Category Archives: The Media

News and Commentary for February 21

It's National "Sticky Bun" Day. Yummmmmm.

It’s National “Sticky Bun” Day. Yummmmmm!

Stories of the Day

Scary times. In Obama’s world, free press is considerably less free than ever before, and it is about to get even more less free. This story is so important that I’ve posted all that I found on it in my “Stories of the Day” section. “Try this one on for size: The FCC has proposed sending “researchers” into newsrooms across the country to find out why stories impacting minorities aren’t being reported.” Feds to snoop in newsrooms. What could go wrong?

“Last week, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai disclosed the existence of the FCC’s new “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs,” a study that would send FCC researchers (monitors?) into newsrooms across the nation to determine, among other things, whether news organizations are meeting citizens “actual” as opposed to “perceived” information needs. As designed, the study empowers researchers to not only ask a series of questions of news staff, it also provides (in pages 10 and 11) advice for gaining access to employees even when broadcasters and their Human Resources refuse to provide confidential employee information. The Obama administration FCC is abusing its regulatory authority by attempting to discern the inner workings of American newsrooms.” Echoes of the IRS in the FCC Snooping Scandal

“The FCC explained that it wanted information from television and radio broadcasters “to ascertain the process by which stories are selected, station priorities (for content production quality, and populations served), perceived station bias, perceived percent of news dedicated to each of the eight CIN’s and perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.” The FCC has identified eight CINs, or key topics that the government believes should be covered. According to the actual FCC report, the eight CINs are:

1. emergencies and risks, both immediate and long term;
2. health and welfare, including specifically local health information as well as group
specific health information where it exists;
3. education, including the quality of local schools and choices available to parents;
4. transportation, including available alternatives, costs, and schedules;
5. economic opportunities, including job information, job training, and small business
assistance;
6. the environment, including air and water quality and access to recreation;
7. civic information, including the availability of civic institutions and opportunities to
associate with others;
8. political information, including information about candidates at all relevant levels of local governance, and about relevant public policy initiatives affecting communities and neighborhoods.” FCC Monitors Your News, Komrade

“It’s only taken seven years, but a member of the mainstream media is finally asking “what are they thinking?” That would be the formerly “respectable” Howard Kurtz, the Columbia J-school grad who wrote for the Washington Post and worked for CNN and the Daily Beast, before he fell from grace and landed at Fox News, where he writes: What on earth is the FCC thinking?” [snip] “Well, read the whole thing, because it’s worth it (and read FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai’s rather heroic bit of whistleblowing on the matter, dated February 10, and finally getting some attention beyond the blogs) but before you go, allow me to answer Kurtz’ opening query: “What are they thinking?” Mr. Kurtz, it’s pretty obvious; they’re thinking no one in the mainstream press has asked them a difficult or challenging question in 7 years, so why would they start now.” Over FCC Plans, MSM Finally a Bit Curious re Obama Admin – UPDATED

“Howie Kurtz wants to know what the FCC was thinking when it proposed to monitor how editorial decisions are made in news media. (Including in newspapers, over which they have no jurisidiction whatsoever.)

Oh, She’s got answers. Some of these answers are obvious, but apparently they didn’t occur to Kurtz.

After summing up what they were thinking (which I don’t want to excerpt, because it’s smokin’-hot, and you should click over there), she concludes:

‘The biggest problem in our nation is not the Democrats, or the Republicans; it is not the Obama Administration, just as it wasn’t the Bush Administration, and it won’t be future Clinton or Warren Administrations. Our biggest problem is that the press has voluntarily surrendered its freedoms for the sake of idols and ideologies. Because this is true, our government is either factionalized, fictionalized and bombarded with daily media outrage and indignation, or it is given an utterly free pass, with no accountability required. Either way, it is a process of illusion, which gives assist to the necessary distraction, and that’s all. I didn’t want to write about this today. The truth is, I don’t even want to write about politics, anymore, because it’s all distraction and illusion and theater. I’d be happy to write about prayer and scripture, and nothing else, for the rest of my life, and maybe that’s what I’ll be doing, soon enough. But I am passionate about journalism, passionate about the need for a free press, and so I had to write, today. Without a curious press interested in protecting its own freedoms, there is no there, there. We might as well just put down the mics and turn out the lights, because it’s over.’” “What Was the FCC Thinking?” The Anchoress Answers Howie Kurtz

“The Obama administration has been curtailing press freedom – but that hasn’t ended the press’ drool-cup worship for their beloved president. Despite occasional flare-ups, the relationship between the Obama White House and its press lackeys remains strong. Which is not only a testament to the tyrannical tendencies of the Obama administration, but to the cowardice of those who cover it.” Obama Crackdown on Press Freedom Escalates

Benghazi

If the FCC gets its way, stories like this won’t be allowed to be reported. “Two leading Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say that Michael Morell, former deputy director and twice acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency, provided an account of his role on Benghazi that was often highly misleading and at times deliberately false. “I went back and reviewed some of his testimony the other day and he’s gotten himself in a real box,” says Senator Saxby Chambliss, the highest-ranking Republican on the committee. “It’s really strange. I’ve always thought Mike was a straight-up guy, gave us good briefings—factual, straightforward. I mean, this has really been strange the last few weeks—all this now being uncovered.” Lawmakers: CIA #2 Lied to Us About Benghazi

Big Government

When will Congress say “STOP?” “But the aggressive push for climate change is about more than Obama’s desire to shape his legacy as the president who would, as he said in his megalomaniacal 2008 boast, slow “the rise of the oceans” and “heal” the planet. What we are now witnessing is an attempt to create an imperial presidency that seeks to govern without Congress at home as opposed to the traditional model in which commanders in chief conduct wars and foreign policy without being held accountable.” Big Trucks, Obama, and the Rule of Law

Common Core

“Who would have thought the champion of charters and school choice, the foe of teachers unions, was connected to Common Core before most people had even heard the term?  Michelle Rhee is that woman and she has poured millions into getting Republican candidates elected in at least 17 states [in 2012, 90 out of the 105 candidates backed by Rhee were Republicans or conservatives] Texas may be next on the list — see USA Today op-ed co-authored by Rhee and Susan Combs, Texas State Comptroller.” Michelle Rhee: School Choice and Common Core Cheerleader

The Constitution

Thank goodness for Senator Mike Lee. “During a Senate oversight hearing, Lee asked Holder by what legal authority Obama suspended Obamacare’s employer mandate, which covers all companies with 50 or more employees. Holder admitted that he had no ready answer, that there were legal memos on this subject, but that he could not recall what they said. Lee sharply criticized this lack of an answer and requested that Holder provide to the committee copies of the legal memos making the case for Obama to be able to do this.” Eric Holder Can’t Explain if Constitution Allows Obama’s Executive Actions

“The Constitution disperses power among the branches of government and between levels of government to prevent unilateral action and force publicly conducted deliberation.  Mr. Obama has made it clear that public deliberation and the compromises that go with it are not for him.  The question now is, are they for the rest of us?” “Administration Lawlessness? Executive Orders Aren’t the Half of It.” by Clark S. Judge

Debt

Read the whole thing, please. “While Democrats have spent the last few months trying in vain to engender a public outcry about income inequality, the greatest challenge facing the country remains the same: a long-term budget and debt crisis fueled by the rising cost of entitlements that can’t be fixed with token spending cuts or higher taxes on the rich. But the 2015 budget that President Obama will propose this year will ignore it. Instead of building on the discussions that he has had with Republicans in recent years in which he has at least contemplated a form of entitlement reform, there will be no mention of indexing cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients or any other measure intended to check the growth of expenditures by the government. Instead, the president is proposing $56 billion more in federal spending on pet projects.” Obama Budget: Dems Still Status Quo Party

From the UK press. You won’t see anything about it here. “Americans are taking on debt at a rate not seen since just before the country spiraled into the Great Recession. Federal Reserve Bank of New York data out Tuesday indicates that consumers have slowly loosened their belts since the dark days of the recession began in ’07. But the stunningly high rate at which borrowing has risen in recent months, and the nation’s history debt-driven economic downturn, leave room to worry the data could spell impending disaster.” U.S. consumer debt spikes at rate not seen since just before the Great Recession

Elections

SAN ANTONIO, TX–The most recent James O’Keefe expose released on Breitbart Texas showed a Battleground Texas field organizer engaging in a seemingly illegal data mining operation where confidential information from voter registration forms was being collected in an effort to help elect Wendy Davis as governor of Texas. The video has now triggered a process by which an investigation carried by the State of Texas may occur.” Unrepentant Battleground Texas Now Subject to State Investigation

We must not let the Left destroy her, because they will hit her with all they have. “The last thing Democrats want on the national stage is a black conservative Republican, anti-abortion, successful single mom who worked her way through college to achieve her American dream (without seeking government for answers).  They do not want another non-victim-minded black elected official out there touting traditional values, preaching that the rewards of hard work and self-reliance are self-respect and dignity.  It would drive Democrats to drink.” Oh, No! Another Black Conservative Republican Running for Office

Energy

“The steep increase is the result of new rules implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency requiring any new power plant coming on line to use carbon capture and sequestration technologies intended to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases dispatched into the atmosphere. Climatologists maintain man-made greenhouse gases are a primary contributor to global climate change. A number of lawmakers and utility officials assert installing the carbon capture technology in newly constructed power plants can’t be accomplished in a fiscally sustainable manner, meaning power companies will turn to alternative fuel sources like natural gas.” Coal Regulations Could Hike Energy Costs as Much as 80 Percent

Foreign Policy

Does our president have even a clue of the impact his weakness is having upon the world? “It’s clear that around the globe today, the person who is respected and feared and shaping world events is not Mr. Obama, who is seen as an impotent amateur, but the brutal Vladimir Putin, who is reasserting Russian dominance in Ukraine and the Middle East, among other places. We all know Barack Obama is weak and essentially powerless; he simply makes things worse with his bluster. He’s a pushover, and the entire world–our adversaries and our allies–know it.” Obama’s Worthless Threats

“The abandonment of American interests in an effort to provide Moscow with reparations for the perceived offenses of the previous eight years has evolved from puerile and foolish to downright irresponsible. Today, real lives are being lost and the world has been made less secure as a result of the president’s folly.” Rothman: Obama’s Blood-Soaked ‘Reset’ with Russia

“Ukraine joins the long list of countries that have regressed into deeper shadow under President Obama and his two Secretaries of State, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. The list of just those countries we know about because they have have made huge headlines include Iran and its lost Green Revolution, Egypt and the years of chaos begun when the president and his team had four policies vis-a-vis Egypt in as many days, Libya where “leading from behind” was coined, Syria where the red line faded into black, Lebanon and Jordan where the Syrians sought refuge, Iraq where the peace has been forfeited and civil war begun again, Afghanistan where our scamper is underway and the Taliban is waiting, and this week Venezuela and Ukraine where American fecklessness has emboldened the worst of the locals to imprison and kill.” The Obama-Clinton-Kerry Legacy

Why should he? “Ukraine Defense Minister Pavel Lebedev has refused to take multiple phone calls made personally by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Pentagon said Thursday.

“Secretary Hagel has been trying, himself, since early this week,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters. Lebedev refuses “to communicate, to accept a phone call” from Hagel or the Pentagon.” Ukraine defense minister ignores repeated phone calls from Chuck Hagel

Global Warming

Scaring us so they control us even more than they do now. “Climate-change proponents have made their cause a matter of fealty and faith. For folks who pretend to be brave carriers of the scientific ethic, there’s more than a tinge of religion in their jeremiads. If you whore after other gods, the Bible tells us, “the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit” (Deuteronomy 11). Sounds like California. Except that today there’s a new god, the Earth Mother. And a new set of sins — burning coal and driving a fully equipped F-150. But whoring is whoring, and the gods must be appeased. So if California burns, you send your high priest (in a carbon-belching Air Force One, but never mind) to the bone-dry land to offer up, on behalf of the repentant congregation, a $1 billion burnt offering called a “climate-resilience fund.” Ah, settled science in action.” The Myth of ‘Settled Science:’ Computer models of climate change have been dead wrong, yet alarmists aim to quell debate.

Ouch. “Last week, John Kerry burned 12 tons of carbon to travel to Indonesia and declare global warming as the biggest WMD of all. In what has become the general model of climate-change alarmism, he told his audience that Jakarta would soon be half-submerged thanks to the rising of the oceans that the election of his boss supposedly stopped. The Chicken Little spectacle was so embarrassing that Newt Gingrich suggested that Kerry should retire out of embarrassment, if not national security. “A delusional secretary of state,” Gingrich tweeted, “is dangerous to our safety.” In the same speech, Kerry referred to climate skeptics as “Flat Earth Society” holdouts. That caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal and two fellows of the American Meteorological Society, Professors of Atmospheric Science Richard McNider and John Christy. Dr. Christy served at one time on the IPCC, the UN body that pushes anthropogenic climate change as the bogeyman of our time, and shared in its Nobel Prize along with Al Gore. Christy and McNider, however, teach a history lesson to Kerry before addressing his shrieking hysteria on global warming. It was the Flat Earthers who clung to “consensus,” and the skeptics who turned out to be right.” WSJ to Kerry: Flat Earthers were the “consensus” position

Hillary

While MSM is desperately trying to get another “email takes down governor” story going vis-a-vis Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Governor came on my show Wednesday and I asked him about 2016 and the prospects of facing Hillary on the debate stage with so many debacles roiling the world that she, her successor John Kerry, and President Obama had failed to prevent or even ameliorate. The complete transcript of the conversation is here. Governor Walker’s first take on Hillary’s record: I think the biggest problem that Secretary of State Clinton has is much bigger than just that, it’s that she is throughout her adult life, she has been a product of Washington, whether she’s been there, worked there, Secretary of State, United States Senator, not only first lady, but back to her days working on the Hill. And I think Americans now more than ever have had it with the whole bunch in Washington, and they want somebody to come in, actually, they want a group of people to come in and completely turn things around and reform things, and put the power back in the hands of the hard-working people of this country. So I think for her, her connection, her longevity connected to Washington, more than anything, is going to be a huge liability for her.” Scott Walker Assesses Hillary’s Record: “She was good at flying around the world…”

The Left

“Twenty-two years ago an event occurred that was the primary catalyst in the election of the Obama administration with its totalitarian mindset and statist convictions.  The presidential election of 1992 marked the turning point when the American people set in motion the dynamic that has eventuated in the dominance of government by the radical element of the American left.   These ideologues have skillfully exploited an overwhelmingly self-centered and ill-educated populace, while being greatly aided by a foolishly sanctimonious segment of the electorate.   These factors, in combination with a political system that is limited to two political parties, have placed the United States in its present predicament.” The Curse of the Sanctimonious Class

Marriage

Marriage as an “alternative lifestyle?” “But isn’t it fascinating that NBC views a man taking care of his wife and daughter as an alternative lifestyle? I’m glad David Wise won gold, but if this is any indication of media views on normalcy, our society is pretty much doomed.” Being Married With Kids And Young Now Deemed “Alternative Lifestyle” – NBC has interesting ideas about what’s outside the cultural norm

The Media

This: “By the way, 3 years ago today, in the Wisconsin protests, which included teachers who were calling in sick to absent themselves from the classroom, doctors stood on a street corner under a sign that read “I’m a doctor/Need a note?” They were real doctors, putting their names on notes that the protesters could use to excuse their absence from work. When lefty politicians or groups break the law, the press’s attitude is “politics ain’t beanbag.” And this: “But that forbearance doesn’t extend to Republicans.: And this: It’s interesting to watch the press try to do oppo-research and battlespace-prep on every GOP figure who gets mentioned. These are the same people who told us that looking into Obama’s background — or lack of actual accomplishments — was racist, and that looking into Hillary’s background — or lack of actual accomplishments — is sexist.” WISCONSIN SCANDALS THE PRESS NEVER CARED ABOUT

“As we reported earlier, the unfolding situation in Venezuela is not pretty. The protests against Chávez successor Nicolás Maduro‘s regime have reportedly turned violent, similar to the chaos seen in Ukraine.  At least six protesters have been shot, homes have reportedly been raided, and government efforts to suppress the gatherings are underway. Wednesday night was a particularly violent night. Venezuelan journalist Francisco Toro noticed that as the pandemonium unfurls before his country’s eyes, it has barely registered with the international media. In a post for Caracas Chronicles, Toro took major outlets to task for ignoring what has become a slow-motion crumbling of the Latin American country.” Venezuelan Journalist Rightly Wonders Why American Media Ignores Unfolding Crisis

Minimum Wage

The government making everything worse, as usual. “Whether one likes it or not, employers who want their company to survive (let alone prosper) do have to consider the effects of mandated minimum wage-increases on their business’s ability to make a profit (and thereby continue employing people). And that sometimes results in a freezing or even a reduction of staff numbers in particular industries. A well-intentioned flipping of the switch, it turns out, can make matters worse for some of the very people one is trying to help. But another aspect that’s not often considered is how policies emanating from other government institutions undermine the impact of mandated minimum wages. If, for instance, a central bank continues to follow loose monetary policy (as an ultimately ineffective way of trying to compensate for the failure of governments and legislatures to undertake the serious economic reforms that sustain growth over the long term), then the declining purchasing power of a given currency can nullify any beneficial effect of a minimum-wage increase, not to mention the gains of wage rises in general. A 3 percent decline in a currency’s purchasing power over the year, for example, more than halves the real benefits of a 5 percent wage increase in the same year.” Our Minimum-Wage Circus

Obamacare

If Democrats Think They Can Run on Obamacare… they’ve got another thing coming. Check out this absolutely brutal–because it is true–ad that Americans For Prosperity is running in Michigan:

Most of us live in realville. “Out in the world beyond what Washington manufactures and spins, no one would get away with putting out a product as flawed as ObamaCare. Today’s public won’t accept that kind of performance. From the largest consumer-product companies down to the local sandwich shop, you’ve got to deliver the goods at a sustained level of competent execution. Not everyone deserves a gold badge from J.D. Power, but by and large it has become very difficult to sustain a shoddy product in the marketplace anymore. Except the government. And the Democratic Party is nothing if not the party whose identity is bound up with government services and the public unions that deliver those services.  Good enough for government work was once just a joke. Some years ago I sat with a roomful of people in lower Manhattan’s federal Social Security office for a half hour with no discernible forward movement. The clerks seemed to have disappeared. Suddenly a frustrated lady shot up and screamed, “This place is worse than the department of motor vehicles!” To which the guard at the door responded: “Oh no, ma’am. They’re still worse than we are.” Henninger: The Rube Goldberg Democrats: ObamaCare is the party’s unworkable contraption of nonperformance.

ObamaCare: Secretary of HHS Kathleen Sebelius claims “there is absolutely no evidence” that health reform is killing jobs. Liars are legion in politics, but they usually stop short of claiming the sun didn’t rise this morning. In George Orwell’s “1984,” “Doublethink” was the government’s “conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty.” [Snip] “IBD’s John Merline last June surveyed local news reports around the country and found private- and public-sector employers alike “cutting part-time hours specifically so they can skirt ObamaCare’s costly employer mandate.” [Snip] “Lying in the face of massive failure is one thing, Madam Secretary. But denial of obvious realities goes beyond honesty and borders on delusional.” Sebelius Denies Well-Documented ObamaCare Joblessness

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Filed under 2014 Elections, 2016 Presidential Election, Benghazi, Big Government, Common Core, Constitution, Debt, Energy, Foreign Policy, Freedom of the Press, Global Warming, Hillary, Marriage, Minimum Wage, Obamacare, The Left, The Media, Ukraine, Venezuela

News and Commentary for February 19

No one knows who is responsible for the "Sub Par" signs but they're appearing all over the liberal Los Angeles area.

No one knows who is responsible for the “Sub Par” signs but they’re appearing all over the liberal Los Angeles area.

Stories of the Day

“An unknown artist is covering the streets of Santa Monica, Calif., with posters declaring President Obama to be “subpar.” The artwork, which features images of Obama golfing with the message, can be found on trashcans, in Porta-potties, and on street benches, according to a taco blog in Los Angeles.” Subpar: Anti-Obama Street Art Covers Santa Monica

A companion piece to the post above. “Today’s truly rebellious, free-thinking, edgy and cool, counter-culture anti-establishment movement is entirely on the right of the political spectrum. The Left may try to obfuscate this reality, attempting to paint the Right as agents of the oppressive state, but in the end the truth always wins. It happened everywhere the Left held the power, and it will happen in America, too. But the truth needs our help. We need to spread this notion, especially among the young people: Right is cool. Liberty is cool. Independence is cool. If your young heart desires idealism and adventure, sabotage the oppressive leftist establishment! If you want to hang out with free thinkers and non-conformists, join the Tea Party!” Conservatives Seize the Sub Par Counter-Culture

Will the regular folks like you and me stop giving them the power? Please?!?!?! “No one wants to be the earnest outsider now, no one wants to play the sober steward, no one wants to be the grind, the guy carrying around a cross of dignity. No one wants to be accused of being staid. No one wants to say, “This isn’t good for the country, and it isn’t good for our profession.” And it is all about the behavior of our elites, our upper classes, which we define now in a practical sense as those who are successful, affluent and powerful. This group not only includes but is almost limited to our political class, Wall Street, and the media, from Hollywood to the news divisions. They’re all kind of running America. They all seem increasingly decadent. What are the implications of this, do you think? They’re making their videos, holding their parties and having a ball. OK. But imagine you’re a Citizen at Home just grinding through—trying to do it all, the job, the parenthood, the mowing the lawn and paying the taxes. No glamour, all responsibility and effort. And you see these little clips on the Net where the wealthy sing about how great taxpayer bailouts are and you feel like . . . they’re laughing at you. What happens to a nation whose elites laugh at its citizens? What happens to its elites?” Our Decadent Elites

They have to cheat. It’s the only way they can win. “The footage shows Battleground Texas volunteer Jennifer Longoria saying the group uses the phone numbers from voter registration forms in later efforts to boost turnout on election day. Texas Election Code prohibits the use of, or even the copying of, phone numbers provided by individuals registering to vote.” Exclusive: O’Keefe Busts Illegal Voter Scheme to ‘Turn Texas Blue’

This will make you sleep well at night. “The Clarion Project has unearthed Federal Bureau of Investigations documents detailing a 22-site network of terrorist training villages sprawled across the United States. According to the documents, the FBI has been concerned about these facilities for about 12 years, but cannot act against them because the U.S. State Department has not yet declared that their umbrella group, MOA/Jamaat ul-Fuqra, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.” FBI Docs: Alleged Terrorist Training Compound Discovered in Rural Texas

Climate Change

Tell a lie enough times and the low info types will start believing it… “It is a basic principle of psychological warfare that the side that controls the language of the argument controls the argument. Barack Obama’s own website is using this PsyWar technique by calling opponents of his cap and trade agenda “climate change deniers.”  He has also used the financial resources of the federal government, such as whitehouse.gov, to marginalize everybody who doesn’t agree with him as a climate change denier.” Climate Parasites: The Answer to ‘Climate Change Deniers’

Debt

“However, despite the massive increase in the government’s marketable debt during Bush’s eight years, Obama managed to accumulate more additional marketable debt in his first five years in office than all the presidents who proceeded combined. The marketable debt of the U.S. government includes all debt securities sold by the U.S. Treasury that can be held by individuals, corporations or other entities outside the U.S. government and that can be sold in the secondary market. It does not include money the Treasury has borrowed out of government trust funds—such as the Social Security Trust Fund—to spend on other government expenses when those trust funds were running surpluses.” +106%: Obama Has More Than Doubled Marketable U.S. Debt

Don’t read this if you already worry too much about government spending. “Government debt is twice as large a share of the economy as it was before the financial crisis. In addition to increasing the risk of another catastrophic financial crisis, high government debt squeezes out other functions of government, creates pressure for higher taxes, leaves policymakers less able to respond to future recessions, wars, and terrorist attacks, and lowers future wage growth. This problem will only increase as entitlement spending growth kicks into high gear a few years from now, but simply stabilizing debt/GDP in the mid-70s is an insufficient goal. Don’t rest on your laurels because deficits are smaller than they used to be. High government debt is a big problem.” Why high government debt is a problem

The Economy

The 1970’s are coming… “Food and energy prices are rising, wages are flat and the top concern among Americans is unemployment. What was that word coined in the ’70s to describe a stagnant economy suffering inflationary pressures? Since the Obama “recovery” started 4-1/2 years ago, inflation appears to have been relatively tame, with core prices climbing just 7% from June 2009 to December 2013. But as CBS News discovered when it looked a little closer, the overall number is deceptive. In fact, it found food prices soaring. The official inflation data confirm this. Overall, food prices are up 9% since June 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the cost of many staples is skyrocketing. Pork prices have climbed 14%; poultry is up 12%; eggs, 27%; milk, 20%.” Stagflation, Anyone?

Foreign Policy

“A guy in The Wall Street Journal yesterday had a question about the secretary of state that I feel qualified to answer. “When John Kerry speaks,” Bret Stephens wrote, “people wonder: Is he seriously clever or totally oblivious? Profound or void? Detective Columbo or Chance the gardener?’ The answers are: totally oblivious, void and Chance the gardener. But Stephens is posing the wrong questions here. It’s not his fault, because you’re supposed to take a guy with Liveshot’s supposedly impeccable resume seriously. But the fact is, Kerry is an empty suit’s empty suit, and the only thing about him that should be taken seriously is his career as a gigolo.” Carr: John Kerry is ‘totally oblivious’ and totally loving it all

“They called it “leading from behind.” In normal English, it’s “retreat.” Are they pleased with the results?  As America withdrew from the world, we got new wars.  Terrible wars, complete with weapons of mass destruction (Syria), ethnic and tribal slaughter (Nigeria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran), a revived al-Qaeda (whether “core” or “peripheral”), and growing involvement of the likes of Moscow and Tehran in areas where we used to have something to say.” The Lights Are Going Out. Or Is It On?

Welcome to the results of Obama’s foreign policy. “A militant Islamist group has warned tourists to leave Egypt and threatened to attack any who stay after February 20, raising the prospect of a new front in a fast-growing insurgency in the biggest Arab nation. The Sinai-based Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis group, which claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed two South Korean tourists and an Egyptian on Sunday, made the statement on an affiliated Twitter account.” Egyptian militants warn tourists to leave or face attack

Green Energy

“President Barack Obama is a masterly practitioner of the occult art of single-entry bookkeeping. Consider his speech today, in which he praised the fuel economy of a new “super truck,” making the point that, since most U.S. freight moves in trucks, lower operating costs for freight operators should in theory mean lower costs for consumers. And he would have a point — if that fuel-economy technology were free. It is not. It costs money to develop. It costs money to deploy. Where it adds to the price of a vehicle, it also adds to ownership costs such as insurance and taxation.” The Problem with ‘Super Trucks’

Hillary

“The U.S. antagonized ‘Canada, for God’s sake. Canada, of all people…’” Krauthammer: Hillary Achieved Nothing As Secretary of State

Hollywood

“Once again NBC ditched Jay Leno for a trophy comic. This despite Jay’s consistent ratings dominance. NBC hopes Fallon will hold Leno’s audience and not become Conan 2. The current late night landscape is populated by 19 comedy/talk shows. Leno was the Everyman, the flyover fave. He was middle of the road, less ironic than David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel. The Caesar salad to their kale. And the only one willing to launch comedic drones over the current West Wing. His competitors haven’t exactly hammered President Barack Obama, hardly a smidgen. The paucity of Obama jokes is the dog that didn’t bark. Like their news anchor counterparts, our hosts go gentle into that late night, despite the target-rich environment of this administration. With his pen and phone, our selfie-absorbed president is one whacked uncle away from appointing himself Supreme Leader.” Johnny Carson’s Head Writer: Late Night Comics Protect Obama

IRS

Only when those on the Left jump on board to criticize something the government is doing do the complaints become legitimate. “The American Civil Liberties Union said it “could pose a chilling effect on issue advocacy” to the disproportionate detriment of “small, poor nonprofits that cannot afford the legal counsel to guarantee compliance.” Labor unions, which do not fall under the regulations, fear that someday they will be included. The simplest way for nonprofits to stay out of trouble, of course, would be to simply shut up. So the likely — and unhealthy — consequence will be to reduce the amount of advocacy and educational information available to the public, not only about elections but about all sorts of policy issues. That’s reason enough for the IRS to scrap the proposal and start over. In guaranteeing freedom of speech and freedom of the press, the First Amendment was meant to promote an informed, aware and engaged citizenry. This rule would do just the opposite.” Editorial: The IRS targets political speech again

Jobs

“The Obama administration might cheer the loss of 500,000 jobs as a welcome release from “job lock,” but I doubt that anyone else would take that view. Preventing low-wage earners from finding employment has particularly diabolical consequences. Minimum wage jobs are typically entry-level. Once a person gets an entry-level job, he can work himself up the ladder. But if a person is frustrated from getting that first job by misguided government policies, he could be faced with a lifetime of welfare, crime or dependence. The social costs of preventing hundreds of thousands of Americans from finding entry-level employment are literally incalculable.” The CBO’s New Report on the Minimum Wage

“CBO — officially the nation’s trusted green eyeshade when it comes to measuring legislation’s impact on the federal budget and the economy — supported the administration’s economic assertions that raising the minimum wage would lift incomes, boost growth, and reduce poverty. But the 39-page report caught the White House by surprise. It said such legislation could reduce employment slightly — or perhaps more considerably (by up to 1 million jobs). CBO tried to settle its own computational quandary in the middle, by saying a hike to $10.10 an hour would reduce employment by ‘roughly 500,000 workers in the second half of 2016.’” Wage Hike Job-Loss Estimates Irk White House

Media

I’ve felt this way about O’Reilly for years. “He inflated his own interview with Barack Obama, which scarcely broke any new ground, into the confrontation of the century and continues to auction off his scrawled notes for the event as if they were the Gettysburg Address.  But that’s the least of it.  Always testy, he has started to become genuinely abusive of his guests.” Bill O’Reilly Does Not Look Out for Me (Anymore)

Obamacare

Lovely. In a nutshell, big government forcing big insurance to do things that big insurance knows won’t keep them in the red forces the tax payer to subsidize big insurance. This: “Industry sources tell the Washington Examiner’s Susan Ferrechio that the Barack Obama administration is thinking of extending the Affordable Care Act’s “risk corridors,” the federal reimbursement program for health-insurance companies that lose money by participating in the newly created health-care exchanges. This is not the first time we’ve seen this idea floated, and frankly, believing that the administration is considering it is all too easy.” And this: “Hey, Democrats don’t represent the taxpayers, they represent the tax-consumers, so it’s all fine.” THESE ARE NEVER HAPPY SURPRISES, ARE THEY? Obamacare’s Latest Surprise for Taxpayers?

“Many hospitals in the 25 states that rejected the Medicaid expansion are facing similar financial problems. Liberal administration ally Think Progress has already faulted Georgia for not expanding Medicaid as Obamacare envisioned. But the reality is more complicated. The federal government has historically made payments to hospitals to cover the cost of uninsured patients seeking free medical care in emergency rooms, as federal law mandates that hospitals must care for all patients regardless of their ability to pay. Because the Affordable Care Act’s authors believed they’d forced all states to implement the Medicaid expansion, Obamacare vastly cut hospital payments, the Associated Press reports.” Fourth Georgia hospital closes due to Obamacare payment cuts

Our Military

“He said certain military members should be compensated more so that they don’t have to rely on other forms of government assistance. Regardless of who is utilizing this program, Hegseth said, “It’s not what this country should be giving back to those who have given so much.” Number of Military Families on Food Stamps Has Nearly Doubled Since Obama Took Office

Politics

“None of the heavy hitters in the top 10 were Republican (three organizations in the top 10 were on the fence). A Republican-leaning organization did not make an appearance on the list until number 17.” None of the Top 10 Biggest Political Donors are Republican

President Obama

“If George W. Bush had decided to issue congress-be-damned executive orders or agency authorization decisions concerning such major areas as immigration, health care, guns, minimum wage, wind farms, global warming, presidential records, natural gas, government travel expenses, establishing bureaucracies, Libya, abortion, pursue accession to the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention, Benghazi – – and this is just a sampling – – he would have been vilified and criticized ad nauseam until Congress acted, which ultimately means by impeachment proceedings.” Not to Impeach is Racist

Unions

Freedom. “Despite the UAW’s attempt to do for the South what it has done to Detroit, the South can continue to practice entrepreneurial federalism. Capital is mobile. It goes where it is welcomed and stays where it is well treated, so states compete to create tax and regulatory environments conducive to job creation. Liberals call this a “race to the bottom.” Conservatives call it a race to rationality.” Breaking the grip of the unions

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Filed under 2014 Elections, Big Government, Charles Krauthammer, Climate Change, Debt, Economy, Elites, Foreign Policy, Green Energy, Hillary, Hollywood, IRS, Jobs, Obamacare, President Obama, Terrorism, The Left, The Media, Unemployment, Unions, War on the Military

News and Commentary for February 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