Another Significant ObamaCare Court Case

Yesterday National Review Online posted an article about a current court case that represents a significant threat to ObamaCare. Halbig v. Sebelius (since renamed Halbig v. Burwell, for the current HHS secretary) was argued before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court in March. The case involves the government subsidies paid by the exchanges included in ObamaCare.

The article states:

If the Supreme Court ultimately finds that the Obama administration violated the law in doling out those subsidies, it could force a wholesale revision of Obamacare. In January, The Hill quoted a key Obamacare supporter as saying that Halbig was “probably the most significant existential threat to the Affordable Care Act.” Jonathan Turley, a noted liberal constitutional-law expert at George Washington Law School, recently agreed, writing in the Los Angeles Times that Halbig “could leave Obamacare on life support.”

…The Halbig plaintiffs — individuals and small businesses in six states that didn’t establish state exchanges — argue that the Obama administration is breaking the law by offering those tax subsidies in all 50 states. The plaintiffs argue that if the subsidies hadn’t been offered in their states, they would have been exempted from the individual-mandate penalties of Obamacare because they couldn’t have afforded to pay for health coverage.

I have no idea how this case will be decided. The writer of the article believes that if the case is decided against ObamaCare it will force Congress and the President to make positive changes in the law (particularly if a Republican Congress is elected).

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is expected to rule on this case within the next week.

 

When Congress Doesn’t Follow Its Own Laws

Townhall.com posted an article today about the crisis America is experiencing on our southern border.

The article reminds us:

Wouldn’t $3.7 Billion better be used to build a concrete wall across the border of the United States? The fence that the American people were promised when President George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act of 2006 saying “This bill will help protect the American people. This bill will make our borders more secure. It is an important step toward immigration reform.”

The Fence Act passed the Senate 80-19 and approved $1.2 billion to be used to build a physical barrier more then 700 miles along the Mexico-United States border.

Theoretically Congress solved the southern border problem in 2006, promising to build a fence that would stop the flood of illegals. Somehow Congress never actually got around to acting on the law it passed.

The article further reports:

In a press conference on Wednesday night, President Obama refused to acknowledge the fact that his “Dream Act,” as well as his 2012 Executive Order of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is what motivated this surge of illegal children. The President continued his normal pass the blame policy, putting the blame on the Republican lead House of Representatives for the problem because they have not passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

America is quite capable of closing the southern border. However, there is one thing about this current crisis that I don’t understand. Mexico has very strict laws about who they let into their country. Mexico does not have illegal aliens–they put them in jail or send them home. How is it that all these unaccompanied children are getting into and through Mexico?

Losing The Concept Of Law

One of the problems with the Obama Administration is that the President seems to think he has the right to follow some laws and ignore others. Unfortunately, this idea seems to be working its way through the country.

Yesterday the Washington Times reported that a federal appeals court has ruled that Arizona must issue driver’s licenses to ‘dreamers.’ Dreamers are the young illegal immigrants that President Obama has given tentative permission to be in the country. The ‘dreamers’ are in a difficult position–they were brought here as young children and have lived their lives in America–but they are still illegal immigrants–and we are giving them driver’s licenses. This really sets a bad precedent.

We need to remember that illegal immigrants are not American citizens–they are not entitled to the protections of the U.S. Constitution granted to American citizens. I would not have a problem with setting up a reasonable process to allow dreamers to become citizens, but issuing driver’s licenses to illegals is a really bad idea.

The article reports:

The ruling could bolster Mr. Obama’s desire later this summer to claim executive powers to carve out even more illegal immigrants from the danger of deportation.

The judges said Congress has given the executive branch “broad discretion” to decide whether illegal immigrants are able to live and work in the U.S., and the judges said Arizona was interfering with that ability.

The ruling once again puts Arizona in the center of the immigration debate — a role that the state had played for years but which it seemed to be shedding in recent months as Texas rose to the front — overwhelmed by a new wave of illegal immigrant families and unaccompanied children from Central America.

The Tenth Amendment states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The federal appeals court is taking away the right of Arizona to decide to follow the law and not issue driver’s licenses to people who are here illegally.  Not only is that is a state matter–not a federal matter–it is in conflict with existing federal law.

 

Funding The Left Through Saving The Planet

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about President Obama’s commitment to clean up the environment.

The article includes two charts that show why the President’s environment policies will not have an impact on CO2 emissions worldwide:

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So why is the environment such a high priority for President Obama? As usual, follow the money.

The article explains:

First, the Left has made an enormous investment in promoting misinformation about global warming. You can’t get through elementary school in the U.S. without being hectored about your family’s carbon footprint. (“I will never live in a house bigger than John Edwards’,” my then-third-grade daughter wrote in response to a question about what she, personally, intended to do to change the Earth’s climate.) Those millions of misinformed people are now voters, and Obama is secure in the knowledge that the newspapers and television networks haven’t done anything to educate them.

Second, to the Obama administration, the fact that “green” energy cannot survive without government subsidies and mandates isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. It allows the Democrats to slide billions of dollars to their cronies, like Tom Steyer, the left-wing billionaire who is now the number one financial supporter of the Democratic Party. Steyer made his first fortune by developing coal projects, and is making his second fortune as a Democratic Party crony, developing uneconomic but heavily subsidized “green” energy projects. So the war on coal and other sources of CO2, while it can’t have any impact at all on the climate, has turned into a funding mechanism for the Democratic Party.

Next time someone produces a dictionary and is looking for a definition of the word “cynic,” all he needs is a picture of Barack Obama.

It really isn’t about the environment.

It’s Not A Matter Of Intelligence

On Wednesday, the Center for Security Policy posted an article about the recent offensive in Iraq by State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terrorists.

The article states:

Some former intelligence officers are blaming this failure on a lack of human intelligence sources in Iraq and an over-reliance on technical intelligence collection.

Congressman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, disagrees. He says the Iraq crisis is a policy and not an intelligence failure.

Rogers says the signs were there about the ISIS threat and the deteriorating situation in Iraq but Obama officials ignored them. He contends that “It was very clear to me years ago that ISIS was pooling up in a dangerous way — building training camps, drawing in jihadists from around the world. We saw all of that happening.”

 What happened in Iraq was to a large extent the result of the failure of America to leave troops there after we declared the war in Iraq. The troops would not have been as much of a military force as a limiting force against the retribution of the Shiite government against the Sunnis who had previously been in power.

The author of the article, Fred Fleitz writes:

 I believe the crisis in Iraq is a major U.S. policy failure due to the Obama administration’s failure to leave a small troop presence behind after the 2011 troop withdrawal and the repeated tendency by Obama officials to discount and downplay the continuing threat from radical Islamist groups. We saw this in September 2012 when Obama officials claimed the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was the result of an anti-Muslim video and not an attack by radical Islamists.

The intelligence oversight committees should review classified analysis on Iraq, Syria, and ISIS produced over the last year to determine whether intelligence agencies failed to provide adequate warning of the ISIS threat. I believe such an inquiry will find that U.S. intelligence analysts provided the Obama administration with excellent analysis about ISIS and the deteriorating situation in Iraq but Obama officials ignored it.

 President Obama’s Middle East policy has been a failure. It is time for him to either listen to the people giving him good advice or find people who will give him good advice.

A Rather Weak Resume´

Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at National Review today which sums up the presidency of Barack Obama. The article is simply entitled, “ Don’t Mess with Messiahs.  Whenever things go wrong, it’s the fault of those obstructionists in Congress.

The article describes the President’s latest whine:

In Obama’s most recent — and embarrassing — public whine, he lashed out at the once-obsequious press. In his now customary first-person I/me/my/mine lament (e.g., “They don’t do anything, except block me and call me names. . . . If they were more interested in growing the economy for you and the issues that you are talking about instead of trying to mess with me, we would be doing a lot better. . . . The critics, the cynics in Washington, they’ve written me off more times than I can count.”), he lambasted the partisan culture of Washington. He lashed out at the Tea Party, the House Republicans, his opponents in general, and all those who would unreasonably oppose his blanket amnesties, his climate-change taxes and regulations, the shutdown of the Keystone-pipeline project, Obamacare, and $9 trillion in new debt.

Mr. Hanson points out that President Obama acts as though he was not in charge when the VA scandal occurred, the IRS scandal occurred, Benghazi was overrun, and the Middle East imploded. Who, then, is running the show?

As it becomes more obvious that President Obama’s economic policies are not working, he seems inclined to continue them.

The article points out:

…Yet the administration’s reaction seems to be more deficit spending, more zero interest rates, more regulations, more restrictions on new energy development, and more class-warfare rhetoric.

Again, the message seems to be something like, “One way or another we are going to grow government, broaden the progressive base, increase the number of Americans on entitlements, raise taxes, cheapen the value of money, run up deficits, pile up regulations — and let you nitpickers worry about the high unemployment, sinking GDP, and declining household income.” The point is not to find the best way to help ordinary Americans, but to find a way to ram through a progressive economic agenda without much concern over whether it works or makes things worse.

Hang on to your hats–this President does not seem to learn from his mistakes.

The Practical Side Of Economic Policy

I hate to admit this, but I think economics is boring. I understand the basics, but after that I get lost. Yet economics and economic policy have a lot to do with how successful all of us are and how successful the country is. Right now America is not in good economic shape, and economic policies have a lot to do with that fact.

Fox News posted an article on Friday by Peter Morici entitled, “Why I can’t be both an economist and a liberal.” Mr. Morici goes into detail about the effects of some of the economic policies coming out of the Obama Administration.

The article cites an example of the consequences of one Administration policy:

The Congressional Budget Office estimates raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, as President Obama proposes, would eliminate 500,000 to 1,000,000 jobs. Businesses will be forced to raise prices, lose customers and lay off employees. Fast food restaurants will begin to use more machines and we’ll see something similar to automated checkout devices at drug stores and supermarkets.

Past increases in the federal minimum wage did not have large impacts on employment, because those were in line with inflation, and businesses adopted strategies expecting such periodic adjustments. The minimum wage was last reset in 2009 and we knew that raising it one dollar to $8.25 to preserve purchasing power would not cost many jobs.

Jumping it up to $10.10 an hour, however, would fundamentally redefine the tradeoffs businesses face regarding unskilled labor and automation. The workers left standing would have more spending power but overall, increasing unemployment by at least 500,000 would take a bite out of GDP and growth from an already anemic economic recovery.

Meanwhile, the Democrats criticize the Republicans for not being willing to raise the minimum raise. Common sense and cause and effect are not mentioned.

The article also mentions the idea that if America would cut its CO2 emissions to curb global warming, China would follow suit.

The article points out:

Liberals argue that by setting a good example the United States can bring China along.

Nonsense! American diplomats have not been able to get Beijing to respond on its undervalued currency or protectionism generally, abandon the use of force to settle territorial disputes in the China seas, or anything else the Chinese Communist Party sees as impairing economic growth or its quest to wrest leadership from the United States on global economic and security issues.

It’s time for those in leadership in America to begin putting the good of the country above the good of their political party or worse, the desire to stay in power. We have created a political class–something never intended by the founders of this country. It is time to limit terms of Senators and Representatives and return to government by the people. A Congressional term should not be a ticket to lifelong wealth.

Protecting Your State From Federal Government Overreach

This week the Supreme Court ruled on President Obama’s recess appointments. This was the first slap on the wrist the President has received when he has overreached his power. There is also a lawsuit coming from Congress regarding his changes to ObamaCare, which were clearly unconstitutional. However, there has generally not been a lot of pushback to President Obama’s power grabs. States that have refused to blindly follow the President on ObamaCare changes to Medicaid or on Common Core have found themselves treated poorly by the Obama White House. It has become obvious to some citizens that states need to protect themselves from unconstitutional actions by the federal government. Now more than ever, we need to follow the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

One concerned citizen has done something about his concern. The following article is posted at the Craven County North Carolina GOP website:

Craven County GOP Leaders visit with Senator Sanderson and Representative Speciale

By Mark Jones on June 23, 2014 in Events

Today, Carl Mischka and I traveled to Raleigh to visit with Senator Norman Sanderson (District 2) and Representative Michael Speciale (District 3). Joining us on the trip were Hal James, Raynor James, Rick Hopkins, and Randy Siler. The group thanked Norm and Michael for their efforts to further the cause of Conservatism in the North Carolina Legislature. We also asked both gentlemen to work hard to pass an effective bill that will end Common Core as we know it in North Carolina. Senate and House Bills about Common Core are currently expected to be debated and possibly combined this very week. It will take efforts in both Chambers of the Legislature to ensure an effective outcome.

We also talked to Senator Sanderson and Representative Speciale about what the Legislature may be able to do to protect North Carolina citizens from unconstitutional Federal executive orders. State Legislatures are the final line of defense between our out-of-control Federal Government and the people. We received commitments from both gentlemen to work with us on this issue between now and the next Legislative Session which begins in January. Let us hope and pray we have until January to do something before more freedoms are lost. More information will be provided on our website as it becomes available.

If anyone wishes to join us in our efforts to defend the Constitution and save America (one county at a time), please contact us for information about how you can help. One person can make a difference.

 

 About Mark Jones

Mark is the current 1st Vice Chairman of the Craven County Republican Party and former Precinct Chair for Epworth. Mark serves as a GOP leader organizing efforts in rural Precincts in western and northern Craven County. Mark believes in personal liberties, personal responsibility, limited Government, and in the U.S. Constitution as the blueprint for everything Government should do.

 

Recess Appointments Can Only Be Made When Congress Is Actually In Recess

USA Today is reporting today that the Supreme Court has ruled that several recess appointments made by President Obama in 2012 were invalid. The ruling against President Obama’s recess appointments was unanimous; however, four of the justices wanted to restrict the President’s power to make recess appointments.

The article reports:

The high court’s ruling means that hundreds of decisions made by the labor board while dominated by Obama’s recess appointees in 2012 and half of 2013 will be called into question. The new five-member board, including four members since approved by the Senate, will have to revisit those cases. Consumer protection chief Richard Cordray has since been confirmed by the Senate, so he can reaffirm his prior actions.

This is the second unanimous Supreme Court decision in two days–yesterday the Court ruled that police required a search warrant to search the information on a suspect’s cell phone.

Manufacturing A Crisis

On Friday I posted a screen capture of an advertisement asking for contractors to transport unaccompanied illegal alien children coming to America (rightwinggranny.com). The humanitarian crisis on our southern border was manufactured by the Obama Administration. Because they manufactured it, the Obama Administration also has the power to stop it. However, as reported in the Daily Caller yesterday, the Obama Administration has given orders to block Border Patrol Agents from doing what is necessary to stem the tide of unaccompanied children coming across the border.

The article reports:

If officials wanted to block the “Dream Deluge” of Central Americans youths, for example, “they would stop releasing them to family members [in the U.S., and] make sure they’re in long-term detention until they could either verify an asylum claim or a claim for persecution,” said Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council.

Immigration officials could make sure the youths’ parents are legal residents before they transfer the children and youths, and then deport the parents if they’re here illegally, said Moran, whose council serves as a union for border patrol officers.

But Obama’s appointees say “the whole goal of the process is family unification, so we’re not allowed to even ask the legal status of whosoever is picking them up,” he said.

This is another example of President Obama’s philosophy of “the law is whatever I say it is.” That attitude is the mark of a dictatorship–not a republic. Either the press (which isn’t going to) or Congress needs to hold President Obama accountable to his job description–upholding the U.S. Constitution (and the law). This is not a pattern of behavior that can be allowed to continue–our Republic is in danger. President Obama needs to be censured, at least, for his behavior.

I Thought That One Of The Principles Of Our Republic Was The Protection Of Individual Property Rights

As Iraq collapses and President Obama thinks about what to do, his administration has taken action on a truly pressing matter. Today’s Wall Street Journal is reporting that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the trademark of the Washington Redskins.

At the end of last year I moved from Massachusetts to North Carolina. As a result of that move, I became involved with a group of constitutional conservatives. I look at things now in the framework of the U.S. Constitution. Aside from being unconstitutional, this is just tacky.

The Independent Journal Review also posted an article on the subject.

The article in the Independent Journal Review reported:

This is how the Obama administration rolls. Get in a confrontation with the president, and some IRS branch patent office makes trouble for you. That’s how “community organizers” do business. That’s the Chicago Way.

The latest example? After Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder made it painfully, abundantly clear that he believes their team name is a tribute to their historic legacy and an honorable reflection of the spirit they aim to incorporate, a lowly patent office clerk just went ahead and cancelled their trademarks.

…The timing of this move is pretty convenient for the president and is a classic example of both the distraction politics this administration is good for and the lack of seriousness of his administration.

This is clearly petty revenge served up by a president who has little regard for the law or respect for free speech. Just because you are “offended” by something, doesn’t mean you get to violate other people’s rights. This move is obviously less about the Redskins than it is about the president’s thin skin.

Impeachment will not work because the Senate is controlled by Democrats and there is no political will for it, but I hope enough people realize the damage this administration has done to the rule of law to vote the Democrats out of office and limit the damage that can be done in the next two years.

Do you suppose anyone has the emails to show where this action originated?

The People vs. The Establishment

The internet is abuzz this morning with interpretations and hand wringing over Eric Cantor‘s defeat in the Virginia primary.

The Washington Examiner reports:

One House Republican, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Cantor’s loss was a “big win” for President Obama because it could empower the more hardline elements in the GOP and damage the effort on the part of some Republicans to broaden the party’s appeal to cross ethnic and gender lines. Cantor lost to college professor Dave Brat, who campaigned as an anti-immigration reform candidate and affiliated with activists and talk radio hosts who identify with the Tea Party.

I don’t see this as a win for President Obama–I see it as a win for people who are disgusted with ‘business as usual’ in Washington. Since when do we call people who believe in the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment radicals? I think our founding fathers would turn over in their graves if they saw what has happened to the nation they birthed.

Elections are the way Americans can express their satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with their leaders. I think the Americans in Eric Cantor’s district just made their opinion very clear.

The Obama Administration Is Working Hard To Redistribute What Hard-Working People Have Earned

The Daily Signal (a website of the Heritage Foundation) posted a story today about President Obama’s latest memorandum. The memorandum bypasses Congress and expands an existing federal loan option available to undergrad and graduate students.

The article reports:

For those working in public service or the government, any remaining debt is forgiven after 10 years. An estimated 5 million more borrowers will become eligible under the new plan. Before today, only those who took out loans after 2007 were entitled to “Pay as You Earn” benefits.

To finance the program, Obama proposed closing “tax loopholes” for the wealthy, or what he called “millionaires.”

“This should be a no-brainer,” he said today at the White House. “It would be scandalous if we allowed those kinds of tax loopholes for the very, very fortunate to survive while students are having trouble just getting started in their lives.”

The chart below was found as a result of a google search:

The fact that students are going in debt for their education has a number of causes. Since the 1990’s, college tuition has increased exponentially. Some of the degrees students are graduating with have little or no value in the workplace. Parents of students have not been encouraged to send their children to community colleges for their first two years of school in order to keep the costs reasonable. The students have no sense of the amount of money they are borrowing, and the colleges have no reason to control their expenses. As long as the government subsidizes the loans and forgives them, there is no reason for anyone involved to act responsibly. That is what happens when wealth is redistributed–the rich do not work as hard, and the people receiving the money do not learn responsibility–they learn a sense of entitlement.

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Energy Policy From Someone Who Doesn’t Understand Economics

Just for the record–I do not support dirty air or dirty water. I simply believe that extreme environmental policy does little to help the environment and a lot to damage the economy. Considering the fact that the American Gross Domestic Product went down in the first quarter of this year, now is not the time to take any action that will have a negative impact on the American economy. Evidently our President does not share that belief.

On Wednesday the Los Angeles Times reported that the U. S. Chamber of Commerce is warning that President Obama’s proposed environmental policies could cost the economy tens of billions of dollars in lost investment and millions of jobs.

The article reports:

Although the size of the proposed reduction has yet to be announced, the chamber’s report estimated that such a rule could result in an average annual drop of $51 billion in economic output and 224,000 fewer jobs every year through 2030, with the Southeast feeling the biggest pinch.

The chamber said the numbers were based on modeling from the economic research firm IHS, using assumptions that the regulation would set a 42% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030 from 2005 levels — an aggressive percentage that is close to a target previously cited by President Obama.

Today the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel posted an article on the impact of the environmental policies announced by President Obama.

Here is a list of some of the consequences:

For example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released a study showing that the rule will cost consumers in our region $3.3 billion per year in higher electricity prices.

Another study done by NERA Economic Consultants predicted the rule will cost consumers between $13 billion and $17 billion per year. Yet another study released by the Heritage Foundation predicts the rule will cost a family of four $1,200 per year by 2023.

The article also points out the questionable impact of these changes on the environment:

The rule is expected to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the U.S. by 970 million tons by 2030. Although that sounds like a lot, it is essentially meaningless in the global scale of things.

While the EPA has us busy destroying jobs and our economy in the name of global warming orthodoxy, the rest of the world will increase carbon emissions by 4.7 billion tons over the same time period.

For those keeping score, that means other countries will collectively increase carbon emissions by 6 tons for every ton reduced by Americans under the EPA rule. So much for saving the planet.

The EPA’s new global warming rule is a lose-lose proposition for energy consumers and workers. It represents the worst kind of regulation in that it has enormous and painful costs and essentially no benefit.

We really need an administration that considers the impact of its actions on the average American. This legislation is not good for everyday Americans working hard to support their families.

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This Was A Really Bad Trade

Yesterday the Weekly Standard reported that President Obama made a trade with the Taliban to allow Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to return to America. The deal was to return Sgt. Bergdahl in exchange for five members of the Taliban held at Guantanamo. There is a whole lot more to this story than meets the eye.

The Washington Post posted a story yesterday that included the following paragraph:

Top Republicans on the Senate and House armed services committees went so far as to accuse President Obama of having broken the law, which requires the administration to notify Congress before any transfers from Guantanamo are carried out.

Today Andrew McCarthy posted the following at National Review Online:

In return, thanks to the president’s negotiations with the terrorists, we receive U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl—who, according to several of his fellow soldiers, walked off his post in 2009 before being captured by the Taliban. (For more on this, see Greg Pollowitz’ spost at The Feed.) This was shortly after Sgt. Bergdah lreportedly emailed his parents that “The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at”; that he was “ashamed to even be an American”; and that “The horror that is America is disgusting.”

Sgt. Bergdahl’s father, Robert, was by Mr. Obama’s side during Saturday’s Rose Garden press conference, at which the president announced Sgt. Bergdahl’s return but carefully avoiding mention of the jihadi-windfall the Taliban received in exchange. Mr. Bergdahl is an antiwar activist campaigning for the release of all jihadists detained at Guantanamo Bay. His Twitter account, @bobbergdahl, has apparently now deleted a tweet from four days ago, in which he said, in echoes of Islamic supremacist rhetoric, “@ABalkhi I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen!”

Andrew McCarthy at the National Review describes the Taliban prisoners released:

At the Weekly Standard, Tom Joscelyn profiles the five Taliban commanders Obama has released. They include Mullah Mohammed Fazi, perhaps the Taliban’s senior warrior (its “army chief of staff”) and longtime al Qaeda ally; Mullah Norullah Noori, a senior military commander who fought side-by-side with al Qaeda; Abdul Haq Wasiq, a senior Taliban intelligence official who helped train al Qaeda and fought with it against U.S. forces after 9/11; Khairullah Khairkhwa, a Taliban governor and al Qaeda trainer who brokered an alliance with Iran to collaborate against American-led forces; and Mohammed Nabi, who worked with the Haqqani network and al Qaeda to coordinate attacks against American and Coalition forces.

The title of Andrew McCarthy’s article at the National Review Online is “Obama Replenishes the Taliban … Or ‘How Wars End in the 21st Century’”

Another title would be “How An American President Shows Total Disregard For The Lives Of American Soldiers.” I really don’t want to see the country go through an impeachment trial, but this is an impeachable offense.

 

 

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Rearranging The Deck Chairs On The Titanic

USA Today is reporting today that President Obama has accepted the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki. Fox News is reporting today that the President has also accepted the resignation of Jay Carney as White House press secretary.

USA Today reports:

Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson will take temporary charge of the department, Obama said, adding that he will nominate a new permanent secretary soon.

Obama began what he called a “serious conversation” with Shinseki Friday just hours after the VA secretary apologized to all veterans and the nation for scandal involving the systemic delay of health care to veterans.

While accepting Shinseki’s resignation, Obama went out of his way to praise the retired four-star general.

“He is a very good man,” Obama said. “He’s been an outstanding soldier. He’s a good person who’s done exemplary work.”

Secretary Shinseki is an outstanding soldier, but he obviously did not have the management skills to solve the problem at the VA. It is questionable if any person alive has those management skills. I suspect Mitt Romney does, but obviously, his talents will not be tapped.

Fox News reports:

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is stepping down, ending a lengthy term in what is considered one of Washington’s toughest jobs. 

Carney has served as President Obama’s lead spokesman since 2011. The president interrupted Carney’s daily press briefing to announce his departure, calling him one of his “closest friends” and a trusted adviser. 

Noting Carney’s background as a reporter, Obama said: “I actually think he will miss hanging out with all of you.”

Jay Carney used to be a reporter. I wish him well in future endeavors, but I have to admit that I will never again believe anything he reports.

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Learning The Economic Lessons Of History

Yesterday George Will posted an article at National Review Online about the sluggish economic recovery under President Obama. When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, the unemployment rate was approximately 7.5%. By January 1, 1983, the unemployment rate had risen to 10.4%. By January 1, 1988, the unemployment rate was 5.70%. Presidential economic policies do impact the economy.

The article reminds us:

Ronald Reagan lightened the weight of government as measured by taxation and regulation. Obama has done the opposite. According to the annual “snapshot of the federal regulatory state” compiled by Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, four of the five largest yearly totals of pages in the Federal Register — the record of regulations — have occurred during the Obama administration. The CEI’s delightfully cheeky “unconstitutionality index,” measuring Congress’s excessive delegation of its lawmaking policy, was 51 in 2013. This means Congress passed 72 laws but unelected bureaucrats issued 3,659 regulations.

One of the things that is slowing down the recovery in our consumer-drive economy is the amount of student loan debt. Student loan debt is currently the fastest growing debt–larger than credit-card or auto-loan debt. Another factor is the retirement of the baby boomers.

The article further reports:

In April, the number of persons under 25 in the workforce declined by 484,000. Unsurprisingly, almost one in three (31 percent) persons 18 to 34 are living with their parents, including 25 percent who have jobs.

These are not positive numbers.

The article concludes:

There is, however, something new under the sun. The Pew Research Center reports that Americans 25 to 32 — “Millennials” — constitute the first age cohort since World War II with higher unemployment or a greater portion living in poverty than their parents at this age. But today’s Millennials have the consolation of having the president they wanted.

At some point the Millennials may realize that elections have consequences and that they have voted themselves out of jobs.

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Political Thuggery Aimed At Louisiana

National Review Online posted an article today about the treatment of Governor Jindal and the people of Louisiana by the Obama Administration. There have been a number of incidents in recent years that form a pattern of political vindictiveness against the state and its governor.

The article reminds us of the beginning of the problem:

First, though, consider the litany of Obama’s abusive treatment of Louisiana; the Bayou State is surely the jurisdiction most victimized by the Obamite combination of wrath and pettiness. It began early, after Jindal’s (poorly received) 2009 State of the Union response, which represented the first major high-profile critique of Obama’s gauzy new administration. Clearly, Jindal got under Obama’s skin.

President Obama and his administration are known for taking measures to get even with the real or imagined enemies.

The article further reports:

Just two months later, the Obama team was notoriously slow to respond to the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Among a host of mistakes documented by a national commission on the disaster were clearly politicized decisions on numerous fronts, including on the allocation of oil-containing booms. Worse (and despite some media fact-check reports to the contrary), the Obama bureaucracy kept obstacles in place that blocked specialized foreign skimmers from helping to contain the spill — in part, it seems, to placate American unions.

The article continues, citing examples of the Obama Administration’s blocking the school voucher program Governor Jindal had proposed to help Louisiana’s failing schools, blocking the Keystone Pipeline, which would help Louisiana’s economy, and refusing to provide fairly routine Stafford Act relief to Louisiana’s storm victims after Hurricane Isaac in 2012. However, the latest example of this harassment is simply unconscionable.

Governor Jindal has been working to reform Louisiana’s system of ‘charity hospitals’ for years. In 2012 the federal government cut the percentage of some federal matching funds. Governor Jindal responded to that by setting up a system that leased the hospitals to private managers.

The article reports the results of that decision:

In less than a year, the hospitals opened more beds for the mentally ill and in emergency rooms, provided more advanced technology for cancer screening and other care, and began improving services across the board. Already the Jindal reforms were providing proof of his (and other conservatives’) longstanding contention that state innovation could do far more to deliver better care, more efficiently, than a centrally regulated federal behemoth can.

The Obama Administration’s response? Try to shut that system down. Please read the article for further details.

The article concludes:

The message from Obamaville goes out: Cross us, and anybody in your orbit, even low-income medical patients, will suffer.

The good news for Louisiana is that the state has a good chance, on appeal, eventually to win approval of its hospital leases. For the rest of the country, this year and in 2016, the appeal for relief must come through the ballot box.

This should be a wake-up call to American voters. It’s not a presidential election–it’s a mid-term election, but we need to elect people who will check the power of the Executive Branch of government. If we don’t, we will have tyranny.

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Losing Our Foundation As A Country

John Adams had some very definite ideas as to what it would take to preserve America in the future. He believed that there was more to America than simply writing a Constitution for a representative republic.

John Adams stated:

“…because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, • would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” (from beliefnet.com)

Unfortunately, many of our current leaders do not agree with that philosophy. Yesterday Breitbart.com posted an article about a recent comment from Secretary of State John Kerry:

This is a time here in Africa where there are a number of different cross-currents of modernity that are coming together to make things even more challenging. Some people believe that people ought to be able to only do what they say they ought to do, or to believe what they say they ought to believe, or live by their interpretation of something that was written down a thousand plus, two thousand years ago. That’s not the way I think most people want to live.

According to the article, President Obama made a similar statement circa 2008:

Democracy demands that the religiously-motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values.

Religion-specific values were exactly what John Adams felt were needed to preserve America. It’s time for both of these men to go back and read the writings of the people who founded America. They have not idea what the founders of this country were about.

 

 

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The Talking Points Are Becoming Obvious

A serious investigation into the events surrounding the attack on Benghazi and the cover-up that followed is necessary. However, a serious investigation at this point in time is exactly what the Democrats do not want. Actually if the Democrats had been smart, they would have gotten all of the negative information out as soon as the 2012 election was over. It would have been old news by now. Unfortunately, the negatives are coming out now–in the midst of the mid-term elections and in time to influence the 2016 presidential elections. So what should the Democrats do? Actually, what they should do is not part of the equation, what they will do to provide damage control is becoming obvious.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article today about the appearances on the Sunday shows by the damage control team. Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff was on Fox News Sunday suggesting that the Democrats would boycott the House’s proposed select committee on Benghazi.

The article quotes Congressman Schiff:

Establishing a select committee to investigate the State Department’s handling of the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya is a “colossal waste of time,” according to Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.).

“We’ve had four bipartisan investigations already,” Schiff said on “Fox News Sunday,” adding that the Republican plans to create the committee are politically motivated.

Schiff also said that Democratic leaders should not appoint anyone to the committee. “I don’t think it makes sense, really, for Democrats to participate,” he said. “I think it’s just a tremendous red herring and a waste of taxpayer resources.”

Translated loosely that means ‘we don’t want anyone to uncover any more damaging emails, so we are going to do everything we can to continue to cover up whatever went on concerning the attack on Benghazi.’

The question is whether or not the American public and the mainstream news media are going to let the investigation into Benghazi die.

The article points out:

Can the Democrats possibly get away with the claim that there is no Benghazi scandal, even though four Americans were killed, including an ambassador, and we already know that 1) the Obama administration ignored repeated calls for improved security in Benghazi, 2) the administration made no attempt to rescue the besieged Americans, over a period of seven or eight hours, and 3) the administration’s attempted cover-up–al Qaeda is on the run, this was just a bunch of film critics who got out of hand–has already been exposed? One wouldn’t think so. And, by the way, we still don’t know what (if anything) either President Obama or Secretary of State Clinton did with regard to the terrorist attack on the evening of September 11, 2012. Did they participate? Did they give any orders, and if so, what were they? Were Obama and Clinton even awake? We don’t know.

I am very tired of hearing about Benghazi, but I am even more tired or being lied to and told stories that I know are false.  I want to know why we chose not to rescue the Ambassador. I want to know why the lies were told about the video. And I want to know who made the decision not to send help that night. At that point I will be willing to consider the matter closed.

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Something To Think About As The Benghazi Story Unfolds

Breitbart.com posted an article today questioning what the role of the media will be as the new revelations about the 2011 attack on Benghazi emerge. The article reminds us that the Obama Administration has tried to ignore questions about Benghazi by complaining that it is an ‘old story.’ Well, the reason it is an old story is that it has taken almost two years to even see the Obama Administration documents related to the attack. As those documents become public, the story becomes more interesting and the claim that it is an old story becomes less effective.

The article reports:

That’s what makes me think the story has legs, perhaps in a way it hasn’t since October 2012.  Everyone knows what this is: the White House caught red-handed lying about the death of four Americans, with documentation to prove it.  And it makes the media look ridiculous for uncritically parroting those lies in order to get Obama re-elected.  Some of them did it out of blind partisan loyalty, but others just convinced themselves the Obama version of the story had to be true, through a mixture of ideology and their general warm feelings toward him. 

…The media has a lot of tough questions about itself to answer, as these new email revelations blow the Benghazi story into the stratosphere.  I don’t think they’re going to heed Obama’s “ignore this one more time and save me” cry this time.  More of them are going to begin feeling the sense of anger and betrayal Tapper talked about with Hugh Hewitt.  Others might even retain some rudimentary capacity for shame.

It is interesting to note that so far, the only person who has done jail time for Benghazi is the innocent man who made the unrelated video. It would be nice to see that situation change.

 

 

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About That Three A.M. Phone Call

Tommy Vietor was interviewed on Fox New’s Special Report tonight. It was very obvious that he was attempting damage control after the recent revelations about Benghazi. I posted a copy of the memo that has rejuvenated the questions about the attack in Benghazi in 2011 yesterday (rightwinggranny.com).

There are a few videos on YouTube with excerpts of the interview, but this is a section that is somewhat amazing:

I am sorry that a political campaign was more important that the life of an ambassador and the lives of there other Americans. I truly believe that the reason they were not helped was that the Obama Administration was trying to avoid the political fallout of a military action in Libya in the midst of a Presidential campaign. Remember, President Obama was partly responsible for destabilizing Libya in the first place and was trying to give the impression that the country was under control of rational people. Having to send in troops would have blown that illusion. The other part of this story that is hard to understand is why the President chose to head off to a fundraiser the next morning. He acted as if the incident in Libya was not his responsibility and he did not have to hang around to see what needed to be done. The cover-up is horrible, but the total lack of responsibility on the part of the President is even worse.

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The Law Of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again

Yesterday Byron York posted an article in the Washington Examiner about the coming increase in the minimum wage for federal contractors. The minimum wage for federal contractors will go from $7.25 and hour to $10.10 an hour. This will include fast food workers, laundry workers, and other low paying jobs on military bases. So what are the consequences?

The article reports:

In late March, the publication Military Times reported that three McDonald’s fast-food restaurants, plus one other lesser-known food outlet, will soon close at Navy bases, while other national-name chains have “asked to be released from their Army and Air Force Exchange Service contracts to operate fast-food restaurants at two other installations.”

…The administration is making it very expensive to do business on military bases, and not just because of the minimum wage. Under federal contracting law, some businesses operating on military installations must also pay their workers something called a health and welfare payment, which last year was $2.56 an hour but which the administration has now raised to $3.81 an hour.

In the past, fast-food employers did not have to pay the health and welfare payment, but last fall the Obama Labor Department ruled that they must. So add $3.81 per hour, per employee to the employers’ cost. And then add Obama’s $2.85 an hour increase in the minimum wage. Together, employers are looking at paying $6.66 more per hour, per employee. That’s a back-breaking burden. (Just for good measure, the administration also demanded such employers provide paid holidays and vacation time.)

These are the actions of an administration that does not understand or value our military and does not understand basic economic principles. The Obama Administration has already begun to make changes in the way the military exchanges are run that will change the savings our military get on food and clothing (see rightwinggranny.com). We need to elect leaders who value our military and take care of them.

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Forgetting Our Past Promises To Israel

Evidently the Middle East peace process has unraveled. Yesterday Commentary Magazine posted an article reminding us of some of the promises made in the past.

The article points out:

As it happens, tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of one of the more important items of history the Brzezinski group ignored: the April 14, 2004 letter from President George W. Bush to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. In Tested by Zion: The Bush Administration and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Abrams recounts how the letter went through “many drafts, as words, phrases, and paragraphs came in and out,” ending with a “headline” that was clear: “There would be no return to 1967 and Israel could keep the major settlement blocks.” In her  own memoir, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recounted spending three hours on the letter with Sharon the night before it was issued, and described the agreement to apply a “Google Earth test” for settlements: no new ones, no expanding the boundaries of them, but allowing building within existing settlements, since that would not reduce the land available for a Palestinian state.

When John Kerry was running for President, he went on the record supporting that agreement.

The Obama Administration has taken a slightly different view:

The Obama administration, when it took office in 2009, repeatedly refused to answer whether it was bound by the Bush letter. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied there were any “enforceable” understandings with Israel. The day before Palestinian President Abbas met with President Obama, Clinton told the press Obama had been “very clear” with Prime Minister Netanyahu that he “wants to see a stop to settlements – not some settlements, not outposts, not natural growth exceptions”–and that this had been “communicated very clearly, not only to the Israelis but to the Palestinians and others.” The same day, Abbas told the Washington Post he would do nothing but watch the Obama administration pressure Netanyahu. The administration eventually got a ten-month construction freeze, which both Clinton and Obama envoy George Mitchell called “unprecedented.” It produced nothing from the Palestinians other than a demand in the tenth month that it be continued.

The article explains the specifics of why the negotiations fell apart:

The peace process went “poof” not because of 700 units in Jerusalem, but because–for the third time in three years–the Palestinians violated the foundational agreement of the process, which obligates them not to take “any step” outside bilateral negotiations to change the status of the disputed territories. For the third time, the Palestinians went to the UN; for the third time, there was no American response; for the third time, there was no penalty for the violation; and on April 8, there was not even an honest assessment of the situation by the secretary of state.

Unfortunately the Obama Administration has unilaterally undone many past agreements made with our allies. This has resulted in many of our allies wondering if they can trust agreements made with America. President Obama has considerably lowered America’s standing in the world.

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About That Presidential Victory Lap Last Week

Today’s U.K. Daily Mail posted an article posted a story about President Obama’s statement on Tuesday that “The debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.” The basis for this statement was the President’s claim that 7.1 million Americans have signed up for ObamaCare. Well, that may or may not be the case.

The article reports:

But buried in the 7.1 million enrollments he announced in a heavily staged appearance is a more unsettling reality.

Numbers from a RAND Corporation study that has been kept under wraps suggest that barely 858,000 previously uninsured Americans – nowhere near 7.1 million – have paid for new policies and joined the ranks of the insured by Monday night.

Others were already insured, including millions who lost coverage when their existing policies were suddenly cancelled because they didn’t meet Obamacare’s strict minimum requirements.

Still, he claimed that ‘millions of people who have health insurance would not have it’ without his insurance law.’

‘The goal we’ve set for ourselves – that no American should go without the health care they need … is achievable,’ Obama declared.

There is a lot of information in the Rand Study that makes the accuracy of the President’s statements very questionable. The deadline to enroll in ObamaCare has been extended and now depends on someone simply saying that they tried to enroll, with no verification.

We may or may not be stuck with ObamaCare, but frankly I would be very suspicious of any numbers regarding ObamaCare released by the White House.

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