Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Five Things Obama Could Do to be a great President, but Won’t!

Townhall.com ^ | March 11, 2014 | John Ransom
The saddest thing about a guy like Obama, as opposed to say, Bill Clinton, is that if you went forward in time and showed him all his mistakes, showed him an alternate vision-- one that's successful for the country-- he is such an ideologue that he would reject the advice out of hand. But still that doesn’t mean that I won’t share the five things Obama could do to turn the country and the economy around. Some of these are things anyone could do. OK, anyone but Obama:
    1) Negotiate with Republicans on Obamacare—This signature piece of legislation is going down and it's taking Democrats with them. Obama actually holds most of the cards and would put the GOP in a tough spot if he offered concessions. Obama runs the risk of looking like the bitter clinger he always accuses the rest of us being. But Obama won’t negotiate because Obama’s never wrong about anything. That’s what his mom said anyway. 2 ) Fold Up Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank— The banking industry doesn’t lack for regulation. It lacks for the right type of regulation. Sarbanes Oxley was supposed to fix fraud at publicly traded companies. Dodd-Frank was supposed end too big to fail. Both pieces of legislation fail at their primary mission and make Wall Street more complicated. It’s time for a bipartisan effort that deleverages Washington in Wall Street and Wall Street in Washington. You want to clean up money in politics? Then give financial companies less reason to donate money. Give them more reason to stick to their customers rather than lobbying to do in the competition. Pass bipartisan reform that permanently keeps Wall Street and Washington away from each other and really reforms financial services. 3) Approve the Keystone Pipeline— The Keystone pipeline isn’t about Canadian tar sand oil, it’s about opening the U.S. to further development of light, tight oil and gas. While it’s estimated that Canada may have as much as 2 trillion barrels of oil in reserves, “the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the [US] has 4.3 trillion barrels of in-place oil shale resources centered in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, said Helen Hankins, Colorado director for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management” according to the Associated Press. 4.3 trillion barrels is 16 times the reserves of Saudi Arabia, or enough oil to supply the US for 600 years. As I have pointed out all along, the Keystone issue isn’t about the safety of a pipeline. Obama and enviro-whacko friends know that if they allow Canadian tar sands oil to be developed via the Keystone pipeline, that the US will also start to develop their own tar-sands and shale oil. The US contains well over 600 years of known reserves and that would allow the US to be a net exporter of oil. If that happens, the green economy ruse that the left has sponsored, already reeling from bankruptcies and cronyism, would collapse. It would show that there is no shortage of oil and “green” energy can’t compete with fossil fuels. 4) Evaluate All Legislation and Executive Action for Job Cost—There’s probably ten million jobs in the Keystone pipeline, after accounting for post construction US shale development. PwC estimates that if shale oil is fully developed, US Gross Domestic Product could grow an additional 2-5 percent per year --that’s $300 to $800 billion in extra growth…every year…compounded-- greatly reduce the influence of OPEC, lower global energy prices, and ---with NatGas thrown in-- add at least a million jobs to manufacturing that are now just going to energy costs. That means- I’m saying this, not PwC- that we could significantly reduce the deficit, without drastically cutting benefits for a generation of Americans who have planned to count on those benefits. It means-- I’m saying this, not PwC-- we don’t have to raise taxes. Actually, it means we could go to some sort of a simplified tax code, like the fair or flat tax. See the danger to the progressives under the enviro-whackos here? We all win. There are no losers here to pit against anyone. Along the way, the U.S. would create at least 10 million new U.S. jobs in ten years, plus keep an average of $500 billion per year here at home yearly. Over twenty years that would be an additional $12.5 trillion in GDP even at a modest 2 percent growth rate. At 4 percent, the numbers are closer to $15.5 trillion. Do you know how much tax revenue $15.5 trillion in GDP produces? Today it produces $5.3 trillion. That would go along way toward working off our sins. Now, imagine if we applied the same cost-benefit analysis in jobs to every piece of legislation. Forget about money, how many jobs will this kill for American workers? That’s the question every one in D.C. should be asking. 5) Resign-- Seriously, I'm only half-kidding about this. Obama’s in way over his head in the office of president of the United States. Obama-- and his mom-- seem to be the only ones who are ignorant of the fact. If this was any other type of job he would have been fired or they would have handed him a golden parachute. Would Joe Biden be better? Yes and yes. Almost anyone would be better, with the exception of the next presidential nominee of the party—either party—who will likely be much, much worse. Hillary-Jeb 2016? Ouch.

New Oversight report claims Lois Lerner misled Congress on IRS targeting!

BY SUSAN FERRECHIO | MARCH 11, 2014 AT 12:23 PM

A GOP-led House panel Tuesday released an extensive report that attempts to show former top Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner lied to Congress about her involvement in the targeting of conservative groups seeking tax exempt status. Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the 141-page report “offers detailed evidence about steps she took to crack down on organizations that exercised their Constitutional rights to free political speech.” The report comes as Issa weighs whether the committee should vote on holding Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before the panel about the targeting activity. Republicans claim she waived her Fifth Amendment rights by reading a statement proclaiming her innocence at a hearing last year. The report does not include any of the Lerner emails the IRS recently promised to turn over to the House Ways and Means Committee, but Oversight apparently had enough material to determine, according to Issa, that Lerner “misled Congress about targeting and her own conduct.” The top Democrat on the panel, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., has accused Issa of turning Lerner into a political target. He is expected to release a statement shortly in response to the report. Among the findings in the report: — Lerner, in emails to other IRS officials, wrote about ways to highlight the agency's scrutiny of Tea Party applicants, despite secrecy laws, by provoking groups to challenge IRS rulings in a court case. — She called for a Washington, D.C.-based, “multi-tier review” for Tea Party groups applying for tax exempt status. “A D.C. IRS employee said this level of scrutiny had no precedent,” the report notes. — Lerner references “the fabulously rich and hugely influential” Koch brothers, who are GOP donors, in asserting that the agency needed to cautiously conduct a “project” scrutinizing groups seeking 501(c)(4) tax exempt status. The code references the tax exempt category conservative and Tea Party groups were requesting from the IRS. — Lerner broke IRS rules by using her personal email account to handle protected taxpayer information. — Lerner expressed concern that the Supreme Court ruling leading to the increase of 501(c)(4) tax-exempt groups would hurt Democratic senators seeking re-election in 2012. The IRS was expected to fix the problem, Lerner wrote. “The Supreme Court dealt a huge blow, overturning a 100-year old precedent that basically corporations couldn't give directly to political campaigns,” Lerner wrote. “And everyone is up in arms because they don't like it. The Federal Election Commission can't do anything about it. They want the IRS to fix the problem.”

MSNBC

Obamacare Just Keeps on Tanking

Townhall.com ^ | March 11, 2014 | David Limbaugh
How I pray we don't get so numb to the endless nightmarish stories of Obamacare that we become fatalistic and resigned to its continued existence. As an antidote to that, I submit another update. First, Unite Here -- a major union for the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry and airport industries -- has issued a report concluding that Obamacare will result in wages being reduced by up to $5 an hour, reduce worker hours and exacerbate income inequality. The report, titled "The Irony of ObamaCare: Making Inequality Worse," states: "Ironically, the Administration's own signature healthcare victory poses one of the most immediate challenges to redressing inequality. ... We take seriously the promise that 'if you like your health plan, you can keep it. Period.' UNITE HERE members like their health plans." Next, let's look at some very interesting -- and compelling -- "hard data" from Forbes on the difficulties people will have finding doctors under this exasperating law. Forbes obtained its data from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield "because it is regarded to offer higher quality plans in both the commercial market and on the exchanges." The report looks at nine states and compares the number of specialists in the various fields of practice -- cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, dermatology, gastroenterology, obstetrics and gynecology -- who are available in private health plans with those in the Obamacare plans in the same markets. The numbers are astounding and cannot be dismissed by cynics as anecdotal. Let's look at the cardiologists. In Connecticut, there are 400 practitioners in private plans and 177 fewer (223) in the Obamacare plans. In Kentucky, 376 are in private plans, and there are 182 fewer in Obama plans. In New Hampshire, it's 84 and 13 fewer. Colorado, 71 and 34 fewer. Indiana, 1,055 and 981 fewer. Maine, 71 and 23 fewer. Nevada, 324 and 225 fewer. Ohio, 511 and 244 fewer. Wisconsin, 286 and 187 fewer. Just running through these quickly, it looks as though the available choices under the Obamacare plans in many of these specialties are less than half or worse. The comparative numbers for the remainder of the specialties look to be about as dismal for the Obamacare plans. How could anyone argue that this is not a significant blow to access and quality of care? The Washington Examiner reports that health insurers participating in Obamacare are "very worried" about the announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services that plans that were supposed to be canceled this year can now be renewed for another two years. Health insurance industry consultant Robert Laszewski said, "The fundamental problem here is that the administration is just not signing up enough people to make anyone confident this program is sustainable." Indeed, though HHS reports that some 4 million have signed up for plans under the new exchanges, the real number is closer to 3 million when you factor in people who haven't paid their premiums on time or at all. As a result, they haven't developed a "sustainable risk pool" in which young and healthy enrollees will offset the cost of covering sick and older people who are guaranteed coverage through Obama's personal beneficence. Next, Reason reports that the federal government spent more on broken state-run exchanges than it did on its own miserable system. Seven of the 14 state-run exchanges "remain dysfunctional, disabled, or severely underperforming." These failed exchanges were "funded heavily by the federal government" via grants that totaled more than $1.2 billion -- almost twice the $677 million spent to develop the federal exchange. But hey, what's a wasted couple of billion here and there? Based on Obama's reaction to similar failures in his green energy debacles, this is just another day at the office for them. Besides, surely most of that money came from rich taxpayers -- who are little better than serial felons, in the left's estimation. So no harm (to anyone who matters), no foul. Next, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she opposes a proposal by Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., to create a special inspector general to oversee Obamacare. Roskam said it's needed because "the public has been kept in the dark about a law that puts the federal government in charge of one-sixth of the economy and is wreaking havoc on America's personal health care decisions." Even though Democrats and the administration have stonewalled congressional oversight of Obamacare, Pelosi insists no additional oversight is needed, because each of the government agencies that are implementing the law has its own inspector general. That is not quite the position Pelosi took in the past concerning special inspectors general -- for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hurricane Katrina, and intelligence. On top of all this, columnist John Hayward informs us that Obamacare's ultimate failure is that the uninsured aren't buying. New studies show that these uninsured are just uninterested. It's the socialist way. Don't you see? Cite a horrendous alleged inequity and a desperate need in order to commandeer control over business and industry even though there was little evidence of such a demand in the first place. All I'm asking is that we don't ever allow this unconscionable law to slip to the back burner of American politics. Repeal now and repeal always.

How the GOP Can Destroy Hillary Clinton Now!

The Blaze ^ | 10 Mar 2014 | Wayne Allyn Root
Branding is even more important in politics than the business world. My message to the GOP: Brand Hillary Clinton right now. Before she brands herself. Before she becomes too big to fail. Before she becomes “inevitable.” Before it’s a foregone conclusion that the first female president will follow the first black president. It’s all or nothing for the Democratic Party in 2016. It’s Hillary or bust. She has a 61-point lead…the biggest lead in Democratic presidential poll history. There are no other contenders. Destroy Hillary now and it’s over. What are they left with? Joe “Crazy Uncle” Biden? Elizabeth “I’m an Indian” Warren? The Democrats have nothing but Hillary. Take Hillary down now, before she gets started, and the GOP has a huge advantage in 2016. For Hillary Clinton it’s already started. Her own BFF (Best Friend Forever), the late Diane Blair just branded her as “ruthless” in papers published after Blair’s death in 2000. Well maybe the GOP needs to take a few lessons in “ruthless” from Hillary. I travel the world lecturing about branding. I recently returned from a 16-day, four-city tour of South Africa where I taught “Branding, American Style.” I’ve sold hundreds of millions of dollars of different products on TV, radio, infomercials and web. I understand branding. Branding works. Why isn’t it already being done? Can Republicans be this stupid and dense? Anyone can see it. You’d have to be blind. Heck, the GOP has already seen it done to themselves, up close and personal.
(Excerpt) Read more at theblaze.com ...

The Irony of ObamaCare: Making Inequality Worse

CDN ^ | March 2014
The promise of Obamacare was the right one and the hope for extending healthcare coverage to the un-and under-insured a step in the right direction. Yet the unintended consequences will hit the average, hard-working American where it hurts: in the wallet. Currently a national dialogue is emerging by all political parties on the issue of income inequality. That is a debate worth having. The White House and Congressional Democrats are “resetting” the domestic agenda following the negative fallout from the rollout of the ACA. They plan to shift focus from health care to bread and butter issues of income inequality that have eroded the American paycheck for decades. Ironically, the Administration’s own signature healthcare victory poses one of the most immediate challenges to redressing inequality. Yes, the Affordable Care Act will help many more Americans gain some health insurance coverage, a significant step forward for equality. At the same time, without smart fixes,the ACA threatens the middle class with higher premiums, loss of hours, and a shift to part-time work and less comprehensive coverage. • Transferring A Trillion Dollars in Wealth: Most of the ACA’s $965 billion in subsidies will go directly to commercial insurance companies, one of the largest transfers of public wealth to private hands ever. Since the ACA passed, the average stock price of the big for-profit health insurers doubled, their top executives were paid more than a half billion dollars in cash and stock options, and in the past 2 years, the top 10 insurers have spent $25 billion on mergers and acquisitions.
(Excerpt) Read more at cdn.ralstonreports.com ...

Emails show health officials stonewalled FoxNews.com inquiry on Sebelius fundraising!

foxnews.com ^ | March 10, 2014
Newly published emails show how health officials stonewalled a request by FoxNews.com for information about Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' under-the-radar fundraising for a pro-ObamaCare group. The emails were published Monday by The Washington Examiner, and show how officials were sent into a frenzy by the initial inquiry. FoxNews.com first reached out to the pro-ObamaCare group, Enroll America, last May to inquire about claims that Sebelius was making calls to nonprofits to raise money for its Affordable Care Act awareness campaigns. FoxNews.com was told "there was no truth" to the tip. But the emails show officials acknowledging, privately, that it was accurate. "He asked me point blank if this was true," wrote then-Enroll aide Cate Bonacini, according to emails obtained by the Examiner. Within four minutes, Enroll consultant and Democratic operative Michael Czin wrote back: "Did you say that off the record?" In an email several minutes later, Czin, a former Obama campaign staffer who later in May became a Democratic National Committee spokesman, acknowledged the veracity of the tip. "Sebelius is helping with some fundraising," he wrote.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...

From Gallup’s poll on the uninsured (tiny drop from 17.1% to 15.9% of adults)

Washington Post ^ | March 10, 2014 | Jason Millman
 The big headline from the report: 15.9 percent of adults are now uninsured, down from 17.1 percent at the end of 2013. It's news that the Obama administration and the law's supporters are going to cheer as proof that the Affordable Care Act is working, and you'll likely hear a lot about it this week. The uninsured rate for the highly scrutinized 18-34 year-old demographic is dropping, but not yet to the levels the administration hopes for. The uninsured rate among 18-25 year-olds is now 23 percent, down from 23.5 percent, and the rate for 26 to 34 year-olds dropped from 28.2 percent to 26.6 percent.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...

A Chilling Reality: the Islamization of Our Military

ClashDaily.com ^ | March 10, 2014 | Pete Parker
Manifestly the Pentagon never received the memo that Islam is at war with Western Civilization. Or, that Islam is a brutally misogynistic ideology bent on the wholesale murder of women who dare show a little ankle. Oh, and did I forget to mention that its founder, Mohammed–had an unquenchable penchant for little girls? In short: Islam is evil. With that established–allow me to enlighten you as to what insanity our Pentagon is currently engaged in. The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) just announced that it will be providing our military with chaplains for active-duty service. That’s right–our Pentagon is allowing ISNA (a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate) to supply the US military with full time chaplains. Of course, as I have mentioned many times in my articles–organizations such as ISNA and the Muslim Brotherhood represent the true face of Islam. These groups follow the very paradigm set by the Prophet Mohammed. A paradigm, mind you–that gave us jihad, pedophilia, beheadings, genital mutilations and 9/11. Furthermore, ISNA was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land terrorism trial which involved funneling money to one of the most brutal and infamous Islamic terrorist organizations in the world–Hamas. Yeah, that’s right–Hamas. And when questioned by the Clarion Project about its egregious decision concerning ISNA–the Pentagon released the following statement: “The Islamic Society of North America is one of many religious organizations recognized by the Department of Defense that satisfy the ecclesiastical requirements to endorse qualified religious ministry professionals to serve as chaplains within the military.” I wasn’t aware that having sex with a 9 year old girl was an “ecclesiastical requirement?” So, to sum it all up: The Pentagon is allowing an organization that is not only a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate–but also a onetime financer of Hamas to supply our military with chaplains. That deserves a big–WT*! Couple this with the Pentagon’s other feckless decision to allow Muslim troops to wear hijabs and beards and we are now witnessing the start of a very chilling reality: The Islamization of our military.

Why Rand Paul will win the 2016 primaries, and the presidency!

The Daily Caller ^ | March 10, 2014 | Brent Hatley, radio personality
You have probably seen all of the ridiculous speculating about the GOP nomination in 2016. This is still speculating, but my sincere hope is you don’t think it’s ridiculous too. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is laying the foundation for his presidential bid in concrete and steel. First, forget about Jeb Bush unless you want to hand Hillary eight years in the White House. The latest Rasmussen poll shows her leading Jeb in a general election 47 percent to 33. His name is Bush and to the general public the specifics of how smart he is doesn’t matter one iota. Then there’s Ted Cruz, he’s nothing but a hack. There’s no substance to what he says. He only cares about adulation and applause. When he speaks, it’s contrived and inauthentic. Matt Lewis’s recent piece on Ted Cruz’ strategy illustrated this, pointing out that Ted Cruz is trying to get close to Paul, while sticking to the mainstream GOP foreign policy to not seem to far out there. Even before Chris Christie’s troubles with the George Washington Bridge and being exposed at the very least for hiring a petty, inept staff he was a poor fit for the Republican party base. His disdain for the second amendment is a major obstacle. Governor Christie has done nothing to restore the gun rights of the people of New Jersey and doesn’t care to. Whether intentional or not, Christie helped Barack Obama get re-elected through his endorsements and photo ops after Hurricane Sandy....
(Excerpt) Read more at dailycaller.com ...

‘Every American Ought to be Outraged’ at Obamacare Tax Break for Unions

Free Beacon ^ | 3/10/14 | Washington Free Beacon Staff
Sen. John Thune (R., S.D.) called out the Obama administration for an “outrageous” Obamacare tax exemption for certain unions that he says will be passed on to the American people. “Every American ought to be outraged,” he said. “This is cronyism at its worst. Basically, what the president said was that he and his friends are above the law, because there is a reinsurance tax in Obamacare that’s designed to apply to all self-insured plans. And what the president did is he waived that for certain, self-insured, self-administered plans, namely unions, so they don’t have to pay that tax. And because the tax was designed to raise a certain amount of revenue, that means everybody else has to pay a higher tax.” Unions have been one of the most surprising and vociferous Obamacare critics. The strongly Democratic groups have written lawmakers demanding changes to the law that had, among other things, redefined a full work week as 30 hours. Now, Thune said, Obama has given in, partially, to their demands and the cost will be borne by those not fortunate enough to wield union influence.
(Excerpt) Read more at freebeacon.com ...

Why President Obama's mealymouthed response to Ukraine only invites Putin's aggression.

Foreign Policy ^ | March 4, 2014 | Ted Cruz
Vladimir Putin running rampant in Ukraine showcases how the Obama administration's abdication of global leadership is making the world a more dangerous place. Instead of providing clarity to our nation and our allies, the Obama administration offers tortured semantics. "Kinetic action" glamorizes the failed policy of leading from behind in Libya. A "spontaneous protest" explains the coordinated al Qaeda attack on American officials in Benghazi. The interim agreement over Iran's nuclear program -- described by one of our closest allies as a "historic mistake" -- is in this universe referred to as a display of "international unity." And on Friday, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was euphemistically designated "an uncontested arrival." This is the language of fools. Appeasement, historically, leads to more and more violence. Bullies and tyrants are only encouraged when the United States uses words that willfully ignore the reality of the threats the United States and our allies face. Ironically, this administration's effort to avoid conflict at all costs makes conflict all the more likely. Putin knows there will be no serious reprisals for aggression from an American president who was only waiting for his re-election to give him the "flexibility" to make additional concessions at the negotiating table. Putin's disdain for Washington has been on full display as he barely waited for the Olympic flame at Sochi to be extinguished before he turned his attention to long-suffering Ukraine.
(Excerpt) Read more at foreignpolicy.com ...

13 Democrats Charged with Embezzling Millions from Charity!

Eagle Rising ^ | 10 March 2014 | Onan Coca
Leave it to the sleazy down-home Democrats of the Midwest to steal more than $16 Million from various charities, including one for those suffering from AIDS. Also not so surprising, several of the scammers have ties to President Barack Obama, including one who happens to be related to President Obama’s friend and former pastor Jeremiah “God Damn America” Wright.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Springfield has been busy the past few years investigating a variety of fraud schemes involving state grants. Thirteen people have been charged so far, six who have pleaded guilty. Two of them have ties to President Barack Obama. One is the daughter of his controversial former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Another was chief of staff to Obama’s longtime friend Eric E. Whitaker when Whitaker was Illinois’ public health chief.
(Excerpt) Read more at eaglerising.com ...