"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato
Friday, February 28, 2014
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Democrats' War on Women with Cancer
Background here. Even the New York Times is attacking her.
U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich., wants to be a United States senator, but he has a problem. He’s engaged in a “war on women” – make that a single woman – whom he’s trying to silence because he doesn’t like the story she has to tell.By the way, the Washington Post "fact-checked" Obama's promise that, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep itå" and declared him truthful.
Her name is Julie Boonstra. She’s a Michigan mother currently battling leukemia. Her medical coverage has been adversely affected by the onset of Obamacare. She’s had the courage to let people know about her struggle by speaking truth to power in an ad sponsored by Americans for Prosperity’s chapter in her state.
“My insurance was canceled because of Obamacare. Now the out-of-pocket costs are so high, it’s unaffordable,” Boonstra says. “I believed the president. I believed I could keep my health insurance plan. I feel lied to. It’s heartbreaking for me. Congressman Peters, your decision to vote for Obamacare jeopardized my health.”
For her courage in speaking out she is being vilified by those who argue she is simply not telling the truth. Peters, citing a so-called “fact checking” by the Washington Post, is trying to shut her up by having his lawyers send letters to television stations around the state telling them to demand more proof of what she says or pull the ad.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Press Happily Surrender their Freedoms to Obama
Here's the latest version of the FCC survey. The only appropriate use is as toilet paper.
The Washington Post finally weighed in Thursday night. By the way, the original title of this piece was, "Proposed FCC Newsroom Study Sparks Conservative Outcry."
Friday, February 21, 2014
New York Tiimes Discovers Evidence That Sebelius Can't Find
Even the public sector is cutting employee hours to dodge Obamacare.
Cities, counties, public schools and community colleges around the country have limited or reduced the work hours of part-time employees to avoid having to provide them with health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, state and local officials say.
The cuts to public sector employment, which has failed to rebound since the recession, could serve as a powerful political weapon for Republican critics of the health care law, who claim that it is creating a drain on the economy.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Just a Reminder: Obama Calls African Americans a "Mongrel People"
He sort of sounds like David Duke, doesn't he?
President Obama waded into the national race debate in an unlikely setting and with an unusual choice of words: telling daytime talk show hosts that African-Americans are “sort of a mongrel people.”
The president appeared on ABC’s morning talk show “The View” Thursday, where he talked about the forced resignation of Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod, his experience with race and his roots.
Guns Don't Kill People. Global Warming Does?
Bad guys stay indoors when it's cold outside and come out to kill when the weather's nice. Maybe we should ban warm jackets?
A new study broadens a notion held by the earliest criminologists: Periods of higher temperatures -- on an hour-by-hour or week-to-week basis -- are likely to produce more crime.
The study by Matthew Ranson of Abt Associates, a research and consulting firm in Cambridge, Mass., suggests global warming will trigger more crimes including murders and rapes over the next century, with social costs estimated to run as high as $115 billion.
Between 2010 and 2099, climate change can be expected to cause an additional 22,000 murders, 180,000 cases of rape, 1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft, the study published this week in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management says.
Obama Screws the Jews and Appeases the Palestinians
He is who we thought he was.
Back in 2008 when Barack Obama first ran for president, one of the many signals he sent to Jewish groups to reassure them of his good will toward Israel and his foreign-policy bona fides was to sever ties with Robert Malley. Malley, a Clinton-era National Security Council staffer, is best known for his stand blaming Israel rather than Yasir Arafat for the collapse of the 2000 Camp David peace summit. His position as an informal advisor to the Obama campaign was a major liability for a candidate desperate to reassure Jewish Democrats that he could be relied upon to maintain the alliance with Israel. But when it became known in May of 2008 that Malley had met with Hamas terrorists, the Obama campaign severed ties with Malley.
It turned out that those who worried that Malley’s presence in the Obama foreign-policy shop was a sign of future trouble with the Jewish state were right. Despite his campaign promises and the fact that he failed to give an inveterate Israel-basher like Malley a job in his administration, President Obama spent most of his first term picking fights with the State of Israel before a reelection-year charm offensive. But now well into his second term, the president is finally rewarding Malley for falling on his sword for him during his first campaign.
This afternoon it was announced that Malley is heading back to the White House to serve as a senior director at the National Security Council where he will be tasked with managing relations between the U.S. and its Persian Gulf allies. While we are told the administration is making an effort to bolster its traditional ties to the region, Malley’s appointment sends a very different signal, especially to Israel.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
IRS Seeks New Power To Limit Free Speech
They were busted for this last year. So now they want to make it part of their full time job? And predictably, labor unions are exempt.
In the draft regulation, the IRS treats any message that mentions a candidate within 60 days of an election or 30 days before a primary as political activity. Ditto for any communication that could be construed as supporting or opposing a candidate, anytime. So if a group wanted to say, "Call Sen. Jones and tell her we need the F-35 fighter," the ad would go down as political, even if Sen. Jones chairs the defense appropriations subcommittee and has announced she won't run for re-election five years from now.
Not only that, but a lot of public service engagement would fall on the wrong side of the IRS line. Voter registration, sponsorship of debates, voter education projects – all would be discouraged.
Conservatives are naturally upset by what they perceive as an effort to silence them. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the rules "would essentially allow the IRS to bully and intimidate Americans who exercise their right of free speech."
But the proposal has drawn strong criticism from plenty of liberal groups too. The Sierra Club said it "harms efforts that have nothing to do with politics, from our ability to communicate with our members about clean air and water to our efforts to educate the p ublic about toxic pollution."
The American Civil Liberties Union said it "could pose a chilling effect on issue advocacy" to the disproportionate detriment of "small, poor nonprofits that cannot afford the legal counsel to guarantee compliance." Labor unions, which do not fall under the regulations, fear that someday they will be included.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
The Bright Side of Carbon Dioxide
Plants love it. Including plants that produce our food.
Several analyses have been conducted to estimate potential monetary damages of the rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. Few, however, have attempted to investigate its monetary benefits. Chief among such positive externalities is the economic value added to global crop production by several growth-enhancing properties of atmospheric CO2 enrichment. As literally thousands of laboratory and field studies have demonstrated, elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 have been conclusively shown to stimulate plant productivity and growth, as well as to foster certain water-conserving and stress-alleviating benefits. For a 300-ppm increase in the air's CO2 content, for example, herbaceous plant biomass is typically enhanced by 25 to 55%, representing an important positive externality that is absent from today's state-of-the-art social cost of carbon (SCC) calculations.
American Needs to Hear from Lois Lerner
Taking the Fifth is not consistent with "not a smidgeon of corruption."
The American people still need to hear from Lois Lerner. That’s a point that can’t be made often enough.
Remember her? She’s the IRS official who gave a statement before Congress declaring herself innocent of any wrongdoing — and then promptly took the Fifth.
Recently, Congress unearthed another IRS e-mail on which she was copied, talking about taking “off-plan” a discussion about how to harass the 501(c)4 groups the IRS had targeted. Meanwhile, leaks from officials involved in the investigation claim the FBI has not found anything criminal.
That’s an amazing finding, given the statement by the American Center for Law and Justice, which represents the IRS targets, that the FBI hadn’t interviewed a single of the center’s 41 clients.
Congress has been trying to get to the bottom of things with hearings, but it has not had much help from the administration. That’s partly because the Department of Justice is hiding behind the idea that it can’t do anything that might jeopardize an ongoing criminal investigation.
We believe this gets priorities backward.
IRS Targeted Conservative Groups For Audits Too
The Internal Revenue Service didn't just hold up applications for non-profit status, it also targeted conservatives for audits too.
A Republican House committee chairman said the Internal Revenue Service targeted tax-exempt conservative groups for audits, widening the scope of GOP ire over the agency’s oversight of political activities.
House Democrats pushed back, saying Republicans were seeking to use the IRS controversy to score political points with their conservative base in an election year.
The IRS has been under scrutiny since an inspector general’s report last May found that the agency had targeted conservative groups for lengthy and heavy-handed review of their applications to become tax-exempt organizations under section 501(c) 4 of the tax code. The controversy led to significant management shakeups at the IRS and generated a slew of congressional investigations, some of which are still going on.
On Tuesday, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) said his committee’s continuing investigation has found that the IRS also singled out established conservative tax-exempt groups for audits.
“We now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were already operating as 501(c)(4)s,” Mr. Camp said in a statement. “At Washington, DC’s direction, dozens of groups operating as 501(c)(4)s were flagged for IRS surveillance, including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites and any other publicly available information. Of these groups, 83% were right-leaning. And of the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100% were right-leaning.”
When Muslims Slaughter Christians, It's Barely News
When Christians kill Muslims, it's "ethnic cleansing."
International peacekeepers have failed to prevent the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the Central African Republic, a human rights group says.Militia attacks have led to a "Muslim exodus of historic proportions", according to a report by Amnesty International.
Aid groups have warned of a food crisis, as many of the shops and wholesalers were run by Muslims.
Since Obama Signed his Stimulus Package Income is Down and Food Prices are Up.
America's Fastest Dying Cities
Monday, February 17, 2014
Clintons Hiding Documents From Arkansas
It's the Rose Law Firm records all over again.
Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said that while it is unclear what is in the gubernatorial archive, the tight restrictions “suggests that the Clinton forces believe problems would result from their publication.”
Democrats Claims That Republicans Will Make Obamacare Worse?
This doesn't sound like a winning strategy.
Democrats know their biggest problem in this year’s midterm election is Obamacare. So top party operatives have settled on a strategy to try blunting the GOP’s advantage: Tell voters Republicans would make the problem worse — raising prescription drug prices, empowering insurance companies and even endangering domestic violence victims.
The Disappearing Middle Class.
The shrinkage accelerates and wages decline as Obama and liberal Democrats destroy jobs and suppress economic development.
[M]any in the new wave of progressives engage in fantastical economics built around such things as “urban density” and “green jobs,” while adopting policies that restrict growth in manufacturing, energy and housing. When all else fails, some, like Oregon’s John Kitzhaber, try to change the topic by advocating shifting emphasis from measures of economic growth to “happiness.”All that's missing are unicorn farms.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Aesop's Fables In The Age Of Obama
The Age of Obama will require an entirely new book of fables to instruct our children. Director Spike Lee predicted that from the moment of Barack Hussein Obama’s election, history would henceforth be recorded as Before Obama and After Obama. I’m beginning to think that he was right.
One fable from my youth that no longer has any relevance in this After Obama Age is the story of the ant and the grasshopper. According to the fable, all summer long, the ant worked hard to store food in preparation for the inevitable winter. Meanwhile, the grasshopper spent his summer playing music and otherwise enjoying the warm summer days. When winter arrived, the ant had plenty of food to keep himself and his family fed until the next spring. Meanwhile, the grasshopper starved.
The moral of the story was obvious, even to a four year old. Plan ahead. Work hard. Accept responsibility for yourself. And those who don’t will reap the consequences.
Today, the fable would end with the tax man taking half of the ant’s food stocks and giving it to the grasshopper so that the grasshopper could be liberated from the toil of labor and would be free to pursue his art.
It’s just as Nancy Pelosi predicted shortly before she was deposed as Speaker of the House. “Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or, eh, a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance,” she mused with her fellow travelers on MSNBC.
Sure! No problem. We’ll just pay for it all with leprechaun gold and unicorn petting zoos.
Aesop never could have imagined the 21st century Democratic Party.
Democrats have long endured lampooning as the party of the lazy, unproductive and parasitic. In this caricature, the quintessential Democrat voter resembles nothing more in the biosphere than a remora, the parasitic fish that attaches itself to a shark and survives off the scraps generated by the larger fish’s labors.
That’s the caricature. But now we learn that this is precisely how the Democratic Party views itself and its own voters.
As former Minnesota Vikings head coach Dennis Green famously said of the Chicago Bears in 2006: “They are who we thought they were.”
And, the Democrats are who we thought they were.
After the Congressional Budget Office predicted that, because of Obamacare, the equivalent of 2.5 million full time working Americans would voluntarily drop out of the work force and live off the public dole, prominent Democrats celebrated. Americans would now be “liberated from job lock” in the words of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – Mustang Ranch).
And, in all truth, this is likely the only promise made for Obamacare that will come true. In other words, when added to public housing, food stamps and permanent unemployment benefits, millions more Americans are now free from ever having to lift a finger on their own behalf ever again.
I can see where this is going. By the end of Obama’s reign, the unemployment rate will be zero. But the liberated from job lock rate will be about 12% or so.
If I were a writer for a late night television comedy show, I could not have done any better than the Democrat-leaning Politico Magazine did when it selected a professor of “leisure studies” to pen an editorial ridiculing the outmoded Republican concept that people should work for a living.
“The president’s critics, in high dudgeon, are fulminating about lay-abouts and scofflaws actually choosing to work less than what God intended, predicting a host of ills that will supposedly befall the nation, from moral turpitude to economic ruin,” he argued.
And even though it reads like a skit from a Comedy Central “The Daily Show” parody, that was the informed opinion of a tenured university professor - of leisure studies. I get the impression that he liberated himself from productive work long ago, but still collects the paycheck.
Another symptom of the Age of Obama could be George Orwell’s Newspeak. We’ve gotten rid of terrorism by calling it “man-caused disaster” or even “workplace violence.” Illegal aliens are now “undocumented Americans.” And unemployment is now “job liberation.”
If this keeps up, we won’t have the words in our vocabulary to think thoughts that Obama disapproves of. And to think that we once laughed at a president who contested what the meaning of the word “is” is.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Obama Delays Obamacare Again
A law so awesome that Democrats can't survive its enforcement.
Where does the White House get the authority to tweak and delay the rules like this? I’m not sure how much the administration actually cares at this point, but I suspect it derives at least partly from the—whoalookablimpbehindyougottarun!
To some extent this is just one of the many perils of attempting to make a law as complex and controversial as Obamacare work. The administration is attempting to please employers who don’t like the requirement and mitigate some of the potential economic destabilization that could come with the requirement. It’s a political move as much as anything. But it could further undermine the law’s already shaky policy foundations. As Obamacare’s supporters argued before the law was passed, the employer mandate is one of the key mechanisms the law relies on to keep costs down and coverage up. But the administration has now twice weakened that mechanism.
At the same time, the administration’s pick-and-choose approach to implementation has destabilized the law politically. Because the Obama administration won’t be running the show forever. And future administrations, which might not be so sympathetic to the law or so tied to its fortunes, are likely to take advantage of the flexibility the Obama administration has made for itself here. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry might be overstating the case a little bit when he writes at Forbes that President Obama is “giving conservatives all the tools they need to transform the country.” But with legally dubious moves like this, the Obama administration is almost certainly setting a precedent that will eventually come back to haunt Democrats.
Hunger Games in Obama's America
Only Washington, DC has a favorable economic outlook.
The Gallup Economic Confidence Index "is a composite of Americans' ratings of current U.S. economic conditions and their perceptions of the economy's direction." According to Gallup, "the index has a theoretical maximum of +100 (if all respondents rate the economy "excellent" or "good" and say it is getting better) and a theoretical minimum of -100 (if all rate the economy "poor" and say it is getting worse)."
Eight of the 13 wealthiest counties are in the D.C. region, as the bipartisan permanent political class has accelerated the expansion of the federal government for the last decade to enrich those whose financial interests are directly tied to the growth of government.
Saturday, February 08, 2014
Minimum Wage Follies
"There is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong." - H.L. Mencken
Last week, a fry cook dared to complain to President Obama that Obamacare had forced his employer to reduce the hours that he worked. As a consequence, he was having more difficulty than usual making ends meet.
Because this man remains a loyal Democrat, he need not worry that he’ll suffer the same treatment as Joe the Plumber in 2008. In fact, considering the format, he and his question were probably screened and chosen for effect – which makes Obama’s response all the more interesting.
Obama replied that he intended to restore the man’s lot in life by increasing the minimum wage.
You can’t make this stuff up. The increased costs associated with Obama’s signature legislation worsened this man’s economic hardship. And Obama’s proposed solution is to increase his employer’s burden, leaving the man less employable. The left cannot imagine the obvious peril to this man’s livelihood.
The left’s only conceivable response to the devastation that Obamanomics hath wrought is more Obamanomics. Ignore the fact that the Congressional Budget Office just predicted that Obamacare is likely to cut over 2 million more jobs from the workforce by 2021. Never mind that, in 2010, then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi promised that Obamacare would create 4 million new jobs, “400,000 almost immediately.”
Past performance predicts future results. We may not want to place much trust in the Democratic Party’s economic policies.
Past performance also predicts another future result. With an electoral catastrophe threatening in November, the Democratic Party is seeking to distract the voters from its record; five years of economic stagnation, millions more people without health care insurance than when they started fixing things, and a far less stable world than the one that they inherited.
In 2012, the Democrats changed the subject by inventing the imaginary War on Women. And even though reasonable people saw through this as ludicrous, the news media obediently joined the castrato section of the chorus and a meme was born.
For 2014, they’ve already telegraphed us their distraction. And it’s “income inequality.” Just how far the media will go to promote Democratic Party solutions to problems that Democratic Party policies created should make for entertaining reading.
When the Democrats trot out some 35 year-old head of a household who has been toiling in a minimum wage job for ten years, it tells us much more about the quality of people dependent upon the Democratic Party than it does about the morality or adequacy of the current minimum wage.
Here are a few facts about the minimum wage that need be a part of the debate.
First of all, according to data from the US Labor department and the Census Bureau, only 2.8% of workers earn the minimum wage and only 20% of them live in poverty. Most minimum wage earners make only a secondary contribution to a household’s income. Half are very young people in entry level jobs.
Should those jobs evaporate, many low income households now above the poverty line will fall into poverty.
But as bad as Obama’s solutions are, they pale in comparison to what Washington’s Democrats propose. While Obama wants to raise the federal minimum wage to just over $10 per hour, Seattleistas think that $15 is an even better idea.
Restaurants are already preparing for this with consoles that will replace the employees who stand behind the cash register taking your orders. Waitresses and paper menus are already being replaced with tablet computers that take your order wirelessly. Hamburger-making robots that can produce a gourmet quality burger, at half the price, are already available. Recently, a vending machine capable of assembling custom-made burritos to your specifications has found its way onto the market.
Raising the minimum wage will even eliminate those jobs that Americans just won’t do. A new, fruit-picking robot is nearly ready for use in the orchards. This machine can accurately select ripe apples from among those that need a few more days on the tree.
Overpriced and unreliable labor is always at risk. Work that can’t be done by robots will be performed overseas in nations with large pools of low cost labor and business-friendly climates.
If you believe that the US is still a great place to do business, consider that the World Bank ranks the US behind Rwanda, Azerbaijan and Belarus in new business creation.
Friday, February 07, 2014
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Oregon Obamacare Isn't Just Incompetent and Dysfunctional
Lawson, however, chose to use an “iterative” approach. This time, imagine an extremely blurry picture of a whole car. With each iteration, the picture grows a little more clear.
What that meant for the Cover Oregon website was that it was able to paint a picture of a flashy website – imagine a concept car that looks flashy in the showroom but doesn’t actually run.
But documents uncovered by the KATU Investigators show Lawson hadn’t actually figured out how to build the site, even as she was promising the federal government – and her bosses – that Cover Oregon’s website was going to work.
So what, exactly, were the federal and state reviewers being shown?
In a Sept. 27, 2012 email to Bruce Goldberg – Lawson’s boss at the Oregon Health Authority, who is now in charge of Cover Oregon – she sent a link to something called “The Solution Factory,” a site hosted by software contractor Oracle.
Lawson wrote in the email that the link went to a site hosting the same demonstrations the team provided to project stakeholders.
“It demonstrates what we have built to date,” she wrote. “By watching this every month, you can see our progress in real time.”
That link is no longer operational.
KATU traveled to California late last month and knocked on Lawson's door in an effort to get a comment for this story.
Her husband answered and said she didn't want to answer questions.
Monday, February 03, 2014
We Are Not Norway
The same liberals who demand and celebrate diversity cannot grasp how it makes their social homogenization agenda impossible.
Liberal policy makers have long regarded Scandinavian policies as a model. If a welfare state can work there, they have long argued, it can work here. But the Scandinavian countries have homogeneous populations with high levels of trust, conscientiousness and social connectedness. It is not a coincidence that in the two states with the highest levels of the social connectedness Mr. Putnam described, North Dakota and Minnesota, most people are of Scandinavian or German descent. But policies that work well in Scandinavia or Minnesota and North Dakota won't necessarily work well in a wider United States, where a much larger proportion of people are socially disconnected.
Sunday, February 02, 2014
Lefty Democrat Charles Lane Wants His Party to get a Divorce from Public Employee Unions.
The labor peace justification tries to make a virtue out of something Americans normally, and properly, despise: government by interest group. A variant of that argument, advanced by my colleague Harold Meyerson, is that public-employee unions, with their large campaign donations and political staffs, have become “the all-around linchpin of the modern Democratic Party” and the progressive causes for which it stands.
Some of us, though, don’t think dependence on unions has been healthy for the Democratic Party or for the robust public sector it espouses. Again, the case in point is the public schools, which employ almost half of all local government employees but which Democrats dare reform only at the risk of war with teachers unions.
Also, California’s powerful prison guard union has provided key support for that state’s “three strikes and you’re out” mandatory life sentence law. Not progressive.
Nancy Pelosi: A Liar or Just Stupid?
Or both. Or, she probably assumes that you're stupid.
"The revolving door is not so much Congress as the executive branch."
That statement comes from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., during her Thursday night appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The declaration may seem counterintuitive, given that Pelosi's office is one of the largest incubators of revolving door talent on Capitol Hill. According to data from Open Secrets at least 28 current and former Pelosi staffers have represented (or currently represent) special interests.
During her appearance, Stewart pressed the congresswoman on the obstacles facing small IT contractors who wanted to compete for bids working on the Affordable Care Act's website. Stewart questioned whether an overly burdensome procurement process was allowed to continue because it favored big government contractors with the resources to successfully navigate the regulations.
When Stewart broached the issue that corporations may have too much influence on members of Congress, Pelosi was apparently unaware that one of her former staffers now works for Boeing. "I don't know that, well... who?"
The IRS Fix Is In
Clearly, the Obama Regime fears nothing from the mainstream news media. They're conducting a cover up in plain sight.
The Justice Department said Thursday it is refusing to let a key lawyer testify to the House oversight committee on the criminal investigation into the IRS, saying that to let her brief Congress could potentially skew its probe.
But oversight committee Republicans said blocking lawyer Barbara Bosserman from testifying only makes the Justice’s investigation look more partisan.
After an internal audit last year revealed the IRS was unfairly targeting tea party groups for intrusive scrutiny and blocking their applications for tax-exempt status, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. called for a criminal probe into the tax agency.
Eight months later, the probe has shown few public signs of progress, and many of the tea party victims say they still haven’t heard from the FBI or Justice Department lawyers.
House Republicans said they were concerned about the direction of the probe, and Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican and a subcommittee chairman on the House oversight committee, asked Ms. Bosserman to testify at a hearing next week.
The GOP has identified her as the lead lawyer on the investigation, and they have questioned her role, given her history as a significant political donor to President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns.