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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’
March 25th, 2014 at 2:00 pm
Obama’s New Overtime Rules Will Shrink Hours, Pay

The road to underemployment is paved with (so-called) good intentions.

In case you missed it, the Obama Labor Department is trying to raise the compensation threshold so that managers making at least $50,000 annually will qualify for overtime pay. The current threshold is $24,000.

To the liberal mind this policy change can only benefit workers by putting more money into their pockets. But to actual business owners like Andy Puzder, the real world consequences will mean less money and less work for the very people the Obama administration is trying to help.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Puzder – the CEO of several quick service restaurant chains like Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s – notes that current managers are eligible for performance bonuses of up to 28 percent of their salary. But if the new overtime rules go into effect, many of these will lose their managerial status and go back to hourly employment. Along with being demoted, they will very likely be assigned less hours to work to avoid triggering more expensive overtime pay. And for those that do qualify, their raise will translate into less money for the store’s operating budget, meaning less hours for someone else.

In a very tangible way, the Obama Labor Department’s new overtime rule seems destined to exacerbate the underemployment crisis in the American economy. How is is that the people proposing this can be so short-sighted?

March 25th, 2014 at 11:09 am
Ramirez Cartoon: World Famous Bear Trainer
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

March 14th, 2014 at 1:34 pm
Could Obama Neuter Putin by Increasing Natural Gas Exports?

That is the interesting idea being floated by commentators looking for ways to halt Russia’s military adventurism in Ukraine.

If direct military intervention is off the table – and at this point it’s hard to imagine the Obama administration going that route – then exporting America’s vast new reservoir of liquefied natural gas to Europe could be a way to deter Russian aggression in the region while at the same time strengthening our allies.

Gazprom, a huge state-controlled gas provider in Russia, supplies much of Europe. Hesitancy on the part of some European governments to respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is tied to Russia’s use of Gazprom to raise prices or restrict access when confronted with political situations it does not like. Increasing United States exports of its natural gas stock to Europe would diminish this threat substantially, allowing America’s European allies to take a more assertive stance against further Russian force.

In order to wean Europe off of Russian gas, President Barack Obama “should order the Energy Department to expedite authorization for roughly 25 liquefied natural gas export facilities. Demand all decisions within six weeks. And express major U.S. support for a southern-route pipeline to export Caspian Sea gas to Europe without traversing Russia or Ukraine,” writes Charles Krauthammer.

This solution puts an abundant natural resource to work for America’s national security interests, and also increases the number of domestic production and manufacturing jobs. The only hitch is that it requires President Obama to commit his administration to an energy policy opposed by liberal environmentalists. That alone probably dooms an otherwise win-win alternative to direct military intervention or sitting pat while Russia reconstitutes the Soviet Union. If so, it’s more confirmation that current Oval Office decisions are based more on pleasing special interest groups than helping domestic workers or our foreign allies.

March 10th, 2014 at 9:16 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Obama Budget
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

March 5th, 2014 at 9:08 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: The Red Line Part II
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

January 13th, 2014 at 11:59 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Commander In Chef
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

January 10th, 2014 at 9:57 am
The Obama Malaise Continues: Shockingly Dismal New Jobs Report
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Nearly half a decade has passed since the last recession ended in June 2009.  Unfortunately, this morning’s monthly jobs report from the Labor Department sent another alarming signal that the worst recovery in recorded U.S. history continues.  That is directly attributable to the destructive economic policies of the Obama Administration, and changes must be made, lest we stall into an entirely new recession.

According to the Labor Department, the economy added a shockingly low 74,000 jobs in December.  That is the lowest total in three years, and it fell 126,000 jobs short of the consensus expectation of 200,000 or more (which was economists’ highest predicted number in several months).  Nobody foresaw that tiny job creation number.  Even more alarming, the labor participation rate (meaning the percentage of all Americans actually choosing to participate in the workforce) fell again to 62.8%, the lowest number since 1978.  That is significant because that was before women had more fully entered the workforce.

The Obama Administration and its apologists may attempt to cite the decline in the overall unemployment rate to 6.7%, but that is not the result of an improving economy or labor market, but rather because some 374,000 additional Americans simply dropped out of the workforce and stopped searching for jobs.  Moreover, the Administration assured us back in January 2009 that the rate would be down to its pre-recession level of 5% by now under its wasteful trillion-dollar “stimulus.”

This sharp slowdown is simply the latest evidence that we haven’t “turned the corner” as Obama has been telling us since as far back as 2010.  Rather, we’re going in circles.  Until we return to the policies of lower taxes, less regulation and smaller government that create jobs and economic growth, that will continue.  The numbers prove that beyond any rational doubt at this point.  The answer isn’t more unemployment checks, but putting America back to work.

January 2nd, 2014 at 7:04 pm
House GOP: ObamaCare a National Security Risk

House Republicans are getting ready to ring in the New Year by focusing on Obamacare’s security risks.

As I’ve written previously, personal information entered into an account on Healthcare.gov – the federal Obamacare insurance exchange – may not be protected from identity thieves.

Amazingly, “Under current policy, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services is tasked with deciding whether there is a risk of harm and whether individuals need to be notified whenever a security breach occurs,” says Fox News. “Republican lawmakers argue that the notification should not be optional.

A memo authored by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) calls for the chamber to vote on bills that would require HHS and its affiliates to notify the public if a security breach occurs.

Democrats are crying foul, but their opposition is self-serving. The only reason not to support the change to mandatory notice is to preserve the false sense of security that no notice means that all is safe.

President Obama once promised that his is “the most transparent administration in history.” The least he could do is apply that promise to the law that bears his name.

January 1st, 2014 at 2:14 pm
Lack of Expertise May Doom Obamacare’s Viability

According to management experts, there are three pretty obvious reasons why the Obama administration was ill-prepared to make Heathcare.gov work.

“The heart of the issue, many of these people say, is that Obama and his inner circle had scant executive experience prior to arriving in the West Wing, and dim appreciation of the myriad ways the federal bureaucracy can frustrate an ambitious president,” reports Politico. “And above all, they had little apparent interest in the kind of organizational and motivational concepts that typically are the preoccupation of the most celebrated modern managers.”

In other words, no one in an Obamacare leadership position had relevant experience in this area. Worse, the President himself doesn’t appear to think this glaring deficiency matters.

It’s hard to fathom how a program so central to Obama’s legacy could be quarterbacked so poorly for so long, but here we are. The President thought that simply passing Obamacare would be enough to cement his status as one of the nation’s all-time greats. But if Republicans unite around an alternative and win back Congress this year, he’ll be lucky to leave office with anything resembling a workable program.

December 23rd, 2013 at 9:11 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Trust?
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

December 18th, 2013 at 11:07 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Sheep In Wolf’s Clothing
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

December 5th, 2013 at 5:04 pm
Chaiters Never Win

Yesterday I was attacked in cyberprint, bizarrely and scurrilously,  by liberal professional race-baiter Jonathan Chait. Somehow, apparently, calling Barack Obama “haughty” makes me at least somewhat an “heir” to vicious slave overseers. I responded at NRO today, at length, but not in kind, instead trying to keep the debate on a constructive plane — with this being one of the key passages:

Chait gives far too little credit to conservatives under 50, to so many of us who grew up as admirers of the famously minority-friendly Jack Kemp, for being perfectly well aware of, and greatly saddened by, what he calls the “still-extant residue” of the more virulently racist society that once existed. If he would only look, he would find plenty of examples of conservative thinkers and writers expounding thoughtfully and sympathetically on problems still faced by black Americans and on the Right’s own failures to address them.

It’s hard to make progress in good faith when the other side refuses to assume you possess good faith to start with.

But in trying to stay on the topic of constructive race relations, I deliberately avoided a few other highly legitimate rebuttals or explanations that need saying but that didn’t serve my main points. Let me address them here.

First, consider the source. It is truly bizarre to be told by Fulminator X that it is off limits, supposedly because it is latently and effectively racist, to use somewhat harsh language to criticize a president who happens to be black, even if such language is less harsh than that used by Fulminator X to criticize a white president. How is it a sign of racial equality to treat a black president as a creature too fragile to be subject to mean, hateful words such as … er… “haughty”?

Consider my supposedly off-limits paragraph:

Every time decent people think the scandals and embarrassments circling Barack Obama will sink this presidency, we look up and see Obama still there — chin jutting out, countenance haughty, voice dripping with disdain for conservatives — utterly unembarrassed, utterly undeterred from any assertion of power he thinks he can get away with, tradition and propriety and the Constitution be damned. The man has no shame, no self-doubt, not a shred of humility, no sense that anybody else has legitimate reason to question him or hold any other point of view.

Now compare that to the breathtaking treatment, in Jonathan Chait’s most (in)famous essay ever, that Chait afforded George W. Bush:

I hate President George W. Bush…. I hate the way he walks–shoulders flexed, elbows splayed out from his sides like a teenage boy feigning machismo. I hate the way he talks–blustery self-assurance masked by a pseudopopulist twang. I even hate the things that everybody seems to like about him. I hate his lame nickname-bestowing– a way to establish one’s social superiority beneath a veneer of chumminess (does anybody give their boss a nickname without his consent?). And, while most people who meet Bush claim to like him, I suspect that, if I got to know him personally, I would hate him even more…. … Conservatives believe liberals resent Bush in part because he is a rough-hewn Texan. In fact, they hate him because they believe he is not a rough-hewn Texan but rather a pampered frat boy masquerading as one, with his pickup truck and blue jeans serving as the perfect props to disguise his plutocratic nature…. …Bush is a dullard lacking any moral constraints in his pursuit of partisan gain, loyal to no principle save the comfort of the very rich, unburdened by any thoughtful consideration of the national interest, and a man who, on those occasions when he actually does make a correct decision, does so almost by accident.

But isn’t it such a shame that I called Obama “haughty?”

MOVING RIGHT ALONG….

The truly outlandish thing Chait writes is that it is “factually bizarre” — not even a strange opinion, but “factually” bizarre — to accuse Obama of being haughty and unembarrassed. (Somebody needs to explain to Chait that a “fact” is something inarguable, provable, not subject to disagreement.) Why? Because in a recent press conference Obama supposedly was (get THIS!) “profusely and even flamboyantly contrite.” Huh? Flamboyantly? I just re-read the press conference transcript, and it is full of mild acknowledgments that the ObamaCare web site isn’t working perfectly while all bracketed in an insistence that everything still is better than it seems and will get better still. While he mouthed several pro forma acceptances of responsibility — “it’s on me” — there were plenty of observers who noted that he didn’t always seem to really mean it.

To quote the ever-left Dana Milbank on the president’s attitude:

Even as he accepted responsibility for the debacle, he couldn’t resist transferring some blame to the assembled press (“the things that go right, you guys aren’t going to write about”) and to Republicans (“repeal, repeal, let’s get rid of this thing”).

But Obama seemed genuinely puzzled by the notion that his leadership may have been the cause.

Yet it is supposedly “factually bizarre” for me to fail to appreciate this president’s supposedly self-evident humility. Right. Look, if I were the only one who finds Obama generally haughty and self-referential, that would be one thing. But a Google search would quickly produce hundreds and hundreds of similar judgments.

I could go on.  But the takeout should be this: Just as Obama’s skin color should play no role in any criticism of him, nor should it shield him from criticism, much less to accuse his critics of the ultimate political sin of some version of racism.

Maybe somebody should tell Chait that, to stoop to such unfair insults rather than to engage in legitimate debate, one might be charged with being a “dullard lacking any moral constraint.”

December 5th, 2013 at 8:57 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Obama Foreign Policy
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

December 1st, 2013 at 9:51 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Trouble Filling Jimmy Carter’s Shoes
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

November 22nd, 2013 at 12:35 pm
As California Goes, So Does Obama’s ‘Fix’

California’s Obamacare-aligned health insurance exchange will not bail out President Barack Obama.

Data released by Covered California, the state’s exchange, explains why.

“People between the ages of 45 and 64 have enrolled in California’s health exchange at a much higher rate than their overall portion of the state’s total population, while younger adults’ enrollment levels essentially track their overall population,” reports CNBC.

“If the trend holds up, it could mean that insurance plans are overweighted with older customers, and underweighted with younger, presumably healthier people. Since their premiums are much needed to offset the cost of benefits paid out to sicker individuals, that could lead to higher premium prices in 2015.”

In other words, Covered California – like any other Obamacare exchange – can’t afford President Obama’s costly ‘fix’ that would allow young and healthy people to keep their pre-Obamacare insurance plans and stay out of the post-Obamacare risk pools. As I explain in my column this week, doing so would lead to the dreaded ‘death spiral’ that will doom the Obamacare exchanges.

There’s no other way to say it. California’s refusal to go along with Obamacare’s latest ‘fix’ is a huge blow to President Obama. So far, the Golden State is home to the most Obamacare-related enrollments, so if it’s afraid that adopting Obama’s enforcement delay will put its fiscal sustainability in jeopardy, it’s hard to see how any other state that’s serious about the issue will disagree.

November 19th, 2013 at 9:30 am
Ramirez Cartoon: You Can Keep Your Health Plan, BUT…
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

November 15th, 2013 at 1:06 pm
President Obama Excited to Kill More People

On the White House’s official Twitter page, President Obama bragged that under his administration, “We set new fuel standards that will double the distance our cars and trucks go on a gallon of gas.”

Ignore for a moment that the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency slapped the burdensome regulations on car makers 15 months ago, so the Tweet is obviously a pathetic diversionary tactic to shift the public’s attention away from the recent Obamacare debacle that has further tarnished Obama’s presidency.

Let’s focus instead on the reality that stricter fuel standards kill thousands of people a year.

Since the simplest way to improve a vehicle’s mileage is to reduce its weight, fuel efficiency standards turn cars into “small, underpowered death traps,” according to the National Center for Policy Analysis.

While Obama’s ridiculous miles per gallon regulations won’t fully take effect for another dozen years, previous fuel standard policies are responsible for many of the deaths we see today.

In 1999, USA Today calculated that the reduction in the size and weight of passenger vehicles necessitated by fuel efficiency standards had resulted in more than 46,000 deaths. There have been thousands more Americans killed unnecessarily in the years since that report.

Highway deaths have been spiking recently. There was a 5.3% increase in deaths on America’s roads last year alone. That’s not surprising since, in 2011, another significant increase in minimum miles per gallon for passenger cars was put in place. As drivers upgrade to newer car models, they are unwittingly putting themselves in lighter, more dangerous cars.

Judging by the White House’s tweet, it’s apparent that the President is proud to force Americans into even smaller, lighter cars. He seems disturbingly at ease with the thousands of American deaths his decision will cause.

November 13th, 2013 at 4:50 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: What Obama Meant Was…
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

November 12th, 2013 at 2:56 pm
The AP Condemns Government Ethanol Policy

You could almost hear environmentalists’ jaws hit the floor this morning when they opened their newspapers and took to their phones and computers for their morning news. In a fierce 4,150-word exposé, the Associated Press dispelled any notion that ethanol is the wonder cure for what ails the environment.

The AP points out that the explosion in corn farming as a result of government ethanol mandates have damaged land, polluted drinking water from fertilizer runoff, and killed aquatic life in rivers and lakes.

To top it all off, the article notes that, “The government’s predictions of the benefits have proven so inaccurate that independent scientists question whether it will ever achieve its central environmental goal: reducing greenhouse gases.”

At best, according to the article, ethanol is only 16% better than gasoline when it came to carbon dioxide emissions. And that small 16% benefit comes at a tremendous cost to the environment:

The consequences are so severe that environmentalists and many scientists have now rejected corn-based ethanol as bad environmental policy. But the Obama administration stands by it, highlighting its benefits to the farming industry rather than any negative impact.

Farmers planted 15 million more acres of corn last year than before the ethanol boom, and the effects are visible in places like south central Iowa.

The hilly, once-grassy landscape is made up of fragile soil that, unlike the earth in the rest of the state, is poorly suited for corn. Nevertheless, it has yielded to America’s demand for it.

‘They’re raping the land,’ said Bill Alley, a member of the board of supervisors in Wayne County, which now bears little resemblance to the rolling cow pastures shown in postcards sold at a Corydon pharmacy.

All energy comes at a cost. The environmental consequences of drilling for oil and natural gas are well documented and severe. But in the president’s push to reduce greenhouse gases and curtail global warming, his administration has allowed so-called green energy to do not-so-green things.

The AP’s stunning article should send a strong message to Washington about the failure of federal ethanol policies.

About 17,500 newspapers and websites are currently featuring the piece, according to a web search.

November 9th, 2013 at 6:27 pm
McCarthy: Obamacare Fraud a Reason to Impeach

Leave it to a former federal prosecutor to make the case for impeaching President Barack Obama over the latter’s massive fraud regarding the security of insurance policies after Obamacare.

“Fraud is a serious federal felony, usually punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment — with every repetition of a fraudulent communication chargeable as a separate crime,” writes Andrew McCarthy. “In computing sentences, federal sentencing guidelines factor in such considerations as the dollar value of the fraud, the number of victims, and the degree to which the offender’s treachery breaches any special fiduciary duties he owes. Cases of multi-million-dollar corporate frauds — to say nothing of multi-billion-dollar, Bernie Madoff–level scams that nevertheless pale beside Obamacare’s dimensions — often result in terms amounting to decades in the slammer.”

As everyone knows by now, President Obama has lied repeatedly since at least 2010 that Americans who like their insurance will be able to keep it.

But just because Obama won’t be prosecuted doesn’t mean that his actions should go unpunished. As McCarthy reminds us, the standard for impeachment is “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which Alexander Hamilton argued in the Federalist Papers as relating “chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”

I agree with McCarthy that the billions of dollars lost by millions of health insurance consumers seems to qualify as a massive injury to society perpetuated by the man in the Oval Office.

Read the entire piece here.