Hillary’s Letter to Santa

Hillary ClintonDear Santa:

I have only one wish this year: no primary opponents. Please, I don’t want any competition for the Democrat nomination. We all know I should be inevitable, but some people in my own party are starting to say I’m too out-of-touch, too cozy with Wall Street, too closely tied to Barack. They even say I’ve been in politics too long. Can you believe that? When you think new beginnings, you think Hillary!

I know a lot of Democrats like Elizabeth Warren more than they like me. MoveOn.org is trying to recruit her to run against me. Excuse me? MoveOn should move over. It’s my turn, but even Biden is starting to look better to some people. Biden?!

So, can you please make sure Warren doesn’t run? And Biden and O’Malley and Webb and Bernie Sanders and…well, anyone. I don’t want Democrats to think they have a choice. That didn’t work out so well for me last time. On second thought, Bernie can run. He’ll make me look moderate for the general election, and he won’t force me to answer tough questions like Warren would.

(By the way, I have always regretted not writing you before that campaign. I’m a believer now. Did Barack write you before ’08? I mean, how else would someone so inexperienced beat me?)

By the way, I do want to say “thank you” for what you got me last year: the lucrative speaker’s gigs. Even cash-strapped public universities shelled out a quarter million dollars to hear me speak about nothing in particular! On top of the speaker’s fees, people give into all my demands—from the private planes to the crudités backstage. I know you had something to do with it: no one in their right mind would throw away that kind of money for speeches in which I don’t even take positions on important issues.

That reminds me. There’s one more thing on my list. Can you help me get away with not taking positions on issues like Keystone and the CIA report for at least another year? That would be a big help. I find people like me more when they don’t remember what I stand for.

I’m ready for…Santa!

Sincerely,

Hillary

P.S. Is Bill still on the naughty list?

Thanks to the Republican National Committee for this skillful piece of writing.

The End of Democrat Control of the Senate

Harry Reid at the podiumYesterday, the United States Senate mercifully adjourned and Democrat control of the venerable institution ended for at least two years. Harry Reid’s dictatorship has ended with a whimper. Perhaps, it’s time for the Republicans to be wary of Democrats bearing gifts.

The media is calling this Congress the least-productive in modern memory. With each chamber being firmly controlled by a party there was little chance of any achievements in the current hyper-partisan atmosphere.

Immigration reform was a dead issue. The Senate came up with a bill that was fraught with problems for all Republicans. It went nowhere in the House which promised a series of bills rather than one massive bill like Obamacare.

Nothing was achieved on the economy and jobs with the House proposing a number of measures that die in Harry Reid’s inbox.

Republicans complained that the economy was in the dumps while the White House and its Democrat allies tried to convince the American people that everything was moving in the right direction.

Meanwhile the Real Clear Politics average shows that 64.8% think that we’re on the wrong track while only 27.5% think that the country is on the right track. Either the American people are right or the Democrats are. I’m betting on the American people being right.

Across the board the American people have very little regard for our government institutions.

The President is constantly lying about issues that he can be contradicted on. Obamacare with its constant changes and misrepresentations is constantly under fire from its opponents. Now Democrats like Tom Harkin and Chuck Schumer have turned against it.

Both houses of Congress have extremely low ratings in polls. Overall Congressional job approval is in the teens or even lower.

The Republicans promised their supporters a lot of things but so far in the lame duck session allowed the Democrats one last series of victories. Almost 90 new judges and other officials were allowed to move through because Ted Cruz and his crew allowed the Senate to stay in session longer than necessary.

Come January the Senate and the House will be controlled by the Republicans. Now, it’s time to play hardball with Obama and his allies. During his six years of unobstructed control he has had his way because of his party’s control of the Congress.

It’s time for the Republicans to rein in this constitutionally-challenged Chief Executive. They need to push the courts on Obamacare and immigration. A federal judge in Pennsylvania has already called his executive actions unconstitutional.

The opinion filed Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Arthur Schwab, in Pennsylvania, marks the first court opinion to tackle Obama’s immigration announcement. He said Obama’s immigration actions are invalid and effectively count as “legislation” from the Executive Branch.

“President Obama’s unilateral legislative action violates the separation of powers provided for in the United States Constitution as well as the Take Care Clause, and therefore, is unconstitutional.”

The opinion, though, is unique in that it did not come in response to a challenge to Obama’s immigration policy announcement. It is unclear what impact, if any, the opinion might have other than to rally critics and fuel momentum behind other lawsuits.

The Republicans have to press Obama on all fronts: immigration reform, the Keystone XL pipeline, oil and gas drilling on federal lands, Obamacare and EPA regulations that are strangling the economy.

Next with control of both houses the Republicans can get to the bottom of the many scandals of the Obama administration with the use of Joint Committees to investigate these transgressions.

The Republicans better rest up over the holidays and come back to Washington with a new determination to take back the country.

 

Unmasking the Democrats on Enhanced Interrogation

Enhanced Interrogation TechniquesLast week, the Democrat majority on the Senate Intelligence Committee released their long-awaited report on interrogating terrorists. Their conclusions spread over almost 6,500 pages of the executive summary and the complete classified report were stark.

Their conclusions were blunt and to the point. First, every action taken by the CIA with regards to prisoner interrogation was torture. And no actionable intelligence was garnered from the interrogations.

Almost immediately the Republicans responded. President Bush unapologetic saying:

“Whatever the report says, if it diminishes their contributions to our country, it is way off base. I knew the directors, I knew the deputy directors, I knew a lot of the operators — these are good people, really good people. And we’re lucky as a nation to have them.”  

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, who many on the left have characterized as the ‘Dark Lord’ was even more emphatic.On NBC’s Meet the Press Cheney said:

“It worked, it absolutely worked. I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective, and our objective is to get the guys who did 9/11.”

Cheney told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd:

“Torture to me, Chuck, is an American citizen on his cell phone making a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death in the upper levels of the Trade Center in New York City on 9/11.”

Cheney also called the report “full of crap,” and a “terrible piece of work” that was “deeply flawed.”

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden confirmed, “Enhanced interrogation contributed to the wealth of knowledge that we needed to [get to bin Laden].” Without such techniques, Obama would not have been able to walk to that microphone and say “we got him.”

Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., a 31-year veteran of the CIA, likewise noted that interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed resulted in more than 2,000 intelligence reports, including contributing information leading to Osama bin Laden.

And for the record, former CIA directors George Tenet, Porter Goss and Michael Hayden, along with deputy directors John McLaughlin, Albert Calland and Stephen Kappes, recount in The Wall Street Journal many of the CIA’s other numerous successes, as well as criticizing Senate Democrats’ profound errors in producing this one-sided, incomplete and out-of-context report.

The Democrats one-sided report did not include testimony from a single CIA witness because Attorney General Eric Holder refused to coordinate those interviews on the basis that the Justice Department had its own ongoing investigation.

However the DOJ investigation was completed in 2012 which gave the committee investigators two years to collect information from any CIA witnesses. They never did, perhaps because their narrative was already completed.

Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, questioned the timing of the report’s release:

“We have U.S. personnel, both intelligence officials and military special operators, in harm’s way. Why would we release [this report] now? What did we have to gain? All of this has been debated. All of this has been settled. … Clearly the administration knew it was going to cause trouble as they sent out warnings all across the world.”

Finally, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat House Minority leader, denied having been briefed on waterboarding in 2011. She has told a number of convoluted stories in the last several years. “We were not — I repeat — were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used.”

She later changed her story, telling reporters, “We were told explicitly that waterboarding was not being used.”

She claimed she learned about the use of waterboarding the following year, only after other lawmakers were told by the CIA.I wasn’t briefed, I was informed that somebody else had been briefed about it,” she said.

“We were not — I repeat — were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used.”

In his new book, Hard Measures,” Jose Rodriguez reveals that he led a CIA briefing of Pelosi, where the techniques being used in the interrogation of senior al-Qaeda facilitator Abu Zubaida (Zubaydah) were described in detail. Her claim that she was not told about waterboarding at that briefing, he writes, “is untrue.”

“We explained that as a result of the techniques, Abu Zubaydah was compliant and providing good intelligence. We made crystal clear that authorized techniques, including waterboarding, had by then been used on Zubaydah.” Rodriguez writes that he told Pelosi everything, adding, “We held back nothing.”

How did she respond when presented with this information? Rodriguez writes that neither Pelosi nor anyone else in the briefing objected to the techniques being used. Indeed, he notes, when one member of his team described another technique that had been considered but not authorized or used, “Pelosi piped up immediately and said that in her view, use of that technique (which I will not describe) would have been ‘wrong.’ ”

She raised no such concern about waterboarding, he writes. “Since she felt free to label one considered-and-rejected technique as wrong,” Rodriguez adds, “we went away with the clear impression that she harbored no such feelings about the ten tactics [including waterboarding] that we told her were in use.”

To this day, Pelosi denies all knowledge of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques.

 

When is a shutdown not a shutdown

Sorry We're ClosedOnce again the American media is characterizing a no vote on the budget bill is a vote for a government shutdown. Don’t you believe it. In the last so-called shutdown only about 17% of the government was shutdown.

Social Security checks still went out, as did all of the other checks that the government sends out every month. Instead the so-called Washington Monument Syndrome was put in place.

The tourist locations were all closed: the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial and other high profile locations in and around the nation’s capital. Out in the hinterlands most Americans only knew about the ‘shutdown’ from media reports.

You see, the American media is Washington and New York-centric. Their belief is that if doesn’t happen in these two cities it hasn’t happened. Watch the stories that they report. Most of the evening news reports concern events in these two cities.

The media loves to use short, pithy descriptions for their viewers. Instead of explaining to the American public what is actually happening they prefer to give us easily understood expressions.

This won’t be a shutdown. A shutdown is when everything stops dead. The doors close. All of the workers go home. And the government goes dark.

Instead, we’ll have a partial shutdown in which the non-essential parts of the government actually shut down. And who decides what is essential? Why the bureaucrats decide. Are you surprised when the inmates decide that only 17% of the government is non-essential?

Instead of coming up with a bad bill, the Congress needs to take a deep breath and pass a 3-month continuing resolution. Then, they can examine each appropriation closely.

They can resolve the immigration funding. They can look at the Environmental Protection Agency’s funding. Instead, they’re going to pass one massive 1,600-page bill that is filled with some really objectionable spending.

When partisans from the right and the left line up with objections you know that the bill will have a tough time.

Midnight today is the witching hour and members of Congress have had very little time to review the bill. Instead, they’re worried about what’s in the bill. This all sounds familiar. Didn’t the passage of Obamacare go this way and look what we have now?

Let’s be clear about one thing. If there is a partial shutdown it will be the fault of the Democrats. The media may try to blame the Republicans but this will bear the fingerprints of the Democrats.

 

 

 

The Democrats’ scorched earth exit

Dianne FeinsteinThe Congressional Democrats (especially in the Senate) are going to prove today that they have little concern about the country. It seems they are only worried about partisan political gain.

The report has allegations that agents and contract-workers with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are guilty of torturing and mistreating those suspected terrorists captured by U.S. law enforcement or the U.S. military during the Bush Administration

Today, they plan to release a 480-page executive summary of a summary of a still-classified 6,000 page study about this alleged torture despite calls that the release will have dire consequences. The report has been in the works for some time and cost $40 million.

Defenders of the CIA refer to their techniques as ‘enhanced interrogation’ which they claim resulted in actionable intelligence. The Democrats say otherwise.

Of course, torture is in the eye of the beholder. This report was written by the majority Democrat staff of the Senate Intelligence Committee with almost no input from their Republican colleagues. Their view is that torture ranges from loud music to waterboarding.

But that’s just a minor detail in the eyes of Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and the other Democrats on the committee. What is more important to them is that this report is released before they are no longer masters of the Senate.

However, there are many politicians in both political parties, intelligence officials, civilian and military Pentagon staff, and law enforcement officers who believe the release of the report will result in blowback by the Islamic world that will see Americans overseas killed and wounded by angry jihadists.

There seems to be nothing that can stop the Democrats. House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) said America’s allies are predicting “this will cause violence and deaths.” He said U.S. intelligence agencies and foreign governments have said privately that the release of the Senate intelligence panel report on CIA interrogations a decade ago will be used by extremists to incite violence that is likely to cost lives.

One police official, who worked on an anti-terrorism task force during George W. Bush’s presidency, said that Feinstein and the Senate Democrats are angry over the last election and losing their majority especially Feinstein, who lorded over the intelligence committee with her band of liberals.

“This is a scorched earth policy. I believe it. They are angry at being kicked out of power and they want to punish Americans. These are petty, sociopaths who are actually becoming suddenly transparent when it will result in Americans being hurt,” said former police captain Jerry Hewlett, who headed the intelligence section of the task force.

“Where was the Democrats need for transparency when they lied and shoved a rotten healthcare program on the American people? Where was Feinstein’s transparency during the Benghazi investigation in which she and her fellow Democrats helped Obama and Hillary Clinton avoid culpability? This is the liberal-left’s hissy fit over being tossed out. It’s a scorched earth exit,” Hewlett said.

Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Jim Risch, R-Idaho said “We are concerned that this release could endanger the lives of Americans overseas, jeopardize U.S. relations with foreign partners, potentially incite violence, create political problems for our allies, and be used as a recruitment tool for our enemies. Simply put, this release is reckless and irresponsible.”

Democrats contention is that the techniques used by the CIA produced no actionable intelligence. However, one CIA was quoted as saying that once accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s will was broken, he generated more than 2,000 intelligence reports.

Three former CIA officers from the program said that they believe the Senate report seeks to minimize intelligence that led the U.S. to Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, Usama bin Laden’s trusted courier.

Another former officer said that the CIA was encouraged by lawmakers “to do whatever it takes” to prevent another attack on the scale of Sept. 2001.  The former officer said that Hill leadership was briefed more than three dozen times before the program was shuttered.

The Obama White House is attempting to work both sides. One the one hand they are urging the release of the report. But Secretary of State John Kerry last week asked the Senate Intelligence Committee to “consider” the timing of the release.

GOP Sen. Richard Burr, the prospective new chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said that Kerry’s suggestion that the report be delayed didn’t jibe with White House Press SEcretary Josh Earnest’s comments.

“It’s dumbfounding they can call and ask for it to be delayed and then say they want it out. You can’t have it both ways,” Burr said.

U.S. officials have confirmed that an advisory has been sent urging U.S. personnel overseas to reassess security measures in anticipation of the release. The message directs all overseas posts, including those used by CIA personnel, to “review their security posture” for a “range of reactions that might occur.”

A similar statement was being sent to military combatant commands to assess their readiness. Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said Monday the combatant commands have been urged to “take appropriate force protection measures within their areas of responsibility.”

 

 

 

 

The Last Day of Peace

Pearl Harbor attackSaturday, December 6, 1941 was the last day of peace for the United States. Not only for the intervening nearly four years but for most of the 73 years since that fateful Sunday morning in Hawaii and the Philippines.

It was a day like any other Saturday for most Americans. Nothing unusual. My almost 18 year old father said that there was nothing to distinguish it from any other Saturday.

Little did Americans know that they were soon to embark on decades of war all stemming from the attacks the following day.

In Hawaii and the Philippines many sailors and soldiers were on three-day passes. In Pearl City they lined up at the bars and brothels to enjoy their time off. In Manila the same thing was true. You’ve heard the saying about spending money like a drunken sailor!

What followed after the attacks on the next day was a decades of combat. First, we fought the Nazis and the Japs. It took us three years to defeat them at the cost of millions of lives lost around the world.

Then, we had a few years off until Kim Il-sung of North Korea decided that he wanted the entire Korean Peninsula under his rule. The war lasted for three years and cost hundreds of thousands of lives. In the end the division of the Korean Peninsula was permanent and the tensions continue to today.

Then the United States embarked on the Vietnam War. The war itself lasted for 20 years with America’s involvement lasting from the early 1960s until 1975. That war cost us almost 60,000 dead and five times that in wounded. In the end Vietnam was reunited and today we are friendly with the government,

The American public were war weary and refrained from everything that had to do with all-out war. Oh, there were incidents and flashpoints but nothing prolonged or all-consuming.

That is until Saddam Hussein of Iraq decided that he wanted his neighbor Kuwait’s oil fields and attempted to take them. When the Kuwaiti appealed to us and we responded by forming a coalition against the dictator.

After a brief air campaign that featured all of the spectacular modern weaponry available the land assault was briefer and more decisive. The Iraqis lost between 20,000 and 35,000 people with over 75,000 wounded. But we didn’t finish off Saddam and we were forced to go back and finish the job.

We conducted a series of operations in the Persian Gulf, primarily to safeguard the passage of oil tankers. These low grade conflicts went on for almost 20 years and included the no-fly zone over Iraq after the First Gulf War.

On September 11, 2001 the United States was attacked and plunged into a war that continues today. We invaded Afghanistan and overthrew the extreme Taliban government. We set up a democratic government which continues to function today.

We invade Iraq and defeated Saddam Hussein’s army in 2003 but the war continued for at least 8 years as we battled Sunni extremists, al-Qaeda terrorists and rogue Iraqi military units.

In 2011 The United States and our allies conducted air operations against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in support of Libyan rebels. By October Gaddafi was dead and Libya was under new but shaky leadership.

Now we are embarked and yet another war in the Middle East, this time against ISIS, also known as ISIL and the Islamic State. We are currently supporting our Iraqi and Kurdish allies with our air power.

Since that distant day in December of 1941 the United States has been a state of near-constant war. December 6, 1941 was truly the last day of peace.

 

 

 

Pitting Americans versus Americans

Obama Enemy of the ConstitutionBarack Obama’s only legacy will be one of failure. He has failed on health care, foreign policy but most of all in the domestic arena of unity of the country.

Obama has pitted Americans versus Americans throughout his six years of misrule. Over the last several weeks it has become quite apparent to many Americans that the President has sided with the mobs in Ferguson and the demonstrators over the Eric Garner grand jury ruling.

In both cases the President who swore to uphold the Constitution has questioned the findings of both grand juries. He has pitted the forces of the mob against the forces of law and order. He has acted no better than the well-known race baiter, Al Sharpton.

We should have seen this coming since this is the same man who sided with mob in the Trayvon Martin case. He famously said that if he had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin.

During the 2008 election campaign Obama told Joe the Plumber that he believed in redistribution of wealth. Throughout his campaign he talked about changing America by leveling the wealth in this country. He promised to raise the price of energy by attacking coal, a fuel that was used in the majority of power plants in America.

He began his administration by promising to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility for terrorists. He promised to bring them to the United States and try them in Federal Court. Fortunately, he is still talking about it having been thwarted by Congressional action.

His Democrat allies in the Congress passed a stimulus bill. On January 28, 2009, the House passed the bill by a 244–188 vote. All but 11 Democrats voted for the bill, and 177 Republicans voted against it (one Republican did not vote). The Senate voted 61–37 (with one not voting). All the Democrats voted in favor, but only three Republicans voted in favor.

They then proceeded to pass the Affordable Care Act (forevermore to be known as Obamacare). Using legislative tricks to shut down Republican dissent, the bill was passed without a single Republican voting for it.

Obamacare almost immediately generated a number of lawsuits. The most important one was the Supreme Court 5-4 decision that determined that the mandate was a tax and not a fee. The ruling also found that medicaid expansion was up to each state. This part of the ruling set up legislative battles across the country.

The most acrimonious part of the Obamacare battle has been the contraception mandate. The Obama DOJ has taken numerous religious groups to court over the mandate. The religious groups were opposed to having insurance that included contraception.

The administration attempted a number of sleight-of-hand tricks to get them to accept the contraception mandate. Most groups did not fall for the Obama administration’s attempts.

The DOJ sued a number of religious groups in order to get them to conform to Obamacare. Perhaps, the most ludicrous suit was against The Little Sisters of the Poor who objected to insurance that included contraception. The case is still undecided.

The biggest defeat that the administration suffered was the Hobby Lobby case. The Hobby Lobby company objected to the contraceptive mandate on religious grounds.

The Court’s conservative majority directly struck down the contraceptive mandate, a regulation adopted by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Affordable Care Act requiring employers to cover certain contraceptives for their female employees, by a 5-4 vote.

Throughout his administration Barack Obama has pitted Americans against American. From the one-sided approach to the stimulus and Obamacare to the current grand jury findings in Ferguson and Staten Island he has taken the side of the extreme left against the majority of the American people.

Where do we go from here? Fortunately, the Republicans will be in control of the Congress in January and can act as a check against the unbridled power of Obama and his administration.

They will have to take a hard line against the President’s lawless and unconstitutional acts despite attempts by the left wing media to paint them as the root of all of America’s problems. We live in interesting times indeed.

The Democrats have an environmental problem

Save the planet, kill yourselfYesterday, we looked at the older components of the Democrat Party: labor unions, African-Americans, Hispanics, white men, young single women and the liberal left. But over the last several years another group has become ascendant in the Democrat coalition: the environmental lobby.

Preaching their gospel of climate change, anti-fracking and anti-fossil fuel, the environmental lobby has quickly taken over the agenda of the Democratic Party. Aided by President Obama they are driving the administration to enact more onerous regulations.

The list of environmental organizations is endless. It covers every aspect of life on Earth including the climate, forests, the oceans, population and all sorts of animals. No issue is without a lobbying group.

And the environmental lobby has a willing partner at the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA consults the environmentalists on a whole range of issues.

In fact, recently released emails show extensive collaboration between federal environmental regulators and environmental groups:

Emails show EPA used official events to help environmentalist groups gather signatures for petitions on agency rulemaking, incorporated advance copies of letters drafted by those groups into official statements, and worked with environmentalists to publicly pressure executives of at least one energy company.                                                                                                     

But the symbiotic relationship between EPA and environmentalist has been going on for quite some time. Every major federal environmental law, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, contains provisions allowing private organizations to sue the EPA if they believe it is not going far enough in protecting air quality. Environmentalist groups do this frequently.

And yet, all too often, when the EPA is sued by environmentalist groups, it folds without putting up much of a fight. As former EPA official Jeffrey Holmstead has explained matters, “often the suits involve things the EPA wants to do anyway. By inviting a lawsuit and then signing a consent decree, the agency gets legal cover from the political heat.”

Suing the EPA can be a lucrative business. The Equal Access to Justice Act, as well as other cost shifting provisions in the Clean Air Act, allow activist groups to collect their attorneys’ fees in these suits if they can show that the EPA’s position was not “substantially justified.”

According to a 2011 GAO report, between 1998 and 2010 the Department of Justice spent $43 million defending against suits brought by environmentalist groups, some of which have raked in millions in attorneys’ fees. Often, fees are awarded even in cases where the EPA merely missed a statutory deadline or made some other procedural error, rather than being substantively wrong.

The environmentalists chief issue is the building of the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada to refineries in the southern United States. They environmentalists claim the the oil from the Alberta tar sands is dirty and will add too much carbon to the environment.

The lobby has been able to stall the project for at least six years with the willing assistance of the White House and the State Department. Since the pipeline crosses an international border it needs approval by the federal government to proceed.

So far the administration has stalled through three election cycles despite the promise of high-paying construction jobs. Apparently, environmental purity trumps prosperity.

Here’s the dirty, little secret. Currently, the oil is being shipped across the border by tanker truck. More carbon is let into the atmosphere than if it was shipped by pipeline. If the oil doesn’t come south it will be shipped west to China who will gladly pay top dollar to the Canadians for it. Either way, it will be refined and used as fuel.

But the environmentalists have set up the Keystone XL pipeline as a litmus test for Democrat politicians. Much like abortion, the pipeline is being used by the environmentalists to force politicians to take a stand.

The Democrat Party has been gradually coerced into opposing the pipeline and the other issues that the lobby has pushed. Anti-fracking, climate change and anti-fossil fuels are the other big issues.

One of the chief coercers is Tom Steyer, hedge fund manager, philanthropist, and environmentalist. In the midterms he promised to spend $100 million supporting favored candidates. But Steyer made his billions in large part by investing in planet-polluting energy companies.

“He’s a latter-day born-again environmentalist,” said Dave Levinthal, a senior reporter for the Center for Public Integrity. “He’s turning into one of the pre-eminent big money sugar daddies for Democrats in 2014 with no signs of ratcheting back for 2016 either. He cares about three issues — the environment, the environment and the environment.”

Foes on the right, however, accuse the 57-year-old of embracing the green movement to further his own financial interests. Typical of such attacks, John Hinderaker of Powerlineblog.com wrote in April that Steyer “depends on government connections to produce subsidies and mandates that make his ‘green’ energy investments profitable.”

But the Democrats don’t seem to mind the inconsistencies. They’re just grateful to have a gigantic donor to counter the money of figures like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers on the Republican side.

Meanwhile, many within the Democrat coalition are opposed to the environmentalists’ positions. As an example, labor unions see their opposition of the pipeline and other capital construction projects as a direct threat to the livelihoods of their members.

African-Americans and Hispanics are either indifferent or hostile to environmentalists policies. Quite simply they deny these two groups gainful employment and upward mobility.

As we begin the 2016 election cycle it would seem that the Democrats are at war with themselves. They are in danger of losing parts of their coalition due to conflicts of interest. It’s up to the Republicans to take advantage of this.

 

 

The Democrat Party: At war with itself?

Divided DemocratsStarting with the rise of the Tea Party in 2009 the left-leaning media has pushed the narrative that the Republicans were a party at war with itself. But the real internal political war is in the Democrat Party.

While the Republican Party has various philosophical groups within it, the Democrats have a far more divided landscape.

The Democrat Party has been a coalition party ever since the Franklin Delano Roosevelt era. Let’s take a look at the various components of the Democrat coalition.

The Democrats have been the party of choice for the labor union movement. Union leaders and activists are generally to the left of center and this matches up well with the modern Democrat Party.

This may not hold true for the rank-and-file of labor unions. Many members see the Democrat Party no longer representing them. The latest example is Obama’s executive orders on immigration. Adding millions to the work force doesn’t bode well for union workers.

The decline of union workers in private industry and the decertification of public employee unions in certain states has reduced the financial clout of unions in the political arena. For decades unions have provided the money and volunteers for Democrat campaigns. That has diminished in recent election cycles.

One of the Democrats larger components has been white men. In 2008 40% of white men voted Democrat. But since then that percentage has been reduced by 20% to a point that in 2014 32% of white men voted Democrat.

Keep in mind that this demographic group is almost twice as large as the African-American and Hispanic components combined.

Some might ask: why the erosion of support from white men? Well, look at the policies that the Obama administration has put into place. The War against Coal has put many coal miners and those who work in collateral industries out of jobs.

The latest immigration amnesty has opened up the American job market to illegal immigrants who, quite frankly, will work for less money. This drives down the wages of current employees.

Unbridled regulations, particularly from the Environmental Protection Agency, has cost many American workers their jobs. Manufacturing jobs have either been eliminated or moved off-shore.

On this basis why would white men continue to support a political party that doesn’t support them.

African-Americans continue to support Barack Obama and the Democrat Party in high numbers, 85% to 90%. Yet, the Obama administration has done virtually nothing for this ethnic group.

High unemployment rates, lack of well-paying jobs and protection against black-on-black crime are just a few of the issues that are plaguing the African-American community.

Being able to vote and elect the first Black President was an achievement for the community but eventually the rubber must meet the road and the Democrats must deliver or risk an erosion of support.

The Hispanic component is a rather diverse group. Cubans in Florida are conservatives by nature. In recent election cycles they have voted Republican with a U.S. Senator and a number of House representatives as a proof of their power.

Hispanics in the Southwest are divided between both parties but in New Mexico they have a Hispanic Governor Susanna Martinez who has been mentioned as a Vice-Presidential candidate.

The Democrats fully expect to dominate this ethnic group now and in the future. They see the current illegals as future Democrat voters but they may be wrong.

Most Hispanics are conservatives, religious and family oriented. They are generally opposed to abortion and don’t support unlimited use of abortion. Democrats who go all in on abortion could be defeated with Hispanics voting Republican. Mark Udall of Colorado can attest to this.

Most Hispanics came here for a better life and they want their children to do better. They want them to be better educated and get better jobs.

This is a purely anecdotal story but it’s a perfect illustration of one Hispanic business owners thinking. I knew a printing company owner in Chicago who had been classified by a major brewery as a minority supplier because he was Hispanic.

He told me that he would prefer to simply be a normal supplier. He was willing to give up his preferred position to compete with everyone else on an equal basis.

Finally, there are the left-of-center groups within the coalition. There are the doctrinaire liberals who think that they know more than we do. They see their role as the elite 1% overseeing our lives because they see us all as incapable of doing it ourselves. This group has given us the welfare state, anti-poverty programs and to top it all off, Obamacare.

The liberals or as they currently style themselves, the progressives, can never be convinced that they’re wrong. They don’t understand that their philosophy is contrary to our American way of life and most American’s thinking. After all, they know more than we do.

The left-of-center component of the Democrat Party gets more loony as we move further to the left. There are groups like Code Pink and Occupy that are almost anarchists in their thinking. Some of them are even too extreme for most Democrats.

While the Democrats like to point to divisions in the Republican Party they are ignoring those fissures in their own party that may consign them to a regional party that is only strong on both coasts.

Will Rogers once said: “I’m not a member of any organized political party…. I’m a Democrat.” He also said: “Democrats never agree on anything, that’s why they’re Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they’d be Republicans.”

Both of these statements may come to pass in the years ahead if the Republicans don’t snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

Obama is now isolated in the White House

Obama Head in HandsIf nothing else illustrates Barack Obama’s isolation it is the firing/forced resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. It was done inartfully and without an immediate replacement available.

Usually, when a president looks to change a cabinet secretary he does it with a replacement in the wings. Hagel’s departure was accompanied by White House leaks that claimed that Chuck Hagel was not up to the job.

Apparently, the real reason was that Hagel disagreed with the President and his coterie of advisers on a number of issues. Hagel, backed by General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, thought that defeating ISIS could only be achieved with the introduction of U.S. ground troops.

Obviously, the President disagreed and fired the Defense Secretary. Obama has since been turned down by a number of prospects, including Michele Flournoy, who probably saw the position as a career-killer.

So the United States despite being in a number of crisis situations around the globe is missing a top leader at Defense. Of course, Hagel is still there as a caretaker but does anyone expect Barack Obama to include the out-going Secretary to be involved in any substantive discussions?

The prospect of a Republican Senate presiding over the advise and consent of a number of Obama appointees, including the aforementioned Secretary of Defense and Attorney General, must be daunting for the Obama White House.

Even without the animus inflamed by Obama’s executive action on immigration, the Senate Republicans are itching for a fight with the man that many no longer like or respect.

On the other side of the aisle we have no less a Senator as Chuck Schumer who is one of the primary spokesman for the Democrat caucus speaking at the National Press Club.

Schumer shocked everyone when he opined that the Democrats acted wrongly in using their new mandate after the 2008 election to focus on the issue rather than the economy at the height of a terrible recession.

During the recent midterm election campaign candidates stayed away from Obama in droves. They saw their own president as a distinct liability for their election or reelection.

It didn’t help as the Republicans picked up at least 8 Senate seats with one more to come in Louisiana. They also added at least 12 seats to their huge majority in the House. At the state level they added 3 governorships and hundreds of state legislators.

Meanwhile, the President is in trouble with CEO’s of major corporations over the Obamacare “wellness” programs.

The programs aim to control healthcare costs by reducing smoking, obesity, hypertension and other risk factors that can lead to expensive illnesses. A bipartisan provision in the 2010 healthcare reform law allows employers to reward workers who participate and penalize those who don’t.

But recent lawsuits filed by the administration’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), challenging the programs at Honeywell International and two smaller companies, have thrown the future of that part of Obamacare into doubt.

The lawsuits infuriated some large employers so much that they are considering aligning themselves with Obama’s opponents, according to people familiar with the executives’ thinking.

“The fact that the EEOC sued is shocking to our members,” said Maria Ghazal, vice-president and counsel at the Business Roundtable, a group of chief executives of more than 200 large U.S. corporations. “They don’t understand why a plan in compliance with the ACA (Affordable Care Act) is the target of a lawsuit,” she said. “This is a major issue to our members.”

So Barack Obama has not only lost many of his allies through electoral defeat and self preservation but his policies have created new adversaries in the Senate, the House and the business community. Meanwhile, the military is seething over his handling of the ISIS/Syria/Iraq situation.

It doesn’t bode well for the rest of his turn unless he make some dramatic moves. But don’t hold your breath.

 

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