Saturday, July 6, 2013

Real Americans Don't Trust the Government!

The AMERICAN THINKER ^ | July 6, 2013 | Jonathon Moseley

"Question Authority" was a dominant political theme in the '60s and 70s We're talking about the 1760s and the 1770s, of course -- the American Revolution. Well, sure, the 1960s and the 1970s, too. But our country was founded on the idea "Question Authority" while opposing the King of England in the 1760s and 1770s.
Over this July 4th long weekend, we are called to remember how good cheeseburgers and hot dogs taste when grilled outdoors in the backyard. Oh, wait. That's not it. Don't tell me; it will come to me! Hearty cheers to the family Grill Master, always. But there is more to July 4th than potato salad, chips, and sizzling hamburgers.
The Fourth of July -- more than any other holiday -- is supposed to be a celebration. From the very first July 4th celebration in 1776, it was meant to be a party. Our Founding Fathers wanted it that way, and said so explicitly. Unlike any other holiday, it was established to be a community-wide blast celebrating America's independence and creation as a new nation.
But what is the real meaning of America? Should you love and trust your government? Should you respect our leaders? Not "do you". Should you? An enormous cultural divide has developed, from ignorance of American history, on whether it is right or wrong to trust our governments (local, state, and national) in the United States of America.
Many who imagine themselves to be conservative equate loving America with loving our government. If you love your country, you have to love and trust our government leaders, they subconsciously assume. They are offended by talk of not trusting our leaders and bureaucracies.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...


What ObamaCare Is Going To Do To Your Doctor ^ | July 6, 2013 | John C. Goodman

You should care a lot about how health reform will affect your doctor. The reason: it will also affect you.

Here's what's happening: hospitals are merging and they are acquiring doctors. In the process, they are making the market less competitive, gaming third-party payment formulas and doing other things that make our health insurance premiums and our taxes higher than they otherwise would be.

None of this is the result of any plan the administration ever announced, however. What did the Obama administration intend to happen? The clearest explanation of their vision of health reform comes from Harvard Medical School Professor Atul Gawande, who thinks that medicine should be more like engineering — with all doctors following the same script, rather than exercising their individual judgments:

This can no longer be a profession of craftsmen individually brewing plans for whatever patient comes through the door. We have to be more like engineers building a mechanism whose parts actually fit together, whose workings are ever more finely tuned and tweaked for ever better performance in providing aid and comfort to human beings.

Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, explains what this will mean for the organization of medical practice:

The legislation also includes physician payment reforms that encourage physicians, hospitals, and other providers to join together to form accountable care organizations [ACOs] to gain efficiencies and improve quality of care. Those that meet quality-of-care targets and reduce costs relative to a spending benchmark can share in the savings they generate for Medicare.

To assist in this effort, millions of dollars have been spent on pilot programs and demonstration projects to find about "what works" so the ACOs can go copy them. We've had demonstration projects for coordinated care, integrated care, medical homes, electronic medical records, pay-for-performance and just about every other faddish idea. Unfortunately, the Congressional Budget Office has found in three separate reports that that none of this is working (see herehere and here.)

When I say that none of these techniques work, what I really mean is that projects designed, approved and paid for by the demand side for the market aren't working. Many of these techniques actually do work when they are instituted by entrepreneurs on the supply side. But these innovations have nothing to do with ObamaCare. They are happening in spite of ObamaCare.

[Oops, there was one demo project that actually worked and worked well. The government is shutting it down.]

Meanwhile, more than half the doctors are working for hospitals and other institutions, rather than working in private practice. And hospitals are using their new doctor employees to get more money out of Medicare. Even the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPac), the federal agency responsible for overseeing Medicare fees, has noticed — although belatedly — that hospitals can charge Medicare more for the same services than doctors can charge if they bill Medicare as an independent practitioner. As reported in The New York Times:

Medicare pays $58 for a 15-minute visit to a doctor's office and 70 percent more — $98.70 — for the same consultation in the outpatient department of a hospital. The patient also pays more: $24.68, rather than $14.50.

Likewise, the commission said, when a Medicare beneficiary receives a certain type of echocardiogram in a doctor’s office, the government and the patient together pay a total of $188. They pay more than twice as much — $452 — for the same test in the outpatient department of a hospital. (The test is used to evaluate the functioning of the heart.)

…From 2010 to 2011, the commission said, the number of echocardiograms provided to Medicare beneficiaries in doctors' offices declined by 6 percent, but the number in hospital outpatient clinics increased by nearly 18 percent.

On the positive side, a major unintended consequence of health reform is the boost to consumer directed health care. In the health insurance exchanges, the cheapest plans are going to have deductibles of $5,000 or more. And lots and lots of people are going to choose the cheapest plans. Avik Roy reports that employers are going for Health Savings Accounts (or Health Reimbursement Arrangements) in a big way. Bottom line: millions of patients are going to be buying care with their own money, rather than with a third-party payer's money.

I'm sure this thought is causing heartburn for those on the left who view high deductible plans as "under-insurance." But this development is viewed as opportunity by health care entrepreneurs.

One study is predicting that the number of walk-in clinics is going to double in the next few years. The Obama administration doesn't like them because they are not part of integrated care/coordinated care/medical homes/etc., etc., etc. Even so, they are doing what the ACOs are unlikely to do: lowering costs, increasing quality and improving access to care.

IRS Pays 201 Employees to Do Full-time Union Work!

New American ^ | July 6, 2013 | By Michael Tennant

Americans are paying the salaries of over 200 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees not to process tax returns or to assist confused taxpayers but to perform labor-union tasks, and two congressional Republicans are trying to pry the details of this legal-but-shady arrangement out of the agency.
Last month, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, Americans for Limited Government (ALG) obtained documents from the IRS showing that the agency has on its payroll 201 employees who, while they have job titles indicating that they do IRS work, actually spend all their time on the job taking care of union business. (The IRS has other employees who do union work only part of the time, but ALG did not inquire about them.)
“A lot of people are not aware that under federal law, a federal agency is allowed to enter into a collective bargaining agreement with a union that has provisions where employees of the agency, in this case the IRS, are allowed to do union work on the taxpayer’s time and get paid for it,” ALG president Nathan Mehrens told the Daily Caller.
The practice, known as “official time,” was added to the U.S. Code as part of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 — not coincidentally, a year in which Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the presidency.
“Official time is seen by supporters as compensation for the fact that unions are required to handle labor issues related to all employees, not just union members,” Fox News explained in 2011. “When union officials negotiate with federal managers over work rules, like appropriate attire and other human resource requirements, those functions are carried out under official time.”
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Hey, American voters, you’re stupid!

Canadian Free Press ^ | July 3, 2013 | Klaus Rohrich

The Democrats are heading for the Perfect Storm and Obama’s legacy will be one of ignominy because their policies will result in the impoverishment of more Americans than the Great Depression. The US economy has been kept afloat with newly printed money that may as well be counterfeit. Once the Fed stops pumping $85 billion a month into the economy and Amnesty brings out up to 30 million low-skilled, uneducated workers that vie for jobs with our indigenous low-skilled, uneducated workers and families are forced to pay as much as $20,000 per year for government mandated healthcare, American voters will smarten up pretty quickly. And they will graphically disprove the Democrats’ belief that the American electorate is stupid.

Barack, if a Tree Falls in a Forest….. ^ | July 6, 2013 | Bill Tatro

It’s becoming more and more difficult to understand if good news is truly good news, or if good news is actually bad news. In addition, after conceivably deciphering this conundrum, we are then presented with the notion that bad news is definitely bad news, and we are also led to believe that bad news is essentially good news. Are you still with me? As an example, nowadays it would appear that any information which forces the Federal Reserve to continue to buy bonds is perceived as good news, which hypothetically means that the worse the news is, the better it is for the stock market on the upside — which is good news. Hmmm. And just when I thought that I had the Fed bond buying puzzle all figured out, along comes the most recent Egyptian crisis and I’m back to square one.
After the overthrows of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, ex-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and now with the possible ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, it’s very clear that the CIA…oops, I mean the liberated and democratic seeking mass, would strive to put leaders into office that matched the image of what Barack Hussein Obama now sees as the “changed Middle East.” Of course for Obama, knowing full well what the people of the Middle East want and need in regards to leadership — after all, he knows the exact dollar amount that I should have in my 401K and IRA accounts and how I should finance my reduced retirement — it was without question that the Muslim Brotherhood definitely fit his bill. Yet, here’s where the confusion comes into play. Apparently, millions of Egyptian citizens don’t quite agree with our president and they aren’t exactly excited about Sharia law. Therefore, citing the abovementioned so-called logic, do the good people of Egypt now become the bad people of Egypt? Consequently, do we send in our drones, establish a no-fly zone, and quell the Egyptian military that just executed a coup d'état merely because our former handpicked Egyptian leader, Mohamed Morsi, isn’t on anyone’s “Fab 5” phone number list? In the past, getting rid of an unpopular leader was undeniably a very good thing, but these days it appears that it’s a bad thing. With all the twists and turns of world events featuring presidential declarations and central bank proclamations, is it any wonder that the average American citizen and perhaps all citizens everywhere are so bewildered about good/bad, up/down, and in/out, that they just tuned it all out?
Don’t you just long for the days of simplicity? I certainly miss the times when questions were very easy to answer, for instance: If Barack Obama is in the woods and makes a policy statement regarding the Middle East and there is no one around to hear him, has he really said anything?

Health insurers fear young people will opt out!

yahoo ^ | 7/5/2013 | KELLI KENNEDY AP

MIAMI (AP) — Dan Lopez rarely gets sick and hasn't been to a doctor in 10 years, so buying health insurance feels like a waste of money.
Even after the federal health overhaul takes full effect next year, the 24-year-old said he will probably decide to pay the $100 penalty for those who skirt the law's requirement that all Americans purchase coverage.
"I don't feel I should pay for something I don't use," said the Milwaukee resident, who makes about $48,000 a year working two part-time jobs.
Because he makes too much to qualify for government subsidies, Lopez would pay a premium of about $3,000 a year if he chose to buy health insurance.
"I shouldn't be penalized for having good health," he said.
Persuading young, healthy adults such as Lopez to buy insurance under the Affordable Care Act is becoming a major concern for insurance companies as they scramble to comply with the law, which prohibits them from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions and limits what they can charge to older policy holders.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Starbucks of Marijuana Coming to San Francisco

SF Weekly ^ | Fri., Jul. 5 2013 | Chris Roberts 

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward making lots of money. That's Jamen Shively's thesis, anyway.
The former Microsoft manager, 45, is embarking on a publicity tour for the marijuana enterprise he's happy to label the "Starbucks" of pot. "Yes, we can" is for Shively "yes, we are big marijuana" -- and he's getting ready for what he believes is The Next Big Thing: legal pot -- everywhere.
With his trusty sidekick, former Mexican president Vicente Fox -- a partner of Shively's in Diego Pellicer, Inc., the nation's first "premium marijuana" retail brand -- in tow, Shively is in San Francisco on Monday. Following a "summit" on marijuana legalization, Fox and Shively will appear at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel to talk about how to make all this a reality.
Is he a visionary -- or, in the words of one expert, a greedhead? Probably both.
Monday's stop appears to be Shively's first in California. That makes sense: He's had press conferences in Seattle, where voters approved the legalization of marijuana for adults in 2012. He's announced plans for a network of shops in Washington and in Colorado, which also voted to legalize small amounts of cannabis for adults.
In California, of course, the situation is different. Voters shot down Proposition 19 in 2010, which would have made the Golden State the first to end cannabis prohibition (the plant used to be legal). A large reason: the federal government. Attorney General Eric Holder pledged to "vigorously enforce" the federal ban on weed if Prop. 19 passed.
Despite that, he wants to build up to 100 legal pot shops in California, he's told reporters in the past. Just how does he plan to do that, when medical marijuana is in trouble enough with the federal government?
He appears to have a plan, or at least a man with a plan: appearing alongside Fox and Shively will be Steve DeAngelo, who by repute whose medical marijuana dispensary, by repute, sells more weed than anyone else on the planet (at least legally). DeAngelo, CEO of Harborside Health Center, is also slated to appear at the 2 p.m. noon press conference at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel near Union Square.
So are the two joining forces? Might be too early for that, as DeAngelo's Harborside outlets in San Jose and Oakland are in the midst of a year-old court fight against the federal Department of Justice, which wants to seize the properties where the dispensaries operate.
It's worth noting that other Shively partners have already walked away. But if it's anyone with nothing to fear from the feds, it's DeAngelo, who has famously gone very public with his business before.
UPDATE: DeAngelo cannot attend, a Harborside spokeswoman informed us late Friday. What's more, DeAngelo and Shively are not entering into any kind of business partnership: DeAngelo was there to speak about the effect of marijuana decriminalization on Mexican drug cartels.

Big-Rig Driver Learns Hard Way That 18-Wheeler Doesn't Quite Fit Through Bridge Toll Plaza

SF Weekly ^ | Jul. 2 2013 | Erin Sherbert

As if the morning commute couldn't have gotten worse for everyone. A big-rig driver reportedly slammed into the toll plaza at the Golden Gate Bridge as he tried desperately to make his way to San Francisco. The bizarre crash happened during rush hour at about 8:43 a.m. along the third southbound lane from the left at the toll plaza on the southern end of the bridge, CHP Officer Andrew Barclay told KTVU.
Naturally, the toll plaza was damaged, as was the front of the truck, and everyone's mood about the morning commute. Fortunately, nobody was hurt.
Now for the burning question: What the hell?
Golden Gate Bridge spokeswoman Mary Currie says the big-rig driver tried -- and failed -- to use a lane that was "too narrow for the truck."
The big-rig was stuck until about 9:40 a.m., obnoxiously blocking three southbound lanes at the toll plaza.


Seattleites celebrate Gay Pride Week by proudly beating up a Christian!

DailyCaller ^ | 7/5/2013 | Jim Treacher

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s intolerance. And I certainly can’t tolerate hate! That’s why, if somebody is holding up a sign you don’t like, you should be allowed to attack them.

Well, as long as they’re religious nuts.

Wait, wait, not if they’re Muslims, though. You can’t do that.

Oh, here, just watch.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

More and more Americans are becoming concealed-carry permit holders

Hotair ^ | 07/05/2013 | Erika Johnsen

Firearms sales have been on the up and up since President Obama was elected in 2008, and the federal government’s attempt to pass more national gun-control measures did nothing to quell the firearms industry’s personal economic boom. It isn’t merely gun sales, however, that have lately been experiencing a major surge; the WSJ has the numbers indicating an encouraging trend of more and more Americans taking the responsibility of carrying a concealed weapon upon their person. We’re only halfway through 2013, and it already looks like plenty of states are on track for their biggest permitting years on record:
Since July 1 of last year, Florida has granted more than 173,000 new concealed-carry permits, up 17% from the year before and twice as many as five years ago, for a total of about 1.09 million permits in the state.
Ohio, meanwhile, is on pace to nearly double last year’s total of 65,000 new permits, which would be nearly three times as many as in 2007. And Oklahoma, Tennessee, Wyoming and Nebraska all have nearly matched or surpassed last year’s totals with half of 2013 still to go.
A dozen states surveyed for this article, including Texas, Utah and Wisconsin, issued 537,000 permits last year, an 18% increase compared with a year prior and more than double the number issued in 2007. Early figures for 2013 show many states are on pace for their biggest year ever. …
“I suppose it’s the same reason people are reporting gun sales are up and ammunition sales are up,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, referring to concern among gun owners about the recent push for gun control. “It’s nothing unique in Ohio.…It seems to be a consistent trend across the board.”
The mass murders in Newton, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado spurred a gun debate at not only the national but the state level, and much of the media focus was on states that undertook efforts to tighten their gun laws (Connecticut, New York, Maryland, California, and Colorado figuring prominently).
Plenty of states, however, actually went about easing up on gun laws; the WSJ mentions that at least 20 states have loosened laws on concealed-carry, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Individual states’ measures have included making permits cheaper and easier to gets, doing away with permits altogether, allowing concealed carry in more places, and/or generally streamlining the process through which their law-abiding residents can exercise their Second-Amendment freedoms and protect themselves and their families, neighbors, and communities.

Obama’s legacy on the line as healthcare implementation challenges mount!

The Hill ^ | 07/05/2013 | By Amie Parnes

The delay in the healthcare employers mandate has dealt the Obama administration a black eye, at a time when the president desperately needs a political win.
Political observers agreed that the decision to delay the mandate until 2015, which the administration announced on Tuesday, is a setback for Obama, who is currently attempting to shoehorn immigration reform legislation through the House to secure one of his legislative priorities in his second term.
It also casts a shadow on Obama’s one major legislative accomplishment and could possibly put a dent in his legacy, observers said.
“If healthcare were to be his one major victory and it is seen as flawed and resisted to some good effect for the remainder of his presidency, that would be a hit to his legacy and it might take him off the list of great Democratic presidents,” said Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University.
Jillson said the delay also highlights the problems some had with the healthcare law and “feeds into the narrative that Obama is ineffectual in dealing with Congress.”
Republicans seized on the delay Tuesday evening and into Wednesday, claiming the legislation itself had been rammed through both chambers with many blemishes.
“Obamacare is a flawed law, it has been from day one and continues to be one now,” said Kirsten Kukowski, a press secretary for the Republican National Committee. “This latest announcement is just another sign that the president and his administration are afraid of the havoc that this imperfect law will wreak on everyday Americans.”
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Only 47% of Adults Have Full-Time Job!

Breitbart ^ | 5 Jul 2013 | Mike Flynn

only 47% of Americans have a full-time job and those who don't are finding it increasingly out of reach.
Of the 144 million Americans employed last month, only 116 million were working full-time. Friday's report showed that 58.7% of the civilian adult population of 245 million was working last month. Only 47% of Americans, however, had a full-time job.
In June, the number of Americans who wanted to work full-time, but were forced into part-time jobs because of the economy, jumped 352,000 to over eight million.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

John Kerry on his boat during Egypt upheaval, State Dept. concedes [Obama admin lies despite photos]

CBS News ^ | July 5, 2013 | Jake Miller

Secretary of State Kerry sailed his boat, the "Isabel," on Nantucket Sound in Massachusetts, Wed., July 3, 2013. / CBS

Secretary of State John Kerry at the helm of his sailboat "Isabel," July 5, 2013. / Emily Hislop/CBS

As regime change was unfolding in Egypt, Secretary of State John Kerry spent time on his boat Wednesday afternoon in Nantucket Sound, the State Department acknowledged to CBS News on Friday, after repeatedly denying that Kerry was aboard any boat.
Psaki's acknowledgment marked a stark reversal from previous denials that Kerry was on any boat whatsoever.
A "CBS This Morning" producer spotted Kerry on his boat Wednesday afternoon on Nantucket, where Kerry has a vacation home. When "CBS This Morning" senior producer Mosheh Oinounou tweeted about the sighting, Psaki issued a denial, calling the tweet "completely inaccurate" and said Kerry has been "working all day and on the phone dealing with the crisis in Egypt."
Also on Wednesday afternoon, the White House released a photo of the president and his national security team meeting in the situation Room. Kerry was not present in the photo, but his office said he did participate in the meeting via a secure phone line.

On Thursday night, CBS News obtained a photo of Kerry on his boat and sent it to the State Department, asking whether they still stand by their denial that Kerry was on a boat.

The response: "Yes." 

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

President Cancels Fireworks for Troops

Semi-News/Semi-Satire ^ | 5 July 2013 | John Semmens

Citing budget constraints, the Commander-in-Chief ordered the cancellation of July 4th fireworks displays at a number of military bases. The juxtaposition of the relatively minor savings achieved with the extraordinarily costly Presidential family vacation tour of Africa currently underway has raised some hackles.
Press Secretary Jay Carney expressed some sympathy for the disappointed service men and women, but defended the Administration's choice to spend $100 million on the African trip. “Granted, the trip may be a thousand times more expensive than what would've been spent on the canceled fireworks, but the benefits are more than a thousand times as great,” Carney contended.
“I'd venture to say that every one of the military personnel affected has seen fireworks shows more than once in their lives,” Carney guessed. “Compare this to the millions of Africans who have never had the opportunity to see President Obama. The President's trip is giving these millions of Africans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to glimpse the greatest man of their era live and in person.”
“We are confident that the American people will weigh the minimal sacrifice imposed on some of our troops against the enormous benefits the President is bestowing on these otherwise deprived and impoverished Africans and agree that he made the correct decision,” Carney concluded.
In related news, US troops stationed in Afghanistan celebrated July 4th by holding a “Gay Pride” parade. An incensed Afghan Government protested the “flaunting of depraved and forbidden sexual behaviors in our faces” and demanded “the payment of $10 billion in compensation.”

The rapid collapse of ObamaCare (Obama apparatchik pretends nothing is going wrong.)

NYT ^ | 7/6/13 | RICH LOWRY

It is rare indeed that both sides of Congress can agree on it is incredibly heartening that there is bipartisan agreement that the implementation of ObamaCare is a mess.

Jarrett: Obama apparatchik pretends nothing is going wrong.

..... there is no hiding the embarrassment of a climbdown on a high-profile feature of President Obama’s signature initiative. Although the administration was determined to do all it could to hide it. It was apparently planning to announce it on July 3 — only because the day before Thanksgiving (or Christmas Eve) was too far off.
The purported reason for the delay is incompetence. The administration’s story is that it simply couldn’t find a way to implement the insurance-reporting requirements on employers in the time-frame set out in the law. Merely as a side-effect, it had to put off the mandate and the $2,000 per-employee fine on employers with more than 50 employees who don’t offer health coverage.
Jarrett portrayed the decision as about “cutting red tape." “As we implement this law,” Jarrett explained, “we have and will continue to make changes as needed.” But the law is supposed to be the law, not optional suggestions from Congress.
In Jarrett’s view, ObamaCare is little more than warrant for the Obama administration to decide how it wants to run the American health-care system, one executive decision at a time.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

5 Things The Republican Party Can Learn From McDonald's ^ | 7-6-2013 | John Hawkins

McDonald's feeds 68 million people a day, 88 percent of the WORLD population recognizes the Golden Arches, and 1 in 8 Americans has worked there during his lifetime.
Is McDonald's a great restaurant? Not really. It wouldn't be on most people's Top 10. How many people have a favorite food that's on its menu? Again, probably not many. Yet, it represents one of the greatest success stories in the history of business and the Republican Party can learn a lot from McDonald’s.

1) McDonald’s entire business is focused on doing things for its customers: McDonald's doesn't tell people they should eat there to help small business. It doesn't tell its customer to eat McChicken sandwiches in order to make America a better place to live. It doesn't explain why you need to show up every week so it can keep its fry cooks employed. Instead, its ads suggest you should come to McDonald's because you're hungry and it will do a great job of feeding you. As an extra added bonus, if you're a parent, you can bring your kid and it will give him a toy and a place to play for an hour so you can relax for thirty minutes while your kid obsesses over the slide.
Ultimately, people vote for politicians because they want to MAKE THEIR LIFE BETTER. Sure, voters may also care about the Constitution, the country, and their kid's future, but most of them are going to vote for the politician they believe will change their life for the better in some fashion -- or at least not make it worse. So, what are Republicans going to offer? Will we cut the price of gas? Will we reduce energy costs? Will we stop crime in their area? Will we reduce their taxes? Will we save their health care? Principles and big themes matter, but ultimately, we're going to win elections by the same way McDonald's wins customers: by fulfilling the personal wants and needs of the voters.

2) McDonald’s delivers what it promises: Whether you go to a McDonald's in Charlotte or Chicago, New Orleans or New York, Detroit or Dallas, you're going to find the restaurant, the food, the menu and service is all basically the same. You don't find moose heads on the walls in Alaska and a Big Mac isn't actually a taco in Texas. McDonald's may not be the best restaurant in the world, but you at least know what you're getting.
Can we say the same thing about the Republican Party? Does it keep its promises to its constituents? Can you count on Republicans to fight for the core principles they stand for whether they're in or out of power? Can conservatives trust Republican leaders to make a good faith effort to implement our agenda the way liberals can trust Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid to implement their agenda? No, we can't and that lack of consistency is the biggest reason why Republicans sometimes seem to spend more time fighting each other than the Democrats.

3) Its advertising is focused on mass appeal: McDonald's goes out of its way not to antagonize anyone because angry, upset people don't buy hamburgers. McDonald’s doesn't use controversial figures in its advertising, it tries to stay away from contentious issues and it wants to be about as threatening as a newborn kitten to anyone who could possibly eat at the restaurant chain.
In politics, there are too many Republicans in office who've forgotten this lesson. Instead of framing an issue in a way designed to bring as many voters as possible over to our side, they act as if they're trying to get a gig as a fill-in talk radio host or columnist. Politicians should leave the bombastic language, highly controversial quips and potentially offensive comments to those of us who don't have to run for office and focus on being the principled guy everyone would like to have a beer with at a ballgame.

4) Everybody knows what McDonald’s stands for: Why do people go to McDonald's? Because they want reasonably good food that's cheap and served in a timely manner. Is it healthy food? Not really, although McDonald’s added a salad to the menu so the one guy who wants to eat healthy can chow on that while his friends eat McNuggets. Does McDonald’s try to be everything to everyone? Over the years, it’s worked coffee, wraps and a few other things into the rotation, but ultimately people go there to get hamburgers in a hurry. That works for McDonald’s.
The GOP has a working formula, too. We're the party of small, honest government, low taxes, law and order, and traditional American values. So, what happened when you read that list? Did you choke on some of those descriptions? Of course you did because all too often the GOP doesn't explain its principles, promote its principles or most importantly, live up to its principles anymore. If Republican politicians aren't willing to make the case for what they believe to the American people, who do they think is going to do it for them? Do they believe the New York Times is going to bend over backwards to fairly explain why they believe and what they believe about gay marriage, welfare or the minimum wage? The less Republicans tell people what we believe, the more opportunities Democrats have to do it for us and you can be sure that their explanation will center around Republicans hating people.

5) McDonald’s portrays itself as a fun, happy place for fun, happy people: McDonald's ads feature young, cool, ludicrously happy, attractive people having the time of their lives eating delicious food while they're served by courteous, likable wait staff. Is that true? Hell, no! No one is breaking into a joyous dance because a pimply faced teenager serves him a double cheeseburger that's been sitting under heat lamps for 10 minutes. But, it's the image McDonald’s pushes.

Barack Obama does the same thing. He's about as cool and smooth as your great aunt who forgets to put her teeth in and serves you the same 12 year old bowl of hard candy every time you go to her house. The GOP's rainbow Republican convention in 2012 and Ted Cruz's Twitter comic making fun of Barack Obama show that we're starting to figure this out. However, there's a lot more to be done. How is the GOP portraying itself to minority groups? Are we seen as the out-of-it old person's party or the young person's party? Are we seen as technologically savvy and cutting edge or behind the times? Are we seen as the party that's friendly to blacks, women, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, and gays? Sure, we MAY BE just as friendly as the Democrats, but is that our image? If the image doesn't match up to the reality, then what steps are we going to take to change it? Maybe image SHOULDN'T MATTER, but in a world where the worst President in history has won two straight elections campaigning primarily on "hope and change" in 2008 and, "There's a war on women," in 2012, obviously it swings elections.

Mexican chief killed with rifle lost in ATF's 'Fast and Furious' program! (shocking!)

UnionLeader ^ | July 5, 2013 | Richard A. Serrano

WASHINGTON — A high-powered rifle lost in the ATF’s Fast and Furious controversy was used to kill a Mexican police chief in the state of Jalisco earlier this year, according to internal Department of Justice records, suggesting that weapons from the failed gun-tracking operation have now made it into the hands of violent drug cartels deep inside Mexico.
Luis Lucio Rosales Astorga, the police chief in the city of Hostotipaquillo, was shot to death Jan. 29 when gunmen intercepted his patrol car and opened fire. Also killed was one of his bodyguards. His wife and a second bodyguard were wounded.
Local authorities said eight suspects in their 20s and 30s were arrested after police seized them nearby with a cache of weapons _ rifles, grenades, handguns, helmets, bulletproof vests, uniforms and special communications equipment. The area is a hot zone for rival drug gangs, with members of three cartels fighting over turf in the region.
A semi-automatic WASR rifle, the firearm that killed the chief, was traced back to the Lone Wolf Trading Company, a gun store in Glendale, Ariz.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...