Category Archives: Obamacare

News and Commentary for February 15 and 16

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

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

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

Stories of the Day

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

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

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

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

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

Afghanistan

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

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

Amnesty

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

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

Arizona Politics

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

Benghazi

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

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

Big Government

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

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

Climate Change

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

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

Communism

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

Debt

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

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

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

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

The Economy

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

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

Elections

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

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

The EPA

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

Freedom

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

Hillary Clinton

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

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

The IRS

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

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

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

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

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

Eric Holder

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

Medicare

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

Michelle Obama

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

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

President Obama

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

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

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

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

Obamacare

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

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

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

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

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

Unions

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

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

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

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

News and Commentary for February 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 February 13

Don't give up the fight for the soul of our country. Remember who we're doing it for!

Don’t give up the fight for the soul of our country. Remember who we’re fighting for!

Stories of the Day

Read the whole thing. “The conservative creed should be fighting for people, especially vulnerable people, whether or not they vote as we do. Such an experiment cannot guarantee success. But its spark will relight the fires of hope in a wearied country that 64 percent of Americans feel is “off on the wrong track.” In ethical, emotional, and potentially even electoral terms, no opportunity could be more promising than this opening to champion those who need our help. This is our fight, and it is a happy one. After all, as Proverbs 14:21 reminds us, “He that despiseth his neighbor, sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.”” ‘Be Open-Handed Toward Your Brothers’

But remember, the president still didn’t know about the website… “While Sebelius has said the president was not aware of HealthCare.gov’s problems, more than 750 pages of documents obtained by The Hill through a Freedom of Information Act request show she made scores of visits to the White House. The documents reveal that Sebelius met with or attended calls and events with Obama at least 18 times between Oct. 27, 2012, and Oct. 6, 2013, including at least seven instances in which the two were scheduled to discuss the new healthcare law, according to the secretary’s draft schedules.” Before O-Care debacle, Sebelius made many trips to White

Here’s another reason why the Benghazi story is not going away. “Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Randall R. Schmidt supplied Judicial Watch with the map and has been investigating the Benghazi attack for more than a year. Based on his experience as a fighter pilot, Schmidt has repeatedly said there is no reason why military forces could not have responded more efficiently to the attack. “Destroyers could have responded to the attack,” Schmidt told Judicial Watch, adding that forces in the area are trained to do rapid response. “There were enough forces to respond.”” Map Shows Dozens of U.S. Military Ships Stationed In North Africa Waters During Benghazi Attack

From a left of center law professor on the Megyn Kelly show (emphasis mine)… “And I think that many people will look back at this period in history and see nothing but confusion as to why people remained so silent when the president asserted these types of unilateral actions. You have a president who is claiming the right to basically rewrite or ignore or negate federal laws. That is a dangerous thing. It has nothing to do with the policies; it has to do with politics.” Turley on Expansion of Presidential Powers: “We Have Become a Nation of Enablers”

Afghanistan

This is what American weakness looks like. “The Afghan government has released 65 prisoners who the US says are dangerous fighters with American and Afghan blood on their hands but Kabul argues are innocent men illegally locked up for years by foreign soldiers.” Afghanistan releases 65 prisoners against objections from US

Amnesty

Ann Coulter is spot on in this one. This: “With all the smirking on the left about their electoral victories, it’s important to remember that Democrats haven’t won the hearts and minds of the American people. They changed the people. If you pour vinegar into a bottle of wine, the wine didn’t turn, you poured vinegar into it. Similarly, liberals changed no minds. They added millions of new liberal voters through immigration.” And this: “I’m sure they’re lovely, but I wanted to live in America. Now I can’t. At the current rate of immigration, it won’t exist anymore. The Democrats couldn’t win elections there, so they changed it.” Did I Move?

Arizona Politics

It’s a press release, but I am collecting all the information that I can on Krysten Sinema, Representative from CD9. “ObamaCare is cutting Medicare Advantage by $156 billion over the next 10 years. And who can they thank for gutting this vital program? None other than Kyrsten Sinema. Many seniors will soon see that the plans and doctors they have come to know and like will suddenly become unavailable. Sinema should tell Arizona seniors why she insists on raiding Medicare Advantage to pay for her failed law.” With Cuts to Medicare Advantage Coming, What Will Kyrsten Sinema Say to Seniors?

He needs to be voted out. “Huckstering Superintendent Huppenthal, a public education insider now on the campaign trail seeking reelection, obviously knows what countless parents suspect. Why else would he angle to deceive them with a swift name change for this radical curriculum? In an instant, colluding with Gov. Jan Brewer to pull off the sleight-of-hand scam, “Common Core” magically morphed into “Arizona College and Career Ready Standards.” Huppenthal urging parents to remove kids from Common Core?

Debt

Is anyone in congress listening? “”The large budget deficits recorded in recent years have substantially increased federal debt, and the amount of debt relative to the size of the economy is now very high by historical standards,” Elmendorf told the Senate Budget Committee.CBO Director: ‘Large and Growing Federal Debt’ Could Produce ‘Fiscal Crisis’

How can we get the low info voters to pay attention, and care? “”This measure would increase America’s debt limit approximately $1 trillion while failing to reduce spending by a single penny. And the legislation takes no steps whatsoever to eliminate gimmicks that allow spending above our budget limits,” Sessions said in a statement.”” STICKER SHOCK: National debt to rise to $18.2 trillion

Out of control. Unsustainable. Insane. Please stop the madness. “Currently there are around 74 million children under the age of 18 in the U.S. If you divide our $16.4 trillion debt by 74 million, you get $222,000 apiece. If you assume that two of those kids get married, they owe $444,000 together. And if you assume that your kid is going to be one of the 50% who pay any discernible amount of income taxes, the tab comes to close to $1 million.” With Debt Limit Raised, America Continues Its Headlong Descent Into Bankruptcy

The Economy

File this one away for reference. Another article to help us explain why the Left’s policies are bad for America. “While the world is becoming economically freer and much less impoverished, the United States is becoming less free and its economic growth is deteriorating. Poverty is spreading in America, but the nation keeps centralizing the economy – a model other nations are fleeing from and to their benefit. It’s really simple: Americans who value freedom and want to work and get on with life don’t approve of Obama for those very reasons. States where most people don’t value freedom are quite fond of Barack Obama’s big government policies. It has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with the rat race.” These 3 Charts Show Why Obama is More Popular in States That are Less Free & Stink Economically

Elections

They can’t win unless they can silence their opponents. “But Senate Democrats aren’t interested in fixing the campaign-finance system.  They’re interested in getting the IRS to intimidate their opponents and fix their own electoral woes in the midterms. That’s just pathetic, especially for a party that controls one chamber in a branch of government that should be on guard against usurpation of legislative power by the executive.” Senate Dems to IRS: You’re our only hope

Eric Holder

Read the whole thing. “People who think Holder’s departure will mark a moment of sanity don’t understand the radical ideological virus that has raced through the DOJ bureaucracy. Holder’s thousands of underlings are on autopilot. They don’t need orders. There are hundreds of political overseers who will hold the radical course.” Don’t Celebrate Eric Holder’s Pending Departure

Food Stamps

Our response to anyone who says Republicans want people to starve: we should just laugh in their faces and walk away. “There you have it: The either/or moral choice between more food stamps, or more starvation. That’s it. Those are literally your only two options. Thank you, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, for putting things in such stark, intellectually bankrupt, and demagogic terms. If Rep. Nadler and some of his fellow Democrats did care to tread a more honest path, he might mention that that $8 billion food-stamp cut is the grand-total reduction over a period of ten years, and that it amounts to a whopping one percent cut to a program whose enrollment has doubled since 2006 alone. I mean, can he hear himself?” NYC Democrat: Let’s get real here, Republicans are only interested in cutting food stamps because they “just want people to starve”

President Obama

We need a strong president to put us back on track. “When President Obama’s term expires in January 2017, we will have completed roughly one-sixth of the 21st century. How will the American political history of the period be remembered? Quite likely, it will be remembered, fairly or not, for two badly botched presidencies — one of them mainly for a botched war; the other mainly for a botched overhaul of our health care system.” The era of the epically failed presidency

Hypocrisy. “With the most recent medium-sized employer mandate delay, Obama has now altered parts of the Affordable Care Act almost 30 times. “And remember how Democrats were complaining that when Republicans were trying to overturn Obamacare it was somehow unpatriotic because it was an attack on the law of the land?” Krauthammer said. “This ‘law of the land’ doesn’t even exist. It exists in Obama’s head.”” Krauthammer’s Take: The Law ‘Exists in Obama’s Head’

This is from Victor Davis Hanson so read it all. “The meaning of words, and history itself, are malleable when it comes to our president and his record.” Obama’s Newspeak

Up is down, left is right, black is white… “A recent report from the American Foreign Service Association found that more than half of President Obama’s nominations have been political, compared to 28 and 30 percent under the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, respectively. The diplomatic inexperience of some of the president’s picks has become apparent in recent weeks: both the nominees to Argentina and Norway admitted during their confirmation hearings that they had never been to the countries they would serve as the top American diplomat in.” Carney: Being Obama Donor Doesn’t Guarantee or Prevent You from Being an Ambassador

Smartest man ever. This: :”Obama’s error came when he misnamed Alexis de Tocqueville, a clear-eyed Frenchman who explained the subtle miracle of American culture and democracy in the 1830s. His book is a classic, partly because his insights about Americans’ social equality and civic society have become commonplace among centrists and conservatives. But Obama called him “Alex” in front of the French and U.S. press, and while facing banks of TV cameras.” And this: Also, the error is an embarrassment for a president who claims to have been a constitutional scholar, and a judicious student of American history. It’s also embarrassing for Obama’s many chattering-class supporters in politics, academia and the media, who have tried to portray Obama as exemplar of what they want to see in a president — a nuanced, reflective and careful thinker.” White House transcript hides Obama’s chattering-class gaffe

Can our country survive under another three years of this tyrannical rule? “There are really only three relevant questions here: (1) has Obama committed impeachable offenses, (2) would impeachment proceedings (which would certainly fail to remove Obama) hurt the country, and (3) how would his impeachment play out politically. The third question is relevant because Republicans have no obligation to further weaken their position in a futile attempt to drive Obama from office through the impeachment process.” Impeach President Obama?

Tyranny

Reality. “Imagine if fourteen months after the election, Moore had been indicted by a Bush-appointed federal prosecutor for violating the prohibition on corporate spending. Imagine if Moore was arrested, cuffed, criminally charged for his activities, had his passport confiscated, and bail set at $500,000–what would have been the reaction from the America’s liberals? Of the press? Of Senator Barack Obama?” Taking Down D’Souza and Other Abuses of Power

So now the government is going to tell a business when and why it can lay off/fire workers? “I mean, this is absolutely lawless.  It is against the law.  They cannot, ladies and gentlemen, do this.  Specifically, they cannot run businesses this way.  They cannot turn staffing decisions into crimes, and this is exactly what they’re doing.  Businesses make decisions all the time on the basis of avoidance of costs here and costs there, labor costs, tax costs.  They do it all the time — and this is a tax.” Stalinist Lawlessness: Companies Must Swear to IRS They Didn’t Fire Employees Because of Obamacare

Wake up America! “Yet, Obama proclaims his illegal waiver with impunity – Congress apparently unwilling to stop him. You, on the other hand, will be prosecuted for breaking the “law” if you do not comply to Obama’s satisfaction with the illegal and irrational condition he has unilaterally placed on his illegal waiver.” Obama Adds Irrationality To Lawlessness — While Threatening Prosecution

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Filed under 2014 Elections, Afghanistan, Amnesty, Arizona Politics, Benghazi, Big Government, Charles Krauthammer, Debt, Economy, Eric Holder, Foreign Policy, IRS, Obamacare, President Obama, Rep. Krysten Sinema, The Left, Tyranny

News and Commentary for February 11

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

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

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

Stories of the Day

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

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

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

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

Amnesty

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

Big Government

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

Class Warfare

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

Cronyism

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

The Economy

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

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

Education

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

Elections

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

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

Hillary

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

The IRS

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

The Left

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

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

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

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

Obamacare

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

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

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

President Obama

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

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

Terrorism

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

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

The War on Women

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

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

News and Commentary for February 6

Happy Birthday President Reagan. Oh how we miss you.

Happy Birthday President Reagan. Oh how we miss you.

Story of the Day

Misguided. “In a lovely illustration of the truism that progressives really haven’t the slightest clue what it is that conservatives believe, the Huffington Post’s Senior Congressional Reporter, Michael McAuliff, spoke for the cabal, suggesting ludicrously that,

“There’s an irony in the GOP complaining that ACA lets people quit jobs. I mean, what’s wrong with freedom?”

To answer a remarkably misguided rhetorical question, there is nothing at all “wrong with freedom.” As Patrick Henry rightly argued, above all other things “liberty ought to be the direct end” of government, for, after that, everything else is mere indulgence. But there is an awful lot “wrong” with using the word “freedom” where it does not apply. After all, it is one thing for a person to choose not to work and to accept the natural consequences of that decision, but quite another indeed for a person to choose not to work because others are being forced to subsidize his well-being. One can reasonably attest that redistributing wealth to underwrite preferred social outcomes is “necessary” or “virtuous” or “kind” or “practical” — or even, more cynically, that it is the inexorable end product of a democratic system in which one man can vote himself the contents of another’s wallet. But one cannot claim that it makes either man “free” — at least not without twisting the word and the concept that it represents beyond all meaningful recognition.” Obamacare’s Attack on the Work Ethic: Changing people’s incentives doesn’t make them freer

Afghanistan

Ineptitude. “Failed Diplomacy: Would you rather deal with mass murderers or incompetents? The Afghan government chose the Taliban over the Obama administration, but in the end both Afghanistan and the U.S. got rolled. Just 12 years after American forces’ historic liberation of Afghanistan in the weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the very same bloodthirsty Taliban we ousted, still fully committed to terrorist jihad and Shariah law, are on a short path back into power.” Taliban Played Obama And Afghan President For Fools

Big Government

Wasting our hard-earned tax dollars, one dollar at time. “President Obama’s Department of Labor appointees have shaken things up at the Department, but probably not in ways you would expect. An investigation of DOL practices reveals that Obama appointees are wasting time and resources with public-relations busy work, weird morale-boosting exercises, and many other activities that have nothing to do with helping U.S. workers. [snip] Four DOL insiders agreed to be quoted by NRO while others provided additional details and corroboration. All requested anonymity and expressed fear of retaliation. All described a workplace where pressure to join in time- and money-wasting activities unrelated to job tasks was subtle but insistent.” Wasteful High Jinks at the Labor Department: Staffers slam DOL busy work, propaganda, and favoritism. 

They’re coming for your private dinner parties next. “Good news! Today both cooks and diners can get what they want. A new Internet business brings them together. Bad news: Bureaucrats and the media worry that the dinner parties are not regulated. [snip] But most of the regulation is useless. It’s the need to maintain one’s reputation that does most to keep us safe — especially today, with instant feedback from the Internet. No clumsy government regulation is needed. Government (so far) doesn’t micromanage private dinner parties. Charging a fee shouldn’t make a difference. [snip] Government pretends it must have a place at the table, but free people ought to be able to eat without government permission.” Reputation Versus Regulation

Busted. “The Obama administration’s Treasury Department and former IRS official Lois Lerner conspired to draft new 501(c)(4) regulations to restrict the activity of conservative groups in a way that would not be disclosed publicly, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means.” Email: IRS’s Lerner, Treasury Department secretly drafted new rules to restrict nonprofits

Not a smidgen. “The document, an email from Treasury Department tax policy attorney Ruth Madrigal to a group of IRS officials including the disgraced Lois Lerner. ‘Don’t know who in your organizations is keeping tabs on c4s,’ Madrigal wrote, quoting an election law blog and referring to the 501(c)(4) tax-exempt groups that were the subject of the tea party targeting scandal, ‘but since we mentioned potentially addressing them (off plan) in 2013, I’ve got my radar up and this seemed interesting.” IRS planned secret new rules to justify targeting tea party groups two years ago, reveals bombshell email

If it’s such a phony scandal, without a SMIDGEN of credibility, then why the apology? “The new head of the IRS has apologized to those who suffered because of the agency’s targeting of conservative groups, after he testified before a House subcommittee for the first time. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told reporters after the hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee that the singling out of such organizations for special scrutiny would be “intolerable,” and vowed the IRS is not doing so now. ‘It won’t happen going forward,” Koskinen said. “And to the extent that people suffered accordingly, I apologize for that.’” New IRS chief apologizes to targeted conservative groups after House hearing

Simple solution: simplify the tax code Mr. President. “Mr. Obama wants Americans to believe that the targeting resulted from the confusing tax law governing nonprofits, which he says was “difficult” to interpret and resulted in mere “bureaucratic” mistakes. This is also the Administration’s justification for issuing new regulations governing 501(c)(4)s that would effectively silence White House opponents this election year. Published in the Federal Register in November, the new rules cite the “lack of a clear and concise” regulation as reason for the rewrite.” Obama’s IRS ‘Confusion:’ New evidence undercuts White House claims about IRS motivation

Climate Change

Creating mass hysteria for more control over the “little people.” “A favorite progressive pastime is to highlight the rubes who look out of their windows and make grand pronouncements about trends based solely on the weather that afternoon. “Weather is not climate,” they scream, rolling their eyes and muttering about science-with-a-capital-S. This is correct; weather is not the same as climate. But neither is every serious catastrophe that befalls mankind indicative of the end times, requiring of presidential intervention, and attributable to the bogeyman du jour — however dramatic the special effects in the monster flick might turn out to be.” Don’t Blame Climate Change

Education

Comments from a long time teacher. “Enter Common Core. Yes, it must be stopped, but stopping it won’t make things better; it will only put the brakes on education’s downward spiral. What’s needed to rectify the situation is a complete attitude adjustment. We have to face that fact that not everyone is equally a teacher and that not all kids are equally students. Both parents and schools must work together to provide an equal chance for every child to become an educated person, and that chance has be centered on consistent opportunity for contact with excellent teachers, teachers who can stand on their own success and don’t have to be propped up by a union, teachers who are attracted by the respect, both emotional and financial, that the society affords them.” Common Core and Unionitis

Elections

Ultimately both parties will oppose this, but I think it’s about time. “The bill would limit members of Congress—in both the House and the Senate—from serving more than 12 years in either chamber, or 24 years total between the two chambers. “Believe me, 24 years is more than enough time to serve in Washington,” Mulvaney said in a statement.” Rep. Mulvaney Introduces Congressional Term Limits Bill

Income Inequality

What a lot of us REALLY resent. “For practical purposes, people don’t live in the United States of America. They live in their neighborhoods, towns and communities. Yes, these are American communities, but your neighbors live in your neighborhood, not seven states over. Your kids don’t go to “U.S. schools”; they go to the school down the road. Yet most of our money goes to the government in Washington, and so does most of the power. Why not flip that around? Want to see the rich, poor and middle class interact more? Give them a reason to show up to a city council or school board meeting. Sure, money has power at the local level, too, but so do votes. Moreover, when rich people get their way at the local level, people usually know who they are and why they are doing things. And you can bend their ear at the supermarket or at soccer practice. But when all the decisions are made in Washington or New York, most Americans are simply out of the loop. And they resent it.” Think Power Inequality

The Left

But they’re so much smarter than the rest of us! “Apparently, Pacific-corridor residents from San Diego to Berkeley had acquired the affluence not to worry so much about the old Neanderthal concerns like keeping up freeways and airports — and their parents’ brilliantly designed system of canals, reservoirs, and dams that had turned their state from a natural desert into a man-made paradise. They have become similar to the rarified Eloi of science-fiction writer H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine, who live dreamy existences without any clue how to supply their own daily necessities. Californians have not built a major reservoir since the New Melones Dam more than 30 years ago. As the state subsequently added almost 20 million people, it assumed that it was exempt from creating any more “unnatural” Sierra lakes and canals to store precious water during California’s rarer wet and snow-filled years.” California’s Two Droughts: An affluent society didn’t bother to add to the inherited system of canals and reservoirs that made it thrive.

They must think that money grows on trees. “Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is increasingly a textbook example of how far the Democratic party has moved to the left since Bill Clinton’s day. Emanuel, who cut his teeth in Clinton’s administration, just presided over a $1.9 billion increase in Chicago’s debt, only months after Moody’s downgraded the city’s bond ratings three notches based on its growing and unsustainable spending and debt obligations. Supported by a supine city council, Emanuel has just tacked another mountain of borrowing onto what the city already has to do, split almost evenly between unspecified “general obligations” and bonds for Midway Airport. All told, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Windy City has $29 billion in long-term debt. When challenged on the most recent round of borrowing, Emanuel dismissed the questions, comparing the city to “a lot of families” who refinance their homes.” Chicago Votes to Go the Way of Detroit

Obamacare

“The CBO report noted that the health care law’s insurance subsidies are gradually taken away as income rises, “creating an implicit tax on additional earnings.” Dr. Gottlieb said that means some middle-class and lower-income people will decide that the government subsidies are more attractive than working more and paying higher taxes. “They’re going to lose more in subsidies than it’s worth what they’re making in income,” he said. “So it remakes the whole wage-labor relationship, and that’s what I think CBO is starting to recognize. We’ve never subsidized the middle class like this. This is going to have a much different effect on the labor force than anything we’ve ever done.” Specter of welfare state jolts Democrats; CBO hits election pitches for jobs

“CBO’s analysis is rooted in ObamaCare’s complex design that includes new subsidies, taxes and mandates. For low-wage, lower-skilled or discouraged workers in particular, ObamaCare offers incentives that can force them to trade jobs for entitlement benefits.” The Jobless Care Act

“We seem to recall a time when the country’s leaders celebrated things like drive, determination, hard work and the desire for a better life even if it meant facing long odds and tall challenges. Now they’re cheering for a law because it will encourage, if not force, able-bodied workers to quit their jobs, cut their hours and become still more dependent on the federal government.” The Left’s Lamest Defense Of ObamaCare Yet

Olympics

I couldn’t stop laughing at this U.S. sports journalist’s tweet. “To anyone in Sochi: I am now in possession of three light bulbs. Will trade for door knob handle. This offer is real.” And the gold medal for the most vile thing at Sochi goes to . . .? (Clue: it’s not Putin) Olympic visitors’ horror at hotels awash with stray dogs, brown water, bugs and no light bulbs

President Obama

Haters gonna hate, not legislate.” “Instead, he declared O’Reilly “unfair” in a peevish and tired answer that, if he believes it’s true, is an indictment of his own decisions and those of the staff booking this interview. He had an opportunity to communicate with a giant swath of the country that does not agree with him, with a huge assist from a host who does, on a legislative goal he could conceivably accomplish. He knew O’Reilly agreed with him on this issue and mentioned it in passing during a more contentious part of the interview, but this was an obvious chance to give the pitch and close the deal. The folks are watching! Convince them! For all the hype about Obama’s oratory skills, his persuasion skills in anything other than a presidential election leave much to be desired.” Another whiny answer about Fox in the O’Reilly interview is what’s wrong with Obama’s presidency

We can only hope. “A couple of cautionary notes are in order. Obama has been a veritable Fran Tarkenton as an escape artist (apologies to Tarkenton, a solid conservative), and he has a powerful offensive line, the news media, running interference for him. If only the GOP were as effective as the Seattle Seahawks defense! At this point, while reality does seem to be closing in on Obama, the whistle has not yet blown, and the play is not over.” Is Obama About To Be Sacked?

Just a little reminder as to where Obama started his political career. “Back in 1996, Obama was one of three hothouse flowers groomed and watered until he bloomed by the Chicago Socialist Party. It was the the Socialist Party in Chicago (called the “New Party”) that helped launch and finance Obama’s political career, taking him off the streets where he was a Community Organizer and putting him in public office for the first time. There is nothing to misread about Obama’s political stripe. [snip] For sure, Obama is not the only activist trying to bring America under the brutal heel of Marxism. It’s worse, because he’s the only thoroughly Marxist activist who made it twice to the White House presidency where he continues to deliberately crush America and the Free West that depends on it.” Can a Marxist who wants to take down the Free West really be “not a bad guy”?

Terrorism

Yikes! “An attack on California electrical transformers in April is believed by some to be a practice round for a terrorist attack on the U.S. power grid. The coordinated attack began outside of Silicon Valley where attackers cut telephone wires at 1 a.m. on April 16, according to the Wall Street Journal. About half an hour later snipers shot at an electrical substation for about 19 minutes, destroying 17 transformers in the process. The attackers escaped before police arrived and remain at large.” Attack on a California Transformer Could Have Been Dress Rehearsal for Terror Attack on Power Grid

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Filed under 2014 Elections, Afghanistan, Big Government, Climate Change, Education, Incomce Inequality, Obamacare, Olympics, President Obama, Story of the Day, Terrorism, The Left

News and Commentary for February 5

I think he's contemplating the size of Harry Reid's brain...

I don’t know about you, but I suspect that he’s contemplating the size of Harry Reid’s brain…

Stories of the Day

Whatever this guy is drinking, he needs to stop–NOW. “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the Congressional Budget Office report that shows Obamacare will make the labor force lose 2.3 million full-time workers by 2021 is positive because it lets Americans be “free agents.” “We have the CBO report, which rightfully says, that people shouldn’t have job lock. If they — we live in a country where there should be free agency. People can do what they want,” Reid told reporters outside of a close policy luncheon. ‘And what they’re saying here is — and the fact checkers have already done this — the Republicans talk about losing millions of jobs simply isn’t true. It allows people to get out of a job they’re locked into, because of — they have healthcare in their job.’” Reid: Obamacare Doesn’t Cost Jobs, It Turns Workers Into ‘Free Agents’

Not ready. “On the more mundane side of Sochi dysfunction, he says, is a deluge of half-finished projects, including unopened hotels and some where workers have yet to install heaters and air conditioners. There’s a mall where the only operating store is a Cinnabon. And some projects are completed but shoddily done. Segal says he accidentally pulled the handles off two doors in the Bolshoy Ice Dome, and said stray dogs were able to enter the heavily guarded media center.” New Arrivals Are Finding a ‘Soviet-Style Dystopia’ in Sochi

“I often wished that American “Democrats” would gain a greater understanding of everyday life under state control. Maybe then they would stop the flow of Harry Reids and Nancy Pelosis into our government. Now, looks like Sochi Olympics are about to offer at least a small, limited glimpse at that experience. Even in 20 years, you can’t undo the full extent of 70 years of damage to the national psyche, work mentality, planning practices, and infrastructure. North American media representatives arriving to the Sochi hotels were quite surprised,  if not shocked, to discover broken appliances, uncovered manholes, swarms of stray dogs, unflushable toilet paper, various outages, “rust water”, construction workers sleeping in the rooms, and other pleasantries. As the article puts it, they were having trouble ‘trying to find a hotel room fit for humans.’” Americans get a glimpse of Soviet life offered by Sochi

Amnesty

Don’t do it. “If Republican leaders go along with Democrats to pass this crazy amnesty plan, the issue of immigration will quickly become one of the most urgent issues in the country, especially among Republican voters.” Immigration will kill GOP, but only if it goes along with amnesty

Playing poker. “After taking the Senate in 2014, Republicans in both chambers of Congress should pass a rational immigration reform bill — one which the far left and the far right will both dislike — and use that as a crowbar with which to pry voters away from the Democrats. After all, in such a scenario, Republicans win politically whether Obama signs or vetoes the bill. Even a modest swing in the Hispanic (and Asian-American) vote toward a Republican candidate (or simply away from voting at all) could be the difference between a Republican victory and yet another disastrous defeat in a presidential election. I don’t buy the arguments that such a swing is impossible. With midterm elections only nine months away, jumping into a full-fledged immigration debate is a dangerous distraction, particularly when no good policy outcome is conceivable and when the best election issue stands, like a Valentine’s Day rose, as a fragrant vision for GOP candidates and a thorn in the side of millions, or tens of millions, of American citizens — and dozens of worried Democrats.” Immigration Strategery

Big Government

“Obama glibly tosses aside even the possibility of corruption in the IRS before the investigation is even complete while Lerner’s decision to clam up actively prevented further investigation into her role in targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny and holding their applications in administrative limbo for longer than liberal groups. We can and we should take the negative inference from Lerner’s decision to invoke the Fifth Amendment. She had no reason to do so unless she believed a crime had been committed. I think we should take Lerner, who was present and involved in the event, at her word when she indicated that crimes might have been committed. Certainly Lerner is more credible on the topic than the President, who wasn’t even briefed on the matter.” Obama: There Isn’t Even A Smidgen Of Corruption At IRS

Economy

From the comments: “Behold, the marriage of Keynes and Marx. When the EPA intentionally infuses anti-capitalism into ENERGY and the IRS assaults free market liberty, the arrow for freedom points down, down and further down.” “The problem is NOT government spending, contrary to the well-meaning obsession of the Tea Party. That will BECOME the problem a decade or two from now. The problem now is obstacles to investment: the highest corporate tax rate in the world, onerous regulation, the crazyquilt uncertainty of Obamacare. America needs aggressive tax cuts and regulatory rollback. It also needs to spend more on infrastructure, which is becoming a major obstacle to growth. It needs to spend more on R&D, particularly on cutting-edge military R&D. The way to do this, I’ve argued for years, is to emulate Roosevelt’s alphabet-soup federal agencies and put unemployed Americans to work repairing infrastructure at $20 an hour, rather than paying $50 an hour to the construction unions. That’s heresy from a free-marketeer like me, but it makes economic sense and will drive the Democrats crazy.” The Exhausted U.S. Economy, and a Lesson for Republicans

Energy

“Affordable power dissolves liberal fantasies. White House wise men insist on spending the public’s money to promote retro power plants such as windmills, which went out of fashion with the Industrial Revolution. Eliminating the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would take cheap crude from the oil sands of Canada down to the Gulf Coast of Texas, is nevertheless a liberal priority.” Obama’s basketball strategy on Keystone XL

Hillary Clinton

Empty resume. “Let’s get back to messaging. The message here will be what it was in 2008 and to a lesser extent in 2012 — a chance to make history, this time by electing the first female US president. In fact, that’s all Hillary has. She has no track record of significant accomplishment in her eight years as a US Senator, and nothing at all to recommend her from her four years as Secretary of State. Even a Clinton ally like Lanny Davis couldn’t come up with a single data point in a tenure bookended by the “reset button” embarrassment and the debacle in Benghazi. Despite her outsize power in the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton is simply a weak candidate and a mediocre-at-best campaigner — and that’s why Democrats should be hitting the panic button.” Team Obama: Hillary’s making her 2008 mistakes all over again

The Media

Class warfare at the NY Times. “Why do the reporters hate the editorial page? Let’s count the ways: 1) The editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, is arrogant, petty and vindictive. 2) The news room has suffered deep cuts, while the editorial page is lavishly staffed, and yet turns out a lousy product. 3) The poor quality of the paper’s editorials is embarrassing: “they’re completely reflexively liberal, utterly predictable, usually poorly written and totally ineffectual.” Well, they aren’t totally without value. We have fun laughing at them.” Even the New York Times Hates the New York Times!

I think so many on our side are overly sensitive because we see what the Left is attempting to do by stealth to our country. So even minor things like this get us riled up. “This is something that not all that long ago nearly all conservatives would have understood. Yet today the ad by Coke is interpreted by some figures on the right as divisive and offensive, a Trojan Horse for immigration reform, as part of the Culture War. And the unmistakable message being sent by these individuals is that people of other cultures are aliens and threats and are therefore unwelcome. “Keep your mouths shut when it comes to our patriotic songs” is the message Messrs. Beck and Bolling are sending. What a brilliant way to appeal to a nation that is becoming increasingly diverse and multicultural.” A Disturbing Conservative Reaction to the Coke Ad

We’re tired of Liberal tyranny and hopefully more and more of us simply aren’t going to take it anymore. “PC nonsense???  The bien pensant are now jumping on Seinfeld because he had only white people on his show.  Of course, the comic was right about political correctness.  It’s not only the enemy of comedy.  It’s the enemy of human life — no more than fascism with a phony egalitarian face.  And Seinfeld, who is being accused of being a racist (natch), is less of a racist than any of his detractors.  But that’s par for the course these days. Both of these seemingly minor media dust-ups  are yet more indications that our society is at a tipping point.  A critical mass may be welling up against the tyranny of modern liberalism.  The next few years will be interesting — culturally and politically.” Seinfeld, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times: Scenes from the Culture War

Obamacare

Going broke because of our ever-expanding welfare state. “Today the Congressional Budget Office upped the number of work hours lost due to Obamacare by a lot — in fact, they tripled their previous estimate. Work hours can be lost by employers reducing the number of jobs, but also individuals voluntarily dropping out of the labor force or not working as much. Our awareness of the second group owes much to the excellent microeconomic analysis done by University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan. Mulligan has done a great deal of work looking at the growth of transfer programs such as food stamps and Medicaid and how these programs will discourage work, particularly for lower-wage earners. Today’s report shows that the CBO has moved substantially in Mulligan’s direction: Simply put, the large subsidies under the Affordable Care Act will drive many people out of the labor market.” Incentives Matter: Why Estimated Job Losses Under Obamacare Have Tripled

We tried to tell them, but they wouldn’t listen, because they didn’t really care. “There’s no doubt the Affordable Care Act will redistribute wealth in America. People at the top of the income ladder will pay more; people at the bottom will benefit. But how, exactly, will that work? A new study finds that Obamacare’s redistribution will be stunningly lopsided. Scholars at the liberal Brookings Institution have discovered that Obamacare will increase the income of Americans in the lowest 20 percent of the income scale, and especially in the lowest ten percent. But all other income groups — even people who make very modest incomes in the $25,000 to $30,000 range, as well as all income brackets above that — will experience a decline in income because of Obamacare. In other words, Obamacare is going to cost some of the very people it was designed to help.” Obamacare will reduce incomes of most Americans

More unintended consequences. “The Congressional Budget Office released a major study of the government’s budget and its effect on the overall economy over the next 10 years. In dull bureaucratic language, it delivers a devastating analysis of the inefficiencies, ineffectualities and problematic social costs of ObamaCare. The one-two punch: Virtually as many Americans will lack health coverage in 10 years as before the law was passed — but 2 million fewer will be working than if the law hadn’t passed.” Congressional Budget Office sends death blow to ObamaCare

“Democrats who plan on facing the voters this November by trying to change the subject to discussions of the minimum wage or vague talk about inequality must think again. Ignoring the devastating impact of ObamaCare on an economy that is still not fully recovered is not a winning strategy. Faced with an electorate that knows they are paying a heavy price in jobs, increased health-care costs, and poorer coverage, Democrats are going to have to do better than to tell the people that ObamaCare can’t be discussed.” CBO Political Dynamite: OCare Job Losses

Stop spinning. “In short, the administration’s dishonest and inadequate effort to spin the CBO’s report shows how damaging that report truly is with respect to Obamacare.” How the White House Tried to Spin Today’s CBO Report

I’m done, guys. If we’ve reached the stage of welfare-state decadence where it’s a selling point for a new entitlement that it discourages able-bodied people from working, there’s no reason to keep going. We’ve lost, decisively.” White House: When you think about it, 2.5 million fewer people working because of ObamaCare is good news

Whatever this guy is drinking, he needs to stop–NOW. “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the Congressional Budget Office report that shows Obamacare will make the labor force lose 2.3 million full-time workers by 2021 is positive because it lets Americans be “free agents.” “We have the CBO report, which rightfully says, that people shouldn’t have job lock. If they — we live in a country where there should be free agency. People can do what they want,” Reid told reporters outside of a close policy luncheon. ‘And what they’re saying here is — and the fact checkers have already done this — the Republicans talk about losing millions of jobs simply isn’t true. It allows people to get out of a job they’re locked into, because of — they have healthcare in their job.’” Reid: Obamacare Doesn’t Cost Jobs, It Turns Workers Into ‘Free Agents’

President Obama

“When he tortured the rules to pass health care, he destabilized politics and created the poisoned political climate and toxic divisions of which he and his allies complain. As Charles Krauthammer says, the Tea Party was created by Obama and health care, and the fierce fight against it echoes the manner in which it was passed. The “current unrest,” as he says, is “the residue of that hubris.” He’s right.He lives in his own little La La land.” Obama, suffering from his own hubris, blames everyone else

President Ronald Reagan

No more establishment types. “In that 1981 CPAC speech, Reagan recounted a recent conversation he had with his friend and political soul mate, Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Reagan told Thatcher he believed that everywhere one looked in 1981 what Reagan called “the cult of the state” was dying, noting of the Soviet Union that “the largest planned economy in the world has to buy food elsewhere or its people would starve.” One suspects that were Reagan here today he would be disappointed that with the Soviet Union vanquished it is his beloved America that has now turned to the follies of central planning, this time of American health care. But he surely wouldn’t be surprised that those he called the “fraternal order” Republicans were suddenly finding themselves on the short end of the fundraising stick as that New York Times story tells us after studying the newly filed financial statements.” Return of the Reagan Revolution

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Filed under Amnesty, Big Government, Economy, Energy, Hillary, Obamacare, Olympics, President Obama, President Ronald Reagan, The Media

News and Commentary for February 4

Keep your ears open. There's a lot going on and we have to help explain it to those who aren't paying attention.

Keep your ears open. There’s a lot going on and we have to help explain it to those who aren’t paying attention.

Story of the Day

We really are in the best of hands. “U.S. intelligence agencies last week urged the Obama administration to check its new healthcare network for malicious software after learning that developers linked to the Belarus government helped produce the website, raising fresh concerns that private data posted by millions of Americans will be compromised.” The Belarusian Connection

Arizona Politics

Oldie, but worth a re-look as we get closer to August primaries. And what the heck is a “Prada socialist?” “And she discusses her seven pairs of glasses and her wardrobe, describing herself as “a Prada socialist,’’ saying people can still believe in fairness and justice ‘and still have fabulous accessories.’” Gay marriage debate sparks a feminism battle

Amnesty

Collapsing. “Entitlements: ObamaCare is already a fiscal nightmare for the country. Now Democrats, and even some Republicans, want to expand it to ruinous levels by making 12 million illegals eligible for subsidies. Adding these largely poor immigrants to the state health exchanges and Medicaid rolls threatens to explode the $2 trillion cost of ObamaCare by another $210 billion to $300 billion over the next 10 years, according to the Senate Budget Committee.” If You Liked Health Reform, You’ll Love Immigration Reform

Benghazi

Drip, drip, drip. “Former CIA Director Mike Morell may have altered the Benghazi talking points to benefit the Obama administration during the 2012 election, Catherine Herridge of Fox News reports.” Herridge: Fmr. CIA Director Morell May Have Altered Benghazi Talking Points to Benefit Obama Admin.

Big Government

“In January 2014, the Obama donor appointed to “investigate” the abuse declined to bring any charges against anyone, which leads to the question: Why did Lois Lerner take the Fifth? If there were no crimes committed, how could Lerner incriminate herself?” Obama: ‘Not a Smidgeon’ of Corruption in IRS Abuse

“Obama is just the extreme version of a widespread belief among many in both parties that an enormous, intrusive federal regulatory and redistributionist regime is necessary for “solving problems” that in fact are best left to individuals and state and local government. The only argument between the parties these days is over the amount and pace of expansion––spending, for example, $800 billion on food stamps over the next decade rather than $808 billion. This belief in problem-solving big government is more insidious and thus in the long run more dangerous than Obama’s ‘pen and phone.’” Executive Tyranny: The Problem’s Bigger Than Obama

I think we should all work in the government. It’s much more lucrative. “The IRS’ announcement Monday that it will pay cancelled 2013 bonuses has infuriated Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, who wants to know why an agency with employees who “inappropriately” targeted conservative political groups would reinstate the rewards.” Senator rebukes IRS over decision to reinstate 2013 employee bonuses

Class Warfare

This: “Two phenomena: anti-Semitism and American class conflict. Is there any connection between them? In a letter to this newspaper, the noted venture capitalist Tom Perkins called attention to certain parallels, as he saw them, between Nazi Germany’s war against the Jews and American progressives’ war on the “one percent.” For comparing two such historically disparate societies, Mr. Perkins was promptly and heatedly denounced. But is there something to be said for his comparison—not of Germany and the United States, of course, but of the politics at work in the two situations? The place to begin is at the starting point: with the rise of anti-Semitism, modernity’s most successful and least understood political movement.” And this: Herein lies a deeper structural connection. On the global front today, the much larger and more obvious beneficiary of those same blessings is the democratic capitalist system of the United States, and the ultimate target of the ultimate negative campaign is the American people. Anyone seeking to understand the inner workings of such a campaign will find much food for thought in Mr. Perkins’s parallel.” Ruth Wisse: The Dark Side of the War on ‘the One Percent:’ Stoking class envy is a step in a familiar, dangerous and highly incendiary process.

Education

Maintaining the Education Plantation. “After Barack Obama gave a thousand campaign speeches on Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, and the economy, one of his first actions upon taking office as president was to begin gutting a tiny school-choice scholarship program in Washington, D.C. And now newly inaugurated New York mayor Bill de Blasio has, as one of his first agenda items, begun the gutting of the city’s charter schools, which are public schools that operate with some limited measure of independence from the usual education bureaucracies. Like President Obama, Mayor de Blasio is here engaged in plain, naked payback, rewarding the teachers’ unions that funded and manned his campaign by taking hundreds of millions of dollars away from projects they despise. If a private city contractor had bankrolled the mayor’s campaign and been repaid by having him hobble its competition, we’d call it simple corruption. And it is simple corruption, legal though it may be.” Save the Charter Schools

Elections

“The Republican plan for granting legalization up front, while withholding citizenship, is too clever by half. It is like saying that you can slide halfway down a slippery slope. Republicans may yet rescue the Democrats while demoralizing their own supporters and utterly failing the country.” GOP Could Blow 2014 Election With Unwise Push For Amnesty

Interesting history lesson. This: Henry Waxman and George Miller are retiring from the House and not running for re-election after 40 years as a congressmen from southern and northern California. Also retiring and not running for re-election is Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa. Senator Max Baucus of Montana will resign if, as expected, he is confirmed as ambassador to China. Both were first elected to the House in 1974 and were later elected to the Senate. These four are just about the last members serving in Congress of the 75 Democrats first elected to the House in the Watergate year of 1974. And this: “The Class of 1974 also shifted the House and the congressional Democratic party from hawkish to dovish. One of its first acts in March 1975 was to block funding for South Vietnam when it was under attack by the North. Saigon fell in April. In the 1980s the Democratic House kept pushing back on Reagan foreign policy. In 2002, Nancy Pelosi, who holds the seat once held by Phil Burton, led most House Democrats to oppose the Iraq war resolution. Pelosi says she is staying on, even as her ally Waxman and her consigliere Miller leave the House. The 201-member caucus she leads has more black and Hispanic members and fewer young doves and reformers than the 291-member caucus Waxman and Miller entered nearly 40 year ago. Still, the Class of 1974 has left a mark on history — though not as much as one Democrat who narrowly lost a House race that year, a 28-year-old Arkansan named Bill Clinton.” The Democratic class of 1974 passes from the scene

Freedom

What the hell is happening in our country? “The House Armed Services Committee hearing focused on religious liberty, following growing reports of discrimination and reprisals against soldiers who expressed or practiced their religious beliefs, in particular Christian military members. The statement included information about the Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition, a group of 23 non-profit organizations, which documented examples of those discrimination reports, including an officer who was ordered to remove a Bible from his desk so as not to offend anyone, and an Army chaplain’s assistant who was ordered to remove a social media post that expressed her own religious and moral views.” Gen. Boykin to Congress: Religious Liberty Must Be Affirmed, Cherished in Military

Foreign Policy

Weak. “Whether all these incidents are minor or serious, and whether they are random or interconnected and perceived as proof of the loss of U.S. deterrence, depends on which particular bad actor is studying them to try to guess whether the Obama administration will do anything should a provocateur start a war or attempt to redraw a regional map. In short, our Icarus-in-Chief, without much foreign-policy experience but with youthful zeal and good intentions, soared far too high for his flimsy waxen wings. Now they are melting, and as the American commander-in-chief careens back to earth, lots of those below are wondering what will come next. Still, there is a lot of irony as Obama freefalls to earth.” Our Icarus-in-Chief: Obama’s global fantasies are falling to earth along with him.

The Left

This: “During the 1950s, American society saw a great expansion of the middle class, with rising incomes and rates of home ownership. Rather than rejoicing over the large number of Americans who had escaped poverty, many liberals were torn. These days, there is a wave of nostalgia for the 1950s, but many commentators of the time saw it as a soul-deadening period of homogenization and middlebrow culture, of men in “flannel suits” who lived in ticky-tacky houses. Consumerism ran rampant while middle-class Americans were busy keeping up with the Joneses. A raft of clichés belittled the lives of middle-class Americans and tried to denigrate this era of economic progress.” And this: “Which brings us back to Obamacare. Its success or failure will ultimately hinge on whether middle-class Americans either benefit or are hurt by the new law. If the latter occurs, popular support will continue to plummet, and Democrats will suffer. Modern liberalism makes claims to technocratic superiority, believing that enlightened elites can make choices in a planned economy on behalf of the benighted. That proposition is being tested in the health care debate, but its fate will ultimately be in the hands of middle-class Americans.” Opiate of the Elites

Big Government doesn’t work. This: “Obama will seek to overcome “disability” through executive orders—as in raising the minimum wage for federal contractors. Leaving aside increased unemployment from the effects of raising the minimum wage, the entire effort promises to be lost in a bureaucratic bog, with litigation lasting into the next administration. Having worked in an agency established by executive order, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), I can add from my own experience the confusion of trying to enforce civil rights on federal contractors. First of all, an executive order implements a federal law or a constitutional power—the most famous executive order being Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, based on Article II war powers. Obama’s action regarding a pay increase may be unconstitutional, for it may violate the statute that it implements, the Federal Property and Administrative Practices Act of 1949. And this: “A little while later, as we were leaving the Oval Office and walking under the colonnade, Obama said, “I just wanted to add one thing to that business about the great-man theory of history. The President of the United States cannot remake our society, and that’s probably a good thing.” He paused yet again, always self-editing. “Not ‘probably,’ ” he said. “It’s definitely a good thing.” One trusts as true the first-draft Obama more than his self-edited version.” Obama’s Left-Wing Foot

Michelle Obama

Whitewashing the truth of obesity. “Despite $4.5 billion in funding for the Let’s Move campaign, USDA hyper-regulations, and multiple executive actions created to influence personal habits, the government has little to show for its efforts. The declining obesity rates the president cites began years before Michelle Obama had any say, and there’s no indication that Let’s Move has greatly helped the process.” Let’s Move? Fat Chance

Obamacare

Is there ANYTHING working as it relates to Obamacare? “First, Amy Goldstein of  The Post reveals that the appeals process guaranteed in the Obamacare law does not actually exist. The story outlines an almost comical process that requires citizens who seek a fair hearing to have an innocent, HealthCare.gov-generated mistake corrected to fill out a seven-page paper form that is then inexplicably shipped to Kentucky, where it is entered into a government database that isn’t actually connected to anything. It’s a digital dead end for those who dare to complain. Typical. As a result, 22,000 Americans who have submitted an appeals request remain without proper coverage and they have no recourse. And, according to The Post, in the latest show of non-transparency from this administration, officials have “not made public the fact that the appeals system for the online marketplace is not working.” There is “no indication that infrastructure . . .  necessary for conducting informal reviews and fair hearings had even been created, let alone become operational,” and administration officials are refusing to give any information as to when the appeals process might start moving. This is an administration that wants to hide things rather than fix things.” The Insiders: Obamacare – The incompetence and denials keep coming

Run Scott, run! “New Hampshire is a good example of a state where the Obamacare disaster could make a Senate race unexpectedly competitive. Without Obamacare dragging her down, incumbent Jeanne Shaheen would be a prohibitive favorite for re-election. But a recent poll shows her in a dead heat with Scott Brown, who has moved to the state and is mulling the possibility of a run.” Obamacare In New Hampshire

“And, now to the video. This is fast-food fry cook Darnell Summers, who has been working with his union to get higher wages. He’s clearly pushing for a minimum wage raise, here, and President Obama is happy to talk about that. What he’s not happy to address is the part of the question where Summers notes he’s been knocked down to part time work because his employers are trying to avoid the expense of Obamacare. These are real people, who were promised far better than this, being hurt by a law that was supposed to help them. They are not figments of Fox’s imagination. They are not Republicans obstructing anything. They’re the people Obamacare has failed to serve.” Video: Meet ObamaCare’s unintended consequences

“There is much to like in their proposal. It would extend tax credits to help all Americans purchase insurance, getting around the tax code’s previous bias towards those who receive insurance through their employer. It would ensure the widespread availability of bare-bones catastrophic coverage without resorting to Obamacare’s individual mandate. It takes important steps towards reforming Medicaid and providing coverage for those with medical conditions. And it has laudable goals for deregulating health markets and empowering consumers to make health choices based on cost and quality, a development that would drive health care costs downward. The proposal isn’t perfect. It maintains Obamacare’s provision allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, for instance, an unnecessary exercise in infantilizing young Americans. Nor does it make any serious efforts to address Medicare, a program that will require reform sooner rather than later. That said, the plan still represents an important step forward: articulating an alternative to health care policy that empowers individual consumers rather than government. That’s precisely the necessary direction as the nation attempts to dig out from the wreckage of Obamacare, a law that deserves to be discarded at the first possible opportunity.” After Obamacare, what?

Our tax payer dollars at work. “Obamacare supporters are hoping the day after Valentine’s Day will be the day young people in America show health insurers some love. And they’re banking on women to make it happen. Feb. 15 is “National Youth Enrollment Day,” a nationwide series of concerts, rallies, and online campaigns aimed at convincing more young people to sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act. It’s the latest and largest piece of an effort that borrows heavily from President Obama’s reelection campaign, a plan that’s been slowed by the difficult rollout of the Affordable Care Act’s online portal.” Inside The Plan To Get More Young Americans To Enroll In Obamacare

President Obama

Forgotten, meaningless words. “There was one other area Obama talked about in Peoria 259 weeks ago: fiscal restraint. It almost seems ludicrous now after his four straight years of trillion-dollar-plus deficits and another contentious debate looming this month over raising the national debt limit yet again, well above the current fiscal hole that’s $17 trillion deep. “We’ve got to get serious about starting to live within our means,” said Democrat Barack Obama. No, really. He said that. You can see on the C-SPAN video below. “Instead of leaving debt for our children and our grandchildren and our great-grandchildren,” said the Great Spender, who’s created more debt than any other modern-day president. “That’s not the responsible way. That’s not how folks here in Peoria operate in their own lives, and they should expect the government is equally responsible.” Unfortunately, Americans have come to expect so much less from this man and his government.” Five years of Obama promises: What’s changed?

“I can’t recall any previous president, even when lying or shading the truth, saying that he had said something in a public speech when he had not (if you can think of such an incident, let me know). This is what is called a bold-faced lie, an egregious lie—and a lie that depends for its success on the collusion of the press.” Obama: degrees of lies

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Filed under 2014 Elections, AARP, Amnesty, Arizona Politics, Benghazi, Big Government, Class Warfare, Education, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Michelle Obama, Obamacare, President Obama, Story of the Day, The Left