Overshadowed by Republican victories in Congress, Republican control of state legislatures is the real story out of last Tuesday’s elections:
The Republican wave that hit the U.S. Congress in Tuesday’s midterm election also boosted the party in state races, where it gained control of 10 chambers and could be on track to holding the largest number of legislative seats since before the Great Depression.
Democrats lost their majorities in the West Virginia House, Nevada Assembly and Senate, New Hampshire House, Minnesota House, New York Senate, Maine Senate, Colorado Senate, Washington Senate, and New Mexico House to Republicans, who also won enough seats to tie control of the West Virginia Senate, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) reported on Wednesday.
With Tuesday’s vote, Republicans took over the U.S. Senate, beefed up their majority in the U.S. House and won the governor’s office in several key states. The vote also increased the number of state legislative chambers with Republican majorities to 67 from 57. Party control of the Colorado House and Washington House was still up in the air.
The number of states with Republicans in control of both legislative chambers came to 27 ahead of the election and has now edged closer to the high mark of 30 in 1920, according to Storey. By contrast, Democrats will control the lowest number of state legislatures since 1860, he said. Continue reading
When the Soviets downed KAL Flight 007 on September 1, 1983 it felt to most Americans that the world was spinning out of control and that we might well be headed towards war. With the above speech the nation was reassured that President Reagan was in charge of the situation and would make certain that the Soviet government would not escape the blame for this atrocity.
Yesterday in the wake of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over the Ukraine we had this:
President Barack Obama provoked fury in the U.S. on Thursday by casually devoting less than a minute to the deaths of 295 people aboard a Malaysian airliner, as he began an often jokey 16-minute speech about the need to expand America’s transportation infrastructure.
There are no confirmed American dead and the White House issued a statement on Thursday evening which said they were still seeking any ‘information to determine whether there were any American citizens on board’.
Fresh off their laurels of establishing that the US has no policy regarding Vladimir Putin except to post disapproving internet pics, go here to read all about it, the Obama administration is trying the same thing in regard to the kidnaping of hundreds of Christian girls by the Boko Haram Islamic terrorists in Nigeria. Needless to say that the pictures mention nothing about the main problem in Nigeria: an inept and corrupt government and their Keystone Kops military, both of which are terrified by the terrorists who enjoy a fair amount of support among the half of Nigeria which is Muslim.
Mark Steyn gets to the heart of why the Obama administration does these idiot dog and pony shows:
The blogger Daniel Payne wrote this week that “modern liberalism, at its core, is an ideology of talking, not doing“. He was musing on a press release for some or other “Day of Action” that is, as usual, a day of inaction:
Diverse grassroots groups are organizing and participating in events such as walks, rallies and concerts and calling on government to reduce climate pollution, transition off fossil fuels and commit to a clean energy future.
It’s that easy! You go to a concert and someone “calls on government” to do something, and the world gets fixed.
There’s something slightly weird about taking a hashtag – which on the Internet at least has a functional purpose – and getting a big black felt marker and writing it on a piece of cardboard and holding it up, as if somehow the comforting props of social media can be extended beyond the computer and out into the real world. Maybe the talismanic hashtag never required a computer in the first place. Maybe way back during the Don Pacifico showdown all Lord Palmerston had to do was tell the Greeks #BringBackOurJew.
As Mr Payne notes, these days progressive “action” just requires “calling on government” to act. But it’s sobering to reflect that the urge to call on someone else to do something is now so reflexive and ingrained that even “the government” – or in this case the wife of “the government” – is now calling on someone else to do something. Continue reading
I have long thought that the Church is quite able to deal with outside enemies. The true difficulties for the Church are from forces within the Church who aid and abet outside enemies. Nicholas G. Hahn III, editor at Real Clear Religion, gives us a prime example of this in a riveting article in The Wall Street Journal on the late Cardinal Bernardin and Barack Obama:
That might not be such a good idea. There is an irony in the Catholic Church’s current legal clashes with Washington over the Affordable Care Act’s restrictions on religious freedom: The Obama administration is very much a creature of the Chicago church under Bernardin. When Notre Dame University bestowed an honorary degree on President Barack Obama in May 2009, the veteran community organizer told graduates that the “saintly” Cardinal Bernardin inspired him to become an activist.
As Phyllis Schlafly and George Neumayr noted in “No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom” (2012), much of Mr. Obama’s education in public policy came in the rectories of Chicago’s South Side churches and, in part, on Cardinal Bernardin’s dime. The archdiocese in 1986 paid for Mr. Obama to attend a community-organizing training session with a Saul Alinsky-founded group in Los Angeles.
Cardinal Bernardin, who led the archdiocese from 1982 until his death in 1996, espoused a liberal line that has helped give pro-abortion Catholic supporters of the Obama administration theological cover. Mr. Obama told reporters in July 2009 that “his encounters with the cardinal continue to influence him, particularly his ‘seamless garment’ approach to a multitude of social justice issues.”
The president was alluding to a widely noted 1983 speech wherein Bernardin applied the Biblical story of Jesus’ tunic “woven in one piece from the top down” to public-policy issues. He maintained that matters as varied as the death penalty, the minimum wage and how to wage war should be considered on the same moral plane as abortion. This pernicious idea has been rebuffed by many Catholic intellectuals, not the least of whom was the future Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, who in a 2004 memo wrote that “not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. Continue reading
Well, what do you know. The most anti-Catholic President in our nation’s history is suddenly quoting popes.
During a Wednesday speech on income equality, Obama remarked, “Across the developed world, inequality has increased. Some of you may have seen just last week, the pope himself spoke about this at eloquent length.”
He went on to quote a line from Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium,” asking, “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”
That is truly hilarious when one considers that Obama has been President now for almost half a decade and that his policies have succeeded only in exacerbating income inequality with his truly wretched stewardship of the economy. Rush Limbaugh who, unsurprisingly, has been highly critical of the economic portions of Evangelii Gaudium, recognizes that the Pope’s popularity with the port side of our political spectrum is only fleeting because of the Pope’s position on abortion, the holy of holies for the Left: Continue reading
One could not ask for a better symbol of ObamaCare than yesterday when HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the woman purportedly in charge of this mess, was meeting with ObamaCare “navigators”, and I love the Orwellian implications of that title, and the ObamaCare website crashed.
The remarkable thing about this fiasco on stilts is that the Obama administration knew, or should have known, that the website was not going to work. Obama could have simply announced that he was going to delay the individual mandate for a time period which would have given time to at least make the website operational. Why didn’t they?
Overwhelming hubris I think. Shielded by a sycophantic press from every other disaster that has hit the country under his misrule, I think Obama assumed that this would be the same. Every problem encountered with the website or implementation of ObamaCare could be blamed on those obstructionist Republicans. Indeed, Obama is still trying to do this now, when it is obvious that such an absurd strategy is not working and cannot work.
Obama forgot the first rule of politics: reality always wins in the end. A website that does not work, mass cancellations of insurance policies, sky-rocketing premiums and deductibles, less choice regarding doctors and hospitals, these are the reality of the hilariously named Affordable Care Act. No amount of speeches, no biased news coverage, no liberal true believers on blogs can alter it. Continue reading
Obama reads a version of the Gettysburg Address that omits God? Say it isn’t true!
Ken Burns is such a silly liberal squish that I can imagine him wanting to chase God out of the occasion. However, in regard to Obama he either thought getting God out was a grand idea, or he was too unfamiliar with the Gettysburg address to realize the omission. Here is the background story on the inclusion of the phrase under God in the original speech:
We have five drafts of the Gettysburg address that Lincoln wrote: three have the phrase “under God” and two do not. That Lincoln spoke the phrase during the Gettysburg address we can be certain of, because three reporters were present when he gave the speech, and all three have “under God” in their accounts of Lincoln’s speech. Continue reading
Since Nixon’s “I am not a crook ” speech during a news conference, the fortieth anniversary of which will be this Sunday, I have never seen a more bizarre Presidential performance than that given by Obama yesterday. In response to overwhelming alarm by Democrats in Congress to the fact that millions of Americans are seeing their insurance policies being cancelled due to ObamaCare, Obama at a news conference on November 14 announced the following:
Already people who have plans that pre-date the Affordable Care Act can keep those plans if they haven’t changed. That was already in the law. That’s what’s called a grandfather clause that was included in the law. Today we’re going to extend that principle both to people whose plans have changed since the law too effect and to people who bought plans since the law took effect.
So state insurance commissioners still have the power to decide what plans can and can’t be sold in their states, but the bottom line is insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be cancelled into 2014. And Americans whose plans have been cancelled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan.
We’re also requiring insurers to extend current plans to inform their customers about two things: One, that protections — what protections these renewed plans don’t include. Number two, that the marketplace offers new options with better coverage and tax credits that might help you bring down the cost.
So if your received one of these letters I’d encourage you to take a look at the marketplace. Even if the website isn’t working as smoothly as it should be for everybody yet, the plan comparison tool that lets you browse cost for new plans near you is working just fine.
Well, what is wrong with this? The glib answer is everything:
First, it is by no means clear that he has the power to do any of this. The requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) allow for none of this and Obama’s job title is President not Emperor.
Second, some state insurance commissioners will not allow this to be done. The state insurance commissioner in Washington has already spoken up and said Obama’s policy would lead to great instability in the insurance markets of Washington and Obama’s suggestion is a dead letter in Washington.
Third, the insurance companies have responded and stated that it is impossible for them to comply with the time lines of the Affordable Care Act and do what Obama has said.
Fourth, it is only for one year, so people facing cancellation of insurance policies they like, even if their insurance company offers the same policy, would be facing the same dilemma in a year. Continue reading
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This was their majestic interpretation of the economy of the Universe. This was their lofty, and wise, and noble understanding of the justice of the Creator to His creatures. [Applause.] Yes, gentlemen, to all His creatures, to the whole great family of man. In their enlightened belief, nothing stamped with the Divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and degraded, and imbruted by its fellows. They grasped not only the whole race of man then living, but they reached forward and seized upon the farthest posterity. They erected a beacon to guide their children and their children’s children, and the countless myriads who should inhabit the earth in other ages. Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began — so that truth, and justice, and mercy, and all the humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land; so that no man would hereafter dare to limit and circumscribe the great principles on which the temple of liberty was being built.
Abraham Lincoln, August 27, 1858
In nine days, this town will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s speech with a ceremony at the same Soldiers’ National Cemetery featuring the U.S. Marine Band, Gov. Tom Corbett and a reading of the Gettysburg Address.
This explains a lot, don’t you think? Ah, the low information voter, those who chart the destiny of this great nation! Continue reading
Obama, the anti-Theodore Roosevelt:
U.S. and Russian negotiators reached an agreement Saturday calling for an inventory of Syria’s chemical weapons program and seizing all of its components within a year. The plan includes imposing penalties if Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government fails to turn over its stockpile.
Mr. Obama called it “an important step” toward ridding the world of chemical weapons. But critics in Congress said the deal was toothless because the administration agreed to withdraw from a proposed U.N. resolution the threat of military action if Syria fails to comply.
“It’s not a matter of trust. It’s a matter of whether it will be enforced or not,” Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “[Russia] will not agree to the use of force no matter what Bashar Assad does.”
“Not one ounce of chemical weapons came off the battlefield, but we’ve given up every ounce of our leverage when it comes to trying to solve the broader Syrian problem, because we’ve taken away a credible military threat,” the Mr. Rogers said on CNN. Continue reading
Well that didn’t take long. Putin makes Obama look completely like a clown by reeling back the lifeline he tossed to him on Syria:
Russia is not keen at this stage for a binding U.N. Security Council resolution that would provide a framework to control Syria’s chemical weapons’ stocks, France’s foreign minister said after talks with his Russian counterpart on Tuesday.
“As I understood, the Russians at this stage were not necessarily enthusiastic, and I’m using euphemism, to put all that into the framework of a U.N. binding resolution,” Laurent Fabius told French lawmakers after a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Continue reading
It will be amusing, if not edifying, to see the rapid back flips today from the same liberals who were all in favor of the Syrian intervention prior to Putin’s proposal. In the age of Obama, all backing of him should come with an automatic, “until he changes his mind” rider.
I didn’t think the Syrian fiasco could get much worse. Now it has. Fearing the near certainty that Congress would not authorize an attack on Syria, Obama has supported a Russian proposal to have Assad turn over his chemical weapons to an international agency, presumably all of this to be supervised by Russia. Actually the proposal first came out of the mouth of the Metternich of this administration: John “Reporting for Duty!” Kerry, sans any Russian involvement, in an off hand response to a question. What is wrong with this:
1. Assad will Cheat-Assad is fighting a life and death struggle to hang on to power. The idea that he will not hang on to, and use, any chemical weapons he deems necessary to prevail is rubbish, and is a tribute to policy-as-make-believe that infests this administration and its supporters.
2. Putin-Yeah, we can always rely upon this ex-KGB thug to act in the best interests of America.
3. War Goes On-The Syrian opposition will not stop fighting until they are all dead or Assad is a corpse or fled. Chemical weapon use is a symptom of a desperate civil war and that will go on.
4. Russian influence in the Middle East-Obama has opened the door to renewed Russian influence in the Middle East, helping to ensure that future conflicts in the Middle East will have the possibility of a US-Russian clash.
5. Paper Tiger-Mao in 1956 on the US: “In appearance it is very powerful but in reality it is nothing to be afraid of; it is a paper tiger. Outwardly a tiger, it is made of paper, unable to withstand the wind and the rain. I believe that is nothing but a paper tiger.”
In a very dangerous part of the world Obama is making sure that our enemies treat with complete contempt US threats and warnings, at least so long as he is President. Continue reading
President Obama was an ardent critic of the war in Iraq. Here are suggestions for arguments to be made explaining how intervention in Syria is completely different from intervention in Iraq.
1. Assad has used chemical weapons on Syrians which is a terrible crime against humanity, unlike Saddam who used chemical weapons against Iraqis which is permissible.
2. The US intervention into Syria will be a proud go it alone venture by the US, unlike Bush who mucked up the Iraqi intervention with lots of allies.
3. Obama is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, so we can trust him unlike that cowboy Bush.
4. Michele Obama is proud of this intervention.
5. John Kerry is onboard with this intervention unlike Iraq which he supported until he changed his mind. Continue reading
After coming under intense criticism for his decision to intervene in Syria, Obama stunned his aides by at the last moment deciding to consult with Congress after all:
After a 45-minute walk Friday night, President Barack Obama made a fateful decision that none of his top national security advisers saw coming: To seek congressional authorization before taking military action in Syria.
The stunning about-face after a week of U.S. saber rattling risked not only igniting a protracted congressional fight, which could end with a vote against strikes, but a backlash from allies in the Middle East who had warned the White House that inaction would embolden not only Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but his closest allies, Iran and Hezbollah.
Aides said the decision was made by Mr. Obama and Mr. Obama alone. It shows the primacy the president places on protecting his hoped-for legacy as a commander in chief who did everything in his power to disentangle the U.S. from overseas wars. Until Friday night, Mr. Obama’s national-security team didn’t even have an option on the table to seek a congressional authorization.
The only real discussion was a plan to punish Mr. Assad for what the U.S. and others have called a chemical-weapons attack amid Syria’s grinding civil war. The final question, policy makers thought, was how many targets to hit and when to tell the Navy destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean to open fire. Continue reading