Stomaching Change

“What Republicans don’t often do well is focus on, ‘How do we win?’” said Texas senator Ted Cruz, speaking to bloggers at the Heritage Foundation in Washington Tuesday afternoon.

He’s right about that. Most Republicans are wanting to appease or please or snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Don’t want to offend anyone, after all….

Cruz says he is focused on winning on Republicans’ most important issue, Obamacare, by pushing to defund the whole law in this fall’s upcoming budget battle. “I think defunding Obamacare, the fight in the next 62 days, is likely to prove the most important battle that this Congress faces,” Cruz said.

Last week, Cruz introduced legislation to strip appropriations bills of all funding of Obamacare and is threatening to hold up Congress’s next budget fight over the issue. Cruz said this budget battle is the “best” and perhaps the “last” chance for conservatives to cripple the law.

“If we don’t do it now, in all likelihood, we never will,” Cruz said. “On January 1, the exchanges kick in and the subsidies kick in, and the Obama administration’s plan is very simple. It is to get as many Americans as they can addicted to the subsidies, addicted to the sugar, because they know that in modern times, no major entitlement, once it was implemented, has ever been unwound.”

Polls show that while Americans oppose Obamacare and support repealing and delaying the law, fewer support defunding it. Asked about this, Cruz dismissed the polls and said it’s incumbent on conservatives to “stand and fight” and make a public appeal.

But the nerdy Republicans would have to stand up to the school bully first. Because the massive onslaught will be worse than at Omaha Beach on D-Day. The defense of the Holy Grail of Progressive Liberalism will be all out Nuclear War. Do the Republican have the stomach for War?

I kind of doubt it.

Then ObamaCare become reality and it will NEVER EVER Go away. And this country will never be the same.

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Who Is Racist?

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert


Sequester Jester

The sequester has “cost jobs,” says President Obama, and “gutted investments in education and science and medical research.” But somehow he’s earmarked $500 million for Hamas terrorists.

Circumventing Congress and with no fanfare, President Obama last week issued an executive order enabling him to send an additional $500 million directly to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank — much of which you can bet will wind up going to the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization.

But the White House Tours are still closed! 🙂

According to Obama, “it is important to the national security interests of the United States to waive the provisions of” Congress’ legislative restrictions “in order to provide funds . .. to the Palestinian Authority.”

At the beginning of his first term, Obama promised close to $1 billion in aid to the Palestinian Authority, with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledging none of it would reach Hamas.

But the Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Acharonot has documented that tens of millions of dollars in aid for the PA — from Israel — ended up being used by Hamas for weapons. If Israel can’t guarantee its own aid is safe, how can we?

What’s more, back in February, the president was warning that the “meat cleaver” of the impending budget sequester of automatic spending cuts would “jeopardize our military readiness” — the budget ax having amazingly already “forced the Navy to delay an aircraft carrier that was supposed to deploy to the Persian Gulf” even before it came into effect.

Sequester was going to force the government to “let criminals go,” Obama claimed, jeopardize “air traffic controllers and airport security,” cause tens of thousands of parents “to scramble to find child care,” and put “hundreds of thousands of Americans” at greater risk of cancer and flu.

Well, the sequester has been supposedly devastating the functions of the federal government for nearly five months now.

And yet the president just managed to pull a half-billion dollars in taxpayer money out of the U.S. Treasury’s hat to fund further an organization that will likely finance more rockets to kill Israeli citizens on their home soil.

When Hamas started winning elections, a realistic Bush administration wisely determined that the ballot box was no road to peace in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip anytime soon.

President Obama, on the other hand — not unlike Jimmy Carter’s policies toward communists in Central America — thinks we can bribe these thugs into civilizing themselves.

That in fact was the whole ethos of his 2009 “New Beginning” speech at Cairo University. Obama opened the door to the subsequent “Arab Spring” that has seen regimes friendly to the U.S. be replaced with Islamists.

Muslim Brotherhood flunky Mohamed Morsi’s rule was threat enough for the Egyptian military to step in, and Morsi now finds himself accused of colluding with — guess who? — Hamas.

In Syria, the White House was convinced that the wild card of Islamist rebels taking control was preferable to menacing secularist dictator Bashar al-Assad; in Libya, Muammar Gadhafi, whose nuclear weapons program was neutralized by the Bush administration’s aggressive waging of the global war on terror, was replaced by an Islamist regime that remains a question mark.

Now, for the sake of restarting negotiations with Palestinians this week after a three-year hiatus, the Israeli government is releasing over 100 Arab militants, some sentenced to life, whose crimes include throwing firebombs at a bus carrying children and stabbing and shooting elderly Jews.

As Israeli Economic Minister Naftali Bennett quipped to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, it amounts to freeing “a hundred terrorists for a process. We are showing the world that, for us, everything is negotiable.”

Thanks to President Obama, it’s a hundred terrorists and $500 million. Apparently, neither Israeli pride nor American budget constraints can stop the appeasement of Islamist terrorists. (IBD)

Another story has emerged out of the Department of Defense that the economic consequences from sequestration will be less dire than what was predicted. DoD initially projected that there would be 22 furlough days for government employees.

First predictions out of DoD were that there would need to be up to 22 furlough days. That was revised down to 11 days, which has now been cut to 6-8. In total, the original projection was an exaggeration of over 300%.

This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who’s been paying attention. the Obama Administration ordered executive agencies not to contradict the official Administration line to try to make sequestration appear as painful as possible.

The Washington Post catalogued the predictions for sequestration that were and weren’t coming true. In total, they found that just 11 of 48 predictions had come true. Time to update those revisions! (Townhall)

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell


The Light

Once again, the President likes to blame everyone else for the lack of success he has seen when it comes to Obamacare.

“But until then, when we’re getting outspent four to one and people are just uncertain about what all this means for them, we’re going to continue to have some polls like that,” Obama said. “And me just making more speeches explaining it in and of itself won’t do it. The test of this is going to be is it working. And if it works, it will be pretty darn popular.”

Even with a new PR blitz (costing $700 Million Dollars), the President can’t win over the public opinion:

“Over the course of six months to a year, as people sign up, and it works, and lo and behold, the people who already have health insurance are not being impacted at all other than the fact that their insurance is more secure and they are getting free preventive care, and all the nightmare scenarios and the train wrecks and the ‘sky is falling’ predictions that come from the other side do not happen, then health care will become more popular,” Obama said.

And when the train does wreck, naturally, it will be someone elses fault! 🙂

The New “Cash for Clunkers”…

Way back in 2009, President Obama’s Treasury Department launched the Home Affordable Modification Program, a massive authorization to help homeowners struggling with their mortgages in the wake of the financial crisis. 1.2 milllion people participated in the program at a cost to taxpayers of $4.4 billion.

A report [pdf] dropped this week from the Office of the Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP) that HAMP has a stunning failure rate. Of the 1.2 million HAMP participants, 306,000 have re-defaulted on their mortgages, at an additional cost to taxpayers of $815 million. What’s more, another 88,000 homeowners in the HAMP program have missed payments and are at risk to re-default.

Twenty-two percent of homeowners who have re-defaulted on their HAMP permanent mortgage modifications have moved into the foreclosure process. The Administration’s stated goal for the housing initiative was “to help as many as three to four million financially struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure by modifying loans to a level that is affordable for borrowers now and sustainable over the long term.” However, since 2009, during each year of the program, an increased number of homeowners redefaulted on HAMP permanent mortgage modifications. Redefault rates of the oldest 2009 HAMP permanent mortgage modifications have continued to increase as they age at a redefault rate of 46%. The 2010 HAMP permanent mortgage modifications are redefaulting at a rate of 38%. Treasury’s data continue to demonstrate that the longer homeowners remain in HAMP, the greater the chance that they will redefault on their permanent modification and fall out of the TARP program. For the substantial number of homeowners who redefault, their modification was not sustainable. It is crucial that Treasury recognize this problem and take proactive steps to ensure that HAMP lives up to its promise and potential.

HAMP has been re-authorized to be in effect through 2015. (Townhall)

Gee, that mean through the mid-term election and that a lot of people who were going to default before because they couldn’t afford it have defaulted again. NO! that’s shocking… :

But at least it’s safe until after the election. Just like the employer mandate. Fancy that…


As Detroit enters the federal bankruptcy process, the city is proposing a controversial plan for paring some of the $5.7 billion it owes in retiree health costs: pushing many of those too young to qualify for Medicare out of city-run coverage and into the new insurance markets that will soon be operating under the Obama health care law.

Detroit wants insurance exchanges to cover retirees like Thomas Berry, a former police officer.

“There’s fear and panic,” said Michael Underwood, an ailing Chicago Police Department retiree.
Readers’ Comments

Officials say the plan would be part of a broader effort to save Detroit tens of millions of dollars in health costs each year, a major element in a restructuring package that must be approved by a bankruptcy judge. It is being watched closely by municipal leaders around the nation, many of whom complain of mounting, unsustainable prices for the health care promised to retired city workers.

Just dump all those poor bastards on the rest of us. It will save the city and make ObamaCare costs skyrocket and of course, more popular….

Say, isn’t that sort of a Bailout?? 🙂

The light at the end of this tunnel is a bullet train!


The Wrath of Can’t

Health Overhaul: Republicans are fighting over a government shutdown when they should be telling a receptive public that if ObamaCare takes effect, the result will be massive taxpayer fraud and privacy violations.

News accounts have focused on GOP threats to block any ObamaCare implementation funds in next year’s spending bills, even if that risks a presidential veto and a government shutdown.

That, naturally, has sparked a public debate among Republicans not over the merits of stopping ObamaCare, but over the political fallout of such a high-stakes face-off. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., called it “the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.”

The People’s Kirk : “Like a poor marksman, you keep missing the target.” And that’s the Republicans.

Democrat Khan: Perhaps I no longer need to try, Admiral.

Because The Republicans want to shoot their own foot off first anyhow, or at least worry and fight why they want to shoot their foot off, rather than why they oppose the issue.

The Nerd is so obsessed with the Bully’s response that the Nerd can’t do the right thing and stand up to the Bully.

And we, the average American will get be up, battered, bruised and possibly killed for it! 😦

Democrat Khan: I’ll do far worse than kill you. I’ve hurt you. And I wish to go on… hurting you.

But while the political risks of such a strategy are no doubt real, the risks to the public should the law go forward are even greater. Put simply: If ObamaCare goes into effect on Oct. 1, the result will be fraud and abuse on a monumental scale. Here’s why:

In its rush to meet ObamaCare’s deadlines, the administration gutted the law’s verification requirements. The ObamaCare exchanges are supposed to verify eligibility and income information provided by applicants before handing out billions in taxpayer subsidies.

Not anymore. Instead, the exchanges can just take the applicant’s word for it, creating an open invitation for people to abuse the system by fudging those facts.

Nor is the ObamaCare data hub, which will connect seven other huge federal databases, anywhere near ready. More than a dozen GOP lawmakers complained in a letter to HHS that the hub “has not been tested” and that it’s unclear whether it will be “able to protect sensitive health and taxpayer information.”

Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., said that without such protections, the Hub would be a “honey pot” for hackers and identity thieves.

In addition, the administration is cutting corners so it can quickly hire thousands of “navigators” before ObamaCare’s start date. They’re not even running criminal background checks. This is particularly troubling, since ObamaCare gives these navigators — who’ll guide customers through the sign-up process — access to vast amounts of private tax and income data.

So, in other words, none of the key safety features of ObamaCare is ready, and won’t likely be for at least another year.

The public has never been more open to such concerns, with polls consistently showing a clear majority opposed to the law. Even among Democrats and unions, support is tumbling.

So Republicans have an incredibly strong hand to play. Do we really want to open the door to vast amounts of fraud and abuse just to stick to the law’s arbitrary deadlines?

Given that it’s been more than three years since the president signed ObamaCare into law, putting it off one more would hardly matter, especially if it prevents these kinds of abuses. Plus, it would give ObamaCare critics more time to draft better alternatives.

But as long as Republicans are fighting among themselves over a government shutdown, this hand will never get played. (IBD)

And the Bully wins.


Food Stamp Nation

Welfare: SNAP, the U.S. food stamp program, has become a conduit for redistributing wealth and fundamentally transforming America, as welfare recipients now send food overseas and the White House markets to illegals.

But think of all the government dependent voters! 🙂


While the administration laments the distraction of “phony” scandals like Benghazi and Fast and Furious that leave real Americans dead, it trots out phony statistics about how well the economy is doing.

“And what is absolutely true is that we have come a long way since the depths of the Great Recession,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said at a recent press briefing. “We’ve created over 7.2 million private-sector jobs.” How many of those jobs are part-time is one of the many things Carney left out.

Under his failed economic leadership, America has suffered through weak economic growth and 54 months of unemployment over 7.5%, the longest stretch since records began being kept in 1948.

And with 14+ million new government dependent voters what’s not to like about 20 million illegals becoming legal dependents!! 🙂

Since February 2009, the first full month of Obama’s presidency, 9.5 million Americans have dropped out of the labor force. Nearly 90 million working-age Americans are not working today. Doing the math, 1.3 Americans have dropped out of the labor force for every job the administration claims to have created.

At the end of January 2009, 32.2 million Americans received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) aid. As of April 2013, there were 47.5 million Americans on food stamps. Using the White House’s job growth number, the 15 million increase in recipients means more than two people went on food stamps for each job the administration says it has created.

That’s not the only statistic Carney won’t recite.

Under Obama, 1.6 million more Americans are collecting disability insurance. In February 2009, 9.33 million Americans received disability payments. Today, that number is 10.95 million.

Food stamps feed not only Americans, but also the world. As the New York Post reports, welfare recipients buy groceries with Electronic Benefit Transfer cards and pack them in giant barrels to send to relatives overseas. The U.S. spent $522.7 million on foreign aid to the Caribbean last fiscal year, government data show, but the figure does not include what New Yorkers alone pay using taxpayer-funded benefits to ship food to relatives in Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

The practice is so common, hundreds of 45- to 55-gallon containers line the walls of some supermarkets, ready to be packed with taxpayer-funded goodies.

Perhaps to spare the cost of sending food overseas, the administration is using food stamps to attract more to come here, even as the immigration debate rages. A flier given to the Mexican Embassy by the USDA highlights that “you need not divulge information regarding your immigration status in seeking this benefit for your children.”

“USDA and the government of Mexico have entered into a partnership to help educate eligible Mexican nationals living in the United States about available nutrition assistance,” the USDA explains in a brief paragraph on its “Reaching Low-Income Hispanics With Nutrition Assistance” Web page. “Mexico will help disseminate this information through its embassy and network of approximately 50 consular offices.”

As CNSnews reports, the Agriculture Department estimates that 101 million people take part in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal 2012.

That compares with America’s 97.2 million full-time private-sector workers in 2012.

Food Stamp Nation is now larger than the entire U.S. private-sector work force.

That’s food for thought.

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert


Win Stein’s Money

Charles Krauthammer: If there’s an iron rule in economics, it is Stein’s Law (named after Herb, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers):

“If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

Detroit, for example, can no longer go on borrowing, spending, raising taxes and dangerously cutting such essential services as street lighting and police protection. So it stops. It goes bust.

Cause of death? Corruption, both legal and illegal, plus a classic case of reactionary liberalism in which the governing Democrats — there’s been no Republican mayor in half a century — simply refused to adapt to the straitened economic circumstances that followed the post-World War II auto boom.

Corruption of the criminal sort was legendary. The former mayor currently serving time engaged in a breathtaking range of fraud, extortion and racketeering. And he didn’t act alone. The legal corruption was the cozy symbiosis of Democratic politicians and powerful unions, especially the public-sector unions that gave money to elect the politicians who negotiated their contracts — with wildly unsustainable health and pension benefits.

When our great industrial competitors were digging out from the rubble of World War II, Detroit’s automakers ruled the world. Their imagined sense of inherent superiority bred complacency. Management grew increasingly bureaucratic and inflexible. Unions felt entitled to the extraordinary wages, benefits and work rules they’d bargained for in the fat years. In time, they all found themselves being overtaken by more efficient, more adaptable, more hungry foreign producers.

The market ultimately forced the car makers into reform, restructuring, the occasional bankruptcy and eventual recovery. The city, however, lacking market constraints, just kept overspending — $100 million annually since 2008. The city now has about $19 billion in obligations it has no chance of meeting. So much city revenue had to be diverted to creditors and pensioners that there was practically nothing left to run the city. Forty percent of the streetlights don’t work, two-thirds of the parks are closed and emergency police response time averages nearly an hour — if it ever comes at all.

Bankruptcy, which will radically cut payments to bondholders and retirees, is the only chance to start over.

Yet, if a Detroit bankruptcy succeeds, other cities will be tempted to follow. Dozens of other large urban areas have similarly massive pension and debt obligations, with commensurately denuded services and exorbitant taxes — leading to a vicious cycle of depopulation that makes everything worse. Detroit has lost more than 60% of its population since 1950.

The moral hazard increases if the federal government steps in. The administration is therefore firmly opposed to a “bailout,” recognizing both the political toxicity of the word and the fiscal consequences of a precedent that invites others to line up with tin cups. Washington cannot afford a nationwide federal bailout of insolvent cities.

However, under pressure of the public-sector unions, whose retirees will necessarily be victimized, the administration will likely offer “assistance” — which implies whatever kind of non-cash payments, indirect funds from other ongoing federal programs and enterprise-zone tax subsidies that it can get away with.

Under the table deals in secret. You scratch my back I’ll vote for you. Gee, Unions have done that before…<<eye roll>>

But Detroit is an object lesson not just for other cities. Not even the almighty federal government is immune to Stein’s Law. Reactionary liberalism simply cannot countenance serious reform of the iconic social welfare programs of the 20th century. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are pledged to their inviolability.

President Obama will occasionally admit that, for example, Medicare cannot go on as is, but then reverts to crude demagoguery when the GOP proposes a structural reform, such as premium support for Medicare or something as obvious as raising the retirement age to match increasing longevity.

On the contrary. Obama added one enormous new entitlement (ObamaCare) and, in his last State of the Union address, proposed yet another (universal preschool).

DC: President Barack Obama is doubling down on his proposal to give all kids a publicly-funded preschool education, but experts are skeptical the policy will work.

“If you think education is expensive, wait until you see how much ignorance costs in the 21st century,” he said. “That’s why I’ll keep pushing to make high-quality preschool available to every four year-old in America — not just because we know it works for our kids, but because it provides a vital support system for working parents.”

But many policy experts who have studied the impact of early childhood education on kids maintain that there is no evidence to show such schooling is worthwhile.

“There are reasons to doubt that we yet know how to design and deliver a government funded pre-K program that produces sufficiently large benefits to justify prioritizing pre-K over other investments in education,” wrote Grover Whitehurst, Director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institute.

Most large-scale studies of universal preschool find scant evidence of lasting academic gains for kids enrolled in pre-K. By the fifth grade, students who benefited from preschool were shown to be no smarter or more social than other students.

“Universal, government preschool, financed by the federal government, is mired in bad policy,” wrote Lindsey Burke, an education fellow at the Heritage Foundation. “The type of preschool-for-all President Obama envisions is far more likely to mimic the failing Head Start program, which has cost taxpayers more than $150 billion since it began in 1965, and has left low-income children no better off in the process.”

But it sounds good, it’s pithy, and if you’re against it they can bash you as hating children and promoting ignorance. With added benefit of funneling even more wastes of money to the Teacher’s Unions! What more could a Liberal “bully” want. 🙂

Back to Charles: None of this is inevitable. In Wisconsin, the GOP showed it recognized the perils of unlimited government growth and will take on the unchecked power of public unions. Democratic Detroit, however, has for 50 years conducted a contrary experiment in myopia and the most imprudent passivity.

It doesn’t take a genius to see what happens when the entitlement state outgrows the economy upon which it rests. The time of Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Spain, the rest of insolvent social-democratic Europe — and now Detroit — is the time for conservatives to raise the banner of Stein’s Law and yell “Stop.” You can kick the can down the road, but at some point it falls over a cliff.

But can they take the Liberal Media onslaught if they do?

That’s the question.

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

135027 600 Jump Start cartoons

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

The Pivot King Strikes Back

Lord spare us, the nation’s most addicted campaigner heads out for — what? — the 84th time today to call on somebody to do something about the country’s stubbornly stagnant economy to finally create the hundreds of thousands of new jobs he and Joe promised more than four years ago when he started spending trillions of our dollars.

Obama has pivoted to the jobs meme so often since Jan. 20, 2009, that he needs new soles on his shoes. Remember when Scott Brown became the first Republican to win a Massachusetts Senate seat in four decades? Obama, who’d been pushing financial reform and ObamaCare, said he got that message loud and clear. He’d turn to j-o-b-s.

Obama has never met a problem he couldn’t throw a speech at. Just since his unfortunate reelection last November with 8.3 million fewer votes than 2008, the Democrat has pivoted to an unalterable commitment to new gun controls. Which required a tour of speeches.

Which was followed by his new top commitment to immigration reform. Which required a tour of speeches. Remember how devastating sequestration was certain to be? Not!

Which was followed by a national security vision for a new world. Which only took one speech because foreign affairs are boring and Obama would rather not talk about his failures in Egypt, Libya, Syria, etc.. Which was followed by climate control, the latest must-do ASAP top priority.

Not counting side excursions into terrorism, drones and another promised closing of Guantanamo. Also housecleaning some top generals.

Which was followed last Friday by out-of-the-blue gratuitous remarks about the Trayvon Martin case, which no one had asked for. Each time, the former state senator returns to the economy.

If this Barack Blather seems familiar, it should. Watch this:

And, hey, if this latest jobs tour gets your mind off dirty words like Benghazi, IRS, FBI, ObamaCare, NSA, individual mandates, Fast and Furious, Solyndra, Keystone yada-yada, well, that’s OK with this White House.

Here’s what we have as a result of Obama’s intermittent commitment to the economy: The weakest economic recovery since a generation before Obama was born. The longest stretch ever of unemployment at 7.5% or above.

In Obama’s presidency nearly three million more Americans have fallen into poverty. Fourteen million more are on food stamps. And here’s a stunner stat: Median American family income fell more during Obama’s faux recovery than it did during the original recession. Yes, we can’t.

With little media attention, Obama’s polls have been sliding for some time.

One group that hasn’t taken its eye off the ball: Voters. The economy/jobs were their top concerns when Obama took office with a 60% approval rating. And they remain the top concern now that his job approval on the economy has slid to 45% in the new Washington Post/ABC News Poll.

Sixty percent of those folks believe the country is on the wrong track. Only 36% think right track.

Last month, as usual, the latest IBD/TIPP Presidential Poll was the first to uncover “the worst monthly decline in Obama’s 53 months of not spending much time in the Oval Office to the lowest approval level of the Democrat’s entire presidency.”

Others now confirm that plummet. The new Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll puts Obama’s overall job approval at just 45%, 11 points beneath Bill Clinton’s at the same second-term stage and the exact same as that loser George W. Bush, who’s caused every Obama problem.

So, today Obama returns to Knox College, the scene of the fifth Lincoln-Douglas debate of 1858 and a much-forgotten commencement address Obama gave eight years ago. Knox is in Illinois, Obama’s adopted home state, where unemployment is stuck at 9.2% and the approval rating of the governor, fellow Democrat Pat Quinn, is but 25%.

Obama strategists may think by comparison those numbers make their boss look good. If anyone’s still paying attention. (IBD)

Blah Blah Blah….

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Michael Ramirez
Michael Ramirez