Sunday, April 6, 2014

op ed review 4/6

The good news:  Conservatives are still the overwhelming majority of Americans, as every single Battleground Poll in the last fifteen years has shown: 56% of Americans are “conservative,” while 40% are “liberal,” and “moderate” and “don’t know” are the piddling remainder.  The bad news:  The latest Battleground Poll shows the percentage who describe themselves as “conservative” dropping at the same time as the percentage of women, minorities, and young adults are increasing.
“CNN Hits New Low In Ratings, Fox News On Top Again For 49th Time, MSNBC Down”

The Supreme Court overturned aggregate campaign finance limits, freeing wealthy Americans to give to as many federal candidates as they want — though the justices left in place the cap on how much can be given to any one person. Still, the 5-4 decision further erodes the system of campaign finance restrictions written by Congress, but that already was teetering under the weight of its complexity and previous court decisions. “Justice Clarence Thomas’s influence was on full display in the Supreme Court’s landmark decision to strike down a key campaign finance restriction. And it’s just one in a string of cases in which Thomas could be dragging the court toward his way of thinking.”

Obamacare will cost large companies between $4,800 and $5,900 more per employee and add hundreds of millions to their overhead, according to a new survey.

An unpublished RAND Corporation study on ObamaCare enrollment has been kept under wraps and it's not hard to see why. While the White House trumpeted meeting its goal of 7.1 million enrollees this week, RAND says the number actually enrolled -- having paid their premium -- could be as few as 858,000. Just 23% of the enrollees were previously uninsured, the others were kicked out of their existing plans.

“A local couple called 10News concerned after they received an envelope from the state's Obamacare website, Covered California. Inside was a letter discussing voter registration and a registration card pre-marked with an "x" in the box next to Democratic Party.”
“Gov’t Spent $700 Million Promoting Obamacare”

Imagine if a former Republican presidential candidate and U.S. senator had called a current Republican president a delusional liar whose programs are wasteful. Would the mainstream media not be all over the story? Well, there is such a person but because he is a Democrat saying these things about President Obama, we can expect him to become an MSM nonperson.

The liberal media are trying to ignore his arrest, but California State Senator Leland Yee is such an amusing piñata of liberal hypocrisy that even his home town liberal newspaper is joining in the mockery fun.

Report: Obama administration released 68,000 convicted criminal aliens last year

Air Force removes Bible from POW-MIA display

The Obama administration wants to spend $400,000 on a camel sculpture for a new embassy building in Pakistan.

Thomas Sowell    3/19/14
At a time when polls show public opinion turning against the Democrats, some Republicans seem to be turning against each other. Even with the prospect of being able to win control of the Senate in this fall's elections, some Republicans are busy manufacturing ammunition for their own circular firing squad.

A Republican faction's demonization of their own Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, is a classic example. If you listen to some of those who consider themselves the only true conservatives, you would never guess that Senator McConnell received a lifetime 90 percent ranking by the American Conservative Union -- and in one recent year had a 100 percent ranking.  Ann Coulter -- whose conservative credentials nobody has ever challenged -- points out in her column that Mitch McConnell has not only led the fight for conservative principles repeatedly, but has been to the right of Ted Cruz on immigration issues.

Someone once said that, in a war, truth is the first casualty. That seems to be the case for some in this internal war among Republicans. As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts."

Why should those of us who are not Republicans be concerned about any of this?

Fortunately or unfortunately, we have a two-party system in this country. And -- very unfortunately -- we are at a crucial point in the history of America, and perhaps approaching a point of no return.  The unfolding disaster of ObamaCare is only the most visible symptom of a far deeper danger from a lawless administration in Washington that unilaterally changes laws passed by Congress. President Obama has nearly three more years to continue doing irreparable damage to the fundamental basis of American government and Americans' freedom.
Only Republican control of the Senate can rein in the lawless Obama administration, which can otherwise load up the federal courts with lawless judges, who will be dismantling the rule of law and destroying the rights of the people, for decades after Barack Obama himself is long gone from the White House.

Once that happens, even a future Republican majority, led by people with the kind of ideological purity that the Republican dissidents want, cannot undo the damage.  The Senate's power to confirm or not confirm presidential nominees to the federal courts is the only thing that can prevent Barack Obama from leaving that kind of toxic legacy in the federal courts, including the Supreme Court.

Only Republican control of both houses of Congress can repeal, or even seriously revise, ObamaCare. And only Republican control of both houses of Congress plus the White House can begin to reverse the many lawless, reckless and dangerous policies of the Obama administration, at home and overseas.  This year's elections and the 2016 presidential election may be among the most important elections in the history of this country, and can determine what kind of country this will be for years -- and even generations -- to come.

Those Republicans who seem ready to jeopardize their own party's chances of winning these two crucial elections by following a rule-or-ruin fight against fellow Republicans may claim to be following their ideals. But headstrong self-righteousness is not idealism, and it is seldom a way to advance any cause.

Politics, like war, is a question of power. If you don't have power, you can make fiery speeches or even conduct attention-getting filibusters, but that does not fundamentally change anything. And it has accomplished nothing in this case.  No doubt there can be legitimate differences of opinion about tactics and strategy on particular issues. But, if you don't have power, these are just empty clashes over debating points.

Certainly there has been much for which the Republican leadership has deserved to be criticized over the years -- and this column has made such criticisms for decades. But, when the question is whether Mitch McConnell is preferable to Harry Reid as Majority Leader in the Senate, that is not even a close call.  If the rule-or-ruin faction among Republicans ends up giving the Democrats another Senate majority under Harry Reid, not only the Republican Party but the entire nation, and generations yet unborn, will end up paying the price.

“….when looking at the current Democrat Party and election cycle, there is no group agitating against DINOs – Democrats In Name Only.  And that’s because they recognize that the Democrat coalition would be unable to win elections if it broke ranks.  Where government largesse is critical, these coalitions form through all the payoffs and entitlements that are expanded to ensure conformity to the party standards, whatever those may be.  The disparate groups -- African-Americans; Hispanics; single (unwed) mothers; LGBTs; Hollywood; environmentalists; and true liberals all form the core constituents of the Democrat Party.  Yet with this diverse crowd, nary a peep comes forward during election cycles. The Democrat incumbents only defend themselves against Republicans……..So today, we find angry attacks against incumbent Republicans not from the left, but from the right. RINO hunting becomes the call to arms.  But what the tea party seems to miss is that those Republicans, with all their failings, will at least talk with us.  They are after all aligned with the tea party and conservatives through the Republican Platform, if not perfectly through their representation.  And that’s the point.  Instead of hunting RINOs and elephants, we should be slaughtering jackasses!.....Now before you raise your objections, I am not calling for violence against Democrats, but I am calling for political attacks against all Democrats.  They are the real problem facing the tea party movement.”

“[T]here have been recent calls to end the ban on women in combat units, but there’s no mention of the Army’s sexist physical fitness test. For a male 17-21 years of age to pass, he must do 35 pushups..and run 2 miles in 16 minutes, 36 seconds. His female counterpart, who receives the same pay, can pass the fitness test by doing a mere 13 pushups..and running 2 miles in 19 minutes, 42 seconds. How can anyone who values equality and self-respect tolerate this gross discrimination? You say, ‘Williams, what’s your solution?’ I say we should either force women to come up to the physical fitness standards for men or pass men who meet the female standards of fitness. Maybe we should ask our adversaries which is better – raising female fitness standards or lowering those of males.”
                  -Walter Williams

“According to the 2013 Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff, the White House has its very own gender pay gap. Its 228 female employees received a median annual salary of $65,000 that year, while the 231 male staffers earned a median annual salary of nearly $73,729. That amounts to a 12 percent, or 88 cents on the dollar, disparity. If such an inconvenient reality appears very much in alignment with another cherished progressive value – as in ‘do as I say, not as I do’ – that’s because it is.”
                  -Arnold ahlert

White House looks to regulate cow flatulence as part of climate agenda

It’s official – Chicago experienced the coldest four months ever on record

If the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had been set up to investigate an apparent fall in global temperatures it is not hard to guess what its latest report would assert: falling temperatures will lead to mass starvation, millions of deaths from hypothermia, the smothering of northern cities with ice sheets. I have long come to realise how environmental science works: it starts from the premise that everything in the natural world is under threat,  that mankind is to blame and that only drastic changes can save it. It is bad news if temperatures rise, bad news if they fall…..
If the world doesn't cut pollution of heat-trapping gases, the already noticeable harms of global warming could spiral "out of control," the head of a United Nations scientific panel warned Monday.

“Just like there wasn’t room for both sides in the Middle Ages when we were debating whether the sun revolved around the earth or not, there is an ever-constricting circle of silent hell for so-called climate change “deniers” in our society. Don’t take it from me; consider the policy of the Los Angeles Times, which recently announced that it won’t publish letters that challenge the scientific orthodoxy that humans are causing climate change.”

Senator Murray claimed that “What’s at stake in this case before the Supreme Court is whether a CEO’s personal beliefs can trump a woman’s access to free or low-cost contraception under the Affordable Care Act.”
Nonsense. Not one word in the Affordable Care Act guarantees health plans will cover birth control products. There is no right. President Obama and his Secretary of Health and Human Services added that requirement by regulation. Women have a constitutionally protected right to use birth control, but nothing guarantees that they can get it from an employer. It was shocking to hear Justice Kagan make the same spurious claim — that women are entitled to employer provided contraceptives — during oral argument: “Congress has made a judgment and Congress has given a statutory entitlement and that entitlement is to women and includes contraceptive coverage.”  Wrong, Justice Kagan.  Did you also forego reading the law, like most members of Congress? The distinction between a regulation and a law is no small matter. As Hobby Lobby’s lawyer stressed in his closing statement, a statute, in this case Congress’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, trumps a regulation…..“Look for a likely 6-3 ruling that if you like your god, you can keep your god, even if you also have to make a living.”

Charles Koch: “I’m Fighting to Restore a Free Society….Instead of welcoming free debate, collectivists engage in character assassination…..I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.  Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation's own government. That's why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process….”
Harry Reid calls Koch brothers ‘un-American’ for opposing Obamacare

The new American Totalitarian State:  Imagine going to work one day only to be, in effect, fired—not because of anything you did or didn’t do at your job, but because of something you did in your personal life.  Something religious. Or maybe, something political.  That’s exactly what happened to Brendan Eich, a highly-respected tech guru in Silicon Valley and co-founder of Mozilla Corporation, after he was appointed CEO in late March. In less than a week, he was forced out of this position for no reason other than that he had a made a $1000 contribution to the Prop 8 initiative in 2008.
Mozilla is getting flak over Eich’s forced resignation from a company he helped co-found. That decision angered many of Mozilla’s customers, and they didn’t hold back on their criticism, pelting Mozilla’s website with a surge of negative feedback. On Friday, 94 percent of the sentiments registered on the site were “sad,” while six percent were “happy.”

Biden Unchained: A survey of Joe’s rhetorical grandiosity since January

“I don’t think Barack Obama was born in Kenya.  But is he a Manchurian?”

Intrepid reporter Jack Cashill:  “Ron Brown's House of Cards”

...still have an “Obama 2012” bumper sticker on your car—right next to your “Obama 2008” bumper sticker.
...believe that achieving a record low percentage of Americans working, and record high percentage of Americans on food stamps and other “public assistance,” are indicators of a successful economic recovery model.
...feel that voter fraud is a form of “social justice.”
...are certain that any criticism of Obama is rooted in racism.
...believe Bill Maher and Jon Stewart are “journalists,” and everything on MTV and in the New York Times is “journalism.”
...look like “a deer in the headlights” if anyone mentions our Constitution because that is just “right-wing rhetoric.”
... rail against racial discrimination but staunchly support Affirmative Action.
...feel the grassroots Tea Party Movement is a collection of ignorant racists, but the "Occupy Wall Street" movement is a coalition of thoughtful and principled reformers.
...believe CNN and The New York Times are objective, but Fox News and The Wall Street Journal are biased.

"[T]he success of the usurpation will depend on the executive and judiciary departments, which are to expound and give effect to the legislative acts; and in a last resort a remedy must be obtained from the people, who can by the elections of more faithful representatives, annul the acts of the usurpers."
                  -James Madison, Federalist No. 44

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