Category Archives: Crony Capitalism

News and Commentary for January 24

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News and Commentary for January 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News and Commentary for January 15

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under 2014 Elections, Benghazi, Big Government, Class Warfare, Crony Capitalism, Freedom, Hillary, Iran, IRS, Marxism, Mayor De Blasio, Obamacare, The Left

News and Commentary for January 13

It's Monday. Try and have some fun!

It’s Monday. Try and have some fun!

In case you missed it, here’s a rundown of the events of the Maricopa County GOP annual meeting. Maricopa Country Republican Brief for January 11, 2014

My mother-in –law was denied medical care last week. Seniors should be very, very concerned. Here’s the rundown: I talked to my mother-in-law last night.  She had her first denial of coverage by Medicare as a result of the implementation of Obamacare.  She had been scheduled to have some minor back surgery in December (she is in a lot of pain!). However, it was postponed for a variety of reasons.  It was rescheduled for last week, but when she arrived for the procedure, the doctor told her he could no longer do it because it was no longer approved by Medicare. “Just as America is coming to see few alternatives in Obamacare, Democrats see few alternatives for easily escaping it.” Obamacare: Clearly and Consistently Negative

Not really all that unexpected considering the way this whole thing is going. “Stuffed inside the Obamacare law passed by Democrats (with no Republican votes) is a provision that will reimburse insurance companies up to 80% of their losses due to Obamacare.” Confirmed: Obama Administration to REIMBURSE Insurance Companies Up to 80% on O-Care Losses (Video)

More on the insurance company bail out. “For some reason, President Obama hasn’t talked about this particular feature of his signature legislation.  Indeed, it’s bad enough that Obamacare is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to funnel $1,071,000,000,000.00 (that’s $1.071 trillion) over the next decade (2014 to 2023) from American taxpayers, through Washington, to health insurance companies.  It’s even worse that Obamacare is trying to coerce Americans into buying those same insurers’ product (although there are escape routes).  It’s almost unbelievable that it will also subsidize those same insurers’ losses.” Bailing Out Health Insurers and Helping Obamacare

All this will be hitting in October, just in time to impact the elections in a maximum way. “Over the weekend, it seems as though the national media finally figured out what most ObamaCare critics have predicted all along.  On Friday night, the New York Times covered the mess made by the law’s incompetent implementation with providers and insurers, leaving consumers holding the bag.  By Saturday night, the Washington Post had deduced that this was just the entrée. A much bigger wave of disruption will hit when the employer mandates go into effect for 2015 (via Instapundit).” WaPo: Get ready for the second wave of ObamaCare market disruptions

Scary. I mean, really, really scary. “Indeed, Medicare threatens to break the bank even without the vast expansion that would be required to convert it to a single payer system covering all Americans. The most recent Medicare Trustees report reveals that the program is encumbered by an unfunded liability of $43 trillion. This is the amount by which the program’s promised benefits will exceed the tax revenue available to pay for them. $43 trillion is three times the nation’s GDP. Thus, the Trustees also project that Medicare will become insolvent in 2026.” Single Payer: We’ve Been There, Done That

Despicable. Sorry to keep posting articles on this topic, but we need to spread the word about how the Democrats played and will continue to play politics with our sons and daughters in the military. “More than three-fourths of the names on some future Afghanistan memorial wall will be those of American soldiers who died under a commander-in-chief contemptuous of the military, whose foreign policy was (to use Bret Stephens’ expression in this incisive video on the Gates book) “the conduct of politics by other means” – a chilling fact now underlined by a former secretary of defense’s book.” A Tale of Two Surges

The shocking part is that these are just the rules and regs published in 2013! Introducing the 2013 Federal Register: Last year’s 80,000 pages worth of **job-creating rules & regs

Depression. “The neo-Keynesian, demand-side mindset of Chairman Yellen and the rest of the FOMC does not allow them to see or accept that low rates are actually hurting employment, credit, and capital formation. Investors must be paid to take risk. The declining leverage within the US banking system, which was discussed in a Zero Hedge post about Q4 2013 bank earnings (“Are Large Cap Banks Ready to ‘Break Out?’”), is a red flag that Congress ought to be discussing with Chairman Yellen on a weekly basis. Meanwhile moral hazard grows under QE, and Fed-induced bubbles proliferate in the equity and debt markets.” Washington & Wall Street: Janet Yellen’s FOMC Puts U.S. on Path to Deflation

We’re heading in the wrong direction. “Baker, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, told PBS’s Judy Woodruff Friday that contrary to those who spin the falling labor force participation rate as mainly coming from retiring Baby Boomers, young workers are dropping out by the millions. “…it is easy to see the big falloff in labor force participation is among prime age workers, 25-to-54-years-olds. That is down by four full percentage points. That is equivalent to five million people in their prime ages. They are not retiring at age 50.” The White House fed black media the news that black unemployment was down five points from its 2010 high of 16.9% but did not say that this was largely the result of more African-Americans giving up on finding jobs in the Obama economy.” Black Labor Force Participation Rate Under Obama Hits Rock Bottom – Lowest Level Ever Recorded

It’s only a scandal if the press wants it to be one and because Governor Christie has an “R” after his name, this is one of those times. “Scandals are not just about themselves; they are about the media atmosphere that surrounds them. They are perpetuated and deepened by the attention of journalists, whose relentless pursuit of every angle keeps the story going. That is exactly what has been missing from the IRS scandal from its outset; Republicans in Congress have been the dogged pursuers, not the press.” Bridgegate obsession clinically explained

Just a reminder. “The list reads like an AM radio golden oldies countdown: Travelgate, the magical and mysterious Rose Law Firm billing records that showed up in a closet in the White House years after being subpoenaed, Whitewater, Bimbogate, and the vast right-wing conspiracy that unzipped her husband’s pants and forced him to have oral sex with Monica Lewinsky.” Dems Pile on Christie While Ignoring Hillary’s Past

Tough words to hear, but maybe we need to hear them? This: “Republicans “live in a bubble,” former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature Thursday, and are detached from the pop culture and concerns of the average Americans whose allegiance they need to prevail nationally. “We live in a bubble. We don’t realize what’s going on,” said the once and perhaps future presidential candidate who is now head of a movie studio based in Flower Mound that produces Christian entertainment. “How many of you watch prime time network television? I suspect none of you.”” And this: “Santorum said the American revolutionaries prevailed against the odds, because they wanted it more, reciting the final words of the Declaration of Independence – “we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” In America today, he said, it is the left that wants it more.”” Rick Santorum warns fellow Republicans: ‘We live in a bubble’

I am thinking about our Republican candidates in CD9. Who is working the hardest (Vernon Parker, Wendy Rodgers or Andrew Walter)? Do we know? “It’s already 2014, if your candidate hasn’t already got a campaign committee, six figures of campaign money in a campaign account at the bank, and at least a dozen supporters other than committee members who are ready to start putting in 20+ hours per week on campaign grunt work as of this minute, then your candidate has already lost. So move on to the next best choice. And if that candidate also has already lost, move on again. Repeat until you’ve found the best candidate that can win. Volunteer for that candidate. Work hard starting Day One. You’ve got less than 11 months on the election calendar left. Time’s running out. Stop talking and get busy.” Advice to Unhappy Republicans

But first they have to want to hear what we have to say! “Conservatives can offer real solutions to young Americans.” Millennials Are Tiring of Liberal Failures

How does this man manage to keep getting elected? “Gates says that Harry Reid once urged him to have the Defense Department “invest in research on irritable bowel syndrome.”” The trouble with Harry?

Put this on your radar, it’s taking place today. “Tomorrow at 10 a.m., the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the case of National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning. It is a very important case, which is why the court is allowing 90 minutes of oral argument instead of the usual sixty. You can find the legal background here on the indispensable www.scotusblog.com, which will be live-blogging the argument tomorrow morning.” High Drama at the Court Tomorrow

Keeping score. “For Hillary, whose loss was of course not the end of her political career, the spreadsheet was a necessity of modern political warfare, an improvement on what old-school politicians called a “favor file.” It meant that when asks rolled in, she and Bill would have at their fingertips all the information needed to make a quick decision—including extenuating, mitigating and amplifying factors—so that friends could be rewarded and enemies punished.” Hillary’s Hit List

It exists but the Democrats want to keep the fact under wraps, so they can keep winning elections. “DOI undercover agents showed up at 63 polling places last fall and pretended to be voters who should have been turned away by election officials; the agents assumed the names of individuals who had died or moved out of town, or who were sitting in jail. In 61 instances, or 97 percent of the time, the testers were allowed to vote. Those who did vote cast only a write-in vote for a “John Test” so as to not affect the outcome of any contest.” Voter Fraud: We’ve Got Proof It’s Easy

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Filed under Afghanistan, Arizona Politics, Big Government, Crony Capitalism, Economy, Federal Reserve, Govenor Chris Christie, Hillary, Iraq, Jobs, Media Malfeasance, Millenials, Obamacare, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Single Payer Health Care, The Left, Voter Fraud, War on the Elderly

News and Commentary for January 11 and 12

It's Sunday! Enjoy your day.

It’s Sunday! Enjoy your day.

Stay focused my friends. “Zero upside to conservatism in throwing rocks at a contrite and yet focused GOP governor.  Time to keep focus instead on the revelations in Secretary Gates’ memoir and on the O-care rolling fiasco.  If the governor gets caught up in a serious misstatement or a new shocker, that will be the end of that, but he came out of this crisis bloodied but with quite a lot of points in his favor for the sort of straightforward non-talking point candor that the public is very hungry for.” Mark Steyn On Chris Christie, And How Conservatives Generally Should Respond To The “Longest Day” Presser

A good walk down memory lane to remind you of all the stories the mainstream media and the Left wants you to foget! “Whatever happened in New Jersey under Governor Chris Christie in regards to the already-infamous “bridgegate,” the open gloating by the media over the unacceptable behavior of the Republican governor’s staffers is extremely revealing.” 24 Underreported Democrat Scandals That Make News Media’s ‘Bridgegate Mania’ Look Like a Joke

Add this to the list provided above… and now we have 25 underreported Democrat scandals. “It is ironic that just as Washington, D.C. and New York City–the two centers of cluelessness in American life–are convulsed with a mini-scandal involving lane closure on a bridge, two more major Obama administration scandals have come to light. The first is Obama’s nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. We might have guessed that Obama couldn’t do worse than Adegbile’s predecessor, Tom Perez, but we would have been wrong.” For Real Scandals, Check Out the Obama Administration

It’s going to get really ugly for ANY Republican presidential candidate. We have to be ready. “It’s not about Christie, it’s about how other Republican candidates will be treated by the media.” To defend Chris Christie

Their true colors are showing (emphasis mine). “The only difficulty was, the solution — finding billions to pay for the restored pensions and unemployment insurance — involved cracking down on a tax credit program in which illegal immigrants have fraudulently collected billions of dollars in improper payments. Stop the fraud, Ayotte argued, and then use the money saved to pay for pensions and unemployment insurance. It seemed like an elegant solution. Except that Democrats would have none of it. Putting an end to the fraudulent collection of tax credits by illegal immigrants would hurt the most vulnerable, they argued. “This idea of going after children is one of the worst ideas I have ever heard,” Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer said in floor debate Thursday. “I am shocked — I am shocked. You’re going to hurt children. You’re going to take away food out of their mouths.”” What if you could restore veterans’ pensions, fund jobless benefits and stop illegal immigrant fraud, all at once? Democrats would block it

Really bad. “Today’s jobs numbers were bad, but they are even worse when viewed in the context of the comprehensive failure of the Obama administration’s economic policies over the past five years.” More On Today’s Awful Jobs Numbers

“The labor participation rate is the now lowest since the days of Jimmy Carter.” The Jobs Report

Make sure to point this out when you are arguing with a Democrat. “I have mentioned in the past the most commonly reported unemployment rate – which now stands at 6.7 percent — is a very imperfect measure of the health of the labor market. It’s the number of people without jobs who are available to work and are actively seeking work in the four weeks preceding the survey as a percentage of the labor force (the sum of people in the economy who have a job or want one), but it doesn’t tell you anything about the people who have given up looking for work and the people who are employed but only on a part-time basis (i.e., underemployed).” The Broader Measure Of Unemployment: 13.1 Percent

More facts to arm yourself with when talking with a Democrat. “So, for some badly needed perspective, we’ve created Obama’s Jobs Index to show how Obama’s policies have failed to create adequate job growth.” How Bad Is Obama’s Jobs Record? Let’s Count The Ways

He needs to change course, but like a good Leftist, he won’t. Because he would then have to admit that everything a good Leftist believes in doesn’t work in the real world. “Like bloodwork results for a weak, wheezing patient, Friday’s jobs report confirmed that deeply serious ills plague the U.S. economy.” Obama’s growing pains

More on how a course correction won’t be coming any time soon. “These terrible numbers help to explain the president’s recent attempt to change the subject from the economy to “income inequality,” an abstraction that fails to register with most Americans. They also help to explain why Obama intends to push for an increase in the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour, in his State of the Union address on Jan. 28. Left-wingers have successfully been changing the subject, moving the discussion away from their policy failures for 50 years now. Why should they change a winning formula now? They know they can continue to count on taxpayer funding for their adventures in leftist activism.” The War on Poverty’s Biggest Casualties

Failure. “This is rapidly approaching a pre-revolutionary condition, but not for a revolution many of us would want to undergo.  To avoid it, a massive change must occur at the federal level.  But Barack Obama, mired in a dead ideology, doesn’t seem prepared to do anything but prolong the situation with highly  conventional liberal solutions that have failed for decades, maybe even centuries.” Who Needs Ayn Rand? America Has Already Gone John Galt

Have you heard the one about the Feds handing over an entire city to an Indian tribe? Couldn’t happen here, right? Think again… “One day they were Wyomingans, the next they were members of the Wind River tribes — after the Environmental Protection Agency declared the town part of the Wind River Indian Reservation, undoing a 1905 law passed by Congress and angering state officials.” EPA overrides Congress, hands over town to Indian tribes

I was a member of Sierra Club for years. I am ashamed. “The EPA has repeatedly said the regulations on coal-fired power plants will not be a death blow to the industry. However, the agency was working closely behind the scenes with the Sierra Club, an environmental organization that was pushing the agency to adopt standards that would be impossible for power plants to meet.” Sierra Club Pressed EPA to Create Impossible Coal Standards

Forcing us all to bow to the alter of Statism. “It is establishing the faith of secular statism, a religion currently characterized by the tenets of radical progressivism. Statism is rapidly becoming the only faith in America allowed to operate with complete freedom.” Establishing a U.S. State Religion

Unfortunately this story is being pushed aside for the ever so more important “Bridgegate.” “Still battered at home by the ObamaCare debacle and the permanently sluggish economy, the last thing the White House wanted was bad news on foreign policy. But that’s exactly what it got, and then some, thanks to the shockingly scathing book by Robert Gates.” Gates memoir reveals Obama’s incompetence on foreign policy

More on the pushed aside story. “What Bob Gates tells us in his book — including that Hillary Clinton opposed President Bush’s surge on political grounds, and that Vice President Joe Biden is usually wrong — isn’t exactly news, but it is damning and important all the same.” Obama’s Half-Hearted War

It won’t be reported because it doesn’t fit the media’s “war” narrative. “It’s not as politically advantageous for the left to admit this, so you won’t see stories of gratitude like the one told by Iraq War vet and amputee J.R. Salzmann about a chance encounter with a cab driver in Texas.” The Media Would Never Report This Amazing Exchange Between Wounded Vet And Iraqi Cab Driver

They have to report this, but I am sure it pains them greatly. “The Associated Press first reported this developing and completely predictable problem earlier in the week. What happens when you pass a law that (a) causes the health-insurance cancellation for millions and then (b) forces them and millions more to use a disastrously-built web portal as a middeman to replace that coverage? Answer: You end up with millions of people flooding into providers without any idea whether they have coverage or whether their doctor will accept it. The New York Times confirmed this issue … for its Saturday edition, of course.” NYT: Yeah, ObamaCare has made the healthcare system a mess in 2014

This: “The administration delivered a resounding judgment on its claim that Obamacare’s website problems were over by firing the prime contractor, CGI Federal. The Washington Post, reporting the contract cancellation, explains that  ”as federal officials and contractors have been trying to fix various aspects of the Web site in the past few months, about half of the new software code the company has written has failed on the first try, according to internal federal information.” And this: That will fix things, won’t it?  It will not. As I have written before, the problem is in the complexity of  the business rules;  in the actuarial characteristics of the system;  in the lack of money to fund a system that is more expensive than the one it replaces. But the idea is that if we transform a complex problem into other complex problems of the same degree then we have simplified things. Good luck on that.” The Curse of Complexity

Are there ANY freedom loving Liberals anymore? “Ever wonder how it is that so many self-proclaimed liberals and “progressives” don’t seem to care about preserving liberty? Especially in the last decade or so, as the liberal wing of the Democratic Party has moved ever leftward and the assaults on liberty have cascaded, liberals seem more and more to divide into two camps: those who retain some love of liberty and those who do not.” The great dividing line: love of liberty

Collusion between the Left and Right, to steal your freedom. “What do George Soros, labor unions and money-grubbing former GOP Rep. Steven LaTourette all have in common? They’re control freaks. They’re power hounds. They’re united against tea party conservatives. And they all have operated under the umbrella of D.C. groups masquerading as “Main Street” Republicans.” Beware the Left-Wing-Funded “Main Street” Republicans

Collusion Part 2. “The Chamber of Commerce, the liberal Main Street Partnership and the campaign arms of the Republican Leaders are targeting small government, free marketers for defeat. Conservative, tea party-affiliated candidates risk dismantling the Washington status quo. That puts lobbyist income in jeopardy. A Republican Party that confuses supporting big business with supporting the free market wants to silence the voices of those who are not confused.” House Cleaning on the Right

I think we need to realize that government can’t solve all society’s ills. “Good government inevitably becomes big government.” Compassionate Conservatives Are Confusing A Slogan With An Agenda

Have we already lost the war? “Empty those pocketbooks! A new Gallup poll is showing that liberalism is on the rise; shrinking the conservative advantage to only 15 percentage points for the first time since 1992.” Uprising: More and More Democrats Identifying as Liberals

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Filed under Big Government, Crony Capitalism, Economy, EPA, Freedom, Govenor Chris Christie, Jobs, Media Malfeasance, Obamacare, Political Corruption, Poverty and the Welfare State, President Obama, Republican Infighting, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, The Left

News and Commentary for January 3, 4 and 5

Hang in there! We will take back the Senate and retain the House in November. We just have to work hard.

Hang in there! We WILL take back the Senate and retain the House in November. We just have to be ready to work really, really hard.

Paula Linker passed this along. Memorize these numbers. “At the start of a new year, a look back at the legacy Obama has already left behind.” Obama’s New Year Numbers

Group think. “But the people at the helm of Rolling Stone cannot seemingly even acknowledge that anyone who might disagree with them on, say, the effects of minimum wage laws on the poor, is worth a second thought. All they can do, out of a sense of liberal guilt, is publish radical calls to arm that they must know are ridiculous. Sadly, a magazine that was once required reading for anyone who wanted to know what the younger generation cared about is now a pedantic, insecure, and ultimately ineffective tool of Democratic Party groupthink.” Rolling Stone’s Sad “5 Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For”

Sadly, voter suppression works. “After 14 months, one Pittsburgh businessman still wonders: If everyone like him had voted in 2012, how differently might 2013 have turned out? The lifelong Democrat, who runs a five-man machine shop, regrets not voting for president in 2012.” Democrats Continue Class Warfare Rhetoric

It happens every time I try to have an intelligent conversation with a Democrat. “On New Year’s Day, Kyle Becker, writing at Independent Journal Review, published the amusing but true list of eight things liberals do to avoid having an honest debate.” Not having an honest debate with a liberal

Everyone’s blood should be boiling over this. “The war was won when Obama came into office; al Qaeda was completely decimated. The Anbar Sunnis, who are now under attack, had had turned against al Qaeda, joined the infidel — us — in defeating al Qaeda. And al-Maliki had taken all the extremists Shiites in Basra and all the way up into Baghdad as a demonstration of how he is a nationalist and not just a sectarian. All of this happening, what we needed was an agreement and a presence. Obama liquidated it and as a result he has created a vacuum in which Iran has come in, al Qaeda is strong. Not only now in Iraq, but also in Syria and it is a catastrophe.” Krauthammer: Obama Ended The War In Iraq In A Way That “Liquidated” Our Gains

More information to make your blood boil. “Krauthammer also pointed out that three out of four Americans killed in the war have been while President Obama has been in office as a sign of the administration’s detrimental approach to Afghanistan.” Krauthammer’s Take: Obama ‘Essentially Abandoned’ Afghanistan as War Was Going On

Don’t let this be swept under the rug. “Nitpicking over which jihadists did what lets the Obama administration evade the real questions.” Down the Times’ Bengahzi Rabbit Hole

Another reason why we do not want comprehensive immigration, especially with the Obama administration in power. “While this administration’s lawlessness has been most widely noticed in President Obama’s implementation of Obamacare, it applies to areas far beyond health care.” The ICE Shell Game

Silencing dissent. “A government that creates the climate for bullying is the worst of the bullies.” Coercing Conformity

It MUST NOT be too late. “Government — especially the federal government — fails wretchedly, but the impact of that failure, until now at least, has been hidden from the vast majority of ordinary Americans.  That’s about to change.  When it does, there will be nowhere for federal politicians to hide.  When it does, we may see a true revolution in the political affairs of our nation. Let us hope that it’s not too late.” Showing How Government Fails

Will the low information voter wake up in time to help stop this? “It seems likely that by fall the public, despite the press’s best efforts to cover up and obfuscate what’s really happening, will figure out that two or more of these five myths are utter fictions. This will make congressional and senatorial elections especially dangerous endeavors for Democrats and leftists throughout the land. Just how dangerous depends on how aggressively the president’s opponents work to expose the truth and overcome their annoying go-along, get-along tendencies.” 5 Myths Propping Up the Obama Presidency

From the comments: the media has decided that the debt is a non-issue, at least until a Republican is back in the White House. “On the contrary: a new report by the International Monetary Fund concludes that the debt crisis is worse than ever, not just in the U.S. but throughout the developed world” IMF Says: By the Way, There’s a Debt Crisis

File this away for future reference. “Members of both parties will have to act soon — or risk national bankruptcy and fiscal collapse.” 11 Nasty Trends That Will Test America’s Resilience

If you intended to visit New York City while it’s still safe, you had better go soon. “’Let him have his way in New York City and let people see what happens,” will said. “I give him three years and people will be begging for a return to something else.’” Will’s Take: Here’s Hoping De Blasio Represents a Resurgence of Liberalism

When will Democrats wake up to what their party has become? “Bill de Blasio is not the only “red” coming to power in New York City. He will also be joined by a “progressive” majority City Council. Here is a samplying of three of those he will be working with.” NYC Painted Red

Tell me who’s the party of Big Business again? “Republicans can end Obamacare by stopping the impending bailout of insurance companies.” Stop the Bailout — Now

Closer to the truth. “Obamacare mostly solved a quite different problem: the fact that health insurance and health care are expensive. It probably isn’t going to lower costs, or dramatically alter mortality rates, or turn obese diabetics into marathoners. On the other hand, it probably will improve the financial stability of a lot of low-income households, while raising costs (and taxes) on the more affluent. As Finkelstein said to me: For an economist, insurance is a financial product, health insurance as much as life or auto insurance. Auto insurance probably doesn’t improve your driving much, but it does protect your assets if you’re in an accident. It may not be what we expected Obamacare to do … but it’s probably what we should have expected.” Another Problem Obamacare Won’t Solve: Health Costs

They might be able to sully the “Tea Party” brand, but they cannot destroy the foundational truth that the movement stands for. From the comments: “For a couple seconds it burned me that the TP image had been so sullied by the lies of the media and political opposition, but that immediately cooled. I remembered my own oft-repeated observation that the “Tea Party” is not the aggregate of TP orgs across the nation, many of which have already been co-opted and turned by infiltrating politicos. The “Tea Party” is a set of ideas, familiar to us all, that has risen spontaneously over the past decade or two, brought to a fever point by the horrifics of the early Obama administration, particularly the passage of Obamacare (and as much for the manner in which it was passed as for its actual content). I realized it doesn’t matter what so-called low info voters believe about the Tea Party, my friend included, because the ideas upon which it is based remain unsullied, popular, and growing.” Could 2014 be the “Year of the Tea Party Democrat”?

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Filed under Afghanistan, Amnesty, Benghazi, Big Government, Class Warfare, Crony Capitalism, Economic Uncertainty, Iraq, Mayor De Blasio, Media Malfeasance, Millenials, Obamacare, President Obama, Tea Party, The Left, Voter Suppression, War on the Military

News and Commentary for January 2

Don't go to sleep, or get comfortable. We've got some elections to win!

Don’t go to sleep, or get comfortable. We’ve got some elections to win!

It wouldn’t have been this way if we elected Romney as president. “Whichever side you find yourself on, know this: No sane person builds a widget factory in the middle of a battlefield.” A Year of Fear

Resumes. “So, Walesa and Obama have two things in common: winning the Nobel Peace Prize and being elected president of their respective countries. While Lech Walesa’s Peace Prize was awarded based on courageous and heroic accomplishments, the newly-elected Obama received his Nobel Peace Prize based upon the belief (by some) that he would, in his words, “heal the planet” and “stop the oceans’ rise.”” Nobel Prize Winning Anti-Communist Icon: Obama Has Failed Politically And Morally

According to this author, we lost our economic freedom one hundred years ago with the establishment of the Federal Reserve. “Even you, dear reader, are probably wondering how on earth anyone could challenge things like Social Security, government schools, and the FDA. But that’s not the point. The point is: these statist, anti-capitalist programs exist and have existed for about a century. The point is: Obama is pretending that the Progressive Era, the New Deal, and the Great Society were repealed, so that he can blame the financial crisis on capitalism. He’s pretending that George Bush was George Washington.” Obama To Americans: You Don’t Deserve To Be Free

We’re in the best of hands! “At the end of last year, President Obama was in Hawaii. French President Hollande was in Saudi Arabia, whose leaders openly declare their contempt for American leaders. Obama is basically having fun. Hollande and the royal family are basically doing strategy. They are designing actions to advance their interests in the new world;  not, as is often said, a world without America, but a world in which American leaders have turned against America.” 2014: The World Without America. Or Is It?

A comprehensive list! Ten 2013 stories that should make news in 2014

In order to prevail, we must prepare for battle! “This does not mean the battles are over for conservatives. They’re just beginning. The media have already geared up toward nominating Hillary Clinton in 2016 (The New York Times whitewash of Benghazi this week was only the beginning). The DC-run Republican Party has a disheartening way of crippling its own conservative base in order to cut deals. But 2013 could go down as the year that conservatives moved beyond standing athwart history shouting “stop,” and began shoving in the opposite direction, which could make 2014 historic.” What to Expect in 2014

But how many low information voters are finally figuring this out? “He forgot the old rule that a president can mislead, misstate, and misquote only so many times. And there were many, many times in 2013. Can we ever recall them all? The false red lines in Syria. The promise to intervene and then not to intervene against Bashar Assad in Syria. The need for tough and suddenly not-so-tough sanctions against Iran. The ongoing vows to find the allegedly video-inspired killers of Americans in Benghazi. The good and then bad Muslim Brotherhood, and the good and then bad junta that followed. The once-“outrageous” IRS scandal now dismissed as a mere hyped media melodrama. The doctors and health plans you can keep — period! The serial summers of recovery.” The Year of the Dud

An interesting article. “Many people, says Somin, acquire political knowledge for the reason people acquire sports knowledge — because it interests them, not because it will alter the outcome of any contest. And with “confirmation bias,” many people use political information to reinforce their preexisting views. Committed partisans are generally the most knowledgeable voters, independents the least. And the more political knowledge people have, the more apt they are to discuss politics with people who agree with, and reinforce, them.” The price of political ignorance: More government

The Left NEVER learns. “It’s part of the real story of an ongoing destruction of wealth that coincides precisely with France’s rise in public spending: In 2007, the companies listed on France’s stock exchange had a market capitalization of $2.7 trillion. Today, they’re worth less than $1.8 trillion.” France Surrenders Its Wealth and Talent to High Taxes

I really don’t get what’s happening here. “Disabled veterans would be among those targeted by the cut. Note that those cost-of-living adjustments hit veterans starting three years from now, for those younger than 62. Yet Congress won’t even consider Medicare and Social Security reforms unless those reforms don’t start for 10 years and only hit those 55 years old and under. Why don’t our veterans deserve the same basic consideration that reformers give to our senior citizens?” Congress Throws Veterans Under the Bus for Illegal Immigrants

Did you know about this? “Connecticut gun owners are rushing to register certain firearms and ammunition that will be considered illegal contraband in the new year.” Looks Like Weimar Germany’: The Viral Photo Out of Connecticut That’s Giving Some Gun Owners Chills

The Left’s brilliance in action. “In “saving” the American auto industry, Obama gave an American company away. And he gave it away at the expense of pension funds and other secured creditors, which were given a much smaller stake in the new company than they would have been given under traditional bankruptcy proceedings. American manufacturing workers also lost out on the deal; many are now hostages to the woes of Fiat and the Italian economy.” The Great Italian Auto Bailout — Courtesy of U.S. Taxpayers

Can someone PLEASE put an end to these kinds of shenanigans? “Capitalism ruining their party, the bulb-makers turned to government. Philips teamed up with NRDC. GE leaned on its huge lobbying army — the largest in the nation — and soon they were able to ban the low-profit-margin bulbs.” THE END OF INCANDESCENT LIGHTBULBS — NOT ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, BUT CORPORATE CRONYISM

New York City is about to get what it deserves. “In a pie-in-the-sky inaugural address, de Blasio promised class-based hatred and civil unrest in pursuit of so-called social justice.” Comrade De Blasio Takes Over

More on the swearing in of De Blasio… “Bill Clinton then rose and tried to strike a little balance. But the crowd was having none of it. When he praised retiring mayor Bloomberg for leaving New York “stronger and healthier” after twelve years in office, there was dead silence.” Bill in the China Shop: ‘We Won’t Wait, We’ll Do It Now’

The repercussions of the feminization of our society. “”The entire elite class now, in finance, in politics and so on, none of them have military service—hardly anyone, there are a few. But there is no prestige attached to it anymore. That is a recipe for disaster,” she says. “These people don’t think in military ways, so there’s this illusion out there that people are basically nice, people are basically kind, if we’re just nice and benevolent to everyone they’ll be nice too. They literally don’t have any sense of evil or criminality.”” Camille Paglia: War on Men Destroying American Culture

Not surprising. “The science is settled. According to research published in the December edition of Social Science Quarterly, viewers who are “not prepared” to be critical about what they see onscreen are more likely to experience a temporary politically “leftward shift” when watching Hollywood movies with an “underlying liberal message.”” Study Says Movies Make You Liberal

What’s happening to our party? “Karl Rove (i.e., architect of the American Crossroads SuperPAC), the Chamber of Commerce, and the Washington GOP Establishment have declared war on the Reaganite conservative base of the Republican Party.” Karl Rove and the GOP Socialists

Truth. “Do you believe the intelligence our agencies collected and the reporting of our diplomats on the scene at the time, or do you believe what the New York Times was told by Libyans, many of them Islamic extremists and some of them terrorists, more than a year later? The answer to that question probably depends on what position you hold in the Hillary Clinton campaign.” The difference Hillary makes

Trust. “Despite conventional wisdom, Republicans and Democrats can agree on important issues. As a lifelong Republican, I agree with Democrat Warren Buffett: Obamacare should be scrapped. I also agree with Hollywood liberals that NSA spying on millions of innocent Americans is a violation of our collective right to privacy. And I agree with feminist Camille Paglia that Hillary Clinton disqualified herself as a presidential candidate with her handling of Benghazi.” Cohen: No way Hillary could ever gain our troops’ trust

Definitely not working as advertised. “The National Federation of Independent Businesses, an organization that represents nearly 11,000 entrepreneurs across the state, says it has yet to find a single member whose health-care costs are going down under the ObamaCare program, whose plans took effect New Year’s Day.” Here are the Big Losers in Obamacare

The bad stuff was back loaded. “As we enter 2014, Democrats are trying to reassure themselves that Americans will eventually embrace ObamaCare. They point to the “good” things in the law, i.e. parents able to keep kids on their policy until they are 26, free health screenings and new prescription drug benefits. The problem for Democrats, however, is that those provisions are already in effect and have been since 2010. Any benefit Americans perceive from these provisions is already factored into their views of ObamaCare.”  5 ObamaCare Nightmares for Democrats in 2014

We’re really in the best of hands. “The White House keeps insisting that their ObamaCare system has just experienced “glitches,” which will all get smoothed out shortly. However, the Medicare system used to be able to pay providers until Novitas got involved, and it’s possible that the hospital might have to cease operations for lack of staff. They certainly might choose not to accept Medicare assignments in the future, and I doubt that the issue is limited to St. Anthony’s in Houston. Just imagine what will happen when Novitas brings its payment-systems expertise to private insurers looking for subsidies to cover premiums for ObamaCare enrollees. Will insurers wait weeks and months to get those premiums — or will they dump their enrollees for non-payment? Stay tuned.” Video: Healthcare.gov contractor forcing hospital to miss payroll — for weeks

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Filed under 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Auto Bailout, Benghazi, Big Government, Crony Capitalism, Economic Uncertainty, Federal Reserve, Feminization of the Culture, Freedom, Gun Control, Hillary, Light Bulbs, Mayor De Blasio, Movies, Nobel Peace Prize, Obamacare, President Obama, Republican Infighting, The Left, War on Men, War on the Military