The improvement is "slight," they concede, but who's excited for an Obamacare rebound? Not the American people, it turns out, despite CNN's hopeful spin:
According to the poll, 39% of Americans say they support the health care law, up from 35% in December, a record low in CNN polling. The uptick of four percentage points is within the survey’s sampling error. Fifty-seven percent of those questioned say they oppose the measure, down five points from December.
Obamacare is still underwater by nearly 20 points -- with support falling short of 40 percent, and opposition approaching six in ten Americans. The improvement heralded in CNN's headline are within the survey's margin of error. The poll also shows that Obamacare's only gains come among "upscale" consumers. The network's write-up is quick to note that some in the opposition group say they don't believe the law goes far enough. The suggestion is that some liberal consensus on healthcare exists, despite Obamacare's unpopularity. Ed Morrissey isn't impressed: "Yes, there have been critics from the Left who wanted a single-payer system instead of Obamacare, but they have been there all along. The point is that the law has little public support, while opposition to it is the broad consensus." How broad is that consensus? The most recent Gallup poll legs the law's public support at (40/55) and Fox News' latest has it at (36/57). Those numbers....look familiar. Indeed, Obamacare's net disapproval has ranged from roughly (-12) to (-25) for years. Opposition to this law is strong and stable. The NYT/CBS News poll takes a different tack, asking whether Americans believe the law should be fully repealed, needs to be revised, or is working as-is. Only six percent chose the latter option. A sizable contingent favors repeal (42 percent), and 50 percent wants changes. Liberals greeted that data point as proof that Obamacare isn't really that unpopular after all. But as I wrote at the time, this argument fails upon slightly closer scrutiny. One of the overwhelmingly supported changes to the law is axing or postponing the individual mandate tax, which is the centerpiece of the entire law. I summarized the law's myriad failures at Hot Air yesterday:
A February study from the center-left Brookings Institution determined that Obamacare would reduce incomes among the top 80 percent of American wage earners. Workers at the very bottom stand to benefit, but everyone else will take a hit — with lower-middle class Americans facing the steepest reductions in take-home pay. As for the previously uninsured, it’s tough to overstate how devastating last week’s Washington Post bombshell was. Nine out of ten eligible uninsured Americans haven’t selected plans under Obamacare, with the top reason cited being lack of affordability. Of those few whohave “signed up,” only about half have paid, and are therefore covered. So we’re looking at roughly five percent of the previously uninsured population that has decided to participate in a $2 trillion law that was ostensibly foisted upon the rest of the public for their benefit. Therefore, the vast, vast majority of people touted in the White House’s (still significantly inflated) Obamacare “enrollment” figures already had coverage prior to the law’s passage. Those aren’t “new” enrollees. They’re people who were uprooted from their previous arrangement because of this law. More than six million Americans have received cancellation notices due to Obamacare…so far.
Darryl Issa's committee has released a report on Lois Lerner's involvement in the IRS targeting of conservative 501(c)(4) organizations -- and to no one's surprise (at least for those who have been paying attention -- there is plenty of evidence that she was indeed involved in the scandal.
The report substantiates several damning conclusions:
(1) Lois Lerner was well aware of Senate Democrats' and some administration officials' wishes that the IRS crack down on applications from some tax-exempt organizations engaging in political activity (p. 23). She was concerned lest the IRS's work appear to be "per se political". (p. 9)
(2) Lerner created a lengthier approval process for certain (conservative) groups without informing them that they had been singled out (using inappropriate criteria like " criteria, which were used to including the phrases “Tea Party,” “Patriots,” or “9/12 Project” or“[s]tatements in the case file [that] criticize how the country is being run.” (pp 25-26). She later denied having done so when asked by Congressmen. (p. 5)
(3) "The Chief Counsel’s office also directed Lerner’s staff to request additional information from Tea Party applicants, including information about political activities leading up to the 2010 election. In fact, it appears the IRS never resolved the test applications." (p 30). Note that the Chief Counsel's office was run by William Wilkins -- the president's man at the IRS.
(4) Lerner was complicit in the effort to regulate 501(c)(4) groups "off plan" -- i.e., without any public notice. (p 31)
(5) After Steven Miller testified on Capitol Hill about charitable groups, Lerner expressed relief that the hearing turned out to be "less interesting than it might have." (p. 37)
(6) Lerner and her colleagues unnecessarily delayed the Inspector General's audit of the disparate treatment of different groups. (p. 39-40).
(7) Lerner used a private email to conduct official business, perhaps to thwart congressional oversight efforts (p. 46-47). Of course, she wouldn't be the first in this administration.
It seems Lena Dunham didn’t waste her opportunity as host of "Saturday Night Live" to continue her radical feminist agenda.
When she wasn’t promoting sex and nudity, the star of the HBO show “Girls” was giving pro-abortion Planned Parenthood a pretty nice plug. In one of the night’s skits, Dunham joined five other female cast members for a jewelry party. One of the women, Marisol, brought along her boyfriend Bruce. After depicting him as a “men’s rights activist” who doesn’t believe in equal pay for men and women, Dunham’s character gets most offended when Marisol tells her he shut down two Planned Parenthood clinics.
“Bruce, you shut down two Planned Parenthoods!”
She quickly jumped to the organization’s defense.
“Marisol, do you know what Planned Parenthood is? It’s a place where women can go for low-cost medical advice and care.”
She left out that the organization performed 40 percent of the nation’s abortions last year. But of course, only rosy descriptions for Planned Parenthood on NBC.
This isn’t the only time SNL has shown its true colors. In fact, the show has a history of setting its own political and cultural agendas.
Looks like not everyone was impressed with Dunham though, as ratings plummeted – and unluckily for her, she can’t blame it on having to compete with the Olympics.
Watch the whole biased skit here (via Newsbusters):
In an effort to promote transparency and accountability, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) provided “secure” computers to congressional staffers on the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate the agency’s detention and interrogation program established in the post-9/11 era. However, when a potentially damaging internal review was discovered by investigators last December, the agency reportedly panicked; and in January, supposedly searched the computer network in order to uncover how the review was obtained.
Speaking on the Senate floor on Tuesday, the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), essentially confirmed these swirling rumors. She accused the CIA of spying on the committee's investigation -- an act, she said, that was possibly in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the separation of powers, and the rule of law:
The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee says the CIA improperly searched a stand-alone computer network established for Congress as part of its investigation into allegations of CIA abuse in a Bush-era detention and interrogation program.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California defended her committee's work and challenged the CIA on Tuesday as she sought to set the record straight amid various reports of disputes between Congress and the agency.
The California Democrat said the CIA searched the network this past January.
At issue is whether the CIA violated an agreement made with the committee about monitoring the panel's use of CIA computers. The CIA provided the computers to congressional staffers in a secure room at its headquarters so that the committee could review millions of pages of top secret documents.
Again, as the Washington Post notes, these are very serious charges:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said the activities of agency officials "may have undermined the constitutional framework" of congressional oversight.
The situation amounted to an attempted intimidation of congressional investigators, she said, adding: "I am not taking it lightly."
Besides possible constitutional violations, Feinstein said the CIA may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, various federal laws and a presidential executive order that bars the agency from conducting domestic searches and surveillance. She said she has asked for an apology and recognition that the CIA search of the committee's computers was inappropriate, but, "I have received neither."
Therefore, Feinstein is once again admonishing the CIA to apologize, and to come clean about their constitutionally dubious activities:
“Because the CIA has refused to answer my questions … I have limited information about exactly what the CIA did in conducting its search,” Feinstein said. She demanded more information from the CIA and the White House.
Feinstein's comments escalate the feud between the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee over the panel’s 6,300-page classified report on waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques during President George W. Bush’s administration.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is now investigating the matter, Feinstein said:
Feinstein said the matter has been referred to the Department of Justice for possible criminal prosecution.
"I have grave concerns that the CIA search may well have violated the separation of powers principles," Feinstein said. She added that she was "not taking it lightly," insinuating it was an attempt at intimidation.
UPDATE: CIA Director John Brennan has repudiated Feinstein's bombshell accusation:
”As far as the allegation of CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth,” Brennan said during a previously scheduled event at the Council on Foreign Relations. “That’s just beyond the scope of reason.”
Brennan cited ongoing investigations in declining to go into further detail.
Funny or Die is a comedy video website which features both original and user-generated content. One of their regular video sketches is actor Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns”. The show features Galifianakis interviewing various celebrities in an awkward way. This week’s installment was an interview of President Obama.
The results are probably one of the funniest things I have seen in a while. Although, the spot is clearly attempting to “plug” Obamacare, it’s too fun to get upset over this one!
Highlights from the video include President Obama’s title as ‘community organizer’ and questioning the spelling of his name. Also, Galifianakis calls Obama a nerd. When Michelle is brought up, President Obama says he won’t let Galifianakis anywhere near her. Make sure to watch the video for all of the hilarity.
UPDATE: Funnyordie.com is now the #1 source of referrals to the healthcare.gov website.
Why, it's almost as if responsible, conservative governance works:
Wisconsin will sell $294.8 million in general-obligation refunding bonds this week in a negotiated sale as the state projects a budget surplus of almost $1 billion. Surging tax revenue is driving improved fiscal performance in Wisconsin, with a population of 5.7 million. The improvement in the state’s tax collections ranked seventh in the nation during the 12 months ended in June, according to the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States. The state had originally projected a surplus of $130 million as of mid-2015.
As we noted in late January, the state's "surging tax revenue" was decidedly not precipitated by tax increases. Governor Scott Walker -- who has cut taxes several times over his first term -- urged passage of an additional tax relief package in his 2014 state of the state address, arguing that the unexpectedly large surplus ought to be "returned to taxpayers because it's their money." Last week, the Republican-held legislature complied with the governor's request, over the strident and eternally predictable objections of tax-and-spend Democrats:
Republicans moved closer to making Gov. Scott Walker's plan to use the state's surplus to cover $504 million in tax cuts reality Tuesday, pushing the measure through the state Senate despite Democrats' complaints the proposal is just a token election-year ploy. The bill now heads to a final vote in the state Assembly. That chamber has already passed the measure but must agree with changes the Legislature's budget committee made to win a key senator's vote...Passage is all but certain. "The hardworking taxpayers of Wisconsin know how to spend their money better than politicians in Madison do," Walker said in a statement ... Walker also introduced another bill that would use about $35 million from the surplus to fund new Department of Workforce Development job training grants, including grants to eliminate technical college waiting lists for high-demand fields, help high school students get job training for high-demand jobs and help the disabled find work. The Assembly passed that bill last week. The Senate followed suit Tuesday, approving it unanimously. That measure now goes to Walker for his signature.
Final passage is expected one week from today. Walker fashioned some of these tax cuts with a populist flair, targeting certain breaks specifically for blue-collar workers. Nevertheless, Democrats have griped that the plan favors the rich and won't benefit the middle class. Facts aside, their script stays the same -- even as they vote en masse for Walker's jobs training bills. Here's what Madison Democrats aren't eager to discuss: Walker inherited a large structural deficit from his Democratic predecessor, who raised taxes massively. When the Republican chief executive led a successful budget reform fight in 2011, the Left issued shrill predictions of fiscal doom and mounted a costly recall effort. They failed on both counts.
Walker's governorship was re-affirmed by a larger margin than his 2010 victory, and the predicted meltdown never played out. In fact, the state now enjoys a large surplus, while local school boards have taken advantage of their new budgetary freedoms to balance the books without laying off teachers. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's editors conceded that the "sky isn't falling" in a 2011 editorial, as conservative observers were more generous in their praise. Big Labor was never truly convinced that Walker's reforms wouldn't work. No, the union bosses were petrified that they would work, and that the only resulting "calamity" would be a precipitous drop-off in (now voluntary) union participation. They were certainly right about that. Meanwhile, Walker's 2014 opponent has released her first television ad, which suggests that Wisconsin's unemployment rate has increased on the incumbent's watch. This claim is so wrong that left-leaning fact-checker Politifact had no choice but to rate it "pants on fire" false. Walker's team sets the record straight in an ad of their own:
Here's Walker spelling out the case for his soon-to-be finalized tax cuts. According to a 2013 survey of Wisconsin business owners, 95 percent say they are optimistic about the state's economic trajectory, up from just 10 percent under Governor Doyle. And Mary Burke may not want to "go there" on unemployment. Walker's supporters have noted that the only time in the last 25 years when Wisconsin's unemployment sagged below the national average was when she led the state's Commerce Department.
The age of politicizing everything is here and President Obama's pick for Surgeon General is no different. Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy has been tapped to lead the charge when it comes to promoting public health with the full weight of the federal government behind him. He also has a history of promoting gun control, of slamming the Second Amendment and has publicly called guns a "healthcare issue" and public health threat.
Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy is the president and founder of Doctors for America, which grew from the campaign organization that was called Doctors for Obama, started in 2008. The organization has advocated for a number of liberal initiatives, including strongly supporting the passage of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion.
The group has also been supportive of the Obama administration’s failed push for expanding gun control laws in 2013. It successfully fought a proposed Florida law that would have prevented doctors from including in a person’s medical file whether they are a gun owner. Doctors for America has referred to guns as a public health threat, and circulated a petition to pressure Congress to pass stricter gun laws.
Investors Business Daily reported on Murthy’s anti-gun tweets, including, “Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they’re scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue,” during the 2012 presidential elections, and in December 2012 in the immediate aftermath of the Sandy Hook massacre: “NRA press conference disappointing but predictable — blame everything in the world except guns for the Newtown tragedy. #wakeup.”
We've already seen doctors across the country asking patients if they have guns in their homes and recently, we saw President Obama sign new gun control executive orders related to mental health, an area Murthy would cover if confirmed.
The National Rifle Association is strongly opposing the nomination and has urged its five million members to contact their Senators. NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris Cox has also written a letter to Senate leadership opposing the nomination.
The National Rifle Association strongly opposes the confirmation of Vivek Hallegere Murthy, M.D., M.B.A., as United States Surgeon General.
The Surgeon General has the important tasks of providing the American public with information to better inform decisions related to their health and directing much of the federal government's public health efforts. In order for these roles to be carried out effectively, the public must trust that the Surgeon General's actions are based on empirical and scientific evidence, rather than political or ideological motives. In this regard, Dr. Murthy's record of political activism in support of radical gun control measures raises significant concerns about his ability to objectively examine issues pertinent to America's 100 million firearm owners and the likelihood he would use the office of Surgeon General to further his preexisting campaign against gun ownership.
Murthy recently made it through a vote from Senators on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and will face a full Senate floor vote sometime in the near future. Although Majority Leader Harry Reid has nuked the filibuster and set up Senate rules that nearly guarantee Murthy's confirmation, red state Democrats are going to have a tough time in an election year justifying a confirmation vote for an anti-Second Amendment activist.
A new campaign sponsored by Girl Scouts, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and dozens of female celebrities seeks to ban the term "bossy." The term apparently is used to demean women and girls are not seeking out leadership positions due to a fear of being disliked or being called bossy.
Bossy: adjective. given to ordering people about; overly authoritative; domineering.
The website for "ban bossy" includes this ominous message:
When a little boy asserts himself, he's called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don't raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.
Where to begin?
What everyone seems to have missed is that the term "bossy" is not exclusive to females. Plenty of boys and men have been referred to as "bossy" or worse. This victim mentality isn't going to do anything to empower women.
Instead of banning words like "bossy," perhaps a more effective strategy would be to teach girls ways to exhibit leadership without being, well, bossy. "Leadership" isn't a synonym for bossy--but "dictatorial," "overbearing," and "abrasive" are. There's a huge difference between being a leader and being abrasive.
Also, for what it's worth, demanding that a word be banned is quite bossy in and of itself.
Unions do not always get it right, but when they do, they should be commended.
And at least one 300,000-member union, Unite Here, understands exactly what ObamaCare will do to American workers.
The union has released a report showing how dramatically ObamaCare will impact workers' incomes and/or health care. It concludes that not only does ObamaCare prompt businesses to cut workers' hours, it likewise offers incentives for businesses to dump workers into ObamaCare -- thus leaving them with less-generous (but more expensive) health care plans.
Of course, the report represents a double blow to Democrats. Not only does it undermine their efforts to push "income inequality" as their top issue heading into the 2014 elections -- because hey, if you're serious about income inequality, just repeal ObamaCare! -- it also highlights union discontent with ObamaCare (and by extension, with Democrats). And if you're a Democrat -- grown fat and happy on the mother's milk of union money and grassroots work -- that's bad news, indeed.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is "very concerned" the GOP is going to take over the Senate in 2014. In a letter to some 800,000 perspective Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee donors, he pleaded with them to fight the Koch brothers or face a brutal defeat.
The opening of the letter reads (no emphasis needed, the Senator did an ample job):
Dear fellow Democrat,
I've got two words for you: Koch brothers.
Need I say more?
If Democrats like you and I don't do everything in our power right now, while time is on our side, come November 4, the Koch brothers will have bought total control of the Senate — and total control of Congress for their handpicked Republicans and Tea Party candidates.
You know as well as I do that would be disastrous for our country, women, minorities, seniors, children, students, the environment, and of course, you and your family.
Mere coincidence no doubt, that "you and your family" come after pretty much everyone and everything else in Reid's list.
During the last week of February Reid even had the audacity to call the American people liars. Stating from that Senate floor that all of the Obamacare horror stories are untrue. The tales are nothing more than adds, paid for by the Koch Brothers, Reid continued.
Luke Hilgemann, Chief Operating officer for Americans for Prosperity, sat down with me at CPAC to explain how AFP spent around $30 million dollars over the last several months.
One thing is certain, Reid is feeling threatened. There are eight months until the November elections, and he is trying desperately to lay blame on someone for the impending loss of his Democratic majority.
I'd be less than frank if I said that I thought we had nothing to worry about...that America is ready to hold the GOP accountable and send them packing. But honestly, I'm concerned—very concerned because I know full well what they are trying to do.
Hey, Harry Reid, is this Baptist Preacher a Liar, too? Pastor Hit by Truck Another ObamaCare Victim | Todd Starnes