Weekly Musing 11-17-13
It doesn’t matter how bad the law is (Obamacare), or how badly the Democrats screwed things up…NO President can or should be able to rule by fiat, change the laws or create rules and regulations without legislative authority.
Obamacare needs a fix…at least until we elect enough Republicans to overturn this horrible public policy and entitlement we can’t afford. Hence, there is a legislative process that should be followed. We have a separation of powers for a reason. I say the House should sue the President and let the courts reaffirm the limits of unilateral presidential powers.
The Constitution was actually written to protect “we the people” from a President like Obama.
Obama’s Fallout for the Left
He will not be harmed by his “misspeaking,” but his fellow liberals will.
Obama has left other dilemmas for liberals. He was the largest recipient of Goldman Sachs and BP money in history. His financial team — notably Peter Orszag, who left the administration for Citigroup, and Jack Lew, who came to the administration from Citigroup — are proverbial revolving-door Wall Street fat cats who, in the parlance of Occupy Wall Street and Elizabeth Warren, did not really build their own wealth. It will be hard to take seriously any future liberal critique of a Republican cozying up to Wall Street.
In other areas, hypocrisy gives way to incoherence. Obama seems to oppose fracking and horizontal drilling on public lands, but he cites private development as proof that his administration has done more to promote U.S. fossil-fuel production than any other in history. In terms of the deficit, forced sequestration is damned as reckless and yet becomes the basis for bragging about reductions in the deficit.
The middle class? In terms of disposable income, jobs, and per capita net worth, the two Obama terms are becoming a disaster — though not for the 1 percent and for Wall Streeters generally, who are the beneficiaries of an acceleration in income inequality. Ditto the tragedy of minority employment; under Obama it has nosedived. Obama can, of course, talk of working for the middle class, but his fiscal, energy, and regulation policies are emasculating it.
Barack Obama will survive his debacles in Benghazi and Syria, and his alphabet-soup IRS, AP, NSA, and ACA scandals. But the credibility of his supporters and of the media, which sacrificed principle for Obama’s own expediency, will not.
For 2014, G.O.P.’s Challenges Stem From Within
Representatives Justin Amash and Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan and Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee — all Tea Party lawmakers in good standing — are threatened by potential challengers backed by business groups and their more traditional Republican allies. Those challenges are not so much from the party’s left but more from a new breed of candidates hoping to “professionalize” a House Republican caucus whose image has been battered by the turmoil in Washington.
Even the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Representative Greg Walden of Oregon, has drawn a credible challenger from the party’s right, Dennis Linthicum, the chairman of the Klamath County Board of Commissioners.
Wide-Open Race in 2016 Offers Ocean of Possibilities
I frame a more likely Republican field by sorting the potential candidates into three buckets or categories. First, 2012 nomination retreads: Rick Santorum and Rick Perry are the most likely two, and possibly, but not likely, Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney’s 2012 vice-presidential running mate. Next come the newly elected tea-party Senate freshmen, Cruz, Paul, and Rubio, although the Floridian may have hurt his chances enormously by coming out for immigration reform and effectively taking one for the team. Rubio might ultimately get vindicated, but probably not by 2016. Then come the governors: Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, Ohio’s John Kasich, Indiana’s Mike Pence, and Wisconsin’s Scott Walker.
With the stated disclaimer that presidential-nomination speculation has an accuracy rate of only about 5 percent (plus or minus 5 percent), my money at this point is on Rand Paul from the senators bracket and Scott Walker for the governors. I’m not sure the retread bracket is connected into the finals.
Which of the 11 American nations do you live in?
Red states and blue states? Flyover country and the coasts? How simplistic. Colin Woodard, a reporter at the Portland Press Herald and author of several books, says North America can be broken neatly into 11 separate nation-states, where dominant cultures explain our voting behaviors and attitudes toward everything from social issues to the role of government.
“The borders of my eleven American nations are reflected in many different types of maps — including maps showing the distribution of linguistic dialects, the spread of cultural artifacts, the prevalence of different religious denominations, and the county-by-county breakdown of voting in virtually every hotly contested presidential race in our history,” Woodard writes in the Fall 2013 issue of Tufts University’s alumni magazine. “Our continent’s famed mobility has been reinforcing, not dissolving, regional differences, as people increasingly sort themselves into like-minded communities.”
Take a look at his map:
Christie’s win is not about the march of the moderates.
The Republican governor is more conservative than his admirers care to imagine.
Chris Christie, New Jersey’s Republican governor, is fat, eloquent, irascible and charismatic. Following his re-election this week, much of the US press is anointing him the 2016 Republican presidential nominee.
They have a case. He wants the nomination. He has been building a nationwide fundraising network for months. His performance in the last campaign was magisterial. Not since Ronald Reagan’s time has a Republican won a statewide majority in New Jersey; Mr Christie took 60 per cent, burying the hatchet with voter groups the Republicans thought they had lost and winning 48 per cent of Latinos. Mr Christie has picked fights with the Republican party’s Tea Party wing, one of whose backers, Ken Cuccinelli, gubernatorial candidate for Virginia, was defeated on Tuesday. Moderation is the way forward for the party, consensus has it, and Mr Christie is moderation’s most convincing representative. But this may be the wrong perspective.
Conservative Republicans Recoil at the Notion That Christie Is the Party’s Savior
To many in the conservative movement, Mr. Christie represents the kind of candidate the Republican establishment has foisted on the base in recent presidential elections — a media darling whose calling card is that elusive quality of electability and whose adherence to the party’s principles is suspect.
The more the news media and the establishment cheer on Mr. Christie, the more grass-roots activists — especially members of the Tea Party — resent it. Mr. Christie appeared this weekend on four of the Sunday morning talk shows. Chuck Henderson, a Tea Party activist from Manhattan, Kan., nearly shouted into the phone when asked by a reporter about the idea of Mr. Christie as a presidential candidate.
“He won his re-election, bully for him, but for him to make the jump up the next rung of the ladder, well, he’s not going to find any support from the people I mix with,” Mr. Henderson said.
Ten Lessons of ObamaCare
President Obama is still trying to downplay the launch failure of ObamaCare as if it were just a few glitches on a website.
No, it’s much more than that. It is a timeless demonstration of the failure of central planning, government regulations, and the entitlement state. It is a failure so total, so comprehensive, and so multifaceted that it will be studied by schoolchildren 50 years from now when their teachers explain to them why the giant welfare and regulatory state built up in the second half of the 20th century collapsed in the first half of the 21st.
No worries! Obama golfs 150th round as superstorm devastates Philippines, Iran deal enrages
President Obama’s approval ratings may be stuck in a sand trap, but that has not deterred him from sticking to his weekly round of golf.
After teeing off Saturday at the private course in Florida where the movie “Caddyshack” was filmed, Mr. Obama hit the milestone number of 150 golf rounds in less than five years in the White House.
The Secret Service loaded Mr. Obama’s golf bag emblazoned with the presidential seal into the motorcade Saturday morning to head to the private Grande Oaks Golf Club in Davie. Sporting a blue polo shirt, tan slacks and a cap, Mr. Obama spent five hours on the private course with former NBA star Alonzo Mourning, friend Cyrus Walker and former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
Mr. Obama wasn’t much of a golfer before he ran for president. His regularity on the greens started April 26, 2009. He played 27 times that first year in office, including seven rounds during his vacations on Martha’s Vineyard and Hawaii.
Right now, our Republican Party is torn between two unacceptable options:
We can keep talking about our principles the way we have… and keep losing elections.
Or we can compromise our principles the way some suggest… and keep losing elections.
There is a better way.
As GOP Chairman Reince Preibus said in his recent speech to the RNC:
“We can stand by our timeless principles—and articulate them in ways that are modern…relevant to our time and relatable to the majority of voters. That, I believe, is how we’ll achieve a Republican renewal. That’s how we’ll grow. That’s how we’ll win.”
We can stand up for bottom-up, natural economic growth; not old, top-down, political and artificial stimulus, directed by Washington.
We can stand up for equal opportunity in education, giving every parent the right to choose the best school for their child.
We can stand up for an open energy economy that puts energy choices in your hands, not the hands of politicians.
We can stand up for an open health care system that returns control of your care to you and your doctor; not a closed, limited, factory-like health care system that gives Washington the power to ration and determine your care.
We can stand up for a bottom-up immigration system that let’s states decide what kind of bright minds and hard workers they need; not a top down system where states are told what to do by Washington.
We can stand up for individuals not big business, big government and special interests. We can stand up for a better life for all Americans, no matter where they come from, what their last name is, or their skin color.
We can stand up for freedom nationally and values locally… and trust the American people to out-work, out-think, and out-dream anybody in the world.
There is a New Global Economic Frontier out there, a new era of unimaginable success, progress and prosperity. It’s waiting for us, just over the horizon. It’s time for all Americans to go there.
If you are tired of the old, slow, dumb, top-down Washington way of doing things… you are thinking like a Republican. A New Republican.
Thoreum: This Radioactive Element Could Power the Planet
Thorium is one of the most dense materials on the planet. A small sample of it packs 20 million times more energy than a similarly-sized sample of coal, making it an ideal energy source.
“We’re building this to power the rest of the world,” Stevens said. He believes a thorium turbine about the size of an air conditioning unit could more provide cheap power for whole restaurants, hotels, office buildings, even small towns in areas of the world without electricity. At some point, thorium could power individual homes.
Stevens understands that people may be wary of Thorium because it is radioactive — but any such worry would be unfounded.
“The radiation that we develop off of one of these things can be shielded by a single sheet off of aluminum foil,” Stevens said.” “You will get more radiation from one of those dental X-rays than this.”
World’s Smallest Political Quiz
Lots of fun…and intellectually challenging!?!
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