Category Archives: Cronyism

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

Leave a comment

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 11

It's National "Make a Friend" Day. Find a friend to join Palo Verde Republican Women!

It’s National “Make a Friend” Day. Find a friend to join Palo Verde Republican Women!

I’ve been on the road and had little time to post, but I’ve been collecting a bunch of articles for your perusal. Here they are. Back to regular posting beginning tomorrow.

Stories of the Day

It’s about time! “At an after-hours hacking event at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Wash., Aaron Ginn approached an engineer whose face was buried in a laptop. Like more than a few techies, Mr. Ginn could pass for a skateboarder or a member of a boy band: As he circulated, he wore a red Reebok cap, its bill tilted high over his short dark hair, a silver and black cross around his neck and a green T-shirt printed with “Lincoln Labs.” That’s the name of the talent-scouting group he founded last year with two friends. But unlike others in this game, Mr. Ginn was in search of a rare technology-industry breed: Republicans.” Republicans Are Wooing the Wired Hat Tip: The Dennis Prager radio show on Monday, February 10th.

Fighting back. “But know this, my experiences at the hands of this government in these last five years have made me more determined than ever to stand before you and America and say I will not retreat. I will not surrender. I refuse to be intimidated. I will not ask for permission to exercise my Constitutional rights.” America’s Latest Heroine Fights Back

Dr. Ben Carson is a genius. Read the whole thing (emphasis mine)! “In the game of chess, pawns are just used for the purposes of the royal pieces. In real life, many in power selfishly use “pawns” — average citizens — while at the same time vociferously proclaiming that they are the only ones looking out for the interests of the pawns, who happily follow their commands, thinking that this “royal” contingent has their interests in mind. However, in a chess game, a pawn can become any one of the royal pieces, if it can make it to the other side of the board. The opponent will do almost anything to keep one from reaching its goal, because that would interfere with the power structure. If they can keep the pawns on their side of the board, where it is much safer, the status quo can be maintained. Although no analogy is perfect, it is pretty easy to see the point here. By keeping large groups of Americans complacent and afraid of challenging authority, the position, wealth and status of those in power is secure. The last thing they want is for independent-thinking citizens to realize that this country was designed for them and not for an arrogant ruling class. They dread the possibility of people scrutinizing their words and deeds, and holding them accountable for the same. By using strong-arm tactics and a sheepishly compliant news media, the supposed guardians of truth, they have become very successful at pawn control.Thinking for Ourselves: The Rewards of Independence and Common Sense Are Many

The hits just keep on coming. “Unfortunately for the president and Democratic incumbents, the sheer number of ObamaCare exemptions and delays has grown to the point where it is no longer possible to pretend that the only problem with the law was a glitch-ridden website or Republican obstructionism. No matter how many of its ill-conceived moving parts the presidential orders say need not be implemented before November, the accumulated weight of its failure may prove too heavy a burden for Democrats who must answer to the electorate for their votes to shove this monstrosity down the collective throat of the American people.” More ObamaCare Delays Won’t Save Dems

Amnesty

Priorities. “Not only did he issue the new rule but he made it a top priority for Citizenship and Immigration Services, so much so that other routine but important business, like approving green cards for the spouses of American citizens, had to wait. And wait. And wait. And wait.” U.S. citizens forced to wait to reunite with foreign-born spouses as Obama’s DREAM amnesty takes precedence

Big Government

Fuzzy economics. “The unemployment rate fell in January, which ought to be good news. But it isn’t. Over the past decade we’ve fallen into a strange and puzzling wonderland of opposites, where “economic recovery” comes with no growth and unemployment rates drop but people aren’t working.” EDITORIAL: Obama in unemployment wonderland

Class Warfare

Liberal policies leading to increased income disparity. Anyone shocked? “Neither the American tax code nor other features of our economic policy are notably generous to high-income and high-wealth people by the standards of the developed world. American businesses labor under the highest business income-tax rate in the world and one of the business tax codes most riddled with political favoritism. At 40 percent — compared with an OECD average of 25 percent — our business income-tax rate is nearly double that of Sweden, and more than twice that of Switzerland, which does not tax capital gains. Our top personal income-tax rate is higher than that of New Zealand, which manages to finance an effective national government out of the proceeds, and much higher than that of very competitive countries such as Singapore. Taken together, our tax and entitlement systems are about as redistributive as typical European welfare states. What is unusual about the United States is not that the rich are taxed so lightly but that the middle class is taxed so lightly, at least relative to European practice. Which is to say, those who endorse policies such as higher taxes on the wealthy as an antidote to income inequality are missing the picture. The American rich are not getting richer because of the American tax code. Income inequality in the United States is increasing. It is also increasing in Sweden. And Norway. And Finland. And the Netherlands. And Canada. And Germany. Pick your European welfare state and throw in Japan, too, and you’ll find much the same story.” The Tyranny of Winter: The Left is at War with Economic Reality

Cronyism

Flip-flopping for the money. “In other words, Salazar was happy to be part of an administration that’s done everything it can to block energy development and particularly the Keystone pipeline… but now that he’s employed by those with different priorities, he is happy to flip flop. I wonder whatever that “new information” could be that made Salazar change his mind. Was it “you’re hired”?” Want A Government Official To Change His Mind? Hire Him!

The Economy

Hunger Games comes to the U.S.A.! Gallup: Only “state” with positive economic confidence is … Washington DC

What the Left has wrought. The progressive message worked on me— my husband and I have one child—at the time I thought I was saving the planet. This: “Ultimately the size of the US economy is simply the total of what we’re all spending. Overall household spending hits a high when we’re about 46. So the peak of the Baby Boom (1961) plus 46 suggests that a high point in the US economy should be about 2007, with a long, slow decline to follow for years to come.” And this: “Implicitly, Dent is saying: Don’t blame politicians, the decline of manufacturing, education or cheap foreign imports for the economic stagnation that has already begun and will continue for many years. Blame your parents and grandparents for losing interest in having children back in the Sixties.” Aging America heading for disaster

Education

While the rest of us are sleeping… Or too busy to get off the couch to do anything about it… This: “In 2012, terrorist and activist Chicago professor Bill Ayers told his followers that the left had “absolute access to the community, the school… the classroom,” and that is where it should do its “movement-building.” And this: ““The message going out to students is that government is good, big government is good, Obama is good, the president’s doing a good job,” Schneider added. “Some of the curriculum publishing companies are also creating the Common Core assessments.”” Common Core: How The Left Will Grow Its Power in America’s Schools

Elections

Oh goody. More free stuff to offer the folks. “But discontent is brewing within the Democratic Party over what some see as Mr. Obama’s concessions to Republicans. Those Democratic voters will be looking for candidates willing to slide further to the left, especially on economic issues.” Democrats will dive left in 2016 to distance themselves from Obama

An interesting read. “And then there is Democratic politics, which is not merely just debased political philosophy but degenerate political philosophy. I say this because of Jay Cost’s argument that the Democratic party is now almost entirely an organization of client service. That is to say, there is hardly any “principle” in it anymore, except that one group wants this from the government, and another group wants that. The Tea Party is currently, I think, a movement not of politics but of political philosophy. And that is both good and bad. It is good because they can afford to be more simon-pure about the precise philosophy they urge. It is, however, bad, if one would hope (as I do) that they can become a large enough political force (not merely a philosophical advocacy force) to either dominate the GOP or displace it entirely.” Some Thoughts on the Tea Party and the Evolution of Political Parties

Hillary

What difference does it make? This: “Voters admired the strength of the Arkansas first couple, the pollsters wrote. However, “they also fear that only someone too politically ambitious, too strong, and too ruthless could survive such controversy so well.” And this: “The full contents of the archive, which before 2010 was closed to the public, have not previously been reported on and shed new light on Clinton’s three decades in public life. The records paint a complex portrait of Hillary Clinton, revealing her to be a loyal friend, devoted mother, and a cutthroat strategist who relished revenge against her adversaries and complained in private that nobody in the White House was “tough and mean enough.”” The Hillary Papers: Archive of ‘closest friend’ paints portrait of ruthless First Lady

The IRS

Flailing. This: “This is really quite the novel approach to the IRS targeting scandal by congressional Democrats. Seeking to change the narrative in order to get on top of scandal, Democrats have hit upon the idea to blame the IRS Inspector General, Russell George, for the scandal getting out of hand. How do they figure that? It appears that many Democrats were unhappy with Mr. George’s initial report on the scandal, believing it to be “misleading.” Mmmkay, whatever. But now they’ve got a mind to file an ethics complaint against George because they think he is conspiring with Darrell Issa’s oversight committee to make the Democrats look bad and the IRS scandal worse than it really is.” And this: “The Obama administration has well-documented problems with assertive inspector generals, so this kind of pushback is to be expected from Hill Democrats. It’s an attempt to smear the IRS inspector general and only shows how desperate the Democrats have become. It’s a hail mary pass that is going to fall incomplete in the end zone.” Dems Trying to Blame IRS IG for Targeting Scandal

The Left

Waking up to reality—it must be painful to be a Liberal sometimes. “There is also an underlying unwillingness to consider that some groups have values that are less functional than other groups. Let me be clear: values are changeable, and mass values do change over time. But the consciousness that healthy foods are important to good overall health is still mainly a preoccupation of the upper middle classes in the United States. Sometimes it is necessary to recognize that a change in values among groups designated as victims is the best thing one can do to help them. And, that realization is now dawning on the food desert crowd.” ‘Food desert’ fallacy shocks liberals

“IF THEY WILL WORK?” Note the word IF. “Opportunity created by affordable, quality health insurance allows families in America to make a decision about how they will work, or if they will work,” Jay Carney said. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi applauded the law for freeing people from “job-lock.” Obama Democrats’ troubling view on work

Air heads. “This week the big story was the tag end of the old JournoList gang trying to spin gold out of the dross of the Congressional Budget Report. The CBO report projected that by 2021 under ObamaCare more than 2 million full-time workers will find it financially advisable to quit work entirely or switch to part-time jobs in order to get more subsidies for healthcare insurance. To most of us who studied real economics or just paid attention to human nature, subsidizing indolence means you’ll get more of it.” Demonomics

Liberal La La Land. “The problem with Team Lightbringer is that they have spent so much time bathing in the warm waters of the sycophant pool that they have begun to believe their own spin. This is a highly functional political machine that is fueled by nothing but emotion. This is scary enough when it’s a ploy;when it becomes the sole basis for policy, it will inevitably be catastrophic. Because math isn’t swayed by emotion.” The Disturbing Essence of What Is Really Wrong with the White House Spin of CBO Report

Obamacare

Lies. “This is not an isolated incident…The exclusion of a major provider like Seattle Children’s from a major insurance network in this market is unprecedented…we’re seeing denials in care, disruptions in care; we’re seeing a great deal of confusion and, at times, anger and frustration on the part of these families who bought insurance thinking that their children would be covered.  And they’ve in fact found that it’s a false promise.” CBS News: Meet the sick children getting hosed by Obamacare

There’s so much in this article that it was hard to pick a section to call out, so I recommend that you read the whole thing. “Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion doesn’t just discourage work; it also prioritizes coverage for able-bodied adults over the needs of persons with disabilities. That’s a dirty little secret the Obama administration and its liberal allies, in their rush to expand government-funded health coverage to millions more Americans, won’t tell you. And it’s yet another reason why states should resist the siren song of the administration and its leftist supporters, who plan to spend 2014 persuading them to embrace the expansion.” Obamacare Is Anything But Compassionate

For progressives, the end always justifies the means. “Each passing day is more incriminating for President Obama‘s Obamacare, as the news is like a relentless prosecutor amassing evidence against a serial killer. Yet the more evidence that rolls in condemning the president’s “signature achievement” — wouldn’t you love to have that albatross hung around your epitaph? — the more entrenched Obama becomes, making clear that his heart is not with the American people or their needs but stubbornly fixated on self. His singular goal is not to provide “affordable health care” but to slay those who are trying to take his “baby” away from him, with the deranged obsession of Captain Ahab.” Socialism, not access to health care, is Obama’s prize

President Obama

Living in his own progressive bubble. “Some of the policies that Obama kept insisting were neither liberal nor conservative, neither Democrat nor Republican, included raising the minimum wage, raising taxes and yet another stimulus plan. These policies may be archetypically liberal, but Obama carries his own reality with him, his own mathematics, his own history, his own dictionary and his own moral code which he adapts to the moment.” Obama Lied With Every Word

Folks, as crazy as it sounds, we’ve got three more years of this. “Claiming an American president is not trustworthy ruins whatever credibility he brought to the office and this president brought a lot. Most people wanted to believe in him and a large majority did believe in him at the start. Many no longer do, as his declining approval ratings demonstrate. In dealing with the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan employed a Russian proverb, “trust but verify.” Boehner and the Republicans seem to be saying there is no need to verify with this president, because he can’t be trusted. The inability by a major party to trust a president is more than lamentable; it is not good for the country and our standing before other nations and groups that wish to do us harm.” It’s not good to have a president who can’t be trusted

Terrorism

There have been no arrests! “According to a Wall Street Journal report last week, at about 1 a.m. on that April 16, someone cut the telephone lines going to the substation’s location in a manner calculated to be hard to repair. Within about another thirty minutes, shooters took positions by the stone piles and — on a flashlight signal — opened fire. The firing — over about a twenty-minute period, apparently using AK-47 rifles (identified by the empty shell casings in 7.62×39 caliber left behind) — aimed 120 shots at the cooling fins on the transformers, scoring 110 hits. Another flashlight signal called a cease-fire. The shooters were gone long before the first police arrived.” Low Tech Terror on the Grid: Why the terror attack in Silicon Valley?

Scary. This: “Obama could not have picked a worse time to ease immigration requirements for those linked to terror, and who have nowhere else to go and have suddenly found themselves, after the counter-revolution in Egypt, as targets for imprisonment, contempt, or even shooting.” And this: If this situation continues, the American people will wake up one day with Muslim-only zones across the US, women and gays harassed and persecuted in every US city that will be prone Chechnya-style terrorism and calls for a separatist movement. This is the history of Islam repeating itself wherever it goes.” Jihad Migrating to Red States — With Obama’s Blessing

The War on Women

OMG. So true. “A useful definition is this: “Feminism is the words ‘I Want!’ in the mouths of three or more women, provided they’re the right kind of women.” Feminism must therefore accommodate wildly incompatible propositions — e.g., (1) Women unquestionably belong alongside men in Marine units fighting pitched battles in Tora Bora but (2) really should not be expected to be able to perform three chin-ups. Or: (1) Women at Columbia are empowered by pornography but (2) women at Wellesley are victimized by a statue of a man sleepwalking in his Shenanigans. And then there is Fluke’s Law: (1) Women are responsible moral agents with full sexual and economic autonomy who (2) must be given an allowance, like children, when it comes to contraceptives.” The Feminist Mystique

Leave a comment

Filed under 2014 Elections, Amnesty, Big Government, Class Warfare, Cronyism, Economy, Education, GOP, Hillary, Income Inequality, IRS, Lies, Middle Class, National News, Obamacare, President Obama, Socialism, Tea Party, Terrorism, The Left, War on Women, We the People