Posts Tagged Political Topics

Obamacare – The Magic Words: “Interstate Commerce”

… “Over the years, “interstate commerce” became magic words to justify almost any expansion of the federal government’s power, in defiance of the Tenth Amendment. That is what the Obama administration is depending on to get today’s Supreme Court to uphold its power to tell people that they have to buy the particular health insurance specified by the federal government.

There was consternation in 1995 when the Supreme Court ruled that carrying a gun near a school was not interstate commerce. That conclusion might seem like only common sense to most people, but it was a close 5 to 4 decision, and it sparked outrage when the phrase “interstate commerce” failed to work its magic in justifying an expansion of the federal government’s power.

The 1995 case involved a federal law forbidding anyone from carrying a gun near a school. The states all had the right to pass such laws, and most did, but the issue was whether the federal government could pass such a law under its power to regulate interstate commerce.

The underlying argument was similar to that in the 1942 case of Wickard v. Filburn: School violence can affect education, which can affect productivity, which can affect interstate commerce.

Since virtually everything affects virtually everything else, however remotely, “interstate commerce” can justify virtually any expansion of government power, by this kind of sophistry.

The principle that the legal authority to regulate X implies the authority to regulate anything that can affect X is a huge and dangerous leap of logic, in a world where all sorts of things have some effect on all sorts of other things.

As an example, take a law that liberals, conservatives and everybody else would agree is valid — namely, that cars have to stop at red lights. Local governments certainly have the right to pass such laws and to punish those who disobey them.

No doubt people who are tired or drowsy are more likely to run through a red light than people who are rested and alert. But does that mean that local governments should have the power to order people when to go to bed and when to get up, because their tiredness can have an effect on the likelihood of their driving through a red light?

The power to regulate indirect effects is not a slippery slope. It is the disastrous loss of freedom that lies at the bottom of a slippery slope.”

So writes, in part, Thomas Sowell, in an article entitled – Back to the Future

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Lights Out! (Temporarily) – Incandescent Light Bulb Law Halted

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“Congressional negotiators struck a deal Thursday that overturns the new rules that were to have banned sales of traditional incandescent light bulbs beginning next year.

That agreement is tucked inside the massive 1,200-page spending bill that funds the government through the rest of this fiscal year, and which both houses of Congress will vote on Friday. Mr. Obama is expected to sign the bill, which heads off a looming government shutdown.

Congressional Republicans dropped almost all of the policy restrictions they tried to attach to the bill, but won inclusion of the light bulb provision, which prevents the Obama administration from carrying through a 2007 law that would have set energy efficiency standards that effectively made the traditional light bulb obsolete.

Stopping the bulb ban was a chief GOP priority coming into this year, with all of the candidates seeking to become chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee saying they would push through a repeal. That bill cleared the House but Democrats blocked its consideration in the Senate.

House Republicans then insisted on adding a provision into the year-end spending bill, and it was one of the last major sticking-points in the negotiations.

The spending bill doesn’t actually amend the 2007 law, but does prohibit the administration from spending any money to carry out the light bulb standards — which amounts to at least a temporary reprieve.” ….

More>> HERE

 

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Tebow for President

… “Obama, and so too the Republican candidates for president, can learn a lot from what is going on in the Mile High City.  Our economy, and this country, are struggling with huge deficits of confidence and faith.  We need a leader who can bring us together, exude confidence in us as a team, and lead us to where we need to go in the 21st century.  A leader who is willing to admit mistakes and approach politics not by pointing fingers or scoring points but by helping us all be better people.

Take a look at Obama’s latest interview.  It does not make you feel better about where we are heading.  You don’t feel like we are going to win under his leadership.  He points fingers and refuses to admit his own mistakes or weaknesses.  I often wonder where is the Barack Obama of the 2007 and 2008 campaign.  That Obama was much more like the leader we need at this time.  He offered hope, he had soaring rhetoric, he offered a change from the bitter politics in Washington, and he made us feel we could win.

Tebow is the kind of leader for his football team that our country needs at this crucial moment in history.  Yes, the Denver Broncos streak will probably end, and the odds are a team like the Green Bay Packers will win the Super Bowl.  But no matter the outcome, Tebow has shown what faith, and confidence and humility can do for a team of limited skills that was losing consistently before. This is exactly what President Franklin Roosevelt and President Reagan understood about leadership.

This economy, and our country, do not need more programs out of Washington, D.C., or legislation from Congress, or tax cuts for the wealthy, or more spending on government stimulus.  What citizens and businesses need is a leader who can raise us all up to a level we didn’t know we had in us, give us confidence in ourselves, give us a common goal to work toward, and make us believe in and have faith in ourselves again.

It seems this is a leadership lesson we keep having to learn over and over again through our country’s history.  It is so easy to forget how successes were achieved along the way by Kennedy-style exhortations such as “we are going to the moon.” It is so easy to default into failing Washington-style, us-against-them, to try and get short-term political success.

But maybe a quarterback who seems as much boy as man can show us all, including the candidates for president, how to win and how to get our country back on track.  And how to have a little fun along the way.  Now that is a leader I would enthusiastically go in the huddle with.”

Source: HERE

 

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The Sad Truth About Social Security

 

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…. “Not only did you contribute to Social Security but your employer did too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that’s close to $220,500.

If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer’s contribution) at a simple 5% (less than what the govt. pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working you’d have $892,919.98.

If you took out only 3% per year, you’d receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years (until you’re 95 if you retire at age 65) and that’s with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit! If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.

The folks in Washington have pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madhoff ever had.

Entitlement my ass, I paid cash for my social security insurance!!!! Just because they borrowed the money, doesn’t make my benefits some kind of charity or handout!!

Congressional benefits —- free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days, now that’s welfare, and they have the nerve to call my social security retirement entitlements?

We’re “broke” and can’t help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, and Homeless.

In the last months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile , Turkey, and now Pakistan – home of bin Laden. Literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!!

Our retired seniors living on a ‘fixed income’ receive no aid nor do they get any breaks while our government and religious organizations pour Hundreds of Billions of $$$$$$’s and Tons of Food to Foreign Countries!

They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives and now when it’s time for us to collect, the government is running out of money. Why did the government borrow from it in the first place? Imagine if the *GOVERNMENT* gave ‘US’ the same support they give to other countries.

Sad isn’t it?”

Submitted by Robert O

 

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Tune Out of Politics? “Drop the Label of the Two Parties”

…. “A report released Wednesday by the centrist think-tank Third Way showed that more than 825,000 voters in eight key battleground states have fled the Democratic Party since Obama won election in 2008.

“The numbers show that Democrats’ path to victory just got harder,” said Lanae Erickson, the report’s co-author.  “We are seeing both an increase in independents and a decrease in Democrats and that means the coalition they have to assemble is going to rely even more on independents in 2012 than it did in 2008.”

Amid frustrating partisan gridlock and unprecedentedly low party-approval ratings, the number of voters registering under a major party is falling fast, but it is also falling disproportionately.

In eight states that will be must-wins in 2012 — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — Democrats lost 5.4 percent of their registered voters while Republicans lost 3.1 percent.  The number of independent voters in those states jumped 3.4 percent.

“People are frustrated and the way you tune out in American politics is that is you drop the label of the two parties,” said Steven Jarding, a Harvard public policy professor and Democratic campaign strategist.” ….

Source: HERE

 

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2011-2012 Demographic Changes May Re-elect Obama

This article appeared in the Thursday, December  1, 2011 edition of National Journal Daily.     

Source:  HERE      

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The Great Achievements of Civilizations Have not Come from Government Bureaucrats (video)

This is Phil Donahue interviewing Milton Friedman thirty years ago.

Submitted by JJ

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Obama Operatives Jettison “White Voters Without College Degrees”

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THOMAS B. EDSALL has written an instructive New York Times editorial entitled: “The Future of the Obama Coalition”.  Here, in part, are the surprising calculations of the political class.

“For decades, Democrats have suffered continuous and increasingly severe losses among white voters. But preparations by Democratic operatives for the 2012 election make it clear for the first time that the party will explicitly abandon the white working class.

All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition made up, on the one hand, of voters who have gotten ahead on the basis of educational attainment — professors, artists, designers, editors, human resources managers, lawyers, librarians, social workers, teachers and therapists — and a second, substantial constituency of lower-income voters who are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.

It is instructive to trace the evolution of a political strategy based on securing this coalition in the writings and comments, over time, of such Democratic analysts as Stanley Greenberg and Ruy Teixeira. Both men were initially determined to win back the white working-class majority, but both currently advocate a revised Democratic alliance in which whites without college degrees are effectively replaced by well-educated socially liberal whites in alliance with the growing ranks of less affluent minority voters, especially Hispanics.

The 2012 approach treats white voters without college degrees as an unattainable cohort. The Democratic goal with these voters is to keep Republican winning margins to manageable levels, in the 12 to 15 percent range, as opposed to the 30-point margin of 2010 — a level at which even solid wins among minorities and other constituencies are not enough to produce Democratic victories.

“It’s certainly true that if you compare how things were in the early ’90s to the way they are now, there has been a significant shift in the role of the working class. You see it across all advanced industrial countries,” Teixeira, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said in an interview.

In the United States, Teixeira noted, “the Republican Party has become the party of the white working class,” while in Europe, many working-class voters who had been the core of Social Democratic parties have moved over to far right parties, especially those with anti-immigration platforms.

Teixeira, writing with John Halpin, argues in “The Path to 270: Demographics versus Economics in the 2012 Presidential Election,” that in order to be re-elected, President Obama must keep his losses among white college graduates to the 4-point margin of 2008 (47-51). Why? Otherwise he will not be able to survive a repetition of 2010, when white working-class voters supported Republican House candidates by a record-setting margin of 63-33.”  ….  Source: HERE

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“Pack It In”, Mr. President

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….”For the past 36 months, Americans have hoped for the best. But it hasn’t turned out that way. In fact, some argue that Mr. Obama actually made the economy worse – the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said last week that his 2009 stimulus package may have sustained as few as 700,000 jobs at its peak and that over the long run it will be a net drag on the economy.

But then, this. The president, traveling the country purportedly to look for votes in 2012, decided to lecture the American people on their shortcomings: fat, lazy, stupid. And now, he’s channeling – of all people – Jimmy Carter.

Don’t doubt the premise here. Democrats must spend – spend and spend and spend. It’s in their DNA. Mr. Obama offered a $3.8 trillion budget this year, to be paid for by – $2.1 trillion in revenue (read: your money). He knows that over the next four years, with automatic budget cuts set to take effect and the American people’s rising ire over the profligate spending in Washington, he’s going to have no money to redistribute to the masses.

So, why bother? It’s going to get worse before it gets better. Who needs it? Why preside over a government that, instead of giving everything to everybody free, takes it all away, cuts so deeply that nearly every American will be affected? Especially if you think Americans are lazy, lack ambition – they’ll never rise to the challenge, so why not just bail?

Crazy? Not according to two Democratic strategists. Patrick H. Caddell, who coincidentally worked as a pollster for Mr. Carter, and Douglas Schoen think Mr. Obama should follow LBJ and just pack it in.

“He should abandon his candidacy for re-election in favor of a clear alternative, one capable not only of saving the Democratic Party, but more important, of governing effectively and in a way that preserves the most important of the president’s accomplishments. He should step aside,” they wrote, “for the one candidate who would become, by acclamation, the nominee of the Democratic Party: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.”

Of course, Mr. Obama’s hubris will not allow such a move. But consider this, 344 days before Election Day 2012: The president’s greatest advocate, Chris Matthews, who got a chill up his leg every time he heard the candidate speak, has thrown in the towel.”…

Source: HERE

 

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Deficit Reduction – Democratic Fervor To Raise Rates, Dumb!

“Democrats are unanimous in charging that the debt-reduction supercommittee collapsed because Republicans refused to raise taxes. Apparently, Republicans are in the thrall of one Grover Norquist, the anti-tax campaigner, whom Sen. John Kerry called “the 13th member of this committee without being there.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid helpfully suggested “maybe they should impeach Grover Norquist.”

With that, Norquist officially replaces the Koch brothers as the great malevolent manipulator that controls the republic by pulling unseen strings on behalf of the plutocracy.

Nice theory. Except for the following facts:

  • Sen. Tom Coburn last year signed on to the Simpson-Bowles tax reform that would have increased tax revenue by $1 trillion over a decade.
  • During the debt-ceiling talks, House Speaker John Boehner agreed to an $800 billion revenue increase as part of a Grand Bargain.
  • Supercommittee member Pat Toomey, a Club for Growth Republican, proposed increasing tax revenue by $300 billion as part of $1.2 trillion in debt reduction.

Leading, very conservative Republicans proposing tax increases. So why does the myth of the Norquist-controlled anti-tax monolith persist? You might suggest cynicism and perversity. Let me offer a more benign explanation: thickheadedness — the inability to tell the difference between tax revenue and tax rates.

In deficit reduction, all that matters is tax revenue. The holders of our national debt care not a whit what tax rates yield the money to pay them back. They care about the sum.

The Republican proposals raise revenue, despite lowering rates, by opening a gusher of new income for the Treasury in the form of loophole elimination. For example, the Toomey plan eliminates deductions by $300 billion more than the reduction in tax rates “cost.” Result: $300 billion in new revenue.

The Simpson-Bowles commission — appointed by President Obama and endorsed by Coburn — used the same formula. Its tax reform would lower tax rates at a “cost” of $1?trillion a year while eliminating loopholes that deprive the Treasury of $1.1?trillion a year. This would leave the Treasury with an excess — i.e., new tax revenue — of $100 billion a year, or $1?trillion over a decade.

Raising revenue through tax reform is better than simply raising rates, which Democrats insist upon with near religious fervor. It is more economically efficient because it eliminates credits, carve-outs and deductions that grossly misallocate capital. And it is more fair because it is the rich who can afford not only the sharp lawyers and accountants who exploit loopholes but the lobbyists who create them in the first place.” … More: HERE

 

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Lets Analyze the “Analysis” of Last Night’s Republican Debate

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Last night, in the latest Republican debate, Newt Gingrich offered up a new solution to the immigration issue. A sensible alternative to the preposterous notion that the country can export every illegal resident. Mr. Gingrich suggested that those who have remained in the country for a significant amount of time, paid taxes, and remain sound members of the community can stay.

A suggestion worthy of consideration.

So, how does the media “analyze” the suggestion?

If the AP is an example (see below), they didn’t lead with an “analysis” – far from it! Before they talked about Mr. Gingrich’s proposal they set him up with pejorative descriptors such as: “political gambler”, “unorthodox”, “contentious”, and “cantankerous”.  All words that were used in the first two paragraphs of the article!

And you thought the media is “fair and balanced” – Please!

 

“WASHINGTON (AP) — Newt Gingrich, a political gambler his whole life, is banking on unorthodox stands on immigration, Social Security and other issues to propel him past Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential contest.

In a few weeks, GOP voters in Iowa and New Hampshire will show whether they think the best person to challenge President Barack Obama is a comparative stranger to Washington politics or a contentious and sometimes cantankerous veteran of decades of inside-the-Beltway battles.

Gingrich, 68, may be the most familiar of the eight Republican candidates. But he has never been a play-it-safe politician. He has a long career of highs and lows to prove it.

Romney, meanwhile, is sticking with his run-out-the-clock strategy. He’s adhering to GOP orthodoxy on immigration, not making too much noise about Social Security, and focusing his criticisms on Obama.”…. Source: HERE

 

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NY Mayor: Obama NOT a CEO – What a Surprise!

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“In a stinging rebuke of Mr Obama, who remained on the sidelines as the deal collapsed, and a rare intervention into Washington politics, Mr Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, said: “It’s the chief executive’s job to bring people together and to provide leadership. I don’t see that happening.”

He accused members of Congress of “political cowardice” for helping bring about a “disaster for the country” but the former Democrat and Republican who is now an Independent reserved his strongest words for Mr Obama.

“The executive branch must do more than submit a plan to a committee –and then step aside and hope the committee members take action. That’s not how any CEO would run a business.” …..

Source: HERE

 

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Liberal Matthews – Obama “NEVER Calls” (video)

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The History Behind a Political System That Doesn’t Work

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… “the United States has its most ideologically aligned party system in modern history — and perhaps the biggest political crisis in modern history.

Party caucuses always have reinforced party discipline, but for the first time both caucuses are enforcing ideological discipline as well. In the course of their work, lawmakers almost never encounter views that depart from their own, almost never form friendships with their political adversaries. If they don’t practice ideological compromise inside their own parties, they are less likely — less able — to practice it on the floor of both houses of Congress.

“We finally got ideological purity, and it’s a disaster for the country,” says former Gov. Angus King of Maine, an independent. “We have ideological gridlock. You can’t solve problems this way.”

Indeed, the lack of a middle in the American political class is the American problem. The irony is that the American problem repeatedly has been held up as the American solution.

The most prominent advocate for ideologically aligned parties was Roosevelt, who once told Sam Rosenman, a White House speechwriter and the first White House counsel, “We ought to have two real parties — one liberal and the other conservative.”

FDR set out to create just that with his effort to purge conservatives and New Deal foes from the Democratic Party. He singled out, among others, Walter F. George of Georgia, Ellison D. “Cotton Ed” Smith of South Carolina and Millard Tydings of Maryland, all of whom prevailed against the onslaught of White House opprobrium.

Susan Dunn, a Williams College historian who has written the definitive account of the Roosevelt offensive, said the president’s biggest blunder “was to undertake the purge in the absence of impressive challengers to conservative incumbents.”

That very likely is true. For whatever reason, the mushy party system prevailed — and had unforeseen consequences even for Roosevelt. Many of the most ardent opponents of the New Deal turned out to be the most ardent supporters of the president’s initiatives in foreign affairs, supporting Roosevelt on Lend-Lease, so much so that party alignment was doomed as World War II approached.

It gained new life a dozen years later, however, when the American Political Science Review published a landmark article called “Toward a More Responsible Two-Party System,” which argued that American parties needed “sufficient internal cohesion” and a “degree of unity within the parties” that they lacked at mid-century. At that time, the Democratic Party had such conservatives as Sen. Harry F. Byrd Sr. of Virginia, Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and a series of Southern committee chairmen. The Republicans Party had such liberals as Gov. Earl Warren of California, Rep. Clifford P. Case of New Jersey and Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. of Massachusetts.

The political scientists’ report echoed scholarly critiques dating back a half century, when important figures like Woodrow Wilson, then a prominent political scientist, and Herbert Croly, an important thinker in the Progressive movement and the co-founder of The New Republic, raised questions about the American party system.

“However one may deplore that system, he must concede that it has displayed, if nothing else, a very impressive ability to survive,” Austin Ranney, then a political scientist at the University of Illinois and later the chairman of the political science department at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote in a contemporary critique of the 1950 report.

One reason the old system survived for so long is that the multiplicity of interests and ideologies inside American parties imposed the sorts of restraints on the majority that Americans liked, much like the checks and balances and separation of powers designed in the Constitution to protect the rights and viewpoints of the minority.

Now we have just the kind of political-party system Roosevelt and the political scientists envisioned. We are living the future, and it does not work.” ….

Source:  HERE

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Obama Putting Politics Over The Nation

 

…”So what do you do when you say you can, but, it turns out, you can’t? Blame the other guy. Charge the Republicans with making governing impossible. Never mind that you had control of the Congress for two-thirds of your current tenure. It’s all the fault of Republican rejectionism.

Hence: “We Can’t Wait.” We can’t wait while they obstruct. We can’t wait while they dither with my jobs bill. Write Congress today! Vote Democrat tomorrow!

We can’t wait. Except for certain exceptions, such as the 1,700-mile trans-U.S. Keystone XL pipeline, carrying Alberta oil to Texas refineries, which would have created thousands of American jobs and increased our energy independence.

For that, we can wait, it seems. President Obama decreed that any decision must wait 12 to 18 months — postponed, by amazing coincidence, until after next year’s election.

Why? Because the pipeline angered Obama’s environmental constituency. But their complaints are risible. Global warming from the extraction of the Alberta tar sands? Canada will extract the oil anyway. If it doesn’t go to us, it will go to China. Net effect on the climate if we don’t take that oil? Zero.

Danger to a major aquifer, which the pipeline traverses? It is already crisscrossed by 25,000 miles of pipeline, enough to circle the Earth. Moreover, the State Department had subjected Keystone to three years of review — the most exhaustive study of any oil pipeline in U.S. history — and twice concluded in voluminous studies that there would be no significant environmental harm.

So what happened? “The administration,” reported the New York Times, “had in recent days been exploring ways to put off the decision until after the presidential election.” Exploring ways to improve the project? Hardly. Exploring ways to get past the election.

Obama’s decision was meant to appease his environmentalists. It’s already working. The president of the National Wildlife Federation told the Washington Post (online edition, November 10) that thousands of environmentalists who were galvanized to protest the pipeline would now support Obama in 2012. Moreover, a source told the Post, Obama campaign officials had concluded that “they do not pick up one vote from approving this project.”

Sure, the pipeline would have produced thousands of truly shovel-ready jobs. Sure, delay could forfeit to China a supremely important strategic asset — a nearby, highly reliable source of energy. But approval was calculated to be a political loss for the president. Easy choice.

It’s hard to think of a more clear-cut case of putting politics over nation. This from a president whose central campaign theme is that Republicans put party over nation, sacrificing country to crass political ends.” ….

Source: HERE

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