Thursday, October 17, 2013

A few political items

Government reopens after shutdown; Obama urges Congress to resist ‘extremes’

Excerpt: The agreement struck by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) funds agencies through mid-January, calls hundreds of thousands of civil servants back to work and raises the $16.7 trillion debt limit. (Winners: Democrat/Media alliance. Loser: Fiscal sanity. One strep closer to the collapse. They were resisting fiscal extremes. ~Bob.)

Excerpt: The Senate announced a deal yesterday to protect the status quo in Washington. As pundits debate the political winners or losers of this deal, one thing is clear: The American people are once again on the losing end.

Obama Has Failed to Follow His Own Example. By Victor Davis Hanson 

Excerpt: Yet if both sides would agree to just follow the earlier advice of President Obama, tempers might cool and a deal could still be reached. And had President Obama himself just listened to earlier guidance from Barack Obama, his opponents might have had no cause for either a government shutdown or another debt-ceiling crisis. In 2006, Obama rightly called for an end to the Bush administration's intemperate deficit spending that had resulted in an annual deficit of $250 billion that year. Accordingly, Sen. Obama voted to shut down the government rather than automatically to extend the debt ceiling.

Guest Post: Borrowing Into Oblivion

The problem is the debt, not the debt ceiling. By Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe

Excerpt: The predictions of doom have been hysterical. Bloomberg reported that a US default would be the first by a major Western government “since Nazi Germany 80 years ago.” Warren Buffett compared debt-ceiling politics to weapons of mass destruction — “like nuclear bombs, basically too horrible to use.” President Obama, saying he was quoting “CEOs and economists,” told a White House news conference that failing to raise the debt ceiling would be “insane, catastrophic, chaos.” And the Treasury Department issued a grim warning that a default could prove calamitous: “Credit markets could freeze, the value of the dollar could plummet . . . and there might be a financial crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse.”

President Obama to Republicans: I won. Deal with it. By Chris Cillizza

Excerpt: A visibly frustrated President Obama delivered a blunt message to Republicans with whom he had feuded over the government shutdown and the debt ceiling over the past month on Tuesday: Elections matter. I won, you lost. Deal with it. That’s a paraphrase — obviously. Here’s what Obama actually said: (But Republicans won the House in 2010. Deal with it. ~Bob)

Important: The Unraveling of ObamaCare

Excerpt: Advocates marketed the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "ObamaCare") to the American public as a way to "bend the cost curve" of soaring health care costs downward. But despite its supporters' hopes, the 2010 legislation was fiscally reckless, markedly increasing the government's already-unsustainable health spending commitments at a time of record deficits. Three years later, the fiscal harm stemming from the ACA is as bad as -- and even worse than -- many experts predicted. The problem lies with the nature of the law itself, promising trillions in new government benefits while relying on dubious financing mechanisms. These problems were not only foreseeable, they were indeed widely foreseen, says Charles Blahous, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

Navigating the ObamaCare Maze: The government is the worst vendor possible for managing health-insurance exchanges. By John C. Goodman

He predicted the current mess in May. ~Bob

WH: Why Of Course We Stand By Kathleen Sebelius, Despite Obamacare's Historic Failures. By Guy Benson 

Anyone surprised? I mean, this guy still has his job, as does everyone who dropped the ball over Benghazi. Not to worry, Kathleen -- the program you're overseeing may be a trainwreck of epic proportions, but your job is safe:

From Mother Jones, on the left: Just How Bad Is the Obamacare Website, Anyway? By Kevin Drum

Excerpt: And while I'm at it, I have to add my voice to all those who are sort of agog over the missed chance on this from Republicans. Under normal circumstances, this stuff would be front-page news, with the Obama administration hunkered down and taking hailstorms of flak from all directions. Instead, the shutdown has sucked all the oxygen out of the room and has even provided a built-in excuse for all the website problems. For a party that has dedicated nearly its entire existence to trashing Obamacare, Republicans sure have scored an own goal here.

Obamacare enrollees become urban legend

Excerpt: Nearly two weeks after the federal government launched the online Health Insurance Marketplace at, individuals who have successfully used the choked-up website to enroll for a subsidized health insurance plan have reached a status akin to urban legend: Everyone has heard of them, but very few people have actually met one. The Miami Herald searched high and low for individuals who completed enrollment for a subsidized health plan through the marketplace, also called an exchange, launched by the federal government on Oct. 1 in 36 states, including Florida.

The Horror Stories of Obamacare's Rate Shock. By Kevin Glass

Excerpt: Obamacare would "bring down premiums by $2500 for the typical family," President Obama boasted during the debate over his signature health legislation. While the veracity of that promise is up for debate, it's also important to parse out that when President Obama said "typical family," he also left out who he doesn't mean by "typical family." These are the stories of those left behind by Obamacare. They won't see their premiums fall. Instead, their insurance will double in price.

Obama says he’ll veto bill that mandates Obamacare for himself, Congress

Excerpt: President Barack Obama is reportedly telling congressional officials he will veto any debt-ceiling bill from Congress that includes the so-called Vitter amendment, which would make the Affordable Care Act applicable to senior executive branch officials, including the president and vice president. The amendment, offered by U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and supported by House Republican leaders, would also apply to Congress, according to Politico. You might call the Vitter amendment the “eat the food you cooked, sleep in the bed you made” proposal.

A Look into Canadian Health Care

Excerpt: Addressing the naïve and misleading allusion to the idea of timely access to "free," high quality health care in Canada, is important -- especially for those relying on it for support of the status quo in Canada or in support of arguments to adopt a Canadian-style health care system elsewhere, says Bacchus Barua, a senior economist with the Fraser Institute. To begin, health care in Canada is anything but free. The average Canadian family of two parents with two children pays approximately $11,320 in taxes for hospital and physician care through the country's tax system. Next is the question of the scope and timeliness of medical services provided in exchange for this substantial expenditure.

Good Article: 7 Falsehoods about the Free Market. By Sandy Ikeda

Excerpt: Just as there are timeless truths, there are also timeless falsehoods. Here are a few of the latter that I’ve recently encountered, but there are, of course, plenty more. Some libertarians may not agree with me (at least at first) on all of them. 1) The free market creates scarcity and higher prices. In any economic system—socialist, interventionist, or free market—the quantity of a good will typically not be enough to satisfy demand when the price is zero. In a free market, in which people trade their legitimate claims to those resources, prices will tend to rise or fall to the level where the quantity supplied equals the quantity demanded, and in that way prices help us to cope with scarcity. Not only that, the free market, via a system of profit and loss, gives entrepreneurs an incentive both to supply more of scarce resources and to discover alternatives to them. ... Sandy Ikeda is an associate professor of economics at Purchase College, SUNY, and the author of The Dynamics of the Mixed Economy: Toward a Theory of Interventionism.

NATO Ally Reportedly Exposed Israeli Spies in Iran

Excerpt: Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdoğan's hostility toward Israel and embrace of Hamas terrorists is well established. He has called Zionism, the belief in a Jewish state, "a crime against humanity." But a report published Wednesday evening by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius raises the question of whether Erdoğan, head of a NATO state, deliberately sabotaged efforts to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program out of spite for Israel. (Where is Ataturk when we need him? ~Bob)

The Growing Terror Threat From Radical Women Converts. By Abigail R. Esman

Excerpt: In a photograph, the girl looks back with casual curiosity, her face scrubbed, her hair pulled a bit untidily behind her ears, her collar crisp, her tie askew, a charming and timeless portrait of the young Catholic schoolgirl in her teens. Barely more than a decade later, she is called the world's most dangerous woman, the Muslim terrorist known as the "white widow," thought to have helped mastermind last month's terrorist attacks in Nairobi in which 72 people, including several children, were massacred in a popular shopping mall.

10 Ways to Know that Black America Has Lost Its Mind Under Obama

Excerpt: The Your Black World team had a meeting and decided upon a few ways that we could tell that black America has lost it’s mind under President Obama. We don’t know which way is up or down, and it seems that good politics has been thrown out the window. So, here’s a list of ways that we know that black people have lost their minds over the last five years.

Trey Gowdy Goes Off On National Park Service Director For Treating Occupy Protesters Better Than Nation’s Veterans

Excerpt: Jarvis then claimed that the veterans would have been permitted to enter the war memorials if they “declared” they were exercising their First Amendment rights.

“Who were they to declare it to? A barricade?” Gowdy responded sarcastically. “Mr. Chairman, I want the record to reflect that no statute or code of the federal regulation was cited to justify the erection of barricades.”

Obama’s Tax Thugs. By Daniel Greenfield 

Excerpt: There are always plenty of Caplins and Lois Lerners around to do the dirty work of the men on top, but what truly matters is the abuse of power by the chief executives who give them their marching orders. Obama’s IRS scandal is not the first abuse of the system. But it should be the last one. Like JFK’s IRS scandal, it comes down to a White House worried about the impact of “right wing organizations” on its political agenda and lists being drawn up in order to intimidate and sabotage conservative organizations.

IRS, White House officials that shared confidential taxpayer info had 155 White House meetings

Excerpt: Of Ingram’s 165 White House meetings with White House staff, a staggering 155 of them were hosted by deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew, according to a June Watchdog.Org analysis of White House visitor records….The White House recently took down visitor logs recording details of these meetings, citing the government shutdown. Ingram headed the scandal-plagued IRS office that oversaw tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012, when she left to take over the IRS office in charge of Obamacare implementation.

Obama’s Secret Collaboration with ACORN Bosses. By Matthew Vadum 

Excerpt: Former officers of the disgraced radical group ACORN are still advising the Obama administration and guiding its catastrophic far-left policies almost three years after the group filed bankruptcy.

Democrats’ Peculiar Definition of ‘Settled Law.’ By Ann Coulter 

Excerpt: No major legislation has ever been passed like Obamacare — and I’m using the word “passed” pretty loosely. It became law without both houses ever voting on the same bill. (Say, is the Constitution considered “settled law”?) Not one Republican voted for it — and a lot of Democrats immediately wished they hadn’t. (Immigration Law, the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Slavery and Jim Crow in it's day were all "settled law." ~Bob)

No Surprise: Where Do Public School Teachers Send Own Kids? By Larry Elder

Excerpt: One study found that in Philadelphia a staggering 44 percent of public school teachers send their own kids to private schools. In Cincinnati and Chicago, 41 and 39 percent of public school teachers, respectively, pay for a private school education for their children. In Rochester, New York, it's 38 percent. In Baltimore it's 35 percent, San Francisco is 34 percent and New York-Northeastern New Jersey is 33 percent. In Los Angeles nearly 25 percent of public school teachers send their kids to private school versus 16 percent of Angelenos who do so.

Mitch McConnell gets nearly $3 billion for Kentucky dam project in congressional deal

Excerpt: Most experts agree that there were no real winners in the government shutdown debate. And many political forecasters say the brunt of fallout from the debate over the shutdown and the debt ceiling is likely to hurt Republican lawmakers. However, the nation’s leading Republican senator came out of the deal far from empty handed. That’s because it’s been reported that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell secured language in the new government funding bill that includes nearly $3 billion for a dam project in his home state of Kentucky.

Thousands of additional troops urged for force in Somalia

Excerpt: U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is calling for a surge of thousands of African troops in Somalia to stem the threat of terrorism posed by Islamist insurgents and ensure the survival of a U.N.-backed government, whose success Washington believes is crucial to defeating extremist groups in the region, according to a previously undisclosed appeal. (The UN will be fighting the same people they are helping against Israel. ~Bob)

Cory Booker wins New Jersey Senate race

Excerpt: Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a rising national Democratic star, was elected to the U.S. Senate Wednesday and will become New Jersey's first ever African American senator. (No surprise. Watch for a scandal with this one, given his looseness with the truth in the past. I hope he appoints his imaginary friend chief of staff. ~Bob)

Excerpt: Documents reveal the National Security Agency’s extensive involvement in the targeted killing program that has served as a centerpiece of President Obama’s counter-terrorism strategy. In the search for targets, the NSA has draped a surveillance blanket over dozens of square miles of northwest Pakistan. The drone campaign – often depicted as the CIA’s exclusive domain — relies heavily on the NSA’s ability to vacuum up enormous quantities of e-mail, phone calls and other fragments of signals intelligence, or “SIGINT.” (The drone program making red mush out of terrorists and anyone standing nearby is one Obama policy I support. ~Bob)

40 year since the Vietnam POWS--some of them--came home

Overpaid Federal Workers

Excerpt: During the last decade, compensation of federal employees rose faster than compensation of private-sector employees. As a consequence, the average federal civilian worker now earns 74 percent more in wages and benefits than the average worker in the U.S. private sector. A job-to-job comparison found that federal workers earned higher wages than did private-sector workers in four-fifths of the occupations examined.

Excerpt: As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the Republicans DID compromise to avoid a shutdown. They were going to keep the government open, but asked that Obamacare be delayed. … Senate Democrats under Harry Reid said no.

SNAP Benefits Will Be Cut for All Participants in November 2013

Excerpt: The 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits is scheduled to end on November 1, 2013, resulting in a benefit cut for every SNAP household. For families of three, the cut will be $29 a month — a total of $319 for November 2013 through September 2014, the remaining months of fiscal year 2014.[2]… In response to the economic downturn, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits across the board as a way of delivering high “bang-for-the-buck” economic stimulus and easing hardship.

This Massive Discovery Has Put The Saudi’s Into a Panic

It is 6 times larger than the Bakken, 17 times the size of the Marcellus formation, and 80 times larger than the Eagle Ford shale. All told what was recently discovered outside a sleepy Australian town contains more black gold more than in all of IranIraqCanada, or Venezuela. With current estimates at 233 billion barrels its just 30 billion shy of the estimated reserves in all of Saudi Arabia.

Here is a feel good story for the day. For anyone out there who has not heard of the megalith construction of a building being built to house everything and anything about each and every one of us, the story and an update of the so-called “data center.” Looks like a delay for a year. 

Dr. Ben Carson joins Fox News

Excerpt: On Wednesday afternoon, Fox News Channel announced that former Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson would be joining the network as a contributor. “Dr. Carson is a brilliant neurosurgeon who has dedicated his life to healing others,” Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO of Fox News said in a statement. “He also has a broad perspective on what’s going on in the country and his wisdom and provocative viewpoints will make a major contribution to our network.” (Liberals don't agree with him because he's black. ~Bob)

Shutdown news that was delayed by e-mail glitch:

Excerpt: MRCTV’s Dan Joseph hits the streets to ask people if the government shutdown is more the fault of Obama or former President George W. Bush. The results are pathetic.

Excerpt: Earlier this week someone commented on Campaign Spot, asking how I could complain about the shutdown leaving “800,000 bureaucrats” out of work. The 800,000 folks not reporting to work this morning aren’t all bureaucrats, and you don’t help the cause of the Right if you run around insisting they are. Dave from Garfield Ridge, a contributor at Ace of Spades, offered some perspective on what “essential” and “nonessential” really means:

Excerpt: Just when you thought the intentional infliction of public pain during the partial government shutdown could not possibly get any worse, the Obama administration is now threatening dead people: Each national cemetery will conduct a reduced number of burials each day. This could cause some families to pay for storage of their loved ones’ remains until burials can be scheduled….In addition, the VA may not be able to provide “headstones, markers, medallions and outer burial receptacles to Veterans and eligible family members.” And maintenance operations will cease.

Park Service losing $76 million a day in shutdown

Every day that America’s national parks remain shut down, $76 million is lost at the “Barrycades.” …In addition to the $76 million in lost daily visitor spending, $450,000 in daily campground fees and boat rentals has also dried up, according to data compiled by a Park Service organization….Magnanimously, the NPS said barricades will come down at other national sites, too — if states cough up enough money. (Sounds like national treasures kidnapped, held hostage for ransom by Regime. --Barb)

Utah families on food stamps could be cut off soon

Excerpt: States across the country are being told to stop the supplemental nutrition assistance program for the month of November, pending further notice. That’s according to a letter from the U.S. Department of Agriculture….The local pantries are already feeling the pinch because WIC, a federal program which provides baby formula and food to families in need has been affected by the shutdown.

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