Saturday, November 30, 2013

Is It Too Late For the Republican Party To Save Itself?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Food for thought. At least for those republicans that have retained the ability to think outside the box their party has sculpted for them or they created for themselves.

In recent decades, the Republicans have usually been the more nationalist of the two major parties. Whereas Democratic foreign policy experts have been more at home among global elites, and more enthusiastic about pursuing altruistic humanitarian goals, Republican experts have been less comfortable at conferences abroad, and more concerned about the safety of the American homeland and its traditional allies than about trying to improve the lot of the rest of the world. As one might expect, defense budgets have usually fared better under Republican than Democratic presidents.

The problem for Republicans is that there are various kinds of nationalism. There is, for instance, the aggressive Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld brand of nationalism, in which you proactively seek out enemies and destroy them, with relatively little concern for what the outside world thinks. Especially in a post-9/11 world, you can't take chances! This is a nationalism in which high defense budgets are encouraged, even as humanitarianism is de-emphasized. It is not that such nationalists are necessarily hardhearted. Rather, it is that they genuinely feel the world overall will be a more humane place with preponderant American power.

To one side of these Republican nationalists are Republican isolationists. Now isolationists are nationalists, too. They also believe that the most important thing in the world is a safe and secure American homeland. It is just that they feel this can be better achieved by staying out of foreign wars and other such entanglements, particularly in the Eastern Hemisphere. In their minds, American human and material treasure is simply too precious to be wasted abroad. Tried-and-true isolationists are actually rare in the Republican Party: just because you are against this or that military intervention certainly does not make you an isolationist. Rather, there are isolationist-trending Republicans of varying degrees who seek to do the minimum abroad, while concentrating on protecting and improving the homeland. They seek a perfectionism within the American continent only, with some concern for contiguous parts of the Western Hemisphere as well. The world overseas will just have to fend for itself.

Continue reading and enjoy the complete article...

Via: Memeorandum

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

As we gather with family and friends to celebrate our National Holiday Rational Nation USA wishes all it's readership, whether they be liberal, conservative, libertarian, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Atheist or whatever the very best of Thanksgivings and humbly asks that all remember how truly fortunate we are to live in a land where freedom of political and religious speech is allowed.

It is I think appropriate on this day to post George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. Whether one is religious and believes in one supreme being or not Thanksgiving personifies the importance of being thankful for all we have achieved as a nation and if the USA returns to, and holds true to the principles of The Age of Reason and the Enlightenment we will be fine for another 224 years.

To all you extreme partisans and zealots I say, THINK ABOUT IT.

Happy Thanksgiving All!!!

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

Game Change 2014?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

One of these guys is going to be very happy on Election Night 2014 (Photo: EPA/Aude Guerrucci)

As the tumble from lofty heights and the expectations that accompanies such heights continues Peresident Obaba and his fellow Democrats have reason to be concerned. VERY concerned.

With the horrendously botched ACA roll out and the huge credibility gap created by the Presidents misleading statement that "If you like your health insurance keep you can keep your health insurance plan, PERIOD" the opportunity for the Republican party to retain the House and retake the Senate in 2014 is becoming increasingly possible.

With the tide turning against the Presidents party the enthusiasm within the ranks of Republican and Libertarian activists will build and grow exponentially. Not unlike the "Hope and Change" of 2008 and 2012.

From The Washington Post no less.

President Obama’s poll numbers are at record lows. The health care law that serves as the cornerstone of his domestic policy legacy is even more unpopular. And there are few chances to change the conversation among a skeptical public that isn’t happy with Washington.

Sound familiar? It should: The national political climate today is starting to resemble 2010, when Republicans won control of the House of Representatives by riding a wave of voter anger.

Wave elections are rare. Only a handful of times in the previous century has one party racked up big wins. Democrats won big handfuls of House seats in 1930, 1932, 1948, 1958, 1974, 2006 and 2008. Republicans won back more than 40 seats in 1938, 1942, 1946, 1966, 1994 and 2010. And with nearly a year to go before Election Day, voters’ moods can change dramatically.

But the rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act and President Obama’s crumbling support suggests another wave might be building. While voters usually punish a president’s party in at least one midterm election, they may be winding up to deliver another smack to President Obama’s allies on Capitol Hill.

Voter dislike of ObamaCare cost Democrats the House in 2010. It could cost them the Senate in 2014.

The poll numbers hint at the toll the Affordable Care Act has taken on the Democratic Party. A CNN/ORC International poll conducted November 18-20 shows 49 percent of registered voters favored a generic Republican candidate for Congress, compared with 47 percent who favored a Democratic candidate. A Quinnipiac University poll conducted November 6-11 shows the generic ballot tied, at 39 percent each. {Read the Full Report}

Keep the popcorn and the beer close at hand, it's going to be VERY interesting.

Via: Memeorandum

Microsoft Suspects the NSA Of Spying...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Brave New World and Big Brother continuing to grow in the Land of the Free, the United States of America. Government is simply growing too effing big for its britches. Thank you GWB, BHO, and all your henchmen.

A very disturbing trend, one the government is very likely to accelerate in the coming months and years.

The Washington Post - Microsoft is moving toward a major new effort to encrypt its Internet traffic amid fears that the National Security Agency may have broken into its global communications links, said people familiar with the emerging plans.

Suspicions at Microsoft, while building for several months, sharpened in October when it was reported that the NSA was intercepting traffic inside the private networks of Google and Yahoo, two industry rivals with similar global infrastructures, said people with direct knowledge of the company’s deliberations. They said top Microsoft executives are meeting this week to decide what encryption initiatives to deploy and how quickly.

Documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden suggest — but do not prove — that the company is right to be concerned. Two previously unreleased slides that describe operations against Google and Yahoo include references to Microsoft’s Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger services. A separate NSA e-mail mentions Microsoft Passport, a Web-based service formerly offered by Microsoft, as a possible target of that same surveillance project, called MUSCULAR, which was first disclosed by The Washington Post last month.

Though Microsoft officials said they had no independent verification of the NSA targeting the company in this way, general counsel Brad Smith said Tuesday that it would be “very disturbing” and a possible constitutional breach if true.

Microsoft’s move to expand encryption would allow it to join Google , Yahoo , Facebook and other major technology firms in hardening its defenses in response to news reports about once-secret NSA programs. The resulting new investments in encryption technology stand to complicate surveillance efforts — by governments, private companies and criminals — for years, experts say.

Though several legislative efforts are underway to curb the NSA’s surveillance powers, the wholesale move by private companies to expand the use of encryption technology may prove to be the most tangible outcome of months of revelations based on documents that Snowden provided to The Post and Britain’s Guardian newspaper. In another major shift, the companies also are explicitly building defenses against U.S. government surveillance programs (emphasis mine) in addition to combating hackers, criminals or foreign intelligence services.

Certainly this should be a very big concern for those in the liberty camp that understand too much of a good thing is dangerous to your well being. Including and especially Government.

Via: Memeorandum

Obama and the Air Brush Of History?...

Is it possible? As Dana Milbank, Washington Post opinion writer points out most likely for the birthers, those, who like Donald Trump believe President Obama forged his birth certificate, is not a USA born citizen, and therefore an illegitimate president. So much for the loonies.

However, the Obama Administration and its practice of excluding photo journalist in favor of in house photographers to record official events is troublesome, at least IMO it is.

From the Washington Post opinion pages.

Is the Obama White House airbrushing history?

It was a hallmark of the Stalin era: Fallen Soviet leaders vanished from official photographs. Nobody accuses President Obama of such subterfuge (well, nobody except for those who believe he forged his birth certificate), but a change in longtime practice in the White House has raised questions about the integrity of images Americans see of their president.

The White House has increasingly excluded news photographers from Obama’s official events and is instead releasing images taken by in-house photographers, who are government employees. These photos often appear online and in newspapers, even though they lack the same standards of authenticity that govern those taken by photojournalists.

“As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the executive branch of government,” the White House Correspondents’ Association, joined by the Associated Press and other news organizations, wrote in a letter to White House press secretary Jay Carney last week. “You are, in effect, replacing independent photojournalism with visual press releases.”

New York Times photographer Doug Mills likens the administration’s actions to Tass, the Soviet Union’s news agency.

The most famous of the photo press releases was the image from the White House Situation Room on the day U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden; the image was digitally altered so that material on the table in front of the secretary of state could not be seen.

Maybe that alteration was an exception. And photojournalists don’t expect to be granted access to the Situation Room. But the doctored image raises the question of whether other photo releases are altered, too; in the age of Photoshop, it’s easy — at the start of the year, Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s staff (clumsily) altered a group photo of Democratic women in Congress to add four absent members. And often, it’s undetectable. {Read More}

What say you?

Via: Memorandum

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Iran Rejects the White House Accounting of "The Deal"...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs-Tyranny

For some strange reason I'm getting the sense "the deal" may very well turn out quite unfortunately to be a dude. This from FARS News Agency.

“What has been released by the website of the White House as a fact sheet is a one-sided interpretation of the agreed text in Geneva and some of the explanations and words in the sheet contradict the text of the Joint Plan of Action (the title of the Iran-powers deal), and this fact sheet has unfortunately been translated and released in the name of the Geneva agreement by certain media, which is not true,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said on Tuesday.

She said that the four-page text under the name of the Joint Plan of Action (which has been released by the Iranian foreign ministry) was the result of the agreement reached during the Geneva talks and all of its sentences and words were chosen based on the considerations of all parties to the talks. In fact one of the reasons why negotiations between Iran and the G5+1 took so long pertained to the accuracy which was needed for choosing the words for the text of the agreement, Afkham said, explaining that the Iranian delegation was much rigid and laid much emphasis on the need for this accuracy.

Afkham said that the text of the Joint Plan of Action was provided to the media a few hours after the two sides agreed on it.

After the White House released a modified version of the deal struck by Iran and the six world powers in Geneva early Sunday morning, the Iranian Foreign Ministry released the text of the agreement.

Read the full text of "the deal."

Via: Memeorandum

ObamaCare and Rationing, Fact or Fiction?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs-Tyranny

As the floodgates of bad news for ObamaCare and President Obama seem to continue to widen. Or, is it just more anti Obama nutter talk fueled by the wacko right wing extreme obstructionists of the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party?

According to Mark Halperin health care rationing and "death panels" are going to be a reality of the ACA. This from TPM

One of the Beltway's best-known pundits gave credence this week to perhaps the fringiest of all Obamacare conspiracy theories.

In an interview on Monday with the conservative Newsmax, Time's Mark Halperin said that so-called "death panels" are enshrined in the Affordable Care Act.

"It's going to be a huge issue," Halperin said. "And that's something else about which the President was not fully forthcoming or straight-forward."

"So, you believe there will be rationing, a.k.a 'death panels'?" host Steve Malzberg asked Halperin, the co-author of the 2012 election chronicle "Double Down."

"It's built into the plan. It's not like a guess or like a judgment. That's going to be part of how costs are controlled," Halperin said before arguing that it's necessary to ration care. {Read More}

Well there you have it. You, the loyal readers be the judge because I haven't an idea who to believe anymore. I guess it's time for more popcorn and beer because this ObamaCare thing is becoming almost as interesting and exciting as any Sunday NFL game.

Via: Memeorandum

ObamaCare and the Difficulties It Has Presented the Obama Adminstration, All of Their Own Making...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Is it all scare tactics? Right wing hyperbole orchestrated to bring down the hated ACA and deny President Obama's hoped for legacy? A bunch of nutters as the left not so fondly refers to those who have opposed the ACA since the start just being obstructionists?

Certainly the ACA roll out has been riddled with difficulty, including security concerns. President Obama's credibilty has unquestionably been damaged, a result of promises broken with respect to oe being able to keep there insurance if they liked it. And now this... From Fox News.

Almost 80 million people with employer health plans could find their coverage canceled because they are not compliant with ObamaCare, several experts predicted.

Their losses would be in addition to the millions who found their individual coverage cancelled for the same reason.

Stan Veuger of the American Enterprise Institute said that in addition to the individual cancellations, "at least half the people on employer plans would by 2014 start losing plans as well." There are approximately 157 million employer health care policy holders.

Avik Roy of the Manhattan Institute added, "the administration estimated that approximately 78 million Americans with employer sponsored insurance would lose their existing coverage due to the Affordable Care Act."

Last week, an analysis by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, showed the administration anticipates half to two-thirds of small businesses would have policies canceled or be compelled to send workers onto the ObamaCare exchanges. They predicted up to 100 million small and large business policies could be canceled next year. {Read More}

Related reading, Democrats Fear Obamacare Will Cost Them The Senate

Via: Memeorandum

Monday, November 25, 2013

Iran Nuclear Deal, Concern Expressed From Both Sides Of the Aisle...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

With many lawmakers wary over the Iran nuclear deal its looks like the right and the left may have rediscovered bipartisanship

Top lawmakers on both side of the aisle on Sunday voiced skepticism about the newly struck agreement with Iran, and vowed to keep up the pressure with sanctions.

Senior members in both chambers said that, at first glance, Iran got the better end of the deal with western powers, China and Russia – effectively exchanging looser sanctions for very little progress in impeding Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.

Some powerful lawmakers have said they’re willing to seek new sanctions now, but delay their implementation until after the six months covered by the current deal. But others weren’t even willing to go that far.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), the No. 3 Democrat in the chamber, called the deal disproportionately good for Iran, and that it was only strong sanctions that gave the United States and its allies any leverage over Tehran.

“This disproportionality of this agreement makes it more likely that Democrats and Republicans will join together and pass additional sanctions when we return in December,” Schumer said in a Sunday statement.

In fact, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office pointed out Sunday that the Virginia Republican and Schumer – rarely allies on any issue – had sounded similar concerns about the deal, and the impact sanctions have had on Iran.

President Obama and top members of his administration, like Secretary of State John Kerry, have stressed that the pressure has been successful – but that pressing ahead with further sanctions could “derail” the new deal.

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are among the lawmakers to say they’d be open to putting sanctions in place for six months down the line.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had vowed last week to move ahead with sanctions legislation, but has yet to comment on the agreement finalized this weekend in Geneva.

Menendez added Sunday that he expected any Senate deal on sanctions to allow the U.S. to immediately restart sanctions if Iran fails to live up to its part of the deal.

“Given Iran's history of duplicity, it will demand ongoing, on-the-ground verification,” Menendez said. “Until Iran has verifiably terminated its illicit nuclear program, we should vigorously enforce existing sanctions.”

“Given Iran's history of duplicity, it will demand ongoing, on-the-ground verification,” Menendez said. “Until Iran has verifiably terminated its illicit nuclear program, we should vigorously enforce existing sanctions.”

Under the deal announced Sunday, the U.S. and its allies will loosen temporarily loosen sanctions on Iran’s sale of crude oil, its automotive sector and other parts of the economy.

Iran, on the other hand, agreed to tougher outside inspections and to cap its nuclear stockpile. Tehran will also halt work at a heavy water reactor at its Arak site and suspend the installation of new centrifuges. The two sides disagree on whether the agreement allows Iran to enrich its uranium, and whether it takes any military action against the country off the table.

The initial agreement does not cover the construction of new centrifuges or the reversal of progress Iran has made in its nuclear program. {Read More}

I like the idea of developing additional sanctions now to be used only if Iran over the next six months fails to conduct itself in accordance with "the deal."

Via: Memeorandum

Thursday, November 21, 2013

CNN/ORC Poll Just Out Confirms Low Approval Ratings for President Obama...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA

Fifty-six percent questioned say they disapprove of Obama's performance, an all-time high in CNN surveys.

It just doesn't seem to be getting any better for the embattled President. Nice guy that he is, passionately concerned about finding that silver limning in the clouds for ALL Americans, it appears at this point in time credibility (and honesty) still remains important to the American people. Given the President's recent credibility gap (rightfully so) he certainly does have much work to do. It is looking like a Republican House, AND Senate may be within the realm of possibility following the 2014 mid term elections.

From recent CNN/ORC International polling.

Washington (CNN)As President Barack Obama's approval rating hits another all-time low, a new national survey also indicates that Americans say the President has less power than congressional Republicans when it comes to shaping events over the next year.

According to a CNN/ORC poll released Thursday, 41% of Americans approve of the job the President's doing in the White House, the lowest level for that crucial indicator in CNN polling. Fifty-six percent questioned say they disapprove of Obama's performance, an all-time high in CNN surveys.

The President's approval rating has now reached new lows or tied his all-time lows in polls released over the past three weeks from CNN/ORC, CBS News, ABC News/Washington Post, Quinnipiac University, National Journal Heartland Monitor, and NBC News/Wall Street Journal. And the CNN survey is the fourth non-partisan live operator national poll released this week to put Obama's approval rating between 40% and 42%. A CBS News survey released Wednesday showed the President's approval rating at 37%.

Geography appears to play a role in the President's falling numbers.

"The drop in Obama's approval rating comes entirely among suburbanites," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Compared to the October CNN poll, positive views of Obama held steady among people who live in big cities and rural areas. But in the suburbs, his approval rating was 45% a month ago but has dropped to just 37% now." {Read More }

Credibility Mr. President, credibility. Honesty goes a VERY long way in establising AND maintaining credibility Mr. President.

Via: Memeorandum

Monday, November 18, 2013

56% Say Government Not Responsible For Healthcare Coverage...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Could there be a problem with the Obama administration and it salesmanship? I find it odd that the years immediately preceding Obama's presidency support was much higher for government involvement in healthcare.

Or, could it be the result of incessant hammering away by republicans against ObamaCare since 2009?

GALLUP - The most recent data were collected in Gallup's annual Health and Healthcare poll, conducted Nov. 7-10. The percentage of U.S. adults who said it is the federal government's responsibility to ensure all Americans have healthcare coverage peaked at 69% in 2006. Attitudes began to shift significantly in 2007, and continued to change through the time President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Americans who feel healthcare coverage is not the federal government's responsibility have been in the clear majority the past two years.

Most Republicans Now View Ensuring Healthcare Coverage as Outside Government Purview

Attitudes across all three partisan groups have shifted away from the view that ensuring healthcare coverage is a proper role of government, but most significantly among Republicans and independents. In September 2000, 53% of Republicans believed the government should not be responsible for ensuring all Americans had health coverage; today, 86% feel that way, an increase of 33 percentage points in 13 years. Over the same period, the percentage of Republicans believing the government should ensure healthcare coverage for all has fallen from 42% to 12%.

Fifty-five percent of independents currently say the government should not be involved with healthcare -- an increase of 28 points since 2000.

The percentage of Democrats who hold this view is now 30%, its highest level since Gallup first asked the question and an 11-point increase since 2000 -- with the largest change in opinion occurring between 2006 and 2008. [Read More]

Via: Memeorandum

Zimmerman In The News Again...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Zimmerman, 30, is the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer who was acquitted in July on a charge that he murdered 17-year-old Trayvon Martin last year.

So, here we are. George Zimmerman AGAIN involved in inappropriate and what could have been AGAIN deadly activity. Is this man just dumb, or is he mentally unstable, and severely so?

Trayvon Martin is dead from a gunshot fired by George Zimmerman. Zimmerman is in custody following a domestic dispute with Samantha Scheibe before allegedly pointing a shotgun at her head and asking her if she really wanted to call the police.

Is anybody else thinking maybe society should lock the dude up and throw away the keys this time?

Orlando Sentinel - George Zimmerman was arrested on domestic violence charges Monday after pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend, breaking a table and pushing her out of her Seminole County home, deputies said.

Zimmerman is being held without bail at the Seminole County Jail, charged with aggravated assault with a weapon — a felony — domestic violence battery and criminal mischief.

Deputies received a call from 27-year-old Samantha Scheibe around 12:30 p.m. Monday and when they responded to the home three minutes later, Zimmerman was there and was not armed

Zimmerman was arrested and booked, said Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma of the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

Lemma said Scheibe told deputies that Zimmerman pointed a shotgun at her Scheibe. He also broke a table, pushed her out of the home and barricaded the door with furniture.

Zimmerman offered no resistance when he was taken into custody, Lemma said. Scheibe did not suffer any injuries, he said.

"She was concerned for her safety, certainly from having the weapon pointed at her," Lemma said.

According to an arrest report released late Monday, Schibe called police after she and Zimmerman got into a "verbal dispute," at her home on Topfield Court in western Seminole County. She asked Zimmerman to leave, and he "began packing his items, which included a Shotgun and a AR Assault Rifle," the report said.

When Scheibe told Zimmerman that she was calling the police, he pointed the shotgun at her "and asked her if she really wanted to do that," according to the report.

Lemma said that if a judge decides to grant Zimmerman bond, the Sheriff's Office has asked that he be placed on electronic monitoring.

"This is an additional step we ask for in every domestic violence case in Seminole County," Lemma said.

Lemma said deputies are seeking a search warrant so they can gain entry into the home, where he said Zimmerman and Scheibe appear to have been living together for several months. {Read More}

Perhaps one shouldn't jump the gun (pun intended)and pass judgement, however given his past and what the nation knows about this guy it is certainly hard not to.

Via: Memeorandum

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"One Of The Best Presidents Ever"...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs-Tyranny

Well there are some, the faithful, that continue to believe that President Barack Hussein Obama is one of the best presidents ever.

Rather than pontificating on the obvious counter reasons why he is not, I think it best to put up the list by
Matthew Lynch, Ed.D for you to consider and then decide for yourself whether or not Dr. Lynch is indeed correct.

He is for The People.

He is for civil rights.

He is for one race -the human race.

He is for a healthcare system that brings hope and healing to the hurting.

He is for the middle class.

He is for women's rights.

He is for doing away with pomp and circumstance.

He is for the environment.

He is for veterans.

He is for peace.

He is for education.

He is for entertaining the masses.

Okay, I know, I know. But before dismissing out of hand (or laughing) go HERE and get to the meat and justification for Dr. Lynch's one of the best presidents evah list.

Via: Memeorandum

It's About Time...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke to the press on the vote to limit filibusters on presidential nominees on Capitol Hill on Thursday in Washington.

Hot Damn! I never really held with much of what ole Senator Harry Reid was pushing (most of it was snake oil) but on the Filibuster change I just gotta give the dude credit. He is spot on with using the nuclear option and precipitating the change of the rules of the Senate with regard to the Filibuster and the "super majority" BS. Remember folks (especially those inclined to power) the the sword of change and the benefits thereof work both ways.

Kudos to Senator Harry Reid on this one. When somebody gets it right for a change it is fitting they receive the acknowledgement for a job well done.

WASHINGTON — The curtailment of the filibuster, probably the most well-known aspect of the Senate in popular culture, came in a politically charged vote Thursday that had been years in the making. It will have significant ramifications for the Senate, as well as for President Obama and future presidents.

The decision represents a new curb on the Senate’s constitutional power of “advice and consent,” a power that Democrats said Republicans had been abusing in their determination to deny Mr. Obama his choices for the federal bench and high-level administration offices. Under the action precipitated by Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, opponents will no longer be able to require the majority to produce 60 votes to advance a judicial or executive branch nomination short of the Supreme Court.

“It’s time to get the Senate working again — not for the good of the current Democratic majority or some future Republican majority, but for the good of the country,” said Mr. Reid, who in the past had been reluctant to force through a rules change. “It is time to change the Senate, before this institution becomes obsolete.”


The change does not extend to legislation, which lawmakers can still resist and require supporters to gather 60 votes to pass. But given the new willingness to alter the rules, senators in the future could conceivably reach that point.

Inside the Senate, furious Republicans who portrayed the Democratic action as a blatant power grab will no doubt try to exact revenge by further slowing the chamber’s activities and making life as complicated as possible for Democrats. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader and an expert student of Senate rules, made it clear that Democrats would rue this day.


Many Democrats had been very hesitant to act, fearing that the move would boomerang when Republicans won back control of the Senate and the White House. But they say the level of obstruction had gone too far, including the unsuccessful filibuster of the nomination of Chuck Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, as defense secretary.

“The Senate now enters the 21st century,” said Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa. “This is a good day for the Senate.”

Both parties had moved to the brink of rules changes over judicial nominations for the past eight years, but always stepped back out of fear of threatening the nature of the Senate and bringing Congress to a halt. The Democratic action on Thursday will now test whether anxiety about that scenario was warranted. [Full Article]

I for one will sleep better tonight knowing our republic is closer (again) to functioning as it was intended by the founders of our Great Republic.

Via: Memeorandum

ObamaCare Will Negatively Affect the President and Democrats In General...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

The President signature, and flawed legislation, the ACA is unquestionably going to impact the President and the democrats who solidly supported him and his push for the legislation. With the President's credibility, indeed even his honesty in question by many, his task over the remainder of his administration is formidable.

Some, like Nancy Pelosi, the loyal soldier she is have a different opinion...

Washington (CNN) – House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Sunday neither she nor President Barack Obama misled the American people when they said, during the run-up to the passage of Obamacare, that people could keep their health insurance plans.

Pelosi clarified their remarks, saying they only meant people could keep their plans if they had already signed up before Obama signed the bill in 2010.

But there is this...

He said it over and over again.

Like this time:

“So let me begin be saying this to you and to the American people: I know that there are millions of Americans who are content with their health care coverage. They like their plan and, most importantly, they value their relationship with their doctor. …And that means that no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like you healthcare plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period. No one will take it away from you, no matter what.” … President Obama at the annual conference of the American Medical Association, June 15, 2009.

Of course there was this which the President failed to mention...

The catch was the Administration knew that many of these policies would be changed by the insurance carriers. In 2010 HHS estimated that 40% to 67% of individual plans would lose their grandfather status.

And yet, despite this estimate Obama kept repeating his mantra that if you liked your plan, you can keep it, leading many, including the Washington Post Fact Checker to conclude that, at best, the president was being disingenuous, and, at worst, deceitful.

Keep standing tall Nancy, you'll do your party proud.

Now, while this is not an impeachable offense anyone in their right mind must find themselves questioning the President and his credibility after finding out about this little oversight. One that as much as I'd like to believe otherwise certainly seems to have been planned and therefor intentional.

Bob Woodward I think hit the nail pretty squarely on its head.

POLITICO - “What this is, it’s a mess, clearly, but what it isn’t, and I think you have to look at the question of motive. And the president’s motive here, even though there were deep problems with the implementation, he wants to do something good for 30 million people and get them health insurance,” Woodward said on “Fox News Sunday.” “So this isn’t Watergate, this isn’t [Bill] Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.”

Asked by Fox host Chris Wallace if the Obamacare implementation revealed “rank incompetence,” Woodward agreed.

“There’s no question about that,” he said. “But you see all of these stories and this frenzy out there, the game over, the presidency is over some people are saying, and I think that’s not the case.”

“When you go down the road, it’s going to get worse,” he said. “It’s going to blow a hole in the budget when you go two or three months from now… All of a sudden this is going to come on the table and people are going to say, ‘My God it’s going to cost much more money than we thought before. How you disentangle this is now on Obama’s head.”

The only question really is just how much Pelosi and her fellow democrats will attempt to spin a bad credibility situation situation into a positive. There certainly is going to be those who no matter what will believe whatever they are fed by their party.

Via: Memorandum

Promise Cut Short...

View On ABC

Friday, November 15, 2013

Has the Unraveling Started?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

President Obama may be facing his Waterloo. Self made and potentially as destructive to his legacy (and the viability of the party that stood solidly behind him) as anything the Republicans could have done to railroad his signature domestic legislation the ACA, or his legacy.

Starting with the horrendous roll out, followed by millions of cancellation letters from health insures precipitated by ACA regulations, the realization by Americans that the President had, at the very least mislead them with his repeated promises they could keep their health insurance and their doctor, his proposed executive "fix" to the problem he and his administration created, a fix that itself may be outside his administrative authority, and finally his own party is beginning to question his course as they seem to be lining up behind the bills put forth by Republican Upton or Democrat Landrieu.

It certainly must be tough to be President Obama right now, and as much as no one should take pleasure in seeing the President struggling and losing credibility it it not hard to understand why he is. The following excerpt I think highlights the mood of-the country.

Excerpt,NATIONAL REVIEW 11/15/13 - After having created the circumstances in which millions of people lose their health coverage, the administration imagines this latest move can allow Democrats to say that the president and his health reform are not at fault but insurers and state insurance commissioners are because, after all, although they have had to prepare to follow the law for three years they now have thirty days to prepare to ignore it. The president was incredibly explicit about this in his press conference on Thursday, saying “the key point is, is that it allows us to be able to say to the folks who’ve received these notices, look, you know, I, the president of the United States, and the insurance model of the Affordable Care Act is not going to be getting in the way of you shopping in the individual market that you used to have.” I guess they’ve got reason to think people will believe anything they say, but it’s still hard to imagine that argument working. {Full Article}

Other interest articles:

Obamacare's Problems Could Haunt Democrats for Years

Health Law Rollout’s Stumbles Draw Parallels to Bush’s Hurricane Response

The Legality of the Latest ObamaCare Fix


House Passes Bill Letting People Keep Their Health Plans

Via: Memeorandum

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sarah Palin Said What?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Pay particular close attention at the 1 minute 30 second mark. If anyone can actually figure out exactly what she rambled on about please share your thoughts.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Nails on a chalkboard? Yep, for sure. Read the article at TPM.

Via: Memeorandum

Saturday, November 9, 2013

An Obama Admission...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty - vs- Tyranny

I found the following article by Ann Althouse interesting. More than just interesting really. Refreshing and honest as well.

In yesterday's interview with Chuck Todd, Obama said:

"You know, one of the lessons -- learned from this whole process on the website -- is that probably the biggest gap between the private sector and the federal government is when it comes to I.T. ...

Well, the reason is is that when it comes to my campaign, I'm not constrained by a bunch of federal procurement rules, right?"

That is, many have pointed out that his campaign website was really good, so why didn't that mean that he'd be good at setting up a health insurance website? The answer is that the government is bad because the government is hampered by... government!

"And how we write -- specifications and -- and how the -- the whole things gets built out. So part of what I'm gonna be looking at is how do we across the board, across the federal government, leap into the 21st century."

I love the combination of: 1. Barely able to articulate what the hell happens inside these computer systems, and 2. Wanting to leap!

"Because when it comes to medical records for veterans, it's still done in paper. Medicaid is still largely done on paper.

When we buy I.T. services generally, it is so bureaucratic and so cumbersome that a whole bunch of it doesn't work or it ends up being way over cost."

This should have made him sympathetic to the way government burdens private enterprise, but he's focused on liberating government to take over more of what has been done privately. And yet there's no plan, no idea about what would suddenly enable government to displace private businesses competing to offer a product people want to buy.

Instead, we've been told we must buy a product, and things have been set up so we can only go through the government's market (the "exchange"), and the government has already demonstrated that its market doesn't work. But you can't walk away, you're forced to buy, and there's nowhere else to go. And yet, he wants us to feel bad about the cumbersome bureaucracy the government encountered trying to procure the wherewithal to set up the market it had already decided we would all need to use. {Read More}

Indeed Ann, indeed.

Via: Memeorandum

As the Republican Party (and Conservatives) Continue To Struggle To Understand...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

I am a fiscal conservative, a social libertarian, not a democrat, not a republican... I am an American and I vote, like millions of other Americans do. Although the total turnout is shameful to say the least. That is, however a story for another day.

In reading THE WEEK I admit to being a bit puzzled. The week is a conservative leaning publication so it is natural they would pitch the party line that republicans need to attract people from the traditional conservative strongholds. In other words white males over 30, married women (presumably with children), and the fundie right Christians.

The only problem with this recipe is there are increasingly less people in the demographic group this publication is suggesting republicans target. Ultimately it is a losing strategy and will insure 50 years (or more) of democratic rule. Period.

The real answer is to create a much bigger tent by adopting a socially libertarian viewpoint on individual preference, whether it be sexual orientation, reproductive rights (women's rights), marijuana use, and the complete host of other individual liberties. At the same time republicans need to enunciate how and why fiscally responsible conservatism is the road to national economic stability and a successful middle class. Being forthright and acknowledging it is time to tame the MIC Leviathan and our nation's role as the policeman of the world will be paramount if the republicans party is to survive. Simply put... whether a conservative or a liberal the majority think the people (all of them) are more important that the state retaining unchecked power and influence worldwide.

If demography is destiny, Republicans can't win the presidency by acting more like Democrats. The GOP's best shot in 2016 is not to nominate a moderate. They must nominate a conservative who can attract more conservative voters to the polls, just like President Obama built his own coalition and increased the relative electoral power of each constituent part. Not that it will be easy.

As long as the GOP nominates someone plausible, they start off with 46 percent of the vote and a large chunk of the electoral college. Getting to 270 + 1 electoral votes and then to 50 percent of the popular balloting requires trade-offs and choices.

Where Obama drew in younger voters, unmarried women, black voters, and Latinos, Republicans would be wise to focus, in the short term, on raising turnout among married women, white men over 30, and self-described evangelical Christians.


Of course, overall demographic trends tilt the balance away from Republicans. The uphill climb begins with an awareness that Democrats will have somewhere between 200 and 250 electoral votes banked by Election Day. I'll start with 226, which leaves Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes) and 30 other states for Republicans to pick up. A lot of states, yes, but the most populous ones are already true blue, and there are fewer large states where Republicans can meaningfully turn out their demographic tranches relative to whatever a strong Democratic presidential candidate might do.

Ohio, Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Iowa are pretty much the only states where there's enough give for Republicans. If the 2016 nominee wins those states, he or she will need at least eight more electoral votes...


What Republicans really can't do is nominate someone who would try to eat into Democratic percentages among younger voters and Latino voters. It's a much taller order to take votes away, and there aren't many states where, unless Democrats massively lose face among these groups, a Republican can take them over. (I see just two: Colorado and Florida.)

So to those who say: The GOP will ONLY win the presidency if it moderates its tone on social issues, I say: not with the electorate as currently constituted. It might be useful, but it is neither necessary or sufficient.

All in all the recipe presented by THE WEEK is more of the same short sighted view that cost republicans in 2008 and 2012. It is fairly oblivious (or at least t should be) that some conservatives and republicans just don't get bit. Probably they never will.

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, November 8, 2013

As President Obama Continues His Slide In Public Opinion...

by: Les Carpenter Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Polls are admittedly mere indicators of the political pulse of the public. It is true arguments can be made that depending on the political preference(s), or leanings of the particular organization responsible for any specific poll that the poll may be manipulated through specific wording of poll questions. Questions intentionally designed to generate the response desired by the pollster. Few thinking individual would disagree.

President Obama's job approval ratings have been steadily declining and almost all polls reflect this decline. After considering multiple sources of information over a two week period Pew Research, Center for the People the Press seemed to be the most nonpartisan and thus reflective of the public's general sentiments.

A quick summary:
    • Overall job approval rating  41%
    • Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling four of five major issues. Terrorism being the lone exception.
    • Only 31% of Americans approve of the way Obama has handled the economy, 65% disapprove.
    • 21% of independents give Obama positive marks on the economy, 65% of democrats approve. (No surprise there)
    • Obama health care rating is a net negtive. 37% approve, 59% didapprove.
    • Only 32% of the public aprove of the job Obama s doing on the immigration issue. 53% of democrats approve and  42% disapprove.
    • Obama's job approval ratings have declined from 515 in May this year to 46% in July, 43% in October, and 41% now.
    • Obama's 12-point difference between disapproval (53%) and approval (41%) over the last month is the largest of his presidency.
    • Over the past year Obama's job approval ratings among his core supportyers has dropped from 88% to 78%. Republican aproval ratings have remained at just 12% over the sae time period.

Partisan democrats while showing a decline in support for the president his core constituency remains solidly behind him. Republican support remains, as expected, at near sub zero temperatures.

The Charts:

It is clear that partisanship remains a factor in the public's perception of the President's performance and effectiveness. It is equally as clear that those who typically are less or non partisan are souring on the President's performance. These are the swing voters who may very well affect the outcome of the 2014 and 2016 elections. If the trend continues it may be a steep uphill battle for the democrats to even retain control of the senate.

Via: Memeorandum

Friday, November 1, 2013

GOP'ers Growing Unhappiness and Division Within Their Party...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Division within the GOP is stark and becoming more so with each passing day. The Tea Party wing of the GOP, while taking principled positions has been completely unyielding, therefore making any compromise virtually impossible. Rather than viewing compromise as the positive outcome of hard fought political battles they view compromise as total defeat. Ultimately, at least in the minds of the purist, this means advancing the march of the great evil bogeyman. I'm sure you all can guess what that is.

The Democratic party on the other hand is enjoying relative unity, a good thing for the party faithful going into the mid term elections in November 2014. Already controlling the Senate, as well as the presidency, the House may be up for grabs if the general electorate continues to view the GOP in an increasingly unfavorable light. Further, many in the GOP are starting to view their party more unfavorably as a result of the extreme rightward movement of their party, the result of Tea Party legislators and activists.

What this non partisan political junkie fears is a fierce leftward backlash in response to what has occurred, and continues to occur on the right. Few will argue (I think) that society will only let the ideological political pendulum swing only so far in either the rightward or the leftward direction before it will force a correction. Corrections can be very difficult, causing economic and social pain for extended periods of time. Recall the Roaring 20's, the concentration of wealth at the top, and the resulting collapse of the economy.

Principles such as hard work, integrity, preserving individual liberty, controlling the growth of government while at the same time insuring it works for the benefit of all the the people (I refer you to Thomas Paine and his writings), as well as recognizing change is the only certainly in life and we must act responsibly to changing circumstances and times are all worthwhile and worth working towards. However, the belief and desire to manage a nation of the size of the USA as though it were still 1776 and 1789 is nonsensical. The American people have registered this concern and the GOP to survive and continue to be a force in American politics and governance must realize this.

By the sounds of a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll many in the GOP are beginning to understand the stakes involved. Making America strong and healthy requires dissent, consensus, compromise, and putting country above partisan politics.

... Democrats are largely content with their own party, while distaste among Republicans for the GOP has grown exponentially this year.

The most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, offers a stark window into widening divisions within the GOP over strategy and what kind of leaders Republicans want going forward. The Democratic Party, by comparison, is a picture of unity.


In December, just a month after the GOP experienced a string of election losses, nearly two-thirds of all Republicans held a positive view of their party. Ten months later that share has dropped to less than half.

Among those who are more wavering in their ties to the GOP—a group that is nearly twice the size of the party’s most fervent followers—affection for the party in the latest poll dropped to 35%, with almost an equal number saying they viewed the party in a negative light.

By comparison, nearly three-quarters of all Democrats in the poll said they have a positive view of their party, down just slightly since the end of last year. Even the more wavering among the Democrats are positive toward their party (61%).

The sharp divisions over political style with the GOP also have no corollary among Democrats.

A good example is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, widely seen as a chief architect of the showdown that led to last month’s government shutdown.

In the poll, just 19% of non-tea party Republicans said they have a positive view of Mr. Cruz, exactly in line with the rest of the country. But a striking 69% of tea-party Republicans in the poll gave Mr. Cruz positive marks.

A similar break can be seen over the question of whether Republicans want their party members in Congress to make compromises to gain a consensus on budgetary matters, or stick to their positions even if this means no budget agreement.

Just under half of all Republicans favored compromise. But among tea-party Republicans, a solid 64% said Republicans in Congress should stick to their positions no matter what. Just a third of non-tea party Republicans took that stauncher position.

When the same question was asked of Democrats, a solid 68% favored compromise, with little variation among liberals and more wavering Democrats.

The overall sourness of public sentiment toward the political status quo has triggered another round of yearning for a potential third party.


Do you have a positive or negative view of your own party?

Democrats: 73% positive, 7% negative

Republicans: 49% positive, 26% negative

Tea-party Republicans: 56% positive, 21% negative

Non tea party Republicans: 41% positive, 32% negative

And another chart:

Read full report HERE.

Via: Memeorandum