Tag: Presidency of Barack Obama

“Pour encourager les autres!”

That’s frog for “To set an example for the others“, and that’s precisely why this WH will never, ever, give Snowden any form of clemency. In fact, if they ever do, Snowden is advised to decline, albeit politely, under the expectation that they are lying to him so they can get him, and then, they will punish him. Nobody lies as often and with such aplomb as the members of this “The most ethical administration, EVAH!” do.

Even the left, and Slate is left leaning, if anything, admits that this administration punishes those that blow the whistle at their abuses. And they knew this was the case long before the Snowden incident as the date of that Slate article clearly shows. Get in their way and they will use every means and agency of the government to bury you. Snowden will have to wait until someone else is in charge to have a chance at a pardon for doing the American people a service.

More Obamanomics “UNEXECTEDLY!” news

Obama must be going for a perfect score. Not only has his signature achievement put this country on a path where most employment will be part-time, if you can find jobs that is, straddled us all with more debt obligations, and in general grown the welfare state obligations those of us that produce have to pay for, but his tenure has also brought us a 3.2% decline in wages. Considering that the really well connected and well off rich have made a killing under Obama’s tenure, I bet that number skews real bad for those of us not part of the gravy train.

I could say “I told you so” to the dumb fucks that despite my arguments, based on the evidence the past performance of democrats when they held the reins of power completely, refused to see what was coming and assured us all that a democrat would do better than that democrat-light Boosh, but it would be pointless. Stupid idiots that believe they cannot just ignore economic laws, human nature, and the real world, but change it to make things work to be the way they envision them in their torrid fantasies, are not going to admit they were wrong.

At least I am looking at a big raise and a sweet bonus again this year because despite my warnings that I am the only one with the skills to do my job, my company chose to not get me a backup because it cost too much. It’s good to be indeispensable. Most people, many of them real good and hard workers, however are getting fucked by the left leaning policies & politics of the last 5 years. Those of you that voted for these idiots and are getting screwed though, can kiss my ass.

The Foreseen Disaster

The Obamacare website is failure, the exchanges aren’t working and the President held a press conference yesterday that amounted to, “it was on fire when I got here”. Oh, well, I’m sure this disaster was a complete surpri … oh:

Days before the launch of President Obama’s online health ­insurance marketplace, government officials and contractors tested a key part of the Web site to see whether it could handle tens of thousands of consumers at the same time. It crashed after a simulation in which just a few hundred people tried to log on simultaneously.

Despite the failed test, federal health officials plowed ahead.

When the Web site went live Oct. 1, it locked up shortly after midnight as about 2,000 users attempted to complete the first step, according to two people familiar with the project.

Obama is trying to blame everyone else: it’s Republicans fault for not setting up state exchanges, it’s the media’s fault for harping on the failures, it’s the public’s fault for loving Obamacare too much. But in the end, they had three years and tens of millions of dollars to make it work and it’s not anywhere close to working.

A responsible “transparent” President would have acknowledged this in advance. He might have acknowledged that creating a national insurance exchange was a huge technical challenge and maybe even (gasp!) delayed implementation. But they pressed on anyway, afflicted the public with this cowpat of a website and are now desperately trying to pretend things are not so bad.

Closed for Business

As of midnight tonight, we will very likely have a partial government shutdown due to the lack of a continuing resolution. The Republicans passed one that stripped funding from Obamacare (although it’s not that simple; stopping Obamacare requires statutory changes). The Senate bounced it. Now the Republicans have passed a CR that delays Obamacare a year and voids the medical device tax. This has also been rejected by the Senate for fairly obvious reasons. Among other things, most of Obamacare will start to be implemented tomorrow, regardless of what Congress does. And the Democrats will never accept delaying Obamacare a year. Their only hope is that the inevitable Obamacare clusterfuck becomes less of one by election time. They’re not going to accept a deal that puts maximum clusterfuckery right on top of the election.

So here we are.

Ted Cruz says this is the Republicans “listening to the people” but it really isn’t. The public is opposed to a shutdown. This is Cruz listening to the sliver of his supporters that do. Just to be clear: whether or not the government should be shut down to stop Obamacare shouldn’t be dependent on polls. But the idea that public is demanding a shutdown is simply wrong.

While a shutdown is not as bad as hitting the debt ceiling, I still think it’s a bad idea. The perpetual budget crisis is creating massive uncertainty for businesses — remember when uncertainty was a bad thing? — and hurting our economy. Maybe you could justify that if there were a hope of tossing Obamacare, but there isn’t: not with the Democrats in control of the Senate and the White House. And as the shutdown goes on, it is only going to strengthen the Democrats’ hand. Any problems with Obamacare will be ignored in the wake of the larger crisis or blamed on the shutdown. And the shutdown is very likely to blow up in the GOP’s face, politically. It’s very hard to turn this around to blame Obama when a) you’re the one who wants changes to existing law; b) your party is opposed to government anyway (or claims to be); and c) parts of your party are running around saying a government shutdown isn’t a bad thing.

(The shutdown is also a great unknown and is likely to have some very bad effects. I work with some active duty military and they’re staring down having to work without pay while the shutdown lasts. There’s some word about passing a bill to pay the soldiers, but no word yet on where it’s going.)

So ultimately, while this might make for good sound bites, I believe it is making for bad politics and making the permanent installation of Obamacare more, not less, likely.

The situation with the debt ceiling has, however, gotten even worse. The Republicans have issued a list of demands for suspending the debt ceiling for three months. There’s no word on if it was written with letters cut out of magazines:

Tax Reform Instructions

  • Similar to a bill we passed last fall, laying out broad from Ryan Budget principles for what tax reform should look like.
  • Gives fast track authority for tax reform legislation
  • Energy and regulatory reforms to promote economic growth

  • Includes pretty much every jobs bill we have passed this year and last Congress
  • All of these policies have important positive economic effects.
  • Keystone Pipeline
  • Coal Ash regulations
  • Offshore drilling
  • Energy production on federal lands
  • EPA Carbon regulations
  • REINS Act
  • Regulatory process reform
  • Consent decree reform
  • Blocking Net Neutrality
  • Mandatory Spending Reforms

  • Mostly from the sequester replacement bills we passed last year
  • Federal Employee retirement reform
  • Ending the Dodd Frank bailout fund
  • Transitioning CFPB funding to Appropriations
  • Child Tax Credit Reform to prevent fraud
  • Repealing the Social Services Block grant
  • Health Spending Reforms

  • Means testing Medicare
  • Repealing a Medicaid Provider tax gimmick
  • Tort reform
  • Altering Disproportion Share Hospitals
  • Repealing the Public Health trust Fund
  • They also, at a late stage, added a provision to remove the birth control mandate.

    Look, most of those are good ideas. The problem is that the Republicans ran on those ideas in 2012 and lost the election. Romney lost by four points and 126 electoral votes. And before you say, “he wasn’t conservative enough”, remember that he polled better nationally than the rest of the party did. The GOP lost eight seats in the House and two seats in the Senate, at least partially because of the primarying of moderates. To threaten the credit of the United States in an attempt to enact a rejected agenda would be absurd if it weren’t so repulsive. Again, the question I asked last week: do you want the Democrats doing this to President Rubio?

    It’s also, to me, fundamentally unserious. Even if Obama were amenable to the GOP’s wish list of issues, no agenda like that could be passed in three months, let alone a few days. It makes me more and more suspicious that the GOP’s actions are more about talking a big talk and raking in donations from the Tea Party than about seriously changing the course of our country. A serious group of conservatives would be trying to actually, you know, accomplish something, not breaching the debt ceiling so that they can prove how “tough” they are while accomplishing fuck all.

    I would be remiss if I didn’t note that this sort of thing has happened before. Congress has previously attached debt ceiling hikes to legislation. Most of it was fiscally related; but several hikes were linked to other issues, such as in 1973, when Ted Kennedy and Walter Mondale tried to attach campaign finance reform to a debt ceiling hike.

    But I would submit that when you’re following in the footsteps of Ted Kennedy and Walter Mondale … maybe you need to rethink your strategy.

    And the fallout from Obama’s failed Syria efforts, begins.

    So Obama had to put away his Syrian war boner because Putin played him. The winners in that event were clearly Assad and Putin. The clear loser is US credibility. The left is desperate to pretend otherwise, but I am predicting that they won’t pull it off. These amateurs are just too full of themselves and too stupid to know better. So now, with everyone basically saying Obama is weak, they are desperate to look though.

    Let me make a prediction: unless Obama needs another distraction for his scandals at home, this administration won’t attack Iran. The left has no interest in using the military to protect American interests and Americans. To them the US military is a fucking bunch of Neanderthals to be used to do humanitarian bullshit. The only time they think US armed forces should be used is when it costs America and produces nothing, or when they stand to profit from the use themselves, directly, which is exactly what Syria was about. Iran has nothing to worry about. Our credentialed elite are going to talk all though, but as long as the Iranians just lay low, they will get to keep building their nukes & doing their thing in the ME without any fear from the current administration.

    Despite their need to look all butch after Putin bitchslapped them silly, the Obama admin has no desire to do things that help America. Watch them waste millions in another missile strike in some no name, no where spot, where there will be no effective reason or value for the US. The odds of this escalate as this administration becomes more desperate for some cover to distract people from their many malfeasances at home. I hear Jimmy Carter is doing the manu-weasel with a modified jig. Obama has taken the title of most ineffective dunce from him. Narcissus called Obama: he wants his game back, dude.

    Obama Admin has turned friends into enemies, and now stands alone.

    Recent revelations have shown those of us that are paying attention to other sources than the left wing controlled media, that as we suspected, the Obama administration was no friend to our biggest ally in the ME, despite the assertions to the contrary. We can for all intents and purposes drop the veneer now and point out that Black Jesus’ clan only pretend to care about Israel because of the money they want from American Jews. Otherwise Israel is treated worse than enemy states are.

    Unfortunately for us, Israel is not the only ally this administration has treated worse than they would enemy states. Ask the Brits, Germans, Italians, Indians, Japanese, or even the French how well Obama’s administration has made US assets work with them, and in a candid moment you will be told that things were a lot better back in the days when the US was run by the cowboy. And the mistreatment of our allies has happened concurrently with Obama’s people kissing up to the vilest and most villainous scumbags on the planet. And I am being kind here in my choice of words. Even the carter administration, which was about the worst on foreign policy I can remember in my lifetime, never could be as ineffective, inefficient, and downright detrimental to our national security and interests as this crew of imbeciles has been over the last 5 years. The US State department is a giant joke. When you can’t even get the Brits to go along, it tells me you are plain and simply incapable.

    The obsession with hitting Syria, regardless of the way things have played out, is about something else. Anyone still denying that is an imbecile or a propagandist for the corrupt Obama administration. This bunch of idiots have turned on our allies and treat them worse than our enemies, and now they wonder why they can’t get any help. You piss on someone’s leg day in day out, and tell them to pretend it is warm rain, they are going to do the same right back to you sooner than later. Right now the cowboy the whole collectivist universe was so happy to replace with Obama sure as hell looks like a genius yet again. Not to toot my own horn, but I pointed out that whatever democrats did would end up worse, and I can clearly see I am vindicated. The sad thing is that our once great nation is being harmed big time, so I find neither solace or joy in being proven right on this.

    You Are Not The Law

    Stand by for more of this:

    In a rebuke to the Obama administration, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been violating federal law by delaying a decision on a proposed nuclear waste dump in Nevada.

    By a 2-1 vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ordered the commission to complete the licensing process and approve or reject the Energy Department’s application for a never-completed waste storage site at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain.

    In a sharply worded opinion, the court said the nuclear agency was “simply flouting the law” when it allowed the Obama administration to continue plans to close the proposed waste site 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The action goes against a federal law designating Yucca Mountain as the nation’s nuclear waste repository.

    “The president may not decline to follow a statutory mandate or prohibition simply because of policy objections,” Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh wrote in a majority opinion, which was joined Judge A. Raymond Randolph. Chief Judge Merrick B. Garland dissented.

    We’re seeing a lot of this out of the Administration. The Obamacare employer mandate delayed by Presidential fiat, recess appointments when Congress is still in session pro forma, special dispensations for states. The Courts are finally pushing back. In fact, it’s thought that the NLRB appointment deal was made because Obama knew the Supreme Court would strike down his Labor Board appointees.

    As frustrating as the process of government can be, the process exists for a reason. And it’s good to see the Courts pushing back on violations of the process.

    As for Yucca Mountain itself, I’ve made my position on that issue clear: nuclear waste has to go somewhere and I can think of nowhere better than in a custom-designed facility fed by indestructible transport vehicles. The Democrats — supposedly the part of science — have engaged in relentless fear-mongering and politicking on this issue. I hope that the NRC will move on this but I doubt that they will. The irrational fear of the atom is just too strong.

    Holder the Liar

    The one good thing I figured Barack Obama would do as President was go after the shysters in the mortgage industry. Surely a Democrat as liberal as Obama would make sure that those who aided and abetted mortgage fraud would be punished, right? And last year — coincidentally, right before the election — they announced that they had brought 530 cases representing over 73,000 fraudulent mortgages and a billion in lost home value. It was just the tip of an awful iceberg, but it was something.

    Oops:

    The Justice Department made a long-overdue disclosure late Friday: Last year when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder boasted about the successes that a high-profile task force racked up pursuing mortgage fraud, the numbers he trumpeted were grossly overstated.

    We’re not talking small differences here. Originally the Justice Department said 530 people were charged criminally as part of a year-long initiative by the multi-agency Mortgage Fraud Working Group. It now says the actual figure was 107 — or 80 percent less. Holder originally said the defendants had victimized more than 73,000 American homeowners. That number was revised to 17,185, while estimates of homeowner losses associated with the frauds dropped to $95 million from $1 billion.

    The government restated the statistics because it got caught red-handed by a couple of nosy reporters. Last October, two days after Holder first publicized the numbers, Phil Mattingly and Tom Schoenberg of Bloomberg News broke the story that some of the cases included in the Justice Department’s tally occurred before the initiative began in October 2011. At least one was filed more than two years before President Barack Obama took office.

    It will surprise no one who reads this blog that the Justice Department used every tactic short of extraordinary rendition to evade reporters’ questions about the program. When pressed for details of the arrests and prosecutions, they stalled delayed and obfuscating until … get this … after the election.

    Oh, and they’ve done it before:

    This was the second time, mind you, that Holder’s Justice Department had pulled a stunt like this. In December 2010, Holder held a press conference to tout a supposed sweep by the president’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force called “Operation Broken Trust.” (The mortgage-fraud program was part of the same task force.) As with the mortgage-fraud initiative, Broken Trust wasn’t actually a sweep. All the Justice Department did was lump together a bunch of small-fry, penny-ante fraud cases that had nothing to do with one another. Then it held a press gathering.

    At least on that occasion, the Justice Department promptly provided me with a list of the defendants’ names and case details when I asked for them. That is how I was able to determine for a December 2010 column that the government’s Broken Trust numbers were inflated. Among the handful of cases on the list that I spot-checked, one defendant was sentenced to probation before the operation’s supposed start date. Another person on the list had no record of criminal charges. Other cases had nothing to do with any actions by the task force. The Justice Department still hasn’t restated the Broken Trust numbers — even though those statistics clearly were in error, too.

    And, just in case you’re wondering about the brokers who piled fraudulent mortgages into tottering piles of securities shit and the ratings agencies that gave those tottering piles of shit AAA ratings: they have not been held responsible either.

    Holder is setting records of lies and obfuscations on every issue imaginable. From Fast and Furious to mortgage fraud, he consistently and continuously misleads the American public. And yet when the Republicans tried to cite for contempt (for lying his ass off about F&F), they were branded as anti-Obama-crazed maniacs. And the DOJ is just a fraction of the lies spewed by this Administration on the subject of the law, from claiming they are winding down the War on Drugs while they ramp it up to the head of NSA lying to Congress with a straight face.

    So you’ll forgive me if I take today’s announcement of changes to the War on Drugs with some salt. I love the idea of not charging low-level drug offenders with crimes that invoke harsh minimum sentences. But I don’t trust these assholes to actually do it. What I trust them to do is, shortly before the 2014 election, announce that they’ve overhauled or War on Drugs and kept non-violent people out of prison while they continue to do it.

    Holder has earned that distrust. And that distrust is the biggest reason why he shouldn’t be Attorney General any more. Respect for the Rule of Law is a critical component to any functioning society. Holder has brought the Rule of Law into contempt. Enough of this.

    When You’ve Lost the Unions…

    Maybe this will persuade some of the few holdouts that Obamacare is in deep trouble:

    The leaders of three major U.S. unions, including the highly influential Teamsters, have sent a scathing open letter to Democratic leaders in Congress, warning that unless changes are made, President Obama’s health care reform plan will “destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.”

    If that’s not bad enough, the Affordable Care Act, if not modified, will “destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans,” the letter says.

    The letter is at the link. And it rehashes a lot of the arguments we’ve been having. It turns out — surprise! — that unions don’t like paying more for insurance and don’t like having part-time jobs instead of full-time ones.

    First, the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation, and many of them are doing so openly. The impact is two-fold: fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.
    
    Second, millions of Americans are covered by non-profit health insurance plans like the ones in which most of our members participate. These non-profit plans are governed jointly by unions and companies under the Taft-Hartley Act. Our health plans have been built over decades by working men and women. Under the ACA as interpreted by the Administration, our employees will treated differently and not be eligible for subsidies afforded other citizens. As such, many employees will be relegated to second-class status and shut out of the help the law offers to for-profit insurance plans.

    And finally, even though non-profit plans like ours won’t receive the same subsidies as for-profit plans, they’ll be taxed to pay for those subsidies. Taken together, these restrictions will make non-profit plans like ours unsustainable, and will undermine the health-care market of viable alternatives to the big health insurance companies.

    You may remember during the PPACA debate that Obama tried to get union plans exempted from various aspects of Obamacare. Gee, I wonder why?

    So, now I become curious. Business hates Obamacare. Consumers don’t like it. Unions don’t like it. Who, apart from the Obamabots, does like it? What exactly is being accomplished by not either fixing or repealing this bill, other than saving face for a lame duck President?

    Scandal Week

    With Benghazi revelations and IRS abuses dominating the headlines, the Obama Administration is releasing details on a couple of additional scandals, hoping they will slip under the radar.

    No dice, guys:

    First:

    Last week, The Washington Post reported that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had “gone, hat in hand, to health industry officials, asking them to make large financial donations to help with the effort to implement President Obama’s landmark health-care law.” According to the Post, an HHS source and an industry official have affirmed that over the last three months, “Sebelius has made multiple phone calls to health industry executives, community organizations and church groups and asked that they contribute whatever they can to nonprofit groups that are working to enroll uninsured Americans and increase awareness of the law.”

    Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that two organizations expected to be supporting the law are The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is expected to give $10 million, and H&R Block, which will give a “donation” of $500,000. The Post and the Times reports also indicate that Secretary Sebelius has made contact with insurers, asking them to support the health law’s implementation.

    One of the things I’ve noticed about this Administration is that they are very devoted to finding ways to violate the spirit, if not exactly the letter, of the law. They are constantly searching for loopholes and excuses for behavior that is supposed to be forbidden.

    In this case, Sebelius is strictly forbidden from fundraising or soliciting funds in an official capacity. She can do so as a private citizen, but not with her official title and not with companies she regulates. The White House’s answer is that “Sebelius did not solicit for funds directly from industries that HHS regulates, such as insurance companies and hospitals, but rather asked them to contribute in whatever way they can” with is Orwellian doublespeak. There is no question about how industry saw this shakedown and I doubt that the Obama Administration is under any delusions either. They’re hoping that they’ve skirted the law. But the ultimate result is just the same.

    But wait, there’s more!

    The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.

    The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.

    In all, the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown, but more than 100 journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.

    And, just like that, the press suddenly becomes aware of the gigantic surveillance state that Barack Obama has built up over the last four years.

    The government is not saying why they tapped the phones. They have previously hinted that they were investigating a leak of classified information. But even if that’s the case, this was a massive sweep of AP journalists. It crosses that line from investigating a specific criminal action into engaging in broad unwarranted surveillance for any potential criminal action. It’s the difference between having Constitutional safeguards on our liberty and not having them at all.

    What we are seeing is apotheosis of an Administration that has had far too little checking and balancing from the media. No matter what Obama has done, the media has been on his side, either ignoring it for finding excuses for it. And they have kept pushing and pushing the boundaries until, perhaps, they have finally crossed a line that even liberals might notice.

    With the AP scandal especially, a lot of scales are falling from a lot of eyes. Better late than never, I guess. But we’ll just see how enthusiastically they cover the next revelation.