We’re kidding….but not really.
Mark Dice, a controversial California-based conservative activist, recently visited a boardwalk with a phony petition, stopping bypassers to ask if they would be interested in signing a petition to help President Barack Obama repeal the Bill of Rights. Much to his surprise, many were willing to sign away their civil liberties without question.
This is actually depressing:
The implementation out of President Barack Obama’s so-called “healthcare reform” law is a step away from disaster. After months upon months of bad polling numbers, the administration has experienced some setbacks, the latest of which include rising health insurance premiums, delay of the employer mandate, and eligibility verification for subsidies.
Now there are stories that states are having problems with the implementation of the exchanges, another central part of Obamacare that is supposed to be launched on October 1st. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that some states are delaying certain parts of the exchanges because they haven’t been able to get them implemented quickly enough. One official complained that his state only had 10 months to implement the law. He told the Washington Post that he wishes that he ”had one more year.”
Just this morning, the National Journal reported that the Obama Administration “has known for months” that implementation of Obamacare as passed by Congress wouldn’t work and that further delays are likely:
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the most reliable Leftist votes on the Supreme Court, made it clear this past week that she has no intention of retiring so that President Barack Obama can pick her successor:
At age 80, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, leader of the Supreme Court’s liberal wing, says she is in excellent health, even lifting weights despite having cracked a pair of ribs again, and plans to stay several more years on the bench.
In a Reuters interview late on Tuesday, she vowed to resist any pressure to retire that might come from liberals who want to ensure that Democratic President Barack Obama can pick her successor before the November 2016 presidential election.
Ginsburg said she had fallen in the bathroom of her home in early May, sustaining the same injury she suffered last year near term’s end.
The justice, who survived two serious bouts with cancer, in 1999 and 2009, is keeping up a typically busy summer of travel, at home and abroad, beginning next week with a trip to Paris. Ginsburg said she was back to her usual weight-lifting routine and recently had good results from a bone density scan.
These comments are similar to hints dropped by Ginsburg back in 2011, when she joked that she had “a way to go” to catch up with Justice Louis Brandeis, who retired when he was 83. That indicated that she would stay on the Court until at least 2016.
This past weekend, FreedomWorks, a free market organization with strong ties to the grassroots and Tea Party, hosted Free the People, an event that brought together thousands of people from across the country to hear speakers and receive activist training to utilize back home.
Among the speakers was Rafael Cruz, father of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). During his 11-minute talk, Cruz told the crowd about how he left Cuba as a teenager as Fidel Castro was beginning his “revolution” to come to the United States. He also explained that the consolidation of power by the executive branch today is all too reminiscent of what he experienced in Cuba and urged activists to fight for freedom.
“I grew up in Cuba under a strong military, oppressive dictatorship. So as a teenager I found myself involved in a revolution. I remember during that time a young, charismatic leader rose up, talking about hope and change. His name was Fidel Castro,” recalled Cruz. “And, you know, we all followed him. We thought he was going to be our liberator. As a result of being involved in the revolution, I was imprisoned, I was tortured.”
Cruz explained that he was able to get out of Cuba on a student visa. He got a job as a dishwasher and paid for his education at the University of Texas. But he went back to Cuba in 1959 after Castro’s regime had taken over and, he said, he got the shock of his life.
While congressional investigations into Operation Fast and Furious have stalled because of the White House and Justice Department’s refusal to cooperate, the failed gun-walking scheme is back in the news again. The Los Angeles Times reports that a semi-automatic rifle used in the murder of a Mexican police chief and a body guard has been traced back to Operation Fast and Furious:
Luis Lucio Rosales Astorga, the police chief in the city of Hostotipaquillo, was shot to death Jan. 29 when gunmen intercepted his patrol car and opened fire. Also killed was one of his bodyguards. His wife and a second bodyguard were wounded.
Local authorities said eight suspects in their 20s and 30s were arrested after police seized them nearby with a cache of weapons — rifles, grenades, handguns, helmets, bulletproof vests, uniforms and special communications equipment. The area is a hot zone for rival drug gangs, with members of three cartels fighting over turf in the region.
A semi-automatic WASR rifle, the firearm that killed the chief, was traced back to the Lone Wolf Trading Company, a gun store in Glendale, Ariz. The notation on the Department of Justice trace records said the WASR was used in a “HOMICIDE – WILLFUL – KILL –PUB OFF –GUN” –ATF code for “Homicide, Willful Killing of a Public Official, Gun.”
At the very same time they’re playing up a return of the Clinton legacy to the White House by coalescing around 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Democrats have rejected a key point of then-President Bill Clinton’s approach to politics and a more sound economy.
Writing at Roll Call, Nathan Gonzales notes that a bipartisan achievement — like balancing the budget, for example — is not something about which Obama-era Democrats are particularly concerned:
“Like every generation of Americans before us, we have been called upon to renew our Nation and to restore its promise. For too long, huge, persistent, and growing budget deficits threatened to choke the opportunity that should be every American’s birthright. For too long, it seemed as if America would not be ready for the new century, that we would be too divided, too wedded to old arrangements and ideas. It’s hard to believe now, but it wasn’t so very long ago that some people looked at our Nation and saw a setting Sun,” Clinton said in his signing speech.
Today’s Democrats are singing a slightly different tune.
Democrats, including the president, don’t believe the deficit is an immediate problem. And while Republicans are touting and advocating for a “balanced budget,” Democrats want a “balanced approach.” The new Democratic approach includes a mix of spending cuts and tax increases but has no intention of balancing the budget, at this point.
At a time of the sequester, the White House isn’t exactly pinching its pennies when it comes to President Barack Obama’s travel, though they have played politics with tours of the People’s House and air traffic controllers. But according to a report from the National Taxpayers Union, the White House has spent over $15.2 million operating Air Force Once in just the first six months of this year.
“The long, near 18 hour, flight back from Tanzania marks the 14th overseas flight the President has taken this year (according to the White House schedule and news reports),” wrote Douglas Kellogg at Government Bytes, the National Taxpayers Union blog. “These trips rack up costs for taxpayers, and a conservative estimate by NTUF reveals the cost of operating Air Force One internationally this year is now up to at least $15,219,433.”
Kellogg notes that cost is limited to the actual operations of Air Force One. It excludes addtional aircraft and labor costs. He also takes a reasoned guess at the cost of travel for President Obama for the rest of the year.
“Estimating the potential costs of additional trips the President has planned for later this year is imprecise. However, applying the median cruise speed of Air Force One to distances for trips to Moscow, Indonesia, and Brunei, we can get an idea of flight times,” explained Kellogg. “This would bring the total for President Obama’s 2013 Air Force One costs to over $24 million.”
That personal chef, staff tending to their every need, and taxpayer-funded vacations are apparently unsatisfying to Michelle Obama. During a forum in Tanzania with former First Lady Laura Bush, Mrs. Obama compared life in the White House to living in a “really nice prison”:
Obama’s comment came during her discussion with former First Lady Laura Bush at the African First Ladies Summit in Tanzania during an interview moderated by journalist Cokie Roberts.
Obama said she loved her job and found it liberating in some respects, but confining in others.
“There are some prison elements to it,” she joked. “But it’s a really nice prison.”
Former first lady Laura Bush reminded the crowd that First Ladies had a chef.
“You can’t complain,” Michelle Obama admitted. “But there is definitely elements that are confining.”
As true as it may be, given the amount of security that a president and his family requires, that was not a smart choice of words. With a $1.4 billion dollar budget for the White House — even in the time of the sequester — and concerts with famous artists, the Obamas are living a comfortable lifestyle.
Rising living standards in Africa are apparently something to be frowned upon. During a townhall with the President of South Africa, President Barack Obama told people in Africa that cars and air conditioning in Africa are a threat to the environment and warned that the “planet will boil over”:
President Barack Obama said at a town hall event in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Saturday that unless we find new way of producing energy “the planet will boil over” if people in Africa are allowed to attain air conditioning, automobiles and big houses.
“Ultimately, if you think about all the youth that everybody has mentioned here in Africa, if everybody is raising living standards to the point where everybody has got a car and everybody has got air conditioning, and everybody has got a big house, well, the planet will boil over — unless we find new ways of producing energy.”
According to Obama, global warming constitutes “the biggest challenge we have environmentally,” one greater than all other environmental calamities like “dirty water, dirty air.”
However, the President’s statements do not reflect statistics released by the United Nations: Based on a data released in October, 2012, the World Health Organization estimated that “Global warming” is responsible for approximately 140,000 excess deaths each year.
By comparison, as many as three million people died from indoor and outdoor air pollution – in other words, over 20 times the number of alleged victims of global warming, according to the Word Health Organization.
During his speech last week at Georgetown University, President Barack Obama offered a hint about the future of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is, once again, before his administration for approval. He told those who had gathered to hear his anti-consumer energy plan that he would only approve the northern part of the pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada to Nebraska and eventually to the Texas coast, if it “does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”
Back in March, the State Department released a draft study on the environmental impact of Keystone XL. It found that the pipeline doesn’t pose a substantial threat to the environment and would have negligible impact on global warming. It’s worth noting that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is charged with implementing the new climate change policies President Obama rolled out last week, disputes the State Department’s analysis.