Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why Democrats Don't Get Political Credit for "Helping" Poor People

  • Obamacare saddles poor people with another monthly bill, which they'll have to pay out of pocket if they don't jump through the proper hoops. 
  • They can't use the insurance to see a doctor because the deductibles are too expensive. 
  • Their McJobs are cutting hours and firing people because employers don't want the added Democrat-imposed costs. 
  • And starting next year, they'll see their tax refund checks reduced, and/or they'll have to pay insurance premiums with the rent money because they didn't fill out the paperwork properly. 

All of this, and Democrats complain because poor people aren't grateful enough.

Friday, October 03, 2014

For those blaming baby boomers

This is a chart from the Senate Budget committee, showing the labor force participation rate for people 65 and above -- that is, baby boomers. No real indication of boomers "retiring in record numbers." Even Democrat darling Nate Silver wrote a column, "Don't blame the baby boomers." He points out that it's workers age 25-54 who are leaving the workforce in record numbers -- not boomers.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Blog Comment Etiquette

In my 7+ years of participating in the comments on Liberally Lean, I've been accused of many things, from being a racist to living in my mom's basement to (ahem) not blogging often enough. Given all that, I found this article on comment etiquette interesting. From "Comment Etiquette" by Maeve Maddox (some pointers are from other sources):

1. Be specific.
2. Don’t leave a link.
3. Stay on topic.
4. Be nice.
5. Keep it brief.

Practice respectful disagreement, not personal attacks.
Be brief and don’t turn every comment into your own personal blog post.

And, on being a "blog hog":

You might be a blog hog if you hijack someone else’s blog and use your comment to toot your own horn, discuss your accomplishments ad infinitum without being asked, hog the thread, dominate the conversation vs. join it, or take it upon yourself to jump in and reply to every question or comment other visitors make.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How much compromise...?

Paul Brandus has an article in The Week titled "Why Cantor's upset is bad news for Obama." This refers to the defeat of Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in his primary, to a Tea Party-supported candidate. Brandus's point is that the House Republicans will move even further to the right, making it more difficult for Obama to accomplish his agenda, since Cantor was somewhat willing to work with Obama.

One passage in the story is amusing: "The [Republican] establishment group would prefer to at least talk to President Obama and look for common ground on key issues; the far right sees this as a waste of time. To them, there's no common ground to be had. Obama must be resisted — completely, on everything, and with no room for compromise."

Does anyone remember any sense of "compromise" from Democrats when they controlled both houses of Congress? Have Senate Democrats "compromised" with Republicans on any of their agenda? 

No. To the contrary. Democrats excluded Republicans almost completely from legislation when they had control of Congress. Harry Reid's Senate not only shuts down Republican requests for debate or the opportunity to offer amendments to legislation, they actually changed the rules so they could force through Obama's judicial nominees over Republican opposition.

Now that Republicans control half of Congress, and Tea Party-leaning Republicans are exerting their own power, it's that one particular contingent that is being blamed for an unwillingness to compromise. Laughable.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Is this controversial?

If you're in a foreign country and someone asks you where you're from, what do you answer?

Benghazi in a nutshell

Democrats continue to try to muddy the waters about the Benghazi attack. They say it was "only" four deaths, or that embassies were attacked under Bush, or it was so long ago, etc. In his latest column, "The 6 Lamest Excuses for Failure from the Obama Administration," John Hawkins concisely explains why the Benghazi attack should matter to us.

"Our embassy in Libya was woefully under-protected despite the fact that Ambassador Chris Stevens had requested more security on multiple occasions and had been turned down. After Al-Qaeda attacked the embassy, no rescue attempt was made. Afterwards, during a presidential election year when Obama was under pressure to show that Al-Qaeda was behind the attack, members of the administration including the President deliberately misled Americans to make them think that a video was responsible for the attack when they knew from day one that terrorists were responsible. Since then, the Obama Administration has delayed and stonewalled the congressional investigation at every opportunity."

Friday, May 23, 2014

Others Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XLIX

"Here's the eternal question: Is the Obama administration as stupid and incompetent as they appear, or are they acting stupid on purpose? 

The fact that we even ask ourselves this question is the worst indictment of Obama possible."
-- John Ransom

("Obama Covers His Eyes and Hopes We Can't See Him," May 23, 2014)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Conservative Self Destruction

John Ransom had a great recent column in which he listed several ways grassroots Conservatives (think "Tea Partiers" if you want) shoot themselves in the foot. It's a realistic, practical view on strategic and tactical blunders that prevent the Tea Party from having greater success. He expands on these points, so it's well worth reading his column.

1. We're not reaching out to people who disagree with us.
2. We've gotten lazy about making people's lives better.
3. We need to focus more on entertaining than informing.
4. We get too impressed by the "more conservative than you" game.
5. We refuse to challenge liberal control of cultural institutions.

Read Ransom's "5 Aggravating Ways Grassroots Conservatives Screw Themselves"

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Obama the Illicit Drug Expert

"A Note From the Commissioner"

Last Friday's release of April's employment data by the Bureau of Labor Statistics contained a couple of details that indicate how much the economy has suffered under Barack Obama, regardless of whatever problems he "inherited." It's true that the official unemployment rate dropped to 6.3%. However, as I've pointed out dozens of times, that number has been kept artificially low by the decrease in the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR). 

Essentially, a million more unemployed people were not officially counted as unemployed. That government-bureaucrat loophole has been the only thing keeping the unemployment rate under 10% the last several years. The LFPR in April was a modern-era worst, the lowest since 1978.

The argument has been made that the decline in the number of people in the workforce is due to Baby Boomers retiring. That's a valid argument, although incorrect. The storyline these days is that people are choosing (or being forced) to work until a later age because of financial difficulties and/or better senior health. But we have something a little more solid to go on than just common sense.

April's report showed that the number of people in the labor forced dropped by 806,000 from March to April, despite an increase in the population of 181,000. Erica Groshen, Commissioner of the BLS, said in her statement: "the April labor force decline was due mostly to fewer people entering the labor force than usual, rather than to more people exiting the labor force." 

So much for the "baby boomers retiring" excuse.

Just to keep everyone reminded, here's the graphic proof of Obama's (and Congressional Democrats') handling of employment since he took office:

LFPR since Obama took office in January 2009

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Primum non nocere

(This post is dedicated to my #1 fan, who keeps track of my posts and subsequent comments.)

Re: Obamacare. Its problems, costs, damage, and supposed benefits.

From Wikipedia:
Primum non nocere is a Latin phrase that means "first, do no harm." The phrase is sometimes recorded as primum nil nocere.

Non-maleficence, which is derived from the maxim, is one of the principal precepts of bioethics that all healthcare students are taught in school and is a fundamental principle throughout the world. Another way to state it is that, "given an existing problem, it may be better not to do something, or even to do nothing, than to risk causing more harm than good." It reminds the health care provider that they must consider the possible harm that any intervention might do. It is invoked when debating the use of an intervention that carries an obvious risk of harm but a less certain chance of benefit.

Get it?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Others Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XLVIII

In Michael Goodwin's most recent column ("Chickens come home to roost for Obama") he quotes Mario Cuomo on the difference in campaigning and governing: "You campaign in poetry, you govern in prose."

Goodwin then offers this pearl:
Obama hasn’t figured out the difference. Even more alarming, he shows no signs of trying to learn. In the ways of the world, he remains a know-it-all rookie.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Others Say Smart Stuff, Too (Five Years Ago!)

Sarah Palin has been the butt of much abuse and criticism since her introduction to the national political scene as John McCain's running mate in 2008. Most of the criticism is undeserved. Ignorant boobs even continue to accuse her of saying she could see Russia from her house -- a quote actually made by Tina Fey (as Palin) in a SNL bit.

What Palin did say regarding Russia, however, was documented in Foreign Policy magazine in 2008. The title of the article says it all: "Russia Might Invade Ukraine if Obama Wins, Palin Warns."

Now here it is, just over five years into Barack Obama's term in office, and headlines everywhere scream about the international crisis as Russia prepares to invade the Ukraine

Now, let's sit back and wait for the apologies.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Andrew Klavan on the Tea Party

Klavan's take is the closest I've ever read to my own position on the Tea Party vis-à-vis the Republican establishment.

"Purity or Strategy: The Debate We Need to Have"

Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Laffer Curve Explained

Because Liberals always argue out of ignorance, it's simple to logically defeat them simply by having information. (Note: At that point they fall back on screaming, swearing and name-calling. Since they can't defend their positions with logic, they scream, swear, and name-call a lot.)

When it comes to taxation, Liberals/Democrats always want more, no matter how much we're already taxed. Because of the Laffer curve, their ideological aim is to punish rather than to actually increase revenue.

Here it is explained by an expert.

Friday, February 07, 2014

One picture is worth...

The Labor Force Participation Rate measures the percentage of the working-age population who is either 1) employed; or 2) in the government system as looking for work. It does not measure those who have given up looking for work. That means, of course, that millions of discouraged workers without jobs are not officially counted as unemployed, even though they are in fact "unemployed." 

Paradoxically, the more unemployed people who quit looking for work, the lower the official government unemployment rate. 

Here, then, is the historic trend of the LFPR since Barack Obama took office. See if you notice a trend.
Labor Force Participation Rate since January, 2009

And this is why the unemployment rate under Barack Obama has managed to stay under ten percent, despite there being ten million more Americans without jobs than when he took office. (Today's false number, 6.6%)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Who said that?

On government assistance:
#1: "We must find ways of returning far more of our dependent people to independence."
On business and government assistance:
#2: "The capitalists who make the investments, the managers who manage it, and the workers who produce it-have got to be concerned about these taxeaters"
#3: "The days of the dole in our country are numbered."

Who said these awful things? Was it some extremist right-wing Republican wing nut?

Why no. #1 was President John Kennedy in his "Special Message to Congress on Public Welfare Programs" February 1, 1962
#2 was President Lyndon Johnson in his "Remarks to the Members of the International Labor Press Association" April 27, 1964
#3 was also LBJ, in his "Remarks Upon Signing the Economic Opportunity Act" August 20, 1964.

My point is to illustrate how much the Democrat party has swerved over the last fifty years. When Republicans talk about helping poor people, it's with the same idea as JFK and LBJ -- help them get away from dependence on government. Today's Democrats consider "help" as making it easier for poor people to become and remain dependent on government. 

That's the fundamental difference between the two parties, their vision of America.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Thanks, Obama

One picture is worth a thousand words. The Labor Force Participation Rate since January, 2003. Barack Obama took office in January, 2009. Notice a trend? Yet the latest report has unemployment decreasing. Government numbers are funny things.

Notice a trend?

Friday, December 27, 2013

Others Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XLVII

From Victor Davis Hansen ("The Orphaned Middle Class"):

The problem with Obamacare is that its well-connected and influential supporters -- pet businesses, unions and congressional insiders -- have already won exemption from it. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Others Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XLVI

From Frank J. Fleming, on governmental gridlock:
Right now, politicians have the power to suddenly decide to tax us all at 100% and then spend the money replacing all of our roads with a high-speed rail system. What keeps them from doing that? Common sense? Come on, look at the morons we have in government — Congress is filled with idiots who couldn’t run a lemonade stand and who have grand visions to transform the nation. No, the only thing stopping them is that they’re divided into two parties who viscerally hate each other.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Lap Dogs Become Attack Dogs

White House ventriloquist dummy Jay Carney suffers the wrath of the White House press corps over their lack of access, and manipulation of the news by the Obama administration.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Great news for Obama

The unemployment rate for November actually hit 7.0%, great news for Obama, because it's been a year since it's been that low. Even better is that the Labor Force Participation Rate, which affects the unemployment rate, ticked up to 63.0%. (The LFPR counts those in the workforce. Not in the workforce, you can't be counted as unemployed, whether you're working or not.)

As I've detailed often before, Obama has benefited from a drastic drop in the number of people who are counted in the workforce. It has kept his "official" government-reported unemployment rate below ten percent, even though millions of more people are not working than when he took office. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here's what the LFPR has done under Obama:

Labor Force Participation Rate since January 2009
Now. Since some people will think Obama's drop in workforce participation is just a continuation of an ongoing trend, here's the LFPR for the last ten years.

Labor Force Participation Rate since 2003
Flat for several years, with a decline beginning in January 2009 that accelerated and continues to this day, giving Obama an artificially low unemployment rate that makes all the headlines.

Congratulations. If you've read this far, then you've seen something the majority of Americans have no clue about.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Obamacare,the hard sell

The Weekly Standard has a story detailing the adventures of members of "nonpartisan" Enroll America (a huge percentage of which are former Obama campaign staffers) as they try to give members of a Florida neighborhood information on Obamacare. "Hard Sell: Going door-to-door for Obamacare" finishes up with a seminar to help 100 people navigate the Obamacare website to enroll for insurance. (Spoiler alert: After three hours none of them are able to enroll.)

Worth reading to see the crumbling cogs in this Rube Goldberg machine.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Others Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XLV

The Hoover Institution's Richard Epstein, writing about "Obamacare's Death Spiral":

"The tragedy remains that it is far easier to force people out of healthcare plans that they want than it is to enroll them in healthcare plans that they don’t."

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Others say smart stuff, too - Part XLIV

Jack Kerwick citing Michael Oakeshott in his column "The Future of the Conservative Movement":

Conservatives have always preferred changes that are slight to those that are vast, changes that are necessary to those that are not, and changes that are gradual to those that are radical. Changes that are “fundamentally transformative” siphon the life out of a society by severing its present from its past.

How Obamacare Fails (but Democrats win)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Nope. Nothing wrong here."

In a surprise turnaround from their Liberal Lapdog misinformation campaign of the last two generations, the New York Times ran a critical story on the Obama administration's repeated assertions that Obama himself didn't know the Obamacare website was such a disaster until after it failed. Here, in a nutshell, is the rest of the Times story:

According to the White House:
Obamacare website fail? Obama didn't know.
NSA spying on allied leaders? Obama didn't know.
Operation Fast and Furious gets an American border agent killed? Obama didn't know.
IRS targeting conservative groups? Obama didn't know.
Obama Justice Department stealing phone logs from a reporter? Obama didn't know.

We can only assume that when Obama repeatedly told Americans "If you want to keep your doctor, you can. If you want to keep your insurance, you can" that he simply "didn't know." (But every other Democrat in Washington did.) 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Obama's economy - It's worse than we think

For several years I've pointed out how the "official" unemployment rate under Obama has been artificially low, due to the increasing number of people who are not counted as unemployed. Anyone who is unemployed and who has given up looking for a job is not counted as "unemployed." Yes, it's crazy. The percentage of people working or looking for work, known as "Labor Force Participation Rate," has dropped like a rock under Obama.
The labor report for September, which has been released very very quietly, shows a terrifying statistic. In the last six months, more than two-thirds of the increase in working-age population is not in the workforce. Our working-age population has increased by 993,000 but the workforce has only increased by 321,000.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Even though larger numbers of people are not working, because of government's imaginary numbers process, the official unemployment rate has gone down.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Others Say Smart Stuff, Too - Part XLIII

Derek Hunter's take on the problems with the October 1 implementation of Obamacare:

"The roll out of Obamacare has been a disaster that makes “New Coke” look like the iPad."