Patterico's Pontifications

11/26/2014

Thankfulness: God And Government

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:44 am

[guest post by Dana]

I don’t know about you, but while I am making pear pies and pumpkin pies today, I will be thanking God for all that is good and great in my life. And I will also be thanking Him for all that isn’t so good and great in my life because I have learned that in faith, it is through walking the arduous and painful path of tribulation with Him that begets another layer of unfathomable richness in my being. And hope grows. How seemingly paradoxical. God is a mystery that can be known. A mystery to be revealed over a lifetime. And just when one thinks they have reached His deepest depths, they come to find that He is endless. Further, aside from being wholly thankful for love of family, I am also thankful to God to be able to live where I do. This is particularly significant to me because I recognize I could be living in some oppressive third-world instead. I am also thankful for the privilege and immense freedom we have to participate in and be critical of our government. Whether it is to work for change at the local level all the way up to the federal level, or to speak our mind with our vote, it is all a great privilege that many others are not accorded. I know we could all write a book about what we are grateful for, so abundant are our blessings.

With that, Juan Williams is also giving thanks. He would like all of us to thank God government for its provision to us (think Cash for Clunkers, Obamacare, Stimulus, Solyndra, etc.):

The endless assault on government has driven down trust in federal management and deflated confidence in political leaders.

So, this Thanksgiving, let us join hands as I offer my list of reasons to give thanks for the good work being done by our government to bring us prosperity, health and peace.

At Thanksgiving 2008, the American economy was on the brink of collapse.

This Thanksgiving unemployment is 5.8 percent, the lowest it has been since the Great Recession. The recovery is slow but it keeps going and going. Federal investment in the stimulus, the auto industry bailout, the “Cash-for Clunkers” program and the Wall Street bailout all worked.

Not only that, but income tax rates for most families are lower today than “at any time since the 1950s,” according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Thanksgiving 2014 arrives with Wall Street investors collecting record levels of profit. Since February of 2010, nearly a million blue-collar, manufacturing jobs have come to America. The consumer confidence index, a critical indicator, is at its highest level since July 2007. The current national average price for a gallon of gasoline is the lowest it has been in four years.

“During the bleakest days of the financial crisis, it seemed the economy would never bounce back…” Business Insider magazine recently wrote in a report on the latest forecast from the financial consultants at JP Morgan. “But six years later…the economy has actually flourished…Five out of six indicators [corporate profits, stock prices, household net worth, GDP, and business investment] have not only reached their pre-crisis highs, but they have actually surpassed them.”

Even the much-maligned government program to boost America’s alternative energy industry, including the loan to solar panel company Solyndra, has been a success. Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize-winning economist and columnist for The New York Times, recently wrote that the energy program has returned $5 billion in profit for loans from the American people.

One last note on the new American prosperity: When President Obama took office in 2009 the deficit was $1.2 trillion. Today it is projected to be $483 billion. It has gone from 9.8 percent of the GDP to 2.8 percent, an incredible 71 percent reduction.

Here’s another reason to be thankful: The success of the Affordable Care Act.

Despite incessant political attacks and a horrendous start for the website, the program has cut the number of Americans without health insurance by 25 percent. That means about 3 million more of our fellow Americans have health insurance than did so before Democrats in Congress acted. And a Gallup poll recently reported 70 percent of people with “ObamaCare” rate the plan as excellent or good.

P.S. This also makes me thank God that we live in a country where we still have the freedom to publicly write, “What a moron!” without fear of retribution.

–Dana

11/25/2014

Ferguson: Darren Wilson Interview And National Guard Delay

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:13 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Darren Wilson was interviewed today at a secret location by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos:

Wilson said that Brown reached into his police car and grabbed for his gun, causing Wilson to fear for his life.

“All I wanted to do was live,” said Wilson, who the grand jury declined to indict in connection with the fatal shooting in August.

About his struggle with Brown:

“I didn’t know if I’d be able to withstand another hit like that,” Wilson said.

“I had reached out my window with my right hand to grab onto his forearm ’cause I was gonna try and move him back and get out of the car to where I’m no longer trapped,” Wilson said.

“I just felt the immense power that he had. And then the way I’ve described it is it was like a 5-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan. That’s just how big this man was,” Wilson said.

Further:

When asked if he would be haunted by the incident, Wilson said, “I don’t think it’s a haunting; it’s always going to be something that happened.”

“The reason I have a clean conscience is I know I did my job right,” he said.

Wilson said he asked himself if he could legally shoot Brown. “I thought, ‘I have to. If I don’t, he will kill me if he gets to me.’ “

Today hundreds more National Guard troops have been deployed to Ferguson. Although 700 National Guard troops were deployed Monday, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles is questioning the delay last night, stating the National Guard “was not deployed in enough time to save all of our businesses.” (The damage count after last night’s rioting: a dozen Ferguson buildings burned and 61 people were arrested on charges including burglary, illegal weapons possession and unlawful assembly.)

“The decision to delay the deployment of the National Guard is deeply concerning,” Knowles told a news conference. “We are asking that the governor make available and deploy all necessary resources to prevent the further destruction of property and the preservation of life in the city of Ferguson.”

The mayor is not the only one questioning the delay:

“Here’s my question that the governor must answer,” Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said today. “Is the reason that the national guard was not in there is because the Obama administration and the Holder Justice Department leaned on you to keep them out?”

Kinder noted that the Guard had been sent to other locations in the region. “I cannot imagine any other reason why the governor who mobilized the National Guard would not have them in (to Ferguson) to stop this, before it started,” he said.

It is no secret that the president was caught off guard and less than happy when Gov. Nixon deployed Guard troops in August at the time of Brown’s death, and last week, Eric Holder voiced his criticism of Gov. Nixon’s decision to call up the National Guard. Perhaps after seeing the night of violence, Holder, who was “disappointed” by the actions of some, might see the increased and immediate need for Guard troops:

“It is clear, I think, that acts of violence threaten to drown out those who have legitimate voices, legitimate demonstrators,” Holder told reporters. “Those acts of violence cannot and will not be condoned.”

Gov. Nixon said that more 2,200 National Guardsmen will be in the Ferguson area tonight.

–Dana

Added: From commenter seeRpea comes this letter from Ronald T. Hasko, President of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund and Former Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to President Obama entreating him to reengage with the law enforcement community in light of the chasm between the administration and the men and women who serve and protect, including in Ferguson. In part:

…The growing divide between the police and the people – perhaps best characterized by protesters in Ferguson, Mo., who angrily chanted, “It’s not black or white. It’s blue!” – only benefits of members of a political class seeking to vilify law enforcement for other societal failures. This puts our communities at greater risk, especially the most vulnerable among us.

Your attorney general, Eric Holder, is chief among the antagonists. During his tenure as the head of the Department of Justice, Mr. Holder claims to have investigated twice as many police and police departments as any of his predecessors. Of course, this includes his ill-timed decision to launch a full investigation into the Ferguson Police Department at the height of racial tensions in that community, throwing gasoline on a fire that was already burning. Many officers were disgusted by such a transparent political maneuver at a time when presidential and attorney general leadership could have calmed a truly chaotic situation.

It won’t be long before the American people turn their attention to other matters. Long after Ferguson is forgotten, police officers across America will still remember the way their senior federal executives turned their back on them with oft-repeated suggestions that race-based policing drives a biased, broken law enforcement agenda.

Gruber And Our So-Called “Betters”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:04 pm

[guest post by Dana]

That Jonathan Gruber is so smart! Just like he knows the American people are stupid, he also knows that abortion is worth its weight in economic benefit and societal gain. Life? What life?

We find evidence of sizeable positive selection: the average living circumstances of cohorts of children born immediately after abortion became legalized improved substantially relative to preceding cohorts, and relative to places where the legal status of abortion was not changing. Our results suggest that the marginal children who were not born as a result of abortion legalization would have systematically been born into worse circumstances had the pregnancies not been terminated: they would have been 70% more likely to live in a single parent household, 40% more likely to live in poverty, 35% more likely to die during the first year of life, and 50% more likely to be in a household collecting welfare. The last of these finding implies that the selection effects operating through the legalization of abortion saved the government over $14 billion in welfare payments through the year 1994.

No wonder this infamous architect had the president’s ear and no wonder Obamacare is laden with abortion subsidies.

In a smart column today, Thomas Sowell questions the whole lot of our “betters”. You know who they are: the Grubers of the world, the complicit media and “professional” journalists, and the Democrats and legal experts who spew their mumbo-jumbo legalese in an attempt to defend president’s outrageous disregard for the Constitution. In other words, those who know better than us. And sadly, if Americans weren’t so stupid, everyone would understand that we are talking about something that, in the long run, negatively impacts both sides of the aisle. It’s not what we’ve gained, but rather it’s what we’ve lost.

No one can know for sure what motivated Professor Gruber to do what he did, or what motivated the media to stonewall as if he had never spilled the beans, or the liberal law professors to give Obama cover while he violated the Constitution.

But running through all of their actions seems to be a vision of the world, and a vision of themselves, that is a continuing danger to the fundamental basis of this country, whatever the specific issue might be.

Probably few people on the political left are opposed to the Constitution of the United States, much less actively plotting to undermine it. But, on issue after issue, what they want to do requires them to circumvent the three words with which the Constitution begins: “We, the people…”

Many on the left may want to help “the people.” But once you start from the premise that you know what is best for the people, better than they know themselves, you have to figure ways around a Constitution based on the idea that the people not only have a right to choose their government and control government policy with their votes, but also that there are vast areas of the people’s lives that are none of the government’s business.

Jonathan Gruber’s notion that the people are “stupid” is not fundamentally different from what Barack Obama said to his fellow elite leftists in San Francisco, when he derided ordinary Americans as petty people who want to cling to their guns and their religion. We need to see through such arrogant elitists if we want to cling to our freedom.

In the meantime, responding to a letter from Rep. Darrell Issa requesting Gruber to answer questions about the lack of transparency and deception regarding the Affordable Care Act, Gruber agreed to testify next month.

“From the outset, the health law has been the poster child for this administration’s broken transparency promises,” Issa said in a written statement.

“Jonathan Gruber, one of ObamaCare’s chief architects, publicly lauded the ‘lack of transparency’ that was necessary to pass the law and credited ‘the stupidity of the American voter’ that allowed the administration to mislead the public,” Issa said.

–Dana

11/24/2014

Ferguson Grand Jury Decision; UPDATE: No Indictment

Filed under: General — JD @ 1:26 pm

[guest post by JD]

Open thread. What do you predict?

My prediction – no indictment. Less rioting and mayhem than anticipated. Obama will try to use as platform for some “above the fray” grand speech, because reading speeches and politicizing things is his thing.

Discuss.

—-JD

UPDATE BY PATTERICO: USA Today says no indictment.

UPDATE x2 BY PATTERICO: It’s official. No indictment.

Chuck Hagel Out

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:41 am

[guest post by Dana]

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has resigned been fired:

The officials described Mr. Obama’s decision to remove Mr. Hagel, 68, as a recognition that the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ. A Republican with military experience who was skeptical about the Iraq war, Mr. Hagel came in to manage the Afghanistan combat withdrawal and the shrinking Pentagon budget in the era of budget sequestration.

But now “the next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus,” one administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. He insisted that Mr. Hagel was not fired, saying that he initiated discussions about his future two weeks ago with the president, and that the two men mutually agreed that it was time for him to leave.

But Mr. Hagel’s aides had maintained in recent weeks that he expected to serve the full four years as defense secretary. His removal appears to be an effort by the White House to show that it is sensitive to critics who have pointed to stumbles in the government’s early response to several national security issues, including the Ebola crisis and the threat posed by the Islamic State.

Hagel disagreed publicly with the president over ISIS. He should have known better:

He raised the ire of the White House in August as the administration was ramping up its strategy to fight the Islamic State, directly contradicting the president, who months before had likened the Sunni militant group to a junior varsity basketball squad. Mr. Hagel, facing reporters in his now-familiar role next to General Dempsey, called the Islamic State an “imminent threat to every interest we have,” adding, “This is beyond anything that we’ve seen.” White House officials later said they viewed those comments as unhelpful, although the administration still appears to be struggling to define just how large is the threat posed by the Islamic State.

Added: President Obama on the 2013 confirmation of Republican Secretary of Defense Hagel:

I will be counting on Chuck’s judgment and counsel as we end the war in Afghanistan, bring our troops home, stay ready to meet the threats of our time and keep our military the finest fighting force in the world. Most of all, I am grateful to Chuck for reminding us that when it comes to our national defense, we are not Democrats or Republicans, we are Americans, and our greatest responsibility is the security of the American people.

–Dana

11/23/2014

Hillary: She’s Nice Enough And Now She Smells Enough

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:09 pm

[guest post by Dana]

When asked about Hillary Clinton’s efforts to distance herself from him as she moves toward a possible run in 2016, President Obama commented that he believed the American people want “that new car smell” in their next president:

“They wanna drive somethin’ off the lot that — that doesn’t have as — as much mileage as me,” he told George Stephanopoulos on This Week.

Really? Obama is all of 53! But Hillary, on the other hand, is 67 years old. An old, smelly woman. A post-menopausal grandma who wears dowdy, matronly pantsuits. And smells. Hillary, the old failed Edsel trying one last time to sputter and chug her way to the White House while spewing copious amounts of exhaust and smelly pollutants. But voters don’t want old or smelly. Apparently they want a sharp, fresh smelling, leather-upholstered sports car that can traverse any highway and byway, or the halls of Congress, with speed and efficiency while looking sleek and stylish. Message sent and received: Hillary was once nice enough, and now she smells enough. Is the Great Orator unaware of his foot-in-mouth disease or did we long ago conclude his seemingly innocent linguistic jabs are actually made with shrewd calculated intent? Women of a certain age are wondering. And if Joe Biden – who is 72 years old – runs in 2016, will the president comment on his aging unsavory odor, too?

–Dana

Schoolhouse Rock: “I’m An Executive Order, And I Pretty Much Just Happen”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:03 pm

“Oh, that’s adorable! You still think that’s how government works!”

Thanks to Simon Jester.

Random Links – Some Amusing, Some Less So

Filed under: General — JD @ 11:01 am

[guest post by JD]

Congress made me do it. Because of that Clause in the Constitution that says I get to do what I want if Congress doesn’t do what I proclaim. . Later on, he advances the mendacious ideas that raw numbers of EO’s shows he respects the process, and how they can get rid of his EO by passing legislation.

Al Sharpton defends his four million plus in deliquent taxes, because Trayvon, Ferguson, and racists.

Rep Pelosi wages her own war on women, refusing to accommodate a pregnant veteran amputee who couldn’t make it to DC to vote on Dem leadership. It turned out to have been a power play, since Rep Duckworth was supporting someone other than SanFranNan’s choice for a committee leadership position. The Dems selected the opponent of Pelosi’s hand picked choice.

Imagine if the Republicans had done this.

Chuck Todd declares Gruber fallout to be a political back and forth story, unworthy of national media coverage. That reminded me of how Gosnell was a local crime story. [UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Sarah Kliff agrees with both!]

MFM lapdog John Harwood declares that Gruber flapdoodle just serves to make mad people madder, and is not a story worth covering. . Good dog, John.

And, from the You Cannot Make This Up Files … Lumbersexuality and the toxic rapey beard culture. You really have to read it in its entirety to get the profound ignorance pushed by these ever-aggrieved social justice feeling warriors.

Last but not least, the term freshman is rapey. . Elon has not banned the term freshman, but has replaced it with first year, which is more inclusive. Get a load of that job title – Inclusive Community Wellbeing Coordinator, and then wonder why Higher Ed costs so much, an leaves so many behind.

—-JD

11/22/2014

Damn You, AutoCorrect Siri!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:34 pm

My brother in law blamed Siri for this text today:

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 7.21.37 PM

Not to worry, Justin. I have the next version of WordPress. Which means, I guess . . .

Insert your obvious joke in the space below — if you have the ability.

Because If You Don’t Laugh, You Just Cry

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:53 pm

[guest post by Dana]

If anyone thought that after the midterm trouncing, the president would back off on his immigration plans, then they have not been paying attention. There has never been any indication that this president is open or willing to receive and accept criticism, whether from his own party or even especially from the American people. In this he remains consistent. Besides, one man’s flagrant disregard for the Constitution is just another man’s moral imperative, right?

“When members of Congress question my authority to make our immigration system work better, I have a simple answer: pass a bill.”

Justified!

Anyway, via Rand Paul, a little amusement in spite of the whole debacle.

Starter pack for presidents who think they’re kings:

Untitled-1

Gruber’s take on the immigration move by the President:

Untitled-2
–Dana

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