Leadership: Two of the most important national security positions may be soon held by a diplomat who helped perpetrate a Benghazi-gate lie and a senator who has voted against every major defense system in the last 25 years. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Australia on Tuesday before a summit about deepening defense links between Australia and the U.S. as our dwindling forces pivot to the Pacific Rim. Of course, Wednesday hearings on Benghazi have nothing to do with her getting as far from Washington, D.C., as possible
Elections have consequences. For all of us, for the whole country. This is what a majority voted for, folks. As they say in the Army when the incoming starts to hit, ´´For what we are about to receive, O Lord, make us truly grateful.´´
Someone should tell the president elect that "in your face" nominations like John "I threw away my medals, No I didn´t. I voted for it before I voted against it" Kerry for Sec Def and "Ms 5 times"Susan Rice for Sec State are not the best choices he could make.
Regulation: From lost jobs to fewer hours to premium hikes that would make a loan shark drool, Barack Obama´s home state is a case study in why the first rule in health care reform, as in medicine, should be to do no harm. The president and his cohorts in the media have long accused Republicans of being out of touch with ordinary people. Remember the concocted story about President Bush the elder being so out of touch he was unfamiliar with supermarket bar-code scanners? But it´s President Obama who´s out of touch with ordinary people
Health Care: In a stunning admission, our Health and Human Services secretary admits ObamaCare is part of the fundamental transformation of America away from a free market in anything to a nanny state on steroids. Maybe Kathleen Sebelius was being sarcastic, or maybe she thought it might be a good way to reach the "young invincibles" who feel they had better things to do with their money than enroll in ObamaCare. But her recent appearance on Jon Stewart´s show on Comedy Central went about as well as ObamaCare´s train wreck of a rollout.
The Shutdown: Federal closure threatens to bar priests not on active duty from conducting services on military installations or from ministering on base, and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so. The latest Obama shutdown shame is the news that, until it´s over, none of the families of those killed in Afghanistan can expect to receive the $100,000 death gratuity promised to reach them within 24 to 36 hours. Grieving families also cannot expect the military to cover all the usual costs of family travel to meet their loved ones at Dover Air Force Base where they return
Global Warming: Temperatures have flat-lined for 15 years, the Arctic and Antarctic are gaining record amounts of ice, most computer models have been wrong, yet the networks are buying into the alarmists´ narrative. Earth might not have a fever but the media do, judging by their hyperventilating about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change´s quite fraudulent report (Fifth Assessment Report or 5AR) released Sept. 27. One network — CBS— even turned a blind eye to the truth and claimed that temperatures "could have risen by more than 200 degrees." This fiction came from CBS´ Ben Tracy
A confirmed atheist when he was 15, C.S. Lewis came around to believing in God when he was 31. "I knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England," he wrote in his autobiography, "Surprised by Joy." Soon he embraced Christianity. A lecturer at English universities, Lewis became a superstar author by explaining his faith and weaving it creatively into novels. Books including "Mere Christianity," "The Screwtape Letters," "That Hideous Strength" and the series "The Chronicles of Narnia" have sold a total of 200 million copies, but he wasn´t always popular.
Energy Revolution: America´s natural gas boom threatens Russia´s economic strategy, an expert says, leaving it with few alternatives to rescue its economy while threatening to shatter its energy stranglehold on Europe. Russia´s abundance of energy resources has long allowed it to use energy both as a foreign policy weapon and as the bedrock of the Russian economy. Whenever energy prices rose, Russia benefited and its neighbors often felt the restraining leash of dependence on Russian energy, particularly natural gas. Government-controlled energy giant Gazprom was in such a strong position it could demand decade-long contracts
Health Reform: Those icons of voter fraud have been tasked and paid to guide an unwilling public through the ObamaCare enrollment process — while getting access to confidential information on thousands of people seeking health insurance. Somehow it does not surprise us that among the conductors on the train wreck known as ObamaCare will be leftist agitators from President Obama´s beloved Acorn, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. They´ll get up to $48 an hour as "navigators" to lead us through the dead-end ObamaCare maze. As Mathew Vadum reports on the American Spectator blog
ObamaCare: A group of nuns dedicated to caring for the elderly poor is suing to prevent an uncaring administration from shutting down their compassionate order over their refusal to obey the contraception mandate. There is no clearer or sadder example of the Obama administration´s war on the First Amendment´s guarantee of religious liberty than the demand by the Department of Health and Human Services to violate their religious consciences or pay heavy fines. HHS has ruled that if the Sisters don´t offer insurance policies to their employees that include free coverage for sterilization procedures
ObamaCare´s impact on jobs is hotly debated by politicians and economists. Critics say the Affordable Care Act, with its employer mandate to provide health insurance, gives businesses an incentive to cut workers´ hours. This year, report after report has rolled in about employers restricting work hours to fewer than 30 per week — the point where the mandate kicks in. Data also point to a record low workweek in low-wage industries. In the interest of an informed debate, we´ve compiled a list of job actions with strong proof that ObamaCare´s employer mandate
Junk Science: Earth has gained 19,000 Manhattans of sea ice since this date last year, the largest increase on record. There is more sea ice now than there was in mid-September 1990. Al Gore, call your office. A 2007 prediction that summer in the North Pole could be "ice-free by 2013" that was cited by former Vice President Al Gore in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech has proven to be off . .. by 920,000 square miles. But then Democrats have never been good at math — or climate science. In his Dec. 10, 2007, "Earth has a fever"
Gun Crime: FBI statistics show Chicago, with one-third the population, passing New York City in the number of murders in 2012. Is it time for a national conversation about gang control vs. gun control? President Obama doesn´t often mention his hometown when he talks about gun control. Then he´d have to explain, in arguably the most gun-restricted big city in America in the last state to allow concealed carry of firearms, why Chicago is now officially the murder capital of the United States. In new statistics released Monday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Energy: A new study shows that little methane, a strong greenhouse gas that occurs naturally in ground water, is released into the atmosphere during hydraulic fracturing. So it must be OK to frack now. In the first "Gasland" movie, environmental activist Josh Fox trumpeted flaming water taps in a Colorado town as evidence of fracking-induced water contamination. In fact, the areas in question had reported naturally occurring methane in their water for decades. Whether naturally occurring or not, environmentalists claim that fracking would release huge amounts of what they consider the most potent heat-trapping greenhouse gas
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday admitted defeat in the fiscal debate that resulted in the government shutdown and pushed the nation toward a default, saying it was a "good fight." (Snip) But blocking the bipartisan agreement reached today by the members of the Senate will not be a tactic for us," he added. "In addition to the risk of default, doing so would open the door for the Democratic majority in Washington to raise taxes again on the American people and undo the spending caps in the 2011 Budget Control Act without replacing them with better spending cuts."
In a bookend of sorts to his 21-hour “filibuster” against the Affordable Care Act, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke for just under 10 minutes Wednesday evening in opposition to an imminent Senate vote that would reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling to avoid default. Cruz denounced the Senate deal as “terrible,” saying it will do nothing to help the “millions of Americans who are hurting because of Obamacare.” Speaking for the “American people,” Cruz said the Senate deal “embodies everything that frustrates” them about the “Washington establishment.” The majority of the speech centered around Cruz’s opposition to the health
On CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday, Robert Redford said congressional criticism of President Barack Obama is racially motivated. “Don’t get me started on that,” the left-leaning actor said when asked about political gridlock in Washington, D.C. “What I wanted to see [in Obama´s second term] is turning out to be a bit of a dream that never came true. I don’t envy [Obama´s] position. I think he is a good man. I think he is an intelligent man, a compassionate man who can’t function in that environment. That environment — it is so decrepit. It is so paralyzed. And the worst
Rep. Peter King thinks Republicans in the House could have bargained for much more than they´re getting in a pending Senate deal, if only the House had kept the government open in September and focused on negotiations over the federal debt limit. "Instead we look like the crazies," King, a Republican from Long Island, told me this afternoon from Washington. "Shutting down the government, throwing barricades against the White House, and having Ted Cruz reading Dr. Seuss, this is like the theater of the absurd. Except that it´s serious."
The US was scrambling to avert a potentially disastrous breach of its debt ceiling on Wednesday morning, after Republican attempts to table a deal collapsed in disarray overnight, leaving the prospects for a last-minute deal on a knife-edge. America´s divided political system now has just 24 hours to find a compromise to the budget stand-off between the White House and hardline Republicans, with the deadline to extend America´s borrowing limit falling due on Thursday. In a sign of plunging confidence in Washington on Wall Street, Fitch, a leading credit ratings agency announced that the US was now on a "negative watch"
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) says he hopes the House “will get some adult supervision from the Senate” to achieve a debt ceiling deal. (Snip)King said he would vote for that deal, and blames Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for this fiscal mess. “Ted Cruz has been a total fraud from the start,” King said. “It never could have succeeded. I can’t imagine going into battle knowing you can’t win and continue telling your people you are winning. It’s Never Never Land, parallel universes, whatever you want to call it.” Congress, King added, will be back in the same boat in three to four
It was bad enough when those teabagging Republican terrorists killed the First Lady’s Twitter account. Now they’ve taken her lovely garden hostage! Reuters: In the famous White House kitchen garden, tomatoes are rotting on the vine. Herbs have gone to seed. And the sweet potatoes – a favorite of President Barack Obama – have become worm food. It’s another impact of the government shutdown, one that only the fox and the many squirrels that live on the White House grounds could love… “Due to the shutdown, garden maintenance has been reduced considerably and only being watered as needed,” a White House official confirmed, speaking
The White House set low expectations for the Affordable Care Act´s October 1 debut, so anything remotely competent should have seemed like a success. But three weeks on, the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov and the 36 insurance exchanges run by the federal government is an insult to the "glitches" President Obama said were inevitable. This isn´t some coding error, or even the Health and Human Service Department´s usual incompetence. The failures that have all but disabled ObamaCare are the result of deliberate political choices, which HHS and the White House are compounding with secrecy and stonewalling. *** The health industry and low-level Administration
The deal reached by Congress on Wednesday to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling averts a financial catastrophe but leaves the weakened U.S. economy facing new threats. The agreement will send about 450,000 federal employees back to work and restart paychecks for the 1.3 million employees who stayed on the job during the shutdown. Getting those salaries back in circulation will help economic growth, particularly in the Washington area. More important, the threat of a default on the national debt has been avoided, along with the recession and financial crisis that may have accompanied a failure to
Grover Norquist isn’t happy with the Defunders. The Americans for Tax Reform president told reporters today that they have a lot of apologies to make and bridges to re-build. “It’d be a good idea if they stopped referring to other Republicans as Hitler appeasers because they opposed the strategy they put forward which failed,” Norquist says. “I think if you make a mistake as big as what they did, you owe your fellow senators and congressmen a big apology — and your constituents, as well, because nothing they did advanced the cause of repealing or dismantling Obamacare.” Norquist refrained from naming the
Psst. Anic-Pay! Bloomberg‘s Megan McArdle (who has been on an incredible roll lately**) takes issue with the idea that the Obama administration needn’t panic about Obamacare, as long as it can get its glitch-plagued health care exchanges up and running by the end of the year. Wrong, she suggests. It’s time to panic. Now. Why? Because the exchanges are the way to sign up young, healthy people and prevent the fabled “death spiral,” in which only older, sicker people sign up for insurance, causing rates to rise and healthier people to drop out, causing rates to rise even more, etc.
The bipartisan deal to reopen the government and temporarily lift the debt ceiling includes one small Obamacare element -- a provision that says people´s incomes must be verified before they can get Obamacare subsidies to help pay their insurance premiums. But this was not a concession to Republicans, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told CNN´s Jake Tapper on Wednesday. "It´s, you know, it is, frankly, a bit of a fig leaf, which we were happy to give, but that was not a negotiation. That was not what Ted Cruz and the others started to demand that we give them." [Video] Schumer noted