Sunday, March 3, 2013

op ed review 3/3



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
President Obama signed an order Friday night to begin automatic budget cuts across most federal departments., blaming the crisis on Republican lawmakers.
Last week, President Obama raced around the nation attempting to frighten Americans into opposing the modest cuts to the federal budget due through the sequester process.  Never mind that the sequester was President Obama´s idea. Never mind that these cuts amount to just 2 cents on every dollar of the federal budget. And, never mind that his Administration has made history, in a bad way, by running four straight trillion dollar plus deficits.
President Obama has gone all-in trying to get Republicans to blink and serve up another round of tax increases in lieu of the looming spending sequester. Eschewing talks with Congress or any pretense of leadership, he is instead flying around the country burning $180,000 an hour on Air Force One laying out a parade of horribles that will descend upon us if the growth of federal spending were reduced by one iota. Why is he doing this? Because the mainstream media are lapping it up. Poisoned meat coming to grocery shelves near you! Air traffic grinds to a screeching halt! Fires, murder, and mayhem in the streets as first responders are laid off! No visits to the Washington Monument!

Here´s a pretty good sign that President Obama is losing the sequester fight: Even his best friends in the press are starting to chafe at the desperate and deceptive warnings coming from him and his administration.

Speaking to American governors, President Obama insisted that spending money wasn’t the federal government’s biggest problem. “improving our infrastructure” should be the highest priority.

“Obama's Golf Weekend With Tiger Cost As Much As 341 Federal Workers Furloughed”

Secret energy lab spawns million dollar government employees.

The new head of NARAL Pro-Choice America is ready to redefine “choice.” It’s the right to end a pregnancy — and the right to start one, including access to pricey fertility treatment. And once a baby is born, parents must have paid family leave to take care of them.

Concerns about the environment have reached a two-decade low since the start of the financial crisis, a global survey has revealed. Fewer people now consider pollution, species loss and fresh water shortages to be ´very serious´ problems than at any time since tracking began 20 years ago.

 “Obama's surveillance program, codenamed RAGTIME, bigger than Bush's...”

The Washington Post's Bob Woodward ripped into President Barack Obama, saying he's exhibiting a "kind of madness I haven't seen in a long time" for a decision not to deploy an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf because of budget concerns. "Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying, 'Oh, by the way, I can't do this because of some budget document?'" Woodward said. 
Woodward gets threatened by the White House: “A 'Very Senior' White House Person Warned Me I'd 'Regret' What I'm Doing”

Cash for Access.  Large contributors to President Obama’s dark money group, Organizing for Action, get to meet quarterly with him.  Even the New York Times calls it “disturbing.”

“Republicans supporting a massive legalization program as part of immigration “reform” must have blinders on. They must not see the perverted way the Obama administration simply refuses to enforce existing immigration laws — damning any promised “get tough” enforcement policy included in any immigration deal. The Republican advocates of immigration reform argue that America should secure the border, legalize at least 11 million illegal immigrants, and vigorously enforce the immigration laws in the future.
The Department of Homeland Security no longer uses control of the actual border as a measure of how well the Border Patrol is doing its job……”with 56 percent of the border not under “operation control,” DHS simply stopped using “operational control” as a measure of the Border Patrol’s performance.”

The liberal media have their knives out for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) after his textbook cross-examination of Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel at the latter’s confirmation hearing Jan. 31.

Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry to the list of potential 2016 presidential hopefuls set to speak at a major gathering for conservatives next month.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. has released a new public service announcement, suggesting residents can arm themselves to protect themselves against crime.  “The Great Equalizer”

The Harvard Crimson published an editorial urging conservatives not to apply to Harvard if they intend to criticize the university for being liberal. The editorial, titled “Warning: Do Not Enroll,” denigrates famous conservatives who graduated from Harvard and later sharply — and perhaps hypocritically — complained about the university’s liberal ideology, including former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, and Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly. “If we could have spoken to these three men, we would have told them never to come to Cambridge,” wrote the staff of the Crimson.

It’s starting….. Florida doesn't have enough doctors for Medicaid expansion, lobby group says
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Charles Krauthammer  2/28
“The worst-case scenario for us,” a leading anti-budget-cuts lobbyist told The Post, “is the sequester hits and nothing bad really happens.” Think about that. Worst case?  That a government drowning in debt should cut back by 2.2percent — and the country survives. That a government now borrowing 35 cents of every dollar it spends reduces that borrowing by two cents “and nothing bad really happens.” Oh, the humanity!

A normal citizen might think this a good thing. For reactionary liberalism, however, whatever sum our ever-inflating government happens to spend today (now double what Bill Clinton spent in his last year) is the Platonic ideal — the reduction of which, however minuscule, is a national calamity. Or damn well should be. Otherwise, people might get the idea that we can shrink government and live on. Hence the president’s message.  If the “sequestration” — automatic spending cuts — goes into effect, the skies will fall. Plane travel jeopardized, carrier groups beached, teachers furloughed. And a shortage of junk-touching TSA agents.

The Obama administration has every incentive to make the sky fall, lest we suffer that terrible calamity — cuts the nation survives. Are they threatening to pare back consultants, conferences, travel and other nonessential fluff? Hardly. It shall be air-traffic control. Meat inspection. Weather forecasting.

A 2011 Government Accountability Office report gave a sampling of the vastness of what could be cut, consolidated and rationalized in Washington: 44 overlapping job training programs, 18 for nutrition assistance, 82 (!) on teacher quality, 56 dealing with financial literacy, more than 20 for homelessness, etc. Total annual cost: $100 billion-$200 billion, about two to five times the entire domestic sequester. Are these on the chopping block? No sir. It’s firemen first. That’s the phrase coined in 1976 by legendary Washington Monthly editor Charlie Peters to describe the way government functionaries beat back budget cuts. Dare suggest a nick in the city budget, and the mayor immediately shuts down the firehouse. The DMV back office, stacked with nepotistic incompetents, remains intact. Shrink it and no one would notice. Sell the firetruck — the people scream and the city council falls silent about any future cuts.

After all, the sequester is just one-half of 1 percent of GDP. It amounts to 1.4cents on the dollar of nondefense spending, 2 cents overall. Because of this year’s payroll tax increase, millions of American workers have had to tighten their belts by precisely 2 percent. They found a way. Washington, spending $3.8trillion, cannot? If so, we might as well declare bankruptcy now and save the attorneys’ fees.

The problem with sequestration, of course, is that the cuts are across the board and do not allow money to move between accounts. It’s dumb because it doesn’t discriminate.  Fine. Then change the law. That’s why we have a Congress. Discriminate. Prioritize. That’s why we have budgets. Except that the Democratic Senate hasn’t passed one in four years. And the White House, which proposed the sequester in the first place, had 18months to establish rational priorities among accounts — and did nothing.

When the GOP House passed an alternative that cut where the real money is — entitlement spending — President Obama threatened a veto. Meaning, he would have insisted that the sequester go into effect — the very same sequester he now tells us will bring on Armageddon.

Good grief. The entire sequester would have reduced last year’s deficit from $1.33trillion to $1.24trillion. A fraction of a fraction. Nonetheless, insists Obama, such a cut is intolerable. It has to be “balanced” — i.e., largely replaced — by yet more taxes. Which demonstrates that, for Obama, this is not about deficit reduction, which interests him not at all. The purpose is purely political: to complete his Election Day victory by breaking the Republican opposition.

At the fiscal cliff, Obama broke — and split — the Republicans on taxes. With the sequester, he intends to break them on spending. Make the cuts as painful as possible, and watch the Republicans come crawling for a “balanced” (i.e., tax-hiking) deal.

In the past two years, House Republicans stopped cold Obama’s left-liberal agenda. Break them now, and the road is open to resume enactment of the expansive, entitlement-state liberalism that Obama proclaimed in his second inaugural address. But he cannot win if “nothing bad really happens.” Indeed, he’d look both foolish and cynical for having cried wolf.  Obama’s incentive to deliberately make the most painful and socially disruptive cuts possible (say, oh, releasing illegal immigrants from prison) is enormous. And alarming.

Hail Armageddon.


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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
"Obama cannot enact his second-term agenda without significant help from outside groups. Those outside groups can channel resources through Obama's old presidential re-election apparatus, which has now been rechristened 'Organizing for America,' an IRS 501(c)4 tax-exempt 'social welfare' organization. The sole purpose of OFA will be to advance Obama's policy agenda, and to that end, Obama will meet personally with OFA's national advisory board in the White House at least four times a year. And, here is the money part: You too can become a member of the national advisory board for the bargain basement price of just $500,000. ... If that isn't selling access, then we don't know what is. And it's also a clear case of hypocrisy -- of Obama doing precisely the thing for which he harshly criticized others, and with which he formed the very core of his political identity as a candidate of 'change.'"
                  -The Washington Examiner

"Here are some things that will result from the sequestration cuts: All prisons will be shut down and prisoners released. Even the most violent of criminals. ... Medicare will be replaced with a hammer given to old people to kill themselves with. ... Our military will be armed with nothing but bayonets. All traffic lights will be turned off. No more money for cowboy poetry festivals, the only thing keeping cowboys from violence and thus the only thing keeping the wild west from breaking out again. ... No more postage for strongly-worded letters sent to Iran and North Korea telling them to stop having nuclear weapons. Obama will only get five golf outings a month."
                  -Frank J. Fleming
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LEFTIST WATCH
William Ayers, the co-founder of the violent 1960s-era Weather Underground and who later befriended Barack Obama at the University of Chicago, has been named a "visiting scholar" at Minnesota State University, continuing his transformation from radical activist to establishment leader. Once the head of a group linked to bombings of buildings tied to the Vietnam war, including the Pentagon and Capitol, he has been invited to play a role in the school´s efforts to include “social justice” in class courses.

House Democrats led by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) have introduced legislation that would create a federal Department of Peacebuilding, which would be tasked with everything from finding ways to scale back U.S. military actions to ending bullying at schools.

“Obama’s new political group to lure unlimited donations”   In close consultation with President Obama, two of his top political strategists are designing an ambitious new organization funded by donations from wealthy individuals and corporations aimed at making political and legislative gains at the federal and state levels.
Obama’s Organizing for Action starting out with millions of donations and the single biggest voter database in the history of American politics.  It’s tied in with the U.N., climate change, gun control, healthcare, taxation, global taxation, currency, education, poverty, hunger, they got every big name item involved.
They pine to hear tales of horror from the citizenry, perhaps. Organizing for Action is now seeking “sequester stories” from loyal Democrats and progressives.

Cher leaned heavily on her Twitter page in the waning months of the 2012 presidential race to blast anything associated with Mitt Romney. Now, she´s focusing her GOP hate on the party´s rising star, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz, whose aggressive approach has made him the target of mainstream news outlets which ignore similar tactics by liberals, is now Cher´s favorite outlet for her social media vitriol.
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ARTICLES
Republicans throw in the towel on gay marriage?:  More than six dozen prominent Republicans have signed a legal brief to be submitted to the Supreme Court voicing support for gay marriage, the New York Times reported Tuesday
Four Tiers of Failure: How the LGBT Lobby Dominates.   There are four levels that have failed in the United States, and we must take these four tiers very seriously.  It is time for a quick postmortem of what went wrong with the traditional marriage movement, so we can do better for the next round of battles, and perhaps win the war in a few decades. 
The head of the influential Conservative Political Action Committee said there´s a reason Chris Christie wasn´t invited to the group´s annual conference next month: The New Jersey governor didn´t have "an all-star year."

“Is the United States about to become a laughing-stock to the rest of the world? It seems to have accrued a Defence Secretary who is the toast of Iran, and a Secretary of State who is a blithering idiot.”

Birmingham, Alabama is considered by many to be the birthplace of the civil rights movement. Today, African-Americans in Birmingham benefit from a numerical majority in the population, corresponding majorities in government jobs, and political control of the city. But civil rights won´t address what ails the city now. Birmingham is recognized as one of the most violent and poorly-run cities in the nation. The city runs a massive deficit, and is county seat of Jefferson County, which recently cut a deal with a European bank as part of the largest government bankruptcy in U.S. history.

“….what I find most puzzling is the incongruity of the poor black supporters of President Obama who still identify with him because he's black. He has absolutely nothing in common with their black experience because he has never had one. He was raised by leftwing whites as a child of privilege and had the best education possible.  None of Obama's policies have improved the black community and in fact they have assured its continual dependency on a government check. He and Michele are 1% millionaires who travel around the globe in grandeur enjoying an unbelievably opulent lifestyle the poor will never know.  Oh wait. Perhaps, President Obama and Michele do have something in common with the poor voters. They both owe their lifestyles to the hapless taxpayers…”
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CONSERVATIVE STRATEGY
Why Obama Wins: Democrats Purge Moderates, Republicans Purge Conservatives

The big mistake of the last election was assuming that public dissatisfaction with Obama would be enough to remove him. Reagan’s defeat of Carter was frequently invoked without understanding that Reagan’s victory lay in his ability to communicate to the public why they were worse off now and why they would be better off with a change of government, not in some abstract national sense, but in a way that would directly impact their wallets. Reagan focused on inflation. What did Romney focus on? Believing in historical inevitability is usually a leftist fallacy, but this time around it was the Republicans who approached an election from the standpoint of historical inevitability. While Romney talked about the big national issues, Obama turned his entire campaign into a targeted voter turnout operation. The messiah of 2008 morphed back into the community organizer in 2012. Obama’s worldview did not win. Not in 2008 or 2012. His tactics did. The Republican Party does not have to evolve or devolve into the Democratic Party. What it must do is learn to connect with voters.

 “What in the hell was Karl Rove thinking? This has been the question on the minds of many political observers since the Republican super-strategist opened up a nasty new front in the ongoing civil war between his party’s purists and its pragmatists.” “…..why Rove had chosen to kick the hornet’s nest……This is all about the donors…..”
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
Must see.  When women follow Joe Biden’s advice about shotguns: 

Secretary of State John Kerry shows off his French speaking skills.
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LATE NITE
Leno:  Researchers in Germany now say that human longevity has improved so rapidly over the past century that 72 is the new 30. That is bad news for parents. You'll never get the kids out of the house now. "Dad, I'm only 50. That's, like, 17."
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WISE WORDS
"The freedom now desired by many is not freedom to do and dare but freedom from care and worry."
                       -James Truslow Adams

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