting under orders in the 2012 election cycle. What were once vices are now to become the law.” What were once vices are now Dem priority

Don’t give up on this! It’s too important. “Discover looms in the case, and we will get to the bottom of one of the most significant – and consequential – political scandals in recent American history. Justice may be delayed, but it will not be denied.” It’s time to investigate the bogus IRS ‘investigation’

“Frankly, it is difficult for Tea Party and other conservatives to see the Justice Department’s waiver of culpability by means of a cursory FBI investigation as anything other than a coverup. The more severe among conservatives are bound to see the exoneration of the IRS’ despicable behavior toward conservatives as evidence of corruption and collusion with the Obama administration, especially since the leader of the alleged “investigation” was an Obama donor. Jay Sekulow of the ACLJ has been among the more forthright, calling the FBI’s pitiful investigative efforts a “sham.” Move Along: Nothing to See at the IRS

Leftists don’t grow economies, they shrink them. “Unfortunately President Obama appears to have caught the Sandinista disease. And the Business Roundtable and the whole American business community will have on heck of a time turning him around. But then again, that’s what elections are for. And that’s why we’re going to see big changes come November.” Business Wants Growth, Growth, Growth

Why the secrecy? “It’s not easy to enforce discipline on successful, wealthy, and famous people used to having their own way. But the White House apparently did not want to see photos of the first lady’s glittery gala circulating around the Internet. So it imposed a strict rule: No cellphones. “Guests were told not to bring cellphones with them, and there was a cellphone check-in area for those who did,” reported the Chicago Tribune. “Signs at the party told guests: No cellphones, no social media.” People magazine added: “Guests had been greeted by a ‘cell phone check’ table where they deposited their camera phones on arrival and it was understood that this was not an occasion for Tweeting party photos or Facebooking details.” The publications cited sources who insisted on anonymity for fear of White House reprisal.” White House imposes secrecy rules on first lady’s lavish, celebrity-filled birthday party

Governor Scott Walker tells us how we should talk to folks about our party, and the Democrats. “… that the Left, they want you under their thumb. They want to control you. They want to control your lives. They want you to be dependent on the government. We should say we’re the ones, not only for the poor, but for young people coming out of college, for working class families, for immigrants, for others out there. We should say we are the ones who empower the American Dream.” John Hawkins Interviews Scott Walker

“Bingo.  The architect of “the most transparent administration in history”; a man who repeatedly promised the public that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it, period”; the fellow who put it about that the slaughter of four Americans in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, was caused by an internet video; the guy who has twice raised his right hand and sworn to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” to the best of his ability while also (just last week, for example) announcing out of the other side of the orifice his intention to proceed with his agenda “with or without Congress” — how can you take this man seriously, where by “seriously” I mean, how can you trust him?” Reveille?

“Immigration legislation will allow big business interests, influential in the GOP, continue to recruit cheap foreign labor. It also provides Democrats with a steady stream of loyal voters. In the last presidential election, Barack Obama enjoyed the solid support of 73% of Hispanic voters. If an immigration deal is reached this year, it will lead to more illegal immigration in the future. This is what happened after 3 million immigrants were given amnesty in 1986. Giving legal status to millions of undocumented workers will clearly displace more Americans from jobs. It will add to the large pool of 102 million Americans who are either unemployed or outside of the labor force.” Time for GOP to Listen to the American People

Low information voters reaping what they sowed by not paying attention. Millennials unhappy with Obama’s war on the young

“Saying that life is hard is kind of like saying the sun is hot, water is wet, or noting that politicians lie a lot. It’s so obvious that anyone who’s paying attention already knows that it’s true. That being said, life’s even harder when you’re working under false assumptions that have been drilled into you by your teachers, college professors, Hollywood, and politicians in D.C. Much of what liberalism drums into the young skulls full of mush simply isn’t true and millions of lives have been ruined by people finding it out the hard way. The good news is that the truth is out there if you’re willing to look for it and not accept the easy answers that make you feel good.” 7 Lies Liberals Tell Young Americans

If they can’t stop this, get ready for sky rocketing electric bills. “McConnell see the EPA carbon rules as a serious threat to the Kentucky economy and he’s ready to do just about anything to stop them. He and 39 other GOP Senators are looking to employ a little used parliamentary manuever to block the EPA rules before they even get started.” McConnell, GOP looking to scotch EPA carbon rules

Isn’t this what always happens when government attempts to fix something? ““I don’t know if we’re growing the number of people with insurance,” a Minnesota-based health insurer told Wilde and Mathews. “We’re just adding complexity.”” Coverage Expansion Fail: Less Than One-Third Of Obamacare Exchange Enrollees Were Previously Uninsured

Competence. “Chris Wallace then asked Kennedy why, if the site is so vulnerable, there haven’t been any hacks against it. That was the question asked by Gary Cohen, the HHS manager overseeing Healthcare.gov, claiming that “there have been no successful attempts of what anyone has been able to attack the system and penetrate it.” Kennedy declared this defense of Healthcare.gov to be “one of my favorites,” and says … how do they know it hasn’t been hacked?” Cyber security expert: Healthcare.gov “much worse off” now

“Because Medicare will eventually pay doctors less than they’re getting for the already low-paying Medicaid, and only about one-third of what they get paid for treating someone with private insurance, seniors will have even more trouble finding hospitals and doctors willing to treat them. As disquieting as that reality is, it will be exacerbated: ObamaCare bars doctors from providing their patients with necessary care for an extra fee. Many will simply fall through the cracks on the road to “better care for everyone,” even as individual seniors bear the painful — or deadly — brunt of this leftist utopian fantasy.” ObamaCare’s Attack on the Elderly

Warnings about the direction we’re headed, from someone who should know. “Now, most American news sources are no different than Pravda and Izvestia. Now, the government used the IRS to stifle political opposition. Now, ObamaCare is a wealth redistribution platform disguised as a common good. Now, Obama is being portrayed in academia and the media alike as a charismatic, messianic, “progressive” figure, fighting for the “underdog.” He would feel right at home as the General Secretary of the Communist Party. Now, Obama Youths are me, from decades ago. Leninist academia has had its way with them. Now, just like Soviet leaders, American leaders give lip-service to “social justice” while stocking up on personal wealth for their families. There’s nothing new under the sun. I’m hardly the only ex-Soviet to point out the parallels. But some things matter enough to bear repeating. Dear beautiful America, please, stop moving Forward.” Forward

Disgusting. “The attacks on Lone Survivor, the movie about 4 Navy Seals caught in an operation gone lethally wrong in Afghanistan, illustrate once again the fossilized orthodoxy of the left. The L.A. Weekly’s Amy Nicholson called the movie a “jingoistic snuff film” that “bleeds blood red, bone-fracture white, and bruise blue” and assumes “brown people bad, American people good.” Similarly, Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir called it a “jingoistic, pornographic work of war propaganda.” Such rhetoric reveals the anti-military, anti-American biases typical of progressives, a form of bigotry as stale as disco king Tony Manero’s white leisure suit.” The Eternal Darkness of the Progressive Mind

Pay attention! And read this and the following article. “Over the next two years the drumbeat of income inequality will be repeated more times than Iron Butterfly’s “In A Gadda Da Vida.” The political aim will be to sway the American voter into believing two things: income inequality in America is immoral, and the Democrats are the only party that can fix it. There is just one problem; it is a fallacy and conservatives better learn the tune if they want to win the next two elections.” Beating the Income Inequality Drum

To understand what the Left is up to in the 2014 election cycle, read the whole thing! “The big fight over extending unemployment insurance is part of this plan to change the subject over the failure of big government in an attempt to fool people into believing that the Democrats actually care about their plight. Here is the truth. They don’t. It is in the left’s political interest for more and more Americans to be economically dependent upon the government. It is in the left’s political interest for fewer and fewer Americans to be paying income taxes, while shifting the burden disproportionately to those who make the most money. For the income inequality argument to win, the public has to believe that America is a haves and have not society with no chance to better yourself beyond your given lot in life.” Obama’s Class Warfare Pivot

This: “I am watching them take my country from me — the Obamas, the de Blasios, the Holders, the generic Democrats with their imaginary sincerity and their simplistic complaints about income inequality. As if excellence and the ability to earn are wicked traits.” And this: “Liberalism dominates by curtailing free thought. It does not allow contradiction. It scorns conservative opinions. It is a bully. The very thing that liberalism pretends to endorse, it hates. It announces its love for mankind while it undermines it. It is a charade. It is false. It is self-destructive. Its poster boy used to be Stalin. Now it is Obama.” Liberalism in Brooklyn

Changing the meaning of words to fool the folks. “Speaking of which, here’s our obligatory Allahpundit-style Exit Question: If “Progressives” dubbed themselves “Liberal” in 1919 to distance themselves from the debacle of an inept heavy-handed leftwing administration run amok, and then ran away from the L-Word after the Carter administration, only to eventually return to the P-Word in time for Obama, what word will they choose to describe themselves in the next few years? In the meantime, as Steve Hayward of Power Line recently asked, “Now That Hillary Clinton Has Dismissed ‘Liberalism’, Can Conservatives Take It Back?”How the L-Word Was Won

It’s one bubble those of us on the conservative side would like to see burst, but I am not so certain. There are just too many low information folks out there. “A recent letter from one fits the formula. After I denounced Obama’s smears of Senate Dems who opposed him on the Iran deal, reader Tom Matyas said I belonged in North Korea or China, and added: “You are apparently among the morons who believe Obama set the IRS on the Tea Party even after it has been debunked by any rational analysis and that the financial stimulus was a waste when actually it was too small, like your intellect . . . Get a life, Bozo.” Desperate “investors” like that mean the Obama bubble is ready to pop.” Enthusiasm on the left is like a bubble about to burst

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News and Commentary for January 16

I don't want to listen any more either!

I don’t want to listen any more either!

BRING IT! I don’t think these people have ANY IDEA how much this will back fire on them. “The movie mogul said his vision was to scare people away from firearms. He foresees moviegoers to leave thinking, “Gun stocks — I don’t want to be involved in that stuff. It’s going to be like crash and burn.”” Movie mogul says new Streep film to make NRA ‘wish they weren’t alive’

Don Jans , our key note speaker at our January meeting, asked us to begin studying Marxism. This article is good start. “Handy evidence of how communists continue to exploit the “progressive” label isn’t hard to find. It’s always just a click away at the website of People’s World, the house organ of Communist Party USA and successor publication to the Daily Worker (which throughout its existence received Kremlin oversight and funding). People’s World is very shrewd in the words it chooses to use, and not use.” The Communist Party Hails De Blasio and Obama

November 2014 is coming! “But according to this month’s IBD/TIPP Poll, that is precisely what the respondents do not want. Asked “if Congress doesn’t take action on an issue, would you approve or disapprove of President Obama using his executive powers to act on his own,” 55% disapproved of such fiat rule. A mere 41% said they’d approve, and 3% weren’t sure.” Obama’s One-Man Rule Amounts To A ‘Gradual, Quiet Coup’

It really IS about control—the Marxist progressives desperately NEED us to be scared out of our minds over Global Warming so that they can control EVERYTHING that we do—because in their minds, they are the smart ones. “Figueres added that the deep partisan divide in the U.S. Congress is “very detrimental” to passing any sort of legislation to fight global warming. The Chinese Communist Party, on the other hand, can push key policies and reforms all on its own. The country’s national legislature largely enforces the decisions made by the party’s Central Committee and other executive offices.” UN climate chief: Communism is best to fight global warming

More on the above story. “Anyone familiar with the disastrous environmental impact of the communist grip on eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union knows what happens when unaccountable totalitarians hold power. If nothing else, the Chernobyl disaster should give one a clue, a legacy Ukrainians will have to endure for decades more, if not centuries. Apparently, though, one does not become the United Nation’s climate chief by collecting such clues.  This week, Christiana Figueres offered a prescription for solving global warming — communism!” UN climate chief declares communism best for fighting global warming

Do we really need studies to tell us this? “The Employment Policies Institute commented on its findings, noting, “The vast majority of economic research from the last two decades confirms that a higher minimum wage reduces employment opportunities for the least-skilled jobseekers. This consensus has only been strengthened in recent years, including by a study forthcoming in Cornell University’s labor relations journal that refutes the research President Obama and Senate Democrats are relying on to make their case.” New study shows that Obama’s proposed minimum wage hike will kill jobs

Making it worse. This: “So while, yes, the poverty rates would be much higher without the largesse we have loaded onto the poor, it has been done at the expense of helping the poor to work. I was there, and welfare was not the primary strategy. In fact, AFDC was a relatively small program. It became the major support of mostly single mothers only when the welfare rights movement began in the 70s. That movement meant to break the back of the government by flooding the rolls with people who had avoided dependence. It did not bring government to its knees, but it succeeded in increasing the welfare rolls by millions as the decades went on.” And this: “We cannot sit here in the 50th year of the War on Poverty and deny it failed to do the one thing that would have made it a success — get people working. Our job as a country is to now get the poor into jobs. Let’s stop bailing out poverty.” Poverty Bailouts

Duplication on steroids. “Schatz said there are 56 programs from 20 different agencies devoted to promoting financial literacy “intended to improve the fiscal acumen of the American people.” Fifteen of those programs cost $30.7 million in fiscal year 2010.” Coburn to Congress: ‘The Problem Is Us’

Will there be anything left in private hands? “How Obama plans to use Dodd-Frank to take over the financial industry.” Obamaloans

More on the United States falling out of the top ten list of economic freedom. “The Obama administration obviously bears considerable blame for eroding our freedoms, but I am afraid the problem goes deeper than that. Far too many Americans fail to appreciate what used to be universally understood, that free enterprise is the foundation of America’s prosperity. Systematically misled by academia and the entertainment industries, millions of Americans have become cynical about freedom. As a result, they are getting poorer.” U.S. No Longer In Top Ten For Economic Freedom

If you’ve been having problems sleeping lately, don’t read this.China’s holdings of U.S. Treasuries increased $12.2 billion to a record $1.317 trillion in November, data released on the Treasury Department’s website showed. The figures, scheduled for release at 9 a.m. tomorrow in Washington, were inadvertently posted on the Treasury’s website. Japan’s holdings rose $12 billion to $1.186 trillion, the figures showed.” China’s Treasury Holdings Climb to Record in Government Data

As a result of massive government regulation and government overreach, we haven’t been living under pure capitalism for a long time. “Despite this anti-capitalist narrative, however—a narrative we hear repeated by “progressive” politicians and iterated in more barbaric, polysyllabic strains by academics everywhere — the capitalist system has made possible over the last century, and especially in the last several decades, the greatest accumulation of wealth in the history of the world.  England was the crucible of this modern prosperity in part because of the freedom of economic activity that it, unlike the states of continental Europe, enjoyed.  And that freedom, in turn, and again unlike the continent, was underwritten by the limited government England also enjoyed. “The rapid growth of wealth” in England in the early nineteenth century, Hayek observes, “is probably in the first instance an almost accidental byproduct of the limitations which the revolution of the seventeenth century placed on the powers of government.”  We’ve been working diligently in this country to remove those limitations.  How far will we have to sink before the people once again rise up and repudiate the elites who wish to fetter them in manacles forged by statist overreach?” The Evils of Capitalism

When are they going to learn that money DOES NOT grow on trees. “One trillion dollars does not appear magically out of thin air,” Martin stated. “The only way to pay for such a mess is to borrow, and borrow some more.  Congress may be deluding themselves, but the American people will hold them responsible for this fiscal irresponsibility,” she continued.” Tea Party, Conservative Groups Blast Rushed Passage of $1.1 Trillion Omnibus Deal

Cover up. “What she ultimately discovered, however, was that she and other internationally known scholars would be sworn to secrecy, then “ignored,” and finally left to serve only as little more than “window dressing” to allow what many are now calling one of the greatest deceptions over the American people.” Education Expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky: Common Core ‘Rather Shady’

Indoctrination. “The reading assignment Beason reads to the crowd is about the benefits of hybrid cars, and according to the Gardendale Republican, it’s another example of the socialist indoctrination brought on Alabama school children by Common Core. While acknowledging the utility of cars, the text says that old-fashioned automobiles with internal combustion engines are bad for the environment. Hybrids are the better option, the text says, and the government should require automobile manufacturers to make them more affordable.” Alabama Tea Party Continues Fight Against Common Core

It’s worse than we could EVERY POSSIBLY IMAGINE. “Originally, Ellis assumed the poster to be a student prank, until he called the school and discovered it was part of the curriculum. “Why would you put it in front of 13 year-old students?” he asked. The poster, entitled, “How Do People Express Their Sexual Feelings?” lists sex acts such as: Oral Sex, Sexual Fantasy, Caressing, Anal Sex, Dancing, Hugging, Touching Each Other’s Genitals, Kissing, Grinding, and Masturbation. Ellis said after being told by the school principal the poster was “teaching material,” he is now concerned about what his daughter is being taught in school.” Kansas Middle School: Poster Listing Sex Acts Part of ‘Health and Science’ Curriculum

The doctors MUST BE HURT because the Left thinks they make too much money. “Medicaid expansion isn’t painless.” How Obamacare will hurt doctors

A little late to the party, but at least he’s finally showing up. “For his part, Kimmel is to be commended for this segment, as are all the other late night hosts that have been savaging this bill. But the nation would have been far better served if they did this in 2009 and 2010 before this farce was enacted, for unless Republicans take back the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016, ObamaCare may be with us forever” Jimmy Kimmel Savages ObamaCare and Uninformed Young People Who Support It

Interesting… “More and more I’ve come to believe that politics is ultimately not about what people read, or learn, or come to believe after giving it careful thought. Politics is all about what people “know” without quite knowing how they came to know it. Which is just another way of saying: You can’t reason someone out of a position he wasn’t reasoned into in the first place. The real driver of opinion is not reason — it never has been and never will be — but pre-rational things like What Everyone Else is Saying.” Jimmy Kimmel Rips Obamacare and Young Voters

Obama and his team are making it worse! A voice of reason speaks the truth. “Lieberman noted that the only reason the al-Qaeda “core” in the Af-Pak region has been diminished is because of military force. “Al-Qaeda is not a social organization,” he said. “It is a brutal military organization.” In the meantime, he said, American policy is “inviting the whirlwind.” “There are large parts of the Obama administration’s strategy that are simply not working. This is going to go on for a large part of this century,” Lieberman said of the “fearless and ideologically driven killing machine” of Islamic terrorism. “In the end, if we do nothing, the result will be worse.” Obama ‘Inviting the Whirlwind’ by Neglecting Blooming al-Qaeda Strongholds, Affiliates ‘Spreading Like Wildfire’

The Left can never give it a rest. “Expect to see more of this nonsense in the coming months and years. Many on the left have worked long and hard to discredit our military efforts since 9/11, and even one movie-length dose of truth and perspective is apparently too much for some to tolerate. To them, there’s only one acceptable way to portray American soldiers — as PTSD-addled victims of America’s imperial hubris. Any other story is merely a “jingoistic” and “pornographic” example of ”war propaganda.”” On the Movie Lone Survivor and Insufferable Anti-American Self-Righteousness

Taking a trip down memory lane. ““The troops believed and believe that they were being successful in their mission, so I think they were able, to a certain extent, to set aside the politics here at home,” said the former defense secretary. “Although, and I make the point in the book, when you have somebody like the Senate majority leader come out in the middle of the surge and say, ‘This war is lost,’ I thought that was one of the most disgraceful things I’ve heard a politician say.”” Gates: Reid’s Remark That Iraq War Was ‘Lost’ Was ‘Disgraceful’Gates: Reid’s Remark That Iraq War Was ‘Lost’ Was ‘Disgraceful’

We’re in the best of hands. “For the most part, though, the conclusions are both bipartisan and damning. The committee found that a string of terrorist attacks in Benghazi against Western targets, especially one three months before the final attack on the US facility itself, should have alerted State to the danger it faced. Furthermore, the committee questioned how State could have ignored its own security standards to approve the use of the building, a decision reapplied in July when State renewed the lease – just weeks after the previous attack.” We Finally Know Where the Buck Stops in Benghazi

The mainstream media will never print this. “Brookings Institution scholars, inspired by baseball statistics, conducted an analysis of the 113th Congress that points rather directly at the Democrat-controlled Senate as a the locus of congressional gridlock. The analysis opens with the observation that the House, contrary to expectation, passed twice as many bills as the Senate in 2013. Why? Because of the Senate committee process. “When we look at this category, then, we begin to understand where the problem lies: even in the traditionally collegial Senate, 87 percent of bills die in committee,” Molly Jackman and Saul Jackman, of Brookings, and Brian Boessenecker write in Politico. “While the filibuster may grab all the headlines, committees are a far deadlier weapon.” That observation undermines the conventional wisdom about Republican opposition to President Obama causing gridlock. (even taking into account the statement from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who said in 2009 that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”)” Brookings study points to Harry Reid and Senate Democrats as source of gridlock

More and more folks tuning him out, so his speechifying won’t work. “President Obama knows he’s in trouble with the American people. Yes, his job approval has slipped further since Christmas, down to 40%, and is worse than G.W. Bush’s at the same point. But you can tell Obama knows it anyway because he’s fallen back on his path of preferred political action. He’s giving speeches. Many speeches. Campaign speeches. Roll-up-the-sleeves speeches. Point-his-finger speeches. Call-on-others-to-do-something speeches.” Obama’s addiction to speeches: The more he gives, the less people listen

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News and Commentary for January 15

Reading some of the news today may give you a headache. Be prepared.

Reading some of the news today may give you a headache. Be prepared.

“Americans think poor leadership within government is the most important problem facing the nation, according to a new poll.” America in crisis: Government cited as No. 1 problem in the country

“Forget House of Cards! The good folks at the Cato Institute have begun producing a series of short videos about downsizing the ultimate (fiscal) house of cards, the federal government.  Sounds like an overdue idea.  We’ll run a few of them here on Power Line, starting with the one below examining the Department of Agriculture (about 3 minutes long), but if you can’t wait to take in the whole series, you can find the current playlist (five so far) right here.” Downsizing Washington: The Series!

““Substantial expansion in the size and scope of government, including through new and costly regulations in areas like finance and health care, has contributed significantly to the erosion of U.S. economic freedom,” the Index states. “The growth of government has been accompanied by increasing cronyism that has undermined the rule of law and perceptions of fairness.” It also cites Obamacare as a culprit: “Implementation of the health care law passed in 2010 has hit major snags and appears to be significantly hurting job creation and full-time employment.”” In Economic Freedom, Now We’re No. 12!

“In the new world of government-directed capitalism, friends of Mr. Obama have long since recovered from the recession. The rest of us haven’t been so fortunate. Companies with ties to the administration get government subsidies and contracts, and retailers on Main Street and in the suburban malls get the bill for Obamacare, job-killing regulatory requirements and orders to pay higher-than-market wages. No one should be surprised. Crony capitalism redistributes the wealth to friends of those in power. Rewards to the politically connected at the expense of everybody else is the way of the corrupt world, whether capitalist, Marxist or something between.” Editorial: Growing the Income Gap; The Inequality is by the President’s Own Hand

This: “In contrast, the Working Families party (WFP), a 15-year-old left-wing, union-fueled group with just 20,000 members, now holds the whip hand over much of the dominant Democratic party in New York — and is already spreading its wings to other states. The WFP not only was a major force behind Bill de Blasio’s victory for mayor last November; it dominated the rest of the election, too. “They propelled all three citywide officials in New York City into office, and have a huge chunk of the city council allied with them,” says Hank Sheinkopf, a leading Democratic consultant who has worked for Hillary Clinton. “They are a real force.”” And this: “But Mayor de Blasio isn’t going to have to negotiate with Working Families, because he is in large part their creation. He helped found the party, used the discounted services of their grassroots organizers to win election to the city council in 2001, and then won the citywide office of public advocate with their backing in 2009. Their agenda might as well be his: a new city-wide “living” minimum wage, tax hikes on upper-income New Yorkers, requirements that developers build “affordable” housing units on a massive scale in exchange for building permits, tougher rent controls, retroactive wage hikes for public employees, and severe curbs on the growth of non-union charter schools.” Bill de Blasio’s Other Party: How the Working Families Party is Coming to Power

“Drive away the rich, destroy the middle class and all you’re left with is Detroit. 8 million New Yorkers depend on 40,000 millionaires and billionaires. The same California voters who supported Proposition 30 depend on the taxes of the very people they are taxing into leaving.” Killing the 1% Golden Goose

“OK, those who wring their hands in public about income inequality don’t really want to put full professors and university janitors in the same tax bracket. Most doing the complaining are doing quite well, thanks very much, and have way too much to lose by real income equality. What they hope to achieve by this is to reinforce in the minds of low-information voters the image of Republicans and conservatives as heartless meanies who snatch food from the mouths of widows and orphans and, if you don’t watch them, would tie little Nell to the railroad tracks.” To Each According to His Delusions

“Second, communism means an absence of property rights, having all been surrendered to “the people,” which is to say the state. As that which belongs to everyone in fact belongs to no one, who is to be confronted over the factory sending toxic plumes into the sky which then descends on the cornfield, or the dumping of waste into the river plied by tourists on cruise boats? And who really owns the cornfield or the boats?” If You Think Communism Is Bad For People, Check Out What It Did To The Environment

“The Times frets that conservatives might introduce an argument they’ve long been making. The only difference is that the Times now considers it a legitimate and even pressing argument. Kessler waves away Rubio’s concern that the Democrats will change ObamaCare rules on the fly. But that is the story of ObamaCare thus far. Still, one can understand Kessler’s irritation: the credibility is now with ObamaCare’s critics–and what’s a “fact checker” without his credibility?” ObamaCare’s Credibility Gap

“When the pharmacy contacted my insurance company the insurance company said they had got a letter from obamacare today, and that letter cancelled my policy…yep, you read it here folks, obamacare cancelled my policy.” Obamacare may kill Brick Williams

“The persistent misrepresentations and outright lies were in fact integral to the law’s passage, to its implementation, and to the damage-control phase that began with the botched launch of the online insurance exchanges in October. Judging by how badly the rollout has been managed thus far, it is possible that the president’s apology tour has only just begun.” They Lied: Obamacare’s 12 false premises and broken promises

“They say computer translations are not responsible for the Spanglish gibberish on the website. No, they proudly say, all the errors and nonsensical constructions were produced by human beings being paid a lot of money by the government. Well Gracias Dios for that.” Obamacare’s Spanish-Language Site Written Not In Spanish but… Spanglish

“This debacle highlights one other aspect of Obamacare: It is one big sop to insurance companies, a populist nightmare if the Republicans can make the case. It is also a powerful case for repealing the whole thing and starting over. Obamacare has disrupted the functioning parts of the health-care system and provoked millions of people to lose their insurance and presented people with the reality that they may lose their doctors and their insurance plans. We will be paying (with insurance company bailouts) even more money to cover fewer and fewer people. What Democrat is going to run on this mess in 2014?” Obamacare flops with the young

“To solve their political problem, the GOP would have to convince a majority of the public (probably a big majority) that impeachment is warranted. But that’s the thing — even when the president’s guilty of encroaching on another branch’s powers or suspending parts of the law that are politically inconvenient to him, you’ll never find a majority of Americans willing to entertain a punishment as severe as removal from office for that. To make impeachment stick, you need to show that the president’s motives for acting were rotten and selfish, like Nixon’s; O, by contrast, always takes care to present his motives for ignoring Congress as civic-minded, something he does for the good of the people, not for himself.” Megyn Kelly to Mitch McConnell:If Obama’s executive power grabs are so terrible, why not impeach him?

“The Iranians have always acted as if they thought Obama was a weakling, but their brazen behavior this week demonstrates again that they think there is nothing they can do or say that would provoke a reaction from Washington. While the president pulls out all the stops to prevent even the threat of future sanctions—the proposal being considered by the Senate would not go into effect until after the next round of talks fails—the Iranians are showing they will agree to nothing that will thwart their nuclear ambitions and think Obama won’t lift a finger to stop them.” Rouhani Spikes the Ball in Obama’s Face

On Iran, guess which side is compromising more? “This leads to an important factor: he who wins is he who will compromise less, not he who is willing to compromise more.” The Hopelessness of Victory

Issa’s statement: “Anonymous — and apparently politically motivated — leaks from unnamed law enforcement officials further undermine the public assurances by the current and former FBI directors that this is a legitimate investigation. These leaks come after the Justice Department, citing the confidential nature of the investigation, refused to brief Congress on its progress and congressional investigators independently discovered that a high dollar contributor to the Obama administration failed to recuse herself. These revelations further undermine the credibility of the Attorney General [Eric] Holder and the Justice Department under his leadership. Given the circumstances, there is little reason for the American people to have confidence in this investigation.” Darrell Issa slams Justice Deparment over report no charges forthcoming in IRS Tea Party probe

“The Fox report also debunks the rumor that General Carter Ham received a stand-down order that night. As the classified testimony confirms, the American military was completely unprepared to deal with a terrorist attack in the region that night. This is mind-blowing. This wasn’t just some random night; it occurred on the anniversary of the 9/11 attack. It took place in what Qaddafi’s fall had turned into Terrorist Central in North Africa, in a city where escalating terrorist attacks against Western targets had forced every other Western nation but the US to retreat. As this also states, a visit by Panetta in December 2011, ten months before the attack, led the DoD to offer a Marine unit for security, which State refused. Both agencies knew that Benghazi was a sitting duck, and yet the State Department did nothing to bolster security and the DoD did nothing to bolster readiness on the anniversary of 9/11. This is sheer incompetence stacked on more incompetence. That’s the scandal.” Fox: Administration knew within minutes that Benghazi was a terrorist attack

“We had a good run as a republic, but if this stands and no one responsible is punished, then the Internal Revenue Service will be a tool of partisan politics for the foreseeable future. No one who criticizes a sitting president will be safe from harassment and abuse from a federal agency that can absolutely destroy lives.” The Fix Is In in the IRS Abuse Scandal

As I wrote in December, the administration is hoping to put a close to this controversy by altering the rules to make it difficult, if not impossible for groups that aim at promoting political change—be it from a right-wing or a left-wing point of view—to become non-profits. While technically neutral, this change will have a disproportionate impact on conservative groups since they are far more dependent on 501(c) status than their rivals on the left. This should concern all Americans no matter their politics since giving the IRS that much power to suppress the free speech of political activists poses a grave threat to democracy. The way the agency has been used to regulate political activity is perhaps the most serious scandal here, but combined with the failure of the government to ensure that those who ordered and carried out discriminatory policies are held accountable makes it even worse.” FBI Feeds Cynicism About IRS Scandal

“President Barack Obama has a plan to save the Senate’s tenuous Democratic majority: Sell a populist message, try to make Obamacare work better and raise lots of cash.” Obama’s plan to save the Senate

I posted on this a few days ago, but here’s a more detailed article on Hillary’s enemies list. “One early version of the list featured a grade from one to seven for each Democratic member of Congress, with those the most supportive of Hillary marked with a one and those who most egregiously betrayed her having a mark of seven. Many of the sevens included those who had turned out for Obama after the Clintons had raised funds for their campaigns, appointed them to political jobs, or given a recommendation for the candidate’s child.” How Hillary’s ‘Hit List’ Struck Fear in the Hearts of Democrats

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