Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wasserman Schultz: Obama ‘Should Use His Executive Authority’ -- 'We've Got to Make Progress'

Debbie Wasserman Schultz( – Despite criticism of President Barack Obama’s pledge that he will use his executive authority and executive orders to advance his agenda regardless of Congress, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said the president “should use his executive authority.”
At the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday following the president’s State of the Union speech, asked Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz,  “What do you think of the criticism about using executive order(s) to get things done on climate change or [the] minimum wage?”
“Well, the ball’s in their court,” she said, in reference to Republicans in the House of Representatives. “I mean, they have an opportunity to work with him.”
“The president made that very clear,” said Wasserman Schultz, who also is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. “We want to make sure that we’re working together and deepen our impact by passing legislation, but there are urgent challenges that we [are] facing and the president is going to have to use his executive authority.”
“And I agree that he should use his executive authority because if the Republicans continue to try to be obstructionists, then we’ve got to make progress,” Wasserman Schultz said.
Via: CNS News

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Rothman: NBC News State of the Union Coverage Identical to MSNBC

There was a time when there was a cleardistinction between NBC News and MSNBC. While MSNBC’s editorial slant was obvious, NBC News made an effort to ensure that its news coverage remained neutral enough so that they did not alienate non-liberal viewers. That distinction is seemingly gone.
During Brian Williams’ Tuesday night State of the Union Address coverage for NBC Nightly News, reporters Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchellmade no effort to broadcast neutral commentary. Instead, they echoed themes that had previously been broadcast on MSNBC, only to a much larger audience.
Discussing the importance of the State of the Union, Mitchell took the opportunity of this coverage to repeat a dubious and unambiguously offensive assertion she had made earlier in the day on her own MSNBC show.
“One quick historic note,” she allowed herself. “It was the State of the Union back in 2002 whenGeorge W. Bush said those three little words, ‘Axis of Evil,’ including Iran, which was aligned against us with the Taliban and that blew up any hope of diplomacy with Iran until now.”
Disregard the fact that Mitchell seeks to conflate Iran’s post-9/11 risk-mitigating behavior as the equivalence of an alliance; or that Mitchell seems content to take the word of the administration that the White House’s push for diplomacy today is fruitful in spite Iranian officials’ statements to the contrary; or the fact that the administration has refused to release the text of a supposed breakthrough deal.
Even overlooking these points, Mitchell might have shown some respect for the hundreds of Americans killed as a result of Iranian-sponsored terrorism from 1979 – 2002 in her tenacious effort to litigate a 12-year-old political gripe.
Moving on, NBC News’ chief White House correspondent Todd lamented a lack of dignity shown by Republicans who invited Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson to the event.
“Three years ago after the shooting with Gabby Giffords, and for a couple State of the Unions in a row, everybody found a bipartisan date,” he recalled. “There was more of a dignified feeling about the guests you would invite. Boy, you can tell things are a lot different now when you’re inviting Duck Dynasty stars.”
Never mind that, as National Review’s Kevin Williamson scathingly observed, the pomp surrounding the State of the Union presently has all the dignity of walking backwards out of the queen’s chambers and is unbecoming of a republican government. For Todd, it is the invitation of a reality show star –- a conservative one at that -– to the sacred House chamber that has sapped dignity from this event.
Judging from this two-minute segment, the distinction between MSNBC and NBC News that was once self-evident has seemingly vanished. It makes you wonder how long it will take for NBC executives to recognize the redundancy and simply consolidate the two entities.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

CARSON: Obama is wrong that raising minimum wage will fix income inequality

President Barack Obama holds up a bag of tortilla chips during a visit at a Costco store in Lanham, Md., Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, where he spoke about raising the minimum wage the morning after his State of the Union address.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
There has been much discussion about income inequality recently. President Obama seems to think that we can make significant progress in eliminating poverty by raising the minimum wage, as his State of the Union address highlighted.

Many hope that through a simple declaration, the poor can be elevated to a higher social status. Such people fail to realize that pay is associated with value — otherwise, we could just pay everybody $1 million a year and let everybody be rich.

In a capitalistic society, those individuals who produce the wherewithal to obtain income tend to be paid quite handsomely, while individuals who don’t generate significant income are paid accordingly.

As in any situation that involves human beings, there will be some abuses, but generally speaking, this kind of system works by incentivizing individuals to do the things necessary to enhance their value in the marketplace.

Many in the current administration and their sycophants in the news media are trying to persuade Americans that there is significant improvement in the general economy, while record numbers of people are enrolling in the food-stamp program and receiving various government subsidies.

Via: Washington Times

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California’s Obamacare Scandal - Criminals Working as Navigators

At least 43 convicted criminals are working asObamacare navigators in California, including three individuals with records of significant financial crimes.

Although some of the offenses are decades old, and although convicted criminals account for only 1 percent of the 3,729 certified enrollment counselors in the state, Californians still have good cause to be concerned about their privacy.

Even a single crooked navigator could do significant harm to the public. That’s because when navigators sign consumers up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, they have access to lots of private information, including Social Security numbers, home addresses, and financial data — basically, everything on the wish list of identity thieves and fraudsters. Navigators also are likely to work with a population that is more vulnerable than average.

Limited statistics released by Covered California — the state’s new health-insurance exchange — showed that one navigator has repeat forgery offenses — one in 1982, then another in 1994, with a burglary in between. Another had two forgery convictions in 1988, in addition to a domestic-violence charge a decade later. Another committed welfare fraud in 1999 and had shoplifted on at least two prior occasions. Since 2000, individuals now working as navigators have committed crimes including child abuse, battery, petty theft, and evading a police officer. At least seven navigators have multiple convictions. The information released covered only certified enrollment counselors, one of the three types of navigators working in California.

Allen West's Rebuttal: Obama Lacks Credibility, Integrity

In a Newsmax TV exclusive, former U.S. Rep. Allen West delivered his own rebuttal to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday night.
"President Obama walked into the people's chamber this evening lacking in credibility and also lacking in integrity, and the first thing he should have done was to try to re-establish his credibility and integrity with the American people," West said of Obama's speech. 

"Instead, the president focused on this theme of income inequality, as if he, and government, can somehow flat-line out our culture and be the ones that guarantee happiness, not the pursuit of happiness."

Obama also omitted many of the country's more pressing issues in the speech, West said.

"We did not hear the president talk about our debt, we did not hear the president talk about regulatory reform," West said afterward. "We did not hear the president talk about monetary reform so that we're not printing money in order to prop up our economy."

Instead, West complained, the president spoke as if he were a "bystander" to what's been happening in the nation's capital.

"He believes that the only way things could be rectified is through his pen and his phone by executive action," West said. "The president needs to learn that we have a Constitution and we are a republic, and he needs to work with legislators, with lawmakers to make sure that we have the right type of policies that enable Americans to have the quality standard of life and living that America has always done."

"We need to have those reforms in our tax, in our regulatory and monetary policies," he said. "We need to do something about the Keystone XL pipeline. We need to also focus on our foreign policy and our national security strategy, something that the president did not really, in depth, discuss this evening."

Obama also missed a "great opportunity to show humility," West said.

"Instead, he came off as a very arrogant person that is upset that people are standing in his way because compromise does not mean you get your way. Compromise means that you lead, you govern, and you work with others." 

Via: Newsmax

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The Four Republican SOTU Responses Couldn't Agree On What To Say

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA) spoke for the party's establishment, with the added bonus of being a woman in leadership at a time when the party's standing with women seems shaky. Sen. Mike Lee (UT) was the self-appointed leader of the tea party, who rebutted the president while attempting to represent that nebulous constituency that has so influenced the party since 2010. 

Sen. Rand Paul (KY) more or less represented himself, the lone 2016 aspirant to speak Tuesday night, and also gave voice to the libertarian sect. And Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL) addressed the Spanish-speaking audiences on behalf of the party's leadership, another attempt to reach a population with whom Republicans have been unpopular.

That just about covers everybody. Each constituency had a messenger, and ascendant members of the party had an opportunity to showcase themselves in the national spotlight.
The only problem is: It was hard to tell what exactly Republicans, as a whole, wanted Americans to take away from their multi-pronged rebuke of the president, other than their always-fervent opposition to Obama.

As the official voice of the party, McMorris Rogers continued the rebranding effort that has obsessed Republicans since the 2012 election. What exactly it was actually remained a bit opaque, but the tone was undeniably optimistic.

Via: TPM
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Tom Cotton Responds To Obama’s State Of The Union

Representative Tom Cotton (R., Ark.)  joined KARK Wednesday morning to respond to President Obama’s State of the Union, saying the President should have apologized for the harm Obamacare has done to many Americans, and that the President should focus his use of executive action on a rapidly deteriorating situation in the Middle East.
“The one thing I thought missing, more than anything from the speech, was an apology by Barack Obama for what Obamacare has done to Arkansans,” Cotton said, citing canceled plans, rising premiums and deductibles, and loss of doctors for many of his constituents.
Asked about the President’s proposed “Year of Action” through executive orders, Cotton responded, “The only surprising thing about the President’s call for more unilateral executive orders and decisions is the fact he thinks he hasn’t done enough of it.” Cotton noted the President’s changes to the Affordable Care Act through executive orders and his reluctance to enforce parts of the both the healthcare law and immigration law.
“Unfortunately, the one place he could take executive action more effectively, overseas, he continued to sound the bell for retreat and defeat in the world,” Cotton said.
As for what he would like to see in 2014, Cotton focused on protecting Americans from various facets of Obamacare. Cotton listed initiatives passed by the House that would allow Americans to keep their insurance plans cancelled by Obamacare, and would eliminate the penalty if they could not afford a new Obamacare plan.
Said Cotton, “There’s a whole host of ways that we can try to solve the problems Obamacare has created, if only President Obama and the Senate Democrats would realize Americans do not want this law.”

UGH: NY Republican Michael Grimm physically threatens reporter for asking question he didn’t like…

Icon for Post #90098NY Republican Michael Grimm physically threatens a reporter in a post-SOTU address after asking him about campaign-finance allegations. Whether he’s innocent or guilty, this is what people will remember. Grimm has already released a statement admitting to telling the reporter off and it’s in the transcript below:
Transcript via NY1:
“And just finally before we let you go, we haven’t had a chance to talk about some of the…” Scotto began before Grimm cut him off.
“I’m not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the president,” said Grimm, before walking off camera.
“So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances,” Scotto said before tossing back to the station. But as the camera continued to roll, Grimm walked back up to Scotto and began speaking to him in a low voice.
“What?” Scotto responded. “I just wanted to ask you…”
Grimm: “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—–g balcony.”
Scotto: “Why? I just wanted to ask you…”
[[cross talk]]
Grimm: “If you ever do that to me again…”
Scotto: “Why? Why? It’s a valid question.”
[[cross talk]]
Grimm: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
Grimm released a statement following the incident.
“I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. The reporter knew that I was in a hurry and was only there to comment on the State of the Union, but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic. I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first Member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last,” reads the statement.
The FBI earlier this month charged 47-year-old Diana Durand with using straw donors to exceed the maximum allowable contribution to Grimm’s campaign committee. After contributing $4,800, the maximum amount allowed under federal law, Durand allegedly offered to reimburse four friends if they contributed to the campaign.
Grimm is not charged with any wrongdoing in connection with the probe.
Via: The Right Scoop
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All Three Networks Fret Over Obama Not Getting 'Credit' for 'Better' Economy

Minutes before the President began his State of the Union address Tuesday night, hosts on ABC, NBC, and CBS all worried that Obama was not getting the "credit" he deserved for how well the economy was supposedly doing. [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Talking to former Obama advisor David Plouffe during ABC's live coverage of the speech, Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos argued: " of the real puzzles the President has to solve tonight, the economy, doing about as well as it's ever done in his presidency, as he comes into the chamber tonight, but most people don't believe it and don't give him credit for it."
Over on NBC at the same time, Meet the Press host David Gregory was complaining: "Look, the economy's getting better. That's what this president had to do, he had to make the economy better. And, yet he's not getting a lot of credit for it."On CBS, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer observed: "I thought The New York Times had a good headline today on one of their things, it said the economy has rarely been better, but the approval ratings have rarely been worse.
 People seem to favor many of the programs that the President wants to pass, but they are worried and concerned about whether he can actually – actually get it done."The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed 60% of Americans believe the nation is heading in the wrong direction, 68% think the country is in the same place or worse than when Obama took office, and 70% are dissatisfied with the economy.
Via: Newsbusters
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How Obamanomics Promotes Inequality

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images/NewscomThe great Obama contradiction on the economy is this: he takes credit for the improved economy, but openly admits that in this recovery almost all of the gains have gone to the very rich.
Here is the disturbing passage from Obama’s State of the Union speech that I refer to:
“What I believe unites the people of this nation…is the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get ahead.
“That belief has suffered some serious blows… Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better. But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by – let alone get ahead.  And too many still aren’t working at all.”
What a downer. This is hardly morning in America stuff. Obama likes to ridicule “trickle down economics” but under Obamanomics, almost nothing has even trickled down to the poor. He’s brutally honest in admitting that this has been effectively a non-recovery for a whole large segment of American society.  It’s not clear how Democrats think they can leverage that message of futility to their political advantage in November.
An alarming Fox News poll this week found that more than half of Americans still think the recession is still with us. Ironically, those who have seen the least progress tend to be single women, the young, Blacks, and Hispanics.  These were the very groups that voted in 2012 in large majorities to reelect Mr. Obama.

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