Archive for Democrats

Gruber: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Unless you prefer the title “Some Advisor Watch”

“We’ll work to lower your premiums by up to $2,500 per family per year,” Obama told an audience on Sept. 6, 2008. He made a similar claim at least 18 more times stump speeches during the campaign.

But that was news at the time to Gruber, who later advised the Obama administration on the creation of Obamacare and is now at the center of a firestorm for candid remarks he made about how the administration duped the American public in order to get the health law passed.

“I know zero credible evidence to support that conclusion,” Gruber told the non-partisan FactCheck.org in Feb. 2008….

Go ahead, Aidan, tell us what you think of that:

Yeah, we agree.

“At the end of the day, the only way to control health-care costs in America is to deny Americans health care they want,” Gruber said.

He was seemingly referring to what has been dubbed the Cadillac tax, which is a 40-percent excise tax on the most expensive health insurance plans. Some economists, including Gruber, believe that the Cadillac tax will shore up inefficiencies in the health-care system and “bend the cost curve,” which will save money in the long term.

“Basically, we just don’t know. We just have no clue what it’s going to do,” Gruber added.

But on the campaign trail, Obama adopted the easier-to-understand statement that the average family would save $2,500 per year on their insurance premiums.

In 2008, one of those advisers, Harvard University’s David Cutler, explained to The New York Times that “what we’re trying to do is find a way to talk to people in a way they understand.”

By lying to their faces. Repeatedly.

None of this is a surprise. We all knew this at the time. I would say that the American people were as dumb as Gruber and Obama took them for, but the polls don’t support that. ObamaCare has been unpopular for years. The dummies were the Democrats in Congress who passed it.

But even that’s not true. If we knew they were lying, how could they not know? The fix was in, and everyone was in on it. That’s how they operate. Now that Congress is not so amenable, Obama is just doing away with it altogether.

Comments

Ripe for Impeachment

I’m not saying it’ll happen: impeachment is more a political act than a legal one.

But Andy McCarthy makes the case:

I drew on Faithless Execution in last weekend’s column and in a follow-up Corner post, positing that, short of credibly threatening impeachment, Congress and the courts can neither compel a president to enforce the laws nor stop him from using his plenary pardon authority to grant a sweeping amnesty. That gets Obama two-thirds of the prize he is pursuing — namely, several million aliens whose illegal status has been purged, put on the path to inevitable voting rights that will give Democrats an invincible electoral majority.

By calling on Congress to pass a bill to his liking, Obama has admitted he doesn’t have the authority to do this on his own. He has said exactly that several times over the years, as captured in a video we posted yesterday. By issuing this fiat, therefore, he will exceed his authority—by his own admission and reasoning. Either the proposed amnesty will have no validity; or, if he attempts to enforce it, he will be violating the Constitution. Again, he says so.

That may seem like a political impossibility—I am far from prepared to issue one of my Thirstradamus predictions—but it may become more possible over time:

Congress could, in theory, block the president from granting illegal immigrants legal status and other positive benefits (such as work permits) without impeaching him. To do this in reality, though, Congress would have to use its power of the purse. Translation: It would take the credible threat of a government shutdown to check the president’s lawless conferral of benefits.

Alas, that constitutional parry has already been disavowed by GOP congressional leadership.

Against this backdrop, I am gratified that Fox News’s Megyn Kelly and Charles Krauthammer have just given the topic of impeachment in the immigration context more of the serious consideration it deserves. Appearing on The Kelly File Thursday, Dr. Krauthammer asserted that the president’s anticipated amnesty decree for millions of illegal aliens “is an impeachable offense.”

He is plainly correct. As Faithless Execution elaborates, “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the Constitution’s trigger for impeachment, is a term of art for abuses of power that violate the president’s fiduciary obligations to the American people he serves, the constitutional system he takes an oath to preserve, and the laws whose faithful execution is his core duty. High crimes and misdemeanors are not — or at least, not necessarily — the same as “crimes” and “misdemeanors” prosecutable in the courts. Impeachment is a political remedy (i.e., the removal of political authority), not a legal one (i.e., the removal of liberty after criminal indictment and conviction).

A sweeping amnesty for millions of unrepentant lawbreakers that punishes American workers, imposes crushing burdens on the states, and betrays law-abiding aliens who comply with our immigration rules is not an indictable offense. Yet it is obviously an impeachable one. So is the failure to enforce the immigration laws. And the effort to award by executive decree benefits that only Congress has the power to grant is patently lawless and thus just as clearly impeachable.

Exactly. And, not to be tiresome, but Obama, the ex-Senior Lecturer in Constitutional Law, has said so himself, repeatedly.

The argument goes on, but let me peel off here to discuss the politics. Impeachment requires a majority vote in the House, one I believe would pass easily. The case then is handed over to the Senate for “trial”. To convict, two-thirds (67) of the Senators need to vote in favor. When the new Congress is seated, there will be 54 Republicans, all of whom (let’s say) will vote for impeachment. Can they convince 13 Democrats to go against the party (and the country) to join them? Almost certainly not.

Obama’s proposed decree is politically unpopular, as is he, and a few Dems will vote to impeach. But not enough. As McCarthy says, impeachment is a political act more than a legal one. And there are more than enough political hacks among the Democrats in the Senate to spare The Nation’s First African American President™ from the humiliation of impeachment.

So, is it worth it to proceed? Democrat pollster Pat Caddell described Obama as a “raging narcissist”. Such people do not slink away with their tails between their legs. He’s not bluffing. He doesn’t have to: he can do the math as well as I can (both of us having gone to the same university). I’m not sure I see the point in pursuing a strategy that has almost no chance of success at the end, will leave the offending act unchanged, and may be political overkill.

And I’d vote to impeach him faster than you can say “undocumented citizens”.

But I wonder if wielding the power of the purse might not be a better option, even if it does lead to a shutdown. The GOP feels it took the brunt of criticism for the last “shutdown” (slowdown, barely), yet it just won an historic election. Unlike impeachment, cutting off funds is, as this administration likes to say, a “time-limited, scope-limited” action. A specific remedy to an unpopular act.

I’d also take my chances in the Supreme Court, however this issue might come before them. Even there, the issue would be as much political as it would be legal. But I think a majority of Roberts, Alito, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy would rule that the Constitution is not the president’s napkin at a barbecue joint, to be soiled, wadded up, and thrown away whenever it suited him. On that, I would give my Thirstradamus guarantee.

Comments

Off the Reservation and on the Warpath

I think this is racist, but I can never tell for sure:

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s opposition to President Obama’s Wall Street-backed pick for a top Treasury gig shows she isn’t veering from the populist path she’s ridden to political stardom, despite her new post in party leadership, observers say.

Warren’s office said yesterday she won’t support Obama’s nomination of banker Antonio Weiss as the Treasury’s undersecretary of domestic finance, a position that underscores the Cambridge Democrat’s long-held crusade against Washington’s cozy ties to Wall Street.

A former Treasury official herself, Warren is increasingly concerned about the number of appointees the Obama administration is plucking from Wall Street at the expense of different perspectives, according to her office. She also thinks Weiss’ past work on corporate inversions is a major red flag.

Weiss is a major Democrat donor. Don’t you think his financial support buys him a role in the Obama regime—or are you some kind of Indian giver?

Warren’s opposition, first reported by Politico yesterday, is noteworthy, given just a day earlier she was named to a new post as strategic policy adviser to the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.

“That’s a fancy way of saying that I’ve been asked to join the Democratic leadership in helping decide how we can fight most effectively for the people who are counting on us,” Warren said in an email to supporters.

Admitting that they created an identity for her out of thin air is uncharacteristically honest for Exalted Cheekbones. Now, if she’d just confess to her equally fraudulent Cherokee heritage.

Why bother? I’m telling you here and now she’ll be the Democrat nominee in 2016. They nominated Obama in ’08 with even less of a resume than hers. If I had a farm, I’d bet it.

Some of them may be “ready for Hillary”, but I think we’ll all have to get ready for this:

Et tu, MV?

Comments (1)

Lieawatha Up For Promotion

Deputy Assistant Chief, but it’s a tight race:

Senate Democratic leaders are considering adding Sen. Elizabeth Warren to their leadership team, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

The source wouldn’t say which position the Massachusetts liberal is under consideration for, but the four top leadership jobs are expected to be held by the senators currently holding them: Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Sen. Patty Murray of Washington.

One possible post would be the head of the steering committee, which helps dole out committee assignments to Democrats. That position is currently held by Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, who lost his re-election bid, although he told reporters Wednesday night he won’t formally concede until every vote is counted.

It’s not like she hasn’t climbed to her prominent height over the bodies of the fallen—Ted Kennedy, the Cherokee Nation. What’s one dead Eskimo?

And how perfect that Exalted Cheekbones will be in a leadership position for the minority party. Today, the wigwam; tomorrow, the White House!

Comments (1)

Democrats Piling On

We’ve heard of the open feud between Obama and Harry Reid; Bob Woodward says Democrats tell him how much they hate Obama; senior Democrats have to call MSNBC hosts to find out what Obama is thinking.

But none of them have said this:

PATRICK CADDELL: I just want to say because this man is a raving narcissist. He has absolutely…

SEAN HANNITY: This is your president, Pat. You’re saying he’s a raging narcissist?

CADDELL: He’s a raging narcissist who has no grip on reality. What he’s been doing — he has been doing which is that I’m king and I can rule like king and the Republicans, I have to say, before lay down for him. McCain, Graham, all laid down on the stuff when he did the — here’s the point: now they have to stop it because this will destroy –

Pat Caddell is a Democrat pollster. He helped get Jimmy Carter elected, for God’s sake. But he sounds like me or Aggie (or Buck). And of course he’s right.

I don’t know if Obama will be able to keep it up for two years, but he doesn’t seem cut out for the role of lame duck, much less eunuch. The next six months at least promise to be incendiary.

Comments

Noli Me Tangere

At least somebody gets news from MSNBC!

Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough and Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd appear to have a much better relationship with senior Democratic leaders than President Obama does.

“I actually had a senator–and it happens quite a few times where senators will call us saying, what are you hearing over at the White House? What are they thinking on this bill?” Scarborough said. “I’ll go, are you kidding me?”

“I’ve had those conversations…” Todd said.

The distance between the president and senior Democratic leaders on the Hill is not a recent development, Scarborough said.

“One of the things that we’ve all heard from so many people–and it wasn’t like six years in–it was like two months in from the most senior Democrats–senators, on the Hill–‘He never calls; he never talks to us,’” Scarborough said.

To be fair to the big-eared galoot, you didn’t want him anywhere near you the past six months. Now it’s all “he never writes, he never calls”. He’s your goddamn president, you told us how dreamy he was! You don’t like him, vote to impeach. Then we’ll know you’re serious. Otherwise, shut up.

Comments

Who Ordered the Egg Salad?

Remember all the stories about how Obama never mixed with members of Congress? He didn’t schmooze or gladhand? He even avoided his cabinet, preferring the company of intimate insiders like Valerie Jarrett and…Valerie Jarrett.

This has got to be hard for him to swallow:

Obama invited the top four House and Senate leaders to each bring along their top three deputies to the lunch in the White House Old Family Dining Room.


That’s right, sir. You take a big ol’ bite out of that s**t sandwich.

Republican aides said before the lunch that House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is in line to become Senate majority leader, would press Obama and Democratic leaders to support dozens of House-passed bills that they believe could be quickly approved next year when the new Congress convenes and could help jump-start the economy.

Boehner and McConnell were also expected to remind Obama — as they did in public this week — that he runs the risk of spoiling any attempt at bipartisan cooperation if he takes steps to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws by using his presidential executive authorities, aides said.

“Finding common ground is going to be hard work, but it will be even harder if the president isn’t willing to work with us,” Boehner told reporters Thursday at his post-election news conference. “I’ve told the president before, he needs to put politics aside and rebuild trust.”

Which president does he mean? Fillmore? Not this one, surely. The first words out of his mouth to Republicans after the inauguration were “I won.” He has ignored Congressional intent, abused his office, and conspired with fellow Democrats in Congress to ruin the traditions and rules of the legislative body. Rebuild trust? Work with you? If you bring a knife, John Boehner, he’s bringing a gun.

Comments

Demographics Against Democrats

Here’s a word you don’t often see associated with Republicans: Demographics.

Over the past five years, the Democratic Party has tried to add class warfare to its pre-existing focus on racial and gender grievances, and environmental angst. Shortly after his re-election in 2012, President Obama claimed to have “one mandate .?.?. to help middle-class families and families that are working hard to try to get into the middle class.”

Yet despite the economic recovery, it is precisely these voters, particularly the white middle and working classes, who, for now, have deserted the Democrats for the GOP, the assumed party of plutocracy. The key in the 2014 mid-term elections was concern about the economy; early exit polls Tuesday night showed that seven in 10 voters viewed the economy negatively, and this did not help the Democratic cause.

“The Democrats have committed political malpractice,” says Morley Winograd, a longtime party activist and a former top aide to Vice President Al Gore during the Clinton years. “They have not discussed the economy and have no real program. They are offering the middle class nothing.”

Winograd believes that the depth of white middle- and working-class angst threatens the bold predictions in recent years about an “emerging Democratic majority” based on women, millennials, minorities and professionals. Non-college educated voters broke heavily for the GOP, according to the exit polling, including some 62% of white non-college voters. This reflects a growing trend: 20 years ago districts with white, working-class majorities tilted slightly Democratic; before the election they favored the GOP by a 5 to 1 margin, and several of the last white, Democratic congressional holdovers from the South, notably West Virginia’s Nick Rahall and Georgia’s John Barrow, went down to defeat Tuesday night.

Rather than the promise of “hope and change,” according to exit polls, 50% of voters said they lack confidence that their children will do better than they have, 10 points higher than in 2010. This is not surprisingly given that nearly 80% state that the recession has not ended, at least for them.

Much more; do read.

But we have enough for discussion to work with here. The GDP grew a respectable 3.5% last quarter, after a whopping 4.6% the quarter before. The unemployment rate is finally below 6%, and the “Unexpected”™ weekly layoff numbers have been historically low recently. Yet nobody feels good about the economy.

Are we stupid? Or have five-plus years of piss-poor “recovery” left us jaded? The labor participation rate is still at historic lows, and 93 million Americans—about the total population of Spain and Kenya combined—don’t work.

And some of us have more personal reasons:

[W]hile failing most Americans, the Obama era has been very kind to plutocrats of all kinds. Low interest rates have hurt middle-income retirees while helping to send the stock market soaring. Quantitative easing has helped boost the price of assets like high-end real estate; in contrast middle and working class people, as well as small businesses, find access to capital or mortgages still very difficult.

Perhaps the biggest attrition for the Democrats has been among middle-class voters employed in the private sector, particularly small property and business owners. In the 1980s and 1990s, middle- and working-class people benefited from economic expansions, garnering about half the gains; in the current recovery almost all benefits have gone to the top one percent, particularly the wealthiest sliver of that rarified group.

You can bet Elizabeth Warren knows those numbers. It would behoove the Republicans to learn them too. I have no patience for bashing the wealthy and chanting about the “99%”, but if Obama’s recovery has left the middle class behind—how many new jobs are full time? who gets a raise any more?—smart people know their political future, and the country’s economic future, lie in getting that right.

And I do not want that person to be Elizabeth Warren.

Comments

A Prophylactic Loss

Sandra Fluke ran for Congress in California, and lost—to another Democrat!

The face of the Obamacare contraception mandate has lost her bid for state Senate in California’s 26th Congressional District.

Sandra Fluke was facing off against another Democrat, Ben Allen, who is a board member of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

The women’s rights activist received 39 percent of the vote while Allen won with 61 percent.

In the War on Women, sweetheart, you just became France! That was a spanking.

I had forgotten she was running for office, as indeed did many liberals.

I wonder what her pitch was?

My career has always been devoted to the public interest and fighting for social justice.

Career? What career? She came to the public eye only because she had the ‘nads to demand that a Catholic institution at which she was a mere student pay for her birth control. If that’s a “career” what box does she check on the census under “Profession” (other than “professional”—sorry, sorry, bad joke)?

I believed it was my responsibility to use the microphone I was given to advocate for the progressive policies I’ve always fought for: affordable health care, access to a quality education, LGBTQ rights and economic justice.

What, no rubbers?

Sandra graduated cum laude [wipe that smirk off your face] from Georgetown University Law Center as a Public Interest Law Scholar with a Certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies. In 2003, she received a B.S. [wipe that one off too] from Cornell University in Policy Analysis and Management, as well as Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies [I'll bet she did]. Sandra and her husband, Adam, live in West Hollywood with their dog, Mr. President.

No kids, huh? Well, give those two lovebirds time. Can’t keep their hands off each other.

For more than two years, Sandra worked with a grassroots coalition to pass the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, which was signed into law by Governor Brown in 2013 and is designed to ensure domestic workers have the same protections that other workers enjoy. At the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking in Los Angeles, Sandra is one of the longest running volunteer attorneys representing victims of human trafficking. She has advocated for student loan debt relief, access to early childhood education and for raising the minimum wage.

I stand corrected. If “volunteer attorney” at the “Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking” isn’t partnership track, I don’t know what is. Her dog may be Mr. President, but alas she will not be Congresswoman Fluke.

Comments

Why the Long Faces?

Untitled

You all look sadder than Lena Dunham looking at an empty fridge.

What’s the matter?

After years of tension between President Obama and his former Senate colleagues, trust between Democrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue had eroded. A fight between the White House and Senate Democrats over a relatively small sum of money had mushroomed into a major confrontation.

At a March 4 Oval Office meeting, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and other Senate leaders pleaded with Obama to transfer millions in party funds and to also help raise money for an outside group. “We were never going to get on the same page,” said David Krone, Reid’s chief of staff. “We were beating our heads against the wall.”

“The president’s approval rating is barely 40 percent,” Krone said. “What else more is there to say? .?.?. He wasn’t going to play well in North Carolina or Iowa or New Hampshire. I’m sorry. It doesn’t mean that the message was bad, but sometimes the messenger isn’t good.”

You mean he isn’t “light-skinned” with “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”?

That’s gotta suck.

Still, Obama’s their leader, and they’ll back him:

“It doesn’t make sense that we have to fight so hard against our own government and our own administration and our president to try to find a balance,” Manchin told MSNBC.

“It was President Obama dragging candidates down across the country,” one Senate Democratic aide said. “It was a tough map to start with, and his numbers were especially bad in these states, making it that much harder to overcome.”

“It’s an inescapable fact that this election was more about Obama and frustration with his presidency than any other factor,” said one prominent Democratic strategist. “You can blame, in some cases, bad strategy, bad candidacy, bad ads — but the one ring that unites them all was anger and frustration toward Obama’s policies.”

“President Obama needs to care more about the economic issues that everyday Americans care about than the fringe positions that House Republicans and Ted Cruz care about,” the liberal Progressive Change Campaign Committee argued.

Bet these racist bastard Democrats wouldn’t say these things if Obama were white (all white, that is). The party hasn’t changed from the 1950s.

Comments (1)

Pollsters Seeing—and Turning—Red

Democrats don’t get to eat fried chicken (it’s back on the kale for you!), but pollsters will be eating crow:

The pre-election polling averages (not the FiveThirtyEight forecasts, which also account for other factors) in the 10 most competitive Senate races had a 6-percentage point Democratic bias as compared to the votes counted in each state so far.

We aren’t counting Alaska, where polls haven’t closed yet. We also aren’t counting Virginia, which is much closer than expected. But Mark Warner’s close call makes more sense now given the margins we’re seeing in other states.

The bias might narrow slightly as more votes are counted; late-counted votes tend to be Democratic in most states. Still, this is a big “skew,” and it comes on the heels of what had been a fairly substantial bias in the opposite direction in 2012. The polls — excepting Ann Selzer’s — are having some problems.

That’s the Senate.

How about among the governors?

As I wrote before, polls in the most competitive Senate races look to have had about a 6-percentage point Democratic bias based on the votes as counted so far.

What about in the most competitive gubernatorial races (excluding Alaska, which has not yet finished voting)?

The bias hasn’t been quite as bad, but the polls were still too Democratic-leaning by an average of about 2 percentage points. As a result, a number of Democrats who had narrow leads in the polls are going to lose their races.

Yup.

Comments

Democrats Behaving Badly

I suppose that title is a little verbose.

Call it instead: “Democrats Behaving”

Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen was principally involved in a plot with Lois Lerner and President Barack Obama’s political appointee at the IRS to lead a program of harassment against conservative nonprofit groups during the 2012 election, according to letters exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) did not want to publicly release 2012 correspondences exchanged between the IRS and Jeanne Shaheen at her personal Washington office: the agency delayed releasing the information to a major conservative super PAC multiple times, even threatening to see the super PAC in court, according to emails.

“The IRS is aware of the current public interest in this issue,” IRS chief counsel William J. Wilkins, a White House visitor described by insiders as “The President’s Man at the IRS,” personally wrote in a hand-stamped memo to “Senator Shaheen” on official Department of the Treasury letterhead on April 25, 2012.

The memo, obtained by TheDC, briefed the Democratic senator about a coordinated IRS-Treasury Department plot to target political activity by nonprofit 501(c)(4) groups. The plot was operating out of Lois Lerner’s Tax Exempt Government Entities Division.

Yet again, we learn from politicians it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up:

In response to the memo’s publication by The Daily Caller, Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire consultant Michael Biundo told Breitbart News he’s horrified.

“Despite Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire’s FOIA request, the IRS has continued to stall and illegally ignore deadline after deadline for the past several months in order to delay the release of correspondence between their office and Senator Shaheen and now we know why,” Biundo said in an email. “On the eve of the midterm elections, a plot between Senator Shaheen, Lois Lerner, and President Barack Obama’s political appointee at the IRS to lead a program of harassment against conservative groups aimed to trample free speech has come to light.

“This abuse of government power should not be tolerated. Senator Shaheen should immediately release all correspondence with the IRS. Granite Staters deserve transparency and honesty from their elected officials but unfortunately, the Senator continues to hide.”

I’m more jaded than a Chinese sculpture garden, but even I’m stunned. But once I’ve caught my breath, I see the logic of the IRS conspiring with Shaheen in the cover-up of her involvement, just as they conspired to sideline the Tea Party in the past election cycle.

I checked the Manchester Union-Leader. They didn’t have it in the morning paper. Typical press.

Comments (1)

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »