News and Commentary for January 24

24 Jan
It's "National Compliment" Day. Give someone an "Atta Boy!"

It’s “National Compliment” Day. Give someone an “Atta Boy!”

I’ve been puzzled by this for a while now. Democrats hate cigarettes, but they want to legalize pot. It makes absolutely NO SENSE. But when does anything the Left do make sense? Again, the means justifies the ends, and in this case, the end is more voters. “But one other aspect of the issue that few have pondered is the liberal hypocrisy that the emerging consensus about legal pot has illuminated. As William Bennett and Christopher Beach pointed out in an incisive Politico magazine article today, there is a question that no one in the media is asking Obama or any other liberal advocate of opening the floodgates to more marijuana: Why do the same people that have sought to outlaw transfats and super-sized sodas while banishing cigarette smokers and seeking to criminalize anything else that can be branded as unhealthy think there’s nothing wrong with a measure that would almost certainly increase the amount of pot smoked in this country?” The Nanny State Exception: Legal Pot

I posted on this yesterday, but here’ some commentary on the original article. Benghazi whistleblower: Don’t even think about blaming Stevens

Arguments in favor of a more libertarian Republican party. “While I respect and recognize people’s religious traditions, what concerns me is this — this issue will be used effectively as a wedge to sabotage a whole lot of change at a time when it couldn’t be more necessary. It dovetails perfectly with the mythological “war on women,” which we all will be sure to hear about incessantly. Now I readily acknowledge I have been pro-same-sex marriage for many years.  So I am not a perfectly honest broker.  But  as an observer of society,  and as a writer that’s what I’m paid to do, I have to say in all candor that political opposition to same-sex marriage is the Achilles’ heel of the right going into 2016. Social conservatives who intend to make a serious issue out of it should realize that the fallout from their views could adversely affect all of us in a catastrophic way. No one is going to be happy here. SoCons who continue to press this issue on the political (not the personal or religious) stage have to realize that they are damaging many of us who have other concerns domestic and foreign, many of which we would probably agree on more easily. This is a great moment.  A seriously smaller government is a real possibility with electoral victories in 2014 and 2016.  Let’s not jeopardize them by emphasizing an issue more properly, and unquestionably more successfully, dealt with in the private realm.” How Social Conservatives Are Saving Liberalism (Barely)

Arguments for a more socially conservative Republican party. “My friend Roger Simon writes that social conservatives are the only thing that can “save liberalism.” Social conservatives should just accept the wisdom of coastal, unchurched 18 year olds and surrender our core beliefs. Surrender on marriage, and allow it to be redefined by people who harbor nothing but contempt for the institution. It’s a recurring theme among a certain set within the larger conservative-libertarian movement. Shut up and surrender, they explain. Where do the surrenders end? Those who share the shut-up sentiment never say. They just tell social conservatives to shut up already and give up on the issues that for many are the very reason that they got into politics in the first place. So we surrender on marriage, then we give up on life, and pretty soon, they’ll be telling us to give up on the Second Amendment, then the First, then something else. Always retreat, ever surrender, because they say so, never offering a glimpse of what might be the end game.” Rebuttal to Another ‘Why Won’t the Social Conservatives Just Shut Up?’ Post

The sooner the low information voters wake up to this fact, the better off our country will be. “One of the things that attracted me to the political left, as a young man, was a belief that leftists were for “the people.” Fortunately, I was also very interested in the history of ideas — and years of research in that field repeatedly brought out the inescapable fact that many leading thinkers on the left had only contempt for ‘the people.’” Fact-Free Liberals: Part IV

Don’t for a minute think that the Chamber of Commerce cares about the little guy. “Last year, the chamber poured more than $52 million into K Street lobbying efforts on behalf of illegal alien amnesty, federal education Common Core programs and increased federal spending. This year, chamber bigwigs are paving the perilous pathway to GOP capitulation. The Left hardly needs to lift a finger against Tea Party candidates and activists who are bravely challenging the big government status quo. The chamber has already volunteered to spend $50 million subsidizing the Republican incumbency protection racket and attacking anti-establishment conservatives.” The US Chamber of Commerce versus America

Nice to think it could happen, but don’t get your hopes up. Will Oregon be part of the 2014 Senate playing field?

I am sure many of the folks that feel this way will continue to vote for the Democrats? Fox News Poll: Voters say addressing income inequality is not government’s job

“’The facts themselves are pretty unassailable,” says an economist who reviewed the latest canon in the political fight over redistributive policies. “How you want to interpret them is the question.” The New York Times dissects the study from Harvard that the Left is grasping to show the urgent need to address “income inequality,” and finds that it’s not exactly quite as advertised. Income mobility — the ability to improve one’s standing in the US economy — has not grown over the last few decades, but it’s not falling, either. In fact, it’s held remarkably steady since the 1950s.” Surprise: Income mobility is not falling after all

After a few years of De Blasio’s Leftists ways, New Yorkers are going to be screaming for change. “De Blasio sees himself as thinking big, and insists he has a mandate for his ideas. Maybe. We’ll just note that the evidence of the last 50 years suggests the progressive agenda may be less the answer for so much of what ails our big American cities than the cause. And at this early stage in his tenure, Mayor Bill would do well to recognize that a man who can’t get the streets plowed is not going to persuade anyone he can end inequality.” De Blasio should fix the streets first

It’s going to take some kind of miracle to repair the damage this man has done to our country, and the world. “Some of this is surely a product of the times in which we live. But a lot of it is the result of Mr. Obama’s divisive and unusually ruthless tactics. He took a polarized country and deepened its divisions. It will take a long time, and a special successor, to begin to unwind all the damage this man has done.” Obama An Unrivaled Polarizing President

“Barack Obama is a chastened man trying to make sense of his multiplying failures. Well into his second term, blaming them on his predecessor no longer works. One can now see the outlines of the new explanation: The job is too big, the country too divided, the opposition too unreasonable, the world too complicated, the tools we have to fix things too few. There is another alternative. Mr. Obama wasn’t ready to be president and he hasn’t learned very much as president. He has constantly been overmatched by events. And now his presidency is being undone by them.” Our Chastened President

Snore. “The State of the Union is a grand tradition, but only if people are listening.” Noonan: The Sleepiness of a Hollow Legend

Fearing the government. “Hardball: Hell hath no fury like an administration embarrassed by a top credit-rating agency stating the obvious — that its perilous spending policies and rising debts warranted a downgrade just like any poorly run business.” Timothy Geithner Teaches Standard & Poor’s The Chicago Way

More on the IRS attempting to silence conservatives in Hollywood. “The demand for that information—and the group’s principled refusal to comply—highlights the perilous professional risks for Hollywood conservatives who acknowledge their political leanings before achieving fame. That’s why only a few members of Friends of Abe, such as actors Gary Sinise, Jon Voight, and Kelsey Grammer and writer/director Lionel Chetwynd, have identified themselves. But the real issue here is why the IRS has been stalling a tiny conservative group because of questions about the speakers they invite to their off-the-record dinners and meetings while a bevy of left-wing Hollywood groups whose involvement in political issues is a matter of record have not encountered such IRS challenges.” The IRS’s Political Bias Goes Hollywood

We’re from the government and we’re here to silence you. “Why pick on Friends of Abe? The group wants to keep its membership information private, for one thing. Anyone who saw what happened to Maria Conchita Alonso can understand why. But this isn’t supposed to be an issue for 501(c)(3) organizations in the first place. There isn’t any requirement to make membership or donor information public, because they are proscribed from directly supporting political parties and candidates by that very status. Yet here is the IRS stalling the application for two years, demanding access to the internal website, and asking intrusive questions that are really none of its business. It’s not difficult to see this as an attempt to identify members and embarrass them — or to intimidate them out of the political sphere altogether.” IRS going after conservatives in Hollywood now?

Silencing their enemies is the only thing they’ve got left. “The Democrats’ new much-vaunted master plan for annihilating the Tea Party movement calls for aggressive class warfare, demagoguery, and lying about the beliefs, motives, and goals of Tea Party supporters, Sen. Chuck Schumer revealed yesterday.” Schumer’s Plan to Abolish the Tea Party

Is there ANYTHING good about Obamacare? “This is the deeper point of the Moody’s downgrade: The insurance industry is now essentially a political creature, and politics can change quickly. How’s an investor supposed to assess risk if he or she can’t know whether the president might need to knock over the chessboard at any given moment for his own political interests? Even if you think Obama and the Democrats are so invested in O-Care’s success that they’ll find a way to keep federal money flowing to prop it up, the lingering bitterness after the law was passed on party lines and the recurring fact of potentially game-changing elections means it’ll be years before the industry enjoys real stability. And yet, in partnering with O on sweeping reform in the expectation that it would bring them millions of new customers, this is what insurers signed up for. They bought the ticket. Hope they’re enjoying the ride.” Moody’s downgrades outlook for insurance industry to negative, thanks to ObamaCare

Don’t they get it? Nothing is EVER free! “Tom Gialanella, 56, was shocked to find out he qualified for Medicaid under ObamaCare. The Bothell, Wash., resident had been able to retire early years ago, owns his home outright in a pricey Seattle suburb and is living off his investments. He wanted no part of the government’s so-called free health care. “It’s supposed to be a safety net program. It’s not supposed to be for someone who has assets who can pay the bill,” he said. And after reading the fine print, Gialanella had another reason to flee Medicaid — the potential death debt. Though many may not realize it, states are allowed to recover the cost of health care after someone’s death by seizing their assets. It applies to Medicaid recipients who are between the ages of 55 and 64. The law has been in place since 1993, when Congress realized states were going broke over rising Medicaid expenses.” ObamaCare death debt? States can seize assets to recoup Medicaid costs

The disaster continues. “But the White House can evade responsibility for only so long.  The backend was incomplete from Day One and runs the risk of complete breakdown come mid-March when both insured and insurance companies will be looking for accurate subsidies to be sent to pay for coverage.  They very well may not get that information or money.” ObamaCare D-Day in March

Making things worse, but then, that’s the Liberal way. “Note, this is after decades of liberals insisting that the uninsured were desperate to get insurance and years of Obama officials and defenders swearing that this law would make it happen. Indeed, in order to make it happen the Democrats blew up the entire health-care industry casting millions of people off their existing insurance plans. When those people went to exchanges to sign up for new ones, the Obama administration took credit for it, as if they were doing something for the uninsured. But barely 1 in 10 of new Obamacare enrollees were previously uninsured.” So What Was The Point of Obamacare Again?

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