Saturday, February 1, 2014
Back in the thirties, Stephen Vincent Benet wrote a famous story about Dartmouth’s most well known (with the possible exception of Dr. Seuss) graduate, Daniel Webster — The Devil and Daniel Webster. In that story, the devil is not portrayed as a scary figure in horns and a tail but as a more refined gentleman, ”a soft-spoken, dark-dressed stranger,” who “drove up in a handsome buggy.” That’s Bill Ayers these days. Watch out.
◼ The Devil and Bill Ayers: D’Souza Debates Ayers at Dartmouth - Roger L. Simon/PJM
It’s a testament to Dinesh D’Souza’s mettle that he even showed up for his scheduled debate at Dartmouth (his alma mater and mine) with Bill Ayers last Thursday. D’Souza is only recently under what is apparently selective prosecution by the federal government for campaign law violations (see “Amnesty, but Not for D’Souza” by Andy McCarthy) and that was probably some of the reason the pundit/filmmaker seemed off his game.
He fared much better debating the existence of God with the late Christopher Hitchens. But that was in part because Hitchens played fair, enjoying the intellectual jousting and search for truth between two exceptionally bright people. D’Souza’s Thursday adversary, Mr. Ayers — former Weatherman revolutionary and retired professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he held the titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar — did everything but.
◼ link - Joel Gehrke/Washington Examiner @joelmentum
She was courteous enough that even President Obama said she didn't "have to pussyfoot around," but the woman who asked about Obamacare gave a pretty comprehensive indictment of the law's rollout and consequences for her family.
"I'm probably not the only one who has had really a panicked experience lately trying to figure if my 10-year-old son can continue with his specialist or not. I know that I cannot keep my plan, which I liked," Rebecca Stewart of Kentucky said to Obama during a Google+ hangout hosted by the White House today. "But as I'm trying to decide what to do going forward, I've spent weeks and days on the phone getting confidently-delivered wrong answers, conflicting information, and it's becoming quite obvious to me that a lot of agencies -- almost every one I've talked to -- is having a lot of trouble figuring out the new rules. So, I'm afraid that perhaps average Americans who haven't had the time or ability to do the legwork that I've been able to do are perhaps going to be blindsided by this."
◼ Americans Give Obama an Earful on Healthcare in Online 'Hangout' - Sandy Fitzgerald/Newsmax
President Obama repeated the spurious gender wage gap statistic in his State of the Union address. “Today,” he said, “women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.”
What is wrong and embarrassing is the President of the United States reciting a massively discredited factoid....
By now the President and his staff must be aware that the wage gap statistic has been demolished. This is not the first time the Washington Post has alerted the White House to the error. Why continue to use it?...
◼ Obama’s State of the Union whoppers - Donald Lambro/Washington Times
...The term “cherry-picking” is often applied to the practice of presidents who use inaccurate, narrowly drawn, fuzzy statistics and claims to cover up their economic failures.
President Obama did a lot of it in his fact-challenged, State of the Union address Tuesday night, in which he made exaggerated claims that do not stand up to serious scrutiny.
The Washington Post ran a story the next morning by the capital’s chief fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, under this headline: “Sifting through some questionable claims by the president.”
The Associated Press ran a lengthy fact-checking story, too, with this editor’s note at the bottom: “An occasional look at political claims that take shortcuts with the facts or don’t tell the full story.”
The biggest whopper: Mr. Obama’s claim that businesses have created “more than 8 million jobs” over the last four years....
Unlike Pinocchio, however, apparently Mr. Obama didn’t learn his lesson. On Tuesday night, he declared to all Americans that under his Obamacare law, he has been able to offer a banquet of health care benefits, while “keeping Medicare premiums flat.”
Not true, Mr. Woodward reported later that night. “They’ve gone up.”
Another whopper in Mr. Obama’s speech was his claim that he will raise hourly pay for certain low-income Americans simply by the stroke of his pen.
“In the coming weeks, I will issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour, because if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty.
This is a cruel political shell game to avoid dealing with the fundamental causes of stagnant wages in a still sluggish economy. Most federal contract employees are already paid more than $10.10 an hour; in fact, often much more. It will not raise the pay of a single current federal worker, only new hires. It won’t kick in until 2015 or later.
◼ The IRS Conservative Targeting Scandal involved:
◼ At least 292 conservative groups
◼ At least 5 pro-Israel groups
◼ Constitutional groups
◼ Groups that criticized Obama administration
◼ At least two pro-life groups
◼ An 83 year-old Nazi concentration camp survivor
◼ A 180 year-old Baptist paper
◼ A Texas voting-rights group
◼ A Hollywood conservative group was targeted and harassed
◼ Conservative activists and businesses
◼ At least one conservative Hispanic group
◼ IRS continued to target groups even after the scandal was exposed
Despite the uproar ◼ the FBI closed the case on the IRS targeting scandal before interviewing a single one of the 292 conservative groups that were targeted.
And now Eric Holder will not allow the lead investigator in the case from testifying before Congress.
There are fewer and fewer reasons to trust this guy. Now, we learn this about Obamacare squealers ...
◼ White House didn’t stop ‘flagging’ Obamacare ‘misinformation’ - Website still soliciting informers on friends, neighbors, co-workers - Anne Hendershott and Brian Simboli/Washington Times
In 2009, the Obama administration conscripted citizens to join the government in helping to monitor the emails, casual conversations and activities of their neighbors, friends and co-workers by reporting “misinformation” about Obamacare.
Creating the email address, email@example.com, the administration encouraged citizens to inform the government of inaccurate information — or information that was counter to what the president was telling them — about the health care act.
The response to the attempt to create an informant society was immediate — and angry. Two weeks later, responding to growing public criticism about the idea of neighbors informing on neighbors on the proposed health care bill, the White House announced it had deactivated the “flag” email.
Did they? Despite the administration’s announcement that the “flag” had been deactivated and removed, we have found that today, more than four years later, the email address still appears on the White House webpages (http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things), accompanied by the same invitation to citizens to report anyone who is disseminating misinformation about Obamacare....
The invitation is still there, and the platform for soliciting and gathering information is still very much in place. Citizens are still being invited to inform on their friends and neighbors’ email or conversations.
This is a problem. From the first day the “flag” email site was announced, its creation symbolically signaled that the Obama administration intended to do everything it could to promote its social policies and suppress all dissent. Some worried whether the creation of the site to inform on dissenters from the president’s policies was just a ploy to gather information about potential political enemies.
Lawmakers knew this. Even when the site was reported to have been removed, Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, noted that “questions still remain about information that’s already been collected over the past few weeks.”
◼ Hey, remember AttackWatch.com? - Daily Caller 6/1/13
...This is an age of official paranoia, in which the President and his apologists routinely declare dissenters beyond the pale, claiming they have no legitimate motivations beyond greed and racism.
I just hope more people are starting to see that. I hope they see how far this administration is willing to go in order to repress dissent and discourage free speech....
◼ Obama’s new Snitch Central: AttackWatch - HotAir 9/14/11
In 2009, the White House launched an effort to get people to snitch on those who expressed opposition to President Obama through a new official e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, and a web page on the official White House site. It didn’t quite last a fortnight, thanks to an outcry of anger over the idea that a President would be so petty and so paranoid as to need an official informant bureau in the White House. They dropped this about the same time that Obama finally dropped his war on Fox News, having lost on all fronts to control opinion.
Did they learn a lesson? Apparently not, or at least they learned the wrong lesson. The “flag” program is back, but this time it’s being run out of the Obama re-election campaign...
◼ Attaaaaack Waaaaaaatch - Michelle Malkin 9/14/11
Tim Donnelly is hitting the road to save California. "Over the next two weeks, I’ll be trekking the state on board The Liberty Express, visiting with you and making nearly 40 stops!
We'll have a constant stream of picture, video, event promotion and more - join us and we'll see you on the road! ◼ Check out the full schedule HERE." #libertyexpress
◼ WEB: electtimdonnelly.com ◼ MULTIMEDIA ◼ FACEBOOK: Tim Donnelly ◼ TWITTER: @electdonnelly
◼ President Obama’s abuse of executive privilege is not cool and, according to Charles Krauthammer, wouldn’t have been tolerated had he been a Republican - IJ Review
Mr. Moran joins a group of departing Democrats conceding what everyone knows: Obamacare is a train wreck. An airliner crash. A battleship aground on the reef. Pick your metaphor.
...“I’m afraid that the millennials, if you will,” Mr. Moran tells Washington’s WAMU-FM radio, “are less likely to sign up. I think they feel more independent. I think they feel a little more invulnerable than prior generations . But I don’t think we’re going to get enough young people signing up to make this bill work as it was intended to, financially.”
His analysis is spot on, but that’s small consolation. “I just don’t know how we’re going to [fix] it, frankly,” says Mr. Moran. “If we had a solution, I’d be telling the president right now.” Now he tells us.
Belated it is, but Mr. Moran’s assessment is a breath of fresh air in an environment where the Obama administration talks about “surges” in enrollments and tells “success” stories that don’t bear the weight of scrutiny. Obamacare was sold to the nation on a similar foundation of lies....
“Today's Environmental Impact Statement confirms what Alaskans already know -- there are ways to safely and responsibly diversify our domestic energy supply,” said Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska. “Move this project forward.”
Begich also said he will continue to “demand” that Obama approve the $7 billion pipeline project while reminding him that development in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean and National Petroleum Reserve is critical in securing the county’s energy independence from foreign countries.
He was joined Friday by Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in calling on Obama to approve the project, proposed back in 2010.
“This new study underscores what has been said all along about Keystone XL Pipeline: It’s time to build,” Landrieu said.
Begich and Landrieu are in tough, 2014 re-election efforts in conservative-leaning, energy-producing states.
Former Congressman Allen West (R-Fla.) responded to allegations that the Tea Party is racist and gave a verbal dressing down to a former aide to Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
◼ “Now, when Senator Obama was running for election he was railing against George W. Bush, calling him un-American, unpatriotic over a nine trillion dollar debt. Now Americans who show concern about a 17.3 almost $17.4 trillion debt are now demonized and attacked when this is a serious concern.” - CNS
◼ Liberal Laughs At Col. Allen West For Being A Black Conservative; West Cleans His Clock - The Right Scoop
...Hahn laughs as soon as West cites himself as an example of how the tea party is not racist. Because as we’ve learned from folks like Melissa Harris-Perry, conservatives are racist by definition, so therefore black conservatives are merely Uncle Toms. It is typical of lily-white elitist east coast liberals like Hahn to look down their noses at Col. West. They care nothing for his military service, his civilian record of service, his having been elected to office, his cogent representation of conservative philosophy, or any part of Colonel West, the human being. All they see is a black man who has failed to act in the way Democrats have outlined as permissible....
◼ Former Clinton aide to Pelosi: Apologize - Ed Morrissey/HotAir
...Actually, the problem wasn’t that there was too little involvement from the private sector; it’s that it didn’t belong in the federal government in the first place. But even apart from that, the site was built by the private sector, with the full cooperation of private insurers who hoped to score big off of a historic government mandate that forced Americans to participate in a command economy. The problem was that the people who command that economy are singularly unqualified for the job, as most if not all of them have done little but public-sector work for the majority of their lives. The incompetent management of this system began in the bid process and escalated throughout the project-management phase, and was obvious by the increasingly arbitrary ways in which regulations and statutes were applied and enforced.
That’s what is painful to Davis, who cheers government-controlled universal health care as the appetizer to his advice to Pelosi. Davis says it could have been accomplished through distributed authority in the private sector, but that’s never been the point of Democratic health-care policy. It’s always been about control and power, and dictating outcomes to insurers, providers, and consumers. We tried it, and now we see why the public sector should be limited to appropriate regulatory functions and law enforcement, and private economies left to voluntary association and the private sector.
◼ Pelosi: ObamaCare incompetence “not my responsibility” - Ed Morrissey/HotAir
This appearance by Nancy Pelosi on The Daily Show starts to run off the rails almost immediately. Jon Stewart starts off by asking Pelosi about why people talk about politics rather than policy, to which Pelosi answers by … complaining about Republicans. Stewart doesn’t take the bait, though, and starts pressing Pelosi for answers as to why big-government politicians can’t produce competent government — and gets stunned by her admission that she can’t explain why ObamaCare failed...
Strengthening the IRS‘ ability to make trouble for conservatives in politics is a priority for Mr. Obama and Harry Reid, the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate. They regard the IRS scandal not as a scandal, but as a starting point for suppressing enemies
◼ Chuck Schumer urges IRS to harass Tea Party groups into silence - Washington Times EDITORIAL
...The Tea Party opposes much of President Obama’s agenda, and to Mr. Schumer, that’s both a sin and a crime.
In a speech last week to the liberal Center for American Progress, the senior senator from New York said, “There are many things that can be done administratively by the IRS and other government agencies” to silence groups that obstruct Democratic policies....
The latest group harassed by the IRS might be the smallest in America; namely, conservatives in Hollywood. An organization known as Friends of Abe, named for Abraham Lincoln, is trying to get tax-exempt status. The IRS is doing what it can to scuttle the application and wants to see the organization’s membership list.
The actors, directors and writers who are Friends of Abe are wary of coming out of the closet where traditional values are often hidden in Hollywood. Nothing threatens a promising career in Tinseltown faster than exposure as a Republican or other conservative.
In a just world, the Center for American Progress, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that hosted Mr. Schumer’s call for government harassment of conservatives groups, would get similar scrutiny....
Strengthening the IRS‘ ability to make trouble for conservatives in politics is a priority for Mr. Obama and Harry Reid, the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate. They regard the IRS scandal not as a scandal, but as a starting point for suppressing enemies.
◼ Silencing the Opposition - Edward H. Stewart, Jr./American Thinker
On Wednesday, Mitch McConnell told Fox News' Megyn Kelly that the Obama administration is "initiating a new rule through the Treasury Department in the IRS to quiet the voices of outside groups." According to McConnell, the new rule would redefine what groups like the Tea Party could advocate, during a political campaign "to silence the voices of their critics going into this important fall election by using the Treasury Department regulations."
...McConnell's got it right. In the hands of a criminally partisan IRS "reference to a particular issue . . . distinguishing the candidate from others" is not only permission to, but an instruction to harass and deny 501 (c) (4) status to any group that opposes ObamaCare, amnesty, same-sex marriage, or any other issue dear to the president's heart. Far from creating a bright-line distinction, "distinguishing the candidate from others" sets no boundaries at all, giving one of Washington's most politicized, corrupt, and powerful agencies unfettered discretion to reward Obama's friends and punish his enemies.
@bennyjohnson .... good lord he is out of touch with earth.— Christine Rousselle (@crousselle) January 31, 2014
◼ At a Google Hangout question and answer session, a worker told President Obama that his hours had been cut due to Obamacare. Obama’s solution? - Twitchy, Who Said What on Twitter
O tells fry cook to tell Cong to increase min wage for reduced hours and new O care expenses. Obama's econ advisors suck.— MJ Rodriguez (@mjrod) January 31, 2014
So..Obamacare slashes the cook's hours. Obama says he needs a federal wage mandate so the job will be killed altogether. BRILLIANT— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) January 31, 2014
‘No bias here’: Miami NBC affiliate’s graphic refers to state GOP as ‘Reprehensive’ Party (UPDATE: (Another) Staffer fired)
No bias here, none at all: pic.twitter.com/Su8Jawlo5D— Brittany C (@bccohan) January 31, 2014
◼ During a story about the Florida gubernatorial race, an NBC affiliate in Miami aired a graphic that described the Florida GOP as the “Reprehensive” Party. - Twitchy, Who Said What on Twitter
In "Reprehensive Party of Florida" flap, NBC & news service issue apology, staffer fired http://t.co/8Ho3brqygm— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) January 31, 2014
That all sounds ◼ awfully familiar.
'"Administrators at Seattle Children's today said they predicted this would happen, and it's even worse than they expected,"
◼ Sick Kids Denied Specialty Care Due to Obamacare in Washington - Daniel Halper/Weekly Standard
"...Patients being denied specialty treatment at the hospital by insurance providers on the Washington health benefits exchange. Children's filed request on behalf of 125 of their patients. Of those, they say they got only 20 responses, eight of which were denials...."
"Children's went ahead and treated those cases anyway, but Dr. Melzer said they can't afford to keep doing that it way."
◼ The growing distance between Washington and the public it dominates. - Peggy Noonan/Wall St. Journal
The State of the Union was a spectacle of delusion and self-congratulation in which a Congress nobody likes rose to cheer a president nobody really likes. It marked the continued degeneration of a great and useful tradition. Viewership was down, to the lowest level since 2000....
I watched at home and thought: They hate it. They being the people, whom we're now supposed to refer to as the folks. But you look at the polls at how people view Washington—one, in October, had almost 9 in 10 disapproving—and you watch a kabuki-like event like this and you know the distance, the psychic, emotional and experiential distance, between Washington and America, between the people and their federal government, is not only real but, actually, carries dangers.
...Meanwhile, back in America, the Little Sisters of the Poor were preparing their legal briefs.
...Meanwhile, back in America, disadvantaged parents in Louisiana—people who could never afford to live in places like McLean, Va., or Chevy Chase, Md.—continue to wait to see what will happen with the state's successful school voucher program.
...Meanwhile, back in America, conservatives targeted and harassed by the Internal Revenue Service still await answers on their years-long requests for tax exempt status.
...All these things—the pushing around of nuns, the limiting of freedoms that were helping kids get a start in life, the targeting of conservative groups—all these things have the effect of breaking bonds of trust between government and the people. They make citizens see Washington as an alien and hostile power.
Washington sees the disaffection. They read the polls, they know.
They call it rage. But it feels more like grief. Like the loss of something you never thought you'd lose, your sense of your country and your place in it, your rights in it.
Friday, January 31, 2014
◼ Hey everybody! We are going to have our first meeting this Friday at Live From New York Pizza (in Arcata). Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. Be there 6. The pizza is on us. If you are interested in signing up for the club just show up and talk to us.
◼ Facing a $78 million budget shortfall, California’s ObamaCare exchange has spent $1.37 million to fund an outreach video featuring exercise guru Richard Simmons gyrating on the floor and hugging a contortionist who is kneeling with his buttocks in the air. - FOX via Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
State Sen. Ted Gaines, a Northern California Republican, fired off a terse letter to Covered California Director Peter Lee demanding to know why he would launch such a campaign at taxpayer expense. The exchange likely will face a $78 million shortfall during the next fiscal year, said Gaines, who is vice chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Insurance.
◼ According to a new poll from Public Policy Polling, a left leaning outlet, Fox News has been voted the most trusted network for the third year in a row. - Katie Pavlich/Townhall
35% of Americans say they trust Fox News more than any other TV news outlet, followed by 14% for PBS, 11% for ABC, 10% for CNN, 9% for CBS, 6% each for Comedy Central and MSNBC, and 3% for NBC.On the other hand, Fox News also came in as least trusted.
Fox News also leads the 'least trusted' list in our annual poll. 33% give it that designation to 19% for MSNBC, 14% for Comedy Central, 11% for CNN, 5% for ABC, 4% for CBS, and 2% each for NBC and PBS.
America just became the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. How'd you miss this important story?
The United States has become the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
You may have missed this important story. That’s because the media virtually ignored it.
How did the United States reach this goal? Two simple words, which were excluded from the Department of Energy press release and the single U.S. news report I found: hydraulic fracturing, better known as “fracking.”
...When you drive on Interstate 476 near Scranton, Pa., you see towering windmills, the “clean” energy solution favored by environmentalists that contributes less than 1 percent of Pennsylvania’s power. But the blades of the wind-powered turbines kill bald eagles and bats, which farmers complain caused a huge increase in insects that the bats would eat. Nearby, more than 1,000 fracking sites have produced the following results, according to the Pennsylvania state officials:
• The jobs pay an average of $62,000 a year — about $20,000 more than the state average.
• A recent study of what is known as the “Marcellus shale” formation which produces the fracked fuel has created more than 70,000 jobs in the past four years and could support more than 200,000 jobs.
• Investment in Pennsylvania’s fracking operations has already reached $4 billion....
Thank goodness we don’t have a Republican president! If we did, we would be in the midst of a constitutional crisis. Imagine this scenario: an American president announces that, rather than taking care that the laws be faithfully executed, as the Constitution requires, the federal government henceforth will enforce only those provisions of federal law with which he personally agrees. Not only that, if Congress declines to enact legislation that he demands, he will issue executive orders having the force of law as though such legislation were in effect. And if you oppose him, he will send the IRS to harass you and have his corrupt Department of Justice charge you with a bogus felony if he can come up with a pretext, or maybe even if he can’t.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
...If you don’t have too much time I’d recommend skipping the 18 minute speeches and begin where they are responding to each others speeches at around the 42 minute mark. But you’ll be missing out on some great stuff, I assure you, especially D’Souza’s view of the greatness of America.
- Grant Scott-Goforth/The Journal
... In the last month, more than 150 people were released between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. — a cold, lonely time of night when transportation, shelter and other help is in short supply. The practice of releasing people late at night poses more than an inconvenience, it has had tragic outcomes twice in recent months.
So why does the jail release inmates in the middle of the night?...
The strength in state legislatures allowed Democrats to draw Republican voters into electoral ghettos which made it much easier for Democrats to hold the House. That has been reversed. Republican gains in the last twenty years in state legislatures means that the number of congressional districts drawn by Republicans has grown dramatically -- from 5 districts in 1991 to 98 districts in 2001, and now 193 districts in 2011 -- while the number of districts drawn by Democrats have shrunk, from 172 districts in 1991 to 135 districts in 2011 to only 44 districts today.
This means that the bedrock of political power in America (winning elections in Congress and state governments) is moving steadily to the Republican Party. As more states become Republican, a natural advantage in winning Senate elections will grow, and as and more and more legislative districts are controlled by Republicans, electoral districts for members of the House of Representatives and state legislatures are being drawn by Republicans.
In 2009, pundits wondered if the Republican Party would survive, but it is the Party of Obama that looks more and more like the real political dinosaur in America. If the Party of Obama is routed in 2014 and not only is the Senate lost, but more state legislative chambers and House districts are won by Republicans, the sea change that many of us have hoped for may be at last have arrived.
...I intensely dislike traipsing around strange neighbourhoods and knocking on doors for hours on end – but I did that for the good of the party.
I cannot stand calling people on the phone to go through inane call scripts – but I did that because I thought it was important for the future of the country.
I helped prepare mailers and did other grunt work because I knew the country is on the edge of a precipice.
I tried to support you people whenever I can...
COULTER: REPUBLICANS ON SUICIDE WATCH...
Buchanan: Push for Immigration Reform Will Spell End of Boehner's Speakership...Audio...
HOUSE GOP TO OBAMA: LET'S DO 'YEAR OF ACTION' TOGETHER...
Ryan plan includes citizenship for illegals...
Priebus: We need 'something big'...
Business execs pressure GOP to pass bill...
Immigration officers warn amnesty would 'overload the system'...
Sessions: Should not cater to the whims of CEOs...
CRUZ: AMNESTY PUSH RUINS HOPES OF RETAKING SENATE
...The California Road Repairs Act would have increased the vehicle license fee by 0.25 percent a year for four years, raising it from 0.65 percent to 1.65 percent of a vehicle's value.
The withdrawal of the proposal drew mixed reaction from motorists. Joan Armstrong, of San Jose, said an increase in the license fee would have added "hundreds of dollars" for her family's three cars....
The vehicle license fee has been controversial since 2003, when Gov. Gray Davis raised the fee and motorists rebelled. Arnold Schwarzenegger campaigned against the increase during his effort to recall Davis, and he quickly abolished the license fee increase upon taking office.
◼ Rep. Henry Waxman to retire from Congress - LA Times
◼ DEM CASUALTY LIST GROWS
Each week, it seems another Democrat lawmaker announces their retirement from Congress. On Thursday, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) joined the growing list. It is only January, but 11 Democrat lawmakers have said they are quitting at the end of this current term.... All the lawmakers, with the exception of Owens had a lot of seniority and would have been in line for Chairman gavels on important committees if Democrats took control of Congress. The retirements could be an indication of how unlikely they think that is.
◼ Pelosi Next? - National Journal
Federal consumer bureau data-mining hundreds of millions of consumer credit card accounts, mortgages
◼ Officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are conducting a massive, NSA-esque data-mining project collecting account information on an estimated 991 million American credit card accounts. - Richard Pollock/Washington Examiner
It was also learned at a Congressional hearing Tuesday that CFPB officials are working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency on a second data-mining effort, this one focused on the 53 million residential mortgages taken out by Americans since 1998.
The mortgage information is being compiled in a database that can be "reversed engineered" by hackers seeking information for identify theft, according to an expert cited during the hearing.
The revelations came in a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee, during which CFPB Director Richard Cordray was repeatedly pressed about federal officials rummaging around in the private financial affairs of millions of Americans.
◼ Senator Mike Lee, Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Rand Paul and others need to challenge Holder and the President on all questionable overreaches. Be loud and keep it public and above all use the writing of our Founders and other noble leaders to prove how far off track this President has taken this nation. - NewsNinja
◼ Obama "has resigned himself to bypassing Congress and taking limited executive actions where he can." - Philip Klein/Washington Examiner @philipklein
◼ Valerie Jarrett: You, the American people, ‘are hungry’ for Obama’s executive actions - Right Wing News
Tom Del Beccaro: "Unions which have for years advocated big gov't suddenly realizing the big gov't alligator isn't always so friendly."
Leaders of major labor unions are pushing back against proposed regulatory changes that could affect some union-sponsored health plans under ObamaCare, arguing the proposals do nothing to help workers suffering under the law.
In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the presidents of two high-profile labor unions said they are "bitterly disappointed" with the administrations's proposed rules, The Hill reported.
Terry O'Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, and D. Taylor, president of Unite Here said the administration has failed to address their concerns about union plans and that ObamaCare threatens to lower the standard of living for the working class.
◼ Opposition to ObamaCare now 2:1 … among the uninsured - Ed Morrissey/HotAir
Behold, your chart of the day. This comes from Kaiser Health News, which has regularly polled on health-related policies, and in particular the uninsured in relation to ObamaCare. Since 2011, the support and opposition have remained fairly close together, but now that ObamaCare has been implemented, a dramatic change has taken place — and one the White House and Democrats won’t like:
“The president called me today. He offered to do whatever he can do. He obviously can’t make it rain,” he said. “But there are some parts of California that are more privileged from the point of view of water availability than others. So we have systems. We can transfer it."
In some districts, the wells are running dry while other reservoirs are nearly empty. The state Health Department compiled a list after surveying the more than 3,000 water agencies in California last week.
◼ Record 52 Straight Days Of No Precipitation - CBS Sacramento
A powerful ridge of high pressure parked over Northern California has been responsible for a record 52 days of no precipitation in Sacramento.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen the dangerously dry weather pattern. A similar one happened in the 1970s, causing one of the worst droughts on record for California. Sacramento saw its previous record of 44 days without measurable rain during what should be the wet season.
◼ Gov. Jerry Brown Plots 'Water War' Between North, South - CBS LA
Speaking exclusively to KCAL9 political reporter Dave Bryan outside an engagement in Beverly Hills, Brown said it could be necessary to implement drastic measures to alleviate communities at risk of running out of water.
“Make no mistake, this is a mega-drought. It’s serious. We don’t know how long it will go on, but we have to take real precautions going forward,” he said.
Brown also discussed a conversation he had with President Obama about getting federal assistance on Wednesday – a day when 17 water agencies across California are in danger of running out of water altogether in the next 60 to 100 days.
“The president called me today. He offered to do whatever he can do. He obviously can’t make it rain,” he said. “But there are some parts of California that are more privileged from the point of view of water availability than others. So we have systems. We can transfer it. But there are a lot of water rights, a lot of rules, so we’ve got to cut through that and make sure that those who need it most get the water to the extent we have it available.”
◼ Environmentalists & Jerry Brown Share Responsibility for California’s Water Crisis - Patrick Dorinson/Fox&Hounds
We have been here before and we had the same governor. In 1976-77 during Jerry’s first term we had a very severe drought....Now as we face another crippling drought and all Jerry Brown seems to say is “I can’t make it rain.”
...When it comes to water we have been doing things the stupid way for far too long.
Jerry Brown now wants to address the issue he should have addressed back in the 70s when we had fewer people.
Environmental extremism has finally met reality. And reality won.
Now the question is what are we going to do about it.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
This reflects the wearing off of the effects of the big jump in government spending triggered by the 2009 stimulus package and a heartening, though limited, resurgence of the private sector as government spending has slowed....
The shale boom has obviously helped Texas, but it's far from the sole cause of its strength. Its economy is highly diversified, to the point that it's gaining high-tech jobs from Silicon Valley.
From September 2007 to November 2013, while the nation lost 1.8 million jobs, Texas gained 1.1 million. Texas' public policies -- low taxes, light regulation -- have clearly paid off.
Most Texans tell pollsters they're distressed about the direction of the nation -- understandably, since the Obama administration's policies are so different from their own.
But Texas's demographic numbers suggest that traditional American optimism and willingness to take risks are not altogether dead. They're alive and thriving just north of the Rio Grande.
◼ TV Ratings: State of the Union, With 33.3 Million Viewers, Hits 14-Year Low - Hollywood Reporter
Among the networks carrying the address live were CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, Azteca, Fox Business, Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Al Jazeera America, Galavision and Mun2.
In the cable news race, Fox News Channel came out on top as the only network to grow its State of the Union audience year over year.
◼ 33.3 Million Watch 2014 State of the Union, Lowest Audience Since 2000 - Media Bistro
CBS: 7,580,000 total viewers / 2,269,000 A25-54
NBC: 6,984,000 total viewers / 2,467,000 A25-54
ABC: 5,569,000 total viewers / 1,990,000 A25-54
Fox: 2,593,0000 total viewers / 1,190,000 A25-54
The tenth point of the Women’s Equality Act, the point of contention between the Assembly and the Senate, would expand access to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy for essentially any reason, would allow non-doctors to perform these surgical procedures, and provides no conscience protections for medical professionals opposed to taking human life
On Monday the New York State Assembly passed the ‘Women’s Equality Act,’ once again sending the legislation to the New York State Senate.
Last year, despite support in both the Assembly and the Senate for nine of the ten points, the Assembly held the nine points hostage in favor of the abortion-expanding tenth point.
In the new year, Americans would become “hooked on the subsidies, addicted to the sugar,” Cruz told a Tea Party gathering in his home state on August 19, according to the Texas Tribune. “If we get to January 1, this thing is here forever.” This belief was a main justification for the last-ditch campaign to fund the government if, and only if, Obamacare was defunded.
But on a conference call Wednesday afternoon, a month after Obamacare subsidies began flowing, Cruz told reporters that he no longer believes that January 1 was the deadline to stop Obamacare. "I believe we will repeal Obamacare," he said.
The reason Cruz thinks the law can still be repealed is that he and others had the high-profile fight to defund Obamacare in the first place. "I think we are seeing the fruits of the battle that so many millions of Americans engaged in last fall to stop Obamacare," Cruz said. "I think the direct result of that fight was to elevate the national debate about the harms that Obamacare has caused. And as a consequence, I think the terrain has changed, and I believe we will repeal Obamacare."
Californians still have good cause to be concerned about their privacy.
Even a single crooked navigator could do significant harm to the public. That’s because when navigators sign consumers up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, they have access to lots of private information, including Social Security numbers, home addresses, and financial data — basically, everything on the wish list of identity thieves and fraudsters. Navigators also are likely to work with a population that is more vulnerable than average.
...Limited statistics released by Covered California — the state’s new health-insurance exchange — showed that one navigator has repeat forgery offenses — one in 1982, then another in 1994, with a burglary in between. Another had two forgery convictions in 1988, in addition to a domestic-violence charge a decade later. Another committed welfare fraud in 1999 and had shoplifted on at least two prior occasions. Since 2000, individuals now working as navigators have committed crimes including child abuse, battery, petty theft, and evading a police officer. At least seven navigators have multiple convictions. The information released covered only certified enrollment counselors, one of the three types of navigators working in California.
◼ Poll finds Californians not thrilled with Obama, health care law - Sacramento Bee
It was the speech of a clearly frustrated leader who has always been uncomfortable with the need to work with others to accomplish his ends.
He continues to talk as if he has tried his best to work with Congress only to be constantly rebuffed by Republicans, who just don’t share his heartfelt desire to solve the nation’s problems.
Even those who complain about the partisanship of Republican leaders know this isn’t even a half-truth. This is a president who doesn’t even work well with members of his own party, let alone those of the opposition party....
Words, as Mr. Carney has warned us, are just words and don’t really matter.
Actions do, though, and if Mr. Obama follows through on his threat to govern by phone and pen, to ignore Congress and to implicitly emulate the style of authoritarian governments whose leaders don’t have to worry about legislatures, checks and balances, and the separation of powers that have limited the ability of U.S. presidents to “get things done,” we are in for a rough couple of years.
He may have been delivering his speech last night to Congress, but it would have been better suited for an “Occupy” rally of class warriors.
◼ Last night was a busy one at the Cato Institute!
During President Obama’s fifth annual State of the Union (SOTU) address and the Republican response, Cato scholars live-blogged while simultaneously tweeting up a storm using #CatoSOTU. Then, as soon as the president’s speech was concluded, our A/V team whisked scholars into the green room to record their reactions on film.
The result? This fantastic video featuring twelve different scholars responding to different aspects of President Obama’s speech. The video is an annual tradition at Cato, but, so far, we like this one the best!
IMPACT: Wade Rathke, the founder of ACORN, "did office-by-office training sessions on how to handle O’Keefers."
They are going to desperate measures to hide from Project Veritas.
Wade Rathke, the founder of ACORN, said he “put out instructions and guides on how to identify possible O’Keefe acolytes. We set up an early warning system in all of our offices for any suspicious characters or questions that seemed inappropriate. We did office-by-office training sessions on how to handle O’Keefers. We required a minimum of a weekly role play session with all staff with an organizer being an O’Keefe and walking each organizer through how to handle him or her.”
The same article reported that “Battleground sought to keep 10,000 volunteers from saying or doing anything that might play into O’Keefe’s hands.”
What must really terrify them however, this is just our first video of 2014. Just wait until you see what we have on tape that we haven’t released yet.
In a new ◼ PLF podcast, San Francisco attorney, Peter Prows, who represents the company, and Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Anthony Francois, discuss the next steps in the case - a petition for review at the Supreme Court. PLF will file as a "friend of the court" brief to support the oyster farm's challenge.
"We really value PLF's support as an amicus in this case," said Prows, with the law firm of Briscoe, Ivester & Bazel, LLP.
Francois said the Point Reyes National Seashore itself wouldn't exist if not for the multi-generational ranches and farms (including Drakes Bay), which have operated on the land for decades. These farms agreed with the government that the region's rich
agricultural heritage should be protected from development and worked cooperatively with federal officials to create the park.
"The Supreme Court needs to take this case, because the lower courts have abdicated their judicial responsibility by refusing to review the government's arbitrary actions," Francois said in a statement. "This case isn't just a challenge to the government's vendetta against the Drakes Bay Oyster farm, it's a fight to uphold our system of checks and balances and to make sure that bureaucracies aren't above the law."
However, there is nothing fuzzy about Obama’s policy of “Oblimination.”
Tuesday night, President Obama in his State of the Union address said, “Here are the results of your efforts: The lowest unemployment rate in over five years,” touting the “success” of his policies in reducing the unemployment rate down to 6.7%.
Concluding that this drop in the unemployment rate is a good development is not only false, but it is also outright mean to the millions of Americans who can’t find a job because of his failed economic policies.
The most recent employment report clearly illustrates his insensitive deception....
◼ Ted Cruz released this video today highlighting the President's continued "lawless and abusive" disregard of the Constitution. - Debra heine/Breitbart
◼ Mitch McConnell Torches Obama In New Campaign Ad - Nice Deb
Senator McConnell really brought down the thunder in this campaign ad criticizing Obama – the Divider in Chief. The noted First Amendment hawk released the video ahead of the SOTU to slam the president for being a divider not a uniter. It was produced by filmmaker Lucas Baiano, and criticizes Obama on unemployment, health care, the IRS scandal and coal.
“[Inequality is] changing laws without congressional approval, and spying on American citizens without constitutional authority.”
Utah Sen. Mike Lee delivered a pretty amazing tea party response to President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. Lee’s speech was completely separate from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ official GOP response to the State of the Union.
Here are six reasons why Lee’s speech should be hand-delivered to every single Republican lawmaker and also broadcast most hours of the day on stadium Jumbo-trons and that big TV screen in the middle of Times Square... at the link.
◼ Marc Thiessen: Obama Copied Bush’s 2007 SOTU - Nice Deb via Truth Revolt
...there were lines like, “our job is to help Americans find a future of hope and opportunity”, “a future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy”, and “a future of hope and opportunity requires that all our citizens have affordable and available health care” and “extending opportunity and hope depends on a stable supply of energy,” which Thiessen said all came from Bush’s 2007 SOTU speech.
◼ Fmr. Presidential Speechwriter: Obama Plagiarized Bush's 2007 SOTU - Bradford Thomas/Breitbart
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The President’s rhetoric doesn’t match his action. His Department of Justice wants to keep low-income, minority children trapped in failing schools.
Tom Del Beccaro: #Obama #SOTU lie: "The United States is more secure." America is not more secure with al Qaeda or Iran closer to a bomb/Middle East on fire
Darrell Issa Responds to State of the Union:
◼ ‘Highest approval in the building’: Politicians anxious to meet Willie Robertson at SOTU - Twitchy, Who Said What on Twitter
What did you think? Tell us on ◼ FACEBOOK
As we saw tonight, the President is intellectually exhausted. The Left is out of ideas. But I'm energized. Conservatives are leading an exciting debate. A reform agenda is taking shape. And I need your support to help take America in a new direction.
◼ RAND PAUL GIVES HIS OWN RESPONSE TO STATE OF THE UNION: REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS MISDIAGNOSED THE PROBLEM AS TOO LITTLE GOVERNMENT’ - Jason Howerton/The Blaze
Paul cited former President Ronald Reagan when he made the argument that “government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.”
“If we don’t understand the cause of joblessness, we’ll have trouble fixing it,” Paul said. “As we entered into the Great Recession, Republicans and Democrats misdiagnosed the problem as too little government. So they gave us more government in the form of bank bailouts and a government stimulus plan.”
The fact of the matter is, he explained, the government doesn’t create jobs very well, he said.
President Obama’s plan to address poverty “recycles worn-out ideas that haven’t worked in the past.”
“His idea is that we should make it easier to funnel federal dollars back to local governments. I think it would be better not to take the money from businesses in the first place,” Paul said. “We need real jobs created in the real world, not more empty government promises.”
#SOTUDrinkingGame Swig every time Obama refers to "Washington" as if he's been living in Des Moines the last 5 yrs.
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) January 28, 2014
◼ YouTube, news sites will livestream the State of the Union: YouTube reports that several news partners will also have coverage of the SOTU on their YouTube Channels, including ◼ The New York Times, ◼ the Wall Street Journal, ◼ The Washington Post, ◼ The Young Turks and ◼ NowThis News.
◼ Official GOP livestream
The Fresno Bee says dropping reservoir levels across the state are leading to struggles over water set aside via the Central Valley Project, a federally-run network of reservoirs, pumping plants and canals.
◼ Drought Forcing Ranchers To Sell Cattle
◼ Dry Spell May Be Worst In 500 Years
◼ Tahoe Ski Industry Crippled By Lack Of Snow
◼ Complete California Drought Coverage
Time for those media brows to furrow deeply again, as the Associated Press reports an important metric of future growth falling right off a cliff, on the eve of the State of the Union address:
Businesses cut back sharply on their orders for long-lasting manufactured goods in December with a key category that signals business investment plans falling by the biggest amount in five months.In the great airport lounge where America waits for Recovery to come trundling down the concourse with her suitcase full of jobs and prosperity, every flight status just flipped to “Delayed” again. Oh, well, might as well mosey over to the Starbucks and grab a frappucino while we wait for her. They take EBT cards, right?
Orders for durable goods fell 4.3 percent in December compared with November, when orders had risen 2.6 percent, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday....
There was widespread weakness in a number of categories including a 1.3 percent decline in demand for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft. This category is viewed as a proxy for business investment plans.
Some of the December weakness probably reflected a temporary dip following November’s big jump which had been driven by businesses rushing to take advantage of expiring tax breaks.
The December decline came as a surprise to economists. The consensus view among economists was that orders would post a moderate rise reflecting what they believe is an improving outlook for U.S. manufacturers
...The danger zone would be for things to pick enough for the Federal Reserve to discontinue its bond-buying stimulus spending spree – which has been pumping a lot of money into Wall Street, in a process that would be denounced as “trickle-down economics” if it wasn’t authorized by a Democrat – but not enough to survive the resulting sugar crash. The notion of anyone talking about “recovery” when a stimulus program of large-scale federal bond-buying is still in effect seems dishonest to me, but that’s the world we live in....
◼ THE KING IS NAKED - Jeffrey Lord/American Spectator
◼ The Lie that Hangs over the State of the Union - Ed Driscoll/PJMedia
It’s State of the Union night.
And the state of Obama’s America is not good.
The news is out. The king is naked. The Emperor has no clothes.
Jobs: Ninety-two million Americans are out of the workforce.
Health Insurance: Five-plus million Americans who had health insurance have now lost that health insurance. As many as 25 million more could lose their insurance this year. All of it due to Obamacare.
Poverty: Fifty million Americans now live below the poverty level, a number which has risen to the highest level in American history since the 1960’s as calculated by the US Department of Labor.
Food Stamps: A recordforty seven million Americans are on Food Stamps.
U.S. Debt: Now stands at a first-time record of over $17 trillion. The national debt has increased by $6 trillion under Obama, surpassing George W. Bush’s eight years back in 2012 — after just three years and two months in office.
Energy: And as the cold grips America, energy costs soar....
A sizable majority of voters plan to watch or follow news reports about President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight, but more voters than ever view the annual speech as just for show rather than setting an actual agenda.
◼ 22 'Fun Facts' on the Obama Economy People Should Know Before the State of the Union - IJ Review
◼ The Number Of Americans That Have Joined The Food Stamp Program Since Obama Took Office:◼ Common Core advocates beg Obama not to mention them in State of the Union address - Sean Higgins/Washington Examiner
◼ The Number Of People Unemployed At The End Of Obama’s Fifth Year As President:
◼ The Number Of People Working Part-Time That Would Like To Work Full-Time:
◼ The Number Of People That Have Entered Poverty Since 2008:
◼ Americans Who Received Cancellation Notices For Their Health Plans Due To ObamaCare After Obama Promised They Could Keep Their Plans In His 2010 State Of The Union Address:
◼ The Number of New Ideas Expected From Obama’s 2014 State Of The Union Address:
0. More, at the link.
◼ Obama’s army of one a terrible way of governing - Washington Times EDITORIAL
The latest ABC News-Washington Post survey counts a majority of registered voters who disapprove of the way the White House has handled health care and the economy. Sixty-two percent say America is on the wrong track “moving forward,” as the cliche goes.
Given the Obamacare fiasco, rampant unemployment and no economic growth, how could it be otherwise? What ought to concern all the president’s men is how tarnished Mr. Obama’s reputation has become.
When Barack Obama took the oath of office on a chilly January day in 2009, he did so on a wave of joyous enthusiasm. Even those who did not share the enthusiasm could nevertheless feel it. Seventy-two percent of voters told ABC’s pollsters on that day that Mr. Obama “understands the problems of people like us.”
Fast-forward to 2014, and now 52 percent now say that he just doesn’t understand them at all. A mere 37 percent are confident now that Mr. Obama will make the right choices. America finds the man in the Oval Office to be arrogant, out of touch and out of his depth.
◼ Barack Obama’s State of Disaster - Larry Johnson/No Quarter
Seriously, is anyone going to watch the charade tonight? You know, the so-called “STATE OF THE UNION” address? Most Americans are fed up with Barack Obama’s lies and delusions. ...
◼ Full of Sound and Fury… - Vodkapundit/PJMedia
We can expect President Obama’s big speech Tuesday night to be full of his usual class-warfare bloviation about the “lack of upward mobility” being the “defining problem of our time.” He wants more and bigger government, so he defines problems in a way that demands another federal solution.
...The United States has fallen in almost every ranking of economic freedom over the past decades. Government has ballooned, the regulatory burden has become onerous and property rights are precarious and insecure.
The Great Recession ended five years ago, but few feel the effect of an improved economy. These are the barriers to upward mobility, not the prosperity of entrepreneurs and investors.
If Mr. Obama really wants to make a difference, he’ll negotiate a truce in the war on poverty and the culture, and call in his State of the Union speech for a restoration of the freedoms that gave birth to the American dream. Only then can we hope to see morning in America again.
◼ Competence questions threaten Obama's executive push - - Brian Hughes/Washington Examiner @BrianHughesDC
President Obama will unveil a slate of executive actions in his State of the Union address Tuesday just as questions about competency plague his White House.
...On the eve of Obama's address to Congress, the White House accused Republicans of overplaying the president's intentions.
“We're not saying this is an either/or proposition,” press secretary Jay Carney said of executive action versus new laws. “It's a both/and. It's reaching out to Congress and looking forward to the possibility of further bipartisan cooperation on big, medium and small issues.”
“The president should absolutely use the powers available to him and the unique authority that the office provides to move forward,” Obama's top spokesman added.
Some Republicans argue, however, that Obama's latest State of the Union pitch is just a rhetorical gimmick. They say Obama's address Tuesday is just the latest version of his “we can't wait” tour and other campaign-style messages employed to change the narrative in Washington.
“He can work with us to create opportunity and prosperity. Or he can issue press releases,” Brendan Buck, spokesman for Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said of Obama. “That's the choice the president faces this year.”
Monday, January 27, 2014
◼ Greg Gutfeld proposes a State of the Union drinking game [video]
Do you want a world in which disagreeing with Washington is illegal? Sen. Schumer urges tougher harassment by the IRS
Chuck Schumer, the Senate’s No. 3 Democrat, thinks the Internal Revenue Service hasn’t done enough to silence the Tea Party. He wants the White House and the IRS to “immediately redouble” efforts to shut down conservative political-action groups through tougher government oversight and enforcement.
The Tea Party opposes much of President Obama’s agenda, and to Mr. Schumer, that’s both a sin and a crime.
In a speech last week to the liberal Center for American Progress, the senior senator from New York said, “There are many things that can be done administratively by the IRS and other government agencies” to silence groups that obstruct Democratic policies....
Strengthening the IRS‘ ability to make trouble for conservatives in politics is a priority for Mr. Obama and Harry Reid, the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate. They regard the IRS scandal not as a scandal, but as a starting point for suppressing enemies.
Molen, who also produced the Academy-award winning "Schindler's List," said he has not spoken to D'Souza since he learned of the indictment, and wouldn't make comments about the specific case until he's learned all the facts.
Still, he said he would not be surprised if the probe is politically motivated.
Asked by Malzberg if he ever felt threatened or had any feelings they should not have been making the film, Molen answered, "No. This is America. I've never had that feeling," adding, "I've never had the occasion to think that I had to fear my government. I never had the thought that I had reason to think I had to look over my shoulder until now."
But, he said, he wouldn't be intimidated out of pursuing future projects.
"It certainly gives me reason to think about it, but no, I won't back off," he said. "I'll keep on doing exactly what I'm doing."
Molen and D'Souza are currently working on another film, titled "America," that will hit theaters on July 4. The theme of that film: What the world might look like if America never existed.
◼ CHECK OUT NEW TRAILER FOR DINESH D’SOUZA FILM ‘AMERICA’ - The Blaze
“America” is set to release around July 4 this year
◼ The whole thing of the 'war on women,' I sort of laughingly say, 'Yeah, there might have been – but the women are winning it' = Political Outcast
Then there was Paul’s interview on Meet the Press:
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky Sunday called former President Bill Clinton "predatory" for his 1996-1997 liaison with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Paul, a potential 2016 GOP presidential nominee, also said that the Democrats' argument that Republicans are waging a "War on Women" by opposing coverage for birth control in Obamacare and by opposing abortion is undercut by the memory of Bill Clinton as a sexual predator.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul talks about Hillary Clinton's potential 2016 run for president and whether her husband's transgressions will impact the race.
"One of the workplace laws and rules that I think are good is that bosses should not prey on young interns in their office. And I think really the media seems to have given President Clinton a pass on this. He took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office. There is no excuse for that, and that is predatory behavior..... Then they (Democrats) have the gall to stand up and say, 'Republicans are having a war on women.' "
A majority of Americans trust Republicans more than Democrats to do a better job handling the economy, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The Republican’s lead on the economy is its biggest advantage in Post-ABC polling since 2002, according to the Post.
◼ Poll finds little faith in nation’s leaders - Dan Balz and Peyton M. Craighill/Washington Post
President Obama will speak to the nation Tuesday night with approval ratings lower than for any of his previous State of the Union addresses and with Americans broadly pessimistic that he or lawmakers of either party will make good decisions for the future of the country...
...Just 37 percent say they have either a good amount or a great deal of confidence in the president to make the right decisions for the country’s future, while 63 percent say they do not.
◼ WaPo/ABC poll shows decline in trust of public officials - HotAir
...The rating by party on the economy is particularly bad for Obama and the Democrats, with Republicans leading 44/37. The GOP also wins on budget deficits, size of government, and gun control (by eleven points), but Democrats end up getting the edge on most other issues, including health care (44/35). But the President wants to talk at length on the economy, especially on themes of inequality, in the upcoming State of the Union speech, which means the Democrats may end up putting one of their biggest weaknesses on center stage.
◼ California has long been the flagship for Obamacare. It was targeted last fall by President Barack Obama's own activist group, Organizing for Action, for precisely that reason: given the strength of their volunteer efforts, they hoped the state could be a symbol for the success of Obamacare as a whole. - Joel Pollak/Breitbart
That is one reason that there is so much loud cheering by the media's left-wing commentators every time Covered California, the state's Obamacare program, announces that it has achieved something, no matter how modest--or how exaggerated.
Yet many of Covered California's "successes" are only relative to the failure of the program as a whole, and most of them are overblown. For example, on the day Obamacare enrollment started, Covered California reported that it had received 5 million web hits. In fact, however, it had received only 645,000--roughly 10% of what was initially reported.
But there is a further problem: California refuses to say, or cannot say, how many of those have actually paid for their insurance, meaning we do not know the actual number.
It gets worse--much worse.
By the end of October, the executive director of California's Obamacare exchange confirmed that up to 900,000 people in the state would lose their current health insurance by the end of 2013--not including those who may lose it through their workplaces in 2014. Many of those are among the 500,000 or so who signed up for Obamacare through Covered California by the end of 2013--about 330,000, according to McCormack. That also means that only about 200,000 previously uninsured people signed up for Obamacare.
As for the other 600,000 or so, no one know what happened to them--they are just uninsured. The state refused to participate in President Barack Obama's proposed "fix" for those who had their policies canceled.
So roughly three times as many people have lost insurance as have gained it.
◼ UPDATE: Patients Losing Their Doctor to Obamacare Miss Out on WALMARTWALGREENS Prescription Drug Giveaway - Breitbart
◼ BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD cancels 'family' policies for gay couples in NC - CBS Charlotte
◼ Michelle O wants $10 donations 'to help protect Obamacare'
◼ Children Unable To Be Included In Parents' Plans - CBS DC
◼ Retiring House Dem Slams Healthcare Law - Daily Caller
A top House Democrat slammed Obamacare’s inability “to work” — but only after he announced his impending retirement from Congress.
12-term Virginia Rep. Jim Moran, an Appropriations Committee member who said this month that he will not seek re-election in 2014, said that not enough young people are signing up for Obamacare coverage to make the law work.