Category Archives: Hollywood

News and Commentary for February 27

The challenges facing our country seem almost overwhelming. But don't loose hope. We're in this together.

The challenges facing our country seem almost insurmountable. But don’t lose hope. We’re in this together. And if we fight hard enough, and smart enough, we will prevail.

Stories of the Day

Thanks tax payers! I’m quitting my job. Thanks Obamacare!

Orwellian. “President Obama’s Internal Revenue Service today quietly released a series of Obamacare “Health Care Tax Tips” warning Americans that they must obtain “qualifying” health insurance – as defined by the federal government – or face a “shared responsibility payment” when filing their tax returns in 2015. The term “shared responsibility payment” refers to the Obamacare individual mandate tax, one of at least seven tax hikes in the healthcare law that directly hit families making less than $250,000 per year.” IRS Warns: Obamacare Tax Must Be Paid with Tax Return

How President Obama sleeps well at night, I will never know. “A Russian warship was docked in Havana Wednesday, without explanation from Communist Cuba or its state media.” Russian spy ship docked in Havana

Weak. “Although the U.S. alone seems to honor its promised deadlines of withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq, the world’s aggressors sense that the Obama administration’s bluster will be followed by more bluster. Therefore, they have decided to risk aggrandizements while they can. In the mind of Vladimir Putin, today Ukraine, tomorrow the Baltic States or Eastern Europe. In the minds of the Iranian theocrats, if chemical WMD are okay in Syria, why not nuclear WMD in Iran? In China’s view, when Japan backs off, why shouldn’t Taiwan, South Korea, or the Philippines?” Ukraine and Our Useless Outrage: The history of Obama’s foreign-policy posturing bodes ill for the future of Ukraine. 

Decline Part I. “Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE)–which received more than $2.75 million in government funding in 2012–has produced and posted online a video specifically aimed at teenagers that promotes bondage and sadomasochism (BDSM) and proposes “rules” to follow when engaging in these activities.” Planned Parenthood Produces Video Promoting Bondage and Sadomasochism to Teens

Decline Part II.During the workshop for girls, the 13 and 14-year-olds were told to ask one another for a lesbian kiss. They were also taught words such as “pansexual” and ‘genderqueer.’” NY Middle School Girls Forced to Ask Classmates for “Lesbian Kiss” Pretend Like They Are On a Date

ONLY 59 percent disappointed? “Call it “buyer’s remorse, redux.” A large majority of Americans now profess disappointment in the Barack Obama presidency in the latest CBS/NYT poll, and Obama’s approval rating dropped five points in a month to 41%. The numbers are driven by the relentlessly stagnant economy.” CBS/NYT poll: 59% disappointed in Obama presidency

Afghanistan

Walls tumbling down all around us. “After the Taliban gains power in Afghanistan, as it inevitably will if we don’t stay, Iran and al-Qaida will move in there too. Leaving won’t make us safer. It will only betray the sacrifice of our troops and give al-Qaida a new lease on life. The terrorists win.” Obama Threatens To Leave Afghanistan To Taliban, Al-Qaida

Big Government

I don’t know about you, but I am wondering why the heck we even bother to vote anymore. “Texas became the fifth state in two months to see a judge strike down its law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. On Thursday, San Antonio–based U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that Texas’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as well as its refusal to recognize same-sex marriages outside the state violated the U.S. Constitution, according to the Houston Chronicle.” Judge Strikes Down Texas Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Agenda 21

Remember, the Left’s policies NEVER WORK because they always have unintended consequences. “They calculated “household carbon footprints” for more than 31,000 U.S. ZIP codes (of approximately 43,000 total) in all 50 states and found that a “10-fold increase in population density in central cities yields only a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.” In other words, the number of people living in cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and New York would have to increase 10 times — from 1.5 million in Philadelphia, for example, to 15 million — to yield a 25% reduction in CO2.” Crushing People Into Tight Housing Won’t Cut CO2 Levels

Arizona

On religious freedom, the press will never report honestly. “It doesn’t help that the mainstream media proved incapable of accurate reporting on this story. Note, for example, the New York Times’ story reporting Brewer’s veto. It states that Brewer “vetoed a bill on Wednesday that would have given business owners the right to refuse service to gay men, lesbians and other people on religious grounds.” For the reasons we have discussed, this “overbroad” description of the legislation constitutes journalistic malpractice.” Brewer vetoes S.B. 1062

Hear. Hear. “You know, I support gays’ freedom. I just wish gays, and their boosters, supported other people’s freedoms as well.” Jan Brewer Does That Thing You All Knew She Would and Vetoes SB 1062

Did they not think this thing through before signing it? “As for the Three Mouseketeers who ran for cover — senators Bob Worsley, Adam Driggs and Steve Pierce — they wrote in a letter to Brewer that while they wanted “to create a shield for all citizens’ religious liberties, the bill has been mischaracterized by its opponents as a sword for religious intolerance.” Wow, is that all it takes? We might as well just bow down and lick the left’s jackboots right now. How did these three chronologically adult politicians think the left would characterize their effort? Who are these guys, Beaver and Wally Cleaver and Dennis the Menace? Of course the left is going to call you names! That’s what they do. And now you’ve just confirmed for them, once again, that this is all they have to do to bring you to your knees. Welcome to How to Lose a Culture War 101. “Razing Arizona: Conservatives Succeed at Failing Again

Brave. “Some of us are Republicans; some of us are Democrats. Some of us are religious; some of us are not. Some of us oppose same-sex marriage; some of us support it. Nine of the eleven signers of this letter believe that you should sign the bill; two are unsure. But all of us believe that many criticisms of the Arizona bill are deeply misleading.” Top Law Professors: Arizona Religious Freedom Bill Has Been ‘Egregiously Misrepresented’

It doesn’t matter what is said now. We’ve lost the messaging war. “Eleven leading scholars religious-liberty scholars have written to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer to provide her with a sorely needed rational analysis of S.B. 1062 as she considers whether to sign it. The professors include Stanford’s Michael McConnell, my go to source in these matters, and Douglas Laycock who supports same-sex marriage. The others are Mary Ann Glendon, Helen Alvaré, Thomas Berg, Carl Esbeck, Richard Garnett, Christopher Lund, Mark Scarberry, Gregory Sisk, and Robin Fretwell Wilson University.” No, this is not Jim Crow for gays, Part Two

“Even if you disagree with the legislation, the hysterics from the Leftist homosexuality advocates, and the lockstep following of low information voters should concern you. Really, if signed into law and implemented, how would this law hurt a single homosexual person? Someone might ask a baker for a “wedding” cake with two grooms on top of it. The baker would say “Can’t do it.” Then the homosexual person could go to another baker. Who got hurt? Judging from the circus-like response to the legislation, there would be plenty of other people willing to participate in the “wedding” by making a cake. Comparisons to Jim Crow do not hold up. Jim Crow included government-enforced blanket segregation based on skin color. This would be a business, not government, deciding they could not participate in an event.” Fascist Constitutionphobes and Religiophobes Hope You Won’t Read

“Those ‘for’ the bill are well intentioned. The political wisdom of dragging the rest of us into this isn’t clear. The average outside observer could have seen this coming. In an attempt to secure Religious Freedom they have set things on a course where reputations will be damaged and leave the taxpayers hurting. The average guy and gal that earns a living related to tourism for business or pleasure will see smaller paychecks. I’m not exactly sure who would be against Religious Freedom but this approach seems doomed. A better alternative to alleviating the possibility of someone suing a business owner for discrimination because they don’t like gays or pick your cause du jour would have been a simple Tort Reform bill that allowed the marketplace to decide the wisdom of anyone denying anyone else the ability to do business. The court system does not need to be involved.” SB 1062 Analysis – Winners, Losers and Who Gets Stuck with the Bill

“It would be far better if courts just took this as a common-sense application of the freedom to religious expression, without the potential backfire of using an expansion of statutes and the potential for unintended consequences that result from them. Common sense, in this case, would recognize that the right to religious liberty trumps the extremely weak state interests in the commercial industries surrounding weddings. Unfortunately, the Obama administration has been undermining that application of common sense with the HHS contraception mandate for the last two years, and courts haven’t entirely embraced the common-sense conclusion that business owners shouldn’t be compelled to provide free contraception and sterilization services when it opposes their religious principles. As I noted yesterday, if everyone took the same approach as Andrew Sullivan, there wouldn’t be a need (real or perceived) for this bill at all: ‘I would never want to coerce any fundamentalist to provide services for my wedding – or anything else for that matter – if it made them in any way uncomfortable. The idea of suing these businesses to force them to provide services they are clearly uncomfortable providing is anathema to me. I think it should be repellent to the gay rights movement as well.’” Bipartisan group of attorneys ask Brewer to sign SB 1062

Big Government

Protecting their own, at the tax payer’s expense. “Several Environmental Protection Agency employees obstructed an investigation into the mismanagement that allowed a senior EPA official to bilk taxpayers for nearly $900,000, the EPA Inspector General said in a letter to Sen. David Vitter (R., La.) released Wednesday.” EPA Officials Obstructed Fraud Investigation

Common Core

Follow the money. “Yep. Gates will be using the data gathered from our kids to develop products he will then sell to us and our children. Does his reasoning for investing a quarter of billion dollars or more on this project begin to make a little more sense?” Arne Duncan: You’re a Liar, Common Core Will Destroy American Education

There won’t be any flexibility, contrary to what many on the Right are saying. “The Common Core promoters, whose goal is a national curriculum for all U.S. children despite laws prohibiting the government from requiring it, used the clever device of copyrighting the standards by a non-government organization, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). That enables Common Core advocates to force uniform national standards while claiming that the laws prohibiting federal control of curriculum are not violated. No one may copy or reprint the standards without permission, and states that sign on to Common Core may not change or modify the standards. The license agreement that states must sign in order to use Common Core states: ‘NGA/CCSSO shall be acknowledged as the sole owners and developers of the Common Core State Standards.’” National Takeover of School Curriculum

The Constition

At least something is moving our way. “One lesson, I think, is that responsible citizens tend to behave like responsible citizens, even if — or perhaps especially if — they’re armed. Another lesson is that the national political dialogue can be totally irrelevant to what really happens in American life.” Concealed-weapons laws have changed America regardless of national debate on gun control

Sadly, this no longer shocks. “He was serious. He really believed the Elastic Clause was real. But the constitutional literacy of a different student was even worse. With a straight face, she defended the exercise of executive power and the issuance of executive orders as constitutional because of the inaction of Congress. “It’s part of the Constitution that if the Congress doesn’t act, then the president can issue executive orders to fix something,” was her argument. Even more frightening, the person saying this is an officer of the campus Democrats. A little totalitarian in training. Naturally, this was all quite an eye opener. I’m no fool when it comes to the institutional left and their corrosion of the system. But to have a student debate me over a verifiably fictional constitutional provision, to have a student presume I was the one making things up when I said the Elastic Clause didn’t exist – that blazed new territory.” In Defense of the Elastic Clause of the Constitution

He’s always been a disgrace. Residents of Nevada should be ashamed. “The disgraceful Harry Reid, one of America’s most corrupt politicians, a man who has mysteriously gotten rich as a public employee, is losing his grip. This has been going on for a while; remember his insane claim during the 2012 presidential campaign that Mitt Romney doesn’t pay any taxes? Today the subject was Obamacare. Reid, probably because he sees his position as majority leader slipping away on account of popular revulsion toward Obamacare, went on a hysterical rant against those who criticize the Democrats’ signature legislation: “Across the country Americans who were once denied insurance because they suffered for something like cancer or as simple as acne have been able to buy affordable health insurance they could afford and could trust. Despite all that good news, there’s plenty of horror stories being told. All are untrue, but they’re being told all over America.” Got that? Every “horror story” about Obamacare is a lie! With more than five million people already having been booted off their existing coverage by the ACA, that’s a whole lot of liars.” Harry Reid Goes Around the Bend on Obamacare

He should be hammered by more than just the GOP. “Reid tried to clarify his remarks late Wednesday by saying he was only referring to the “vast majority” of stories featured in ads funded by Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group, and not the complaints of everyday Americans. However, he added fuel to the fire by continuing to slam the group’s backers, the Koch brothers, calling them “un-American.” Reid hammered by GOP after claiming all ObamaCare ‘horror stories’ untrue

Hollywood

Popping bubbles. “But [Will] Ferrell’s #GetCovered post on Facebook on Monday led to an acidic sea of comments — over 4,000 and counting at press time, almost all of them negative. The actor’s followers lambasted both Ferrell for wading into politics, interspersed with links to anti-Obamacare articles from Townhall andWorld Net Daily…” Stars discovering Obamacare is box office poison

IRS

November is coming and we will not be silenced. “The intent of the rules proposed by the Obama Administration is clear — to legalize the IRS’s inappropriate targeting of conservative groups,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.). “These proposed rules severely limit groups’ rights to engage in public debate by labeling activities such as candidate forums, get out the vote efforts, and voter registration as ‘political activity’ for 501(c)(4) groups.” Camp and other Republicans said at the very least, the IRS rule should be delayed until the investigations are wrapped up.” Dems say IRS vote is about Fox News

Follow the time line. “Brad Smith and his colleagues at the Center for Competitive Politics have compiled an invaluable, heavily footnoted document setting forth the efforts by the regulatory agencies to police political speech at the behest Barack Obama and the Democratic Party: “The IRS harassment scandal: A timeline of ‘reform.’” In a Wall Street Journal column that cuts to the chase — you won’t read anything more important this week — Smith takes us through “the dots the media refuse to connect” from the timeline.” The IRS scandals: At the king’s behest

Here is the article referenced above: “In 1170, King Henry II is said to have cried out, on hearing of the latest actions of the Archbishop of Canterbury, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Four knights then murdered the archbishop. Many in the U.S. media still willfully refuse to see anything connecting the murder of the archbishop to any actions or abuse of power by the king.” Bradley A. Smith: Connecting the Dots in the IRS Scandal

“A panel of experts said the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeting of conservative groups is just the latest in a series of attacks against political opponents of President Obama that date all the way back to 2008. Kimberley Strassel, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, said the IRS targeting scandal is only the latest type of political attack that ties directly to Obama’s campaign style before his presidency. “The best way to look at this is as a continuum of a very long and determined political strategy that dates back to 2008 and a man named Barack Obama,” Strassel said. Speaking at the Heritage Foundation on Friday, Strassel argued that “this is a president and his team of political operatives who have always understood the power of speech, but more importantly, the power of denying it to their political opponents.” New IRS Rules Called ‘Campaign Finance Regulation Disguised as Tax Regulation’

President Obama

Obama is banking on the fact that Americans will never tolerate the impeachment of our first black president. “Today, the Democratic Party may be trying to exploit Americans’ understandable reluctance to impeach a president. But Republicans should be making the opposite, and stronger, argument. Now the grounds for impeachment would be constitutional, not political or merely criminal. Winning a sizable Republican majority in the Senate will enable the new Senate majority leader to remind the president of his duty to “see that the Laws be faithfully executed,” including the immigration laws, environmental laws and healthcare laws that he has flagrantly disregarded.” Obama’s Impeachable Offenses Threaten Our System

What took them so long? “Members of Congress and constitutional law experts testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, warning that the legislative branch is in danger of ceding its power in the face of an ‘imperial presidency.’” The Imperial Presidency

Voter ID

Remember that according to the Democrats, there is no voter fraud. “Well, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation disagrees. Not a state known for its hateful politics, Iowa’s DCI wrapped up its investigation this month and has referred more than 80 cases of voter fraud to county attorneys for possible prosecution. Since the investigation was initiated by GOP Secretary of State Matt Schultz a year and a half ago, five people have pleaded guilty to voter fraud and 15 others are facing charges. Iowa governor Terry Branstad told IowaWatch.com that such investigations cut down on voter fraud because they increase the risks for perpetrators. “By people knowing that there is going to be an investigation and scrutiny of people that vote illegally, it serves as a deterrent to voter fraud,” he said. The number of races for Iowa’s legislature that have been decided by fewer than 100 votes has grown. A full ten races have involved margins of less than 50 votes since 2008.” Iowa Refers 80 Cases of Voter Fraud to Prosecutors

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Filed under Afghanistan, Agenda 21, Arizona Politics, Big Government, Climate Change, Common Core, Constitution, Education, Foreign Policy, Gay Rights, Global Warming, Hollywood, IRS, Marriage, National News, Obamacare, President Obama, Religious Liberty, Taxes, Terrorism, The Left, Voter Fraud

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 January 24

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News and Commentary for January 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News and Commentary for January 21

It's National Hugging day. Find a friend and hug them!

It’s National Hugging day. Find a friend and hug them!

This isn’t getting near enough coverage so I am placing it on top. “[M]y friend told me that my colleague Jennifer Griffin, who was aggressively reporting on Benghazi, was wrong and that, as a favor to me, my friend in the Administration was telling me so that I could tell Jennifer so that she did not ruin her career. My friend was telling me to tell Jennifer to stop her reporting. Ruin her career? In 20 plus years, I have never received a call to try and shut down a colleague – not that I even could – this was a first.” Wow: Greta drops a bomb about White House trying “very hard” to get Fox not to report on Benghazi

Read the WHOLE thing. “In the margin of the teachers edition, the teacher is instructed to explain the term ‘fascist’ to the students and to point out that the term ‘fascist’ is now applied to all right-wing extremist groups.” Teachers ‘instructed’ to teach ‘all right wing extremist groups’ are fascist

Tell me again who the fascists are? “New York governor Andrew Cuomo, whose desire to be the Democratic nominee for president of these United States is embarrassingly palpable, has decided that those who do not share his views on abortion (Hooray!), scary-looking firearms (Horrors!), and the various political demands attached to organized homosexuality (Hand on heart!) are untouchables — “They have no place in the state of New York,” he says, “because that’s not who New Yorkers are.” The governor needs to meet some New Yorkers.” Who New Yorkers Are

Good for Hannity. “It doesn’t get much dumber than inviting people to leave your state because of their political beliefs. Apparently, Communists, anarchists, radical greens, eco-terrorists, and other far left loons are welcome to stay because “that’s who New Yorkers are.” Hannity to leave NY after Cuomo says conservatives not welcome

Is anyone surprised? “Corruption. “The Sochi Olympics are an unprecedented thieves’ caper,” says former deputy prime minister and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. He claims that some $26 billion in phony costs may have been creamed off by contractors, many of whom are Putin cronies. Consider the new 31-mile road and railway that run from the beachfront town of Adler to the Krasnaya Polyana ski resort, overseen by Vladimir Yakunin, a former KGB general and Putin pal who heads Russian Railways. The new route into Sochi cost an estimated $8.7 billion — more than Vancouver spent staging the entire Winter Olympics in 2010. For that sum, calculated the Russian edition of Esquire, Russia could have paved the entire road with beluga caviar.” The Most Expensive, the Most Corrupt, and the Most Dangerous Olympics in History

Stay away. “Russia claims that security surrounding the Olympic Games in Sochi are a “ring of steel,” but at least for now it looks a little more like a grating. NBC reports that Russian security services are looking for three more women from the Caucasus who have threatened to conduct suicide-bombing attacks on the torch relay that will open the games, and NBC’s own analysts say that the ring of steel is mostly a myth.” Russia looking for three more “black widow” terrorists targeting Sochi Olympics; Update: One down?

Disaster if true. “It takes some chutzpah for Boehner to make his amnesty push now, given the sour jobs news, falling measured support for amnesty, and the need for party unity in the coming midterm elections. You’d think the employment news alone–almost 3 unemployed Americans for every available job–would cause savvy lobbyists to postpone any attempt to push for a massive addition to the unskilled and skilled workforce. (The Senate’s bill would add about 6 million extra immigrant workers by 2023 – in addition to the current illegals who’d be legalized.) Maybe that could fly in a boom. But now?” MICKEY KAUS: The Coming GOP Amnesty Sellout Push.

Repositioning U.S. power. “Collate the following: large defense cuts, the president’s suspicions that he is being gamed by the military, the pullout from the anti-missile defense pact in Eastern Europe, the pressure on Israel to give new concessions to its neighbors, the sudden warming up with an increasingly Islamist Turkey, the failed reset with Russia, radical nuclear-arms-reduction talks, the abject withdrawal of all U.S. peacekeeping forces in Iraq, the timetable withdrawals in Afghanistan, the new worries of our Asian and Middle Eastern allies, the constant euphemisms on the war on terror, the stepped-up drone attacks, the lead-from-behind removal of Moammar Qaddafi, the pullaway from Mubarak in Egypt, the support for Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the pink lines in Syria, the Iranian missile deal, the declaration that al-Qaeda was on the run and the war on terror essentially ending, the Benghazi coverup, and on and on.” Obama’s Recessional

Expected. “Insurance policies plunge into a “death spiral” when premiums don’t cover the cost of claims, causing rates to surge year over year and more and more beneficiaries to drop coverage. This “adverse selection” already appears to be underway in eight states including Maryland, Washington, Ohio, Texas and Indiana.” The Young and the ObamaCare-less

How many folks could have been insured for all the money being thrown into this disaster? “The Chicago-based consulting firm Accenture received a $90 million noncompetitive contract to become the Obamacare website’s new primary contractor. The no-bid deal puts the company that employed the man who developed the Obama campaign’s personality-tracking programs in charge of a website that possesses massive amounts of personal information despite severe security risks.” After firing CGI, no-bid contract for Obamacare site goes to firm whose former top researcher developed Obama campaign voter tracking

We all should be weeping. “But most of all, I wept in anger. I am overcome with rage at the elected politicians who have never served their country in uniform, never seen battle and yet make decisions that affect the life and death of their fellow citizens. I am so angry that our rules of engagement, made in courtrooms by people whose personal agenda has nothing to do with victory, restrict the ability of our military to do the thing we send them into battle to do: fight.” A woman’s thoughts on Lone Survivor. And a message to candy-ass liberals.

Not ready for Hillary. “Wait, wait, wait .  .  . We’ve forgotten something: Hillary would be the FIRST WOMAN PRESIDENT! That might be enough to get her to run and conceivably to get her elected. But Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher hadn’t been first lady before taking power. Hillary will be the second Clinton president. That fact overwhelms her claim to first-ness. As a feminist, Hillary surely knows that when your husband’s been president, you’re not really breaking any glass ceilings on behalf of womankind. And lots of other women understand this as well.” Hillary? Really?

For the Left, the ends always justify the means. “But, then again, Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama was ultimately responsible for the delays, non-actions, and talking points. The first thing we were taught in Army OCS is that authority can be delegated, but responsibility cannot. So, for Hillary, problem solved. Now all she has to do is explain why she lied under oath, as well as why she is trying to separate herself from Obama.” Hillary’s ‘Political Football’ Baggage

A long and winding road to the presidency. “Could Hillary Clinton be the next Richard Nixon? Now that’s a provocative question, but it isn’t quite what you think.” Hillary’s No Slam Dunk in 2016: Why She’s More Vulnerable Than Everyone Thinks

Good news! “While I was away seeking (and finding) global warmth in the Dominican Republic, voters in Northeast Arkansas sent an ominous message to Democrats by overwhelmingly electing a Republican in a special State Senate election. The Republican, John Cooper, captured 57 percent of the vote to win a seat (District 21) that has never been held by a member of his party.” Democrats take another hit in Arkansas

The Democrats are already screaming “War against women.” “If anything, the fact that we are only just learning the “fuller version” of Davis’s biography says less about her than it does about the media that have lavished her with adoring coverage over the past six months. But as Slater writes, the story is relevant because Davis “has made her personal story of struggle and success a centerpiece of her campaign” for governor. So why did it take so long to poke holes in her story?” Wendy Davis, Fibber

Not going along. “But he didn’t listen to the campaign, and the result is the implosion of Wendy Davis’ personal and political narratives.” Wendy Davis’ ex-husband: “They’ve asked me not to talk to reporters”

There are not enough rich people to pay for all this free stuff. “That new movement puts de Blasio squarely in the spotlight. He has big plans, like requiring private companies to provide mandatory sick leave and forcing developers to build affordable housing, whether they like it or not. And his “universal” pre-K programme would be a nationwide first, taxing the rich to come up with the needed $500m.” Bill de Blasio: the Left’s Nutty Professor Transforming New York into a Giant Political Petri Dish

We’ll trust the government again when we stop hearing stories of the government targeting conservatives. “Since then, of course, the new “weaponized IRS” has, in fact, come to be seen as illegitimate by many more Americans. I suspect that, over time, this loss of moral legitimacy will cause many to base their tax strategies on what they think they can get away with, not on what they’re entitled to. And when they hear of someone being audited, many Americans will ask not “what did he do wrong?” but ‘who in government did he offend?’” Government conspiracy theories aren’t crazy

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Filed under 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Amnesty, Benghazi, Big Government, Class Warfare, Common Core, Foreign Policy, Hillary, Hollywood, IRS, Lies, Mayor De Blasio, Media Malfeasance, Middle Class, Millenials, Movies, Obamacare, Olympics, Political Corruption, Terrorism, The Left, War on the Military, Wendy Davis

News and Commentary for January 16

I don't want to listen any more either!

I don’t want to listen any more either!

BRING IT! I don’t think these people have ANY IDEA how much this will back fire on them. “The movie mogul said his vision was to scare people away from firearms. He foresees moviegoers to leave thinking, “Gun stocks — I don’t want to be involved in that stuff. It’s going to be like crash and burn.”” Movie mogul says new Streep film to make NRA ‘wish they weren’t alive’

Don Jans , our key note speaker at our January meeting, asked us to begin studying Marxism. This article is good start. “Handy evidence of how communists continue to exploit the “progressive” label isn’t hard to find. It’s always just a click away at the website of People’s World, the house organ of Communist Party USA and successor publication to the Daily Worker (which throughout its existence received Kremlin oversight and funding). People’s World is very shrewd in the words it chooses to use, and not use.” The Communist Party Hails De Blasio and Obama

November 2014 is coming! “But according to this month’s IBD/TIPP Poll, that is precisely what the respondents do not want. Asked “if Congress doesn’t take action on an issue, would you approve or disapprove of President Obama using his executive powers to act on his own,” 55% disapproved of such fiat rule. A mere 41% said they’d approve, and 3% weren’t sure.” Obama’s One-Man Rule Amounts To A ‘Gradual, Quiet Coup’

It really IS about control—the Marxist progressives desperately NEED us to be scared out of our minds over Global Warming so that they can control EVERYTHING that we do—because in their minds, they are the smart ones. “Figueres added that the deep partisan divide in the U.S. Congress is “very detrimental” to passing any sort of legislation to fight global warming. The Chinese Communist Party, on the other hand, can push key policies and reforms all on its own. The country’s national legislature largely enforces the decisions made by the party’s Central Committee and other executive offices.” UN climate chief: Communism is best to fight global warming

More on the above story. “Anyone familiar with the disastrous environmental impact of the communist grip on eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union knows what happens when unaccountable totalitarians hold power. If nothing else, the Chernobyl disaster should give one a clue, a legacy Ukrainians will have to endure for decades more, if not centuries. Apparently, though, one does not become the United Nation’s climate chief by collecting such clues.  This week, Christiana Figueres offered a prescription for solving global warming — communism!” UN climate chief declares communism best for fighting global warming

Do we really need studies to tell us this? “The Employment Policies Institute commented on its findings, noting, “The vast majority of economic research from the last two decades confirms that a higher minimum wage reduces employment opportunities for the least-skilled jobseekers. This consensus has only been strengthened in recent years, including by a study forthcoming in Cornell University’s labor relations journal that refutes the research President Obama and Senate Democrats are relying on to make their case.” New study shows that Obama’s proposed minimum wage hike will kill jobs

Making it worse. This: “So while, yes, the poverty rates would be much higher without the largesse we have loaded onto the poor, it has been done at the expense of helping the poor to work. I was there, and welfare was not the primary strategy. In fact, AFDC was a relatively small program. It became the major support of mostly single mothers only when the welfare rights movement began in the 70s. That movement meant to break the back of the government by flooding the rolls with people who had avoided dependence. It did not bring government to its knees, but it succeeded in increasing the welfare rolls by millions as the decades went on.” And this: “We cannot sit here in the 50th year of the War on Poverty and deny it failed to do the one thing that would have made it a success — get people working. Our job as a country is to now get the poor into jobs. Let’s stop bailing out poverty.” Poverty Bailouts

Duplication on steroids. “Schatz said there are 56 programs from 20 different agencies devoted to promoting financial literacy “intended to improve the fiscal acumen of the American people.” Fifteen of those programs cost $30.7 million in fiscal year 2010.” Coburn to Congress: ‘The Problem Is Us’

Will there be anything left in private hands? “How Obama plans to use Dodd-Frank to take over the financial industry.” Obamaloans

More on the United States falling out of the top ten list of economic freedom. “The Obama administration obviously bears considerable blame for eroding our freedoms, but I am afraid the problem goes deeper than that. Far too many Americans fail to appreciate what used to be universally understood, that free enterprise is the foundation of America’s prosperity. Systematically misled by academia and the entertainment industries, millions of Americans have become cynical about freedom. As a result, they are getting poorer.” U.S. No Longer In Top Ten For Economic Freedom

If you’ve been having problems sleeping lately, don’t read this.China’s holdings of U.S. Treasuries increased $12.2 billion to a record $1.317 trillion in November, data released on the Treasury Department’s website showed. The figures, scheduled for release at 9 a.m. tomorrow in Washington, were inadvertently posted on the Treasury’s website. Japan’s holdings rose $12 billion to $1.186 trillion, the figures showed.” China’s Treasury Holdings Climb to Record in Government Data

As a result of massive government regulation and government overreach, we haven’t been living under pure capitalism for a long time. “Despite this anti-capitalist narrative, however—a narrative we hear repeated by “progressive” politicians and iterated in more barbaric, polysyllabic strains by academics everywhere — the capitalist system has made possible over the last century, and especially in the last several decades, the greatest accumulation of wealth in the history of the world.  England was the crucible of this modern prosperity in part because of the freedom of economic activity that it, unlike the states of continental Europe, enjoyed.  And that freedom, in turn, and again unlike the continent, was underwritten by the limited government England also enjoyed. “The rapid growth of wealth” in England in the early nineteenth century, Hayek observes, “is probably in the first instance an almost accidental byproduct of the limitations which the revolution of the seventeenth century placed on the powers of government.”  We’ve been working diligently in this country to remove those limitations.  How far will we have to sink before the people once again rise up and repudiate the elites who wish to fetter them in manacles forged by statist overreach?” The Evils of Capitalism

When are they going to learn that money DOES NOT grow on trees. “One trillion dollars does not appear magically out of thin air,” Martin stated. “The only way to pay for such a mess is to borrow, and borrow some more.  Congress may be deluding themselves, but the American people will hold them responsible for this fiscal irresponsibility,” she continued.” Tea Party, Conservative Groups Blast Rushed Passage of $1.1 Trillion Omnibus Deal

Cover up. “What she ultimately discovered, however, was that she and other internationally known scholars would be sworn to secrecy, then “ignored,” and finally left to serve only as little more than “window dressing” to allow what many are now calling one of the greatest deceptions over the American people.” Education Expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky: Common Core ‘Rather Shady’

Indoctrination. “The reading assignment Beason reads to the crowd is about the benefits of hybrid cars, and according to the Gardendale Republican, it’s another example of the socialist indoctrination brought on Alabama school children by Common Core. While acknowledging the utility of cars, the text says that old-fashioned automobiles with internal combustion engines are bad for the environment. Hybrids are the better option, the text says, and the government should require automobile manufacturers to make them more affordable.” Alabama Tea Party Continues Fight Against Common Core

It’s worse than we could EVERY POSSIBLY IMAGINE. “Originally, Ellis assumed the poster to be a student prank, until he called the school and discovered it was part of the curriculum. “Why would you put it in front of 13 year-old students?” he asked. The poster, entitled, “How Do People Express Their Sexual Feelings?” lists sex acts such as: Oral Sex, Sexual Fantasy, Caressing, Anal Sex, Dancing, Hugging, Touching Each Other’s Genitals, Kissing, Grinding, and Masturbation. Ellis said after being told by the school principal the poster was “teaching material,” he is now concerned about what his daughter is being taught in school.” Kansas Middle School: Poster Listing Sex Acts Part of ‘Health and Science’ Curriculum

The doctors MUST BE HURT because the Left thinks they make too much money. “Medicaid expansion isn’t painless.” How Obamacare will hurt doctors

A little late to the party, but at least he’s finally showing up. “For his part, Kimmel is to be commended for this segment, as are all the other late night hosts that have been savaging this bill. But the nation would have been far better served if they did this in 2009 and 2010 before this farce was enacted, for unless Republicans take back the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016, ObamaCare may be with us forever” Jimmy Kimmel Savages ObamaCare and Uninformed Young People Who Support It

Interesting… “More and more I’ve come to believe that politics is ultimately not about what people read, or learn, or come to believe after giving it careful thought. Politics is all about what people “know” without quite knowing how they came to know it. Which is just another way of saying: You can’t reason someone out of a position he wasn’t reasoned into in the first place. The real driver of opinion is not reason — it never has been and never will be — but pre-rational things like What Everyone Else is Saying.” Jimmy Kimmel Rips Obamacare and Young Voters

Obama and his team are making it worse! A voice of reason speaks the truth. “Lieberman noted that the only reason the al-Qaeda “core” in the Af-Pak region has been diminished is because of military force. “Al-Qaeda is not a social organization,” he said. “It is a brutal military organization.” In the meantime, he said, American policy is “inviting the whirlwind.” “There are large parts of the Obama administration’s strategy that are simply not working. This is going to go on for a large part of this century,” Lieberman said of the “fearless and ideologically driven killing machine” of Islamic terrorism. “In the end, if we do nothing, the result will be worse.” Obama ‘Inviting the Whirlwind’ by Neglecting Blooming al-Qaeda Strongholds, Affiliates ‘Spreading Like Wildfire’

The Left can never give it a rest. “Expect to see more of this nonsense in the coming months and years. Many on the left have worked long and hard to discredit our military efforts since 9/11, and even one movie-length dose of truth and perspective is apparently too much for some to tolerate. To them, there’s only one acceptable way to portray American soldiers — as PTSD-addled victims of America’s imperial hubris. Any other story is merely a “jingoistic” and “pornographic” example of ”war propaganda.”” On the Movie Lone Survivor and Insufferable Anti-American Self-Righteousness

Taking a trip down memory lane. ““The troops believed and believe that they were being successful in their mission, so I think they were able, to a certain extent, to set aside the politics here at home,” said the former defense secretary. “Although, and I make the point in the book, when you have somebody like the Senate majority leader come out in the middle of the surge and say, ‘This war is lost,’ I thought that was one of the most disgraceful things I’ve heard a politician say.”” Gates: Reid’s Remark That Iraq War Was ‘Lost’ Was ‘Disgraceful’Gates: Reid’s Remark That Iraq War Was ‘Lost’ Was ‘Disgraceful’

We’re in the best of hands. “For the most part, though, the conclusions are both bipartisan and damning. The committee found that a string of terrorist attacks in Benghazi against Western targets, especially one three months before the final attack on the US facility itself, should have alerted State to the danger it faced. Furthermore, the committee questioned how State could have ignored its own security standards to approve the use of the building, a decision reapplied in July when State renewed the lease – just weeks after the previous attack.” We Finally Know Where the Buck Stops in Benghazi

The mainstream media will never print this. “Brookings Institution scholars, inspired by baseball statistics, conducted an analysis of the 113th Congress that points rather directly at the Democrat-controlled Senate as a the locus of congressional gridlock. The analysis opens with the observation that the House, contrary to expectation, passed twice as many bills as the Senate in 2013. Why? Because of the Senate committee process. “When we look at this category, then, we begin to understand where the problem lies: even in the traditionally collegial Senate, 87 percent of bills die in committee,” Molly Jackman and Saul Jackman, of Brookings, and Brian Boessenecker write in Politico. “While the filibuster may grab all the headlines, committees are a far deadlier weapon.” That observation undermines the conventional wisdom about Republican opposition to President Obama causing gridlock. (even taking into account the statement from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who said in 2009 that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”)” Brookings study points to Harry Reid and Senate Democrats as source of gridlock

More and more folks tuning him out, so his speechifying won’t work. “President Obama knows he’s in trouble with the American people. Yes, his job approval has slipped further since Christmas, down to 40%, and is worse than G.W. Bush’s at the same point. But you can tell Obama knows it anyway because he’s fallen back on his path of preferred political action. He’s giving speeches. Many speeches. Campaign speeches. Roll-up-the-sleeves speeches. Point-his-finger speeches. Call-on-others-to-do-something speeches.” Obama’s addiction to speeches: The more he gives, the less people listen

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