When will Morgan learn?
When will Morgan learn?
The question to Jay Carney came from Jim Acosta who works for CNN. And he wasn’t flattering The President:
This is an entertaining read. Thanks, Matt, for sharing it.
So opines Syahredhan Johan at The Star Online. The best part of the piece is, “The problem for Muslims in Angola is that according to Angolan laws, a religious group must have 100,000 members and must be present in 12 out of the 18 provinces. There are only about 90,000 Muslims in Angola out of a population of 18 million people, according to a report. As they failed to meet this requirement, Muslim religious groups are not recognised by Angola laws.”
Read the whole piece.
Go Debbie, Go!
Byron York’s piece at The Washington Examiner today begins, “In April, Real Clear Politics’ average of polls showed that 47 percent of Americans opposed Obamacare, while 41 percent supported it — a 6-percentage-point edge for opponents of the president’s health care law, which at the time was still months away from implementation.
“The latest average of polls, less than two months into the law’s rollout, shows 57 percent opposing Obamacare, with 38 percent supporting — an enormous 19-point gap between opponents and supporters.”
Those are the numbers; read the whole thing to ascertain their ramifications.
The story is from The Canada Free Press.
And so does the President. His heckler was planted–but don’t take my word for it; after you read the Rangel story, watch and judge for yourself.
Perhaps the Speaker will work to overturn Obamacare for personal reasons?
The story is from Politico.
As you read the story, ask, why? Morality isn’t a dirty word. Its presence might have prevented this.
Social conservatism, in other words, is a good thing.
Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Florida at age sixty-something, and Showtime had a great special cataloging her journey and determination. I was channel surfing today after walking the dog and came across it. It was inspiring. She demonstrated that accomplishing one’s dream is imminently possible irrespective of roadblocks.
The Showtime special didn’t focus on her sexual preference–in fact, unless I missed it while getting a cup of coffee, it wasn’t mentioned. If you Google her, though the message you’ll take away is that she’s a gay swimmer.
The message should be that one can succeed, period, if he or she is strong mentally. Nyad is a role model, not because of who her “partner” is, but because she accomplished what she wanted to. She proves that all of us, with hard work, can realize our dreams.
The mainstream press misses that, of course, because it celebrates all things non-conservative, and it looks for victims.
She isn’t a victim. She was determined to beat the odds, and she did. The rest of us can as well. The economy, for instance, may be challenging, just as the current in the ocean was for Ms. Nyad, but the human mind can overcome any roadblock.
…the Mullahs laugh at us.
Competent foreign policy matters. The United States, at the moment, has no competent leader, and Iran knows it.
It’s been reached. By us, at least. Iran continues to enrich uranium, so…that doesn’t seem like a deal. Stay with my Facebook page (key words “The Will Anderson Show”) to hear what the President is about to say.
I was watching Jimmy Carter’s famous “malaise speech,” and I was surprised at how reasonable he sounded compared to the White House’s current occupant. We’ve had faith, he said, and we’re losing it. “Not only in government itself,” Carter proclaimed, but “in the ability as citizens to serve as the ultimate rulers and shapers of our democracy.”
The obvious protests here start with the notion that we should have faith in government, and end with the ignorant claim that we’re a democracy.
Carter’s economic policies were abysmal, but this speech was unlike anything Obama has or will say. Carter, however misguided he was, was a man of character. Obama, in short, isn’t.
It’s worth watching; the best parts start at 1:21 and end at 3:32. Carter praises “hard work, strong families, close-nit communities, and our faith in God.”
There’s no mention of free phones or free health care.
Alabama, predictably, beat Chattanooga today, so we’re all smiling. This is not the moment to bring up politics, but it can’t go without comment that Coach Saban is a leader, as is evidenced by his post-game press conference. If only (I hate that phrase, but it fits here) the President could be the leader that Nick Saban is.
From The New York Daily News: “You gotta get ugly to recruit women into combat, a top female Army officer says.
“Col. Lynette Arnhart has declared war on featuring pretty women soldiers in Army public affairs materials — and Capitol Hill lawmakers are livid.”
As members of Congress find this outrageous, Hillary Clinton, who’s seeking to be the next Commander-In-Chief, has a real opportunity here to position herself as the perfect candidate able to recruit women into combat.
Today is the 50-year anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, of course, and The Pittsburgh Post Gazette published the speech the President didn’t get to give. President Kennedy was a wet-behind-the-ears commander-in-chief, but his heart was in the right place. I recommend reading his prepared remarks and contrasting them to the foreign policy mindset of the current occupant of the White House. The two men have nothing in common.
The Economist, once a reliable ally of the President, has changed its tune, as the cover story of its most recent edition indicates.
The Weekly Standard reports, “ It is Israel, not the great American superpower, that may well have to act to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”
We have known this, of course, for some time now. For background and context, read the whole piece here.
…comes from the always brilliant George Will.
From Al.com: “The Sigma Chi fraternity at Auburn University has been suspended over hazing allegations made earlier this semester, The Opelika-Auburn News is reporting.
“The board of directors for the Sigma Chi International Fraternity voted the suspension, which takes effect immediately and will last until January 2015.
“The report did not give details of the alleged hazing, but said it involved instances of personal servitude and long, late-night study halls.”
Having been in a fraternity, I have to concede that late-night study halls do indeed constitute hazing.
Did you know that Lee Harvey Oswald was a Communist? The New York Times and The Washington Post either didn’t, or chose to ignore the fact in their pieces on the assassination this week (he spent some time living in the USSR, for example, and attempted to migrate to Castro’s Cuba).
David Bernstein’s blog at The Volokh Conspiracy is a fascinating and enlightening read.
Obamacare enthusiasts continue to insist that Republicans simply want to repeal the bill, with no alternative. CNS News tells the truth: “Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) says increasing access to health care and lowering health care costs are at the heart of his bill that stands as an alternative to Obamacare.”
The story goes on to quote Representative Scalise saying that his plan would get “Washington politicians, IRS agents and all these other people out of those decisions between a doctor and patient. And what we do is just take commonsense reforms and allow people to buy across state lines so that they have more options in lowering the cost of health care, doing things like letting small businesses pool together and even letting families pool together within their own church groups and other organizations.”
Scalise has a hundred co-sponsors, including our own Representative Mo Brooks (click on the story to see the list of co-sponsors).
And they aren’t going back up. The story from The Washington Examiner begins, “Support for President Obama’s health care law has dropped 16 points in the past month — and that’s just among Democrats.
“The finding, from a CBS News poll, is one of several startling numbers from polls released in recent days showing rapidly eroding public support for Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment in the wake of its botched rollout.”
The piece runs the numbers with polls from CBS, ABC, Gallup, The Washington Post, and Time magazine.
The point is that Bush’s popularity did a permanent nosedive after Iraq, and Obama is likely going to suffer the same fate as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
It ends, “To be sure, there’s still nearly a year before the 2014 elections, so there’s time for public attitudes of Obamacare to change. But it’s no surprise that vulnerable Democrats are starting to get nervous.”
The only thing more amusing than the headline is the story. Read it here.
Take a look at Senator Obama during the Bush years arguing against the “nuclear option,” and then watch the President–the same man–applaud the Senate for passing it today.
And then ask yourself if Obama can be trusted.
Ms. Hopkins tells the story of her mother being forced from her private health care plan into Medicaid. Her premium went from $276 to $415.
Read the story here.
More lies from the administration. And the fact that Fox News is the only one reporting it is a tribute to Fox, and an embarrassment to other news networks purporting to be thorough.
This, from the Ludwig von Mises Institute, elaborates on what we talked about on the show tonight–i.e. WalMart is the apotheosis of the free market at work.
Nick Gillespie’s piece at The Daily Beast is bad news for Democrats next year.
“A new Quinnipiac Poll,” he writes “finds that only 36 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 approve of the job the president is doing while fully 54 percent of the kids give him the thumbs down (10 percent didn’t know or care enough to respond to the topic). Back in March 2009, 62 percent of 18 to 29 years approved, compared to just 20 percent disapproving.”
The numbers don’t lie, nor are they likely to turn around in Obama’s (and by extension his party’s) favor.
Over at National Review’s “The Corner,” Mona Charen writes, “No matter what you may think of our drug laws (I happen to think possession of drugs should be decriminalized), there is no question that Radel flouted the law. He offered, on the court house steps, that he hoped to emerge from this crucible ‘stronger,’ and ‘continue to serve this country.’ It’s all about his mental health, hisrecovery, his hopes. It should be about his duty to serve his constituents with honor.
Speaker Boehner issued a milquetoast statement dismissing Radel’s troubles as ‘a matter for the courts, his family, and his constituency.’ Not so. He should be pressured to resign his seat.”
Watch this exchange on Fox News this morning.
From Al.com: “Doug Hoffman, whose job in Alabama is to help people get enrolled in a health plan under the Affordable Care Act, says he would like to see a ‘work-around’ of the troubled healthcare.gov website.
“Hoffman, picking up on an idea from some major insurers as reported in the New York Times, said he would like to begin help processing applications with an assist from insurers — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama being the predominant one in the state. He said he has turned in 200 paper applications and have yet to get a response back.”
Folks are learning, firsthand, that statism doesn’t work.
John Hawkins wrote this piece last year, but it’s timely, given Bill Clinton’s attack on Obama today. The salient rule is number four: Make the enemy live up to [his] own book of rules.
The story at NJ.com begins, “Steve Schmidt, a senior advisor to U.S. Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid and New Jersey native, tonight called Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election campaign a model for the national GOP.”
You can read the whole thing, but you needn’t in order to be convinced that Christie isn’t the future of the Republican Party.
John Bolton’s assessment of Obama’s foreign policy is always worth the read.
Michael Barone, political exegete, writing at The Washington Examiner, begins, “Looking over last week’s referendum votes in the states, I believe I see a common thread in most — not quite all, but most — of the results. It’s similar to what I describe in a Washington Examiner column last June, in which I saw libertarian trends on marijuana, gay rights and gun rights. True, Colorado voters, who approved marijuana legalization 55 percent to 45 percent in November 2012, this time imposed a 25-percent tax on it. But this is justifiable for the same reasons that we heavily tax alcohol and tobacco — the substance is harmful to some folks, and we want to discourage overuse. It’s an attempt to encourage restraint in the exercise of liberty — and to fatten the public coffers at the same time.”
More and more, it seems as though libertarians and conservatives might reconcile simply because big government repulses both camps.
…with Bill evoking Alinksy’s rule number four: “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.”
His enemy, of course, is the sitting President.
Poor Hillary. She was poised to win in 2008, and then the first viable African American candidate came along. And now, argues Noam Scheiber at the liberal New Republic magazine, “With the Clintons’ penchant for melodrama and their checkered cast of hangers-on—one shudders to consider the embarrassments that will attend the Terry McAuliffe administration in Virginia—Clinton-era nostalgia is always a news cycle away from curdling into Clinton fatigue. Sometimes, all it takes is a single issue and a fresh face to bring the bad memories flooding back.”
Elizabeth Warren may not have Bill on her side, but Hillary is no Elizabeth Warren.
This is only a news alert to CNN. But at least they’re aboard the trolley of truth. We said this years ago.
The story is here.
Eureka! Reuters is skeptical of the mullahs. Perhaps the world isn’t coming to an end after all.
On Veteran’s Day, this is a story of hope–even if it comes from NPR, and it happened in England.
This is the ridiculous column from The Nation that I referenced on the show tonight. The whole thing is worth reading just for a laugh, with this, perhaps, being the best part:
“Conservatives across the country will be…disappointed by the compromises GOP governors must make. Some states could see more than one-third of the adult population on Medicaid. This is a huge, essentially irreversible increase in the role of government. Republicans must realize that this isn’t November 2010, when they might plausibly have overturned ACA in Congress or in the courts. That moment has passed too. Health reform is a reality. Too many individuals and constituencies are benefiting for this thing to be overturned.”
GOP governors, in other words, must acquiesce to the federal government, and foot the bill along the way.
Twitchy reports, “at a fundraiser in Texas last night, President Obama said his administration is ‘remaking the courts.’”
Read the whole predictably outrageous thing.
In case you missed it, from the AP: “Senators from President Barack Obama’s own party pressed him in person on Wednesday to extend the enrollment deadline for Americans to sign up for health insurance because of the malfunctioning website.
“Obama invited Senate Democrats facing re-election next year to the White House to discuss the problem-plagued health care rollout that could affect their races. The White House confirmed Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with 16 senators to describe fixes that are being made to the website for Americans to sign up for insurance under his signature health care law.”
They aren’t buying it any more than their constituents are.
Rich Lowry, writing at Politico, thinks so, with a little work–i.e. he’s going to have to become a conservative. Lowry sounds hopeful; the problem with the premise of his piece is that Clinton wasn’t an ideologue on his side of the isle. Still, It’s an interesting read.
We didn’t get to this on the show today, but it’s as important on the foreign policy front as is health care on the domestic front. To make a long story short, we have decided to lift economic sanctions on Iran (which are working) in exchange for the promise that they will slow down their “nuclear activity.”
Is anyone beyond the White House buying it?
The anecdotes of disastrous experiences on the ObamaCoverage front are adding up. Here’s one, and it’s not atypical.
Charles Krauthammer explains. Republicans should take notes.
…and it’s rather amusing, unless you’re the President:
This is a waste of time.
It’s a news alert from The New York Times! ”A regular bedtime schedule is unquestionably helpful for parents,” the story begins, ”but a new study has found it that it may be even more beneficial for their children.”
And perhaps it would be “helpful” for Nicholas Bakalar, the fellow who authored the piece, to get some rest.
The headline from Al.com is grotesquely misleading. We will be well represented. Read the story here.
So writes Avik Roy at Forbes. The story begins, “A growing consensus of IT experts, outside and inside the government, have figured out a principal reason why the website for Obamacare’s federally-sponsored insurance exchange is crashing. Healthcare.gov forces you to create an account and enter detailed personal information before you can start shopping. This, in turn, creates a massive traffic bottleneck, as the government verifies your information and decides whether or not you’re eligible for subsidies. HHS bureaucrats knew this would make the website run more slowly. But they were more afraid that letting people see the underlying cost of Obamacare’s insurance plans would scare people away.”
It’s fair to say that we’re being conned by the President. The piece is lengthy, but worth the read.
Charles Krauthammer got it right as he almost always does. Amnesty is going to be a Presidential priority in the wake of his political victory:
…and it’s fun to listen to.
In today’s New York Times, Kook columnist Thomas Friedman writes, “Whether they realize it or not, [young people are] the ones who will really get hit by all the cans we’re kicking down the road. After we baby boomers get done retiring — at a rate of 7,000 to 11,000 a day — if current taxes and entitlement promises are not reformed, the cupboard will be largely bare for today’s Facebook generation. But what are the chances of them getting out of Facebook and into their parents’ faces — and demanding not only that the wealthy do their part but that the next generation as a whole leaves something for this one? Too bad young people aren’t paying attention.”
So, if young people were paying attention, they would demand that the rich subsidize them so that they could hang out at home?
The Senate voted to pass the deal; the President then spoke tendentiously, and the House is now voting. Stay tuned.
UPDATE: The House, predictably, passed the bill as well.
UPDATE: Senators Sessions and Shelby and Congressman Brooks all voted “no” on the deal.
While we’re on ridiculous, there’s this.
This comes from Michael Kazin, writing at CNN.com. His thesis is that Reagan’s fear of Medicare’s capacity to bankrupt us was ridiculous. It’s worth the read, and guaranteed to make reasonable people laugh.
An excerpt from The New York Times story includes this:
“For the past 12 days, a system costing more than $400 million and billed as a one-stop click-and-go hub for citizens seeking health insurance has thwarted the efforts of millions to simply log in. The growing national outcry has deeply embarrassed the White House, which has refused to say how many people have enrolled through the federal exchange.”
All polls aside, this sort of thing from The NY Times is bad news for the White House.
Imagine this! The story is from the AP.
Among the guests Maher had this week was Chris Matthews. Watch this nauseating exchange between the two–it’s too good to miss.
The lament comes from MSNBC; their foot-stomping makes the case for the repeal of the 17th Amendment, which allows for the direct election of Senators, a mistake which weakened states’ check on the federal government.
Geoffrey Cowley, who wrote the piece, says, “In a national analysis, health care attorney and former HHS official Jay Angoff has identified four states (Georgia, Maine, Missouri and Ohio) that bar navigators from helping people compare the benefits of different health plans, as required by the Affordable Care Act. Angoff also cites 10 states (Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and Utah) where anti-Obamacare statutes could hobble private citizens’ efforts to help each other find coverage.”
The nerve of those states who refuse to acquiesce to Washington!
Federalism, at the moment, is on leave.
Yes, it’s true. A website that offers “free” samples (see here) is offering a bumper sticker, replete with the Red Cross logo, that says “Americans for OBAMACARE.”
I wonder if those dumb enough to order it have to give a credit card number?
The President has been multi-tasking lately; at home, he’s spooking markets. In the Middle East–Syria in particular–his proud weakness has spooked our allies, argued Dr. Krauthammer on Special Report tonight:
John Steele Gordon’s piece in Commentary magazine yesterday is a must read in the effort to combat the President’s lies about failing to raise the debt ceiling.
He writes, “A failure to raise the debt ceiling would prevent the government from borrowing that money. But it would not prevent the government from paying the interest on the debt, which amounts to only about 8 percent of revenues. Nor would it prevent the government from rolling over existing debt, which it does routinely.
“What it would have to do is prioritize what bills it pays, leaving some unpaid. Families often have to do this to cover temporary cash shortfalls and there’s not a reason in the world the treasury can’t do the same. It would be embarrassing, to be sure, for the richest country on earth to have to stiff a few creditors for a while, but it would not be a default and would have few if any global financial consequences. States often do this, including Obama’s Illinois, which has debt problems that make the federal government’s look like a day at the beach.
“So if this country defaults on its debt, it will be 100 percent the fault of President Obama. He has the power to prevent it. He needs only to exercise it.”
This is precisely the case Speaker Boehner needs to make.
…and he’s lying. Failing to raise the debt ceiling doesn’t have to result in not paying our “bills,” whether we’re talking about servicing the debt or sending out Social Security checks. His mendacious rhetoric only stands to scare the heck out of global markets.
I missed this, but it’s important. Obama has shut down the ocean.
No joke. The story is here.
If you’ve taken your blood pressure medicine today, check it out.
Check out just one example of the lies proliferating with regard to people wanting to–and being able to–sign up for ObamaCoverage.
Thomas Sowell, always brilliant, answers his own question, in part, this way:
“Since we cannot read minds, we cannot say who — if anybody — ‘wants to shut down the government.’ But we do know who had the option to keep the government running and chose not to. The money voted by the House of Representatives covered everything that the government does, except for ObamaCare.
“The Senate chose not to vote to authorize that money to be spent, because it did not include money for ObamaCare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he wants a ‘clean’ bill from the House of Representatives, and some in the media keep repeating the word ‘clean like a mantra. But what is unclean about not giving Harry Reid everything he wants?
“If Senator Reid and President Obama refuse to accept the money required to run the government, because it leaves out the money they want to run ObamaCare, that is their right. But that is also their responsibility.”
Read his whole piece here.
A must-read from Townhall.
Yet another school ignores the first and second amendments. The story is from the L.A. Times.
The 5th District is well represented.
Last night I had fun with Obama’s comparison of his health care plan to Apple–i.e. the former is perceived as free, while we have to pay for our iphones. Krauthammer, on Special Report tonight, made a similar argument:
The answers are mixed. Here in the 5th District, Al.com reports, “U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, will not take a paycheck during the shutdown, according to a spokeswoman.
“Brooks’ office provided a copy of an Oct. 1 letter to the House chief administrative officer requesting that his pay be suspended.
“‘I am choosing to forego my paycheck until appropriate legislation is enacted to allocate funds for government operations and the period of this government shutdown has ended,’ Brooks wrote.”
Click on the link above to see what other lawmakers are doing. Among the highlights, Senators Shelby and Sessions have declined to comment; Democratic Representative Terri Sewell won’t take a paycheck.
Why not? Arafat got it, and yes, Obama, whose negligence has brought about global chaos, won as well!
Read the story here.
Al.com reports, “Alabamians will have the fewest choices of insurance plans among the 36 states with federally run health care exchanges, according to information released so far by the federal government.
“People in Alabama will have an average of seven health plans to choose from on the healthcare exchange, excluding catastrophic plans available to young people, according to a report released last week. The national average is 53.”
Despite what the President claims, competition (surprise!) is waning.
If he said anything that wasn’t false, I missed it.
The Israeli Prime Minister was unambiguous today before the U.N. in his declaration that Iran’s nuclear aspirations won’t be realized, whether he has to go it alone or not. Watch:
But the funny part came today when Obama compared ObamaCoverage to Apple products. Really, Mr. President.
But I digress; read the Politico story that evinces the President’s stubborn refusal to “compromise.”
No joke, Reuters reports.
The Huffington Post can always be counted upon to give us a laugh, but Sarah Milstein has stepped it up a notch.
My favorite is number three: “Look for ways that you are racist, rather than ways to prove you’re not.”
Is the suggestion that feminists can be less racist by proclaiming that they are?
The whole piece, as you would expect, is kookism gone wild and well worth the read.
Mark Perry, blogging at The American Enterprise Institute, does a splendid job of cataloging, state by state, how ObamaCoverage is hurting the little guy.
And the headline comes from, of all places, CBS News. The story starts, “His approval rating among women has dropped since earlier in September, from 49 percent to 43 percent now.
“Positive assessments of the president’s handling of the economy has also dropped five points in the last two weeks, to 41 percent now. Just 40 percent approve of his handling of foreign policy, while 49 percent disapprove – the highest disapproval he has ever received on this measure.”
These numbers aren’t going back up, which is bad news for his party next November.
Blogging at The Weekly Standard, Lee Smith writes, “Iranian president Hassan Rouhani didn’t have to snub Obama yesterday by choosing not to meet with him on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting. But, as with Vladimir Putin’s victory lap op-ed in the New York Times, Rouhani chose to rub Obama’s face in the dirt because he could. Obama hung a ‘kick me’ sign on his back and Rouhani simply took him up on it.”
The whole thing is well worth the read.
And then Bill Clinton took off his early Halloween costume.
The serious story accompanying the headline is from The New York Daily News.
…who needs this? From CBS News: “Miami-Dade County is joining Broward County in a move to ignore Governor Rick Scott’s decision to ban healthcare navigators from state health department buildings.
“Mayor Carlos Gimenez told CBS4 that the county will welcome navigators with open arms as soon as the Affordable Care Act goes into effect.”
No thank you.
From Al.com: “Surrounded by about a 50 supporters Tuesday night, Dean Young looked most of them in the eyes and thanked them for helping his grassroots campaign reach a runoff with Bradley Byrne in the Republican primary race for the First Congressional District seat.”
Technically it wasn’t a filibuster, but it lasted just shy of 24 hours, and even the sagacious former prosecutor, Senator Ted Cruz, could only talk ObamaCoverage for so long. Watch as he reads, with sincerity, and in child-friendly fashion, “Green Eggs And Ham.”
The story is from Reuters: “A Russian parents’ committee has asked President Vladimir Putin to cancel a planned concert by gay musician Elton John, saying he intended to violate a ban on ‘homosexual propaganda’”.
Will Putin oblige? Probably. He’s, in our parlance, a bigot. Why do those on the American Left admire him?
That’s the headline from Andrew Bolt’s piece in Australia’s Herald Sun. Suzuki is an environmental kook (not a car, in this case), and Bolt adeptly exposes him.
Al.com lays it out in this must-read piece.
I’ve maintained that shutting down the government today would be well-received, and Harry Enten’s column in the Guardian corroborates the point. ”I would argue,” he writes, “that this looming shutdown will offer nowhere such a clear win for Obama and the Democrats as it did for Clinton.”
It’s an interesting and convincing read.
The AP reports that “President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton took to the same stage Tuesday to promote the new health care law that Obama championed after Clinton’s own efforts to reform health care years earlier fell flat.
“Joining forces under dimmed lights in a hotel ballroom in New York, Obama and Clinton laid out the law’s benefits and its connection to the economy while dispelling what they called disinformation about its downsides. Clinton, acting as host, lobbed the questions; Obama answered with the eagerness of a guest on a daytime TV talk show.
“It was a pair of presidents in dark suits, reclining on comfy, white chairs as they reflected on the effort that went in to passing the sweeping law, and the intense challenges facing its implementation. New exchanges where Americans can buy health insurance — a centerpiece of the law — open for enrollment on Oct. 1.
“‘I don’t have pride of authorship for this thing, I just want the thing to work,’ Obama said. He added that he was confident Americans will be swayed by its advantages even though polls show they’re deeply wary of the law. ‘The devil you know is always better than the devil you don’t know.’”
Something doesn’t make sense here. Bill and Barack aren’t buddies, and Bill intends to help his politically obtuse wife win The White House in 2016. Could it be that Bill wants ObamaCare to be rolled out as scheduled, so that its economic ramifications will have clearly manifested themselves by 2016?
Hillary, after all, is going to be dealing with Benghazi during her campaign; if she can run on the notion that she could have pulled socialized medicine off better than Obama, the thinking might go, she can obscure her foreign policy negligence.
The salient part of the piece is here:
“While fraud remains a concern, policymakers say the program’s biggest vulnerability is the subjective criteria that create a large gray area for applicants. A worker with physical impairments that are difficult to document precisely, like a bad back, can tolerate the condition while on the job but claim it as a reason to go on disability if he falls out of work for a prolonged period.
“Many recipients first go on unemployment, which can last a few months or even more than year. Disability, by contrast, can pay out benefits for decades. The vast majority of recipients never return to work.”
Yet another example of the time-honored maxim that people respond to incentives.
From The London Telegraph: “Ashraf Islam, 31, formerly known as Mark Townley, confessed to police he had ‘advanced plans’ to kill the Prince the day after he was arrested in May.
“Belfast-born Islam was held the day after Drummer Lee Rigby was murdered in Woolwich, and said the fourth in line to the throne ‘had blood on his hands’ after two tours of duty in Afghanistan.”
Read the whole thing.
This really is repugnant.
From Yellowhammer.com: “Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, says he has drafted a bill that would require individuals seeking welfare assistance to prove they have applied for at least three jobs before receiving benefits. He plans to pre-file the legislation before the 2014 session, which begins in January.”
The proposal seems reasonable.
The Washington Post, again, gives the President Pinocchios on this one.
I posted this on Facebook, but it’s worth re-posting here:
“I go again, with a prediction, based on an e-mail I got.
“Dear Will: Do you really think that Democrats in the Senate will vote to defund the health bill?
“Dear E-Mailer: Yes.”
Since the show ended, I’ve been relaxing a bit, watching The Food Network, Family Feud, and some news.
And I’m seeing an Al Jazeera ad everywhere I turn. In case you aren’t privy to the new network, take a look:
I got an e-mail not too long ago, the essence of which was that the country was sunk because our “youth” aren’t engaged.
My response was to direct the e-mailer to my good friend Cody Garton, the Director of Operations of Auburn Conservatives For Tomorrow Here’s a link.
Writing at Salon, Brian Beutler says, “If the Senate authorization fails, then the House is probably off the hook. If it passes, then I imagine John Boehner will have to rethink his role in the debate: He supports the strike, but isn’t trying to persuade any of his members to join him, and claims responsibility for GOP votes lies with President Obama.
“That won’t be a viable position if the fate of the authorization lies in the House and the House only. If Boehner were opposed to striking Syria he could maintain consistency no matter what happens in the Senate. But he doesn’t. And so if the resolution passes the Senate, he’s going to have to ask himself whether he’s comfortable with the idea of it dying in the House, because he, unlike Nancy Pelosi, couldn’t marshal his share of the votes.
“Maybe he’s fine with that. Personally, I think it would be the best possible outcome, for Congress, the White House and the country. But then those same narrative-starved reporters will have a new villain if the Assad regime responds to the development, as the administration has suggested, by launching more chemical attacks against the Syrian opposition.”
In summary, if the House votes not to go to war with Syria, and Assad executes another round of chemical attacks, Boehner–and by extension, the Republican Party, will be responsible for the deaths of more Syrians.
The problem with this, of course, is that quite a few Democrats will be voting “no” in the House.
A great primer on Obamacare, and health care in general, is available here.
…because she’s on the fence with regard to Syria. It’s fun to watch Democrats protesting themselves.
To those who think Jeb Bush should run for President, I offer this, from Breitbart.
From Pravda: “Last week the West focused on Syria and Putin focused on a better economy for the world. The Obama fly kept getting into Putin’s eye but he would knock it away when necessary. The question is why is Obama in any economic meeting? He can’t fix the economic debt in America. Even with a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate from 2008 thru 2010 nothing was done. He didn’t take notes at last year’s G20 in Mexico and I don’t see him being inspired by Putin’s economic strategies this year. Strategies like less taxes, no wars, etc… Obama’s Soviet mistake continues while Putin tries to improve the world.”
Besides the obvious, the word “Soviet” is curious.
Watch–it speaks for itself.
…on Meet The Press today, when she, in effect, said the same thing about Syria that the President said about his health care plan, when urging members of his own party in 2010 to vote for it: that they should put policy over politics.
Andy McCarthy at National Review sums up the dilemma with regard to Syria here, by pointing out the evils of both sides.
These are the ones who need to be voted out of office next year.
You have to read this story from CBS; it’s a story about illegal immigration.
From Investor’s Business Daily: “At the same time the IRS harassed Republican nonprofit groups during the 2012 political campaign, it selectively advised black churches and other Democrat nonprofits on how far they can go in campaigning for President Obama and other Democrats.
“This raw exercise in political favoritism has not been reported in the context of the still-smoldering IRS scandal, in which the agency in 2012 audited big GOP donors and blocked Tea Party groups trying to obtain tax-exempt status as part of what House investigators suspect was an effort to re-elect the president.
“But that same year, top officials with both the IRS and Justice Department — including the IRS commissioner and attorney general — met in Washington with several dozen prominent black church ministers representing millions of voters to brief them on how to get their flocks out to vote without breaking federal tax laws.
“The ‘summit’ on energizing the black vote in houses of worship was hosted by the Democrat-controlled Congressional Black Caucus inside the U.S. Capitol on May 30, 2012.
“The day before the special IRS training session, then-Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver predicted Obama would get 95% of the African-American vote — but only if black pastors “encourage” them to get to the polls. (He ended up getting over 93% of the black vote.)”
Preferential treatment on the race front, in other words, helped Obama’s re-election.
As I said on my show last week, I don’t think President Obama is a racist. But there is no doubt that he plays race to his advantage.
This is good news, from The Washington Post.
From Reuters: “U.S. President Barack Obama resisted pressure on Friday to abandon plans for air strikes against Syria and enlisted the support of 10 fellow leaders for a ‘strong’ response to a chemical weapons attack.
“Obama refused to blink after Russian President Vladimir Putin led a campaign to talk him out of military intervention at a two-day summit of the Group of Twenty developed and developing economies in St. Petersburg.”
To summarize Reuters’ version of things, Obama, the tough guy, stood down Putin, the lightweight.
If you missed this New York Times story, illustrating the complexity of the Syria mess, it’s worth a read.
Charles Krauthammer’s column in The Washington Post today is, well, brilliant as always.
Clete is a nice guy, but this column couldn’t be more wrong. Tune into the show tomorrow; we’ll chat about it.
The story is from the Huffington Post, and while it’s not official breaking news, if his aides are any indication, this is the end of the road for the Speaker. And that’s a good thing.
I’m a fan of De Niro, and I understand that he’s a kook, but really, this is over the top. From Newsbusters.
This is from CBS, and it’s a delightful read.
On Friday, we were going at any moment; on Saturday we were consulting Congress first (even though The President said he didn’t need them)…
So what will he do in the event Congress says no?
The story from Al.com begins, “Dwindling healthcare services in Alabama’s rural counties are hurting the regions’ efforts to attract new jobs and investment, according to a statewide panel of economic developers.”
Need I connect the dots here?
As we deliberate about Syria, there’s this, from Reuters: “Taliban fighters attacked part of a U.S. military outpost in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar on Monday, officials said, less than a week after targeting a Polish base in a nearby province.
“Attacks on Afghan security forces and civilians have also mounted this week killing dozens and adding to fears the drawdown of foreign troops, most of whom are due to leave the country by the end of next year, is allowing insurgents to regain lost territory.”
I look forward to a powerful statement from Secretary of State Kerry.
NRO is keeping us all updated on the fluid situation in Syria, and I’m not as certain, reading what I’m reading, that Congress is going to say no to a strike as I was on Friday.
From The London Telegraph: “Under the proposals new cars would be fitted with cameras that could read road speed limit signs and automatically apply the brakes when this is exceeded.
“Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, is said to be opposed to the plans, which could also mean existing cars are sent to garages to be fitted with the speed limiters, preventing them from going over 70mph.
The new measures have been announced by the European Commission’s Mobility and Transport Department as a measure to reduce the 30,000 people who die on the roads in Europe every year.”
Aside from the wince that comes across one’s face when reading this story, is it not arguable that automatic braking when a driver is flowing with traffic could lead to more accidents?
And he surprised the rest of us, too. The story, from USA today, is here.
But it might be tomorrow, or next week, or next month, he said.
He is also going to seek Congressional authorization, even though he said he didn’t need it. And he’s “confident” in striking Syria without the U.N.’s blessing.
That’s the headline from Nile Gardiner, writing in the London Telegraph, who points out that, to date, Obama’s Syrian war coalition consists of him and France.
From Breitbart: “Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said on Laura Ingraham’s radio program that House Speaker John Boehner’s speakership is in jeopardy if any form of amnesty, such as the Senate’s immigration reform bill, becomes law.”
Now that’s good to hear from Senator Paul. One can only hope the Speaker is listening, and taken Paul seriously.
The Wall Street Journal argues today that there is a realistic and potentially successful approach to military action in Syria.
We’re on day 113 of the IRS scandal, and the Tea Party is still being harassed, reports The Washington Times.
This column at Reuters completely misses the link between wages and productivity.
This isn’t my headline; it’s Ian Hurd’s, writing in The New York Times–and he’s not joking.
Huh?!? Irrespective of party affiliation, it’s troubling that this is happening on a college campus.
The speech, as always, was charming. But the motive was self-promotion. Listen closely as Clinton subliminally makes the case that he, and not the sitting President, can bring us all together:
The piece, about genetically modified rice, is at Slate, with the headline, “The True Story About Who Destroyed A Genetically Modified Rice Crop.”
You know when you’re agreeing with Dennis Kucinich, something’s awry.
Senator Biden on Iraq…
And Vice President Biden on Syria.
Before Andrew Young was U.N. Ambassador, he was the mayor of Atlanta (my hometown), where he was equally as ridiculous.
The Washington Times reminds us of why California might be a nice place to visit, but…
And Peter Beinart, writing at The Daily Beast, isn’t happy about it.
It’s always entertaining to see “civil rights” leaders butt heads.
…and I offer this, from Katrina Trinko at NRO, as evidence.
Tonight he correctly called the civil rights movement “intellectually bankrupt.”
The Republican National Committee commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March of Washington and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech with a luncheon Monday.
The most rousing speech of the luncheon came from Bob Woodson, the head of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprises. Woodson criticized black leaders over Trayvon Martin, the black Florida teen who was shot to death by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was acquitted in Martin’s death. Woodson, who is black, said groups including gays and immigrants have been prioritized over poor black people in American society.
“Everybody has come in front of them on the bus — gays, immigrants, women, environmentalists,” Woodson said. “You never hear any talk about the conditions confronting poor blacks and poor people in general.”
Al.com is reporting that “A parts manufacturer that is a subsidiary of South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co. plans to build a plant in Georgia…
“Hyundai Dymos will build the $35 million, 350-employee facility in West Point, Ga., where Kia operates an auto assembly plant, according to The Chosun Ilbo.
“Kia is an affiliate of Hyundai, which has its U.S. auto assembly plant in Montgomery. The two plants have spawned a network of numerous suppliers throughout Alabama and Georgia.
“The Hyundai Dymos announcement follows a visit to South Korea last week by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.”
It sounds like cronyism, to me. Why don’t we do away with Alabama’s state income tax? If we didn’t have one, with everything else being equal, I imagine we would have gotten that parts plant.
Will is brilliant:
Mark him off the 2016 list.
From CNN: “Republican lawmakers who suggest there are grounds to impeach President Barack Obama are focusing their energy in the wrong direction, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana said on Sunday.
“Jindal, a Republican, said GOP lawmakers should focus instead on getting rid of Obama’s signature health care law and promoting greater school choice for parents.
“‘Look, I reject that kind of talk,’ Jindal said of impeachment chatter, speaking on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’”
The entire piece from Jeff Jarvis in today’s Guardian needs to be read. It stings, beginning thusly:
“What are you thinking, Mr President?
“Is this really the legacy you want for yourself: the chief executive who trampled rights, destroyed privacy, heightened secrecy, ruined trust, and worst of all, did not defend but instead detoured around so many of the fundamental principles on which this country is founded?
“And I voted for you. I’ll confess you were a second choice. I supported Hillary Clinton first. I said at the time that your rhetoric about change was empty and that I feared you would be another Jimmy Carter: aggressively ineffectual.
“Never did I imagine that you would instead become another Richard Nixon: imperial, secretive, vindictive, untrustworthy, inexplicable.”
The story is at Salon.com: “The white conservative media believes it has its own Trayvon Martin in the case of Chris Lane, an Australian baseball player who was killed in Oklahoma, where he had been studying, by three black teenagers in an apparently random act of violence (note: there’s actually some question as to the race of one of the three teens, the driver, who faces lesser charges).”
The whole thing is not worth reading, but in the opening paragraph we see a perfect example of Liberal thinking. The victim of a murder is less important than the race of the person who committed the murder.
Oprah’s new movie is out, and The Miami Herald’s Leonard Pitts Jr.’s review observes that “while…grandparents may have come for Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker, what they have really come for, what they have brought their grandchildren to see, is The Truth. As in The Truth of How Things Were, and how that shades and shapes How Things Are.”
Translation: African American children’s hopes for a better future than their grandparents had are stifled by a movie starring a billionaire African American woman.
This is from NRO, and it proves Dr. Patrick Lappert’s point that most folks who go into medicine do so to help people–not to get rich.
A blast from the past: Ben Stein’s Diary, still a fixture at The American Spectator. Today’s entry is entitled, “I’m not afraid of the NSA.”
Ben maddens me sometimes, but he’s nailed this one.
Thank you again, Dr. Krauthammer:
Today’s lead editorial in The Wall Street Journal begins,”Washington finally declared a truce on the death tax this year, with estates now taxed at 40% with an exemption of $5 million. President Obama insisted on preserving this tax to spread the wealth, though it raises less than 2% of federal revenue and discourages lifetime savings, as even a 1981 study by Mr. Obama’s former chief economist Larry Summers showed.
“Now the death-tax debate has shifted to state capitals, with mixed results depending on which party runs the state. Prior to 2001, states could impose an estate tax of up to 16% with no extra burden on their residents because a federal tax credit offset state estate taxes. That policy has ended and now state death levies are paid out of the assets of the deceased.
“Four states—Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee—have reacted wisely by eliminating or phasing out their estate taxes. This leaves 18 states plus the District of Columbia that still impose a gift or estate levy. (See the nearby list.) Most of them still apply a 16% rate—as if federal rules haven’t changed.”
Remember the first rule of economics: People respond to incentives.
The title understates what happened. Watch:
The first line of a story from The Hill, two months ago: “Former Vice President Al Gore lamented on Tuesday that scientists ‘won’t let us yet’ link tornadoes to climate change.”
Headline at Al.com com, about fifteen minutes ago: “Tornadoes in decline for second straight year across nation, Alabama.”
I support your efforts to link the two, Mr. Vice-President.
From Politico: “New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says there’s ‘no question’ more people would die if the city’s next mayor ends the controversial stop-and-frisk policy, which a federal judge has struck down as unconstitutional.
“‘No question about it, violent crime will go up,’ Kelly said Sunday on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press,’ when host David Gregory asked if more people would die.”
The libertarian in me continues to rival my conservative impulses.
Joan Vennochi’s column in The Boston Globe today is an excellent summary of Obama’s failure on health care. There’s a reason, after all, that most Americans don’t like it.
The Des Moines Register reports that “Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts is traveling to Iowa on Sunday to check out the big boar and the super bull at the Iowa State Fair – and to size up whether Iowans might take a liking to him.
“‘I’m going to be coming out more often to try to determine whether there’s an interest in my brand of leadership and Republicanism,’ Brown told The Des Moines Register in a telephone interview this afternoon.
“Brown, 53, is also coming to see family – his wife, Gail Huff, a TV reporter, was born in Iowa and still has relatives in the Winterset area, he said.
“But any nationally-known politician who comes to Iowa, home of the nation’s lead-off presidential vote, is viewed as sending signals of presidential – or vice presidential – aspirations. Brown has yet to rule out running for U.S. Senate again or for governor of Massachusetts in 2014, according to The Boston Globe, but his name doesn’t often appear on top 10 lists of 2016 White House prospects.
“Asked about his presidential ambitions, Brown said: ‘I think a lot of people today, they live in a bubble. They live in their home state and they don’t leave their comfort zone or try to expand their knowledge or understanding of what’s happening around the rest of the country or in the rest of the world, in some instances.’”
This is code speak for being a Lefty on social issues. If the object is to beat Hillary, Brown is not the right candidate.
John Nolte at Breitbart writes, “With streaming television becoming more and more popular, and providers like Aereo making an end-run around cable and satellite providers, a lot of attention is being paid to the future of bundled cable. In a world of growing choices and a weak, jobless economy, how long can something last that charges customers a ton of money for dozens of channels they never watch?”
Wouldn’t it be rich if Obama’s wrongheaded economic policies killed MSNBC?
I just ran across this piece at Reason online. It’s an eye-opening read.
Mark Krikorian’s post at National Review’s “The Corner” blog is a must-read for those wanting to stay up on the latest clever coordinated effort to usher illegal aliens across the border.
The President’s column in the Boston Herald today included this line: “As any middle-class family will tell you, we’re not where we need to be yet. Even before the crisis hit, we were living through a decade where a few at the top were doing better and better, while most families were working harder and harder just to get by.”
Some were reading that as he was golfing on Martha’s Vineyard.
…here’s a portion of the Fox News expose on the food stamp bum out in California.
To those anxious to answer the claim that the IRS targeted liberal groups as well as conservative groups, Deroy Murdock’s column is good ammunition to refute the point.
Beyond higher taxes, food stamp debit cards, and the ACA, there is good old fashioned regulation to slow us down. Again, we’re making it–the success stories outnumber the stories of doom–but our President isn’t making it easier, needless to say.
We’ll be back on Monday. If you missed Wednesday’s show, it’ll run again tonight.
And we’ll be on Facebook all weekend.
The story is from Reuters (remember the whole “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” thing?), and the message is, in short, that Obama is weak.
Irrespective of his position on the NSA, this news makes me smile.
Jonathan Cohn’s piece in The New Republic begins, “The Tea Party movement got its start in February, 2009, when CNBC commentator Rick Santelli stood on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and went on a rant about government bailouts. But the movement didn’t really establish itself as a political force until that August, when conservative activists confronted Democratic lawmakers at town hall meetings across the country, in order to denounce health care reform.
“Four years later, it looks like conservative rabble-rousers are at it again—only this time, they’re not going after Democrats who believe in Obamacare. They’re going after Republicans who won’t shut down the government in order to block Obamacare’s funding.”
And your point, Mr. Cohn is…what?
Marc Thiessen makes the obvious case in today’s Washington Post.
Check out their website.
Try not to allow your blood pressure to rise as you read just the first part of this story from Reuters: “Congress has won some partial relief for lawmakers and their staffs from the ‘Obamacare’ health reforms that it passed and subjected itself to three years ago.
“In a ruling issued on Wednesday, U.S. lawmakers and their staffs will continue to receive a federal contribution toward the health insurance that they must purchase through soon-to-open exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law.
“The decision by the Office of Personnel Management, with Obama’s blessing, will prevent the largely unintended loss of healthcare benefits for 535 members of the Senate and House of Representatives and thousands of Capitol Hill staff.”
So is the President kissing (edit) so Congress becomes more compliant?
This story, from Breitbart, ought to elicit rebuttals on both sides of the isle from everyone who simply wants to accurately report the facts.
Brendan Kirby’s Al.com story starts, “A Syracuse, New York, native pleaded guilty Tuesday to a terrorism charge, admitting that he moved here and discussed carrying out violent acts in the United States before settling on a plot to join a jihadist movement overseas.”
“Here,” by the way, in case you missed it, is Alabama.
This story, from The Hill, illustrates why, in part, Romney lost the election.
The problem with Obama’s assertion is that he has closed a bunch of embassies. Following his line of reasoning, should we not restrict the use of cars?
I shouldn’t facetiously entertain the thought; the President might take it seriously.
Read about it and watch it here.
The Tea Party is, indeed, gaining momentum in challenging congressional RINO’s. In this case, reports Howard Fineman at the Huffington Post, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is the vulnerable one.
“Let’s cut to the chase,” Fineman begins. “The news from Fancy Farm, the big Kentucky political picnic, is that Matt Bevin — the tea party-ish primary challenger to five-term incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell – does not, at first glance, seem to be a kook, a crank or a lightweight.
“In fact, in his first major appearance on a political stage, the wealthy Louisville businessman — a native of New Hampshire who moved to Kentucky in the late 1990s — was poised, focused, and more than a little savvy about what he’s up against when he faces McConnell in the GOP Senate primary next spring.”
It’s a rhetorical question, but Jonathan Tobin’s piece in Commentary today offers additional evidence of just how much was covered up. Tobin quotes CNN’s Jake Tapper:
“Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings.
“The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.
“It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.
“In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, ‘You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.’
Another says, ‘You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.’”
There’s nothing fake or phony about that.
This piece from the U.K. register is neither satire nor opinion; it’s on the “science” page, and the above headline is as it appears in the paper.
This time the culprits are Governor Riley and Circuit Judge Robert Smith, appointed by Riley in 2006 to fill the vacancy left by retiring Judge Ferrill McRae. “Robert Smith has a solid legal background, close ties to the community and a strong work ethic,” Governor Riley said of the former Democrat at the time.
Today’s headline from Al.com is, “Judge rejects life sentence for Prichard man admitting to 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th crimes.” Michael Lee Smith (the bad guy) “had 23 previous convictions and a slew of other arrests when he admitted guilt last week to four more felonies – a quartet of third-degree burglary charges,” the story reports.
So what will his fate be?
“Based on Smith’s prior record, Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Matt Simpson on Thursday sought a life prison sentence. Circuit Judge Robert Smith rejected that, opting instead for a 20-year prison term with all but five years suspended. That term will begin sometime next year after Smith finishes the rest of his sentence on a previous charge.”
Thank you, former Governor Riley, for doing your part to keep Alabama safe.
The “living wage” notion is making a comeback.
It isn’t the 90′s anymore. For some Democratic voters, it is all about sex.
Jillian Kay Melchior at NRO explains–and her personal experience wasn’t an anomaly.
That’s the title of a blog at Slate by David Weigel, who seems to be saying that a new Lewinsky sex tape will help, not hurt, Hillary’s run for the presidency. Why?
Weigel explains, “The Lewinsky saga did not hurt Hillary Clinton. On the contrary, it lifted her poll numbers to the point where New York Democrats started sounding her out to run for U.S. Senate. A few examples:
“- The December 1997 NBC poll put Clinton’s favorable numbers at 45 percent. In October 1998 they were at 56 percent.
“- The January 1998 ABC News/WaPo poll put her favorables at 52 percent. By August, when Bill Clinton apologized for the affair on television, Hillary’s favorables had surged to 64 percent.
“Every poll revealed basically the same thing. Bill Clinton’s job approval numbers stayed steady during the Lewinsky affair, though his favorables sank. Hillary’s favorables increased. The mass-psychology reason for this is probably too obvious to get into, but it’s been forgotten—the public sympathized with Hillary.”
So, just as Eric Holder’s best hope for survival is to continue to change the subject from his real scandals to race, Hillary, in order to remain a viable candidate, needs Benghazi to be eclipsed by her husband’s dalliances fifteen years ago.
Or better yet, maybe he needs to have a high profile affair sometime in the next several months; if history is any guide, her numbers will spike. She is always most formidable when she’s the victim.
From The Washington Times: “A federal judge dismissed immigration agents’ lawsuit trying to overturn the administration’s non-deportation policies, arguing the court didn’t have jurisdiction because it was a personnel matter subject to collective bargaining.
“The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and officers had argued that federal law requires them to arrest any illegal immigrants they encounter, disputing President Obama’s guidance that told them only to arrest those illegal immigrants who appear to have serious criminal records.”
The Times’ story doesn’t mention that the Judge, Reed O’Connor, was nominated to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in 2007 by President George W. Bush, an amnesty enthusiast.
With Alabama’s new gun law, sponsored by Scott Beason, scheduled to take effect tomorrow, AL.com’s Evan Belanger has an excellent primer on what changes will go into effect. It’s worth the read.
The story is from Fox News; the letter from members of the Judiciary Committee is included.
Don’t expect outright condemnation of Obamacare in this piece; it is written by Howard Dean, after all, and roughly the first half of it praises facets of the ACA that will make one cringe.
But when Dr. Dean shifts to what in his estimation won’t work, the piece gets interesting. “One major problem,” he writes, ”is the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body. By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them.”
He–not me, or any other right-winger, uses the word rationing here. And he’s not done.
“There does have to be control of costs in our health-care system. However, rate setting—the essential mechanism of the IPAB—has a 40-year track record of failure. What ends up happening in these schemes (which many states including my home state of Vermont have implemented with virtually no long-term effect on costs) is that patients and physicians get aggravated because bureaucrats in either the private or public sector are making medical decisions without knowing the patients. Most important, once again, these kinds of schemes do not control costs. The medical system simply becomes more bureaucratic.”
So Obamacare, in it’s current form, will involve unelected bureaucrats unfamiliar with you and me, the patients, who gets what services. And if history is any guide, health care costs will continue to rise.
Again, that’s Dr. Howard Dean, not me, asserting that.
This is truly, truly, troubling. Rather than govern in a way that inspires confidence, the President, reports The Washington Times, is spending MORE money in an effort to convince us that he is competent!
Say it isn’t so! The story is from Reuters.
As the title here implies, Fred Singer at The American Thinker offers sound science contradicting conventional wisdom about sea levels.
At least one white person has been killed because of the Zimmerman verdict, reports the Washington Post. “A Bethesda man was beaten and robbed early Saturday morning in Adams Morgan by three men who yelled, ‘This is for Trayvon Martin,’ before attacking him, police said.
“The incident is being investigated as a hate crime and robbery, according to D.C. police spokesman Araz Alali.”
Forget the hate crime element; three men killed another man. Will this get significant media attention (kudos to the Washington Post for reporting the story), and will the President comment on it?
The answers, in all likelihood, are no, and no.
National Review’s Katrina Trinko introduces us to Matt Bevin, who is challenging Mitch McConnell from the right next year.
“Bevin [isn't] much pleased with today’s congressional Republicans. ‘Of 535 members of Congress, I would bet there are two dozen truly conservative people,’ he estimates. ‘We are not being well lead in either the House or the Senate in the Republican party.’ He does admire Senator Rand Paul (who has endorsed McConnell), and Senator Mike Lee of Utah, and, perhaps most of all, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. ‘I love Ted Cruz,’ he enthuses. Indeed, ‘someone like a Ted Cruz’ would be his dream pick for a Republican Senate leader to replace McConnell. ‘I think he could handle it. It would be refreshing.’
“In a heated primary, the outspokenly conservative Cruz beat Texas lieutenant governor David Dewhurst, who was the GOP-establishment favorite. The Cruz team slammed Dewhurst as someone who would ‘go along to get along.’ During his relatively short tenure in the Senate so far, Cruz has shown himself more willing to operate as a conservative outsider than a team player. That’s the kind of role Bevin envisions for himself if he is sent to Washington.”
And that’s PRECISELY what we need more of.
In his column yesterday, Bernard Goldberg stated the obvious: “President Obama wasn’t ad-libbing. He made the ‘phony scandals’ charge not once but three times – within a few days. And Jay Carney, the president’s Baghdad Bob in the White House pressroom, said it too. So no one slipped up here. This was part of a political strategy that had been given some thought.”
And it, unlike most things connected to this White House, is transparent.
The comment had to be repeated for emphasis to a rather persistent Chris Matthews on Hardball tonight (The link includes video).
This is a welcome wake-up call for Republicans, who need to concentrate on conservatives ideas, and forget about the youth vote.
Fox News reports, “The Obama administration dug in Sunday on its vow to reject proposed spending cuts by congressional Republicans in upcoming budget talks but declined to say whether the president would veto their proposals or allow a government shutdown.
“Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told “Fox News Sunday” that President Obama will neither sign government funding bills that slash domestic spending nor negotiate with Republicans over spending cuts to reduce the federal debt limit.
“However, he would not say whether the president would veto proposals and put the responsibility on Capitol Hill.”
I hate to continue being hard on the President, but where do you think he will place responsibility?
Dan Balz writes in today’s Washington Post, “From the moment Barack Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009, and every day thereafter, his team was always preparing for the 2012 campaign. Everyone said Obama’s 2008 operation had rewritten the book on organizing. But that was just a beginning, a small first step toward what the team envisioned when it began planning the reelection campaign.
“In one of their first conversations about 2012, campaign manager Jim Messina said he told the president that they could not rerun 2008. Obama seemed puzzled. ‘You know we won that one,’ Obama said. Messina said too much had changed. For one thing, Obama was now an incumbent with a record. But technology had also leapfrogged forward, with new devices, new platforms and vastly more opportunities to exploit social media. The whole campaign would have to be different.
“The president sent the team off to Chicago, far away from the hothouse of Washington and Beltway chatter, to use 2011 to build the foundation and reassemble the army from 2008. As the Republican candidates were gearing up and then battling one another through the summer and fall of 2011, the Obama team was investing enormous amounts of time, money and creative energy in what resembled a high-tech political start-up whose main purpose was to put more people on the streets, armed with more information about the voters they were contacting, than any campaign had ever attempted.”
So Obama rather confidently thought he could win again, despite the havoc he had wreaked upon the nation, and his team said, no, Mr. President, it won’t be so easy this time around–a reality he couldn’t accept at first. So, Balz confirms, the President turned his attention to the perpetual campaign. And he won.
He’s counting on that ground game to win Congress next year; the rest of us are counting on Conservatives to outsmart him–philosophically and strategically.
George Talbot’s column today at al.com could have been titled “Obama’s lies are hauntingly reminiscent of Nixon.”
It “bombed,” of course, because the President took credit for something that, as Talbot correctly points out, he not only had nothing to do with, but happened in spite of him. “Airbus,” Talbot writes, ”is the arch rival to Boeing Co., an American icon and the nation’s top exporter. Boeing shares a Chicago hometown with Obama, its top management enjoys special access to the West Wing and its labor unions twice helped to propel him into the White House.”
Phony scandals, Mr. President? No, they’re real, and they aren’t going away.
Phony credit-taking for jobs being created in Alabama? A resounding and unambiguous YES. The ultimate scandal is the ongoing smug hostility you have toward telling the truth, whether it involves jobs, the abuse of power, or the loss of American lives.
…and I didn’t hear an answer about which administration scandal was phony. Admittedly, though, I didn’t see all the shows, so I run the risk here of leaping to assumptions. I’ll be prepared for tomorrow night’s show, ready with an apology if someone related to team Obama explained himself.
We’ve reached the point where liberal columnists (and given their penchant for big government assuming the role of Daddy, they shouldn’t have a problem with this) should have a mandatory message preceding their piece saying something like “the following column isn’t satire, and reading it may lower your I.Q.”
The column that inspired my suggestion was written by Andrew O’Hehir and appears in Salon, a normally reasonable liberal online opinion journal (I know reasonable and liberal don’t go well together, but stick with me on this).
O’Hehir’s disquisition begins, “Two great American cities have now faced near-death experiences in the 21st century. While Detroit’s gradual slide into bankruptcy and the almost biblical inundation of New Orleans in 2005 look quite different on the surface, I’m more struck by the similarities. Both these tragic events were a long time coming. Only the earlier one involved a literal act of God – although the Almighty was goosed along a bit by rising carbon emissions and rising temperatures – but both could clearly have been prevented. Both tragedies were shaped by larger economic forces and historical trends that lay (or at least appeared to lie) beyond the control of individual politicians or policy makers. Then there’s the obvious but uncomfortable fact that both are cities with large black majorities, in a country where African-Americans are only about 13 percent of the population.”
If you yawned as you read, I’ll summarize in one sentence: Detroit and New Orleans have gone through hard times because black people live in both cities, and because of global warming. If you think I’m oversimplifying, go back and re-read his paragraph (a strong cup of coffee is recommended) and then re-read my succinct summary.
He concludes his angry, irrational diatribe with this: “I think the collapse of Detroit makes us look the way we looked after the national humiliation of Katrina: like a bitter, miserly and dying empire where the deluded rich cling to their McMansions and mock the suffering of the poor while everyone else fights over the scraps, and where the slow-acting poison of racism continues to work its bad magic.”
To give the author credit (and doing so requires an abundance of divergent thinking), Katrina could have been handled better, had state and local authorities been more efficient, and Detroit would be in better shape were it not for the prevalence of, among other things, irresponsible and impossible-to-meet union demands.
In neither city, though, is racism to blame. They’re apples and oranges in fact, unless race guides every opinion that one holds, which is apparently the case with Mr. Hehir.
Back in May, Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, was interviewed by the New York Times, and among the questions she was asked was, “What can we learn from Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment? “
Her answer: “Todd Akin is not an outlier. He made the mistake of actually laying it out there on a TV talk show. This type of discussion is pretty common in the House. When someone asks you, ‘Did the rape guy win?’ and you have to ask which one, that’s a bad sign.”
Most Republicans, in other words, are in alignment with Akin.
During the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Richards said, “Because of President Obama, soon women won’t be denied insurance because we’ve had breast cancer, or survived sexual assault.”
Late night hosts could have a field day here simply by asking if Weiner is an “outlier”–or the Mayor of San Diego–or for that matter, former President Clinton. If Akin speaks for the Republican Party (i.e. if all Republicans share his convoluted views about rape), then isn’t it only fair to assume that all Democrats are perverts, or condone Weiner and the rest of the Democratic sexual assault crowd?
Mario Loyola comments on the 60-year Korean War Armistice, saying, “The key mistake [on our part] was the decision to withdraw U.S. forces from South Korea in the two years before the Korean War started. Someone in the Truman administration should have realized that this decision made a North Korean invasion almost inevitable, and that a decision to defend the South after that would only maximize the loss of American lives and minimize the prospects for a favorable outcome. It made no sense to defend the South after an invasion that we could have prevented in the first place simply by making our intentions clear and leaving our troops in place.”
A sound analysis–and one that the current Commander-In-Chief could learn from, if he didn’t already think that he knew everything.
From AL.com: “Students seeking to transfer under Alabama’s new school choice law don’t have many private schools to choose from, at least so far.
“Only seven private schools have signed up so far to participate and take transfers under the Alabama Accountability Act according to Alabama Department of Revenue records. The number, unless it grows dramatically, means that most students in the more than 70 schools listed as failing by the law won’t have a private school option near them that they can attend with the help of state tax credits.”
With no offense intended toward Kim Chandler (who wrote the article), the empirical answer (based on other school choice programs) is that the market works, and if existing private schools refuse to accept promising students who can’t afford the tuition, new schools will pop up, eager to fill the gap.
I plan to invite Ms. Chandler on the show. I’ll keep you updated.
…writes Peter Beinart at The Daily Beast.
His reason? In two words, Bill Clinton.
“By any reasonable standard,” Beinart rationalizes, ”Weiner’s behavior is less damning than Clinton’s. Yes, Weiner committed adultery (of a kind). Yes, he repeatedly lied about it. Yes, he humiliated his wife in an effort to save his candidacy. Clinton did all that, too. What Weiner, in contrast to Clinton, has not done—as far as we know—is use his office to reward his paramours. He has not publicly besmirched their character. He has not asked them to violate the law. And he has not violated campaign disclosure laws in his effort to keep them silent. According to legal experts, he has also not committed sexual harassment.”
So, if you live in New York, a vote for Weiner might not be despicable, if legal experts are right.
Now as an overnight infomercial guy for fish oil (this isn’t new news, but I saw him on T.V. last night before I could change the channel after “Scary Movie”).
The jury is still out on whether or not fish oil increases the risk of prostate cancer, but there’s no doubt that Larry King’s best days are behind him.
Fox News’s Chris Stirewalt begins, “It may come as some unwelcome news to the families of the nearly 60,000 Americans who died in the Vietnam War that the whole thing was just a misunderstanding.”
It’s a great read.
The story from Al.com reports that “Auburn joins nearly 1,200 campuses across the nation with similar bans, but the University of Alabama is not one of them.”
As a lifetime non-smoker, the temptation is to say yes; as someone who winced when kegs were banned from my alma mater, I say, emphatically, “NO!” Students who smoke will continue to smoke; the effect of a ban will be little more than preparation for a Bloombergesque nanny state. Part of going to college involves learning to live in the real world. Do we want our students to move to New York, where the authorities will take care of them?
A partial transcript from his comments last night at the end of his show follows:
“There are too many people on the American right who hate the very notion of Barack Obama in the White House. It grates on them, just as it thrills – even now – tens of millions of others.
“They hate not just his politics but him.
“Think about all the days we have known him – from way back when he gave that breathtaking speech at the 2004 convention? Was there ever a time in all those days and weeks and months and years since that his haters on the right have stopped in their tracks and said, ‘Well, good for him. I liked the way he did that.’
“Think hard. Have his haters ever stopped hating him?”
The answer is that Obama was, in fact, quite likeable, even though his policies weren’t, until recently. When it became evident that he was using the power of the presidency in ways not seen since Nixon, his personal numbers started falling to levels roughly equivalent to his policy numbers.
His “haters,” as Matthews puts it, include more and more non “people on the American right;” the President’s lack of forthrightness with the nation where real (not phony, as he and Carney insist in unison) scandals are involved has hurt him. And that would be true at this point in the presidency of anyone whose record was miserable and whose character was questionable.
The Senator from Texas continues to impress. Story here.
The story is from Daniel Halper writing at The Weekly Standard’s blog. And it’s not a joke.
“The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to mark ‘World Toilet Day.’ The day will be celebrated November 19.
“‘The amusement and laughter likely to follow the designation of 19 November as ‘World Toilet Day’ would all be worthwhile if people’s attention was drawn to the fact that 2.5 billion people lacked proper sanitation and 1.1 billion were forced to defecate in the open, the General Assembly heard today,’ a U.N. press release reads.”
I never thought that the flush sound effect employed on my show was insensitive to those who don’t have access to toilets. I’m glad the UN is on it.
We all know the story of Weiner, whose mayoral candidacy has gone limp today despite his contrived contrition. The reaction of some feminists (Gloria Steinem comes to mind; she said that Weiner’s wife was a victim of Stockholm Syndrome) is outrage; others have said that Weiner’s wife is admirable for standing by her man.
I’m reminded of Ross Perot’s line during the 1992 campaign to David Frost that might provide a moment of clarity to those in New York who are still undecided: “If your wife can’t trust you, why should I?”
From Kim Chandler, writing at Al.com: “Alabama Republicans lashed out at the Obama administration after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today announced an effort to restore federal oversight of Texas elections and left the door open to similar action in other states.
“‘Obama’s out-of-control Justice Department is once again doing an end run around the U.S. Supreme Court and the legislative process in order to implement its unconstitutional, liberal agenda,’ Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, said in a statement.”
Just when you thought no one in Hollywood could come up with an ad hominem
generality (Republicans are racists, etc.) more ridiculous, Ms. Midler tops the rest of her kook compatriots.
That’s the serious headline from the New York Times.
In other headlines, many men and women from New York to New Orleans and back are upset, not baffled.
Michelle Obama offends Hispanics, if you believe the White House narrative on racial insensitivity.
There’s a video to go along with the story.
The New York Times offers its take on Obama’s speech today in the “Politics” section of its paper: “President Obama tried to move past months of debate over guns, surveillance and scandal on Wednesday and reorient his administration behind a program to lift a middling economy and help middle-class Americans who are stuck with stagnant incomes and shrinking horizons.”
In other words, the Times’ straight news story (remember, this isn’t an opinion piece) is that the President sought to obscure his problems by once again promising the moon to those of us dumb enough to believe him, or ignorant enough to believe in his prescriptions for economic success.
Most of the news out there is unpleasant, but this story, about the former President’s compassion for a child, is refreshingly touching and real.
“Phony” is the other word Carney has been using, and Obama referenced it in his brazenly transparent (meaning openly liberal) speech about the economy today.
The lead editorial in today’s USA Today is nowhere near a Fair Tax, or, for that matter, even a flat tax (a scenario not to be celebrated). But the acknowledgment that our tax code is ridiculously complicated is a huge concession on USA Today’s part. We have to crawl before we can walk.
From Mike Cason’s blog at Al.com: “National environmental groups issued a report today that says coal-fired power plants, including some in Alabama, are polluting rivers and lakes with toxins found in ash and sludge.
“The groups called for the Environmental Protection Agency to impose new regulations that would eliminate or sharply reduce the pollution.”
My father, long retired as the Atlanta Planning Engineer for the Georgia Power Company (owned, as is Alabama Power, by the Southern Company) would occasionally come home bemoaning environmental “kooks” (he taught me that word in that context at an early age), and how they were hard at work making his job–to provide the city of Atlanta with electricity cheaply–more difficult. To the journalists, who he would say with a smile on his face, “have no idea what they’re writing about,” he had two words in response to any environmental concerns they had: nuclear power.
Now that I’m adult (without an engineering degree, but with the lengthy disquisitions from Dad still in mind), I admire the occasional intellectually honest environmentalist who makes the same point.
In my continuing effort to stick to the issues and avoid the tired conversation about race that Obama is trying to suck us all into, I highly recommend this insightful piece from the American Thinker. It explains why we’re entering a cooling period, and considers the ramifications.
Here’s a sample (read the piece for an explanation on sunspots): “The era of global cooling has begun. In the northern hemisphere, three out of the four last winters and springs have been unusually cold. This spring was so cold in East Asia that China was forced to import millions of tons of grain and soybeans from the U.S. and other suppliers.
“The environmental elitists in Manhattan and Laguna Beach may not be greatly inconvenienced by cold winters, but ordinary people have to eat, too, and food exhausts a much greater share of their income. For the world’s poor, a cold year means the difference between eating and going hungry, or between heating one’s home and shivering all winter. Or as the philosopher Thomas Hobbes put it (while living through the thick of the Little Ice Age himself), it’s the difference between a life that is warm and comfortable and one that is “nasty, brutish, and short.” Because climate alarmists are focused on global warming when they should be concerned with cooling, life for the world’s poor is likely to be just that.
“That is because shortages inevitably result from global cooling. As supplies of foodstuffs and energy become constrained due to cold, damp growing seasons and the need for more heating, a global bidding war arises in which the poor lose out. The environmental elitists will not suffer — they’ll pay more as they roll their overladen buggies out of the local Costco, but what the heck? They can bask in the illusion that they are saving the earth.
“But the poor in Mexico and India and here in American will suffer as their lives are shortened by malnutrition and disease. With astounding arrogance, President Obama in his latest budget promises tens of billions more to fund clean energy scams for his billionaire buddies. But has he ever considered, even for one moment, the suffering he has inflicted on the poor by distorting global food and energy markets?”
During the debate about what causes the Earth’s temperature to rise and fall, the point is usually lost that a warmer climate helps the poor.
We played this on the show tonight, but one can’t fully appreciate it without seeing it. So here it is:
Even if you haven’t read Atlas Shrugged, this column is well worth the read. The Telegraph’s Daniel Hannan begins with a recent description of Detroit in another paper (The Observer) and then quotes extensively from Rand’s book in which the fictional city of Starnesville is depicted. The similarities are uncanny.
“A wrong lane change on a street in Rio de Janeiro took Pope Francis to a crowded, unsecured area of the main boulevard, and sent his body guards into a panic Monday.
“The pope, who had turned down the use of the more secure ‘popemobile,’ took to the streets of the Brazilian city in a Fiat as he greeted well-wishers, shook hands and kissed babies, according to an Associated Press story.”
And that’s not all.
“Earlier,” continues Debbie Lord, reporting at Al.com, ”authorities detonated a pipe bomb found at a shrine he will visit.”
The last thing we need to do, of course, is speculate about who might have planted the pipe bomb. That would be profiling, after all.
This, actually, because it’s amusingly stupid, was my favorite part of the otherwise mundane coverage of the Royal birth.
Bless her heart (doesn’t that allow one to say anything afterwards?), Helen Thomas was a determined, hard working, anti-Semitic Useful Idiot. Still, she will be missed by those of us who delighted in her insistence on getting an answer to her questions–which were tough, and equally offered up irrespective of president or party.
That Hamas would “mourn” her loss is predictable, given her penchant for standing with terrorists rather than the good guys. But that’s less important at the moment than the fact that she delighted all of us by being Helen, the relentless reporter whose ire entertained and, more than a few times, made news.
The first clue that she’s a kook is that she has a hyphenated name; the second clue is that she wears tampons as earrings.
Welcome to the free market, Professor Friedman. When tried, it works.
His piece is about a recent college graduate who teamed up with a friend to rent part of their house out in order to make ends meet. Friedman is amazed by their market instincts.
And his amazement continues: “Think how much better all this is for the environment — for people to be renting their spare bedrooms rather than building another Holiday Inn and another and another. … The sharing economy…This is powerful.”
Friedman has proved once again that he doesn’t understand how markets work. Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand naturally shares, without anyone’s help. And along the way, the environment is protected far better than through regulatory fiat.
And the next Holiday Inn, which will be able to accompany the demand that can’t be met by one recent college graduate, will help the rest of us–and it won’t threaten the young entrepreneur or the environment.
Congratulations, Governor Bentley! The AP reports, “ Gov. Robert Bentley’s administration has set up a new liability insurance plan for Alabama’s school workers who previously relied on the Alabama Education Association and other groups for coverage.”
The rub is that the AEA will no longer be able to hold teachers hostage. This is a good thing.
Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson is no conservative, and his column today won’t make conservatives stand up and cheer. But he makes a valid point in his last paragraph: “Obama does more to change racial attitudes and challenge prejudices simply by performing his functions as head of state and commander in chief.”
In other words, Mr. President, stop talking about race and simply do your job.
The Daily Caller reports, “African Americans benefit from Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ self-defense law at a rate far out of proportion to their presence in the state’s population, despite an assertion by Attorney General Eric Holder that repealing ‘Stand Your Ground’ would help African Americans.
“Black Floridians have made about a third of the state’s total ‘Stand Your Ground’ claims in homicide cases, a rate nearly double the black percentage of Florida’s population. The majority of those claims have been successful, a success rate that exceeds that for Florida whites.”
Yet one more tidbit to prove the point that the administration’s role in this case, however Constitutionally improper, has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with changing the subject away from itself.
And the White House press corps laughed at him. Watch:
This commentary at Al.com caught my attention because, not being the enthusiast about college football that I am about baseball, I thought the columnist was serious. I don’t pretend to be an authority on the hurry-up-no-huddle rule, but I think the point is that the more plays that occur during a game, the more likely it is that someone might get injured.
Why is this now an issue? Because of recent stories about concussions among football players? Most folks who play college football, as far as I know, make it through it just fine. If we’re going to discuss limiting the number of plays, or, as Kevin Scarbinsky (who wrote the piece) facetiously suggests, shorten the number of games, why not just resort to flag football–or gentle touch-on-the-honor-system football? Or, for that matter, why allow it to be played at all?
It’s the mindset here that’s troubling. Life, whether it’s playing football, starting one’s own business, or driving down the street to buy a bottle of chocolate milk, involves risk. Rational risk-takers make this country great, and those who think we can legislate or regulate risk away hold the rest of us back.
Will Allen blogs at NRO (link here, with video) that New York mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio told an Iranian news outlet today the following when asked about the verdict: “I think there’s a large number of Americans who are deeply deeply upset by the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case; we don’t accept it. We believe in our jury system, but we think that this verdict was fundamentally unfair, and we need action to overcome it. That’s why we want our Justice Department to stand and take over the case, and show that there’s going to be fairness in this country.”
What’s his message to the Iranian government? That we should follow its lead and be less free in executing justice (I know that’s putting it mildly, but you get the point)?
Jonathan Tobin’s piece at Commentary magazine is worth the read, whether one takes away from it his point about Obama’s hypocrisy during the 2012 campaign or his infinitely more obvious point that liberalism never works.
The libertarian in me applaudes this: “Gov. Terry Branstad is ordering transportation officials to cut the number of special license plates issued to government vehicles that exempt them from traffic cameras.Branstad said Thursday it’s unacceptable that 3,218 plates given to local, state and federal agencies have a designation that keeps them out of computerized databases. The designation is meant for those doing undercover work.Cities with red light and speed cameras typically let those with the plates out of tickets that would cost ordinary drivers $75 to $200.”
From The Detroit Free Press: “An Ingham County judge says Thursday’s historic Detroit bankruptcy filing violates the Michigan Constitution and state law and must be withdrawn.
“But Attorney General Bill Schuette said he will appeal Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina’s Friday rulings and seek emergency consideration by the Michigan Court of Appeals. He wants her orders stayed pending the appeals, he said in a news release.
“In a spate of orders today arising from three separate lawsuits, Aquilina said Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr must take no further actions that threaten to diminish the pension benefits of City of Detroit retirees.”
And where, exactly, is the money going to come from?
Apparently, the AP hasn’t moved beyond the administration’s collection of its phone records; they’re still doing their job.
The President made a surprise appearance at the start of the daily press briefing to address the Zimmerman trial, and he outdid himself in terms of trying to change the subject from health care, immigration, the economy, Detroit, foreign policy (just give a few examples) to race.
Among the things he said were, “There are very few African American men who haven’t been followed when they are walking through a department store;” and “If a white male teen had been involved, the outcome and the aftermath would have been different.”
Translation: Most African Americans are victims of racism in one form or another, and when there is a legal altercation up to and including a tragic death, law enforcement and even prosecutors are racists.
He went on to offer several rather specific suggestions for how we should react to the verdict. The Justice department should start training state and local law enforcement, for example. And we—euphemistic for he—needs to examine (i.e. abolish) “certain” (read “stand your ground”) laws.
And then he admonished us all to “ask ourselves whether or not we are judging people not by the color of their skin but the by the content of their character.”
When he was finished with his diversionary remarks, he exited, ignoring several reporters who shouted, “Mr. President, have you talked to the Martin family?” Carney then took over, and with two or three exceptions, most of the questions Carney took weren’t related to race.
With everybody else playing the race card these days, why shouldn’t an untalented member of our state legislature join in?
Senator Vivian Davis Figures was speaking to a group called “The Over The Mountain Democrats” Tuesday night, and in response to a question about the reason for the current dominance of the Republican Party in our state, she said, in part, “It seems to me that once Obama was elected we started hearing the Republicans attack him on almost everything he tried to do, especially in health care.”
In the event that Kathleen Sebelius retires as Obama’s HHS Secretary, he has a perfectly qualified replacement in Figures.
But she wasn’t done. After Obama’s election, “we started hearing Republicans in office and Republicans running for office attacking the federal government, charging the federal government had suddenly become intrusive in our lives, that it was overreaching into our places of business and into our homes. And with every charge they made they used Obama’s name.
“I think it’s racism. At its core I just do. I don’t think that before Obama ran and won we heard state Republicans making so many statements about national issues that they would have little say over. We didn’t hear that with (Jimmy) Carter or Bill Clinton. I think it’s just basic racism and I’m not someone who uses the race card and I’m someone who had thought that we were beyond that kind of thing.”
No Senator Figures, as long as Holder at the national level and you here in Alabama remain in public office, the issue of race will remain front and center.
Here’s an idea, Senator: why not consider that the failure of your party has to do with ideas? Re-read as necessary; it’s rather apparent that a sharp intellect isn’t your forte.
Oh, and one more idea: if you want your party to win elections again (and I regret to say that I can’t join you in that aspiration), it’s best not to declare that Alabamians and those for whom they vote are racists.
This story, from the AP, is delightful comic relief from the heavy stuff we’ve been subjected to lately: “A Washington state man who fired a shotgun in the air to chase away car prowlers says he was following the advice of Vice President Joe Biden.
“Jeffrey Barton, of Vancouver, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a Clark County court to a charge of illegally discharging a firearm. The 52-year-old fired the shot Monday when he thought people were breaking into his vehicles.”
If Holder’s continued presence is a blood pressure irritant, the expectation that Biden isn’t going anywhere sooths.
From The New York Daily News: “New York City plans to spend $18 million over the next two years to help immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children land legal jobs and get driver’s licenses.
“City Council Speaker Christine Quinn — flexing the power of her office in the midst of a tough election fight as she runs for mayor — will announce the effort Wednesday.
“It’s geared toward helping more young New Yorkers qualify for President Barack Obama’s year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, which lets undocumented immigrants who came the U.S. before age 16 and were younger than 31 on June 15, 2012, get driver’s licenses and Social Security cards.”
Memo to Speaker Boehner: please, please, Sir, do nothing in response to the Senate amnesty bill.
As one would expect, today’s testimony from IRS officials before the House Oversight Committee with regard to the link between the White House and the IRS scandal went largely unnoticed by the press. The Daily Caller has a story reporting on what one official said (link here), and Charles Krauthammer had this to say about what was revealed today on Special Report this evening:
There are a lot of names involved here, but suffice it to say that Issa’s committee succeeded in establishing that Washington, and not Cincinnati, was the focal point in the targeting of conservative 501(c)(4) applicants.
From The UK Daily Mail: “HBO’s resident left-wing comic Bill Maher drew disapproval from late night host David Letterman’s audience on Tuesday after he told a pair of jokes mocking George Zimmerman in the wake of his acquittal for the shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin.
“Maher was in New York City to watch the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
“When Letterman mentioned that Maher was among the owners of the New York Mets, whose stadium hosted the annual mid-season classic, Maher noted that he was only a ‘minority owner.’
“Which is ‘better than being a minority in Florida,’ the comedian quipped .
“‘Why are they booing?’ he asked moments later as the crowd turned against him.”
The first thought that comes to mind, Bill, is that they’re booing because you didn’t get to stack the audience.
The AP story begins, “Former Clinton administration officials and congressional leaders packed into the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters Wednesday to mark the building’s renaming in honor of former President Bill Clinton.”
The hokey, mildly tasteless but too glaring to ignore joke here is that one of Clinton’s environmental accomplishments during his White House tenure was to use unlit cigars for things other than smoking them.
The serious point comes a few paragraphs down in the story: “‘Leveraging executive authority in the 90′s paved the way for the actions we need to take today,’ [EPA Administrator under Clinton Carole Browner said], referencing President Barack Obama’s recent plans to bypass Congress to address carbon pollution.”
I’m sorry, Ms. Browner, but when it comes to unbridled executive fiat, your former boss is no Barack Obama.
Not releasing them, she argued on CNN tonight, undermines the transparency and openness that the criminal justice system is founded on.
Even CNN’s anchor was befuddled.
…with 35 Democrats joining the Republicans on the employer mandate vote, and 22 Dems joining the GOP on the individual mandate delay, reports ABC news. Will the Senate follow suit? Lou Dobbs says probably not; I say yes.
Who’s scheduled for next month–the monster on trial for kidnapping the three young girls ten years ago?
Bloomberg’s Marc Champion opines on this vulgar outrageousness here.
William Saletan at Slate, a reasonable liberal online journal of opinion, offers his take on the Zimmerman case. The long story short is that before he wrote the column he actually watched the closing arguments in their entirety, causing him to change his thesis.
Is this what you wanted, Attorney General Holder?
The title of Marc Thiessen’s Washington Post piece speaks for itself.
And Sharia Law isn’t prevailing?
…AM, where I’ll be joining Gary Dobbs for WBHP’s The Morning Show with Toni and Gary.
Has anyone mentioned that the most radical protests with regard to the trial have come outside of the state of Florida, from folks who don’t know the victim, his family, or the defendant?
And I was accused of fear-mongering!
The story is from Ana Rodriguez at Al.com.
The President unpresidentially weighed in on the Zimmerman case last year, and he made the same mistake again by reacting to the verdict:
“The death of Trayvon Martin was a tragedy. Not just for his family, or for any one community, but for America. I know this case has elicited strong passions. And in the wake of the verdict, I know those passions may be running even higher. But we are a nation of laws, and a jury has spoken. I now ask every American to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son. And as we do, we should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to widen the circle of compassion and understanding in our own communities. We should ask ourselves if we’re doing all we can to stem the tide of gun violence that claims too many lives across this country on a daily basis. We should ask ourselves, as individuals and as a society, how we can prevent future tragedies like this. As citizens, that’s a job for all of us. That’s the way to honor Trayvon Martin.”
There are a lot of things that are his business (that he nevertheless ignores), but this isn’t one of them.
This, truly, is rich. Nancy Cook at The National Journal opines, “The federal government’s across-the-board sequestration cuts, which began taking effect in March, may seem like an overhyped piece of political theater—that is, unless you’re an unemployed adult living in Michigan. There, roughly 82,000 people, like Kristina Feldotte of Saginaw, have watched their federal unemployment checks dwindle by 10.7 percent since late March. That’s as much as a $150 per month from payments that, at most, clock in at $1,440.”
Sequestration, of course, is a mirage, unlike the irresponsible monetary policy to which this administration has greeted with a wink, smile, and an endorsement.
In other words, while Ms. Cook ululates about trumped up unemployment, all of us are feeling the effects of a weak dollar whenever, for example, we go to the grocery store and pay twice as much as we did a few years ago.
That, not the sequester, hurts poor people.
David Rivkin and Lee Casey have a thought-provoking column in the Wall Street Journal that raises the question–yet again–about this President’s problem with circumventing the other the branches of government.
“Whatever the reason,” they posit, “the president does not have the power to stop the implementation of a law. If there is one bedrock constitutional legal principle, it is that the president must “faithfully execute” federal statutes. He cannot suspend laws he dislikes on policy grounds or because he fears their political consequences.”
If folks have forgotten about Benghazi, perhaps this (and it would be entirely proper) might be the impetus for impeachment.
Might, I said.
Dick Cavett eulogises James Gandolfini in The New York Times, today.
That’s not my title–that’s the title of Left-wing Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein column today.
Read this story from The New American. My father (the Atlanta Planning Engineer for the Georgia Power Company for more than forty years) made this point to me when I was a child. When will environmentalists grow up enough to see the big picture?
…and one of them was our own Senator Jeff Sessions.
“Four high-ranking Republican lawmakers,” reports Fox News, ”criticized the Obama administration on Friday for three failed tests of the country’s missile-defense system, saying budget cuts and neglect are to blame.
“Sens. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., along with Reps. Howard ‘Buck’McKeon, R-Calif., and Mike Rogers, R-Ala., sent Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel a letter faulting President Obama for allegedly gambling with national security by cutting funding to the program. They claim this hampered the ability to conduct vital tests needed to make sure the ‘ground-based midcourse defense system’ (GMD) worked properly and conduct regular maintenance.”
The essence of his commentary tonight was that the fate of immigration tonight won’t be affected.
Leada Gore at Al.com writes, “If you’re one of the 650,000 furloughed Department of Defense workers, you might want to stop reading now.
“Fox News is reporting the Pentagon is spending $3.5 million to purchase land around Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington in an effort to protect the Mazama pocket gopher. The animal is not listed as endangered or threatened.”
Yet another example of the farce of federal furloughs.
1) Allowing for the reality that a jury can’t reliably be read, I thought things favored the defense until the prosecution’s rebuttal today (the final word). The man who delivered it was compelling emotionally, whether or not anything he had to say was relevant to the law.
2) The people who are mounting protests are pro-Trayvon Martin. Where are those making noise in defense of Zimmerman?
3) Why are we even discussing this case? The answer is, in part, that Al Sharpton nationalized it, and President Obama, in a repulsive but not unsurprising moment last year, decided to weigh in, the same way he did with regard to the Supreme Court’s campaign finance decision in 2010. In both cases, he was out of line. And in both cases, his personal ambition trumped the national interest.
Investor’s Business Daily’s lead editorial today is a must-read primer on the President’s global warming lies adumbrated in his recent speech on the topic.
The story from The Washington Times includes the audio. The opening paragraph is chilling: “The legal watchdog Judicial Watch released an audio recording Thursday of a Department of Justice staffer urging Sanford, Fla., city officials and the minority advocacy group Dream Defenders to seek justice for Trayvon Martin, because ‘if a community perceives that there’s something wrong in the black community, there’s something wrong.’”
The story is from the AP: “Got an old typewriter in your garage? Call the Kremlin, they need some.
“Russia’s Federal Protective Service, a KGB successor agency in charge of protecting President Vladimir Putin and his officials, has placed an order for 20 typewriters and is ready to pay $750 each for them, according to Thursday’s report in Izvestia.
“The Kremlin-connected daily said the agency, known by its Russian acronym FSO, believes it’s necessary to expand the use of typewriters following disclosures of sweeping U.S. National Security Agency surveillance programs by leaker Edward Snowden and earlier publication of classified documents by secret-spilling website WikiLeaks.
“It said that typewriters have been used in particular for printing drafts of some official documents and reports presented to Putin.”
Anyone still think Snowden is a hero?
I hadn’t heard of Representative Roskam before yesterday, but his remarks during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing about Obamacare were bold, entertaining, and fearless. Take a look:
This is not a good start.
Valerie Richardson at The Washington Times reports, “The debate over George W. Bush’s legacy has erupted into a brawl at the University of Denver over whether to present the former president with an award for his humanitarian work.
“The Josef Korbel School of International Studies’ plan to honor Mr. Bush at a Sept. 9 fundraising dinner touched off a petition drive last month by a recent graduate, who is urging the university to ‘choose an alternative recipient.’
“The school originally planned to honor Mr. Bush with its Improving the Human Condition Award, according to an invitation posted on the university’s website. After a spate of publicity surrounding the backlash, the name of the award was removed from the website.”
Perhaps the idiot graduate should recommend the current occupant of the White House. The award would complement his Nobel Peace prize rather well, after all.
…here’s Carney’s angry explanation of the President modifying the health care bill by executive fiat.
Who is Richard Lawson? I don’t know, really, but his piece about the former View star’s move is filled with the vitriol typical of liberals who have nothing substantive to say. Here’s a sample:
“The Fox & Friends thing is probably not going to work. She’s going from the sour, tension-filled table of a relatively liberal major network talk show to Fox News’ bozo calamity hour where the War on Christmas is lead story material. Elisabeth is going to be partnered not with some snide or patronizing liberal, she’s going to be with Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy, two chuckleheads who love nothing more than making long reaches to slam Obama or liberals or whoever they don’t like, no matter how embarrassing a leap it takes. Fox & Friends is a ridiculous show, and one that needs ridiculous people to anchor it. Current anchor Gretchen Carlson is not actually a dummy, but she plays one beautifully on TV. Sometimes she’s the motherly/sisterly voice of reason, reining in one of Kilmeade’s goofy, dumbest-guy-in-the-frat-house rants, and sometimes she’s the one dribbling on nonsensically about Christmas trees and whatnot. The show is always a group of dodos dodoing around, but always remembering to touch on Roger Ailes’s talking points of the day. That’s what Fox & Friends does.”
Lawson probably doesn’t watch Fox, and his faux concern for Hasselbeck’s career is the real embarrassment here.
I chatted with Lynch when I was in D.C. about his upcoming movie “They Come To America II.” Here’s a sneak peak at the movie:
As though he isn’t! The story is from the AP.
Good news from The Chicago Tribune:
“Lawmakers made Illinois the last state to allow concealed carry of firearms in two quick votes Tuesday that formalized the deepening rift between Gov. Pat Quinn and the legislature.
“The House and Senate voted to override Quinn’s amendatory veto of a legislative compromise aimed at satisfying a federal court deadline for legalizing some form of public possession of firearms. Illinois was the last state without some form of legal concealed carry, but the appeals court ruled late last year that the ban was unconstitutional.
“While Tuesday’s court deadline for passing a law was a major motivating factor, the 77-31 House vote and 41-17 Senate roll call were more than a rejection of Quinn’s efforts to toughen the regulations — they were a repudiation of the Democratic governor’s leadership style by a Democratic-led legislature.”
Blame it on whatever you want, but preposterous hypotheses about race are proliferating these days, the latest being from Mikhail Lyubansky, Ph.D., writing in Psychology Today. He begins his ridiculous piece this way:
“As if being poor isn’t bad enough — and, trust me, the health disparities are bad indeed — it’s even worse to be poor and also live in an impoverished neighborhood. Yet even that pales in comparison to being poor and Black in America.”
In case you’re not certain about what he’s trying to say, he drives the point home a paragraph or two below.
“Being poor and uneducated (the two are highly correlated) is bad for your health, but not as bad as being Black.”
African American youth should ignore such nonsense, and Dr. Lyubansky, if he wants to encourage the best in all of us, should shut up.
I talked about this on the show tonight, and Facebooked about it yesterday. A dog in California was shot to death for protecting its master, who, make no mistake about it, was probably rotten. But the dog wasn’t.
I thought it was an isolated incident until I read this story from Reason Magazine. Apparently, police officers shooting dogs is more common than most of us know.
“Across the country,” writes Barton Hinkle, ”both state laws and departmental policies seem to let police officers use deadly force as a first resort against family pets that often present little or no threat. In one infamous 2010 case from Missouri, an officer shot and killed a dog that had been subdued and held on a catch-pole. In another, an officer shot D.C. resident Marietta Robinson’s 13-year-old dog, Wrinkles, after Robinson had confined the dog to her bathroom.
“Last year police officers chasing two suspects in Lake Charles, Louisiana, shot a dog named Monkey that barked at them. In Henrico,Va., last July, police officers went to the home of a homicide victim to notify the family of the slaying. When the family dog ran toward them, the officers shot and killed it. In Danville four years ago, a police officer shot and killed a 12-pound miniature dachshund. For growling at him.”
There have been cases of bad guys shooting police dogs, and serving time as a result. (See here). Cops who shoot dogs should suffer the same fate.
This would be maddening if it weren’t laughable.
…Raul Labrador (R., Idaho), a pro-amnesty guy, changed his tune a bit on Meet The Press today. This is good news:
The story is here, and the question is, what did the Buddhists do wrong?
This time it wasn’t on Carnival–it was just bad luck. “‘It wasn’t Conquest’s fault and it was not that big of a deal,’ Robin Ford of Godsden [sic], Ala., said. ‘The ship was still running. We felt blessed,’” reports John Sharp at Al.com.
Leslie Gelb and Dimitri Simes write in today’s New York Times that “The flight of the leaker Edward J. Snowden from Hong Kong to Moscow last month would not have been possible without the cooperation of Russia and China. The two countries’ behavior in the Snowden affair demonstrates their growing assertiveness and their willingness to take action at America’s expense.”
They’re right. Iran, North Korea and (since we prematurely pulled out) Iraq remain concerns, but we can’t forget about China or Russia.
Once again, our commander-in-chief isn’t attentive. As Gelb and Simes explain, “President Obama should see China and Russia as neither enemies nor friends, but as significant powers with their own interests, as the Snowden affair showed.”
Is anyone confident that Obama is up to the task?
This is a fascinating piece at Breitbart (it needs editing, but try to overlook that). Is it a bad thing that we get our news from Twitter and blogs?
It begins, “Covering a breaking disaster story [the reference is to the plane crash in San Francisco] is simply a difficult job. There’s a flurry of information, rumors, conflicting witness reports and separating facts from noise is always difficult. The networks used to have exclusive access to the raw materials of news; they could dispatch camera crews or pick or satellite feeds that ordinary citizens had no access to.
“No more. Today, one of the first reports on the crash came from David Eun, a VP at Samsung who was on board Asiana Flight 214.”
So should we leave certain stories to the network “experts?”
There are arguments on both sides. Blogs can’t always be relied upon to be accurate in stating the facts. But network news too often reports the news through an ideological prism.
Whatever the case, Twitter, Facebook, and blogs aren’t going away. It’s our job as individuals to separate the truth from uninformed fiction.
Reuters reports, “Western governments are set to target a range of tax loopholes used by technology giants including Apple, Amazon as part of an international drive to tackle corporate tax avoidance.”
Remember, tax avoidance is legal and logical–why would anyone, whether an individual or a corporation, volunteer to pay more taxes than the law requires?
Perhaps western governments should make their tax codes more attractive.
Can we return civic virtue to politics?
I’m not a Twitchy authority (I’m still getting acquainted with Facebook and Twitter), but the word out there is that Bush is more popular than Obama.
That’s not a surprise, really.
Andy McCarthy’s piece at National Review is a primer on Egypt and democracy. He begins, “The democracy fetish would be worth having if it were about promoting real democracy. Instead, as illustrated by media coverage of the military coup that ousted Egypt’s popularly elected Muslim Brotherhood president, we’re still confusing democratic legitimacy with legitimate democracy.
“The latter is real — a culture of liberty that safeguards minority rights. Attaining it is a worthy aspiration, but one that requires years of patient, disciplined, and often unpopular work. The former is an illusion — the pretense that if a Muslim country holds popular elections and elects totalitarian Islamists, voila, it has a ‘democracy,’ and progressives the world over will regard it as such.”
It’s a fascinating read.
Today, in describing the effects of Obamacare on jobs, The Wall Street Journal gets it right.
The Christian had a sign which read “Repent or Else.” The Daily Caller reports that he was hit in the back of the head multiple times.
It’s fair to say that most gay rights activists don’t beat Christians. But anyone, whatever the cause, should condemn violence–and that includes gay rights activists.
Hot Air reports that “Firearms sales have been on the up and up since President Obama was elected in 2008, and the federal government’s attempt to pass more national gun-control measures did nothing to quell the firearms industry’s personal economic boom.”
Once again, people respond to incentives.
This is a great story from The Hill. The gist is that delaying the mandate makes Obama less trustworthy–and it might affect his ability to influence the House on immigration. Read and enjoy.
Al.com reports, “The heads of state in Nicaragua and Venezuela have said they are willing to offer asylum to ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
“Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro said in separate speeches that they would be open to providing safe haven to the 29-year-old American who leaked sensitive documents about U.S. domestic surveillance programs, according to the Associated Press.”
Does anyone still think he’s a hero?
I haven’t been to Venezuela, but when I was eighteen, I visited Nicaragua. Ortega was in charge at the time, and it wasn’t pretty. If the “29-year old hacker” ends up there, he’ll wish he was back home.
This is a truly amazing piece with a truly amazing premise: Republicans shouldn’t object to Obama’s fiat decision to delay the implementation of the health care mandate until 2015 because Bush was hasty in implementing the prescription drug bill.
In other words, the Left’s argument goes, Obama has learned from Bush’s mistake. Read and laugh.
It’s a moving rendition. Happy Independence Day!
Reuters reports on “a British television station [that] will broadcast the Muslim call to prayer every morning during Ramadan to give a voice to Britain’s Muslim minority, which has faced a backlash since the murder of a soldier on a London street.”
Did you get that? The story goes on to explain that “British Muslims have suffered reprisals since two men murdered soldier Lee Rigby, a 25-year-old veteran of the war in Afghanistan, in broad daylight outside London’s Woolwich barracks in May.”
The lesson? Sharia law can be spread in the Western world most effectively when Islamists kill Westerners.
Rich Lowry’s Politico column sums up the problem the President’s party will have with Obamacare in 2014: ‘Everyone can now agree: Implementation of the president’s proudest achievement is chaotic and off schedule — at best.”
The keyword, of course, is “everyone.”
…and they are spying on us, reports CBS.
Is that really news? Kudos go out to CBS, though, for reporting on how things work in the real world.
The story comes from the AP, and concludes, “Historians say the first American flags were made of hemp, which was raised by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.”
BART is San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit system. The union workers are striking, reports CBS, because of “disputes over issues including wages, health benefits, pension plans and safety.”
The environment, apparently, is not one of their concerns.
From Al.com: “About 500 Marines who recently deployed to Italy and Spain are positioned to respond to the growing crisis in Egypt, according to media reports.
“Stars and Stripes is reporting the Marines were deployed in May, as concerns over tensions in Egypt mounted. Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C. are at Moron Air Base in Spain as part of a Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Crisis Response Team. Others have been moved temporarily to Naval Air Station in Sigonella, Sicily.
“The Pentagon said the units will be able to respond to emergencies across north and west Africa.”
The story is from The Daily Beast.
Big things are happening in Egypt. And our President, so far, is conspicuously absent.
Sometimes The Wall Street Journal gets it right, and then there are times in which things, like a fondness for amnesty, make the otherwise stellar paper sound foolish.
Their lead editorial today makes the point. “The Senate’s enforcement provisions,” they write, ”are an example of wretched excess, a case of the Republican Party letting its blood-and-soil wing trump its supposedly free-market principles.”
I’m confused. Enforcing the law is “wretched excess?”
The Huffington Post has published a letter from a prisoner of war at Guantanamo Bay designed to elicit sympathy. The terrorist begins, “This is my call to the outside world from behind these rusty bars, in this monstrous cell. Does the world know what is happening in this prison?”
Somebody get the Kleenex. The Post continues to be a Useful Idiot.
But it gets better. “Despite the long years we the prisoners have spent in this place from 2002 to 2013,” he continues, ”the American government does not seem interested in solving the problem. The past few months have been among the harshest lived by the prisoners here. During the Bush years, solutions seemed possible. Under Obama, it seems like there is no will to solve the problem.”
The President has gone from disappointing his base to disappointing terrorists.
John Hinderaker at Powerline Blog writes, “One of the problems with an administration as comprehensively awful as Barack Obama’s is that people can’t keep track of all the crises. His foreign policy has collapsed, the economy is on life support, unemployment and poverty are at record-breaking levels, scandals pile one upon another. And–oh yes, don’t forget–the country is $17 trillion in debt.”
Read it and weep.
From Jared Bernstein–who used to work for Joe Biden!–in today’s New York Times: “Well, I didn’t see that coming. The Obama administration announced Tuesday afternoon that it was going to delay an important part of the Affordable Care Act for one year. The rule requiring employers with at least 50 full-time workers to provide them with coverage or pay a penalty (also known as the employer mandate) will now be enforced starting in 2015, not 2014 as originally planned.”
…comes to us courtesy of the American Library Association: “The ALA Washington Office held a special informational session on Sunday afternoon to let librarians get a head start on helping their patrons enroll for healthcare through the new Affordable Care Act, which aims to provide reasonable health insurance for all Americans equally, regardless of any pre-existing conditions.”
The ALA hasn’t the common sense, apparently, that the NFL has.
They’re stepping up the race card on the Left, as predicted.
From Talking Points Memo: “Fox News anchor Brit Hume called ‘baloney’ Monday on the notion that House Republicans must help approve the immigration reform legislation that just passed the Senate, arguing that Hispanic voters are still not as important to the GOP as white voters.”
A video of Brit accompanies the story.
The Senator from New Hampshire is in trouble for her “yes” vote on the immigration bill.
You know it’s bad when Obama’s supporters tell him to stop whining.
You have to give The New York Times’ Paul Krugman kudos for a brilliant tease in the opening paragraph of an idiotic column.
“Is life too easy for the unemployed? You may not think so, and I certainly don’t think so. But that, remarkably, is what many and perhaps most Republicans believe. And they’re acting on that belief: there’s a nationwide movement under way to punish the unemployed, based on the proposition that we can cure unemployment by making the jobless even more miserable.”
The Middle East is chaotic, but, Breitbart reports, protesters in Egypt are emphatic, and they aren’t going away.
The story begins, “The demonstrations that began Sunday in Cairo, Egypt against the Muslim Brotherhood government of President Mohamed Morsi have attracted ‘millions’ of supporters and many counter-demonstrators as well, making the protest the largest political event in the history of the world, according to the BBC.”
Radical Islam is being challenged by a population which wants to live in the 21st century–not just in Egypt, but in Iran, as well. Freedom, at the end of the day, will prevail.
Ronald Brownstein, no conservative, isn’t optimistic about Obama’s green vision. His whole column is worth the read, with the last line (sorry to spoil it) epitomizing his mindset: “As with health care, Obama’s best chance of ensuring that his climate priorities outlast him is to move quickly to create facts on the ground.”
Pessimistic conservatives should take heart.
I got an E-Mail about Snowden that said, in part, “If you really believe in freedom then you shouldn’t care that he’s in Russia. Isn’t he as an individual allowed to go where he wants? He isn’t hurting anybody. You seem more and more like you don’t care about our civil liberties.”
Idiotic, I know.
That wasn’t the whole e-mail–part of it was profanity-laced–but I sent the E-Mailer this story, from CBS News: “Russian police arrested several gay rights activists and Russian nationalists who confronted them at a rally Saturday that was declared illegal under a new law against ‘gay propaganda.’
“Officials in St. Petersburg deemed that the rally, which took place in a space designated for public demonstrations, violated the law. The statute essentially prohibits public displays of homosexuality.”
So…Let’s hope that Snowden, for his own sake, isn’t gay and still in Russia.
And Obama, if he’s scratching his head trying to figure out how to get tough on this, should declare that Snowden is gay, in which case scrambling the jets to save him would make sense to his base.
Interesting, from the AP: “Chief Justice John Roberts says he and his colleagues have become too aggressive in questioning lawyers who argue before the Supreme Court.
“Roberts says the justices ‘overdo it a bit’ in posing questions to lawyers who are arguing their cases without giving the attorneys the chance to respond.
“The chief justice says one reason is that the justices have not discussed the case among themselves before the argument. Roberts says they use the typically hour-long session to debate each other through the lawyers.
“Justice Clarence Thomas, who hasn’t asked a question in seven years, has made the same criticism.
“Roberts spoke Saturday at a conference of judges and lawyers in West Virginia.
“Roberts suggested lawyers not even try to respond when the justices posed rapid-fire questions.”
I would be curious to hear Justice Scalia’s take.
I have no sympathy for them; they knew what they were getting with Obama twice and they looked the other way. And the rest of us, however tangentially, will literally be paying for it. You might recall that during the 2008 campaign, Obama declared, “If somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.”
Yesterday Fox reported, “Advocates of the [coal] industry argue that it has made strides toward making coal more environmentally friendly. According to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), 10 clean-coal technology plants have launched since 2011. Another five are under development or scheduled to come online.
“But the industry claims to be struggling to both make those investments and meet the demands of federal regulations. Group President Robert M. ‘Mike’ Duncan says EPA regulations have played a big role in the closure of nearly 290 coal plants so far this year.”
Those lost jobs are Obama’s–and not Bush’s–fault.
And it’s important to note that Obama was smooth; his campaign threat to the coal industry concerned newly built power plants. His regulations apply to existing power plants.
That’s going to become the conventional wisdom, which makes Peggy Noonan’s column in the Wall Street Journal an important read.
“On Wednesday,” she writes, ”Russell George, the Treasury inspector general whose original audit broke open the scandal, answered Rep. Sander Levin’s charge that the audit had ignored the targeting of progressives. In a letter released Thursday, Mr. George couldn’t have been clearer: The evidence showed conservative groups were singled out for abuse by the IRS, not liberal groups. While some liberal groups might have wound up on a BOLO [be on the lookout] list, the IRS did not target them. ‘We did not find evidence that the criteria you identified, labeled ‘Progressives,’ were used by the IRS to select potential political cases during the 2010 to 2012 timeframe we audited.’ One hundred percent of the groups with ‘Tea Party,’ ‘Patriot’ or ’9/12′ in their names were given extra scrutiny. ‘While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of Tea Party and other related criteria . . . including employee interviews, e-mails, and other documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that ‘progressives’ was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention.”
This is an attempt at the “everybody does it” excuse–or the first cousin, anyway, in which the narrative is, everyone was targeted. It isn’t true, as Noonan demonstrates, but if it were, would that be grounds to let the IRS off the hook?
I think not.
The Washington Post reports that “The National Football League is used to big, bruising battles. But on Friday, it announced that it was likely staying out of one of the roughest fights in Washington: the war over Obamacare.”
My guess is that other major sports organizations will follow suit. What incentive do they have to get involved, after all?
Robby Soave from The Daily Caller writes, “Citing national security concerns and the war on terror, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked New York Gov. Michael Cuomo to ban the sale of children’s fireworks.
“City officials worried that sparklers — handheld fireworks that emit colorful sparks and are often waved through the air by kids on the Fourth of July — could be used in terrorist attacks, according to The New York Post.”
Mayor Bloomberg gives those of us who are rationally concerned about national security a bad name.
From Al.com: “A federal judge has temporarily blocked a key part of Alabama’s new restrictions on abortion clinics that had been scheduled to go into effect on Monday.
“U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson temporarily enjoined the state from enforcing part of a new law that will require abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.
“Planned Parenthood and a Montgomery clinic filed a lawsuit challenging the requirement saying it was medically unnecessary and will result in the closure of three of the state’s five abortion clinics.
“Thompson said it was in the public interest to preserve the status quo and give time to evaluate the law and the claims by the clinics.
“He said the state had not shown it faced serious harm if implementation of the requirement was delayed by a few weeks.
“‘The plaintiffs, on the other hand, must stop providing abortions and potentially close their doors altogether or face criminal penalties and license revocation. Meanwhile, women seeking an abortion will face a substantial new obstacle in obtaining one, and therefore stand to suffer a deprivation of constitutional rights as well as the numerous health risks attendant to delaying abortion,’ Thompson wrote.”
The paranoid, fear-mongering intellectually lazy judge, AL.com failed to mention, was a Jimmy Carter appointee.
Charles Krauthammer says yes.
The Washington Times reports that “Up to 17,000 libraries will take part in a federal education campaign to help Americans understand President Obama’s health care law.”
The administration is covering all bases on the Obamacare propaganda front. First, the NBA and the NFL were recruited, and now this.
I hate to play the “what-if-Bush-did-it” game, but imagine if the former President had used libraries and professional sports teams to enlighten us on the merits of the Iraq war?
It’s a rhetorical question, of course.
Real Clear Politics gives the numbers on his job approval, and they aren’t looking good for the President.
The Democrats playing politics with gay marriage? Say it isn’t so.
According to Politico, it is: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act ‘a great, historic day for equality in America.’
“He went on: ‘The idea that allowing two loving, committed people to marry would have a negative impact on anyone else, or on our nation as a whole, has always struck me as absurd.’”
Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, and Patrick Leahy are among other Democrats who, like Reid, voted for DOMA in 1996 and are now posturing as though they’re civil rights icons.
Read the whole story here.
The Heritage Foundation has an answer.
I missed this story Monday (I admit to not being a regular reader of The South China Morning Post). It begins, “Edward Snowden secured a job with a US government contractor for one reason alone – to obtain evidence on Washington’s cyberspying networks, the South China Morning Post can reveal.
“For the first time, Snowden has admitted he sought a position at Booz Allen Hamilton so he could collect proof about the US National Security Agency’s secret surveillance programmes ahead of planned leaks to the media.
“‘My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked,’ he told the Post on June 12. ‘That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.’”
So Snowden was on a mission to leaks our national security secrets. And the Commander-In-Chief is too busy giving crackpot global warming speeches to do anything about it.
Conventional wisdom seems to be that gay marriage has now been declared legal in a blanket sense (much the way abortion was in the 1973 Roe decision) by the two cases the Supreme Court decided today. Not true. As I wrote on Facebook earlier, “From a legal standpoint, gay marriage is not now the law of the land. In the DOMA case, the court ruled, in effect, that states which [allow] gay marriage must provide same-sex couples with the same benefits that married couples get; in the [California] Prop eight case, the Court ruled that the people who brought the case to the Court didn’t have legal standing to do so, so the 9th Circuit Court decision which overturned Prop 8 stands.”
Whatever one’s position is, the exuberance of those in the pro-gay-marriage camp is overstated.
This convoluted declaration came from a prominent Mexican academic (yes, academia is kooky in Mexico, too) and is cataloged here by Judicial Watch.
The story is from The Washington Times.
Politico reports, “The Rev. Al Sharpton on Tuesday called the Supreme Court ruling striking down a key part of the Voting Rights Act a ‘devastating blow’ and said the court ‘just canceled the dream’ of Martin Luther King Jr.
“The MSNBC host and civil rights activist vowed on MSNBC to ‘mobilize the national community’ to protect voting rights in the wake of the 5-4 ruling.”
It’s likely, despite what Sharpton says, that were Dr. King alive, he would celebrate the fact that we no longer need Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act.
Will this story, from the PBS Newshour, strengthen the resolve of Speaker Boehner when the Senate amnesty bill makes its way to the House?
One can only hope.
And National Review has the richest reactions.
Here’s his pre-speech propaganda video.
Mark Heim at Al.com writes, “Paula Deen may have lost an endorsement from Smithfield Foods, but she still has supporters.
“Officials for the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show, an event Deen was a part of last September, confirmed to News 8 in Dallas, that Deen will be back this September, despite being caught in that scandal over a racial slur.”
I don’t cook (I’ve tried, but alas, I’m a walking fire hazard), so I don’t watch Paula Deen, and her fate won’t outrage me one way or the other. I am puzzled, though: Is she a bigot–more so than, say Kanye West, who’s also in the news these days for naming his newborn North West? Ms. Deen’s infraction is decades old; it wasn’t that long ago that Mr. West said, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” much to the horror of Mike Myers, who was standing next to him on stage at the time.
Can we have a little consistency here? If she is to be ostracized, then he, too, should go away.
We’ll hear from the Supreme Court on gay marriage this week. In the meantime the Charlotte Observer (out of North Carolina) had this piece on Friday:
“With a potentially ground-breaking decision on gay marriage expected next week, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Friday morning that he and other judges should stop setting moral standards concerning homosexuality and other issues.
“We aren’t qualified, Scalia said.
“In a speech titled ‘Mullahs of the West: Judges as Moral Arbiters,’ the outspoken and conservative jurist told the N.C. Bar Association that constitutional law is threatened by a growing belief in the ‘judge moralist.’ In that role, judges are bestowed with special expertise to determine right and wrong in such matters as abortion, doctor-assisted suicide, the death penalty and same-sex marriage.”
It sounds to me as though Justice Scalia is Constitutionally averse to telling states that they can’t decide these difficult issues for themselves. I have a suspicion that he’ll be a part of a slim majority opinion in favor of allowing California’s decision to stand.
Marc Thiessen’s piece in today’s Washington Post is a primer on how not to engage in foreign policy. He rhetorically asks, “why are the Taliban negotiating? Simple. It knows that Barack Obama wants to leave Afghanistan and close Guantanamo Bay — and they want to help him do both.”
Have I mentioned that when you’re President of The United States, foreign policy matters?
So asks Morgan Brittany at Townhall today. It’s pure speculation, but not unreasonable:
“Daniel Werfel who replaced Stephen Miller, who replaced Douglas Shulman as acting commissioner to the IRS has assured Congress and the American people that ‘big changes are coming to the IRS.’ As recently as June 3, he seemed to win the confidence of members of the GOP when he put Lois Lerner on administrative leave and he pledged to be forthcoming with Congress.
“What a difference two weeks make. Not only are things not changing, they seem to be getting worse. First of all, he missed the deadline directed by the White House for a 30 day report of the agency. The deadline came and went and now it ‘supposedly’ will be ready by the end of June. Next came the news of the employee bonuses which is causing outrage among members of Congress and the American people.”
From Yahoo News: “Greedy shoe companies making select sneakers needlessly exclusive paired together with consumer exuberance, desperation, and American gun culture on Saturday long enough to cost one would-be alleged robber his life. Shoppers waiting in line to purchase the latest incarnation of LeBron James’ signature shoe outside Atlanta were being harassed by a reported pickpocket until one patron decided to pull a gun out and shoot the as-yet unidentified man in what is being considered a move motivated by self-defense.”
So do we need to do away with guns, greed, sneakers, or professional basketball?
From The Tennessean: “A Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation deputy director warned a group of Maury County [Tenn.] residents that unfounded complaints about water quality could be considered an ‘act of terrorism.’
“‘We take water quality very seriously. Very, very seriously,’ said Sherwin Smith, deputy director of TDEC’s Division of Water Resources, according to audio recorded by attendees. ‘But you need to make sure that when you make water quality complaints you have a basis, because federally, if there’s no water quality issues, that can be considered under Homeland Security an act of terrorism.’”
Bill Maher will probably have a field day with this one, with good reason: Smith is an idiot.
My friend John O’Sullivan’s most recent piece at National Review is about Syria, and is brilliant, as usual. He begins, “From the start of the Syrian civil war, the U.S. and its allies have had a choice between three relatively coherent responses. They are — or rather they were — as follows:
1. Strict ‘hands off’ neutrality camouflaged by such diplomatic fatigues as offers of mediation, willingness to finance an eventual U.N. peacekeeping force, support for an arms embargo, urging other powers to adopt a similar attitude, shuttle diplomacy, etc., etc.
2. Offering de facto support for the Syrian government as the entity most likely to maintain a stable national unity (albeit a repressive one) and to protect national minorities, in return both for detaching Syria from its alliances with Iran, Hezbollah, and Russia (henceforth IHR) and for limiting Syrian support for external intervention (at least to its ‘traditional’ stamping-ground of Lebanon).
3. Diplomatic and military support for the Syrian rebels in order to replace the Assad regime; to weaken its protectors and allies, IHR again; and to strengthen the pro-Western elements in the rebel coalition against the jihadists by the judicious use of military patronage.”
Read the whole thing.
This month, the Taliban beheaded two young boys.
Yesterday, Reuters reported that Secretary of State John Kerry continues to press the Taliban into negotiations.
Today, The New York Times has a glowing review of John Kerry that doesn’t mention the Taliban.
From Politico: “House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was booed by progressive activists Saturday for defending President Obama on the NSA’s surveillance programs and suggesting that alleged leaker Edward Snowden broke the law.
“Speaking in a wide-ranging Q&A session at this year’s Netroots Nation conference, Pelosi said it’s unfair to equate Obama and former President George W. Bush on the issue of surveillance.
“‘People on the far right are saying oh, this is the fourth term of President Bush,’ the California Democrat said. “Absolutely, positively not so.’”
Nancy’s inconsistency and hypocrisy, and not the “far right,” were what had her audience upset today.
Even as respected liberal journals of opinion start to question the veracity of global warming theory, The Washington Post reports, “President Obama will announce Tuesday in a speech at Georgetown University that he plans to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants, according to individuals who have been briefed on the plan but asked not to be identified.”
This isn’t a surprise; Congress killed Cap and Trade during The President’s last term, and he was bound to react via executive fiat. Those living in coal states who voted for him twice have themselves to blame.
Ari Shapiro at NPR blogs, “Between his trip to Europe last week and his travels to Africa next week, President Obama is doing a lot of gift exchanges with foreign leaders.
“In the past, he has gotten mixed reviews. Four years ago, he was panned for giving the queen of England an iPod. Other presents have gone over better. But the president does not personally select these gifts — a staffer does.
“And there’s a well-kept secret at the White House: When Obama wants to choose a gift himself for someone in his inner circle, he sets a very high bar.
“Last November, Valerie Jarrett, one of the president’s closest friends and advisers, had a birthday. The president’s gift to her? Two historic documents that now hang in a large frame on the wall in her West Wing office — situated almost exactly above the Oval Office.”
So, as is usually the case, Obama takes credit when things go well, and when they don’t, it’s someone else’s fault.
…for blowing last year’s election and being grossly out of touch on immigration “reform,” Breitbart reports.
You never know with him, of course, but a story in The Hill earlier this week is encouraging:
“In discussing immigration with his conference, Boehner said he would bring up a bill supported by less than a majority of his conference only if he has no other leverage. Yet, he said he doesn’t envision such a ‘scenario’ when it comes to immigration.
“‘The only time any Speaker allows a major bill to pass without a majority of the majority is when there is zero leverage,’ said Boehner, according to a source in the room.
“Boehner noted that longtime GOP Speaker Dennis Hastert (Ill.) had to do this with campaign finance reform, and that former Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) hand was forced on funding for the Iraq war.
“He conceded to doing it a ‘couple times, such as the fiscal cliff and hurricane relief, where we had no leverage, and we faced a worse alternative — politically or in terms of policy,’ according to the source.
“‘Let me be clear: Immigration is not one of these scenarios,’ Boehner was quoted as saying. ‘We have plenty of leverage, and I have no intention of putting a bill on the floor that will violate the principles of our majority and divide our conference.’
“‘One of our principles is border security. I have no intention of putting a bill on the floor that the people in this room do not believe secures our borders. It’s not going to happen.’”
The story is in today’s Washington Examiner, and it doesn’t look good for the President.
The story starts, “Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (R) suggested in an interview Friday that he supports the border security deal crafted by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and shunned the idea that a path to citizenship would be contingent on fully securing the border.
“Asked on Fox News whether he sides with those two senators and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) or opponents of the immigration bill like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Huckabee chose the former.”
Read the whole thing here.
If this story is any indication, the answer is yes:
“In the global war on terror, information is everything.
“A single tip from the public can save countless lives. A terrorist could be right in front of your own face. That’s why the FBI rolled out a new ad campaign on billboards and buses. It shows the faces of 16 of the world’s most wanted terrorists.
“Some, however, say they’re being depicted in a less that flattering light.
“’You look at the pictures, they’re all one color of folks,’ said Congressman Jim McDermott of Seattle. McDermott has asked the FBI to pull the ads, calling them ‘racist’ because there are no white people.
“’Terrorists come in all shapes and sizes. If you’re gonna talk about terrorists, then don’t just talk about people with brown skin,’ he said. ‘How many white faces were there on there?’
“Truth be told, there is at least one. His name is Omar Hammami. The FBI lists him as a 29 year old native of Alabama, but it’s hard to tell behind the beard and head wrap. The ad also shows three men of Asian descent. Of the 32 people on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list, only six are not of Middle Eastern origin.”
The idea to put the faces of wanted terrorists on the side of a bus makes perfect sense, particularly in light of the fact that for years we’ve known that terrorists—Islamic terrorists—aspire to blow up buses and trains because they’re soft targets—makes perfect sense. Congressman McDermott’s outrage makes him, in a practical sense, an enabler of terrorism.
The outrageous is becoming less and less surprising. Politico reports that “The Obama administration has reached out to the NBA about a potential marketing partnership to promote the health law.”
Let’s hope that professional athletes don’t join Hollywood in becoming presidential puppets.
Remember when the former Veep misspelled potato? His political career was over.
How far we’ve devolved since then. Yesterday when he was speaking about immigration, Vice President Biden practiced etymology without a license, insisting that the word “malarkey” has its roots in Spanish.
Every dictionary I’ve checked says that the origin of the word is unknown. Am I caviling? No more than the press did when Quayle was “a heartbeat away from the presidency.”
The tone of Michael Walsh’s New York Post column today is evident in his opening paragraph:
“First he mistook Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer for a soul singer, calling him Jeffrey Osborne instead of George. Then he explained to an audience in sectarian Belfast that, in the interests of religious harmony, Catholics ought not to have their own schools. Finally, sweating in the hot sun and without his TelePrompTer, he stumbled through a nearly incoherent speech at the Brandenburg Gate that almost nobody attended.”
And in response, presumably, to Chris Matthews’ explanation that the sun was to blame for Obama’s poor performance at the Brandenburg Gate, Walsh concludes by saying that, in fact, everyone, from his base to his family to the rest of us, is simply tired of the same old same old, Walsh concludes, “It’s possible that folks have simply caught on to him, and the act is wearing is thin. The president himself said it best when he explained the absence of his wife and children from the Berlin dais by observing, ‘The last thing they want to do is to listen to another speech from me.’
“Judging from the world’s reaction, they’re not alone.”
Flashback, from CNN, October 2011: “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday the United States would be willing to negotiate with the leader of Afghanistan’s Taliban if he met conditions that have been laid out.
“Testifying at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Clinton did not dismiss the prospect when asked by Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, whether reconciliation talks with the Taliban and other insurgents would include talking with Taliban leader Mullah Omar.
“‘You don’t make peace with your friends,’ she said, speaking days after concluding a weeklong trip that included stops in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
This isn’t her first rodeo. Back in 1998, The United States covertly met with the Taliban to discuss the possible assassination of bin Laden in the wake of the twin embassy bombings in Africa.
And The Obama administration negotiating with The Taliban is nothing new, either. So why is it headline news now? The AP reports, “The proposal to trade U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for the Taliban detainees was made by senior Taliban spokesman Shaheen Suhail in response to a question during a phone interview with The Associated Press from the militants’ newly opened political office in Doha, the capital of the Gulf nation of Qatar.”
In other words, the bad guys are playing us, with the help of the Useful Idiots at the AP.
The breaking news story comes from Al.com.
Mark Krikorian explains the folly of the border security amendment to the Gang of Eight immigration disaster.
And Romney was criticized for proposing that the federal government stop subsidizing Big Bird?
The New York Times reports, “President Obama is preparing regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, senior officials said Wednesday. The move would be the most consequential climate policy step he could take and one likely to provoke legal challenges from Republicans and some industries.”
We saw this coming; since Congress didn’t (and won’t) pass cap and trade, Obama is going to regulate the environment by executive fiat. The salient question is, will it mollify the environmental movement?
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone–except, perhaps, the President.
The Politico story starts, “The embattled IRS is poised to give employees $70 million in bonuses, according to a Republican senator.
“Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, a senior Republican on the Finance Committee, said his office has learned that the IRS is preparing to negotiate an agreement with its union to pay out the bonuses.”
Unions, we must remember, protect the little guy.
No kidding. I guess you can only play the race card so many times…
From The Washington Times: “A former Philadelphia police officer once hailed as a hero who sat next to the first lady during the 2009 State of the Union address was indicted yesterday after being accused of forcing two women to take heroin at gunpoint before raping them.”
The question is, did he go on to work for Hillary’s security detail?
Don’t be frustrated; the more the Senate bill strays from conservative common sense, the less likely (as though it were ever likely) that there will be any reconciliation between the House and Senate versions of the bill.
Yet another example of justice being turned on its face.
From the AP: “President Barack Obama is opening a 24-hour visit to Germany, the culmination of which will be a speech Wednesday at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate.
“Obama will also hold meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other government officials. He arrived in Berlin following a two-day summit of the Group of 8 industrial nations in Northern Ireland.
“The president’s visit comes nearly 50 years to the day after John F. Kennedy’s famous Cold War address in Berlin.
“Obama’s trip is sure to draw comparisons to his 2008 visit to the once-divided city as a candidate for the White House. He received a rock star welcome, with 200,000 people gathering to hear him deliver remarks at Berlin’s Victory Column.”
It’s…laughable that Obama, who has the Presidential timbre of a broken light bulb, is going to the site where President Reagan said “Tear down this wall” tomorrow.
Prediction: Obama won’t say anything memorable.
Michael Barone has the bad news for the President about his sinking numbers among young people: “Barack Obama’s job approval rating is down to 45 percent in the latest CNN/ORC poll, conducted June 11-13, with 54 percent disapproval. The approval number is down from 53 percent in CNN/ORC’s May 17-18 poll. Most interesting result: Obama is getting only 48-percent approval from those age 18 to 34, only 3 percent above his national average.
“By way of comparison, Obama’s 66 percent of the vote among 18-29s in November 2008 was 13 percent above his 53-percent nationwide percentage, and his 60 percent of the vote among 18-29s in November 2012 was 9 percent above his 51-percent nationwide percentage. Yes, the two age groups aren’t quite commensurate, but the numbers still suggest that the gap between young voters and their elders is shrinking. In 2008, it was the widest we have seen in any presidential general election since 1972 — and we don’t have any exit-poll data before then. In the latest CNN/ORC poll, it was down near the level of statistical insignificance.”
The explanation is that young people are connecting the dots between Obama’s policies and the economy.
Now really, does anyone believe that the Russian President is intimidated in the least by the American President?
Bloomberg has the story here.
Glenn Reynolds’ piece in USA Today tomorrow continues to make the point (my point, at least) that limited government must be good government.
Hot Air spells it out: “Although the IRS scandal has been perhaps somewhat overshadowed in the past couple of weeks by the roiling vortex of Scandalmania and especially the NSA surveillance story, Congress has been making steady progress on investigating what really went down at the Internal Revenue Service during the two-plus years that Tea-Party groups were consistently and specifically thwarted in their applications for tax-exempt status — and the administration’s fallback story that the IRS’s especial behavior was an outlier case of a few ‘low-level,’ ‘rogue’ agents, and that D.C. had absolutely nothing to do with it, just keeps getting thinner. In her testimony, Holly Paz — the same IRS agent that was reportedly the first to be fired in the scandal — said that she was personally involved in scrutinizing some of the earliest applications from conservative groups.”
Read the rest of the details here.
One more reason to be repulsed by the TSA, from The Hill.
In his column due out next week in The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol quotes two University of Chicago libertarians talking about the current NSA imbroglio:
“Legally, the president is on secure footing under the Patriot Act, which Congress passed shortly after 9/11 and has since reauthorized by large bipartisan majorities. As he stressed, the program has enjoyed the continued support of all three branches of the federal government. It has been free of political abuse since its inception. .??.??. The critics miss the forest for the trees. Yes, government officials might conceivably misuse some of the trillions of bits of metadata they examine using sophisticated algorithms. But one abuse is no pattern of abuses. .??.??. The cumulative weight of the evidence attests to the soundness of the program. The critics would be more credible if they could identify a pattern of government abuses. But after 12 years of continuous practice, they can’t cite even a single case. We should be thankful that here, at least, government has done its job and done it well.”
Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat and a member of the Gang of Eight, was on CNN’s State of the Union show this morning to spread the word that unless Republicans accept amnesty, they won’t win the White House back. Watch:
The Sharia law mindset is indeed, clandestinely making its way into Western Civilization, as this story from the U.K. Daily Mail amply demonstrates.
Here’s yet another example of Obama’s base feeling abandoned: we’ve seen environmentalists, LGBT advocates, anti-war enthusiasts, turn on the President, and now the gun control movement is following suit.
Justin Peters at Slate spreads the blame, but ultimately, it’s apparent in his piece that the buck stops with Obama. He writes that two days after the Sandy Hook shooting tragedy, “President Obama took aim at what, at the time, seemed like another easy target. ‘We can’t accept events like this as routine,’ he said, promising to use all the powers of his office to make gun control legislation a renewed priority in Washington. ‘Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage? That the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?’ It was a speech the country needed to hear. It was a speech that meant nothing” (italics mine).
Last week we played Obama versus himself on the show; today watch and enjoy then Senator Biden discussing the NSA in light of Obama’s recent comments about the program.
…As are 2 of the 3 main rebel fronts, writes Philip Klein at The Washington Examiner. He quotes from a Wall Street Journal op-ed the other day: “The move [to now arm the rebels] is an about-face by Mr. Obama, who last year blocked a proposal backed by then-Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petraeus and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to arm the rebels. At the time, Mr. Obama voiced concerns that arms could end up in the hands of Islamists battling Mr. Assad.”
Read Klein’s whole piece here.
Matthew Walther at The American Spectator had the opportunity to sit down with Senator Sessions for a while recently. The primary subjects were the Gang of Eight bill, and what in the world is going on inside the Republican Party with regard to it.
Opponents of the bill, Sessions told Walther, should “slow down a little bit, and try to get people to focus on the weaknesses of the bill.” That’s easy to do, as Walther’s column lays out.
From The AP: “Far from reversing course, Senate Democrats who backed President Barack Obama’s health care law and now face re-election in GOP-leaning states are firming up their support for the overhaul even as Republican criticism intensifies.
“Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina will face voters in 2014 for the first time since voting for the Affordable Care Act — also known as ‘Obamacare’ — three years ago. They aren’t apologizing for their vote, and several are pursuing an aggressive strategy: Embrace the law, help voters use it and fix what doesn’t work.”
This is wonderful news for Republicans looking to take the Senate back. A few initial thoughts:
1) I can understand the school of thought of those who don’t want to run from their vote–they think doing so will make them look cowardly and unprincipled;
2) The problem is that there is no helping voters “use” something that is inherently flawed and set to be administered by the IRS, and there’s no chiseling around the edges of the law enough to improve it. It has to be scratched altogether;
3) From now until the end of Obama’s term, we have to question the rationale of the AP for publishing a story like this. Clearly, embracing Obamacare is a political loser for the Democrats–and the AP knows it.
Sigh. Sarah Boesveld says at The National Post that “Parents who read their kids stories about happy, human-like animals like Franklin the Turtle or Arthur at bedtime are exposing their kids to racism, materialism, homophobia and patriarchal norms, according to a paper presented at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.”
It gets better. “Authors are often trying to convey good social values in children’s books with animal characters, whether it be acceptance or generosity or inclusivity. But Ms. Timmerman [one of two academics who submitted a paper to Congress on the subject] wishes these authors would acknowledge that ‘animals themselves may have lessons to teach us.’ For example, bees buzzing around a hive or ants in an ant farm can teach the importance of community and teamwork without having to be anthropomorphized, she said.
“‘Billy the Bee doesn’t necessarily project any kind of cultural bias unless we ignore, for example, that worker ants are mostly females and we call them male because we tend to think of workers as male,’ she said.”
Another sigh and a robust kooking of Ms. Timmerman are in order.
ABC News writes today that “The Democratic National Convention may be long over, but its organizers have not forgotten the almost half a million dollars worth of electronics they seem to have lost.
“Organizers of the Charlotte, N.C., convention have filed a police report for lost and stolen electronics, some of which they appear to have valued at as much as 62 times the listed market prices.
“A reportedly stolen 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop? $75,537. The price listed on the Apple website is $1,199. A lost iPhone? $30,503. A lost Blackberry? $54,250.
“The DNC did not respond to a request for comment.
“Calls to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for elaboration on the report were not returned.”
Is it presumptuous to suggest that that smells of fraud?
In his latest piece at NRO, the always entertaining and thought provoking Mark Steyn lays out how absurd our approach to keeping an eye on terrorists is still turning a blind eye on the real threat.
“The other day,” he says, ”the Boston Globe ran a story on how the city’s police and other agencies had spent months planning a big training exercise for last weekend involving terrorists planting bombs hidden in backpacks left downtown. Unfortunately, the Marathon bombers preempted them, and turned the coppers’ hypothetical scenario into bloody reality.
“What a freaky coincidence, eh? But it’s the differences between the simulation and the actual event that are revealing. In humdrum reality, the Boston bombers were Chechen Muslim brothers with ties to incendiary imams and jihadist groups in Dagestan. In the far more exciting Boston Police fantasy, the bombers were a group of right-wing militiamen called ‘Free America Citizens,’ a name so suspicious (involving as it does the words ‘free,’ ‘America,’ and ‘citizens’) that it can only have been leaked to them by the IRS. What fun the law-enforcement community in Massachusetts had embroidering their hypothetical scenario: The ‘Free America Citizens’ terrorists even had their own little logo — a skull’s head with an Uncle Sam hat. Ooh, scary! The Boston PD graphics department certainly knocked themselves out on that.
“Meanwhile, back in the real world, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was training in Dagestan, posting terrorist videos on YouTube, and getting fingered by the Russians to the FBI. Who did nothing.
“If you had the misfortune to be blown up by the Tsarnaev brothers, and are now facing a future with one leg and suddenly circumscribed goals, like those brave Americans featured on the cover of the current People magazine under the headline “Boston Tough,” you might wish Boston had been a little tougher on Tamerlan and spent less time chasing the phantoms of “Free America Citizens.” But, in fact, it would have been extremely difficult to track the Tsarnaevs at, say, the mosque they attended. Your Granny’s phone calls, your teenager’s Flickr stream, and your Telecharge tickets for two on the aisle at Mamma Mia! for your wife’s birthday, and the MasterCard bill for dinner with your mistress three days later are all fair game, but since October 2011 mosques have been off-limits to the security state. If the FBI guy who got the tip-off from Moscow about young Tamerlan had been sufficiently intrigued to want to visit the Boston mosque where he is said to have made pro-terrorism statements during worship, the agent would have been unable to do so without seeking approval from something called the Sensitive Operations Review Committee high up in Eric Holder’s Department of Justice. The Sensitive Operations Review Committee is so sensitive nobody knows who’s on it. You might get approved, or you might get sentenced to extra sensitivity training for the next three months. Even after the bombing, the cops forbore to set foot in the lads’ mosque for four days. Three hundred million Americans are standing naked in the NSA digital scanner, but the all-seeing security state has agreed that not just their womenfolk but Islam itself can be fully veiled from head to toe.”
So far the federal government isn’t suspected here.
A good piece on the Gang of Eight bill.
I’m no Snowden fan, but this, from Hot Air, is a bit troubling.
The answer is an unambiguous yes. But, as Andy McCarthy pointed out earlier today, if we laugh at that notion, we will be at war forever:
…Here it is.
Jillian Kay Melchior paints a disturbing but true picture of those who fraudulently take their relatives’ social security benefits. It’s a case, not against the potential corruption that big government guarantees, but rather a case (though she doesn’t make it) for the free market. Were social security to be privatized, the horrific stories in her piece–including a daughter who cut her father’s hands off after he died so she could collect his benefits (without the hands, she thought, there would be no fingerprints).
Minority leader Pelosi is not a very bright woman, and this proves it:
That’s putting it mildly. In an event with John McCain closed to the press last night, Clinton, urging Obama to take action in Syria, said that any president who blamed “a poll in the morning paper that said 80 percent of you were against it [would] look like a total wuss. And you would be.”
Never mind that Clinton polled his way through his presidency, up to and including where to vacation. Something else is going on here. The ex-president continued, “if you refuse to act and you cause a calamity, the one thing you cannot say when all the eggs have been broken, is that, ‘Oh my God, two years ago there was a poll that said 80 percent of you were against it.’ Right? You’d look like a total fool.”
The reality is that we have probably waited too long to make an easy decision in Syria. Bill is hoping that he can shame the President into intervening there so Hillary can separate herself from her party in 2016 by promising to end “Obama’s war.”
Not a bad strategy.
From Michael Scherer at Time: “The 21st century mole demands no payments for his secrets. He sees himself instead as an idealist, a believer in individual sovereignty and freedom from tyranny. Chinese and Russian spooks will not tempt him. Rather, it’s the bits and bytes of an online political philosophy that attract his imagination, a hacker mentality founded on message boards in the 1980s, honed in chat rooms in the ’90s and matured in recent online neighborhoods like Reddit and 4chan. He believes above all that information wants to be free, that privacy is sacred and that he has a responsibility to defend both ideas.”
It’s an interesting read. The desire to “whistleblow” is generational. Folks who are Snowden’s age grew up being profoundly affected by our response to 9/11.
From Reuters: “Roughly one in three Americans say the former security contractor who leaked details of top-secret U.S. surveillance activity is a patriot and should not be prosecuted, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.
“Some 23 percent of those surveyed said former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a traitor while 31 percent said he is a patriot. Another 46 percent said they did not know.”
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was talking about the 50-year anniversary of George Wallace standing in the door. Do you notice anything askew with a still shot from the video that accompanied Hayes’ story?
In an e-mail, Governor Bentley said, “”Like many people, I have questions about how and why these surveys were carried out along Alabama’s roads. We need to find out from the federal government exactly what is being done with the information that was collected. We’ll do everything we can to get to the bottom of the issue and make sure that the rights of our citizens are protected.”
…you haven’t. There is an apparent nascent civil war going on within the LGBT community. Adam Winkler at the New Republic writes today about a fifteen-year-old student in Maine who is a boy dressing as a girl. The question at hand is which bathroom he should use at school; currently, he/she is using a staff bathroom.
Winkler isn’t happy. “We often talk about ‘LGBT rights,’” he laments, ”but many of the reforms to date, like civil unions and marriage equality, are primarily benefiting the Ls and the Gs (and, by extension, the Bs). The legal issues surrounding full acceptance of trans-people are likely to be messier and more confusing—and bathrooms are proving a familiar flashpoint.”
He continues with what is (irrespective of anyone’s take on “T” rights) a farcical civil rights declaration: “Restrooms are one of the last explicit vestiges of segregation on the basis of sex. In a nation evolved enough to allow women to serve in combat and have women on the presidential ticket, we still maintain strict and outdated rules that discriminate in who can use which restroom.”
I’ve gone into the wrong bathroom a couple of times over the years, and my first feeling was panic. Now, should it ever happen again, I have an out. I can be a hero spokesman for “T” rights.
Maureen Dowd’s latest New York Times column is an entertaining read. At one point in the piece, she sums up Hillary’s current scandals: “As with Benghazi, Hillary is distancing herself from the latest kerfuffle roiling her former workplace. CBS News’s John Miller secured a State Department draft memo that he said suggested that several internal investigations were “manipulated, influenced, or simply called off” by department big shots. The allegations in the memo included a report of a State Department security official in Beirut “engaged in sexual assaults” on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards, another about members of Hillary’s former diplomatic security detail having an “endemic” issue with hiring “prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries,” and a third involving an “underground drug ring” operating near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and providing drugs to State Department security contractors.”
That should be the end of Hillary’s 2016 presidential aspirations, right? Ms. Dowd doesn’t think so. Hillary has become hip, starting her own Twitter account (finally), the bio of which reads in part, ““Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker.”
Forget the fashion part of her bio; Dowd, with certain hope in her heart, asks, “As she prepares for 2016, is Hillary swapping images with Barry?”
Well, yes. It won’t be long before her scandals are constant, daily, tiresome headline news.
That’s the headline a few hours ago from CNN. “For the first time since 2005,” the story starts,” more Americans have a favorable view of former President George W. Bush than an unfavorable view.
“According to a new Gallup poll released Tuesday, 49% have a positive opinion of the two-term Republican president, while 46% feel the opposite.”
This was historically bound to happen, but the numbers are an impressive recovery from, say, March of 2009, when Gallup reported a 35% favorable and 63% unfavorable rating for President Bush.
The best part of the story, though, is CNN’s headline: You’re starting to remember Bush fondly. How dare you!
Fox News got the scoop: “The controversial filmmaker whose crude Internet trailer was wrongly blamed by the White House for sparking last year’s deadly Benghazi attack vowed to finish his movie, which he said is aimed at fighting terrorism, not denigrating Islam.
“Breaking his silence from inside a facility under the authority of the federal Bureau of Prisons in southern California, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula told FoxNews.com in a series of phone interviews that his film ‘Innocence of Muslims’ has been widely misunderstood, and not just in being singled out as causing the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that left U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead.
“‘It is not [a] religion movie,’ he said. ‘I have a lot of Muslim friends and not all the Muslims believe in the terrorism culture. Some of them believe in this culture. That’s why we need to fight [against] the culture, not the Muslims. My enemy is the terrorism culture; this is my enemy.’”
The question is, will the administration, now that it has been acknowledged that the movie had nothing to do with Benghazi, become a born again 1st Amendment advocate?
Is it gay marriage? From an electoral standpoint, there may be a generational disconnect there. But that’s not the whole story.
Romesh Ponnuru writes at Bloomberg that “young people aren’t socially liberal when it comes to abortion. In the College Republicans’ March survey, 51 percent of them believed abortion should be banned altogether or with exceptions in unusual circumstances. They aren’t all that liberal on immigration, either. About 65 percent of young voters favored deporting illegal immigrants, enforcing the law before offering them legal status, or offering them legal status but not citizenship — all positions to the right of the immigration bill now being debated in the Senate. Young voters also consider climate change a low-priority issue.”
So, Ponurru says, it’s not social issues; it’s the economy, stupid. And Republicans are going to have to convince young voters that higher taxes on anyone hurts everyone.
WAFF reports on the local version of Big Brother. It’s not the IRS, but it’s troubling.
Today’s lead editorial in The Wall Street Journal begins, “Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Obama emerged from their ‘shirt-sleeve summit’ on the weekend touting new cooperation on climate change and North Korea. The big exception to this new era of good feeling? China’s cyber attacks against U.S. private and government targets, on which Mr. Xi gave no ground.”
So how do we respond to a recalcitrant Communist superpower that has stolen its way into the capability of threatening our electric grid? The Journal piece concludes, “Arms control won’t stop China’s cyber theft. The fear of counter cyber warfare might.”
You have to read USA Today’s editor’s take on Snowden.
The punch line is that there really isn’t a take; they’re suffering from a bad case of cognitive dissonance, and they reach no profound conclusion.
The scariest part about the current NSA discussion doesn’t have to do with whether or not our civil liberties are being violated, but rather how it was that a 29-year-old relative nobody in the intelligence world brought it to its knees.
I.e. Just how efficient and effective is our intelligence-gathering apparatus?
This, from Al.com, is good news: “The University of Alabama in Huntsville was ranked No. 1 by The College Database on its list of Alabama colleges with the highest financial return on investment.
“This distinction stems from a new metric created by The College Database that shows which colleges provide high quality educations at affordable prices.”
The Senator from Florida joined John McCain and Harry Reid on Univision’s “Al Punto” program yesterday morning. Here’s a portion of the transcript from the Center for Immigration Studies:
“Rubio, responding to the concern that legalization might be delayed and therefore be subjected to the policies of future administrations: Let’s be clear. Nobody is talking about preventing the legalization. The legalization is going to happen. That means the following will happen: First comes the legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border. And then comes the process of permanent residence. What we’re talking about here is the system of permanent residence. As for the legalization, the enormous majority of my colleagues have accepted that it has to happen and that it has to begin at the same time we begin the measures for [the border]. It is not conditional. The legalization is not conditional.”
His LA Times piece today is a primer for those of us who don’t want to repeat the mistakes of 1986. As Senator Sessions writes, “The Department of Homeland Security merely has to submit a border plan, not accomplish that plan. Those legalized will then be free to compete for jobs at a time of low wages and high unemployment. It’s amnesty first, not enforcement first.”
Read the whole thing.
The AP writes of a true local hero, Army Spc. Corey Garmon, injured in Afghanistan, who has started a non-profit called Operation Helping Heroes. The story will make you smile.
The story comes from The Washington Examiner, and is remarkable, really. The essence is that tax hikes and the profligate printing of money is the cause of our current economic woes. Will the Fed act on the results of its own study?
We shouldn’t hold our breath.
Meanwhile, in both worlds, Sharia law marches forward, undeterred.
For a while now I’ve been saying that the President has been losing kook base group after kook base group because he hasn’t walked the walk. The latest example is the LGBT community, as is evidenced by Ellen Sturtz’s guest column in The Washington Post today. Ms. Sturtz (the woman who heckled Michelle Obama recently), writes, “When Barack Obama was running for President in 2008, I thought he was serious about protecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from workplace discrimination. He made two key promises — that he would sign an executive order providing workplace protections by federal contractors, and that he would help pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), ending workplace discrimination by all employers. I contributed to the campaign, expecting that if elected, he would keep his word to fight for our community.
“Five years later, I’m still waiting. Despite having this executive order sitting on his desk, the president has yet to pick up his pen.”
The unsavory choice for the President is, lurch to the Left in the next few months, or give up on your party talking the House back next year.
There are things not to like in Bill Cosby’s lengthy piece in The New York Post today, but this is not among them:
“I started talking about the projects and a guy looked at me and said, ‘What’s wrong with the projects?’ I said, ‘Nothing, only if you realize this is only to take advantage of the things afforded, take advantage of education opportunity, things available to you.’ He started yelling over me and I said, ‘Sir, there is something wrong with you wanting to stay here forever because it means as long as you’re excepting these two checks, you’re apathetic.’ He cursed and I said, you can yell all you want. But you have certain people who have been pacified by those who don’t want to hurt their feelings or argue with them.”
ABC reports that “After almost falling apart today, the House ‘Gang of 8’ lives on, as a ‘Gang of 7.’
“Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, left the group after saying he could not come to an agreement with the other members on health care, sources within the meeting among the bipartisan group of representatives told ABC News.”
Specifically, ABC reveals that “under current law, hospitals are required to give emergency care to anyone who walks in to a facility in need. The individual pays what they qualify for and Medicaid picks up the remainder, reimbursing the hospital for the difference.
“Republicans wanted the undocumented immigrants personally responsible – out-of-pocket – for all the health care costs they incur.
“Democrats suggested the creation of a fund or a pool of money to which the 11 million undocumented immigrants would contribute to take care of any of health care costs for the 11 million.
“But Labrador wasn’t going to budge, according to sources.”
On the Senate Side, Marco Rubio should be taking notes.
No, it’s not a parody. It’s the President out in California trying to raise money for the 2014 elections, reports the Washington Times.
Al.com reports that “Soldiers using social media should avoid comments on gun control, Democrats, President Barack Obama or personal opinions about state and federal government, according to an email sent to an Alabama National Guard member and covered on the Military Times Blog Outside The Wire.”
The e-mail offers examples of acceptable “Dos and Don’ts” when engaging in social media.
Among the acceptable “Dos” are:
Update personal status, ie “at the mall”
Comment on friend’s status, ie “happy birthday”
And then there are the “Don’ts:”
Don’t “Comment or add posts concerning gun control, the Democrats, the President, Congress, or personal opinions about state or federal government matters.”
The Democrats?!? Opinions about state or federal government matters?!?!?!? As the article points out, The Uniform Code of Military Justice “does not specifically prohibit soldiers from commenting on politics or social issues.”
Apparently the President has gotten to the military, too.
…Reuters. “The president is trying to have it both ways,” they write. “Two weeks ago, Obama called for a scaling back of the ‘war on terror.’ On Friday, he defended the vast post-9/11 state surveillance system whose only justification is to wage it.
“As al Qaeda weakens, surveillance should be decreased, not increased. Obama should be slowly dismantling the system, not regularizing and legitimizing it.”
Their logic–based on the false premise that al Qaeda is weakening–makes perfect sense. And it’s clear, in any event, that Obama has lost Reuters:
“On Friday, Obama insisted that the surveillance programs strike a balance between security and privacy. ’My assessment and my team’s assessment was that they help us prevent terrorist attacks,’ Obama said.
“After years of excessive secrecy regarding drone strikes, another assurance from Obama is simply not enough.”
From The New York Times: “The government reported Friday that the nation added 175,000 jobs in May, continuing a 32-month run of job gains. The unemployment rate moved up slightly to 7.6 percent, from 7.5 percent in April.
“But overall employment in the United States remained 2.1 percent below where it was at the end of 2007, according to the statistics bureau. By comparison, over the same period, between December 2007 and March 2013, the number of jobs was up 8.1 percent in Australia; Germany, the biggest economy in the troubled euro zone, has managed a 5.8 percent gain in employment.”
So why, wonders the Times, are we lagging behind?
“A big part of the problem, economists say, is just how big a hole the American economy fell into in the first place.”
Ahh. It’s still Bush’s fault.
That’s one way to look at it…
The American Spectator has a nice tribute to Alabama Judge John Crawley by Jack Park who says, among other things, that “his contribution to the rule of law was a substantial one.”
Is this a case of what goes around comes around?
Jonathan Easley, writing at The Hill, says, “Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on Friday disputed a claim President Obama made at a press conference only moments earlier, when the president said that every member of Congress had been briefed on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) domestic phone surveillance program.
Merkley said only select members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees had been briefed on the program, and that he was only aware of it because he obtained ‘special permission’ to review the pertinent documents after hearing about it second-hand.”
The entire Congress shouldn’t be briefed on all things foreign policy, by the way, but Merkley’s contradictory claims raise further trust issues with regard to the President.
Fox News has the story here. The word for the week is TRUST.
Nile Gardiner writes in the London Telegraph that “This is undoubtedly a period of steep decline for the Obama presidency, whose imperial-style big government approach is being increasingly questioned not only by American voters, but also by formerly subservient sections of the liberal-dominated mainstream media.”
He goes on to offer “ten key reasons why the Obama presidency is in trouble.” It’s worth the read.
They added the words “on this issue” to their original declaration that the “administration has lost all credibility” over the NSA phone records scandal, reports The Daily Caller. The original editorial implied a general loss of credibility; the 2nd draft narrowed it down.
But it’s The New York Times. Most liberal news outlets aren’t going to be so easily forgiving.
From Al.com: “A new education bill introduced today by the chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce includes provisions from a standalone bill filed last month by U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Alabama.
“If successful, the Student Success Act of 2013 would codify Roby’s proposal to bar the U.S. Department of Education from using federal grants or regulation waivers to entice states to adopt certain curriculum standards or assessment policies.
“‘Over the past few weeks, we have received overwhelming support for our efforts to rein in the federal government’s intrusion into state education policies,’ Roby said in reaction.”
On multiple fronts, we are winning.
…The New York Times, in responding to today’s scandal–the NSA collecting phone records, writes, “The administration has now lost all credibility.”
In case you missed it on Facebook, here’s what I wrote earlier about the slew of apologies coming from IRS types these days:
The Washington Free Beacon counts down the worst of the worst from Susan Rice’s replacement.
Watch MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, and draw your own conclusion.
The Washington state Congressman who condescendingly lectured conservatives who had the temerity to apply for 501(c)4 status yesterday during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing appeared on Fox News today, apparently thinking that he wouldn’t be sufficiently taken to task for his outrageous performance. When Megyn called him out, his smug laughter turned into unrighteous indignance. The fun begins around the one-minute mark.
ABC News reports that “An Alabama politician’s wife who took to Facebook to warn women to stay away from her husband said a ‘righteous anger’ pushed her to write a post that has now gone viral.
“‘I know that I can’t bring about change in other people’s lifestyles but I can protect my household, my husband and my children,’ Heather McGill, the wife of Alabama state Sen. Shadrack McGill, told ABC News.
“Heather McGill logged on to her husband’s Facebook page Monday night to write a post targeted at the women she claims are soliciting her husband, a Republican who has served in the Senate since 2010, for sex.”
This sounds too out there to be true. But it is. The story continues, “Sen. McGill told ABC News that, during his 2010 campaign, strippers arrived at his family’s home in the middle of the night and that, since being elected, he has received numerous photos on Facebook of scantily clad women.”
Strippers don’t just show up at one’s house without encouragement.
In fact, a plurality of Americans say so, according to a Bloomberg poll.
The Daily Caller reports that “First Lady Michelle Obama was met with a heckler Tuesday evening at a Democratic National Committee event in Washington, D.C.
“A gay rights activist standing near the front of the audience began shouting for an executive order on gay rights, according to the White House pool report.
“‘One of the things I don’t do well is this,’ Obama responded to approval from the audience.”
And then, when the heckling didn’t stop, the First Lady…lost it a bit, walking toward the protester and saying, “listen to me or you can take the mic, but I’m leaving. You all decide. You have one choice.’”
Last week, you’ll recall, the President was heckled during his “close Guantanamo now” speech by a member of Code Pink. Today it’s a gay rights advocate.
Who’s placing bets? Will big labor or big environmentalism be the next to vent?
Incidentally, the Caller story reports that the official White House transcript of the event includes the protesters remarks and omits the First Lady’s threat to walk out.
Dick Armey, the former Republican House Majority leader, slams Chris Christie for calling a special election to fill recently deceased Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg’s seat rather than appointing a replacement:
In The New York Times Sunday review of books, Michiko Kakutani has some thoughts On Jonathan Alter’s new book “The Center Holds.”
Kakutani writes, “Mr. Alter’s thesis is that the 2012 election was possibly ‘the most consequential’ in recent times and ‘a hinge of history’ — ‘a titanic ideological struggle’ that put the ‘social contract established during the New Deal era’ on the line. He readily acknowledges that he thinks the United States ‘dodged a bullet in 2012,’ and that in re-electing Barack Obama and rejecting the Republicans’ ‘extremist’ views, America reaffirmed its identity as an essentially ‘centrist nation.’”
Wow. The veracity of big government really does hinge on Barack Obama the man, not the President.
That’s bad news for government enthusiasts.
The story is broken–surprise!–by the AP: “Some of President Barack Obama’s political appointees are using secret government email accounts to conduct official business, The Associated Press found, a practice that complicates agencies’ legal responsibilities to find and turn over emails under public records requests and congressional inquiries.”
If the IRS is intimidating us, it’s marginally comforting to know that the AP is now dedicated to exposing any White House wrongdoing.
So says John Feehery, writing at The Hill. Each scandal carries with it a particular problem for the administration. It’s worth the read.
The story is in The New York Times.
This is clever–or, perhaps, merely a nice try. Reuters writes, “Internal Revenue Service staff have a long history of discouraging applications for tax-exempt status from controversial groups by burying them in complicated questionnaires, according to former IRS officials. Among other reasons, they said, the tactic was sometimes used to persuade groups to drop their applications so the IRS could avoid making a ruling.”
So what are we to make of this–is Reuters onto the IRS?
No, it turns out, as one discovers after reading the next paragraph: “This approach – allegedly used in the recent IRS targeting of Tea Party and other conservative groups – has been around for decades, the officials said, citing lengthy questionnaires sent to applicants including religious and gay-rights organizations and a children’s summer camp group that promotes atheist thinking.”
You see? There’s no scandal here, because the IRS has targeted atheists and gay rights advocates.
From CNN: “Hillary Clinton – former first lady, senator, and secretary of state – may have a future as a television executive.
“Speaking to an audience of fashion industry bigwigs Monday in New York, Clinton offered a pitch for Bravo, the television network that’s home to ‘Project Runway.’ The show would ‘fill that gap that is so apparent to some of us,’ Clinton said. ‘All you really need is a small but passionate audience to be successful. We could call it ‘Project Pantsuit.’ We have all kinds of ideas.’
“The potential 2016 White House hopeful was honoring designer Oscar de la Renta at the annual Council of Fashion Designers of America award ceremony at New York’s Lincoln Center. De la Renta’s suits and gowns have long been favorites of Clinton’s, from her days as first lady to her world tours as America’s top diplomat.”
This doesn’t strike me as a particularly logical move for someone–anyone–purportedly running for president in 2016.
Sir Charles is, as usual, brilliant.
The Washington Times reports, “Noted political writer Edward Klein claims in his latest book that Bill Clinton dismissed President Obama as inept and incapable of performing the duties of the White House — but that he formed a secret deal to give him an endorsement for office anyway…
“The deal was this: Mr. Clinton would endorse Mr. Obama for the White House in 2012 if Mr. Obama would endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton for president in 2016, the book claimed.
“At the same time, Mr. Clinton wasn’t completely happy about the deal — he would have preferred his wife challenge Mr. Obama for the White House in 2012, Mr. Klein’s book claimed.”
The salient question is, will Hillary want Obama’s endorsement?
As this story from the AP evinces: “A lawmaker who helped negotiate a bipartisan bill to overhaul immigration predicted on Sunday that comprehensive legislation would overwhelmingly pass the Senate by July 4 while House Republicans cautioned that they would write their own version, one piece at a time.”
It’s up to us to stop Schumer (the lawmaker referenced above) from realizing his goal.
…is the result of colonoscopies, says The New York Times. Anyone who doubts the veracity of the death panel charge should read this. If we only seriously curtailed the number of colonoscopies, the Times insists, our health care spending would be more in line with other countries.
The Times says, “A major factor behind the high costs is that the United States, unique among industrialized nations, does not generally regulate or intervene in medical pricing, aside from setting payment rates for Medicare and Medicaid, the government programs for older people and the poor. Many other countries deliver health care on a private fee-for-service basis, as does much of the American health care system, but they set rates as if health care were a public utility or negotiate fees with providers and insurers nationwide, for example.
“‘In the U.S., we like to consider health care a free market,’ said Dr. David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund and a former adviser to President Obama. ‘But it is a very weird market, riddled with market failures.’”
Sigh. It is the ABSENCE of a free market in health care that is the problem.
Tony Blair had a Churchill moment with his piece in the UK Daily Mail:
“There is only one view of the murder of Lee Rigby: horrific. But there are two views of its significance.
“One is that it is the act of crazy people, motivated in this case by a perverted idea about Islam, but of no broader significance.
“Crazy people do crazy things. So don’t overreact.
“The other view is that this act was indeed horrible; and that the ideology which inspired it is profound and dangerous.
“I am of this latter view.”
I always kind of liked Blair. Yes, he was buddies with Bill, but he was also a solid friend of the United States in the years after 9/11. His whole column is worth a look. Somebody in our government needs to say what he’s saying.
Peter Ferrara at Forbes Magazine writes, “The right measure and comparison for Obama’s record is not to compare the recovery to the recession, but to compare Obama’s recovery with other recoveries from other recessions since the Great Depression. By that measure, what is clear is that Obamanomics has produced the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression, worse than what every other President who has faced a recession has achieved since the Great Depression.”
An IRS agent from Cincinnati spills the beans. The whole transcript is worth reading, but here’s one particularly captivating exchange:
Q: Earlier I believe you informed us that the primary reason for applying for another job in July  was because of the micromanagement from [Washington, DC, IRS Attorney], is that correct?
A: Right. It was the whole Tea Party. It was the whole picture. I mean, it was the micromanagement. The fact that the subject area was extremely sensitive and it was something that I didn’t want to be associated with.
Q: Why didn’t you want to be associated with it?
A: For what happened now. I mean, rogue agent? Even though I was taking all my direction from EO Technical [Washington, D.C], I didn’t want my name in the paper for being this rogue agent for a project I had no control over.
Q: Did you think there was something inappropriate about what was happening in 2010?
A: Yes. The inappropriateness was not processing these applications fairly and timely.”
Read this ridiculous story about a child hero being admonished.
This is as amazing as it is to be expected from this administration. And it won’t make anyone love big government. The CBC (out of Canada) writes, “A Canadian shipment of relief goods bound for storm-ravaged Oklahoma has been stopped at the Canada-U.S. border in Windsor, Ont.
“American officials will not allow the 20,000 kilograms of food, blankets and diapers into the country until every item on board is itemized in alphabetical order and has the country of origin of every product noted.
“Dennis Sauve, the volunteer co-ordinator for Windsor Lifeline Outreach and the food bank co-ordinator at the Windsor Christian Fellowship, the two organizations that gathered the goods, said it’s a ‘physical impossibility’ to do the paperwork required in time to get the perishable food to Oklahoma before it spoils.”
From Al.com: “Alabama Democrats today postponed the election of a new chairperson after executive committee members said it was vital to the troubled party’s future to get the right person in the post.
“The selection of a new chairperson was one of the main agenda items of today’s meeting of the State Democratic Executive Committee in Montgomery. However, committee members voted to delay a vote after some said they wanted more time to look for a new leader and to evaluate those who have expressed interest.”
From CNN: “When President Barack Obama headed to the Jersey Shore this week to tout the recovery effort from Superstorm Sandy, congressional Republicans sought to keep the nation’s focus on Washington.
“On the same day Obama played ‘Touchdown Fever’ with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on the Point Pleasant boardwalk and urged Americans to come spend money in the devastated region, House GOP committee leaders ensured that a series of controversies dominating the start of the president’s second term remained in the headlines.
“Obama quoted from the Tom Waits song ‘Jersey Girl’ popularized by local hero Bruce Springsteen, while GOP officials announced subpoenas of State Department records involving last year’s deadly Benghazi terrorist attack, questioned if Attorney General Eric Holder lied to Congress about cracking down on journalists and announced another congressional hearing on IRS targeting of conservative groups.
“And on Friday, Obama stood in the Rose Garden to push Congress to extend student loan rates that are set to double on July 1 if the White House and Republicans can’t strike a deal.”
The whole story is long, but worth reading. For CNN, it’s pretty unbiased. The political battle will indeed come down to whether or not Republicans can stay focused on wrongdoing without being accused of going after a hard-working President. Again, it will be decided based on how much faith people have in government.
It’s the soft story of the month, but it really is pathetic.
From Fox Radio News: “A small Nebraska gun shop has decided to buy its ink pens and post-it notes somewhere else after they said Staples rejected their entry into a marketing contest because they are in the firearms business.”
Mark them off the list of places to patronize.
It’s Friday; why not recall how adeptly President Clinton got out of the corner into which he was backed? The best part of this is from fifty seconds in to a minute thirty four.
This isn’t a funny situation, but it’s a humorously written story from The Daily Caller.
At least we have a ready-made list of “conservatives” who like Common Core, the centralized education standards adopted by 45 states so far (though some, like Alabama, are having second thoughts).
Over at The Hoover Institution, Chester Finn, the “Senior Fellow and Chair [of the] k-12 Education task Force,” takes up for Common Core, and along the way, manages to inject politics into the discussion:
“Many respected conservatives back the Common Core, including such scarred veterans of the education-reform wars as Jeb Bush, Bill Bennett, John Engler, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Sonny Perdue, Bobby Jindal, Rod Paige, and Mitch Daniels. They realize that academic standards are just the beginning, setting out a destination but not how to get there. They understand, too, that a destination worth reaching beats aimless wandering—and a big modern country is better off if it knows how all its kids and schools are doing against a rigorous set of common expectations for the three R’s.”
In a story today, The Washington Examiner included a few You Tube minutes of Ted Cruz appearing on Fox News today. Cruz stated frankly that the administration has violated the Bill of Rights—in particular, the 1st Amendment (for obvious reasons), the 4th Amendment (again, you can see in the wake of the Rosen scandal how that resonates), and the 2nd and the 5th Amendments.
Watch the whole thing; you’ll particularly like the end (starting around 2:36). A referendum on the veracity of big, benevolent government has emerged thanks to President Obama’s enthusiasm for it, and, by extension, the inevitable corruption that greets those who believe in it.
The Boston Herald reports, “A community activist is challenging Gov. Deval Patrick’s pick for board chairman at the troubled Roxbury Community College because the new leader is white, but the administration is standing by the appointment.
“Sadiki Kambon, who said he represents a group called Friends of Roxbury Community College, sent Patrick a letter Monday demanding that Gerald Chertavian, who was named board chairman last week, be replaced by ‘another qualified candidate (Black).’
“‘It’s important for our young people to see someone who looks like us who is the position of leadership in our academic community. We feel that someone from our community has the skill set necessary to run that institution,’ Kambon told the Herald.”
For whatever reason, we are moving backwards with regard to race. Fortunately, students aren’t on board. “On campus yesterday, the appointment was a non-issue to students and staff who spoke to the Herald.
“’I personally think it doesn’t matter if the person is black or white,’ said Shannon Samuels, a criminal justice student.”
The story is from The Daily Caller, and it’s worth the read, if for no other reason than to see the chart showing how many more times the head of the IRS has visited the White House than any other member of the President’s cabinet and staff.
The warning shot veteran Corey Thompson fired prevented a potential crime. Nevertheless, it got him into trouble.
From MSN: “Corey Thompson says that when he saw Jonathon Kinsella allegedly attempting to break in through the back door of his Medford, Ore., apartment, he grabbed his AR-15 and fired a warning shot. But pulling that trigger is why cops went after Thompson, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, instead of Kinsella, a wanted felon. Police confiscated Thompson’s rifle and charged him with unlawful use of a weapon and reckless endangering. ‘There was nothing that the suspect was doing that was aggressive enough to justify the shooting,’ police Lt. Mike Budreau said.”
From TheCollegeFix.com: “Nearly 50 students at the University of Colorado at Boulder have signed a large, colorful ‘Thank You’ card to the IRS for stonewalling conservative groups’ efforts to obtain nonprofit status. “’Yes – I’ll sign it – because I think it’s a fake scandal and it makes sense to prosecute the 501cs, or whatever it is,’ said one male student as he signed the card, which was essentially a poster board with the words ‘Thank You IRS!’ in bright, block lettering.” The card was a joke, but the students who signed it weren’t kidding.
The AP is merrily, I’m certain, reporting on campaign wrongdoing with regard to the Majority Leader of the Senate.
This is a disturbing story. It seems to vindicate those of us who have been maintaining that Islamists–a small minority of Muslims worldwide–aren’t just angry at the Western world; their problem is any and all infidels.
From Reuters: “State television said a mosque, a Muslim religious school and a number of shops were gutted by fires started on Tuesday by Buddhists who rampaged after hearing reports of a Muslim man setting a Buddhist woman on fire and badly wounding her. State media said calm had returned by Wednesday.”
That was the 13th out of 21 paragraphs. If you read on to paragraphs 18 and 19, you finally get a few details. “Tuesday’s unrest in Lashio,” Reuters writes as it winds down the story, ”was sparked by a quarrel between two people, named by state media as Aye Aye Win, 24, a Buddhist woman who sold petrol, and Ne Win, a Muslim man aged 48.
“MRTV television said Ne Win poured petrol over Aye Aye Win and set her on fire. She was in hospital, (sic) it said.”
Now, let me hasten to say that I don’t condone setting mosques on fire. But the Reuters story seeks to eclipse any culpability that might be properly accorded to the Muslim man who set a woman on fire.
Here’s the opening paragraph: “Security forces struggled to control Buddhist mobs who burned Muslim homes on Wednesday for a second day in the northern Myanmar city of Lashio in a dangerous widening of ultra-nationalist Buddhist violence.”
No mention of the Buddhist woman being set on fire. By the 4th paragraph, we learn that “The violence in this city in a mountainous region near Myanmar’s northeastern border with China, about 700 km (430 miles) from the commercial capital Yangon, shows how far anti-Muslim anger is spreading in the Buddhist-dominated country.”
Still, no mention of the attack on a Buddhist woman by a Muslim man.
A hurried scan of the article would leave the reader thinking that Buddhists in Myanmar were randomly attacking Muslims. Far from condoning the violence, I’m simply requesting that Reuters paint an accurate picture of things.
From MSNBC: “Let the Eric Holder mea culpa tour begin.
“The attorney general–whose Justice Department is coming under fire for authorizing subpoenas for journalists’ personal information–is going into damage control mode, meeting with several media organizations this week as part of an agency review that President Obama has mandated. NBC News said it planned to attend the meeting.”
Hopefully someone from NBC will ask the simple question, “How many other news outlets have employees who face ‘potential criminal liability’ just for doing our jobs?”
The Attorney General won’t give a straightforward answer, of course, and the press will monolithically report the meeting as a laughable farce.
You have to admire her honesty. From Gateway Pundit: “Democrat Melowese Richardson candidly admitted to Cincinnati’s Channel 9 in February that she voted twice in the 2012 election. ‘I’ll fight it for Mr. Obama and Mr. Obama’s right to sit as president of the United States,’ she proclaimed in the interview.”
In other words, for some on the Left, the end justifies the means.
Al.com reports on Luther Strange’s decision to re-write Alabama law.
From The Daily Beast: “The White House has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans for a no-fly zone inside Syria that would be enforced by the U.S. and other countries such as France and Great Britain, two administration officials told The Daily Beast.”
And John Kerry is going to have a Syria peace get-together with the Russian foreign minister.
The Beast piece continues, “‘The White House is still in contemplation mode but the planning is moving forward and it’s more advanced than it’s ever been,’ one administration official told The Daily Beast. ‘All this effort to pressure the regime is part of the overall effort to find a political solution, but what happens if Geneva fails? It’s only prudent to plan for other options.’”
Could we be seeing Obama’s version of Wag The Dog?
This is as maddening as it is hilarious. The New York Post reports on a 400-pound union president who…shall we say, lacks ambition (but still commands a hefty salary thanks to compulsory union dues).
The pictures are the best part.
Paul Bedard, writing at The Washington Examiner, elaborates on the point I made on the show tonight that big government (surprise!) isn’t always–are you sitting down?–efficient.
Joan Walsh, strategizing over at Salon, Empathizes with Eric Holder:
“Part of me has been rooting for Attorney General Eric Holder to keep his job. It’s the part of me that wishes Democrats were tougher, that they didn’t reflexively try to reason and negotiate with crackpot Republicans, and then just fold when the GOP, predictably, won’t budge. Holder modeled backbone for spineless Democrats the day he told Rep. Darrell Issa, the dodgy car-alarm magnate turned ‘oversight’ bully, that his behavior as House Oversight Committee chair has been ‘unacceptable, and…shameful.’”
Jonathan Turley, writing in today’s Washington Post:
“The growing dominance of the federal government over the states has obscured more fundamental changes within the federal government itself: It is not just bigger, it is dangerously off kilter. Our carefully constructed system of checks and balances is being negated by the rise of a fourth branch, an administrative state of sprawling departments and agencies that govern with increasing autonomy and decreasing transparency.
“For much of our nation’s history, the federal government was quite small. In 1790, it had just 1,000 nonmilitary workers. In 1962, there were 2,515,000 federal employees. Today, we have 2,840,000 federal workers in 15 departments, 69 agencies and 383 nonmilitary sub-agencies.
“This exponential growth has led to increasing power and independence for agencies. The shift of authority has been staggering. The fourth branch now has a larger practical impact on the lives of citizens than all the other branches combined.”
In two words, he’s right.
I vehemently disagree with his conclusion, but Luntz has been at the game for a long time…
It appears that the President’s speech yesterday did nothing to assuage concerns about his profligate use of drones. The story is from Reuters.
Brad Woodhouse, the Communications Director for the DNC, tweeted a delightful fundraising letter today. Here’s just a small part of the text: “Getting in President Obama’s way has been the top priority for Republicans in Congress since day one. But now they’ve gone too far.
“They’ve been caught red-handed making up so-called ’scandals’ out of thin air to stir up false rumors of vast ‘cover-ups’ happening in the White House.
“Did they find a single shred of evidence to back up their outrageous claims? No.”
Well, there is the fact that Lois Lerner admitted to her agency’s wrongdoing, just to mention one of the scandals. Or the fact, revealed by NBC News, that Eric Holder personally signed off on the search warrant for Fox reporter James Rosen. Come to think of it, video footage reveals that there wasn’t an angry mob present in front of the American embassy in Libya prior to the terrorist attack. But who’s keeping track?
Did you hear about this? From Breitbart: “Blaming the sequester, the IRS is ‘furloughing’ employees for a day on Friday. In an internal email sent out on Monday, the IRS’s Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support, Beth Tucker, told all IRS employees that ‘the IRS as an organization and all of us as employees are going through some difficult days.’”
Well, by all means, if sequestration is going to negatively affect the IRS, let’s come together and raise taxes!
From Al.com: “U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Mobile, announced Thursday that, effective Aug. 15, he was resigning the congressional seat he’s held since 2003 for a new job at the University of Alabama System.”
Former gubernatorial candidate Bradley Byrne is among those considering running for the soon-to-be open seat. At the time of this writing, Governor Bentley hasn’t yet set a date for a special election. Stay tuned.
So reads the title of a recent op-ed at a Left wing website, truth-out.org. The piece takes us back to the halcyon days of the Johnson administration, when public broadcasting was heavily subsidized by taxpayers.
“When public broadcasting in America was first established, the intent was that Congress would provide funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which would in turn divide that funding up among the various public television and radio stations across the country.
“This worked great for years.
“The Public Broadcasting System and National Public Radio brought educational programming, and independent news and political analysis to millions of Americans.”
But then along came Reagan, who slashed funding for PBS and NPR, leaving them beholden to corporate donors like (gasp!) the Koch brothers. “Independent news and political analysis” is now, bemoans the editorial, a thing of the past. PBS, for instance, yanked a story about money in politics entitled “Citizen Koch,” because the story was unfavorable to the Koch brothers, and, PBS feared, might cause the Kochs to stop donating to public broadcasting (they’ve given $23 million to public television over the years).
It’s worth noting that, according to Matt Lewis at Politics Daily, over the last ten years, the Kochs, in addition to giving money to libertarian causes, have given more than $600 million to charity, the arts, and education, including:
“New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell: $15 million
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: $25 million
The Hospital for Special Surgery: $26 million
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: $30 million
Prostate Cancer Foundation: $41 million
Deerfield Academy: $68 million
Lincoln Center’s NY State Theater: $100 million
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: $139 million.”
But, you see, those are private dollars, and, thinks the editorial board at truth-out.org, necessarily bad. The piece concludes by saying that “It’s time to take back our public airwaves, and cut-off the corporate and billionaire control over them, so that David Koch and his buddies don’t get to choose what you watch on TV.
“And the only way to do that is to fully fund public radio and television.”
Funding Big Bird or not won’t make or break the bank, but the notion that government spending is necessarily good and free of corruption explains perpetual trillion-dollar deficits.
…this gem from Joe Davidson, writing in The Washington Post: “It’s not fair, but it is inevitable — and understandable — that Lerner’s refusal to answer questions gives the impression that she has something to hide about her involvement in the targeting.”
Poor, poor, Ms. Lerner.
It’s his story and he’s sticking to it. The relevant part of the clip starts at 1:38.
During his take-the-nation’s-mind-off-of-scandal foreign policy speech today, the President resurrected his pledge to close Guantanamo Bay. At least one member of Code Pink wasn’t buying it:
Charles Krauthammer said as much on Special Report tonight:
The story is from ABC News.
So Obama HAS killed Americans, says the New York Times: “President Obama plans to open a new phase in the nation’s long struggle with terrorism on Thursday by restricting the use of unmanned drone strikes that have been at the heart of his national security strategy and shifting control of them away from the C.I.A. to the military.
“In his first major speech on counterterrorism of his second term, Mr. Obama hopes to refocus the epic conflict that has defined American priorities since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and even foresees an unspecified day when the so-called war on terror might all but end, according to people briefed on White House plans.
“As part of the shift in approach, the administration on Wednesday formally acknowledged for the first time that it had killed four American citizens in drone strikes outside the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, arguing that its actions were justified by the danger to the United States. Mr. Obama approved providing new information to Congress and the public about the rules governing his attacks on Al Qaeda and its allies.”
Our own Jeff Sessions was recently called a racist by kook columnist Dana Milbank in The Washington Post. His offense? Opposing amnesty.
“Not since George Wallace,” Milbank begins, “has an Alabamian taken as passionate a stand for a lost cause as the one Jeff Sessions is taking now.”
The column is offensive to Senator Sessions and to Alabamians in general. The good news is that our star Senator is undeterred.
When The Huffington Post continues to frown upon the administration’s scandals, things are awry.
This is worth reading.
The Huffington Post isn’t happy about the administration’s decision to pick on Fox News.
Yes, The Huffington Post. This is the scandal (the media one) guaranteed to bring the administration down.
CNN reports that the Tea Party’s favorable rating is up nine points since CNN’s March poll. Read all the details here.
The Huffington Post may even be outraged.
Senator Tom Coburn might sound heartless, but his focus on eradicating profligate spending has passed the crucible of credibility on this.
From Roll Call: “The tornado damage near Oklahoma City is still being assessed and the death toll is expected to rise, but already Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., says he will insist that any federal disaster aid be paid for with cuts elsewhere.”
State Senator Arthur Orr will be calling into the show tomorrow night with a wrap up of the legislative session. In the meantime, you can follow any breaking developments here.
Granted, it took blatant hard-to-ignore examples for Piers to figure it out, but we welcome him aboard the trolley of self-evident truth:
From Al.com: “Gov. Robert Bentley today cautioned that legislators ‘had better be listening to the people’ regarding private school tax credits saying most people do not favor public money going to private schools…
“’I would like to encourage the House members, as well as the senators, to reach out to their constituents and just ask them one simple question. Are you in favor of tax dollars going to support private education and being taken away from public schools? And just ask them that question. I know what the answer is,’ Bentley said during an interview in his office.”
The premise of the question is flawed. Who would be taking away tax dollars from public schools? The answer is, any parent who isn’t satisfied that her local public school isn’t educating her child.
School choice tax credits are part of the Alabama Accountability Act, which Bentley signed into law in March. Now he wants the tax credits deferred for two years. According to the story, “He said that will give schools time to improve under a policy ‘flexibility’ provision of the law and possibly avoid the ‘failing’ label.”
Competition, not tax dollars, will help failing public schools improve. The Governor ought to know that. He sounds as though the AEA has gotten to him.
I’d say. The Washington Post reports that when the CIA asked the AP not to run a story on a foiled terror plot for reasons of national security, the AP obliged for five days. Then they were assured that the coast was clear.
They were prepared to run the story, but, according to the Post piece, “the journalists were asked by agency officials to hold off on publishing [it] for just one more day.
“The CIA officials, who had initially cited national security concerns in an attempt to delay publication, no longer had those worries, according to individuals familiar with the exchange. Instead, the Obama administration was planning to announce the successful counterterrorism operation that Tuesday.
“AP balked and proceeded to publish that Monday afternoon.”
And in doing so, the AP incurred the wrath of the administration, which wanted to be the first ones to announce that, one year after they had gotten Osama, they were still on top of taking out terrorists.
In other words, it’s not a matter of debate as to whether or not the AP threatened national security. They didn’t. They threatened the Obama administration’s re-election aspirations, and paid the price. Which is why news outlets from Left to Right won’t let this scandal go.
Literally! During the House Ways And Means Committee hearing today on the IRS scandal, Pennsylvania Republican Mike Kelly passionately said to outgoing IRS Commissioner Steven Miller what all of us, irrespective of ideology, are thinking. If you missed the end of the show tonight, it’s a must watch.
Shocking, I know. The Daily Caller reports, “The commander in chief of the American armed forces today forced a violation of Marine Corps regulations, so he wouldn’t get wet.
According to Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F of the Marine Corps Uniform Regulations chapter 3, a male Marine is not allowed to carry an umbrella while in uniform. There is no provision in the Marine Corps uniform regulation guidelines that allows a male Marine to carry an umbrella.
If Obama plans on escaping scandal by re-branding himself as an authentic Commander-In-Chief, he needs to do his homework.
To those who say that the problem with the IRS is underfunding, I offer this, from the Fiscal Times: “A new report from the Government Accountability Office released Monday says the Internal Revenue Service must improve its internal controls to save millions of tax dollars.”
Read the whole thing. Among the things that will stand out are the tax refunds made to dead people.
It’s a legitimate question, with an interesting answer.
I look forward to hearing from those who insist that Senator Paul is an “authentic” libertarian—the ones who have given him a pass to date, and who have promised to hold him accountable should he let them down.
The story is from Reason magazine.
From today’s Washington Post: “The Common Sense Campaign, a self-described constitutionalist group based in Montgomery, Ala., aspired to be a smaller version of the National Rifle Association — powerful and influential, without having to pay federal income taxes.
“‘We wanted to have a voice too,’ said the group’s chairman, Pete Riehm. ‘The biggest difference between us and them is money.’
“But Common Sense never reached the nonprofit stage. The organization gave up seeking tax-exempt status after two years of Internal Revenue Service demands for everything from the group’s blog posts to the names of ‘anyone who gave you so much as a dollar,’ according to its officials.
“‘We were spending thousands of dollars between the filing fees and attorney fees,’ Riehm said. ‘We realized that just paying the taxes would cost a whole lot less.’
“Common Sense was one of scores of groups that faced months and even years of delays in seeking tax exemptions after the IRS started targeting groups with names containing ‘tea party,’ ‘patriot’ and other terms associated with conservatives. The practice, which appears to have lasted for about 18 months until early 2012, has set off a political firestorm in Washington and a criminal investigation by the FBI and the Justice Department.”
The average waiting time for liberal groups seeking non-profit status over the same period of time has been four months—and the endless list of intrusive questions has been absent.
This is a simple matter of whether or not this administration used to IRS to stifle free speech. And as of this morning, the President—when given the opportunity to answer whether or not he knew this was going on—has refused to answer the question.
Josh Kraushaar’s story in The National Journal bolster’s my claim that when the time comes for impeachment proceedings to begin against The President, the Clintons will be clandestinely playing a prominent role.
…Peter S. Goodman, the Executive Business Editor of The Huffington Post. In a ridiculous blog post today, Mr. Goodman says, “Lost in the latest political scandal is a simple fact: The Internal Revenue Service was acting in the public interest when it opted to train its auditing power on the Tea Party and affiliated groups.”
The idea that the IRS acts in the public interest is probably not going to be a talking point for the administration, nor is the sentiment that the IRS, under any circumstances, should play favorites.
So what is Goodman getting at? He explains, “Like any institution, the agency has limited resources at its disposal. The notion that everyone ought to be treated the same, with auditing powers sprayed around like a lawn sprinkler, is ridiculous. Cops concentrate patrols in high-crime areas. And while we properly decry racial profiling and odious tactics like New York City’s Stop and Frisk campaign — through which people are subject to police pat-downs for no other reason than their being black and male — no one would criticize the police for keeping an eye on people who are openly encouraging criminal behavior.”
Yes, says Goodman: “We are living in a time of startling inequality, long-term joblessness, entrenched poverty and the breakdown of middle-class opportunity. Our classrooms are crumbling. Whole cities are consumed by neglect and deterioration, while suburban communities now contend with foreclosure, homelessness and despair. Government alone cannot fix any of these problems, but government clearly has a role to play. Government must boost investment in education and spur innovation through support for research. Government must maintain a safety net for people in need. All of this costs money.”
A debate about the purpose of government is healthy, course, as is a debate about how much all of us should pay in taxes. Whether or not those of us who think that government is bloated and we should shrink it so that we can keep more of the fruits of our labor—and whether or not our position is criminal—could only be debated by delusional thugs like Huffington Post bloggers.
This video, provided here by Breitbart, makes it clear that Attorney General wants to keep any investigation of Benghazi in the family.
I hope the President has the opportunity to answer a question about this tomorrow.
More evidence that the President’s brief statement tonight was empty rhetoric, from Gateway Pundit. Remember, Commissioner Miller has only been at the helm of the IRS since November 9th of last year. He had absolutely nothing to do with targeting anyone.
It’s an overpopulation thing, says a report from the Food and Agriculture Organization—and another reason to detest the UN.
Forbes magazine has the story.
A gun saves another life and prevents a crime—right here in Athens. WHNT has the story.
Forget Benghazi or even the IRS scandal; this one will bring the administration down.
On MSNBC last night, Nancy Pelosi said, “If [Boehner] were a woman, they would be calling him the weakest speaker in history.”
That’s so convoluted on so many fronts, of course, but, if nothing else, it should encourage Speaker Boehner to man up.
What follows is a brief exchange on Saturday between MSNBC’s kook host Ed Schultz and his kook guest, Michael Eric Dyson:
“ED SCHULTZ: IRS is apologizing to conservative groups over a number of audits. I ask the question “why”? IRS says there’s been a surge of application of applications since 2010 for tax exempt status from groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their title names. So the IRS admits it’s singling out those groups for audits to make sure that they are real non-profits. Now, look, this is all because of Citizens United. All of these groups popped up, it was new to the Internal Revenue Service and the issue is how they’re spending their money.
“MICHAEL ERIC DYSON: What about the groups that have been racially profiled or ethnically profiled or profiled because of gender. So the reality here is that I think this is much ado about nothing.
“SCHULTZ: They want to plant the seed that the White House picked up the phone and called Ogden, Utah and said get on these guys.
“DYSON: Of course, and that’s ridiculous. There’s no way. First of all, we know that Obama doesn’t have that kind of juice. We know the Republicans and all of the other people in the government aren’t going to listen to him.”
There are multiple reasons why MSNBC’s ratings are in the bottom of the septic tank, with Ed Schultz being chief among them.
Have you gotten your raise yet?
As evinced by NARAL’s statement about Kermit’s conviction, the Left will use today’s decision to try to make abortion more accessible.
Read Charles Cooke’s post at NRO’s “The Corner.”
To sum up my thoughts on the show tonight,
1) It didn’t seem possible seven months ago, but it’s been a rough start for the President’s second term.
2) Benghazi, I’ve always maintained, will be the way Obama is impeached; other things–the IRS scandal chief among them–will serve as bi-partisan motivation (it might turn out to be among the articles of impeachment, falling under the rubric of “abuse of power”).
3) Bill Clinton, who A) wants to be back in the White House, and B) is surely not thrilled about being the only elected impeached President, will be working behind the scenes to bring about impeachment when the time comes, because,
4) At the end of the day, the Benghazi cover up is going to be a battle, not between Republicans and the White House, but between Barack and Hillary’s culpability. And when it comes to managing scandals, the Clintons don’t lose.
He can start by losing the defiant, arrogant tone that he displayed during his press conference today.
It’s remarkable what the Left will say to advance their agenda. From The Washington Times: “Vice President Joseph R. Biden said in a wide-ranging magazine interview that gun-control legislation will pass eventually because several senators who voted against it are experiencing a public backlash.
“’To use the vernacular, there’s suddenly a lot of senators out there who have seen the Lord,’ Mr. Biden told Rolling Stone magazine. ‘You find out that the senator from New Hampshire [Republican Kelly Ayotte] is in trouble; she voted no. I can name you four senators who called me and said, Jesus, I guess you were right — maybe we can find some other way of doing this. Can we bring this back up?”
The lead editorial in today’s Boston Globe begins, “This state’s universal health care law was the model for the federal Affordable Care Act, but so far, Massachusetts’s experience with the new national law has proved frustrating. Certainly the experience here doesn’t fully comport with President Obama’s recent assertion that the new law is ‘working fine.’
“Bureaucratic hurdles are inevitable when attempting to reconcile local rules and practices to new federal standards. But even people who strongly support Obamacare, as many people in Massachusetts do, shouldn’t hesitate to call attention to areas where the law is unnecessarily complicated, or where local practices accomplish the same purposes in simpler ways.”
Local practices? Imagine that! Obamacare is becoming a primer on the benefits of federalism.
It’s a vulgar question, I know. But as I’ve often said, sometimes good politics and good policy intersect. This is one of those times. Good policy in the case of Benghazi would be to impeach the President.
Remember, when Bill Clinton was impeached, the Left protested that it was preposterous because it was “all about sex.”
This isn’t. It’s about national security, transparency, a cover-up (not unlike the one which properly did Nixon in), and, most importantly, the death of four Americans. The question of whether or not their lives could have been saved is an impossible question to answer, but the salient point is that the Obama administration didn’t even try; they were too busy figuring out a way to minimize the political impact that Benghazi would have on their re-election effort.
Some Republicans (Darrell Issa comes to mind) are pressing for answers—not because they are pre-emptively launching a campaign against Hillary’s 2016 ambitions, but because they want to fill in the blanks in what we already know is an untruthful narrative being promulgated by the administration.
Others in the Republican Party, when directly asked whether or not they’re accusing Team Obama of a cover up, are reluctant to answer the question with an unambiguous “yes,” choosing instead to enumerate the details of the Big Lie, ranging from the two orders that the military not respond to the attacks to the twelve changes in Susan Rice’s talking points.
As I wrote on Facebook earlier today, if I were asked whether or not I was accusing the administration of a cover up, my answer would have been short and sweet: “I’m connecting the dots. Anyone who doesn’t see a cover up here isn’t.”
That’s not a political answer; it’s the responsible one. Republicans in Congress need to be responsible—even, Heaven forbid, if it benefits them politically.
Hats off to Hot Air for providing the actual IRS demands.
When I said earlier today on Facebook that Obama had lost the press on Benghazi, I had no idea that the BBC, no enemy of Obama, was willing to tell the story.
But they are.
John Fund, writing in The American Spectator, correctly says, “Nothing Fits the Obama administration’s economic project better than high-speed rail. It’s based on visions of a utopian future, employs gobs of union labor in its construction, can be used to reward political allies and donors, and makes use of analysts eager to churn out dubious studies justifying it on economic grounds. Call it Solyndra on steroids.”
And then there’s the fact that the Left wants to tell us how to live our lives, including how to get to work. For the record, my father, the Atlanta Planning Engineer for the Georgia Power company, took MARTA, Atlanta’s subway, to work every day. He liked it, he told me, because he could read the paper, and he didn’t have to worry about traffic.
Some of us, though, would prefer to drive ourselves, and we shouldn’t feel guilty about it.
In March of last year, Roger Hedgecock wrote a piece for Human Events cataloging the historical targeting by the IRS of groups sitting Presidents didn’t like. He included the current President:
“In the 1970s, Richard Nixon had an enemies list. Nixon asked the IRS to investigate tax returns of those on the list. Liberals were outraged. To be on Nixon’s list became a liberal badge of honor.
“In the 1990’s Bill Clinton had an enemies list too. The Clinton administration targeted for IRS audit the National Rifle Association, the Heritage Foundation, the National Review, the American Spectator, Citizens Against Government Waste, Citizens for Honest Government, Concerned Women for America and the San Diego Chapter of Christian Coalition.
“Today, Obama has an enemies list. The IRS is investigating conservative political groups including the Tea Party who oppose Obama’s agenda.”
Nixon, Clinton, and Obama. What a trio!
You can read the whole Human Events story here.
Today, The AP reports on the IRS’s apology for targeting the Tea Party. “‘That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review,’ [Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups] said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association.”
Of course, as is always the case with this administration, there’s always a caveat: “Lerner said the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias. After her talk, she told The AP that no high level IRS officials knew about the practice.”
Are you sick of this administration yet?
The word nullification has a bad connotation, given its historical use by states resisting integration in the sixties.
Which is why, when asked whether or not opposition to Common Core in Alabama amounted to nullification, State Senator Dick Brewbaker, a Republican, replied, “I might wish we had another word to describe what this Legislature and what legislatures in many states are doing. But essentially you can use the word nullification but what that means is an effort to try to push back against an overreaching federal government.”
The federal government is overreaching on multiple fronts, and to say so doesn’t imply racism.
The pendulum continues to swing away from the President and toward the Republicans, reports The Pew Research Center: “Despite GOP leaders’ poor job ratings, the Republican Party runs about even with the Democrats on leading issues such as the economy, immigration and gun control. Overall, 42% say the Republican Party could do the better job dealing with the economy, while 38% say the Democratic Party. The public is similarly divided over which party could better handle gun control policy and immigration policy.”
Specifically, lying to Congress is no different, legally, than lying under oath.
The bill has passed the Senate; it’s having problems in the House. Ed Henry Tweets: “The gun bill is going to have to wait till the 30th legislative day to be passed. The Dems are filibustering & reading every bill at length.”
— Ed Henry (@Ed_Henry_HD9)
Here’s the salient part of George Will’s column in The Washington Post today:
“Democrats are more apt to lose control of the Senate than gain control of the House. Republicans need to gain six Senate seats; Democrats are defending seven seats in states where Obama averaged just 40.5 percent of the vote in 2012. Democrats need to gain only 17 House seats, but just 17 Republicans hold seats from districts Obama carried last year, when he won 209 districts and lost 226. Analyst Charlie Cook says that the House, having reached ‘partisan equilibrium,’ has little ‘elasticity.’ Now that 96 percent of House Democrats represent Obama districts and 93 percent of Republicans represent districts that voted for Mitt Romney, ‘The House is now more sorted along partisan lines than ever.’”
From Al.com: “Gov. Robert Bentley this afternoon signed the home brewing bill into law, ending Alabama’s status the only state in the nation that bans the making of beer and wine at home.”
Congratulations to the Legislature and the Governor.
Global warming has many benefits–longer growing seasons for farmers, for example. And now there’s this.
Gregory Hicks, the number two in command in Libya, called it a “non-event.”
The AP reports, “Convicted ex-Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling’s more than 24-year prison sentence for his role in the once mighty energy giant’s collapse could be reduced by as many as 10 years if a federal judge approves an agreement reached Wednesday between prosecutors and defense attorneys.
“Skilling was convicted in 2006 on 19 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud, insider trading and lying to auditors for his role in the downfall of Houston-based Enron. The company collapsed into bankruptcy in 2001 under the weight of years of illicit business deals and accounting tricks.”
For those who have forgotten or may not know, the Enron fiasco, as Time Magazine reported at the time, was primarily a Clinton scandal.
From U.S. News And World Report: “No thanks to the Washington GOP establishment but former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford is once again Congressman-elect Mark Sanford. In the end it wasn’t even close. Despite the best expectations and fondest hopes of the Democrats, Sanford ended up winning this solidly Republican seat by nine points against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch who many feared was just moderate enough to win the seat when backed by the much-vaunted Obama machine.”
Sanford, in other words, despite his disgusting dalliances, is hated less by his party than is Obama by the Democrats. 2014 is going to be a Republican year.
There’s at least one member of the mainstream press who cares about getting to the bottom of Benghazi.
A lot has been said about the President’s tendentious graduation speech over the weekend, but Pilon’s piece is the Wall Street Journal is a must read on the subject.
Obviously Ambassador Bolton listens to the show. Read the story from The Washington Times here.
In case you missed the show tonight, Hot Air reports, “During a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Sen. Paul made a comparison between the Gang of Eight’s proposed immigration bill and ObamaCare which, on its face, might be considered fightin’ words betwixt the circles of the GOP — but, he was really making a solid point about the intricacies and potential implementation pitfalls of massive legislative packages pushed hastily through Congress.”
A video of Senator Paul’s remarks accompanies the story.
Yesterday was a big day for the administration on the foreign policy front. First, Jay Carney said that Assad, and not the rebels, was using chemical weapons in Syria.
Today’s New York Times reports that “The Obama administration on Monday explicitly accused China’s military of mounting attacks on American government computer systems and defense contractors, saying one motive could be to map ‘military capabilities that could be exploited during a crisis.’”
Both accusations are obviously true, but this White House unambiguously stating them is, well, a departure from its usual cautiousness when it comes to calling out the bad guys. Could it be that they’re trying to sound tough two days before Congressional hearings expose their fatal incompetence with regard to Benghazi?
The answer is yes, of course. Will it work? I doubt it, even with the media’s help.
This is where my libertarian instincts and cognitive dissonance kick in: I’m on the ACLU’s side.
I saw this movie over the weekend. Adam Sandler plays a man who lost his family on 9/11. Anyone who scoffs at the notion that we’re still at war should watch it, and put it in present day context—i.e. four Americans died in Benghazi last year, and three died in Boston last month. Their families are going through what Sandler’s character did.
First Senator Marsh preserves Common Core, and now, at the state level, there’s this.
The Senator from Florida is trying to backtrack on amnesty. This commercial–and its obnoxiously frequent airing–isn’t helping him.
Congratulations to Senator Arthur Orr for, in his words, being “serious about transparency in the contracting business.”
On ABC’s This Week program today, Carville had nothing but high praise for Cruz, reports The Daily Caller.
“I think he is the most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years,” he said.
I told you last week that Jon Stewart had his reasons for trying to make a clown out of Cruz. The Texas Senator is formidable.
Barry Snell, student columnist for Iowa State University’s student newspaper, writes, “The reason we can’t have a rational gun debate is because the anti-gun side pre-supposes that their pro-gun opponents must first accept that guns are bad in order to have a discussion about guns in the first place. Before we even start the conversation, we’re the bad guys and we have to admit it. Without accepting that guns are bad and supplicating themselves to the anti-gunner, the pro-gunner can’t get a word in edgewise, and is quickly reduced to being called a murderer, or a low, immoral and horrible human being.”
He nails it. It’s kind of like saying that if you’re against affirmative action, you’re a racist, or if you favor tax cuts for everyone, you hate poor people. The object is to end the debate before it begins.
I thought I was the only one until I read Kevin Williamson’s piece in the New York Post.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, who will conduct the hearings, was on CBS’s Face The Nation this morning. Take a look.
The lead editorial in today’s Washington Examiner reports on a study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine: “The study compared two large samples of low-income people. Roughly half of them got expanded health benefits through Medicaid while the other half did not. Megan McArdle summarized the results in the Daily Beast: ‘People who had more generous coverage consumed more health care. But they weren’t healthier. In fact, the people who had less generous coverage reported being less worried about their health and taking less sick time, presumably because they weren’t going to the doctor to find things to worry about.’
“That result was devastating news for Obamacare advocates, because, as The Washington Examiner‘s Philip Klein reported, ‘during the health care debate, liberals argued that government had a moral duty to enact legislation that expanded health insurance among lower-income individuals. This was rooted in the assumption that obtaining health insurance translates into improved health.’”
It can all be summed up with the economic apothegm “people respond to incentives.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was at Duquesne Law School recently fielding questions, one of which was whether or not he had any common ground with President Obama. His answer was a textbook explanation of the separation of powers. Watch:
Pollster Scott Rasmussen has run the numbers that explain why there is a disconnect between politicians and their constituents.
“In terms of being a good citizen,” he writes, “67 percent of voters believe it is more important to do volunteer work for church and community organizations than it is to get involved in politics and political campaigns. Only 16 percent disagree and put political involvement first… Most [of us] recognize that we’re better off when individuals make the decisions that affect their own lives. A one-size-fits-all solution will never work in a nation as diverse and vibrant as the United States.”
The mystery is why more folks don’t vote the way they think.