Category Archives: Media Malfeasance

February 15th Luncheon: Radio Talk Show Host Terry Gilberg on the State of Media Bias in the Age of Trump

We all know that the disaster that is the mainstream media–especially in the age of Trump.

Since Trump first descended the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy for President in 2015, the media has been in overdrive to defeat him. And now that he is our president, it is evident that they are not going to go quietly into the night. Instead, the press is doubling down. Which is why this is going to be a long and stomach-wrenching four years. But we must stay strong!

If you want some insight into why the media holds Republican presidents to a higher standard, then join us on February 15th. Bias in the Media is one of Terry’s favorite topics! And she’ll help to shed some light on what is to us, as Republicans, a very frustrating phenomenon.

terry-gilberg

About Terry Gilberg, from the 550 AM KFYI website: “Smart, funny, and plugged in–Terry Gilberg is a journalist-turned-talk host who thrives on local issues and controversy. For 30 years, Terry has worked professionally in several mediums within the broadcast industry including film, television and radio. On Arizona’s airwaves, she has logged over 2500 news-driven, issue-oriented shows on the hot, vexing issues of the day.”

Join us and learn more about media bias! We hope to see you there!

Program Details:

11:00 a.m. Social; 11:30 a.m. Program/Lunch

Grayhawk Golf Club: 8620 East Thompson Peak Parkway, The Fairway House, Scottsdale

The cost of the luncheon is $30 whether paying by credit card, check or cash. To make a reservation for our luncheon, send an email to pvrwlunch111@yahoo.com.

Please note that reservations are REQUIRED. And a reservation MADE is a reservation PAID!

On the Menu:
Citrus & Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Sweet Potato, Bacon & Brussel Sprout Hash
Bread & Butter
Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce
Coffee/Tea/Wine Bar

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Club News, Media Malfeasance

News and Commentary for February 22 and 23

It's Sunday. Have a blessed day.

It’s Sunday. Have a blessed day.

Stories of the Weekend

Surprise! “The FCC may have suspended its invasion into American newsrooms, but the controversial “Critical Information Needs” study also has George Soros’ fingerprints all over it. While disturbing, this should come as no surprise since Soros’ gave more than $52 million to media organizations from 2000-2010.” Universities in FCC Newsroom Probe Have Close Ties to Soros, Got $1.8M in Funding

They need to silence all dissenting views in order to get to their progressive utopia. “The real mystery behind the FCC’s now abandoned “study” to police American newsrooms is why the mainstream media refused to raise holy hell over it. While Obama’s lapdogs refused to bark, it was conservative media who fought for newsroom independence and got the FCC to finally back down. Other than the media’s natural obedience to Obama, the fact that the fingerprints of left-wing billionaire George Soros have been found on the FCC study might also help to explain the media’s silence.” Media Silence Explained? Soros Fingerprints On FCC Newsroom Probe

For now. But they’ll keep trying. “The FCC is required by law to report periodically to Congress on barriers that “may prevent entrepreneurs and small business from competing in the media marketplace.” The problem is that the massive study that the FCC proposed to undertake with regard to editorial news judgment had no bearing at all on such barriers to entry. In any event, whether you believe the Democrats’ disclaimers or not, the controversial project has been canceled.” FCC Backs Off on Scheme to Regulate the Press

Just the fact that they thought they could get away with this should worry us all. FCC throws out plan to question reporters about news coverage: Chairman denies intending to regulate speech of news media.

Update on the big story from yesterday: “The problem with this FCC study wasn’t just one or two questions. It’s that the FCC has no business involving itself in editorial judgment and news choices in the first place — especially at newspapers and Internet outlets. It’s an arrogation of jurisdiction, which would surely be followed by an arrogation of authority and power to address whatever “crises” in news reporting the study produces. The only solution to this is ending it, not amending it.” FCC retreats a little more from editorial-bias study

No doubt. “Fox News executives feared they were the ultimate target of this exercise, and who can blame them for that suspicion? From the beginning of the Obama presidency, White House communications officials and Obama political advisers have leveled attacks on Fox, even going so far as to proclaim that it is not a “a legitimate” news organization.” The FCC Tries to Stick Its Big Nose Into the Newsroom

Big Government

More on the Left’s attempt to silence it’s critics and how some on our side are fighting back. “Everywhere we look, our friends on the right are under attack. Dinesh D’Souza is being charged with multiple felonies for an alleged chickenfeed campaign finance violation. Mark Steyn and National Review are being sued. Organizers of conservative grass roots groups like Catherine Engelbrecht are being harassed by federal agencies including IRS, OSHA, FBI and EPA. Various conservatives of our acquaintance, who will remain nameless to protect the innocent, are being audited by the IRS or subjected to unspecified criminal “investigations” by partisan U.S. Attorneys. Charles and David Koch have been subjected to a campaign of vilification unprecedented in our history. And that is before we get to the Obama administration’s just-launched effort to use the FCC to shut down conservatives in radio and television (about which, more later today, or maybe tomorrow).” Four Senators Push Back Against D’Souza Prosecution

Common Core

On its last legs? “Recently major news broke in the fight to defeat Common Core that, odds are, most Americans haven’t even heard about yet. The nation’s largest teachers’ union is withdrawing its support of the Common Core academic standards. The New York Times has also highlighted early champions of these Common Core standards who are now speaking out against them.

You’d think that the new federally mandated education standards receiving criticism from the right and the left end of the political spectrum would get media attention, but no. On this important issue that is a critical component to the very future of this great nation, the mainstream media is completely silent.

It’s time for the media to break their silence and report the truth about Common Core and how it is detrimental to our nation’s education system. In 2014, the government should not unilaterally make a decision to fundamentally transform our education system without a debate that involves our nation’s parents.” Common Core Is a Power Grab

From the New York Times: “The Common Core has been applauded by education leaders and promoted by the Obama administration as a way to replace a hodgepodge of state standards with one set of rigorous learning goals. Though 45 states and the District of Columbia have signed on to them since 2010, resistance came quickly, mostly from right-leaning states, where some leaders and political action groups have protested what they see as a federal takeover of local classrooms.

But the newest chorus of complaints is coming from one of the most liberal states, and one of the earliest champions of the standards: New York. And that is causing supporters of the Common Core to shudder.

Carol Burris, an acclaimed high school principal on Long Island, calls the Common Core a “disaster.”

“We see kids,” she said, “they don’t want to go to school anymore.” Common Core Curriculum Now Has Critics on the Left

Kids belong to whole communities? I don’t think so. “Parents recognize that Common Core national standards and tests will require them to relinquish one of their most powerful tools to effect school improvement: control of academic content, standards, and testing through their state and local policymakers. Parents recognize that Common Core takes their seats at the table, further removing them from the decision-making process in favor of decisions being centrally made by national organizations and Washington bureaucrats.

“The children belong to all of us,” former Massachusetts Education Secretary Paul Reville recently stated. Likewise, according to MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, “We have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents or kids belong to their families and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.” Wrong.

Children belong to their parents – their first educators and the people who have the most at stake in their educational well-being. Accountability is critically important in education, but accountability isn’t achieved by removing parents from the process out of a belief that bureaucrats will make better decisions.” Common Core by Any Other Name Is Still Common Core

Follow the money, because as Representative David Schweikert likes to tell us,  it is ALWAYS about the money. “Assessing Common Core is inextricably tied to the big business of data collection and data mining. States that took the Race to the Top bribes in exchange for adopting Common Core must now comply with the edutech requirements of two private testing conglomerates, the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Common Core states also agreed to expand existing statewide longitudinal database systems that contain sensitive student data from pre-kindergarten through postsecondary education. [Snip]

When politicians want to evade accountability, they go on the attack. They don’t loathe anti-Common Core parents because they’re “paranoid.” They fear them because “paranoid” is the political demagogue’s word for active, alert and well-informed.” Why parents are “paranoid” about Common Core

Yikes! “The Common Core reading materials are filled with graphic pornography cloaked as literature. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, is what your teen will be forced to read if your school accepts Common Core. The story includes descriptions of child rape, incest, and molestation. The pedophile in the novel is portrayed with sympathy and Morrison reportedly wrote the story so the reader becomes a “co-conspirator” with the predator. The book Monster by Walter Dean Myers includes a description of a homosexual gang rape and the use of a butt plug. In New York, a Common Core education portal encourages teens to visit a pornographic sex survey site where they are asked if they want to participate in a threesome or a gang-bang, among other acts. The novel Black Swan Green features a 13-year-old boy who graphically describes his father’s genitals and then a sex act. Dreaming in Cuban contains teen sadomasochism. In Kansas, a father discovered a Common Core poster in his daughter’s class titled “How Do People Express Their Sexual Feelings?” with items such as “anal sex,” “masturbation,” and “grinding” as examples. Our young people are being deliberately exposed to graphic sexual material in schools that accept Common Core.” Common Core Pornography: Are your schoolchildren being groomed for sexual exploitation?

Debt

I doubt that Obama knows how to spell austerity. ““On this idea of austerity,” Krauthammer said, “we’ve talked about Obama’s assaulting the Constitution, this is an assault on the dictionary.” Obama ran a $4 trillion deficit in three years, Krauthammer explained, and “the deficit that he now touts as the triumph of austerity is the highest, higher than any deficit in the history of the country preceding him.”” Krauthammer’s Take: Obama’s Austerity Talk an ‘Assault on the Dictionary’

Diversity

Teaching grievances rather than success.But diversity is not only incoherent; it is ironic. On a zero-sum campus short of resources, the industry of diversity and related “studies” classes that focus on gender or racial differences and grievances crowd out exactly the sort of disciplines that provide the skills — mastery of languages, literature, science, engineering, business, and math — that best prep graduates for a shot at well-compensated careers.” The Outdated Business Model of Diversity, Inc.: In today’s divided society, universities would be wise to stress unity and academic rigor.

The Economy

We’re about the reap what our government sows… “The CBO said it’s been successful at that, helping sustain between 700,000 and 3.6 million jobs at its peak in 2010. But the scorekeepers had always warned that borrowing all of that money would eventually catch up with the economy and, over the long run, leave it slightly worse-off than if no stimulus had ever passed, and that is about to come true.” Obama’s stimulus beginning to drag economy down

Elections

Attempting to pick off our candidates, one by one, until we have no one left standing for freedom/liberty. “Having successfully demonized Chris Christie over the closure of traffic lanes on a bridge, the leftist mainstream media are now targeting Scott Walker, another very promising potential GOP candidate for president.  All of this in the context media downplaying and outright ignoring revelations of lies under oath in a scandal that cost four American lives including an ambassador that reflects badly on Hillary Clinton. The Washington Post offered a front page story intimating Scott Walker faces a scandal in an ongoing investigation launched by his political enemies in Wisconsin (who are legion because he successfully took on the public employee unions and won the right for workers to decline union membership, which many of them are now exercising.” [Snip] “Make no mistake: Scott Walker won smashing victories in a blue state, and withstood a concentrated assault by the moneybags faction of the Democratic Party (unions) gave them a defeat that weakened them as a future political player. He has also turned a deficit into a surplus and now threatens to give voters a tax cut dividend for their support of his policies” No wonder they want to take him out. Walker has a track record of turning attacks against him back on the attackers. Meanwhile, Hillary’s many scandals are dismissed as “old news” by the media worms.” Scott Walker is the next target of the MSM knockout game

Foreign Policy

The TRUE smart power. “THERE IS a third option, however, that is currently orphaned in the US foreign policy discourse.

That third option begins with understanding the ideological underpinnings of Obama’s foreign policy, and proceeds with offering an alternative policy, based on the opposite foundation.

From Russia to Iran, from Israel to the Far East, Obama’s foreign policy calls for the US to appease its adversaries at the expense of its allies. At its core, it is informed by the belief that the reason the US has adversaries is because it has allies.

By this line of thinking, if the US didn’t support Israel, then it wouldn’t have a problem with the Muslim world. If the US didn’t support Colombia and Honduras, it wouldn’t have a problem with Venezuela and Nicaragua. If the US didn’t sup – port Japan and South Korea, it wouldn’t have a problem with China and North Korea. And if the US didn’t support Egypt and Saudi Arabia, it wouldn’t have a problem with the Muslim Brotherhood and its terrorist offshoots, or with Iran and its terror armies.

The proper response to this worldview and its corresponding policy is a policy based on supporting US allies and opposing US enemies. It is predicated on the recognition that strong allies deter and weaken enemies.” Rousing the Americans from their slumber

Freedom

“It’s all about winning and losing, but the best man doesn’t always win, and outcomes frequently have more to do with luck than with merit.  Brilliant strategies fail, and fools stumble into glorious victories.  Napoleon preferred a lucky general to a brilliant one. Which brings us to today.  The headlines are grim, the pictures from Syria, Venezuela and Ukraine are blood-chilling, executions and demonstrations are mounting in Iran, and Obama doesn’t know what to do about anything.  So he doesn’t do anything; he and his strategists just dither.  And yet…” And yet, our enemies may be on the verge of losing.  Big time.” What If We Were Winning But Nobody Noticed?

IRS

Outrage. “While there has been bipartisan support for resolving these cases, Congressmen Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) and Matthew Cartwright (D-Pa.) are attempting to further impede investigations into my case as well as others. Shortly after the Ways and Means Committee confirmed it was investigating my case, these congressmen attacked TIGTA, accused that agency of being pro-Republican and called for an ethics investigation.

Let’s imagine if the situation was reversed. What if, while a Republican was president, the IRS leaked the tax records of Democratic candidates to the press? What would the reaction look like then?” Christine O’Donnell: I was a victim of the IRS

Hear us President Obama and all your Leftist minions. We will not be silenced. “Experts agreed that the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative, pro-life, and evangelical groups in 2012 ties directly back to President Obama’s campaign style before his presidency.

Intentional. It’s the Chicago way. “The best way to look at this is as a continuum of a very long and determined political strategy that dates back to 2008 and a man named Barack Obama,” Kimberley Strassel, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, declared at The Heritage Foundation on Friday. Strassel argued that “this is a president and his team of political operatives who have always understood the power of speech, but more importantly, the power of denying it to their political opponents.” IRS Scandal Has Obama Fingerprints All Over It, Experts Say

Media Malfeasance

How very, very sad. “Ms Dawson gave an insight into her life – both her troubles and the highlights – in her autobiography, released late 2012.

In the book, Air Kiss and Tell, she revealed she had had an abortion with her former husband, Olympic swimmer Scott Miller, so that he would not have any distractions in the lead up to the Sydney Olympics.

She had been looking forward to having a baby but sensed “hesitation” in Miller.” [Snip]

Associated Press:

Dawson revealed in her 2012 autobiography “Air Kiss & Tell” that she was frequently visited by the “depression bogeyman.”

People:

Despite her professional successes, Dawson’s personal life was often tumultuous. In 1999, she married Olympic swimmer Scott Miller. Although the marriage ended after a few short months, she struggled with the breakup and said he was the only man she would ever marry.

After Miller recently gave a tell-all interview to 60 Minutes in Australia, Dawson spoke out: “I continue to fight my depression”…

Seemingly a stab, from E! Online:

Per the BBC, Dawson suffered with depression for a very long time and was admitted to a hospital in 2012 after being targeted by cyber bullies.

Dawson married Olympic swimmer Scott Miller in 1999 but they were divorced two years later. She had no children.” Australian TV Star Commits Suicide After Depression Triggered by Her Abortion; U.S. Media Accounts Omit Abortion

The Left only covers stories that make the Left look good. “I’m not a Washington Post newsroom editor, but were I, I’d have thought that the big news this week is that so many Democrat Congressmen are running from ObamaCare — and the president — as the election nears. I’d have considered that the events in Thailand, Venezuela, and the Ukraine were so quickly overturning the established order and were so indicative of popular sentiment against corruption and tyranny that they merited a great deal of coverage. Instead we got three articles about nothingburger star chamber proceedings in Wisconsin, a partisan witchhunt that turned up nothing and will turn up nothing. Would, for starters, that the same attention were paid to Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation’s doings, Hillary’s constant lying, the politicizing of the IRS, Fast and Furious, or the large uptick in casualties occasioned by the administration’s incoherent and feckless foreign policy in the Middle East.” Drag a Hundred Dollar Bill through a School of Journalism

Middle Class

Real trouble ahead if we don’t turn this ship around. “The biggest issue facing the American economy, and our political system, is the gradual descent of the middle class into proletarian status. This process, which has been going on intermittently since the 1970s, has worsened considerably over the past five years, and threatens to turn this century into one marked by downward mobility. [Snip]

A pro-growth program today could take several forms that defy the narrow logic of both left and right.  We can encourage the growth of high-wage, blue-collar industries such as construction, energy and manufacturing. We can also reform taxes so that the burdens fall less on employers and employees, as opposed to those who simply profit from asset inflation. And rather than impose huge tuitions on students who might not  finish with a degree that offers employment opportunities, let’s place new emphasis on practical skills training for both the new generation and those being left behind in this “recovery.” Most importantly, the benefits of capitalism need be more widely shared if business hopes to gain support from the middle class for their agenda.” The U.S. Middle Class Is Turning Proletarian

Money in Politics

Pouring money down the drain. “That doesn’t mean the Koch brothers and the organizations they support don’t have influence or that unions control elections. Instead, the more important takeaway is about the limits of spending when it comes to trying to convince voters of something they don’t believe or don’t care about.” Money in Politics: Dems Still Don’t Understand that Issues Matter

Obamacare

Hahahaha. “The number of those who have already been hurt by ObamaCare are legion, including millions of individual purchasers of insurance who have lost their coverage or been denied the ability to keep their doctors in spite of President Obama’s promise to the contrary. But it’s long been accepted that the employer mandate will eventually reduce the number of full-time workers because of new rules about coverage requirements. Yet it turns out that those affected are not just employees at small or mid-sized companies. The impact on one of President Obama’s key support group turns out to be just as bad. As the New York Times reports:

Cities, counties, public schools and community colleges around the country have limited or reduced the work hours of part-time employees to avoid having to provide them with health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, state and local officials say.” New ObamaCare Losers: Public Employees

Hiding the bad news. “Pear reported the ACA is hurting an Indiana school district as well:

In Indiana, Daniel T. Tanoos, the schools superintendent for Vigo County, which includes Terre Haute, said, “The school system has no way to increase prices as a private business can.”

To hold down the work hours of school bus drivers, Vigo County has reduced field trips for children and cut back transportation to athletic events. School employees who had two part-time jobs totaling more than 30 hours a week — for example, bus driver and basketball coach — were required to give up one of the jobs.

To date no reporter at ABC, CBS or NBC has filed a segment interviewing disgruntled parents and/or children crying about how ObamaCare took away their annual field trip to the zoo.” ObamaCare Costing Government Jobs Too! Big Three Networks Ignore

More bad news that the media won’t report. “A new survey says Obamacare’s tax on medical device manufacturers has cost the industry about 33,000 jobs.

In a report this week, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) said companies cut about 14,000 workers and decided not to hire about 19,000 workers because of the

The report also said the 2.3 percent excise tax also forced three-quarters of respondents to defer or cancel capital projects, reduce investment in start-ups or defer raises for their employees.” Survey: Medical device tax has cost tens of thousands of jobs

Running scared. “A few  points are clear already, though much else remains to be seen:

1.      Peters and other Democrats are terrified of being held responsible for health insurance troubles, so much so that they seek to stifle free speech on the subject.

2.      Boonstra and other sick people are far more sympathetic figures than politicians defending Obamacare.

3.      Whatever the math turns out to be for Boonstra’s case, she has suffered serious disruption and uncertainty thanks to Obamacare’s passage.

4.      There are going to be winners and losers in Obamacare, what with reduced availability of doctors and hospitals as a cost saving measure in many of the less expensive plans.  The losers are going to be very sympathetic figures (see points one and two).” Dem Rep threatens TV stations showing anti-Obamacare ad

Just a reminder of something we already knew but might have forgotten about. “IPAB’s unelected members will have effectively unfettered power to impose taxes and ration care for all Americans, whether the government pays their medical bills or not. In some circumstances, just one political party or even one individual would have full command of IPAB’s lawmaking powers. IPAB truly is independent, but in the worst sense of the word. It wields power independent of Congress, independent of the president, independent of the judiciary, and independent of the will of the people.” The Independent Payment Advisory Board: PPACA’s Anti-Constitutional and Authoritarian Super-Legislature

President Obama

The amazing part is that I still have friends that LOVE Obama. “Ceaser’s speculations are interesting. They draw on comments by Obama intended for public consumption. A heavy discount needs to be applied to these comments. They can’t be taken at face value. Obama is an incredibly cynical figure, seeking to exploit the gullibility of the crowd both in his proclamation of his messiahship and in his explanations of its difficulties.” A Failed Messiah

Religious Liberty

Kiss religious freedom good bye. “The University of Notre Dame must provide birth control to employees and students after a federal appeals court ruled Friday, a move the school says will force it to violate its religious beliefs.

In a blow to religious colleges and universities across the country, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago denied Notre Dame’s request for an injunction to the ObamaCare birth control mandate that requires the school to provide coverage for contraception.” Court: Notre Dame must adhere to ObamaCare birth control mandate

Socialism

Class warfare leads to socialism. But the same thing could never happen here, right?!?!?! “The crisis hasn’t come from nowhere. It is the inevitable product of Chavez’s brand of socialism, which created a base of support by convincing the urban poor that they were the victims of a conspiracy by the rich. The base has been kept on side with social services bought with the use of oil, fostering a false economic boom and a fantasy of progress. Beneath the surface, civil society has been allowed to stagnate. Now that Chavez is dead and the magic gone, there is anarchy. We might even ask if the elections that put Chavezism in office were ever truly legitimate. Yes, they were technically democratic (although the opposition complained that the odds were rigged against them) but the Chavezistas were never really committed to democracy in the orthodox, liberal sense. They were constructing a new order out of clientism. It’s astonishing that their supporters in the West couldn’t see this, that they deluded themselves that Hugo was building a Latin American Sweden.” Venezuela: the Left’s favourite ‘socialist paradise’ is sliding into poverty and dictatorship

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Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, Big Government, Charles Krauthammer, Class Warfare, Common Core, Debt, Diversity, Economy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, IRS, Media Malfeasance, Middle Class, Money in Politics, National News, Obamacare, President Obama, Religious Liberty, Socialism

News and Commentary for February 14

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Stories of the Day

The following “Stories of the Day” links are from Instapundit.com and are a reminder of how the Democrats will do anything to win elections.

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Vulnerable Senate Dems Ask IRS To Save Them From Tea Party.

Related: Did IRS anti-tea party activities sway 2012 election?

Hey, they don’t call him “President Asterisk” for nothing.

Also, a flashback: Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report. It’s like the entire bureaucracy has been politicized and weaponized.

Agenda 21

We will not comply. “That effort—a colossal and sweeping form of  global behavior modification–is supposed to get a new kick-start at a special U.N. summit of world leaders to be convened by Ban in New York City on September 25. Its supporters hope that effort will end next year in a new international treaty that will bind all 193 U.N. members– including the U.S– to a still formless “universal sustainable development agenda” for the planet that will take effect in 2020.” John Podesta, key player in administration’s regulation drive, also helped UN develop radical new global agenda

Big Government

I posted on this the other day. As American’s, if we don’t start loudly protesting what’s happening to our country, we deserve to lose it. “Professor Smith observes: “Something much like this is, in fact, going on now, with nary a peep from the mainsteam press or the American left, and definitely not a peep from the President.” Taking down D’Souza

Where in the constitution does it give these “elitist know-it-alls” the power to do such a thing? “How about this modest proposal: Before members of Congress weigh in on issues they have no business in, they actually perform the tasks that are properly theirs? Here’s another alternative: Congress cease and desist from telling the NFL what to do about the names of their teams until its public approval rating exceeds, say, 25 percent (right now it’s at 13 percent).” Butt Out and Do Your Jobs

Capitalism

Advertisers know November is coming and their ads are reflecting who they think will win… “Both of the above ads represent pandering on an appropriately massive scale befitting these corporatist conglomerates deeply in bed with the Obama administration. However, as Jeffrey Earl Warren wrote at the start of the month at Riochet regarding the similar themes of many of the recent Super Bowl ads, we can at least read the tea leaves they imply: A lot can happen between now and November, but what is important to remember is that these spots are no accident. As the former vice president and creative director of a couple of ad agencies, I can tell you that they focus group all these concepts (and often the finished ads) before they put them on the air. They test them assiduously and go with the concepts that play the best with would-be consumers. That means they tested lots of various competing thematic ideas. You can be assured there were edgy commercials, even “Occupy America” themes or income redistribution type spots, that didn’t score well. Though commercials (unless they are about world hunger or orphans) tend to be upbeat in nature, you can bet that if advertisers thought single mothers on welfare sitting on stoops in inner cities would sell more Coca-Cola, they would run the spots. What did the people tell them that they wanted? A clean, simple, pure America where people are kind to one another, work hard, raise animals, and honor their troops. In short, most of these spots could be labeled “Patriotic” — not saber-rattling, jingoistic, war-mongering patriotic, but pride-in-self, pride-in-country patriotic. If the mood of the country continues along these lines between now and election day, it could blow an ill wind for Democrats in November. Which may be the real takeaway message from Cadillac’s new ad.” ‘Best Commercial Ever!’

Communism

Afraid to stand up to it or wishing we were more like them? “Mitt Romney, who helped direct the highly successful 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, was asked by Fox News whether Russia’s increasingly authoritarian direction was in conflict with the spirit of the Olympic Games. Romney said he shared that worry and mentioned the 1936 Berlin games that Adolf Hitler used so successfully to soften the world’s image of his regime. “Hitler’s presence there, that certainly undercut the Olympic message,” Romney said. “And surely that can happen in our time, theoretically or specifically.” That undercutting is happening right now, albeit in a sophisticated form, at Sochi. And, just as in the 1930s, too many people in the West — from diplomats to journalists — are failing to speak out against the doublespeak. It’s one thing for Olympic guests not to engage in boorish criticism during the games. But true friends of freedom in Russia are certain the right balance in commentary isn’t being struck in Sochi.” Whitewashing Communism: Sochi Coverage is Too Soft on the Regime

Elections

“This week Senate Democrats once again asked the IRS to crack down on conservative groups including Americans for Prosperity, funded by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. Democrats want to silence the opposition. So how big of a threat are the Koch Brothers? Over the past twenty five years, from 1989 to 2014, Koch Industries has donated $18,083,948 in political contributions to Republicans. While that seems like a large sum, it only ranks them as number 59 on the list of top all-time political donors – behind 18 different unions.‘Evil Koch Brothers Rank #59 in Political Donations Behind 18 Different Unions

“It isn’t as though the Democrats are hurting for money or lack similar groups of their own. George Soros has poured piles of millions into leftwing groups for years. Democrats never complain about that. Malik Obama’s foundation got fast-tracked to tax-exempt status while the IRS was slow-rolling conservative groups — the Democrats haven’t asked about that. As Ed Morrissey points out, the Democrats themselves hyped their ability to raise a billion dollars to re-elect Obama. Despite its alleged independence as mandated by law, Organizing for America is blatantly political. It even runs POTUS’ Twitter feed. Enroll America, which is supposed to be a non-partisan Obamacare enrollment agency, is made up of former OfA staff. It’s just a holding tank for operatives who will staff the next big Democrat campaign.” Vulnerable Democrats Want the IRS to Do More of Something that ‘Outraged’ Obama Last Year

“Attributing the problem to red states is false; the problem lies in the blue parts of the red states.” 81% of people receiving public housing benefits vote Democratic – and that’s just the tip of the handout iceberg

Go Rand! “But many Republicans cheered because it showed that Paul had the guts to take on the Clintons and a mainstream media that continues to treat the former president as a revered figure in spite of his past. Paul added more luster to his image today by a filing a class action lawsuit against President Obama and the heads of U.S intelligence agencies over the National Security Agency’s metadata collection program. Like the spat with Clinton, the lawsuit is more about public relations than substance. But the support it has gotten from the GOP base shows that it is no longer possible to dismiss the senator as merely a housetrained version of his father—libertarian gadfly Ron Paul.” Is the GOP Now Rand Paul’s Party?

An alternative take on the above article on Rand Pauls’ good month. “Given that Rand Paul has started attacking Hillary Clinton for Bill’s transgressions, once again turning the scandals into a partisan issue, that is unlikely to happen. (By the way, Paul is truly nuts if he thinks this is a smart political strategy. Does he remember what happens to Clinton’s poll numbers when she is attacked?) And besides, there is nothing the press hates more than something that can be deemed old news.” Why Hillary Clinton Continues to Get a Free Pass

Read the whole thing and cry. “President Obama is dividing America into two nations—one rich, the other increasingly poor, and both more likely to elect Democrats. Americans growing richer support his policies, and those growing poorer are increasingly dependent on Democratic politicians for government handouts.” Obama’s Two Americas: The Economy and How Democrats Win Elections

Environment

Smart power. This: Experts have estimated that electricity from giant solar projects will cost at least twice as much as electricity from conventional sources. But neither the utilities that have contracted to buy the power nor state regulators have disclosed what the price will be, only that it will be passed on to electricity customers. And this: “Regulators said they anticipated that some birds would be killed once the Ivanpah plant started operating, but that they didn’t expect so many to die during the plant’s construction and testing. The dead birds included a peregrine falcon, a grebe, two hawks, four nighthawks and a variety of warblers and sparrows. State and federal regulators are overseeing a two-year study of the facility’s effects on birds.” Bright Lights, Dim Idea

The Media

Freedoms disappearing faster than we could have ever thought… “Investigative journalist James Risen believes the Index rightly shows the drop in American journalists’ freedoms due to crackdowns on reporters and whistleblowers and the efforts of the Obama administration and the National Security Agency to limit the amount of information America has concerning the “War on Terror” and other subjects. “I think 2013 will go down in history as the worst year for press freedom in the United States modern history,” James Risen said.” Report: US Drops to 46th in Press Freedom

We’ll drop further than 46th in press freedom if Obama gets his way. “Remember when George W. Bush sent agents into radio and TV newsrooms and demanded they explain why they were running negative stories about the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina? Remember when the Bush administration quizzed reporters on what stories they wanted to run but were killed by their editors? Remember how there was a huge backlash from the liberal media, outraged at the very idea of such interference by a government agency in their newsrooms? Me neither. Because the Bush Administration would never have done that. Who would? You get three guesses, and the first two don’t count.” Dear FCC, It’s None Of Your God**** Business.

This: “Earlier this week, FCC commissioner Ajit Pai raised the red flag over a study the agency planned to launch that would have “studied” the issue of editorial bias — even though the agency isn’t supposed to meddle in content decisions at all. The study would have surveyed newspapers, too, which don’t even fall under the FCC’s area of jurisdiction. After Pai blew the whistle on this effort, FCC chair Tom Wheeler may be retreating, reports Ad Week.” And this: “Editorial bias certainly exists, and we criticize it on a regular basis. That’s where the issue belongs — in the marketplace, not as a government-controlled command information economy. That threatens everything that the First Amendment promises, and puts the government nose squarely in the ability to freely speak and argue. If Tom Wheeler is that concerned about editorial bias, let him quit the FCC and open up his own media outlet to compete. Otherwise, as Michael Graham says (a little more colorfully than I do), editorial decisions at media outlets are none of his damned business, nor that of the executive branch of the federal government.” FCC retreating from editorial-bias study?

Obamacare

Incentives. “Here in grown-up world, the perverse incentives of regulation do not disappear simply because a regulator sends out a letter saying that they shall not exist, IRS or no IRS. Employers have almost exactly the same perverse incentives they have now that they had before the no-perverse-incentives regulation, the only new wrinkle being that if they want to act on those incentives, they either have to cross the IRS or think up a “legitimate” business reason for reducing their staffs. Of course, not putting your head on the regulatory chopping block is in reality a legitimate business reason, but that won’t do. Even so, it will not be terribly difficult for many businesses to think up “legitimate” reasons to have one or two fewer employees. Thus the Obama administration is dishonest in itself and a source of dishonesty in others. The administration has not eliminated incentives to lay off employees; it has simply created incentives to lie, or, to put it more charitably, to engage in regulatory evasion.” ACA, IRS, and Perverse Incentives

President Obama

We’ve got to start playing hard ball. “One good way to force the Left to confront President Obama’s own responsibility for his conduct in office is to compare his abuses of office with the record of President Bush 43, who was reviled by his opposition as a dictator-wannabe, Constitution-abusing, moronic ogre straddling the line between simian and human. Doug Ross of Director Blue has produced an amusing comic-book approach toward explaining the differences between the two men.” Stuff Bush didn’t do

XXXX

Click on over to the article (link above) to see the full thing.

Sadly, many of the low fos (low information voters) would still say a resounding “Yes.” “The question I wish they had asked was, just of the cohort of Obama voters in 2008, if you’d known what you know now would you have voted for him? There would be an asterisk over his election, just as there is an asterisk over his 2012 election because of the harassment of conservative groups opposing him.” George Will To Obama Voters: “If You’d Known What You Know Now Would You Have Voted For Him?”

Only 60 percent? “Yes, it’s a Fox News poll, which means that many will dismiss this out of hand, but that would be a mistake. If anything, the poll oversamples both Democrats and Republicans (40/35), which makes those figures look rather solid. Overall, 60% disapprove of Obama going around Congress — and even 31% of Democrats disapprove. Majorities of independents (66%), women (59%), and younger voters (under 35 YO, 61%) disapprove of the go-it-alone theme.” Poll: 60% believe Obama overstepping authority

He’s going to do whatever he wants for another three years. Get used to it little people. “The editorial board at The Washington Post blasted Obama for his “increasingly cavalier approach to picking and choosing how to enforce this law. “ Garrett’s colleague Ron Fournier and the Daily Beast’s Kirsten Powers both declared their patience at an end to the arbitrary changes and continuing incompetence from the Obama administration – and all of these people support the law in principle. The attempt to create a command economy in the health-insurance market has failed, in the same manner that Hayek predicted, and resulted in the same arbitrary use of power to attempt to compensate for those failures. The demand for businesses to “self-attest” that they aren’t following standard business principles foreshadows the later stages of unreality that will take from F. A. Hayek to George Orwell on a long enough continuum. This is what comes of ignoring the warnings from both men about the nature of centrally-controlled command economies issued seven decades ago.” Obama’s Health Care Mandate: My Whim Is My Command

There’s so much more at the link. “In the meantime, the taxpayers underwriting the Obamas’ lavish lifestyle have seen their household incomes decline by 4.4 percent since the recovery began in 2009. Almost 92 million Americans have left the workforce, bringing the workforce participation rate to its lowest level in almost four decades. The long-term unemployment rate, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, comprises 36 percent of all unemployed Americans. Moreover, the president’s latest unilateral “adjustment” to ObamaCare delays the mandate for corporations and businesses — the kind of people who get invited to state dinners — while regular Americans must adjust their lives to higher premiums, greater deductibles and the reality that they can’t keep their doctor and/or hospitals.” Income Inequality at the White House

Cowed subjects finally waking up. “But Turley’s a bit late to the party in noticing the Obama cult of personality that has turned the Democratic Party into a bunch of Soviet-style apparatchiks. It’s been apparent from the moment Obama claimed what he called a “historic” Democratic nomination victory in a June 3, 2008, speech in St. Paul, Minn., when he said that “this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our Image as the last, best hope on Earth.”” Obama’s cult of personality has turned US into ‘a nation of enablers’

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Filed under 2014 Elections, Big Government, Capitalism, Communism, Environment, Freedom, IRS, Media Malfeasance, Obamacare, President Obama

News and Commentary for January 27

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News and Commentary for January 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News and Commentary for January 22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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News and Commentary for January 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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