Category Archives: IRS

News and Commentary for February 12

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

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

Stories of the Day

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

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

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

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

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

Big Government

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

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

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

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

Class Warfare

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

Debt Ceiling

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

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

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

The Economy

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

Elections

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

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

Hillary Clinton

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

The Left

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

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

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

Michelle Obama

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

FLOTUS

Neil Munro of the Daily Caller noted:

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

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

Money in Politics

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

Obamacare

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

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

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

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

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

War on Women

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

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Filed under 2014 Elections, Amnesty, Big Government, Class Warfare, Debt, Economy, Federal Reserve, Hillary, Income Inequality, IRS, Jobs, Michelle Obama, Money in Politics, President Obama, The Left, War on Women, We the People

News and Commentary for February 11

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

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

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

Stories of the Day

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

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

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

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

Amnesty

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

Big Government

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

Class Warfare

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

Cronyism

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

The Economy

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

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

Education

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

Elections

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

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

Hillary

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

The IRS

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

The Left

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

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

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

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

Obamacare

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

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

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

President Obama

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

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

Terrorism

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

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

The War on Women

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

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

News and Commentary for January 28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News and Commentary for January 27

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News and Commentary for January 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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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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