Category Archives: Unions

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 18

I had my number 15 tooth pulled today. This is how I feel.

I had my number 15 tooth pulled this morning. And this basically sums up how I feel.

Stories of the Day

A depressing must-read. This: “America is unraveling at a stunning speed and to a staggering degree. This decline is breathtaking, and the prognosis is dim. And this: America is a total mess. The Land of the Free is governed by an out-of-control egomaniac, neither bolstered by managerial competence nor hindered by the legislature’s institutional prerogatives. In the Home of the Brave, half of Congress cheers Obama’s unconstitutional behavior, while the other half grumbles and then meekly carpet-bombs his path with white flags. The American people have been betrayed — both by Obama and the Democrats, whose lust for control intensifies daily, and by Republican leaders in Washington, whose cowardice and defeatism have turned their guts and spines into tapioca. America, as Paul Simon sings, is slip-slidin’ away. And the worst part hasn’t happened yet.” The United States of Decline

They know better than us. And they look down their noses at us. “The roots of American liberalism are not compassion, but snobbery. That’s the thesis of Fred Siegel’s revealing new book, The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class.” The Failure of Obama’s Aristocracy of Merit: The liberal elite believe they are uniquely fit to govern; their policies discredit that claim.

Where’s the rest of the media on this? “A tipster tried to warn the Labor Department in 2011 that its unemployment statistics were being fabricated by the people at the Census Bureau who compile the data. But the warning was either missed or ignored by Labor. That allegedly allowed the data falsification to go on for years. As I’ve been telling you, the falsification is now the subject of a number of investigations, including one by the House Oversight Committee and Congress’ Joint Economic Committee.” Censusgate: When and what did Labor know?

If you encourage “class warfare” this is what you get. “Google’s corporate mantra may be to do no evil, but to a determined band of activists in San Francisco the company could just be the devil incarnate. Corporate buses that Google and other tech companies lay on to ferry their workers from the city to Silicon Valley, 30 or 40 miles to the south, are being targeted by an increasingly assertive guerrilla campaign of disruption. Over the last two months, a groundswell of discontent over the privatisation of the Bay Area’s transport system has erupted into open revolt. Well organised protesters have blocked buses, unfurled banners and distributed flyers to tech commuters who have seemed either nonplussed, embarrassed or downright terrified. And this could be just the beginning. “We’re in the planning process for the next protest,” one of the organisers, Erin McElroy, told the Observer. “We’re trying to stay creative with each one, not just repeat over and over.” San Francisco’s guerrilla protest at Google buses swells into revolt: Campaign against tech giant pricing ordinary citizens out of the housing market becomes increasingly disruptive and forces city to act

A companion piece to the above post. “In 1950, nobody thought Detroit — by many measures then the world’s most prosperous city — would end up a half-abandoned, bankrupt, violent basket case. Nobody thought that U.S. automakers would be so inept as to fail to keep up with Japanese and European competitors, that their unions would be so corrupt and rapacious, or that the city of Detroit would slide into Third World standards of municipal governance. But bear this in mind: The automakers had large, expensive factories in Detroit. Their capital was physical. Sure, Google and Apple have real estate and physical infrastructure in California, but high-tech firms are much less tied to the land than were their industrial-age competitors. California’s cities are falling to bankruptcy and fiscal crisis like water dripping in a sink. Meanwhile, the local radicals, driven by envy and ideology, have taken to accosting Silicon Valley engineers at their homes. The companies are responding with increased reliance upon private security forces. But there are other possible responses, such as relocating to where they are more welcome. Is San Francisco the progressives’ best counterexample to the devastation in Detroit? Ask again in 20 years.” The Golden Gated Communities

Arizona

Apparently Ann Kirkpatrick is now wagging her finger at something SHE voted for. This: “In the last couple of days, the political press has introduced us to the Democrats’ emerging strategy for the upcoming midterm congressional elections. They will be running as the arsonists who can be trusted to put out their fire. They are being less explicit about the first part, of course. The New York Times has a story that exemplifies the cognitive dissonance. It begins with a campaign ad by Democratic Representative Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona trumpeting the fact that when the Healthcare.gov website sputtered out of the gate, she wagged her finger at it.And this: “In one sense, it’s encouraging that Democrats are kinda-sorta confronting reality. But in another sense, this follows the classic storyline of American liberalism. Progressives animated by ideology, ignorant of policy and economics, and filled with contempt for the voters institute leftist policy. The policy is, unsurprisingly, a wreck. As others attempt to clean up their mess, liberals intervene to promise to fix what they’ve done, usually through yet more state coercion.” ObamaCare Supporters Swear They Can Be Trusted This Time

I bought a loaf of bread yesterday. Slices are now the size of cracker. And have you noticed how small crackers are getting? “It’s is not her imagination. While the government says prices are up 6.4 percent since 2011, chicken is up 18.4 percent, ground beef is up 16.8 percent and bacon has skyrocketed up 22.8 percent, making it a holiday when it’s on sale. “Oh my god!” Singer said as she spied bacon for $3. “The things that are going up in price are the things I absolutely need to buy,” she said. “It’s the meat, it’s the milk, it’s the eggs and it’s getting out of hand.”” Food prices soar as incomes stand still

The intent is to have more folks looking to the government for help. “Since the 1960s, the progressives have waged war against “middle class morality.” What better way to undermine it than to get rid of the middle class?” HOW’S THAT HOPEY-CHANGEY STUFF WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Joel Kotkin: The U.S. Middle Class Is Turning Proletarian.

Common Core

Criticism from the Left. “Now comes “an acclaimed high school principle” from Long Island Carol Burris, who states flatly that Common Core is a “disaster.” “We see kids,” Burris added, “they don’t want to go to school anymore.” Common Core Gets Knocked –By The Left

Economy

The people give the Stimulus an F. “Another way to look at whether the stimulus has worked or not is to measure it against the impact the administration said it would achieve. If you remember, back in 2009, Christina Romer, then the chair of the CEA, made the case to the White House and Democrats in Congress that if the gigantic bill were adopted, it would prevent unemployment from 8 percent. Well, the bill passed, the spending machine was activated, and unemployment swelled all the way to 10 percent, and stayed there for a significant number of months. Five years later, unemployment rates have finally come down, but many economists agree that the drop has a lot to do with people giving up on looking for work. The lucky ones who have actually gone back to work have often settled for part-time jobs and lower pay. Whether this chronic under-employment can be described as “a success” is up for debate especially since its long-term negative consequences can be significant.” Five Years of Stimulus

Elections

We need to stop being the Charlie Browns to the Lucys. This: “Now the same people who got us into this mess are telling us we should go along and trust them to fix the same damn problem that they created in the first place. Liberals are the Lucys of American politics, holding the football and promising that this time it’ll be different. We need to stop being the Charlie Browns.” And this: “If the rules of the game are now that there are no rules, then the only political currency is raw power. But we know what happens when there are no rules, where pure power is the sole measure of right and wrong. I served in countries like that. They are full of mass graves. The American system’s strength is not that everyone always wins. It is that the system cultivates our ability to lose gracefully, to understand that you were heard, that you had your say, that there was a process, and that you lost fair and square. It sustains itself by reinforcing its own legitimacy. But if your losses aren’t fair, if you haven’t been heard, if the rules have been bent or broken or ignored, that crucial legitimacy is gone. And then there are no rules to respect. What keeps this grand experiment in freedom going is that we honored, at least until now, our Constitution’s boundaries. Sure, we pushed at the edges, nudged the envelope, sometimes fudged the line, but what is happening now is different. What’s happening now is that the line is being erased.” Failing Liberals Turn To Oppression To Hold On To Power

This: “There’s been a series of good articles this week providing ample evidence that, for the most part, unions’ main goal is to promote the survival of unions themselves rather than the interests of working-class Americans. Take this weekend interview in the Wall Street Journal of Eva Moskowitz, a “Democrat and educational-reform champion who runs the city’s largest charter network.” As it turns out, Ms. Moskowitz has become Enemy No. 1 of the new mayor, Bill de Blasio, and the teachers’ unions. Why? Because she’s New York’s most vocal advocate of charter schools and a hero to thousands of lower-income parents in the city. The track record of the 6,700 students of modest means who attend her network of mostly non-unionized 22 schools speaks for itself. And this: “Unfortunately, public-sector unions are thriving – especially compared with private-sector unions. According to a recent BLS report about public and private sector union membership in 2013:

  • “Public-sector workers had a union membership rate (35.3 percent) more than five times higher than that of private-sector workers (6.7 percent).”
  • “Within the public sector, the union membership rate was highest for local government (40.8 percent), which includes employees in heavily unionized occupations, such as teachers, police officers, and firefighters.” It’s time to dismantle public-sector unions and to hold lawmakers accountable for the bad decisions they make to placate or please their union donors.” Unions: America’s Biggest Political Donors

It’s time to dismantle public-sector unions and to hold lawmakers accountable for the bad decisions they make to placate or please their union donors.” Unions: America’s Biggest Political Donors

“Last week The Gateway Pundit reported the “Evil” Koch Brothers Rank # 59 in political donations behind 18 different Democrat unions. But, there’s more… The political left always accuses the Republican Party of being the “party of rich guys.” It’s a lie. According to analysis from the political donation website Open Secrets:

A) Since 1989 Top DNC Donors have spent a total of $1,152,389,462.00 (With a B)
B) Since 1989 Top RNC Donors have spent a total or $736,075,110.00 (With an M)
C) Committed Democrat donors have outspent committed Republican donors by nearly $486 million since 1989

t: “The arguments by Democrats that the RNC is trying “buy or rig elections” are utterly false.
The Republican Party is the party of the middle class. What the party of the KKK, Jim Crow, Al Capone, Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger, Robert Byrd, and Barack Obama really fear is legitimate competition.” The REAL Party of the Rich Guys: Top Dem Donors Have Outspent Top GOP Donors by $486 Million in Last 25 Years. And, the top ten DNC donors outspent the top ten RNC donors by nearly 2 to 1 since 1989!

Hillary

Yes, Hillary’s past does matter and here’s why. “In the 2012 presidential race, for example, many in the press were very interested in business deals Mitt Romney made in the 1980s. In the 2004 race, many journalists were even more interested in what George W. Bush did with the Texas Air National Guard in 1968, as well as what John Kerry did in Vietnam that same year. And in 2000, a lot of journalists invested a lot of time trying to find proof that Bush had used cocaine three decades earlier. So by the standards set in coverage of other candidates, Clinton’s past is not too far past. That’s especially true because there will be millions of young voters in 2016 who know little about the Clinton White House. Americans who had not even been born when Bill Clinton first took the oath of office in 1993 will be eligible to vote two years from now. They need to know that Hillary Clinton has been more than Secretary of State.” Why Hillary Clinton’s past is fair game in presidential race

Hollywood

Just say no. They want everyone else to pay more in taxes except for themselves. Don’t they see the hypocrisy of this? Hollywood asks California to cut taxes — for the film industry

The Left

Endoctrination. “A textbook at the University of South Carolina is teaching kids that Ronald Reagan was a sexist and conservatives are judgmental.” UNIVERSITY TEXTBOOK Claims Reagan Was Sexist; Conservatives are Judgmental

Those on the Left must have slept through their math classes too. “Note, too, that for Ornstein’s proposal to mean what he thinks it means, the 5% has to be a real rate of return. I am no finance guy, but it was immediately obvious to me that Ornstein’s numbers are ridiculous. If you could turn $3,500 into $700,000 in 60 years at 5%, I wouldn’t be practicing law these days. As Rocky said to his two goldfish, “If you guys could sing and dance, I wouldn’t be doin’ this.” Money, unfortunately, does not sing and dance as hypothesized by Ornstein. But, as our reader says, this kind of magical thinking on the Left is not unique to Ornstein. On the contrary, an inability to understand the most basic principles of arithmetic constantly dogs liberals. How else did we get Obamacare? Moreover, Ornstein was not alone. Didn’t National Journal have an editor who read the piece and said, “Whoa! $3,500 to $700,000 at 5%? Did you check the math?” Maybe there was no editor, because that is how things are going these days in the “mainstream” media. (We don’t have editors either, but if I write something stupid I will hear about it from Scott. Or Paul or Steve.) More likely there was an editor, but he too was a magical thinker when it comes to arithmetic. This is a big problem on the Left these days, and one of many reasons why you should treat liberal claims of government panaceas with a high degree of skepticism.” To Liberals, Arithmetic Is Magical Thinking

The Media

Welcome to Breitbart’s world! We need more of you, all over the world. “‘They’re not interested in “constructive dialogue”,’ he said. ‘Don’t you get it? If you extend any sort of olive branch to them they’ll see it as a sign of weakness and move in for the kill. I dealt with exactly the same people — the Socialist Workers’ Party, the Anti-Academies Alliance, the National Union of Teachers — for most of my ministerial career and, believe me, they would rather stick pins in their eyes than admit they have common ground with someone like you. Their attitude to free schools is the same as their attitude to academies: they won’t rest until every last one has been razed to the ground.’” Andrew Breitbart’s War Comes to Britain

Minimum Wage

Not surprising. “Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 will cut about a half-million jobs out of the economy by 2016, according to a new Congressional Budget Office report Tuesday that could deal a major blow to Democrats’ chief domestic agenda item this year.” Minimum wage hike would kill a half-million jobs: CBO

Obamacare

Do the Dems really think the people of this country are this stupid? (Emphasis mine.) “For a crystal-clear sign of the political woes Obamacare faces, look no further than the ad the Democratic House Majority PAC is airing in a majority-Hispanic south Florida district that Obama carried twice. The seat, represented by freshman Rep. Joe Garcia, is one of a small handful in the country that gave Obama a larger share of the vote in 2012 than in 2008—he won 53 percent last election. It’s also one of the media markets where the Obama presidential campaign spent millions of dollars in Spanish-language ads praising the law in unequivocal terms. This new ad, as part of the damage control, contains no such accolades. It promotes how Garcia “took the White House to task,” referencing its “disastrous” health care website. Like its counterparts, it argues Garcia wants to fix the broken law. Democratic strategists said that outside of the most liberal precincts, they can’t persuade people of the law’s benefits until they acknowledge its problems first. The Garcia ad shows that even in an Obamacare stronghold, where support for the law ran well ahead of its national numbers, dissatisfaction is creeping up. Indeed, The New York Times reported that uninsured Hispanics were signing up for the law at “strikingly” lower rates than anticipated. One Democratic operative involved in the race told me it was much harder to find nonpartisan Obamacare advocates to cheerlead for the law in South Florida this year—compared with 2012.” Democrats in Denial Over Obamacarea: Supporters of the health care law are convinced they can defend themselves on the issue. Don’t bet on it.

President Obama

Poll: 71% of Obama voters, 55% Democrats ‘regret’ voting for his re-election

But Senator Al Franken still popular. Obama job approval under water … in Minnesota

Tea Party

Senator Mike Lee for president! “Senator Lee, on the other hand, was terrific. His answers were crisp, direct, and articulate. He was principled without coming across as dyspeptic. He also helped educate both Mr. Becerra and the public by (to take one example) making the point that not all executive orders are created equal, thereby deftly answering the charge that because Ronald Reagan used executive orders more often than Mr. Obama, the latter has violated the constitutional less often than the former.” The Tea Party’s Gift to American Politics

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Filed under 2014 Elections, Arizona Politics, Big Government, Common Core, Economy, Hillary, Hollywood, Minimum Wage, Money in Politics, Obamacare, Senator Mike Lee, Taxes, Tea Party, The Left, Unemployment, Unions

News and Commentary for February 15 and 16

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

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

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

Stories of the Day

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

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

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

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

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

Afghanistan

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

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

Amnesty

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

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

Arizona Politics

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

Benghazi

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

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

Big Government

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

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

Climate Change

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

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

Communism

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

Debt

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

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

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

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

The Economy

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

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

Elections

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

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

The EPA

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

Freedom

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

Hillary Clinton

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

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

The IRS

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

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

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

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

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

Eric Holder

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

Medicare

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

Michelle Obama

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

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

President Obama

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

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

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

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

Obamacare

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

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

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

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

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

Unions

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

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

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

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

News and Commentary for January 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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