News and Commentary for March 13, 14 and 15

15 Mar
It's Saturday. Get some rest. We'll need you as our candidates rev up their campaigns.

It’s Saturday. Get some rest. We’ll need you as our candidates rev up their campaigns.

Here’s my Saturday afternoon news dump. I apologize for not posting for a couple of days. This is a compilation of all the articles that I have been collecting since my last post.

Stories of the Day

Just when I thought I couldn’t get any more outraged over our government… “When “Big Food” and “Big Food Police” congratulate each other for coming together with the White House, as they did when new food nutrition labels were unveiled last week, consumers and small businesses should be very nervous. But the controversial new labels are small potatoes compared to what the Obama administration is now cooking up. At a closed-door meeting Friday, administration officials and their advisers will plot to insert the global warming agenda into dietary guidelines mandated by Congress. The Agriculture and Health and Human Services departments are updating the guidelines for publication next year. By favoring foods activists think have a smaller carbon footprint, the new guidelines will increase the prices you pay for what you eat. It will also increase the cost to all taxpayers, since the dietary guidelines are used to set policy for food stamps and military diets.” Obama administration pollutes guidelines for healthy eating with unhealthy ideologies

Click on over to see the Michael Ramirez cartoon which illustrates so perfectly just what Obama is getting away with. It truly is amazing to me what the citizens of this country are willing to put up with. “Impeachment is a political remedy, not a legal one, and Republicans in Washington should never even hint at impeaching Barack Obama. Still, you would have to be an unusually obtuse observer not to notice that the grounds for removing Obama from office are stronger than the grounds that were deemed sufficient to impeach Richard Nixon. The president’s most fundamental constitutional duty is to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” but Obama has not even pretended to execute the laws faithfully. Rather, he enforces the ones of which he approves, and declines to execute the law whenever it is politically convenient for him to do so. Further, Obama’s coverups of various scandals–Fast and Furious, Benghazi and the IRS are probably the best known, but by no means the only ones–are at least as brazen as Nixon’s coverup of Watergate, and much more successful.” Nixon vs. Obama: Who Deserves Impeachment More?

Will the people like and want our elected leaders to carry out the ideas, or slip back into their slumber, perfectly willing to allow big government to suffocate us all? “This change has been barely noticed, but it’s really quite the shift. The GOP has gone from being a party that saw new ideas as suspect to one in which ideas are a candidate’s key selling point. Now, I said that the GOP is becoming the party of ideas. It’s not there yet. A few presidential candidates do not a party make — and other serious contenders for the GOP nomination seem uninterested in having good ideas. But it’s still a momentous shift, and the direction of the trend is unmistakable. The GOP is becoming the party of ideas again.” The Republican Party is becoming the party of ideas again: And it’s amazing how quickly and quietly it’s happened

Solutions. “Wherever the policies of the Left have been faithfully implemented, as in Detroit, human tragedy has followed. The future offered by the Left — a shrinking work force struggling to fund a growing welfare state — is not only unsustainable but uncompassionate. Compassion demands that we spare no effort in helping millions now jobless to realize the dream of financial independence. This is the urgent economic task of the 21st century. Too often, Republicans have offered a passive reply to the Left’s refrain that the GOP does not care for those in need. The usual GOP responses — that the Left is engaged in “class warfare,” or is not presenting “credible solutions,” or is “kicking the can down the road” — fail to rebut the underlying slander. Instead, Republicans should hold the Left accountable for the social and moral harm its policies have inflicted on every community that has suffered for decades under its disastrous policy regime.” Becoming the Party of Work: How the GOP can help struggling Americans, and itself.

Your Friday news dump courtesy of Obama’s Commerce Department. “The U.S. government’s plan to give away authority over the Internet’s core architecture to the “global Internet community” could endanger the security of both the Internet and the U.S. — and open the door to a global tax on Web use. “U.S. management of the internet has been exemplary and there is no reason to give this away — especially in return for nothing,” former Bush administration State Department senior advisor Christian Whiton told The Daily Caller. “This is the Obama equivalent of Carter’s decision to give away the Panama Canal — only with possibly much worse consequences.” Ex-Bush admin official: Internet giveaway weakens cybersecurity, opens door to Web tax

Do “we the people” have a say in anything anymore? “The contract is set to expire in September of  2015, but is likely to be extended several years given the lack of consensus on just what a non-US controlled internet would look like. “Crucial stakeholders” include China, Russia, and the Arab block. All those stakeholders want a different kind of internet than any western country – one where the internet as we know it would be destroyed and replaced with something far more restrictive – and slow. There are a lot more authoritarian dictatorships in the world than democracies. Given the fact that the new internet will be voted into existence by all, the chances of this abanonment of responsibility by the US turning out well are not very good.” US voluntarily gives up control of internet

I don’t understand my country any more. And so many of us are tolerating it. I just don’t get it. “Finally, I never thought I would see the day when in America the president and Congress would extend government benefits and privileges to illegal aliens while cutting the pay and benefits of veterans and active-duty military personnel.  Unfortunately, this is exactly what is happening under the Obama administration, and Americans are tolerating it.  Liberals continue to endorse the intolerable by boiling the frog and it is good, moral, law-abiding, Americans who know better who are in the pot.  It is high time for Americans to step up, stand tall, and stop tolerating the intolerable.  If we don’t do this, we will one day—after it is too late—look back and realize we have tolerated ourselves to death.” America: We are Tolerating Ourselves to Death Hat tip: Gayla Coletto, Palo Verde Republican Women member

“Indeed, to beat a twice-dead horse, it was his political celebrity status that got Barack Obama elected in the first place, a politician of the very thinnest of resumes, whose new-age blather caused vapors in a press that was itself as filled with celebrity worshipers as the viewers they seek. There’s no reason to re-litigate two elections, but the track record of this White House can only give credence to the judgments of so many who feared a popularity-driven candidate with no experience and who was so clearly hiding an ideological streak at odds with the majority of his fellow citizens. Yet none of that mattered next to the dancing and the star-studded endorsements and the coolness factor. It’s the modern equivalent of bread and circuses, entertainment by our leaders that is eagerly swallowed by unserious and uneducated segments of the American public. Unlike other blessedly eternal optimists, however, as an historian, I am far more pessimistic that, once having started down this road, American political culture can easily recover its balance, competence, or clarity of purpose.” The Unbearable Lightness of Barack Obama: Desperation, Cunning, or Disengagement?

Tone deaf. “President Barack Obama may not be aware that younger Americans are already avoiding cable in favor of streaming or torrenting their entertainment. But he is evidently aware that his healthplan is screwing up young Americans’ lives, and boy, has he got a deal for them! The President responded that “if you looked at their cable bill, their telephone, their cell phone bill… it may turn out that, it’s just they haven’t prioritized health care.” He added that if a family member gets sick, the father ‘will wish he had paid that $300 a month.’” Obama to Young People: If You Can’t Afford My Healthplan, Just Cancel Your Cell and Your Cable

He knows November is coming, so he’s going to ram everything down our throats, whether we like it or not. “As the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows, confidence in President Obama’s ability to handle the economy or put the country on the right path continues to decline. But with more than two and a half years to go until his successor is chosen, the president is barreling ahead and attempting to implement his liberal agenda without congressional assent or much public support. This is a dubious strategy for any president, let alone one whose approval ratings are at all-time lows with little prospect that they will recover as he heads inevitably to the lame duck portion of his second term.” Obama’s Free Lunch One-Man Government

The ramming continues. “As the New York Times reported yesterday, President Obama intends to barge unilaterally into a hotly contested area of employment law by ordering the Department of Labor to develop regulations “to require overtime pay for several million additional fast-food managers, loan officers, computer technicians and others whom many businesses currently classify as ‘executive or professional’ employees.” As with the expansion by decree of minimum wage law, it will be interpreted in some quarters as an undiluted boon to the employees it covers – their employers will either raise their pay or limit the hours they are expected to work, or both, and how could they be anything but happy about that? But as the piece quotes Cato’s Dan Mitchell as warning, ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch… If they push through something to make a certain class of workers more expensive, something will happen to adjust.’” Obama’s Overtime Edict: Anything But a Free Lunch

All Democrats should be forced to run a business for one year, then they’d understand. “I always get a kick out of the insinuation that if an employer pays more than minimum wage, it’s out of sheer benevolence. Even though benevolence has little to do with how wages are actually set, Dems have to pretend that to be the case or they’ll give themselves a self-inflicted wound in the class war.” Dueling headlines: Household income terminator says it’s time to ‘give America a raise’

The Democrats war on poor children. “If anyone wanted to pick a time and place where the political left’s avowed concern for minorities was definitively exposed as a fraud, it would be now — and the place would be New York City, where far left Mayor Bill de Blasio has launched an attack on charter schools, cutting their funding, among other things. These schools have given thousands of low income minority children their only shot at a decent education, which often means their only shot at a decent life. Last year 82 percent of the students at a charter school called Success Academy passed city-wide mathematics exams, compared to 30 percent of the students in the city as a whole. Why would anybody who has any concern at all about minority young people — or even common decency — want to destroy what progress has already been made?” #WarOnPoorChildren

Coming to a city near you. “In San Jose and across the nation, state and local officials are increasingly confronting a vision of startling injustice: Poor and middle-class taxpayers — who often have no retirement savings — are paying higher taxes so public employees can retire in relative comfort.” PARASITE DEVOURS HOST: In San Jose, generous pensions for city workers come at expense of nearly all else.

Another city. “In 2015 Chicago faces a looming financial disaster with a municipal pension system that is in worse shape than that of any other major U.S. city. Chicago is under the gun for a whopping $1.07 billion balloon payment on its $19.4 billion pension debt for city employees. Chicago’s mayor is struggling to figure out how to pay the balloon payment, which is equal to one third of the city’s entire budget. According to The Wall Street Journal, the balloon payment alone could pay for the salaries of the Chicago Police Department’s entire 4,300 officer force or for the re-paving of all 16,000 blocks of roads in the city.” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Warns of Doubled Property Taxes to Fund Spiraling Pension Costs


A Freudian slip? “Sink was pro-amnesty and “comprehensive reform,” while Jolly flatly opposed amnesty and emphasized stronger borders. And Sink made an appalling gaffe–in the sense of saying what liberals really think about expanded low-skill immigration–that made the issue, in this race, an inflammatory one. Explaining her support for immigration reform, Sink said, “We have a lot of employers over on the beaches that rely upon workers and especially in this high-growth environment, where are you going to get people to work to clean our hotel rooms or do our landscaping?” It doesn’t come across any better when you hear her say it.” About FL-13, One More Thing: Immigration

As I stated earlier, ramming full speed ahead, because he knows November is coming. “Obama’s announcement that he would seek to grant more executive amnesty to illegal aliens came after he met with three Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) members on Thursday — CHC chairman Rep. Ruben Hinojosa and Reps. Luis Gutierrez and Xavier Becerra. Hispanic lawmakers have complained vociferously of late about the number of deportations executed by the Obama administration.” Obama Seeks Executive Options To Aid Illegal Aliens


Don’t let Rep. Sinema (AZ CD 9) hide her support of Obamacare. “’In the ideal world that David described, in talking about trying to get Democrats motivated to the polls, you wouldn’t have the candidates themselves be afraid of President Obama,” Todd said. “I kind of think all of those dances, predictable dances — we saw it with Republicans in ’06 with Bush, we saw it with Democrats with Clinton in ’98 — I happen to think it’s a mistake. If you’re a Democrat and you go out there and say, ‘Oh man, health care, it scares me, I don’t want want President Obama around,’ voters are going to know you’re full of it, that you’re just playing a game with them.’” MSNBC’s Todd: Dems Can’t Run From Obamacare, ‘Voters Will Know You’re Full of It’

Big Government

Proving the point that until more Americans feel the pain that Obama and his Leftist minions are causing, they won’t notice what’s going on. “Congress has not been very interested in the abuses of the imperial executive when its victims were ordinary American citizens, or even Congress’s own constitutional turf. But now that the CIA is making the matter personal, we ordinary citizens might have some hope that Congress will be spurred into action by its members’ vanity, if not by their sense of duty.” Congress: This Time It’s Personal:Senator Feinstein has finally been goaded into noticing executive-branch arrogations of power.

As I stated previously, I think all Democrats should be required to manage a business (at a profit) for a year. “What is knowable is that there are two fundamental economic lessons that Barack Obama cannot seem to learn: One is that the federal government cannot command productive private-sector jobs into existence; the second is that the federal government cannot command higher total wages in private-sector jobs. As with the proposed minimum-wage hike — which would cost the economy 500,000 or more jobs — overtime rules beget economic tradeoffs. As the price of labor goes up, some businesses will simply hire fewer people or lay off current employees, seek ways to pass costs along to consumers or suppliers, or even eliminate certain business activities entirely if they become cost-prohibitive. The end result may or may not be higher total wages; it is as likely to be higher wages for some and unemployment for others. The president, a longtime practitioner of free-lunch economics in which the benefits are advertised and the costs ignored, has a moral duty to consider both sides of the equation. It may be that he simply cannot, but it is in any case clear that he will not.” An Unnecessary Overtime Reform

Consequences. “Employers are likely to respond by cutting workers’ hours or cutting their base pay. And, as Editor Lifson pointed out to me, the new regs may very well prevent ambitious young people from showing their dedication to the job by working long hours to both impress the boss, and get things done. When I worked in DC years ago, if you didn’t work 10-12 hours a day, you were dogging it. And if you preferred to punch a clock rather than give that extra effort, then someone else would. No doubt, these new regs are going to make clock watchers all over America very happy. The real burden of the new regs will no doubt be the reams of paperwork the government will require to prove that you’re doing as your told. Human Resources Departments will be busy hiring new Federal Compliance Officers to make sense of the whole thing.” Business groups blindsided by Obama’s proposed overtime regs

This: “The former Director of the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), David Wright, recently resigned in powerful fashion, penning a scathing letter to his boss in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) about the ‘remarkably dysfunctional HHS bureaucracy.’” And this: There was a time when the vast majority of the American people understood that there is such a thing as too much bureaucracy. Although a large contingent of the American public still understands this, and it was one of the primary drivers behind resistance to Obamacare in the first place, it wasn’t enough of a detractor to stop the law’s passage.” And this: This letter, while just one small example, is indicative of one Obamacare’s paramount flaws: it creates a bureaucratic system that is simply too large to be held to any real account. Moreover, it exists in a extraordinarily politicized environment that quells creativity and even respectful, thoughtful dissent.” And this: “Since I’ve been here I’ve been advised by my superiors that I had “to make my bosses look good.”  I’ve been admonished: “Dave, you are a visionary leader but what we need here are team players.”   Recently, I was advised that if I wanted to be happy in government service, I had to “lower my expectations.”  The one thing no one in OASH leadership has said to me in two years is ‘how can we help ORI better serve the research community? Not once.” Sadly, this is the path the American people have freely laid before their feet. One with lower expectations, stifled visionaries, and a boss who never has to feel the cold hand of accountability. When it comes to the health of our nation, this is simply an unacceptable future.” ’ Integrity: Official resigns over “remarkably dysfunctional HHS bureaucracy”

More on the above story. “Wright calls for at least discussion of the problems with bureaucracy, if not outrage. To that end, he’s planning to “publish a version of the daily log I’ve kept as ORI Director in order to share my experience and observations with my colleagues in government and with members of the regulated research community.” Read the whole thing. Good. More sunlight and less fooling ourselves by saying a government agency is performing a sacred duty when the reality is it’s likely far too dysfunctional to be performing it well enough to be worth the money or to help the people it’s meant to serve. The quicker more people come to grips with that, the quicker we can start actually helping people (sometimes by reacquainting them with some of their money formerly used to fuel the bureaucracy).” This HHS official’s resignation letter says everything you’ve ever thought about bureaucracy

And more on the story above. “We are governed by an arrogant, dysfunctional, self-serving organization that couldn’t care less about us.  The federal bureaucracy, which increasingly behaves as our overlords, regulating what we may or may not do, prosecuting (or declining to prosecute) alleged wrongdoers, and spending roughly one dollar of every four in our economy (up from one in five in just a few years) is out of control and dangerous. And it is only “extremists” like tea partiers who propose to do anything about it. We owe a debt of thanks to David Wright, an academic who was appointed to a senior role — director of the U.S. government office that monitors scientific misconduct in biomedical research – two years ago, and has resigned in disgust, penning a letter of resignation that should be required reading for every member of Congress. The Science Insider blog of Science Magazine reprints his letter, which offers examples of the serious dysfunction that he discovered. I urge all readers to read it in its entirety. But here are a couple of excerpts.” A glimpse inside the dysfunctional federal bureaucracy


From the comments: “Only a liberal would proclaim that burning words and redacting our language isn’t the culmination of a “bossy” mind but one who is doing good for the children.” In 2001, I wrote my first book, “The New Thought Police,” about the left’s mission to defeat conservatism and, consequently, destroy the core of America’s greatness through thought and speech control. I never would have guessed that more than 12 years later, it would be more relevant than ever. Leftists have always found it impossible to compete on the details of the issues, so they work to make discussion dangerous. If they can make certain words forbidden, banned or even illegal, all the better. Because they are unable to persuade people about the rightness of their unjust cause, their mission becomes to frighten clear-thinking people out of the public arena. The latest iteration illustrating the pathetic absurdity of the left and its reliance on thought and speech Gestapos once again comes wrapped in the cloak of “It’s for the children!” led by one of the more powerful women in business, Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook.: BRUCE: The power of ‘bossy:’ Sheryl Sandberg, Beyonce are bossy women trying to ban bossy from our vocabulary

We know better. As women, we refuse to comply with their attempt to play victim politics and exacerbate the gender divide. “A bunch of aggrieved women led by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg launched a high-profile “public service campaign” this week to “ban” the word “bossy.” Sandberg, Beyonce, Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham and first lady Michelle Obama have joined femme forces to combat this phantom menace. In their rarefied world, it’s a “very negative experience” and a crippling act of gender discrimination to be called bossy. “This isn’t a word we should use,” Sandberg complained on National Public Radio. To which I say: Oh, buck up. The key to female empowerment doesn’t lie with wheedling word police. It lies with girls and women finding the courage to speak and act on their beliefs and principles without regard to their detractors’ opinions. My message to girls, including my own 13-year-old daughter, is not: “Ban Bossy.” My message is: Be Bossy. And that means first being the boss of you. “ My Message to Girls: Be Bossy!

Common Core

Click on over to view the proposed changes. “The College Board is reformulating the SAT.  Again. The new changes, like others that have been instituted since the mid 1990s, are driven by politics.  David Coleman, head of the College Board, is also the chief architect of the Common Core K-12 State Standards, which are now mired in controversy across the country.  Coleman’s initiative in revising the SAT should be seen first of all as a rescue mission.  As the Common Core flounders, he is throwing it an SAT life preserver.  I’ll explain, but first let’s get the essentials of how the SAT is about to change.” The SAT Upgrade Is a Big Mistake

“Big Business is now in favor of Big Education. Businesses, understandably, don’t like the government telling them how to run their companies. They don’t want the government to impose one size fits all regulations, regardless of the differences between businesses in environment, size, and customers. So it’s curious why the Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable and other business lobbying groups think that one size fits all regulation is the right answer for America’s schools and classrooms.” How Big Business Is Promoting Common Core

Can we get rid of these public sector unions please, before they take everyone down with them? “Public sector unions bring out the worst in the modern administrative state. States with weak labor regulation also tend toward bloat and inefficiency, but it’s in blue states, which overcompensate their employees and mock the concept of “public service” with their absurdly protective work rules, where government operates most like government. In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio believes in the benefits of government spending, but his progressive goals are threatened by unsustainable personnel costs. His proposed solution is to raise taxes, thus doubling down on bloat.” Pre-K vs. Back Pay: Personnel Costs Threaten Progressive Goals


May he have many sleepless nights over the thought that November is coming. “The election is coming, the election is coming! That’s the message coming from President Obama as he tries desperately to rouse Democrats out of a midterm election stupor that could cost his party control of the Senate — and bury his agenda once and for all. Obama has increasingly sounded like the nerdy kid in a bad horror movie constantly warning his friends to stay out of danger as he’s called on the Democratic base to not be complacent in 2014.” Obama to Dems: It’s time to worry

Can anyone please explain how Obama’s policies are helping the people the Democrats need to mobilize? “According to Axelrod, the “real challenge” for Democrats is to inspire young people and minorities to come out and vote in the fall’s midterm elections. “We didn’t do it in 2010, if we don’t do it in 2014, it’s going to be a very difficult year,” he said.” Axelrod: Dems Need to Mobilize Minorities, Young People

“The significance of Democrats’ loss last night in Florida-13 is quite debatable. What isn’t debatable is that fact that they definitely thought it was winnable (worth spending upward of $6 million in party, donor, and outside group money) and they lost anyway.” WSJ/NBC poll: Help the Dems you love by hiding sharp objects

The key to winning will be to demoralize the Democrats. If we can do that, they won’t vote. Nd we can use Twitter to help with the demoralization. “Republicans are weighed down by lots of their own baggage, including the lack of a compelling alternative to Obama’s policies. But for now, none of them would trade their baggage for the groaning weight of what Democrats look like they will be dragging behind them in November.” Democrats and the Panic Button: The Florida loss, plus Senate polls, spells trouble for them in November

Freedom of Speech/Religious Freedom

Just don’t read it! How can a bible verse written on someone’s white board outside his room be offensive? “The Restore Military Religious Freedom coalition, a group of two dozen like-minded religious liberty organizations, announced Thursday that they are ready to offer assistance to any Air Force Academy cadet who faces repercussions for writing Bible verses on their hallway whiteboards. The Air Force Academy admitted Wednesday that a cadet leader had to remove a Bible verse he had displayed outside his dorm room because it offended non-Christians and could “cause subordinates to doubt the leader’s religious impartiality.” The controversy started when a cadet leader posted a passage of scripture on his whiteboard with a quote from the New Testament book of Galatians. “I have been crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live, but Christ lives in me,” the verse from Galatians 2:20 read.” What’s going on at Air Force Academy? God’s word vs. Pentagon’s word

“The good news coming out of the just-concluded legislative battle in Arizona is that religious freedom remains what it has been there, undiminished by Governor Jan Brewer’s veto of a bill meant to protect it. The bad news is that the debate over religious freedom has taken an ominous turn. Here are six takeaways from the controversy. The media cannot be trusted to report accurately on social issues. I mention this first not because it is the most important part of the Arizona story — though it is very important — but because it has made understanding that story so difficult. The press leans to the left, as everyone knows, and especially on social issues. CNN anchors more or less openly advocated for a veto of the bill, which they would generally not do on tax legislation. Political journalists tend to accept social liberals’ framing of issues, their terminology, and their claims, and to believe the worst about social conservatives. In the Arizona debate, these tendencies manifested in widespread reports that the bill authorized businesses to refuse to serve gay people who wanted to be their customers and in the labeling of the legislation as “anti-gay.” Cross Purposes

“The leader of a church-state separatist group says that there’s a “revolt” underway at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., after officials there removed a Bible verse from a white board outside a cadet’s bedroom door following complaints that its presence was offensive. Cadets angry over the Air Force Academy’s removal of the verse have since begun posting scripture from the Bible and the Koran on their whiteboards in solidarity, said Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. “The Air Force Academy has a revolt on their hands. What are they going to do?” Weinstein told TheBlaze Wednesday.” Some Air Force Cadets So Angry Over What Happened With Bible Verses on Campus They Have Staged a ‘Revolt’

Glenn Beck

Learning lessons. “Beck is nostalgic for an America of decades past, and his cultural projects will aim to resurrect and revive it. It’s an America where duty trumped desire and Americans were bound together by a sort of civic religion created by that sense of duty. “I want to impact the culture in the way that people see good again,” he says. That sounds odd coming from somebody who is considered one of the most divisive figures in the country, but Beck has mellowed in the three years since his departure from Fox. Reflecting on his time there, during which he vowed to hunt progressives as Israelis once hunted Nazis, and frequently invoked Hitler in his denunciations of the Obama administration, he told Fox’s Megyn Kelly in January: ‘I remember it as an awful lot of fun and that I made an awful lot of mistakes, and I wish I could go back and be more uniting in my language. I think I played a role, unfortunately, in helping tear the country apart, and it’s not who we are.’” The New Glenn Beck: He’s taken on a cultural mission.

The Koch Brothers

“If you want to score a contest between the Koch brothers and Harry Reid over who has contributed more to America, it doesn’t seem close. The Koch brothers got wealthy creating productive industries that employ tens of thousands of people. Harry Reid got (obviously much less) wealthy as a career politician. Any one of the Koch brothers’ many major philanthropic ventures — say, the $100 million to New York Presbyterian Hospital, or just the $35 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History — will do more good than Harry Reid’s constant maneuvers to try to protect his vulnerable incumbents.” The Un-American Anti-Koch Campaign

“As George Orwell envisioned in “1984,” statists need an enemy to distract people from the failures of their corrosive ideology. In that seminal novel, the enemy was Emmanuel Goldstein, and a period of “Two Minutes Hate” was staged by the ruling party to keep the public sufficiently distracted. Democrats and their media allies, well aware they too must keep the public distracted from their failed policies heading into the 2014 elections, have created two Emmanuel Goldsteins of their very own: billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.” Lynching the Koch Brothers: The Dems’ Strategy for 2014

“Harry Reid’s unhinged rants on the Senate floor about David and Charles Koch reflect not just one man’s paranoia but an empty strategy of demagoguery by a major political party. A new ad from the party’s Senate Majority PAC attempting to protect Mary Landrieu from the consequences of her support for Barack Obama’s agenda tried to shift attention in Louisiana to “out-of-state billionaires,” by which they did not mean George Soros or Tom Steyer. The ad claims that the Kochs support “tax cuts for companies that ship our jobs overseas,” but as the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler deduces, practically nothing in that argument is true … including the that and the for.” WaPo: Four Pinocchios for Dems’ Koch habit

The Left

Divides. “The people outside your Google bus,” read a flyer at the Oakland protest, “serve you coffee, watch your kids, have sex with you for money, make you food, and are being driven out of their neighborhoods, while you guys live fat as hogs.” On January 21, this sentiment carried into the jam-packed hearings at city hall. MTA’s new fines for the tech buses proved unsatisfactory for people like Steve Zeltzer, a labor activist and city board of supervisors candidate. “This is class warfare,” he said. “Let’s charge them a billion dollars. They can afford it.” Indeed, protestors remain so fixed against these private services that they overlook how union greed and incompetence undermines the city’s public transportation. They also ignore these services’ benefits. Since 2009, Uber has gone from a business advertising alternative cabs to one linking riders with anyone who drives an insured car. This has turned it into a carpooling behemoth, and an iconic part of the “sharing economy.” The tech buses provide mass transit for 35,000 workers daily who might otherwise commute alone. Rather than symbolizing corporate malfeasance, then, both services help reduce pollution and relieve congestion. Instead of opposing these alternatives, San Francisco should encourage future growth of private transportation services, and focus meanwhile on what they can teach the city’s dysfunctional public monopolies.” San Francisco’s Growing Class Conflict


The Leftist indoctrination is working, unfortunately. “One of the troubling findings in the survey is that “about three-in-ten (29%) say they are not affiliated with any religion.”  Coupled with their lack of political affiliation, this rootless generation, with little grounding in historical knowledge or moral commitments, is ripe for the demagoguery of community organizers and activists pushing special agendas.  For example, Millennials see no inconsistency in adamantly advocating their own freedom to express their position and, at the same time, pushing for activist government policies to promote same-sex marriage and censure those whose religious beliefs condemn this unfortunate change in the definition of marriage.  Marijuana legalization, the same.  Life without boundaries for them, but not for the rest of us.” Are the Millennials Reliably Leftist?

If you’re attempting to understand the Millennials, this is a Must Read. “In case you hadn’t heard, young people these days — a.k.a “the Millennials” — are the most cynical and distrusting generation ever recorded. Only 19 percent think most people can be trusted. According to a big study from the Pew Research Center, they are less attached to marriage, religion, and political institutions than Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, and the other demographic flavors journalists love to use. They like their friends, their digital “social networks,” and their toys, and that’s about it. Not even a majority will call themselves “patriotic.” Probably more dismaying for liberals: Of any living generation, they are the least likely to call themselves environmentalists.” The Most Cynical Generation

More went wrong then what this author wants to acknowledge. “What went wrong? The president and his aides failed to keep his youth movement engaged. But part of the problem also is the inability of the millennial generation to remain attached to a cause. The generation that brought Obama to power is connected online but has no loyalty to institutions — including, it turns out, the Obama White House.” Why millennials have abandoned Obama


The Heritage Foundation’s blog puts the White House’s Obamacare outreach in proper perspective: “The young people they’re targeting now are the ones they didn’t get with the singing animals video, porta-potty ads, “brosurance” ad campaign, NFL football tie-ins, pub crawls, [etc]. “ Can the youth of America file a class action “false light” defamation suit against Obama for portraying it as incurably shallow?” Shallow waters at the intersection of Obamacare and the culture

Hiding a disaster. “And, always remember, the number of “sign-ups” the administration is hawking is people who went on an exchange site and selected a plan, not those who necessarily paid for that plan. As in, if you went to Amazon and put a garlic press in your virtual cart, you’d be considered a happy purchaser of said garlic press by the administration.” The press giving that nonsense metric any credence at all is a willful misrepresentation of what’s going on, here:Sebelius: Why, no, we have no idea who’s paid for their ObamaCare plans

No worries. Obama has a solution: Just cut your cable and phone bills. “A new survey confirms that the “Affordable Care Act” has failed to achieve one of its most important goals — making health coverage accessible to the uninsured. As the Washington Post reports, “Just one in 10 uninsured people who qualify for private health plans through the new marketplace have signed up for one.” Why so few? According to the survey, which was released last Thursday by McKinsey & Company, the most common reason cited by uninsured respondents was lack of affordability. Out of five possible reasons for failing to enroll, most chose, “I could not afford to pay the premium.” Uninsured: Obamacare Is Unaffordable: The Premiums are Too High

Playing politics.He forgot to mention it. Minor oversight, could have happened to anybody. The mandate, remember, has already been suspended this year for people who had their old insurance canceled and who now regard it as a “hardship” to purchase insurance on the supposedly affordable Affordable Care Act exchanges. For them, as Ezra Klein put it at the time, “ObamaCare itself is the hardship.” But there’s an obvious problem with that scheme: The “hardship” exemption applies only to people who used to have insurance, and it applies only for this enrollment period. The mandate penalty would continue to bite people who didn’t have insurance before, which seems unfair, and it’d be back in full force this fall even for people who did have it, right around the time that America votes in the midterms. And so a political problem gets a policy solution. Again.” Oh, by the way: Obama just quietly suspended ObamaCare’s individual mandate until 2016

“They’ve expanded/extended the so-called “hardship exemption” by executive fiat again. The hardship exemption now includes not only poverty or extreme personal distress, but “feeling inclined to vote for Republicans this year.” Obviously it’s completely political.Political Hardship Exemption: Obama Administration “Quietly” Suspends Individual Mandate

It’s all the Left has left… they must intimidate us into silence. “We’ve written about cancer survivor/Obamacare victim Julie Boonstra several times. Today Henry Payne adds to the story and draws the appropriate lessons in “The war on Julie Boonstra.” Payne notes how Boonstra, “a schoolteacher, has come under assault from Democrats and their media allies decrying her as a liar and an ignoramus for failing to embrace her new, Obamacare-approved plan.” The war on Julie Boonstra

If you don’t think this type of system is coming here soon, you’re fooling yourself. “I’ve seen the failures of Canada’s system firsthand. A few years ago, my mother suffered from severe stomach pain and suspected that she might have colon cancer. Her primary-care doctor ruled out that possibility following an X-ray. When she asked about getting a colonoscopy, she was told that she was too old; there were too many younger people with serious symptoms who were already on a six-month waiting list for the test. Within four months, she had begun hemorrhaging and lost 35 pounds. After two days in the emergency room and two in a “transit lounge,” she finally got a colonoscopy. Sure enough, she had colon cancer. She died two weeks later. Who knows how much more time we could have had with her, if her doctor had been committed to treating her cancer early on?” The Pipes proviso

Sarah Palin was right. “But centralized control needs to declare medical resources finite, which in turn demands rationing, and rationing needs, of course, a government board to decide who gets treatment and when, who gets to live… and die. My wife, under a fully implemented ObamaCare, would have been among the last in line for treatment. She was a retiree (too old!) with a terminal disease (too expensive with a limited future!), a woman who had chosen to spend most of her adult life raising children (that’s not really societally valued employment, the architects might sniff) and who lived simply and lovingly, taking pride in her family and her role as a homemaker (what –no greater ambitions?).” My Wife’s Last Days — And the Coming ObamaCare Death Panel

President Obama

As reported on yesterday… “Perhaps more worrisome, 48% of respondents said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate supportive of Obama, while only 26% said they would be more likely, and 33% of respondents said their midterm vote would signal opposition to Obama, compared to 24% who meant it as support. NBC News points out that some of the decline in Obama’s numbers came from Democrats, 20% of whom now disapprove of his job performance. However, Obama’s favorability rating is still twice that of both the GOP and the tea party.” New Poll Shows Obama Hits Record Low, Is Liability for Dems in Midterms

Details. “There is America’s political dysfunction in a single number. 67% want more federal pork, and 67% also want the federal government to cut spending.” NBCNews/WSJ Poll: Obama Approval Falls to New Low

We live in scary times.President Obama is threatening to veto a law that would allow Congress to sue him in federal courts for arbitrarily changing or refusing to enforce federal laws because it “violates the separation of powers” by encroaching on his presidential authority.” Obama threatens vetoes of bills requiring him to follow the law

At least someone’s fighting for the people. “Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) used President Obama’s own words as a U.S. senator to excoriate him for threatening to veto the ENFORCE the Law Act, which would provide a streamlined system for a house of Congress to the sue the Executive Branch for failing to enforce laws passed by Congress. “How does going from being a senator to a president rewrite the Constitution?” Gowdy asked. Telling House members that he was going to give them a “pop quiz,” Gowdy added, “That may seem unfair to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, but I’m going to give them a hint: the answer to every one of the questions is the same. I’m going to read a quote, and then you tell me who said it.” Rep. Gowdy Uses Obama’s Own Words Against Him In Response to Veto Threat

The fourth estate is no longer the people’s watch dog.There are a few differences, however, between the transgressions of Nixon and Obama, and America’s reaction to each. The old watchdogs of civil liberties that took on Nixon — the American media of the Watergate era — are now silent. Obama is not right-wing, easily caricatured, unappealing, or an old anti-Communist agitator but an iconic liberal, charismatic, and, in the past, an experienced community organizer. A Democratic Senate majority now has little interest in auditing Obama, though it once zealously pounced on Nixon’s misdeeds.” Following the Trail Nixon Blazed: Obama shows the same Orwellian disregard for the Constitution

“Reagan was able to reverse and erase many (if not most) of Carter’s mistakes. We may not be so lucky this time.” Is Henninger Right about the ‘Carterization’ of Obama?

“Bush and Reagan spent more days away from the White House than Obama, but also set up satellite offices in their ranch homes.” Tee Time: The Optics of Presidential Vacations

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