Category Archives: Economy

News and Commentary for January 28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News and Commentary for January 27

It's "National Chocolate Cake" Day. Have some and enjoy!

Yummmm. It’s “National Chocolate Cake” Day. Cut yourself a slice!

 

Did we really need a study to tell us this? “New academic research released last week showing that extending unemployment benefits is a net economic drag could strengthen the conservative case against extending those benefits at the federal level.” New Study: Unemployment Benefits Weaken Economy

Let’s not let them get away with it. Arm yourself with rebuttals and then push back, and hard. “Well, only when it’s convenient to the narrative. But every time this happens, it’s fair to bring up Clinton, Filner, Weiner, John Edwards, et al. Make it unpleasant for them, spoil their narrative, and they’ll stop. But read the whole thing. UPDATE: Reader Michael Schrage writes: “Good God, man! Why are you leaving out Spitzer?’” APPARATCHIK DAVID GREGORY tries to drag Rand Paul into the “War on Women,” but it doesn’t work.

Wise words, but will they listen? “In sum: With respect to the must-pass debt ceiling legislation, the House conservatives should let it pass. With respect to immigration reform, which isn’t must-pass, leadership should let it die. The guiding principle should be do no harm. This year, doing no harm requires both conservative activists and the GOP establishment to sacrifice something. So they should make a deal: No default in return for no amnesty. Such a deal should mean no GOP tears this November.” Memo to House GOP

Lots of good nuggets in this article. Read the whole thing! “The Establishment’s rules also require that we stop demanding that Republicans who claim to be conservative act like conservatives, support conservatism and, you know, be conservative. The rules are there because this short-sighted insistence by conservatives on conservatism is somehow certain to prevent the success of conservatism. We conservatives are just too unsophisticated to understand that true conservatism will only be achieved by a strategy of surrender, compromise and acquiescence to expanded government power.” Conservatives Must Break the Establishment’s Rules

I think we’ll be waiting an awfully long time for the low information voters to wake up. “When American voters wake up to the true moral character of the Democratic Party it will be a permanent and fateful day for the DNC, far more devastating to the party than the ObamaCare fiasco, since the moral stature of the Democrats depends on a deception that has been carried on for one hundred years.” Busted! The Democratic Party’s Moral Superiority

Good news! “Not only has he delivered the goods but (this is the best bit) Walker now wants to give those goods back to the voters in the form of a tax break. So the message to America, and the rest of the world, is this: get spending under control, cut business taxes, create a welfare system that encourages people to seek work and you will balance the budget, reduce unemployment and be able to let people keep more of their money. It turns out that conservative economics, applied with determination and care, can work.” How Scott Walker and the conservatives saved Wisconsin. America, take note

The media IS oddly silent. “One might argue that Walker’s now-obvious success is boring and unworthy of national attention, except for the fact that the press still features Walker in national stories from time to time — really important stuff like the fact that he got selected for jury duty but didn’t serve. Turning a projected $3.6 billion deficit into a surplus, bringing down the unemployment rate, and proposing an across-the-board tax cut? Forget about it. And what little coverage does occur is almost comical, especially from the mostly unionized Associated Press. Take the last sentence of the following excerpted paragraph from AP reporter Scott Bauer on Friday morning: … in the Senate, where Republicans have a narrow 18-15 majority, some lawmakers are questioning raising the state’s projected shortfall by cutting taxes as much as Walker wants. Many Republicans campaigned on the fact that in 2011 they eliminated a projected $3.6 billion shortfall. Walker used that shortfall as the reason to effectively eliminate public worker unions, while also increasing how much they had to pay for their pension and health care benefits.” Wisconsin’s Not Worthy of National Media Attention Any More, Because Scott Walker’s Been Successful

A message from RNC Chairman Reince Preibus: “After the 2012 president election, it was clear that the Republican Party needed to take steps to give our presidential nominees a better chance at winning the White House. One of those steps is a shorter primary process. It’s my goal to have a convention in late June or early July. That way the nominee has access to general election resources earlier, allowing him or her to be more competitive against the Democrats’ nominee. It also means the media can’t over-hype a drawn-out fight among our candidates. But we did have to make sure that our primary voters would have their voices heard—and that all primary candidates would have a chance to make their cases. So on Friday, we passed new rules to shape the 2016 presidential primary process.” RNC Changes Primary Rules to Empower Voters, Strengthen Nominee

Shake up. “This week past, the Republican National Committee, ably led by Wisconsin’s Reince Priebus, put into effect reforms of the presidential nominating process that greatly simplify and shorten the primary season and, when combined with the two others reforms that are coming –an early convention in June or early July, and a coherent, purpose-driven debate system and schedule–will greatly enhance the prospects of the eventual GOP nominee.” Winter-Spring Of 2016: Common Sense Envelops The GOP

Side effects? “The Republican National Committee is looking to reform the presidential primary process, and in so doing, weaken the influence of the party’s conservative base. Is this a feature? Or a bug? More like a marriage of convenience. The length and bitterness of the 2012 primary season weakened Mit Romney going into the general election. All those silly debates did nothing to enlighten the American people and only served as a point of contention between candidates. So while compressing the primary season may be a sound political strategy, it has the side effect of diluting the conservative vote.” RNC ‘primary reform’ aimed at the base

This: “The favorite senator of Wall Street and K Street explained to a liberal D.C. audience last week how to defang the Tea Party: offer a populist message that splits the grassroots from their wealthy donors. Republicans should listen to this counsel, and turn the tables on Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.” And this: “Schumer understands that politics is largely about showing voters that you are on their side. This effort has two parts: First, fight for the regular guy. Second, fight against the special interests. Conservatives need to beat Schumer at this.” And finally, this: “Of course, Democrats would hate trimming corporate welfare for their clients. Schumer and friends would suddenly find themselves choosing between helping the unemployed, and sticking by their party’s donors. Republicans could beat Schumer at his divide-and-conquer populist game —if Republicans are willing to actually battle corporate welfare themselves.” Timothy P. Carney on Chuck Schumer: Voice of the little man, courtier of plutocrats

How do we make them see? “In truth, no administration in recent memory has done more to harm young people. Like some strange exotic species of the animal kingdom, we Americans are now eating our own young.” Eating Our Young

Reaping what they voted for. “Today, it’s clear progressives have turned out to be as easy to command as their caricatures of backwards evangelicals. Today, one out of three of Millennials aged 18-31, the young progressives who gave Obama’s campaign its inspirational heart and voted for him overwhelmingly, are living at home with their parents. They put their heart and soul into campaign after campaign, believing they could change the country and the planet. And after all their effort, what do they have to show for it? “Free” birth control that you have to pay for in higher premiums to big insurance? Talk about a cheap date. Congratulations, progressive Millennials: you’re more like Jerry Falwell than you ever imagined.” Congratulations, Progressive Millennials: You’re The Cheapest Date In Town

This is affordable coverage? “In Vermont, a 30-year-old non-smoking woman can find a plan with a monthly premium of just $56 per month! Except that the deductible is $100,000, according to the GAO report.” Young People’s Health-Plan Options Are Fine, as Long as You Ignore the Deductibles!

He’s right, but like Rep. David Schweikert says, we have to choose our words better. “In a controversial letter published in the WSJ today, Tom Perkins compares the war on the 1% to the escalation of hate propaganda in Germany that led to Kristallnacht: “I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent…This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking.” Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent “progressive” radicalism unthinkable now? Predictably, when a person invokes a Nazi comparison people scoff, and Perkins compounded his scoffability quotient by invoking the Nazi comparison while defending the rich (if you want to see scoffing, read the comments about his piece in blogs on the left). Nevertheless, what Perkins said isn’t even really all that controversial. He’s talking about the dangers of drumming up hatred, not mere disagreement with, a segment of society. His point was about Germany in the early days of the Nazis’ rise (Hitler was not even chancellor yet in 1930), not Germany in 1938 (the date of Kristallnacht) or Germany later, when the Nazi machine had gotten the death apparatus fully in gear. His point is that it’s a continuum, and the early days contain the seeds of the later ones.” The war on the 1% and the war on the opposition

Some commentary on the above link regarding Tom Harkin’s article. “When you adopt policies that promote stagnation and make the economy more of a zero-sum game, jealousy becomes much greater. And many commenters note that the Google crowd, via its generally left-leaning politics, has enabled such. True enough.” SO LEFTIES WERE ALL OVER TWITTER RIDICULING this letter in the Wall Street Journal, mostly on the grounds that its author is rich, and has a fancy penthouse place. (Ironic, given the digs some of said lefties enjoy.)

The blame game will continue until further notice. “How pathetic is it to see the leader of the free world attempting to subdue his cognitive dissonance by convincing himself that if not for pressure from voters, Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Rand Paul (R-KY) would otherwise be falling lockstep into dutiful compliance with Mr. Brilliant’s vision?” Barack Obama’s Constant State of Cognitive Dissonance

This: “There is nothing accidental about the president’s apparent foreign-policy blunders.” And this: “For Obama, America abroad is analogous to the 1 percent at home. We need not squabble over the reasons why the wealthiest Americans enjoy unequal access to the things money can buy, or why America, of all nations, finds itself with unmatched global clout and influence. The concern is only that such privilege exists; that it is unfair; that it has led to injustice for the majority; and that it must be changed.” Obama’s Recessional

Appeasement is not the answer. “Who are these people, and how do we place them in the context of history? We go back and look at those who ignored crimes against humanity, who cared more for their own power and less for principles of freedom, and we ask ourselves where those people led us. And the answer is straightforward: They led us into peril, into war and into death. Worse still, unlike foolish Chamberlains, they were the selfish Baldwins, who served their own domestic political aims at the expense of mankind.” Barack Obama — our appeaser in chief

Narrative shifts. “President Obama has already changed his vernacular concerning his second term focus of “income inequality.” He is now calling it “ladders of opportunity.” In an apparent effort to blunt criticism over his intent to engage in full-blown class warfare during his second term, Obama is softening the harsher term with a new label. The Associated Press reports that Obama has shifted his rhetoric from “complaining” about income inequality toward language that creates an appearance that he is offering support for the middle class. Since his December 4 economic speech where he used the word “inequality” 26 times, the word is nonexistent in subsequent posts on his website, his press releases, and his speeches.” Obama Shifts from ‘Income Inequality’ to ‘Ladders of Opportunity’

I know I won’t be listening.Of course it will; that was a foregone conclusion. The left thinks this will distract everyone from the problems the Democrats and Obama have been having. When in doubt, stir up class envy and turmoil. Oh, and by the way, upward mobility has not declined, according to a large and important recent study. And that was reported in the NY Times, of all places; I wonder how they let that slip by? The researchers were economics professors at Harvard and Berkeley, by the way.” State of the Union Address to focus on income inequality

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. “He also promised that the president would lay out a set of “real, concrete, practical proposals to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class and empower all who hope to join it.” In the days after the speech, Obama plans to hammer the message home with travel to Maryland, Pittsburgh, Pa., Milwaukee, Wis., and Nashville, Tenn.” After Tuesday speech, Obama to take ‘year of action’ theme on the road

Down in the dumps.Harris surveyed 2,047 adults between January 17 and 21, 2014, on the current state of the American union. The results, I think, are stunning. It would be interesting to compare the numbers to prior, similar surveys; I can’t imagine that there have been many times in our history when Americans have been so glum.” As State of the Union Approaches, Americans Are Deeply Pessimistic About the State of the Union

Of course they are not curious, he’s a conservative. “’The indictment of a major critic of the president has elicited little more than yawns from the media. This is a case where you don’t even have to connect the dots. Just read a little history.’ The press basically approves of thuggery, so long as it’s aimed at people they don’t like. They only start talking about civility, due process, the constitution, and free speech when they or their allies are in trouble. And the presumption of innocence only applies to Democratic pols and operatives. Elsewise, “indicted” is treated as tantamount to ‘convicted.’” RICK MORAN: Media Not Very Curious about D’Souza Indictment.

We definitely have a problem. But who will stop it? “Anyone familiar with my writing knows that I have bent over backwards to give the IRS the benefit of the doubt in this black eye some call the “exemption scandal.” I must admit I’m getting a little tired of bending. Back in the day, as the saying goes, I often referred to the IRS as Fortress Secrecy, a term meant to describe the agency’s obsession with hiding as much of its operations as it can get away with. I am not a casual observer, and I have never seen things this bad. Everything the IRS has done in addressing the exemption scandal leads to just one conclusion: that this agency now believes it is accountable to no one other than itself. Who is responsible for that? Commissioner Koskinen, you have a problem. President Obama, you have a problem. America, we have a problem. An agency with this much power cannot be unaccountable to the citizens it was designed to serve.” TAX ANALYSTS: Trying To Investigate The IRS Scandal, And Meeting “Fortress Secrecy.”

Chicago politics on steroids. “Politics: The Obama administration has turned the executive branch loose on its enemies — part of a disturbing and unprecedented trend toward delegitimizing political differences and marginalizing conservatives.” Obama Uses Government To Harass, Intimidate Foes

A long list of gangster acts. “* I know from personal experience that the IRS harasses Republican campaign contributors and Holder’s Department of Justice has groundlessly threatened Republican donors with criminal prosecution. These cases don’t make headlines because DOJ backs off when they can’t come up with even a “ham sandwich” indictment. But imagine how chilling it must be to be summoned before a grand jury, for absolutely no reason other than political retaliation, as the subject of a criminal investigation.” Gangster Government, Rampant

An even longer list of gangster government atrocities. “But apparently not this administration. Hillary Clinton was right. But she and those who cheered her are nowhere to be found now that the sideshow of Dixie Chicks protests have been replaced by the infinitely more threatening governmental suppression of principled public dissent. Today, left-leaning America — as well as the constitutionally protected MSM — have no interest in standing up for the patriotic right to “debate and disagree” with the Chicago-style thuggery of the Obama administration. That is tragic for the cause of liberty, our politics, and our increasingly fragile republic.” The Unceasing Political Thuggery of Obama’s Gangster Government

Patterns. “Here is one more fact. In 2012, Obama’s campaign deliberately disabled safeguards on its website, allowing it to collect illegal foreign donations. It did accept illegal foreign donations; to what extent is unknown. Those donations, and the campaign staff who disabled the safeguards, were never investigated or prosecuted. The media never showed much interest in investigating, either.” This Is Starting to Look Like a Pattern of Political Moves and Prosecutions

Get this in your heads Progressives… There’s NO SUCH THING AS FREE STUFF. “Progressives are only popular until the people realize that the men and women offering them everything for free can’t clean up the snow, but can beat them bloody and can’t fix their healthcare, but can destroy it. The left wins at politics, but fails at policies. It’s learned to stop looking like Carter, but it hasn’t figured out how to stop governing like him. When Americans realize that the political choices they make are also policy choices between large sodas, salty pretzels, open market health care and open streets on the one hand or food fascism, DMV health care and bloody faces on the other; they will choose the unorganized happiness of freedom over the disorganized tyrannies of Bloomberg, De Blasio and Obama.” The Totalitarians of New York

The Left is stuck on their narrow views of how things work. “Haidt has a theory that moral reasoning is driven by, as Zywicki writes, “five key vectors or values of psychological morality: (1) care/harm, (2) fairness, (3) loyalty, (4) authority, and (5) sanctity.” Haidt posits that “conservative values are more overlapping than liberals–conservatives have a ‘thicker’ moral worldview that includes all five values, whereas liberals have a ‘thinner’ view that rests on only two variables,” in Zywicki’s summary. Thus conservatives have a far greater capacity to understand the liberal worldview than vice versa–and, applying the theory to the case at hand, Cuomo and de Blasio are simply unable to overcome their own cognitive limits.Why They Wish the Right Left

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Filed under 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Amnesty, Big Government, Class Warfare, Economy, Foreign Policy, GOP, Governor Scott Walker, IRS, Mayor De Blasio, Media Malfeasance, Millenials, Obamacare, President Obama, The Left, Unemployment, War on Women

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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News and Commentary for January 22

It's "Blonde Brownie" day. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy one!

It’s “Blonde Brownie” day. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy one!

I love Glenn Beck. “We don’t see things as left and right. We see things as right and wrong. And we believe that the only moral position is to stand up to bullies and fascists of all kinds. We believe in equal rights for all and special privileges for none. We believe it’s our duty to dedicate our life and sacred honor to all American citizens, and every last one of us deserves and has a right, not from our government, but from our Creator, to be heard.” Glenn Beck’s Open Letter to Gov. Cuomo: Are We Welcome in New York?

Blow back, kind of. “New York Governor Andrew Cuomo claims that his extemporaneous attack on supposedly “extreme” Republicans got “distorted” by the New York Post. Of course he respects the pro-life and gun-rights Republicans! They just “have no place in New York.”” Cuomo: I guess you extremist pro-lifers can profess your views in New York after all

I’ve been dazed and confused since the day Obama was elected president. “Are you dazed and confused by Barack Obama, the nominal Democrat, whose conduct as president since 2009 has seen him sink from nearly 70 percent to 40 percent or less in the national polling, from which he has seemed to learn nothing, but still marches on? Fear not, the doctor is in: Fred Siegel of the Manhattan Institute, whose latest book, The Revolt Against The Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class, explains all you wanted to know about Obama, and much else. It explains why he never became the new Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy or Lyndon B. Johnson at his best, as he and they belong to quite different wings of their party. They wished to see the middle class thrive and enjoy their prosperity, but Obama comes from a dissident strain that finds this unnerving. Most conservative critiques of the Left blame the big government-drift, from the progressives to the New Deal to the Great Society, for most of our problems, but Siegel points to an alternative point of dissension: a contempt for the middle class, for commerce, and thus for most of the American culture, that predated the New Deal by more than a decade, and poisons our waters today.” Obama’s polls fall as middle class gets his number

Remember, to the Left, the end justifies the means, which is why they lie and why the media tends to let them get away with it. “Lying about one’s biography is no big deal in Massachusetts, where another feminist icon, Elizabeth Warren, shrugged off her false claim to be an Indian and defeated a popular incumbent Senator. Nor did it matter in New Jersey, where the lying Corey Booker breezed to victory in his Senate race. Unfortunately for Davis, she is running in Texas, where left-wing Democrats have considerably less margin for error and where, perhaps, the truth still counts for something.” The latest front in the war on women: demanding honesty from feminist politicians

For the Democrats, it’s always a war on something. “Democrats are out today calling the story about Davis part of the “war on women,” but that war evidently now includes the Dallas Morning News and the left-of-center Texas Monthly. Or it’s not a real war at all (it never was).” Has Wendy Davis’ Charmed Run for Governor Started to Implode? (Update: Meltdown)

“Politico also doesn’t mention that her opponent, who “hasn’t walked a mile” in her shoes, is a paraplegic who doesn’t walk at all. But hey, let’s hear Wendy Davis’s story about triumphing over adversity. . .” NO, THEY’RE RUNNING INTERFERENCE. THAT’S WHAT THEY DO. Michael Barone: Is Politico Telling The Full Story About Wendy Davis?

Sad. “No he doesn’t say that. I lied for the headline. I learned that from The Media (TM). But what he does say is that America seems to have reached a tipping point from which it will not recover — which is the same premise that underlies the “Let It Burn” impulse. Via Hot Air, Byron York reports a key moment in the new Romney documentary film, relaying Romney’s thoughts upon realizing he wouldn’t be the next President of the United States. “As defeat settled in, Romney discussed what to say in a concession speech — which, for all his natural pessimism, Romney had not considered ahead of time. And it was in that moment that some of Romney’s passion about the race finally came out, far from the view of voters and television cameras. Stevens suggested that the losing candidate should play an almost “pastoral” role, “soothing” the American people after a long and divisive campaign. “I don’t think it is a time for soothing and everything’s fine,” said Romney. “I think this is a time for [saying], ‘This is really serious, guys. This is really serious.'” “To get up and soothe is not my inclination,” an obviously anguished Romney continued. “I cannot believe that [Obama] is an aberration in the country. I believe we’re following the same path of every other great nation, which is we’re following greater government, tax rich people, promise more stuff to everybody, borrow until you go over a cliff. And I think we have a very high risk of reaching the tipping point sometime in the next five years. And the idea of saying ‘it’s just fine, don’t worry about it’ — no, it’s really not.Mitt Romney: Let It Burn

The class warfare is working. “And that, in the end, was the story of the election. A man born to wealth who also made his own way in the world felt that he could not beat a man from nowhere of no accomplishment and no discernible skills other than the ability to read a TelePrompter. Only in America.” Willard Agonistes

The Left will never understand that their policies always have the opposite reaction of what they intend. “It does no good to point out to them that the two American cities where rent control laws have existed longest and strongest — New York and San Francisco — are also the two cities with the highest average rents. Nor does it make a dent on them when you point out evidence, from both sides of the Atlantic, that tightening gun control laws does not reduce gun crimes, including murder. It is not uncommon for gun crimes to rise when gun control laws are tightened. Apparently armed criminals prefer unarmed victims. Minimum wage laws are another issue where the words seem to carry great weight, leading to the fact-free assumption that such laws will cause wages to rise to the legally specified minimum. Various studies going back for decades indicate that minimum wage laws create unemployment, especially among the younger, less experienced and less skilled workers.” Fact-Free Liberals: Part II

I have many Democrat friends, and they refuse to believe that Obama and his administration are radicals. “Obama has profited by extremist actions and the radicalism of nominees being ignored throughout his administration.  The extent of the radicalism places the GOP in unfamiliar territory.  Many in leadership still behave and speak as if they are dealing with a president from the Democratic Party of the Kennedy era.  This impotent response will complete the job for the radicals and ensure the fundamental transformation they seek.  Radicals who are treated like moderates are free to implement policy without scrutiny or exposure.” Stop Giving Obama Radicals the Benefit of the Doubt

Our federal government is definitely running amok. “Why is the EPA altering state boundaries in Wyoming – and reversing over 100 years of established law?  Well, apparently the city of Riverton now falls under the jurisdiction of the Wind River Indian Reservation.  This, obviously, isn’t sitting well with the governor’s office – which is urging the EPA to reconsider its ruling and respect the rule of law. Reacting to the decision to reduce the size of Wyoming by about a million acres, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead warned of the dangers to all Americans of this type of unilateral land redistribution by the EPA: “I understand that the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes have a different opinion about the Wind River Reservation Boundary. My deep concern is about an administrative agency of the federal government altering a state’s boundary and going against over 100 years of history and law. “This should be a concern to all citizens because, if the EPA can unilaterally take land away from a state, where will it stop?” Governor Matt Mead said in a press release on January 6.” EPA Decree Shrinks Size of Wyoming by a Million Acres

Interesting. ““Unemployment in its truest definition, meaning the portion of people who do not have any job, is 37.2 percent. This number obviously includes some people who are not or never plan to seek employment. But it does describe how many people are not able to, do not want to or cannot find a way to work. Policies that remove the barriers to employment, thus decreasing this number, are obviously beneficial,” he and colleague Megan Russell in their new investors note from their offices in Charlottesville, Va.” Wall Street adviser: Actual unemployment is 37.2%, ‘misery index’ worst in 40 years

This: “An executive order issued by President Barack Obama that was designed to “cut red tape” has added $10.2 billion in regulatory costs to the economy, according to a new report.” And this: “1.5 billion more hours of paperwork in 3 years.” Obama Executive Order to ‘Cut Red Tape’ Has Added $10.2 Billion in Costs to Economy

Shocking! “A record 20% of American households, one in five, were on food stamps in 2013, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The numbers also show there was a record number of individuals on food stamps in 2013 and that the cost of the program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), was at an all-time high.” Record 20% of Households on Food Stamps in 2013

Wise words. “A country where intentions are enough to stick to bad policy and bad outcomes is not a compassionate one. It’s an intellectually lazy country that thinks it can outsource compassion to elected officials, especially in light of the new mass of evidence of how poorly they run our lives. “Fix and improve” may be the Democrat strategy, but why should anyone think they are the ones to do it considering this is the mess they built? One has to wonder how long good intentions will trump reality in the mind of the electorate.” ObamaCare Supporters: The Americans Who Forgot To Rebel

Calamity. “Despite repeated reassurances that ObamaCare website glitches were fixed, officials are frantically trying to repair massive problems that, by their own admission, could crush ObamaCare and the insurance industry. Throughout December, administration officials said that they’d all but fixed the start-up problems with the ObamaCare exchange site, pointing to the sharp increase in enrollment that month as evidence. And as to those “back end” problems that sent erroneous information to insurers, they claimed to have cut the error rate to less than 1% by early December. But hidden from view, administration officials were in a state of panic. A procurement document posted on a federal website, but little noticed by the press, depicts an administration desperate to immediately replace CGI, the key contractor behind Healthcare.gov, with Accenture. The need was so immediate, the document says, that the usual competitive bidding process had to be dispensed with. Why the urgency?” ObamaCare Puts ‘Entire Health Insurance Industry At Risk’

Implosion coming soon. “Instead, I expect that the administration is going to issue “temporary” administrative fixes for most of the law’s unpopular bits — just as it has so far. That’s not going to get any easier as midterms and then a presidential election creep closer. And then Republicans will make the “temporary” fixes permanent. And by the time everyone’s done “fixing” the original grand vision, not much of it will be left. This is why I argued that Obamacare, the vision, is now beyond rescue. And a surprising number of Upper West Siders apparently agreed with me.” Resolved: Obamacare Is Now Beyond Rescue

Does the Republican party have a death wish? “Yet the House GOP is poised to use a piecemeal strategy as cover to enact, more or less, the Democrats’ agenda on immigration — giving the party millions of dependable Democratic votes as a consequence. What political party in the history of the world has ever been this self-loathing?” House GOP Plans To Save Obama With Immigration Reform

It’s how President Obama wants it—as a country, we’ve got to be taken down a notch or two. “America’s most worrisome problem may not be the failed takeover of our healthcare system. It may not be our languishing economy or even the massive federal debt hanging over future generations. As dangerous as these problems are, perhaps more perilous is just how far our nation has fallen in the eyes of our allies and the lack of caution our feckless foreign policy inspires in our adversaries.” Our Gravest Peril

Clueless. “That’s not JV; it’s a realistic and deadly post-9/11 pivot. But from the Afghan and Iraq withdrawals to appeasing Iran, this adapted, less centralized al-Qaida knows it faces a serious lack of U.S. commitment to the global war on terror. The basketball analogy may lull the public into complacently thinking no more bin Laden means a disintegrating al-Qaida. It shouldn’t take a second 9/11 — one that conceivably could kill many times the number lost that day — to keep Americans vigilant.” Obama’s ‘JV’ al-Qaida Is Far From Shooting Hoops

How long are we going to continue to let this happen? “America is a class-based society. But based on politics, not economics. An elite political class runs the state to their benefit. The rest of us pay the bill.” America’s Bipartisan Political Class

This: “The Daily Beast’s Brian Ries noted at 4:23 p.m. on Tuesday evening as the snow began to fall at an overwhelming pace that the Upper East Side had been conspicuously avoided by city plows. Is it merely a coincidence, then, that the Upper East Side was the portion of the city where de Blasio’s chief rival for the Democratic mayoral nomination in 2013 performed the strongest?” And this: “That charge is serious, even potentially criminal. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence to support them, evidence which has thus far not been produced. It is foolish to suggest that de Blasio sought to punish his political adversaries in such a ham-handed fashion even though the circumstantial evidence to support this charge does exist. Why, then, does he deserve the benefit of the doubt when Christie does not?” Rothman: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Culture of Intimidation

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News and Commentary for January 17 – 20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Filed under 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Amnesty, Arizona Politics, Benghazi, Big Government, Capitalism, Charles Krauthammer, Class Warfare, Common Core, Communism, Economy, EPA, Hillary, IRS, Marxism, Media Malfeasance, Middle Class, Millenials, Obamacare, President Obama, Rep. Krysten Sinema, Socialism, The Left, War on the Elderly

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