Category Archives: Climate Change

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 26

From this day forward, I choose Faith.

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

Stories of the Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AARP

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

Arizona

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

America in Decline

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

Benghazi

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

Big Government Lawlessness

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

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

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

The Economy

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

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

Elections

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

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

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

Food Stamps

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

Global Warming

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

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

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

Hillary Clinton

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

IRS

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

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

These new IRS rules will:

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

Tell the IRS:

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

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

The Left

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

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

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

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

Obamacare

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

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

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

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

Regulation

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

Voter ID

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

Welfare State

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

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

News and Commentary for February 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

News and Commentary for February 15 and 16

It's National "Do a Grouch a Favor Day." Find a Democrat and cheer them up. They know November is coming and they don't like what they see...

It’s National “Do a Grouch a Favor” Day. Find a Democrat and cheer them up. They know November is coming and they are sad…

Here’s what you might have missed as you were enjoying your weekend.

Stories of the Day

Spread the word! “The Revolt Against the Masses” is a brilliantly argued, well-timed case against reactionary snobs who were and remain disgusted with American society. Under the subtitle “How Liberalism has Undermined the Middle Class,” Siegel documents with scholarly detail the arrogance of elites who launched a movement that romanticizes the poor while trying, with distressing success, to dismantle the democratic, capitalist traditions that helped establish the middle class.” ‘The Revolt Against the Masses’ reveals liberalism’s elitist roots

Liberalism is a disease. Can we eradicate it permanently please? “The black ghettos of America, and especially their housing projects, are other enclaves of people largely abandoned to their own lawless and violent lives, their children warehoused in schools where they are allowed to run wild, with education being more or less optional. What is going on? These and other groups, here and abroad, are treated as mascots of the self-congratulatory elites. These elites are able to indulge themselves in non-judgmental permissiveness toward those selected as mascots, while cracking down with heavy-handed, nanny-state control on others.” Mascots of the Self-Congratulatory Elites

Brain-dead.I could go on and on. But these points should refute Biden’s contention that the American people agree with the Democratic Party on “every major issue.” They certainly don’t.” Biden: “[O]n Every Major Issue, the American People Agree With the Democratic Party”

Wonderful.In 2009, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) apologized profusely to the White House for shouting, “You lie!” as President Barack Obama told Congress that Obamacare would not cover illegal immigrants. Now it would appear that the White House owes Wilson an apology, as Covered California–the flagship of state Obamacare exchanges–is recruiting illegal (“undocumented”) immigrants to sign up for the program, regardless of their eligibility.” Obamacare Recruiting Illegals in California

As we lean further left, it’s happening here too. “The genius of the Left — Chavez’s for example — is that it destroys things from the inside out.  They pervert religion, collapse the mores, abolish the family, shred the constitution and gradually expropriate the property. The differences from one day to the next are apparently imperceptible, but it is harder and harder to go back until finally there is no reversal of ‘progressive gains’ possible at all.  The public is finally faced with the stark choice between chaos or authoritarianism.  And most people will chose the Boss over the Mob.” Postmortem

Afghanistan

It was never about the war, but the party in charge. “That’s 1,639 fatalities, an average of 328 per year. That is fewer than Iraq, of course; the Afghan war has always been relatively low-intensity. But the fatalities are, as I said, of the same order of magnitude, and more than 70% of our deaths in Afghanistan have come under Obama, not Bush. One might have thought that an antiwar movement that could turn out 300,000 people for an anti-Iraq war demonstration could turn out 150,000 for an anti-Afghanistan war demonstration. But there is no antiwar movement, and there are no demonstrations; none worth mentioning, anyway. The antiwar movement ended the day Barack Obama was inaugurated.” What Happened to the Antiwar Movement?

We should all be appalled (emphasis mine). “U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan have skyrocketed under President Obama. Since 2009, 73 percent of all U.S. deaths in the country have taken place, amounting to 27.1 fatalities per month, on average. Billy and Karen Vaughn, Gold Star parents of Special Operations Chief (SEAL) Aaron Vaughn who was killed in action in 2011, are speaking out about why.” [snip] “Our government’s incessant tightening of already restrictive ROE (Rules of Engagement), compounded by the failed COIN (Counterinsurgency) strategy—also known as “winning hearts and minds”—has made an otherwise primitive enemy formidable. Our best and brightest come home in body bags as politicians and lawyers dine over white linen tablecloths; writing, modifying, and re-modifying these lethal rules. Rules that favor the enemy rather than the American soldier. Rules so absurd they’re difficult to believe until you hear the same stories over and again from those returning from battle.” ‘I Didn’t Join to Be Sacrificed’: US Troop Deaths in Afghanistan Skyrocket Under Obama

Amnesty

It’s always about the votes. “Barack Obama’s 2012 unilateral legalization of 500,000 young illegals helped him win the 2012 election — at the cost of splitting 500,000 innocent, law-abiding American families for months on end, according to a New York Times article. The ruthless political calculation was buried deep in the low-key article, which was published on page 20 of the local “New York edition” of the national newspaper. Obama directed officials to award work permits to the illegal immigrants, preventing them from preparing green cards for Americans’ foreign-born spouses and children.” What? Obama places partisan calculations above duty

Destroying great countries from within. “He warned that high levels of immigration undermine a sense of shared national identity, saying, “We water [national identity] down because it’s what we think we have to do… it has become very difficult to say what Britishness is or can be or should be for people when immigration happens at this kind of rate.” Many Britons, “including first and second generation immigrants now say there is a problem with the speed of immigration because it changes the country.” Leading British Conservative: Immigration Makes Us ‘Give Up Our Culture and Identity’

Arizona Politics

Time for someone new to step up to the plate? “Today a poll confirms what the censures first suggested: if McCain is planning another run at the Senate — as he recently indicted he would — he may be in for a world of hurt. As Seeing Red Arizona reported, in the latest Rocky Mountain Poll, of over 700 interviewees, which indicate McCain would likely face a very tough race if he were to run for reelection in 2016: McCain’s numbers in the Behavior Research Center’s Rocky Mountain poll showed his job approval at a dismal 37% rating of ‘Excellent/Good.’  His ‘Fair/Poor/Very Poor’ rating was a stunning 56%. The Republican establishment may still love McCain, as he has tossed around Federal goodies like candy for decades around the state. But clearly his contemptuous acts have done him in with the rank and file.” New Poll Shows Dismal Re-Election Prospects for John McCain

Benghazi

Getting closer to the truth. “New information about the intelligence available in the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi attack raises questions about whether the former No. 2 at the CIA downplayed or dismissed reporting from his own people in Libya that it was a coordinated attack and not an out-of-control protest over an anti-Islam video.” Did CIA official suppress Benghazi narrative? Accounts raise new questions

Lying to an entire country to win an election. This: “Just how did the “talking points” issued after the sacking of our Benghazi consulate come to the conclusion that it started as a spontaneous demonstration over a video? A new report from Fox News shows that situation reports from the ground in Benghazi starting on September 12th made clear that the attack was a coordinated, planned assault by terrorists and not a protest run amok. Three days later, a teleconference with survivors of the attack confirmed this. Yet the Obama administration chose to insist that it was a demonstration rather than an attack — frustrating the survivors (via Instapundit).” And this: “That’s why Washington wanted to blame this on a video and a demonstration, rather than admit that AQ and its affiliates had succeeded. To tell the truth in this instance is to expose the shockingly incompetent policies of the administration on Libya and the shocking incompetence at State in dealing with its consequences. The Obama administration could not afford that accountability two months before an election.” Video: Sitreps from Benghazi described “coordinated attacks by extremists”

Big Government

Cronyism on steroids. “In a city or a country run by income inequality campaigners like Barack Obama or Bill de Blasio, the inequality of wealth takes a back seat to the inequality of access. Battling income inequality leads directly to inequality of access by putting the equalizers in charge of picking winners and losers through the agency of an expanding government.” The Inequality of Government Access

We MUST get our government under control. “The Constitutional rights of politically-active citizens across our country are being shredded. As corrupt politicians are engorging on power while trampling over individual rights, it is time to reassert the notion that government’s legitimacy derives from abiding by its limited powers, which ultimately flow from the consent of the governed.” Oblige Government to Control Itself

Climate Change

Just another big government-created disaster. “The one thing that will mitigate droughts in California – a permanent feature of the state – is to restore the water flow from California’s water-heavy north to farmers in the central and south. That’s just what House Bill 3964, which passed by a 229-191 vote last week, does. But Obama’s plan is not to get that worthy bill through the Senate (where Democrats are holding it up) but to shovel pork to environmental activists and their victims, insultingly offering out-of-work farmers a “summer meal plan” in his package. “We are not interested in welfare; we want water,” Nunes told IBD this week. He and his fellow legislator Valadao are both farmers who represent the worst-hit regions of the Central Valley in Congress and can only look at the president’s approach with disbelief. “He’s not addressing the situation,” Valadao told us. “They want to blame the drought for the lack of water, but they wasted water for the past five years,” said Nunes.” Obama blames climate change, not green policies, for California drought

There Obama goes again, attempting to reinvent history… “Actually, the problem for Central Valley farmers is that their water got taken from them by a federal judge, who put a baitfish ahead of human beings. Central Valley’s water-management system was designed to deal with droughts that last as long as five years, but the reservoirs that held its lifeblood got emptied into the ocean to rescue the Delta smelt. It began five years ago, and as Investors Business Daily reports, the locals remember it better than Obama does.” Obama: CA Central Valley drought due to climate change

Communism

Whitewashing Communism. “In America, we constantly, almost obsessively, wrestle with the “legacy of slavery.” That speaks well of us. But what does it say that so few care that the Soviet Union was built — literally — on the legacy of slavery? The founding fathers of the Russian Revolution — Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky — started “small,” merely throwing hundreds of thousands of people into kontslagerya (concentration camps). By the time Western intellectuals and youthful folksingers like Pete Seeger were lavishing praise on the Soviet Union as the greatest experiment in the world, Joseph Stalin was corralling millions of his own people into slavery. Not metaphorical slavery, but real slavery complete with systematized torture, rape, and starvation. Watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, you’d have no idea that from the Moscow metro system to, literally, the roads to Sochi, the Soviet Union — the supposed epitome of modernity and “scientific socialism” — was built on a mountain of broken lives and unremembered corpses.” From Russia with Euphemisms: In the Olympic coverage, Soviet horrors are being swept under the rug.

Debt

This: “We have $100 trillion in unfunded liability, $17.3 trillion in fiscal operating debt, this debt ceiling increase will kick it to about $18.2 trillion,” the radio host said. “Let me tell you something, I am sick and tired of defeatist Republicans going on and on, ‘You’ve got to count the numbers.’” And this: “The American people need to be told: If this continues for many more years, they’re going to lose their pensions, they’re going to lose their savings, they’re going to lose their college funds and the value of the currency is going to crash,” Levin explained. “That is a fact!” ‘I Don’t Give a Damn What They Say’: Listen to the Fiery Rant From Mark Levin That’s Sure to Annoy Some Republicans

“So, the budget stand-off continues, and the national debt will continue to rise to unsustainable levels. Perhaps that would change if two things happened: Candidates emerged in both parties who presented a serious threat to members of Congress who refuse to deal seriously with both the revenue and spending sides of the budget and if voters and the media focused more on the quality of candidates instead of the contrived hubris that distracts the nation from its greatest priorities.” The Register’s Editorial: Congress finally ends debt ceiling nonsense

“What, really, is the whole point of the debt ceiling if it is meaningless as a tool to restrain government spending and debt? If the debt ceiling can be routinely raised simply by the president requesting it, why have it at all? The existence of a debt ceiling has meant nothing, as Obama has added more than $6 trillion in national debt since he took office. National debt will be 74 percent of GDP by the end of the year, double what it was when Obama took office. President George W. Bush added about $5 trillion to the national debt during his eight years in office.” Ted Cruz takes heat for telling the truth about debt limit

Reality. “On Social Security, politicians should get out of the middle and let workers select their own retirement ages. Those who want to retire earlier could pay more in Social Security taxes. Those who want to retire later could pay less. This can easily be structured to make the system financially solvent for future generations of retirees. On Medicare/Medicaid, the answer cannot be found in some budget gimmick. The only solution is to lower the cost of medical care. This will require a fundamental change in health care policy so that individuals can make the decisions about their own medical care. The current approach of letting the government and insurance companies decide will never reduce costs. When it comes to national security, the key question is to define our military mission. The current strategy is for the U.S. to play the world’s policeman. A less expensive approach would be to focus our military efforts on defending the vital interests of the United States. There is plenty of room for healthy debate on all these topics. But the debate is needed. Any budget discussion that fails to address these three core issues is not a serious discussion.” Getting a grip on the realities of the federal budget

The Economy

We should all be marching on Washington to demand our money back. “This outlook is grounded in hard facts. Those who dwell in the environs of our imperial capital ought to be optimistic about their wealth, their income, their power, and their general standard of living.  The states of the union have 3,144 counties (or county equivalents).  All of the counties in America in the top tenth of one percent in income are nestled around the imperial capital, Washington, D.C., and half of the counties in America within the top one percent of income are also parasitical appendages to the District of Columbia.” Where the Economy is Great

This: “More forgotten insult to grievous injury: the telling moment when New York Times columnist David Brooks giggled on Jim Lehrer’s PBS show that Obama had told him off the record in 2009 that the shovel-ready promise was a crock, but that he sat on the truth until the Times’ Peter Baker reported the admission more than a year later in October 2010.” And this: “While the lapdogs of the Fourth Estate snicker along with the White House about their lies and cover-up, the Wreckovery Act wreckage continues to pile up. And now the White House wants more money to burn for Porkulus Redux. Retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., was right when he warned five years ago that the “morally reprehensible” stimulus represented “the worst act of generational theft in our nation’s history.” It’s no joke. It’s a $2 trillion travesty built on criminal government malpractice. Take that and shovel it.” Five Years Later: How’s That Wreckovery Working Out for Ya?

Elections

In Michigan no less!!! “Democrats will now have to pour money into Michigan in order to try to hold this seat. This itself is good news, but the prospect of turning over yet another seat makes Senate control and even greater possibility for the GOP in 2015.” Dems face another unexpected Senate seat potential loss

Can someone please explain to this Democrat who is really responsible for the “locked-outness?” “Clearly, Williamson is not your straight-from-central-casting hippie-dippy-California spiritual type. She is tall, brunette, beautiful, and quite squarely put together: sharp features, a strong chin, a firm handshake. Her bearing is businesslike and utterly without pretension. The spiritual life has clearly been good to her. She speaks confidently, rapidly. She is relentlessly on message, and her message is simultaneously aggressive and unifying. “I think there’s a basic disintegration in our democratic foundation which is not being addressed by either major political party,” Williamson tells me. “Part of the problem I have with the status quo is that they only speak to the selfish interest of the American people, and I believe the American people are better than that.” Her primary concern is that “Americans are feeling locked out of the system.” When I gently point out that the 33rd District, locus of countless Obama fundraisers and home to some of L.A.’s richest, most famous, most beautiful souls, ranks fairly low on any scale of locked-outness, she immediately agrees. “This is definitely one of the least locked-out districts.” That being said, “We are more than economic creatures. We have a soul.” She continues, benevolently, “I am not speaking to the rich in you, or the poor in you. I am speaking to the American in you.” God Help Us

The EPA

If they can do it there they can do it anywhere… “Wyoming officials are taking the Environmental Protection Agency to court in a bid to reverse a sweeping agency ruling that transferred more than 1 million acres of land — including an entire city — to Native American tribes.” Wyoming officials take EPA to court after ruling gives land to tribes

Freedom

Emphasis mine. “The other reason I’m moving, if the creek don’t rise, is that when I moved to California in 1976, Jerry Brown was governor. It was barefoot hippie girls, Hell’s Angels on the Sunset Strip, East L.A. lowriders, the ocean and nature. It was this fabulous incredible place about freedom. Now when I think about California, I think of a liberal oppressive police state and regulations and taxes and fees. I’d rather go someplace and have my own little place out on the edge of town. I’m a country girl at heart. It makes me happy when I see people in Texas open-carrying. It makes me feel safe. I’m not even a gun owner, but I’d like to see a gun rack in every pickup truck, like my boyfriend had when I was fifteen years old in Florida. An armed society is a polite society.” Punk Rock Icon Exene Cervenka: California Now ‘a Liberal Oppressive Police State’ of ‘Regulations and Taxes And Fees’

Hillary Clinton

“As far as Bill and Hillary Clinton are concerned, the media’s horizon of expectations is stunningly narrow. It encompasses on the one hand the belief that the “secretary of explaining stuff” is a national treasure beyond reproach, and on the other hand the expectation that the former secretary of state will be our next president. Stories that fall outside of this horizon are problematized, scrutinized, ascribed to partisanship, and read with the sort of incredulity reporters are supposed to apply to public figures such as the Clintons.” The Golden Egg: The Hillary Papers and the Death of the Mainstream Media

“The phrase “Clinton fatigue” entered the political lexicon during the previous century; by this point, we surely must have entered the age of Chronic Clinton-Fatigue Syndrome. But the recent making public of the so-called Hillary Papers — the notes kept by her close friend Diane Blair during Mrs. Clinton’s tumultuous White House years, as reported by the Washington Free Beacon — shed additional light on the character of the “co-presidents” who just will not go away.” Hillary, Relentless and Shameless

The IRS

“They smell a rat – On Super Bowl Sunday, President Obama famously told Bill O’Reilly that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” in the targeting. But a new Fox News poll found 64 percent of voters, including a bare majority of Democrats, thought the targeting was corrupt. Nine months after the scandal first went public, 71 percent still want Congress to continue investigating.” Way more than a smidgen: Voters say IRS corrupt

Our brothers and sisters on the other side of the aisle should be as disgusted by this as we are… “While the IRS goes after individuals and small businesses as ordered by the White House, there still hasn’t been any punishment for those who unjustly pursued Frank Vandersloot. Lois Lerner has disappeared from the headlines after Democrats protected her, and the IRS “investigation” is led by a friendly Obama donor. All this has led Democrats facing election in 2014 to feel emboldened to complain openly about the IRS not doing enough as an organ of the Democratic Party. Maybe I’m a paranoid Republican, but you don’t have to be a conspiracist to see that there is an ominous pattern emerging of the IRS being involved on behalf of the president’s political interests.” The Insiders: The IRS, the Democrats’ cat’s paw

Expanded commentary on the editorial linked above. “In the comments section to Rogers’ post, I find a smattering of liberals arguing the old, disproven, “liberal groups were targeted too” approach to the subject. It demonstrates once again how the Big Lie works, and how in the case of the IRS scandal (no longer a scandal, apparently) it soothed the liberal troops, at least some of whom might have otherwise become alarmed by what had occurred. I wonder, though, how much the IRS scandal has affected Obama’s and the Democrats’ ratings with the public. I can’t find any polls about the subject since last summer, but my guess is that it has had some part in the downturn. I certainly hope so; all Americans of any political stripe should be highly alarmed, although of course that isn’t happening. One of the most pernicious reasons is ignorance of history; some people say, “Oh, all administrations do this.” No, they don’t; not like this in terms of extent and success. Nixon was excoriated for wanting to do it in the Nixon tapes, and the assumption has been that he did do it. But in fact for the most part he failed at it. Why? Because the heads of the IRS at the time would not cooperate (see this for a background discussion).” Your friendly neighborhood IRS

The hits just keep on coming. “Have you heard that the IRS has been working with the Treasury to quietly authorize Affordable Care Act-related taxes that exceed its statutory jurisdiction? The Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon has been sounding the alarm about the questionable legal basis for this new IRS expansion of power. Cannon reports that the IRS and Treasury Department have rolled out possibly illegal taxes for the payment of Obamacare’s premium subsidies in states that declined to establish their own exchange. As written, the ACA only directs the IRS to impose specific taxes and pay premium subsidies in state-established exchanges. Yet, as Cannon writes: “Nevertheless, agency officials agreed, again with apparent unanimity, to impose those taxes and dispense those subsidies in states with federal exchanges, the undisputed plain meaning of the PPACA notwithstanding.”” IRS scandal merely tip of iceberg of agency’s problems

Wow, from the New York Post editorial board no less. “Congress has been trying to get to the bottom of things with hearings, but it has not had much help from the administration. That’s partly because the Department of Justice is hiding behind the idea that it can’t do anything that might jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation. We believe this gets priorities backward. The Constitution does not hold government agencies such as the IRS accountable to the FBI. The Constitution holds the government accountable to the people, acting through their elected representatives in Congress.” Calling Lois Lerner

Eric Holder

Voter rights for felons. “All he talks about is the restoration of voting rights for felons. What he fails to mention is the fact that you don’t just lose your right to vote. In most states, you lose your rights to own a gun, to sit on a jury, to engage in certain kinds of employment like being a police officer. Nowhere does he say a word about restoring those rights. That tells me he is only interested in the potential votes.” Resurgent Holder pushes agenda

Medicare

The truth about which party is really pushing grandma off the cliff… “Then, during a telephone town hall with seniors from around the country, he said he wanted to respond to what he called “hysterical claims” about his plan. “Here’s the truth…” he said, “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” That is the promise he made — several times. But here’s the reality. To help pay for his health care law, the president made deep cuts to the successful Medicare Advantage program, which serves nearly 30 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries. This includes seniors with low incomes, patients with chronic conditions and Americans in rural areas. It’s a win-win program that gives seniors more control over their care and delivers better value for both them and the taxpayer. But now, because of the president’s health care law, I’m hearing from seniors in my district who have already lost their doctors. Constituents tell me they can no longer see the primary care physicians they have been going to for ten and even twenty years.” GOP: Obama’s Medicare cuts ‘a breach of faith with seniors’

Michelle Obama

While you were struggling to make ends meet… “America, you know how to treat a president and his family. With another Presidents’ Day bachelor holiday planned by President Obama, this time golfing in California, and Aspen, Colo., resort reporters on the lookout for the annual first lady ski trip this weekend, the taxpayer’s tab for the first family’s vacations has topped $2.4 million. But that’s just the start. That total is just from the skimpy documents detailing travel and security expenses obtained by the public watchdog group Judicial Watch from a handful of first family vacations. When all of the reporting of the first family’s 22 vacations to Hawaii, Martha’s Vineyard, Spain, Colorado, Florida, Africa and elsewhere is added up, the estimate reaches over $18 million when hotel and resort rent, security hotel and car rentals, and airfare are included.” Fore! Another golf holiday brings Obama vacations to 22, $18 million

Speaking more truth to power. “Here’s my bottom line, I couldn’t care less how much Michelle Obama’s gown cost. I’d love for every woman to have the opportunity to wear a gown like that in her life. Designer clothes are expensive because of the work that goes into them and I’m happy Caroline Herrera got paid for the work she did. Herrera reaped the reward of having a First Lady wear her art and product thanks to hard work. The issue is the Obamas and President Hollande lecturing the rest of us about how much money we should make, how we spend our money and how much of our money they are entitled to. People like Hollande and the Obamas are either elitist hypocrites or they don’t really believe in the socialist policies they preach about and implement for the rest of us.” The Painful Irony of Michelle Obama’s $12,000 Dress

President Obama

An appropriate analogy of what Liberals do when they are in charge of government. “If you don’t bother to pay attention or even vote, you get a liberal in the White House and a bunch of them in Congress. When you get liberals in power, you get bad laws. When you have bad laws, you need penalties to ensure compliance. When you have more penalties, you need more enforcers. When you have more enforcers, you lose your freedom to run your business. When you can’t run your business, you lay off people. When you lay off people, they go on welfare and food stamps. When they go on welfare and food stamps, they vote for lawmakers who will give them more free stuff. To pay for more free stuff, the government raises taxes and borrows money from China to service the national debt. When China crooks its finger, Uncle Sam crawls to Beijing, asking for mercy. Don’t make Uncle Sam crawl to Beijing asking for mercy.” When you give liberals the Oval Office

In my humble opinion, because of the color of his skin, there is no line. “We’re becoming numb to the overwhelming “magnitude of the misdeeds.”  And so we twiddle our thumbs while Big Government meddles and Obama bullies and his congressional orchestra fiddles — and our nation burns.  Maybe it’s already “over and we just don’t know it.”” Where Is the Red Line of Impeachment?

“The president of our country is a fraud. He and his administration lie with alarming frequency and effect. The media who are supposed to keep him accountable are mostly frauds. We live in perilous times for the rule of law.” The Great Fraud

This: “He just couldn’t resist the dumb shot at Hannity at the very end, but the rest of the segment is pretty tough on Democrats, especially Pelosi.  It looks like Stewart is still processing his disgust over her catastrophic Daily Show appearance last week.  In any case, liberals often object to these sorts of attacks on Obama with cries of, “b-b-but Bush did it, too!”   True.  The tradition of handing out ambassadorships to big donors has a long history in both political parties.  What makes Obama’s indulgence in the practice uniquely noteworthy is the comprehensive expiration of his previous self-congratulation on the issue.” And this: “Shameless. Not only did Obama break his high-minded promise, he’s become a worse violator than any of this recent predecessors — both in terms of percentages and dollar amounts.  I’d say I’m shocked, but I’m basically done being taken aback by the degree to which this guy is a complete fraud.” Obama’s bundler/ambassador ‘corruption’ is worse than Jon Stewart realizes

Obamacare

“The president is in a situation similar to that of Indiana Jones who is pursued by a gigantic accelerating boulder. He took the money from the elderly without really knowing how he was going to square the account. In fact he’s been creating new expenses and commitments at a dazzling pace. Risk corridors for the insurance companies, reinsurance payments, retroactive coverage to people who can’t even be found in the porous Obamacare system … The only way he can keep ahead of the thundering mass of granite behind him is to issue exemption after exemption after exemption in the hopes of surviving one more instant. What we are witnessing now is the transformation of a financial crisis into a political and finally a constitutional crisis.” Carlo Pietro Giovanni Guglielmo Obama

Duh! Poll: Majority Believe Purpose of Obamacare Is For Government to “Control Our Lives”

OMG, who could have possibly seen this as an unintended consequence of Obamacare??? “In a nutshell, all of this consolidation is quickly yielding more and more power and influence for already-powerful hospitals in determining prices, which in turn is likely to result in less competition and still higher prices for consumers.” NYT: Private practice doctors are fleeing to hospitals, and that is not a pro

Big healthcare. “I can’t believe that this switch is ultimately in the patient’s interest. A private practice physician is independent and the decisions he makes for your care are based on what’s best for you, not what some green-eye-shade hospital bureaucrat thinks is “efficient” or “cost effective.” Those goals are very nice — as long as the patient’s health is not sacrificed in their name. In the end, I want a doctor making decisions in consultation with me regarding my health. You can’t be sure if that will hold true when all doctors are working for Big Medicine.” Doctors Abandoning Private Practice in Droves to Work at Hospitals

Is the backlash underway, or are folks still numb to it all? “How long can the Obama supporters remain loyal to this catastrophe of a law? Common sense and independent thought are fundamental to the American psyche, so when the facts become clear, Americans typically see the truth. January 2014 polling from Gallup shows a startling increase in the percentage of Americans who now view health care as the nation’s most important problem, quadrupling from only 4 percent to 16 percent in just one year. And the most dramatic uptick is specifically among the very groups who were critical in reelecting this president.” When Will Backlash Occur?

Unions

Some good news for a change. “The UAW and the AFL-CIO have thrown their lot in with the Democratic Party, supply vast fund and manpower to it, so it should be no surprise that it has enemies in the GOP. They have also managed to kill jobs in the private sector, so it should be no surprise that workers, looking at the track record, might conclude that a vote for unionization would bring to Chattanooga the same the same forces that have devastated Detroit.” UAW crashes in Volkswagen unionization defeat

“The full weight of the UAW was thrown into this vote, with heavy pressure placed by union reps on workers. One of those workers explained to the New York Times. Standing outside the Volkswagen plant, Mike Jarvis, a three-year employee who works on the finishing line, said the majority had voted against U.A.W. because they were persuaded the union had hurt Detroit’s automakers. “Look at what happened to the auto manufacturers in Detroit and how they struggled. They all shared one huge factor: the U.A.W.,” said Mr. Jarvis, who added that he had had bad experiences with other labor unions. “If you look at how the U.A.W’s membership has plunged, that shows they’re doing a lot wrong.” This isn’t the end of union organizing efforts in southern right-to-work states. There are 13 other plants that the UAW will now target in the south. But Chattanooga workers have shown that when a free and fair election is held with the secret ballot, it will be an uphill climb for the union to make inroads. Also, it isn’t likely that Toyota or other foreign auto makers will support the UAW drive the way that Volkswagen did.” Workers Reject UAW at Tennessee VW Plant

“So how does the union explain its defeat? It does so by saying it lost due to “outside interference.” The union said in a statement that it lost due to “a firestorm of interference and threats from special interest groups.”  What were these groups doing, in particular? The union is undoubtedly referring to billboards paid for by one of Grover Norquist’s groups opposing unionization. Signs! Does the UAW really think an anti-union billboard forced them to lose? A sign is hardly anything like attacking workers with billy clubs and rifles, which was standard fare in the 1930s. Those attacks created sympathy for the union cause. The union undoubtedly had its own signs and literature, which workers freely read. As the union statement acknowledged,  “While we certainly would have liked a victory for workers here, we deeply respect the Volkswagen Global Group Works Council, Volkswagen management and (German union) IG Metall for doing their best to create a free and open atmosphere for workers to exercise their basic human right to form a union.”  (my emphasis)” Why the Tennessee Volkswagen Workers Voted Against the UAW

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Filed under 2014 Elections, Afghanistan, Amnesty, Arizona Politics, Benghazi, Big Government, Climate Change, Communism, Cronyism, Debt, Economy, EPA, Eric Holder, Freedom, Hillary, Medicare, Michelle Obama, Obamacare, President Obama, Senator John McCain, Unions

News and Commentary for February 6

Happy Birthday President Reagan. Oh how we miss you.

Happy Birthday President Reagan. Oh how we miss you.

Story of the Day

Misguided. “In a lovely illustration of the truism that progressives really haven’t the slightest clue what it is that conservatives believe, the Huffington Post’s Senior Congressional Reporter, Michael McAuliff, spoke for the cabal, suggesting ludicrously that,

“There’s an irony in the GOP complaining that ACA lets people quit jobs. I mean, what’s wrong with freedom?”

To answer a remarkably misguided rhetorical question, there is nothing at all “wrong with freedom.” As Patrick Henry rightly argued, above all other things “liberty ought to be the direct end” of government, for, after that, everything else is mere indulgence. But there is an awful lot “wrong” with using the word “freedom” where it does not apply. After all, it is one thing for a person to choose not to work and to accept the natural consequences of that decision, but quite another indeed for a person to choose not to work because others are being forced to subsidize his well-being. One can reasonably attest that redistributing wealth to underwrite preferred social outcomes is “necessary” or “virtuous” or “kind” or “practical” — or even, more cynically, that it is the inexorable end product of a democratic system in which one man can vote himself the contents of another’s wallet. But one cannot claim that it makes either man “free” — at least not without twisting the word and the concept that it represents beyond all meaningful recognition.” Obamacare’s Attack on the Work Ethic: Changing people’s incentives doesn’t make them freer

Afghanistan

Ineptitude. “Failed Diplomacy: Would you rather deal with mass murderers or incompetents? The Afghan government chose the Taliban over the Obama administration, but in the end both Afghanistan and the U.S. got rolled. Just 12 years after American forces’ historic liberation of Afghanistan in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the very same bloodthirsty Taliban we ousted, still fully committed to terrorist jihad and Shariah law, are on a short path back into power.” Taliban Played Obama And Afghan President For Fools

Big Government

Wasting our hard-earned tax dollars, one dollar at time. “President Obama’s Department of Labor appointees have shaken things up at the Department, but probably not in ways you would expect. An investigation of DOL practices reveals that Obama appointees are wasting time and resources with public-relations busy work, weird morale-boosting exercises, and many other activities that have nothing to do with helping U.S. workers. [snip] Four DOL insiders agreed to be quoted by NRO while others provided additional details and corroboration. All requested anonymity and expressed fear of retaliation. All described a workplace where pressure to join in time- and money-wasting activities unrelated to job tasks was subtle but insistent.” Wasteful High Jinks at the Labor Department: Staffers slam DOL busy work, propaganda, and favoritism. 

They’re coming for your private dinner parties next. “Good news! Today both cooks and diners can get what they want. A new Internet business brings them together. Bad news: Bureaucrats and the media worry that the dinner parties are not regulated. [snip] But most of the regulation is useless. It’s the need to maintain one’s reputation that does most to keep us safe — especially today, with instant feedback from the Internet. No clumsy government regulation is needed. Government (so far) doesn’t micromanage private dinner parties. Charging a fee shouldn’t make a difference. [snip] Government pretends it must have a place at the table, but free people ought to be able to eat without government permission.” Reputation Versus Regulation

Busted. “The Obama administration’s Treasury Department and former IRS official Lois Lerner conspired to draft new 501(c)(4) regulations to restrict the activity of conservative groups in a way that would not be disclosed publicly, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means.” Email: IRS’s Lerner, Treasury Department secretly drafted new rules to restrict nonprofits

Not a smidgen. “The document, an email from Treasury Department tax policy attorney Ruth Madrigal to a group of IRS officials including the disgraced Lois Lerner. ‘Don’t know who in your organizations is keeping tabs on c4s,’ Madrigal wrote, quoting an election law blog and referring to the 501(c)(4) tax-exempt groups that were the subject of the tea party targeting scandal, ‘but since we mentioned potentially addressing them (off plan) in 2013, I’ve got my radar up and this seemed interesting.” IRS planned secret new rules to justify targeting tea party groups two years ago, reveals bombshell email

If it’s such a phony scandal, without a SMIDGEN of credibility, then why the apology? “The new head of the IRS has apologized to those who suffered because of the agency’s targeting of conservative groups, after he testified before a House subcommittee for the first time. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told reporters after the hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee that the singling out of such organizations for special scrutiny would be “intolerable,” and vowed the IRS is not doing so now. ‘It won’t happen going forward,” Koskinen said. “And to the extent that people suffered accordingly, I apologize for that.’” New IRS chief apologizes to targeted conservative groups after House hearing

Simple solution: simplify the tax code Mr. President. “Mr. Obama wants Americans to believe that the targeting resulted from the confusing tax law governing nonprofits, which he says was “difficult” to interpret and resulted in mere “bureaucratic” mistakes. This is also the Administration’s justification for issuing new regulations governing 501(c)(4)s that would effectively silence White House opponents this election year. Published in the Federal Register in November, the new rules cite the “lack of a clear and concise” regulation as reason for the rewrite.” Obama’s IRS ‘Confusion:’ New evidence undercuts White House claims about IRS motivation

Climate Change

Creating mass hysteria for more control over the “little people.” “A favorite progressive pastime is to highlight the rubes who look out of their windows and make grand pronouncements about trends based solely on the weather that afternoon. “Weather is not climate,” they scream, rolling their eyes and muttering about science-with-a-capital-S. This is correct; weather is not the same as climate. But neither is every serious catastrophe that befalls mankind indicative of the end times, requiring of presidential intervention, and attributable to the bogeyman du jour — however dramatic the special effects in the monster flick might turn out to be.” Don’t Blame Climate Change

Education

Comments from a long time teacher. “Enter Common Core. Yes, it must be stopped, but stopping it won’t make things better; it will only put the brakes on education’s downward spiral. What’s needed to rectify the situation is a complete attitude adjustment. We have to face that fact that not everyone is equally a teacher and that not all kids are equally students. Both parents and schools must work together to provide an equal chance for every child to become an educated person, and that chance has be centered on consistent opportunity for contact with excellent teachers, teachers who can stand on their own success and don’t have to be propped up by a union, teachers who are attracted by the respect, both emotional and financial, that the society affords them.” Common Core and Unionitis

Elections

Ultimately both parties will oppose this, but I think it’s about time. “The bill would limit members of Congress—in both the House and the Senate—from serving more than 12 years in either chamber, or 24 years total between the two chambers. “Believe me, 24 years is more than enough time to serve in Washington,” Mulvaney said in a statement.” Rep. Mulvaney Introduces Congressional Term Limits Bill

Income Inequality

What a lot of us REALLY resent. “For practical purposes, people don’t live in the United States of America. They live in their neighborhoods, towns and communities. Yes, these are American communities, but your neighbors live in your neighborhood, not seven states over. Your kids don’t go to “U.S. schools”; they go to the school down the road. Yet most of our money goes to the government in Washington, and so does most of the power. Why not flip that around? Want to see the rich, poor and middle class interact more? Give them a reason to show up to a city council or school board meeting. Sure, money has power at the local level, too, but so do votes. Moreover, when rich people get their way at the local level, people usually know who they are and why they are doing things. And you can bend their ear at the supermarket or at soccer practice. But when all the decisions are made in Washington or New York, most Americans are simply out of the loop. And they resent it.” Think Power Inequality

The Left

But they’re so much smarter than the rest of us! “Apparently, Pacific-corridor residents from San Diego to Berkeley had acquired the affluence not to worry so much about the old Neanderthal concerns like keeping up freeways and airports — and their parents’ brilliantly designed system of canals, reservoirs, and dams that had turned their state from a natural desert into a man-made paradise. They have become similar to the rarified Eloi of science-fiction writer H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine, who live dreamy existences without any clue how to supply their own daily necessities. Californians have not built a major reservoir since the New Melones Dam more than 30 years ago. As the state subsequently added almost 20 million people, it assumed that it was exempt from creating any more “unnatural” Sierra lakes and canals to store precious water during California’s rarer wet and snow-filled years.” California’s Two Droughts: An affluent society didn’t bother to add to the inherited system of canals and reservoirs that made it thrive.

They must think that money grows on trees. “Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is increasingly a textbook example of how far the Democratic party has moved to the left since Bill Clinton’s day. Emanuel, who cut his teeth in Clinton’s administration, just presided over a $1.9 billion increase in Chicago’s debt, only months after Moody’s downgraded the city’s bond ratings three notches based on its growing and unsustainable spending and debt obligations. Supported by a supine city council, Emanuel has just tacked another mountain of borrowing onto what the city already has to do, split almost evenly between unspecified “general obligations” and bonds for Midway Airport. All told, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Windy City has $29 billion in long-term debt. When challenged on the most recent round of borrowing, Emanuel dismissed the questions, comparing the city to “a lot of families” who refinance their homes.” Chicago Votes to Go the Way of Detroit

Obamacare

“The CBO report noted that the health care law’s insurance subsidies are gradually taken away as income rises, “creating an implicit tax on additional earnings.” Dr. Gottlieb said that means some middle-class and lower-income people will decide that the government subsidies are more attractive than working more and paying higher taxes. “They’re going to lose more in subsidies than it’s worth what they’re making in income,” he said. “So it remakes the whole wage-labor relationship, and that’s what I think CBO is starting to recognize. We’ve never subsidized the middle class like this. This is going to have a much different effect on the labor force than anything we’ve ever done.” Specter of welfare state jolts Democrats; CBO hits election pitches for jobs

“CBO’s analysis is rooted in ObamaCare’s complex design that includes new subsidies, taxes and mandates. For low-wage, lower-skilled or discouraged workers in particular, ObamaCare offers incentives that can force them to trade jobs for entitlement benefits.” The Jobless Care Act

“We seem to recall a time when the country’s leaders celebrated things like drive, determination, hard work and the desire for a better life even if it meant facing long odds and tall challenges. Now they’re cheering for a law because it will encourage, if not force, able-bodied workers to quit their jobs, cut their hours and become still more dependent on the federal government.” The Left’s Lamest Defense Of ObamaCare Yet

Olympics

I couldn’t stop laughing at this U.S. sports journalist’s tweet. “To anyone in Sochi: I am now in possession of three light bulbs. Will trade for door knob handle. This offer is real.” And the gold medal for the most vile thing at Sochi goes to . . .? (Clue: it’s not Putin) Olympic visitors’ horror at hotels awash with stray dogs, brown water, bugs and no light bulbs

President Obama

Haters gonna hate, not legislate.” “Instead, he declared O’Reilly “unfair” in a peevish and tired answer that, if he believes it’s true, is an indictment of his own decisions and those of the staff booking this interview. He had an opportunity to communicate with a giant swath of the country that does not agree with him, with a huge assist from a host who does, on a legislative goal he could conceivably accomplish. He knew O’Reilly agreed with him on this issue and mentioned it in passing during a more contentious part of the interview, but this was an obvious chance to give the pitch and close the deal. The folks are watching! Convince them! For all the hype about Obama’s oratory skills, his persuasion skills in anything other than a presidential election leave much to be desired.” Another whiny answer about Fox in the O’Reilly interview is what’s wrong with Obama’s presidency

We can only hope. “A couple of cautionary notes are in order. Obama has been a veritable Fran Tarkenton as an escape artist (apologies to Tarkenton, a solid conservative), and he has a powerful offensive line, the news media, running interference for him. If only the GOP were as effective as the Seattle Seahawks defense! At this point, while reality does seem to be closing in on Obama, the whistle has not yet blown, and the play is not over.” Is Obama About To Be Sacked?

Just a little reminder as to where Obama started his political career. “Back in 1996, Obama was one of three hothouse flowers groomed and watered until he bloomed by the Chicago Socialist Party. It was the the Socialist Party in Chicago (called the “New Party”) that helped launch and finance Obama’s political career, taking him off the streets where he was a Community Organizer and putting him in public office for the first time. There is nothing to misread about Obama’s political stripe. [snip] For sure, Obama is not the only activist trying to bring America under the brutal heel of Marxism. It’s worse, because he’s the only thoroughly Marxist activist who made it twice to the White House presidency where he continues to deliberately crush America and the Free West that depends on it.” Can a Marxist who wants to take down the Free West really be “not a bad guy”?

Terrorism

Yikes! “An attack on California electrical transformers in April is believed by some to be a practice round for a terrorist attack on the U.S. power grid. The coordinated attack began outside of Silicon Valley where attackers cut telephone wires at 1 a.m. on April 16, according to the Wall Street Journal. About half an hour later snipers shot at an electrical substation for about 19 minutes, destroying 17 transformers in the process. The attackers escaped before police arrived and remain at large.” Attack on a California Transformer Could Have Been Dress Rehearsal for Terror Attack on Power Grid

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