Tag Archives: Obama

A Ted Cruz telecon

Last night I did a long radio appearance with Robert Pratt in Texas. While I was on the air with him he received a notice from Senator Ted Cruz’s office, announcing a press telecon today on the just-passed NASA authorization bill. Pratt asked me if I would be willing to attend that telecon as his press correspondence. I agreed.

The telecon has just ended. Cruz’s statements about that NASA authorization were very uncommitted and vague, though he clearly wants to encourage private space. He also was careful not to say bad things about SLS/Orion, since it sends a lot of money to Texas.

I asked him about the lack of any mention of Earth science research in the authorization bill. He noted that during the Obama administration NASA’S climate research had become politicized, and it is his hope that this will now end, that NASA will continue to do this research but that “it will no longer be used for political purposes.” Like his comments about SLS/Orion, this was a careful answer that avoided setting off a firestorm of controversy.

Cruz did say two things of note however during the press teleconference.

  • Cruz and family is having dinner with Trump tonight
  • Cruz has reservations about the Republican proposal on Obamacare

It appears that Cruz is putting aside the ugly events of the campaign in order to try to exert influence on Trump now. It also appears that he intends to discuss the bad Obamacare replacement bill with Trump, pushing for changes to it.

Republican leadership endorses Obamacare

Yesterday the Republican leadership in Congress unveiled their proposed replacement for Obamacare.

This is not a repeal. It proudly keeps many of the Obamacare provisions that have made health insurance unprofitable, which is why Obamacare and the entire health insurance industry is going bankrupt. First, the Republican proposal keeps the Obamacare requirement that forces insurance companies to accept applicants with pre-existing conditions at no extra charge. Insurance cannot work under this condition. Second, the plan forces insurance companies to cover the children of customers until they are 26.

Several articles today outline the stupidity of this new plan:

From the first article above:

The first thing to understand about the GOP healthcare bill is that it is not merely Obamacare-lite or a bad “replacement” bill. It doesn’t repeal the core of Obamacare in the first place. In fact, the few parts that it repeals or tweaks within a few years will actually intensify the death spiral of Obamacare when mixed with the core regulatory structure, exacerbated by the subsidies that they do keep. And this time, the GOP will own it politically. All of it.

As I say, this is downright stupid. By trying to “fix” this horrible law, all the Republican leadership accomplishes is to poison themselves with it, something Republicans have so far been able to avoid.

The Republicans shouldn’t be passing a different version of Obamacare, they should be trying to repeal it entirely. If the Democrats continue to obstruct, they will then have to face the voters in 2018 in an election that does not favor them to begin with.

Republican leaders propose Obamacare revisions

Cowards: The House Republican leadership today put forth a series of proposals for revisingnot repealing — Obamacare.

A packet distributed to lawmakers at the meeting and obtained by The Hill says the GOP bill will include tax credits, an expansion of health savings accounts, money for high risk pools to care for the sick and a major restructuring of Medicaid to cap federal payments.

No dollar figures for any of the Republican proposals have been presented yet. Lawmakers said that is because the Congressional Budget Office is still analyzing the plan.

Nowhere do these proposals deal with repealing Obamacare’s ban on low-cost catastrophic health insurance plans. In fact, these proposal do little to repeal any of Obamacare’s worst regulations, which make the entire concept of health insurance unsustainable. Instead, these proposals nibble at the edges of the law, and will only serve to make things worse. For example, the proposals will repeal all the taxes that pay for Obamacare’s costs, will eliminate the mandates that force people to buy insurance, but will do nothing to relieve insurance companies from the law’s requirements, such as forcing them to accept every applicant, no matter how sick. Such a crazy arrangement will guarantee that no one will buy health insurance until they need it, making it entirely unprofitable.

The whole mess is simply too complicated. The time has come to do what Alexander the Great did: rather than try to untie the Gordian knot, he simply took a sword and cut it. Congress should do the same to Obamacare. Only then will the health insurance industry have a chance of recovery.

Freedom Caucus to push for swift Obamacare repeal

In a direct clash with the Republican leadership that increasingly wants to slow down a repeal of Obamacare, the conservative House tea party group dubbed the Freedom Caucus announced today that they will push for an immediate repeal of the law.

The House Republican leadership is made up of a bunch of cowards. They fear the polls. They fear the press. They fear the astroturf demonstrations paid for by the left. They fear everything. And they believe in nothing, because if they did believe in freedom and restricting the power of government they would move quickly to repeal Obamacare and let the chips of freedom fall where they may.

Obamacare numbers continue to tank

We are still finding out what’s in it: Enrollment numbers in Obamacare for 2017 turn out to be far worse than any prediction, resulting in more insurance companies considering an exit.

[T]he nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted last year that 15 million Americans would enroll in Obamacare plans through the various marketplaces in 2017 (down from an initial expectation of approximately 21 million when the law first passed. The Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services lowered their 2017 expectations to 13.8 million. But the federal exchange totals are hundreds of thousands of consumers off-pace from last year, which was already sufficiently lackluster as to trigger an exodus of several major insurers. …Charles Gaba, a pro-Obamacare tracker of ACA signups, …estimated that to stay on track with the HHS projections, the federal exchange would need to tally roughly 10.6 million enrollees. The actual number was just 9.2 million.

The whole shebang is collapsing, regardless of what the Republicans in Congress do. Read the article, however, because it also provides some interesting analysis of what Congress is considering.

Whistleblower exposes climate data manipulation at NOAA

The corruption of climate science: A retired award-winning climate scientist has revealed that the publication of a NOAA paper that claimed the pause in global warming since 1998 did not exist was rushed into publication so that it would appear just prior to the Paris climate conference in 2015.

Worse, the paper’s authors disregarded NOAA’s rules for peer review, destroyed their raw data so that no one could check their results, and purposely threw out data that raised questions about their conclusions.

NOAA’s 2015 ‘Pausebuster’ paper was based on two new temperature sets of data – one containing measurements of temperatures at the planet’s surface on land, the other at the surface of the seas. Both datasets were flawed. This newspaper has learnt that NOAA has now decided that the sea dataset will have to be replaced and substantially revised just 18 months after it was issued, because it used unreliable methods which overstated the speed of warming. The revised data will show both lower temperatures and a slower rate in the recent warming trend.

The land temperature dataset used by the study was afflicted by devastating bugs in its software that rendered its findings ‘unstable’. The paper relied on a preliminary, ‘alpha’ version of the data which was never approved or verified. A final, approved version has still not been issued.

None of the data on which the paper was based was properly ‘archived’ – a mandatory requirement meant to ensure that raw data and the software used to process it is accessible to other scientists, so they can verify NOAA results.

Read the whole article. It is remarkably detailed for a modern newspaper story, delving carefully into the kind of details that must be looked at to truly understand the corruption of science that has taken place in government agencies like NOAA and NASA.

Does this story prove that human-caused global warming is not happening? Of course not. What it does show is that there is fraud going on, and that much of the science press releases issued by these agencies cannot be trusted.

House approves Senate budget resolution repealing Obamacare

The House today approved the Senate budget resolution repealing Obamacare’s tax and spending provisions.

The House voted 227-198 Friday to approve the resolution a day after the Senate voted 51-48 to clear it. Nine conservative House Republicans voted against the measure: Justin Amash of Michigan, Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Walter Jones of North Carolina, John Katko of New York, Raul Labrador of Idaho, Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Tom McClintock of California.

The resolution, which is nonbinding, sets budgetary and spending levels for Obamacare. It will act as a vehicle for Republicans to craft legislation that would gut Obamacare via the reconciliation process.

What the article does not note is that the Democrats voted 100% against the bill, once again demonstrating their steadfast marriage to this disastrous law. The Republicans who voted against the bill did so because they are sincerely worried about its budgetary impact. The Democrats who voted against it did so because they have become close-minded on the issue, and will defend this law no matter how many voters they offend.

When the next election comes we should remember this and remove more of these fools from office, if only to finally get the Democratic Party to wake up and abandon this bad policy.

NASA asteroid redirect mission delayed again

Due to the uncertainty of its budget NASA has decided to delay the award of the contracts to begin work on its asteroid redirect mission (ARM).

The uncertainty is that Congress has never budgeted any real money for it. The mission was proposed by Obama but only vaguely, without any real support. First it was to be a manned mission to an asteroid, using Orion. Then it was to be an unmanned mission to bring a large asteroid closer to Earth to be later visited by astronauts in an Orion capsule. Then the large asteroid became a mere boulder, with the manned mission delayed until the unforeseen future.

I think NASA sees the writing on the wall here. They expect this vague unsupported mission to die with the next administration, and have decided it is better not to waste money on it now.

Senate passes Obamacare partial repeal

In a party line vote last night, the Senate passed an Obamacare repeal bill that ends the law’s tax and financial components.

It must be emphasized that the failure to repeal the law’s regulations is entirely due to the unwillingness of any Democrats to cross party lines, end the filibuster, and allow a vote. The result: we are still stuck with some of the most egregious components of the law. In 2018 many of those same Democrats will be faced with difficult re-elections. It will be time to remove them.

I should add that, just like Obamacare itself, the manner in which this repeal is being written and approved actually appears to be unconstitutional. It is tax policy and it is originating in the Senate. The Constitution however clearly states “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” (Article 1, Section 7) The same section also states that the Senate can propose, so I suppose this is how they get around this issue.

Obamacare: The Republican strategy of partial repeal vs full repeal

This National Review editorial today describes very succinctly the strategy being used by the Republican leadership in its effort to repeal Obamacare.

Senate Republicans want to pass a bill that repeals the taxes and spending in Obamacare, but not its regulations. That’s because they think that they can use a legislative process to avoid Democratic filibusters only if they leave the regulations alone. They think that this partial repeal of Obamacare will set the stage for later legislation that repeals the rest of the law and creates a replacement.

The heart of the problem for a full Obamacare repeal is that in the Senate you can pass budgetary items with only 51 votes while regulatory changes require 60. The Democrats plan to filibuster any regulatory changes, thus preventing their repeal.

The editorial opposes this strategy and instead calls for removing the federal government completely from health insurance regulation, the situation that existed prior to the passage of Obamacare. While I totally agree with this stance, I also recognize that the intransigence of the Democrats in the Senate makes it difficult. The only way it could work is if the Republicans could convince 8 Democratic senators to break away from their party and support full repeal. While a large number of Democratic senators are faced with difficult elections in 2018, I don’t think the Republicans could get 8 to agree.

We are thus faced with the unfortunate and bad situation that the Republicans will repeal only part of the law, which will further damage the health care industry. While they hope this damage will strengthen their effort to get the law entirely repealed, I fear that it will instead be used by the Democrats to attack the Republicans and the idea of the repeal itself.

It seems to me that it would be better to offer a full repeal, forcing a Democratic filibuster, and then use that filibuster as a campaign weapon to defeat more Democrats in 2018.

Corzine fined $5 million for stealing $1 billion

Slap on the wrist: Jon Corzine, former Democratic governor and Senator for New Jersey, has been fined $5 million for his part in misusing and losing $1 billion of privately owned customer funds and eventually causing the bankruptcy of MF Global.

What Corzine did was the equivalent of a banker illegally taking your savings from the bank to invest in risky stocks, without telling you, and then losing that money when the investments went sour. The banker would go to jail for doing that. Corzine however was a major player in the Democratic Party. Not only was he a governor and senator, he raised funds for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Thus, he must be blameless and pure, and must not be punished for things that were clearly forced upon him by the evil Reagan-Bush administrations. This fine is only occurring because of civil action, not because he was prosecuted for his crimes, something that the Obama administration refused to do.

Republicans introduce first measure for repealing Obamacare

A measure introduced in both houses of Congress today begins the process of repealing Obamacare.

Senate Republicans Tuesday took the first step toward repealing Obamacare, with Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi introducing a measure that would lay the groundwork for specific legislation to be proposed later that would repeal President Barack Obama’s signature domestic program. Enzi’s bill seeks to pave the way for the later bill to pass Congress without fear of a filibuster by Senate Democrats.

The measure, called a budget resolution, directs top congressional committees to cast votes to assemble the repeal legislation by Jan. 27. House Republicans also introduced Enzi’s resolution in the lower chamber.

At this moment we still do not know exactly what the Republicans plan to repeal, and what they intend to keep. What we do know is that in order to pass this repeal in a manner that prevents a filibuster they will not be able to repeal the law entirely. We also do not yet know how quickly they intend the repeal to take effect. There has been much talk of a delay, but that is not yet confirmed.

New Republican bill to move U.S. embassy to Jerusalem

Three Republican Senators today introduced legislation that would move the American embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

To a certain extent this law is mere show, as there already is a law that calls for the U.S. to do this, though that law also allowed presidents to waive the move if they thought it would harm international relations. That concern is essentially gone now, and it appears this new law eliminates the waiver clause.

This is likely only the beginning. At least, I hope it is.

94% of all new jobs under Obama part time

Finding out what’s in it: Since the imposition of Obamacare a new study now shows that 94% of all new jobs have been part time work.

In their study [Harvard and Princeton economists Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger] show that from 2005 to 2015, the proportion of Americans workers engaged in what they refer to as “alternative work” soared during the Obama era, from 10.7% in 2005 to 15.8% in 2015. Alternative, or “gig” work is defined as “temporary help agency workers, on-call workers, contract company workers, independent contractors or freelancers”, and is generally unsteady, without a fixed paycheck and with virtually no benefits. The two economists also found that each of the common types of alternative work increased from 2005 to 2015—with the largest changes in the number of independent contractors and workers provided by contract firms, such as janitors that work full-time at a particular office, but are paid by a janitorial services firm.

Krueger, who until 2013 was also the top White House economist serving as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under Obama, was “surprised” by the finding. Quoted by quartz, he said “We find that 94% of net job growth in the past decade was in the alternative work category,” said Krueger. “And over 60% was due to the [the rise] of independent contractors, freelancers and contract company workers.” In other words, nearly all of the 10 million jobs created between 2005 and 2015 were not traditional nine-to-five employment.

While the finding is good news for some, such as graphic designers and lawyers who hate going to an office, for whom new technology and Obamacare has made it more appealing to become an independent contractor. But for those seeking a steady administrative assistant office job, the market is grim. It also explains why despite an apparent recovery in the labor market, wage growth has been non-existent, due to the lack of career advancement and salary increase options for this vast cohort which was hired over the past decade. [emphasis in original]

The lack of long term steady full time work with full benefits has especially hit the young badly. They are increasingly being forced to work multiple jobs to pay the bills, all of which lack any kind of benefits.

Obviously, they must keep voting for those Democrats who brought this paradise to them. Obviously!

Republicans consider delaying Obamacare repeal

Failure theater: The Republican leadership is considering a whole range of delays in their so-called effort to repeal Obamacare.

Republicans are debating how long to delay implementing the repeal. Aides involved in the deliberations said some parts of the law may be ended quickly, such as its regulations affecting insurer health plans and businesses. Other pieces may be maintained for up to three or four years, such as insurance subsidies and the Medicaid expansion. Some parts of the law may never be repealed, such as the provision letting people under age 26 remain on a parent’s plan.

House conservatives want a two-year fuse for the repeal. Republican leaders prefer at least three years, and there has been discussion of putting it off until after the 2020 elections, staffers said.

When are these idiots finally going to realize that the voters who put them in office are not Democratic liberals, and specifically want Obamacare repealed, now?

Obama and the UN vs Israel and the Free World

I think the following list of stories sums up the situation:

The Obama administration position:

Next some of the response, from Israel, from conservatives, from Congress:

This story list is hardly complete but it does encapsulate the Obama/Israel/UN events of the past week. Make sure you read the stories at the links to really understand what is happening. Based on this information all I can conclude is that Obama and his administration decided in the past week to go public with their hatred of Israel. I call it hatred because I don’t know what else to call it. To them, the building of houses for Israelis to live in is more evil that Palestinian and Islamic terrorist bombings, murders, hijackings, and rocket firings.

As for the response, I have my doubts whether Congress will really do the right thing and dump the UN. In all my life only once have I seen real leadership in these matters, and that was during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, when he decided to withdraw from UNESCO because, as his administration noted at the time, ”Unesco has extraneously politicized virtually every subject it deals with, has exhibited hostility toward the basic institutions of a free society, especially a free market and a free press, and has demonstrated unrestrained budgetary expansion.”

Right now I suspect that the cowardly Republican leadership is scheming for ways they can participate in some form of “failure theater,” something to which they are very practiced, where they pass some meaningless resolutions condemning the UN while allowing its funding and its support to continue unhindered. We shall see if my cynicism here is justified. The one aspect of these events that suggests I might be too pessimistic is the number of Democrats publicly condemning the President. Democratic support these days is very confined to the big urban coastal cities, which also happens to be where their Jewish support is centered. Obama’s actions this week fire a bullet into that support, and very clearly threaten to damage it badly. They have already lost middle Ameica. If they lose the urban Jewish voter their chances of winning elections in the future will become even more difficult.

Pentagon makes believe Iran isn’t using $1.7 billion for military

Does this make you feel safer? General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told Congress last week that the Pentagon does not believe Iran’s military development is being funded by the $1.7 billion given to them by the Obama administration.

“Intelligence assesses that the $1.7 billion transferred to Iran probably was allocated predominately to Iran’s economic sector, in accordance with Tehran’s stated emphasis on economic expansion, modernization, and diversification,” Dunford said in response to multiple questions from lawmakers, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) and 17 other senators.

Lawmakers suspect that Iran has used this cash infusion to boost its military operations in the region, including in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.

However, Dunford maintained this is not the case. “Iran continues to seek improved missile systems and the replacement of aging military equipment, particularly aircraft and naval vessels,” he wrote. “However, there is a lack of information to suggest Iran is attempting to use the $1.7 billion towards these interests.”

Either this guy and everyone in the Pentagon is downright stupid, or they think everyone else is. The Obama administration handed Iran $1.7 billion, and almost immediately Iran announced it was going to spend $1.7 billion more on military development. And that means there is “a lack of information to suggest Iran is attempting to use the $1.7 billion” for military purposes?

I think this guy, and his cohorts at the Pentagon, should find work they are better qualified to do, such as serving burgers at McDonalds.

How the new Congress will repeal Obamacare

Link here. In order to get the repeal passed quickly under reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority and was the same procedure the Democrats used to pass the law, the repeal will not cancel the entire law. It will allow it to happen quickly, however.

The plan, then, is to move quickly post-inauguration to pass legislation similar to the one they passed this past January, which was vetoed by Obama. That legislation repealed the law’s major spending provisions — ending the Medicaid expansion and getting rid of the subsidies for individuals to purchase insurance on government-run exchanges. In addition, the repeal bill scrapped the individual and employer mandate penalties, eliminated the law’s taxes and defunded Planned Parenthood. If all goes smoothly, such a bill could reach Trump’s desk in short order, as early as February — or weeks after Inauguration Day. Though it’s possible that this could slip as certain details get ironed out, there is a determination, among leadership in both chambers, to move with speed.

…The thinking is that the previously passed reconciliation bill was already pored over by Senate staffers, who considered many different scenarios. What they ultimately came up with repealed much of the law, had the votes, and passed muster with the parliamentarian. Upsetting this delicate balance by adding or subtracting major elements, the thinking goes, would delay the repeal process, potentially significantly. As for firing the parliamentarian (currently Elizabeth MacDonough) though it’s true that her job is controlled by the majority party, doing so is seen as out of bounds. One senior Senate leadership aide described it as “a total Reid move,” by which the aide meant, it’s the type of strong-armed tactic to game the rules that one would expect from former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, that would typically make Republicans apoplectic.

The repeal bill offered here will not change many of the insurance regulations imposed by Obamacare, such as the requirement that insurance companies must accept all customers, even the sick ones. Either Congress will have to revisit this issue later, or we will continue to see the health insurance industry collapse in the coming years.

Obamacare subsidies to go up almost $10 billion next year

Finding out what’s in it: According to a new report, the Obamacare subsidies that are paid to large number of Americans so that they can afford the costly Obamacare health insurance policies will cost taxpayers almost $10 billion in 2017.

The new study estimates that the cost of premium subsidies under the Affordable Care Act will increase by $9.8billion next year, rising from $32.8billion currently to $42.6billion. The average monthly subsidy will increase by $76, or 26 per cent, from $291 currently to $367 in 2017, researchers found.

Currently more than eight in ten consumers buying private health insurance through HealthCare.gov and state markets receive tax credits from the government to help pay their premiums.

Not only can’t we can’t afford the Obamacare premiums, we can’t afford the subsidies either.

Another Obamacare co-op shuts down

Finding out what’s in it: With Maryland’s Obamacare co-op closing on December 8, 20 of the original 24 Obamacare co-ops have gone out of business.

With the near-collapse of Maryland’s co-op — called Evergreen Health — at least 989,000 individuals nationwide have lost their health insurance coverage when the nonprofit co-ops stopped selling insurance to customers, according to TheDCNF’s tally. The losses cost taxpayers at least $2.2 billion in upfront federal loans awarded by the Obama administration to 24 nonprofit co-ops under Obamacare. The co-ops were intended to help keep health care costs down by providing non-profit competition with commercial for-profit insurers. The losses do not include statewide costs where the state or local governments were forced to cover doctor and hospital bills that the failed co-ops could not pay from remaining revenues.

In many cases, those losses were substantial. In New York alone, state taxpayers face at least $200 million in costs owed to medical providers that the bankrupt Health Republic co-op could not cover, according to the Albany Business Review.

The remaining four are all barely surviving, and will likely fail themselves in the next few years, even if the Republican leadership goes chicken and delays the repeal of Obamacare while they haggle over what to do to replace it. What they should do is repeal it outright, and let that very weird and forgotten concept of freedom operate freely. I’ve heard it has worked very well in the past, though unfortunately most elected officials today are ignorant of that history.

How Bush after 9/11 overwhelmed Al-Qaeda

Interviews with one of the planners of the September 11 attacks on the United States has revealed how the initial quick and harsh response by the Bush administration caught them off guard and prevented further attacks.

Khalid Sheik Mohammed, one of the masterminds in the 9/11 attack, said that “the ferocity and swiftness” of former U.S. President George W. Bush’s reprisal to the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil astonished Al Qaeda. The new revelation was found in psychologist James E. Mitchell’s new memoir, “Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying To Destroy America.”

Mitchell wrote, “How was I supposed to know that cowboy George Bush would announce he wanted us ‘dead or alive’ and then invade Afghanistan to hunt us down? Khalid explained that if the United States had treated 9/11 like a law enforcement matter, he would have had time to launch a second wave of attacks.” Khalid said they were unable to re-attack because the whole al-Qaeda was stunned by the “ferocity and swiftness” of Bush’s reaction, wrote the psychologist.

These interviews also reveal indirectly why both the Bush and Obama administrations failed in later years to put these terrorists out of business. The U.S., after hitting them hard initially, then eased the attack. First Bush limited his effort to Iraq, allowing the Islamic terrorists to develop safe havens in Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, and other Arab countries. Then, Obama left Iraq too quickly, while focusing his entire effort only half-heartedly in Afghanistan. The result was that these groups could re-organize and rebuild, taking advantage of the power vacuums left by these weak American leaders.

The correct approach would have been a variation of what Bush did initially, which in itself was a variation of the military philosophy first demonstrated by Grant in the Civil War and followed by every American general since. You do not retreat, you do not let up, you demand total victory, and do not stop the attack until you win, entirely. Eisenhower epitomized this approach in World War II, and it worked. Had Bush been in charge in World War II he would have stopped the war effort after Normandy and the recapture of France, allowing Hitler to remain in power in Germany. And this would have failed miserably, as did the efforts of Bush and Obama have failed in the past decade.

Why we have Trump

Link here. The post provides an excellent selection of some of the more memorable and egregious performances by the arrogant press, insulting and attacking and making fun of the tea party protesters. As the author notes,

Dear Media. Psst. Pay deadly-close attention here, for this is nearly the whole game that lost it for you:

1) pols made statements about a new policy to help it pass.
2) policy passed.
3) public discovered the policy was not as described. In a really bad way.
4) pols laughed at the public for believing them in the first place.
5) public learned its lesson, and acted accordingly.

Media: remember who was cheerleading and protecting the politicians who were enacting ACA? Remember who was vilifying those making good faith arguments against it? Defaming them as racists? It was you. And we all remember being lied to by you, too.

When you weren’t simply mocking us.

And this is how you got Trump.

The post ends with a few links to just a few of the Obama administration’s worst power grabs and fascist attacks on citizens, including the Gibson guitar raid and the IRS harassment, both of which the mainstream press either ignored or worked to embargo so that no one would know they happened.

New Defense directive permits concealed carry on bases

Change: A new Department of Defense directive, issued last Friday, now permits soldiers and recruiters to carry concealed weapons while at work.

U.S. military personnel can now request to carry concealed handguns for protection at government facilities, according to new Defense Department directive issued last week in response to a series of deadly shootings over the last seven years. While service members already were authorized to carry weapons as part of specific job responsibilities, the new policy allows them to apply to carry their privately owned firearms “for personal protection not associated with the performance of official duties,” the directive says.

It is interesting that this directive was issued while Obama was still president. Apparently, the Trump victory gave those in charge in the Pentagon the courage to make it happen, knowing that Obama would have no power over them stop it, and knowing that Trump was likely to endorse it.

I remain unsure what kind of president Donald Trump will be. What does seem to be happening is that his victory is empowering a lot of people to defy and push back against the leftwing political culture that has ruled the U.S. since the 1960s in ways I have never seen. Should be an interesting four years.

Judge blocks illegal Obama overtime rule

The law is such an inconvenient thing: A federal judge today blocked an Obama administration rule that tried to unilaterally extend overtime to millions of workers, without any legal basis.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant in Sherman, Texas, agreed with 21 states and a coalition of business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that the rule is unlawful and granted their motion for a nationwide injunction. It was to take effect Dec. 1. The rule would have doubled to $47,500 the maximum salary a worker can earn and still be eligible for mandatory overtime pay.

The states and business groups claimed in lawsuits filed in September that were later consolidated that the drastic increase in the salary threshold was arbitrary. Mazzant, who was appointed by President Obama, held that the rule runs counter to the federal law that governs who is eligible for overtime. The law does not allow the Labor Department to determine eligibility based only on salary levels, Mazzant said.

This behavior by the Obama administration is pretty par for the course. What do they care what the law says? They are wise and educated Ivy-League liberals who know better. They have the right to impose their will on everyone else, without any restrictions.

Democrats look in all the wrong places to explain their losses

The Democratic Party is attempting to analyze the recent election to try to find out what has been causing their significant losses in order to prevent further election defeats and bring about a recovery.

Not surprisingly, they are blaming everything and everybody but their own policies.

Party insiders are reluctant to blame the popular Obama but cite plenty of reasons for the decline. These include a muddled economic message; an overemphasis on emerging demographic groups such as minorities and millennial at the expense of white voters; a perception the party is elitist and aligned with Wall Street; a reluctance to embrace the progressive populism of Senator Bernie Sanders, the former presidential hopeful; and failure to field strong candidates in key states.

There is an emerging consensus, they add, that the party has been too focused on winning national races and has not invested enough in local campaigns, along with a grudging admission that Republicans have done a better job of competing on the ground. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted text above shows how completely divorced from reality this Democratic Party continues to be. Most of the country rejects socialism, and it was the Democratic Party’s increasing tilt towards socialism that is hurting it badly and caused it lose control of almost all the state legislatures nationwide.. Do they recognize this? Absolutely not. Instead they want to become more socialist.

Moreover, most of the other reasons they cite for their losses either blame outside forces (such as Republican efforts to require an ID to vote) or poor messaging. It is never anything they did, such as impose Obamacare and run the government badly.

Moreover, that the Democrats continue to increase their dominance in the big urban areas should not be used by them as a sign that their policies are right. The big urban areas are also generally places with the worst quality of life, the most crime, the worst poverty, and biggest government deficits. Even if the citizens in those places can’t see how badly they are being ruled by Democrats, the rest of the country does. Moreover, it will be impossible for the Democratic Party to recover significantly as long as it relies solely on the voters in these concentrated urban areas. To get the rest of the country to consider them worth voting for again they are going to have to face their own policy failures and change direction. Sadly, I see no evidence that they are going to do this.

Obamacare Medicaid expansion to overwhelm state budgets

Finding out what’s in it: The 24 states that have accepted the Obamacare Medicaid expansion are about to have their budgets overwhelmed by the much larger numbers of enrollments in that program than was expected.

Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion makes working-age adults with no kids and no disabilities eligible for a welfare program that was costly and ineffective long before Obamacare. The 24 states with a year or more of data available expected no more than 5.5 million would ever sign up, but their expansion enrollment is already 11.5 million – more than double its projected all-time maximum.

Alaska, Indiana, Louisiana, and Montana have not yet released a year of enrollment data, but have all reported Obamacare expansion enrollment higher than their expected maximums, FGA vice president of research Jonathan Ingram and FGA senior research fellow Nicholas Horton noted. “Medicaid expansion already makes welfare for able-bodied adults a higher priority than services for the nearly 600,000 seniors, children with developmental disabilities, individuals with brain injuries, and other vulnerable individuals currently languishing on waiting lists for needed Medicaid services,” Ingram and Horton wrote. “Mounting overruns will soon exacerbate pressure on policymakers to shift even more money away from the truly needy and towards ObamaCare’s able-bodied adults.”

Obamacare expansion benefits are 100 percent federally funded through the end of the calendar year, which has shielded states from billions of dollars in cost overruns since expansion took effect in January 2014. That will soon change. If Obamacare remains in place, states will be on the hook for five percent of their rapidly rising Medicaid expansion costs starting in January. And if President-elect Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress fulfill campaign promises to repeal Obamacare, federal funding for Medicaid expansion could be cut off in a matter of months.

On this issue, at least, there is precedent for congressional Republicans sticking to their word. Last January, President Obama vetoed an Obamacare repeal bill that would have ended Medicaid expansion.

Even if Obamacare is not repealed, these states still face serious budget problems because the cost of this program is, like everything else in Obamacare, far higher than predicted. If Obamacare is repealed, then these states face bankruptcy.

IRS denies tea party groups tax-exempt status

Still working for the Democratic Party: After almost seven years of delays and harassment, the IRS today denied several tea party groups their requested tax-exempt status.

The tax agency, under orders from a federal judge, is belatedly tackling the remaining tea party cases that it delayed for years, and so far the tea party isn’t doing well. Only one of the three groups in the case was approved, and the other two, including Albuquerque, got notices of proposed denials last week. The applicants will have a chance to appeal, but the denials aren’t sitting well with the groups, whose attorney said it’s more evidence that the IRS continues to single out the tea party for abuse. “It is clear that we still have an IRS that is corrupt and incapable of self-correction,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice, which represented a number of tea party groups in a case against the tax agency.

The one group that was approved was Unite in Action, a Michigan-based organization that first applied for tax-exempt status more than six years ago. The Albuquerque Tea Party and Tri Cities Tea Party from Washington state were notified of proposed denials.

It seems pretty clear that these denials are finally being issued now because the IRS realizes that in only two months a Republican president will take power and they fear what that president might do. I say good. Every single one of the officials who run the IRS should be fired, as quickly as possible. If Trump is the outsider he claims, he will sweep this very corrupt and partisan agency of all its management.

In fact, this one issue will tell us more about Trump’s real goals than practically anything. If he doesn’t fire the entire management at the IRS, we will know that nothing is really going to change in Washington.

Colorado voters reject single payer Obamacare clone by 80%

Knowing what’s in it: Eighty percent of Colorado voters yesterday soundly rejected a single payer Obamacare clone government health system that would have been funded by a 10% payroll tax.

As the author at the link so nicely puts it:

Allow me to read the tea leaves on this one for a moment. Even the pot smoking, Clinton loving Coloradans can read the writing on the wall if the letters are large enough. The first thing they no doubt noticed was that “free health care” isn’t free at all. It was going to be paid for with a whopping ten percent cut out of all their paychecks. Unless you’re quite well to do, most of you would probably at least notice 10% suddenly disappearing from your income if not winding up crippled by it. So there’s that.

But on a broader palate, this proposal can be easily viewed as the next natural progression beyond Obamacare. The people in Colorado must have access to newspapers or cable news networks is all I can figure. They might have caught wind of how people were losing their doctors, losing their number of available choices in providers, the exchanges around the country were breaking down and their rates were about to go up massively yet again. Having had a taste of all that government medicine goodness might just have put them off their feed when offered an even more government centered plan.

When the Democrats forced Obamacare down our throats in 2010, I said that it more than anything else the left has done in the past century was going discredit their government-run philosophy. It sure appears to be doing exactly that.

IRS harassment of conservatives continues

Working for the Democratic Party: The IRS harassment of conservatives and any opponents of the Democratic Party continues, despite assurances by the Obama administration and IRS head John Koskinen that it has ceased.

The key here is that absolutely no one at the IRS has been punished for this behavior, and in fact, the Obama administration has made it clear that they will reward people for stonewalling the investigations as well as continuing the harassment. The result, which this article details, has been blatant obstruction of justice at all levels at the IRS. Moreover, the harassment tactics have now spread to other government agencies, all dominated by partisan Democrat employees eager to help their party politically.

If Clinton wins the election expect this brutal abuse of power by the federal government to accelerate. And even if she should lose, do not get your hopes up that the abuses will be dealt with by Trump. They are deep, entrenched, and would require a mass clean-out that I doubt Trump would be willing to do.

“This year, my premium is going up 96 percent. Ninety-six percent.”

Finding out what’s in it: Link here. This quote kind of says it all:

When President Obama sold Obamacare to the American people, he promised three things. 1) That we could keep our plans if we liked them. 2) That the new system would offer competition between great options through an Obamacare marketplace, and 3) That our premiums would go down. Not “go up slower” or “go up but eventually go down,” but go down— $2,500 was the figure.

The letter I got last week is a betrayal of every one of those promises. I did not get to keep the plan I liked. The new system does not offer competition between great options through an Obamacare marketplace. And my premiums have gone up more than 150 percent in two years.

This was all predictable and predicted, by many (including me!).

Nor was she alone. Every single prediction by conservatives about Obamacare has proven true. And everything promised by Obama and the Democrats has turned out to be an insulting lie.

But don’t worry. Americans plan to make Hillary Clinton president and give Congress back to the Democrats so that she and the Democrats can use their same dishonest incompetence to fix the mess they themselves created.

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