Saturday, April 19, 2014

op ed review 4/20



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
A new poll shows former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s numbers hitting their lowest point in six years. Meanwhile, it finds that the Republican Party is experiencing something of a renaissance. The poll shows Clinton’s favorable rating dropping to 49 percent, compared to 45 percent unfavorable.

Welcome to Obama’s America:  “86M Full-Time Private-Sector Workers Sustain 148M collecting government benefits.”

Bizarre picture of Nancy Pelosi continuing her amnesty campaign, tweeting an image of herself washing the feet of illegal immigrants.

“China on course to become 'world's most Christian nation' within 15 years…The number of Christians in Communist China is growing so steadily that it by 2030 it could have more churchgoers than America.”

Speaker John Boehner and other senior House Republicans are telling donors and industry groups that they aim to pass immigration legislation this year, despite the reluctance of many Republicans to tackle the divisive issue before the November elections.
Speaker Boehner´s primary challenger has a provocative new video in which an announcer asks if Boehner suffers from "electile dysfunction"? "

Education Secretary Arne Duncan thinks, "it's frankly inspiring" that children of illegal immigrants cross the border on a daily basis to attend American schools.

Since taking office in 2009, President Obama has formally proposed a total of 442 tax increases. The 442 total proposed tax increases does not include the 20 tax increases Obama signed into law as part of Obamacare.
Obama Selects First Openly Gay Episcopal Bishop to Lead Easter Prayer

Remember when Lois Lerner admitted the IRS had targeted conservative groups but tried to pass it off as the work of “rogue agents”? Today we know they weren’t rogue, and they weren’t confined to IRS workers in Cincinnati. With every e-mail that becomes public, we learn just how false the earlier IRS explanations have been.
On Tax Day, the Republican National Committee announced it is suing the IRS for stonewalling Freedom of Information Act request for documents about the tax agency’s politicized scrutiny of conservative and Tea Party groups.

The federal government backed down and ended their siege against Nevada cattle rancher Cliven Bundy less than 24 hours after an Infowars exposé connecting the land grab to Harry Reid and a Chinese-backed solar farm went viral, becoming the biggest news story on the Internet.
Senator Reid has escalated the war of words over the Bundy dispute, sensationally labeling the Nevada cattle rancher’s supporters “domestic terrorists” during an event in Las Vegas.
Western lawmakers gather in Utah to talk about taking land back from the federal government.

A small study of casual marijuana smokers has turned up evidence of changes in the brain, a possible sign of trouble ahead, researchers say. "What we think we are seeing here is a very early indication of what becomes a problem later on with prolonged use," things like lack of focus and impaired judgment.”
“Pot vending machine to debut..”

Report: FBI Visiting Gun Shops to Investigate “People Talking About Big Government”    “If you see some Middle Eastern guy come in, you don’t have to be so worried about that……What we’re really looking for are people talking about being sovereign such as sovereign citizens or people talking about big government,” the agent reportedly stated.

“Less than a minute into his speech at the Boston marathon bombing memorial on Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden went tragically off script and told the crowd of Boston bombing survivors that "it was worth it."

A new Citizens United Political Victory Fund poll shows that Republican Arizona voters have had it with Sen. John McCain, even though the senator has signaled his intentions to run for a sixth term in 2016. According to the poll, 64.2 percent of likely GOP primary voters said that they are ready for someone new to take the job and only 29.3 percent signaled a willingness to re-elect McCain.

IRS data for 2009 show that the top 1% of US taxpayers paid 37% of all federal income taxes collected, the top 50% paid almost all taxes collected (98%) and the bottom half paid only 2%. And these are the stats on people who at least pay income taxes; in 2012 Republican presidential candidate's Mitt Romney was actually criticized for even mentioning that 47% don't pay income taxes.

President Obama has attended 373 fundraisers during his five-plus years in office. That´s  about one every five days or so. Assuming he speaks for close to 15 minutes at each event, that´s well over 5,000 presidential minutes consumed by the dirty business of asking people for money. And that doesn´t include the prep, the glad-handing and hobnobbing, the photos, the private asides, the travel.

The express train hurtling to return racial preference admissions to California has just been derailed by an outburst of opposition from Asian Americans.
A group of Asian Americans is starting a grassroots effort to garner support for the Republican Party and its candidates, saying the GOP most closely aligns with their core values including family, education and entrepreneurship.
_______________________________________________________________________________

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
Cal Thomas: 
Focus on What What Works  4/8

The Fiscal Times reported last week that the State Department has missing files or incomplete files for more than $6 billion in State Department contracts. Steve Linick, State’s inspector general, issued a “management alert” warning that “significant financial risk and a lack of internal control at the department has led to billions of unaccounted for dollars over the last six years.” “For instance,” writes the FT, “a recent investigation of the closeout process for contracts supporting the mission in Iraq, showed that auditors couldn’t find 33 of the 115 contract files totaling about $2.1 billion. Of the remaining 82 files, auditors said 48 contained insufficient documents required by federal law.” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf says the $6 billion isn’t missing, but that State is merely experiencing “bureaucratic issues,” which it’s addressing.

The lack of internal control is an apt description for what is wrong with the federal government, which seems incapable of controlling its spending.

Oh, how far we’ve come from the days of our grandparents, who lived through the Great Depression and World War II. Then, slogans like “waste not, want not” and “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” were necessities not just for winning a war, but surviving as a family.  Then, children were told to clean their plates because somewhere in the world people were starving. The Puritan ethic reminded people to always live within their means. Envy, greed and entitlement were regarded as “sins.”

I recall an address given by the late Catholic Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. He asked, “How do you define a football field?” His answer? “By its boundaries.” Sheen’s point was that when boundaries are crossed, trouble ensues.  The Founders gave us a Constitution with boundaries that restrict the power and reach of government. We have exceeded those boundaries, which is why government no longer works and we have massive debt.

The duplicative nature of many government programs and the “eternal life” most seem to have without ever having to prove their effectiveness, has contributed not only to the debt, but to the deepening cynicism felt by many Americans. According to a recent Reason-Rupe poll, Americans were asked to guess between zero to 100 what percentage of their elected officials used their political power to help their friends and hurt their enemies. On average, the poll found that Americans think 70 percent of their elected officials do so. In addition, those surveyed were asked to guess between zero to 100 what percentage of their elected officials are corrupted by special interests. They responded that 75 percent were probably corrupted by special interests…

To return government to its constitutional boundaries we need a new Grace Commission. Established in 1982 by President Reagan and headed by businessman J. Peter Grace, the Grace Commission conducted an audit of the federal government with the goal of eliminating waste, fraud and abuse. Its voluminous report was presented to Congress, which promptly shelved it. In Washington, if you haven’t noticed, money is power.

What’s needed now is a new version of the Grace Commission that resembles the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), tasked with closing outmoded military bases. Congress gave BRAC the power to close the bases and BRAC gave Congress cover so if anyone complained about lost jobs or negative economic effects in their districts, the commission could be blamed.

Most businesses conduct audits or internal reviews to make sure they are operating efficiently. Not the federal government.  Republicans, who have occasionally proposed fiscal restraint, should promise an audit of the federal government if voters return them to a Senate majority in November and the White House in 2016. It will be difficult, but it must be done or the future of increasing debt and lack of personal responsibility will cripple the country, perhaps beyond healing.

Focusing on “what works,” and getting rid of what doesn’t is the way back from the fiscal brink. We had better start soon, though, because spending like there’s no tomorrow will ensure there isn’t one for the country bequeathed to us.

_______________________________________________________________________

BOOKS
Neurosurgeon Ben Carson says the White House wanted him to apologize for “offending” President Obama after he famously delivered a conservative message at the National Prayer Breakfast last year. Carson, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, recalls the events surrounding his 2013 speech in his new book, “One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America’s Future.”

Charles Murray:  “I just published a book called “The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead” for people making the transition from college to the real world. It consists of tips that I originally wrote for the interns and research assistants at the American Enterprise Institute, where I work. But let’s face it: Some of my advice doesn’t seem to apply if you’re in the political part of Washington.”
_________________________________________________________________________

GLOBALONEY
Even by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change´s own lamentable standards, its new report makes no sense whatsoever. Before the report´s formal release, US officials--who had seen an earlier draft--wrote to the United Nations demanding it be amended. "The discussion of the economic costs of mitigation is too narrow and does not incorporate co-benefits of action." Loosely translated this means: "If we admit how much we´re spending to such little purpose, the taxpaying public is going to kill us."

Pressing questions for the British House of Lords: Does baked-beans consumption go into our
climate change calculations?

A new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finds that solar facilities in California are acting like “mega traps” that kill and injure birds. As a result, “entire food chains” are being disrupted.
___________________________________________________________________________

LEFTIST WATCH
The Washington Free Beacon has compiled this video  of Harry Reid chanting “Koch brothers” 134 times on the Senate floor.

Two major environmental groups will announce Monday that they are creating an alliance between their two political action arms, in an effort to expand their influence on national policymakers. The League of Conservation Voters and the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund are starting LeadingGreen, a collaboration that will steer donations to federal candidates and enlist the help of major donors in lobbying elected officials.
________________________________________________________________________

ARTICLES
“It’s time for Republicans to give women a fair shot at equal pay, Patty Murray said.  So we did a little research.  I was curious - how do the female Patty Murray staffers do compared to the male Patty Murray staffers? It turns out, one of the worst offenders in the entire United States Senate on gender pay is Senator Patty Murray from Washington. According to a 2012 report, female members of Patty Murray’s staff on average made about $21,000 less per year than her male staffers.  That is a difference of 34 percent.  In other words, the female Patty Murray staffers make 66 cents for every dollar that the male Patty Murray staffers make.”

It’s hardly been a secret that in recent years the moderate center of the Democrat party has been driven away and what remains is a conglomeration of disparate blocs which, to date, the party has been able to treat as if there were no conflicting interests between them. As the midterm elections approach and the administration’s incompetence, along with the distaste for the president’s signature ObamaCare legislation, drive the party’s chances down further, the make-believe coalition of opposites may well crumble if the opposition doesn’t blow it.

Republicans are famously divided on immigration reform, but Democrats pretty much unanimously support it. There´s a reason for that. In stark, partisan political terms, continuing the high level of immigration of recent decades, and certainly increasing immigration as envisioned by many reformers, will result in more Democrats winning more elections in coming years

Dennis Prager:  In the United States of America today, the belief that marriage should remain defined as the union of a man and woman is portrayed as so vile by the left that anyone who holds it is unfit for employment. That is why you should uninstall Firefox.

Meet Sylvia Burwell, the Titanic’s New Captain
_________________________________________________________________________

NOTEWORTHY WEBSITES & INFO
“Can You Spot The Racist, Homophobic Anti-Semites In This Special 10 Item Quiz?”
____________________________________________________________________________

WISE WORDS
“The law, unfortunately, has always been retained on the side of power; laws have uniformly been enacted for the protection and perpetuation of power."
                -Thomas Cooper
___________________________________________________________________________

HUMOR
Frank J. Fleming: “The reason I like a mugger over a tax collector is that a mugger never acts like you’re supposed to thank him.”

No comments:

Post a Comment