Wasn’t This Supposed To Make Things Better?

On Tuesday, Investors.com posted an article about the Congressional Budget Office‘s report on ObamaCare.

The article included this chart:

The article states:

Thanks to ObamaCare, the CBO now expects that 10 million workers will lose their employer-based coverage by 2021.

This finding stands in sharp contrast to earlier CBO projections, which at one point suggested ObamaCare would increase the number of people getting coverage through work, at least in its early years.

The budget office has, in fact, increased the number it says will lose workplace coverage every year since 2011.

The latest CBO finding also thoroughly debunks the many promises ObamaCare backers made when selling the law — about how those with work-based coverage had nothing to worry about.

Scott Brown was elected to the Senate to stop ObamaCare. Because the Democrats used an unusual parliamentary procedure to avoid letting him cast that vote, ObamaCare was not stopped. The Republicans now have majorities in the House and in the Senate. We have seen enough damage caused by ObamaCare to know that the American people were lied to and that all ObamaCare has done is disrupt healthcare for Americans who were satisfied with their healthcare. It is time for the Republicans to do what they were elected to do–repeal ObamaCare.

The Need For A Wise Negotiator

President Obama does not seem to be a particularly astute negotiator. He issues ultimatums that he does not follow through on (other than those issued to Congress), and he doesn’t seem to know how to exert pressure when negotiating (e.g. Iran sanctions). Unfortunately, he really missed the boat in getting back Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. America exchanged one soldier who possibly deserted for five Taliban leaders. That swap was more than a little uneven. And the story continues.

The U.K. Daily Mail recently reported that one of the Taliban detainees exchanged for Sgt. Bergdahl has contacted members of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network and tried to join their ranks. The five Taliban leaders are being held in Qatar and are to be released in one year. Somehow that does not make me feel particularly secure.

The article reports:

Earlier this week, Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee who recently visited Qatar, asserted that all five former Taliban fighters in Qatar’s custody may be looking to return to the battlefield.

‘They’ve had some Haqqani people come to meet with them. … They’re reaching out. The Taliban five are communicating with people inside Afghanistan,’ he told the Associated Press.

Under an agreement negotiated with the Taliban to free Bergdahl in May of 2014, the men must stay in Qatar for a year under surveillance. After that time, they may go wherever they please. 

Pointing out that ‘it’s just a year deal,’ Graham told AP, ‘Just as sure as we’re sitting here, they’re going back to the fight.’

This does not bode well for the safety of the American troops in the area.

Another Voice On ‘Deflategate’

The American Thinker posted an article today about the recent controversy regarding the footballs at the recent playoff game in Foxboro, Massachusetts. First of all, I would like to mention that one of my daughters will tell you when asked what she learned from her mother will say, “Denver wins at home.” A realize that for some reason that is no longer the case, but in the early days of mile high stadium, that was generally the case. It is also the case when New England or Green Bay play a southern team outside in the winter in New England or Green Bay, the home team generally wins. That may be due to a loss of pressure in the footballs (which incidentally happens to both teams) or that may be due to the other team wanting to get out of the cold and go home. At any rate, cold weather and an outdoor stadium do affect football games.

The article at the American Thinker explains:

Assume Tom Brady‘s footballs were all inflated to the maximum allowable, 13.5 psi gauge. We need to convert gauge pressure to absolute pressure. At sea level we add the atmospheric pressure (14.7 psia) to the gauge pressure (13.5 psi), we discover the initial absolute pressure was 13.5 + 14.7 = 28.2 psia).

Multiplying the initial absolute pressure at 75 F (28.2 pia) by the ratio of absolute temperatures (510/535 = 0.95327) we find the absolute pressure on the field is (28.2 x 0.95327 = 26.88 psia). Converting absolute pressure back to gauge pressure we need to subtract the atmospheric pressure of 14.7 psia. The field gauge pressure then becomes (26.88 -14.7 = 12.18 psig).

I am one of the least scientific (and sometimes least logical) people I know, but this makes sense to me. It’s time for all of us to conclude that this whole discussion is made up by the media, buy the nachos and wings, and enjoy the game tomorrow!

A Solution?

The New York Post posted an article today about the planned prisoner swap between Jordan and ISIS of Muath al-Kaseasbeh, a Jordanian pilot, and Kenji Goto of Japan.

The article reports:

Jordanian officials said would-be bomber Sajida al-Rishawi and other Islamic State fighters would be “quickly judged and sentenced” if Muath al-Kaseasbeh is killed, the Daily Mail reported.

The deadline for a possible prisoner swap passed Thursday with no word from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, about the fates of al-Kaseasbeh or fellow hostage Kenji Goto of Japan.

“I have reliable contact in the Jordanian government who says a message has been passed to ISIS,” said Elijah Magnier, chief international correspondent for Kuwait’s Al Rai newspaper. “It warns that if they kill the pilot, they will implement the death sentences for Sajida and other ISIS prisoners as soon as possible. There are other prisoners in Jordan that ISIS would like to free.”

I have very mixed emotions about this. If Sajida is released, she will probably attempt another suicide bombing (and this time the bomb may go off). She will kill herself and also kill innocent people. You may save the lives of the two prisoners by turning her over to ISIS, but in the process you endangered other lives–probably more than two. Another part of this dilemma is the fact that the only thing ISIS seems to understand or respect is force. If taking hostages turns out to be a losing game for them, rather than something that gets their soldiers back or raises money for their organization, they might turn to something else. Depending on exactly what that something else is, it could be either a good or a bad thing.

Exiting With Class

Associated Press is reporting today that Mitt Romney will not be running for President in 2016.

You can follow the link above to the article.

As someone who lived in Massachusetts during the time that Mitt Romney was governor, I have a great deal of respect for him. The picture that was painted of him during the 1012 campaign as a rich, uncaring person was inaccurate. He is rich, but the stories I heard during his time as governor of Massachusetts showed him to be a caring, compassionate person. He is also a very smart man who understands how to turn failing enterprises around. As much as we will need that skill in 2016, I would much rather see Mitt Romney as a cabinet member influencing economic policy than as President. The quality that we will need in our next President is the ability to say no to the Washington establishment. We need a strong person who will face the criticism that will come with the efforts to shrink our every expanding government. Mitt Romney is smart enough for the job, but he is too nice.

If You Misdiagnose The Problem, You Won’t Get The Right Solution

The federal deficit is out of control. For whatever reason, the Obama Administration is convinced they can reduce the deficit by cutting military readiness and benefits to the military.

A website called trivisionno.com posted the following:

http://www.rightwinggranny.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/food-stamps-monthly-benefit.jpg

Note that the average food stamp benefit per person is $125.35 per month.

The chart below (from the same site) shows the benefits paid out:

http://www.rightwinggranny.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/food-stamps-annual-benefits.jpg

These benefits are given to people based on their income. There is no work requirement, generally no drug testing, and nothing to encourage people to get off of food stamps. Why are we not doing some serious cutting here? I am not trying to pick on food stamp recipients, but my point is that we need to look at many ways to deal with runaway government spending.

From a site called U.S. Government Spending:

govspendingwelfareMeanwhile, Stars and Stripes reported yesterday:

The Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission will release its long-awaited report Thursday, which will propose fundamental changes to military benefits including ending the 20-year retirement, according to the Military Times, citing sources familiar with the report.

The plan calls for Congress to create a hybrid system of smaller defined-benefit pension along with more cash-based benefits and lump-sum payments. A significant portion of retirement benefits would come in the form of government contributions to 401(k)-style investment accounts, those familiar with the report told Military Times.

In addition to the 401(k) for troops serving less than 20 years, the commission will suggest promising a pension to troops who serve a long-term career, but one that would be more modest than what military retirees receive today, a defense official briefed on the plan told the Times.

And, unlike the current system, this pension would not start upon separation from service; instead, those payment checks would begin at a traditional retirement age, such as 60 or older, according to the official.

So let’s see. Rather than deal with the people who choose to collect welfare rather than work (I realize that does not apply to all welfare recipients, but it applies to some of them), we are going to take away the benefits of the men and women who voluntarily risk their lives to keep us free. It’s even worse than that. When a career military man leaves the military at age 40-something, he starts out as an employee in the civilian world at square one. His military experience does not necessarily translate to seniority in a civilian job. His retirement pay helps bridge the gap and allow him to support his family. He (or she) has given up many of the peak advancement years in order to serve America. Why in the world would the government even consider taking away something that makes the military a reasonable option to civilian life? If I didn’t know better, I would believe that the military commission was attempting to destroy our volunteer army.

A Step Forward On The Keystone Pipeline

The Washington Times is reporting today that a Senate filibuster of the Keystone Pipeline has failed, and the pipeline will be voted on later today.

The bill passed with both Republican and Democrat votes. The article reports:

The nine Democrats who sides with Republican on the pipeline vote were: Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Tom Carper of Delaware, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana and Mark Warner of Virginia.

Mr. Hoeven and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican who serves as chairwoman of the Senate Energy Committee, said if Mr. Obama does eventually veto the bill they’ll try to find ways to attach it to other energy legislation the president wants, hoping to get him to sign it through a compromise.

I would think they would have learned by now that this this president does not compromise.

I hope this bill eventually gets past President Obama. It is the beginning of energy independence for America. It will provide cheap energy, which has the potential of making America a more attractive place to do business. The oil that the Keystone Pipeline will carry is going somewhere. I would be better if it were going to America.

Funding The Green Agenda At The Executive Level

It would be nice if we were all very honest people who were not swayed by money or the promise of influence. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the way the world works. Today’s Daily Caller posted a story about White House Counselor John Podesta, who will be leaving the White House to take a position in Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The article reports:

But his work came into fuller view earlier this week when he emerged as one of the architects of the new White House policy that seeks to end any future drilling for oil on Alaska’s coastal plain.

In fact, Podesta personally announced the policy in a White House blog post Sunday, waxing poetic that the move would ensure “this wild, free, beautiful, and bountiful place remains in trust for Alaska Natives and for all Americans.”

Shielding public lands from oil and gas drilling also is one of the main occupations of Hansjorg Wyss, a mysterious Swiss billionaire who personally hired Podesta as a “consultant” in 2013 just before he entered the White House, according to his White House disclosure form.

The problem is that because of the timing involved, there is a violation of federal ethics rules.

The article explains:

But it may be Wyss’s decision to personally hire the White House Counselor in 2013 as a “consultant,” and paying him $87,000 that could cause Podesta the most trouble.

A number of federal ethics rules, including President Obama’s “ethics pledge,” signed into law by the president on his first day in office, preclude political appointees from engaging in issues of interest to a former employer.

The period of disqualification applies to all work done within two years before entering the federal government. Podesta worked at Wyss’s HJW Foundation in 2013 and joined the White House in January 2014.

Wyss has a history of working to put federal lands off limits for energy exploration and for use as grazing property.

The article details more of Wyss’ activities:

He famously ponied up $35 million in 2010 to set aside 310,000 acres of land from development in Montana.

In January 2013, Wyss contributed $4.25 million to purchase oil and gas leases on 58,000 acres of land in Wyoming’s Hoback Basin.

Wyss sits on the governing council of the Wilderness Society, and on the boards of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and the Grand Canyon Trust.

In addition to Podesta, Wyss also hired Molly Mcusic to be his foundation president.

Mcusic served in the Clinton administration as a top assistant to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbit. She is best remembered for using the Antiquities Act to designate lands as “National Monuments.”

I wish we had someone in Washington uncorrupt enough to take on this sort of corruption. Americans are being denied the use of land that would add to the prosperity of the average citizen, and someone from another country is pulling the strings within an American administration. Would anyone be willing to wager how much of this story will make the major news outlets?

This Is Pathetic

The graph below is from an article posted today at the Washington Examiner. It illustrates the national deficit over the past few years. Please look at the graph carefully.

So why is this graph posted here? President Obama has stated, “I’m proud that since I took office, we’ve experienced the fastest period of sustained deficit reduction since the end of World War II.”

I would like to quietly point out that he reduced the deficit after he tripled it. (That is somewhat like being against the war after you were for it.) The deficit is still higher than it was when he took office. Statements like the above are one reason Americans cannot afford to be low-information voters. I am sure that there are many people who totally believe that President Obama has reduced the deficit during the time he has been in office. Those people need to see this graph.

Why The Republicans Need To Repeal ObamaCare

Hot Air posted an article yesterday reporting that according to the Congressional Budget Office, ObamaCare will cost about $50,000 per person.

The article reports:

If you want to read the report yourself, it’s tucked away back in Appendix B of the document. (.pdf format) The total bill over ten years is closing in on the two trillion mark, and the various taxes and fees imposed under Obamacare are only going to make up for $643B of it. So I guess we really did have to pass the bill to find out what was in it.

The article concludes:

The plan is covering 27 million people with estimates of that growing by 25% over the next decade. A mid-range quality health care plan through most employers – including the employer contribution – can be had for roughly $5,400 per year. That works out to a little less than 150 billion dollars to just buy all of those people a health plan under the old system and the insurers would have been thrilled. The crippled, complicated government web site could have been stripped down to just ask how much you make each year and, based on that, issue you a voucher for a health insurance plan from a company that covers your area. We wouldn’t have liked it, but it would have come in at one heck of a cheaper rate and the debate would be over.

Rather than an exit question, we’ll just close with an observation. You were lied to. Again.

At some point, we need to elect a Congress that understands that the private sector does things better. It would have been much cheaper and easier to set up a system of tax refunds for health care premiums run by the private sector. The plan could easily have included insurance for children in college, portability across state lines, tort reform, and other ways to insure the previously uninsured. Unfortunately, Congress had a better idea–which wasn’t.

 

The Economic Recovery In Real Numbers

Politichicks posted an article today with some of the economic numbers President Obama seems to have omitted from his State of the Union speech.

The article reminds us:

While it might be true that businesses have created 11 million jobs (not Obama), what President Obama fails to mention is that he has been in office 6 years and during his first year in office the economy lost over 4 million jobs. Even with the new jobs created, at best, the economy has created a net amount of 7 million jobs private sector jobs. However, due to the fact that there has also been a loss in government jobs, under President Obama there has been a creation of, at most, 6.4 million jobs during his time in office.

What President Obama and most media outlets also failed to mention is that in order to keep up with population growth, the economy needs to create at least 125,000 jobs per month or 9,000,000 jobs in the 72 months since President Obama took office.

The article also reports:

  • The current labor force participation rate is 62.7%, which matches the lowest rate on record. The lowest rate on record was set in September 2014.
  • Since the beginning of the Great Recession (2008), only 943,000 more people are employed, but the number of individuals over the age of 16 has grown by 14,159,000.
  • Worker’s wages have stayed stagnated. In constant dollars (dollars adjusted for inflation), worker’s wages have actually decreased.
  • The Consumer Price Index has increased by 11.2% since President Obama took office, even with the price of energy dropping by almost half.

The article concludes:

The truth of the matter is that we have endured the worst economic recovery on record and much of it is due to President Obama’s policies. Even with the millions of new jobs that have been created and the fact that people’s confidence in the economy is increasing, we still have a long way to go to reach pre-recession economic levels and if President Obama keeps pushing his big government policies, we may never get there.

Somehow none of the above was mentioned in the State of the Union speech.

 

Foreign Money Influencing American Policy

Yesterday the Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the foreign funding behind anit-fracking groups in America.

Before we follow the money, lets look at some history. During World War II, the British limited immigration to Israel because they did not want to antagonize the Arabs. It wasn’t that the British loved the Arabs–the Arabs had the oil Britain needed. In 1960 the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting CountriesilOPEC) was formed in Baghdad, Iraq. The mandate of OPEC is to “coordinate and unify the petroleum policies” of its members and to “ensure the stabilization of oil markets in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.” (Essentially, they formed a monopoly which they  stated would benefit producers and consumers.) We saw how well this worked when they tripled the price of oil in the 1970’s. We have also seen oil used as a political weapon to discourage international support of Israel. Now OPEC has a problem. If America becomes energy independent, OPEC has lost its political clout, and the repressive regimes in the Middle East that control OPEC might lose a lot of their support from western nations. What better way to discourage energy independence in America than to support the groups that oppose fracking and other petroleum industries.

The article reports:

A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

One of those executives, Nicholas Hoskins, is a director at a hedge fund management firm that has invested heavily in Russian oil and gas. He is also senior counsel at the Bermudan law firm Wakefield Quin and the vice president of a London-based investment firm whose president until recently chaired the board of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.

In addition to those roles, Hoskins is a director at a company called Klein Ltd. No one knows where that firm’s money comes from. Its only publicly documented activities have been transfers of $23 million to U.S. environmentalist groups that push policies that would hamstring surging American oil and gas production, which has hurt Russia’s energy-reliant economy.

Russia needs high energy prices to support its economy. Fracking is a threat to those prices.

The article concludes:

“I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations—environmental organizations working against shale gas—to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen, formerly NATO’s secretary general, said last year.

It is unlikely that the Kremlin is directly involved in doing so in the United States, according to Ron Arnold of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.

“If anybody in Russia is behind all the secretive Bermuda investment house and law firm action, it’s most likely some oligarch bidding against U.S. competition,” he said in an email.

Arnold, the author of Undue Influence: Wealthy Foundations, Grant Driven Environmental Groups, and Zealous Bureaucrats That Control Your Future, said that the opacity of Klein Ltd.’s involvement with the Sea Change Foundation exemplifies attempts to shield the source of donations to such groups.

“In my experience of trying to penetrate offshore money funnels for U.S. leftist foundations and green groups, I have found that Liechtenstein, Panama and Bermuda are the Big Three green equivalents of the Cayman Islands for hedge fund managers—totally opaque and impervious to my specially designed research tools,” Arnold said.

The Russians are not the first to play this game. In September 2012, Power Line reported:

Earlier today, Steve gave this week’s Green Weenie award to Matt Damon for the anti-fracking movie Promised Land, which, it turns out, was financed by the United Arab Emirates. Who, trust me, acted out of a noble concern for the environment and had no thought of suppressing American fossil fuel development which would compete with the Emirates’ product and likely cost the Emirates billions of dollars.

Before you buy into the latest environmental (or other) cause, find out who is funding it.

Policies Have Consquences

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article detailing some of the impact President Obama’s policies will have on the federal deficit after he leaves office.

The article states that during the remainder of President Obama’s term, the deficit should shrink. That is the good news. However, all of the news is not good.

The article reports:

…The bad news is the deficit begins spiking again in 2017, the year Obama’s successor will be sworn into office, before returning to $1 trillion a year in 2025.

All that red ink comes without another Great Recession, with the country’s biggest wars supposedly ending, without any new big-ticket spending items.

The article explains the reason for the increasing deficit:

Medicaid spending will be double what it was when Obama took office, thanks in part to Obamacare. Spending on the health care exchanges, a mere $15 billion in 2014, will be just under $100 billion annually in only two years.

Between 2016 and 2025, the Obamacare Medicaid expansion will cost $920 billion and $1.1 trillion on health insurance subsidies. That’s a rounding error away from $2 trillion.

…The baby boomers’ retirement isn’t Obama’s fault. The fact that the major federal retirement programs are all still structured the way they were for the baby boomers’ parents and grandparents is partly his fault. And the costs of Obamacare are almost entirely his fault (Congress deserves its share of the blame too).

It is very obvious that the first step to solving this problem should be to abolish ObamaCare and return healthcare and health insurance to the private sector. That will not solve the entire problem, but it would be a big step forward. Let’s see if the new GOP majority in Congress is willing to do that. If not, it’s time to elect a different GOP majority.

Treating Your Allies As Enemies

We have watched the dust-up about Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress in March. I posted a story yesterday explaining that the real issue here is that President Obama is trying to prevent the American public from hearing what the Prime Minister has to say. Prime Minister Netanyahu is one of the most knowledgeable people in the world on terrorism and the Iranian nuclear program. Unfortunately, President Obama does not appreciate his knowledge or abilities.

Breitbart.com reported yesterday:

Just days after the Obama White House accused House Speaker John Boehner of “breaking protocol” by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, a team of up to five Obama campaign operatives has reportedly arrived in Israel to lead a campaign to defeat the Israeli Prime Minister in upcoming national elections scheduled for March 17.

The anti-Netanyahu, left wing Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports a group called “One Voice,” reportedly funded by American donors, is paying for the Obama campaign team. That group is reportedly being lead by Obama’s 2012 field director Jeremy Bird.

This is unbelievable.

The article reminds us of President Obama’s past action concerning elections in other countries:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Merkel, an Obama Administration ally, was hosted at the White House prior to recent German elections. Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the left wing Labor Party visited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, not once, but twice prior to British elections. Those were won by Conservative party leader David Cameron, who himself visited Washington last week at Obama’s invitation to lobby the U.S. Congress against adopting a new sanctions measure to help confront Iran’s burgeoning nuclear program. Oddly, that’s the very issue Obama and the mainstream media now roundly condemn John Boehner for involving himself in.

President Obama has not treated Israel well since he took office. Meddling in the Israeli elections is inexcusable.

Are Christians Entitled To Equal Rights In America?

If I wanted to rent a hall at a local college to hold a meeting for a political group supporting animal rights for snails, I could pay my money and the college would rent me the hall. If I wanted to rent the hall for a Muslim group or a Jewish group, the college would rent me the hall. In all of the above cases, there would probably be no news about the event other than the pre-event publicity to encourage people to attend. Would there be a problem if I rented the hall for a Christian event? I wouldn’t think so, but it seems as if that is not the case.

CBN News reported today that a group called The Response: Louisiana rented a hall at Louisiana State University and held an event led by  Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

The article reports:

A hundred or so protesters marched against the rally, with one of their concerns being that Jindal held a religious event on a state-funded campus.

“He shouldn’t be doing it on a state campus. If they want to do that, go somewhere else,” prayer rally protester Phyllis Nowak said.

The protesters were also displeased that the American Family Association, a group that unashamedly promotes traditional values, was involved with the event.

Jindal thinks the protesters need to calm down.

“You’ve got a group of Christians who say we want to pay money to rent a hall on LSU’s campus so we can come together and pray. Do we really live in a society where that’s controversial?” Jindal asked.

Apparently so, but Christians here soldier on, praying for revival.

Do Christians have equal rights in America? Evidently not in the minds of some Americans. Where are we in America that large prayer meetings are being protested? That is scary.

Some Common Sense From Boston

Holly Robichaud writes a column for the Boston Herald. She posted an article today about the recent dust-up between President Obama and Speaker of the House John Boeher. President Obama is upset because Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin 
Netanyahu is addressing a joint session of Congress without the President’s permission. So what is the dust-up really about?

Holly explains:

President Obama’s latest White House hissy fit is over House Speaker John Boehner’s bold move to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin 
Netanyahu to address Congress. Obama claims to be upset over protocol, but that’s just spin. His real concern is on the message that Boehner and Netanyahu want to deliver to us. Their plan is to educate the public on the dangerousness of Iran’s nuclear program, that we might be at least as well informed as we now are on football psi requirements.

…Iran may claim their nuclear ambitions are for peaceful purposes, but they have made it clear over the years they want to wipe Israel off the map. Hence, Tehran needs to know that the United States is serious about halting its nuclear program and protecting our close ally.

Obama should be embracing Netanyahu and tough sanctions, not rejecting them. If there are no repercussions for Iran developing nuclear capabilities, they won’t stop.

Obviously Obama is legacy-shopping with a determination to get any agreement with Iran. If you think the Middle East is dangerous now, just wait.

Fortunately, Boehner has recovered the president’s fumble. No one will accuse the speaker of having a Deflategate issue in this foreign policy.

Meanwhile, the media is focused on deflated footballs, hoping that we wouldn’t notice the problem with Iran until it explodes around us.

This Was A Serious Mistake

The Daily Caller is reporting today on a rather serious misstep by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. During an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’sThis Week” today, Mr. McDonough accidentally revealed the first name of an American female aid worker being held hostage by ISIS.

The article reports:

“As it relates to our hostages, we are obviously continuing to work those matters very, very aggressively,” McDonough said. “We are sparing no expense and sparing no effort, both in trying to make sure that we know where they are and make sure that we’re prepared to do anything we must to try to get them home.”

“But [redacted] family knows how strongly the president feels about this, and we will continue to work this.”

Reached for comment by Politico, National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan, said: “We don’t have anything to add, other than to request again that you not use the name of the individual.”

This is not the first time the Obama Administration has revealed information that has put Americans in danger. Let’s hope it will be the last.

There Seems To Be Some Disagreement About This

When the world stopped getting warmer, global warming became climate change. Those saying that man was causing climate change did not seem to understand that the climate routinely changed before man invented the wheel. Scientists have found evidence of agriculture under the ice of Greenland. Under current conditions, that is unthinkable.

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today about the latest climate numbers on 2014.

This graph was part of the article:

This chart shows Northern Hemisphere temperature changes over the last 10,000 years, based on ice core data. Dr. Ball explains: “The red line, added to the original diagram, imposes the approximate 20th century temperatures (right side) against those of the last 10,000 years.”

clip_image0211

The article also contains a chart illustrating how the temperature numbers are ‘adjusted’ to make sure they achieve the desired results.

The article concludes:

So next time one of your liberal friends tells you that 2014 was the hottest year on record, and therefore we must turn what is left of our economy over to the Obama administration, you can tell him that actually, 2014 was one of the 3% coldest years of the last 10,000.

The real name for what some scientists are calling climate change is weather.

If You Hear A Lie Often Enough, You Think It Is The Truth

There is an organization called CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America). Generally speaking, they write letters to American newspapers when the newspapers misreport something about Israel or the Middle East.

The following is from one of their recent internet posts:

January 23, 2015

There Were No Palestine Borders, And No Palestine, in 1967

A story in today’s New York Times print edition, “Obama Not Planning to Meet With Israeli Premier,” written primarily by the newspaper’s Washington bureau, included erroneous and anachronistic language about Israel’s “1967 borders with Palestine.”

In 1967, of course, there was no country, territory, or entity called Palestine.

And the boundary between Israel and the territory in question, what had been the Jordanian-occupied West Bank, was explicitly not regarded as a border. As the 1949 armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan made clear, “The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto.”

This phrasing helps underscore why CAMERA has long called for newspapers to correct inaccurate references to “1967 borders” (even without explicit references to a pre-1967 entity called “Palestine”) and why we’ve often gotten corrections on the topic. The implication — not often spelled out, though it is in this particular piece — is that there was between 1948 and 1967 a sovereign country between the Green Line and the Jordan River, one that had internationally recognized borders, and one that is therefor the legal sovereign of all land east of the Green Line, whether that be the Jewish Quarter, the consensus settlements of the Etzion block, or beyond.

Readers of this blog might immediately recognize that this isn’t at all true; but the average New York Times reader may not, so the newspaper’s references to 1967 “borders” is likely to lead to substantive geopolitical misunderstanding on the part of its audience.

The New York Times has thanked CAMERA for making it aware of the erroneous language, but has not yet published a correction. We’ll hope to update this space soon with information about a correction.

Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist who became a Christian who supports Israel once stated, “In June 1967, I went to be a Jordanian and woke up a ‘Palestinian.'” As we sit idly by and watch ISIS surround Israel, we need to remember that Israel is the ‘little satan’ and we are the ‘big satan.’ We are next on the list. Knowing the correct history of the region is helpful to understanding what is happening.

 

The Signals America Is Sending

President Obama does not represent all Americans. Unfortunately, to the world, he represents America. The things President Obama does or does not do may be shrugged off at home, but they are watched closely by the people in the world who may not love America.

Breitbart.com posted an article yesterday about the signals President Obama is sending to the rest of the world. The article begins by commenting on the fact that President Obama did not attend the meeting in Paris to support free speech.

The article reports:

Like it or not, the Ummah (Muslim world) seems likely to take that absence as another subtle message that Obama stood with the Islamic Jihadis who were defending the Prophet Mohammed.

For the supposed leader of the free world to be a no-show was an affront to Western democracies. The Obama Administration is now in full damage control mode by admitting it made an “error.” Was it an error or deliberate?

President Obama was not alone in his Paris no-show. If the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, who is number two in line for the presidency, and the new Senate Majority leader, Mitch McConnell, had the political courage to stand up for freedom and democracy, they both would have been in Paris showing the world where the United States Congress stands.

It would have been nice to see some American leadership there–Congressional or otherwise.

The article further points out the many mixed messages President Obama has send about radical Islam:

For example, in his June 4, 2009 Cairo “outreach” speech to the Muslim world, he gave some insight when he stated that he considered part of his responsibility as President of the United States was to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear. I don’t think such a statement is in his oath of office.

Furthermore, he signaled his support for the “Arab Spring” Islamic uprisings. Both al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood understood by that signal that the United States under President Obama would not stand in their way in the revolution to come. Finally, in his September 2012 speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Obama declared “that the future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.” That should have dispelled any doubt.

Under the Obama Administration, all military and civilian training manuals have been stripped of the words ‘Islamic terrorism,’ and our military and police are not getting the training they need in order to protect and defend America. Political correctness caused by the infiltration of the Muslim Brotherhood into the Obama Administration will cost American lives.

The author of the article feels that the actions of President Obama are worthy of impeachment. I am not sure that would be the right answer, but I understand his logic.

The article concludes:

What more does it take to show where lie the sympathies of the Obama Administration? The continued release of hardened terrorists from Gitmo says it all. With its many other scandals and its tragic open border policies, which are unconstitutional, Congress must act to preserve and protect the country by initiating impeachment proceedings.

Can The Mayor Legally Ban Free Speech?

Fortune Magazine posted an article yesterday about a decree signed by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh which bans City of Boston employees from speaking negatively about the Olympic Games or the bidding process.

This is the decree:

The City, including its employees, officers, and representatives, shall not make, publish or communicate to any Person, or communicated in any public forum, any comments or statements (written or oral) that reflect unfavorably upon, denigrate or disparage, or are detrimental to the reputation or statute of, the [International Olympic Committee], the [International Paralympic Committee], the USOC, the IOC Bid, the Bid Committee or the Olympic or Paralympic movement. The City, including its employees, officers and representatives, shall each promote the Bid Committee, the USOC, the IOC Bid, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls and the Olympic and Paralympic movement in a positive manner.

The article reports:

Employees at private companies have few free speech rights except for those related to improving their workplace and guaranteeing their rights as workers. But the Supreme Court in a June 2014 decision clarified the limits public employers can place on their workers’ speech. The court ruled that speech outside the scope of an employee’s duties is protected.

The article concludes:

“Having a way to deal with dissent is a concern for companies more broadly; they want people to disagree so they can come up with better solutions and build consensus,” says Adam Cobb, a professor at The Wharton School. The Boston ban “has the potential to be counterproductive,” he says. “If you don’t let [dissenters] voice their concerns, they’ll just sit there mad or quit.” Those left behind will simply be yes-men and yes-women. Sure, they will all be on the same page. And they’ll come up with nothing but the same solution for the same problem, again and again.

I think we are currently having that problem in the Obama Administration.

Avoiding Listening To Someone Who Knows

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could easily be considered an expert on terrorism. I suspect he didn’t want to be an expert on terrorism, but events have certainly caused him to learn more than he might have wanted to learn. Prime Minister Netanyahu will be in Washington in March to attend an American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference and will speak to Congress at that time. Speaker John Boehner had originally invited the Prime Minister to speak to Congress in February, but since the Prime Minister will be in Washington in March, the March date was selected. The Obama Administration is very upset that they were not consulted about the invitation and have stated that President Obama will not meet with the Prime Minister because the meeting would be too close to the Israeli elections. President Obama has accused Congress of overstepping its bounds by asking Prime Minister Netanyahu to speak.

The Times of Israel posted an article today about the conflict.

The article reports the ‘spoiled brat’ reaction of the Obama Administration:

“We thought we’ve seen everything,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed senior US official as saying. “But Bibi managed to surprise even us.

“There are things you simply don’t do. He spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price,” he said.

Threatening our only ally in the Middle East? It  is a shame that President Obama is ignoring the one country that would actually be helpful in fighting the war with Islamic terrorists.

In an interview scheduled to be on television Sunday night, Speaker Boehner commented that he was amazed that a President who is ruling by executive order and executive memorandum would accuse Congress of overstepping their bounds.

What goes around comes around.

 

 

Rewarding Incompetence At Taxpayer’s Expense

On Wednesday, Fox News reported that the government has awarded a $4.5 million IT contract for its new ObamaCare tax program to CGI, the company responsible for the ObamaCare internet roll out. This is an IRS contract to provide “critical functions” and “management support” for its Obamacare tax program. Really? Wasn’t there anyone else?

The article reports:

Prior to terminating CGI’s contract, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Congress, “I am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of HealthCare.gov.” She called the CGI-designed website a “debacle.”

A joint Senate Finance and Judiciary Committee staff report in June 2014 found that Turning Point Global Solutions, hired by HHS to review CGI’s performance on Healthcare.gov, reported they found 21,000 lines of defective software code inserted by CGI.

Scott Amey, the general counsel for the non-profit Project on Government Oversight, which reviews government contracting, examined the IRS contract with CGI.

“CGI was the poster child for government failure,” he told The Daily Caller. “I am shocked that the IRS has turned around and is using them for Obamacare IT work.”

Who in the world is making these decisions, and why?

The article reports:

Curiously, CGI features its online health work in Helsinki, London, Alberta, Saskatchewan and for the New York State of Mental Health, but says nothing about its ruined rollout of Obamacare web sites.

In Canada, CGI’s parent company, Montreal-based CGI Group, was just as deficient.

Ontario health officials fired CGI after it failed to deliver a flagship provincial online health registry.

About 7 million Obamacare policyholders and about 20 million Americans who don’t have healthcare coverage will depend this year on the proper IRS processing of their 2014 income tax returns.

Improper processing of health information could cause some Americans to receive smaller tax refunds, or even pay more out-of-pocket for their government-issued healthcare policies.

Welcome to a government run by the Keystone Kops.

New Taxes For Thee–But NOT For Me

The Wall Street Journal posted an editorial today about one of the President’s new tax proposals. The proposal would take away the tax breaks for families saving for their children’s college education. The 529 plans have been a way for families to save for college, and if the money was spent on educational expenses, it was not taxed when it was withdrawn from the plan. The money in these plans has already been taxed, and the President intends to tax it again when it is withdrawn (before it can be used to fund higher education).

There is  however, a very interesting aspect of this proposal–money that has already been put in these plans would be exempt from the new tax. Sounds reasonable, right?

The editorial reports:

According to a 2009 report in the Journal, in 2007 “the Obamas took advantage of a unique feature of 529 plans that allows account owners to front-load five years’ worth of contributions, $240,000 in total for the two girls.” No doubt these investments took a hit during the financial crisis. But given the stock market recovery since the spring of 2009, we imagine the Obama family has built educational resources that most middle-class families can only dream of.

We would compliment the President on his financial planning and thoughtful parenting in building up these assets tax-free. But his latest policy proposal makes us wonder why he won’t let the next generation of savers do the same.

Taxes for thee–but not for me.

The Politics Of Destruction

Bobby Jindal is one of America‘s most successful state governors. He has been a major player in cleaning up Louisiana politics, he has worked to rebuild education in the state following the shambles left by Hurricane Katrina, and he has generally done an awesome job as governor. He is not yet running for president, but is considering it. Therefore, the Democrat-biased press must work to discredit him. Recently, Governor Jindal stated the there were ‘no-go zones’ in Europe. The press decided that was their point of attack. Never mind that much of the major media had reported on these zones in recent years.

Breitbart.com posted an article today weighing in on the subject.

The article states:

This has been reported for years. The New York Times reported in April 2002, “Arab gangs regularly vandalize synagogues here, the North African suburbs have become no-go zones at night, and the French continue to shrug their shoulders.” And Newsweek said in November 2005: “According to research conducted by the government’s domestic intelligence network, the Renseignements Generaux, French police would not venture without major reinforcements into some 150 ‘no-go zones’ around the country–and that was before the recent wave of riots began on Oct. 27.

Just two weeks ago, the New Republic wrote: “The word banlieue (‘suburb’) now connotes a no-go zone of high-rise slums, drug-fueled crime, failing schools and poor, largely Muslim immigrants and their angry offspring.”

No-go zones are not new news. There have been times in American history when certain areas were controlled by gangs or gangsters and similar things occurred. However, for the press to lie to Americans as if these zones did not exist and to minimize the threat that these zones may eventually come here is to fail to do the job the press is supposed to do. Our Constitution protects us to some extent, but even in America there have been incidents where American’s rights have not been upheld. In September, I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about a group of Christian evangelists who were forced to leave an Arab-American street festival in Dearborn, Michigan, in 2012. Their First Amendment rights were clearly violated.

Yes, there are no-go zones in many countries in the world, and yes, the purpose of this dust-up was to make sure Bobby Jindal would not be a credible candidate for president.

UPDATE:

Act for America posted the following map of the Paris no-go zones on Facebook:

nogozonesFrance