Category Archives: Hillary

News and Commentary for February 26

From this day forward, I choose Faith.

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

Stories of the Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AARP

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

Arizona

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

America in Decline

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

Benghazi

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

Big Government Lawlessness

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

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

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

The Economy

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

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

Elections

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

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

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

Food Stamps

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

Global Warming

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

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

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

Hillary Clinton

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

IRS

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

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

These new IRS rules will:

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

Tell the IRS:

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

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

The Left

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

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

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

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

Obamacare

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

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

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

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

Regulation

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

Voter ID

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

Welfare State

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

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

News and Commentary for February 21

It's National "Sticky Bun" Day. Yummmmmm.

It’s National “Sticky Bun” Day. Yummmmmm!

Stories of the Day

Scary times. In Obama’s world, free press is considerably less free than ever before, and it is about to get even more less free. This story is so important that I’ve posted all that I found on it in my “Stories of the Day” section. “Try this one on for size: The FCC has proposed sending “researchers” into newsrooms across the country to find out why stories impacting minorities aren’t being reported.” Feds to snoop in newsrooms. What could go wrong?

“Last week, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai disclosed the existence of the FCC’s new “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” a study that would send FCC researchers (monitors?) into newsrooms across the nation to determine, among other things, whether news organizations are meeting citizens “actual” as opposed to “perceived” information needs. As designed, the study empowers researchers to not only ask a series of questions of news staff, it also provides (in pages 10 and 11) advice for gaining access to employees even when broadcasters and their Human Resources refuse to provide confidential employee information. The Obama administration FCC is abusing its regulatory authority by attempting to discern the inner workings of American newsrooms.” Echoes of the IRS in the FCC Snooping Scandal

“The FCC explained that it wanted information from television and radio broadcasters “to ascertain the process by which stories are selected, station priorities (for content production quality, and populations served), perceived station bias, perceived percent of news dedicated to each of the eight CIN’s and perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.” The FCC has identified eight CINs, or key topics that the government believes should be covered. According to the actual FCC report, the eight CINs are:

1. emergencies and risks, both immediate and long term;
2. health and welfare, including specifically local health information as well as group
specific health information where it exists;
3. education, including the quality of local schools and choices available to parents;
4. transportation, including available alternatives, costs, and schedules;
5. economic opportunities, including job information, job training, and small business
assistance;
6. the environment, including air and water quality and access to recreation;
7. civic information, including the availability of civic institutions and opportunities to
associate with others;
8. political information, including information about candidates at all relevant levels of local governance, and about relevant public policy initiatives affecting communities and neighborhoods.” FCC Monitors Your News, Komrade

“It’s only taken seven years, but a member of the mainstream media is finally asking “what are they thinking?” That would be the formerly “respectable” Howard Kurtz, the Columbia J-school grad who wrote for the Washington Post and worked for CNN and the Daily Beast, before he fell from grace and landed at Fox News, where he writes: What on earth is the FCC thinking?” [snip] “Well, read the whole thing, because it’s worth it (and read FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai’s rather heroic bit of whistleblowing on the matter, dated February 10, and finally getting some attention beyond the blogs) but before you go, allow me to answer Kurtz’ opening query: “What are they thinking?” Mr. Kurtz, it’s pretty obvious; they’re thinking no one in the mainstream press has asked them a difficult or challenging question in 7 years, so why would they start now.” Over FCC Plans, MSM Finally a Bit Curious re Obama Admin – UPDATED

“Howie Kurtz wants to know what the FCC was thinking when it proposed to monitor how editorial decisions are made in news media. (Including in newspapers, over which they have no jurisidiction whatsoever.)

Oh, She’s got answers. Some of these answers are obvious, but apparently they didn’t occur to Kurtz.

After summing up what they were thinking (which I don’t want to excerpt, because it’s smokin’-hot, and you should click over there), she concludes:

‘The biggest problem in our nation is not the Democrats, or the Republicans; it is not the Obama Administration, just as it wasn’t the Bush Administration, and it won’t be future Clinton or Warren Administrations. Our biggest problem is that the press has voluntarily surrendered its freedoms for the sake of idols and ideologies. Because this is true, our government is either factionalized, fictionalized and bombarded with daily media outrage and indignation, or it is given an utterly free pass, with no accountability required. Either way, it is a process of illusion, which gives assist to the necessary distraction, and that’s all. I didn’t want to write about this today. The truth is, I don’t even want to write about politics, anymore, because it’s all distraction and illusion and theater. I’d be happy to write about prayer and scripture, and nothing else, for the rest of my life, and maybe that’s what I’ll be doing, soon enough. But I am passionate about journalism, passionate about the need for a free press, and so I had to write, today. Without a curious press interested in protecting its own freedoms, there is no there, there. We might as well just put down the mics and turn out the lights, because it’s over.’” “What Was the FCC Thinking?” The Anchoress Answers Howie Kurtz

“The Obama administration has been curtailing press freedom – but that hasn’t ended the press’ drool-cup worship for their beloved president. Despite occasional flare-ups, the relationship between the Obama White House and its press lackeys remains strong. Which is not only a testament to the tyrannical tendencies of the Obama administration, but to the cowardice of those who cover it.” Obama Crackdown on Press Freedom Escalates

Benghazi

If the FCC gets its way, stories like this won’t be allowed to be reported. “Two leading Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say that Michael Morell, former deputy director and twice acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, provided an account of his role on Benghazi that was often highly misleading and at times deliberately false. “I went back and reviewed some of his testimony the other day and he’s gotten himself in a real box,” says Senator Saxby Chambliss, the highest-ranking Republican on the committee. “It’s really strange. I’ve always thought Mike was a straight-up guy, gave us good briefings—factual, straightforward. I mean, this has really been strange the last few weeks—all this now being uncovered.” Lawmakers: CIA #2 Lied to Us About Benghazi

Big Government

When will Congress say “STOP?” “But the aggressive push for climate change is about more than Obama’s desire to shape his legacy as the president who would, as he said in his megalomaniacal 2008 boast, slow “the rise of the oceans” and “heal” the planet. What we are now witnessing is an attempt to create an imperial presidency that seeks to govern without Congress at home as opposed to the traditional model in which commanders in chief conduct wars and foreign policy without being held accountable.” Big Trucks, Obama, and the Rule of Law

Common Core

“Who would have thought the champion of charters and school choice, the foe of teachers unions, was connected to Common Core before most people had even heard the term?  Michelle Rhee is that woman and she has poured millions into getting Republican candidates elected in at least 17 states [in 2012, 90 out of the 105 candidates backed by Rhee were Republicans or conservatives] Texas may be next on the list — see USA Today op-ed co-authored by Rhee and Susan Combs, Texas State Comptroller.” Michelle Rhee: School Choice and Common Core Cheerleader

The Constitution

Thank goodness for Senator Mike Lee. “During a Senate oversight hearing, Lee asked Holder by what legal authority Obama suspended Obamacare’s employer mandate, which covers all companies with 50 or more employees. Holder admitted that he had no ready answer, that there were legal memos on this subject, but that he could not recall what they said. Lee sharply criticized this lack of an answer and requested that Holder provide to the committee copies of the legal memos making the case for Obama to be able to do this.” Eric Holder Can’t Explain if Constitution Allows Obama’s Executive Actions

“The Constitution disperses power among the branches of government and between levels of government to prevent unilateral action and force publicly conducted deliberation.  Mr. Obama has made it clear that public deliberation and the compromises that go with it are not for him.  The question now is, are they for the rest of us?” “Administration Lawlessness? Executive Orders Aren’t the Half of It.” by Clark S. Judge

Debt

Read the whole thing, please. “While Democrats have spent the last few months trying in vain to engender a public outcry about income inequality, the greatest challenge facing the country remains the same: a long-term budget and debt crisis fueled by the rising cost of entitlements that can’t be fixed with token spending cuts or higher taxes on the rich. But the 2015 budget that President Obama will propose this year will ignore it. Instead of building on the discussions that he has had with Republicans in recent years in which he has at least contemplated a form of entitlement reform, there will be no mention of indexing cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients or any other measure intended to check the growth of expenditures by the government. Instead, the president is proposing $56 billion more in federal spending on pet projects.” Obama Budget: Dems Still Status Quo Party

From the UK press. You won’t see anything about it here. “Americans are taking on debt at a rate not seen since just before the country spiraled into the Great Recession. Federal Reserve Bank of New York data out Tuesday indicates that consumers have slowly loosened their belts since the dark days of the recession began in ’07. But the stunningly high rate at which borrowing has risen in recent months, and the nation’s history debt-driven economic downturn, leave room to worry the data could spell impending disaster.” U.S. consumer debt spikes at rate not seen since just before the Great Recession

Elections

SAN ANTONIO, TX–The most recent James O’Keefe expose released on Breitbart Texas showed a Battleground Texas field organizer engaging in a seemingly illegal data mining operation where confidential information from voter registration forms was being collected in an effort to help elect Wendy Davis as governor of Texas. The video has now triggered a process by which an investigation carried by the State of Texas may occur.” Unrepentant Battleground Texas Now Subject to State Investigation

We must not let the Left destroy her, because they will hit her with all they have. “The last thing Democrats want on the national stage is a black conservative Republican, anti-abortion, successful single mom who worked her way through college to achieve her American dream (without seeking government for answers).  They do not want another non-victim-minded black elected official out there touting traditional values, preaching that the rewards of hard work and self-reliance are self-respect and dignity.  It would drive Democrats to drink.” Oh, No! Another Black Conservative Republican Running for Office

Energy

“The steep increase is the result of new rules implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency requiring any new power plant coming on line to use carbon capture and sequestration technologies intended to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases dispatched into the atmosphere. Climatologists maintain man-made greenhouse gases are a primary contributor to global climate change. A number of lawmakers and utility officials assert installing the carbon capture technology in newly constructed power plants can’t be accomplished in a fiscally sustainable manner, meaning power companies will turn to alternative fuel sources like natural gas.” Coal Regulations Could Hike Energy Costs as Much as 80 Percent

Foreign Policy

Does our president have even a clue of the impact his weakness is having upon the world? “It’s clear that around the globe today, the person who is respected and feared and shaping world events is not Mr. Obama, who is seen as an impotent amateur, but the brutal Vladimir Putin, who is reasserting Russian dominance in Ukraine and the Middle East, among other places. We all know Barack Obama is weak and essentially powerless; he simply makes things worse with his bluster. He’s a pushover, and the entire world–our adversaries and our allies–know it.” Obama’s Worthless Threats

“The abandonment of American interests in an effort to provide Moscow with reparations for the perceived offenses of the previous eight years has evolved from puerile and foolish to downright irresponsible. Today, real lives are being lost and the world has been made less secure as a result of the president’s folly.” Rothman: Obama’s Blood-Soaked ‘Reset’ with Russia

“Ukraine joins the long list of countries that have regressed into deeper shadow under President Obama and his two Secretaries of State, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. The list of just those countries we know about because they have have made huge headlines include Iran and its lost Green Revolution, Egypt and the years of chaos begun when the president and his team had four policies vis-a-vis Egypt in as many days, Libya where “leading from behind” was coined, Syria where the red line faded into black, Lebanon and Jordan where the Syrians sought refuge, Iraq where the peace has been forfeited and civil war begun again, Afghanistan where our scamper is underway and the Taliban is waiting, and this week Venezuela and Ukraine where American fecklessness has emboldened the worst of the locals to imprison and kill.” The Obama-Clinton-Kerry Legacy

Why should he? “Ukraine Defense Minister Pavel Lebedev has refused to take multiple phone calls made personally by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Pentagon said Thursday.

“Secretary Hagel has been trying, himself, since early this week,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters. Lebedev refuses “to communicate, to accept a phone call” from Hagel or the Pentagon.” Ukraine defense minister ignores repeated phone calls from Chuck Hagel

Global Warming

Scaring us so they control us even more than they do now. “Climate-change proponents have made their cause a matter of fealty and faith. For folks who pretend to be brave carriers of the scientific ethic, there’s more than a tinge of religion in their jeremiads. If you whore after other gods, the Bible tells us, “the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit” (Deuteronomy 11). Sounds like California. Except that today there’s a new god, the Earth Mother. And a new set of sins — burning coal and driving a fully equipped F-150. But whoring is whoring, and the gods must be appeased. So if California burns, you send your high priest (in a carbon-belching Air Force One, but never mind) to the bone-dry land to offer up, on behalf of the repentant congregation, a $1 billion burnt offering called a “climate-resilience fund.” Ah, settled science in action.” The Myth of ‘Settled Science:’ Computer models of climate change have been dead wrong, yet alarmists aim to quell debate.

Ouch. “Last week, John Kerry burned 12 tons of carbon to travel to Indonesia and declare global warming as the biggest WMD of all. In what has become the general model of climate-change alarmism, he told his audience that Jakarta would soon be half-submerged thanks to the rising of the oceans that the election of his boss supposedly stopped. The Chicken Little spectacle was so embarrassing that Newt Gingrich suggested that Kerry should retire out of embarrassment, if not national security. “A delusional secretary of state,” Gingrich tweeted, “is dangerous to our safety.” In the same speech, Kerry referred to climate skeptics as “Flat Earth Society” holdouts. That caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal and two fellows of the American Meteorological Society, Professors of Atmospheric Science Richard McNider and John Christy. Dr. Christy served at one time on the IPCC, the UN body that pushes anthropogenic climate change as the bogeyman of our time, and shared in its Nobel Prize along with Al Gore. Christy and McNider, however, teach a history lesson to Kerry before addressing his shrieking hysteria on global warming. It was the Flat Earthers who clung to “consensus,” and the skeptics who turned out to be right.” WSJ to Kerry: Flat Earthers were the “consensus” position

Hillary

While MSM is desperately trying to get another “email takes down governor” story going vis-a-vis Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Governor came on my show Wednesday and I asked him about 2016 and the prospects of facing Hillary on the debate stage with so many debacles roiling the world that she, her successor John Kerry, and President Obama had failed to prevent or even ameliorate. The complete transcript of the conversation is here. Governor Walker’s first take on Hillary’s record: I think the biggest problem that Secretary of State Clinton has is much bigger than just that, it’s that she is throughout her adult life, she has been a product of Washington, whether she’s been there, worked there, Secretary of State, United States Senator, not only first lady, but back to her days working on the Hill. And I think Americans now more than ever have had it with the whole bunch in Washington, and they want somebody to come in, actually, they want a group of people to come in and completely turn things around and reform things, and put the power back in the hands of the hard-working people of this country. So I think for her, her connection, her longevity connected to Washington, more than anything, is going to be a huge liability for her.” Scott Walker Assesses Hillary’s Record: “She was good at flying around the world…”

The Left

“Twenty-two years ago an event occurred that was the primary catalyst in the election of the Obama administration with its totalitarian mindset and statist convictions.  The presidential election of 1992 marked the turning point when the American people set in motion the dynamic that has eventuated in the dominance of government by the radical element of the American left.   These ideologues have skillfully exploited an overwhelmingly self-centered and ill-educated populace, while being greatly aided by a foolishly sanctimonious segment of the electorate.   These factors, in combination with a political system that is limited to two political parties, have placed the United States in its present predicament.” The Curse of the Sanctimonious Class

Marriage

Marriage as an “alternative lifestyle?” “But isn’t it fascinating that NBC views a man taking care of his wife and daughter as an alternative lifestyle? I’m glad David Wise won gold, but if this is any indication of media views on normalcy, our society is pretty much doomed.” Being Married With Kids And Young Now Deemed “Alternative Lifestyle” – NBC has interesting ideas about what’s outside the cultural norm

The Media

This: “By the way, 3 years ago today, in the Wisconsin protests, which included teachers who were calling in sick to absent themselves from the classroom, doctors stood on a street corner under a sign that read “I’m a doctor/Need a note?” They were real doctors, putting their names on notes that the protesters could use to excuse their absence from work. When lefty politicians or groups break the law, the press’s attitude is “politics ain’t beanbag.” And this: “But that forbearance doesn’t extend to Republicans.: And this: It’s interesting to watch the press try to do oppo-research and battlespace-prep on every GOP figure who gets mentioned. These are the same people who told us that looking into Obama’s background — or lack of actual accomplishments — was racist, and that looking into Hillary’s background — or lack of actual accomplishments — is sexist.” WISCONSIN SCANDALS THE PRESS NEVER CARED ABOUT

“As we reported earlier, the unfolding situation in Venezuela is not pretty. The protests against Chávez successor Nicolás Maduro‘s regime have reportedly turned violent, similar to the chaos seen in Ukraine.  At least six protesters have been shot, homes have reportedly been raided, and government efforts to suppress the gatherings are underway. Wednesday night was a particularly violent night. Venezuelan journalist Francisco Toro noticed that as the pandemonium unfurls before his country’s eyes, it has barely registered with the international media. In a post for Caracas Chronicles, Toro took major outlets to task for ignoring what has become a slow-motion crumbling of the Latin American country.” Venezuelan Journalist Rightly Wonders Why American Media Ignores Unfolding Crisis

Minimum Wage

The government making everything worse, as usual. “Whether one likes it or not, employers who want their company to survive (let alone prosper) do have to consider the effects of mandated minimum wage-increases on their business’s ability to make a profit (and thereby continue employing people). And that sometimes results in a freezing or even a reduction of staff numbers in particular industries. A well-intentioned flipping of the switch, it turns out, can make matters worse for some of the very people one is trying to help. But another aspect that’s not often considered is how policies emanating from other government institutions undermine the impact of mandated minimum wages. If, for instance, a central bank continues to follow loose monetary policy (as an ultimately ineffective way of trying to compensate for the failure of governments and legislatures to undertake the serious economic reforms that sustain growth over the long term), then the declining purchasing power of a given currency can nullify any beneficial effect of a minimum-wage increase, not to mention the gains of wage rises in general. A 3 percent decline in a currency’s purchasing power over the year, for example, more than halves the real benefits of a 5 percent wage increase in the same year.” Our Minimum-Wage Circus

Obamacare

If Democrats Think They Can Run on Obamacare… they’ve got another thing coming. Check out this absolutely brutal–because it is true–ad that Americans For Prosperity is running in Michigan:

Most of us live in realville. “Out in the world beyond what Washington manufactures and spins, no one would get away with putting out a product as flawed as ObamaCare. Today’s public won’t accept that kind of performance. From the largest consumer-product companies down to the local sandwich shop, you’ve got to deliver the goods at a sustained level of competent execution. Not everyone deserves a gold badge from J.D. Power, but by and large it has become very difficult to sustain a shoddy product in the marketplace anymore. Except the government. And the Democratic Party is nothing if not the party whose identity is bound up with government services and the public unions that deliver those services.  Good enough for government work was once just a joke. Some years ago I sat with a roomful of people in lower Manhattan’s federal Social Security office for a half hour with no discernible forward movement. The clerks seemed to have disappeared. Suddenly a frustrated lady shot up and screamed, “This place is worse than the department of motor vehicles!” To which the guard at the door responded: “Oh no, ma’am. They’re still worse than we are.” Henninger: The Rube Goldberg Democrats: ObamaCare is the party’s unworkable contraption of nonperformance.

ObamaCare: Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius claims “there is absolutely no evidence” that health reform is killing jobs. Liars are legion in politics, but they usually stop short of claiming the sun didn’t rise this morning. In George Orwell’s “1984,” “Doublethink” was the government’s “conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty.” [Snip] “IBD’s John Merline last June surveyed local news reports around the country and found private- and public-sector employers alike “cutting part-time hours specifically so they can skirt ObamaCare’s costly employer mandate.” [Snip] “Lying in the face of massive failure is one thing, Madam Secretary. But denial of obvious realities goes beyond honesty and borders on delusional.” Sebelius Denies Well-Documented ObamaCare Joblessness

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Filed under 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Benghazi, Big Government, Common Core, Constitution, Debt, Energy, Foreign Policy, Freedom of the Press, Global Warming, Hillary, Marriage, Minimum Wage, Obamacare, The Left, The Media, Ukraine, Venezuela

News and Commentary for February 19

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

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

Stories of the Day

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

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

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

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

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

Climate Change

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

Debt

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

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

The Economy

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

Foreign Policy

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

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

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

Green Energy

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

Hillary

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

Hollywood

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

IRS

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

Jobs

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

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

Media

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

Obamacare

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

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

Our Military

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

Politics

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

President Obama

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

Unions

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

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

News and Commentary for February 18

I had my number 15 tooth pulled today. This is how I feel.

I had my number 15 tooth pulled this morning. And this basically sums up how I feel.

Stories of the Day

A depressing must-read. This: “America is unraveling at a stunning speed and to a staggering degree. This decline is breathtaking, and the prognosis is dim. And this: America is a total mess. The Land of the Free is governed by an out-of-control egomaniac, neither bolstered by managerial competence nor hindered by the legislature’s institutional prerogatives. In the Home of the Brave, half of Congress cheers Obama’s unconstitutional behavior, while the other half grumbles and then meekly carpet-bombs his path with white flags. The American people have been betrayed — both by Obama and the Democrats, whose lust for control intensifies daily, and by Republican leaders in Washington, whose cowardice and defeatism have turned their guts and spines into tapioca. America, as Paul Simon sings, is slip-slidin’ away. And the worst part hasn’t happened yet.” The United States of Decline

They know better than us. And they look down their noses at us. “The roots of American liberalism are not compassion, but snobbery. That’s the thesis of Fred Siegel’s revealing new book, The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class.” The Failure of Obama’s Aristocracy of Merit: The liberal elite believe they are uniquely fit to govern; their policies discredit that claim.

Where’s the rest of the media on this? “A tipster tried to warn the Labor Department in 2011 that its unemployment statistics were being fabricated by the people at the Census Bureau who compile the data. But the warning was either missed or ignored by Labor. That allegedly allowed the data falsification to go on for years. As I’ve been telling you, the falsification is now the subject of a number of investigations, including one by the House Oversight Committee and Congress’ Joint Economic Committee.” Censusgate: When and what did Labor know?

If you encourage “class warfare” this is what you get. “Google’s corporate mantra may be to do no evil, but to a determined band of activists in San Francisco the company could just be the devil incarnate. Corporate buses that Google and other tech companies lay on to ferry their workers from the city to Silicon Valley, 30 or 40 miles to the south, are being targeted by an increasingly assertive guerrilla campaign of disruption. Over the last two months, a groundswell of discontent over the privatisation of the Bay Area’s transport system has erupted into open revolt. Well organised protesters have blocked buses, unfurled banners and distributed flyers to tech commuters who have seemed either nonplussed, embarrassed or downright terrified. And this could be just the beginning. “We’re in the planning process for the next protest,” one of the organisers, Erin McElroy, told the Observer. “We’re trying to stay creative with each one, not just repeat over and over.” San Francisco’s guerrilla protest at Google buses swells into revolt: Campaign against tech giant pricing ordinary citizens out of the housing market becomes increasingly disruptive and forces city to act

A companion piece to the above post. “In 1950, nobody thought Detroit — by many measures then the world’s most prosperous city — would end up a half-abandoned, bankrupt, violent basket case. Nobody thought that U.S. automakers would be so inept as to fail to keep up with Japanese and European competitors, that their unions would be so corrupt and rapacious, or that the city of Detroit would slide into Third World standards of municipal governance. But bear this in mind: The automakers had large, expensive factories in Detroit. Their capital was physical. Sure, Google and Apple have real estate and physical infrastructure in California, but high-tech firms are much less tied to the land than were their industrial-age competitors. California’s cities are falling to bankruptcy and fiscal crisis like water dripping in a sink. Meanwhile, the local radicals, driven by envy and ideology, have taken to accosting Silicon Valley engineers at their homes. The companies are responding with increased reliance upon private security forces. But there are other possible responses, such as relocating to where they are more welcome. Is San Francisco the progressives’ best counterexample to the devastation in Detroit? Ask again in 20 years.” The Golden Gated Communities

Arizona

Apparently Ann Kirkpatrick is now wagging her finger at something SHE voted for. This: “In the last couple of days, the political press has introduced us to the Democrats’ emerging strategy for the upcoming midterm congressional elections. They will be running as the arsonists who can be trusted to put out their fire. They are being less explicit about the first part, of course. The New York Times has a story that exemplifies the cognitive dissonance. It begins with a campaign ad by Democratic Representative Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona trumpeting the fact that when the Healthcare.gov website sputtered out of the gate, she wagged her finger at it.And this: “In one sense, it’s encouraging that Democrats are kinda-sorta confronting reality. But in another sense, this follows the classic storyline of American liberalism. Progressives animated by ideology, ignorant of policy and economics, and filled with contempt for the voters institute leftist policy. The policy is, unsurprisingly, a wreck. As others attempt to clean up their mess, liberals intervene to promise to fix what they’ve done, usually through yet more state coercion.” ObamaCare Supporters Swear They Can Be Trusted This Time

I bought a loaf of bread yesterday. Slices are now the size of cracker. And have you noticed how small crackers are getting? “It’s is not her imagination. While the government says prices are up 6.4 percent since 2011, chicken is up 18.4 percent, ground beef is up 16.8 percent and bacon has skyrocketed up 22.8 percent, making it a holiday when it’s on sale. “Oh my god!” Singer said as she spied bacon for $3. “The things that are going up in price are the things I absolutely need to buy,” she said. “It’s the meat, it’s the milk, it’s the eggs and it’s getting out of hand.”” Food prices soar as incomes stand still

The intent is to have more folks looking to the government for help. “Since the 1960s, the progressives have waged war against “middle class morality.” What better way to undermine it than to get rid of the middle class?” HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Joel Kotkin: The U.S. Middle Class Is Turning Proletarian.

Common Core

Criticism from the Left. “Now comes “an acclaimed high school principle” from Long Island Carol Burris, who states flatly that Common Core is a “disaster.” “We see kids,” Burris added, “they don’t want to go to school anymore.” Common Core Gets Knocked –By The Left

Economy

The people give the Stimulus an F. “Another way to look at whether the stimulus has worked or not is to measure it against the impact the administration said it would achieve. If you remember, back in 2009, Christina Romer, then the chair of the CEA, made the case to the White House and Democrats in Congress that if the gigantic bill were adopted, it would prevent unemployment from 8 percent. Well, the bill passed, the spending machine was activated, and unemployment swelled all the way to 10 percent, and stayed there for a significant number of months. Five years later, unemployment rates have finally come down, but many economists agree that the drop has a lot to do with people giving up on looking for work. The lucky ones who have actually gone back to work have often settled for part-time jobs and lower pay. Whether this chronic under-employment can be described as “a success” is up for debate especially since its long-term negative consequences can be significant.” Five Years of Stimulus

Elections

We need to stop being the Charlie Browns to the Lucys. This: “Now the same people who got us into this mess are telling us we should go along and trust them to fix the same damn problem that they created in the first place. Liberals are the Lucys of American politics, holding the football and promising that this time it’ll be different. We need to stop being the Charlie Browns.” And this: “If the rules of the game are now that there are no rules, then the only political currency is raw power. But we know what happens when there are no rules, where pure power is the sole measure of right and wrong. I served in countries like that. They are full of mass graves. The American system’s strength is not that everyone always wins. It is that the system cultivates our ability to lose gracefully, to understand that you were heard, that you had your say, that there was a process, and that you lost fair and square. It sustains itself by reinforcing its own legitimacy. But if your losses aren’t fair, if you haven’t been heard, if the rules have been bent or broken or ignored, that crucial legitimacy is gone. And then there are no rules to respect. What keeps this grand experiment in freedom going is that we honored, at least until now, our Constitution’s boundaries. Sure, we pushed at the edges, nudged the envelope, sometimes fudged the line, but what is happening now is different. What’s happening now is that the line is being erased.” Failing Liberals Turn To Oppression To Hold On To Power

This: “There’s been a series of good articles this week providing ample evidence that, for the most part, unions’ main goal is to promote the survival of unions themselves rather than the interests of working-class Americans. Take this weekend interview in the Wall Street Journal of Eva Moskowitz, a “Democrat and educational-reform champion who runs the city’s largest charter network.” As it turns out, Ms. Moskowitz has become Enemy No. 1 of the new mayor, Bill de Blasio, and the teachers’ unions. Why? Because she’s New York’s most vocal advocate of charter schools and a hero to thousands of lower-income parents in the city. The track record of the 6,700 students of modest means who attend her network of mostly non-unionized 22 schools speaks for itself. And this: “Unfortunately, public-sector unions are thriving – especially compared with private-sector unions. According to a recent BLS report about public and private sector union membership in 2013:

  • “Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (35.3 percent) more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.7 percent).”
  • “Within the public sector, the union membership rate was highest for local government (40.8 percent), which includes employees in heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters.” It’s time to dismantle public-sector unions and to hold lawmakers accountable for the bad decisions they make to placate or please their union donors.” Unions: America’s Biggest Political Donors

It’s time to dismantle public-sector unions and to hold lawmakers accountable for the bad decisions they make to placate or please their union donors.” Unions: America’s Biggest Political Donors

“Last week The Gateway Pundit reported the “Evil” Koch Brothers Rank # 59 in political donations behind 18 different Democrat unions. But, there’s more… The political left always accuses the Republican Party of being the “party of rich guys.” It’s a lie. According to analysis from the political donation website Open Secrets:

A) Since 1989 Top DNC Donors have spent a total of $1,152,389,462.00 (With a B)
B) Since 1989 Top RNC Donors have spent a total or $736,075,110.00 (With an M)
C) Committed Democrat donors have outspent committed Republican donors by nearly $486 million since 1989

t: “The arguments by Democrats that the RNC is trying “buy or rig elections” are utterly false.
The Republican Party is the party of the middle class. What the party of the KKK, Jim Crow, Al Capone, Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger, Robert Byrd, and Barack Obama really fear is legitimate competition.” The REAL Party of the Rich Guys: Top Dem Donors Have Outspent Top GOP Donors by $486 Million in Last 25 Years. And, the top ten DNC donors outspent the top ten RNC donors by nearly 2 to 1 since 1989!

Hillary

Yes, Hillary’s past does matter and here’s why. “In the 2012 presidential race, for example, many in the press were very interested in business deals Mitt Romney made in the 1980s. In the 2004 race, many journalists were even more interested in what George W. Bush did with the Texas Air National Guard in 1968, as well as what John Kerry did in Vietnam that same year. And in 2000, a lot of journalists invested a lot of time trying to find proof that Bush had used cocaine three decades earlier. So by the standards set in coverage of other candidates, Clinton’s past is not too far past. That’s especially true because there will be millions of young voters in 2016 who know little about the Clinton White House. Americans who had not even been born when Bill Clinton first took the oath of office in 1993 will be eligible to vote two years from now. They need to know that Hillary Clinton has been more than Secretary of State.” Why Hillary Clinton’s past is fair game in presidential race

Hollywood

Just say no. They want everyone else to pay more in taxes except for themselves. Don’t they see the hypocrisy of this? Hollywood asks California to cut taxes — for the film industry

The Left

Endoctrination. “A textbook at the University of South Carolina is teaching kids that Ronald Reagan was a sexist and conservatives are judgmental.” UNIVERSITY TEXTBOOK Claims Reagan Was Sexist; Conservatives are Judgmental

Those on the Left must have slept through their math classes too. “Note, too, that for Ornstein’s proposal to mean what he thinks it means, the 5% has to be a real rate of return. I am no finance guy, but it was immediately obvious to me that Ornstein’s numbers are ridiculous. If you could turn $3,500 into $700,000 in 60 years at 5%, I wouldn’t be practicing law these days. As Rocky said to his two goldfish, “If you guys could sing and dance, I wouldn’t be doin’ this.” Money, unfortunately, does not sing and dance as hypothesized by Ornstein. But, as our reader says, this kind of magical thinking on the Left is not unique to Ornstein. On the contrary, an inability to understand the most basic principles of arithmetic constantly dogs liberals. How else did we get Obamacare? Moreover, Ornstein was not alone. Didn’t National Journal have an editor who read the piece and said, “Whoa! $3,500 to $700,000 at 5%? Did you check the math?” Maybe there was no editor, because that is how things are going these days in the “mainstream” media. (We don’t have editors either, but if I write something stupid I will hear about it from Scott. Or Paul or Steve.) More likely there was an editor, but he too was a magical thinker when it comes to arithmetic. This is a big problem on the Left these days, and one of many reasons why you should treat liberal claims of government panaceas with a high degree of skepticism.” To Liberals, Arithmetic Is Magical Thinking

The Media

Welcome to Breitbart’s world! We need more of you, all over the world. “‘They’re not interested in “constructive dialogue”,’ he said. ‘Don’t you get it? If you extend any sort of olive branch to them they’ll see it as a sign of weakness and move in for the kill. I dealt with exactly the same people — the Socialist Workers’ Party, the Anti-Academies Alliance, the National Union of Teachers — for most of my ministerial career and, believe me, they would rather stick pins in their eyes than admit they have common ground with someone like you. Their attitude to free schools is the same as their attitude to academies: they won’t rest until every last one has been razed to the ground.’” Andrew Breitbart’s War Comes to Britain

Minimum Wage

Not surprising. “Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 will cut about a half-million jobs out of the economy by 2016, according to a new Congressional Budget Office report Tuesday that could deal a major blow to Democrats’ chief domestic agenda item this year.” Minimum wage hike would kill a half-million jobs: CBO

Obamacare

Do the Dems really think the people of this country are this stupid? (Emphasis mine.) “For a crystal-clear sign of the political woes Obamacare faces, look no further than the ad the Democratic House Majority PAC is airing in a majority-Hispanic south Florida district that Obama carried twice. The seat, represented by freshman Rep. Joe Garcia, is one of a small handful in the country that gave Obama a larger share of the vote in 2012 than in 2008—he won 53 percent last election. It’s also one of the media markets where the Obama presidential campaign spent millions of dollars in Spanish-language ads praising the law in unequivocal terms. This new ad, as part of the damage control, contains no such accolades. It promotes how Garcia “took the White House to task,” referencing its “disastrous” health care website. Like its counterparts, it argues Garcia wants to fix the broken law. Democratic strategists said that outside of the most liberal precincts, they can’t persuade people of the law’s benefits until they acknowledge its problems first. The Garcia ad shows that even in an Obamacare stronghold, where support for the law ran well ahead of its national numbers, dissatisfaction is creeping up. Indeed, The New York Times reported that uninsured Hispanics were signing up for the law at “strikingly” lower rates than anticipated. One Democratic operative involved in the race told me it was much harder to find nonpartisan Obamacare advocates to cheerlead for the law in South Florida this year—compared with 2012.” Democrats in Denial Over Obamacarea: Supporters of the health care law are convinced they can defend themselves on the issue. Don’t bet on it.

President Obama

Poll: 71% of Obama voters, 55% Democrats ‘regret’ voting for his re-election

But Senator Al Franken still popular. Obama job approval under water … in Minnesota

Tea Party

Senator Mike Lee for president! “Senator Lee, on the other hand, was terrific. His answers were crisp, direct, and articulate. He was principled without coming across as dyspeptic. He also helped educate both Mr. Becerra and the public by (to take one example) making the point that not all executive orders are created equal, thereby deftly answering the charge that because Ronald Reagan used executive orders more often than Mr. Obama, the latter has violated the constitutional less often than the former.” The Tea Party’s Gift to American Politics

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Filed under 2014 Elections, Arizona Politics, Big Government, Common Core, Economy, Hillary, Hollywood, Minimum Wage, Money in Politics, Obamacare, Senator Mike Lee, Taxes, Tea Party, The Left, Unemployment, Unions

News and Commentary for February 15 and 16

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

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

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

Stories of the Day

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

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

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

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

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

Afghanistan

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

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

Amnesty

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

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

Arizona Politics

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

Benghazi

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

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

Big Government

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

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

Climate Change

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

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

Communism

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

Debt

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

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

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

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

The Economy

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

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

Elections

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

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

The EPA

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

Freedom

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

Hillary Clinton

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

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

The IRS

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

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

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

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

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

Eric Holder

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

Medicare

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

Michelle Obama

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

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

President Obama

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

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

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

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

Obamacare

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

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

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

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

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

Unions

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

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

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

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

News and Commentary for February 12

Happy birthday to an American hero (who also happened to be the first Republican president!).

Happy birthday to an American hero (who also happened to be the first Republican president!).

Stories of the Day

Please, please, please watch this video and then be inspired to fight! IRS-Targeted Scandal Victims Will Not Be Silenced (VIDEO)

Read it and weep. The Left is winning, but the country is losing. “Fifty percent of Americans over 65 believe America stands above all others as the greatest nation on earth. Only 27 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 believe that. As late as 2003, Americans were more likely than Italians, Brits and Germans to say the “free market economy is the best system on which to base the future of the world.” By 2010, they were slightly less likely than those Europeans to embrace capitalism.” The American Precariat

Why are WE letting OUR government get away with this? This: “The most coercive law in American history just got more coercive. In delaying the employer mandate – again – the White House made it clear that businesses thinking of downsizing their company to avoid Obamacare mandates better think again.” And this: “Once again, the IRS is being employed as the administration enforcer in blocking free speech. If several dozen companies end up laying off employees to get below the 50 worker threshold for Obamacare, they will be prevented from blaming the ACA for the firings under penalty of perjury.” Businesses must swear to the IRS that Obamacare had nothing to do with firings

The straw that breaks the camel’s back is coming soon. “It will not be by revolution, or uprising, or a walkout by Congress, or a blazing speech by an opponent. It will come by way of something minor — a curse overheard on the golf course, an insult thrown at a helpless citizen, a sick child denied treatment under ObamaCare. Then the collapse will come, like a sudden clash of cymbals. The Furies will be unleashed. In the same way that an avalanche is unleashed by a mere footstep, events will spin out of control, impossible to stop or direct. The forces have been building up for years. Eventually, they will burst forth. When that happens, there will be nothing human that can stop them. Study the fate of the Romanovs, the Hapsburgs, the Hashemites, and Soviets, the Ceaucescus, Qaddafi, Mubharak… and for that matter, Achmad Sukarno himself. The pattern is clear… the only question is how much time remains.” Obama’s Fate

Crunch point, straw that breaks the camel’s back. It’s all the same, and it’s coming soon because as hard working Americans, we’ve had enough. “As with many things, I don’t think these liberals believe what they are saying. They have to have a “War on Work,” because if work were good for you, they’d have to explain why the labor participation rate is at or near all-time lows. Ninety plus million have given up even trying to find employment or, if my guess is correct, are working part time under the table and not reporting their income to the IRS, who are too busy harassing conservatives to notice anyway. We are moving toward an era like the old Soviet Union where the joke went: “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.” All power to the black market. Well, it’s not that bad yet. But we are coming to a crunch point where the American people are going to have to make a decision between the welfare state — and its attendant depression — and self-reliance — and its attendant self-respect.” The Democrats’ ‘War on Work’

Big Government

Another example of big government over reach and unintended consequences. “In direct response to the Colgan crash, Congress passed the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010, which mandated that the Federal Aviation Administration require pilots to complete 1,500 flight hours before they’re allowed to fly commercially, up from just 250 before the act. While this new rule does little to improve safety, it is exacerbating an already severe pilot shortage.” The Pilot Shortage Made in Congress

Now the government wants to control the stories the “free” press tells. You know who will be targeted, and it won’t be MSNBC. This: “There’s no such thing as the government “just asking questions.” That’s something both the public and the country’s news organizations should keep in mind as they read Ajit Pai’s important piece in the Wall Street Journal today. Pai is one of five commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission, the agency charged with regulating and licensing broadcast media, and he is rightfully disturbed by one of the FCC’s current projects. Known as “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs” (CIN), the FCC’s latest bright idea is to send representatives to press outlets to grill them on story selection and “perceived station bias,” among other red flags. Of course, the agency is going in with its own ideas about what such terms mean. Pai notes that a field test of this program is scheduled for this spring.” And this: “It is such rules the FCC’s CIN calls to mind. It opens the door to increased government scrutiny of the press, with an implicit threat to a broadcaster’s license. It does so under the guise of public service and quality control and fairness and other terms that usually hint the government is up to no good. And if established without challenge, it would grant the premise that news judgment is the FCC’s business. Perhaps this can still be avoided if the press puts up a united front against this intrusion, but the implicit threat is already out there. The media should be able to tell the FCC to get lost on this one. In a perfect world, of course, they wouldn’t have to.” FCC’s Unforgiveable CIN

More on the story linked above. This: “This is a problem, though, that is explicitly tied to the First Amendment, and should be outside of the FCC’s purview. The agency exists to regulate the use of broadcast frequencies to keep those bands viable for commercial (and amateur) use, and not to impose mandates for the substance of the broadcasts. News outlets are free to adopt whatever points of view they like without fear of government intervention. If people don’t like those outlets, they can give their business to others in a free-market environment.” And this: The FCC claims that its political inquisitiveness is merely an attempt to quantify the barriers to market for entrepreneurs, but Pai rejects that. Editorial bias is not in any shape or form a barrier to market entry. This is one effort to which Congress should demand an immediate end.” FCC investigating editorial choices and bias in broadcasters — and newspapers

Taking my breath away, it’s so frightening. “Any corporation — and any person, actually — will usually opt for the path of least resistance. It’s easier and safer to do the thing that government and society approve of– you know you face no heat for saying the politically-correct, government-approved thing. The FCC’s rule seeks to make a progressive tilt in news bias not only “safe” as a matter of social mores and general industry bias towards the left, but also safe as regards the law. This becomes ever-more frightening. This Administration simply does not seem to recognize any principle or ethical limits on what it can do as far as advancing the leftist cause. I understand that leftists, of course, have the right to agitate politically for their preferred policies. I do not deny that. But we are witnessing here the government — the government! — actively seeking to create a hostile and frightening legal environment for anyone who disagrees with the leftist cause.” The FCC Will Begin Investigating Bias In the Media (and By That, They Mean Conservative Bias)

Class Warfare

Lefties doing what Lefties always do—because they feel so much better because of it. This: “A “very concerned” Janet Yellen told a congressional panel today that she thinks income inequality is “one of the most important issues and one of the most disturbing trends facing the nation at the present time. But why, exactly?” And this: What disturbs me is the lack (a) economic growth, (b) good-paying, full-time jobs, (c) social mobility, and (d) educational opportunity in a time of advancing automation. Those are the disturbing trends Yellen, given her prominence and bully pulpit, should be talking about.” Why is Janet Yellen so concerned and disturbed about income inequality?

Debt Ceiling

Short term pain for long term gain? “Letting Democrats pass the debt increase is a bitter pill for Boehner and the GOP to swallow. But by doing it, they have also set the stage for a 2014 campaign that can be fought on their terms rather than those of the Democrats. That gives them a good chance not only to win back control of the Senate but to gain House seats and set themselves up for a 2015 session in which the party can not only begin to reverse the damage Obama has done but also set the stage for a return to the White House in 2016. All that was made possible by Boehner’s surrender. Given the stakes involved, that’s the sort of exchange that conservatives should like.” Republicans Dodge Debt Ceiling Disaster

From the comments: “Democrat caucus: Spend us into oblivion. GOP caucus: Yeah, but only if it’s Defense.” “I didn’t have high expectations for the debt-limit fight, but settling for absolutely nothing as a strategy is wholly a product of the divisions in the House Republican caucus. When the Democrats are united and you aren’t, you lose almost all leverage.” Re: House to Vote on Clean Debt-Limit Bill

Between a rock and a hard place. “The House GOP again collapsed in the absence of leadership today, a complete mess of missed opportunities and unforced errors. No strategy. No tactics. No repeal of the terrible cut to the retirment benefits of active duty military that was the lowpoint of the House GOP tenure in the majority since January 2010–a slap in the face of the military that fought the war for the past dozen years. Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam fired his front office today, including CEO Joe Banner, after a miserable season, but the House GOP seems doomed to be chained to the gang that can’t shoot straight until November, hoping to win election on the promise that the other side would be even worse, but of course the cut to the career military was the GOP’s idea and so was the massive Farm Bill.” Is John Boehner Joe Banner? Plus Alex Berenson’s The Counterfeit Agent

The Economy

Pull your head out of the sand Janet! “Yellen, an expert on the labour markets, appears to be moving away from the Fed’s previous commitment to raise interest rates above zero once the unemployment rate his 6.5%. Last month the jobless rate hit 6.6%, but the number of long-term unemployed remains worryingly high. And specific demographic groups still have high rates of unemployment – in January, the unemployment rate for teenagers was 20.7%; for African Americans, it was 12.1%, and for Hispanics, 8.4%. Yellen also pointed to the large number of people who are working part-time but would prefer to have full-time jobs as a sign of weakness in the job market.” Yellen surprised by jobs report and admits US recovery ‘far from complete’

Elections

Boom! “Kevin Faulconer recaptured the mayor’s office in San Diego for Republicans in a special election yesterday. The polls were skin-tight leading into yesterday’s election, and unions poured in millions to keep control in the nation’s eighth-largest city. But in the end the vaunted Obama election model — flood the zone with negative attack ads and excite the base of the Democratic party — flopped. Faulconer defeated fellow City Council member David Alvarez by nine points in a city that Barack Obama carried by 63 percent to 37 percent only 15 months ago.” Obama Turnout Machine Crashes in San Diego — Loses Mayor’s Race by Nine Points

Hopefully this will become a trend. I can dream can’t I? “San Diego becomes the nation’s largest city with a Republican mayor, and Kevin Faulconer will be the only Republican to lead a major city in California, where Democrats hold all statewide offices. Filner was San Diego’s first Democratic leader in 20 years.” Republican wins San Diego mayor special election

Hillary Clinton

I just don’t get why anyone would want these people back in the White House. “Shortly before Hillary Clinton’s effort to pass health care reform died in the summer of 1994, the first lady asked a close friend and confidant for advice on “how best to preserve her general memories of the administration and of health care in particular.” When asked why, according to the friend’s June 20, 1994, diary entry, Clinton said, “Revenge.”” First on CNN–Confidant’s diary: Clinton wanted to keep records for ‘revenge’

The Left

You might want to visit New York City before it too goes the way of Detroit. “With his first State of the City address, Bill de Blasio had demonstrated that he had nothing to offer working people. His address was full of goodies for gang members, illegal aliens and welfare voters.  It had nothing to offer New Yorkers except more crime, taxes, bankruptcy and the fast lane to Detroit.” Bill de Blasio’s Red Apple Agenda

The Left wants total control of each of us and they won’t stop until they have it. This: “Despite the rhetoric, the goals, or the intentions of the political Left, the world they seek to create is a world where decisions are taken out of the hands of ordinary citizens and transferred to third parties. Obamacare is the latest example of this trend and can now join the long list of the “compassionate” catastrophes of the Left.” And this: “With his decision declaring Obamacare constitutional, Chief Justice John Roberts turned what F. A. Hayek called “the road to serfdom” into a super highway. The government all but owns us now and can order us to do pretty much whatever it wants us to do.” And this: “Once, when I was teaching at an institution that bent over backward for foreign students, I was asked in class one day, “What is your policy toward foreign students?” My reply was: “To me, all students are the same. I treat them all the same and hold them all to the same standards.” The next semester there was an organized boycott of my classes by foreign students. When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.” The Highway to Serfdom

Maybe this is why so many children of parents that built big stuff (Sam Walton, etc.) turn into big Democratic donors. “But isn’t this what liberalism is? The mentality of someone with too little experience to appreciate what it took to get here?” Liberalism: A Perpetual State Of Childhood

Michelle Obama

Sacrifice is for the little people. “After all, millions of Americans are mired in unemployment, underemployment, and hopelessness. So in the face of all this, Michelle Obama has chosen to tweet on the FLOTUS twitter account a picture of her dogs dining on china and crystal:

FLOTUS

Neil Munro of the Daily Caller noted:

Bone appétit!,” the aides added to the insensitive tweet, using the language of France’s queen Marie Antoinette, who was executed by radicals in 1793.” Stunning insensitivity from Michelle Obama

So completely out of touch. This: “What were they thinking? I have no idea, but it seems safe to say that the Obamas have lost touch with at least some portion of reality; that is, how Americans view them and the administration’s economic policies. I tweeted the question, “Are they eating cake?” to the @FLOTUS account where the photo was published, but didn’t get a response.” And this: “Technically, President Obama’s misuse of executive agencies to harass his political opponents and his usurpation of Congress’s powers by purporting to rewrite statutes by executive decree–the Obamacare changes are not the only instances–are grounds for impeachment. These are, in fact, precisely the sorts of abuses for which the impeachment remedy was intended, and for which no other remedy is adequate. For political reasons, impeachment is not an option, and I don’t mean to suggest that Republicans should start talking about it. But it is at least worth noting that from a legal standpoint, Obama’s banana republic conduct represents an impeachable offense, or series of offenses.” Yes! We Have More Bananas

Money in Politics

Read this, and memorize the facts for future conversations with the know nothings. “As I eagerly await the daily announcement from the media and the organized Left about the latest purported outrage of the Koch brothers spending money on politics, it is worth taking in the data compiled by the lefty Center for Responsive Politics about the top donors to political campaigns.  The data on campaign spending from 1989-2014 show that all of the lefty talk about “corporate money” in politics is a smoke screen: the largest donors are labor unions and left-leaning grassroots groups.  In fact, the number one donor is Act Blue, which hasn’t been around all that long.” Money in Politics and the Hypocrisy of the Left

Obamacare

Where this all will end, nobody knows. “The lawlessness of Obamacare continues unabated. A seven-foot-high stack of law and regulations can be twisted and turned to fit any perspective – or, if you’re President Obama, redlined post-facto in violation of the Constitution. The law itself is lawless; the implementation is lawless; the slicing and dicing is lawless. But the concept of the rule of law no longer applies in the world of big, arbitrary, all-encompassing government” Lawless: Obamacare and the Imperial Government

Can anyone in the Democratic party answer this for me please: if Obamacare is such a great law, why do small businesses need more than five years to implement it? “But it’s time to concede that no one has been more adept or aggressive about delaying and defanging Obamacare than Obama himself. Systematically and with an eye toward his party’s immediate political troubles, Obama has reshaped, photo-shopped, reimagined, and reengineered Obamacare. It all sounds techy and cool and flexible—at least to the administration. To those who must live with and live under the law, the arbitrary is the norm. The only pattern is chaos. Obamacare’s worst enemy is Obama.” Obama’s Arbitrary Health Care Flexibility

The best satire you’ll read on the topic of Obamacare…Washington D. C. — In a move certain to please his conservative supporters and infuriate his critics, President Romney announced this afternoon that his administration would make yet another change to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. In a terse release, posted without fanfare to the Department of Health and Human Services website, officials revealed that the law’s employer mandate would be suspended until 2016 for all businesses that employ between 50 and 99 people.” Democrats, Media Slam President Romney Over Health Care Law Changes: Worst abuse of executive power since Bush admin, Dems say.

When even Liberal journalists are charging you with making decisions that “scream of politics,” then you know you’re in trouble. “The original delay of the employer mandate in ObamaCare was equally political, and designed for the same purpose, which was to push most of the market disruptions past the midterm elections. No other rational reason existed for the delay except to prevent the entire electorate from getting body-slammed by plan changes and spending most of 2014 looking to take it out on Democrats in November. Unfortunately, no one in the Obama administration appeared to realize that a January 2015 compliance date would mean that disruptions would start taking place in the open-enrollment period that begins in November, just a few weeks before the election. Thus we get yesterday’s partial delay for yet another year, in the hope that group insurance plans won’t get disrupted until well after the midterms. Mark Halperin argued on Morning Joe that this change doesn’t even have a fig leaf of rationalization, and is just pure politics.” Halperin: Wow, this ObamaCare change just “screams of politics,” huh?

Losing hope. This: “It’s getting difficult and slinking toward impossible to defend the Affordable Care Act. The latest blow to Democratic candidates, liberal activists, and naïve columnists like me came Monday from the White House, which announced yet another delay in the Obamacare implementation.” And this: “Not coincidentally, the delays punt implementation beyond congressional elections in November, which raises the first problem with defending Obamacare: The White House has politicized its signature policy.” Why I’m Getting Sick of Defending Obamacare

War on Women

It’s all the Left has left: dividing us, men against women, old against young, black against white, etc. It’s easier to control us when they make us think we’re all victims. “Women will determine the Senate,” claims Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster and strategist. “What Republicans are hoping to do is to minimize the Democratic vote among women, and if they can win men by more than they lose women, then they’ll win the election.” Dems Look to ‘War On Women’ Strategy to Defeat GOP in Midterm Elections

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News and Commentary for February 11

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

Stories of the Day

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

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

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

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

Amnesty

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

Big Government

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

Class Warfare

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

Cronyism

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

The Economy

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

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

Education

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

Elections

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

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

Hillary

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

The IRS

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

The Left

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

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

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

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

Obamacare

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

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

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

President Obama

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

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

Terrorism

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

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

The War on Women

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

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