Saturday, December 28, 2013

op ed review 12/29



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
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.
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
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.
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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
“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
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LEFTIST WATCH
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
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ISLAM
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.
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BOOKS
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.”
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GLOBALONEY
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.
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ARTICLES
“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.” http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/reality_bites_gays.html

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.”
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NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES
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”

LATE NITE
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.

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