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Save Us Chuck – Obama’s Cut ‘n Run Iraq Strategy
This video is a bit of an oversimplification, but in our experience it is certainly directionally accurate. Her message to Obama supporters: Where is the outrage?
Via Julie Borowski:
This video is a bit of an oversimplification, but in our experience it is certainly directionally accurate.
Via Julie Borowski:
This is what the typical conversation with a Mitt Romney supporter sounds like. They are more anti-Obama than pro-Mitt. How did we get stuck with two terrible choices again? *Sigh*
Via The Daily Signal:
On November 15, open enrollment in the Obamacare exchanges begins again. Before the second act of our national healthcare drama commences, let’s review what we’ve learned in Act I.
1. Health costs jumped—big time. Huge increases in deductibles in policies sold through the exchanges were a big story in Florida, Illinois and elsewhere. While the average annual deductible for employer-based coverage was a little over $1,000, the exchange deductibles nationwide normally topped $2,000.
Notwithstanding President Obama’s specific promise to lower the typical family premium cost by $2,500 annually, premium costs actually increased. D2014 data for the “individual market” shows that the average annual premiums for single and family coverage rose in the overwhelming majority of state and federal health-insurance exchanges all around the country. In eleven states, premiums for twenty-seven-year-olds have more than doubled since 2013; in thirteen states, premiums for fifty-year-olds have increased more than 50 percent. For the “group market,” the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimated on February 21, 2014, that 65 percent of small firms would experience premium-rate increases, while only 35 percent were expected to have reductions. In terms of people affected, CMS estimated 11 million Americans employed by these firms would experience premium-rate increases, while about 6 million would see reductions. So much for “bending the cost curve down.”
2. The law reduced competition in most health-insurance markets. A limited analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that in 2014, large states like California and New York were more competitive, but Connecticut and Washington were less competitive. The Heritage Foundation conducted a national analysis and found that between 2013 and 2014, the number of insurers offering coverage on the individual markets in all fifty states declined nationwide by 29 percent. On a county level, 52 percent of U.S. counties had just one or two health-insurance carriers. In 2014, at least, the law did not deliver on its promise of more personal choice and broader competition.
3. We still don’t know for sure how many people are actually insured. Following the disastrous October 2013 Obamacare “roll-out,” the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that about 6 million (rather than 7 million) would enroll in the exchanges. Last April, administration officials reported that they reached and surpassed their goal, enrolling over 8 million people in the health-insurance exchanges. They then declared the health-care debate, like the Iraq War, “over.”
That declaration appears to be premature. The administration now concedes that there are 700,000 fewer persons in the exchanges. Of course, we can expect some attrition. But exchange enrollment is not the same as insurance coverage. CBO said it best: “The number of people who will have coverage through the exchanges in 2014 will not be known precisely until after the year has ended.” Exactly.
Beyond the seemingly endless surveys, estimates and guesstimates, we do have some raw data. Between October 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014, there was a net increase in individual coverage of 2,236,942, but there was a net decrease in group (employment-based) enrollment: it fell by 1,716,540. Enrollment in Medicaid and the Childrens’ Health Insurance Program (CHIP) increased by about 5 million over that same period. We’ll know more later, as CBO said, especially how many Americans are losing their employment-based coverage.
Who enrolls is also crucial. In 2013, Obama administration officials said that their goal was for young adults between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four to account for 40 percent of exchange enrollments. On April 17, 2014, the White House announced that only 28 percent of those enrolled through the federally administered exchanges were between eighteen and thirty-four years of age—the crucial age bracket for a robust and stable insurance pool—but that 35 percent of the total enrollees were under the age of thirty-five. That made it sound as though the program was fairly close to reaching its target. But thanks to excellent reporting by Politico, we learned that the bigger number included children enrolled in the exchanges. Nice try.
Via the Mercatus Center at George Mason University:
Reading, Writing, and Regulations: A Survey of the Expanding Federal Role in Elementary and Secondary Education Policy
Until 1965, the federal government played a fairly limited role in the elementary and secondary education system in the United States. The US Constitution is noticeably silent on matters related to education, and therefore the provision of education is left as a power reserved to the states under the Tenth Amendment. As part of his Great Society programs, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 1965 and set in motion an expansion of federal control that would continue into the next century.
The original legislation was relatively specific in its intent; it was meant to provide compensatory educational resources for students from low-income backgrounds. However, after numerous amendments and reauthorizations, the law grew to more than 20 times its original size, and the breadth of federal control it provided grew with it. Hundreds of specific federal programs were added over the years as federal funding of elementary and secondary education increased. Attached to these programs and funds came strings of federal control.
The most recent version of the ESEA is No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which authorizes such a high level of federal oversight that the original legislation is hardly recognizable. Even now, federal influence continues to expand, fueled by such recent programs as Race to the Top and Common Core.
Via the Mercatus Center and George Mason University:
Via the Mercatus Center at George Mason University:
Starting this year, the United States’ working population will face three major employment disincentives resulting from the very benefits the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides: (1) an explicit tax on full-time work, (2) an implicit tax on full-time work for those who are ineligible for the ACA’s health insurance subsidies, and (3) an implicit tax that links the amount of available subsidies to workers’ incomes.
A new study published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University advances the understanding of how much these ACA taxes will reduce overall employment, and why. It concludes that the reduction will be nearly double that projected by previous analyses. Labor markets ultimately will reduce weekly employment per person by about 3 percent—translating to roughly 4 million fewer full-time-equivalent workers.
Below is a brief summary of this important update. Please see “The Affordable Care Act and the New Economics of Part-Time Work” to read the entire study and to learn more about author Casey B. Mulligan, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago.
__________ Key Findings __________
Much of the ACA’s tax effect resembles unemployment insurance: both encourage layoffs and discourage people from returning to work. The ACA’s overall impact on employment, however, will arguably be larger than that of any single piece of legislation since World War II.
- The ACA’s employment taxes create strong incentives to work less. The health subsidies’ structure will put millions in a position in which working part time (29 hours or fewer, as defined by the ACA) will yield more disposable income than working their normal full-time schedule.
- The reduction in weekly employment due to these ACA disincentives is estimated to be about 3 percent, or about 4 million fewer full-time-equivalent workers. This is the aggregate result of the law’s employment disincentives, and is nearly double the impact most recently estimated by the Congressional Budget Office.
- Nearly half of American workers will be affected by at least one of the ACA’s employment taxes—and this does not account for the indirect effect on others as the labor market adjusts.
- The ACA will push more women than men into part-time work. Because a greater percentage of women work just above 30 hours per week, it is women who will be more likely to drop to part-time work as defined by the ACA.
A new Kaiser Family Foundation survey reports that health-insurance premiums rose by a “modest” 3% in 2013. Even more modest, however, was the 2.3% growth of workers’ earnings last year. These figures merely illustrate a long-term trend of rising health costs eating away at wages. The real story is even more dramatic: Government data show that health costs are the biggest driver of income inequality in America today.
Most employers pay workers a combination of wages and benefits, the most important of which is health coverage. Economic theory says that when employers’ costs for benefits like health coverage rise, they will hold back on salary increases to keep total compensation costs in check. That’s exactly what seems to have happened: Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that from June 2004 to June 2014 compensation increased by 28% while employer health-insurance costs rose by 51%. Consequently, average wages grew by just 24%.
MIAMI—As Election Day nears, absentee ballot fraud will likely be in Florida’s news headlines once again.
Carolina Lopez, spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade Department of Elections, said staff there can determine if the person requesting a ballot is the one who actually receives it but can’t control what happens to the ballot after that.
“It is important for voters to understand the full electoral process to avoid scammers wanting to fill out their ballots and influence their decisions on the ballot questions,” Lopez says.
Miami Diario and political blog Political Pasion are stepping in to help. They organized the Political Workshop for Hispanic Journalists in Florida to help journalists learn about absentee ballot fraud and how it threatens to undermine democracy.
“There are a lot of Hispanic journalists who don’t understand the politics of [Florida],” said Marianela Méndez, director of MiamiDiario.com. “It is important to know what we are going to do, how are we are going to do it, what are the informative venues we need in order to inform the Hispanic [voter] where to go, and what to do with their votes.”
Absentee ballot fraud has plagued Florida elections for years. In 1998, Florida Department of Law Enforcement chronicled multiple abuses starting as far back as 1984.
In 2012, two people were arrested and sentenced for having multiple absentee ballots in their possession. Then in 2013, a congressmen’s aide was sentenced to 90 days in prison for masterminding a plan using illegal absentee ballots to get his boss more votes.
Joe Carrillo, the private detective who broke the 2012 absentee ballot fraud case, said absentee ballots are the Holy Grail to fraudsters.
“Two-hundred-thousand absentee ballots were delivered last time [for the primary election Aug. 26], but only 100,000 were returned [meaning they were filled out legitimately and returned to the Department of Elections]. What happened to the other 100,000?” he asked. “That is how elections are stolen in Miami-Dade County.”
“This is a long-term problem in Florida,” said Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation. “I don’t think much has been done since the 1998 [Department of Law Enforcement] report came out to fix the problem.”
Democrat Energy Policy Causing Poverty & Death
Even more so in Africa, Haiti etc.
Via Heritage Action:
Background: In 2012, legislation to reauthorize and increase Ex-Im’s lending authority by 40 percent, from $100 billion to $140 billion, passed in the House and Senate. With its charter set to expire at the end of September, a bipartisan coalition is advocating for another reauthorization. If it is not reauthorized, the bank will be unable to offer new loans, effectively grinding it to a halt and preventing it from distributing subsidies to new constituencies.
A two year fight is culminating in what should be the final standoff between true congressional conservatives and those members intent on pleasing special interests and the corporate welfare beneficiaries. It is more important than ever for concerned citizens to apply pressure to their representatives and see the mission through to the end. Stay armed with the facts of the case to End Ex-Im, and find out where your congressman stands!
- As a result of Ex-Im’s activity, taxpayer exposure will exceed $140 billion before the end of 2014.
- According to the Congressional Budget Office, Ex-Im will cost taxpayers $2 billion over the next 10 years.
- 98 percent of U.S. exports receive no assistance from Ex-Im.
- Of those that do receive financing, 75 percent goes to only 10 multibillion dollar, multinational conglomerates (e.g. Boeing, General Electric).
- Boeing alone received 66 percent of Ex-Im’s loan guarantees in 2013.
- Should Ex-Im expire, Boeing would be perfectly capable of arranging alternative, private-sector financing for its exports, and its representatives have said so publicly.
- In 2013, only $12.2 billion of Ex-Im’s $37.4 billion in total financing—less than one-third—was dedicated to counteracting subsidies from foreign export credit agencies.
Small Business Activity?
- Congress requires that 20 percent of the dollar amount of Ex-Im’s authorizations go to small businesses; however, Ex-Im fails to meet this statute nearly every year.
- Ex-Im’s definition of “small businesses” includes firms with as many as 1,500 workers and companies with revenues of up to $21.5 million annually.
- Ex-Im provides export financing for just 0.009 percent of all small businesses in America.
Controversy and Credibility?
- Ex-Im’s Inspector General has concluded that the bank ignores long-term economic impacts in its internal analyses.
- Both the Government Accountability Office and the Inspector General have warned that Ex-Im’s “loan-loss rate” is unreliable and that the bank is not properly protected against waste, fraud and abuse.
- In 2012, the Congressional Budget Office found that FCRA-based cost estimates, the kind that Ex-Im relies on, do not provide accurate accounting metrics, as they do not incorporate the full costs of the risk associated with the loans.
- In 2013, Ex-Im authorized $630 million in Russia-related transactions, including $32 million to help build a petroleum refinery, supporting Russia’s energy sector at a time when the country is using its energy dominance to hold client states hostage to its agenda.
- This year, former Ex-Im employee Johnny Gutierrez was fired amid allegations of accepting cash bribes in exchange for trying to help a Florida company obtain a loan guarantee.
- A Congressional Research Service report has confirmed that Ex-Im shifts jobs; it does not create them: “Economists generally maintain… that subsidizing export financing does not add to the overall level of economic activity, and subsidizes foreign consumption at the expense of the domestic economy. [Therefore], promoting exports through subsidized financing…will not permanently raise the level of employment in the economy, but alters the composition of employment among various sectors… and performs poorly as a jobs creation mechanism.”
- When Ex-Im bureaucrats hand out taxpayer-backed loans…
- Unsubsidized domestic businesses must face competitors backstopped by a government guarantee
- Subsidized domestic businesses grow lazy and complacent relying on federal assistance, and are further encouraged to use resources for lobbying rather than productive investment
- Market actors are encouraged to make bad investments by the distortion of true opportunity cost
- Consumers face higher prices, since subsidizing exports helps foreign consumers at the expense of domestic consumers
- In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama denounced Ex-Im on the campaign trail: “I’m not a Democrat who believes that we should defend every government program. There are some that don’t work like we had hoped…[like] the Export-Import Bank that has become little more than a fund for corporate welfare.”
- On September 30th, 2014, Ex-Im’s charter will expire and it will be unable to continue operating.
As the Washington Examiner reports:
A review of the Internal Revenue Service’s compliance with the Freedom of Information Act found the agency intentionally withheld or failed to “adequately search” for requested information in hundreds of cases.
In others, the IRS released more than it was authorized, dispensing “sensitive taxpayer information,” including individuals’ bank records.
Many of the FOIA requests centered around, you guessed it, the IRS targeting scandal.
The cover-up is stunning. “The IRS concealed information it should have released in response to an estimated 336 requests in 2013, according to the report.”
In response to a report (from the same IG’s office) detailing the IRS targeting scandal, the American public demanded to know the truth. The American people sent in numerous FOIA requests, and the IRS concealed pertinent information at least 336 times.
If that’s not a cover-up I don’t know what is.
In addition, we know that the IRS was in the process of covering up the IRS targeting while it was going on. In at least one instance, back in 2010-2011, the height of the targeting scandal and just before IRS computers started mysteriously crashing, the IRS denied there were any responsive documents at the IRS regarding the “Tea Party” in response to a FOIA request. That was another flat out lie.
A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request is the American public’s avenue to get the truth, to provide sunlight and oversight on the federal government. When the government conceals information in a FOIA request is essentially lying to the American public at large.
Women in America are the freest in the world, yet many feminists tell us women are oppressed. They advocate this falsehood through victim mentality propaganda and misleading statistics, such as the gender wage gap myth. In five minutes, American Enterprise Institute’s Christina Hoff Sommers tells you the truth about their claims.
Here we go yet again with the illegal scrubbing of important documents at the IRS (and EPA, and DoJ).
Via The Blaze:
An Ohio-based private jet company entangled in a multi-million dollar lawsuit with the Internal Revenue Service filed a motion this week asserting the tax agency is missing emails from three separate employees that would be evidence in the case, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
The court motion and the federal case are unrelated to the IRS targeting scandal. Nevertheless, it comes after extensive congressional inquiries in Washington over missing emails from Lois Lerner, the former head of IRS tax-exempt organizations unit, who last year admitted to giving extra scrutiny to conservative groups applying for exempt status.
The jet company, NetJets, asserts that the IRS “wiped clean a number of computer hard drives containing emails and other electronic documents that the government was required to produce,” according to the motion filed with U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr., the Dispatch reported.
The motion further says that three IRS employees erased the computer of “an excise-tax policy manager and a key decision maker regarding the application of the section 4261 ticket tax to whole and fractional aircraft-management companies.”
Dr. Ben Carson: Public school history curriculum so bad it would make students want to sign up for ISIS (video)
Ben Carson is spot on about this. This type of indoctrination is described by former King’s College President Dinesh D’Souza as “The shaming of American history” where good things mentioned about America are few, but bad things are numerous, repeated, spun, exaggerated and then strung together with a narrative designed to convince children that American values are bad.
UPDATE – for more details on how subversive the new ‘history’ curriculum is read THIS.
According to left wing Common Core proponents own documented goals in Texas:
An emphasis on globalism and a global society, not Americans or Texans.
American “value language” should be eliminated such as American love of liberty etc.
Eliminate how American belief’s and principles identified in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence contribute to our national identity.
Eliminate lessons on federalism and majority rule.
Eliminate patriotic symbols such as Nathan Hale and the Liberty Bell, Christopher Columbus, Christmas, etc.
Eliminate notions of justice and replace with fairness.
Eliminate origins of American military institutions. Mention of Generals such as Patton and Bradley are eliminated.
Focus on imperialism, isolationism and McCarthyism.
Progressive heroes taught to children in grade school before mentions of Washington and Lincoln.
Refocus history from the past to the present.
Eliminate all history before 1565 (adios Western Civ.)
Eliminate teaching of the formation of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights
We are not better off than we were six years ago.
While by now everyone should know the answer, for those curious why the US unemployment rate just slid once more to a meager 5.9%, the lowest print since the summer of 2008, the answer is the same one we have shown every month since 2010: the collapse in the labor force participation rate, which in September slid from an already three decade low 62.8% to 62.7% – the lowest in over 36 years, matching the February 1978 lows. And while according to the Household Survey, 232,000 people found jobs, what is more disturbing is that the people not in the labor force, rose to a new record high, increasing by 315,000 to 92.6 million!
And that’s how you get a fresh cycle low in the unemployment rate.
So the next time Obama asks you if you are “better off now than 6 years ago” show him this chart of employment to the overall population: it speaks louder than the president ever could.
If you would like a good read as to why the old guard of the GOP keeps losing elections this piece is a good place to start.
The old guard has turned to mega-corporations, government contractors and special interests for more of their fund raising. Why? The rank and file, also known as the base of the party, is closing their wallets because the work is not getting done as the actions of the old guard do not resemble their campaign rhetoric.
To appease their new money men the old guard has been attacking the Republican base and calling Reaganite candidates horrible names. The have even openly invited Democrats to interfere in Republican primaries.
They say a house divided against itself cannot stand, the ones clamoring for unity a few weeks before the elections are the ones who did the dividing in the first place in order to preserve their own fund raising power at the expense of the party and the base who they expect to turn out for them.
Keli Carender at the American Spectator:
Should the Republicans fail to win the Senate in November, with their slate of Elder(ly) Statesmen and no icky tea party candidates, they need to find someone besides themselves and their liberal policies to blame. As we get closer to the election, we will see more and more of this sort of moaning and complaining. The establishment and their cronies need to make sure that the tea party gets blamed, even when our candidates aren’t running. So they’re already trying to advance the narrative that tea party, grassroots voters are going to sit out the election, causing the Republicans to lose (as though that’s the only way these candidates can lose).
Take note: Instead of working to get out the vote, educate voters, and advance Republican and conservative principles in key states, and fire up the base, the establishment has already thrown in the towel. They are trying to shape a narrative about why their candidates lost instead of making sure their candidates win. Their narrative is that tea partiers are… what were those words you used, David? Oh yes. Tea partiers are naïve, sophomoric, and stupid, and this trifecta of character flaws will cause us to behave like petulant children.
Actually, let’s take an inventory of recent establishment Republicans who lost their primaries and subsequently threw epic temper tantrums instead of supporting the primary winner.
The Grand Dame of Alaska politics, a woman who was initially appointed to her US Senate seat by her own corrupt father who vacated the seat in order to take office as Governor, lost her primary bid to tea party candidate Joe Miller in 2010. Did Ms. Murkowski gracefully concede and throw her support behind her fellow Republican? Did she unite with Joe Miller to defeat the Democrat and ensure Republican control of the seat? Did she have, as Catronemphatically states, a grain of sense?
Oh no, no, no, no. If only. No. Lisa Murkowski took her voters for granted, got cocky and lazy, and forgot she needed to earn their votes. When she didn’t fight hard enough in the primary and lost, she claimed that somehow not enough Alaskans had a voice and were begging her to do… something. She launched a nasty write-in campaign, urging Democrats to unite behind her candidacy by marginalizing the actual Democrat candidate and demonizing the actual Republican candidate. By throwing a hissy fit and pulling the Democrats away from the Democrat candidate, Murkowski went on to win the election.
Remember this guy? Charlie Crist is the perennial candidate and orange-tinted former Governor of Florida. Crist decided not to run for re-election as Governor and instead, in 2009 threw his hat in the ring for the open Senateseat up for grabs in 2010. He was the favorite and had a 30-point lead over some dude named Marco Rubio, a Florida state legislator. Fast forward to April 2010 when it was apparent that the tea party was going to carry Marco Rubio to victory, and Crist left the Republican Party to run as an independent in that Senate race.
This could have very well split the Republican vote, allowing the Democrat to win. However, due to Rubio’s tenacious and enthusiastic support from the grassroots tea party movement, he was able to handily defeat both Crist and the Democrat. Where was the handwringing when Crist jeopardized the seat by running as an independent? Since losing in 2010, Crist has gone on to such heights as becoming a Democrat, endorsing Barack Obama for re-election in 2012, and running for Florida Governor again this year, this time as a Democrat. Stay classy, Charlie!
Thirty-six years in the U.S. Senate makes a man lazy as all get out. Just ask former Indiana Senator Dick Lugar. Long story short, Lugar took his voters for granted. He often voted against his own party’s platform, didn’t do the work it takes to win, and he faced an energetic, passionate opponent named Richard Mourdock, the Indiana State Treasurer. All of those facts led him to lose his primary in 2010. So what did Respectable Statesman Richard Lugar do when he lost? Why, he promptly endorsed Mourdock, and helped him campaign all across the state, and that’s how the GOP kept that seat and why Senator Mourdock — oh no, wait. That’s not what happened. Dick “Sour Grapes” Lugar refused to endorse or campaign for Richard Mourdock even though the GOP was desperately trying to win control of the Senate, and they needed the Indiana seat to remain in Republican hands.
While Lugar lost the primary fair and square, he had some very die-hard, loyal devotees. He could have asked them to give their support to Mourdock, for the good of the party and all that, but he did not. In fact, it’s an open secret in Indiana that Lugar was quietly undermining Mourdock and encouraging his supporters to cross over and vote for the Democrat. Lugar got his vengeance and the Democrat won the seat that should have gone to the Republicans. Dick’s “helpfulness” doesn’t end there. He is currently fundraising for Georgia Democrat Michelle Nunn in her bid to win the open Senate seat in this critical year because he’s good friends with her daddy.