The Dangers Of Being Uninformed

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog has done a number of articles recently about Democrat mega-donor Tom Steyer. This is the link to one of those articles. Somehow the information in these articles has escaped the mainstream media, so if you don’t follow the alternative media, chances are this information is new to you.

Tom Steyer is an opponent of the Keystone Pipeline. He claims that his opposition is based on his principle of environmental concerns and that he is strongly opposed to any sort of fossil fuel. Okay. He is entitled to his opinion and principles. However, when you look a little closer, some questions crop up. Mr. Steyer is a major investor in Kinder Morgan, a company that is building a pipeline that will compete with the Keystone Pipeline. If you look even a little closer, you find out that Mr. Steyer made his fortune in coal.

Mr. Steyer has recently written a letter to the Middlebury College and Brown University Boards of Trustees stating that a coal free portfolio is a good investment strategy. That is very interesting considering that Mr. Steyer founded Farallon Capital Management L.L.C. (“Farallon”) in 1986.

The article at Power Line (linked above) reports:

In order to gain an appreciation of the extent of Farallon’s epic involvement in the coal sector under Mr. Steyer’s tenure one needs to spend time in Jakarta and Sydney, and in the regional financing centers in Hong Kong and Singapore, and speak to professionals (bankers, lawyers, mining consultants and principals) who were directly involved in these Farallon-sponsored coal transactions. With a modicum of effort one discovers that since 2003 Farallon has played the pivotal role in financing the tremendous restructuring and growth in thermal coal production in the region. All of this took place under Mr. Steyer’s tenure as founder and senior partner of Farallon.

YouTube posted a recent interview of John Hinderaker on the subject of Tom Steyer:

As usual, liberal principles don’t apply to liberals–they only apply to Republicans and conservatives.

Enhanced by Zemanta

What Are We Telling Our Graduates?

Heritage.org posted an article today about the difference in numbers between conservative and liberal graduation speakers. They also looked at the statistics on Democrat and Republican speakers.

The article reports:

Democratic governors set to speak outnumber Republican ones by a ratio of 11-6, reports Campus Reform’s editor in chief, Caleb Bonham, while Democratic senators overshadow Republican  senators by a 9-4 ratio.

The most heavily weighted group of invited speakers? Liberal political appointees and operatives are 21-5 over conservative counterparts.

…“The bullies’ vision of America is alarming to behold, with the values of peaceful coexistence turned on their head,” Jennifer A. Marshall, director of domestic policy studies at The Heritage Foundation, wrote recently for The Foundry in a piece about the growing intolerance of the Left.”

What is the message that we are sending our young adults?

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Timeline On The IRS Scandal

On Thursday Kimberley Strassel posted an article at the Wall Street Journal detailing the evolution of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp has sent a letter to the Justice Department requesting a criminal probe of Lois Lerner.

Ms. Strassel points out that Lois Lerner may have felt justified to target conservative groups based on the rhetoric of leader Democrats rather than direct orders from the White House.

The article lists what may be some of the root causes of the IRS attacks:

As the illuminating timeline accompanying the Camp letter shows, Ms. Lerner’s focus on shutting down Crossroads GPS came only after Obama adviser David Axelrod listed Crossroads among “front groups for foreign-controlled companies”; only after Senate Democrats Dick Durbin, Carl Levin, Chuck Schumer and others demanded the IRS investigate Crossroads; only after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a website to “expose donors” of Crossroads; and only after Obama’s campaign lawyer, Bob Bauer, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission about Crossroads.

The article goes through a timeline and details various attacks on conservative groups. It also notes the difficulty various investigative committees had in getting the information they requested in the investigation.

The article concludes:

In 2012, both the IRS and Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings were targeting the group True the Vote. We now have email showing contact between a Cummings staffer and the IRS over that organization. How much more contact was there? It’s one thing to write a public letter calling on a regulator to act. It’s another to haul the regulator in front of your committee, or have your staff correspond with or pressure said regulator, with regard to ongoing actions. That’s a no-no.

The final merit of Mr. Camp’s letter is that he’s called out Justice and Democrats. Mr. Camp was careful in laying out the ways Ms. Lerner may have broken the law, with powerful details. Democrats can’t refute the facts, so instead they are howling about all manner of trivia—the release of names, the “secret” vote to release taxpayer information. But it remains that they are putting themselves on record in support of IRS officials who target groups, circumvent rules, and potentially break the law. That ought to go down well with voters.

It may be time to abolish the IRS and institute a consumption tax.

Enhanced by Zemanta

An Obvious Problem With The House Oversight Investigation Into The IRS Scandal

Katie Pavlich posted an article at Townhall.com today that may explain why the House Oversight Committee was having so much trouble getting information on the IRS targeting of conservative groups prior to the 2010 election. It seems that there was someone on the Committee who was undermining the investigation.

The article reports:

Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa, along with five Subcommittee Chairmen are demanding Cummings (Democratic Ranking Member Elijah Cummings) provide an explanation for the staff inquiries to the IRS about True the Vote and for his denial that his staff ever contacted the IRS about the group.

“Although you have previously denied that your staff made inquiries to the IRS about conservative organization True the Vote that may have led to additional agency scrutiny, communication records between your staff and IRS officials – which you did not disclose to Majority Members or staff – indicates otherwise,” the letter to Cummings states. “As the Committee is scheduled to consider a resolution holding Ms. Lerner, a participant in responding to your communications that you failed to disclose, in contempt of Congress, you have an obligation to fully explain your staff’s undisclosed contacts with the IRS.”

Evidently Lois Lerner, former head of tax exempt groups at the IRS, was feeding Cummings information about True the Vote, one of the groups the IRS was targeting. Cummings was not sharing this information with the Committee.

The article reports:

On January 31, Paz (Holly Pazl Lerners’ deputy) sent True the Vote’s 990 forms to Cumming’s staff.

Up until this point, Rep. Cummings has denied his staff ever contacted the IRS about True the Vote and their activities during Oversight hearings. In fact, on February 6, 2014 during a Subcommittee hearing where Engelbrecht testified, Cummings vehemently denied having any contact or coordination in targeting True the Vote when attorney Cleta Mitchell, who is representing the group, indicated staff on the Committee had been involved in communication with the IRS.

It is becoming very obvious that some of the Democrats in Congress have forgotten not only their Oath of Office, but also their basic ethics. The actions of Representative Cummings are truly deplorable. It is becoming obvious that his intention was to end this investigation before it began. I hope that Congressman Issa will continue his search for the truth and that the people who attempted to use the IRS for political purposes will be brought to justice.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Not Everyone Cheers When The Playing Field Is Leveled

Michael Graham posted an article in the Boston Herald today about the recent Supreme Court decision on campaign donations.

Michael Graham explains why the decision is important to Massachusetts:

The U.S. Supreme Court’s campaign-finance ruling is the first ray of sunshine to reach the Massachusetts Republican party in a long time.

To understand why, you need to know three simple facts about who pays for campaigns, facts that are almost never reported in the mainstream media:

• Six of the top 10 campaign donors are unions. And their money overwhelmingly goes to Democrats. Incumbent Democrats in particular.

• Sixteen of the top 25 campaign funders are liberal, Democratic organizations like ActBlue ($97 million in campaign cash since 1989), which also give disproportionately to incumbents. Only three of the top 25 are Republican.

• None of them are the Koch Brothers. (They rank 57th.)

If you haven’t figured it out, the purpose of campaign finance restrictions is to protect incumbent politicians. This shouldn’t be a surprise given that these laws were passed by … incumbent politicians.

And in Massachusetts, “incumbent” is a synonym for “Democrat.” (When it comes to federal office-holders here, that is literally true.) So any change that makes life more difficult for incumbents is good news for the local GOP.

Union money has bought and sold elections in Massachusetts and some other states for a very long time. This ruling levels the playing field and lets other people with money play. That is why the Democrat party is making such a big deal about it.

The unintended consequence of this ruling may be that being able to be in public office long enough to go from being broke to multi millionaire may no longer be possible. It may be that being in public office may no longer be a career. Keep in mind that our founding fathers envisioned a government made up of ordinary citizens. Unfortunately we have forgotten that concept and created career politicians.

Not everyone loves it when you level the playing field.

Enhanced by Zemanta

What Does Voter Registration Have To Do With Health Insurance?

ABC10News posted a story Saturday (updated today) about a California couple who received a pre-marked voter registration card in an envelope from the state’s Obamacare website, Covered California. The card was pre-marked to register them as Democrats. As life-long Republicans, they were not happy with the fact that the party affiliation had already been checked off.

The article reports:

Covered California began mailing out voter signup cards to nearly 4 million enrollees last week after being threatened with a lawsuit by voting rights groups. But that does not explain the pre-filled out voter registration card.

…Spokeswoman Anne Gonzales stated, “We are mailing voter registration material. However, the application forms come directly from the Secretary of State‘s office, with no fields pre-marked. The individual should contact the Secretary of State, which takes these violations of election law extremely seriously, and they will investigate, using the unique serial number.”

The couple says they did reach out to the Secretary of State’s office and could not get a hold of anyone. They also say they reached out to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, which told them to contact Covered California.

Regardless of the fact that the party affiliation box was already checked, why is Covered California sending out voter registration cards with enrollments in ObamaCare? Hopefully America has enough educated voters that will not vote for officials who support this sort of activity.

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Scandal Under The Radar

John Hinderaker at Power Line has posted a number of articles about the use of the Washington Post by the Democrat party to attack the Koch brothers about the Keystone Pipeline. Never mind that the Koch brothers have no connection to the Pipeline or that building it would not help their business, the Washington Post still reported supposed connections as fact. I haven’t written about the scandal because it is complicated and hard to detail in a concise manner. However, John Hinderaker appeared on Fox News and explained it beautifully.

The video is posted on YouTube:

This is an example of why many Americans, including myself, do not trust the mainstream media.

Enhanced by Zemanta

When What Goes Around Comes Around

Last year the Senate Democrats voted to change their rules (when Republicans discussed this, it was called the nuclear option) and allow the President’s nominees to be confirmed with a simple majority vote rather than the 60-vote threshold previously required to end the debate and actually vote. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but didn’t quite work out as planned.

Today’s Washington Examiner posted a story about the possible unintended consequences of exercising the nuclear option.

The article reports:

But Democrats overlooked a fatal flaw in the strategy: In a tough election year when Obama’s approval ratings are low, Democrats in tough races could defect on key nominees.

In March, that has already happened with two of the president’s choices for influential administration posts.

Earlier this month, several Senate Democrats joined Republicans in voting down Debo Adegbile, Obama’s choice to head the Justice Department‘s Civil Rights Division.

Conservatives aggressively opposed Adegbile’s nomination because of his legal work in defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer.

Eight Democrats ended up voting against confirmation — with Reid initially voting in favor and then switching his vote to no, to allow him to bring up the nomination again.

This did not go as planned. The next nominee to run into a problem was Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy, a Harvard and Yale-educated former emergency room doctor, nominated for surgeon general. Conservative Democrats opposed the nomination because of Dr. Murthy’s stand on gun control (which he considers a health issue).

So it now makes no sense to blame the Republicans for blocking nominees (although the Democrats will probably continue to do that regardless of the facts). The fact that the Democrat Congressional support of President Obama is no longer reliable is due to two factors–President Obama’s approval ratings are in the 30′s and this is an election year. As more Americans wake up to the disaster that is President Obama’s Presidency, more Democrats will begin to distance themselves from the President and make decisions based on their own future well being. Get out the popcorn, it is going to be an interesting year.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Price Of Governing As A Leftist In A Center-Right Country

Despite what you may hear in the media, politically America is a center-right country. Generally speaking, as Americans we lean toward the middle. The middle has moved slightly to the left, but it is still more conservative than liberal. When America elects a President who moves farther left than the country, interesting things happen. The latest event in this saga was the special election in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

Commentary Magazine posted an article about the election on Friday. The article stated:

It’s a district Ms. Sink carried in her unsuccessful race for governor against Rick Scott, a district that Barack Obama carried in his two elections, and a district that demographically now favors Democrats. In addition, Ms. Sink raised more money and ran a better campaign than Jolly. Even Bill Clinton lent his efforts to her campaign. And yet she lost.

…The American people, having lived with the Obama presidency for more than five years, have come to the conclusion–later, I think, than they should have–that he is incompetent, weak, and untrustworthy. And that judgment is directed not just at Mr. Obama; it is implicating his entire party.

Barack Obama produced a health-care proposal that was a liberal dream for a half-century. It is a bitter irony for him, and a predictable result for many of us, that having achieved it, it may well set back the cause of liberalism for years to come.

Bill Clinton has the same problem at one point in his presidency. Democrat candidates did not want to campaign with him. Now candidates prefer campaigning with former President Clinton to campaigning with current President Obama.

I am not ready to declare that the Republicans will sweep the 2014 mid-terms, but I do believe that unless they shoot themselves in the foot, the Republicans will do well in 2014. Meanwhile, ObamaCare has illustrated the fact that although some liberal ideas may sound good on paper, that does not mean that they are good ideas that will workd well.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Fighting For An Honest Election Process

Breitbart.com posted an article today about complaints that Battleground Texas has violated election laws in Texas by misusing voter registration information.

The website posted a copy of a letter from Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst to Secretary of State Nandita Berry regarding complaints against Battleground Texas:

It has been apparent that the Democrats have decided to turn Texas from a red state to a blue state. I don’t have a problem with their goal–I do have a problem with their methods if they are not above board.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Quest To Turn Texas Blue

Texas is a red state. It votes Republican. It also has one of the fastest growing economies in the country because of the policies Republicans have put in place. However, the Democrats have decided to focus on making Texas a blue state. That is fine–America is about competition–but they are not entitled to break the law to do it.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about laws being broken in the quest to turn Texas blue.

The article reports:

Battleground Texas has a mission — to turn the deep-red state of Texas as blue as Austin, a monumental if not quixotic task. Like other activist groups, the progressive organization conducts voter-registration drives, attempting to get like-minded citizens to turn out in force in the next election cycle. Project Veritas did an undercover operation of Battleground Texas and found out that registering voters is just the start of those efforts. According to the video, the group’s leaders cull information from those registration forms and build their database of personal information — which is a direct violation of Texas law:

This is the video:

Project Veritas also discovered that Enroll America was also making illegal use of date obtained in registering voters.

Voting is a very important part of being an American. If we don’t protect the ballot box, we will lose our say in our government. Thank God that Project Veritas is exposing the cheating going on in preparation for the 2014 elections.

Enhanced by Zemanta

This List May Be A Surprise To Some People

Open Secrets has posted a list of the top donors to Republicans and Democrats from 1989 to 2014. It is not really a surprise to me that you have to go down to number 17 to find a donor who donated more to the Republicans than Democrats. Koch Industries, the organization liberals love to cite as the buyer of elections, is number 59 on the list.

There is too much money in American politics, but it is ironic that most of the people who have traditionally complained about that fact do not realize that it’s not the rich Republicans contributing the money–it’s unions who support Democrats. Keep in mind that the union membership does not always have a say in how their dues are spent. At least in industry, a CEO is accountable to either stockholders or executive board members. Of the top fifteen organizations giving the most money, 12 are unions. Of the top fifteen organizations giving the most money, there are four organizations that gave to both parties fairly equally, and none that gave a majority of their money to Republicans.

Yes, there probably is too much money in politics, but it isn’t coming from rich Republicans.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Creative Spinning

Jonah Goldberg posted an article at National Review today indicating his choice for “word (or phrase) of the year.” He admits it’s only February, but he is convinced that “joblock” will be the winner.

The article reports:

The Congressional Budget Office issued a politically explosive report this week, finding that Obamacare will reduce the number of hours Americans work by the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time jobs. This is different from killing 2.5 million jobs, Obamacare defenders are quick to insist. This will be a shortfall on the supply, not demand, side. In other words, people with health insurance will opt not to work in certain circumstances if they know they won’t lose their coverage.

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi says the CBO report vindicates Obamacare, because “this was one of the goals: to give people life, a healthy life, liberty to pursue their happiness. And that liberty is to not be job-locked, but to follow their passion.” Pelosi is particularly invested in this view. She’s been mocked for years now for her repeated claims that Obamacare is an entrepreneurial bill because it would let Americans quit their jobs to, among other things, “write poetry.”

Good grief! Mr. Goldberg goes on to point out the irony of wanting people to have the freedom to quit their jobs and write poetry while at the same time forcing them to buy health insurance for conditions they are not physically able to have.

The article concludes:

Which is why the real CBO story should be: “That awkward moment when everyone realizes Obamacare was a huge mistake.” The same CBO report projects that by 2024 the number of non-elderly uninsured will be — drum roll, please — 31 million Americans.

And that’s why all of this talk of Democrats as the Job-Lock Liberators is pathetic and hilarious at the same time. Virtually every promise has been broken, every prediction falsified. And now, at a time when millions want work that doesn’t exist, Democrats are claiming victory by trimming the amount of work actually being done.

Hopefully voters will look for ways to liberate these Democrats from the curse of job-lock come November.

What a wonderful idea!

Enhanced by Zemanta

What Agenda?

The Washington Examiner posted an article today pointing out that the big three networks gave the Chris Christie bridge scandal 17 times more news coverage in one day than they gave the IRS scandal in six months. Hmmm.

The article reports:

Since Wednesday night, NBC News included six reports over 14 minutes and 14 seconds. CBS devoted five reports over 12 minutes and 27 seconds. ABC managed 4 stories over seven minutes and 47 seconds, said MRC.

As a comparison over the last six months, NBC featured five seconds on updating the IRS story. CBS responded with a minute and 41 seconds. ABC produced a meager 22 seconds.

Make no mistake, this is about taking out the person the Democrat party considers the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination. It also needs to be noted that as the polling numbers now stand, Chris Christie defeats Hillary Clinton in a Presidential campaign.

At this point I would like to state that I don’t want the Republicans to run Chris Christie for President. I think we can do better. There are other governors out there who have good track records, conservative credentials, and a lot more class than Chris Christie.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Foxes Are Guarding The Henhouse Again

Breitbart.com posted an article yesterday that included the following letter:

EnlargedLetterI realize that the letter is hard to read; you can find a larger copy at the link above. The bottom line here is simple–the person investigating the mistreatment of the Tea Party by the IRS (Barbara Bosserman, a trial attorney within the IRS’s Civil Rights Commission) is a significant donor to President Obama and Democrat campaigns. It is difficult to believe that Ms. Bosserman will conduct an investigation that will not be influenced by  her politics. It would have made so much more sense to choose someone who was not a political donor. The choice of Ms. Bosserman may be entirely unrelated to her politics, but like so many other things in the Obama Administration, it appears to be a conflict of interest.

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Gay Feminist Speaks Out About Duck Dynasty

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article about some comments made by Camille Paglia, a social critic and openly gay, dissident feminist, about the recent dust-up about the statements made by the Duck Dynasty patriarch, Phil. What she said is the most cogent statement I have heard from the left side of the political spectrum.

The article reports her comments:

“I speak with authority here, because I was openly gay before the ‘Stonewall rebellion,’ when it cost you something to be so. And I personally feel as a libertarian that people have the right to free thought and free speech,” Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Thursday.

“In a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as well as they have the right to support homosexuality — as I one hundred percent do. If people are basing their views against gays on the Bible, again they have a right of religious freedom there,” she added.

…“To express yourself in a magazine in an interview — this is the level of punitive PC, utterly fascist, utterly Stalinist, OK, that my liberal colleagues in the Democratic Party and on college campuses have supported and promoted over the last several decades,” Paglia said. “This is the whole legacy of free speech 1960’s that have been lost by my own party.”

…“I think that this intolerance by gay activists toward the full spectrum of human beliefs is a sign of immaturity, juvenility,” Paglia said. “This is not the mark of a true intellectual life. This is why there is no cultural life now in the U.S. Why nothing is of interest coming from the major media in terms of cultural criticism. Why the graduates of the Ivy League with their A, A, A+ grades are complete cultural illiterates, etc. is because they are not being educated in any way to give respect to opposing view points.”

“There is a dialogue going on human civilization, for heaven sakes. It’s not just this monologue coming from fanatics who have displaced the religious beliefs of their parents into a political movement,” she added. “And that is what happened to feminism, and that is what happened to gay activism, a fanaticism.”

The lady obviously understands the need for two sides of a discussion. We need more people who are intellectually honest on both sides of the political spectrum.

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Liberal Wakes Up

Arnold S. Trebach was a protester and a federal civil rights official during the original civil rights movement. He is a currently professor emeritus of public affairs at American University and a member of the Maryland State Advisory Committee to the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights. He is a self-proclaimed liberal.

Mr. Trebach posted an article at PJ Media yesterday entitled, “Vote Republican–and Save the Country.” Wow.

The article states:

…I am also suggesting that for the next two elections, all good people should consider voting a straight Republican ticket as a protest against the massive political sins of the Democrats. If enough voters did that, in addition to saving the country it might also save the Democratic Party from itself.

My old party has lost its soul and integrity in recent years, especially during the Obama era. It needs a crushing electoral defeat to focus its attention on its dangerous behavior.  Despite the terrible recent record of my old party and of Mr. Obama, they are master politicians and it is quite possible that they will recover and win the next two elections, unless there is a concerted effort by voters of all stripes — Republican, independent, and, yes, Democratic — to make a public commitment in advance that they will vote straight Republican tickets in 2014 and in 2016.

His comments on the changes in the Democrat party are similar to those Zell Miller made in his 2003 book, A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat. The Democrat party has moved so far to the left that it does not represent the majority of the people who have historically supported it.

Please follow the link above to read the comments of Iran and ObamaCare. Mr. Trebach is a liberal who sees the damage to America the Obama Administration has done and would like to put a stop to that damage.

The article concludes:

Add to this continuing disaster the Obama-Holder misbehavior in the Martin-Zimmerman matter, their failure to deal with black crime and the knockout attacks, the New Black Panther failure, the Fast and Furious gun-running affair, the IRS actions against conservative tax payers, and many other scandals.

And yet as I have said, I believe that Obama and Holder and the Democratic Party are such brilliant and unethical politicians that despite these scandals the odds are that they will prevail at the voting booth again and again — unless the American people take to the voting booths in concerted and open outrage.

As someone who left the Democrat party after Jimmy Carter, I thoroughly understand what this man is saying.

:

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Some Observations On This Week’s Election

This article is based on three articles, the first posted at Politico yesterday, the second posted at bizpacreview yesterday, and the third posted by Michael Barone at the Washington Examiner yesterday. My focus is on the election in Virginia. Bill Bolling was the preferred candidate for governor of Virginia by many Republicans. A technicality in the way the candidate was chosen resulted in the selection of Ken Cuccinelli. Ken Cuccinelli is a good man, but he was not an ideal candidate.

Politico reported:

The main news stories of the last two weeks of the race were about the botched rollout of the health exchanges and troubling revelations about people getting kicked off their health plans.

Cuccinelli called the off-year election a referendum on Obamacare at every stop during the final days.

“Despite being outspent by an unprecedented $15 million, this race came down to the wire because of Obamacare,” Cuccinelli said in his concession speech Tuesday night.

Bizpacreview reported:

As close as the race was, a report out Tuesday by The Blaze indicates that there were shenanigans at play:

“A major Democratic Party benefactor and Obama campaign bundler helped pay for professional petition circulators responsible for getting Virginia Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert C. Sarvis on the ballot.”

According to the report, campaign finance records show that the Libertarian Booster PAC made the largest independent contribution to Sarvis’ campaign.

The Blaze identified Austin, Texas, software billionaire Joe Liemandt as the Libertarian Booster PAC’s major benefactor. He also happens to be a top bundler for President Barack Obama.

Michael Barone observes:

1. The Obamacare rollout fiasco and Obama’s lies hurt Democrats.

2. The government shutdown didn’t much hurt Republicans.

3. Millennials are souring on Democrats.

Some conservative pundits have cited the lack of funding given to Ken Cuccinelli by the Republican party as a problem for conservative candidates. I am not sure whether or not these complaints are valid, but the Democrats outspent the Republicans by almost $15 million. One of the major problems with the election of Terry McAuliffe is what it will mean for the 2016 Presidential election. Terry McAuliffe is a very strong supporter of Hillary Clinton and will be an asset for her in the state of Virginia. However, the good news is that ObamaCare will be a problem for the Democrats in 2014 and possibly in 2016.
Enhanced by Zemanta

A Different Perspective

On Monday, Peter Beinart posted an article at the Daily Beast about the recent government shutdown with a different perspective than we have heard in the past few days.

Mr. Beinart believes that the shutdown is a Republican victory. He states:

Republicans, being less supportive of federal spending on things like “education, energy and medical research,” were more supportive of the sequester. Indeed, as recently as last month, GOP leaders described locking in the sequester cuts—via a “clean” continuing resolution (CR) that extended them into 2014—as a major victory. In a memo to fellow Republicans on September 6, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor boasted that by “signing a CR at sequester levels, the President would be endorsing a level of spending that wipes away all the increases he and Congressional Democrats made while they were in charge and returns us to a pre-2008 level of discretionary spending.”

…It’s not just that Obama looks likely to accept the sequester cuts as the basis for future budget negotiations. It’s that while he’s been trying to reopen the government and prevent a debt default, his chances of passing any significant progressive legislation have receded. Despite overwhelming public support, gun control is dead. Comprehensive immigration reform, once considered the politically easy part of Obama’s second term agenda, looks unlikely. And the other items Obama trumpeted in this year’s state of the union address—climate change legislation, infrastructure investment, universal preschool, voting rights protections, a boost to the minimum wage—have been largely forgotten.

The end of the shutdown was not a Republican victory–generally speaking, they caved. However, if we have successfully moved the point of baseline budgeting back to pre-TARP levels, that is wonderful. For anyone who is not familiar with baseline budgeting, it is the procedure Washington used to increase spending while claiming that they have cut the budget. If a department’s budget was going to increase 10 percent and only increases 5 percent, that is considered a cut. They are still spending more, but it is considered a cut.

Fiscal responsibility should not be a political issue. Both parties need to realize that we cannot go on printing money forever. I am glad that the shutdown is over and that the World War II veterans will again be able to visit their memorial, but fiscal sanity needs to come to America.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Moving The Goalposts When It’s Convenient

One problem with the current negotiations in Washington regarding the government shutdown is that both sides keep moving the goalposts. President Obama says he’s not talking to anyone unless they surrender first, and the Republicans don’t seem to know exactly what they want.

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article today about the current state of affairs. He noted that Senator Susan Collins has made a suggestion that meets the needs of what both sides originally said they wanted.

The article reports:

Collins’ proposal would have extended government funding for six months and boosted the debt ceiling through the end of January. By way of a fig leaf for Republicans, it also would have delayed a medical device tax in the health care law for two years and instituted an income verification requirement for qualifying for Obamacare subsidies.

Democrats rejected the plan not because of the Obamacare fig leaf, but because they want more money for the government. Collins’ proposal would have retained the spending levels established by the sequester, though it would have provided the government with much-needed flexibility in spending this money.

Evidently the debate has morphed from differences in ObamaCare to the ever-present debate on government spending.

As long as either side believes that the shutdown is working for them politically, it will not be solved. Right now the Democrats believe it is working for them. As long as they believe that, the government will remain closed.

Enhanced by Zemanta

This Will Be Very Interesting To Watch

I am hoping that this story is not accurate, but I am afraid it is. Breitbart.com reported today that the President and the Republicans in Congress have reached an agreement that will end the government shutdown. Why am I hoping that the story is not accurate? Because if I read the story right, the Republicans gave away the store.

The article reports:

Aside from reopening the government and agreeing to raise America‘s debt over the current $16.7 trillion limit, the Republicans made several other concession to President Obama and the Democrats. One such example is that Obamacare would receive funding. The Republicans would get to take out a portion of the president’s signature legislation, but the law would substantially remain intact.

The article explains that the agreement under discussion would repeal the medical device tax and require better income verification requirements for people looking for government subsidies to pay for their health insurance.

The article concludes:

The GOP surrender comes at a time when it is in a stronger position than it was during the partial government shutdown in 1995/96. The public generally blames both parties and President Obama for the fiscal stalemate. Obama’s approval ratings, meanwhile, have cratered to 37%, the lowest of his Presidency. 

In addition, 61% of the public thinks significant spending cuts have to be part of any deal to lift the debt ceiling. By that, they mean actual cuts, not a “framework” to discuss cuts. 

The House GOP has signaled to the Democrats that it is desperate to end the stand-off. They will, of course, promise that they will have more “leverage” next time. They’ve said that so many times, they probably even believe it. 

The mainstream media is not saying much about this tentative agreement. Based on recent news reports, the Republicans are negotiating with themselves while the President stands back and watches. It really is time for that method of doing things to stop.

Enhanced by Zemanta

An Interesting Perspective On Events In Washington

Nate Silver is a statistician who used to do baseball statistics. He took his methods of statistical analysis and applied them to the American political scene. He has been very successful in both predicting performance of baseball players and predicting political trends.

Yesterday Nate Silver posted an article at grantland.com about the impact of the government shutdown on the mid-term elections. Some of his comments on the shutdown include rather colorful language, so I suggest that if colorful language offends you, you avoid the quotes to follow and don’t follow the link to the original article.

The article points out:

However, presidential elections are more the exception than the rule. As I discuss in my book, the more common tendency instead is that people (and especially the “experts” who write about the issues for a living) overestimate the degree of predictability in complex systems. There are some other exceptions besides presidential elections — sports, in many respects; and weather prediction, which has become much better in recent years. But for the most part, the experts you see on television are much too sure of themselves.

That’s been my impression of the coverage of the shutdown: The folks you see on TV are much too sure of themselves. They’ve been making too much of thin slices of polling and thinner historical precedents that might not apply this time around.

Mr. Silver lists six observations about the government shutdown:

1. The media is probably overstating the magnitude of the shutdown’s political impact.

2. The impact of the 1995-96 shu4. The polling data on the shutdown is not yet all that useful, and we lack data on most important measures of voter preferences.tdowns is overrated in Washington‘s mythology.

3. Democrats face extremely unfavorable conditions in trying to regain the House.

4. The polling data on the shutdown is not yet all that useful, and we lack data on most important measures of voter preferences.

5. President Obama’s change in tactics may be less about a change of heart and more about a change in incentives.

6. The increasing extent of GOP partisanship is without strong recent precedent, and contributes to the systemic uncertainty about political outcomes.

The bottom line here is simple–we really don’t know how what is now happening in Washington will impact the 2014 mid-term elections. Frankly, I think many Americans are thoroughly disgusted with both political parties.

Enhanced by Zemanta

This Article Has No Title–It’s Just A Basic Vent!

Harry Truman is credited with saying, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Both the Republicans and the Democrats could learn from that statement.

It is a national scandal that the taxpayers are going to be expected to subsidize the healthcare of Congressional staffers at levels that the taxpayers themselves will not be eligible for. It is also a national scandal that the President, who has the ability to determine where the money goes during a government shutdown, has chosen to shut down the military commissaries and cancel sports events at the military academies. Why doesn’t he simply cut his (and Congress’) expense accounts?

Why have the Democrats refused to meet in conference with the Republicans to resolve the shutdown? This is political theater at its worst.

The government shutdown will end as soon as the President and the Democrats in Congress begin to be blamed for the stalemate. At that point all disagreement on everything will magically disappear.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Our Representatives Have Forgotten Who They Represent

One of the problems with ObamaCare is the number of exemptions that have been carved out for President Obama’s chosen few. Congress and Congressional staffers will receive massive subsidies from the government to ensure that they are not negatively impacted by the increased premiums in ObamaCare. Therefore, Congressmen–establishment Republicans and Democrats have no incentive to repeal a really bad law. The Tea Party candidates who were elected to end ObamaCare are really the only people in Washington fighting this battle. Ted Cruz is leading the charge. Thus, what you are about to read below is not really a surprise.

The Blaze reported today that Chris Wallace told the Fox News Sunday audience this morning:

“This has been one of the strangest weeks I’ve ever had in Washington,” Wallace said. “As soon as we listed Ted Cruz as our featured guest this week, I got unsolicited research and questions, not from Democrats but from top Republicans, to hammer Cruz.”

This is the clip:

Unfortunately Congress no longer represents the wishes of the American people. Both Republicans and Democrats have become the problem. The only people fighting for the rest of us are the Tea Party candidates. Please remember that next November.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Way Forward

The whining has already started–Democrats are accusing Republicans of trying to shut down the government. The charge is based on the fact that the Republicans are trying to find a way to defund ObamaCare. Republicans don’t want to shut down the government–the Republicans don’t have the power to shut down the government–they control one quarter of Congress. The Democrats are the only ones who have the ability to shut down the government, but that won’t stop the media from blaming the Republicans.

The Daily Caller posted a story yesterday that offers a solution to this dilemma. As I said, the Republicans do not have the power to stop ObamaCare, but they are looking for ways to defund it.

The article explains:

Republican Rep. Tom Graves and 42 House cosponsors introduced a budget plan Thursday to defund Obamacare without forcing a government shutdown, placing pressure solely on the shoulders of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Graves’ Security, Stability, and Fairness Resolution is a continuing resolution budget bill that offers a fiscal year 2014 budget that keeps the government open but does not fund Obamacare. The Obama administration has already delayed the law’s employer mandate until 2015, after the 2014 midterm elections.

It makes sense for everyone to delay ObamaCare. It is becoming obvious that the law is not ready for prime time. There have already been delays on several aspects of the law, and according to Townhall.com on September 11, not a single state seems  to be completely ready for ObamaCare.

Politically there are two schools of thought on how Republicans should deal with ObamaCare. The idea of defunding the program is one, but there is another one. Some pundits have suggested that ObamaCare should be allowed to go forward because it will most likely collapse under its own weight. That is a gamble I would rather not take, but if the government does shut down, we can be assured that the media will blame Republicans. Frankly, I would like to see the House adopt Tom Graves’ plan.

Enhanced by Zemanta