Reuters reports that the Islamic State claims that it has beheaded American Peter Kassig. The terrorist group has published a video that does not show the act itself, but shows a man’s head. On the 15-minute video, a British-accented terrorist says that Kassig has been killed and will be buried in Dabiq, Syria.
“This is Peter Edward Kassig, a U.S. citizen,” the terrorist says in the video while standing over the severed head. “Here we are burying the first American crusader in Dabiq. Eagerly waiting for the remainder of your armies to arrive.”
Kassig was a former Army Ranger and veteran of the war in Iraq. The 26-year-old from Indiana went to Syria as a medic and treated people who had been wounded in Syria’s civil war. He was reportedly captured by ISIS on October 1, 2013. Kassig is the third American beheaded by ISIS, following James Foley and Steven Sotloff. ISIS has also beheaded two British men, David Haines and Alan Henning.
Kassig reportedly converted to Islam while in captivity, and had adopted the name Abdul Rahman Kassig.
The video, which has not been authenticated by U.S. intelligence yet, also shows several beheadings of Syrians captured by ISIS. Those killings are carried out in mass-killing style and shown in the video.
The video included a direct ISIS threat to kill Americans in the United States:
“To Obama, the dog of Rome, today we are slaughtering the soldiers of Bashar and tomorrow we will be slaughtering your soldiers,” the terrorist says in the video.
“And with Allah’s permission … the Islamic State will soon … begin to slaughter your people in your streets.”
Earlier today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) gave a few remarks on President Obama’s amnesty threat.
Boehner said that “all options are on the table” to stop the president from granting a form of amnesty to millions of illegal aliens who are currently in the country.
Pressed on whether a government shutdown could be one of those options, Boehner said “Our goal is to stop the president, not shut down the government,” but did not rule out a possible shutdown.
Pressed further, Boehner warned that if Obama insists on granting amnesty by executive order, he will not get certain things that he wants.
The media are going to frame any and every action taken by the Republicans as either being a shutdown or threatening to become a shutdown. Lying for Obama is an old habit to the media by now. In this case, Obama’s stubbornness is what would have led to any shutdown. The media won’t note that.
The bottom line is that after the election, Obama is intentionally picking fights with Congress and probing to see how much he can get away with. If he breaks the Constitution, not only will Obama not mind, he will welcome that.
In 2012, a couple of years after Obamacare’s passage and as President Obama is running for re-election, PBS aired a Frontline documentary on the healthcare law.
It was called The Choice, and it featured an extensive interview with Jonathan Gruber.
The interview details Gruber’s interactions with Gov. Mitt Romney in Massachusetts before and during the passage of that state’s healthcare reform law, and Gruber’s meetings and interactions with President Obama later on.
According to Gruber, he first met Obama in 2006. The future president was still a senator, and asked Gruber to come to his office to give him a briefing on the Massachusetts reform. Obama called Gruber in because at that point it was common knowledge that Gruber had been the architect of Romney’s law. Obama wanted to hear from him about how a national healthcare law might work.
Gruber next meets Obama after he has become president.
The next time I see him is summer 2009. The big issue there is that he really wants to make sure I’m moving forward on cost control. I think that at this point he sort of knew we had a good plan on coverage, but he was worried on cost control. So we had a meeting in the Oval Office with several experts, including myself, on what can we do to get credible savings on cost control that the Congressional Budget Office would recognize and score as savings in this law.
And that was a meeting — it was very exciting, once again, because the economists in the room all said the number one thing you need to do is you need to take on the tax subsidy to employer-sponsored insurance. We need one minute of background on this. The way employer-sponsored insurance works is, if you get paid in wages, you get taxed. If you get paid in health insurance, you do not. …
So this tax subsidy economists have been railing against for decades, it’s super-expensive. We forego about $250 billion per year in tax revenues. It’s regressive — the richer you are, the bigger tax break you get. And it’s inefficient because it causes people to buy excessive health insurance. So everyone in the room said, “You want something that is real cost control that we know it will work, go after this.”
Now, the problem is, it’s a political nightmare, … and people say, “No, you can’t tax my benefits.” So what we did a lot in that room was talk about, well, how could we make this work? And Obama was like, “Well, you know” — I mean, he is really a realistic guy. He is like, “Look, I can’t just do this.” He said: “It is just not going to happen politically. The bill will not pass. How do we manage to get there through phases and other things?” And we talked about it. And he was just very interested in that topic.
Once again, that ultimately became the genesis of what is called the Cadillac tax in the health care bill, which I think is one of the most important and bravest parts of the health care law and doesn’t get nearly enough credit. I mean, this is the first time after years and years of urging — and the entire health policy, there was not one single health expert in America who is setting up a system from scratch, would have this employer subsidy in place. Not one.
So after years and years of us wanting to get rid of this, to finally go after it was just such a huge victory for health policy. And I’m just incredibly proud that he and the others who supported this law were willing to do it. …
Watch video of that segment of the interview on the next page.
Now that Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber’s “stupid American people” comments are causing a firestorm, Democrats are rushing to minimize his role and even claim that they don’t know who he is.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats’ leader in the House, tried that already and has already been busted on it.
In 2009 and 2010, Democrats clearly knew who Gruber was. The Obama administration had contracted the MIT professor as a “technical adviser” on the law that came to be known as Obamacare, to the tune of about $400,000.
While the bill was being built and negotiated among the Democrats who would eventually pass it, Democrats praised Gruber specifically for his work, from the well of the Senate.
On December 1, 2009, Sen. Harry Reid, the Democrats’ leader in the Senate, used a speech on the bill to praise Gruber by name. Watch.
Reid said: “The Congressional Budget Office said yesterday the majority of American families who buy insurance in the new marketplace we will create — what we call health insurance exchanges — will see their premiums go down. They will go down by as much as 60 percent. Out of 100 percent of the American people, 93 percent will have a drop in their insurance premiums with this legislation — 93 percent.
CBO’s experts aren’t the first to recognize these benefits. Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Jonathan Gruber, who is one of the most respected economists in the world, said in today’s Washington Post: ‘Here’s a bill that reduces the deficit, covers 30 million people and has the promise of lowering premiums in the long run.’ Pretty good statement.” (Bold added.)
Montana Sen. Max Baucus (D) sponsored Obamacare. Eight days after Reid made his comments praising Gruber, Baucus followed suit and praised Gruber by name. Watch.
Baucus said: “In addition to the Congressional Budget Office, I might say that — that the — that MIT’s John Gruber has also done a study on our premiums and what does he conclude — he concludes, using Congressional Budget Office data, that the Senate bill could mean that people purchasing individual insurance would save every year $200 for single coverage and $500 for family coverage in 2009.” (Bold added.)
Gruber has admitted to misleading the American people, calling them “stupid,” in order to get Obamacare passed.
Baucus has since retired from the Senate and has been replaced by a Republican. Reid lost his post as the Senate Majority Leader in last week’s mid-term elections.
Just a few minutes ago, President Obama’s official Twitter feed threw out a fundraising pitch.
If you chip in right now, another supporter will match your donation—meaning you'll make double the impact: http://t.co/DTOs3isAZE
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 13, 2014
If you follow the link, it goes to a full blown fundraiser landing page.
And it’s weird and creepy. Also, scientifically incorrect.
What are they raising money for? And who in their right mind would donate now? We’re just past one election and with no more elections for two years.
Additionally, Barack Obama is constitutionally barred from ever running for president again.
So what’s up with this?
Mashable reports on a strange form of protest that happened today in Sydney, Australia.
A few hundred liberals gathered on a beach, arranged themselves in a circle, and buried their heads in sand for two minutes.
I’m not lying. Take a look. Click on the image to enlarge it.
This scene requires some detailed looks.
I don’t even want to know why the person below has their pants down around their knees.
These same liberals probably think the beheaders of ISIS aren’t an actual threat. Dipping heads in sand won’t change that or their minds.
The purpose of the protest is supposedly to “raise awareness” that Australian PM Tony Abbott isn’t totally on board with the warmists’ agenda. He has his “head in the sand,” get it?
But all it really does is point out the posture that liberals want everyone else to assume — on our knees, butts in the air, unable to defend ourselves from the predations of criminals and big and unaccountable government. Which are often, one and the same.
Jay Root has posted an entertaining take on the disaster that was the Wendy Davis campaign for Texas governor.
The gist is that Davis’ longtime advisers warned her not to behave like an out-of-touch coastal liberal if she wants to win in Texas.
Davis instead turned to the likes of Zac Petkanas from the Harry Reid operation in Nevada. Petkansas proceeded to operate is if he was working in a state where acting like a bully while trashing the state’s majority is the surest road to victory. Predictably, he failed and is now regarded as a childish clown by an entire state.
Petkanas doesn’t figure in Root’s story, as it focuses on Davis and how she ignored her advisers and ended up taking Texas Democrats backward.
Back to Jay Root’s story:
“The campaign is in disarray and is in danger of being embarrassed,” Cari and Dougherty wrote in a lengthy memorandum on Jan. 6. “The level of dysfunction was understandable in July and August, when we had no infrastructure in place — but it doesn’t seem to be getting better.”
Addressed to then-Campaign Manager Karin Johanson, the memo warned that the Davis campaign had “lurched to the left,” was failing to communicate a positive message and offered virtually nothing to the swing voters the senator would need to win statewide.
“There is not a model where a candidate who appears this liberal and culturally out of touch gets elected statewide anywhere in the south — much less in Texas — without some inoculation,” the consultants said.
The authors of that memo own Prism Communications, which had been Davis’ consultants during her runs for state Senate. They had guided the Democrat to victory in a Republican-leaning district, and they saw the dysfunction and tone-deafness in the Davis statewide campaign way back in January.
Davis fired them.
Now Davis’ former advisers are leaking to the media, mainly to protect themselves and their future earning potential. “This disaster wan’t our fault!” is their obvious message.
As for Davis…well, MSNBC is bound to call any time. Her running mate, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, has abandoned her statewide ambitions and is angling for a city post in San Antonio. Texas Democrats are in full retreat.
But there is one thing that we can be sure the Texas Democrats will not do, and that’s moderate their positions to appeal to this conservative-libertarian state. That lesson remains stubbornly unlearned.
Watching that campaign from the outside, it was always obvious that Wendy Davis was a very poor choice for nominee and that her campaign was doomed. She lacks experience, and she is way out on the left on the issues. She was a media creation in a state that disdains the mainstream media and the culture from which it springs. She kept running out of state to raise money, and just never seemed like she had a clue about how Texans who are not trust fund babies or trial lawyers really think.
It’s fitting that Wendy Davis has left her party in total disarray. Thankfully, the voters limited her damage just to the Democratic Party. Just think what she might have done to Texas if we had elected her governor.
This is delicious.
The Democrats just got clobbered in the mid-terms and are now for all intents and purposes a regional party that is confined to the coasts and urban areas.
They need to find a way to improve their policy and messaging so that they might, at some point, become competitive in some states and at least relevant in others.
So what do they do? They lurch to the left again.
WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) gained a leadership position in the Senate Democratic caucus Thursday, giving the prominent progressive senator a key role in shaping the party’s policy priorities.
Warren’s new role, which was created specifically for her, will be a strategic policy adviser to the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, helping to craft the party’s policy positions and priorities. She will also serve as a liaison to progressive groups to ensure they have a voice in leadership meetings and discussions, according to a source familiar with the role.
A source close to Warren told The Huffington Post that the senator was interested in the position because she wanted to have a seat at the table in the leadership meetings in order to influence the agenda.
Warren is a freshman senator with no accomplishments to her name, and no appeal outside the deep blue regions that the Democrats already dominate. She and her ideas won’t play in purple regions, let alone red ones. She’s a far left academic with no charisma.
The new job itself — “strategic policy adviser” — is just one of those window-dressing things that organizations sometimes do for appearances. She’ll sit in on meetings. Occasionally she’ll talk. They’ll decide whether to listen.
It consists of a 10-point plan that, as president, he has no authority to enact. Presidents cannot re-write laws passed by Congress, and that’s what this executive order would amount to.
The draft plan, though, contains 10 initiatives that span everything from boosting border security to improving pay for immigration officers.
But the most controversial pertain to the millions who could get a deportation reprieve under what is known as “deferred action.”
The plan calls for expanding deferred action for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children — but also for the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.
The latter could allow upwards of 4.5 million illegal immigrant adults with U.S.-born children to stay, according to estimates.
Critics in the Senate say those who receive deferred action, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, receive work authorization in the United States, Social Security numbers and government-issued IDs.
Another portion that is sure to cause consternation among anti-”amnesty” lawmakers is a plan to expand deferred action for young people. In June 2012, Obama created such a program for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, entered before June 2007 and were under 31 as of June 2012. The change would expand that to cover anyone who entered before they were 16, and change the cut-off from June 2007 to Jan. 1, 2010. This is estimated to make nearly 300,000 illegal immigrants eligible.
Obama could unleash it as early as November 21.
The president, a former constitutional law professor as well as a community organizer, knows that he is acting outside the law. He knows that he is committing another impeachable act. He is daring the Republican-controlled Senate to impeach him, while at the same time, his Democrat allies are talking up impeachment as if the Republicans are seriously contemplating that.
They’re not. The Democrat talk is intimidation aimed at getting Republicans on the record stating that they will not impeach Obama. Those statements, the president believes, will allow him to get away with even more lawlessness over the course of the last two years of his presidency.
Obama intends to render Congress irrelevant and do whatever he wants. Taking away Congress’ ability to discipline him goes a long way toward achieving that goal. The threatened amnesty, “net neutrality,” his renewed environmental push — these are probing attacks against the Constitution.
At the same time, picking a fight now over immigration exposes the known cracks in the GOP coalition.
The president’s statements and actions are obviously intended to be provocative. They’re likely to bring out heated rhetoric from the pro-security side of the Republican coalition, and they’re just as likely to bring out irresponsible criticism from the open borders, Chamber of Commerce side.
The Wall Street Journal, never as clever as it thinks it is on immigration, has already bitten down hard on that bait.
Pro-security Republicans, many of whom live in the border states and are thus well acquainted with the border and its insecurities and the impact on our communities, are “yahoos,” according to the Manhattanites at the WSJ.
The tone of today’s Wall Street Journal staff editorial on Obama’s proposed executive amnesty is striking: The editors’ main concern is that Obama’s illegal overreach might “empower the GOP’s yahoo wing.”
Obama and fellow Democrats, they argue, “want the GOP to dance to the Steve King-Jeff Sessions blow-a-gasket caucus.” The Journal’s advice to Republicans is to “stay cool and keep working on piece meal [immigration] reform.”
That last part is good advice, actually. Piecemeal, security first, not “comprehensive,” is the way to go. Force Obama’s hand at every turn and call him out when he goes outside the law. Use the power of the purse against him.
Too bad the Journal had to insult the very people who will have to enact it. That’s just not helpful, or to borrow a word from Jonathan Gruber, it’s “stupid.”
The WSJ is playing into Obama’s hands and should stop. It’s going to take a unified front of Republicans plus a few Democrats to stop him.
Jonathan Gruber’s “stupid” comments have sent the Obama White House into a spin.
When this White House gets under fire, it naturally turns to the press outlets that it has used as tools for years, including Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo.
The name ought to give that site away: It’s not about facts, it’s about spin. Talking points.
So the under-fire Obama White House turns to the talking pointers to deliver some talking points on Gruber’s “stupid” remarks.
The Obama White House now also suggests that Gruber wasn’t really the Obamacare architect.
An administration official also noted to TPM that — while Gruber is often described as an “architect” of Obamacare because he was a key consultant to the administration and was heavily involved in developing the Massachusetts health reform law that served as a starting point for the ACA — “he did not work in the White House or play the same role in developing the Affordable Care Act.”
About that. They’re lying, again.
Gruber had a total of about $400,000 in contracts with the Obama White House in 2009 and 2010 to provide “Technical Assistance in Evaluating Options for National Healthcare Reform.” Gruber had previously designed Romneycare in Massachusetts. He was brought in to design a similar system by the Obama White House after it took power.
That’s all according to a January 2010 ABC News story. According to that story, Gruber wasn’t disclosing his monetary relationship with the Obama administration while he was offering public comments and editorials supporting Obamacare, until some leftwing bloggers sniffed his relation out and reported it. The mainstream media followed.
So yes, he was the architect of Obamacare. The Obama White House still thinks that its supporters are too stupid to figure that out.
Did Obamacare’s “stupid” supporters know that they were supporting a policy that wages a tax war on kids?
Eh, what they knew or didn’t know really doesn’t matter. Those “stupid” people enabled this:
Americans will see their bank accounts shrink if they don’t sign up for Obamacare in its second enrollment season.
Uninsured Americans who decide not to enroll will face a penalty of $325 per person, more than tripling the $95 penalty those who did not enroll had to pay the first time around.
Children under the age of 18 will be fined $162.50. The maximum amount an uninsured family will be penalized is $975 under the flat-rate method.
Funny how we’re only learning about this tax on kids after the last elections of Obama’s miserable presidency.
By the way, the use of “stupid” above isn’t my choice of words. That’s the word that Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber repeatedly uses to describe people who support Obamacare.
Congressional Republicans seized Wednesday on controversial comments made by a former health-care consultant to the Obama administration, with one leading House conservative suggesting that hearings could be called in response as part of the GOP effort to dismantle the law in the next Congress and turn public opinion ahead of the 2016 election.
“We may want to have hearings on this,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), an influential voice among GOP hardliners and a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in an interview at the Capitol. “We shouldn’t be surprised they were misleading us.”
Rep. Jordan, wise up fast. “We” who opposed Obamacare weren’t being misled. Sure, the O-bots were trying to mislead us along with everyone else. But we weren’t fooled. We’re not Gruber’s “stupid” people. We’re on the “I told you so” side now.
It was Obama’s biggest fans who were being misled and duped. They’re the “stupid” ones. Republicans need to hammer that point home. Play that angle to its potential and you might drive Obama’s approval rating down to the freezing point.
Allah makes another good point, which is that Republicans probably shouldn’t lead with Gruber’s capitol dressdown. Gear up for it, make sure it’s not another missed opportunity, wasted on grandstanding instead of asking the witness questions and letting him squirm on national TV. But not first thing. First thing, they should take Mary Landrieu up on a Keystone vote first, see how the Democrats behave and what Obama does after it passes. Increase dissension in the opposition’s ranks before launching the assault on their castle.
Just make sure to get him in Congress under oath ahead of the Supreme Court’s look at the exchange issue. He’ll surely provide more useful soundbites about how he and the Democrats lied to everyone, gamed the CBO, and knew all along that the subsidies/exchange issue was not a typo, but was put there for a reason.
Maybe Gruber will insult Chief Justice John Roberts specifically while he’s under oath, too. The Chief is one of the “stupid” ones, after all, according to Obamacare’s architect.
Ron Fournier, admitted Obamacare cheerleader:
[Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber] called you stupid. He admitted that the White House lied to you. Its officials lied to all of us—Republicans, Democrats, and independents; rich and poor; white and brown; men and women.
Liberals should be the angriest. Not only were they personally deceived, but the administration’s dishonest approach to health care reform has helped make Obamacare unpopular while undermining the public’s faith in an activist government. A double blow to progressives.
I’ve been making this point on social media for a couple of days now. When Gruber talks about “stupid” Americans who were fooled, by definition he is not talking about conservatives. Or independents who opposed Obamacare. We were never fooled. The “stupid” ones are those who believed in Obamacare — according to Jonathan Gruber, the man paid about $400,000 to design Obamacare.
So yes, liberals ought to be the angriest. Democrats ought to be enraged. They lost their majorities because of Obamacare. They ought to be calling out for Gruber to explain himself. Instead, they have either gone silent are they are defending him.
Which makes them stupid again, no? They’re defending someone who insulted them and whose deception cost them their power. They just don’t realize it.
Fournier isn’t defending the lies.
And so even I have to admit, as a supporter, that Obamacare was built and sold on a foundation of lies. No way around it, unless you’re willing to accept a political system that colors its lies—the reds, the whites, and the blues.
And yet we’re stuck with Obamacare unless the GOP mounts a serious campaign next year to get rid of it.
The Senate is likely to vote to repeal Obamacare next year after Republicans take control. Obama will veto any repeal bill that reaches his desk, of course. The Republicans should have 54 Senate votes by then. Thanks to Harry Reid’s shenanigans with the filibuster, the case has been made to bust the 60-vote rule, especially on a matter on which the majority of the American people have repeatedly spoken — they oppose Obamacare.
It’s just possible that Congress could override Obama’s veto. Overriding a veto takes two-thirds in both houses. It will take some Democrats in both houses switching sides to vote for repeal. So it’s unlikely, but possible — thanks to the exposure of Gruber’s indefensible “stupid” comments.
An override will require some of the “stupid” Obamacare supporters to wise up, of course.
I want to come to the floor today to ask Sens. McConnell, Cornyn, Reid to move forward on the #KXL pipeline.
— Mary Landrieu (@MaryLandrieu) November 12, 2014
Sen. Landrieu seems to have forgotten that two of those three senators don’t control the Senate. Yet.
If Reid does what she wants, he knows that he is setting up a showdown with President Obama. Which may be fine with Reid at this point. Reid hasn’t been shy about blaming Obama for the Democrats’ bloodbath.
That showdown, if it happens, might help Landrieu a little but she’s probably already a dead senator walking. Cassidy is ahead and while he is getting help from the GOP, Landrieu is not getting help from her party. She’s reduced to having campaign events in people’s driveways now.
A Keystone vote will pick a fight with Obama, on an issue on which he stands on the radical, losing side.
Let the games begin.
UPDATE: Here’s video of Sen. Landrieu’s heartfelt plea to vote on the Keystone pipeline. Left unsaid, the fact that her party is now owned by billionaire Tom Steyer, and he will only remain the Democrats’ sugar daddy if they block and reject the KXL.
“The public has clearly spoken,” Landrieu says, which is true. But Steyer speaks louder, and the Democrats think the voters are “stupid” anyway.
UPDATE: Hmmmmm. Maybe Reid will allow a vote.
I saw first-hand how a strategy of obstruction was debilitating to our system, and I have no desire to engage in that manner.
— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) November 12, 2014
This is odd, though it probably prevents an expensive lawsuit from going to trial.
Thomas Eric Duncan is known to have lied on his exit forms when he left Liberia to come to the United States. Once he became symptomatic with Ebola, at Texas Presbyterian in Dallas, he admitted that he had recently been to the hot zone but evidently still did not admit that he had been exposed to the virus.
Those choices exposed many to Ebola, and two of the nurses who treated him came down with the disease. They survived, thankfully.
Duncan’s family lawyered up and threatened to sue the hospital, and now according to the Dallas Morning News they have reached a settlement with the hospital.
Relatives of Thomas Eric Duncan announced a settlement Wednesday with the company that owns Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where he died of Ebola after an initial misdiagnosis.
“We all make mistakes,” Duncan’s nephew Josephus Weeks said at a press conference announcing the settlement.
Monetary terms of the deal remain confidential, but Duncan’s family will benefit and some of the funds will create the Texas Health Dallas Thomas Eric Duncan Memorial Fund to help treat Ebola victims in Liberia, the epicenter of the crisis.
Some details of the settlement were announced by lawyers at Miller Weisbrod, a firm working with the family. Attorney Les Weisbrod said Duncan’s family won’t be charged for the care he received.
“The errors in this case happened regardless of race and regardless of insurance coverage,” Weisbrod said, contradicting past statements by the family.
Note the bold. That’s a big climb down. The race hustlers who echoed that claim ought to be forced to retract, but we all know that won’t happen.
It doesn’t look like Duncan’s family are cashing in. They shouldn’t. Instead, they are having to admit through their attorney that their racism charges were false, their claims that he was misdiagnosed because of race or lack of insurance were false, and that the hospital isn’t really liable for the misdiagnosis.
They’re not being forced to admit that Duncan was to blame, but that’s implied by the settlement. The main monetary part of the settlement apparently isn’t going to them, but to Liberia to fight Ebola. They “benefit” apparently by not having to pay Duncan’s hospital bill, which was probably enormous. But the family gets to save a little face in exchange for retracting their false claims.
That’s not a bad settlement. The hospital would never have collected on the charges for Duncan’s care anyway. The company that owns the hospital has to absorb that, and we the taxpayers probably get to pick up some of it too. Which is annoying, but hard to avoid.
In a Third Video, Obamacare Architect Brags About ‘Exploiting’ the American Voter (Update: Video Added)
A third controversial video of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber has surfaced. In this video, taken at a colloquium in 2012 at the University of Rhode Island, Gruber admits that he and fellow Obamacare proponents “exploited” American voters when they passed the controversial law.
Video of the entire colloquium is here.
In the video, Gruber discusses the so-called “Cadillac tax,” which Obamacare imposes on high-quality healthcare plans in order to subsidize other plans.
“It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber said.
This comment follows two previously disclosed comments, in which Gruber calls Americans who support Obamacare “stupid.”
Gruber is by no means alone in believing that American voters are “stupid” and must be lied to. Liberal policy wonk Ezra Klein, now editor at Vox.com, admitted that lying in order to get something like Obamacare passed is acceptable.
Klein made those comments in 2009, before Obamacare was passed, saying that liberals had to “put winning first” above being honest to get a healthcare reform law passed. Klein even admitted that liberals have a “sneaky strategy” to get something passed that puts America on the path toward a government-run “single payer” healthcare system.
UDPATE: Here are Gruber’s “exploitation” remarks. Gruber admits not only to exploiting voters, but explains how the exploitation works. Take a look.
First the first time ever, humans have an outpost on a comet.
The European Space Agency’s 10-year Rosetta mission successfully landed its Philae probe on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Fifty seconds after landing, Philae took a scheduled image and sent it back to earth. The comet is so far away that the image, traveling through space at the speed of light, took about 28 minutes to arrive.
Light only takes 9 minutes to travel from the Sun to earth.
This is the first image ever taken from the Philae lander. It is looking up at the Rosetta spacecraft, trailing the comet.
Shortly after landing on the comet, Philae tweeted.
Immediately after the image was released Philae tweeted ‘It’s me…landing on a comet and feeling good!’.
The separation of Philae from Rosetta was confirmed at 9.03am GMT today, and just after 11am GMT mission control in Darmstadt, Germany received a signal confirming the lander was working.
Throughout the day, the lander has been transmitting data and images back to Earth. ‘Everything looks really, really good,’ said Philae lander manager Stephan Ulamec.
However, the success of the mission hung in the balance because Philae has a faulty thruster, which means it may have had to rely solely on harpoons to attach itself to the surface.
Whether or not it was able to make the thruster work in time has yet to be revealed by Esa.
Landing a spacecraft on a comet will help scientists fill in gaps in our knowledge of how the solar system formed. Comets are thought to be rubble left over from the stellar and planetary formation process.
As engineering feats go, Philae’s successful landing on a comet, bodies that are notoriously unstable as they tumble through space as incredible speed, has to rank very high in all of human history. It amounts to not only firing a bullet at a bullet from millions of miles away, but successfully landing a bullet on a bullet, as the target bullet constantly tumbles.
The target comet is mindblowingly far from earth.
The mission to Rosetta took ten years from launch to touchdown, and many years of proposal and planning prior to that.
Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber did not commit another “speak-o” when he called Americans “stupid.”
That isn’t true. Calling Americans “stupid” is a consistent message from Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber.
Here is another video in which the architect of Obamacare called Americans “stupid.” His new “stupid” remark comes at about the 2:30 mark of this clip from last night’s The Kelly File.
GRUBER: “Well that’s pretty much the same thing, why’s it matter? You’ll see. And they were both in and that passed, because the American voter is too stupid to understand the difference.” [Crowd laughter]
Once Republicans take over the Senate, it’s time for hearings. The first witness to be subpoenaed and compelled to testify under oath should be Jonathan Gruber.
President Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have announced a climate deal after months of secret negotiations. It’s a great deal for China and a terrible deal for the US.
President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that the U.S. has set a new goal to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by between 26 percent and 28 percent over the next 11 years as part of a climate change agreement with China.
That’s a huge reduction, and it will depend on the EPA crashing down hard on US energy production via coal.
The new target is a drastic increase from earlier in Obama’s presidency, when he pledged to cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020. By contrast, Obama’s counterpart, Xi Jinping, did not pledge any reductions by a specific date, but rather set a target for China’s emissions to peak by 2030, or earlier if possible. Xi also pledged to increase the share of energy that China will derive from sources other than fossil fuels. China’s emissions have grown in recent years due to the building of new coal plants.
Anyone who thinks that China, an opaque, non-representative one-party government that is ruthlessly competitive with the US, will abide by even those goals is either naive or a fool. They won’t. There will be no pressure on them to do any of that.
What we have here is a President of the United States making a deal that will harm the US economy by driving energy prices back up, while his deal gives China the guise of caring about the environment, while being required to do nothing to actually curb its own energy use. It’s all intentional on Obama’s part, to hurt this country and build up the Communist country that he and the likes of Tom Friedman and many liberals wish America was more like.
Senate Republicans are already slamming the deal, which for Obama is part of the plan. This bad deal sets up yet another fight with the party that the American people just voted into power — explicitly to stop him from making moves like this one.
Republican Dan Sullivan has defeated Mark Begich and will become the next senator from Alaska.
Republican candidate Dan Sullivan defeated Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Begich in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race Wednesday.
The win gives the GOP eight Senate pickups in the midterm elections. The party is also seeking a ninth seat in Louisiana’s runoff in December.
Sullivan ran a confident campaign, ignoring the debate schedule Begich established and setting his own terms.
He pledged to fight federal overreach, talked about energy independence and at seemingly every opportunity, sought to tie Begich to President Barack Obama and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who are unpopular in Alaska.
So that’s 8 pick-ups for the GOP, exceeding most expectations including my own, with a 9th possible.
Even more may be possible, though it’s somewhat unlikely. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is making noises that he won’t put up with any obstructionism from his own party. He now represents a state gone deep red. A switch could be in the cards as the frustration of being in the minority, in a party that is hostile to everything but the hard left.
This gushing, cringeworthy conversation — it’s not an interview — between Katie Couric and Chelsea Clinton is hard to watch:
Couric asks Chelsea, “Was it hard growing up the child of famous and rich people, who happened to control the country for 8 years?”
Chelsea, displaying no imagination whatsoever, cannot even envision life being any other way. Cannot conceive of such a thing.
But she did rebel against her presidential parents.
“I certainly spent my 20s rebelling, for me. Like, working in the private sector and trying really hard to care about things that my parents didn’t care about,” Chelsea said.
Chelsea Clinton just admitted that her parents really don’t care about the private sector. She also adds that working in the private sector taught her things that she did not learn around the Clinton dinner table.
“But ultimately, I am my parents’ daughter and ultimately cared most about what they cared most about.”
Write your own jokes.
Police officers who serve in our nation’s capital ought to have respect for Americans’ fundamental rights.
Among those rights, if you go by the Constitution, is the right to bear arms enshrined in the Second Amendment.
D.C. police don’t care much for that particular right.
Emily Miller is trying to get her concealed carry permit now that a court has forced the capital to issue them.
She reports that Washington seems to have found a way to act like it is complying with the ruling, without actually complying with the ruling. First, the city forces applicants to prove that they have a “need” for a gun. Miller has suffered a home invasion and, as a conservative female journalist, has been subjected to personal threats.
That may not be enough to persuade the chief that she “needs” a gun.
“I was a victim of a home invasion. And I’ve gotten a threat against me. Do I just give the police records?” I asked.
“Yes, ma’am,” he said.
I asked Agurs who will decide whether or not my self-defense needs are special?
That’s something the chief of police will do,” he said, referring to Chief Cathy Lanier. “But you’ll have your reasons why you feel like you need it.”
“The chief of police personally will decide whether or not I get a carry permit?” I asked.
“You know it usually works– it’s going to be her or someone on her staff,” he said.
Proving a “need” is just one part of the carry permit application. You have to do 16 hours of classroom training, plus two hours at the range.
“Where do I go to do that?” I asked Agurs.
“Unfortunately, I think they are still setting up the classes,” he replied.
There’s the rub. The city isn’t actually abiding by the court decision. No one can apply for a carry permit because the police haven’t certified any trainers for the mandatory classes. That might be partly because D.C. charges trainers $400 to be certified.
With no certified instructors to teach the 18-hour class, no one can take the class, which means no one can be certified to carry. Which means only criminals (and body guards of the rich and powerful, but mainly criminals) in Washington will have guns.
Miller asked the officer if the Second Amendment really applies in the nation’s capital or not. Here’s how he answered.
“I believe when the Second Amendment was written, that was more or less for when the British were coming.”
That’s an unacceptable attitude toward our fundamental civil rights.
All forgiven now, hugs and shrugs?
Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber was caught on tape bragging on a few things about Obamacare and about its proponents’ opinions of the Americans who support the law. Obamacare’s details, he said, needed to be concealed from the people in order to pass. And the people had to be kept “stupid,” and Obamacare’s supporters had to lie about that whole tax thing.
Overall, Gruber would rather have lied and kept everyone in the dark than been honest and see it fail. That’s all in the original video, when Gruber was speaking among friends.
That was a year ago. The video has now surfaced, and Gruber turned down a Fox interview with Megyn Kelly to appear on MSNBC and explain the whole thing.
Ronan Farrow isn’t quite the interrogator that Kelly is.
Farrow lobs a softball at Gruber right up front, and Gruber replies, “The comments were made at a conference and I was speaking off the cuff and I spoke inappropriately and I regret having made those comments.”
He regrets being caught telling the truth.
Freedom of speech: Awesome. Using said freedom to tweet racist, profane taunts? Not so awesome. Being unemployed now because people figured out that you’re a public school English teacher, and having to look for new work in the Obama economy.
A Texas teacher who posted a profanity-filled tweet over the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. — telling those who disagreed with her to “kill themselves” — is being fired, school officials said Monday.
Vinita Hegwood, an English teacher at Duncanville High School, was suspended without pay Monday pending her discharge after posting a “reprehensible” message on her personal Twitter account, according to the Duncanville Independent School District.
On Friday, Hegwood tweeted the following: “Who the f–k made you dumb duck a– crackers think I give a squat f–k about your opinions about my opinions RE” #Ferguson? Kill yourselves.”
In her Twitter account, which has been taken down, Hegwood described herself.
“Mother. Daughter. Sister. Wife. Teacher. Delta. Football fan. Still defining and fine tuning the awesomeness that is me,” it read.
Geez. What a load.
Duncanville ISD had no choice here. Sure, they could have kept her on, but what parent in their right mind would leave their kid in her class after this? Is it the racism, the stupidity or the inability to express herself without resorting to profanity that’s supposed to attract parents to have their kids in her classes?
For the kids, their former English teacher provides a value life lesson. Freedom of speech means the government can’t arrest you for what you say in all but a handful of circumstances (terroristic threats, etc). Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that you never have to face consequences for what you say — especially if you’re a public employee and you’re placed in a position where you’re expected to be a role model.
The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank writes today that Obamacare risks falling into a “death spiral.”
And not just because its own architect admits that passing it was based on duping the very voters who had put Obama and the Democrats in office.
For Milbank, the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the mandate in its next session creates uncertainty about the law, and the Obama administration’s announcement that it cut its enrollment forecast adds more.
Well, here’s some more. Hundreds of thousands of Americans who currently have health insurance will see one of two things happen: Their rates will go up significantly, or they will lose their coverage altogether. That’s according to this report by NBC4 News in Florida.
The story says that so many Americans will lose their coverage because personal exemptions have expired, because their employers made changes to the plans they offered and the new plans are no longer grandfathered, and for other reasons.
Additionally, Americans who manage to keep their insurance may find that there is “additional exposure” even after they have met deductibles.
I don’t really care who you are or what you’ve done. Richard Overton is someone you don’t want to mess with.
From The Houston Chronicle in November 2013: ”He drives and walks without a cane. During a television interview in March, he told a reporter that he doesn’t take medicine, smokes cigars every day and takes whiskey in his morning coffee. The key to living to his age, he said, is simply ‘staying out of trouble.’
“I may drink a little in the evening too with some soda water, but that’s it,” Overton told Fox News. “Whiskey’s a good medicine. It keeps your muscles tender.”
You have to keep supple when you’re sporting a Tommy gun.
Mr. Richard Overton, the oldest living veteran. Kids, do not play on his lawn. pic.twitter.com/VQ0twXRdi1
— Patrick Chovanec (@prchovanec) November 10, 2014
Overton served in the Army in World War II and now lives in Austin.
Since President Obama promised that there would be “no boots on the ground” to fight ISIS in Syria and Iraq, he has ordered two major increases in the number of boots on the ground in Iraq. American forces’ numbers jumped up to 3,000 so-called “advisers” shortly after the mid-term elections.
The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart has noticed. In a monologue Monday night, he ripped Obama from the anti-war left and called the president’s promises “bullsh*t.”
In the segment, Stewart plays clips of Obama promising not to put “boots on the ground” to fight ISIS, and juxtaposes them with announcements that more troops are being sent into Iraq to serve as “advisers” to the Iraqi military. Stewart then skewers that.
“Oh, I’m sorry, that was my mistake,” Stewart mocked. “I’m sorry. So it’s not 3,000 troops, it’s 3,000 advisers. Okay. Well, you know, that’s a lot of advisers. (laughter) I feel like after the first 2,000 give their input, it’s mostly going to be like ‘I just want to reiterate what Tony said.’”
At one point, Stewart jokes that at the rate Obama keeps increasing the number of U.S. “advisers” in Iraq, “By 2016, everyone on earth will be in Iraq fighting ISIS!”
Stewart’s angry comedic riff helps explain why Obama delayed announcing the troop increase until after the elections. Had it come before the elections, the Democrats’ base would have been infuriated, and the nationwide bloodbath that saw Republicans re-capture the Senate may have been even worse for the Obama Democrats.
The Age reports that Hizballah has admitted that an ambush outside Damascus, Syria on Sunday has left five nuclear scientists dead. The five men were killed by machine gun fire while riding in a van on the outskirts of Damascus. The attack may have been carried out by Syrian rebels on Israel’s behalf.
One of the dead was reportedly Iranian. The nationalities of the other four have not been revealed.
In years past, Syrian is known to have accepted nuclear expertise from Iran and North Korea.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the deaths of the five scientists. That group is based in London but has operatives all over Syria, according to The Age.
The Syrian government has confirmed the deaths, and that one was Iranian.
Terrorist group Hizballah said that the “five scientific experts were martyred by terrorists as part of the ongoing plots of the Zionist entity,” Israel.
Israel launched a surprise raid on a previously unknown Syrian nuclear facility in 2007, and destroyed it.
The report of the killing of five nuclear scientists in Syria, and Hizballah’s public angry reaction to it, raises all kinds of questions about Syria’s ongoing nuclear ambitions and the terrorist group’s connections to that. Israel fears that should Iran develop a nuclear weapon, it could hand that off to the terrorist group for a devastating attack on Israel’s people.
According to this gun shop owner in Ferguson, MO, the uncertainty in the Michael Brown case has led to two spikes in gun sales.
Steven King owns a gun shop in the Ferguson area.
King tells CNN that gun sales went up “exponentially” in August during the first wave of riots and violence that struck the city after Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot teenager Michael Brown.
Sales tapered off after the riots, but as the grand jury is rumored to be nearing a decision on whether to indict Wilson, gun sales have “skyrocketed” again — not just at his shop, but at gun shops all over the area.
King says that the gun buyers range in age from the young to elderly, and include men and women and all races. Many are first-time gun buyers. Some are buying pump shotguns and rifles, but most are buying home defense handguns.
“100 percent of the people that have bought a firearm this weekend, have bought it because of some sort of fear of the unknown, what’s gonna happen this next week or so with the Ferguson verdict,” King told CNN.
“They saw what the protesters are capable of doing back in August,” he added, and they don’t want to get caught off-guard again. So many have purchased guns and are taking gun classes ahead of the verdict.
Writing in the Daily Beast, Sen. Rand Paul lands on a new position on the war against ISIS.
It’s the right war, but being done by Obama in the wrong way, rendering it illegal.
The Constitution, Paul correctly writes, puts the power to declare war not with presidents but with Congress.
Congress has not actually declared war on anyone since World War II. Since then US forces have been engaged in conflicts from Korea to Vietnam to the Middle East to Central America and Europe, but not once has it actually declared war. The closest that we have gotten to a full declaration of war is probably the Authorization for the Use of Military Force against Saddam Hussein.
Obama has engaged US forces in Libya and now Iraq without bothering to take it to Congress, before or after the limits imposed by the War Powers Act. That, plus Paul’s contention that the US is not under attack by ISIS, is where Paul says the problem is.
In a war with transnational terrorists on the other side, though, when are we under attack and when are we not? It’s not as cut and dried as a group of terrorists crossing the porous border and wreaking havoc. They’re not going to roll across the border in an armored column and they’re not going to launch sorties of bombers over our cities. That’s not how it works. ISIS has beheaded two Americans and has shown that it can recruit other Americans to its cause using social media. It is building a base from which it says it intends to strike us.
If the Constitution were not enough, the War Powers Act reiterates the legislature’s prerogative. The War Powers Act does not allow for any military action to take place that is not authorized by Congress or to repel imminent attack. Period. The only exception is military action to repel an imminent attack. In that case, the president has 60 days to report to Congress. Obviously, it’s an exception that doesn’t apply to any of our current wars.
This administration has allowed, as Professor Michael J. Glennon writes, “nothing less than a collapse of the equilibrium of power, the balance expected to result from ambition set against ambition, the resistance to encroachment that was supposed to keep the three branches of the federal government in a state of equilibrium and to protect the people from the government.”
It’s time for conservatives to say enough is enough. Obama’s commandeering of Congress’s powers—from making war, to remaking our health-care system—has to stop. There needs to be an across-the-board, consistent defense of the constitutional separation of powers. Nothing less will win the day. That should include this current battle in the Middle East. Taking military action against ISIS is justified. The president acting without Congress is not.
On this question, Sen. Paul is probably right. He gets there in a strange way though, decrying the unlimited geographical scope and timeline of fighting terrorism.
That’s not the choice of any American leader. 9-11, London, Madrid, Fort Hood, Boston, beheading Americans in what used to be Syrian territory…how many times do terrorists have to attack us on our own soil and our allies’ soil and elsewhere before the likes of Rand Paul figure out that the enemy isn’t bound by any of our norms, notions or ideas about anything? We hold ourselves to the Geneva Conventions regarding how we treat terror masterminds while they kidnap schoolgirls, behead reporters and sell Christian women into sex slavery — and tweet images of themselves flying their flag right outside the White House.
It would be nice to put some geographical and time limits on this war. The enemy won’t abide by any limits, though.
This is Paul’s third or fourth position on what to do about ISIS. He mused that there may be no solution (May) has had mixed feelings while taking a dovish posture (August) and in September allowed that he was coming around to a more hawkish stance. At that time, he quoted Reagan and wrote that he would have acted “more decisively and strongly against ISIS” than Obama has.
Which wouldn’t be all that difficult. Obama has trickled troops in while signaling ISIS that while they have to duck US air power they will never have to face the true might of the American military on the ground. Obama isn’t even drawing fake red lines. The president is slow-rolling America into fighting ISIS in a way that is hauntingly similar to the way US forces were slow-rolled into the war in Vietnam.
Paul’s own stances don’t really bear out the claim that he would have been more decisive than Obama. He just probably would not have been any less decisive.
That’s not much to put on the resume for someone who wants to be commander-in-chief.
KHOU reports that a bipartisan group of some of the nation’s top lawyers is filing a request today to get the indictment against Texas Gov. Rick Perry tossed out of court.
Perry was indicted in August by a Travis County grand jury under the direction of a special prosecutor on abuse of power charges, because he issued a veto, as the state constitution allows governors to do.
The bipartisan group includes well-known attorneys like Republicans Ted Olsen and Ken Starr — both former U.S. solicitors general — and Democrats such as former state Supreme Court Justice Raul Gonzalez.
The Innocence Project’s Jeff Blackburn has also joined the effort. Blackburn has led the effort to use scientific evidence to exonerate people who have been wrongly convicted of crimes.
“It doesn’t matter if we’re Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, we all believe in the Constitution, we all believe in freedom of speech, and we all believe that this prosecution is profoundly mistaken and must be stopped — right now,” said James Ho, a former Texas solicitor general who is coordinating the effort with Dallas attorney Prerak Shah and California lawyer Eugene Volokh.
State District Judge Bert Richardson now has to consider whether to give the bipartisan group’s request any weight.
In just about any other jurisdiction in the United States, the charges against Perry would never have gotten to the indictment stage. Travis County’s District Attorney’s office claims a statewide writ over political cases since the 1980s. It has used that power a handful of times to launch clearly political cases against former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, former Rep. Tom DeLay and now Gov. Perry.
The case came to indictment just weeks before the mid-term elections, as Gov. Perry departs the office he has held for 14 years and explores a second run for president.
Rush Limbaugh has been the scourge of Democrats ever since he used to show up on Nightline with Ted Koppel in the 1980s. Now according to the Daily Caller, he’s threatening to sue the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for defamation.
The Limbaugh team is currently proceeding from the standpoint of litigating and has not yet made a decision as to whether the DCCC could make any concessions at this point to prevent the lawsuit.
The DCCC “has intentionally disseminated demonstrably false statements concerning Rush Limbaugh in a concerted effort to harm Mr. Limbaugh, and with reckless disregard for the resulting impact to small businesses across America that choose to advertise on his radio program” according to the GlaserWeil law firm’s letter to the DCCC, which was obtained by TheDC. “Mr. Limbaugh clearly, unambiguously, and emphatically condemned the notion that ‘no’ means ‘yes.’”
“Let’s be clear: Rush Limbaugh is advocating for the tolerance of rape” the DCCC stated in a September fundraising email after Limbaugh mocked Ohio State’s new mandatory sexual consent guidelines. (RELATED: Democrats Attack Rush Limbaugh On Way To November Loss)
Limbaugh’s team said that the DCCC’s campaign against Limbaugh provides grounds for a defamation case, based on legal precedent.
Limbaugh has one thing, in addition the truth, that ought to have the Democrats very worried: deep pockets. He can hire the very best legal team to turn the screws to the DCCC. He can wage a serious legal war against them.
Defamation of a public figure is usually tough for plaintiffs to win, but the Democrats may have made Limbaugh’s case here easy. They had clear motive to defame him, they have defamed him repeatedly in the past, and it’s beyond reason to believe that they truly believed that he was really advocating for tolerance of rape. They might be able to build their case on stupidity, but ignorance won’t work. Democrats have been trying to destroy Rush Limbaugh for decades now.
Discovery is going to be fascinating.
Joseph Curl picks out more evidence that President Obama is not going to even look for anything like common ground with Republicans. It’s his way or no way.
Sen. John Barrasso on Sunday gave a stunning insight into the White House meeting Mr. Obama had Friday with congressional leaders. In an interview on Fox News, the Wyoming Republican said Mr. Obama insisted his policies were on the ballot, but now that voters have spoken, he’s ignoring the message — and he didn’t care a whit what Republicans had to say.
“We went to the White House to say, ‘Mr. President, we want to work with you on the issues of jobs, the economy, affordable energy, health care.’ I was astonished [that] during that whole lunch, the president didn’t ask anything about that at all. He just was so focused on this executive amnesty issue that he ignored the idea of having a dialogue on ways we could actually change the direction of the country and move forward with regard to jobs and the economy,” Mr. Barrasso said.
Some of that is Obama’s narcissism and ego at work, along with his disregard for the voters and the Constitution, but surely some of it is just delusion. The voters repudiated Obama so soundly this mid-term that they left no uncertainty about it. Democrats lost in a remarkably thorough and resounding way. They failed spectacularly to defeat popular Republicans like Greg Abbott in Texas, and even failed to beat relatively unpopular ones like Rick Scott in Florida. Democrats have simply fallen apart at the state level. The surest way to beat a Democrats has been to tie them to Barack Obama and his policies. Barack Obama really has presided over the gutting of his own party.
Yet there’s Obama ignoring all issues save the one he wants to talk about, and making demands of the Republicans in Congress, when he isn’t pretending that they aren’t elected by the voters too.
Since the mid-term election, Obama is already gearing up to pick two fights, one over the immigration executive order, and another over net neutrality. Both are power grabs, and intended to be provocations to Congress. He is daring them to stop him.
I predicted that he would behave this way, yet it’s still astonishing to actually see it. Barack Obama thinks that he is the government unto himself, and the rest is just window dressing.
Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) has led one of the most remarkable changes in any state’s politics in American history.
Wisconsin is the birthplace of Big Labor, which for decades has funded the Democratic Party in that state and nationally.
Walker was elected four years ago promising to reform the state’s Big Labor-friendly labor laws and cut taxes while improving education. He made good on that promise, and the result has been successful. Unemployment shrunk, and Walker has been able to cut taxes while enacting school choice.
School choice is one of the most potent yet under-explored issues in American politics, with the potential to erode and even re-shape the Democratic Party’s coalition. School choice may have powered Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s narrow re-election victory in Florida.
Walker has now beaten back a fierce, Big Labor-funded recall and an election challenge. The left has thrown everything it can at Walker, and he has repeatedly won. Wisconsin can now be classified as a red state, not quite as red as Oklahoma or Texas, but red until Democrats prove otherwise.
Walker is only 47 years old. If he runs in 2016, he presents fellow Republicans and the Democrats a formidable record. To the presumed Democrats — Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren — Walker presents a much younger voice who has hunted in their policy back yard and come out the victor. Against any Republican challengers, Walker can make the case that he can run and win in blue or swing states, and he can get real and lasting reforms done. His record stacks up strongly against red state governors — Walker can say that they have had it easier than he has — and Republican senators, because they lack the executive experience that governors bring to the presidency.
Fair or not, all Walker needs to do to highlight the relative leadership strengths of governors versus senators is point out how terrible former Sen. Barack Obama’s presidency has been.
On Meet the Press Sunday, Walker gave the strongest hint yet that he will run for president in 2016.
Host Chuck Todd asked Walker about 2016 and possibly supporting fellow Wisconsinite Rep. Paul Ryan for president. Ryan was the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012.
“I’d be the president of the Paul Ryan fan club,” Walker told Todd. “But I do think if we’re going to beat Hillary Clinton this next election, we gotta have a message that says Hillary Clinton is all about Washington.
“We offer a fresh approach — any of us, now 31 governors across the country — have the executive experience outside of Washington to provide a much better alternative to the old, tired, top-down approach you see out of Washington, D.C.
“Overall, I believe governors make much better presidents than members of Congress,” Walker said.
The Daily Signal has unearthed a video that needs to be explained.
In the video, which is from October 17, 2013, Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber admits that “lack of transparency” and “stupidity” helped Democrats pass that law.
Gruber’s admission should be set alongside President Barack Obama’s promise to have all debates regarding Obamacare televised on C-SPAN for the American people to see. As we know now, that never happened. The Democrats negotiated over that bill among themselves, and made deals to get it is passed among themselves, and passed it despite the majority’s objections to it.
Obama’s transparency promise was all a ruse.
In the clip, Gruber goes on at length about how it would have been impossible to pass Obamacare if the American people really knew what it would do. That echoes then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s admission that Democrats would have to pass the bill before the American people could find out what is in it.
“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure that the CBO did not score the mandate as taxes,” Gruber admits. The Supreme Court decision upholding the mandate did regard it as a tax, at least in Chief Justice John Roberts’ mind.
“If CBO scored the mandate as taxes the bill dies,” Gruber says.
“If you had a law that…made it explicit that healthy people are gonna pay in and sick people are gonna get money, it would not have passed,” Gruber admits.
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really really critical to getting the thing to pass,” Gruber said. He added that even with all of that deception, perpetrated by his party on a grand scale, “I would rather have this law than not.”