Archive for the ‘Obama’ Category
Ron Fournier’s article about Wednesday’s IRS hearing is sloppily written. It doesn’t show he’s interested in accuracy:
Conservatives are applauding Issa for shutting down a Democrat. Without evidence, the Right has convicted Lerner, the IRS, the White House, and President Obama of abuse of power.
Conservatives like me applaud Chairman Issa for shutting off Rep. Cummings’ microphone in the middle of a political stunt aimed at deflecting attention from the latest Lerner emails:
I might be crazy but I’ll bet most judges would admit that as evidence. That’s Mr. Fournier’s accusation of convicting Lerner without proof just disappeared. That’s before talking about how Ms. Lerner said something that sounded like a motive for targeting TEA Party organizations.
BTW, that dismisses the Democrats’ protestations that progressive c(4)’s were targeted with equal vigor. Prior to the Citizens United ruling, progressive organizations had applied for and been granted c(4) status. They’d been operating under that part of the Internal Revenue Code for decades. The biggest influx of c(4) applications came from TEA Party organizations and organizations like True the Vote.
That’s before talking about the fact that no progressive organizations have filed a lawsuit demanding that the IRS hadn’t approved or rejected their application for c(4) status. If Lerner and the IRS had applied the same policies equally to both parties, shouldn’t these progressive organizations be complaining about inaction on their applications, too?
The dog that isn’t barking often speaks loudest.
The kid that cries wolf the loudest often isn’t credible. In this instance, Mr. Fournier is crying wolf. Clearly, he isn’t paying attention to the proof that Chairman Issa asked Ms. Lerner about. While Ms. Lerner took the Fifth, Chairman Issa read into the record emails showing Ms. Lerner expressing her worries that she didn’t want Cincinnati working on the TEA Party organizations’ c(4) applications. Additionally, she didn’t want it to look too political while DC fiddled with the TEA Party organizations’ c(4) applications.
That’s what I’d call getting trapped in God’s little acre — east of the rock, west of the hard place. At this point, I’d certainly take the Fifth if I were in Ms. Lerner’s predicament. Thankfully, I’m not foolish enough to put myself in such a difficult position.
Over the past week, I’ve highlighted the fact that Julianne Ortman said she didn’t favor repealing Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act. Since one of the quotes was from the Star and Sickle, aka the Star Tribune, it’s fitting that conservatives question whether the Strib got the quote wrong. This video should dispel any worries that they misquoted Ms. Ortman:
If that doesn’t satisfy people that Julianne Ortman doesn’t favor repealing Obamacare, nothing will. Defeating Franken is one of Minnesotans’ top priorities this November. We won’t have a chance to fire Franken this November if our candidate sounds like Al Franken.
We know this because Mitt Romney couldn’t carry the attack to President Obama on Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, because Obama would hit him on Romneycare each time Romney brought up the ACA. Does anyone think that Franken and his allies won’t highlight these statements if she’s the candidate? Of course they will.
If we want to deal with this from a position of strength, we can’t have a compromised candidate. It’s that simple.
Just when President Obama, Vice President Biden, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. This article provides the salt for these clowns’ open wounds:
First, Sarah Palin. In 2008, the Alaskan conservative warned that Putin was on the prowl. Quote: “After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of moral indecision and equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”
Wow. Mrs Palin not only got the country that Putin would threaten right, she also predicted the reason behind it. Obama’s “indecision and equivalence” over Iran, Egypt and, most importantly, Syria, has probably encouraged Putin to believe that there would be next-to-no Western response to an attack on Ukraine.
This was highly predictable. It’s only surprising to the children at Foggy Bottom and in the West Wing. They either didn’t see this coming or they didn’t care. History won’t award a gold star to any of these fools for their decisions prior to Russia’s invading Crimea. (A dunce’s cap for each is the better fit.)
Unfortunately for the Feckless Foursome, the humiliation doesn’t (and shouldn’t) stop there:
Second, Mitt Romney. Romney’s foreign policy approach was broadly mocked in 2012. The country was keen to withdraw from overseas conflict in the wake of Iraq and Afghanistan and Mitt’s vague neo-conservatism seemed out of step with the public mood. Sometimes, said the critics, it came off as something that his advisers were coaching him to say; a nod and a hint to AIPAC rather than a strongly held belief. Rachel Maddow concluded, “It’s not just that Romney is uninformed; it’s that he hasn’t figured out how to fake it.”
Romney confirmed the sceptics’ worst fears when he described Russia as America’s “number one geopolitical foe.” Barack Obama lashed out with some adolescent sass: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because. The Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”
Actually, people who lived through the 80′s are praying that we’d that type of leadership back. That was when Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John-Paul II brought down the Soviet Empire. That was when Jeane Kirkpatrick and Lech Walesa contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Feckless Foursome didn’t notice or didn’t care that Putin still thinks that the collapse of the Soviet Union was “the collapse of the century“:
Mr Putin therefore went out of his way to extol the virtues of democracy and talk up Russia’s potential for foreign investment. He lamented, however, the collapse of the USSR in 1991, calling it “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe”.
That’s quite the contrast in sobriety. The Feckless Foursome insisted that Russia was a friend that didn’t have expansionist goals, despite Putin’s expansionist rhetoric. While Rachel Maddow was making herself look stupid, Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin said unpopular things that turned out to be 100% right.
Finally, I’d love asking Mrs. Clinton how that reset button thingy is working out lately.
Technorati: President Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Reset Button, Vladimir Putin, Russian Bear, Soviet Empire, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Ronald Reagan, Tear Down This Wall, George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Pope John-Paul II, Lech Walesa, National Security, Cold War
When it comes to MNsure spin, Scott Leitz’s spin ranks right up there. Here’s what he said:
MNsure’s interim CEO Scott Leitz appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.
“With regards to the private side, we are running about 30,000 right now, but we do anticipate because of the mandate that people have health insurance coverage by March 31,” Leitz said.
Notice that Leitz didn’t say that they anticipate people enrolling because MNsure is selling a great product. Leitz didn’t say that people would buy at the last minute because they’re having a difficult time picking between a bunch of great options at great prices either. What Leitz said in this unguarded moment of truth is that people would buy health insurance because the government pointed a gun at their head.
It remains to be seen if Leitz’s prediction is right. I’m betting it isn’t because President Obama might delay imposing the individual mandate because it’s as unworkable as other parts of the ACA are. If that happens, people will have an additional incentive to not buy insurance. If people choose not to buy health insurance, health insurance prices will skyrocket. Not just that but there’s another important thing that likely will happen if people don’t sign up:
Only about one third signed up for private insurance plans, far below the projected numbers. That’s a problem because starting in 2015, money to fund MNsure is supposed to come from a tax on those private plans. If that trend continues, MNsure will face a substantial deficit and taxpayers may have to bail out the program.
If Minnesotans don’t flock to MNsure, MNsure will run a significant deficit that taxpayers will have to cover. This MNsure report indicates that MNsure won’t reach its targets. According to the report, 41,591 individuals have enrolled in Medical Assistance, 29,943 individuals have enrolled in qualified health plans (QHPs), while 21,414 individuals have enrolled in MinnesotaCare. According to the chart on page 4 of the report, approximately 3,500 people have signed up for QHPs this year. That’s approximately 3,500 individuals signing up between 1/4/2014 and 2/8/2014. That’s a little over 100 enrollments per day.
That’s stunning. MNsure needs to go from 29,500 individuals enrolled on 2/8/2014 to having 69,900 individuals enrolled on 4/1/2014. If enrollments continue at a pace of 100 enrollees per day between 2/8/2014 and 4/1/2014, they’ll have 34,600 individuals enrolled on April 1. At that pace, they’d fall short of their goal by 35,300 people.
That’s just part of the terrible news. According to the latest data, only 21% of the people signing up for QHPs are in the 19-34 age group. If that percentage doesn’t double by April 1, next year’s premiums will jump through the proverbial roof. If MNsure falls that far short of their goal, Minnesotans would be totally justified in thinking of that the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, isn’t affordable.
It isn’t surprising that Mr. Leitz’s spin got past Ms. Murphy’s attention. What won’t escape people’s attention if they’re buying health insurance is the fact that it’s expensive.
Thanks to George Will’s response to Chris Wallace’s question about climate change, we have clarity on the issue:
Here’s a partial transcript of Brother Will’s response:
GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: …I’m one of those who are called deniers. And the implication is that I deny climate change. It’s impossible to state with clearer precision the opposite of my view, which is that, of course the climate is changing. It’s always changing. That’s what gave us the medieval warm period. That’s what gave us, subsequent to that for centuries, the little Ice Age. Of course it’s changing. When a politician on a subject implicating science, hard science, economic science, social science, says the debate is over, you may be sure of two things. The debate is raging and he’s losing it. So I think, frankly, as a policy question, Chris, Holman Jenkins, Kim’s colleague at the “Wall Street Journal” put it perfectly. The only questions is, how much money are we going to spend? How much wealth are we going to forego creating in order to have zero discernible effect on the environment?
There’s actually another question worth asking in light of President Obama’s recent golf outing in California:
Regulations for new coal plants would increase electricity prices by as much as 80 percent, an Obama administration official told lawmakers on Tuesday.
Julio Friedmann, deputy assistant secretary for clean coal at the DEPArtment of Energy, told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight board that carbon capture and storage technology was still not ready for prime time.
“The precise number will vary, but for first generation we project $70 to $90 per ton [on the wholesale price of electricity],” Friedmann said. “For second generation, it will be more like a $40 to $50 per ton price. Second generation of demonstrations will begin in a few years, but won’t be until middle of the next decade that we will have lessons learned and cost savings.”
This means that the CCS technology the administration is pushing for would increase electricity prices initially, but that prices would come down a bit once better technology is developed. But electricity prices would still be higher than they are now.
It’s disgusting that President Obama insists that he’s the champion of the middle class. The middle class will get hit hardest by this rate increase. While it isn’t technically a middle class tax increase, there’s no question that this is another Obama administration policy that hurts the middle class.
President Obama is the champion of the middle class the way Bonnie and Clyde were bank security advocates.
Technorati: Climate Change, President Obama, Cap And Trade, Medieval Warm Period, Climate Change Deniers, Middle Class Squeeze, Middle Class Tax Increase, Democrats, George Will, Chris Wallace, Fox News, Holman Jenkins, Wall Street Journal
I’ve written this post and this post about Al Franken’s fundraising appeals. Mostly, Franken’s fundraising appeals have been long on Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, the TEA Party and Citizens United. In other words, they’re a collection of the Democrats’ favorite boogeymen.
This morning, I got an email from Jorge Bonilla who is running against Alan Grayson. Here’s part of Bonilla’s fundraising appeal:
We are well over eight months away fron Election Day 2014, yet Alan Grayson is already invoking each and every one of the Left’s boogeymen in his fundraising appeals.
It’s only February, yet Grayson has already issued pro-forma denunciations of Fox News, Sean Hannity, the energy sector, has compared the Tea Party to the Ku Klux Klan, and most recently, has smeared our veterans while attacking the eeeeeeevil Koch Brothers.
Of course, such attacks are pure hypocrisy coming from Alan Grayson. The non-partisan and independent Center for Responsive Politics is dedicated to tracking the influence of money in our election process, and they have compiled a list of the largest political donors over the last 25 years.
The scary “Kochtopus” is all the way down at #59. But who occupies most of the top spots? You guessed it…Grayson’s Big Labor buddies. A quick crosscheck with Grayson’s top donor list confirms this inconvenient fact.
Apparently, the Congressman Without Guts feels compelled to insult our intelligence (as well as that of his own individual donor base) by performing this “outrageously tough progressive” shtick, which now includes this Koch theater.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice a pattern developing. Even intellectual midgets like Franken and Grayson could spot it. What’s obvious is that Democrats will go totally negative this election. They’ll criticize the entire panoply of conservative ‘boogeymen’ for this nation’s ills rather than admit that it’s their policies that’ve failed. They’ll do whatever it takes to distract people from the ACA disaster. They’ll insist that they’re pushing back against President Obama and ‘holding him accountable’ for the disastrous performance of HealthCare.gov while criticizing Republicans for wanting to repeal the law that’s causing health insurance prices to jump.
The Democratic playbook for this election is simple. To hold onto the U.S. Senate, Democrats will attempt to portray Republicans as utterly beholden to special interests out to destroy America’s middle class. They’ll do this while accepting money from environmental organizations while pretending to be friends of the private sector unions who want to build the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Their message will essentially be ‘Don’t vote for Republicans because they’re scary.’ Meanwhile, they didn’t notice that they’re the ‘Scary Characters Party’. While it’s too early to predict the Franken and Grayson races with anything approaching sanity, it isn’t too early to predict that this won’t be a good year for Democrats.
The only thing left to determine is how bad it’ll be.
Technorati: Alan Grayson, Al Franken, Democrat Boogeymen, Karl Rove, TEA Party, Koch Brothers, Sean Hannity, Fox News, Smear Campaign, HealthCare.gov, President Obama, Democrats, Jorge Bonilla, GOP, Election 2014
This video shows some ecoterrorists trespassing on Mark Maki’s private property:
This is the unhinged, despicable left terrorizing a private citizen on his private property. That didn’t matter to them. This article fills in the details from that act of terrorism:
Masked protesters carrying torches and threatening organized violence protested outside the home of an executive at a major oil pipeline company last week. Eight environmental activists gathered on the lawn of Mark Maki, a member of the Enbridge Energy Company’s board of directors and president of Enbridge Energy Management, to protest the arrests of three anti-pipeline activists last year.
The protesters, who brandished torches for a photo posted online, held a sign warning, “solidarity means attack” and “we will shut you down.”
Maki stepped out of his Houston, Texas, home to talk with the protesters, though he said he was not familiar with their grievances. “It’s 10 o’ clock at night, I’m happy to discuss it, [but] not here, not in my neighborhood, not with my neighbors around,” Maki told them.
As protesters stood on Maki’s lawn, they told him that Enbridge is “criminalizing protest” by testifying against three anti-pipeline activists who were recently convicted of criminal trespassing for chaining themselves to Enbridge construction equipment in July.
There’s no denying the fact that these terrorists are criminals. What’s stunning is that their actions are accepted by supposedly mainstream environmental organizations:
Anti-pipeline activism has recently spurred even nominally mainstream environmental groups to endorse criminal activity.
The Sierra Club, one of the most prominent environmentalist groups in the country, gave its official endorsement last year to acts of civil disobedience as a means to stop the popular Keystone pipeline.
Anti-pipeline activism has become a pillar of the post-Al Gore environmentalist movement, which has found it to be an effective issue around which to rally its supporters.
It isn’t just environmentalists that terrorize people at their homes:
Last Sunday, on a peaceful, sun-crisp afternoon, our toddler finally napping upstairs, my front yard exploded with 500 screaming, placard-waving strangers on a mission to intimidate my neighbor, Greg Baer. Baer is deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America, a senior executive based in Washington, D.C. And that, in the minds of the organizers at the politically influential Service Employees International Union and a Chicago outfit called National Political Action, makes his family fair game.
Waving signs denouncing bank “greed,” hordes of invaders poured out of 14 school buses, up Baer’s steps, and onto his front porch. As bullhorns rattled with stories of debtor calls and foreclosed homes, Baer’s teenage son Jack, alone in the house, locked himself in the bathroom. “When are they going to leave?” Jack pleaded when I called to check on him.
President Obama, when he was still candidate Obama, stated proudly that he’d marched with SEIU. SEIU is considered a central part of today’s Democratic Party, as is the Sierra Club.
Altogether too often, the Democratic Party has turned a blind eye towards the Sierra Club or SEIU when they’ve condoned terrorizing private citizens. Altogether too often, they’ve essentially said that the ends justify the means. In the Democrats’ minds, evil is acceptable when it’s used to terrorize one of the Democrats’ boogeymen.
Terrorism, whether it’s used against Mark Maki or Greg Baer, isn’t acceptable. If the Democratic Party doesn’t want to be known as the party that condones terrorism, needs to start standing up to these terrorists. If they don’t, the Democratic Party should be known as the party that appeases terrorists.
According to top US intelligence officials, al-Qa’ida is morphing so it can fight other fights:
“Is al Qaeda on the run and on the path to defeat?” Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-OK, asked in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper responded, “No, it is morphing and and franchising itself and not only here but other areas of the world.” Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, added, “They are not.”
Former President George W. Bush asserted that that al Qaeda network was “on the run” as early as October 2001. President Obama adopted the phrase and used it repeatedly on the campaign trail in 2012. Touting his foreign policy record, Mr. Obama often said, “al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.”
What’s troubling about this testimony is that it indicates this administration’s policies are flawed. While President Obama loves talking about taking out core al-Qa’ida, it doesn’t say what it’s doing to gather intelligence that’s capable of rolling up entire networks.
The Obama administration has trumpeted its successes in killing terrorists with drone strikes. They certainly trumpeted the killing of bin Laden. What they didn’t do is keep these victories quiet, giving terrorists information that helped them quickly adjust.
Further, this isn’t doing anything to adjust to al-Qa’ida’s changing identity, which is needed to thwart future attacks. Most importantly, though, is that this administration has stopped hunting al-Qa’ida where it lives. It’s frustrating knowing that America’s withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan is turning territory once taken from al-Qa’ida is now being given back to al-Qa’ida and the Taliban.
If al-Qa’ida sees that the US is exiting the Middle East and north Africa, they’ll know that they’ll soon be controlling large chunks of real estate that can quickly be turned into terrorist training camps. In short, President Obama is giving back the victories President Bush won.
President Obama won’t admit this but al-Qa’ida isn’t on the run. It’s growing its control of large parts of the developing world. Simply put, they’re achieving their goals. We’re failing at achieving our goals.
This exchange between overmatched Ron Fournier and Charles Krauthammer is the stuff that President Obama’s nightmares are made of:
Here’s a partial transcript of the segment:
KRAUTHAMMER: But generally speaking you get past the next election by changing your policies, by announcing new initiatives, but not by wantonly changing the law lawlessly. This is stuff you do in a banana republic. It’s as if the law is simply a blackboard on which Obama writes any number he wants, any delay he wants, and any provision.
It’s now reached a point where it is so endemic that nobody even notices or complains. I think if the complaints had started with the first arbitrary changes, and these are are not adjustments or transitions. These are political decisions to minimize the impact leading up to an election. And it’s changing the law in a way that you are not allowed to do.
Fournier didn’t have a rejoinder when Charles said “It isn’t incompetence. It’s the willful breaking of the constitutional order. Where in the Constitution is the president allowed to alter the law 27 times after it has been passed?” Fournier did write something approaching intellectual honesty when he wrote this article. Unfortunately, he’s still bitterly clinging to the thought that the ACA might still work. Here’s is the opening of the article:
It’s getting difficult and slinking toward impossible to defend the Affordable Care Act. The latest blow to Democratic candidates, liberal activists, and naïve columnists like me came Monday from the White House, which announced yet another delay in the Obamacare implementation.
For the second time in a year, certain businesses were given more time before being forced to offer health insurance to most of their full-time workers. Employers with 50 to 99 workers were given until 2016 to comply, two years longer than required by law. During a yearlong grace period, larger companies will be required to insure fewer employees than spelled out in the law.
Not coincidentally, the delays punt implementation beyond congressional elections in November, which raises the first problem with defending Obamacare: The White House has politicized its signature policy.
The win-at-all-cost mentality helped create a culture in which a partisan-line vote was deemed sufficient for passing transcendent legislation. It spurred advisers to develop a dishonest talking point—”If you like your health plan, you’ll be able to keep your health plan.” And political expediency led Obama to repeat the line, over and over and over again, when he knew, or should have known, it was false.
Mr. Fournier and other journalists shouldn’t have been that intellectually incurious. They should’ve questioned the ACA while it was being written. Furthermore, he shouldn’t still cling to the notion that it’ll work. Unfortunately, that’s what he’s doing for all the wrong reasons:
Put me in the frustrated category. I want the ACA to work because I want health insurance provided to the millions without it, for both the moral and economic benefits. I want the ACA to work because, as Charles Lane wrote for The Washington Post, the link between work and insurance needs to be broken. I want the ACA to work because the GOP has not offered a serious alternative that can pass Congress.
Fournier’s anti-conservative blind spot still exists. Saying that “the GOP hasn’t offered a serious plan that can pass Congress” is giving Harry Reid a pass. The Patient CARE Act will do the things that the ACA was supposed to do without raising taxes. It isn’t the Republicans’ fault that Sen. Reid is so intransigent that he’ll do anything to sabotage plans that might help families. It isn’t the Republicans’ fault that Sen. Reid is willing to do anything to keep President Obama’s signature legislation from getting declared a total failure before he leaves office.
Why won’t Fournier take Sen. Reid to task for being intransigent? Why won’t he ask him tough questions about why he won’t consider legislation that’s a serious attempt to fix what’s broken in the ACA? When Mr. Fournier is willing to take off his ideological blinders, then I’ll pay attention to him.
At this point, he isn’t a serious man because he isn’t willing to take those blinders off.
Technorati: Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, President Obama, Ron Fournier, Agenda Media, Progressive Movement, Charles Krauthammer, Constitution, Patient CARE Act, Dr. Tom Coburn, Republicans, Election 2014
After the Obama administration’s announcement that they were postponing the employer mandate another time, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus issued this statement:
The Obama Administration is failing to deal with ObamaCare because it is simply bad law. After refusing to accept bipartisan changes to the law, the administration is unilaterally making it up as they go along. Whether you are an American worker, employer, a union member or healthcare provider, you’ve had enough. What’s the remedy? Elections matter. Democrats may try hiding from President Obama on the campaign trail, but when it comes to his signature accomplishment, ObamaCare, each Democrat Senator up for reelection this year helped make it a reality.
That statement is forgettable. It represents a lost opportunity to pound a big nail in Obamacare’s coffin. Here’s the statement I would’ve written if I was in charge of the RNC’s messaging:
Rather than admitting that his signature issue is a failure, President Obama announced he was delaying the employer mandate. Again. The American people know that the Affordable Care Act isn’t affordable. People are paying more and getting less. Families’ premiums and deductibles are higher. Their networks are smaller. All too often, they’re being told that they can’t continue seeing the doctors that they’ve trustded for years.
Obamacare is the wrong perscription for a difficult situation. Dr. Tom Coburn, working with his Senate colleagues, has put together a plan that does what Obamacare was supposed to do. It addresses the problem of insuring people with pre-existing conditions. It lets families buy insurance across state lines. It lowers health care costs. Unlike Obamacare, it does all this without raising taxes.
Obamacare is killing jobs. The Patient CARE Act will create jobs and unleash the awesome job-creating power of American entrepreneurs. Families need good-paying full-time jobs. Families can’t wait through another delay to a failed bill.
This morning, Mark Halperin said what others hadn’t said:
At some point, we’ll reach a tipping point. I suspect we’re fast approaching that point. Charles Krauthammer is more skeptical of the bill than I am:
Mssrs. Halperin and Krauthammer are right that Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, is killing jobs and the decision to delay another part of the employer mandate screams of survival politics at its worst.
Technorati: Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee, Patient CARE Act, Repeal And Replace, Dr. Tom Coburn, Orrin Hatch, Richard Burr, GOP, President Obama, Employer Mandate, Democrats, Election 2014