Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Slow, Depressed, Weak
The American economy slowed drastically in the first quarter of 2014, as wintry weather depressed corporate spending and housing sector activity, while weak exports and smaller additions to inventories by businesses also held back growth. (New York Times, 4/30/2014)
Does Obama own the economy...yet?
Stop whining, Mr. President. And stop whiffing.
You simply proclaim what you believe as though you know it to be absolutely true, hoping we recognize the truth of it, and, if we don’t, then we’ve disappointed you again.
It doesn’t feel like leadership. It doesn’t feel like you’re in command of your world.
The Times’s Mark Landler, who traveled with the president on his Asia trip, reported that Obama will try to regain the offensive, including a graduation address at West Point putting his foreign policy in context.
Mr. President, don’t you know that we’re speeched out? It’s not what we need right now.
But now when captured alone in a picture, you seem disconnected and adrift. (Maureen Dowd, New York Times, 4/29/2014)
When you've lost Maureen Dowd (who writes her first non-Bush column in five years), your presidency is pretty much over.
The difference for Mr. Obama may be the gap between what his supporters expected and what they now see.
“The arts are often a left or progressive community,” said Nato Thompson, the chief curator at Creative Time, a public arts group in New York City that sponsors and promotes art exhibitions around the country. “There are a lot of people being let down by a president they were very enthusiastic about. There’s a big sense of betrayal.” (New York Times, 4/30/2014)
CLARIFICATION: When you have lost Maureen Dowd AND Hollywood, your presidency is pretty much over.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Breitbart News and others have chronicled the "Unmatched failure" that Cover Oregon has now officially become. As was pointed out on March 20 of this year, "The Oregon Obamacare exchange has received $305 million in taxpayer-funded federal grants, spent $160 million on its busted website, dropped $10 million on hipster promotional ads, erroneously enrolled 4,000 illegal immigrants in full Oregon Health Plan coverage contrary to federal law, and has not enrolled a single Oregonian online." (Breitbart.com, 4/24/2014)
There certainly is something to be said about Liberals, isn't there? Massive waste of taxpayer dollars for failed ventures such as Solyndra and Cover Oregon does not faze them one bit. Of course, it does not hurt that it is tax dollars from wealthy Republican 1%ers that are financing all their wacky social experiments.
DC Prep operates four charter schools here with 1,200 students in preschool through eighth grade. The schools, whose students are mostly poor and black, are among the highest performing in Washington. Last year, DC Prep’s flagship middle school earned the best test scores among local charter schools, far outperforming the average of the city’s traditional neighborhood schools as well. (New York Times, 4/26/2014)
Liberals - who claim to have the interests of poor, inner-city minorities at heart - really do not. As the following demonstrates:
In Washington, where the charter system has strong backing in City Hall, supporters have been more successful than in New York, where opposition from teachers unions and others has kept charter school enrollment to about 6 percent, despite growth in the past decade. (New York Times, 4/26/2014)
Liberals hypocrites would rather suppress charter schools in order to keep teachers union contributions flowing to the Democrat party.
Upon the latest exasperating delay of the Keystone XL pipeline project, our union — the Laborers’ International Union of North America — suggested that the Obama administration grow a set of antlers or take a lesson from Popeye and eat some spinach.
After all, the evidence points to federal approval of the pipeline. After nearly six years of delay, thousands of pages of research, five environmental impact statements confirming the evidence and millions of public comments, a pipeline that could put thousands of Americans to work and help ensure our nation’s energy security remains stalled.
The evidence is clear: It’s the politics that are tricky. And that’s where courage comes in. (Terry O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), Wall Street Journal, 4/24/2014)
OK, Mr. O'Sullivan, well said. Now is your union going to do the right thing and vote Republican? Nothing changes if you do not....
But with the prospect of an even higher office on the horizon, Mr. Walker finds his earlier track record under increasing scrutiny, not only for how closely it hews to conservative principles but also for the criminal convictions of some staff members and the release of staff emails that included racial and ethnic slurs. (New York Times, 4/27/2014)
In its ongoing series - Roughing Up Potential GOP Presidential Candidates - the Times pivots away from Chris Christie to begin the smear job on Scott Walker. Up next on the Dem side: Hillary and Chelsea go shopping for baby clothes!
The Vermont Workers Center is holding a demonstration at the Vermont Statehouse on May 1 to bring attention to “fundamental rights,” namely universal health care, paid sick leave, affordable housing, better educational opportunities and livable wages for working class Vermonters.
In a post on the organization’s website, the center says lawmakers and the Shumlin administration are not paying enough attention to the problems of low-income Vermonters.
“Over the past year, we have seen these needs and rights come under attack,” Vermont Workers Center officials write. “Decisions are being made that will affect our lives for years to come, and we aren’t given a seat at the table.”
More than 25 local organizations are sponsoring the May 1 event, including several environmental groups, health care advocacy organizations, disability rights groups and unions. (VTDigger.org, 4/27/2014)
So to summarize: the Vermont Workers Center (communists) is unhappy with Vermont Progressives (socialists).
The workers/communists want more freebies paid for by others.
“Snowden is interested in returning home,” said Ben Wizner, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who also represents Mr. Snowden. “He is and always has been on America’s side. He would cooperate in extraordinary ways in the right circumstances. But he does not believe that the ‘felon’ label is the right word for someone whose act of conscience has revitalized democratic oversight of the intelligence community and is leading to historic reforms.” (New York Times, 4/29/2014)
Suggestion. Let's let 'Snowden the patriot' stew for a couple more years in Russia before bringing him back to the U.S. where he can serve his life sentence.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
In Cold War Echo, Obama Strategy Writes Off Putin (New York Times headline, 4/20/2014)
As others have noted, Candidate Obama got off a (rehearsed) line during the last campaign at Mitt Romney's expense saying something to the effect of 'the eighties wanting its foreign policy back.' And so - adding to a list which includes George Bush and Dick Cheney - Obama now owes an apology to Romney. Of course, all three are smart enough to know that they will never get one.
Even as Mr. Obama announced that eight million Americans had enrolled in the program and urged Democrats to embrace the law, those in his party are running from it rather than on it, while Republicans are prospering by demanding its repeal. (New York Times. 4/20/2014)
And why is this? Can some Democrat please explain why the party's candidates are running away from its signature legislative accomplishment?
That’s daunting enough, but here’s the key finding: The world has only about 15 years left in which to begin to bend the emissions curve downward. Otherwise, the costs of last-minute fixes will be overwhelming. “We cannot afford to lose another decade,” says Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist and co-chairman of the committee that wrote the report. “If we lose another decade, it becomes extremely costly to achieve climate stabilization.” (New York Times editorial, 4/21/2014)
Climate change deniers (yes, that includes RedStateVT) have a ball with these predictions of impending doom, particularly when they come with a specific date attached. Back in 2006, Al Gore (remember him?) predicted that the end would come in ten years. And so the ever clever Rush Limbaugh took the Gorey One up on it and posted a countdown clock on his website. It is still there today and reminds us that - according to Gore - we are down to the final two years!
Over and Over
In his opening statement, Obama asserted that "the repeal debate is and should be over. The Affordable Care Act is working." He said the same thing on April Fool's Day, though the repetition is beginning to feel like "Groundhog Day." The assertion, and especially the reassertion, that the debate is over is self-refuting, for it is simply a statement of Obama's position in the debate. (James Taranto, Wall Street Journal, 4/18/2014)
Liked this one from Taranto. In essence, if the debate is over, why is Obama still talking about it? RedStateVT has a similar observation that when Liberals are unwilling to debate an issue any longer (usually when they are losing that debate!) they simply declare the debate to be over. It's settled science!
Weeping before a polished wood coffin at her wake this past Saturday, they described Ms. Onyango, the half sister of the president’s father, as “the spirit of the Obama family” and talked about raising money to send her body back to Kenya. Mr. Obama helped pay funeral expenses and sent a condolence note, Ms. Onyango’s family members said, but the president did not attend, as he was golfing. (New York Times, 4/23/2014)
The New York Times declares that Obama's relations with his extended family are, well, "complicated." We will have to research how the Times described Ronald Reagan's relations with his children. We do not recall them saying "complicated."
Friday, April 4, 2014
Meet E.J. Dionne Jr. - The Washington Post's Most Dishonest Op-Ed Writer
Is there any accountability in American politics for being completely wrong? Is there any cost to those who say things that turn out not to be true and then, when their fabrications or false predictions are exposed, calmly move on to concocting new claims as if they had never made the old ones? (E.J. Dionne Jr., Washington Post, 4/2/2014)
Dionne attacks Republicans for "being wrong" in insisting that Obamacare would not reach its (dubious) enrollment targets. Any four year old would recognize that his point can easily be turned around to indict Obama. Only it is worse in Obama's case because he was not just wrong about his "You can keep your insurance plan/doctor/hospital" assurances. He actually lied...willfully. So, E.J., where is the accountability that you so desperately crave?
And as to the White House grandstanding on the enrollment numbers, let's turn to Hollywood (not generally known for giving Obama much pushback) for an explanation:
That’s right, the White House said that it surpassed its goal for people enrolled in ObamaCare. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you make something mandatory and fine people if they don't do it. And then keep extending the deadline for months. It’s like a Cinderella story. It’s just a beautiful thing. You make everyone do it. Isn’t it great how many people do it? But if you still haven't enrolled, you might have to pay a penalty called the individual shared responsibility payment, which is 1% of your salary. Then Americans said, ‘Man, good thing I don't have a job. (Jimmy Fallon, from Townhall.com, 4/3/2014)
This Just In...From a While Ago
One state senator was charged with conspiring to traffic in arms from the Philippines, and taking bribes from undercover F.B.I. agents including one who posed as a marijuana dealer. Another was accused of taking bribes from federal agents impersonating Hollywood film executives. And a third was convicted of perjury and voter fraud after lying about where he lived when he ran for office.
All three are Democratic state senators from California, and their recent legal problems have brought rare bad news to a party that has come to thoroughly dominate politics in this state but now looks besieged by high-profile corruption cases. (New York Times, 4/3/2014)
News Flash: Times Breaks its Silence on (Some) Democrat Scandals!
Now what was it again that caused Harry Reid to have to return money to his campaign....?
Thursday, April 3, 2014
With the end of open enrollment, the administration must now turn its attention to a handful of practical questions that may have as much impact on the law’s success as the number of people who sign up. These include whether consumers continue to pay their share of monthly premiums, whether they have access to the doctors and hospitals they need and whether insurance companies will be required to raise premiums. (New York Times, 4/2/2014)
We already know the answers to these questions. No, no, yes.
But Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader, said she did not think the health care law would be the decisive issue in this year’s midterm elections, regardless of the intensity of the attacks leveled by Republicans.
“I never said that we would run on it,” Ms. Pelosi said in an interview. “That wasn’t why we passed it. But we are not running away from it.” In the end, she said, “elections are always about jobs and the economy.” (New York Times, 4/2/2014)
And how is that working out for Dems, Nance? The jobs and economy thing?
Saving Paul Ryan
Mr. Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman and a possible White House contender in 2016, laid out a budget plan that cuts $5 trillion in spending over the next decade. He said it would bring federal spending and taxes into balance by 2024, through steep cuts to Medicaid and food stamps, and the total repeal of the Affordable Care Act just as millions are reaping the benefits of the law.
“This is what elections are about,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee. “Budgets are the clearest roadmaps for discovering what people’s priorities are.”
Because Senate Democrats do not intend to even draft a budget this year, the Ryan plan will serve more as a political manifesto than a legislative roadmap for the 113th Congress. (New York Times, 4/2/2014)
First of all, Paul Ryan is brilliant. Think of his intellect in the VEEP chair versus the bozo we have and weep that America did not elect Mitt Romney. Second, Ryan is courageous in spelling out his budget in minute detail. In doing so, he opens himself up to Democrat nitpicking over every line item which they then turn around and campaign on. Sample Democrat party news release: Ryan budget would kill the poor!
And the most dishonest thing about Dems? They don't even have the guts to propose a budget as the Times generously points out.
Suddenly ObamaCare is a roaring success, happy days are here again and liberals are euphoric, or claim to be. There are more than a few reasons to doubt this new fairy tale, not least the behavior of Senate Democrats running for re-election this year.
In the Rose Garden Tuesday, President Obama reported that 7.1 million people had signed up so far, confirming a Monday night White House news leak. "That doesn't mean all our health-care problems have been solved forever," he conceded with customary modesty. The government appears to have tapped heretofore-unknown reserves of bureaucratic efficiency by releasing numbers timed to this campaign-style pep rally. (Wall Street Journal, 4/1/2014)
So just to be clear, 45 million people did not have health insurance. That is what the Dems told us was a major reason why America needed Obamacare. Now 7.1 million have signed up. Therefore, the percentage of people in the U.S. without health insurance went from 15% to 12.7%. And Dems score Obamacare as a raging success. Only remember that the 7.1% includes many who had health insurance before, but had to sign up because Obamacare resulted in the cancellation of their policies. Let's say, conservatively, that enrollees who were previously insured total 2 million. Obamacare then moved the uninsured percentage from 15% to 13.3%. Victory!
Of course, don't forget that 80% are getting government subsidies...
Today, we are going to discuss the Supreme Court decision on political donations. Already, we have run into a terrible problem, which is the difficulty in having a fun conversation about campaign finance laws. (Gail Collins, New York Times, 4/3/2014)
Typically dishonest op-ed piece by a New York Times Liberal. Collins decries the Supreme Court ruling on campaign donations while mentioning the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson. Geez, Ms. Collins, are there any billionaires who give lots of money to Democrat candidates? Maybe you could Google it...
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Well, the Shumlin administration has established a precedent for ignoring deadlines set in state law to detail funding plans. He has declined to produce a plan for funding universal health care despite having signed a law that said he would by last year. (Burlington Free Press, 3/31/2014)
Shummy no doubt has learned from the Obama administration that flouting the law is perfectly acceptable.
GM Celebrity Pitchman
“That program (Cash for Clunkers) was good for automakers, consumers, and our environment and the Chevy Cobalt that you build here was one of GM’s most sought-after cars under that program. Dealers across the country started running out of it and needed you to build more.” (President Barack Obama)
Thanks to Jim Geraghty (Nationalreview.com, 4/1/2014) for reminding us of this as hearings open on Capitol Hill on deaths attributable to Barack Obama's favorite GM model.
The public spats between outside groups are nothing compared with the private finger-pointing over who could be responsible if Republicans ride a political wave this year. The moderate wing is prepared to blame the party for avoiding centrist initiatives like free-trade deals and entitlement reform, while the Left will argue party leaders didn't do enough to protect benefits. (Nationaljournal.com, 3/30/2014)
Let the Democrat party finger-pointing begin. You are forgiven if you were not aware of schisms among Democrats. The Legitimate Media has been too busy reporting on the Tea Party.
The “imperial presidency” message has also been good for fund-raising. A recent email by the National Republican Congressional Committee warned, “Barack Obama thinks he’s above the law and can do anything he wants with the help of his friends, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.”
Then the email moved in for the kill: “Contribute $100, $50, $25 or what you can so that we can continue to defend Americans from Obama’s power grabs and massive government overreach.” (New York Times, 4/1/2014)
Imagine if you will the Wall Street Journal writing about Democrat party fundraising and using the expression: "moved in for the kill." The hysteria would go on for weeks. Republicans would have to issue rebukes; Congressional hearings would be held; and the reporter would be fired.
Administration officials realized when the fiasco was unfolding last fall that nothing mattered in the first year except getting people on the program — and so they did whatever was necessary to HealthCare.gov to make signing up easy. Those fixes are likely to lead to a large percentage of erroneous subsidy payments, as controls and other checks were turned off. That’s clearly a price the administration will gladly pay to get more people onto the program. (James C. Capretta, Nationalreview.com, 4/1/2014)
Here is the next Obamacare horror story that we will hear about: the bribery that was used to get people to sign up. Today there will be endless rounds of high fives among Democrats about the number of sign-ups. But the Obamacare methodology has not fundamentally changed. Any and all problems are simply pushed down the road. There will be a day of reckoning.