How Big??? ObamaCare Jonathan Gruber #HalBIG

The Fourth Circuit plaintiffs against ObamaCare have a new weapon if they decide to do what we think they will do and appeal directly to the Supreme Court. We’re talking HalBIG. The HalBIG we wrote thoroughly about in early July. The HalBIG we wrote about when the D.C. Circuit Court knocked ObamaCare into a death panel hospice waiting for a death certificate to be signed.

The weapon against the ObamaCare scam is none other than the “architect” of ObamaCare and what he himself said about ObamaCare.

Repeatedly and without shame pro-ObamaCare con artists repeat the lie that there was no intent to provide ObamaCare subsidies only to individuals on ObamaCare exchanges established by the states. These pro-ObamaCare liars defraud the courts and the public by insisting ObamaCare subsides were intended to go to the federal exchanges too. Now the “architect” of ObamaCare, via the magic of video, has exploded another torpedo below the waterline of the sinking S.S. ObamaCare.

Here is “architect” of ObamaCare Jonathan Gruber:

This week, an unprecedented circuit split emerged in Halbig v. Burwell and King v. Burwell over whether health insurance premium assistance is available in states that didn’t set up health insurance exchanges. Many commentators have since claimed that there’s no way Congress intended to deny premium assistance to residents of the 36 so-called “refusenik” states that have not set up their own health insurance exchanges.

But in January 2012, Jonathan Gruber—an MIT economics professor whom the The New York Times has called “Mr. Mandate” for his pivotal role in helping the Obama administration and Congress draft the Affordable Care Act—told an audience at Noblis that:

What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this.



Start the video at 31:25. For more on Professor Gruber’s crucial role in designing the ACA, see this 2012 profile of him in The New York Times and this release from MIT’s press office, which describes Gruber as the architect of the “three-legged stool” concept discussed at length by the Fourth Circuit opinion in King v. Burwell.

The Fourth Circuit judges who issued their convolution mess of an opinion must be hiding behind their toilets muttering epithets against Jonathan Gruber, who, because of his video, exposes them as idiots. Likewise the D.C. Circuit judges must be basking in the blessed glow of justice:

Earlier this week, a three-judge panel in the D.C. Circuit Court ruled that, contrary to the Obama administration’s implementation and an Internal Revenue Service rule, Obamacare’s subsidies for private health insurance were limited to state-run health exchanges.

The reasoning for this ruling was simple: That’s what the law says. The section dealing with the creation of state exchanges and the provision of subsidies states, quite clearly, that subsidies are only available in exchanges “established by a State,” which the law expressly
defines
as the 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

Obamacare’s defenders have responded by saying that this is obviously ridiculous. It doesn’t make any sense in the larger context of the law, and what’s more, no one who supported the law or voted for it ever talked about this. It’s a theory concocted entirely by the law’s opponents, the health law’s backers argue, and never once mentioned by people who crafted or backed the law.

It’s not. One of the law’s architects—at the same time that he was a paid consultant to states deciding whether or not to build their own exchanges—was espousing exactly this interpretation as far back in early 2012, and long before the Halbig suit—the one that was decided this week against the administration—was filed. (A related suit, Pruitt v. Sebelius, had been filed earlier, but did not challenge tax credits within the federal exchanges until an amended version which was filed in late 2012.) It was also several months before the first publication of the paper by Case Western Law Professor Jonathan Adler and Cato Institute Health Policy Director Michael Cannon which detailed the case against the IRS rule. 

ObamaCare con artists say one thing; ObamaCare scam opponents say the contrary. Who’s correct?:

And what he says is exactly what challengers to the administration’s implementation of the law have been arguing—that if a state chooses not to establish its own exchange, then residents of those states will not be able to access Obamacare’s health insurance tax credits. He says this in response to a question asking whether the federal government will step in if a state chooses not to build its own exchange. Gruber describes the possibility that states won’t enact their own exchanges as one of the potential “threats” to the law. He says this with confidence and certainty, and at no other point in the presentation does he contradict the statement in question.

One of the architects of the fight against ObamaCare exemplified by HalBIG is about to giggle himself to death as he laughs about his absolutely great good fortune:

The central issue is whether the PPACA allows the IRS to issue tax credits through health-insurance Exchanges established by the federal government. Said government argues it’s implausible that Congress intended to withhold tax credits in states that don’t establish Exchanges. On Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit set off a firestorm when it ruled in Halbig that the PPACA’s language authorizing tax credits “through an Exchange established by the State” cannot be reasonably construed to authorize them in the 36 states with federal Exchanges. On the same day, the Fourth Circuit reached the opposite conclusion in King. On Thursday, however, the plaintiffs’ interpretation got another boost from an architect of the PPACA named Jonathan Gruber.

The government argued in Halbig that the potential for adverse selection makes “it…untenable to suggest that Congress withheld premium tax credits from individuals who live in States with federally-run Exchanges. Congress sought to reform the non-group market, not to destroy it.” The government described as “baseless” the Halbig plaintiffs’ claim that Congress used the tax credits as an inducement to encourage states to establish and operate Exchanges.

These arguments did not fare well in court. The D.C. Circuit found that the PPACA “encourages” states to establish Exchanges. Moreover, in other parts of the statute—the “CLASS Act” and the law’s treatment of U.S. territories, to name two—Congress showed a rather high tolerance for adverse selection, so the fact that a provision created the potential for adverse selection in the Exchanges did not render it implausible. Finally, even as the Fourth Circuit found the plaintiffs’ reading of the statute “plausible,” implicitly rejecting both of the government’s implausibility claims, even as it ultimately ruled for the government.

The plaintiffs’ interpretation became even more plausible with the discovery of a January 2012 presentation by Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist Jonathan Gruber. I’ll get to why Gruber is significant in a moment. For now, note how he unequivocally agrees with the plaintiffs’ interpretation: the PPACA only allows tax credits in states that establish Exchanges.

It’s like O.J. Simpson walking into court with a knife soaked in Nicole Brown’s blood. Yeah, it’s that bad.

Let’s watch that video again along with the giggly Cannon and read a bit more of the transcript:

Questioner: You mentioned the health-information Exchanges for the states, and it is my understanding that if states don’t provide them, then the federal government will provide them for the states.

Gruber: Yeah, so these health-insurance Exchanges, you can go on ma.healthconnector.org and see ours in Massachusetts, will be these new shopping places and they’ll be the place that people go to get their subsidies for health insurance. In the law, it says if the states don’t provide them, the federal backstop will. The federal government has been sort of slow in putting out its backstop, I think partly because they want to sort of squeeze the states to do it. I think what’s important to remember politically about this, is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an Exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits. But your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying to your citizens, you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these Exchanges, and that they’ll do it. But you know, once again, the politics can get ugly around this.

Here’s the video (skip ahead to 31:25):

Gruber doesn’t just acknowledge the conditional feature of the PPACA’s tax credits. He also supplies a plausible purpose for that feature (there were people in Washington who either wanted to “squeeze the states to do it,” or saw the law as directing them to do so). He describes the mechanism by which this provision achieves that purpose (taxpayers will pressure their state officials to create Exchanges so they can receive tax credits). He acknowledges that the conditional nature of the tax credits sits perfectly well alongside the law’s requirement that the federal government establish an Exchange within states that do not (providing another refutation of the argument offered by Yale law professor Abbe Gluck that these provisions are somehow in tension). He even explains why the Obama administration might try to ignore this part of the law (the politics of the PPACA “can get ugly,” and the lure of tax credits might not be enough to induce states to cooperate).

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Gruber is now pleading amnesia and disavowing what he said in the video. Gruber has no choice but to plead a form of insanity because in many televised appearances he has angrily denied saying what he said when he says he does not remember because he does not remember what he said or didn’t say or can’t remember he said and anyway STOP QUOTING ME because I can’t remember saying what I said and I could never have said what I said because I am on with O’Tingles calling the plaintiffs and their case “screwy” “nutty” and stupid” – and yes I joined an amicus on those two court cases and I have testified before state legislatures specifically saying things contrary to what I said in the video and LEAVE ME ALONE… I’m having a nervous breakdown and hope no one checks to see if I said anything under oath or wrote anything under oath knowing full well well I was lying, and perjury, and OMG… leave me alone… and anyway it was only one time I said it… leave me alone….

One time?:

“I was speaking off-the-cuff. It was just a mistake,” he claims. He added, “My subsequent statement was just a speak-o—you know, like a typo.” A typo is usually a simple slip of the finger on the keyboard, i.e. a misspelling or missed bit of punctuation. Gruber’s statement is nearly a minute long.

Also, it turns out it was not the only time he made such a statement. An audio clip from a public appearance Gruber made at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco on January 10, 2012 reveals he made the same connection between subsidies and state-based exchanges on at least one other occasion (hat tip to MorgenR).



It wasn’t a bug. It was a feature.



The architect of ObamaCare built ObamaCare on sand, not on a solid foundation. Now ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber is one of the biggest threats to ObamaCare. Justice.

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131 thoughts on “How Big??? ObamaCare Jonathan Gruber #HalBIG

  1. In early 2013 Michael Cannon challenged Gruber to a debate but Gruber chickened out. Now we know why. No one else took up the debate challenge:

  2. ADMIN: THE ARTICLE S DREW OUR ATTENTION TO AT 1:54 IS SUPER IMPORTANT.
    http://online.wsj.com/articles/kim-strassel-the-obamacare-irs-nexus-1406244677

    I no longer subscribe to their website, but I purchased a hard copy of it, based on S’s notation.

    In essence, what it says is that initially, the IRS began implementing the law as written by Congress, namely that only states with exchanges would be eligible for subsidies. Congress was clear that the states, not the federal government would run the exchanges. Furthermore, they assumed that regardless of which party controlled the state, the inducement of federal subsidies would overcome the objections by Republican governors. Later however, they discovered to their chargrin that many states did not set up exchanges, and some that tried blew it. At that point, outside observers began to focus on the text of the statute as written and wondered whether the state states who did not set up exchanges would be precluded from receiving the subsidies. Instead of going back to Congress for relief (Note: by then the House had changed hands), a political appointee of Obama (as opposed to a career bureaucrat) elevated the issue to a group of political appointees also appointed by Obama, and those political hacks then took it upon themselves to issue new IRS regulations reversing the express will of congress, making all states eligible, and directing their agency to hue to the regulation not the law. Yes, they knew damned well this was wrong, and said so in their internal emails. (Note: The name of the political appointee who initiated this treachery was Emily McMahon, acting Assistant Secretary of IRS for Tax Policy. I suspect a subpoena for her will soon be forthcoming).

    This revelation has rather profound legal ramifications in my opinion. If we go back to the Fourth Circuit decision, the panel deferred, as courts often do, to the expertise and supposed neutrality of an administrative agency. Courts have been doing this for eighty years, and they limit their scope of review of agency actions and decisions accordingly. Here however the actions of the IRS had nothing whatsoever to do with expertise. They were political; they were legislative in nature; they were illegal under the Adminstrative Procedures Act; and they were aimed at subverting the rule of law to protect Obama. And, even worse, they were in direct violation of the will of congress. Kim’s article leaves that 3 judge panel with egg on its face. Their holding will be overruled, and rebuked I hope by the Supreme Court.

    This revelation bears directly on the decisions by the two appellate courts who have ruled on the legality of the subsidies. In the case of the DC Circuit, it substantiates the decision of their three judge panel striking down the subsidies as per the express language. At the same time, it makes it harder for Obama’s court packing scheme to save him, since in order to secure a hearing en banc in that circuit, two thirds of the judges must agree, and in order to do that, they must condone this treachery. In the case of the Fourth Circuit, it renders what was a poor decision to begin with, an untenable one. Plus, it leaves the three judge panel who upheld the subsidies with egg on their face.

    Combined with the flip flop by the MIT architect of the ACA, it sets the stage for Supreme Court review nicely.

  3. I googled Emily McMahon and the WSJ article popped up. I clicked and it let me read it as a freebie. Then I cut and paste on a word processing program to read at my leisure. Advising so my happy accident can lead to other reading it without cost.

  4. I wonder what Mr. Mandate is doing tonight.

    If he is on suicide watch

    I have no intention of volunteering to save him.

    For that would be a tragedy.

    Saving Private Ryan? Okay.

    Saving Professor Guber Peas?

    No fucking way.

  5. But you know, once again, the politics can get ugly around this.–Professor Guber Peas

    —————

    Ya think?

  6. If you apply Occam’s Razor you are left with this:

    Mr. Mandate has answered with finality the question at bar.

    The political goal was to force states to set up exchanges.

    They conditioned subsidies on setting up state exchanges.

    The condition precedent was not satisfied.

    Ergo, no subsidies.

    Obama ran a big bluff

    The bluff got called.

    End of story.

  7. Admin, the info in that WSJ would seem impossible for the court to ignore. The intent was clear, as was the motive.

    It’s hard to believe that even Obama is delusional enough to believe that this would go unnoticed. How in the hell will O be able to pretend he didn’t know this?

  8. An excerpt from the Strassel article:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/383741/not-just-ocare-architect-irs-knew-it-broke-law-matthew-j-franck

    As Kimberly Strassel explains in her Wall Street Journal “Potomac Watch” column today, the IRS itself seems to have taken exactly the same view of the law’s meaning as the one in the Halbig ruling, until–the evidence strongly suggests–the agency was pressed into writing its regulatory thumb-in-the-dike for the hole opened up by 36 states’ refusal to establish exchanges.

    We know that in the late summer of 2010, after ObamaCare was signed into law, the IRS assembled a working group—made up of career IRS and Treasury employees—to develop regulations around ObamaCare subsidies. And we know that this working group initially decided to follow the text of the law. An early draft of its rule about subsidies explained that they were for “Exchanges established by the State.”

    Yet in March 2011, Emily McMahon, the acting assistant secretary for tax policy at the Treasury Department (a political hire), saw a news article that noted a growing legal focus on the meaning of that text. She forwarded it to the working group, which in turn decided to elevate the issue—according to Congress’s report—to “senior IRS and Treasury officials.” The office of the IRS chief counsel—one of two positions appointed by the president—drafted a memo telling the group that it should read the text to mean that everyone, in every exchange, got subsidies. At some point between March 10 and March 15, 2011, the reference to “Exchanges established by the State” disappeared from the draft rule.

    Emails viewed by congressional investigators nonetheless showed that Treasury and the IRS remained worried they were breaking the law. An email exchange between Treasury employees in the spring of 2011 expressed concern that they had no statutory authority to deem a federally run exchange the equivalent of a state-run exchange.

    Yet rather than engage in a basic legal analysis—a core duty of an agency charged with tax laws—the IRS instead set about obtaining cover for its predetermined political goal. A March 27, 2011, email has IRS employees asking HHS political hires to cover the tax agency’s backside by issuing its own rule deeming HHS-run exchanges to be state-run exchanges. HHS did so in July 2011. One month later the IRS rushed out its own rule—providing subsidies for all.

    Strassel’s source is an investigative report published by the House Government Oversight and Ways and Means committees. If ever there were a committee report of which the Supreme Court could properly take judicial notice in a case–not to construe the meaning of the law, which is plain enough, but as evidence of agency chicanery–this is it.

    As some have pointed out, the Supreme Court or an en banc appellate panel will take judicial notice of these facts.

  9. I feel like I am a pretty smart guy. I tend to grasp some of the most complex concepts. But I must say, until this post, I was really on the periphery of this topic. For whatever reason, it wasn’t until I watched bumbles man Friday argue the negative after arguing the positive that the treachery was truly identified. Now, all of wbb’s legal posts make sense.

    In other news, saying one thing and doing another is par for the course for this administration, and it starts at the top.

    Little sunlight as Obama raises super PAC dollars

    After railing against super PACs, Obama embraces secretive elements of unlimited money system

    http://news.yahoo.com/little-sunlight-obama-raises-super-141256869.html

    WASHINGTON (AP) — For years President Barack Obama railed against the surge of unlimited spending flowing into American political campaigns, arguing that average voters were being shut out of a secretive system that lets special interests bankroll elections. Now as Obama enthusiastically raises money for Democratic super PACs, he’s embracing some of the same secretive elements of that system, drawing charges of hypocrisy from good-governance advocates who say the public deserves to know what Obama’s saying and to whom he’s saying it when donors pay for a few minutes with the president.

    After initially shunning super PACs, Obama in 2012 allowed his top officials to help raise money for the super PAC working to re-elect him, but his campaign promised to still “lead the way” on campaign transparency and reform. Obama took another major step toward embracing super PACs this year by agreeing to appear personally at fundraisers for Democratic super PACs. He argued that Democrats can’t afford to play by different rules than Republican groups whose donors were flooding the super PAC zone.

    Campaign finance reform advocates hoped that even if Obama was helping super PACs, he’d seek to make the process as transparent as possible. After all, Obama has backed legislation known as the DISCLOSE Act that would clamp down on secretive contributions and has said he’s open to amending the Constitution to stem campaign spending.

    Read more at http://news.yahoo.com/little-sunlight-obama-raises-super-141256869.html

    It’s really to the point where none of them care anymore how they appear. Strange how this isn’t getting more play in the press.

    Is it 2016 yet?

    Hillary 2016

  10. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” is one of Obama’s favorite sayings. Ultimately, injustice and aggression don’t pay. The Soviets saw their 20th-century empire dissolve. More proximally, U.S. gains in Iraq and Afghanistan were, in time, liquidated. Ozymandias lies forever buried and forgotten in desert sands.

    Remember when, at the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, Obama tried to construct for Putin “an off-ramp” from Crimea? Absurd as this idea was, I think Obama was sincere. He actually imagined that he’d be saving Putin from himself, that Crimea could only redound against Russia in the long run.

    If you really believe this, then there is no need for forceful, potentially risky U.S. counteractions. Which explains everything since: Obama’s pinprick sanctions; his failure to rally a craven Europe; his refusal to supply Ukraine with the weapons it has been begging for.

    The shooting down of a civilian airliner seemed to validate Obama’s passivity. “Violence and conflict inevitably lead to unforeseen consequences,” explained Obama. See. You play with fire, it will blow up in your face. Just as I warned. Now world opinion will turn against Putin.

    To which I say: So what? World opinion, by itself, is useless: malleable, ephemeral and, unless mobilized by leadership, powerless. History doesn’t act autonomously. It needs agency.

    Germany’s Angela Merkel still doesn’t want to jeopardize trade with Russia. France’s François Hollande will proceed with delivery of a Mistral-class helicopter carrier to Russia. And Obama speaks of future “costs” if Russia persists — a broken record since Crimea, carrying zero credibility.

    Or did Obama think Putin would be shamed into regret and restraint by the blood of 298 innocents? On the contrary. Putin’s response has been brazen defiance: denying everything and unleashing a massive campaign of lies, fabrications, and conspiracy theories blaming Ukraine and the U.S.

    Putin doesn’t give a damn about world opinion. He cares about domestic opinion, which has soared to more than 80 percent approval since Crimea. If anything, he’s been emboldened. On Wednesday, his proxies shot down two more jets — a finger to the world and a declaration that his campaign continues.

    A real U.S. president would give Kiev the weapons it needs, impose devastating sectoral sanctions on Moscow, reinstate our Central European missile-defense system, and make a Reaganesque speech explaining why.

    Obama has done none of these things. Why should he? He’s on the right side of history.

    Of course, in the long run nothing lasts. But history is lived in the here and now. The Soviets had only 70 years, Hitler a mere twelve. Yet it was enough to murder millions and rain ruin on entire continents. Bashar Assad, too, will one day go. But not before having killed at least 100,000 people.

    All domination must end. But after how much devastation? And if you leave it to the forces of history to repel aggression and redeem injustice, what’s the point of politics, of leadership, in the first place?

    The world is aflame and our leader is on the 14th green. The arc of history may indeed bend toward justice, Mr. President. But, as you say, the arc is long. The job of a leader is to shorten it, to intervene on behalf of “the fierce urgency of now.” Otherwise, why do we need a president? And why did you seek to become ours?

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/383694/vacant-presidency-charles-krauthammer

  11. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” is one of Obama’s favorite sayings. Ultimately, injustice and aggression don’t pay. The Soviets saw their 20th-century empire dissolve. More proximally, U.S. gains in Iraq and Afghanistan were, in time, liquidated. Ozymandias lies forever buried and forgotten in desert sands.
    —————
    Therein lies what?

    The perfect excuse to do nothing.

    The arc of the moral universe is long?

    Say what bro?

    Ultimately, injustice and aggression don’t pay?

    Who does he think he is . . . Batman?

    We are not children.

    We do not need another lecture from a pompous fool like him.

    In the long run, it will all be okay?

    Perhaps.

    But one thing is certain.

    In the long run, we will all be dead.

    Forget about the long run.

    What matters, all that matters, is the here and now.

    Here and now, in Ukraine, and everywhere else

    Aggression and intimidation are winning.

    Because Obama does nothing effective to stop it.

    Finally, how can someone who is a dictator domestically

    Pretend to be a moral force internationally

    And expect not to be laughed?

    For him, that should be the question to ponder

    Not in the long arc of history but here, now.

  12. If you think back to one of the 26 debates in the primary which enriched the coffers of big media and did nothing whatsoever to enlighten the public about the candidates because big media rigged the process in such a way as to shield him and take down his opponents, he told us he what he would do, and not do, if he became president. He said he was not the kind of leader (objection: assumes facts not in evidence. big media: how dare you question the messiah. objection overruled)to take the reins. He was not, as he put it, a chief operating officer. By implication that was a role for lesser men–tradesmen, not aristocrats like him. Rather he was what the world (and especially that dumb owl Maria Shriver) had been waiting for: namely, a detached priest like figure who would offer spiritual guidance–a sky pilot in other words, told us that adversaries were not compelled to sit on opposing sides of the table, and through his mediation the lion would lie down with the lamb. This was fantastic nonsense to a pragmatist, and yet a majority of the electorate bought it. The Pied Piper had worked his magic. And, now what those of us who live in the real world see that it was all a con, and there is no there there.

  13. What exactly did Professor Guber Peas do? Was it a contradiction? Was it merely an admission against interest? Was it an estoppel? Or was it even more? Was it not, in fact, a direct and specific repudiation of the core premise of the government case with respect to subsidies? If this information had been disclosed in the initial stage of the law suit, instead of only now, plaintiff could have moved for summary judgment there being no genuine issue of material fact, and that motion would have been granted.

  14. Lawyers are taught to anticipate whatever arguments the adversary will offer in support of the record extant. Thus, the question a lawyer might in this instance is how will the government defend its position with respect to subsidies now that the chief architect of the statute has repudiated its central premise, and now that we know thanks to a congressional investigation of the chicanery by Obama operatives which caused the IRS to issue regulations which were in direct violation of the intent of all that. The only thing they can do is make it an all or nothing proposition, if you rule that against subsidies for the states who failed to set up the exchanges, even though that was the original intent, then the program will collapse and there will be chaos and endless night. Fortunately, it is not an all or nothing proposition. Congress will do what is necessary to prevent that from happening, but that does not require that Obamacare be saved. There are other ways, much as Obama bots want you to believe otherwise.

  15. After reading a couple of times the WSJ expose of the IRS appointed political freaks ignoring statutory requirements to protect Obama’s “legacy” clusterfart of a healthy care bill all I can wonder at is the complete lack of any understanding of cause and effect, cost-benefit, or really two step thinking process. To call them morons is a complement. They are so stupid they should not be allowed to use forks for fear they will poke their own eyes out. How do they drive to work? Were they panicked? Were they taught that winning is everything even if they kill and/or bankrupt individuals and the nation. And the “professionals” at the IRS let this happen with nary a peep of protest. Cowards. Creeps. I hope they understand they are guilty of manslaughter for people whose insurance was screwed up because of them and delayed care because of their bizarre hubris, cult abeyance to savior Obama, and their blind stupidity. Disgusting scum.

    The IRS as well as the VA have work cultures that need to be eradicated. They are a danger to the entire nation. Fire everyone and start over. Apparently nothing is worth saving.

  16. The IRS as well as the VA have work cultures that need to be eradicated. They are a danger to the entire nation. Fire everyone and start over. Apparently nothing is worth saving.
    ———–
    Agreed. But is that not the nature of all bureaucracies, especially when congress is too busy to be proactive, the courts defer to them routinely etc. For me at least, it gets back to the story I told you about the lawyer who went to work for our state attorney generals office here in Washington in 1972 and was told the public is your client, vs what he was told when he left there twenty year later which was your client is not the public. Your client is that bureaucrat down the hall. I say that when an agency takes on a hue and character where it operates in favor of their own in group and in derogation of their responsibility to the public the court should not defer to them, and, here is a new one, if the institution has become that corrupt, then a trustee should be appointed for two years to sort out the mess. You can see what happens the way it is now, where we go from Shulman’s list to Danny Worthless to ET–all big time contributors and political hacks. All presented to the public as the Herculean figure who will restore confidence and clean up the IRS. When the culture stinks passing the baton to a new political hack from the same or a different party is a snare and a delusion. Beyond that it is the nature of bureaucracies to expand their mandate and their budgets, and to be governed not by their original mission statement but by their internal incentives and constraints. And worse of all they get involved in the political process when custom and statute dictate otherwise.

  17. To put an even finer point on it, when political hacks determine the course of agency action, in derogation of the will of congress and the welfare of the public, then the fig leaf used by courts to defer to their decisions and actions, rather than examining them in excruciating detail should not apply. Instead, those agencies, their actors and their policies should be examined closely with a healthy degree of skepticism–and cynicism.

  18. When you look at Obamacare from the fifty thousand foot level, you can see the forest as opposed to the trees. The real purpose is to confront the pig passing through the snake costs of elder care by making everybody pay in, and rationing benefits. Everything else you say about it–contraceptives at taxpayer expense to sex change operations is merely window dressing to reward political constituencies.

  19. In other words, to increase revenues, to cut costs, and to discourage people from seeking medical care due to high deductibles. Tim Russert and his NBC staff were adamant about this. So are the elites in general, because they can afford to pay for quality care, and do not want their taxes to go up to help other people. Russert fondled Obama and pilloried Hillary for insisting that Medicare and Social Security be preserved so that people had something to rely on in old age. That is the risk you run if you vote for any candidate other than Hillary. If you think a Repubilcan policy wonk like Ryan will protect social security, then you must also believe in the tooth fairy.

  20. Mr. Mandate.

    Mr. Architect.

    Mr. Obama point man.

    Mr. Wearing out your grinders, eating goober peas,

    Denying what he said before.

    This tribute to you sir:

  21. freespirit
    July 25, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Admin, the info in that WSJ would seem impossible for the court to ignore. The intent was clear, as was the motive.

    It’s hard to believe that even Obama is delusional enough to believe that this would go unnoticed. How in the hell will O be able to pretend he didn’t know this?
    __________________________

    Freespirit The answer is simple NO ONE read this pile of doo doo not even the Supreems. 👿

  22. Are there cases pending before the courts on employer mandate? This Halbig case has implications on employer mandate and the associated penalties. No wonder, employer mandate was postponed (indefinitely?)..

    Here is the link to the oversight committee report that Kim Strassel’s article is based on. It categorically says that there is no evidence of legal analysis of the subsidies statute pertaining to federal exchanges either at IRS or Treasury; so what is the 4th circuit going to say that they defer to the experts at IRS and Treasury who failed to do their legalistic due diligence?

    http://oversight.house.gov/report/administration-conducted-inadequate-review-key-issues-prior-expanding-health-laws-taxes-subsidies/oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/IRS-Rule-OGR-WM-Staff-Report-Final2.pdf

  23. wbboei
    July 26, 2014 at 9:13 am
    In other words, to increase revenues, to cut costs, and to discourage people from seeking medical care due to high deductibles. Tim Russert and his NBC staff were adamant about this. So are the elites in general, because they can afford to pay for quality care, and do not want their taxes to go up to help other people. Russert fondled Obama and pilloried Hillary for insisting that Medicare and Social Security be preserved so that people had something to rely on in old age. That is the risk you run if you vote for any candidate other than Hillary. If you think a Repubilcan policy wonk like Ryan will protect social security, then you must also believe in the tooth fairy.

    _________________

    Amen! Pass the collection plate. This says it all!

  24. It’s really to the point where none of them care anymore how they appear. Strange how this isn’t getting more play in the press.

    Is it 2016 yet?

    Hillary 2016

    _____________________

    Rock, there is such dissonance in politics. Grand talk of honor and integrity means nothing. We have learned not to trust the pols or their people. But, when glaring, intentional violations and lies are exposed, and MSM and others react as if nothing untoward has happened, many people just assume the vile actions didn’t really occur, or that if they did, there must have been justification. A large segment of the country must be apathetic, or just too trusting of media (even tho polls indicate otherwise). Despite the fact that O’s approval rating has tanked, the fact that it’s no lower than it is suggests that a lot of Americans either don’t get it, they don’t care, or they just expect and accept rampant lies – lies that have the potential to alter their lives in a profound way.

  25. As it was clear from his history in the Illinois Senate, that whenever a tough bill came before him as a legislator, he did not vote aye, and he did not vote no, why should anyone in Washington be surprised that with the world in flames because of a vacuum in US leadership that he would “check out”? And why is it that the Harvard trained elites who supporter him with a vengeance in two successive elections and rigged the game so he would win are coming to that realization only now? It is incontrovertible proof of their own incompetence. In the history of this nation, this is the worst group of people at the very top, that we have ever had. They give true meaning to the expression: a nation founded by geniuses and run by idiots.

  26. I can remember back in the olden day we would get kissed before the screwin . 😡
    —————-
    Obama is saving himself for retirement/

    The question is: can Reggie Love wait that long?

  27. Wbboei…thank you so much for posting the WSJ by Strassel here and for the important discussion that is evolving…

    Mormaer…thank you for that tip for getting around the wall at the WSJ…

    ********************************************************

    re: what Mormaer says below and these two agencies and the O admin:

    Mormaer

    July 26, 2014 at 7:02 am

    snip

    all I can wonder at is the complete lack of any understanding of cause and effect, cost-benefit, or really two step thinking process. To call them morons is a complement. They are so stupid they should not be allowed to use forks for fear they will poke their own eyes out. How do they drive to work? Were they panicked?

    Were they taught that winning is everything even if they kill and/or bankrupt individuals and the nation. And the “professionals” at the IRS let this happen with nary a peep of protest. Cowards. Creeps. I hope they understand they are guilty of manslaughter for people whose insurance was screwed up because of them and delayed care because of their bizarre hubris, cult abeyance to savior Obama, and their blind stupidity. Disgusting scum.

    The IRS as well as the VA have work cultures that need to be eradicated. They are a danger to the entire nation. Fire everyone and start over. Apparently nothing is worth saving.

    ***************************************************

    my response is I agree and get ready because the same scam is unfolding and about to get much, much worse on the guise of “humanitarian immigration” to continue the bankrupt of the USA…

    O and the Dims are going to overload the already exhausted illegal immigrant backload and either demand…or simply give and spend…an unlimited amount of taxpayer money on illegals that are already here…many more to come…and settle them into the states with benefits and education…

    the fact that counties and states cannot absorb all those additional costs…costs that are already stretched for their very own citizens who do not even get those benefits…does not matter to O and the Dims…if you are here legally you have less rights and benefits than someone who arrives illegally…you could be a criminal, does not matter…if you are illegal O is going to provide for you…

    they will burden our own citizens and states to push this immigration threw…

    http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-obama-immigration-20140726-story.html#page=1

    ************************

    by the time O leaves office, the USA will rank as a third world country completely in debt and all public services failing its citizens…

    no organization
    no accountability

    and prices and services for citizens out of control but freely provided for illegal people who walk or we fly in while all the other people legally waiting for citizenship get screwed and as usual the american taxpayer pays for all of it…

  28. btw…happened to listen to a call into Washington Journal during the week from a medical professional that has worked in many of these clinics, etc where the illegals are processed and she could not emphasize enough how incredibly expensive it is to provide for these illegals on an individual basis…

    she was very empathetic and caring but flatly stated our country cannot absorb this…she gave one example of all of these young girls and women coming over here to have their babies…and to listen to her it only costs them $500-1000 if anything for the whole pregnancy…whereas for an american citizen it is in the thousands…

    she went on about other examples of where they get everything free but american citizens have to pay and often at very high costs for the same services

    …..if you ask me this all ties in with stealing taxpayer money…the VA, the IRS, Ocare, illegal immigrants, etc

    and where does that leave actual citizens that live here…their schools are falling apart and now oversize classrooms…many with more students that speak spanish than english…the health system a mess…crime, but no accountability, on the rise…drug cartels walking across the border and setting up shop in the USA…

    on and on and on…no freaking leadership…a bunch or crooks…no honest enforcement of the law…one scam and theft after another…

  29. Well, the US Embassy in Libya is being evaluated. Yes, one more trophy for Obama to put on display in his golf stand, right next to his Egypt and Syria victory trophies. Oh ye of little faith. You think this is just one more happy coincidence in the endless saga of sage Obama. Well, if that what you believe then I must tell you that you are wrong. Messiahs do this kind of thing routinely. Not only do they change the world. They put a dent in the universe which no one can restore. If he is looking for a legacy, let it be this: he helped restore the Caliphate in the Middle East. He helped restore the Soviet Empire in Europe. And he helped China surpass the United States as the leading economic power. No wonder big media is in love with him. Their goals are the same as his: to destroy the United States. That is the logical and probable consequences of installing him, and letting him do what he wants.
    —————-
    The underlying strategy of the Obama administration in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Syria was to draw a clear and distinct line in how really smart people did foreign policy (that would be the collection of rubes, charlatans, and mouth-breathers that occupy the upper reaches of the Obama administration’s foreign policy claque) and the dumbass Bush and his cowboys. It was to be a face off between soft power and leading from behind and hard power and world leadership. In no time at all Libya and Egypt descended into violence from which Libya has yet to extricate itself. And we’ve all seen just how swimmingly things are going in Syria where an armed revolt there has been nurtured by the Obama administration to the extent that Iraq is in the throes of a civil war and Jordan could very well be next.

  30. Just to give some context to the “big picture” of what O and the Dims are imposing on the struggling American taxpayer:

    William J Unverferth Sr. · Top Commenter · Hewlett-Packard

    Open borders and a welfare state? Nah this can’t end badly

    ***********
    Claudia Splick Larson · Top Commenter · William Paterson University

    Yep! How much do you think it will add to this budget legalizing 20,000,000 illegals: WIC, ($7,000,000,000) SNAP ($80,000,000,000 a year), TANF ($31,000,000,000), Supplemental housing($24,000,000,000) and MEDICAID ($265,000,000,000), CHIP ($9,000,000,000)School Lunch Program ($11,600,000,000) total $795 BILLION this doesn’t count 8 Cash Assistance programs 8 vocational training programs 3 utility assistance programs total 2 child care and development programs. ALL together are tax payer burdens

  31. Supposing Halbig wins in the Supreme Court, can’t the federal government just sell its exchange to each of the 36 states that depend on it, let’s say for a €1 apiece? Then the exchange becomes “established by the state”…

    Dunno, but that would seem to negate the whole Halbig case and “keep the subsidies flowing” as they want, legally, and the employers would then have to pay the penalty if they don’t provide insurance for their employees.

  32. President Obama has emotionally checked out of his job a couple of years early, it seems. How can one tell?

    Candidates for president who brazenly assume they are the inevitable victor are sometimes accused of “measuring the drapes” for the White House.

    Obama, conversely, seems to be prematurely packing his bags in hopes for an early departure

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/10992654/Barack-Obama-has-already-checked-out-of-his-job.html

  33. HRC’s support for gay marriage has not convinced all gays:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/21/why-hillary-clinton-s-same-sex-marriage-stance-has-split-gay-supporters.html

    Their basic gripe is that she thinks it is a states’ rights issue and should proceed state-by-state. Even so, the LGBT community support is nothing short of a slam-dunk for HRC. Why?

    For one thing, there are cases that will be coming up in the next session of the Supreme Court and they are sure will decide that bans on gay marriage will be declared unconstitutional. So the “states’ rights” impediment to gay marriage is not all that important.

    For another thing, LGBTs are looking for another LBJ — someone close enough to the ground to get an all-encompassing LGBT rights bill through Congress — and only HRC can do that. There are grown men and women who break down in tears at the prospect of an HRC presidency.

  34. Here’s a long interview with The Telegraph by the Brit Chrissy Iley who turns around a couple of clichés about HRC:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/hillary-clinton/10977169/Hillary-Clinton-interview-Forgiveness-is-hard.html

    Among a lot of other things, there is this quote about forgiveness (sorry, Shadowfax, but since HRC thinks forgiveness is a person’s most important trait, it comes up often and I can’t help quoting her on it). These are general remarks after talking about Lewinsky:

    In her book she also talks about the necessity for forgiveness. Did she find it easy?

    “No, no,” she says emphatically. “Forgiveness is a hard choice. It’s liberating to be able to reach the point in your life where you feel you can forgive. Everybody feels they have been trespassed upon and nearly everybody has trespassed on somebody else, maybe not intentionally.”

  35. the american taxpayer and family is getting poorer and poorer and we are providing for others with what we cannot provide for our own weary and beaten down citizens…

    and what will the Dim solution be…raise taxes…slip in fees…watch your telephone bill, utilities bills, health care mandates and increased premium and deductible costs, etc…everything will be higher…and the middle class struggle will continue…

    funny, i never hear O or even the Dims talk about the middle class…Hillary once in a while…the Dims no longer represent the average person, we are only here for them to rip off, use and abuse…

    btw…the states do not want to buy the exchanges…that is why they rejected them to begin with…a scam is a scam is a scam…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/business/the-typical-household-now-worth-a-third-less.html?_r=0

    there goes the American dream…give it to the illegal immigrants…we will be working for them before too long…

    ***********************

    Foxy…some article you posted above…”O just phoning it it…not even trying to hide it…astoninshing” (at big pink…we knew this would happen)

  36. The 2014 Senate races are frozen now. I know who I will be throwing some resources to:

    First rank are important races where Democratic newcomers stand a chance against important slimy Republican incumbents: Grimes (KY) and Childers (MS).

    Second are women who stand a good chance and deserve my support: Tennant (WV) and Nunn (GA).

    Third are endangered incumbents from 2008: Begich (AK), Franken (MN) and Hagan (NC).

    That makes seven in all. I have a hunch the Clintons will be campaigning for all these people except perhaps Begich. But Begich is important to me because I like his background and he’s running in a red state.

    If I have any spare change, I’ll send it to Booker (NJ) and Shaheen (NH), but I don’t think they’re in any danger.

    For those of us who are rooting for the Republicans this year, I’m willing to take criticism on the above choices.

  37. foxyladi14 July 26, 2014 at 3:36 pm
    Are the Pubs really that stupid?
    Time will tell!!!!

    ********

    Time has already told!!

  38. Rubio had this to say about HRC in New Hampshire:

    Democrats, Rubio said then, could “nominate someone now who wants to take us to the past, to an era that is gone and is never coming back. The 20th century is gone. We live in the 21st century, a time of extraordinary challenges but also extraordinary opportunities.”

    I still remember Rubio’s statement in reaction to the 2012 SOTU, channeling Herbert Hoover on steroids and a shovelful of bullshit about the unconstitutionality of regulating guns. Talk about 20th century!

    Adrienne Elrod, communications director for Correct the Record, a pro-Clinton super PAC, responded in a statement: “Should she decide to run for president, Hillary Clinton would present a forward-thinking agenda, one that presents new, bold ideas to keep our country moving in the right direction.”

  39. The bride at every wedding. The corpse at every funeral. What better description could there be of dirt bag Charley Schumer. When Hillary became a senator he could not stand the competition. Therefore he smiled to her face, and stabbed her in the back at every available opportunity. He is a sexist of the lowest order. Yet he acts like a choir boy with the old ladies who treat him like their son. A more disgusting spectacle of a public servant, I have barely seen. My friend was in the other party, they clashed and she hated his guts. This was not at all her normal mo. He had to be pretty bad to instill that reaction. And of course he is. Years ago there was a play called Goodtime Charlie, not about his obviously. But before he becomes majority leader–Dick Head Durbin won’t get it, we need to be singing a new verse entitled Dirt Bag Charlie. And never shake hands with him because it is like shaking hands with a jelly donut. And, if you value your life, never get between him and a camera. Evah.

  40. I agree with you on defeating McConnell, and Cochrane. Lamar Alexander should go the way of the dinosaur too, since that is what he is. But Nunn is a non-starter. Georgia society + working for a non profit–that resume spells elitist and global perspective. No good. But the biggest no is the self proclaimed thorne in Obama’s ass–Mark Begich. Good old Begich. He is a mutt. He moves like a mastodon through a glacier. He lies about his record, hoping no one will go to the video as they say in football.

    “Senator Begich’s claim to be a ‘thorn’ in Obama is laughable, considering he votes with President Obama 97 percent of the time,” said Anderson. “This smoke and mirrors charade does not work with Alaskans, who know better than to listen to typical election-year politicking from career politicians like Mark Begich.” (snip)

    “Begich, 52, is a first-term senator known for being pro-gun and pro-oil. But he is not actually that well known for anything,” reporter David A. Fahrenthold half-snickered in the Washington Post article that has turned into a lampoon of the Alaska Democrat. “In the Senate, Begich is a junior figure, moving through the chamber’s power structure at the speed of a mastodon trapped in a glacier.”

    In sum, Begich is more of a thorne in the side of Alaskans, than a thorne in Obama’s ass.

  41. foxyladi14
    July 26, 2014 at 3:01 pm
    But the taxpayers ain’t working NO freakin jobs. 👿

    foxyladi14
    July 26, 2014 at 3:02 pm
    And the few honest ones are working 2 part time jobs just to provide for their own family. :madd:
    ______________

    Aint it so, foxy!

    A large segment of the LGBT population made a mistake in 2008 when they didn’t trust HRC. She is a long time supporter of gay rights, and has proven her support in a number of profound ways. If they don’t get it, they’re making a mistake.

    Increasingly, the federal government has usurped the rights of individual states, or has damaged them financially with mega-regulation of programs and services, especially when states have accepted federal funding for specific programs, which many of them invariably have to do.

  42. Something I warned about several years ago, here on this blog. The initial reaction of many will be great, I can sell my house at a premium. The long view, however, is more restrained. Because along with ownership comes control, political donations, gangs and a pipeline to the Chinese government. In my view, this is one more invasion which will dilute our sovereignty.
    ————

    The Chinese are coming, and they’d like to buy your house

    By Diane Francis July 15

    Diane Francis, former editor of Canada’s Financial Post, is editor-at-large of the National Post and a professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management.

    The Chinese are on the move. In 2014, a record number of Chinese, 100 million, are expected to travel abroad, an army roughly as big as Mexico’s population. They will visit family and friends, and real estate agents as well as tourist sites such as the Great Pyramids, Buckingham Palace, the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building — the educated and well-heeled beneficiaries of the biggest economic rocket ride in history. They have money in their wallets, an appetite for the good life and ants in their pants.

    Still, you can’t blame them for feeling unsettled at home. Beijing’s aggressive anti-corruption sweep has netted thousands of big fish, and more confiscations are on the way. Pollution has created an asthma epidemic, food safety scares are commonplace, and China’s economic pace ebbs. There is still no true dissent or freedom of expression allowed. So the country’s wealthiest are on the move and want a better life for themselves or their children.

    Some 9.3 million Chinese have immigrated in recent years, and 64 percent of the country’s remaining rich households — a category that includes a few million people — want to leave or are in the process of doing so.

    The United States is their preferred destination, and American real estate is becoming their new T-bills, a safe-haven asset. Like bullion, it’s an asset class denominated in U.S. dollars, safe from confiscation and, when necessary, bought anonymously to hide wealth from governments or creditors or ex-partners. But unlike bullion, U.S. real estate can earn income, provide a roof and help obtain a visa.

    The United States is their preferred destination, and American real estate is becoming their new T-bills, a safe-haven asset. Like bullion, it’s an asset class denominated in U.S. dollars, safe from confiscation and, when necessary, bought anonymously to hide wealth from governments or creditors or ex-partners. But unlike bullion, U.S. real estate can earn income, provide a roof and help obtain a visa.

    A modern-day Chinese emigration wave is already underway, but a tsunami may soon hit America’s shores. This month, U.S. real estate Web site Zillow begins publishing its entire U.S. real estate property database in Mandarin on the biggest real estate Web site in China. This means Chinese buyers can surf the Net to find properties near family and friends in their price range. “The fact that Zillow is going there is huge,” says Hall Willkie, president of New York real estate firm Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales. “The Chinese may just overwhelm the United States with purchases.”

    A buyout is already underway. In 2013, Chinese buyers snapped up $11 billion worth of properties in the United States, capturing second place (at 12 percent of all foreign buying) behind Canadians for the first time, according to the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of International Home Buying Activity. In the first quarter of 2014, Reuters reported that Chinese investors had even overtaken the first-place Russian expatriates in the purchase of Manhattan condos. Now with Zillow, they will have an even easier time prowling for properties anywhere in the United States.

    Willkie notes a spike in terms of interest in the past 18 months: “In New York, we’ve noticed Chinese buying very large, very expensive apartments, homes. But there are also many buying smaller apartments, $1.5 to $3 million, for their children going to school here. The parents are buying them.”

    In 2013, for instance, a Hong Kong woman paid $6.5 million for a two-bedroom in the tallest residence in New York, One57, for her daughter so she’ll have somewhere to live when she gets into Columbia, Harvard or NYU, she told her agent. The daughter, currently, is 2 years old. Another Chinese woman bought four $20 million units there for family members.

    The potential market is massive. In January, the Hurun Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey — a Web site that tracks the lifestyles and attitudes of its wealthiest citizens — said that some 64 percent of main land Chinese households with personal wealth of at least $1.6 million had emigrated, or planned to do so, with the United States being their favored destination.

    Two million Chinese will be worth more than $1.6 million (not including their homes) by 2020, according to Credit Suisse’s 2013 wealth report, and there are hundreds of thousands more in Hong Kong.

    A total of 450,000 Chinese students are studying abroad this year — about half in the United States — and most will apply to remain permanently after graduation. To cater to this cohort, developers tell me, condos in Toronto and Vancouver have been marketed to parents in China who buy them sight-unseen because they adjacent to the University of Toronto, University of British Columbia and other schools catering to foreign students.

    The frenzy has pushed up prices, and immigration flows, in Canada and Australia. Toronto is the North American leader in high-rise construction with 130 under construction (more than New York City), according building data group Emporis.

    Enabling the migration has been Hong Kong’s richest man, Li Ka Shing, who has built tens of thousands of condo units in Canada and recently began selling his assets in China for greener pastures in North America.

    Even the Chinese government hopes to profit from the exodus. State-owned Greenland Group Co. in Shanghai recently became the owner of the largest remaining development site in downtown Los Angeles and the developer of a $400 million condo project in downtown Toronto. Soon it will back two major sites in Sydney; it plans to invest up to $3 billion in Australia. Another competitor, China Vanke, just announced a $620-million deal in San Francisco.

    Generous investor immigration programs, student visas and family sponsorships have created large diasporas in cities that attract newcomers. By 2013, there were 3.79 million Chinese Americans in the United States (not including Chinese from Taiwan or other countries); nearly 30 percent arrived since 2000.

    Another reason behind the migration is that Chinese prosperity has created millions of millionaires who want a better life, but it has also generated riches based on corruption. The increase in real estate buying has increased, perhaps coincidentally, following the arrest in 2012 of Bo Xilai, one of China’s most powerful politicians. This fall, he was convicted of bribery and corruption and his wife was given a suspended death sentence for murdering a British businessman. Their playboy son, Bo Guagua, now lives in Manhattan, where he enrolled in Columbia Law School, and was photographed partying around the time of his parents’ convictions. The South China Morning News carried the photograph and suggested Bo’s ill-gotten gains may also be stashed in New York somewhere. Undoubtedly, he’s not the only offspring who may have been stashed out of the country along with the family cash .

    The outflow continues apace even though China’s currency controls cap annual exchanges of Yuan to foreign currencies at $50,000 a year. According to a Web site that quantifies illegal capital flows, Global Financial Integrity, the Chinese top the list. Between 2002 and 2011, Chinese smuggled $1.08 trillion out of the country, the Russians $881 billion and Mexicans $462 billion. Controls can be easily circumvented because Chinese companies can buy extra U.S. dollars to pay invoices abroad. So invoices are faked — created by accomplices to allow money to be wired abroad, then cashed in.

    The desire to get money out of China for whatever reason, added to Zillow’s foray into China’s living rooms, will only enhance enthusiasm. China’s biggest exports to the United States may end up being capital and people.

  43. The L.A. Times in an op-ed article tries to defend ObamaCare against Halbig and other suits. The result is comedy gold:

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-horwitz-bagenstos-obamacare-exchanges-20140725-story.html

    The ACA formally requires states to establish exchanges. But it expressly acknowledges that some states might not do so. It therefore provides that, in states that fail to set up the required exchanges, the federal government shall “establish and operate such exchange within the state.”

    When the federal government sets up an exchange, therefore, it is operating the exchange that the state was required to set up. The statute, by its very terms, makes clear that the federally operated exchange has the same function, entailments and consequences as a state-operated one.

    More significant, the act wouldn’t make sense if it were read the way the D.C. Circuit suggests. That is the point that a group of scholars (including one of the authors of this Op-Ed) made in an amicus brief in the case. These 48 experts in health economics — among them two Nobel laureates and appointees from the administrations of Presidents Johnson, Ford, Carter, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama — explained that the reform does not work if subsidies aren’t available on all the exchanges, and that members of Congress understood this at the time they passed the ACA. [snip]

    In their briefs, Obamacare’s challengers argued that the threat of withholding federal subsidies from states that did not comply, even if it meant creating a situation where exchanges couldn’t function in those states, was precisely what Congress intended. They suggest that the reason Congress was willing to risk catastrophic failure of the act was to strong-arm states into participating (and, by the way, stick it to the Republicans by making their constituents angry if the strong-arming failed). And they suggested that the ploy backfired.

    So we are to believe that, in the midst of a contentious and detailed process of designing and negotiating health reform, and strategizing to pass it, Democrats weren’t really thinking about how to offer enough money to those in need to help them secure care, but were instead merely creating a purposefully coercive way to implement the law? In an era in which it is hard to imagine that politics could become more cynical, this argument tops them all.

    The majority decision from the D.C. Circuit advanced a similarly implausible story to explain why Congress would have risked the failure of the ACA. In the guise of painstaking legal reasoning, it ranged far into the details of the act and found signs that the government’s lack of commitment to it couldn’t be discounted. But it stretches credulity to believe, as the court suggests, that because Congress created exemptions from the individual mandate in the Northern Mariana Islands, it meant to undermine that basic premise of the act for most Americans.

    The ACA is filled with inartful drafting. This is the predictable result of its bare-knuckled legislative history, as is the relentless search for legal flaws that can be used to tear down the act. The courts should not allow themselves to be a tool in this effort.

    There is not one shred of reliable evidence that anyone — members of Congress, the states that opposed exchanges entirely, the states that supported exchanges but opted to allow the federal government to operate them — understood the Affordable Care Act to limit subsidies to only participants in state-established exchanges. The courts should not rewrite the law and its history to achieve that perverse result and threaten the health and financial security of millions of Americans.

    Jonathan Gruber co-signed that very amicus brief touted by the L.A. Times writer. Jonathan Gruber, the “architect” of ObamaCare, is the one that provides the “reliable evidence” the writers of the op-ed fail to find because the evidence is right under their noses.

  44. Jonathan Gruber co-signed that very amicus brief touted by the L.A. Times writer. Jonathan Gruber, the “architect” of ObamaCare, is the one that provides the “reliable evidence” the writers of the op-ed fail to find because the evidence is right under their noses.
    _________

    These LA Times people must be smoking crack. They couldn’t have become this blind from Kool-Aide – not even Obama Kool-Aide.

  45. Obama is the first president elected (twice!) based on nothing more than a marketing strategy. The chicanery used to elect him was massive. He was obviously sold as many things he wasn’t. This appealed to the power of the media and the Democratic party who flattered themselves that they could get away with anything. The marketers and power brokers could have elected a box of Pop Rocks and the results would not have been that much different.

    The LA Times editorial “selling” the illegal imposition of state exchanges is part of a marketing campaign. Facts, research, an intact memory, have nothing to do with their assigned task, the same that was assigned to the boobish Gruber (think of his house full of parrots cited in a flattering newspaper bio of this fool), to gull the rubes into buying a trillion dollar scam that harms everyone but the boys and girls who buy the marketers.

    Where are the Democrats in these cascading catastrophes and failures? Hiding in their districts or enjoying what may be their last junkets? Cowering under their desks? Afraid to say anything on camera for fear they will be “Grubbered”? You can bet that Republicans, who were cut out of the Obamacare marketing process they called legislation have hired and inspired media searchers who are combing every minute of CSPAN, media video, and the Way Back machine to turn up these gems. Democrats, President Pop Rocks, and their marketers are reduced to churning catastrophes to keep the public from noticing the the roof has fallen in. Unfortunately for them the public can feel it on their head.

  46. any takers? it’s on now. A parade of warships is being held in Severomorsk, in the Murmansk region, to celebrate the day of the Russian navy. The aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov”, battlecruiser “Pyotr Velikiy” and nuclear-powered submarines “Yury Dolgorukiy” and “Severodvinsk” are taking part in the show.
    http://rt.com/on-air/navy-parade-severomorsk-russia/

  47. Mormaer
    July 27, 2014 at 5:48 am
    ————–
    All true.

    Which begs the inevitable question: what can be done about it?

  48. “More significant, the act wouldn’t make sense if it were read the way the D.C. Circuit suggests. That is the point that a group of scholars (including one of the authors of this Op-Ed) made in an amicus brief in the case. These 48 experts in health economics.”
    ———–
    Q-1: is it the role of the courts to reform a defective statute?

    Q-2: is that not in fact a legislative function?

    Q-3: does the constitution empower the courts to legislate?

    Q-4: if they do so do they also have the power to appropriate the money to cover this “fix”?

    Q-5: is the legal issue here primarily a question of constitutional law?

    Q-6: and only after that question is resolved do you get to the secondary question of health care policy?

    Q-7: if that is the case, why is it that in this bevy of scholars and intellectuals trained in the all the nooks and crannies of health care policy, are there no first rate constitutional lawyers.

    Q-8: if Obamacare is upheld will that not further their careers, such that they may not be as neutral as the word scholar and expert would otherwise imply?

    Q-9: finally, who paid them for the work they have done in supporting this act, and this appeal? And pray tell how much? (Note: do not be surprised if you find Soros in the middle of this scam as well)

  49. This group of scholars should take their ass across the street from the Supreme Court to Congress, and make their valuable objective insights known there, where the power to fix–or abolish the statute they dearly love resides. They should cease and desist in this end run around congress.

  50. One final thought on the underlying dynamic here.

    How impressed should we that a “group of health care scholars” filed an amicus brief arguing that the court should reach across the separation of powers and do congress’s work for them.

    If the logic of their position does not impress you, then their designation as health care scholars is supposed to do the trick so you say why should a little thing like the constitution stand in the way of what scholars know as right, because they are, in fact, scholars. And not just one scholar, a group them. Wow.

    But that presumption overlooks not just their political bias, and their professional bias. They are in that sense a craft guild. It also overlooks the internal dynamics of their group, where they all want to kibutz with each other, be invited to important conferences, share ideas, build friendships.

    Now I have no particular objection to their doing this sort of thing. It is what all professions do. My problem comes in when they attempt to act in derogation of the constitution and the best interests of the American People. And that is what is going on here.

  51. admin
    July 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    The L.A. Times in an op-ed article tries to defend ObamaCare against Halbig and other suits. The result is comedy gold:
    _____________________________

    Brains on koolade 😆

  52. Where are the Democrats in these cascading catastrophes and failures?
    _______________

    An excellent question. If the Dems have been concerned by the damage done to the country by O, this has not been evident. As applies to Obamacare and other Obama initiatives, directives, scandals, and lies the Dims have supported Barack. Only when some faced election losses did they utter a word or two of disagreement with parts of Ocare – with Barack’s permission.

  53. Like the downfall in a Wagnerian opera . . .

    The Obama networks are shrinking.

    The left claims this is a surprise.

    How ironic since many other people who are not drinking their koolaid have warned them repeatedly this would happen.

    Why did they fail to listen, heed, and adjust?

    Some say it is because they have been fixated only on the political piece, i.e. counting enrollment numbers,

    As opposed to the governing piece, i.e. that at the end of the day, the damned thing needs to work

    I say the explanation is even simpler:

    Obama, his cronies and big media have their collective heads up their collective asses on this policy issue,

    And the same can be said of everything else these vile people touch.

    Change: yes.

    Hope: no.

    ————

    Contra USA Today, the shrinking of Obamacare networks is not a surprise.

    The USA Today article itself is fine enough…

    Nancy Pippenger and Marcia Perez live thousands of miles apart but have the same complaint: Doctors who treated them last year won’t take their insurance now, even though they haven’t changed insurers.

    Both women unwittingly enrolled in policies with limited networks of doctors and hospitals that provide little or no payment for care outside those networks. Such plans existed before the health law, but with its expansion of insurance, they are covering more people — and some are shrinking enrollees’ options further than before. The policies’ limitations have come as a surprise to some enrollees used to broader job-based coverage or to plans they held before the law took effect.

    …but the title (“Surprise! New health plans’ limitations anger enrollees”) bugs me. Specifically, the surprise part. You see…

    ◾August, 2013. I told you so.
    ◾October, 2013. I told you so.
    ◾October, 2013. I told you so.
    ◾January, 2014. I told you so.
    ◾March, 2014. I told you so.
    ◾April, 2014. I told you so.

    Basically, it should surprise nobody that the current set of federal mandates, rulings, taxes, and prohibitions have shrunk doctor networks. The Obama administration at this point obsesses over increasing Obamacare signups the way that Captain Ahab obsessed over Moby Dick*, to the detriment of Medicare Advantage and individual market policy holders: and the first wave of the same thing happening to group policy holders is yet to come.

    Which is to say, the majority of Americans with insurance. I am sorry that more people didn’t hear me bang this particular drum, but alas! – Major news media networks, when they headhunt at all from social media personalities, tend to go with over-educated, Ivy League, vaguely-liberal smirkers who have never held a real job in their (typically white, upper-class, and male) lives.

    Which would bug me less if the aforementioned smirkers weren’t wrong all the time. Or if they learned from their mistakes. Although I suppose that the latter would ensure the former.

    (Via @Allahpundit)

    Moe Lane (crosspost)

  54. Where are the Democrats in these cascading catastrophes and failures?
    —————
    Afraid.

    If they have ANY common sense.

    Afraid of what?

    Afraid to hang on.

    And afraid to let go.

    Just hoping to ride this thing out.

    Problem is this:

    Obamacare is to their adversaries:

    The gift that keeps giving.

    May they rot in hell for it.

  55. wbboei
    July 26, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    ————
    The Chinese are coming, and they’d like to buy your house
    _______________________________________________________________

    I have been putting off buying a house because of the state of the real estate market, especially here in Florida. 30% of the sales in the county I live in are foreclosure sales and the banks are buying 90%. The other 10% are LLC’s. All the commercial real estate development that is going on is also all done under multi-layered corporations and LLC’s. They are all structuring to go bust and walk away clean.

    If you look at the supply and demand of housing and the current wages and employment, it appears that residential housing need to drop by 50% to be purchased by really qualified buyers. Of course, the easy way out is to sell to foreign buyers. There are something like 150 million housing units in the US and the baby boomers are reaching their golden years. I would guess a million Chinese millionaires would easily be absorbed. If they want citizenship they better bring 10’s of millions because we got no jobs. I hope they buy real big money pits and pay their taxes.

    I am guessing that the banksters will suck in as many foreign chumps as they can before housing takes another drop. If they suck in enough chumps, maybe it will not drop so far. Or I could be all wrong and they will find some way to sustain their unsustainable system, inflating the patched tire some more.

    For right now, I’m not buying. It will be interesting to see what happens to housing prices after the November elections.

  56. The scenario that concerns me most at this juncture is that the asshole will give amnesty to all illegals in this country, and at that point, the majority of people will favor impeachment, but the Republican leadership culled by their donors and consultants, will fail to act, and hope that the public will not see this for the cowardice it represents, and the damage it does to the nation. If that is the way this plays out, and I do not think this announcement that the border crisis will be resolved late this summer, i.e. on the eve of the election is anything but political, then conservatives need to abandon the party to the business interests that control it, and let them win future elections with the beltway denizons alone. Simply put, a political party that refuses to rise to defend this nation against an invasion which threatens its very existence, is not an organization worth supporting. For the end of that game is oppression and shame, and the party that does this is lost. . . You bet that Tommy sees.

  57. The only constraint on Obama in doing the above is it would cause him to lose the senate. But if his minions concluded that they would lose the senate anyway, I see no reason why he would not push the pedal to the medal. The least of his concerns it the fate of the party, and if he believes that Hillary will inherit the mess he leaves behind, it is not unlikely that he would make that mess even worse to ensure that she failed in that task. If we have learned nothing else these past six years, surely we know by now that we are dealing with the devil. Does anyone who lives in the same world as most of us doubt that? If so, then they have some hard questions to answer.

  58. The letter below was sent to me from someone with family in Jerusalem. I be3lieve it is a real letter and was given permission to share it.

    Andi’s words are poignant, factual and eye-opening. She is the mother
    of a son and sons in law in the IDF.Let there be no doubt that we are
    all in this together, Jews and Christians alike!!
    Israel tried to offer Gaza its freedom.. We share compassion with all
    victims while Hamas terrorizes its own citizens which it duped to gain
    power and now has NO problem in lying to and sacrificing. Peace will
    never come to Gaza while Hamas spews its hatred, its rockets and its
    mandate to wipe the Jews and Israel off the map…..Destroying Israel
    is Hamas’s reason for existence…its own citizens be damned!!!
    Please read this–if nothing else you might gain some insight into the
    conflict and some understanding of the situation.
    Suzanne

    From: Andi Arnovitz <andiarnovitz@gmail.com>

    Subject: how I feel today

    Date: July 20, 2014 at 11:24:49 AM CDT

    I feel like I weigh 500 pounds.

    Everyone I know feels like they are walking through water.

    And sad. We are all so very, very sad.

    This is what I know right now, today:

    The ugliness, the venom and sheer, violent hatred you are seeing in
    Paris, London, Berlin, LA, Boston, Denver…. this is just the beginning.

    We Jews are the canaries in the coal mine for all of humanity. Today,
    they are throwing bricks at synagogues and smashing chairs and saying
    “Kill the Jews.”

    Tomorrow it will be someone else.

    Do the French really think these people will protect and safeguard the
    treasures of the Louvre?

    Do Londoners really think these people will cherish the symbols of the
    British Empire?

    Does anyone really think this is only about Israel and the disputed
    territories?

    Today it is Israel, tomorrow it will be you.

    Maybe that is why everyone gets so disproportionately annoyed about
    this conflict. Because everyone knows after us it gets real personal…

    Seeing these violent protests, hearing the sickening screams for death
    we Israelis understand better than ever we must fight for every square
    inch and with all we have.

    It matters not how much better our military is, how much more precise
    our targets can be.

    It only matters that when the smoke clears Hamas is disarmed,
    destroyed, disabled and defeated. Forever.

    Hamas. NOT the people of Gaza. I feel so very sorry for them. Sorry
    they were misguided and elected these lunatics. Sorry that in their
    desperation they allowed Hamas to fill the empty bedrooms next to their
    children’s room with rockets. Sorry that their leaders have mansions
    and swimming pools and are sitting in air conditioning in another city
    while they are sweating and wondering where the roof over their houses
    went. (If not their house itself.) Sorry that they have been brought
    up with no inkling of who Israelis are nor what compromise is.

    Defeating Hamas will be a big problem for the power brokers because
    shame and honor are all that matter in this part of the world.

    Honor in the Middle East does not come from whether your children are
    literate, how successful you are, how much money you make, how
    civilized your community is, nor how many paved roads you have, and
    whether or not you have garbage collection and recycling.

    Here in this part of the world- for Hamas, honor comes from getting
    revenge.

    For them revenge is everything.

    For them revenge is the only thing.

    Remember we left Gaza. There was no blockade. They were free to build a
    model democracy- the first successful shining, taste of the new, proud
    Palestine. But they didn’t want that kind of success…

    Fool me once, shame on you.

    Fool me twice, shame on me.

    We will not be fooled again.

    We have nowhere else to go. And the rockets won’t stop.

    The folks in Ashkelon cannot shower, have a bowel movement, get more
    milk or walk a dog without wondering if they are taking their lives in
    their own hands.

    There is another Gaza underneath Gaza.

    Hamas could have built hundred of schools, paved thousands of roads,
    build hundreds of kindergartens with the cement and iron they have used
    to build these underground bunkers and tunnels.

    ( and you wondered why Israel put a blockade on bringing building
    supplies into the Gaza strip?)

    These tunnels to hell are filled with ammunition.

    And no women or children, not a single elderly person is brought to
    safety there.

    They want them on the street- on the roof, standing right behind- nice
    and close to the terrorist firing the rocket.

    Hamas has refused to let journalists out of Gaza.

    Why?

    They need them to take pictures and record the carefully staged piles
    of bloody children and women. If the journalists leave they have lost
    the vehicle for distributing their bloody ad campaign.

    Hamas asked for a cease-fire.

    And they broke it.

    They break every single one.

    Israel is setting up a massive field hospital to treat our enemies.
    From 8 pm on tonight there will be a working maternity ward, an
    operating theater…a working hospital. For… our enemies.

    We are going to lose more boys. Last night we lost 13. With each day
    we are going to lose more.

    But everyone here now understands this is a fight to the death. It is
    them or us.

    They cannot compromise and they don’t want peace or to share or to
    negotiate. They want revenge even if it means killing their own people.

    So we have to go in there and do things none of us want to do, but we
    have to.

    So this is why we are all so sad.

    Israelis want peace so badly.

    But we also desperately want to live. We love life and we are not about
    to let anyone, let alone a bunch of deranged thugs take it away from
    us.

    So yes, this is a fight to the death for both sides.

    Remember, if they win, you are next.

    If we win those symbols of civilization that everyone takes so for
    granted will remain standing and everyone will criticize and complain
    about disproportionate responses and war crimes and all kinds of other
    irrelevant nonsense, but secretly I think everyone will be heaving s
    sigh of relief.

    =

  59. wbboei
    July 26, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    ————
    The Chinese are coming, and they’d like to buy your house
    ————————————————————————–
    And another part of the potential Chinese invasion is the environmental illnesses they will bring. The only good part about that is that they will not likely be contagious. Are wealthy sick people who are not contagious better for the country that poor people who are? That is one really scary aspect of the current invasion. The Chinese will most likely be suffering not just from respiratory problems but will have long term problems from cancer and cognitive problems from metal poisoning. Lot’s of lead. That is unfortunately linked to violent behaviors http://cen.acs.org/articles/92/i5/Crimes-Lead.html

    Lady Liberty is waiting.

    Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

  60. Lu4PUMA

    July 27, 2014 at 12:14 pm
    ———
    I have a close friend who is politically astute, and is an elder in one of the great American Indian tribes. She is the typical wise woman of the archetypal sort, and is conversant in arts, sciences, medicine, history etc. People of all stripes say she is clairvoyant. I cannot comment broadly on that assessment on that save to say that in my experience she is either that or has an uncanny ability to perceive things as they are rather than as they appear, and to understand what they will become in the future. That is particularly true, in assessing exactly what Obama would do to this nation, not in general as many of us did who were familiar with his pedigree, background and who controlled him, but with great specificity. Some of the things I say here are reflective of her pessimism as to where this all will lead, even though she is a true blue American. The minute this issue arose, she informed me about it, and at that time, it was centered in Las Vegas. She said to me that we people will see the ability to sell their home to a qualified buyer at a good price as a boon and in the short term it will prove to be just that. But she also said that this deluge also represents a threat to our sovereignty. Part of the pitch is that these people will come with money and will not take US jobs. Many of them will work over the internet. And many of them will work either directly or indirectly for the Chinese government. When she saw the article above which appeared in the Washington Post, she sent me three emails saying I told you so. Not that I ever doubted what she said.

  61. Its always good to have an elevator speech, ready to go at a moments notice;

    When you confront a bot, the speech is in three parts:

    1. you’re blind

    2. he’s a disaster domestically (2/5 not working, invasion from the south)

    3. he’s a disaster internationally (egypt, syria, iran, russia, etc.)

    4. what is there about the word disaster that you do not understand?

  62. The District’s ban on carrying handguns in public was struck down by a federal judge who called the restrictions “unconstitutional.”

    The decision by Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. comes five years after several gun owners joined together to file a lawsuit challenging the District’s gun laws, which only allowed residents to possess a gun in their home or business.

    In light of Supreme Court decisions that struck down near total bans on handguns in the District and Chicago in recent years, “there is no longer any basis this Court can conclude that the District of Columbia’s total ban on the public carrying of ready-to-use handguns outside the home is constitutional under any level of scrutiny,” Judge Scullin wrote in an opinion dated Thursday and made public Saturday.

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/27/federal-judge-rules-dc-ban-handguns-public-unconst/#.U9UZK_55Lm4.twitter#ixzz38hQF9Gc8
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

  63. This article is key to refuting the facile lies, false correlations and the sophistry advanced by big media, when they advance the proposition that the economy has improved under the devil Obama. It reminds me of the line from Kipling: if you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken, twisted by naves to make a trap for fools, etc.

    AP Reporter: Get Used to the ‘New Normal’

    “Newfound strengths”? Hardly.

    By Tom Blumer (PJ Media)

    One of the luckiest people on earth last week was the person at the Associated Press who began a Thursday report by telling readers: “Out of a seemingly hollow recovery from the Great Recession, a more durable if still slow-growing U.S. economy has emerged.”

    Translation: “This ‘new normal’ economy President Barack Obama and the left have created is as good as it’s going to get. So learn to like it.”

    Ordinarily, the perpetrator of such nonsense would have been known and subjected to the relentless personal ridicule he or she deserves. But this is the week the AP’s union, the News Media Guild, upset that its members have been working without a contract for almost eight months after a year of negotiating, began a series of childish “multiple protests” they think will cause the news co-op “to start bargaining in good faith.” (The News Media Guild’s militance largely explains why the AP’s coverage of labor-related matters is so routinely biased.)

    One of those “protests” was “a four-day byline and credit boycott” by reporters and photographers who refused to put their names on dispatches and photos submitted from Tuesday through Friday. The tortured statement which opened this column came out smack dab in the middle of that boycott, which the union hilariously described as “a sacrifice.”

    Even the AP reporter’s admissions concerning how weak the economy’s performance has been under President Barack Obama were watered down.

    The article’s assertion that “in the five years since the recession officially ended, Americans’ pay has basically stagnated” is rubbish. The Census Bureau alumni who run Sentier Research tell us that inflation-adjusted median household income, a far more comprehensive indicator of financial well-being, is still about 3 percent below where it was in June 2009 when the recession officially ended, and has basically gone nowhere since late 2011.

    The reporter further claimed that “economic growth is merely plodding along.” Wrong. To be “plodding along,” you have to be moving forward. The government’s last official reading on economic growth told us that it contracted by an annualized 2.9 percent in the first quarter. The economy’s growth performance has been barely better than that seen during the awful post-Depression 1930s. Very few economists believe that any second-quarter growth will offset the first quarter’s dive, meaning that we’ve gone nowhere so far this year.

    The incredibly lucky anonymous AP reporter cited five “newfound strengths” the economy has developed. I will show that each either is a weakness, or masks one.

    “Fewer people are piling up credit card debt or taking on risky mortgages.”

    The reporter cited a $1,618 reduction in “typical household” credit card debt. Unfortunately, that decline has been far more than offset by an average increase in per-household student loan debt of roughly $3,000. Meanwhile, student-loan delinquencies are going through the roof.

    Thursday’s awful new-home sales report and a level of existing-home sales which is still far from where it should be show that fewer people are taking on any kind of mortgage, “risky” or not.

    “Banks are more profitable and holding additional cash …”

    Banks are holding that cash because they can’t find borrowers. Despite low interest rates, demand for loans, especially to businesses, is lagging. That’s because the opportunity-constraining, growth-choking POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) economy of the past six years has led to fewer new business startups, fewer employed by those startups in comparison to previous periods, and an intimidating Dodd Frank-driven regulatory environment.

    “More workers hold advanced degrees.”

    The AP reporter claimed that this is supposedly good, because “education typically leads to higher wages and greater job security,” and celebrated the fact that “during the recovery, the number of Americans with a college degree surpassed the number with only a high school diploma for the first time.”

    Sadly, we don’t live in typical times, and there’s little cause for celebration. The following graph from a just-published Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco study shows what may be a permanent break in that education-wage relationship (“full-time” label added by me for emphasis):

    CollegeGradFTearnings1970to2014

    For five long years, the starting salaries of college graduates landing full-time jobs have gone nowhere (the figures presented above are not inflation-adjusted). The study’s authors further note, with a supporting table, that “with few exceptions, wage growth has been limited in all occupational groups for recent graduates.”

    Especially after considering the explosion in student-loan debt, it’s long past time to question the still-ironclad assumption that a college education pays off, and that going to college should be the default goal of every high school student.

    “Inflation is under control.”

    This triumphal statement is supposed to be a rebuttal to the Rick Santellis of the world who have worried and continue to be concerned about inflation because of the over $4 trillion in money out of thin air Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen have created.

    As I wrote earlier this month:

    … [L]ook at what was “accomplished” to cause that (low inflation): real hits to household income, which is stuck far below where it was in 2007, and millions of Americans withdrawing from the workforce. Both of these have dampened demand for goods and services and lessened price pressures. Meanwhile, the government during Obama’s presidency has run up over $5.7 trillion in deficits (through June) while adding just under $7 trillion to the national debt (through July 14), immorally pushing the obligation to pay for our profligacy onto generations yet unborn.

    Does inflation being “under control” now merely mean that any coming hyperinflation will be that much worse? The AP reporter has no historical basis for his or her “under control” overconfidence.

    “Millions who have reached retirement age are staying on the job.”

    Seriously, this is a good thing? What this really means is that many Americans who thought they had their financial situations under control so they could spend their retirements as they had planned have found themselves unable to do so.

    This trend has also worked to keep many young people with unproven or non-existent work records from gaining employment.

    Imagine the reaction if an AP reporter tried to portray this development as a positive during a Republican or conservative administration.

    This anonymous reporter and his or her colleagues at the AP and elsewhere in the establishment press can apply as much lipstick as they’d like to this economy. It won’t change the fact that it remains ugly for the average American, and promises to remain that way as long as Barack Obama occupies the White House.

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/author/tomblumer/

  64. Fact: Beijing’s aggressive anti-corruption sweep has netted thousands of big fish. More confiscations are on the way.

    Fact: Some 9.3 million Chinese have immigrated in recent years, and 64 percent of the country’s remaining rich households — a category that includes a few million people — want to leave or are in the process of doing so

    Fact: The United States is their preferred destination.
    ——————-
    While the real estate lobby is clapping their hands like seals at the prospect of this, we need to be smarter.

    Consider the following questions:

    1. If wealthy Chinese are coming here to avoid the aggressive anti corruption sweep in their own country

    2. It is not reasonable to assume that many if not most of them are in fact corrupt, and-

    3. Isn’t it probable that they will practice that corruption as well in this country?

    This is not fanciful. Canada has experienced the same tidal wave. Several years ago, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police prepared a white paper noting two results: I) a rapid increase in gang activity, and ii) a sharp uptick in spying on Canada by China.

    This will accelerate the present trend toward a two class society–rich and poor. No middle class.

  65. I’m revisiting RepGutierrez on MSNBC because there was a bigger point within his intent than I indicated.

    U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, D-Ill., inadvertently tipped the Democratic Party’s hand Friday on why they so doggedly pursue amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants in the United States.
    While appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Gutiérrez crowed about going to the White House later in the day to “negotiate” how the president, with a stroke of the pen, can legalize up to 5 million illegal immigrants.
    President Obama‘s expected executive action will, in effect, not only nullify the immigration laws of the United States, but serve to create a legion of brand new Democrat voters.
    A fact that didn’t escape Gutiérrez.
    “Let me just say in about an hour, I’m going over to the White House,” he said. “I’ll be meeting with Jeh Johnson and the Chief Legal Counsel to the President of the United States.”
    The joy he derived from making such a statement could hardly be missed.
    “We are going to sit down and we’re going to negotiate additional terms and avenues the president can use and prosecutorial discretion, and I think we can get three or four or maybe even five million people.”
    http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/07/26/gutierrez-just-spilled-the-democratic-beans-accidentally-exposed-real-reason-for-amnesty-134450

    There’s a video within the link if you can stomach it. I declined even to try.

  66. Well, always nice to hear from this race baiting demagogue. The American People have no right to know what goes on in the Obama White House so she says, and fellow traveler Kwalija nods in approval. Power not only corrupts, it attracts corrupt people–like Holmes and Cummings. They have waived their right to know what will go on in a future Republican White House, and when they do, they will get smacked in the kisser, for this improvident statement.

    http://downtrend.com/robertgehl/eleanor-holmes-norton-lectures-you-dont-have-a-right-to-know-what-goes-on-in-obamas-white-house/

  67. A letter to John Kerry
    Paula R. Stern Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, “A Soldier’s Mother”, has been running for more than 5 years. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write her thoughts and dream of a trip to Italy, Scotland, and beyond.

    Dear Secretary of State John Kerry
    Because of my respect for the United States, I will attempt to afford you the honor you think you so richly deserve. It’s hard to speak to you with anything but anger, hard to feel the need, again, to start from the beginning because you clearly choose to ignore history in your quest for glory. It is a quest destined to fail but its outcome, even, or more accurately especially, in failure, will hurt Israel.
    Greater men than you have tried to make, to force, peace on the Middle East. I promise you, you will fail too. You will fail because you are not addressing the root cause of the problem. You, like so many before you, take the easy way out. Blame Israel. It is so easy to do, and so stupid.
    I could speak to you of history – a history longer and greater than you can imagine. I could speak to you of injustices – yes, our land is filled with the graves of those murdered for the unjust reason that they lived here, or traveled abroad, or ate in the wrong restaurant, or took the wrong bus.
    I could speak to you of justice – of a population exchange similar to those that have taken place through out history as nations settle between war and peace. They left their lands to go there, most voluntarily so that their invading brothers would have a clear path as they pushed the Jews into the sea. And our people, who left their homes and possessions in Arab lands, most forced, not voluntarily, and came here.
    We fed our brothers, clothed them, gave them homes. And most importantly, we loved them and gave them the most precious of gifts – a future, a present, as integral parts of the land and people of this country. My neighbor, the family across the street – they live in the same houses that I do, drive the same cars, attend the same schools. He is an engineer; he is a judge in the courts. She is a nurse; she is a lawyer. All my neighbors, though their grandparents came here with nothing.
    And at the same time, across many borders, the Arabs put their “brothers” in refugee camps, all but starved them. They raised them to be embittered – not at those who kept them in squalor, but those they had hoped to defeat. They blame us and you are naive enough to blame us as well?
    They chose war, John Kerry, while we chose compromise. And you would blame us for this horrible chain of the decades? They invaded – five Arab nations, in 1949. They attacked. Out of sheer desperation, we won enough of our land to give us a measure of security…it lasted only 7 years, until they attacked again. But oh what we did in those 7 years. We welcomed our refugees from Europe, from Arab lands. We built them tent cities and turned them into real cities. We conquered swamp land and made it habitable and we raised our children to dream that someday there would be peace. We created universities and schools and parks.
    But the Arabs would have none of it. In 1948, in 1956, again in 1967 and again in 1973 and again and again, almost daily, we fight off their attempts to do in 2014 what they failed to do in 1948. They have not learned and amazingly enough, John Kerry, neither have you.
    We have built and evacuated whole communities; we have withdrawn from land in exchange for nothing but the hope that we could appease the “unappeasable.” We have flown around the world to help others – from earthquakes, tsunamis, devastating storms, famine and more.
    We have allowed the Arabs – yes, allowed them, to fire tens of thousands of missiles at our cities and we know they have more than 170,000 more rockets and missiles ready to try again. At any time and with no notice whatsoever, we have the power to flatten Gaza into the world’s largest, flattest parking lot. And each time they attack, we think of it and know we can’t do it, won’t do it. And you would blame us for the failure to make peace?
    When we attempt to stop them, to push back their military capabilities, just a bit, we aim for the rocket launchers, the arsenals, the training camps while they aim for our cities – Beersheva, Shderot, Ashkelon, Netivot, Ashdod. And you would threaten us for the ongoing state of war?
    There cannot be peace until you recognize your enemy. There cannot be successful negotiations if you fail to understand those you would bring to the table. You fail on both counts.
    After hearing that you threatened Israel unless the peace talks succeed, I can only conclude that your ignorance is even greater than I thought. I knew, years ago, that you had no clue what the Arab world is thinking, feeling, dreaming of. Now I know the same is true about Israel – you don’t understand us any better than you understand the Arabs and that amazes me.
    Unlike the Arab world, Israel is an open society – read our newspapers, speak to the people on the street. No one will stop you and we won’t escort you with secret police to control your experience. Pick any town, city, village, settlement and you will hear the same thing. Pick any street, any person and ask them what they dream of, what they want for their children. We do not dream of glorious death and martyrdom for our sons. We dream that they will never have to even serve in the army.
    I have friends who agonized over their sons going into the army. I could understand my agony, as I grew up in the United States where all my friends promised they would run away from the US before they would ever be drafted. I knew nothing of army and war and guns. But my friends here in Israel? They had served in the army; why did they suffer so when their sons were drafted.
    “We served so that they wouldn’t have to,” I’ve been told over and over again. They never believed, 20+ years later that their sons and daughters would have to sacrifice three years of their lives, that we’d still be at war.
    You won’t hear that in the Arab world. Oh, they’ll tell you that they dream of peace because they know that is what you want to hear, but in Arabic, they will talk of a time when there will be no Jews in the entire Middle East, never mind no Jews in the Palestine they envision. Their religious leaders will whip them up to the glory of Allah and jihad. But still you would expect us to make peace with them?
    Theirs is a culture built on a dream – a dream that they will own the world…my corner, John Kerry, and even yours. Theirs is a society that believes in a heaven earned by causing the deaths of others and so when their sons blow themselves up and kill those Jews, they celebrate. And yes, they celebrated on 9/11 when they killed your people just as they celebrated when we released their terrorists and killers in yet another attempt to appease them…and you.
    If you don’t understand their ability to celebrate, I will confess that neither do I. I have seen the mothers hugging their sons in a video, made the night before they killed themselves…and the innocent men, women, and children, of their enemies who happened to be on that bus, in that mall, or asleep in their homes. It doesn’t matter to them if they kill a soldier, a man with a gun, a pregnant woman, or a helpless child. The more, the better, in their twisted interpretation of what their God wants. You don’t understand this and I can see where it is hard, given your western mentality. But not understanding it doesn’t give you the right to ignore it.
    You won’t fail in your goal of ramming peace down our throats because of this, however. You will fail because, amazingly enough, you don’t even understand Israel. We are the easiest to get, the easiest, honestly. All you have to do is listen and see – but even that is beyond you.
    Listen to our national anthem – it does not speak of war. It is called, “The Hope” and speaks of a dream of 2,000 years to be a free people. We value that – the ability to protect ourselves, to be free in the land of our forefathers. Even the most right wing among us would be willing to compromise for a real peace, a peace where our children and grandchildren could live without the fears we deal with daily. We do not interfere in how they raise their children; we are stupid enough to even fund some of their text books – all in our own misguided belief that we can make peace with those who do not yet want it.
    You threaten us with economic sanctions, with international isolation. This is your latest blunder, and it is a big one. Israel is laughing at you this morning. Economic sanctions?
    They gassed us, beat us, bombed us, burned us. They haunted us, hunted us, hated us through the centuries across many lands and through this land in the last several decades. They burned the synagogue where my grandmother was hiding; they gassed my great grandmother to death.
    International isolation? They put us in ghettos, they exploded our buses and shot our babies in the head. They lynched my neighbor, attacked the buses on which my friends travel. They shot my daughter’s teacher (and his infant son) and ambushed and killed a colleague of mind.
    W e are fighting for our lives, John Kerry – no less today than we were in 1948. The ONLY difference is that through the greed and stupidity of the Arab nations, we are stronger than we ever were, not weaker. You will fail, John Kerry, because you are fool enough to think you can come here, wave your American flag, look at your watch and tell us you’d like to finish these peace negotiations by 5:00 p.m. because you have a date at the opera or a baseball game to go to.
    For a long time now, the Arabs have fooled you. They’ll speak to you of peace over the coffee they serve you and then when you leave the room, they slap each other on the backs and laugh – another successful day at making the US look stupid.
    Now, this time, we will have that in common with the Arabs; we are laughing at you too. Naftali Bennet has tried to explain it to you, “There has not yet been a nation that has given up its land due to economic threats, and nor will we. Only security will bring economic stability, not a terrorist state near Ben-Gurion Airport.”
    Greater men have failed, John Kerry – and I promise you, until you know Israel and until you understand the Arabs, you don’t have a prayer of succeeding. Go watch the Superbowl, at least then, maybe you’ll have done something worthwhile.
    Paula Stern

  68. wbboei,

    Yes the Chinese are coming and alot of them will be violent criminals, to some extent, of our own making. I am a chemical engineer by profession. I worked for a major petrochemical company for 20 years and witnessed the deindustrialization of America. During the 90’s the issue of quality and foreign competition arose and American Industry tried that out. They had to get progressive and hire women and minorities to get the top of the talent pool. But the matter was decided with George Dubya was elected, Exxon merged with Mobil into a monstrous corporation and we lost all civil rights protections under summary judgment. They set the standard to the average white male. They did not want to adapt and employ talent or spend money on making our industries clean (yes, that can be done for a price). It all became thuggery based on the price of oil and those stupid white men kept their big fat salaries.

    Many know about the jobs that went over seas for cheap labor and lax standards, but few understand how it was tied to Bush and the stupid white male. America failed to compete but utilizing all it’s talent and maybe cutting some wages. So we all started buying things Made in China. Maybe you did not understand what that meant, but I always have. A friend of mine adopted a Chinese orphan. She had a blood lead level of 100 micro gram per decilitier. The CDC has recently dropped the level that constitutes lead poisoning from 10 to 5.

    Yes, the Chinese are coming and they are sick and many are violent.

    Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

    Tell them to bring lots of money and vote for Hillary.

  69. Lu4PUMA
    July 27, 2014 at 9:28 pm
    —————–
    Actually, BOTH political parties are complicit in the outsourcing of American jobs. But before that happened, respected economists like Lestor Thorow and others were preaching the gospel of globalization. They argued that the Information Age was at hand, and the good paying jobs of the future would be in finance and computers. Manufacturing however would go to low cost countries, and come back into this country in cheaper finished goods. Under Bush 41, tax incentives were given to major corporations as an incentive to outsource, and thereby promote that moedl. Clinton continued the trend with NAFTA etc. And only in later years, did an undersecretary of commerce in his administration that (we) were so focused on the top line–continuing economic growth to realize the impact this was having on the working class and the middle class. In sum, as between the two parties, the honors are about equal, and it will not get better in the foreseeable future so long as corporations control both parties. I have faced this problem myself, both professionally and politically. I will spare you the details, save to say I understand your frustration. So to blame W for this is not fair in two respects. First, it began well before he took office. Second, he never was that smart. Even so, he favored the North American Union, and made a verbal agreement with Vicente Fox who was a former Coke executive when he was president of Mexico, which was superceded by the events of 9/11. And that is one of the many reasons why we need a new political party that represents the American People.

  70. Let me just say in about an hour, I’m going over to the White House,” he said. “I’ll be meeting with Jeh Johnson and the Chief Legal Counsel to the President of the United States.”
    ——————–
    And like Napoleon the little cucaracha (Spanish for cockroach) will win the Battle of Waterloo.

  71. Great letter. Obama and Kerry are single handedly the most anti-Israeli president and SOS in history and that is saying a lot with the many anti-Israeli administrations this country has had.

  72. Drudge has an endearing picture of the endearing babes in arms flooding across our border seeking their human right to breathe free, sell drugs and recruit gangs. And best of all they are telling us that Obama will give them jobs and amnesty. Damned. The little cucaracha must be spilling the beans to his friends and associates on his private meeting with Jehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, and the President’s Chief Legal Counsel Eric Djerinsky Holder whose future does not look good.

  73. Obama: desecrator of the Constitution. If the Republicans win the Senate, and if Obama does the unthinkable in re. illegal immigration, and if public opinion changes from opposition to outrage then impeachment must go forward. Nat’s article provides the moral justification (infra), and Andy McCarthy’s cogent legal analysis provides all the authority. And Obama’s pathology will do the rest. The establishment republicans are afraid to act, and the hard left thinks if they do they will fall on their sword. The only way I can see that republicans can lose, if those conditions are satisfied is if they fail to act.

    ——————————

    NO OBAMA IMPEACHMENT? WHO ARE WE?

    Nat Hentoff: ‘This is for the sake of our very identity as Americans’

    Published: 07/15/2014 at 7:04 PM

    I was astonished and angered to read last week that the American Civil Liberties Union gathered “a coalition of 45 civil rights, human rights, privacy rights and faith-based organizations (and) sent a letter to President Obama asking for ‘a full public accounting of … practices’” related to the NSA’s spying on five leading American Muslims.

    Sure, it’s a legitimate complaint, so why am I angry? Because instead of requesting this “full public accounting,” the ACLU should be organizing with other presumed guardians of our individual constitutional liberties to demand that impeachment proceedings begin against Obama, the most flagrant presidential violator of the Constitution in our history.

    This is for the sake of our very identity as Americans.

    On Dec. 4, 2013, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley, who has often appeared in this column through the years, testified before the House Judiciary Committee about Obama’s constant desecration of the Constitution’s separation of powers:

    “The problem with what the president is doing is that he is not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system. He’s becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid. That is the concentration of power in any single branch.”

    Did you reread the Declaration of Independence on July 4? Remember what King George III was doing to so powerfully suppress the colonists that it led to our American Revolution?

    During the same congressional hearing last December, Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies for the Cato Institute (where I am a senior fellow), said:

    “If the people come to believe that the government is no longer constrained by the laws, then they will conclude that neither are they.”

    And in the second term of his reign, Obama has publicly delighted in his unassailable command:

    “Conceding defeat on a top domestic priority, President Barack Obama blamed a Republican ‘year of obstruction’ for the demise of sweeping immigration legislation … and said he would take new steps without Congress to fix as much of the system as he can on his own.”

    In this White House speech, Obama said: “I’m beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own – without Congress.”

    An increasingly influential new book, “Impeachable Offenses” by Aaron Klein and Brenda Elliott, further addresses “the probable causes for” Obama’s impeachment. I will be partially excerpting passages from it in columns to come.

    Meanwhile, I have previously listed many of the “high Crimes” the Constitution requires for impeachment, but I insist on repeating the capper – hardly mentioned anymore in the news – that so outrageously justifies impeachment procedures:

    The National Defense Authorization Act , or NDAA, signed by Obama, enables our military to “detain” (Obama’s euphemism for “imprison”) American citizens right here without trial who “substantially supported” (which is undefined) “associated forces” (also undefined) “engaged in hostilities against the United States.”

    It takes little effort to imagine how James Madison or Thomas Jefferson would have reacted to a president making such a decision in the new nation they were instrumental in founding.

    What would Samuel Adams or Thomas Paine say?

    Also worth a look by We the People is Sarah Palin’s recent Fox News op-ed, “The case for Obama’s impeachment: The Constitution’s remedy for a lawless, imperial president.”

    The former governor of Alaska and the 2008 Republican nominee for vice president is also a commentator on Fox News.

    Yes, Fox News, which may cause some readers to grimace in distaste. But Judge Andrew Napolitano is also on Fox News, and he’s one of the only commentators on TV whose sole beat is the Constitution, and he guards it with deeply effective knowledge. He supports the impeachment of Barack Obama.

    I don’t judge any pundits by where they appear. Those who do that with regard to me grow dizzy with seeming opposites. What counts is what each one says and documents.

    Among Palin’s impeachable indictments of Obama:

    “Without notifying Congress as required by law, he set free terrorist prisoners at a time of war when they can return to the battlefield to kill our troops.”

    And dig this: “In violation of our Constitution, he regularly ignores court orders, changes laws by executive fiat, and refuses to enforce laws he doesn’t like, including our immigration laws.”

    As Palin wrote: “Impeachment is the ultimate check on an out-of-control executive branch. It is serious, not to be used for petty partisan purposes; and it is imperative that it becomes a matter of legitimate discussion before the American people lose all trust in our federal government.”

    And, I add, before they lose trust in themselves as citizens of a self-governing republic.

    I urge all Americans – regardless of party affiliation, faith or absence thereof – to face this challenge to our identity: How is it possible that Barack Obama can evade impeachment proceedings if We the People are meaningfully to remain Americans?

    You’re voters. It’s up to you in 2014 and 2016 to vote for those who will repair what he has done.

    Also keep in mind the futures of your children and grandchildren if this deep wound Obama has committed to our Constitution is not punished and remedied.

    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/07/no-obama-impeachment-who-are-we/#d5jlkLBz7237vGO2.99

  74. Commodore Esek Hopkins (April 26, 1718 – February 26, 1802) was the only Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War. He was also an accomplished merchant captain and privateer.

    Hopkins was terminated by the Congress on 30 July 1778 for his part in the arrest of Richard Marven and Samuel Shaw, a pair of early whistleblowers. Hopkins is singlehandedly responsible for the resolution of Congress:

    “That it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, all well as all other inhabitants thereof to give the earliest information to Congress or any other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or other misdemeanours committed by any persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge.”[3]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esek_Hopkins

    —————

    This statute is most likely still on the books. If so, it should apply in spades to the IRS.

  75. NYT claims there is a 62% chance that Republicans will take the Senate.

    May-be.

    But I think this is pure unadulterated bullshit.

    First, they are very unpopular.

    Second, it is too early in the election cycle to make such a call.

    A wave may be coming, and then again it may not.

    By sense is how this illegal immigration problem is handled will have a lot to do with it.

    ————————–

    On North Carolina and the State of the Midterm Battle

    2:29 PM, Jul 22, 2014 • By JAY COST

    Democratic polling firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) has released a new poll of the North Carolina Senate race, featuring Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan squaring off against Republican state house speaker Thom Tillis, with ostensibly good news for the Democrat: She’s up seven points and expanded on her lead. Their headline: “Hagan continues to grow lead.”

    But dig a little deeper and the story is mixed for the Democrat. Hagan’s seven-point lead is due largely to the libertarian candidate, who is polling 8 percent. In no cycle since 1986 has the libertarian pulled more than 3.4 percent in North Carolina; on average the libertarian has won 2.1 percent of the vote. And a deeper dive into PPP’s cross-tabs suggests that a large portion of the libertarian support is actually Republican.

    In the head to head match-up, excluding the libertarian, Hagan’s lead is 3 points, which is less than the 4 point lead she posted in their last head-to-head poll. Moreover, she pulls just 42 percent of the vote, a bad spot for any candidate with 90%+ name recognition.

    Another complication worth noting: PPP has a peculiar method in the spring and summer months, when they poll “voters.” I do not mean registered voters or likely voters, but people who voted in previous cycles, including presidential ones. This means that they are inevitably sampling an electorate that is much broader than what we will see in November. Turnout in 2012 was 60.2 percent of the voting age population in North Carolina; in 2010 it was 36.4 percent. I know of no other pollster that uses this methodology.

    I think the bottom line is that North Carolina joins a list of nearly a dozen states where the real world state of the race is within spitting distance of a tie, with 15 to 20 percent of the electorate still undecided. That is how I would characterize the Democratic-held seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, and North Carolina, as well as Republican-held seats in Georgia and Kentucky.

    Moreover, this appears to have been the state of the race a month ago, even two months ago (although Michigan has since slipped from a toss-up to back to favoring the Democrats).

    Nate Cohn of the New York Times had an interesting piece suggesting that this was bad news for the Republicans. He wrote:

    But as July turns to August, the G.O.P. is now on the clock. If there is to be a wave this November, the signs of a shift toward the G.O.P. ought to start to show up, somewhere, soon. Every day that goes by without a shift toward the G.O.P. increases the odds that there will not be a wave at all.

    I am not sure this withstands historical scrutiny. At this point in 2010, Marco Rubio was trailing Charlie Crist. Rob Portman was in a tie in his battle against Lee Fisher in Ohio. Both won comfortably. Meanwhile, Wisconsin was just popping up on the radar as a pickup for the GOP, and everybody thought Delaware was in the bag. Furthermore, at this point the Cook Political Report also listed Kentucky, Missouri, and New Hampshire as Republican toss-ups, though the GOP won them all comfortably. On the House side, few people saw the magnitude of the GOP victory at this point in the cycle.

    If you go back to 2006, you see something similar. Democrats were set to pick up Senate seats, but the contours of their victory were not yet apparent. Virginia certainly was not on the radar at this point in 2006; nobody thought Harold Ford would run a close race in Tennessee; and few people expected the GOP would lose all the close incumbent-held races.

    Go back to 1994, and very few of the major pundits saw the GOP wave coming — even until the very end. Michael Barone was a notable exception.

    In other words, big midterm victories are often not apparent at this point in the cycle. And why should they be? In this case, the GOP has only recently selected a number of its nominees, and anyway voters are not yet fully engaged. It’s vacation time!

    So, I would not put the GOP “on the clock” for another month. And my guess is that in a month things will still look roughly the same as they do today.

    Cohn is certainly right about one thing: The Republican party is enormously unpopular, and that could spoil any wave that might otherwise build. One could argue that something like this happened to the party in 1978, as well. But it is still quite early in the cycle to make that call.

  76. The operating assumption of dimocrats is that amenesty for all illegals will be music to the ears of their base, consequently, they will turn out en masse to support democrat candidates in the fall and will carry Obama on their shoulders.

    There will come a point, however, when these numbskulls will find out that their job opportunities are diminished and their welfare checks are adversely affected by Obama’s response to the crisis. But by then it will be too late.

  77. Nat says Aaron Kline and Brenda Elliott are laying the case for the impeachment of Obama. Since I share that objective, my initial response is bravo. I hope their work gets an audience. At the same time, however, I am skeptical. They are journalists, not lawyers. Are they capable of rebutting the defenses proffered by the likes of Tribe? Suffice it to say, I prefer a prosecutor like Andy McCarthy, or a Judge like Napolitano or Trey Gowdy to make the case, from a legal standpoint. Those gentlemen have the skill and background to keep Tribe in the cage where he belongs. But insofar as the ultimate judgment is political these journalists have an important supporting role to play. But truth to tell, they do not have the audience that McCarthy and Napolitano do across the country. Compared to them, their work is a bit obscure, and unlikely to generate the political momentum required. Still, it was nice of Nat to mention them.

  78. NYT is a koolaid factory. Their take on the political situation is too riddled with bias and self interest to be taken seriously. I try to ignore them, except when they say something so ridiculous as to be comical. The last thing they are is smart. Devious? Yes. Elitist? Sure. Unamerican? Q.E.D. But smart? N.F.W. Might they at least have one smart journalist in their ranks, bases soley on the law of averages? Perhaps. But not for long. It gets back to Greshom’s Law: the bad money chases out the good.

  79. holdthemaccountable

    July 28, 2014 at 7:39 am
    ——
    Let’s hope it succeeds. If it does, then it will be a useful adjunct to FOX and Breitbart.

  80. jeswezey

    July 28, 2014 at 8:32 am
    ————-
    The hard left knows they cannot stop Hillary from securing the nomination. Therefore, they have assumed their default position which is that they will resign themselves to attempting to shape her presidency. The progressive agenda is a Trojan Horse. Behind it is the same dark movers–capitalists. It is worse than the older forms however because it is grounded in marketing, bureaucracy, and totalitarian control. Progressivism and liberty are mutually exclusive. Left to their devices they will destroy the vitality of this nation.

  81. If you want to limit Wall Street control of our political system, then progressivism is not the answer. The communists themselves knew that. Behind the Russian revolution was the New York banking house of Shiff. Behind the Cuban revolution was another American bank, the name of which escapes me at the moment. And behind progressivism, the latest iteration of communism are people like Soros. These revolutions profess to eliminate corporate control and they end up being controlled by it, by the purse strings. And that is a fact. The only legitimate challenge to corporate control is the Tea Party, if they ever get their act together, and do not succumb to the same disease which motivates progressivism. In a word, progressivism like communism has but one goal: total control of the individual, and total subordination of his freedom to its prerogatives. The examples are endless. In the alternative, I can imagine a system where government is a productive force, and not tainted. But at this point, that is pie in the sky, and I for one will not be taken in with their bullshit. If you think the left will ever defend our liberty, then you need to ponder why the ACLU has failed to take on Obama in any serious way. Again, Nat’s article calls bullshit on their lame and belated cosmetic attempt to take on Obama, the desecrator of the Constitution which they profess to be the guardians of. They are totalitarians as well who use the system to bring it down. Not for nothing was their founder, Roger Baldwin, a friend and confidante of Vladimir Lenin.

  82. Damn jes, why do some persist in claiming that Hillary needs a primary challenger to “help shape her presidency”. By the time she announces, if she does, as she has said, she will have developed a definitive plan for her presidency, in terms of specific issues and initiatives. You know what a Warren primary would mean. For the hard left, it would turn into a smaller scale version of 2008. The cheaters would be cheating and the liars would be lying.

    Hell, if Warren is foolish enough to run, she and the progressives had better be prepared to BRING IT. As Shadow calls her One Drop O Blood and the Obamadims will lose this fight. Hillary supporters will not see this simply as a race against a more liberal candidate who can “shape her presidency”. We will seen it as a fight against the Obama fanatics who cheated Hillary out of the presidency, and who installed this incompetent, untested, un-President. Our fight will be against them more than it will be with Warren. We have eight years of rage fueled by the injustice of 2008, and the ensuing damage to this country perpetrated by a progressive darling who has turned out to be little more than a brand – a lot like the Kardashians. He never really did anything to merit his position. He was a contrived image, constructed to appear to be the post-racial, post-partisan, wise genius, who could lead this country and the world to a new place of peace, love, brotherhood, and equality. Yet, he was unprepared and unable to be president, and even if he had possessed the ability to do so, he was just too damn lazy and entitled to attempt to do a decent job. But, I digress. Point is, we will feel compelled not just to defeat the progressives, but to drive them into the scorched earth and teach them a much needed lesson. It will be pay-back on steroids, and Warren, as their candidate, will have to be the target.

    That said, if it’s a fight they (and you) think they need, it’s a fight they will get. And, they had better hope and pray the Obama thugs will lend a hand, because they’re damn sure going to need the help. What some refused to acknowledge is that the nomination was not legitimately Barack’s to begin with.

    Hillary does not need a challenger to shape her presidency. This isn’t a new gig for her. She won it the first damn time. She shouldn’t have to do it again.

  83. totally disgusted July 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm
    totally disgusted July 27, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you for these heart-rending letters, they’re a very good read — of one side of the story. Let me just counter with a word from the other side, or rather the “outside” as seen by HRC in an interview with Fareen Zakaria:

    ********

    Fareen Zakaria: Martin Indyk has just resigned as the kind of sherpa of the peace process. And he says that the immediate trigger, in his view – there were many – was the fact that the Palestinians looked at the Israeli continued settlement activity…
    …and said these guys are not serious, we’re never going to be able to get a state…look at what they’re doing.

    HRC: Right. This is my biggest complaint with the Israeli government. I’m a strong supporter of Israel, a strong supporter of their right to defend themselves. But the continuing settlements, which have been denounced by successive American administrations on both sides of the aisle, are clearly a terrible signal to send if, at the same time, you claim you’re looking for a two-state solution.

  84. This fourth circuit decision is strange. I cannot find any information on the judge who wrote the opinion. I could with other judges on that panel. It appears to me that all or a majority of them were black, were drawn from the civil rights establishment and were appointed by Democrats. That may explain the decision, more than any passing reference to the constitution or legislative history. Loyalty to Obama trumped loyalty to the Constitution. Michael Barone says he has sympathy for them. Not me. A judge should be impartial and should not be a rubber stamp for the Administration. Judges who cannot make that distinction abdicate their role and are a threat to democracy.

  85. Scalia claims that judges make decisions based on their judicial philosophy rather than the party that appointed them. I think that is a distinction without a difference.

  86. wbboei
    July 28, 2014 at 2:17 am

    NYT claims there is a 62% chance that Republicans will take the Senate.
    _____________________________

    But Wbboei Nancy Pee says they will keep the Senate and retake the house. 😆

  87. freespirit July 28, 2014 at 9:17 am
    … why do some persist in claiming that Hillary needs a primary challenger to “help shape her presidency”.

    Well, my take is that we’ve got them where we want them: They know they won’t win and they’re just begging for a place at the table.

    Tell me if I’m wrong, but I think your attitude is rather that the only good progressive is a dead one. I can feel that violent urge welling up again: “If it’s a fight they think they need, it’s a fight they will get.”

    Ideologically, I’m pretty much in the progressive camp and am very much in HRC’s camp — remember, she once described herself as a “modern progressive” (2007 I think). Also remember that, on the issues, HRC and Obama were never very different — the issues were not what my rage was about in 2008, nor my vote for McCain. Or Romney, for that matter.

    So, I’m not highly motivated for a fight with the progressives and I know for certain that HRC is not up for that fight either. And if HRC wins the nomination and the presidency, the progressives will have their place at the table.

    wbboei July 28, 2014 at 8:51 am

    …The progressive agenda is a Trojan Horse…. marketing, bureaucracy, and totalitarian control. Progressivism and liberty are mutually exclusive.

    This is way off the charts for me. As I just said to freespirit, I feel comfortable with the “progressive agenda” and HRC does too. I have some ridiculous ideas about what liberty is and how to secure it, but I think we agree there. But when you mutually exclude progressivism and liberty, you’re telling me I live in a world of fundamental contradiction. I don’t get it.

  88. Vowing to once again go around the mainstream media’s filter like she did with her pioneering use Twitter and Facebook after the 2008 presidential election, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin launched her own member-supported digital TV channel on Sunday evening.

    “Tired of media filters? Well, so am I. So, let’s go rogue together and launch our own member-supported channel!” she wrote. “This will be OUR channel, for you and for me, and we’ll all get to call it like it is.”

    Palin linked to her channel and a video that welcomes Americans to her “new project” that will allow her to “talk directly” to Americans on her terms.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2014/07/27/Sarah-Palin-Channel-Launches

  89. In 2012, Jbstonesfan reported on is efforts to persuade members of his family and community to open their eyes to what Obama is doing to Israel. He indicated that his efforts were not crowned with conspicuous success. A handful of other people of good will have also tried in vain to make the same case. Add to that list, the name of Roger Simon at PJ Media (not the jack ass at Politico). He thinks the current actions by Obama will have some effect on the 2014 mid term. To which I say, dream on Roger. Dream on. How ironic that the candidate of hope and change, dearly beloved by big media to this day, should turn out to be Israel’s most dangerous enemy.
    ————————
    Israel’s Most Dangerous Enemy

    By Roger Simon

    Barack Obama is apparently very angry with Bibi Netanyahu.

    We have known for some time, via hot mike and other methods, that neither he nor his secretary of State much care for the Israeli prime minister. But — perhaps exacerbated by a multiplicity of foreign and domestic policy failures, plus atrocious poll numbers, one this weekend showing Romney beating him handily were the election held today — Obama seemed more irked than usual.

    He needed someone to beat up since the world was beating him up. And the Israelis had just hugely embarrassed his secretary of State (and by extension him) by pointing out their absurd bias in favor of Hamas in ceasefire negotiations, so absurd in fact that they outraged even Israel’s most famous liberal/left politician, Tzipi Livni, who would normally do almost anything for a chance for peace. (Ironically, the details of the pro-Hamas negotiations in which Israeli security concerns — the tunnels, demilitarization, etc. — were ignored were exposed by Barak Ravid in Israel’s most liberal newspaper, Haaretz.)

    Further, they had outraged the Egyptians, who were dumped from the negotiations by Obama and Kerry in favor of Turkey and Qatar. Our administration seems to have a preference for the more extreme Islamist/Muslim Brotherhood societies, although you would think, given their professed loyalty to women’s and gay rights, these cultures would be anathema to them. Never mind. Obama is an equal opportunity narcissist and everything’s fine, unless you cross him.

    Which, according to sources in Israel, is where Netanyahu found himself when the American president called Sunday to admonish him about Gaza. Obama reportedly used or implied the threat of withholding the resupply of weapons — don’t know if this includes the Iron Dome itself — if Israel didn’t fall into line and stop attacking Gaza immediately.

    What Obama is doing, in effect, is saving Hamas. It’s almost mind boggling to think, but it’s true.

    The standard excuse is that if Hamas is obliterated, what replaces it will be even worse. Oh, really? ISIS or similar may be waiting in the wings to step in, but it’s doubtful if Israel (given its huge 87% public support for the current war) will ever let something like that happen, at least in the near future.

    That is if Israel is allowed to finish the job. Obviously, Obama is doing everything he can to make sure it’s otherwise. Part of this may stem from his deep-seeded identification with the Third World, some from a buried (agnostic’s version) sympathy for Islam and some may be merely personal or fashionably anti-Semitic (see the Khalidi Tapes… oops, sorry, they’re stuck in a vault at the LA Times), but it’s very much there. Obama may be on the rocks, but he’s quite willing to take us all — and I mean the global all — down with him

    In the final analysis, he (Obama) may be seizing on Israel-bashing as a way to distract from his failures and resurrect his reputation as a “good man.” No more callous behavior toward dead or dying veterans, no more endless lies about Obamacare, no more blindness as ISIS runs roughshod over Syria and Iraq or Libya (his supposed triumph) turns into a giant Islamist nightmare, not to mention armies of illegal immigrants streaming over our borders in numbers no one could conceivably count and with missions no one could possibly guess. No, it’s all Israel’s fault. See how the Jews over-reacted, killing all those innocent Arab children.

    In this, of course, he will have the eager compliance of the mainstream media who are loathe to show what Hamas really is and only reluctantly report the unprecedented lengths Israel goes not to harm civilians. But for those who are still undecided, this video — never shown on CBS or NBS, I can assure you — demonstrates exactly how Hamas deals with those who try to heed Israel’s alerts and save themselves (WARNING: HORRIFIC).

    That is the Hamas Barack Obama is trying to save. Morally challenged, he and Kerry are oblivious to the obvious — that only a total victory by Israel over Hamas can save the miserable lives of the Gaza Palestinians.

    Fortunately, if Obama follows through on his threats, veiled or otherwise, about restricting Israeli arms, he and his party will probably suffer mightily for it in November. Unfortunately, that is not near punishment enough.

    http://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2014/07/27/israels-most-dangerous-enemy/

  90. jeswezey
    July 28, 2014 at 10:00 am
    —————-
    Progressivism is statism. Statism substitutes the will of the people for the mandates of burecrats. The antedote I mentioned about the attorney who was told your client is not the public, it is the bureaucrat down the hall is symptomatic of the problem.The Constitution is reduced to a hollow shibboleth as we see with Obama. Progressivism is antithetical to freedom and liberty. Ultimately, it leads to a result described by Nail Ferguson as follows:

    This “great degeneration” helps explain the slowdown in growth and productivity we have witnessed in the West in the past decade. We cannot blame it solely on the financial crisis, nor on the fact that (as the economist Robert Gordon recently argued) the information technology revolution has delivered much less than its own hype led us to expect. The world is changing not just because the Rest have got better, but also because — quite independently — the West has got worse. Indeed, much of the developed world today reminds me of what Adam Smith said about China in “The Wealth of Nations”: It has reached a “stationary” state in which growth is near zero and prosperity is enjoyed only by a corrupt bureaucratic elite

  91. And the most important paragraph thereof:

    The third driver of change — nearly always overlooked by political scientists — is the tendency of even the best systems to degenerate as rent-seeking special interests grow on the body politic like barnacles on a ship’s hull, and civic virtue yields to human frailty. Westerners are justly proud of their various democratic systems, and Americans in particular regard their Constitution as the world’s best. Yet every comparative study of institutional quality — from the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index to the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators — tells the same depressing story. In many Western countries there has been a perceptible decline in the rule of law. Among the worst cases are South European “cradles of democracy,” Greece and Italy, which receive shockingly bad scores from the World Economic Forum. In the United States, meanwhile, the World Bank reports marked declines since 2000 in the control of corruption, regulatory quality, accountability and government effectiveness

  92. “Americans are FATIGUED by this president”–MSNBC superstar Chuck Todd (aka Ratboy)

    Not quite. Americans are not fatigued. Their reaction is always fresh and it coincides with every new attack he makes on the Constitution, every element of American Power he cedes to our enemies, every fundraiser he takes in lieu of governing. The only group that is fatigued by this president is big media, because even they realize that their lies are getting old and repetitive, and laughable. They are his press secretary and that has become a brown helmet job, where nobody believes them. Their lies have caught up with them. That is the source of their fatigue.

  93. wbboei July 28, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Progressivism is statism.

    **********

    Sounds like you’re amalgamating progressivism with Stalinism. So be it. I think my 4000 miles from home is showing again.

    It is often said in Europe that the United States is the only country in the world that went from barbarianism to decadence without passing through the intermediate stage of civilization, and all you’re saying in the above post and 10:48 am seems to indicate that the saying is true: you’re describing a decadent system with no hope to get a grip on itself.

    The tipping point with Hitler was when he dumped Hindenberg and became a combination Chancellor and President. That’s what the American presidency is — a president and prime minister rolled into one. Every 4 years, we elect our dictator. HRC is aware of this and has mentioned it a number of times. In the meantime, no one has burned down the Congress because they don’t have to: The Congress is deadlocked and useless. So, everything depends on the President. This is not entirely Obama’s fault, though, as dictator, he should call regular meetings with congressional leaders just to make a show of good will.

    This has nothing to do with progressive or conservative ideologies. The dictatorship + deadlock is inbred in the system and will continue until a president, perhaps the next one, gets a majority in both houses. Then we will have a one-party system, such as in Nazi Germany, the eastern bloc countries, the dictatorships we installed all over the world during the Cold War, and in the US itself between 2001 and 2006 and in 2009-10.

  94. Tell me if I’m wrong, but I think your attitude is rather that the only good progressive is a dead one. I can feel that violent urge welling up again: “If it’s a fight they think they need, it’s a fight they will get.”

    ______________

    I’m sorry if I gave you the impression that it ever went away.

  95. Correct Wbboei. However, I doubt the Jewish vote will change much as they are liberal first and Jews way down the list. As for Hillary, love her, but misguided interview with CNN/Pal lover Zakaria. Does anyone remember Israel left Gazza 9 years ago and this is their reward!!! This has never been about occupation, it is as we have seen throughout the world anti-Semetism at it’s best. The Euros just waited 50 years out of embarrassment for the Shoar, but Obama has given them and others the go ahead to use supposedly anti-Israeli policies to start new pogroms against the Jews. It is happening right here in the USA as well in Chicago,LA, NY, and Fl.

  96. The administration raising the issue of impeachment on its own motion reminds me of Napoleon’s statement:

    “Never interrupt an enemy in the middle of a mistake”.

    By raising that issue, he legitimizes it.

    If he grants amnesty during the congressional recess, as appears to be his intent, then its Katie bar the doors.

    He may think it is clever. If so, then it is too clever by the halves.

    The commencement of impeachment proceedings will delegitimize what he hopes to do by executive order.

  97. “I doubt the Jewish vote will change much as they are liberal first and Jews way down the list.”
    ******
    I really don’t get it. Islam is the antithesis of liberalism and especially for Jews to support people who want a Judenfrei Middle East is insane. Reminds me of being in college in the 60s and the Hillel Society invited an “activist”, either H. Rap Brown or Stokely Carmichael to give a talk. The “talk” was an hour and a half antisemitic rant. The next day, a lot of Jews on campus were pissed off but a larger number were trying to rationalize and support what was said and this was less than 20 years after full exposure of the German death camps. That behavior was insane then, more insane now.

  98. No country or entity of any kind can accurately claim that its every intention, communication, and/or action is without mistake. Neither the Israelis nor the Arab states can claim perfection. But, in terms of which population would wish, intend, attempt, and indeed, perpetrate harm on America and Americans, it would not be Israel.

    This article from The Washington Institute looks at the benefits of their alliance to both Israel and the US.

    Friends with Benefits: Why the U.S.-Israeli Alliance Is Good for America

    Michael Eisenstadt and David Pollock

    Foreign Affairs
    November 7, 2012

    The bilateral relationship is based on tangible, steadily increasing security and economic interests, not just shared values.
    At the final presidential debate of the 2012 campaign season, President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney mentioned Israel some 30 times, more than any other country except Iran. Both candidates called the Jewish state “a true friend,” pledging to stand with it through thick and thin. Some political commentators criticized these effusive declarations of support as pandering, suggesting that the candidates were simply going after Jewish and pro-Israel votes.
    But if support for Israel is indeed such a political winner, then it’s at least in part because the voters know best. The U.S.-Israeli alliance now contributes more than ever to American security, as bilateral cooperation to deal with both military and nonmilitary challenges has grown in recent years. The relationship may not be symmetrical; the United States has provided Israel with indispensable diplomatic, economic, and military support totaling more than $115 billion since 1949. But it is a two-way partnership whose benefits to the United States have been substantial. The other, less tangible costs of the U.S.-Israeli alliance — mainly, damage to Washington’s reputation in Arab and Muslim countries, a problem also caused by American interventions and decades of U.S. support for autocratic leaders in the Middle East — pale in comparison with the economic, military, and political gains it affords Washington.

    (snip)

    http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/friends-with-benefits-why-the-u.s.-israeli-alliance-is-good-for-america

  99. It is often said in Europe that the United States is the only country in the world that went from barbarianism to decadence without passing through the intermediate stage of civilization, and all you’re saying in the above post and 10:48 am seems to indicate that the saying is true: you’re describing a decadent system with no hope to get a grip on itself.
    —————
    Actually, there was a generation long era of high civilizaton for America from the end of World War II to the Kennedy assassination. In manifested itself in literature, science, broadcasting, and the arts. It was a period when we could discuss our differences, and resolve them equitably. I remember having dinner at the Yale Club around 1981 with a senior partner in the top labor law firm in New York, whose founding partner, Joseph Proscauer, was FDR’s trusted counsel. A life long democrat he called that brief interlude between barbarianism and decadence as America’s golden age. That was somewhat ironic, because across town the arch nemesis of all that is good, Pelosi’s friend, Ted Kennedy’s executor was ensconced in a room with bankers and lawyers, picking clean the remains of the old order, as the City of New York braced itself for an impending bankruptcy. Felix Rohatten was the man’s name and he was singularly responsible for delivering the democrat party into the hands of Wall Street, based on the argument that we have to get in bed with them, so we can compete with the Republicans.

  100. jeswezey

    July 28, 2014 at 11:19 am
    ————

    Fighting parasitic bureaucracies and crony capitalism

    By Michael Barone | July 27, 2014 | 6:00 pm

    Topics: Paul Ryan Republican Party Tea Party Entitlements Budgets and Deficits Conservatism

    British historian H. R. Trevor-Roper was the author of “The General Crisis of the Seventeenth…

    “Pare down the parasitic fringe” of government. “Favor a gospel of work” instead of aristocratic entitlement. “Rationalize finance” and “reverse the Parkinson’s law of bureaucracy.”

    All that sounds like rhetoric from the Tea Party or reform conservatives who assail what they call crony capitalism.


    Reform conservatives and Tea Partiers are moving…on the path toward clearing away impediments to growth.

    Sign Up for the Michael Barone newsletter!

    But it’s not a contemporary criticism. Those are phrases from a long essay, written more than half a century ago, by the British historian H. R. Trevor-Roper, entitled “The General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century.”

    In his plummy prose, Trevor-Roper sought to explain why revolutions or revolts of varying sorts broke out in the British Isles, France, Spain, Italy and Germany in the years between 1640 and 1660.

    He was especially eager to refute Marxist historians’ claims that these were the necessary predicate to what their master proclaimed would be the inevitable and beneficent communist revolutions that unaccountably had not yet occurred.

    Trevor-Roper argues that the growing nation-states of the 1500s, engorged with New World silver and inflationary currencies, built up large bureaucracies that stifled trade and manufactures. The Counter-Reformation Catholic Church had a similar effect.

    These bureaucracies were particularly expensive because rulers gave their favorites “the right to exploit their fellow subjects,” with monopolies in particular commodities and grants of land they could profitably dispose of. Crony capitalism was squeezing out a potentially productive private sector.

    It’s not hard to see some resemblance to America today. The federal bureaucracy head count is not significantly larger than it was 50 years ago. But the federal impact is much greater, through entitlement programs, subcontracted welfare provisions and regulation that favors entrenched interests.

    Thus the Dodd-Frank Act gives favored financial institutions too-big-to-fail status that enables them to muscle aside potential competitors. The Export-Import Bank provides special favors to a few giant corporations. But there are few loans to start-up businesses.

    Government subsidization of health care, even before Obamacare, and of higher education creates huge dysfunctional bureaucracies that vacuum up supposed benefits to patients and students.

    Agricultural subsidies and price-fixing, “green energy” programs, laws like the Jones Act and Davis-Bacon that restrict work to unionized firms — all siphon off money and resources from the productive private sector to politically well-positioned special interests.

    Trevor-Roper points out that princely states and the Counter-Reformation Church proliferated “hatcheries which turned out the superfluous bureaucrats,” as many colleges and universities do today.

    State and local governments, often the captives of public sector unions, pay higher-than-private-sector wages to bureaucrats and teachers and make pension promises that will burden the productive economy for generations.

    Seventeenth century European reformers had another model in mind, the prosperous Renaissance city-states of Italy and Flanders, many of which were squeezed out of business by nation-states.

    After 1660 the nation-states that pared back bureaucracies and allowed room for such trading cities to operate — England, Holland and, for a while, France — flourished, while Spain, Italy and Germany mostly languished.

    Americans today, thanks to our federal system, have models available too. Texas, with its low taxes and sensibly light regulation, has a booming multi-sector economy with high job creation. Fracking technology, on private lands not owned by the government, has increased oil and gas production far above levels government agencies and big corporations predicted.

    Some conservatives nostalgic for the Reagan revolution insist that the key to sparking private sector growth is cutting high tax rates. But rates aren’t so high today, and crony capitalism, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis, has metastasized far beyond 1980s levels.

    Today the reform conservatives and Tea Partiers are moving, hesitantly and unevenly, on the path toward clearing away impediments to growth and paring down what Trevor-Roper calls “the monstrous parasite.”

    The bipartisan coalition that has supported farm bills has broken down. Proposals to raise the gas tax to fund transportation are going nowhere. House Republican leaders are talking seriously about refusing to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.

    Reform conservatives have called for measures to help struggling Americans without political connections work their way up. And last week, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a 73-page antipoverty agenda going beyond his previous tax cut and entitlement reform proposals.

    Such proposals are emerging without any institutional economically motivated base. It’s starting to look something like what Trevor-Roper saw in the seventeenth century: an “indeterminate, unpolitical, but highly sensitive miscellany of men” mutinying “against the vast, oppressive, ever-extending apparatus of parasitic bureaucracy.”

  101. SHV

    July 28, 2014 at 12:55 pm
    ————-
    I think it is political correctness run riot, and not wishing to be thought of as intolerant which leads them to this sort of passivity. The left is fond of using the metaphor of Nazi for anyone who stands up to them, and that charge cuts very deep with Jews, for historical reasons. They have the same attitude as other elites–unable to put themselves on the front line. Misunderstanding the motives and morality of those who do. They are highly critical of anti Semitism emanating from the right, but blind to it when it comes from the left, cleverly disguised to look like social justice, a subject near and dear to their hearts.

  102. wbboei July 28, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Fighting parasitic bureaucracies and crony capitalism
    By Michael Barone

    ************

    Very interesting. Marx couldn’t have said it better….

  103. jbstonesfan July 28, 2014 at 11:58 am
    As for Hillary… misguided interview with CNN/Pal lover Zakaria.

    ************

    Sorry, but that’s one thing you have to learn about HRC: She has said repeatedly that “you don’t make peace with your friends.” That is, you have to engage with your adversaries.

  104. Appropos of my earlier comments:

    The Democrats Have Abandoned Populism

    By: Leon H. Wolf (Diary) | July 28th, 2014 at 09:57 AM | 2

    Salon justifiably takes a lot of flack around these parts for the many insane things they print, but this this piece by Bill Curry is worth a read as a damning indictment of the Democrats’ wholesale abandonment of populism in favor big business corporate donations. Some of Curry’s piece is rank with revisionist history that should be expected from a lifetime partisan Democrat but it is nonetheless interesting that Curry, at least, perceives that there’s only party that’s even engaging in a serious discussion amongst itself about the evils of crony capitalism, and it isn’t the Democrats:

    In any case, Democrats are late to the populist dance. Mass protests of corrupt oligarchies have roiled global politics for a decade. In America the Tea Party has been crying crony capitalism since the Bush bailout and Obama stimulus. Income inequality’s so bad Mitt Romney wants to raise the minimum wage.

    Even the Democrats’ tardy me-too-ism seems insincere, less a churning of policy than a freshening of message. . .

    Meanwhile the populist revolt on the right persists. In 2010 the Tea Party declared open season on GOP incumbents. It has since bagged quite a few. But Republicans don’t just fight over offices, they fight over ideas. It’s hard to track all the players in their endless policy scrum: Heritage, American Enterprise, Focus on the Family, Club for Growth, etc. Rand Paul pilfers Democratic issues like a fox stealing chickens while dynasty star Jeb Bush grapples with such timeless questions as whether there can be such a thing as a conservative social program.

    Democrats aren’t even having a debate. Their one think tank, the Center for American Progress, serves their establishment. (Its founder, John Podesta, once Clinton’s chief of staff, is now counselor to Obama.) The last real primary challenge to a Democratic senator was in 2006when Ned Lamont took on Connecticut’s Joe Lieberman. They say the GOP picks presidents based on seniority. Two years out, Republicans seem headed for a bloody knife fight while Hillary Clinton may be headed for the most decorous, seniority-based succession in either party’s history. (If she loses this time it will be to herself.)

    It is no coincidence that in terms of fundraising, Democrats are now the party of Wall Street fat cats, CEOs, and the 1% of the 1% (as noted today in Bloomberg in connection with Nancy Pelosi’s virtually bottomless well of rich people to ask for donations for Democrats).

    See, conservatives have always stood for level playing field for business and generally a less onerous regulatory environment in which entrepreneurship might grow. Private business is and always has been the engine of the American economy. But somewhere along the line, many businesses – especially the largest ones – came to demand not just a level playing field and fair regulatory environment but rather an active place at the government feeding trough.

    At that moment, when corporations lined up for money from TARP, then the Obama bailouts, then Stimulus pork, conservatives revolted against these policies and the politicians (including Republicans) who supported them. As offensive and ineffective as the Democrats’ welfare-for-individuals policies were, these welfare-for-enormous companies policies were even worse.

    But the Democrats, while talking a big game about “income inequality” have done absolutely nothing to bring meaningful populist change that the country is clamoring for. Nor, as Curry notes, is anything likely to change soon on that front:

    If Democrats had caught populist fever they’d be reappraising their own orthodoxy and offing a few of their own incumbents. Owing only partly to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, they instead spend their days as Republicans do, in an endless search for new ways to help the rich pump money into politics. As public alienation deepens, polls show Democrats generally content with their party’s leaders. Of such stuff revolutions are not made.

    Make no mistake – the professional Democrat base enjoys being in power more than they actually do effecting change. No one – liberal or conservative – who hopes for sincere populist change in America should look to the Democrats for answers. Whether the Republicans offer a meaningful alternative is yet to be seen.

    http://www.redstate.com/2014/07/28/democrats-abandoned-populism/

  105. So, the House passes a bill to deal with the border crisis, and address the statutory problem that produced it, while the Senate fails to pass a bill on the subject and goes on vacation, and Obama, who despite the efforts of big media to protect him, has 68% of the public saying they disapprove of his handling of the border crisis, is poised to do what? To give blanket amnesty to the invaders, and make our taxpayers the guarantors of the third world. How can this not kill the Democrat party? And with the employer mandate set to kick in, how can that not kill the Democrat Party. Is it possible that the blacks who supported Obama to the tune of 90% are slowly realizing that he is their worst enemies. Of all the demographics who will be hurt by his plan to grant amnesty and work permits, they will be hardest hit. Also, they might even realize that the party in general and Obama in particular will gladly throw them under the bus in order to attract the Hispanics, who have now become the largest minority and will compete with them for jobs and benefits, much like the Italians did to the Irish a generation ago. No. They will not figure it out. And more is the pity for that. At least the Republican base has figured out their leadership is no good. It will be a slow business for the democrat base to wake up if they ever do.

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