Category Archives: Big Government

June 17th Luncheon: Can the States Fix Our Broken Federal Government?

The federal government is reaching beyond its constitutionally-established boundaries. Many believe that Article V of the Constitution can put a halt to our abusive government by calling a Convention of States—thereby returning the power from our ruling elites to “we the people.”

Join us on Wednesday, June 17th, to hear Nick Dranias, President and Executive Director of Contract for America Educational Foundation, Inc., talk to us about what we can do. Working together with state legislatures, “we the people” can restore the checks and balances that were put in place by our founding fathers to stop our out of control, abusive and overreaching federal government.

1 for the newsletter

On the Menu:

Apple & Brie Stuffed  Chicken Breast

Vegetables

Red Velvet Cake

Coffee/Iced Tea/   Wine Bar

The cost of the luncheon is $25. Checks are preferred but credit cards are accepted. To make a reservation for our luncheon, contact Edith Stock by email: pvrwlunch@gmail.com, or call her at 480.298.7818 (cell).

Please note that reservations are REQUIRED.  And a reservation MADE is a reservation PAID!

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Filed under Big Government, Tyranny

News and Commentary for February 27

The challenges facing our country seem almost overwhelming. But don't loose hope. We're in this together.

The challenges facing our country seem almost insurmountable. But don’t lose hope. We’re in this together. And if we fight hard enough, and smart enough, we will prevail.

Stories of the Day

Thanks tax payers! I’m quitting my job. Thanks Obamacare!

Orwellian. “President Obama’s Internal Revenue Service today quietly released a series of Obamacare “Health Care Tax Tips” warning Americans that they must obtain “qualifying” health insurance – as defined by the federal government – or face a “shared responsibility payment” when filing their tax returns in 2015. The term “shared responsibility payment” refers to the Obamacare individual mandate tax, one of at least seven tax hikes in the healthcare law that directly hit families making less than $250,000 per year.” IRS Warns: Obamacare Tax Must Be Paid with Tax Return

How President Obama sleeps well at night, I will never know. “A Russian warship was docked in Havana Wednesday, without explanation from Communist Cuba or its state media.” Russian spy ship docked in Havana

Weak. “Although the U.S. alone seems to honor its promised deadlines of withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq, the world’s aggressors sense that the Obama administration’s bluster will be followed by more bluster. Therefore, they have decided to risk aggrandizements while they can. In the mind of Vladimir Putin, today Ukraine, tomorrow the Baltic States or Eastern Europe. In the minds of the Iranian theocrats, if chemical WMD are okay in Syria, why not nuclear WMD in Iran? In China’s view, when Japan backs off, why shouldn’t Taiwan, South Korea, or the Philippines?” Ukraine and Our Useless Outrage: The history of Obama’s foreign-policy posturing bodes ill for the future of Ukraine. 

Decline Part I. “Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE)–which received more than $2.75 million in government funding in 2012–has produced and posted online a video specifically aimed at teenagers that promotes bondage and sadomasochism (BDSM) and proposes “rules” to follow when engaging in these activities.” Planned Parenthood Produces Video Promoting Bondage and Sadomasochism to Teens

Decline Part II.During the workshop for girls, the 13 and 14-year-olds were told to ask one another for a lesbian kiss. They were also taught words such as “pansexual” and ‘genderqueer.’” NY Middle School Girls Forced to Ask Classmates for “Lesbian Kiss” Pretend Like They Are On a Date

ONLY 59 percent disappointed? “Call it “buyer’s remorse, redux.” A large majority of Americans now profess disappointment in the Barack Obama presidency in the latest CBS/NYT poll, and Obama’s approval rating dropped five points in a month to 41%. The numbers are driven by the relentlessly stagnant economy.” CBS/NYT poll: 59% disappointed in Obama presidency

Afghanistan

Walls tumbling down all around us. “After the Taliban gains power in Afghanistan, as it inevitably will if we don’t stay, Iran and al-Qaida will move in there too. Leaving won’t make us safer. It will only betray the sacrifice of our troops and give al-Qaida a new lease on life. The terrorists win.” Obama Threatens To Leave Afghanistan To Taliban, Al-Qaida

Big Government

I don’t know about you, but I am wondering why the heck we even bother to vote anymore. “Texas became the fifth state in two months to see a judge strike down its law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. On Thursday, San Antonio–based U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that Texas’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as well as its refusal to recognize same-sex marriages outside the state violated the U.S. Constitution, according to the Houston Chronicle.” Judge Strikes Down Texas Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Agenda 21

Remember, the Left’s policies NEVER WORK because they always have unintended consequences. “They calculated “household carbon footprints” for more than 31,000 U.S. ZIP codes (of approximately 43,000 total) in all 50 states and found that a “10-fold increase in population density in central cities yields only a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.” In other words, the number of people living in cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and New York would have to increase 10 times — from 1.5 million in Philadelphia, for example, to 15 million — to yield a 25% reduction in CO2.” Crushing People Into Tight Housing Won’t Cut CO2 Levels

Arizona

On religious freedom, the press will never report honestly. “It doesn’t help that the mainstream media proved incapable of accurate reporting on this story. Note, for example, the New York Times’ story reporting Brewer’s veto. It states that Brewer “vetoed a bill on Wednesday that would have given business owners the right to refuse service to gay men, lesbians and other people on religious grounds.” For the reasons we have discussed, this “overbroad” description of the legislation constitutes journalistic malpractice.” Brewer vetoes S.B. 1062

Hear. Hear. “You know, I support gays’ freedom. I just wish gays, and their boosters, supported other people’s freedoms as well.” Jan Brewer Does That Thing You All Knew She Would and Vetoes SB 1062

Did they not think this thing through before signing it? “As for the Three Mouseketeers who ran for cover — senators Bob Worsley, Adam Driggs and Steve Pierce — they wrote in a letter to Brewer that while they wanted “to create a shield for all citizens’ religious liberties, the bill has been mischaracterized by its opponents as a sword for religious intolerance.” Wow, is that all it takes? We might as well just bow down and lick the left’s jackboots right now. How did these three chronologically adult politicians think the left would characterize their effort? Who are these guys, Beaver and Wally Cleaver and Dennis the Menace? Of course the left is going to call you names! That’s what they do. And now you’ve just confirmed for them, once again, that this is all they have to do to bring you to your knees. Welcome to How to Lose a Culture War 101. “Razing Arizona: Conservatives Succeed at Failing Again

Brave. “Some of us are Republicans; some of us are Democrats. Some of us are religious; some of us are not. Some of us oppose same-sex marriage; some of us support it. Nine of the eleven signers of this letter believe that you should sign the bill; two are unsure. But all of us believe that many criticisms of the Arizona bill are deeply misleading.” Top Law Professors: Arizona Religious Freedom Bill Has Been ‘Egregiously Misrepresented’

It doesn’t matter what is said now. We’ve lost the messaging war. “Eleven leading scholars religious-liberty scholars have written to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to provide her with a sorely needed rational analysis of S.B. 1062 as she considers whether to sign it. The professors include Stanford’s Michael McConnell, my go to source in these matters, and Douglas Laycock who supports same-sex marriage. The others are Mary Ann Glendon, Helen Alvaré, Thomas Berg, Carl Esbeck, Richard Garnett, Christopher Lund, Mark Scarberry, Gregory Sisk, and Robin Fretwell Wilson University.” No, this is not Jim Crow for gays, Part Two

“Even if you disagree with the legislation, the hysterics from the Leftist homosexuality advocates, and the lockstep following of low information voters should concern you. Really, if signed into law and implemented, how would this law hurt a single homosexual person? Someone might ask a baker for a “wedding” cake with two grooms on top of it. The baker would say “Can’t do it.” Then the homosexual person could go to another baker. Who got hurt? Judging from the circus-like response to the legislation, there would be plenty of other people willing to participate in the “wedding” by making a cake. Comparisons to Jim Crow do not hold up. Jim Crow included government-enforced blanket segregation based on skin color. This would be a business, not government, deciding they could not participate in an event.” Fascist Constitutionphobes and Religiophobes Hope You Won’t Read

“Those ‘for’ the bill are well intentioned. The political wisdom of dragging the rest of us into this isn’t clear. The average outside observer could have seen this coming. In an attempt to secure Religious Freedom they have set things on a course where reputations will be damaged and leave the taxpayers hurting. The average guy and gal that earns a living related to tourism for business or pleasure will see smaller paychecks. I’m not exactly sure who would be against Religious Freedom but this approach seems doomed. A better alternative to alleviating the possibility of someone suing a business owner for discrimination because they don’t like gays or pick your cause du jour would have been a simple Tort Reform bill that allowed the marketplace to decide the wisdom of anyone denying anyone else the ability to do business. The court system does not need to be involved.” SB 1062 Analysis – Winners, Losers and Who Gets Stuck with the Bill

“It would be far better if courts just took this as a common-sense application of the freedom to religious expression, without the potential backfire of using an expansion of statutes and the potential for unintended consequences that result from them. Common sense, in this case, would recognize that the right to religious liberty trumps the extremely weak state interests in the commercial industries surrounding weddings. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has been undermining that application of common sense with the HHS contraception mandate for the last two years, and courts haven’t entirely embraced the common-sense conclusion that business owners shouldn’t be compelled to provide free contraception and sterilization services when it opposes their religious principles. As I noted yesterday, if everyone took the same approach as Andrew Sullivan, there wouldn’t be a need (real or perceived) for this bill at all: ‘I would never want to coerce any fundamentalist to provide services for my wedding – or anything else for that matter – if it made them in any way uncomfortable. The idea of suing these businesses to force them to provide services they are clearly uncomfortable providing is anathema to me. I think it should be repellent to the gay rights movement as well.’” Bipartisan group of attorneys ask Brewer to sign SB 1062

Big Government

Protecting their own, at the tax payer’s expense. “Several Environmental Protection Agency employees obstructed an investigation into the mismanagement that allowed a senior EPA official to bilk taxpayers for nearly $900,000, the EPA Inspector General said in a letter to Sen. David Vitter (R., La.) released Wednesday.” EPA Officials Obstructed Fraud Investigation

Common Core

Follow the money. “Yep. Gates will be using the data gathered from our kids to develop products he will then sell to us and our children. Does his reasoning for investing a quarter of billion dollars or more on this project begin to make a little more sense?” Arne Duncan: You’re a Liar, Common Core Will Destroy American Education

There won’t be any flexibility, contrary to what many on the Right are saying. “The Common Core promoters, whose goal is a national curriculum for all U.S. children despite laws prohibiting the government from requiring it, used the clever device of copyrighting the standards by a non-government organization, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). That enables Common Core advocates to force uniform national standards while claiming that the laws prohibiting federal control of curriculum are not violated. No one may copy or reprint the standards without permission, and states that sign on to Common Core may not change or modify the standards. The license agreement that states must sign in order to use Common Core states: ‘NGA/CCSSO shall be acknowledged as the sole owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.’” National Takeover of School Curriculum

The Constition

At least something is moving our way. “One lesson, I think, is that responsible citizens tend to behave like responsible citizens, even if — or perhaps especially if — they’re armed. Another lesson is that the national political dialogue can be totally irrelevant to what really happens in American life.” Concealed-weapons laws have changed America regardless of national debate on gun control

Sadly, this no longer shocks. “He was serious. He really believed the Elastic Clause was real. But the constitutional literacy of a different student was even worse. With a straight face, she defended the exercise of executive power and the issuance of executive orders as constitutional because of the inaction of Congress. “It’s part of the Constitution that if the Congress doesn’t act, then the president can issue executive orders to fix something,” was her argument. Even more frightening, the person saying this is an officer of the campus Democrats. A little totalitarian in training. Naturally, this was all quite an eye opener. I’m no fool when it comes to the institutional left and their corrosion of the system. But to have a student debate me over a verifiably fictional constitutional provision, to have a student presume I was the one making things up when I said the Elastic Clause didn’t exist – that blazed new territory.” In Defense of the Elastic Clause of the Constitution

He’s always been a disgrace. Residents of Nevada should be ashamed. “The disgraceful Harry Reid, one of America’s most corrupt politicians, a man who has mysteriously gotten rich as a public employee, is losing his grip. This has been going on for a while; remember his insane claim during the 2012 presidential campaign that Mitt Romney doesn’t pay any taxes? Today the subject was Obamacare. Reid, probably because he sees his position as majority leader slipping away on account of popular revulsion toward Obamacare, went on a hysterical rant against those who criticize the Democrats’ signature legislation: “Across the country Americans who were once denied insurance because they suffered for something like cancer or as simple as acne have been able to buy affordable health insurance they could afford and could trust. Despite all that good news, there’s plenty of horror stories being told. All are untrue, but they’re being told all over America.” Got that? Every “horror story” about Obamacare is a lie! With more than five million people already having been booted off their existing coverage by the ACA, that’s a whole lot of liars.” Harry Reid Goes Around the Bend on Obamacare

He should be hammered by more than just the GOP. “Reid tried to clarify his remarks late Wednesday by saying he was only referring to the “vast majority” of stories featured in ads funded by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group, and not the complaints of everyday Americans. However, he added fuel to the fire by continuing to slam the group’s backers, the Koch brothers, calling them “un-American.” Reid hammered by GOP after claiming all ObamaCare ‘horror stories’ untrue

Hollywood

Popping bubbles. “But [Will] Ferrell’s #GetCovered post on Facebook on Monday led to an acidic sea of comments — over 4,000 and counting at press time, almost all of them negative. The actor’s followers lambasted both Ferrell for wading into politics, interspersed with links to anti-Obamacare articles from Townhall andWorld Net Daily…” Stars discovering Obamacare is box office poison

IRS

November is coming and we will not be silenced. “The intent of the rules proposed by the Obama Administration is clear — to legalize the IRS’s inappropriate targeting of conservative groups,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.). “These proposed rules severely limit groups’ rights to engage in public debate by labeling activities such as candidate forums, get out the vote efforts, and voter registration as ‘political activity’ for 501(c)(4) groups.” Camp and other Republicans said at the very least, the IRS rule should be delayed until the investigations are wrapped up.” Dems say IRS vote is about Fox News

Follow the time line. “Brad Smith and his colleagues at the Center for Competitive Politics have compiled an invaluable, heavily footnoted document setting forth the efforts by the regulatory agencies to police political speech at the behest Barack Obama and the Democratic Party: “The IRS harassment scandal: A timeline of ‘reform.’” In a Wall Street Journal column that cuts to the chase — you won’t read anything more important this week — Smith takes us through “the dots the media refuse to connect” from the timeline.” The IRS scandals: At the king’s behest

Here is the article referenced above: “In 1170, King Henry II is said to have cried out, on hearing of the latest actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Four knights then murdered the archbishop. Many in the U.S. media still willfully refuse to see anything connecting the murder of the archbishop to any actions or abuse of power by the king.” Bradley A. Smith: Connecting the Dots in the IRS Scandal

“A panel of experts said the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeting of conservative groups is just the latest in a series of attacks against political opponents of President Obama that date all the way back to 2008. Kimberley Strassel, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, said the IRS targeting scandal is only the latest type of political attack that ties directly to Obama’s campaign style before his presidency. “The best way to look at this is as a continuum of a very long and determined political strategy that dates back to 2008 and a man named Barack Obama,” Strassel said. Speaking at the Heritage Foundation on Friday, Strassel argued that “this is a president and his team of political operatives who have always understood the power of speech, but more importantly, the power of denying it to their political opponents.” New IRS Rules Called ‘Campaign Finance Regulation Disguised as Tax Regulation’

President Obama

Obama is banking on the fact that Americans will never tolerate the impeachment of our first black president. “Today, the Democratic Party may be trying to exploit Americans’ understandable reluctance to impeach a president. But Republicans should be making the opposite, and stronger, argument. Now the grounds for impeachment would be constitutional, not political or merely criminal. Winning a sizable Republican majority in the Senate will enable the new Senate majority leader to remind the president of his duty to “see that the Laws be faithfully executed,” including the immigration laws, environmental laws and healthcare laws that he has flagrantly disregarded.” Obama’s Impeachable Offenses Threaten Our System

What took them so long? “Members of Congress and constitutional law experts testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, warning that the legislative branch is in danger of ceding its power in the face of an ‘imperial presidency.’” The Imperial Presidency

Voter ID

Remember that according to the Democrats, there is no voter fraud. “Well, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation disagrees. Not a state known for its hateful politics, Iowa’s DCI wrapped up its investigation this month and has referred more than 80 cases of voter fraud to county attorneys for possible prosecution. Since the investigation was initiated by GOP Secretary of State Matt Schultz a year and a half ago, five people have pleaded guilty to voter fraud and 15 others are facing charges. Iowa governor Terry Branstad told IowaWatch.com that such investigations cut down on voter fraud because they increase the risks for perpetrators. “By people knowing that there is going to be an investigation and scrutiny of people that vote illegally, it serves as a deterrent to voter fraud,” he said. The number of races for Iowa’s legislature that have been decided by fewer than 100 votes has grown. A full ten races have involved margins of less than 50 votes since 2008.” Iowa Refers 80 Cases of Voter Fraud to Prosecutors

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Filed under Afghanistan, Agenda 21, Arizona Politics, Big Government, Climate Change, Common Core, Constitution, Education, Foreign Policy, Gay Rights, Global Warming, Hollywood, IRS, Marriage, National News, Obamacare, President Obama, Religious Liberty, Taxes, Terrorism, The Left, Voter Fraud

News and Commentary for February 25

We need to do more than work hard for our candidates.

We need to do more than work hard for our candidates.

Stories of the Day

Read it and weep. “More than any president in my lifetime, Barack Obama has damaged virtually everything he’s touched. When it comes to American interests, he’s a one-man wrecking ball.” Obama Consciously Engineering America’s Decline

Intentional decline. “In The NY Times today, Pentagon Plans to Shrink Army to Pre-World War II Level: “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plans to shrink the United States Army to its smallest force since before the World War II buildup and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets in a new spending proposal that officials describe as the first Pentagon budget to aggressively push the military off the war footing adopted after the terror attacks of 2001.” One year ago: Hagel nominated “to supervise … generation-long process of defense cutbacks”

“But while that is true to a point, the Obama administration is nevertheless taking an enormous gamble by cutting America’s defence capabilities at a time when many of its enemies are increasing theirs. Both China and Russia are in the process of revamping their military capabilities and, as the Russians have recently demonstrated in Syria, they are adept at using the mere threat of military force to achieve their strategic objectives.” America’s enemies will be delighted by the latest cuts to its military strength

“Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s proposed drastic cuts to the U.S. Army are “absolutely dangerous” and would cause long-term damage to the military.” Former Vice President Cheney calls Hagel’s proposed Army cuts ‘absolutely devastating’

“Our armed forces must be the only area of the federal government subject to actual cuts in the proposed budget. Elsewhere Obama has declared an end to the era of austerity that has supposedly tied his hands. It’s almost funny.” In search of antithesis

Can the world recover? “An increasingly messy world is looking for guidance. But not only does the United States refuse to be its policeman, it won’t even be its hall monitor. The utterly false choice in Syria articulated by Rice — America can do nothing because it won’t do everything — is noticed by the rest of the world. Obama threatened “consequences” if someone stepped “over the line” in Ukraine. Ah, another line. Is it red?” Susan Rice and the retreat of American power

Arizona

Mark my words, we’re going to lose the messaging war once again. Reminder: Our country was founded on religious liberty. Why have so many of us forgotten this? This: It is perhaps unfortunate that it has come to this, but organized homosexuality, a phenomenon that is more about progressive pieties than gay rights per se, remains on the permanent offensive in the culture wars. Live-and-let-live is a creed that the gay lobby specifically rejects: The owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado was threatened with a year in jail for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. New Mexico photographer Elaine Huguenin was similarly threatened for declining to photograph a same-sex wedding. It is worth noting that neither the baker nor the photographer categorically refuses services to homosexuals; birthday cakes and portrait photography were both on the menu. The business owners specifically objected to participating in a civic/religious ceremony that violated their own consciences. And the so-called liberals answer: “To hell with your consciences.”And this: “It is our hope that the people of Arizona will treat their gay fellow citizens with decency and respect. It also is our hope that they will be repaid in kind. Insofar as legal intervention is required in the matter, the need for legislative preemption of judicial coercion is an unhappy fact, and the Arizona legislature is right to act on it.” A Live-and-Let-Live Law

Big Government

Why should we trust them? “HHS said it would use the social media tool for public health concerns and emergencies such as Superstorm Sandy. “In the midst of an event we want to know when hospitals and/or nursing homes are evacuating patients,” HHS said under “scenarios of how we would utilize this tool.” HHS Seeking Access to ‘Full Twitter Historical Data’

Who made her queen? First lady Michelle Obama will unveil a proposal Tuesday that would ban marketing junk food and so”das in schools — an unusually aggressive position for the administration that could draw the ire of school districts, food companies and conservatives. Schools would no longer be able to house vending machines that sport images of their flagship sodas, have posters promoting unhealthy food and drinks or use cups in cafeterias that market high-calorie beverages, among other forms of promotion, according to administration officials.” Michelle Obama to unveil food marketing limits for schools

Debt

Hurling towards disaster. This: The president can delay his budget, but no good can come from further postponing our country’s desperately needed financial reforms.” And this: “The budget that America needs — versus the more likely budget shaped by concurrent political forces — are two very different things. As we prepare to receive and evaluate President Obama’s next submitted budget, it is worth knowing what a set of budget proposals would look like if focused on solving our escalating fiscal problems. Such a budget would rein in the growing cost of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA. The extent to which the coming budget diverges from this blueprint is the extent to which other policy agendas are diverting us from urgently needed fiscal repairs.” Reform entitlements — or go bust

Speaking the truth, which apparently no one in Washington D.C. wants to hear. “Short-term thinking killed the “Grand Bargain,” the mythical compromise to avert a fiscal crisis that Democrats and Republicans know is unavoidable without slashing entitlement spending and/or raising taxes. Long-term thinking … well, there is none of that in Washington. Because long-term thinking requires courage and transparency, and such traits are dead to this town. Allow me to highlight two facts that President Obama and House Republicans, cowardly, don’t want their followers to know.” What Your Party Leaders Aren’t Telling You About The Debt

Elections

Scott Walker for president! “As Jonathan very correctly observes, Scott Walker’s public-sector union reforms, which he got enacted over extraordinary opposition, scare unions, Democrats, and possible GOP opponents alike should he decide to run for the Republican nomination in 2016. Unions face a massive loss of funds (and therefore political power) if his reforms spread to other states. The Democratic Party faces a loss of those union funds, which go overwhelmingly to that party. And the contenders for the presidency in both parties face the fact that Scott Walker, who comes across in both private and public as a nice, low-key, everyone’s-favorite-uncle sort of guy—a veritable unObama when it comes to self-regard and ego—has proved himself a political mensch of the first order. That could be a very potent combination in 2016.” Scott Walker’s Political Courage

Doing what needs to be done, in the right way. “Wisconsin’s previous Democrat governor, Walker pointed out, “had people on a waiting list living in poverty for health care.” But during Walker’s administration, for the first time in state history, they covered everyone living in poverty under Medicaid, and everyone above poverty is covered by transitioning them to the marketplace. That’s 224,000 more covered than before, “and yet, we don’t put the taxpayers at risk.” Gov. Walker: Success Not Measured by ‘How Many People Are Dependent on the Government’

Fairness

More truth. “Those who preach this counterproductive message will probably never think that the envy, resentment and hopelessness they preach, and the welfare state they promote, are among the factors keeping people down.” The ‘Fairness’ Fraud

Free Speech

They have to silence us because they have to silence those that speak the truth. “For half a century or so, IRS regulations have held that a political advocacy group maintains its 501(c)(4) status as long as “candidate-related political activity” is less than 50 percent of what it does. These groups have been able to meet this test because they are far more focused on citizen education and grassroots lobbying than on the election of particular candidates. This is where the new proposed regulation comes into play. In order to strike at these groups — most of which are conservative — the Obama IRS proposes to redefine “candidate-related political activity” to encompass most of what 501(c)(4) organizations normally do.” The IRS’s latest attempt to silence conservatives

Global Warming

It’s really about the power. This: Our friend Rob Bradley, founder of the indispensable Institute for Energy Research, has a brilliant post up on IER’s MasterResource blog today about how the all-important “carbon footprint” of the environmental movement is almost certainly positive (that is, their policies have led to a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions). And this: “So natural gas wins, nuclear loses, and climate loses by Hansen’s math because…. What to do when the wind is not blowing? The answer was: have a gas plant ready as back-up. In other words, replace carbon-free nuclear power with a dual system, renewables plus gas. With this approach CO2 emissions will increase and it is certain that fracking will continue and expand into larger regions. Me (Steve) again: Nice going enviros.  Of course, Hansen’s fundamental mistake is thinking environmental activism is actually about the climate.  Some day he’ll figure this out, and get really depressed.” Environmentalists: Carbon Bigfoots?

IRS

We need more people like her. “Cleta Mitchell may be the most dangerous woman in America. She is the prominent Washington attorney who represents several clients victimized by the criminal misconduct of the IRS over the past four years. She speaks with authority when she asserts, as she did recently in her testimony before a congressional subcommittee, that the Obama administration is responsible for “lies upon lies” covering up the multifarious, politically inspired wrongdoing of the IRS.” POWER LINE: Cleta Chronicles: IRS scandals, part 1, 2 and 3

The Left

Those on the Left live in a weird world. “Twitter lit up with ridicule of Power’s meditation on the significance of Pearl’s murder. One tweeter offered the simplest explanation: maybe she was on drugs. But she doesn’t seem the type. Rather, I think Samantha Power–who among fans of the Obama administration is considered a deep thinker!–suffers from the muddle-headedness that typifies most liberals. She can’t face the truth, which is that radical Muslims are an existential threat to civilization and freedom, with whom we can never be reconciled. So in lieu of truth, she emits platitudes about “cycles of violence” and so on. The sad reality is that her boss, Barack Obama, who has appointed her to a series of high-profile foreign policy positions, has just as incoherent a view of the world as she does.” Samantha Power Dives Deep…Into Incoherence

More on the Left’s weird world. “For Obama’s supporters, what matters is not what he does, but what he says and represents.” When Failure Is Success

Bubbles. “The new millennium has also given us a new American profile — the hip richeral. Richerals are, of course, well off. But they are even more cool and liberal. The two facts are not so much incompatible, as complementary. For some, big money allows three things: wealth’s cocoon enables you to dream safely about utopia rather than being laid off and broke; it exempts you from worrying much about the high taxes and regulations needed to pay for your redistributionist fantasy agendas; and it gives you the influence, capital, and opportunities to flee from the messy ramifications of your own ideology.” Meet the Richerals

What we need to do… “So the upshot: there is no point trying to open the zombie liberals’ eyes. It’s a total waste of time and energy. The real target should be the young whose minds have not yet completely closed and who still might be receptive to appeals to their common sense. “We’ll get you through your children!”, the lefty poet Allen Ginsberg yelled to his erstwhile fellow radical Norman Podhoretz. That’s exactly why the Bill Ayerses and Mike Klonskys have given up open terrorism and burrowed into the educational system to gnaw America from within. This is one field which conservatives can’t afford to yield; the battle should be joined.” Obeying the Dog Whistle

Minimum Wage

“A recent University of California, Berkeley, Labor Center study, “Fast Food, Poverty Wages,” shows that low-wage workers already get substantial government subsidies, such as food stamps and the earned income tax credit. The authors propose supplementing those programs with government-mandated wage hikes. But as conventional economics says, that would only worsen the poor’s plight.” The Minimum Wage Is No Friend of the Poor

Obamacare

“You won’t find chilly, insulated elites like Nancy Pelosi or Barack Obama admitting it, but the blood of Mrs. Blackwood and millions of other Americans harmed by their thoughtless legislation is on their heads. Obamacare is a totalitarian scheme masquerading as a humanitarian enterprise.  Its human cost is incalculable, but already, just a few months in, we’re beginning to get a sense of the suffering it will cause.  When your treatment for cancer is disallowed, when your daughter cannot get the medicine she needs, when your mother’s insurance is cancelled, will you still go gently into that good night of liberal sanctimony? Or will you finally realize that when Barack Obama promised to “fundamentally transform the United States of America,” this might not have been the beneficent program the New York Times and other such outlets led you to believe?” The Human Face of Obamacare

“Nearly two-thirds of small businesses that currently offer health insurance to their workers will pay more for coverage as a result of new rules in the health care law, as will millions of small-business employees and their family members, according to new estimates released by the Obama administration.” Obama administration: Health law’s new rules will increase costs for most small businesses

The reason? “These companies generally employ younger, healthier workers and so had been paying lower-than-average rates. But since ObamaCare bans insurance companies from considering health when setting premiums, these companies will get hit with higher costs.” 65% of small businesses face Obamacare premium hikes

President Obama

Where were all these people in November of 2012? “For the first time,” Gallup tells us today, “more Americans think President Barack Obama is not respected by other world leaders than believe he is.” The news is a bit worse for the president than it looks, as Gallup notes that “Americans’ opinions have shifted dramatically in the past year, after being relatively stable from 2010 to 2013.” While such perceptions often track closely with presidential approval numbers, Gallup explains, President Obama’s numbers have not followed that pattern: “a majority of Americans still thought world leaders respected Obama in 2010 and 2011, when his job approval was similar to what it is now.” Why the President Don’t Get No Respect

Ruling Class Elites

“America’s ruling class has been experiencing more pushback than usual lately. It just might be a harbinger of things to come.” Americans rising up against government: Column

War on Poverty

Nothing the Left does works out the way it was supposed to. “From the end of World War II until 1964 the poverty rate in this country was cut in half. Further, 94% of the change in the poverty rate over this period can be explained by changes in per capita income alone. Economic growth is clearly the most effective antipoverty weapon ever devised by man.The dotted line shows what would have happened had this trend continued. Economic growth would have reduced the number in poverty to a mere 1.4% of the population today, a number so low that private charity could probably have taken care of any unmet needs. But we didn’t continue the trend. In 1965 we launched a War on Poverty. And as the graph shows, in the years that followed the portion of Americans living in poverty barely budged. In 1965, 18% of the population lived in poverty. Today we are at 15%, or 50 million Americans. That’s after spending $15 trillion on antipoverty programs and continuing to spend $1 trillion a year.” Why We Lost the War on Poverty

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Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, Arizona Politics, Big Government, Debt, Freedom of Speech, Global Warming, IRS, Michelle Obama, Military, Minimum Wage, Olympics, Poverty and the Welfare State, President Obama, Religious Liberty, The Left

News and Commentary for February 24

Count your blessings. Because we all have more than we know!

Remember to count your blessings. Because we all have more than we know!

Stories of the Day

Obamacare: creating new winners and losers. “Then on Feb. 12, just before going into (yet another) surgery, she was informed by Humana that it would not, in fact, cover her Sandostatin, or other cancer-related medications. The cost of the Sandostatin alone, since Jan. 1, was $14,000, and the company was refusing to pay. The news was dumbfounding. This is a woman who had an affordable health plan that covered her condition. Our lawmakers weren’t happy with that because . . . they wanted plans that were affordable and covered her condition. So they gave her a new one. It doesn’t cover her condition and it’s completely unaffordable.” Stephen Blackwood: ObamaCare and My Mother’s Cancer Medicine

Helping our heroes. “”We’ve got a problem,” Bush told ABC‘s Martha Raddatz. “Too many veterans are unemployed. And there’s what we call a civilian-military divide. In other words, the returning vets think one thing, the civilian population thinks another and our aim is to get people to understand each other better for the good of the veteran community.”” George W. Bush: There’s a ‘divide’ between American civilians and military

November is coming. We will stop him then. “President Obama has ordered his officials to step on the gas and clear as much of his regulatory agenda as possible during the twilight of his time in office. The clock is ticking, creating a sense of urgency in the administration to crank out his new rules without delay. Just a year into the president’s second term, experts and former administration officials say it is do-or-die time for scores of regulatory initiatives across the federal government that could shape his legacy. So Obama is spurring agencies on. “He has directed his entire administration to move as quickly as possible in identifying and acting on steps they can take to make progress on behalf of the American people,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich said.” Obama’s rush to regulate

Benghazi

Don’t let up. They’re hiding something and we must find out what it is. “Democrats and liberals who want to “move on” from Benghazi are right to the extent that this is a controversy rooted in a specific time and place rather than a possible ongoing threat to constitutional rule such as that demonstrated in the IRS scandal or the various instances of government spying on the press and the public. But the reason why the anger about Benghazi has never dissipated is due to statements such as that of Rice that feed the cynicism of an American people that only wanted the truth in the first place and would now settle for a full accounting that the administration still seems incapable of providing. Like Clinton’s infamous “what difference does it make?” retort when asked about these deceptions, Rice’s lack of regret demonstrates the arrogance of an administration that is unwilling to own up to its faults even if doing so would serve its interests.” Rice’s “No Regrets” and Obama’s Arrogance

Big Government

An American Spring coming soon? “The people aren’t the problem. It’s the state. And in a still-growing country of over 300 million the state gets bigger and bigger and bigger just by entropy, until we are all engulfed.” [Snip] “Those already convinced of our cause — small-government conservatives, Tea Partiers, libertarians — should put aside their squabbles for now, join together and seek to be as inclusive as possible.  Ideological purity, indeed ideological terminology itself, is inherently exclusionary and often obfuscating. Gloating of any sort is also counter-productive, possibly terminally. Instead, we must patiently explain, even to our most intractable adversaries, why our proposals for limited government are for their benefit as well as our own. We must do this in the face of a troglodytic and reactionary media and entrenched bureaucracies and interest groups from over a century of statism. We cannot stop or give up. And we must always point out that what people were and are fighting for on the streets of the Ukraine and Venezuela is human freedom. They are not fighting for more government programs. It’s even farcical to think so.” After Ukraine, We Need an American Spring

Common Core

Shining Light On Evil: Debates are necessary so that people who are not paying that much attention can see how Common Core is SO VERY BAD for our children and our country. “Common Core expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky told Connecticut grassroots activists against the Common Core standards that the latest “tactic” of their state legislature was to suppress debate about the standards by refusing to hear any bills whatsoever on Common Core.” Common Core Expert Sandra Stotsky: State Legislatures Purposefully Suppressing Debate on Common Core

Economics

Obama’s legacy: debt, debt and more debt. “Barack Obama is working overtime to secure his legacy — a legacy of debt. In his new budget proposal, the president is reneging on an earlier offer to slightly change the formula under which Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) are made, which would have shaved around a quarter-trillion dollars or so off the mounting national debt and added a few tens of billions in new spending to boot. Which is to say, President Obama is working to secure a gigantic tax increase on your children.” Punitive Economics

Leftist Elites

Elitist policies leading to only the really wealthy and the poor residing in California. “Why is the middle class leaving California? Because California has left the middle class. As the economy faltered, the state raised taxes and continued to let regulation and litigation run riot. As the freeways clogged and housing prices climbed to astronomical levels, environmental activists called for high-speed rail and “sustainable communities.” As the state’s schools saw their performance plummet to national lows, the California Teachers Association — the state’s dominant teachers’ union and foremost opponent of education reform — remained the single biggest financial player in state politics. Though their interests may be diverse, the impulses of every powerful constituency in California politics converge on the same point: more government. As a result, California has become a place of government of the elites, by the elites, and for the elites. It should be no surprise then that the elites are increasingly the only ones left who can afford it.” Land of Inequality

“Noonan is right to call out this ironic pose of the elite. She is right to worry that “No one wants to be the earnest outsider now, no one wants to play the sober steward, no one wants to be the grind, the guy carrying around a cross of dignity. No one wants to be accused of being staid. No one wants to say, “This isn’t good for the country, and it isn’t good for our profession.”” Her essay is your weekend read. Don’t forget to watch the videos. See if you catch yourself smiling.” The Irony of the Elites

Freedom of Speech

Read the whole thing. “The Democrat-Media complex works to in effect silence conservative critics rather than engage their criticisms and debate the issues.  They employ a variety of programs and techniques to ensure that substantive points from the other side will either be ignored, distorted, demonized, or de-legitimized.  Shut up, they explained. Most conservatives have personal experiences with this dynamic all the time: friends or family who will not engage in discussions and debates about their liberal beliefs.  Their response: shut up, they explained.” Shut up, they explained

Global Warming

Speaking truth to power. “Like the Nazis, they are anti-capitalist. They are willing to sacrifice millions of lives of poor people at the altar of radical environmentalism, advocating expensive energy policies that increase poverty. And if there is a historically demonstrable threat to humanity, it is poverty.” [Snip] “NOTE: A couple people in comments have questioned my use of “Nazi”, which might be considered over the top. Considering the fact that these people are supporting policies that will kill far more people than the Nazis ever did — all in the name of what they consider to be a righteous cause — I think it is very appropriate. Again, I didn’t start the name-calling.” Time to push back against the global warming Nazis

NY Times publishes cartoon depicting a global warming believer stabbing a non-believer with an icicle. “As the Weasel Zippers blog notes today, “UNREAL: NY Times Suggests Killing ‘Climate Change Deniers’… Note the woman in the top right box using an icicle to stab a ‘denier’ in the chest.” I’m embedding the entire page with the New York Times’ logo on it, to make it obvious that the cartoon is appearing on their Website. Click on image above to expand. As the Zippers suggest, take a good look at the right-hand panel. Global warming has made much of the country so cold that the Times is instructing its readers to use giant icicles to bludgeon the non-believers to death.” The New York Times’ Eliminationist Rhetoric

More on the NY Times cartoon. “When apocalyptic cults turn murderous, they become a danger to the public. The warmist cult, frustrated by the failure of nature to back-up their prophecies of doom, apparently is turning to homicidal fantasies, and venting them in the pages of the New York Times.” NY Times publishes cartoon about killing global warming ‘deniers’

Military

Shrinking. “The New York Times reported late Sunday that Hagel’s proposal, which will be released to lawmakers and the public on Monday, will call for a reduction in size of the military that will leave it capable of waging war, but unable to carry out protracted occupations of foreign territory, as in Afghanistan and Iraq. Under Hagel’s plan, the number of troops in the Army will drop to between 440,000 and 450,000, a reduction of at least 120,000 soldiers from its post-Sept.11 peak.” Proposed budget will reportedly shrink Army to pre-WWII numbers

Obamacare

There is a party that’s pushing grandma over the ledge, and it’s not the Republicans. “The new rule’s stated desire to “strengthen our ability to identify strong applicants for Part C and Part D program participation and remove consistently poor performers” would give the Obama administration new authority to limit health insurance and prescription drug providers under the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D programs. The Daily Caller has extensively reported on Obamacare’s veritable destruction of the privately-run Medicare Advantage program, which Obamacare raids to the tune of $300 billion in a sweeping cut that begins to affect seniors in 2014. But the U.S. House subcommittee is principally concerned about the rule’s impact on Medicare Part D.” REVEALED: Obama’s ‘attack’ on Medicare Part D

Whitewashing the truth to get what he wants, fully knowing the people don’t want where he is taking us. “Kessler wonders how the President could be so ignorant of the weakness of this data: “In any case, no matter how you slice it, it does not add up to 7 million. It is dismaying that given all of the attention to this issue, the president apparently does not realize that the administration’s data are woefully inadequate for boastful assertions of this type.” I’d say it has less to do with ignorance than apathy. He doesn’t care whether the numbers are accurate or worthwhile — he just wants the talking point.” Four Pinocchios to Obama on Medicaid-expansion claims

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Filed under Benghazi, Big Government, Capitalism, Common Core, Economy, Elites, Freedom, Freedom of Speech, Global Warming, Medicaid, Medicare, Military, Obamacare, President George W. Bush, President Obama, Regulation

News and Commentary for February 22 and 23

It's Sunday. Have a blessed day.

It’s Sunday. Have a blessed day.

Stories of the Weekend

Surprise! “The FCC may have suspended its invasion into American newsrooms, but the controversial “Critical Information Needs” study also has George Soros’ fingerprints all over it. While disturbing, this should come as no surprise since Soros’ gave more than $52 million to media organizations from 2000-2010.” Universities in FCC Newsroom Probe Have Close Ties to Soros, Got $1.8M in Funding

They need to silence all dissenting views in order to get to their progressive utopia. “The real mystery behind the FCC’s now abandoned “study” to police American newsrooms is why the mainstream media refused to raise holy hell over it. While Obama’s lapdogs refused to bark, it was conservative media who fought for newsroom independence and got the FCC to finally back down. Other than the media’s natural obedience to Obama, the fact that the fingerprints of left-wing billionaire George Soros have been found on the FCC study might also help to explain the media’s silence.” Media Silence Explained? Soros Fingerprints On FCC Newsroom Probe

For now. But they’ll keep trying. “The FCC is required by law to report periodically to Congress on barriers that “may prevent entrepreneurs and small business from competing in the media marketplace.” The problem is that the massive study that the FCC proposed to undertake with regard to editorial news judgment had no bearing at all on such barriers to entry. In any event, whether you believe the Democrats’ disclaimers or not, the controversial project has been canceled.” FCC Backs Off on Scheme to Regulate the Press

Just the fact that they thought they could get away with this should worry us all. FCC throws out plan to question reporters about news coverage: Chairman denies intending to regulate speech of news media.

Update on the big story from yesterday: “The problem with this FCC study wasn’t just one or two questions. It’s that the FCC has no business involving itself in editorial judgment and news choices in the first place — especially at newspapers and Internet outlets. It’s an arrogation of jurisdiction, which would surely be followed by an arrogation of authority and power to address whatever “crises” in news reporting the study produces. The only solution to this is ending it, not amending it.” FCC retreats a little more from editorial-bias study

No doubt. “Fox News executives feared they were the ultimate target of this exercise, and who can blame them for that suspicion? From the beginning of the Obama presidency, White House communications officials and Obama political advisers have leveled attacks on Fox, even going so far as to proclaim that it is not a “a legitimate” news organization.” The FCC Tries to Stick Its Big Nose Into the Newsroom

Big Government

More on the Left’s attempt to silence it’s critics and how some on our side are fighting back. “Everywhere we look, our friends on the right are under attack. Dinesh D’Souza is being charged with multiple felonies for an alleged chickenfeed campaign finance violation. Mark Steyn and National Review are being sued. Organizers of conservative grass roots groups like Catherine Engelbrecht are being harassed by federal agencies including IRS, OSHA, FBI and EPA. Various conservatives of our acquaintance, who will remain nameless to protect the innocent, are being audited by the IRS or subjected to unspecified criminal “investigations” by partisan U.S. Attorneys. Charles and David Koch have been subjected to a campaign of vilification unprecedented in our history. And that is before we get to the Obama administration’s just-launched effort to use the FCC to shut down conservatives in radio and television (about which, more later today, or maybe tomorrow).” Four Senators Push Back Against D’Souza Prosecution

Common Core

On its last legs? “Recently major news broke in the fight to defeat Common Core that, odds are, most Americans haven’t even heard about yet. The nation’s largest teachers’ union is withdrawing its support of the Common Core academic standards. The New York Times has also highlighted early champions of these Common Core standards who are now speaking out against them.

You’d think that the new federally mandated education standards receiving criticism from the right and the left end of the political spectrum would get media attention, but no. On this important issue that is a critical component to the very future of this great nation, the mainstream media is completely silent.

It’s time for the media to break their silence and report the truth about Common Core and how it is detrimental to our nation’s education system. In 2014, the government should not unilaterally make a decision to fundamentally transform our education system without a debate that involves our nation’s parents.” Common Core Is a Power Grab

From the New York Times: “The Common Core has been applauded by education leaders and promoted by the Obama administration as a way to replace a hodgepodge of state standards with one set of rigorous learning goals. Though 45 states and the District of Columbia have signed on to them since 2010, resistance came quickly, mostly from right-leaning states, where some leaders and political action groups have protested what they see as a federal takeover of local classrooms.

But the newest chorus of complaints is coming from one of the most liberal states, and one of the earliest champions of the standards: New York. And that is causing supporters of the Common Core to shudder.

Carol Burris, an acclaimed high school principal on Long Island, calls the Common Core a “disaster.”

“We see kids,” she said, “they don’t want to go to school anymore.” Common Core Curriculum Now Has Critics on the Left

Kids belong to whole communities? I don’t think so. “Parents recognize that Common Core national standards and tests will require them to relinquish one of their most powerful tools to effect school improvement: control of academic content, standards, and testing through their state and local policymakers. Parents recognize that Common Core takes their seats at the table, further removing them from the decision-making process in favor of decisions being centrally made by national organizations and Washington bureaucrats.

“The children belong to all of us,” former Massachusetts Education Secretary Paul Reville recently stated. Likewise, according to MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, “We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.” Wrong.

Children belong to their parents – their first educators and the people who have the most at stake in their educational well-being. Accountability is critically important in education, but accountability isn’t achieved by removing parents from the process out of a belief that bureaucrats will make better decisions.” Common Core by Any Other Name Is Still Common Core

Follow the money, because as Representative David Schweikert likes to tell us,  it is ALWAYS about the money. “Assessing Common Core is inextricably tied to the big business of data collection and data mining. States that took the Race to the Top bribes in exchange for adopting Common Core must now comply with the edutech requirements of two private testing conglomerates, the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Common Core states also agreed to expand existing statewide longitudinal database systems that contain sensitive student data from pre-kindergarten through postsecondary education. [Snip]

When politicians want to evade accountability, they go on the attack. They don’t loathe anti-Common Core parents because they’re “paranoid.” They fear them because “paranoid” is the political demagogue’s word for active, alert and well-informed.” Why parents are “paranoid” about Common Core

Yikes! “The Common Core reading materials are filled with graphic pornography cloaked as literature. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, is what your teen will be forced to read if your school accepts Common Core. The story includes descriptions of child rape, incest, and molestation. The pedophile in the novel is portrayed with sympathy and Morrison reportedly wrote the story so the reader becomes a “co-conspirator” with the predator. The book Monster by Walter Dean Myers includes a description of a homosexual gang rape and the use of a butt plug. In New York, a Common Core education portal encourages teens to visit a pornographic sex survey site where they are asked if they want to participate in a threesome or a gang-bang, among other acts. The novel Black Swan Green features a 13-year-old boy who graphically describes his father’s genitals and then a sex act. Dreaming in Cuban contains teen sadomasochism. In Kansas, a father discovered a Common Core poster in his daughter’s class titled “How Do People Express Their Sexual Feelings?” with items such as “anal sex,” “masturbation,” and “grinding” as examples. Our young people are being deliberately exposed to graphic sexual material in schools that accept Common Core.” Common Core Pornography: Are your schoolchildren being groomed for sexual exploitation?

Debt

I doubt that Obama knows how to spell austerity. ““On this idea of austerity,” Krauthammer said, “we’ve talked about Obama’s assaulting the Constitution, this is an assault on the dictionary.” Obama ran a $4 trillion deficit in three years, Krauthammer explained, and “the deficit that he now touts as the triumph of austerity is the highest, higher than any deficit in the history of the country preceding him.”” Krauthammer’s Take: Obama’s Austerity Talk an ‘Assault on the Dictionary’

Diversity

Teaching grievances rather than success.But diversity is not only incoherent; it is ironic. On a zero-sum campus short of resources, the industry of diversity and related “studies” classes that focus on gender or racial differences and grievances crowd out exactly the sort of disciplines that provide the skills — mastery of languages, literature, science, engineering, business, and math — that best prep graduates for a shot at well-compensated careers.” The Outdated Business Model of Diversity, Inc.: In today’s divided society, universities would be wise to stress unity and academic rigor.

The Economy

We’re about the reap what our government sows… “The CBO said it’s been successful at that, helping sustain between 700,000 and 3.6 million jobs at its peak in 2010. But the scorekeepers had always warned that borrowing all of that money would eventually catch up with the economy and, over the long run, leave it slightly worse-off than if no stimulus had ever passed, and that is about to come true.” Obama’s stimulus beginning to drag economy down

Elections

Attempting to pick off our candidates, one by one, until we have no one left standing for freedom/liberty. “Having successfully demonized Chris Christie over the closure of traffic lanes on a bridge, the leftist mainstream media are now targeting Scott Walker, another very promising potential GOP candidate for president.  All of this in the context media downplaying and outright ignoring revelations of lies under oath in a scandal that cost four American lives including an ambassador that reflects badly on Hillary Clinton. The Washington Post offered a front page story intimating Scott Walker faces a scandal in an ongoing investigation launched by his political enemies in Wisconsin (who are legion because he successfully took on the public employee unions and won the right for workers to decline union membership, which many of them are now exercising.” [Snip] “Make no mistake: Scott Walker won smashing victories in a blue state, and withstood a concentrated assault by the moneybags faction of the Democratic Party (unions) gave them a defeat that weakened them as a future political player. He has also turned a deficit into a surplus and now threatens to give voters a tax cut dividend for their support of his policies” No wonder they want to take him out. Walker has a track record of turning attacks against him back on the attackers. Meanwhile, Hillary’s many scandals are dismissed as “old news” by the media worms.” Scott Walker is the next target of the MSM knockout game

Foreign Policy

The TRUE smart power. “THERE IS a third option, however, that is currently orphaned in the US foreign policy discourse.

That third option begins with understanding the ideological underpinnings of Obama’s foreign policy, and proceeds with offering an alternative policy, based on the opposite foundation.

From Russia to Iran, from Israel to the Far East, Obama’s foreign policy calls for the US to appease its adversaries at the expense of its allies. At its core, it is informed by the belief that the reason the US has adversaries is because it has allies.

By this line of thinking, if the US didn’t support Israel, then it wouldn’t have a problem with the Muslim world. If the US didn’t support Colombia and Honduras, it wouldn’t have a problem with Venezuela and Nicaragua. If the US didn’t sup – port Japan and South Korea, it wouldn’t have a problem with China and North Korea. And if the US didn’t support Egypt and Saudi Arabia, it wouldn’t have a problem with the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist offshoots, or with Iran and its terror armies.

The proper response to this worldview and its corresponding policy is a policy based on supporting US allies and opposing US enemies. It is predicated on the recognition that strong allies deter and weaken enemies.” Rousing the Americans from their slumber

Freedom

“It’s all about winning and losing, but the best man doesn’t always win, and outcomes frequently have more to do with luck than with merit.  Brilliant strategies fail, and fools stumble into glorious victories.  Napoleon preferred a lucky general to a brilliant one. Which brings us to today.  The headlines are grim, the pictures from Syria, Venezuela and Ukraine are blood-chilling, executions and demonstrations are mounting in Iran, and Obama doesn’t know what to do about anything.  So he doesn’t do anything; he and his strategists just dither.  And yet…” And yet, our enemies may be on the verge of losing.  Big time.” What If We Were Winning But Nobody Noticed?

IRS

Outrage. “While there has been bipartisan support for resolving these cases, Congressmen Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) and Matthew Cartwright (D-Pa.) are attempting to further impede investigations into my case as well as others. Shortly after the Ways and Means Committee confirmed it was investigating my case, these congressmen attacked TIGTA, accused that agency of being pro-Republican and called for an ethics investigation.

Let’s imagine if the situation was reversed. What if, while a Republican was president, the IRS leaked the tax records of Democratic candidates to the press? What would the reaction look like then?” Christine O’Donnell: I was a victim of the IRS

Hear us President Obama and all your Leftist minions. We will not be silenced. “Experts agreed that the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative, pro-life, and evangelical groups in 2012 ties directly back to President Obama’s campaign style before his presidency.

Intentional. It’s the Chicago way. “The best way to look at this is as a continuum of a very long and determined political strategy that dates back to 2008 and a man named Barack Obama,” Kimberley Strassel, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, declared at The Heritage Foundation on Friday. Strassel argued that “this is a president and his team of political operatives who have always understood the power of speech, but more importantly, the power of denying it to their political opponents.” IRS Scandal Has Obama Fingerprints All Over It, Experts Say

Media Malfeasance

How very, very sad. “Ms Dawson gave an insight into her life – both her troubles and the highlights – in her autobiography, released late 2012.

In the book, Air Kiss and Tell, she revealed she had had an abortion with her former husband, Olympic swimmer Scott Miller, so that he would not have any distractions in the lead up to the Sydney Olympics.

She had been looking forward to having a baby but sensed “hesitation” in Miller.” [Snip]

Associated Press:

Dawson revealed in her 2012 autobiography “Air Kiss & Tell” that she was frequently visited by the “depression bogeyman.”

People:

Despite her professional successes, Dawson’s personal life was often tumultuous. In 1999, she married Olympic swimmer Scott Miller. Although the marriage ended after a few short months, she struggled with the breakup and said he was the only man she would ever marry.

After Miller recently gave a tell-all interview to 60 Minutes in Australia, Dawson spoke out: “I continue to fight my depression”…

Seemingly a stab, from E! Online:

Per the BBC, Dawson suffered with depression for a very long time and was admitted to a hospital in 2012 after being targeted by cyber bullies.

Dawson married Olympic swimmer Scott Miller in 1999 but they were divorced two years later. She had no children.” Australian TV Star Commits Suicide After Depression Triggered by Her Abortion; U.S. Media Accounts Omit Abortion

The Left only covers stories that make the Left look good. “I’m not a Washington Post newsroom editor, but were I, I’d have thought that the big news this week is that so many Democrat Congressmen are running from ObamaCare — and the president — as the election nears. I’d have considered that the events in Thailand, Venezuela, and the Ukraine were so quickly overturning the established order and were so indicative of popular sentiment against corruption and tyranny that they merited a great deal of coverage. Instead we got three articles about nothingburger star chamber proceedings in Wisconsin, a partisan witchhunt that turned up nothing and will turn up nothing. Would, for starters, that the same attention were paid to Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation’s doings, Hillary’s constant lying, the politicizing of the IRS, Fast and Furious, or the large uptick in casualties occasioned by the administration’s incoherent and feckless foreign policy in the Middle East.” Drag a Hundred Dollar Bill through a School of Journalism

Middle Class

Real trouble ahead if we don’t turn this ship around. “The biggest issue facing the American economy, and our political system, is the gradual descent of the middle class into proletarian status. This process, which has been going on intermittently since the 1970s, has worsened considerably over the past five years, and threatens to turn this century into one marked by downward mobility. [Snip]

A pro-growth program today could take several forms that defy the narrow logic of both left and right.  We can encourage the growth of high-wage, blue-collar industries such as construction, energy and manufacturing. We can also reform taxes so that the burdens fall less on employers and employees, as opposed to those who simply profit from asset inflation. And rather than impose huge tuitions on students who might not  finish with a degree that offers employment opportunities, let’s place new emphasis on practical skills training for both the new generation and those being left behind in this “recovery.” Most importantly, the benefits of capitalism need be more widely shared if business hopes to gain support from the middle class for their agenda.” The U.S. Middle Class Is Turning Proletarian

Money in Politics

Pouring money down the drain. “That doesn’t mean the Koch brothers and the organizations they support don’t have influence or that unions control elections. Instead, the more important takeaway is about the limits of spending when it comes to trying to convince voters of something they don’t believe or don’t care about.” Money in Politics: Dems Still Don’t Understand that Issues Matter

Obamacare

Hahahaha. “The number of those who have already been hurt by ObamaCare are legion, including millions of individual purchasers of insurance who have lost their coverage or been denied the ability to keep their doctors in spite of President Obama’s promise to the contrary. But it’s long been accepted that the employer mandate will eventually reduce the number of full-time workers because of new rules about coverage requirements. Yet it turns out that those affected are not just employees at small or mid-sized companies. The impact on one of President Obama’s key support group turns out to be just as bad. As the New York Times reports:

Cities, counties, public schools and community colleges around the country have limited or reduced the work hours of part-time employees to avoid having to provide them with health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, state and local officials say.” New ObamaCare Losers: Public Employees

Hiding the bad news. “Pear reported the ACA is hurting an Indiana school district as well:

In Indiana, Daniel T. Tanoos, the schools superintendent for Vigo County, which includes Terre Haute, said, “The school system has no way to increase prices as a private business can.”

To hold down the work hours of school bus drivers, Vigo County has reduced field trips for children and cut back transportation to athletic events. School employees who had two part-time jobs totaling more than 30 hours a week — for example, bus driver and basketball coach — were required to give up one of the jobs.

To date no reporter at ABC, CBS or NBC has filed a segment interviewing disgruntled parents and/or children crying about how ObamaCare took away their annual field trip to the zoo.” ObamaCare Costing Government Jobs Too! Big Three Networks Ignore

More bad news that the media won’t report. “A new survey says Obamacare’s tax on medical device manufacturers has cost the industry about 33,000 jobs.

In a report this week, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) said companies cut about 14,000 workers and decided not to hire about 19,000 workers because of the

The report also said the 2.3 percent excise tax also forced three-quarters of respondents to defer or cancel capital projects, reduce investment in start-ups or defer raises for their employees.” Survey: Medical device tax has cost tens of thousands of jobs

Running scared. “A few  points are clear already, though much else remains to be seen:

1.      Peters and other Democrats are terrified of being held responsible for health insurance troubles, so much so that they seek to stifle free speech on the subject.

2.      Boonstra and other sick people are far more sympathetic figures than politicians defending Obamacare.

3.      Whatever the math turns out to be for Boonstra’s case, she has suffered serious disruption and uncertainty thanks to Obamacare’s passage.

4.      There are going to be winners and losers in Obamacare, what with reduced availability of doctors and hospitals as a cost saving measure in many of the less expensive plans.  The losers are going to be very sympathetic figures (see points one and two).” Dem Rep threatens TV stations showing anti-Obamacare ad

Just a reminder of something we already knew but might have forgotten about. “IPAB’s unelected members will have effectively unfettered power to impose taxes and ration care for all Americans, whether the government pays their medical bills or not. In some circumstances, just one political party or even one individual would have full command of IPAB’s lawmaking powers. IPAB truly is independent, but in the worst sense of the word. It wields power independent of Congress, independent of the president, independent of the judiciary, and independent of the will of the people.” The Independent Payment Advisory Board: PPACA’s Anti-Constitutional and Authoritarian Super-Legislature

President Obama

The amazing part is that I still have friends that LOVE Obama. “Ceaser’s speculations are interesting. They draw on comments by Obama intended for public consumption. A heavy discount needs to be applied to these comments. They can’t be taken at face value. Obama is an incredibly cynical figure, seeking to exploit the gullibility of the crowd both in his proclamation of his messiahship and in his explanations of its difficulties.” A Failed Messiah

Religious Liberty

Kiss religious freedom good bye. “The University of Notre Dame must provide birth control to employees and students after a federal appeals court ruled Friday, a move the school says will force it to violate its religious beliefs.

In a blow to religious colleges and universities across the country, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago denied Notre Dame’s request for an injunction to the ObamaCare birth control mandate that requires the school to provide coverage for contraception.” Court: Notre Dame must adhere to ObamaCare birth control mandate

Socialism

Class warfare leads to socialism. But the same thing could never happen here, right?!?!?! “The crisis hasn’t come from nowhere. It is the inevitable product of Chavez’s brand of socialism, which created a base of support by convincing the urban poor that they were the victims of a conspiracy by the rich. The base has been kept on side with social services bought with the use of oil, fostering a false economic boom and a fantasy of progress. Beneath the surface, civil society has been allowed to stagnate. Now that Chavez is dead and the magic gone, there is anarchy. We might even ask if the elections that put Chavezism in office were ever truly legitimate. Yes, they were technically democratic (although the opposition complained that the odds were rigged against them) but the Chavezistas were never really committed to democracy in the orthodox, liberal sense. They were constructing a new order out of clientism. It’s astonishing that their supporters in the West couldn’t see this, that they deluded themselves that Hugo was building a Latin American Sweden.” Venezuela: the Left’s favourite ‘socialist paradise’ is sliding into poverty and dictatorship

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Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, Big Government, Charles Krauthammer, Class Warfare, Common Core, Debt, Diversity, Economy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, IRS, Media Malfeasance, Middle Class, Money in Politics, National News, Obamacare, President Obama, Religious Liberty, Socialism

News and Commentary for February 21

It's National "Sticky Bun" Day. Yummmmmm.

It’s National “Sticky Bun” Day. Yummmmmm!

Stories of the Day

Scary times. In Obama’s world, free press is considerably less free than ever before, and it is about to get even more less free. This story is so important that I’ve posted all that I found on it in my “Stories of the Day” section. “Try this one on for size: The FCC has proposed sending “researchers” into newsrooms across the country to find out why stories impacting minorities aren’t being reported.” Feds to snoop in newsrooms. What could go wrong?

“Last week, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai disclosed the existence of the FCC’s new “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” a study that would send FCC researchers (monitors?) into newsrooms across the nation to determine, among other things, whether news organizations are meeting citizens “actual” as opposed to “perceived” information needs. As designed, the study empowers researchers to not only ask a series of questions of news staff, it also provides (in pages 10 and 11) advice for gaining access to employees even when broadcasters and their Human Resources refuse to provide confidential employee information. The Obama administration FCC is abusing its regulatory authority by attempting to discern the inner workings of American newsrooms.” Echoes of the IRS in the FCC Snooping Scandal

“The FCC explained that it wanted information from television and radio broadcasters “to ascertain the process by which stories are selected, station priorities (for content production quality, and populations served), perceived station bias, perceived percent of news dedicated to each of the eight CIN’s and perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.” The FCC has identified eight CINs, or key topics that the government believes should be covered. According to the actual FCC report, the eight CINs are:

1. emergencies and risks, both immediate and long term;
2. health and welfare, including specifically local health information as well as group
specific health information where it exists;
3. education, including the quality of local schools and choices available to parents;
4. transportation, including available alternatives, costs, and schedules;
5. economic opportunities, including job information, job training, and small business
assistance;
6. the environment, including air and water quality and access to recreation;
7. civic information, including the availability of civic institutions and opportunities to
associate with others;
8. political information, including information about candidates at all relevant levels of local governance, and about relevant public policy initiatives affecting communities and neighborhoods.” FCC Monitors Your News, Komrade

“It’s only taken seven years, but a member of the mainstream media is finally asking “what are they thinking?” That would be the formerly “respectable” Howard Kurtz, the Columbia J-school grad who wrote for the Washington Post and worked for CNN and the Daily Beast, before he fell from grace and landed at Fox News, where he writes: What on earth is the FCC thinking?” [snip] “Well, read the whole thing, because it’s worth it (and read FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai’s rather heroic bit of whistleblowing on the matter, dated February 10, and finally getting some attention beyond the blogs) but before you go, allow me to answer Kurtz’ opening query: “What are they thinking?” Mr. Kurtz, it’s pretty obvious; they’re thinking no one in the mainstream press has asked them a difficult or challenging question in 7 years, so why would they start now.” Over FCC Plans, MSM Finally a Bit Curious re Obama Admin – UPDATED

“Howie Kurtz wants to know what the FCC was thinking when it proposed to monitor how editorial decisions are made in news media. (Including in newspapers, over which they have no jurisidiction whatsoever.)

Oh, She’s got answers. Some of these answers are obvious, but apparently they didn’t occur to Kurtz.

After summing up what they were thinking (which I don’t want to excerpt, because it’s smokin’-hot, and you should click over there), she concludes:

‘The biggest problem in our nation is not the Democrats, or the Republicans; it is not the Obama Administration, just as it wasn’t the Bush Administration, and it won’t be future Clinton or Warren Administrations. Our biggest problem is that the press has voluntarily surrendered its freedoms for the sake of idols and ideologies. Because this is true, our government is either factionalized, fictionalized and bombarded with daily media outrage and indignation, or it is given an utterly free pass, with no accountability required. Either way, it is a process of illusion, which gives assist to the necessary distraction, and that’s all. I didn’t want to write about this today. The truth is, I don’t even want to write about politics, anymore, because it’s all distraction and illusion and theater. I’d be happy to write about prayer and scripture, and nothing else, for the rest of my life, and maybe that’s what I’ll be doing, soon enough. But I am passionate about journalism, passionate about the need for a free press, and so I had to write, today. Without a curious press interested in protecting its own freedoms, there is no there, there. We might as well just put down the mics and turn out the lights, because it’s over.’” “What Was the FCC Thinking?” The Anchoress Answers Howie Kurtz

“The Obama administration has been curtailing press freedom – but that hasn’t ended the press’ drool-cup worship for their beloved president. Despite occasional flare-ups, the relationship between the Obama White House and its press lackeys remains strong. Which is not only a testament to the tyrannical tendencies of the Obama administration, but to the cowardice of those who cover it.” Obama Crackdown on Press Freedom Escalates

Benghazi

If the FCC gets its way, stories like this won’t be allowed to be reported. “Two leading Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say that Michael Morell, former deputy director and twice acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, provided an account of his role on Benghazi that was often highly misleading and at times deliberately false. “I went back and reviewed some of his testimony the other day and he’s gotten himself in a real box,” says Senator Saxby Chambliss, the highest-ranking Republican on the committee. “It’s really strange. I’ve always thought Mike was a straight-up guy, gave us good briefings—factual, straightforward. I mean, this has really been strange the last few weeks—all this now being uncovered.” Lawmakers: CIA #2 Lied to Us About Benghazi

Big Government

When will Congress say “STOP?” “But the aggressive push for climate change is about more than Obama’s desire to shape his legacy as the president who would, as he said in his megalomaniacal 2008 boast, slow “the rise of the oceans” and “heal” the planet. What we are now witnessing is an attempt to create an imperial presidency that seeks to govern without Congress at home as opposed to the traditional model in which commanders in chief conduct wars and foreign policy without being held accountable.” Big Trucks, Obama, and the Rule of Law

Common Core

“Who would have thought the champion of charters and school choice, the foe of teachers unions, was connected to Common Core before most people had even heard the term?  Michelle Rhee is that woman and she has poured millions into getting Republican candidates elected in at least 17 states [in 2012, 90 out of the 105 candidates backed by Rhee were Republicans or conservatives] Texas may be next on the list — see USA Today op-ed co-authored by Rhee and Susan Combs, Texas State Comptroller.” Michelle Rhee: School Choice and Common Core Cheerleader

The Constitution

Thank goodness for Senator Mike Lee. “During a Senate oversight hearing, Lee asked Holder by what legal authority Obama suspended Obamacare’s employer mandate, which covers all companies with 50 or more employees. Holder admitted that he had no ready answer, that there were legal memos on this subject, but that he could not recall what they said. Lee sharply criticized this lack of an answer and requested that Holder provide to the committee copies of the legal memos making the case for Obama to be able to do this.” Eric Holder Can’t Explain if Constitution Allows Obama’s Executive Actions

“The Constitution disperses power among the branches of government and between levels of government to prevent unilateral action and force publicly conducted deliberation.  Mr. Obama has made it clear that public deliberation and the compromises that go with it are not for him.  The question now is, are they for the rest of us?” “Administration Lawlessness? Executive Orders Aren’t the Half of It.” by Clark S. Judge

Debt

Read the whole thing, please. “While Democrats have spent the last few months trying in vain to engender a public outcry about income inequality, the greatest challenge facing the country remains the same: a long-term budget and debt crisis fueled by the rising cost of entitlements that can’t be fixed with token spending cuts or higher taxes on the rich. But the 2015 budget that President Obama will propose this year will ignore it. Instead of building on the discussions that he has had with Republicans in recent years in which he has at least contemplated a form of entitlement reform, there will be no mention of indexing cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients or any other measure intended to check the growth of expenditures by the government. Instead, the president is proposing $56 billion more in federal spending on pet projects.” Obama Budget: Dems Still Status Quo Party

From the UK press. You won’t see anything about it here. “Americans are taking on debt at a rate not seen since just before the country spiraled into the Great Recession. Federal Reserve Bank of New York data out Tuesday indicates that consumers have slowly loosened their belts since the dark days of the recession began in ’07. But the stunningly high rate at which borrowing has risen in recent months, and the nation’s history debt-driven economic downturn, leave room to worry the data could spell impending disaster.” U.S. consumer debt spikes at rate not seen since just before the Great Recession

Elections

SAN ANTONIO, TX–The most recent James O’Keefe expose released on Breitbart Texas showed a Battleground Texas field organizer engaging in a seemingly illegal data mining operation where confidential information from voter registration forms was being collected in an effort to help elect Wendy Davis as governor of Texas. The video has now triggered a process by which an investigation carried by the State of Texas may occur.” Unrepentant Battleground Texas Now Subject to State Investigation

We must not let the Left destroy her, because they will hit her with all they have. “The last thing Democrats want on the national stage is a black conservative Republican, anti-abortion, successful single mom who worked her way through college to achieve her American dream (without seeking government for answers).  They do not want another non-victim-minded black elected official out there touting traditional values, preaching that the rewards of hard work and self-reliance are self-respect and dignity.  It would drive Democrats to drink.” Oh, No! Another Black Conservative Republican Running for Office

Energy

“The steep increase is the result of new rules implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency requiring any new power plant coming on line to use carbon capture and sequestration technologies intended to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases dispatched into the atmosphere. Climatologists maintain man-made greenhouse gases are a primary contributor to global climate change. A number of lawmakers and utility officials assert installing the carbon capture technology in newly constructed power plants can’t be accomplished in a fiscally sustainable manner, meaning power companies will turn to alternative fuel sources like natural gas.” Coal Regulations Could Hike Energy Costs as Much as 80 Percent

Foreign Policy

Does our president have even a clue of the impact his weakness is having upon the world? “It’s clear that around the globe today, the person who is respected and feared and shaping world events is not Mr. Obama, who is seen as an impotent amateur, but the brutal Vladimir Putin, who is reasserting Russian dominance in Ukraine and the Middle East, among other places. We all know Barack Obama is weak and essentially powerless; he simply makes things worse with his bluster. He’s a pushover, and the entire world–our adversaries and our allies–know it.” Obama’s Worthless Threats

“The abandonment of American interests in an effort to provide Moscow with reparations for the perceived offenses of the previous eight years has evolved from puerile and foolish to downright irresponsible. Today, real lives are being lost and the world has been made less secure as a result of the president’s folly.” Rothman: Obama’s Blood-Soaked ‘Reset’ with Russia

“Ukraine joins the long list of countries that have regressed into deeper shadow under President Obama and his two Secretaries of State, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. The list of just those countries we know about because they have have made huge headlines include Iran and its lost Green Revolution, Egypt and the years of chaos begun when the president and his team had four policies vis-a-vis Egypt in as many days, Libya where “leading from behind” was coined, Syria where the red line faded into black, Lebanon and Jordan where the Syrians sought refuge, Iraq where the peace has been forfeited and civil war begun again, Afghanistan where our scamper is underway and the Taliban is waiting, and this week Venezuela and Ukraine where American fecklessness has emboldened the worst of the locals to imprison and kill.” The Obama-Clinton-Kerry Legacy

Why should he? “Ukraine Defense Minister Pavel Lebedev has refused to take multiple phone calls made personally by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Pentagon said Thursday.

“Secretary Hagel has been trying, himself, since early this week,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters. Lebedev refuses “to communicate, to accept a phone call” from Hagel or the Pentagon.” Ukraine defense minister ignores repeated phone calls from Chuck Hagel

Global Warming

Scaring us so they control us even more than they do now. “Climate-change proponents have made their cause a matter of fealty and faith. For folks who pretend to be brave carriers of the scientific ethic, there’s more than a tinge of religion in their jeremiads. If you whore after other gods, the Bible tells us, “the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit” (Deuteronomy 11). Sounds like California. Except that today there’s a new god, the Earth Mother. And a new set of sins — burning coal and driving a fully equipped F-150. But whoring is whoring, and the gods must be appeased. So if California burns, you send your high priest (in a carbon-belching Air Force One, but never mind) to the bone-dry land to offer up, on behalf of the repentant congregation, a $1 billion burnt offering called a “climate-resilience fund.” Ah, settled science in action.” The Myth of ‘Settled Science:’ Computer models of climate change have been dead wrong, yet alarmists aim to quell debate.

Ouch. “Last week, John Kerry burned 12 tons of carbon to travel to Indonesia and declare global warming as the biggest WMD of all. In what has become the general model of climate-change alarmism, he told his audience that Jakarta would soon be half-submerged thanks to the rising of the oceans that the election of his boss supposedly stopped. The Chicken Little spectacle was so embarrassing that Newt Gingrich suggested that Kerry should retire out of embarrassment, if not national security. “A delusional secretary of state,” Gingrich tweeted, “is dangerous to our safety.” In the same speech, Kerry referred to climate skeptics as “Flat Earth Society” holdouts. That caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal and two fellows of the American Meteorological Society, Professors of Atmospheric Science Richard McNider and John Christy. Dr. Christy served at one time on the IPCC, the UN body that pushes anthropogenic climate change as the bogeyman of our time, and shared in its Nobel Prize along with Al Gore. Christy and McNider, however, teach a history lesson to Kerry before addressing his shrieking hysteria on global warming. It was the Flat Earthers who clung to “consensus,” and the skeptics who turned out to be right.” WSJ to Kerry: Flat Earthers were the “consensus” position

Hillary

While MSM is desperately trying to get another “email takes down governor” story going vis-a-vis Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Governor came on my show Wednesday and I asked him about 2016 and the prospects of facing Hillary on the debate stage with so many debacles roiling the world that she, her successor John Kerry, and President Obama had failed to prevent or even ameliorate. The complete transcript of the conversation is here. Governor Walker’s first take on Hillary’s record: I think the biggest problem that Secretary of State Clinton has is much bigger than just that, it’s that she is throughout her adult life, she has been a product of Washington, whether she’s been there, worked there, Secretary of State, United States Senator, not only first lady, but back to her days working on the Hill. And I think Americans now more than ever have had it with the whole bunch in Washington, and they want somebody to come in, actually, they want a group of people to come in and completely turn things around and reform things, and put the power back in the hands of the hard-working people of this country. So I think for her, her connection, her longevity connected to Washington, more than anything, is going to be a huge liability for her.” Scott Walker Assesses Hillary’s Record: “She was good at flying around the world…”

The Left

“Twenty-two years ago an event occurred that was the primary catalyst in the election of the Obama administration with its totalitarian mindset and statist convictions.  The presidential election of 1992 marked the turning point when the American people set in motion the dynamic that has eventuated in the dominance of government by the radical element of the American left.   These ideologues have skillfully exploited an overwhelmingly self-centered and ill-educated populace, while being greatly aided by a foolishly sanctimonious segment of the electorate.   These factors, in combination with a political system that is limited to two political parties, have placed the United States in its present predicament.” The Curse of the Sanctimonious Class

Marriage

Marriage as an “alternative lifestyle?” “But isn’t it fascinating that NBC views a man taking care of his wife and daughter as an alternative lifestyle? I’m glad David Wise won gold, but if this is any indication of media views on normalcy, our society is pretty much doomed.” Being Married With Kids And Young Now Deemed “Alternative Lifestyle” – NBC has interesting ideas about what’s outside the cultural norm

The Media

This: “By the way, 3 years ago today, in the Wisconsin protests, which included teachers who were calling in sick to absent themselves from the classroom, doctors stood on a street corner under a sign that read “I’m a doctor/Need a note?” They were real doctors, putting their names on notes that the protesters could use to excuse their absence from work. When lefty politicians or groups break the law, the press’s attitude is “politics ain’t beanbag.” And this: “But that forbearance doesn’t extend to Republicans.: And this: It’s interesting to watch the press try to do oppo-research and battlespace-prep on every GOP figure who gets mentioned. These are the same people who told us that looking into Obama’s background — or lack of actual accomplishments — was racist, and that looking into Hillary’s background — or lack of actual accomplishments — is sexist.” WISCONSIN SCANDALS THE PRESS NEVER CARED ABOUT

“As we reported earlier, the unfolding situation in Venezuela is not pretty. The protests against Chávez successor Nicolás Maduro‘s regime have reportedly turned violent, similar to the chaos seen in Ukraine.  At least six protesters have been shot, homes have reportedly been raided, and government efforts to suppress the gatherings are underway. Wednesday night was a particularly violent night. Venezuelan journalist Francisco Toro noticed that as the pandemonium unfurls before his country’s eyes, it has barely registered with the international media. In a post for Caracas Chronicles, Toro took major outlets to task for ignoring what has become a slow-motion crumbling of the Latin American country.” Venezuelan Journalist Rightly Wonders Why American Media Ignores Unfolding Crisis

Minimum Wage

The government making everything worse, as usual. “Whether one likes it or not, employers who want their company to survive (let alone prosper) do have to consider the effects of mandated minimum wage-increases on their business’s ability to make a profit (and thereby continue employing people). And that sometimes results in a freezing or even a reduction of staff numbers in particular industries. A well-intentioned flipping of the switch, it turns out, can make matters worse for some of the very people one is trying to help. But another aspect that’s not often considered is how policies emanating from other government institutions undermine the impact of mandated minimum wages. If, for instance, a central bank continues to follow loose monetary policy (as an ultimately ineffective way of trying to compensate for the failure of governments and legislatures to undertake the serious economic reforms that sustain growth over the long term), then the declining purchasing power of a given currency can nullify any beneficial effect of a minimum-wage increase, not to mention the gains of wage rises in general. A 3 percent decline in a currency’s purchasing power over the year, for example, more than halves the real benefits of a 5 percent wage increase in the same year.” Our Minimum-Wage Circus

Obamacare

If Democrats Think They Can Run on Obamacare… they’ve got another thing coming. Check out this absolutely brutal–because it is true–ad that Americans For Prosperity is running in Michigan:

Most of us live in realville. “Out in the world beyond what Washington manufactures and spins, no one would get away with putting out a product as flawed as ObamaCare. Today’s public won’t accept that kind of performance. From the largest consumer-product companies down to the local sandwich shop, you’ve got to deliver the goods at a sustained level of competent execution. Not everyone deserves a gold badge from J.D. Power, but by and large it has become very difficult to sustain a shoddy product in the marketplace anymore. Except the government. And the Democratic Party is nothing if not the party whose identity is bound up with government services and the public unions that deliver those services.  Good enough for government work was once just a joke. Some years ago I sat with a roomful of people in lower Manhattan’s federal Social Security office for a half hour with no discernible forward movement. The clerks seemed to have disappeared. Suddenly a frustrated lady shot up and screamed, “This place is worse than the department of motor vehicles!” To which the guard at the door responded: “Oh no, ma’am. They’re still worse than we are.” Henninger: The Rube Goldberg Democrats: ObamaCare is the party’s unworkable contraption of nonperformance.

ObamaCare: Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius claims “there is absolutely no evidence” that health reform is killing jobs. Liars are legion in politics, but they usually stop short of claiming the sun didn’t rise this morning. In George Orwell’s “1984,” “Doublethink” was the government’s “conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty.” [Snip] “IBD’s John Merline last June surveyed local news reports around the country and found private- and public-sector employers alike “cutting part-time hours specifically so they can skirt ObamaCare’s costly employer mandate.” [Snip] “Lying in the face of massive failure is one thing, Madam Secretary. But denial of obvious realities goes beyond honesty and borders on delusional.” Sebelius Denies Well-Documented ObamaCare Joblessness

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Filed under 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Benghazi, Big Government, Common Core, Constitution, Debt, Energy, Foreign Policy, Freedom of the Press, Global Warming, Hillary, Marriage, Minimum Wage, Obamacare, The Left, The Media, Ukraine, Venezuela

News and Commentary for February 19

No one knows who is responsible for the "Sub Par" signs but they're appearing all over the liberal Los Angeles area.

No one knows who is responsible for the “Sub Par” signs but they’re appearing all over the liberal Los Angeles area.

Stories of the Day

“An unknown artist is covering the streets of Santa Monica, Calif., with posters declaring President Obama to be “subpar.” The artwork, which features images of Obama golfing with the message, can be found on trashcans, in Porta-potties, and on street benches, according to a taco blog in Los Angeles.” Subpar: Anti-Obama Street Art Covers Santa Monica

A companion piece to the post above. “Today’s truly rebellious, free-thinking, edgy and cool, counter-culture anti-establishment movement is entirely on the right of the political spectrum. The Left may try to obfuscate this reality, attempting to paint the Right as agents of the oppressive state, but in the end the truth always wins. It happened everywhere the Left held the power, and it will happen in America, too. But the truth needs our help. We need to spread this notion, especially among the young people: Right is cool. Liberty is cool. Independence is cool. If your young heart desires idealism and adventure, sabotage the oppressive leftist establishment! If you want to hang out with free thinkers and non-conformists, join the Tea Party!” Conservatives Seize the Sub Par Counter-Culture

Will the regular folks like you and me stop giving them the power? Please?!?!?! “No one wants to be the earnest outsider now, no one wants to play the sober steward, no one wants to be the grind, the guy carrying around a cross of dignity. No one wants to be accused of being staid. No one wants to say, “This isn’t good for the country, and it isn’t good for our profession.” And it is all about the behavior of our elites, our upper classes, which we define now in a practical sense as those who are successful, affluent and powerful. This group not only includes but is almost limited to our political class, Wall Street, and the media, from Hollywood to the news divisions. They’re all kind of running America. They all seem increasingly decadent. What are the implications of this, do you think? They’re making their videos, holding their parties and having a ball. OK. But imagine you’re a Citizen at Home just grinding through—trying to do it all, the job, the parenthood, the mowing the lawn and paying the taxes. No glamour, all responsibility and effort. And you see these little clips on the Net where the wealthy sing about how great taxpayer bailouts are and you feel like . . . they’re laughing at you. What happens to a nation whose elites laugh at its citizens? What happens to its elites?” Our Decadent Elites

They have to cheat. It’s the only way they can win. “The footage shows Battleground Texas volunteer Jennifer Longoria saying the group uses the phone numbers from voter registration forms in later efforts to boost turnout on election day. Texas Election Code prohibits the use of, or even the copying of, phone numbers provided by individuals registering to vote.” Exclusive: O’Keefe Busts Illegal Voter Scheme to ‘Turn Texas Blue’

This will make you sleep well at night. “The Clarion Project has unearthed Federal Bureau of Investigations documents detailing a 22-site network of terrorist training villages sprawled across the United States. According to the documents, the FBI has been concerned about these facilities for about 12 years, but cannot act against them because the U.S. State Department has not yet declared that their umbrella group, MOA/Jamaat ul-Fuqra, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.” FBI Docs: Alleged Terrorist Training Compound Discovered in Rural Texas

Climate Change

Tell a lie enough times and the low info types will start believing it… “It is a basic principle of psychological warfare that the side that controls the language of the argument controls the argument. Barack Obama’s own website is using this PsyWar technique by calling opponents of his cap and trade agenda “climate change deniers.”  He has also used the financial resources of the federal government, such as whitehouse.gov, to marginalize everybody who doesn’t agree with him as a climate change denier.” Climate Parasites: The Answer to ‘Climate Change Deniers’

Debt

“However, despite the massive increase in the government’s marketable debt during Bush’s eight years, Obama managed to accumulate more additional marketable debt in his first five years in office than all the presidents who proceeded combined. The marketable debt of the U.S. government includes all debt securities sold by the U.S. Treasury that can be held by individuals, corporations or other entities outside the U.S. government and that can be sold in the secondary market. It does not include money the Treasury has borrowed out of government trust funds—such as the Social Security Trust Fund—to spend on other government expenses when those trust funds were running surpluses.” +106%: Obama Has More Than Doubled Marketable U.S. Debt

Don’t read this if you already worry too much about government spending. “Government debt is twice as large a share of the economy as it was before the financial crisis. In addition to increasing the risk of another catastrophic financial crisis, high government debt squeezes out other functions of government, creates pressure for higher taxes, leaves policymakers less able to respond to future recessions, wars, and terrorist attacks, and lowers future wage growth. This problem will only increase as entitlement spending growth kicks into high gear a few years from now, but simply stabilizing debt/GDP in the mid-70s is an insufficient goal. Don’t rest on your laurels because deficits are smaller than they used to be. High government debt is a big problem.” Why high government debt is a problem

The Economy

The 1970’s are coming… “Food and energy prices are rising, wages are flat and the top concern among Americans is unemployment. What was that word coined in the ’70s to describe a stagnant economy suffering inflationary pressures? Since the Obama “recovery” started 4-1/2 years ago, inflation appears to have been relatively tame, with core prices climbing just 7% from June 2009 to December 2013. But as CBS News discovered when it looked a little closer, the overall number is deceptive. In fact, it found food prices soaring. The official inflation data confirm this. Overall, food prices are up 9% since June 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the cost of many staples is skyrocketing. Pork prices have climbed 14%; poultry is up 12%; eggs, 27%; milk, 20%.” Stagflation, Anyone?

Foreign Policy

“A guy in The Wall Street Journal yesterday had a question about the secretary of state that I feel qualified to answer. “When John Kerry speaks,” Bret Stephens wrote, “people wonder: Is he seriously clever or totally oblivious? Profound or void? Detective Columbo or Chance the gardener?’ The answers are: totally oblivious, void and Chance the gardener. But Stephens is posing the wrong questions here. It’s not his fault, because you’re supposed to take a guy with Liveshot’s supposedly impeccable resume seriously. But the fact is, Kerry is an empty suit’s empty suit, and the only thing about him that should be taken seriously is his career as a gigolo.” Carr: John Kerry is ‘totally oblivious’ and totally loving it all

“They called it “leading from behind.” In normal English, it’s “retreat.” Are they pleased with the results?  As America withdrew from the world, we got new wars.  Terrible wars, complete with weapons of mass destruction (Syria), ethnic and tribal slaughter (Nigeria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran), a revived al-Qaeda (whether “core” or “peripheral”), and growing involvement of the likes of Moscow and Tehran in areas where we used to have something to say.” The Lights Are Going Out. Or Is It On?

Welcome to the results of Obama’s foreign policy. “A militant Islamist group has warned tourists to leave Egypt and threatened to attack any who stay after February 20, raising the prospect of a new front in a fast-growing insurgency in the biggest Arab nation. The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group, which claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed two South Korean tourists and an Egyptian on Sunday, made the statement on an affiliated Twitter account.” Egyptian militants warn tourists to leave or face attack

Green Energy

“President Barack Obama is a masterly practitioner of the occult art of single-entry bookkeeping. Consider his speech today, in which he praised the fuel economy of a new “super truck,” making the point that, since most U.S. freight moves in trucks, lower operating costs for freight operators should in theory mean lower costs for consumers. And he would have a point — if that fuel-economy technology were free. It is not. It costs money to develop. It costs money to deploy. Where it adds to the price of a vehicle, it also adds to ownership costs such as insurance and taxation.” The Problem with ‘Super Trucks’

Hillary

“The U.S. antagonized ‘Canada, for God’s sake. Canada, of all people…’” Krauthammer: Hillary Achieved Nothing As Secretary of State

Hollywood

“Once again NBC ditched Jay Leno for a trophy comic. This despite Jay’s consistent ratings dominance. NBC hopes Fallon will hold Leno’s audience and not become Conan 2. The current late night landscape is populated by 19 comedy/talk shows. Leno was the Everyman, the flyover fave. He was middle of the road, less ironic than David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel. The Caesar salad to their kale. And the only one willing to launch comedic drones over the current West Wing. His competitors haven’t exactly hammered President Barack Obama, hardly a smidgen. The paucity of Obama jokes is the dog that didn’t bark. Like their news anchor counterparts, our hosts go gentle into that late night, despite the target-rich environment of this administration. With his pen and phone, our selfie-absorbed president is one whacked uncle away from appointing himself Supreme Leader.” Johnny Carson’s Head Writer: Late Night Comics Protect Obama

IRS

Only when those on the Left jump on board to criticize something the government is doing do the complaints become legitimate. “The American Civil Liberties Union said it “could pose a chilling effect on issue advocacy” to the disproportionate detriment of “small, poor nonprofits that cannot afford the legal counsel to guarantee compliance.” Labor unions, which do not fall under the regulations, fear that someday they will be included. The simplest way for nonprofits to stay out of trouble, of course, would be to simply shut up. So the likely — and unhealthy — consequence will be to reduce the amount of advocacy and educational information available to the public, not only about elections but about all sorts of policy issues. That’s reason enough for the IRS to scrap the proposal and start over. In guaranteeing freedom of speech and freedom of the press, the First Amendment was meant to promote an informed, aware and engaged citizenry. This rule would do just the opposite.” Editorial: The IRS targets political speech again

Jobs

“The Obama administration might cheer the loss of 500,000 jobs as a welcome release from “job lock,” but I doubt that anyone else would take that view. Preventing low-wage earners from finding employment has particularly diabolical consequences. Minimum wage jobs are typically entry-level. Once a person gets an entry-level job, he can work himself up the ladder. But if a person is frustrated from getting that first job by misguided government policies, he could be faced with a lifetime of welfare, crime or dependence. The social costs of preventing hundreds of thousands of Americans from finding entry-level employment are literally incalculable.” The CBO’s New Report on the Minimum Wage

“CBO — officially the nation’s trusted green eyeshade when it comes to measuring legislation’s impact on the federal budget and the economy — supported the administration’s economic assertions that raising the minimum wage would lift incomes, boost growth, and reduce poverty. But the 39-page report caught the White House by surprise. It said such legislation could reduce employment slightly — or perhaps more considerably (by up to 1 million jobs). CBO tried to settle its own computational quandary in the middle, by saying a hike to $10.10 an hour would reduce employment by ‘roughly 500,000 workers in the second half of 2016.’” Wage Hike Job-Loss Estimates Irk White House

Media

I’ve felt this way about O’Reilly for years. “He inflated his own interview with Barack Obama, which scarcely broke any new ground, into the confrontation of the century and continues to auction off his scrawled notes for the event as if they were the Gettysburg Address.  But that’s the least of it.  Always testy, he has started to become genuinely abusive of his guests.” Bill O’Reilly Does Not Look Out for Me (Anymore)

Obamacare

Lovely. In a nutshell, big government forcing big insurance to do things that big insurance knows won’t keep them in the red forces the tax payer to subsidize big insurance. This: “Industry sources tell the Washington Examiner’s Susan Ferrechio that the Barack Obama administration is thinking of extending the Affordable Care Act’s “risk corridors,” the federal reimbursement program for health-insurance companies that lose money by participating in the newly created health-care exchanges. This is not the first time we’ve seen this idea floated, and frankly, believing that the administration is considering it is all too easy.” And this: “Hey, Democrats don’t represent the taxpayers, they represent the tax-consumers, so it’s all fine.” THESE ARE NEVER HAPPY SURPRISES, ARE THEY? Obamacare’s Latest Surprise for Taxpayers?

“Many hospitals in the 25 states that rejected the Medicaid expansion are facing similar financial problems. Liberal administration ally Think Progress has already faulted Georgia for not expanding Medicaid as Obamacare envisioned. But the reality is more complicated. The federal government has historically made payments to hospitals to cover the cost of uninsured patients seeking free medical care in emergency rooms, as federal law mandates that hospitals must care for all patients regardless of their ability to pay. Because the Affordable Care Act’s authors believed they’d forced all states to implement the Medicaid expansion, Obamacare vastly cut hospital payments, the Associated Press reports.” Fourth Georgia hospital closes due to Obamacare payment cuts

Our Military

“He said certain military members should be compensated more so that they don’t have to rely on other forms of government assistance. Regardless of who is utilizing this program, Hegseth said, “It’s not what this country should be giving back to those who have given so much.” Number of Military Families on Food Stamps Has Nearly Doubled Since Obama Took Office

Politics

“None of the heavy hitters in the top 10 were Republican (three organizations in the top 10 were on the fence). A Republican-leaning organization did not make an appearance on the list until number 17.” None of the Top 10 Biggest Political Donors are Republican

President Obama

“If George W. Bush had decided to issue congress-be-damned executive orders or agency authorization decisions concerning such major areas as immigration, health care, guns, minimum wage, wind farms, global warming, presidential records, natural gas, government travel expenses, establishing bureaucracies, Libya, abortion, pursue accession to the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention, Benghazi – – and this is just a sampling – – he would have been vilified and criticized ad nauseam until Congress acted, which ultimately means by impeachment proceedings.” Not to Impeach is Racist

Unions

Freedom. “Despite the UAW’s attempt to do for the South what it has done to Detroit, the South can continue to practice entrepreneurial federalism. Capital is mobile. It goes where it is welcomed and stays where it is well treated, so states compete to create tax and regulatory environments conducive to job creation. Liberals call this a “race to the bottom.” Conservatives call it a race to rationality.” Breaking the grip of the unions

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Filed under 2014 Elections, Big Government, Charles Krauthammer, Climate Change, Debt, Economy, Elites, Foreign Policy, Green Energy, Hillary, Hollywood, IRS, Jobs, Obamacare, President Obama, Terrorism, The Left, The Media, Unemployment, Unions, War on the Military