Govt watchdogs team up, slam Obama admin’s lack of transparency

Obama says shh!

Shhh!

Enough is enough, they say. Via Fox News:

Dozens of government watchdogs are sounding the alarm that the Obama administration is stonewalling them, in what is being described as an unprecedented challenge to the agencies they’re supposed to oversee.

Forty-seven of the government’s 73 independent watchdogs known as inspectors general voiced their complaints in a letter to congressional leaders this week. They accused several major agencies — the Justice Department, the Peace Corps and the chemical safety board — of imposing “serious limitations on access to records.”

The inspectors general are now appealing to Congress to help them do their jobs uncovering waste, fraud, and mismanagement.

“Agency actions that limit, condition, or delay access thus have profoundly negative consequences for our work: they make us less effective, encourage other agencies to take similar actions in the future, and erode the morale of the dedicated professionals that make up our staffs,” they wrote.

The letter to the chairmen and ranking members of relevant oversight committees in the House and Senate claimed agencies are withholding information by calling it “privileged.”

In the letter, they said this interpretation poses “potentially serious challenges to the authority of every Inspector General and our ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.”

Gotta hand it to IG’s willing to put their name to the complaints in this letter. After all, we’ve seen what happens to inspectors general in this administration when they run afoul of the President’s do as I say, not as I do agenda.

“Transparency” you can believe in! At least many in the mainstream media aren’t even falling for it anymore. Baby steps ….

#Obamacare: the more Americans know it, the more they hate it

**Posted by Phineas

"Obamacare has arrived"

“Obamacare has arrived”

That’s the unavoidable conclusion of a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which, if I recall correctly, has been friendly towards the ACA. Byron York reports:

According to new polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which has closely tracked Obamacare for years, 37 percent of those surveyed have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act, while 53 percent have an unfavorable view. That’s an eight-percentage-point jump in unfavorability over last month, and a two-point drop in favorability over the same time.

Why the shift? It’s not because millions of Americans have suddenly become conservative Republicans. Kaiser found that disapproval of Obamacare has risen across the board. Among Democrats, for example, the law’s unfavorable rating jumped six points in July, while its favorable rating fell four points. A similar thing happened among independents and — it hardly seemed possible — among Republicans who already hated the law.

Obamacare’s unfavorables also rose among all income groups — people who make less than $40,000 a year, those who make between $40,000 and $90,000 a year, and those who make more than $90,000. The same among all age groups. And the same for race and ethnicity: Disapproval rose among whites, blacks, and Hispanics.

Rather than a shift among some identifiable group, Obamacare’s rising unpopularity seems to be a product of the simple fact that, several months into its implementation, more and more people are having personal experience with the law.

Remember how Democrats swore people would love the law, once they got some experience with it? Critics suspected that was wishful thinking, and we seem to have been right.

Read the rest of York’s article for the details, but this is really the result of two things: 1) monumental progressive arrogance in seizing control of a health insurance system that a majority of the nation was satisfied with, substituting their judgement for that of their constituents and face-slapping the constitutional order in the process; and 2) doing a crappy job of writing the actual legislation, causing all sorts of problems for people across the nation. After the disruption of doctor-patient relationships, shrunken provider networks, increased deductibles, and massive cancellations of policies people were happy with –and the savaging of large group plans is still to come!–  after all that, is it any wonder more and more people hate this thing, the more they get to know it?

Obamacare has been pushed into the background somewhat, as other crises du jour have taken it’s place on the front pages. But it’s still there, and it is still going to annoy the heck out of people, especially as the rate increases hit this summer and group policies start getting cancelled. And you can bet that surveys like this one fill Democrats with dread as we approach November.

As they should.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

“Why is racism treated differently when it comes from the left?”

Mitch Mcconnell & Elaine Cho

Mitch Mcconnell & Elaine Cho

A fantastic column from Ron Christie in today’s Daily Beast regarding the disgusting racist attacks being waged by Democrats in Kentucky against former Secretary of Labor (and wife of KY Senator/Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell) Elaine Cho (hat tip):

But Democrats who imagine racist slights and “dog whistles” at every turn would be wise to look at the vicious anti-Asian bigotry on display in Kentucky, which is being fomented by supporters of their so-called progressive party.

[…]

This past weekend, as Senator McConnell spoke to supporters at the Fancy Farm event in Kentucky, he sought to confront the “War on Women” rhetoric of his Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, by noting his wife’s accomplishments. “And the biggest asset I have by far is the only Kentucky woman who served in a president’s cabinet, my wife, Elaine Chao,” he said to applause from the crowd.

It didn’t take long for Kathy Groob, the founder of the pro-Democrat PAC Elect Women, to start mocking Chao’s heritage on Twitter. “She’s not from KY…She is Asian and [President George W.] Bush openly touted that,” Groob said. In other tweets, Groob referred to Chao as McConnell’s “Chinese wife,” and said McConnell is “wedded to free trade in China.

She later deleted her offensive tweets and deactivated her Twitter account. National and Kentucky Democrats, to their credit, quickly denounced her remarks.

Still, the incident left me scratching my head. A prominent Democrat attacks a spouse of a Republican candidate based on the color of her skin, but the reaction from the national media has been largely muted. One can only imagine the reaction had a GOP operative made the exact same slur against the spouse of a Democratic candidate. There would be wall-to-wall coverage on MSNBC, disapproving editorials from The New York Times, and warnings from the DNC that Republicans are looking to bring us back to the days of internment camps and Jim Crow. Talking Points Memo, a liberal website that delights in highlighting the ramblings of obscure GOP statehouse backbenchers, would use a story like that to insinuate that conservatives are, by and large, racist.

And this isn’t even the first time Democrats in Kentucky have attacked Chao’s ethnicity. Last year, a Democratic super PAC called Progress Kentucky tweeted that McConnell’s marriage to Chao “may explain why your job moved to #China.

Make sure to read the whole thing.

Double standards like this, which I’ve written about many, many times before, will never change – at least as far as the mainstream media is concerned. But all the same, they’ll always be worth pointing out.  Sunlight is the best medicine, and all that …

QOTD: Obama “never had reporters eating out of his hand” sez former WH spox

I wonder if even they laugh over some of the ridiculous claims they make?

I wonder if even they laugh over some of the ridiculous claims they make?

It is to laugh, my dear readers. It is to laugh:

So you think that President Obama’s rise stemmed in part from media favoritism? Reid Cherlin, a former Obama campaign media liaison and later a White House spokesman, has different ideas, as outlined in a Rolling Stone piece:

No, Barack Obama never had reporters eating out of his hand the way that right-wingers love to allege — even though Obama’s intellectual approach made him seem like someone who could just as easily have been a columnist as a candidate. Appearing at his first Correspondents’ Dinner, in 2009, the president joked, “Most of you covered me; all of you voted for me.” But even as polite laughter settled over the black-tie crowd, there was ample evidence that the old way of the news business – in fact, the news business entirely – was falling away, and with it, the last shreds of comity between subject and scribe.

Time to book Cherlin on a conference panel with Mark Halperin. The co-author of “Game Change” and well-traveled pundit and reporter said after Obama’s 2008 victory: “It’s the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war. It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage.”

Halperin was, of course, correct.   And several years later, unfortunately, not much has changed.

LOL: CBC upset DCCC supports overturn of #FLGOP redistricting, implies racism

Oops!

I’ll be chuckling over this one for a while:

Black Democrats in Congress are sharply criticizing their party’s leadership for supporting efforts to overturn the GOP-drawn congressional map in Florida and cut into Republicans’ House majority.

Last week, Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) sent a sharply worded letter to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) complaining about the party’s support for a lawsuit that aims to throw out Florida’s congressional map — changes that could dismantle the gerrymandered seat of CBC member Corrine Brown.

“On behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), I write to express our ongoing concern with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) support of lawsuits challenging the validity of minority Congressional districts,” Fudge wrote. “Per our prior discussion, we are extremely disturbed by the DCCC’s efforts to dismantle CBC districts in states that have historically proven to be difficult to elect minority members. Considering the history of discrimination through efforts such as gerrymandering, the recent actions reflect the discrimination of days past.”

On Friday, a Florida judge asked the Legislature to redraw the congressional map so that it conformed with the state’s constitution. He set a deadline for Aug. 15 so that the new map could be used for the 2014 election and left open the possibility that the election could be postponed to allow time for the new plan to be implemented.

Democratic-aligned groups, with funding from the National Democratic Redistricting Trust, have supported the lawsuit with an eye toward undoing a congressional map that is seen as GOP-friendly. But the CBC is unhappy because the judge has specifically pointed to Brown’s oddly shaped 5th District, which snakes from Jacksonville all the way down to Orlando, as a district that violated the state’s Fair Districts amendment.

OK. Let me break this down: Democrats, especially those in the South, have an – er, unsavory shall we say history on the issue of racism going waaaaaaaaay back. They’ve tried to make amends to it over the years, mostly by flipping the switch and (many times falsely) accusing their opponents of racism in an effort to scare voters.  To a large degree, the despicable, desperate tactic worked.  They often point to “gerrymandering” as a way Republican-dominated state legislatures demonstrate their alleged disdain and hatred for black people.

In this instance, the FL GOP drew up a revised Congressional map that a FL judge has asked them to redraw by the middle of this month.  Naturally, the DCCC applauded the judge’s ruling because they believe it will give them an upcoming election advantage.  But if the maps are redrawn the way the judge seems to think they should be, it could impact Corrine Brown’s seat which the CBC does not support.  In effect, black Democrats here are saying that, though in the past redistricting has been used to “disenfranchise” black voters, in this situation it wasn’t.  The (mostly white) members of the DCCC, on the other hand, are apparently willing to overlook at how this could negatively impact Congresswoman Brown because of the potential to pick up more desperately needed seats elsewhere.

You really can’t  make this stuff up! #popcorn

Barney Frank: Obama admin “just lied to people” about #Obamacare

Obamacare - they knew

They knew.

It’s amazing how no longer being an elected official can free up people to tell the truth about their own side for a change:

Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) slammed the administration’s ObamaCare rollout, calling President Obama’s claim that people could keep their insurance plans under the law a “lie.”

“The rollout was so bad, and I was appalled — I don’t understand how the president could have sat there and not been checking on that on a weekly basis,” Frank said in an interview with the Huffington Post published Friday.

“But frankly, he should never have said as much as he did, that if you like your current health care plan, you can keep it,” he continued. “That wasn’t true. And you shouldn’t lie to people. And they just lied to people.”

However, Frank showing a bit of an  honest side on the issue of the promotion of Obamacare – something he actively took a role in as a Congressman – doesn’t change the fact that the guy is a bonafide fascist, as he made clear later in the interview:

“He should have said, ‘Look, in some cases the health care plans that you’ve got are really inadequate, and in your own interests, we’re going to change them,'” Frank said. “But that’s not what he said.”

Got that, y’all?  In retrospect, Frank says the President should have told people that it was in their own “best interests” for him to pull out from under them healthcare plans he and the Democrats who forced this plan through Congress without a single Republican vote deemed “inadequate” — even if you happened to like your healthcare plan.  But Frank knew at the time -as did the President, as did other dishonest Democrats like NC’s Senator Kay Hagan – that being up front with the American people and letting them know that many of them would lose their health insurance plans under this law would have meant Obamacare would have never come close to becoming law.  

Frank, Hagan, Obama, and the rest of the left deliberately lied to the American people in order to get this bill passed and signed into law.   Telling that tall tale was a means to an end for Democrats in Washington, DC who think they know better than you what types of healthcare plans are “adequate” – in spite of them giving lip service to “if you like it you can keep it.”  That’s just the simple, cold reality of what they did – knowingly repeating this blatant falsehood over and over again, and it is one that Democrats (both in and out of office) would conveniently like for you to forget.

They wish.

Thanks to progressivism, we’ve lost the “War on Poverty”

**Posted by Phineas

"Defeat"

“Defeat”

The War on Poverty was launched in 1964 under Lyndon Johnson with the best of intentions: through massive spending and extensive welfare programs, the government would eradicate poverty in America and make people self-sufficient. Like I said, a worthy goal.

It has also been an utter failure. In 1964 we declared war on poverty, and poverty won.

As the chart above shows, poverty was in deep, rapid decline in America after World War II without any government help, just the natural processes of a growing, prosperous economy. It looked well on its way to elimination, perhaps. Then, in the mid to late-60s, it leveled off and, save for an occasional bump up, has stayed right around fifteen percent.What happened?

In 1964, with the start of the War on Poverty, progressives and other economically illiterate do-gooders wound up trapping people in poverty, rather than helping them out of it. As Robert Rector at The Signal writes:

Johnson did not intend to put more Americans on the dole (1). Instead, he explicitly sought to reduce the future need for welfare by making lower-income Americans productive and self-sufficient.

By this standard, the War on Poverty has been a catastrophic failure. After spending more than $20 trillion on Johnson’s war, many Americans are less capable of self-support than when the war began. This lack of progress is, in a major part, due to the welfare system itself. Welfare breaks down the habits and norms that lead to self-reliance, especially those of marriage and work. It thereby generates a pattern of increasing inter-generational dependence. The welfare state is self-perpetuating: By undermining productive social norms, welfare creates a need for even greater assistance in the future. Reforms should focus on these programs’ incentive structure to point the way toward self-sufficiency. One step is communicating that the poverty rate is better understood as self-sufficiency rate—that is, we should measure how many Americans can take care of themselves and their families.

Emphasis added.

What was it Ronald Reagan said?

“The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

One would think that, faced with all the mounds of evidence that government programs don’t lift people out of poverty, Progressives, who claim to be devoted to “progress,” would see the war on poverty has been a failure and that the programs should be reformed or discontinued and something else tried, something like less government intervention.

But, no. Few ever will be that honest, because to say government failed to reorder society as desired would be to admit that the central tenet of progressivism, a faith in the power of technocrats to manage a vastly complex society, was wrong.

Meanwhile, that core 15% remains trapped in poverty, addicted to government “crack” and walking a road paved with good intentions.

PS: Note the sharp climb back up to 15% at the end of that chart. It starts soon after the Democrats take over Congress in 2006 and undo the 1990s Clinton-Gingrich welfare reform, then accelerates under Obama. Coincidence? I think not.

RELATED: Cato economist Dan Mitchell has often written on the same topic. Here’s a post he wrote on the failures of the War on Poverty and another on the “redistribution trap.” That latter is must-reading.

Footnote:
(1) Many criticize that assertion, with some justification. See for example Kevin Williamson’s “The Dependency Agenda.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

#RedMeatThursday: Poll shows Gov. Sandoval could beat Senator Reid

Senator Harry Reid

Trouble ahead for “Pinky” Reid?

I know 2016 Senate races are way off but this, my dear readers, is tantalizing for those of us whose top five Senate priorities include either politically neutralizing Reid or ousting him from office completely via the ballot box:

Gov. Brian Sandoval leads Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid by 10 percentage points in a hypothetical 2016 U.S. Senate matchup, according to a new poll that represents the first public release of results in this potential race.

The survey, conducted by Harper Polling earlier this week, also shows, as other surveys do, Sandoval cruising to re-election (56-34) over Bob Goodman. The robo-survey of 602 statewide voters has a margin of error of 4 percent.

Sandoval crushes Reid among independents, 65-28. Reid’s 55 percent unfavorable rating is all but fatal — you know, just as it was in 2010.

There is a lot of other data in the survey, which pollster Brock McCleary said he paid for himself, likely as an entree into Nevada to try to get business. The numbers, demographics (43-37 Dem/GOP, 53-47 female/male) generally look solid, although Sandoval’s unfavorable number (30 percent) seems a tad high (although possible). Harper is a former GOP operative on Capitol Hill, running the polling operation for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Intriguing, to say the least, but as Andrew Johnson at National Review notes, Reid looked pretty vulnerable in 2010 but ended up winning by 6 points over GOP nominee Sharron Angle.  So who knows?

No matter who the eventual nominee ends up being, look for Reid, a Senator since 1987, to play all his usual dirty tricks and pull out all the stops, maneuvering the state political system to suit his own ends.  Typical of a paranoid entrenched liberal politico who can’t win the conventional way, you know, by earning (rather than BUYING) votes.

Stay tuned.

One-third of donations to @SandraFluke campaign come from her & her family

Sandra Fluke

Sandra Fluke

The Washington Examiner’s Ashe Schow strikes again, this time over reported donations and loans to Sandra Fluke’s state Senate campaign (hat tip):

Liberal darling and free-birth-control advocate Sandra Fluke is her own biggest donor in her state Senate race, according to official California campaign finance reports.

Fluke donated $12,000 to her campaign and $4,826.27 in non-monetary contributions. While $16,826.27 may not sound like a lot, Fluke also loaned her campaign $100,000.

Where does a 2012 law school grad working as a social justice attorney get a loan that size? Her campaign never responded to a Washington Examiner inquiry, so we’re left to speculate.

Perhaps the loan was in part secured by the family of Fluke’s husband, Adam Mutterperl. In 2012, Fluke married Mutterperl, an amateur stand-up comic and son of big-time Democratic donor William Mutterperl.

And wouldn’t you know it, the Mutterperls have donated quite a bit to Fluke’s campaign. William and Nancy Mutterperl have each donated $8,200 to Fluke’s campaign. Adam has given a bit less – $4,100.

As a family, the Mutterperls have given Fluke $20,500. Fluke’s own family has donated $9,600 to her campaign (her mother gave one donation as Betty and one as Elizabeth).

While it’s not unusual for family members to donate to a campaign (it would be far more telling if they didn’t give), the fact that the donations, along with Fluke’s loan, accounts for 33 percent of Fluke’s fundraising is notable.

Well – um, if she doesn’t win that Senate seat, at least we know she can now afford birth control …