Saturday, December 28, 2013

op ed review 12/29

Republicans have a 49%-44% edge over Democrats in a generic ballot, a key 2014 midterm election indicator, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll.

“When Republicans are on the short end of such polls–as, for example, after the recent partial government slowdown–there is no shortage of advice from the media. Move to the center! Get rid of those “radicals!” Become Democrats! Note, however, the deafening silence when the Democrats are trailing in the same polls.”

On Monday, CNN/ORC released new polling data showing that the Affordable Care Act has reached a record low approval rating in that survey.
Senate Democrat worries about ObamaCare ‘meltdown’

Fact-checkers at PolitiFact and the Washington Post designated “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” as 2013´s “Lie of the Year.”
Not even vending machines are outside the scope of Obamacare mandates. Under the bill's new labeling regulations nutrition information must be placed next to each slot of candy bars, chips, peanuts and cracker-jacks. This new mandate will cost the vending machine industry an estimated $25.8 million initially and an additional $24 million for every subsequent year.

Women comprise biggest opposition to ObamaCare

Democrats will pay political price for Obamacare in 2014

“Chamber of Commerce to Spend $50 Million to Crush Tea Party”

A&E caves,  welcomes Phil Robertson back to 'Duck Dynasty'
Thanks to fierce customer backlash and a strong anti-Cracker Barrel Twitter campaign, the restaurant tweeted on Sunday that Duck Dynasty products are back on the shelves. "We made a mistake, we listened to you, and we apologize."
“Has A&E Awakened a Sleeping Giant?”

“In its rush to pass a budget deal, Congress voted to slice the benefits of veterans, even those who retire after suffering injuries while serving their country. This unconscionable sneak attack on former members of the armed services was evidently inserted into the legislation by GOP House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan during talks with lead Democratic negotiator, Sen. Patty Murray. He ought to be ashamed.”
“Disposable: Paul Ryan´s Budget Epitomizes How Washington Actually Sees Veterans”

Females in the Marine Corps currently are not required to do even a single pull-up, and a deadline mandating that by Jan. 1, 2014, they be able to do at least 3 pull-ups as part of their  training has been delayed for at least a year, the Corps quietly announced on social media.

Oklahoma Bill Would Require Pledge of Allegiance in Schools

National Security Advisor Susan Rice appeared on 60 Minutes with Lesley Stahl, and one of the issues she addressed was the continued fallout from the Edward Snowden NSA leaks. Rice argued that NSA officials didn’t lie about intel dragnets, they just “inadvertently made false representations.”

Formula for happiness:  about 40 percent of conservative women say they are very happy. That makes them slightly happier than conservative men and significantly happier than liberal women. The unhappiest of all are liberal men; only about a fifth consider themselves very happy.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who suddenly entered the 2016 Republican presidential sweepstakes this month, has surged to the top of those most favored by GOP voters, costing support for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan in a new poll. Of eight potential presidential candidates listed by YouGov/Economist in the most recent survey, Huckabee won the highest favorable rating from Republicans, at 65 percent. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, was dead last with a favorable rating of 47 percent.

Walter Williams  12/25
Dumb Politicians
Politicians can be progressives, liberals, conservatives, Democrats or Republicans, and right-wingers. They just can't be dumb. The American people will never elect them to office. Let's look at it.
For years, I used to blame politicians for our economic and social mess. That changed during the 1980s as a result of several lunches with Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., which produced an epiphany of sorts.  At the time, I had written several columns highly critical of farm subsidies and handouts. Helms agreed, saying something should be done. Then he asked me whether I could tell him how he could vote against them and remain a senator from North Carolina. He said that if he voted against them, North Carolinians would vote him out of office and replace him with somebody probably worse. My epiphany came when I asked myself whether it was reasonable to expect a politician to commit what he considered to be political suicide -- in a word, be dumb.
The Office of Management and Budget calculates that more than 40 percent of federal spending is for entitlements for the elderly in the forms of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, housing and other assistance programs. Total entitlement spending comes to about 62 percent of federal spending. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that entitlement spending will consume all federal tax revenue by 2048.
Only a dumb politician would argue that something must be done immediately about the main components of entitlement spending: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Senior citizens indignantly would tell him that what they're receiving are not entitlements. It's their money that Congress put aside for them. They would attack any politician who told them that the only way they get Social Security and Medicare money is through taxes levied on current workers. The smart politician would go along with these people's vision that Social Security and Medicare are their money that the government was holding for them. The dumb politician, who is truthful about Social Security and Medicare and their devastating impact on our nation's future, would be run out of office.
Social Security and Medicare are by no means the only sources of unsustainable congressional spending. There are billions upon billions in handouts going to farmers, corporations, poor people and thousands of federal programs that have no constitutional basis whatsoever. But a smart politician reasons that if Congress enables one group of Americans to live at the expense of another American, then in fairness, what possible argument can be made for not giving that same right to other groups of Americans? Making a constitutional and moral argument against the growth of handouts would qualify as dumb.
Let's examine some statements of past Americans whom we've mistakenly called great but would be deemed both heartless and dumb if they were around today. In 1794, James Madison, the father of our Constitution, irate over a $15,000 congressional appropriation to assist some French refugees, said, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." He added, "Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government."
In 1854, President Franklin Pierce vetoed a bill intended to help the mentally ill, saying, "I cannot find any authority in the Constitution for public charity" ... and to approve such spending "would be contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and subversive to the whole theory upon which the Union of these States is founded."
Grover Cleveland vetoed hundreds of congressional spending bills during his two terms as president in the late 1800s. His often stated veto message was, "I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution."
If these men were around today, making similar statements, Americans would hold them in contempt and disqualify them from office. That's a sad commentary on how we've trashed our Constitution.

“The Obamacare rollout that began nearly three months ago has proved more disastrous than all but a few critics of the legislation dared to predict. Polling shows increasing opposition to the legislation and to the credibility of Obama Democrats who, falsely, assured people they could keep their policies and their doctors if they liked them. The apparent skepticism of most voters that government could competently administer the health care sector seems to have been justified – and then some. Gallup reports that 72% of Americans see big government, not big business or big labor, as the biggest threat to the nation’s future – the highest number since the question was first asked in 1965. The Obama Democrats assumed Americans would embrace big government policies. They seem to have proved the opposite.”
               -Michael Barone

 “[T]he Obama administration has spent longer botching the implementation of Obamacare than the Roosevelt and Truman administrations spent fighting and winning the Second World War…… Now, it is true that building the Hoover Dam – that icon of activist liberal government – did take a bit longer (four and a half years), but at the end of that process the Hoover Dam actually worked.”
               -Ed Haislmaier

“…..I don’t know what irritates me most about this phenomenon. Is it the lack of simple decorum? Or is it the infantilization of our popular culture? … [P]utting a young man in red flannel pajamas in order to convince 20-somethings to act responsibly wasn’t the most effective visual cue the Obamacare supporters could have chosen. When we depict young adults like infants, we shouldn’t expect that they will behave as grownups.”
               -Linda Chavez

In his widely noted speech, President Obama said that "a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility" is "the defining challenge of our time." This belief makes Mr. Obama unique: Unlike the other presidents since World War II, he places inequality above economic growth as the organizing principle of U.S. economic policy.

Nancy Pelosi:   “Our view of the law is that it – if somebody is here without sufficient documentation,  that is not reason for deportation.”

Planned Parenthood Pens ´Twelve Days of Contraception´ Christmas Carol

Right at holiday time, a Muslim "charity" in Toronto has started a highly offensive advertising campaign in the Toronto subway declaring Jesus is no God. Just for a micro-second, imagine what hell would break loose if a Christian group on the eve of Ramadan (or heck, any day of the year), sponsored subway ads declaring Mohammed was no prophet. Actually, that´s a trick question because the Toronto Transit Commission would never permit such an ad to be posted.

Matthew Continetti:  “The holidays are a good time for conservatives to lick our wounds, reflect on the recent past, and contemplate new beginnings. My three recommendations describe the complicated realities of ethnic politics in America in the 21st century. Conservatives and Republicans have to grasp that the America of Ronald Reagan no longer exists. First, there’s Tom Wolfe’s Back to Blood. Fans of Wolfe’s prose and sociological insight will not be disappointed as the master turns his gimlet eye to Miami. Second, there’s Joel Kotkin’s The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050. Kotkin argues against American decline. Third, there’s Thomas Sowell’s Ethnic America, which was first published in 1981. Sowell’s history of American ethnic groups, from Germans and Irish to blacks and Mexicans, is one of the most unlikely page-turners I’ve read.”

Terrell:  In a recent and very good book, John L. Allen comes to the judgment that “Christians today indisputably are the most persecuted religious body on the planet,” and he concludes that “the transcendent human rights concern of our time is this rarely noted persecution.”

Climate: Those humming the words to "White Christmas" got their wish big-time as snow covered more than half the lower 48 states as of mid-December, putting snowless winters on the pile of failed climate predictions. More than half of the continental U.S. had snow cover as of Dec. 15, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the most in 11 years. That exposes as worthless the predictions of the climate scammers of snowless winters as far as the eye can see. In 2006, by comparison, snow covered just 12% of these states.

“Obama has begun repealing Obamacare”

President Obama, by issuing new rules that erode Obamacare´s "financial structure," is putting the health insurance industry -- and taxpayers -- at risk.  Krauthammer:  "The insurers understand that they´re going to be completely ruined.  And what´s going to happen as a result of this? There´s only one way out, a huge government bailout of the insurers is waiting at the end of next year."

Advice to conservative candidates in 2014:  “If there’s one thing at which conservatives and Republicans excel, it’s snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Republicans would control the Senate today were it not for poorly prepared candidates and badly run campaigns. As the political world prepares for the 2014 election, it’s equally important to remember the mistakes from the past and be proactive on the issues that will motivate voters to go to the polls……….Just because voters are running away from Democrats doesn’t mean they’ll run to Republicans. You won’t win a majority in the Senate by default. The easy thing to do is vote for an incumbent because, even through the lies, you know what you’re getting. The second easiest thing to do is not vote. Republicans need voters to choose the most difficult path before them – invest their faith in someone they don’t know. They need to trust that not only will they do something better, but that they know what they’re doing. Getting distracted by shiny object issues and worse, not being prepared for how to handle them, will not win anyone’s trust, and it sure as hell won’t win anyone’s vote.”
A quiet but intense struggle over money and influence is roiling the Republican Party just as the 2014 election season is getting underway. At least a dozen “super PACs” are setting up to back individual Republican candidates for the United States Senate, challenging the strategic and financial dominance that Karl Rove and the group he co-founded, American Crossroads, have enjoyed ever since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010.
Come 2014, these five ambitious Senate hopefuls might storm their way onto Capitol Hill and change the Republican Party, with Ted Cruz as their hero. If Ted Cruz seems like a one-of-a-kind, give it time.

Media Research Center presents its annual Pantsuit Patrol Award to the person its distinguished panel judges believe best blew Hillary Clinton’s horn during the year. And…the envelope goes to…Newsweek/Daily Beast editor Tina Brown, who slobbered all over “Her Magnificence” in a January 2 article: “The idea of losing Hillary has seemed especially unbearable at this political moment. It’s as if she has become, literally, the ship of state. She stands for maturity, tenacity, and self-discipline at a time when everyone else in Washington seems to be, in more senses than one, going off a cliff…”

“Democrat politicians do not want respectful disagreement between Evangelicals and gays. War between homosexuals and evangelicals is important for them. The Democratic Party, in order to raise money from gays and lock in millennial votes, is attacking freedom of thought, speech and religion. This is a basic community organizing tactic: encourage grievance, divide the community, fan the flames of conflict, and inject government power into social problems. By putting their own political interests before every other value, Democrats have pushed our country into a culture clash that is becoming unresolvable…… The political fortune -- we're talking money, folks -- of the Democratic Party relies on fomenting hatred between gays and evangelicals.”

“Image control has been crucial to gay activists…..any filmmaker who does not conform his gay characters to a positive and largely asexual template is likely to be criticized.  The arrival of the AIDS pandemic helped reinforce this pressure by offering up a new version of a time honored movie stereotype -- the terminally ill secular saint. Today it is allowable to use a gay drama queen as a comedic foil, but only if he is also shown to have a heart of gold.  Otherwise gay characters have to be positive.   In recent years such gay characters have been everywhere on TV and in movies……Thanks to the proliferation of gay characters on TV in recent years many Americans vastly overestimate the percentage of the population that is gay.”

The Next Ronald Reagan Is The Leader Who Rediscovers Something Very Basic

VDH  Somehow we as a nation went from the iconic Marlboro Man to Pajama Boy — from the noble individual with a bad habit to the ignoble without a good habit — without a blink in between. There are lots of revolting things in the Pajama Boy ad. After all, how can you top all at once a nerdy-looking child-man dressed in infantile pajamas while cradling a cup of hot chocolate with the smug assurance that he is running your life more than you his?

Prager:  “As a Jew, and a religious one at that, I want to wish my fellow Americans a Merry Christmas. Not “Happy Holidays.”

The top ten Obama constitutional violations of 2013

This Classic Commercial Thanks Our Troops For Their Service To Our Country

From Costa Rica's Great Balls to Death Valley's wandering rocks: The 10 bizarre phenomenon that still have scientists baffled
How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk:  What does the way you speak say about where you’re from? Answer all the questions below to see your personal dialect map.

Brunel's Eighth Wonder of the World restored: Grand entrance to world's first underwater tunnel will return to glory after 145 years
“Britain's littlest shepherd, aged two, a lamb called Twinkle - and a bond between boy and sheep that will melt your heart”

Leno: President Obama has named a top former Microsoft executive to run and fix the ObamaCare website. Hey, how about fixing Windows first?......... Are you all done with your Christmas shopping? I bought a lot more people gifts this year than I thought I did. You know why? I used my credit card at Target. That’s why.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

op ed review 12/22

WSJ:  “Obama Repeals ObamaCare”    Under pressure from Senate Democrats, the President partly suspends the individual mandate.
SEBELIUS: Yes, you will pay more...
45 States Still Haven't Hit 10% of the Enrollment Goals...
Four out of the 15 chiefs of Obamacare insurance marketplaces run by individual states have either quit or gone on leave since the botched Oct. 1 launches of their health exchanges.
“Obamacare Is Falling Apart Before Our Eyes:   Obamacare madness, Christmas edition.”
ObamaCare may soon start freezing Americans in place. Millions are losing their health insurance policies and being forced onto the ObamaCare exchanges, where most plans only provide local medical coverage.
Some Obamacare Navigators have been actively encouraging enrollees to commit fraud.
Why Obama and Obamacare may be the death of American liberalism
Seattle Times:  “As thousands of state residents enroll in Washington’s expanded Medicaid program, many will be surprised at fine print: After you’re dead, your estate can be billed for your ordinary health-care expenses.”  

The new face of Obamacare is a man in a plaid pajamas.  “..(liberal groups promoting Obamacare) are staffed by third-growth McGovernites who have come of age at the exact point that the radicalism of the 1960s finally won out. As David Burge of “Iowahawk” fame likes to joke, perhaps it wasn’t “a good idea to turn the most successful country in the history of the world over to the grievance faculty at Harvard.” Still, that is what we have done. And we have ended up with a parade of over-educated and under-experienced perpetual children who don’t think twice before dressing a grown man up in footie pajamas.”

President Obama is ending his fifth year in office with the lowest approval ratings at this point in the presidency since President Richard Nixon,
On CNN’s Piers Morgan Live, Barbara Walters admitted, “We thought that he was going to be - I shouldn't say this at Christmastime, but - the next messiah”

The conservative group Ending Spending may have premiered the ad that nationalizes the 2014 midterm elections around Obamacare. The 30-second killer ad targets the first-term Democratic Senator from New Hampshire who is likely to face former GOP Senator Scott Brown next year. The ad begins with footage of Shaheen on the Senate floor echoing President Obama by saying, “if you like your insurance you can keep it.” An overlay graphic points out that Obama was given the “Lie of the Year” award from a fact-checking group for that whopper. The ad then shifts to a local focus: It notes 20,000 people in New Hampshire have lost their insurance to date and that Obamacare exchanges offer only a single provider on the state’s individual market. The ad ends with a zinger sign-off: “Next November, if you like your senator, you can keep her. If not, you know what to do.”

"Senate democrats vote to cut military pensions instead of cutting welfare for illegal immigrants."

A&E has placed Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson on indefinite hiatus following “anti-gay remarks” he made in a recent profile in GQ.
“Duck Dynasty” has been a ratings juggernaut for A&E, recently drawing around 9 million viewers for its Christmas special.
Bobby Jindal Backs Phil Robertson:I Remember When TV networks believed in the First Amendment”
Sarah Palin says the suspension Robertson is an attack on free speech.
A Facebook page dedicated to defense of Phil Robertson has received well over 400,000 likes since it was launched just 14 hours ago.
Petition:  "I am asking your network to immediately reinstate Mr. Robertson to Duck Dynasty, and to formally apologize to him, his family, and the millions of viewers who tune in every week, stand by him, and share his worldview."

Ken “The Hutch” Hutcherson, 61, a former Seattle Seahawk and an outspoken pastor who championed racial equality but opposed gay marriage, died on Wednesday after a long battle with prostate cancer.

The Obamas leave for their $4 Million Hawaiian Vacation
“VIP Hotel and Vehicles for Mandela Funeral Trip Cost More Than $11M”
Michelle Obama wears controversial J Mendel jacket AGAIN despite backlash last year over its $6,800 price tag

Liberal advocacy groups are outraged that a new Georgia policy that would charge the state’s  800,000 users of  free “Obamaphones” a $5 per month fee.  “some advocacy groups say the new an attack on the poor.”

 “Obama mocks Putin, picks gay athletes to represent America at the opening of the Sochi Olympics.”

The Republican establishment is fed up with the “outside groups” — the conservative lobbying shops and super PACs that have pulled the party Rightward in recent years — and this time, it’s the establishment that is uninterested in compromise.
It was the shot heard ’round the conservative world……in defending the new, bipartisan budget agreement, House Speaker John Boehner took aim at the right-wing advocacy groups that vehemently opposed the deal. His language wasn’t just blunt. It was shockingly sharp for an exchange between supposed ideological allies.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi privately urged the Obama administration to halt deportations for “undocumented Democrats”, saying that President Obama needs to use more “discretion” to reduce the number of people he’s kicking out of the country.
“479 Sheriffs Refuse to Enforce New Laws on Gun Control.”

Teenage pot smokers could be damaging brain structures critical to memory and reasoning, according to new research that found changes in the brains of heavy users.

Frank Miele  12/21

America is at war with itself. The fight between A&E and Robertson is actually a fight between traditional values and secular humanism, and what it reveals is the deep divide that exists between those two world views that inhabit the same political body.

It should be understood that only in a free country such as America — perhaps only in modern America and its post-modern spawn — can we even have such a polite conversation about what is right and what is wrong as is implied in the first nine principles. What we need to remember is that almost every society which has existed, including 18th-century America, has had a set of shared rules and mores which are taught from a very early age so that every new member of society is indoctrinated to believe without question the truth of that society’s values, morals and customs.

The lack of such shared values in modern America is neither practical nor sustainable. As a result, the United States of America is poised to test the Bible’s dictum that a “house divided against itself shall not stand.” In the past 20 years, the gay-rights lobby has achieved a considerable victory in persuading courts and legislators to codify homosexuality as moral behavior. They are even on the verge of declaring that preaching against homosexuality is a hate crime. But that does not mean traditional, Bible-believing Christians such as Phil Robertson are going to willingly surrender their beliefs.

In my opinion, that means a significant change is going to happen. Either we are going to become a society where secular humanism will prevail and where preaching from the Bible is going to land you in jail, or we are going to become a society where people with traditional values will fight back against their marginalization and re-establish the so-called moral majority, possibly at the expense of certain liberties which we now take for granted.

This has nothing at all to do with whether A&E gives Phil Robertson and his family a TV show, which is why the controversy over “Duck Dynasty” is overblown.

But it has everything to do with Phil Robertson’s belief system, and that is why the controversy could be just the start of a larger backlash against those forces that want to criminalize Christianity.

We already know the people who hate Phil Robertson hate him because of what he stands for; now we are waiting to find out whether the people who support Robertson like him because he has a long beard and talks funny or because they identify with his values.

If it is the latter, then Robertson may turn out to be more than just a reality TV star; he may be an unlikely culture hero whose plainspoken words reveal the growing rift in American society and force it to be addressed.

No wonder A&E is scared. That may be just a bit too much reality for reality TV.

Another good read:  Jonah Goldberg  12/6
Maybe someone can explain to me how, exactly, conservatives are the aggressors in the culture war? In the conventional narrative of American politics, conservatives are obsessed with social issues. They want to impose their values on everyone else. They want the government involved in your bedroom. Those mean right-wingers want to make “health-care choices” for women.  Now consider last week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to consider two cases stemming from Obamacare: Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Sebelius and Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores……Suddenly, the government is the hero for getting deeply involved in the reproductive choices of nearly every American, whether you want the government involved or not. The bad guy is now your boss who, according to an outraged Senator Patty Murray (D.,Wash.), would be free to keep you from everything from HIV treatment to vaccinating your children if Hobby Lobby has its way. Murray and the White House insist that every business should be compelled by law to protect its employees’ “right” to “contraception” that is “free.”

"Three years ago, the Milwaukee County district attorney opened an unusual legal process known as a 'John Doe' investigation, targeting a who's who of prominent Republicans and conservatives in Wisconsin, looking for violations of campaign-finance law. Under this rarely used procedure, groups such as Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth have been forced to turn over hundreds of thousands of emails and confidential documents. What makes the process especially pernicious is that the targeted have no legal way to challenge the subpoenas. They can't even acknowledge what's happening. ... Any conservative who complains about the treatment or who speaks up in his own defense can be jailed. Democrats get to read through the plans and goals of their opponents, and taxpayers are paying for it. This is meant to tell national conservative groups to stay out of Wisconsin lest they get pulled into the dragnet. ... They can't beat Mr. Walker on policy or at the polls, but a partisan prosecutor doesn't need a legitimate case to take an incumbent down. Investigations, often deliberately stalled to make the pain exquisite, can drag on for years. This is power that no district attorney, of whatever party, should have. Reform of prosecutorial power is long overdue."
                      -Washington Times

On Tuesday, MSNBC host Krystal Ball devoted a portion of The Cycle to advocating for the establishment of a national minimum guaranteed income. She insisted that research shows such a program does not create disincentives to work and could “eliminate poverty” with merely the stroke of a pen.

New senior Obama adviser compares GOP to Jonestown cult.. The Jonestown incident marked one of the most horrific mass killings in American history.

“New York School Removes Religious References from ‘Silent Night’”
“NM teacher who said Santa is white is on paid leave” __________________________________________________________________________

“Climate alarmists' search for proof going cold”

“We have written many times about the corruption of the global warming movement. Billions and billions of dollars are being poured into the pockets of global warming alarmists, because they perform such a valuable service: they help to persuade voters that governments should be given greater control over the world’s economies. What’s a few billion dollars when trillions are at stake?....”

It was only five years ago in December that Al Gore claimed that the polar ice caps would be completely melted by now. But he might be surprised to find out that Arctic ice coverage is up 50 percent this year from 2012 levels. “Some of the models suggest that there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during some of the summer months, could be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years,” Gore said in 2008.

Before NASA and NOAA start tampering with the data, 2013 is one of the ten coldest years in the US since 1895, and has had the largest year over year decline on record.

In honor of the 17th year without global warming, The Daily Caller News Foundation has put together seven setbacks for global warming alarmism.

The claim: The United States is the richest nation in the world, and as a matter of decency should pay for the health care of all Americans who can’t afford to pay for their own.  The truth: The United States is not the richest nation in the world; we are the richest debtor nation in the world. We literally owe trillions of dollars — not just in the national debt, but also in unfunded liabilities for various entitlements.

Huge backlash mounts over suspension of ‘Duck Dynasty’ star Phil Robertson

“Supporters of gay marriage have become that which they hated……We are all Phil Robertson now.”
So what to think about the Ryan-Murray budget deal?  Americans for Prosperity says “This budget deal is not conservative”

But “Americans for Tax Reform has a more realistic understanding of the total effect of the deal on spending. It says, “Over the long term budget horizon, [the Ryan-Murray budget deal] is a large net spending cut…. the spending cuts included in the plan are permanent and mandatory. It would take an act of Congress to amend them.” ATR adds that under the deal, “The 2014-2015 divergence from the discretionary spending caps’ trend line was a one time event not repeated in the [budget] window. The cuts to pay for this anomaly, however, are permanent and will reduce government spending by many times more than the small spending increases in 2014 and 2015. [The budget deal] is a short-term discretionary spending increase dwarfed in size by a long-run mandatory spending cut.”…..But if all the most conservative voters stay home next year, having been convinced by conservative commentators and opinion leaders that the Republicans aren’t worth coming out to vote for, then Washington will conclude that the American people want to go Communist. If that seems like an overstatement,  that is because you don’t understand Washington.”

From the wacky to the infuriating:  “The federal government this year made significant cuts to important services and programs while at the same time wasting $30 billion on frivolous expenditures like the "pillownauts" study NASA conducted to learn the effects of lying in bed all day, a new watchdog report shows. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., on Tuesday released his fourth annual "Wastebook," a catalog of questionable government spending that is, at best, pretty wacky (funding for "Popular Romance Project" -- $1 million) and, at its worst, infuriating (continuing pay for Army Major Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter)”

University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus’s study, “How Different Are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships? Findings from the New Family Structures Study,” published in the academic journal Social Science Research last year, caused a firestorm in the scientific community. Unlike most previous studies, Regnerus found that children of parents who had experienced a same-sex relationship fared worse than children of heterosexual parents on measures of social, emotional, and psychological adjustment as well as educational attainment, employment history, need for public assistance, substance abuse, and criminal justice system involvement.

Surprise Military Homecomings for Christmas That Will Make You Smile

You will enjoy this!  “The Christmas Scale”

“Picture of VP Joe Biden groping a White House reporter

Red Alert focuses on the hottest political topics in the nation and calls Americans to action.

New website:  Welcome to SHIFT Washington – a new online platform for shifting the debate in Olympia. We’re glad to have you as part of the effort, and hope you’ll be active in helping SHIFT Washington State in a positive direction.

Singing Telegrams International.

The Washington Post has produced six massively detailed maps showing the religious make-up of America.

Nice Christmas story

Leno: "Over the weekend the ObamaCare website was down. Fortunately, most Americans were unaffected because they never knew it was up……..Political correctness is in full swing this holiday season. Kids can't even call Santa's helpers "elves" anymore. They have to be known as "undocumented little people…….A New York lawmaker wants to legalize marijuana so it can be taxed and the money used to pay bills. Wasn't that the plot of "Breaking Bad" — selling drugs to pay bills?