The Economy: Don’t Look Now, But . . – Power Line Blog

News has just crossed the wire this morning that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 1 percent during the first quarter of this year.  Many people will probably point to the brutal winter weather as a factor, though the Dept. of Commerce fingers “negative contributions from private inventory investment, exports, nonresidential fixed investment, state and local government spending, and residential fixed investment,” and notes that consumer spending was actually up slightly during the quarter.

I’m sure the White House will tell us today not to worry—a “recovery summer,” the sixth in a row now, is on its way.

Remain calm.  Return to your homes.  Don’t stare at the economy.  Nothing to see here.  All his well.

Edward Snowden..

NBC’s new interview with Edward Snowden.

JOHN KERRY TAUNTS SNOWDEN: ‘Man Up And Come Back’

MR. SASSHOLE TAUNTS JOHN KERRY: ‘Quit your job and apply for a job you’re capable of doing well.  Bagging groceries for instance’

Secretary of State John Kerry chided National Security Agency leak source Edward Snowden on Wednesday, telling him he “should man up and come back to the United States.”

Kerry’s comments came as Snowden’s extensive interview with NBC’s Brian Williams is set to air Wednesday night. Kerry was asked about an excerpt from the interview in which Snowden said he was trained by the U.S. government as a “spy,” something that countered the Obama administration’s previous assertions he was a low-level analyst. 

Kerry dismissed Snowden’s comments as twisting language, and he criticized Snowden for seeking asylum in “authoritarian” Russia. 

“If he has a complaint about what’s wrong with American surveillance, come back here and stand in our system of justice and make his case,” Kerry said.

“But instead he’s just sitting there taking pot shots at his country, violating his oath that he took when he took on the job he took, and betraying, I think, the fundamental agreement that he entered into when he became an employee. The fact is he has damaged his country very significantly, in many, many ways. He has hurt operational security. He has told terrorists what they can now do to be able to avoid detection, and I find it sad and disgraceful.”

Snowden also said he never intended to end up in Russia but was forced to go there because Washington decided to “revoke my passport.” 

Kerry, who was participating in a round of interviews ahead of President Barack Obama’s foreign-policy commencement speech Wednesday at West Point, told NBC’s “Today” show that Snowden’s answer was “dumb.”

“Well, for a supposedly smart guy, that’s a pretty dumb answer,” Kerry said.

“Look, I’m not going to get into the who he was, what he was. Let me just say this: If Mr. Snowden wants to come back to the United States today, we’ll have him on a flight today. We’d be delighted for him to come back. And he should.”

Our cognitively impaired, incompetent Secretary of State John Kerry actually had the temerity to say the above.

 

 

The Left Doesn’t Really Believe in Climate Change – Ricochet

The sky is always falling. If the new ice age doesn’t do us in, the ozone hole will. The instant DDT is banned, aerosols must follow. Global warming is replaced by climate change is replaced by “global weirding.”

And what is the solution to these often-contradictory scenarios? We anachronists who retain a bias toward the hard sciences would employ very different measures to prevent a freezing ocean and a boiling one. To an engineer, soldier or plumber, this is obvious.

But how do leaders of the environmental left address these opposing doomsdays? By raising taxes, increasing government, impeding capitalism and reducing national sovereignty. Coincidentally, the same policies they would promote if their supposed environmental catastrophe was utter fiction. It is little wonder that voters are suspicious.

Not suspicious enough.

Global warming is nothing more than an attempt at an enormous power grab by the Left.

And all the while there are very real environmental problems that desperately need to be addressed but are ignored.

Tea Partier Unseats Oldest Congressman – Newser

The oldest member the House of Representatives has ever seen has lost his job to a Tea Party-backed candidate. Rep. Ralph Hall lost his Texas primary yesterday to John Ratcliffe, a former US attorney and Mitt Romney aide. Ratcliffe had won 52% of the vote to Hall’s 48% with 66% of precincts reporting. After Hall and the retiring Rep. John Dingell leave their jobs next year, there will be no World War II veterans serving in Congress, the Washington Post notes.

“I just got whipped and got beat,” Hall, 91, said to supporters.

Hall was by no means a bad congressman, but it was time for some fresh blood in that seat.  Yet another piece of evidence to the contrary that the Tea Party is dead.

Census Data Reveals GOP Is Party of MIDDLE CLASS by 2-1 Ratio – Gateway Pundit

In late March 2014 the Associated Press (AP) reported that eight of ten US House of Representative Districts with the highest annual mean incomes were districts held by Democrats.

This was somewhat surprising as the media constantly labels Republicans “the party of the rich.”  The article went on to list the top ten Congressional Districts predominantly on the East and West Coasts and led by several well known and very liberal Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman and Jerry Nadler.

In response to this article, we decided to review the most recent Census data ourselves and see what other items of interest might be found hidden in this data.

Progressives Today first collected the 2012 US census data housed at the government census site.  We also obtained a list of Congressional Representatives and their party affiliation from the US Congressional website for the 113th Congress voted into office starting in 2012 and combined these files into one massive spreadsheet to obtain relationships.

And, what we found was truly shocking.

The party of the very rich and the very poor.  The party that incessantly talks about the importance of the middle class but whose policies do nothing but destroy it.  After seeing the census data in this article, there should no longer be any surprise as to why.

No ‘Dumping’

Obama acts to protect workers from ObamaCare. – WSJ

The word that got our attention, though, is dump. It appears in the headline, too: “I.R.S. Bars Employers From Dumping Workers Into Health Exchanges.” If the New York Times were our only source of news, we’d be very confused right now. (Well, OK, we’d be very confused almost always.) For months the Times has been touting the quality of ObamaCare policies, scoffing at those who liked their previous plans and were victimized by President Obama’s fraudulent promise that they could keep them.

Now all of a sudden the exchanges are a garbage dump? Or is it that the exchanges are a pristine wilderness into which workers are the garbage being dumped?

The Times quotes Obama at a February press conference: “I don’t think that an employer-based system is going to be, or should be, replaced anytime soon,” he said when a reporter asked “whether over the long term you see a future where health insurance is less tied to the workplace.”

You can see why the president would take that position. If employers start dropping medical benefits, the number of people directly victimized by the you-can-keep-your-plan fraud would multiply, and with it Obama and the Democrats’ political problems. Thus the administration is in the ironic position of writing regulations to make sure its “comprehensive reform” isn’t too comprehensive.

At least the NY Times is being honest about the health care plans from the Exchanges being shit.  Honesty is difficult for them so let’s give them their due credit.

I also like the phrase “the number of people directly victimized by the you-can-keep-your-plan fraud..”.  Victimized is a good description for what this Administration has done towards the people of this country.

Obamacare:  A health plan so fantastic that the President exempted all of his political constituencies from it until the elections are over.

Operation Choke Point a harbinger of big-government activism to come? – Hot Air

DOJ is essentially employing a variant of the tactics former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer used against mutual fund companies last decade: threatening to smear them in the business community and otherwise make their lives miserable unless they settle.

Even despite the tactics, some readers may be reacting to all of this as a good idea. After all, payday lenders don’t have the cleanest of hands, and some — but far from all — may be operating illegally. There are two problems with this position.

The first is that DOJ doesn’t have the constitutional authority to go after businesses whose illegality has not been established by threatening their bank and financial services providers with legal sanctions and regulatory harassment if they don’t participate in the persecution. There are these things called laws which must be passed to declare certain financial practices and contracts illegal. That hasn’t happened. Short of that, there at least need to be court rulings having the same effect. There is apparently no evidence that DOJ has involved the courts at all.

The second is that although the bankers’ montage concentrated on payday lenders, many more business endeavors besides payday lending are involved. At least some of them, as odious as nanny-state officials and other might believe they are, operate legally.

This doesn’t happen in a free country.

Greenwald’s Finale: Naming Victims of Surveillance – Real Clear Politics

The man who helped bring about the most significant leak in American intelligence history is to reveal names of US citizens targeted by their own government in what he promises will be the “biggest” revelation from nearly 2m classified files.

Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who received the trove of documents from Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, told The Sunday Times that Snowden’s legacy would be “shaped in large part” by this “finishing piece” still to come.  His plan to publish names will further unnerve an American intelligence establishment already reeling from 11 months of revelations about US government surveillance activities.

Greenwald, who is promoting his book No Place To Hide and is trailed by a documentary crew wherever he goes, was speaking in a boutique hotel near Harvard, where he was to appear with Noam Chomsky, the octogenarian leftist academic.

“One of the big questions when it comes to domestic spying is, ‘Who have been the NSA’s specific targets?’,” he said.

“Are they political critics and dissidents and activists? Are they genuinely people we’d regard as terrorists?

I firmly expect that there will be some shocking revelations.  I also expect that they will be largely ignored by the American media.

Tea party poised for big wins in Texas GOP runoffs – Houston Chronicle

Perhaps news of the Tea Party’s demise has been greatly exaggerated.  They’ve had some successes in primaries in a few other states as well with a big one coming up in Mississippi.  Several cocktail party Republicans have been removed in exchange for libertarian leaning candidates.  The headwinds are so strong though considering both major parties are out to destroy them.

Regardless, there are a couple of very good Tea Party organizations that have made a significant impact in several elections, make sound tactical decisions and run very lean so that the majority of your donation goes to campaign work and not to maintaining the organization.  Tea Party Patriots and Freedom Works are both excellent organizations and a $10 donation every few months really does some good.

Obama blames Founding Fathers’ ‘structural’ design of Congress for gridlock – Washington Times

At a Democratic fundraiser in Chicago Thursday night, Mr. Obama told a small group of wealthy supporters that there are several hurdles to keeping Democrats in control of the Senate and recapturing the House. One of those problems, he said, is the apportionment of two Senate seats to each state regardless of population.

“Obviously, the nature of the Senate means that California has the same number of Senate seats as Wyoming. That puts us at a disadvantage,” Mr. Obama said.

This is the stuff that terrifies me.  About every six months, we can count on our fascist President to nudge his soft-headed constituents into believing that the fundamental nature of our government needs to be changed so that he can get more done.  The man was supposedly a lecturer on constitutional law (NOT a fucking professor).  He knows that the Senate was always intended to act as a legislative brake.  That’s why the neutering of the filibuster by the Democrats last year was so egregious.