Saturday, December 13, 2014

op ed review 12/14



THIS WEEK’S NEWS
Boehner cuts another budget deal:  “A Winter Festival of Unrestrained Spending”
The Incredible Shrinking GOP.
The federal debt has increased by $3.8 trillion in the 3.8 years that have passed since House Speaker John Boehner cut his first spending deal with Senate Democrats and President Obama.

On Tuesday, Democrats in the Senate, who will lose control of the chamber in just three weeks, released a report focused on interrogation techniques — during the administration of George W. Bush. Yes, Mr. Obama is all about transparency, as long as it’s not about his administration. Despite warnings from top Obama officials, that release of the once-classified report would endanger Americans abroad, the president demanded that the United States explain its actions to — terrorists.
The release of the report will be felt in courtrooms across the globe in the months and years to come. Attorneys for human rights organizations are now poring over the 525-page declassified summary of the Senate majority report to find new material that could revive long-dormant and failed civil and criminal lawsuits on behalf of those detained by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Wasting no time, a top UN special investigator called for the prosecution of senior U.S. officials who authorized and carried out “enhanced interrogation techniques” as part of former President George W. Bush´s national security policy after 9/11.
As US tears itself apart over torture of terrorists, let´s just remember who we´re up against: ISIS throws man off roof to his death for being gay.

Dems' final loss: Landrieu crushed.   Cassidy trounces incumbent with Republicans set to control 54 Senate seats in the next Congress.
Republicans now control every U.S. Senate seat, legislative chamber, and governor’s mansion across the Deep South – from Texas to the Carolinas.

A tea party group greeted Jonathan Gruber, the man at the center of Obamacare’s troubled public image, with T-shirts reading “I’m with Stupid” when he showed up before a congressional panel. Gruber was caught-on-tape making remarks about the “stupidity of the American voter” and the need to game budget rules to pass Obamacare.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/8/jonathan-gruber-to-face-hostile-house-panel-tea-pa/#ixzz3LPq0ShoY
Obamacare Architect Gruber also says “Abortion Of ´Marginal Children´  (is a) ´Social Good´.”

The U.S. Treasury continued to rake in tax dollars at a record rate in November as the federal government closed out the first two months of fiscal 2015 with $404,155,000,000 in total receipts.
But they spend much more:  Average Federal Spending Per Household Nearly $30K
President Obama stayed only one night in Australia for the G-20 summit, but the entire presidential delegation required over 4,000 rooms costing in excess of $1.7 million for the entire stay.

Support for gun rights is higher than it’s been in decades, according to the latest data from the Pew Research Center that signals a stunning turnaround in how Americans feel about the issue just two years after the Newtown school shooting.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. expressed astonishment that President Obama had not actually signed the executive order to carry out the amnesty policy he announced to the nation in a televised address Nov. 20.  As a result of the president’s use of a memo instead of an official order, the senator observed: “We don’t even have a really significant, direct, legal direction that we can ascertain, precisely what the president is doing. It’s a stunning event in my view.”….The Obama administration is opening a facility in Crystal City, Virginia, to implement the president’s amnesty plan and is hiring 1,000 full-time and permanent staff members to quickly approve illegal immigrants’ applications for amnesty. Sessions also learned the administration will provide work permits, photo IDs, Social Security and Medicare to illegal immigrants. He noted that all of those benefits for illegal immigrants had been rejected by Congress.
Order?  What order?   “The explanation, I assume, is that Obama thinks it will be harder to mount a legal challenge to his unconstitutional usurpation if there is no actual order that defines what he has done. There is no bottom to the depth of the Obama administration’s corruption.”
The states challenging President Obama’s deportation amnesty have already won the first round in court after the case landed in the lap of Judge Andrew S. Hanen, a Bush appointee who issued a scorching rebuke to the Department of Homeland Security last year, accusing it of refusing to follow border security laws.

Military Times: Military morale suffering due to budget cuts, loss of mission….

When Department of Justice officials arrived in Ferguson, Mo., one day after the death of Michael Brown, it wasn’t just to conduct an investigation on potential civil-rights violations. In fact, officials from one Justice Department office were conducting meetings with Ferguson residents to educate them on subjects such as “white privilege.”
Barack Obama tells Black Entertainment Television that racism is “deeply rooted” in the United States.

As Great Britain continues to become a more “multicultural” society, school nativity scenes – a staple of the Christmas season – are becoming increasingly secularized.  School nativity scenes replace baby Jesus with Elvis, aliens and recycling bins!

Although the major media remain mum on the subject, it appears that a black female sergeant by the name of Kizzy Adoni supervised the arrest of the 6’4,” 400 lb. Eric Garner in New York City on July 17, 2014. As NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo and former LAPD Sergeant Stacey Koon can attest, there seems to a serious double standard at play here.  Only Pantaleo, however, faced indictment. Adoni, by contrast, was offered immunity to testify against him.
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THIS WEEK’S FEATURED COLUMN
John Hayward, Human Events  12/12

Money is once more flowing out of Congress to all manner of follies and outrages, thanks to an omnibus spending bill that funds everything except Homeland Security through September of 2015 – throwing away every scrap of leverage the incoming Republican majority could possibly exercise against Emperor Obama, ensuring that no one outside the authors of Democrat Party fundraising email spam will be talking about shutdowns, and effectively neutering freshly-elected conservatives.  The GOP leadership can get through another year with its favorite wheezy excuse for not standing up and fighting for anything: Our hands are tied.  Sure, the knots are a bit clumsy, but that’s to be expected when you tie your own hands.  It’ll be good enough for the permanent Beltway culture, which can have a very merry Christmas, riding their one-horse open sleighs down streets coated with a fresh blizzard of taxpayer dollars, jingling all the way.

Americans with some vague memory of how the system is supposed to work might be wondering what happened to the sober deliberation of budgets, the careful spending of every dollar, and even the basic rules of accounting.  Welcome to the new millennium, old-timers!  We don’t do things that way anymore.  Government by perpetual crisis is so much more exciting, and lucrative for the Ruling Class.  Now we wait until the hands of the fiscal doomsday clock stand at one minute to midnight, and the political class has to fund everything with “emergency spending bills,” scribbled in blind haste and posted on glitchy websites for public review in a half-hearted ritual of “transparency.”… Anyone who raises the slightest objection to this panicky spending bonanza is denounced as a penny-pinching extremist monster who just wants to kill children, puppies, and kittens for fun, by shutting down the government that keeps them alive.  You don’t want Obama to throw up barricades around your national parks and memorials again, do you?  No?  Then shut up and spend. We live in the shadow of the “cromnibus”, an appropriately clunky word that combines “continuing resolution” emergency tactics with “omnibus spending” irresponsibility.  The Cromnibus is a flabby beast with a gaping maw and many tentacles to feed itself, but it lacks eyes, ears, and a frontal lobe.

The sole reservation in the winter spending festival is the Department of Homeland Security – which, as Fox News explains, is only funded through February, so the GOP leadership can pretend it’s going to stage a huge fight over Obama’s illegal amnesty orders next year.  This is supposed to mollify the starchy citizens who still care about antiquated notions like the rule of law, the separation of powers, the value of citizenship, and national security long enough for the Establishment to enjoy its holiday vacation.

Wonderful.  Let’s have a big round of applause for the GOP Establishment, ladies and gentlemen!  They managed to throw away the most remarkable electoral victory in a generation in only one month, maneuvering themselves into a position where the losers who got crushed will be making demands to win their support for a bill that effectively ratifies their will through half of their sojourn in electoral exile.

There was no reason to give the defeated Democrats anything except a stop-gap bill to fund the government through January, at which point the incoming Republican majorities should have exercised control over everything.  If the Democrats don’t like that deal, let them shut down the government in a fit of pique, and tell voters how the party they just threw out of power should be allowed to control their lives for an extra year……All of this multi-trillion-dollar monstrosity is linked together; all of it should be on the table; the flab should be liposuctioned out of every agency at once in a comprehensive plan for fiscal sanity and increased American liberty.

I think a liposuction metaphor is particularly appropriate, because the federal faceplant over Ebola should have taught us that over-funded agencies are not merely wasteful, but inefficient.  They fail at their core responsibilities when given extravagant funding to purchase bright shiny objects to distract themselves.  If you want the Centers for Disease Control to focus on controlling diseases, don’t give them zillions of dollars to spend on building fancy bureaucratic palaces and conducting monkey-gambling studies.  We should be having that discussion immediately, while the failures of managerial liberalism are fresh in the public mind.

Some conservative stalwarts have expressed a desire to keep the lame-duck Congress from waddling away with a trillion dollars tucked under its mangy wings, but they concede the panicky rush to pump out “emergency” spending makes it difficult to mount effective resistance.

Gee, it’s too bad the Republican leadership can’t play a hand well against Democrats, isn’t it?  They only turn into card sharks when they’re playing against the conservatives in their own party.  Don’t expect them to be pulling any cards from their sleeves when they sit down for their scheduled February game of Amnesty Hold ‘Em, and the dead-eyed Democrats on the other side of the table begin screaming “Republican extremists want to defund Homeland Security!”….

The Republican leadership isn’t just bad at standing up for its principles and fulfilling commitments to its voters.  It seems institutionally incapable of understanding, as Democrats do, that power won today must be used to set the stage for tomorrow’s elections.  Democrats target constituencies and service them, including constituencies that aren’t actually American citizens.  Republicans try to figure out how badly they can get away with disappointing their base while they service a Beltway culture some of them fear, and others profit from.

If the Republican leadership was smart, they’d be looping events such as Jonathan Gruber’s disastrous House testimony into a big-picture assault on arrogant, wasteful government, and reminding the hard-working, rules-obeying American taxpayer how much contempt Democrats hold them in.  A proper budget debate right after the holidays would be a great way to do that.  The Democrats fear nothing more than a sharp Republican Party playing that kind of hardball and appealing directly to the working middle class, which is so comprehensively betrayed by the Democrat philosophy of rewarding its big contributors and powerful special interests at the expense of everyone else….

If all this “omnibus spending bill” jazz sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve played through the same hammy drama every year for the better part of a decade.  In fact, the term “cromnibus” – currently beloved of such feisty insurgents as Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) – is said to have been coined by the office of then-House Minority Leader John Bohener, circa 2007, when he energetically criticized the Democrat majority for doing exactly what Boehner is doing today.  The Cromnibus has devoured those who once fought to keep it at bay.  No one in power even pretends to be interested in responsible government any more, because the American people don’t loudly insist on it… and we should have learned by now that only our loudest, angriest, most unified cries can be heard over the constant seductive whisper of the Cromnibus.  Enjoy your latest round of desperate last-minute must-pass emergency spending from the same arrogant elites who claim they alone have the wisdom to manage every aspect of your life, and be advised you’ll be getting the same “present” from them next Christmas, and the one after that.

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FROM OTHER COLUMNS
“On Wednesday, the White House Summit on Early Education will unveil nearly $1 billion in new ‘investments’ to ‘expand access to high-quality early childhood education to every child in America’ from ‘birth and continuing to age 5.’ It’s a retread of President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union school-spending plan, which was a repackaging of his 2011 Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge program. … Think Obamacare is bad? Well, welcome to TotCare. The goal of the educational central planners, you see, is the elimination of competition. The fact is that the vast majority of Pre-K kids are already happily enrolled in early childhood programs outside of Fed Ed’s clutches. The ‘problem’ isn’t most families' lack of access to preschool. It’s Washington’s lack of access to your kids for their institutionalized warehousing, data mining and pedagogical propaganda schemes. The Nanny State’s ceaseless quest for control keeps creepily rolling along.”
                -Michelle Malkin

“Obama was diagnosed with acid reflux. His approval rating is so low that he’s starting to get pushback from his esophagus...”
                 -Jimmy Kimmel
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GLOBALONEY
Al Gore speaks to a half full room.  “Polite applause”.  Still preaching ecological hellfire….

Climate science is “settled” according to the news media, that is, unless scientists conclude climate change is not connected to a specific climate occurrence. That was precisely the conclusion of a team of federal scientists came to when they studied California’s three-year drought. They determined “natural cycles” and “sea surface temperatures” were “main drivers” of that ongoing dry spell. NBC’s website responded by saying the science wasn’t settled about the cause of the drought. The New York Times buried the news far back in its A section and none of the broadcast networks news programs mentioned the findings on Dec.
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ISLAM
ISIS is trying to sell the remains of beheaded journalist James Foley to his parents or the US government for $1 million, according to a new report.
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ARTICLES
Women flood ranks of GOP

With a stroke of his pen, President Obama recently changed the future of Americans and of our nation – fundamentally transforming America from the greatest nation on earth to a future as a banana republic. Robert Rector, Senior Research Fellow with the Heritage Foundation, stated that President Obama’s amnesty for four million illegal immigrants will cost Americans about $2 trillion -- approximately $40 billion per year -- over the next five decades.  If all illegal immigrants are granted amnesty, they would receive “.…$9.4 trillion in government benefits and services and pay $3.1 trillion in taxes…They would generate a lifetime fiscal deficit…of $6.3 trillion…This should be considered a minimum estimate.” Once the wealthiest nation in the world, America has now become a welfare country. At the end of 2012 the U.S. Census Bureau reported out of a population of 309,467,000 there were 109,631,000 people living in households receiving federal welfare benefits.  Yet there were only 103,087,000 full-time year-round workers in the United States with 16,606,000 of those being government employees.
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WISE WORDS
“A society that puts equality … ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom.”
               -Milton Friedman

"We must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
              -Ronald Reagan

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