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4 Reasons We Shouldn’t Be Surprised Obama Snubbed Paris

by Mollie Hemingway     •     The Federalist

Smug-ObamaOn Sunday, millions of people rallied in France in a show of unity for Western political freedoms and against Islamist extremism. World leaders from dozens of other countries came to Paris, the site of the largest rally, in a show of solidarity and strength in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo slaughter and the murderous siege of a Kosher supermarket. The United States didn’t send a high-ranking delegation and the absence was noted by American media and concerned critics of the Obama administration.

Some simply wanted the United States to formally acknowledge the shock and horror France dealt with last week, as well as our shared efforts in the fight for liberty. Others hoped a strong U.S. presence would indicate our strong adherence to democratic values and, as Peggy Noonan put it, “to demonstrate the shared understanding that the massacre may amount to a tipping point, whereby those who protect and put forward Western political values will insist upon them in their sphere and ask their Muslim fellow citizens to walk side by side with them in shared public commitment.” [Read more...]

Climate Alarmists Warm It Up

They overcook the evidence of 2014 to support their shaky predictions of global warming.

by Rupert Darwall     •     National Review Online

Climate Change Fairtales

The year 2014 had scarcely expired before being declared the warmest year on record. First off was the Japan Meteorological Agency. The year 2014 surpassed 1998 to set a new record by all of five one hundredths of one degree Centigrade, according to the agency’s preliminary numbers. Then Britain’s Met Office announced that 2014 was the warmest year in the 355 years of the Central England Temperature series.

Each year, global-warming adherents anticipate an El Niño (a strong warming phase in the Pacific) as the physical manifestation of global warming’s Second Coming to herald the end of the barren years of flat-lining global temperatures. The Center for American Progress’s Joe Romm called the 2014 record doubly impressive. As Romm noted, “We’re still waiting for the start of El Niño” but got a temperature record nonetheless. [Read more...]

Liar’s Remorse and Obamacare

Democrats have second thoughts about Obamacare

by William Voegeli     •      The Weekly Standard

Obamacare fraud

In the Time magazine issue published after the 2008 election—whose cover depicted Barack Obama as Franklin Roosevelt—Peter Beinart anticipated a new “era of liberal hegemony” that would last until “Sasha and Malia have kids.”

President Obama is not yet a grandfather, but his era of liberal hegemony only appears to have lasted months, not decades. Photoshopping gave Obama the pince-nez and cigarette holder that were FDR’s trademarks but could not conjure the startling congressional majorities of the 1930s. The Depression and New Deal left Republicans discredited, irrelevant, and shattered. GOP House and Senate majorities of 62 percent and 58 percent, respectively, after the 1928 election shrank to caucuses of 20 percent and 17 percent after 1936. Under Obama the trajectory has been the opposite: Republicans have gone from 41 percent of the House seats after the 2008 election to 57 percent after 2014 and from 40 senators to 54. [Read more...]

Unlocking the Potential

The Keystone XL pipeline is our best bet for a secure energy future.

By Peter Roff     •     U.S. News

keystone-xl-pipelineA decision handed down Friday by the Nebraska Supreme Court allows the permitting process for the Keystone XL pipeline to move forward.

It’s long overdue. The pipeline is a needed addition to the U.S. energy infrastructure that will do much to help America reduce its dependence on energy sources produced in politically volatile regions of the world. In the interim, its construction will lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs in vital industries, the kind some politicians like to call “good jobs and good wages.” [Read more...]

A Man Without Peer

Martin Anderson, a key adviser to Ronald Reagan, leaves behind a lasting legacy.

By Peter Roff     •     U.S. News

reaganfarewellAs an economist and political scientist, Martin Anderson was a man without peer. A senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution since 1971, he did much to advance the cause of freedom as expressed in his love of big ideas.

Many credit the case he made against mandatory conscription inside the White House as a special assistant to former President Richard Nixon as an invaluable, perhaps even decisive contribution to the campaign to end the draft, which Nixon did in 1973 as the war in Vietnam was winding down.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Anderson was a key adviser to Ronald Reagan, helping him formulate a successful economic policy that permitted the liberation of American capital through tax cuts that, when combined with declining interest rates and a stable monetary policy, triggered an economic boom that led the world out of a long recession and laid the groundwork for the West’s ultimate victory in the Cold War. [Read more...]

Executive Dysfunction

President Obama has done next to nothing to build confidence in government.

by James Bennet     •     The Atlantic

Obama defeatedIt’s happened by this point in every modern two-term presidency: If we weren’t sick of the guy to start with, we certainly are by now. What once seemed like roguish charm, or bracing surety, or nuanced intelligence, has curdled into self-indulgence, or arrogance, or passivity. Voters punish the president in the midterms; congressmen investigate him; political journalists, eager to cultivate sources in the coming campaigns, save all their nice adjectives for the presidents-in-waiting, and their aides. [Read more...]

Harvard Faculty Crimson Over Obamacare-Influenced Health Plan Changes

Harvard profs helped design Obamacare—and now that the reform is hitting university health plans, their colleagues are furious.

John Allen Gay     •     The National Interest

Obamacare NeedleWilliam F. Buckley famously proclaimed that he’d “rather be governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston telephone directory than by the two thousand people on the faculty of Harvard University.” Buckley’s point was that the common man can be wiser, for he can’t stray far from common sense without suffering, while the intellectual is in danger of burying his common sense under abstract theories and well-footnoted daydreams.

But sometimes even the thickest clouds of pure reason can’t mask reality forever. Sometimes the elite cannot insulate themselves from the common man’s reality. They get a rude awakening, and suddenly the common man and his common sense sound a lot more sensible. The two thousand people on the faculty of Harvard, to adapt Buckley’s phrase, suddenly start to talk a lot like the first two thousand names in the Boston phone book. [Read more...]

Obamacare Architects Knew Affordable Care Act Wouldn’t Be Affordable

IBD Editorials     •     Investors.com

ObamaCare Gruber LiesObamaCare was sold as a means to making health care more affordable. It even makes that claim in its official name. But its creators knew it wouldn’t, and they forced the idea into law anyway.

Obama adviser Jonathan Gruber seems to be carving out a new career as the go-to guy for those of us who were and still are opposed to a government takeover of the health care sector.

Statements he made while the Democrats were crafting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act show to what depths they sank to deceive the public to get the bill passed. [Read more...]

Nylons for Nothing in Cuba

by Charles Krauthammer     •     Washington Post

cuba1There’s an old Cold War joke — pre-pantyhose — that to defeat communism we should empty our B-52 bombers of nuclear weapons and instead drop nylons over the Soviet Union. Flood the Russians with the soft consumer culture of capitalism, seduce them with Western contact and commerce, love-bomb them into freedom.

We did win the Cold War, but differently. We contained, constrained, squeezed and eventually exhausted the Soviets into giving up. The dissidents inside subsequently told us how much they were sustained by our support for them and our implacable pressure on their oppressors. [Read more...]

Obamacare’s Annus Horribilis

by Michelle Malkin     •     RealClearPolitics

 

obamacare-everyone-hatesThere’s no candy coating the truth: Obamacare has had a very terrible, horrible, crappy, none-too-happy year. What it really means is that the victims of Obamacare — taxpayers, health care consumers, health care providers, employers and employees — have had a hellish, nightmarish 2014.

Let’s start with premiums. President Candy Land promised that he’d “lower premiums by up to $2,500 for a typical family per year.” But premiums for people in the individual market for health insurance have spiked over the last year. In fact, Forbes health policy journalist Avik Roy and the Manhattan Institute analyzed 3,137 counties and found that individual market [Read more...]

Obama’s Year In Review

ISIS, Ferguson, the Senate, Ukraine, Ebola, border kids. Really, this was a pretty awful sixth year for the president. Not that he’s acting like it.

by James Oliphant     •     National Journal

Smug-ObamaYou can make a compelling case that 2014 was the worst year for President Obama since, well, the year before. And, in fact, the president spent much of this year trying to recover from some body blows he took in the final months of 2013, when, in short order, Congress rebuffed him on Syria and the federal health care exchange imploded.

Those setbacks ate away at Obama’s public support. According to Gallup, the president began 2014 with a 41 percent approval rating, and he’s ending it a tick or two higher. He’s also ending the year as a certified lame duck, facing two final years with a hostile Congress and the political conversation centering around the likes of Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, and Rand Paul. [Read more...]

Obama’s Executive Memoranda Highlights Constitutional Crisis

by Jonathan S. Tobin     •     Commentary

obama-legislation executive orderWhen conservatives protested President Obama’s attempt to go around the Constitution and rule by executive orders rather than with the consent of Congress, his defenders had a ready answer. While they insisted that Obama’s fiat granting amnesty to five million illegal immigrants did not exceed his authority, they also countered by saying that the president had actually issued far fewer such executive orders than that of President Bush. But, as USA Today noted last week, focusing only on executive orders while ignoring the far more numerous executive memoranda issued by this administration that have the same effect as law, the press and the public have vastly underestimated the extent of how far he has stretched the boundaries of executive power. If anything, this president’s effort to create a one-man government may have gone farther than we thought. [Read more...]

At 40, the Laffer Curve Still Looks Good

by Stephen Moore     •     The Washington Post

800px-Laffer-Curve.svgIt was 40 years ago this month that two of President Gerald Ford’s top White House advisers, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, gathered for a steak dinner at the Two Continents restaurant in Washington with Wall Street Journal editorial writer Jude Wanniski and Arthur Laffer, former chief economist at the Office of Management and Budget. The United States was in the grip of a gut-wrenching recession, and Laffer lectured to his dinner companions that the federal government’s 70 percent marginal tax rates were an economic toll booth slowing growth to a crawl.

To punctuate his point, he grabbed a pen and a cloth cocktail napkin and drew a chart showing that when tax rates get too high, they penalize work and investment and can actually lead to revenue losses for the government. Four years later, that napkin became immortalized as “the Laffer Curve” in an article Wanniski wrote for the Public Interest magazine. (Wanniski would later grouse only half-jokingly that he should have called it the Wanniski Curve.) [Read more...]

The Clean Power Plan Is Unconstitutional

The EPA acts as though it has the legislative authority to re-engineer the nation’s electric generating system and power grid. It does not.

by Laurence H. Tribe     •     The Wall Street Journal

epa-logoAs a law professor, I taught the nation’s first environmental law class 45 years ago. As a lawyer, I have supported countless environmental causes. And as a father and grandfather, I want to leave the Earth in better shape than when I arrived.

Nonetheless, I recently filed comments with the Environmental Protection Agency urging the agency to withdraw its Clean Power Plan, a regulatory proposal to reduce carbon emissions from the nation’s electric power plants. In my view, coping with climate change is a vital end, but it does not justify using unconstitutional means. [Read more...]

Cyber Terrorism is Terrorism

by George Landrith  US Flag Korea  

The White House has called the North Korean cyber-attack on Sony an act of vandalism. This entirely misses the point. Vandalism is typically limited to relatively minor property damage. This attack was not merely a teenager spray painting the side of an old building. This was not merely some college-aged nerd sitting in his dimly lit bedroom in the basement of his parent’s house trying to hack into someone’s website. Yet, the administration appears to be treating it lightly. [Read more...]