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Recently, President Obama’s sympathizers have tried making the case that he’s as consequential as Ronald Reagan. If they define consequential as doing historic things that are disastrous, then President Obama has been consequential.

Obamacare is an unmitigated disaster. Premiums are sharply higher. Deductibles have exploded. Choices are fewer. Networks are limited. We’re forced into buying policies that cover things that we don’t need. We couldn’t keep our doctors even though we were promised that we could.

Despite that, President Obama insists that he’s protected the middle class:

After having a friendly chat on the tarmac at LaCrosse Regional Airport with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, President Obama made fun of the GOP field jockeying to succeed him and ripped into Walker’s actions as governor.

“You all have enough for an actual Hunger Games,” Obama said about the large Republican presidential field. “That is an interesting bunch,” he quipped before explaining why trickle-down economics doesn’t work.

He said that many of the contenders are proposing ideas that they say would benefit the middle class. “Tammy, Ron, me — we were talking about the middle class before it was cool,” he said referring to Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Rep. Ron Kind, whose district encompasses LaCrosse, who were in the audience at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse auditorium. “We were talking about it before the polls” said politicians “should be talking about it,” he added.

Mr. President, talking about the middle class isn’t the same as improving middle class lives. President Reagan created more high-paying union jobs than you’ve created jobs. That’s before talking about how many companies shifted from full-time employees to “29ers.” Mr. President, is it a triumph that companies shifted from full-time jobs to part-time jobs?

That’s what Obamacare did. It also created “49ers.” Let’s review. 29ers are employees whose hours were cut from 40 hours to 29 hours to avoid having to provide health insurance to the. 49ers are companies that’ve chosen to not expand past 49 employees so they don’t have to comply with the employer mandate.

In September, 1983, the US economy created 1,100,000 good-paying full-time jobs. Thanks to President Reagan’s policies, we had 6 straight quarters of economic growth of more than 5%. Internationally, the United States vanquished the Evil Empire, aka the Soviet Union. President Obama resurrected it. Israel knew it could count the United States as a steadfast ally. President Obama couldn’t push Israel to the side quickly enough.

Thanks to President Obama’s policies of non-intervention, the global terrorist network is expanding rapidly. President Reagan’s policies of militarism checked Soviet expansionist policies.

We’ll be cleaning up President Obama’s messes for years. By comparison, President Reagan’s economic policies ushered in a quarter century of unprecedented economic growth.

It’s becoming a matter of routine to hear that Scott Walker is leading in another poll or that he’s won another straw poll. Gov. Walker was the final speaker at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, where he won another straw poll with surprising strength:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got some of Philadelphia’s brotherly love in a Republican straw poll of declared and presumptive presidential candidates this weekend.

But Scott Walker got more.

The Wisconsin governor left the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference with 25.3 percent of the poll, taken among the 600-plus party leaders and activists from 20 states who attended, according to a news release from the event. Christie won 11.6 percent, taking second place. He edged out Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who had 11 percent. Rounding out the top five were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who tied with 9.6 percent.

Gov. Walker’s message is simple: he’s a fighter that wins:

Seeking to differentiate himself from some of his potential rivals who serve in Congress or have been out of office for some time, Mr. Walker said he was a unique combination of fighter and election and policy victor. “We fight the good fight and win those fights over and over and over again,” he said.

It’s impossible to argue with Gov. Walker’s history of success. The record speaks for itself. If ever there was an election that showed elections aren’t about the past, this is that election. Gov. Walker appears able to fight and win on that turf, too:

Mr. Walker also mocked the president on national security, citing Mr. Obama’s recent speech in which he said climate change was the biggest threat facing America. “I’ve got a message for you, Mr. President. The number one threat to the military, the number one threat to America, the number one threat to the world is radical Islam. It’s time we do something about it,” he said to roaring cheers.

President Obama admitted that he doesn’t have a complete strategy to defeat ISIS. Unfortunately for solutions-oriented Americans of all political stripes, that isn’t surprising. It’s just disappointing. It’s impossible to think of President Obama as a policy wonk. It’s impossible to think of him as anything more than a political hack.

Saying that climate change is the “biggest threat facing America” requires mocking. Thankfully, there are several serious conservative candidates who are capable of taking over as commander-in-chief. Right now, the one winning the straw polls and leading in the polls is Gov. Walker.

This video is one of the most intense, emotional and unforgettable videos I’ve ever seen. I won’t be surprised if I never forget it:

Representatives for the 9 victims of the Charleston church shooting were given the option of making a statement to the confessed gunman. While some representatives chose not to make a statement, the representatives who spoke through their pain and forgave the shooter despite their intense pain. Here’s a sampling of their statements:

“You have killed some of the most beautifulest people that I know,” Felecia Sanders, mother of victim Tywanza Sanders, told Dylann Roof, speaking from the courtroom. “Every fiber in my body hurts … May God have mercy on you.”

The daughter of Ethel Lance, another of the nine victims in the Wednesday night attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, had a similar message for the 21-year-old alleged killer, who police believe attended a Bible study meeting at the church, where he was embraced by strangers only to open fire on them for no apparent reason. “You hurt a lot of people,” she said, “But I forgive you.”

“Repent. Confess. Give your life to the one who matters the most, Christ, so He can change your ways no matter what happens to you and you’ll be OK,” said Anthony Thompson, who represented the family of victim Myra Thompson.

Thursday, the nation heard too often from politicians pandering to their political supporters during a time of grief. It’s understatement to say that they disgraced themselves. Hillary Clinton and President Obama were particularly offensive in that respect.

Friday, America heard from the victims’ families. Through their grief, they still managed to live out the things Pastor Clementa Pinckney taught them at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. With their statements, they taught our ‘leaders’ how to lead. Citizens showed us how to unite our nation. Hillary and President Obama failed miserably at uniting the nation.

To be fair, not all political leaders failed in striking a uniting tone. Ben Carson shined in his attempt to be a uniter:

CARSON: The heart of the matter is not guns. The heart of the matter is the heart, the heart and soul of people. This young man didn’t wake up yesterday and suddenly turn into a maniac. Clearly there have been things in his background, in his upbringing that led to the type of mentality that would allow him to do something like this. And one of the things that I think we really need to start concentrating on in this country is once again instilling the right kinds of values, particularly in our young people. We’re so busy giving away all of our values and principles for the sake of political correctness that we have people floating around out there with no solid foundation of beliefs.

Guns aren’t the problem. They’re inanimate objects, capable of inflicting incredible pain or stopping senseless violence. Guns are just the tool of choice used by evil people to destroy human life.

Thankfully, the people representing the victims of this senseless violence understand that. I’d rejoice if our ‘leaders’ figured that out instead of their grandstanding.

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The last 2 nights, Megyn Kelly has featured Amherst University’s decision to expel a student after a woman accused him of rape. Here’s the video of Monday night’s segment:

There’s no excuse for what Amherst University did. First, the fact that a woman waited 2 years before ‘reporting’ a rape should’ve been a hint to Amherst that this case should be viewed with a healthy bit of skepticism. Second, after the alleged rape was reported, the female student’s texts were recovered from a third party. They showed that the female student did more than consent to having sex. The texts showed she initiated sexual contact. In fact, it went further than that. After having sex with the man she accused of raping her, she texted another male student and asked him to “entertain” her.

It’s disturbing is that Amherst didn’t reverse the male student’s ejection from Amherst after the texts were discovered. What’s more disturbing is that the accused student wasn’t allowed representation. Further, it was against US Department of Education rules to let that female student to be cross-examined by the male student’s attorney because it might be a traumatic experience for the accuser.

This unnamed male student has hired legal counsel. They’re likely to file a lawsuit against Amherst and the Department of Education for violating the student’s due process rights. If ever there was a slam dunk case, this is it. Amherst didn’t show any interest in the accused student’s constitutional rights. The accused student was stripped of his ability to defend himself. When exculpatory evidence was discovered and presented to Amherst, it was treated as if it didn’t exist.

This is the video of last night’s segment on the Amherst story:

That the US Department of Education put together these guidelines that leave students essentially defenseless against accusers is disgusting. Brit Hume is right. It’s an article of faith that there’s a culture of rape on college campuses. The studies that purport to show this epidemic have been thoroughly discredited. Another thing that’s disgusting is that the US Department of Education would implement a plan that ignores students’ constitutional rights. The DOE didn’t water down the accused students’ constitutional rights. The US DOE just threw these students’ constitutional rights out entirely.

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Earlier this week, I wrote this post about Greta van Susteren’s prediction of the King v. Burwell ruling. She predicted that the Supreme Court would rule against continuing the subsidies because the plain language is clear that only people who bought insurance through exchanges established by the state were eligible for subsidies. Let’s assume for the sake of this discussion that that’s what happens.

Then what?

Republicans fear that they’ll get blamed for the collapse of Obamacare. They shouldn’t. They should rejoice that the Supreme Court has struck down the heart of Obamacare. After a minute of rejoicing, they should then announce that they’re submitting a bill that includes the following features:

  1. The policies that people liked but couldn’t keep will again be considered QHPs, aka Qualified Health Plans.
  2. States would be given the option of either a) staying with Obamacare as it’s currently written, b) crafting their own version of a health care exchange or c) creating a hybrid that combines the best features that aren’t part of Obamacare with the best features of Obamacare.
  3. The new GOP bill would temporarily extend the subsidies 120 days so that states and the federal government can put something to replace Obamacare with.

Just saying that people can return to buying the policies that they were forced out of by Obamacare is reason for celebrating. Remember how upset people were when they got kicked off their policies that they liked? I do. They weren’t upset. They were furious and/or worried sick. Some saw it as a matter of life or death … because it was:

Everyone now is clamoring about Affordable Care Act winners and losers. I am one of the losers.

My grievance is not political; all my energies are directed to enjoying life and staying alive, and I have no time for politics. For almost seven years I have fought and survived stage-4 gallbladder cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than 2% after diagnosis. I am a determined fighter and extremely lucky. But this luck may have just run out: My affordable, lifesaving medical insurance policy has been canceled effective Dec. 31.

My choice is to get coverage through the government health exchange and lose access to my cancer doctors, or pay much more for insurance outside the exchange (the quotes average 40% to 50% more) for the privilege of starting over with an unfamiliar insurance company and impaired benefits.

It’s time to parade victims of Obamacare in front of the cameras. Let’s start with Edie Littlefield Sundby, who sarcastically wrote that she had the “privilege of starting over with an unfamiliar insurance company and impaired benefits.” Next, let’s put Jim Hoft in front of the camera to tell his story about how his supposedly substandard policy saved his life.

President Obama will undoubtedly tell Congress that he won’t re-litigate the ACA. The RNC should start the ads described earlier in this post the minute President Obama essentially says it’s his way or the highway. Here’s what the first ad should say:

NARRATOR: President Obama says he won’t re-litigate the Affordable Care Act.
EDIE LITTLEFIELD-SUNDBY: Where do I go to get my old policy that I loved dearly and that literally saved my life? President Obama, will you really stand in the way of me getting my old policy back? Sign the Republicans’ bill that would let me buy my old policy again.

That ad alone would get Democrats wobbly. Even if President Obama would veto the bill, how many Democrats in the House and Senate that are up for re-election would vote to sustain President Obama’s veto?

It’s time that Republicans grew a pair. They’re playing 3 aces like a pair of deuces.

Frank Hornstein represents a Twin Cities district. That’s why it isn’t surprising that he opposes the Sandpiper Pipeline project in northern Minnesota. What’s odd is his reason for opposing it:

Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, said many frame pipelines as a safer alternative to oil-carrying trains but that it shouldn’t be a choice between the two.

“Pipelines leak and explode and so do trains. The choice is: Are we going to continue our dependence on oil or get serious about conserving?” said Hornstein, who called the debate a symptom of “America’s gluttonous appetite for oil. The science is in, the data is screaming at us. And what goes on inside here,” he said pointing to the Capitol, “is unfortunately not helping.”

Bulletin for Hornstein: The vote is in. People love their oil-loving ways. They don’t care that we’re using lots of oil.

Americans processed all of the data that’s “screaming at us.” The perspective that Rep. Hornstein prefers lost. Actually, it got its butt kicked. It isn’t surprising, though, that Rep. Hornstein isn’t paying attention to what the American people want. He’ a hardline progressive who knows what’s best for Americans. Because knows what’s best for Americans, his policies should be implemented ASAP.

That sounds like a certain pen-wielding president who hates Congress and the courts, doesn’t it?

With all due respect to Rep. Hornstein, the American people don’t care that he thinks he knows what’s best for them. Though he’ll probably continue getting re-elected for as long as he wants, Minnesotans will reject his attitude.

Protesters carried makeshift signs and banners and chanted, “We don’t want your tar sands oil, we won’t let you kill our soil,” and “Pipelines spill, tar sands kill.”

I’d love to see the autopsy report that states that tar sands were the cause of death. These environmental activists are from the outer fringes of the outer fringe of the DFL.

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This article highlights the problem that President Obama created and that Hillary Clinton will inherit:

Jacksonville, Fla. — During those two electric Novembers, the chance to elect a black president, and then keep him in office, seized Regenia Motley’s neighborhood. Nightclubs were registering voters. Churches held fish fries after loading buses that ferried parishioners to the polls. A truck hoisted a big sign that said “Obama.” And residents waited in long lines at precincts across the community.

But as Motley and some friends sought shade recently under a mulberry tree and looked across the landscape of empty lots and abandoned houses that has persisted here, they wondered whether they would ever bother voting again. “What was the point?” asked Motley, 23, a grocery store clerk. “We made history, but I don’t see change.”

On Jacksonville’s north side and in other struggling urban neighborhoods across the country, where Barack Obama mobilized large numbers of new African American voters who were inspired partly by the emotional draw of his biography, high hopes have turned to frustration: Even a black president was unable to heal places still gripped by violence, drugs and joblessness.

President Obama’s greatest ‘accomplishment’ is the consistency with which he overpromised and underdelivered. In 2008, his mantra was hope and change. In 2015, President Obama’s legacy is one of frustration and anxiety. Mix in healthy doses of incompetence and arrogance, too. Mix them all together and you’ve given minority voters justification for being highly cynical.

The dynamic, made prominent in recent months after unrest in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo., sets up a stark challenge for Hillary Rodham Clinton, the Democratic presidential front-runner. While supporting Obama became a cause for many here rather than a typical campaign, Clinton faces a higher bar in making a case that she, too, can be a transformative figure.

Hillary’s challenge is daunting. There aren’t many people who’ve hung around Washington, DC for a quarter century that are considered transformative figures. They’re mostly thought of a technocrats that haven’t had a new thought in decades.

Salesmanship isn’t Hillary’s strong suit. That was Bill’s strength. Hillary’s always been a check-the-box politician, the opposite of being a transformational president. That’s why it’s difficult to see Hillary rebuilding the Obama coalition. That was already fraying in 2012 with President Obama at the top of the ticket. If cynicism is running as high as this article presents, then Hillary’s fight to become the first female president is a steep uphill fight.

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During Scott Walker’s appearance on ABC’s This Week, Jonathan Karl played a clip of President Obama’s cheap shot about Scott Walker’s foreign policy. Here’s the partial transcript of that exchange:

SOT OBAMA: Perhaps Mr. Walker, after he’s taken some time to bone up on foreign policy, will feel the same way.

KARL: President Obama said you needed to bone up on foreign policy. And I guess you’ve been doing it? I mean you’ve been traveling, you’ve been talking to foreign policy experts.

WALKER: Yeah. I thought it was interesting for the president to say that, the guy who called ISIS the JV squad and Yemen a success story somehow suggesting that someone else should bone up on foreign policy. But we have. We’ve been to Israel, I’ve talked to David Cameron in the UK, we’ve been elsewhere. My belief is if I’m gonna even think about running for president of the United States, it’s not about preparing for debates, it’s about being prepared to be the president of the United States.

Now that’s a zinger. It’s great to see that Gov. Walker isn’t putting up with President Obama’s flippant statements. It’s wonderful to see Republicans throwing this stuff back in President Obama’s face. President Obama is the worst foreign policy president in the last 100+ years and it isn’t even close.

Before ISIS, President Obama decided that it was more important to pull troops from Iraq than it was to stabilize the region. That wasn’t unwise. That was stupid. It led to the vacuum that ISIS and Iran are fighting over. That’s a heads, they win, tails, we lose scenario.

President Obama’s decision to abandon its allies in the Middle East is causing regionwide instability, which is being fomented by Iran. Our allies don’t trust us and our enemies don’t fear us. If I got paid $10 each time that sentence was repeated on TV, I’d be as overpaid as the Clintons.

KARL: Okay, you’ve been very critical about how the president handled ISIS. Some are out there like Lindsey Graham saying we should send 10,000 U.S. ground troops right now to Iraq to help with this fight. Do you favor that?

WALKER: I think we shouldn’t rule anything out. It’s a big mistake this president has made here and elsewhere about saying how long we would go or how much we would invest.

KARL: I’m not talking about ruling it out, I’m saying would you do that, would you send…

WALKER: No, I’m not arguing that’s the first approach. But I’ll tell you three specific things I think we should do in Iraq. First we should re-engage the strength of the American forces that are there. Once you do that, you empower our allied forces that are there on behalf of Iraq to reclaim the territory that ISIS has taken. And third, you just need to do it in a way that doesn’t provide safe haven in the places like Syria as you push them out.

The Obama administration sends weapons to the Kurds through Baghdad. That’s a mistake because the Iranians don’t want the Peshmerga to get the weapons. They want to eventually overtake Kurdistan. They don’t want a strengthened Kurdish nation.

The Peshmerga are skilled, willing fighters that’ve gotten starved by the Obama administration.

If Gov. Walker gets elected president, he would be a dramatic upgrade in terms of foreign policy over President Obama.

When I wrote this post about Rand Paul’s foolishness about ISIS, I stuck mostly to highlighting why Sen. Paul’s opinion is dangerous. Today, it’s time to attack the beliefs that form the foundation for that wrongheaded thinking.

Like his lunatic father before him, Sen. Paul thinks that ISIS won’t hurt us if we just leave them alone. That’s projection based on their capital-L Libertarian beliefs. It’s also lunacy that isn’t based in facts.

ISIS’s beliefs are based on a messianic worldview. If ISIS didn’t use the U.S.’s presence in the Middle East as a rationalization for attacking us, then they’d find a different, equally dishonest, excuse to kill people who don’t agree with them 100% of the time.

The proof of this is the fact that hundreds and thousands of Muslims have been murdered because they didn’t subscribe to ISIS’s beliefs. Their crime wasn’t that they were an occupying force in the Middle East. Their ‘crime’ was that they weren’t, in ISIS’s opinion, Muslim enough. If it wasn’t that, ISIS would find a different excuse to rationalize their actions.

Rand Paul isn’t qualified to be the next commander-in-chief. He sees the world as he wants it to be. He doesn’t see the world as it actually is. That’s President Obama’s fatal flaw. That’s one of Sen. Paul’s fatal flaws, too.

Anyone watching this video has to wonder whether Tucker Carlson has paid attention the last 12 years:

Here’s the transcript that calls his analytic skills into question:

CARLSON: The question I would ask, and I’m not endorsing Rand Paul, but I do think you need a moment of national reckoning where we ask a simple question: what is the lesson from the last thirteen years of Iraq? Have we learned anything? How would we proceed differently based on what we just saw? And the other candidates, most of them I would say, are committed to this ‘We’ve learned nothing. The world’s exactly as it was on September 12, 2001. That is not…I don’t think that’s a recipe for success. I …
BRET BAIER: But do you think that this is a pathway to the GOP nomination?
CARLSON: I don’t. I absolutely don’t. Laura is absolutely right. He’s getting hammered. You’re pro-terrorist. Again, I’m not defending Rand Paul. I’m not an advocate for his campaign. But I think the question hangs in the air what have we learned?
LAURA INGRAHAM: There’s a big debate out there that has to be had. Will it be had? Will it be had when there’s just one person making the case and an entire field saying ‘Oh no. It has to be this way. It’s an interesting debate. We should have it.
CHARLES LANE: I listened to that soundbite of Rand Paul and was just reminded of why he’s not…of why he’s getting criticism. The things he says are sloppy and superficial. To literally blame the rise of ISIS on the hawks in the Republican Party is just ridiculous. Let’s face it. There are so many other factors that’ve gone into it and furthermore, it isn’t about how do we unring all the bells that were run in the past that may have led us to this point. The problem now is how do we deal with this menace?

If Carlson wants to re-litigate whether we should’ve invaded Iraq, he’s free to do so. It’s just that that’s a waste of time for policymakers. If historians want to debate it, fine. That’s their responsibility.

If Carlson wants to make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes again, the big picture answer is exceptionally straightforward. Don’t elect a person who thinks that fighting terrorists is an afterthought. Don’t elect a person who isn’t committed to winning.

One straightforward lesson worth learning is that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton told us in 2007 and 2008 that they weren’t qualified to be commander-in-chief. President Obama has been a terrible commander-in-chief. If she got elected, Hillary would be just as terrible as commander-in-chief as President Obama is because they’re both committed, as they’ve said repeatedly throughout the years, to “ending wars responsibly.”

The biggest lesson Republicans need to learn is to a) trust their generals more and b) loosen up the rules of engagement, aka ROE, so that U.S. military forces can efficiently kill the terrorists as quickly as possible. The other shift that’s imperative is that they must make clear that the Sunnis and Kurds will be protected and that Iran’s generals won’t be permitted as military advisors to Iraq.

The biggest reason why the Sunnis didn’t fight in Ramadi is because they were stuck in a lose-lose situation. If they defeat ISIS, Iranian Shiites would wage war against the Sunnis. If the Sunnis waged war against the Shiites, then Iran and President Obama would persecute them.

During the Anbar Awakening, U.S. soldiers fought alongside the Sunnis. They established a trust with the Sunni soldiers. The result was the Sunnis running AQI, ISIS’ predecessor, into Syria. We don’t need to send 150,000 troops into Iraq to obliterate ISIS. Military experts say that 20,000-25,000 troops, combined with an aggressive bombing campaign, should devastate ISIS and restore Iraqi trust in the United States. This time, though, it’s imperative that we negotiate a status of forces agreement to keep a stabilizing force in Iraq. That stabilizing force would keep the troops and the Iraqi government in line, prevent the Iranians from spreading their influence in the region and prevent the return of ISIS.

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