Congress returns this week for what will be one of the most consequential and difficult lame-duck sessions it has ever faced. Lawmakers left themselves only a few weeks to reach agreement on a plan that would reduce the federal budget deficit and head off trillions of dollars´ worth of budget cuts and tax increases that government auditors said could hit virtually every working American and throw the nation´s economy into a second recession. But opening offers from both sides suggest that Congress and the White House remain miles apart on fundamental issues
Simple math gives us a choice -- cut the deficit now, or face a catastrophic destruction of our society such as Greece is having now.
Going over the fiscal cliff in January will amount to a correction of about one third of what we need. Planning several similar cuts to the deficit over the next couple of years will solve the problem. To be sure, cutting the deficit will induce a recession, causing unemployment of around 10% for several years, but that is a vast improvement on Greece´s 25%. And it might save Western Civilization from the abyss.
So Congress has no need to reach an agreement. Just jump!
Last week, Karl Rove opined that a GOP attempt to defund Obamacare would be analogous to Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg. His analogy was trite as well as inaccurate, yet Gettysburg does contain a lesson for establishment Republicans who oppose defunding. Its moral lies not in Pickett’s disastrous charge, however, but in the failure of Union General George Meade to follow up his defensive Pennsylvania victory by attacking the Confederate forces as they withdrew to the safety of Virginia. Meade’s timidity extended the Civil War by two years and rendered his Commander-in-Chief nearly apoplectic with frustration.
Among the most offensive features of the ironically titled “Affordable Care Act” is its designation of the Internal Revenue Service as the main enforcer of the law’s many mandates, taxes, penalties and reporting requirements. It exponentially increases the power of a group of bureaucrats notorious for repeatedly abusing their authority. Now, highlighting the growing gulf between the government and the governed that has become the hallmark of the Obama era, these IRS enforcers are asking their congressional representatives to spare them the indignity of enrolling in Obamacare’s insurance exchanges.
When Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services strode to the podium at last week’s NAACP conference, it was expected that she would engage in a certain amount of pandering to the grievance mongers who have long since taken control of that once-great organization. Such tawdry displays are, after all, a standard feature of the Democrat repertoire. It isn’t clear, however, that anyone anticipated the depth of sheer demagoguery to which she would descend in that speech. She compared Obamacare’s opponents to the people who opposed civil rights during the 1960s, embroidered her father’s civil rights record and even added
As far back as 1604, when James I of England published A Counter-Blaste To Tobacco, smoking has been recognized as a public health threat. There have since been countless attempts to discourage tobacco use by the general populace. Among the few such efforts to achieve any success has been the practice, by insurance companies, of charging higher health premiums for smokers than for non-smokers. Thus, not even Obamacare’s opponents objected when its authors inserted a provision permitting insurers to penalize smokers with a 50% surcharge. Predictably, however, Obama administration ineptitude will prevent this provision from taking effect.
The White House says the decision, announced last Tuesday, to delay implementation of Obamacare’s employer mandate was made because “a dialogue with businesses” revealed the need to reduce the reporting burden it placed on employers. This tale is enough to make a cat laugh. This crew doesn’t do “dialogue.” Your BS detector badly needs a tune up if it didn’t start buzzing when Valerie Jarrett blogged, “We’re listening.” The delay is obviously due to the ineptitude of the Obama administration, and this is the fourth major provision of PPACA to be repealed or delayed for the same reason.
Documents Show Liberals in I.R.S. Dragnet," read the New York Times headline. "Dem: ´Progressive´ Groups Were Also Targeted by IRS," said U.S. News. The scandal has "evaporated into thin air," bayed the excitable Andrew Sullivan. A breathlessly exonerative narrative swept the news media this week: that liberal groups had been singled out and, by implication, abused by the IRS, just as conservative groups had been. Therefore, the scandal wasn´t a scandal but a mere bungle—a nonpolitical series of unhelpful but innocent mistakes. The problem with this story is that liberals were not caught in the IRS dragnet.
It´s now official. America is the France of the 21st century. France was a big power in the 18th and 19th Centuries. The French were pretty much in a constant state of war what with everything from the Seven Years´ War, to the French and Indian Wars, to the American Revolution, to the Napoleonic Wars.Then came the 20th Century when World War I was mostly fought on French soil leading to their preemptive surrender in World War II. Since then the French still pretend to be a full-fledged member of the Planetary Cool Kids Table,
In his January inaugural address sketching out the promise of a second presidential term, here are some things Barack Obama did not mention: Surveillance. Drones. Syria. Chechnya. North Korea. Benghazi. Guantanamo. And yet from roughly March 6, the day Rand Paul staged his 13-hour Senate filibuster to protest Obama’s drone policies, the White House has been whiplashed from one foreign policy and national security crisis to another. Facing a near constant state of emergency, Obama has been hard-pressed to promote his message on issues like gun control, immigration, health care and the economy.
Barack Obama’s “reset” with Russia is really going well, don’t you think? Russia is defying America by granting Edward Snowden, who exposed some of the most classified secrets of our government, safe haven as he continues to elude capture. As Reuters reports: Washington was stung by Russian defiance… The White House said it expected the Russian government to send Snowden back to the United States and lodged ‘strong objections’ to Hong Kong and China for letting him go.
On Tuesday, President Obama will announce his plan to increase everyone’s power bill. Or, as he puts it, “a national plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change and lead global efforts to fight it.” If you accept the science of global warming, then you accept the fact that the president’s unilateral action on climate change will have absolutely no effect in terms of adjusting the global thermostat to a temperature Obama finds desirable. The rest of the developing world, anchored by India and China, are building carbon-burning
Many people on the political left don’t much like the First Amendment. That seems odd to someone of my generation. In past times people who suppressed what the Supreme Court ultimately ruled speech—student armbands, nude dancing, flag burning—were usually conservatives. But now it seems that it’s mostly liberals who want to shut down speech that offends them, and it’s usually political speech which many people think was the main concern of the Founders rather than the kinds of speech referenced above. Anyway, here are some examples of liberals trying to shut down speech.
In a windowless office in the basement of the West Wing, behind a utility room and next to a fire-alarm panel, David Simas is marking up another whiteboard with blue ink, hoping to explain one more time just how the President’s health care reform law will work when the time comes for uninusured Americans to sign up this fall. The abstraction of Obamacare is about to become reality. But will anyone know what to do? An estimated 7 million Americans will join
While media mogul Oprah Winfrey has been promoting her new film, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” she revealed she was a recent victim of profiling while shopping in a store in Zurich.(Snip)“I was in Zurich the other day at a store, whose name I will not mention,” Winfrey said on “Entertainment Tonight,” “and I didn’t have my eyelashes on, but I was in full Oprah Winfrey gear…but obviously, ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ is not shown in Zurich. So this doesn’t happen to me unless somebody obviously doesn’t know that it’s me.” Winfrey went on to explain that she was in Zurich for Tina Turner’s wedding,
Nobody tells Oprah she can´t afford a handbag. Oprah Winfrey is one of the richest entertainers in the world, thanks to her willdly successful 25-season run on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and her latest media foray with the newly revitalized Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). The entertainer earned an estimated $77 million from June 2012 to June 2013 alone, according to Forbes, but she says she still experiences racism because she is African American. Take this latest incident in Switzerland, where "The Butler" star went to attend the nuptials of good friend and singer Tina Turner last month.
During his Wednesday appearance on Jay Leno´s "Tonight Show,´ President Obama made three factual gaffes; one of them involved the claim that cities not found along the Gulf of Mexico are. Were Obama a Republican, these gaffes would have led news coverage for the next forty-eight hours. Not only did most of the media ignore or downplay these gaffes; the Associated Press went so far as to cover one of them up. In its coverage Thursday, rather than point out the president´s geographical error, the wire service made it look as though no error was made.
The Washington Post is a legend in the minds of the Washington elite, so its financial decline has caused quiet panic. As NPR media reporter David Folkenflik put it, “You think of stories like the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, these are all stories where The Washington Post led the nation’s understanding, the world’s understanding of some major issues.” Outside the liberal media, you wonder how long Post fans can wallow in their Nixon-crumbling polyester “glory days” in the early 1970s. But nostalgia ruled as the Graham family sold the Post to Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon.com.
At a White House press conference Friday afternoon, President Obama said that health insurance plans offered under Obamacare will be "significantly cheaper" than plans currently on the market, but a string of recent reports say that isn´t true. "What happens on October 1, in 53 days, is for the remaining 15 percent of the population that doesn´t have health insurance, they´re going to be able to go on a website or call up a call center and sign up for affordable, quality health insurance at a significantly cheaper rate than what they can get right now on
During a press conference yesterday, President Obama revealed the existence of a sealed indictment in the Benghazi attacks in Libya on September 11, 2012, leaving some experts questioning whether the president broke the law. Federal law states that ´no person may disclose [a sealed] indictment´s existence,´ and that doing so may be ´punished as a contempt of court,´ a charge that carries a minimum sentence of six months prison. The announcement came as a surprise to some insiders, as the existence of a sealed indictment has not been publicly confirmed or denied by law enforcement or
During an hour-long deep dive into the growing use of food stamps in America, Fox News highlighted “the new face of food stamps.” That new face is a pina colada-sipping, lobster-loving lothario named Jason Greenslate. Greenslate, a 29-year-old La Jolla California surfer and musician who sings that he does not want a “motherfucking job” and has “fuck no” guilt about living on $200 of what he calls “free money ” — or what the government called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Benefits — while he avoids a job to hang out on the beach, sing and chase women.
Eydie Gorme, a popular nightclub and television singer as a solo act and as a team with her husband, Steve Lawrence, has died. She was 84. Gorme, who also had a huge solo hit in 1963 with "Blame it on the Bossa Nova," died Saturday at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas following a brief, undisclosed illness, said her publicist, Howard Bragman. Gorme was a successful band singer and nightclub entertainer when she was invited to join the cast of Steve Allen´s local New York television show in 1953. She sang solos and also did duets and comedy skits with Lawrence, a rising young singer who had joined
Ames, Iowa — Donald Trump delivered a blistering attack on Mitt Romney’s campaign today. “I don’t know what the hell happened with his campaign,” Trump said in a speech at The Family Leader Summit. “I just don’t get it. That was an election that couldn’t have been lost.” “Every single state that they asked me to go or do some phone calls or some television, we won in the primaries,” Trump remarked. But he also criticized what the campaign had initially wanted him to say in robocalls. “They gave me this most pathetic thing to say. I said,
President Barack Obama announced Friday afternoon that the White House will publicly release a summary of the legal authorities through which the National Security Agency conducts its controversial surveillance programs. ´Given the history of abuse by governments,´ he said, it is important to explain how such a program is managed, and - equally important - what it may not do. He described his working relationship with Vladimir Putin as ´candid´ and ´blunt,´ and seemed to dismiss concerns that the Russian president´s body language indicated a lack of willingness to work with the United States.
EDGARTOWN, Mass. — President Barack Obama opened the first summer vacation of his second term Saturday on Martha’s Vineyard, trading Washington debates over the budget, government surveillance and his health care overhaul for a hoped-for carefree week filled with golf, beach outings and hanging-out time with family and friends. (Snip) As Air Force One flew north, Obama got into a vacation mindset by trading his suit and tie for more suitable attire: khakis and a blue shirt with rolled-up sleeves. First lady Michelle Obama, who introduced him at the convention, kept her yellow-and-white
OHIO: Muslims across the US celebrated Eid on the same day to everyone’s joy and relief. Mosques overflowed with happy worshippers who stood as one ummah in prayer and thanksgiving, enjoying the mild weather, treats and spiritually motivating sermons of the day. US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle also sent their warmest greetings to Muslims celebrating Eid Al-Fitr around the world, calling it "part of a great tapestry of America´s many traditions."