Category Archives: Elites

News and Commentary for February 26

From this day forward, I choose Faith.

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

Stories of the Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AARP

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

Arizona

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

America in Decline

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

Benghazi

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

Big Government Lawlessness

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

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

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

The Economy

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

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

Elections

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

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

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

Food Stamps

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

Global Warming

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

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

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

Hillary Clinton

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

IRS

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

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

These new IRS rules will:

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

Tell the IRS:

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

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

The Left

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

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

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

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

Obamacare

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

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

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

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

Regulation

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

Voter ID

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

Welfare State

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

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News and Commentary for February 24

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

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

Stories of the Day

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

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

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

Benghazi

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

Big Government

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

Common Core

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

Economics

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

Leftist Elites

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

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

Freedom of Speech

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

Global Warming

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

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

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

Military

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

Obamacare

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

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

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

News and Commentary for February 19

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

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

Stories of the Day

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

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

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

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

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

Climate Change

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

Debt

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

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

The Economy

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

Foreign Policy

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

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

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

Green Energy

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

Hillary

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

Hollywood

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

IRS

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

Jobs

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

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

Media

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

Obamacare

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

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

Our Military

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

Politics

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

President Obama

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

Unions

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

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