Saturday, January 11, 2014
William A. Estrada, Director of Federal Relations at HSLDA, spoke with Breitbart News about how Common Core will affect homeschoolers and how his organization is addressing the impact.
“In a nutshell, we’re very concerned about tests like the ACT and SAT being aligned to the Common Core, the potential for colleges and universities to require applicants to have gone through a Common Core-aligned K-12 education, and the danger of homeschool students being included in Common Core databases,” Estrada said.
...Asked how homeschooling families are responding to possible threats to education freedom, Estrada told Breitbart News, “We are fighting alongside public school parents against this takeover of education. Even though homeschoolers and private schools are currently exempt from the Common Core, we know that top down education approaches are bad for children, and bad for freedom.”
"This will be a year of action." —President Obama http://t.co/xyi4WCM3PA— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 11, 2014
◼ Get ready: President Obama calls 2014 a ‘year of action’ - Twitchy
Really? This year? What have the last five been? RT @BarackObama: "This will be a year of action." —President Obama— S.M (@redsteeze) January 11, 2014
Really? This year? What have the last five been? RT @BarackObama: "This will be a year of action." —President Obama— S.M (@redsteeze) January 11, 2014
◼ Today marks the 25th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s farewell address to the nation. - Breitbart
Over the course of twenty minutes, President Reagan artfully reminds us why America is exceptional and a role model for the rest of the world. Reagan’s optimism has taught me that he will not be the last leader of his kind. Anyone considering a run for president in the future - from either party I might add - should watch this speech and then take some time to ponder what’s sadly happened to the American presidency.
The condition America will be left in by our current president will be very similar to the state of America in 1980. In the speech, President Reagan states of his eight years in office, “I think we have stopped a lot of what needed stopping.” In 2017, whoever the next president is will need to do a lot of stopping. The size and scope of our government is out of control and as a result it is failing at every turn. Reagan went on to say that “man is not free unless government is limited. There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.”
It seems history is repeating itself, as so many Americans – myself included – feel that our God-given liberty is being stolen from us by a government run amok under the control of a president who ignores the Constitution.
McCurdy told TheBlaze he began the process in October and completed it on Dec. 23 — or so he thought. It turns out, only he and his wife are currently insured, not his four children, due to a snafu that appears to have originated on the federal end.... For now, McCurdy told TheBlaze he an his wife are “reluctantly applying through our local Jobs and Family Services office for the Medicaid for the kids.”
◼ ObamaCare Forced Mom Into Medicaid: My mother preferred to pay for her care rather than be on the government dole. Now she has no choice.
◼ Washington Has Enrolled Almost Nine Times as Many People in Medicaid as in Private Plans - National Review
◼ ObamaCare created a Medicaid time bomb - New York Post
◼ link - Andrew Malcolm/IBD
◼ Why America Is Headed Toward Bankruptcy In 13 Terrifying Quotes
...America doesn’t have to go bankrupt and it wouldn't if the American people were to rise up and demand serious action, but sadly, most Americans are too intimidated by the size and scope of the problem to demand major changes to the irresponsible way the government does business. Without the American people insisting that Congress move, the Republicans have shown that they're not serious about dealing with the deficit and the Democrats remain so intent on increasing spending that they wouldn't be behaving much differently if their goal was to create a debt-driven economic collapse....
Friday, January 10, 2014
◼ I’m not going to hold my breath waiting. Because in the current American political environment, liberalism and authoritarianism are synonymous. - John Hayward/Red State @Doc_o
A few days ago, I was chatting with a friend of liberal persuasion about the cult-classic TV series ◼ “Firefly” – which, particularly in its concluding theatrical film, is one of pop culture’s strongest parables about libertarianism and rebellion against authority. If you’re unfamiliar with the show, it was a science-fiction program about a space-faring band of lovable rogues, some of whom fought in a losing rebellion against their totalitarian government. The rebels were known as “Browncoats,” which also became a nickname for fans of the show.
My liberal friend, noting that the creator of “Firefly,” Joss Whedon, is outspokenly of the Left himself, suggested that perhaps liberal and conservative anti-authoritarians might have more common ground than they realize. It’s an interesting common ground upon which to begin a dialogue. If we agree on reducing the level of authority over our lives, surely we could set aside some of our differences over why we “aim to misbehave,” to borrow a memorable “Firefly” quote. Or, at the very least, we could agree that we don’t want any more authoritarian control, regardless of whether the prospective tyrants claim they would use their new power for causes of the Left or Right.
I’ll be more than happy to join in that dialogue, just as soon as someone points me at the liberal Browncoats. I’m not going to hold my breath waiting. Because in the current American political environment, liberalism and authoritarianism are synonymous. Nothing about the Left’s agenda is a suggestion. Obedience is mandatory, and escape is impossible. When a person of liberal inclination loses interest in using compulsive force, he stops being liberal, under the current definitions of the term....
Many of the people who identify themselves as “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” are essentially saying that they believe social issues should be topics of discussion, rather than matters of compulsive obedience. ”Keep the Democrats out of our wallets, and the Republicans out of our bedrooms,” as another friend of mine is wont to put it.
But in case you haven’t noticed, the Democrats are in our bedrooms now, too. They’ve got a past-due bill for other peoples’ contraceptives they expect you to pay, and they don’t want to hear about your religious conscience. The fashionable new argument that refusing to subsidize something equals “denying access” is inherently compulsive. You’re not allowed to refuse, no matter what, because the elites have decided what its good for us, and everyone is required to accept their decision. If that’s not “authoritarianism,” I don’t know what is....
Ultimately, the 2014 battle for the Senate, which Democrats now hold 55-45, is close. It will be an enormous shock if Republicans do not gain seats and at least reduce the margin of Democratic control. If the GOP can restrain its cannibalistic instincts and tendency to nominate flawed candidates, then to retake the Senate it need only match the post-World War II average gain of six seats for the party out of power in the White House in the sixth year of two-term administrations. At this point, I’d set the over/under on Republican gains in the Senate at 3.5, and I’d take the over—meaning a net gain of four or more Senate seats for the GOP. If Republicans end up dipping under, they will have had their third consecutive underperformance in Senate contests. On the contrary, if even a modest-sized wave develops for Republicans next fall, the third time could be the charm for the GOP’s goal of a Senate takeover.
The ebb and flow of politics is one of the few constants throughout American history, and 2014 will be no exception. The GOP fared well in 2002 and 2004, then it was the Democrats’ turn in 2006 and 2008. Since then, the back-and-forth cycle has speeded up, with Republicans winning handsomely in 2010 and Democrats in 2012. In the quick “surge and decline” politics of our highly polarized era, the early bet has to be on Republicans to do well in 2014—despite themselves.
◼ “Republicans have the advantage in taking back the Senate” - NRSC
You can go into a store in Colorado and buy marijuana to get stoned for kicks, but you cannot purchase a 40- or 60-watt light bulb
This is the state of affairs in America after five years of President Obama’s liberalism, which has misguided the public on what are the actual dangers to society....
...Cully Stimson was a prosecutor in drug court in San Diego and has served as a military trial judge.... “Nothing positive will come out of it,” he stated. “You’re going to have lower test scores and a class of people who are unemployable because they are stoned all the time. People are going to die on ski slopes, on the roads.”
The think tank expert further explained, “Countries that have legalized marijuana have experienced negative social effects. They’ve seen more dependency — marijuana is highly addictive and a gateway to harder drugs — and more crime and a bigger black market because the drug cartels undercut legal sellers and also target youth.”
When it comes to Chris Christie and Bridgegate, there is, as National Journal points out, a lot of “he’s getting what he deserves” attitude among Republicans.
I get that. Christie likes to stick his finger in other Republicans’ eyes. He unfairly demonized Republicans upset that the Sandy Relief bill was stuffed with unrelated pork.
Christie’s figurative wet, sloppy tongue kiss with Obama just before the election was dispiriting (and gross!).
I get all that, and I can’t really blame people for enjoying watching him twist in the liberal media windstorm, as they seek to take him out of the 2016 race.
This is not about Chris Christie. It’s about any number of other Republican candidates who will be met with the same faux-outrage and media-led obsession a year from now as the 2016 field begins to define itself.
Don’t feed the beast.
FYI, Chris Christie has received more scrutiny in the last two days than Obama has ever.— RB (@RBPundit) January 10, 2014
◼ There's Already 17 Times More Coverage on Christie Scandal Than in Last Six Months of IRS - Newsbusters
In less than 24 hours, the big three networks have devoted 17 times more coverage to a traffic scandal involving Chris Christie than they've allowed in the last six months to Barack Obama's Internal Revenue Service controversy....
Since Wednesday night, NBC included six reports over 14 minutes and 14 seconds. CBS devoted five reports over 12 minutes and 27 seconds. ABC managed 4 stories over seven minutes and 47 seconds.
As a comparison over the last six months, NBC featured a scant five seconds on updating the IRS story. CBS responded with a minute and 41 seconds. ABC produced a meager 22 seconds.
◼ Nets give 'Bridgegate' 17 times more coverage in 1 day than IRS scandal in 6 months - Paul Bedard/Washington Examiner
◼ ‘Disgrace to journalism’: David Gregory asks horrifically stupid Christie question - Twitchy
GOOD NEWS, YOU GUYS! @DavidGregory is slowly starting to learn how to question authority again.— RB (@RBPundit) January 9, 2014
I'll take "Questions I Don't Recall David Gregory Asking at the Start of the IRS Scandal" for $400, Alex: https://t.co/mRaZMLo3Va— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) January 9, 2014
Hey, @DavidGregory, I'm looking, but I can't find the tweet where you say the burden is on Obama RE: IRS abuse. Can you link it? Thanks.— RB (@RBPundit) January 9, 2014
Its unbelievable how they are pushing this http://t.co/gPvfskWU2l I have never seen anything this bankrupt of thought in my field— Joe Bastardi (@BigJoeBastardi) January 10, 2014
Its as if they believe if they tell a big enough lie, or keep saying their trash about how agw causes cold, its actually true. It delusional— Joe Bastardi (@BigJoeBastardi) January 10, 2014
◼ It’s as if they’re back to “global cooling” but have sold “warming” for so long they’ve got to convince people the cold is hot, or something. - Twitchy
◼ False alarm: First responders exempt from Obamacare employer calculations, Treasury says - Tom Howell Jr./Washington Times
◼ One in five Democrats now opposes ObamaCare, a record high, according to the latest IBD/TIPP Poll. And more than one in six Democrats now say they want it repealed, another new high. - IBD
◼ A polar vortex of “unexpected” failure sends icy winds of pathetic job growth and workforce collapse howling through the December jobs report... - John Hayward/Human Events @Doc_o
The real problem here is the still-dismaying number of people who insist on looking for work. Knock it off, you guys, and drop out of the workforce already. You’re making President Obama look bad.
◼ People Not In Labor Force Soar To Record 91.8 Million; Participation Rate Plunges To 1978 Levels - Zerohedge
◼ Record Number of Women Not In Labor Force - CNS News
◼ Sessions: 'For Every One Job Added, Nearly 5 People Left the Workforce' - Weekly Standard
◼ Labor force participation rate, welcome back to 1978 - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin
◼ MEDIA AGAIN HUMILIATED AFTER HYPING UNRELIABLE ADP JOBS NUMBERS - John Nolte/Breibart
More terrible economic news hit the struggling American people today when the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that only 74,000 jobs were created in December, the fewest number in five years. The unemployment rate dropped from 7% to 6.7%, but that is due only to the disheartening fact that 525,000 of the unemployed stopped looking for work. As a result, the labor force participation rate dropped to its lowest point since 1978. Still, President Obama enjoyed a week of celebratory news about job creation thanks to our objective, unbiased, not-at-all liberal media once again hyping the notoriously unreliable jobs report from ADP. The result of this, naturally, is to give Obama a couple of good news cycles, but to do so based on numbers the media know are frequently wrong and just as frequently overstate the number of jobs created.
Today's BLS jobs report -- the real jobs report -- is unqualified in its awfulness. And yet...
◼ El-Erian to Bloomberg TV: Jobs Data Between Puzzling and Worrisome - Investment Watch
“It is very surprising. It is somewhere between puzzling and worrisome. Puzzling because it is such a strange number – the 74,000 jobs that were created — even if you add in the revisions from last month. It is still half of what consensus was, and it is inconsistent with lots of other data. But it is also worrisome and I think we have to remember that. Because if you look within the report, you get some pretty worrisome things in terms of what is happening to labor participation. We’re back to levels that we haven’t seen since February ’78. Long-term unemployment still stuck 37%. So we’re going to learn a lot more about what is the impact of the weather, how much of this is real, how much of this is temporary. It is a shocker, to put it mildly.”
For libertarians, it is often frustrating to explain that advocating the decriminalization of x is not synonymous with endorsing x.
...If libertarian ideas are winning the day, as some of those pundits insist, then government’s getting out of the “legislating morality” business should cut both ways. The state’s decriminalizing of an activity or substance doesn’t transform that activity or substance into a moral, healthy or admirable one. And libertarians don’t have to act as if it does. You can celebrate the fact that people are free without celebrating all the dumb things those people do with their freedoms.
Like, for instance, standing in line for five hours to buy a dime bag.
“Poverty has of late become a subject of concern in both political parties.” The inequality business is booming. Obscene wealth is unfashionable. Poverty is “in.”
Politics, like fashion, is a matter of whims, of fast-changing impulses, of consensus that has all the staying power of New England weather. In fashion as in politics one must know which clothes to wear, which opinions to have in hand. A commonly accepted accessory, like a commonly accepted opinion, is a badge of membership in the tribe. The wrong choice, the sartorial misstep, the injudicious comment mark one as an outlier, out of sync with his environment, disconnected from the currents of opinion that govern the world....
Today that sense has given us a politics of poverty, inequality, and social justice, and has launched political celebrities such as de Blasio and Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama. But fashion is fickle. Trends vanish. And the next fad might not fit the New York Times’ definition of haute politique.
◼ Pinch’s Poverty Chic - Ed Driscoll/PJMedia
"After picking the pockets and balancing California's budget on the backs of hardworking taxpayers through the largest tax increase in state history, Gov. Brown this morning declared all of California's problems magically solved”
“It must be nice to view the state's problems through such rose-colored lenses. The reality is, a magnitude of problems still face California. The governor's surplus is a myth. It will be short-lived, as businesses flee the state to escape Prop. 30.”
Brown on Thursday morning unveiled a $155-billion budget proposal that would increase general fund spending by more than 8%, to $106.8 billion. With his administration projecting a $4.2-billion surplus at the end of June, Brown called for setting up a $1.6-billion rainy-day reserve fund, and for paying down $11 billion of the state’s debt. The proposal calls for a $10-billion infusion into schools and community colleges to make up for years of cutbacks, $1 billion in new money for higher education to ward off new tuition increases, and $670 million more for the state’s public healthcare system to deal with new enrollees because of the federal healthcare overhaul.
Donnelly faulted the plan for failing to tackle the state $218-billion unfunded pension liability, for including billions of dollars of new spending, for proposing to make it easier for cities to raise taxes and for shifting money to the high-speed rail proposal.
“The real bottom line: The fiscal outlook for millions of Californians isn't as rosy as Jerry Brown would have you believe," Donnelly said.
◼ Brown's GOP opponents respond to budget proposalv - UT San Diego
"...not a single penny" is dedicated to tax incentives or tax credits to lure people back to California.
"We're seeing people literally get a U-Haul and leave California, and he's spending money like it's 1999," (Donnelly) said.
◼ Jerry Brown's $107 billion California spending plan leaked - SF Chronicle
◼ And well he should. - Ed Morrissey/HotAir
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber sat down with KATU for an interview, which he had to know would focus on the disastrous rollout of Cover Oregon, a failure which has already claimed at least one top-ranking official’s job. Kitzhaber now acknowledges that the Cover Oregon website won’t be functioning in the foreseeable future, and now claims that the website rollout was supposed to be a two-year project, which may come as news to Oregonians who are being forced to enroll in ObamaCare now....
If it’s any consolation to Kitzhaber, Oregon’s not the only place with ObamaCare woes, although the incompetence may be worse there than even in the federal system. One major insurer warned that their demographic mix on enrollments nationwide will be worse than projected...
On this day in history, January 10, 1874, Republican Congressman Richard Harvey Cain delivered a speech in favor of the Civil Rights Bill of 1875 on the floor of the House.
Congressman Cain represented South Carolina's 2nd district. During his speech Cain said, "We come here clothed in the garb of American citizenship. We come demanding our rights in the name of justice. We come, with no arrogance on our part, asking that this great nation, which laid the foundations of civilization and progress more deeply and more securely than any other nation on the face of the earth, to guarantee us protection from outrage. And inasmuch as we have been raised to the dignity, to the honor, to the position of our manhood, we ask that the laws of this country should guarantee all the rights and immunities belonging to that proud position, to be enforced all over this broad land." ◼ ReFounders shared Black History, the GOP, and a Conversation's photo.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
While the Education Department is cutting off minority and low-income access to these critical skills, President Obama is playing lip service to creating more opportunities
In yet another cycle of what’s good for the government goose is not good for you, President Obama’s Department of Education proposes rules for private-sector colleges that his own education at Harvard Law would fail to meet.
The new leaner and meaner rules require that students graduate with less than 12% debt-to-income ratio or debt-to-discretionary-income ratio lower than 30%....
Harvard Law fails to meet the new rules. Yet the rules wouldn’t impact Harvard – instead the rules would impact all the private for-profit colleges that help millions of minority and low-income Americans earn a college degree and work toward a better life. At four-year non-profit and public institutions, like Harvard, just 21 percent of graduates are black – compared with 28 percent of graduates at for-profit colleges and universities.
In total, a million students’ programs will be impacted by the new regulation, causing a third to half of students to leave the college system:
“Of those affected, some 300,000 to 500,000 individuals would likely leave the system of post-secondary education entirely. Many of these students are from lower income and minority groups.”
...But, while the Education Department is cutting off minority and low-income access to these critical skills, President Obama is playing lip service to creating more opportunities:
“The idea that so many children are born into poverty in the wealthiest nation on Earth is heartbreaking enough,” Obama said. “But the idea that a child may never be able to escape that poverty because she lacks a decent education or health care or a community that views her future as their own — that should offend all of us.”Is it really any wonder then that 53% of Americans do not view President Obama as “honest or trustworthy?” Is this the turning point where America will start to rebel against the Liberals’ “We know best” policies? Perhaps, but it may be too late for millions of aspirational students.
“The unions are free to push whatever agenda they please,” says (Grade school teacher Rebecca) Friedrichs. “I have no problem with that, but I do have a problem with them taking my money to push an agenda with which I do not agree.”
When they passed Prop. 30, they promised the $60 billion tax increase would be "temporary." Now, if some politicians have their way, it might not be so temporary after all.
◼ As California begins to see budget surpluses in the wake of a 2012 statewide tax increase, state schools chief Tom Torlakson is already calling for an extension of Proposition 30 beyond its full expiration in 2018. - Diana Lambert/Sacramento Bee
Torlakson's remarks came just as reporters obtained Brown's budget proposal, which calls for spending $6.3 billion more on K-12 schools and community colleges in 2014-15 beyond what had been dedicated for this school year. Much of that new money will go toward low-income students and English-language learners.
◼ Gov. Jerry Brown to propose billions in new spending - LA Times
When he unveils his new budget plan Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown will propose billions of dollars in new spending on schools, healthcare, social services and environmental programs as California reaps the benefits of an economic turnaround.
The governor's $155-billion blueprint would increase general-fund spending by more than 8%, to $106.8 billion. Brown also wants to repay $11 billion in debts incurred during years of state financial crisis, and he would stash $1.6 billion in a reserve fund as a buffer against future economic turmoil.
"Wisdom and prudence should be the order of the day," Brown wrote in an introductory message to his 271-page plan, which was leaked ahead of his official announcement, originally scheduled for Friday.
◼ Maldonado, eyeing governor's post, slams Brown budget on jobs, taxes - LA Times
"Too many Californians are suffering today because our state’s economy is lagging so badly," Maldonado said in a statement. "Jerry Brown’s budget proposal does little to help our state create the jobs needed so that Californians can continue to live here and not have to look beyond our borders for economic opportunity. It leaves in place the nation’s highest income and sales tax rates. There is no meaningful reform of a byzantine tax system."
◼ CA GOP Leadership Responds To Governor's Budget
◼ The Governor released his proposed budget today - and Republicans warn the Democrats that increased revenue doesn't mean we have a "surplus" and that they shouldn't ignore the reality of California's massive debt. - CaGOP
◼ Tim Donnelly’s Statement on Governor Brown’s Budget Release
◼ Maldonado responds to Jerry Brown's proposed California State Budget
◼ The Hand of God is an example of pareidolia, the psychological phenomenon of perceiving familiar shapes in random or vague images. Other common forms of pareidolia include seeing animals or faces in clouds, or the man in the moon. Despite its supernatural appearance, the Hand of God was produced by natural astrophysical phenomena.
Assembly GOP Leader Connie Conway:
“While the budget is out sooner than the Governor planned, it gives us more time to review the fine print. I hope that Gov. Brown is successful in convincing his fellow Democrats to resist the urge to spend away any fiscal progress the state has made. We’ve been down this road before and I’d strongly caution my legislative friends across the aisle from traveling it again. In the not-so-distant past, California has seen unexpected revenue spikes that have evaporated overnight – quickly turning modest surpluses into enormous deficits.
“Now is the time to tackle the wall of debt, avoid the budget mistakes of the past and invest in our future so that our economy grows. The Governor sounds receptive to those ideas and Assembly Republicans stand ready to work in good faith to achieve those goals.”
Senate GOP Leader Bob Huff:
“The big question is, can the Governor hold strong against the spending demands made by his fellow Democrats. Judging by the way they want to spend money, you’d think California was booming. Sadly, that’s not the case. Our unemployment rate is still among the highest in the country and that’s not acceptable. Ramping up state spending before making sure we’re on solid fiscal ground is a recipe for disaster. What’s the good of building up programs only to tear them down in a couple of years? We’ve seen this movie before, and it doesn’t have a happy ending.”
◼ Tim Donnelly’s Statement on Governor Brown’s Budget Release
“After picking the pockets and balancing California’s budget on the backs of hardworking taxpayers through the largest Tax increase in State history, Governor Brown this morning declared all of California’s problems magically solved. It must be nice to view the State’s problems through such rose-colored lenses. The reality is, a magnitude of problems still face California.
“The Governor’s surplus is a myth. It will be short-lived, as businesses flee the state to escape Prop. 30. This so-called surplus is largely due to a one-time Tax increase bailout – this is no long-term solution.
“There are several flaws with today’s Budget proposal...
◼ Maldonado responds to Jerry Brown's proposed California State Budget
Brown budget leaves in place some of the nation's highest taxes, undermines Proposition 13, and offers no reforms to the state's byzantine tax system
Jon Coupal on Jerry Brown's proposed budget: "However, it is what the Governor did not say that concerns us. CalSTRS huge unfunded liability continues to harm California’s financial health and a massive shortfall in the unemployment insurance fund will stunt job growth."
Opponents say the government already has money that is set aside for road repairs, and they question raising more fees.
"We do have potholes, we do have infrastructure problems, but we must demand that Sacramento make better use of those significant dollars that we already provide," said Vosburgh.
The last time the Vehicle License Fee went up, the backlash led to the recall of Governor Gray Davis.
They say, as California goes, so goes the nation. It’s a haunting thought. In his new book, “Taxifornia: Liberals’ Laboratory to Bankrupt America,” former Dana Point Councilman James V. Lacy paints a troubling picture of California as an overregulated, one-party state that operates at the behest of public-sector unions.
The book is the latest in a long line of recent texts chronicling the downward spiral that has befallen the Golden State and certainly doesn’t pull any punches. At 256 pages, the book is a quick read but a trying task for those who care about the state.
“I personally think that it’s tragic that the issue of the whole American project in Iraq is now becoming a ball in relations to the party politics within D.C.,” the ambassador said. “I don’t think it’s beneficial for the United States. It’s definitely not beneficial for Iraq to become a tool in Republican versus Democrat or whomever. “This is not helpful for U.S. security, it is not helpful for us, it is not helpful for the region.”
Asked whether the White House could do more to facilitate a tighter relationship with Iraq, Mr. Faily said, “to a certain extent they can. But we are no longer in a period in which we had President Bush, who took ownership of that relationship.”
...Add this to all the other scandals of the Obama administration and it makes one wonder how many other attempts were made to keep the truth of the Obamacare debacle away from the public in order to protect vulnerable Democrats like Udall in the 2014 election.
◼ From an email inside the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), Director of External Affairs Jo Donlin bluntly stated to her colleagues: - Complete Colorado
Sen. Udall says our numbers were wrong. They are not wrong. Cancellation notices affected 249,199 people. They want to trash our numbers. I’m holding strong while we get more details. Many have already done early renewals. Regardless, they received cancellation notices.
Patriotic & Responsible: Desert Tactical Arms Gun Company Turns Down $15M Obama Admin Contract For Arms To Pakistan
Not sure which is the bigger story to debate: The fact that this company is making a courageous choice to turn down a lucrative contract in favor of doing the right thing—OR the fact that the Obama Administration is seeking a taxpayer funded contract to arm our enemies?
◼ Rubio on Poverty and the Welfare State - Yuval Levin/National Review Online
Rubio offers a great example of how conservatives should be thinking about poverty in America, and about the conceptual perversity and (resulting) practical inadequacy of our vast array of anti-poverty programs. And he helps us also to see how the Democrats’ misguided emphasis on inequality as the core of that problem opens up real opportunities for Republicans to lay out for the country their vision of the American Dream, and their agenda for helping more Americans achieve it.
◼ Obama backfires, gun sales in 2013 smash all records - Emily Miller/Washington Times
One year ago this month, President Obama announced that radical gun control was the top of his agenda for his second term.
Although he failed to get any of the gun bans or government registrations passed on the federal level, he was successful in one area. His actions convinced millions of Americans to buy more firearms than any time in history.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
CNN HOST GRILLS WASSERMAN-SCHULTZ: WHY DO YOU BELIEVE OBAMA’S DENIAL OF SCANDAL KNOWLEDGE BUT NOT CHRISTIE’S?
◼ Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) faced tough questioning on CNN Wednesday night, with host Don Lemon asking her why she believes President Barack Obama’s denial of knowledge regarding scandals, but not Gov. Chris Christie’s. - The Blaze
Lemon then asked the DNC chair why she took Obama’s word for not being aware of the scandals that have plagued his administration, but not Christie’s.
“…what’s the difference between Christie not knowing at the president not knowing?”
“He didn’t know about the NSA spying on allies, he didn’t know about the Obamacare website, he didn’t know that you wouldn’t be able to keep your doctor, so what’s the difference between Christie not knowing at the president not knowing?” Lemon asked.
“The difference is the issue that President Obama said he didn’t know about were policy issues, this is a scandal,” she responded, dismissing the comparison.
Maureen Mooney told the Granite Status the Affordable Care Act was "by far the dominant issue" in what she said was a 19-minute the survey....She said she was asked twice to assess Shaheen and Brown, and was asked to assess Shaheen after being told that the senator supported the Affordable Care Act "because of 'X, Y and Z.'"...
◼ This… does not sound like Senator Jeanne Shaheen is unconcerned about her re-election prospects - Red State
That’s pretty significant; it suggests that the Democratic Senator is getting hammered in popular opinion over Obamacare – big shock, that – and is trying to find some magic spell framing that will neutralize the damage....
Seriously, this is a little odd. Shaheen has been enjoying a healthy lead over her likely opponents lately, albeit one where she’s hovering just around 50%. It’s starting to look like Obamacare may be a bit more literally corrosive to Democratic electoral prospects than the Democrats might care to admit...
It’s understandable why Democrats would feel embarrassed about unemployment. Employers are cutting jobs, reducing hours, and lowering wages as a direct result of the Obamacare mandates and taxes. Instead of putting out the fire that they set, Democrats have decided to distract our attention by offering band aids for the economic burns in the form of unprecedented long-term unemployment benefits.
Typically, the Unemployment Insurance program lasts for 26 weeks of unemployment with an additional 13 weeks during recessions. Most of the cost is purveyed by employer payroll taxes. Since 2008, however, Congress has funded Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits for up to 99 weeks of unemployment.
As part of the fiscal cliff deal, they extended benefits for up to 73 weeks. In total, extended unemployment benefits have been renewed 11 times since 2008. Over the past 5 years, the federal government has collected roughly $240 billion in federal unemployment payroll taxes, while paying out about $600 billion in benefits. We are already in uncharted waters and dangerously close to creating another permanent entitlement program.
◼ Democrat incumbent Mike McIntyre announces retirement in vulnerable Congressional district (NC-7) - Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion
◼ Congressional Exodus Grows: Two House Dems Call It Quits - WPRO
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, a nine-term Democrat from New York, and Rep. Mike McIntyre, a nine-term Democrat from North Carolina, both announced Wednesday that they have had enough.
A federal judge on Monday stripped away a key element of Chicago's gun ordinance, ruling that it is unconstitutional to prohibit licensed gun stores from operating in the city.
...U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang found that the city failed to convince him that banning the sale of guns by licensed dealers was necessary to reduce gun violence.
The ruling also would make it legal for individuals to transfer ownership of a firearm as a gift or through a private sale as long as the recipient was at least 18 and had a firearm owner's identification card.
Chicago, the last city to allow residents to have handguns in their homes, once had one of the strongest handgun crackdowns in the country, making it a primary target of the National Rifle Association.
Overturning the ban on retail gun stores and private gun sales was the last major hurdle gun rights groups faced in their hard-fought battle to dismantle Chicago's tough firearm prohibitions.
The latest court ruling in the long legal fight came one day after Illinois, the last state to approve a concealed carry law, began accepting applications from residents who want to carry concealed firearms in public.
Gov. Jindal: “The Department of Justice proposal reeks of federal government intrusion and proves the people in Washington running our federal government are more interested in skin color than they are in education.”
...“President Obama’s Department of Justice is continuing its attempt to red-tape and regulate the Louisiana Scholarship Program to death,” Gov. Bobby Jindal (R.) said in a statement. “The department’s request for a 45-day review period for every scholarship award shows the Justice Department believes bureaucrats in Washington know better than Louisiana parents.”
The DOJ has been suing Louisiana since August, first seeking a permanent injunction against the program on the grounds that it “impedes desegregation.” The DOJ has since dropped its injunction request, but is still demanding federal oversight of the program to ensure the “racial balance” of public schools are not disturbed....
The DOJ is also requesting Brumfield compliance forms and applications for private schools, which includes the “student enrollment, by race, at the school for the current school year.”
Jindal said asking for the racial composition of all private school students is “frightening.”
“I am also shocked to learn that the Justice Department is now asking for the state to provide an analysis of the racial composition of our state’s private schools,” he said. “The federal government’s new request is a frightening overreach of the federal government and shows it knows no bounds.”
◼ 3 Reasons Why the Radical Anti-Discipline Policies at DOJ Will Outlast the Obama Era - J. Christian Adams/PJ Media
"Sold on a lie, cloaked in deception and passed on a trick just this side of legal, [Obamacare] is not merely an outlier but also an outlaw in the legislative history of our republic. It deserves no respect, gets none from the public and therefore can't last very long."
...Fans of the law say it was passed fair and square by both houses of Congress, declared constitutional by the high court of the country and reaffirmed by President Obama's election in 2012. Of these things, only the second is accurate, as polls now make clear that Obama would not have won in 2012 had people known what was in his pet project -- and pains were taken to ensure this was so.
The bill was designed so as not to unfold for three years after passage, and news of its contents was largely suppressed. As the Washington Post reported Dec. 14, key parts of the plan were delayed for a year for political reasons, so no word of them would get out to the public until the election was over. (Can't let the voters know what they're voting on.) And then there's the fact that Obama lied at least 29 times when he told the people they could keep their plans and their doctors, which he certainly knew wasn't true.
As for Congress, the law was in fact passed by both of its houses, but "fair and square" hardly describes it....
◼ Bipartisan duo wants to cut NSA's utilities, ban research at state schools and impose sanctions on contractors - US News & World Report
A bipartisan team of California state senators introduced legislation Monday that would prohibit the state and its localities from providing "material support" to the National Security Agency.
If the bill becomes law, it would deny NSA facilities access to water and electricity from public utilities, impose sanctions on companies trying to fill the resulting void and outlaw NSA research partnerships with state universities.
Companies with state contracts also would be banned from working with the NSA.
"I agree with the NSA that the world is a dangerous place," state Sen. Ted Lieu, the bill's Democratic co-author, said in a statement. "That is why our founders enacted the Bill of Rights. They understood the grave dangers of an out-of-control federal government."
Lieu said the NSA's surveillance programs pose "a clear and present danger to our liberties."
"The last time the federal government massively violated the U.S. Constitution," he said, "over 100,000 innocent Americans were rounded up and interned."
...The California bill would specifically ban the state and its political subdivisions from "[p]roviding material support, participation or assistance in any form to a federal agency that claims the power, by virtue of any federal law, rule, regulation or order, to collect electronic data or metadata of any person pursuant to any action not based on a warrant that particularly describes the person, place and thing to be searched or seized."
◼ STATES TO NSA: GET A WARRANT - Bob Unruh/World Net Daily
...The newly revealed practices of the NSA to monitor all telephone calls made by American citizens could even be found in violation of the Missouri state constitution.
According to the Tenth Amendment Center, lawmakers in Missouri are proposing to amend their state constitution. Their plan would add “and electronic communications and data” to the provision that provides privacy and security for residents.
If changed by voters, it would read: “That the people shall be secure in their persons, papers, homes [and], effects, and electronic communications and data, from unreasonable searches and seizures; and no warrant to search any place, or seize any person or thing, or access electronic data or communication, shall issue without describing the place to be searched, or the person or thing to be seized, or the data or communication to be accessed, as nearly as may be; nor without probable cause, supported by written oath or affirmation.”
The Joint Resolution, pending before the state Senate, proposes allowing Missouri voters to decide next November whether or not to amend their constitution....
The Tenth Amendment Center noted Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward announced recently she was introducing an even broader bill to deny material support to the NSA in the Grand Canyon State.
That effort fits into a campaign by Offnow.org, which encourages states to not allow the physical services that the NSA needs to operate.
For example, regarding a new NSA facility in Utah, the campaign notes the new data center, “a massive spy complex, requires 1.7 million gallons over water every single day to operate.”
“Those massive supercomputers monitoring your personal information are water-cooled. They can’t function without the resources to keep them at operating temperature. That water is scheduled to be provided by the Jordan Valley River Conservancy District, ‘a political subdivision of the state of Utah.’
“Because of this, a state law can be passed banning this partnership. In short, they can turn the water off,” the group said.
The Tenth Amendment Center said other states have related moves in under way.
t. Joseph Health officials said they looked into closing the ward because it has struggled to obtain and retain new physicians.
Stephanie Stone, a certified nurse midwife at Redwood Women's Center, said she was delighted at the news.
”It was the right decision, and the community is overjoyed about it,” Stone said. “It means everything to us.”
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
◼ Frozen in time: Michigan lighthouses transformed into stunning giant icicles after being frozen solid by storm - Daily Mail (UK)
◼ The Windy City frozen solid! Stunning images of Chicago reveal the devastating effect of the polar vortex's -62F temperatures - Daily Mail (UK)
The Midwest and the East were colder than much of Antarctica on Tuesday
Around 70 daily record lows expected to be broken on Tuesday
Almost 1,200 flights were canceled at Chicago's two airports on Tuesday
The windchill in Comertown, Montana made it feel as low as -62°F
In New York City, Central Park was 5F, coldest January 7 since 1896
Almost 1,200 flights canceled at Chicago's two airports on Tuesday
Further travel disruptions are expected and schools closures are still in effect
Experts have called the temperatures and freezing winds 'dangerous and life threatening' - warning that skin can freeze in just ten minutes in wind chills of minus 50
Coldest day on record: Men huddle around a fire on February 9, 1934 when the temperature sank to 15 degrees below zero - the coldest ever temperature recorded in New York City
◼ You think THIS is cold? Black-and-white photographs reveal New Yorkers battling sub-zero temperatures through the decades - including city's coldest ever day in 1934 - Daily Mail (UK)
Fast and Furious http://t.co/K4WKqlNl9F— Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) January 8, 2014
Obama’s former Secretary of Defense is coming out with a book that portrays Obama, correctly so, as a pathetic, incompetent, craven commander-in-chief
Obama’s ability to push his lies on America is being repeatedly challenged. What do you folks think about Gates blowing the whistle on him? Should Gates have resigned when he realized he was serving a political hack?
◼ Robert Gates, former defense secretary, offers harsh critique of Obama’s leadership in ‘Duty’ - Bob Woodward/Washington Post
It is rare for a former Cabinet member, let alone a defense secretary occupying a central position in the chain of command, to publish such an antagonistic portrait of a sitting president....
The sometimes bitter tone in Gates’s 594-page account contrasts sharply with the even-tempered image that he cultivated during his many years of government service, including stints at the CIA and National Security Council. That image endured through his nearly five years in the Pentagon’s top job, beginning in President George W. Bush’s second term and continuing after Obama asked him to remain in the post. In “Duty,” Gates describes his outwardly calm demeanor as a facade. Underneath, he writes, he was frequently “seething” and “running out of patience on multiple fronts.”
The book, published by Knopf, is scheduled for release Jan. 14. - Kindle, Hardcover, and Audiobook
◼ Former Senator Jon Kyl On The Revelations Found In Former SecDef Bob Gates’ Memoir, Duty - Hugh Hewitt
Bob Gates is a very principled man. And he’s a very civil person. He believes deeply in what’s good for the country. And it bothers such people to see the low brow, uncivil, political kinds of decision making that occur in Washington, especially at the very top. And I’m sure that finally got to him.
◼ KRAUTHAMMER: GATES BOOK REVELATIONS 'AN INDICTMENT' THAT RISES ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE OBAMA HAS DONE
... “He now has the lowest public approval of any war in modern history because it had no leadership. But I think this is a shocking revelation. I assumed that he didn't believe in this war from his own actions. But here's from somebody sitting with the president three months in. And I do think this is an indictment of the president that rises above everything else he's done in his presidency.”
◼ Book review: ‘Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War’ by Robert M. Gates - Greg Jaffe/Washington Post
◼ BRIT HUME: GATES REVELATIONS ‘DAMNING CRITICISM’ FOR OBAMA
Pacific Grove is going broke, and the story of how the city got to the edge of financial disaster is a story of corruption and power, hidden from public scrutiny or independent expert analysis. It is a story about public sector unions, powerful financial interests, and complicit city management, working together to fleece taxpayers and enrich themselves, heedless of rising debt or the inevitable ruinous consequences.
Part 1 of 7: Pacific Grove is a quiet town of 15,000 residents located on the northern tip of the Monterey peninsula, with the larger resort town of Monterey to the east, and Pebble Beach to the west... Pacific Grove is an idyllic place. But Pacific Grove is going broke, and the story of how the city got to the edge of financial disaster is a story of corruption and power, hidden from public scrutiny or independent expert analysis. It is a story about public sector unions, powerful financial interests, and complicit city management, working together to fleece taxpayers and enrich themselves, heedless of rising debt or the inevitable ruinous consequences. And what is happening in Pacific Grove is representative of what is happening in every city and county in California.
...How deep is the Pacific Grove financial hole? It is bottomless! Pacific Grove is not alone. For example, Moody’s, the credit rating agency, has placed neighboring Monterey on its “Watch List.”
Obama now parading victims of his terrible economy in front of cameras. As always, he's really upset at whomever is president.— Razor (@hale_razor) January 7, 2014
The Senate voted 60-37 for cloture on S. 1845, or the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, a bill that extends emergency unemployment benefits for three months until March 31, 2014. The bill is sponsored by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). The bill may move forward for a definitive vote later this week. To read a Congressional Research Summary of the bill, ◼ click here.
Senators Reed and Heller, the two primary sponsors of the bill, come from the two states with the highest unemployment levels in the nation--Rhode Island and Nevada--according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To see how states rate in terms of unemployment levels, ◼ click here.
The bill concerns the extension of emergency unemployment benefits, which started in mid-2008. The standard length of time for receiving unemployment benefits has been 26 weeks, plus an additional, permanent 13 week extension since 1970, according to the Cato Institute.
Today, President Obama gave a speech in the East Room of the White House urging Congress to pass S. 1845. In his speech, he expressed disdain for the assertion that extended unemployment benefits keep the long-term unemployed out of the work force longer. As the Heritage Foundation points out however, in the past three years the labor participation rate has decreased from 66.2% at the beginning of 2008 to 63% in November 2013. See the President's speech today:
The estimated cost of the S. 1845 is over $6 billion. To see the Congressional Budget Office's score of the bill, click here. As the Cato Institute reports, the federal government will have to borrow all of the money needed to fund this bill, and American taxpayers will have to pay back the borrowed money plus the interest in the future, putting stress on working Americans.
The Cato Institute also points out that states have the ability to extend their own unemployment benefits if they wish to; that way states with low unemployment rates such as North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska would not have to carry the emergency unemployment insurance burden for states with chronically high unemployment that may be the result of the those states' toxic business climates.
The unemployment rate has been receding slightly: it now lies at 7.0% according to the latest determination by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the month of November, the latest month data is available. A new jobs report will be released this Friday. As The Hill reports today, if the jobs report released this coming Friday harbors good news and S. 1845 has not passed yet, "it could further boost Republican arguments that the program is no longer needed."
With President Obama's State of the Union address scheduled for January 28, 2014, and the midterm elections coming up in November, the Democrats are looking to direct attention away from Obamacare and onto issues of income inequality as a theme for 2014. If and when emergency unemployment benefits are dealt with, many in Washington see a move towards raising the minimum wage brewing.
On Sunday, Senator Rubio released a taped speech on income inequality as a preview to his speech on the issue on Wednesday at the Capitol. See the video below:
◼ Obama Affordable Care Act Hurts Twice As Many As It Helps - Betsy McCaughey/IBD
In 2014, 25 million to 30 million Americans who have employer-provided health insurance are likely to lose it, thanks to ObamaCare's requirement that all plans cover what Washington deems "essential benefits."
Some employers will consider that unaffordable and drop coverage altogether, when their current, less-expensive plans expire over the course of the year. These 25 million to 30 million are in addition to 6 million who bought plans in the individual market and had them canceled by Jan. 1.
The plight of those 6 million made headline news and caused the first cracks in the Democratic Party's support for the law. The bigger wave of workplace cancellations will force Democrats seeking re-election this fall to defend a law that harms twice as many people as it helps.
That's right: At least twice as many will lose coverage in 2014 as will gain it.
...What we've seen from MSNBC the past couple of months is not new behavior.
Fraudulent editing, hate, name-calling, and smears is not an editorial failure at MSNBC/NBC News - it is a business plan.
Was nobody aware that Antarctic ice has been setting records? A few minutes with Google would show that peak sea ice near Antarctica in 2012 was the most since records began in 1978, and that peak was surpassed in September of 2013.
◼ True believers on ice - Boston Herald/Editorial (Image source: Sydney Morning Herald - includes video)
A ship trapped in ice near Antarctica once would have been a matter for worry. Today you have to at least smile at the plight of the Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy, trapped with a passenger list of tourists and scientists trying to confirm that Antarctic ice is shrinking. Ah, the irony is rich....
All’s well that ends well, eh? Well, there are a few details to clean up.
Who pays for the rescue? The trip organizer, the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, has no budget for it.
How did the ship get into trouble? Did nobody check what weather forecasts were available? Track what satellite pictures of the ice showed?
Was nobody aware that Antarctic ice has been setting records? A few minutes with Google would show that peak sea ice near Antarctica in 2012 was the most since records began in 1978, and that peak was surpassed in September of 2013.
◼ Global warming releases S.S. Irony and rescue ship from Antarctic ice trap - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin
Several days ago, Anthony Watts nailed the approximate day the ships might be released from the ice...
For many years, the giant discount retailer has been the target of unions and liberal activists who have harshly criticized the company's health care plans, calling them “notorious for failing to provide health benefits” and "substandard.”
But a Washington Examiner comparison of the two health insurance programs found that Walmart's plan is more affordable and provides significantly better access to high-quality medical care than Obamacare....
A Journal of the American Medical Association analysis from September showed that unsubsidized Obamacare enrollees will face monthly premiums that are five to nine times higher than Walmart premiums.
JAMA found the unsubsidized premium for a nonsmoking gouple age 60 can cost $1,365 per month versus the Walmart cost of about $134 for the same couple.
The medical journal reported a 30-year-old smoker would pay up to $428 per month, in contrast to roughly $70 each month for a Walmart employee.
A family of four could pay a $962 premium, but the same Walmart family member would pay about $160.
Low premiums are not the only distinguishing feature of the Walmart plan. The retailer's employees can use eight of the country's most prestigious medical facilities, including the Mayo Clinic, Pennsylvania's Geisinger Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic.
At these institutions, which Walmart calls "Centers of Excellence," Walmart employees and their dependents can get free heart or spinal surgery. They can also get free knee and hip replacements at four hospitals nationwide.
Many top-rated Walmart hospitals — such as the Mayo and Cleveland clinics — are left out of most Obamacare exchange plans.... THERE'S MORE, AT THE LINK.
◼ The hangovers from New Year's Eve have gone and now millions of Americans are waking up to headaches from Obamacare sticker shock. - NEWSMAX
Middle-class families are finding out the exact cost of the Affordable Care Act to their weekly budget, and they are realizing they have to make cutbacks in their lifestyles to afford higher healthcare insurance premiums, The Week reports.
Calling Obamacare "another sucker punch to the middle class," the report warns that "when the family budget gets hit in the solar plexus, guess what happens to consumer spending and the economy?"
...In California, the Wall Street Journal reported last month that 900,000 people are having their policies canceled because they don't meet the Obamacare requirements. And as some 600,000 of these people are not eligible for subsidies, they will end up paying larger premiums.
In New York, thousands of small businesses are being hammered by the cost of premiums under Obamacare, according to the New York Post.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses, which represents nearly 11,000 business owners across the state, has revealed that not one single member has reported that their healthcare insurance costs are going down.
...Pointing out that consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the country's gross domestic product, the report warns, "The top 20 percent of earners account for about 40 percent of all spending in the U.S. When you increase the costs of health care and the new taxes associated with Obamacare, you can hear the wallets closing."
Obama admin has explicitly argued that unemployment benefits & food stamps create jobs. #JobsPlan— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) January 7, 2014
Thats why he isn't an economist. MT @markknoller: Pres Obama: extending unemp. ins. "actually helps the economy, actually creates new jobs.”— quicksilver382 (@quicksilver382) January 7, 2014
It's a FACT: Endless unemployment benefits reduce the incentive to get a job. http://t.co/8MYv5r1LZZ— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) January 7, 2014
Aide to Colorado state Senator Irene Aguilar fired because he visited the office of a friend who worked for a Republican
◼ Brr-urn! Meteorologist slams GMA, hysteria-pimping media for ‘polar vortex’ science fail [pics] - Twitchy
Meteorologist Joe Pennington took to Twitter to call out media outlets for “polar vortex” science fails.
◼ Has U.S. been ‘sucked into the polar vortex’? CNN says yes - Doug Powers/Michelle Malkin
◼ MEANWHILE: EPA proposes new restrictions for wood stoves... - FOX
CHICAGO SMASHES RECORDS...
NYC breaks 118-year-low...
AVG TEMP IN USA 19.4°F...
COLDEST AIR IN 20 YEARS...
South Pole warmer...
Hundreds Stranded Overnight on Snowbound AMTRAK Trains...
Power Demand Soars...
Texas grid pushed to edge...
Indianapolis Mayor: 'In 10 Minutes You Could Be Dead'...
Escaped inmate turns himself in...
'Climate Change' Groups Seek New Leadership as Movement Loses Steam...
Meteorologist: 'Ghost' Is Closing Coal Plants...
MIT Climate Scientist Takes On The 'Warmists'...
TIME Mag blamed 'polar vortex' on 'global cooling' in 1974...
Al Sharpton dons white lab coat...
TIME Mag blamed 'polar vortex' on 'global cooling' in 1974... http://t.co/6AjCFaBvdv— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) January 8, 2014