Monday, February 3, 2014

Republicans Can Take The Senate, If They Don’t Screw It Up!

The Federalist ^ | 02/03/2014 | Brandon Finnigan
When I first took a look at the picture for the U.S. Senate, I saw fourteen exciting-to-mildly interesting Democrat-held seats and three Republican-held ones. Since December, it has been clear Senator Collins has no intention of retiring, so with that possibility axed, the number of seats on the GOP worth watching drops to two. Senator Tom Coburn announced his retirement, and the special election to fill his seat will be held concurrently with the scheduled midterm election. His seat is quite safe, so the primary will be where all of the action lies.
Bigger than the retirement or our removal of Collins from my watch list has been the developments in the Democrat-held states. With polling releases and a closer examination of the Gallup surveys (along with available exit poll data from ’08, ’10, and ’12), I am moving several vulnerable Democrats to the endangered list: Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina are now projected to lose their seats by a close margin. In addition, Republican Terri Lynn Land, for now, appears to have the edge in Michigan, with fund-raising figures and polling strongly suggesting this race to be the best for Republicans in the Midwest. Despite a lack of polling, further review of the election data in 2008 along with fund-raising figures have convinced me to push Mark Begich onto the very vulnerable list: Alaska is now a toss-up. Right now, the Republicans are projected a net gain of seven seats, enough for a 52-48 majority in the Senate if Begich manages to hold on.




(Excerpt) Read more at thefederalist.com ...

How Obamacare will die

Flopping Aces ^ | 02-03-14 | DrJohn

supernova remnant A supernova is the end outcome not for all stars, but stars of sufficient mass, thought to be between 8 and 15 solar masses. The process is described this way:
•Gradually heavier elements build up at the center, and it becomes layered like an onion, with elements becoming lighter towards the outside of the star. • Once the star's core surpasses a certain mass (the Chandrasekhar limit), the star begins to implode (for this reason, these supernovas are also known as core-collapse supernovas). • The core heats up and becomes denser. • Eventually the implosion bounces back off the core, expelling the stellar material into space

This is the supernova, and the result is the formation of a neutron star. When stars beyond 20-30 solar masses go supernova, the result is the formation of a black hole. Supernovae are spectacular phenomena. This is not the fate of Obamacare. When stars of less than 8 solar masses run out of fuel the star expands into a red giant and then finally cools into a white dwarf. This is the fate of our sun. This is also how Obamacare will die. Megan McArdle describes the stages of Obamacare demise:
· 2014: Small-business policy cancellations. This year, the small-business market is going to get hit with the policy cancellations that roiled the individual market last year. Some firms will get better deals, but others will find that their coverage is being canceled in favor of more expensive policies that don’t cover as many of the doctors or procedures that they want. This is going to be a rolling problem throughout the year. · Summer 2014: Insurers get a sizable chunk of money from the government to cover any excess losses. When the costs are published, this is going to be wildly unpopular: The administration has spent three years saying that Obamacare was the antidote to abuses by Big, Bad Insurance Companies, and suddenly it’s a mechanism to funnel taxpayer money to them? · Fall 2014: New premiums are announced. · 2014 and onward: Medicare reimbursement cuts eat into hospital margins, triggering a lot of lobbying and sad ads about how Beloved Local Hospital may have to close. · Spring 2015: The Internal Revenue Service starts collecting individual mandate penalties: 1 percent of income in the first year. That’s going to be a nasty shock to folks who thought the penalty was just $95. I, like many other analysts, expect the administration to announce a temporary delay sometime after April 1, 2014. · Spring 2015: The IRS demands that people whose income was higher than they projected pay back their excess subsidies. This could be thousands of dollars. · Spring 2015: Cuts to Medicare Advantage, which the administration punted on in 2013, are scheduled to go into effect. This will reduce benefits currently enjoyed by millions of seniors, which is why they didn’t let them go into effect this year. · Fall 2015: This is when expert Bob Laszewski says insurers will begin exiting the market if the exchange policies aren’t profitable. · Fall 2017: Companies and unions start learning whether their plans will get hit by the “Cadillac tax,” a stiff excise tax on expensive policies that will hit plans with generous benefits or an older and sicker employee base. Expect a lot of companies and unions to radically decrease benefits and increase cost-sharing as a result. · January 2018: The temporary risk-adjustment plans, which the administration is relying on to keep insurers in the marketplaces even if their customer pool is older and sicker than projected, run out. Now if insurers take losses, they just lose the money. · Fall 2018: Buyers find out that subsidy growth is capped for next year’s premiums; instead of simply being pegged to the price of the second-cheapest silver plan, whatever that cost is, their growth is fixed. This will show up in higher premiums for families -- and, potentially, in an adverse-selection death spiral.

The public will indeed balk when Obama and democrats inform them that the horrible no good greedy insurers have to be reimbursed for their losses through the "risk corridors." And wait until they see the bill:
If Congress had tried to pass a law simply transferring $1 trillion to insurance companies over the next decade, there would have been energetic resistance to its doing so. The Affordable Care Act amounts to the same transfer, even as it places insurers in the enviable position of having a federal law in place that gives Americans a choice between buying their products and being fined by the federal government.

Barack Obama wrote a check that comes straight out of the taxpayer wallet:
Especially troubling is the “risk corridor” provision of the law, under which taxpayers are on the hook for covering large portions of the losses that insurers incur on the Obamacare exchanges. If an insurer pays out claims that exceed 108 percent of its premium collections, taxpayers would cover about 75 percent of its losses.

Obamacare's life hinges on these risk corridors:
It is important to understand how crucial the prospect of a taxpayer bailout of insurers is to the future of Obamacare. Insurers facing the prospect of participating in the exchanges in 2015 without the backstop of a taxpayer bailout would be forced either to price their products properly (and therefore likely well above their 2014 premiums) or withdraw from the exchanges altogether. Either way, the law will become even less attractive to middle-income and moderate-wage households who get little or nothing in subsidies. Insisting on budget neutrality or repealing these provisions would, like the elimination of the individual mandate, not only make good political sense but also help to speed the unwinding of Obamacare, which is essential to the ultimate repeal of the law and its replacement with a real reform of American health care. For that very reason, the insurers and the Democrats are certain to mightily resist a repeal of the bailout provisions. But the more intense their resistance, the more it will reinforce the case against the law. A program that cannot survive without a massive taxpayer bailout of private insurers is not a program that is working. It is a program that is failing, and needs to be replaced.

democrat members of Congress have admitted that Obamacare is not getting the enrollment numbers and types it needs to be sustainable. The risk corridor provisions conveniently expire in 2016 coincidentally with the end of the Obama regime. That's not where the bad news ends. Obamacare doesn't fix what's wrong. Period. The real problem with health care wasn't private health care. That was all paid for. The problem with health care costs is the cost of entitlements.
Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, identified the main driver of increased spending in Medicare as soaring costs in the health care system at large.

Obamacare does not fix it:
Health care entitlement spending is bypassing all other spending. Spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare subsidies, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program will be greater than all other spending—including Social Security and defense spending: “Spending for major health care programs will be nearly 5 percent of GDP [gross domestic product] in 2013, and such spending is projected to grow rapidly when provisions of [Obamacare] are fully implemented by middecade, reaching 6.2 percent of GDP in 2023.”

Obamcare makes many unrealistic expectations: (Excerpt) Read more at floppingaces.net...

Kerry tells Capitol Hill that Obama’s Syria policies have failed

Hotair ^ | 02/03/2014 | Ed Morrissey

Josh Rogin gets this bombshell from two of the Senators in the closed-door meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, who briefed them and thirteen other members of Congress on progress in Syria. In short, it doesn’t exist. The chemical-weapons inspection regime set up by Russia to protect Bashar al-Assad is nothing short of a joke, and the peace talks are going exactly where everyone else knew they would … nowhere. Kerry told his former colleagues that he has lost faith in Obama’s policies, and now the US must intervene to stop Syria from being taken over by radical Sunni terror networks:
Secretary of State John Kerry has lost faith in his own administration’s Syria policy, he told fifteen U.S. Congressmen in a private, off-the-record meeting, according to two of the senators who were in the room. Kerry also said he believes the regime of Bashar al Assad is failing to uphold its promise to give up its chemical weapons according to schedule; that the Russians are not being helpful in solving the Syrian civil war; and that the Geneva 2 peace talks that he helped organize are not succeeding. But according to the senators, Kerry now wants to arm Syria’s rebels—in part, to block the local al Qaeda affiliates who have designs on attacking the U.S. (Kerry’s spokesperson denied that he now wants to supply weapons, but did not dispute the overall tenor of the conversation.) “[Kerry] acknowledged that the chemical weapons [plan] is being slow rolled, the Russians continue to supply arms, we are at a point now where we are going to have to change our strategy,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, who attended Kerr’s briefing with lawmakers on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. “He openly talked about supporting arming the rebels. He openly talked about forming a coalition against al Qaeda because it’s a direct threat.” Kerry’s private remarks were a stark departure from the public message he and other top Obama administration officials repeatedly have given in public. Shortly after the meeting ended, Sens. Graham and John McCain described the meeting to The Daily Beast, The Washington Post, and Bloomberg News. Given newly-released intelligence on the growing al Qaeda presence in Syria, as well as shocking new evidence of Syrian human rights atrocities, the senators said they agreed with Kerry that the time had come for the United States to drastically alter its approach to the Syrian civil war.

How drastically? It depends on whom one asks. McCain and Graham said that Kerry wants to go forward on arming the rebels, but the State Department said that they heard what they wanted to hear, and not what Kerry was actually telling them:
Kerry’s spokeswoman, Jennifer Psaki, called it a “mischaracterization.” … Psaki, who attended the meeting, said Kerry did not raise the prospect of lethal assistance for the rebels. “This is a case of members projecting what they want to hear and not stating the accurate facts of what was discussed,” she said.

Fred Hiatt reminds readers at the Washington Post that Kerry’s impulses have been more in line with McCain and Graham than Barack Obama all along, though:
In fact, more than a year ago Kerry openly advocated changing the dynamics in Syria so that dictator Bashar al-Assad would have an incentive to negotiate. But the White House vetoed any serious training or arming of the rebels. That left Kerry beseeching Russia to persuade Assad to make concessions even as the dictator was gaining on the battlefield. Not surprisingly, that hasn’t worked.

Once again, we’re back at the intervention point against al-Qaeda in Syria, even though the situation appears more dire in Iraq. Furthermore, we’d be intervening into a civil war within a civil war in Syria in order to support the supposedly more moderate native opposition, even though they’re fading into irrelevancy. Why not attack al-Qaeda in Iraq in support of a government with much closer ties to the US? That would force AQ back into that front and take some of the pressure off of the native rebels in Syria, and force AQ into a straight-up fight with potentially much less confusion between groups on the battlefield. The bigger news here, though, is that there appears to be a split on foreign policy in the Obama administration, although the size of the split may be difficult to size up. Obama himself wanted an intervention in Syria when his hand was forced on the chemical-weapons “red line,” but not on the scale demanded by McCain and Graham. Either way, this looks very similar to the Western intervention in Libya, where arms shipments (mostly but barely covert) was preceded by a bombing campaign against the regime in service to a coup d’etat. That left a huge vacuum in which the radical Islamists could exploit the failed-state environment and export their jihad into Mali and, er, Syria too. How much distance is there really between Kerry and Obama now? I’d doubt that it’s much, but the fact that Kerry is talking about Obama’s policy failures in Syria is bad enough for the administration.

Obama's Still President, Monday the Day After Groundhog Day: We Do it All Over Again!

Michelle Obama's Mirror ^ | 2-3-2014 | MOTUS

Since I, like everyone else, was distracted by the Super Bowl yesterday (sorry about that, Peytonistas, maybe next year) I was unable to provide my usual Groundhog Day coverage. Plus, I forgot all about it until Mayor De Blasio, decked out in his industrial strength anti-wildlife gloves, dropped his groundhog – causing it to curse New York with 6 more weeks of winter and 4 more years of De Blasio. Also, I understand “Staten Island Chuck” will be filing a claim against the city for brain damage cause by the ensuing concussion.
groundhog3n-5-webSome news reports indicated Staten Island Chuck was not “dropped” butt rather “bolted.”

So given the conflicting priorities and complications yesterday, I’m celebrating Groundhog Day today: just like in the movie! As such, I am continuing my custom of reprising previous Groundhog Day posts, because really, don’t you feel like we’ve been trapped in some type of a time warp for the past 6 years anyway? So we pick up with last year’s post, and move backward in time through the seemingly interminable years…
February 2, 2013, The first official MOTUS Groundhog Day Redux:
Ever since the release of the seminal Groundhog Day movie, February 2 has become synonymous with a type of recurring déjà vu. The movie touches on Camus' Myth of Sisyphus, veers into Nietzsche's “eternal recurrence of the same” and even touches on the possibility of man becoming a god-like Superman. Boy, does this have “BHO’s” fingerprints all over it or what?

So I dedicate this Groundhog Day redux to our Glorious (and possibly god-like) Leader and Shadow-Master: without his most transparent administration ever we would not be able to see through the “fog of government.” Won’t you please join me in enjoying, again, some previous Groundhog Day celebrations:



And on Groundhog Day, 2012, we commemorated some of Lady M’s attempts to see her own shadow in Two Hogs, Two Shadows:
Allow me to apologize before I begin. We have another historical first to rack up so it’s my dutiful responsibility to report: Yesterday marked the first time ever that a FLOTUS “dropped to give us 25” in a celebrity contest on national daytime television: ellenx-wide-community Although this was not, technically, the first time Lady M has done pushups on television. That international milestone was reached last June when we were in Africa and Lady M challenged Archbishop Tutu to match her awesomely toned guns in a few on-stage pushups. She whipped his butt too, so let’s not be making this into a racial thing. michelle_tutu And when all is said and done, let me be perfectly clear: this was just an exhibition, not a competition. (Read more)

Back in 2011 Groundhog Day coincided with the “Arab Spring” uprising during which the Egyptians “unfriended” President Mubarak. It was a bad Groundhog Day for me:
“I had a restless night, and every time I woke the television was playing the same thing, over and over again. I thought I was having the vapors until I realized that little Mo had tuned the TeeVee to a movie channel that was having a “Ground Hog Day” marathon. What a relief! We’ve got enough déjà vu going on around here with that whole Egyptian mess.”

Unrelated to the overthrow of our friend in Egypt, 2011’s GHD post also covered an embarrassing incident involving ValJar, in which she mistook an General for a waiter (an honest mistake at a black tie dinner):

“You know the old saying ‘To a hammer, every problem looks like a nail?’ Well, it looks like it has a corollary: ‘To an imperialist, every uniform looks like a waiter.’”

valerie jarrett
Ok, Ok, it’s true. Val did ask a decorated US General to fetch her a glass of wine at a black tie dinner. Butt for goodness sake let’s take all of the circumstances into consideration before we jump to conclusions. For starters, the affair was held at the Alfalfa Club. The Alfalfa Club!? Isn’t that just a little racist? (read more)

ourgangalfalfa_buckwheat

And since Groundhog Day is really more about shadows than (the Arab) Spring, I thought you might enjoy this Groundhog Day-esque ode to Big Guy’s shadow, from the occasion of his 2010 Great Asian trip.
“Seriously, by the time we got to Japan, we were just a shadow of our former self.”

shadow
My Shadow
by Robert Lewis Stevenson
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there's none of him at all.
He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!
One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an errant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

big guy introduces his shadow who will be addressing APECBO introduces his shadow, who will be reading a speech with TOTUS
more shadows Damn! Stop bugging me. Go Away!
me and my shadowDoes this Shadow make my ears look big? (Read more)

Well, that’s a wrap for this year’s Groundhog Day re-broadcast. I leave you with this report directly from Punxsutawney:
groundhog day againExtended Forecast: Cloudy with a very slight chance of meatballs, as ground beef hit another all-time high of $3.82 a pound last week.

And just for good measure, enjoy Phil’s weather report for the Obama years, one more time:

Pete Seeger, Marxist minstrel

Center for Vision and Values ^ | February 3, 2014 | Paul G. Kengor

Pete Seeger’s death at age 94 is a cultural catharsis for the American left. The New York Times accorded his passing the kind of space normally reserved for the death of a president. Such was Seeger’s special place of reverence among liberals. The media is hailing Seeger as a “social-justice” crusading “progressive,” a voice for the poor, the downtrodden, the working man, and the environment. He’s also being portrayed as a victim of wild-eyed McCarthyites who maniacally searched for a red under every bed. Well, the full story is a little different. Pete Seeger had in fact been a Marxist, a committed one who stumped for international communism at the height of the Stalin era. Interviewed in 2008 for the PBS series, “American Masters,” Seeger conceded those sympathies. He first joined the Young Communist League at Harvard (mid-1930s) and later (early 1940s) joined Communist Party USA (CPUSA). That latter fact is a halting one. Many American communists, especially Jewish communists, bolted from CPUSA when their beloved Joseph Stalin allied with Hitler, specifically via the August 1939 Hitler-Stalin Pact. Not Seeger. He was undeterred, joining the party after the pact. (For the record, likewise undeterred was Barack Obama’s mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, who also joined CPUSA after the pact.) Seeger was a loyal comrade. If you were a communist agitator/organizer staging a big display or furthering the revolution, Pete Seeger’s presence was as reliable as a red flag. He was guaranteed to provide musical entertainment for the cause. Here are a few examples: At the massive anti-Vietnam rally held in New York City in April 1967, organized by the radical New Mobe, Seeger was there, strumming for the faithful. In the 1950s, New York communist parents sent their red-diaper babies to the Little Red School House, founded in the 1920s by “progressives.” There, the likes of Angela Davis, Victor Navasky, the sons of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and future Weather Underground terrorist Kathy Boudin (still in jail for murder) sat at the knee of leftist celebrities like Seeger, who played and taught music there. Seeger also provided rousing performances at the summer “commie camps” in the Catskills where the New York faithful sent their children to study the gospel according to Marx. These surreal spectacles were a sort of twisted red version of Vacation Bible School. But Seeger’s most disturbing work as a Marxist minstrel was his crooning for “The Almanacs,” which historian Ron Radosh—himself a former red-diaper baby—calls a “communist folk-singing group.” At varying times, “The Almanacs” included Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Burl Ives, and Will Geer, later known as “Grandpa” on TV’s “The Waltons.” Seeger founded the group in 1941. The most egregious work by “The Almanacs” was its propaganda for the insidious American Peace Mobilization, which Congress identified as “one of the most seditious organizations which ever operated in the United States” and “one of the most notorious and blatantly communist fronts ever organized.” Founded in 1940, the objective of the American Peace Mobilization was to keep America out of the war against Hitler. This also meant no Lend-Lease money to Britain. Why did the American Peace Mobilization take such a position? It did so because Hitler signed an alliance with Stalin. For American communists, any friend of Stalin was a friend of theirs. They literally swore an oath, formally pledging to a “Soviet America” and to “the triumph of Soviet power in the United States.” They were unflinchingly devout Soviet patriots. In my book Dupes, I publish the declassified Soviet Comintern document detailing how the American Peace Mobilization “was organised on the initiative of our Party in Chicago in September, 1940.” (Obama’s mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, was there.) As for mobilizing the “peace,” eager Pete Seeger was there to salute the flag. The kick-off rally to attract naïve recruits (i.e., liberal dupes) to the American Peace Mobilization was a huge April 1941 promotional in New York. The featured musical talent was Stalinist Paul Robeson and “The Almanacs.” Almost every “folk ballad” was a swipe at America and FDR—who communists were attacking at that point—for supporting an “unjust war” by aiding Britain as it was besieged by the Nazis’ ferocious onslaught. Such was the position of American communists, like Pete Seeger. Of course, liberals should be enraged at Seeger for efforts like this. Unfortunately, they don’t understand their own history. For them, the bad guys are never on the left. As ex-communist James Burnham used to say, for the left, the preferred enemy is always to the right. Speaking of which, in the left’s perverse moral universe, I’ll be viewed as the bad guy for pointing out these sordid facts about Pete Seeger. I’ll be pitied for my crass McCarthyism, whereas Seeger will be forever lionized by liberals as a peace-loving lamb, a happy-hearted hippie unfairly persecuted for his mere pursuit of “social justice.” - See more at:

http://www.visionandvalues.org/2014/02/pete-seeger-marxist-minstrel/#sthash.5lgAMa3u.dpuf

Boehner’s Immigration Blunder

POLITISITE.com ^ | 3 February 2014 | Colonel Steven B. Vitali USMC (Ret)

Against the rising gale sweeping towards a Republican surge in the upcoming 2014 Congressional elections, House Speaker Boehner boldly disregards the wide sentiment of the American people against the promulgation of an amnesty bill this year. Speaker Boehner proudly put forth a set of immigration principles, a fig leaf presentation to pave the road to amnesty for illegal immigrants. In Republican country, the reception of Boehner’s amnesty embrace and his “go-it-alone” strategy during a pivotal election season rankles deep within the Republican Party and specifically questions his ability to continue as the Speaker of the House. His unconscionable decision is especially detrimentally significant since recent national polls indicated only 3% of the American population would support Congressional immigration legislation this year. Americans are under siege by a stagnant economy; a rapidly rising national debt; abusive regulations; over taxation; a carnivorous government; and most of all, a palpable fear of Obamacare that impacts on the health and wealth of all American families. These are the great issues defined today that hinders American prosperity and liberty. Americans are also rightfully concerned over the security of the American borders and anguish at an administration and Department of Justice whose inept immigration enforcement policies appear to green light an “Open Borders” strategy to benefit future Democrats running in national elections. Boehner’s folly to move on a path of citizenship without border security is inexcusable. Without real border security, Boehner’s proposition ensures a repeat flood of illegal immigrants surging across our porous borders. A path to citizenship will only be viable when and if our national borders become verifiably secure. As long as Obama remains in office, our borders will never be secured. Historically, America is home to the underpinning of liberty, individualism, patriotism, exceptionalism, and entrepreneurism that drew to America the fancies and aspirations of legal immigrants from the far corners of the globe. Legal immigrants patiently waited in line and learned our standards to become American citizens. Their dream of becoming an American was built on their hope and desire to assimilate into the fabric of the American society. Today, America increasingly is faced with a different immigration dilemma; illegal immigration. Of note, it is reported that only 50% of Illegal immigrants express a desire to learn and cultivate American history, values, traditions, and language. A number of illegal immigrants who crossed our borders and broke American laws did so only for monetary gain and openly display their allegiance to their ancestral home. America is a composite of a multitude of immigrants from all nationalities and the seal that binds us is our desire to assimilate into the fabric of an American society. Some Illegal immigrants possess no desire or willingness to assimilate and therefore, their divided allegiances create a dangerous precedent that may lead to the further “balkanization” of America. Assimilation is the key to long term health and vitality of America and not multiculturalism which strikingly failed in Eastern Europe. Our politicians in an effort to appeal to a block of potential voters cause great harm to our American composite and a disservice to all legal immigrants who patiently follow the rules as they wait to become American citizens. Progressive Congressional Democrats and the Obama Administration have recognized the voting trends of the rapidly growing Hispanic vote. The strength of the Democrat Party is empirically fortified and sustained by a windfall amnesty program that fills the Democrat voter rolls to millions of new voters. We are witness to Latino immigrants possessed of deep roots of family, hard workers, good character, and who possess the same aspirations of a brighter future as any other legal immigrant. Yes, our nation must recognize the infeasibility of rounding up millions of illegal immigrants for deportations. That being the case, the proposition of amnesty or green cards can only be resolved once a secured border is erected and enforced. The illegal immigrant fiscal benefit to America is in dispute. Illegal immigrants are significantly less educated and unskilled. Therefore, illegal immigrants are more likely to live at the poverty rate; and therefore, they utilize considerably more governmental welfare resources and taxpayer expenditures at the local, state, and federal levels than the taxes they produce to the government. Second, illegal immigration in a period of large economic instability that exists today seizes jobs from American citizens who are desperately searching for employment. America’s unemployment rate in December 2013 fell to 6.7% but the increase in jobs was only 74,000 workers and half of the created jobs were unskilled part-time employment. Under these circumstances, illegal aliens are competing with American citizens for the scarcity of jobs in the market. The real unemployment figure is 10.3%, if those who gave up looking for employment are counted. Conditions for American workers are so harsh that Obama asks Congress to procure unemployment funds for those unemployed past 90 weeks. American citizens should not take second seats behind an illegal alien for the limited number of jobs created as a result of Obama’s failed economic policies. Amnesty or a path to citizenship should be placed on hold until the borders are secured and the American recession/ depression have ended. American citizen’s rights and liberties should not be negated to further a partisan political agenda. That is un-American and unpatriotic. In strategic terms, the Boehner path to citizenship (amnesty plan) is quite disturbing, especially in a run-up to a critical election year. Boehner’s ill-advised maneuver shifts the spotlight and public opinion from the titanic failures of Obamacare. For whatever reason, Boehner’s decided to hand Obama and Harry Reid a special election gift that will dampen Republican resolve, funding, and the possibility of recapturing the US Senate. Efforts to recapture the US Senate and hold the House should be Speaker Boehner’s primary concentration. Putting forth his truncated immigration principles was a potentially disastrous amateurish ploy and further divides the Republican Party when they should be unified. Boehner’s path to citizenship plan provides for work permits, legal status, and probationary periods. His principles sound reasonable and Boehner’s mouthpieces proclaim they will ensure the government secures the border first. Truthfully, are Americans going to discard the realities of the last five years of Obama’s immigration enforcement policies and trust Obama or Boehner for that matter to enforce and secure our borders? Neither one has earned the American public trust or respect. Congressional Republicans should unite against Speaker Boehner’s “fig leaf” amnesty plan. Americans deserved a new House Speaker who will work for justice and the rights of the common man in Middle America instead of the “fat cats’ within the Chamber of Commerce.

GOP War on Conservatives Backfires

breitbart.com ^ | 2/2/14 | Mike Flynn

On Friday, every political campaign had to file its 2013 year end report with the FEC. The reports delivered two big surprises. The Democrats are dominating the Republicans in fundraising. More surprising, perhaps, though, is that Tea Party and conservative SuperPACs raised around three times as much as GOP establishment SuperPACs. The DC GOP may have started the war against the Tea Party, but it won't finish it. Not long after their stunning losses in 2012, Karl Rove and other establishment Republicans announced a new effort to engage in primaries to ensure the "right" candidates got the party's nomination. Rove and the party leadership argued that the party lost because of "flawed", i.e. too conservative, candidates. There were indeed some flawed candidates in 2012, but far more establishment, "electable" candidates went down to uninspiring defeat. The GOP attack on the Tea Party came about for two reasons. The first was to deflect from the massive defeat suffered by Rove and other GOP consultants. Rarely in the history of mankind have so many resources been squandered so spectacularly. Perhaps the more important reason, though, is that the Tea Party movement is becoming a serious thorn in the side of Washington insiders. The movement has effectively ended earmarks. It threatens any corporatist giveaway. It calls out cronyism in both parties. It demands that Congress repeals ObamaCare, while business interests would rather "fix" the law to push the obligation for health benefits onto the government. More importantly, though, it wants rational immigration reform that doesn't simply flood the market with cheap labor as business would desire.

(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

Helicopter Pilot Chosen at Super Bowl

ATTENTION VETS:

What a nice, calm and honorable man represented all men an women in uniform yesterday at the Super Bowl.

The only thing I wondered about was that he was sober and did not use any foul language..."things are a changin" in the ranks of helicopter pilots. (he was an RLO (commissioned) though...that would be different had a WO (warrant) been chosen!)




 

Another Corvette Thief Foiled by Inability to Drive Stick!

Chevy Hardcore ^ | 1/31/14 | Jason Reiss

It used to be that learning how to drive a manual-transmission-equipped car was a rite of passage for all - either you had an uncle with an old car that taught you how to do it when you were 14, or you were lucky enough to have a parent that wasn’t afraid to row gears, and you went into the driving test feeling like a badass.
Not so for this idiot – one Annas Abdel-Khaliq of Marion County, Florida. According to the report, Abdel-Khaliq attempted to steal a 2012 Corvette from Ocala Ford Motors in the Sunshine State, but didn’t get very far – only about 100 feet from its previous position, before the hare-brained scheme hatched in his pea-sized mind began to unravel. Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Bloom ordered him to get out of the car, which he refused to do. So what was his next step? Why, to grab a steel bar and bash the deputy with it a few times in his haste to get away. Deputy Bloom got him out of the car, whereupon he started to run away. His mad dash was short-lived as Deputy Batts – who had just arrived – unleashed the pepper spray and the two deputies caught Abdel-Khaliq and subsequently placed him under arrest. We have a couple of questions. First, if you’re going to be dumb enough to try to steal a car with no tags off a well-lit dealer lot, wouldn’t you check first to see if you could drive it? Secondly, people still smoke Pall Malls? We thought those were reserved for the retired longshoreman that sits on the porch in his rocker at that house on the end of the block. As our good friend Forrest Gump says, “stupid is as stupid does”, and in this case, it’s 100% true. So now Mr. Abdel-Khaliq has a sweet charge of “aggravated burglary on a law enforcement officer” on his record to go with the Grand Theft Auto tag. That’s a great way to enter your twenties.

22,000 Americans Filed Site Error Appeals On Healthcare.gov...Obama denies!

Political Realities ^ | 02/03/14 | LD Jackson

Healthcare.gov Last night's interview of President Obama by Bill O'Reilly stuck out to me for one main reason. Obama refused to answer the questions and lied through his teeth in the process. He refused to acknowledge there was a "smidgen" of corruption present in the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS. He refused to acknowledge any failure in Benghazi. He refused to admit what was really happening with the ObamaCare website. He went so far as to say it was finally working the way it was supposed to work. That one lie is the easiest to prove.
Fox News - Thousands of people who tried to sign up for a health plan via the federal healthcare exchange website, Healthcare.gov, have seen their appeals to fix site issues go unanswered. The Washington Post, citing internal government data, reports that approximately 22,000 Americans have filed appeals to try and get site errors corrected. The complaints range from being denied coverage altogether to being overcharged for coverage to being steered into the wrong program. So far, months after the site launched October 1, the appeals have been untouched. What's more, the Post reports, people who have tried to call the marketplace directly for assistance, have been told that the Healthcare.gov computer system is not yet allowing workers to correct enrollment records. In theory, error appeals can be filed through the site itself, by phone, or by mail. However, only the mail appeal is currently available. But according to the Post, the appeal by mail process only goes as far as scanning the seven-page forms and transferring them to a computer system, where they currently sit unread and uncorrected. A CMS spokesman told the Post "We are working to fully implement the appeals system." In the meantime, the paper reported, applicants are being told to go back to Healthcare.gov and start over, thought it is not clear how many of the 22,000 who complained of errors have done so.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, are we seriously supposed to just accept Obama's word that Healthcare.gov is working the way it is supposed to work? When so much evidence, easily obtainable, is available to show just how wrong that statement is? Are we supposed to believe President Obama didn't know about these 22,000 appeals to fix errors on Healthcare.gov? Is his staff not alerting him to the problems the website is having? Or does he know and is just refusing to admit, ie. lying about, the problems his signature legislation is having during the implementation process?
What are we supposed to conclude from this information? Either the President is the most uninformed President in modern history or he is lying to the American public. It's possible it is a little of both. At any rate, one would think he would pick a topic to lie about that is not so easy to disprove. This information is out in the public domain, easily available to anyone who cares to look. How much more will it take to prove to the American people how dishonest President Obama has been?