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Being ‘hip’ is everything to Progressives

by Rodan ( 206 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Entertainment, Hipsters, Progressives at July 28th, 2014 - 11:00 am

Recently on the show True Blood, there was an episode based on fundraiser for Ted Cruz. Republicans were portrayed in bad light and became objects of ridicule. This is one of the Progressive movement’s most potent weapons, the use of the popular culture to deride their political opponents and define what is cool.

If you took great offense of the recent episode of HBO’s True Blood in which two vampires crashed a Ted Cruz fundraiser — at the Bush Library no less — and said some bad words about Republicans, I have some advice: Lighten up.

The other week I wrote about how the standard conservative critique of the popular culture is just a bit too tightly wound. This minor kerfuffle strikes me as a good illustration of my point.

[....]

And that I think is the source of the real problem here. By any objective or commonsense measure, the uptight Republicans slaughtered at the Ted Cruz fundraiser are happier and more productive members of society than virtually every other character in the show. From the sympathetic white-trash werewolves to the corrupt human rabble-rousers, from the vampire aristocrats to the endless string of slatternly young women and men who come and go with regularity, the show focuses on creatures who are, variously, decent-but-doomed, evil, stupid, or morally, spiritually, or intellectually lost.

The one thing these people have going for them? They are cool — at least by the glandular, knee-jerk liberal, fashion-forward, standards of the show’s producers and its niche pay-cable audience. In other words, to the extent the show is politically appealing, it is an irrational hot mess (much like the goo vampires turn into when struck with a wooden stake). It’s like it was written for Bill Maher’s studio audience, a group that doesn’t care about real facts or arguments — they just want to hear how they’re awesome and the people they hate aren’t.

[....]

Once you start looking for it, it’s amazing how much liberal commentary — particularly about sex and religion — boils down to a kind of sneering self-satisfaction that liberals are hip and conservatives are squares (just think about how much “analysis” of Obama has been rooted in the assumption he’s cool).

Progressives view themselves as cool and hip. This view is perpetuated by their control over the popular culture and mistakes the Right has done in the culture wars. This episode of True Blood is just a microcosm of the advantages the Left has in defining the political narrative.

Remarkable To Behold, Like Swiss Watches Are Our Socialist Friends

by Flyovercountry ( 97 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Progressives at July 24th, 2014 - 12:00 pm

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

I caught this one on my news feed yesterday, and I seem to have remembered reading it before. In fact twice before. The first time was in the Spring of 1980, and the second time during the Clinton Presidency. I remember vividly the 1980 story, because Mr. Ruthers, my history teacher at the time graded a report I did based upon that Time Magazine piece. (I was a flaming liberal in those days of life without consequence.) The main crux of the argument went something like this, “the current President we’ve helped to foist upon the American People is obviously still the smartest guy in the room, and while we acknowledge that his Presidency is an abject failure, on every conceivable level, we still maintain that if he can’t do it, nobody can.” In the world of the leftist, it’s never the fault of their failed policies, only that the right people didn’t implement them, or that the citizenry at large failed to appreciate what was being bestowed upon them, and acted too greedily. In the words of the late Senator Hal Heflin, “there’s too much consumin goin on out there.”

Just in case you thought today’s main stream media was above recycling old news stories in order to perpetuate their mythology, ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza.

From the Washington Post article with emphasis being mine:

Being president is the most powerful job in the world. At which you will almost certainly fail.

Why? For lots of reasons up to and including:

* The decline of the bully pulpit as a persuasion mechanism

* The deep partisanship present not only in Congress but also in the electorate more broadly

* The splintering of the mainstream media/the rise of social media.

snip:

Take the last 96 hours (or so) of the Obama presidency as illustrative of the broader impossibility of being president.

On Thursday, in the immediate aftermath of the Malaysia Airlines plane being shot down over Ukraine, President Obama delivered a cautious statement mourning the tragedy and promising he would get to the bottom of the situation. Conservatives immediately criticized that statement as insufficiently strong, comparing it unfavorably to how President Reagan handled a similar situation in 1983. (As The Fix’s Philip Bump explains, the Obama critique is not entirely fair.) Seeking to counter that narrative, Obama delivered another statement on Friday — and took questions from the press. He was far more aggressive in his tone about the possibility of Russian involvement. Over the weekend, the story of Secretary of State John Kerry’s on mic but off camera comments before a Fox News Channel interview drove much of the chatter. On Monday, Obama was back on TV with an even more aggressive stance on Russia — “What exactly are they trying to hide?” he asked about Russian separatists reportedly limiting access to the crash site — while also juggling an executive order banning discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation among federal contractors, hosting a town hall aimed at pushing his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative and trying to cajole Congress into helping him deal with the ongoing crisis of undocumented children at the country’s southern border. Oh, and he also was trying to walk a fine line between defending Israel’s right to defend itself with somewhat critical comments about the number of Palestinian civilian deaths occasioned by the military operation in Gaza. And, double oh, he and his staff will have to continue to fend off Republican criticism of a three day fundraising tour he leaves on tomorrow — a cash-collection trip that GOPers believe looks unseemly amid the various domestic and international crises happening at the moment.

Did you get that? It’s not that Obama’s policies led to these failures, but that these failures just randomly happened. It’s really unfair of you ungrateful brats who make up the American Electorate to expect that a man who campaigned for the job, be held to any type of standard in performing the duties that go along with the gig. Barack Obama promised hopety change as Senator Obama, that he would heal our national divide by being the only transcendent figure in our nation’s history who could get people who agreed on nothing to find ample common ground to solve every perceived and make believe problem that he could think to tell us we had. So, after two years, when our nation via a mid term election, served Barack Obama a restraining order in terms of his infliction of his agenda, he naturally blamed Republican obstructionism for his failure to get a single other piece of legislation passed, including a fiscal budget. In his first point, Cillizza laments the decline of power held by our nation’s chief executive. (Yes, that statement caused a stream of coffee to shoot towards my computer screen upon reading it.) Perhaps Mr. Cillizza should read the Federalist Papers, which would tell him that our nation’s founders never saw the Presidency as the power position that it is today. The entire reason for making the Legislative Branch a bicameral body, and one that had two separate origins for election to it, including differing lengths of tenure, was precisely because it was designed to be the more powerful Branch of government, and those measures would limit that potential. Everything in our Constitution is designed to limit power of the federal government, and more specifically, to prevent power from consolidating itself with one specific person or group. The President is not supposed to have a bully pulpit, and allowing Presidents to have bully pulpits has only ever led to trouble. Putting all of that aside for the moment, in what Universe has the power of Barack Obama’s personal use of the bully pulpit diminished? This is the same man who announced at his last State of the Union Address that if Congress failed to do what he wanted them to do, he would act unilaterally. He has done more damage with his executive action than all previous Presidents combined. The EPA has run amok, Obamacare has granted HHS power to regulate our diets, who gets treated for illnesses, who can own guns, (we haven’t seen this manifest itself yet, but it’s in there,) how we heat our homes, how much light we can use at night, virtually every aspect of our daily living. The CFPB has authority to regulate home prices, determine who gets to live where, fix prices in the Financial Industry, determine who will be allowed to invest, what investment options will be available to what class of citizenry, who will be allowed to loan money, and who will be allowed to borrow. Whether you agree with these laws or not, it’s hardly indicative of diminished executive power.

The social media argument is so vacuous, even typing this sentence is an embarrassment. I’ll just leave you with this, people talking amongst themselves about anything in general, and about politics in particular should never be considered a bad thing in any nation that views itself as free. Barack Obama used social media to his great advantage while campaigning for office, and if that same media is also able to point out his flaws to a greater number of people, that’s just hard cheese for the Bamster.

Someone should tell Mr. Cillizza that the conservative reaction to our President’s tepid statements on the matter of a passenger jet being shot out of the sky, which included by the way more time giving shout outs to supporters and talk show style jokes than actual acknowledgement of a tragic even transpiring, was more about the fact that his feckless foreign policy probably contributed greatly to what is happening in the Ukraine than any other factor. This didn’t just happen. Vladimir Putin, a former KGB operative and a man with imperialistic aspirations, as in wanting to reassemble the old Soviet Empire, saw plainly and clearly that the United States was not even remotely interested in checking his aggression. When Barack Obama sent that message back to Putin via Dmitry Medvedev, the one that said, just tell Vladimir that I’ll have more flexibility after the election, Putin read a whole lot more into that, and by the way he was correct in his assertions. He saw a weak American President who was more concerned with his electoral prospects than with his role as the protector of the free world, that shield against unchecked aggression, and the last hope of nations not capable of defending themselves against an aggressive and reawakened Soviet neighbor. He saw a vacuous man so devoid of substance, who’s ineptitude was matched only by his arrogance and vanity. There’s a reason why these examples of thuggish tin pot aggression only happen during Democrat Administrations, and that reason is a complete lack of respect for those Democrats we’ve mistakenly chosen to be Presidents. Barack Obama is an unserious man, and the only people who fail to see this are Americans. Unfortunately, Vladimir Putin was able to see through it immediately, and he endeavored to make the times far more serious in nature from the moment our man child President joined him on the world stage.

There’s something else I’ve found troubling about this President, and Cillizza manages to mention it as a perk, one of those unfair demands we mere mortals place on this impossible task he’s undertaken for our ungrateful benefit. Every time some piece of bad news hits this Administration, the next day we’ll see a heavily covered news story on almost every network about the President addressing the least important piece of minutia available in our collective subconscious. When the separatists shot down a passenger jet with the support of Vladimir, Barack Obama made a big showing the next day of signing an Executive Order dealing with homosexuals working for federal contractors. As the world burns, our President isn’t playing the violin, he’s arranging, for the umpteenth time, how the chairs in the auditorium are aligned. When the IRS commissioner testified in Congress that Seven Hard drives randomly crashed causing an obstruction to a very pertinent investigation, our President spent the next day in front of a bank of microphones discussing the importance of children’s school lunches, and how important it was for his wife to monitor how well I was feeding my kid. Mr. Cillizza, that’s not juggling the important duties of the Presidency, that’s dodging the responsibilities of the job.

With that out of the way, the crisis on our Southern Border as well, is the direct result of this President’s purposeful incompetence. He wanted to create this crisis in order to cajole Congress into passing his immigration plan. In that regard, he has succeeded. We have the crisis he wanted. He deployed our border patrol agents 40 miles inside our borders so that anyone trying to come here would be able to, and once caught, would face hearings and court proceedings with an appointed defense attorney, rather than being turned away. He gave Central American nations our tax dollars to help them ship their kids here, and advertised for them to do so, telling them what to say once here, so that they would have a greater chance of avoiding deportation. Our President has governed with the philosophy that it is far easier to establish his will when we fear a crisis. So, of course these past six years have been a continual crisis, with America skating from one emergency to the next, each one culminating with the consolidation of increasing amounts of power, all flowing to that diminished bully pulpit Cillizza seems so worried about. This current immigration crisis is no exception to that rule, and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until the beneficent Bamster picks up his magic pen and once again flouts the Constitutional constraints placed upon his office.

As for, “walking the fine line,” with respect to his treatment of our only true ally in the Middle East, someone please clue Mr. Cillizza into the fact that this is precisely the problem with Barack Obama’s foreign policy, encapsulated to its purest form. Our ally, Israel, has been under attack since they pulled out of Gaza in 2005. Since that time, over 8,000 rockets have been fired into Israeli civilian neighborhoods, and if it were any other nation on Earth, no one would have urged restraint in the response, that any answer be proportional, (which I still maintain is the dumbest concept ever to have been developed by man kind,) Our ally is under attack, and the only possible end to this attack would be to the unconditional surrender of an evil enemy. The only way that that will happen is if they deliver an overwhelming military show of force, breaking their enemy’s infrastructure, killing their soldiers, and destroying their will to commit further acts of violence. It is an enemy by the way that is not interested in peace, coexistence, or allowing any Jews to live ever, on the entire planet. Walking a fine line to borrow the idiotic phrase penned by the author of this article, is exactly the problem, and its one that’s been shared by American Presidents for the entirety of Israel’s existence, (with the exception of course of Richard Nixon. I find it strikingly odd that the one President who showed unwavering support for Israel also had the reputation as being an Anti-Semite.) Doing the right thing may sometimes cause the world to react negatively, especially since moral equivalency has found its way into much of the public discourse, but that does not mean that we should shrink away from that course of action. Part of a President’s job is to make the right decisions, even if it means a loss of international popularity for him personally.

You may recall that after Carter, we had Reagan. Carter was hailed as a genius, the most intelligent man, in terms of sheer IQ to have ever served as our President. Reagan was hailed as an affable oaf, a man so dumb it was a miracle that he could put his pants on all by himself. Yet somehow, after the Time piece about how it was impossible in the modern world to succeed as President, somehow the dim witted Reagan, (sarcasm intended,) did just that, and he made it look easy. No Mr. Cillizza, it’s not impossible to succeed as a President, one only needs to implement policies that divest power from Washington and return the freedom that built this great nation to those very people who make it all work. That’s the difference between Reagan and Carter, or for that matter hopefully, Obama and who ever follows.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Conservative Democrat Sighted In Alaska!

by Flyovercountry ( 451 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Election 2014, Progressives at July 16th, 2014 - 7:00 am

Cryptozoologists the world over have been seen dancing in the streets the last few nights. With the rumored sighting of the mythical creature known as a Conservative Democrat in the state of Alaska, this group of tin foil hatted survivalists and pseudo scientists are now claiming that other mythical creatures can be proven to exist by the often used rule of nonsensical extension. “That’s all the proof we need to state that Bigfoot, Nessie, and the Chupacabra are all real,” insisted Dick Dire, a self proclaimed professor of cryptozoology from the pretend University of Transylvania, located in upstate Washington.

Here’s the sighting from earlier this week that kicked off the jubilation.

Senate Democrat’s reelection pitch to Alaskans: I’m a thorn in Obama’s side

BARROW, Alaska — When Sen. Mark Begich talks about his role in American politics, he describes himself as a sharp object, sent to Washington to jab at President Obama.

“I’ll be a thorn in his [posterior],” Begich (D-Alaska) said in an interview. “There’s times when I’m a total thorn, you know, and he doesn’t appreciate it.”

That metaphor is at the heart of Begich’s political self-image — and, now, his reelection campaign. Begich is running in an age of congressional weakness. Earmarks are dead. The Hill is gridlocked. So Begich has little hope of doing what Alaska always expects its politicians to do: bring home boatloads of money through legislation.

Instead, Begich is running on his power to nag.

Begich tells voters that, as a Democrat holding a Senate seat in a red state, he is a man the president has to listen to. And he says he uses that access to badger the administration for things that benefit Alaska, such as more permits for oil and gas drilling.

emphasis mine.

Interesting that Begich notes that the President has to listen to Senators from his own party situated in red states when it comes to granting permits for new oil exploration, seeing as that as of today, there has not been a single instance of such a permit being granted, for the entirety of either Begich’s nor Obama’s term in office. Even with that however, exactly what has Mark Begich done in six years that might even remotely be considered to have annoyed the President in the slightest manner, let alone rise to the level of thorn in his side?

Pryor voted for Dodd/Frank, Obamacare, Cap and Trade, every Obama Judicial Nominee, has not said one word to oppose the beyond amok expansion of the EPA, said nary a peep when Barack announced that he has a pen and phone, and those two tools alone will allow him to ignore the Constitutional constraints of his office. I’m not sure if there’s a single instance of Mark Begich bucking his President and voting in any manner against the man or his agenda. On the IRS targeting scandal, silence from Begich, as with Fast and Furious. We’ve not heard one thing from Begich’s office regarding Pigford, nor did he chime in on Solyndra, and all of those numerous examples of financial catastrophe known as the green fairy’s list of subsidy. So, where exactly does the thorn-in-his-side mythology gain its life?

The answer of course is political necessity. Begich won his election through chicanery, and now he faces his prospects for reelection without the confluence of bizarre circumstances that enabled him to win election in the first place. So, for that reason, as with many Democrats during election season, Barry Goldwater becomes someone to the left of Vladimir Lennon just long enough to fool voters into believing the myth. Mark Bagech isn’t a liberal you see, you’ve gotten it all wrong. He’s going back to our nation’s capitol to oppose the Bamster, which is easier done as a memeber of the Bamster’s own party, rather than adding to the ranks of those who oppose him out rightly somehow.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Before We Climb On The, “Sarah’s An Idiot,” Train, Bear In Mind That She’s Right

by Flyovercountry ( 378 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Corruption, Eric Holder at July 14th, 2014 - 11:00 am

First, the redefinition of treason from being a subversive act designed to overthrow the government, to merely pointing out that our President has violated enough of our nation’s laws sufficiently to face some form of accountability. We’ll discuss this in greater detail later on.

Before we get to the crux of the argument, here is count number two of the Articles of Impeachment brought against Richard Nixon:

“endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigation to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”

That should, at least for anyone at all interested in their own personal intellectual honesty, be sufficient to illustrate that our current President does indeed deserve to face some form of legal accountability for his actions these last six years. Since Presidents can not be charged as the rest of us would when being accused of a crime, that leaves the only option spelled out in our Constitution. This manner of trial for Presidents only, sought to guarantee that no single person, regardless of how powerful, would ever be above the law, nor exempted from answering to it.

Before we go any further, I just want to state unequivocally, that Sarah Palin is 100% correct in her assessment. Were we a nation of laws, were our founding principles in tact, were our nation indeed functioning properly, and were the concept of doing the right thing for the nation placed above petty political considerations, Articles of Impeachment would have been drawn against Barack Obama long ago. Now, before the leftists out there lather themselves into a tizzy over this statement, Impeachment is a trial, and the Bamster would be allowed to provide a legal defense. In order to prove the validity of this point, looking back at our history at the three times when Impeachment did occur, only two trials took place and the President was found to be not guilty in both instances. Even more noteworthy however, both men won reelection during their next bid for continuing in their post. Impeachment is merely forcing that accountability to the law that all citizens are held to.

There is something else that I wish to disclose here, and that is that in the case of Bill Clinton, I was most certainly against that Impeachment, although not for the reasons others were against it. Bill Clinton was charged with a process crime due to a frustrated Ken Starr, while looking at a man with a lifetime of association with obvious felonious behavior, could not tie his subject to a single crime, instead decided to charge him with a process crime. One by the way that should have embarrassed even the most severely prudish of prosecutors. My personal opinion is that all process crimes should be summarily dismissed as a matter of law, should no underlying charges be proven, or at the very least brought. (If you’ve followed the link, in the three cases I’d cited, Bill Clinton, Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby, all were charged with process crimes in situations where sufficient evidence could not be obtained during the investigations that any laws pertinent to those investigations were even violated. Clinton was never charged with anything related to White Water. No one involved with the Stewart Case was ever charged with Insider Trading. No one was charged with outing a clandestine operative in Scooter Libby’s case. In the case of Scooter Libby, the actual name of the person who leaked the information was known prior to Libby’s questioning, which manages to add an even more sinister twist to the whole affair.

When asked to comment yesterday on Palin’s statement, House Speaker, John Boehner, answered in as dismissive a manner as possible that he disagreed. His short curt answer, complete with clownish facial expression, let everyone know that he not only would not be seeking to hold this President to any sort of behavioral standard, (but instead has filed a bizarre law suit which legally has zero chance of accomplishing anything,) but he also was perfectly willing to participate in my favorite game. “Is the conservative evil, stupid, senile, or crazy? The Democrats have branded Sarah Palin as stupid, and John Boehner has jumped on that bandwagon not only with both feet, but also with his crying eyes in full bloom.

Now, my fellow members of the political right, a group by the way that every Republican and his uncle, even John Boehner, claim to be members in good standing of, I am perfectly willing to listen to well reasoned arguments as to why Impeachment would be a bad idea. You might say that it’s counter productive, since there’s zero chance of securing a verdict of guilty in the highly partisan and Democrat controlled Senate. That’s true. You might argue that you’re afraid of political backlash, which you inaccurately blame for electoral defeat in 1996. (Bob Dole and Ross Perot were the causes of that defeat, and the proof in that pudding lies in the fact that the GOP actually gained seats in the Legislative Branch during an election year in which they failed to win the Presidency.) I may not agree with those arguments, but at least they’re somewhat substantive. Stating that Sarah Palin is stupid however is nothing more than an ad hominem attack, something by the way that is usually reserved for the party of the left. More importantly, it also fails to address the fact that Sarah Palin happens to have gotten this one right.

There’s something else to consider here with this latest bit of sophistry coming from the good folks at MSNBC. The want Sarah charged with Treason, simply for pointing out that evidence exists to support our President be charged with a crime. She’s not calling for a mob to overthrow our government, nor endeavoring for such on her own. She merely wants our President, a man who according to our Constitution by the way, be held to account in the only manner a President can be held to account, for charges stemming from very strong evidence that he’s acted outside of the laws that every citizen is expected to live by.

This departure by MSNBC is even more troubling than most of their highly partisan crapola disguised as objectivity. (A disguise by the way that could only fool the terminally moronic.) The gracious host of this news programming offers his helpful opinion as fact, that Treason be redefined to include anyone who dares to ask that a sitting President not be placed above the law. So much for the First Amendment guarantees in the NBC Universe. At one time, our press was described as being a fourth branch of government, a supposed watch dog, holding our elected leaders to some form of honest ethical standard. Those days would seem to be long gone my fellow inhabitants of the People’s Democratic Republik of Amerika. I’ll soon see you in the reeducation Kamps my comrades. Don’t worry though, in every movie depicting a Dystopian Society in which government has run amok, television screens used in those kamps are huge. So we’ll doubtless get to see MSNBC hosts on drive-in-movie sized detail. A fifty foot tall version of Rachel Maddow and Melissa Harris Perry, I can hardly wait.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

If You Think The Democrats Are Running From Obamacare Now, Just Wait Till October

by Flyovercountry ( 264 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Democratic Party, Progressives at July 9th, 2014 - 7:00 am

In the never ending game of, “is the conservative, evil, stupid, senile, or crazy,” Sarah Palin drew the stupid card, and they even made a movie about her to prove it. Game Change showed us a Palin so vapid, and simultaneously vacuous, that I honestly believed that Ed Harris, the guy playing John McCain, would at one point knock her over and begin using her as a kettle drum. The great quote from the movie was Sarah saying, “we have to win this race so I won’t have to go back to Alaska,” nice. Something happened on the way to labeling Sarah stupid though. Each of the, “dumb things,” Sarah said during that campaign, have either come true or been proven correct.

So while we all have a laugh at the Woman not properly vetted to take the Oath of Office, and worse yet, not fit to lead, let’s grab a quick glimpse of the guy who actually was elected as our nation’s number two, before we continue.

After the election, Sarah Palin penned in early 2009, an op-ed in which she passionately argued against the passage of Obamacare. During that impassioned plea, she described the cold realities which would await Americans when facing, “Death Panels.” The usage of that term of course threw the political left into a tizzy. “Sarah is just plain stupid, that she would try to scare Americans into believing such a crazy thing.” Of course, those panels are called, “Independent Payment Advisory Boards,” and the phrase, “Death Panels,” itself comes from the British Citizens, who dubbed their counterpart of that particular piece of our legislation as such. It is a derogatory term for a body of bureaucrats making life and death decisions for all of us, not based upon medical considerations, but upon bureaucratic ones instead. What brings it all home is the fact that when ever pressed about the moronic economics of Obamacare, the left always pointed to Britain as one of their shining examples of how well the law would work, and indeed was already working in other industrialized nations.

The first glimpse of the Death Panel reality can be seen by clicking the link.

Rolain was diagnosed with the tumor in early 2014 and was unable to receive treatment for months because of enrollment problems with the state’s Obamacare exchange, Nevada Health Link, Rolain’s husband Robert said in a June press conference.

Robert Rolain said his wife’s tumor went from treatable to fatal as they awaited coverage. Following multiple enrollment issues, the couple bought insurance through Xerox. The plan was supposed to begin in March, but Xerox miscommunicated its start date so the couple didn’t know they had coverage until May, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Las Vegas insurance broker Pat Casale, who helped Rolain with the enrollment issues, told the Review-Journal that he knows multiple people who are “in serious need of care” but aren’t receiving it despite the fact that they’ve paid premiums.

We have now had our first death-by-government-bureaucracy casualty of Obamacare. But, like every good leftist knows, one death is a tragedy, and a million deaths are a statistic. Right now, Linda Rolain’s death is a tragedy, and one that could have been avoided, death by Obamacare. Fear not my fellow comrades of the land formerly reserved for the free and brave, by this time next year, she’ll have been joined by many others, thus completing that short walk from tragedy to statistic. Sorry Linda, you’re only the first in an eerily long and depressing line.

Milton Friedman once quipped that if you wanted to rid the desert of sand, all you’d need to do would be to appoint some government bureaucrat the task of keeping sand in the desert. Welcome to that desert my fellow good subjects, the sand I speak of is what’s left of the world’s greatest health care system. And as hard as this news may be to hear, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

As unpopular as this law is, the really scary stuff hasn’t even hit yet. That loud and palpable convulsion America experienced in November of last year, when about 8 Million or so people nation wide were unceremoniously informed that they couldn’t keep their plans, doctors, or facilities, that they liked, will seem like the happy days when almost a third of Americans felt Barack Obama was really good at his job.

Insurers have already started to dribble out the really good news that premiums will be skyrocketing due to out of control costs inflicted by adding a massive money sucking infrastructure with out benefit to a system that was operating well enough to actually make 85% of Americans happy with its function. Come to think of it, what institution in our nation’s history besides health care could ever have made that claim?

The problem of course is that those cost curves aren’t coming down, at least not in the land known as reality.

Insurers got a close look at the profiles of the enrollees in the individual health-insurance market this spring, and they turned out to be sicker than projected, as the “young invincibles” took a pass on ObamaCare in 2014. That means that premiums will go up in the fall in order to cover the added expense of the higher-risk enrollments — and that has the Obama administration spin team working extra hard this summer to cover their rear ends just before the midterms:

Even the upcoming rate hikes that almost everyone in the nation will face this year however is only a side show annoyance in this colossally bad idea made national law. the true devastation will occur when and if the employer mandate ever kicks in. It’s been pushed back once already, and something tells me that the Democrats holding office in Washington will try to delay it through at least the 2016 Presidential Election. Those 8 Million dropped subjects will seem like small potatoes indeed when the vehicle by which a vast majority of our number becomes too encumbering to keep in place.

Buy stock in companies that produce pitch forks and torches. When 200 Million Americans lose their health care coverage, because compliant plans that won’t be designed to actually pay benefits make the fines cheaper than the, “coverage,” something tells me that they’ll be plenty upset.

Just as a side note: Maybe instead of debating about what to do with the new crisis caused by our petulant man child President along our Southern border, we should be worried about the adoption of the very economic system that made their original nations such hell holes as our own economic system. Change it back please!

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

There’s Blindingly Dishonest Analysis, And Then There’s Mother Jones

by Flyovercountry ( 168 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Progressives at July 3rd, 2014 - 7:00 am

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

I stayed away from the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Kerfuffle purposefully, mostly because, and I can not stress this enough, there’s really nothing there. In the broader context in which every American citizen attempted to explain the pending and then rendered decision using some sweeping philosophical or Constitutional template, most missed the fact that it was simply a case in which lawyers of both sides argued about how to reconcile two previously enacted laws passed by Congress and signed by Presidents which conflicted with each other. Specifically, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, enacted in 1993 and the Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2009. Neither law found itself struck down or even hindered in any way, merely forced to coexist with one another.

Some how, that very boring and mundane process was blown out of any proportion that could be possibly construed as sane, and into the ill informed’s proxy for the First Amendment. Granted, most if not all of the hysteria has come from the tyrannical tolerati found within the rank and file of the political left. Some of the more egregiously false remarks I’ve heard have included cries of, “They’re taking our reproductive rights away from us.” “They’re allowed to refuse us contraceptive care now,” or, “they’re waging a war on women and trying to make birth control and abortion illegal.”

None of this is true of course, but it will help the left raise gobs and gobs of cash off of the whole thing, and that’s what’s really important here. A quick test to prove that last point might be in order. Justices Kennedy and Alito both included within their opinions, step by step instructions for HHS on how to get the offending 4 types of pills covered for those on the Hobby Lobby health plan, without violating either RFRA of the ACA. If in 90 days time we’re still talking about this, then we’ll know whether this was outrage or fauxrage.

So what was that analysis from that respected magazine bird cage liner of impeccable integrity, Mother Jones? I’m glad you’ve asked, here it is. Apparently, one of the geniuses at Mother Jones did some research, probably on Freeerisa.benefitspro.com, and found the 5500 paper work for Hobby Lobby, which is a matter of public record. It’s hardly the stuff anyone outside of the securities industry is usually interested in, but it does include the various mutual funds found in ERISA compliant retirement plans.

This according to Mother Jones’ Molly Redden:

Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012 (see above)—three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit—show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).

There are over 40,000 mutual funds offered on various exchanges in the United States. Of those 40,000, anyone in the biz so to speak, might have a trading platform that includes up to as much as 5,000 at any one time. Some firms will allow multiple trading platforms to be used on a temporary basis, but this gets really expensive, and eventually all will settle on one platform. Ask anyone to name all of the options on their platform, and I’d be willing to bet a good bit that they couldn’t do it. Add to that, that within each mutual fund, just by the nature of how that investment vehicle works, there could be up to a few hundred different securities owned. It would be difficult, even for someone with knowledge of how to research it, to actually tell you what all of the individual securities that you owned actually were, at least without spending a great deal of effort in a process that fruitless. (Most research firm reports will list off the top holdings of any particular fund, somewhere between 5 and 20, but digging to find the entirety of a fund’s holdings can prove a lot more difficult.)

Let’s pretend for a moment that you owned 100 shares of Columbia’s Marsico 21st Century focused growth fund, A shares. Could you right now tell me how many shares and of what companies would fill out your portfolio? What about RiverSource’s Diversified Equity Income Fund. What stocks make up that portfolio, and how would each share of that fund translate into your individual ownership stake of the underlying companies? Holding the Hobby Lobby ownership, on the face of this argument is silly at best, but it does manage to get worse.

Hobby Lobby doesn’t control what’s in its 401k platform. Hobby Lobby, while they may have the ultimate decision on things, most probably leaves much of the decision making process up to the third party administrative team, (the registered representative who sold them the package,) and only ever sees the names of the mutual funds, and only if they’re truly micro managing the process. Hobby Lobby has no say in how those funds are invested, and only has control in that they can nix one fund in favor of another, and that even fails to consider that a fund can make trades after Hobby Lobby’s purchase.

More to the point, Molly Redden herself probably owns a fraction of a share in some company that produces cigarettes, beer, guns, Bush for President signs, what have you. This kind of a microscope and analysis can only be described as dishonesty put on steroids. When I see a source quoted as Mother Jones, that’s usually an indication to simply reject it out of hand, but for some reason I kept going in this case. They did not disappoint.

Here’s the headline attached to this bit of non evidence:

Hobby Lobby Invested In Numerous Abortion And Contraception Products While Claiming Religious Objection

Just on a side note, once per year, on my birthday, I fire a client. It is the client who has caused me the most grief during the previous year. Those people who’ve come to my office and stated that their wish was to only invest in, “Socially Responsible Companies,” received an immediate and courteous request to seek out a different professional. If they inquired as to why, I’d simply tell them that I was only interested in working with people who were as committed to successful investing as I would be on their behalf. I have learned that while someone may profess to be willing to take a hit in performance due to limiting their options, such promises usually disappear with the first statement or two. I’ve had similar discussions with people who’ve wanted to play the losing green technology game.

So, for Hobby Lobby’s effort to do something nice, and by the way massively helpful for the working employees that make up their rank and file, they get to play this gotcha game with some lazy turd who knows not one thing about the workings of a retirement plan, but feels compelled to use one as a reason to condemn Hobby Lobby anyhow. The Supreme Court, nor Hobby Lobby seeks to keep these women, who by the way have not themselves complained, from seeking contraceptive coverage. Hobby Lobby covers 16 varying forms of contraception, more than almost any company did prior to Obamacare. No one said that those women would be prevented from paying out of pocket, if those choices were deemed to be something they didn’t want. There is a vehicle available to have those four pills included in the plan without Hobby Lobby’s involvement in the process. Those women are perfectly within their rights as citizens to push for a repeal of the 1993 RFRA Law that until last week, Bill Clinton touted as one of his signature achievements.

Keep in mind, this all comes from the crowd that has made incandescent light bulbs illegal, restricted what kind of toilets we can purchase, restricted the washing machines we can purchase, what kind of foods we are allowed to eat, and what terms are allowed to be utilized in purchasing or selling real estate. All endeavors in which they have intruded themselves into a transaction that they were being asked for zero help in financing. With that in mind, Hobby Lobby not wanting to foot the bill for Abortive pills is somehow considered to be impinging upon the choices of another. This truly is a bizarre world. Rod Serling must be around here somewhere.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Way beyond mere corruption.

by Guest Post ( 1 Comment › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Corruption, Guest Post, Progressives, Special Report at June 23rd, 2014 - 12:59 pm

Guest Blogger: Doriangrey


Mere weeks after Lois Lerners hard drive supposedly crashed taking with it her emails regarding the IRS conspiracy to target for intimidation TEA Party and Conservative groups, the IRS canceled a long standing contract with Sonasoft for back up email services. Now suddenly Ro Khanna, a wannbe politician supported heavily by the board of directors of Sonasoft has working on his election campaign Barack Obama’s former election advisors.

Board of Sonasoft, IRS email contractor, working to get ‘Silicon Valley’s Wannabe Obama’ elected

The 2014 campaign connection

After the 2012 election – and this is what really caught Joshua Green’s attention – Khanna began preparing for a new campaign in Silicon Valley, this time with the biggest names from the Obama 2012 campaign team on his roster. Khanna is making another run in 2014 against an entrenched Democrat (seven-termer Mike Honda), but he brings major firepower, especially for a guy you’ve probably never heard of:

What makes Khanna more interesting than your typical underdog is who else he has in his corner. On April 2, when he announced that he would challenge Honda, he also revealed that the people who will be running his campaign are many of the same ones who just got Barack Obama reelected. Even though Khanna has never been elected to anything, he has managed to sign up one of Obama’s top-three fundraisers, Steve Spinner, as his campaign chairman; Obama’s national field director, Jeremy Bird, as his chief strategist; and the president’s media firm, pollster, and data-analytics team, along with assorted other veterans of the reelection. Their aim is to build at the congressional level the same type of campaign they ran for Obama. It’s as if Bill Belichick and the staff of the New England Patriots decided to coach a high school football team.

Somebody really wants to get this guy elected. And the interesting thing is that two of Sonasoft’s three board members appear to be in the middle of it.

Romi Randhawa, CEO of HPM Networks, is perhaps of lesser interest in this regard. His main appearance was as joint host of a fundraising reception for Khanna in October 2013.

But Romesh Japra, a high-profile figure in Silicon Valley’s Indian-American community, seems to be playing a bigger role. Besides being one of Khanna’s major donors ($7,400 since 2011), Japra has been implicated in a byzantine effort to run multiple Republican candidates in the primary, and thus divide the GOP vote so that Khanna and Honda, the Democrats, face off only with each other in November 2014.

California adopted a non-partisan “jungle primary” system via Proposition 14 in 2010, and the Golden State’s primaries now advance the top two vote-getters, even if they’re both from the same party. If you want to make an intra-party challenge to a strong incumbent, the most effective divide-and-conquer strategy may well be an across-the-board “more the merrier” approach.

Republican candidate Vanila Singh, running for the 17th district seat this spring, had the GOP field to herself, until a pair of high-profile Khanna supporters encouraged another Republican, Joel Vanlandingham, to join the campaign late. One of that pair was reportedly Romesh Japra (see last link above).

The primary result on 3 June was satisfactory for Khanna supporters, although things might well have turned out the same without Vanlandingham as a spoiler. Honda and Khanna will have the race to themselves in November.

The peculiar thing, in any case, is Sonasoft’s collateral connectedness to the Khanna drama, on which the Obama machine has left such distinctive fingerprints. It doesn’t seem to signify anything more than the web of vaguely icky crony connections that characterize so much of government and politics today – regrettably, on both sides of the aisle.

J.E. Dyer is being oh so incredibly diplomatic here. Lois Lerner’s emails disappeared, Sonasoft should have had those disappeared emails because that was the contract they had with the IRS. Sonasoft has volunteered no information regarding those emails. But now suddenly an individual with political aspiration directly connected to Sonasoft is receiving an unprecedented level of assistance from the former Obama campaign team in his own election bid.

I will say what J.E. Dyer is far to circumspect to say outright. It looks as if one of two things are in play here. Either the Obama Administration is being successfully blackmailed into supporting Khanna, or the Obama Administration is paying off a debt to Sonasoft. At either rate, not only should Lois Lerner and the entire senior Obama administration staff be going to prison, but so should the administrative staff at Sonasoft.

Not Afraid Of The Lax Rules Involved With Federal Agencies? Get A Load Of This.

by Flyovercountry ( 116 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Democratic Party, DHS, Economy, Progressives, Regulation at June 23rd, 2014 - 7:00 am

I’ve written about this before, the evils perpetrated upon our constitutional republic by establishing federal agencies as a substitute for the framework of governance originally established by our founding national law. Federal agencies have effectively swept away all vestiges of the checks and balances system, and have done more to concentrate power within the federal behemoth than the election of 10 Barack Obamas consecutively could ever achieve.

Our very first federal agency was the Interstate Commerce Commission, established in February of 1887. The act granting authority to establish this agency established something called agency law. The Act itself was worded purposefully vague, and granted the agency authority to write its own rules, manage the enforcement of those rules, and depended upon the Judiciary for what little check on its power the weakest branch of our government would care to muster. The Judiciary of course elected to defer such oversight authority, deferring in almost all instances to the, “wisdom of the experts within the agencies themselves,” for such matters. With that almost exclusively followed path set forth then, continued to this day without interruption, all federal agencies effectively have the power of all three branches of our federal behemoth, concentrated within the hegemony of the current bureaucracy. What’s worse, since it is nearly impossible to fire federal workers, that bureaucracy remains in place and devoted to its own belief system, irrespective of which leadership team to manage the whole mess is actually decided upon by the American People. If for example Conservatives win national elections, the federal agencies will undoubtedly continue to run with a decidedly liberal bent, they’ll just be a little more discreet about it for 4 or 8 years.

it’s taken a while, 127 years to be more specific about it, but this very week, one of those newly formed agencies showed perfectly, why we should all be very terrified.

From the Town Hall article linked to above:

Last week the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, through the power of Dodd-Frank, passed a rule giving the agency unprecedented power to shut down businesses, no matter what the reason, at any time it wishes through a cease-and-desist order. Further, the rule puts businesses at the mercy of the CFPB and they cannot go back into operation until government approval or a court ruling is made over an issue. Subsequently because bureaucratic decisions and court rulings take a substantial amount of time to happen, businesses cannot survive during those waiting periods. Here are the details (emphasis mine):

In a notice published in today’s Federal Register, the CFPB has announced that it has adopted its interim final rule on temporary cease-and-desist orders (C&Ds) without change. The final rule takes effect on July 18, 2014.

The CFPB is authorized to issue temporary C&Ds under Section 1053(c) of Dodd-Frank. That provision authorizes a temporary C&D as an adjunct to a cease-and-desist proceeding brought under Section 1053 against a covered person or service provider. A temporary C&D is effective immediately upon service and remains in effect unless modified or terminated administratively by the CFPB or set aside on judicial review.

Reasons!? Reasons!? They don’t need no stinking reason to shut you down! This latest rule of course is being inflicted now to threaten banks who do business with gun dealers and manufacturers. So, rather than inflict gun control, which is prohibited by our Second Amendment, and further, is opposed by the vast majority of American citizens, they’ll just make certain that gun shops can not participate in the market place of capital commerce. They won’t be able to process credit card payments, deposit checks, or cash, or use checking accounts to pay their bills and such. All of course because the CCFB has granted itself this authority, and it’ll doubtless take the Judiciary a decade or so to sort it out, assuming that our weakest branch of government even cares to do so.

On Father’s day I had a conversation with a liberal. I reminded him that the entire purpose of the Second Amendment was to protect the citizens of the newly formed nation from any future government tyranny, so that the federal government would always be as afraid of its citizens as the citizens were of the government. He immediately quipped, as if I would be silly to consider that necessary today, “do you even think that’s an issue now?” When I answered you bet, he labeled me a fringe radical fanatic. (I love that softball opportunity to slap someone down by the way.) So I of course asked if his definition of a fringe radical was someone who did not wish to live under the societal rules that he agreed with and sought to inflict. That was a conversation ending question, and it felt good. This latest bit, something I wish I had in my arsenal a week ago, is that perfect example of government tyranny run completely amok.

Make no mistake about it however, this is something far bigger than the threat to use a back door method to inflict gun control. It is far bigger even than the CCFB. It is the agency system of governance itself that must be dealt with. The only President ever, who attempted to do something to reign in the out of control behemoth that our federal agencies have become, was Richard Nixon. This, as much as anything, was a reason for why he was so hated by the political left. We need the political will and fortitude not seen since Reagan to do that, and I actually have someone in mind. We’ll be discussing that on Monday. I’m going out on a limb and making an endorsement, even before anyone declares for the upcoming 2016 bloodbath.

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.

Obama’s proposed Pacific Ocean “national monument” resource grab

by 1389AD ( 130 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Environmentalism at June 20th, 2014 - 3:00 pm
Obama's Pacific Ocean grab
Shown here, center, is a map of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, which the Obama administration is looking to significantly expand. NOAA

Fox News: Obama aims to create world’s largest ocean preserve

President Obama on Tuesday announced plans to create what could be the largest marine preserve in the world, an initiative that aims to protect “pristine” Pacific Ocean environments but could run into opposition from the fishing industry and lawmakers worried about the president’s use of executive power.

The president announced his plans via video message at an oceans conference hosted by the State Department, and attended by actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

“We can protect our oceans for future generations,” Obama said, vowing to use his “authority as president” to protect “some of our most precious marine landscapes.”

The president did not get into detail in his video message, but officials say Obama is considering a massive expansion to the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, to protect it from drilling, fishing and other actions. The protected waters surround a group of mostly uninhabited islands, controlled by the U.S., that sit between Hawaii and American Samoa.

The Washington Post reported that Obama is looking at expanding the preserve, from almost 87,000 square miles to nearly 782,000 square miles. The monument, created by President George W. Bush just before he left office in 2009, includes seven islands.

The Post reports that the designation is expected to face opposition from the U.S. tuna fleet, which operates in the region. Republicans in Congress have called the proposal another attempt by the administration to test the limits of executive power.

“For years the Obama Administration has threatened to impose ocean zoning to shut down our oceans, and today the president is making good on that threat,” House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., said in a statement on Tuesday. “This is yet another example of how an imperial president is intent on taking unilateral action, behind closed doors, to impose new regulations and layers of restrictive red-tape.”

Hastings said the announcement “will likely make the U.S. tuna fleet even less viable, meaning in the not-too-distant future all of America’s tuna will be caught by foreign vessels.”

Continue reading…

Also see:

 

Can We Just Start The Prosecutions Already?

by Flyovercountry ( 112 Comments › )
Filed under Barack Obama, Corruption, Crime, Eric Holder, Progressives at June 20th, 2014 - 9:00 am

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

We’ll start here. Here is count two of the Articles of Impeachment drawn against Richard Nixon.

“endeavored to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposes not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigation to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”

What’s even more astounding about all of this, Richard Nixon, by the admission of those leveling the charges against him, never actually followed through on those impulses. Those missing tapes once found only revealed a drunken Nixon musing about the idea as a way to silence his critics. Just talking about it got him run out of town, and the IRS never performed one extraneous audit on his behalf.

Today of course, the bar used to measure civil behavior has been lowered considerably. I believe we can safely place this bit of criminal behavior and the complete non coverage from the alphabet media stooges acting as Democrat Party scribes in the what-if-a-Republican-did-it category. Remember, these are the same fine folks who sent teams of news crews to Crawford, Texas for the entirety of 2004 in order to get footage of Cindy Sheehan picketing George W. Bush’s driveway all by herself, even when Bush himself was no where near Texas. There is no question any longer as to whether crimes were broken by high ranking members of the IRS, people who regularly send American Citizens to jail for violation of their rules, ruin lives, and have shown in the past zero tolerance, flexibility, or acceptance of mitigating circumstances. They have performed their duties with the zeal of true fanaticism, and have often been slapped back by the Judiciary for overstepping the boundaries of actual tax law in order to collect monies not truly owed. Since our Attorney General’s, “exhaustive,” investigation turned up not one smidgen of evidence, it is equally obvious that a special prosecutor needs to be appointed.

Next, we’ll try a thought experiment. Have you ever typed out an email, hit send, and immediately regretted your decision? I once had an IT specialist in a large corporation that I worked for impart this wisdom to me, and a room full of others in a seminar warning us of the dangers inherent in the virtual world. “Be careful before hitting send, enter, or in any web navigation what so ever. When you delete those emails that you regret, or pictures you’ve uploaded, or comments you’ve posted on bulletin boards or in chat rooms, all it really means is that you’re the only person in the world who can no longer see it.” If I offered you $1 Billion to completely erase any of Lois Lerner’s emails, plus 6 other IRS employees, you couldn’t do it. This is not only not probable, it is not possible. The next subpoena should be for every government employee who’s ever received or sent an email to Lois Lerner. Those missing emails are out there in the virtual universe, and can be retrieved with surprising ease. All claims to the contrary are worse than lies, because a lie in and of itself does not depend upon this level of stupidity on the part of the person listening to it.

Now of course, the lie is that they’d thrown out Lois’ computer. There’s nothing like sending a few crooks here and there to prison to start loosening the tongues of co-conspirators. Right now, these clowns are tight lipped and smug. Lois Lerner and her merry band of felons are convinced that there will be not one single consequence for their treacherous acts. Most who are following this scandal with any curiosity at all are convinced that this will lead straight to the man child President himself, but nobody is chatting it up. There is no truth serum quite so potent as taking 20 yeas freedom from somebody who wishes to see daylight and television. Eventually, there will be one of these crooks who’s loyalty was not based upon fanatical devotion, but personal gain. That person will not be willing to take this one for the team. That person will roll over on someone bigger than themselves, and the higher up the chain you go, the less fanatical those crooks will be. We need to stop playing around with them, and just start taking them to a jury of their peers, not tomorrow, but yesterday.

From the Town Hall article linked to above:

Ex-IRS official Lois Lerner’s crashed hard drive has been recycled, making it likely the lost emails of the lightening rod in the tea party targeting controversy will never be found, according to multiple sources.

“We’ve been informed that the hard drive has been thrown away,” Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on the Finance Committee, said in a brief hallway interview.

So now the IRS wants us to believe Lerner’s emails were only stored on her personal hard drive? And not on a backup server somewhere? Come on. Further, why is it that Lerner has emails to employees in the IRS, but her hard drive just happened to “crash” between January 2009-April 2011 and only on the emails to outside sources?

Cross Posted from Musings of a Mad Conservative.