Saturday, June 30, 2012
One adviser said if the White House had realized the economic troubles would be as sustained as they have been, health care might never have been on the table. Others disagree, arguing that health care did not detract from efforts to promote recovery. (NYT, 6/29/2012)
And the proof, of course, is that Obama was able to pass health care AND turn around the economy. Just kidding!
Republicans say that the court called the mandate a tax although Obama had insisted that it wasn’t. True, but I’m not sure that has legs outside the Grover Norquist-no-tax echo chamber. (Charles M. Blow, NYT, 6/29/2012)
John Boehner warned Republicans not to "spike the football" anticipating that the Supreme Court would strike down Obamacare. Of course, that did not happpen. Democrats, playing by different rules, have no problem celebrating and taunting Republicans as Blow does here. Their celebrations may be short-lived with the November election looming. Given Obama's poll numbers Democrats should be a lot more worried than they appear to be at the moment.
Meanwhile Blow gives us this gem: no one really cares that Obama said the mandate wasn't a tax and the Court said that it was. Here's a prediction: the average American will see over 1,000 television ads between now and November that show footage of President Obama insisting that the mandate is not a tax. We'll see about those "legs."
Friday, June 29, 2012
Today's post is prompted by the following inquiry from a Loyal Reader.
Is it true that President Obama lies? If so, can you provide a list of his lies?
RedStateVT replies: Yes, Loyal Reader, it is true that President Obama lies. Space considerations prohibit us from listing all of his lies, so we have provided a representative sample. First, it is important to remember that it is not only as president that Obama has lied. In fact, candidate Obama lied, as well. The best example of this is when candidate Obama said that he was not going to opt out of public financing for his presidential bid. Oops, he lied and opted out.
As president, Obama has lied many times: he said he was going to close Gitmo - lie; he said he was going to limit the influence of lobbyists - lie; he said he was going to have a transparent administration - lie.
Because Obama's signature legislative achievement - Obamacare - is much in the news today, it may be useful to look at the various lies surrounding it. First, Obama swore up and down that the indivdual mandate was not a tax. Yesterday we learned from the Supreme Court that he lied - it is a tax. Obama also said that insurance rates would go down, not up as a result of Obamacare. As RedStateVT has previously reported rates are ALREADY going up (in our case 54%) as insurers brace for the full onslaught of Obamacare. Obama also announced that you could keep your own health care if you wanted to. In fact, as Obamacare begins to take hold your plan may no longer be available. Some students have already discovered that the plan they purchased through their college or university is now not being offered. We count this as a lie.
We hope that this is helpful.
Favorites From Today's WSJ
In any case, brace yourself for the admiring profiles of Chief Justice John Roberts. Last week's wisdom: right-wing nut in black robe. This week's wisdom: rigorous mind, independent nature, unswayed by partisan considerations, he's grown in the role since being appointed by George W. Bush. (Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 6/28/2012)
Good point, mentioned by Ann Coulter right after the decision was announced yesterday.
Somebody will have fun compiling a list of quotes from lefties bewailing 5-4 decisions yesterday, then praising this one. (James Taranto, WSJ, 6/28/2012)
No finding of constitutionality changes the fact that a significant majority of the public resents the health law's mandates, its costs, its rationing, its taxes. The president has been largely mum on his "achievement," not just because it is politically toxic, but because it is a continual reminder that his first years were wasted on this health-care hubris while the economy slipped further into the malaise that dominates it today. (Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, 6/28/2012)
Thursday, June 28, 2012
When the inexplicable happens, it is often best to turn to the smartest people around to explain, clarify and expound. Hence RedStateVT waited patiently for Krauthammer and Will to weigh in:
Obamacare is now essentially upheld. There’s only one way it can be overturned. The same way it was passed — elect a new president and a new Congress. That’s undoubtedly what Roberts is saying: Your job, not mine. I won’t make it easy for you. (Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, 6/28/2012)
Elections matter most; only they can end Obamacare. (George Will, Washington Post, 6/28/2012)
And, in fact, one of the few comforting interpretations of the Supreme Court's ruling on Obamacare was that Chief Justice Roberts essentially handed the 2012 election to Mitt Romney. The thinking is that - given the unpopularity of the law and given the fact that it was only upheld if defined as a tax (which Obama expressly denied) - the American people will rise up and reject Obama. President Romney then will undo the law.
We hope so because alternative interpretations are unsettling, e.g. Roberts - like other seeming conservative judges before him, is a liberal in disguise; or, Roberts caved under Obama's relentless haranguing of the Court. Let's hope that Roberts is the legal genius that some are calling him.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Politico, in full attack mode against Republicans on the eve of the Supreme Court's likely decision to overturn all or part of Obamacare, sought out former Rep. Anthony Weiner to offer his insights on the law. Weiner claims that Democrats were right to pass the law, but that the public is simply too stupid to understand its benefits, and that the party should have done a better job of defending its members from public outrage over the issue. (Breitbart.com, 6/27/2012)
Now who, Dems wondered, can we get to speak from a position of moral authority on Obamacare? Why Anthony Weiner of course!
Young Hollywood will have to make do without Barack Obama at their Friday fundraiser. The president is skipping the “Gen44” event at L.A.’s Soho Houseon June 29, instead sending campaign surrogates like chief technology officer Harper Reed and Battleground States director Mitch Stewart, Deadline reports. (POLITICO.com, 6/26/2012)
Thus snubbed, an excellent opportunity for "Young Hollywood" to show their independence....and back Romney!
Surviving one of the toughest re-election fights of his career, Representative Charles B. Rangel fended off four challengers on Tuesday to win the Democratic nomination for a 22nd term in Congress.
Mr. Rangel’s victory capped a gripping campaign for a Congressional seat that for decades has been at the center of black political power — and preserved a career in Washington that had been threatened by ethics troubles and changing demographics.
Mr. Rangel was censured in 2010 after the House Ethics Committee found him guilty of 11 counts of ethical violations, including failure to pay taxes, improper solicitation of donations and failure to report his personal income accurately. (NYT, 6/26/2012)
Corrupt politician Charlie Rangel wins his primary with the full and complete support of Nancy ("Drain the swamp") Pelosi.
Senator Senator Claire McCaskill on Tuesday became the latest Democrat to decide to skip the party’s national convention in Charlotte, N.C., later this summer...This week, three leading Democrats from West Virginia – Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Senator Joe Manchin III and Representative Nick J. Rahall II – said they would also miss the convention this September, according to the state’s Democratic Party. All three are up for re-election in November. (NYT, 6/26/2012)
Never a good sign when people in your own party start making up excuses NOT to hang out with you!
Monday, June 25, 2012
There are a tiny number of liberals capable of single-handedly reversing Priorities’ lackluster fortunes. But financier George Soros has shown no signs of supporting Priorities; his adviser Michael Vachon told me that this year his boss was “more focused on Europe.” Meanwhile, Progressive Insurance chairman Peter Lewis, who gave $25 million in 2004, is currently concentrating on marijuana-law reform, and his adviser Jennifer Frutchy told me that he won’t be contributing to Priorities. (tnr.com, 6/22/2012)
President Pander gave in on gay marriage and illegal immigration to get votes, why not give liberal billionaires what they want also? We're not certain what Soros wants, but Obama could clearly free up millions in campaign donations to his super PACs from Lewis by legalizing marijuana.
Donald B. Verrilli Jr., who became solicitor general last June, rehearsed in multiple moot court sessions. But on the critical day of Supreme Court arguments on March 27, he momentarily choked on a drink of water and was hammered by justices skeptical of his argument. (NYT, 6/23/2012)
So apparently, if Obamacare is defeated it will be because water went down the wrong pipe.
The majority of Democrats, polls suggest, have followed roughly the same path as the former Yale Law School dean Harold Koh, a staunch critic of Bush’s wartime policies who now serves as a legal adviser to the State Department, supplying constitutional justifications for Obama’s drone campaigns. What was outrageous under a Republican has become executive branch business-as-usual under a Democrat.(Ross Douthat, NYT, 6/23/2012)
RedStateVT recognizes that politics is bloodsport, but just once (once!) we would like to hear either Democrats or Republicans say: "In hindsight, the policies that we were previously critical of have turned out to be correct and necessary and we apologize for our previous opposition."
Good column by Douthat.
The Romney campaign, whose fund-raising prowess has defied assumptions about President Obama’s financial advantages, offered wealthy donors and bundlers an extraordinary level of access to the candidate, his staff members, advisers and family this weekend at a three-day retreat that even seasoned political contributors said dwarfed previous presidential powwows. (NYT, 6/23/2012)
Breaking news! Fat Cat Republican donors get "extraordinary access" to Romney! Do Democrat donors get the same privileges we wondered? Well we had to read until paragraph fifteen of this twenty-nine paragraph article to get this:
Mr. Romney, of course, is not alone in granting his donors special treatment. Mr. Obama has invited major contributors to state dinners, put them on his Job Council and, as visitor logs show, allowed them into the White House for meetings with advisers.
...and not to mention the intimate dinners with Hollywood's finest!
Now, campaign officials and other top Democrats said this was their best chance yet to convert enthusiasm among gay men and lesbians for Mr. Obama into more than just votes.
“It’s like shooting fish in a barrel this year,” said Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic consultant... (NYT, 6/24/2012)
Clarification/retraction expected shortly....
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Away In A Manger
Democratic Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren is celebrating her 63rd birthday with a fundraiser. (BostonHerald.com, 6/22/2012)
For those who have not heard it, RedStateVT presents the Elizabeth Warren nativity story. Sixty-three years ago Warren was born in a tepee on an Indian reservation in North Dakota. Her father was Colin Wentworth Warren III, a corporate executive, and her stay-at-home mother was Little Sewing Bear. Warren would go on to became a professor at Harvard Law where she never told anyone about her Native American heritage, not wanting to be viewed as someone who traded on her diversity background.
The Supreme Court’s ruling this week in Knox v. Service Employees International Union is one of the most brazen of the Roberts court. It shows how defiantly the five justices act in advancing the aggressive conservatism of their majority on the court.
The court’s moderate liberals were rightly dismayed by the majority’s willingness to breach court rules in pursuit of its agenda. (NYT editorial, 6/22/2012)
Conservatives are conservatives, but Liberals are "moderate liberals." This one had us falling on the floor laughing. It is entirely in keeping with the manner in which the modern Left attempts to hide their own extremism or to alter the fundamental facts. To wit, dismayed to discover that George Zimmerman was not white and hence they could not advance the story line of white prejudice, he is described as a "white Hispanic."
Well RedStateVT is fighting back. Liberals are now "liberal Liberals."
Bain structured deals so that it was difficult for the firm and its executives to ever really lose, even if practically everyone else involved with the company that Bain owned did, including its employees, creditors and even, at times, investors in Bain’s funds. (NYT, 6/22/2012)
The New York Times has already done the Mitt Romney's Bain Capital screwed companies story, the Mitt Romney's multiple house story, the Mitt Romney's wife's expensive horses story, the Mitt Romney was not really a good governor of Massachusetts story, and now they return to the Bain Capital story. How about getting some new material? (You know they are just dying to do the "cult of Mormonism" story, but that will likely be their "October surprise."
Friday, June 22, 2012
An additional $2 billion has been appropriated to states for care for the aged outside of nursing homes, and there is also $350 million to combat fraud and waste in Medicare. (NYT, 6/21/2012)
Did we read that correctly? $350 million to combat fraud and waste? Here's another idea: let's just not spend that money. Chances are we will end up ahead.
The largest share of the money to date, about $5 billion, has gone to employers, public retirement plans, unions and others that provide insurance coverage for workers who retire before they are eligible for Medicare. Under this early-retiree program, General Electric and the United Automobile Workers were among those entities receiving money.
G.E., for one, said it had used the $39 million it received under the program to reduce its costs and the costs of both active and retired employees. Republicans like Senator Mike Enzi from Wyoming have argued that much of the money went to unions and state retirement plans as a way of rewarding “politically connected constituencies.”
Let's see....unions - public sector and other - are enormous contributors to Democrats and GE's Jeffrey Immelt is an Obama supporter. Yes, rewards to "politically connected constituencies" sounds about right.
Rewind to 2009. The fight over ObamaCare is raging, and a few news outlets report that something looks ethically rotten in the White House. An outside group funded by industry is paying the former firm of senior presidential adviser David Axelrod to run ads in favor of the bill. That firm, AKPD Message and Media, still owes Mr. Axelrod money and employs his son.
The story quickly died, but emails recently released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee ought to resurrect it. The emails suggest the White House was intimately involved both in creating this lobby and hiring Mr. Axelrod's firm—which is as big an ethical no-no as it gets. (WSJ, 6/21/2012)
Hold on a second here. We simply cannot deal with all of the Obama administration scandals at once. Let's take them one at a time. First we'll do Fast and Furious, then Solyndra, then the intelligence leaks, then Axelrod.
The most ethical administration....
It's A Drag
One of the largest drags on our economy has been the layoffs of public employees like teachers, firefighters and police officers due to state budget cuts. Even as American businesses have created nearly 4.3 million private-sector jobs over the past 27 months, state and local government employment has fallen by 450,000 jobs during that time. But Congress has failed to act to put hundreds of thousands of teachers and first-responders back to work. (Jeffrey B. Liebman, WSJ, 6/21/2012) Mr. Liebman is a professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a senior economic policy adviser to the Obama campaign. From 2009 to 2010, he was executive associate director and then acting deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.
We were tempted to label this: Why Republicans Will Win. RedStateVT does not want to get too cocky about the November election, but the thinking outlined above is certainly cause for optimism. Inexplicably - after the mid-term elections, after Scott Brown's victory, after the failure of the Wisconsin recall - Democrats still do not get it. Did they not see what happened in Wisconsin? The people do not think that the answer to America's economic malaise is to hire more teachers! But when you hear Howard Dean exclaim: First of all, we view Wisconsin as a win, you realize that Dems are destined to wander in the wilderness. Which is where they belong at this moment in history.
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Government payrolls grew in the early part of the recovery, largely because of federal stimulus measures. But since its postrecession peak in April 2009 (not counting temporary Census hiring), the public sector has shrunk by 657,000 jobs. The losses appeared to be tapering off earlier this year, but have accelerated for the last three months, creating the single biggest drag on the recovery in many areas. (NYT, 6/19/2012)
So to stimulate the economy the government hires more public sector workers who then receive both above-private market wages and also long-term health and pension benefits which tax-payers which eventually are on the hook for.
Pants On Fire
In his memoir, Obama describes how his grandfather, Hussein Onyango, was imprisoned and tortured by British troops during the fight for Kenyan independence. But that did not happen, according to five associates of Onyango interviewed by Maraniss. Another heroic tale from the memoir about Obama's Indonesian stepfather, Soewarno Martodihardjo, being killed by Dutch soldiers during Indonesia's fight for independence also is inaccurate, according to Maraniss.
The president explains in his memoir that some of the characters in his book have been combined or compressed. (Huffington Post, 6/20/2012)
The president goes on to explain that in some instances "I just made stuff up."
Q And A
Does President Obama have any top fund-raisers among Wall Street executives?
...Robert Wolf, a top UBS executive in New York, is among President Obama’s leading fund-raisers, bundling more than $500,000 for his re-election so far this year. (NYT, 6/20/2012)
Does President Obama have any connections to billionaire George Soros?
Mr. Wolf and Mr. Obama met in late 2006 at a reception held at the offices of the billionaire investor George Soros. (NYT, 6/20/2012)
Whatever that may mean, more interesting is the Obama counter-theory found here, what he calls "our North Star—an economy that's built not from the top down, but from a growing middle class."
There is no theory anywhere in non-Marxist economics that says growth's primary engine is a social class. A middle class is the result of growth, not its cause. (Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 6/20/2012)
The best line in a good piece from Henninger. Note the phrase "non-Marxist economics."
The committee’s Republicans had essentially one answer to all of this: agent Terry. By the end of the session, his name had been invoked no fewer than 54 times. “An agent was shot and killed and left to bleed out in a desert,” said Rep. Patrick Meehan (Pa.). Using the what-did-he-know-and-when-did-he-know-it language of Watergate, Meehan added: “That is the essence of what we have to get to the bottom of.” (Dana Milbank, washington Post, 6/20/2012)
Liberals are always asking for bi-partisanship (when they are losing the debate). RedStateVT waves a white flag in front of Milbank and how does he respond? With this drivel about the Fast and Furious scandal. Milbank thinks it is unfair of Republicans to raise the issue of a dead border patrol agent.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The failed gubernatorial recall election in Wisconsin showed that momentum is against Democrats and their allies, and the still-lumbering economy has depressed President Obama’s supporters. (Washington Post, 6/18/2012)
Washington Post op-ed columnist George Will summarizes the plight of Dems. What.....it's not George Will? Why it is Liberal columnist Dana Milbank! Is he trying to curry favor with RedStateVT?
Nobody But Him
“There is no one that has more experience or understanding of the presidential debate process than John Kerry. He’s an expert debater who has a fundamental mastery of a wide range of issues, including Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts. He’s the obvious choice.” -- David Axelrod, senior political adviser to President Obama, to the Washington Post on the decision to have the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee be Obama’s sparring partner in advance of the president’s three debates with Romney. (quoted on Foxnews.com, 6/19/2012)
Followers of the political scene will remember that debate expert Kerry is a former President of the United States having defeated the notoriously tongue-tied George W. Bush. Kerry's presidency ended early when it was found that he was a 1%er who married his wife for her money, that he avoided taxes on his multi-million dollar yacht and that his Vice-President, John Edwards, had impregnated his mistress.
(Editor's Note: Some of the above is true.)
Monday, June 18, 2012
As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney endorsed an aggressive program to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, pushed to close old coal-fired power plants and embraced wind and solar power. Then came his bids for the Republican presidential nomination, first in 2008 and now in 2012. On climate change as on other issues, he has transformed himself, bit by reactionary bit. (NYT editorial, 6/16/2012)
Why, it is almost as if Romney has....what's the word? Evolved!
We go through this all the time. About twenty years after a conservative leaves the scene or dies, he becomes acceptable. They say, if only people were more like Ronald Reagan and that wonderful libertarian curmudgeon Barry Goldwater. And that fine fellow Bill Buckley. I worked for Bill Buckley, voted for Barry Goldwater and knew Ronald Reagan and no one talked about them on the left that way at the time. (George Will quoted on Newsbusters.com, 6/17/2012)
“Willing to work from the other side,” continued Santorum, “in this town means doing what the other side wants only doing it slower instead of doing what is necessary for this country which is scaling back government. Instead of growing government less fast, we want government to get smaller. Now, we’re willing to compromise on how quickly we do that, but the idea that we need people who just slow down this eventual growth and that’s the answer is wrong.” (Rick Santorum quoted on Newsbusters.com, 6/17/2012)
Two great comments from Will and Santorum: Liberals pining for Reagan; and, the Liberal call for compromise. Two clear signs that Liberals are losing.
We are reminded of a great line from Ann Coulter (yes, there is some redundancy there!) after W won re-election and the media were clamoring for Bush to demonstrate bi-partisanship. Coulter said, paraphrasing: "Compromise, why? Bush has the Dems in a cage. He should be poking them with a stick through the bars!"
President Obama rolled out of his Kenwood, Chicago home Sunday morning and headed to out to play his 100th round of golf since becoming president. (whitehousedossier.com, 6/17/2012)
Good website we just came upon courtesy of Drudge. Loyal readers know that RedStateVT has not begrudged Obama his golf rounds. We have, however, used it to point out the utter hypocrisy of the state-controlled media. When W was president we used to get regular updates of soldier casualties and his golf schedule. To his credit, Bush eventually realized that the optics of golf were not good when American soldiers were in harm's way and he stopped playing. Tin-ear Obama has not caught on yet.
One of our readers wondered whether the new legislation required a two thirds vote within the West Wing or just a simple majority. Perhaps it has to be passed both in the East Wing – where the first lady works – and the West Wing before heading to the president for signing. (whitehousedossier.com, 6/18/2012)
Saturday, June 16, 2012
The Obama administration will stop deporting and begin granting work permits to younger illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and have since led law-abiding lives. The election-year initiative addresses a top priority of an influential Latino electorate that has been vocal in its opposition to administration deportation policies........It also bypasses Congress and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act......One of the officials said the latest policy change is just another step in the administration's evolving approach to immigration. (NYT, 6/15/2012)
We like to point out to Liberals from time to time that Obama has acted far more autocratically than their bete noire Bush/Cheney.
Note again that Obama did NOT flip-flop; he evolved.
The Spin Starts Here
Juan Williams, a Fox News analyst who generally expresses moderate political views... (NYT, 6/15/2012)
Obama to permit young migrants to remain in the U.S. (NYT Headline, 6/16/2012)
Two excellent examples of how the New York Times distorts the news. In the first we see Juan Williams identified as a moderate. RedStateVT watches Juan Williams a lot and thinks he is a very decent and thoughtful journalist. He is not a moderate, however. He is a Liberal Democrat. Run down any list of issues from health care to immigration to U.S. fiscal policy and you will not see much daylight between the views of Williams and the DNC. But to the New York Times, he is a moderate. The math works like this: if Williams is a moderate, than Romney is a right wing extremist and, hence, not someone who can be trusted.
In the second example, the Times leaves out one important fact in describing Obama's new policy: the parents of these "young migrants" are in this country illegally. So an honest broker would have written the following headline: Obama to permit children of illegal aliens to remain in the U.S.
Alas, the New York Times is not honest.
And that leads to the falsehood. Despite his claim that “both parties have laid out their policies on the table,” Obama has made no serious proposal to fix the runaway entitlement programs that threaten to swamp the government’s finances. (Washington Post, 6/14/2012)
The Washington Post's Charles Krauthammer raises a point that RedStateVT has raised in the past: Obama (and the Dems) have never put forward a policy to explain how they will deal with the long term viability of entitlement spending. Wait.....what is that? Oh, it is not Krauthammer writing this, it is Liberal op-ed columnist Dana Milbank.
Well good for him!
Thursday, June 14, 2012
In All Places
The cascade of money has left President Obama struggling to keep up, with few Democrats willing to write multimillion-dollar checks to super PACs, in part because many of them object to the existence of super PACs in the first place. (NYT, 6/13/2012)
Among the "principled" Democrats is George Soros who refuses to spend millions on super PACs. Just kidding!
The reason that Dems are so outraged is that they are losing the money race this time. It is also worth noting that one of the reasons that rich Liberals may not donate is that they realize that a second Obama term is unlikely. Nobody wants to back a loser.
Sandra Fluke, the former Georgetown Law School student whom Rush Limbaugh famously called a “slut,” has endorsed the man who came to her defense: President Barack Obama. (POLITICO.com, 6/14/2012)
In a much anticipated announcement likely to have an enormous and lasting impact on the 2012 presidential election, recreational sex expert Sandra Fluke threw her support behind Barack Obama. Fluke would not comment on whether the man (or men) that she has sex with (and who is/are apparently unable or unwilling to pay for her/his/their birth control) would also be supporting Obama.
Cry, Cry, Cry
So Mr. Obama ends up falling back — again and again — on the Barack Obama Defensive Offensive — which largely means, blame the Republicans. And while that strategy is not necessarily doomed to fail — polls show far more Americans still blame President George W. Bush for the economic decline than blame Mr. Obama — it also runs the danger of making Mr. Obama come across as a crybaby, not to mention opening him up to ridicule from the right. (NYT, 6/13/2012)
High five to the New York Times (yes, we said it!) for this deliciously snarky comment.
Federal per-pupil spending rose by an inflation-adjusted 375% between 1970 and 2010, yet test scores in math, science and reading remained essentially flat over the same period. Moreover, much of that money has been directed at increasing the size of the education workforce. Over the past 40 years, public school employment has grown 11 times faster than student enrollment, according to federal data compiled by Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute.
The Obama administration and their teachers union allies tell voters that education spending is all about the kids. The reality is that liberals see public education, first and foremost, as a jobs program for adults. The problem with public schools is not that we're attempting to educate children on the cheap. The problem is that our policy makers put the interests of public school employees ahead of the interests of students. (WSJ, 6/14/2012)
Charles Krauthammer called this something like "educational malpractice."
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
J.P. Morgan Chase Chief Executive James Dimon faced some tough questions Wednesday from Democrats concerned about the bank's multibillion-dollar trading loss, but he got a generally polite reception from Republican lawmakers, who gave him some chances to argue against stringent bank regulations. (WSJ, 6/13/2012)
RedStateVT still doesn't get what is wrong with Republicans. Dimon funds Democrats and Republicans give him an easy time. They should be tagging him as just another Democrat Wall Street fat cat.
Dumbest Idea Of The Day
A small group of billionaires, aided perhaps by a few super-millionaires, should form an alliance to offset the spending of the other billionaires and super-millionaires. They might call themselves Billionaires Against Billionaire Politics. These public-spirited citizens would announce that they will match every penny raised by the various super PACs on the other side.
In principle, they could commit themselves to balancing off whichever side — conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat — is dominating the airwaves and the fundraising. The idea would be to destroy the incentives for the very rich to buy the election. If shrewd wealthy people realized that every $10 million they put up would be met immediately by $10 million from the other side, they might lose interest in the exercise.
As a practical matter, it’s conservative dollars that need to be offset, so this balancing act would likely be financed by non-conservatives. George Soros, Warren Buffett and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg come to mind. But there may be other, less high-profile wealthy folks who want to do their patriotic bit. The hope is that this would be a one-shot deal. After one nuclear winter of an election, rich partisans could agree to mutual disarmament. (E.J. Dionne Jr. Washington Post, 6/13/2012)
Here's another idea for Dionne: Conservative billionaire donors would agree not to raise money for Republicans if Unions agree not to raise money for Democrats. How's that sound E.J.?
It is an indisputable fact of the universe that the ONLY time that Liberals yearn for bi-partisanship, want to negotiate or urge compromise is when they are getting beat.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Last Monday, a new father spoke with heartfelt gratitude of the night nurse who had explained that the chair where he was dozing upright opened into a bed.
“They treated us like family,” said the father, Iftekhar Aslam, 23, an American citizen born in Pakistan, beaming under his baseball cap at his wife, Sobia Khanum, and their newborn son.
He had not minded sharing the room, divided by a curtain, with another pair of new parents — “Israel people,” he said, adding joyfully, “That’s New York — it’s freedom here!” (NYT, 6/10/2012)
It is always great to be reminded by immigrants how great America is!
In a sense, Citizens United did have an important effect on the Wisconsin election. But the effect was almost exactly the opposite of what many pundits imply.
Labor unions poured money into the state to recall Mr. Walker. According to the Center for Public Integrity, the NEA (National Education Association), the nation's largest teachers union, spent at least $1 million. Its smaller union rival, the AFT (American Federation of Teachers), spent an additional $350,000. Two other unions, the SEIU (Service Employees International Union, which has more than one million government workers) and Afscme (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), spent another $2 million. Little or none of these independent expenditures endorsing a candidate would have been legal under federal law before Citizens United. (Michael W. McConnell, WSJ, 6/10/2012)
Someone get Bernie Sanders on the phone. He needs to stop complaining about Citizens United!
Indeed, our unemployment rate is higher today than it should be because conservatives blocked additional federal spending to prevent layoffs by state and local governments — and because progressives, including Obama, took too long to propose more federal help. (E.J. Dionne Jr. Washington Post, 6/10/2012)
In Dionne's world, unemployment could be driven to 0% if only government could hire ALL the unemployed. This is Liberal logic.
For Want Of A Hammer
I’d like to see him keep hammering away at Romney’s—the one thing, you’ve got to hammer at people’s beliefs. You can’t sort of convince people that, for example as the Republicans have been trying to do, that the problem with the president is that he was born in Kenya—that’s just not going to work. (Howard Dean quoted by Freebeacon.com, 6/11/2012)
Vermont's national looneybird Howard Dean proves ONCE AGAIN that it is Liberals who want to keep talking about Obama's birthplace. Of course, this was immediately after he said this:
"First of all, we look at Wisconsin as a win." (Howard Dean)
Yes, he actually said it! The elevation of Howard Dean to the national stage several years ago is a gift that Republicans everywhere are just exceedingly grateful for.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Now, conversations among leaders in the gay, black and Latino communities have borne significant fruit: On May 19, the board of the N.A.A.C.P. voted to endorse same-sex marriage. (NYT, 6/9/2012)
Interesting, the NAACP supports gay marriage. And how do black Democrats feel about gay marriage?
...there is greater opposition among black Democrats than white Democrats. Sixty-one percent of white Democrats supported legalizing marriage for same-sex couples, compared with 36 percent of black Democrats, while 35 percent of black Democrats opposed any legal recognition, compared with 18 percent of white Democrats. (NYT, 5/19/2012)
So - just to clarify - the NAACP apparently does not speak for the 64% of black Democrats who oppose gay marriage.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
But for the day at least, the damage was done, as Republicans hijacked the news cycle with their barrage against Mr. Obama’s six words in a professorial 29-minute exchange. While the metaphor of the bully pulpit originated with President Theodore Roosevelt about a century ago and generally remains apt, it does not allow for a 21st-century media environment of constant cable television chatter, blogging and instant Internet videos that empower a president’s opponents to bully back. (NYT, 6/8/2012)
In a news article mind you, not an opinion piece, the New York Times defends and rationalizes the president's "the private sector is doing fine" comment. To wit, Republicans = "hijacked", "barrage", 'bully." While Obama was "professorial."
Now do you understand why we believe the mainstream media is biased?
Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, traveled by chartered aircraft 18 times since the beginning of 2010, at a cost of about $325,000, according to internal union expense reports viewed by The Wall Street Journal. (WSJ, 6/8/2012)
Fat cat corporate bigshots....er, make that union bosses! (Note to union members: where your dues go.)
Friday, June 8, 2012
President Obama's problem now isn't what Wisconsin did, it's how he looks each day—careening around, always in flight, a superfluous figure. No one even looks to him for leadership now. He doesn't go to Wisconsin, where the fight is. He goes to Sarah Jessica Parker's place, where the money is. (Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 6/7/2012)
Of course, the ultimate measure will be how many Democrat incumbents invite Obama to campaign with them and how many have "scheduling conflicts."
The administration has made little secret of its near-total reliance on drone operations to fight the war on terror. The ironies abound. Candidate Obama campaigned on narrowing presidential wartime power, closing Guantanamo Bay, trying terrorists in civilian courts, ending enhanced interrogation, and moving away from a wartime approach to terrorism toward a criminal-justice approach. Mr. Obama has avoided these vexing detention issues simply by depriving terrorists of all of their rights—by killing them. (John Yoo, WSJ, 6/7/2012)
Conservatives support Obama's drone strikes while simply pointing out the abundant ironies. Liberals...well Liberals are generally silent.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
President Obama’s campaign raised about $60 million in May, a big increase from the previous month that includes money raised in the wake of his decision to publicly support same-sex marriage. (NYT 6/7/2012)
Count us as shocked that President Obama's "evolutionary" decision on gay marriage would have such immediate financial rewards. Just kidding!
Although Mr. Obama kept his distance from the state in the final weeks of the union-led recall effort, his party, his campaign team and his labor allies exerted an enormous joint effort there that proved to be mismatched for the organized and well-financed Republican apparatus. (NYT, 6/7/2012)
RedStateVT wonders whether President Obama purposely chose not to go to Wisconsin, not wanting to be associated with an effort that was trending away from his party; or whether recall supporters asked him not to come recognizing that his presence would hurt their efforts. We have not heard that question asked or answered.
And as to that huge Republican advantage in money and organization, we turn to the unimpeachable Coulter:
The left's "outspent" argument is ridiculous. Unions take money by force from members, hire hundreds of political operatives and give them salaries to work on campaigns, then call them "volunteers" so their work isn't reported as a campaign contribution. (Ann Coulter, 6/6/2012)
Democrats rake in huge sums as an indirect subsidy from taxpayers. You pay your property tax, your property tax funds county government payrolls, your county government gives a slice of that money to AFSCME and AFSCME gives some to like-minded politicians to stay in office. (Foxnews.com, 6/7/2012)
A good explanation for how the racket worked. Confidence men would call this a "long con." And then there is this from the same article:
Prior to Walker’s law, the state acted as an agent for AFSCME and other unions, automatically collecting dues directly from worker paychecks. Whether a government worker opted to join the union or not, the money came out. Unions defend the practice of compulsory dues payments on the grounds that if dues were optional, workers would opt out in droves and sap the power of the organization.
See, in the private sector - in which rational rules apply - if someone did not want a product or service, the company offering that product or service would have to improve the product or service thereby making it more attractive to potential buyers; or, if the company offering that product or service was not able to make it more attractive to potential buyers, that company would go out of business.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Democrats, some of whom are already pledging to mount strong challenges for state lawmakers’ seats in November, seemed less sure about the meaning of Mr. Walker’s victory. (NYT, 6/5/2012)
Really, Dems are again unsure what their loss means? As they were similarly unsure what their trouncing in 2010 meant. And the loss of Ted Kennedy's seat. We take great comfort in their uncertainty. It means that they have still not faced up to reality. After Obama's defeat in November we have no doubt they will remain in the dark.
Perils and Dangers
“What it shows is the peril of corporate dollars in an election and the dangers of Citizens United,” said Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, a school workers’ union, referring to the 2010 Supreme Court decision that barred the federal government from restricting political expenditures from corporations, unions and other groups. (NYT, 6/5/2012)
We will resist the urge to gloat that the unions got trounced. OK, enough of that. Our take on the Wisconsin result is that the grift was exposed and defeated. The unholy and criminal con wherein Democrat politicians traded salary and benefit largess to public sector unions for political contributions has been exposed and shut down. The country will be better for it.
In both San Diego and San Jose, voters appeared to overwhelmingly approve ballot initiatives designed to help balance ailing municipal budgets by cutting retirement benefits for city workers.
Around 70 percent of San Jose voters favored the pension reform measure, with almost 80 percent of precincts reporting. In San Diego, 67 percent had supported a similar pension reform measure, with more than 65 percent of precincts reporting. (NYT, 6/5/2012)
Everyday another story about cities and municipalities getting religion on the need to scale back the goodies for the public sector.
Odds and Evens
Former Democratic President Bill Clinton suggested Tuesday that Congress temporarily extend all the Bush-era tax cuts, undercutting President Barack Obama's position that the rates on upper-income Americans should rise at year's end.
It was the second example in recent days of Mr. Clinton taking a position at odds with that of Mr. Obama, underscoring that the former president, still one of the Democratic Party's most popular figures, also remains one of its most unpredictable.
Mr. Clinton's comments on tax policy, in an interview on CNBC, left the Obama re-election campaign "upset," and the campaign quickly asked Mr. Clinton to "correct'' his remarks, a person familiar with events said.
Later in the evening, a spokesman for Mr. Clinton issued a statement walking back the comments. It said that Mr. Clinton "doesn't believe the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans should be extended again." (WSJ, 6/5/2012)
So is Bill Clinton another Joe Biden, bumbling his way through campaign appearances with his foot in his mouth? Of course not!
Allow RedStateVT to explain.
Remember first that Clinton holds a grudge a mile long against Obama for running for the Dem presidential nomination. In Clinton's mind, that was owed to him and Hillary. More than anything, Bill wants another turn in the Oval Office. (The power! The glamour! The interns!) With Hillary as president, Bill would be called a "senior adviser", but there is no doubt that he would see himself as co-president. Obama denied him his dream and Bill knows that time may be passing him by. Hence the off-the-record comments that Obama is a bumbling fool and the regular on-the-record "slips."
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
At this point, however, Mr. Obama and his political team don’t seem to have much choice. They can point with pride to some big economic achievements, above all the successful rescue of the auto industry, which is responsible for a large part of whatever job growth we are managing to get. (Paul Krugman, NYT, 6/3/2012)
Oh Krugman, Krugman, Krugman.... The sum total of Obama's successful rescue of the auto industry is that he bailed them out with taxpayer dollars. Anybody could have done that. Your dog could have bailed out the auto industry. Krugman's dog could have done it.
Mr. Walker and his fellow Republicans challenged that status quo, and the unions have reacted with such vitriol because they realize the threat to their long-unchallenged clout. They're especially incensed that the reforms ended the state's practice of automatically collecting union dues. Now dues are voluntary—and lo, many government workers are finding they don't want to join the union after all.
Since Mr. Walker's reforms went into effect, membership in government unions has dropped. At the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (Afscme), membership fell to 28,745 in February from 62,818 in March 2011, according to a Journal report. If the union can no longer guarantee monopoly wages and benefits, workers are better off keeping dues that can add up to several hundred dollars a year. (WSJ, 6/3/2012)
Union membership falls by 55% once the government stops collecting union dues? This is incredible news! Why isn't it the lead story....everywhere?
Some colleges are dropping student health-insurance plans for the coming academic year and others are telling students to expect sharp premium increases because of a provision in the federal health law requiring plans to beef up coverage.
The demise of low-cost, low-benefit health plans for students is a consequence of the 2010 health-care overhaul. The law is intended to expand coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans, but it is also eliminating some insurance options. (WSJ, 6/3/2012)
"If you want to keep the healthcare plan you have now, you can. Unless it is not offered anymore in which case: Gotcha!" (Barack Hussein Obama)
The Heritage Foundation’s Lachlan Markay reported this week that President Obama has awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dolores Huerta, a labor activist and honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America.
As Markay notes, DSA describes itself as “the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International.”
This is a story the mainstream media declined to cover. (MyHeritage.org, 6/1/2012)
Keep repeating: Obama is not a socialist, Obama is not a socialist......
“I think the civil rights movement is no longer advocating from the outside,” he said. “It’s economic civil rights. You get people a job, you build their economic foundation, and then, if you set the right tone, they will start helping you build communities. We can’t do it with government-funded programs. We have do it with the private sector.” (San Francisco Mayor Edwin M, Lee, quoted in the NYT, 6/3/2012)
If a San Francisco mayor can see it, why can't the president of the United States?
About 50 people paid $40,000 each to crowd into an art-filled room to hear the two presidents in the Upper East Side residence of Marc Lasry, a founder of the hedge fund Avenue Capital Group. (NYT, 6/4/2012)
Oh to be a Democrat! It's Hollywood celebrities one, day and the titans of Wall Street the next.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Movements and associations of most ordinary Americans seem to lack the elements of destruction and hate we see on the fringes of the ideological left. And there is something about the left that seems to regularly produce a violent, even nihilistic fringe.
Shouldn't it be exactly opposite—shouldn't selfish conservatives be the ones to produce nasty mobs and shouldn't the left, with its vaunted idealism and love of neighbor, produce on its margins those even more idealistic and more loving?
But we've all seen the images on television or even, perhaps, been to rallies and demonstrations of the left. And all too often what we see looks like the opposite of compassion and virtue. (John Agresto, WSJ, 6/1/2012)
As others have noted, right-wing Tea Party types make angry speeches then pick up their trash and go home. Left-wing protesters (Occupiers, anti-war, anti-nuke, anti-anti, etc.) break windows. Why is that?
I have regularly criticized an agenda that would punish businesses and job creators with more taxes just as they are trying to thrive again. I have taken issue with an administration that has lapsed into a bloc by bloc appeal to group grievances when the country is already too fractured: frankly, the symbolism of Barack Obama winning has not given us the substance of a united country. You have also seen me write that faith institutions should not be compelled to violate their teachings because faith is a freedom, too. You've read that in my view, the law can't continue to favor one race over another in offering hard-earned slots in colleges: America has changed, and we are now diverse enough that we don't need to accommodate a racial spoils system. And you know from these pages that I still think the way we have gone about mending the flaws in our healthcare system is the wrong way—it goes further than we need and costs more than we can bear. (former Alabama Democrat Congressman Artur Davis, quoted in the WSJ, 6/2/2012)
A common theme running through Liberal discourse is how Republicans, once reasonable, willing to compromise, pragmatic etc., are now none of these things having been co-opted by the radical right. It's a phony argument. Before the Tea Party, Liberals NEVER called Republicans any of those things. They described Republicans as unreasonable, unwilling to compromise and as ideologues. Now Davis shows us that maybe it is Dems who have changed.
While Mr. Obama seeks to make Republicans the villains when it comes to the economy, he is also, more diplomatically, blaming Europe. In Minneapolis and Chicago on Friday, he cited the impact of the continent’s travails on the American economy.
Citing the jobs report, Mr. Obama said, “A lot of that is attributable to Europe and the cloud that’s coming over from the Atlantic, and the whole world economy has been weakened by it.” (NYT, 6/2/2012)
Whose fault is it? It's the Republicans....and the Europeans! And what is the solution?
....Mr. Obama said Congress had not passed measures he had proposed to get jobless construction workers rebuilding roads, bridges and runways; to give small businesses a tax break for new hires; and to help states pay teachers, firefighters and police officers. The steady elimination of public sector jobs has offset increased hiring in the private sector for more than two years.
So notwithstanding the fact that states and municipalities across the country teeter on the edge of insolvency because of bloated public sector payrolls (including pensions and health benefits), the answer is to start hiring more public sector employees. Did we hear that right?
Is Mitt Romney’s Mormonism fair game? (Washington Post headline, 6/2/2012)
Well, we don't know. Is Democrat and Senate majority leader Harry Reid's Mormonism fair game?
Saturday, June 2, 2012
“It’s going to be a close election. Everybody’s worried,” said Representative Jim Cooper, Democrat of Tennessee. “We’ve already floored the accelerator. We’ve already gripped the steering wheel. I’m not sure they’re attached to anything anymore.” (NYT, 6/1/2012)
The thing to watch, of course, is the number of Dems who will NOT invite Obama to campaign with them. Our guess is that this will include anyone in a tight race.
Democrats are clearly worried. Senate and House Democratic strategists say many of their candidates in tough races cannot win if the president loses, and they said Mr. Obama’s message had drifted too often away from the economy toward issues intended to appeal to narrow groups, like the Violence Against Women Act, student loan subsidies and gay marriage. (NYT, 6/1/2012)
This is an existential problem for the modern Democrat party. When you have defined the party as "all things to all fringes" you become hostage to them and you alienate any remaining core constituency. The gay donor boycott of Obama was a perfect example of this.
It seems unlikely that one month of jobs data will be sufficient to cause him to shift on such an explicit judgment, but the news on Friday was worse than one month of bad numbers. The government also significantly reduced its estimate of job creation over the last few months, creating an impression of a longer-term trend of slowing growth. (NYT, 6/1/2012)
For us, the bigger news is not the low jobs number, but the admission that the previous months' numbers were juiced.
On Friday the White House blamed the third slowdown of its four-year term on Republicans for blocking the President's policies, but what policies are they talking about? In his first two years in office, Democrats gave Mr. Obama everything he wanted, save for cap and trade and union card-check, which would have done even more harm to job creation. They passed stimulus, ObamaCare, multiple housing bailouts, Dodd-Frank and more. Even after Republicans took the House, they gave Mr. Obama the payroll tax holiday he demanded first for 2011 and again for 2012. (WSJ, 6/1/2012)
RedStateVT has made this point repeatedly. The best argument against Obama's policies and against his criticisms of Republicans is: You had absolute control for two years.
Run Run Runaway
Yes, we're still a long way from tyranny in America. The right to smoke in a bar; the right to snarf a transfat-soaked french fry; the right to lug a 32 oz. tub of Grape Nehi into the movie theater—these are not precious rights. But it's also true that nobody thought of taking them away until the government itself became responsible for our runaway health-care spending. (Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., WSJ, 6/1/2012)
Killer point by Jenkins: Liberals claim that banning (fill in the blank: soda, candy bars, Happy Meals) will help to lower medical costs borne by society. Yes, but Liberals are the ones who have expanded the welfare state so that more and more people are getting their health care from the government. And that government health care is paid for by fewer and fewer people!
Long Way Home
All President Barack Obama wanted to do was go home. No, not to the fancy government house in Washington. He wanted the familiar bed at his Kenwood/Hyde Park house in Chicago. The comfy chair. Maybe watch some ESPN. Chill. "Still works!" he declared as he strolled through his leafy neighborhood around noon on a splendid spring Saturday on his way to visit old Chicago pal Marty Nesbitt. It had been more than a year since he had spent a night at his home, and he was determined to do so Friday after a long day on the road. (MSNBC.com, 6/1/2012)
In other headline news from MSNBC: Shocking New Revelations That Bain Capital Laid Off Workers And Generated Huge Profits!
Friday, June 1, 2012
The House on Thursday rejected a measure that sought to impose fines and prison terms on doctors who perform abortions on women who are trying to select the gender of their offspring — a practice known as sex-selective abortion. (NYT, 5/31/2012)
We recognize that this vote was essentially undertaken for the expressed purpose of embarassing Democrats. Still, in a country in which abortion is increasingly unpopular it is amazing the lengths to which Dems will go to preserve abortion under ALL circumstances, e.g. minors, partial birth, and now sex selective.
"In my travels across this country, I've heard a consistent drumbeat of concern from citizens, who—often for the first time in their lives—now have reason to believe that we are failing to live up to one of our nation's most noble ideals," Mr. Holder said Wednesday in a speech to the Council of Black Churches. Voter ID laws and white discrimination, he added, mean that "some of the achievements that defined the civil rights movement now hang in the balance."
That's right. The two most powerful men in America are black, two of the last three Secretaries of State were black, numerous corporate CEOs and other executives are black, and minorities of many races now win state-wide elections in states that belonged to the Confederacy, but the AG implies that Jim Crow is on the cusp of a comeback. (WSJ, 5/31/2012)
Holder has now established the DOJ as a wing of the Obama re-election campaign.
A rather strange ethics. You go around the world preening about how America has turned a new moral page by electing a president profoundly offended by George W. Bush’s belligerence and prisoner maltreatment, and now you’re ostentatiously telling the world that you personally play judge, jury and executioner to unseen combatants of your choosing and whatever innocents happen to be in their company.
This is not to argue against drone attacks. In principle, they are fully justified. No quarter need be given to terrorists who wear civilian clothes, hide among civilians and target civilians indiscriminately. But it is to question the moral amnesia of those whose delicate sensibilities were offended by the Bush methods that kept America safe for a decade — and who now embrace Obama’s campaign of assassination by remote control. (Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, 5/31/2012)
"Moral amnesia." Krauthammer hits it out of the park again.
(Elizabeth Warren) claimed to be the “first nursing mother to take a bar exam in the state of New Jersey,” at the 2011 Chicago Humanities Festival in 2011, in a video posted on the group’s website. Such a claim is practically impossible to prove or disprove.
The Warren campaign responded by saying: “Elizabeth was making a point about the very serious challenges she faced as a working mom — from taking an all-day bar exam when she was still breast-feeding, to finding work as a lawyer that would accommodate a mom with two small children.” (Foxnews.com, 5/31/2012)
Warren later issued a clarification saying that her mother told her that she was the first 1/32nd Native American nursing mother to take the all-day bar exam.
President Obama’s only claim to reelection is that he and his team steadied America during its time of economic uncertainty and are, albeit slowly, growing the economy. Friday’s anemic jobs numbers show that in fact the economy is not recovering, but rather, unfortunately slipping away, and with the state of the race as it is, the election possibly, irrevocably, too. (Douglas E. Schoen, Foxnews.com, 6/1/2012)
Yeah, and our 401(k)s got whacked by another 2%+ plus as a result. Remember RedStateVT's prediction: President Romney equals an immediate 500 points to the DJIA.