Category Archives: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

News and Commentary for January 14

Considering what politicians are doing to our Military pensions, I am scratching my head too.

Considering what politicians are doing to our Military pensions, I am scratching my head too.

I shake my head in true dismay. And frustration. “Incredibly, the House GOP has just agreed that the only group deserving budget punishment in the new spending deal is the career military.  It is an obscene deal, one made worse by a patently cynical attempt to hide the blow to the military by “restoring” cuts to the pensions of wounded veterans.  A vote for this betrayal of the military will haunt every Republican who supports it.” A Terrible “Deal” In Which Only Career Military Are Called Upon To Sacrifice

Calling them out. “3. “That situation might look simple in Washington, where the human rights of terrorists are often given high priority. And I am certain liberal politicians would defend their position to the death. Because everyone knows liberals have never been wrong about anything. You can ask them. Anytime.”” (p. 37) 10 Best ‘Lone Survivor’ Takedowns of Liberal Media

Shame on them. “On every level and from every perspective — from pure national interest to the purely moral — the decision by the Obama administration and the Democratic party to withdraw American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan is indefensible.” The Immorality of Leaving Iraq and Afghanistan

Will it work? Five years ago I’d say “no way” but now I am not so sure. “President Obama has all but announced that this fall’s House and Senate campaigns should focus not on the collapse of American influence abroad, or on the continuing disaster that we know as Obamacare, or even on the apparent inability of his policies to create jobs, but on “income inequality.”” Obama’s drives to stoke class warfare to win midterm elections

“But the excerpts suggest that Gates sees Obama as out of line with the continuity he admires in his predecessors. Clinton’s cynical opposition to the Iraq surge and Obama’s half-hearted commitment to his Afghanistan strategy are in jarring contrast with his description in Shadows of Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush I. “For each,” he writes, “the country came first,” and “each, in his own way, was a modest man.” Let’s see if in the full text of Duty he says the same of Obama.” Obama: A New Kind of Commander-in-Chief

Hurting the most vulnerable with more government mandates. “In other words, Eric Holder, sitting in Washington, knows better than the thousands of people who run public schools across the country what kinds of sanctions are necessary to preserve some semblance of order in the classrooms, so that hoodlums do not make the education of their classmates impossible.” Politics Versus Education

Read this and weep. “Despite all the hype of tightening underwriting, CFPB’s celebrated new mortgage rules in fact require no minimum down payment or credit score — the two most important safeguards against default and foreclosure.” New Mortgage Rules Another Empty Obama Promise

Listen up! “But if Christie has gone from GOP frontrunner to possible has-been in the wake of his Bridgegate scandal, Rubio has a chance to start over in 2014. Though it’s unlikely that many anti-immigration die-hards will forgive him for speaking common sense about the issue, Rubio’s address at the Capitol last week on the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” gave his year a promising beginning. As James Pethokoukis rightly noted at the AEI Ideas blog, his “new anti-poverty plan offers a dramatic, even radical revamp of the American welfare state” that attempts to raise the incomes of the poor without falling into the trap of big government.” Rubio’s Poverty Pitch What the GOP Needs

Equality will make us all equally poor, well with the exception of the elites in government and those connected to them. They won’t be impacted. “The irony is that free people usually create far more wealth than the coerced, which makes the lower echelons better off, a fact that reminds “equality” is usually about empowering progressive elites rather than materially helping the poor. Moreover, in a free society, there are all sorts of forces — religion, constantly improving and ever cheaper technology, family pressures, honor, shame, philanthropy — that redistribute wealth either naturally or through the consent of the giver, and far more effectively than creating a huge government equalocracy that seeks power to bully others and exempt itself.” The Idol of Equality

Consequences. “No one should be thrilled that restaurant workers have to settle for wages of $5 per hour plus tips. But a steady job at that level is better than no job at the $12 base pay ordered by the arbitrator. The casino sought to raise food prices to compensate for the increased costs, but the law of demand applies to consumers as well. In hard times, they won’t stand for the increased prices, so the casino closed a food operation that could only operate at a loss, leaving 175 union members to scramble for jobs.” How Democrats Kill Jobs

Getting government back to the way it was supposed to work is critical. “The Senate exists to prevent that. Because without a moderating institution like the Senate, today’s majority passes something and tomorrow’s majority repeals it; today’s majority proposes something, tomorrow’s majority opposes it. We see that in the House all the time. But when the Senate is allowed to work the way it was designed to, it arrives at a result that’s acceptable to people all along the political spectrum…” Senator Mitch McConnell Shows There is At Least One Adult In The Room

It’s only catching up to him because he’s obstructing a few Democrat-sponsored bills. “The Senate majority leader’s hostility toward amendments is finally catching up to him.” Harry Reid’s Obstructionism

“Second, and much worse, is that President Obama sought the power to decide when the Senate is in session. In this case, President Obama claimed that the Senate’s pro forma session was not a real session under the Constitution, and therefore he could do as he liked. This is not for the president to decide.” The President’s Recess-Appointment Overreach

When the victim is a conservative just sweep it under the rug—nothing to see here. “Here’s a January column opening we could have written early last summer when the broad scale of the Internal Revenue Service’s intimidation of conservative political groups began emerging.” Wouldn’t you know, FBI says it can’t find anything illegal in all that IRS intimidation

“The Journal reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is unlikely to file any criminal charges in the targeting of conservative political organizations by the Internal Revenue Service. Yet Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who represents many of the targets, says that the FBI has never contacted any of her clients to discuss their treatment at the hands of the IRS. “Shouldn’t law enforcement talk to the victims in an investigation?,” she asks in an email.” That’s like investigating a burglary without interviewing the burgled,” notes a Journal editorial. The FBI’s IRS Outrage

“Maybe the FBI is right, that it’s just all a big misunderstanding, that IRS officials were only at the White House for Easter Egg rolls. Even so, our Constitution doesn’t leave accountability to the judgment of the FBI. To the contrary, our system holds that the American people, through their elected representatives in Congress, have the right to know what their government is doing. In short, if the threat of criminal charges has in fact been removed, there’s no more excuse for Lois Lerner not to tell us, under oath, what she was apparently afraid to say in May.” The ‘crime’ of the IRS

What state rights? “Demonstrating his disdain for the 10th Amendment and the rule of law, Mr. Holder said Friday the federal government would recognize the marriages of homosexual couples who wed during the two-week period such unions were made legal in Utah by a federal judge.” Obama ignores Constitution by recognizing same-sex marriages in Utah

“The main leverage the IRS will have is the refund “offset.” That simply means if a taxpayer is due a refund, but has also incurred an Obamacare penalty, the penalty will be subtracted from the refund. So a taxpayer who has a $500 refund coming but incurs a $695 Obamacare penalty will receive no refund.” Will IRS bully people to sign up for Obamacare?

“What I don’t understand is this: healthy young people are desired in the exchanges because they pay too much for their insurance, thereby subsidizing older, sicker participants. But the figures released today show that so far, a whopping 79% of all signups are eligible for subsidies. The small minority who do not receive subsidies (21%) are obviously not enough to pay the freight for the 79% who get government money, so it is hard to see how Obamacare can ever add up as a sustainable program. Unless the administration assumes that it will be an endless drain on the federal budget.” Obamacare Numbers Aren’t Adding Up

“Indeed, it looks like ObamaCare will create twice as many losers as winners in 2014. The Congressional Budget Office projects that 16 million will gain coverage via the law’s Medicaid expansion (9 million) and subsidized exchange plans (7 million) — and even that’s rosier than the enrollment figures we’ve seen so far. Thirty million losing insurance; 16 million gaining it. It’ll be hard for Democrats running for election this fall to defend a law that hurts twice as many people as it helps.” Another 25 million ObamaCare victims

“So far, the government is on a losing streak. In 19 of 20 cases, including the Little Sisters’, judges have granted preliminary relief to the non-profits, allowing them to press their claims. The administration should take the hint.” Obamacare overreach tramples Little Sisters: Our view

““When you get into the details of the plans, it’s not all written in Spanish. It’s written in Spanglish, so we end up having to translate it for them,” Adrian Madriz, a Miami-based Obamacare “navigator” frustratedly told the AP. I feel your pain, Adrian. Opponents of the law have been trying to translate the official line for years now — and all we have got to show for our efforts is this lousy, shoddy, embarrassing — and now polyglot — disaster.” The Obama Administration Presents Spanglish.Gov

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Filed under 2014 Elections, Afghanistan, Big Government, Class Warfare, Dodd Frank, Iraq, IRS, Jobs, Media Malfeasance, Minimum Wage, Obamacare, Poverty and the Welfare State, President Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, War on the Military

News and Commentary for January 13

It's Monday. Try and have some fun!

It’s Monday. Try and have some fun!

In case you missed it, here’s a rundown of the events of the Maricopa County GOP annual meeting. Maricopa Country Republican Brief for January 11, 2014

My mother-in –law was denied medical care last week. Seniors should be very, very concerned. Here’s the rundown: I talked to my mother-in-law last night.  She had her first denial of coverage by Medicare as a result of the implementation of Obamacare.  She had been scheduled to have some minor back surgery in December (she is in a lot of pain!). However, it was postponed for a variety of reasons.  It was rescheduled for last week, but when she arrived for the procedure, the doctor told her he could no longer do it because it was no longer approved by Medicare. “Just as America is coming to see few alternatives in Obamacare, Democrats see few alternatives for easily escaping it.” Obamacare: Clearly and Consistently Negative

Not really all that unexpected considering the way this whole thing is going. “Stuffed inside the Obamacare law passed by Democrats (with no Republican votes) is a provision that will reimburse insurance companies up to 80% of their losses due to Obamacare.” Confirmed: Obama Administration to REIMBURSE Insurance Companies Up to 80% on O-Care Losses (Video)

More on the insurance company bail out. “For some reason, President Obama hasn’t talked about this particular feature of his signature legislation.  Indeed, it’s bad enough that Obamacare is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to funnel $1,071,000,000,000.00 (that’s $1.071 trillion) over the next decade (2014 to 2023) from American taxpayers, through Washington, to health insurance companies.  It’s even worse that Obamacare is trying to coerce Americans into buying those same insurers’ product (although there are escape routes).  It’s almost unbelievable that it will also subsidize those same insurers’ losses.” Bailing Out Health Insurers and Helping Obamacare

All this will be hitting in October, just in time to impact the elections in a maximum way. “Over the weekend, it seems as though the national media finally figured out what most ObamaCare critics have predicted all along.  On Friday night, the New York Times covered the mess made by the law’s incompetent implementation with providers and insurers, leaving consumers holding the bag.  By Saturday night, the Washington Post had deduced that this was just the entrée. A much bigger wave of disruption will hit when the employer mandates go into effect for 2015 (via Instapundit).” WaPo: Get ready for the second wave of ObamaCare market disruptions

Scary. I mean, really, really scary. “Indeed, Medicare threatens to break the bank even without the vast expansion that would be required to convert it to a single payer system covering all Americans. The most recent Medicare Trustees report reveals that the program is encumbered by an unfunded liability of $43 trillion. This is the amount by which the program’s promised benefits will exceed the tax revenue available to pay for them. $43 trillion is three times the nation’s GDP. Thus, the Trustees also project that Medicare will become insolvent in 2026.” Single Payer: We’ve Been There, Done That

Despicable. Sorry to keep posting articles on this topic, but we need to spread the word about how the Democrats played and will continue to play politics with our sons and daughters in the military. “More than three-fourths of the names on some future Afghanistan memorial wall will be those of American soldiers who died under a commander-in-chief contemptuous of the military, whose foreign policy was (to use Bret Stephens’ expression in this incisive video on the Gates book) “the conduct of politics by other means” – a chilling fact now underlined by a former secretary of defense’s book.” A Tale of Two Surges

The shocking part is that these are just the rules and regs published in 2013! Introducing the 2013 Federal Register: Last year’s 80,000 pages worth of **job-creating rules & regs

Depression. “The neo-Keynesian, demand-side mindset of Chairman Yellen and the rest of the FOMC does not allow them to see or accept that low rates are actually hurting employment, credit, and capital formation. Investors must be paid to take risk. The declining leverage within the US banking system, which was discussed in a Zero Hedge post about Q4 2013 bank earnings (“Are Large Cap Banks Ready to ‘Break Out?’”), is a red flag that Congress ought to be discussing with Chairman Yellen on a weekly basis. Meanwhile moral hazard grows under QE, and Fed-induced bubbles proliferate in the equity and debt markets.” Washington & Wall Street: Janet Yellen’s FOMC Puts U.S. on Path to Deflation

We’re heading in the wrong direction. “Baker, Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, told PBS’s Judy Woodruff Friday that contrary to those who spin the falling labor force participation rate as mainly coming from retiring Baby Boomers, young workers are dropping out by the millions. “…it is easy to see the big falloff in labor force participation is among prime age workers, 25-to-54-years-olds. That is down by four full percentage points. That is equivalent to five million people in their prime ages. They are not retiring at age 50.” The White House fed black media the news that black unemployment was down five points from its 2010 high of 16.9% but did not say that this was largely the result of more African-Americans giving up on finding jobs in the Obama economy.” Black Labor Force Participation Rate Under Obama Hits Rock Bottom – Lowest Level Ever Recorded

It’s only a scandal if the press wants it to be one and because Governor Christie has an “R” after his name, this is one of those times. “Scandals are not just about themselves; they are about the media atmosphere that surrounds them. They are perpetuated and deepened by the attention of journalists, whose relentless pursuit of every angle keeps the story going. That is exactly what has been missing from the IRS scandal from its outset; Republicans in Congress have been the dogged pursuers, not the press.” Bridgegate obsession clinically explained

Just a reminder. “The list reads like an AM radio golden oldies countdown: Travelgate, the magical and mysterious Rose Law Firm billing records that showed up in a closet in the White House years after being subpoenaed, Whitewater, Bimbogate, and the vast right-wing conspiracy that unzipped her husband’s pants and forced him to have oral sex with Monica Lewinsky.” Dems Pile on Christie While Ignoring Hillary’s Past

Tough words to hear, but maybe we need to hear them? This: “Republicans “live in a bubble,” former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum told the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature Thursday, and are detached from the pop culture and concerns of the average Americans whose allegiance they need to prevail nationally. “We live in a bubble. We don’t realize what’s going on,” said the once and perhaps future presidential candidate who is now head of a movie studio based in Flower Mound that produces Christian entertainment. “How many of you watch prime time network television? I suspect none of you.”” And this: “Santorum said the American revolutionaries prevailed against the odds, because they wanted it more, reciting the final words of the Declaration of Independence – “we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” In America today, he said, it is the left that wants it more.”” Rick Santorum warns fellow Republicans: ‘We live in a bubble’

I am thinking about our Republican candidates in CD9. Who is working the hardest (Vernon Parker, Wendy Rodgers or Andrew Walter)? Do we know? “It’s already 2014, if your candidate hasn’t already got a campaign committee, six figures of campaign money in a campaign account at the bank, and at least a dozen supporters other than committee members who are ready to start putting in 20+ hours per week on campaign grunt work as of this minute, then your candidate has already lost. So move on to the next best choice. And if that candidate also has already lost, move on again. Repeat until you’ve found the best candidate that can win. Volunteer for that candidate. Work hard starting Day One. You’ve got less than 11 months on the election calendar left. Time’s running out. Stop talking and get busy.” Advice to Unhappy Republicans

But first they have to want to hear what we have to say! “Conservatives can offer real solutions to young Americans.” Millennials Are Tiring of Liberal Failures

How does this man manage to keep getting elected? “Gates says that Harry Reid once urged him to have the Defense Department “invest in research on irritable bowel syndrome.”” The trouble with Harry?

Put this on your radar, it’s taking place today. “Tomorrow at 10 a.m., the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the case of National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning. It is a very important case, which is why the court is allowing 90 minutes of oral argument instead of the usual sixty. You can find the legal background here on the indispensable www.scotusblog.com, which will be live-blogging the argument tomorrow morning.” High Drama at the Court Tomorrow

Keeping score. “For Hillary, whose loss was of course not the end of her political career, the spreadsheet was a necessity of modern political warfare, an improvement on what old-school politicians called a “favor file.” It meant that when asks rolled in, she and Bill would have at their fingertips all the information needed to make a quick decision—including extenuating, mitigating and amplifying factors—so that friends could be rewarded and enemies punished.” Hillary’s Hit List

It exists but the Democrats want to keep the fact under wraps, so they can keep winning elections. “DOI undercover agents showed up at 63 polling places last fall and pretended to be voters who should have been turned away by election officials; the agents assumed the names of individuals who had died or moved out of town, or who were sitting in jail. In 61 instances, or 97 percent of the time, the testers were allowed to vote. Those who did vote cast only a write-in vote for a “John Test” so as to not affect the outcome of any contest.” Voter Fraud: We’ve Got Proof It’s Easy

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Filed under Afghanistan, Arizona Politics, Big Government, Crony Capitalism, Economy, Federal Reserve, Govenor Chris Christie, Hillary, Iraq, Jobs, Media Malfeasance, Millenials, Obamacare, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Single Payer Health Care, The Left, Voter Fraud, War on the Elderly

News and Commentary for January 11 and 12

It's Sunday! Enjoy your day.

It’s Sunday! Enjoy your day.

Stay focused my friends. “Zero upside to conservatism in throwing rocks at a contrite and yet focused GOP governor.  Time to keep focus instead on the revelations in Secretary Gates’ memoir and on the O-care rolling fiasco.  If the governor gets caught up in a serious misstatement or a new shocker, that will be the end of that, but he came out of this crisis bloodied but with quite a lot of points in his favor for the sort of straightforward non-talking point candor that the public is very hungry for.” Mark Steyn On Chris Christie, And How Conservatives Generally Should Respond To The “Longest Day” Presser

A good walk down memory lane to remind you of all the stories the mainstream media and the Left wants you to foget! “Whatever happened in New Jersey under Governor Chris Christie in regards to the already-infamous “bridgegate,” the open gloating by the media over the unacceptable behavior of the Republican governor’s staffers is extremely revealing.” 24 Underreported Democrat Scandals That Make News Media’s ‘Bridgegate Mania’ Look Like a Joke

Add this to the list provided above… and now we have 25 underreported Democrat scandals. “It is ironic that just as Washington, D.C. and New York City–the two centers of cluelessness in American life–are convulsed with a mini-scandal involving lane closure on a bridge, two more major Obama administration scandals have come to light. The first is Obama’s nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. We might have guessed that Obama couldn’t do worse than Adegbile’s predecessor, Tom Perez, but we would have been wrong.” For Real Scandals, Check Out the Obama Administration

It’s going to get really ugly for ANY Republican presidential candidate. We have to be ready. “It’s not about Christie, it’s about how other Republican candidates will be treated by the media.” To defend Chris Christie

Their true colors are showing (emphasis mine). “The only difficulty was, the solution — finding billions to pay for the restored pensions and unemployment insurance — involved cracking down on a tax credit program in which illegal immigrants have fraudulently collected billions of dollars in improper payments. Stop the fraud, Ayotte argued, and then use the money saved to pay for pensions and unemployment insurance. It seemed like an elegant solution. Except that Democrats would have none of it. Putting an end to the fraudulent collection of tax credits by illegal immigrants would hurt the most vulnerable, they argued. “This idea of going after children is one of the worst ideas I have ever heard,” Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer said in floor debate Thursday. “I am shocked — I am shocked. You’re going to hurt children. You’re going to take away food out of their mouths.”” What if you could restore veterans’ pensions, fund jobless benefits and stop illegal immigrant fraud, all at once? Democrats would block it

Really bad. “Today’s jobs numbers were bad, but they are even worse when viewed in the context of the comprehensive failure of the Obama administration’s economic policies over the past five years.” More On Today’s Awful Jobs Numbers

“The labor participation rate is the now lowest since the days of Jimmy Carter.” The Jobs Report

Make sure to point this out when you are arguing with a Democrat. “I have mentioned in the past the most commonly reported unemployment rate – which now stands at 6.7 percent — is a very imperfect measure of the health of the labor market. It’s the number of people without jobs who are available to work and are actively seeking work in the four weeks preceding the survey as a percentage of the labor force (the sum of people in the economy who have a job or want one), but it doesn’t tell you anything about the people who have given up looking for work and the people who are employed but only on a part-time basis (i.e., underemployed).” The Broader Measure Of Unemployment: 13.1 Percent

More facts to arm yourself with when talking with a Democrat. “So, for some badly needed perspective, we’ve created Obama’s Jobs Index to show how Obama’s policies have failed to create adequate job growth.” How Bad Is Obama’s Jobs Record? Let’s Count The Ways

He needs to change course, but like a good Leftist, he won’t. Because he would then have to admit that everything a good Leftist believes in doesn’t work in the real world. “Like bloodwork results for a weak, wheezing patient, Friday’s jobs report confirmed that deeply serious ills plague the U.S. economy.” Obama’s growing pains

More on how a course correction won’t be coming any time soon. “These terrible numbers help to explain the president’s recent attempt to change the subject from the economy to “income inequality,” an abstraction that fails to register with most Americans. They also help to explain why Obama intends to push for an increase in the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour, in his State of the Union address on Jan. 28. Left-wingers have successfully been changing the subject, moving the discussion away from their policy failures for 50 years now. Why should they change a winning formula now? They know they can continue to count on taxpayer funding for their adventures in leftist activism.” The War on Poverty’s Biggest Casualties

Failure. “This is rapidly approaching a pre-revolutionary condition, but not for a revolution many of us would want to undergo.  To avoid it, a massive change must occur at the federal level.  But Barack Obama, mired in a dead ideology, doesn’t seem prepared to do anything but prolong the situation with highly  conventional liberal solutions that have failed for decades, maybe even centuries.” Who Needs Ayn Rand? America Has Already Gone John Galt

Have you heard the one about the Feds handing over an entire city to an Indian tribe? Couldn’t happen here, right? Think again… “One day they were Wyomingans, the next they were members of the Wind River tribes — after the Environmental Protection Agency declared the town part of the Wind River Indian Reservation, undoing a 1905 law passed by Congress and angering state officials.” EPA overrides Congress, hands over town to Indian tribes

I was a member of Sierra Club for years. I am ashamed. “The EPA has repeatedly said the regulations on coal-fired power plants will not be a death blow to the industry. However, the agency was working closely behind the scenes with the Sierra Club, an environmental organization that was pushing the agency to adopt standards that would be impossible for power plants to meet.” Sierra Club Pressed EPA to Create Impossible Coal Standards

Forcing us all to bow to the alter of Statism. “It is establishing the faith of secular statism, a religion currently characterized by the tenets of radical progressivism. Statism is rapidly becoming the only faith in America allowed to operate with complete freedom.” Establishing a U.S. State Religion

Unfortunately this story is being pushed aside for the ever so more important “Bridgegate.” “Still battered at home by the ObamaCare debacle and the permanently sluggish economy, the last thing the White House wanted was bad news on foreign policy. But that’s exactly what it got, and then some, thanks to the shockingly scathing book by Robert Gates.” Gates memoir reveals Obama’s incompetence on foreign policy

More on the pushed aside story. “What Bob Gates tells us in his book — including that Hillary Clinton opposed President Bush’s surge on political grounds, and that Vice President Joe Biden is usually wrong — isn’t exactly news, but it is damning and important all the same.” Obama’s Half-Hearted War

It won’t be reported because it doesn’t fit the media’s “war” narrative. “It’s not as politically advantageous for the left to admit this, so you won’t see stories of gratitude like the one told by Iraq War vet and amputee J.R. Salzmann about a chance encounter with a cab driver in Texas.” The Media Would Never Report This Amazing Exchange Between Wounded Vet And Iraqi Cab Driver

They have to report this, but I am sure it pains them greatly. “The Associated Press first reported this developing and completely predictable problem earlier in the week. What happens when you pass a law that (a) causes the health-insurance cancellation for millions and then (b) forces them and millions more to use a disastrously-built web portal as a middeman to replace that coverage? Answer: You end up with millions of people flooding into providers without any idea whether they have coverage or whether their doctor will accept it. The New York Times confirmed this issue … for its Saturday edition, of course.” NYT: Yeah, ObamaCare has made the healthcare system a mess in 2014

This: “The administration delivered a resounding judgment on its claim that Obamacare’s website problems were over by firing the prime contractor, CGI Federal. The Washington Post, reporting the contract cancellation, explains that  ”as federal officials and contractors have been trying to fix various aspects of the Web site in the past few months, about half of the new software code the company has written has failed on the first try, according to internal federal information.” And this: That will fix things, won’t it?  It will not. As I have written before, the problem is in the complexity of  the business rules;  in the actuarial characteristics of the system;  in the lack of money to fund a system that is more expensive than the one it replaces. But the idea is that if we transform a complex problem into other complex problems of the same degree then we have simplified things. Good luck on that.” The Curse of Complexity

Are there ANY freedom loving Liberals anymore? “Ever wonder how it is that so many self-proclaimed liberals and “progressives” don’t seem to care about preserving liberty? Especially in the last decade or so, as the liberal wing of the Democratic Party has moved ever leftward and the assaults on liberty have cascaded, liberals seem more and more to divide into two camps: those who retain some love of liberty and those who do not.” The great dividing line: love of liberty

Collusion between the Left and Right, to steal your freedom. “What do George Soros, labor unions and money-grubbing former GOP Rep. Steven LaTourette all have in common? They’re control freaks. They’re power hounds. They’re united against tea party conservatives. And they all have operated under the umbrella of D.C. groups masquerading as “Main Street” Republicans.” Beware the Left-Wing-Funded “Main Street” Republicans

Collusion Part 2. “The Chamber of Commerce, the liberal Main Street Partnership and the campaign arms of the Republican Leaders are targeting small government, free marketers for defeat. Conservative, tea party-affiliated candidates risk dismantling the Washington status quo. That puts lobbyist income in jeopardy. A Republican Party that confuses supporting big business with supporting the free market wants to silence the voices of those who are not confused.” House Cleaning on the Right

I think we need to realize that government can’t solve all society’s ills. “Good government inevitably becomes big government.” Compassionate Conservatives Are Confusing A Slogan With An Agenda

Have we already lost the war? “Empty those pocketbooks! A new Gallup poll is showing that liberalism is on the rise; shrinking the conservative advantage to only 15 percentage points for the first time since 1992.” Uprising: More and More Democrats Identifying as Liberals

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Filed under Big Government, Crony Capitalism, Economy, EPA, Freedom, Govenor Chris Christie, Jobs, Media Malfeasance, Obamacare, Political Corruption, Poverty and the Welfare State, President Obama, Republican Infighting, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, The Left

News and Commentary for January 9

Tough roads ahead for  all of us. But we can do it!

Tough roads ahead for all of us. But we can do it!

“A contingent of Arizona Republicans is set to vote this weekend on whether to censure GOP Sen. John McCain over his “long and terrible record of drafting, co-sponsoring and voting for legislation best associated with liberal Democrats.”” Group of Arizona Republicans to censure John McCain for siding with ‘liberal Democrats’

Let’s hold Rep. Sinema accountable. We’re tired of the white washing of who she really is. “The congresswoman is obviously feeling the political persecution of voters in her district as Obamacare exemplifies another liberal big-government failure. Remember that Kyrsten was hand-picked by the Obama Administration a few years ago as the administration’s chief saleswoman for Obamacare in Arizona. Kyrsten took her Obamacare sales pitch across the State of Arizona as a lead up to her campaign for Congress. Now she’s feeling the heat and looking for any creative messaging to assuage the anger of voters in her district.” More Political Taqiyya from Kyrsten Sinema

May a Democrat never be the commander in chief of our military EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER again. “Like early reports from a remote region hit by a 7.0 trembler, the early assessments of Duty almost certainly fail to capture its full impact.  Only after the whole book is available for a few weeks to all interested parties –including the military from its senior ranks to its greenest private to its rolls of retired, wounded and widowed– will the full impact of the important memoir be known.” Rumble, Crumble, Tumble: The Gates Earthquake

Absolutely despicable that Obama played politics with our military. “When a man who has worked for every president since Nixon, barring Bill Clinton, says that the White House was by “far the most centralized and controlling” since Kissinger had ruled the roost, it is not a criticism that can be lightly batted away.” Robert Gates’s memoirs add to the sense that Obama’s presidency is unravelling

“The Obama administration was blindsided’ by bombshell accusations in a book by former secretary of defense Robert Gates, according to a White House staffer with knowledge of Tuesday’s events in the White House. ‘They’re breaking it down and dividing it up in the West Wing,’ the aide told MailOnline, describing a frantic scene. ‘No one saw this coming.’ ‘This is very, very bad’: White House insider reveals how Obama was ‘blindsided’ by former defense secretary’s damning allegations in explosive new book

“Rubio added that Obama’s foreign policy has largely been a mess. “It hasn’t been driven by a strategic foreign-policy view,” he said, “it’s largely been driven by tactics and politics and that’s not a way to conduct foreign policy.”” Rubio: Nothing in Gates’s Memoir Surprises Me

“Hunter gave the exactly right answer: “We won in Iraq,” he said first. He then noted that his father, who had served in the Congress for more than a generation, wrote a book called “Victory in Iraq.” He reiterated the point, saying that by 2010, we’d won the war in Iraq. The question was whether we’d abandon what we’d won. “This president,” Hunter said, referring to Barack Obama, “left for purely political reasons.”’ Nam comes to Iraq: Losing to al Qaeda, after winning

True words. ““I’m beginning to really bristle at this progressive label for de Blasio’s programs and Obama’s programs,” Giuliani said during an interview this morning with radio host Geraldo Rivera. “There is nothing progressive about anything they are recommending,” Giuliani said. “It’s all retrogressive. Every idea is 130 years old. … To tax the rich, to set up class warfare, to try to bring people out of poverty through entitlements is a terrible mistake. That is what Bill Clinton declared in the mid-1990s, you know, ‘Welfare will end as we know it.’ It was ruining people, it was making them dependent. You got to break that cycle.”” Giuliani: ‘Nothing progressive’ about de Blasio’s ideas

It seems we have our very own bully on the Right. “New emails that surfaced Wednesday suggest a top aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was directly involved in closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge to create traffic jams as retribution against a Democratic mayor who declined to endorse Christie.” Christie quiet after emails link his staff to bridge scandal

For the press, what’s going to have more legs? Chris Christie and the bridge, or the IRS scandal? “From the comments: “For pettiness, I believe this bridge fiasco is more on a par with the shutdown of federal parks during the government shutdown than the IRS abuses. The IRS abuses appear to be intimidation for election purposes. The park blockades appeared to be pettiness to prove a point. The bridge fiasco also appears to be pettiness to prove a point.” Good point.” JAMES TARANTO: Road Rage: Chris Christie, the George Washington Bridge and the IRS.

“The next 24 hours will be crucial for Chris Christie, top Republicans say.” Christie’s Crucial 24 Hours

Long-term damage. “The final reason that the next GOP administration will have a hard time undoing the nutty radical policies of the Obama-era DOJ is the existence of consent decrees. These consent decrees don’t vanish just because President Obama will in 2017.  They remain in force, and the next administration will still have to enforce them.” 3 Reasons Why the Radical Anti-Discipline Policies at DOJ Will Outlast the Obama Era

“Meanwhile, poor black and Hispanic kids who are struggling to get educations in substandard urban public schools are being done great disservices; actually, moral injustices. Holder wants to saddle good kids who are trying to improve their lives with kids whose criminal behavior is at best disruptive to learning and, worst, prevents real learning from occurring.” Putting the Chill on Discipline

“Sold on a lie, cloaked in deception and passed on a trick just this side of legal, this act is not merely an outlier but also an outlaw in the legislative history of our republic. It deserves no respect, gets none from the public and therefore can’t last very long.” It may be ‘the law,’ but Obamacare deserves no respect

“In short, this is another perverse civil rights crusade. Black children live in fatherless households much more often than white or Asian children. It would accordingly be highly unusual for the rates of misbehavior to be the same across races. The policy guarantees that teachers will not be able to help fill the gap by providing a well-disciplined environment at school. The victims of this particular civil rights crusade are black children looking for a decent education.” A perverse civil rights crusade

“The Left doesn’t bother to observe the rules they inflict on everyone else, obviously. And we must always point this out.” Glenn Beck: “Let’s not become what we despise”

Challenging a Leftist lie. “One of the things that provoke the Left into bringing out the “trickle-down” bogeyman is any suggestion that there are limits to how high they can push tax rates on people with high incomes, without causing repercussions that hurt the economy as a whole.” The Trickle-Down Lie

“The newly flowering buds of Marxism no longer reside on the fringes. Not when the president of the United States has declared fighting income inequality his chief task as commander in chief. Not when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said that America faces “no greater challenge” than income disparity. Not when MSNBC, The New York Times and the amalgamated pro-Obama media outlets have all declared their mission for 2014 a campaign against rich people.” Why Socialism Is on the Rise

“The War on Poverty itself has produced today over 80 federal welfare programs that cost about $1 trillion a year (the national GDP average of countries in the OECD, known as the rich man’s club, is $1.4 trillion). The cost would matter less if the programs succeeded in easing Americans out of poverty and helping them become upwardly mobile. The problem, however, is that many of the poor become entangled in the safety net that was supposed to help them.” Hispanics and the War on Poverty

“Rubio offers a great example of how conservatives should be thinking about poverty in America, and about the conceptual perversity and (resulting) practical inadequacy of our vast array of anti-poverty programs. And he helps us also to see how the Democrats’ misguided emphasis on inequality as the core of that problem opens up real opportunities for Republicans to lay out for the country their vision of the American dream, and their agenda for helping more Americans achieve it.” Rubio on Poverty and the Welfare State

Uh oh. “One worrisome trend; the number of indies leaning Democratic has increased while the number leaning Republican has gone down. Independents don’t vote in great numbers in off year elections so it probably won’t hurt the GOP very much next November. But Republicans have to find a way to reverse that trend or the Democrats will cruise to another victory in 2016.” 42% of Americans now identify as political independents

“Democrats aren’t known for giving the nomination to the previous cycle’s runner-up. In fact, they are much more likely to kick the losers to the curb. But their devotion to Clinton is based on several factors. First, theirs is a party driven by identity politics; I have no doubt that a man with similar credentials and longevity would have to battle it out. To be crass, Democrats elected an African American, so now it is time for a woman, many Democrats feel.” Why Dems will go down with the S.S. Hillary

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Filed under 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Afghanistan, Benghazi, Big Government, Govenor Chris Christie, Hillary, Iraq, Lies, Mayor De Blasio, Obamacare, Poverty and the Welfare State, Rep. Krysten Sinema, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Senator John McCain, Socialism, The Left, Trickle Down Economics

News and Commentary for January 8

Things are looking good for the Republicans in November. You can smile, but don't get too cocky! We've go t lots of word to do!

Things are looking good for the Republicans in November. You can smile, but don’t get too cocky! We’ve got so much work to do to ensure victory.

We can win it all in November! Please oh please, let’s not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. “The latest sign comes in a new Pew Research Center poll released Tuesday that shows the midterm enthusiasm battle is tilted in the GOP’s favor. Sixty-three percent of Republicans say they are looking forward to the midterm elections, compared to just 53 percent of Democrats.” The GOP’s midterm enthusiasm advantage, in 2 charts

Senator Ted Cruz? “There are moments in American political history when dissatisfaction with the old order and suspicion—even fear—of its ways presents the opportunity for monumental change.” The GOP Needs a Conservative in 2016

It’s all they have left. “The left knows they are at a disadvantage. HuffPo’s warning about “dark money” is just the first salvo in the campaign to silence the right this year. To paraphrase the old legal saw, if neither the facts or the law are on your side, pound the table. The left is going to pound the table loudly until November.” Left Tries to Silence Conservatives Ahead of 2014 Midterms

How Obama and his minions live with themselves, I will NEVER know-Part 1. ” It is a shame and a tragedy that President Obama and Prime Minister Maliki did not honor the sacrifices of so many troops in the past, both American and Iraqi, by doing more to build on the success of the surge. But that is not the fault of those troops, who fought magnificently to give Iraq an opportunity–now being squandered–for a better future.” Iran’s Squandered Opportunity

How Obama and his minions live with themselves, I will NEVER know–Part 2. “So Obama was sending our young men and women off to a meat grinder with no real confidence in the likelihood of success. How like Lyndon Johnson.” TOM MAGUIRE: Obama Quit In Afghanistan.

Lots of articles today about former Defense Secretary Robert Gate’s new book, “Duty.”

  • “9. Obama’s Domestic Politics: Mr. Gates says that domestic politics factored into “virtually every major national security problem” the Obama White House faced. At one point, Mr. Gates writes, he witnessed a conversation between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton in which the president “conceded vaguely” that his opposition to the 2007 military surge in Iraq was a political calculation. Mr. Gates called the exchange “remarkable.”” Top 10 Revelations From Robert Gates’s Memoir Hat Tip: Lucianne.com
  • “Obama doesn’t believe in the surge or in the war, or in his own actions,” Krauthammer said, “He doesn’t believe in [General] Petraeus, he hates [Afghan President] Karzai, he thinks the war isn’t his. How can a commander-in-chief do that?” Krauthammer on Gates’ revelations about Obama: ‘How can a commander-in-chief do that?’ Hat Tip: Lucianne.com
  • “But the splash being made by these (mostly unsurprising) insider claims is a testament to the credibility Gates has earned over his distinguished career, and suggests the considerable authority his account of these last few years will carry.” Bob Gates vs. the White House
  • “I would not go so far as to say Gates did the wrong thing. In the year 2009 any objection against Obama he may have raised would have fallen on deaf ears. Now he has a better chance of a hearing. But it is not an easy admission for anyone to say, “I walked with them”.” A City of Two Tales
  • “It will be interesting to watch how the Obama administration reacts. I expect Gates to be trashed, Chicago-style, at a minimum, even though Obama said a lot of nice things about him in public.” The first ex-cabinet secretary to attack Obama writes his memoir
  • “What to make of his critique of Obama? Mild, compared to what George W. Bush had to endure from formerly trusted aides. But there is also confirmation that Obama’s far left worldview is distrustful of people in uniform and that his leadership abilities as commander in chief are found wanting.” Gates memoir skewers Obama
  • “Most of the attention from Robert Gates’ new memoir has focused on its impact on Barack Obama and the presumed 2016 campaign of Hillary Clinton.  The former Secretary of Defense sharply criticizes both for playing politics with the lives of soldiers, even though Gates’ memoir also includes praise for both in other contexts. The one politician who gets no nuance from Gates, though, is Joe Biden. Gates slams the Vice President for having “been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades,” which Allahpundit joked yesterday constitutes proof of the book’s accuracy.” [Snip] “So why leap to Biden’s defense, even ahead of Obama’s? Perhaps because Obama needs Biden as a front for his own foreign policy, a shield that assumes Biden has gravitas in the first place. The only people who seem to think that, though, are Joe Biden and Barack Obama.” WH: Hey, who doesn’t like and respect Joe Biden?

Why do we let them out when so many go back to battle? “The Washington Post reports that U.S. officials suspect Sufian Ben Qumu, an ex-Guantanamo detainee, “played a role in the attack on the American compound in Benghazi, Libya, and are planning to designate the group he leads as a foreign terrorism organization.” Ben Qumu is based in Derna, Libya and runs a branch of Ansar al Sharia headquartered in the city.” Obama Administration’s Benghazi Bombshell

Obama’s administration was never going to be about transparency. “No one is served by Obama and Clinton lying to the caskets. Few Americans will volunteer to serve in dangerous parts of the world armed only with this assurance: “If you are killed in the line of duty, the leaders of the free world will lie to your caskets.” That’s a mission impossible.” They Will Lie to Your Casket

Culture posers I. “My favorite double standard these days concerns how liberals think the “stop and frisk” tactic of New York and other police departments are abusive, arbitrary, etc.  Good that liberals have rediscovered at least a sliver of the potential for arbitrary government power—opposition to arbitrary state power being a core principle of liberalism once upon a time—even if it probably works to public benefit.  (I was amused at a recent PuffHo story that reported breathlessly that only about half of all stop and frisks resulted in an arrest, as though that was a scandal.  To the contrary, given discretion allowed to police officers, a 50 percent arrest rate shows the success of the tactic.)” Liberalism and Double Standards

Cultural posers II. “But knowing more would interfere with the demonization. And the demonization is the point.” KEVIN WILLIAMSON: The Ignorant Left: An Ongoing Series.

But at least the Left “feels” good about trying. “To understand the failure of the war on poverty requires understanding its structure, which itself is bound up in the idiosyncrasies of Lyndon Johnson’s politics. President Johnson played many parts in his political career: Southern ballast to John Kennedy’s buoyant Yankee idealism; an enemy of civil-rights reform and anti-lynching laws who reversed himself in 1964; a sometimes reluctant but in the end unshakeable Cold Warrior. But at heart President Johnson was a New Deal man, and his Great Society, of which the war on poverty was a critical component, was his attempt to resuscitate the spirit and the political success of Franklin Roosevelt’s program.” The Fifty-Year War

They’ll never learn. “Regardless, the failure of Communism didn’t put the debate to rest because the debate is eternal. Like those summer fireflies, it is a permanent fixture of the human condition, particularly among the affluent and fashionably rebellious young who are always eager to explain why this time is different.” Millennial Communists

So sad. “As New York City’s crusading liberal Mayor Bill de Blasio takes up his pitch fork, don’t worry too much about the wealthy bankers he plans to tax — they can fend for themselves. The potential victims of de Blasio’s “march toward a fairer, more just, more progressive place” are the small businesses and voluntary associations that make up civil society. Charter schools, crisis pregnancy centers, small businesses and private charities are all in de Blasio’s crosshairs. These are government’s rivals in the business of getting people what they want and need — and a growing government doesn’t tolerate rivals.” Bill de Blasio’s ‘march’ to end inequality tramples little guy

Remember, this is the administration that said “Never let a crisis go to waste.” “To be clear, I’m not claiming, as some have inferred from previous columns, that there is a widely orchestrated chaos-creation plan, or that any attempt to capitalize on the current bedlam to impose single-payer is destined to succeed. What I am saying is that the evidence supporting the idea that certain of Obamacare’s key players are determined to try continues to mount.” A Chaos-Driven Path to Single Payer?

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Filed under 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Afghanistan, Benghazi, Big Government, Charles Krauthammer, Hillary, Iraq, Lies, Mayor De Blasio, Middle East, Millenials, Obamacare, President Obama, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Single Payer Health Care, The Left