Archive for the ‘Obama’ Category
Eugene Robinson’s latest article is proof that there aren’t many great strategists left in the Democratic Party. A topnotch political strategist wouldn’t say “In the two weeks since, Trump has only piled outrage upon outrage, as far as progressives are concerned. He took the first steps toward building his ridiculous wall along the southern border, but with U.S. taxpayers’ dollars, not Mexico’s. He squelched government experts who work on climate change. He weakened the Affordable Care Act in the hope that it would begin to collapse, which would make it easier for Congress to kill it.”
That’s because they’d know that the ACA started collapsing a year ago. Its collapse is inevitable because it’s terrible legislation. A relatively healthy person is better off not buying insurance because the ACA’s out-of-pocket expenses (premiums plus deductibles) in some states are so high that families are better off paying the penalty rather than buying the insurance. As I’ve written before, the ACA is catastrophic coverage at Cadillac plan prices.
And I can’t help thinking back to 2009. Republicans made an all-out effort to stop the Affordable Care Act. Their motives were purely political; some GOP senators railed against policies they had favored in the past. Ultimately, they failed. Obamacare became law.
But this losing battle gave tremendous energy and passion to the tea party movement — which propelled Republicans to a sweeping victory in the 2010 midterm election. It is hard not to see an analogous situation on the Democratic side right now.
Democrats haven’t learned the TEA Party lesson, which is that politicians better listen to We The People or else. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi didn’t listen to people and lost 12 seats and 63 seats respectively. Chuck Schumer isn’t listening to the people, either. The chances of Democrats picking up Senate seats is remote at best.
Democrats cannot stop Gorsuch from being confirmed. But they can hearten and animate the party’s base by fighting this nomination tooth and nail, even if it means giving up some of the backslapping comity of the Senate cloakroom. They can inspire grass-roots activists to fight just as hard to win back state legislatures and governorships. They can help make 2018 a Democratic year.
This is delusional thinking. Democrats will lose more governorships and legislative seats because they’re owned by special interests. They haven’t talked about doing what’s best for the people. President Trump constantly talks about putting people first. Democrats reflexively side with environmental activists, which has alienated blue collar union rank-and-file.
Democrats in Illinois haven’t pressured Rahm Emanuel to actually crack down on Chicago’s crime-infested streets. New York City’s City Council hasn’t blasted Bill De Blasio’s sanctuary city policies. In both cities, people don’t feel safe. Former President Obama insisted that terrorism wasn’t a threat while ISIS killed people in shopping malls and at Christmas parties. The Obama administration insisted, too, that the borders were secured. Voters knew that wasn’t true.
Voters won’t vote for the party that won’t protect them. Right now, people don’t trust Democrats to handle the basic government functions. Until that happens, people won’t trust Democrats.
The Democratic Party of Hubert Humphrey, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Scoop Jackson is ancient history. The Democratic Party of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, aka The One-Man Pocket Veto, and (especially) Chuck Schumer can be described succinctly. They party of Obama, Reid and Schumer is all obstruction, all the time.
This article highlights just how unhinged today’s Democratic Party is. The article opens by saying “Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) on Monday predicted that Democrats would launch a filibuster against whoever President Trump picks for the Supreme Court. ‘This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,’ Merkley told Politico. ‘We will use every lever in our power to stop this. … I will definitely object to a simple majority.'”
This isn’t surprising. Democrats are upset because they thought they’d get former President Obama’s third term. They thought they’d win back the majority in the Senate, too, so they could confirm lots of liberal justices. Instead, they nominated a corrupt politician who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Instead, they gained 2 seats in the Senate when they needed 5.
The important point, though, is that today’s Democratic Party isn’t interested in being public servants who listen to their constituents. Today’s Democratic Party isn’t interested in putting America first. Today’s Democratic Party is mostly about complaining when they don’t get their way. Today’s Democratic Party is about obstruction when people say no to their ideological wish list.
Simply put, Sen. Merkley has passionately and emphatically stated that his fidelity is to the Democratic Party, not the people he was elected to represent or the Constitution he swore an oath to defend.
The Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), which has ties to McConnell, quickly sent out emails questioning whether the red-state Democrats would back Merkley’s filibuster.
Of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), the group said: “Will he stand with the people of his state who overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump to be able to pick a Supreme Court nominee? Or will he stand with [Sens.] Elizabeth Warren [Mass.], Bernie Sanders [Vt.], and the rest of the Democratic caucus that only cares about its far left base of permanent protesters?”
If Democrats want to filibuster President Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, let them. That will expose them as obstructionists who obstruct for the sake of appeasing their political base. Democrats don’t care about this:
Democrats only care about maintaining power.
Technorati: Jeff Merkley, Chuck Schumer, Barack Obama, Harry Reid, One Man Pocket Veto, Obstructionists, Hubert Humphrey, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Scoop Jackson, Patriots, Donald Trump, Supreme Court Nominee, Constitution, Mitch McConnell, Senate Leadership Fund
This article in the Pi-Press is disgusting in its dishonesty. In the article, the ‘reporter’ says that “Trump’s highly controversial order suspends refugee admissions for 120 days and bars all immigration for 90 days of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries with terrorism concerns: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Those now being barred from the country include refugees who have already been thoroughly vetted by U.S. agencies.”
Either this reporter is telling an outright lie or he’s incredibly ignorant of the truth. Though Politifact attempts to sweep things under the carpet, the fact remains that FBI Director James Comey testified that “We can only query against that which we have collected, and so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interests reflected in our database, we can query our database till the cows come home, but … there’ll be nothing show up, because we have no record on that person.”
Politifact tried spinning things by saying “But did James Comey actually say the FBI “cannot properly vet” people coming from the Middle East? No, he didn’t. Beruff is distorting a point Comey was making about a flaw in the vetting process, but he was reiterating the system in place was actually much better than it had been in the past.”
Here’s the real exchange:
Ranking member Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) asked Comey, “Mr. Director, before this committee, [FBI] Assistant Director [Michael] Steinbach said that the concerns in Syria is that we don’t have the systems in place on the ground to collect the information to vet. That would be the concern. Databases don’t hold the information on these individuals. Is that still the position of the department?”
“Yes, I think that’s the challenge we’re all talking about, is that we can only query against that which we have collected, and so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interests reflected in our database, we can query our database till the cows come home, but we’re not gonna—there’ll be nothing show up, because we have no record on that person,” said Comey. “That’s what Assistant Director Steinbach was talking about,” he added.
Not having verifiable data to compare against isn’t “a flaw in the vetting process.” That’s admitting that it’s impossible to vet people. Here’s video of FBI Director Comey’s testimony:
That’s pretty open-and-shut testimony.
This article points to the possibility that the Democrats’ uproar over the so-called Muslim ban is manufactured. The article starts by saying “Many of President Donald Trump’s core political supporters had a simple message on Sunday for the fiercest opponents of his immigration ban: Calm down. The relaxed reaction among the kind of voters who drove Trump’s historic upset victory – working- and middle-class residents of Midwest and the South – provided a striking contrast to the uproar that has gripped major coastal cities, where thousands of protesters flocked to airports where immigrants had been detained.”
Let’s get serious about something. Democrats didn’t utter a peep in 2011 when then-President Obama temporarily stopped admitting Iraqis when 2 al-Qa’ida in Iraq terrorists were discovered in Bowling Green, KY after getting admitted as refugees. The Washington Post’s ‘fact-checker’, Glenn Kessler tweeted his explanation for why the media didn’t say anything about Obama’s temporary halt in bringing in refugees, saying “two big differences: 1) pause was not announced at the time, done quietly. reporters only found out years later. 2) not based on religion.” Roxanne Chester put Kessler in his place with this tweet, saying “The most transparent adm did things they didn’t publish? Isn’t it the job of a free press to monitor that?”
The chances of the Democrats’ protests being spontaneous aren’t high. They’re pretty unlikely. It’s difficult to say that the grass roots are rising up when they’re rent-a-protesters. If these ‘grass roots’ activists are that into human rights, why didn’t they say anything about this?
These protests are as phony as the Democrats. It’s that simple.
Elizabeth Warren has been bitchy for a couple weeks. First, she was bitchy about President Trump’s cabinet picks. Now, she’s upset that President Trump is protecting Americans instead of welcoming in terrorists. This article highlights Sen. Warren’s part in “The Resistance.”
The article starts by saying “Facing a crowd of protesters at Logan International Airport on Saturday night, US Senator Elizabeth Warren denounced President Trump’s recent immigration order, proclaiming, ‘we will not turn away children. We will not turn away families,’ said Warren, as the crowd repeated the words back to her. ‘We will not turn away people who try to help Americans. We will not turn away anyone because of their religion.'”
Elsewhere, Mrs. Clinton tweeted “I stand with the people gathered across the country tonight defending our values & our Constitution. This is not who we are.”
In one sense, Mrs. Clinton is right. Protecting Americans isn’t who the Democrats are. President Obama is famous for frequently reminding “his staff that terrorism takes far fewer lives in America than handguns, car accidents, and falls in bathtubs do.”
As for Sen. Warren, she said “persecuting anyone ‘for their religious beliefs is an attack on the very foundation of democracy.'” This article highlights this interesting fact:
The Order Suspends Visas From “Nationals of Countries of Particular Origin.” The Secretary of Homeland Security, as well as the Secretary of State and Director of National Intelligence, are tasked under the order with determining the standard necessary for visa entry within 30 days. All entry into the United States is suspended, “as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order.” This isn’t unprecedented – Jimmy Carter issued a cancelation of visas for Iranian citizens in 1980.
It’s pretty apparent that Sen. Warren isn’t good with facts or history. The only other explanation is that she’s bitch with a political agenda who doesn’t care about the truth.
Nah. That can’t be it.
Sen. Feinstein’s statement on President Trump’s executive order on extreme vetting represents the Democrats’ national security policy. In her statement, Sen. Feinstein, (D-CA), said “Under the president’s executive order, Syrian refugees can only come to this country if they are Christian—regardless of the level of persecution or need. To me, this an unbelievable action. It’s one thing to see that an individual is properly vetted. It’s an entirely different matter to say that because someone comes from a particular country or is a member of a particular faith that he or she has no access to this country.”
Sen. Feinstein isn’t telling the truth. Follow this link to read President Trump’s executive order on extreme vetting. The part that jumped out at me was the part that said “In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”
Then there’s this section:
Sec. 5. Realignment of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for Fiscal Year 2017. (a) The Secretary of State shall suspend the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures. Refugee applicants who are already in the USRAP process may be admitted upon the initiation and completion of these revised procedures. Upon the date that is 120 days after the date of this order, the Secretary of State shall resume USRAP admissions only for nationals of countries for which the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have jointly determined that such additional procedures are adequate to ensure the security and welfare of the United States.
It’s a dark moment when a supposed expert in national security plays games with America’s safety. Here’s Sen. Feinstein’s full statement:
Andy McCarthy’s article either proves that Sen. Feinstein is dumber than a sack of hair about the commander-in-chief’s authority or she’s dishonest. Either Sen. Feinstein knows about this provision or she hasn’t done her homework:
Federal immigration law also includes Section 1182(f), which states: “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”
The thing that’s frightening is that Democrats sat silent when President Obama tried rewriting existing laws through executive orders but are besides themselves when President Trump issues an EO that states that his administration will follow existing laws:
To temporarily reduce investigative burdens on relevant agencies during the review period described in subsection (a) of this section, to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals, pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas).
In other words, President Trump’s EO that temporarily stops refugees from entering our nation cites the specific law he’s obeying.
Think of this. A bill is passed by Congress, then signed by the president. How can something that gets bipartisan support and is signed by the president be un-American? Further, the Constitution gives the Executive Branch the affirmative responsibility of protecting the United States from terrorist attacks.
President Trump’s EO follows US law and the Constitution. That’s what Sen. Feinstein calls un-American. It’s frightening that Sen. Feinstein either doesn’t understand the Constitution or is too dishonest to admit that the Democratic Party is willing to ignore the Constitution for political gain.
If ever there was a reason why progressive spinmeisters should steer clear of getting interviewed by Tucker Carlson, Jonathan Gruber’s interview offers the biggest reason to avoid Carlson. During the interview, Carlson caught Gruber in his spin at least half a dozen times. Throughout most of the interview, Dr. Gruber came across as elitist and intellectually outmatched.
When Carlson asked Gruber why recent polling showed fairly strong disapproval of Obamacare, Dr. Gruber replied “I think they feel that way because there’s been a lot of misinformation about what the law has done.” Carlson immediately picked up on that, inquiring “You once famously said that the law got passed because of the stupidity of the American voter, not understanding the intricacies of the funding of this law. You since apologized but it seems as though you still feel that way. You just said people don’t like it because they don’t understand it. But I mean, it’s their health care. Are they that dumb that they don’t understand how great it is?”
That led to another misstep by Dr. Gruber when he said “Tucker, that isn’t what I said. What I said was inartful. That’s why I apologized.” Let’s get honest about something. What Dr. Gruber said wasn’t inartful. It was intentional. It was repeated:
Something that’s repeated that often isn’t off-the-cuff. It’s intentional. It’s elitist, too. Then there’s this exchange:
CARLSON: I thought this law was supposed to help everybody.
DR. GRUBER: This law was never supposed to help everybody, Tucker. The law was actually supposed to leave the vast majority of Americans alone.
That isn’t true. The plan was always intended to push people into policies that the ACA’s architects were pushing. That’s why Politifact rated President Obama’s statement that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” as their Lie of the Year” a few years back. Dr. Gruber was exposed as a political shill Wednesday night. It isn’t that Dr. Gruber was “inartful.” It isn’t that he wanted people to keep their health care plans that they liked. It’s that he wanted to tell the people he thinks of as too stupid what’s best for them.
Watch this entire video. It’s a frightening insight into a progressive elitist’s mind:
Finally, this Trey Gowdy interrogation of Dr. Gruber is must-see TV:
Technorati: Jonathan Gruber, Political Hack, Obamacare, Elitism, Barack Obama, Democrats, Tucker Carlson, Interview, Trey Gowdy, Cross-Examination, Republicans
Nobody who isn’t comatose thinks President Trump and former President Obama are similar. The only thing that they have in common is that they’ve both been called Mr. President. I wrote this post because Rachel Maddow actually said something worthwhile when she said President Trump’s inaugural speech “was militant and it was dark. The crime, the gangs, the drugs, this ‘American carnage,’ disrepair, decay. You can’t imagine the outgoing president giving a speech like that.'”
She’s right. Former President Obama would’ve papered over the problems. Let’s correct that. For 8 years, he papered over the nation’s problems. Obamacare wasn’t the solution to a problem. It was the Democrats’ holy grail, the thing that no other Democrat had achieved.
President Obama left office personally popular. President Trump enters office being personally unpopular. That isn’t the only difference. President Obama’s policies were rejected each time President Obama’s name wasn’t on the ballot. By contrast, many of President Trump’s policy initiatives are highly popular. Tax reform is one of those initiatives. Another thing that’s popular, except with Democrats, is enforcing existing immigration laws. Still another Trump initiative that’s popular where it’s applicable is reining in the EPA and other environmental regulatory agencies.
President Trump isn’t the great orator that President Obama was. The thing about Obama, though, was that he never moved the needle in terms of support for his policies. In the weeks ahead, President Trump will move votes on his initiatives because they’re solutions to things that are broken.
Though this isn’t entirely on point, another major difference between these presidents is that President Trump has actually run big things before taking office. When his VA secretary is confirmed and sworn in, rest assured that VA administrators’ heads will roll. Trump is a man of action. Obama was a talker who didn’t get things done.
The topic that didn’t get discussed often enough after the election is the viability of the so-called Obama Coalition. John Judis and Ruy Teixeira wrote a book titled “The Emerging Democratic Majority” that was based on the belief that demographics pointed to a permanent Democratic majority.
Part of the description for their book says “In five well-researched chapters and a new afterword covering the 2002 elections, Judis and Teixeira show how the most dynamic and fastest-growing areas of the country are cultivating a new wave of Democratic voters who embrace what the authors call ‘progressive centrism‘ and take umbrage at Republican demands to privatize social security, ban abortion, and cut back environmental regulations. As the GOP continues to be dominated by neoconservatives, the religious right, and corporate influence, this is an essential volume for all those discontented with their narrow agenda — and a clarion call for a new political order.”
The Obama Coalition was built, in large part, on identity politics. The book’s description isn’t accurate. In fact, it isn’t close. What we’ve learned since this book was written is that Obama’s coalition isn’t transferrable. It’s his. Since he’ll never be on the ballot again, it’s time to admit that significant parts of that coalition have switched allegiances to President Trump. Other parts of former President Obama’s coalition decided to sit this election out because neither candidate excited them.
Putting it briefly, there’s a reason why it’s called Obama’s Coalition. It’s Obama’s coalition because it doesn’t work for candidates who aren’t Barack Obama. Bernie Sanders put together his own coalition. Admittedly, it was significantly smaller than Obama’s but at least he realized he couldn’t rely on former President Obama’s coalition.
While Democrats don’t have to start from scratch, they have to rethink their identity. They’ll have to rethink their policies, too. If they don’t, they won’t win back white working class voters. Without them, they can’t win states like Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.
There’s something majestic about the way Americans transition from one administration to another. The routineness with which we celebrate the coming of a new administration with anticipation, hopefulness and, perhaps, a little antipathy isn’t replicated anywhere in western civilization. For instance, when the British, one of our closest allies in the world, elects a new prime minister, the outgoing prime minister is given little time to clear out of 10 Downing Street.
It’s definitely something done in a hurry.
This year as in all other years, the process has been drawn out, with people from the incoming administration’s transition team meeting with their counterparts from the outgoing administration since virtually the day after the election on Nov. 8, 2016. The point is that it’s literally been a months-long transition. Former presidents have been arriving all morning. George and former First Lady Laura Bush arrived. Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter are here, too. As I write this, the Clintons haven’t arrived yet. Of course, Bush the Elder and Barbara Bush won’t attend because of health issues, though Bush the Elder sent a touching letter to President-Elect Trump.
Nothing conveys the finality of this event like this picture, though:
Here’s wishing the Obamas a long and prosperous life.