Saturday, January 3, 2015

$2 gas, anyone?





Back on the Campaign Trail

Vacation Over: Obama Plans Travel Blitz Before State of the Union...



After 15 days in a carefree island paradise, it's back to reality for President Obama. - ABC

Obama returns from vacation to a chilly Washington on Sunday, staring down a long legislative agenda and simmering foreign crises, and with a desire to seal his legacy over the next two years.

He also faces a Congress in full Republican control for the first time during his term.

The president isn't sticking around long, however. Obama plans to hit the road Wednesday for a three-day travel blitz that officials describe as a sort of preemptive State of the Union.

The president "will highlight the progress we have made in the economy and he will announce policies that he will highlight in the State of the Union address to push us forward," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.

WaPo Reporter Sorry He Couldn’t Get Photo Of Obama Under A Rainbow - Betsy Rothstein/Daily Caller
Washington Post White House reporter David Nakamura is in Hawaii covering President Obama‘s family vacation. In one of the more inane — and there are many — White House pool reports about the trip, the reporter talks about how he regrets not snapping a photograph of the commander-in-chief under a rainbow.
Or in his unicorn costume.... - Join the Discussion at Lucianne

Supreme Court: Mark Levin and Landmark Legal Foundation Submit Amicus Brief in Obamacare Subsidy Battle

Conservative radio host and Landmark Legal Foundation President Mark Levin has submitted an amicus brief in support of the petitioners in King v. Burwell, the Obamacare legal case that will be heard by the Supreme Court on March 5, 2015. - Katie Pavlich/Townhall

The case addresses whether "the Internal Revenue Service may permissibly promulgate regulations to extend tax-credit subsidies to coverage purchased through exchanges established by the federal government under Section 1321 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act." Essentially, the case looks at whether federal subsidies are legal and available to people living in states that did not set up their own Obamacare exchanges.

"This is a case about first principles. The Executive Branch has not only exceeded the boundaries of the legislative power, but has done so in an effort to circumvent the principles of representative government to avoid securing the consent of the governed," the brief states. "The Constitution separates the powers of government to protect the liberty of the American people and prevent the tyranny of a self-aggrandizing government. Attempts by the Executive Branch to assume the legislative function deprives the People of an open debate conducted by their politically accountable representatives and is antithetical to the Constitution’s design."

"For the foregoing reasons, the regulations issued by the Executive Branch in the instant case were constitutionally invalid. The Fourth Circuit’s decision should be reversed and the legislative power restored to its properly limited exercise," the brief concludes. Read the Brief, at the link

Morning Plum: A SCOTUS decision gutting Obamacare could cause widespread disruptions - Washington Post

U.S. Spies Say They Tracked ‘Sony Hackers’ For Years

American spies have detailed dossiers on the North Koreans who the U.S. says were behind the Sony attack. But the still-secret evidence likely won’t convince skeptics. - Shane Harris/Daily Beast
Ever since the Obama administration made its public case against North Korea for the Sony hack, a slew of independent cybersecurity experts have been skeptical of the government’s public case against Pyongyang, calling it flimsy and circumstantial. But sources familiar with the investigation say that the most damning evidence against the Sony hackers was obtained in a secret, and years earlier, during previous intelligence-gathering efforts. The notion that the FBI was basing its claims of North Korean culpability solely off evidence from the Sony hack is “completely untrue. They’re also using evidence that they’ve been collecting for years,” said one person privy to some details of the investigation.

If there are misgivings within the administration about holding North Korea publicly to account, they weren’t on display on Friday. The White House and the Treasury Department announced a round of sanctions against three North Korean organizations, among them the country’s intelligence bureau, and ten individuals, including government officials and others who work for a North Korea’s main weapons dealer.

The sanctioned individuals weren’t involved in the Sony attack, administration officials said. But the decision to punish them and by extension the North Korean regime came after the White House decided the Sony hack “crossed a threshold,” as one senior administration official put it, going beyond cyber espionage or harassing attacks on Web sites and into the realm of destruction and coercion. The intruders had deleted large amounts of data from Sony’s networks, and threatened to attack movie theatres that showed Sony’s North Korean satire, The Interview....
If you think this is weird, read the next one. - Join the Discussion at Lucianne

Who´s Running the Country?

Though lots of groups think they should be running the show, the truth is nobody’s in charge. - Jonah Goldberg/Weigh in at National Review Online

...The notion that there’s a class or group of people secretly running things is ancient. It was old when the Roman consul Lucius Cassius famously asked, “Cui bono?” (“To whose benefit?”)
The reason is that we seem to be hardwired to assume there are no accidents, that the world is the way it is because people — hidden people — want it that way. The more extreme expressions of this cognitive reflex take many forms, whether anti-Semitic (Who benefits? The Jews!) or Marxist (Who benefits? The ruling classes!) or comedic (“Colonel Sanders with his wee beady eyes!”).

Today, on the left, such thinking has become institutionalized. When the champions of social justice can’t find an actual culprit, the villain becomes systemic racism or sexism or white privilege. But there is always evil intentionality lurking somewhere, like a ghost in the machine. The right has its bugaboos, too. For instance, there are many who think the mainstream media is biased (it is) and that its bias is somehow centrally orchestrated like a scheme by some Bond villain (it isn’t).

I think some people are scared of the idea that nobody is in charge, in part because they want someone to blame for their problems. Others don’t like this notion because they have an outsize faith in the power of human will. If villains aren’t to blame for our ills, then some problems cease to be problems and simply become facts of life.

Me? I like knowing no one is running things because, for starters, it means I’m free.

A question being asked everywhere in the land. - Join the Discussion at Lucianne

"I was happy to take the photographs so we could use them for the annual report," Brown said. "I didn't realize I was archiving a really amazing time."


Rare photos shed light on Steve Jobs, and a young Silicon Valley - Julia Love/Mercury News

Scores and scores of photographs, captured by a deeply embedded photographer, offer an intimate portrait of Silicon Valley as it was translating the world from analog to digital. But at the whim of their brilliant and cantankerous subject, Steve Jobs, they were scarcely seen -- until now. KEEP READING

Doug Menuez, a photographer who has trekked to the North Pole and crossed the Sahara, is the man Jobs chose to document a make-or-break moment, when he was trying to launch his second company, NeXT, after being ousted from his first, Apple Computer. Menuez immersed himself in every aspect of life at NeXT in the late 1980s, staying up until 3 a.m. with the engineers and standing witness in the abandoned warehouse where former presidential candidate Ross Perot agreed to toss the computer company a $20 million lifeline. He even felt the sting of Jobs' famous stubbornness.
__________________

Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley 1985-2000.

WHAT: A book of rare black-and-white photographs of iconic Silicon Valley companies.WHERE TO FIND IT: Fearless Genius is available through bookstores like Barnes & Noble and online retailers like Amazon.

'Challenging the federal government': Sharyl Attkisson sues the DOJ

Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, whose coverage of the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, has earned her both high praise and harsh criticism, has launched a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, demanding access to FBI documents that involve her personally. - T. Becket Adams/Washington Examiner

The now-senior independent contributor to the Daily Signal, a conservative online news outlet based at the Heritage Foundation, alleges that during her final months as a correspondent for CBS News, her personal and work computers were hacked as she continued to produce often unfavorable reports on the Obama administration.

"I am hoping to get information that sheds light on a number of problems I’ve been dealing with," Attkisson told the Washington Examiner's media desk Friday evening. "One of the items the FBI is withholding is information surrounding a case they opened on my computer intrusions, which lists me as the victim."

"Yet they never told me they opened the case, never interviewed me, and won’t produce material relevant to the case or the case file. The case has to progress through court and, historically, the government drags it out (at taxpayer expense). So it’s unclear when, if ever, we might receive the documents to which we are entitled," she said.

Attkisson is joined in her lawsuit by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group.

“That I’ve had to sue to get my own FBI file is concerning,” she said earlier this week in a joint statement with Judicial Watch. “This administration has a terrible record in respecting the First Amendment rights of journalists.”

It snowed at the Grand Canyon, and the result was spectacular



The American southwest was the recipient of some major winter weather in this new year, but in at least one place, the result was breathtaking.



Friday, January 2, 2015

OUCH! Half of Obamacare subsidy recipients may owe refunds to the IRS

H&R Block is estimating that as many as half of the 6.8 million people who received insurance premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act benefited from subsidies that were too large, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. - Justin Green/Washington Examiner

POLL: 60% Of Republicans Prefer New Speaker...

New Poll Shows Tepid GOP Support for Boehner in Role of Speaker - Jim Geraghty/National Review

House Speaker John Boehner is not particularly popular with Republican voters.

We now know just how unenthusiastic Republicans feel from a new poll conducted by Pat Caddell and EMC Research, commissioned by the People’s Poll, in an exclusive to the Morning Jolt/Campaign Spot.

Nine percent of self-identified Republicans and self-described independents who say they lean closer to Republicans say they feel “strongly favorable” about Boehner, and another 34 percent say “somewhat favorable.” Another 23 percent say they’re “somewhat unfavorable,” and another 11 percent say strongly unfavorable. An entire 11 percent say they’ve never heard of John Boehner.

Asked, “If it were up to you, would you elect John Boehner to continue as Speaker of the House or would you elect someone new?”, 11 percent of respondents said “definitely” Boehner, 15 percent said “probably,” 26 percent said “probably” someone new, and 34 percent said someone new, definitely.

When asked whether they agree with the statement, “I trust House Speaker John Boehner to fight for the issues that are important to most Republicans,” 52 percent agreed, 37 percent disagreed. Only 13 percent strongly agreed, 18 percent strongly disagreed....

29 CONSERVATIVES CAN OUST BOEHNER AS SPEAKER - DANIEL HOROWITZ/Breitbart

Conservatives have grown used to being a minority in Washington, irrespective of which party controls the White House and Congress. But on Tuesday, January 6, a group of just 29 conservatives will have perhaps its only opportunity to change the course of history and drive the direction of the country.

It would only require 29 House members to depose current Speaker John Boehner. With this leverage, conservatives could negotiate significant reforms from a successor who emerges on a second or third ballot, thereby restoring the mandate given to them by the electorate on November 4.

Tuesday will be a profound time for choosing, and given the way Obama has ostensibly overturned the results of the midterm elections, the Speaker’s election could prove more impactful than the votes cast at the ballot box....

Why I Will Not Vote for John Boehner to Be House Speaker - Rep. Jim Bridenstine/Daily Signal

Those in the country illegally will no longer need a Social Security number to obtain state licenses to work as doctors, dentists, nurses, barbers, security guards or for many other jobs.

California's new laws for 2015: How are you affected? - LA Times

Hundreds of California laws take effect with the new year, including several drafted in response to corruption scandals in the Legislature, the mass shooting in Isla Vista last spring and racially inflammatory comments by the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Others address drug crimes, the use of aerial drones by paparazzi and rights for immigrants who are in the country illegally.

California lawmakers have continued to aid immigrants and tighten gun controls even as Congress has remained gridlocked on those issues. They also passed a raft of bills aimed at winning back public trust in an election year (though the ruling Democrats, tarnished by criminal charges against several party legislators, failed to regain a supermajority in the Capitol).

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who meanwhile rode a wave of popularity to a historic fourth and final term, vetoed 143 bills the Legislature sent him, saying they cost too much money, did not improve the state or created unnecessary regulations. He signed 930 others into law.

Most of those take effect Jan. 1....

R.I.P. Mario Cuomo



Mario Cuomo, who said his epitaph should read "He tried." - Althouse

Mario Cuomo, R.I.P. - Twitchy



Mario Cuomo, New York Governor and Liberal Beacon, Dies at 82 - New York Times
Mario M. Cuomo, the three-term governor of New York who commanded the attention of the country with a compelling public presence, a forceful defense of liberalism and his exhaustive ruminations about whether to run for president, died at home in Manhattan on Thursday, according to a family friend. He was 82.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Dollar has its best year since 2005

The U.S. dollar ended its strongest year since 2005 with gains versus major rivals as investors penciled in further strength in the U.S. economy and diverging monetary policy paths between a more hawkish Federal Reserve and dovish European and Japanese central banks. - Market Watch vis Drudge

...Overall analysts are bullish on the dollar going into 2015, as a strong improvement in the U.S. economy is seen as pushing the Federal Reserve closer toward raising interest rates. Additionally, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are expected to keep monetary policy ultra-loose next year, which should weaken their currencies against the dollar....

Really Fine Print of Cromnibus Included Billions for Special Interests

"This is how Congress gets things done. Put everything into one pot, make it as a vague as possible — and push it through at the last minute.” - ROB LONGLEY/PJMedia

If you want to get to the bottom of things, a wise man once said, well then, start at the bottom of things. Sound advice for most anything life can throw at you, including, it would seem, federal spending bills.

Take Page 1,602, for instance, of the so-called “cromnibus” measure passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama before leaving for his holiday break in Hawaii. It sits near the bottom of the 3-foot-tall, $1.1 trillion spending package for the 2015 fiscal year. It’s the measure’s penultimate page, in fact — and one critics say epitomizes all that is wrong with government and the political machine that runs it: wasteful spending, cronyism, bureaucratic obfuscation, undue influence of special interests, and a shameless lack of transparency and due diligence.

“See how far you get before your eyes glaze over,” said Wes Parker of Fairfax, Va., an election law attorney who does pro bono work with several government watchdog groups.... KEEP READING

Iranian police arrested 50 women for 'un-Islamic' dress


Morality police detain women in boots and leggings. - Jerusalem Post

Some of the women's husbands tried to stop the arrests, to no avail, running to clothing stores to buy their wives more suitable attire.

The women were detained for several hours and then were forced to sign a statement not to repeat their actions and to follow the Islamic and Iranian culture traditions.

The latest fashion trend for Iranian ladies is high heeled winter boots with tight leggings ("supports" in Persian). This style is considered a symbol of social status for young women, as well as a revolt against the strict rules of the regime.

Welcome 2015



2015 – Your Handy Month By Month Guide To The Year Ahead - James Delingpole/Breitbart London
January Encouraged by its success in banning incandescent lightbulbs, powerful vacuum cleaners, incorrectly shaped fruit, effective pesticides, minty cigarettes etc, the European Commission decides to ban Euthymol toothpaste, metal detectors, heated handlebars on motorcycles, petrol-driven lawnmowers, Meerschaum pipes, cocktail umbrellas, battery-operated nosehair clippers, shuttlecocks made with real feathers and Extra Strong Mints – not for any particular reason but just because it can....
What I wish were the New Years Resolution for the U.S. GOVERNMENT – click to read - Greta Van Susteren/FOX
1. FOCUS and SUCCEED at eliminating government waste and fraud. The amounts are staggering and our leaders are part of the problem (they create it) and not part of the solution (they run on the issue but none rolls up his or her sleeve to address it head on.)

2. FOCUS and SUCCEED on fixing the economy so that there is robust JOB CREATION....
CA RINGS IN NEW YEAR WITH GAS TAX HIKE - ASSEMBLYMAN TIM DONNELLY/BREITBART CALIFORNIA
Under complete Democrat domination, Gov. Jerry Brown’s appointee to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Mary Nichols, has decreed that every driver must pay for another level of government control. As California singlehandedly attempts to combat the ever-elusive “global warming”—now conveniently renamed “climate change”—CARB is putting gasoline and diesel fuel under the Cap-and-Trade scheme authorized by AB32 (known as the Global Warming Solutions Act).
It doesn’t matter that theres no evidence that raising the cost of fuel will do anything to alleviate a problem that is rooted in llaklitics instead of science. By requiring refiners to buy a permit, this unelected board is doing nothing more than confiscating capital from ordinary Californians. Even though the cost is passed on at the pump, it will be paid by more than just drivers: the cost of every product that must be transported on California roads will cost more.
What Congress’ New Year’s Resolutions Should Be - Daily Signal
Republicans don’t need to come up with a list of 2015 New Year’s resolutions. The promises they made on the campaign trail in 2014 will do just fine.

Repealing Obamacare, securing the border and putting a stop to President Obama’s unconstitutional executive actions come to mind as promises that should be kept.

But like many New Year’s resolutions, campaign promises are often forgotten. And with a presidential election now just two years away, there will be a tendency by some elected officials and party bosses to start making new promises instead of fulfilling the pledges that just got them elected.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

New Year’s fireworks dazzle millions across the globe: 2015 kicks off in photos - AP/National Post















































































































New Year’s Eve fireworks from around the world [videos] - Twitchy

Ring out the old,
Ring in the new...
Ring out the false,
Ring in the true.
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, English poet (1809-92)

Top Stories of 2014...

Top 10 political stories of 2014 - The Hill


“When news breaks, and it broke quite a bit this year, Twitter and other social media is increasingly the place we check first.” - Heritage

What Your Tweets Tell Us About the Year’s Biggest Stories - Daily Signal
In the whirlwind of the daily news cycle, stories come and go abruptly, moving faster than ever before. But in what may appear a clutter of events are those gripping stories that kept us talking, namely on Twitter.


The 10 best cars of 2014. - LA Times

How Progressive Was Hollywood in 2014? - Tom Weiss/PJ Media
"A vast majority of the writers, directors and stars may call the far left edge of the political spectrum home, but their most successful movies, at least of 2014, don’t," writes Tom Weiss.

What was your favorite movie from this year?
The Seven Biggest Liberal Fails Of 2014 - W. JAMES ANTLE III/Daily Caller
Want to get your New Year started off right? Let’s recap 2014′s biggest blunders from the left. (Why only seven? Our time is limited.)

7. The child migrant crisis at the border....
6. The Democrats’ abortion obsession backfired....
5. France was forced to abandon its “super-tax” on the rich....
4. Vermont had to shelve its single-payer health care system....
3. The spending cuts that didn’t cause a recession.... KEEP READING
2. All things Gruber. Forget HealthCare.gov. Health care policy wonk Jonathan Gruber went from being the architect of Obamacare to its one-man wrecking crew. Gruber was caught admitting transparency would have killed Obamacare, thanks to the stupidity of the American voter. He suggested premium subsidies would in fact be limited to the state-based exchanges. He acknowledged Obamacare wouldn’t control costs, an admission he once made of his previous project, Romneycare. He said it “wasn’t supposed to” control costs.

1. Republicans won in November. Not only did Republicans recapture the Senate, after failing to do so in 2010 and 2012. Republicans will hold the governorship in Democratic states like Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois. Troubled incumbent GOP governors won reelection in Kansas, Maine, Florida and Wisconsin. Republicans held Ohio in a landslide. Republicans will control 69 of 99 state legislative chambers, a record high.
__________________

California Policy Center's 2014 Top 20 Countdown of the MOST READ articles and studies of the last 12 months:
California’s Most Financially Stressed Cities and Counties - California Policy Center #1 MOST READ OF 2014
City of Redondo Beach Fights Unions – Full-time Firefighters Make $220,990 Total Compensation - California Policy Center #2
Transparency Website Shows True Cost of Unionized Government in California - California Policy Center #3
The Differences Between Public and Private Sector Unions - California Policy Center #4
Unaffordable California – It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way - California Policy Center #5
Evaluating Total Unfunded Public Employee Retirement Liabilities in 20 California Counties - California Policy Center #6
How Much Do Los Angeles Police Officers Make? - California Policy Center #7
How Much Do California’s State, City and County Workers Really Make? - California Policy Center #8
How Much Do CalPERS Retirees Really Make? - California Policy Center #9
Calculating California’s Total State and Local Government Debt - California Policy Center #10
California’s “Prevailing Wage” – Floor Vacuuming at $45.93/Hour - California Policy Center #11
The Average Orange County Firefighter’s Total Compensation is $234,000 per Year - California Policy Center #12
Comparing CalSTRS Pensions to Social Security Retirement Benefits - California Policy Center #13
The Ideology of Public Sector Unions vs. Private Sector Unions - California Policy Center #14
California vs. Texas in one chart - California Policy Center #15
The Fall of Pacific Grove – How it Began, and How City Officials Fought Reform - California Policy Center #16
$170,000+ Average Pay & Benefits for Full-time Employees of Small California Town - California Policy Center #17
Unions Extensively Interfere with California Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant Permitting - California Policy Center #18
How Much Do CalSTRS Retirees Really Make? - California Policy Center #19
Evaluating Public Safety Pensions in California - California Policy Center #20
__________________

Watch the 6 Best Ads of 2014 - Daily Signal
15 Must-See Charts From 2014 - Daily Signal
The Top News Stories of 2014 in 47 Captivating Photos - Daily Signal
The Most Biased Media Moments of 2014 - Daily Signal

Your top 10 stories of 2014 - Allen West
10.Quite possibly the most racist article you will ever read. This one is very recent – but it confronts issues of race and culture that make people very uncomfortable, for good reason.
9. ISIS at the Mexican border: US attack imminent?
8.Exclusive: Confidential source reveals to me what really happened in Benghazi Americans still need answers.
7. Mark Cuban, Stephen A. Smith and the dirty little secret about blacks and racism. Did I ever mention liberal hypocrisy?
6. Green Beret clarifies difference between war and twitter for Gwyneth Paltrow. Oh Gwyneth. You and your fellow Hollywood liberal elites just don’t get it.
5. ISIS is beheading children: Obama drops two bombs.
3. Folks, you’re missing the point about Donald Sterling.
2. Bombshell: Bowe Bergdahls’s fathers first words at the White House were Arabic.
1.Christian Grammy nominee walked out of the show – I don’t blame her one bit.




TOP POLITICAL DONOR IN 2014 was Tom Steyer, the Democratic hedge fund billionaire from San Francisco who has tried to make climate change the paramount issue in American politics.

He spent more than $74 million, almost three times the $27.7 million spent by the second-biggest individual donor, Michael Bloomberg. - LA Times

Report: 21,000 regulations so far under Obama, 2,375 set for 2015

The pace of agencies issuing new rules and regulations has hit a record high under President Obama, whose administration’s rules have filled 468,500 pages in the Federal Register. - Paul Bedard/Washington Examiner

And, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the president is poised to unleash another 2,375 new rules on American businesses without first giving Congress an up or down vote.

CEI’s Clyde Wayne Crews, vice president for policy, told Secrets Wednesday that of the top six biggest Federal Register page tallies since 2002, the Obama administration owns five. This year, he said, the Federal Register ended up printing 79,066 pages — 78,978 when blank pages are removed....

Crews put the incoming Congress on notice about Obama’s pending 2,375 proposed rules were issued in 2014 and are under consideration. He pointed out a report that said the administration isn’t supplying the required reports on new rules and said that Congress should take action to demand them.

McCain’s team quietly purging Arizona GOP of tea-party foes before 2016 reelection bid

Control the committeemen and you control the local chairmen. Control the local chairmen and you control the party... - Allahpundit/HotAir
John McCain Engaging in ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ to Purge Tea Party Detractors From Arizona GOP - The Blaze
According to Politico, McCain’s team has been working to reshape the state party, knocking hostile Tea Party-aligned members from local GOP offices and replacing them with allies ahead of the senator’s 2016 re-election bid.
McCain's big purge: The Arizona senator’s team has been ridding the state’s GOP apparatus of his tea party foes. - Politico

The ambitious effort — detailed to POLITICO by nearly a dozen McCain operatives, donors, and friends — has stretched from office buildings in Alexandria, Virginia, where strategists plotted and fundraisers collected cash for a super PAC, to Vietnamese-American communities across Arizona, where recruiters sought out supporters eager to help the incumbent defeat the tea party.

Team McCain’s goal? Unseat conservative activists who hold obscure, but influential, local party offices....

Under the byzantine rules of Arizona Republican Party politics, these elected officials, known as precinct committeemen, vote for local party chairmen. The chairmen, in turn, determine how state and local GOP funds are spent, which candidates are promoted in an election year, and which political issues are highlighted — all matters of central concern for McCain heading into 2016, when the threat of a primary looms.

Prior to Aug. 26, when the races for the party offices were held, the vast majority of the 3,925 precinct slots were filled by people McCain’s team considered opponents. Now, after an influx of candidates were recruited by the senator’s allies, around 40 percent of those offices — 1,531 to be exact — will be held by people McCain’s team regards as friendly. They will have the power to vote down hostile Republican chairmen in each of their respective localities.

“There’s been a huge organizational effort that I’ve never seen before,” said Gordon James, an Arizona public relations executive and longtime McCain confidant. “A lot of the party folks who were hostile to John McCain have been marginalized, and that’s a good thing.”

The biggest foe to fall: Timothy Schwartz, the man who authored the McCain censure resolution....

SONY HACKERS THREATEN U.S. NEWS MEDIA ORGANIZATION

The hackers who infiltrated Sony Pictures Entertainment’s computer servers have threatened to attack an American news media organization, according to an FBI bulletin obtained by The Intercept. - First Look

Referring to Sony only as “USPER1”and the news organization as “USPER2,” the Joint Intelligence Bulletin, dated Dec. 24 and marked For Official Use Only, states that its purpose is “to provide information on the late-November 2014 cyber intrusion targeting USPER1 and related threats concerning the planned release of the movie, ‘The Interview.’ Additionally, these threats have extended to USPER2 —a news media organization—and may extend to other such organizations in the near future.”

In the bulletin, titled “November 2014 Cyber Intrusion on USPER1 and Related Threats,” The Guardians of Peace threatened to attack other targets on the day after the FBI announcement. “On 20 December,” the bulletin reads, “the [Guardians of Peace] GOP posted Pastebin messages that specifically taunted the FBI and USPER2 for the ‘quality’ of their investigations and implied an additional threat. No specific consequence was mentioned in the posting.”

Why did Lena Dunham say her alleged assailant was a Republican?

Gawker Thinks They Found Lena Dunham’s Alleged Rapist… And He’s A Democrat - DAILYCALLER.COM

Media gossip site Gawker claims to have found out who was actually the man who allegedly raped comedienne Lena Dunham while she was a student at Oberlin College. But despite her book’s description of her rapist as the “resident conservative,” the man fingered by Gawker appears to be a registered Democrat. (RELATED: Who, If Anyone, Raped Lena Dunham?)

Breitbart’s John Nolte already demonstrated that much of the information about Dunham’s rapist in her book, “Not That Kind Of Girl,” was blatantly false. Dunham herself was forced to apologize for writing an account that falsely pointed the finger at a prominent Oberlin conservative named “Barry.”

But Gawker identified another man using Dunham’s original 2012 book proposal, which contained a significantly different description of her alleged rapist. The extra details, such as the fact that he was Jewish and the son of an NPR host, point the finger at another easily identifiable individual.... KEEP READING

BREAKING: Man Being Bullied By Lena Dunham May Be Suing Her - TPNN

Last Remaining Global Warming Scam Dies

Earth's sea ice expands to record high... SHOCK STUDY: Carbon dioxide emissions help rainforests GROW FASTER...

Global Sea Ice Breaks Record High For The Day – Antarctic Sea Ice Also Breaks Record High For the Day - Climate Depot

Ice returns to 1984 levels: Area of Arctic sea ice is nearly identical to 30 years ago - Climate Depot


Last Remaining Global Warming Scam Dies - Steven Goddard/Real Science
The area of sea ice on Earth has moved into unprecedented territory. When it was declining, they blamed it on global warming. Now that it is increasing, they blame it on global warming.
Dueling Datasets: Satellite Temperatures Reveal the ‘Global Warming Pause’ Lengthens to 18 years 2 months – (218 Months) - Climate Depot
Carbon dioxide emissions help tropical rainforests grow faster: Study shows trees absorb more greenhouse gas than expected

  • Nasa study shows tropical forests absorb 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 a year
  • Rainforests absorb more than half of CO2 taken up by vegetation globally
  • Scientists previously believed tropical forests emitted carbon dioxide
  • Researchers claim their findings emphasise the need to protect rainforests from deforestation to help counteract human greenhouse gas emissions

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cheer up: The pessimists are wrong and America's future is bright

How do you think 2015 will be for you? If you’re typical, you’ll be pessimistic; and, if you’re typical, you’ll be wrong. Only 21 percent of Americans agree with the proposition that “life for our children’s generation will be better than it has been for us” — 76 percent disagree. 0 DAN HANNAN/Washington Examiner

So why the gloom? As Lord Macaulay asked a century and a half ago, “On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?”

“This time it’s different,” chorus the pundits, as pundits do in every generation. Pessimism sells. Editors publish it, politicians preach it, voters echo it. But they’re all wrong.

What’s really different this time? The level of immigration? Every generation of Americans has expressed precisely the same fears, with as much apparent cause. The power grabs by President Obama? Not a patch on either of the Roosevelts. A kulturkampf with militant Islam? Try flipping it around, and imagining how the world must seem to an Islamist worried about Westernization in his own country. Look at the clothes people are wearing, the TV they’re watching, the brands they’re buying: Who’s really losing here?

Ah, but what about the borrowing level? An $18 trillion federal debt is unprecedented. Surely here, at least, things can’t carry on as they are? Right. And if things can’t carry on, they won’t. One way or another, there will have to be a haircut, after which a number of federal programs will be shut down or devolved to the 50 states.

The private sector will always, over time, grow faster than the government, because entrepreneurs are smarter, collectively, than bureaucrats. Vast new wealth will be created from 3-D printing, driverless cars, advances in biotechnology and other sectors that we can’t now imagine. State regulators will always be playing catch-up. Free enterprise will outgrow the state, as the jungle swallows up Mayan ruins.

Take just one measure. Cheap energy is a pretty reliable forerunner of growth, lowering production costs, boosting competitiveness and increasing disposable income. Which is why it is so important to pessimists to keep predicting a looming price rise. Well, who called that one right?

Cheer up: Life keeps getting better.

Goodbye to one of the best years in history

It might not feel like it, but we are safer, richer and healthier than at any time on record - Telegraph UK

This may have felt like the year of Ebola and Isil but in fact, objectively, 2014 has probably been the best year in history. Take war, for example – our lives now are more peaceful than at any time known to the human species. Archaeologists believe that 15 per cent of early mankind met a violent death, a ratio not even matched by the last two world wars. Since they ended, wars have become rarer and less deadly. More British soldiers died on the first day of the Battle of the Somme than in every post-1945 conflict put together.

The Isil barbarity in the Middle East is so shocking, perhaps, because it comes against a backdrop of unprecedented world peace.

We have recently been celebrating a quarter-century since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, which kicked off a period of global calm. The Canadian academic Steven Pinker has called this era the “New Peace”, noting that conflicts of all kinds – genocide, autocracy and even terrorism – went on to decline sharply the world over. Pinker came up with the phrase four years ago, but only now can we see the full extent of its dividends.

With peace comes trade and, ergo, prosperity. Global capitalism has transferred wealth faster than foreign aid ever could....

Nothing is irreversible. And there will be a great many people for whom life is tough, and looks set to remain so for some time. We still have a lamentably long list of problems to solve. But in the round, there’s no denying it: we are living in the Golden Era. There has never been a better reason for people the world over to wish each other a happy and prosperous new year.

Constitution’s horrible, no good, very bad year


William A. Jacobson has a column at USA Today... you’ll have to head over to USA Today, and help share the link on Twitter and Facebook. - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
2014: The year the Constitution lived dangerously - William A. Jacobson/USA Today

...At every level, the Obama administration has signaled that going it alone is the only way to get things done.

But that is not how our constitutional system is set up. The Framers understood the threat of an overreaching executive who wants to be king not president.

Midterm election exit polls confirm other polling showing trust in government near historic lows. Dissatisfaction with government is the top non-economic public concern.

The Obama administration's relentless expansion of executive power through extra-constitutional means only further fuels the public's distrust of government. If 2014 was a referendum on Obama, 2016 may be a referendum on whether the public wants the federal government, particularly the president, to live within constitutional boundaries.

Will our next president be a king, queen or a constitutionally-limited president? That is the question for 2016.

Looking for Mr. Good President

The last on my block, I have just finished reading Lynne Cheney’s splendid biography of our fourth president, James Madison: A Life Reconsidered. - Roger L. Simon/PJM

I blush to admit that my knowledge of Madison was not extensive. Of course I knew he was one of the authors of The Federalist and was considered the father of the Constitution. And, yes, I did know a bit more than that. I wasn’t completely ignorant. But, like many of my generation, growing up I had paid more attention to the likes of Marx and Marcuse. They were the cool guys. The Founding Fathers were people you had to study to pass a test, fogeys in wigs who took snuff and had elaborate handwritings....

In Cheney’s telling, you see why he made the choices he (Madison) did and in almost every case you agree — at least I did. What you see most, in Madison and Jefferson, is that in the end character is king. It’s who you are that determines things or, as Reagan famously said, “People are policy.”

That is why I am not one of those who gets overly head up over whether someone is a Tea Partier or a RINO. In fact, I’m not much for the terminology, which largely puts me to sleep. I prefer to take a step backwards and look at the person. I want someone who is psychologically and intellectually prepared for the unexpected, because none of us knows what the future will bring....

Lynne Cheney's James Madison: A Life Reconsidered Available at Amazon

Krauthammer on Obama’s Veto Threat: ‘Bring It On, Mr. President’

President Barack Obama will block 2015 funding for the Department of Homeland Security if Republicans includes spending curbs on the president’s executive amnesty, says a top aide. - Daily Caller

That amnesty action includes the award of work permits, drivers’ licenses, Social Security cards and tax rebates to at least four million illegal immigrants, despite the wage-cutting surplus of American workers in Obama’s economy.

The adviser, Dan Pfeiffer, told a Huffington Post interviewer Dec. 29 that the president would “absolutely not” sign a 2015 spending bill that would include limits on amnesty spending.

Would Obama veto the spending curbs? “Yep,” Pfeiffer said.



How should Republicans handle Obama’s threat to use his “veto pen” in the coming two years? Charles Krauthammer says the GOP should say: “Bring it on, Mr. President.” - Kelsey Harkness/Daily Signal

Speaking to Kimberly Guilfoyle on “Greta” ...the syndicated columnist and Fox News commentator advised the GOP to, “Let the president show where the party stands, and let the country know that with a new Republican president, this stuff–which is very popular–will be able to get through.”

The pieces are coming together to complete a big picture of political corruption



News Media Outlets Caught Directly Funding Political Activism of Tax-Dodging Demagogue Al Sharpton - KARA PENDLETON/IJREVIEW.COM

...Melissa Francis, host of Money With Melissa Francis on Fox Business News, spoke with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly about how Sharpton’s political and financial backing by Comcast and NBC is deeper than it appears.

Francis reports that Comcast, MSNBC and NBC Universal all directly funded Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) as recently as this October. Each were “Preacher Level” sponsors at a combined 60th birthday party/fundraising event for Sharpton that netted an estimated $1 million in donations....

In ascending order, the sponsor levels noted on the event program were “Media Sponsor,” “Contributor,” “Medallion,” “Track Suit,” “Hair,” “Brooklyn,” “Preacher,” “Author,” and “Activist.”

When asked about the donations, NAN’s response was less than forthright:
“We can’t confirm or give comment that quickly. We have not done our audit for 2014, so how would anyone know when there has been no report on who gave what?”
Situations like these between Sharpton and his donors are not unique. A New York Post article from 2008 provides several other examples of instances where Sharpton threatened boycotts or negative publicity to garner large donations. Once donations were received, these companies were given public support or even awards of recognition.

You may perhaps have wondered where the Reverend Al Sharpton is getting his money from. I mean, this is a guy who doesn’t exactly have a church to fund raise off of. - Conservative Tribune

So who is it? Well, Megyn Kelly tracked down the people who are paying for Sharpton’s racist rhetoric, and while the answer may not surprise you, the extent to which the funding occurs will.

An undeniable connection that can't be ignored.

Bill de Blasio’s Pick for NYPD Oversight Board Linked to Group in Cop-Killer Video - Evan Gahr/Daily Signal

The lawyer who chairs the New York City agency responsible for investigating police brutality allegations has ties to the federally funded legal-aid group featured in a cop-killer video.

Obama Adviser Jonathan Gruber In 2009: Obamacare Will NOT Be Affordable


President Obama’s health care adviser Jonathan Gruber said that the Affordable Care Act would definitely not be affordable while he was writing the bill with the White House. As Gruber continues to withhold documents while he awaits a call-back for more testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the new year, more shocking information is coming to light detailing the deceptions that went into the writing of the health-care law. - Patrick Howley/Daily Caller

Gruber said that Obamacare had no cost controls in it and would not be affordable in an October 2009 policy brief, presented here exclusively by TheDC. At the time, Gruber had already personally counseled Obama in the Oval Office and served on Obama’s presidential transition team. Obama, meanwhile, told the American people that their premiums would go down dramatically.

“The problem is it starts to go hand in hand with the mandate; you can’t mandate insurance that’s not affordable. This is going to be a major issue,” Gruber admitted in an October 2, 2009 lecture, the transcript of which comprised the policy brief....

ObamaCare Hits Small Business Hard in Gloomy ´15 - Investor´s Business Daily

Red Tape: With businesses´ one-year reprieve from financial penalties under ObamaCare ending, the horror stories of complying with the costly health care law already are trickling in. The worst is yet to come.

ObamaCare fines rising in 2015, IRS prepares to collect - Fox News

Don´t have health insurance? Get ready to pay up. The ObamaCare-mandated fines for not having insurance are rising in 2015 -- and for the first time, will be collected by the Internal Revenue Service. The individual requirement to buy health insurance went into effect earlier this year. But this coming tax season is the first time all taxpayers will have to report to the IRS whether they had health insurance for the prior year. The fines for the 2014 year were relatively modest -- $95 per person or 1 percent of household income (above the threshold for filing taxes)...

◼ GRUBER: Obamacare WON'T Be Affordable...

We'll Have To Deny Treatment - Daily Caller

87% of new users given federal aid - Paul Bedard/Washington Examiner

More businesses switch to part-time to meet law - USA Today