The Consequences Of ObamaCare

We all know the obvious consequences of ObamaCare–higher premiums, people losing their insurance policies, people having health insurance but not being able to find doctors that accept their plans, etc. Well, there were also some other consequences.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article that illustrates one consequence of ObamaCare that is sometimes not mentioned. The article mentions that Senator Harry Reid kept the Senate in session during the ObamaCare debate so that Democratic Senators would not hear the voters’ opposition to ObamaCare. The Democrats claimed that the Tea Party was astroturf. Was it?

The article includes the following chart:

Recently we have seen protesters at townhall meetings of Congressmen who want to repeal ObamaCare. These are protesters organized according to the Democrat’s Alinsky playbook. They can protest all they want, but it doesn’t change the fact that more Americans have been hurt rather than helped by ObamaCare. Those Senators who do not support the repeal of ObamaCare need to keep this in mind.

 

President Trump By The Numbers

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about President Trump’s first month in office.

The article reports:

On January 20th, the day of the Trump Inauguration, the US Debt stood at $19,947 billion.  On February 21st, a month later, the US Debt load stood at $19,935 billion.  Trump cut the US Debt burden by $12 billion and 0.1% in his first month in office!

On January 20, 2017, the US debt was $19.947 billion.
On February 21, 2017, the US debt was $19,935 billion.

By comparison, under President Obama, the US Debt burden increased by more than $200 billion in his first month in office. 

The article includes a chart showing the increase in the debt during the first month of President Obama’s presidency.

Federal spending has gotten totally out of hand. It will be wonderful if President Trump can continue moving in the direction of cutting spending. One of the reasons he is meeting so much resistance is that in the culture of Washington, D.C., money equals power. Both Republicans and Democrats will fight anything that diminishes their perceived power. President Trump represents that threat.

 

Who Got Deported?

Yesterday The Independent Journal Review posted a story about the recent deportations of illegal aliens in America by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Some of the Democrats in Congress have expressed skepticism about whether or not the people deported had committed crimes.

The article reports:

The raids stretched from California to New York, where more than 680 unauthorized immigrants “who pose a threat to public safety, border security or the integrity of our nation’s immigration system” were apprehended for deportation and jail, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in a statement.

…There were 161 DUIs, 47 cases of domestic violence, 15 assaults with an aggravated weapon, 15 cases of sex offense/fondling against a child and dozens of other cases of sexual and violent crimes.

In total, 507 of the 683 apprehended immigrants had criminal convictions, on par with Kelly’s claim of 75 percent. However, as Democrats noted, some of the crimes were less severe, including traffic violations and shoplifting.

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) told IJR, “If they’re lawbreakers, there are consequences to breaking the law,” adding:

“I don’t understand why we defend criminals. I don’t understand it. If the other side of the aisle wants to defend the criminals, I guess that could be their thing.”

I would like to know how they came up with the names of those who had not committed crimes other than entering the country illegally. However, DUI is a serious offense that can result in the death of innocent people. I have no problem deporting people who have not only broken the law to get here, but have broken the law after they got here.

It is interesting to note the following from an ABC News story from August 2016:

President Barack Obama has often been referred to by immigration groups as the “Deporter in Chief.”

Between 2009 and 2015 his administration has removed more than 2.5 million people through immigration orders, which doesn’t include the number of people who “self-deported” or were turned away and/or returned to their home country at the border by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

…According to governmental data, the Obama administration has deported more people than any other president’s administration in history.

In fact, they have deported more than the sum of all the presidents of the 20th century.

President George W. Bush’s administration deported just over two million during his time in office; and Obama’s numbers don’t reflect his last year in office, for which data is not yet available.

Somehow I just don’t remember the outcry.

What Is Being Hidden Here?

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted a story about some recent comments by senior Iranian officials.

The article reports:

Senior Iranian officials are warning the Trump administration about disclosing secret deals related to the nuclear deal that have long been hidden from the public by the Obama administration, according to recent comments that prompted pushback from senior sources on Capitol Hill.

Does anyone else wonder why the details of this agreement are such a closely guarded secret? What ever happened to transparency in government? Iran may be a tyrannical dictatorship, but America is supposed to be a representative republic.

The article further reports:

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, a senior Iranian lawmaker and head of country’s foreign policy committee, warned the Trump administration against making these documents public in recent remarks.

“If Trump wants to publish confidential documents exchanged between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, it will in fact constitute a violation of the agency’s obligations, because the agency has been committed not to make Iran’s confidential nuclear information and documents available to any country, including the U.S.,” Boroujerdi was quoted as saying in Iran’s state-run media.

Some of these documents surround side deals struck between Iran and the IAEA regarding the Islamic Republic’s ability to enrich uranium. They also include deals about how much information Iran must disclose to international inspectors about the country’s contested nuclear program.

As part of the nuclear deal, U.S. inspectors are not permitted to take part in the review of any Iranian sites.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), a vocal opponent of the Iran deal who has long been fighting for the full disclosure of the Iran deal documents, told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration hid these documents in order to mislead Americans about the true nature of the agreement.

“The administration is under no obligation to conceal information about secret side deals, nor should they feel obligated to protect the anonymity of individuals or institutions who misbehaved at the behest of the Obama administration,” Roskam said.

Included in these documents are details of multiple, secret payments to Iran that totaled close to $2 billion. The money is believed to have been part of an incentive package aimed at securing the release last year of several American hostages in Iran.

None of this information is technically classified, yet it remains hidden from the American public and a large portion of Congress.

This is a nuclear agreement that could potentially impact the future of not only the Middle East but also America. The American public has a right to know exactly what was agreed to by the Obama Administration.

 

Something To Consider

I am getting tired of the Michael Flynn controversy, and I suspect you are too, but there are some aspects of this incident that need to be considered. There are two stories that I think contain important information.

The first story is from The Week, a magazine not known for its conservative leanings.

Some highlights from that story:

In a liberal democracy, how things happen is often as important as what happens. Procedures matter. So do rules and public accountability. The chaotic, dysfunctional Trump White House is placing the entire system under enormous strain. That’s bad. But the answer isn’t to counter it with equally irregular acts of sabotage — or with a disinformation campaign waged by nameless civil servants toiling away in the surveillance state.

As Eli Lake of Bloomberg News put it in an important article following Flynn’s resignation,

Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do. [Bloomberg]

Those cheering the deep state torpedoing of Flynn are saying, in effect, that a police state is perfectly fine so long as it helps to bring down Trump.

It is the role of Congress to investigate the president and those who work for him. If Congress resists doing its duty, out of a mixture of self-interest and cowardice, the American people have no choice but to try and hold the government’s feet to the fire, demanding action with phone calls, protests, and, ultimately, votes. That is a democratic response to the failure of democracy.

John Podhoretz, also not a supporter of Michael Flynn,  posted an article at The New York Post.

He stated the following:

This information might have come because the US intelligence community has an active interest in the Russian official to whom he talked.

Or it could have come because the FBI had been pursuing some sort of secret investigation and had received authorization to monitor and track his calls and discussions.

If this was intelligence, the revelation of the Flynn meeting just revealed something to the Russians we shouldn’t want revealed — which is that we were listening in on them and doing so effectively.

And if it was an FBI investigation, then the iron principle of law enforcement — that evidence gathered in the course of an investigation must be kept secret to protect the rights of the American being investigated — was just put through a shredder.

Keeping our intelligence-gathering assets hidden from those upon whom we are spying is a key element of our national security.

And as for playing fast and loose with confidential information on American citizens: No joke, people — if they can do it to Mike Flynn, they can do it to you.

The danger in this situation is not whatever relationship Michael Flynn has or had with Russia; the danger is the means that the opponents of Donald Trump will use to take down one of his appointments.

We know that former President Obama has organized a nonprofit group called Organizing for Action (OFA) for the purpose of ‘protecting the Obama legacy from President Trump.’ Aside from the fact that this is highly unusual, it is simply classless. This group may or may not be involved in what happened to Michael Flynn, but I suspect that they have a few contacts within government that they might have encouraged along the way. OFA also has a press secretary and the ear of the major media. OFA also has an office paid for with taxpayer dollars because Barack Obama is a former President. The taxpayers are paying to undermine their own government!

Be prepared for more media attacks on members of the Trump Administration.

 

 

Is This Really Necessary?

On Saturday, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about the confirmation hearings for President Trump’s cabinet.

The article reports:

Trump has now been president for a full three weeks, and the number of approved members in his cabinet stands at seven—a number that was boosted by three contested confirmations last week that were opposed by almost the entire Democratic caucus.

Senate Democrats, vowing to use “everything” they can to stop Trump‘s nominees, have used procedural tricks like boycotting committee meetings to slow the confirmation process to a historically slow pace.

Recent administrations have had many more nominees approved at the three-week mark. Barack Obama had 12 out of 15 nominees approved, George W. Bush had his entire cabinet approved, and Bill Clinton had all but one approved in less than a day.

For most of history, approving cabinet nominees has been a non-issue. Presidents John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter had their entire cabinet approved in the first days of their presidency—a brisk pace that has been the norm for most of U.S. history.

As noted by historian Robert David Johnson, the only confirmation process at all comparable to the current situation was that of President George H.W. Bush, and even he had 10 of his 14 nominees confirmed by the three-week mark.

The article reminds us that in the case of President H.W. Bush, the Democrats controlled the Senate and had the power to stop his cabinet choices. The Republicans currently control the Senate, and even then the Democrats are successful at slow-walking President Trump’s cabinet choices. Odds are that all cabinet members will eventually be confirmed. It doesn’t make sense to obstruct, and obstruction may have a political price.

The article further reports:

The continuing obstruction of even uncontroversial cabinet choices is being driven by demands from the liberal base of the Democratic Party, which is demanding that Democratic lawmakers not cooperate with Trump on anything.

“Democrats, pushed by their base, are under pressure to not cooperate with the new president—on anything,” wrote the Wall Street Journal following reports that Democrats boycotted committee hearings for multiple nominees.

“Gone are the concerns about appearing overly obstructionist,” Politico reported. “Officeholders are now chasing a base that will not tolerate any sign of accommodation.”

The White House has complained that Democrats are “working overtime” to stop the administration from putting qualified nominees in place at agencies.

The Partnership for Public Progress, a nonpartisan group that promotes public service, has said the slow pace of confirmations is damaging the country.

“They are running the most important organization on the planet, and they don’t have their team on the field,” said the organizations CEO. “They don’t have their critical people in place and that’s vital to being able to do their jobs appropriately.”

This is ridiculous. I am waiting for the Democrats who are slowing the confirmation process to start complaining that the Trump Administration isn’t doing anything. Meanwhile, the Democrats are planning on obstructing anything that is attempted. This is not what the American people signed up for. We want a government that gets things done. We want a government that will do what is needed to restart the economy. We want a government that will get out of health insurance and let the free market work. Simply stated, we want a government that will let us live our lives. This obstructionism is not appreciated by anyone except the extreme left, and candidates running for re-election need votes from all groups of voters. The current actions of the Senate Democrats may please the base, but we will see in 2018 if they actually helped the party or hurt the party.

The Business Optimism That Surrounds President Donald Trump

President Trump has been in office for about two weeks. He has issued a number of executive orders that he believes will help restart the American economy, but he really hasn’t been in office long enough to see very much in terms of results. However, what he has done is increase optimism, which does influence the business climate.

Yesterday the January jobs report was released. Hot Air posted a story.

Here are some of the highlights:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 227,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, and financial activities. …

After accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls, the civilian labor force increased by 584,000 in January, and the labor force participation rate rose by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent. Total employment, as measured by the household survey, was up by 457,000 over the month, and the employment-population ratio edged up to 59.9 percent.

…U.S. job growth surged more than expected in January as construction firms and retailers ramped up hiring, which likely gives the Trump administration a head start as it seeks to boost the economy and employment.

Nonfarm payrolls increased by 227,000 jobs last month, the largest gain in four months, the Labor Department said on Friday. But the unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.8 percent and wages increased modestly, suggesting that there was still some slack in the labor market.

This is the chart on the workforce participation rate since 2007:

It may be a slow climb, but we are at least moving in the right direction.

If You Repeat A Lie Often Enough, It Becomes The Truth

The above quote is attributed to Vladimir Lenin. It has been used successfully by the political left for a very long time. The Wall Street Journal posted a story on Wednesday illustrating how the political left is repeating a lie in order to gain advantage in the efforts to confirm a Supreme Court Judge.

The article reports:

…But Democrats are still itching for a fight, and their first line of offense is the myth of the “stolen” seat.

“This is a seat that was stolen from the former President, Obama, that’s never been done in U.S. history before,” declared Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley in announcing that he will attempt to filibuster Judge Gorsuch. “To let this become normal just invites a complete partisan polarization of the Court from here to eternity.” The “stolen” line is echoing across Progressive Nation, but it’s a complete political invention.

The “theft” is supposedly the GOP Senate’s refusal last year to vote on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to fill Antonin Scalia’s seat. But the standard of not confirming a Supreme Court nominee in the final year of a Presidency was set by . . . Democrats. And by no less a Beltway monument than the current Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer.

 

“We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court, except in extraordinary circumstances,” Mr. Schumer declared in a July 2007 speech to the American Constitution Society. Democrats then held the Senate and Mr. Schumer was putting down a marker if someone on the High Court retired. George W. Bush didn’t get another opening, but Mr. Schumer surely meant what he said.

Ah, but that was then and this is now. We had a Republican President then. Last year we had a Democratic President.

The article continues:

The Democratic theft standard goes back further to Joe Biden’s days as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In June 1992 in President George H.W. Bush’s final year, Robber Joe opined that the President “should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not name a nominee until after the November election is completed.”

Naming a new Justice, he said, would ensure that a confirmation “process that is already in doubt in the minds of many will become distrusted by all.” If Mr. Bush made an election-year nomination, Mr. Biden said his committee should consider “not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.”

Does anyone outside the MSNBC audience think that had the roles been reversed in 2016, and a Democratic Senate faced a Republican Court nominee, Harry Reid would have held a confirmation vote? As John McEnroe liked to shout, “You can’t be serious!”

It must be frustrating to the Democrats (and at times to the Republicans) than anyone can google a subject and find out what politicians have said in the past. What we need now is an honest mainstream media that will report previous statements.

Why It Is Necessary To Drain The Swamp

Yesterday Lifezette posted a story about problems with leaks in the State Department. This is a security problem as well as a political problem. We need to remind all those in the State Department that they work for the President. We also need to remind them that they are not the elected President and do not have the authority to run the government. Leaking information for the purpose of embarrassing an administration you don’t like should result in job loss. Hopefully under President Trump, it will.

The article reports:

Serious leaks have rocked the White House and likely sent top staffers searching for the individuals in the West Wing and Cabinet-level agencies responsible for the disclosures — some of which may have included classified information.

Washington and the diplomatic enclaves across the world were jolted on Wednesday night when two reports — one by the Associated Press and one by The Washington Post — outlined what Trump said to the leaders of Mexico and Australia.

…Since Trump took office on Jan. 20, the administration has been plagued by a number of leaks about the internal process. Some leaks have panned out, while others have been hotly denied by the White House.

The leaks include: a charge that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was not briefed on the executive order on restrictions on travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations; a charge that Trump ended a call with Turnbull; a charge that Trump said he could send troops to deal with Mexico’s “bad hombres”; and a charge that Trump asked U.S. Judge Thomas Hardiman to drive toward D.C. to increase speculation before the selection of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.

There is no excuse for this. Cleaning up the worldwide mess that President Obama left behind needs the full attention and cooperation of those in the State Department. Using leaks to destroy a President for political purposes is not patriotic, in fact it borders on treason.

President Trump Seen Through The Perspective Of Common Sense

Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at Townhall.com today that pretty much sums up the political climate in America today. In his article, Mr. Hanson reminds us that Barack Obama ran for President on a moderate Democratic platform rather than a hard-left platform. Candidate Obama promised to balance the budget, oppose gay marriage, and pursue a bipartisan foreign policy. What he actually did was very different, and the media supported his actions.

The article highlights some  of President Obama’s policies:

Soon, the border effectively was left open. Pen-and-phone executive orders offered immigrant amnesties. The Senate was bypassed on a treaty with Iran and an intervention in Libya.

Political correctness under the Obama administration led to euphemisms that no longer reflected reality.

Poorly conceived reset policy with Russia and a pivot to Asia both failed. The Middle East was aflame.

The Iran deal was sold through an echo chamber of deliberate misrepresentations.

The national debt nearly doubled during Obama’s two terms. Overregulation, higher taxes, near-zero interest rates and the scapegoating of big businesses slowed economic recovery. Economic growth never reached 3 percent in any year of the Obama presidency — the first time that had happened since Herbert Hoover‘s presidency.

A revolutionary federal absorption of health care failed to fulfill Obama’s promises and soon proved unviable.

Culturally, the iconic symbols of the Obama revolution were the “you didn’t build that” approach to businesses and an assumption that race/class/gender would forever drive American politics, favorably so for the Democrats.

Those policies led to the defeat of Hillary Clinton in her presidential campaign. Donald Trump won the election, much to the dismay of the media and the Democratic party.

So what did we get when we elected Donald Trump? We got a man who wants better trade deals and more jobs for Americans. We got a man who wants energy independence, secure borders, deregulation, tax reform. and traditional values. Sounds pretty basic to me.

The article continues:

Yet securing national borders seems pretty orthodox. In an age of anti-Western terrorism, placing temporary holds on would-be immigrants from war-torn zones until they can be vetted is hardly radical. Expecting “sanctuary cities” to follow federal laws rather than embrace the nullification strategies of the secessionist Old Confederacy is a return to the laws of the Constitution.

Using the term “radical Islamic terror” in place of “workplace violence” or “man-caused disasters” is sensible, not subversive.

Insisting that NATO members meet their long-ignored defense-spending obligations is not provocative but overdue. Assuming that both the European Union and the United Nations are imploding is empirical, not unhinged.

Questioning the secret side agreements of the Iran deal or failed Russian reset is facing reality.

Making the Environmental Protection Agency follow laws rather than make laws is the way it always was supposed to be.

Unapologetically siding with Israel, the only free and democratic country in the Middle East, used to be standard U.S. policy until Obama was elected.

Issuing executive orders has not been seen as revolutionary for the past few years — until now.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It applies common sense to what the media chooses to misreport.

The article concludes:

In sum, Trump seems a revolutionary, but that is only because he is loudly undoing a revolution.

 

 

Developing A Backbone

Yahoo News is reporting today that Senate Republicans used a parliamentary tactic to change the rules of the Senate Finance Committee, allowing allowed them to pass the nominations on to the full Senate without Democrats in attendance. The Democrats had boycotted the Committee meetings so that the nominees for President Trump’s Cabinet could not be approved and sent out of committee. It was a childish move by people who are still sulking over the fact that they lost an election they did not plan to lose.

In a story posted on January 9 of this year, Fox News reminds us:

Eight years ago, the Senate confirmed seven Cabinet-level nominees the day of Obama’s inauguration, including top picks like Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security secretary. Hillary Clinton was confirmed as secretary of state the following day.

I will admit that I was not a fan of any of President Obama‘s Cabinet picks, but elections have consequences, and a President should be allowed to have the Cabinet of his choice. Evidently Democrats do not feel that way.

The article at The New York Post lists the problems the Democrats cited with the two candidates in the committee, but the Democrats fail to mention that similar problems were overlooked in the past.

The article reports:

Price had numerous investments in healthcare-related stocks while drafting legislation with the potential to influence the healthcare sector. Additionally, an investment in an Australian pharmaceutical company was called into question as a possible violation of the Stock Act, which governs investments from congressional members.

Price told the committee that the investment into the Australian company, Innate Immunotherapeutics, was available to all investors. A report from The Wall Street Journal, however, found that his investment was through a private offering in the US available to fewer than 20 Americans. It was available to all investors in Australian and New Zealand.

Mnuchin was attacked for failing to disclose nearly $100 million in assets — mostly real-estate holdings — and directorships at offshore entities related to his hedge fund, Dune Capital Management. Additionally, Democrats called out foreclosure activities by OneWest Bank, a mortgage lender owned by a group led by Mnuchin.

Mnuchin said during testimony that OneWest had not used so-called robosigning for foreclosure documents, but an investigation by the Columbus Dispatch showed that such automation was used for at least some loans in Ohio.

Hatch (Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the chair of the committee), on the other hand, said that these were simply distractions used by Democrats to block two qualified nominees and the delay tactics forced the Republican controlled committee’s hand.

Hatch also pointed to the Finance committee’s approval of Timothy Geithner for Treasury secretary in 2009, at which point he had an outstanding tax bill of around $40,000, as an example of Republicans being willing to compromise on appointments. Geithner passed with a 18 to 5 vote.

This kind of shenanigans on the part of the Democrats is exactly why Donald Trump won the election. Politicians are getting old, boring, and ridiculous. The political posturing has become so over the top that nothing can be accomplished for the good of the American people. Donald Trump was elected to put an end to that sort of foolishness.

Hopefully these nominees can be quickly confirmed in the Senate.

 

Voter ID Would Solve This Problem

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today about the charge by Donald Trump that non-citizens voted in the last presidential election.

The article lists a few examples:

  • Election officials in a Kansas discovered that about a dozen newly sworn citizens had already voted in multiple elections when they offered to register them in 2015.
  • An investigation into a 1996 California House race in which Loretta Sanchez defeated incumbent Rep. Bob Dornan found 624 invalid votes by noncitizens in a race where Sanchez won by fewer than 1,000 votes.
  • A September report from the Public Interest Legal Foundation found more than 1,000 noncitizens on Virginia‘s voter rolls, many of whom had cast votes in previous elections.
  • A district-court administrator estimated that up to 3% of the 30,000 people called for jury duty from voter-registration rolls over a two-year period were not U.S. citizens.

The article also quotes John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky, who have both tracked voter fraud extensively,. They made the following statement, “we don’t know how big of a problem voter fraud really is because no systematic effort has ever been made to investigate it.”

The only way to know how much of a problem voter fraud is would be to investigate it and to purge voter rolls of illegal or deceased voters.

I believe President Obama encouraged illegals to vote. Here are some quotes from an interview President Obama did with the Latin-oriented YouTube channel mitu, millennial actress Gina Rodriguez asked Obama:

“Many of the millennials, Dreamers, undocumented citizens – and I call them citizens because they contribute to this country – are fearful of voting. So if I vote, will Immigration know where I live? Will they come for my family and deport us?”

Obama responded: “Not true, and the reason is, first of all, when you vote, you are a citizen yourself. And there is not a situation where the voting rolls somehow are transferred over and people start investigating, etc. The sanctity of the vote is strictly confidential.”

The video of that interview can be found here.

 

 

Leadership Matters

One America News is reporting today that President Trump has signed Executive Orders to streamline the permitting process and regulatory burden for domestic manufacturers. He is also signed orders to expedite environmental review and approval of high-priority infrastructure projects, to accelerate the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects and to decree that any pipelines intended for the United States should be built in the country.

These are things that need to be done. We need to maintain a balance between protecting the environment and allowing the American economy to grow. In March 2016, I posted an article that included the following quote:

If they were honest, the climate alarmists would admit that they are not working feverishly to hold down global temperatures — they would acknowledge that they are instead consumed with the goal of holding down capitalism and establishing a global welfare state.

Have doubts? Then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:

“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

So what is the goal of environmental policy?

“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

The American economy has struggled for the past eight years. We have not had a year of over 3 percent GDP growth since President Obama took office. Even if Congress had done what President Trump just did, President Obama would have vetoed it. Politics have blocked our economic growth for the last eight years. Results matter. It will be interesting to see how what President Trump did today impacts economic growth in America. It will also be interesting to see if the mainstream media is willing to give President Trump credit for the economic growth these Executive Orders generate.

The Facts You Need To Fight The Current Spin

Yesterday Investors.com posted a story about what the repeal of ObamaCare will actually mean. The story separates the lies we are being told from the actual truth.

These are the five main points from the story:

  1.  Repealing ObamaCare will not add 20 million to the number of people without health insurance.
  2.  Repealing ObamaCare will not increase the deficit–leaving it in place with significantly increase the deficit in coming years.
  3.  Repealing ObamaCare will not mean that people with pre-existing conditions cannot get health insurance–the replacement plans being considered will have a place a way to cover pre-existing conditions.
  4. Repealing ObamaCare will not increase health costs. The article points out that the rate of increase in premiums for employer-provided insurance had also slowed before ObamaCare took effect. The shift in the employer market toward Health Savings Account plans — which Democrats hate — is largely responsible for that.
  5.  The claim that the voters do not want ObamaCare repealed is also false. The passage of ObamaCare strictly along Democratic Party lines lead to the loss of the House of Representatives by the Democrats in 2010, the loss of the Senate by the Democrats in 2014, and the loss of the Presidency by the Democrats in 2016.

Please follow the link above to read the details of the above points. We need healthcare to be allowed to function under a free-market system with as little interference from the government as possible. That will provide the most cost-efficient and most available healthcare for everyone.

The End Of The Road

President Obama will be leaving the Presidency next week. Unfortunately for America, he will not be leaving politics. The Democratic Party has moved left, and he is their most popular figure. It remains to be seen if Muslim Brotherhood-connected Keith Ellison will become chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). It will be interesting to see if Ellison becomes DNC Chairman, how many people will remain in the party if they discover some of his not-so-moderate Islamic connections.  At any rate, President Obama gave his farewell speech in Chicago last night.

Scott Johnson at Power Line summed up President Obama’s speech in an article he posted today.

The article includes some very good comments:

One may question the premise of the farewell address. As Dan Hicks asked in one of his twisted songs with the Hot Licks, how can I miss you when you won’t go away? We will be hearing from him early and often in the days to come. Think of them as the years After Obama.

In his farewell address President Eisenhower famously warned of the military-industrial complex. The peril of the military-industrial complex has nothing on the Democrat/Media complex. The Democrat/Media complex has been with us for a long time, it goes from strength to strength and it will never die. Add its immortality to the eternal verities of death and taxes.

That pretty much sums it up!

I Wish Everyone In Congress Would Play By The Same Rules

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about the Senate hearings that will begin today on the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. The article compares what is expected at those hearings with what actually happened at the hearings for the confirmation of Eric Holder.

It is interesting to look back at statements made about Senator Sessions in the past and in the present.

The article reports:

Ahead of the confirmation hearing Tuesday for Trump’s attorney general designee, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, brought up issues that prevented Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., from becoming a federal judge three decades ago.

“Now that he is nominated to be attorney general, we will see if the same person is still too extreme for Republicans,” Leahy said in a Boston Globe op-ed Sunday, later adding, “Sen. Sessions has repeatedly stood in the way of efforts to promote and protect Americans’ civil rights.”

It’s a departure from what Leahy said of Sessions in 2009, when both men voted to confirm Obama’s controversial nominee, Eric Holder, to be attorney general.

“Sen. Sessions is also a former U.S. attorney and knows what one goes through in that regard, and we’ve relied on him for that experience,” Leahy said to his colleague during the Holder confirmation hearing in January 2009, according to the Washington Examiner.

In June 2010, Leahy called Sessions “wonderful to work with,” the Examiner reported.

This should not be political–the Republicans gave President Obama the Cabinet he wanted. The Democrats need to be equally courteous. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if that will be the case.

Please follow the link to the Daily Signal article to read the entire story. Jeff Sessions will probably be confirmed, but the dog and pony show is really unnecessary.

The Past Eight Years

Jeff Jacoby at The Boston Globe posted an article today evaluating the eight years of the Presidency of Barack Obama. President Obama is planning to give his farewell address in Chicago on Tuesday. The purpose of the address is to“celebrate the ways you’ve changed this country for the better these past eight years.” Wow.

The article takes a look at the past eight years to see if there is anything worth celebrating. Here are a few of the highlights:

In 2010, two years after electing him president, voters trounced Obama’s party, handing Democrats the biggest midterm losses in 72 years. Obama was reelected in 2012, but by nearly 4 million fewer votes than in his first election, making him the only president ever to win a second term with shrunken margins in both the popular and electoral vote.

The trend continued, he campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2016, saying that a vote for Hillary would be a vote to support his policies during the past eight years. Hillary lost.

The article notes the economy during President Obama’s time in office:

The economy. Obama took office during a painful recession and (with Congress’s help) made it even worse. Historically, the deeper a recession, the more robust the recovery that follows, but the economy’s rebound under Obama was the worst in seven decades. Annual GDP growth since the recession ended has averaged a feeble 2.1 percent, by far the puniest economic performance of any president since World War II.

…In 2008, when Obama was first elected president, 63 percent of Americans considered themselves middle class. Seven years later, only 51 percent still felt the same way.

The article talks about President Obama’s impact on healthcare:

But Obamacare has been a fiasco. At least 27 million Americans are still without health insurance, and many of those who are newly insured have simply been added to the Medicaid rolls. Far from reducing costs, Obamacare sent premiums and deductibles skyrocketing. Insurance companies, having suffered billions of dollars in losses on the Obamacare exchanges, have pulled out from many of them, leaving consumers in much of the country with few or no options. And the administration, it transpired, knew all along that millions of Americans would lose their medical plans once the law took effect. The deception was so egregious that in December 2013, PolitiFact dubbed “If you like your health plan, you can keep it” as its “Lie of the Year.”

President Obama has not been successful in the area of foreign policy. The world is less safe now than it was when he took office. Part of the problem is the premature troop withdrawal from Iraq, which paved the way for ISIS. This is not totally President Obama’s fault–America has politicized wars since the Korean War. We have forgotten how to win them, and thus have wasted more lives because we were not willing to fight hard. War is ugly, nasty, and horrible, but there would be less of it if it were fought quickly and ended quickly. Somehow since the Korean War, politics have determined battle strategy, and that is a recipe for disaster. President Obama has to take some responsibility for politicizing the war in Iraq (along with his Democratic Party allies), but the precedent for their behavior was set many years ago.

The most disturbing area of failure that the article brings up is the area of national unity. The article states:

According to Gallup, Obama became the most polarizing president in modern history. Like all presidents, he faced partisan opposition, but Obama worsened things by regularly taking the low road and disparaging his critics’ motives. In his own words, his political strategy was one of ruthless escalation: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” During his 2012 reelection campaign, Politico reported that “Obama and his top campaign aides have engaged far more frequently in character attacks and personal insults than the Romney campaign.” And when a Republican-led Congress wouldn’t enact legislation he sought, Obama turned to his “pen and phone” strategy of governing by diktat that polarized politics even more.

The article concludes:

Obama’s accession in 2008 as the nation’s first elected black president was an achievement that even Republicans and conservatives could cheer. It marked a moment of hope and transformation; it genuinely did change America for the better.

It was also the high point of Obama’s presidency. What followed, alas, was eight long years of disenchantment and incompetence. Our world today is more dangerous, our country more divided, our national mood more toxic. In a few days, Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. Behold the legacy of the 44th.

We need to remember that the U.S. Constitution was put in place to limit government–not to limit American citizens. Hopefully Donald Trump is aware of that history and will act accordingly.

Making The World Less Safe As You Head Out The Door

Yesterday the U.K. Mail posted an article about President Obama’s plan to release at least eighteen more Guantanamo detainees before he leaves office in two weeks. Four of those detainees will be sent to Saudi Arabia, not exactly a hotbed of moderate Islam.

The article reports:

Obama will likely focus on moving detainees who have been ‘cleared for transfer’ – a group that includes the alleged head of al Qaeda‘s bomb-manufacturing operation in eastern Afghanistan, the head of al Qaeda’s Tunisian faction in Afghanistan, and senior weapons trainers.

Those held in Guantanamo in recent years have been dubbed ‘the worst of the worst’ by military and intelligence officials. 

…The list of ‘recommended for transfer’ prisoners includes a number of top al Qaeda operatives and commanders.

…Some of the recommended transfers have also vowed to return to jihad if they are ever released, according to reports from US military officials. They have also threatened to assassinate the U.S. president, kill American citizens, and attack other world leaders who are allied with the West.

Please follow the link above to the article. The article includes a list and details of the prisoners now cleared for release. Anyone with an eye toward national security should be appalled by that list–these prisoners include an expert bomb-maker  and others who are skillful at planning terrorist attacks. If they were run-of-the-mill prisoners who had done the things they had done other than in the context of terrorism, they would never be let out of prison, so why is President Obama so anxious to set them free? There is little doubt about their crimes and tendency to continue in terrorism. In World War II, they would have been tried in a military tribunal and executed.  In America, they would have been sentenced to life without parole.

How would an American who had purposefully killed innocent Muslims be treated by the Saudis, the Iranians, the Afghans? Would he be treated humanely? Would his religious dietary requirements be met? Would he be given tennis courts? How long would he stay alive?

Guantanamo serves a purpose. Intelligence sources outside of the Obama Administration have stated that the recidivism rate among Guantanamo prisoners who have been released is probably higher than thirty percent. We need to remember that many of these terrorists have been trained in terrorism from a young age (see THE BLOOD OF LAMBS by Kamal Saleem). Terrorism is all they know how to do. It is unrealistic to believe that they can be retrained. The culture they have been raised in is brutal, and that culture has become part of who they are. To ask a country such as Saudi Arabia, which is steeped in that culture, to retrain them is ridiculous. That’s like sending a thief to a pickpocket convention to learn how to make a living. He might not learn the lesson you wanted him to learn.

The actions of President Obama as he leaves office make the world less safe for all of us.

Didn’t The Democrats Complain About Obstruction During President Obama’s Term of OFfice?

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about some recent statements by Senator Chuck Schumer.

The article reports:

The top Democrat in the Senate, Chuck Schumer of New York, is promising to block one of President-elect Donald Trump’s first big initiatives — naming a ninth member to the Supreme Court.

“It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support that we could support,” Schumer said in an interview Tuesday night on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

Asked whether he’ll do his “best to hold the seat open” on the Supreme Court, Schumer responded, “Absolutely.”

For Schumer, it’s about retribution. The Republican-controlled Senate failed even to vote on President Obama’s last nomination to the highest court, Merrick Garland, who was put up for the job after the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Republicans instead made the Supreme Court a campaign issue, saying whoever was elected president would get to nominate Scalia’s replacement.

The Democratic Senate leader told host Maddow that Republicans got away with not voting on Obama’s nominee, but that “the consequences will be down the road.”

But in June, Schumer sang a different tune, blasting Republicans for not doing their duty and for creating “chaos.”

Does anyone remember the following quote:

Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.” – President Obama to House Republican Whip Eric Cantor, January 23, 2009.

Donald Trump was elected. He won the popular vote almost everywhere except Los Angeles County and New York City. The American people are looking for people who will work for the interests of America. Do the Democrats really believe that opposing everything Donald Trump does is a winning strategy? Should someone remind Senator Schumer that the Democrats set the precedent of not approving a court nominee during the last year of a Presidential term?

As The Discussion About ObamaCare Continues…

The discussions on the repeal of ObamaCare are beginning. This is going to be interesting. The House and Senate have voted numerous times to repeal ObamaCare, but have never had to worry about the President agreeing with their efforts–so the votes really didn’t mean anything. Now the game is real.

Yahoo News is reporting today on the events surrounding the newly-elected Congress. President Obama met with the Democrats and Mike Pence met with the Republicans. President Obama wants to save ObamaCare as his legacy. Congress supports ObamaCare at its own risk.

You can find countless articles that detail the premium hikes and increased deductible for the average American, so I am going to skip those numbers. However, I want to remind anyone reading this about some of the history of how we got ObamaCare.

ObamaCare was passed in the Senate on the morning of December 24th, 2009. All the Democrats voted for it; all the Republicans voted against it. ObamaCare was signed into law on March 23, 2010. There was an election that year. The Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives, and the Democrats lost seats in the Senate. During the debate on ObamaCare, the Tea Party was formed. The political consequences of the law were all negative for the Democratic Party. (There was a serious loss of power by the Democratic Party at  the federal, state, and local level continued during the eight years of the Obama Administration).

ObamaCare was finally passed through reconciliation. That is the reason that it can be repealed through that process. Hopefully it will be. The government needs to get its nose out of healthcare and give the free market a chance to work. The private sector can find a way to attach healthcare to the person rather than the employer so that preexisting conditions will not be an issue. There are three things that are needed to make healthcare work in America–portability across state lines, tax breaks for low-income families to encourage them to get health insurance, and health savings accounts. I am sure there are other worthwhile suggestions, but those are my three.

Meanwhile, Democrats oppose the repeal of ObamaCare at their own risk!

Is Medicare Going Bankrupt?

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about the financial condition of Medicare. It seems that Medicare is really doing rather well.

The article cites some interesting statistics:

As the new Congress convenes, budget cutters are eyeing Medicare, citing forecasts the program for seniors is running out of money. But federal bean counters have erroneously predicted Medicare’s bankruptcy for decades. One reason: They don’t consider medical breakthroughs.

Another problem is medical ethicists like Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, who insist the elderly are a burden and that resources would be better spent on the young.

The facts prove otherwise. New medical findings give plenty of reason for optimism about the cost of caring for the elderly. According to data published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, Medicare spending on end-of-life care is dropping rapidly, down from 19 percent to 13 percent of the Medicare budget since 2000. Living to a ripe old age shouldn’t be treated like it’s a problem. It’s a bargain. Someone who lives to 97 consumes only about half as much end-of-life care as someone who dies at 68.

Dr. Emanuel has some unique ideas about aging, which are stated in the article:

Why would we emulate Zeke Emanuel, age 59, who swears that at 75, he will forego all medical care and let death come quickly? “Our older years are not of high quality,” he insists. He’ll skip them. In The Atlantic magazine, he dismissed compression of morbidity as “quintessentially American” wishful thinking, and mocked seniors for trying to “cheat death.”

Keep in mind that Dr. Emanuel was one of the people behind ObamaCare who espoused the idea of limiting medical care for older Americans. That is one of the reasons it was so surprising that the AARP supported Medicare. They betrayed their own members.

The article concludes:

Too often, Congress treats Medicare as a piggy bank — raiding it when money is needed elsewhere. In 2010, Democrats in Congress paid for over half of ObamaCare’s spending by cutting Medicare. This year, Republican lawmakers eager to control federal health spending should avoid that error and instead focus on fixing Medicaid, the money pit program for the poor, where spending per capita is growing twice as fast as for Medicare. (I added the italics to this quote.)

Medicaid spending now tops $8,000 per recipient. That’s thousands more than is spent on people in private plans. And for all that money, studies show Medicaid isn’t improving patients’ health.

By contrast, Medicare is a success story. It has transformed aging, enabling older Americans to lead longer, more independent lives than our grandparents did. The average man turning 65 today will live five years longer than in 1970. Not just more years. Quality years. What a gift.

Medicare is partially paid for by payroll deductions from both the employee and the employer totaling about 2.9 percent, so Medicare is at least partially paid for. Medicaid is a gaping hole in our pockets that does not guarantee quality care to anyone. Healthcare in America is a problem that ObamaCare has made worse. Hopefully Congress and President Trump can come up with something that provides care for everyone who needs it, but also allows free market competition to keep the costs down for everyone.

What Borders?

MRCTV posted an article today about the number of children who arrived in America illegally in the month of November.

The article reports:

In fact, strung out over the entire 30-day period, the Obama administration processed and turned loose an astonishing 6,623 illegal alien kids who’d recently crossed the U.S.-Mexico border unlawfully, averaging more than 220 kids per day. The administration released about 600 more kids in November than they did during the month of October, when 6,051 children were sent to live with sponsors in the U.S. pending their day in immigration court. FY2016 data reveals the vast majority of these children are teens claiming to be between 15 and 17 years of age.

The incoming flood of illegal aliens, including unaccompanied minors, ramped up during the final few months of FY2016 and into the first days of the new fiscal year, and has yet to slow down. While border agents have apprehended another 14,128 unaccompanied kids at the Mexican border between October and November, the administration’s Office of Refugee Resettlement turned loose 12,674 UACs in that same time frame.

There are a number of problems with this other than the obvious concerns about cost and impact on American society. The children are assumed to be between the ages of fifteen and seventeen. There is very rarely any proof of their age. We need to keep in mind that in some Islamic countries children as young as seven or eight are trained for terrorist operations. We also need to consider that most of these children have not had the healthcare or vaccinations that American children receive. We could be importing diseases into our country that we previously eradicated. There are already reports of outbreaks of tuberculosis in areas of the country where these refugees have been settled.

The article further explains:

Data from the federal immigration court system shows that more than a third of these children won’t show up for their court date, including about 90 percent of those children who are ordered removed from the country. Additionally, recently released information from the Department of Health and Human Services shows the administration only conducts home studies for about six percent of the illegal alien children released, failing to follow up on the vast majority who are left to disappear into communities across the country.

This is not a workable immigration system–this is a disaster–for the children involved, for their parents, and for America.

Common Sense Shows Up

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about a ruling by U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

The article reports:

A Texas judge has temporarily blocked the Obama administration’s new requirements for transgender care, granting a preliminary injunction Saturday to several states and religious health organizations suing over the rules.

The rule, which was slated to go into effect Jan. 1, says that doctors can’t refuse to provide medically necessary health services within their scope of practice because of a patient’s gender identity. It doesn’t explicitly require doctors to perform gender transition services, but it says providers can’t refuse services they already provide based on discrimination.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas temporarily blocked the requirements at the request of Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arizona and Mississippi along with the Franciscan Alliance and several other religiously affiliated organizations.

Judge Reed O’Connor wrote that the rule contradicts existing law and “likely violates” the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The Becket Fund, which is representing the states and organizations, said the decision ensures doctors won’t be required to act against their best medical judgement or violate their religious beliefs.

Transgender rights seem to be the new cause of the political left. According to the statistics I could find, the LGBT community makes up between 3 to 4 percent of the American population, and the transgender community makes up a small percentage of that 3 to 4 percent. I really don’t care what anyone does in their spare time or in their bedroom–that is way above my pay grade to judge. However, when their practices begin to infringe on my rights as a religious person, I have a right to defend those rights. Again, I don’t care if you get married–just don’t ask a person who believes in the Biblical definition of marriage to marry you. Don’t ask a baker who holds a Biblical definition of marriage to bake you a cake. Ask someone who is comfortable with being involved in some way with your wedding. (No, I don’t think the Rockettes should be required to perform at Trump’s Inauguration either). You are entitled to your freedom as long as it does not interfere with my freedom. As far as the battle over restrooms is concerned, to me it is very simple–there are non-LGBT people out there who will take advantage of a law allowing transgender people to use the bathroom of the sex they are becoming by using the bathroom that does not correspond with their obvious sexual characteristics. The problem is not the transgender community–it is the disturbed people outside of that community who will take advantage of the law if it changes. In places where the law has changed, there have already been arrests. I don’t want a man in the ladies’ room when I (or my daughters or granddaughters) are in there. If he feels like a woman, he is still not welcome if he is a man.

Again, I don’t need to know or care what anyone else does in their bedroom, but I do need to care when someone tries to infringe on my right to practice my religion.

 

In The End, Our Votes Do Count

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about some of the things President Obama has done in the final days of his administration. His actions have not been respectful of either the American voters or the incoming President. Just for the record, outside of the State of California, Donald Trump won 58,474,401 votes and Hillary Clinton won 57,064,530 votes–a victory margin of approximately 1.4 million for Donald Trump. I won’t even speculate on how many non-citizens voted in California.

If you remember, back in 2008, after the votes were tallied, but before the electoral college had met, Barack Obama created the office of the President-elect. There was no such office, and until the Electoral College voted in December, he wasn’t even officially the President-elect. However, President George W. Bush did everything he could to insure a smooth transition. Unfortunately, President Obama has chosen to ignore the good example that was placed before him.

The New York Post reports:

From his dramatic and disastrous change of US policy on Israel to his executive order restricting 1.65 million acres of land from development despite local objections, Obama is trying to make it impossible for Donald Trump and a GOP-controlled Congress to govern.

Even Thursday’s announcement of wide-ranging sanctions against Russia presents Trump with a foreign-policy crisis immediately upon taking office.

By contrast, many of Obama’s predecessors have stood back in their final days in office and refrained from any dramatic shifts, in deference to the agenda of the man voters sent to succeed them.

But Obama won’t accept the election results. As he suggested the other day, Trump’s election was a fluke — and he himself would have easily been re-elected if allowed to stand for a third term.

He believes this not just because he’s an effective campaigner, but because he thinks his “vision” and policies continue to be backed by “a majority of the American people.”

But Obama, like many Democrats, fails to understand what happened in the election: Voters were calling for real change from the status quo — from his policies. Indeed, before the vote, he himself said it was a referendum on him and his policies.

Memo to the president: You lost.

President Obama has stated that if he were able to run for a third term as President, he would have won. To believe that is to ignore the fact that during the Obama Administration the Democrats have lost a tremendous number of governorships, state legislatures, and majorities in Congress.

On Tuesday, Fox News reported the following:

While Obama’s tireless campaigning, broad demographic appeal and message of “hope” and “change” helped propel him to two terms in the White House, his skills on the stump haven’t translated down the ballot.

The Democratic Party suffered huge losses at every level during Obama’s West Wing tenure.

The grand total: a net loss of 1,042 state and federal Democratic posts, including congressional and state legislative seats, governorships and the presidency. 

The latter was perhaps the most profound example of Obama’s popularity failing to translate to support for his allies. Hillary Clinton, who served as secretary of state under Obama, brought the first family out for numerous campaign appearances. In September, Obama declared that his “legacy’s on the ballot.”

Less than two months later, Americans voted for Donald Trump.

American voters voted against President Obama’s legacy–now President Obama is trying to tie President-elect Donald Trump’s hands in undoing the parts of that legacy that have been harmful to Americans–the Iran deal, fighting against energy independence, over regulation, extreme environmentalism, treating our allies badly and our enemies well, etc. The voters have spoken. It is time for President Obama to quietly leave the stage.

 

 

 

 

A New Degree Of Pettiness

Reuters is reporting today that the U.S. Government has ordered 35 Russian suspected spies to leave America and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over their involvement in hacking U.S. political groups in the 2016 presidential election. First of all, the people who leaked the emails have repeatedly stated that Russia had nothing to do with the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC)–those who released the emails have stated that they came from a whistleblower within the DNC who objected to the primary election being rigged to give Hillary Clinton the nomination.

The article at Reuters is a classic example of spin. They go on to say that the Russians were responsible, yet ignore the content of the emails released, which is actually what turned voters off. There is no mention of the fact that no one has ever denied the content of the emails despite the fact that it revealed horrible things about how the DNC operated.  One can’t help but wonder if the sanctions and expulsion of diplomats would be happening if Hillary Clinton had won the election. Would President Obama care?

John Hinderaker posted a more balanced article dealing with the Russian sanctions at Power Line today.

The Power Line article asks an obvious question:

The Obama administration insists that Russia’s government was behind the DNC intrusion, but acknowledges that those who actually carried out the operation were not Russian government employees. Rather, the Fancy Bear group is said to be “affiliated with the GRU.” The administration says it will publish a report before Obama leaves office that will detail the evidence against Vladimir Putin’s administration. Until then, there is no way to evaluate the reliability of the claim that Russia’s government was involved.

But let’s assume it was. This is the question I haven’t seen the press corps ask; needless to say, the administration hasn’t answered it. Why didn’t Obama impose sanctions on Russia in October 2014, when, by the administration’s own account, the Russian government hacked into both the White House’s and the State Department’s computers? This was a much more serious infraction than invading Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s emails. Yet it drew zero response from Obama, who seemed more interested in covering up an embarrassing episode than in punishing the Russians.

Given that history, it is hard to disagree with Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who said:

We think that such steps by a U.S. administration that has three weeks left to work are aimed at two things: to further harm Russian-American ties, which are at a low point as it is, as well as, obviously, to deal a blow to the foreign policy plans of the incoming administration of the president-elect.

I knew President Obama would not go quietly, but I did not expect him to complicate America’s relationships around the world. Russia under Putin will never be trustworthy, but at least there was a possibility of a working relationship under President Trump. President Obama has done what he could to make any cooperation between our two countries very difficult.